knowing about the natural process of recovery
I found that early in my recovery, I was missing lots of
I went to a detox treatment center where I assumed I would be
given all the info I needed.
I found it difficult to sleep and went several nights with
very little sleep. I thought there was something wrong with me but I was
going through a very natural process of relearning how to sleep.
So why wasn’t I told about it sooner?
Why did I have to go
through it and then find out it was a natural part of the recovery process?
I decided to put together a web page to address things that
most of us already know or should know.
this web page are SOS Members thoughts and links to articles from
SOS websites and outside sources.
These are our thoughts and feelings and should not be taken without
question. I hope you don't take any thing that may
affect your life without question.
You are the
one in charge of your life, it's up to you to do some of the research
needed to make it the best that it can be.
We can only
offer suggestions, information and what worked for some of us, the
largest part of the burden lays on you.
to think for your self is a process.
Duaine & All... I too felt that I
was missing early recovery info....which reminds me of one of a Members post
where he pointed out by stating, "so what the f*** does this have to do
with sobriety or keeping sober, or ways to start being sober (for the new
That is what I took his point to mean and I have meant to reply to it and it
slipped away until now. I know for me... when I was first mandated to AA...
I wanted alcohol related FACTS and it was
very stressful when I was not provided that info. At the time... I did not have
a PC... nor did I even know how to use one. About a year into my sobriety...
the encouragement from my son telling me how beneficial one would be for my
sobriety... I worked my butt of for the money to buy one and then ... I didn't
have to rely on court ordered counseling and AA for my info. The Internet research & Internet groups have played a
fantastic role in my sobriety.
All I knew at the beginning of my sobriety
is that I had my sources for religion... I too didn't care to hear the details
of whether someone was religious or not. I was at a very frustrating time in my
sobriety and I wanted black & white alcohol related info... and I just
wasn't getting it.
I wanted knowledge about addiction... physical and mental symptoms and how to
handle it. I wanted to know about health related issues. I wanted to know about
life style, foods... vitamins... etc. etc. Healthy things to focus on. Changing
the thought process...
I was starved for that sort of info. So...
this is a great idea of yours. A website with the basic alcohol info for newbies
or those that just may have missed the info or needs to be re-reminded. I have
little time this morning but I am so looking forward to participating in this.
GREAT idea for your website...
This page is not
done yet. we are still waiting for more input. In the mean
time we are putting it up in it's incomplete form in hopes that you
can get some benefit from it.
SOS and this web
page welcomes your input. This is how SOS works. We share
with each other what works for us and things we have learned along the
We put it all
out for you to choose what might work for you. We don't think
for you. We encourage you to start the process of thinking for
I think for me
this was the most important part of my getting and staying
Sure I had to listen
to lots of stuff along the way but for me to stay sober meant (for me)
I had to take charge of my life. I had to make decisions that
affected my life from day one.
I know there are
programs that don't want me to think. I know because I had a
very difficult time freeing myself from this kind of thinking. I
fought from the beginning to take back control of my life that I had
lost to alcohol/drugs.
hearing my best thinking got me here. What a load of crap.
It was my alcohol/drug thinking that got me here. Now I'm
alcohol/drug free, so now I have access to my best thinking.
I ask questions
--I seek advice --then I start making decisions that affect my
I have a
lifetime ahead of me. I want to live it. I don't want to
get sober so someone else lives my life and makes my life decisions.
My decision to
take back my life has made staying sober a very easy thing for me to
do. I know I can make life decisions
that will keep me on course. I have confidence in myself.
I can live out my life with the struggles of daily life without
looking over my shoulder for fear of going back to that old discarded
I am where I
want to be. I am in charge of me life. I make my own life decisions.
I am strong enough to stay in charge of my life. I'm not
dependent on others to think for me. I'm self empowered and
I know I'm at
a place where I will never be tempted to sneak a peak at the life I
That life is
gone. Today I am a person who will live out his life in the real
world alcohol/drug free.
not use sponsorship. I believe that this is a good thing.
always had a concern and skepticism about "sponsorship".
