Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Try This

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sober Through The Holiday Season

One of the hardest times of year for people to stay sober is during the Christmas season. It's the biggest holiday of the year, with no doubts, and people 'full of good cheer' tend to:

* Take more time off since 2 stat holidays are in close succession (New Year's added)
* Feel obligated, through media ads, commercials, etc., to be 'in the spirit' of Xmas
* Spend more money at this time of year
* Visit family for the occasions of "Christmas Celebrations" and "New Years Parties"
* Have parties both with family/friends but also through workplaces

There are a number of other things that we see ONLY AT CHRISTMAS time and, unfortunately, most of the activities around this time of year don't actually MIX together well to make for happy times...

The fact that there are 2 holiday occasions a week apart - 2 of the most SIGNIFICANT events of the year, hands down - means that:

* Finances are rough for almost everyone
* People overspend
* Often the 2 holiday occassions are connected with each other on peoples' schedules and if one is stressful (Christmas) the tension simply carries over to the next (New Years).
* People often spend much more time with family at this time than at other times of the year, so family tensions invariably run high - it's not always that people don't LIKE their families...but when we grow up, move away from home and do other normal life activities, we get used to "our life" and often don't have the familiarity and patience with family that we used to when we lived at home. THIS IS NORMAL. But almost everyone says, during the Christmas Season - that is IT IS NOT RIGHT to have differences of opinion during this season...
* People EXCUSE the behaviors of family and friends (and employers and co-workers, etc) during this time of year, noting that we are all supposed to be partaking of the 'holiday spirit' of kindness, forgiveness, etc (blah blah blah)...IF we are not practicing these things YEAR ROUND, all the time, then a WEEK OF THIS ACTIVITY during Christmas and New Years is STRESSFUL AND UNCOMFORTABLE for most of us!

...slide youself some slack this Christmas season - Take care of yourself - especially if you have decided you want a sober life.

Here are a few things you can do to protect yourself and your sobriety this season:

* MAKE A SAFETY PLAN !

This is in case people buy you drinks or coax you to drink.

This is in case people around you drink too much this season, even if you don't.

This is in case there are family or social tensions during the season, which might make you feel like you need to drink to calm down.

This is JUST TO BE SAFER THAN PEOPLE WHO AREN'T MAKING PLANS to look after themselves, because - even if they are not drinkers, many people IGNORE their basic needs of sleep, standing up for themselves with family, saying 'no' to the extra cost of things related to Christmas and New Years. If you are a recovering addict, you have to THINK SAFE more than some other people do, that's all.

Here are a few things that I have done as a safety plan.

* Created 'scripts' for potentially uncomfortable situations
* Selected a 'stressbuster' friend to call when things are going rough
* Planned decent sleep times and EXTRA NAP TIME (excitement and visiting is hard on the system)
* Located meetings - of any variety, so that I could attend if stress became an issue
* Made "enough" points to stick to ("have had enough excitement - time to go lay down," or "have had enough of being around a person who is drinking, so I am going to watch TV in another room," or "have had 'enough' Christmas visiting for the day and evening, it's Midnight and it's time for bed)
* Selected a secondary 'sponsor-like' person to call if my first was unavailable - or just in case I needed two support people
* Mandatory visit with sober group of people just prior to visiting family, just to reaffirm that there are A LOT OF PEOPLE who do not drink in this world

A bit on 'scripts' and then I'll close out this post:

* I created 'scripts' for my first sober Christmas - for family situations that seemed to happen every year. This way, I had a response ready and didn't have to think about responding. Sometimes this was just to say "No" to family members who asked me to get drinks for them during the holiday season.

* You know that it's time for a script in situations where people have said "Hey, grab me a drink on your way back to the room," and you nod, without thinking, and plan to fill the request. In early sobriety, this can actually be a dilemma, and people may never have heard you say, "No, I won't do that - please get your own drink" before. And sometimes, people won't even accept this small difference of response from you, do be prepared to have someone look at you like you just grew an ear on your chin and a second head from your elbow lol. Even for something this simple, a 'script' helps YOU. However else someone ELSE reacts to YOUR new, healthier response is really their choice.

This scripting is really helpful and is mainly just thinking AHEAD OF TIME about how to react to situations you are quire sure will occur.

--don't go overboard with this and try to develop a response for EVERYTHING or you'll worry yourself needlessly, but if there are situations that seem to occur every year or some expectations that you know that family members (of friends) had of you when you were a drinker...these are things you can make 'scripts' - new responses - for this season.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Latest Comment Translated

The latest comment was not in English, so I had it tranlated (from Portuguese to English) as follows:

Oi, I found its blog for google is well interesting I liked this post. It would like to speak on the CresceNet. The CresceNet is a dialed supplier of InterNet that remunerates its users for the hardwired time. Accurately this that you read, is paying you to connect. The paid supplier 20 cents for the moment of connection dialed with local linking for more than 2100 cities of Brazil. The CresceNet has a connection accelerator, that leaves its faster connection up to 10 times. Who uses broad band can also profit, is enough to register in cadastre itself in the CresceNet and when it will be to sleep to connect for dialed, it is possible to pay the ADSL alone with the money of the dialed one. In the schedules of only minute the expense with telephone is minimum and the remuneration of the generous CresceNet. If you I to want to linkar Cresce.Net(www.provedorcrescenet.com) in its blog I would be been thankful, until more and success. If is possible add the CresceNet(www.provedorcrescenet.com) in your blogroll, I thank. Good bye friend.

There you have it.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Dummy Book For Recovery

I've finally found it! One of the DUMMIES books - all on addictions and recovery!

Addiction & Recovery for Dummies


Though I've never been totally diligent about searching for this title in books stores, I've kept my eye open for it everytime I see a 'Dummies Series' display in bookstores.

Finally, I just did a search online and "Addiction and Recovery For Dummies" showed right up within seconds!

And then a did a search from within one of the book companies I have an affiliate account with and *smacks forehead* The book is RIGHT THERE in my affiliate list.

So, listen up - if you buy this book, you'll be helpin' me out - AND - will be getting the easily explained, no-frills low-down on Addiction and Recovery.

I wish I had checked for this title before!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Thoughts On Sex Addiction

A lot of people either won't talk about Sex Addiction or they don't believe it is a problem like other addictions.

Many people imagine that 'sex addicts' are just those who are pedophiles or people who have very strange sexual fantasies and preferences. Some sexual fantasies aren't mixed up with addiction at all - they're just not for everyone.

Perhaps the problem lies partially in the topic of SEX, itself!

North Americans, in particular have a very set view of what types of SEX are normal.

For most people, 'normal sex' doesn't include:

* sex before marriage
* sex until a person reaches the age of majority (from 18-21 years old)
* female to female sex
* male to male sex
* role-playing sexual games
* loud verbalizing during sex
* discussions with partners about what we like during sexual encounters

The list goes on...

We don't talk enough about sex in healthy ways in many countries, cultures, and societies.

This helps people with sexual addiction to misunderstand the difference between 'kinky' or 'preferences' and 'sex addiction.' Sex addiction is a progressive illness that just keeps getting worse and worse for the addict as time goes on. A sex addict MAY NEVER hurt a child or even think of children and sex together in the same fantasies. Though pedophiles are likely also sex addicts, not every sex addict is a pedophile.

Many sex addicts have never engaged in intercourse before the age of majority, though on the other side of the scale, many were sexually abused as children.

Sex addicts have all kinds of situations, childhood experiences, and factors involved in their addiction - just like alcoholics, cocaine addicts, shopping addicts, heroin addicts, meth addicts, gambling addicts, and any other type of addicts.

Here is another article about Sex Addiction:

A Progressive Illness - Sex Addiction. Cut Out The Porn
(will open in new window)

Sex Addicts can have a successful recovery from their addiction, too. If we start talking about sex and sex addiction, then sex addicts can start to have the same chance of recovery that other addicts have.

Though there are a whole lot of centres for other addictions, there are few that specialize in making sure that sex addiction is treated as a real addiction. Even gamblers seem to be gaining more help these days than those labelled with a sex addiction.

Sex addicts are people with addiction problems that make their lives just as unmanageable as alcohol does to the alcoholic, crack to the cocaine addict.

Please read the article - and don't forget to rate it, as well.


A Progressive Illness - Sex Addiction. Cut Out The Porn
(will open in new window)

Please hit the thumbs up or thumbs down at hubpages once you've read the article.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Contact Me At Yuwie



If you need to get in touch with me, the best place to track me down is at the Yuwie Social Site.

Just log in and search for 'teeray' - send me a message and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

This is the best way to reach me until my Website is completed. I'm still ironing out a few kinks in my website, but once it is up and running smoothly, you'll have a permanent contact spot where you can reach me.

