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Stepsherpa

Stepsherpa

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

What really is the 13th Step? The 13th Stepper. Am I a 13 Stepper?

 

I love you! I love you too! I love sobriety, me too! I never told anyone I love them before. Me neither! Why ask why? Look at us? When we both thought there were no more doors to open? Well.. Here we are in the doorway of enlightenment!! We have been rescued in AA and we are grateful. This continued for a lifetime or more like the month of August.

 

We're both much too self centered to see ourselves at this point anyway or take suggestion, neither of us have the ability to trust anyone who seems to know anything we or I don't. Why risk our new found instant gratification, our newfound self worth?  We "yes" everyone in a humble and honest fashion and they seem to leave us alone.. We're here in AA to live free, be happy!  We've had enough bad, we don't go there no matter what. We couldn't listen to suggestion if we wanted too. We're addicted to each other, we're addicted to ourselves. One night together with a candle and true confessions? we're soul mates.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Fear...Selfishness..Control. I can't say if someone like myself could've ever found any unselfish emotional stability without the Big Book 12 Steps. Maybe today I could modify my behavior, even find success in a group setting but then? Back then? No way Jose'. I honestly believe the Big Book 12 Steps have saved my life and made it worth living both then and today.   I was introduced to the suggested Spiritual realm or Spiritual Path, I got lucky, my ship finally came in... Sure I see others find emotional security in other ways, on other recovery roads.  They mix and match the mental and physical, add Spiritual? to create a format that works for them. I could probably hum a few bars but that would be it. The willingness isn't there for me like with Big Book 12 Steps. I could never seem to learn their format no matter how successful the outcome for them. I couldn't learn how to stay sober, I couldn't learn how to believe in myself. I would appear unteachable as I again and again tried to retain and then apply their methods nomatter how promising.. I raised hopes and fell on my face..Upity up up and down dity down down.. Sometimes in very short order. The Spiritual side of life was all or nothing. I could not figure any of it out.

 

I remember thinking long ago, I'm not alcoholic I'm just afraid of people. Little did I know how true this revelation was. But like everything else that passed by my head, I could think it I just couldn't understand anything, I had no depth perception. Self centered to the extreme, always creating my moment. Simple acknowledgement led to fragmented understanding which led to opinion and then validation, any arrangement that suited myself. Done, I created my self esteem, I just used people to get it.. I drank people like booze, fast for the full effect, make me something, give me identity...I lived on the surface and without the threat of content. I hear what I want to hear and the rest? Well, who cares?

 

Now, to be fair, I have had my share of welcome mat girlfriends and wives, enablers. People as sick or sicker than myself that I successfully manipulated for a time or who stayed for their own reasons. Nothing ever really materialized for very long, weeks or sometimes years, I think I married for less than a year one time? A lovely AA girl, we both in our ways used eachother until one of us was gone. We raced to be normal, doing what others do as fast as we could. I remember now! I stole every last bit of emotional security she had for myself. I'll save us, TRUST ME with everything you have. After all the emotional security was gone, not long after it was physically empty, leaving each of us with more guilt or shame or both to bring to the next momma or daddy who we hope will save us from ourselves. Ourselves, It seems like in this area it really is a we program, or can be anyway. Some of these self searching harsh facts can become a part of the solution once I have the courage to face them. As soon as I am hopefully able to turn them around in my self searching Step work..Yikes! I have caused some damage in this area. Well? I'm not looking to hang myself over it all today so I guess you could call that progress. Living with myself is key. Oh, I have been alone many times but never without my head full of selfish delusion. My imaginary scenarios where someone or something makes me happy. But to sit by myself with my self? That would never happen. The fear sets in quick and I run for the exits as if my life is on fire.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

First off it isn't fair to suggest the Big Book 12 Steps as the only way, original, perfect, primary, absolute..I know plenty of self admitted alcoholics who are in recovery without it's suggested Spiritual process in their lives. But don't get me wrong, for me it is Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a full life without alcohol for those who are able to make an admission of hopelessness. So sure it may seem too intense for those who are maybe not that mangled, not at the jumping off point, are fortunate to still have a bit of self will, are still with enablers or even teachable.. The truth I've seen over and over is just because you say you're an addict? does not make you a hopeless alcoholic. To those who are still capable of reading and applying? Great, good for you. My interest is in those like myself who are hell bent on self destruction, who have been badly mangled by their selfishness and fear, those who drank to die and were unsuccessful. The alcohol no longer did it's job. It left us empty, void of life.

