30 November 2022

Triggers


Connection with others is my Trigger to Recovery.

Of course, it didn't start out that way. When I first got Clean & Sober, after all the substances left by bloodstream and my brain, a certain residue remained. I was an addict and an alcoholic without the drugs. After 30 years of daily alcohol and drug use, I was left grasping at straws, and swizzle sticks- tell the truth. Everything reminded me of drinks and drugs. The only thing in my toolbox was a half-gallon plastic bottle of the world's cheapest vodka followed by almost anything else available as each day and night progressed.
When everything is a Trigger, nothing is a Trigger. Yes, I was that burned out and hopeless. Not drinking felt like a form of punishment to me. That I could not drink and drug and live seemed obvious. Eight years of multiple relapses was my form of slowly tapering off the drugs and the lifestyle. As a matter of fact, I was a bartender for my very first year sober.
Somehow, a drink found its way into my hands and there began 7 years of drinking and not drinking, on and off the wagon with broken wheels. 
The many broken promises and a thousand lame excuses behind me, I thought I could never carve myself a life in recovery that could fill up what had become the empty glass of a broken life.

Which brings me to now, after a sigh, a pause and a renewed breath.

Everything was a Trigger, truly, at first. My drunk dreams lasted for months, daily, seriously daily. Emotions, internal, stuffed deep down by denial slowly released themselves. Internal and external triggers were everywhere. Memories, every sight and sound, took me back to wanting a drink I knew I had to grow beyond. 

Eighteen years later, the pop sound of opening a can of soda still sounds like a can of beer to my alcoholic ear, despite the fact I didn't really care that much for beer but would drink it in the shower from a sippy cup to sober up while showering and readying myself for work, when I had work. Home, when I had a home. Self, when I had a self. 

It was bad.

I would learn to replace my triggers with actions. Nature abhors a vacuum. The mere absence of drugs and alcohol could never be enough. Replacement of everything I did drunk, which was everything, would have to be replaced, slowly, by what became a life lived fully in recovery.

Trigger>Thought>Craving>Use.

I had to learn to stop such thoughts in their tracks by taking action, doing something until such thoughts were dispelled. I've heard that doing something, anything, for 20 minutes, will clear the mind of triggers until the next one crops up. Reading, writing, singing, dancing, taking a walk, whatever it takes, take it.

Parties, sporting events, concerts, so much as passing a liquor store or a certain highway exit, on and on, were all triggers for me at first because before I got sober, every activity included a dozen drinks before, after and during,

A Gratitude List and a Daily Commitment to Recovery helped me train my impulsiveness. 

The knowledge of my powerlessness over drugs and alcohol slowly were replaced by power over my own choices and behaviors. 

Time and dedication of purpose.

Today, triggers make me snicker. I'm a Trigger Snicker-er. OMG (spelled J-O-Y), I am so happy to have travelled the long haul to today.

Let me end where I started: "Connection with others is my Trigger to Recovery."

My Gratitude and Many Thanks to my Facebook friends who gave me much help and inspiration for this post. Last Names are Not Included because I must protect the Anonymity of any who might choose it. Thank you, Claire A, Calvin G, Hazel I, Mike M, Neil V, Lori B, Kimberly J, Linda L, James S, Kyli L, James R, Nicole S. Maggie B, Jode F, Misty L, Pat O, Danny J, Peter S and Linda C & Peggy C. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE & MANY OF YOU KNOW EACH OTHER, So, One and All, I Thank You One and All!
All of you are MY CONNECTIONS TO RECOVERY.  Woo-hoo!
*****

Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 

(Find it on Amazon. Book it here): https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 
(Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both Books are Available in Print and Kindle Editions.
 

23 November 2022

What's for Dinner? GRATITUDE!

 

Let's get right to the meat of this post: GRATITUDE!!!
Keep a journal, daily, weekly, whatever it takes. Writing your thoughts down is better than just thinking them. The physical act reinforces the thought. You're on your way to behavior change without even realizing it!
Your physical, mental and overall recovery health will improve. If you don't like it, "we will gladly refund your misery," as I've heard said in Recovery Meetings.
15 seconds, 15 minutes, go at your own pace. 15 hours? lol I'm not there yet!
Taking the time to take your time will increase your powers of mental focus. It's no hocus-pocus. An attitude of gratitude will fill you like a good Thanksgiving Dinner. 
Gratitude is gravy. Ladle it generously!
Gratitude will calm you down, maybe even lower your blood pressure and heart rate. 
Be a Grateful Caregiver. Share the wealth of gratitude you have. It will multiply. "Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." - Gertrude Stein
Addiction is draining. Gratitude is healing.
Be Grateful that this post isn't one word longer.
Stronger.
Damn it! I'm a Grateful Liar.
Gratitude is Recovery's Fire.
*****

Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 

(Find it on Amazon. Book it here): https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 
(Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both Books are Available in Print and Kindle Editions.

