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Category Archives: Events

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen Goodbye, 2015!

Do Not Move On To 2016


Well friends, here we are, not much further than a few turns of the dial until another year arrives and we’ve made it through the holidays! 

A lot of people look at the New Year as an opportunity for enormous growth, for change, for becoming whoever it is they thought they wanted to become the year before but didn’t. I once heard it described as one big “Do over”, which is a rather fanciful way of looking at it, don’t you think? Especially if the previous year didn’t quite work out like you planned…

Then, of course, there are the bah-humbuggers who scoff at the idea of making these silly little resolutions, usually by posting “In 2016, I’m still going to be the same asshole I was in 2015” memes on Facebook or otherwise poo-pooing all that nonsense. They know there’s absolutely no point in it because they also know that by about Week 3 things will inevitably go south, at which time the gym that will continue getting their membership fees for the rest of the year will rejoice while they will continue muddling along…until next year, perhaps.

They know – they’ve tried.

For myself this year, rather than come up with some grand plan such as swearing or declaring I’m going to finally lose that pesky extra 20 pounds (’cause I am, damnit!), I’m going to try something new, like the idea in the meme I’ve included here. It feels refreshing to me that I don’t need to expect some ginormous transformation from myself into something else, which, indeed, feels like carrying around a boulder so massive the only reasonable choice – what’re you, crazy?! – is to drop it.

I remember when I was a kid and I had distinct periods of wishing I could run away to some place else and **poof!** become somebody else entirely – a whole new me, the way I always wanted me to be. Alluring, adorable, irresistible, and oh so talented and cool, a star hovering above all in the junior high firmament. I carried that feeling right along with me into adulthood, and tried using alcohol to make it go away. It took me a long, long time to accept that it wasn’t working for me, neigh –  wasn’t, couldn’t, didn’t, never will work for me.

Changing that became a journey of its own, and one that did not involve becoming a new version of the old scene. (Because what such a transformation would amount to is the affirmation that there was always something fundamentally wrong with me to begin with. Thus, I would still be the same asshole I always was, too –  just not a drunk asshole, and I think that’s an important distinction.) Like almost all other change, it was a daily, incrementally concerted effort which involved letting go of old beliefs about myself and what alcohol woulda/shoulda/coulda been for me, and then allowing that whitespace to be filled up by the reality of my Sober Self.

Among other things, what it mainly involved was being open to the idea that I was capable of real, lasting sobriety – something I’d previously thought impossible – and I’ve come to be reminded of that feeling over the past year, of being…open. Being open to learn new things, have new experiences, get to know or reconnect with people in more than a passing way, being grateful for what I have and what is. Getting out of my “comfort zone” and taking risks, even if compared to, say, base jumping off of El Capitan, they’re likely to be very, very small.

For someone whose natural inclination is to hang out snuggled in my cozy little clamshell, that’s no small feat! More importantly, though, I know from my experiences with getting sober that being open, or at the very least developing a willingness to be open, means two things: A). I will be scared to death at times, because exposing my soft little clammy underbelly will mean that I’ll be vulnerable, and what am I, crazy?! And 2). even if it’s hard, whatever comes from it will ultimately be good.

So, all things being equal, and New Year’s Eve in reality just being one (more) big drinking opportunity we can all avoid like the plague in our own, fun ways – my darling hubby and I are going to a tasty burger joint and a movie this evening, after which we’ll arrive home and wait until 12:01 to go outside and bang on pots and pans in our deathly quiet neighborhood – what whitespace might you open up to tomorrow?


Coming Into the Home Stretch: A Holiday Primer

You Can Survive Christmas too (2)


Well friends, one week it’s Thanksgiving, the next week it’s Christmas, and suddenly another year has gone by, you know? And as joyful and as much fun as coming down the home stretch can be, even if you don’t celebrate it it can also be a painful, stressful bee-yatch, so take heart – LifeRing won’t abandon you now, either!

Here, then, is a reminder of all the ways we’ll be here for you throughout the remainder of the holiday season:

Our chat room will be open at all hours, and with ginormous thanks to him, meeting convenor Tim S. will be hosting the online Dual Recovery meeting on both Thursday the 24th (Christmas Eve) and the following Thursday the 31st (New Year’s Eve) at  (6 PM Pacific, 9 PM Eastern)

We have several other online support venues available 24/7/365, so if you’re not already a member of any of them, please feel free to check our e-mail groups here, our Ning Social Network Forum here, and our web forum here. Even if you don’t feel like actively participating, sometimes just reading through posts new and old helps you feel less alone or anxious.

