Addiction is the epidemic of our time

Lifesaver 1Today’s writing is après vacation bliss. I am still leisurely and intentional with my tasks. The pseudo-heaviness of life is still noticeably absent. This is a frame of mind I (not so long ago) only dreamed of possessing.

The bad news—it will pass. The good news—I already know this (and I’m good with it).

This ideal that I will actually arrive in this place of serenity and remain there permanently has finally been busted. (While my hope is that this is written somewhere in my soul’s journey, I no longer chase it here on Earth.)

One of the better gifts of long term sobriety is that I started getting okay with what is. And in the getting okay with what is I find that I am happy.  My expectation of self and others begins to unravel. I see that while I’ve made mistakes, I can grow from them and, more importantly, none of them are unforgivable. I appreciate that people are doing their best (no matter how shabby it might have once appeared). Their mistakes are for their growth, and yes, they are all forgivable too.

This is the polar opposite of how I thought in my previous identity.

All this brings me to the intention of today’s post. The work we are doing here at OGEL Coaching (Ordinary Goal ~ Extraordinary Life) is blowing me away. I am simply out of time to read and comment as I have tried so diligently to do. Most of the blogs I follow are incredibly written, far better than my own. Yet, I am finding it demanding to work as a coach and still be impeccably “social.”

In a world that prizes social numbers, I am no longer enamored by them. They aren’t authentic. Too often they are numbers for a number’s sake.  People endorse or follow but the intention is convoluted. It is not a show of interest or appreciation for my cause. It is a luring of a return endorsement for their cause. Don’t get me wrong, I want support and I want to give support. I just do not want it given with blindness.

I don’t want to get addicted to chasing the wrong things—again. When I am chasing the wrong thing, I am missing the opportunity to genuinely help—to genuinely listen.

Old Identity: I want my numbers to look good so you’ll like me.

New Identity: My numbers suck; they may or may not change. It doesn’t matter. I am instrumental in people radically changing the trajectory of their life after doing the work suggested in Sober Identity. I am seeing a complete 180° in people’s perspective after 30, 60, and 90 days of life skills coaching.

Every day I get emails of appreciation. Every day I swell with gratitude. Every day I wonder why we aren’t teaching these principles and laws to our beautiful children as a primary course of curriculum in our schools.

[We are not because as a society we are not equipped to. But I am, and so are many of you. As a matter of opinion, recovered addicts are the best teachers. They have had to learn. Their very life has depended upon learning and applying new principles; upon being teachable and teaching.]

Addiction is the epidemic of our time. There is no where one can look and not see it. And no amount of research can change this fact. No pill can fix what is only repaired with love. Love wrapped in knowledge of what and who we truly are.

Until we find a new way to fill the void we are headed in the wrong direction.

The trajectory of my life has been nothing short of f*ng miraculous.
All because I was teachable.
All because I was willing to listen.
All because I was chose to do it a different way than I thought it should be done.

I am watching this happen on a daily basis.
All because you are teachable.
All because you are willing to listen.
All because you are chose to do it differently than you thought it should be done.

I wish I could give the newly sober what I have inside. I cannot. It is not a thing to be given, but a thing to be earned. It is the difference between receiving an Olympic gold medal because you won and buying one at an auction. The earner of the medal possesses something far greater than the piece of gold. They possess a knowing of what and who truly lives within them.

Summary to a long post:

  1. Hiatus is good for the soul.
  2. I will be writing, reading, and commenting less on blogs, but still supporting and loving as time permits.
  3. I am completely committed to the work in Sober Identity. Through OGEL Coaching we now have a four week self-study email course for those interested in deeper inquiry and awakening. There is a 6-week online class “I Am Enough” coming fall 2013.  There are plans for a 2014 weekend sanctuary.
  4. I choose to live my life being teachable.
  5. The rewards of facing change (new identity) far outweigh the discomfort (busting the old identity).
  6. This blog is about falling in love with who you are. Because you are worth falling in love with. When you love who you are … addiction ceases its vice grip.

