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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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Not so simple to survive, thrive, flourish

Lately, I’ve been hot on writing the new book. It’s about surviving the chaos when care giving an alcoholic. It could really be used for any type of care giving situation, but I’m focusing on alcoholism. I want to give you a glimpse inside the book in today’s blog post.

Between the covers you will find poems, cartoons, published blog posts, explanations, exercises, forms, tips for maintaining sanity, and lots of information. Discover who you really are and what you
would like to accomplish in your life. Learn to put your alcoholic care giving into a different section of your brain clearing your mind for things that help you to continue with a life of your own.

This book is not an easy one to write. After all, I write about my experiences. I write about how I feel and what has worked for me. Some things in this are about what I may not have yet accomplished so far in this journey. The truth is that surviving is a continual work in progress. You won’t know if you survive until the alcoholic has passed on to another world. If the alcoholic goes first, you survived. It’s really that simple or is it?

It turns out that it isn’t good enough just to outlive the alcoholic. Sure, you survived, but did you survive as you or as the person the alcoholic needed. Surviving as the alcoholic’s robot isn’t really surviving because you aren’t being who you really are as a person. You may survive, but you are not thriving.

The whole point of my new book is to get people to be able to not just survive, but to thrive and flourish in spite of being a care giver to an alcoholic. Thriving is being open to happiness and a full productive life even in unfortunate circumstances. Flourishing is being continually being successful in discovering yourself.

Writing the book is therapeutic for me in my attempt to regain my own identity. It seems that I no longer know who I am other than Riley’s caregiver. I know the basics, i.e. a person of strong work ethic who can be a bit quirky, stubborn and persistent.  For a while I felt I had even lost my gender identity. I was a person but didn’t feel much like a woman. I was a human robot. I started working on saving the woman inside me and in the process started acting like ME again. The book helps me to document my journey and pass on things I’ve learned to help others find a way to love themselves again.

I’m sure that while reading the book you will say something like “Everyone knows that…” and that may be true. But sometimes we forget the obvious or we need a new viewpoint on issues. Reviewing is healthy. Sometimes we discover, or rediscover, while we are reviewing.

We are facing another new year ahead and hopefully the start of the year will be a start to regaining happiness and peace. I have planned lots of exciting endeavors for 2017. I don’t plan on cancelling any of them simply because I am an alcoholic’s caregiver. I may alter or re-arrange, but not cancel. My life has become that important to me – as it always should have been.

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