The future home of my site is www.teeray.com

So far, I've just got a mainpage up with a few programs I'm working with, so it's not very exciting yet and my Addiction and Recovery information isn't set up yet. Things should be up and running by September 15 2007, so the wait won't be long!




Cigarrest to Stop Smoking in 7 Days!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

If You Want To Fail In Your Sobriety


In the early stages of sobriety, several people (including an addictions counsellor) told me to think of sobriety in this way:

"Just think - you only have ONE THING TO CHANGE about your life and self.....

That one thing is:

EVERYTHING."

Obviously, this seemed an insurmountable task - to change EVERYTHING about myself and in my life. But thinking about this phrase actually helped me in untold ways, and I am still sober and clean. Life is not perfect and I am not perfect, but I only have to deal with life on life's terms today. I no longer have to deal with life on life's terms - PLUS - navigating back and forth between the world of drugs and alcohol - and reality. When I wake up every day, I am IN reality and don't have to wonder what the heck is going on. This in itself is the one advantage that cannot be induced or enhanced by any drink or drug on or off the market.

If you don't believe in my words, however, and believe that you need to make sobriety more complicated than "just change Everything," and particularly if you 'Don't Get It,' then maybe you're not quite ready to live a sober life.

There are an infinite number of ways to relapse - but few (and simple) ways to stay sober.

I've just offered a simple concept, however, some people may need to hear the reverse in order to realize the value of sobriety. Some people aren't ready to be sober yet. Some people will need that one last awful drunken (or high) experience and all the hell that will accompany the high, in order to WANT TO GET sober.

Here's a fast track to that experience - just so that you can get it overwith and come back to the real world sooner (all the best to you - luck and all - in case you don't make it back out)

Here are some things that will help you FAIL in your sobriety:

* Hang out with your old friends
* Argue with your family and make sure that you let them know that YOU ARE RIGHT!
* Make life ALL ABOUT YOU - ALL THE TIME
* Keep that extra bottle in the freezer - just in case
* Avoid all 12-step or other recovery meetings
* Sober up ALL ALONE
* THINK EVERYTHING THROUGH - all the time - I mean - every minute detail, before ever taking action
* Use your brain to dissect all the problems in the world
* Focus on what's wrong with the world - instead of what is wrong with YOU
* INSIST on having things YOUR WAY
* Bend that elbow, first thing upon waking - don't think - just DO IT

These are just some little SURE-FIRE TIPS on finding the pathway to relapse.

I hope these have been helpful - and I hope you avoid the above pathway.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Virtual Relapse



Well, if there is such a thing as 'Virtual Relapse,' then I am over it and back on track now. I actually DID READ some of those articles about Scotch, Scotch Whiskey, etc.

YUK!

I was reading these and remembering how AWFUL that stuff tastes and worse - how AWFUL it smells! I couldn't believe the way that the liquor was being described in the articles.

Unfortunately, some people are LOOKING for those articles and those liquors. I had to remind myself that some people don't get carried away when they drink. I still don't understand why they don't, on more than an academic level.

There was a 'liquor' tasting guide in the package and I was reading that, simply amazed that there are people whose JOBS require them to 'taste' liquor and then SPIT IT OUT!

Man - that would never happen if I ever got hold of REAL liquor.

I thought, at first, that the articles were having a 'trigger' effect on me, but when I got to the article that explained 'liquor tasting' events and parties, I actually learned about contrasts.

The contrasts:

* My still-twisted perception about liquor versus 'just tasting' liquors.

Unfortunately, I will never fall into the second group and will never attempt to follow what was written in the articles, however, it was interesting to read from the point of view of someone NOT affected with addiction.

I applied what I read to a 'cooking' and 'tasting' contest - like a 'bake-off' and found that those really are the kinds of words in the articles, the kinds of points of view that the writer must have been coming from.

Once I could do that, things took on a newer and better meaning.

I think that I am less angry about people WHO CAN drink safely now. I have had a bit of apprehension before about being around people who can have 1 or 2 drinks and then stop.

I realize that partly, this was an anger toward them - about people being able to ingest substances, while I can never touch them again. Hopefully, this anger is gone now. I hope so because it was a confusing feeling to be around friends who might accept a beer with a supper meal while we were dining at a restaurant or something.

Probably, I won't ever feel really comfortable around anyone who drinks, even if they are just having a single beer or hi-ball, but I understand now that THEY CAN.

THEY CAN because they are MINUS the quirk and sickness that makes alcoholics - Alcoholics!

I have asked non-addict friends before - to tell me about why they can drink and I can't - why their experience is different than mine. Up until now, I think that my friends, because they know I cannot drink, they have given only part-truthful answers while being afraid to answer completely openly. Now they don't have to because I know.

I read about it.

That's enough for me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

I Just Bought A PACK of Scotch??



I bought Scotch inadvertently and without getting drunk - Haha!

Don't worry - it's NOT what you're thinking!

What is a 'Pack' of Scotch, you ask?

That's what I was asking, too, but I really did purchase a pack of Scotch about 2 days ago. I never got around to opening the Scotch until about an hour ago and I am really finding this funny.

I purchased an info-pack of articles and lessons online the other day. Inside the digi-file that I downloaded was a 'Bonus' pack and one file-set was named the 'Scotch' pack.

Yep - it definitely is a bunch of articles about alcohol, but I don't have a clue what to do with these. The lessons and article bundle I purchased was a 'Meditation and Yoga' package, so I'm not sure why the info-product creator decided that 'Scotch' was a good thing to toss in as a bonus, but I have officially opened a 'Pack of Scotch' without getting drunk in the least!

:)

Would someone technically call this a virtual relapse, or what?

lol




Cigarrest to Stop Smoking in 7 Days!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Some Drug Addiction Statistics



Drug Addiction Statistics

Some people don’t like learning about certain statistics, however, numbers are very important when considering the topic of addiction. Statistics can help us identify problem areas involving addictions, particular drugs in question, and numbers can help us better understand what exactly is going on with drug addiction in a particular location.

For instance, according to a 2005 American survey, marijuana was the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States. This was only two years ago, but marijuana has not always been the most commonly used drug. In the 1980's a primary drug of choice was alcohol - with a high number pointing to cocaine, as well. By 2005, marijuana was, by far, the more 'chosen' drug, and from comparing statistics, experts can try to figure out why. Over seventy-six percent of the population reported using marijuana in that 2005 survey year.

An estimated 15.9 million Americans aged twelve or older reported using illicit (illegal) drugs in the month prior to the 2005 survey. That statistic represents 7.1 percent of the population who are aged 12 or older. In 2004, the same figure was about 8 percent LOWER, so there was a significant increase in illicit drug use from 2004 to 2005.

Drug addiction stats are, no doubt, scary as well. In 2003, there were nearly 20,000 deaths directly attributed to drug use both legal and illegal. Of those deaths, about 3 percent were to people 21 years of age and under.

In the year 2001 alone, use of CLUB DRUG, "Ecstasy," increased by 58 percent from the previous year. This statistic was calculated by the amount of people who were admitted to a hospital emergency room with Ecstasy overdoses. Many more people, of course, never did make it to the emergency rooms, so we should really start paying MORE ATTENTION to these figures that are available.

A ton of statistics cannot even be gathered because only a certain amount of the population is prepared to answer questions. Only a certain part of the population are capable and available to answer questions. These stats should probably be higher, in recognition of all the addicts who are not 'polled,' not in treatment, not going to the hospital, etc...

But - back to stats that we do have:

Statistics on rehabilitation center admissions also paint a sad picture regarding drug addiction. In 2006, over 175,000 people checked themselves in to rehab facilities. It is estimated that about 5 percent of those people returned to drug use once they left the drug rehab centers.

Methamphetamine use is a particularly deadly drug that is on the rise as well. In 2006, a whopping 15 percent of the population reported using meth as their primary illicit drug. This can be explained by the fact that "METH" is easy to make with common, inexpensive, household items and it produces a significant high for the user that cannot be obtained by using any other drug.

Perhaps the scariest statistics on drug addiction are the ones that involve our youth. A HUGE number of youth report having been introduced to one type of drug or another on a regular basis by the age of 13. Nearly 50 percent of those children will try drugs by that age, and 20 percent of these will become addicted to various substances before graduating from high school.

It's a big, bad world out there – for adults and children alike. Although we may want to and it is easier to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to drug abuse and addiction issues, it is better and more important to pay attention to the stats and numbers. When presented with statistics on drug addiction, there’s really no way we can ignore the fact that there’s a problem in North America – a very serious drug problem!







Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction: A Guide to Coping and Understanding

Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction: A Guide to Coping and Understanding


Overcoming Prescription Drug Addiction: A Guide to Coping and Understanding














Thursday, August 2, 2007

Overcoming Addiction and Alcoholism



Addiction and Alcoholism are two terms for the same affliction. Alcohol is simply a 'drug of choice.'

Things you'll need to think about in order to overcome addiction:

* Understand what addiction is

* Understand that there are 'stages' in both addiction and in recovery

* Addiction Treatment - understand that some personal cases require specific treatment, not according to the addiction but according to the individual and the stage of addiction that the individual is in

* Detox. There are stages of detox and there are also centres that deal in detoxifying people from addictive substances

* There is a difference between gaining benefit from treatment programs versus 'doing time' in treatment programs

* Personal goal-setting is part of getting healthy again. So-called 'normal' and healthy people use goal-setting all the time

* Balance is important

* Overcoming DENIAL is key in overcoming addictions

* Physical fitness and mental fitness go hand in hand to help create spiritual and emotional wellness in a person whose life does not need to center around the use of drugs

* Personal Power is important and learning ways to empower yourself during recovery can help you feel like some of your life is manageable again.


If you don't understand some of these terms, start searching for some information. Try searches on 'personal power,' 'empowerment,' 'denial,' 'detoxification,' and don't be afraid to learn more about how alcohol and drugs affect individuals, families, communities, either.

When people start becoming more aware of how serious addiction is - even in a general community - then people can start to learn how to combat the problem of addiction in case it surfaces close to home.

Even if you don't personally have an addiction issue or someone in your family who is an addict, you can be greatly affected by addictions in your community. Someone you work with, for instance, might have a problem. Your boss, one of your child's teachers, etc. If you are more aware about what addictions are, how the stages of addiction, stages of recovery and stages of detox work, you might be able to better understand an addict in your midst.

If necessary, maybe you can lead an addict to some information that will help to enable that person to overcome an addiction. It might not be a huge, time-defeating effort to help someone, but it will be a HUGE favor if you're just aware of these issues and can simply direct an addict to some help.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

What Causes Drug Addiction?



Causes of Drug Addiction

Why do some people still choose to use drugs when drugs are so obviously bad for you? The causes of drug addiction are as varied as the number of drugs available for use – both legally and illegally. There is no one cause for drug addiction just like there is no consistent profile of a drug user.

People who have a history of drug use or abuse in their families are at risk for drug addiction problems. It has been proven that children of alcoholics will exhibit addictive behaviors and tendencies. Children of drug users or alcoholics generally exhibit low self-esteem and see their parents escaping from problems using drugs. From seeing this, their minds say that this is the way to act and they themselves become users. Often, in not seeing parents use healthier coping skills in dealing with life's problems, children of alcoholics and drug users don't realize that there are, in fact, other better ways to cope.

There is also a biological basis involved with drug addiction. Drugs alter the brain’s chemicals and change the way the brain functions. Drug addiction creates dependence in the brain by changing the brain’s reward functions – the parts of the brain and the ways that the brain reinforces certain behaviors.

Prescription drug addiction is caused by the person’s inability to function without the drug in their system. People become addicted to prescription drugs because they usually are taking them to overcome some type of pain. They begin to feel that if they are not taking their pills, the pain will return.

Some people are more prone to addiction than others. People who have low self-esteem, are often depressed, and who feel they have no control over their lives will often turn to drugs as a way to cope. They often feel they can’t please the people around them so they have to change themselves in order to fit in. The change is made easier by using drugs because the drugs make them feel like they are able to transform via drugs - into someone and something that they are not.

Stress is often attributed as a cause of drug addiction. Life can be very stressful no matter who you are. Some of us are better able to cope with stress than others. Others still just look for an easy way to forget their stress – and that easy way is through drugs. Once the drug use starts, it’s often difficult to get away from it because the stresses will still be there once the high is gone, so the user feels he or she needs more drugs to cope. That type of cycle leads to addiction.

Finally, drugs are just plainly and easily accessible. They are available in many places if you just ask around for them. Because of this easy access, it’s more likely that a person will begin using eventually becoming addicted.

The causes of drug addiction are wide and varied. The key to stopping drug addiction is to get rid of causes before they become a problem. Learn healthy coping skills before adopting unhealthy, addictive methods of coping with life's problems.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Prescription Drug Addiction - Don't Be Fooled



Addiction To Prescription Drugs

The Number of people addicted to prescription drugs is an ever-growing problem in North America. People originally receive prescription drugs to combat pain in most instances. Once they become accustomed to taking a pill to relieve various pains, they often and quite easily become addicted before they even realize what’s happening.

Doctors write prescriptions for drugs to help the patient feel better and to cope better with debilitating symptoms or results of either an accident or a disease. Because a doctor prescribes this medication, patients often think that taking it is safe. But when they start relying on the drug to get through a day or cope with life, that’s when the prescription drug becomes an addiction.

It is estimated that over 20 million Americans have an addiction to prescription drugs. And we’re not just talking about everyday people. Prescription Drug Addiction can affect absolutely anyone. Celebrities, CEO’s, and millionaires alike can become addicted to prescription drugs. Well-educated people, as well as people who only reached to grade 10 in their scholastic pursuits. Prescription Drugs are no less dangerous than drugs we deem to be dangerous street drugs. Actually, they could be MORE of a threat because these kinds of drugs by prescription tend to come into our homes in an 'authorized' way by our doctors, so we determine that they're 'safe.' It’s the newest problem to afflict famous people and regular, everyday people as well.

If you think you might be struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs, it’s important to first talk to your doctor. Do this right away. Your doctor is there to help. He (or she) was the one who prescribed them in the first place, and if you find yourself needing more and more of the drug, you need to cut off your source to begin your recovery process. In particular, the doctor who prescribed the drugs is often the best person to talk to because he or she will have monitored previous access that he or she gave you to the drug. Your doctor will have the most recorded information about your history with the drug in question.

When a loved one is suffering from prescription drug addiction, it will likely be very difficult to watch them travel down this road. Chances are high that the reason they received the prescription in the first place involved some sort of trauma. You may be more apt to deny their addiction long before your loved one will deny it. This is a huge mistake. If a loved one approaches you expressing concern over this matter, the best thing to do is LISTEN to that person - and treat the situation as valid. Honour what the person says and take them seriously.

If you are especially close to someone who is taking Vicodin or Oxycontin for pain, keep an eye on how many pills they are taking. These are two drugs with a very high record of misuse and abuse. They are very common prescriptions, but they also have a high risk for becoming addictive to people who aren't careful about using these drugs when these are prescribed. You can monitor their usage and take note when you feel they are taking more pills than are necessary.

Many people with a prescription drug addiction are afraid to stop taking their drugs. They are afraid that if they don’t have the drug in their system, the pain will come back. When this addiction has taken hold, the truth is that the pain WILL come back, but in the form of withdrawal symptoms. People who have become addicted to their prescriptions don’t need the drug for the original reason anymore - they need it because their body has become used to having the drug in their system.

Prescription drug addiction is nothing to mess around with. It can grab a person and take hold quicker than a blink of an eye and never let go. It is essential for you or your loved one to seek help as soon as possible before addiction becomes a regular way of life. Recovery from prescription drug addiction is possible, but it starts with recognizing and admitting a problem.

Don't let time slip by if you suspect a problem with prescription drugs - get help right away.







A New Prescription for Addiction: The Gracer Comprehensive Method for Treating Addiction to Alcohol, Cocaine, Meth, Prescription Drugs

A New Prescription for Addiction: The Gracer Comprehensive Method for Treating Addiction to Alcohol, Cocaine, Meth, Prescription Drugs


For the first time, a doctor has developed a treatment program especially for hidden addictspeople whose lives look just fine on the surface, but who are secretly driven by stress into addictive, destructive behaviors. Until now, many of these people have been alone in their struggle, their addictions undetected by friends, colleagues, even sometimes family. Now this breakthrough program treats both hidden substance abuse problems and their underlying causes, without unnecessarily stigmatizing these otherwise highly-functioning people. Richard Gracer, MD, is the founder and director of Gracer Medical Group, which has been holistically treating patients with complex health issues since 1979. In 2005, he launched Gracer Behavioral Health Services specifically to treat addiction, alcoholism, and other stress-related mental health issues. He has pioneered a revolutionary 5-step treatment protocol that addresses substance abuse cravings and their underlying causes through intensive short-term treatment across several disciplines. It uses several new drugssome very recently approved by the FDAthat promise to revolutionize the treatment of addictions, as well as a comprehensive support system to address the many challenges addicts face.














Friday, July 20, 2007

Is There Any Hope For Homer Simpson?



