Alcohol abuse

You are here because alcohol is causing you a problem of some sort. Unless you did a drunk Google search to see what would come up. If that is the case, read on. You may be able to avert some pretty painful and humiliating stuff.

Anyway, do you want to know if you’re an alcoholic? Or do you want to know if a friend or co-worker has an alcohol problem. Maybe you are living with an alcoholic. Or perhaps you want to know if quitting drinking is as bad as it is made out to be

Maybe you want to know the definition of alcohol abuse so you can decide what an alcoholic is and what sort of problem you are facing. Not all alcohol abusers are alcoholic but, all alcoholics are alcohol abusers.

How heavy drinking affects me and you:

  • Alcoholism affects about 1 out of 13 adults in the United States.
  • Most studies say that over 50% of adults report having one or more close family members affected by the problem.
  • That 2/3 of Americans drink but, 10% of those who drink, drink over 50% of the alcohol.
  • That every problem drinker is expected to significantly impact at least 4 or 5 people.
  • There aren’t very many of us but, we are a pretty potent bunch. We create some serious problems.

    Some of the Problems Drunks May Have:

  • Financial problems
  • Legal problems
  • Employment problems
  • Relationship problems
  • I want you to know what you are up against. I want you to have some practical ideas on how to approach a problem or condition related to alcoholism.

    Ego aside

    A great many of us lawyers have strong egos and sharp analytical minds. That’s what makes us talented litigators and corporate attorneys.

    But those two traits are huge liabilities in recovery. It certainly has been for me.

    An over-inflated ego makes it much more difficult to achieve humility and identify with others in the recovery community. In the early days, I was certainly guilty of saying to myself, “Oh, I was never that bad” or “I’m much smarter than that guy — he made so many dumb decisions.” Or, “I graduated top of my class and was on Law Review, certainly I can out-smart this disease.” But the fact is that I am no different from “that guy.” And If I really took a hard and honest look at myself, I too kept making the insane decision to keep drinking, and if I didn’t stop I would have gotten another DUI, risking my law license, family, and career in the process.

    As for the analytic mind, there’s a saying that analysis leads to paralysis. Despite my natural intelligence and superior education, I have been unable to out-think the disease of addiction. At various points in my recovery, I actually thought I could! Trust me on this, it’s a pointless exercise in futility.

    I have realized that for me the program of recovery is much more about action than thinking.

    For me, action means getting to meetings, doing Step work, going to therapy, talking to my sponsor and others in the program, exercising, writing and reading.

    The more I stay inside my own head analyzing why I became an alcoholic, why some of the Steps seem illogical, and why I’m feeling anxious and depressed, the more my recovery suffered. So I work on not analyzing everything in recovery. I’ll leave the analysis for my law practice.
    In sobriety 🙂


    I was out traveling yesterday to see family. Being there and being a part of life and family is one of the amends which keeps on developing a stronger and deeper understanding of life today. To be included and part of, to be welcomed rather than feared, to be sober offers enlightened and hope just for today? Being sober today is but one day, where emotional and spiritual well-being may flourish.

    Step eight, making the list of amends and being willing to make them. Over the years, I have learned my part in living. More than ever it is my responsibility to live well within the principles of the AA program. My daily amends to myself, putting sobriety first, being open honest and willing to change, gives me hope.
    That inner voice in my head, “here we go again,” “I know what you are going to say,” “nagging doubts,”you always say that”same old same old,” It will always be the “same old, same old” if that is what we look for. We can change and influence what we listen to inside and outside as we make choices today…
    If I accept and act upon the advice of other alcoholics who have made the program work, I have a chance to outgrow the limits of the past. Some problems will shrink while others may require patient, well-thought-out action. Listening deeply when others share can develop intuition in handling problems which arise unexpectedly. It is usually best for me to avoid impetuous action.
    Attending a meeting or calling a fellow A.A. member will usually reduce tension enough to bring relief to a desperate alcoholic like myself. By sharing at meetings or privately with my sponsor, I can change aspects of the positions in which I find myself. Character defects are identified and I begin to see how they work against me. When I put my faith in the spiritual power of the program, when I trust others to teach me what I need to do to have a better life, I find that I can trust myself to do what is necessary.
    In recovery we put sobriety first, so our lives work today with clarity, we feel life as it is, we think about what we do, we live in peace and with a good conscience…

