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Posts tagged: recovery from alcoholism

Here’s a Great Book for Those Who Love an Alcoholic

By , December 2, 2013 8:14 pm

As we are approaching the season of holiday parties and often, too much excessive drinking, I’m posting this book review I’ve recently written.

I believe it is one of the best books out there that describes the effects on the family, when living with an alcoholic.

Beyond the Booze Battle–by Ruth Maxwell

Brilliant- A Phenomenal Help for Educating Loved Ones of Alcoholics

I first learned of this book while attending a treatment center that gave lectures on alcoholism and its effects on family members of an alcoholic. What an eye-opener it is!

It certainly gave me great insights into the true nature of the disease and how terribly it affects the emotional and mental states of those who live with, and love an alcoholic/ drug addict.

The first chapter is titled “You’re Not Crazy.” Maxwell writes, “If you are living with someone who is harmfully involved with alcohol or drugs, you may be questioning your own sanity. You’re not crazy. You may feel shattered, but you are not crazy.”

What a relief it is to hear this from a professional like Ruth Maxell, who is a renowned therapist dealing with chemical dependency and all of its destructive elements. Continue reading 'Here’s a Great Book for Those Who Love an Alcoholic'»

Visit The Fix website for Excellent Articles on Alcoholism and Recovery

By , April 9, 2012 2:00 pm

Nearly every day I visit one of my favorite websites, The Fix. Today I read an excellent article by Vicki Hogarth, who is a recovering alcoholic, freelance writer and former celebrity journalist.

The title of the piece is Relapsing on Mouthwash. The subtitle says a lot.

The meetings I went to were creepy enough for me to avoid the program altogether—and eventually relapse while gargling. Then I realized something had to change: me.

I won’t go into the whole article, but the gist of it was, that Vicki had gone to a 28-day rehab, and when she came out, she really wasn’t into AA meetings. She found the meetings depressing.

She tried going out with her friends from work who drank, and she stayed sober for awhile. But as months went by, she notes that the “novelty of my sobriety wore off.”

One morning before work, she was gargling mouthwash, and instead of spitting it out, she swallowed it. Well, this brought on a buzz and before you know it, she was doing it too often. Within two weeks of binging on mouthwash, she had to detox with medical support.

Fortunately, this episode led her back to AA, where she found an AA meeting of people young, like herself. She even met an acquaintance there, and she finally began to feel comfortable with AA and the program.

Reading this article reminded me of an experience I had while attending Open AA meetings. (I’m not an alcoholic. I was trying to understand a loved one’s behavior.) Much to my surprise one night, I met an old friend and co-worker there. Jane had hired me for my first hairdressing job and was probably the first alcoholic I had daily interaction with. (Although I didn’t realize she had a problem at the time.)

I even went out with her a few times, and noticed she really downed the drinks awfully fast. But since I’d never been around that kind of behavior at that time in my life, I wasn’t particularly alarmed. Jane wasn’t a loud drunk. She actually became strangely quiet. It never occurred to me then, that I was putting myself in danger by riding with her.

Sadly, Jane’s problem was so bad, that one evening she went out barhopping alone, and got so drunk that she hit and killed a woman while driving. I still remember Jane being out of work due to her own injuries. She had all of her teeth knocked out and many broken bones. I never did know if she had to serve any jail time.

It was strange to meet up with her again so many years later in AA. But now I look back and feel extremely grateful that I wasn’t with her that horrible night. I’m also hoping she is still working her program and will never get in a car and drive drunk again.

To read Vicki’s article, go to:

http://www.thefix.com/content/hating-aa-drove-me-drink-moutwash-10038?page=all

 

Part Three: Just What is a Dry Drunk?

By , February 3, 2012 6:10 pm

After the Al-Anon meeting where I first heard the term dry drunk, I began to investigate what it meant. When I had first been led to start attending meetings, I actually believed that overindulgence in alcohol was an alcoholic’s major problem.

I was so uninformed, that I thought if a person quit overindulging, then all the attendant problems would magically fall away. Boy, was I in for a surprise. Mike, my former boyfriend of 9 months, hadn’t had a drink in over 5 years. Yet his behavior was unpredictable, extremely cold, and too often, angry.

Much of his anger was related to his time in Vietnam. He had shared with me that he’d gotten very good at killing. I think he bore a lot of shame over that. To make matters worse, his family were all drinkers. When he finally hit bottom and went to AA, he had to abstain from being around his family. It was all so very sad.

Yet I wasn’t willing to subject myself to an angry person again (combat vet or not)  for the long haul. I had enough of my own baggage to deal with at the time.

Here are some thoughts from an article on Dry Drunk Syndrome by Buddy T.  from the About.com website:

“Unfortunately when many former drinkers go through the grieving process over the loss of their old friend, the bottle, some never get past the anger stage … whether they realized it or not, they began the stages of grieving—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—the same stages people go through when they have a great loss in their lives or have been told they have a terminal illness.”

Learning about the many aspects of alcoholism has opened my eyes to the harsh realities someone with an addictive personality, or predisposition to becoming alcoholic, must face.

As I heard many times in meetings, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”I’m so grateful that I do not have the problem myself. I have much empathy for those who do.

To learn more about the Dry Drunk Syndrome, read the complete article at:

http://alcoholism.about.com/cs/info/a/aa081397.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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