16 February 2018

"Sweep So Much Under the Carpet Before a Corpse is Found There"


A snake pit is a place in European legend where those considered insane were placed. It was thought that being lowered into a pit filled with snakes would terrorize one back to sanity. Failing that treatment, the insane could be abandoned to die. "The Snake Pit" is also a 1948 Olivia de Havilland drama in which she finds herself in an insane asylum but can't remember how she got there. Waking up in the hospital (coming to, really) and not knowing how I got there should have been my snake pit, scaring me sober, but alcoholism "is a subtle foe." I would not be scared sober so easily, despite addiction itself being a snake pit of sorts.
*****
If I had known then what I know now is an old refrain. But it is my belief that the stigma of addiction perpetrates further victimization of addicts and alcoholics. Stigma = Silence = Death. I could not hear what was not spoken. Suffer in silence. I learned to accept that I was an alcoholic and would probably die an early death and that would have to be good enough. It is an odd acceptance of a condition when it is not fully understood. I did not understand and I would drink again. Deep in my addiction, I knew no people in recovery. The stigma of addiction would contribute to the silence of those who had found recovery. Stigma would be self-perpetuating. Ignorance would continue. Suffering would continue. Recovery would be a long, drawn out process. For me, Recovery is life-long. I would help break the stigma of addiction by refusing to remain silent in my sobriety.
*****
I felt such a sadness when I first read Joyce Rebeta Burditt's famous "Alcoholism isn't a spectator sport. Eventually the whole family gets to play." I felt it on many levels. The havoc that addiction has played out in the families of everyone around me as the decades have passed would have been impossible to ignore. I was a spectator of how addiction played out in others' families, although it played out fairly in silence in mine. 
Addiction is everywhere. Few are untouched by it. Addicts, so anesthetized, are not keenly aware of the burdens and pain afflicted by them upon their families . All suffer, certainly not only the addict. But addiction is sometimes a silent killer. We don't talk about it enough and keeping it from the light of day worsens and protracts its deadly effects.
***** 
"Eventually the whole family gets to play" is a dark humor which forced me to confront addiction's heavy toll upon the very fabric of society. Families can only sweep so much under the carpet before a corpse is found there. Stigma is a corpse of sorts, a zombie, a major contributor to a future addict's death or at the very least, prolonged suffering.
For me, an almost perverse sense of humor has been a defense against the stark realities touched upon here. I'm happy to say that much has changed in my lifetime, but the change has been excruciatingly slow. There is little patience in this snake pit either.
*****
Sobriety is a Gift. 
I had reached a tipping point by around the second decade of daily drunkenness. Periodic binges seemed only to end by hospitalization. Waking in the hospital repeatedly was my snake pit. How did I get there? I was a blackout drinker who would continue drinking beyond the scope of memory's possibility. Presumably I would have died drinking in a blackout had my physical body not given out first. My brain wanted more alcohol than by body could survive consuming. The ultimate hamster on the ultimate wheel, destruction or death were the only alternatives (so I once thought). I would never have willfully chosen to stop drinking in these instances. Imminent death put a temporary hold on my downhill slide. Sobriety was truly a gift in these cases. 
The gift of near-death survival. Survival by luck, not by choice.  
*****
Recovery is earned. 
I learned through repeated relapses that sustained sobriety would require a concerted effort by me with the help of many others. I would have to take action, make changes. Recovery is not a gift. The air around me today is such that I breathe recovery on a daily basis. Well over a dozen years of daily holding onto my life with a gratitude for each day accumulated sober. Action. Recovery has become a way of life, of living, of doing. Action.
Sobriety was a gift. My recovery has been earned. Snake pit, a European legend, lived and learned.


