28 February 2022

EVENTUALLY I DRANK TO KILL THE PAIN WHICH DRINKING CAUSED & TO STILL THE PAIN OF NOT DRINKING

 


The Survival Instinct laughed in my face toward the end of my 30-year drinking career. 
The joke was on me, but I was not laughing.
It was a Dead-End Life, and I was half-dead.
If you did not drink or drug today, chalk one up on the other side of the prison door.
That door was always open, but addiction would not let me know that.
I have lived to tell.
*****

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 





27 February 2022

RECOVERY MAY REQUIRE JUMPING A FEW HURDLES

 


I would not suggest that you attempt it on your own.
You are never on your own.
You carry your brain with you.
Addiction has changed your brain in ways small and large.
Healing will take time.
When I tried to get clean and sober alone, I ended up drinking alone.
My Addicted Brain fooled me again and again.
Shared Courage.
Barbed-Wire Fences.
Stick with some winners if you want to become one.
Just saying.
*****

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 


26 February 2022

Surviving Addiction and Cancer for Another Day (A one-minute read)

 

(positivepsychology.com)

"No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." - Heraclitus
"New Beginnings Are Often Disguised as Painful Endings." - Lao Tzu
*****
What once seemed like challenges to me have become opportunities as my resilience continues to build. Survivor of Addiction and of Cancer, I have become a little bit more bendable with time.
March 2018: 
The lump on my throat popped out when I raised my head to the water streaming down on me in the shower. I visited my family doctor who sent me to a local specialist. Suddenly, I'd graduated to Cancer. In fairly quick succession I'd visited a surgeon and two chemo and radiation specialists. My 7 weeks of chemo and radiation started in May and ended in July. 
The tools I had acquired over my then 13 years of recovery from addiction quickly dissolved my short-lived despair. By virtue of experience, I would not allow victimhood to smother me in self-pity
How we survive, how we recover and how we learn to be more present, more fully alive, are all in the stewpot of emotions and actions that have brought us to the present moment. We can stew in our own sour juices or thrive on the new perspectives that adversity have brought our way. 
In my recovery from addiction, I learned that I would not let my cancer diagnosis and treatment defeat me. I would and did emerge more-fully-whole.
February 2022:
My very recent tests show an absence of Cancer, but that does not mean an end to my recovery. I'm committed to staying connected with all Recovering Communities, Cancer, Addiction, and whatever else may present itself on my road ahead. 
From Playing the Pity-Seeking Victim to Becoming a Survivor finding Strength in Shared Courage, I have filled another day and another day has filled me.
This post could be a mile long. Perhaps it's best I made it wide instead, like the smile I intend.
Smile. We can do this, or we are done for. Smile.
*****

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 


25 February 2022

"One is One TOO MANY and None is MORE than Enough."

 

(Whisky Loot on Pinterest)

No Thimbleful of Alcohol for me.
Numb is a number I no longer do.
Recovery has won, is one, is one.
Won't you join me too?
Addiction is a fixable fixation. 
Recovery is more livable.
Gratitude resides within it.
Together, we will share it.
Let me be unequivocal:
"There is No Safe Harbor
When the Sea is Alcohol."
No Thimbleful of Alcohol for me.
I end it where I begin it. 
Every Ending a New Beginning:
Where Addiction Ends,
Recovery Begins.
Everybody Wins.
Silly.
More than enough.
Enough.
*****
[Please note, this Verse is in neither book]:

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 

22 February 2022

My POT is CRACKED; No CRACKPOT, I

 

(bardessdmdenton.wordpress.com on pinterest.com)

My pot is cracked.
No crackpot, I.
No pot.
No crack.
Booze is my fuse.
Ding Dong!
Hello!
Recovery, here.
Not high on drugs,
My choice is clear:
When offered crack or pot or booze,
Refuse, Refuse, Refuse!

[Please note: this poem is not in BECOMING UNBROKEN. Nor does it reflect the style or content within it. Just sayin'!] lol

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 



19 February 2022

(4) Things the Imaginaries Said I COULD NOT HEAR & (6) Things the Imaginaries OVERHEARD ME SAY



The Imaginaries (there are three of them) overheard everything I said, but I took no notice of them. 

