Wednesday, January 30, 2008

the day

micky banned
hillary running
craigslist ranting
meetings annoying
dhl shipping terrible
lunch with d, fun
mike's wireless working
pete- bad, poop & pee
temper up
bills paid
dell apologetic
vacation impending
day interesting
night dark

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Life is good...

I'm contented, healthy, and enjoying everyday life...

but I would really like to have few drinks.
not looking to escape, kill pain or forget about past transgressions.

it's not an agonizing obsession, or even a constant thought;
merely a passing desire.

I don't believe I'm any different than many folks who have
similar urges.

I think i'll wait 14 more years and stick to my original plan of
quitting for 20 years, and then deciding if i want to try it again.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

culture, binge drinking, & moderation

fascinating look at stereotypes and statistical facts;

The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, January 26, 2008

Irish Drinking Stereotype Denies Being a Cultural Stereotype

Chris Matthews – a liberal political pundit on MSNBC – is a proud Irish American. On the MSNBC morning show, responding to a joke by Mika Brzezinski about his drinking at a prominent Irish social event, Matthews responded: “Despite the ethnic stereotype, I haven’t had a drink since 1994.”

Note to Matthews: this is the Irish cultural stereotype. George Vaillant found that Irish-Americans in Boston were seven times as likely to become alcoholics as Italian, Greek, and Jewish Americans – at the same time as they were more likely to abstain. Vaillant commented: “It is consistent with Irish culture to see the use of alcohol in terms of black or white, good or evil, drunkenness or complete abstinence.”

(Interestingly, Vaillant was a board member at AA, which is the American version of this perspective.)

The same is true of Irish drinking in Ireland itself. According to the Department of Health and Children in Dublin, Ireland is the European country with the lowest daily drinking rate and the highest binge drinking rate. Only two percent of Irish men drink daily, while nearly half binge weekly. This is the virtual reverse of drinking by Italians.

Alcohol and Moderation
Ireland vs. Italy
% of men who
Drink every day Binge 1+/week

Source: European Comparative Alcohol Study

Chris Matthews is the most incisive and critical political commentator on American TV (he is a vehement critic of the Iraq war, for instance). Yet, depressingly, he cannot differentiate between stereotypical – and harmful – binge drinking and regular, enjoyable – and healthy – moderate drinking.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

AA & Chiropractic

I am beginning to see the similarities between aa meetings
and going to the chiropractor.
My experience with the body-twisters was the exact same
spinal manipulation for every different ailment.
While the bending and cracking did provide temporary
relief, the only long-term solution offered, was to come back
weekly for more.

What i sought were answers and exercises to correct any
imbalances i had. there was no desire or need to become
long-term dependent on external manipulation.

AA tells me the same thing; come here forever, or be
in pain.
Sorry, I seek the same knowledge and methods for
improving my mental health as i do my physical well

I do not want to rely on group therapy forever.
just supply me with the tools and tactics that i
can implement into my daily life, to deal with the
issues of drugs and alcohol; without the chiro-warning
that i must come back indefinitely, or remain in pain.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

worth reading

from Stanton Peele;
Addiction vs Redemption

The same issues underlie people’s ability to overcome addiction. Americans have always approached addiction spiritually. That is, even as HBO and the National Institute on Drug Abuse trumpet a new age of addiction as brain disease, their narratives are of redemption – of people saved from the brink of hell by God, love, revelation, and personal commitment.

This is why the primary therapy for addiction in the United States is the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, with its submission to a higher power (which courts have ruled represents the Christian divinity) and the need to make amends. If there were some medical cure for addiction, there would be no need for AA, despites its own view of addiction as a disease.

But the 12 steps will always be with us – as will addiction. The paradox of addiction is that it provides people with something they find essential, yet that harms them and that they wish to change. And this is the time of year when we struggle most with this paradox. Christmas and New Year’s are holidays that focus on the need for change, at the same time as they call forth addictions to alcohol, food, and medications for depression.

I wish Mr. Peele would open Rehab facilities throughout the U.S.
His comprehensive approach would benefit thousands of addicts and
alcoholics who just don't respond to the "tried and failed" 12 step method.