Do you think Homer Simpson is a Chronic Alcoholic?

I do.

I worry about Homer Simpson a lot! Even when I don't get to watch The Simpsons Show very often, I'm pretty sure that Homer has got a can of Duff Beer in his hand and is drinking, burping and acting like quinessential Homer.

Truly, I had to stop watching the show for a while during my early recovery because Homer Simpson really does have Duff Beer around the house, Duff Beer merchandise around his place all the time. Duff Beer ballcaps, Duff Beer T-Shirts, you name it, Homer Simpson has worn it or played with it on The Simpsons Show.

I saw the episode where Homer and Barney attend a 12-Step meeting and I thought the show was pretty funny. I liked it, but I saw it at a time when I was beyond the discomforts of early recovery. I might have had a different reaction if I'd have seen the episode when I was only a few weeks clean and sober.

Did you see the episode?
Did you think it was funny or disturbing?




Hypnosis Vol. 19 Beating Marijuana Addiction CD (Rick Collingwood)

Fun Stuff



THE SIMPSONS MOVIE - Contest runs until July 27 2007!

Here's the Contest Form For The Simpsons Movie Contest
(don't worry - the link opens in a new window)

Okay - this is not related to addiction or recovery but I wanted to post it on my blog anyway because I Like The Simpsons - and a lot of people do, too. Plus, it's my blog and I can put what I want on it.

There's a The Simpson's Movie CONTEST going on right now - a combined effort between Fox and My Opera (Yes, the Opera browser community).

If you like and watch The Simpsons a lot and think you'd like to win some official The Simpsons Movie merchandise, then check out the contest, answer some questions about The Simpsons, and hopefully, you'll win some merchandise!

Here's the Contest Form For The Simpsons Movie Contest
(don't worry - the link opens in a new window)

The Contest started 1 week ago (on the 13th) and it runs until the movie premiers on July 27th, so the contest hasn't been going on that long. You should have a good chance to win - there's 1 more week of entries to collect.

The winner will be by Random Drawing - so the contest is really fair - as long as you know some information about The Simpsons and you get your contest entry form in right away!

Again, I know this has nothing to do with addict issues or recovery information, but heck - everyone needs to have some fun, too, right? And hopefully, someone will win this contest now that they know about it.

Here's the Contest Form For The Simpsons Movie Contest
(don't worry - the link opens in a new window)

Good Luck! I hope you win some official The Simpsons Movie merchandise! I have my fingers crossed - well, I will after I get this posted. I'm typing right now.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Last Night Of The Calgary Stampede



Tonight is THE BIG NIGHT at The Calgary Stampede!! All the events will be finished up in the early evening, winners and losers will be determined and then

Calgary will GO CRAZY with partying!!

A friend of mine who works as a volunteer at a phone-in crisis centre in the city recently told me that she's expecting to put in very regular time at the centre this following week. A lot of people will have really 'overdone it' drinking over these past 10 days and will be needing some help sobering up.

It's really a shame. A real, true shame.

It's a shame that an event such as The Calgary Stampede is such a risky one for such a large group of people who are known as 'alcoholics' and 'addicts.' A HUGE AMOUNT of sponsorship, marketing, and advertising for The Calgary Stampede is wrapped up in Alcohol Production and Distribution companies and organizations. Alcohol name brands are splashed extra heavily around the city right at this time, for an extended time period. I heard a comment recently, related to Advertising-Stampede-Alcoholics that really ticked me off. Here's the comment:

"Just because some people are alcoholics, and they don't know how to drink safely, it doesn't mean that the extra ads during Stampede time should be a concern at all. Most people don't have problems. The few who do should 'suck it up' over Stampede time and stay home. Stay away from those of us who DO know how to party without phukking up our lives."

I'm only upset with this comment because the person making the statement seemed truly unaware that the 'few' who are alcoholics in our general population are really not just 'a few.' (Okay, I'm also upset that this statement came from someone who appears to me, to be having a HUGE problem putting the bottle down, but that's just my opinion.)

Addicts are from all walks of life, all income groups, and there are probably a few hundred-thousand people, at LEAST - who had a very hard time this year with the mass partying attitude that accompanies the Calgary Stampede. These same will have a hard time next year staying away from substances which shouldn't be taken lightly. Saying 'suck it up' doesn't help.

Being 'flippant' about alcoholism doesn't help, either.

I'm glad I was and felt safe this year for a 10-day occasion that for some, is literally a 10-day 'bender' or 'drunk-fest.'

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Micky Has Commented About 12 Step Programs



You can read Micky's post on his own blog, I have provided the link...(psst it's in the title)

I thought I should deal with this comment directly as a full blog post because it's a really excellent comment...

Here's the comment (I'm putting it here 'cos half the time people don't notice the comments section)

Here's what Micky said:

""A recent copy of Reader's Digest has a couple of articles on Alcoholics Anonymous. The crux of the articles is that the famous 12 Steps, don't work at all. Apparently, there's no data to support the claim that Alcoholics Anonymous is successful at getting people to stop drinking. From my own experience, the 12 Steps, shut down the critical thinking section of ones brain. What do you think? Comments are welcome!!
PEACE BE WITH YOU
MICKY""

What I think about this is:

I agree

and

I disagree, too

Rather - I believe that 'The Program,' when used with some common sense, is very VERY beneficial for those who choose to follow the 12 Step Principles.

I think that Micky is right, in a way, about 12-Step programs having the ability to "shut down critical the thinking section of ones brain." I have observed this in certain fellow-members, myself - there is NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!!! (I have been guilty of this, on occassion, during my early recovery-time, too - it was EASIER to just think in terms of 'slogans' during a time when I was learning to see the life through eyes that hadn't been clouded with drugs or alcohol for many years).

Don't take my words to mean that I am in total agreement with the comment, however, because I am not.

In a paragraph or so, what is considered to be a fairly reasonable set of principles for guiding ones actions in life - has been conveniently labelled and set into a certain narrow frame - that of '12-Step Programs Do This To People.'

Yes - 12-Step Programs can become very 'repetitive' and SOME PEOPLE can learn to rely very heavily on the kind of text (literature) that 12-Step Programs offer people. This can decrease their chances of 'thinking for themselves.' The way that 'The Program' is put forth, in general, it allows many people to become 'dependent' on 12-Step slogans, limitations, fellowship, etc., and, in fact, LEARN NOT TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES.

This, however, is not an indication of a problem with 'The Program.'

I believe that situations whereby people stop thinking for themselves and stop thinking 'critically,' are much more complex than just saying 'That's because of 12-Step in that person's life.'

Many, many more people are, with the utilization of 12-Step Programs, learning to think MORE CRITICALLY in many areas of their lives, because beyond a simplistic level, this is what 12-Step programs are really about...the clear messages in the 12-Step literature that I have read and learned are about HUMILITY (Not embarrassment), and learning to honour myself and my body in ways that I never knew how to do before when I used to drink and drug. Mainly, this means - "NO DRINKING OR DRUGGING," and if I happen to be having a day where my 'will' to remain sober and clean happens to be minimal and at a dangerously low level, I turn back to checking out the 12 Step Principles.

I am able to take a critical look about my actions, behaviors, attitudes and thoughts and not just run to a 12-Step meeting, recite slogans and such. I'm not the best 'spokesperson' of the program, according to many 'die-hard' followers, because I REFUSE TO NAG others about going to meetings, reading thier books, etc. The way that each person internalizes 12 Step literature and principles is very INDIVIDUAL, and I have no right to press on someone who doesn't want to look more critically and intensely at 12-Step principles and utilize their value.

I truly believe that if I rely on 12-Step so much that, on a steady basis, I HAVE TO BE AT A MEETING 'X' amount of times per week OR else relapse - then I am only acting upon 'The Program's' WORST ASPECTS...the very ones mentioned by Micky -

Thanks for the great comment post, Micky - it never hurts to QUESTION what our beliefs are, how we use the things we know, how we react to things in life.

After all - it's our BELIEFS that are important, right? They form our set of standards for ourselves, help us decide what our 'ethical make-up' will be. If our beliefs revolve around 12-Step principles, and we use these principles well, there should be little problem in the way that we live life.

If we use ANY principles wrongly, then we are lost, right?

Wouldn't this include - the principles of being a good psychologist or doctor or anything? A lawyer or even a general labourer can also stop using their critical thinking process. A lawyer may refuse to 'practice' business in new ways as modern world and business practices change. A doctor may refuse to believe in or may simply be unaware of a new medical breakthrough that occurs in our modern day, yet he/she is still following a set of 'sound principles' that has worked for years. The lawyer or the doctor may have stopped using their critical thinking skills to question their present principles...it happens in all kinds of situations, not just with recovering alcoholics - and not just with 12-Step programs.

