WALFWAY HOUSE IN INDIANAPOLIS
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|Posted on December 3, 2018 at 6:38 PM||comments (1)|
Thought for the Day:
An alcoholic carries an awful load around with him. What a load lying puts on your shoulders! Drinking makes liars out of all us alcoholics. In order to get the liquor we want, we have to lie all the time. We have to lie about where we've been and what we've been doing. A man who's lying is only half alive, because of the constant fear of being found out. When you come into A.A., and get honest with yourself and with other people, that terrible load of lying falls off your shoulders. Have I got rid of that load of lying?
Meditation for the Day:
I believe that in the spiritual world, as in the material world, there is no empty space. As fears and worries and resentments depart out of my life, the things of the spirit come in to take their places. Calm comes after a storm. As soon as I am rid of fears and hate and selfishness, God's love and calm and peace can come in.
Prayer for the Day:
I pray that I may rid myself of all fears and resentments, so that peace and serenity may take their place. I pray that I may sweep my life clean of evil, so that good may come in.
|Posted on October 23, 2018 at 11:12 AM||comments (0)|
Fans flushed with worry when David Cassidy — the beloved singer from “The Partridge Family” whose song “I Think I Love You” became an anthem for young romantics everywhere — nearly fell off the stage during a disastrous concert in Agoura Hills, Calif., in February 2017.
That was only part of the problem. He also couldn’t remember the lyrics to many of his older songs and, as captured in a video obtained by TMZ, he slurred his words throughout the show. Many fans reached the same sorrowful conclusion: It appeared Cassidy had fallen off the wagon. After all, the heartthrob struggled with alcoholism after becoming a wonderkid in the 1970s. His father, actor Jack Cassidy, also struggled with alcoholism, which is influenced by genetics.
David Cassidy’s struggle with alcoholism seemed to peak in the early 2010s. From the turn of the decade to 2014, he was arrested three times for driving drunk, the last two arrests coming within six months of each other and landing him in rehab in South Florida.
“If I take another drink, I’m going to die, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I’m dead. … It’s very humbling, and it’s also humiliating,” he told Piers Morgan in 2014, adding that admitting to his disease gave him hope.
“I dropped to my knees, and I felt something go through me that was like, I felt this experience that was just, thank you God. I felt this relief,” Cassidy said. “I begged it, and I was crying and weeping like a little boy, like a, like a sobbing little infant, like I’m sure I did many times as a kid. And I felt this incredible sense of relief, because I stopped lying to myself.”
So after that disastrous concert, he was quick to set the record straight. In emotional interviews, Cassidy denied rumors that he was drinking again.
Instead, he said, he was afflicted by something else, something out of his control, something he once said he always feared, something that had stolen his grandfather and actress mother Evelyn Ward: dementia.
“When you have spotlights in your eyes and you’ve had five eye surgeries, as I’ve had, and I’ve talked about it — I tripped on [a stage monitor]. But I certainly wasn’t intoxicated, and it has nothing to do with why I’m leaving [touring],” he told Dr. Phil shortly after footage of the concert surfaced. “Certainly, my dementia has contributed to the reason why I don’t want to go out and I don’t want to hear, ‘Well, he looked like he was drunk’ … I wasn’t.”
Cassidy died of liver failure a few months later at the age of 67 in November 2017.
Fans of the singer quietly mourned him. How tragic it seemed that he finally overcame a lifelong struggle with alcohol, only to have his final days tormented by the very same dementia that ran rampantly through the rest of his family.
As it turns out, however, he hadn’t overcome his struggle with alcohol — not at all. And his dementia was neither related to a disease like Alzheimer’s nor was it permanent. Instead, it was a temporary condition brought on by his alcoholism, a different devastating disease.
In an upcoming documentary from A&E called “David Cassidy: The Last Session,” Cassidy admitted that he was still drinking.
After suffering from severe memory problems and being rushed to the hospital from a recording studio, Cassidy spoke with A&E producer Saralena Weinfield to explain what happened. She recorded the phone call, which has been edited into the documentary.
“I have a liver disease,” Cassidy said, admitting that “there is no sign of me having dementia at this stage of my life. It was complete alcohol poisoning.”
This might seem like a surprising revelation, given that publicly Cassidy had maintained that he was dry. The singer addressed this, as well.
“And the fact is that I lied about my drinking,” he said. “The head doctor at the hospital, she said, ‘I believe your dementia was directly related to your alcoholism.’ ”
Then, his voice began to crack as he tried to explain himself.
“I did it to myself, man,” he said. “I did this to myself to cover up the sadness and the emptiness.”
Not everyone, though, was surprised.
“Part of alcoholism is lying,” said “Partridge Family” co-star Danny Bonaduce, according to People. “When you’re an addict, you know you can’t be honest with people. You say what you want them to hear. I can’t be mad at David for that, but it’s still a tragedy.”