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Take some credit people...

life is a garden,
not a road
we enter and exit
through the same gate
where we go matters less
than what we notice
~ Bokonon ~

I'm not getting much inspiration from my attendance at meetings.
Aside from the few who share from their heart, most of the talk is
the same recycled, slogan clone-speak.

lately, many of the topics have been steps, God, powerlessness and relationships.
Very few in the rooms are willing to take ANY credit for their recovery.
It's either HP, the group, sponsor, steps, big book or prayer. Never mentioned
is the individual's own initiative to get off their ass and do something without
checking with the group or a sponsor.

While I am willing to share that all of those things are PART of my plan;
none is of ANY use if i dont take some responsibility and credit for my
own recovery.

I take what i need and leave the rest; unfortunately for me, there isnt much to take.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

serious reading about addiction

The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, where many of the cookie-cutter standard treatment methods are challenged. I am a regular reader of this informative and revolutionary site.
He states the facts the establishment doesn't want to hear.

Why We Can’t Cure Addiction Medically

The decline of the steel industry and the former U.S. industrial heartland -- now known as the Rust Belt -- has left behind poverty, unemployment, hopelessness and drug abuse.

This news is news to no one who is alive and awake. In areas left hopeless, substance abuse and addiction will prevail, as night follows day. To even suggest that addiction medicine specialists could flood these areas (which would never happen – they prefer wealthier locales with better-insured residents) is to make clear how little treatment has to do with the larger addiction equation.

As I wrote a generation ago in the Los Angeles Times, addiction “is no more a treatable medical problem than is unemployment, lack of coping skills, or degraded communities and despairing lives. The only remedy for addiction is for more people to have the resources, values and environments necessary for living productive lives.”

My latest book, Addiction-Proof Your Child, is about the generation of young people being produced in the United States today. If they are susceptible to mind-altering experiences as fundamental involvements and crutches for life, then we are doomed to face increasing numbers of addicts. Better methods of treatment can never solve this crisis.

It's so refreshing and encouraging to read approaches that challenge the tired, ineffective
modalities that have remained unchanged for decades.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

words of wisdom

Finish Every Day

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities
no doubt have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.

Tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with
your old nonsense.

This day is all that is
good and fair.
It is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on yesterdays.

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The best-of.... alphabetically

Best-of by the letters...

a -all time going away ceremony(and longest)--Jake
b -balance of meeting variety-Lakeville Nooners
c -coin distributor using the same routine every week-Jerrick
d -drunk still maintaining a sense of humor-Dave
e -excuse given after failing Breathalyzer-I only had 2 hard lemonades
f -fastest talker with eyes closed-Sandi
g -god squad promoter-Mark; whose every move is made possible by his higher power
h -hypocrite running a sober house-Joe C
i -independently wealthy contributor-Drew L
j -jailed DWI to get job promotion after release-Jen S
k-kid friendly meetings--Lakeville nooners
l -looking while plastered at a meeting-Jen S
m-meeting with fewest number of pretenders-Lakeville Nooners
n- nazi rehab-Stonehaven
o-open speaker discussion--none
p -pretender at being a dual-diagnosis rehab-Silver Hill
q -quitter of commitments-Dominick
r- rehab for women-far away from men
s- schizophrenic who occasionally makes sense-Mikey V
t -total character assassinator-Tom F
u- under-estimated powerhouse-Roger M
v -vindictive small town population-North Canaan
w- worst slogan-my worst day sober is better than my best day drunk
x- x-file stories--any tri-state speaker meeting
y -young peoples meeting--all
z -zoo-like atmosphere--Eagle Hill

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

3 pronged approach

This is how I view recovery from addiction.
There is NO single solution to alcoholism and drug abuse.
Sorry loyal AA old-timers, but your long-term success
rates of 5 percent don't impress or encourage me.

You cannot treat a physical, mental and emotional
illness with prayer.
Belief in a Higher Power can be beneficial and comforting,
but it will not keep you away from a drink or drug.

