Close to thirty years ago I checked into treatment for my alcoholism and addictions to other drugs. It was a terrific relief.
I’d known for a long time that I was an alcoholic. I was essentially unaware of AA and its purpose, and that there were effective treatments for addictive disease. I wasn’t entirely unaware, because I’d been dealing with drunks and addicts for years as a police officer. It had simply managed to escape me that AA and other programs were anything other than a place to dump problems that turned up back on the street later anyway.
By the time my boss more-or-less forced me into treatment, I’d had most of the jackpots: divorce, foreclosures, evictions, loss of other people’s money as well as tons of my own, estrangement from relatives — all the fun things that we addicts collect along the way to perdition. My denial about my surface problems was pretty weak, and it didn’t take much for me to become accepting about treatment, then hopeful, and then enthusiastic. I ended up damned grateful to the Chief of Police and whoever advised him about how he should deal with his relatively high-ranking and increasingly visible problem.
So I got sober and became a credit to my mother, my school, my family, my country and all that good stuff. I worked in the recovery field. I talked recovery. I even became a bit of a recovery guru, writing about addiction on my own and for treatment facilities that needed a down-to-earth approach to some of their material. But to a great degree I was a fraud, and I didn’t even know it myself. Continue reading →
I think of this as Gratitude Day. (No, I’m not making a list.) Six years ago today it was forcefully brought to my attention that, after 23 years of thinking otherwise, I was not really sober.
I stopped using substances in September of 1989. It was easy. I detoxed in a treatment facility and hit the ground running. For many years I wondered why it had been so easy for me and difficult for many others. Sometimes I felt a little embarrassed that I couldn’t come up with any white-knuckle recovery stories. (There were plenty from “back in the day,” because I was unquestionably an addict.) Other times I fell into the trap of comparing rather than relating, feeling superior rather than examining the reality of my so-called “sobriety.”Continue reading →
Relationships in recovery are difficult, especially when we are in a continuing partnership that has been shaped, at least in part, by our addictive behavior. Remembering our part in the resulting mess and developing good communication skills are essential to our recovery, and that of the relationship.
Some questions to ask ourselves about our relationships.
First of all:
Am I using the tools of my recovery program to maintain a healthy relationship with myself?
Do I regularly check my behavior for fairness in my relationships with others? Do I evaluate them, and apologize when needed?
Do I further my recovery program by continuing to attend meetings, help others and share what I have learned and hope to learn about myself?
Am I using a relationship/relationships to replace another form of acting out — to “fill the hole” that I was trying to fill with substances or other behavior?
If I’m doing all of the above, living an active program of recovery, do I give the same attention to my personal relationships?Continue reading →
1. Watch the training video [link] below by clicking the picture of the hand holding the Narcan brand naloxone bottle.
2. Below the video is a quiz. After you’ve finished watching the video, scroll down to answer the quiz questions based on what you’ve learned.
3. Once you’ve completed the quiz, you may click the button that says “Get Naloxone”, this will take you to an enrollment page where you can enter your information to become a certified Opioid Overdose Responder and have naloxone mailed to you.
Next Naloxone does not mail within the five boroughs of New York City. If you live in New York City and are unable to obtain naloxone, please click HERE for a map of participating pharmacies, upcoming trainings, and a list of community-based naloxone distribution programs. If you’re still having an issue obtaining naloxone near you, contact us and we will work with you to locate a provider. Mail-based distribution is not available to supply firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, or school personnel as a part of their employed position. If you fit into one of these categories, please contact your supervisor or the NYSDOH or more information on specialized training. You can still participate in our mailing program if it’s for personal purposes.”
We, my wife and I and thousands of others, are about to lose a friend. His family are about to lose a husband, father, son-in-law and so forth, as it always is. None of us walk alone, not really, and few of us pass unnoticed and unmourned. In his case, many will notice and mourn. Bill has terminal cancer. It arose suddenly and was misdiagnosed for far too long. Maybe he could have beaten it if things had been different. But there it is. It is what it is. He and the family seem to be dealing with it about as well as can be expected. We have never met him in person. I’ve spoken to him once on the phone. We know him from his blog, podcasts, and Facebook. His signature is in a book his wife wrote, signed to Shel and me by the whole family (and their dog). We can’t really claim to know him at all, and yet in many respects we feel as if we do. We do know and love his wife and kids, who are all three the kind of people who make you feel as if you’d known them most of your life and just need to catch up a bit. We know them well enough to be absolutely certain that the man who married that woman, who fathered and helped raise those children to young adulthood, was a good man who lived an essentially good life. None of us are perfect.