Again, Micky, thank you for the comment - which has made me think very hard about how I would 'sum up' a definition of '12-Step Program.'

Ultimately, I cannot 'sum-it-up' nicely, but your comment made me realize how often we do attempt to sum up whole sets of principles all down to a few sentences - and then we also make judgments on those statements that result.

I hope to hear from you again!

teeray~~

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Stampede Week Safety Planning



Okay, so TOMORROW the Calgary Stampede will KICK OFF.....yeeeeee haaawe!

It starts Friday - but - the grounds and midway will open for "Sneak A Peek" tomorrow and every Calgarian knows what this means...

UTTER CRAZINESS IN CALGARY - for about two full weeks. Yeah I know the Stampede only lasts 10 days...but people started partyin' several days ago - and they'll continue until a couple of days past when the Stampede events end.

I happen to live VERY CLOSE to the Stampede Grounds...I can walk there from my 'abode.' That also puts me only a few blocks from "THE RED MILE" - 17th Avenue at the Southwest-Central area of 17th...and this is an area of Calgary that is basically nothin' but bars, clubs, lounges - okay, there are some restaurants and other shops, too - but these are conveniently stuffed between all the bars.

Anyhow - I've called a few friends already to let them know I am 'safety planning' around the Stampede celebrations and my will to stay a RECOVERING ADDICT. There's no sense in me relapsing now, at this point, when I have come so far in my recovery. I am very thankful that 2 of my friends have offered an extra bed and a couch to me in the case that I get feeling 'not so tough' with my recovery - and start thinkin' that it would be 'fun' to join the partying mobs along 17th Avenue this year.

To boot - I really REALLY MISS some of my family - who are involved in some of the Stampede events as Contestants (*hint* GO WATCH THE CHUCKS! Root for RICK Fraser!), so I am 'safety planning' around that too - around a trip down to the grounds area where the contestants 'live' for 10+ days. I am pretty sure some of my family are camped out already RIGHT THIS MOMENT - and have probably been up for an hour already, feeding livestock...

How freaky is this post, anyway? How relevant to 'safety-planning'? - check the time on it! haha - it's around 6:30am and I have been so excited about the Stampede this year that I have been up for HOURS already - I couldn't sleep anymore...so I thought it was a good time to post on the blog...so - it's a good thing that one of my first items on my list of 'things to do once normal people are up for all day' is - PHONE 2 MORE FRIENDS about my 'safety planning' around Stampede week.

I hope that others who are in Recovery in the Calgary area will do the same thing. Maybe just tell a few recovery buddies that you might get to feeling not quite as 'strong' about stayin' sober - with all the partyin' going on around town. Ask if you can catch a coffee with your friends INSTEAD OF partyin' somewhere with alcohol. Ask if you can just phone for 'support' if you get feeling rough...

That's all I've done - but I can tell you that having 2 people already who said "YEAH - I SUPPORT YA - YEE HAWE" this Stampede season makes me feel a WHOLE LOT BETTER already than I felt last year when I DID NOT make a safety plan. As well, last year, the only part of a safety plan I had was to NOT GO TO STAMPEDE events, not go over to the grounds to see my family, or anything. I have stayed away from EVERYTHING STAMPEDE for 4 full years now...

THIS YEAR I am extra excited - 'cos I am goin' DOWN THE STREET for a visit! YEE HAW! Unfortunately, the last time I saw family members who participate in Stampede events - was 2 years ago at my Mother's funeral...we all live quite far away...so it will be great to see people - PLUS - know that I have some good friends ready to talk or free up their couch or spare room for the night...if I get feelin' creepy after I leave the grounds.

By The Way - if you don't have tickets yet for events - or if you haven't even looked at the incredible Rodeo line-ups of events or for the line up of Entertainment at the Stampede site or around the city, I'll leave you with a link so you can have a look:

The Calgary Stampede 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007

Now That Some Time Has Passed

I just did a quick Google Search on 'David Hasslehoff' paired with the word 'Drunk.'

There were 668, 000 results that turned up, and the first two links are both YOU TUBE links straight to the video of Mr. Hasslehoff in his drunken state. The videos are from two different users who are members of You Tube, but there are (of course) links from thousands of other sites, too. Sites such as: 'ifilm' dot com and 'liveleak' dot com and a site called 'nationalledger' dot com. Right under the National Ledger site is a link from the 'snarkygossip' site.

The man RELAPSED for gosh-sake...

What is worse...I have followed some threads in forums that stemmed from this incident and resulting video. It's not so much the fact that this man, regardless of his celebrity status, has to overcome the bad press, but that the topic of David Hasslehoff's intoxication incident is still drawing such comments as...

"he should discipline himself and that kind of stuff won't happen"
and
"he can get away with it because he's a celebrity"
and
"he is disgusting, gaining publicity through an awful stunt like that - that's what it was - a publicity stunt"

Somehow, even with all the information at a general public's ready convenience and consumption, a great number of people still do not know a darned thing about substance abuse.

There are arguments back and forth all the time about:

"It's a habit" versus "it's a disease"
and "it's not just a habit" versus "it's not really a disease" and so forth...

WHO CARES?

All the efforts in the WORLD to define the habit/disease of substance abuse is not getting people to the point of SOBRIETY...

BOTH ARGUMENTS have their drawbacks!

If alcoholism/addiction IS a disease - then there are many who will take advantage of this concept to say, "I can't help myself - it's a DISEASE!"

If alcoholism/addiction is merely a habit - it is not enough to just "knock it off and get on with life."

Many of those who are outspoken about the issue and who are on the 'criticizing' side of alcoholism/addiction no matter which explanation is used - are misunderstanding the depth of the problem - as well as assigning BLAME on the individual...in both cases of the 'habit' versus 'disease' argument.

It's more complex than that...

While ultimately, an addict is responsible for picking up drugs, picking up the bottle and it is a choice of sorts, there are dozens of other contributing factors that should not be overlooked - one of the TOP factors, in the case of celebrities, is PUBLIC PRESSURE and lack of privacy! (not to meantion 'means' - celebrities often have the money to buy drugs and alcohol freely, in generous amounts).

I don't think that either argument is sufficient to explain a myriad of serious problems that come along with addictions. Certainly, showing videotapes of drunken actors/celebrities isn't going to further any kind of argument - but will instead - raise questions about

RIGHTS OF PRIVACY!

Some parts of addiction are, indeed, 'habit-based' - but some aspects of addiction fall into less tangible areas where the addict's chemical balance of the body are mainly out of the addict's control - UNLESS the addict simply ABSTAINS from drugs and alcohol.

I wish less time were spent with people making statements about "It's a habit" or "It's a disease!"

In both cases - or despite both arguments, one thing is certain...

Addiction/Alcoholism doesn't have to be fatal.

People who believe in the 'disease' concept and act accordingly do quite as well as those who change their habits...in both cases, addicts who successfully recover and stay in recovery will change their habits to more positive, regular habits and changed lifestyles. People who have other illnesses often make changes to their lifestyles and greatly improve their health, as well. Few people will freak out and argue against someone with Huntingon's or Multiple Sclerosis that they should just 'change their habits...' or 'they wouldn't have Huntington's if they would just behave and gain some self-discipline.'


Anyhow - I thought the 'David Hasselhoff Drunk' incident would taper off - it's been 'OLD NEWS' for over a month now...but some further checking showed me that AVID BLOGGERS are just starting to EXPLOIT THIS VIDEO of Mr. Hasslehoff...I'm seeing brand new blogs go up - all dedicated to just 'David's Awful Problem and Behavior' (HELLO, PEOPLE...he's recovered himself - put out a statement HIMSELF that he had a 'slip' but is now in better shape, and clean.), other celebrity 'incident' sites, detailing ALL NASTY, GOSSIPY information...dates, June 1 2007 and - many of the 668, 000 sites that I just searched for are blog posts and site posts made just within the last week.

Do a quick search, yourself, if you don't believe me...and check the dates...these 'incidents' are being grossly exploited now, starting TODAY...and more will go up tomorrow, too...

How much 'news' is enough for you where celebrities are concerned?

Do you need to know what they had for supper and whether they had an alcoholic beverage with their supper?

With the other 'celebrity' addict problems - Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton...I've noticed that many 'blog marketing' individuals have picked up the 'Celebrity Addict' topic as a NEW NICHE for MAKING MONEY with!

Making money by typing gossip on the internet. It's INFORMATION - It's a service, right? People read it, right? People want it?

