“I didn’t have my first drink until I was 29,” the dentist said. “I had just received my acceptance letter from dental school and I thought I could finally relax and have an occasional drink.”
“Same age as me,” the trauma surgeon and helicopter pilot stated.” The first time I drank was right before a mission. Unfortunately, I drank a pint of vodka, and I don’t remember the mission I flew until the moment I landed. I lost several soldiers on that mission, and I still feel guilty about it 30 years later.”
“I remember from age six looking forward to communion wine at my church because of the good feeling it gave me,” the 30 year old woman remarked as I obtained her history upon her admission to the alcohol treatment unit. “I drank purposely to get drunk from age 10,” the 35 year old nurse told me after entering treatment so she would not lose her nursing license.
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Why do people do things that they know are harmful? The next time you go to the grocery store and see an elderly man pulling an oxygen bottle behind him with the tubes going into his nostrils at the same time he is smoking a cigarette, stop and think. Why is he doing something that he knows is the cause of his inability to breathe well? It doesn’t make sense, does it? That very man would probably advise others not to smoke while at the same time be unable to correct his own problem.
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A woman tells of her ex-husband, who became hooked on painkillers and muscle relaxants for years. “He could not hold a job, and we lost our house, our credit, and our friends. We tried counseling and drug treatment centers, both in-patient and out-patient, but nothing worked.” The man continued his addiction, becoming creative in finding doctors from out of state and even out of the country who would ship him pills.
Finally, for her own sanity and the safety of their two children, the woman left him. Here is her description of her husband’s life after she and the children departed: “He fell in and out of jobs and lived on the streets, with friends, or in homeless shelters. All this finally caught up with him, and he died of hepatitis C. He had not seen his children in three years and owed more than $50,000 in back child support. He died broke and alone.”
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Do you sometimes feel your habits and choices control you, rather than the other way around? Is there something about yourself you’ve tried to change, but you just can’t seem to experience a breakthrough? Does fear hold you back from getting the help you need?
The truth is we all suffer from circumstances, feelings, thoughts, or behaviors that can cause disruption in our lives. Often we feel like we just have to live with it, but there is hope for change. Twelve-step programs can be of assistance to you or loved ones.
The 12-steps are spiritual—not religious—tools that can be applied to any issue in life. The steps have been proven to help countless people work through unhealthy life issues that separate them from God and other people, thus freeing them up to healthy relationships in the environment in which they work and live.
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The 12 steps aren’t just for Alcoholics Anonymous. They can change your life in ways you can never imagine. Just listed to how the steps changed the lives of these five people.
Overcoming Perfectionism and Workaholism
Work and worry were the watchwords in my early environment.
Family life centered around church, where I gathered many positive messages. But for some reason, my brain fastened on the negative. I heard subtle mandates in scripture, sermon, and song that drove me to obsessive/compulsive behavior: “We’ll work ‘til Jesus comes.” “Work for the night is coming.” “Be vigilant, lest you be caught unawares.” “Are you ready for Jesus to come?”
Studiously obeying these “commandments,” I became a world-class workaholic/ perfectionist, driving myself mercilessly for the next 40 years. The social and emotional consequences of my excessive behavior were enormous. When I finally accepted the fact that I was a workaholic and that this addiction was killing me, I went into a treatment center for addictive disorders. There, most of my peers were alcoholics. I could see that I was no different from them. Subsequently, I have found in twelve-step groups the guidance and support I needed to change long-standing, deep-seated, self-abusive habits into balanced, moderate, healthy living.
Read more about Five Stories of Overcoming Hurts, Habits, and Hangups …
A woman reaches for a cigarette while her 2-week-old-daughter sleeps in the bassinet beside her. A man leaves his family behind and drives into the city looking for his next drug fix. A pastor powers up his computer and clicks on a link that will carry him to a popular porn site. A married businesswoman glances at a handsome coworker and allows herself to wonder what it would be like . . .
Read more about Breaking Your Hardest-to-Break Habit …
Well, this week I’m going to be perfectly honest with you; I’m absolutely unmotivated and uninspired! I’m so sleep deprived that I’m literally like a walking zombie. My mind is so out of sorts that I’ve actually put the milk away in the pantry cabinet. How sad is that?
So, in light of the situation I’ve made a new best friend. . . . Caffeine. It’s sad, but true. And I’m not going to take the blame for it. Instead, I’m going to point the finger at my loving husband. It’s really his fault in the first place for introducing me to caffeine. I can’t tell you a time when I was ever so addicted to caffeine that I felt I had to have it to survive my day. But today I’m telling you just that.
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Smoking is one of those habits I have a really hard time tolerating. It’s not that I don’t like people who smoke; it’s just that I really have a strong dislike for smoking itself. Maybe some of the problem is that I have never understood the reasoning behind smoking. How do people that smoke justify […]