I have certainly seen some benefits, but I have also seen some
very poor results and people who are not moving forward because of
the subservient attitude they adopt towards the sponsor.
is an unequal relationship .
In SOS we
share our ideas on what has worked for us based on the sobriety
priority and sustainable, rational beliefs.
is that sponsorship, as such is risky business.
worries me about trying to undertake some form of self-help and
treatment with an untrained individual.
issue is that of trust. Can you really "trust" these
so-called sponsors, even those with the best and most noble
intentions? What about the ethics involved? I've kept clear of it
and I would caution people about it.
So its a
question of honesty to yourself and those with whom you work.
course, if a sponsor were professionally trained then this ethical
dimension is answered in their code of conduct. But why would a
professional be wanting to do, "freelance" or "ad
concern is that sponsors are most often "self-appointed"
with few skills to meet the specific needs of those help.
concept of a "critical friend" to provide some short
term direction could be useful. But I suspect that that happens in
any case without the need to pressure people into a formal
arrangement (no matter now loose)
see the whole process of sponsorship of moving away from the
fundamental principle of self-empowerment.
congratulate SOS for not adopting any form of sponsorship.
Sleep is something that's learned.
If I sleep in a different bed it will take time to adjust to this new sleep environment.
If I move and there are different sounds or the lighting is different I will
have to adjust or relearn to sleep in this new environment.
If I stop taking alcohol/drugs my body is different and I will
need to relearn sleep without the alcohol/drugs.
This is a normal reaction of the body.
Realizing this is normal and to be expected is a big part of
I now know there are temporary things I can do to ease the transition
Whatever I do should be temporary to get past the ruff part.
If I rely on other drugs to sleep there will come a time I'll
need start over and relearn sleep once again without them.
Here are some suggestions
to help with sleep from SOS members.
--I prefer the sublingual type -- I put it
under my tongue just as I'm laying down. It works very fast and if I let
go I can fall asleep right away.
This should be stopped at some point by using less or going through a few restless
Melatonin is also a great travel aid.
This is only a temporary aid and not to be used every night.
-- Sleepy Time
--Diet plays a major role in our
sleep. Our sugar level...protein and carbohydrates, caffeine intake... all
effect of sleep.-- Eating Turkey-- Drinking milk--
-- Hops-- Skullcap-- Valerian--
Kava Kava Root--
reduces anxiety, tension and promotes sleep. Lowers pain sensitivity, also aids in the control of alcoholism.
Calcium supplement that includes magnesium and vitamin D also helps with sleep.
--Have a set sleep schedule--Make
sure the room is VERY dark. Darkness may provide a natural response for *Melatonin*
in our brain to help-- --It's also important not to have too much physical or
mental stimulation just before sleep.--play some music (like meditation type
stuff) and the other is count backwards from 100. For some reason these things
help stop the "thinking" sometimes--
To Much To soon
-- This is
often said to new people in recovery. "Don't quite smoking yet it's to hard
to quite two things at once. Smoking never got you high or caused you to
do dumb things."
This is what I ran across when I started my new life in
I found quitting smoking helped me in my recovery.
Quitting smoking gave such a boost in my self confidence and
If you want to read a well written article from a long time
SOS member please read
There is some research that suggests that
smoking may cause cravings and urges to drink or drug.
Could that be part of the reason some of us who quit smoking
find we have less cravings and sobriety is easy?
Please check it out for your self.
Stress may be a physical
I have heard to avoid stress in early
recovery but wasn't given much info why.
Now there may be a physical reason
for this. It may be that stress causes the release of chemicals
that are similar to those that cause cravings.
COCAINE, amphetamines, morphine and nicotine all affect
brain cells in this area and leave them hypersensitive, according to
CAUSES SIMILAR EFFECT
Cravings have an end. They don't last forever.
Many come in waves. We all know waves peak, so do cravings. When
cravings take a hold is usually when I leave an opening. It doesn't have
to be big. Just enough to plant a seed that if the cravings get strong
enough I'll give in to them.
