A Special Guest Blog Who Remains Anonymous ~ And Who Helps Others Recover From Alcoholism…


Welcome Recovery Friends, Seekers, And New Visitors ~ Happy Memorial Day To All Veterans & Active Military!

 

 

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Hello friends!

I want to introduce you to a special guest who prefers to stay anonymous, but she knows all the in’s and out’s about “Alcoholism”…

For the sake of me not losing track of my good friend, I’ll call him “Paul” for this blog post today. I’ll share with you both of his websites with you as they both have excellent advice, help, resources, and are very educational to help understand more about alcoholism, the disease.

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* The first site I’ll share is their wonderful Recovery Blog here on WordPress called; http://alcoholicsguide.wordpress.com
I have spent reading many of the blog posts, and even though my main addiction was with addicted compulsive gambling, I did drink a bot too much when I gambled. I also could see how very easily I could have turned into a full-blown alcoholic by switching addictions from gambling to becoming an alcoholic after I entered treatment and recovery from addicted gambling. This blog has some awesome information and insights as well. Here is more about Paul’s blog The ALCOHOLICS GUIDE *
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Welcome

The main aim of this blog is to discuss this condition of alcoholism/addiction in an open inclusive manner that gives alcoholics, families of alcoholics, those who treat and research them a more candid insight into their condition and thus why and how recovery works!

Hopefully understanding how the brain changes, via neuroplasticity, will give hope to many that change does come, recovery does happen and does make positive changes to the brain which alter our emotions, thinking and behaviour for the better.  It alters our stress systems, emotional regulation, alters our neurotransmission. It alters who we are, and how we see the world and act in it. How we relate to our fellow human beings.

This is in addition to emotional catharsis, change in consciousness, recovering our relationships with wives, husbands, children, parents, other family, friends, community, or in terms of  career, social standing, you name it, it all gets better through time. This is recovery for us, the repairing  and recovering of that which has been damaged by our alcoholism, the clearing away the wreckage of the past .

Hopefully this too will help motivate others to keep doing the things that work, because they work, it can be demonstrated, measured even. We seek to supplement what you have already not substitute, to add to, not take way. To illuminate not confuse.

We do Recover!! Yes, we do…and encourage you go to visit their blog!

*Now this next site in which Paul is a big part of, is all the about how alcohol effects our brain.  http://insidethealcoholicbrain.com/  …
Here on their website, you’re going to learn, become aware, and be shown insights and information on just how our brain works when we become an alcoholic. It is so informative, and educates how harmful alcohol really is! Here is a little preview:

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THE PURPOSE OF THEIR WEBSITE…
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About:

As some of the writing done here is by recovering persons we wish to keep our identities private and remain anonymous. Hence we will not provide contact information here but please,  contribute to this blog via the comments utility. We, as a collection of writers, are very interested in your views in contributing to the sum of knowledge regarding the theory and experience of alcoholism, addiction and recovery.

The collective term we will used in various blogs apart form when one is talking from a purely personal experience.  This blog will be quite academic but we also have another, sister blog –  http://alcoholicsguide.wordpress.com/about/

which talks in more layperson, user-friendly language but essentially addressing similar points as here.

We do not propose to have all the answers, so please take what is useful for you and leave the rest.

We are supportive of all therapeutic strategies that help alcoholics and their families recover and do not endorse one over the other. We do not have all the answers but in the last several years have come across new ways to look at the problem and to inform the solution.

Our purpose is to create a forum for discussing how accurately scientific research, covering neuroscience and it’s associated fields of research, describe alcoholics and addicts, especially those in “recovery” in terms of theoretical conception and diagnostic  description.

In simple terms, how well do these theories and diagnostic suggestions match the experiential reality of alcoholics in recovery or long term abstinence. How accurately do they model the reasons for these individuals relapse, for example? How effectively do these models and diagnostic criteria point the way to effective treatment of these chronic conditions? How well do they allow the families and loved ones of these suffering individuals to comprehend their neurobiological disease and why it makes them act the way they do?

Most theories of addiction, from a neuroscientific perspective are based on neurobiological definition, and experimentally driven. They test theoretical paradigms in controlled lab conditions and at times appear to lack ecological validity.

They seldom appear rooted in the daily realities of the individuals they purport to study.

We suggest the best way to disprove one’s elegant theory is to apply it to the everyday reality to addicts and alcoholics in recovery. We suggest that neuroscientists and psychologists, among others, would be better served by engaging at a personal level with those they observe and study.

We believe that the neurobiological theories, mainly ‘conditional ‘ or positive or negative reinforcement models, provide a great insight into how the brain of the addict or alcoholics is ‘hijacked’ in the transition from user to abuser to addict but do little to illustrate how these neurobiological deficits effect and in turn are effected by cognitive-affective regions of the brain. In other words, in our conception of addiction, for example, we are interested in how these neurobiological impairments  both prompt and are mediated by emotional deregulation and processing deficits.

The ‘emotional disease’ or ‘cancer of the emotions’ or ‘parasite that feeds on the emotions’ or this ‘fear-based illness’ that alcoholics and addicts in recovery frequently describe their addictions and alcoholism appears to get little mention  in many theories of addiction. Why?

