15 May 2019

*_*_*_* PTSD & The Tomb of the Anonymous Addict *_*_*_*


(hope found: on pinterest.com)

In 17 short sentences, here, combined, my heart opens to expose my pain for those who suffer, survive and sometimes die from post-traumatic stress and addiction. Because both posts are spare in words and similar in sincerity, I share them both here for any and all who allow themselves to feel and share with me the multiple traumas briefly laid out here for all to see.
*****
PTSD
(In a few short sentences, 154 years of history are traced by the different names we have assigned to PTSD... and how it has changed us):
*****
A Soldier's Heart is what they called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during the U.S. Civil War (which ended in 1865, 154 years ago). They did not know what else to call it. It was at the core of what they felt. "He's suffering from a Soldier's Heart," they said.
Time marches on (and did march on) and during World War One the same sick soldier would be called Shell-Shocked. The munitions changed and the positions changed, the diagnoses altered slightly from the Soldier's Heart to the shell-casings of bombs dropped too near.
The concentric circle of war overlapped once again in World War Two and combat stress reaction and a spray of other diagnoses erupted as the medicalization of symptoms evolved and the prescriptions changed.
Today we call it PTSD and for a second we may look upon that same soldier as if under a microscope whose magnification may bring us closer to the truth found possible through advanced scientific methodologies, yet somehow far further from the man, the man an echo beneath a barrage of symptoms...
Do Not Forget a Soldier's Heart...
*****
[Please note, when I had first heard about Soldier's Heart, I was immediately reminded of PTSD and of how I had felt when I first hit bottom in 1996... lost in terror.]
*****
.
.
.
*****
THE TOMB OF THE ANONYMOUS ADDICT
(No words minced, the hope for change is submerged here, emptied out by deaths too soon in addiction's wake.):
*****
Sometimes walking down the street you think you hear the sound of leaves scuttling along, but these are the plans, hopes, dreams of the dead. Wind barely whispering over the green lips of empty bottles, syringes puncturing the silence in their stillness. Sentences gasping for a last breath, forever unfinished.
The Tomb of the Anonymous Addict is really many tombs in many doorways, further down anonymous valleys than any still alive have ever ventured.
No such monument truly exists. It's undedicated, the dead remains unidentified. It is truly unnamed and unguarded.
It tires me, this Tomb of the Anonymous Addict. It exists in my mind only.... And it makes me weary.
*****
[Truly, I do have hope today, but for however briefly, it had been eroded here. Hope is Our Renewable Natural Resource. Give yours to those in whom you find it lacking.]
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

08 May 2019

*_*_*_* #Addiction: Reptilian Stairway to Nowhere *_*_*_*



(mc escher lizards ixora.pro)

Alcohol was certainly not the only drug I used. True, it was center stage, but co-conspirators often stole the show, beyond over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and including prescription drugs, street treats and sundry hallucinogens. 
It was only after I had come off this one particular LSD-like trip that I realized I couldn't have climbed a staircase in the jailhouse I was being held in because there were no stairways in that one-story building. No basement. No second floor.
Trust me though, some reptilian (me, so very high) had climbed that stairway that was not there.
*****
"Climbing an invisible, hallucinated staircase, high on organic belladonna plucked fresh off the tree by me hours earlier, high in the Guatemalan mountains, Gene and I were arrested on suspicion of substance abuse, awaiting release through bribery. Some memories, like this Guatemalan belladonna one, bring flashbacks" of me being not fully or even partly there, melted into a drug-induced haze. Sometimes I have to remember these moments to fully appreciate that I have surrendered to recovery, that I am savoring the present moment and that I have survived all of it.
*****
All the other drugs involved in my 'other' life were dissolved by alcohol, always alcohol. It took me half my 30-year drinking career to understand, fully to understand, that alcohol was both set and setting in the unreal play being acted out in my addiction. Drugs dissolved in alcohol, my universal solvent. So smooth. So soothing. I did not know until I, too, had become dissolved in alcohol and the curtain had begun to draw closed that I was a chronic alcoholic nearly beyond help.
Such a romantic-sounding dying it seemed to be, until the too-real catastrophes began exploding around me, all-the-while my life imploding until there was nearly nothing left. I, a spitball on some mad scientist's floor. I, too small, the door of recovery too large, too large. It would not seem to budge.
That I am alive today seems mostly luck, some hard, hard work and a reptilian brain learning, unlearning, relearning. 
A wild animal, unleashed from addiction's cage, takes years to tame.
I am free. I am human. I am me again.
I built a stairway to recovery that had not been there. 
Shared courage opened the door to recovery. I could not have done it alone. 
Gratitude unbound for all who helped me find a way, my way.
Reptilian stairway to nowhere... nowhere to be found.
Recovery built on solid ground.
Shared courage.
No way.
Yes, way.
*****
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

