22 May 2018

# TWO of 50: "Increase Alcohol Use with Prescription Medicine"


This the 2nd of 50 posts on #Recovery from #Addiction, #Alcoholism and #Cancer

CANCER*****ALCOHOLISM*****ADDICTION
Recovery********Recovery**********Recovery

I know I'm going all over the place here, but like the joke about what an alcoholic needs...
(A roof over the head, food on the table and someone to blame)... Day Two into Chemo-Therapy and Radiation-Therapy, my going all over the place is blamed on "Chemo-Fog," as I've been told and so as I excusably believe.
It seems everyone needs someone or something on which to blame their erratic, unpredictable and un-understandable feelings and behaviors.
"From the Ridiculous to the Sublime...," so similar, yet so different, like lemon & lime, I hope you will savor the flavor of all 50 posts.
QUICK INTRO to Posts 1, 2, & 3 through 50? I am Alcoholic with 13+ yrs. of Continuous Sobriety after an 8 year period of Chronic and Perpetual Relapse. Now, leading a Solid & Joyous Life in Recovery, I Face Cancer & Cancer Recovery.
These 50 Posts are my tool in Recovery from BOTH!
I AM A TOOL! (I've been called worse, in my drinking career, and as recently as yesterday.)
Without further ado, here is "Increase Alcohol Use with Prescription Medicine" (for me, and... )for you:
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"Increase Alcohol Use with Prescription Medicine," was how I intentionally misread ALL PRINTED WARNINGS on all Prescription Medicine and Over-the-Counter Medications back in my 30 year / 50,000+ drinks drinking career. (Redundant: over and over again, like addiction, yada-yada-yada)
WARNING! DO NOT FOLLOW this "Increase Alcohol Use with Prescription Medicine" headline. It is Addict Thinking / Alcoholic Thinking. Poor Thinking. Face it.... It's not thinking, at all.
CANCER is serious.
This is day two in my recovery process.
I no longer follow DR. JIM's orders (back in the day that lasted for years). I follow my team of doctors' and other health specialists' orders to the T. Ask Questions. Listen. Learn. Each and every medication and therapy I am involved in has purpose and side-effects. Some of the medications require other medications to treat the side-effects of the first. Cancer Treatment is a rapidly progressing, evolving art and science. Odd to say (bordering on sublime?), I'm glad (so far) to play some small part in it.
Recovery is Doable, Addiction is Screwable! (ridiculous!)
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My 13 Years of Recovery from Addiction has been like Kindergarten through 12th Grade for me.
Now I've Graduated to Cancer. The tools, the mindset, the hope, action, seeking help (look out! I feel myself devolving back into "From the Ridiculous to the Sublime.")
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Cancer, and Recovery from it, will at times make me feel weak.
Recovery from Addiction has taught me to be strong in my weakness.
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Strive on!
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For anyone reading this post who has Cancer, but is not in Recovery from Addiction, I'm reprinting the short form of "The Serenity Prayer" below. Let it be a tool in your Recovery Toolbox, whatever you're recovering from.
AND Remember, Everybody's Recovering from Something (even if that something is  a someone called YOU!).
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"The Serenity Prayer"

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
Courage to change the things I can, 
And wisdom to know the difference.
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Enough Already.
Mañana, Part Three!
(Suggestions for future posts warmly greeted)

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The 1st Cancer / Alcoholism / Addiction post is immediately below this second one on the link provided here (Reverse Chronological Order): https://alldrinkingaside.blogspot.com
(If you're already on the All Drinking Aside Blog page, consider this link part of the Ridiculous!)
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#SurviveAddiction #SurviveCancer #SurviveYourself
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Finally, whether it be Cancer, Addiction, Alcoholism, Recovery or All of the Above,
"Hear Ye, Hear Ye... Read All About it, Wherever, Whenever, However!
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You may also wish to Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal, by the same author:
http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
An Addiction Fiction & Autobiography-in-One / Check out the 30+ 5***** Star Reviews!