If that opening isn't there the craving will go away.
It can be just that easy.
I found "luckily" early on that I didn't need to
waste my time fighting cravings. I found out that using a tool of looking
ahead and not behind things got better. I found I couldn't look ahead at
my new life and give it my full focus if I was thinking about drugs or alcohol.
I chose to be pulled into this great adventure. I awaited
with great expectation what I would find around the next corner.
When things were bad ( which was more often than I would have
liked ) I looked forward to me coming out the other side clean and sober.
I wanted all life had to offer me. All of it good &
bad, fantastic & terrible.
I didn't want to waste this fantastic new time sober thinking
about fighting cravings.
My solution was to look ahead.
To be pulled into a new life. Being pulled took very
Not wasting my time thinking about going backward. Not
spending my time fighting and pushing cravings away I could live my life.
use the same tool I was using that was keeping me from living my
the tool of focusing on being able to live in a world of
alcohol/drugs and it took very little or no effort to keep on that
course. As destructive as that course was.
I now use
the tool of focusing on living in the real world and it takes very
little or no effort to keep on course. With very positive results.
been told that I can't just go on auto pilot to stay sober.
I have to work on it all my life.
how true that really is? I've "worked" very
little on it so far and less as time goes on.
it's just that its different for each of us.
Looking through the buzz
Looking through the buzz is a way of conditioning myself to
see the drug/alcohol as it really is.
If I burn myself on a flame I know full well what will happen
if I touch that flame. I know it with out thinking about it because the
pain is on the front side of the flame.
If drinking or drugging cause me pain I don't see it on the
front side. On the front side I see pleasure. The pain doesn't come until
By looking through the drug I will see it all. The front
side --Pleasure-- the middle--lost in the drug & cravings for more--the end
--pain the price can be slight or terrible, so terrible I will pay the rest of
my life in some way or another.
I don't see looking through the buzz as a temporary tool to
not pick up a drug or drink in a time of stress but a tool that is so powerful
that if I use it daily in the beginning it can last through out my life and make
living without cravings easy.
A small amount of work in the beginning can make life very
easy latter on.
Living life clean and sober doesn't have to be hard work
--Painful or Difficult with enough work done at the beginning it can be one of
the easiest things you've ever done.
is a very weird and quite gross strategy for cravings in social
If I am
with someone who is drinking and I feel the pull, I (mentally, of
course) spit in their drink.
There is some odd research that indicates that people are
reluctant to drink something that they themselves, and themselves
alone, have spit in. Even their own drink. I find that
the desire to share in the festivities is much reduced by this
strategy, although I doubt I would be very welcome at the party if
my friends were able to share this visual image.
The evolutionary impetus to this impulse is unclear to me, since
we might be very willing to kiss the drinker, but, nonetheless, it
does make the drink seem less desirable, as does imagining one
taking a sip and then gagging. That seems to bring back
negative reinforcement cues and contradict the
"wouldn't just one be fun" set of associations.
little ritual I have performed this week is to stand in front of a
big mirror in my workout room and announce to myself every
"I'm Mary, and admit that I am an alcoholic. I do not drink,
no matter WHAT! Sobriety is my priority for today"
I have picture of my late father tucked in the corner of the
mirror. HIS father was a face-down- in-the-gutter alcoholic,
and I swear I can see Dad grinning back at me.
This ritual will become my talisman, I can tell.
Drugs to fight drugs.
Yes there are drugs that can be of help some in recovery.
Depending on the person would depend on the drug or non-drug.
--This is a very
helpful drug to help in building up recovery time. I found it
very useful not only for my self but also for my family.
Taking it first thing in the morning in front of my family and
saying I won't drink today, I got back the trust that was
missing. If I had not taken Antabuse in front of my family it
would have taken months or longer to do what was done in weeks.
I also found that I didn't
have to worry about giving into cravings so I could move on with my
life. I could focus on this new life and not spend my time
fighting off urges to drink.
