Tag Archives: AA

How many drinks can I get away with?

beer-250289_960_720Have you ever asked yourself this question? I certainly did, during those dark years when I crawled inside a wine bottle and couldn’t get out. Today, years later, I realize that is the wrong question to ask. 

This article lists twelve questions to ask yourself if you ever have a sneaking hunch you might be drinking too much…or if friends and family claim that you are…or your drinking is interfering with your job, relationships, or family life.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/how-many-drinks-a-week-makes-me-an-alcoholic/ar-BBwQ40F?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=iehp#image=AAgNH3Q|1

Thirty years ago, if I’d been honest, I would have answered the same questions as follows:

  1. Do you often feel guilty about your drinking?  Yes

  2. Do you feel the need to lie to others about your drinking? Yes…I wouldn’t tell my husband I’d gone to the store at midnight to get more beer

  3. Have one or more of your loved ones expressed concern about your drinking habits? No, because I didn’t drink around anyone who didn’t also drink.

  4. Do you frequently drink more than you plan on drinking? Almost every time

  5. Do you black out when drinking? Occasionally. 

  6. Do you feel that you need to drink to relax or feel better? Almost every time

  7. Do you find that you wake up from a night of drinking with severe anxiety, shaking or sweating that only a drink or medication can fix? Yes, those hangovers were a little taste of hell on earth. My coping mechanism was to pretend I wasn’t miserable.

  8. Do you feel uncomfortable in environments where alcohol is unavailable? Sometimes, if I was craving a drink

  9. Have you ever tried to control your drinking? I sure did…tried AA off and on, but it didn’t work.

  10. Have you had problems at home, school or work as a result of drinking? Yes, I’d call in sick when I had hangovers.

  11. Have you ever thought that your life would be better if you didn’t drink? No, I thought life would be better if I could drink socially and not get drunk.

  12. Do you ever find yourself jealous of people who can drink without consequences? Yes, I didn’t understand how they could nurse one or two drinks all night.

 

 

My Next 30 Years

People hugger

In honor of my upcoming birthday, this song says it.

The Accidental Poet

As many of you know, I spent 37 years drinking and getting high. (See my About page.) My addiction cost me a great number of things. When I first got sober, I heard a fantastic song on a country music station that I quickly made my “anthem.” It’s by Tim McGraw. I changed a few lines to fit the song into my recovery (which I show in italics), but for the most part it is right on the money. If you are struggling with addiction, consider getting help. Contact your local AA, NA or CA hot line and ask where you can attend a meeting. You too can end an era, turn a page, and start your life anew.

I think I’ll take a moment, celebrate my age
The ending of an era and the turning of a page
Now it’s time to focus in on where I go from…

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Addiction Cartoon

A lot of myths about addiction are believed by a lot of people. This video shows how addiction is no respecter of persons, & strikes almost at random.

The Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism

One of the simplest, best explained animations/cartoons I have seen on the subject of addiction and recovery. Recommended.

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Sobriety and Salvation

wineSOBRIETY

When I was a practicing alcoholic, I couldn’t bring myself to admit it. I knew I had a problem, but I didn’t want to stop drinking. I would tell people that I was “on the road” to alcoholism. I figured I’d become one if I didn’t stop drinking. Finally, the day came when I saw myself for what I was: an early middle-stage alcohol addict who wouldn’t live much past age 42 if I didn’t stop drinking. (I’m now well past that mark.)

While I was drinking, I often went to AA meetings. Once there, my craving for alcohol only increased because THAT WAS ALL THEY TALKED ABOUT. Imagine a food addict being surrounded by conversations about food. So, on the way home from meetings, I’d stop by the store and pick up a bottle of wine, finishing it off before bed.

In twelve-step programs, the first step to sobriety is to admit you are powerless against your addiction. Once I did so, I finally got sober, and life changed dramatically. I went from gloom to color. Beauty burst around me. The sky gleamed clear blue. I actually cried when an arsonist set a local school on fire. Life was now so vivid, the craving for alcohol diminished and gradually died.

bible

SALVATION

When I was a practicing sinner, I couldn’t bring myself to admit it. I knew I had a problem, but I didn’t want to stop doing my own thing. Finally, the day came when I saw myself for what I was: a rebel against God who wouldn’t make it to heaven if I didn’t repent of my sins.

Prior to this, I often went to church. Since I was raised in church, I had no objections to it. What I objected to was fanaticism. I didn’t want to be like those churchy people. Yet they said things that baffled me. They seemed to care what God thought of them. They talked about their love for God and His for them. But I just didn’t get it. I’d never experienced that for myself, yet I’d been told all my life that I was a Christian because I’d prayed the “right” prayer as a child. And I certainly didn’t disbelieve the message. I simply didn’t care that much.

But once I admitted I was a sinner separated from God, and repented of my rebellion against him, life changed dramatically. I went from darkness to light, death to life. A new warmth filled my heart. God’s presence was all around me. I now cared what God thought of me.

Thus, in both sobriety and salvation, I found out the hard way that going through the motions doesn’t count.