Monday, July 28, 2014

The Immortal Alcoholic: Fun with alcoholism?

The Immortal Alcoholic: Fun with alcoholism?: One of my goals after creating the OARS F&F Group (Our Alcoholism Resource and Support for Family and Friends) was that eventually I&#39...

Fun with alcoholism?

One of my goals after creating the OARS F&F Group (Our Alcoholism Resource and Support for Family and Friends) was that eventually I'd be creating live support groups all over the country and maybe even the world. I know, I know, that's a lofty goal. In light of the realization that creating live groups is a bit premature, I've decided to do something that is kinda the next best thing.

On September 27th, 2014, I will host a seminar on the subject of alcoholism. The topic will be the Twelve Stages of Alcoholism as seen through the eyes of a spouse who has seen her husband's transformation from heavy drinker to end-stage alcoholic. While giving my presentation, I will ask for audience interaction and participation. Instead of me standing at a podium and spewing out an endless stream of words, I'll be asking for the audience for input. Some people would rather keep their mouth shut while others may be anxious to join in -- speaking up is not a requirement -- but it will be an option.

The day will not just be about alcoholism. I'll be joined by an instructor of Zentangle. This will be a first encounter for me with Zentangle -- which is, as I understand it, a way to achieve a semi-meditative state through scribbles and writing. I've seen some Zentangle work and it is beautiful. When I asked Barby, the instructor, to explain Zentangle to me, she said writing a repetition of shapes and/or letters can help the mind relax and become open to rest. When she explained that, I thought -- I'd love a way to just stop thinking about "things" for even a few minutes. I invited her to join me in this seminar and I'm so happy that she agreed. Materials for this exercise is included in the price of the seminar.

I went to a caregivers seminar once and there was a "Laughter Yoga" session. I was so very impressed that I learned to do some of the exercises myself. It's not really exercise like sweat and raised heart rate. It's more like learning to laugh at things that hold absolutely no humor at all. Throughout the seminar I may sprinkle in some of that laughter yoga just to take a break from the seriousness of the subject.

What would a day at a seminar be without some awesome grub!! Lunch will be included. It will be a sandwich and salad buffet.

If that isn't enough to entice you make reservations -- I will be encouraging networking by not serving dessert until the networking portion begins. Enjoying cookies and brownies while meeting new people gives an opener for conversation. Networking may connect you with someone who is in a similar situation and create an opening for mutual support.

Let's not forget about the door prizes!! There will be several just waiting for you to claim if your name is pulled from the hat. There will also be something special for the person who traveled the farthest; the driver of the carpool that transported the most attendees; and there will be another drawing from the people who stayed at the hotel. Don't worry if your name isn't pulled -- everyone will receive a gift bag when they stop at the seminar registration table before the event.

But wait!!! The hotel has reserved a block of rooms at a discounted rate just for this seminar. If you spend the night before at the hotel, you can have breakfast with Linda at the hotel breakfast bar. This is just a casual meeting without an agenda and a chance to see exactly who The Immortal Alcoholic's Wife really is behind the words and videos.

This event will be in Raleigh/Durham, NC, at the Comfort Suites Raleigh/Durham Airport at 5219 Page Road, Durham, NC 27703. To book a room, call 919-314-1200 and ask for the Linda's Front Porch rate.

The next seminars will be in Washington DC, Lake Worth, FL, Columbus, OH in that order. These are the cities where followers have asked me to hold an event. If you want a seminar in your area, leave a comment and I'll put that city on the calendar.

Order your tickets now for the Raleigh/Durham seminar at the early bird rate of $40. After August 15th they will increase to $45.  Because no one likes going to something alone -- Special bring a friend rate -- purchase one ticket at full price and get the second for $25. (Only one $25 ticket per full price ticket). How to get your tickets?:

Send an e-mail with SEMINAR in the subject line to 
LDoyne@live.com with your name, address and e-mail address prior to payment.
Be sure to include the info for the friend if using the "bring a friend" rate.
I'll respond with your total cost payable via PayPal or check.

Credit Card through PayPal; PayPal account: LDoyne@live.com

Checks -- Payable to Linda Doyne, mailed to 227 Foreman Lane, Belhaven, NC 27810
(Checks must arrive before September 15th to allow time for them to clear the bank.)

At the door without prior reservation- $50 cash, check or credit card. 

I hope to see many of my North Carolina readers and maybe even some from Virginia or South Carolina at this informative and fun event. Mark your calendar for September 27th, 2014 and get your tickets now!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Regular comments are back!!

I just figured out how to go back to being able to post comments without the Google+ thing. Please feel free to post comments without having to be a subscriber to Google+ Circles!

