Being a Sober Mom is the Greatest Gift
Story by Maggie Shores
Many people continue to believe that alcohol addiction is a character flaw or a weakness in a person. They may believe that the alcoholic simply cannot hold their booze and should just stop! But there are many factors as to why a person continues to use despite the negative consequences. This seems to be more prevalent when it affects women and mothers, which in turn makes it extremely difficult to come to terms with and admit the there is a problem. Many women drink in hiding in fear of the stigma from family, friends and the society, and especially being labeled as bad mothers.
The idea of possibly being an alcoholic was extremely difficult to accept for me, especially since my biological mom was an alcoholic and my family disowned her when I was only four years old. Not understanding the disease of alcoholism and confused about what made my mom choose drinking over taking care of me, I held the same uneducated beliefs towards her as my family did. Because mothers are supposed to be the rocks of the family; we are the nurtures and the peacekeepers, the tear wipers, and the scrape healers. We are not supposed to have “drinking problems.”
In the beginning, as I became a mom, I did not worry much about my drinking. I thought that it just helped me cope with the day-to-day responsibilities of parenting and taking care of an infant. I thought I was more relaxed and fun and not so completely worn out all the time. I thought that at the end of the day I needed to relax and have all the stress and worry melt away – just like we often see parents do on TV. Instead I found myself drunk and often in blackouts, and not capable of taking care of my daughter.
And yet, with a huge amount of denial, and not wanting to be like my alcoholic mom, I tried in any way possible to be a responsible drinker; there were rules, and times, and amounts, all to be considered in a sneaky plot against my insidious tyrant – alcohol! However, even with all this maddening planning, I was never able to drink like a
I wish I could say that I was able to get sober for my kids, but I was not. It was a long struggle and I was stuck in a vicious cycle of beating myself up and not understanding my disease – my disease did not have any limits, my disease did not care who I was, or what I did, or who I hurt – my disease just wanted me drunk at all costs, and at the same time I did not want to be “that mother either.”
After a massive battle with my ego, I finally surrendered, and I got sober! I do know that the need for me to be a mom to my little girl was an enormous determining factor, yet it took me hitting my absolute bottom to finally accept my alcoholism and get help. I was fortunate enough, to go to women only rehab where I learned how to be a sober parent and how to live a sober life. I am so very grateful for all that I have gone through in my journey to sobriety; it has made me a stronger woman and a better mom.
Today, one of the most amazing things about being in recovery is that I now get to be a sober parent! I have a daughter who was born when I was still drinking and two boys who I had when I was sober. The difference between being a sober parent and a parent in the midst of alcoholism is immeasurable. Truly, I cannot even put it into a comparison. When I was drinking, the drink was the most important and nothing would stand in my way of it. I was constantly rushing to get things done so I could drink. I was not present for anything. I was not there for my daughter, or her needs, neither for any of my needs. I was unfit as a mother.
I have also found that sobriety alone is my biggest strength in parenting. Parenting is hard. It is non-stop, and it is demanding. However, being sober keeps my mind completely clear to take on the day-to-day challenges. It also allows me to have some amazing moments with my kids, moments that I will remember and cherish forever, moments that if I were still drinking, I would not be able to ever experience.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr. M Williams PhD Psy
Does Alcohol Raise the Risk for Breast Cancer?
It’s no secret that genetic, hormonal and environmental factors all seem to play a role in breast cancer. (1) When it comes to alcohol and breast cancer risk specifically, a May 2016 study provides even more insight suggesting that lifestyle factors — including how much alcohol a woman drinks — really matters.
Danish researchers published a study in the British Journal of Medicine providing even more detail of the alcohol and breast cancer risk connection. Analyzing women’s change in alcohol consumption over a five-year period, Danish researchers found that women who increased the amount of alcohol they drank over a five-year period faced a higher risk of breast cancer.
