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WILMINGTON, NC, December 19, 2022 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Alcoholism and drug addiction (AUD) continues to become more serious all of the time. According to a recent article from CNBC Opioids: Drug overdose deaths among seniors have more than tripled in 2 decades (cnbc.com). "Drug overdose deaths more than tripled among people age 65 and older during the past two decades while deaths from alcohol abuse increased more than 18% from 2019 to 2020, according to data published Wednesday by the National Center for Health Statistics."
More than 800,000 seniors suffered from drug addiction and 2.7 million suffered from alcohol addiction in 2020, according to separate data from the Health and Human Services Department.
According to Harriet Hunter, "If it was not possible for alcoholics in recovery to have a profound change in perspective, many of us would be dead by now. Our literature tells us that we've been given "the keys of the kingdom," or GOD (Gift of Desperation) in exchange for a humiliating, deplorable, and despicable death. As alcoholics/addicts with a program of recovery, we've sold our soul to a power greater than ourselves, in order to live a life of gratitude with an enlightened and sober heart instead.
Don't think we didn't live for the holidays, those exciting occasions that gave us a qreen light to drink or drug to our hearts content, without impunity except for our immediate satisfaction.
You don't need a reason to consider these 15 points to a sober holiday because if you're reading these now, that's reason enough. Please feel free to add your own, but if you're new, or know someone who is new to the thought of being a risky drinker, they could prove useful, and safe, These are some of the tools and common practices that still work today, regardless of how many days you have strung together. They mean nothing though, if not practiced:
1. If you don't pick up the first drink, you won't get drunk Sounds "trite," I know. But each time you drink, it's not how MUCH you drink that snags you under, it's what that first drink does for you! Alcohol is the solution to most all of our pain and suffering, allowing us to postpone or evade that pain entirely. And let's not forget, self-loathing! It is the elixir that frees us from ourself: our scared, emotional, immature selves and gives us instead, that feeling that we've arrived in a way, never felt before.
2. You have no idea the damage that's possible AFTER that first drink. I can assure you as a blackout drinker, this is true. Did you kill or injure someone? Steal money? Lie, fight or ripped clothes off in front of a crowd? Land in jail as if in a nightmare? Oh, and there's more. If you can be honest, you're either fortunate or in denial. The ones who never make it in recovery suffer from continual relapses, while denial leads the pack.
3. Don't "romance the drink." If you are newly sober, this one's for you: When with others, realize that no one cares WHAT you're drinking, so long as it doesn't interfere with their drinking! Prepare yourself ahead of time and be smart: carry soda water, iced tea, or soda, and don't stay longer than you must. You don't even need to excuse yourself or say goodbye! Just exit state left. You'll hear about it the next day or so and no one will reprimand you because they were too involved celebrating.
4. Examine your Motives for Going in the First Place: Are you orchestrating the Holiday event? Will you be receiving an MVP Award? Do you have something to prove to them or yourself or are you attending to not disappoint others? All of these would be considered wrong reasons, because (a) you're just not that important, and (b) after the 2nd or 3rd drink, no one is going to care or notice you're there or gone. But if you have a drinking concern, you should care.
5. Bring Your Own Car. No easier way to get out of Dodge then to have your own set of wheels.
6. Bring some hard sugar-free candy with you. Candy helps to ease the pressure of anxiety, and self-consciousness, making it easier to change our attention to something else other than what we THINK others are thinking about us. (Because…. they're not, it's our ego dancing for joy, preparing itself for the drink we think will save us from ourselves!)
7. THINK the drink through to the other side. Prepare yourself ahead of time by practicing in front of the mirror. What will you say if sweet Aunt Betty trys to corner you about getting her a drink? Practice saying NO and offer a gentle suggestion that you will ask someone else to get it for her. You cannot, rather, should not, put yourself and your sobriety in that position, in ANY position that could compromise your sobriety. What will you say when someone asks if "you'd like a drink?"
8. Have Telephone Numbers at the ready and handy to use. This is why your sponsor harps about practicing picking up the telephone. More than once it has saved my life and it will save yours too. But YOU have to do the work.
9. Print this out and add to it, anything and everything that speaks to YOU personally about how to protect your precious gift of sobriety.
10. Remember, this is just another day like any other with the exception of the spiritual and family undertones of resentments that ring with it. Holidays are hard for everyone (no, we have no monopoly on pain although we think we do). However, you really do have the control you desire to walk through them clean and sober if that's your goal.
11. PLEASE, recite this after me: We only have to stay sober JUST FOR THE REST OF THIS DAY. This is the miracle of sobriety! And this is how it works:
Not New Year's Day, Christmas Eve, With or Without Family, at an upcoming funeral or event: Just for the rest of today. So, count how many more hours of the day you have left where your feet are, (subtract sleeping, eating, working.) Now you're left with several little hours. Who can't stay sober just for these few remaining hours? We stay sober just for today because tomorrow isn't born yet.
I used to tell folks who want to quit, to put a rubber band around your wrist and whenever that sinking feeling in your stomach starts to twist your thinking, as you sweat with anticipation and fear of how soon you can drink. Snap that band and change your thinking! Help someone else, do something nice for someone, reach up and out of your comfort zone and try something different. These tricks work if you're willing to work it.
12. The single solitary fact remains: IF YOU HAVE 24-hours under your belt already, there is NO reason WHY you cannot do this again! It is the perfect opportunity to PRACTICE THE PRINCIPLES OF SOBRIETY IN ALL OUR AFFAIRS. And from the moment we wake in the morning, life is nothing but one big practice lesson.
It is our THINKING that wants to make or break us!
