21 October 2018

The Downside of Optimism... Re-Blossomed in Recovery

*****
"It is hard to get enough of something that almost works." - Dr. Vincent Felitti

"My drinking was broken and could not be unbroken." - My visceral response to Dr. Felitti's quote
*****
Eternal Optimism was part of my 50,000 drinking history and part of my 8 years of Perpetual Relapse. My hope would have me believe that after brief periods of sobriety, I would become the master of my drinking and not its slave.
Vivid early childhood memories are not my experience, but the adults around me as the years passed on always described me as the happiest child. Can optimism be inherited in your genes or is the environment the more determining factor? I don't think it matters much in my case, but optimistic seems to describe me to a T.
I carried my natural born optimism fully into my drinking career. And optimism prolonged my descent even as my life became a living hell. You see, each bad outcome from drinking had me optimistically determine the consequences would be different the next time. As denial slowly crept in and took over, the inner parts of my essential self would continue to believe that I would eventually learn to control my drinking and conscientiously improve in my ability to reign in adverse consequences.
Where might a more realistic hope begin then? For me, it began in recovery. Sustained sobriety renewed my broken hope, transforming it into something other than an unrealistic pipe-dream. The hope of an addict deep in their addiction is unrealistic, deceived into thinking that MORE will somehow make it all better. False hope. False life. Nothing more than lies.
The naive hopes of my childhood morphed into the unrealistic hopes of addiction protected behind the myriad fortresses of denial. In recovery, a realistic humility and a hope based on fruitful outcomes will slowly arise in those who learn in whatever ways they must (staying connected with the recovering communities was my must).
Hope works best when Under the Influence of Recovery. In my addiction, hope was always defeated by the next drink or drug. Accepting the many responsibilities necessary for a sustained recovery were, are and will continue to be the conditions necessary for hope to remain alive, to grow and to flourish.
Now I have true hope, known it and felt it. Hope is lived. Recovery is possible, doable, irreplaceable.


*****
HOPE: Our Most Human, Truly Renewable Natural Resource
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Explore ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts on LinkedIn here: 

20 October 2018

The Insane Logic Inside Addiction

*****
"Whoa" means nothing to a Swedish horse. (Stacy at onesentence dot org)
*****
There is a certain internal logic to the Language of Addiction.
"Would you like one for the road?" certainly means that you should have so many more that you won't be able to find the road that heads you home and you won't know for sure where you are when and if you come to. 
"Yes, just one, please. Better make it a double." Then the usual more than one and more than more. And the next day, or the day after that, when you do finally find your way home, you swear to yourself that you'll never let that happen to you again. Your promise not to means that you will do it again, probably the very next night.
These are not lies when spoken aloud or thought to yourself. They are full of promise and intent, but they become lies and broken promises when the craving for a drink returns full-force. You regret that your promises end up meaning nothing or next to nothing, yet you resent that the world thinks of you as as a liar. The world thinks you're having your way, but really, addiction is having its way with you. Addiction is your ruler. Despite that inevitable fact, you tell others to not tell you what to do, how to act, when and where to drink and a thousand other things until they wonder why they asked, what they asked and why they even cared in the first place. 
You know exactly what I mean, of course, because you know "'Whoa' means nothing to a Swedish horse" or to a lush like me, if you are much like me. Promises broken by the language of addiction. Nothing means quite what you want it to mean. Every dream is a broken dream. 
Disgust, contempt, hatred all around. Internal, external and everywhere in between. Alcohol is your combustible. What will it ignite next?
I lost count how many times and ways I hated myself, how many promises broken. No clue that it was alcohol I hated. Hated what it did to me. Hated that I could not do without it. Guilt. Remorse. More broken promises and lies. There was only enough of me left to despise. 
The lies stack up. The lies were the debris I found myself in each and every morning. Drunk talk. The alcohol talking and the addiction talking. "Blame it on the alcohol," yet through a wall of denial, an alcoholic like me finds a way to drink again. Immediately, if not sooner.
*****
When I finally got sober, stopping the flow of alcohol took but a few days to end all traces of it in my brain, but the momentum of a 30 year life-style would be harder to change. Change would be slow and over a long period of time. My Booze Cruise could only change direction but slowly. No 180 degree, stop on a dime, about-face would happen here. The momentum kept me going long after the booze stopped flowing. Drunk without the drink for a long time coming.
Recovery, to me, meant learning to live sober by means of incremental changes in the habitual behavior that had been ingrained in me. Everything used to mean another drink to me. The tiniest of incremental changes began to accumulate until eventually I found myself transformed, my brain changed. My life began to flow forward and not be the life of an alcoholic stuck in their drink. Sorrow with no real tomorrow ended slowly.
The lies that had been part of addiction and denial, the ice in every drink, the touch, the smell, the all of everything would change as I changed in my sobriety. Slowly.
*****
The language and life-style of recovery is learned and earned. No denial there. It is so difficult at first to make life easy without the drink. Things become better slowly. 
For me, forming good, sober habits has helped keep my life in balance. Moderation in all things, plus abstinence from substances and certain people, places and things.
Funny, and a little bit not funny at all, in Recovery I got to rewrite my life, free of the addiction that had become written all over my face. It seemed like fate would have me dying in a drink. But Recovery evolves into a life more solvable, doable, livable without a drink.
Recovery suits me well. It became a language I learned through time to understand. There is sanity within the sanity, clean, serene. My Booze Cruise has been turned around. Smooth sailing ahead (minus active addiction, the roughest seas are smooth by comparison). Yes, Recovery suits me well. 

