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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Alcoholics Anonymous is a Haven of Hope and Peace

Twice-Gifted

My physical being has certainly undergone a transformation, but the major transformation has been spiritual. The hopelessness has been replaced by abundant hope and sincere faith. The people of Alcoholics Anonymous have provided a haven where, if I remain aware and keep my mind quiet long enough, my Higher Power leads me to amazing realizations. I find joy in my daily life, in being of service, in simply being. I have found rooms full of wonderful people, and for me each and every one of the Big Book's promises have come true. The things that I have learned from my own experience, from the Big Book, and from my friends in AA - patience, acceptance, honesty, humility, and true faith in a Power greater than myself - are the tools I use today to live my life, this precious life.

Today my life is filled with miracles big and small, not one of which would ever have come to pass had I not found the door of Alcoholics Anonymous.

From; The book Alcoholics Anonymous, page 475

See also;

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Types of 12-Step Meetings

Within Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous Gamblers Anonymous, Al-anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics there are 2 basic types of meetings for fellowship and recovery.

The two most common kinds of 12-Step meetings are:

OPEN MEETINGS: As the term suggests, meetings of this type are open to members and their families and to anyone interested in solving a personal problem or helping someone else to solve such a problem.

Most open meetings follow a more or less set pattern, although distinctive variations have developed in some areas. A chairperson describes the program briefly for the benefit of newcomers in the audience and calls speakers who relate their personal histories and may give their personal interpretation of the program

At the end of the meeting there is usually a period for local announcements, and a treasurer passes the hat to defray costs of the meeting hall, literature, and incidental expenses. Only members are allowed to make donations. The meeting adjourns, usually followed by informal chatting over coffee or other light refreshments.

CLOSED MEETINGS: These meetings are limited to members. They provide an opportunity for members to share with one another on problems related to their problems, patterns and attempts to achieve stable sobriety. They also permit detailed discussion of various elements in the recovery program.

Guests at open meetings are reminded that any opinions or interpretations they may hear are solely those of the speaker involved. All members are free to interpret the recovery program in their own terms, but none can speak for the local group or for that fellowship as a whole.


          12 Steps: A Spiritual Journey
(Tools for Recovery)

by Friends in Recovery

Read more about this title...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Family Groups for Addiction

The Nar-Anon Family Groups are a worldwide fellowship for those affected by someone else’s addiction. As a Twelve-Step Program, we offer our help by sharing our experience, strength, and hope.

Nar-Anon’s Purpose

Nar-Anon is a twelve-step program designed to help relatives and friends of addicts recover from the effects of living with an addicted relative or friend. Nar-Anon’s program of recovery uses Nar-Anon’s Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. The only requirement to be a member and attend Nar-Anon meetings is that there is a problem of drugs or addiction in a relative or friend. Nar-Anon is not affiliated with any other organization or outside entity.

Nar-Anon’s Twelve Steps

  1. We admitted we were powerless over the Addict -- that our lives have become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Contact; Nar-Anon

See also;


Addict In The Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery.

Addict In The Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

AA For Youth

April 5, 2007 -

• “If I could have stayed cool, I’d still be drinking. Very quickly, though, I started getting into trouble. Going to sixth grade got in the way of my life, which consisted of getting drunk as much as possible.” [After rehab] “I was going to A.A. meetings. Everyone was older, even most of the kids at the young people meetings. But I found that alcoholics understand other alcoholics. . . . Regardless of how young or old or ‘special’ I am, in A.A. I’m just a drunk.” Tina, who joined A.A. at 13

• “I loved drinking and was as addicted to the lies, the shady people and places as I was to the alcohol. My grades suffered until I stopped going to school altogether. . . . I found myself in places without any idea of how I had gotten there. I overdosed on alcohol.” Since coming to A.A., “I have been given an opportunity to grow up with the Twelve Steps in my life. It is with utmost gratitude that I have just celebrated my 19th year of continuous sobriety.” Kevin, who joined A.A. at 14

NEW YORK CITY-Tina and Kevin are two of the 19 very young alcoholics who relate their experience as recovering alcoholics in a revised pamphlet just released by Alcoholics Anonymous: “Young People and A.A.” Eight recollections by early teen and preteen alcoholics are included in the new edition, which also contains most of the original stories by alcoholics 25 and under.

The young A.A.s speak candidly about their preconceived notions of A.A. and what happened when they stepped tentatively into their first meetings. As Nicole, who sobered up at 14, says, “I knew A.A. held the solution to alcoholism. What I didn’t know was that anyone old enough to have a problem is old enough to seek help from A.A.”

Since the Fellowship began in 1935, the age of new members has constantly dropped. A.A. groups for young people began appearing as early as 1945 in Los Angeles, Cleveland and Philadelphia, and now can be found across the United States and Canada. Today approximately 10 percent of A.A. members are under 30.

In reaching out to young alcoholics, A.A. offers them a variety of special literature and audiovisual material, mainly available in Spanish and French as well as English. The stories help the young newcomer to A.A. understand that an alcoholic can “hit bottom” without going through 20-plus years of drinking, never mind the loss of family, friends and financial stability. Through identification with the recovery stories of people their own age, they learn they never have to feel so alone and frightened again-and can lead comfortable, happy, even exciting lives in sobriety.

