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Posted by on in Alcoholism

 Step 9. Made direct amends wherever possible except when to do so would injure them or others. Great! Not a problem. Movin on! 

First impression for me, Step 9 was kind of a one shot big apologies deal where I made an honest and humble approach. Sober, newly reborn and living on the suggested spiritual path, I go back and in all honesty expose my seemingly at times demonic harmful, and well.. always selfish behavior.  I'm doing this because I can. I see it. I have seen myself finally, how I have devoured people in my endless search for emotional security by feeding on their spirits. Leaving the most promising relationships in a pile of bleached bones. Of course this is much too late for many sad wives, girlfriends, and blameless children..

In cleaning up my past in my 9th Step I have already come to terms with my sex conduct in my 4th and 5th Steps. I am free to talk about myself. My conduct. I can admit my extreme selfishness, extreme fear everywhere. My need for psychological romance. Even humble myself and admit my inability to see others needs. How I recognize them as a threat, if I can't control them I destroy them. I have been an extreme example self-will run riot as described in the Book. Not just with self-centeredness and self-seeking behavior controlling my resentments but sex conduct also. That whole "if I can't have them nobody can" thing. I am completely full of myself. It has to be all about me. I am dominated by extreme self centeredness. A frustrated dictator of sorts..

I see the survivor in me and how my relationships were more a reoccurring hostage taking nightmare for everyone involved than a shared effort in meeting life's challenges. No partnerships, just me and my need for new stage props. A people places and things upgrade to create daily scripted presentation of a man with high self esteem. See me and follow my script everyone looking at me and admiring what I can do. Hop, twirl, spin and bow to the crowd. I am not a loser, I'm not a failure. All those people or basically everyone before I met you are wrong about me. You will co-sign me, validate me, save me, fix me, surrender your life to me by becoming the missing piece to my puzzle. You hold the map to my emotional labyrinth.. Sex is the key. Having sex with me means you love me. Of course there will be sex for me. You will prove your love to me daily. We will have sex and create a emotional bond of love and happiness from it. Just like in the movies.

I see the survivor. I see myself as sick. There's nothing good about it yet it is what it is, factual, I have seen it in black and white in my inventory.. My selfish sex conduct, my inability to have healthy or atleast balanced emotional relationships with anyone sexual or not. This often harsh reality has nothing on what comes next as I head down to the basement where the evil lives. I am armed with my spiritual higher power for courage and strength to face the worst of my demons. I understand that for many who suffer in themselves this may not be enough so. I put on my spiritual armor and speak for myself from here on out. I wish only the best for those who cannot or simply will not confront their sexual abuse horrors.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Looking at myself has never been easy and rarely attempted. Mostly I hoped I would just go away and leave me alone in denial. Alcohol helped for a time but like everything else? Although alcohol is a great and well documented remover? It could not overtake the progressive malady and eventually completely stopped removing myself, leaving me drunk and exposed as if somehow drunk and sober at the same time. Caught with no excuses in my familiar revolving self imposed crisis where I blame the world and the world blames me for who or what I am. Relying on the fight, the anger and resentment to give me power to live another day.

The outrageous alcohol abuse has actually helped me bottom out on my people problem. Seeing my past and present life surrounded by an emotional barbed wire fence. Protecting myself and my trust issues? Nobody comes in or goes out. Without the alcohol I would have probably just been a irrational self absorbed narcissistic jerk and gone on to 4 or 5 marriages, a half dozen geographical cures, ending up in local politics? That whole bull in a china shop chestnut. People listen to me rather than face my wrath. But I was lucky in a sense. The alcohol took me down before I could do any more damage to myself or others.

Sure I have tried to get a grip on relationships many times? I have even had complete enablers who could care less about me or my conduct, just wanted a friend. They say they like my company and still? I can't do it. It's as if all they are, everything they offer isn't enough. The welcome mat girlfriends, the outcasts of society who always settle for less. No matter. I simply will not risk being hurt. I must remain in control even if I have no idea what I'm controlling. I am trapped in my self-centered fear.

I get glimpses of my fragmented state. I am much too damaged to begin with, scarred really. Tattooed. My entire life as a burden, a constant source of pain and suffering. In a nutshell? I am completely unaccountable. I live in a state of constant self-pity. The victim. Blaming people places and things for my failures. I am constantly baffled by my ability to survive on my emotional diet of nothing and nobody. Never realizing I need people to support my self pity. Lots of people. I think I am all alone and no body loves me when in fact I am using many at once.

I want friends don't I? Relationships personal or otherwise enjoyable interaction. But always find myself threatened by self centeredness and slip into the security of selfishness as if drawn to it's familiarity.  My permanent home base. As if any exposed feelings send me spiraling into damage control on an emotionally pre greased slide back into self. I mean damn man! I want to have sober friends and engage with others, I really do. I meet someone? I try to spend time with them? I become afraid and selfishly jockey for position to boost my flagging emotional security. The more I am willing to risk the more I am going to run. My honesty becomes deception. My willingness scripted. Inevitably I turn around, passing myself on the way back into my deep state of terminal uniqueness where I'm safe leaving the empty shell exposed back on the firing line. Here.. My empty shell will be your friend.  As if my happy place is not happy at all. It just becomes a place where the hope of you liking me, accepting me, is paramount to my existence. You like me so I can like myself. My arrangement of people in an ongoing effort to save myself. I worship them just as they worship their God.  I mirror myself in them for some semblance of self worth thereby worshipping them only.  It stops there, I do not worship their God. 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I've been around AA Big Book long enough to paint myself into a corner of the sponsor debate.   Initially attacked for using the word (sponsor) on a Big Book fundamentalist website? I was shocked and ready to fight. Learning quickly that we ceased fighting anything or anybody included the guy on the Big Book website. And the fact that I was Stepsherpa meant little when it came to pummeling myself with resentment.