41 Responses to “Addiction is the epidemic of our time

  • Absolutely amazingly well written! You speak for all of us. It is indeed very gratifying when the feeling we live with often, is serenity 🙂

    • I see one of my writing mentors has commented. Thank you. Even though we are miles apart I gain much from our friendship. Thank you for your genuine support, your intriguing blog, your peace of mind, and your creative energy. Strange how we touch each other without often knowing the depth of our impression. with gratitude, Lisa

      • What a heartwarming response! My only question is why intriguing? Just out of curiosity…
        I’m not used to so many compliments but I’m deeply touched by the trust you put into my blog. Thank YOU! I can assure you it goes two ways… your blog gives me just as much if not more 🙂

        • “Intriguing” … that’s an easy one. It’s the convergence of your artistic abilities. You seem to excel at several mediums and they all find expression on your blog. And within all of that, you seem to see life so simply. This I love. That’s the short answer 🙂

          • Seeing life simply has not come naturally to me. I tend to be over analytical which complicates it… when really my gut told me life was much simpler, so I literally trained myself. I do have a natural tendency (which I’m grateful for ) to appreciate the beauty in small things which I thought everyone had but discovered later it wasn’t so. It is nice to hear from you what I believe is a result of the many alternative therapies I was curious about & followed & a life long journey which goes on till our last breath 🙂
            Thanks for this special exchange.

  • Just a few short observations:

    The “place of serenity” of which you speak? What I’ve learned is that it is time-limited by its very nature. If you stay there too long it changes from a pleasant waystation to what I’ve come to call “the pretty quicksand.”

    Numbers are just numbers. Friends and people we share the social journey with are having the same issues, and the ones who really want to share journeys will ask for your attention kindly and politely if they want it, and be understanding if you can’t give it right now. And they’ll be there when they can for you.

    The desperate attempts of the addicts looking for an easier, softer way, and the opportunistic maneuverings of those with snake oil to sell, have always been around, and the current versions are just “updates.” Real recovery is difficult. First you make a hole, by giving up the booze or the drug or the betting or the food. It hurts like hell. Then you fill the hole, not with snake oil or magic elixirs, but with real life, which will sometimes hurt, too… but in the long run, it will grow you into health and hope.

    • Cecile,
      You have been on my mind. can I reach you at your email listed in your gravatar or is that unmonitored?
      1) Amen … like all of us I have learned this the hard way.
      2) Learning this
      3) I love when I find my way (finally) and then those how travel before me encourage me to continue on my path.
      Thank you. You’ve been a kind mentor and friend. On that note, I’ll be getting back to blog reading as time permits and I’ll be over at RecoveryInst today.
      <3 Lisa

      • Thank you, Lisa! For many thoughtful comments and observations, on the website, here, and in social media.
        Yes, that’s my email. I try to keep up with it!

  • Lis, you are an angel in my life, I have told you that, but I like reminding it to you. Thank you for existing in my path. Love u.

    • We don’t ever get tired of hearing words of gratitude. I know they are genuine, as I see them in the quality of your life through your writing. You are a joy. BTW: I think tomorrow will work. Still moving slow with email over here. Will reply today after look at week. xoxoxoxox Me

  • I love this post, Lisa. Love it. And here’s why. It’s this idea (and followed by action) of seeing things in a different light and seeing the brightness coming from that light. i can almost feel this shift in you in this post. It drips off the page. I recall some hesitation, some sort of resistance to something of some kind before you left on your trip, and voila, you’re back and wow…what a difference. As if you let go of a whole whack of stuff. How inspiring this is for me. And to see that it’s doable.