We forward the theory here that emotional dysregulation, measured often by heart rate variability, lies at the heart of addiction and alcoholism.  Via a series of blogs, which hopefully build on and will be linked to each other, we will set out our theories in the hope that alcoholics and addicts will learn profound insights into their condition.

Speaking personally we can say that research has not only helped improve our recoveries but even helped save them on occasion. We hope that families and loved ones will again insight into the behaviour of their loved ones in recovery and this will help them. We also hope to start a debate with researchers, clinicians, treatment providers, and other’s involved in helping and providing therapy for addicts and alcoholics regarding the nature of this condition and how best to treat it. In this blog we marry the theoretical with the experiential and anecdotal to attempt to show how it is difficulties in processing, controlling and regulating one’s emotions that leads to decision-making difficulties so profound that they set up and drive  the addiction cycle and which also pose the greatest threat to one’s recovery and sobriety.
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I happen to read this post called: “Soap Box,” and found it very important and relevant. Look, addiction is addiction no matter the type, so much of the recovery info I feel can be applied to all types of addictions!
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Soap Box

This blog will discuss the purely academic side, or neuroscientific side of this neurobiological disease –  it sets out a simple premise, irrespective of where recovery is achieved, AA or elsewhere or unaided, which states, in the hundreds of alcoholics we have met, there appears to be an emotional processing  and regulation deficit at the heart of this disorder, a psychiatric disorder according to many leading academics, which results in distress based impulsivity, compulsive behaviours, short-term decision-making, difficulties recognizing, labelling, processing and regulating emotions as well as having an altered reward sensitivity to alcohol so that drinking is different from them as young people than to others.

Many of these changes are present as premorbid vulnerabilties also in children of alcoholics as are a host of other endophenotypes, such as cortical arousal, i.e. more glutamate compared to GABA which affects cognition in various domains. Add to this a low resting heart rate variability in abstinent alcoholics, especially in early recovery and you have a head and heart which are predisposed to distress states and reacting to emotional cues. As the American Society for Addiction Medicine state in their definition, there is an “dysfunctional emotional response”.

There is academic evidence for all this which will be presented over the next 6 months to clearly build our argument on redefining addiction and alcoholism so that those who need treatment find a treatment more tailored to their independent needs. By diagnosing individuals simply as having a vaguely related co-morbidity when they do not may be counter to effective treatment, whatever that treatment is – we have no axe to grind here regarding treatment, whatever works for you, works! We try our best not to be blinkered as we are researchers. Most treatments have good elements.

The point of this is to have our voices heard in terms of defining the problem, to mix the anecdotal with the experimental – When stress has whittled your pre frontal cortex to such a profound extent that you can no longer control or regulate emotions or stress or to use emotions as a guide to decision-making, then one needs the help of others, the ‘external’ prefrontal cortex , if you like, to help you get well. Recovery is partly the strengthening of this brain region, but we need, most of us anyway, help in getting there.  We hope to forward an argument that helps alcoholics and addicts get the same recognition and the same access to legal and medical services as others with similar psychiatric disorders.

The main aim is to discuss this condition in a open, inclusive manner that gives alcoholics, families of alcoholics, those who treat and research them a more candid insight into their condition and thus why and how recovery works!

We also have a sister blog  which explains these concepts in more simple, easy to follow, every day language  http://alcoholicsguide.wordpress.com/

Hopefully understanding how the brain changes, via neuroplasticity, will give hope to many that change does come, recovery does happen and does make positive changes to the brain which alter our emotions, thinking and behaviour for the better.  It alters our stress systems, emotional regulation, alters our neurotransmission. It alters who we are, and how we see the world and act in it. How we relate to our fellow human beings.

This is in addition to emotional catharsis, change in consciousness, recovering our relationships with wives, husbands, children, parents, other family, friends, community, or in terms of  career, social standing, you name it, it all gets better through time. This is recovery for us, the repairing  and recovering of that which has been damaged by our alcoholism, the clearing away the wreckage of the past .  

Hopefully this too will help motivate others to keep doing the things that work, because they work, it can be demonstrated, measured even. We seek to supplement what you have already not substitute, to add to, not take way. To illuminate not confuse. 

We do Recover!!

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 I want to thank my anonymous friend ( Paul ), and all who contribute to both the Website and their Blog I shared with you today! I know exploring both their sites, I have learned a lot more about alcohol addiction and hope you all did as well. It doesn’t matter which approach you take to seek help, enter treatment, and recovery,….. as long as you pick one!

There is so much information on support, treatment, rehab, therapy, and counseling out there, that there is no reason to have to suffer the ‘cycle’ of alcoholism or any other addiction. We need to remember that half the battle of recovery is “Acknowledgement.”  It’s admitting to ourselves that alcohol is affecting area’s of our life. There is also a lot of information and help on through the internet now as well! The internet has really changed the way we get our information about how to recover from all addictions…

 

Even being able to share both, “The Alcoholics Guide”  http://alcoholicsguide.wordpress.com/about/  &
“Inside The Alcoholic Brain” http://insidethealcoholicbrain.com/
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Happy Memorial Day & God Bless!
Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ Author Of Addicted To Dimes
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0984478485

 

 

 

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