1st of 50 (Addiction/Cancer) Recovery Posts: REVERSE X-Ray Vision STRIPPED by Chemo & RADIATION Therapy


For those few who perhaps know about X-Ray Vision, but have never heard of Reverse X-Ray Vision (which I have... or rather, had) allow me to enlighten: Normal X-Ray Vision is the ability to see through solid objects, such as diaphanously frocked woodland nymphs.
REVERSE X-Ray Vision is my (former) unique ability to gaze upon photos of naked woodland deities with my reverse x-ray vision and dress them with my eyes.
My reverse x-ray vision powers were stripped by chemo and radiation therapy on this, my very first day of treatment for cancer.
Such is life in the Big Titty... I mean Big City (am I also loose-ing my powers of spich, too?).
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part Two (of 50!) of my "Alcoholic in Long-Term Recovery Faces Cancer"
Mañana!


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"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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Have you yet explored ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal?: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/jHfdjq 

20 May 2018

ADDICTION = Impatience \ RECOVERY = Impatience Decelerated


SLOW DOWN....Because if you haven't slowed down, you're still living in addiction, whether or not your drug of choice still inhabits every cell of your body, whether or not your mind is still in the Land of More.
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(Surimi) [sums it up well, speaking to Vatchi (and Sotto, easily within earshot)]: Vicious cycles. Vicious circles. No vicious virtue.... You're right, Vatchi. Slow down, Jim. Impatience. If there's one character defect I've seen in most, if not every addict and alcoholic, it's impatience. Always waiting for and wanting the next hit, the next drink. The waiting and wanting have become character traits that have not yet stopped, even after the drinking and drugging stops. The waiting and wanting continue. It takes time to decelerate.
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SLOW DOWN....Because if you haven't slowed down, you're still living in addiction, whether or not your drug of choice still inhabits every cell of your body, whether or not your mind is still in the Land of More....
Be still your beating heart. Recovery is here... , is now....
SLOW DOWNSLOW DOWN... !!! (slow down.... )


(photo credit: Impatiens on Pinterest)
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"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/jHfdjq 




17 May 2018

BARELY a TWEET this POST DOST MAKE!!!


If I can get over the TINIEST of Bottles, all other problems pale in comparison. Recovery from addiction has afforded me the BIGGEST of Toolboxes. 


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Add
ALL DRINKING ASIDE
to Your #Recovery #ToolBox
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16 May 2018

A World Away / A World Between... Insanity & Serenity


Bear with me.
This post may require heavy lifting. Intuition and mental presence join hands here.
Take these two quotes, a Chapter apart, taken completely out of context:
First, separately:
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"In quarreling, the truth is always lost." - Publilius Syrus, 1st century B.C., quote cited in Ch. 80, "My Second Insanity," All Drinking Aside
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"Eventually the puking stops. But the drinking doesn't stop." - Ch. 81, "Empty Bottles and Refillable Pain," All Drinking Aside
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Now. Intentionally fragmented. And together:
"... the truth is always lost" when "... the drinking doesn't stop."
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A world away, that drinking game, that world my life became.
There is a world between Addiction's Insanity and the Serenity that Recovery will become.
Piece together peace. You will not miss what it replaced. Welcome back to the human race.
Don't quarrel with a drink. Walk out.
We wouldn't want the puking back again, now, would we?
The truth is always lost when the drinking does not stop...


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"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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Passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/jHfdjq 

15 May 2018

As a Prelude to Chemo & Radiation, I Rediscovered this:


This simple excerpt sums up my feelings, felt deeply, brought to the surface. Like enduring recovery, it's almost self-explanatory, best felt and shared with knowing looks and quiet, understanding nods:

(Sotto): What has not died, what has survived, is a life to be lived more fully, Vatchi. I will give this one to Jim. I will go so far as to affirm his sobriety. He has become more than sober. Not a dry drunk. Alive and sober, this different kind of more, in absence of alcohol. More. This more. Sober.
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Tomorrow, I attend a Radiation Therapy Class. Then, starting Monday, 7 weeks of chemo and radiation.
Recovery has prepared me to face this, that, anything, stronger, belonging, grateful.
The only thing addiction prepared me for is recovery.


