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Sober Toolbox Additions

April 19, 2014

Sober Toolbox Additions are where we revisit posts from the past that were more focused on the nuts and bolts of recovery, or something you should not have missed just because your new here, and re-post them in our new Sober Toolbox tab. All these posts are from the beginning of 2009. Over five years [...]

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Sober Toolbox Additions

October 8, 2013

Sober Toolbox Additions are where we revisit posts from the past that were more focused on the nuts and bolts of recovery, or something you should not have missed just because your new here, and re-post them in our new Sober Toolbox tab.  All these posts are from October & November of 2008. This month’s Toolbox [...]

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Sober Toolbox Additions

March 3, 2013

Sober Toolbox Additions are where we revisit posts from the past that were more focused on the nuts and bolts of recovery or something that was meaningful and re-post them in our new Sober Toolbox tab. These posts are from the spring of 2008. This months toolbox is Tool Kit #1.  Currently residing at the Smithsonian [...]

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Sober Toolbox Additions

September 13, 2012

Sober Toolbox Additions are where we revisit posts from the past that were more focused on the nuts and bolts of recovery and re-post them in our new Sober Toolbox tab.  These posts are from the winter of 2008.  This month’s toolbox pic belongs to Adam Savage of the Myth Busters.  I imagine like ours, it’s filled [...]

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Toolbox Addition – Tapping Your Way Through A Craving (or Relapse)

July 21, 2012

I have been doing some reading up on another “out there” recovery tool. I’ved tried it, although not “in the trenches” of an active relapse. So far experimenting on self stress and fatigue, I’ve had some positive results.

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Sober Toolbox Additions

July 9, 2012

It’s that time of the month again.  This batch of greatest hits includes several reviews on books about sobriety.  Sober Toolbox Additions are where we revisit posts from the past that were more focused on the nuts and bolts of recovery and re-post them in our new Sober Toolbox tab.  This month’s pictured toolbox is [...]

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Sober Tools #1 – Tools Sober

January 3, 2012

To start the new year off we are introducing a new feature to the site, one that begins today and will morph throughout the year into a helpful collection of  tips on how to get and stay sober.  We have always posted things that we are adding to our personal toolboxes of recovery, but have not done a good job of [...]

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Blindfolded Fear

February 4, 2009

Blindfolded fear of sobriety at The Discovering Alcoholic

Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence was an intellectual, philosopher, and statesman. No doubt smart and forward thinking, but it was his ability to pack so much meaning in so few words that makes Jefferson one of my favorite Founding Fathers. In the quote above, it took me a while to figure out what the venerable TJ meant by “blindfolded fear”. I guess if it had been me pushing the quill we would have ended up with something less urbane and certainly less profound like “scared to look”.

I was reminded of the quote after reading a rather lengthy comment by a TDA reader in a previous thread that because of its potential for discussion deserved front page posting as a full blog titled My absolute fear of sobriety. I wish I would have come up with the title because much like a phrase from TJ- these few words are rife with meaning.

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Overconfidence

January 23, 2009

Ignoring risks at The Discovering AlcoholicMy work involves quite a bit of travel, so I find plenty of time to ponder the driving habits of those sharing the road. Most of the time you’ll find me in the fast lane passing people on the interstate, I’ve got a decent sense for where the high risk areas are for getting a ticket; medians with trees, right behind the low rise on long straight-aways, low access roads, and sometimes on the shoulder of access ramps are all places it pays to keep an eye on. Here’s a peculiar observation. The posted limit abiding drivers I’m passing while doing the maximum speed I think I can get away with will zoom right past me when I slow down for a work zone. Not logical, because if there is one place you can be rest assured to find a trooper with a well deserved attitude is in an active construction zone.

So why do these people adhere to the speed limit for 59 minutes of an hour trip then risk a ticket and even doubled fines during the brief pass through the work zones?

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A Good Alcoholic

January 9, 2009

original pic by Optiglot at The Discovering AlcoholicWhat does it take to make a good alcoholic?

I found this question scribbled on top of some work notes I was reviewing from last year. Like most of my jotted down reminders that are over forty-five minutes old, it took me a good while to figure out what it actually meant. On a business trip, I had stopped after normal dinner hours at the Waffle House near my hotel (always near, always open, and I’m a waffle-man) to refuel and annotate some of the application notes I had made in the field.

