Category Archives: Alcoholism

Ben Affleck: addiction superhero

car-superhero-symbol-batman
I have to confess I am not a Ben Affleck fan. I tend to avoid movies that have him in it. However, right now I am giving him a standing ovation.

You may have seen his brief, but poignant Facebook statement about his recent stay in rehab. In case you missed it, here it is:

“I have completed treatment for alcohol addiction; something I’ve dealt with in the past and will continue to confront. I want to live life to the fullest and be the best father I can be. I want my kids to know there is no shame in getting help when you need it, and to be a source of strength for anyone out there who needs help but is afraid to take the first step. I’m lucky to have the love of my family and friends, including my co-parent, Jen, who has supported me and cared for our kids as I’ve done the work I set out to do. This was the first of many steps being taken towards a positive recovery”.

This may seem trivial, but what is amazing about his post, is how positive and how lacking in shame it is.

I’m so tired of the celebrity rock bottom/rehab/trite confession to Opera cycle. Addiction is a medical issue, a disease of the brain and a mental health problem. It is not a moral issue and we really need to stop treating it like one. This is not unlike other celebrities issuing statements to let people know have sought treatment for Lupus/breast cancer/Diabetes. But when it comes to addiction, celebrities are usually hounded and shamed into admitting they have an alcohol/drug problem. This has not been helpful to ordinary people who suffer from the same illness. Shame stops people seeking treatment when they need it. Hiding our disease in the myth of anonymity/secrecy keeps everyone sick. His honesty, straightforwardness and lack of shame, gives everyone else permission to do the same.
Ben Affleck has treated addiction like the disease it is, may others follow.

‘Good people don’t smoke pot.’

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I’m worried about the new administration. I don’t want to start a political slanging match, god knows Facebook has enough of those. But I am particularly concerned about the new Attorney General’s attitude towards everything drugs.

Facing addiction?
When we all attended the ‘Unite to Face Addiction’ rally back in October 2015 I really felt we were turning a corner and finally, finally we were at the dawn of a new attitude and direction for treating and discussing addiction. For decades, we have been stuck in the belief system that addiction, alcoholism and any kind of substance misuse is down to some kind of moral failing of the user. Surprisingly, this attitude has been also perpetuated by the recovery community, in their one-size-fits all, attitude to recovery and the mistaken belief that anonymity = secrecy. Which therefore, lead people to believe we had something to be ashamed of.
We don’t, of course. The first ever Surgeon General’s report into addiction states: ‘Addiction is a disease of the brain, not a character flaw.’
The report itself is ground breaking and long overdue. We hope it can do for addiction what the surgeon general’s report did for smoking fifty years ago. That we can start investing in research-driven prevention and treatment programs. This is a public health crisis, not a criminal one.

Opiate crisis
I keep reading about the opiate addiction and overdose crisis but I do not see anything substantial being done to combat it. There have been a few initiatives in different areas but no cohesive nation wide strategy.
Let me remind you, that many of the kids who are dying of opiate overdoses became addicted through sports injuries. You may think this won’t happen to you, but no family is immune.
It really felt like we were beginning to get somewhere and then we have this. Our new attorney general who is, quiet possibly, the only American left who thought the 1980’s ‘Just say no’ campaign was a good thing.

His beliefs about marijuana will tell you everything you need to know about what we can expect, ‘good people don’t smoke marijuana.’

*facepalm*

I am, therefore, not a ‘good’ person as defined by Jeff Sessions, I must confess I have smoked marijuana. You may know people who currently smoke marijuana and now you can put them in the ‘not good people’ bin. Because eventually, that’s where Sessions will put them, except his ‘bin’ is called, for-profit, *Ka-ching* prison’s.

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


For-profit prisons need a supply of inmates. The purpose of for-profit companies is to, ahem, increase their profits. I’m sure you can see where this is going.

Perpetuating the faulty, no-basis in science, stuck in the 1980’s, belief that good people don’t use drugs is a catastrophe for anyone with an interest, or a loved one affected by addiction.

Resist.