The documentary producers reportedly debated whether to show the footage and posthumously reveal Cassidy’s dark secret. In the end, though, the network decided that was the best way to honor him.
“I think it will strike a chord with people,” producer John Marks told People. “He wanted to share this very private part of his life, and to be honest once and for all. And I think he succeeded in doing that.”
|Posted on July 1, 2018 at 11:49 AM||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: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/article213372539.html#storylink=cpy
|Posted on June 16, 2018 at 5:10 PM||comments (6)|
“Some things we must accept, others we can change. The wisdom to know the difference comes with growth in our spiritual program.”
Basic Text, p. 95
It’s relatively easy to accept the things we like—it’s the things we don’t like that are hard to accept. But remaking the world and everyone in it to suit our tastes would solve nothing. After all, the idea that the world was to blame for all our problems was the attitude that kept us using—and that attitude nearly killed us.
In the course of working the steps, we begin to ask ourselves hard questions about the roles we ourselves have played in creating the unacceptable lives we’ve lived. In most cases, we’ve found that what needed changing was our own attitude and our own actions, not the people, places, and things around us.
In recovery, we pray for wisdom to know the difference between what can and can’t be changed. Then, once we see the truth of our situation, we pray for the willingness to change ourselves.
Just for today: Higher Power, grant me the wisdom to know the difference between what can be changed and what I must accept. Please help me gratefully accept the life I’ve been given.
|Posted on May 24, 2018 at 5:36 PM||comments (0)|
Alcohol causes drowsiness. This has led to the popular misconception that it can aid sleep. Up to 20 percent of Americans report using alcohol as a sleep aid. However, alcohol negatively impacts the quality of your sleep, as well as how long you can expect to sleep. Alcohol consumption before bed causes interrupted sleep, due to side effects such as night sweats and disturbed REM sleep.
Alcohol dependence and sleep disorders are often co-morbid – people suffer both at the same time. Alcohol-related sleep disorders include insomnia, sleep apnea, and daytime fatigue.
The problem with using alcohol as a sleep aid
Alcohol does reduce the initial amount of time required for you to fall asleep. However, it result in disrupted sleep.
The problem with using one drink as a sleep aid, is that while it may work initially, eventually your body develops a tolerance for it. As a result, you may find yourself needing more and more levels of alcohol in order to fall asleep, which can lead to alcoholism. Using alcohol as a sleep aid is dangerous as it can lead to dependence and even alcoholism.
One drink before bed may not impact sleep quality or length. However, the effects of alcohol on sleep are directly correlated – the more alcohol that is consumed, the worse the effects on sleep.
How does alcohol interrupt sleep?
After a few drinks, especially in people who don’t drink much, individuals often report subjectively shallow sleep and frequent mid-night awakenings, according to a joint study by Wayne State University and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Interrupted sleep may be caused by a variety of factors, all attributed to alcohol consumption:
Why does alcohol cause night sweats?
Drinking lowers the body’s core temperature slightly, followed by a rise.
Thermoregulation during sleep is key to maintaining sleep homeostasis (keeping the body asleep). During stage 2 of light sleep, the body’s core temperature drops. Cooler body temperature aids the body’s ability to sleep. This is why exercise late at night can interfere with your ability to fall asleep – it energizes you and increases your body temperature.
By allowing the body’s temperature to drop, alcohol initially helps you fall asleep. However, once the effects wear off, your body counteracts it with a corresponding premature rise in body temperature. As a result, people who drink heavily before bed wake up earlier than expected.
Can drinking alcohol cause sleep apnea?
Sleep-disordered breathing, a dyssomnia affecting millions of people, is made worse by alcohol.
There’s a connection between obstructive sleep apnea and alcohol consumption. Drinkers can experience apnea if only for a night. Alcohol impairs breathing in sleep by relaxing the throat muscles. As the throat muscles relax, they narrow and obstruct the airway, resulting in snoring. Even people who normally don’t snore do so if they have been drinking the night before. Snorers without apnea can exhibit apnea symptoms if they have been drinking.
Alcohol consumption also affects the brain’s breathing center by masking the effect of low oxygen levels in the bloodstream, possibly damaging tissue. Hangover symptoms – attributed to the efforts of the body to metabolize alcohol – are frequently partially due to breathing-disordered sleep.
The link between alcoholism and insomnia
Insomniacs are more likely to drink before bedtime than good sleepers. Knowing alcohol’s ability to cut sleep latency times, insomniacs could be more likely to take a drink before bed – self medicating with whatever is in the liquor cabinet. Maybe this works as a short-term fix, but for most people it is not a long-term solution. Frequent alcohol use can lead to a dependency and over sustained use, as alcohol changes the sleep cycle.
Insomnia and alcoholism can both be chronic conditions and are often co-morbid (exist together).
