March 11, 2018
How can you stop drinking? There is only one way and that is to take ownership of your recovery phase. Remember a goal without a plan is only a wish. Perhaps you need to discuss it with your physician. Don't have insurance? Simple, go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. The members will help you. They will tell you where and how you can get medical help if needed. Need a job? The members have a wealth of information. But more, much more they will be there for you when you are having a hard time with withdrawal symptoms or the urge to drink. Remember there are lots of AA groups. Try more than one and settle for a group with whom you feel at home.
Feb. 5, 2018
If you know that you are an alcoholic but still are rationalizing "I can stop any time" or "I am not drinking for the next two weeks because I want to lose weight," think again. There is that fine line where you have a strong intuition that you are an alcoholic and then brush it aside with rationalizations "Getting drunk occasionally can happen to anyone" when in reality deep down you know it's time to go to Alcoholics Anonymous.
Some women prefer to go to an all woman's group. If there isn't one in your town you can find them on line. The Drinking Woman Revisited has a substantial Resource Chapter giving you many choices of online groups, not just AA. In the beginning an online group may give you the privacy you think you may need. The advantage of joining a group such Alcoholics Anonymous in your town is the personal support system. You will meet other recovering alcoholics who will go out for alcohol free dinner or have parties on weekends. You will meet women who may know of available jobs. You will make friends who you can phone when you feel desperate, who will come out in the middle of the night to help you. Be good to yourself. Go for it.
January 2, 2018
Lets talk new year resolutions. Sometimes it's a wish list - I am going to make more money this year, I am going to take some college courses, I am going to do something about my substance abuse. The only way we can make our resolutions work is by figuring out how we are going to implement our wish lists. Substance abuse - are we going to go to AA or a private doctor or a private treatment center? Don't know what you can afford? Phone SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Agency) 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Some women are afraid to seek help because they feel public agency will take away their children. This has changed. There is a federal patient privacy act which includes women suffering with addiction.Want to see it in writing - visit https://www.samhsa.gov/42CFRPart2Final. Go for it. Think it through.
December 10, 2017
As we said last month the holidays sometimes promote a "lets drink" atmosphere. For those of you struggling to give up drinking this is the time to gather around your friends who are also giving up drinking. There is no reason to go to heavy drinking parties. The office party? Feel you need to show up. Can you bring a friend who is also giving up drinking? Is a nearby AA having a meeting after the party? If not are you in touch with a group on line with whom you can share your experiences? The important aspect here is to think through what the pitfalls are at such a party. If you are asked at any party, "Why are you not drinking? Come on have a drink," and you do not want to go into details, a simple answer, "My doctor says my stomach does not tolerate it. I had to stop drinking." One woman said to me, "What I really feel like saying is, 'none of your damn business.' But I do have to show my face the next day. So I just think it."
November 14, 2017
The holidays are coming and you know what that means: parties with a lot of alcohol. If you are trying to give up drinking you might consider only going to parties where there is no alcohol and/or other drugs. If you can afford it you and your family might consider going to a facility in the country where the owners don’t serve alcohol. Or, how about having a pot luck party with friends who are willing not to drink at your party? There is nothing wrong in saying to your friends, “I have a disease called alcoholism. The smell of alcohol does not agree with me. I hope you will come to our house where we are having an alcohol free party. Feel free to bring your kids.” Have to invite friends from your or your spouse's office? Consider having a brunch with coffee and tea or orange juice for drinks. Or how about an old fashioned English high tea. The latter is absolutely alcohol free. Don’t know what high tea is? Go to https://www.thespruce.com/high-tea-vs-afternoon-tea-765832 A delicious surprise awaits you.
October 5, 2017
One great reason for joining an Alcoholics Anonymous group is that everyone there has had the same problems as you. Family angry? You are not alone? Children don't listen to you? You are not alone. Embarrassed about discussing your alcohol history in a mixed group of men and women? No problem there are many all women groups. AA has groups for everyone: for lesbians, for married people, for young people. Want to know more about AA? In that case visit https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/daily-reflection. Give them your email and they will send you each day a helpful thought. Be good to yourself. Do it.
