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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Program of Recovery Action

A.A.’s 12-Steps - A Program of Action

A.A.’s Twelve Steps, which constitute its program of recovery, are in no way a statement of belief; they simply describe what the founding members did to get sober and stay sober.

They contain no new ideas: surrender, self-inventory, confession to someone outside ourselves, and some form of prayer and meditation are concepts found in spiritual movements throughout the world for thousands of years.

What the Steps do is frame these principles for the suffering alcoholic - sick, frightened, defiant, and grimly determined not to be told what to do or think or believe.

The Steps offer a detailed plan of action: admit that alcohol has you beaten, clean up your own life, admit your faults and do whatever it takes to change them, maintain a relationship with whatever or whoever outside of yourself can help keep you sober, and work with other alcoholics.

The same applies in a similar way to all 12-Step groups such as Al-anon, Alateen, ACOA, Gamblers Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.

From; AA - A Newsletter for Professionals Fall 2003

See also;

          Mindful Recovery: A Spiritual Path to Healing from Addiction
by Thomas, Bien, Beverly Bien

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

ANGER MANAGEMENT

Anger can be a very real problem for people in recovery from codependency, addiction, alcoholism or compulsive gambling.

Anger is a word we apply to a wide range of feelings. . .

  • Anger can be as simple as a minor irritation.
  • We frequently feel angry when we’re frustrated or when our plans are thwarted.
  • Annoyances may be barely noticeable at first, but if annoyances continue, they can generate considerable wrath.
  • We feel a form of anger when we’re disappointed and let down--most often it takes the form of resentment.
  • When we’re angry, but don’t want to make a deal of it, we use a euphemism, "I’m really teed-off."

Anger is frequently a response to being hurt or suffering loss. Even so, we may not recognize it as such. For example, if someone says, "I never get angry," they may really not know how to recognize their anger. or they are very much aware of their anger and want to deny it, because they’ve been taught that these kinds of feelings are socially unacceptable, bad, or wicked.

Sometimes people want to deny their anger because they fear it--they fear that they’ll unleash a torrent of rage, go completely out of control, cause some kind of irreparable harm.

It is important to recognize the feeling of anger because anger is a natural emotion. It’s normal to feel angry at times. Anger becomes problematic when, on the one hand we pretend it doesn’t exist, or on the other hand we use or anger to manipulate and intimidate others.

There are two steps in understanding anger:

  1. First, get to know your own anger better--in all its varieties. Se how it affects you, how your breath quickens and your pulse pounds. Feel the flush of blood to your face and the tension in your hands, legs, neck and stomach. Notice how your facial muscles change, get a good look at yourself.
  2. Learn to direct your anger in an appropriate way to the appropriate people.

Expressing anger is a natural, healthy response and is necessary to keep oneself healthy and in balance. Sometimes feeling angry can be unpleasant. . .To hold anger back and dwell on it adds to the hurt that caused it.

There is a difference between a person who releases appropriate anger when injured and a person who seems to be chronically angry and venting most of the time. A chronically angry and bitter person often feels short changed in life and blames others for his problems. This is using anger as a defense and a rationalization for blaming others.

This is not healthy or appropriate anger. Specificity is a good measure of appropriate anger. It is tied to an event or situation that can be specifically described.

Assertive behavior prevents aggressive behavior. Assertive behavior protects one’s rights and feelings, whereas aggression attacks someone else’s rights and feelings.

See also;

Adapted from "Learning to Love Yourself: Finding Your Self-Worth" by Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse; Health Communications, Inc., 1987.

Learning to Love Yourself

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Alcoholism 12 Steps Most Effective

Researchers from Stanford University found that a 12-step oriented treatment program that included attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings boosted two-year sobriety rates by 30 percent compared to cognitive-behavioral (CB) programs, the BBC reported Jan. 29.

Twelve-step oriented programs also cost 30 percent less than CB-based treatment for addiction, the researchers said.

Lead study author Keith Humphreys said the spiritual dimension of AA may explain why recovering alcoholics in such programs are better able to resist the temptation to return to drinking.

Reference: Humphreys, K., Moos, R.H. (2007) Encouraging Posttreatment Self-Help Group Involvement to Reduce Demand for Continuing Care Services: Two-Year Clinical and Utilization Outcomes. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 31(1): 64–68.

See also;


12 Steps: A Spiritual Journey (Tools for Recovery)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Children and Alcoholic Family Roles

One model that is helpful in identifying child behaviors is that of Sharon Wegscheider (1981). In this model children adopt various coping and enabling roles.