*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
This post by the author of ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts on LinkedIn here: 

14 October 2018

Alcoholic-in-the-Making: "The Good Ole Days"?

*****
If not an alcoholic-in-the-making, perhaps this excerpt would reflect what I could never now call "The Good Ole Days":
*****
"Shortly after graduating from college, my housemate, Gene and I would catalog our discussions on the relative merits of various wines, domestic vs. imported, Spain vs. Chile, the similarities and differences between Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, all this and more, until we would have the inevitable ‘after-dinner drinks’ and discussion of this glass and that glass and this corkscrew type vs. that corkscrew type, until in an eventual drunken stupor, I would blackout, pass out and suffer through my next day hangover. Hangover preventions. Hangover cures. The ins and outs of drinking. How to become a really, really, really good drinker. 
"Alcohol was taking over my life in each and every form and I didn’t even know it. I had learned more and more about scotch and wine and beer and cocktail recipes and this glass and that glass, boiler-makers and hot toddies and which garnish goes with which drink and on and on. More and more knowledge about alcohol and no real knowledge of alcoholism. Generally speaking, as I got more and more entrenched in alcoholic behavior, the more I felt sophisticated, the less sophisticated I must have appeared. Who could see the forest? All I saw were trees.... "


*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
*****
Passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
150+ Recovery Posts from LinkedIn: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

13 October 2018

My 5***** Star Review of MEDITATIONS ON SELF-DISCIPLINE AND FAILURE by William Ferraiolo

*****
In the Introduction to MEDITATIONS ON SELF-DISCIPLINE AND FAILURE: Stoic Exercise for Mental Fitness, William Ferraiolo asserts that "you may have a very different experience than another reader of the same text." Well-stated and true, I read this 300-paragraph volume of meditations through the lens of a recovering alcoholic and addict.
My own early recovery placed me on the square fuzzily marked 'Cynic' (in the Modern, twisted use of the word cynic, not the classic Cynicism of Ancient Philosophy). My emotional detachment was a direct result of addiction and of hitting bottom, not a part of my essential nature before or after. Years of recovery have helped me to rejoin the human race and brought me to the doorsteps of Stoicism and the Ancient Philosopher Epictetus. The Serenity Prayer, which is part of the last chapter of the last book of MEDITATIONS ON SELF-DISCIPLINE AND FAILURE: Stoic Exercise for Mental Fitness, is for me a great summary for most of the content of the preceding 29 Books.
Ferraiolo's use of language is polished, the truths exposed, unvarnished. His brilliant use of italics and exclamation points acts to heighten a reader's appreciation of the Narrator's voice. Truly, this book sounds best (My use of italics, pun intended) when read aloud. In fact, it was nearly impossible for me to read from MEDITATIONS... without reading passages aloud to whomever was in earshot!
"Just about anything could (His use of italics, spot on) go wrong" (Book V, Chapter 1) and (Book VI, Chapter 1) "Grow up! Admit that you are no one special" are two short examples of his italics and exclamation point use and brings the Narrator's voice upfront and personal to great effect.
Each reader will find their own quotable clusters of brilliance in MEDITATIONS.... I'll cite "Genuine gratitude is incompatible with arrogance" (Book VI, Chapter 9) and (Book XXI, Chapter 6) "Gratitude must never be far from your mind" as two of my favorite short examples worthy of further Meditation.
This book's prescriptions for a good life, "a life governed by reason," maintain a consistent voice throughout, a string of 300 pearls of wisdom masterfully constructed and delivered with a drumbeat's measured, rhythmic cadence. The Meditations found herein fit snugly into the Self-Help category. As author William Ferraiolo notes, "Stop whining and get to work (Book XXI, Chapter 10)."
Book XXVII, Chapter 6 notes that "Human character has not improved over the ages" and I must insist on adding that this 5***** Star Book is among my favorite reads in a dozen years. I hope that will be YOUR experience, too!
*****

You may also want to read 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

10 October 2018

DRUNK WITH POWER!!!

