Recovering from an addiction is tough enough, and when you throw in the tremendous responsibilities of motherhood, it can seem like an impossible challenge. When I finally sought help for my alcohol addiction, I was a single mom with three young children. I didn't want to stop drinking, but I was afraid I would lose my kids. I didn’t have the luxury of going to a treatment program, so I detoxed at home. I never knew how dangerous it was to detox without any help or how going to a treatment program would have been so much easier for my kids and me.
For the first ninety days, I craved alcohol every day. When I wanted to drink, I white-knuckled it and told myself I had two choices - the alcohol or the kids. My children were the most precious gifts in my life, and I figured I owed it to them to do whatever it takes to stay sober.
I watched like a hawk what the moms with long-term sobriety were doing. I paid careful attention to the moms who were relapsing and took copious...
I was taking a new exercise class yesterday and I knew it was going to be a big stretch for me. Many intimidating pieces of exercise equipment were glaring at me. Large weights, steps stacked high, and huge ropes.
I looked around to assess all the other class members and I was sure they were all much stronger, thinner, more experienced. As I continued to make-up these stories in my head my fear grew and I doubted my ability. I often tell my clients when they are in fear-based thinking, “you are making up a story about the future so you might as well make up a good story.” I decided to take my own brilliant advice and congratulated myself on showing up for the class and decided to challenge myself. I made a decision to ‘compare me to me’ instead of comparing myself to the others in the room. To compare is to despair and only leads to unhappiness. The demands we put on ourselves for perfection is disheartening.
When it felt like it was...
While I was still drinking I had no idea what it would be like to be sober. In the brief moments I contemplated not drinking, I thought all the fun would stop and I'd be sentenced to a life of misery without alcohol. My delusional thinking told me everything was just fine when in reality, I had a lot of shame about my behaviors while under the influence of alcohol. No one told me how incredible life in recovery would be.
Here are just a few of the many gifts of sobriety I didn't know which were waiting for me in recovery.
Releasing the Chains that Bind You
The Journey from Resentment to Forgiveness
Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself- Maya Angelou
For the addict and alcoholic, resentment is one of the biggest offenders which can lead the addict and the alcoholic straight to the drink or drug. Instead of processing the anger healthily, the alcoholic drinks at the person with whom they are angry. Resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the person you are mad at to die.
Forgiveness does not excuse the behavior of someone who may have harmed or hurt you. Forgiving is really about our own well- being and peace of mind. Forgiveness means you have decided to free the other person and yourself from the prison of resentment. I once heard someone say, “When you choose to forgive those who have hurt...
I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.
Penny, the people-pleaser will say, do, and be whoever you want her to be. She’s like a chameleon that takes on the color of whom she is with at the moment. Penny just wants you to love her, adore her, and give her credit for all her selfless devotion, all the while resenting who you have made her become. She avoids conflict and confrontation at any cost as to not upset anyone. Penny feels guilty for saying “no” when asked to do something for someone else.
On some rare occasions when she does say no, she over-apologizes and usually comes up with a long story about why she can’t. Penny has no idea what she likes or dislikes. Poor Penny watches what other people do and tries to mimic them. You mentioned you’ve always wanted a pool, next morning you’ll wake up to the sound of Penny operating a bulldozer, it’s only 6:00 a.m. and it’s...
Bells are ringing, chestnuts are roasting, and Santa’s on his way, and you smile to all passersby, saying “Happy holidays” when really you want to vomit up fruitcake.
The holidays can be so stressful. The shopping, traffic, lines at the stores, events at work and school can turn the Hallmark holiday into Hallmark hell. The feeling of loneliness can trigger the dis-ease if you sit home by yourself romanticize the holiday; thinking everyone is having the picture perfect holiday without you. And to top it off, there is alcohol everywhere you look.
I got sober November 13, 1999. I was separated from my then husband. Our children were two, five, and eight years old. Within the next six weeks, I had to face Thanksgiving, my daughter’s birthday, my son’s birthday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the new millennium! I prayed that the holidays would just be over with. "How the hell am I not going to drink through all of this?" I wondered. In the end, I did...
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