Saturday, August 30, 2008

september is...

issued by the President;
Now, Therefore, I, George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 2008 as National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this month with the appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

september has been declared national drug &
alcohol recovery month!

sounds encouraging as a step in the right direction.

increasing awareness can be beneficial by encouraging
people to seek help and reduce misinformation and
the stigma attached to addiction.

the promise of global interdiction is empty and
unrealistic. the major world production of drugs
will continue as long as there is a demand for them.

our best hope for solving the addiction puzzle is
offering treatment rather than punishment for
the addict-alcoholic.

hopefully the september message will carry
throughout the rest of the year.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008


one of the elements of the serenity prayer

the poster is a reminder of the ups & downs
of everyday life.

sure it would be nice to have things go our
way all the time, but that is neither possible
nor desirable.

life without adversity just isn't realistic.
it would be impossible to appreciate the
good times of our lives, without the
negative experiences.

our personality has much to do with the
level of acceptance we exhibit.
in recovery we have the advantage of a
clear view of circumstances; unlike our
former impaired sense of right and wrong.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


taking responsibility;
owning up to past wrongs,
"manning up" to present behaviors(thanks Roger for the term)

all essential elements of growing up.

some of us had people who bailed us out,
cleaned up our messes and constantly
made excuses for us.

becoming responsible does away with
passing the buck, blaming others or
shifting focus off of our behaviors.

while uncomfortable at first, the rewards
of living an accountable life are worth the effort
and time it takes to become honest; with
ourselves and others.

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Sunday, August 24, 2008


where have we heard that before?

for anyone who has tried moderation or
switching drinks, the end results were
always the same.

it's not so much insanity as it is the brain's
desire for intoxication. that primitive part
of our brain without conscience, or fear of

our actions are certainly irrational when
attempting to use safely, considering the
usual health, legal and moral problems
that always accompany the futile attempt.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

diet & fitness

for anyone who drank for a period of years,
the effects on the body are quite damaging.

starting with the diuretic effect alcohol has,
which leaves us constantly dehydrated.
the water soluble vitamins, C & B-complex
are also seriously depleted.

it is wise to take a quality multi-vitamin &
mineral supplement. plenty of water, taken
beyond thirst is a good idea.

personal diet recommendations depend on
our condition of over or underweight upon
starting recovery.

any exercise regimen is advised, provided
you start slowly and gradually increase
intensity and duration.

walking is a good start; even if it's just
around the block at first.
if possible, join a gym and try some
resistance training.
the physical and mental benefits will
be instantly noticed.
chemical endorphins are released in
the brain, which provide a feeling of
well being.

remember, don't expect to be running
marathons or lifting hundreds of pounds.
take your time and enjoy the road or gym.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see.

Faith is believing in something common sense tells us not to.

Sorrow looks back.
Worry looks around.
Faith looks up.

some interesting and thought provoking
quotes on faith.

it can be difficult at times, to maintain
a belief in something we can't see or touch.

over time our concept of faith may change.
as life's stresses challenge our beliefs, there
may be doubts, rebellion and mistrust.

these negative feelings can be overcome,
if we trust that we have done our utmost,
and the outcome is out of our control.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

200 posts later

well, I'm still here...
and reading my faves on
Top 100 Sober Blogs!

it has been informative, refreshing
and interesting to get a glimpse of
various folks journeys through addiction
and recovery.

except for micky, everyone has been
welcoming and friendly.
I have even posted some of his comments,
provided there were pertinent.

some days blogging is a good substitute
for a meeting. writing my thoughts and
feelings has a cathartic effect; almost
like taking inventory.

It may appear at times, that i criticize AA,
but my goal is to challenge some of the old
methods that don't relate to today's needs.

the increasing number of people who come
into recovery with co-existing conditions
and multiple substance issues, call for
creative and various methods of addressing them.

i seek not to bash the 12 step approach,
but to augment and accept the reality
of the shortcomings of any "1 size fits all"

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

life today

I had to come up with a caption for this photo;
meerkats are just too cute!

life is good today.
I'm healthier now than I was at 40.
retirement is awesome(unless you're workaholic)
even though i loved my career, there were
changes in the personnel , leadership and types
of calls we responded to.

the number of medical runs was going up,
and the amount of fires were going down.
we had a t-shirt that expressed our view;

now I work part time in fitness.
it is a lesson in humility.
once a former gym owner, now
i just coach members on technique.

though not as exciting, my life today
is contented, stable and meaningful.

having 6 recovering alky-addicts living
in the other half of our duplex is amazing.
there is daily opportunity for me to
witness all the phases, levels and tests
of recovery.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

show up, own up, grow up

the path to recovery begins with
becoming responsible, accountable
and available.

making an honest assessment of
our veracity, with ourselves as well
as with others, is essential.

emotional maturity can be the most
elusive element of sobriety.
letting go of childish wants and means of
instant gratification can be challenging.

yes, growing up takes time and effort.
as we do, we can become less self-centered
and needy.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.

