Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Mental Illness

It's really hard just to write that down.  Mental Illness.  

But that is what I have and the realisation over the past couple of days feels like a start to something that is going to help my life change.

I can see now that this is why I was drinking.  It is strange that I thought over the past 5 months that it was because I was shy, or sad, or bored, or angry or lonely.... the list goes on. Guilt, bad choices....

It was none of these things (but was all of them).  For whatever reasons my life took the pathways that it did, I have to now STOP the cycle of blame, guilt and shame.  It led to loneliness (not being alone) it lead to bouts of depression, fear and so many other horrible things.  Then drinking and abusing medication.

Many other people feel like me and don't say.  Social media (I don't have any apart from this) but looking up unrealistic truths about people I don't know isn't healthy and I know it.  But an ill mind THINKS the things we make up in our heads are true.  The ill mind isn't subjective - and it doesn't look after and protect you.  It undermines and disables.

Looking after my mind and getting it well is my priority each day now.  I am very grateful that I have still not had a drink (it's bloody amazing - and I still can't really believe it) I am grateful because now I have more days under my belt, more shit thrown at me and forceably sober so I can properly work out what the hell is wrong with me.

So now I know.  I really know and I can start to fix it, because if I can stop drinking I can do anything.

I read alot about the Heads Together campaign and watched Lady Gaga talk to P William about her mental illness stemmed from when she broke her hip ligaments and still performed.  Now each day is a struggle, she wakes up and the minute her eyes open she is sad and tired - doesn't want to get out of bed.  She says she looks around her and is so lucky which makes her feel worse.  Sharing and talking is the only way forward so she shared.


Many of us know what it is like to wake up and feel like this.  I have been going to bed scared before I even go to sleep about "please feel happy tomorrow" "please don't feel down".  Anxiety about this doesn't help.  I don't want to talk about it too much as it is "depressing" or embarrassing. 

I am determined to help my mind and my body - giving up alcohol is only a part of this journey which I honestly thought was the whole thing. This blog.... but it is not.    Alcohol is just a terribly bad coping mechanism like the fuel on a fire scenario that we all talk about.  

It is OK not to feel OK - even if it's for a LONG period of time until we figure it out.  If you are feeling bad - please talk about it, you aren't a moaning pain, you aren't a depressing sad-sack, you ARE NOT a downer.  You are a real person feeling bad and it may come and go or it may last for ages but talking about it is a great start to finding a way through.

Saturday, 22 April 2017


It doesn't feel great this week.  I have plummeted into a downward spiral and can see what is happening only today after taking a breath.

Last week my 23 year old lovely daughter visited having a break from university.  I was so excited and so were the kids, on the phone she was too and we were chatting the past few months like the old days.  When I picked her up at the airport she was a bit cold but that was OK and over the next few days it seemed she was picking up everything I was saying and making it sound pretty bad.  I have actively campaigned against racism and animal cruelty, especially in my younger years however everything she was saying made me feel like a great big bigot and an old-fashioned mind-made-up arse.

After about 4 days I said to her that I felt this and we got into a big fight and she said that she was anxious about coming and no longer trusted me.  This was a massive blow and was really upset.  I was the only worker in our family and raising 3 kids, buying a house & renovating a house working 16 hour days - I know she could have had it easier.  I wasn't drinking then, that only started 2 years ago when she went away.  She is still angry that I kept going back to the kid's dad - I understand that.

We talked about it the next day and got on much better then she flew home.

All I have wanted to do since she left was drink.  I have looked up moderation drinking on about 7 websites and even started to plan buying some wine.  In know this is the result of a problem.
I think the problem is rejection.  Not coping with feeling rejected by my beloved daughter is my worst fear and am utterly feeling sorry for myself and trying to stay afloat.  I am aware that although i have had so much rejection from men in my life - this is primarily because I chose unobtainable, non-committing males and was MY choice.  Rejection though, has been a big part of my life.  I know my daughter loves me but doesn't need me and this feels very painful. What a sad sack!!! It is probably healthy that she doesn't - what the hell is wrong with me!

I am taking the kids out to the beach (getting wintery now) and the dog.  Going through my lists of what to do like I did during week one.

This totally sucks.  I am so sad and feel like I would rather die than live like this.   There has to be a fucking cure and off the "rat wheel" inside my head that I am a rejected failure.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Smart Recovery

Hi Everyone

Winter is coming here (and summer for many out there)  Both seasons are a time to drink when the habit overtakes the enjoyment.

I wanted to post this as it is a great article that I read a while ago.

Sometimes we don't have to hit rock bottom to know we have a problem :)


Michelle xx

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A message of Hope

I wanted to write about where things are at sitting at 121 days (4 months exactly as I stopped drinking on 8th November 2016).

If you are thinking that you are drinking too much and having a difficult time stopping.  If you feel like it is interfering with your health, or your relationships with family, friends or stopping you being who you know you want to be.  If your sleep is being interrupted by alcohol.  Your mood is being affected by alcohol.

Then the most likely answer is it YES alcohol is a problem for you.  The worst that can happen is you perform an experiment which can go one of two ways:

1.  You stop drinking: Once you have stopped drinking, your life (after a few months) is much the same and you find alcohol was just a social behaviour that you enjoyed.  This process of elimination will allow you to discover the real problem you are facing and be able to deal with it properly and resume drinking if that's where you are at.


2.  You stop drinking: Once you have stopped drinking you struggle with it and find you have to almost reinvent the way you live your life.  You figure out that there is more of you "in" there and great person that can now come out and deal with all those uncomfortable things that alcohol was masking and taking away.

Either way if you even think you have a problem, take the courage - STOP.  Even if it starts out as a 3 or 6 month challenge.  What harm can it do right?  If you don't have a problem then you lose nothing.  If you DO have a problem you have EVERYTHING to gain.

I would like everyone to know that after 4 months my journey is evolving and my life is unfolding in front of me like a red carpet.

The first month:
I white knuckled it, had no idea what to do with myself or my time - I just kept going (sometimes going into the car and yelling so the kids wouldn't hear).  The change in my skin, body and sleep started to improve but that didn't stop the cravings to drink.  The sugar addition from alcohol was making the physical systems hard also.

The second month:
Once I passed the "hey this is easy" at around 6 weeks, I realised that it was bloody hard and suddenly I was faced with ME.  It was absolutely horrible - I had been hiding from me for years as I didn't even like who I was.  I liked what I had achieved in life, I thought I was a good mother but had started to hide and to be a recluse in order to keep my behaviour hidden.  Now I couldn't hide from myself and that hurt.