30 April 2019

*_*_*_* Suspension of Disbelief: The Use of Fictional Characters in an Autobiography *_*_*_*


(nytimes.com)

Suspension of Disbelief: a common literary device whereby a reader is asked to suspend their critical faculties and logic for the sake of enjoyment. In this case, the reader is asked to suspend their disbelief, fully knowing that the three fictional characters in All Drinking Aside discuss my prospects for recovery among themselves but go unnoticed by me. These three fictional characters help to interpret my words and actions and provide temporary relief from my brutally intense narrative.
One of the fictional characters, Vatchi, reveals my use of humor as a tool, a weapon and a defense mechanism.
*****
(Vatchi): ... His progress in recovery is slow and tedious and now you're mocking and oblivious. He'll hold up the truth for all eyes to see and then hide himself behind a joke. Jim's still in the holding cell. He's still hurting. He still lives in fear. He still uses ego as a weapon. Sotto [the three fictional characters names are Sotto, Vatchi and Surimi], look behind his words.
*****
[Oblivious to these three fictional characters' words, I continue my autobiographical narrative here]: "I couldn't stop drinking. Who in their right mind would wake up after spending a fortune while in a blackout and continue drinking? The 'Fucked Up Stops Here' never happened. The instant my blackout would start, I was feeding my disease and nothing else. If alcoholism is insane, blackout drinking is even more insane. It's so easy after a few years of sobriety to wonder why I didn't stop drinking. And it became so easy after a few years of sobriety to forget how insane it was. That is why, for me, connection with other alcoholics is so key to my continuing sobriety.
'Staying stopped' - that's the trick.... "
*****
Looking back at all this now, I see how I did not fully realize the importance of others in my recovery. I knew I couldn't do it alone, but part of me still under-valued the immense help given to me by everyone else in recovery. I also truly did not realize how my asking for help aided them in gaining another day of sobriety. Many lessons of gratitude were to follow.
My life revolved around alcohol and in recovery, I discovered that the world does not revolve around me. All of this world's people are a part of the interconnectedness of all life. I am a grateful participant and observer of this daily spectacle called living.
The events of the past are frozen in time, unchangeable. But my understanding of the past surely evolves over time as the fog lifts and my recovery expands.
The progress of early recovery is slow and tedious, but it is well worth the struggle. Recovery eclipses the pointlessness of addiction's dizzying, vacuous lack of direction. Every day is a new day, made brighter by my deeper understanding and appreciation for how I was and how I am evolving as a sober person. What was broken heals with time. A new, sober person comes into being.
Who the hell would want to drink? Not this new, sober person I have become. But that other person, the person I was for 30 years most certainly did want to drink, whether I wanted to drink... or not.
Insanity.
The past informs the present. Lessons have been learned. I do not wish to drink today. Today, today, today, today. I will not drink today.
Suspension of Disbelief? I dare not suspend my disbelief that all that happened happened. It all happened. It's all true. The three fictional characters in my book were a big help in keeping me sober. Suspend your disbelief, too. Perhaps they are talking to you. If only you will listen.
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
The passage spoken by Vatchi and those in quotes are from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
88+ Recovery Posts on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-anders-89b1a876/detail/recent-activity/posts/

26 April 2019

*_*_*_* "There is No Way to Recovery. Recovery Is the Way." *_*_*_*


(bu.edu)

