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Stepsherpa

Stepsherpa

Stepsherpa has not set their biography yet

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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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I recently overheard some great gossip so feeling a tad weak I decided to feed on it and keep it going. An argument between two people setting up the chairs at a local meeting. This wasn't told to me directly, no. I overheard it from someone who overheard it. I guess that would be gossip twice removed or pretty much by the time I repeat it? Lies. The only thing that was the same was there were two guys involved.

I was ready to carry the mess. Hopefully find someone to listen intently to my new version , co-sign me, like me so I can like myself. It was pure checkout line gossip now. Like when you look in the grocery basket and see $200 dollars worth of nothing?  Fear creeps in because all you see worth anything is a $3.00 bag of your favorite cookies that is already open and missing a few, so you can't just get out of line and split. No way to make a run for it without a possible shoplifting arrest and well? You're much too old for that.. So you look for trouble. Trouble is power. Just stand there and crowd the person in front of you with a subtle bump to the back of the ankle so in some way you can make another pay for how you feel.. When they turn and look as if you're going to get a bag of frozen broccoli in the face you smile and apologize. You're now the manipulative weasel. These people got nothing on you. 

 

HEY LOOK! Brad Pitt is losing his kids complete with pictures of the horrific life he leads in his house the size of a Amazon distribution center.. Next paper? A not so shocking front page? Madonna rallies for freedom of speech, teaches F-bombs to 2rd graders in New York. Yikes! Atleast I'm not them!  I wanted to feel better about myself so I read a few paragraphs in hopes of validation through another's grand screw up. It worked. I didn't even want to be Brad Pitt and had a newer softer sympathetic place in my heart for Guy Richie. I  am now feeling fine who I am thank you. Clearly above it all. Everybody is screwed up and I'm ok.

 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

 It was everywhere I was. ((HELP ME!)) was the message in every bottle sent out from the shores of oblivion. It was in every blame, every angry spew. It wasn't the help I wanted, it wasn't the right kind. The loneliness of extreme self centeredness set in as I waited for someone to save me, make me like them, take me away from me. . Without the booze I was unbearable to be with. To look at, to see myself as I believed others saw me. It was written on every foggy bathroom mirror after my many failed attempts to wash myself clean. Scrub off my addiction. I was dirty, poison.

In the end? Full flight from any reality, a complete delusion took over. I was out of breath, no more visible messages. It was now all in my mind, the mind that could nolonger think... All rational thought gone, images of past hope? The charred words, my voice of reason unrecognizable now, smoldering.  The constant alarm in my head , (BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! ) provided distraction in my chaos.  Why all the stimulus? It's everywhere yet it's never the right kind. My mind spinning out and I am not moving. 

 

I was not coming back this time, I could not come back. I'd been warned too many times, convinced myself and others I was ready to listen and done nothing. Used their words as ammunition against them. This was it, the full tilt hopelessness of untreated alcoholism surrounded me. The drink had become the wrong I could never make right. I couldn't fix this. Nobody could. The powerlessness, the fear, am I going to die today?  I'm afraid to die with my life of unresolved issues hanging over me. Why? I mean really! Why am I like this! Why is this happening to me!

 I'm already dead. Tell me I'm already dead.. Please just let me die. I can't take waiting another day. I get it now, I am alone forever, The trail has gone cold, no ones coming for me. I understand and all I can do is be sorry for what?  I don't even know. But I'm sorry for everything. I cry out in desperation, giving what's left as a sacrifice in frothy emotional appeal! Can anyone hear me! Over here! In the pit of pity!

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

The dysfunctional family mid summer cook out.  I show up with my diversion, the BBQ ribs. It's been 30 odd years sober for me and still anyone who was alive in my drinking days doesn't really trust me. They go along with a joint skepticism, assuming even now that at any time, anything could happen to derail the days events. I know this and use it to prove them wrong. I'm kind considerate modest and self sacrificing like the Book says. All things to all people.

The young ones do their best with handed down mixed messages of drunkenness and cruelty, all before the invention of the cell phone so it's safe now apparently.. At best the general consensus is I'm weird but weird is the new fun so, I'm in.. Ripping into an ear of corn like an electric typewriter, poking fun at gramma's dollar store flip flops purchased on a wild shopping spree. I'm surviving here, my stage is set. My script demands a curtain call of goodbyes, smiles, hugs and handshakes. Last minute validation. Did I do ok? Did everyone like me? Ok. I can go. Thank God that's over..

 

  I don't really need a meeting but I'm bored. Lonely really. It's lonely at the top. Left to worship people for my validation. The old familiar like me so I can like myself self seeking behavior. The meeting is the only place I can roll up on my Hog and demand attention. An emotional security boost. Then came Bronson.. Me, the once homeless bum, now sober man with his beautiful motorcycle. A 12 Step hybrid of sorts, a power of example and an example of power as if all things to all people at all times. In this case? The AA meeting..

