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Staring up at the constellation Orion on a crisp winter's night, I wonder how much longer I can bear the pain. The pain of watching my husband cringe and suffer. While he can dull his chronic physical...
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For my entire life, I've been on the run -- at first it was as a child, "running away" from the violent and daily physical abuse that took place behind closed doors in my home. From that moment onward, I kept everything inside of me, and around me, off in the distance. And thus began many years of escape that came in the form of a destructive alcohol and drug addiction.
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After what feels like a lifetime of battling drug and alcohol addiction, and my own tenuous mental health issues, three years ago -- at the age of 47 -- I finally found the strength to tell my wife and adult son that I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Like too many other survivors of childhood sexual violence who decide to go public with their disclosure, I have lost contact with my mother and my siblings as a result. If you really want to know how to destroy an already fragile soul, take away the one thing that a survivor of sexual violence needs most -- connection, which equates as validation and worthiness.
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It has taken me almost my entire lifetime to realize that what I thought was the "worst of me", was in fact the "best of me". And all those years I spent escaping to the margins of society have been a beautiful blessing in disguise.
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Employees dealing with job insecurity, high workloads and general workplace stress may resort to alcohol as a form of self-medication. Though fear of losing their job may cause workers to be more careful not to allow alcohol use to affect their work, the Great Recession is linked to greater alcohol use for those who are still employed.
Last night, my husband spoke the three most terrifying words in the English language. "Take a break." I was horrified. My blood ran cold. "But, but..." "No buts about it. Take the day off. Why don't you have some fun?" he suggested, smiling. Fun? Fun!? I drew a blank. And that's when I knew I had a problem.
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Addiction is misunderstood, and it leaves those suffering from the condition stigmatized. Society makes the assumption that an addict has a personal problem, not a medical one.
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I want you to see the 'real' me -- a man who has been running his entire life, a man who has travelled so far, only to come back to himself. My name is Jean-Paul, and I am a survivor of sexual violence, but I am so much more than that. I am a husband. I am a father. I am a writer. I am an elite athlete. I am an advocate for survivors all around the world.
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I'm one of those alcoholics who became an alcoholic from my first drink. My life truly went downhill from there. I made bad decisions, made myself a bad reputation and drank more to ease my depression. Having alienated myself from people to stop them from witnessing this mess I was, I started to drink alone. I would binge for days at a time. Enough drinks in me would get me into the beds of complete strangers. It would not be considered consensual in a legal sense with my state of intoxication, thinking back to it now. The guilt and shame overwhelmed me. I had to keep myself intoxicated to keep my depression and anxiety at bay.
I love the subtlety and ambiguity of words, and that no doubt had a lot to do with why I taught English for 23 years, and why I am now pursuing a career as a writer. I was reading an article in today'...
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Newfoundland and Labrador have the highest proportion of smokers. Quebec, the drinkers.
Within the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous, the word "recovered" comes up at lot, and come to think of it, why wouldn't it? Many an addict latches on to that idea as a desperate lifeline of hope. I, on the other hand, have grown to embrace the fact that until the day I die, I will be a recovering alcoholic. I long ago decided to make peace with this disease, but that in no way makes me immune to feeling frustrated and angry by the circumstances surrounding my relationship with the addiction.
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Giving up drinking for nine months was easy. It was a no brainer. Plus I was so nauseous I don't think I could have had a drink even if I had wanted to. But here's the kicker. I've officially given up alcohol. For good. My son is almost one year old and I'm coming up to two years sober.
I just finished reading Gretchen Rubin's latest book, Better Than Before: Mastering The Habits of Our Everyday Lives in which she puts forth the argument that the world is divided into two types of pe...