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I was watching a tv show recently and one of the women on there is going through a situation that I can relate to on a small-scale.  Something happened between her and her husband and plenty of people would like to tell her what she should to including leaving him.  Now granted she is in the public eye so she has a lot of social media and that to contend with and I am sure a lot of hate mail surrounding any decision she makes.  So my heart goes out to her.

Her husband is ill, he has addiction and he is in rehab and is trying to get better for himself, her and their children and trying to recover his faith in God.  I believe he has now been able to come home and the family has now said much as to what has happened further and what any progress has been made.  I am trying not to listen to other media because, well they take things out of context and its honestly none of my business.

What she said that has stuck with my though is “Just do the nest best thing for the next 15 minutes.”  All you have to do is get through the next 15 minutes, do the right thing to get you through 15 minutes, then do it again.  And that’s how you will get through your day.  Because I know its one day at a time, but that 24 hours sometimes scars the heck out of me.  But 15 minutes, I can handle that.  Well, most days.  Sometimes even 15 minutes is pushing it for my comfort level.  But you have to know your limits, know where you are at during each moment.

I will always remember that “just do the right thing for the next 15 minutes, then do it again.”  Because that’s exactly what I needed at that moment when I heard it.  God puts those little sayings in our lives when we need them.  I believe in things happening for a reason, everything having a purpose, and in faith.  I have faith in something that I cannot touch, see, smell, taste or hear….but I have to believe that it is there.  Well that’s all for today folks.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!

Sober nation recently sent me an email talking about rebooting your recovery and I thought I would pass it on to y’all in case you have not signed up for their emails yet:

The truth is, is we are never as safe as we think.

It’s always terrifying and humbling to hear about friends or mentors relapsing after achieving multiple years of recovery. Addiction is a tricky foe, it has a way of sneaking up behind us when we are vulnerable.

Everyone (including myself) slacks off on their recovery from time to time. We get comfortable and we think to ourselves “I got this.”

I have seen many reasons for this…

  • Some of us no longer enjoy going to meetings, so we stop.
  • Some of us can’t afford weekly therapy sessions, so we stop.
  • Some of us lose friends or move and lose our support system.
We can help! There’s no need to white knuckle it. Let’s take action!

For the past 3 months, we have been quietly working on a 30 Day E-mail course that will Reboot Your Recovery.

This course is designed for everyone. If you have 30 days or 30 years, you will gain perspective, insight and daily exercises that will give your recovery a jump start.

I could go on and on about how amazing our course is, but I would rather show you. The course is a small $15 charge, less than you pay for Starbucks every week.

Except in this case, you can keep what you’ve learned and be able to apply it to a lifetime of recovery and life experience.

If you are feeling down, if you are feeling stagnant or if you are just interested in continuing to grow, this course is for you!

Take Charge and Start the Course

P.S. – If you have questions about what this entails, feel free to reply to this email. We only want to be of service. Here’s the link one last time


Much love,

Sober Nation

There is a cost for what they are offering but if you click on the link and check it out they explain it all and it might be worth at least checking it out.  I am not going to be participating in this, but I wanted to pass it on in case anyone was in the need.

If no one has told you they love you today, I love you and God does too!



On a lot of shows, alcoholism is a plot device. There’s a built-in dramatic tension when someone is on the wagon, so the push-and-pull of drunkenness and sobriety is the story and it doesn’t go any deeper than that. Mom is different, because it recognizes that there are many more stories about alcoholism to tell, and it goes all the way in on exploring all the myriad issues and minute details of recovery. There’s “will she relapse or will she stay sober?” but there’s also “how do you get your nonalcoholic boyfriend to understand why you have to go to meetings every day?” That’s a topic addressed in Season 3 episode “Beast Mode and Old People Kissing,” as is the heavier topic of “how do I get over the anger I feel and come to terms with the fact that the man who gave my friend the drugs when she relapsed and died deserves a chance to get sober, too?” Mom is aboutrecovery in a way no other show is, and therefore is the panel’s consensus choice for most accurate depiction of recovery.