Finally, sometimes you just need a few words of humor and wisdom to see you through, so here’s a list of 10 Funny and Heartwarming Quotes to Help You Survive the Holidays.

In the meantime, we wish you safe, healthy, peaceful and warm holidays, and whatever you do, DD/UNMW and you’ll be alright. 🙂


The Gift of LifeRing



November 30, 2015


Dear Friends of LifeRing,

If you, a family member, or a loved one has participated in LifeRing during the past year, thank you.  You’ve been an important voice in supporting sober, secular, and self-empowered recovery.

We owe you a debt of gratitude. And we hope you feel that way about LifeRing.

Recovery from addiction is not easy work, and not accomplished by checking off so many items on a list. In LifeRing we state the obvious: stop putting addictive substances into the body.  But after that, we leave the details of creating your personal recovery plan up to you. Along the way, we hope the candid musings of other LifeRing members may have given you inspiration to deal with whatever challenges have come your way by putting your sober self at the helm.

As you know, one of the most-referenced tools in LifeRing is the “T” chart.  And we’d ask you to do a quick mental “T” chart about making a gift to LifeRing before the end of this calendar year.

On the plus side of the chart, you might consider how much your participation in LifeRing has meant to you and how a gift to LifeRing might be a way to quantify that. Or you might consider how LifeRing uses gift funds (which, in addition to book sales, are our primary source of revenue) to expand LifeRing outreach efforts, improve and modernize the LifeRing website, and support new meetings and publications.  Or, with your financial, legal or estate planning advisor, you might consider how a gift might help your 2015 or long-term tax situation. Or, you might just consider how good it will make you feel to make a gift to LifeRing — whether to celebrate your own work or to help LifeRing offer sober, secular, and self-empowered choice in recovery in more and more places around the world.  We’re at a loss to put anything in the minus column and hope you will be, too. 

Please join with other LifeRing members around the world in building a bigger, better, and stronger LifeRing.  To make your gift online, just follow this this link: http://lifering.org/donate/.  If you prefer to mail a check, please mail it to the LifeRing Service Center, 1440 Broadway‑Suite 400, Oakland, CA 94612.


On behalf of the LifeRing Board of Directors, thank you.

Making Plans: A Thanksgiving Survival Kit

I'm Not A Turkey


If next Thursday will be your 1st Thanksgiving Day clean and sober or your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 20th, then you might be looking forward to it with anticipation, dread – and possibly both, with a dose of anxiety added in for good measure. While we hope it will be a most pleasant holiday for you, it still comes laden with multiple stresses and people determined to mix alcohol along with their bird, so it’s good to have a plan in place to keep your Sobriety Priority above all else (and pass the gravy, please).

First, a friendly reminder to our face-to-face meeting attendees whose groups may normally get together on Thursdays, please check in with your meeting convenor to find out if the meeting will still take place on Thanksgiving Day – and convenors, please do your best to let your fellow group members know if yours won’t.

But never fear – LifeRing’s still here!

Our chat room will be open at all hours, and with huge thanks to him, meeting convenor Tim S. will be hosting the online Dual Recovery meeting on Thursday evening (6 PM Pacific, 9 PM Eastern).

We have several other online support venues available 24/7/365, so if you’re not already a member of any of them, please feel free to check our e-mail groups here, our Ning Social Network Forum here, and our web forum here. Even if you don’t feel like actively participating, sometimes just reading through posts new and old helps enormously.

Finally, here’s a great blog post that lists 15 excellent ways you can survive Thanksgiving and move on unscathed!

Whatever you do, DD/UNMW (Don’t Drink or Use No Matter What), remember you’re not alone, and take good care – you can do it!




Countdown to the Holidays in 3, 2, 1…

Happy Halloween


Well, here comes the holidays, starting with one of my favorites. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved Halloween, and not just because of the free candy but because you get to be someone else for whole day if you want to – and I always wanted to.

So does our Addicted Self – it gets to use all the holiday rituals, parties, get togethers and every other opportunity to get our favorite substance(s) of choice into the mix as excuses in which to do so. For people like us, that’s about as scary as it gets, and it doesn’t stop here.

The holidays are also perfect times to either give up on being clean or sober (because it’s hard) or on even trying to get clean and sober, because it’s even harder now than any other time of the year! Plus, we’d get to drink and use for another few months, and there’s always an advantage to that…right? Besides, we can finally get it together after the New Year…

But enough of all that. The holidays can be difficult for a lot of people for a lot of reasons, but in and of themselves they’re harmless, and can be some of the most wonderful times to enjoy life.

So gird your loins, dear friends, but remember this: it’s more than possible to have a little good, clean, real fun while you’re at it! 

You can, you know.  Honest. 🙂