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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I don't really feel anything is wrong with someone in recovery bulldozing their way in and through their new way of living sober. Most are all over the map not used to following any kind of direction.. They're still into surviving. Carving out sobriety as their new high road, paving it with the new found AA fellowship. Hey, whatever works right? It's safe to say that when I was first introduced to the fellowship and 12 Steps? I had no idea what the heck was going on, no idea at all. I know I was rescued, I had got lucky really, my extreme self centered ignorance was bliss for me when I was new to Alcoholics Anonymous. A huge distraction with new stimulus.

I had found a new way to forget who I was and where I had been. My past seemed behind me finally. And it was. It was behind me waiting. I'd be back.

New friends everywhere? Even a place to be besides the bar room everyday, a safe place. A reason for living that offered me purpose I had lacked when obsessed with daily drinking. The meetings shared change. I was changing too. I heard the Titanic analogy one night at a meeting. I was switching seats on a sinking ship? Settling for less as I shuffled around the deck with wet feet. Was my new sober life like this also?  Banging out AA meetings to avoid the impending doom? As if sure I can putt the booze down but live without it forever?  Doubtful. How could I? My mind still raced uncontrollably. The only thing I could really focus on was getting to the AA meeting, everything else was a crap shoot. Money, food, a place to sleep. These things seemed as if they were falling out of the sky. 

One thing for sure. I was safe in AA. Safe from who I was or had been or who I thought they think I had been, whoever they were. Yup. I could laugh at my history in the meetings. Shuck and jive at the butt can telling tales of drunkenness and cruelty as if harmless banter. I could leave the reality of my life at the door with a nudge and a wink.. I was here now, safe and protected, no need for unresolved issues surrounding constant script re-writes, no. I was the star. All of AA loves me.

There was talk of 12 Step recovery where my entire self would be ironed out. I could or would be all fixed? Cleaned and pressed as if a fresh new shirt. I would tell myself "no pressure" I was ready when God was. God will direct me. Preferably after the Saturday night AA dance that Ann the new pretty girl is going to meet me at if her new mean old sponsor doesn't intervene.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

It seems like if you're used to doing nothing for yourself as far as recovery goes? Anything is huge. I can selfishly forget that tidbit about people or myself in recovery. So when I hear or read of someone just keeping away from that one drink for one day? Be it by fellowshipping in meetings? Or some altered 12 Step ritual? It's good. It's positive, It has to be. Why? Because when I think it's a problem well. It's my problem. I don't need to be creating problems. I have enough indecision and controversy to stimulate unwanted selfishness and fear. It's as if sure, I stopped digging my grave but I want to keep the shovel..

They are generally doing great in AA's new found safety net and certainly don't care to understand anything that would pull them from their camaraderie. That is unless of course I "pressure thump" them with what I think they should be thinking. So what, AA is really sober school and I'm the self appointed headmaster? I steer them away from what's working for them and to the chosen Big Book curriculum? I become the producer of confusion with a Big Book in my hand? A righteous co-dependent alcoholic? Then I come off as the great all knowing Stepsherpa who knows everything about everything except when to shut up and quit taking everyone's inventory who isn't like me or think what I think? Yikes!  I'm not the only alcoholic in Alcoholics Anonymous? Double Yikes!

What they have is working for them. And to be honest? More than half the time I don't know what that is. And I'm not going to so, I should stop looking for an emotional security boost from others and get back to my own program.  To thyne own self be true as they say. I do my best to "leave Brittany alone!" Today.

 

I remember as if it was five minutes ago wrapping up my initial 5th Step, the big one.. It was mid February 1983, blistering cold and snowing heavy. A pine tree at the back door was covered as my Sponsor disappeared into the pitch black about midnight. Something had changed in me. I was alone yet not alone. A spiritual shift you could say? I was different like I had never been. Not compared to a better class of friends or geographical cure anyway. It was just me. I alone had changed. It wasn't a people thing and that's what made all the difference. I felt free. Spiritual. Restored to my original self maybe.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I awoke in confusion as usual. It had been maybe 20 hours since my last dose so I faced my daily (always risky) semi sober reality, a glimpse of my true self. I begin to sweat and assume it must be anxiety? Push off a blanket and, all fixed! But I sense what's coming. It's my body beginning to withdraw. This is my fear. My only fear. The fear that comes with being dope sick. It's inevitable so I must take action now. Just the thought of the impending doom is alarming.

My first morning thought was always extremely selfish but why should I care when it's just me in my secret world of drug addiction.. I mean my absolute first thought is my only thought. Sure I have responsibilities with family, job, even children, finance, but that can wait. It must wait. I need to get up and get to work, shower clothes, all that, and I will. But first? Right now?  My real concern? The absolute first thought for me and me only?   Where are my drugs, what time of the month is it, and (roughly) how many pills do I have left. Do I have enough to feel good or not. I need to know how to feel.

Opiates are my master. The bottle sounds lite, a noisy rattle. I don't read too much into it and take two before I change my mind and take one as prescribed. I bow to my opiates and await direction. I know I'm doing it but don't care enough about myself to care for myself. I leave that all up to the dope. The dope tells me what to do, how to act or even think? The pills will let me know in about ten minutes. So I mull around and wait unable to make a decision without my dope. I have half a cup of coffee, start to wash up, get a few clothes together. I can't complete anything until I'm high enough. So I start doing a bit of everything as if I am accomplishing something..

