Category Archives: Toolbox

Create Your Own Miracle – A LifeRing Member’s TED Talk

BJ Davis Ted Talk

 

BJ Davis, Psy.D., a LifeRing member we’ve also had the privilege of presenting as a Keynote Speaker at several LifeRing annual meetings, tells the remarkable and inspiring story of how he went from addicted ex-convict to the free man living a life of his own purposeful choosing he is today in a powerful TED Talk. 

BJ is living proof that belief in oneself makes all the difference in every person’s life – and we’re honored to present his talk to you:

TEDx  Sacramento TED Talk 

BJ is also Co-Executive Director and Clinical Director at Strategies for Change in Sacramento, California. For more information about this organization, please see here:

www.strategies4change.org/

 We thank BJ for being a part of our recovery community and share with him our heartfelt congratulations for the work he’s done to help himself and then to help others help themselves. Thank you, BJ!

Clean and Sober: The Holiday Edition

Louise Hay Quote For many of us, the holidays in America are fraught with tension, expectation, fear, uncertainty and above all,  an overwhelming sense of obligation. “We have to do this, that or the other, or X will happen,” we say to  ourselves (and very often to one another), and no one wants the dreaded X to happen- no one.

Otherwise, it’s delightful fun and the most wonderful time of the year!

So imagine my own surprise when I stopped drinking – again – on November 28, 2007 and found that it stuck.  By that point I’d tried on several other occasions throughout the calendar year and failed, so I most certainly heeded the addictive voice when it warned me that anywhere on, around or near some holiday, event, milestone or other anniversary – let alone any day that ended in ‘y’ – was the absolute worst time ever to give up drinking.

“I mean, it’s like deciding to go on a diet the week of Thanksgiving: You are automatically doomed to failure, and it’s hard enough as it is, so why put yourself through that on top of it?” it says in it’s most reasonable, dulcet tones. (“And then another six months can pass unabated, and all will be well. And all shall be well,” it also doesn’t say, but is precisely what it unequivocally means.)

But I’d had enough – I was “sufficiently horrified”, as they say in one of my groups – and I didn’t give a rat’s patootie if it was Doomsday, it had to stop some time, and I had to be the one to stop it.

So I did what I had to do: Get up in the morning. Go to work. Come home without stopping by the Quickie Mart for a six pack, and park myself in front of my computer, where I spent the great majority of my evenings all through those first days and weeks, relying heavily upon my e-mail groups and the LifeRing online forum. In the meantime really didn’t worry myself a damn about the Ghost of Christmas Pending. I didn’t decorate my apartment that year (I didn’t clean it, either, but that’s another story). I shopped only as much as I had to, which wasn’t much but enough to let the people I loved know I cared. I spent time with my Mom, for whom the holidays were always a very big, huge deal enough not to worry her that I’d given them up, but I also didn’t hang around long when her traditional Christmas totty started to take its toll.

And since I’ve always been a film fanatic, I remembered with renewed clarity a scene from the movie “Clean and Sober” – starring Michael Keaton as Daryl, the addict who’d never grasped the concept that he was an addict, and Morgan Freeman as Craig, the counselor at the rehab Daryl had checked himself into to get out of one of his addict driven jams. Daryl had picked a fight with Craig and thus got himself kicked out of the rehab, but then came back when he found he was in his bullshit so deep he had nowhere else to go. So while Craig has Daryl pee in a urine sampler for him – standard rehab operating procedure when an addict’s been left to his own devices – he asks him a few pointed questions, including whether he knows how addicts get clean, and what he had to say became a mantra that ran through my mind over and over and over again throughout those first days (and mercifully in that gorgeous, velvety Morgan Freeman voice to boot.):

“You know how we do it, Daryl? A second at a time. A minute at a time. An hour at a time. One day at a time.”

Read more ...

Second Edition of “Empowering Your Sober Self” Now Available!

Hey Everyone! We at LifeRing are pleased to announce that a new, Second Edition of “Empowering Your Sober Self” by our co-founder Martin Nicolaus is now available! Please see below for reviews, information about the author, and links to get your own copy:

 

front cover 2nd edition

Empowering Your Sober Self

The LifeRing Approach to Addiction Recovery

Second edition — with a new supplement by the author

The one book to read for an introduction to LifeRing.  Written for the person who wants to get free of alcohol/drugs, for their friends and relations, and for the professionals who treat them.

“A sophisticated, insightful, well-documented view of the philosophy and practice that are at the heart of the LifeRing approach. This book offers a perspective on recovery that can motivate change in clinicians and researchers as well as among individuals struggling to find their sober selves.”
—Carlo DiClemente, Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and author, Addiction and Change

“With impressive analytical clarity and therapeutic generosity, Nicolaus presents a well-argued brief for understanding the complexities of addiction treatment and accepting the full range of diverse paths to recovery. . . . [Anyone] wanting insight and balance on a vitally important public health issue will appreciate the author’s lively and respectful presentation.”
—Judith Herman, M.D., author, Trauma and Recovery

By Martin Nicolaus, cofounder of LifeRing Secular Recovery. He is an attorney in private practice who lives in Berkeley, California.

Empower Your Sober Self is available exclusively online from  the LifeRing bookstore , or from your local LifeRing meeting.   (You can order it via amazon.com, but because Amazon forwards all orders to us for fulfillment, it’s faster and easier to order from LifeRing directly.)  Click “Add to Bag” to order a copy using your Visa/MasterCard or PayPal account.

Empower Your Sober Self, 277 pp. 9″ x 6″, stay-flat binding. ISBN 978-0-9659429-6-6. Second edition, 2014. US$20.00 + S/H.

 

Many congratulations and, as always, our deepest thanks to Marty! Without you, we’d be nothing! :)

Food For Thought On a Monday in Early Summer…

Change Buckminster Fuller Quote

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naltrexone cousin gets OK in UK for alcoholism

Nalmefene, known commercially as Revex, has been approved in Britain to help problem drinkers by reducing their desire for alcohol.

A clinical trial into the drug helped patients cut the amount they consumed from 12.75 units a day to five units a day – a 61 per cent reduction. And patients who underwent counselling as well as taking the drug reduced their “heavy drinking days” from 23 days a month to nine days a month after undergoing the treatment for six months, researchers said.

Nalmefene is touted as having a longer half-life than naltrexone and less effect on the liver, per the first link.

While the study didn’t focus on people wanting to quit drinking, it seems this is an obvious use for it.

Sounds like a good addition to the toolbox. That said, per the first link, I do not know why it is not available in the US if it has some superiority to naltrexone.