*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  
http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
The Addiction Fiction that is also a Sobering Autobiography
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15 February 2018

Walls of Denial Fed by Stigma


The stigma of alcoholism and addiction and the hatred and ignorance behind it have forced many of us to hide our addictions behind walls of denial. We hid them (and our drugs), sometimes quite cleverly (a chef I once worked with hid his bottle at work in the toilet tank).
"Why doesn't he just stop?"
And when we finally got clean and sober, we met behind closed doors because some of us had to protect our dirty, little secrets.
"You'll never be anything but a drunk."
*****
BUT... the scabs that are the stigmas of addiction (and recovery) will not heal by retaliation. A well-placed "Drop Dead!" simply won't do. The stigma of addiction is slowly being undone. Being in recovery becomes more than a state of being when it is shared with others, admitted, discussed. The cloak of addiction is unravelled and revealed by the evidence of science and acts of kindness. A few kind words go a long way in bridging the gap between hatred and understanding.
AND... there is a certain backlash occurring in the political sector from which I presently recoil. I don't want to see any progress made in the recovery movement lost to a changing political climate. Whether it be progress ON addiction or the progress OF addiction, I realize that progress is never straight forward (or straight downward).
SO... as a member of the recovering community, I feel I have to dig deeper trenches, strengthen my foundation in recovery and continue to speak out against stigma and in favor of greater progress and social acceptance for the recovering communities.
*****
WE and THEY, US and THEM, will one day be ALL of US. The Common Good will eventually triumph. I've seen so much positive change in my own lifetime that I feel the future holds great promise. We need to air our thoughts and feelings, not to stuff them. For me, personally, anonymity is an old, old shoe which no longer fits the person I have become after well-over a dozen years of sobriety. "Yard by yard, it's hard. Inch by inch, it's a cinch" is perhaps an overstatement, but I, for one, truly believe that the butterfly effect will be realized as millions and millions more emerge from their cocoons of recovery from addiction.
Millions more will become the fulcrum that will move the world. History is on the side of progress so, from where I sit, things are looking up.
*****
"These people don't deserve... "
"These people can't... "
"These people won't..."
*****
13 years sober and I continue to heal.
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
History is on the side of the Common Good.
HOPE: Our Most Renewable Natural Resource

(Sculpture by Daniel Arsham on Pinterest)
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
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01 February 2018

The Unquenchable Thirst That Only Recovery Could Fill


Letting go of alcohol in my early recovery felt truly impossible. Early on, my relentless, unquenchable thirst for alcohol had me in an unforgiving chase towards Recovery. Tight-fisted, I clutched this new-found life with a ferocity which only added to my difficulties. After all, drinking was all I knew. 
I walked a tightrope. 
But Recovery is not a tightrope, it's a bridge, a wide bridge which leads to many paths and lives for those who finally find it. 
To chase after sobriety was too close to the chase for the next drink for me. Doing push-ups for the next drink. This was not a chase. I felt like I needed different muscles somehow. Recovery felt like it should become an embodiment, not something to possess, like a cheap half-gallon of vodka. I would somehow enfold it as it enfolded me. Gently. Sobriety, 'this loose-fitting garment.'  
I would have to move away from the idea that sobriety was some form of punishment. Slow down. So close to death, then suddenly sober. How awkwardly I chased the desire to live without alcohol. Alcohol had been ruthlessly, mercilessly killing me. And now this, sobriety. I didn't know what it was. Recovery was beyond my 30 years of experience drinking daily.
Each sober breath became a new experience, different, so different from the numbness each drink presented me. Learning to breathe became a way of letting go, completely, of the last drink. The bridge is wide, the path, an expansive highway. Still lost, it was not so much that I found recovery as recovery found me.
The realization that I was truly sober, truly living in recovery took around five years. My teeth were no longer clenching. Nor my fists. A subtle shift, loosening, unloosening, recovery found me.
Letting go, that hackneyed "Go with the flow," finally meant something. My brain changed with time in thousands of different ways and the broken pieces became whole, a container which could hold me, complete, no glass in hand.
The edges of a rainbow dissipate into thin air. In that space I found recovery and myself, a letting go becoming whole.
No drink ever took me into that thin, full air. Never.
I did not drink today.
This is a very, very, very good day. 
Letting go....
Sober.

*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
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31 January 2018