It's not always easy to validate yourself when you're a junkie. So I make all kinds of plans for the day or week or even my life as I await the master's arrival.. As I begin to feel my friend take me over I think of cleaning up the junk drawer in the kitchen and tonight I will definitely clean the dirty oven when I get home from work.. I imagine a new lawn mower and how my yard will be perfect. I see myself as an equal in my neighborhood. I am high now so the shades come up and windows open! The fear is gone.

All is good as long as I have my pills to live my double life. I conquer my life course for the price of a 30 day script with the exception of one hurdle. The count down to my Dr visit where I am an Oscar winning actor really. I begin talking to myself, rehearsing atleast two weeks in advance.. He'll say this and then I'll say I am in terrible shape with many rehearsed overwhelming physical problems and complaints flowing out in my 10 minute stage presentation. I give and take of course, be smart. I don't want to come off as a junkie but, my life is on the line. I wait in anticipation in my racing mind for the magic moment when He says OK, I'm going to renew your oxycodone for another month. Ugh! I live. I live today! I can drive home and maybe eat dinner with the family now. Watch TV tonight and be a dad.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Tattooed really. The skin I'm in scarred for life with another's mark. As if a shield of emotional security has been stolen, peeled away leaving me exposed, spiritless bloodied muscle and bone. Vulnerable now? Who will it be next? Who will take me and use me then discard me like the trash I am. I am nothing now, I am all gone.. I will never be anything, I can't remember what I was, if I was anything before the abuse, the assault?  I am numb.  

Will you be my new friend? Yes you are kind and compassionate but I'm afraid that's not nearly enough stimulus for me. I need you to hurt me so I can feel but you don't understand. Who will hurt me? Nobody? I'll have to hurt myself. I will have purpose. With pain I will know how to act. I will relive my horror so I can feel. I am my own victim. How can I harm myself today?  My girlfriend? Yes I will create betrayal there. I can mistrust her and feel the fear. Will she leave me or desert me? betray me? Yes. I can never trust her. She's probably cheating on me right now! I am extreme. I need extreme. Fear. there is power there. I can feel the power of fear. But fear alone is too much to handle so I need to balance my fear with alcohol. Alcohol, my anesthetic. 

I remember only pain and am full of fear. I drink and forget. I remember again and am full of fear. again I drink and forget. I am alcoholic in full flight from reality now. I can no longer listen. I am too self centered to hear. I have become unteachable. Unreachable. I have lost the power of choice and drink to get drunk and shut my mind down everyday. 

It's difficult to explain. Complicated. Piecing together the fragmented life shattered in extreme betrayal. A sexual assault. Is this my fault? Should I instinctively know how to cope with adult situations as a child? And who says stealing another's emotional security is an adult issue anyway. If it is? Well, I never want to become an adult. Why would I ever want to treat people that way? Maybe that's why I never grew up. I was stunted. Stopped in my tracks. Being exposed to the evil of humanity completely overwhelmed me. Shut me down, I could go no further. I had lost the power of choice. Crushed by a crisis I could not evade I simply waited now. Someday someone will come along and fix me. Take away my secret. Make it ok. I'll just wait right here in my imagination. In my fantasy that's acceptable to me where I'm happy and people like me.

Yeah! People get married and have families! I'm sure they will all love me. Work hard and have careers? Houses? A big Christmas tree! Like on TV! Family fun! That's what I'll do. I'm going to have all that as soon as someone brings it to me. Someone new? So I wait. But they don't come. They can't. So I again do what I do to feel. I accuse them of betrayal, all of them whoever they are.. I spiral deep into my fear. My self pity. My noise so I am not alone. Nobody will help me, nobody loves me.  I again cannot live with myself so I balance my selfishness with alcohol. I am drunk, I am sober, full of fear.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

The people worshipper is mentioned in the Book. People worshipper? Who knew? I thought I didn't want anything to do with people. I never realized without people I was empty? I'd need to look at myself and well, there was nothing there. So I filled my head with people. Arranged them to meet my needs real or imagined. Sought my self worth through others approval, my emotional security in acceptance.

Also a mention of the state of mental goose flesh that whole "needy" realization would bring. Ugh, needy is the worst! As if I had no choice in the matter. I couldn't simply want to be involved with people as friends or whatever no. It was always deeper than that. Always heavy.  I used people for an emotional security boost .  I needed them. I was needy. And to me needy means creepy.

Goose flesh? Nice one.. Some of this Big Book wording cracks me up. I mean who says "goose flesh"? It's right up there with Whoopee Party. I'm still not sure what that is. Whoopee party. Sounds like a swinger thing.. Kooky.

Goose flesh? I'll go with pretty damn uncomfortable. That fits.  Like, people could make or break me depending on how my arrangement would be taken. Again with the Book, if my arrangements would stay put all would be well or atleast I'd be happy. As if they like me they really like me! . So that's how it is? Without people places and things I am just an empty void of existence? Pretty strong language but I'm afraid it's true. I've got to face the facts here. There's more to alcoholism than alcohol. There's the ism. The lack of self reliance, lack of maturity. The common coping skills that never materialized. Basically? I fell down and could never seem to get back up. So I just acted as if everyone else fell down and I was the last man standing. I knew what was best. I knew better as long as the rest of the world behaves. Me. it's all about me! damn man. The self will run riot though I usually don't think so thing from the Book.. 

My many years of jockeying for position, better philosophies, intellectual cures for my Spiritual malady had come to an abrupt end. Life as I had been living it was over. The alcohol no longer worked.  Everything went sideways when I put the drink down. No more anesthesia. Nothing to validate me now but the big problem that's apparently been here all along, people! 

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