“I would feel comfortable saying ‘Yeah, it’s like that’ to somebody who is not in recovery but watches this show,” says Kevin.

“You show this to anyone in recovery, and they’ll be able to relate,” says Zack.

The panel members appreciate how the show has a sense of humor about alcoholism and recovery, but takes it seriously, too. Bonnie (Allison Janney) resolves the issue of her boyfriend Adam (William Fichtner) not understanding AA by showing him the tape of her daughter Christy’s (Anna Faris) wedding, which she ruined by getting trashed and making a scene. Her drunken antics are played for laughs until the end, when Christy is crying and apologizing for her mother’s behavior.

“It’s important that they show the part with the daughter, where you realize it’s not just some funny bits,” says Zack. “There are actual consequences. She ruined her daughter’s wedding, and it’s not ‘Ha ha.'” And yet, it still manages to end on a laugh, when Adam quips that he’ll take her to a meeting right now if it ensures that never happens again.

Panel members ranked Mom as most accurate, followed by Recovery Road, then Flaked, thoughFlaked is accurate in a very specific way. They respect each show’s depiction of recovery as different, because every recovering alcoholic’s experience is different. And they think it’s a good thing that these shows exist, because representation builds understanding.

The Migraine Experience

Excedrin has been working with Migraine sufferers like myself to put together a virtual reality to show their loved ones what a migraine “looks like” when one starts for them – its an interesting video – – when I saw the commercial on TV the first time I broke down crying – I have always looked for a way to do that…


Tell me, tell me, tell me your problems
I’m here for you
Just try, just try, just try to stay sober
It’s eating you
And they say you are a monster, but what I see’s a child
Your eyes, your eyes are glowing red
And your tongue has caught on fire

So let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

You play, you play, you play up to them
But they’re not around
Don’t be, don’t be so rough with me
When you are a gem

And they ask how I can love you, when all they see is this
But I see the things that you can’t contain and what it does to you

So let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

Let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

So let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire

Let go, let go of your fire
Let it go, let go of your fire
Live it up ’til we crash and there’s smoke in the air
Let it go, let go of your fire


2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

5 Celebrities Who Have Bounced Back From a Relapse

celebrities who have come back from a relapse

Being famous definitely has its perks. But, it also has its downfalls. Some might argue that fame and drugs go hand-in-hand and that it’s probably a common occurrence to see, be around, or use drugs when you’re famous. And no doubt, there have been numerous tragic stories of celebrities who have succumbed to their drug addiction. But, we’re here to talk about something positive: Celebrities who have relapsed but who have also bounced back and are thriving!

But first, a word about addiction and relapse. One of the main working definitions of addiction is that it is a chronic, progressive, relapsing disorder. Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone who is recovering from drug addiction will relapse at one time or another. However, keep in mind that addiction is an insidious disease that can sneak up on you and the statistics don’t lie: Information gathered by drug and alcohol rehabs show that the percentage of people who will relapse after rehab and even after a having had a period of sobriety ranges from as much as 50% to an astonishing 90%.

Being in recovery can be tough, no doubt. Being a celebrity in recovery is possibly tougher. We’re told we need to change “people, places, things” but, it’s got to be hard to do that if you’re a celebrity in Hollywood. As a member of an exclusive group, you’d have to mingle with some of the same people as before, visit a lot of the same places and attend the same events (think: Oscars and all those before and after parties and all of that alcohol), as well as be a part of the same microcosm of other famous people.

Here are 5 celebs that relapsed but are sober now.