Among other A.A. pamphlets that speak directly to young people are three in comic-book format: “Too Young,” in which teenagers aged 13 to 18 share their drinking stories; the newly revised “It Happened to Alice,” geared to young female alcoholics; and “What Happened to Joe,” which tells the story of a young construction worker on the edge of alcoholic self-destruction. A counterpoint to the pamphlet “Young People and A.A.” is the 28-minute video of the same name in which four young A.A. members tell the stories of their drinking and recovery in A.A., with closed captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

To obtain a copy of the pamphlet “Young People and A.A.” or other A.A. literature and service material, call your local A.A. Intergroup or Central Office. For further information about A.A. publicinfo@aa.org

See also;


Young, Sober & Free: Experience, Strength, and Hope for Young Adults

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Eating Problems

The Twelve Steps of Overeaters Anonymous

  1. We admitted we were powerless over food - that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to compulsive overeaters and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Permission to use the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous for adaptation granted by AA World Services, Inc.

OA Program of Recovery

Overeaters Anonymous offers a program of recovery from compulsive overeating using the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of OA. Worldwide meetings and other tools provide a fellowship of experience, strength and hope where members respect one another’s anonymity. OA charges no dues or fees; it is self-supporting through member contributions.

Unlike other organizations, OA is not just about weight loss, obesity or diets; it addresses physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. It is not a religious organization and does not promote any particular diet. To address weight loss, OA encourages members to develop a food plan with a health care professional and a sponsor. If you want to stop your compulsive eating, welcome to Overeaters Anonymous.

Contact; Overeaters Anonymous

See also;


Overcoming Overeating

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Family Stages of Alcoholism

A family with an alcohol in its midst will go through several stages in dealing with the chaos and disruption caused by the alcoholic. These stages are described below in order of appearance.

Denial: Early in the development of alcoholism, occasional episodes of excessive drinking are explained away by both marriage partners. Drinking because of tiredness, worry, or a bad day is not unbelievable. The assumption is that the episode is isolated and is, therefore, not a problem.

Attempts to Eliminate the Problem:The non-alcoholic spouse realizes that the drinking is not normal and tries to pressure the alcoholic to quit, be more careful, or cut down. At the same time, the spouse tries to hide the problems from the outside and keep up a good.front. Children may start to have problems in response to the family stress.

Disorganization and Chaos: The family balance is beginning to break down. The spouse can no longer pretend everything is okay and spends most of the time going from crisis to crisis. Financial problems are not unusual. At this point the spouse is likely to seek outside help.

Reorganization in Spite of the Problem: The spouse’s coping abilities have become strengthened. He or she gradually assumes a larger share of the responsibility for the family. This may mean getting a job or taking over the finances. Rather than focusing on getting the alcoholic to shape up, the spouse is now taking charge and tries to foster family life, despite the alcoholism.

Efforts to Escape: Separation or divorce may be attempted. If the family remains intact, the family continues living around the alcoholic.

Family Reorganization: In the case of separation, family reorganization occurs without the alcoholic member. If the alcoholic achieves sobriety, a reconciliation may take place. Either way, both partners must realign their roles within the family and make new adjustments.

Recovery; Can occur at any stage provided there is compassion, empathy and understanding by key family members.

BriefTSF can help the understanding and set up the right conditions for recovery to begin.

See also;

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Spouses of Alcoholics

Partner’s Criticism Linked to Relapse

A new study published in Behavior Therapy apparently confirms that Al-Anon’s purpose of offering "understanding and encouragement" to those with drinking problems is best approach family members can take in dealing with the situation.

The study, conducted by William Fals-Stewart of the State University of New York at Buffalo, found that men recovering from substance abuse are less successful if they believe their spouse or partner is critical of them, rather than supportive.

The study found that of 106 married men studied, those who reported greater criticism from their partners were more likely to have relapsed, regardless of the severity of their drug problem, age or race.

Al-Anon is a support groups for those who are affected by someone else’s drinking. In the "preamble" which is read at most Al-Anon meetings, it says:

  • Al-Anon has but one purpose to help families of alcoholics. We do this by practicing the Twelve Steps, by welcoming and giving comfort to families of alcoholics, and by giving understanding and encouragement to the alcoholic.

"Compared to treatments for substance abuse that do not involve spouses, individuals who get couples treatment have much better outcomes -- less drug use, fewer arrests, greater likelihood to remain abstinent from drugs," Fals-Stewart told Reuters.

Other findings of the study include:

  • Of the 106 men in the study, half had relapsed after a year of treatment.
  • Most of the men perceived their partner to be moderately critical of them, with only 2 percent saying they were not critical at all, and 29 percent saying they were "very critical."
  • Older men were more likely to perceive criticism, as were those involved in more distressed relationships.
  • The study noted the men’s perceived criticism, rather than how much and how often their partners actually criticized them.

Fals-Stewart said relapses themselves may increase criticism from a spouse, who may be especially disappointed by the failure of treatment.

