How To LiveWrite Like a Goblin on Reaching Out

This post by the resident Goblin is one that touched me on a very personal level. Read it and tell us what it made you feel. That is, if you care to share.


Geneva is a small place, and walking across from the bridge on a dull warm day, became the last time the goblin would ever meet him, his friend from denmark that is, the dane then, simply, it was while waiting for the homeward bus, the ensuing conversation between them had turned around to the moment where the dane just confided “…actually I don’t want to go home goblin tonight, my life is shit and I’m in a real mess so I am going to a friend’s…”, the goblin replied “…look there’s that AA place almost opposite from where you live, they’d listen and sort it out for you, well at least get some advice there then, and no one would know, would they…”, but what was happening to the dane now, somehow the goblin both knew and felt, wasn’t the actual alcoholism, no, the dane was stalling his own life into a tailspin here, the dane was “ending it”, and now while looking at the dane’s face the goblin could see, or had recollections of, those others that the goblin had known, as ever hiding behind their uniform reassuring expressions as that “exit plan” was taking over inside them, so again the voice in the goblin’s mind just went “…no, it’s always the ones that never mention it by name…”, as the goblin then watched the dane calmly cross the road before him as if walking out of this life too



How do you reach out?

How To Have a Sober 2014

2014 Resolutions: When alcohol isn’t working for you anymore

When a person recognizes there’s a problem with his or her drinking, New Year’s often brings resolutions to quit or cut back. Quitting or cutting back can be as life-changing as pledges to work out more in 2014 or promises to get a new job for the new year. Here are five things to know about alcohol use disorders, quitting and staying sober, whether it is for life, or an experiment for Dry January.

I suggest you scroll down the box and read them all.

1. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are not the same thing. I’ve got the detail on the differences in both my books as well as at… and the differences are aplenty. Cutting back on alcohol consumption may be a practical outcome for an alcohol abuser. If a person has the disease of alcoholism, total abstinence is the only way to put the disease into remission.2. Nine out of ten people who quit drinking fail to stay sober the first time they quit. More than half drink again within six months. Set your expectations accordingly. Lapse or relapse or slips are as likely with alcoholism than with any other disease. They are not the end of recovery. It just means you have another chance to quit. One man, who might be the most famous alcoholic ever, lapsed four times in 22 months. He quit a fifth time though. That’s Bill Wilson, one of the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).3. AA is not the only game in town. There is rehab if you have the resources or insurance, either inpatient or intensive outpatient. There is counseling, either one-to-one or as part of a group… there are also several other self-help groups, such as Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART), Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) and Women for Sobriety (WFS). None of the latter enjoys the widespread availability of the 12-step program of AA however. Those who have success in sobriety acknowledge one common thing: No one gets sober and stays that way without help, whether through counseling or self-help groups or both.4. A chronic, heavy drinker should never attempt to stop drinking on his or her own. Alcohol withdrawal is the only other drug aside from benzodiazepines (think Valium) in which the withdrawal can be fatal. Heroin withdrawal is not fatal. Cocaine withdrawal is not fatal. Alcohol withdrawal can be. Alcohol changes the body tissues. Once the tissues become dependent upon alcohol, it is possible that taking the alcohol away will cause cardiac arrest, stroke or seizures. Supervised detox means medical assistance is nearby and nearly all supervised detox involves medication to ease the physical discomfort of withdrawal, which increases the probability for success.

5. Changing a habit takes three to four weeks, which is one reason many inpatient rehabs have a 28-day program. But that isn’t nearly the end. More severe alcoholics are barely medically stable after just a month. It takes effort – some days more than others – for the first year of sobriety, and an acknowledgement that alcoholism is not curable so the change will mean making adjustments for the rest of one’s life. Alcoholics and non-alcoholics alike return to alcohol for the same reasons of stress, grief, guilt or shame. Getting sober and staying sober only begins with a desire to stop drinking and getting some help in the first part of abstinence. The rest of recovery is learning to live without alcohol for those stressors.

The long-term benefits outweigh the short-term discomfort…

Stopping may seem like a labor today, but there are long-term considerations for the alcohol consumed, even for so-called moderate drinkers.

