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Hope and Addiction

Hope and Addiction

My name is JR Hamel I enjoy writing of all sorts and playing music, I recently went through some personal changes in my life which I have decided to use my experiences and struggles to inspire others for a positive change. I am a loving husband and father of three wonderful kids. My passion of writing is combined with my passion to helps those in need. I believe that HOPE is key for getting a person through what ever situations they may endure in their lives. HOPE can go along way in a persons life. HELP HOPE HEAL To contact me or to book a speaking engagement please use email below.

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Addiction kills more than just the Addict

Addiction in America is on the rise and more and more people are dying and suffering from this disease. The silent killer of Addiction does not just kill the person who is the addict it is killing the people who love the addict as well. I have spoken from the addict point of view since the beginning but I also want to express that my mission is not just towards helping the addict but the family and loved ones of the addict as well. See I have lived in both pairs of shoes coming from a long line of addicts I have seen first hand what damage can come from watching a loved one suffer from this diereses. I lost my mother almost 3 years ago to Cirrhosis of the Liver and up to the day my mother got so sick to when was not able to function or speak she denied the fact that her Alcoholism was the cause of her death sentence, that was the most frustrating and painful thing I have lived knowing that my mother was going to die way before her time and the cause was because of a another disease, her Alcoholism was so bad that she remained in denial to the very end I even suspected many times she was still sneaking and drinking when she was not supposed to because of the signs and now looking back on it from a clear perspective I truly believe that was correct in these feelings. What brings this blog idea is that I just recently had a close friend send me a letter to Addiction from the side of a loved one she posted it on my HnA Facebook page but I am going to share it on here because I truly feel this is the best explanation and heartfelt plied from a loved one of an Addict.I asked her if I can share this as I feel that everyone needs to hear what it is like from both sides of this disease. This disease is an equal opportunity destroyer it does not care what race, sex, age or how much money you make, no one is exempt from this disease and anyone and everyone is effected by it in so many ways. Here is the letter to Addiction  written by an anonymous friend, this moved me THANK YOU for your courage in expressing your feelings I know this was not easy but it will help others.

Dear Addictions,

Let me explain what you’ve done to me. I personally only experience you in nicotine. But you have made your way to me in different forms through different people. You take over. As if you control every being, including myself. Do you know how many times I have been told I’m the one that needs help, I’m crazy, I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m a frigid bitch, I should go to counseling. All because of you. Some people have physical violence from you. I myself have had verbal. More than I care to admit. Because apparently you aren’t the problem, but I am. Responsibilities don’t matter to you or how you make people feel. Lies are ok…like going to a store for pop and returning 2 hours later, like I don’t know. Or telling me over and over with promises of love that you are going to chill out and that the alcohol is out of hand and I’m right. Lies. A small comfort for a few days just to keep my ‘crazy’ mouth quiet. You aren’t just a black shadow to them, but also to me. You follow everyone. And knowing that means I can’t ever relax and am constantly on edge. Because I’ll never know when you are going to show up? What’s going to happen? How can I defend myself against you when you are here because you don’t listen? And sometimes I even catch myself making excuses for you bc it’s not that bad…..right? But it is. Mr Addiction, you live in the pit of my stomach every day. You have for a long time in different ways. But I always feel the same. Down. Alone. Crazy. Weak over the power you hold. I’d like to beat you down, if I could. But I can’t. You aren’t my battle. I know I’m stronger than you are and i wouldn’t let you control me. You prey on people…do you know that? Because you make people think the bad stuff goes away with you. But it doesn’t. It gets worse. Everything that you are around gets worse. You are a nightmare and addicts think you are a dream. I will say out loud that I hate you and everything that comes along with you. The fighting, the hate AND the resentment you cause. But most of all, the hurt. The pain that an addict doesn’t understand, but the other side of an addict does. Me. I’m the other side. I see you rip apart lives, events, birthdays, ruin memories, togetherness, and most of all love. Each one more worse than the last. But I know you don’t care. You don’t see what you do. Or how it picks away at the person I am because you are so defeating. You have ruined parts of me, but I won’t go into that. Why bother? You are the one battle I won’t ever win. But that’s not on me. That’s on the people you live inside of. So, at 35 years old I ask….do I want to fight you the rest of my life? I know I can’t. I’m tired. You’ve exhausted me. And more than that, you’ve exhausted and changed a person I love a lot. Myself.




Feeling entitled to drink is a sign of a problem!!