See also;


The Wellness-Recovery Connection: Charting Your Pathway to Optimal Health While Recovering from Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Friday, June 20, 2008

12 Rewards of Recovery

Twelve Step fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-anon, Cocaine Anonymous and others don’t just address the substance or overt behaviour. In progressing through the 12 Steps other benefits will be realized. These are know as the rewards of recovery. One example is;

THE TWELVE REWARDS OF SOBRIETY

By Searcy W., 55 years sober as at 2001 aged 90.

  • Faith instead of despair.

  • Courage instead of fear.

  • Hope instead of desperation.

  • Peace of mind instead of confusion.

  • Real friendships instead of loneliness.

  • Self-respect instead of self-contempt.

  • Self-confidence instead of helplessness.

  • A clean conscious instead of a sense of guilt.

  • The respect of others instead of their pity and contempt.

  • A clean pattern of living instead of a hopeless existence.

  • The love and understanding of our families instead of their doubts and fears.

  • The freedom of a happy life instead of the bondage of an alcoholic obsession.

See also;


First Year Sobriety: When All That Changes Is Everything

First Year Sobriety: When All That Changes Is Everything

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

20 Questions for Gamblers

Gamblers Anonymous asks its new members to answer the following "20 Questions" in order to determine the severity of their gambling addiction:

  1. Have you ever lost time from work due to gambling?

  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?

  3. Has gambling affected your reputation?

  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?

  5. Have you ever gambled to get money to pay debts or solve financial difficulties?

  6. Has gambling ever caused a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?

  7. After losing, do you feel you must return as soon as possible to win back your losses?

  8. After winning, do you have a strong urge to return and win more?

  9. Do you often gamble until you run out of money?

  10. Have you ever borrowed money to finance your gambling?

  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling?

  12. Are you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?

  13. Does gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself and your family?

  14. Do you ever gamble longer than planned?

  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?

  16. Have you ever committed or considered committing an illegal act to finance gambling?

  17. Has gambling ever caused you to have difficulty sleeping?

  18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?

  19. Do you ever get the urge to celebrate any good fortune with a few hours of gambling?

  20. Have you ever considered self destruction as a result of your gambling?

If you answered "yes" to seven or more of these questions, you may have a gambling addiction problem.

See also;


Gambling Addiction: The Problem, the Pain and the Path to Recovery

Gambling Addiction: The Problem, the Pain and the Path to Recovery

Monday, June 16, 2008

AA Works for Alcoholism

The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program for beating alcohol addiction has a long history and has helped millions of people around the world back to health.

It works as a 12-step program - the Steps being the program of the system which guide the user away from their dysfunctional relationship with drink. The 12-steps involve belief in and surrender to a ’higher’ power which the AA people always stress need not be a formal ’God’. So does the 12-step approach work for those who are not religious?

Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Addiction Program studied a group of 227 alcoholics. Those enrolled in a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous did better than those who did not. It is the camaraderie and support you get in the 12-step program that likely provides the benefit, the researchers say.

Source; Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research August 2006

See also;

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Stress Affects Recovery

Alcoholics should avoid excessive physical and emotional stress during early abstinence.

Researchers have found that an important system (The HPA axis) of the body that regulates stress, hunger and illness is “stunned” during alcoholic drinking.

The researchers tested alcoholics in early recovery (less than 12 months) and found that the HPA axis recovers after about 8 weeks.

Any stress can trigger an abnormal response but moderate to extreme stress can be dangerous to abstinence and may trigger a relapse.

Reference; May 2007 issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Recovery Blogger's comments;

  • The most dangerous time for recovery from alcoholism is the first 3 months. Many do not stay sober in the first 3 months.

  • Some alcoholics have been known to exercise to extreme attempting to restore physical prowess and then wondered why.

  • Others have been known to attempt to restore money and work related problems by working long hours or several jobs. They too have found difficulty staying sober.

  • Still others have been known to try restoring family or marriage relationships too early and have found it very stressful or a threat to sobriety.

This research may explain why.

Alcoholics Anonymous advises;

’Easy Does It’

The slogan "Easy Does It" is one way we A.A.’s remind each other that many of us have tendencies at times to overdo things, to rush heedlessly along, impatient with anything that slows us down. We find it hard to relax and savor life.

When one of us is in a dither to get something done or get somewhere in a hurry, a friend may gently remonstrate, "’Easy Does It,’ remember?" Then there’s often a flash of annoyance at the adviser. And that indicates the advice must have hit home, wouldn’t you say?

Page 44 of Living Sober, AA Inc (1975)

See also;


Living Sober (#2150)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

20 Tips for Stress Relief

For most people in today’s world, stress is a fact of life.

In recovery it is especially true. Although it is impossible to eliminate all stress from daily life, it is possible to control the effect that stress has on the body and the mind. The first step in managing stress is to become aware of events in your life that cause you stress.

The causes of stress vary from person to person, so that what causes you stress may not cause stress for another person. Once you are aware of what causes you stress, the goal is to find ways to avoid or control these things.