Choosing to live your truth

Image courtesy of sritangphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of sritangphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


The most profound thing that happened to me when I first got sober was the discovery that I hadn’t been ‘living my truth’. I realised that each of us has a ‘truth’ deep inside us. It is the essence of who we are. It determines the choices we make and how we express ourselves. To my horror I realised I had become a ‘fake’ person. I made choices based on other people’s approval, not my own. I expressed opinions I thought other people would want to hear, regardless of whether I believed them or not. I had lost my path. I saw how this was tied into my drinking, how alcohol numbed the understanding of what I was doing (because deep down I knew). So I saw for the first time that I had to begin to be true to myself if I wanted to overcome drinking.


Living your truth is hard.

Not living your truth is harder.
Make your choice.
Only one of these choices leads to completeness, peace and joy, to freedom, whilst the other leads to darkness and despair.
I realised I had a choice in how I lived. Up until then I had no idea that I had a choice or could control the direction of my life, but I saw that every time I chose to do or say something that was incongruent with who I was, then I was choosing not to live my truth.
I had lost myself.
Who I had become was not my truth.
That’s why I hurt so much.
That’s why I had to anaesthetise the hurt.
That’s why I drank.

The emperor who wore no clothes
I was the emperor with no clothes, pretending that I wasn’t naked, surrounded by people who colluded in my self-deception. Everything was superficial and false.
I didn’t know how to communicate with anyone; I had never learnt about my ‘inside world’ and how much this mattered, how much it impacted on my outside world.
Nobody had ever told me about how to deal with my feelings, how to be true to myself, how to act with integrity. It’s only after years of personal development and seeking answers that I have finally found what I have been looking for: that my external world is a reflection of my internal world; if I take care of that, then everything else will be OK.
This is the world’s best kept secret.
Just think how different our lives would be if we were all true to ourselves. If we didn’t feel ashamed, embarrassed or confused about how we felt. Imagine what it would be like if we were all so much more authentic.
The Emperor’s New Clothes is a parable that teaches children that pride comes before a fall. Pride is bound up with what we think other people think about us. It trips us up when we place an emphasis on being happy through influencing and manipulating other people’s opinion of us. If we get trapped in this illusion then we become victims of self-delusion, like the emperor.

Alcohol steals our authenticity
There’s something about alcohol abuse that steals our authenticity, that erodes our integrity and keeps us hypnotised by all the promises it fails to deliver. It promises us joy, companionship, connection, love, popularity, fun, excitement, but when we receive those much sought after gifts they are hollow, without worth, an empty promise, an illusion created by our own longing for it to be so.
Like the emperor’s new clothes, it’s a trick, a falsehood, a lie that we are all willingly buying into again and again, because it’s not the fine clothes or alcohol that we actually seek, it’s the feelings we think they will bring us.
It’s the feelings we are chasing. We want to change how we feel.

This is an exclusive extract from my book ‘Why you drink and How to stop: journey to freedom.’
2013 How to Stop thumbnail 130x160
Available on Amazon, iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

The beauty of failure in learning to succeed

Adobe stock

Adobe stock


by Rose Lockinger
Most of my life I was afraid of failure. I suffered from the belief that I had to be perfect at everything I did and anything less then perfection was unacceptable. This caused me to go around in my life with unrealistic expectations for the way things should go. I would weigh out every step I took in life with a seriousness that did nothing but hinder my progress and paralyze my ability to move forward and grow. I realized quickly in sobriety that part of learning to live life meant that I was bound to make bad decisions, however those decision did not determine my future rather they were experiments in learning.

The interesting thing about this is that living my life in this manner all but ensured that I would fail. By having to be perfect I would often times not try something because I was afraid that I couldn’t do it, or couldn’t be the best at it and by doing so I failed before I even started. I would put mental roadblocks in my way that I felt would keep me safe, but in reality they just kept me down and kept me living in fear.

This is something that I have heard discussed by many alcoholics and addicts in my time in sobriety— how their lives were a dichotomy of perfection and failure. How the fear that they would fail kept them from truly living and truly succeeding and how once they got sober they had to learn to deal with this.

When I first came into the rooms of recovery of I felt like a complete failure. For all of my attempts to control the outcomes of my life and live in a way that would result in my experiencing the least amount of resistance, I still felt like a total and utter failure.

My marriage had come to an end. I had used drugs and alcohol to the point where I now needed treatment, and my ability to be a mother to my children was painfully lacking. And so I entered into recovery thinking that my biggest fear, being a failure, had been realized.

To a certain extent I was afraid that this feeling was going to follow me for the rest of my life. That because I had “failed” I was bound to repeat the same mistakes over and over again and that there was no way that I could escape what I believed to be my own inadequacies as a human being.

