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Posted on August 12, 2018 at 4:00 PM Comments comments (1)
I'm really enjoying this IOP class I'm in. (That's a miracle) It's proving to be profoundly informative. We talked about shame tonight. I didn't realize how much shame I had, in believing that I wasn't worth the love and acceptance I've been searching for my whole life due to my abandonment issues. But talking about it and putting it in the air like this ensures that my feelings of shame won't survive. If u can name it and talk about it, shame can't survive.
An addict needs shame like a man dying of thirst needs salt water. -
    Terrence Real 


Posted on August 4, 2018 at 5:34 PM Comments comments (6)
Sometimes you don't realize your own strength until you come face to face with your greatest weakness.

Can we talk about alcoholism and Anthony Bourdain?

Posted on July 1, 2018 at 11:49 AM Comments comments (3)
I didn’t know Anthony Bourdain, but felt like I did in one small important way. In him, I saw a drinking alcoholic with a front-stage vigorous attempt to do it successfully. His was a fantastic life-embracing show, with drinking taking a prominent role in the joie de vivre, and sometimes that made it hard for me to watch.

Read more here:

What Is Dry Drunk Syndrome?

Posted on April 22, 2018 at 11:56 AM Comments comments (5)
Many know the answer to the question “what is dry drunk syndrome?”, but sometimes the family members or close loved ones do not.
So what is dry drunk syndrome? It is when an alcoholic is not drinking, yet they are still exhibiting the same behaviors they did while drinking. For example, a dry drunk can be someone who is a violent person while drinking, but remains violent even after the drink has been removed. Though the alcohol has been removed, the family is still experiencing chaos, if not even more so than before.
There tends to be more arguing and turmoil, much to the dismay of the family. How can this be when the drinking has stopped? This occurs when the alcoholic is not working a program of recovery. Many times the family is perplexed because they think that the drink problem has been removed, so all of the following negative characteristics should be gone, too. Why does dry drunk syndrome happen?
The disease of alcoholism centers in the mind of the alcoholic and is followed by a physical allergy.
This means that in no way are we ever able to safely consume alcohol. When the mental craving is followed by the actual taking of a drink, the allergy kicks in. This makes it virtually impossible for us to stop unless we either run out or pass out. Because the disease centers in our mind, the simple removal of the substance is not enough to create a balanced mind. We must commence on a path of vigorous action in the form of a spiritual program.
When someone is in the midst of dry drunk syndrome, it is because they are not working a program that removes their defects of character. Our defects, along with an array of other attributes, are what tend to propel us into alcoholic drinking in the first place. Sure it is great to remove the drink, but working a spiritual program of recovery is actually so much more than just not drinking.
It teaches us how to live and behave with others in mind.
Our selfish and self-centered way of thinking is replaced with a need to be of maximum service to others. These things are not achieved by merely putting the drink down. They are achieved by proper treatment, a program of recovery such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and staying plugged into the recovery community.