(I don't anymore)

All in all, I wonder - if a time capsule is made TODAY and 'celebrity magazines' from today are thrown in...what will people think of North American (possibly 'Global') society 100 or 200 years from now when they open up the time capsule from TODAY and see all the 'blurbs' about Celebrity Drunks and Addicts?

I do have an account at YOU TUBE - and I did go there and watch the video - many weeks ago when it was first posted. I refuse to put the video here on this blog, even though this blog template and setup conveniently lets me post videos straight from You Tube.

I have recently been having a very difficult time trying to sort out my own 'ethical' issues over the past 6 months or so - with regard to how much I do or do not know about celebrities and their personal problems...

Should I buy magazines with this personal exploitation of celebrities inside? (I don't anymore - I haven't for about 4 years)

Should I watch the News when stories about the Drunk Celebrities come on?

For the past few months, I have REFUSED to purchase even local NEWSPAPERS unless I have a PURPOSE in mind - like needing to view the 'classified' section. I DO NOT BUY them for 'entertainment' at all - and have not for over a year.

It's not just the Internet that is bad. My own local Calgary news channels on television are really awful right now.

I cut my TV service off almost 3 months ago, so I have just a few channels, mostly local, to watch. I like certain celebrities and want to hear about them, but if what I see is a news broadcaster talking - with a picture of a selected celebrity in the background, I don't bother watching (this setup is usually a 'gossip' draw where the news person is spreading gossip and the pic is shown to visually draw viewers). If I see a celebrity I like and they are actually ON THE SHOW being interviewed or if a clip is being shown of them speaking (such as at a fund-raising event or something) then I will watch for a while because what I am viewing is the words of the celebrity his or herself.

I still find myself changing the stations ALL THE TIME when a clip about "Paris Hilton" or "Britney Spears" comes on - because it's not NEWS...it's a clip telling me what I DO NOT NEED TO KNOW about Paris or Britney...or David...Or Mel Gibson...Or

How many Celebrities can you think of in the past 6mo who have been treated this way by the media?

tr~~

Monday, June 25, 2007

What "Ted" Said

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
~ Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, June 15, 2007

Alcohol Screening

Here is a quiz I found.

I scored a 65% on this quiz. By answering all of the questions honestly, even though I have been clean and sober for over 3 years, I STILL SCORED A 65!!

Alcohol Abuse Screening Quiz


Here's my result:

Your score is 65%. According to the Office of Health Care Programs, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, developers of this screening quiz, if you answered as few as 3 of these questions with a Yes it is a definite sign that your drinking patterns are harmful and considered alcohol dependent or alcoholic. Since you answered more than half of these questions Yes you should definitely seek an evaluation by a healthcare professional as soon as possible.

This 65% score still surprises me! I answered 'NO' to a number of questions that asked if I drink a certain amount or number of drinks presently...and even with those questions as 'no,' I also had to answer some questions about what I think about alcohol. Those questions still put my score in a range where I should be evaluated for alcohol abuse.

WOW!

So it's a REALLY GOOD THING that I don't drink anymore. Even WITHOUT drinking, I cannot escape that I THINK about alcohol in unhealthy ways! I think that if I were to ever relapse - I might score a perfect 100% on this quiz!

THAT would be one perfect grade that might kill me.

:(

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Simplest Version

SIMPLE APPROACH TO THE 12 STEPS

Step 1: There's a power that will kill me.

Step 2: There's a Power that wants me to live.

Step 3: Which do I want? (If you want to die, stop here.

If you want to live, go on.)

Step 4: Using examples from your own life, understand that

selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear control

your actions.

Step 5: Tell all your private embarrassing secrets to

another person.

Step 6: Decide whether or not you want to live that way

any more.

Step 7: If you want your life to change, ask a Power

greater than yourself to change it for you. (If you could

have changed it yourself, you would have long ago.)

Step 8: Figure out how to make right all the things you did

wrong.

Step 9: Fix what you can without causing more trouble in

the process.

Step 10: Understand that making mistakes is part of being

human (When you make a mistake, fix it, immediately if

you can.)

Step 11: Ask for help to treat yourself and others the way

you want your Higher Power to treat you.

Step 12: Don't stop doing 1 through 11, and pass it on!

A.S.A.P.
Always Say A Prayer

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Just A Little Something

I just wanted to add something interesting to the blog. Something light that might appeal to all, so I'm posting this 'old' horoscope blurb that a friend sent me by email. I just thought it connected to the blog a bit because some of the signs are decribed as 'addictive.'

Judge for yourself...

Below are true descriptions of zodiac signs, with traits from a book written 35 years ago by astrologist predictions.

VIRGO - The One that Waits
Dominant in relationships. Someone loves them right now. Always wants the last word. Caring, smart, loud, loyal, easy to talk to, Everything you ever wanted, easy to please, the one and only.

SCORPIO - The Addict
EXTREMELY adorable, intelligent, loves to joke, very good sense of humor, energetic, predict future, GREAT kisser. Always get what they want. Attractive, easy going, loves being in long relationships, talkative, romantic, caring.

LIBRA - The Lame One
Nice to everyone they meet. Their Love is one of a kind. Silly, fun and sweet. Have own unique appeal. Most caring person you will ever meet, however not the kind of person you want to mess with you might end up crying.

ARIES - The Liar
Outgoing, lovable, spontaneous, not one to mess with. Funny, excellent kisser EXTREMELY adorable, loves relationships, addictive, loud.

AQUARIUS - Does It In The Water
Trustworthy, attractive, great kisser, one of a kind, loves being in long-term relationships, extremely energetic, unpredictable. Will exceed your expectations. Not a Fighter, but will Knock your lights out.

GEMINI - Irresistible
Nice. Love is one of a kind. Great listeners Very Good in the you know where... Lover not a fighter, but will still knock you out. Trustworthy. Always happy. Loud. Talkative. Outgoing VERY FORGIVING. Loves to make out. Has a beautiful smile. Generous. Strong. THE MOST IRRESISTIBLE.

LEO - The Lion
Great talker. Attractive and passionate. Laid back. Knows how to have fun. Is really good at almost anything. Great kisser. Unpredictable. Outgoing. Down to earth. Addictive. Attractive. Loud. Loves being in long relationships. Talkative. Not one to mess with. Rare to find. Good when found.

CANCER - The Cutie
MOST AMAZING KISSER. very high appeal, love is one of a kind. Very romantic, most caring person you will ever meet! Entirely creative. extremely random and proud of it. Freak. Spontaneous, great telling stories. Not a Fighter, but will knock your lights out if it comes down to it. Someone you should hold on to.

PISCES - The Partner for Life
Caring and kind, smart, center of attention, high appeal, has the last word. Good to find, hard to keep. Fun to be around, extremely weird but in a good way. Good Sense of Humor! Thoughtful. Always gets what he or she wants. Loves to joke, very popular, silly, fun and sweet.

CAPRICORN - The Passionate Lover
Love to bust, nice, sassy, intelligent, sexy, predict future, irresistible. Loves being in long relationships. Great talker. Always gets what he or she wants. Cool. Loves to own Gemini's in sports. Extremely fun, loves to joke. Smart.

TAURUS - The Tramp
Aggressive, loves being in long relationships, likes to give a good fight for what they want. Extremely outgoing, loves to help people in times of need, good kisser, good personality, stubborn, a caring person, one of a kind, not one to mess with. Are the most attractive people on earth!

SAGITTARIUS - The Promiscuous One
Spontaneous, high appeal, rare to find, great when found. Loves being in long relationships. So much love to give, not one to mess with, very pretty, very romantic, nice to everyone they meet, their Love is one of a kind, silly, fun and sweet. Have own unique appeal. Most caring person you will ever meet! Amazing in the you know where! Not the kind of person you want mess with- you might end up crying.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Everyone Familiar With This?

From Chapter 5 "How It Works:"

(are you familiar with this part?)

"Many of us exclaimed, "What an order! I can't go through with it." Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection."

(found on Page 60 of the book, "Alcoholics Anonymous")

Screw THAT, my friends

I WANT SPIRITUAL PERFECTION

Haha

Or at least I want to be the only one who knows that I haven't attained SPIRITUAL PERFECTION!

OR PLAIN PERFECTION!

I just have to say - I must still be a pretty sick recovering addict - 'cos today I had the impression that I needed to be perfect...I mean - not just excellent or faultless, but PERFECT.

I just received a rental increase letter today (grr) and I spent so much time trying to write the PERFECT rebuttal letter...

Then I realized - THERE ARE NO LAWS to keep my landlord from doing this - raising the rent - anyway!

So my PERFECT LETTER that I spent waaaaaaaay more time on than I needed to (quite a few li'l anger management breaks while I was writing heh)...has turned out to be the worst WASTE OF TIME EVER!

