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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.

Monday, May 18, 2015

For your resource list

I’ve been doing a great deal of work on my family’s history from the time they came to America to the present. When I discover something especially interesting, I write a long, descriptive version of the story. Since I have to fill in the blanks of things I don’t really know or can’t confirm, I can’t say it is a true biography. Let’s just say the book will be based on a true story. That sounds good.

I also write a shorten version which will take its rightful place in my book of short stories (titled That Reminds Me) which I hope to publish before July. That Reminds Me will contain family stories, stories submitted by family and friends, little quotes and other fun stuff. It’s purely entertainment. As with all my books, the proceeds are used to fund the support groups, OARS, and other related projects
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I’ve been asked by my friends producing the documentary to compile information for a resource directory that will be available at the film’s website. A select few will be featured in the film.  I have no problem finding rehab centers that fit our criteria. However, I only have a few support groups: Al-Anon, Smart Recovery; OARS; and individual counselors. If anyone has a support group, other than the ones mentioned, please e-mail me the info to ImmortalAlcoholic@gmail.com. Please put the word RESOURCE in the subject line.

On the subject of resources, I want to encourage my readers to develop your own
resource pool. Family and friends can be a part of a good support system, but often they grow weary of listening to us repeat the same issues over and over again. Before you know it, they are not answering your calls or avoiding the alcoholism subject as much as possible.

While I am not always in agreement with the tenets of Al-Anon, I think there is a lot to be gained from attending a meeting when you feel in need of others involved with alcoholism.  You can always “take what you like/need and leave the rest” and that’s exactly what I think you should do. The great thing about Al-Anon is that you may meet someone with whom you can relate.  You might hear something you needed to hear. My advice is to try going to a meeting here and there in different locations. You may find something that fits for you. Then again you may not. Don’t force it upon yourself. If you’re not comfortable, move Al-Anon to your resource bag and move on.

Smart Recovery doesn’t have physical meetings everywhere, but they do have on-line meetings. Check their website  http://www.smartrecovery.org/  for more information. This is actually support for alcoholics and addicts, however, from what I understand they welcome family and friends as well.

OARS Group (Our Alcoholism Resource and Support) is for family and friends of end-stage alcoholics. The end-stage part is not a requirement; any stage of alcoholism is accepted even if the alcoholic is no longer among the living. There is a FaceBook “Secret” page where the conversation is lively and people connect easily. If you’re an avid FaceBook person, this may be the group for you.

There is an independent OARS website at http://oarsffgroup.ning.com/ which was set up to accommodate everyone including those who do not use FaceBook. This site has a lot of members, but has had trouble becoming as lively as the FaceBook site. I think that is because people don’t visit the site often enough. Even I am guilty of that. There is a place on this site that allows for Live Chat, but when there are only a couple of people on at a time, chatting doesn’t seem to happen. This site holds a lot of information and is good even if you don’t use it to reach out to others. Just reading what others have written will provide some support.

For both sites, FaceBook and independent, you must e-mail me your e-mail address and I’ll send you an invitation to join.

Consider one-on-one counseling. Google the name of a therapist you would like to use and see what pops up. You are looking for a person who has extensive experience in alcohol and substance abuse. If you have no insurance, try your local health department. Often they have resources to help get counseling either through them or outside sources.

The key to this type of counseling is to be as open and honest as you can possibly be. Nothing will shock a good therapist and they can’t help if they don’t truly understand your situation.

If you can afford it or find it, call the local rehab centers and ask about their family programs. Ask if you may attend even though your alcoholic is not a patient. Sometimes centers will allow people to go to their program solo. Your insurance probably will not cover it, but it is worth a try to call the insurance company and ask if it would be covered. After all, counseling is usually covered and this would just be a more intensive type of therapy.

They are very difficult to find, but recovery coaches are popping up everywhere now a days. Most are for the addicted person, but keep searching until you find one that works for you. I offer one-on-one coaching for family and friends only. You can book a session with me on the Linda’s Front Porch website, http://www.lindasfrontporch.com/one-on-one-visits/ .

COMING SOON! Many of you have already visited “Linda’s Front Porch” www.lindasfrontporch.com and have left comments, etc. This site will become my personal website supporting all my activities: writing, blogging, support groups, calendar, etc. I’ll be gradually moving the independent website OARS and incorporating it into Linda’s Front Porch. This site is really a work in progress as I’ve been expanding and updating what was previously there. But, it is still there and it works.

There are so many books out there, it would be impossible for the list them all. If you are a reader, don’t stop. When you see a recommendation for a book – get it and read it. Of course, make sure my books are in your library. You can purchase The Immortal Alcoholic’s Wife at Amazon  http://www.amazon.com/The-Immortal-Alcoholics-Wife-Volume/dp/1502984083 and the Workbook for Caretakers of End-Stage Alcoholics may be purchased on this blog site.

Please e-mail me any resources that you have discovered. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

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