Sunday, July 24, 2016

What Is Sobriety To Me by Kary May Hickey

As a non-drinker who has stayed active in a moderation community I am often asked what my definition of sobriety is. Lately I've been saying that my definition of sobriety is facing life day in and day out without the influence of alcohol compelling or inhibiting us, whether that be through total abstinence or successful moderation.

But really it comes down to not being able to blame drinking for anything anymore.

Sobriety to me is having only myself to blame for:

1. Probably still fucking up the alphabet if I was pulled over for a sobriety test because I'd have an anxiety attack that would render me brainless and I wouldn't even have my old boozy coquettishness to fall back on.

2.  Still falling down the deck steps because I decided to traipse outside in the middle of the night in my slippers and nightgown to turn on my twinkly lights. (a couple of weeks ago)

3. Still wincing sometimes when I recall my latest sexual escapades.

4. Still not answering the phone after 5:00 pm.

5. Still erupting into inappropriate laughter when someone is sharing their most shameful experiences or secrets. This is why I would not do well at meetings.

6. Still having putrefying vegetables in my crisper drawer that have liquified into a seeping, odoriferous substance unknown to man.

7. Still excelling at procrastination.

8. Still possessing absolutely no fashion sense but an abundance of ambivalence and "mom jeans"  in various sizes in my closet.

9. Still only having the same four dance moves I learned in 7th grade- the bump, the robot, the hustle and the white girl shuffle. The good news is I don't inflict them on others as much as I used to.

10. Still facing each day trying to be the best me I can be and sometimes falling short of the mark.

Sigh. Oh, well.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Buddha Belly

I was out watering the flowers this morning and caught my reflection in the front door. Ok, the belly was covered but that's about the only difference.

But you know what?

I don't care.

The kids and grandkids are coming this weekend and I'm making home-made bread,  and chocolate chip cookies and macaroni and cheese...and they don't care if grandma has a Buddha Belly.

Beats the hell out of Grandma having a beer belly and being hungover or drunk all weekend.

Hey you up there, have I told you "Thank You!" today?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Abs Chat Tonight: Don't Let Me Be Lonely

Join me in the chatroom tonight, we'll be talking about anything you want, as long as it's about not drinking.

9 PM Eastern, 8 Central, 7 Mountain, 6 Pacific

Abs Chat Tonight! 

Been pretty quiet in the Abs Chat Room Lately but I hope tonight is different.

Abs Chat is focused on abstaining from alcohol—on a permanent basis,
long-term, or even for a shorter period of time (like a 30!).
Everyone is welcome to attend, and to participate, but we won't be
discussing moderation techniques or plans. For discussions of
moderate drinking, we invite you to participate in the Monday Night
Book Chat or the Tuesday Night Online Meeting.
So if you're abstaining, planning to, curious about it, wondering
whether it would be a good idea, or just want to hang out for sober
fun, stop by!
See you there! http://www.moderation. org/chat/

** PLEASE NOTE: Abs Chat will be held in the Abs Chatroom. When
logging in, use the drop-down box to select MM_Abs_Chat. If you wind
up in the wrong room, you can move between rooms by clicking on the
room list to the right of the chatroom screen. **

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'm Listening

My old friend Hilda once described to me the day she relapsed after 6 years.

"It was just another day, I got off work and decided I wanted to drink, so I did," she said.

Followed by, "I've never been able to stay quit so long since then."

I couldn't understand how someone could give up 6 years of sobriety that easily, but then there was last week.

Just like Hilda's "just another day," last week was "just another week." Before I get you too worried, I did not drink. But I wanted to worse than I have since the early days of my sobriety. And there was no good reason, which makes me think, What if there had been a good reason?

Instead it was a week of the usual insecurities, those moments of feeling like an outsider, those moments of feeling I've not done as well as so-and-so or as much, those moments when my best will never be as good as someone else's and, really, why would I even try? Do I really want to set myself up for failure. For ridicule? What if I let everyone down?

I whined about it all week on the message boards and during chat, causing some alarm amongst those that see me as the Pollyanna of the non-drinking world, because that's usually my take on sobriety. I even whined to the cap'n.

"Sometimes I don't think you realize how hard it is. Sometimes, like right this very minute, I really, really miss drinking!"

He just told me that he "got it' which of course he doesn't since he still drinks. But he also told me how proud he is of me which helped a little.

Then Sunday morning rolled around. I've been making myself go to mass every Sunday lately, I'm not sure why, seems like I've done pretty well without it all these years. But just like when I started this blog, and just like when I decided to write the never-finished book, that inner voice-it's really not all that still, Eckhart, old buddy-has been urging me to go. Last Sunday was no different but I was steadfastly ignoring it and not feeling bad at all about it. Then, at the last minute, I decided to go.

See, I've learned that my inner voice usually knows something I don't.

The Gospel was a familiar one, the one where Jesus tells his apostles that they have to give up all their earthly goods to follow him.  The priest expounded on it by saying that it doesn't really mean that we have to drain our bank accounts and donate our houses to the homeless to do His will, it just means that we have to recognize what it is we're supposed to do and be willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to do that one thing.

Because it is the right thing for us.


I knew the one thing I had to do and I knew that I had to give up all my earthly insecurities to do it. Because it is what I'm supposed to do.  The tides turned and all the missing of drinking and feeling sorry for myself disappeared. I've been riding a cloud of "rightness" every since.

