Truly Understanding Your Condition

condition

Even the highest echelon of modern medicine still has some learning to do when it comes to alcoholism, addiction, and the mental and emotional illness that so often accompanies the disease. The book Alcoholics Anonymous and the 2-Step program of recovery outlined within it have been a benchmark in understanding and restoring thousands of alcoholics and addicts to life. The book itself goes into much great detail about the disease of alcoholism and has helped people understand alcoholism and its solution for over 80 years. Both alcoholics and non-alcoholics alike can benefit greatly from the information contained within Alcoholics Anonymous. Of course, science has improved greatly since the book was written and now offers a more complete understanding of the effects of alcoholism and addiction on the body and the mind. Yet for all its advancement, modern medicine still has not been able to offer a better explanation of, reasons…

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Scheduling Recovery

recovery

It doesn’t take much for life to get busy, even for those of us who are new in recovery. It can happen so quickly that we forget the fear and terror of our previous lives in alcoholism and addiction. Initially, we were so relieved and so grateful for sobriety and recovery. Being returned to life and mostly free from our disease, we often forget the things that got us here and begin letting our lives get busy. We have jobs, friends, family obligations, exercise, errands to run, meals to cook, and naps to take. It’s okay if we miss a couple of meetings here and there, right? Maybe, but most likely not. Think of how unknowingly we lost ourselves to our disease over time. It likely happened little by little, one thing at a time. We just had a drink in the morning on weekends, but soon we were drinking…

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Can the 12-Steps Help with Other Addictions?

retreat

Alcoholism and addiction are often misunderstood terms. There is a difference between a hard drinker and an alcoholic, although it is a subtle difference. To understand it, most people would have to be intimately familiar with what makes one an alcoholic. Addiction is another term that gets misused too often.  Alcoholism and addiction are manifestations of the same disease. For ease of use, the disease is most often called alcoholism — the difference being that alcoholism can manifest with the symptoms of drinking or drug addiction. This may already be getting confusing, but reading the book Alcoholics Anonymous can go a long way in clarifying these terms. Addiction is the scientific name for becoming chemically dependent on a substance or behavior. So addiction is also a real medical diagnosis of its own, and synonymous with the diagnosis of alcoholism. Nobody is really “addicted” to their favorite song or their favorite…

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Outside Issues: Emotional Health

emotions

For those of us who are alcoholics or addicts, there is nothing about us or our lives that is not touched by our disease. The ways that we seek recovery and healing touch every part of us and our lives as well. So there really is no such thing as an “outside issue,” although that has become the catch-all phrase for elements of human life that do not directly involve alcoholic or addictive behaviors. In time, we will see that there really is nothing that does not relate to or impact our disease in some way. As with most things, it is a two-way street. The ways we recover and the ways we stay sick directly correlate across all our lives. This distinction is particularly easy to see with the topic of emotional health. Emotional Health Is Vital to Recovery Our emotional health, especially if left untreated, can have a…

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The Spiritual Approach to Recovery

spiritual

For most diseases that exist, there are multiple treatment options. There are very few monopolies on methodology when it comes to getting well, no matter what ails you. This holds true for alcoholism and addiction as well. There is no “one right way” to cure them, just as there is no one best antibiotic for an infection. But there are certain things that work better than others. Jaywalker Lodge believes wholeheartedly in the 12-Step program of recovery from alcoholism and addiction. Why? Because it has worked to change the lives of most of us who work here. The 12-Step program and its spiritual approach practically built Jaywalker Lodge.  Doing What Worked for Us Anybody would be happy with the method that made them well, but that wouldn’t be enough reason to recommend it to everyone. Well, it’s not our only reason. Alcoholism and addiction are a complex disease, and in…

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Letting Go of the Old

fresh start

For those who are alcoholics or addicts, it can be overwhelming to experience the newness of life in recovery. From our daily habits, to how we feel and think, to who we spend time with, to where we spend our time, everything about our lives becomes new. Even the familiar things seem fresher when we experience them from a new, sober perspective. Just waking up sober in recovery is new enough to take some getting used to. It can be even more overwhelming when we understand the vital necessity of all this unfamiliar, brand-new territory. Our lives in active alcoholism and addiction were not working — in fact, they were killing us. The good things that were in our lives were likely put at risk by our disease. If we’re lucky, we don’t need a new job or new family when we get into recovery, but it’s very likely that…

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I’m Frightened for the Alcoholic/Addict I Know. What Can I Do?

help

Alcoholism and addiction can be frightening things to witness. Not only are they devastating to the person suffering from the disease, but they are often just as devastating to all who care for that person as well. It is a tragic disease and painful for everyone involved. Thankfully, there’s a solution that is easily available to anyone who is ready, earnest, and willing to ask for help.  12-Step fellowships exist almost everywhere, hiding in plain sight. They can easily be found in your local area by a quick internet search. There are also places to go for formal help in recovering from alcoholism and addiction. Jaywalker Lodge is one of those places. We are heavily based upon the 12-Step program of recovery, with an active community of recovering men around us. But what about those who know and love someone suffering from alcoholism or addiction? What can we do in…

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Learning Healthy Coping Mechanisms

routine

Alcoholism and addiction are more than unhealthy coping mechanisms. They are a disease — one that thankfully has a solution. But living a life in active alcoholism and addiction can leave us with a host of unhealthy coping mechanisms, habits, and behaviors. The 12-Step solution goes a long way to help us reshape our behaviors, learn new habits, and stop relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms. Thankfully, there are many things we can do to improve our health and the quality of our lives at every step of recovery. A New Approach to Health Once we are willing to participate in the 12-Step program of recovery, we find ourselves and our lives being transformed in a relatively short time. There is an endless supply of things to learn and ways to improve while walking the 12-Step life throughout our recovery. However, the 12-Steps do not directly address things like our physical…

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Continuity of Care

mental health

Alcoholism and addiction—and very often, the concurrent mental and emotional health issues that accompany the disease—are not short-term problems. Alcoholism and addiction are a lifelong disease. There is no permanent cure, but there is an incredibly effective solution in the form of the 12-Steps. However, this program of recovery must be participated in daily, for as long as the individual aims to remain in recovery from their disease. Ceasing to participate in the solution invariably precedes relapse back into the disease. If the sufferer is lucky and lives to try again, they can almost always return to the solution and begin recovery again.  Like any treatment for any disease, it is best if we can avoid any detours altogether. Given the elements that make alcoholism and addiction so devastating — the physical allergy, mental obsession, and spiritual malady — it can be difficult to avoid relapse entirely. Luckily, even if…

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Character Building as a Way of Life

happy

Character building may be a vague or unfamiliar concept to many people, especially alcoholics and addicts. Those of us who have the disease usually found ourselves with little time to do anything other than what our alcoholism or addiction demanded. We had to feed the beast, no matter the cost — though the cost was usually everything. We didn’t have the time or strength to learn how to become the people we wanted to be.  Once we find the program of recovery and work the 12-Steps, we discover freedom from our disease. Now that we have the time to live the life of our dreams, we may find ourselves unequipped to do so. There was much time when we could have been learning, growing, and improving, but we were trapped by our addiction and alcoholism. This realization can leave us feeling like people left behind like it’s too little too…

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