Here’s the thing: 

Do addicts have to take personal responsibility for their choices and actions? 100% yes. Absolutely. They do have some control over whether or not they get better. 

But if you are to the point where you are drinking or using so much that your work, home life, finances, relationships, well-being, and health are being put in jeopardy, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that it’s not a simple matter of “choice” here.

Normal people who use “normally” would and could easily stop once negative consequences occur. A lightbulb would go off and they would think, “Hey, maybe I shouldn’t do that!”

But when you are sitting there with urine on yourself, sleeping on your driveway without knowing how you got there, spending your rent on alcohol, isolating yourself from your family because you’d rather use, drinking despite getting multiple DUIs, using even though you know it’s not going to make things better in the long-run, you really should ask yourself why you keep making such stupid decisions if it’s a matter of choice. Why would a normal, sane person keep using if the end result was so shitty? 

Hm, maybe because it’s more than just choosing to start or stop? Maybe the illness is not necessarily your drug intake but the roots beneath why you are using in the first place? Maybe because as much as you try to convince yourself you are “choosing” to live that way – maybe somehow you deserve it, or because you just don’t care, or because you’d rather enjoy the temporary benefits of using despite the long-term costs, or maybe because you don’t have the willingness to change things despite, deep down, knowing you should – your denial that you are sick is what is going to keep you sick. A different, more positive life is too scary for you. Ask yourself why that is. 

My spirits are high today and it has been a very good day. Thank you to those who inspired me with their kind words and encouragement.

It is very difficult for me to reach out, ask for help and to let others see that I am weak. However, I have learned that in doing so I gain strength. The love, kindness and support that I receive helps me to grow. It reinforces my need to know that I am loved and not alone.

Allowing myself to be weak may always be a challenge for me but today I am stronger because I did. So I say to you, do not be afraid to ask for help, for where there is struggle, there is strength.

XOXO
Lena

For those of you not in Halifax and missing out on the launch place your order now at from-the-margins.tumblr.com/catalog ! this is the third issue of make all good things fall apart, a collaborative zine by geoff and clementine on the themes of addiction, sobriety and intoxication culture. this zines was made in halifax, unceded mi’kmaq territory, as part of the anchor archive zine residency program. topics covered in this zine include: different cultural understanding of sobriety, sobriety as an energy, connecting 12 step principles with anti-oppressive values, sobriety and sex, the mysticism of 12 step fellowships, abstinence and harm reduction are not opposites, experiences of active addiction, addiction as a disability justice issue and 12 step witches. The zine also includes original illustrations by both geoff and clementine. #zines #anchorarchivezineresidency #makeallgoodthingsfallapart #clementineandgeoff #addiction #alcoholism #sober #sobriety #12steps #intoxicationculture

When I was really young my mom used to always tell me that alcohol was a disease and that it ran through my blood and that if someone had a drink that I would always enjoy it more then them, but now I finally understand what she was saying
—  My best friend

sspacerr asked:

Hi, I was wondering if anyone had any info on writing a character in rehab for a drug/alcohol addiction. Thing such as how long he might be in, what happens on a daily basis, treatment methods, rules, and other things such as that. Thank you so much!

Location and time period are huge factors here. Make sure you take them into consideration as you do your research. A lower class woman living in New York City in 1811 will have had a completely different rehabilitation experience from a teen pop icon living in Los Angeles in 2011. Even details of modern-day rehabilitation will vary country to country, state to state, facility to facility, doctor to doctor, treatment to treatment. Do your research.

Sadly, we don’t have much on this topic, but here’s what we have so far:

A few IAMAs for Rehab (though there are certainly more):

If you want to learn more, I would suggest talking to people who have been to rehab during the time period in which you are writing, or else reading about the rehab experiences of others in published works. I would try to get a broad view of rehab at first, taking in any and all experiences you can find, then I’d look for people who have had experiences similar to the one you’d like to write and ask them respectfully to help you out. 

It is possible that there are a few fellow writers out there willing to share their rehab experiences with you. If anyone would like to be a resource for j-ok-a about writing a character in rehab for drug/alcohol addiction, please respond to this post.

Thank you!

-C

A REMINDER: Please do not send us messages responding to this post. We believe it will be faster and all-around better to cut out us, the middle man, and just reply to this post or  j-ok-a directly.