This however, if you haven’t already been able to tell, was completely unfounded and it was nothing but my mind and my disease attempting to keep me down. Every day of my early recovery I struggled with this fear of failure. I struggled with feeling like a complete loser and I struggled with whether or not I was going to be able to overcome my problems. Part of me just wanted to give up, because at that point I didn’t think I was good enough and I didn’t think that I deserved a better life.

Luckily, though I didn’t give up. I pushed on and in doing so I learned one of the most important lessons I have discovered in my life: that failure is never the end of the story but is rather the beginning. That all of the messy feelings and pain that failure brings up for me allows me to learn life lessons about myself that I couldn’t have learned otherwise. In a sense, even though I had been afraid of failure my entire life, it became one of my greatest teachers and one of my greatest accomplishments.

That last part might sound be a bit strange, but it is true. If I wouldn’t have used drugs and alcohol to the point where I completely destroyed my life I don’t think that I would be sitting here typing this out at this very moment. I would not have been introduced to God in the manner that I was and I would not have taken to a life of sobriety in the way that I have. I probably would still be out there somewhere, totally lost and afraid to admit it to anyone. I would probably have just wandered through life unaware that there was a better way.

Getting sober wasn’t the only time that failure has been my teacher, or has been a new beginning for me though. I have noticed many times throughout my sobriety that what I deemed to be a failure was often times a blessing in disguise. That often times having failed, lead me to something entirely new, whether it be a greater understanding of how my mind works, or a deeper appreciation for the things I have, but each failure has been a lesson that I needed to learn, and truthfully I probably couldn’t have learned those lessons any other way.

I have also noticed that my failures have in many cases turned into my greatest assets. For instance I was never really able to be honest in the past. I seemed to have an almost pathological need to not tell the truth and as you can probably guess this caused a tremendous amount of trouble in my life. But as my lies piled up on top of each other and eventually led to my undoing, I learned a valuable lessons from this, and today, while I am not 100% honest, I am able to share honestly with other about what is going on with me and I do my best to tell the truth.

So while I am not completely free from my fear of failure and sometimes I still get paralyzed thinking that I am going to choose the wrong path or do the wrong thing and everything is going to come tumbling down, I at least understand that there is nothing in life that I can’t learn from, or can’t come back from. I sunk lower in my addiction than most normal people ever go and yet today I am not a broken woman. My addiction didn’t totally ruin me and since that is the case, I know that no failure is too large for me to overcome, and no lesson to large for me to learn.

Rose Lockinger

Rose Lockinger


Rose Lockinger is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

Caitlin Moran blocked me on Twitter and I’m kinda devastated.

pexels-photo-59087
It’s true. She blocked me.

She was one of my ‘go to’ people when anything interesting happened, because she always writes so succinctly and is piercingly honest. Initially, I thought she was taking a Twitter break as I couldn’t see her tweets on Tweetdeck. Then to my horror, I realized she had actually blocked me. She had actually taken a nano-second out of her day to press the button that said ‘block user’.

I’m devastated that she imagines me to be some kind of troll who is sending her abusive messages (which as a kick ass feminist I imagine she gets a lot off). I’m heart broken that she thinks I’m one of them. And I’d like to apologize to her, as the last thing I wanted to do was cause offense.
It’s the first time social media has managed to dent my self-esteem. I assume it’s because she either read this, or saw one of my tweets, that I tweeted at her, imploring her to read this. I’m not a great writer and Moran does this for a living, but I tried really hard to balance how much I admired and respected her, with an attempt to initiate a conversation about how much binge drinking is normalized, and laughed about in our culture. I was suggesting she maybe mentioned this a bit too much, and could perhaps have a think about the impact of what she was saying. Obviously I came off as smug, patronizing and judgmental, and trust me, my 16 year old self is looking on in horror. How did I become this kind of grown up?

Because that isn’t what I set out to do. In truth, it is not binge drinking that I actually have a problem with. Adults need to make their own decisions, and many of us choose to do stuff that we know is bad for us, regardless. My issue has always been the rhetoric around binge drinking. The normalization of abnormal drinking. The jokey, jokey, references to hangovers and laughing about drinking quantities of alcohol that would kill a normal person.

It’s the subtext that says ‘alcohol is the solution to whatever problem you have.’