It was the same when I finally quit drinking, when I finally listened to the "right" voice and did what I knew I was supposed to be doing all along. Once I accepted that, the urges and the doubts disappeared. Because it was the right thing for me.

In the last 24 hours, I have seen four people return to the sobersphere, to their blog or to their online support community, after being gone for a while. They may not know it, but they are following that inner voice, they are doing the right thing.  Whether we believe in a Higher Power or not, we recognize what is right for us, we just need to learn to embrace it.

Even more, to revel in it.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

WOMBAT Chat Tonight! 9:00 EDT; 8:00 CDT; 7:00 MDT; 6:00 PDt

Come on, it'll be fun.

I'll be hanging out in the chatroom tonight if any of you WOMBATS want to join me. Remember this is a co-abs/mods chat, respect all other Wombats' choices.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Guest Post:

Acupuncture: What Role Does It Play In Addiction Treatment?

For decades, medical professionals and therapists alike have struggled to find the cause and the cure for addiction. Scientists have studied it from both a genetic and an environmental perspective. Family and friends have tried everything they can think of. Even addicts themselves have tried one thing after another to try and get relief from the problem. They may try counseling, moving to a different state, punishing themselves, rewarding themselves, checking themselves in to rehabs or going to church. Some people seem to get to a point where they are done and after seeking treatment or making drastic lifestyle changes appear to overcome their addiction. Others struggle throughout their lives, eventually dying without ever getting the help they need.

What Works For One Person, Doesn’t Work For Another

So how do you overcome addiction? There doesn’t seem to be an easy answer. Some swear by rehab, others by twelve step programs. Still others insist that it is a behavioral problem that can be fixed with rigid self-control or willingness to change.

While willingness to change is certainly a bonus, there are plenty of people out there who are tired of using and who have the willingness to do something different, yet find themselves back to square one again and again. Then there are those who show not a shred of willingness, yet leave rehab free of cravings and somehow achieve long-term recovery.

Some respond well to the twelve step community, others to a structured rehab program. Then there are those who go to rehab after rehab only to relapse and come back again.

Traditional rehab settings use a combination of individual and group therapy, psychoeducational groups, behavioral therapy, a structured, protected setting and a focus on accountability to get results. This does work for some people, but does not work for many more. Many find a combination of rehab and twelve step programs helps them to stay clean and sober.

The Introduction Of Holistic Therapies In Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment has yet to come up with a consistent, proven, effective formula to help those who are addicted. The quality of treatment programs varies widely, and many are not using evidence-based treatments, nor do they offer comprehensive services. There are plenty of good treatment centers, though, that offer evidence-based treatments, quality therapy, comprehensive services, and many that also offer holistic therapies for their clients.

Holistic therapies are simply those that address the “whole” person. This includes physical, mental and emotional health. Holistic medicine isn’t just about treating a symptom, it’s about treating the person, and delving into the root causes of problems. Holistic addiction treatment does the same, with therapies that help the individual on multiple levels. Also, holistic treatments often include alternative therapies, some that are relatively new, and some that have been around for over a thousand years.

Acupuncture In Addiction Treatment

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that is used to treat a wide variety of both physical and mental maladies. It may be used to alleviate pain, improve digestion, aid in sleep, fight depression, and more recently, help people who are struggling with addiction or who are in early recovery.

The practice consists of using the acupuncture needles in 3 to 5 spots around the ear. These particular pressure points, when stimulated, are believed to help reduce cravings, improve sleep, and improve kidney and liver function. This can aid the body in the detox process.

While there are plenty of skeptics out there, many people swear by acupuncture for addiction treatment, and more and more rehabs are offering this service. Clients and addiction professionals alike are singing the praises of this time-tested practice, stating that it helps newly recovering addicts feel better during the early phases of recovery. This is pretty big, if you think about it, because it is during this early phase that people tend to be the most vulnerable. They are more likely to leave treatment prematurely and relapse if they can’t get their cravings under control, or if they are overwhelmed with symptoms like insomnia, fatigue and depression. These happen to be common issues in treatment, as the client is often going through post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) theses symptoms can be quite severe, and can interfere with the recovery process.

Other holistic therapies that have been shown to help recovering addicts include yoga, meditation, massage therapy and nutrition therapy.

So, does acupuncture for addiction treatment work? Many think so, and research is looking into the claims that it is an effective treatment. So far, the jury is still out. Again, it may come down to the individual. Some may respond well to this type of treatment, while others won’t. While no one is suggesting that acupuncture be the only line of defense against withdrawal symptoms and cravings, there are those that believe that the recovering addict needs all the help they can get. And, it really can’t hurt.

Personally I can say it made a huge difference in my personal journey into recovery.  I found that it helped significantly with anxiety and Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome.  I also suffered from a lot of stomach pain and insomnia I found relief relatively quickly.  I would highly recommend that anyone at least try it once you may be surprised at how much it helps.

Would you try acupuncture? Or have you had experience with it in the past? Do you think that it is a good addition to rehab therapies, or a waste of time?

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

Saturday, June 18, 2016

WOMBAT Chat Tonight (Women's Only Chat) 9:00 EDT, 8:00 CDT, 7:00 MDT, 6:00 PDT

I'll be hanging out in the chatroom tonight if any of you WOMBATS want to join me. Remember this is a co-abs/mods chat, respect all other Wombats' choices.