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.

About Us

“When we came into recovery we felt that our life was over but it had barely begun. 

Your very best years are ahead of you. Things do and continue to get better, and better.” 

A bit about us and what we hope to achieve in this blogsite.

Paul Henry, principal blogger and researcher, has contributed to various other addiction based websites such as  Addictionland , Klen + Sobr and  Recovery SI

This blog is written for active and recovering alcoholics (and those suffering and recovering from substance and behaviour addiction) and those who love and live with them, by alcoholics and addicts in recovery.

This blog started off as a blogsite that mixed ancedotal, experiential knowledge of being an alcoholic/addict in recovery with the very latest neuropsychological research into addiction and recovery.

It sought to mix experimental evidence with the evidence of lived experience.

As time progressed over the past year, the head started taking over the heart and the blog became more research based and less experienced based.

Now we have decided to make this blog solely about the experience of addiction and recovery.

It will not be from the head but will use the language of the heart instead to pass on what we have learnt about this illness and recovery from it.

We believe that sharing stories is one of the most profound ways to pass on knowledge and it has been since time immemorial.

Sharing our stories of illness and recovery are intrinsic to 12 step groups also and to getting well.

Stories can literally transform lives. Hopefully our stories will touch your heart too.

Recovery was a journey from our deluded heads to our hearts. But it starts with the heart saying I have had enough, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!

We will still mention research in passing but not in detail and we do also refer you to  sister blog if you would like to study or read the lastest neuro-scientific and neuro psychologcal research into this disease and disorder of addictive behaviors.

There are also various pages on this blog which talk in detail about the neuropsychology of addiction and recovery, so please have a look around as there is a library of information and research on this blogsite if you care to look around.

The real aim of this blog is that you identify with what is being written about and that it hopefully spurs you on in your recovery from addictive behaviours.

We hope to carry a message of hope, that you can recover for addictive behaviours.

Addictive behaviours are potentially fatal.

Recovery is the best thing we have ever done in our lives and we hope you can join us in recovery.

Life has been transformed and is so much better and fulfilling than any of us could have imagined – when we came into recovery we felt that our life was over but it had barely begun.

Your best years are ahead of you.

Our sister blog looks at the neuroscience of addiction and recovery in a more academic  style, setting out a conceptual framework which puts emotional processing and regulation deficits at the heart of addiction.

http://insidethealcoholicbrain.com/

 

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Sober Bloggers Directory

 

We have moved Theme!?

As you can see The Alcoholics Guide to Alcoholism has moved to a new blog theme!

This blog theme will hopefully be more easy to read and more in keeping with my intention to keep blogs below 600 words and to be more about recovery from addiction rather than the disease/disorder of addictive behaviour.

However some readers may have an issue with reading on top of a visual image/photograph?

Let me know if you find it kinda difficult reading this new blog?

A TIP – scroll the words as you read  up to the top of the page where it is uniformly grey and easy to read.

That’s what I do anyway.

I liked and picked  it because it catches that desperate loneliness of walking the beach in the rain at the end of my alcoholism.

Trying to work out your future when it felt so bleak and devoid of hope. Reminds me of when I was so confused about what the hell had happened to me and why my life had turned out so miserably?

I remember this beach walks very well indeed.

I live 5-10  minutes from the beach. I would escape there in the rain because I knew there would no one there.

I could be alone in my desperation.

By this stage I felt no one knew what I was going through or no one could help. I was beyond human aid, but in a way I had not comprehended yet.

You know you are in a desperate place when you can get no enjoyment out of walking on a beach.

Being on a beach with my wife, friends, family or with my dogs made me more acutely aware than anywhere else of my utter desolation, my absolute disconnection with all the good things in life.

In the last 9 months of my active alcoholism I walked the beach while in alcoholic psychosis, until the hallucinations got too severe and  me too fearfully paranoid resorted to living in the attic room in our house.

 

Inside the alcoholic brain has moved into The Alcoholics Guide to Alcholism’s old theme as   I felt the old theme for Inside the Alcoholic Brain was way too wordy and off putting for potential readers.

I have also lost one of the three columns on the blog page in order to make the blog site easier to read. I hope you agree?

Please drop me a comment to let me know if you think the changes I have made to this blog help it or hinder it,  have improved the readability and accessibility of this blog or not?

If you are still walking that beach please get in touch?

There is a solution to your problem.