Lifestyle Changes Archive

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  • My Experience With Leaving AA and Successfully Staying Sober

    Trigger warning: mentions of alcoholism, relapse, and sexual violence

    Failure is built into the punitive, guilt-ridden fabric of AA. An archaic framework of Christian dogma marketed as the only way to get sober. If you fail it’s your fault. If you succeed it’s God’s miracle. Every meeting we recited that those who drink after AA are “naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.” According to AA honesty in confession to unscrupulous strangers will keep you from drinking. That and the will of God.

    My Experience with Wicca and Pagan Spirituality

    When they asked us in rehab that March of 2013 what our spirituality consisted of, I said that is was “Somewhere between yoga and fireflies.” I was getting very into yoga. I felt that the states of greater transcendence I reached while practicing to be closest to the spiritual as I, a die-hard atheist, could get. I felt that the grandeur of nature and expanse of the universe was a higher power, but I couldn’t get behind the idea that the universe would have anything to do with me or want to help me. I felt insignificant in the galaxy, a mote of dust, a sheep, as AA professed.

    My Experience with Medical Marijuana as a Psychiatric Medication and Harm Reduction Strategy

    Trigger Warnings: suicidal ideation, grief, alcoholism, drug use.

    When I first came to medical marijuana, I was desperate. Fighting Schizoaffective Disorder, alcoholism, PTSD, the recent death of my wife, chronic anxiety, and newly recovered childhood abuse memories, all I wanted was to be put out of my misery. I told my therapist, “When an animal is broken, you either shoot it or put it out to pasture comfortably, I’ll take either one.”

    End of an Era

    Tomorrow is my seven-year anniversary of sobriety. Well by the time it’s posted it’ll be ‘today’ or ‘yesterday’. But y’know what I mean. It’s weird. Seven years. It’s a long time, and then it’s also not. It also goes very fast when life passes by and one is not mindful or living in the present. I can honestly say that most of my recovery has been one big, long panic. Will I get loaded? Will I find a job? How am I going to pay the rent?

    Make Recovery Your Own

    I always say ‘I’ve been in recovery for…’ and then either go on to say ‘Just about two months’ if I’m talking about my eating disorder or ‘Just about seven years’ if I’m talking about alcoholism. I’m not sure why. I guess because I have come to believe that recovery is only recovery if I’ve been ‘clean’ for a length of time. I’m not sure why; I do not hold others to that standard. I’m pretty much alone in that category.

    How to Have a Successful Self Care Day

    I am now in the throws of working towards my recovery. Like many others in recovery, you may find yourself making drastic life style changes. Whether that be working out, quitting smoking, picking days to socialize, and participating in therapies or support groups. Many of you may also find that it is bloody exhausting. For […]

    A Different Approach

    Once upon a time, there was me. I was a drunk. I wanted to die. I couldn’t handle the way I was living anymore. So I went into a recovery house. I failed. I went to another one. Three years into sobriety I had a mental breakdown. Things have been fucked ever since. But through it all I’ve also had this eating disorder, see. So it’s not enough to try to get my life back from mental illness. I’ve got an eating disorder too.

    My Experience with Detox and Outpatient Rehab

    My alcoholism reached a head in spring of 2013, brought to desperation by the death of my wife and my subsequent despair. By this point I was drinking from three pm onward everyday, first wine and then vodka, whiskey or rum. Nothing would bring her back, but I could annihilate myself. It was starting to dawn on me, though, that this was making me nothing but miserable. I wasn’t going anywhere or doing anything. I wasn’t socializing or running errands. I could barely cook. Being on disability, I wasn’t working. My full-time job was getting to the bottom of the bottle.

    More lists

    I really want to sleep without sleep meds. I have had insomnia off and on for almost twenty years, since I was fifteen. When I was younger, it was usually trouble getting to sleep. As I got older, it became trouble with staying asleep. I took Ambien every night for around a year, which at first was bliss. It stopped working, though, and I spent three weeks sleeping almost not at all. Then I got Lunesta, which I have taken every night for the last year. If my options are really not sleeping or taking meds, I am definitely willing to take meds.

    Sobriety & Resentments

    No one ever said that this whole sobriety thing would be easy but I have found that it gets a whole lot harder the longer I go. I went to AA, I got a sponsor; I did everything that they told me to do. I even managed to go to a meeting a day. Yet at the same time the longer that I stay dry the more social situations that I find myself in where I am saying to myself, maybe one more would be okay. Take for example last night, I was asked over for a social occasion and it inevitably lead to me picking up, a beer in this case. But that beer lead to Tequila shots which led to, etc. etc. I got scary drunk, more drunk then I have gotten in a long time and while nothing bad happened, and I made it home safely and managed to crawl into bed. But see my alcoholic mentally ill mind tells me that because I did that, because nothing “bad” happened that it must be okay for me to drink again.