Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)

Growing up is difficult and confusing, even in the healthiest of environments.  The challenges we face are forever changing.  From learning how to walk and talk, to learning right from wrong and how to eat well and stay clean not to mention the amazingly terrifying experience of attending school.  We are forever being pulled in a million different directions while trying to figure out who we are and who we want to be. For many of the first years of our lives we rely on our parents for survival, they are the very root of our existence and the environment they provide is literally all we know.  Growing up is difficult and confusing in event the healthiest environments it’s even harder and more terrifying in a dysfunctional environment.

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The Dreams you don’t enjoy

Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid it felt real?  Maybe you dreamt that you went on a shopping spree only to wake up disappointed that you didn’t have a closet full of all the new clothes you bought in your dream.  Or maybe you had a situation that made you absolutely miserable, it’s in the past but you keep dreaming that your back in that situation and wake up feeling relieved when you realize it was just a dream but almost exhausted from the stress of the dream.

Then there are the dreams that are more like nightmares.  If you’ve had a tragic or traumatizing event that you’ve experienced and have vivid dreams reliving the event, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  If you’re in recovery from addiction chances are that you too know exactly what I am talking about.
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A Family Disease

Addiction is a disease that can push a family bond their breaking point.  Regardless of who in the family is addicted once it sets in it affects the entire family. Routines are constantly interrupted by unexpected and even frightening experiences.  As the situation gets worse friends and family members will begin to lose trust and question the addict and even themselves, as they will begin to commit questionable acts.

Once the addiction is discovered as the source of the problem there will be questions of why, what could I have done differently to help them. Why can’t they stop? Is it me?

It can be compared to the domino effect.  Addiction knocks the addict down who in turn knocks the family members and friends down.  It can happen slowly or fast but either way it happens, time and time again families all across the world are torn apart by this tragic disease. Continue reading “A Family Disease”

Addiction

In the past, society viewed addiction as a moral flaw.

Some of the typical “treatments” involved imprisonment, sentencing to asylums, and church-guided prayer. These methods obviously ended up being generally ineffective.

Today’s society is growing to understand that addiction is a disease of the mind and body, characterized by fundamental and long-lasting changes in the brain and body chemistry. Modern treatments are based on scientific research and tailored to each individual and their specific needs for recovery. Today’s methods are so much more effective, with an average of 40-70% of patients remaining drug-free according to what I could find on the internet.

This is Great! I am extremely thankful for this as I have used today’s methods to gain strength in my own recovery.  This is a Huge step in the right direction for society.  Thirty years ago we had an overwhelming amount of people begging for help with a disease that wasn’t even recognized as an illness but instead seen as a weakness, moral flaw, a huge lack of will power.  Today, while the numbers are still rather high, people in the very same place are able to find help around almost every corner, if they are looking for it.  Today’s struggle for an addict/alcoholic isn’t so much in getting the help as it is getting to the point that they are willing to accept the help.

While we have come a long way, we still have quite the hill to climb.

While we recognize the direct impact addiction has on the person struggling with it, what about their loved ones?  Take those addicts who were begging for help thirty years ago.  A significant amount of them never received that help causing a ripple effect.  Growing up as the child of someone suffering from addiction can be a very traumatic experience.  A lot of support groups focus on bringing you back to “sanity”, or back to the “normal” you….  What if you never knew normal?  What if you were born into that world of insanity? What then?

I was almost tuned away from the very group that changed my life because of those very questions.  I thought, this obviously this isn’t for me because I have no idea what normal is since I never had it.  This was a huge struggle for me and still kind of is.  There are too many people out there just like me who don’t seek help because they either don’t know that the need it, they don’t know where to find it or they don’t think they can afford it…  While I can’t tell you what you need I most certainly help you find it and I am great at finding what you need for free! On my blog I will do my best to only post information about places you can seek help for Free.  This is because I believe that those who truly want to and can help you don’t want your money.  They want the reward of seeing you succeed.

For the purpose of carrying the message:  Al-Anon is a great place to start. While they focus on alcohol they welcome everyone.  If you are not comfortable they will even go as far as helping you find a meeting that fits you! Below are a few more details on Al-Anon.

Al‑Anon Family Groups, which includes Alateen and Al‑Anon Adult Children, has been in existence for 65 years as a community resource providing support to those affected by someone else’s drinking.

Today, there are more than 25,000 Al‑Anon and 1,700 Alateen groups meeting in 133 countries. There are more than 280 Al‑Anon and Alateen meetings in the Minneapolis and St.Paul metropolitan area.  Meetings are anonymous and confidential. There are no dues, fees or commitment for membership.

Find out if Al‑AnonAlateen, or Al‑Anon Adult Children might be right for you.  Learn about alcoholism as a family disease and its effect on us.

As my blog grows I will eventually have a page complete with as many Free resources I can find for you all!  This may take a little bit to get up an running as I am researching each lead to be sure they are still available.  If you know of any at all and you are reading there is no such thing as too much help!  Your input is always welcome and WANTED!

If you are out there in active addiction, or if your life has been affected by someone suffering please know that there is help. And IT IS POSSIBLE! Stay strong and ask for help.

As Always,
Keep Striving For Progress
Tracy Dubej

Alcohol The Drug

What is alcohol?

Alcohol, or ethanol, is the intoxicating agent found in beer, wine and liquor.  It is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches.  Fruits such as grapes and grains like barley and wheat are most commonly used for wine, beer and liquors. Other plants, such as the cactus or sugar cane may be used in liquor production.

“The process of ethanol fermentation:  When the living organism yeast (member of the fungi kingdom, specifically the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae) consumes sugar and craps out the metabolic byproducts carbon dioxide and ethanol (i.e., drinking alcohol), thus turning syrupy fruit mush into a tasty adult beverage”

Is Alcohol A Drug?

As a matter of fact alcohol is probably the most widely used drug in America! Below is a picture showing resutls from a recent survey.  Not to bore you with statistics, but here’s another interesting statistic, 55% of the inmates that are in prison in the United States are there because of an alcohol related offense.

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