Alcoholics are still selfish – But!

Selfish alcoholics

Sharing is not a competitive sport

A few months ago I wrote a blog post saying that alcoholics are a selfish bunch. At the time I was frustrated and angry in my dealings with them, a situation that so many others have found themselves in through being married or related to them.

Even though I wrote the post in anger, or maybe because of it, it seems to have attracted a lot of interest. There are probably more visits to that particular blog post than any other on the blog. It appears that I seem to have expressed not only my own anger but also that of others. If you agree then please leave a comment telling me. Continue reading

The times they are a changed

Nearly 30 years ago (August 13th 1984 to be exact), I started my sober journey. I was a mess that day. I shook, I sweated buckets, I puked, I crapped a lot, I had convulsions, I could not look anyone in the eye and I was terrified. In fact I was a poor sorry specimen of a human being altogether.

So why am I saying this, to get a bit of sympathy? Absolutely not! I say it with amazement, a sense of disbelief. Why? Well tomorrow I am heading up to London to chair a conference on Wednesday. All those years ago no one (including me) wanted to hear anything that I had to say. Now I have the privilege of addressing the great and the good about how they can address the expensive issue of alcohol and drugs in the workplace. Yes times have really changed!

Why do alcoholics not stop drinking?

seems crazy, booze is making him ill, everyone can see that, her friends don’t want to be around her, why can’t they see what everyone else sees so clearly?  Why do they seem incapable of recognising that that there is a problem at all and that it is destroying them?  With all these signs of a problem, why do alcoholics not stop drinking?

To anyone who lives with, works with, is friendly with or is associated with an alcoholic it is baffling, infuriating, frustrating, incomprehensible.  And unfortunately, unless you have experienced addiction of some sort, it may stay that way.  I have been addicted, to alcohol, assorted drugs and tobacco, and at times even I find myself unable to fathom the behaviour of some alcoholics.

Many years ago I worked in an alcohol and drug unit in Scotland.  The people who came through the doors were usually severely dependent on alcohol and/or drugs and were admitted for a two to three week detox period.  Nevertheless despite how bad they were, there is one particular patient that stands out for me, let’s call him George.

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A Book about Recovery

I’m looking to write/edit/compile a book about recovery.  My wish is that the book celebrates recovery in all its varieties, joy, gladness, poignancy, regret, relief.  However this A book about hopeis a book that needs to be written by the recovery community themselves rather than just one person, as everybody’s experience is different.

It needs to be a book that brings hope to people who are still suffering, whether that be in the throws of addiction or struggling with recovery.  But it needs to be a book that is read by a wider audience than recovering addicts/alcoholics and their family. Continue reading

Sobriety – Progress rather than perfection

So it is another new year.  We are presented with yet another opportunity to start again.  It is a bit like having an etch-o-sketch life, where we can pull the lever and we are presented with a brand spanking new page.  Great isn’t it!HD-happy-new-year 2014

I was wandering around Bottled Up (our website for people who live with an alcoholic) and I came across the phrase “he has had more sober time recently”.  My heart sang when I saw that as it felt like one of the things that I had been banging on about had actually been heard.

I have always been a bit concerned by the all or nothing principle that seems to pervade recovery.  Before anyone jumps on me, I strongly, and I do mean strongly, believe that the principle goal of recovery should be abstinence.  I have no problems with that in any way, shape or form!

Big John’s sobriety

Where I do have some concerns is that when someone falls off the wagon, there is a Continue reading

My Story – From a Drunk to a Doctor in a Decade

I was asked to write a guest blog for the UK Recovery Walk website, which I was really happy to do.  Here is a taster of that blog, you can read the rest of it on the UK Recovery Walk website.

For a few years now some people, my boss, some friends, my mother, my GP and especially my wife, had been telling me that I had a drink problem and, up till now, I had managed to ignore them.  Now I was in a psychiatric ward, feeling like s*%$ and a psychiatrist is sitting opposite me telling me that I have liver damage, brain damage and if I continue to drink I have six months to live.  Even for me, that was difficult to ignore.  Fortunately I didn’t ignore him and that was the real beginning of recovery.  That was in August 1984.

When I came out of hospital I was not in a great state.  My wife had left me and was not coming back, who could blame her she had tried for years to change me without success.  I was heavily in debt, so the marital house had to be sold to pay the bank.

Continue reading

Help Us Write A Book about Recovery: A Book about Hope

More than at any time before, the recovery community is discovering its voice – and that is great!  People need to hear that voice.  Addicts and alcoholics need to hear that voice, to know that there is hope, there is a way out.  People that live with the alcoholics and addicts need to hear it for similar reasons – they need hope too.  People that work with alcoholics and addicts need to hear it to know that we are individuals, one size does not fit all.  The world needs to hear it, to know that we are valuable and have a contribution to make.  The recovery community needs to hear it to shrug off the stigma and shame that we have carried about with us.

We want to give a platform so that the voice can sing.  Not just one voice though, 12 voices, more a recovery choir.  We want you to help us to publish a book with the recovery stories of 12 people who have been abstinent  for a long time (about 10 years or more ).  A book that will celebrate recovery, which will show the diversity of routes that people take to recovery.  A book that will inform the world of the contribution that the recovery community is making to our world. Continue reading