I Lost to My Addictions & had to Surrender to Sobriety to Win


Before I first got sober, I'd never heard the expression "Surrender to win." Over the years many different people had made subtle suggestions to me. "Slow down. Slow your roll," etc., but no one outright ever said I should stop drinking altogether. They knew I wouldn't and couldn't. Alcohol had increasingly become a symbol of my freedom. It was my stated choice long after I ceased being free to choose. "It's a free country..." all that, lots of that. Even as I increasingly became a walking hot mess, I'd learned it best to attempt to diminish the appearance of what others correctly perceived as my perpetual state of drunkenness.
***** 
"To surrender would signal defeat. Like most addicts, I was defiant in the face of undeniable evidence to the contrary. "Daily surrender to my alcoholism always meant another drink." I'll only have one... maybe two. Today would be different. Then I'd have a third and another. Then more. I won't go into blackout mode today, yet I would continue drinking until I did. I would and I did. "Daily chipped away by my disease. And what was left when the chipping away stopped? ... My brain fragments on this sculptor's floor. The dust of my disease. The oxygen masks, the intravenous drips, the sedatives. How, having barely survived all of this for years on end, can I have come out on this other end today, feeling whole, joyful, alive?... "
*****
How would I survive? 
I would surrender to sobriety instead of to the next drink. I would surrender or I would die. The subtle (and not so subtle) accumulation of experience of decades of drinking led to what seemed like the inevitable epiphany that active addiction would not allow: I could, would and must surrender to win. 
This is how I would die: Death by Alcohol, an avalanche of alcohol would seem to comfort as it killed. But it did stop. The hammering away of the addiction machine sputtered to a stop and finally when there was no juice left, neither a drop of strength, nor an ounce of courage, I surrendered. 
I surrendered to win. 
They were not crazy.
*****
That jackhammer called addiction had been stilled and silenced.
At the end of that long, dark and finally silent tunnel, the beginnings of a sober gratitude took shape. There would be no peace without surrender. Alcohol had proven that I could not beat it by joining it. I could only beat alcohol by surrender to sobriety. My un-joining alcohol and rejoining life.
No social drinker ever thinks such thoughts. 
I lift my Sparkling Cider glass in a toast to all the alcoholics out there who have not yet found sobriety, to all of us in recovery who have and to all the social drinkers out there undaunted by either cider or champagne! Cheers!
Surrender to win.


*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Passage in quotes excerpted from All Drinking Aside: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
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After Chemical Betrayal, Trust in Recovery Bred Hope & Change


Alcohol and other drugs had proven their potency and reliability as a tool to negotiate many social and personal difficulties for a dozen or so years before the negative consequences began to outweigh the positive ones. I was sold on alcohol. It was fun, useful and effective for a long, long time. Every drug has side effects, unintended or perhaps unexplored consequences. Besides, maybe it wasn't alcohol, but other things that were responsible for the hot water I increasingly found myself in. So what if I occasionally went overboard? 
Alcohol was slowly reaching a tipping point from being a supplement, like a daily vitamin, to being a side dish, then the main course and finally, the only course, my life in totality. Dependence, failed dependence. Excuses morphed into denial. Walls constructed, doors locked, windows shut, bridges eroded by the torrents of alcohol, foundation lost. And me drowning, overpowered by a sea of alcohol.
Then came the day, decades later, when I would have to stop or die.
Stop or die. Stop or die. Eventually, when hope dried up the only thing I wanted was another drink, all human trust evaporated. Nothing left. Hope, trust, everything... gone.
My sense of humanity in early sobriety was fairly a vacuum, dubious at best. My perception of having been betrayed by my servant, alcohol, swallowed my trust in all else.
Something would have to change were I to remain sober, to live. And that would be me. I would have to change. But how? The changes were slow and many and took much time. Some kind of trust in the human race formed slowly. 
Addiction is truly a sickness and the subtle irony of another form of sickness helping me get well is not lost on me....
*****
"The doctor diagnosed my condition as a sinus infection and gave me a prescription for antibiotics. Knowing I would be well in ten days made me feel subjectively better instantly. Nothing changed but my faith in the knowledge that things would change for the better very soon. If I could learn to apply this kind of trust to everything in my life, then I will feel better now and feeling better now will guide me into feeling better in my future. Of course, this is a hard concept to hold onto and an easy one to let slip out of my hands, but I just have to keep repeating it until it becomes my heartbeat, my heartbeat, my heart."
*****
Slowly, patiently, my trust in humanity resumed. Yes, trust must be earned, but I had to open my eyes to much of what was already there, barricaded behind walls of denial and defense that years of addiction to alcohol had persuaded me to erect.
I got better and life got better and strength and hope and trust began to fill my life after decades of parting with the chemicals of betrayal which had swallowed almost all. 
Broken, slowly, with help, I began putting a new life together, stronger, better, wiser than might have ever become possible. Thank you, addiction, for this beautiful, new life!
Thank you, Hell, for the Recovery I have found.
Thank you, Friends, for we stand on common ground.

