Tag Archives: LifeRing

The Daily Whatever: On Addiction Recovery.

The imagination is a wonderful thing. It can both inspire and save a life. When I’m at a meeting, and if I get the chance to say my piece, I use my imagination to describe how it is I cope with my addiction.

I picture it as a toy of some description, say a really ugly teddy bear, wrapped from head to toe in duct tape. Then I imagine the bear locked in a room with no windows or light. The only person who has a key to this room is me. Therefore the only person who can let my addiction out is me. Occasionally I hear a muffled cry come out from the room, but I don’t worry about it. My addiction is locked away. It can call out all it wants – but there’s no way I’m letting it out to play.

This is how I cope. It works for me and I find it empowering.

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I Am Me!

Image website: http://www.uci.edu

Sitting in at a LifeRing meeting earlier on today, I was struck by the difficulty a friend of mine was having with acceptance; namely accepting that he has an alcohol problem.

Frank (not his real name) has been in and out of recovery. He need only think of having a drink and then – bang! – he’s down to the off-licence. But today may yet turn out to be a turning point for him. Frank hit on the notion of self-acceptance; an idea I caught onto almost immediately. If we can accept who we are, and the limitations that acceptance accords us, we can learn to live with ourselves and let go of the driftwood.

So, who am I? Well, for starters, I am a brother, son, cousin and nephew. I am a writer and blogger. I am a student of journalism. I am a boyfriend and lover.

I’m a caffeine and internet fiend. I sometimes think that the people who know me best are those who live inside my laptop, along with wires and microchips. But this is not true. My family and close friends know me better than I know myself, and they make no bones about letting me know that. This is why I love them dearly.

I am a reader of whatever I can get my hands on. I’m intelligent (though not an intellectual). I like football, tennis, snooker, cricket and darts. I hate boxing, trivialities, pettiness, and racial and religious intolerance.

I have been guilty of many things, including all of the above (except boxing). I can be insufferable and occasionally I promise much more than I can deliver. This is because I rarely so no. But when I do deliver, I do it with the best of my ability. I can not do otherwise.

Set me a challenge (like reading all seven of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series) and I will attack it with the gusto of a woodpecker on teak. Because that is what I do. Give me something or someone to love and I will love them until I’ve copied and pasted for the last time.

This is me. This is what makes me who I am. The fact that I don’t and can’t drink alcohol is no longer relevant. I don’t wish it to be so.

From Little Acorns Grow…

LifeRing Ireland

It all started in a dining room of a house in north County Dublin. Present and correct were two men, two women and two dogs. I can’t speak for the dogs but I know for a fact that the four humans were (and are) recovering addicts, mainly alcoholics but there was some drug abuse, too.

LifeRing had arrived in Ireland.

Tonight, in St. Patrick’s Hospital, Dublin, we had two groups of 19 people, each recovering (or hoping to recover) from whatever their drug of choice happens to be. People from all walks of life, looking for hope, support, and camaraderie. The St. Patrick’s group is one of three active meetings in Dublin. The other two are located at the Methodist Mission on Abbey Street, and the Stanhope Street Alcohol Treatment Centre. The last piece of the jigsaw, St. John of God’s Hospital, will fall into place within the next month or two.

LifeRing has arrived in Ireland.

It’s a recovery program without a program. By this I mean there are no Steps, no Higher Power, no powerlessness over our addiction. The choice to whether or not drink or use is put in our hands. We alone are responsible for picking up a drink or drug. End of story. Sure, we’re powerless once we do — that much is obvious — but if we chose not to, that choice empowers us. That, in essence, is what LifeRing is all about. We keep it secular and leave our Higher Power (if we have one) outside the room until we leave. We chat to each other, we cross-talk, we laugh, cry, but ultimately we’re all about positivity. Our “drunk-a-logues” and “drug-a-logues” are a thing of the past. Our “war stories” remain just that — stories. We talk sobriety in the here and now. We ask each other: “How was your week in sobriety?”

It is an alternative to Alcoholics Anonymous and its Twelve Steps, and without becoming all preachy, LifeRing offers the addict a different forum from which to draw strength. Some addicts can’t “get” the AA approach, so LifeRing shows them another way. It has worked well in the U.S.A. and the signs are that it will work well here in Ireland, too.