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Should I Go To Rehab to Stop Drinking?
This is a hard question to answer for many people. Well, I should say it’s often a hard question to answer for the person that is having trouble with alcohol. When it comes to alcohol addiction, it can be difficult to be objective and admit that you have a problem.
Basically, if alcohol use is causing negative effects on your life and you keep drinking, it’s time to take a good hard look at yourself and consider the fact that you might be addicted to alcohol. Once you have done that, you are already on the road to recovery.
But, how do you get sober???
A lot of us have tried many different things to get sober and usually none of them work, at least in the long run. A lot of us won’t get treatment because we don’t feel our problem is bad enough.
But the truth of the matter is, if you are here looking to see if you are an alcoholic or looking to see if you need rehab, you probably need some sort of help getting sober.
Addiction is a progressive disease. That means that if you are even mildly addicted now, if you keep drinking your addiction and the problems that come with it are likely to get worse.
Ask yourself these questions, answer honestly…..
- Do you want to quit but you find yourself not being able to?
- Has or is your tolerance for alcohol gone up?
- When you are not drinking, do you crave or think about your next drink?
- When you stop drinking, do you have withdrawal symptoms?
- When drinking, do you have a lack of control?
- Do you hide your drinking?
- Do others express concern about your drinking?
- Do you have problems with relationships?
- When drinking, do you get into risky situations that you normally wouldn’t get into sober?
These are just a few of the signs that alcohol may be a problem for you. If you are answering yes to a few of these questions, then you should consider getting help with getting sober.
Take a look at the video here and read about this story of alcohol, alcohol abuse, recovery, and rehab. Maybe we can help you decide if rehab is right for you:
Topic: Can’t Stop Drinking? – How I Overcame Alcoholism!
- Unfortunately, in our society, there is not a lot of conversation or information about alcoholism
- The thought of living without the crutch of alcohol can be terrifying…
- Sometimes you have or do hit rock bottom before you quit, but not always – For Terry hitting bottom was almost losing his life over alcohol which started his journey into sobriety
- Terry – mirrored what others with sobriety did in order to stay sober
- What are the steps if you are at the point where you have no idea what to do?:
- Look at it for what it is medically – society doesn’t take this seriously
- Withdrawal from alcohol could be DEADLY
- Alcohol is what mostly causes all your problems when you are in active addiction (Alcoholic Spiral)
- GO TO YOUR DOCTOR and you must be honest in order to get through detox safely
- Learn to accept help
- Do everything you possibly can to stay sober
- Alcoholism is physical and mental
- Your mind plays tricks on you to think that you can just have one… or that you can go back… but, the problem is you are powerless after you have that first drink
- Your mind will try to justify reasons to drink
- Rock bottom for some is that you just can’t quit, but how much are you willing to take?
- What is going to help you is understanding alcoholism and how it works
- With alcohol, companies don’t give you the appropriate side effects – depression, mental confusion, dizziness, anger, irritability…
- This is NOT you – you are under the influence and it’s reeking havoc on your body and mind
- Everyone that struggles with alcoholism everyone is on the verge of getting everything they need once they push through – Marcus
- You will learn things from anyone whether they have one day or 30 years… keep an open mind to what others in sobriety tell you
- You have to create limitations for yourself, especially in early sobriety
- Alcoholism can creep in easily and you have to be prepared for it
- You do start feeling better quickly
- Most alcoholics can relate to each other in some way
- Emotions are not something we need to push out of our minds – society puts that in your head and it’s totally normal
- Alcohol wants to teach us to isolate and force us to think there is no one out there that cares – you have to say no to this, you have to push it out
- Caution against sadness in regard to feeling sorry for yourself (Self-absorbed) – if you are wallowing in self-pity, do something different and get focus off of yourself
- Gratitude is KEY
- 15-minute rule – Not just for drinking, but for life – pause, stop, relax reflect
- Last thing to think about… is some peoples bottoms are 6 feet under…
- What is a Sponsor? A sponsor can be misconstrued sometimes. At times there are people who put their sobriety in someone else’s hands. Sponsors are there to guide you through recovery
- Brittany had experiences with having Sponsors – a woman came up to her at one point and told her she would absolutely not stay sober without one
- The way Brittany got her Sponsor by simply calling out in a meeting one time she needed one and it didn’t work out as she chose someone who she didn’t know