Melanie Dallas who is a licensed professional counselor says, "What’s most important to know about recovery is that it is always possible. People can and do recover from mental illness, addiction or both, and live healthy, independent and productive lives in recovery. If you’re struggling with mental illness or addiction, don’t wait to get help. The sooner you begin treatment, the sooner you can find hope and recovery."
September 1, 2017
September is National Recovery Month. We honor those who have achieved recovery. SAMHSA has proudly announced that it is the "28th annual National Recovery Month observance. Recovery Month celebrates individuals throughout the country who have achieved long-term recovery from mental and substance use disorders, and recognizes the contributions of the dedicated men and women who provide treatment and recovery services."
But what about those who are still in denial about their alcoholism? The Mayo clinic has some good points. The clinic suggests:
It isn't always easy to tell if denial is holding you back. The strength of denial can change over time, especially for someone with chronic illness — some periods are linked to less defensiveness, and at other times denial may be much stronger. If you feel stuck or if someone you trust suggests that you're in denial, however, you might try these strategies:
· Honestly examine what you fear.
· Think about the potential negative consequences of not taking action.
· Allow yourself to express your fears and emotions.
· Try to identify irrational beliefs about your situation.
· Journal about your experience.
· Open up to a trusted friend or loved one.
Participate in a support group.
If you can't make progress dealing with a stressful situation on your own — you're stuck in the denial phase — consider talking to a mental health provider. He or she can help you find healthy ways to cope with the situation rather than trying to pretend it doesn't exist.
August 2, 2017
Worried about your health? Don't feel well. Does a drink help? Think again. There have been tests and studies done on women and the use of alcohol. Here is information you may want: "....women became more intoxicated than the men. This may have to do with the water in our bodies. Men have in their total body weight approximately ten percent more water than women. Since alcohol is distributed throughout the body in proportion to the water content of the body tissues, the alcohol tends to be more diluted in the bodies of men than in women.
The basic difference between women and men is that women have more fatty tissues and men have more muscle tissues. More water is contained in muscle tissues than fatty tissues. Therefore, when men and women who weigh the same drink equal amounts of alcohol, the men are apt to be less affected by alcohol than the women. Naturally, there are variables. An obese man may have more fatty tissues than a lean woman of the same weight.
Those women who were at their premenstrual time became more intoxicated than the other women. Evidently a woman's changing sex hormone levels may be related to the effect alcohol has on her. Feeling different reactions to alcohol at different times of the month may make a female social drinker instinctively more careful with her drinking than a male.
The researchers felt
that, since men in general have a more stable hormonal level, they may be more
confident about the amount of alcohol they can "hold" when they
drink. This difference may make women more careful. This may be one of the
reasons that women become heavy drinkers at a later age than men." For more information go to Chapter 2 Alcohol and Alcoholism Defined in THE DRINKING WOMAN REVISITED.
Still hesitant about sharing your addiction with your doctor or Alcoholics Anonymous? Be good to yourself. Go to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and for starters listen, just listen. After listening you too may want to say something.
July 7, 2017
A big thanks to Judy, a long time recovering alcoholic, who is willing to share this story with us.
“Asking for help or even knowing I needed help wasn't easy. The truth is I didn't make a decision to stop drinking consciously, my body couldn't take it any more, and made that decision for me. I had these violent Migraine headaches after a binge that made me throw up so violently and could not stop that I had to go to the emergency room of our hospital. When I went to my internist for a diagnosis he wanted to know what I was doing before the Migraine and the convulsive puking started. Usually I wouldn't share with anyone my bingeing habit but I was miserable and vulnerable. My doctor sent me to a psychiatrist who gave me a book entitled, Adult Children of Alcoholics. I realized then that alcoholism was in our family. I had grown up with it. I started going to a Women's Open AA meeting. I always felt better after even though it took a long time to understand what they were suggesting.
