12 Tips for Partying Sober During the Holidays

For a recovering addict or alcoholic, holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s can be annual versions of The Bermuda Triangle. To stay out of the danger zone, it is best to prepare yourself for the potential threats to your sobriety before you encounter them. Here are 12 Tips you can follow for partying sober during the holidays:

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), “Freedom from Want,” 1943.
Story illustration for “The Saturday Evening Post,” March 6, 1943. Photo Credit www.nrm.org.

1-Prepare your mind

Have a few lines handy for when someone offers you a drink at a holiday party. “No thank you, but I’ll take a Coke.” If you are constantly asked, be repetitive and consistent with your answers and answer firmly, “No.”

2-Volunteer

Spend time helping at a soup kitchen or helping children’s charities. You’ll find that giving your time will feel amazing and still give you the ability to be social during the holiday season.

3-Be the designated driver for the evening

By being the designated driver, this will make you look responsible and will prevent more people from asking you to drink with them.

Continue reading “12 Tips for Partying Sober During the Holidays”

The Council on Recovery Deploys Social Workers to Area Shelters to Help Evacuees Deal with Emotional Impact of Storm

The Council on Recovery, the area’s leading non-profit provider of addiction and mental health services, has rapidly deployed many of its counselors and social workers to area shelters to help evacuees cope with the emotional impact of Tropical Storm Harvey. The Council has also sent recovery coaches and volunteers to shelters to help facilitate on-site support groups for flood victims who are struggling with addiction in the aftermath of the storm.

The Council’s president & CEO, Mel Taylor, said the immediate deployment of counselors and social workers is vital to the physical and emotional well-being of storm evacuees. “Our shelters are full of people who have experienced physical and mental trauma as the result of the storm,” Taylor said. “When the reality of their situation sets in, many may experience emotional anguish and our professional social workers are there to help them deal with it.”

Taylor said that among those at the shelters may be individuals suffering the effects of withdrawal from alcohol or drug use, especially after several days without those substances. “People with substance use disorders, such as opioid addiction or active alcoholism may be suffering from symptoms of withdrawal or detoxification,” Taylor said. “We trust medical care will be provided to those who need it, but our clinicians, who are highly-trained in these matters, will help will seek out resources for and provide counsel to shelter residents who need help with alcoholism, addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders.”

“Our recovery coaches and volunteers are on-site at area shelters to facilitate support groups for people who need to process what’s currently happening in their lives,” Taylor said. “The importance of participating in these 12-Step meetings during this difficult time cannot be understated,” he added, “and we’re doing everything we can to make sure people have a safe and confidential place where they can share their experience, strength, and hope.”

In addition to providing services at area shelters, The Council on Recovery’s main campus at 303 Jackson Hill is open and providing counseling services to the entire community.

The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey – Part 9

 

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 9 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.

The incidence of war in the human experience is enormous; it has been estimated that, in the 5,600 years of recorded human history, there have been 14,300 definable wars.  In our modern times, the wars of WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan and their aftermaths occupy much of the period of the last 100 years. Wars affect everyone, not just the participants, but their families and larger communities as well, in many subtle and powerful ways. Continue reading “The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey – Part 9”

The Lifelong Quest for Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 8

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 8 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.

In the ancient mythopoetic story of the Odyssey, Odysseus is desperately trying to find his way home after a 10-year war, to the Island of Ithaca where he is King. The armies of the great city states of Greece had been locked in a struggle to conquer the impregnable City of Troy on the extreme west coast of modern day Turkey. Odysseus was one of the leaders of the Greeks, the one who devised the plan to penetrate Troy through the gift of a giant horse secretly filled with soldiers, the Trojan Horse.  The behavior of the Greeks once inside the City and the slaughter of the Trojan population angered the gods.  The Journey home of all the Greek leaders was fraught with calamity, but none so severe as Odysseus.’

Odysseus encounters all sorts of disasters on his tortuous Journey home, much of it accompanied by the bad behavior of his men and him.  After nine years on the Journey, having lost everything, all his ships, all his men, all his possessions, he is washed up on the island of Scheria, naked, exhausted and broken.  He is taken in by the people of this land, and in a fit of surrender, he tells his whole long story.  It is in this telling that he finally gains the support and insight to complete his Journey home and, once back in Ithaca, to ultimately regain his rightful place as King.

The story is another classic hero’s journey, filled with all the elements of similar epics. Odysseus’ arrival home results in some additional conflicts with others on Ithaca seeking to rule.  With the help of the goddess Athena, a peace is declared by all the conflict parties accepting a sacred oath to restrain from any further violence forever.  This ending is dealt with rather briefly in the actual story, but the journey of Odysseus, in the torments and trials he must overcome, very much parallel our own Journeys to Sobriety.

He can only finally find forbearance and release from his tragic journey after he loses everything, surrenders and tells his story.  Having done so, and following the dictums of his hosts on Scheria, he can find his way home and achieve a sense of peace for himself and his people. For all of us, it is in telling our story, truthfully and with energetic rigor, that we can finally make progress on the elusive quest of Sobriety…and, in having done so, we can finally find peace and a rightful place for ourselves in the world.

The Lifelong Quest for Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 7

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 7 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.

So…having taken the steps to engage the process of Recovery in earnest, we have seen that the initial requirement is a rigorous exploration of the events of our past lives in the addictions. This “fearless inventory of ourselves” is meant to bring into consciousness the full extent of our disease, in all of its aspects.  We take inventory, try to understand the full extent of our disease and who we hurt in the travesties of our “acting out,” and then work to repair such travesties where we can.  The final steps, outlining the requirements of a continuing life in sobriety, provide a road map for daily living.

Continue reading “The Lifelong Quest for Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey—Part 7”

The Lifelong Quest For Sobriety…The Ultimate Hero’s Journey – Part 5

Guest Blogger and long-time Council friend, Bob W. presents Part 5 of a series dealing with Alcoholism and Addiction from a Mystical, Mythological Perspective, reflecting Bob’s scholarly work as a Ph.D. in mythological studies.

In the movie, The Matrix, Morpheus, the leader of a rebel group, is trying to recruit a young neophyte, Neo, into joining him in a revolutionary plot to destroy the Matrix, a simulated system that has enslaved the human race.  Morpheus offers Neo a choice between taking one of two pills, a blue pill or a red pill.  He says:  “This is your last chance, Neo. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.  Remember:  all I’m offering is the truth.  Nothing more.”

This is wonderful analogy for the choice that those of us living in the fantasy of an addictive brain must do in our efforts to get and stay sober.  Do we accept the challenges of those standing by to help us, our sponsors, and take the red pill, or do we turn away, take the blue pill and stay in Neverland (where nothing is ever real) forever? The red pill takes us deep down into the labyrinthine passageways of our own brain, where pathologies of decades, simulated fire-breathing dragons and cruel prickly demons, may be lurking to derail our pursuit of Sobriety.

Neo takes the red pill and wakes up in a pool of gel, a pod where every enslaved member of the human race is locked in a comatose state. Being conscious of the Matrix now, he breaks free and begins the journey to understand the depths and terrors of the Matrix.

For us, this begins the process of taking inventory of our lives in the grasp of addictions, a journey into the depths and breadths of the horrific experiences we heaped on ourselves and countless others when our disease was running rampant.  This process of taking inventory is difficult, tedious to say the least, but we must be honest, rigorously honest, to make progress in freeing ourselves and our loved ones from the Matrix-like terrors of our addicted lives.