Here’s to 2016! But First, 2015 In Review

We had three times as many views this year as it 2014!!

2015 was a funny old year for this blogsite.

I decided to change the personality of this blogsite from academic to more personal, from explaining the condition of addiction to personally describing how recovery has been and is for me. How my addictive behaviours affect me and what they have been borne out of, e.g. post trauma.

I have tried to write more in the language of the heart to connect on a more emotional, spiritual and psychological level. I also spent a period writing for newcomers and their families.

Next year, 2016, will see a greater immersion into the personal, with a step into treatment for trauma which I have had to delay for two months or so due to professional commitments.

This can be delayed no longer although the thought of treatment for PTSD makes my guts flip over just thinking about it. It has been creating an undercurrent of distress for months now.

It needs to be done and will be – join me as I write about this therapeutic process.

I believe my addictive behaviours, of which I suffer a wide variety, stem from a combination of my genetic inheritance and the fertile ground of childhood trauma.

Genes can be altered in life via behaviours and the multitude of maladaptive behaviours I inherited as a result of my childhood can be re-learnt via treatment too I believe.

I believe my addictive behaviours grew out of the combination of these maladaptive behaviours, the emotion dysfunction of a dysfunctional family and the persistent negative self schemata I have ingrained in my mind since childhood.

For years in recovery I thought my “alcoholism talked to me” like a ghostly entity in my brain  and that was it. I have continually discovered that the negative voices in my head are in fact mainly the discordant echoing voices of others from my past. These have shaped my life and my addictions.

I learnt these views of me, thus I can unlearn them.

Trauma is the source of my  addictive behaviours and my ongoing negative self schemata. I believe these can be changed to more realistic, positive self talking by going back to the source, re-experiencing it and reprocessing it in my long term memory to create a new self schema.

Unfortunately, or tragically, the legacy of our pasts lives on in the neural networks of our brains until these are re-addressed. The behaviours I needed to survive a traumatic upbringing are no longer required, they have way outlived their usefulness.

I need  a reboot.

What I learnt and was told lives on but does not need to live on too much longer. It has taken nearly a decade of recovery to be ready for this next journey in my recovery. I now feel ready for it.

Much of my profound condition of addictive behaviours is based on an inherent emotional immaturity that life experience has helped create, an arrested development in my emotional development.

I was not allowed to mature properly, to grow up.

I “grew up” too quickly without actually having had a maturing emotionally.

In 2016 I will attempt to continue to “grow up”. It doesn’t sound as good as recovery from my spiritual malady but it seems more real.

And being real and realistic have never been my strongest points!

There are basic and interesting things I want to achieve in 2016.

Like other people I look forward to 2016. For the first time, I look forward to the next stage in my journey of discovery, in the next stages of this second chance at life, which is what it is.

I am very very grateful for this second chance at life. I also appreciate that I have a progressive illness and as a result my recovery has to continue to progress also.

Thank you to all of lovely people who visit, read, like and even comment on this blogsite. Due to time constraints I have not been able to check out other blogs as much as I would like but this will change in 2016.

Happy New Year everyone, keep safe! See you in 2016.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 35,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Hi everyone and thanks for reading my blogs this year. We were getting deep into trauma and co-dependency and then life took over. I ended up on television and then I found out that my anonymous self will be having paper published in an academic journal in January 2016 (the first of many hopefully)!

So I have been having a period of self actualisation which seems to have helped lots with my mental state. I feel strangely less neurotic, more fulfilled and whole and have become much more easy going.

I never thought being published with have such a profound affect.

All my life I have struggled to be heard. Growing up in such a dysfunctional family meant that I often felt unheard, dismissed and emotionally muted.

I now feel that internal voice has now begun to be heard.

I still plan to go into EMDR treatment early January to process the emotional trauma from my childhood.

2016 holds much promise.

All given to me by recovery.

I am so grateful, so so grateful for my recovery that I can’t express it in words.

In four days time i celebrate my tenth year in recovery. Thank God!

God Bless you over this festive period, often a tough period for alcoholcs in recovery.

Surround yourself with those who understand and can support you, that is my solution to this alcohol fueled period of the year.

It is a time for haves rather than have-nots and self pity can often seep into my mind. This year it has been replaced big time with gratitude.

Every moment of every day is precious. It is just realising that. It takes time to realise it takes time.

“We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.”


The Promises. (From pages 83-84 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous).


Have a great one!

Santa is almost ready! Have a lovely and merry Christmas everyone!




My Name Is…And I’m An Alcoholic


My Name Is… And I’m An Alcoholic

1 × 60mins for C5, TX January 13th 2016, 10pm

In a country awash with booze, 8 million Britons are considered alcohol dependent – and all of us know someone whose affection for the bottle is damaging to their health, their friends and family, their careers. In this groundbreaking documentary, My Name is… And I’m an Alcoholic tells the frank story of 8 people and their tempestuous relationship with alcohol: from their first drink, their love affair with booze and their despair as they hit rock bottom – to what it took to get sober as they built a new life in recovery.