Relaxation techniques, when used consistently, can prove effective in controlling stress by helping you reach a state of mental calm, even when in the middle of a stressful situation.

Here are twenty plus 1 things you can do to reduce or escape the stress you feel when you are unable to change a situation or to better cope with the stress of everyday living.

Twenty plus 1 Healthy Ways To Manage Stress In Recovery

  1. Talk to someone you trust.

  2. Learn to accept what you cannot change.

  3. Avoid self medication.

  4. Get enough sleep to recharge your batteries.

  5. Take time out to play.

  6. Do something for others.

  7. Take one thing at a time.

  8. Agree with somebody.

  9. Manage your time better.

  10. Plan ahead.

  11. If you are ill, don’t try and carry on as if you’re not.

  12. Develop a hobby.

  13. Listen to music.

  14. Eat sensibly and exercise.

  15. Don’t put off relaxing.

  16. Don’t be afraid to say no.

  17. Know when you are tired and do something about it.

  18. Delegate responsibility.

  19. Be realistic about perfection

  20. Don’t drink or drug.

See also;


Don't Sweat the Small Stuff--and it's all small stuff (Don't Sweat the Small Stuff Series)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his young grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.He said, "my son, the battle is between 2 wolves.

One Is evil... It is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is good......It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The young grandson thought about this for a minute and then asked his Grandfather, "which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee replied simply......"the one you feed."

See also;


The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Oprah's Book Club)

The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (Oprah’s Book Club)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The acronym FRAMES

FRAMES

The acronym FRAMES captures the essence of the interventions commonly tested under the terms brief intervention and motivational interviewing.

Feedback: about personal risk or impairment (e.g., results from the AUDIT, the BriefTSF alcohol history and consequences inventory and/or from blood tests).

Responsibility: emphasis on personal responsibility for change.

Advice: giving clear advice may involve promoting total abstinence, advice to reduce drinking to safe levels or advice to seek further treatment such as BriefTSF.

Menu: of alternative options for changing drinking pattern and, jointly with the patient, setting a target; intermediate goals of reduction can be a start. Keeping a drinkers diary often helps.

Empathic interviewing: listening reflectively without cajoling or confronting; exploring with patients the reasons for change as they see their situation. Empathy is a potent determinant and motivator for change.

Self efficacy: the practitioner’s belief in the patient’s ability to change can also influence recovery. Continuing to address the problem in follow-up visits helps ensure a positive outcome. See also MET an interviewing style which enhances peoples’ belief in their ability to change (See Principles of Motivational Interviewing).

AA saying: I’m not responsible for my disease, but I am responsible for my behavior

From the BriefTSF training manuals.

See also;

Friday, May 30, 2008

Codependent Bill of Rights

In a codependent-alcoholic relationship, individual human rights are not respected, and this is the primary devastating factor to families dealing with alcoholism. This article outlines a code of basic human rights applicable to the non-alcoholic.

You and your children have:

  • THE RIGHT TO a loving and secure relationship based on healthy mutual dependence;
  • THE RIGHT TO peace and harmony in your home;
  • THE RIGHT TO a stable, secure, and nurturing environment conducive to personal growth and self-discovery;
  • THE RIGHT TO a healthy self-concept, knowing you are worthy, valued, and loved;
  • THE RIGHT TO human dignity; to be respected and treated as an individual human being, and not be put down, demoralized, and dehumanised;
  • THE RIGHT TO not live a life of “always waiting for the other shoe to drop,” never knowing whether it will be a soft slipper or steel-toed work boot;
  • THE RIGHT TO a life free of the fear of emotional terrorism, physical abuse, and constant arguing;
  • THE RIGHT TO a life free of nightmares, day terrors, and insecurity;
  • THE RIGHT TO a life free of guilt and shame, and freedom from manipulation through guilt and shame;
  • THE RIGHT TO not be emotionally drained and “all used up” from the rigor's of a codependent-alcoholic relationship;
  • THE RIGHT TO use any possible means (short of physical assault) to positively change your own circumstances;
  • THE RIGHT TO leave a physically abusive alcoholic relationship immediately and without advance notice to the alcoholic;
  • THE RIGHT TO leave any relationship that is not healthy and not actively improving;
  • THE RIGHT TO not live life on a roller coaster, going from one alcoholic crisis to another;
  • THE RIGHT TO go to work or school without dragging all the baggage of codependent-alcoholic dysfunction.

See also;


Spiritual Connections: How to Find Spirituality Throughout All the Relationships in Your Life

Spiritual Connections: How to Find Spirituality Throughout All the Relationships in Your Life

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Troubled Drinking of a Friend

Millions of people are affected by the excessive drinking of someone close. The following twenty questions are designed to help you decide whether or not you need Al-Anon:

  1. Do you worry about how much someone else drinks?

  2. Do you have money problems because of someone else’s drinking?

  3. Do you tell lies to cover up for someone else’s drinking?

  4. Do you feel that if the drinker loved you, he or she would stop drinking, to please you?

  5. Do you blame the drinker’s behavior on his or her companions?

  6. Are plans frequently upset, or cancelled, or meals delayed because of the drinker?

  7. Do you make threats, such as, "If you don’t stop drinking, I’ll leave you"?

  8. Do you secretly try to smell the drinker’s breath?

  9. Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking bout?

