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: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

#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.

POLL: Do you have any examples from your own experience of "CONTEMPT Prior to INVESTIGATION"?

 

"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance- that principle is contempt prior to investigation." This quote has been variously attributed to Herbert Spencer in The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and to William Paley in 1794 in "A View of the Evidences of Christianity."

In the simplest terms I can think of, "Look before you Leap" or you may be "Jumping to the Wrong Conclusion." I prefer the expression "Contempt prior to investigation" because it gets to the meat of a false and strong emotional response usually based on hatred, oppression or prejudice.

A great historical example of "Contempt Prior to Investigation" might be the book or movie "The Elephant Man." Born with a congenital disorder; John Merrick earns his living in a sideshow. Severely deformed, Mr. Merrick ends this 1980 Historical Drama with "I am not an animal! I am a human being!"

If I may misquote the Bible, "take the log out of your own eye before you try to remove the twig from your brother's." All of this serves to remind me that I am not "holier than thou."

Have you ever "Rushed to Judgement"

POLL: Have you ever witnessed, or do you have any examples from your own experience of "CONTEMPT Prior to INVESTIGATION"? [No need to limit yourself to the context of Addiction and Recovery. These types of Lessons in Humility Abound in the Human Experience.]

THANKS!

*****

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.


16 September 2022

PAUSE: For any variety of reasons, PAUSE

 

"As we go through the day we pause, when agitated... " - from the Big Book of A.A.

I've said it before and it bears repeating, to "pause, when agitated" is good advice to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. Words and actions are difficult to retract once they have been put out into the Universe. That may be amended to form a habit of taking pause and with time, a calmer demeanor may become a welcome new aspect of self which reflection allows. Taking pause when you are excited, for example, may allow you to hold on to joyous moments as they are occurring. Memories may become deepened by having allowed yourself to reflect on them as they are happening. To absorb.

There is a Thai Proverb, "Life is short, so we must move very slowly." In this way, taking the time to pause in any number of situations promises better outcomes. To deliberate may fill our consciousnesses with good intentions and more pleasing results.

I suppose I might suggest much more, but for now, I will go back to doing nothing, "The Pause That Refreshes [with no need for a Beverage, Carbonated OR Alcoholic]."

*****

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.

08 September 2022

PREPARE YOURSELF FOR A NINETY (90) COURSE MEAL

 

(PHOTO: Quora.com)

This Ninety-Course Meal is easily digestible, composed of 90 Morsels, NOT AT ALL AS PICTURED. THAT would be a REAL Upper-Upper-Upper-Class Meal.
I'm talking about FOOD FOR THOUGHT, A 90-Chapter Meal in the form of a BOOK. 
Sample ALL DRINKING ASIDE as you might try a morsel from a Salami & Cheese Tray at a Sam's Club or your local Supermarket. The First Chapter and part of the Second Chapter can be sampled for FREE on the Amazon link below. Click on Look Inside where an arrow points down. 
TAKE THE 90 CHAPTERS IN 90 DAYS CHALLENGE. 
ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal:
In this 90-Chapter orchestration of autobiographical flashbacks, the author describes his descent into alcoholism while three fictional characters (unnoticed by him) discuss his prospects for recovery. This intense, introspective and illuminating fiction looks at alcoholism and addiction from the inside out and back again. The vicious cycles of alcoholic addiction: hospitals, detoxes, rehabs and relapse. Repeat, repeat, repeat. A textbook case of chronic chemical dependency, "All Drinking Aside" will provoke, deceive, disturb and annoy you while it entertains and informs. "All Drinking Aside" is Everybody's Autobiography" if you're an alcoholic and "Someone You Know: if you are not. #Immerse yourself in his Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in ths Autobiographical Fiction.
Let the 60+ Reader Reviews help to whet your appetite.

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

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

Print & Kindle versions are available.


01 September 2022

PITY & CONTEMPT: Such Strange Bedfellows


It doesn't really matter who gave me simultaneous feelings of pity and contempt, famous or infamous. A Reader may wrongly (or rightly) speculate that this was merely a reflection on my storied past.

This person (to me) was obviously high on some drug or another, a depressant it would seem. Not that anyone should take any drug to temporarily take them out of the place they are into a place they would rather be. That is no longer my style, but trust me, I can relate to it. Perhaps (and most likely) that is why I was able to feel pity for someone who I also truly feel contempt for.

I actually felt a sense of peace after I sorted out these mixed feelings. Eventually, I felt one iota closer to someone for whom I feel no respect and for whom I normally try to disregard.

Perhaps you have felt similar surprise at such strange bedfellows at some time or another? I still feel a little sad about all of this and curiously touched by an almost equal sense of joy.

Such is the mix of common humanity at times felt by all of us. I am not alone. You are not alone. We are not alone. Such a conjugation increases my sense of community. 

We, in the Recovering Communities, have learned to appreciate how the slightest turn of the wheel changes the entire kaleidoscopic view before us.

I hope my horrendous choice of colors in the pictured lyrics presented brings most readers closer to pity than contempt (My sense of humor seems to have righted itself in the end).

There are too many people who are too high who need help. For close to all of them my empathy is aroused. I, too, was once uncontrollably high. But this one single individual (described anonymously, above), caught publicly under the influence of drugs, has changed my perspective just one little bit.

We are all only human, breaking or becoming unbroken as the case may be.