*****
No, not really. But it got you to read these 2nd and 3rd lines, for starters!
"DRUNK WITH POWER," to me (and if you're someone like me), is one of the most ridiculous expressions I have ever heard. It makes no sense to me! One drink makes me powerless over the second and BAM!, Domino Effect, I'm swallowed up (pun intended) by the next and every other drink to follow.
It doesn't matter how hard I try or how long I've been abstinent, I cannot drink under any and all circumstances and after 14+ years of continuous sobriety, I wouldn't drink if you paid me and do not want to.
*****
But back to the expression, "DRUNK WITH POWER," and what a Tripping Stone (vs. Stepping Stone) it can be in Recovery, especially Early Recovery. "DRUNK WITH POWER" suggests an Ego Trip and I have found, in my own Recovery and the Recovery of others, that "Ego is not my Amigo," that Ego, in all of its Glorifications, can Trip You Up (hence, Tripping Stone), will Trip You Up and has Tripped Me Up (ha!). 
*****
"DRUNK WITH POWER" and Humility have never been on the same page, with the possible exception of False Humility, a commodity so common, I'm surprised it's not on the New York Stock Exchange!
*****
In an attempt to end cheerfully (and not digging myself in any deeper), let me quickly end with Think About It (Drunk with Power) and... 
"Don't Forget Where You Come From, Bum!" and "It's Nice To Be Important, But It's More Important To Be Nice!"




*****
You may also enjoy this author's Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

18 September 2018

Between ONE DAY & DAY ONE


Between ONE DAY & DAY ONE
(one day quitting using & day one living sober)
must be an interminable stretch.
I never had those ONE DAY thoughts
(drinking until my body gave out)
but 
ALL DRINKING ASIDE 
is for them, too.
http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
Whatever the addiction, for them too. #recovery  #addiction #autobiographicalfiction


20 August 2018

7 FAVORITE Recovery-Related Posts


In no particular order, here are the Links to 7 FAVORITE Recovery-Related Posts written by the author of ALL DRINKING ASIDE (book excerpts excluded).

1) "Think Before You Give a Gift of Drink" https://goo.gl/Rb8L4h
2) "The Tomb of the Anonymous Addict" https://goo.gl/MPyrMh
3) "Pie-Eyed, Plastered, Tipsy, Tanked & Toasted (& Other Euphemisms that no longer apply to me)" https://goo.gl/GcMPXj
4) "My Recovery DECLARATION of Inter-DEPENDENCE" https://goo.gl/w142v3
5) "153 Years of PTSD: What We Called It & How It Changed Us (in 9 Short Sentences) https://goo.gl/NiKHXd
6) "From Addiction to Recovery: Responsibility Set Me Free" https://goo.gl/JJA7QG
7) "The Alcoholic Fox & The Grapes of Recovery (in 11 short sentences)" https://goo.gl/DBkafW



*****
You may also enjoy this author's Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
150+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

30 July 2018

The WHAT & WHERE of 25 #Cancer #Recovery Posts


PLEASE NOTE: Everybody's recovering from something, whether it be alcoholism, addiction or cancer. If not you, then somebody you know. At the very least, we are all recovering from others and from ourselves.
*****
My continuing Recovery from Alcoholism has given me tools, hope, a positive attitude.
I have a leg up on Cancer that I wouldn't have had minus my addiction recovery.
TAKE C.A.R.E. (#Cancer #Addiction #Recovery #Emergence)!!!
All 25 #Cancer #Recovery Posts are to be found (in reverse Chronological Order) between May 22, 2018 and July 24, 2018 on this link: www.alldrinkingaside.com.