For instance, women who drank two more alcohol drinks a day over five years saw a 30 percent increased risk of breast cancer compared to women with stable alcohol intake. That same study found a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease in woman who drank more. However, the study authors noted there are other ways to lower heart disease risk without increasing your breast cancer risk from drinking alcohol. (2, 3)
Alcohol and Breast Cancer Risk Findings
Research consistently shows that drinking alcoholic beverages increases a woman’s risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol not only damages DNA in cells, but it also triggers higher levels of estrogen and other hormones linked to hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Compared to women who don’t drink at all, women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15 percent higher risk of breast cancer. The estimated alcohol and breast cancer risk increases another 10 percent for each additional drink women regularly have each day, according to breastcancer.org.
Here are more important alcohol and breast cancer risk findings:
A large meta-analysis looking at the relationship between alcohol and breast cancer risk in women also found that women who drank about three alcoholic drinks a week experienced a moderate increase in breast cancer risk. (4)
A 2009 study found that drinking just three to four alcoholic beverages a week increases a women’s risk of breast cancer recurrence in women who’d been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. (5)
In March 2016, University of Houston researchers found that alcohol not only fuels estrogen that drives the growth of breast cancer cells, but it also diminishes the effects of popular cancer drug Tamoxifen, a widely-used estrogen-blocking drug used to treat many breast cancers. (6)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises women to drink no more than one drink a day. (7) If you drink less than this, don’t increase the amount of alcohol you drink.
Defining a “Drink”
When considering all of this research investigating alcohol and breast cancer risk, it’s important to understand what a “drink” actually means. For instance, drinking one dirty martini is very different than drinking a glass of beer or wine. Each may seem like a single drink, but a dirty martini typically contains about 6 ounces of vodka. That means your single martini, for instance, would actually be considered four drinks.
Researchers often use the following National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism guidelines to define what constitutes as one drink, which is about 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol:
- 12 ounces of beer or hard cider (3 to 7 percent alcohol)
- 8 ounces of malt liquor
- 5 ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof liquor
Keep in mind that a craft beer with a high alcohol percentage served in a common 16-ounce pint glass could actually be more on par with drinking two 12-ounce bottles of beer with a more standard alcohol percentage of 3 to 7 percent alcohol. (8) And when you’re sipping on something like red wine, be aware of how many ounces the glass is really holding.
Women who drink up to one drink a day and men who drink up to two drinks a day are considered moderate drinkers. Women having four or more drinks on any day or a total of eight or more drinks a week are considered high-risk, excessive drinkers. (For men, drinking more than five drinks on any day or 15 or more drinks a week is considered high-risk, excessive drinking.) (9)
Other Ways to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer
With breast cancer cases expected to increase 50 percent by 2030, it’s important to not only consider alcohol and breast cancer risk, but take steps to lower your risk through other lifestyle improvements. (10) The important takeaway is that there are many things you can do lower your breast cancer risk in a meaningful way. Aside from lowering the levels of alcohol you drink, here are other ways to get started:
Fruits and veggies are loaded with cancer-fighting compounds — Interesting, a 2016 study found that when girls eat more fruit during adolescence (at least 2.9 servings a day), they enjoy a 25 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life compared to girls who eat the lowest levels of fruit during adolescence (less than a serving a day). (11, 12) Just be sure to choose organic when possible, since some fruits and veggies on the dirty dozen list harbor pesticides linked to cancer.
Eat organic, fresh foods as much as possible — Avoid canned foods and drinks. Most contain toxic BPA, also known as bisphenol A, a harmful chemical linked to hormone disruption and breast cancer. (13)
Avoid the heavy metal cadmium — It’s found in cigarettes smoke and linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. (14, 15) Cadmium is a common food contaminant most often found in shellfish, liver and kidney meats.
Exercise — Strenuous exercise for 4+ hours a week can help lower your risk of breast cancer. Exercises can also help keep you out of the overweight/obese category, which is another risk factor for breast cancer in woman who have reached menopause. (16)
Final Thoughts on Alcohol and Breast Cancer Risk
It’s clear that alcohol and breast cancer risk are related, but it may be unrealistic for some women to completely give up all alcoholic drinks for the rest of their lives. The science suggests that increasing the amount of alcohol you drink in midlife increases your risk. Other large research studies found that drinking three drinks or more a week moderately increases risk. In other words, you don’t have to be a binge drinker to experience a significant increase in risk.