My entire life or at least most of it which I remember I have heard ” I worked all day today, I deserve to have a few beers” “I cut the grass I deserve to have a few drinks” ” I just have a few so I can unwind” Well the problem with this is that no one should as they deserve to have a drink. It just baffles my mind on how simple it is to figure out if a person has a problem with Alcohol or not. You can go online to google and type in Alcohol addiction and it will give you a site that has a quiz, to tell you whether or not you have a co dependency issue with drugs or alcohol. OK as if the person on the other end is going to be %100 honest with this “quiz” or “questionnaire” I can tell you right now just for fun I took a few of these and it was a joke. Going back to my long drinking career if you were to ask me how much I drank in a week I would have said like a 6 pack which in reality was a 6 pack a night or more. The funny thing is that addicts are liars but not always on purpose I would actually believe that was how much I drank. My wife would ask me how many beers did I have, my famous line was “I have no idea I do not keep track” because I was either afraid if she knew I had 14 she would be mad, or I did not want to get cut off or get into an argument (which always happen because I was an asshole when I got drunk) I knew exactly how much I drank in a sitting most of the time. Now i did say there are times when I would believe my number was smaller only because of denial that I had a problem.So going back to this online questionnaire FORGET it this is a fool proof way to figure out if you or someone has a drinking problem. When they feel that they are entitled to have a beer or beers or drinks because of something they did, whether a stressful day at work, mowing the lawn or just waking up in the morning. Then that is a sure sign of an Alcohol problem or the start of one, but rest assured that it is a problem that will soon turn into a fucking nightmare. If you were to talk to me or my wife me being the Alcoholic and my wife being what we call “the normy” you would find our logic to be very different this goes for anyone who is a “normy” you will never hear them say “I deserve to” only addicts feel entitled to the chemical they are addicted to. It is a vice grip on the mind and until I got sober I never knew how ridiculous my way of thinking was  like holy shit I actually believe this crap. The other famous excuses I hear a lot is that Doctors say a glass of red wine if good for you, yes, in MODERATION which is a word that does not exist in the mind of an addict and it is 1 glass not a damn bottle, yes I have actually watched people and did it myself drank a bottle of wine and actually thought it was good for my red blood cells. Well we need to eat in order to maintain a healthy life but over eating can cause obesity which can cause health problems, same rules apply except we can live just fine without alcohol I do it everyday. The problem with our culture is that a little is never enough we always need to gorge ourselves to the brink of insanity in everything. The cost is the millions of lives that are lost to this obsession with over stimulation, we find ourselves so overloaded by life that we feel we need chemicals to calm us down, which is not the case understanding that life is going to bring many different types of stresses and is going to demand a lot from us physically and mentally will help us all understand that we can control how much of this we want to absorb and effects us.I speak from personal experience you take away the booze and drugs then half the stress goes with it, sure I have many areas of my life that seem unmanageable at times but I have found better ways to deal, for example I blog, I work with others in their fights I have me time which may involve me sitting in a room in the dark with headphones just reflecting on a stressful situation. The difference now a days is that I feel privileged and not entitled I do not feel as if the world owes me a cold beer because I put my shoes on today, Life is a choice you can choose the choice you want and how you want to live. Get help if you need it stop living in a hell stop suffering there is a better way and a better more enjoyable life I PROMISE this and I stand bye it HELP HOPE HEAL.

Belief and Hope ( The rise)

My story is one that needed to be told, as I have battled a lot in my 35 years a life. With the loss of loved ones, my mental illness, my addictions. Yet I am still fighting forward, I was asked a question by a person in the group I was speaking to. The person came up to me after and asked me “How the hell did you keep going, how did you find make it through all of that shit?” My response was easy Belief in myself and Hope that one day I would be in a place where I would no longer have to battle and fight as hard to live and that I would truly find happiness in my heart and not have to force myself to feel it. At first this person looked at me with a shocked look then said “Wow that seems so simple, how do you do that?” the answer to that is not something I can tell anyone but more of a you need to find it in your heart for yourself, find the little things in your own life that really make you feel happy and hang on to those as tightly never let go no matter how hard things get. See for me I have my wife and kids and family, but one thing that I use to my advantage is my compassion towards others. It is all about finding things that bring you joy this past 16 months of recovery has not been roses and unicorns but I can honestly say that a shift happen over the course of the last few weeks and I truly feel joy, I no longer at this time feel anger in my heart, no sadness no more grief I feel peace.Another tip I gave this person is the same goes for when things are going super awesome always keep in your mind that there will be days that seem hard but holding on to the positive feelings will make you stronger in these moments. I do not dwell on the fact or anticipate that I will have a bad day but I know how my disease work and as I have said a lot in my blogs I will never stop respecting them. If I can keep the respect and the ability to stay mindful about my life then I will have a chance at becoming a person who can manage these diseases with more of a comfort level. I believe in myself and I have Hope that my future will be filled with happiness because I want it so I will do anything to make it happen, I am sick of being sick I am tired of being in fun situations and feeling like I do not belong or that people do not like. My goal a few months ago was to be happy %70 of the time, I can honestly say these past few weeks I have been happy and truly happy %90 of the time I over shot my goal. I knew if I set a reasonable goal for myself then I would fight to surpass it.will I always everyday of my life feel this? Well no because life is unpredictable however if I can keep that goal in my mind and the high respect I have for my disease then I just may be able to get past though life situations with more of a comfort and ease. I saw it all the time because it works HOPE it is all about HOPE in yourself it truly does work as long as you can believe it in your heart. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone has issues but no more people need to suffer we can all can HELP HOPE HEAL.

Wanting the world to stop spinning.

I personally have been in this spot, in fact almost 16 months ago I tried to leave this world and everything in it. I attempted to end my chapter of life it was by a miracle that I not only survived but walked away from it  with out any further damage. The opposite actually happen to me I used that experience to change my life for the better for good. I knew I had to do something since this was not my first run in with the idea or attempt at suicide I have gone as far as putting a loaded gun in my mouth pulling back the hammer, I obviously got some strength to stop there. The scary thing is that I did that 2 to 3 times a week, not a soul knew about this in fact this is the first time I am opening up about it. I feel I talk about my addiction  and that I need to be more open about my Mental Illness, see Suicide is a huge problem with it being the 10th most cause of death in the US and about 42,000 Americans die form suicide each year for every 25 attempts. Now you can do the math and its terrifying to me it makes me want to go and find every person who is struggling and help them. The worst part is that teenagers have the majority in this number. I was 12 when I first started having fantasy’s of dying and my first attempt at 14 when I was 18 my father died out of no where which my number of attempts and my thoughts came daily if not multiple times a day. My alcohol use went up to everyday all day my pot use was so much I can not even say how may times a day way more than i could keep track of. I will go as far as calling suicide a silent killer because no one knows until it was to late that a person suffered to that point. Some call it a selfish act but what they do not realize it is not it is the same as Addiction once the ball starts rolling it is damn near impossible to stop on your own. When it gets rolling it rolls out of control which takes the choice out of the person hands. Same with server depression and all the diagnosis to go along with it once that ball starts the mind gets taken hostage and the thoughts flood the brain so much that the feeling of being free is the only thought and for most including myself the only way I ever thought I could be free is to end my life. I have a wife and three small kids the thought of them never entered my mind I could not even think of anything I was so wrapped in my own pain it was like having a boat on my throat. I was completely held captive by my diseases that I could not find a way out without taking my life in my own hands. I remember my thought process like it was yesterday it was so easy never had a doubt I just down bottles of booze with a bottle of benzos never had a regret and I remember waking up in the hospital I actually thought I was dead, I remember being so pissed that I lived at first I knew I would have to take control and make some hard decisions that I was so afraid of. I knew I would have to face so deep dark traumatic memories and that scared the living shit out of me.After living through something like that then realizing that you know has to face it all without ever using a drug or taking a sip of booze was so far out of reach. I knew I had to take some drastic measures that is when I chose to go to treatment for 28 days. That was Jan 21st 2015 I have been clean every since, I wont say that I have never had a thought of dying because I have when shit got hard but the thoughts are not as intense and I worked out so much shit that I am able to think it through.I can see the bright side most of the time, what sucks is these damn night terrors that haunts me my sub conscious mind is purging a lot of shit;. so in closing I will say that there is Hope and there is a better way to be free, even though it feels hopeless it is not.


If you or someone suffers from suicidal thoughts PLEASE reach out…

call phone

Call 1-800-273-8255

Living on the edge of recovery

For the most part I feel comfortable in my recovery but I do have my days. Yesterday was one of those days, I had to drive in downtown Minneapolis and I drove by several patios where people where d…

Source: Living on the edge of recovery

Living on the edge of recovery

For the most part I feel comfortable in my recovery but I do have my days. Yesterday was one of those days, I had to drive in downtown Minneapolis and I drove by several patios where people where drinking. Now normally I just think to myself “HA glad that is not me, what a waste of time” However, this time I got super pissed at the fact that I could not partake in this activity. Even though I was stopped at a light and not even close to the people I could smell the booze I could almost taste it. I started to feel very angry and my mind frame transformed from “It is my choice to not drink” to a raging ” I cant drink, I have no choice, because I can not choose to drink” which is dangerous thinking and could potentially put me into a bad situation. I do feel sometimes I have a choose but I also feel that I do not, see I have a bad reaction when I drink called bad decisions and feel like the worst person in the world. Which is so messed up if you think about it why would someone who has these types of consequences want to do it? Why would I get mad over something that could very well kill me or ruin my life in so many ways? That is where addiction comes into play see my mind is all kinds of twisted my mind is help hostage by this grip of non sense. The fact that I have fought through these episodes so many times in the almost year and a half I have been sober really says something about me. I hear it all the time that my story is a true inspiration, or that my blogs have helped so many through hard times, that I paved the way for HOPE for people. Yet I do not see it that way, I do want to be an inspiration to others that is what drives me to stay on my path of recovery but I do not feel I am. In fact when people make a big deal out of my time of sobriety I am just like “yea, I guess it is good” giving myself credit for anything has never been a part of who I was or am today. I know I should pat myself on the back once in awhile and give myself credit for by-passing these urges, maybe one day I will. For me it seems the more time I get the more pissed I get I do not even think it is because I am not a person who is able to have a few drinks without it ultimately turning into a really bad road, I am pissed that I am who I am I am pissed that I have these Mental Illness (I include Addiction in that) why can I not be normal? Then in the same thought I think what the hell is normal? No one is normal there is no such thing as normal. Normal is what makes sense to the individual person not what others think your normal should be. So then I flip to being pissed that this is my normal I want someone else normal I do not want to keep dealing with this shit I just want to wake up one day and totally enjoy every second of my life without going in and out of depression, anger, worthlessness 100 times a day. I just want to be happy %70 of the time, I know there is no %100 and that is fine but I would like the majority of my life to be filled with joy and not joy with a huge downshift that drains me from all my energy and makes my head feel so heavy I just want to lay in bed under covers. I do not want to hide from life nor do I want to complexity avoid being in areas where people are drinking I will never be able to escape that fully so I want to be able to learn to live with these situations  without getting so angry and mad at the world. To be able to say ” Welp that is not for me” I do not feel that this is a huge request and I am always working towards this goal I am just exhausted from working so damn hard to climb a moving mountain. Everyone is different and how their mind reacts to situations mine just happens to do it in a really messed up way. All in all I will keep fighting one thing I have on my side and the positive about my mind is the OCD Anxiety which i use to my advantage by never giving up and refusing to loose continuously working on my self to be a better person. I do believe the harder I fight and the longer I fight eventually the fight will get less and less intense for me, it is all about HOPE and having HOPE and trust in myself.

Getting sober and being in debt

There are programs to help people find funding for inpatient treatment programs, and under the new Obama care work places HAVE to cover inpatient under insurance. With the average cost of a 28 inpatient treatment program costing about $25,000 and more if that facility includes an on site detox. It is not a cheap thing but by far an extremely important step that needs to be done for anyone suffering from Addiction. However what if your insurance only covers a portion and you are stuck with the rest of the bill, for example this is where I am I now am in debt for a cool $12,000 because my insurance at the time only covered a portion for some reason. I have gone through many changes since then and have worked on myself mainly my mental health which has taken a huge hit over the years.  With my PTSD acting up major since I am now and have been sober over a year now all the trauma from my past is coming back to haunt me. So now I have had to change careers and am currently in transition to a new job/career. This has left me in a financial pickle so I am in collections over this bill, I search and search for a program to help me solve this and I could not find one. So why is that? I am not the kind of person who feels any entitlement nor am I one who looks for hand outs, in this case I am trying to re-build my life and start out on a new slate I am the father and husband I want to be I am here and do all the right positive things I can to take care of  my family. I just do not see a way to get any further in our lives with this looming debt and being in collections will make it impossible for me to get my credit back up.The stress of this and other financial concerns are becoming more and more difficult to circumvent, my ability to keep a positive mind frame is getting harder to manage,. although I am not concern with my sobriety I will not say I have it under control because the truth is I will never it will always be there to destroy me the second I stop respecting it.  I do feel comfortable where I am in my recovery and can say I will not drink today and most definitely will not drink tomorrow  that is as far as I will go with that. So why is that through all of this stress and mind fucks am I able to find the strength to stay sober? Well simple because I know that is the only way to finally be free and fix all the damage that has been done Mentally, I know that I have to stay strong and fight everyday, I know the only way I will get me and my family where I want out to be is to stay strong and sober. I relay on something simple to get me through HOPE no matter what I have HOPE for my future and believe that my positive actions will bring positive results eventually. I have traveled through some very dark and lonely and sometimes terrifying roads to get to the place I am now I refuse to through that all away. How am I going to get this debt paid? I do not know but I promise you all this when I do I am going to take that information and turn it to Hope and Addiction and continue to help others get the resources I find. MY goal and what keeps me going is knowing that there are so many more people that are where I was once was and that they need help, HOPE that one day those people can be in a place where they feel comfortable in their recovery, HOPE just HOPE is that simple.

If there is anyone out there that has some resources please email me at…

Also this email is used for anyone who needs some advice or just someone to bounce their thoughts or frustrations off of.

I would like to personally thank all of my followers and those who share, comment and support this blog. It is because of you ALL that I am able to do what I love to do.

JR Hamel


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