Alcohol is society’s great leveller – alcoholism doesn’t care about where we come from, where we live, or how successful we are. Far from obeying the stereotype we all imagine, the alcoholics we hear from include a professional cellist, too stressed to play on stage without a bottle of vodka disguised as water at her feet; the former Editor of the Sun, too anxious to run Britain’s biggest newspaper without being bolstered by booze; a single mother, drinking through her loneliness and her shame at her failed marriage; a criminal who became alcoholic aged 13, grieving the loss of his mother; a local GP drinking to escape the problems of her patients, and a student counsellor who relapsed just days before filming.

As much a story of the struggle as it is one of hope, this sensitive and resonant film takes us straight into the heart of one of society’s most prevalent and misunderstood addictions.

MY NAME IS… AND I’M AN ALCOHOLIC – promo from Knickerbockerglory TV on Vimeo.


Acceptance is Always the Key!

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Glad to see other people have the same markings on their Big Book too! I have the same fluorescent yellow marker pen scrolls and deep pen lines across the page and under the words.

I was so desperate not to let a word go by, and to understand everything the Big Book of AA has to teach about alcoholism and the solution to it that I tied my developing understanding to the pages with yellow and black ink lines. Often returning to also add these #s and to note well, NB!

Every time I read it I got new understanding. The longer I have gone on in recovery the more I have seen and understood.

Reading the BB over the years help me see how my brain is recovering as I see things more clearly with every passing years. It reminds me of previous times when I have read it, gives me a memory snapshot of where I was at in previous periods of recovery. What I used to think and feel compared to what i think and feel now. What I agreed with then and what I disagree with now.

How I have healed.

It is strange how I see other things, not underlined, as gaining more in importance as recovery goes on.

This excerpt above is from a “share” or a personal story at the back of the Big Book. The story is known by two names, “Doctor, Alcoholic, Addict” or “Acceptance was the Answer” depending on which edition you bought.

It is referred to so often in meetings that it is almost a supplement to the first 164 pages.  It has common sense words of wisdom which can greatly help with your recovery – I keep returning to it over and over again.

Here is a link to it, have a read and hopefully it will help you in the same profound way it helped me and millions of others!

It is the last story in this section –

Here he is speaking at an AA convention. I have found these “shares” crucial to my own recovery in terms of  identifying with other other recovering alcoholics.

It is in listening to their shares that I could see that I am like these people and they act in a way I do, feel in a way I do, think and make decisions in a way I do and even have had experiences throughout their lives and drinking careers which are also so like mine so I guess I figured that  I must be a sort of alcoholic like all these people.

Maybe I was an alcoholic too!?


The journey in recovery often starts with identifying with others, their problems and how they have solved their problems.

I hope it does for you too!

My very first meeting I identified with the AAs talking about how difficult they found living life on life’s terms, their emotional disease etc. It was this that convinced me I was like them. Not the drinking or drugging, but the internal spiritual malady, the ISM that goes with the alcohol to create alcoholism.

Identifying with others like me, saved my life and is the reason I have been recovery ten years.

You are not alone.

It Works, If You Work It!?

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One of this blog’s  original purposes was to inform newcomers to recovery, and their loved ones, what to expect in mainly (but not exclusively) 12 step recovery groups, with the hope that this might help in taking the first crucial step towards recovery.

Not only recovery from alcoholism, addiction or other addictive behaviours but also from codependency, co-alcoholism which loved ones often suffer from too.

In recent weeks we have taken detours to examine other co-morbid or co-occurring conditions which contribute to severity of addictive disorders. Here we return for now to our original intention – to pass on what we have been freely given.

To pass on how you can recover form addictive behaviours and the evidence of the success of 12 step groups in this pursuit.

This interview below is from a expert into the Psychology of Recovery in 12 steps and other treatment modalities like CBT and Motivational Enhancement. His name is Joseph Nowinsky Ph.D.

The language of the interview is not too academic. In fact, it uses pretty straight forward language to explain clearly what happens in 12 step groups and what are the main ingredients in successful long term recovery. 

I have found myself that whatever I put into my recovery I got back in terms of improved emotional well being.

If you put the work in, you will recover just like me.

That is the message of Hope. If you want recovery bad enough, the chances are, you will recover.

This academic and therapist explains why this is the case, citing numerous academic studies which seem to be in line with the experiential and anecdotal wisdom handed down to me via 12 step recovery groups.

It kinda shores on what is known in these groups which is great as it helps dispel any existing doubt about their effectiveness.

Earlier this year, his new book looked at 12 Step outcomes. It’s called, If You Work It It Works! The Science Behind 12 Step Recovery . It is a jargon-free look at how, 12 Step modality help alcoholics/addicts.
Recently a growing chorus of critics has questioned the science behind this model. In this book, Dr. Joseph Nowinski calls upon the latest research, as well as his own seminal Project MATCH study, to show why systematically working a Twelve Step program yields predictable and successful outcomes.
He discusses these in this interview.

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