10 Defeating Attitudes in Early Sobriety and How To Combat Them

Posted on January 26, 2018 at 8:54 PM Comments comments (0)
Getting sober is one of, if not the hardest thing that us addicts will ever have to do. The journey to long term recovery is a hard one, often bumpy and filled with difficult personal and emotional challenges. Here are some thoughts and belief systems that commonly come up for us amongst early sobriety to be aware of, watch out for, and discard when they creep in!
1. The Non Sober People Are More Fun
Addicts in general, myself included spend our time trying to do WHATEVER we can to “feel good” in the moment.  Sometimes life is not going to feel good and that is when we do not know how to handle it. That being said, the guys and gals that are goofing off, not working on themselves and acting out in negative self-defeating behaviors may appear to be having more fun…but talk to them when they relapse, get arrested, or end up back in treatment or at a 12-step meeting getting another new comer chip and ask yourself if that looks like fun? No judgment here, the thing is nothing changes until something changes and you must do things you have never done to get where you have never been period – simple as that.
2. I Am Not Ready To Be Sober Yet
You have hit your bottom once you have quit digging. Some people lose everything, die, get locked up.... Some other people end up realizing it much quicker and don’t lose much. They can see where their life is heading and make the effort to change it quicker. So please don’t let your mind give you this excuse; it’s not true!
3. This Won’t Work For Me
Here is the thing…how can we know something that we don’t know…we can’t. Just because my mind is telling me that I know something does not mean it’s true. Find a mentor that has been where you’ve been and be open minded to having a new experience. Do what they say and great things will follow.
4. I’m Unique and Worse Than Everyone
This one always gives me a laugh because I can relate so strongly. Almost every addict I’ve had the pleasure of working with at one point or another experiences this thought. I have found out that I am not special or different and when I look for similarities instead of differences I can relate to some people I would never have expected to be able to.
5. I can do this on my own
In my experience this was not true. However, I will say if you truly believe that you can give it a try. If it doesn’t work, then try a treatment center and entering into a 12-step program.
6. Thinking The Answer is on the Outside, Not on the Inside
I need to quit smoking, get a job, enroll in college…TODAY !”. Relax, Rome wasn’t built in a day and we have to crawl before we can walk. You do not have to conquer all of your problems today. Keep it simple and make small realistic goals for yourself and overtime the upheaval and redemption of your life will be astonishing! Give yourself some time to really work on you in the beginning the rest will follow.
7. I Don’t Deserve A Better Life
This is not true for anyone – ever. Period. There is a little bit of good in the worst of us and a little bit of bad in the best of us. Take it easy on yourself, learn to forgive and love yourself. This is a process that is difficult and takes time but I promise you can do it and we will love you until you love yourself!
8. Nobody Cares About Me Anyway
I felt this way coming into recovery and what I found was the exact opposite. It was amazing how many people put their hand out to help me when all I did was simply become willing and ask for the help.
9. I’ve Tried Everything And Nothing Has Worked
No one has tried everything. There are variables to consider here. For instance, something I may have “tried” could work if I changed my perspective, applied myself and engaged in it with an open mind if I was closed off the first time. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh perspective.
10. I will control my use… it will be different this time!
If you are really an addict or alcoholic your own experience is the best test here.  Did you ever “just do one”?  Were you able to easily stop all substances at once at any time without any difficulty?  If you’re truly an addict or alcoholic all you have to do is be honest with yourself and reflect on your experience to see that this not true.  You’re not alone here we have all fallen victim to this way of thinking and it keeps us in addiction much longer than necessary.

Recovery During the Holidays

Posted on December 16, 2017 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)
The holidays can be a difficult time for those in recovery. We may be around others who are celebrating with drinks or drugs. We may be alone and wishing we weren't. We may have family stresses. Whatever the case,  you do not have to drink or use. Please utilize the resources available to you. Call your sponsor. Have a sober celebration with others in recovery. There are AA and NA clubs with activities on Christmas and New Years. Consider doing something for someone less fortunate or reaching out to someone you haven't spoken with for awhile. Maybe try going to church.You will get through it, and you can get through it sober!

7 Laws of Peaceful Living

Posted on November 12, 2016 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (12)
1) Make peace with your past so it doesn't spoil your future.
2) What others think of you is none of your business.
3) Time heals almost everything.
4) No one is responsible for your happiness except you.
5) Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
6) Stop overthinking. It's okay not to know all the answers.
7) Smile. You don't own all the problems in the world.

Floating Toward Freedom

Posted on November 6, 2016 at 11:26 AM Comments comments (0)
I have struggled with addiction for 20 years of my life. My drugs of choice were Oxycodone and Heroin, but I abused LSD, Cocaine and Methamphetamines.  What you are about to read is in short my story. Some or most people would say there are underlying reasons as to why people become addicted to drugs. I would say that why yes there are don't let them become the end excuse for continuing to abuse them.  