Little caretaker

The little caretaker role is often a carbon copy of the partner of the alcoholic. They take care of the alcoholic; getting drinks, cleaning up after the alcoholic and soothing over stressful situations and events. They are validated by approval for taking responsibility for the alcoholic and their Behaviour. This little person often goes on to become a partner of an alcoholic or other dysfunctional person if they do not get treatment.

Family hero

The family hero role brings pride to the family by being successful at school or work. At home, the hero assumes the responsibilities that the enabling parent abdicates. By being overly involved in work or school, they can avoid dealing with the real problem at home and patterns of workaholism can develop. Although portraying the image of self-confidence and success, the hero may feel inadequate and experience the same stress-related symptoms as the enabler.

Scapegoat

The scapegoat role diverts attention away from the chemically dependent person’s behavior by acting out their anger. Because other family members sublimate their anger, the scapegoat has no role model for healthy expression of this normal feeling. They become at high risk for self-destructive behaviors and may be hospitalized with a variety of traumatic injuries. Although all the children are genetically vulnerable to alcoholism, this child is often considered the highest risk because of their association with risk-taking activities and peers. Although tough and defiant, the scapegoat is also in pain.

Lost child

The lost child role withdraws from family and social activities to escape the problem. Family members feel that they do not need to worry about them because they are quiet and appear content. They leave the family without departing physically by being involved with television, video games, or reading. These children do not bring attention to themselves, but also do not learn to interact with peers. Many clinicians have noted that bulimia is common in chemically dependent families and feel this child is prone to satisfy their pain through eating.

Family clown

The family clown role brings comic relief to the family. Often the youngest child, they try to get attention by being cute or funny. With family reinforcement, their behavior continues to be immature and they may have difficulty learning in school.


Another Chance: Hope and Health for the Alcoholic Family Choicemaking Girl Talk: Daily Reflections for Women of All Ages

See also;

Acceptance Is the Answer

Recovery from alcoholism, addiction or codependency needs many new concepts to be absorbed and acted upon. One of the most important seems to be Acceptance.

"When I focus on what’s good today, I have a good day, and

when I focus on what’s bad, I have a bad day.

If I focus on a problem, the problem increases;

if I focus on the answer, the answer increases."

c. 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 419

See also;

          Twenty-Four Hours a Day (Hazelden Education Materials)
by Hazelden Meditations

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Detachment With Love

Alcoholism is a family disease. Living with the effects of someone else’s drinking is too devastating for most people to bear without help.

In Al-Anon we learn individuals are not responsible for another person’s disease or recovery from it.

We let go of our obsession with another’s behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights; lives guided by a Power greater than ourselves. In Al-Anon we learn:

  • Not to suffer because of the actions or reactions of other people;

  • Not to allow ourselves to be used or abused by others in the interest of another’s recovery;

  • Not to do for others what they could do for themselves;

  • Not to manipulate situations so others will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not drink;

  • Not to cover up for anyone’s mistakes or misdeeds;

  • Not to create a crisis;

  • Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural course of events.

Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It does not imply judgment or condemnation of the person or situation from which we are detaching. It is simply a means that allows us to separate ourselves from the adverse effects that another person’s alcoholism can have upon our lives.

Detachment helps families look at their situations realistically and objectively, thereby making intelligent decisions possible.


Let Go and Let GodLet Go and Let God

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Alcohol Self-help News Most Popular Posts Feb ‘08

 

Alcoholic Family Roles

12 Promises for Recovery Beginners

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TWELVE STEPS

A problem shared is a problem halved

Abstinence and harm reduction

Addiction in the Family

Addiction is a disease, not a lifestyle

Adult children of alcoholics can practice

Alcohol and Pregnancy

Alcohol and the Family

Alcohol Characteristics and Effects

Alcohol is toxic and damages the brain

Alcohol quotes

Am I an Alcoholic? - Questionnaire.

AM I CONTROLLING?

Anti-Alcohol Ads Promote Drinking?

Atheists, Agnostics and Alcoholics Anonymous

Benzodiazepines Stories

Best Practice Helping Plan

Blackouts - What Happened?

Brain damaged by alcohol

Cannabis and mental health

Causes & consequences of alcohol-related brain shrinkage

Child sexual abuse in Aboriginal communities

Controlled drinking?

