Addiction is Real and It’s Not Easy, but There is Help

With the recent death of the actor Philip Seymour Hoffman many are discussing the topic of addiction; some people are able to see the real disease addiction is while others are not so clear minded about that fact. Addiction, as defined by Merriam-Webster is having “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something or do something”. Addiction predominantly refers to drugs or gambling, but in this day and age addiction is far more publicized with one having a drug addiction. A drug could be anything from over the counter pills to prescribed narcotics to hardcore street level drugs; it also can be related to alcohol. In case you were not aware alcohol is also classified as a drug, hence why there are treatment centers for alcohol abuse like the new jersey alcohol treatment centers.

Is Addiction a Real Disease? The General Public is still in Debate

While the verdict is still out to the general public to debate whether or not someone who has an addiction is weak, making a conscious choice or not, my opinion is that; addiction goes deeper than the physical attribute of making a conscious choice to overdo it with drugs. Addiction is a serious illness that can consume anyone, take my life for example. I have a large family pool of those who are alcoholics, one would not realize this as my family is amazing, but alcoholism is one of those rare addictions few see because you can be a functioning alcoholic. This means you are a heavy drinker but can still keep a job, a roof over your head and support your family. There have been times where people I know had to go to a treatment facility much like the new jersey addiction treatment centers to get the help they needed to overcome such an addiction.

Addiction Has Become a Coping Mechanism for Most

For those who suffer from addiction it may not be easy for them to ask for help, I firmly believe one who develops an addiction has deeper emotional issues than those we see on the surface. Many have turned to drugs and alcohol as a means to cope with the real world, on the outside many who develop an addiction may seem “normal” and as if they “have it all together”, but sadly that is not the case. People with addictions get really good at hiding their troubles, it’s all too common for a friend or family member to find out about another person’s addiction and be in complete, utter shock. While having an addiction isn’t easy for anyone involved, there are many addiction treatment facilities that offer a way for people to overcome addiction and move on to lead a happier, healthier life.

There is Help for Addiction

I firmly believe in helping people who have addictions, but the first rule of an addiction is that the person who has one needs to be able to admit they have a problem. If someone you know or love is suffering from an addiction try to use some form of intervention so that you can get them to a treatment facility and give them a chance to find their inner happy again, without utilizing drugs or alcohol as a means to cope. It’s a long path to recovery but helping, rather than judging someone with an addiction is the best route to go, there are places such as Advanced Health and Education that can assist both the person addicted and their family members in moving forward.

MUST READ: Best Kept Secret a Novel by Amy Hatvany Moms

I recently completed a book called Best Kept Secret written by Amy Hatvany and this book hit home with me. The author of Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay – Stephanie Wilder-Taylor said “Rarely do I find a book that stays with me long after I’ve finished it, but this is definitely one.” I feel for you Stephanie, this is exactly how I would word my feelings for Best Kept Secret.

It’s no secret that society puts a lot of pressure on woman, especially mothers, to do everything right. Not only is it key to have a successful satisfying career (unless you are dedicating your entire existence to raising your children, that is), but to also look your best and be in the best physical shape. Never mind the fact that your children have to be popular, get good grades and are chosen for all the right teams.

This increasing pressure is wreaking havoc on women and they are resorting to unsafe ways to relieve their stress – and they are masters at hiding them. For some, it’s over-eating, over shopping or even ignoring problems all together. For some other women, it’s secret drinking. This phenomenon is what Amy Hatvany explores in Best Kept Secret and has struck me in a way no other book has.

Why I Personally Asked to Review this Book

I am a work at home mom of three. I am a positive, outgoing, friendly person, but I, much like the character in this novel, am prone to having those thoughts of resorting to alcohol to ease the mind after a long day of raising kids and running roads so that I can sink into my work load with a clear mind. Since alcoholism runs heavily in my family, and being told at age 18 that I have a 99% chance of becoming an alcoholic, I work hard to fight the urge to turn to alcohol.

My Thoughts on Best Kept Secret and Women’s Roles in General

I am not perfect, I do love alcohol but after reading this novel, Best Kept Secret, I could see how potentially dangerous it would be to turn to alcohol as a coping mechanism to deal with the stress woman encounter daily while trying to simply be all they can be and facing scrutiny for not being more than what they already are. It’s a hard world we are living in, everyone wanted woman empowerment but did we just stick ourselves with a stigma that woman must ‘do it all’? Leading everyone to find the easiest way to resolve their troubles … drinking alcohol.

