“Alcohol ruined me financially and morally, broke my heart and the hearts of too many others. Even though it did this to me and it almost killed me and I haven’t touched a drop of it in seventeen years, sometimes I wonder if I could get away with drinking some now. I totally subscribe to the notion that alcoholism is a mental illness because thinking like that is clearly insane.”
– Craig Ferguson, “American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot,” 2012
“…one of the primary differences between alcoholics and nonalcoholics is that nonalcoholics change their behavior to meet their goals and alcoholics change their goals to meet their behaviors.”
– “Alcoholics Anonymous”
There is only one endeavor in which you can start at the top, and that is digging a hole.
“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot become manifest, strength cannot be exerted, wealth is useless, and reason is powerless.”
Nuggets: Video Paints Addiction in Simple Moving Terms
There’s something extraordinarily gripping about this kiwi’s struggle with addiction.
Perhaps, because there’s something so devastatingly human between the stark black and white lines of German animator Andreas Hykade’s five-minute creation.
Dubbed ‘Nuggets,’ the story revolves around the journey of a solitary kiwi and the occasional bumps it finds in the road.
The kiwi scarcely regards the first golden nugget it comes across. A second nugget, a little ways ahead, draws its attention. And, after some poking and prodding of the strange substance, the kiwi inserts its beak and, well, indulges.
Bliss ensues. This flightless bird leaves the ground. After an oblivious twirl or two in the air, the kiwi comes back to Earth. A little farther along its path, another golden nugget appears. The kiwi hastens to suck it up.
But as bird tromps along from nugget to nugget, its ‘flights’ become briefer, reaching heights less dizzying — and ultimately hitting the ground more harshly every time.
At last, humpbacked and haggard, our protagonist can scarce shuffle across a blackened backdrop.
It comes across another golden nugget. And eyes it for a pregnant moment.
- Alcoholism is a disease and the alcoholic a sick person.
- The alcoholic can be helped and is worth helping.
- Alcoholism is a public health problem and therefore a public responsibility.
– Marty Mann, 1945
Caron Chapel Prayer, written by Father Bill Hultberg
Lord God, I acknowledge you as my
Savior and Redeemer.
I ask you to come into my life.
Send the power of the Holy Spirit
to enlighten my mind and will as to what I must do…
and then move my will to do it!
I ask the Holy Spirit
to heal me of all obsessions
to use alcohol and other drugs
or relationships or behaviors addictively.
Grant that I may never separate
myself from you again,
for you are my Lord and God.
About Addiction (from Nar-anon Family Groups)
We have learned that addiction is an illness. It is a very physical, mental, and spiritual disease that affects every area of life. It can be arrested but never cured. We have found that compulsive use of drugs does not indicate a lack of affection for the family. It is not a matter of love, but of illness. The addicts’ inability to control their use of drugs is a symptom of the disease of addiction. Even when they know what will happen when they take the first drink, pill or fix, they will do so. This is the “insanity” we speak of in regard to this disease. Only complete abstinence from the use of drugs, including alcohol, can arrest this disease. No one can prevent the addict’s use of drugs. When we accept that addiction is a disease, and that we are powerless over it, we become ready to learn a better way to live.
“The disease of addiction is strong, and when it feels threatened, it’s especially deadly. I envision the disease as a voice screaming, ‘If I can’t have you, then no one can!’ over, and over, and over, and over, drowning out all other voices of hope and healing.”
– Watershed Beth
Anger is a useful emotion, reminding me that my boundary has been crossed. I can use anger to give me courage to maintain my boundaries.
“Every time I try to tighten the noose of resentment around someone’s neck, I am really only choking myself. Today I will practice forgiveness instead.”
– Al-Anon’s “Courage to Change”
“Anger is like peeing in your pants. Everybody else sees it, but only YOU feel it!”
– Jeff Yalden
Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
Some helpful thoughts for parents who need help with setting boundaries with their loved ones.
- You aren’t in their physical space, but are you in their emotional space?
- If it’s not your ball, don’t pick it up.
- Who owns this issue?
- W.A.I.T. – Why Am I Talking? (i.e., take some time to think about what you really need to say)
- When we do things for our children that they could do for themselves, we rob them of the opportunity to learn and grow.
Respond Don’t React – from “Boundaries,” by Henry Cloud
When you react to something that someone says or does, you may have a problem with boundaries. If someone is able to cause havoc by doing or saying something, she is in control of you at that point, and your boundaries are lost. When you respond, you remain in control, with options and choices.
If you feel yourself reacting, step away and regain control of yourself so family members can’t force you to do or say something you do not want to do or say and something that violates your separateness. When you have kept your boundaries, choose the best option. The difference between responding and reacting is choice. When you are reacting, they are in control. When you respond, you are.
“I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people’s lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.” – Melody Beattie
Be a Part of the Conversation hosted an event that addressed setting boundaries and recognizing when we need to step in and take action when we are concerned about someone’s substance use. >> Visit this page to learn more.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
– Xunzi (Chinese Philosopher)
“You must give up the life you had planned, in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” – Joseph Campbell
“It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.”
– Richard Evans
“It is what we know already that often prevents us from learning”
– Claude Bernard
Stages of Change. In the Transtheoretical Model, change is a “process involving progress through a series of stages:”
- Precontemplation (Not Ready)-“People are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their behaviour is problematic”
- Contemplation (Getting Ready)-“People are beginning to recognize that their behaviour is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions”
- Preparation (Ready)-“People are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward behaviour change”
- Action – “People have made specific overt modifications in modifying their problem behaviour or in acquiring new healthy behaviours”
- Maintenance – “People have been able to sustain action for a while and are working to prevent relapse”
- Termination – “Individuals have zero temptation and they are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping”
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters (click here)
“People are lonely
because they build walls
instead of bridges.”
– Joseph Fort Newton
“Active alcoholics don’t have relationships, they take hostages.” – Unknown
“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.” – Swedish proverb
“Blood is the fuel for the enormous energy we burn up battling our own. We wouldn’t think of expending such efforts on strangers.”
“Am I helping the person I care about, or am I enabling them?”
“If you are doing something that they are definitely not able to do for themselves at this point, you are simply helping.
If you are doing something for them that they are perfectly able to do for themselves, you are enabling them. You are also robbing them of an opportunity to grow and gain a sense of empowerment.”
“His family blame themselves and wonder what they could have done differently, racking their minds for a perfect sentiment; wrapped up in the perfect sentence, a magic bullet to sear right through the toxic fortress that has incarcerated the person they love and restore them to sanity. The fact is, though, that they can’t, the sufferer must, of course, be a willing participant in their own recovery. They must not pick up a drink or drug, one day at a time.”
– Russel Brand regarding his friend’s brother who can’t stay sober
“There is an old Sufi saying that goes something like this: Tie two birds together, and they will be unable to fly even though they have twice the number of wings.”
– Chris Lawford, Symptoms of Withdrawal
Expectations are resentments in the making. Today I will have high hopes and low expectations, embracing life with gratitude.
“All parents are the same. Really, what they want is for you to be just like them.”
– “Jack” from the film “Circle of Friends”
Our serenity level is inversely proportionate to our level of expectation.
“I finally realized, I was playing my movie on my son’s screen.”
– A dad in a parent support group meeting.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough & more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today & creates a vision for tomorrow.”
– Melody Beattie
“In daily life we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but gratefulness that makes us happy.”
– David Steindl-Rast
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
– Oprah Winfrey