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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I'm AA, an AA member. I was rescued and have no problem admitting AA saved my life from the spiraling alcoholic pit of despair I knew and lived as the norm. Learning one day at a time to live free of alcohol and other mind altering substances became my only real focus thereby bringing my mindful rotation to a halt. Leaving most everything else in a kind of acceptable fog, rarely seen at the forefront anymore... My newfound willingness keeping me free of the self imposed distractions that kept me from seeing the true nature of my spiritual malady. Primarily my selfishness and fear.  I was getting honest with myself in AA or at least with the drinking problem. Shortly thereafter something big was happening aside from just putting the drink down, a kind of positive shift in my attitude and outlook on life itself.  New direction as if on the daily entrance ramp of some kind of recovery road. Suggested spiritual path.

Yes it certainly would appear as if I surrendered to the AA God and this great God removed all my difficulties just like that. As if flipping a switch I went from drunk wayward and disorderly to goody soberly direction for maybe two hours each day. Meetings. A snap of a finger and all was or is well with myself and the world of daily AA meetings. Some referred to this as a daily reprieve. A willingness to believe. I let go of the bad air and inhaled only the good. Leaving me with an endless supply of clean, sober, minty fresh breath. I could easily talk to anyone about anything while attending the meetings. There were no obvious axes to grind or prepare for battle. No people to please. Yes. All was going well. Then for no reason I could understand? On a sunny summers Cape Cod day? I drank again.

INSANITY.

I'd hear around the halls that insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. There is truth here. My open road to recovery became a cul-de-sac. Not a dead end or cliff or oncoming train.  But a place where I kept moving sure, just in circles with only one way out that was where I had already been..I was back tracking. Back peddling. Stuck going round and round looking at my life over and over.  Fooling myself into believing I was still moving ahead simply because I was moving. Growing seemed the only option.

To me? New and better arrangements, newly painted stimulus, the dishonesty with myself spoon fed with every thought. I was sober yeah? But had stopped and was going nowhere. At best I would run into my self as if some new found freedom. This is different or that is? Always new changes to support my circling delusion.. I had time to come up with new and much better endings to my many unresolved issues in my life. It wasn't all bad because it was all I knew. There was a sense of security in the familiar as the Book says. So yes, this was acceptable recovery, I wasn't alone and compared to being drunk in the gutter I was fixing myself finally. At best I was settling for less and less creating new friends from past enemies in my mind and as the changes came? The history became brighter. Same people different script. While others focused on their future? I continued to be obsessed with changing my past. Creating new and better arrangements. Validation. Emotional security boosts. Anything in an effort to catch up to the present. Keep up with my surroundings. Yep.. Insanity.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Merry Christmas to all. Tis the season and I myself relish in it every year. Giving with a "Chapter 5" badge in my pocket. Sharing to all "how it works" as an authentic chip carrying AA Big Book 12 Step member..This year was no different. I had the honor of speaking at a small Big Book meeting Christmas evening. The day went well for me actually. Plenty of family smiles from those who were at one time afraid to be in the same room with me sober or not. Good stuff really. Then the ability to put together a big pile of stuffed animals for the Dementia unit at Catholic Memorial. Huge blast of gratitude there. I got a few nice presents for those close to me also. Very grateful for that too. Big brunch and good grace at the table before we all dug into a great meal. Yep. It was a good celebration. A great way for those of us who believe and those who don't to share our good graces in the name of the Christ.

The next day? Not so great. The emotional hangover hit hard. I was visited by the ghost of Christmas past as soon as I opened my eyes. It was "my" past. Mine alone. My self centered life of denial, of unresolved issues that made up the fabric of my existence. It came over me as if it was there waiting for me to wake. Staring at me as I sleep. Waiting to spring. As if in the shape of nothing. I was visited by the ghost of myself, I was the nothing. I was empty, small and inferior. Insignificant to those that mattered yet large enough for the rest of the world to see. As if once again caught. Busted for a crime I was unaware of. Trapped in the fear.

MY EX-WIFE was there first. The one I never think about actually. I usually need to think for a moment to remember her name. She looked good, happy. Proud of herself as she made a few smart financial decisions. I was there too. Looking into her eyes I offered her no support. Nothing. I was her husband, yet was never her friend, never her confidant, never a partner. So selfish, I only saw what she had that I didn't. Her new additions to my life. She did this before me, without me and I was afraid. Insecure. Jealous. Was she in charge? Did she have control? I wanted my piece of whatever she had. What was hers was mine and what was mine was mine. Soon enough she left me and took my sick insecure self with her. It was a horrific time. I was all alone again. Left searching for someone to steal some security from. Anyone new? Maybe some old girlfriend that loved me? There was no one.

Oh well, one bad memory. I can deal with this. Time to get up. It wasn't too difficult to let her go this morning. Let myself off the hook. Chalk it up to a time when I too was a victim of circumstance.

I SAT UPRIGHT on the bed as if that would surely make it all go away. I just needed some new stimulus. Get up and start moving. I knew that much. I could shock myself out of my negative head.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

When most of us who's end game is drowning in hopelessness?   The drunken delusions of the "real alcoholic" can no longer hold the self serving insanity in check. Alcohol stops working and we are rescued by AA, our new place to be.  Although generally secure in our new found AA daycare center, we haven't changed anything except putting down the drink. We or lets say I?  Was out to accomplish one thing. Survive. I had absolutely no idea about living as AA suggested only my own survival. Fortunately AA was ready for me. I wasn't the first or last to show up with absolutely no coping skills. No, pretty much the lot of us were plagued with fear and bound in selfishness.

 

 SURVIVING ISN'T LIVING. WHO KNEW?

This revelation could really just be a wake up call had I known anything but my own negative thinking.. Offering purpose in the big void that overwhelms some of us in our new found sobriety. We hear around the halls about others living, letting go of the selfishness and self centered fear.

For me, making it day by day without anesthesia was completely new.. Yes we put the drink down yet no, we lack any control over ourselves or our surroundings. All I had was my fragmented ability to mimic another's stage presentation. Without them to mirror off of? I was alone. The "all hat and no cattle" thing.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

IT'S COMPLICATED.

And to be clear? My experience is not the rule of alcoholism. We do share a common bond in AA sure. But it's not about how we all suffer the same symptoms. It's about how we all recover.   The common bond is willingness.

Alcoholism is described by many as a disease. I'll go along with that. For the sake of this post I compare it to the likes of heart disease. Heart disease is generally an array of symptoms that cause the pump to stop working properly. Pump stops? You die. As with alcoholism "disease", these symptoms are not always the same. Heart disease can be the build up of arterial plaque causing the heart to work much harder producing less and less blood flow. Combine this with diabetes or obesity, over exertion, lack of exercise, improper diet, ignorance etc. And we tilt. Sometimes we have another shot at life and sometimes we don't. The death certificate reads heart disease.

No different than the many symptoms of the alcoholism disease. The drink itself is a major factor. What type and level of consumption. Why some people drink to compensate. Yes some do love the taste of booze while others drink solely for their love of the effect and ignore the taste. Some are dominated by their horriffic past and others cannot face the current days responsibilities. Some act out in fear, others drink to mask their self centered fears. Many deny physical consequences.  Some fight for the right to drink as they will with no accountability or thought of others.. Just like the heart "disease". Anyone can create a blank to fill that pertains to them specifically. So yeah.. As far as I can tell? Alcoholism is a disease.

That being said it would make sense that simply putting down the alcohol is not enough to overcome the alcoholism disease. Just like if you simply stop eating salt it will cure heart disease.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Thank you for sharing your life. Rest in peace. 

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