1. I measured my life in pints instead of hours.

2. Being drunk allowed me to deal with the drunk in me.

3. When I thought I could stay sober alone, I wound up drinking alone.

4. You are what you eat, but what are you when you are only what you drink?

5. How many keys did I have to lose before I would learn that alcohol no longer opened doors?

6. Diplomatically searching for others equally high, we (my disease and I) would manufacture memories out of blackouts like free-range intoxicated chickens. 

For the Imaginaries, Illusion is their common bond. They saw the Insanity in my Early Recovery. They shared amongst themselves more than I share with you here.

Is it any wonder, when the Imaginaries heard me say things such as these, unheard by me, among other things, they shared:

1. "His sobriety, at first, was like a bad translation." 

2. "When he turns his back on empathy, he turns his back upon himself."

3. "It seems that every time he starts to make a little sense, he just seems to slide back into emotional chaos."

4. "His addiction to alcohol replaced all other desires, finally, and nearly, the desire to live."

[All of the above chaos, relatively at random is excerpted from a dozen or so pages of the first quarter of my first book. My second book was just released, so I took a short look back, flipping through a few pages. To Decide if Either, Neither or Both of my books are up your alley, I encourage you to check out their Amazon pages linked below. THANKS!]

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 






14 February 2022

My Five***** Star Review of IF YOU LOVED ME, YOU'D STOP!

Buy it now / Read it now / Live it now

I finished reading Lisa Frederiksen's book a few long weeks ago. But apparently, "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop!" wasn't finished with me. "I didn't know where 'I' ended and 'someone else' began," she states early on. And so it is with co-dependency, I guess. I am an alcoholic in recovery and reading her book deepened my understanding of how those around me had perceived and misperceived my behaviors and my addictions.
For me, her book was a refresher course on how my alcohol-anesthetized self must have effected those around me. "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop!" will be of great value to anyone in a relationship with or near any substance abuser. It is written for 'them' about people like me.
The belief that you can make a difference in someone else's addiction perpetuates the problem and helps to deepen denial, as is so clearly stated in her book. "Every time you change one small part of your behavior, you're changing the bigger picture, too," she explains. What a positive revelation and an inducement to act!
It was sometimes painful to read, reminding me of the trauma I had caused others and the personal changes I had made with great difficulty years before I had read her phenomenal book. She informs with crystal clarity that one of the primary skills of a co-dependent is the ability to not feel. As alcohol dependence deadened me, I inadvertently taught those around me who cared the most to bottle their emotions. This book will help any reader as it has helped me to heal.
"How to Respond Instead of React" is a skill I have learned by living sober and which Lisa Frederiksen advocates for her co-dependent readers to learn when dealing with an alcoholic or addict in their relationships. She states "Change yourself and your relationships will definitely change - including the one you have with you!"
"You didn't cause it / Can't control it / Can't cure it" is an apt slogan for co-dependents.
As for "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop," I can only say Buy it now / Read it now / Live it now.

https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Loved-Youd-Stop/dp/0981684408/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=%22If+You+Loved+Me%2C+You%27d+Stop%2C%22&qid=1644884927&s=digital-text&sr=1-2-catcorr 

*****

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books


13 February 2022

"Relapse is NOT a Requirement" & The POWER of VULNERABILITY

 

(nytimes.com)

I had discarded the idea of writing this post until I realized it was as much about MY VULNERABILITY as HIS. I HAD TO DEAL WITH IT, regardless of whether he did or not. 

Since Late Spring or Early Summer of last year, I had been sending copies of my daily Recovery Posts to a friend in Recovery whose first language is Spanish and whose knowledge of speaking and understanding English is quite good. But because his reading abilities in English are something less than stellar, I translated them into Spanish for him with the help of Google. Taking a few moments to have Google translate my written words into Spanish, instead of him struggling with written English, seemed simple enough. And he seemed grateful enough.

ENOUGH of ENOUGH Already. THERE was the rub.

His name is not Mateo Santiago, but that's what I'm calling him (I like the sound of it). Mateo at this time was embarking on what I believe was his third or fourth stretch of sobriety. "Third failed attempt" would be a corrosive way to express this. It is key to remember that during my first 8 years of on again/off again sobriety, I began to think of myself as "The Relapse King." We all struggle to crawl before we can learn to walk. 

In Alcoholics Anonymous, one will eventually (and sometimes repeatedly) hear someone say that "Relapse is NOT a Requirement." That's usually uttered by someone who on their first attempt at sobriety is able to remain so and never experiences the pain and humiliation often experienced by the majority of us. To my ears "NOT a Requirement" usually rings hollow and sounds a little too smug. But what would you expect "The Relapse King" to say? 