Warning the reason this
works it because if you drink on it you will get violently sick and
need to go into the hospital to get your stomach pumped.
Once you take the pill
there is no going back. Which may take several days or more to
be able to drink again.
There are some out their
who have told me by taking Antabuse I wasn't doing it on my
own. Fuie on them I went to the effort to take it. I
gave myself time to adjust to this new life. I built trust
with my family. And with 20 + years I would take it again in a
hart beat if I need it.
I found it to be a great
tool and also made it easier. So what's wrong with easier.
I’d like to join Duaine in suggesting that a lot more people
should be investigating the use of medications for help in early
recovery. It’s not as if there is a whole lot to investigate: in
the U.S. there are only two drugs on the market for treating
alcoholism. These medications aren’t a "cure in a
pill," but they go a long way to helping you stay on the
straight and narrow during early recovery. Duaine already said
something about Antabuse, so I’ll give it a shot on the other
available med: Naltrexone.
I’d stopped drinking several times, but had always returned
to it after a break of a few months. The pattern was always the
same: after a period of feeling great about having stopped the
initial glow would wear off and the urges and thinking about
drinking/not-drinking would start, what I call my recovery
"background noise." I would become convinced that that
was it: recovery meant living for the rest of my life with that
"noise." Simply put I decided if that was
"recovery," then I’d rather be drinking.
I had heard that there was a medication that had had success
getting rid of cravings/urges in early recovery. I was interested;
did the research; saw my doctor and was on Naltrexone for four
months and haven’t looked back since. Naltrexone worked for me
as advertised and I was free of the background noise for the next
four months and ever since. I think what really made the
difference was that the Naltrexone allowed me to see that there
was a better life beyond early recovery.
The Naltrexone treatment has changed somewhat over time: more
doctors are suggesting that the treatment be extended from four to
six month, and the general dosage has been upped. What hasn’t
changed is that it’s still seen as a short term aid for helping
people follow through on a long term commitment to quit. Again,
unless you’re the sort of person that thinks that there is some
virtue in being uncomfortable, or think that you deserve to be
punished a bit more for your past drinking, I would suggest
looking into the use of Naltrexone.
The best article that I've found that discusses Antabuse and
My successes in stopping drinking have
been slow so I have to toot my horn over the small triumphs. I'm going to talk
about my experience with Naltrexone and Antabuse it might help someone.
I started out taking Naltrexone with lots of high expectations. It delivered as
promised, cutting my cravings and reducing the high I felt when drinking but it
wasn't quite enough. I continued to drink
although not quite as much as before.
I started thinking about taking Antabuse, but I couldn't force myself to ask my
doctor about it. In my mind Antabuse was only for the worst, sickest drunks on
earth. Its hard to believe the stigma attached to this drug but I think I picked
it up from my indoctrination in AA.
Antabuse was only for spineless lowlife with no will power.
I finally forced myself to ask my doctor for it. He quickly wrote a prescription
for Antabuse AND Naltrexone! Jeez did I feel like a loser. I took it to my
regular pharmacy to get it filled and felt
totally embarrassed facing the people there, wondering what they were thinking
Taking the first pill by myself at home held some personal drama too. That
little pill felt soooo heavy. You'd think I was taking cyanide or something.
Here's where some of those thoughts
about side-effects came in. I was really worried about side-effects as well as
what I'd heard about the damage it could do to my liver. In retrospect I don't
it was quite that important and I was actually worrying about the commitment.
After swallowing the the pill there wasn't any turning back. I couldn't drink
under any circumstances without becoming very ill.
The Antabuse has worked for me and I plan to be on it for about a year. I'm only
taking half a dose and have stopped taking the Naltrexone. I haven't tried to
test how effective Antabuse is at making me sick (by drinking) I've just taken
people's word on that. I might try moving into some other regiment like some
other people I know; 2 days on, 2 days off etc.