  10. Have you been hurt or embarrassed by a drinker’s behavior?

  11. Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking?

  12. Have you considered calling the police for help in fear of abuse?

  13. Do you search for hidden alcohol?

  14. Do you often ride in a car with a driver who has been drinking?

  15. Have you refused social invitations out of fear or anxiety?

  16. Do you sometimes feel like a failure when you think of the lengths you have gone to control the drinker?

  17. Do you think that, if the drinker stopped drinking, your other problems would be solved?

  18. Do you ever threaten to hurt yourself to scare the drinker?

  19. Do you feel angry, confused or depressed most of the time?

  20. Do you feel there is no one who understands your problems?

If you have answered ’yes’ to three or more of these questions, Al-Anon or Alateen may help. You can contact Al-Anon or Alateen by looking in your local telephone directory or by searching the web for Al-Anon Family Groups.

See also;


Facing Addiction: Three true stories (The Townsend Library)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Injured Fantasies

Many people have dysfunctional beliefs.

Not all of these are in one person but if there is a great many then that person may be dysfunctional. Alcoholics, addicts, codependents and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA’s) may identify.

Some of these dysfunctional beliefs are;

  • That I can control my emotions.

  • That I can control someone else’s emotions or actions or thoughts.

  • That I deserve:

  • . . .to get something good.

  • . . .to get something bad.

  • . . .to be punished for mistakes.

  • . . .to be rewarded for perfection.

  • . . .to be rewarded for good behaviour, intentions, thoughts, feelings, whatever.

  • That I can "make" sense out of anything.

  • That I am responsible for

  • . . .for achieving other peoples success.

  • . . .for other people’s feelings, thoughts or actions.

  • That I am not responsible for my own actions; that it is all someone else’s fault.

  • That my feelings have to be acted on. (e.g., when I’m afraid, I should attack or flee.)

  • That I can solve other people’s problems; or that they can solve mine.

  • That wishing or wanting equals doing.

  • That I am capable of a "perfect action."

  • That if I do something somebody doesn’t like, even if that person is totally unreasonable, I am bad.

  • That if only I had the right tools, I could do it right.

  • That if I do nothing about it; if I can erase myself or disappear; the problem will go away.

  • That I have to be careful not to make other people angry.

  • That lying changes reality.

  • That other people’s expectations of me have to be lived up to.

  • That if only I do the right thing, everything will turn out okay.

  • That if only I think the right thoughts, everything will turn out okay.

  • That if only I feel the right feelings, everything will turn out okay.

  • That those who hurt me deserve to be punished for their "sins," and if God doesn’t punish them, I should.

  • That I can punish someone by hurting myself.

  • That if I am "weak" (vulnerable, helpless, needing assistance), then I am just like my dad/mom who I had to care for as a child.

  • That if I sit and do nothing in my chair, I am useless.

  • That I am "wrong," "imperfect," or "not the way I’m supposed to be."

  • That my guilt is the right way of defining myself.

  • That my charm is the right way of defining myself for other people.

  • That I can not talk and still get better.

  • That. . . . . . . . .

See also;


Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family

Compulsive Overeater?

This series of questions may help you determine if you are a compulsive overeater. Many members of Overeaters Anonymous have found that they have answered yes to many of these questions.

  • Do you eat when you’re not hungry?

  • Do you go on eating binges for no apparent reason?

  • Do you have feelings of guilt and remorse after overeating?

  • Do you give too much time and thought to food?

  • Do you look forward with pleasure and anticipation to the time when you can eat alone?

  • Do you plan these secret binges ahead of time?

  • Do you eat sensibly before others and make up for it alone?

  • Is your weight affecting the way you live your life?

  • Have you tried to diet for a week (or longer), only to fall short of your goal?

  • Do you resent others telling you to "use a little willpower" to stop overeating?

  • Despite evidence to the contrary, have you continued to assert that you can diet "on your own" whenever you wish?

  • Do you crave to eat at a definite time, day or night, other than mealtime?

  • Do you eat to escape from worries or trouble?

  • Have you ever been treated for obesity or a food-related condition?

  • Does your eating behavior make you or others unhappy?

See also;


Twelve Steps For Overeaters Anonymous: An Interpretation Of The Twelve Steps Of Overeaters AnonymousCompulsive Overeater: The Basic Text for Compulsive Overeaters

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What is Drink Spiking

Drink spiking is the act of placing a drug into a drink without someone’s knowledge. It can be done with many different drugs with the evidence pointing to alcohol as the most popular. Many prescription drugs can be used as well as illicit drugs.

There can be many reasons for spiking a drink including as a prank,

  • to aid in sexual assault,

  • theft/ robbery or even

  • kidnapping.

This crime affects all sexes and ages, with 11% of victims being male. It is one of the most under reported crimes and therefore there is a lack of crucial data to be able to assess the true number of spiking incidents and drug facilitated crimes.

