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|Posted on May 1, 2012 at 2:27 AM||comments (2)|
Yes, I received the court summons for jury duty in the mail and had to report last week. Well, guess what the trial was about? A DUI- Driving Under the Influence aka Drunk Driving. Right down my alley! So, after reporting, I sat with the 65 prospective jurrors waiting to be called to be interviewed by the judge, prosecution and defense attorneys. Questioning the first 18 people took about 2 1/2 hours. Several of the first wave were dismissed and more were called to the "testify". I happened to be the next 18th prospective jurror. This was a nerve racking experience. I felt like I was on trial. A sample of a few of the questions we were all asked are as follows: Name, education, job, spouse, spouse's job, children, adult children's jobs, notice of self or family members with a record of and arrest or conviction of crime, status of driving, experience with police in any way-traffic infraction, being a victim of a crime, etc.,personal drinking or alcohol experience, personal feelings about people who drink or are alcoholics, ability to judge facts of alleged charges fairly and not influenced by personal feelings or past experiences, members of AA or NA or donator to these organizations, and ability to follow the judge's instructions even if have disagreement with them. On the second day of questioning, the jury was chosen and the twelve chairs were taken. I was in the 13th chair. I was to be considered as a possible alternate. Five more people were to be questioned at the following session. Today, that occured and the two alternates were chosen. I was not one of them. Unburdened, I joined the other dismissed prospective jurors and we exited the courthouse having fulfilled our obligation for another year. What I found most glaring during the interviews was that 95% of prospective jurrors had experienced alcohol problems themselves, or with family members or friends. Some lived with very tragic and dramatic hurtful consequences to them or someone else but all were negatively effected in one way or another and the experience was long lived, had left its scars. The fact that the defendent's blood alcohol was .08, which is the legal definition of "drunk", was being challenged as well as the question of whether or not the defendent was driving at the time of arrest. Note: One of the early warning signs of alcoholism is a DUI. However, the jury was not to be diagnosing the "patient"..only to determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, if indeed the .08 was an accurate measure by an accurate testing process and if the defendent was indeed driving the vehicle when he was pulled over by the highway patrol officers. I felt relief when I was dismissed from this case and most thankful that I am no longer living with an active alcoholic, am not mired in the turmoil, stress and crazy-making of addiction. I am thankful that I acted to get help for my co-addiction and that my husband finally got help for himself and that the two of us have been living a happy, healthy, and addiction-free life for the past 28 years.
|Posted on April 9, 2012 at 6:58 PM||comments (3)|
Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina, stated in quite strong terms, Wednesday, April 4th, that "women don't care about contraception, they care about the economy". I have several questions for her as a woman. Who are these women she is talking about? What are her facts? What are her sources? Where do they live? Don't they see the relationship between both? The ecomony and contraception cannot be separated. They are firmly connected. One is influenced by the other. If women do not have access to contraception, they will continue to be "in the family way", unable to work because of childcare issues. Or, if they do work, they will be doing double-duty, their health may suffer as well as their children's. Contraception has been a godsend to women who make up a high percentage of the work force and their families. It has been a financial blessing to the U.S. economy. 40 years young Governor Haley would do well for herself if she woke up and paid attention to "real women" of America. And "If Can't is not an Option" then she needs to get at it!
|Posted on March 3, 2012 at 2:35 PM||comments (7)|
Millions of women have been insulted, outraged and demeaned by the well-known radio commentator "Rush Limbaugh" with his obscene remarks about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown University law student, and her testimony this week to a House Democratic panel supporting contraceptive insurance coverage for women. Rush Limbaugh, a man, called Ms. Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" who is "having so much sex that she is going broke" suggested that in order for the government health plan to pay for her contraceptive medication, that she be mandated to participate in a public video of herself engaged in sexual intercourse as a payment for her receiving contraceptives. What we have here is a display of behaviors that an untreated drug addict shows when in a "Dry Drunk". A dry drunk is defined by treatment professionals as" the addicted acting the same way as when they were drinking or using". The most egregious behavior was Rush's attitude of Superiority-"No one is as smart as I am. No one can make intelligent decisions around here but me". This behavior is coupled with Grandiosity, his absurd exaggeration that he is larger than life and in the state of being able to dictate to others what they are to do because he is the only one who knows what that is. Because he knows best, he is able to judge other's behaviors. His expression of Rigidness with Focus on Rules and Regulations is apparent and keeps him thinking that he looks good. His delusion leads him to apply these rules to others- women - in this case. His Hostile/Aggressive/ and Abusive behavior is another indication that he is not a recovered addict. He has no empathy for others. He is unable to put himself in the shoes of anyone else. He is blinded to the pain he dishes out to others, again women, because he has not faced himself and his abusive behaviors and taken the path to a honest recovery. Just quitting using Oxycontin, if he has, without in-depth treatment and his taking the responsiblity to transform himself, will never lead to him being a recovered addict. He will continue in this path of self-destruction and hurting others until he "hits bottom" -losing all of his radio show sponsors, has a "moment of knowing-spiritual experience", is forced to committ to long-term treatment, or simply never gets well. Only time will tell.
|Posted on February 13, 2012 at 5:31 PM||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 News.com 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.
|Posted on January 26, 2012 at 6:31 PM||comments (7)|
These are resources which co's will find most helpful:
1. "Getting Them Sober" : A Guide for those who live with an alcoholic; Toby Rice Drews. ISBN: 0-88270-460-5
2. "Getting Them Sober" Volume 2: A guide for those who live with an alcoholic; Toby Rice Drews.
