Why Shouldn’t We Laugh?!

“…why shouldn’t we laugh? We have recovered, and have been given the power to help others…”  p. 132 Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book Many people think that giving up drugs and alcohol are a sure pathway to becoming some old boring fuddy duddy with no friends, no fun and no laughter in their lives. The truth however, is actually quite the contrary. I never laughed as hard as I have – nearly hyperventilating mind you – anywhere else than at an AA meeting. Things just come out raw and unedited when people share from their hearts. Fact is stranger than fiction, that’s for sure. You just simply can’t make the stuff up. I had the pleasure of listening to an old-timer, we’ll call him “Jack.” The ol’ farm boy told the room that he literally walked to school uphill everyday both ways, in the snow, with no shoes when he was young.… Continue reading

Why I Choose To Stay Sober & Sane – By Jeanne Foot

After the alcohol and drugs are gone, what’s next? The path of recovery, followed closely with the gifts of sobriety may seem like a hard sell at first. I remember that very day, when I was being asked to choose between the comforts and certainty of active addiction, or choose the great uncertainty of recovery. The foremost thought racing in through my mind at this crossroad of my life, was whether I was one of those people who could live without drugs and alcohol. I was being asked to give up my elixir of life and to find another way. This is all I have ever known! What is the other way? I, like many, had my fair share of unfortunate circumstances. Somehow, I did not get the memo about ‘normal people’ not living their life this way. For me there was ever enough alcohol. Life was one continuous party,… Continue reading

Alcohol Awareness Month and the Stages of Change – By Jackie Stein, BALM Family Recovery Life Coach

April has been designated as Alcohol Awareness Month by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (http://www.ncadd.org/). The primary goals of this program are to make us aware of the dangers of alcohol use disorder (AUD), to help those who already suffer from AUD to recognize the problems being caused by excessive alcohol consumption, and the need to make life changes to arrest the process. My primary focus is on the awareness by those who are already having problems with alcohol and their families. This process of awareness in the arena of AUD is often called the Stages of Change; a process first discussed by Prochaska & DiClemente in 1983. The stages include: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. Some include relapse as a stage and some consider that to just be an interruption in the stages. The length and severity of the relapse determines if a person needs to start… Continue reading

My Army Life & Alcoholism (Part IV) – By Rick W.

Read part I of Ricks Story here Read part II of Ricks Story here Read part III of Ricks Story here       Each time that I left Portland, thinking that was the last time being with Joseph alive, something would happen were he would be just fine and go out to Burger King or to a rock concert or something spectacular. I was given the opportunity to be with my sons on Joseph’s 23rd birthday. He was bedridden and semi comatose, but we had a birthday party for him anyway. “I drank no matter what.” He passed away February 26, 2001. After my son’s funeral, I lost total control of everything. I had no feelings other than extreme anger. I really didn’t care for or about anything except myself and the pity that I felt. I drank no matter what. I hated even the mention of God. He… Continue reading

My Army Life & Alcoholism (Part III) – By Rick W.

Read the previous two parts of Ricks story here My sons moved to Portland, Oregon and wanted to come and visit me up in Olympia. After getting over the tidal wave of emotions, I said sure. They arrived a week later in an over loaded Hyundai, with two of their friends. Through the process of elimination, I was able to pick out my sons, but I didn’t put the names with the right one. During the next two years, we managed to see each other maybe four times and only for a few hours each time. We lived only 125 miles apart, but it may as well have been 3000 miles. After the third divorce was final, I moved to California in hopes of obtaining employment and regaining some sanity. My third ex wife was very high maintenance and had us so far in debt that I had no choice but… Continue reading