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Co-Addiction Free

with Addie Lee

My Blog


Peyton Manning, Helen Mirren and "Bud"

Posted on February 8, 2016 at 6:33 PM Comments comments (145)
Peyton Manning, the Denver Broncos hailed quarterback's comments, when winning the Super Bowl 50 game on Sunday, was shocking, to say the least, as he touted drinking a lot of Budweiser to celebrate the victory after he hugged his wife and family. It goes without saying that fellow drinkers/alcoholics raised a glass to toast his statement. Then you have young fans agreeing as they look up to the victor and continue to imbibe. To top it off, actress Helen Mirren strengthened his message, after warning viewers about the dangers of drinking and driving, by lifting a glass of Bud in a toast. What a contradiction! Go figure!  Chip Franklin, daily talk-show host on KGO Radio, San Francisco, pointed out this contradiction this morning. He is able to reach many listeners and it was very important that he focus them to the harmful message that these two celebrities were sending in the TV ads. One would reason that intelligent celebrities, knowing they are in the spotlight, would recognize the strong impression they leave on viewers and would stand for good health and actions that promote it. Where are their consciences? Is it the almighty dollar and loyalty to Budweiser that has a hold on them? Unhappily,and dishearteningly so, that is probably the case. This is certainly an example of the old saying "Money is the root of all evil". Mammon seems to be ruling currently and those who decide to live closer to their true, personal values are finding it more of a challenge these days. That is why it is more important to take what celebrities say cum grano salis with "a grain of salt" and hold fast to what personal experience and research is telling us regarding the negative influence alcohol and drugs have on our lives and choose facts over fiction. 

Kennedy "Code of Silence" broken

Posted on October 9, 2015 at 5:02 PM Comments comments (5)
The secret is out. The "No Talk" rule is broken. Former Congressman J. Patrick Kennedy, son of deceased Senator Edward Kennedy, courageously went public about his dad's and his alcoholism on October 4 on 60 Minutes during an interview about his recently published book. Illness cloaked in shame is the name of the game. Families living with or alongside an alcoholic husband, mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, and other relatives understand too well how this rule works and how to apply it. They are dealing with a disease for which they see no immediate cure, are embarrassed by alcoholic behavior, shamed by a loved one ending up in jail for a DUI, and yet are putting on a happy face to friends and neighbors as if everything is okay.Of course, this is living in a state of denial just as the afflicted one continues to do also. Admitting there is a problem is the first step out of this malaise and when a co-dependent reaches the end of her/his rope, and s/he and goes for help they have broken out of the state of denial. Many times when the co-dependent begins to understand the disease of addiction and learns the part s/he plays in keeping the merry-go-round going, s/he can get the support to change her/his behavior. When attending Al-Anon, s/he will learn that one of the teachings that members learn is that they cannot change anyone else's behavior but they can only change their own. They will feel a certain sense of relief and with the support of the group, will no longer feel they are alone in dealing with the disease of addiction. Changing their behavior tips the relationship mobile out of balance and many times, the addicted will notice. When the co no longer reacts to addicted behavior by yelling at the perpetrator, etc. the addicted will lose the scapegoat they are blaming as an excuse for drinking/using. It can shine a light on the disease and could lead to the addicted admitting there is a problem and seeking help. Also, of great importance, seeking guidance from a competent chemical dependency counselor can provide valuable support as long as the counselor relates the whole picture of the disease of addiction and all its parts and can explain, in detail, this to the co. Learning that the progression of the disease and recovery is predictable will add more understanding to the co and strengthen her/his efforts to continue on the road to health. 

Back to the "No-Talk" rule: According to news reports,the family of Patrick Kennedy are outraged at his book and his disclosing his and his father's alcoholism. This is a typical reaction from families whose skeleton in the closet is now revealed. The fact is is that many of the Kennedy's friends and acquaintance were already aware that drinking and using was present. It was not a secret to them. Patrick Kennedy's admission was merely validations that what was long suspected was the truth.
I applaud Patrick's public disclosure and continue hoping that it will lead to the acceptance by the public that addiction is a disease for both the user and family members and in-depth treatment of both, especially families, is critical for recovery. 

