The High-Functioning Alcoholic

Understanding this Hidden Class of Alcoholics from a Professional and Personal View

Some Reflections by Sober Alcoholics on Recovery...

Inspire others- share your recovery story!

Recovery Month is observed annually during the month of September. This month is dedicated to increasing awareness about the benefits of substance abuse treatment, and passes on the message that recovery from substance abuse including alcoholism is possible. Recovery month is meant to encourage people to take action in the expanding effective treatment for those in need.

In addition, this month serves to educate the public and inform the public that substance abuse is a national health crisis, that addiction is a treatable disease, and that recovery is possible. It is also emphasized that treatment should not only be for the affected individual, but for their family, friends, workplace, and society as a whole. Providing the public with accurate information reduces the stigma associated with addiction and treatment. For more information on Recovery Month and for recovery resources please visit: http://www.recoverymonth.gov/ There are "Voices of Recovery" featured on the Recovery Month Website that anyone in recovery may post on at: http://www.recoverymonth.gov/Voices-for-Recovery/Stories.aspx

It is the objective of my blog to continue the goals of Recovery Month throughout the year and to create a forum for a healthy dialogue and safe space for alcoholics and their loved ones to strive towards getting treatment. The following are the reflections of high-functioning alcoholics (HFAs) about their recovery experience, who were interviewed for my book Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic: Professional Views and Personal Insights. These quotes demonstrate the true healing that is possible for any alcoholic and that results from effective treatment in mutual-help groups, individual therapy and medication treatment when necessary. Some of these alcoholics initially attended a detox or rehab program, while others did not. If you are considering treatment for yourself or a loved one, it is crucial that you obtain an assessment from an addiction professional or local hospital to determine what level of care that you may need. There is NOT just one way to get sober...

"I met myself in recovery." ~HFA, 2 years sober

"I learned how to live according to values and spiritual principles...I began to build a sense of self-esteem based on right living. I began to take responsibility for myself...I learned about acceptance-not spending my life battling reality-and that has brought a lot of peace." ~HFA, 10 years sober

"Externally, my life is improved. I have resurrected old friendships and started new ones. I am confident and helpful in my professional role as a physician. I am not afraid to look people in the eye, because I make a habit of apologizing and setting right my new mistakes before they turn into feuds. People are no longer afraid of me! I am, more often than not, approachable, reasonable and predictable." ~HFA, 3 years sober

"Life in recovery compared with that in early sobriety is not comparable. My quality of life is different. The only things that are the same are that I live in the same physical vessel and that I am still an alcoholic." ~HFA, 8 years sober

"I now believe, deep inside in a way that I never forget, that escaping my feelings with alcohol is no longer an option, ever...On the whole, I am happy and productive much more often than I am hopeless, bitter or resentful-and that is a radical change from my previous mode of living." ~HFA, 3 years sober

"I don't feel so afraid of feelings. I can see them for what they are, I know they won't kill me, I know they don't have to mean everything and I can let them pass." ~HFA, 10 years sober

"Throughout my life struggles, I had some part of my soul connected to my future path. I prayed and waited for the time to come when I could look back on my pain and help others to cope. That time has finally come and I have arrived here... I can finally look back on what was once me. I felt shame about the alcoholic part of my life and now I feel pride in sharing it with others. I felt fear about people knowing I am an alcoholic, but I now feel strength and liberation. I can honestly say that I have something to offer others-sobriety, wisdom and serenity." ~March 14, 2006, Sarah Allen Benton

PLEASE POST YOUR "RECOVERY THOUGHTS" IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS BLOG TO HELP INSPIRE ALCOHOLICS AND THEIR LOVED ONES TO GET HELP.

For alcoholism treatment resources and more information about high-functioning alcoholics please visit: www.highfunctioningalcoholic.com

 

 

Sarah Allen Benton, M.S., L.M.H.C., LPC, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and author of Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic: Professional Views and Personal Insights.

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