Thursday, July 10, 2008

Stampede Craziness 2008

Well, it's Stampede time again in Calgary! This means

The booze is flowing freely. Not to mention all the GAMBLING that comes along with midway games at The Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.

A few tips if you're trying to stay clean and sober during the Stampede 10 days of festivities:

* Check in with (clean) friends often - to jog the 'accountability' part of you
* Don't be afraid to break certain plans during Stampede week - if you're simply not up to an appearance over on the grounds and Midway, it is better not to push your luck
* Go onto the grounds and midway EARLY in the day before partiers start up in full force
* Go to evening events with someone you trust to also 'stay clean and sober' - the added support and understanding will be very helpful
* Remember that The Stampede offers every kind of beverage, so if you get stuck in a situation with booze/drugs all around - SAY NO to the booze and ORDER something safe
* If someone buys you something 'unsafe,' simply return it!
* Be well rested before you ever set foot on the Stampede site or at a Stampede activity where booze/drugs might be present - remember H-A-L-T...(Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired - these 'states' of being are when addicts are most vulnerable)
* On the same note as above - eat properly before you attend Stampede events - and try to CONTINUE to eat decent foods while on-site at the Stampede

These are just a few things that might be helpful - protect your sobriety!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Coupla Jokes

I was needing some 'comic relief'

Here are some jokes I found when I searched online for some comedic 'distractions' in my life.

You may or may not find these 'cute' but I like 'em!

1. An Alabama State trooper stops a guy in a pick-up truck over on route I-90. The officer asks the driver,

"Got any ID?"

The driver responds,

"ID 'bout what?"


2. A couple of tourists were driving through Louisiana until they approached a sign that said the town of Natchitoches was immediately up ahead. Upon trying to pronounce the name, they got in an argument. Since they couldn't decide who was right, and it was lunchtime anyway, they drove into the town to have lunch - still arguing about the pronunciation of the name.

At the restaurant, as the travellers waited at the counter, a waiter seated them at a table - and STILL - the tourists argued. When the waiter returned to take their order, one of the travellers said,

"Before we order, could you settle a disagreement we've been having? Could you pronounce the place where we are, and pronounce it very slowly so we can catch the name properly? We've been arguing about this ever since we saw the sign along the highway."

The waiter, with an extremely puzzled look on his face, said,

You say it...


Saturday, March 15, 2008

No Thank You - No Green Beer For Me

St. Patrick's Day is almost upon us!

A lot of people, Irish or not, celebrate this special day by having a few drinks.

What's more - pubs and restaurants put colouring into the beer to make it GREEN, the obvious colour dedicated to St. Patrick's Day items.

On St. Patrick's Day, once it fully rrrrrrrrolls around, I will be having a couple of cups of Green Tea, instead of Green-spiked alcoholic beverages and beer.

Although some people don't make too big a deal out of this festive day, a whole lot of people do, and for many, St. Patrick's Day celebrations don't happen WITHOUT alcohol being present. For this reason, St. Patty's Day is often a difficult time for recovering addicts. Many of their friends and family members will probably still celebrate by drinking green beer or green cocktails, and recovering addicts will do well to steer clear of festive individuals if this is possible, unless a safety plan is enacted.

There are a couple of posts already on this blog about "safety planning," so if you don't normally plan ahead and you're a recovering addict who has wondered how to deal with celebrations (I mean, you can't tell all people that they can't drink because YOU no longer drink, right?), scroll around a bit. If you've been trying to figure out how to get through festive events and occasions more smoothly, where alcohol will be present, just remember that you can plan ahead and be prepared for the fact that alcohol might literally be placed in your face during holiday and celebratory situations.

There is still no need to drink/do drugs, no matter how much people coax that you share in the celebration.

Just say, "No Thank You - No Green Beer For Me."

If this will be difficult - practice before the day hits!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

According To The DSM-IV

According to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition),

Addiction is recognized by 3 basic stages:

1. Preoccupation/Anticipation

2. Binge/Intoxication

3. Withdrawal/Negative effect

The following characteristics are typical of each stage:

1. Preoccupation/Anticipation:
Cravings (sometimes constant) and preoccupation with acquiring drugs/alcohol
2. Binge/Intoxication:
Using more of a substance than is necessary, using a substance beyond
experiencing slight intoxicating effects (using beyond calming down, socializing,
or relaxing, and actually getting stoned or drunk instead)
3. Withdrawal/Negative effect:
Experiencing intolerance, withdrawal symptoms, losing motivation for normal
activities in life (hangovers, shakes, planning on partying instead of spending
quality time with family and friends - selecting friends and family who party
while rejecting or ignoring those who do not)

It is believed that addiction has a biological as well as psychological basis
(some will go further and say addiction affects the person and body wholly, also in spiritual and emotional ways - and also that addiction and addicts affect the community).

There are varying opinions, of couse, however, no discipline that I am aware of DISCOUNTS addiction as partly out of control of the addict at advanced stages.

For this reason - it is important for addicts (and those who want to support addicts and see
them recover from addiction) - to realize that a change of behavior (behavior correction) as well as change in thinking/perception will have to occur, on a long-term basis, in order for the addict to get better.

This is not a matter of simply taking away the booze/drugs/substance/habit, and with addictions like food addictions and shopping addictions, it is particularly difficult for some people to improve quickly. Food needs to be eaten, shopping needs to occur, therefore a concerted effort must be made to change habits on many levels.

If you recognize yourself or a loved one who fits one of the stages above, please educate yourself about addiction and recovery. It doesn't matter if you notice someone (or yourself) at only 'stage one' preoccupation/anticipation. Without correction, behaviors, habits, and addiction itself only progresses to the next stages.

On the right side-bar, about half-way down the blog, are recovery organization links, including links for 12-step sexual addiction recovery, phobics, gamblers and other recovery.

Any habit that gets out of hand can become a behavioral and mind problem called addiction.

Please, take care of yourself.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Interesting Clips From TV Show "Intervention"

I was browsing around YouTube and found that a fan of the TV show, Intervention has put together a series of clips from the show.

There are some graphic clips, so if you're worried about being affected by these, move along...

...the clips are just over 5 minutes about the 3 minute mark, the images aren't quite as graphic and involve scenes of the addict being brought to a counselling room to discuss treatment intervention.

The reason I have posted this video, graphic and all though it is - is because I was quite overwhelmed as to the number of YouTube videos on-site that are labelled 'Intervention' but are actually making light of the topic of addiction and addiction intervention.

People need to see the REAL effects of addiction - on both the addict and families. I realize the graphic nature of the video above might be 'triggering' to some, but I did place a warning to go along with the video so that those who don't wish to see everything in 'raw' form can wait 'til part-way through the video to see how the intervention 'meeting' was performed in this situation.

This clip is from a television show that A&E Network airs, called "Intervention."
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