Sunday, January 31, 2010

Do You Have to Know Why You're Addicted?

For years when I was drinking I thought that the only way I could ever quit was to figure out why I was drinking. I read books, watched tv talk shows like Phil Donahue (he had psychologists and the like on a lot) and read magazine articles trying to figure it out. I never really found out, and I haven't had a drink in almost 22 years.

On the day that I quit drinking it hit me like a ton of bricks---I didn't need to know why I drank, just so that I was done with drinking. I may figure it out down the road, and I may not. I saw clearly on that day that the most important thing I could do was to quit drinking. Then it didn't really matter in the long run why I drank because drinking wasn't going to be an issue for me anymore anyway.

I think that most people think like I did initially---that you have to find out why you are addicted, then when you do it will magically fall away on its own. It doesn't work that way.

But the good news is, you don't need to know why you're addicted. You just need to quit.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

If You Fail, Get Up and Do It Again

I have a friend whose husband was in the Vietman war. He lost friends in the war and has survivor's guilt. So he drinks because of his guilt for having survived.

A few months ago this man called me up (because he knew that I'd quit drinking) and said he was really ready to quit drinking. He said he was tired of drinking and being hungover, but more than that, he was afraid of losing his wife of about 28 years because she'd been telling him that she couldn't take his drinking anymore.

He asked if I'd stay in touch with him because it would help him. He went to an outpatient facility in town. He seemed to be doing well for awhile, then his wife cought him in lies about drinking. Then she found out that yes, he had been drinking.

I told my friend that even though he's drinking again, there's always tomorrow and that one of these days could be the day that sobriety sticks.

Everyone who has quit an addiction has "their day." So until that day comes, my friend's husband has to just get up every day and try again.

If You Fall, Get Up and Do It Again

I have a friend whose husband has been an alcoholic for years. He was in the Vietnam war---many of his friends died in the war and he was lucky enough to have survived. He has survivor's guilt.....and he drinks a lot.

A few months ago he called me to tell me that he was going to quit drinking. He said he was tired of it and he especially didn't want to lose his wife, which he thought he would if he didn't quit. He knew my story of how I quit and he asked me to keep in touch with him. I was more than glad to.

I talked to him several times and gave him a little inspiration and truth. I told him that if he were to quit drinking he would have to change his routines. In the morning instead of waking up with a hangover (he said he had many hangovers), he might choose to go get a cup of coffee and go to the beach and watch the sunrise. He seemed to like the idea and said he would do that.

He went into an outpatient treatment center for a few weeks.

I found out recently that he's gone back to drinking. I keep in touch with his wife and said that there's always tomorrow to have that possibility for her husband to quit for good. I've seen that happen all the time.

So there's always hope, isn't there? So if you fall you just have to get up and do it again.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quitting an Addiction Could Be ........Easy?

If I'd heard someone say that to me years ago I would have argued. No, it's difficult. You have to have a desire to quit, you have to go to self-help groups and pour your heart out.....THEN you have to go to these groups all the time. Then you end up thinking about your addiction every day and talking to people about it. You find yourself reading articles about people just like yourself who are addicted. These people are just like you and you feel an affinity with them.

But then after a few months it starts getting old---going to the meetings, seeing the same people sharing the same stories---you think about your addiction again. The newness is gone. You think about going back to your addiction out of boredom.

What if it were possible to just say, "ENOUGH! I don't want to be addicted anymore!" And what if it took? It happens all the time.

Isn't this LESS difficult than the previous? Not that meetings are bad---they're not, but they're not for everybody. Personally, meetings wouldn't have helped me. But think about the possibility.....of just quitting to get on with your life......putting down forever whatever your addiction is and walking away. Done, never to have that addictions again.

It happens to people all the time, just remember this..

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It's a New Year

I heard it said once that, on the average, people put on 7 pounds during the holiday season. Well, the season's over now and there's something about turning that calendar over to a new month AND new year that let's us believe that we have another chance. I still feel that regarding certain aspects of my life.

There's nothing that a diet will do, AA can do for you or "trying to quit smoking" if YOU don't do the work to overcome the addiction. But that's ok, because the good news is that you CAN do it if you really, really want to. Think about it. Isn't that true? Can't you do just about anything you can think of?

Of course you can. Meditate on this concept. See the reality of it. Then do it...