Hi, My name is Bill. I’m an alcoholic, addict and codependent. My sobriety date is September 14th, 1989.
In short: Been there, done that.
I’ve been writing about recovery in a variety of places for some years. A couple of years ago I started a blog related to Buddhism, and incorporated a bunch of articles and essays that I’d written as a sort of sideline. Those pages have gotten a bunch of hits, and a couple of the articles are quite popular around the Web, especially the one on Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).
It always bothered me, though, that the recovery stuff was relegated to an inner page of the site, and that it wasn’t in a location that could easily be found by anyone who was interested in addiction and alcoholism. Information like that saved my life, and might well have gotten me into treatment sooner had I known about things such as the disease concept, denial and similar matters. Or not.
Finally I determined to get the links out where they could be found and What…Me Sober? was the result. You can find them under “Articles” in the sidebar, arranged according to Early Recovery, Family and Friends, and so forth. I’ll be adding to them from time to time, so check back occasionally.
As for me, I’m married to another recovering drunk who works in the field. I have two daughters, two great sons-in-law, two grandkids, two black cats, too small a retirement fund, and too many years under my belt — but considering that I should have been dead thirty or so years ago, who’s complaining? There’s only one cure for old age, far as I know, and I ain’t buyin’.
Over the years I’ve been an ocean lifeguard, pilot, cop, gunsmith, worked as a security guard, operations manager for a security company, professional chauffeur, drug-testing tech, detox tech and cook, and rehab counselor. Now that I’m retired I write about addiction for this and other sites. For fun, I take pictures, write, surf the Web, read, watch birds, spend time with my wife, family, and friends, and catch the occasional movie or meal out.
I am agnostic by nature, in the literal sense (I don’t know, and neither do you), and try to follow the Middle Way by preference — if rather unskillfully.
Fair winds and following seas on your journey, Darren. It’s a never-ending one, with some great discoveries and wonderful experiences along the way, although it’s a bit of a rose garden to begin with; expect some thorns along with the blossoms. I strongly suggest that you read the PAWS page and browse dig into the site. Not to toot my own horn too loudly, but there is some useful stuff if you poke around. I’m hardly a font of wisdom, but I’ve been around a long time and some of the stuff did stick.
The keys: lots of meetings, lots of phone numbers, lots of calls, a sponsor, and eventually the Steps or your fellowship’s equivalent. Did I mention lots of meetings? They’re especially important on the days or nights you don’t want to go. Denial ain’t a river in Africa, as the fellow said.
Please stay in touch and let me know if I can help.
And keep on keepin’ on!
Just beginning my own journey at the moment. Daunting, downright scary, and I know it’ll take some time and an awful lot of effort. Good to find other bloggers who have been there and done that.
I like what you have to write Bill. I’m going to throw your site up on my blog roll so new posts appear there. I hope that’s OK with you. My name is Mark, I’m an alcohlic and a husband, father, teacher, and writer. I’d like to stay in touch. You can find me at: http://www.markgoodson.com
Thank you for your reply and your time Bill much love and SunShine Xx
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Living in Southeast Florida, which is sort of the recovery capital of the country, I’ve had very little experience with online program. Maybe I should give it a try myself. It is my understanding, however, that the online meetings (and phone meetings) are a good place to start. Try googling “online+recovery+sponsorship” and see what you get.
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Love this site/blogs do you offer or do you know anyone who will offer to sponsor anyone online/email? Thanks for your time
Wow you have had some crazy jobs. I never knew much about the cute withdrawal and it answers allot of questions I had. Thanks for the blog. Grant
Thanks for the follow! I’m really looking forward to following your blog! God bless friend
I’ll take a look, David. Thanks.
Sent from my phone
I thought I would contact you via comment as I don’t have your email. I have also given up the drink, and written about it that you may relate to. The book will be free for download on Amazon on Sunday 26 Jan 2014. Check it out if you would like. It is called Between Drinks: Escape the Routine, Take Control and Join the Clear Thinkers. http://www.amazon.com/Between-Drinks-Routine-Control-Thinkers/dp/1922237957. I enjoyed reading your blog. Regards David
Thanks for writing, and congratulations on your three months.
Glad the article was useful for you, and I hope your wife’s reading it will help her understand. Go easy on her. Being married to a drunk makes people a little crazy, and they have recovery of their own to navigate. I did the codependency thing with my wife while we were both in PAWS — and afterward. It takes a lot of love and a lot of patience. You might want to direct her to some articles here.
Gotta go. Best regards, and
Keep on keepin’ on!
I just wanted to write thank you very much for the excellent description and advice for PAWS. I’m 3 months sober without a regret, yet in the midst of PAWS. It is so frustrating and humiliating, I feel like I’m in here someplace but have trouble remembering or expressing things. It was an incredible help to understand this better and realize it’s a healing process; and I’m looking forward to asking my wife to read this tonight, to help her understand what i’m going through, mentally (hah, or not).
Sincere thanks for sharing your experience, and I congratulate you on your recovery.
Thanks for the kind words, Connie. I enjoyed your blog too.
great information on your blog… thanks for putting this information out there…
I just went through the entire post on PAWS, including the posts and your responses. I did scan most of the posts on drugs, as alcohol was my drug of choice. I found your website by searching for info on PAWS. I was doing this because I am a moderator of a recovery group of Women For Sobriety. I was wondering if you were familiar with it? It was developed by a women for women and addresses the unique problem women have in addictions, primarily loss of self esteem and tremendous shame. The organization is small and privately funded by members. It is celebrating it’s 35th year this year. There are f2f meetings, although many fewer than AA. Plus there is a strong online forum with members from all over the world
I can understand your dedication to AA, but ask that perhaps you study this program as consider it as an alternative to women with alcohol and drug addictions. A good place to start is at http://www.womenforsobriety.org. I discovered WFS in late 2007 from the book SOBER FOR GOOD. On Feb 5, 2008, I had my last drink. WFS is the only program I have used. It has changed my life and I have seen it change the lives of many women. Thank you
I am sure that many women have gained a great deal from Women For Sobriety — perhaps as many as have recovered in women’s AA meetings, although I rather doubt it.
I speak of the 12-step programs because they are what I know. As far as I personally am aware, they are the best chance at recovery for the most people. I certainly understand, however, that they may not be for everyone. No single program can be. For example, people who are afraid of the “God issue” in the 12-steps, and who lack the flexibility to take what they need and leave the rest, may be happier in a secular program.
What is important is the support that comes from being amongst people who understand where we are coming from, and a structure by means of which to guide our attempts (and hopefully, successes) in effecting fundamental changes in our lives and personalities.