Your thinking has one mission and one mission only: to help you fail. Our self-centered ego is doing pushups outside the door hoping and praying you're feeling vulnerable enough, scared and fearful enough that it can convince you to take a drink. And without some "thing" bigger than you to count on for help? The chances of it succeeding are pretty good.
So, the moral of this story is, IF by a miracle we are still alive tomorrow, we hit our knees in thanks for another day sober, and ask that thing bigger than us to keep us sober for this day only. It's as simple as that.
Make up your own personal safety guide, or add to this, and then share this with others. You will be helping not just you, but the other person having a tough time too. But with your help, they might stay sober another day!
13. Check yourself into rehab. We think when we're inebriated, that we have life by (well, you know where) but that's where the danger begins: Many of us return to wherever home is and never wake up, dying from a drug-induced overdose of alcohol, drugs, while enduring a heart-attack, liver or kidney shutdown, driving while drunk, as the list gets worse from here.
Rehab, or even a short-term detox center is the very BEST way to sober up. By allowing medical professionals to check your BAL (blood alcohol level); your other vitals and determine how to bring you out and down safely, you're letting yourself know that you really ARE worth something. If you cherish your family and others who care for you, this is a great time to do yourself a favor. While you're at it, maybe ask for a physical since chances are you've been putting it off to drink instead.
14. THERE IS NOTHING IN THIS WORLD THAT A DRINK WILL MAKE BETTER." You may find that euphoric rush of adrenaline we live for in the moment. Although the truth is, after that first drink it's downhill from there because we can't stop! NOTHING GETS BETTER WITH ALCOHOL, beginning with ourselves!
15. LASTLY, know that you never have to feel alone again. There are others, thousands of us, just like you, who are dying of loneliness and think a drink will make that loneliness go away; which, of course, it never ever will. But what will take us out of ourselves is being with others just like ourselves: who drink just like us but one is too much and a hundred is never enough.
In the telephone directory or on line you will find AA meetings 24 hours of every single day. Google https://Intherooms.com for starters, or SMART Recovery, or ANY internet or recovery where there are round-the-clock meetings of every addiction imaginable
Look up a local AA meeting which is where the heart of recovery begins for us as a drinker, and go. You are under no obligation to say a thing other than listen and be with others. Of course, someone is ready to answer any questions should you have them or just be an observer. The secret is, while you're there with us, you won't go "there," to the corner bar or liquor store. And trying a meeting of your choice may be the very best that could ever happen to you.
While there are many treatment approaches and programs, what is common to successful individuals who find themselves within a substance abuse program is the shared pain and the loneliness, often with an ongoing support system for the person battling the disease. That support system is what Harriet Hunter offers in "Miracles of Recovery: Daily Meditations of Hope, Courage and Faith."
Hunter continues to receive rave reviews for her work from readers and reviewers alike. Vernita Taylor of Readers Favorite stated, "Miracles of Recovery: Daily Meditations of Hope, Courage, and Faith by Harriet Hunter is a great choice if you're struggling with addiction because it offers a full year of inspiration and affirmations which I enjoyed. I see this book as a mentor or sponsor that is walking by your side and helping to lead you to a better, more improved you while teaching you how to deal with your stressors. The best teacher is someone who has been there and done that, and this book doesn't disappoint. The author knows first-hand what it takes and how it feels to be addicted. If you need help along your journey, pick up a copy of this book; it's highly recommended."
Melanie Barton Bragg, Licensed Holistic Psychotherapist said, "Harriet shares her journey of grief, loss, and eventually arriving at a place of peace. We are privileged to have an inside look at how she has and is recovering. This daily meditation guide provides thought-provoking ideas to meditate on throughout the day and has been useful as discussion starters in my therapy groups. The usual 12-step daily meditation books have been in print for decades. This book is a refreshing addition to the standard recovery tools."
Anthony Capozzolli of Dismantled Life Podcast said, "Miracles of Recovery has been a feast for my recovering soul. Every page is filled with love and helpful insights that lead to discovery. I read each page by date and randomly turn to other pages for an additional spiritual hug when I need one. It's almost as if Harriet wrote her wonderful book for me. Page after page hits so close to home I often tear up from positive awareness and clarity of emotion." Readers can find more 5-Star reviews from others on Amazon.
Miracles of Recovery received the first place President's Award in nonfiction from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.
Since her walk into recovery in 1999, Harriet has had one primary purpose: to show others how they can find hope and achieve their miracles while staying sober with a vision and determination to never go backwards, one day at a time.
Using her experience strength and hope, Harriet strives to be a conduit of hope and encouragement to others in their addictions, by showing them what continues to work for others. With practical tools, principles and promises as found in A.A., and other 12-step programs, she mirrors examples of how anyone can be free from the bondage of self, regardless of their situation.
With each purchase of a personalized autograph copy of Miracles of Recovery from her website, Hunter provides a no-charge copy of her e-book, "Your Daily Reprieve; How To Maintain Long-Term Sobriety Serenely Just For Today" in PDF format.
Details are available at her website at https://harriethunter.org/product/miracles-of-recovery-autographed-paperback-2/. All of her books are available at Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Harriet-Hunter/e/B07JR632FX?ref=sr_ntt_srch_ln ... 622&sr=8-1
Harriet Hunter is available for media interviews and speaking engagements and can be contacted using the information below or by email at [email protected]. More information, including a journaling course, no-charge audios, e-books, handouts and other gifts can be found by visiting https://www.harriethunter.org.
About Harriet Hunter:
With over 23 years of sobriety, Harriet has worked with hundreds of women who suffer with alcoholism and drug addiction to help them find peace in active sobriety, and sponsors women both face-to-face and online. Readers can find her in the global recovery site, Intherooms.com, where she's been given her own room and brings Miracles to life each Thursday at 11:00 A.M. EST.
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