Both of these books are simple and easy to read with very pratical advise for the families of alcoholics.
3. "It's Okay to be Dumbfounded, Just Don't Stay that Way! From Co-Addiction, Addiction to Recovery - Doing
whatever it takes to live a healthy life free from addiction; Addie Lee. IBSN:978-1453802182. 2011. Available at
4. "The Times of My Life". Betty Ford, Chris Chase.1979. New York, Ballantine Books-Chapters 38 & 39.
5. "Another Chance-Hope and Health for the Alcoholic Family".Sharon Wegscheider with forward by Virginia Satir
and Kenneth Williams, M.D. ISBN:0-8314-0059-5
6. "The Progression Tree - Codependency": A Family Disease. Wanda McGuire M.A. CADC II.
6. "Under The Influence".A Guide to the Myths and Realities of Alcoholism: Dr. James R. Milam and Katherine
Ketcham. Bantam Books, New York. ISBN: 0-553-23788-8
Al-Anon Resources available at:
Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1600 Corporate Landing Parkway,
Virginia Beach,VA. 23454-5617. 1888-425-2666. email: [email protected]
1. One Day At A Time in Al-Anon.
2. Al-Anon Faces Alcoholism. Al-Anon Family Headquarters, Inc. Virginia Beach, VA
3. Living with an Alcoholic. Al-Anon Family Headquarters, Inc. Virginia Beach, VA
4. The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage
5. Alcoholism - A Merry-Go-Round Named Denial
|Posted on January 20, 2012 at 5:24 PM||comments (82)|
I know it is quite late to comment on the past Christmas holidays but I will do so now anyway.
I used to dread the holidays. When that time of year arrived it meant more hours of drinking related activities. There were the parties where Liquor was King and a constant companion for the guests whether they wanted it or not. The evenings usually started out friendly and social and ended up with wildness, over-spiritedness and co's driving their spouses home for safety's sake. Then there was the next day with the painful hangovers where the curative "hair of the dog" remedy was applied which just led to more inebriation.
No More! Thank God those days are over and have been for the last 28 years. Now our family experiences a sane holiday with fun and laughter without the influence of alcohol. The underlying tenseness is gone and the stress that I encounter this time of year is hurrying to get the presents purchased, wrapped and under the tree, trying to make sure that the traditional breakfast food entrees all "come out even at the same time" and a big sigh of relief when everything comes together okay, even with rough edges, that I can now accept.
Yes, sobriety is a big reason for celebration!
|Posted on October 10, 2011 at 2:52 AM||comments (6)|
Surely the majority of people in the world who were aware of Steve Jobs are mourning his passing. So much has been said through the media and in personal conversations about what an amazing person he was and how he used his insatiable quest for knowledge and "what is possible" to new heights for the benefit of all humankind. His contributions to the world of communication and technology are endless and enduring. His life purpose was to pursue the "why not" of action instead of the "why" is what led to his success and his inspiration to all who knew him as well as those who are lucky enough to use his Apple products or enjoy the Pixar movies. His much touted speech to the graduating class at Stanford University in 2005 will be quoted and remembered for years to come. Today it is most likely a focus of thought to many people persononally as they apply or consider applying his philosophy to their present lives. Through his counsel he said " Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results of others people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition..."
I think people are born with an "inner knowing" system that they tap into when the need arises. They have the capacity to listen to their hearts or follow their intuition either consciously or unconsciously, sometimes not quite grasping the import of the source of their inner guidance. It's like we know what we know but we are also willing to risk what might be out there as a better solution to our dilemma. Such is what I experienced when deciding to confront Geoff about his drinking and specificlly stating what I wanted out of the situation. For some time, I had been attending an enabler support group as well as counseling from a chemical dependency social worker. I had gathered critical information and strength from these sources and felt it was time for a change. I knew deep down what I had to do. I was keeping Geoff sick the longer I failed to step out there, no matter what, with my ultimtum. I had to confront him. I did not know what course Geoff would take but I knew that I could no longer continue living with the illness of untreated alcoholism. For months I had thoroughly mentally processed what I had to do. I was finally ready to make my move. I had made up my mind and listened to my heart. First I told him that I loved him. Following that, I told him in three short sentences what I wanted him to do: " I want you to stop drinking. I want you to go to A.A. I want you to get counseling from a chemical dependency specialist." Then I said "If you don't, I am getting a divorce." Then I left the room. The chemical dependency counselor that I had been seeing said that I would know within 30 days what Geoff's decision would be. And sure enough, within that time he did what I had asked. I believe that he was ready to accept that he was addicted and needed help to overcome it. I believe that with his decision he tapped into his inner guidance system as I had followed mine.