Typical of the late night crowd there was a group of young men that were difficult to tune out, especially the giggly one that claimed he would “make a good alcoholic”. My first thought was that he should know better than to say such a thing, the second was that this young idiot was “me” in the 80′s, and finally will he or would I have stayed on that path if we truly knew what it entailed?

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First Year

January 2, 2009

Gatinha’s TDA 1-Year Chip at The Discovering Alcoholic

Promoted to the front page from the user blogs. I want to thank my friend Gatinha for all her contributions. I can think of no finer way to start off the new year than by handing a good friend and fellow alcoholic the first TDA 1-Year Chip ever rewarded. Congrats Gatinha, you earned it! Please find all her previous postings here at Gatinha’s blog.

At the beginning of 2008 I wrote my story here, and made the decision to try to achieve one year of continuous sobriety. For several years up until then I had months of sobriety, weeks of sobriety, days of sobriety, etc., interrupted by binge drinking which consisted of picking up two tall beers to drink on the way home from work, and a six pack of tall ones to drink at home.

I felt like I was managing my drinking, because I never drank on a night before I had to work. However, I paid dearly for each of these binges by being very ill the next day. I would sleep until noon and spend the rest of the day with rapid heart beats, panic attacks, and depression and so on. I would swear each time that it would be the last time.

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2009: History We Make Today

January 1, 2009

2009: History We Make Today at The Discovering Alcoholic

History is more or less bunk. It’s tradition. We don’t want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker’s damn is the history we make today. ~ Henry Ford

New Year’s Day is a time of recollection and resolutions for most of the world, but I think it is important for those of us in recovery to remember that dwelling on the past and making promises for the future is something at which we have always excelled. The old cartoon above from 1905 is a great reminder that time marches on predictably, so we must act now before we are once again wistfully looking back at the past.

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Insanity

December 19, 2008

Einstein’s definition of insanity now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Promoted to the front page from the user blogs. I want to thank my friend Gatinha for all her contributions. You can find all her previous postings here at her blog.

When I think of my story and read the story of other alcoholics, the word insanity comes to mind. In A.A. I’ve heard the following definition of insanity. It is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

How can we go through such horrible experiences each time we drink and expect that the next time will somehow be different? Doctors, psychiatrists and many others have tried to figure out what it is that makes the alcoholic the way that he/she is. Some think it is an allergy to alcohol, others say that we don’t absorb alcohol the way that others do, it might be a chemical imbalance in the brain, etc.

All of the explanations don’t matter. The bottom line is that when we drink we become obsessed with drinking or not drinking. The Big Book of A.A. describes some of the things we do to try to control our drinking: “Drinking beer only, limiting the number of drinks, never drinking alone, never drinking in the morning, drinking only at home, never having it in the house, never drinking during business hours, drinking only at parties, drinking only natural wines…” I’ve tried all of them.

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The Alcoholic Playbook: Spectators Become Part of Game

December 12, 2008

The names, places, and circumstances may vary, but you can be rest assured that most alcoholics and addicts follow a very predictable path. The same rationalizations, secrecy, prevarications and red herrings are used by gutter drunks to Boston bluebloods as if they were all using the same playbook; let’s call it the alcoholic playbook.

We go back to one of our favorite tags of this series, Amy Winehouse, who has spent most of a month in the hospital because of a “reaction to medications”. Actually though it’s her parents that are the main objects of my attention as they display not only enablement, but demonstrate how easily an alcoholic/addict can draw the spectators into their own game of addiction.

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TDA Misery Index

December 2, 2008

Pic by R Stanek at The Discovering AlcoholicThe down economy has given new life to a term not used frequently since the Carter administration, the misery index. “The misery index is an economic indicator, created by economist Arthur Okun, and found by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate.”

The economic and social cost of the escalation of these two figures increased the suffering of the country and this index became a way to measure and describe the misery without resorting to an Andy Rooney diatribe. Hearing the term again has made me think about using it in another way when dealing with addiction or more specifically, enablement.

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