The third month:
More feelings similar to the last half of the 2nd month,with the addition of anxiety.  The anxiety was always there but without the medication of alcohol it was now in the fore-ground.  I struggled to keep a lid on it, my weight did plummeted because I refused to substitute the drinking with other additions of food etc.  I found it difficult to balance my new-found life and wondered what the hell I was doing.

The forth month:
Sometimes driving in the car the realisation of how selfish a person I had become was evident as it would come into my mind is little waves.  I realised that for the longest time everyone had to revolve around me (even though it may not have appeared like that to me at all) that was the TRUTH.  I started to become acutely aware of the difference between "controlling my life and the lives of others" had gotten out of control and became a habit mixed in with the alcohol.  I only realised this once I felt my life slowly changing and now it has done a 180 and revolves around my family and friends.  I didn't see it coming it was just there and surprised me that this DIDN'T make me feel weak and out of control, it gave me a sense of well-being and comfort that I wasn't the centre of my own drama anymore.

I now allow my children to have sad feelings when they need to - I stop trying to protect them from every thing in a crazy-anxious-like-insane manner.  I realise I was doing this to protect ME from PAIN.  It was selfish and did not allow them to process their own emotions rationally.  Now they can and with guidance from their mum instead of the other controlling type of response.

Giving up alcohol has completely changed my life's direction.  I am not 100% happy yet and who is let's face it, probably only 60% if we are going to measure it - but before I was more depressed, more dangerous, more selfish, more irrational, more unstable than I ever realised.  The fact I have come out of this with my kids (aged 11, 12 and 24) all still loving me is nothing short of incredible.  My parents love and support me (this takes longer to fix).  My friend has turned into friends.  I am slowly improving my base of good love around me.

The things I do now that I NEVER did before:

Got a better job because I believe I am worth it
Take my kids to ALL of their activities with joy and pride (I never let them sign up for much because it interfered with my "lifestyle")
Am the manager of one of their basketball teams
I am the treasurer of an NZ wildlife charity
I walk my dog
The house is getting finished
I am finishing my stupid degree (slowly but doing it)
I am apologising and taking an interest in other people's lives
Help the kids with their homework without getting impatient and hating doing it

Small things like making the house really tidy each day are not important if they interfere with any of the above.  Small things can get stuffed x

The Toolbox:

1.  This blog started this process, I would not have been able to handle or even do the first 6 weeks without it.  Thanks to Lotta Dann and her courage to come on TV and talk about it.  www.livingsober.org.nz and her blog:  MrsDgoeswithout.blogspot.co.nz

2.  I did not find AA ok for me as I have kids and most sessions were at night and not kid friendly here so I connected with Smart Recovery online and go to meetings when I need to .  The also have a 24/7 chat room and there are some cool people in New York and the UK to talk to.

3.  Started two jars - they have bits of paper in them with shit to do when you are desperate.  One for me with the kids and one for me on my own.  EG get in the car and go for a drive, take dog for walk, go to the beach, sit down and read a book for 20 mins.

4.  My friend Wendy in the US (through blogging tipsynomore.blogspot.com) and all the other lovely people that have encourage and given me a kick of reality - can't describe how it made me keep going.

5.  Telling people - being open and not ashamed.  If 20 people judge me yet 1 hears me and thinks "shit if she can do it" then I am happy.

If you are thinking about it but the hurdle seems insurmountable - it is not, and after about 3 - 4 months it DOES become so much easier to not think about drinking or wanting to ruin what you have created.

Everyone is different, there are no rules or definite ways we feel and act when we stop drinking but this is my story and I wanted to share this.  Take courage, take the bull by the horns and don't let go for about a month, you will make enough of a start to make some decisions.

Michelle xx

Friday, 3 March 2017

Starting to grow up - Selfishness and the Truth

I have had some interesting thoughts over the past few weeks - looking back at my behaviour over the past 10 years or so.

I never thought I was a selfish person, always wanting to help others and thought I was kind.  I look back and realise my "need" to help others stemmed from a deep insecurity of the trying-to-please rescuing behaviour type.

This looking back is not intentional it just comes in waves and I am careful not to be hard on myself about it and to look at it rationally (as much as possible).  It is hurtful to realise that I really did whatever I wanted and people close to me and their lives, revolved around what I wanted.  As long as it all suited me then I was OK with it.  Of course the older I got, the more defined I was with what I wanted - that combined with alcohol made one hell of a selfish bomb.  And I did damage, and I blamed everyone else and I was the last to realsie it was me.

Now I am feeling around and noticing a big change starting to form - my life is revolving around the needs of my family.  Yes I will keep checking how I am going, however I think the selfish brat that was me can do with some REAL unselfish living for a while.


Sunday, 26 February 2017

Terrible Stress

According to the lovely livingsober.org,nz I have gone a whole 109 days without alcohol.

Dealing with stress is difficult and after giving up my crutch to in effect "ignoring" the problem, of course the problem or problems don't just go away.

Anxiety, sleep, depression are linked in a way that alcohol masks.  The interim hours of sobriety between drinks just fills the void with guilt, self-loathing and a myriad of other problems.  Behind all of that the anxiety, sleep, depression just sit in the background.

Sober now, it is the time to face these things and daily life.  It is hard, It is sometime so uncomfortable that I want to climb out of my own skin.  It has to be done though.  Emotional maturity and wellness is achievable after addition.  So many others have proved this to be so.

Work in progress
M xxx

Monday, 20 February 2017

My Mum and Dad

Mum just turned 80 last week and Dad is around 75 - they just finished skydiving.  Oh my gad!  They totally put me to shame.

I posted this to give me hope about change and future.  I hope it inspires if just one other person out there!

Michelle xx

Saturday, 18 February 2017

So Much to Be Thankful For

Hi all

I have spent a stressful Sunday getting my 11 year old ready for camp next week.  I always have terrible anxiety when they are going away.

So I used a fabulous idea that I retrieved from a Smart online meeting last week.  The "do" jar.  It is a list of things to just go and do when you feel like a drink or whatever.  (I have two jars 1. for me on my own and 2. for the kids and I)

I picked "go to the beach" - so off we all went and some friends tagged along.  Then I got home and thought - "crap" I should have taken the dog so now I will have to go walk him.  So off we went down to the estuary and it was good.  This is taken from outside our lounge & kitchen window/doors.

If you look just above the trees at that little channel of water it is where our 3-legged dog got a surprise with the tide coming in (all that sand in the photo is now completely covered).

Life was lovely for about an hour today.  I am so thankful.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

The light that came from nowhere.

I didn't expect it.  I have read a bit from others about happiness and light.  It doesn't exist for me... until now...

