He Died… Sober.

May 18, 2009

Original Pic by aprillynn77 now at The Discovering Alcoholic under creative commons attribution license

25 years of sobriety, to the uninitiated this may sound unimpressive or just bland, but to me and others in the recovery community it is a milestone to be celebrated- one few achieve. So reading this tribute to the recently deceased Theodore D. Jump at I knew most would overlook the mention of his sobriety in light of his other achievements, but to me it was by far the most notable point. To me, his achievements as a veteran, teacher, husband, and scholar are made that much more impressive by the fact that he did all while struggling with alcoholism and the mental issues that often accompany this chronic disease.

So in honor of his achievements in life I would like to offer a somber TDA Salute to a man I never knew, but who I think would have found solace in the epitaph … he died sober. Rest in peace Mr. Jump.

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I Prefer the Term “Evolved”

May 14, 2009

Non-drinkers are “evolved” at The Discovering Alcoholic

I almost forgot about it, but thanks to Jasmine’s very introspective blog regarding the long term lure of returning to “normal” drinking I went back and tracked down this most excellent story at the TimesOnline about how society treats non-drinkers.

Often in recovery groups I’ve heard those that drink and drug without extensive life issues as normal, but this has always bothered me because obviously that makes me abnormal by default… and that is how I am often treated by a society that has an unhealthy fascination with alcohol. I don’t mind being treated differently because I don’t drink, in fact I often use the attention to advocate for my cause…which often has those that were almost forcing a drink into my hand to be suspiciously absent for the rest of the evening.

In recovery I have evolved, and developed the ability to handle stress as well as relax and unwind without the use of chemical substances. So, no more will I refer to drinking as “normal”, but instead I’ll refer to my content abstinence as being an evolved and highly sought after trait.

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The Fear of Living Without Alcohol!

February 6, 2009

Promoted to the front page from the user blogs, Toby12321 shares the latest blog of several front page posts this week on the topic of fear. I know from personal experience that sinking feeling in the stomach when one realizes the only thing scarier than living the life of an alcoholic… is living without drinking. Thanks for sharing Toby!

Original pic by SmartGoat now at The Discovering Alcoholic

I spent many years wanting to stop drinking but my biggest fear was could I live without alcohol. See, I had a slogan “Live to Drink and Drink to Live”. I firmly believed this. There wasn’t a day went by that I didn’t drink. Once I started I kept drinking until I went to bed or passed out.

I carried a cooler with me all the time. I was never without a cold beer. My days and weekends were planned around alcohol. Back then you couldn’t buy beer on Sundays in PA but eventually they changed the law. Now you can buy beer on Sundays from the distributors. I was known at all the watering holes. You would have thought I had my mail sent there.

To stop drinking meant I would have to learn to live a new life in a very different way. I would have to become an earth person as they say in AA. Until I quit the alcohol I never realized just how many people actually played golf without it. I will tell you that I didn’t get any better at golf from being sober though. In fact I hardly play anymore because it is a very frustrating sport to me. I have enough frustrations at times in life so I don’t go out just to find it.

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My absolute fear of sobriety

February 3, 2009

Promoted to the front page not from the user blogs but actually the comments section because this has way too many good topics not to serve as a full blog post. I felt a short reply would be inadequate so I will respond tomorrow evening with a blog of my own. Thanks (anonymous)! (The blindfold pic is representative of a Thomas Jefferson quote I thought appropriate for the post, care to guess?)

Original photo by foxtongue now at The Discovering Alcoholic

Hello and thank-you.

I have been reading your site for the past three hours. It is 23h26 in the major metropolitan city I live in. I am totally inspired and encouraged as I drink my beer and smoke the last of my hash. I am planning on going out soon to buy one more beer before its too late despite the fact I already have more in the fridge, but maybe not enough, and I am trying to avoid realizing I want more at a time when it is too late. This is where I am right now. For a while throughout my now one month bender I have been telling myself that I will stop tomorrow and then don’t, of course.

I am kinda the “functioning” type. That is, I just finished three years at one of Europe’s oldest and finest universities with high honors AND in a foreign language and have one more paper to write before receiving the honor of a diploma in its name. Because of these studies and of the professional and/or menial labor I am obliged to perform in order to stay sheltered, fed and wasted, I have been able to keep my addiction under control more or less. This one month bender was born out of my thinking that I have some free time (after a six week intensive theater job ended)…the first few days it felt good to just sit around and get high, dancing and painting and unwinding. But it has been a month now and I’m scared.
I drink alone. Mostly.

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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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Start with a clock instead a calendar

November 11, 2008

photo by laffy4k at The Discovering AlcoholicI would like to highlight a reader blog tonight by nicolew that covers a topic we all have experienced, and many will repeat: Day Zero. Not only I am proud of a fellow alcoholic taking the steps to address her disease, but just as encouraged to see other readers in recovery respond to her post in support. Thank you Gatinha and JanineT!

I stopped drinking a hundred times, only to hit day zero again and again- sometimes twice in the same day. I know how hard it can be, how powerless one can feel, and yet I also know that you can make it through the day Nicole. My advice; start with a clock instead of a calendar. Hour one starts…

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Help is a Four Letter Word

October 31, 2008

Help is a Four Letter Word by The Discovering Alcoholic

I was recently asked by a reader about what they could do to help a family member with a substance abuse problem. Well, when it comes to aiding and providing support to a loved one with an addiction, help can become a four letter word with some very negative connotations.

For the caregiver, the real meat of the problem is trying to decide whether or not someone wants help with their addiction (as in feeding it), or if they are really seriously looking for recovery. Considering the dynamic mind set of an addict and the chronic nature of the disease, the same support that has been aiding in recovery for weeks can slip into addiction enabling almost overnight. Practical cynicism and honesty are critical here, and at all times the caregiver should make sure that their own health, security, and sanity remain a priority above all else.

If help turns into enablement, if it is taken for granted, if it is wasted… if help does become a four letter word then use another- stop.

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Everyone Forgot I Was an Alcoholic

October 8, 2008

I passed fourteen years of sobriety last month without a single person commenting on the milestone. These days- nobody expects me to drink, nobody worries if I’ll make it home, they depend on me. Everyone forgot I was an alcoholic… and it made me very happy.

Last weekend however, it turned out some people did remember.

I was presented the card below at the recovery meeting I started over two years ago at the methadone clinic. On the inside of the card they mentioned something even more important to my recovery than length of sobriety, they thanked me for all the meetings… and it made me very happy.

Everyone forgot I was an alcoholic

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Screedler’s Top Five Benefits of Getting Sober

August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday TDAHello everyone, it’s been a while since I posted a blog on anything. I have tried to make comments on TDA’s posts from time to time to stay in the loop. Today is a special day for TDA (it’s not actually today but soon) and I thought I would write my own post and hope it worthy enough for him to post on the front page so he could take a little break today or tomorrow from writing. As you can tell he is pretty adamant about keeping the site updated every day – no matter how he feels physically, mentally, or what demands the rest of the world has for him. He knows this is part of his recovery and that it must come first.

I owe him thanks for my own sobriety and can’t tell anyone enough about how much he helped me when I was still a suffering alcoholic. I can honestly say I probably would not have become sober without his help and concern. He took care of so much for me when I simply couldn’t .

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Study Shows Differences between Men and Women with Alcohol Problems

April 26, 2007

Survey says… DUH! ”

“In a study of 2,750 men and women, researchers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis found that the sexes showed some key differences in symptoms of problem drinking. For example, men more often reported problems like bingeing or getting into fights, but women were more likely to report feeling depressed or guilty about their drinking. ~ Health”

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