Adventures in Cancer Land...



I know the end of this video may generate some hostility, concern, controversy... whatever... please leave all you both positive and negative comments on my www.lindasfrontporch.com website in the Immortal Alcoholic page.

In a nutshell...

Ever since Riley had his heart attack and was released from hospice back to me, I have steadfastedly refused to allow him any alcohol. Now, I'm wondering why I did that.
At the appt to have an ultrasound on his tumor last Wednesday, we discovered that they don't want to do an ultrasound, but rather a CT scan. OK. I'm fine with that -- so let's do it. Whoa-- we have to make an appt for that... soonest they can get him in is in 4 weeks! Hmmm... I thought everything about cancer was urgent and needed immediate attention for best results.
But the shock and awe doesn't end there. While telling us that he wants a CT scan rather than the USound, he explains that he would rather go in and surgically remove the tumor because he doesn't feel Riley's health is in good enuf shape for chemo and radiation. Well... if the surgery is easier, then why not? The why not is because he will most likely lose any of his remaining bowel control. I don't know if that means a bag or what. I was too busy trying to take it all in to ask the question.The doctor seems to think it's an acceptable sacrifice. He is certainly entitled to his own opinion.
But... let's break this down... Riley already dislikes his life... he has no social contact, cannot use the computer, isn't allowed to drink, can't drive. His entire day consists of sitting and watching TV. He already feels he has no life. Now consider this -- he had been having very bad diarrhea and only recently has the issue been resolved due to a simple change in medication. He now has control over something -- the ability to poop like a normal person. If that's taken away -- what kind of quality of life will he have since he already feels there's no quality to his life anyway?
I asked Riley if he understood what the doc had said. He said "only marginally." I tried as best I could to explain.
His answer was -- "I don't want surgery. I'll stick with chemo and radiation and see what happens. I've been told so many times that I'm going to die -- doesn't he know that I'll probably survive this too. AND still have no life."
I don't feel that I can argue with logic like that. I gave him a glass of wine with his dinner tonight.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Comments posting...

I signed up for Google+ Circles which includes comments from this blog. I didn't realize that in order for my readers to comment, they must sign up for Google+. That complicates things because I know many of you don't want to do that. You may easily post comments on the new Linda's Front Porch site. Simply go to the site and click on "The Immortal Alcoholic Blog", you will find a "comment" section under each post. Please post any replies there.

Everything I post on this blog is now being simultaneously posted on Linda's Front Porch, www.lindasfrontporch.com. Plus there are extra things of a more personal nature in Linda's life on that site.  Please be sure to check that site if you are wanting to comment.

Thank you...

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Learn to be happy...




Comments to Kelly Flint -- Please post your comments to Kelly on www.lindasfrontporch.com under Immortal Alcoholic Blog and subtitle, Kelly's Korner.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

A brand new website

Your are formally invited
To view my new website
Provide your opinions…
See the special surprise…

Give me feedback.

After nearly 800,000 hits and over four years, I felt it was time to change things up a bit.  I found I was putting things in several different places on the web. There was two websites for support groups, one for the blog, one for writing... it just seemed all confusing and difficult to keep up. So I created a place that has everything in one spot. 

It isn't totally done yet but the majority is up and running. I'll be making changes and smoothing out the rough edges over the next few months or so. This site will continue and I have no plans to take it down. However, there are more things on the new site and I'm sure you don't want to miss anything.

Please take a look and tell me what you think either on this site or the new one.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Answers from Riley...

In order to film Riley, I had to use my hand-held camera so the quality is not that great. But, you will see him and hear his answers. In the interest of keeping him focused, I had to cut some of the questions down into more manageable segments. The written transcript is below.




Addy –
Do you realize that you have hurt yourself and the family by excessive drinking?
Yes. More, I think my family and those around me rather than myself.

If you could go back and change things, would you?
No.

HyperCryptical –
When did you know alcohol had become your master?
I don't think it has ever become my master.

Gerry –
Do you consider yourself mentally impaired?
Yes, but not because of the alcohol.

Did Linda’s devotion to you ever motivate you to quit drinking?
Yes, when I was in the service, early on, but not so much later.

Do you think you might ever be capable of quitting drinking completely?
No, not at this point.

Angry Alcoholics –
What kind of person do you think you would have been if you had never tasted alcohol?
Very dull.

What would you have done with your life?
Something dull, probably not spend 25 years on submarines. I would be very much like my father.

What would you be doing now?
I have no idea, but I would probably be dead now.

What were your dreams?
Mine? I think there is no burden greater than a great expectation. I didn't have any dreams for myself as I was expected to.