    The idea of numbers is funny – I was like that too, and lately it’s been a lot more numbers, but they are almost all disingenuous. There is little in the way of actual persons who are interested in recovery or in what is being discussed. Fake accounts and followers is one thing, drones, but I would rather be surrounded by a few who I can interact with in a meaningful and heart-felt way rather than count numbers. And that is something that is very recent for me. And it’s a wonderful freedom in not being a slave to that. And I love what you said about chasing the wrong things again. I feel that as well, and not just about the numbers…the sugar, the old fears, the insecurities, etc. And I have been chasing lately, let me tell you. I am physically, emotionally and mentally run down as of late. Your post right has given me a measure of what can be accomplished, simply by remaining teachable, willing and hopeful. Not getting distracted. Keeping an eye on what’s important. And what’s important is changing. It’s never rigid. I thought it was rigid at times.

    You get those emails because you are making a difference. People don’t send emails like they do to you because of numbers. You touch lives daily, and looks like you will be doing more of that with the new self-study email course and the other things that your coaching entails. Sounds like you have some renewed vigor and energy, and it’s pointed in the right direction. I love this. You have what I want, and I am focusing my energy and time on seeing and learning from those who are further ahead on the path and have opened their hearts to showing the way.

    Thank you for this and welcome back. I missed ya.


    • Paul, Good, good thoughts. (It’s always interesting what one gains from your posts isn’t it?????)
      This idea that I can let my heart (my truth) out and not worry is rather new to me. And yes, you did recognize this struggle within me. The interesting aspect, for me, is that the reason I struggled is because I hadn’t done the work (inquiry) to find my truth (my heart) so I could never put it out there—authentically! You’ve watched me journey through some awkward moments both personal and professional through this blog. Thank you for your support. Extend to yourself the same patience and understanding you so generously offer others. Might it be time for internet hiatus? I must admit I missed none of it. It was pure holiday: lots of boating, eating good food, family board games, and showers with a hose. Life is indeed good. AND it’s good to be back. my love L

      • Funny – as I was reading this, I inadvertently read it “internal hiatus”, and thought wow! I was just thinking about that while I walking the dog and watching my youngest ride his bike around the block. Then I re-read and saw “Internet” – ha ha. Interconnected in many ways no doubt, and you astute enough to see something to mention it.

        I am at a point now where I am full, and yet empty. Full of sugar, distractions, internet, poor food, bad habits and old thinking. Empty of spiritual nourishment, inventory work, connecting with others (real life), fulfillment, empathy and connections to the inner life. I feel that I am at a tipping point (my bathroom scale agrees). so that is why I was thinking about a hiatus while I was walking this morning. it’s been on my mind for some time now. But fear of course wraps around me like a boa constrictor and hisses “then what?” Then what indeed. Then what is better than what’s now! I’ve been doing a bit of “prep work” for the disconnecting / reconnecting. Getting the schematics before switching over the to a newer motherboard. We’ll see.

        But seeing how you have recharged and detoxed and done the work and now holding back on the extraneous online stuff…I see the serenity, the groundedness, the centering affect it has on you. And this is reading online – I can’t imagine how it is in real life.

        Forgive the self-centered prattling on. Thank you for creating a safe space here 🙂


        • “Full and yet empty” I have been here (and will be again btw) I can hardly wait to coach you. I hope it’s in our future. If you had any idea …. the questions I’ve got lined up for you.
          ps. Made a small blog friendship from your post this week. He seems too bright to be newly sober. Seems like one of those “sometimes quickly” poeple … teehee TTFN (Tigger “tata for now”)

          • Glad you connected with someone else…what a wonderful bloggy thing 🙂

            Questions? oh dear…lol.

            We’ll chat privately.


    • “I would rather be surrounded by a few who I can interact with in a meaningful and heart-felt way rather than count numbers. And that is something that is very recent for me.”


      Numbers aren’t important. Individuals are important.

