[one_half_last]Welcome to the Addiction Recovery Blog RoundUp for the last week of March. Lots of interesting posts to read this week!
How To Turn Down a Drink with Confidence
So you have stopped drinking (or using drugs) but there is this event coming up…and people will be drinking (or using drugs – or both!). What do you do? What do you say? This is a very practical post over at Sober Courage giving some ideas on how to be prepared for events. Of course, it hits on one of my soapboxes – [/one_half_last]HAVE A PLAN! As MagzShores says: “Being prepared for events that will include drinking alcohol can prove to be quite daunting.” Don’t go into an event, or a party, or a gathering, or a family get-together without thinking it through and making a plan.
How will you handle the drinking?
How will you handle questions?
What if you get overwhelmed?
Time to remember your Boy or Girl Scout training – Be Prepared!
The Bottom: Do I Really Have To Hit It First?
I like this post by Joseph Sharp this week over at Quitting Crystal Meth. There is a lot of talk about “hitting bottom” and how far down individuals have to slide before they are willing to take any steps to resolve some of their abuse/addiction issues. These discussions seem to be prevalent in the treatment community as well as in the layperson’s world. I agree with him when he says: “Just know that, for you, you can make the decision to quit whenever you want. There doesn’t have to be a burn-life-to-the-ground bottom. You can “raise” the bar, see clearly, and recognize the bottom headed your way, so as to stop beforehand.” It is all about motivation. And everyone has some sort of motivation to change. The challenge can be to find the motivation for each individual.
Hard Decisions Faced Head-On
Decisions are difficult. They take up a lot of head room. And energy. The more decisions you make in a day, the less ideal those decisions are. It’s called decision fatigue. I heard the other day that President Obama only wears grey or blue suits to avoid decision fatigue. This cuts down on his amount of daily decisions so he has energy to make the important ones. As Wheatism notes over on the Road to Abstinence blog this week, some decisions are basic, life changing (and perhaps life saving), and made with a lot of prior thought. As the writer notes about the decision to quit drinking: “It was the hardest decision I have ever made, and one that took a lot of courage and self analysis and honesty with myself about my life.” But once you have made that initial decision and start to build your life around it, the daily decisions come easier.
Tips For Sober Travel
Spring Break is coming! Summer is coming! Are you making travel plans? Julie over at Sober Julie has some good ideas this week. Of course my favorite tip is: “Plan Ahead” (smile)! You don’t have to have every step of your itinerary planned but, just as if you were going to a party it is important to:
Know your surroundings
Be clear about the people you will be spending time with
Know how you want to respond to questions from others and
Have an exit plan in case you need it.
And then, have fun!
Finally this week, there has been a lot written about the worthiness (or not) of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the last several weeks. I wanted to give you a variety of posts on both sides of the issue so that you can take all factors into consideration. As I have said to you before, I have a strong belief in the power of AA and other support groups, AND I don’t think they are the right fit for everybody. Many people that we never hear about get clean and sober without any treatment or support groups but we don’t have numbers and we don’t know about them because they never touch the system. Many others get clean and sober through AA and other support groups but the numbers are unclear because those groups are anonymous and may not have been rigorously and scientifically studied. After you do your reading, let me know what you think.
This is the article that started the discussion:
The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous
And here is a variety of the rebuttals:
Challenging the Disease Concept of Alcoholism
Questioning the 12-Step Orthodoxy
AA linked to Higher Rates of Continuous Abstinence/Recovery
Why Alcoholics Anonymous Works
Is Science Being Irrational Rather Than AA?
Spirituality vs. Science? A Rebuttal to The Atlantic Article, ‘The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous’
Update 4/3/15 – additional posts for discussion:
Alcoholics Anonymous Effectiveness: Faith Meets Science
Participation In Treatment And Alcoholics Anonymous: A Study Of AA Effectiveness
Update 4/16/15 – more posts to add to the discussion:
AA, Evidence, and Glaser
New York Times Promote Alcoholics Anonymous And Censors Comments And The Truth About AA
AA: America’s Gift To The World
Comment Overload At The Atlantic
Alcoholics Anonymous And Reduced Impulsivity: A Novel Mechanism Of Change
Evidence Based Treatment Study Shows AA Attendance Helps
That’s it for this week. I hope you enjoyed your reading – have a great weekend!
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or codependency issues, Contact me today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation to talk about how we can work together or find the right person for you.