Stressed? I’ve got a bottle of gin here – that’ll sought it.
Bored housewife? Then it must be wine-o-clock, ‘wink, wink.’
Had a tough day? Nothing like a drink or two or three to sort that right out.
This is the language I’d like to challenge and I was hoping Ms. Moran would hear me on that.
But clearly I failed.

And I’m still not clear on how to address this. I do not want to be the fun police, I do not want to judge other people’s drinking, it’s really none of my business. I do not want to be a party pooper, or abstinence promoter (don’t believe in it).
What I do want to do is challenge how it’s represented in my culture. Because I believe our cultural representations of alcohol use are grossly incorrect, dangerous and actually camouflage’s our massive denial about the impact alcohol has. And it’s this collective denial that’s stopping people getting help.
We still culturally represent alcohol abuse as a bit of harmless fun. And it’s not harmless. It causes massive harm, to many people.
I’m not denying that drinking can be fun and can help with some unforgettable moments with friends. I’m also fully supportive of appropriate alcohol use. And even though I do have a problem with alcohol, not all my nights drinking were terrible, some were awesome.

If you have any suggestions how we can begin to change the conversation around drinking in a non-smug, non judgmental, non-twitter-blocking-by-celebrities-we-really-admire method. I would be very grateful to hear it. And if you happen to know Caitlin Moran, please tell her I’m sorry.

Busting the, ‘when you’re drunk, you tell the truth’ myth.

Paul Gascoigne (ex-British soccer player) has been hospitalized again. He was drunk and got into a fight after racially abusing some other guests. This is awful on many levels and racial abuse should never be tolerated but it’s important to point out that Paul Gascoigne is a really, really sick man.
alcohol-hangover-event-death-52507
It’s also important to not jump to the conclusion that Paul Gascoigne is a racist and he spoke the truth because he was drunk. I’ve heard the phrase ‘when you are drunk, you speak the truth’ repeated many times and feel the need to point out that it is a total myth.
You don’t speak the truth when you are drunk. What you do is speak a lot of old bollocks.
Alcohol doesn’t give us the courage to open our inner most thoughts and feelings to others. What it does do however, is open our inner life for everyone to see. And if your inner world is full of self-loathing, hatred, loneliness and desperation, then alcohol will manifest exactly that in your words and deeds. Far from revealing himself as a racist, Gascoigne was instead, revealing his own self-loathing. Racists remarks are so deplorable that they cause a very immediate and visceral reaction. This is probably the reaction Gascoigne’s own sub conscious was looking for. As it confirmed his view of himself: ‘I am so disgusting and un-lovable, who could bear to be near me?’ Let me do something really disgusting, so I can indeed, confirm my own disgusting-ness to myself?’

Make sense?

John Galliano and anti-Semitism
I wrote about this a few years ago when John Galliano similarly made some abhorrent anti-Semitic remarks that were made public. I argued then, that rather than see Galliano as an anti-Semite, it was actually the most disgusting thing, his sub-conscious could come up with, that would manifest how he felt about himself. His sub-conscious knew it would bring an immediate reaction that would push everyone away. That is exactly what alcoholism wants. It wants you alone, without friends and without hope. Because then all you have to turn to, is the drink.

I would never apologize for racists or anti-Semitism and full apologies and amends should always be made, regardless of when, or how these remarks were made. No exceptions. John Galliano went to rehab and then went to considerable lengths to atone and make amends for what he said. Gascoigne needs to do the same.
But I also believe Gascoigne needs our compassion. His downward spiral is continuing and his friends and family must be extremely worried about him.
Gascoigne and Galliano are both intelligent people, both of them in their stone-cold sober minds would know exactly what kind of reaction those comments would have. That’s exactly why their drunk selves said them.

What are we really communicating?
So when you hear someone who is drunk (and unhappy) say something out of character, or harmful, or hurtful. Look a bit closer. What is it they are actually trying to communicate? Communication isn’t always about the words we use. Many of us have feelings we are at a loss to express or process. If left this way then they will be manifested in our behavior. When we are disgusted with ourselves, it will come out in what we do. What we do, often speaks louder than what we say. And what we say, is often a cry for help from a dark and troubled soul.
Hear that.