My journey of recovery starts with addressing mental
Whether it's depression, bi-polar,anxiety, ADHD, or PTSD,
these are the medical health issues which must be treated first.

Next, I can incorporate 12 step, self-help modalities to deal
with moral issues and share experience, strength and hope
with people who can identify with these, and provide support.

Finally, I must implement Behavior Modification, which allows
me to reflect on self-reliance, group therapy and peer support.
The importance of this facet of the triangle is that it provides
the optimum support for a chronic relapser.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

speaker meetings

I stay away from speaker meetings because;

Chances are, I've heard their story 9 times already

Many speakers feel they must share everything from the age of 5

Very little time left for discussion

Most really don't practice what they preach

I don't care what got them there

Many are 90 minutes; I only have a 60 minute attention span

no one should be allowed to hold 30 people hostage for 30 minutes

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Kenny Rogers sang...

"You got to know when to hold up, know when to fold up"

A simple. react or not scenario we face everyday.
yet the ability to discern between the two, is one of the
fundamental factors in rational vs addicted thinking.
i use this card playing analogy as a model for how i
interact with family, friends, coworkers and the public.

Back in the day, there was no folding due to pride and ego.
since much of my life was a bluff, based on the illusion of
control and success. even when wrong, i never backed down
from a contest of wills.

today i can hold up on that outburst or comment, just by resisting the old
urge to confront and challenge.
taking the time to think before i speak, works wonders.
i have the opportunity to assess; does it need to be said now,
or even at all?

sometimes i do need to fold, throw in the cards
accept defeat, and just wait for the next hand
to be dealt.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

AA Slogans & Realities

Meeting makers make it- make what? I see plenty of meeting makers who just make meetings without any growth or recovery.

sobriety is judged on the maintenance of my spiritual condition-- what about your mental & emotional condition?

you are not alone, yes while you're at the meeting--after that you are alone with your thoughts, urges & challenges

it works if you work it---so that means the 95% who fail, just didn't work it?

stick with the winners---and they are? the most eloquent slogan slingers?

we are only sick as our secrets---ok, so after you come clean, it means you didn't do that sick thing? you are only as sick as your actions

respect the anonymity of others---yeah right! telephone, telegraph, tell anything at a meeting; it will get out

when we talk to God its called prayer, when God talks to us its called schizophrenia

my worst day sober is better than my best day drunk---wow this one is for people who never had a good time drinking

and my all time favorite; it's a spiritual program, not a religious one.

Okay, is that why God is mentioned in 6 of the 12 steps,
and only twice in the Ten commandments?
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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Anna Kournikova

Just because...

Here is an elite female athlete who just happens to be beautiful.
It always amazed me how out of shape sportscasters and many
tennis fans, would dwell on the fact she was never rated in the
top 10 in the world, in singles.

They NEVER mention the fact that Anna was part of the #1
doubles team in the world for 2 YEARS, with Martina Hingis.
So much for the "she just looks good" rant.

Even more interesting to me, is that the criticism came from
folks who never even made All-state in their sport.
I have been holding on to this for quite some time and now
I can say it the world; well, to the loyal few who read my
blog anyway!

So there it is; no talk of recovery today.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

new look

I wanted to try a new look & found this blue flame.
any comments on it are welcome!
Not crazy about the banner on top, though.

Just came from the Moutainside meeting; what an
I hate rehab meetings, all pomp and no substance.

Mostly wealthy young people, there for the hookups.

Well, I sat through it; all hour and 20 minutes of a 1
hour meeting.

I guess there was a lesson about patience and tolerance

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Thursday, January 10, 2008


Top 5 things today;

5.) Arise, brew coffee, recite Serenity Prayer

4.) Morning chat with Deb, get reminded of things to do

3.) Await visits from anyone next door sharing their daily plan

2.) Read sites on Top 100 Sober Blogs

1.) Pick topic for tonights Real Deal meeting

Just another day of country living, enjoying the warm spell
until it ends.
Talk about keep it simple!
My life might not be as exciting as it was; but it is gratifying.
Freedom of choice is a wonderful thing.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Daily thoughts

What I've learned today about life, love and the pursuit of serenity. life goes on; good and bad, happy & sad.
My contribution is what I make it; handling things I can & letting go of those I can't.