While I personally say YOU are accountable for YOUR OWN ACTIONS, I have a soft spot for any mom who is turning to alcohol as a way to cope, because I can relate. I have been there, although unlike the character in this novel; I wasn’t drinking while taking care of my children nor was I drinking and driving. The last time I drank and drove was in the year 2000 when I was charged with an underage DWI for blowing a blood alcohol level of .05. That was a lesson learned and probably what keeps my longing to take a sip of alcohol under control!

There are so many woman out there drinking to cope and you may know them. It is hard to stop drinking on your own, one would need detox, counseling and possibly AA meetings to truly move forward from an alcohol addiction. Do not point fingers at a mom who you realize has a problem, do not shun them. Do your best to attempt to be the friend and companion she needs to avoid drinking to hide her stress. Be that stress reliever for her and work on helping this mom be all she can be sober.

I really think you should read this book, it is one that I will recommend for years to come. You can purchase Best Kept Secret on in paperback or for Kindle.

Disclosure: I received this book for free by request. All opinions and personal stories are that of my own.

Overweight? Alcohol Problem? Runs in family? Be the Change You Deserve

Genes make up so many parts of who we are and how we appear such as what eye color or hair color we will have. Our body shape is always going to end up being something like those we are related to, not always directly in proportion with our father and mother and even being obese is something that has been linked to genetics.

What I have learned about fighting genes versus simply using genes as an excuse.

I don’t care what your genetics and family history may say you are prone to be, whether they say are you going to be overweight or if you may become an alcoholic I think that every single person has the power of change within them for some family history and bad genes so to speak.

The summer after I graduated high school I felt invincible, I had graduated high school I was an adult – no one could bring me down. The only problem with my invincible attitude is a little something I didn’t realize way back then, no human being is invincible. I learned this lesson when I got my first {and only} DWI {driving while intoxicated} at age 18 just one month after my graduation. I am thankful that I was only in trouble because I blew a .05 at age 18 {underage for drinking alcohol} and that no one was hurt, I wasn’t in any accidents, simply was pulled over for failure to yield so the officer said.  I now am 110% against drinking anything and driving, can not do it!

Long story short, I had to go through a DWI course and then meet with a licensed drug and alcohol counselor person. When that person evaluated my crime, my history of teen drinking and my family’s alcohol consumption history he told me I pretty much had a 99% chance I would become an alcoholic! If anyone knows me personally they know I don’t go for the 99% I will become an alcoholic, I go for that 1% different person. I love a good challenge.

I took time and of course I still drink and have since then but I keep a watchful eye on my drinking and if I start consuming too much too often I stop, why? Because I am reminded of that day I sat down and was told I basically had a 1% chance of not becoming an alcoholic and I was determined to be that 1%. So I am living proof that family history and genetics are not an excuse to do stupid things!

If you have overweight family members and are high risk of being overweight {like myself} then all that means is you have to endure watching what you eat and making sure you have a daily exercise routine to keep that weight maintained. I fight with my weight all of the time and if I put my height and weight onto a chart, I am considered slightly obese yet most wouldn’t peg me for that when they see me in person. It’s difficult to fight those fat cells that want to take over my body as they have with family in the past, but it’s another battle I will win!

So please no more blaming everyone else for your own problems, sit down and take the blame for whatever it is that you have been doing in your life. DO not blame genetics, DO NOT blame family history – BE THAT 1%!

You can do it! Move forward to a better, healthier, more positive YOU!



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Sober Living

There are so many people who struggle with alcohol and drugs, but must have a hard time getting themselves any help. The thing about trying to live a sober life means that you must first admit you have a problem and all too often that first step is what can kill the pride of a person who struggles with addiction.

Sober living can best happen when you admit yourself or a loved one into a rehab, if you are around Cali then you could check out California drug rehab facilities. Every rehab center is different and the ones, in my opinion, that may work best are those that give you a sense of calm and comfort feeling.

Orange County rehab facilities seem to look pretty relaxing compared to those I have found in the New Hampshire area. Do not get me wrong, I am not struggling with an addiction other than cigarettes but I have seen many people come and go in my life that struggle currently or have struggled with living sober. Due to alcoholism running in my family on both my parents sides I am cautious of what I intake for alcohol and when I drink.

Some people are able to self control their addictions but some have become so addicted to living in that fantasy life that they often get super depressed when coming down from the high which makes them go back on their word of trying to live a sober life. There is nothing wrong with getting a little bit of help and what better place than a rehab facility where you can gain knowledge and information about your addiction in order to come out and succeed at sober living!

Questions for Thought: Have you or anyone you know struggled with or are currently struggling with living sober? It’s hard to watch as they fight the urge to go back to their addiction, what have you or they done to help increase their chances of moving forward from an addiction?

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