2016 and the celebrity death curse

George Becker

George Becker

Two legends of music and film passed away this week, you may have heard of them; Carrie Fisher and George Michael. Both died before their time and both had a long history of addiction and mental health problems. Not too much is known at this point, but stories are emerging that they were both using again before their deaths. George Michael’s death was reported as ‘heart failure’ and Carrie Fisher’s death seems related to a heart attack she had days earlier.
So of course, on hearing of this terrible news about people I don’t know, I made it all about me.
They both used cocaine; they both died of heart issues; they both died before their time. Could that also happen to me?

I used a lot of cocaine in my 20’s. And because cocaine, like all illegal drugs, is unregulated I have no idea what I was putting in my body. Of course the thought horrifies me now. But back in the day when I was young, foolish and addicted I really didn’t care. I knew cocaine was cut with some bad s**t and I knew it could cause heart problems, but I couldn’t equate that information to my own need to use it on a nightly basis.
When I heard about George Michael’s death a chill ran through me. I am now of the age, that 53 really doesn’t seem all that old and certainly seems too young to die. My first thought (‘cause it’s always, all about me) was, ‘what if that happened to me too? What if my heart gives up in a decade or so. What if I hardened my arteries and I don’t know it and I’m living with a time bomb? What if I haven’t really escaped the consequences of addiction?’
Am I being irrational?

The irony now, of course, is that I really, really want to live. Even though I was often suicidal in my early 20’s I didn’t really want to die, I just never knew how to live and now I’ve figured that out, I’m scared the consequences of my drug use may still, one day, creep up on me. Those were my first thoughts whenever a celebrity, who had a history of addiction, died this year. Addiction casts a long shadow.

Image by Salvatore courtesy of freeddigitalphotos.net

Image by Salvatore courtesy of freeddigitalphotos.net


Carrie Fisher and George Michael were both artists who produced incredible work despite their addictions. They still had so much life to live. There is a view on the internet that 2016 is killing all our childhood icons before their time, that for some reason 2016 is out to get us. This may be some kind of defense mechanism so we can avoid talking about the real issues, let’s blame it on 2016 being a bad year rather than talking about how addiction and mental health problems have real and preventable consequences. I would prefer us to be talking about how we still need more, much, much more resources to help those who are still struggling. That mental health and addiction services are still underfunded and *sigh* addiction is still seen as some kind of moral failing rather than a brain disease. Because so many of these deaths are unnecessary and trust me when I say, we’re not done yet.

Give Yourself The Best Gift You Can This Year: Try Sobriety

Guest post by Rose Lockinger

mage courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

mage courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


With the holidays right around the corner, millions of American’s will soon be going out and buying presents for their loved ones. They’ll be waiting in long lines during Black Friday and they will be scrambling to make sure that Amazon Prime delivers on time, as they make last minute buys to create the perfect holiday season.

Yet there is a gift that millions of American’s won’t receive this year and that gift is sobriety. It is currently estimated that 10% of the population suffers from an addiction of some sort, which is roughly 30 million people. Luckily there are an estimated 23 million people in this country already in recovery, but that still leaves around 7 million people who will be suffering through the holidays with their addictions. The reality is that most will continue to suffer through the hell of what it is to live in active addiction or worse they will not make it through to see another year.

Many will go into December making resolutions for the new year that they will get clean and sober and some will follow through on this, while others won’t. But I say to that, why wait until January when you can get sober today? Think of it like this, if a new game came out and you could afford to give yourself that gift right now, would you put it off for two months or would you go out and get it right now? More than likely you said you’d go out and get it now, and so the same thing should go for sobriety. Why would you put it off for some later date when it is available to you right now?

I don’t mean to sound chintzy, but after almost 2 1/2 years on this journey of sobriety I still get excited about what it has done for my life and I still want everyone out there suffering to get the gifts that I have received.

For so many years drugs and alcohol ruled my life. I was ruled by my emotions and most days I just really wanted to be dead. There was nothing on this earth that could truly cheer me up. Even my children were often times not enough to make me feel better, even though I loved them with all of my heart.

Each day I would wake up knowing that I was going to get high or drunk and knowing that no matter how much I didn’t want to, I couldn’t stop it. I had ruined pretty much all of the relationships in my life and by the time that I finally got sober I felt a shell of a woman, completely void of anything decent.