    Why not me

    There is no “why me?” in recovery, it is more a case of “why not me?” The same for any killer ailment or disease if we realise the truth is “why not me?” we can stop blaming ourselves or anyone or even god. It is in our nature, genes and providence and we can seek help. Fear and self-loathing can keep us sick, faith and asking for help can open up possibilities, never about guarantees or certainties today…

    “Attraction is the main force in the Fellowship of A.A.” What you see is what you get “WYSIWYG.” Humility offers the opportunity to learn about life every day with the key principles; to be open, honest and willing. I can ask for help from anyone anywhere at any time. When I ask those who can help do, those who cannot don’t, and I learn the wisdom and know the difference just for a day…

    At any time in recovery, we will fail at some endeavour and need to try and try again. I would never judge anyone trying to follow the path of others in sobriety. A killer disease which gnaws at our emotional, physical and spiritual core, without respite ends a life so often. The clarity to thoroughly follow the path takes time. It takes a fellowship to keep me sober, just as it takes a village to raise a child.



    What is spiritual? I often suggest it may be the ability to see real life as it is, not as I might want it to be. Life on life’s terms, not on my terms. When we can utilise and experience all our human senses in the present moment, we have perspective, choices as they happen… spiritual is now!

    Higher power spiritual… We are full of life experience, opinion and belief. We need to connect to the truth by being open, honest and willing. Learning how to love, and be loved and learning wisdom from experience and from our fellows each day. Truth, love and wisdom flourish, if we are open today…

    Quality and quantity: work hard and play hard. A rite of passage: into adulthood, to get a job, to make money and celebrate success. I drank good liquor and as often as I could. A drink in hand at all occasions. There was always someone who could not handle their drink. Then it was me…

    “The flirtatious withholder” a term I heard for the first time last night. I laughed, the player who does not play, the giver who does not give and why? Because often there is nothing behind the mask of flirtation, a lost soul and no understanding of love and how to cherish…

    When I hear another is being bullied at work, I shudder. Somehow all the rules are swept aside and one human can distort the nature of others. Bullies make new bullies, is the choice to join in, or become an outcast…

    “The A.A. Steps & Traditions are neither rules, regulations, nor laws. Perhaps the secret of their power lies in the fact that these life-giving communications spring out of the living experiences and are rooted in love.” 1. A.A. COMES OF AGE, P. 105.” “We find it amazing that the newcomer can start the A.A. program without any specific beliefs or, for that matter, without any beliefs whatsoever. All a person needs is the open-mindedness and the willingness to believe that WE BELIEVE this program works…”


    I can still remember hiding away and trying to control life. The more I hid and tried to find the solution in isolation, the more obvious it became that all I did was put off that awful day or so I thought, that I needed to stop hurting myself through drinking. Alone, it always seemed like tomorrow would be the right day to stop. And no matter what I did, alone and isolated, there seemed no prospect of an end and indeed life ending and not waking up felt like it would be preferred to whatever struggle I was experiencing. Life was very painful, hiding away, unable to function, emotionally bereft one moment and then completely overwhelmed in desolation. When I stopped denying rock bottom and realised I needed help, everything changed horribly to the good.

    Human beings are incredibly resourceful, we are all forces of nature, and yet nurture seems to offer diversions into pleasurable escapades which are truly risky. The more we take risks with our mental health and our physical health and we seem to overcome,

    the riskier the endeavours, the more the highs the more the low keeps us chasing ever more dangerous territory.

    Rewards for risk and success, very high and very attractive propositions. Until of course, calamity comes knocking on the door, and then denial of our circumstances, far from being a tool to overcome grief, becomes a tool of destruction. Denial of overwhelming events is a coping mechanism. Denial of addiction is usually a death sentence.

    Freedom, freedom to learn who I am today. I don’t think I have ever met anyone in recovery who has not experienced the opposite of freedom. From having fun and what seemed like mind expanding and life changing experiences to the good, the absolute truth of mind altering substances is a phony and false comprehension of reality. The best mind-expanding experiences are based on living in reality, and being a part of what is going on in the moment of now. Coping or not, learning how life can become real as we may have imagined, or simply beyond our wildest dreams.