The first sign was a month or so back when I woke up and felt a little bit of joy.  That came and went and was fleeting.  Now something else has happened.  As I achieve small things, as I enjoy my kids and what I am doing with my time.  How productive I have been lately, joy and light of the day and calmness of the night is creeping in.

I don't think I ever knew this, as a young women in her late teens and early 20's it was all party, drink, men, drugs.  That kind of life is super hard to keep any type of control over.  I remember being very stressed keeping it all together.  I would think "why is my life so complicated, so hard, so full of anxiety"  Too young, too dumb to realise that I was making this puzzle.  I was creating this life.  That I indeed created this.  I wish someone would have sat me down and looked straight at me and said "Michelle, you can create anything you choose, you can choose to make a different life"

I believed it was all fate, destiny and just rolled from one bad relationship to another, on and on and on.  The pressure to look beautiful, to have the best boy, to go to the best parties, to have it all.  To have absolutely totally nothing.  And that never occurred to me, not once to change. All I knew was I was heavily stressed and anxious all the time - terrified.

So when finally at aged 33 (15 years ago) I met the father of my two 11 and 12 year olds - I thought right - now is the time to settle and have a lovely life.  He seemed like a kind gentle guy - he would be nice to me.  Within 6 months he slept with his ex - not once, not twice but many more times and she called me to tell me.  I loved him and we ended up back together and for the next 10 years we struggled.  We created children, we argued, it was a mess.  11 years ago we got married when I was pregnant - 5 years ago we got divorced.  4 years ago we remarried and 3 years ago we finally separated.  We are good friends and keep good boundaries.

This reflection shows the life of someone who never knew emotional maturity, someone who had no self-respect, no boundaries, just no fucking idea what she was doing.  At all.
No wonder I wanted to die.  No wonder I had no hope.

Now I have hope, I want to life again.  It is just early and there is light where there was darkness, but it's a beginning.

Michelle xx
99 days today

Thursday, 9 February 2017

3 Months in - time to focus

I feel that three months in can be dangerous.  For me it feels a little bit so.
I think this is because of:

  1. My surprise at ever lasting this long
  2. My initial thoughts after about a month was this isn't too hard and I am maybe "cured"
    and could perhaps look at moderation.
  3. Then my complete surprise that at three months I am aware of how bad this thing really is and how much of a strangle-hold alcohol had over me.
  4. That this 3-month realisation has caused a "fuck-it" attitude kind of like "well hell I am an addict (really and truly) so I will have a drink if I want.
  5. Then the final realisation that I need support to keep myself safe.  To keep my family safe.  To stay on track
So now is the time to focus and to keep reminding myself of where I was headed.  The self-loathing and guilt, piled up on top of itself to leave a person who didn't care about life much at all.

M xx

Monday, 6 February 2017

Finding support

Support isn't going too well - except for my wonderful blog :)

I spoke to my friend who was taking me to AA yesterday eve and suddenly freaked out.  During our conversation on Friday we shared some stories and I said that I haven't had a blackout but often wake up finding I have txt or emailed something random and made arrangements to do things.  I didn't forget doing it, but needed prompting by looking at my phone.

I have never forgotten everything, I have never got shit-faced at someone's house and ended up pissing in the garden, I have never drunk too much at the pub and nagged everyone to keep partying when they aren't into it.

That doesn't in anyway lighten what I did do.  I couldn't stop thinking about alcohol, I couldn't stop drinking even for one night, I made stupid decisions about pill-taking when I was drinking, I drove drunk, I became utterly selfish and I was depressed and curing it with alcohol. That didn't work.  not once.

Anyway, she called me on Sunday and said maybe I should consider NA, and I said what made her mention that as NA isn't very developed around here, much less so that AA.  AA seems to deal with alcoholics that: overeat, gamble, take drugs, addicted to all sorts of crap.  So why single this out?  She said she felt that I had never had a black out so maybe AA wasn't the one for me.... but of course she would take me and said that I am sure you belong it's just nobody she knew at AA had ever not had a black out.

This really put me into a "shit what will I do now spin" and I know that it is only her experience but after 22 years at AA surely she knows her group right?  I did say to her that my idea of someone that belongs at AA is someone who finds alcohol is ruining their lives and others around?  Those who can't stop and all the other.  She agreed but I felt weird and so txt her on the Monday morning saying that I got panicked and thought another time would be better.  Didn't want to say the truth and now thinking what is my next support in my seeking out support mission.

To be honest I am getting a bit fucked off and today felt like a drink - but that would be just self-pity and where will that get me.

But I am feeling worse than three days ago.  Bugger.
Today I started crying watching something on TV about people having partners and me not.  What a sad sack.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Well that was interesting.

So I went for the interview but I was confused as to whether this guy thought it was a job interview or a date.  It seemed to start OK then somehow skirted around what his company actually did and what he was doing - and what I would be doing.  He mainly talked about his home in Ireland, being based in London and now working in NZ for a project which so far (15 mins in) I still didn't really understand.

Then I talked about my work history for about 1 minute pulled out my CV which he had no interest in so I turned the conversation back to the project.  After not getting very far but learning that he was divorced and had two grown children in NZ I turned the conversation back to the project.  I said a couple of intelligent things about projections and forecasts which seemed to spark a light within and off he went actually explaining the project.  I was then furnished with a detailed pitch on the project financed by a big company that I recognise.  It seemed that I needed to pass a few tests before he shared this info and my CV is impressive (one part of my life that is :)).

As I had met this guy for a couple of mins through a good friend of mine, I wonder if he was serious about all of this or if he had a other intentions.  My judgement is flawed due to this recovery process and I do not trust myself at all nor do I trust others I don't know.  He has arranged to meet next week to give me one of the projects to cost.

I could be imagining all of this of course and early stages of new projects can be vague.

I don't trust my judgement at all - it is like I can recognise my life's a muddle.  I can recognise my thought process is deeply flawed right now.  All this I can see.

My first AA meeting is 8 pm on Monday.  I am definitely going - a lovely lady I used to work with (she managed one of the charity shops and I managed the other) contacted me and said a little bird had told her (about my going sober) and wondered if she could take me to her meetings.  I am so very grateful.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Crap Shit .... Grr Crapity Fuck

OK and I am swearing

My kids (11 and 12 in a couple of weeks) started high school - they get on the bus at 7.30 am and arrive back at 3.45 pm.  They go to wonderful intermediate/high schools, one girls one boys and although I am not sure about whether it is good to be not co-ed, all and all I think mixing young teens with different sexes surely takes your mind off school work.  They socialise with boys and girls and they are each a boy and a girl and play here at home so stuff it, it seems like a great idea.