 

Principles, who knew? Oh I had moral convictions for everyone else, claiming myself judge and jury to the world. Moral convictions, philosophies that governed others lives, but for me? I had nothing, I stood for nothing, I was nothing and going nowhere. All I had was my arrangements of others, this was my purpose. Jobs, blameless wives and children, girlfriends, friends, history repeating itself with new names and faces every week, month, year, decade. So when someone mentioned principles at an AA meeting? I really had no idea what they were talking about. Did they mean I should get a better group of people in my life to arrange? Principles were one of the keys to living sober, they said.. Nope, still nothing. Principles were something I was bound by each day of my new life sober. Louder? nothing, I just didn't get it.

 

Somewhere between meetings, meetings, meetings, and the spark of willingness I found? It was suggested to ask a Spiritual Higher Power for guidance? There was a shadow of a man/child, me. I could not make out any defining character, no identity really, no solid features, just a figure in the mirror. A male, late 20's. No future ahead and a past of nothing but pain and suffering. Even the seemingly best of times were contaminated, I was there. Nomatter the situation I was there and I was at fault for ruining it. The guilt and shame was all I saw when I looked to myself. Half the time I didn't even know why? I only knew that if I was there I was bad and I was in everything with my extreme self centeredness. How could I get rid of me when I was me? Alcohol was no longer working, I had no choice but to look at myself. Why the leper? Why do I hate myself so? I don't get it? I've never been all that bad! Oh sure I'm a sinner or loser or whatever, but nothing that would land me in prison? I'm guilty of believing others opinions. I'm guilty of being weak! I'm guilty of worshipping people and their opinions of me over my own. I can be happy with myself and if others are not? The others have it, they're always right. They hold the power. Everyone was everything and I was nothing...Ok, so what's the solution? Is there even one for me?

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

I met a guy the other night who was right out of his mind. Was he crazy? a loon? coo coo for coco fuffs? Maybe, I can't say. But I do know he said he could identify with the insanity of the first drink and well. the insanity in general that not everyone talks about. The selfish problem that leads to the willingness solution. I should realize once again that many who are extremely damaged alcoholics are not likely to have laptops and exposier to the net..No matter, I'm here and looking for one other like myself. To me? The older stories that were replaced in the revised Big Book were the good ones! I could identify with those who were way out there hanging at the mile marker and could never quite land anywhere safely. Those who in a last desperate attempt at sobriety went for broke with their willingness. Dropped everything for the pursuit of the suggested Spiritual path. I liked those who could speak fluent crazy, I found a kind of security there in their words.I would read with interest even though I didn't always understand..

 

 Anyway, always the intellectual cure for my flagging Spiritual condition. The stories. If only reading and identifying was enough to support a psychic change sufficient to overcome my alcoholism.. I do listen to others but I have to say I am a pretty crappy interpreter for my self. Yikes! My "self?" Like there's me and also my shadow? The shadow knows! The shadow is my third party? I can't seem to hear what others are saying? I think that's old Bradshaw stuff, the talking at each other and not to each other communicative skills. I hear what I want through my shadow? My shadow hears everything first then tells me what I think I want to hear? Oh boy...I'm going deep and I just sat down here.

 

Maybe it's just that I still don't focus? Yeah! ADD? I think I have a pill for that here somewhere from a starter kit a few years ago when I bottomed out the last time or the time before that? Here we go.  What? that was ten years ago? It seems like yesterday. These pills are way out of date! So way back then I was in trouble, I did my therapy, I took my drugs, I was much better? What happened? Well, once again the I's have it. Me Me Me, always me.I was in the relationship, I was bad, I screwed up, I didn't know how to be intimate, I was alone again, I go to the clinic, I tell them I'm out of my mind, I get therapy, I meet someone new and stop therapy, I'm all fixed for atleast a few months or until nobody loves me again. Geeze, I think I'll leave that part out of my resume'.Actually? I'm much better denying the whole mess. Too bad I can't just blame others like before and start the cycle over again, again.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

This coffee is too hot...This coffee is too cold...This coffee is just right!   Hi! I'm Alcoholic, my name is ____, how do you like me so far?

