It’s Not About You

the-best-recovery-blogsCool! Catholic Alcoholic was picked in the Top 80 recovery blogs for 2016 by Ocean Recovery in the UK. I got an email this morning letting me know. I looked at the list of 80 blogs and am honored and humbled to be among these fine folks, many I follow and many I will now follow!

I admit after my initial reaction of happiness 🙂 I had a slight skepticism because the list was compiled by a rehab. I don’t know why that made me squirm a little. But just being honest.

  1. I thought maybe it was a marketing thing.
  2. I’m not a big fan of rehabs. I’ve considered writing a piece of my opinion on rehabs, in general, but I’ve hesitated because…well, just because.

Looking at the list, however, I see they’ve done a damn good job of picking some of the best and the brightest recovery blogs I’ve been aware of for a long time.

And, I was intrigued and pleasantly surprised (no, I promise this is not an ad for them—I’d never even heard of them, plus they’re a long way from Atlanta, Georgia!) — I was pleased to see they offer a 7 day thing. A detox/rehab scenario focused on addiction recovery in a positive environment. That is perfect! The 30 day, or more, rehab programs in the US (and I’ve been to two!) are so frickin’ expensive. Also, the alcoholic must take 30+++ days out of her real life — her family, her job, her everything — to go to long-term residential treatment. Goodness, simply thinking about this right now triggers me and makes me want to drink!  I’ve often wondered why it has to take so long-and why is 30 the magic number?

But we’re told, “Drop everything because your life is on the line.” And we’re told, “This is the only way you are going to get help.” And we’re told, “If you don’t go we can’t help you anymore–you’re on your own.” And sometimes we’re even told, “Go to rehab or go to jail!” So, we go. And then we get out and relapse.

11219409_1597194103898500_7358985689213180794_nAdditionally, the LAST place I needed when I was at my bottom (s) was to be locked (seriously, you can’t leave) in a residential hospital with strangers for an extended period. I’m an introvert, a contemplative, and I needed loved ones, not strangers. I’m a free-spirit and very independent, but I’m not rebellious. These rehabs crushed my spirit. I didn’t (and still don’t) know what the best solution is; but rehab was definitely not itfor ME.

Disclaimer:  I need to make this next point very clear: Everything I write about in this blog is ABOUT ME (not you)–I truly have no idea what you should do, what your loved ones should do, or what will work for anybody else. I have no recommendations or advice. I only post about what is or isn’t working, FOR ME. I’m sure long-term rehabs help plenty of great people recover and achieve permanent sobriety, but that wasn’t my experience. 

On the other hand, this Ocean Recovery place is EXACTLY the kind of place I had needed. My “detox” ended up being in a hospital, yes. It was five days–but it was a medical and mental hospital (no addiction help). I had tried to kill myself. I couldn’t quit drinking and I really wanted to. I felt doomed to an alcoholic life, then death.  I had no hope. So, I did what any sane, drunk alcoholic would do when in despair–I took a bunch of pills of any kind of prescription medicine I had in my house. A cocktail of all kinds of things, antibiotics, melatonin, fluoxetine,Trazodone, etc… Then, I had a five day stint in a hospital. Seizures.

A local priest came to do the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick for me. I detoxed there. I stayed sober after that.

This 7 day detox/rehab centre Ocean Recovery would have been A LOT more beneficial to me than the mental hospital and certainly more beneficial than giving up everything in my life for long-term rehab. Just sayin’.

I had to set a boundary with a friend who kept insisting I check into a long-term residential recovery program. 8 months or more!  I thought about my life, my business, my children, my family, my dog, my fish, my rental house, my freedom. Christmas! Just because I’m an alcoholic doesn’t mean I should be locked away. Nobody locks cancer patients away like that. As susceptible and easily influenced as I am–and as much as I really try to please people I love, I found the strength in me to tell her NO. But no matter what I said, how much I explained that rehab is not the solution for me, she wouldn’t back down. She accused me of being manipulative, stubborn, only wanting things my way and not “really” wanting to get well.

All of these things were untrue. Saying that meant I was “in denial.” And all of these things were hurtful. I told her I needed to take a break from our friendship. And I immediately felt peace. Like I had stood up for myself, loved myself. This totally sounds weird. Normal people say “No” all the time. I’ve never been very good at it. That’s why strong personalities (those who have a big fat “J” in their Myers Briggs personality profiles) are ALWAYS drawn to me. I’m an INFP to the core and so J’s love, love, love to try to fix me. I’m actually drawn to them, too. The ones who unconditionally love me…these wonderful, logical “J’s” gently, firmly, lovingly guide me back onto my right path. MY right path. Not their path.

I’m happy to report that without alcohol in my system, I am actually quite sane! For the most part, anyway. Alcohol in an alcoholic body and mind tends to twist our thoughts into thinking we are crazy– and thinking there is no hope for us.

And!
And, I’m happy to report I’m not broken! I don’t need to be “fixed.” I love myself. I forgive myself. I’m SOBER. And I say “no” ALL THE TIME now. I may even be a little extreme in my “nos.” But whatever works, eh?

What in the frickin’ world does any of that have to do with this fantastic list of the Top 80 Recovery Blogs?  Absolutely nothing, ha! But as you all know, I tend to write as I think and talk..stream of consciousness stuff. I would apologize for this but my sister is teaching me not to apologize so much.

Sooooo… on to the list!

Here is what the Top 80 Recovery Blogs list says:

“Many of these bloggers are little-known. Many of these people publish their blogs simply as a way to help others who face similar problems with addiction. If you or a loved one suffer from addiction, we have no doubt you will benefit from the advice these people have to offer. When assessing the {below} blogs, we completely discounted the size of the bloggers’ following on social media. Instead, we judged the blogs based on how useful, inspiring and encouraging they may be for people who suffer from an addiction.”

Click here for the whole list!

Mine’s on there at # 15. It’s alphabetical so there is no hierarchy. Click and follow away!

Have a great day, y’all. This was a nice way to start mine.

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