Albert Einstein

a lesson learned from watching one's actions; talk really is cheap.

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.
Robert Frost
no matter what happens, life still goes on; accept it without intoxication

Man is the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.


the power of positive thinking

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.

Rabindranth Tagore

true happiness gained through helping others

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill
a creed for this former relapser to live by

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.
replace the destructive ways with positive habits

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

becoming honest, reliable and accountable

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
Hugh Downs

outlook is paramount in all aspects of life

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Sunday, August 10, 2008


affirmations allow a positive outlook and
the ability to achieve greater heights.
visualizing your dreams is empowering;
replacing any negativity or self-doubt.

like the little engine that could...I think I can, I think I can!

Fear is only a feeling; it cannot hold me back.

As my commitment to help others grows, so does my wealth.

I need not know the entire journey in order to take one step

An opportunity is simply a possibility until I act on it.

I am grateful for the people in my life.

Thank you for the opportunity to balance my mind, body and spirit.

Today I awaken to my higher wisdom

I don’t have to be perfect; I just have to be me.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

follow your dreams

The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but
significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along
your path will take on greater meaning.
(Oprah Winfrey)

powerful, yet simple advice about attaining a goal.

the small improvements are many times unnoticed.

the steps of recovery are not a ladder to be climbed;
but a circle to be continuously walked.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

12 steps plus

The 16 steps;

We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives
and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our
self-esteem and security.

Alternative: We admit/acknowledge we are
out of control with/powerless over ________ yet have the power to take
charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other
people for our self-esteem and security.

We come to believe that God/Goddess/Universe/Great
Spirit/Higher Power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open
ourselves to the power.

We make a decision to become our authentic selves and
trust in the healing power of the truth.

We examine our beliefs, addictions and dependent
behavior in the context of living in a hierarchical, patriarchal

We share with another person and the Universe all those
things inside of us for which we feel shame and guilt.

We affirm and enjoy our intelligence, strengths and
creativity, remembering not to hide these qualities from ourselves and

We become willing to let go of shame, guilt, and any
behavior that keeps us from loving ourselves and others.

We make a list of people we have harmed and people who
have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making
amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.

We express love and gratitude to others and increasingly
appreciate the wonder of life and the blessings we do have.

We learn to trust our reality and daily affirm that we
see what we see, we know what we know and we feel what we feel.

We promptly admit to mistakes and make amends when
appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done
and we do not cover up, analyze, or take responsibility for the
shortcomings of others.

We seek out situations, jobs, and people who affirm our
intelligence, perceptions and self-worth and avoid situations or people
who are hurtful, harmful, or demeaning to us.

We take steps to heal our physical bodies, organize our
lives, reduce stress, and have fun.

We seek to find our inward calling, and develop the will
and wisdom to follow it.

We accept the ups and downs of life as natural events
that can be used as lessons for our growth.


We grow in awareness that we are sacred beings,
interrelated with all living things, and we contribute to restoring
peace and balance on the planet.

I am impressed by this list of steps.
just as i posted in my keys to recovery,
the acceptance of powerlessness can be
counterproductive and conducive to relapse.

these steps reinforce our attributes and affirm
our ability to take charge of our recovery.
these steps are being used in hundreds of
groups and some rehabs throughout the country.

the diversity of folks and complexity of
addiction today, calls for augmentation
to the traditional 12 step recovery.

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Monday, August 4, 2008


today i am grateful for;

sunny days,
clean bill of health,
watching the guys in our house progress,
working out,
being comfortable around folks who drink socially,
free group therapy,
another day clean & sober,

and not having to get another colonoscopy for 10 years!

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

one day at a time?

a common mantra heard in the rooms of recovery.

actually we have no choice in the matter;
humans have been doing this for eons.

initially the practice left me feeling a bit insecure.

I guess it implied that i could not plan for the future.
now i realize that's not the case; just don't have
unrealistic expectations, or try to plan outcome.

i no longer wake up and decide not
to drink for that day.

nearly 5 years ago, i decided to quit for 20 years.
i know that goes against all the literature and advice.
how this works for me is by quieting that inner voice
in my mid-brain, and precluding it from asking
every day; "can we just try some wine, or a few beers?"

now that i've given myself the option of drinking 15
years from now, there is no longer that daily conflict,
weighing the pros and cons, and the rest of the
bargaining that occurred on a daily basis.

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