 

 I speak for myself obviously. My experience as I live it, remember it. Selfishness is brutal and I couldn't or wouldn't last long without a drink in me unless it was addressed on some level. I want what I want, when I want it. This attitude keeps me outside looking in yet I can't let it go. I am never really happy with myself, never good enough, always in search of the next good thing I see in others that can somehow apply to me. Copy, mimic? fantasize..People, I have a people problem, I'm addicted to them. If only I had what they have, I'd be happy just as they are. self centeredness, selfishness, self-pity, self delusion, self and more self. More decisions based on self that placed me in a position to be hurt I believe it says. Me, me, what about me. How come people don't need me like I need them?

 

I can't care for myself. I cut myself to shreds hoping for a rescue, attention. People, somebody save me! Somebody, anybody. I whine and complain, starving for acceptance from those who are so important to me. I have nothing but their acceptance will give me high self esteem, purpose.. I have no real courage or strength to face myself and the life that goes on around me. Why can't others love me or atleast like me? It is always an overwhelming firing line. A war zone. I'm losing. My life of self centered fear. The PTSD history doesn't help. Someone came along and did to me what I have done many times since to others. They stole my Spirit and I quickly learned how to live without it just as they do or did.. That's it in a nut shell really. They stole from me and now I steal from others. I'm a thief. I steal my emotional security from others. I make arrangements mostly in my head in hopes of getting my needs met.  I think I am everything you are, I am selfish to the extreme. I place myself in every thought, everything revolves around me. I am the hopeless Alcoholic described in the Big Book 12 Steps. I don't know what it's like to live free of resentment and fear. These extreme feelings are the norm to me.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

To the hopeless self admitted alcoholic like myself, fear is an evil and corroding thread I believe it says. I am driven by a hundred forms of it? The fabric of my existence was shot through with it. Woven into trains of circumstance that brought me misfortune I felt I didn't deserve but didn't I myself set the ball rolling? Fear should be classed with stealing.  Yeah, I get it.. I am the emotional thief. When I am full of fear I will selfishly grab any emotional security I can from anyone fancied or real to raise my level of self esteem back to a state suitable to me. I am a survivor. The Book suggests selfishness and self centeredness or (fear) is the root of my alcoholism. I believe it. I have seen it.

 

Fear set in motion trains of circumstance?  Hmmm, you mean post trauma fear? Fear from trauma?  Reoccurring fear connected to trauma? OK. I feel trauma should only apply for those confined to Auschwitz so my stuff is nothing really.. right? Well who's to say? Some will survive extreme loneliness and despair only to hang themselves over a broken shoelace. Rather than compare I will look at my own forms of trauma, where did the fear come from? Can I look without blame? Can I see myself? Personally no, I cannot. I must rely on the power of the Spirit for this kind of courage.

 

So, I witnessed a drunk guy abusing an elderly woman one day. I thought it was bad sure, very bad. A few others remarked that it wasn't so bad as this guy was drunk and the old woman didn't seem to really care anyway. As it seemed as this guy was getting away with this? I was beside myself. Soon after I saw this guy as the devil himself where nothing short of a firing squad was adequate punishment. I was alone in my intense feelings. Like the Book says, I was unable to see where I had started the "this guy must die" ball rolling. All I could see was he was getting away with abusing the old woman. A few asked me why I was so angered? I couldn't believe they couldn't see what I saw and believe as I did.. Just the idea there was another thought besides mine put me on the defense. I now didn't trust anyone who didn't believe as I did. They were just as bad as him in my eyes. What had started out as a drunk guy pushing a old woman out of the way became a psychotic mad man on the loose almost killing an elderly woman in my eyes. I was off the hook.

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Posted by on in Gambling Addiction

I don't drink anymore. Some of my facts are in. I'm alcoholic and for the most part I get what that means. I can't drink alcohol in safety. On the flip side?  When I take care of myself and treat my illness? I'm usually in pretty good shape. Hmm, my illness. When I don't drink, yeah I get it, don't drink.. and take care of my illness....