    Freedom through self-awareness and awareness of our current conditions today will produce far better outcomes than any notion we might develop in isolation. Wisdom is born in isolation and made far deeper and broad in the light of day and through interdependence and collective and collaborative activities. Inspiration and hard work transform our world. Sharing experience, strength and hope enrich our freedoms to take up whatever endeavours interest and fascinate each and every one of us one day at a time.

    What often gets in the way of our freedoms is the way we judge ourselves and other people. That famous and well-known two-word sentence, “judge not,” helps everyone immensely to let people develop their own freedom. And in the common and understood language of today, “judge not and jog on,” is always helpful on any given day.
    R 😉


    Trust: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. Often said within the Fellowship; “trust God, clean house.” In essence in this case in my world, trust to God, surrender to the truth, love and wisdom of now. In surrendering to the truth, it is the truth learned through others and not just my opinion which counts most. Trust: in being open, honest and willing in all my dealings today. And the first casualty of conflict of any kind, is the truth.

    Trust in people places and things, keeping my side of the street clean and not judging others on their ability or capacities when I am living my twelve steps. What do I do when I know that for reasons of fear, pride and ego, that another person is being dishonest? And if a person is being dishonest about other matters, which do not directly involve me personally, how do I challenge and do I have a right to challenge their wrongful doings?

    How do we trust people who have a long history of doing the wrong things for reasons they may feel are right? What about those who have an outlook formed over many years that it is okay to have an attitude of: “getting away with it.” And if we are aware that some feel it is okay to get one over on other people, places and things, whatever their reasons, and then I trust them in their dealings with me, am I fooling myself that I am immune to being played, especially when they don’t realise what they’re doing? How do I keep my side of the Street clean?

    The emotional and spiritual journey, feeling life right sized in the moment of now is often based on hearing no evil, see no evil and speak no evil. In other words gossip, even when it is based on truth can be very damaging. In order to keep my side of the Street clean, if anybody asks me to indulge in closed down, dishonest and old and unwilling behaviour, I can say no and keep my side of the Street clean. And I do not need to become enmeshed in dishonest behaviour, or I lose track of myself and the twelve steps. Same applies to the traditions. I am not the judge of others, they can be busy judging me and that’s okay providing I am on my own open honest and willing path.
    Emotional greed, wanting something that we have not earned through the honest and painstaking endeavour. Starved of emotional connection, love and cherishing often cause people to act out in lust and passion. From having nothing to gluttony, the extremes where the balance between love and cherishing is something we develop, if we have that good fortune and are willing to put in the effort. The emotional balance between two people is not about power and control, it is about the freedom to be open, honest and willing in shared endeavours which become lasting adventures.

    It all takes time and endeavour.

    Trusting others: and how on earth do people trust me? It is a journey of experience, and sometimes in the past, I have broken secrets when I have been heartbroken. Horrible. In recovery, when things are said with confidence, we have a duty of care to ourselves and those who are in our lives. And the best we can do is encourage people to be truthful to themselves and then face the impact of that truth based on their own principles and not my principles. Which is why a friend of mine often says that God is here to forgive, and it is not for me to judge. And around that, there could be a discussion which would last for eternity.

    Life is difficult, and to make it less difficult, surrendering to the truth is far more important than trying to excuse old attitudes and old behaviour.

    Stopping drink as an alcoholic is the first step and then we need to learn about sobriety. This is a daily journey which becomes more meaningful the more open honest and willing we are to surrender to the truth today.

    The dark secrets, the bending of truth leads to bending the world and taking from the world rather than giving to it, becoming a citizen of the world, rather than a taker from the world. When we take from the world without entitlement, just because we can, it undermines trust and integrity. We don’t actually get away with anything, we do suffer when we try because the first person we break trust with is ourselves. And when we break trust with ourselves, it is far easier to break trust with others as we undervalue life itself. You and if you are a

    Someone I know used to say to me, there are eleven commandments and the eleventh is: “don’t get found out!” There are only Ten Commandments which are very hard in themselves and the eleventh described here, “don’t get found out!” It means that the Ten Commandments or whatever your principles of open honest and willing are undermined in everything you do. Far easier to work an open, honest and willing life, asking for help to find our way and surrender to the truth of now. If it cannot be done honestly under the current conditions today, better not to do it at all?

    Don O.

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