It can happen in any place where drinking occurs, in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, raves, clubs, bars, pubs, restaurants, even private house parties.

There are some basic rules that can be followed to help protect you from this cowardly act:

  • Never leave your drink unattended

  • Watch you drink being poured

  • Don’t accept drinks from people you do not know or trust

  • Although a bottle may be harder to slip something into than a glass it is still not 100% safe watch your friends and their behaviour

  • Try not to go out alone If your drink doesn’t taste right, discard it

DRUGS THAT CAN BE USED (Date Rape Drugs)

  • Alcohol

  • Benzodiazepenes : prescription drugs like xanax, valium, rohypnol.

  • Ketamine : a pharmaceutical liquid that is used in veterinary operations

  • GHB : a home made liquid made from cleaning chemicals and used recreationally (Fantasy).

Not all these drugs are suited to this crime if should the perpetrator wants to incapacitate another.

Many of the benzodiazepenes do not dissolve and will leave a residue on the bottom or floating on the top of the drink.

Hoffman La Roche, the manufacturers of Rohypnol, changed the formula to make this pill difficult to use by adding a green dye to it and making sure it is not soluable when added to alcohol. It is also one the most restricted drugs on the register making it very difficult to obtain.

Ketamine and GHB can be the drug of choice as they share many of the qualities necessary to make them appropriate for spiking:

  • they are both used recreationally so are therefore easily obtained

  • they both come in liquid or powder form they both put you in a semi comatose state

  • they are both synergistic with alcohol meaning the effects are magnified when used with alcohol

  • they both induce memory loss

  • they both leave the system within hours making them almost impossible to detect

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN SPIKED?

If you believe you have been spiked,

  • find someone you trust and get to a safe place.

  • get a urine or blood sample as soon as possible and have it tested.

  • keep the suspect beverage is also a good idea if possible.

  • report the incident to the police who will need these items for evidence should you want to take action.

  • contact the local sexual assault centre for advice.

Adapted from an article by Dean Sunshine


The Rape Recovery Handbook: Step-By-Step Help for Survivors of Sexual Assault

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The St Francis of Assisi Prayer

Lord, make me a channel for thy peace –

that where there is hatred, I may bring love –

that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness –

that where there is discord, I may bring harmony –

that where there is error, I may bring truth –

that where there is doubt, I may bring faith –

that where there is despair, I may bring hope –

that where there are shadows, I may bring light –

that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

Lord, grant that I may seek rather –

to comfort than to be comforted –

to understand, than to be understood –

to love, than to be loved

For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.

It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.

It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Amen.

No matter where I am in my spiritual growth, the St. Francis prayer helps me improve my conscious contact with the God of my understanding.I think that one of the great advantages of my faith in God is that I do not understand Him, or Her, or It.It may be that my relationship with my Higher Power is so fruitful that I do not have to understand.All that I am certain of is that if I work the Eleventh Step regularly, as best I can, I will continue to improve my conscious contact, I will know His will for me, and I will have the power to carry it out.

Alcoholics Anonymous > Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions, p. 99

See also;


Finding God's Will for You

Finding God’s Will for You

Friday, May 2, 2008

Women and Twins can Inherit Alcoholism

Men have a four times greater chance of being an alcoholic if their fathers are alcoholic. That’s been known for a long time.

Now we know that women also can inherit alcoholic genes.

A long held myth is that women’s conditioning as women is more likely to protect some of them from developing alcoholism even though they have parents who are alcoholic.

Also, twins who have an alcoholic identical twin are much more likely to be alcoholic themselves than are twins who had an alcoholic fraternal twin (from different eggs). This is equally true in women and in men.

More surprisingly, men who have an alcoholic twin sister have very high rates of alcoholism.

It has also been found that women with an alcoholic identical twin sister are six times more likely to be alcohol dependent than other women.

Nonidentical twins, who are not more alike genetically than ordinary sisters, are three times more likely to be alcohol dependent if their twin had a drinking problem.

"It used to be believed that depression predicted increased risk of alcohol problems in women, whereas a history of childhood behavior problems predicted alcoholism risk in men.

We found that depression is a potent predictor for alcohol dependence in both men and women," said Heath, one of the researchers. "A history of behavior problems also is as strong a predictor in women than in men -- slightly more powerful in women, in fact."

Heath hopes the study will serve as a warning sign for women who know they have alcoholic relatives. "Our hope is that our research will refocus attention on alcohol problems in women, particularly women at genetic risk with relatively mild alcohol problems that often go undetected by families and physicians," he said.

"Often, these people don’t get treatment -- until it is too late. Despite what people used to believe about differences in the causes of alcoholism in women and men, it is the similarities rather than the differences that are most striking. As increasing numbers of young women drink heavily, rates of alcoholism in women are likely to increase."

Heath AC, Bucholz KK, Madden PAF, Dinwiddie SH, Slutske WS, Bierut LJ, Statham DJ, Dunne MP, Whitfield JB, Martin NG. "Genetic and Environmental Contributions to Alcohol Dependence Risk in a National Twin Sample -- Consistency of Findings in Women and Men". Psychological Medicine. 27(6):1381-1396, 1997 November.


