Saturday, August 30, 2008

Television Show "The Cleaner"

I love "The Cleaner" on A&E. It stars Benjamin Bratt and the premise is this man (Bratt) devotes his life to saving people suffering from addictions. He made a promise to God when he was using....that if He saved him, he'd help others with getting over their addictions.

The last one I watched was about a man who was addicted to meth. He promised his son who was in and out of foster care that he was clean and that he was saving money for the 2 of them to move in together. The boy was happy and looking forward to it.

Life got too tough it seems for this man---he couldn't borrow money to be able to get a place for him and his kid---so he went back to the meth. His son was going by to see his dad and that's when he saw him smoking the meth. The son left, crying and came back later when the father was working.

The boy went up to his father and said "What's it like to get high? What is so good about it?"

The father said "It's poison. It's killing me 45 seconds at a time. I know that I still can't stop it. I know what it's doing and I still can't help think what it's gonna be like the next time I smoke and that feeling is the most consuming thing in my world right now.

This was so indicative of what addicts think and feel. Desperate,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In the Days When I Used to Drink a Lot.....

there was a radio show (KLOS) that I loved listening to but it was on at odd hours---Sunday morning from 5-9 am (not that bad) and early Monday morning from 1:00 - 5:30 am (bad!). The host Michael Benner is a spiritual man who talked about God, spirituality and living in peace on this planet.

On the nights I didn't drink I would enjoy listening. I always felt happy that I had abstained from alcohol so I could listen to the show (in those days there weren't podcasts to listen to the show later). But that was only maybe half the time. The other half of the time I was too hungover to get up and listen to the show. On those days I felt hopeless---hopeless that again, I couldn't turn down drinks so I could listen to the radio show and better myself.

I wrote about this in my book and emailed Michael about a year ago telling him that he inspired me and that I had included me listening to him on the radio in my book. He used to say all the time "If we only knew how powerful we were." I guess it stuck and on the day I quit drinking those words came to me throughout the entire day. I didn't ask for them, they just stayed with me all day. But I changed the "we" to "I" and said to myself....."If I knew how powerful I was....I could stop drinking for good." And I did.

We emailed recently and I sent him a copy of the book a few days ago. I told him how he inspired me and he thanked me for sending him the book. I love happy endings!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Saw a Powerful "Intervention" Show

This show was about an alcoholic woman, Marie, 49 years old. When I first saw her and before we knew her age she looked to be around 60 years old. She had been drinking heavily for 10 years and my thoughts were....that's what drinking does to a middle aged woman---makes them look old! She was puffy too and she even said she was puffy because she drank a lot.

This woman had lots of heartaches in her life and she said she drank because she was sad and missed her last husband who had died of alcoholism. He kids were trying to get her to stop. But she had a daughter who said "we were taught to help out family if they're sick, and mom is sick." So she would get the phonecall from Marie asking her to get some vodka and cigarettes and take them over to her house (Marie didn't drive). And she did!

I always like the actual intervention part of the show. They trick the alcoholic into coming somehow and family and friends are waiting, having written something they want to say to the alcoholic. So they went around the room and everyone got to say what they wanted. One daughter was crying, one son said he didn't want to see her anymore if she didn't go away for 90 days to the center to get help. At first I didn't think she would go because Marie always seemed to have an attitude and she said she couldn't stop drinking---she needed it or she'd get the shakes.

But she said she'd go! I have to admit I got emotional because she heard her kids---finally---and she got in the van to go to the airport. She started to cry.

Fast forward 2 months. One of her daughters and the fiance were going to see her. It was the first time they will have seen Marie in 60 days. They knocked on the door of the center and Marie told them to come in. She was coming down the stairs in a nice outfit, nice hairstyle and she was sober. She looked so aware. She looked happy! She had life to her.

She asked her daughter and her fiance to sit down on the couch and tell her what they've been up to. Before when Marie was drinking all the time everything was all about her. Now that she's sober she was more interested in family.

That's what happens when an alcoholic becomes sober. I can speak from experience. The self-centered life goes away and thinking and caring about others becomes the norm.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's My Fault My Cat Doesn't Want the Healthy Food Anymore

Maggie my precious cat was doing fine for years eating only canned food. My vet told me "there aren't crunchies in the wild" and I realized how right he was! And he said that's why Maggie was getting fat---because I was feeding her unhealthy crunchies. She was almost 20 pounds and I cut out the kibbles and she lost about 6 pounds.