2 HOURS of it.

I could have studied Fairy Tales - or World Literature
(Hey shhhh-up, I heard you laughing about 'fairy tales' - it's a SERIOUS STUDY - it's a 3rd year University course)
:)~

Anyhow - I could have played with my cat (who is still sorely needing attention after that near-fire a couple of weeks ago...he's still jumpy and parks his furry self right at the window opening about 20 hours of the day!), had a nap, worked on World Literature homework, gone to see a friend, gone for a walk...(gone to a meeting shhhhhhh!)

And it wasn't the letter that had to be PERFECT!

IT WAS ME - in the letter!

Haha - I had to 'portray' myself as having been the perfect tenant, surely non-deserving of this rental increase and a buncha other stuff...and the fact is.

I still shouldn't have my rent raised

BUT

- I am not that perfect tenant I was writing about. Sheeeeeeesh - but that was what took up so much time! I didn't lie or anything - I just left out the couple of things that I should be held responsible for - like breaking my window screen and something from the past...I let a person stay here for 2 weeks without telling my landlord 'cos my friend was in a crises...technically the landlord could have charged extra money for that because technically an extra tenant was here for more than just overnight for one or two nights. I just didn't bother asking permission though I'm quite sure my landlord would have understood the situation at the time and would have refrained from charging me or my friend anything extra - since my friend and I knew the situation would be very temporary...

...neither of those things are seriously BAD things...but they do point to the fact that I am not perfect - and also - I have hidden 2 details from my landlord instead of reasonably discussion those things. I actually cranked in the letter about my screen being broken for several months...without explaining how it got that way (I locked myself out and had to come through the window - didn't even break the screen at that time...it was when I tried to put the screen BACK later that I broke it lol).

What the heck?

.....the details aren't really bad and I'm not a bad tenant or horrible person because of those things...but I had to try to come off as PERFECT in the letter - and try to write about my situation as if I have never done anything wrong - EVER.

So - I guess I am still pretty sick, all things considered. I KNOW, myself, that I'm not perfect - but I don't want anyone else to know that!

HAHA

What a dumb post, eh?

Things like this bother me - thot I would post it and maybe someone else who has had a similar experience can comment.

When I was browsing the Big Book - I got to the paragraph that I posted at the top of this blog entry.....and it kinda gnawed at me.

Yep - I STILL WANT PERFECTION RIGHT NOW...

Ah well - maybe tomorrow I'll be perfect.

Or

Maybe I will just act and think with more balance, eh?

This little incident is a reminder, for sure, that I can over-tip with certain behaviors once I allow my mind to get too set. Hmmm I think when I was in treatment, the counsellors used to call this 'obsessive thinking.'

So - oh great - it's not gone...obsession

Oh great - I'm still not perfect

*ptoeey*

Whatever

I am grateful that it was not obsessive thinking of another sort - where I thought constantly about alcohol, drugs, using.

And - I got rid of the letter

LOL

Sunday, May 27, 2007

For Workaholics

Working can be a way of avoiding issues, creating barriers between the people that we're in relationships with, a way of escaping other details of life, in general - in the same way that substances like drugs and alcohol can be used for avoidance, blocking relationships, erecting barriers, and denying life's other details, too.

Here, like with 'shop-a-holics,' we are focused on the 'behaviors' of people who might not be using substances like drugs or alcohol - but who exhibit similar behaviors, for similar reasons as drug addicts and alcoholics do.

A lot of people won't accept 'working too much' as an actual problem, however, the behaviors that people obsessed with work display and experience - often inhibit their enjoyment of life, their actual contribution to society in other important life-realms besides the work/job fields, and their abilities to connect with people and hone healthy relationships with people.

There are good reasons to incorporate a 12-Step approach where 'Workaholic' behaviors are present - even where the presence of mood-altering substances is not a factor - because 12-step information and practices can help the workaholic to start dealing with avoidance, escaping, barriers and relationships again.

Workaholics have the behavior of 'working compulsively'
Shoppers have the behavior of 'shopping, spending compulsively'
Addicts and alcoholics 'use compulsively'
Sex addicts compulsively engage in sexual activities or obsess in the mind, compulsively, about sexual-related things.

Just because some of these things don't include 'substance abuse' - this doesn't mean that they aren't troublesome and in need of correction in our lives.

"Behavior-holic" behaviors can cause the same kinds of damage that drug and alcohol abuse can in the lives of the individual as well as that individual's family, friends, co-workers, community extensions, etc.

Workaholism currently is not considered very seriously to be a problem and this is a dangerous assumption - for ANYTHING that interferes with a person's capacity to engage in healthy relationships and cope reasonably with life situations, should be taken seriously.

Of those who aren't struggling with whether 'workaholism' is, indeed, an issue to be taken seriously, 12-Step literature and principles are often a helpful 'tool.'

Here are some questions to ask yourself, if you're worried that your attitudes concerning work and job activities, your behaviors surrounding work and job-related details might be a problem in your life:

1 Do you get more excited about your work than about family or anything else?
2 Are there times when you can charge through your work and other times when you can't?
3 Do you take work with you to bed? On weekends? On vacation?
4 Is work the activity you like to do best and talk about most?
5 Do you work more than 40 hours a week?
6 Do you turn your hobbies into money-making ventures?
7 Do you take complete responsibility for the outcome of your work efforts?
8 Have your family or friends given up expecting you on time?
9 Do you take on extra work because you are concerned that it won't otherwise get done?
10 Do you underestimate how long a project will take and then rush to complete it?
11 Do you believe that it is okay to work long hours if you love what you are doing?
12 Do you get impatient with people who have other priorities besides work?
13 Are you afraid that if you don't work hard you will lose your job or be a failure?
14 Is the future a constant worry for you even when things are going very well?
15 Do you do things energetically and competitively including play?
16 Do you get irritated when people ask you to stop doing your work in order to do something else?
17 Have your long hours hurt your family or other relationships?
18 Do you think about your work while driving, falling asleep or when others are talking?
19 Do you work or read during meals?
20 Do you believe that more money will solve the other problems in your life?


If you answer "yes" to three or more of these questions you may be a workaholic. Relax. You are not alone.


If you answered 'yes' to several of the questions, WELCOME TO MY WORLD!

LOL

Since I stopped using drugs and alcohol, my life hasn't been perfect, by any means. In particular, my BEHAVIORS and ATTITUDES didn't become perfect just because I put the substances down. Some of the above 20 points weren't really in my life when I used substances, nor were they part of my life during early recovery...I actually TURNED TO SOME of those behaviors and situations in the 20 points after I was sober and clean for a while, ENJOYING RECOVERY - after I had enough clean time to APPRECIATE RECOVERY!

I STILL learned or turned to some of those workaholic behaviors...because even if they aren't 'substance abuse' factors...those things are EASY FOR ME TO FALL INTO - because I still don't have excellent coping skills for all of what life can throw at me...so I run and jump into 'work' - which for me is my STUDIES...

Admittedly, though I am clean and sober, I am working on incorporating the information about 'workaholic' tendencies into my life...because - in the absense of the substances I learned to rely on for years - I will still find 'behaviors' to use that feel 'familiar' to help me HIDE from responsibility sometimes, avoid relationships sometimes, ignore parts of life that I am uncomfortable dealing with!

It helps for me to snoop around and check out all kinds of 12-Step literature, whether it's about Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Cocaine, Marijuana, Shopping/spending irrationally, Gambling, Workaholic info - anything and everything...because the literature is aimed at dealing with the behaviors, the situations behind the behaviors, the REASONS why people engage in or exhibit these unhealthy behaviors and how, why, sometimes WHEN people often rely on these types of things - instead of selecting healthier, more socially accepted behaviors.

I don't know everything about WHY or WHEN I use different unhealthy behaviors but if I turn to 12-step and other types of literature for help, I don't have the hopelessly confused attitude and feelings that accompanied me for the whole of my life during my active addictions...

The literature doesn't explain everything to me - but it sure gives me a head start on knowing that life isn't hopeless.

If you've been thinking that maybe you're working too hard and it is affecting your life in adverse ways, your relationships, your finances, even...maybe it wouldn't hurt to check out some 12-Step literature to see if anything helps. You may not find all the answers you need - and the literature won't solve your every problem, but maybe it will help you put things in perspective and help you decide if you can or you SHOULD try to do something about the way you're engaging in, thinking about, or your attitude toward WORKING - possibly 'overworking.'

Here's the WORKAHOLICS ANONYMOUS website:

WORKAHOLICS ANONYMOUS

Just Some Fun

Your Theme Song is Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow

"I've got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I'm looking up"

You're laid back, optimistic, and very together
Like the sun, people feel warm and comfortable around you

Your 2005 Song Is

Mr. Brightside by The Killers

"It started out with a kiss
How did it end up like this
It was only a kiss, it was only a kiss"

Let's just say you're happy to be done with 2005!


