Alcoholism Articles

Transforming Failure

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

failure-rejection

My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them.

- Bono

I agree with Bono. Surviving a mistake or a perceived failure and transforming it into wisdom or a life lesson is inspiring. If you do an Internet search for quotes or articles on failure, there seems to be a never-ending supply. Like love, heartbreak, or jealousy, failure is a natural and challenging part of the human experience that none of us is exempt from.

Failure can be bitter and hard to swallow. We often cannot accept it very easily. It is a strong and intense experience that we may hide from, or refuse to admit to others because we are embarrassed, shamed, or defeated. However, like other bitter things found in nature, such as the coffee or cocoa bean, we have to process it to extract its rich gifts and reframe it into an insight, strength, or life lesson.

Failure to Launch

Friday, February 27th, 2015

video-game-addiction-fix-itselfJohn was never the greatest of students but he did manage to graduate from college in six years. Yay! His parents breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, he had accomplished what he set out to do.

Now, three years later, Mom and Dad are feeling increasingly distressed. John is living back home and going nowhere. His motivation to get a job comes and goes. The bulk of his day is spent on social media, video games and getting high.

He shows little interest in becoming an independent, self-sufficient adult. If his parents would get him an apartment, he’d move in a minute. But the idea of working toward that goal is beyond him.

Couples You Meet in Counseling: The Wife Who Wants More and Her Annoyingly Satisfied Husband

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Couples You Meet in Counseling: The Wife Who Wants More and Her Annoyingly Satisfied HusbandAlthough I thought I was done after
Mr. Perfect and His Crazy Wife
, The Ice Queen and the Martyr, and Mr. and Mrs. Just not Feeling it, I have realized that I have neglected the most common couple that I see in counseling: The Wife Who Wants More and Her Annoyingly Satisfied Husband.

The wife is a 40-something, attractive, intelligent woman with a tendency toward reading, some creative pursuits, and introspection. She has a lot of energy that she used in college, maybe grad school, and then raising her kids, and now her kids are in elementary school or older and much more self-sufficient. This leaves her with a lot more time to think.

My Passionate Plea at the United Nations to End Stigma through Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Kathryn Goetzke at the United Nations

I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak on a panel at the United Nations on behalf of myself, my organization iFred, and a group I am working with called FundaMentalSDG. I’d recently been working with Lisa Nichols and Sandra Yancey on speaking my truth, and decided it was time to tell my story. My whole story.

It is my hope that in doing so, people are inspired to get treatment for their own mental health issues so they can go on to lead productive and fulfilling lives, and also that companies start funding programs so that more have access to treatment.

Designated Caregiver: Holiday Drinks and Mental Illness

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

holiday stress man bigstAlcohol is a staple at the holiday table despite widespread tales of family dysfunction. The truth is social lubrication makes it a lot easier to deal with some of the more difficult people in our families. But when you add mental illness to the mix, you run bigger risks than a shouting match about politics or someone going home wearing the stuffing.

My older brother Pat was diagnosed with schizophrenia eight years ago this December. Drinking alcohol is not advisable on his medication. It makes him extremely drowsy. A few beers after taking his medication in 2007 and he passed out in the bathroom, slamming into the toilet and sliding it clean off the floor — and he’s not a big guy.

Honor Veterans by Acquiring Support Skills

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Honor Veterans by Acquiring Support SkillsIs there a military veteran in your life living with an untreated mental health condition? Are you uncertain whether your support is actually hurting more than helping? If so, you are not alone.

Most of us are not inherently equipped with the skills to understand what our loved ones experienced while serving their country through military service. Yet, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly 30 percent (PDF) of veterans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11 that have been treated at V.A. hospitals and clinics have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

During the month of November, Care for Your Mind (CFYM) is showcasing an innovative program that coaches loved ones in how to provide healthy support for the veteran in their life.

6 Ways to Convince an Addict to Get Help

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

addiction-300x212Many people who struggle with alcohol or drugs have a difficult time getting better. There are many reasons why these people do not get the help they need.

Here are six suggestions on how to convince a person dealing with substance abuse to get help.

Room for Misery & Room for Joy: My Story

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Room for Misery & Room for Joy: My StoryMost people who have been sober longer than a year are asked to give a “lead” — to tell their story. Mine was structurally simple, covering what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. Having only drank for three years, my addiction story is pretty straightforward: I stopped guzzling down mood-altering beverages.

My depression story, however, is not.

There are too many circles and uneven ends to fit into any neat, compact narrative. It seems as though the longer you dance with the demon of depression, the more embracing you become of different health philosophies and the more tolerant of unanswered questions.

Is it open-mindedness or desperation?

I don’t know.

What Goes on Inside an Intervention?

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

What Goes on Inside an Intervention?Interventions have become a household word for the general public, thanks to television shows such as “Celebrity Rehab” and “Intervention.” Although an intervention is not necessary in every situation, some situations benefit greatly from one. Every situation is different, but most interventions do follow a similar structure.

An intervention is a planned event where friends and family members face an addict about his or her problems. An intervention is carefully planned and provides a forum for family members and loved ones to confront the problem and express their concerns, in the hope that a person will enter treatment.

Not the Man I Used to Know

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Not the Man I Used to KnowEarly in my sobriety, I became friendly with a university professor who regularly attended my home group meeting. This person taught political science, and I enjoyed our conversations about current events, especially discussions around the Middle East, as Israeli and Palestinian tensions were peaking during this period. He was a supportive friend, and encouraged me to mentor another newcomer who later became one of my very best friends.

A short time into our friendship, the professor showed up late to our meeting and was disruptive throughout the hour. He stood up several times in the middle of other people sharing, washed his face in the small kitchenette sink, and had several coughing fits. It was odd, but I didn’t know enough to confront him or suggest he leave the meeting.

Returning to Work after Addiction Treatment

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Returning to Work after TreatmentEvery year, thousands of white-collar professionals enter treatment for addiction to alcohol and drugs. In treatment they are taught new skills for living productive and fulfilled lives without mind-altering substances. After completing a 30- to 90-day inpatient program, possibly with some additional time in a less restrictive sober living community, they return to work.

In their absence, not much has changed back at the office; the expectations and associated stress have continued without a break. These newly sober professionals are inserted back into a culture from where they came and where they drank.

How to Help a High-Functioning Alcoholic in Denial

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

How to Help a High-Functioning Alcoholic in DenialHigh-functioning alcoholics might be one of the most dangerous types. They often are in denial about their alcoholism. They don’t realize how hard their drinking is on family members and friends, and since they seem to function normally, they don’t see a problem with it.

High-functioning alcoholics do not fit the “drunk” stereotype. They might reason that because they go to work and school, interact with their family, manage a household, and fulfill their everyday responsibilities, they can’t possibly have an alcohol problem.

Recent Comments
  • Pearliegirl: Amazing! And thank you to all of you bold enough to share a piece of you. I’m an author of this...
  • Jeannie: I am almost 65 and have ADHD Adult……I did not out grow it, but though out my adult life, I have...
  • Rockybdc: What’s prompting me to write was your inclusion of the serenity and third step prayers. I am an...
  • Ellie: Where did you get all this information about Sparks from?? Can you provide a bibliography please!!
  • melvin: Hi Jonah, I agree with you that managing behavior responded to anger works well in terms of avoidance of...
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