08 November 2022

Live Your Life with Clean & Sober Fire Before You, too, Expire.


"I sure could go for a Cheese Steak with Fried Onions right about now," said the behemoth Australian Hercules Moth to himself... NEVER: No mouth, no lips, no speech, no Cheese Steak yearnings.

One can correctly say, "a couple of rats," but to say, "a rat couple" veers toward anthropomorphism, the attribution of human emotions and behaviors onto animals. "I sure could go for a Cheese Steak with Fried Onions right about now," proceeding from any animal, especially one that lacks a mouth, as cited here, is a good example of anthropomorphism.

The diversity of life on Earth is beyond amazing. The Hercules Moth remains in the caterpillar stage for an average of three moths (months, lol) and has a lifespan of 10 to 14 days and a wingspan of up to 11 inches. 

The Life Cycles of a Moth and the Human Stages of Addiction and Recovery are Horses with Different Colors. I was dying from drinking and felt like I would die without a drink. Use, abuse, dependency, tolerance for ever-increasing doses, binges, hospitalizations, homelessness: The Life of an Addict is one of Chaos and Disorder. At one time I felt doomed to die with alcohol on my breath and denial somehow made that all too acceptable.

Today, I'm glad I'm not an Australian Hercules Moth and happy to no longer be living in the Addiction Phase of my life. I am Grateful to be in Recovery.

I am Snug as a Bug in a Rug and Loose as a Goose (and everywhere in between). Clean and Serene is my Scene, Jellybean, Clean and Serene.

Accept Gratitude.

Watch a Butterfly Flutter By.

Perhaps that could be you (or already is). 

Spread your Wings and Fly!

Action, Patience, Time and Love.

Gratitude, Clean and Serene. 

Live your life with clean and sober fire before you, too, expire.

*****

Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 

(Find it on Amazon. Book it here): https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 
(Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both Books are Available in Print and Kindle Editions.


07 November 2022

It Was All Fun and Games the First Few Years.


ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconciliation of an Alcoholic Animal captures the 30-year downward spiral of Addiction. It was written as an Autobiographical Fiction because as I tell this true story of my addiction, three (3) Fictional Characters (unnoticed by me) discuss among themselves my prospects for recovery.
Order Your Holiday Gift Copies Now while you can still enjoy $4.00 (21%) savings off the List Price.
$14.95

ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 

(Find it on Amazon. Book it here): https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

For those on your Gift List who prefer Nonfiction there's BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 

(On Amazon here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both Books are Available in Print and Kindle Editions.


 

30 October 2022

"Addicted to Chaos"?


The Culture of Addiction became a Culture of Chaos, at least for me it did. In the rooms of recovery, one often will hear some proclaim that they are addicted to chaos. It goes with the territory they may have recently left. 

DOING NOTHING TAKES TIME.
It may feel downright uncomfortable at first, this clean and sober living thing, like a new pair of shoes that need some breaking in to become comfortable. 
Living decades in addiction's chaos was like living though a hurricane, seemingly without end. When it is finally over, we survivors survey the damage, salvage what we can and build anew.
There must be time to learn about our addictions and to learn more about our clean and sober selves.
We will find time to take action, to do all we can to move forward, to feel good in our skin.
Action and inaction.
Exercise and relaxation. 
Balance.
Allow yourself the luxury of doing nothing on occasion.
Allow yourself the time to heal.
The days of addicted to chaos have ended.
Breathe.
Just breathe. 
Do nothing but breathe.
*****

Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 

(Find it on Amazon. Book it here): https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 
(Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both Books are Available in Print and Kindle Editions.

28 October 2022

ALL DRINKING ASIDE Reader Review #69: "A MUST READ" - 5 ***** Stars

 

TODAY, October 28, 2022

An Amazon Customer writes: 

"This book is for anyone and everyone. One need not be an alcoholic or recovering alcoholic to benefit from reading this book. Anyone who has or had a family member or friend that is/was an alcoholic can gain insight from this well written book.

The author presents his story in a witty, informative, and unique way that will keep the reader thoroughly engaged. 

