Retiring The Monkey

With a pending DWI and a nudge from the judge, I rushed into my 1st 12 step meeting – late. I had intended to get there on time, but my mind had other plans, as usual. Being responsible, considerate of others or punctual wasn’t my forte. Over the years, since my introduction to the program, I tried every way under the sun to stay sober – my way – only to meet with total failure by returning to drinking, isolation and, in the end, shaking my head and asking myself, “What happened?” Today, I’ve not only arrived at a place where I’m sober from alcohol, for 1 year now but I’m sober mentally and emotionally, as well, because I continue to grow along spiritual lines. Putting the plug in the jug, going to meetings, working the steps with a sponsor, reading recovery related material and thanking God throughout the day… Continue reading

Jackie Steins Review of “A Sober Moms Guide To Recovery” By Rosemary O’Connor – Self-care & Celebrating Life

  People in the rooms will tell you to “Just don’t take the first drink and go to meetings.” They also say “We are not a glum lot.” Those are the first introductions to self-care and celebrating a life of sobriety.  It often takes a good while for both of those to become habit. Many of us come into recovery having really beaten ourselves to a pulp. Even the “functional” addicts, who still manage to get to their jobs every day, are not eating healthfully, getting deep sleep on a nightly basis or getting to the doctor and dentist regularly. How many of us drank or got high to relieve anxiety and fear? Once in the throes of our drug of choice, whatever had been bothering us was forgotten. Now, without our substance in our systems, we needed to learn ways to relax that didn’t involve alcohol or drugs. The… Continue reading

The Healing Power of Silence – By Davee Christina

Very recently, I decided I enjoy silence more than radio in the mornings. Every single morning, on my way to work, I turn my radio off and listen to nothing. I pray, and I listen to my thoughts instead. I find this practice extremely amusing, entertaining, fascinating and sometimes horrifying. My mind asks inane questions, appearing out of thin air, even on the way to a meeting. Why can’t you just stop? Why do you need to go to a meeting today? Aren’t you recovered by now? There’s a quote I like – “Silence is the mystery of the world to come”. If you are skeptical about just how beneficial silence can be in your sober life, trust me, I was too. For most of my adult life, I lived about five hours south of my parents and my hometown. It was far enough that I could do whatever I… Continue reading

Drinking: A Love Story – A Glimpse, by Jackie S.

Meetings

  This week, in Caroline Knapp’s book, Drinking: A Love Story, she spends a few pages talking about the meeting rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and her preconceived notions of what they were and were not. She also talks a bit about the stigma that accompanies the realization that one is “a real alcoholic”.  Her first realization was when she confided to her therapist that perhaps she needed to stop drinking and, much to her surprise, he wholeheartedly agreed. She made arrangements to attend her first meeting. Her preconceived notion was that it would be a room full of young professional women, like herself, who would  be seated in a comfortable room and would be given pamphlets about the dangers of drinking by a matronly women in support hose and orthopedic shoes (okay, I made up the footwear part, but it just sounded right). Her actual experience was much more… Continue reading

AA Language – Does it Help or Hinder Recovery?

“My name is Damien, and I’m an alcoholic.” This is the conventional way to introduce oneself at a meeting of the fellowship. It bugs me. The very first time I said these words they were incredibly powerful and liberating — when I finally said them, my surrender was complete. But as my sober time increases, I’m growing more uncomfortable with saying these words. They’re not inaccurate. These words defined my drinking in the end. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines alcoholic as “affected with alcoholism” and alcoholism as “continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks.” But these words do not define me. These words focus on the problem rather than the solution. Every time I introduce myself at a meeting, I struggle with how to label myself. I wrestle with a few phrases in my head, more often than not, I default to using these words even though they irritate me.… Continue reading