There aren't any people telling me Antabuse is a crutch, I'm pretty at good at
doing that myself. There are still some little voices in my head saying "this
isn't really me, its the drug" (memories of the old voices in AA). I haven't
told anyone I'm using it outside of this group and people from my CD (chemical
dependency) clinic, and haven't said much to anyone about my drinking,, thinking
they'll ask how I stopped.
Gosh, stigmas can be powerful,, and I'm working on getting over it. I'm trying
to give myself credit for making some big changes. I'M the one who decided to
take the drug. I'M the one who keeps taking it every morning. I'm also working
on changing enough other things in my life to make sure the improvements will be
permanent. Right now the Antabuse is a little insurance policy and motivator.
I wish there weren't so many moral judgments attached to the drug. I probably
would have decided to take it much sooner. I'm trying to believe there isn't
much difference between an antibiotic and
antabuse. They're both temporary, should be used wisely,,, and I deserve some
credit for getting myself to the doctor in time to get some.
First let me say I am not a doctor and the following is only my humble opinion.
I know of 3 types of depression clinical, situational and depression from coming
off of drugs.
I am personally in favor of taking
anti-depressants for myself. The doctors are unsure of which type of depression
I have but probably have a touch of all three, due to taking street drugs for
most of my life (I
started drinking when I was 6 years old) having situational depression due to my
Hep C which they tell me if I wasn't depressed over it they would be concerned
and not sure of the third because of my long drug taking history.
I am not looking for the magically pill
that will cure me of my depression, I am looking for help in dealing with it so
that I can look at my problems though a rational approach and work on them what
ever they may be. I may or may not be on anti-depressants the rest of my life it
would depend on which type of depression I have. But I know that if I was
depressed to the point I was before the meds I would not be able to work on the
problems because I would be in a self destructive and suicidal state.
I know a person in a 12 step program
that thinks all of the answers to life problems can be found in the basic text
of NA, it is people like him that are dangerous to newcomers because he has 13
years and they believe him.
I think that any newcomer should visit
a doctor explain there situation to them and then make a informed decision about
meds. I also know that the first set of meds might not work. There no blood test
that can be done to find out which chemicals in the brain need adjusting to
bring balance back and its mostly trail and error which is bad because then it
takes time to find one that works.
I am not suggesting that every newcomer
start on anti-depressants but they helped me get to a point where I could face
my problems and to start to work on them. If you are depressed and are worried
about seek out help from you doctors and inform yourself of the alternatives and
then make an informed choice with your doctor about what's best for you.
Only you and your doctor can make these decisions no one else has the right or
is qualified to do it.
Norm SOS Member
A SOS members reply to a
post on the
International E- Support Group
Blanket warnings about psychiatrists
and meds concern me, especially for a newcomer who may be dealing with
In my experience with depression and shrinks, I have found that they
"generally" do whip out the prescription pads too quickly. They are
medical doctors with some training in psychiatry and prescriptions are what
doctors tend to give.
There are all kinds of other avenues for dealing with depression, in addition to
the meds. I would not encourage anyone to NOT give the meds a chance while
investigating the other avenues. There are support groups (DBSA-Depression and
Bipolar Support Alliance), counselors and psychologists (talk therapy),
cognitive behavior therapy, rational emotive behavior therapy, books on dealing
with depression, etc.
I have taken Paxil for 5 years for my depression and it seemed to work until I
had to start some new meds, for other health reasons, about 6 months ago. These
new meds can cause depression, so my anti-depressants had to be modified...it
beats lying in bed in a fetal position accomplishing nothing or drinking around
the clock! I am also trying the other avenues I mentioned above.
Do a web search. Take your health
into your own hands, just as you are your sobriety by coming to SOS. There are
all kinds of things you can do for your depression, without leaving yourself at
the mercy of some person with a prescription pad.
Rick -redneck from hooterville!!
Duaine M here:
Thanks for standing up.
I belong to other groups and have heard stories of people going off their meds
and terrible things happening to them, some committed suicide.
