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Self-Help Sunday

April 3, 2016

I ran across a great post on Quartz that was reprinted from LinkedIn: Almost everyone who is unhappy with life is unhappy for the same reasons If you will read, you will immediately see how it can be helpful in recovery.  In brief, it’s all about setting expectations, thinking positive, and being realistic. Your expectations, more than […]

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My Last Photo on Shatterproof

February 22, 2016

Most recovery oriented websites and blogs were started by people who have experienced addiction first hand. They always share their personal story and sometimes a photo. Originally known as Brian’s Wish, Shatterproof was founded in 2012 by Gary Mendell, whose son, Brian, died at age 25 in 2011 after a long struggle with addiction. The […]

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Bye, Bye, Love & 42 Pounds of Poison

February 6, 2016

Goodbye Happiness.  When the best case scenario is numb feet and the worst case is losing your kids. One of the most interesting and harrowing documentaries on the dangers of abusing alcohol.  Brought to you by the BBC. FYI – 3 stones equal 41.96 lbs.

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Sharing – What’s It Like To Overdose On Alcohol?

January 28, 2016

Most recovery programs involve the act of sharing your story, whether it be one on one with a professional, in groups held by various recovery groups, or rehab.  Sharing allows individuals to talk about what happened, how they got there, and where they are at now in their recovery as well as any problems they […]

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The Ultimate Party Host Challenge

December 8, 2015

Great article from The Cut about how to entertain party guests without alcohol – just in time for all the holiday parties in season for the next few weeks. From The Ultimate Hostess Challenge: Entertaining People Who Don’t Drink, By Jamie Lauren Keiles :   We non-drinkers are legion, and we come from all walks […]

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Scott Weiland R.I.P.

December 5, 2015

Unfortunately Scott Weiland was as famous for being a drug addict as he was for being the lead singer of two great bands, the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver.  He goes now to the great gig in the sky… I hope. He tried many times to get his demons under control, succeeding at taming them for brief periods, but sadly, in the end […]

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Human Guinea Pigs Test The Legal Limit

November 10, 2015

I neither condone nor condemn their methods. Not exactly scientific, but certainly real world.

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TDA Halloween Challenge

October 31, 2015

This creepy 35 second Hanna Barbera anti-drug PSA has the best catchphrase ever at the end. Happy Halloween!!!

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Sober, but Still Disappointing

September 8, 2009

Sober, but Still Distasteful at The Discovering Alcoholic

The durian is a rather large Asian fruit with a thick spiny rind and an extremely aromatic inner flesh, it’s one of those foods that people either love or hate with very few straddling the fence. They’re a favorite of my wife’s family back in Thailand; we can’t get them fresh here in the States only frozen- and that makes it a little harder to pick a “good” one. I put good in quotes because it’s rare to find a frozen durian that lives up to the stiff price they command in our little neck of the South, but we still try once or twice a year. Above is the one my wife brought home this weekend, I took a picture before we opened it up to send to my curious little dynamo of a niece. The wife is much more adept with a knife than I and an experienced durianista, so she took on the task of cutting through the pointy armor. Unfortunately, after paying a premium and cutting through the spines this one was a total write-off… what a disappointment.

The whole ordeal reminded me of a conversation I had not too long ago with a recovering alcoholic who had stuck it out through a considerable amount of misery, deceit, and disappointment with a person they were in a relationship- hoping this person too would find recovery. The person in question finally did get sober, but unfortunately turned out to be just as bad sober as she was drunk. Like us, he did not get to experience the “fruits” of his labor. All is not lost though, my wife and I will just that much more enjoy fresh durian when we visit again with family in Thailand, and in recovery my friend has become all too aware that he cannot change others or dwell in the past and has moved on to better things.

It’s a great reminder, sobriety is just a starting point- not a solution.

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The Difference between Sobriety and Recovery

July 8, 2009

original pic by midweekpost under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

The Harvard Crimson has a review up of Jerzy Pilch’s “The Mighty Angel”, a memoir-like black comedy of alcoholism and addiction.