I can't truly claim the headline to this post as mine ("There is no way to recovery. Recovery is the way.). It is derivative in nature and more or less a direct steal from Thich Nhat Hanh ("There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.")
*****.
"Monkey See / Monkey Do" fairly well captures my early recovery. I knew nothing of recovery. The drink was all I knew.
Early in my drinking career, alcohol was the icing on the cake of my social life, something added to make all things somehow better. Down that long road alcohol began replacing things, subtracting, destroying, nullifying.
Surimi, one of the fictional characters in my book, describes how alcohol takes on the villainous role to the exclusion of all else like this: "Gentlemen, we are pack animals, like wolves. Separated from the pack, the chances of survival diminish. Alcoholism is this disease of separation. The alcoholic needs alcohol to the exclusion of all else. Recovery is largely about rejoining the human race. Connecting with self, reconnecting with self. Connecting with others, reconnecting. Overcoming alcoholism, the Great Excluder...."
"This disease of separation" is gut-wrenching to me now. It's easy for me to forget how pathetic I became, how much it hurt, where it took me. In my early sobriety and after several relapses, I finally realized the importance of others. Today, I realize that most of the insights that inspire me to write come from others in recovery meetings, on-line, from many books and in person-to-person contact. Today, the inspirations of others are a real source of joy, but learning that was a stubborn lesson back then.
Addiction was my disconnect and recovery, my re-connection. Here's how I phrased it, almost apologetically, a few short years ago: "The loneliness of an alcoholic death. That's what many of my recollections boil down to.... Reciprocity is keeping me sober. Sharing with another alcoholic. It really is that simple. I used to drown the loneliness caused by alcohol with (what else?) more alcohol. Solitude seemed an impossibility when a bottle of booze sat next to me.... Loneliness, inescapable. Solitude, unattainable. Sobriety, unimaginable."
That was my past life. Recovery has changed all that. I'm leading a fairly normal, happy, sober life now. But I must never forget the loneliness of an alcoholic death, where that first fatal drink might take me.
*****
Don't go back there. There's nothing there. Not even you. There is nothing but emptiness there.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Recovery in. Addiction out.
Each breath renewable.
"There is no way to recovery. Recovery is the way."
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
88+ Recovery Posts on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-anders-89b1a876/detail/recent-activity/posts/

18 April 2019

*_*_*_* "Let Addiction Die First (Recovery, Let Us Live)" *_*_*_*

(nytimes.com)

"Let Addiction Die First." The words seemed to come out of nowhere. I wrote a note to myself so I wouldn't forget them as I went about my business. Later, on the way home from picking up the Sunday newspaper, I found myself singing a never before heard melody out loud (not caring what passersby might thing). It went, "Da... Da-Da-Da... Da" (I don't know where that came from either). Suddenly I realized that "Da... Da-Da-Da... Da" stood for "Let Addiction Die First."
It stood for that and nothing else. 
*****
Whatever could that mean?
*****
I had reached the tipping point many years earlier... that point where addiction affixed itself to the part of my brain that told me I would need alcohol to survive. My survival instinct itself stood imprisoned. By that point, "I" barely existed anymore at all. I had come to believe that I would need a drink to persevere the very pain that my drinking had caused. My brain had reached the point where it needed more alcohol than my body could endure. Multiple hospitalizations escalated. I crashed upon the walls of death repeatedly, nearly crashing through.
The drinking would stop when my body gave out....
*****
How odd that "Let Addiction Die First" had not really been my thought or experience. Delirious on sidewalks and in gutters, emergency rooms had become my interventions. 
*****
Somehow, I turned the phrase, "Let Addiction Die First," into "Recovery, Let Us Live." For it was in recovery that my addiction died and it was in recovery that I learned to live. A stern warning, like so many epiphanies, appeared as afterthoughts. As Gertrude Stein once said, "Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone." I express that here by sharing with others in recovery that the desire to pick up a drink dies slowly, over time, replaced by the new and healthy habits that recovery will instill. The will to live without a drink returns to its rightful place in a drug-free brain, survival instinct cleansed, addiction arrested, the natural order of the brain restored.
*****
"Da... Da-Da-Da... Da... ,"  "Let Addiction Die First" (or surely I will die). That was the drumbeat that kept repeating in my head. But, eventually, "Let Addiction Die First" slowly morphed as my melody continued. Now, "Recovery, Let Us Live" is the tune I hear, sing it how you will, your song. 
"Recovery, Let Us Live." It will blossom. It will thrive.
Excuse the rhyme, for here I add, I'm glad to be alive.
"Recovery, Let Us Live. Recovery, Let Us Live. Recovery, Let Us Live."
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
88+ Recovery Posts on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-anders-89b1a876/detail/recent-activity/posts/