Robert Downey Jr.

robert downey jr sober

RDJ was the epitome of achronic-relapser. After repeated attempts at rehab though, the actor has been drug-free since 2003, proving that recovery is possible. He credits his family, therapy, a twelve-step recovery program, yoga and meditation, and the practice of Wing Chun Kung Fu.Downey is an inspiring role model to many in recovery: after struggling for so long with a raging drug addiction and its consequences (Downey is no stranger to the justice system), he is thriving in sobriety. With over four decades in the business and an amazing list of credits to his name – the Iron Man franchise, Sherlock Holmes 1 and 2, a hilariously memorable role in Tropic Thunder – RDJ has managed to stay relevant and fresh and is more successful than ever.


eminem sober

Several years ago,Eminem was struggling with alcohol and painkillers and decided to go to rehab. Within the first three weeks, he relapsed and within a month his addiction was worse than ever.”I don’t know at what point exactly it started to be a problem,” Eminem said in an interview. “I just remember liking it more and more. People tried to tell me that I had a problem.” He eventually began mixing pills, which led to an overdose. The rapper was rushed to the hospital when he went into organ failure. A month after being released from the hospital, Eminem experienced another relapse.

He says he effectively got sober on April 20, 2008 and considers Elton John to be a close friend and mentor during that difficult time.

Gerard Butler

gerard butler sober

Before becoming an actor, Butler accepted an offer from Glasgow University to study law and, upon graduation, he earned aposition as a trainee lawyer at a law firm in Edinburgh. But, due to his alcoholic lifestyle, hefrequently missed work and, one week before he would qualify as a full-fledged lawyer, hewas fired.Around this time, Butler’s father passed away. Butler has said of this period in his life: “I had gone from a 16-year-old who couldn’t wait to grasp life to a 22-year-old who didn’t care if he died in his sleep.” The 25-year-old unqualified lawyer then moved to London in order to pursue an acting career.  Butler has admitted that, “When I started out, I’m not sure I was actually in it for the right reasons. I wanted very much to be famous.”

Although Butler quit drinking 15 years ago, he was in rehab just a few years back – this time for an addiction to prescription painkillers. Butler began taking painkillers after an injury while shooting the movie Shattered in 2007. “I started taking more. And I started taking them very quickly.” He says he sought treatment through a rehab before it got too out of hand. Butler has been clean and sober ever since.

Kelly Osbourne

kelly osbourne sober

Singer-songwriter, actress, television personality, and fashion designer, Kelly Osborne has madequite a name for herself. However, it wasn’t without its struggles – namely – drug addiction. As the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and Kelly unfortunately takes after her dad, musician Ozzy Osbourne, when it comes to substance abuse.Both father and daughter are clean and sober today. But not without their respective relapses.

At the age of 17, Kelly became addicted to Vicodin – something that had been inadvertently documented on the family’s reality TV show, The Osbournes.

After a fourth stint in rehab in 2009, Kelly said that she finally felt optimistic about her chances at recovery. “After 30 days, I left rehab. For the first time, I felt hopeful. I knew I’d been given another chance at my life, at my career, at happiness. I wanted to grab it.”

Keith Urban

keith urban sober

Musician and American Idol judge Keith Urban is no stranger to rehab – he has been there three times to treat addictions to cocaine and alcohol.“The truth is that I wasn’t even aware of where it was at in my life and how it was just going to come down and take me down like it did,” he told Ellen in 2010. “I was probably in such a state of denial that I consciously wasn’t aware of it.”

After experiencing one relapse, he checked himself into the Betty Ford Center in California in October of 2006. At that time, Urban issued a statement regarding the nature of the disease of addiction, saying: “One can never let one’s guard down on recovery, and I’m afraid that I have.”

Urban has been clean and sober for the better part of a decade now and has continued to enjoy great success. Urban has two daughters with wife, Nicole Kidman, and continues to tour as well as sit as judge for one of America’s most popular television programs.

The Spoon Theory

The Spoon Theory

by Christine Miserandino

My best friend and I were in the diner, talking. As usual, it was very late and we were eating French fries with gravy. Like normal girls our age, we spent a lot of time in the diner while in college, and most of the time we spent talking about boys, music or trivial things, that seemed very important at the time. We never got serious about anything in particular and spent most of our time laughing.