Here's the breakdown of all 25 Posts:
1. A Tongue-in-Cheek look at my supposed loss of REVERSE X-Ray Vision STRIPPED BY Chemo and Radiation (May 22, 2018).
2. Unlike being in the throes of Alcohol Addiction where I would "Increase Alcohol Use with Prescription Medicine" my Cancer Recovery would better align with the real Doctors' Orders (May 22, 2018).
3. A Cancer Survivor Guest Post bravely addresses aspects of recovery from breast cancer (May 23, 2018).
4. A gut reaction to Lao Tzu's "New Beginnings Are Often Disguised as Painful Endings" in this (May 24, 2018) post.
5. False perceptions unearthed in "The Mystery of the Pulsating Cancer Mask Revealed!" in this (May 26, 2018) post.
6. Crippling uncertainties explored in this "Lies & Doubts, Cancer & Recovery, Alcoholism & Addiction" (May 27, 2018) post.
7. "Cancer Reinforces My Recovery from Addiction & Alcoholism (& Vice Versa)" in this (May 28, 2018) post.
8. " When Gratitude Descends into Entitlement... " (June 1, 2018)
9. "Virtuous Cycles of Recovery from Cancer / Alcoholism / Addiction" (June 3, 2018)
10. Cancer Stigma and Addiction Stigma explored in this (June 3, 2018) post.
11. "Only Because My Cancer Spread Was It Discovered!" (June 6, 2018)
12. The passage of time in recovery discussed in this 12th post (June 7, 2018)
13. Fear is the subject of this 13 post (June 10, 2018).
14. Fight or Flight (sort of a continuation of #13), June 14, 2018 post.
15. Counting on others becomes the bottom line in this June 15, 2018 post.
16. Coping with the loss of my sense of taste, cessation of hair growth from chemo and radiation (June 15, 2018).
17. Gathering Courage as the Cancer Treatments continue in this 17th post (June 19, 2018).
18. A Neighbor Proclaims that "Cancer is Contagious" in this WTF (June 17, 2018) post.
19. The transition "FROM: Dying to Drink / TO: Eating to Live" compared here (June 30, 2018).
20. Sustainable recovery explored in this (July 2, 2018) post.
21. Considerations of post-chemo and post-radiation symptoms explored (July 4, 2018) here.
22. The importance of patience as my Cancer treatments conclude (July 7, 2018).
23. "CANCER: S.M.L. (Stigma, Myths & Lies)..." (July 9, 2018)
24. Cancer Conspiracy Theories exploded (July 13, 2018)
25. "Cancer Hangs Over Me" is my reaction to Cancer in verse (July 24, 2018)
*****
For convenience sake: All 25 #Cancer #Recovery Posts are to be found (in reverse Chronological Order) between May 22, 2018 and July 24, 2018 on this link: www.alldrinkingaside.com.
*****
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!





24 July 2018

Cancer Post (#25 of 50) "Cancer Hangs Over Me"


PLEASE NOTE: Everybody's recovering from something, whether it be alcoholism, addiction or cancer. If not you, then somebody you know. At the very least, we are all recovering from others and from ourselves.
I awoke from a dream, more a nightmare, really, akin to the drunk dreams I sometimes still occasionally experience. Just as recovery from alcoholism and addiction have become part of my permanent landscape in recovery, so too, cancer has now become a permanent fixture in my life. In both cases, relapse and recurrence are a forever possibility, both best dealt with one day at a time (in their many permutations).
This 25th of an anticipated 50 Cancer Recovery-Related Posts is unlike all the others (a link to all 25 posts thus far is at the bottom). It is expressed in verse because it best captures the disjointed emotions related to facing many of my life's inevitabilities and the realization that I have learned to remain strong, to adjust my sails.
*****
"Cancer Hangs Over Me"

Kittens and puppies is how it will start.

Buried, I will be
(I will be buried)
by some third shoe
(Daddy, I'm already dead).

Addiction Affliction was thrown at me from across the room.
Then Cancer, when Cancer, then Cancer came,
The first pelt of rain.

This, a nightmare
(You know it is),
is happening to you
(Has happened. Who?).

Forever
(Before the first ever)
Cancer hangs over me.
Waiting for some third shoe to drop.

Cancer now is a part of my life
(Is my life)
like Addiction's trail so unmercifully long had become.

The first few drops came as kittens and puppies.
Then the rain made a hard right turn,
Now cats and dogs, raining cats and dogs.
The shoes came along, galoshes and boots,
knocked me to the ground, beaten and bruised.

Be sure, this is a dream and I will survive this, too.
But be sure, too,
I am a shoe,
weather-beaten,
worn....

I am a shoe.