See also;

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Drink Spiking Danger

Drink spiking is the act of placing a drug into a drink without someone’s knowledge. It can be done with many different drugs with the evidence pointing to alcohol as the most popular. Many prescription drugs can be used as well as illicit drugs.

There can be many reasons for spiking a drink including as a prank,

  • to aid in sexual assault,
  • theft/ robbery or even
  • kidnapping.

This crime affects all sexes and ages, with 11% of victims being male. It is one of the most under reported crimes and therefore there is a lack of crucial data to be able to assess the true number of spiking incidents and drug facilitated crimes.

It can happen in any place where drinking occurs, in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, raves, clubs, bars, pubs, restaurants, even private house parties.

There are some basic rules that can be followed to help protect you from this cowardly act:

  • Never leave your drink unattended
  • Watch you drink being poured
  • Don’t accept drinks from people you do not know or trust
  • Although a bottle may be harder to slip something into than a glass it is still not 100% safe watch your friends and their behaviour
  • Try not to go out alone If your drink doesn’t taste right, discard it

DRUGS THAT CAN BE USED (Date Rape Drugs)

  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepenes : prescription drugs like xanax, valium, rohypnol.
  • Ketamine : a pharmaceutical liquid that is used in veterinary operations
  • GHB : a home made liquid made from cleaning chemicals and used recreationally (Fantasy).

Not all these drugs are suited to this crime if should the perpetrator wants to incapacitate another.

Many of the benzodiazepenes do not dissolve and will leave a residue on the bottom or floating on the top of the drink.

Hoffman La Roche, the manufacturers of Rohypnol, changed the formula to make this pill difficult to use by adding a green dye to it and making sure it is not soluable when added to alcohol. It is also one the most restricted drugs on the register making it very difficult to obtain.

Ketamine and GHB can be the drug of choice as they share many of the qualities necessary to make them appropriate for spiking:

  • they are both used recreationally so are therefore easily obtained
  • they both come in liquid or powder form they both put you in a semi comatose state
  • they are both synergistic with alcohol meaning the effects are magnified when used with alcohol
  • they both induce memory loss
  • they both leave the system within hours making them almost impossible to detect

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN SPIKED?

If you believe you have been spiked,

  • find someone you trust and get to a safe place.
  • get a urine or blood sample as soon as possible and have it tested.
  • keep the suspect beverage is also a good idea if possible.
  • report the incident to the police who will need these items for evidence should you want to take action.
  • contact the local sexual assault centre for advice.

See also;

          The Rape Recovery Handbook: Step-By-Step Help for Survivors of Sexual Assault
by Aphrodite Matsakis

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Suspicion is Dark

Suspicion is like a pair of sunglasses - it makes all the world look dark.

Comments and silent responses overheard at an Al-anon or Adult Children of Alcoholics meeting.

  • "Deb, let's have lunch tomorrow." - Why would she want to have lunch with me?
  • "Pam, I tried to phone you today." - No you didn't, I was home almost all day.
  • "Larry, you sure are a kick!" - What did he mean by that?

When we suspect the motives of others, who have done nothing other than to make a friendly comment, we would do well to suspect that we are the one with the problem. When we recognize it's our insecurity at play here, we can begin to override the negative self-talk with positive talk.

At first we may have to force ourselves to reply, "Yes, I'd love to have lunch," or "Thank you," to a compliment. As our self-esteem grows it will become natural and genuine to assume people mean what they say.

I will try not to read negatives into comments by others.

"If you don't love yourself, nobody else will. Not only that - you won't be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self."

See also;

=======================

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Alcoholics have Tried Every Remedy

"We are like men who have lost their legs; they never grow new ones. Neither does there appear to be any kind of treatment which will make alcoholics of our kind like other men. We have tried every imaginable remedy. In some instances there has been brief recovery, followed by a still worse relapse. Physicians who are familiar with alcoholism agree there is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may yet one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet."

From the chapter "More About Alcoholism"

(c) Alcoholics Anonymous Fourth Edition 2001, pgs. 30-31

See also;


Addictive Thinking, Second Edition: Understanding Self-Deception

Addictive Thinking, Second Edition: Understanding Self-Deception

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

6 Gamblers

1 - Professional gamblers make their living by gambling and thus consider it a profession. They are skilled in the games they choose to play and are able to control both the amount of money and time spent gambling. Thus, professional gamblers are not addicted to gambling. They patiently wait for the best bet and then try to win as much as they can.

2 - In contrast to professional gamblers, antisocial or personality gamblers use gambling as a way to get money by illegal means. They are likely to be involved in fixing horse or dog races, or playing with loaded dice or marked cards. They may attempt to use a compulsive gambling diagnosis as a legal defence.

3 - Casual social gamblers gamble for recreation, sociability and entertainment. For them, gambling may be a distraction or a form of relaxation. Gambling does not interfere with family, social or vocational obligations. Examples of such betting are the occasional poker game, Super Bowl bets, a yearly trip to Las Vegas and casual involvement in the lottery.