The Loss of Robin Williams

Posted on August 12, 2014 at 12:04 AM Comments comments (4)
We are all reeling from the news of Robin Williams death. It is indeed a tragedy! He touched so many people's lives with his wit and acting ability and the God-given talent he possessed which let him tap into the feelings and experiences of others so easily and entertain us all with his gift. Today, one wonders if, in his depression, he was able to reach into his own heart and those of his family to understand how his loss would affect them. From what I know of deep depression, this psychological affliction does not allow the sufferer this insight. That person sees only himself and his loneliness and pain as unendurable and is without hope to continue on in his/her life. Robin's illness, addiction, compounded his discomfort and  led to an even deeper spiral to the abbess of death. From his own words, after John Belushi died of an overdose years ago, Robin expressed how his being with John when he died showed him how he needed to clean up his own act by going into treatment for his addiction. New reports state that he had to readmit himself for treatment more than once and as late as 2006 and he may have had to do this again currently. That is the terrible curse of the disease of addiction. If the addict seeks recovery and is honest with him/herself and does whatever it takes to live a life free from addiction, it is unusual for the disease to show its ugly head again. But for many, belonging to a support group and/or receiving counseling is not enough. The addict only remembers how good it felt to be free of his negative feelings by taking that first drink or the first hit of a drug. That is why members of AA refer to this disease as "cunning, baffling and powerful" because that is exactly what it is. If in treatment, the addict does not receive the information on what he./she will be experiencing as they face life without a chemical, he/she will most likely succumb to the craving for blessed relief. But, in fact, if the addict does learn what to expect in the next 2 years of treatment and is given the tools to cope with the withdrawal, success is more likely.  As he/she withdraws from the chemical, and learns that he/she will not be feeling very good when this takes place, with the support of the group and guidance from a competent counselor, the temptation will ease in time and the recovering addict will begin using the tools given him/her with which to cope. I don't know what stage of addiction Robin Williams was experiencing but understanding the terrible power addiction has over its victims, it seems that he had been drawn back into the powerful web and downward spiral of desperation from which he knew no other escape but to take his own life.  I am thankful that he did make so many people happy with his talent and trust that we will always remember the positive aspects of his life. 

Rob Ford's Admission

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:19 PM Comments comments (0)
It was good news to see Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's public admission that he had been in denial of his addiction in the past and in his present state is admitting that he is an alcoholic/drug addict in the recovery process. By his words, he seems to have had an awakening to his disease and is beginning down the path to recovery. What is most outstanding is that he talked about how his drinking/drugging had negatively impacted his family. He mentioned them first rather than talking about how he himself was affected. This is a very good sign. Many times, persons who admit their problem with addiction save the effect on the family to last sentence or maybe do not mention them at all but instead fixate on how it affected them. To his credit, he also thanked the staff at the recovery center he attended for their guidance and counseling in his treatment. 

Regarding the disease of alcoholism/addiction and most notable, Mayor Ford talked about the 
overwhelming craving he felt for his alcohol/drugs to continue to feel normal. According to Alice 
Lebron, chemical dependency counselor, the craving is the addiction. In her recently published book
"A Handbook For The Treatment Of Alcoholism", Ms. Lebron states: "The behaviors of alcoholism/addiction develop from the disease and are developed to protect the drinking/usage. The goal of the alcoholic/addict is to continue the usage; great discomfort develops if drinking/using is interfered with for any reason. The power in the disease comes from the craving. The craving is where the person is powerless over alcohol/drugs, or behaviors; the person is not powerless in deciding whether or not to drink/use. This needs to be clarified for the alcoholic/addicted client, co-dependent family members and others concerned. This enables the alcoholic/addict to begin to take charge of their recovery and assume personal responsibility for their decisions." 

As time rolls on, we will all see how Mayor Ford matches his words with his actions. I wish him the 
best success as he takes each step to recovery from the illness of alcoholism/drug addiction. 

I wish the best to his family whom I trust are receiving thorough counseling to guide and support them
in their recovery.

Good Karma to Rob Ford and his family!

Rob Ford's Glaring Personal Picture of Addiction

Posted on November 16, 2013 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)
Watching Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto, Canada on the current TV newscasts, all of us observers are witnessing just exactly what addiction looks like in the person who has this disease. It is quite shocking to hear Mayor Ford talk about the stress he has been under for the past six months, basically excusing the unconscionable alcoholic/drug addicted behavior he has shown to the public. He doesn't realize, nor is he capable at this point in his addiction, of acknowledging his illness nor of understanding just how the past six months, and probably years, have been for his wife, Renata, and family members who are most likely experiencing his intolerable behavior "stone, cold sober". He is bluntly showing all of us what "Denial" looks like in the addicted - the superior, grandiose behavior of self-centeredness, the self-pity, the hostile, abusive aggressiveness of his manner and most pointedly his inability to be truthful and to have empathy for others. His wife looked like a "shrinking violet" as she stood beside him, experiencing deep emotional pain as he apologized for a crude remark he is reported to have said. Renata looked extremely embarrassed beside him, living up to the role of the loyal wife for the public. It seems to me that it was shameful for the Mayor to even have her appear with him while he making such an a..............of himself. I trust the Mayor's wife has the resources to assist and steer her in the right direction for getting help for herself because, based on what is known of a co-dependent's behavior, she needs it desperately and now is the time for her empowerment and self-preservation. As Gloria Steinem said "Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself."