I have been out of jail for 11 months now and I have come farther in those months than I have in the whole 35 years of my life.I remember the day I was sentenced and I heard those words come out of the judge’s mouth. "You will be sentenced to 1 year in county jail for your 5th Offence OWI" and "You will be sentenced to 6 months in county jail for the Possession of Narcotics." He then proceeded to say "Your sentence is to be run concurrent with any other sentencing." Of course, I was granted good time so I would only have to sit 9 months. At that moment, I cried. I was still angry that I got busted, angry at the cop who busted me, angry at the judge and angry with everyone but myself. I didn't want to admit I messed up but rather wanted to make excuses for my actions. Such as "Well if I didn't have that last drink I wouldn't have been over the limit", or "If I didn't stop to get a bag of dope then my driving wouldn't have been as impaired."  Of course all this self-pity was actually making me feel more depressed and who was I kidding, I was just lying to myself and not taking responsibility for my actions in my own head. It wasn't until I got to jail that things really started sinking in. Like "Wow, I am stuck here with 22 other females who are loud and obnoxious and I just want some peace and quiet." Then you have those who like to start drama because they have nothing better to do with their time, those who stick to themselves and those who just try to get along with everyone. I was one of those people who tried to get along with everyone.  Eventually, I got settled in and thank God for plastic baggies, pads and Vaseline because let me tell you what, without it, I would have snapped more than I did on some people. The wonderful combination of the 3 makes some nice ear plugs. I won't lie; I got into my share of a few fights and even ended up in the hole one time for sending mail in and out to another inmate. I was angry about that as well because in jail you do not have a lot to look forward to, so the fact that I had a pen pal in jail was cool to me. I was more focused on this than on myself for a while and it wasn't until we got caught up that I started really focusing on why I was in jail.

“I have been out of jail for 11 months now and I have come farther in those months than I have in the whole 35 years of my life.” 

I came to know God, my Higher Power.I started reading the bible daily, praying and even leading some Bible Studies. I began working on my flaws and figuring out where to start and then began taking steps in the right direction. It finally dawned on me one day that you know what? I was more thankful that I had been busted driving that night than ever. If that never happened in my life, I would never have had the chance to get to know who I really was, who God was and that I really had a purpose in life, and that I needed to stop wasting my time putting all my efforts into getting high but direct all that effort into focusing on how I can be a better person, help others and live up to my dreams, goals and aspirations in life. I finally had a purpose and I could tell that it was helping others.   Just by the smiles that I would put on the faces of others with my kind words, or kind gestures.The day of my release approached slowly but surely and with the days counting down I became extremely anxious and scared. I was not sure what was going to happen once I walked out that door.  When the day finally arrived, the guards had come through to do one of their many checks, but they didn't let me out. I started freaking out…this is one of your worst fears when in jail. What if the day comes and they don't let me out? Time was ticking but slowly and I was getting inpatient. Finally the doors to our cells opened for count and I stood waiting by my cell for them to come in. As soon as they walked through that door I asked "I have been here for 9 months and today is my release day. Can you tell me why the hell I am still in here?" One of the guards looked at me and said "I've been here for 9 years and I am still here." Of course his cockiness didn't make me laugh at that very moment. He thought I was joking when I was asking why I was still there. They did a little investigating and found that the paperwork from my county was not sent over to them for me to be released. Where I was sentenced they tend to house their inmates at another facility.  Eventually, they let me out and I got out of my oranges and into my street clothes. Took a deep breath and walked out those doors unknowing of what my future had in store for me but one thing I did know was that I wanted to smoke a cigarette. My mom had brought me a pack; I lit up and immediately felt a rush. "Ahh, this feels like home," I said to myself.  It wasn't too long after my release that I found myself starting to go back to old habits.Getting caught up with people I met in jail who had no intentions of moving forward in life, but rather continuing down that path of self- destruction – a path that I couldn't see myself getting caught up in again.I was fortunate enough that my mom and her boyfriend offered me a place to stay under the condition that I got a job and moved out within 3 months. I hadn't had a job in 7 years of my life. I kind of laughed inside and thought to myself. What is a job?It wasn't much longer than a couple of weeks later that I found myself injecting some Methamphetamines. Instantly, I was sent into a state of paranoia and of course everyone and everything was no longer reality but a living hell of hallucinations. I ended up at the hospital later on because I was burning up and turning into a bright red lobster. I had used a dirty needle and got a deadly bacterial infection called "Sepsis." I ended up in the hospital for a couple of days on a strong dose of antibiotics and fluids as well as some lorazepam. I was hallucinating so badly that I literally thought I was dying and I probably was at that point.  Yet again, the good Lord saved me and didn't allow me to go. I survived and with minimal long term effects if any at all. I was still stupid enough to continue using for a couple of months after that.I ended up getting into it with my mom’s boyfriend because I was not holding up to my promise of getting a job and so I said to myself "I am going to prove that I am not a failure." That is what I did. I ended up getting a job at Taco Bell.  I started showing them I can make something of my life and I remembered the things that I went over in jail with myself on those lonely nights. I started incorporating them into my everyday living and it worked. I ended up moving out and into my fiancés house where I started building a foundation and incorporating structure into my life. With the help of God and the help of those around me who started seeing that I wasn't a failure and that I could do anything I put my mind to. It then became an addiction to do good, because the reward of having my family in my life and telling me they were proud of me was even more amazing to me, and it made me feel even better inside.  I ended up leaving Taco Bell after working there for 5 months to find better employment after having a bad episode of Psychosis. I kept my faith that I would find something better. I prayed and prayed about it and it was delivered.  I received a call from my old District Manager from Taco Bell. She wanted me to come work for her at another location. Despite my felonies and my criminal background, I was hired.  I worked there as a Culinary Assistant for a Nursing home for 8 months before getting hired as a Front Desk Clerk for a hotel making more money.August 22nd, 2016 I was married to the man who stood by my side through everything. We have been through it all together, and I can say with confidence that we are happily married and get along better than we have in the whole 9 years that we have been together.I now wake up every day and put my efforts into helping others.My passion is being an inspiration to someone else and just hopefully my story will touch the lives of many others out there still struggling. Not only did I quit using drugs and alcohol, but I quit smoking too!I attended a program through a Church who offers a program to inmates. I was a volunteer there and sitting in because I will be facilitating this same program to inmates at some point really soon. I will also be offered the chance, not now, but soon to go into the jail and facilitate the program there. The jail said that it's too soon from my release and to give it a bit. Until then, I will happily help others outside.I am corresponding with the Principal/Counselor for one of the local schools here in Wausau, WI. She would like to have me come speak to a group of classmates about the effects of drugs and alcohol. I will also be able to share my story with them, and hopefully it will touch them in a way that they will make a choice to not go down the same destructive path that I did.The woman who was once antisocial, depressed, anxious and paranoid and feared the world has now come out of her shell. I am here now and to always be a guiding light to others and inspire people to not give up on themselves, believe and maintain hope and faith.  

