Category : Alcoholism

Learning to Love After Recovery

My brother came home from a 12-month stay in rehab. My confidant, my jokester, my BFF is back!

His year in rehab seems to have passed in the blink of an eye, but in the moment it seemed like every minute without his free spirit in our home took a lifetime to pass.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed my anxiety has doubled, no, scratch that, it’s tripled without him. His year away brought me to tears because I missed sharing jokes and experiences with him. But at least I knew he was safe. He was free from the temptation of the bottle. Now, he’s home and the tears come to my eyes for a different reason: fear and uncertainty.

There’s so much I don’t know. I don’t know what he’s thinking. I don’t know if these new freedoms are tugging at the alcoholic in him. I don’t know if he will run into temptations from his former life. I don’t know his triggers. I don’t know if he’ll fail. I am also terrified to discover, that I don’t know how to help him.

Our Culture Profits from Addiction

I often wonder how I was so blind to the fact that I was an alcoholic. Looking back, all of the signs were there.

My life was out of control; once I had my first drink of the day, I had little-to-no control over the amount I drank. All bets were off. And when I truly wanted to stop drinking, I couldn’t.
The tricky part there is that I thought I had a choice in it all. I thought I was drinking because I wanted to. And then the day came where I wanted to stop and I couldn’t, and that’s when I knew I was in trouble. It was like that for a couple of years. Day after day I would tell myself I wasn’t going to drink…that today would be different. But today was never different.

Society has made alcohol part of everything we do and not only have we accepted that, we’ve embraced it as the norm. Worse, we’ve made it socially acceptable to drink pretty much anywhere anytime. There’s alcohol at baby showers, children’s birthday parties, children’s music and theatre shows, pop-up churches, play dates, and pre-PTA gatherings. Does it not strike anyone else as odd that Target just announced they will be selling and serving liquor in some of their new locations?!

Recovery: A Juggling Act on a Tightrope

Finding balance can be difficult for anybody. But establishing balance in recovery is even more difficult because you lacked balance for so long while in the throes of your addiction. A common emotion after recovery is to feel a void where the alcohol used to be. You have newfound time new hobbies can be exciting. But the key to lasting recovery is balance.

As the adult child of two alcoholic parents, I’ve watched my dad go from one extreme to the next and finally find that equilibrium.

The best way for me to explain my dad’s constant balancing act is to picture him as a man walking a tightrope while juggling 5 balls.
He gently tosses each ball, one at a time giving each one just the right amount of attention to keep it from crashing to the ground.
The tightrope challenges him, it forces him to focus and set his intention.
But he remains steadfast in his goal: stay on his feet and keep the balls in motion.