  • xnavygal9916
    11 years ago

    ~Selah~ _/l_ (praying hands). Keep speaking your truth, I love it. I too am not perfect and never will be but I want to be perfect at being me and I have tools today to aid me in this goal. And to quote the visionary and world reknown infamous Reggae muscian/songwriter, Mr Bob Robert Nesta Marley..: “Wisdom is better than silver and gold. Where there is a will, there is a way.” (Zion Train). Today I am moving myself from “I deal” “IDEAL” love ya lisa..jen

    • I have NEVER recognized the praying hands. Beautiful. Thank you, sweet one, for your continued dialogue on this blog. You are one of my favorites because I always learn something new. Sending the love back to you. Blessings for an authentic day. xox Me

      • “Each One Teach One”. _/l_

      • xnavygal9916
        11 years ago

        “Each One Teach One”. _/l_

        • I see you have two jpgs. Is this the real you or the other photo? What inspired the upgraded photo? Curious me 🙂

          • xnavygal9916
            11 years ago

            Yes this is definetly the real Just thought I should post a real face behind my posts, and the other is just a fave of mine from my Navy days. The masks must go….xoxo _/l_ jen

  • Lisa, I love everything you’ve written! When I blogged anonymously, I became fixated on the number of followers I had, how often I posted and how many comments I left. It took all the fun out of it but most importantly, it left me feeling unauthentic and disconnected. I will probably always care too much about what other people think but it’s becoming easier and easier to put what I think of myself first. With numbers, it’s easy to read too much into what they mean or don’t mean. If our goal is to build true connections to people, the numbers will do what the numbers will do. It’s the connections that are enduring.

    I also agree that recovering addicts are the best teachers. Society doesn’t necessarily value our honesty but I’d rather engage with someone who is open about learning from their mistakes than someone who is afraid to acknowledge that they’ve made any.

    • Karen, You’ve said a book full here. I would be a liar to say I didn’t care at all. I, too, find that I need to keep my ego in check and recognize that the LOVE in me doesn’t count numbers. It’s only my ego saying it matters. So nice to finally recognize the different voices. I thought that because the notion was even there, that I must be “being” unauthentic. Now I’ve learned that it’s just subconscious programming. My ego will always care and create vain attempts to lure me. God will always prevail because that is the choice I have made.

      ps. Thank you for the generous testimonial.

    • xnavygal9916
      11 years ago

      Yes this is definetly the real Just thought I should post a real face behind my posts, and the other is just a fave of mine from my Navy days. The masks must go….xoxojen _/l_

  • “Because you are worth falling in love with. When you love who you are … addiction ceases its vice grip.”

    I love you, Lisa. You change lives.

    • Thank you for “seeing” this sentence. It is one of my favorite coaching statements. And it is oh so true. I love you too. You are definitely one of my “individuals.” So don’t forget it 🙂

  • I’m so glad you found me and then me you. What a beautifully written and honest post. Numbers mean nothing. People mean everything.

    Thank you –

    • Sherry, What a kind and beautifully raw comment. It’s so nice to just love each other … it’s so nice to just help and encourage one another … it’s so nice to be free of the bs and judgment. Glad we have started a friendship. On that note, I’ll be over to your blog today to catch up on you!

  • I am grateful to you Lisa – for this very thought provoking post as I reset again. Reading how you feel – how you earned that gold medal – I agree that it’s not something that can be given but has to be earned and I’m hoping to earn that this year.

    • You are closer than you realize. Many cannot even read these words. They see nothing of value in this approach. As they say in 12-step, they are “looking for an easier softer way.” It’s in the stopping looking for an easier way that the recovery begins. You’ve done this. Do not abandon the love within you. You will prevail. Promise.

  • I am simply overwhelmed with emotions that I can’t even identify. I read this post several days ago, later in the evening, with the intention of coming back to it to comment. Not my usual style, but I’m so glad it worked out that way, because I gleaned even more from it with a second reading, and the icing on the cake is all the insightful comments that follow!

    There is honestly too much material for me to comment point by point, so I will simply say this: Lisa, I am honored to know you. Your words touch my heart in a way I can’t possibly explain.