Lisa is the founder of the Facebook page, Hope Fiend Addiction/Recovery Poetry. It is a place for addicts, recovering addicts and those who have lost a loved one to addiction to come and read and post their addiction/recovery related poetry.


Posted on October 29, 2016 at 3:46 PM Comments comments (0)
Our disease craves instant gratification, but learning how to take care of our bodies takes time, and so does healing.
   - Living Clean, Chapter 4

The Simplest Prayer

Posted on October 16, 2016 at 3:19 PM Comments comments (2)
October 16, 2016 - The Simplest Prayer
"...praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."
Step Eleven
How do we pray? With little experience, many of us don't even know how to begin. The process, however, is neither difficult nor complicated.
We came to Narcotics Anonymous because of our drug addiction. But underlying that, many of us felt a deep sense of bewilderment with life itself. We seemed to be lost, wandering a trackless waste with no one to guide us. Prayer is a way to gain direction in life and the power to follow that direction.
Because prayer plays such a central part in NA recovery, many of us set aside a particular time each day to pray, establishing a pattern. In this quiet time, we "talk" to our Higher Power, either silently or aloud. We share our thoughts, our feelings, our day. We ask, "What would you have me do?" At the same time we ask, "Please give me the power to carry out your will."
Learning to pray is simple. We ask for "knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." By doing that, we find the direction we lacked and the strength we need to fulfill our God's will.
Just for Today: I will set aside some quiet time to "talk" with my Higher Power. I will ask for that Power's direction and the ability to act on it.
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