Category: Alcohol

How to Ask for Help with Alcoholism as a Parent with a Family

In the 1994 Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia film When a Man Loves a Woman, two parents struggle with the effects of Ryan’s character’s alcoholism and fight to keep their marriage and family together. The reality of seeking care for alcoholism is certainly no Hollywood movie, but When a Man Loves a Woman beautifully illustrates some of the challenges and things to consider when seeking treatment, such as: Talk to... Read More

Staying Dry on the Road: How to Keep Up Sobriety While Traveling

It’s a common struggle for many professionals and executives. While on the road for business, a few coworkers might want to get together for drinks after work and talk about the next big project coming down the pipeline, or share the latest technology scuttlebutt, or even talk about the most recent episode of Game of Thrones. As a professional who is in recovery or committed to sobriety, however, it can... Read More

Compulsive Gamblers at Increased Risk for Alcohol Abuse

An addiction to gambling is a serious mental health disorder that can quickly ravage an individual’s life if treatment is not sought to halt the destructive compulsions and behaviors that are characteristic of this condition. Gambling disorder is the only non-substance-related addiction that is included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), though individuals who grapple with such an illness also commonly struggle... Read More

Animal House Revisited: The Dangers of Binge Drinking in College

It’s a scene straight out of a movie — parties, drinking, students passed out on the front lawn of a frat house. Unfortunately, however, this scene is not so much a comedy as it is a tragedy. A recent study from the University of Washington found that binge drinking  in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area has increased nearly 30 percent in the last decade, and Santa Clara County saw... Read More

The Importance of Leaving the City for Treatment

Stepping away from one’s everyday life poses many advantages when taking on the endeavor of becoming sober. Residential treatment, an option for care that enables men and women to fully focus on recovery in a setting that is free from the temptation of using substances, is a level of care that has helped countless individuals win the war against addiction and chemical dependency. However, for the busy professional, residential treatment... Read More

Lessons From John Lennon and His Song, “Cold Turkey”

“Temperature’s rising Fever is high Can’t see no future Can’t see no sky My feet are so heavy So is my head I wish I was a baby I wish I was dead Cold turkey has got me on the run My body is aching Goose-pimple bone Can’t see no body Leave me alone My eyes are wide open Can’t get to sleep One thing I’m sure of I’m at... Read More

12 Tips on Staying Sober This Holiday

These 12 simple and timeless tips can help you stay sober over the holidays. (from the December 1978 Hummer, adapted from Box 459) Line up extra A.A. activities for the holiday season. Be host to A.A. friends, especially newcomers. Keep your A.A. telephone list handy. Find out about special holiday parties. Skip any drinking occasions you are nervous about. If you have to go to a drinking party, keep some candy handy. Don’t... Read More

How I Survived My First Sober Christmas

“So this is Christmas And what have you done Another year over And a new one just begun And so this is Christmas I hope you have fun The near and the dear ones The old and the young A very merry Christmas And a happy New Year Let’s hope it’s a good one Without any fear…” Christmas is upon us once again and the above is my favorite song... Read More

Why I’ll Never Drink Again

Do we truly need to get and stay sober? Do we really need to accept that we can never have another drink or another drug? Obviously, my answer is a resounding, “Yes!” I chose 18 years ago to travel down the road of sobriety. I have attended thousands of meetings over that time period and have heard thousands of fellows share their stories. From the stay-at-home mom who lost custody... Read More

Why I’m Thankful for Sobriety

As our time of thanks nears, I am recalling the many Thanksgiving meals I have attended. Generally, the group that I’m with will pause before indulging, and share the things they are grateful for. Health, having a job, and being with loved ones’ seem to prevail as standard statements. Everyone that I am close to knows I’m a sober alcoholic, and I always mention my sobriety when it’s my turn.... Read More

What Is Alcoholics Anonymous All About?

Recently, I heard someone say, “AA is nothing but a cult.” Honestly, I had similar reservations when I went to my first meeting. Several AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) fellows introduced themselves prior to the start of that session and after a bit, I asked, “Is this like—you know, like a cult?” AA—A Fellowship One woman laughed politely and responded, “Not at all. You may come and go as you wish. Each... Read More

What I Learned From AA’s First Step

There are healthy and unhealthy ways to face our fears. Looking back, I realize I chose the unhealthy route. Drinking and drugging myself into addiction seemed to be my only option as I struggled with my adult boogie men. Yes, I was genetically predisposed to addictions, and I certainly had experienced my fair share of traumas. But instead of reaching out to a professional counselor, I battled my foes by... Read More

I Write This with over 20 Years of Sobriety

[Dedicated to C. Greaves, counselor, who could confidentially say, “I tell people what they already know, but have hidden from themselves.”] As a young adolescent, I found myself to be the class joke. Overweight, awkward, tall and acne-ridden, I was prime material for that role. I suppose one could speculate that my classmates chose me because I absolutely showed the despair that I felt. Tormented from the time I boarded... Read More

What I Learned about Listening from AA

“Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.” –Charlie Kaufman We communicate in many ways. We use touch to say unspoken words. Our eyes are the “windows to the world” and our bodies turn and gesture in an intricate dance of conveyance. Addiction found me sorely wrapped up in myself and my conversation topics followed suit—I talked about me! “I need, I want, give me,” seemed to be all that was on my... Read More

How I Got Sober

“Imagine trying to live without air. Now imagine something worse.” ― Amy Reed, Clean The stairway railing splintered into dozens of pieces. Two holes in the bedroom sheet-rock and a kicked in door completed my tirade. Forever a pacifist, I was told that I had spit on a police officer and shouted obscenities from the top of my lungs. I do not recall that outburst—I’ve only been told about my... Read More