Cartoon image of Christine Miserandino holding a spoon
As I went to take some of my medicine with a snack as I usually did, she watched me with an awkward kind of stare, instead of continuing the conversation. She then asked me out of the blue what it felt like to have Lupus and be sick. I was shocked not only because she asked the random question, but also because I assumed she knew all there was to know about Lupus. She came to doctors with me, she saw me walk with a cane, and throw up in the bathroom. She had seen me cry in pain, what else was there to know?

I started to ramble on about pills, and aches and pains, but she kept pursuing, and didn’t seem satisfied with my answers. I was a little surprised as being my roommate in college and friend for years; I thought she already knew the medical definition of Lupus. Then she looked at me with a face every sick person knows well, the face of pure curiosity about something no one healthy can truly understand. She asked what it felt like, not physically, but what it felt like to be me, to be sick.

As I tried to gain my composure, I glanced around the table for help or guidance, or at least stall for time to think. I was trying to find the right words. How do I answer a question I never was able to answer for myself? How do I explain every detail of every day being effected, and give the emotions a sick person goes through with clarity. I could have given up, cracked a joke like I usually do, and changed the subject, but I remember thinking if I don’t try to explain this, how could I ever expect her to understand. If I can’t explain this to my best friend, how could I explain my world to anyone else? I had to at least try.

At that moment, the spoon theory was born. I quickly grabbed every spoon on the table; hell I grabbed spoons off of the other tables. I looked at her in the eyes and said “Here you go, you have Lupus”. She looked at me slightly confused, as anyone would when they are being handed a bouquet of spoons. The cold metal spoons clanked in my hands, as I grouped them together and shoved them into her hands.

I explained that the difference in being sick and being healthy is having to make choices or to consciously think about things when the rest of the world doesn’t have to. The healthy have the luxury of a life without choices, a gift most people take for granted.

Most people start the day with unlimited amount of possibilities, and energy to do whatever they desire, especially young people. For the most part, they do not need to worry about the effects of their actions. So for my explanation, I used spoons to convey this point. I wanted something for her to actually hold, for me to then take away, since most people who get sick feel a “loss” of a life they once knew. If I was in control of taking away the spoons, then she would know what it feels like to have someone or something else, in this case Lupus, being in control.

She grabbed the spoons with excitement. She didn’t understand what I was doing, but she is always up for a good time, so I guess she thought I was cracking a joke of some kind like I usually do when talking about touchy topics. Little did she know how serious I would become?

I asked her to count her spoons. She asked why, and I explained that when you are healthy you expect to have a never-ending supply of “spoons”. But when you have to now plan your day, you need to know exactly how many “spoons” you are starting with. It doesn’t guarantee that you might not lose some along the way, but at least it helps to know where you are starting. She counted out 12 spoons. She laughed and said she wanted more. I said no, and I knew right away that this little game would work, when she looked disappointed, and we hadn’t even started yet. I’ve wanted more “spoons” for years and haven’t found a way yet to get more, why should she? I also told her to always be conscious of how many she had, and not to drop them because she can never forget she has Lupus.

I asked her to list off the tasks of her day, including the most simple. As, she rattled off daily chores, or just fun things to do; I explained how each one would cost her a spoon. When she jumped right into getting ready for work as her first task of the morning, I cut her off and took away a spoon. I practically jumped down her throat. I said ” No! You don’t just get up. You have to crack open your eyes, and then realize you are late. You didn’t sleep well the night before. You have to crawl out of bed, and then you have to make your self something to eat before you can do anything else, because if you don’t, you can’t take your medicine, and if you don’t take your medicine you might as well give up all your spoons for today and tomorrow too.” I quickly took away a spoon and she realized she hasn’t even gotten dressed yet. Showering cost her spoon, just for washing her hair and shaving her legs. Reaching high and low that early in the morning could actually cost more than one spoon, but I figured I would give her a break; I didn’t want to scare her right away. Getting dressed was worth another spoon. I stopped her and broke down every task to show her how every little detail needs to be thought about. You cannot simply just throw clothes on when you are sick. I explained that I have to see what clothes I can physically put on, if my hands hurt that day buttons are out of the question. If I have bruises that day, I need to wear long sleeves, and if I have a fever I need a sweater to stay warm and so on. If my hair is falling out I need to spend more time to look presentable, and then you need to factor in another 5 minutes for feeling badly that it took you 2 hours to do all this.