OMG I AM VELMA HAHA

You Are the Very Gay Velma!

She might not even realize it...
But Velma is all about Daphne... not Fred!


Do You Feel Lucky?

Your Fortune Is

Man who sneezes without hanky takes matters into his own hands.

Just Some Fun

Your Theme Song is Soak Up The Sun by Sheryl Crow

"I've got no one to blame
For every time I feel lame
I'm looking up"

You're laid back, optimistic, and very together
Like the sun, people feel warm and comfortable around you

Friday, May 25, 2007

You May Have a Drinking Problem...

(Joking - but some of this is NOT funny - some of it is how an active alcoholic or addict actually thinks, on occasion! Or, rather - some of these are the jokes that alcoholics will go ahead and brush off - just so they can continue to see drinking as a funny endeavor...I hope it doesn't offend - hope some of it makes you LAUGH)

YOU MAY HAVE A DRINKING PROBLEM IF:

* You lose arguments with inanimate objects.
* Your doctor finds traces of blood in your alcohol stream.
* The parking lot seems to have moved while you were in the
bar.
* Every person you see has an exact twin.
* Vampires catch a buzz after attacking you.
* Your idea of cutting back is less salt.
* That damned pink elephant followed me home again.
* You have a reserved parking space at the liquor store.
* The glass keeps missing your mouth.
* Every night you're beginning to find your cat more and more
attractive.
* You have to hold onto the lawn to keep from falling off the
earth.
* Hey, 5 beers has just as many calories as a burger, screw
dinner!
* At A.A, meetings you begin: "Hi, my name is... uh..."
* Hi ocifer. I'm not under the affluence of incohol.
* Waking up with a traffic cone between your legs.
* You can't remember what your family looks like or if you
have a family.
* You loose your car at least once a week.
* You think alcohol abuse is spilling your drink.
* On the way to the bathroom, someone's always stepping on
your hands.
* You don't have any friends, just drinking buddies.
* You quit calling in sick. You let your wife do it.
* You pee in the kitchen sink while mixing another drink.
* Selling beer cans seems like a weekly bonus.
* You celebrate getting out of jail by getting drunk.
* You decorate your Christmas tree with chains of beer tabs.
* No visit to a friend's house is complete until you've puked
on their carpet.
* Your job is interfering with your drinking.
* The toilet seat keeps hitting you in the back of the head.
* You think the sun shining in your face is God's flashlight
telling you to get up and go home.
* You throw-up on purpose so you can hold more.
* It's normal to drive with one eye shut so not to see double.
* You order a keg of beer for your kid's first birthday
party.
* You measure distance by how many beers it takes to get there.
* Your main prayer is "God, get me out of this and I'll never
drink again".
* You think your only drinking problem is when you're out.

Sadly, a few years ago, a couple of these statements were more true than funny for me, personally.

"My job interfered with my drinking" and "You don't have any friends, just drinking buddies," for instance.

I'm glad I don't have to worry 'bout that last one on the list anymore!

*whew*

Couple Of Jokes

Couple of ladies go into town for the day to do some shopping. They meet up
later in the liquor store. Hey Mary, how ya doing? says Cathy. Oh, pretty
good says Mary, I just got a case of beer for Johnny. Wow, says Cathy, Good
trade!

An extremely modest man was in the hospital for a series of tests, the last
of which had left his bodily systems extremely upset. Upon making several
false alarm trips to the bathroom, he figured that the latest episode was
just that, so he stayed put. Suddenly, however, he filled his bed with
diarrhea and was embarrassed beyond his ability to remain rational. In a
complete loss of composure, he jumped out of bed, gathered up the bed
sheets, and threw them out the hospital window. A drunk was walking by the
hospital when the sheets landed on him. The drunk started yelling,
stumbling, and swinging his arms violently, in an attempt to free himself of
the sheets. He ended up with the soiled sheets in a tangled pile at his
feet. As the drunk stood there, staring down at the sheets, A hospital
security guard who had witnessed the entire incident, walked up to him and
asked, "What the heck is going on?" The drunk, still staring down at the
sheets, replied, "I think I just beat the crap out of a ghost."

Drunks Tick me off and Drunks With Dogs Joke

I'm not feeling very serious lately. Well, I'm cranky, actually...
About my recovery 'Yes-serious'
About things in general 'No' - no serious allowed.
I've had a bad week, so I started looking up jokes to cheer myself up.

I'm cranky because - a drunk neighbor nearly burned down our apartments last Saturday when he passed out with food in the oven, so I have had my fill of 'serious' this week. To boot, doc says I will be sick for a while (NO really effective meds I can take because I screwed up for 20+ years as an addict and cannot take most drugs without risk of addiction to the prescriptions - grr) because I have to heal naturally. *coughcough* Heck - there was no fire at all, either - just a lot of SMOKE. I woke the guy up before anything began to 'flame,' but the smoke was pretty brutal at the time and I had to leave my apartment for 2 hours before I could breathe in my own place again.

This proves:
Drinking can affect even people who aren't family or friends!

Starting or almost starting a fire because you're so fried on dope and alcohol - is very much like driving drunk then, isn't it? The drunk/druggie doesn't think their problem is anyone else's...but really

IT IS anyone around them that shares in the problem.

Now - my health problems, for however long they last 'til I heal up, stop having headaches and extra coughing, etc...are my problem - because I'm clean but someone else who lives beside me won't clean up their act!

I wasn't going to bring this to my blog and just bytch about it...but I've been hangin' on to it since Saturday and really...

It's a pretty pertinent topic for the blog, don't you think?

Anyhow - that's my blurb about bein' bytchy and sick...and also - here's a li'l info 'bout how being bytchy and sick can affect thinking when you're in recovery...

(something that I had to work on for a while JUST NOW 'cos this is the stuff that can make addicts in recovery - go back out and use)

... since I am up in the middle of the night from medication that I CAN TAKE which makes me jittery and wakes me up - and I was otherwise probably going to wake up from coughing anyway...I decided not to just lay there and feel kinda sick - I got up and started reading. I got even crankier than expected, really quick-like and homework sucked after about an hour... I slammed the books shut and got to wondering why I sobered up in order to live near an addict who keeps causing *coughcough* apartment problems blahblahblah (told ya I'm sick'n'cranky, eh?)...and finally, I started thinkin' that I might as well have gone to the bar last weekend and caused my OWN PROBLEMS with booze. I figured for a while it was starting to make sense that way because - so long as I don't have any control over OTHER PEOPLE but they can SERIOUSLY AFFECT my life with THEIR BOOZE and DRUG problems...blahblahblah it was just getting worse 'cos I am *coughcough* tired and cranky and it's the middle of the night...

It was all just stinkin' thinkin'...

SO I HAD TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS...

Just spent the last hour IGNORING HOMEWORK and reading JOKES!

NOW I still feel kinda cranky and kinda sick - but feeling NOT SERIOUS AT ALL...

Plus...I don't think, anymore, that I should have just gone to the bar last weekend, etc, etc...that was just bytchy pity thinkin' from a little while ago and I'm glad I'm over that...

SO anyhow...here's a joke I thought was kinda cute...

Two women were out for a Saturday stroll. One had a doberman and the other,
a chihuahua. As they walked down the street, the one with the doberman said
to her friend, Let's go over to that bar for a drink. The lady with the
chihuahua said, We can't go in there. We've got dogs with us. The one with
the doberman said, Just watch, and do as I do. They walked over to the bar
and the one with the doberman put on a pair of dark glasses and started to
walk in. The bouncer at the door said, Sorry, lady, no pets allowed. The
woman with the doberman said, You don't understand. This is my seeing-eye
dog. The bouncer said, A doberman? The woman said, Yes, they're using them
now. They're very good. The bouncer said, OK, come on in. The lady with the
chihuahua thought that convincing him that a chihuahua was a seeing-eye dog
may be a bit more difficult, but thought, what the heck, so she put on her
dark glasses and started to walk in. Once again the bouncer said, Sorry,
lady, no pets allowed. The woman said, You don't understand. This is my
seeing-eye dog. The bouncer said, A chihuahua? The woman with the chihuahua
said, A chihuahua? The bastards sold me a chihuahua?

I'm glad I didn't just lay around when I couldn't sleep 'cos that's when 'sick and tired of it' thoughts and 'stinking thinking' thoughts occur - and I'm glad I got up to read some cool jokes. Now I'm tired but laughing.

Wow - what a screwed up post, eh?

I'm outta here - got more jokes to read.
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