The Consequences of Recovery from Addiction

Where would I be without my sobriety, I don’t know, most likely dead.

On the eve of my 51st birthday, I am happy to sit and reflect about where I am in life. Today I am feeling most grateful for several things none would be here if I wasn’t sober – my sobriety, my family, my career . . . my life.

photo copy 4 Only by the grace of God I am over 23 years clean and sober. I say the grace of God because I know that I would not be here, alive left to my own choice. But somehow God intervened on May 6, 1990, and the rest is history.

What I do know is that I am reflecting, hearing about Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death and thinking about the career that I have chosen as a Psychiatric Therapist. In my profession, I see so many cases of addiction, too many to state and far too many that are engraved in my brain that will not go away.

The power of addiction:

Addiction takes the form is so many ways. What I have to keep in mind is that what my addictive behavior and drug of choice is may be different than others. But the bottom line is that the feelings, emotions and self esteem are all affected and no matter how much that empty void is attempted to be filled with drugs or alcohol, the hole gets deeper.

But there is also recovery:IMG_0017

The fact that I am able to practice as a Substance Abuse Counselor and that I can help others. Getting my Masters in Social Work and practicing the principles in all areas of my life. Working to help the addict who reaches out and ask for help or who may be sitting in front of me needing direction and guidance. I am truly blessed.

There are so many cases that I have seen over the past 14 years as a Substance Abuse Counselor and more recently as a psych therapist for ER patients. Most of the people I have seen were in their active addiction, feeling hopeless, helpless and having no ability to deal with reality, looking for that escape.

That’s where I was, 23 year ago, but it got better. 

As the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book states somewhere, addicts lose the ability and power to choose. At some point, the addict can’t NOT say ‘No’ to alcohol or drugs; the addiction to their drug of choice is too powerful and will power is not enough.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Freddie Prinze, Heath Ledger, Hank Williams, Janis Joplin, John Belushi, Sid Vicous, Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix, . . . the list goes on and on.

There but for the Grace of God, go I. Thank you God for my sobriety, my life.

My anger is not towards the Addict, it’s the Addiction & their drug of choice. That’s what makes me angry.

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Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping –

As a part of a psych assessment team, I assess people on the Emergency Room on a weekly basis. I have been doing this for the past few years. One of the problems that is evident is people presenting suicidal or homicidal. Psych terminology might be that patients lack coping skills, an inability to cope with depression, or perhaps the psych client does not take their medications as directed, non compliance with psych medications. Non compliance can also mean taking illicit drugs or drinking excessive alcohol, which can lead to further depression as alcohol is a depressant.

The recommendation is that if a client/patient is feeling suicidal, especially if they are hearing voices telling them to harm themselves, call 9-1-1. Also recommend that the person call their therapist or psychiatrist.

Here are some things that can help with depressive symptoms.

  • Seek out a support group, in Houston there is a Depression, Bi-polar Support Alliance that holds meeting through out the city.
  • Make plans with other people, seek out social support and express if you are feeling depressed. Sometimes talking about feelings really helps relieve the pressure of them. Try not to isolate.
  • If your family adds to your depression, it’s okay to limit how much time you spend with them during the Holiday season.
  • Limit your alcohol intake and be aware of any taking excessive prescribed medications.
  • During the Winter Season, the more gray skies can lead to depression, be sure to open the windows and get some sunlight in your home and your life.

In the link below, the Mayo Clinic provides more tips for coping with depression during the holiday season.

Stress, depression and the holidays: Tips for coping –

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What Is Depression? Let This Animation With A Dog Shed Light On It. Has some of the best stuff on video or otherwise.

What Is Depression? Let This Animation With A Dog Shed Light On It..

This is excellent video on Depression.


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ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas: ‘I am dealing with addiction’ to alcohol –


ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas: ‘I am dealing with addiction’ to alcohol –

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Flesh-eating drug gains popularity

This is scary stuff.

Flesh-eating drug gains popularity.

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Obamacare open enrollment: What you need to know –


Obamacare open enrollment: What you need to know –

If you have questions, this might help.



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Shawn Decker

Great post by Shawn Decker regarding Tommy Morrison.

Shawn Decker.

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Sex Addiction? Dangerous Liaisons

Anthony Weiner and sex addiction?

Dangerous Liaisons –  Psychology Today.

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Cory Monteith, Celebrity, and the New Face of Heroin | Phoenix House


Cory Monteith, Celebrity, and the New Face of Heroin | Phoenix House.

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POZ July/August #189

My favorite HIV Educators Gwen and Shawn.

July/August #189.

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