The modern literary tradition—in particular, the Lost Generation writers and their contemporaries—has done something curious in romanticizing the throes of alcoholism. Hemingway, Faulkner and Fitzgerald were all raging alcoholics and filled their novels with characters who acted likewise. But never before, and rarely today, does a novelist confront addiction so intimately and personally as Jerzy Pilch in his recently translated novel, “The Mighty Angel.”

Honestly, I already have too many books in the queue so this one will not make my list, but the following passage did catch my attention.

“…in my case especially it’s impossible, to live a long and happy life when you drink. But how can you live a long and happy life if you don’t drink?”

Recovery. That is the answer. Some people never figure this one out becoming discouraged and relapsing before they find out that sober is not necessarily a “happy” state. Recovery is the process of learning how to accomplish Pilch’s “long and happy life” without drinking.

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Reconciliation is not Possible

July 4, 2009

 Reconciliation is not Possible at The Discovering Alcoholic

As a veteran, patriot, and proud American I always enjoy our American Birthday, but Independence Day has extra meaning to those of us in recovery. Beyond the obvious freedom from alcohol and drugs though, I think there is a great recovery lesson to be found in the years leading up to July 4th, 1776.

Most people don’t realize that the Revolutionary War was already being waged long before John Hancock laid down his famous signature; the first Battles of Lexington and Concord were fought in April of 1775. Like an alcoholic that yet yearns to drink in moderation, during this time many colonists and founding fathers still thought reconciliation with Great Britain was possible.

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Recovery is a No-Brainer

June 16, 2009

Recovery is a No-Brainer at The Discovering Alcoholic

This is a crazy post. It started out as one thing and turned into another. TDA has a long tradition of movie reviews starting with one on the 1940’s movie about the dangers of alcoholism “The Lost Weekend”. Many entries at TDA are observations/reviews on books, art, music and pop culture and how they can relate to recovery. Some observations are obvious and can easily be extrapolated into “what does this have to do with recovery” while others are more subjective needing a spin as to how this or that relates to recovery personally. This post started out that way.

When me and TDA see a movie together, eat together, work together (physical and mental) somehow everything goes back to recovery. It is very much the number one priority in his life as well as mine. If we go see a movie – Star Trek, Iron Man or even Pineapple Express…we always talk about how something could be related to recovery. We may be listening to the radio on the way to a meeting and wind up discussing if there is anything about the band Bon Jovi that is recovery related (sure there is). Dinners together often become mini meetings. Tightening bolts on a piece of equipment can be recovery related if you think about it long enough.

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In love with sobriety.

June 13, 2009

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.

original pic by craigbergstrom under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

I haven’t posted in a while. However I, like Screedler and others on this site, am extremely grateful to TDA. His dedication to helping others stay clean and sober, his tireless dedication to bringing great information about addiction, each and every day, is amazing.

When I found The Discovering Alcoholic, I wrote my story and then finally realized that I could no longer live the way I had been living. Now I see that it wasn’t living at all, it was surviving. Happiness was something that I hadn’t experienced in years. I’m not sure that I knew what it was at all. I was unhappy not drinking and I was unhappy drinking.

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Sobriety: Almost not Good Enough

May 31, 2009

original pic by au tiger01 under creative commons license now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Don’t get me wrong, sober some of the time is a whole lot better than drunk and high all the time. It is amazing though how we alcoholics and addicts somehow rationalize and conveniently forget that small substance free gaps in our otherwise besotted lives or switch hitting poisons does not merit the definition of recovery.

I can remember when people first started noticing my dependence on alcohol; it scared (embarrassed) me enough that I decided to do something about it. Xanax. It cured my shakes and anxiety, allowed me to circulate socially without the glass in my hand. Then it was obvious at least to me I didn’t have that big of a problem and started to drink non-alcoholic beer… of course only to fit in and not be tempted by an empty hand ;). It wasn’t to long though before I was drinking Vo’douls, my special vodka enhanced near beer. My “recovery” had become something exponentially worse as I began to try to find the perfect mix between benzo’s and alcohol so that I could look and act normal.

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