Tag Archives: alcoholism

7 Years and Counting…Sobriety Wins.

Click here to read Kristen’s heartwarming journey to sober living.

Source: 7 Years and Counting…Sobriety Wins.

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.

 

 

Narcissists are just highly trained monkeys.

Narcissism: Nature or nurture?

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Lucky Otters Haven

organ_grinder_monkey

It seems some people think narcissists are smarter than other people, because their mental and emotional abuse and manipulations appear so calculated and complex, and they seem to always be able to anticipate your actions and reactions. People also think you can’t outsmart a narcissist for the same reason.

While it’s true that outsmarting a narcissist means you always have to anticipate their actions ahead of time (which is difficult for a victim to do), it can be done, especially if the narcissist isn’t very smart. In fact, some of them are pretty stupid. The stupid ones are probably less dangerous, but even the highly manipulative and cunning ones who are experts at gaslighting and other mind games aren’t necessarily all that smart.

They’re more like highly trained monkeys. Some monkeys can perform very complex tasks that make it appear as if they’re incredibly smart. But this is an illusion…

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How Many Narcissists?

lightbulbs

Q. How many narcissists does it take to change a lightbulb?

<drumroll>

A. Only one, but he has to wait for the whole world to revolve around him.

Those of us raised by narcissist parent(s) sometimes use humor to band-aid the pain. What do you use to cover the pain? For many years, I used alcohol. But I thank the Lord for the counseling I received during my recovery that opened my eyes. Twenty years ago, I hadn’t yet labelled the role I was forced into as scapegoating, one of the offshoots of narcissistic abuse. But you don’t need a label to recognize mistreatment.

How I wish abusive parents understood the following diagram:

Abused Children—> Mean, angry adults/Substance abusers—> Child abusers—> The Incarcerated.

See the vicious cycle? Abused children grow up mean and angry. They are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and even abuse their own children. Often leading to incarceration.

Instead of Imagining no more heaven (a tragic visual), imagine no more abuse. Now that will be heaven!

I’ll close with the following quote from the attached link: “..behind closed doors, all pretense falls away. Only you, their child, knows what it’s like to endure their cold shoulders for days on end over a minor infraction, or bear the brunt of constant, age-inappropriate demands for perfection and strength. You know what it’s like to be parented by a narcissist.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/6-ways-to-know-you-were-raised-by-narcissists_5616b091e4b0082030a18f72?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063&section=australia&adsSiteOverride=au

~DVC~

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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Preliminary results of the Parental Narcissism Survey are here!

Many adults were raised by one or more narcissistic parents. Were you one of them? And did life often not make sense? There’s a good reason for it.

Lucky Otters Haven

narcissistic-mothers-sm

Back in February, I was approached by a researcher, Ph.D candidate Valerie Berenice Coles of the University of Georgia, who asked me to post a survey on this site to collect data from ACONs about parental narcissism and the effects it had on participants. In June, I was asked to repost the survey again, because more participants were needed to complete the study. I promised to post the results when I had them. This morning I received an email from Valerie, with the preliminary results, so here they are.

Thanks again to everyone for helping us develop and validate a measure of parental narcissism! The response from the ACON community was tremendous and we are the envy of our colleagues that so many of you took time out of your lives to help us with this research.

We currently have a paper from the questionnaire out at an academic…

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Sleeping On Couches

A poignant reminder of a dark time in my past. Have you experienced this as well? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

The Accidental Poet

There’s a lump under my back, and
I’m soaking wet with the sweat of anxiety;
Insomnia has had me in its clutches for a week now.

Images in my head keep changing: I’m free,
No, I’m captive. Different versions of me hide behind the couch,
Pregnant with memories of surviving somehow.

I had more things than this last week, many
More possessions, each with their own story of
Days when I was lucid, sane, solvent.

For some reason I have become willing to settle for
Less in my life, items diminishing, the sun setting, as
I slowly waste away, sleeping on couches.

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The Signs Of Alcoholism

In keeping with the theme of alcohol addiction, I hope you find the following useful if you suspect a loved one of heading down this road.

Family Recovery

AlcoholismUnfortunately, the signs of alcoholism are not identified until the late stages of the addiction.  This is generally due to the fact that binge drinking has become acceptable in 21st century society.  Yet, while the ‘after work glass of wine’ can be deemed agreeable, it can be a sign of alcoholism if presented with certain other symptoms.  Sadly, the lack of information makes this very difficult to notice and increasingly difficult to manage.  This article is a brief guide to some of the most common signs of alcoholism.

1. A high tolerance level for alcohol

A high tolerance level for alcohol is one of the first signs of alcohol addiction.  It is often undetected by people who choose to drink during celebrations with the user.  However, if a person requires greater amounts of alcohol than before to feel the effects of alcohol then they may be experiencing alcohol addiction.

2…

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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.