Sleep fragmentation and difficulty in maintaining sleep are common in alcoholics – both those who drink and those who are trying to quit. Sleep problems are often experienced by people who cut back on their alcohol consumption. Alcoholics in recovery programs have to remember this. Insomnia is both a symptom of withdrawal, as well as alcohol dependence, so alcoholics are likely to face sleep problems no matter what.
Not only is insomnia more prevalent in alcoholics who are not trying to quit (estimated as high as 45%), but the detoxification process during quitting increase the likelihood of insomnia even more. Studies of alcoholics who quit drinking have found it takes a while for sleep to return to a normal pattern. Addicts have fragmented sleep, and sleep fragmentation persists in abstainers for over a year. Sleep latency returns to normal a few months after quitting.
In fact, poor sleep and the discomfort it brings is thought to be a major reason for relapse among alcoholics trying to quit. There is also the causal arrow running in the opposite direction. People who don’t get a good night’s sleep and are tired during the day may be more apt to drink in the evening.
If you think you may be at risk for alcoholism, you can find help through Alcoholics Anonymous or the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
The impact of alcohol on brain wave activity during sleep
Chronic alcohol consumption disturbs the function of calcium channels in the thalamus, which is part of the brain involved in sleep regulation. Even for non-alcoholics, drinking alcohol alters the brain wave activity experienced during sleep.
It is normal for your brainwave activity to change during the night according to the different stages of sleep. When you’re awake, you experience alpha brain waves. During the stages of non-REM sleep, you transition from theta waves to spindle waves to slow waves, and finally delta waves. Once you enter REM sleep, your brain exhibits alpha waves similar to those experienced while awake. People who drink alcohol before bed tend to exhibit higher amounts of alpha brain waves and delta waves than those who don’t. The combination of these two types of brainwave activity interferes with your sleep cycle and ability to get truly restorative sleep.
Does alcohol affect REM sleep?
Your body requires the entire sleep cycle in order to receive the benefits of a good night’s sleep. REM sleep in particular accounts for about 25 percent of the sleep cycle. REM sleep is when dreams occur and you experience muscle paralysis. During this critical stage of sleep, your mind and body are renewed. During REM sleep, the brain restores neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals are directly associated with your mood, which is why a lack of REM sleep often results in crankiness, irritability, and overall poorer mood. Lack of REM sleep is also associated with reduced concentration, impaired memory and motor skills.
Many insomniacs take a drink of whiskey or wine before bedtime in order to reduce sleep latency. While alcohol does help people get to sleep faster, drinking has been shown to result in low quality of sleep as measured by nighttime awakenings (fragmented sleep) and decreased time spent in REM sleep.
In controlled studies with EEG monitoring, researchers have found that REM is suppressed early in the nighttime, but that the REM rebound effect can occur in the second half of the night.
What is the REM rebound effect?
The “rebound effect” refers to the effect alcoholism takes during the second half of your sleep cycle. Imbibing enough alcohol to reach a blood alcohol level of .06 to 0.8 within one hour of falling asleep helps induce sleep. However, once your body processes the alcohol, your body will wake you up four to five hours later and interrupt the later part of the night, when you spend more time in REM sleep. Once your body processes the alcohol, your body is easily stimulated by your environment. As a result, people who drink alcohol often wake up during the night or find themselves disturbed more easily.
Alcohol tends to be metabolized rapidly, so halfway through the night the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream is down to approximately zero. The metabolites are still around and the effects of the alcohol persist (that’s where hangovers come from). Over time, the early waking from REM sleep can lead to insomnia. Alcoholics are also more prone to insomnia, especially during periods of withdrawal.
Does alcohol impact sleep differently for men or women?
There is some evidence that in general men and women react to alcohol differently. A study on young adult women showed alcohol increased their time in deep sleep, while cutting REM sleep. Men, on the other hand, experience a decreased in both deep and REM sleep after drinking. These are very general trends, and individuals differ widely in their reactions.
|Posted on April 22, 2018 at 11:56 AM||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.
|Posted on March 24, 2018 at 5:55 PM||comments (2)|
The Holy Grail of addiction science is to fully understand the neurological structures and processes that cause addiction and shape addicts’ behavior.
Traditionally, this task was left to psychology, which laid down the core theories based on the symptoms displayed and the behavior exhibited. This is analogous to determining the likely issue with a malfunctioning car based on the sounds emitted from the engine or how it reacts when you push the brakes.
Advances in imaging technology — notably through the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) — have enabled scientists to delve deeper into what’s going on inside the brain and develop a robust understanding of the neurology and biochemistry of overcoming addiction. This is like popping open the hood and seeing what’s really going on with the engine.
