Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Disease of Alcoholism

I was just reading a great article in the 12 Step Gazette about the controversy surrounding the word 'disease' in relation to addiction. (The newsletter is here as a .pdf file, and you can find the article titled The Disease Concept of Addiction Revisited on page 22.) Calling addiction a disease has varied responses, and really, I can understand most people's reactions to this. If you know someone who is an alcoholic or addict, and they are horrible to their family, or completely irresponsible with their job or money, or just plain mean when they drink, or all of the above, and you hear them say that they have a disease, then it's very easy to dismiss this title. You don't get to get away with this behavior by using this 'disease' title as your excuse.
But I think this article makes some great points about addiction really being a disease. For me, I think it's about context and intent. I don't say that I have a disease so that I can be released from responsibility or have an excuse for my past behavior. Rather, I know I have a disease - one that could now be considered in remission, if you will - that will kill me if left untreated.
From the article:
"To start, scientific data can no more “prove” that addiction is a disease than it can “prove” that the sky is blue. Either we all agree that the color of the sky is sufficiently like everything else we call “blue,” or we agree to call it something else. In the same way, asserting that addiction is a
disease cannot be proven by scientific data. A disease concept is really a theory of addiction—a way of showing that addiction is like all the other things we generally accept as diseases. Although it may sound strange, when we say that alcoholism or drug addiction is a disease, we
are not talking about the behavior of drinking or using. Behavior might signify the presence of a disease, but behavior itself cannot be a disease."
I really appreciated this article, and wanted to pass it along to anyone with questions about this topic.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

New Book Glee

I finally did something really smart to get myself on track with this whole writing career that I seem to think will magically happen all on it's own. (long sentence, I know, don't care) I ordered The Christian Writers' Market Guide for 2010. I have really always wanted to write novels, but the Small People have currently voted against this. So, it seems that smaller projects would be a wise place to at least get my feet wet. I've submitted articles twice to Mom Sense magazine and had both rejected. I was pleased that I actually buckled down and wrote and made the submissions though, so it wasn't too crushing when they weren't interested. (And if we're really being honest, I don't even like Mom Sense, so I don't know why I tried to write for them!)
I figure the Market Guide is a good place to start doing research and find some good options for article writing.
In the meantime, I'm off to visit Ms. Dashwood and find some good prompts to work on tonight....
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

My little klepto...

We went to a graduation party today for two of the Man's cousins - had a great time! Lots of really good fun and fun with his extended family. I also get a bonus anytime we are guests in someone else's home; the Boy takes things. A lot of things. He's gotten a lot better about it, and we worked with the psychologist on how to prep him before events, and check him before we leave, etc. Well I didn't check him before we left tonight, just forgot in the bustle of rounding them up to go. I just found his shorts on the floor of my bedroom (because that's the same thing as putting them INTO the laundry basket in my bedroom, right?). I picked them up to toss them in, and could hear noise coming from the heavy pockets.

Now, in his defense I will say that the party favors were 'ok' to take home. I just didn't expect him to take quite so much of it. There's a dozen silly bandz, along with the bubbles, and I can't count how many strings of beads because they're so tangled together. And really, who doesn't want to take home ten of those toothpicks with the pretty colors? The Man and I had a good laugh at the BULGING pockets before I emptied them. And really, we were just relieved that there was nothing that we have to return, which is his usual M.O.

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Baptism Part II

The baptism was amazing! Truly amazing. I don't know how to describe it without sounding like a babbling idiot, because it really was just amazing!
I was nervous as anything getting into that water and reading my testimony. Here's what I said:
I grew up in a loving home, the middle child of a school teacher and a homemaker. I asked Jesus into my heart at around age 5. I was the epitome of the invisible middle child, never getting into trouble; doing what I was told.
So I would imagine it was quite to their shock when I left for college as a good & responsible girl, and came home two years later as an alcoholic flunk out. I wanted friends and freedom, and did everything that I had always thought was wrong. I drank so heavily right from the start, that by April of my freshman year I had landed myself a 3 day stay in a psychiatric ward, after an alcohol binge that be all rights should have killed me. By the end of my sophomore year I stopped going to my classes completely, and did nothing but party. I was kicked out. I had gone so far from my childhood faith, and sadly, that didn't even bother me. I didn't see any of this as my own fault; I was just along for the ride somehow.
Somehow, in spite of my own issues, I was blessed to find love in a wonderful man. We eventually married and started a family, and life was perfect on the surface. But beneath that surface was a well of pain and turmoil within me. I was still drinking, and I had no answers for why I hurt so much.
I began looking at my life with the eyes of a mother, and I knew that I had to change. I started going back to church, and one night while laying in bed I tearfully recommitted my life to Jesus. I had so much joy in my heart, a joy that grew with each passing day.
But one thing remained, and that was my drinking. I was a binge drinker, not a daily drinker, and because of that I was somehow able to continue to convince myself that this was not a problem. But in 2001 I had a traumatic miscarriage. I had no way of knowing what God was about to do in my life as a direct result of this loss. A short time later He used it to show me the truth about my alcoholism. I poured out every bottle in our house and have been sober since that day nine years ago. (At this point, the congregation applauded me, and I totally cried with joy!)
We made the decision two years ago to leave our old church and come to BFC. We're thankful to have been led here. Because I had been baptized as a baby, I was not allowed to be baptized as an adult in my old church, nor could I go elsewhere to be baptized, or I would have been removed from the leadership position I held. It is a joy to be free to be baptized here today.
My life verse is John 8:36, and I think it says the one thing that I would want you to remember about my story. "He whom the Son sets free, is free indeed."

