Archives for posts with tag: alcoholism

buoy

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My soul is troubled this afternoon. Someone I know is drinking herself to an early death. She has two choices: to continue drinking or to accept a spiritual life-line to recovery—-one that has been repeatedly thrown to her. She is periodically forced by circumstances to stop drinking momentarily and go through detox; at those times she tentatively grabs hold of the lifeline of recovery.  Inevitably, she soon lets go and once again returns to drinking. Is she weak willed? Immoral? Hopeless? Evil? Manipulative?  Perhaps and perhaps not. However, one thing is certain—— she is suffering from an illness and should no more be blamed for the symptoms of that illness than a child with a cold should be blamed for having a runny nose and a hacking cough.

Here’s what the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous had to say about the situation my friend finds herself caught up in:

“If you are as seriously alcoholic as we were, we believe there is no middle-of-the-road solution. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help.”

Wilson, Bill; Smith, Dr. Bob (2011-07-21). The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous   (Kindle Locations 542-545).  . Kindle Edition.

This is exactly the dilemma my friend is facing—-she can continue drinking herself to death or she can accept spiritual help. For those of us who have chosen God’s spiritual help one day at a time and are experiencing the gift of recovery, it is extremely difficult to watch someone we care about consciously and deliberately choose to follow his or her alcoholic path “to the bitter end.”

I wish I could force my friend to “hit bottom” and choose living—–but I cannot. God gives each of us freedom of choice. I pray for my friend to want recovery bad enough to seek  it and keep it; and I know many others are praying the same prayer. The most supportive thing we can do now is “back off” and let her experience the consequences of her actions in the hope that they will motivate her to choose recovery.  In the back of our minds, though, is the knowledge that our friend might rather “drink to the bitter end.”  It is hard to stand by and let someone make that choice, but we truly have to release the situation into the care of God’s hands.

Thanks for letting me get this “all out on cyber paper.” Just writing it helps. I hope some of you can join us in praying for our friend to make the right choice this time and to continue making it. May God bless and keep you.

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Acceptance2

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Just heard a commercial  on television for a movie where the narrator announces “moderation is for cowards.” Finally, I have it on good authority I am not a coward! Somehow that still doesn’t make my “nothing in moderation” memories any easier to bear. Now, I am watching a re-run of a Law and Order Special Victims Unit episode about alcoholism and blackouts. The attorney who was an alcoholic basher has to face her own alcoholism in this episode, and the defendant who got off on a miss-trial has to live with the knowledge he’ll never know if he killed a stranger during a blackout or not. An expert during the trial testified about evidence supporting the fact that alcoholism is a neurological disease.

As for my other “main addiction,” compulsive eating, not being a coward doesn’t make it any easier to live with trigger foods, food cravings, and binge eating or addictive dieting/exercise. There is probably a neuro-biological justification for that “condition” also. With alcohol, you can stop drinking. With food, you have to eat to stay alive.

I am not going to make any New Year’s resolutions about any of this because the only reprieve I have is a daily gift from my Higher Power. My addictions are what they are. Thank heaven the solution is what it is for both of them. God does do for me what I cannot do for myself. Even with these gifts those of us in recovery have to live in reality; we don’t automatically live happily ever after—-nor does anyone, for that matter.  Those of us in recovery are often well acquainted with depression. Many times we have residual physical problems left over to remind us of previous excesses. Sometimes we cross-addict to something else that eventually kills us; many in recovery die from problems associated with smoking——an addiction that, compared to alcoholism, can seem relatively safe.

Where am I going with this? I am not sure. I am presently “recovering” and recuperating from my drive back home after spending Christmas with family. What used to be an enjoyable experience I looked forward to, driving to and from my father’s house,  is now a major challenge. The trip back took two hours more than it should have. Seven hours became nine hours. Emergent GI problems which necessitated multiple stops along the way and painful arthritic wrists added to the challenge. I am grateful to have arrived home, and I am working on accepting my mind, body, and eyesight (after dark driving with beginning level cataracts  is the pits!) are all altering as I age.

I am grateful for God giving me almost an entire year without having to be hospitalized.  Even though medical experts cannot explain my reoccurring partial small bowel blockages, this year has taught me stress plays a big role in contributing to them. I have consciously tried to avoid as much stress as I can since my last hospitalization, and I think limiting my driving trips to my father’s and back to only two trips this year has probably helped me do so along with all the other changes I have instituted in my life such as deep breathing, centering prayer, meditation, lavender-based aroma therapy, and just “saying no” to being over-extended .

The time spent with my almost 92 year old father was a true gift from God, and I thank Creator for giving me the special time I was able to share with him.  I would not have missed it for the world. I think  I am starting to realize I am becoming a coward. I am learning moderation in some things. Sometimes I do so kicking and screaming, sometimes I am a bit more receptive.

As we approach the New Year I ask Creator to continue to help me accept moderation on an as-needed basis, and for all my friends who can still celebrate seeing the New Year in with the help of alcoholic beverages, I pray that Creator also gives you the gift of moderation or a designated driver to see you safely home. God bless and keep you.