- When choosing a Sponsor it’s important to find someone that connects with you which will help make the relationship stronger
- In Brittany’s opinion, it’s a mistake to become someone’s Sponsor early in sobriety as your foundation needs to super strong and that could put extra pressure on you
- Marcus did AA for the first 90 days – 90/90 meetings – he found someone that was OK, but he didn’t want someone to call and complain to 24/7
- Sometimes you get stuck in a rut and he didn’t want a Sponsor to be a crutch, but more of a steppingstone
- When Marcus first got sober, he still had a mindset that when he had difficult feelings, he wanted to drink
- Marcus recommends finding someone that has their head on straight, misery loves company, and you need to be careful when choosing this person if that’s what you plan to do
- Sponsorship needs more discussion, as there is not really a clear definition of what that relationship looks like
- Same sex sponsors are most likely the best bet, it has worked for some people, but not everyone in the world is out for your best interest
- There are sometimes ulterior motives unfortunately
- One of the positives of Sponsorship is that there is someone where if you about to drink or if you find yourself in a difficult situation you can lean on them
- Sponsors can technically be looked at as a sober friend, you could have all the support from family or friends, but if they are not alcoholics they have no idea what you are going through
- There are people that want to take advantage of others, be mindful and careful of that
- NEVER PUT YOUR SOBRIETY IN SOMEONE ELSES HANDS
- Marcus & Terry did not expect them to the only tool you use, you have to own your sobriety and do whatever it takes
- A great TalkSober video that aligns with Sponsorship is ‘Can you get Sober without AA?’
- Just because one sponsor does not work for you, it just means that situation didn’t work for you
- Sponsorship cannot be a lifelong thing, so we cannot rely on them for the rest of our lives, but again it could be a great steppingstone
“Hi, Terry here, sorry I couldn’t make today’s webinar, but I do want to give you my experience with sponsorship. In today’s webinar Marcus and Brittany are going to cover some questions you may have about sponsorship. What is a sponsor? Do we or don’t we need a sponsor? Why or why don’t we need a sponsor? Can a sponsor actually hurt our recovery from alcoholism? So here’s my take……….
I have had a lot of experience with sponsorship in Alcoholics Anonymous. I have had a sponsor the entire time I have been sober, and I have sponsored quite a few men. What I say here about sponsors and sponsorship is just simply from my experience and observations while working the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am in no way an expert on sponsoring or being sponsored nor am I an expert in the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Also, I have next to zero knowledge about other recovery programs and weather they use sponsors or not. I use the program of Alcoholics Anonymous for most of my recovery program and that has allowed me to stay sober and love life.
With all that said, the big book of Alcoholics Anonymous does not mention sponsorship anywhere in the program part of the book. It does however have an entire chapter about working with other alcoholics as the founders of the program found that helping other alcoholics get sober was a sure way to help with their own recovery. Also, there is AA approved literature does talk about sponsorship.
So, what is a sponsor? A sponsor is simply an alcoholic who has made some progress in the recovery program. He/she shares that experience on a continuous, individual basis with another alcoholic who is attempting to attain or maintain sobriety. For myself, my sponsor helped introduce me to the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. He introduced me to others in the program, helped me to develop many new sober friends that I could relate too. He helps me to keep myself accountable in my sobriety. He helps me get through difficult situations by giving me an unbiased objective look at things so I can respond in a healthy productive way. In the beginning he showed me what to do during those days where I just didn’t know what to do with the boredom, stress, and anxiety of early sobriety. Basically, he gave me the tools that his sponsor gave to him for a successful sobriety. Now a days we kind of help each other remind ourselves about sobriety and what we need to do on a daily basis. My sponsor is an important part of my sobriety. He is an integral part of keeping me in that sober mindset that gives me serenity in my life.
So, do we really need a sponsor? Of course not!!! Many people get and stay sober without sponsors. I know many people that have long term sobriety that do not have sponsors. However, my experience and observations have shown me that people with successful sobriety had some sort of outside help. For some it’s a sponsor with a twelve-step program. For others it’s a doctor help with group counseling sessions. There are many ways to get and stay sober and I have always said try everything you can. And then settle in on what works. The key is, is to be honest, open minded, and willing to do what needs to be done for sobriety.