Then I got the gift of sobriety and my entire life changed. I was transformed from a hopeless addict and drunk into a respectable woman and productive member of society. I was able to be the mother that I always want to be and I found a job that I truly love.

The gifts that sobriety gave me are more than this, though because it allowed me to finally respect myself and gave me the opportunity to create a relationship with a higher power. But not just this it allowed me to explore and nurture a spiritual relationship something that intuitively I had craved yet never followed. With teachers like Gabby Bernstein and Marianne Williamson I began to learn that true healing comes from within. It stems from the ability to learn to love yourself. I also found that with the completion of the steps I finally found a relationship with a higher power that I love.

I have been given the ability to experience peace in my life, not always, but a majority of the time, and I have been given tools to handle anything that life throws at me.

For as long as I can remember I never felt equipped to handle existence. It always just felt too difficult to me and I could never understand how other people just seemed to go through life unimpeded by the difficulties I had. Once I got sober I found out the answer to this and I also learned how to successfully navigate life and rejoin the world of the living.

Most importantly sobriety gave me a fellowship— a fellowship where I feel like I belong and with it, friends that I can truly count on. I don’t know about you but most of my life I felt like the outsider. I felt like people didn’t understand me and that I thought differently than everyone, but once I got sober I found my people and I no longer felt alone in my thoughts.

While sobriety isn’t always easy, especially in the beginning, it is truly the best gift you can ever give yourself and the best thing about it is, it doesn’t cost any money. If you live near a major city then there are literally thousands of meetings that you can attend throughout the week and if you have a dollar for the basket great, but if you don’t you’re still welcome.

The hardest part about getting this gift is making the decision that you are worth the effort. Many times addicts and alcoholics either don’t believe they can actually get sober, or they don’t believe they are worthy of sobriety, but I am here to tell you that you are worth it and you can do it. I know this because I felt the same way and yet I am here today a sober woman.

So if you are thinking about possibly getting sober at some point in the future, stop delaying and go to a meeting tonight. Your life is worth it and I guarantee you that you will not regret your decision to put down the drugs and alcohol and pick up a life of plenty. I hope that you find the gift that I have received and I wish you all a happy holidays and a happy sobriety!

Rose Lockinger

Rose Lockinger


Rose Lockinger is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

It is connection we seek

unsplash.com

unsplash.com


It is connection we seek.
Not a drink, or a drug or a casual f**k. It is the moment of understanding that occurs between human souls. This is what we crave.
Our dilemma is how to get it. Because we were not taught, you see? Everything got so busy, checking boxes, getting stuff. That in the midst of all this doing and getting we forgot to be who we really were. We craved, but misunderstood what we craved for. So we started filling, and stuffing, and drinking, and getting but it was never enough and we were always empty. Empty and alone.

The bar promised us connection, as did the club and the party too. It enticed me with it’s lure of camaraderie, ‘this is where you belong,’ it said. I went along hoping to know people and for them to know me. But then the words that came out of my mouth belonged to someone else, I didn’t mean them, I didn’t mean what I said, but I said them all the same. So the ‘me’ that you got to know was never the real ‘me’ anyhow. And then my limbs misbehaved as if they belonged to someone else. And here we all are, together, but not together, just strangers standing in the same room drinking to connect but missing every time.

Waiting for the ‘click.’ When it all came into focus and everything worked out the way I wanted it to. But the ‘click’ always remained tantalizingly out of touch. But my god did I chase it.
Chased it for so long that I forgot what I was actually chasing. It really wasn’t another party but connection with you. I wanted someone, anyone, to know me. I was curling up and dying for lack of being seen.

Connection is like oxygen for human beings, we can’t survive without it, the artificial connection we create is like poisonous gas – it kills us slowly. Our real dilemma is that we have forgotten what it is we are seeking.
For the meaningful connection we desire, we have to risk being vulnerable, real, quiet and congruent. We have to try it sober. So there is nothing for us to hide behind.
Stop searching, stop tearing up the place looking for something that will ‘fix’ you. You were ‘designed’ to be connected to the human race you have just forgotten how.
Remember now.

Living one day at a time – guest post

By Rose Lockinger

Marek

Marek


“One day at a time” is a well-worn phrase in any twelve step program. It’s probably one of the most enduring, and it can be found on t-shirts, plaques, stickers and even tattoos. Why is this phrase so important, and what does it mean? This idea of living one day at a time is based on the thought that in recovery we are granted a daily reprieve from our addiction. This is based on our relationship with a higher power.