I know in AA there are far to many people telling members to get off all meds.
These are people with no medical training. And if they did have training they
had no right making such a sweeping statement.
In AA I only hear of criticism of members who give medical advice from outside
I think SOS should be very up front and take a firm stand on this issue.
I can tell you what happened to me using a certain med but must stop there. I
can't tell others in the group to stop or start using a med that may or may not
save their life. I'm not qualified to do that.
No member of this group can expect
to escape criticism when they give a sweeping statement that can cause harm.
If it's in a face to face meeting or on line SOS members hopefully will stop the
meeting in it's tracks and address this issue.
Thanks again for standing up Rick.
soooo desperate for a break from that depression even for a moment
that I'd be willing to give up my six months clean time. (It was
always about six months.)
has helped with that this time around.
having non-AA people to converse with. People that don't reply
from rote memory.
Professional care may or
may not be needed for depression. It depends on many
factors. The most important thing is (in my opinion) don't let
someone who isn't qualified make that choice for you.
Often depression can be life threatening.
Or life destroying by making life miserable.
Remember meds to treat depression
aren't used to get high on. I believe someone who needs to be
on antidepressants is just as sober as someone who is able to live
This is a matter that each
member hast to come to grips with and it's their choice not mine.
I hope this group is up to
the challenge of standing up to protect each others right to make
that choice for themselves.
Duaine M from Dallas.
I have read research
on Amino Acid mainly by Professor
Kenneth Blum and heard him speak on a number of occasions.
What I got from
what I heard an read was that the brain could change and add more
receptors to take in dopamine by taking some of the Amino Acids
that we have access to and these changes can become permanent over
Now that is my
take on it.
Amino Acids are
readily available and the side affects can be read about and
checked out as well as the warnings that some of them have.
If you decide to
give Amino Acids a trial then it's up to you do some research to
see if they could be harmful to you. You should also check
with your doctor before starting to use any of them.
What I have
found for myself to be of the most benefit are 5-HTP "the
coated kind". Taken according to directions I have
found I needed less as time went by. Now I'm taking it in
the morning a few times a week.
It has taken
away my underling depression and my inability to function on some
I also found
GABA (gamma-aminobutyic acid) "the Sublingual form" to
be very effective in calming myself down at night. It chasses
away any depression an relaxes me so sleep comes easy. I
find that I don't have to take a whole pill. I can break it
up an only take part of it under my tongue for it to work and it
seems to work very quickly.
There are other
kinds of Amino Acids that may or may not be of help.
is to present opinions that you may or may not want to
explore. It's not medical advice. It's information and
I believe we have the right to lots of information.
I have found for
myself that I prefer to take one Amino Acid at a time to check it
out and see if there is any benefit or drawback from using
it. If I take lots at a time I don't know what's working and
what's not. This is my personal choice and not intended to
be portrayed as anything other than that.
Nutritional Gene Therapy: Natural Healing in Recovery
By Kenneth Blum, PhD, with Julia Ross,
Carolyn Reuben, LAC, Daniel Gastelu, MSC,
David K. Miller, MA, SCAC II
We believe that the core of impulsive,
addictive and compulsive behaviors is biological in nature, although it is
influenced by psychological and spiritual factors. Over the last three decades
we have learned a lot about the brain and the physiology of personality. We have
learned that at least one-third of Americans are hard wired to become addicted.
The “addictive brain” is the result of a simple molecular genetic rearrangement
of DNA. In simple terms, the part of the brain that brings about feelings of
well-being and provides comfort and stress reduction is compromised in some
individuals. In fact, addiction begins and ends in the brain.
I heard from the very beginning this
was forever. I had to live with cravings forever. I was just
one drink or drug away from being lost back into the world I left.
I know I don't want to drink or drug
again that's no problem for me. I did have a problem with having to suffer
the rest of my life fighting cravings and in a moment of weakness be carried off
to the world I left behind.
Well I found people who after a time
found living sober was as easy as breathing. And to go back would be just
as hard to do as to quite breathing.