What advice would you give to a man who feels he is not an alcoholic, but who is drinking three quarters of a bottle of gen a day, starting every morning and sipping throughout the day?
Try to quit.

How would you wake up his family that he’s in trouble?
It is very difficult to wake up the family as quoted by you. I'm not sure that I could. The family and associates have a tendency to tip toe around the elephant in the room.

Kendra –
What makes you feel grounded?
Now -- this house and Linda.

What makes you feel at peace with yourself and your God or creator?
I seldom do.

Do you feel a sense of accomplishment about your time on this earth?
No I don't.

Mike –
Do you realize that you have a drinking problem?
My joking response to that is: Yes, that I don't get enough. I don't think that I have a problem with it.

Why did you begin to drink?
It was the thing to do.

Why do you want to continue when you realize it is killing you?
Because it was the thing to do.

Trisha E –
Was there something painful that made you turn to alcohol for relief?
No, not initially.

Were you ever able to work thru the circumstance at the heart of the alcoholism in any of your rehab, counseling or AA sessions?
No, not really.

Zowie –
Without alcohol in the picture, what gives your life the most meaning?

Little or nothing right now.

What are your greatest joys?
Waking up every morning.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Just say yes...

Riley in Detox after Heart Attack 2012

I do not like feeling that I'm "hounding" anyone about anything, so if I am pushing the limit -- please forgive me.

There was once a man (actually I’m sure there’s been more than just one) who went to the hospital emergency room and said “I’m really sick and I think I need to detox from alcohol.” The polite nurse takes his vitals and sends him back to a curtained area. The doctor comes and states that they have no beds for patients who are there for detox. He tells the man to return if he is still in pain after detox. He hands him a referral to the rehab hospital up the street who will only take fully insured patients. The man walks out the door, goes home, calls a friend and together they try to get through the night. It’s Sunday and there are no package stores open and the man has no alcohol in the house and doesn't even have enough cash for beer or cheap wine. Two days later the man is dead.

Could this be you? Could this be someone you love? Do you know and understand that the scenario is not just a fictional imagining. This takes place in hospitals all over the world. It’s a disgrace that someone who needs medical attention cannot get it because they are addicted to alcohol. It should not matter if in that moment the alcoholic wants to go to rehab or not. What matters is facing the immediate issue at that exact point in time.

So how can we get our hospitals and medical professionals to change? How do we make them understand that end-stage alcoholism is not always the end of the line with proper medical care? How can we force them to treat people even if they deem the alcoholic as a lost cause? After all, if someone attempts suicide, aren't they admitted to the hospital with every attempt made to keep them from failing at their primary objective? Why should alcoholics be treated any differently?

What we can do is draw attention to the need of medically supervised detox in the hospital environment. We can force the world to see clearly what alcoholism detox really looks like. We can make it real by bringing real people and showing real detox. Movies and movie stars are just fiction and can easily be dismissed by the statement – “Oh, it’s just a movie.” It’s easily forgotten. But real faces and real stories are difficult to erase from the memory. Our real stars are the alcoholics themselves.

If any of you have an actively drinking alcoholic and you believe a hospital stay (for any reason) is in the very near future, please contact me. We want to show what detox is REALLY like for someone who has been drinking non-stop for many years. The detox could follow a medical event while at the hospital. (We all know the best to get hospital detox is to go in for some other life endangering issue.) The idea is to get it on film and show the complications, effects and issues medically of excessive drinking.

I truly believe that how the world sees alcoholism will never be seen realistically until people like us make it real to everyone. How can we change how the hospital admits people for detox until we show how important it is to be IN the hospital during detox?

If your alcoholic is complaining of whatever, start asking if he/she would agree to helping us make others see the importance of getting medical help whether they are drinking or not. Drinking is not the issue -- the ability to have medially supervised detox is the issue. Explain to them that they can help make a big change in how others see drinking.

Of course, we all know that the hope is they will detox and decide on rehab. But that's not a requirement for this program. No intervention, no judgment, no criticism, no one trying to get them to change.

We've all heard them say NO before. So if they say no, it won't injure our ears at all. But if they say YES then they just might be saving the life of an unknown person. They just might be the start of a change in how alcoholics get the help they need just to stay alive.

If you are an alcoholic and you don't want people to say you've wasted your life on booze, then let your life stand for a courageous attempt to change the way things are done. Let your life stand for making the start of the world sit up and take notice. Be the Rosa Parks of drinking -- stay on the bus, but change up the world's seating arrangement.

Please contact me for more info and to let me know of that one person may be willing to yes. If you would like to speak to one of the producers of this hard-hitting documentary, I can make that happen.