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LifeRing Recovery: a self-help alternative for recovery from alcoholism and other chemical dependency. Group support for abstinence from alcohol and “drugs” by empowering the sober self within you. Completely secular: no prayers, Higher Powers or Steps.

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Going Forward (with clarity)   Sobriety/Recovery Journals

Started 2/16/14 by Elsie (Elsiek); 49212 views.
Brian (BrianB125)

From: Brian (BrianB125)

May-21

We here is the US haven't done too well either, at least Boris hasn't suggested drinking bleach.

Things are opening up somewhat here.  The infection rate has leveled off and is dropping in some places.  But the virus will still be around and, as my wife and I are in our 70s, is not clear how much we will be going out - certainly not going to a restaurant any time soon except for take out.

I have been working in my garden, but it has been so cool and wet that I'm not sure I'm going to plant yet.  At least in West Virginia, where my nearest neighbor is almost a 1/4 of a mile away, I can move around.  Doing lots of chores that get put off when the weather is better.

I just read a book about the 1918 flu.  I knew it was bad, but I didn't realize how bad.  What was interesting is that after it passed people didn't talk about it much.  Histories of WW 1 devote little attention to it and US history books don't cover it well.  It's also interesting that I had 13 great aunts and uncles on my mothers side - all born in Louisiana in the late 1800s or early 1900s - and they all lived to be in their 70s - what a turbulent time of history to live through.  Most of them never moved far from Louisiana, and most of the men were too young for WW 1 and two old for WW 2,  but one was rescued from the Lusitania when it was sunk and one was a nurse at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked.  Her husband was flown out the day before when he fell out of the back of a Jeep and broke his leg.

Hope everyone is bearing up well.

Brian

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

May-22

Gah! Just lost a long message to you! Is there a possibility that your 'flu' was actually Covid? It seems to present in different ways in different people.  A protracted period of exhaustion after recovery does seem a very common facet of it though. 

None of us will know for sure unless tested though. I'm considering getting an antibody test as I'm still puzzling over why I didn't get it. 

Watched a programme on BBC2 last night- a Horizon episode about 80s/90s comedian Tony Slattery. It is terrible to see what alcohol has done to him. He was such a bright, talented and handsome chap back in the day- he is truly ravaged by addiction now. He was exploring the possibility of him being on the bipolar spectrum by visiting various psychiatrists. The frequent chorus it kept returning to was that you won't get anywhere with this whilst you are drinking. It was very sad but very interesting. Things he would obviously like to ascribe to bipolar mood swings were so clearly (to me) alcohol related. He had some underlying issues, that was clear, but he was so trapped in the haze of alcohol that therapy was going to be really difficult. Any therapy really needed to be addressed to tackling the addiction itself. He reminded me a bit of the friend I lost. I didn't feel hopeful for him. 

Worth a watch if you can get BBC iPLayer. 

E x

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

May-22

I saw a documentary about the Spanish Flu once, yes it was on an unimaginable scale,must have felt like a huge insult added to the injury of WW1.

It is so interesting to delve into family history. One of my grandfathers fought in WW1- he was at one point one of those bicycle riding messengers.  He never talked about it. My other grandfather like your rellies was too young for WW1 and too old for WW2. When my husband first trained as a doctor, he would sometimes see very elderly patients who had fought in WW1, some would tell him about it, and he still remembers one man who had lost his best friend, watched him die right in front of him, and he was troubled and distressed by it still, 70 years later. Awful times. And to come back home and lose other people to the flu, I can't imagine. 

My other grandfather was a cheeky chappie, from a huge mill-working family in the north, 16th of 17 I think, but he could never remember all their names. He had lots of stories, but he had told my dad that his skull had been fractured in the war. When dad realised he hadn't even fought in the war grandad finally admitted that he had been hit over the head with a clog. Brutal times but in a different way. He wasn't the greatest father, would go awol for long periods and then bowl up again out of the blue, my poor grandmother was pretty long suffering but it didn't make for a happy upbringing for dad. Mum's dad was a staunch catholic, socialist, union man, very devoted to his kids, especially my mum I think, who he supported in getting an education- she became a teacher although she had been offered a university place to read maths, unusual for a woman in the 40s. I got the feeling that was a step too far for her though. Her mother wasn't an easy woman, suffered from agoraphobia, but when you consider she had gone into domestic service aged 12 or 13, it's no great surprise. Youngsters were routinely pushed out into the world at such a tender age back then, it must have been so distressing. I think there were very many undiagnosed mental health issues. So many women in my background seemed to be depressed, embittered or just downright insane! I even had one great aunt who ended up being lobotomised. She had apparently been very bright and had worked as a codebreaker, I have no idea what went wrong. But my mum remembered her behaving like an animal whilst my grandfather tried to contain her wild rages. I feel a screenplay coming on! Gritty period realism smile

Anyway, already 11.35 here and i must get out with the dog. It's a cooler day so I haven't needed to get out really early. 