Sometimes, ENOUGH is NOT ENOUGH. Essentially, I, "The Relapse King," abandoned him. I took on a Sink or Swim attitude. It was MY VULNERABILITY that was put into question, and I didn't quite see it that way at the time. Recovery is a very dicey affair. I could not let his failure become mine. It was easier for me to abandon him than for me to help him work through it. Maybe he really did mean he would be okay to drink again.

Helping one helps all, but what about when the offered help is of no help? Can I simply call it "planting a seed" and move on until he declares that he is ready?

Sometimes Recovery is All About Me. Sometimes Ego is Not my Amigo. Sometimes, no matter how long I may remain Sober, my own Vulnerability IS called into question, whether I realize it or not. 

Despite my remaining Sober, and him not (for now), THERE IS NO HEIRARCHY HERE. 

i, i, i, i, i, must always remain open. i (no matter the outcome for Mateo) ... I have to go now ... I think I have to call someone for help.

It is not necessary for me to tell you whether that call will be made to Mateo or to someone else. KNOW THIS: Whether I am reaching out to extend my hand to uplift another or if I need help to move myself forward another day doesn't much matter. Today, I must REMAIN VULNERABLE. My Recovery depends on it.

Que tenga un lindo dia. (Have a nice day.) 

Hoy, tu, mi lector imaginario, me has sido de gran ayuda. (Today, you, my imagined reader, have been of help to me.) 

Gracias. (Thank you.)

*****

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

All Drinking Aside | Jim Anders | Funky Brain Podcast with Dennis Berry (1,202 views from Nov 26, 2020)

VIEWER COMMENTS:

1. "Loved the interview, Jim. Keep inspiring others with your story - so many can benefit from your knowledge and experience." - Doing the Dirty Dishes Podcast

2. "Great interview!" - Daniel G. Garza

3 "Such an amazing interview! Thank you :-) " - Joanne Pinnock

4. "So happy to get to hear your story, Jim. Very interesting to hear of your writing process. So many powerful words said." - D. Engelmann

5. "Great interview! Such honesty!" - Carole McKee

6. "Excellent video!" - David Bokan

7. "Great guy! Great Book! Great interview! Jim's so engaging and easy to understand. I know for me, everything he said resonates to the core. And he has a knack for bringing humor to the hard lessons of addiction and recovery. Thanks, Jim!" - Living Free Health

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BLsFV7E5Do

*****

This Interview preceded the publication of my latest book.

Here are the Links to them: #Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books


12 February 2022

FROZEN FOG RAINBOW

 


If this is possible, then Recovery is possible. 
Take your pick, Fiction or Non-Fiction: 
Say "YES!" to Recovery
Here's to the Hope that my two books will find their way into your Recovery Toolbox and onto your Recovery Bookshelf.

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books


CHEMICAL BETRAYAL & HUMAN TRUST

(Celebrate Recovery Richmond Kentucky/ Facebook)