They are gone.  It's sad and I feel the long holidays are now over, summer is baking the land and I am inside writing this.  I have so much to do, hours and hours of housework, hours of house renovations to do.  What happened to all the excitement in finishing all of this?  Where has it all gone damnit.

I haven't had a migraine for two weeks and that is great, I haven't touched a drop of alcohol in now 86 days (shit thought it was 90 by now).  I still battle with pills but it is usually around when I have had a migraine and without the alcohol I have reduced interest in painkillers.  The relationship I had with pills was around drinking, without alcohol the effect is gone so it is just going through the motions, which is boring and expensive.  So I am clean and I am bored.

I am not regretful of leaving my job and have been offered another so will see about that tomorrow. But I am bone-bored and it is definitely a state of mind.  I realise, being sober, that it is not a truth, it is just a feeling.

The feeling is I am bored, I am tired, I am a big fat pain in the arse.

The truth is with or without alcohol I would feel like this anyway, but I would be drinking my way through it.  There would be no break only temporary numbness followed by worse feeling-like-crap.  Sober, I have a chance.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

PAW - Post Acute Withdrawal

I read this today and wanted to share it to anyone out there who may be interested.  It addresses the presence of brain dysfunction that occurs in 75-95% of those with alcohol addictions in the form of PAW.  A treatable condition those in recovery potentially face.

The site address alcohol addiction and also drug addiction.  I would be super interested if anyone knows about this or thinks it perhaps it is not a thing..

An extract from :  
“Staying Sober” By: Terence T. Gorski


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Tired Anyone? 80 days

Dog Tired (Tux)
Hoping to get somewhere with my new found tiredness.  I have been waking up nice and early and feeling very good (around 7 am).  Going about my day and by around lunch feeling really really tired.

Yesterday I came home from the shops with my son and we both went to bed to read and I fell asleep! Today I woke up at 6.30 and stained the deck.  At 11 am I felt really tired and went to lie down.  Fell asleep for 45 mins!

This isn't me.  I never do this.  It is not the Sandomigran (migraine prevention meds) as they usually make me tired when I wake up and after 2 weeks of taking them the side effects have almost gone away.

So it is something new.  I am at 80 days today and have saved $1,714.21 (spent on fun things for the kids and around the home).

I have read that fatigue occurs but was wondering when it usually does and what others experiences are on this one.

Thanks in advance & big hugs
Michelle xx

Sunday, 22 January 2017

What was that? A Little Dance...?

I woke up this morning and went to make coffee, as the kettle was boiling I noticed my feet had done a little, well kind of shuffle.   What the heck?  Did I just do a little dance?  Yes I did.

A little joy-dance.  That's not me.  I haven't been joyful in years - not without the assistance of substance anyway.  This was pure, natural sober joy.

I am approaching my 3rd month sober and I am getting happy.  I really can't believe it, if I had known this would be one of the results of sobriety I would have stopped damn drinking ages ago.  But I didn't, I thought that drinking was the only thing making me happy.

I was waiting to die and remember thinking this clearly about 4 months ago.  "Who cares, the kids will be grown in about 8 years and no one will need me.  I don't have a husband or partner, I don't get on well with my 23 year old anymore.  We used to but over the past 2 years things have changed and she doesn't respect or care for me.  I don't care about myself or finishing my house.  I work, look after the kids and drink.  The way I am going I'll be dead in 10 years (hopefully) and I won't have to think about any of this anymore".

Well I just am staggered how much this has changed.  How much drinking affected my mental health and happiness.  The depth of depression, the depth of comparing my life to others and the shame and unhappiness that poured down on me like a storm.

I have read similar posts to this and thought that it would never be me.  I would always want to drink and nobody understands how "different" I am to them.  The medical prognosis of alcohol being a depressant is a lie, it is the ONLY thing that keeps me happy - the anti depressants don't work, cognitive behavioural therapy doesn't work, mantra's don't work, exercise doesn't work, holidays don't work, socialising doesn't work, herbal medicines don't work even gardening doesn't work.  All of these things just made me feel hopeless - like "I have tried everything and nothing is working so fuck this - drinking works".

I am no different, I am just a simple human who poured ethanol into my body for years and wondered why nothing IS working to help me get happy.  

To any of you beautiful folk out there who may read this and are unhappy and drinking, please try stopping.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Yes it's hard, it is very hard but it is worth it - I can promise you that after time, you WILL feel better.  It WILL change your life.  It may not make it perfect as life is not perfect but you can't possibly make you life worse by trying :)

Here is a list of everything the IS working at the moment in my life:
  1. A renewed relationship with my understanding 23 year old daughter and it is like nothing has changed from when we did get on so well 
  2. Sleep is so much better and wake up feeling joy
  3. I am starting to like myself more
  4. I like others so much more than I ever did - I see their kindness and am not so suspicious 
  5. I make better healthier decision that I can trust
Things I am working on:
  1. Patience and calmness
  2. Eating better and more regularly
  3. Using boundaries more effectively when I need to
  4. Spending more time outside of my own sphere.
Have a wonderful day.
Michelle xx

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Good Decisions

Well what a day... What a week.

My parents left today after mum being here for two weeks and dad for the last week before they headed back down south.  They are good parents and I am lucky - dad helped me finish (or did most of) the cabinetry we started last year in the kitchen.  Mum turned my beautiful velvet I had shipped over 2 years ago from British Velvet into Gone with the Wind wonderful curtains.

I have so much finishing work to do on the house, and I am up to the good bits so are excited to finish it.  

I chose my 300 level Financial Accounting paper for this semester so will be finished my degree in no time.

And I quit my job.

The crazy wife of my boss is the worst advertisement for her "Angelite Therapy" I have met.  That said I have never met someone who believes that they talk to 3 angels who not only guide them by instruct her every move.  She is the nastiest angriest person I have met to date - and I have met many people from all over the world.  

On Wednesday (yesterday here in NZ) she shouted at my workmate so badly she cried an walked out - never to return.  So I lied today and said I had another job that I was taking and quit.

I feel relief.  Sober now for 72 days, with Groundhog Girl's sound advice ringing in my ears, I am feeling great change but now is not the time to seek it.  To stay at work and try to push through the boundaries of flexibility, patience and use this as a marker for proving I can do it (put anxiety aside, deep breathing etc) in a toxic environment is just plain stupid.  I will prove nothing except how to be saddened that my new-found boundaries collapsed - I will be putting myself in an unsafe position which I just can't risk right now.

