Nobody said it was going to be easy.

Here’s a news flash: getting clean/sober is difficult. Right? That’s what many alkie/druggies will tell you. And, not unlike the feeling you get while preparing to jump into frigid water, once it’s done and over with, it’s not as scary as you may have thought.  

In the same way that our minds magnify the anticipated discomfort of the chilled water on exposed flesh, our addicted mind launches a massive campaign to convince us that going without our “medication” will be bad at the least, and more likely, downright unbearable. 

Truth is, there may be moments in early sobriety where it  does feel unbearable. And, there will also be moments that can only be described as exhilarating. 

You will never know how strong you are until you test yourself.

In my personal experience, when I have considered jumping into water that is anything but warm, the biggest motivation is that there is someone already in the water calling me to join them. If they’re encouraging me to come in, there’s one thing I can be sure of: it didn’t kill them.  

The primary reason that I don’t WANT to feel the water is simple: I have some recollection of the last time I was immersed in cold water, and it was absolutely NOT in my comfort zone. Nope. Not even close to it. Similarly, the times when I’d gone without any mood-altering chemicals were also uncomfortable in a BIG way. 
It was only after concluding that it was the only viable option, that I decided to stop using. The way I approached it was like learning to swim after finding myself in the deep end of the pool. Since I wasn’t doing a very good job (at life) on the shore, it seemed like a no-brainer that I should do what I was told by those who had been keeping their heads above water for a while. I learned to keep some distance between myself and other Newbies, because they could easily pull me under and cause me to drown. 

Staying in close contact with others walking the same path has been crucial to my recovery. In my experience, the statistics are true: 1/36 of us will STAY sober. It could be even less than that, I don’t know. But keeping my butt in places where I was continually reminded of what life was like before, saved my life. And being around old-timers gave me such hope and inspiration. 

If you think about it, we have very selective recall. I need to be taken back to how it USED to be, and hearing other people sharing about how it was terrible and horrific for them, just like it was for me, proves to me that even with slight variations on the theme, it’s still gonna SUCK. 

Anyway, it’s not easy to radically change every aspect of your life. It’s scary and uncomfortable. Easy would be staying with the status quo, not rocking the boat. Similarly to victims of domestic violence, the KNOWN insanity is more appealing than the UNKNOWN, cos, really, what if it’s WORSE? I’ve been there. 

If you’re miserable enough where you are, you will eventually break through that fear, and get the hell out. You don’t have to wait until you’ve been traumatized and scarred to allow yourself an opportunity to see if perhaps there is Something Good out there waiting for you. 

Even if you don’t know how to swim, I know of a LOT of people (myself included) who will be happy to lend you a life raft. Just let us know that you’re about to jump, and we will be there to help you hold your head above water. 

Written from my cabin in the mountains.

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“Sit With Us”

I just had to spread the word about a brilliant app created to help kids find someone to sit with at lunch, thereby reducing the likelihood of their becoming a target for bullying.

I know that those who stop by wondrland are some of the most compassionate and creative folks around, and I want to ask you to share the info about this app with any – and everyone you can. (The link is at the bottom of this post.)

Too many of us grew up being bullied, and those scars don’t go away. Thanks. My Tribe is the best. ❤

​http://sitwithus.io./#!/News

3 unbelievable things my Dad gave me

Last month, on the 21st was the anniversary of the day my Dad graduated to Heaven. I don’t know of any better way to describe our relationship, when he died, than to say that I was a Daddy’s Girl. Really, though, that doesn’t even come close to describing how it was.
It hadn’t always been like that; for most of my life he’d been self-medicating as best he could, which caused a great strain on our relationship, to say the least. That pain affected every area of my life, and still does sometimes, even after so many years of my own recovery.
Maybe that’s why it was so much sweeter when he got clean & sober and we began to get to know one another. It was just a little over a year after he got into recovery that I figured out that “maybe drinking/drugging ISN’T the answer, after all!”

So, since I didn’t mention the day on the other Social Media outlets, I wanted to commemorate it here.  Here are 3 things Dad gave me, that I wouldn’t give back, even if I could:

  1. A wonderfully warped sense of humor. No one has ever “got” my humor like Dad did, and that’s probably where I learned it in the first place.
    photo-dad.jpg

    Dad’s response when prompted to show his excitement at coming to see me in Germany.

    Sure, I’ve met a few interesting individuals who have come close, and my brother and I have had some hysterical laughs, to be sure, but we don’t really interact enough to know if our viewpoint on All Things Funny is that much the same.