(Photo: "Wet Coppers and Greens" on Pinterest)
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"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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The passage spoken by Sotto is excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

14 May 2018

Chasing Illusions (ADDICTION) / Finding Recovery (ATTRACTION)


Was I ever really attracted to addiction?
Is anyone?
Swallowed up by it, slowly, progressively, like a large pig eaten by an anaconda, the passage of time marked in years dissolving within the belly of the beast, my human refuse, this alcoholic animal, somehow salvaged, starting over at the end.
Yes, that last sentence was a run-on.
I know. I know. I know (unnecessary repetition, like addiction's insanity itself).
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Mid-Addiction (let's say 10 years in), "I imagined that I would one day be able to be successful, ... to be able to drink successfully, ... but I was chasing the illusion of all alcoholics that somehow, someday, my drinking could be, better and different. This was before several relapses finally taught me, that for an alcoholic like me, I could never drink successfully, and that, no matter what else happened, or how long I went without a drink, it would always and could only, end worse. The best I could do was to imagine that my drinking would [somehow, some way] be manageable...."
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"'I'll show them!' drinking has always been my most catastrophic. All it has ever shown 'them' is what a chronic alcoholic I am. My last 'I'll show them!' drink resulted in a four-day binge that got me neatly strapped into a hospital bed and nearly fired... "
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Soon after, a fictional character (unnoticed by me), chimes in...
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(Vatchi): All we have I now, Sotto. The drunken TV show host is gone. The anonymous drunk and disorderly nuisance is gone. Jim clings to these memories to keep himself fearful. The sirens are calling him to drink 'on the rocks.' "Surrender to win" is a tough, tough sell. Until the alcoholic learns that there is no alternative. And with the first drink,"now" ends and the old insanity begins again.
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I guess I never really was attracted to addiction, but once it got a hold on me, it was not long until it was I who could not let go, chasing, chasing, chasing... all the while swallowed whole.
My attraction to recovery was not immediate either, happening in real time, measured in sober days stretched behind me, before me, within me.


*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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The passages in quotes (and Vatchi's speech) are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/jHfdjq 


09 May 2018

WARNING: CONTAINS F-Bombs ("Moonshine trumps Sunshine")


"It was alcohol, that vulture, that picked my bones clean." - It was that sentence that had me stop and backtrack to the beginning of this excerpt.
Normally, I don't post anything with curse words. WARNING: The excerpt below CONTAINS  a few F-Bombs. Stop reading now if that offends you. And definitely don't read my book. It contains some adult language where appropriate. Maybe 20, but who's counting... ?
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"They called me 'Rusty' because I drank Rusty Nails. They called me 'Rusty' because that is what I was. I was my drink. And when you are your drink, you are nothing. Fuck you and give me another drink. Moonshine trumps sunshine. Drink until I black out. Drunk until I pass out. Fuck. Any shelf. Any shelf. Fuck.

(Vatchi): Smoke and mirrors. Snakes and ladders. What does it matter, Sotto? Jesus walked on water. Jim walked on liquor and the illusion fell through. And Jim fell through. Fell through. Through. Overly confident, overtly confident. Confidence man. Con man. He fooled most people for a long, long time and then finally, only himself. And then and then and then nothing and no one, not even himself. Jim's crash to the bottom can be easily forgotten. He had humility. There. At his bottom. Can he stay humble as his competence at living sober increases? Competence trumps confidence. Place your bets. The chips are down. Way down.