Now there are bad sponsors, just like there are bad people. After all, a sponsor is also an alcoholic in recovery and comes with his own set of past or present issues. My sponsor did and does not bring his problems into our relationship unless it can help what we are talking about. I’ve seen many that I personally would not want to be sponsored by. But maybe they are good for someone else. When I sponsor someone, I first find out if they are willing to do anything to get sober. I try to get a bit of their story. I try to see if we are going to be compatible to work together. I let them know that they are not bound to keep me as their sponsor and that my job is to take them through the 12 steps so they can begin a new better life without alcohol. When I work with them, I take them through the 12 steps, I will share my experience as to how it relates what we are covering that day. I will see if they can relate to what we are covering from their experiences. I don’t analyze, I don’t judge, I just try to help.
Can a sponsor actually hurt our recovery? Of course. The wrong sponsor can absolutely hurt someone’s recovery. There’s some important things to look for; Have they worked the 12 steps, do they have a sponsor, are they enjoying life in recovery, can you relate to them, can they make time for you, are they active in service work, do they go out of their way to help newcomers, do they listen to you, are they positive, you are not afraid of them, basically you want someone that is going to help you whenever needed and help you develop a happy sober way of living.
I think most alcoholics would be best served by getting a sponsor. You don’t have to keep that sponsor. If they don’t work out get another one or none at all. Just be careful that whatever decision you are making is with sobriety as your top priority. So, there you go, that’s my take on sponsorship.”
- Great point in this letter, you could do everything possible, but if you don’t WANT to get sober you are not going to get sober
- We carry around stories like a backpack thinking those are what defines us
- Letting go of a story DOES NOT mean that someone who has harmed you means that they are off the hook
- Sometimes when we get a sponsor we feel the need to re-hash every single horrible moment in our lives, but that is not the case
- You can be both a healthy and happy person, who had bad things happen to them
- Ruminating on old stuff can sometimes keep up in addiction, sometimes we need a different perspective
- You are not the sum of what you’ve done, your thoughts or anything that’s happened to you
- If you find a sponsor that supports that, just be here now and let’s just not be drunk
- The whole point of this is that even if it’s not a sponsor, you need some form of foundation to protect your sobriety
- Brittany will sometimes write down situations and how she would deal with them to not drink
- If you are looking to a Higher Power, just know they are not it
- Having a sober friend to bring perspective is so important as they can relate and know what you are going through – it’s a partnership
- If and when you go through the steps, it’s not a race, take them seriously, be thoughtful and don’t compare yourself to others
- Changing your life philosophy is so important in sobriety – the way you think and what you put into your mind is what you get out of it
- A sponsor should be someone who points the way
- Sponsorship should not be a dictatorship, more of a collaboration between two sober people
- Stoic philosophy is really great for sobriety and that is where the serenity prayer came from
- “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”
- Book recommendation: The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
- In regard to feelings in early sobriety is the problem isn’t the feeling – it’s the explanation of them
- We are all running a program and that can affect the way you think
- Sponsors are there to help with vulnerability or situations you are not prepared for
Facebook Group Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/talks…
Topic: Suicidal Thoughts – Alcoholism – Depression – My Battle With Mental Illness And Suicide
- It can be a passing thought and no emotional weight
- You ARE NOT alone – 10th leading cause in the US is suicide
- If you are dealing with these type of thoughts, you need to reach out (Suicide Prevention Line – 1 800 273 8255)
- Alcohol mimics mental illness
- People care about you regardless of who you are – if something like this happens it will affect them deeply
- We look at things in term of society – example is that we have social media and that can have a long-term effect on people
- The problem isn’t so much the solutions that we have, it’s the life philosophy we have
- We tend to look at this and omit the middle part
- Everything would be good if I had X, Y, Z
- We skip what happens in between
- In between is life – life philosophy – where life happens is there the true joy is
- There’s always a new chapter and you get to decide what to do
- Fear that drives these thoughts – What if this pain never goes away?
- Chronic dissatisfaction is created in my mind
- If you look for something, you most likely won’t find it… It’s the pursuit of happiness
- Emotions are called emotions (look at motion) Motions trigger it
- Meaning – what do you believe about life?
- Alcohol creates artificial mental illness
- When drinking, those are not your thoughts, those are alcohols thoughts
- You can become very obsessive
- YOU NEED TO SEE A DOCTOR
- Always remember… you are not alone
- We are chemical beings – chemicals change minute to minute and they affect your emotions
- There are certain things in life that put you in a thought loop
- Situational thoughts
- Sometimes the biggest win is making it through the day
- Where is the hope?
- We are sometimes looking for hope in the wrong places, it comes from you internally
Facebook Group Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/talks…
Topic: What happened when I stopped drinking for a month – 30 days no alcohol.
- What is it like during the first 30 days of sobriety?
- Almost died during detox, was just thankful to wake up and be sober
- There were a lot of things he had to do, but didn’t have the energy to really do much during that time
- What he wanted out of sobriety was to get through the negative consequences & be serene
- Experienced mood changes as during alcoholism all of his emotions were pushed down
- Your personality may change once you’re sober
- Had to take life and everything very slow
- Did have trouble sleeping, took some time to get better for both Marcus and Terry
- Thought that right out of rehab everything would be perfect/better and that was not the case
- “Don’t wish things are different, wish they were better.”
- First 30 days were a little mundane & anxiety was through the roof
- Nothing is about you – you just think it is
- “This happened to me” mentality
- You’re just one of 8 billion people in the world – look at this in a positive way
- In the first 30 days you have to learn to cope, have strength and find solutions to deal with difficult situations that don’t involve alcohol
- A lot of drinking is social pressure, especially on holidays
- Living near a place that has a lot of alcohol doesn’t mean you have to go
- You need to create a support group/culture that supports you being sober
- Sign up at TalkSober.com and you can be a part of more intimate meetings that go into more detail on sobriety topics on Friday’s.
Topic: Uncomfortable In Your Own Skin – What To Do When You Hate Yourself
- If you believe out of a belief system that is positive, you will be comfortable in your own skin
- Life Philosophy – it needs to change in a positive way in order to live the life you want
- Learn to be comfortable with yourself regardless… you have defects/you have things you don’t like about you, but so does every other 8 million people in the world
- Sometimes you feel like you don’t fit in and that’s OK
- You are no better or worse than anyone
- Alcohol gives you an ego, if you are hating yourself that’s actually a form of self-love… you’re just not liking where you’re at
- We all compare ourselves to others, but for what? Everyone is showing their good side (Social media comes into play here)
- Focusing on gratitude and giving – you will get so much in return
- The real stuff is who you are and who you impact
- Enjoy the journey – if you have to do something you don’t want to do, look at it as a process
- Always go to the doctor, even if you’re scared, the fear of not taking action is bigger than the fear of going
- “Getting sober for something” – you need to want to get sober for you, not get sober for ‘something’
- Basis for sobriety – trying to stay as honest as possible and make amends when or if you are dishonest
- Resentment will affect your thoughts and change your mind
- Live Skype Call Sign Up: https://www.talksober.com/signup/
Topic: Relapsed? – PLUS Insights On Bam Margera And Dr Phil And The State Of Alcohol Recovery In America
- State of addiction and recovery in the United States – he reached out for addiction assistance from Dr. Phil specifically
- For every Bam Margera, there are people who can’t reach out for help in the way celebrities can
- Often times, we look at it as all about money – sadly in some rehabs if insurance does not cover it, they are rejected – this is a flaw and a huge miscommunication
- Of course, alcohol is made readily available, but help is not all the time
- A lot of people need help, they don’t know where to get it and rarely anyone is looking at what is truly going on
- “Let’s get to the root problem” – The root problem is actually alcohol
- Alcohol becomes someone’s coping mechanism – for literally everything
- We need to learn a new way of coping and it’s fucking up our life with our own hand – when you take the alcohol out everything is going to change
- It’s easier to sit with your problems than drink them away
- What is it that keeps us relapsing? It’s that first drink that ignites all of the neuropathways in your brain, then you’re right back where you’re at
- IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE FIRST DRINK, YOU WILL NOT GET DRUNK – so how do we build defensives against that first one?
Guest – brittany over:
- Grew up around alcoholic parents – made a commitment to never drink because of my experience with family issues
- There was one time I had a drink, and it ‘helped’ my depression
- Drank with my husband fairly often
- Stopped drinking when I got pregnant
- After breastfeeding I had that ‘one drink’ which led to me drinking every single night
- I passed out every night, my husband took care of my daughter – I woke up, worked, and needed/wanted that drink
- Upon reflection, I am really not sure why I was drinking so heavily, but I couldn’t stop
- One week I almost lost my job, daughter and husband in one week – ended up drunk at a work event on my husbands birthday
- Was in rehab for 31 days – felt functional, could be a Mother to my daughter
- Looking back on my history, I realized that I was most certainly a dry drunk – fell back into having no self-esteem, didn’t use the tools I had built up from rehab – felt like I was just ‘living’
- My husband left me – there were lies and someone else in his life – I do not recall even driving myself to the liquor store, but I did – I sat and cried for 30 minutes and said ‘Fuck it’ – so I relapsed
- I couldn’t be a Mother anymore
- Looked online because I needed help, I knew I had to get sober again – that is when I found Marcus & Terry
- I called my Doctor and initially they ignored my cry for help – I called them back and told them No… you need to see me – they gave me the medications needed to get through detox safely
- What would you say to someone who is out there that needs help:
- It’s YOUR life – don’t wait – you are not guaranteed tomorrow
- Build a support system
- GO TO YOUR DOCTOR
- Are you scared to live sober? I am too – I still have my days, but what will make it worse is drinking
- We don’t choose this life, but we choose what we do about it
- Sober life is WONDERFUL
- There is a lot of fear around detox – you NEED to see a doctor
- “Grateful never relapses”
- When we are alcoholics we are completely self-absorbed
- We sugarcoat alcoholism – NO – alcohol has taken over your life and that is how you need to look at it
- Teaching is an active process
- Sobriety is more than not drinking – it’s a serene life – it’s a fulfilled life – it’s a life that’s properly managed
- Being sad and feeling things is a society thing – you are supposed to feel emotion
Topic: Stop drinking without AA – Can you get sober without the 12 steps?
- Can you get sober without AA or worshiping a God of your understanding?
- A lot of people get hung up on the ‘God’ thing or religious aspect
- Both Marcus & Terry did the 90 meetings in 90 days, Terry’s suggestion is to do everything you can to benefit your sobriety
- AA does not work for everyone, period
- Fill your mind with the ‘good stuff’ – something that is not our thoughts
- For Marcus specifically, he has stigma related to religion and grew up in a realm up ‘cult like activity’
- Whatever you choose, don’t look at it dogmatically – do what works for you
- Terry – If you do choose to follow AA, follow it 100%, letting go and being honest
- If you are going to live your life that is supportive of not drinking, it clearly will be easier to not drink
- Sometimes you will feel ‘off’ – but you need a plan – this COULD be AA, it COULD be church, it COULD be talks – whatever works for you
- Spiritual awakenings are never found by people who look for them – they happen when you get outside of your current thinking
- Surrender to the insecurity that is life
- You get to the point where the ego starts to fade away and look at it and know we are trying everyday
- You don’t necessarily need to use AA, but you MUST have a plan
- Spirituality could be defined as anything that ‘is not me’
- We fail all the time – a lot of our indoctrination comes from school. We are trained to ‘Be Someone’
- Vanaprastha means “one who gives up worldly life”. It is also a concept in Hindu traditions, representing the third of four ashrama of human life.
- John 14, 15, 16 – ‘Being in the present of God’ – when you are in that presence and state of mind it’s almost impossible to get drunk or AKA ‘do the bad stuff’
- DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU & HAVE A PLAN!
Topic: Alcohol Abuse & LIES! What Society gets wrong about ‘Alcoholism.’
- Society’s ideas of alcoholism
- Addiction is tied into so many things much more than a habit
- Does the ego matter? No – alcohol kicks your ass, we are chemical beings and putting poison in your body screws you up
- Willpower alone will not get you through addiction
- Look up ‘Sanford Prison Experiment.’
- Discontent – “All suffering comes from desire.” – Buddha (Living a life free of desire and expectations)
- Everything you hold dear could be taken from you, but we find contentment in ourselves – it’s the simple things
- “Make a life something you don’t have to run from.”
- We are not our addiction, we are not what we have done or said
Lies about alcoholism:
- “Alcoholics are degenerate losers.”
- “Alcoholism is a moral failing.”
- “You are an alcoholic because of your past issues.”
- “Why don’t you just quit drinking?”
- “I can still go to bars and parties and not drink.” (Willpower)
- “Alcoholics are hopeless.”
- “Alcoholics drink all day, everyday.”
- “Alcohol is not as bad as drug addiction.”