  2. A faith in the Creator, and some knowledge of The Word. He was the only person I’ve ever known, personally, that read the Bible through, cover to cover (even the LONG boring lists and things) every year for the last decade or more of his life. When he broke loose of the LAW and grabbed ahold of the SPIRIT, he was the greatest man I’ve ever known.
  3. Addiction, depression, and the tools to combat and overcome them, along with whatever other unseen illnesses we may have had handed down through our relatives. My Dad found recovery in the Rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous just 7 years before he died. I am positive that he would say that they were the most fulfilling years of his life. He made a great impact on the small AA community of which he was a fixture during that time, and it blessed my heart every time I walked into a meeting and everyone knew me as “Roger’s Daughter”.

Because I’m at the library and don’t want to get myself all weepy, I’ll stop there. People will say what they want, and I know my memories and/or stories I hear from/about him might be different than others, but they’re mine.

My Dad, was for a long time, a go-getter. He broke records in salesmanship when he was a younger man. He worked hard, and he played hard. He was, I suppose, the kind of guy that you either loved him or hated him. For a while, I hated him. Thank God, he found a new way of living and made amends both verbally and with his life, so that when he died, he was my best friend.

Darn it, I didn’t want to cry.

I love you, Dad. I will miss you until I see you again.Thanks for the laughs.

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The Solidarity of the Nose-Ring Clan. Dad has his tough-guy face on, and a clip-on nose ring.

XOXOXO

 

Posted from my cabin in the mountains.

The real cause for addiction

This is a short video that says a WHOLE lot. I would  be remiss in having this blog without including it.

The cause of addiction/alcoholism is a hotly debated subject. It seems that most people involved in the discussion have an emotional investment in either A) a loved one who is an active addict; B) a person who overdosed and did not live to tell about it; or C) their own addiction.

Rarely have I come across a conversation about addiction that didn’t end up with someone either pissed off or crying or both. Unless, of course, one of the people just shuts down and stops talking/listening. That will keep it from escalating to the point of an emotional volcano, erupting.

I suppose that those in the recovering community are the only ones who are able to have a calm discussion about this topic, because we have “lived to tell the tale”, as the old saying goes. In the case of emotional discussions, I have been A) a loved one of active addicts; B) a friend to those who have OD’d; and also C) an addict.

It’s kind of ironic how the closest people to the subject are often the ones who can talk about it rationally and calmly, while those going on hearsay or common opinion are too emotional to really hear anything true or logical about addiction.

Seeing the whirling dervish that is an active alcoholic/addict, and the destruction invariably left in their wake, it’s easy to see why those in relationship with them would be extremely emotional in their reaction. Surely any interaction with a mentally ill person would have a similar outcome. Anger, grief, shock, disgust, disappointment…sounds familiar, right?

I’m not sure where I’m trying to go with this, but I hope at least that your interest has been piqued enough to get you to take a look at the video.

Seriously, knowledge is power. Check it out. If you don’t know any addicts, now, (that you are aware of being addicted, that is), you may at some point discover that you do. And it would be great for both of you, if you were fore-armed with this info.

Danke. 🙂

Welcome to Wondrland

Happy Spring (in the US, that is)!
It’s been 19 days since the launch of this blog, and I just wanted to say hello and thank you for coming by and joining me as I venture down into the Rabbit Hole, uncovering and exploring curious things like addiction and mental health. And little cakes that make you smaller and drinks that make you grow. But enough about my drugs of choice. 😉

Some of you were blessed friends from the previous blog, and many of you here, are new to the block. We’re a fairly outspoken bunch, here, but also full of empathy and caring. I have said more than once that I care enough about people to risk them getting mad at me, if the truth angers them. If you or your loved one were in danger, wouldn’t you want to be warned?? If your answer is no, then this might not be the place for you. Maybe, if you stick around, you’ll change your mind, or maybe you’ll give me reason to change my mind.
So, how about an “ice breaker” –
Let’s play “2 truths and a lie”! I’ll tell you a couple of (true)things about myself that you may not know, and I’ll tell you a lie about me. You can guess which one is the lie, and also, leave me 2 truths and a lie about yourself in the comments. After there’s been enough time for everyone to leave their comments, I’ll tell you what was true and what was not.
1. When I was in 4th grade I told my classmates that I’d been on the kids’ show “ZOOM.
2. When I was young, I told my little brother that the white liquid inside of dandelions (when you snap the stem) was milk (and he needed to taste it to be sure).
3. I have 4 pairs of Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

Now, you.

Posted from my cabin in the mountains.