*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Passages in quotes from All Drinking Aside: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

30 January 2018

Toasted on this Rollercoaster.... Drinking Game (finally) Over!


Alcohol's Rollercoaster effect is well-known to me. The first few drinks act as a stimulant and after continued use, the opposite effects occur and the depressant effects of alcohol take hold leading to a blackout and eventually passing out (at least in my case). Every day the stimulant effects, followed after a few drinks by the depressant results. Like a Rollercoaster, up, then down (multiply that by the 10,000+ days of my 30 years of consumption), the amusement ride called addiction morphs into a nightmare. 
On and on until in short order, as my drinking career progressed, my ability to control how much I drank was aided and abetted by other drugs. No surprise there, in retrospect.
"I learned to medicate my alcohol with speed and valium to extend or cut short the inherent highs and lows which alcohol naturally produce. Other drugs were like the fine tuner knobs on my alcoholic TV set. Other drugs actually enabled me to imagine that I was in control, that alcohol would not control me."
Like the "The Outer Limits" television show (1963 - 1965) which preceded each episode with these words relating to the fine tuner knobs on their viewer's TV set ("There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity,... "), I similarly expressed my limits to others: "There is nothing wrong with me. Do not attempt to change my behavior. I am in control of all the drugs I ingest, smoke or otherwise consume...," etc. In other words... F*** Off!
[To listen to the complete :45 second intro, listen here... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CtjhWhw2I8 ] 
My thousand channels were all delusional. My crystal clarity was neither crystal nor clear. My vision of reality was blurred, my creativity contorted. For 30 years, I was the TV show no one wanted to watch... except in horror. 
An addict's denial of loss of control over their substance(s) will continue until progressively catastrophic consequences bring them to the brink of their destruction... or death.
Today, a realistic humility allows me to proclaim: "I am an alcoholic in long-term recovery. From 'The Outer Limits' of Addiction to the Inner Peace of Recovery. Drinking game over."

*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
"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: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

26 January 2018

Complicit in Murder? From Blackouts, through Stigma to Recovery


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 only too willing and so naive. I had no idea what was to come when they picked me up after work to proceed a few miles to their Northfield office. 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 the murder had been committed. Somehow they knew I was a blackout drinker, which I freely admitted. 
My friend, Ada, who I visited frequently, lived in that building, but she usually passed out before my visit would end. I would tiptoe out 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.
"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. Worse yet, a car. Some deaths are deaths by auto and the driver never discovered and convicted. 
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 addiction and 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 sigh continues here in hope for 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.



*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Passages in quotes from All Drinking Aside: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
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22 January 2018

Sober Reflections on a Child's Wonder at Prayer...


"My Grandmother sits counting her rosary beads. I am ten years old. She whispers a prayer in Latin as each bead slowly moves on. 
She appears calm in my memory. The light appears to pour out of her as easily as it falls upon her. Her breath is quiet. Her voice is low and calm. There is a unison of sensations going on. Sight is sound is smell is touch. The pause between her inhaling and exhaling lies in some state of eternal evaporation. 
Watching her calms me. 
She could not translate into English a single sound of Latin that she had memorized. The sounds took her out of herself."
*****
Alcohol took me out of myself. Alcohol did that. Each sip an unknown, yet self-defeating prayer of sorts. Wanting answers, searching for calm, peace. Alcohol destroyed that. Childhood. How wondrous it seemed. Drinking changed all that for 30 years.
The world is my snifter now. Sober, observations mulled in the mind's eye. Here, sitting on the ocean's edge, the sun's sheen creates a light that is both the water and the sun in their totalities. One may want for moments like these, when all becomes as one. I have no need beyond this simple meditation, a prayer of sorts for what just is. Recovery does that. Alcohol could not do that. Reality intoxicates. Alcohol, impotent, a broken tool cast into some far corner out of sight, out of mind.
*****
Odd, accurate, this rosy rosary called memory strung in pearls of light at ocean's edge. Recovery is my child, being raised gently, as a grandparent might. I observe myself growing up now, in recovery, strong, tender, resilient, obedient to light lapping at the shore. 
The suffering of addiction brought me here. The peace, found in recovery here, keeps me here, keeps me.... (keeps me)... here.

