Message of the day

Life is a never-ending struggle between the burden of knowledge and the emptiness of ignorance. - Vijesh Mathew
~...

Making a Decision – First Step to Quit Drinking

ʽʽ 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. 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.

In Recovery – Intimate Relationships

When we are inside an addiction, we have an intimate relationship with our substance of choice whether it is alcohol, drugs or food. Or we may have a relationship with an addictive behavior like gambling or shopping. This relationship with an addiction often prevents us from having healthy relationships with the people around us. The addiction isolates us. We can’t seem to connect to people in a healthy way. Too often we might feel that we don’t fit in or we feel lonely and misunderstood. In recovery it is important to replace our intimate relationship with the addiction with healthy relationships.

When I speak of intimacy I am referring to an emotional connection with another person. Even if we can connect with one person, it creates something we can build on. For example, in the television series Grey’s Anatomy the character Cristina is always saying to Meredith, “You are my person.” Cristina has found one person who she can confide in that offers her little or no threat, one person who she can be open and vulnerable with. In turn Meredith has Cristina as “her person”. They share love, mutuality and compassion built on a foundation of respect. They teach each other, learn from each other and trust each other. However, having only one go-to person is not ideal. You can’t get all things from one person, nor should you expect to.

Most people think intimacy is a sexual activity. Sex may be an aspect of intimacy but there are many different forms of intimacy. The relationship between Meredith and Cristina is an intimate relationship, but it doesn’t involve any physical activity. If you think about it, you may have more intimate relationships in your life than you realize.

In their book “The Intimate Marriage”, H.J. Clinebell and C. H. Clinebell describe many types of intimacy. Besides sexual intimacy there is emotional intimacy whereby you share your thoughts and feelings with one another. There is intellectual intimacy when you can share ideas, and learn from each other.

If you enjoy sports you may share an intimate relationship with someone who shares your fitness goals, or enjoys watching competitive events for fun. You may have also have relationships at work that bind you as you share responsibilities and work on common tasks. During times of crisis or conflict you might share closeness with someone who helps you cope. You may have someone close to you who shares a love of beauty, music, or the arts. You may have projects that you co-create with someone and through that process you develop a bond. You may have a spiritual intimacy with someone whom you can share philosophies or religious experiences.

An addiction often takes away our intimate relationships. An alcohol or drug addiction affects our relationships with nearly everyone around us including our family, friends and co-workers. We stop doing many of the activities that we used to do and lose the connections with those people who we shared things with. We even stop doing the things that we are passionate about. One by one our healthy relationships fall to the wayside. Our goal once in recovery is to start getting those relationships back. Some we can repair and some we can’t, but finding a connection to someone who is “on your side” and who you can say, “You are MY person” is a healthy start.

The Trouble with Al Anon

The trouble with Al-Anon is that many people have misconceptions of what it really is. These misconceptions keep people from a joining the organization and that is a real shame. Here are some common misconceptions:

1. Al Anon is not a group of people married to drunks who” huddle around a meeting room, making the most of their spouse’s drinking, forgiving them and thinking of little ways to help them.”                     Melodie Beattie “Codependent No More”

2. Al Anon is not an organization to join if you want to do one more good deed for your alcoholic spouse.
3. Al Anon is not an organization where you sit around discussing the problems of the drinker.
4. Al Anon is not an organization that teaches you how to control “ your” alcoholic.
5. Al Anon is not an organization that instructs you how to get your alcoholic to stop drinking or an addict to stop using.
6. Al Anon is not an organization that asks you to keep giving more and more of yourself to the addicted person.
7. Al Anon is not just an organization for spouses of alcoholics, but helps millions of other codependents in similar circumstances to get their life back.

In fact it’s really not about the alcoholic at all. It’s about YOU – the spouse or loved one.

Alcohol and drug addiction affects everyone whether it is the children of an alcoholic, significant other, mother or father of an addict and other family members. But that can be hard to accept. After all we cry,“It’s the alcohol dependent person that is sick – not me! It is their fault that we are in a financial crisis, it’s their fault that our relationship is falling apart, and it is their fault that I feel lonely, scared, angry and hopeless”.

If you feel exhausted and defeated at the end of the day, and you think tomorrow will be better, and then tomorrow is a hell of a day and on and on – do you really want to feel that way one more day? You too are entitled to “get better.” And that is what Al Anon is all about. It offers support for the people left in the wake of addiction. To get started find a meeting near you. Al Anon offers a simple three-part formula for success called “HOW”: Honesty, Openness, and Willingness.

Attaining and Maintaining Change

Change is Not Easy
Whether people participate in the formal rehabilitation process or not, making change is never easy and requires a great deal of effort to attain the desired changes and then maintain them. Sometimes it can take a long time. And maintaining change is a lifelong task.

There are 3 stages of change:
1. Action
2. Maintenance
3. Termination

Action Stage
Making a change can be difficult for people because early action is often not rewarding. Particularly when changing addictive behaviors, there can be “much pain with no apparent gain” as people go through detoxification and experience withdrawal. Having support early on helps. Coaches and councilors can provide support and encouragement to help maintain the two necessary conditions for successful action. A coach will also remind people of the “game plan” (rehabilitation plan) and even adjust the plan to meet changing needs and circumstances. The goal of the action stage is to sustain successful behavior change for a long enough period of time for the person making change to gain some feelings of stability. Once the person has gained some resiliency and self –efficacy they will then move on to the maintenance stage of change.

Maintenance Stage
As the saying goes “getting there is only half the battle.” The maintenance stage is another period where the individual needs to learn new coping methods. Two factors have been identified as fundamental to successful maintenance: sustained, long term effort, and revised lifestyle. Revised Lifestyle is the key factor identifier of the maintenance stage of change. Negative thoughts have to be replaced with positive thoughts; problematic conditions need to be replaced with non-problematic ones. These substitutions promote growth and the development of holistic lifestyle changes- changes that may ultimately become the norm and totally replace the old addiction.

Termination Stage
The termination stage has been described as the ultimate goal for changers. A person who has reduced his level of alcohol consumption to regular involvement, with no associated harms for 10 years, but still avoids an annual fishing trip with his buddies because he is not certain he can resist binge drinking in that situation, has successfully changed, and remains in maintenance.
Research and clinical experience indicate there are four defining criteria between lifetime maintenance and the termination stage:
 A new self-image

 No temptation in any situation

 Solid self confidence

 A healthier lifestyle
When individuals reach the termination stage they are no longer actively involved in changing or maintaining changes around that old behavior. Their work in that area is over and they may look to new challenges and changes.

Always Monitor Change
It is always important to monitor change because work is still necessary in your recovery. Remember that ongoing monitoring of actions and progress/regress is necessary for success. Speak to your coach or councilor about an aftercare plan or methods for self-monitoring.

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.

Subscribe

Did you know that Debbie the Coach has a newsletter?
Subscribe now and receive a FREE Self-assessment & Evaluation Form

DebTV

Watch Debbie's You Tube Channel

DebTV

Get Your…

Free consultation

Ad Space 1

Coaching services

Disclaimer

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...