Keep well and safe

E x 

MaryLouise3

From: MaryLouise3

May-25

Hi Brian

We've moved to a slightly less austere level, still no nicotine sales and restricted alcohol sales, no restaurants or fast food places open, no gyms, no funerals, no travel. Limited work attendance and shopping for basics, essential travel and schools reopening. This last is of huge concern because classes are large, from 65 to 120 students in a class.

Our case rates are increasing but slowly, confirmed infections at 22 500 and deaths at 329, a population of 58-million. I'm hoping we don't get a surge and that hospitals can cope with those needing intensive care. The situation in the UK and USA appalls me. I was watching crowds mingling and celebrating for Memorial Day. No masks, no distancing, old and young all together.

You know, a couple of years ago I read Laura Spinney's Pale Rider, a history of the Spanish Flu and the shocking speed with which it crossed the globe in the aftermath of WWI. One reason so little attention was paid to this highly contagious illness was that people were in shock and traumatised by the war, the hardships around rationing and joblessness. In South Africa, the pandemic arrived by troopships (the steamships with soldiers returning home) and reached the Kimberley diamond fields by steam train within days. 'Black October' of 1918 and the three waves of epidemic killed 300 000 people in South Africa, mostly the poor. Travel by steam was almost as fast as travel by airplanes in 2020 and the reach of the virus was huge.

Your family history is fascinating -- many people were hardly aware they had lived through a pandemic until years later although graveyards right across South Africa show how many young people died. The historian Howard Phillips in South Africa took the figures of a 1911 census and projected those figures and names forward to those who should have been alive in 1921 -- he was shocked to find almost half a million gone. For most South Africans, though, the memory of war was far more pressing and by war they meant the Anglo-Boer war rather than WWI.

Take care, Brian, and  keep safe.

xMary

LolaBug

From: LolaBug

May-25

Good morning, all! I've been lurking, but haven't posted in quite some time. Am thinking about starting a recovery journal of my own on here.

Brian, was the book you read called "Influenza"? Many years ago I read a book about the 1918/1919 pandemic and I think that was the title. I'd love to reread it now.

Brian (BrianB125)

From: Brian (BrianB125)

May-25

Lola,

Starting a Journal is a great idea.

The book I read was "Flu" by Gina Kolata.  There are quite a few books out there on the flu, so there are lots to choose from.

Brian

LolaBug

From: LolaBug

May-26

Thanks; I'm going to look that up. Going to check when my town library will be open again. 

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

Jun-2

Feeling pretty low. 

a) We will never have peace on earth.

b) My dog keeps barking at night and I'm sleep deprived.

Of course I also have a lot to be grateful for but when I lie awake at night I give myself such a hard time. 

Just upset my daughter who now probably thinks I'm a racist because I failed to understand how everyone cutting online college classes for Blackout Tuesday would make a difference. It is an important show of solidarity, of course, and good that young people are motivated to make a stand. I just hadn't quite twigged what was happening. I have nothing to cut today. It doesn't mean I don't care. 

E x

MaryLouise3

From: MaryLouise3

Jun-2

Hi E, it's good your daughter feels so passionate about showing solidarity right now -- the pragmatic or effective value of many gestures and actions  is another issue altogether, isn't it? And I suspect many more [scary, horrible etc] things need to happen before there is any meaningful change.

I think of 3am as My Hour of Self-Loathing Before Dawn, if that is of any comfort.

xxMary

Elsie (Elsiek)

From: Elsie (Elsiek)

Jun-2

Thanks Mary

Been giving myself a hard time all day today as well. Sometimes I feel as if I am completely talentless- doing weddings usually gives me a boost as it is one thing I can do really well. 

The lockdown is definitely getting to me now.

Hope you are doing ok 

xxx

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