*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Passage in quotes from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

21 January 2018

Life's BIGGEST Distractions weren't living at all....


... Not then. Not in my addictions. Life's biggest distractions, my drinking, my smoking, weren't living. I lived somewhere between me and the next drink or drug. It was a No-Man's-Land, a nowhere space. How I got there, how I got stuck there hardly matters. Samuel Johnson describes it masterfully: "The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken." And for me, the chains of habit were not being broken. I was being broken.
But now. But now, in my recovery, life's little distractions are like child's play. No drink or cigarette are in the picture. I can get on with the business of living. "Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."  
*****
You see, by the time I had a reason to quit drinking, reason no longer had anything to do with it. Ditto, tobacco and a host of other substances. Somehow, quitting smoking more clearly showed me the veiled, yet glorious benefits of ending my relationship with both. How it dawned on me and then found expression for it reinforces my recovery.
Here, hear how it came to me then, quiet and pure, almost an echo:
*****
"I turn over my fears as I’m walking down the street one cloudy day. The autumn leaves turn over themselves on the sidewalk before me. And then I hear something. Far away I hear a literal bird singing. And then it hits me. This is what turning over my fears and my addictions has finally given me. My hearing. My unfocused hearing. After three years sober I turned over another addiction, my addiction to cigarettes, and here’s what I noticed: Not that I would live longer, but that I could live more fully in the present. Yes, I could taste better and smell better without the tobacco and liquor in my mouth and on my breath. But the real reward is not delayed for some unforeseen future, but lived in the present, because I was not focused on the next drink of my addiction and the next smoke of my addiction.
I could live more fully in the now.
I turn over my fears as I’m walking down the street. The autumn leaves turn over themselves on the sidewalk before me. I live more fully in the now."
*****
Tobacco? Sayonara! Ditto Alcohol. Ditto Any & All Chemical Addictions & Behavioral Obsessions. I smoked 2-1/2 packs a day - more during ever-increasing binge-drinking episodes. Over 50,000 drinks consumed over the course of my drinking career.
Fight over the definition of addiction all day and night. I don't care. Nature / Nurture? Disease or no? This and / or not that? Whatever. The greater part of me is indifferent to a definition for addiction. That seems as difficult as nailing jelly to a tree. But addiction's absence? Ahh... Here is how I define addiction's absence: Freedom.
Freedom from. Freedom to. 
Life's biggest distractions were not for living at all. They occupied all my conscious (and unconscious) time. Addictions were killing me. Alcohol and tobacco were killing me, stealing me, separating me from life, from feeling. Fill in the blank. Addiction is a blank. A blank that steals....
Feel. 
Real. 
Free.
Addiction Up in Smoke (Hearing Restored).... Hear, here.
*****

(photo by Mark Hancox on Pinterest)
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Passage in quotes from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

17 January 2018

TRUTH against POWER, #Recovery over #Addiction (My Last Relapse)


I did not know while it was happening that my last relapse, like an Aesop's fable, was a living example of an animal acting badly who would learn a valuable lesson through the action of the story. It helps to show why Animal became a necessary part of my book's sub-title (ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal). Please, allow yourself the pleasure of picturing the speaker as an animal in the alcoholic maze known as addiction, an animal who could not find his own truth, merely the truth of addiction's power. 
*****
"What I did not know, when I made the decision to drink away my last thirty-five dollars over this four day period, was that my new landlord had been out of the country and that all the weekly rent checks I had been giving his secretary sat undeposited in his desk drawer. 
By the second day I had spent the entire thirty-five dollars and wondered if between loose change lying around my room and whatever was left in my bank account I might be able to buy one more bottle of vodka (even a half pint would have to do) before straightening out and resuming my sobriety (Who would know?). 
Long story short: I called the bank's automatic teller to find my balance and as I sat there drunk I heard that I how had several hundred dollars in my account due to my undeposited rent checks…
If you’re a drunk like me, you know what happened next. I went on a bender, one ATM cash withdrawal after the other, until all the well-intentioned rent money was spent and I ended up in the hospital.
Yada. Yada. Yada. Same old story. So much for some new miracle of control."
*****
TRUTH against POWER, #Recovery over #Addiction, these were the morsels remaining when this animal emerged from the alcoholic maze known as addiction, an animal who could not find his own truth, merely the truth of addiction's power, until Recovery became his way of life.
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
***** 
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b