I think she was starting to understand when she theoretically didn’t even get to work, and she was left with 6 spoons. I then explained to her that she needed to choose the rest of her day wisely, since when your “spoons” are gone, they are gone. Sometimes you can borrow against tomorrow’s “spoons”, but just think how hard tomorrow will be with less “spoons”. I also needed to explain that a person who is sick always lives with the looming thought that tomorrow may be the day that a cold comes, or an infection, or any number of things that could be very dangerous. So you do not want to run low on “spoons”, because you never know when you truly will need them. I didn’t want to depress her, but I needed to be realistic, and unfortunately being prepared for the worst is part of a real day for me.

We went through the rest of the day, and she slowly learned that skipping lunch would cost her a spoon, as well as standing on a train, or even typing at her computer too long. She was forced to make choices and think about things differently. Hypothetically, she had to choose not to run errands, so that she could eat dinner that night.

When we got to the end of her pretend day, she said she was hungry. I summarized that she had to eat dinner but she only had one spoon left. If she cooked, she wouldn’t have enough energy to clean the pots. If she went out for dinner, she might be too tired to drive home safely. Then I also explained, that I didn’t even bother to add into this game, that she was so nauseous, that cooking was probably out of the question anyway. So she decided to make soup, it was easy. I then said it is only 7pm, you have the rest of the night but maybe end up with one spoon, so you can do something fun, or clean your apartment, or do chores, but you can’t do it all.

I rarely see her emotional, so when I saw her upset I knew maybe I was getting through to her. I didn’t want my friend to be upset, but at the same time I was happy to think finally maybe someone understood me a little bit. She had tears in her eyes and asked quietly “Christine, How do you do it? Do you really do this everyday?” I explained that some days were worse then others; some days I have more spoons then most. But I can never make it go away and I can’t forget about it, I always have to think about it. I handed her a spoon I had been holding in reserve. I said simply, “I have learned to live life with an extra spoon in my pocket, in reserve. You need to always be prepared.”

Its hard, the hardest thing I ever had to learn is to slow down, and not do everything. I fight this to this day. I hate feeling left out, having to choose to stay home, or to not get things done that I want to. I wanted her to feel that frustration. I wanted her to understand, that everything everyone else does comes so easy, but for me it is one hundred little jobs in one. I need to think about the weather, my temperature that day, and the whole day’s plans before I can attack any one given thing. When other people can simply do things, I have to attack it and make a plan like I am strategizing a war. It is in that lifestyle, the difference between being sick and healthy. It is the beautiful ability to not think and just do. I miss that freedom. I miss never having to count “spoons”.

After we were emotional and talked about this for a little while longer, I sensed she was sad. Maybe she finally understood. Maybe she realized that she never could truly and honestly say she understands. But at least now she might not complain so much when I can’t go out for dinner some nights, or when I never seem to make it to her house and she always has to drive to mine. I gave her a hug when we walked out of the diner. I had the one spoon in my hand and I said “Don’t worry. I see this as a blessing. I have been forced to think about everything I do. Do you know how many spoons people waste everyday? I don’t have room for wasted time, or wasted “spoons” and I chose to spend this time with you.”

Ever since this night, I have used the spoon theory to explain my life to many people. In fact, my family and friends refer to spoons all the time. It has been a code word for what I can and cannot do. Once people understand the spoon theory they seem to understand me better, but I also think they live their life a little differently too. I think it isn’t just good for understanding Lupus, but anyone dealing with any disability or illness. Hopefully, they don’t take so much for granted or their life in general. I give a piece of myself, in every sense of the word when I do anything. It has become an inside joke. I have become famous for saying to people jokingly that they should feel special when I spend time with them, because they have one of my “spoons”.

© Christine Miserandino

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