Pastor C. then baptized me, and as I came up out of the water, I felt every ounce of the symbolism of that moment. I have been re-living it in my mind several times a day since then, and I am beyond thankful that I was able to do this, and proclaim my faith in the way that He asked me to.
The Man was baptized after me, which is when we ran into our only glitch of the day. I had emailed in his testimony to the office so it could be approved ahead of time. It must have been mixed up with the one I had emailed in when we joined a few months ago as new members. That original testimony had some things in it that we had chosen to edit out for this public event, since our children were going to be attending the baptism. Our oldest child is almost 11, and we aren't looking to talk to her about the abortion for a few more years at least. Unfortunately the one they printed and gave him to read during his baptism was the original, and being on the spot, in the tank, in front of everyone, the Man didn't realize what he was reading until it was too late. Thankfully, we believe that God protected our daughter from hearing him, because she had no questions for us later, and when I talked to her about what she thought of the event, she was very positive and happy for us. I think she was focused on using my fancy camera to record everything, and didn't even register what all was being said.
Otherwise, the day was perfect. I felt so blessed that my family could be there. We had them all over afterwards for lunch and I just felt radiant, so thankful and happy. Yay God! \o/

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new (woman that is)

This weekend the Man and I will be baptized by immersion at our church. I blogged about this awhile ago, but I guess I need to chatter about it because I'm a bit nervous. The nerves seem to be about actually physically climbing into the tank (tub? pool? no clue what to call it) and then getting out again, soaking wet, and not falling my plump housewifey self down those steps. I'm not nervous to be baptized, although as I've said before I have definitely had my moments of freaking out about it. I'm really happy with the decision, and it seems like the Man is too. (Though, being the Man, he does not have my need to chat about it.)
We get to read a short testimony, and were told to keep it around two minutes. This was way harder than I thought it would be. I edited the testimony that I had turned in when we joined the church, but I had to keep cutting and cutting to get it down to two minutes. I will post it next week after the deed is done.
A few really cool things that God has lined up for me..... my sister, who lives 9 hours away, just *happens* to be in town for a visit when we are doing this. We didn't know the dates would match up, so I was really happy about it. My parents & brother & his family are also attending, so I'm really thankful that they can all be there.
And in addition, this weekend is when we celebrate Founder's Day for Alcoholics Anonymous. I just think it's so great to be baptized on the same day that we celebrate 75 years of AA. Thanks God! :)

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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Lindsay Lohan

I just read this article about Lindsay Lohan, and as I always do after reading about someone unable to overcome their addiction, I think, 'But for the grace of God go I.' It may seem crazy to someone on the outside, that she would drink again knowing that the alcohol monitoring ankle bracelet will catch her. This is the nature of addiction; she has lost the ability to choose. Alcoholism is cunning, baffling & powerful, and there is a reason we remind ourselves of that fact at all our meetings. I know that I lose the ability to choose as soon as I take that first drink. The beast takes over. I pray that Lindsey is able to beat her addiction someday.
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I am not cut out for catering

I survived a very long weekend of catering and am never doing it again! Ok, maybe not never, but seriously, no one else is allowed to get engaged or married anytime soon. One of the foods I made was chicken satay, which was a new adventure for me. It turned out really well!

See how the red onion mocks the chicken, not knowing his own demise will soon be here in the form of broccoli salad!

Saturday was the engagement party for the Man's cousin. Lots of fun, but way more work than I had bargained for. It was at my in-laws house, and my mother & sister-in-laws and I did the food. It was a lot of cooking in a hot kitchen on a hot day, and then a lot of running back and forth to serve said food, and keep an eye on my kids and keep an eye on my own cup. I drank either straight from a water bottle or can of diet coke, so I wouldn't risk picking up someone else's drink.
Then last night was the bridal shower for a friend. Also lots of fun, but lots of work and food. I. Am. Tired. So today it's just me, pajamas, coffee and Tylenol Allergy Sinus. Later!
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010


This past Friday I celebrated 9 years of continuous sobriety. Which is pretty awesome if I do say so myself. A good friend & I both got sober the same year, so we like to compare notes on a regular basis about the phases we go through, and how crazy it is to be creeping up on a decade of living sober. Good stuff. I went to my home group on Wednesday night and got that shiny new coin above, which has been in my pocket since then. I like to carry my coin with me.
We spent the holiday weekend at the campground with family & friends & food. My girlfriend and I also decided to celebrate my anniversary by finding a local meeting, which proved to be an adventure. Lesson learned: always carry a current meeting list! The one I printed from last year sent us to a meeting that had since moved. We did manage to find one a half hour later at a club house though. It was a Living Sober meeting, open discussion format, so we got to hear from a variety of people. I got another coin which I'm saving for another friend who will celebrate 9 years in the fall.
At both meetings I shared my experience, strength and hope. The bottom line for me is that I sat down, shut up, and did what they told me to do. If a person wants to stay sober, they need to be willing, open & honest. They need to work the steps thoroughly and be willing to take suggestions. It is a humbling & at times painful process, but it is worth it. It's not easy to walk in and admit that you don't have the answers, and that what you've been doing has clearly not been working for you. But the Promises do materialize if we are willing to do the hard work.

The 12 Promises are from pps. 83-84 of the Big Book.
"If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through . . .

  1. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
  2. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
  3. We will comprehend the word serenity.
  4. We will know peace.
  5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
  7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
  8. Self-seeking will slip away.
  9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
  10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
  11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fullfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them."

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