Alcohol itself is toxic. It’s broken down in the body in the following sequence:
Alcohol>Acetaldehyde>Acetic Acid (vinegar)>Water+CO2
The first metabolite, acetaldehyde, is 30 times more toxic than alcohol and is responsible for damage to tissues.

The relationship between chemicals and your DNA is part of a field called epigenetics and epigenetics is now showing that the alcohol you consume and its acetaldehyde byproduct leave a biological imprint on your DNA, one that can surface in diseases later (Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2012). If the drinking doesn’t kill you immediately, it can kill you years down the road.

The weight of scientific evidence demonstrates a link between alcohol and a greater risk of mortality for diseases of the immunological, nervous,,cardiovascular, and respiratory and digestive systems. This was most recently confirmed by researcher Domenico Palli, a scientist at the Cancer Research and Prevention Institute of Florence in 2012, and new links with diseases and alcohol are being reported nearly weekly. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. If you don’t have the following conditions now, there are provable connections to getting them years after abstinence… the longer a person waits to quit, the higher the risk.

Just some facts why you really should think twice before pouring again.

Liver damage/disease
The alcohol user is eight times more likely to get cirrhosis, which is irreversible,incurable and fatal. Not all alcoholics will get it. One in 10 develops cirrhosis. However,it is not the only liver disease cause by alcohol/acetaldehyde.A fatty liver occurs when alcohol consumption disrupts how the body chooses its fuel. Cell mitochondria—our body power plants—normally use fat to produce energy. As aacetaldehyde breaks down in the body it releases hydrogen, which mitochondria use before fat as fuel. The unused fat then accumulates around the liver. Even in someone who doesn’t look fat in their extremities or midsection, fat deposits choke the liver.

Alcohol itself raids the body of vitamin B (Thiamin) which is essential for a healthy heart. B-deficiency enlarges the heart and creates distended neck veins, narrow pulse pressure, elevated diastolic blood pressure (the second number in your BP) and peripheral edema. Acetaldehyde also physically weakens muscle, the heart being your body’s most important one. Think of how the tongue muscle is weakened from drinking (slurring) and leg muscles are weakened (wobbliness) and the same thing is happening to the heart muscle. However, with the heart, the weakening causes damage that accumulates.

Acetaldehyde also increases cholesterol, especially triglycerides. High cholesterol is a leading indicator of heart trouble on the horizon and the number one condition treated with prescription drugs in the U.S.

Brain damage/mental disease
Cadaever brains have provided conclusive evidence of a brain atrophying (shrinking) after alcohol misuse. However, Dr Ernest Noble of University of California—Irvine says, “Brain damage caused by alcohol, in relatively small quantities can affect the ability of brain cells to make proteins and RNA . . . essential for metabolism and organization of all cells as well as their ability to duplicate themselves.” A former social drinker, he quit drinking at all upon conclusion of his study.

A 2012 study similarly indicates that moderate drinking reduces the production of new brain cells by 40 percent. The November 8, 2012 journal, Neuroscience, reports the level of alcohol intake was not even enough to impair the motor skills of the rats in the study, however, the decrease in the brain’s ability to create new cells could have profound effects on learning and memory later.The area of the brain that produces the neuron cells is the hippocampus, which is associated with learning and memory. Affecting this part of the brain might not be something immediately noticeable, but over time, weekly drinking could have so dramatically reduced the neurons that learning or remembering things becomes more difficult. The study indicates that people don’t have to be alcoholic to do damage to brain structures and that social drinking may be more harmful to people than is currently perceived by the general public.

The impact on mental health and the many fingers of the mind are varied. On one hand there are those who endure years of heavy drinking with the mind’s fingers remaining as nimble as a pianist’s. Others emerge not so deft. It is believed alcohol increases the chances for Alzheimer’s and earlier onset of dementia. Stanford University research in 2010 also proved that alcohol abuse and alcoholism cause deficits in working memory and visio-spatial abilities (think: coordination) even after abstinence.

Sociologist William Anixter pointed out in 1990 before the Anxiety Disorders Association’s Washington, DC, conference that 80 percent of Alcoholics suffer from depression. The unanswered question more than two decades later is how much of that was there organically and how much was caused by the alcohol/acetaldehyde. A 2007 study does make the connection between alcoholic liver disease and the mind. The frontal cortex—responsible for reasoning and memory—is more impaired in patients when they have cirrhosis.