13 April 2019

*_*_*_* "The #Stigma of #Addiction" & The #Stigma of #Recovery *_*_*_*


(seniorservice.co.za)

"The stigma of addiction - the price that even those in long-term recovery can pay in disclosing this aspect of their personal history - leads many recovering people to 'pass' as a 'normal,' scrupulously hiding their recovery journey from members of the larger community. Some recovering people live a socially cloistered existence, interacting almost exclusively with others in recovery.... " - William L. White, "Recovery Rising," p. 340 
*****
"Flying rivers, that's what some scientists call the massive clouds of moisture over the Amazon rain forest. They contain more water than the Amazon river below in all actuality, simple dispersed in the vapor trails we call clouds." - from the introduction to "Flying Rivers of Hope," part of "A Universe of Recovery Verse," linked here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/universe-recovery-verse-jim-anders/
*****
I don't mean to burst anyone's bubble....
... but, of course, you know, I do.
*****
We, in the Recovery Movement, like the massive clouds of moisture over the Amazon rain forest, are ready to burst, have been ready to burst, are already bursting on the larger community below. "Some recovering people live a socially cloistered existence, interacting almost exclusively with others in recovery.... " 
It's time (long overdue) to come out of the Recovery Closet.
First, do no harm, to yourself or others, but where you can, how you can, whenever you can, the time has come.
I've already dubbed 2020  the beginning of "The Roaring Twenties of Recovery" (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/welcome-new-roaring-twenties-recovery-2020-2029-jim-anders/).
Lead. Follow. Join. Rejoice.
Add your voice.
The silence has been deafening.
A new voice is forming, has been forming, is formed.
Listen carefully, it is not a whisper.
It's a ROAR!
*****
The Recovery Movement has surely already begun. Each of us will play a part in it by the actions we take and by the actions we have not yet taken. I most certainly hope that the decade about to start (2020 - 2029) becomes known as "The Roaring Twenties of Recovery."
Join.
Rejoice.
The Choice is Yours.
Add Your Voice of HOPE (Our Most Renewable Natural Resource) to the Reign of Recovery (pun intended - "We are not a glum lot.")
Recovery Rules!
*****
P.S. Have a Nice :-) Decade!



08 April 2019

*_*_*_* WELCOME the NEW! "Roaring Twenties of Recovery" (2020 - 2029) *_*_*_*

(eventions.gr)

"My thought at the time was that we had to act like a movement until we became a movement." - "Recovery Rising" by William L. White, p. 331
***
"To refer to people who are addicted as alcohol, drug, or substance abusers misstates the nature of their condition and calls for their social rejection, sequestration, and punishment. There is no other medical condition to which the term 'abuse' is applied. If we truly believe that addiction is a serious health problem, then why do we continue to have departments and centers of substance abuse? The terms abuse and abuser should be now and forever abandoned in discussion of people with severe and persistent alcohol and other drug-related problems." - "Recovery Rising" by William L. White, p. 338
**********
The historic era following World War I and leading to the Great Depression is, of course, known as the Roaring Twenties. War-weary Americans saw the world through new eyes. Modern conveniences and leisure activities won out over hard work and self-denial. That, the Roaring Twenties of the 20th century, is being quickly eclipsed by the NEW "Roaring Twenties of Recovery" of the 21st century (2020 - 2029).
*****
On a personal level, 1970 marked the halfway point of my college years. Fifty years before it, the 1920's were just getting started and 50 years hence the bells of 2020 are about to peal. "Substance Use Disorder" was a term not yet in vogue in 1970. But the substances that I had used (in substantial numbers and varieties) were to be found midway through my brain and extend to the far fringes of my skull, thoroughly filtering through every cell of my body.
A large cache of psilocybin mushroom powder sat on the dining room table, right next to a finely graduated metric scale. Marijuana smoke and the smoke from cigarettes filled the air in equal measure. Psilocybin and other hallucinogenic drugs were dissolved in half-gallon jugs of cheap wine and sat out openly for any to imbibe. After all, we were quasi-sophisticated quasi-adults half out of our quasi-minds on pot and pills, pipes and other paraphernalia scattered about everywhere.
My thoughts (also variously scattered about) had no clear sense the I would one day (years later) be called a chronic alcohol and drug abuser by a staff of doctors and nurses whispering among themselves "Do you think he'll make it?" with me strapped on a gurney less than half-conscious, DT's (delirium tremens) moving in for possibly the last time as the sedatives (Librium, more than likely) began to grab hold.
They wondered if I would make it.
And so did I.
*****
Fifty years later and 2020 is nearly upon us. The Recovery Movement has surely already begun. Each of us will play a part in it by the actions we take and by the actions we have not yet taken. I most certainly hope that the decade about to start becomes known as the new "Roaring Twenties of Recovery."
HOPE is Our Most Renewable Natural Resource.
I stand at the ready.
One day at a time rushes towards us.
Take off your masks.
2020 is upon us.
Now... ROAR!
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
88+ Recovery Posts on LinkedIn