4 - In contrast, serious social gamblers invest more of their time in gambling. Gambling is a major source of relaxation and entertainment, yet these individuals place gambling second in importance to family and vocation. This type of gambler could be compared to a "golf nut," whose source of relaxation comes from playing golf. Serious social gamblers still maintain control over their gambling activities.

5 - The fifth type, relief and escape gamblers, gamble to find relief from feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, boredom or loneliness. They use gambling to escape from crisis or difficulties. Gambling provides an analgesic effect rather than a euphoric response. Relief and escape gamblers are not compulsive gamblers. They are identical to relief and escape drinkers.

6 - Compulsive gamblers have lost control over their gambling. For them, gambling is the most important thing in their lives. Compulsive gambling is a progressive addiction that harms every aspect of the gambler’s life. As they continue to gamble, their families, friends and employers are negatively affected. In addition, compulsive gamblers may engage in activities ­ such as stealing, lying or embezzling ­ which go against their moral standards. Compulsive gamblers cannot stop gambling, no matter how much they want to or how hard they try.

By Robert L. Custer, M.D.

See also;


Don't Leave It to Chance: A Guide for Families of Problem Gamblers A Way to Quit Gambling: (For Problem Gamblers)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sober Companions

Everyday people in recovery often turn to support groups or an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) sponsor when they face a possible relapse, but some celebrities and other wealthy addicts are turning to paid "sober companions" to help maintain their sobriety, the New York Times reported April 15.

Sober companions like Ronnie Kaplan, a former addict and ex-con, can earn fees of up to $1,000 per day for their services. "I get there and I sit him down and relax his mind," Kaplan said of his interaction with one wealthy client. "I ask him ’What brought this on?’ It’s always something." Kaplan said he will even search the client’s home for drugs if he thinks it is warranted.

Some sober companions become part of a celebrity’s entourage, like a personal trainer or life coach. But demand for their services is increasingly coming from outside the entertainment business, including CEOs in recovery.

"Anybody who’s returning to their life after rehab needs added structure and support in that transitioning phase," said Nanette Zumwalt, owner of Hired Power, a California company that employs 70 sober companions in 15 states.

Ron Hunsicker, president of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers, said the recent growth in high-end treatment programs has helped feed the growth of the sober-companion profession. Patients discharged from exclusive treatment programs often are referred to sober companions who help with discharge plans and followup care. "It’s another option, particularly for high risk, relapse people," said Hunsicker.

Robert Tyler, president of the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, said sober companions can help people in recovery but added, "There’s no regulation, no accountability." And at least one client says that the role of sober companions should be limited. "I don’t think you need a sober companion for six months," said the client, a lawyer from Boston who spent $650 per day for a sober companion who stayed with her for four days after she left a Utah treatment program. "You have to take responsibility for your own recovery."

From; Join Together Online

See also;


The Miracle of Sponsorship: Recovery Stories of Hope and Renewal (Carry the Message)

The Miracle of Sponsorship: Recovery Stories of Hope and Renewal (Carry the Message)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Alcohol side effects

The Food and Drug Administration is considering additional warnings on beer and alcohol bottles, such as:

  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an a-hole.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends want to SMASH YOUR HEAD IN.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay shings like thish.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at 4 in the morning.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your pants.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause you to roll over in the morning and see something really scary (whose species and or name you can’t remember).
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burns on the forehead.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, handsomer and smarter than some really, really big guy named Chuck.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe you are invisible.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may cause an influx in the time-space continuum, whereby small (and sometimes large) gaps of time may seem to literally disappear".
  • WARNING: consumption of alcohol may actually CAUSE pregnancy.

If it wasn`t so true it might be funny!!


Love First: A New Approach to Intervention for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction (A Hazelden Guidebook) (Hezelden Guidebook)

See also;

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

'Admit It' Paradox

  • Admit to being frightened, and your courage will grow.
  • Admit to not knowing, and you will learn.
  • Admit your weaknesses, and you’ll become stronger.
  • Admit your mistakes, and you’ll begin to move past them.
  • Admit you don’t know what to say, and you’ll have said just the right thing.
  • Admit that you’re confused, and you’ll begin to understand.
  • Admit that you’re hurting, and you’ll begin to heal.
  • Admit that you care, and the things that truly matter will grow stronger.

Being honest with yourself, with others and in life, can often be difficult and intimidating. Yet honesty is always the most reliable, the most direct route to truly attain whatever you seek.

Any attempt to deceive will ultimately end up wasting your precious time. Live the truth of who you are, and it will bring out the best you can be.

A Paradox

We SURRENDER TO WIN. On the face of it, surrendering certainly does not seem like winning. But it is in Alcoholics Anonymous. Only after we have come to the end of our rope, hit a stone wall in some aspect of our lives beyond which we can go no further; only when we hit ’bottom’ in despair and surrender, can we accomplish sobriety which we could never accomplish before. We must, and we do, surrender in order to win.

See also;


Radical Therapy: Surrender to Love and Heal Yourself in Seven Sessions (Not Seven Years)

Radical Therapy: Surrender to Love and Heal Yourself in Seven Sessions (Not Seven Years)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Top Posts for March 2008