 

I have chosen or lets say been rescued by the AA Big Book 12 Step process. Everything I know about myself began with the willingness to grow in understanding and effectiveness found there. Everything.

 

The whole illness thing. Some call it dazeeze, some dis ease. Some refer to the problem as a Spiritual malady? Others think it's basically genetic, simply behavioral, environmental, even geographic..My Grandmother believed it was related to ethnicity and she lived for almost 90 years. It's a stretch but there may be some truth to that one.Irish, American Indians....Honestly? I think everyone knows but no one knows. All that aside, what about me. What do I think. After all is said and done I'm the one standing alone on the chair fumbling with the rope.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Step 1. That's the power of choice I hear about around the halls. They say they're powerless over alcohol, even facing life without it. For some reason they lack reason? Something like that. People can't seem to make rational decisions around alcohol and it's not just after they drink it  either. They speak of a mental twist that precedes the first drink. I can relate, I drank everyday and don't even know why. Years just went by in a blur like I was just drunk everyday with my mind stuck on erase mode. Drink and forget. It didn't matter how I started out, by the end of the day I was drunk. Not much more to it really. I couldn't say no to alcohol. So yeah, I could say I am powerless.

 

Plus at this point if I didn't go to these meetings everyday I would drink. That was pretty obvious. I've got drunk and come back to meetings a few times. The meetings have something, hope maybe? Camaraderie? The people just seem to be friendly without any effort, they just are my friends because we don't drink and have suffered greatly within ourselves..

 

I've never been in a situation like this that I can remember, allowed myself to be liked. Felt a part of something. It's good.. So, on that note I'm banging out at least two meetings a day, the nooner and the niter. Afterward I'm sitting drinking coffee until late. It strikes me odd that I am somehow taking care of myself also. I seem to work just enough to pay what I need to pay to live. I have a place to sleep and shower, money to eat. It kind of just happens. I just stepped out of my old life and into this one. Nobodies looking for me, nobody cares. I am just here in AA now, safe. It's a "one day at a time " thing I guess. That's what I'm telling myself anyway and it seems to be working. I don't drink and get to a meeting, nothing can happen in my 24 hours that a drink won't make worse. Or a drug, that too. I'm just not that concerned about drugs. Oh sure, I like em all and have abused my share, especially opiates, but I'm not interested for some reason. Maybe I just have no connection to get any drugs? I don't even care. I know drugs are mind altering substances, the AA folks who are sober say no to mind altering substances. I seem to be able to say no to drugs or yes to AA? Odd. It's the alcohol, the alcohol scares me. Lots of people say a drug is a drug is a drug. That may very well be true just as a tree is a tree is a tree. Or people are people...I'm not here to understand what others think or feel with respect to their addictions. I am also not in a treatment center, I am in AA.  Alcoholics Anonymous. The alcohol will take me down again and quick. I don't want to drink. I don't want to find myself on a bar stool with a drink in my hand desperately trying to shut my mind off.

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

Step 12..Carry the AA 12 Steps message of hope to the sick and suffering alcoholic, practice these principles in all my affairs. Live one day at a time on the Spiritual Path suggested that others may benefit from my daily reprieve. Is it about me or isn't it?  Obviously this seems much more difficult than it really is. Too goody goody God like? Like it's great talk and talk is cheap. You can't be that good every day right? Saints? I mean for real not just in my own (I believe everything I think to validate myself) mind...Well, I have to say although it sure seems like it sometimes, I am not alone here in the Big Book 12 Steps. I've gotten quite used to the extreme self centeredness, the lions and tigers and bears.

 