I've sat quietly and listened while a self seeking AA archivist goes out of their way at a Big Book 12 Step meeting to prove their findings. Justifying myself momentarily in that they chose to run for AA theologian instead of writing a fearless and thorough 4th Step.

I've listened while purists suggest that to go through the 12 Steps, no help from anyone is needed, just God. Referring to those institutionalized or imprisoned and apart from society or trusted human contact..

I've witnessed a Big Book 12 Step group deciding to spend 7th tradition monies totally on Big Books to give away rather than support intergroup or world services. Some AA Big Book 12 Step groups don't register as AA meetings with their local intergroup office which is disturbing to me as AA saved my life not Bobs anonymous.. Not that Bob doesn't have the best of intentions. 

While the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions or 12/12 Book, written some years later after the original Big Book 12 Steps were codified and made clear. The 12/12 uses the word "Sponsor" freely. In the Big Book original 12 Steps? It is not there.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

The Book suggests in the chapter (A vision for you) giving freely of what I find living sober on my 12 Step spiritual path. In that way I am joining the rest of those who have surrendered to the fellowship of the spirit in AA. The God of each AA members own understanding. The new life offered with a willing approach in Step 2, followed when ready by a simple 3rd Step decision. I have established a willingness to grow in understanding and effectiveness.

As days add on to days living sober the one fact remains clear. No human power can relieve my alcoholism. Not mine? Not another's? Not a combination of the two. The  alcoholism problem being selfishness and self centered fear is centered in my self destructive mind. Sure, human power can relieve many symptoms. Science has proven itself as a great asset in relieving symptoms. Even clearing a direct path to the causes and conditions. But the alcoholic like myself, somehow doing an about face and relying on new arrangements of people to solve their alcoholic problem? Well..I haven't seen it. Problem drinkers? Sure. Those who have felt the bite of abusing any of the many anesthesia's available. But alcoholics who have lost the power of choice and fallen deep into their selfishness as an effort to survive or somehow manipulate their malady? No. Unless they undergo a complete psychic change in attitude and outlook? They are seemingly a doomed lot. I speak for myself here and my experience. I'm sure as with anything there are exceptions.

Many who are unable to make the admission of hopelessness and deny the spiritual angle will of course feel themselves the exception. I did.

 

I NEEDED TO STOP FIGHTING... First off? I needed to see that it was me who was doing all the fighting, that it wasn't always everyone else against me leaving me as the victim or martyr with no choice but to retaliate. Now sure, I had been in a number of unacceptable situations in my life but my attitude? My conduct? My ability to reference coping skills? That was on me. This was not that easy to understand as the world at this point was just not treating me right or how it appeared to treat others. Self-pity ruled my thoughts before I could take action on anything. Defending my fear by constantly jockeying for position in my life and the lives of others. My world of constant controversy. Chaos really. Creating my balance by focusing on the faults of others in an effort to equalize my own image. Bring them to my level whether high or low. I manipulate at will. Fire when ready as if my self worth is based on my efforts to arrange people places and things to suit myself. Extreme  selfishness. Yes.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

A guy I met yesterday told me that he drank for 40 years mostly everyday plus had a serious Xanax addiction going full tilt. He quit cold turkey or funky chicken, angry bird... No AA, NA or similar recovery.. Seemed like a decent guy really, good natured anyway. My age. I liked him even though we had very little in common as far as alcoholism recovery. Although come to think about it he did joke about Church.  Might be something there, I don't know. It was in passing. I was still baffled at the whole quit Xanax over night thing. Benzo's can turn on you hard if you quit abruptly.

Anyway, he went to detox and hasn't touched a drop since.  Supposedly fine with one Xanax a day currently even though the addiction brought him down on his face just six months ago.. Says he hits the bar everyday still and buys the rounds of Rum for his friends and relatives. No AA. No real aftercare except occasional counseling which is more than not just to keep his Xanax script open. OK, now I'm just assuming with the script thing. Doing his thinking so it's more suitable to me. Whenever something shocks me I try to control it. Anyway.

My first reaction was shear disbelief after the stream of stories of things jumping off the walls at him and his attempt at sneaking away down the street with his imaginary brother in his sockies and Johnny. Picked up by the cops and brought back. Being strapped down tight wanting to fight anyone and everyone as he screamed at them for trying to kill him. Apparently the detox wasn't all that aware of his Xanax addiction until Mr. Hyde showed up the next day. It was bad. There was one specific hand sanitized dispenser that would jump off the wall and attack him.

All I could think was, no AA? Nothing? How is that possible? I don't see or hear of this kind of willpower much. This kind of wake up call one takes alone, no fellowship or sober camaraderie to speak of. I went to AA everyday at first. Twice a day when I could for the first two or so years. But now that I think of it? I was really whacked out man. Really whacked out..

Maybe I've been spending too much time lately wandering the AA warehouse in the company of alcoholics and drug addicts who just can't grasp the concept of most addicts being addicted to themselves. Alcohol is a symptom of underlying causes. Drink to get drunk yes but also self-centered and selfish to the extreme. Survivors really fighting their own individual wars with themselves. Wrapped in their bondage they simply cannot break free from on their own. Forever looking to win for loosing. Their willpower remains insufficient. They drink and drug for a reason and usually like me? It's not the taste of Smirnoff Blue and stomach bile in the morning or by noon. It's the effect. The temporary removal of the bondage. No more pain.

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