Coping With Stress

Cough Medicine Abuse

Craving reduction drug for alcohol AND smoking

Dark Chocolate OK by Doctors

Detachment with love

Dr Bob’s story of the AA Camel

Drinking Causes Gout Flare-ups

DT’s - the Delirium Tremens

Effects of gambling addiction

Ego Quotes with Narcissistic Tendencies

Emotional Bankruptcy or Alexthymia

Facial features of fetal alcohol syndrome

FDA Steps Up Warnings on Chantix

Forgiveness and Anger

Functional and Dysfunctional Couples

God Help Me, Spiritual Pleasures can Replace Drug Addiction

Harm to Partners, Wives, Husbands of Alcoholics

Harmful Effects of Alcohol on Sexual Behaviour

Helping an alcoholic is possible in right circumstances

How alcohol affects the drinker

How Alcoholics Anonymous is changing

Is Alcoholism A Disease?

Just for today card

Little eyes, little ears

Methadone and alcohol abuse don’t mix

Narcissism and alcoholism recovery

Overeaters Anonymous

Partner Enabling of Alcoholism

Patterns of Co-dependence and ACOA’s

Physical Effects of Alcohol on Women

Professional Alcoholism Training

Recognizing Co-Dependency

Recovery MP3 tracks for all 12-Step Fellowships

Releasing angry resentment

Self-Help Links

Sleep problems affect alcoholism recover

Smoking and Erectile Dysfunction

Styles of Enabling Behavior

The AA Recovery Paradoxes

The Adult Children of Alcoholics Laundry List

The Dynamics of an Alcoholic’s Family

THE WOUNDED SPIRIT

Twelve Step Development

Twelve Steps of Sponsorship

Types of Dysfunctional Families

Verification of C. G. Jung's Analysis of Roland Hazard and the History of Alcoholics Anonymous

Wellbriety Recovery for Native Americans

What is ACOA Co-dependency?

What is Alcohol Harm Reduction?

What is alcoholism?

The 12 Steps Of Humour Anonymous

 

  1. We admitted we were grateful for the role humour plays in our recovery, and our laughter had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, and a little laughter now and then couldn’t hurt.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him, and laughed about how if we measured what we understood about God on a scale of one to ten, the needle on the gauge would probably point to minus one, and we don’t need to tell you which end of the scale is which, which makes us laugh, because we are desperate, aren’t we?
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, and when appropriate, laughed at ourselves and the foibles of addiction.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs, and didn’t laugh too much here, because this step involves some serious shit.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character, and laughed out loud when we realized how great life could be without these defects.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings, and imagined God stripping us down to our shorts in front of our home group, to keep us humble and to provide a few laughs for the other drunks, junkies, and misfits.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and realized there was nothing funny about the length of this list. Became willing to make amends to all of them, but realized it was going to take a lot of thinking and head scratching just to figure out what "amends" were, and then to actually make them, whew!
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. Made indirect amends when we didn’t want to get caught or feel guilty.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when wrong, promptly admitted it. When our behavior was funny, ironic or ludicrous, we laughed at 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, and sought through laughter to understand that God has a sense of humour, because after all, He created the likes of us.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others in recovery and to practice these principles in all our affairs. And we remembered humour also has the power to heal.

See also;


The Most Brilliant Thoughts of All Time (In Two Lines or Less)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Eating Disorders

 

Eating disorders impair the body’s normal functioning, causing long-term health concerns and significantly impacting social and emotional well-being. This article helps you to recognize the various types of eating disorders and the warning signs. Treatment options are also explained.

Paying attention to diet and exercise can effectively control weight. But if you find yourself constantly worrying about your weight and thinking about what you are or aren’t going to eat, you may have an unhealthy relationship with food. Sometimes eating disorders develop from obsessive attitudes about food and body image.

What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is a psychological condition that manifests itself in unhealthy eating habits. These habits fall on a continuum, from eating a healthy, balanced diet on one end, to serious eating disorders on the other end. Eating disorders have serious emotional and physical effects. However, with proper treatment, control and recovery is possible.

Eating disorders involve disturbances in eating, such as:

  • not eating enough,
  • repeatedly eating too much in a short period of time, or
  • taking drastic measures to rid the body of calories consumed (purging through vomiting; overuse of diuretics or laxatives; excessive exercise; or fasting)

You might think that your efforts to control your eating are a healthy way to achieve the body you want, but if your eating habits consume your thoughts and dictate your social activities, things have gotten out of control. What may have started as a plan to lose a few pounds might have turned into an unhealthy eating disorder.


Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders