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Providing non-judgmental and non-criticizing support for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics through one-on-one coaching, support groups, blog posts, workshops and public speaking.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Message from Dan...

Today I have a guest poster who is one of my Twitter followers.  In my opinion, this guy knows his stuff. This posting is primarily for all my alcoholic readers who are struggling with recovery. There may be some help for you through Mr. Callahan. This one is for you!

Dan Callahan is bad boy who found his way after many detours down the wrong path of life. He ended up on the right road and eventually earned a Master’s Degree from Fordham University in Social Work. He primarily works with patients struggling with substance abuse. He played a significant role in Hands Across Long Island which is the largest and most prominent consumer run mental health agency in the United States. He is the co-author of a New York State training manual and program for mental health and correction service professionals who work with parolees with “serious and persistent mental illness.” All that was taken from his website http://www.happyrecovery.com/

From Dan:

Inaction breeds doubt and fear.  Action breeds confidence and courage.  If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it.  Go out and get busy.  --Dale Carnegie

Fear paralyzes the best of us.  When it comes to alcoholism and addiction more often than not neither the addict nor the family members heed the signs that something is awry early on.  Often fear of taking any action paralyzes them into hoping beyond hope that it is going to get better, somehow. 

For the addict it is all they know.  They justify their use, they do all they can to minimize the challenges they face due to their use.  But in the end if they are afflicted with the "creature" they continue to sink deeper into addiction.

For the family, they just want to believe that it is going to get better.  That by some miraculous act of God their loved one is just going to stop!  They are going to get through their phase and get on with their lives. 

Without action nothing changes.  Hoping is not action, praying is a start.  For the addict an evaluation of how far it has gone and seeking an experts advice on a plan of action is necessary.  For the family, an evaluation of the situation and seek expert advice on how to bring the message to their loved one in a way that illicit's positive action. 

Finally, when the steps are apparent take definitive action.  Recovery requires making the decision to recover.  What does recovery entail?  It starts with complete abstinence, followed by change.  We must change how we think if we are going to find joy.  How we think about life, family, friends, alcohol, drugs, and what we really want out of our lives.
Recovery is possible for the family and the addict.  But not without decisive action!


Visit Dan on his website or twitter him as Happy Recovery.
I welcome requests for being a guest poster on my blog. I’m especially looking for stories from other caretakers of end-stage alcoholics, but I have a strong following of alcoholics and need to hear from you as well. I’m not an alcoholic and need to hear what it is like to be on the receiving end of the caretaking. Knowledge and understanding is the key to survival.

Please join me by helping me help others.


Anonymous said...

I believe in what Dan says, but with an alcoholic who is very resistant to being involved in any outside activities I keep myself busy instead which serves to interest him probably as much as anything could. For example I am meeting my son this morning to the Farmer's Market for a weekly talk. He has fought a binge alcohol problem, but has been completely sober since last summer when he burned his trailer down while on a binge, or it burned down by itself, but people tend to associate a bad fire with the on site alcoholic. We have a lot of fun and we are often joined by other people he knows since he is very gregarious. We are now getting up a big theater party for the pay as you can preview performance of the play he is directing, "Lorca in a Green Dress." I just wish I could invite the whole world. But I have seen what happens to alcoholics in here who isolate. They die! I am signed in under Doc's name so will become Anonymous instead. Gerry

jo said...

i look forward to hearing from other alcoholics..altho i prob wont comment much. i am afraid my anger would come out at someone it shouldnt. which would be so unfair.

truly i strive sometimes to even like my A, much less care for him. it is so hard when they arent likable, and downright mean.

i wish any addict in recovery all the best in the world. you have chosen life. i applaud that.

i would like to know more about the addict mindset. why they choose death and such meanness over loving someone? guess if we knew this,we could all be rich.

addiction is far more than taking a substance. it is complicated, brain issues and how they handle life. it also is why would anyone choose to hurt their families? it is foreign to me.

thanks to dan for posting. i hope he comes back often. i want him to know there is far more to a addict than just them. we matter , the families. the ones who care, or used to care. and we are so often tossed aside more than the addict is.

congrats gerry, on your son. and to him. my daughter has been clean and sober now for a few yrs. all on her own. my A throws a fit over taking out the trash. lol. much less any other outside activities. he talks a big one...never will do it. it seems talking is the same to him as him actually doing it. weird.

Syd said...

Dan provides some good thoughts about action.