Having a glass of red wine now and then can provide you with a healthy dose of resveratrol, a potent antioxidant shown to expand your lifespan and aid in weight loss. However, it’s important to remember that alcohol is a neurotoxin that also puts unnecessary stress on your liver. You can easily get those same benefits from blueberries and supplements, so don’t rely on even occasional red wine as your sole source of resveratrol.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dr P. Carrothers – JA
How Drinking Alcohol Every Day Affects Your Health
Having one drink each day could put your heart at risk for abnormalities for the rest of your life.
Having an occasional happy hour drink or celebratory toast doesn’t typically increase your risk of disease. In fact, having a glass of wine throughout the week has been found to improve your heart health. But if having a drink turn into an everyday habit, a team of researchers at the American Heart Association warn it could drastically increase your risk of irregular heartbeats and blood flow.
For the study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, researchers recruited 5,220 American participants of the average age of 56. For six years, each participant underwent electrocardiograms (EKG), which is a way to measure the electrical activity of the heart in order to reveal any abnormalities. In addition, researchers surveyed participants to find out how much alcohol they consumed on a regular basis. Those who drank habitually every day – even if it was just one drink – were at the highest risk for atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes irregular beats and failure to pump blood properly.
“Our study provides the first human evidence of why daily, long-term alcohol consumption may lead to the development of this very common heart rhythm disturbance,” said the study’s senior author Dr. Gregory Marcus, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, in a statement. “We were somewhat surprised that a relatively small amount of alcohol was associated with a larger left atrium and subsequent atrial fibrillation.”
For every one drink a person had each day, not only did it increase their risk of developing atrial fibrillation by 5 percent, it also meant they were up to 75 percent more likely to have a larger heart chamber (left atrium). Living with these heart abnormalities greatly increases the risk of other conditions, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and abnormal heartbeats. Ultimately, this doubles a person’s risk of succumbing to a heart-related death. While alcohol’s effect on the heart is still not completely clear, researchers plan to continue exploring the link in order to reduce the risk of heart abnormalities.
“It’s not one size fits all when it comes to the effects of alcohol and heart health,” Marcus said. “Our hope is that by understanding the mechanistic relationship between alcohol and atrial fibrillation we might learn something inherent to atrial fibrillation in general that could help identify new ways of understanding and treating the disease.”
Health and Wellness Associates
Top Five Warning Signs that
Your Child/ Young Adult is in Trouble
What causes people to make choices that could destroy their future, and why do they give
in to peer pressure? Could your child be headed down a dangerous path? Heed the
following warning signs:
#1 warning sign: Isolates from the family.
If your once social child/ adult starts spending an inordinate amount of time away
from home or locked in his or her room, this is a red flag. If your child/young adult starts withdrawing from you or your spouse, there’s a reason. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to identify what’s behind the change.
#2 warning sign: An extreme shift in mood.
Is your child/ young adult garrulous and friendly one moment, then taciturn and angry the
next? Don’t just chalk it up to growing pains. he or she may be hanging out with the wrong crowd,
or experiencing changes — hormonally, neurologically or socially.
One thing to do is not to let it just go, because they get bigger, they get stronger,
they get more rebellious. It’s never too late.
#3 warning sign: He or she starts abusing drugs or alcohol.
Young adults often start experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol unbeknownst to their folks.
If you suspect your child is using drugs, know the signs to look for.
#4 warning sign: Family history of alcoholism and drug abuse.
There clearly is a higher incidence with teens if they’ve had this history in their family.
Maybe it’s genetic; maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just that the modeling is there.
#5 warning sign: Taking risks.
