How I Knew“We don’t receive wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” Marcel Proust
Three things happened that helped me to see my alcoholism. The first was that my father (who was a periodic alcoholic) had long periods of being dry. Yet when he returned to drinking, he was always in worse shape.
One night, he had a really bad night from drinking and I stayed up to try to help him. I now know that he was having the DTs. The next day, I knew that I never wanted to go through what he had.
The second thing happened when Jonathan Winters was on Johnny Carson’s show. Jonathan had quit drinking. Johnny insisted that Jonathan could have a little wine on Thanksgiving. Jonathan said, “No. You don’t understand. I’d have a little wine and then a little scotch, and suddenly it’s Tuesday.”
The third experience was one fall day, my husband and I had taken our daughter to a park. The two of them were having a great time on the swings. I was miserable–it was too hot for me–I was tired–We had been there too long–I was thirsty. Suddenly, I looked at them and realized that they had something that I didn’t have. I didn’t know what it was–but I wanted it.
Finally, on thanksgiving Day, 1976, I broke down and told my family that I believed I was an alcoholic. My mother cried and said,”O, honey, I’ve been afraid of that.” I went to AA the next day. How did you know?
What I Believe
You tend to think that your beliefs are rigid or unchanging. When what your belief is, is only a thought that you keep thinking. It's more like a habit of thought…
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My Favorite PodcastsITUNES Bulletproof; Fresh Air; Oh No; The Dr. Drew Podcast; The Tim Ferriss Show; The New Yorker Radio Hour; Stuff You Should Know; We Have Concerns
Adam Corolla; Birdsong; I Am Rapaport; Meditation Oasis; Pardon the Interruption; Radiolab; Reasonable Doubt; Reply All; WTF
The Double WhammyThe 12 steps taught me the way out of addiction. But they didn’t help me with depression. Luckily, for me, I have dysthymia which is a lifetime experience. But it is milder than other depression types and it comes and goes. I have had to learn everything about my depression by myself. I am sure that is true for most of us with co-occurring or dual diagnosis. The mental health field can provide labels, medication, and sometimes, if you are very, very lucky, good counseling. But we have to become our own mental health expert. It is an individual journey.
The double whammy is living a life of addiction and depression (or other illness) recovery. The 12 steps work best for addiction recovery. But depression recovery requires much more individual exploration and experimentation. There is no one size fits all for depression recovery.
I am on the Alltop Recovery Page—-One of only 16 chosen sites.
I am Grateful For My ChildhoodAddictions are the bandage covering the wound of not feeling worthy. I just discovered in 2010, that my primary addiction was to my family of origin—the family I grew up in. I have a picture of myself at age 5 which is about when I started thinking that I was terribly unfit to be in this family. There was always fighting, drama and violence. We had our loving times, too. I believe that my parents did the best they could. When describing those years, I love what ACA says about The Problem: “This is a description, not an indictment.”
A Victory CelebrationAll my writing and my life is dedicated to my wonderful parents, Roy and Grace De Long of Chester, W. Va. and Zephyrhills, Florida. We found our ways through the tragedies of addiction and mental illness. Hurray for us!
Why I love Helping OthersThe main reason that I love helping others is because we are each born with a core of goodness from birth. I also believe that this core contains our creativity which is the source of our joy. I also believe that helping anyone find this creativity is the answer to awakening others to the beauty of himself/herself. Finally, I believe maturity is returning to the joyful, playful child that God created.
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