Immediately (before I had a chance to even think or feel) upon reading "Learn the difference between the sound of your intuition guiding you and your traumas misleading you," I was stunned. Stunned into Silence and Deep Reflection. Intuition had already fallen off the face of the Earth when I first got sober. Alcohol (when stuffing any one emotion or cluster of emotions) succeeded in pounding all emotions beyond sensation and deep down, nearly irretrievable, many not surfacing until years into my recovery.
Call it numb, if you will, but that doesn't really capture the desperate and anesthetized emptiness that somehow evolved inside me in that separate Universe known as Addiction.
CHEMICAL BETRAYAL: My brain sat like a brain you might see in a jar in a laboratory, unceremoniously embalmed in whatever chemical bath is necessary for its preservation.
My brain was not so much chemically preserved as betrayed. Yes, I felt betrayed by this chemical compound we call alcohol. The feeling at this particular intersection was no different than if I had been betrayed by a lover, only more numbing. And insane. Insane and insensate.
AFTER BETRAYAL, HOW COULD THERE BE TRUST?
Alcohol-Would-Have-to-Be-Made-Dead. This chain of words in English (and presumably all human languages) may not suitably capture the separation of subject and object, Me & Alcohol, welded together as Alcohol & I were after 30 years and more than 50,000 drinks. 
If I could not kill it, I could, at least, make Alcohol dead to me. "Alcohol, you must be made dead. You must die if I am to live. So ever sorry to see you go." Something like that, like the separation of conjoined twins.
And still, and yet, and soon, I would relapse again and again. 
HUMAN TRUST: (Intuition) We're back to the Intuition part of the opening quote, which I'll repeat again here: "Learn the difference between the sound of your intuition guiding you and your traumas misleading you." Human Trust? I would need more than Intuition to bring me back to Humanity, like an amoeba inching towards the light. The Alcoholic Animal that I had become would need to move back from the Chemical Precipice and Rejoin the Human Race. 
Trauma, unfeeling. Let it go, Jim. Move forward.
Trust, unyielding. Begin to Trust, to live again.
Intuition, fed by frayed nerves, sustained me as I slowly gained my foothold in Living Human.
Somehow, I cobbled together what can be assigned meaning only as a New Life.
Trust.
Trauma. Addiction. Betrayal. Trust. Impossible as it sounded it became possible. Doing became being.
More Human Connection. More Help and a renewed Trust. Fresh, Changed Perspectives, New Opportunities. Eventually I learned that Recovery is Possible, Doable, Irreplaceable.
I came to believe that "Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
Shared Courage, Sober and Strong.
We Belong. We Deserve No Less.
Yes.
*****
Here's to the Hope that my two books will find their way into your Recovery Toolbox and onto your Recovery Bookshelf.
#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books


11 February 2022

My 30-Year Drinking Career was NOTHING Compared to my 8 Years of Repeated Relapses

 

(Archillect on Twitter.com)

MOST of my "DRUNK" was AFTER I First Got "SOBER"!
Apparently, MY 30-YEAR DRINKING CAREER HAD TAUGHT ME DIDDLY!

Not only did things get progressively worse during my 30 years of daily drink, but the progression accelerated after my first relapse and continued to accelerate during my 8-year period of Multiple Relapses

"Life SOBER or Life DRUNK?" I had to decide. I had to seek help. I had to continue staying connected with others in recover or surely, I would die. I had to learn to crawl before I could walk. 

I used to think in my drinking days that I would have to suffer for my art, a common belief, based on cultural myths, I guess. Drinking would be the burden I would have to bear in order to be able to produce my art (I was an advertising copywriter for a dozen or so years). To paraphrase a line from my book, "There was art produced by children in concentration camps, but that art was produced despite the living conditions, not because of them." The illusion that addiction to alcohol was my burden to bear because it allowed me to produce my volumes of work followed the same equation as the children in those concentration camps. Denial, anger, fear, depression self-pity, doubt: a toxic cocktail of emotions enflamed by alcohol, narcotics and prescription drugs were the Hard Candy Crunch that my life had become and how my life would remain until I would finally get sober and fully live in Recovery.
I learned more in those eight years of many relapses than I had in all the thirty years that preceded them.
Those 8 years included disastrous failures at helping and being helped by others in recovery, a lesson in auditory hallucinations, fraudulent bank transactions, being the intended victim of murder, accusations of witnessing a murder, friends and former friends' suicide attempts and tragic successes, lives lost and never found. And on and on.
Viktor Frankl said that "To live is to suffer. To survive is to find meaning in suffering." That is the lesson he learned from being a concentration camp survivor. I would have to learn to survive addiction AND to survive myself, to find meaning in my own suffering.
Victimhood would have to be discarded and be replaced by Responsibility for my own Recovery. 
Today's Sober Hard Candy Crunch is bearable because I live a sustainable, joyous and free Life in Recovery, because of Recovery and not in spite of it as I had with my alcohol and other drugs in the Concentration Camp of Addiction.

Hope One. Hope All. We Can Do This.

Shared Courage. Recovery Strong.