Don’t chalk your young adult truancy, vandalism or petty theft up to boys being boys, or kids never grow up. When your family member just seems to throw caution to the wind, not care about consequences — all around bad sign, It indicates a number of things, one of which is that they don’t have the ability to connect their choices with their consequences.
warning signs to look out for:
Declining grades, using street or drug language, a diminished interest in hobbies and a
lack of appreciation for family values.
You can’t be in denial about what’s going on. Don’t kid yourself that these bad
things just happen to other people’s kids. Know what’s going on with your
child. Make sure they understand the consequences of their actions.
Make sure they’re living consistent with the values you hold so important.
Health and Wellness Associates
P Carrothers- PM
312-972- WELL (9355)
If you need to numb the pain, the Pain Killer is just what the doctor ordered. It was originally concocted at the legendary Soggy Dollar Bar in the Sandcastle Hotel, Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands. Technically you can’t make one unless you’re using Pusser’s Navy Rum. Pusser’s is a delightful rum based on the rum used by the British Navy until July 31, 1970.
4 oz rum
4 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Coconut Cream
1 oz Orange Juice
8 oz Crushed Ice
Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend for approximately 3 seconds. Serve in a tiki mug or double rocks glass and dust with nutmeg, cinnamon, or both.
Did you know that rum is carb-free
I wish I had learned the following information years ago, or had at least been more mindful of it. While I do believe it is common knowledge that alcohol is not particularly good for us, I don’t believe very many of us know just how bad it is. I myself was shocked to learn that it is a known carcinogen, and was further surprised to discover that regular alcohol consumption actually inhibits the body’s natural ability to produce crucial vitamins.
Considering alcohol is a depressant, this information makes clear how negatively it can impact both mental and physical health, often leading to a vicious cycle of self medication. Let’s take a look at some of the long term negative effects of alcohol on the body.
Many studies clearly correlate alcohol consumption and cancer development, linking moderate to regular alcohol consumption to the following types of cancer: Head and neck cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Liver Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, and more.
“Based on extensive reviews of research studies, there is a strong scientific consensus of an association between alcohol drinking and several types of cancer.” National Cancer Institute
Decreased Vitamin B12 Production
Studies have shown that drinking alcohol in excess compromises your vitamin B12 levels; if you are already or become deficient in this crucial vitamin, your health may suffer greatly. Recent studies have also concluded that even regular, moderate use of alcohol can impact your B12 levels.
Decreased Vitamin D & Calcium Absorption
Alcohol interferes with the pancreas and its ability to absorb calcium and vitamin D. Alcohol also affects the liver, which is important for activating vitamin D, necessary for proper calcium absorption. This cascade of effects can lead to difficulties with bone regeneration.
Liver Damage (Cirrhosis)
Liver cirrhosis occurs when the liver becomes scarred, and while a number of things can cause this, a common cause of this is alcohol abuse. Cirrhosis of the liver can be very serious, even fatal, and often the only way to reverse it is through surgery.
As appealing and even empowering as the feeling of lowered inhibitions and increased confidence can be, alcohol is a depressant which lowers serotonin levels in the brain. Many people turn to alcohol to alleviate depression, but many actually develop it because of alcohol, hence why this can become a very vicious cycle for some people.
Consuming alcohol slows down processes in the brain, often resulting in memory loss. Excessive drinking, moreover, can result in complete “black-outs,” causing you to forget where you were, what you did, and even who you did it with. Over time, this can make it difficult to remember events that happen even while sober.
What Happens To The Body Right Away And Especially The Next Day?
Alcohol irritates the stomach and intestines, which causes an inflamed stomach lining and delayed stomach emptying.
You are becoming dehydrated; the consumption of 50 g of alcohol in 250 milliliters (ml) of water (i.e. approximately 4 drinks) causes the elimination of 600 to 1,000 ml (or up to 1 quart) of water over several hours.
Alcohol inhibits glutamate production; glutamate is a stimulant whose job is to keep us awake. However, when our alcohol blood-levels reach zero (i.e., hangover time), our body reacts by overproducing this stimulant, which results in broken sleeps
According to this research, a possible explanation for alcohol induced hangovers is that alcohol effects the neurotransmitters, histamine, serotonin and prostaglandins.
