Alcohol abuse recovery is very possible. It is not necessarily easy, and it has many unexpected twists and turns, and it is impacted by many psychological and spiritual and physical issues.
It can be a "dark night of the soul", out of which tremendous growth can happen, or it can result in death, a slow painful death, or a quick death from violence.
The alcohol abuse recovery path can involve any number of recovery vehicles, many involving the 12 step paths like AA or Na or OA or SA, and others paths may involve tools like Rational Recovery.
Codependence is often an issue, as are family of origin issues. For example, if your parents or grandparents were alcoholic, you may deal with shame based family secrets which impact generations of your family.
I know that my family is alcoholic way back on both sides, and issues of sexual abuse to my aunt by her father, my maternal grandfather, did not begin to circulate until I was in my 50's, which has truely impacted my cousins in a most cruel way.
All of those issues will cause you to lose focus on what you want to create in terms of recovery on occasion, more frequently in the early days of your recovery work.
I know you hear the phrase "keep coming back, it works" around the tables of AA frequently, and what those AA denizens mean is that if you keep thinking about the steps and the meeting topics and the shared experiences more frequently than you think about using, you will stay sober, which could be the way the Higher Power works your miracle.
And now the scientists using new technologies are confirming that our brains are plastic and change depending on what we focus our attention on. We formulate what I will call recovery circuits in the brain which can become, with regular practice, stronger than the using circuits.
From a Wall Street Journal article by Sharon Begley
"Through attention, UCSF's Michael Merzenich and a colleague wrote, "We choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves."
The discovery that neuroplasticity cannot occur without attention has important implications. If a skill becomes so routine you can do it on autopilot, practicing it will no longer change the brain. And if you take up mental exercises to keep your brain young, they will not be as effective if you become able to do them without paying much attention."
One of the things that Begley doesn't mention is that the Central Nervous system processes sensory data at the rate of seven bits every 1/18th second, so we can change our attentional focus very fast and very frequently, which can lead to what feels like a roller coaster of emotions and a whirlwind of thoughts.
But once we have an understanding of how the brain processes that sensory data, we can begin to focus our attention on a few thoughts, rather than many, and perhaps get our attention so focused that we begin to feel calm no matter what is happening outside of our bodies.
So what do I focus my thoughts on? I have always felt better when thinking about what I have to be greatful for and the Serenity Prayer has helped me switch gears in a healthy thinking and feeling direction many thousands of times.
But now there are computer based biofeedback and brain fitness tools which can help me manage the speed of my attentional change and my physiology too.
Michael Merzenich, Ph.D., mentioned in the quote above has helped create a brain fitness tool which enhances attention and encourages neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, the rewiring of the brain and the growth of new neurons, which is truely handicapped by ethyl alcohol.
His program, which has been marketed primarily to Senior Citizens as a tool to ward of alzheimers, can be beneficial for recovering people because it encourages neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, which we really need in our early days of recovery. Please click on the link below to discover more about the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program.
In the early days of my recovery I was very anxious to find tools which would help insure my recovery. I was unsure if doing what the veterans said to do would work for me, because they failed to mention that the practice of the tools had to much more frequent than one time per day. Prayer needs to be frequent enough to allow me to become "prayerfull" most of the time, and when I practice a tool where I can see the results on a computer screen or in some other kind of feedback media, I feel relieved, and when the research says that I am doing what I need to do to grow new neurons, I am particularly relieved.
The Lumosity program is one of those tools, where feedback about my progress is readily available. In fact, all three of the brain fitness tools linked to here provide variable challenge and feedback. You will see your self improve your alcohol abuse recovery.
Did you know your heart has a brain, which learns and makes decisions independently of the other brain? It does, and it makes great recovery sense to learn this simple technology, which you can call up on demand, sort of like payday and Friday once meant, ummm, gosh, I have forgotten....
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.