My relationship with my lovely 23 year old is going so much better than it has in years because I am sober.  I need to concentrate on my two wee ones as they need me more than ever at the ages now of almost 11 and 12.  My little boy starts intermediate in two weeks and little M 2nd year of intermediate - I need to concentrate on patience, not yelling, being present and loving.  Not putting my energy into flogging a dead horse.  The job was terminal not matter how I wanted to make it work.  

Yesterday the boss's wife said "if I had my way there would be no staff here I would do it all myself.  Michelle I want to you know it's nothing personal but I don't care about you - I care about the business but I am the boss so that is how it is.  I will not change so it's up to you know this and to work as I say and don't ever question me"  Everything is a monologue, any input is considered an affront to her power as the boss. I have never seen anything like it - it is actually really interesting if it wasn't so in-your-face shitful.   Being an ex-exec with more boardroom experience than I care to remember, it is not a possibility for me to rationalise this type of strange dictatorship.  Teams are important, committee is crucial, ownership of an employee's position by the employee is a great way to get more out of any worker, not half trying to do everyone's job (badly) - as my dad would say "why buy a dog and bark yourself".

So back to the advice on not seeking change at such an early stage of sobriety.... sometimes we have to look around at what we are doing and make certain change to keep safe.  The changes required to stay were far greater than the change I made to leave.  

It feels right and I am going for it.

PS & update 22.1.17  I have heard from my boss (who I worked with as his wife only came in and out of the picture as she stayed up all night making notes to leave on our desks. Then would come in to check the notes during the day to ensure they were followed)  My boss txt me and is very saddened by the drama, he has no staff now and is struggling.  I can't feel guilty or bad about this as he is just as culpable - it is up to an employer to look after his employees  :) 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Can You Really Change at Age Almost 50?

Books say yes.  The internet says yes.  Others say yes.  The dumb doctor who has no fucking idea and probably doesn't care much either as-long-as-you-take-your-pills says yes. (no disrespect/judgement to those in need of medication even though I do not take anti-depressants this door is always ajar).

But what is the reality "really"?  I have seriously doubted that this can be done, I have waited for an epiphany, waited for something in my life to come in and trigger this amazing event to enable the change I can only vaguely see somewhere in the distance.  Some say one needs a big event to incite change, others that you can cognitively or mantra change from nowhere.

Years of living in the soul-searching, life-changing Byron Bay - one of the energy centres of the world - brought about lots of positive change but I was young then.  Now I am not.  I seem to have reverted back to somewhere worse than where I started.  Change has just not been jumping out at me...

Well it sure as shit is now.  Change is like a contagious virus (the good kind if this exists) but it needs one hell of a giant kick-start, especially for me, especially for me the great big doubter.

I have been stuck, self-absorbed, and always right.  Well I have been so fucking wrong it's scary.
Stuck, self-absorbed and always right and then topping that up with copious volumes of alcohol - and when that didn't pass muster, down some pills.  

Cheesy Expressions
Being sober is incredibly bare.  Now the expressions.... I have to toe the line and behave like a emotionally grown up person, and if you think the cravings aren't champing at the bit, the next day they can come back same bat time same bat channel.   Being sober is a tough row to hoe but it's anchors a-weigh for me.  
Sober = Change.

The answer is YES.

Michelle xx
The cheesy expressions were just because I felt like it, and because it is my 51st post.

Monday, 9 January 2017

2 months and 2 days or 63 days - Still Not 50

Well yay to me!  Over 2 months sober and still going. I feel great and I have had a shit couple of days.

My mum is visiting from Queenstown, my kids are being amazing and yup I have to get a migraine on Sunday (today is Tuesday lunchtime).  It got so bad that I had to have a shot on Monday of Pethodine and anti-nausea medication.  The Anti-nausea medication went down horribly and I have been throwing up right up until midnight last night.  Paced around the house all night feeling like my skin was on fire.  Then got a couple of hours sleep and had a crown at 10 am (I did let the dentist know not to put the suction too far down!).  

That hour and half in the dentist chair gave me some time to think.  Time to get real really.

I have officially STOPPED comparing my life to anyone else's - I am me!  That was the worst migraine I have ever had - my mum was completely horrified and she has seen some of the bad ones. But out of all of this there is a silver-lining - I am me, I have to make the best of all the wonderful things I do have.  

  1. 3 lovely children
  2. 2 wonderful parents
  3. 1 lovely home by the sea
  4. A terrible job - but hey - it's a job right?
  5. Great friends - must spend more time with them this year
  6. My lovely 2 dogs (well one is my son's and she is an old grump - but he adores her)
  7. This blog which has changed my life and all my lovely friends, yes I think support = friendship!
  8. I am sober
This year is going to be filled with things I share, forgiving old things that hurt, breaking free of those bonds of guilt that keep us down & keep us sad.

Love to everyone
Michelle xx

Friday, 6 January 2017

Isolation - Out We Have to Come

I have been writing quite a bit about isolation and I think that for me that is what kept me in my prison of alcoholism.  Taking away the alcohol has been one part of the equation and it seems the other part insists that I come out of isolation.

Learn to love better, listen better and have a more open heart.  To chose to live my life.

These monkey's are cute but we don't just limit our not seeing, not speaking and not hearing to evil, I feel today we tend to switch off from others and live in our own tunnels.  Facebook, instragram, twitter, txting create an unrealistic fantasy which may lead us believe that others around us are doing just fine, but it is just a fantasy at worst and only half the equation at best.  It supports one of my favourite blogger's comments "don't compare the inside of your life to someone else's outside".  

People, even close friends, can create the image the want others to believe, but not how they really are.  This is how I got away with drinking so much and others around me, I am sure, are in the same place - people I know, people I care about.

Here's to a "prison break" for all of us.

Michelle xx

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Unwrapping the Present (Lesson 4)

Not that I am a present per se but it's a good metaphor.   By giving up drinking and getting past the first 8 weeks I am strangely left with well... me.  It is not the surprise so much as the depth of what really needs to be addressed that confronts me.

Alcohol Free Zone kindly suggested a book by Dorothy Rowe - Depression - The Way out of Your Prison.  I have never really thought of myself as depressed, but the years of self-medication intermingled with world travel, having kids, relationships, high-profile jobs, has largely left me incapable of dealing with emotional situation of any kind, well.  According to the book there are 6 main points that build your prison and they seem quite severe when reading them, however when they are explored in depth, they are all things I have done successfully to ensure my prison is secure and my defenses to this prison - to enable me to remain inside - is depression.