Although I don't smoke I settle in staking claim to the warn patch of grass known as the smoking area. My stage is set shucking and jiving around the butt can, jockeying for position with the homies from my Thursday night group. Running my mouth, picking interesting topic after topic. Shocking really. I am demanding attention as my experience sober spills over the top. All eyes and ears on me. I'm working the crowd. I even stop abruptly and pick up a butt that missed it's mark. Tossing it in the can I am paving the way to proper butt can etiquette.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

 In the last say, 10 years of the downward slide into my alcoholic abyss? Late teens to late twenties? It seemed the alcohol was what kept the slide wet. Outside issues made the alcohol look to be the problem. I drink, I'm a drunk and not much else. Later, in AA when I put the alcohol down I saw myself differently, yet the same coping skills were apparent. Same foundation different house..  It was obvious once I cleared up a bit that this "B head movie" I starred in went farther back, way back. I was broken into fragments early on in life, emotionally fractured and leaking badly. It was tears that kept the downward slide wet from the beginning. Before the alcohol there was the extreme sensitivity. Yeah! What she said! I'm overly sensitive! More infomercials, still no picture. 

The familiar emotional pit of despair seemed endless, bottomless. I knew it well. The nothingness. My life in the walk in closet. I was used to nothing in the midst of everything. My only self help seemed to be settling for a new low when I could. Acceptance. Go ahead self, bring on the familiar, there is security there because whatever life brings will never work for me and atleast I am used to it. Daydreams turn to nightmares. I always seem to end up here waiting for the parade, waiting for the happiness float but never seeing it when it comes, when others say it's beautiful. I can only see through a clouded mind, dripping with self pity. I know this place. This is home. I watch the world go by with my two associates, guilt and shame and the occasional devastating drive by from killer regret..

I can be the victim, well masked on an underdogs stage, stabilized in a new crisis for a time while seemingly fighting the good fight. I find security in the same old same old where losing is winning because losing is surviving. I survived! On survivor island? I am king. I will rest in my self centered delusion. Wander around in the chaos, above it all, watching from a third party perspective. As if from a distance I am the star of a movie. When reality knocks again? I am afraid to answer the door. The audience yells at the screen DON'T ANSWER THE DOOR!! But I do anyway and I fail, I am dead. My rise to stardom was again very short. The best I can do is create another movie and hope to sidestep the reality part by prolonging the emotional battle scene until a new arrangement? A better decision? Where I am once again the star and lives till the end? Nope. I become the producer of confusion with the best of intensions, Busting out on screen harder, settling for less and less, sooner...What happens to a movie where the star dies in the first part? The rest of it just fades away. Hardly worth the memory.

  Shaking sweating, the anxious mind always racing. I had bottomed out again with only one option to console myself in my reoccurring bondage. The familiar ending I look to once the vicious spiral begins. Get it over with. One option left to justify my overwhelming fear. I would fabricate new blame to somehow create a new and final ending to the familiar haunting unresolved episodes of my past. My never ending story. Invite the group as the committee in my head gains momentum as a last ditch effort to validate myself. OK I admit it! I am selfish! Frustrated dictator! God like creator! I would say NO! It was me who left her! No you don't understand. Those people were really screwed up! Again I am the victim of circumstance!

It's them! It's all their fault! Anyone can see. Anyone. Raising my self esteem by lowering others. Raised voice, intimidating puffed out chest. I will take you down, it's what I do, it's all I do. My extreme self centeredness on high alert, the fear that could be classed with stealing described in the Big Book4th Step? It is here. Oh yeah, I'm in control now, keep your eye on the walnut shell... 

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Although a self admitted alcoholic early on who endured many a punch to the face in his High School drinking days? Dale or (Pup) was what AA was there for. He fit the criteria. Smart, handsome, no self esteem and the usual fragmented code of conduct. I met Dale in Big Book 12 Steps AA. He had already been sober for a time and made a name for himself in regular AA stand up meetings.  Known as someone who didn't drink a day at a time, went to meetings and yes, held a job. A responsible job no less. Unlike myself, the uneducated adult childlike scavenger.

So yes, we became friends in AA. Like the farmer and the lawyer or atheist and pentecostal. We had different characters yet shared the common bond. The alcoholism.

Dale has been gone for years. Massive heart attack. Boom..Dead. It was good in a morbid way. Quick. I think of Dale. We were room mates who remained mates. We were both terrible at emotional relationships, intimate relationships. The proof was there for the world to see, for all of AA to hear. We both had been caught many times in our own emotional traps. Yet Dale kept on. Sober, living one day at a time with a willingness to grow spiritually as the Book suggested. I remember he came halfway across the country to hear me speak at some big AA hoedown where I basically knew no one. I remember him sitting there. A stand out in a crowd of thousands. My friend, my supportive friend. I couldn't shake the fear and bombed that night as the bigtime AA 12 Step speaker but he said hey, it was great to hear you. Thanks Dale.

 

 

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