    I am a work in progress in terms of “falling in love with myself.” The progress is the hope I feel that such a thing is even possible, and Lisa, you are directly responsible for that hope, so thank you.


    • I must admit my heart just bubbles with joy to read your words. The “fall in love” thing is so possible. It is what we are ALL called to do here on planet Earth (in my opinion). For people like us, addiction is the vehicle that gets us there. I already know how much you have changed and you will continue to change as you continue to work on yourself and give of yourself. Love that we have found a friendship in all of this too.

  • I only check my stats once in a blue moon… most read post on my blog of all time? A review of Marillion’s last album… and guess what… not one comment at all ever on that post! I don’t know what that tells us but something… One of the top post is one about a poem written by Tom Edwards which is a brilliant poem about drinking – I hope some people who’ve read that have got something from it.

    Anywho – I really wanted to point at which shows the scale of the problem in Britain today and sadly how as a society we seem to be doing little about it. There is a story in there of a guy who used Ketamin – he has no bladder, one one poorly functioning kidney and reckons he had over 100 hospital admissions and at no point did any of the health professionals really offer treatment for the addiction they just patched him up and pushed him back out on to the front line – frightening

    • furtheron,
      You’ve made an interesting comment here. I can learn from you. I think I have used my stats to gauge my readers’ interest in topics. While this has value, I can see that I’ve tried to give my reader what they want. Not that this is a bad thing, as I do not use my blog for journaling per se. I use it as a medium for healing, possibility, and communication. Somewhere in all this I am finding a new voice within me. One that wants to write about what we need rather than what we want to hear. Not sure how that will go over, but we’ll see.

      This brings me to the second paragraph of your comment. I went to the site and read the article. Sadness indeed.Reading that article affirmed my current position with this blog (and my coaching for that matter). That I want to step out of my comfort zone and say it the way I see it, the way I experience it. In other words what we want and what we need aren’t necessarily the same. The problem with addiction is that the addicts are so resistant because we still make alcohol social. We, sadly, live in a world where escape is the answer. As a species we run from challenges, we look for the easier softer way. We rid ourselves of the problem by looking the other way. (or war against someone or something)

      The bottom line for me: This is an epidemic and not just alcohol and drugs. I don’t know what it’s going to take to make things better, but I do know I want to be part of the solution.

  • Wow! A lot of information here. Not just in the post but in the comments. Great blog!

    I’m a big believer in addiction being the epidemic of our time, so that line struck a chord with me. Alcohol especially. It seems like Alcohol in America is just madness.

    Hey! That sounds like the name of a good documentary or something. “Alcohol in America” 🙂

    I also agree about addicts being good teachers. I believe that we are in the midst of a global spiritual shift that will change all of humanity. This is big picture thinking. Stuff that could take centuries. But the kind of work you do is one small part of the change. Enlightenment. Love.

    • That is one of the nicest comments I ever received. Yes on the “global spiritual shift” … you get it …you get me! I’m glad you enjoy the blog and I’m super excited to see you comment. Looking forward to getting to know you and journeying with you. Lisa

      • Things were starting to slow down at the end of work today so I took a peek at my phone and saw your response. That pretty much made my day 🙂

        This is what I love about discovering this online community of people helping each other out. I live in a remote area and the resources are just not available. I can share my plight with my friends who still drink, but It’s not the same.

        Thank God I discovered these resources this go around. It has helped me a ton.

        I have the next two days off. Hopefully I can spend some time exploring your blog further.

        • Believe me when I say I am equally as grateful. I learn something of value everyday from my blogging friends. Keep up the chatting. We all help one another.

  • Reblogged this on Stopping Drinking and commented:
    Well said Lisa. It’s all about how much you can help and inspire others, not just about racking up the social numbers!

    • Again, my thanks for the reblogs. I totally agree with these words you’ve shared. I’m back to basics with the blog. Yay!

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