Message of the day

Total abstinence is so excellent a thing that it cannot be carried to too great an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as to totally abstain from total abstinence itself. - Mark Twain
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Stopping Drinking Starts With a Decision

”Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
- W. H. Murray, from The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951)

What does it mean to make a decision? A decision is a commitment. It is diving into the now, this moment, the moment that you have right now at this very instant. There is no shadowy future date that awaits your decision because there is no power in tomorrow. A decision requires boldness and that fist pumping exhilaration of Yes, I will!

If you hesitate all is lost. If you start a sentence with “but”, or if you try explaining “I can’t because”, you are doomed. You can mouth the words “Yes I will stop drinking, or Yes I will quit using, but the words are ineffective if you didn’t really make a decision. Nothing is clear.

When you experience a moment of clarity all things make sense and all things are possible. Fear is but a distant enemy and is swooped aside for freedom. Because in deciding we are free. We who have addictions are undisciplined, fearful, and indecisive. We are a slave to our addictions. But in that moment of decision, we hold freedom in the palm of our hands. We just know we can do what we decide. We know that we have all the answers inside of us.

Deciding can change the path you are on in an instant. So be bold, and in this instant decide. Whatever it is you are struggling with, let it go. Whatever fears you are suppressing, stop playing it safe. Nothing will ever change for you until you make a decision to change.

There is nothing that you can’t do. And in that boldness be the observer. Watch yourself expand and open up to all possibilities. As Murray says, now providence will take over and unforeseen things will occur. If you are in a lonely place, let people into your life that can assist you. No one expects you to do this journey alone. Once you open yourself up to all possibilities your life will be full.

There is only this moment.

"Bring it" Are these famous last words for Charlie Sheen?

As we turn on the news each day, we’ve seen a shift in the focus from the pressing issues in the Middle East, the debates over health care and the union fight in Wisconsin to the self-destruction of Charlie Sheen.  What I find interesting is his portrayal in the media. He longs to not be judged; yet he opens his personal life to reporters, critiques, and TV talk shows.  He dares us to accept who he is and what some might call an unorthodox life style, but who is Charlie Sheen?  At this point does he even know?
On one hand, Charlie describes himself as old fashioned and chivalrous–chivalry being a lost art, he adds.  He’s a “nice guy” who believes in monogamy and traditional family values.  He admits he has his faults, but is trying to improve.  He claimed he was a people pleaser (but has recently changed), he used to let people kick him around (but not anymore), yet as he revises his persona he describes himself as “a peaceful man” as he exposes a sly smile, adding “with bad intentions”.  And there it is—that twinkle in his eye, that accompanies the self-deprecating remark leaving us to imagine what mischief is afoot.  This is the identity that keeps us coming back for more, what keeps us intrigued.  However, his rock star alter ego over shadows this identity.
What some might see as a rock star identity, I’ve come to understand is truly the Alcohol Identity, (or in Charlie’s case the Addiction Identity) showcasing a different version of who Charlie Sheen is.  In an abrupt shift, Charlie describes a completely different version of himself.  “I’m nobility, I’m cool, I’m a rock star and I have tiger blood.”  “I live in the moment of the moment.” he declares. This superior being that is the Alcohol Identity looks down on us normal and boring folk, and feels sorry that we “don’t feel the magic”; that we don’t have his wisdom and superior intelligence.   When asked if he is an angry person he states. “I have a passion for anger and I’m here to collect.”
Here is a man on the edge. I think of all the actors and entertainers that have lost their lives to addiction and I can only hope that this is not the fate of Charlie Sheen. And no, I am not here to judge him. My own experiences with alcohol addiction afford me to know better than to stand too tall. I understand the perspective as I too used to feel sorry for the normal and boring folk and vow I would never be like them. Although I wish I had thought of being a rock star.
The world can only wait and watch to see who will come out the winner. Will it be the Real Identity or the Addiction Identity?  Usually the gory details of addiction are left off centre stage. Although TV and movies depict winos sitting in dark alleys with bony fingers sticking out of fingerless gloves holding bottles wrapped in paper bags, this is what addiction looks like folks–gory details included.  We would rather think that Charlie Sheen is bi-polar or has psychiatric problems rather than face that this is what addiction looks like in real life. It is messy, it is heart breaking, it is dangerous, and it will take you down, losing everything you’ve worked for and if left untreated it will kill you.
Charlie’s hatred of AA, leaves him with few treatment options while the  Addiction Identity is running the show.  This identity will not allow any options except to keep the addiction going even if it kills it’s host.  If and when the “moment of clarity” comes for Charlie Sheen, there is another option open for him with Debbie the Coach. I invite him to take it.

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The material on our website is for informational purposes only, and is intended as a supplement, not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health-care provider. Read more...