I found that place.
Hand Work -- Will
Power -- Yes there are places that require lots of work and it
is a very serious thing you are doing that takes a lot of
Does that mean that you
cant have some fun doing it? I don't think so.
Finding fun things to do
can be very beneficial. It can take your focus off the difficulties
of quitting something and focus on the joys of living life.
Should I spend all my
time talking to people who are in recovery? I wonder if that's
wise? I wonder if it wouldn't be wise to get a broader picture
of the world. There is more to life than going to meetings
about recovery all the time.
There are focus groups
on almost anything. There are clubs with all kinds of interests.
Sober I can find people
to do things with that have similar interests. I can start
enjoying the company of people who are not in recovery. I can
take back my life and actually start living it.
I think it's good to be
around people who are living life.
One Year Celebration
Thanks Duaine and Norm
and any other congrats. I would like to say a year ago I did
not think it possible I would be at this first milestone.
It seems amazing a year has gone by so quickly. It just didn't seem
possible that a normal fun loving man could live his life without
Now, when I look back, I
think why would a normal fun loving person want to blur their
perception, Why would you want to waste your precious few days off
work lying around with a hangover.
Why would you want to fall asleep in the chair every time you sit
down for more than ten minutes. Why would you put up with becoming
short or angry with your kids just because they wanted to have some
fun with you and you wanted to just sit around numbing your mind and
blurring your senses even more.
If I ever even think
about taking a drink all I have to do is look back and see how much
life I was missing.
Now I know, alcohol
doesn't help you enjoy life more, alcohol takes the enjoyment out of
life. Thanks again for the support. I really enjoy the SOS sites and
appreciate the good you guys are
doing, Keep up the good work.
Your friend in sobriety, Jim
are some who like pain. The more the better.
think pain is the way of recovery maybe this isn't one of the best
groups to be in.
look around I'm sure you can find someone who believes that the
road to recovery is filled with misery and discomfort. May
be you need to punish yourself and would like others to join in
and help you self mutilate yourself.
There is enough
pain in life without any group adding to it.
real and many of us suffer from it. Physical pain can be a real
problem in recovery. Dealing with it can be a challenge to
say the least.
personal questions have to be answered in finding ways to deal
with pain. Do I take a drug that may get me high to deal
with it, search for something that I know won't get me high or
tuff it out? These are personal questions that are between
you, your doctor and your circumstances. Your the one who
has to make the final choices. I think we would all choose
the middle one (search for something that I know won't get me
high) if possible.
recovery there are no easy answers that will please
suggest to think, reason, weigh the pros and cons and come up with
an answer that you can live with because it's your life.
suggestion is that whatever decision you make that it can be
changed as needed to meet life's changes.
thing that comes to mind is a professional and then someone caring
to talk to.
presents some tuff stuff at times and the last thing many of us
want to hear is some silly quote. Answers are complex,
many times and a thinking caring response that isn't judgmental is
what we need to hear.
A human response
not a quote.
and gifts to ones self can be a tool in recovery.
It can also be very
rewarding and filled with pleasure.
Imagine going without
the harmful affects of alcohol/drugs for a period of time.
Your healthier. Your living your life. Your not spending
your time or money on alcohol/drugs. Your doing what you
should be doing with a added bonus you now have an excuse to give yourself
a reword for doing what you should have been doing all along.
And you can do it
without guilt. After all you aren't spending your money on
alcohol/drugs so why not take a small part of that money saved and
buy yourself a gift?
This is one of the happy
Use it often.
Learning balance is
important in recovery as well as all aspics of life.
The other extreme would
be to say the only reason I'm sober is because I'm having fun and if
I wasn't having fun I'd go back to drinking or drugging.
We all know we can't
have fun all the time.
We also don't need to be
glum all the time.
If there is no happiness
in your life please take the time and effort to find out why.
If you need to talk to a professional please do so.
Yes anger can be a
positive force for change. We live in a imperfect world that
could be made better.
Anger about injustice
can be use to make changes.