How Much Is Too Much?
According to the Canadian Centre For Addiction and Mental Health, women should drink no more than 10 drinks per week with no more than 2 drinks a day. Men should drink no more than 15 drinks a week, with no more than 3 on one day. And you are not supposed to drink daily. I don’t know about you, but on a day that I go out and plan to drink it’s very rare that I would consume only 2 drinks. For instance, in the U.S. one out of ever six adults binge drinks 4 times a month with an average of 8 drinks per binge.
Some Personal Thoughts On The Matter
Learning how detrimental alcohol truly is for our health really made the “truth seeker” in me wonder why it is promoted so heavily in mainstream media. It’s not often you see a TV show or a movie where the characters aren’t regularly consuming copious amounts of alcohol, and both these characters or those in alcohol advertisements are portrayed, to varying degrees, as sexy, cool, spontaneous, and fun. In fact the promotion of alcohol in mainstream commercialism was reported to have spent 8 billion on advertising between 2002-2009. While knowledge of alcohol’s dangers is nowhere near as common as that of, say, smoking, that still leaves the question, why is it kept in the dark? A lot of information is coming forward these days about how sugar is the tobacco of the 21st century and so on, but it seems the truth about alcohol’s dangers are largely being ignored.
Even many popular alternative health blogs don’t seem to pay too much attention to the idea. Is this because so many people enjoy alcohol and the way it makes them feel and would rather turn a blind eye? Or is there a vested interest in keeping this information quiet? Not to be a total Negative Nancy, but this all reminds me of George Orwell’s 1984 and how the deprived characters of the story were just given alcohol as a way to keep them happy and help them escape their otherwise miserable existence.
Please don’t get me wrong — I enjoy alcohol as much as the next person, or maybe even more, as it can be a great way to let loose, have fun, or even just relax, but this information has really got me thinking lately. Especially after abstaining from alcohol for the month of February, realizing how much better I felt on a day-to-day basis and seeing how much more I was able to accomplish, I think this is something we could all benefit from examining more closely.
What Do You Think?
If you are someone who enjoys the occasional glass of wine or a couple of beers every now and then, you can pretty much disregard this article. It is likely that if you are living an otherwise healthy lifestyle, these negative effects won’t have much of an impact on you. But if you are someone who drinks regularly, or who uses alcohol as an escape, this information is really worth taking into consideration. Why not take a break from alcohol and see if your mood improves? If you find you are using alcohol as a means to deal with stress, consider an alternative, like going for a run or walk, spending a few minutes in the sauna, or even meditating. Try doing something positive to deal with the stress rather than escaping it with alcohol.
Some Benefits Of Cutting Back Or Quitting Alcohol
Less or no hangovers
More time to get things done
Not having regrets from something stupid you may have done
Please share to help someone else out. Call us if you need help looking into what supplement you will need, and always calculate the other medications and supplements you are on.
Health and Wellness Associates
Foods to Avoid when you have High Blood Pressure
In America, almost one in three adults are living with high blood pressure, that’s why the topic of dietary recommendations for high blood pressure is becoming more and more popular these days. What causes high blood pressure? Normally not consuming enough vegetables and fruits can result in a high sodium intake and low potassium intake, which can contribute to developing high blood pressure. So with high blood pressure, you are recommended to have a diet low in sodium and fat, avoid these foods:
Pickles are super low in calories and fat, and are also high in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot after the injury, that’s great. But they are loaded with sodium, one medium pickle provides more than 570mg of sodium, that’s more than 1/3 of the daily recommended needs. So if you’re with high blood pressure, limit your pickle intake.
Sauerkraut is with several health benefits, including providing vitamin C and K, iron and a good amount of fiber, and it also boosts your immune system, but you should limit the amount you eat, or choose low-sodium brands, as a half cup of it has more than 460 mg of sodium, 19% of your recommended daily intake.
Bacon is not only delicious, it’s also like other pork products, contains B-vitamins (vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, B12), vitamin D as well as the minerals zinc, iron and magnesium, which are all essential for a positive health body. But why most people feel afraid to eat it? As it’s super high in sodium, three slices contain around 270 mg of sodium and 4.5 grams of fat, so it’s wise to try turkey bacon for lower sodium intake instead of the salty&fatty pork bacon.
- Whole Milk
When you’re trying to build muscle, whole milk is your best choice, it provides more fat than you need, a one cup serving of whole milk contains 8 grams of fat. While if you are living with high blood pressure, try using 2% milk, or even better-skim milk, as the saturated fats whole milk contains are bad for you and may lead to heart disease.
People like donuts, for its sweet taste, but they are not good for your health. A single donut can provide more than 300 calories and 12 grams of fat, as they’re fried, means you’re getting lots of saturated and trans fat, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
- Ramen Noodles
Ramen noodles are popular among college students all over the world, as they’re inexpensive and so convenient. However, it’s not a healthy choice as they’re lack of nutrients and with lots of unhealthy components. One package of ramen provides 14 grams of fat, including 6 grams of saturated fat, and 1731 grams of sodium, more than 70% of the recommended daily needs! In fact, the flavor packet contains most of the sodium, so to reduce sodium intake, it’s better to not add the flavor packet.
Drinking too much alcohol may raise your blood pressure to unhealthy levels, and alcohol can damage the walls of blood vessels. For people with high blood pressure, avoid alcohol totally or drink in moderation. Moderate drinking is generally considered to be:
- One drink for men age more than 65 per day
- Two drinks for men younger than age 65 per day
- One drink for women of any age per day
A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.
If you have high blood pressure, limit eating these above foods and focusing on low-sodium foods can help. Some good choices are: potassium-rich bananas, salt-free seasonings, potassium-packed white potatoes, fresh fish, nutrient-packed lima beans, iron-rich spinach, omega-3 fatty acids-rich flaxseed.
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived Article : Jordan
Top Five Warning Signs that Your Child is in Trouble
What causes teenagers to make choices that could destroy their future, and why do they give in to peer pressure? Could your child be headed down a dangerous path? Heed the following warning signs:
#1 Teen warning sign: Isolates from the family. If your once social child starts spending an inordinate amount of time away from home or locked in his or her room, Dr. Phil says this is a red flag. If your teen starts withdrawing from you or your spouse, there’s a reason. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to identify what’s behind the change.
#2 Teen warning sign: An extreme shift in mood. Is your child garrulous and friendly one moment, then taciturn and angry the next? Don’t just chalk it up to growing pains. Dr. Phil says he or she may be hanging out with the wrong crowd, or experiencing changes — hormonally, neurologically or socially.
“One thing to do is not to let it just go,” Dr. Phil warns, “because they get bigger, they get stronger, they get more rebellious. It’s never too late.”
#3 Teen warning sign: He or she starts abusing drugs or alcohol.
Teens often start experimenting with drugs and/or alcohol unbeknownst to their folks. If you suspect your child is using drugs, know the signs to look for.
#4 Teen warning sign: Family history of alcoholism and drug abuse.
“There clearly is a higher incidence with teens if they’ve had this history in their family,” Dr. Phil says. “Maybe it’s genetic; maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s just that the modeling is there.”
#5 Teen warning sign: Taking risks.
Don’t chalk your child’s truancy, vandalism or petty theft up to “teens being teens.”
“When your teen just seems to throw caution to the wind, not care about consequences — all around bad sign,” Dr. Phil warns. “It indicates a number of things, one of which is that they don’t have the ability to connect their choices with their consequences.”
Other warning signs to look out for:
Declining grades, using street or drug language, a diminished interest in hobbies and a lack of appreciation for family values.
“You can’t be in denial about what’s going on. Don’t kid yourself that these bad things just happen to other people’s kids. Know what’s going on with your child. Make sure they understand the consequences of their actions,” Dr. Phil says. “Make sure they’re living consistent with the values you hold so important.”
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived Article Carrothers- PM
312-972- WELL (9355)