My advertising career and my bartending career had similarities. Selling the dream. Selling the dream. With advertising, I sold the dream through the print, radio and television ads I created and produced. With bartending, I sold the dream through Johnny Walker, bar snacks and shot glasses. I could sell what I didn't believe in (advertising), but what I did believe in (alcohol), sold me. Our consumer culture did not consume me. It was alcohol, that vulture, that picked my bones clean."
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Well, there you have it.
The pictured quote expresses well the bottom line this excerpt leaves me feeling.
I'm no longer reeling. I'm real. It's real. Recovery has become me.
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."


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#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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The passage in quotes is excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

06 May 2018

ADDICTION: Crawling with a Crutch


Damn.
Damn, damn, damn, damn.
Denial disallows the seeing of its own insanity. What addiction is. 
Social structures, folkways and mores allow and encourage many behaviors. Drinking is embedded in our culture. Happy Hours have a certain social sanction. A drink will cure what ails you and so is allowed. Big humps in the road become little bumps, we are taught, if and when a drink somehow jumps in to lighten the load.
Ho-hum.
But damn. That little crutch I used too much became bigger than the load it was supposed to lighten. Alcohol became the little crutch that grew until it was all I knew and then, there I was, crawling with a crutch that no longer did as it was deemed to do and I could and would no longer heal. Unreal. Un-feel.
Crawling with a crutch. Crawling with a crutch.
Perhaps I've already said too much.
Fuck.
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An unknown bartender, if I weren't in one of my familiar haunts, might ask "Do you want a chaser for your scotch?" "No, thanks," I'd almost chuckle back. You see, beer was what I drank in the shower through my sippy cup (with lid) to sober up in the morning after too many scotches the night before.
As sad as that might sound, I'd find my way to work, often late, and in a few more hours doing my penance (called a job, the punishment whose reward was drink), a few more scotches found would chase all of my sadnesses away. If not those first few, then the many more to follow, to be sure.
Do I want a chaser? I was both the chaser and the chased until alcohol erased all such subtle distinctions. 
Me walking into a barroom was crawling with a crutch. 
From the time I woke up, until I brought that first drink of the day to my lips, I was filled with anxiety. A drink would fix that in the most jury-rigged sort of way. 
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"So much of my perceived pleasure in drinking, smoking and doing other addictive substances was the anxiety preceding picking up and the relief of getting my fix. Give me my drug and my anxiety and stress were reduced. I called this 'pleasure.' This must be pleasure, mustn't it? Unknowingly living to satisfy my level of addiction. Is this how and why and what I lived for?...."
*****
No scotch. No chaser. Recovery is the only road for me. I thirst for life, not what took that thirst away. Drinking, addiction, crawling with a crutch, has no purpose for me. It never did, when truth be told, after 50,000 drinks were bought and sold. My greatest pleasure is the absence of the crutch with which I crawled.
*****
This new life, sane and sober, is a good fit for me. Responsible and free. Crawling with a crutch no more.


*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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The passage in quotes is excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

05 May 2018

"... sex with a virgin is a sure cure for AIDS... " and Alcohol... ?


"At one time (for real, for real) it was believed by many that sex with a virgin is a sure cure for AIDS, or so some such rumors spread. Turned out that it didn't stop AIDS. Didn't cure AIDS. But it did do one hell of a job of spreading AIDS. And fear. And violence against women. 'Here, this will cure what ails you,' the bartender says. Turns out drinking alcohol will not cure an alcoholic.
"Today I must insist on abstinence. A drink would be violence against myself. (Why doesn't he just stop?")
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Stigma thrives on ignorance and spreads like wildfire.
Change is slow and progressive like the addictions it replaces.
Life is good. The fire from within sustains me. Shared courage strengthens me.
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
My life is better without the drink. Simple (after a million permutations).
Live and learn. I did not drink today.


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Passages in quotes are from my book. Explore More ALL DRINKING ASIDE Here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b