Alcoholic hepatitis is a third type of liver injury connected to alcohol misuse.It is a condition similar to the other hepatitis diseases, but is not the same as A, B or C hepatitis.

Liver problems are not the realm of only the hard drinker, they can be stimulated by amounts of alcohol between five to nine drinks in 24 hours. There are very few symptoms of liver injury until it becomes chronic because the liver has no pain nerves to tell you when it is hurt. If the liver had nerve endings, you’d never make it to the second drink.

Pancreatic damage
The pancreas is a long, flattened, pear-shaped organ located behind the stomach. It makes digestive enzymes and hormones including insulin. Alcohol users are 1.6 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, the most fatal of cancers. (Dr. Mirjam Heinen, Maastricht University, Netherlands, May 2009).

Men should be especially conscious of alcohol/acetaldehyde when it comes to the pancreas. University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers isolated a gene variant in men that puts those who drink heavily at risk for pancreatitis.

Muscle disease
Acetaldehyde fragments muscle fibers, weakening them and allowing them to tear easily. Muscle atrophy or destruction can occur fairly easily. The weakness and atrophy have been known to medicine for 200 years as myopathy, but myopathy has come to be known as a common side effect of acetaldehyde and alcohol.

Nerve disease/neuropathy
Alcoholic neuropathy is identical to the neuropathy experienced as a side effect of diabetes. Neuropathy causes a tingling of burning sensation, or a loss of sensation all together. In Alcoholics, as with diabetics, it is an affliction of the limbs and especially the legs. Commonly there is a reduced sensitivity in the feet. You’re not able to feel pain. When this happens, foot injuries, like blisters, can become infected so severely because you cannot feel pain that amputation is necessary. But the fatal problem with the neuropathy is the increase in the risk of stroke it carries, covered in part four of this series.

Stomach disease
Gastritis—sharp stomach pains—and gastric ulcers are very common results of regular alcohol use and can last for years after abstinence. Alcohol slows the emptying of the stomach, which allows more acid to build up in the stomach and therefore more time for it to permanently damage the stomach lining. Cancer of the stomach is called gastric cancer. Gastric adenocarcinoma is the most common type of stomach cancer. It arises from those cells in the stomach lining.

Chronic gastritis also is a predisposing factor in developing stomach cancer (“Alcohol and stomach cancer in northern Italy,” in the Nutrition ResearchNewsletter, September 1994) The newsletter concluded, “heavy intake of total alcohol (at least eight drinks/day) or wine (six to eight or at least eight drinks/day) was associated with a small but significant increase in stomach cancer risk.”

A more recent study put the cancer risk in much more exact and troubling terms. Researchers evaluated information from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

More than 400 cases of stomach cancer were diagnosed among study participants. Heavy alcohol consumption increased the risk of stomach cancer in men. Men who consumed an average of more than four drinks per day were 65 percent more likely to develop stomach cancer than men who were very light drinkers. The link between alcohol and stomach cancer appeared to be stronger for beer than for wine or spirits.

Breast cancer
One out of eight women will have an encounter with breast cancer. Alcohol use is the ONLY dietary factor increasing the likelihood of getting breast cancer.

Breast cancer risks increase 10 percent for every 10 grams of alcohol consumed daily. That’s about one drink.) Women who consumed even “modest” alcohol (equivalent to 3-6 glasses of wine per week) were linked with a 15 percent increase of developing the disease. Researchers also found that the increased risk of breast cancer for those who drank at least 30 grams of alcohol per day on average (at least two drinks daily) was 51 percent higher compared to women who never drank alcohol.

In addition, when the researchers looked at alcohol consumption levels between the ages 18 to 40 and after the age of 40, they discovered that both were strongly linked with an increased risk of breast cancer. The connection with alcohol consumption still remained even after controlling, reducing or quitting alcohol consumption after the age of 40.

Other cancers
Dr. Palli’s 2012 research identified “significantly” higher risks for cancers of the pharynx, oral cavity and larynx and higher rates for cancers of the esophagus and rectum. “Alcohol’s role as a dietary carcinogen emerged quite clearly,” said Palli. An older study put the numbers at an estimated 75 percent of esophageal cancers in the U.S. are attributable to chronic, excessive alcohol consumption and nearly 50 percent of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, and larynx are associated with heavy drinking.

According to Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, alcohol misuse results in abnormalities in the way the body processes nutrients and may subsequently promote certain types of cancer later in life. Alcoholism also has been associated with suppression of the immune system. Immune suppression makes you more susceptible to various infectious diseases and, theoretically, to cancer.

Heart disease
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S. and carries a definite link to alcohol misuse despite French studies showing low amounts of red wine benefiting the circulatory system. Acetaldehyde – a byproduct of the metabolism of alcohol – causes hypertension, a.k.a. high blood pressure. In a 2007 Medical University of South Carolina study, 120 alcohol users charted lower blood pressure only 12 weeks after abstaining.

I know as well as anyone the challenges quitting can present, but I can honestly say… IT’S WORTH IT. Happy New Year, and here’s to a serene ’14.

Thanks Scott, for giving us a something to think about. For those who don’t know why Scott is the person to listen to, read his book Every Silver Lining has a Cloud about the topic at hand.


Featured Author – Scott Stevens (Finally!)

scott It took me a while, but finally I’m able to present Scott Stevens to you. He’s a remarkable person with a message more than worth hearing.

I’ll let him speak in a moment, but first I need to offer the man a cuppa.

Are you comfortable? Great, because I’m about to grill you over a slow fire to get all the answers to my questions. 🙂

Hi Scott,

I’m glad you’re finally doing this interview with me, because I’ve been waiting for a chance to pose these questions to you. Can you tell us a bit how you got to where you are now? i.e. what was the path life put you on?

Thanks for hosting me, Lucy. I’ll start by saying I have zero resentments and no longing to get a ‘do-over’ on any of life thus far – not even the really great stuff. Truth is, it mostly has been truly great. I have had success in two high-profile careers, two great kids and many new colleagues whom I gladly count among my friends. The path was twisty and almost killed me a couple of times.

(I scoot forward on my chair already wanting to prod him to put that cup down and go on. For criscake, tell me more!)

I had a modest degree of success as an executive when my gene pool and some poor decisions took over my life. In 2004, I was a daily beer drinker. And I knew I was alcoholic. Alcoholism doesn’t care if you have all your bills paid, a great home, an honest career, happy and healthy children or anything else. It’s a disease. And I had it.

I tried to stop on my own and realized what most people with the disease realize after trying to do it my way: You can’t. I had the shakes and got violently ill. Alcohol withdrawal. It’s the only chemical that can kill you with too much and also can kill you when you take it away. Instead of getting help though, ‘my way’ was to become a maintenance drinker so I would not suffer withdrawal. Brilliantly, I switched to whiskey. It was easier to conceal on planes and in my briefcase, and I didn’t have to get up overnight as frequently.

Fast forward two years. I was drinking two liters of whiskey a day every day just to stave off withdrawal. No mixer. No ice. Most of the time I didn’t even bother with a glass. It is hard work being a functioning alcoholic with all the secret drinking and constantly treading a thin line between withdrawal and being too flammable to function.

In 2006, my second wife served me divorce papers after six months…my drinking drove off my first wife and mother of my children a year earlier. I was hospitalized with a blood alcohol concentration over .60. (.08 is a legal limit for driving in the US. .40 is what killed singer Amy Winehouse. I walked out of the hospital against medical advice when my BAC was barely below .50 and drank more that night.) Weeks later I nearly died a second time: Alcohol is a sedative and my blood pressure dropped to 49/17 when my tolerance suddenly vanished.

I was arrested four times in six weeks for drinking and driving. I went to rehab. I went to jail. I relapsed despite all the physical, legal and family consequences and went back to jail.

Today, yes, I am still alcoholic. It’s like luggage: You keep it forever. But the disease is in remission. I do not drink. Somehow, I escaped without any physical damage. My kids still love me. And I have a chance to share through my reporting and through my two books the information I wish I had when I realized I was alcoholic.

Have you ever wanted to run away from it all?

It is the dream of every alcoholic. I moved to Arizona, seeking a geographical solution to a medical problem. Didn’t work. And I missed my children 1,400 miles away.