I don’t know about you, but for a good portion of my life I lived in either constant fear of the future, or gut-wrenching regret of the past. When I was going through something difficult, it felt as though the problem was so huge and overwhelming that I couldn’t possibly overcome it. When I had powerful feelings of anger, sadness, fear, grief or anxiety, it felt as though they were permanent feelings that would never leave me. When I was presented with a challenge or a problem to solve, I took immediate action, often to manipulate or force the outcome to my liking, rather than slowing down, waiting, doing what I could in the moment and letting it go. I moved through life as a constant ball of tension, worry and stress.

How Recovery Has Changed My Perspective
Sitting in my first meeting, I watched as people came up to get their clean time chips. 30 days, 90, six months, a year. It baffled me. With just a handful of days clean, it floored me that someone could put together 30 full days, let alone a year.

I was just learning to get through one single day clean and sober. What I found though, is that was all I needed to do. That and establish and build a spiritual relationship with a “higher power”. These were two tenets upon which I would begin to build a foundation for long term recovery.

Each of us is given the same 24 hour day to work with. We get that, and it’s up to us how we spend it, for the most part. Yesterday is done. Tomorrow doesn’t even exist yet. We just have today. However, what I choose to do today directly impacts what unfolds tomorrow and in the days to come.

Some days I do really well. I stay in the here and now, without “time traveling” to the future or the past. There are days when it’s easy, and then there are days when it’s not so easy.

During challenging times, it’s more difficult. Going through a divorce and custody battle, for example. It’s tough to stay in today. I want to know the outcome, I want to know how long, exactly, it will take for me to “feel better” or “get over it.” I go back through the past, trying to analyze it and pick it apart, as though I can actually do something to change it.

That’s not how life works, though. When you stop living one day at a time, there is no possibility of peace. You will drive yourself and the people around you crazy.

One Moment At A Time
Days are made of moments. One moment can change your day. There are still days when I seriously consider a drink, where I struggle to accept my powerlessness. The urge was overwhelming. The first thing I did was pray, I asked that the obsession be removed. The next thing I did was talk about it with my sponsor. That was a decision I made, in a brief moment, that helped me stay clean for that day. My experience has taught me that prayer and talking about the situation will keep me sober. I understand that as someone who has this disease I am not responsible for my first thought, I am however responsible for the second and third. I need not feel ashamed of this as it’s natural for my brain to go there. What I have to do though is be open and honest about the experience.

Life is full of those moments, when you make a decision to stay clean and sober, or do the next right thing. Each day, we have that choice. When you get up in the morning and do the things you need to do to take care of yourself, a vital component for me has been establishing a daily routine. Especially when it comes to a time of prayer and meditation, I have some daily reading books that help to set the tone for my day. I can tell you that every time I skip this I am reminded why I need this. When you take care of business, work on your recovery and work on yourself, life gets better, you stay clean and sober, and before you know it, you are celebrating ten years of sobriety. That’s how one day at a time works.

Staying In Today
It’s not always easy to live one day at a time. We naturally tend to “future trip” and get stuck in the past. It doesn’t serve us, though, to do this. Staying in today is a decision you must constantly recommit yourself to. Here are some ways to do it:

● Only do what’s in front of you. Multi-tasking is an illusion, you can’t do more than one thing at
a time effectively. Do only what you can do, today, and leave the rest.
Practice meditation each day. Even if it’s only a few minutes, it will help.
● If you catch yourself stressing about the past or the future, come up with a “stop word” or some
other strategy to get yourself grounded in the present. Tell yourself “No” or repeat the serenity
prayer. Whatever interrupts your thought process and brings you back into the now.
● When you feel overwhelmed with a situation that feels to big or out of your control, sit down and make a list of what you can do in the moment. Just write it out. Come up with all the actions you can think of. Then call your sponsor or a trusted friend, and share it with them. We can’t always come up with the best solutions when we are overwhelmed and upset, so it’s a good idea to get a second opinion from a healthy person who isn’t too close to the situation.

Living Just For Today
When you live one day at a time, life is less stressful, more peaceful and far more productive. It isn’t always easy to achieve, and no one does it perfectly, but with practice it becomes possible.

Rose Lockinger is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

Rose Lockinger

Rose Lockinger


You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram