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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Surrender was not a sign of weakness anymore. It was strength. The willingness to believe in a spiritual realm was a key element in living life I never knew existed yet, here it was in my face. The God of my own understanding. As if overnight I had calmed down. In spite of my still negative racing mind there was a new kind of peace that came over me.  I wouldn't say I was accountable but I had seemingly stopped running.

 

My first real awareness or say, clarity came on hard and fast as I began the second look at myself while writing my 4th. Sure, the first part was easy as I listed resentments. Pointed the finger at all the people places and things that angered me, got in my way, dominated me my entire life. Yep..It's all their fault. Blame was the tool of the day seemingly everyday as far back as I remembered. Blame had gotten me this far but now without the booze? It was insanity. Untreated alcoholism. The blame was boundless. My willingness to believe in the spirit of things offered courage overpowering blame. A willingness to piece together my fragmented reality seemed to come from nowhere with no real explanation.. I couldn't put my finger on it or selfishly use it to validate myself yet, here it was. A willingness to believe followed by a willingness to put the pen to the paper. In that order.

Could they have been right? "They" meaning whoever was dominating me, jockeying for position, forcing my fear by creating my overwhelming obsession at the time? I was in completely new territory here in the Big Book 12 Steps. It wasn't as simple as them against me no, it was me against them. I had somehow created this whole distorted version of me in my life? So what now? I was not the innocent victim? Then who was I? Blame was such a powerful destructive tool, I couldn't use it against myself. I could see that acceptance was needed but how? I couldn't accept anything really. I had to be in total control in order to validate myself.

Damn! People dominated me. I had a seemingly justified resentment and was beating myself senseless over it. I thought I had the power of anger on my side when actually this anger created complete chaos. These resentments took all my energy to maintain each day. Placing all the responsibility on others for how I felt about myself. They're doing this to me! There was no other explanation. I was fighting it. Fighting to create my own emotional security. 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

A Doctor who shoots himself up with a high powered sedative in the attached garage and hopes to make it to the bedroom before he passes out? Makes sense to me. Or should I say yes, I can imagine it happening.   As they say around the halls? I identify. I can't really compare because I never had a garage and home and dope at the same time. But that's me. And the Doctor thing? I have no idea what it's like to be a Doctor nevermind finish High School. I received a G.E.D. at 35, 8 years sober. I wonder how I can identify with the Doctor Alcoholic Addict at all?

Well? For me? The story of the Doctor and his wife Max isn't really about how much booze or drugs were consumed. It's what happened afterward in sobriety. Being willing to become honest with myself and risk everything by looking at the bigger picture. A willingness to accept a larger picture that includes others where yes, they too have lives and feelings. The 12 Step revelation that, I myself, although living as the extreme example of self will for my entire life? Cannot rely on booze or high powered drugs for relief. And honestly? Although I can't really describe what exactly willingness is? I am willing anyway. There's a kind of power there. A courage.

I am at this point newly sober again and willing to consider the "in my face" fact that life and everyone in it isn't all part of my own personal stage show. It's simply not all about me and I am tired of being a survivor. Always reacting to the world actions as if it's me against my delusions everyday. As if I'm so full of fear I can't see outside of myself. The Book mentions a self imposed crisis I cannot postpone or evade. I kind of get that. Like, it's me. I am creating my malady. Not as if everything is my fault, more like the facts are in and I'm at the center of it. More like, it is what it is. When whatever it is comes around to me and I am involved? It just goes off the rails. I can't put rational thoughts together. I can only create selfish confusion. It's all I can seem to do whether I want to or not. It's not my fault if I have no options..

I've been the director sure, I am running on selfishness to compensate for extreme self centered fear forever arranging people places and things to validate me. To provide me with a sufficient emotional security boost to face myself whoever I am in whatever situation. As the permanent director I have the benefit of being all things to all people. Creating what I believe to be a neutral safe zone in all my affairs. After all? I am rewriting the script every time it comes to me. But how? How can I risk letting others take the lead in the show? What if they don't like me? I know they won't like me. Then what? I fail or others fail and it's my fault? The extreme self centeredness again?

No, this isn't going to be easy. Letting go of my control. Letting others be who they are. Loosing the power of control and being simply a participant. Sure I can see it. I can talk about it. I just don't know how to do it without a self seeking string attached. I am afraid if I let go they will turn on me. All I know is right now just staying sober and going to meetings, I'm fighting for everything I have which is not much. My picture is actually small for something that supposedly encompasses the world and it's people.. So what do they mean by we ceased fighting? What else is there besides fighting? If I let go of fighting I let go of myself? Then what! Maybe they mean I just need to take myself out of the middle of it. Of everything.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

My old sober friend Joe said that short phrase to me one day many years ago. It stuck, I was tattooed. It was what he tried to do each day sober in his own life. "Seek peace and be a right guy" is what was passed on to him from some other AA member who's name I can't recall, maybe his sponsor.. He wasn't a brainwashed Big Book thumper like me, no. He was a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. The fellowship? The 12 Steps? The meetings meetings meetings, all of it.

There was a kind of validation in being an extremist for me. A mixed message, one to tell myself and one to express to others. I was one of the chosen few? Yet would act much too humble to mention it. Big Book was the only way? Yet I openly admit we are all children of God and have a right to be here. When I heard someone say at a meeting that we are only as sick as our secrets? I was pegged. But misery loves company so as long as someone else was pegged like me? I was ok. The old adage, a drunk safe cracker comes to AA and becomes a sober safe cracker was always good for a chuckle but the truth was there, right there. There was more to this whole Alcoholic thing than the alcohol. As if I considered myself royalty for being such a life long royal screw up.

My defects ran amok. I did change sure, as many were removed while others became obsolete. Some remained for a time, some simply absorbed by enablers, some needed daily attention. Lots of change but not always for the better. (Better) being my ability to seek peace and be a right guy. I could face facts like, I didn't actually hate any particular individual anymore, I just hated everyone equally. I knew this was not recovery, it was more like recoverage. The knack of covering everything up.  My recovery was just change, creating security in the familiar. The problem was still there, the negativity. The comfort in the chaos. The resentment, anger, frustration. People in my way? A breathtakingly haunting past of unresolved issues always circling the mile marker? My mind still raced uncontrollably even in my freshly painted on sober suit of patience love and tolerance...

I was hate, still. I brought the hate. Hate was power, hate was the power of resentment I wasn't ready to completely let go of.  I wanted to sure. I wanted to let go of it all! But kept on arranging and manipulating, I could not completely let it go. I hung on to my "self". Actually some of the worst flaws in my character I could not let go of.. And did my best to validate myself by leaving this selfishness behind for others in ever so subtle ways. Oh, I'm spreading the love. No, not at all. I cannot seem to leave the self seeking behavior behind. I can't let go of the power. Like a male dog peeing on bushes everywhere he goes? I'm marking my meetings as he marks his territory. Always looking for an emotional security boost by selfishly manipulating the security from others. Making others pay with their souls the price of my involvement as if I am here now. Kiss the ring. Like me? Accept me? So I can "like" myself..If not? I will make you pay for how I feel about myself so, one way or another you will be mine. I appear to welcome you when I am sucking you in long enough to get my emotional needs met.

Alone I am still full of contempt. Self pity. I blame life itself for my malady. An extreme example of self will run riot. Alone there is nothing to like. Everyone is a threat to my self serving need for control, for power. It's me against the world and I'm the worst enemy.. I am screwed and cannot hide from myself. The frustration is incredible.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Well? The actual mechanics are made clear in the Book. The program of recovery and directions in masterly detail. Here? I'm just talking a bit of my experience with it.

It says we all have sex problems, we'd hardly be human if we didn't. What can we do about them?  I get that sure. But also believe with me? I had sex symptoms. The only real "problem" I ever had was self centered fear. Fear dominated my life and I in turn medicated myself to cope with it. These coping skills were not the norm, they were self taught or lets say a result of a selfish need to survive. To combat the terminal uniqueness. A way to adjust to that whole overwhelming square peg thing.

Now, a real reach would be that I have pretty much always had a mind and spirit that never were actually working in unison. Maybe addicted to nicotine at birth? Maybe a genetic flaw? I suppose anyone could fill in the blank here. Picked up other unresolved family sex issues as my own? Others took their fears out on me?Beating me with selfishness until I was no longer moving or a presumed threat.. Maybe to be under control I was to become invisible. But from what I myself have seen in an effort to connect the dots in my downhill spiral? I walked straight into a cement sign post. Trauma in early childhood had separated my mind and spirit as if exposed to an emotional hand grenade blast. I was blown apart. To recover by myself? Absorb the blow? I would need to rely on my mind now. My spirit was no longer there. It was dispersed into my surroundings and nolonger accessible.

 Others rage, the intensity of their anger and hate, fear. Violence. This is what I see, this is who I am. I believe what others believe now. I have lost the power of choice , the courage and strength of the spirit. I am alone now with only my fear of people and people hate me so now? I hate me too. I am angered by myself now, extremely frustrated as I live in disconnect. Apart from, as they say. This is all new. I am shocked and can only see myself as others see me now.

Broken apart from the norm where apparently children are able to be children. To learn and develop? That's not happening, I am definitely an oddball, different. My mind wants to follow the norm and interact, communicate. Participate. But the courage offered by my spirit is not available. There is no power, no willingness. I am nothing. I am just like they said, a nothing. And worse? I will never be anything but a nothing. I have no future. My past is gone and I cannot negotiate the present. My only hope is to find people that like me, accept me for who I am. But what do I offer them for friendship, acceptance? I have nothing.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Anonymity at the level of radio press and film? What does that really mean? I suppose it's wise to have a look at who I'm actually dealing with in AA before I can understand anonymity. Why Alcoholics (Anonymous)? Why would being anonymous protect the sober member and the fellowship as a whole? If something works for some why not make a movie about it or grab a Mr. Microphone and share it with the world? Turn up the volume! (( Hey good lookin!! we'll be back to pick you up for an AA meeting later!!)) Most are only trying to help right? Get excited about recovery? Have a heart, share a heart.  A new found hope. Actually participate in something positive for once?  Do less harm? The happy joyous and free turn that frown around make lemonade thing. No more pain, please no more pain....

Many newcomers like I was cannot see themselves yet, and lacking sufficient coping skills feel completely abandoned in every corner of their life. Wife no wife, kids no kids, job no job.. Even your old reliable basement bedroom (safe place to isolate and masterbate) at Ma's house has been turned into a den. You're out and sober. It's fly or die. You better do something like, now! Today!

So you surrender and go to the treatment center where you grab a plate and enter the recovery buffet line with everyone else. Where everyone is an addict so there is no stigma, no blame. Only drama as I look at myself. Still a crisis, me them whoever. I get a glimpse at my people problem. A peek at fear. I've removed myself from my addiction obsessed life but am still a mess. I wouldn't recognize myself in a mirror. I am only seeing what I believe is safe to see. I am afraid to let go.

Three meals a day? Yes. Clean bed to sleep in for maybe 28 days at least? Yes. Half way house or sober living facility afterwards? We'll see. Reclaimed personal hygiene? Yes please. Friends? Yes. Group therapy centered on addiction? Ok. Pretty girls your age? Just a little. Higher Power? No thanks.

I have found a new camaraderie in the world of the clean and sober. A safe environment I easily mistake as reality. A world where I am judged by my intentions like Lucky Larue. Yes it's a crazy nutty world on the outside as much as on the inside but I'm getting that whole (I am he and you are he as you are me and we are all together) thing.. My treatment center stay offers emotional security, a newly discovered strength in numbers. There is no anonymity. 

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