26 March 2019

*_*_*_* #STIGMA: "The Silencer on Addiction's Gun" (True Story) *_*_*_*




(picdeer.com)

I was a blackout drinker. And I certainly looked like the guy in the grainy hallway videotape they showed me much later. How the detectives on the murder case cajoled me into going to their offices to view that tape still mystifies me. They only told me that I might have some information that might help them and I was so naive and only too willing. I had no idea what was to come. They picked me up after work and we proceeded a few miles to their Northfield offices. I had no thought of asking for the presence of an attorney until much later. 
In due time, I found out that I was known to be a frequent visitor to the beachfront high-rise where a murder had been committed. Somehow, they knew I was a blackout drinker. I freely admitted that fact to them.
My friend, Ada, who I visited frequently, lived in that building, but she almost without exception would pass out before my visit ended. I would tiptoe out after she closed her eyes and pursue my drinking binge elsewhere and alone. I would continue, persistently increasing my intoxication to the point of blackout drinking late into the night as usual. I repeated this pattern countless times after partying with Ada earlier in all those nights.
"Those two detectives were trying to torture a confession out of me (just like when alcohol had me down for the count and tortured an admission of powerlessness out of me). They were trying to find a way of making me contradict myself, catch me in a lie, get me to admit. Let a name slip out: the name of the murdered, the murderer or his accomplice. But I didn't have a clue. Mr. Green in the Laboratory with a Rope? I really had no clue. Finally they gave up and released me. But alcohol did not release me. Alcohol did not stop torturing me, punishing me, hurting me, then helping me get over that hurt. Insanity. I should have stopped sooner. Shoulda, coulda, woulda.
Jim Anders, in his Life, with a Bottle. Stop."
And of course, you know, the story does not end there. I did not stop drinking because of this or any other incident of my drinking career. A dozen forms of survivor's guilt have not escaped me. Never did I find out the name of the man murdered or if the suspects were ever found and brought to trial. The survivor's guilt I'm talking about does not include that particular man on that particular night. The guilt of waking up and not knowing where I was, what I had done, might have done, if I got home, how I got home and on and on. "Why me?" is a question that had plagued me from time to time in my drinking days and sometimes still crops up in my recovery.
*****
Men and women sit on death row who in a blackout state killed someone in a drunken rage with a knife or gun (no worse or different from my cavalcade of drunken blackout nights and days and three-day binges). Or worse yet, and more frequently, death by a drunk driver. I am sure that there are many deaths by auto and the drunk driver is never discovered (and perhaps not even remembered by a blackout drinker like me).
I survived all of that. My blackouts never led to unremembered deaths or murder victims, but who among us in recovery has not at one time thought "That could have been me"?
I have survived my addictions and now live a grateful life in recovery.
Survivor's Guilt lives on in various forms. I have been an accomplice to Silence. Stigma: The Silencer on Addiction's Gun. Another victim falls. Survivor's guilt.
Comply.
I complied with our culture's habit of silence. Excuses die hard.
Accomplice still, striving to become free. I have lived to see this Conspiracy of Silence taking its last breaths. My long sighs continue here in hopes of a happier ending's approach.
I am complicit to this Conspiracy of Silence no more. Stigma slowly dissolving. Recovery moving forward. Gratitude grounded. Strong foundation in Recovery reaffirmed. I am not the man I once was. Nor am I yet the person I am becoming. Becoming a person, recovering.
Our stories continue, sober and strong.
Real.
Complicit in murder? No more.
Stigma: The Silencer on Addiction's Gun. Done.
Our stories continue, sober and strong.
We belong.
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