While there, I could have easily run from my legal troubles, too. Had I been drinking, I might have let bad judgment convince me, too. But, as a father, you teach your children about consequences. I broke the law, and it was imperative that I man-up and lead them with example.

What give you the most satisfaction in life?

The material life was fun, but not satisfying. Today I treasure my sobriety and the relationships I have are healthier and less toxic. That is very satisfying.

Professionally, I find so much reward when a reader says, “Yeah, you get it, Scott. And you helped me, you helped my family.” Writing is fun for me, still, despite a sometimes ugly, always serious, topic. To have a responsible message hit home and help a family in recovery, one reader at a time, is an honor and privilege in which I also find satisfaction.

I think you do great, Scott and think it’s very brave to put yourself out there like that, just to be able to help others.

Is there anything you regret? I mean, do you think you could have done differently, but would you then be where, and who, you are now?

Not really. I made bad decisions. I drove when I had no business driving. I did that. Glad I didn’t physically injure anyone.

I think it is easy to regret my relapses and giving up sobriety when I had it. But I do not. That gives them a life of their own. I won’t forget them, but I don’t regret them. I also look back to 2004 and how couldn’t I? Had I just gotten help then instead of pushing away from everyone, including but not limited to Alcoholics Anonymous…hmmmm. It would have been easier for those around me for certain. I would have lost a valuable message I carry today though.

Thanks for your honesty in answering these very personal questions. Now for the writing related ones.

First, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety. It came out earlier this year.



Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

As you and many other successful colleagues know in fiction, a title and cover are VERY important. In non-fiction, I think that eludes some authors. They will bludgeon you with words on the cover. I have a life-and-death topic for the families with the disease, but I think novelists get it right with title and cover, so I went for fewer words and powerful imagery.

That said, my title is longer than I prefer, but I wanted to make sure it was clear that this is an alcoholism and recovery book. Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud captures what many feel about sobriety: That sobriety is the silver lining to alcoholism. My book about relapse is acknowledging that the silver lining isn’t so shiny every day.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

One key decision point in also publishing my second book independently is that I would not have to conform to a publisher but could instead conform to what’s working for people in recovery. I get a little dark – well a LOT dark – in telling my story. I might have to be forced to choose between my research and my story in order to conform to a publisher’s view of the market and pick between being a self-help title and a memoir. I’m happy I have been able to blend the science and my story in a way that’s been meaningful to readers.

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

I’m not cracking open a pint of Jack Daniel’s to celebrate, but I have been known to have a cigar or two.

I wrote the entire book longhand. Then edited it longhand. So I was very careful with the words and construction because crossing out words really sucks and looks sloppy. When I sat down and entered the keystrokes, some parts were still being edited in my head. When I got the chapter just right, from the segue at the start, through the marrow of the chapter, to the segue at the close, I put it down, smile like all get out and walk away.

That’s all I could do. Smile. There are months of research behind each chapter. A lot of reading some mind-numbing science reports went into the technical parts of the book. If they read easily, months of work were done.

I share some of the ugliest chapters of my life in here, too. I don’t think anyone gets a thrill out of revealing their darkness. But I could smile about those, too, if I felt those chapters just might bolster someone’s recovery.

You do make the book sound more appealing with every thing you tell me about how it came to be, and I’m not even an addict of any kind or in recovery! Sorry, but I just had to say that.

Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now. What don’t you like about writing?

I am a young(ish) man who is so prehistoric I still compose longhand. I don’t write at the computer. I write on a notepad. My hands cramp up. My penmanship on a good day is hardly legible to others. On my writing days, my penmanship is illegible to me.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I am still trying to figure that out. I advertise where it makes sense on Facebook and Google. Margins being what they are on books, that leaves a really soft advertising budget. I think my reporting and blogging do more of the work for both books, because people can see the passion and expertise I bring to the subject matter nearly daily.

It is certainly how you caught my eye!

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Coffee. I prefer skim iced mocha, no whip, but I’ll drink the crappy AA coffee like it is live-giving. Otherwise, homemade Chex mix is a favorite.

chexI know you can buy it already bagged, but I make a custom batch at home for the kids. Extra cheesy, extra cashews, not as many wheat Chex. My personal batch has Tobasco, peanuts, extra garlic rye chips and not as many pretzels.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I can bake and cook very well, but my fave is a really simple Italian beef in a slow cooker. You need just five ingredients plus good hoagie buns and provolone and a day to let it cook.italian-beef-stew-l

3lb beef roast, any cut

14 oz can low sodium beef broth

Two packets Good Seasons Italian dressing mix (reg. Or zesty, I get the zesty one.)