A family of raccoons has been living around my house recently and I thought how cute it would be to give them kibbles. So I did and got such a kick out watching them eating the food. But when I would pour the food onto a paper plate Maggie remembered all too well the sound of kibbles being poured. She started begging for some and well....I HAD to give her a few....then a few more....and a few more. Now all she wants is the crunchies....and it's all my fault.

Can anyone see the pattern regarding your eating? You do well for awhile and maybe lose weight, then you start eating "just a little" of some candy lets say and before you know it you're back to eating all the junk you said you'd give up. If you only hadn't started, right?

The good news is you can get back on track right away....don't forget that...

Tonight Maggie is getting her canned food and only 2 kibbles, tomorrow none!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What You'll Give up When You Give Up Alcohol

I was watching a tv minister yesterday and she was talking about what you will be giving up when you give up alcohol and partying. She said you'll give up hangovers, throwing up, spending money on alcohol, losing friendships because of drinking and the lies that you tell family and friends.

I laughed when she said that but I remember years ago when I "seriously" considered giving up alcohol for good. I got upset even thinking about quitting because I thought my life would be awful without it. Awful without partying and being surrounded by people and commotion all the time.

It's just the opposite of what I thought then. Funny how our minds deceive us.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Being Honest With Yourself

I remember when I was drinking a lot years ago how I told myself lies all the time so I wouldn't feel guilty about drinking too much. I would say things like "you know you're going to quit soon" or "when you quit your friends and family will come around again." It just helped me to feel ok about continuing drinking so much.

Looking back now I was too afraid to face the truth. Drinking allowed me to not face myself or the truth. Had I been bold enough to see the truth I wouldn't have been drinking so much I believe. What was the truth? The truth was I didn't know what direction I wanted to go in my life. I didn't like college all that much and I thought if I didn't go to college I'd become a failure. I didn't have the kind of relationships I thought I deserved. I didn't like my body. My brother had been killed in a car accident and it was too much for me to handle.

So instead of looking at truth I escaped with alcohol. The thing is I didn't escape any of the thoughts and feelings I ultimately went through. I just prolonged them by drinking.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I Saw Another Intervention Show

This guy Derek was an alcoholic and his family brought him alcohol when he asked for it. His mother said "we're all puppets and we do whatever he asks us to do because we're afraid he'll kill himself."

Derek said he drank so he wouldn't have to think. He had a girlfriend of many years and she told him they would either marry or she would leave because she wanted a family. They married, Derek started drinking more and she left, met someone and had a child. Derek cried over this and said that's another reason why he drank.

"I'm empty," he said. I thought how true that statement seems to resonate with addicted people. They try to fill up that hole with unhealthy addictions for example. never works, does it? He also said he felt ugly growing up and being rejected by his girlfriend sent him over the top.

We can have reason after reason to drink or eat or whatever addiction but doesn't the problem still remain? Now you've got the problem AND the addiction.

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Books Were Delivered!

I took the day off a few days ago because I wanted to be here when my books arrived from the printer. I got 500 and my distributor got 2500. Out of 500 books only 1 was damaged. Most of the names in my book weren't the real names of the real people so after I put all of the books away in my office I called "Elizabeth" and told her I would be out to see her shortly to give her an autographed copy of my book.

When I got to "Elizabeth's" house she looked at the book and said "Wow, you did it!" She went on to remind me that so many people say they're going to do something like write a book, but never do---and I did. Yes! I did. It took almost 5 years from the idea about the book to the finished product.

Yes, I'm proud of myself that I finished because there were many times I just wanted to give up. I might have moaned and complained for a period of time but I know myself and I knew it would only be a matter of time before I got back on track again. I was determined to finish the book and I did.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Replacing An Addiction with God

I was watching Joyce Meyer this morning. I like the way she gives her talks---she's bold and just says it the way it is. Today we saw the story of a man in England who drank a lot, didn't have religion or God in his life and one day went to a Joyce Meyer conference with his wife. When Joyce asked anyone who wanted to give their life to Christ to go down in the front by her on stage, he and his wife got up and walked to the front of the stage.

This man said he "knew" that THAT was the day things would change for him. He started drinking less every day then after 2 months quit drinking completely. And when Joyce Meyer was talking about this man she said "he replaced his addictin with God." She also said that people try filling that void that only God can fill with drugs, alcohol, sex....and I remember back to when I was drinking heavily, and eating compulsively and smoking a lot. I DID have a void I was trying to fill. Until I became spiritual and realized there was something bigger than myself I had a tremendous void.

Now when I feel that void I stop and realize it's because I haven't prayed lately or spent time with God because I've been too busy or whatever excuse I have.

Having God in your life doesn't guarantee you won't have an addiction of course, but I think it's the best way to get over an addiction when you know it's time to drop it.