25 March 2019

*_*_*_* Drugs, Thugs & Coffee Mugs *_*_*_*


(etsy.com)

"A 15-year-old is in traffic court for driving without a license, resplendent in his black leather jacket and black beret. Told to remove his hat by the judge, the young man reluctantly complies, only to have a joint the size of a cigar fall from his beret onto the floor in front of the judge's bench. He was, of course, arrested in the courtroom." - William L. White, "Recovery Rising," p. 140
**********
Getting caught, despite our best behavior, is so often the set-up for a punchline or a physical pratfall which may be found humorous only in retrospect. In my mind, reading this quote from "Recovery Rising," I picture the young man's face taking on certain aspects of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.
A similar smile befell me as I sat opposite the desk of the Manager of a Waterbed Store many years ago. I spoke knowledgeably about how my advertising company's as yet unwritten promotions would have customers flocking to his store to purchase a waterbed (or two!). It all was going well until our nearly perfunctory good-byes when I reached into my sport coat to retrieve a business card (firmly in my hand). When I reached out to give it to him, I did not notice that a pack of Easy Wider 1-1/2's cigarette rolling papers somersaulted out of my pocket with the business card. It nearly fell into the bespectacled manager's coffee mug, landing next to it with a dull thud.... 
My card?
The jig was up.
I did not land the Waterbed Store account, but years later, the smile from the Cheshire cat finds form upon my face in memory of this short anecdote.
**********
All life, my drinking and drugging life, is surely not so lighthearted. Deadly and near deadly encounters would follow in the ensuing years, but it goes well by me at times to remember those early years. They, too, are part of the fabric of my life.
And yes, I'm glad my Easy Wider 1-1/2's didn't fall "onto the floor in front of the judge's bench" (but the Manager of the Waterbed Store most certainly did sit in judgement, didn't he?)
**********
Feel free to "like," comment or share your "that reminds me of the time... " in the space below!
**********
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
Recovery Tweets: https://twitter.com/JimAnders4  


23 March 2019

*_*_*_* "Whatever #Power is, That's What #Addiction Steals"​ (a personal favorite) *_*_*_*


Within the framework of my first 1,000 days of recovery, I sat alone in the back of the room, still green in my newfound sobriety, completely drained, the sounds of the 12-step group fading into silence. Nothing was left and in that stillness, three words entered my head, almost as if spoken aloud, after which I, without forethought, flashed to a childhood memory on a cool summer morning....
Those three words were "Addiction Steals Power."
I found myself transported, standing outside my childhood home, awestruck, watching an aluminum disc circling around inside its glass protective globe, clicking off the electric use for the meter reader's next visit. It was like a watch, but instead of measuring time, it was measuring power. Well, whatever power is, that's what addiction steals.
More brashly, I could say that addiction sucks the life right out of you, but that would be incorrect. It is silent and subtle and seemingly harmless, like the lightweight aluminum disc described above.
Addiction steals time, too, in concert and by differing degrees and metrics. Like hydrogen and oxygen, they cascade over an obscure tipping point at which point "I am an alcoholic and I am powerless" takes on new measures of meaning.
*****
Recovery, for me, has been all about recovering what can be recovered, what has not been completely destroyed, and accepting the responsibility of reconstructing a life so deconstructed.
A new life, a sober life, unknown to me, awaited. It took twice a thousand days to feel myself moving forward, unfettered by the different drumbeats of addiction, sometimes clamoring, sometimes whispering that a drink would somehow solve anything and everything.
***** 
Inside that larger globe called living sober that blossomed and continues to bloom, the sky's protective arc stretches beyond all horizons and the disc, within, circling, is gratitude. The power, now, is serenity in moments immeasurable.
"Addiction Steals Power" is no longer true. Addiction Stole Power, past tense, is this day's truth. Today, I glide toward endless horizons of continuing Recovery. Today, "Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." Today, even my memory of a child on a cool summer morning watching in awe as a small aluminum disc spun 'round is a fulfilling memory only in sobriety.
For me, one drink would destroy all memories, past and yet to come.... Recovery, now, is serenity in moments immeasurable.
Alcohol stole power many yesterdays ago. Recovery is the way I go today, cool, calm, sober, serene. Recovery, now, is serenity in moments immeasurable.
Recovery IS power.
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
Recovery Tweets: https://twitter.com/JimAnders4