I have the right to
feel anger. Its a natural feeling. It would be
unnatural to not feel it once an a while.
The trick is to learn
to use it creatively. Anger focused inward or held on to
long can be destructive.
So we're back to
We're also back to
thinking and not taking others opinions about anger being
something we should avoid at all costs as necessarily being true
all the time.
If I've been wronged,
shouldn't I do something to protect myself, like taking that
person to court?
It can be done
perhaps the hardest to understand of all the recovery tools.
Maybe because it sounds so easy.
If I believe
something can't be done then I'm not very likely to attempt
it. If I do attempt it I would probably do it half hearted.
truly believe something can be done and know I have all the tools
to accomplish it then I will give it my best shot.
told over and over I'm powerless and believe it then I'm not likely
to attempt to take charge of my life.
If on the
other hand I not only believe I'm not powerless and have support
of others who believe they are also not powerless then I can truly
take back my life.
I will be
supported by people who have taken back their life and those in
the process of taking their life back.
It can is
just that easy for many. Knowing it can be done and
being around people who support their efforts.
what I call a support group and I believe SOS is a Support group.
Duaine M from
Welcome! I'm new
here too and find myself welcoming everybody new because I know what it feels
like. Did you quit today? Yesterday?
Here's a list of some stuff I wrote down in a journal to make a plan for
sobriety. Maybe some of it will help you too.
1) Made a list of everything I love doing other than drinking. If I get a
craving, I can look at the list and pick something. For example, go for a
walk, do some gardening, read a book, play the guitar, write in my journal, have
a bubble bath, take a nap, do yoga, eat some ice cream, etc, etc. List
things to distract myself.
2) Joined this group for a support system.
3) Listed all the reasons I wanted to quit drinking.
4) Listed all the reasons I like drinking. Compared this list to #3.
5) Signed a contract with myself and had my husband witness it.
(Choose a witness that I can be open and up front with, someone I respect and
who respects me.)
6) Wrote down all the arguments that "little voice" in my head uses to
convince me it's okay to drink. Then wrote down a rebuttal for each of
7) Last time I was hung-over, I wrote down how terrible it felt, so when I
started to get a craving again, I could refer to it and remember.
8) Meditate on the new alcohol-free me. Visualize myself being
healthy and happy.
9) Said a prayer asking God to help me beat this.
10) Decided what I would buy with the money I'll save from not drinking.
11) Make a collage of a healthy, alcohol-free me. Glue a picture of
my head on a healthy, happy body. Put my most inspirational thoughts on
it, all the things I love.
12) Listed my drinking patterns. When did I start drinking?
Did I have a ritual?
13) Listed my drinking triggers. Why do I start drinking?
14) Read books on alcoholism. Knowledge is power. My favorite
so is far, "Pathways to Sobriety Workbook".
15) Gave myself permission to be angry or sad instead of drowning out the
emotions. (Warned my husband!)
16) And lastly, if I "slip", I won't beat myself up about it.
We're all human and that means we will make mistakes. Don't won't dwell on
This is my plan. If you find anything in it that appeals to you,
please use it. Ignore anything that doesn't feel right to you.
You must realize that
these are not all original ideas that came from my own head. They are some
of the ideas that appealed to me from reading books about alcoholism over the
last year. Some came from articles on dieting, AA books, the contract idea
comes from the Pathways to Sobriety Workbook, visualization and collage idea
from spirituality books by Sylvia Browne, and comparing why I like drinking to
why I don't like drinking from the Smart Recovery Web Site.
Duaine M here:
I think that's a big
part of SOS. Having the freedom to use lots of other resources and not be
afraid to talk about them or share them in this group.
Jim Christopher (SOS Founder)
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is a non-profit organization dedicated to
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This site is dedicated to
presenting information and resources about the 16 Steps of Discovery and
Empowerment developed by Charlotte Kasl, PHD. These Steps are featured in her
book "Many Roads, One Journey - Moving Beyond the 12 Steps".