‘I am 14 years sober today!’ by Veronica Valli

ID-100227306-300x300Congratulations, Veronica! And thank you for your great blog.

‘Today is my 14th sober birthday. When you get to my age, birthdays aren’t something you necessarily want to shout about.

But recovered addicts and alcoholics have a different attitude to their sober birthdays. Every year we have under our belts has been hard fought for. This did not come easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, so hell yeah; I’m going to let everyone know how proud I am to have got this far. [Too right! DC]

So here are the 14 things I’ve learnt about sobriety along the way…

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‘Personal Failure or System Failure’ by William White

System Failure‘In my writings to people seeking recovery from addiction, I have advocated a stance of total personal responsibility:  Recovery by any means necessary under any circumstances.

That position does not alleviate the accountabilities of addiction treatment as a system of care. Each year, more than 13,000 specialized addiction treatment programs in the United States serve between 1.8 and 2.3 million individuals, many of whom are seeking help under external duress.  Those who are the source of such pressure are, as they see it, giving the individual a chance – with potentially grave consequences hanging in the balance.

Accepting the mantra that “Treatment Works,” families, varied treatment referral sources and the treatment industry itself believe that responsibility for any resumption of alcohol and other drug use following service completion rests on the shoulders of the individual and not with the treatment program. 

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What Works in Treatment?: Tim’s Story

rsz_img_2891Here are Tim’s experiences of treatment. Well, actually two different forms of treatment, one which did not help and the other that helped Tim overcome his addiction to alcohol and opiates. Tim is a doctor and his Story is packed full of insights. Here, I’ll start with his moment of clarity.

‘The epiphany which did eventually provoke some help-seeking was relatively simple. I came down to the kitchen one morning feeling wretched and defeated. I opened the cupboard and reached up. With one hand I brought down the cornflakes and with the other the whisky bottle.

I flexed my elbows to bring the two closer to me and weighing them up in my hands I thought, “There’s something not right about this… there’s something very wrong with this picture.” The bit of me that wanted to drink finally began to yield to the bit that didn’t. Shortly after, I went so see my GP.

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’11 Tips to Help You Think More Positively’ by Paul Sloane

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFound the Lifehack website which is well worth a look. The blog here is an example of what you will find on the website.

In a study at the Mayo clinic in Rochester, Minnesota patients were given a personality test that assessed their levels of optimism and pessimism. The progress of the patients was measured over 30 years, and it was found that the optimists lived longer than average for their age and gender while the pessimists had a shorter than average life.

Researchers found that optimism strengthens the immune system and helps people to adopt healthier lifestyles. Optimists feel better about themselves and take better care of themselves, while pessimists confirm their fears by having higher blood pressure, more anxiety and depression.

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On Healing: Jackie

rsz_1outback-sunset-880‘Healing is a really confusing word. When I first thought of it I thought I would go along and all this pain was going to be healed and at the finish I would just walk away and I would be healed, but now I know healing means learning.

Learning about yourself – learning about looking at things in a different way. Understanding how those things came to be.

Owning your own things, but not taking on board other people’s things. Being responsible for what you are responsible for, but not for other people’s responsibilities.

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‘New Life Acceptance’ by Matt Kay

Manchester-Art-and-Culture-getawayHere’s another old blog from WITR blogger Matt Kay, this one from April 2012.

‘I’ve not been on here for absolutely ages but I’m still living the dream. I made it to two years clean and sober (Aprils Fools Day too!) Just thought I’d share this with you… it’s called “New Life Acceptance”, hence the title.
 
1. I have a life-threatening problem that once had me. I now take charge of my life and my addiction. I accept the responsibility.

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Finding Hope: The Second Step to Recovery

imagesA great blog from Emily Battaglia on the Drug & Alcohol Addiction Recovery Magazine website. 

‘People who are in the initial stages of recovery from drug addiction or alcoholism often struggle to find hope. They have a difficult time believing that recovery is possible, but identifying new sources of hope and strength is a crucial part of the recovery process.

These sources provide the foundation for a new beginning. Those who complete the second step in a traditional 12-step program say, “We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”

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Tim’s Story: ‘Doctor in Recovery’

As Tim found out, having a medical degree offers no protection against addiction, nor from the hard work that is required to change oneself as a key part of the recovery journey.

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‘Why I chose recovery’ by Tony A

imageTony A was one of my favourite bloggers on Wired In To Recovery. He certainly didn’t mess around on what he had to say and his blogs provided some invaluable insights into the recovery journey and also the UK addiction care system. Here is a great blog he wrote back in 2010.  

‘This is my personal perspective to why I chose recovery over addiction. You see for me my addiction fulfilled so many requirements in my life.

I enjoyed the effects of drugs, drugs suppressed my emotions, drugs gave me an identity and a reason to exist, drugs were my longest and strongest relationship, my ultimate form of support, my way of coping with the insanity of life.

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