For what it's worth: PEACE BE WITH YOU.

Thanks for helping me sort this all out, lol.

*****

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.


30 August 2022

ABSTINENCE is NOT RECOVERY

 

IF ONLY I COULD JUST NOT DRINK OR DRUG, my life would become bountiful, unicorns and rainbows in deep abundance. 

Not exactly like that, but the wishful thinking I was left with when my drinking and drugging careers ended wasn't far afield from this illusion. Illusions were my carryovers from the decades which preceded my abstinence. My self-denial and restraint left me with an emptiness which drugs and alcohol once filled. Where to? What next?

Left with nothing, in absence of my drinks and drugs, I still felt shackled. My mere abstinence felt like an incarceration in emptiness. Decades before I stopped (I had to stop. Addiction was killing me.), chronic use had given me occasional small pleasures and a shitload of unhealthy consequences.

After nearly two decades in recovery, the snapping sound of a pop-top beverage still is the sound of a beer can opening in my ears (and I was never a beer drinker - except to drink to sober up with, strange as that may now sound). Sometimes, the smell of a cigarette can ignite a cue. Even small exposures to the drinking, drugging life I once led can jumpstart thoughts of a relapse.

But I don't act on them. I will not incubate a relapse. I have learned to let go of thoughts which could return me to disorder, chaos and drug dependence. 

The underlying traumas of my teenage years were salved by drug use, a 30-year drug career-in-the-making with disastrous results and no traumas dealt with on the road ahead. 

Indulge. Self-indulge. Youth lost or stolen in a world of out-of-control, destructive behaviors and dire consequences. 

ABSTINENCE is NOT RECOVERY.

Addiction left an empty hole in my life, wider than a 3-day blackout stretched to infinity. I would have to do more than recuperate from years of drug abuse. Addiction-free, to remain so, I would have to choose all options leading to a healthy, happy, fulfilling and purposeful community and life.

My recovery would be a journey with no clearly defined endpoint. I would grow as my recovery developed. Self-empowerment, social inclusion and the development of coping skills were in the mix. My attitudes, values, feelings and goals would replace the empty bottles and endless search for that ever-elusive MORE that addiction most definitely became. 

Recovery is satisfaction. 

Hope, meaning and purpose would not be found behind the door called Abstinence. The door called Recovery opened for me ever-so-slowly. Abstinence gave me a Shot. Recovery is my Chaser.

That is funny because it's not.

WE DO RECOVER.

Share your Courage. It's contagious, if not downright addictive.

We do recover.

*****

Enough Silliness! Here are the Links to both my Books:

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.

23 August 2022

RECOVERY CAN BE SO SINK OR SWIM (Don't be Fooled! Pictured is SINK!)

 



Nothing was easy about early Recovery for me. I was drowning in Alcohol and yet it seemed to me like Alcohol was necessary for my Survival. I could not imagine how I could possibly live without it.

SINK OR SWIM. Addiction is DECEPTION with a Capital D (I chose ALL CAPS! lol).

Sometimes it seemed like ONLY ALCOHOL could make it better BUT it ALWAYS MADE IT WORSE.

SINK OR SWIM. It's so Yada, Yada, Yada, but yet and still. Your Drink. Your Drug. Whatever it is. Please do not be Deceived as I once was, on-the-Wagon/off-the-Wagon, for eight (8) not-so-solid years of Perpetual Relapse. 

Do as I say, not as I DID, DID, DID.

Float your Boat in the Sea of Recovery. No other Liquid (Or Solid, Or Gas!) will be smooth sailing. No matter how troubling and difficult Life on Life's Terms may seem, Experience has shown me that Addiction was NEVER on my Terms, no matter how much it may have seemed that way.

NO DRINK OR DRUG IS A LIFE PRESERVER. 

THINK OR SINK.

Not every picture is worth a thousand words, but maybe now (if you've read this far), THIS ONE IS.

(PICTURED is SINK. Don't be Fooled)

Addiction is DECEPTIVE. 

Swim. Swim. Swim.

*****

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

20 August 2022

NO MORE DRINKING GAMES... Simon says, "Stay Sober!"

 


"I cannot betray today, the sober days leading up to now, this certain resiliency which I have somehow obtained, this gift. One drink would toss that all away. I'm invested in my sobriety now as I once was too invested in drinking as a means of self-definition. Moving forward in my sobriety actually feels good today, natural. My ever more painful relapses have brought me through these rings of fire to my current calm and sober place, a recovery enhanced by the routine miracle of breath."

Simon says, "Stay sober!"

*****

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

16 August 2022

SOMETIMES, My CURSOR Makes Me CURSE!

 


Sometimes, When I Cut & Paste,

The Words Will Not be Placed

As I Intended

And, Upended,

I will Curse (or Worse!).

Be Not Offended,

Should you Read My Books,

My Well-Placed F-BOMBS Are Willful, not Malevolent.

Hopeless, Dying, Streetwise, High, described within,

F-BOMBS Are Not a Cardinal Sin.

WHAT Is WORSER Than A CURSOR CURSE?

Addiction Affliction.

Get the Feel of it, the REAL of it.

ALL DRINKING ASIDE & BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction & Recovery

Are Purposeful When an Occasional F-BOMB Greets You.

The Choice is Yours: My CURSOR or My CURSE!

(Nice to Meet You!)

*****

Enough Silliness! Here are the Links to both my Books:

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.