Touched By Addiction

Dear Readers,
Today I have been sober for 27 months, or 792 days.
This makes me happy!
It makes Mr. UnTipsy happy, too!

Last night I was reminded of how many people have been affected by addiction.
I volunteered to help at a training session for people who want to learn about opioid addiction and how to administer a life-saving drug to help someone who has overdosed.
(You can read about it here.)

There were 16 people, and they ranged from college age to seniors.
There were nurses, students, moms, friends, and even one man who heard about this foundation on television and just came.

Every one in that room was addicted to something themselves, or had family or friends who had addictions.

One of the volunteers spoke about her son who died of a heroin overdose. 
She told of the pain of trying to get first responders to carry Naloxone, the drug that can help someone survive an overdose.
Another lady cried at the end of the session, and what she shared was deeply moving.
This was the first time she could talk about her husband, who died of an overdose, because of the stigma around drug addiction.
She cried because she didn't know what to say to her 8 year old child about his dad's death.

I am being awakened to the wide ranging problem of addiction of all of its forms.
It is an eye-opener for me. 
We as a nation struggle with addiction and yet the stigma and shame around it abounds.
It makes me sad.

I share my story as an alcoholic with people as I am not ashamed, but I sometimes try to be "funny" when I tell my story to make people more comfortable.
I rarely use the word alcoholic in general public, and say I have stopped drinking, or that I was drinking too much.

I hope and pray that one day we can really help people recover.
Not shame them, jail them, deny them housing, but to really put money forth to find solutions.

I am so happy I no longer drink.
I have peace of mind every day I wake up.
I have peace of mind every night I lay down.

With Much Love,
On Day 792,
Wendy

Comments

  1. What a powerful post, Wendy. Thank you for sharing, thank you for your big heart, your honesty, and for all of the support you give to those near and far. I completely agree about addiction and I am trying to get myself more comfortable with the reality of my own addiction and the grace I feel in journeying through and hopefully beyond it. I think it is so important to keep trying, keep reaching for compassion, keep seeing the humanity in each of us with an open mind and open heart. Sending much love to you and Mr. UT and I hope you have a wonderful weekend together. <3

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    1. Thank you, CWD!
      It's such a beautiful day, and this weekend means golf, raking leaves, yoga and walks!
      xo

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  2. Beautiful post, Wendy. I was struck immediately when I found your blog about how cheerful and convincing you were about life without alcohol. Your example of standing out without shame is what I eventually want for myself. ; )
    I am also uncomfortable with the word alcoholic and will no longer use it, starting today!
    XOXO,
    Shawna

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    1. Thank you, Shawna!
      Life without alcohol can be and is a wonderful way to live.
      In fact, many people do!
      xo

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    2. You know, I think the word has its uses, but I love saying I am sober.

      Because I am free.

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    3. Go Anne and Wendy
      You guys are truly awesome and have helped me so much in the wee hours - reading and learning we are not alone.
      Thanks so much

      Michelle xx

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    4. We are never alone. We have a sober tribe!
      xo

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  3. Thank you for a lovely post. Addiction is rife in all developing nations. It's so common and I think it's a crime that there is so much shame attached to it. It keeps the whole issue from being exposed for what it is. There really is nothing like that peace of mind of going to sleep and waking up sober after addiction has put you through the ringer! It’s an incredible feeling. xxx

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    1. It is a wonderful feeling, indeed!
      Thank you!
      xo

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  4. Hi Wendy,
    Great that you do the volunteering and also great that you do not drink anymore and therewith are happy yourself and able to show others who are addicted that it IS POSSIBLE to be free of alcohol AND be happy. :-)
    From the other side of the ocean: thank you for your service to the world.
    xx, Feeling

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    1. Thank you, Feeling!
      I am glad I found a place to volunteer in the area of recovery!
      It is truly possible to be free and happy!
      So glad I quit!
      xo

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  5. Happy 27 months!!!! Well done! The stigma of addiction is still so strong. When I hear someone discussing their efforts to stop smoking or go on a diet, I wonder:. "why can't we talk about stopping drinking or using in the same way?". xx

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    1. I know. It drives me crazy.
      It just makes it harder to quit. No one wants that label.
      Thank you, Lori!
      xo

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  6. You are shining a light in the darkness. That is beautiful.

    Anne

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    1. Thank you so much for your support, Anne!
      xo

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  7. Beautiful post - and so true. Congrats on 27 months...I hope to be there someday. Love, Audrey

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  8. A sad, poignant and beautiful post. Thank you Wendy, you inspire me every day to be sober and be a better person. Xx

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  9. I just wanted you to know, again, how much I appreciate your wit and wisdom and honesty. You struck a special chord a few entries back, writing about the lack of motivation, desire to burrow (words to that effect)...and then, you tackled it and bounced back. Helpful words, indeed, as I sit here in northern WI with the early dark starting to descend...and worry about the possibility of my own cloud of drear wrapping me.

    I hope you are able to take deep satisfaction from the many, many lives that you have been affecting and are helping to change since the start of Untipsy. It may not be tangible....and on a bad day, perhaps you sell it short and think it doesnt really matter....but if you do nothing else in life, what you've achieved, and are achieving, on the web.....is stunning.

    Good for you! Good for those of us making progress, and all the other who refuse to give up trying! Thank you! -

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    1. Thank you so much!
      These words help me to realize we never know whose life we will touch as we go through our day!
      I am trying to be the best person I can, which is not always easy, but such a worthy goal!
      Much Love!
      xo

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  10. Hi Wendy
    Your blog is fantastic - I am only 2 weeks tomorrow sober, but it is really exciting and the support really helps.
    Michelle x

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    1. Thank you so much, Michelle!
      Happy 2 weeks!
      xo

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