Maeve Binchy, Author Extraordinaire

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 6:38 PM Comments comments (13)
The untimely death of Maeve Binchy, yesterday, July 31, 2012, at the age of 72 was indeed a shock! "Light A Penny Candle" was her first published book and the first one she authored that I read. Much of the book is centered around alcoholism and the devastation it creates with the family and friends. I felt like she could see into my life as I experienced being a co-alcoholic to my alcoholic husband before we both recovered. She hit the "nail on the head" as she zeroed in on the behaviors of those with the disease of alcoholism. Maeve was an inspiration to me. She was able to communicate in a way that was felt in the hearts of her readers. She knew her subjects, her people and how to reach them with her writing. The information she shared in "The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club" was so helpful to me in my authorship. I will miss knowing that "she is there" to admire and from whom to learn and enjoy. What a wonderful contributor to humanity she was! She will always be remembered, especially by her women followers.

Jerry Sandusky's Crime

Posted on July 3, 2012 at 4:13 PM Comments comments (9)
Yes, to Mike Dawson in his July 1st Sunday Oakland Tribune article Sandusky investigation turns up emails.He is the first reporter I’ve seen who used the word  molest  in relation to Jerry Sandusky’s  sexual abuse of young boys. It seems to me that the word abuse is thrown about too loosely these days, so much so that it can be termed a throw-away description of many conditions i.e. elder, drug, alcohol,child, parental, etc. Just what does abuse entail in these situations? No one knows for sure except that it is BAD whatever the abuse. Since the word is used extensively for so many conditions, it minimizes the condition to readers and then can be passed off as “ah, well, just another negative action” without really knowing the severity of the circumstance. Let’s select the most descriptive word which most exclusively states the situation so that we can determine just exactly what happened to the victim.  Molest, rape, bludgeon, pistol-whip, name-call,reprimand, mug, more accurately portray a picture of a perpetrated action rather than abuse. Let's call a spade a spade!

Whitney Houston's Daughter, Bobbi Kristina

Posted on February 13, 2012 at 5:31 PM Comments comments (0)
Beginning last Saturday, February 11th, the tragic loss of the 48 year old pop singer, Whitney Houston, is being felt by millions of her fans and good music lovers throughout the world. She is the same age as my son so I identify with her in that arena. I can't imagine the pain her family and friends must be going through at this time but I assume it is devastating to them. Her daugter, Bobbi Kristina, was hospitalized yesterday due to stress. She had been staying at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in response to a concern about her mom's health. "A family source told ABC that  Bobbi was being treated for stress and anxiety" and then released a short time later. So what does this message tell us.  It tells us that Whitney, a known alcohol and drug addict, was unable or unwilling to committ to treatment and seek help again, and this time, follow-through with what was necessary for her to recover. At the late stage of her addiction, it is possible that she would never be able to conquer her addiction because of the strong physiological pull by her body for the chemicals even with assistance. She would be unable to resist drinking and using again. The news of Bobbi's hospitalization also tells us that Bobbi, the loyal daugher, was hooked in as the adult child of the addict and assuming the role of a co-addict as caretaker of her ill mother, still trying to "fix" her or change her. Bobbi's own physical and mental health were compromised by her caring for and living with her addicted mother. This is a common consequence seen in co's. Many times, onlookers believe that the "co" is the  identified "sick one".  I do not know exactly what she did to help her mother or herself but from my personal experience and the information I have, I am guessing that she either sought guidance and took steps to help herself or she was not able to accept the help she got because she was still in denial, clinging to the hope that she could heal her mom herself. This is a common response of un-treated co's. Just as I found in my experience being a co-addict, I was not ready to accept help until I was ready and I wasn't ready until I was ready, gave up, and thus was enabled to reach out for help. The strength of my denial was so strong that I could not face the painful facts until I was pushed and made aware of the resources that were available to me in the community via Al-Anon and counseling.  I thank my Higher Power for providing guidance when I needed it. Let us hope that Bobbi will soon be open to such help for herself.