Love is a many splintered thing, exciting, frustrating, gratifying & disappointing.
as I watch the drama unfold among the young folks around me, I am reminded of all those unbridled emotions of youth.
While we try to advise the MTV generation about the possible consequences of their actions, they usually have to experience things for themselves.

Serenity is simply that inner peace, accepting the hand I'm dealt, making the most of it, and enjoying the company of family , friends and co-workers. Hopefully that tranquility will be reflected outwardly in all my endeavors.

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Monday, January 7, 2008

A buck a day!

Something I like to share at meetings; where else can you get coffee, cookies
and the chance to listen and speak freely about whatever is on your mind?

Think of it as group therapy, without the hourly fee.
Sure, I don't see AA as a panacea, but I can recognize
the value and power of the group conscience.

My personal choice is to apply the principles as they
relate to the total package of recovery.
In addition to the 12 Step model, I must address any
psych, social and emotional issues.

The sobriety puzzle contains many pieces; if I neglect
any of them, my chances of continued recovery are

As long as I continue to identify and address my issues,
I have a chance to maintain my serenity and be of
service to another alcoholic.

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Saturday, January 5, 2008

No single solution

My way of looking at the methods of recovery.
When I hear talk of AA is the only way, I just
have to shake my head.
Sure AA has worked for some for many years,
but there are more co-occurring mental disorders
and dual addictions today.

The old "take the cotton out of your ears" credo
just doesn't cut it anymore. There are a large
percentage of alcoholics who suffer from clinical
depression and bi-polar disorder.
Without first addressing these issues, no amount of
prayer, meetings and steps are going to lead to

For all you loyal old-timers out there, I say kudos
on your continued progress; but please don't discourage
newcomers from getting ALL the help they need.
AA and spirituality can be valuable assets, provided
underlying psychological issues are being identified
and treated.

Addiction is no longer a simple matter; it is a complex
array of genetic, emotional, and behavioral factors.

My belief is a multifaceted approach is absolutely
necessary to combat this baffling illness.

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Thursday, January 3, 2008

My Marbles...

Feel like I'm losing them.
It appears that I have reached the point where
anti-depressants have become ineffective.

No longer is it just that flat feeling I have gotten
used to, I am regressing to the point of mild agoraphobia.
I'm sure a part of it is seasonal, but it seems more
debilitating than it should be.

Thankfully, I'm getting advice from someone who has
gone through a similar experience. After reading her
posts on "in repair", I have someone to consult with, as I
attempt to change my med regimen.

Other than that, we had an excellent house meeting.
I didn't drink or drug today, Deb went back to work,
and life is still good; regardless of whatever comes my
way in the journey of recovery

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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

On Craigslist Rants & Raves, NYC...


Reply to:
Date: 2008-01-01, 2:13PM EST

by John

1. We admitted we were powerful-- that our lives are not unmanageable.

2. Came to believe in ourselves.

3. Made a decision to reclaim our autonomy.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of Alcoholics Anonymous.

5. Admitted the exact nature of their wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to revoke our A.A. membership.

7. Stopped going to meetings.

8. Made a list of all the things that we love to do.

9. Took the time to engage in these activities whenever possible, and made an effort to cultivate new friendships along the way.

10. Continued to take AA's inventory and when we were WRONGED promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through communication and contemplation to access our own innate wisdom, seeking to embrace our independence and free ourselves permanently from the bondage of Alcoholics Anonymous.

12. Having regained our personal integrity as a result of these steps, we tried to live our lives according to the dictates of our own conscience, and to choose the path that serves our greatest good.


Originally contributed to:

the John is NOT me by the way,
and I'm sure Micky will find this post interesting.

some of the points are valid and could be useful
for certain folks.

I feel these "steps" merely reinforce the idea that
AA and the 12 Steps are not effective for everyone.

It's about whatever works for the individual.

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