I have a feeling that I’m not really as happy as I like to think I am. Actually, I think I’m quite miserable.
—  Lena Slaughter

A man came into the store talking into his tall boy of Blackberry Steele Reserve as if it were a cell phone and half-muttered that he loves Memorial Day and that we have to celebrate all the dead people.  When me and another customer noticed he totally was talking into his beer he said something like “goodbye mom I gotta go” and explained that his mom died last year to the customer.  I was looking away trying to look busy as I was no longer able to control my facial expression from a combination of fear and confusion.  As he was obviously not all there I wasn’t able to make out everything he said after that but the fact that he does not like Memorial Day as much as Halloween and that there are a lot of dead people to celebrate were two things I was able to glean.

Sanity is a non-renewable resource; once it’s gone it’s gone.

Also I sold him the beer because I had literally no idea what to do.  He thanked me for my politeness and walked out of the store with one last “all the dead people gotta be celebrated.”

What’s Your Hurry?

Once you quit drinking, things will get better.

Once you’ve finished treatment, things will get better.

Once you get your addiction under control, things will get better.

When entering recovery, these are things that everyone will tell you; fellow addicts/alcoholics, counselors, family, friends… They all say the same thing: once you do it, things will get better. It is the promise of better things to come that brings so many of us to the starting point of our journey in recovery. For me, it was no different.

While I was drinking, my life was a mess. I was going nowhere fast and I couldn’t seem to “get my shit together.” The promise that “things will get better,” is what kept me motivated; I had felt like a “loser,” for too long. I was ready to go out and do the things that many people my age were doing – I was ready to take control of the direction that my life was moving in, and start working towards a future. What everyone failed to mention, however, was how long it would take before things started getting better.

I had thought that “things will get better,” meant that I could get back to living my life – get back on the track that most my age are on, and work on building a future for myself. A year in to sobriety, I felt trapped; I had a part-time job that I hated, but couldn’t find work elsewhere and was far too in debt from my drinking days. Trapped in a part-time job that made me miserable was so familiar that it had felt hardly anything had changed at all. It was discouraging to look to my peers, building their list of accomplishments, and think “Well, this is as good as things are going to get for you. You’ve made too many mistakes; buried yourself far too deeply. You’ll spend the rest of your life going nowhere while you pay for the choices you’ve made.”

It took me quite a while to realize that “things getting better,” is a process. It started with happiness, self-value, and inner peace – that was the first part to get better. Next was my health - both physical and mental well-being. Then, my relationships started improving; my life was filling up with good people, the type of people that wouldn’t have been around if I wasn’t a good person myself. Sadly, though, it was difficult to see these things. I couldn’t appreciate them because I had expected everything to get better at once – I didn’t understand the process, I didn’t understand patience.

I am writing this entry so that I may have the opportunity to say what I wished had been said to me; “Once you’re in recovery, things will start to get better. Trust the process and enjoy the small victories, because they are steps in the staircase to ‘better.’ Take time to give yourself a pat on the back. Nothing magically ‘gets better’ overnight, but you will get there if you keep moving forward.”

I am at a point now where I can look back on these days and laugh at my impatience. I have finally come to a place where I am achieving my goals, and I have accomplishments that I can be truly proud of. I am doing the things that I need to do for my future – things that I never, ever could have done if I hadn’t gotten sober. Now, I understand what they mean when they say “Once you’re sober, things will get better.”

I don’t think about having a drink, I think about having a bottle. That’s how I know I’m an alcoholic.
—  Lena Slaughter

Most of the time I see alcoholism on tv its literally just “they drink a lot”.

It doesn’t show the personality of an alcoholic, the addiction. It doesn’t show the “wanting to be in charge but not responsible”, the “I’ll drink mouthwash if I have to”, the resentments, the losing everyone important to them because their addiction has become more important.

Alcoholics can be literally your greatest most well rounded character if you just let them. just write them right, do them justice, don’t let people think alcoholism is just “a guy who likes to party a lot and is sarcastic and drunk all the time”. Show me housewives at wine clubs, show me teens in a bad neighborhood drinking the leftovers of their parent’s beer binges, show me teenagers in good neighborhoods drinking because their parents bought the booze for them, show me old men who don’t talk to their kids or grandkids anymore because they’re not allowed to, show me the 3 years sober super zen neighbor who helps everyone, the 24 hours sober who’s nervous and scared but welcome into the group, the 34 years sober that’s always making jokes and calling their fellows “good for nothin’ drunks”, show me real alcoholics!

Its a topic that is so important to me and hits so close to home.