One thing that most drinkers will relate to is isolation. Jailers are aware that the easiest and quickest way to destroy a person's will is to isolate them for an indefinite period.  Drinking isolates us and whilst we are drinking, we don't know when or if we will ever stop, so the period we set ourselves is indefinite.

I am amazed at how I have spent years building and perfecting my prison and how it has affected those around me - a tough revelation to learn.  Subjecting myself to guilt, self-hatred, unforgiveness, fear, the knowledge of bad past experiences and still living with them even now, the expectation of bad experiences that will happen in the future, and expecting them - waiting for them.  All these things have created my own personal prison.

I am up to the part in the book where I now must find the key.

Over the holiday period, I have looked at others drinking, talked to others who are drinking, there has been times (many) where I have said to myself "why am I doing this? Really....Why?" Toying with the idea that one wouldn't hurt.   But the problem, I have now discovered, is so much deeper than the drinking itself.  The elimination of alcohol unwraps the world around me and now I see that in order to live my life I have to keep going on the road of sobriety - I have to find out how to get the fuck out of this prison and live my life to the fullest.  Being the best I can to those around me and not let my behaviour have a negative impact on them.

Michelle xx
UPDATE: 3.1.16 found this today:  http://www.aa.org.nz/files/mp3files/2015.01.24.mp3
AA podcast - I thought Liz's story was something I could relate to

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Great Barrier Island

Well who wouldn't enjoy 3 nights off the coast of NZ on a relatively remote island you ask yourself?

No sane person that's for sure however, there is no way that I would classify myself as sane at the moment.

I went with my 23 year old, her boyfriend (both lovely) and my 10 and 11 year old, they were all great - and I for the most part ok.  Going sober to an island rich in all things nature, bush walking etc is wonderful, however everyone drinks A LOT.   

Don't get me wrong, it is not like Fiji or Hawaii, there is only one bar so one would think that drinking is not a major - WRONG.  The 3 shops on the island have more alcohol than anything else for sale, apparently to supply the bored locals, tourists and huge influx of "boaties".  Anyway, it drew my attention to the major amount of alcohol we all drink - and this is going to be hard, this path of sobriety.

The not-drinking part didn't seem to be the problem and I was doing fine (apart from thinking I was boring, thinking I was bored, thinking about what everyone else could do etc etc like an infernal record player stuck in a rut on 33 RPM).  But today (the last day and the inner-boring struggle not enough) I decided that I would cry and feel like an insecure freak all day.  It wasn't until we risked death on the 6-seater plane, that was super fun but as safe as a sardine can tied to an albatros, and flew home that I felt better.

I am turning into an agoraphobic perhaps?  I think that to be a bit dramatic though, it is more likely that this process is making me raw and forcing me to look in the mirror and I really am not loving the reflection.  Think I keep thinking, "why am I partner-less?  Why do all the people have partners" blah blah blah wah wah  all day long.

I was sick of myself by the end of the afternoon way more than anyone else was because, thankfully I kept most of the inner-dialogue to myself.  I did that badly though, but mercifully everyone else was doing what they wanted so I only partially was a giant pain.

Too bad a bit though - this is a bloody process and damn-it, I'm on the train.  I'm not getting off.

M xxx

Friday, 23 December 2016

Princess Diana

When I should have been cleaning for the arrival of my daughter and her boyfriend tomorrow, I stopped and watched an old interview on youtube - Princess Diana, her BBC interview with Martin Bashir.

For many years following the interview she was heavily critised for doing it, called "attention seeking" playing "coy" for the camera and all other kinds of nasty things.  I have never been much of a fan either way, but it must have been hell for her.  She was honest in her answers, even though they did not paint a great picture for her, it was particularly hard to hear about her bulimia.  Her self-harming and which parts of her body she inflicted this on.

All of the media attention was new back then and she was largely unguided and not supported - she had to carve her own path through the royal family's jealously or annoyance that she over-shadowed everyone, instantly.  She spent all that time defining her own role as the Princess of Wales, through depression, a failing marriage, and nobody she could trust.  She learned to survive and the media called her manipulative, she tried to hide and she was called mentally unstable.  What an incredibly difficult life she had from 19 years old.

I like to think this would not happen now, that we have learned more about support.
Merry Christmas Princess Diana. xx


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

The 6-week Stumbling Block

stumbling block
                          a circumstance that causes difficulty or hesitation.

obstacle, hurdle, barrier, bar, hindrance, impediment,
 disadvantage, restrictionlimitation
snag, hitch, catchdrawbackdifficulty, problem, issue, 
weakness, defect, pitfall, complication; 
informal fly in the ointment, 
informal spanner in the works; 
informal monkey wrench in the works
"the language problem is a fundamental stumbling block"

OK - I'm going with monkey wrench in the works (probably because it has the word monkey in it.

The shame transformed to delight with hope in where recovery may lead me.  This delight seemed to hit a stumbling block over the past week.

It brought up all kinds of self-comparison and even to the point where I have been looking up other blogs and thinking, others are lucky, others haven't struggled as much, others have a partner etc etc.
I can see this for what it is.  It is a stumbling block, it is a shift.  It is part of the process.

It makes me feel insecure and not worthy, but that is me doing that.  In a week from now I will feel entirely differently.  Knowing that will put this hurdle, obstacle, hitch behind me. xx

As Lotta says - we are raw through this process. xxx Thanks Mrs D xxxx

Sunday, 18 December 2016

It's Christmas!

Right - time to be positive.

1.   My daughter and her boyfriend are arriving on Christmas Eve 

2.  We are spending the night and Christmas all together then               flying to Great Barrier Island for 3 days to go hiking

3.  They leave on the 30th and on the 31st I have a surprise trip          planned for the two younger ones - a train trip to the Waitomo        Glow Worm Caves and staying the night at the Waitomo Cave        Hotel. What a great way to spend a sober new year's eve!

Positive Positive Positive and everything else will follow.

We are still wrapping our presents and have cordoned the area off from our Eat-anything young dog!

Thank you to everyone and their help over this past 6 weeks.  It feels like forever but it is going to get better - I have looked into enough negative issues for a while and it's time to have a break from it and get on with living :)

Merry Christmas everyone :)
Lots of love M xxxxxx

Added 20th December:
I stayed up late last night (after SVU! I admit I am an addict) anyway I stayed up late and thought "get up and delete that horrible message you wrote the night before last, it is negative and my god it's Christmas M".  Well I didn't and I am going to face that this is part of the rambling journey.  I feel like I am making so many lines in the sand of places I no longer want to go and things I no longer want to be.  
If I want to like myself just as I am, then things do have to change.  I don't like the drinking - I don't like the bad attitude.  I have stopped drinking and now I can look at my outlook.  I have to make some fundamental changes to become the person I can start to love and accept.  Does that sound harsh?  I can't just like me as-is.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

In The Mirror

Oh my god.  I am actually going to have to like myself somewhere during this recovery process.
I am 50 in July, and was considered good looking perhaps even beautiful - even did a diet coke commercial in Milan.  That said, I have never thought I was good looking - I have never liked what I looked like, my sister hated me because she considered herself not as pretty in comparison.  She is very open about her jealousy towards me - she says our parents gave me more attention.  My memory has no recollection of this and I left home at 16 anyway.