"It was later after I had been in AA for a while that I realized that I am an alcoholic, that my past family life had had an impact on me, and like those who were alcoholics in my family I too chose to drink. Only then did I make a conscious decision to turn everything in my life over to God and that really made the difference. When they say take your body to a meeting, the rest will follow, that was really true for me.”
(Note from Edith Lynn Hornik-Beer, author of The Drinking Woman Revisited: Not everyone is religious. But there is a spirit in us, a consciousness waiting to be called forth.)
June 3, 2017
What do you tell your teenagers when they ask you about your youth? The most important thing is to listen carefully to their questions. What do they actually want to know. If they want to know what "partying" was like when you were in high school or when did you learn to drive it is an opportunity to help them realize how important it is to be responsible. If something horrible happened to you such as a car accident or getting drunk at a party if you can make your teens realize how horrible it was, that you could have died they will take in that they don't want this to happen to them. For those of who are still drinking heavily, trying to recover it will help to tell your children that if you had to do it over again you would not have ever started drinking, that when you started to drinking you did not understand what it would do to you,what road it would force you to take. It is important to tell your youngsters that addiction is a problem in your family and that they should stay away from addictive substances. It is no different than a diabetic warning his/her children that the diet he/she had as a teenager was a contributing factor to becoming diabetic.
May 5, 2017
Does your community have a FACING ADDICTION organization? If not, you can make contact with them at https://www.facingaddiction.org/advocacy-action-agend The best way to describe them is in one word: COMPASSION. They believe that “Suffering From Addiction is Not a Crime” They are working hard to reform those in public service who respond to emergency calls to understand that addiction is a disease, not a crime. But more, if you are struggling with your addiction they have a great resource list. Click on their Addiction Resource Hub. We all know that addiction treatment can be expensive. This hub will work with you to help you find a resource within your budget. Can’t afford any type of treatment? Not to worry they will see how you can get help.
Want to hear from others who are in treatment? They have a data base that “allow those on a pathway to recovery to share with others what they are finding helpful and useful in their communities and in their everyday lives." If you have not yet done anything about your addiction, are holding on because --- well you know why, ---- you may find this data base of great help. Already in a program to help you recover? You may want to share on this data base what is helping you. https://www.facingaddiction.org/news
Go for it. You deserve all the help you can get.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Worried about your privacy? Can you trust the professional helping you to conquer your addiction?
According to SAMHSA The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing this final rule to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations and facilitate information exchange within new health care models while addressing the legitimate privacy concerns of patients seeking treatment for a substance use disorder. These modifications also help clarify the regulations and reduce unnecessary burden.
For more information visit:
So you have a drinking problem or perhaps you live with someone who has a drinking problem. If you have children or nieces and nephews you are right to worry whether any of them have inherited the disease, alcoholism. A mom, Ginger Katz, who sadly lost her son to addiction, has started a group called COURAGE TO SPEAK.
Visit the group. It may change your family's life.
Friday, February 11, 2017
It's February and those of you who live in the cold weather area may be praying for sunshine and warmer weather. Lets think of some things we can do to cheer us up. Have a friend over for tea. Go to a good movie. Go to bed early with a good book. Working hard all day at a job or taking care of kids? Once you are home and the kids are in bed give yourself a treat such as a warm glass of milk put in the blender so that it is all foamy and sprinkle your favorite condiments on top such as brown sugar and cinnamon and yes, watch a stupid sitcom for a half hour. Learn to give yourself little healthy treats.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Denial is the biggest problem in any addiction. But just looking at this web site is a big first step. Remember alcoholism is a disease so do not blame yourself. Look at your family history. Are there others members with the disease? But lets get back to you. OK, so you may have an urge to drink. You may have tried giving up drinking and found the withdrawal a nightmare. Lets go a step further. If the withdrawal is tough there is medical help available. Go to your physician and ask her/him for help. If you do not have a physician attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. No one will ask your name. Those who are not first time attendees have all gone through withdrawals and will help you. There will be some members who did their withdrawals with the help of a physician and who will gladly tell you who helped them. If you are far from a town you can attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on line.
If you are someone living with an alcoholic you may want to look at the intervention possibility and you may also want to attend Al-Anon.