(Photo Credit: Arizona Daily Star on Pinterest)
*****
My continuing Recovery from Alcoholism has given me tools, hope, a positive attitude.
I have a leg up on Cancer that I wouldn't have had minus my addiction recovery.
*****
Strive on, Fellow Travelers! No matter what your fight and challenges! Help is out there.
*****
A Call to Arms!
No, not guns and ammunition. I'm talking human arms, embracing and carrying forward messages of Trust and Hope among all Cancer patients, their families, friends and co-workers. We need each others support. Don't isolate due to the ignorance of others. Share freely. Dispel myths. Move forward.
*****
Everybody's Recovering from Something. Get Help. Find Help. Help others.
*****
I am not a Hero, but on my good days at least, I am no longer a victim. I and you and us and we are more important than fear and doubt and prejudice and ignorance and a basketful of other evils.
In Sobriety, I have chosen to not be a victim of Cancer, Cancer's Pawn. I Can-Cer Vive (stolen from an origin unknown). I can survive Cancer because, in the end, I shall not have left me be it's Victim. I will be a Victor of Cancer, no matter the actually outcome.
Be a Victor. Live Victoriously!
*****
The 1st 24 (of 50) #Cancer #Addiction #Recovery #Emergence posts are immediately below this Twenty-Fifth 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 my ridiculousness!)
*****
#SurviveCancer #SurviveAddiction #SurviveYourself
*****
Finally, whether it be Cancer, Addiction, Alcoholism, Recovery or All of the Above, "Hear Ye! Hear Ye... ! Read All About it, Wherever, Whenever, However!
*****
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!
*****
TAKE C.A.R.E. (#Cancer #Addiction #Recovery #Emergence)!!!


13 July 2018

CANCER Cure CONSPIRACY (yes, many can't be unconvinced) #24 (of 50) #Cancer #Addiction #Recovery #Emergence


JFK and ELVIS are alive & roommates in Rio De Janeiro.... EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT. Everybody who is a Conspiracy Theorist, that is.
Conspiracy theories about Cancer also abound. Tiny, missing facts and speculation, somehow uncovered, become the mortar filling the gaps of public knowledge with irrational fears and double-dare doubts. No doubt, lizards from outer space also somehow fit into the REAL solution as to why Cancer has been cured, but that Big Pharma, for multiple inexplicable reasons, is loathe to let US in on. DON'T WORRY. The Moon Landing and the World Trade Center collapse were FAKED, so why wouldn't Cancer be on the list of Unsolved Conspiracies?
Why won't the FDA allow the cure to be marketed?
How have the public and private sectors been forced to remain silent?
Who's making all the money from withholding the Cancer Cure?
Why can't medical professionals, knowing what they know, cure their friends, their families, themselves?
For now, I'll have to be content with the aftereffects of Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy while I wait for the effects from piercing pins into my Cancer Effigy. Voodoo is real. Tippecanoe and Cancer Too. Don't confuse me with Facts. You know who they are!
Cancer S.M.L (Stigma, Myths, Lies & other Glories.)
Believe the Truth, Not all the Stories!

(Photo Credit: X-Files/20th Century Fox on Pinterest)
*****
My continuing Recovery from Alcoholism has given me tools, hope, a positive attitude.
I have a leg up on Cancer that I wouldn't have had minus my addiction recovery.
*****
Strive on, Fellow Travelers! No matter what your fight and challenges! Help is out there.
*****
A Call to Arms!
No, not guns and ammunition. I'm talking human arms, embracing and carrying forward messages of Trust and Hope among all Cancer patients, their families, friends and co-workers. We need each others support. Don't isolate due to the ignorance of others. Share freely. Dispel myths. Move forward.
*****
Everybody's Recovering from Something. Get Help. Find Help. Help others.
*****
I am not a Hero, but on my good days at least, I am no longer a victim. I and you and us and we are more important than fear and doubt and prejudice and ignorance and a basketful of other evils.
In Sobriety, I have chosen to not be a victim of Cancer, Cancer's Pawn. I Can-Cer Vive (stolen from an origin unknown). I can survive Cancer because, in the end, I shall not have left me be it's Victim. I will be a Victor of Cancer, no matter the actually outcome.
Be a Victor. Live Victoriously!
*****
The 1st 23 (of 50) #Cancer #Addiction #Recovery #Emergence posts are immediately below this Twenty-Fourth 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 my ridiculousness!)
*****
#SurviveCancer #SurviveAddiction #SurviveYourself
*****
Finally, whether it be Cancer, Addiction, Alcoholism, Recovery or All of the Above, "Hear Ye! Hear Ye... ! Read All About it, Wherever, Whenever, However!
*****
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!
*****
TAKE C.A.R.E. (#Cancer #Addiction #Recovery #Emergence)!!!