*****
Here's to the Hope that my two books will find their way into your Recovery Toolbox and onto your Recovery Bookshelf.
#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

"THE DESTRUCTION, DECONSTRUCTION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF AN ALCOHOLIC ANIMAL"



(en.wikipedia.org)

In the far-flung future, when I will have written and rewritten this post several times, it will have become more refined, sculptured, recognizable. Memory of its original contents will have been altered in each subsequent remembering.
That's part of my point.
Let me proceed in rough-hewn form:
The Dilophosaurus pictured here is a fairly complete fossil.
Not so the remains of the bones of memories from my drunken days.
Like the children's puzzle book, "Where's Waldo?" I would have to do much searching to reconstruct my 30 years of drinking into a recognizable form. 
The skeletal remains of my drunken days were incomplete. 
I was broken.
Addiction breaks everyone.
Those who remain have much reconstruction to do to put together a clean, sober and survivable sense of self, a life worth living.
Go back to the title of this post, "The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal." 
What do destruction, deconstruction and reconstruction have in common? Like any fan of "Where's Waldo?" might advise you, "Keep Looking!"
It's simple. The word "STRUCTURE" is buried deep (or not so deeply) within each of these words.
Alcohol destroyed my life (structure destroyed).
What little was left would have to be held up to the light of day, examined for clues as to how it could have gone so well for so long until "by the time I had a reason to stop drinking, reason no longer had anything to do with it." 
I would have to deconstruct my past addiction to construct a life fully in recovery.
HERE'S MY POINT (Finally!): I did not even see the word "STRUCTURE" as the unifying element underlying my book's subtitle when it was first published. Such an awareness took time. 
Recovery, for me, has been, ultimately, about Structure.
Strive on! 
*****
Here's to the Hope that my two books will find their way into your Recovery Toolbox.
#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books


10 February 2022

IS THAT YOU OR THE BOOK TALKING? IT'S ME... TALKING TO THE BOOK!

 


Truth Be Told! It Could Be You Talking to Either of My Books:

*****
#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books



09 February 2022

THE SYMBOLIC EMERGENCE OF A NEW & SOBER SELF

"At my second two-week Rehab at the Institute for Human Development [now John Brooks Recovery Center (JBRC)], ... high on Librium as we detoxify on alcohol and other drugs, one guy gave five or six of us a new haircut, one after the other. That was the symbolic start of the emergence of a new and sober self for me. An aboriginal ritual. 'Today you are a man. Free of alcohol and drugs. Go forth. Build a new life.' None of that was said aloud, of course, and the symbol of the haircut and the reality of the haircut were quite different things.

Am I splitting hairs?
Yes, but wisely (Har-de-har-har hair)."

*****

(pinterest.com)

Without OTHERS, my Recovery would be un-doable & un-sustainable. In no time flat, I would be replaced by a Relapse (and unknown consequences leading up to and likely including death).

With the help of OTHERS (this is a very partial list), these are some of my stops on my trip to a life of Recovery:
JBRC (twice)
AtlantiCare Hospital (countless times)
Homeless Buddies in & out of Recovery (homeless twice)
Atlantic City Detox (back-in-the-day, twice)
Lakewood Hospital (extended stay)
Atlantic City Rescue Mission (twice, once sober, once not)
A.A.
N.A.
Al-Anon...
and with a Host of OTHERS, I have remained Clean & Sober. Two books later, I have accumulated 17 years of continuous recovery. Instead of "Rain Money," I'm calling this "Rain Recovery/Long May Recovery Reign"!!!
Let me end by saying "THANKS!" to You and to All the Many OTHERS without whom I would not even be here today!!!
Recovery is doable, sustainable, irreplaceable.
Share the Riches of your Recovery 
(Long May Recovery Reign!)
*****
#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

07 February 2022

THE SOLITARY CONFINEMENT SCHOOL OF RECOVERY

 (in-housestaff.org)

This is NOT the Solitary Confinement School of Recovery. I wouldn't recommend that approach to anyone. 

(Fade to):

I've heard mothers and sons, father and daughters, co-workers and friends (and many more) be thankful, expressing their gratitude that a friend, lover, relative, whomever, has been arrested for their drug and alcohol-related behavior. "At least they will be safe there. Safer than the streets anyway." 

Go ahead, Take a moment. Think of the innumerable ways in which someone might be better off behind bars than on the street.

Should it be called Jail or Prison? I've heard discussions describing the difference between Jail and Prison many times over the years, but I'd like to go back one step further.... 

PENITENTIARY: This is the Grunt, the Nudge, the Origin of what I want to say from my Safe Distance in Long-Term Recovery. When I hear "Penitentiary" I think of a Place of Penitence and am reminded of Grade School: "You know what you did is wrong. Now go sit in the corner and think about what you did!" 