The many who are willing to believe, willing to put the drink down with Steps 1 and 2 and understand the three pertinent ideas. And when ready, move ahead to their 3rd Step decision, express the idea, voicing it without reservation? Those who now have the new found Spiritual courage and strength to inventory their past from a new fearless moral standpoint in their 4th Step? Then have finally seen themselves and let their God know they knew the emotional distress and destruction they have caused..This is huge! Go on to surrender their defective character to their Spiritual Higher Power and clean up their past? Steps 5 6 7 8 9.  Simply put, this is just how we roll. This is our whole new attitude and outlook on life. We are a reborn lot, not to be confused with a born again lot, for me anyway. We're sober today and willing to surrender ourselves to the power of the Spirit with each moment or like the Book's Step 10 suggests, constantly. Yes, following the Big Book 12 Steps and feeling myself thorough in my Step work to this point, Step 11 shows me everything I need to know about living one day without one drink. Everything to continue to grow in understanding and effectiveness in my sober life. I now have purpose, a reason for living. I can care enough about myself to be willing to take care of myself each day without some emotional enabler fancied or real. I am no longer the producer of confusion with the best of intentions. I have lost sufficient fear so life is no longer all about me, it's ok to just be a small part of it. I can survive, be valid without stealing a piece of everyone involved to create my emotional security. I am a real boy.

 

Without getting too morbid in my reflection it's safe to say I come from a pretty emotionally negative upbringing. Daddy had issues and passed them on to me. At 5 years old I was beat so bad I was never to be able to grow or participate...be a team player.. My life was over, shocked to the soul. I had been betrayed. I became stunted, self centered to the extreme. I jumped the track. I could not turn myself off now, there was no safe place for me now. Every minute of everyday was intense. I was afraid deep to my core. My head, my brain. Self centered fear was the norm. I could no longer hear and understand others, there was no listen and learn anymore. There was only tunnel vision of Daddy whipping me as I try to cover myself in the corner, am I good enough for Daddy, does Daddy approve, when will Daddy love me, nothing or no one else mattered. I began to treat others like Daddy would treat me. I saw his power over me and I wanted it over others. He loved me and I wanted to love others. In stead, I would make them pay for how I felt. My failures were your fault, if you can't fix me than the hell with you. Why didn't Daddy need to be fixed? Why was I the only failure? For the next 25 years life brought many empty relationships that began with the expectation that they would save me, fix me, make me happy, I would be could be normal, fulfilled even, happy..  They ended the same every time with me alone and broken. No new news here, same pain different faces. Whatever they had brought to me they left with. As much as I truly wanted to, I could not feel.  I just could not risk it. I needed others to feel for me. I needed to fill my empty void of existence with others. I was always that beat five year old and sadly can still be today. Many many times and for long periods of time I wanted to die. Blubbering with my head in my hands. Many times I acted in ways that showed no concern for my life. I couldn't care. I was not capable of caring for myself. In my later teens and twenties when I became a drunk, that's all I was really. Just a drunk, a good for nothing drunk. All hat and no cattle. Hey! will somebody have sex with me and like me? Anybody? How about just talk to me? Notice me?

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Posted by on in Alcoholism

One day at a time. Well? I came around AA and heard "one day at a time" you don't drink, "one day at a time" you get to a meeting, get a sponsor and join a group "one day at a time". Everything seemed to revolve around "one day at a time". "One day at a time" you get a physical, get that nasty neglected mouth fixed, put some focus on eating a decent healthy meal. Although my mind did seem to reject these new AA concepts at the first self serving opportunity? I did get used to repeating the AA mantra over and over all day, everyday really, "one day at a time", everything is just one day at a time. Nothing can happen in my 24 hours that a drink or drug won't make worse.

  Step 11 Big Book pages 86-88. Living one day at a time.

Can I just repeat these words "one day at a time" over and over with or without clicking heals? Sure. Do I need the experience of the first 10 Steps to feel the effects of my Step 11? Not sure. If nobody told me about Step 11 and how to live one day at a time would I still stay sober? I haven't the slightest idea. I myself began repeating "one day at a time" before I ever cracked open a Big Book. I have been on both sides of the path, the program or 12 Steps of recovery have placed me as a willing sober individual, safe in the realm of Spiritual understanding and effectiveness.  The Fellowship of AA has offered support with it's instant gratification, it's strength in numbers, camaraderie and good generalship taking the lead.. Where or how you fit is your concern. 

 

Top of 86. Some say the day begins with the ending here or "when we retire at night" as if the new man or me has been introduced to the work and will begin his inventory practice when his day ends. Like when "we retire at night" comes before "on awakening" for this reason. I don't know, it's getting complicated to me so well? I cannot say either way. Do or think what you want. I myself will begin my 24 hours with the second paragraph on page 86, "on awakening." Ok, I begin my "one day," my 24 hours.

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