I highly recommend this book."

************************

#Read the other 68 Reader Reviews.

ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  

Book it here: https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books


10 October 2022

I Learned How to Type Back in the Stone Age

 

Much has changed since my teenage years. 

Much has stayed the same.

Since Humankind crushed grapes, alcohol has been around. Today, fentanyl, and even newer drugs have emerged.

Something Old, Something New, Everything Borrowed, Always Blue.

Check out my Autobiographical Fiction on Amazon. Kindle or that Old-Fashioned Thing called Books: 

ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  

Book it here: https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books


07 October 2022

HEATHER Reviews ALL DRINKING ASIDE


5 Stars "Raw truth"
Reviewed October 2, 2022

"Phenomenal read. The raw truth of this book is inspiring. To put yourself out there like he did is commendable and beautiful. It's not easy to show your scare to the world, and by doing so I hope he has helped a lot of people in the same situation. It takes so much to bare the most ugly parts of yourself. Baring those ugly parts is the definition of beauty." 
*****
ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  

Find it on Amazon. Book it here: https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books


04 October 2022

I AM THE CHILD OF MY OWN ADDICTIONS.

 "To live is to suffer. To survive is to find meaning in suffering." - Viktor Frankl

"I am the child of my own addictions." These are the words I reread from a post I wrote in April of 2021. It hits me more deeply now than when I wrote it. The past, no matter how close or far away, can still release us from ourselves and to ourselves. 

"The past is history, tomorrow, a mystery" is oft heard in the rooms of recovery. About the highest grade I can give that is that it rhymes. Yippee-Yi-Yo-Ki-Yay. My reality, my truth, is that I was still a child when I became swept up in my addictions: Peter Pan Syndrome, not a recognized mental health condition, captures some of the straws I'm grabbing at (Swizzle sticks, more accurately). 

ADDICTION: "Peter Pan in Hell" (I would pay to see that movie).

"Pull yourself up by your bootstraps." I was helpless and hopeless when I first got sober. At one point, right before my first period of sobriety, it took me two hours to put on my shoes and tie the laces. No exaggeration. That was my reality. Not too far a stretch from the truth is that 30 years after my first binge drinking episode, I would have to find my way clean and sober and pick up where I left off at 16.

"I am the child of my own addictions."

My recovery would become a major renovation, construction and reconstruction of a 46-year-old edifice (my age when I first got sober). My reward has been an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle. 

Viktor Frankl, from the opening quote here, was a Prisoner of War and a Holocaust Survivor. His Search for Meaning was a Primal Force. Through his writing, I've learned to marvel at the capacity of the children Frankl described. They produced artwork on the prison walls in which they found themselves, despite their suffering. Meaning. found beyond suffering, created almost as a way to survive it.

The Myth of Drugs and Alcohol as Instruments of Creation have proved false. For years I thought my creative abilities would be diminished in a life absent of drugs. I am grateful to have lived beyond addiction and to discover drugs were never necessary to improve or inspire my creativity. All Drinking Aside is proof of that.

My Search for Meaning has become Meaning Found. 

Alcohol is Liquid. My Recovery is on Solid Ground.

I'm coming up on 72. 

"Look at Jimmy. He's all growed up."

Almost. 

Always halfway there.

One damned day at a time.

Yippee-Yi-Yo-Ki-Yay.

I'm a clean and sober cowboy.

Hot damn.

I am the parent of my own recovery and sometimes I am the parent of the recovery of others. They are the parent of their recovery and of mine. And we (Shared Courage) grow stronger, less broken with each passing day. Friend, parent, child, comrade, each to all.

Always halfway to perfection (if you're heading in the right direction).

I was the child of my own addictions.

Life is good.

*****

Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in this Autobiographical Fiction. Emerge more fully whole.

ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  

Find it on Amazon. Book it here: https://lnkd.in/esP83n-c

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

All Drinking Aside bookends each of its 90 Chapters with Quotes by the Famous, Infamous & Anonymous.

The Quote by Viktor Frankl opens Chapter 16 (You Are Eve Before the Apple and I Am Adam After the Fallof All Drinking Aside.

Resolve to read it. Explore your own mind within its pages. Check out the 5 Star Reviews on the Amazon page while you're there: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO Enjoy.

This post is a major overhaul of my 04/11/21 post

22 September 2022

"WHATEVER POWER IS... THAT'S WHAT ADDICTION STEALS."

 

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.

*****

Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 

(Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 
(Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both Books are Available in Print and Kindle Editions.