Jar of pepperoncini peppers, remove stems but do not drain

Jar of giardiniera, drain out the oil and rinse (hot or mild, I prefer the mild)

Put it all in a slow cooker on low, 8-12 hours.

Sounds delicious! I think I’m going to try that one, thanks, Scott. 🙂

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

I couldn’t pull it off. I’d go crazy.

Hahaha, okay, but why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

I like what I do with the writing. Best thing is I am not trapped indoors, not tied to just books, not tied to just reporting, not tied to just non-fiction. It is rewarding and very flexible. I write on the patio or the train. And it beats drinking.

Right you are! Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

Boy, I could take this question a lot of places. I think I may need a witness protection program first though.

You could write a book about it and call it fiction! 🙂 Scott, it was great having you, thank you for your candour. Leaves me with giving the readers a short excerpt to sample the book and then tell them where it can be bought and where you can be found online.

“One of the differences between this disease and most other chronic ones that is so difficult to communicate is that with Alcoholism, when you are the sickest and most acute, you don’t feel sick because you’re getting alcohol. When you arrest the disease by treating it, that’s when you feel sick: In remission. First from withdrawal symptoms, naturally, but more so from cortisol and the Symptoms of Sobriety. With cancer, for example, you don’t feel sickest when you’ve stopped the spread and gotten that disease into remission. You feel sickest when the cancer is most acute. Lyme disease or even the flu is the same way. An Alcoholic can feel the sick from the Symptoms well into remission, even eight to ten years after stopping the drinking, according to 1985 research from Clinton DeSoto, William O’Donnell, Linda Alfred and Charles Lopes (“Symptomology in Alcoholics at Various Stages of Abstinence” in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, vol. 9 1985).

That seems crazy: Other diseases don’t behave this way in remission.

And you are not crazy. You just need some adjustments. A diabetic, by comparison, would address the condition, not just symptoms, with small lifestyle adjustments. A severe diabetic would require more extensive life changes as well as professional help. He’d have an expert evaluate the meaning of his diabetic symptoms, wouldn’t he? Here’s another medical comparison. If migraine sufferers had the luxury of such clear warning signs as the Symptoms of Sobriety before the onset of a migraine, they’d take heed. Why should the Symptoms of Sobriety be evaluated any less thoroughly than the symptoms of diabetes or heeded less than the warning signs preceding a migraine? Neither diabetes nor migraines are as lethal as snapping Alcoholism out of remission.

The Symptoms aren’t some tabloid fad or syndrome-of-the-week; they are real. You feel like crap. It’s not imaginary. Not everyone will suffer from them though. For me, the third Symptom—the clarity—was my most pronounced and created the most havoc. I was so accustomed to thinking quickly on my feet. I believed the sharpness of the training as a journalist never dulled. At times though, even well after I stopped my two-liters-a-day drinking ordeal, I could not focus for more than 20 minutes at a time, couldn’t remember things I didn’t write down and had to re-read stuff to get the point. The cortisol was doing what the alcohol couldn’t: Singeing my brain, messing with my sharpness and my mental function. (Of course drinking that much blunted my judgment but at least I could make bad decisions more quickly.) I know this as a Symptom now. And now the Symptom is my own primary warning sign that there is something wrong and I need to address it and fix one or more of the sources listed at the end of the chapter, not just the Symptom itself.”

–from Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety, pgs. 27-28

Every Silver Lining Has a Cloud: Relapse and the Symptoms of Sobriety is available in English in e-book, softcover and hardcover at:



And should any reader want to follow, or find Scott Stevens, he’s online at the following places:
His site, blogFacebook, on twitter he is known as @AlcoholAuthor, on Pinterest, and Goodreads as an author and the book.
Again, thank you Scott and if you ever have news, don’t hesitate to contact me to help you spread the word.
Oh, by the by, you might want to talk to my friend Amy Oathout, she has a similar story to yours and uses it to help people too.
Do you have an addiction? And what do you do to beat it?