(My Opinion): The entire Criminal Justice System's Treatment of Addicts is in itself Criminal. Instead of Justice, we should be seeking Rehabilitation for Addicts. Helping them, not Punishing them. That would be Justice. The way things stand now, when a Drug Offender is released from Jail or Prison, Relapse back to their drug of choice is almost a given (No Big Surprise if that should happen, is it? "Now go sit in the corner" is equivalent to "Nothing changes if nothing changes.").

OKAY, JIM! GET OFF YOUR SOAPBOX! I know, I know. I've never been to prison, so what DO I know? Aside from cleaning the holding cell for the County's drunk tank as punishment for Public Drunkenness, I don't know much. But the PRISON of ADDICTION, I can speak on that at length, but won't (Thank Goodness). What I do know is this: I could not get sober alone. Every time I tried to get sober alone, I ended up drinking alone (within hours, not days later). 

I HAVE LEARNED TO LOVE THE MESS THAT I ONCE WAS! The circuitous route from him to me is how I became who I am today. I couldn't be friends today with who I was back then. He would be too toxic for me, too dangerous, too hot to handle. But with my kid gloves on, I've coaxed myself to let love in, to trace the threads of change, woven and interwoven, to embrace my past as I continue my path forward. 

SO, OLD ME, EVEN YOU HAVE A PLACE AT THE TABLE! How could I not love the me that was? After all, he brought me to the doorstep called Today. 

I was not a pretty picture in my Early Recovery. Luckily, I took notes back then as a way to get a hold on myself. On shaky ground, one of my early notes read: "Gripped with fear, my anxiety attacks return. My fears have been spelled out in the nightmares others are living. My drunk dreams explain me. I feel separated. Night sweats, drunk dreams. Like a wild locomotive with no breaks. Noise- white noise, black noise. Adrenaline. A drunken grip, my drunk dream holds onto me. The nightmare reality of what reality was like, insane drunkenness. The abyss of drunkenness. Anxiety unbound.... "

I WISH TODAY I COULD HAVE OFFERED HELP TO THAT PERSON I ONCE WAS. (Early on, the only giving I could give was my insanity. I was lost and would still be lost without the help of others who had gone through similar living nightmares. 

REALITY CHECK! The person I was then would surely reject me as I am today. It's a complex puzzle piecing together a life in recovery. To learn to use the love I have remaining, broken and healing bit by bit may be the best that I can ever do. As I've said on other occasions, helping others is a Win/Win. It's all part of becoming whole again- for everyone in Recovery and the people in their lives around them who must also learn to heal.

WE HUMANS ARE SOCIAL ANIMALS. Addiction separates us from ourselves as well as it separates us from others. THE SOLITARY CONFINEMENT SCHOOL OF RECOVERY is Cruel. PERIOD. Rather than Punishment, were the ball in my Court, Prison for Drug Offenders would be replaced by Rehabilitation and Recovery.*

*****

Back to my opening paragraph, where I paraphrased the Chorus of Grateful Voices, happy, in part, because the arrest of their loved one has slowed the damage that addiction causes (if only for a day, maybe more): 

"At Least They Will Be Safe There. Safer Than The Streets Anyway." 

Although that may be true, let me end with a favorite quote, a Bulgarian Proverb: "You are permitted in time of great danger to walk with the devil until you have crossed the bridge."

CHANGE IS COMING. CHANGE IS ALREADY HERE.

Do Not Confine Yourself in Solitary. Confide in Others. Refine Your Recovery. Find Sober Solitude and Belonging. Strong Roots and Wings to Fly. Recovery is Possible, Doable, Irreplaceable.

*****

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

My 2015 Review of "Rebalancing the Addictive Mind" by Rochelle Poerio

"I have 10+ years of continuous sobriety. So, why would I read "Rebalancing the Addictive Mind," found on my library's shelf as I scanned their recovery literature? For the same reason I wrote of my own recovery: to help others not make the same mistakes I did, to ease the path to sobriety. "Rebalancing the Addictive Mind" is thorough, concise and informative. The periodic summations and occasional illustrations help drive home the valuable information-based insights contained therein. The author's writing abilities cannot be over-stated. If this book had been around 18 years ago when I first got sober, 8 years of relapses may well have crumbled into fiction, my mind rebalanced. Truly, I would suggest the exercise of good judgment, add "Rebalancing the Addictive Mind" to your recovery literature bookshelf."

*****

"Rebalancing the Addictive Mind":


#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,100+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books