The brain — broken down
The brain can be split into three sections, based on its evolutionary history. First, you have the brain stem (the reptilian brain), which controls core functions like breathing and the regulation of temperature. This was developed during the earlier stages of human evolution, and is shared with reptiles. Then the limbic system (the mammalian brain) developed along with the first mammals, and controls emotions and the motivation for your behavior.
This makes the limbic system central to the development of addiction, as does its role as the connection between the brain stem and the neocortex, which is the typically “human” part of our brain that is only shared with other higher primates. The fact that ours is much more developed is what separates humans from the other species on the planet in terms of intelligence. The various structures in these three parts of the brain, and the interplay between them, determine who we are.
Addiction and the reward system
The “reward” system of the brain is the area hijacked by addiction. This is an important region for the brain because rewards are what motivate us to continue to take necessary action. The neocortex may enable us to ask complex questions about the reasons for our behavior, but the lure of the reward system’s neurochemical of choice — dopamine — is enough to ensure we continue to eat food and reproduce. In response to these vital activities, the brain releases dopamine into an area of the limbic system known as the nucleus accumbens, which gives us a feeling of pleasure and thereby establishes some motivation to complete the action again.
Drugs of abuse, and activities such as gambling which are known to be addictive, also stimulate the release of dopamine into this area. This creates a pleasure much more powerful than the natural dopamine surges produced by the brain, and effectively short-circuits the reward system, providing a “shortcut” to the dopamine we’re all motivated by. The reason that only roughly one in10 people is susceptible to addiction is thought to be related to genetic or environmental factors which alter the reaction of the reward system to a behavior or substance that stimulates the release of dopamine.
However, the strong grasp of addiction isn’t explained through this pleasure-seeking mechanism of the limbic system alone. In fact, the interplay between dopamine and another neurochemical, glutamate, is thought to contribute to learning related to seeking a reward. The brain effectively “learns” that the best way to get a hit of dopamine is to take a certain substance or repeat a behavior through these two neurochemicals. The person remembers the positive experiences associated with the drug or activity, and in times of stress this motivates the individual to take the substance or repeat the behavior.
Since the limbic system underpins the motivations and emotions of the entire brain, the higher-level functions of the neocortex can’t easily overcome that desire. The intelligent portion of the brain may be aware of the negative consequences of continued use, but its underlying motivation still comes from the reward system of the limbic region. In other words, behavior is determined by the desire to take the substance when an individual is addicted; always driven by the memory of the pleasure it initially created.
Developing drug tolerance
The change that occurs within the brain during addiction causes the development of tolerance. Because the brain is unequipped to deal with such an onslaught of dopamine, it reduces the sensitivity of the reward system. As HelpGuide.org explains, this is analogous to turning down the volume on a loudspeaker when the noise becomes unbearable. As a result, the impact of the drug or activity is reduced, because the dopamine it stimulates no longer has as notable an effect. However, the learning process (associating the drug or activity with pleasure) is long established, so the individual still continues with the behavior, often to greater excess in order to achieve the same dopamine hit.
Ultimately, this means the brain is literally dependent on the substance or activity for its feelings of pleasure. The reduced sensitivity to dopamine means that the naturally produced quantities have very little effect, which contributes to a generally negative mood during times of “withdrawal” (when the substance isn’t taken). This is the final piece in the puzzle that makes drug or process addictions such a challenge to break. The brain has to re-adjust the structure and activity of the reward center yet again before some form of normality is re-established.
These factors mean that overcoming addiction is very difficult indeed, and explain why relapses are so common. The brain’s ability to restructure and adapt, however, means that it is wholly possible, and moreover that it gets easier as you go along. The more the brain “unlearns” the association between the drug or activity and pleasure, the more it restructures itself and the more its naturally produced pleasure chemicals have an impact. Deeper understanding of the neurology of addiction may lead to a medical treatment for addiction in the future, but for now, it shows us that overcoming addiction is achievable.
|Posted on February 17, 2018 at 5:39 PM||comments (3)|
Dennis Rodman's reached a new milestone -- 30 days of sobriety -- but he knows it's a journey ... and he still has a long way to go.
The Worm posted a message for his fans Saturday ... thanking them for the support during his recovery and acknowledging that a lot of people doubted him.
One guy who didn't, though, is his rep Darren Prince ... who says Dennis is "doing what he has to do to take care of himself and become a better healthier person and that’s just so bad ass for this bad boy with a great big heart!"
As we reported ... Rodman entered rehab January 17 -- which he points out was Muhammad Ali's bday -- after getting busted for a DUI in Newport Beach. He checked out a week later, but only to get long-term treatment at the Turning Point center outside L.A.
Interesting note -- Rodman's 30-day mark falls on another legend's bday -- his former teammate, Michael Jordan's!
|Posted on January 26, 2018 at 8:54 PM||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.
|Posted on December 16, 2017 at 12:05 PM||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!