Apart from the physical appearance, I thought I was stupid.  My sister always said she was the bright one and I was the dumb one.  My parents left it at that.  I am not angry with my parents at all, they are supportive an awesome - now.  Anyway, I went to Uni after my 1st daughter was born in Australia - I was a distance student and did most of an degree in Accountancy, then I stopped and became a Zookeeper and started a science degree.  I am back finishing my Accountancy in NZ and so far averaging A's.  So I can't be too stupid, but clearly I don't know who I am or what I want in life.

What I am looking at now though is a 49 year old woman who never liked herself and still doesn't.  Being a sensitive person as a child - I grew into an adult with no understanding of boundaries.  I have only learned recently what it means to implement boundaries because I worked for Women's Refuge for a stint earlier in the year and met women, very damaged women, who have none.  Finally the penny dropped as before then I could not grasp the concept of a boundary and a person in the one setting.  It was like meaningless words.

I have always been insecure, had many many boyfriends who didn't always treat me the best.  I have been abused physically and mentally but I just put that down to terrible judge of character.  I got pregnant to a boyfriend in Switzerland and didn't find out until I was back in NZ, dad sorted this problem out :( then I met a business man and married him.  He did some terrible things and I left him - I was 21.  I ran to Australia and my life just went from one pro-surfer boyfriend to an ad man to a model to ... who cares who.  I came back to NZ at 33 met my husband (who turned out to be a narcissist (which I had never heard of) and stayed with him for 12 years.  divorced him, then re-married him then we broke up.  I keep a calm relationship with him for our two lovely kids.  There is my life, what a fucking mess.  What a series of shit decisions, crap results (except my babies).  Thank god I have a good work ethic so at least money isn't a drama.  The only reason that is, is because I am too insecure to suck at a job.  I have to be good at it.

I have turned into a prickly angry person over the years, I argue with shop keepers if I feel a situation is unjust.  I argue with someone over prices if I feel ripped off.  I argue with the phone company if I feel unjustly treated.  I just argue.  I have calmed down somewhat over the past couple of years - mainly because I don't trust my judgement anymore due to alcohol and drug consumption.

Now I am going to have to do something about it.  I can't go on hating myself like this.  I can't even imagine anyone being able to look in the mirror and say "Hey I like you"  Do people actually do that?
I am going to die and where is the difference I wanted to make in the world?  I can't even change myself.

Grrr what a rant.  M
sorry about my grammar

Lesson Number 3

I was talking about an invisible firewall a few blogs ago that seem to shield me from having to deal with too much stuff all at once.  Lesson 1 was about past relationships with men, Lesson 2 was about damage that I have inflicted on my family and people close to me.  Today Lesson 3 came into focus.

My Lesson 3 is about what I wasn't doing emotionally when I was drinking.  I thought drinking made me more open and honest.  I actually remember thinking a couple of months back that the reason I shouldn't stop drinking, is because I need alcohol to communicate better with my family here, my daughter away at uni and my parents (the latter two by phone).  During the day, when I wasn't drinking I didn't feel like communicating with anyone.  Yet later in the day, after I started to drink I became chatty and felt confident.  I felt more like talking to everyone so deduced "I am a better mother and daughter by giving myself an alcoholic and drug boost"  This is another one of the reasons I didn't want to stop even when my mind and body were screaming "what the hell are you doing to us!"

I was completely convinced that my character or person I had become required alcohol to function on a better level with those around me.  This is why the going sober experience has taken me by surprise completely. Today, when taking my son to his martial arts class, one of the Thai Chi masters, who talks to me a lot came to say hello.  In the past, I would be filled with instant dread and say something ridiculous and the whole time just hoping the would not think I am a "over protective mother" or a "blond idiot" or anything negative about myself.  I would get entirely nervous and then spend the next three hours thinking about what the heck I was on about and other negative stuff.  Noting that this type of meeting would happen when I was sober as I was a night-time drinker.

Today, when approached, I was open, relaxed, the conversation flowed easily and I could look him in the eye as he was speaking.  I didn't feel like a loser, I felt in control.  I felt happily confident.  I walked away feeling like I had my first meaningful interesting conversation in so long I can't remember (all in 5 mins!)

I am striving to be open in like this 
Alcohol doesn't make you a better communicator, nor does it make you more confident.  Even when you are sober, you are still in the clutches of alcohol so it's not something that I would have learned until I stopped the cycle.  Stopped drinking.

I like this Lesson the best because the results are easy to see and feel instantly.

It is my feeling that not only does alcohol not help you gain confidence, it goes one step further and takes it away.  It makes you feel like a dirt-bag, out of control, like everyone else is better and has more self-discipline than you.  It's a nasty, nasty addiction.  I would like to be more open like this photo, I thought my introverted extroverted conversation style was "quirky" and "cool", some how endearing.  Retrospectively it was just laden with damage and must have made it difficult for other to properly engage with me.

Day 10 - past    Month 1 - past.


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

It Wont Help

It won't help, it won't help, it won't help.  If I keep saying this over and over, one half of my brain will win the fight over the other half.

Day 9 Month 1

Life is full of problems with or without alcohol.  I love how Ken from Grey's Recovery (I know I go on about this page) told me this once and it has stuck.  Also all you lovely people say it too and that alcohol won't fix it, it will make it worse.  So you won't just have 1 problem you will have 2.

But let me tell you.... today completely fucking sucked.
I was doing ok this morning, then the boss's wife (who likes me now) wants to fire my friend (who obviously works with me) and who got me the job.  Crap Crap Crap.  I have been doing some of her work for her it is true, and in truth she has problems completing tasks.  I may waiver between assertive and aggressive when confronted (doing some serious work on this which is definitely coming along) but there is nothing as infuriating as the passive-aggressive approach.  My friend does this and it is like looking at a water balloon - overfilled and like it will burst so you are kind of ducking but it never does.  However, the resentment and vengeful-ness sets in and that is somehow worse.   Well, today the boss and the wife did their banana and it wasn't pretty, them yelling and her just squinty-eyed bottling it up.  shit   I feel like a traitor just in being present.

