Tag Archives: recovery

Confessions of a Would-Be Alcoholic

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Time to Drink?

Time to Drink?

Today is one of those days when putting two thoughts together and having them make sense and become something concrete seem entirely impossible. And before you jump to any conclusions, I have never formally been diagnosed with any mental disorder or disruptive condition – although I did break my right ankle when I tripped over my dog a few years ago.

So, what, you might ask, is going on with me. – at least I know that is the question running through my brain since it is not something that typically happens to me. If I had to come up with a single word that describes what I’m feeling it is “spacey.” And no, I’m not even sure if that is a real word at all, but I think it conjures up the way I’m feeling.

When I think of “spacey,” I picture outer space and a lot of uninterrupted areas. Maybe off to the distant side, there may be a cluster of light haze-like fog formed from a handful of stars, but for the most part, there is a lot of open space with nothing concrete around. That is exactly how it feels inside my own head.

I want to go in some direction and I get an idea, fleeting as it may be, but no sooner do I reach out to anchor it to a second idea and just like in a Star Trek movie, the next thought whooshes out of sight, traveling at the speed of sound, light years away; forever out of reach. Spacey!

My background is in mental health so I go into research mode and I quickly find the National Alliance on Mental Illness website. According to NAMI what I am experiencing is indeed a symptom of a disorder known as “Depersonalization.” It is most commonly marked by feelings of distance and detachment from one’s own self or body – which is most likely why I didn’t consider it part of the disorder at first, but the more I researched it, the more I found that it can also involve the same feelings of distance and detachment from one’s own experience. Bingo!

It then goes on to describe the sensation as feeling as if in a dream or being “spaced out.” What makes it a disorder is the frequency and severity of the interruption; because people also describe many of these same feelings when intoxicated. Bingo again.

Alcohol Does

Alcohol Does

I have been feeling a lot of disappointment and sadness in my personal relationship with my partner and although I have been stating it openly and maturely time after time, his own mental health issues leave me feeling totally alone and alienated. Deep in the late night hours of night, when stillness and silence are my only friends, I reach for a glass of wine, to unwind. Before I know it, I am reaching for another; even a third. And although my partner has long since begun snoring, I am sitting quietly and being lulled to sleep on the living room recliner.

alcoholic

REALITY CHECK: Although this has not been going on for so long and it is only wine, I am drinking too much. I believe the way I feel today, is my brain’s way of telling me that I am doing something harmful, even though at the moment when I do it, I can convince myself that it is helpful.

Am I on the brink of clarity here – totally on the edge of being able to see clearly, despite feelings of being spacey and distant, that I need to step back in order to avoid self-harm and possibly even addiction?

I may be going through a rough spot with my personal relationship – I am definitely afraid that I have to face the reality that my partner and I may very well need to come to terms with where things are with us, I’m not sure…maybe it is just me who has to come to those terms. But, what I do know is that I’m not going to find comfort or clarity by drowning my unhappiness in another glass of wine.

http://nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Dissociative_Disorders.htm

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Mindful Recovery

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Volvo

Volvo

Did you ever make up your mind that you were going to buy a new car? One of the most amazing things happens when that occurs. After painstaking contemplation and consideration, you finally decide on the make and model you are going to get, maybe even the color.

It is always right after this decision that you become amazingly aware of just how many makes and models in the same color you have chosen are actually on the road. It is almost as if a magic car fairy has transplanted all these ‘imitation’ vehicles on the roads you travel, just for you to be able to see just how your new car is going to look on the road once you get it.

Not really, but it sure does seem that way!

Well, it’s sort of like that when it comes to me and the term mindfulness. I first ran across the word term when a colleague of mine who is very up on these types of things began using it in conjunction with regard to her working with her clients who were overly anxious. She didn’t define it, but I pretty much understood what the concept meant through the content of her description.

To be mindful means to be able to tune in without distraction – not only the type of outer distractions we are all so familiar with, but also anything going on within us as we are dealing with a given situation.

Yada Yada TShirt

Yada Yada TShirt

Time for a bit of honesty here – because we all do it. I know you know what I’m talking about – I am as guilty of it in my role as anyone – we are called upon by someone who has something to say to us, be it professionally or in our private lives – maybe our spouse or our son or daughter – and we start out attending to them and listening intently. But out of nowhere, we get walloped with the thought that we have to be at the field to pick up little Jimmy and there is bound to be traffic and dinner is going to be late enough as it is and yadda yadda….

Before we know it, our insides are shaking, our brainwaves are frazzled and we haven’t really heard the last 50 words the person speaking to us has said.

We are human. Our feelings are impacted due to all the thoughts that float in and out of our heads. I have heard most people averages about 60,000 thoughts per day. That’s an awful lot of opportunity for internal distraction, don’t you think?

It is clear that achieving a successful mindful practice is no simple feat. But before you throw in the towel, lets look at what’s in it for us if we truly give it the ‘ole’ college try.’

Recovery

Recovery

Some benefits of linking mindfulness practice to recovery are:

• More control
– and better equipped to deal with the ups and downs that are a natural part of everyday sobriety in life. Early recovery can be one of the most challenging emotional rides a person will ever be on. If you can carry mindfulness along on the roller coaster ride with you, you’re one step ahead of the game.

• Easier management of interpersonal relationships – since no man, or woman, is an island, we all have to play well with others in order to avoid unbelievable press and possible triggers that can send us back toward the very path we’ve sworn to stay off of.

• More pleasure and joy in life – by learning to stop and notice some of the smaller, simpler things in life, we also get to notice some of the more glorious and beautiful things in life.

• More tuned in with cravings
– and if we recognize it for what it is when it arrives (and believe me, it will arrive) we can avoid being swept up by it. We learn to accept them for what they are, not attempt to butt heads with them or overpower them.

• Relapse avoidance – similarly, by learning to recognize the warning signs of relapse and face them for what they are, we give ourselves the best possible odds of being able to live ‘this too shall pass’ and miraculously, it does.

There are even more benefits to living a more mindful life that will make themselves known to you the more you are able to focus in on them. You will be astounded and more at peace, happier and less fearful of tomorrow…something every one of us deserves and most definitely can achieve.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. Judy’s professional experience in the mental health field along with her love of writing, provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. Her fresh voice and down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life are easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

Trauma Recovery Done Right: 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery

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Trauma Psych

TraumaRecoveryReview8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery: Take-Charge Strategies to Empower Your Healing.
Babette Rothschild. 2010. W.W. Norton, New York.  174 pages.

Living with persisting trauma memories is tough. Involuntarily triggered by events, or people, or places, or thoughts, or feelings . . . well, anything can be a trigger, actually . . . these intrusive, searing memories will turn one’s life inside out. Recovery from traumatic experience is tough as well, and achieving a sense of safety is essential to successful recovery. Rothschild’s brief, personable, and accessible book directly targets safe, successful recovery in a way that compels and convinces the reader. If trauma memories impact your life or that of someone you know or treat in a healthcare setting, you need this book. Because of the importance of this material, and because I want this to be a bit more than a mere review, I will be discussing this book in a two-part post…

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