Then the day took a serious turn to the terrible with my eldest 23 yo - because of my feeble ridiculous condition in this recovery process, I am too raw to handle.  So there I was.... the tears, the shaking ... then the dread. The knowing that this is going to make me want to drink.  Badly.  So then the anxiety of dealing with the inevitable and the fight that needs to occur to stop the car pulling into the bottle store whilst driving around crying.

Now the exhaustion from the whole mental fucking exercise, without any healthy exercise, no ability to give anything physical or emotional to the 2 wee kids so it's pizza for us.  Right now they are in my big bed with the TV on and I am going to snuggle up and watch whatever crap they are watching, and that will feel nice for all of us.  We don't have to say anything, just give each other a little bit of ourselves by just being close, right?

Love to everyone M xx
PS I chose this @#$$%$$ picture of hope to remind me of where I want to be, the dumb butterfly free from the dumb jar.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Disease or Addition

None of the views below are meant to cause insult to all those struggling or have struggled with drinking or substance issues - they are more questions than anything. Mxx  This includes an apology for ranting :)

I am doing too much research again... and I still haven't figured out an answer.  I have read that alcoholism is a disease because the cravings, against health and good sense, cause those with the disease to drink.  I find this a bit of nonsense as a definition because people smoke because they are addicted to nicotine and do so against their health and good sense - but that is apparently not a registered disease, it is an addition.

The theory that it is the chemistry in the brain that is affected seems more logical (below)- most large health organisations (see below) recognise the disease theory.  Funnily enough though, doctors themselves do not. (also below)  This could be why there are so many of us in the earlier stages full "recognised" alcoholism = 2 bottles of whisky a day, no family, cirrhosis of the liver etc.  No question I would have ended up there.  The doctors or GP's are on the ground, working with individuals whereas AMA are not treating us directly.  So why don't doctors share this view?  My doctor seems to not care too much - and he's really open to new ideas.

Now with the relatively newly introduced Controlled Drinking - this almost disproves the disease theory apparently:

"Some critics have used evidence of controlled drinking in formerly dependent drinkers to dispute the disease theory of alcoholism"  Wiki

My sources are not very scholarly I'm afraid.  Then there are the reasons some organisations do NOT want alcoholism listed as a disease, such as insurance companies with health claims etc.  There seems to be billions of dollars on the line if it is completely accepted as a disease.  However the research goes on and the the new disease theory (right at the end of this long blog x) now splits this into 3 categories : either or combined:  biological, genetic or psychological (I think translated that is changes to our biology, passed on through family or mental addition).

I personally feel it is a bit deflating saying it is a disease as there would have to be a cure - what would that be?  Abstinence?  that doesn't seem to make sense because the cure is the problem.  Which points to addition not disease.  If it is a disease of the mind, then a medication derived to deal with it but there is no medication that fixes it - only with the withdrawal period..... so is it an incurable disease?
Well that is bloody deflating right there.  A disease with no long-term cure is about the worst news ever - do problem drinkers want that kind of recognition?  Is chronic addition a worse theory or one that gives more hope?
I don't know anything here - except I have to have hope because there is no "cure" I can buy.
M xx
PS - If it is a disease, then why are we spending billions of dollars a year to spread it?


NB:  Things I have read to add to the above:

"The modern disease theory of alcoholism states that problem drinking is sometimes caused by a disease of the brain, characterized by altered brain structure and function. The American Medical Association (AMA) declared that alcoholism was an illness in 1956"

Then there is this: www.ragingalcoholic.com

Is alcoholism a disease or a choice is a good question. It is something many people are interested in. Alcoholics want to know if alcoholism is a disease because they want to explain what is happening, or what happened, to them. Insurance companies want to know so they can determine how to pay for it. Families and spouses want to know about the disease model of addiction for the same reasons drunks do. They want to know what happened to them. How did things get so out of control? More importantly, they want to know what to do now to this drinking problem under control.
Asking “is alcoholism a disease” to most people we bump into on the street will get you an answer of yes. Asking a doctor and many other professionals about the disease concept of addiction will result in something quite different.

Who Says It Is A Disease?

  • Most members of 12 step programs (based on AA) follow the disease model of alcoholism
  • Television, the movies and the news generally agree that alcoholism is a disease.
  • Where TV goes, the American public follows.
This makes it look like no one with credentials follows the disease model. Below are some heavy hitters who do:
  • The American Society of Addiction Medicine
  • American Medical Association both maintain extensive policy regarding alcoholism.
  • The American Psychiatric Association recognizes the existence of “alcoholism” as the equivalent of alcohol dependence.
  • The American Hospital Association
  • American Public Health Association
  • National Association of Social Workers
  • American College of Physicians classify “alcoholism” as a disease
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) It funds approximately 90 percent of all alcoholism related research in the United States.

Who Says Alcoholism Is Not A Disease

A national study of doctors in the United States reported in The Road to Recovery asked them what proportion of alcoholism is a disease and what proportion is a personal weakness. The average proportion thought to be personal weakness was 31 percent. Significantly, only 12 percent of doctors considered alcoholism to be 100 percent a disease.
Another study found that only 25 percent of physicians believed that alcoholism is a disease. The majority believed alcoholism to be a social or psychological problem instead of a disease. (S.I. Mignon. Physicians’ Perceptions of Alcoholics: The Disease Concept Reconsidered. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 1996, v. 14, no. 4, pp. 33–45)
A survey of over 88,000 physicians in the U.S. found that “Only 49% of the physicians characterized alcoholism as a disease.” Over 75% believed that the major causes of alcoholism are “personality and emotional problems.

http://www.drugrehabfl.net/:  - says:
Many breakthroughs in alcoholism research have stemmed from the original disease theory.
  • Biological Model – Biological studies propose a new biophysical disease theory of alcoholism. This model examines how genes and other biological influences can cause imbalances in certain brain chemicals. Alcohol disrupts normal lipid and enzyme functions in the brain, which may be more prominent in people with certain genetic qualities.
  • Genetic Model – Another genetic model suggests that a person with a family history of alcoholism is more likely to develop alcohol addiction. Recent studies point to the existence of a “tolerance gene,” which may promote alcohol dependence. However, having the gene is by no means an end-all determinant. Environment, education, and personal choices play significant roles in the alcoholism puzzle.
  • Psychological Model – Yet another model focuses on the psychological perspective, specifically that of denial and adaptation. Alcoholics are more likely to deny underlying issues in their lives and attempt to block them out with alcohol. They may not interpret alcoholism itself as a problem and fail to make positive changes.