24 April 2018

"There Is No Safe Harbor When The Sea Is Alcohol"


There is a certain fleeting sadness within my recovery at times. Reflecting back on the way it was and how it was the necessary and only way that I could be where I'm at today merely softens the blow. So many today are where I was back then and that seems so unnecessary. Addiction doesn't really have to be a part of growing up now, does it? And yet for so many it is. How many stigmas have to be unknotted for different possible paths to unfold in our seemingly increasingly complex world?
I'm not here to prescribe behaviors or create solutions. All I seem able to do is present the feel of it, the real of it, from my perspective, with the hope that it may help others untangle their lives, to fall more gently and recover more smoothly than my particular experiences have allowed me to.
Here, Surimi, describes my progress to his fictional friends, unnoticed by me, at this one uncertain juncture....
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(Surimi): ... Water lifts all boats, but apparently not the same can be said for alcohol. There is no safe harbor when the sea is alcohol. His extremes, his drunken fire and ice. Sobriety, and all that comes with it is more balanced, more centered and less extreme than his active addiction was. His cadence and his rhythm are more clearly a reflection of his life. Addiction is chaos. Sobriety will eventually have a calming effect on almost anyone.
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Of course, I heard none of this as I droned on with my story.... "I drank myself sober sometimes. My mind would seek to find some equilibrium. Despite my drunkenness, my mind stood at cross purposes with my substance of abuse. I couldn't have known that then, or at least, I didn't know that. Did not know that. In the most strange of strangest ways, I finally drank myself sober."
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On the one hand, on a daily basis, I drank to return myself to what had become my level of addiction to feel normal and for brief moments it sometimes felt as if I were sober. About this time, I remember drinking beer to sober up, to drink beer in the shower while getting ready for work, adding more ice to my drink rather than more vodka.
All of this was sort of a fine-tuning of the thermostat in my alcoholic house of horrors. Drinking myself sober and drinking myself drunk, often just one drink off from whatever that insane alcoholic thermostat was set at.
On the other hand, by this point in my story, the life I found myself living became unsustainable. This became the other "I finally drank myself sober." The fabric of my life was tearing apart and no more jumps on the alcoholic trampoline could last. I fell through, time and again and again and again.
I was dead, but by a single thread, survived.
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True, "there is no safe harbor when the sea is alcohol" and I had somehow survived it all. And there remains a fleeting sadness about the whole thing. Life can be suffering at times and addiction absolutely more so and needless, but life sometimes finds a way to flourish beyond all obstacles. Save what you have left and do something with it. That was about all I was left with.
Life can be so good and addiction is not an answer for anyone.
My life of drunken fire and ice has ended and I have reached the far shore. Recovery on dry land with much more living to do.
Connection. Balance. Peace.
Everybody's recovering from something.
Life is good.


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"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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The passage spoken by Surimi and those in quotes are from my book. Explore More ALL DRINKING ASIDE Here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

17 April 2018

"I... Did... My BEST... When I Was DRUNK" Exemplified!


"My un-defining moment was being plastered and bowling a 276. Seven drunken strikes in a row in my bar's bowling league. At that time, I really did do my best physically when I was drunk because drunk had become the new normal. My brain was used to drunk. My brain needed drunk to be in familiar territory. The liquid I had become used to navigating through was alcohol. Liquid me in a liquid dream swimming through alcohol. Alcohol bathed each and every cell in my body, separately and lusciously. Caressing each cell like a little warm oil rubdown at an expensive spa. Alcohol, the ultimate masseuse. I bowled a 276, plastered, shortly blacked out and still drinking, swimming through alcohol like Marlee Matlin [Children of a Lesser God] swimming in stunning silence. There was no before or after, only this oblivion."
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Scary, isn't it? How I romanticized it! Christ, are addicts "Children of a Lesser God," too? Haunting. To say the least, I was incomplete without my alcohol back then. Today, "Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
If I were to bowl today and got seven gutter balls, I'd still be happy because my head would not be in the gutter like it used to be. 
Alcohol, a perfect zero. Recovery, a perfect score!


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#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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The passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

14 April 2018

The Only World I Knew Was Alcohol


Frankly, I'm almost speechless when I read those 7 little words, "The only world I knew was alcohol."  The utter emptiness of that world spilled out, leaving me with nothing. Alcohol, my everything. The animal I became. Sadly best expressed below, seeking, at that time, neither sympathy nor empathy, somehow, I came to in a sober world of which I knew nothing, a clueless, hopeless alien.
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"When I drink, the only world there is, is alcohol. I will drink until I blackout and I will continue drinking until I pass out. More is the only word I know. More, until I blackout and then still more until my body shuts down and I pass out. And somehow, even then, more is not enough. My disease cannot ever be satisfied. When there is nothing else, there is always more.
More is everything... and nothing.
I will never be like most normal folks.
When I drink, the only world there is, is alcohol."






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No wonder that I learned to say "Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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The passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

11 April 2018

If I Couldn't Have Smoked Cigarettes, I Would Have Relapsed & Died


"So much is known and so much unknown about addiction and recovery. But I do know this much: If my very first rehab had not allowed me to continue my addiction to smoking cigarettes as I tried to remain sober, I most likely would have bolted out of there, no fourteen day stay. I would have left. I would have smoked. I would have had a drink, and I may have died. Trial and error is frightening when you confront the fact that one small error can change the entire course of your life. Today, not drinking and not smoking are mutually reinforcing. Lose one and I would most certainly lose both.
I did not drink today."
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That was me 22 years ago. Much has happened since then. I relapsed off and on for the next 8 years and today have accumulated nearly 14 years of continuous sobriety, ten years nicotine-free. Besides being 22 years older, I am not the same person today. I have changed.
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I hate when a politician says that they've evolved. It sounds so uppity and false. But since I'm not a politician, truly, and with a realistic humility, I can say, yes, I have evolved since 1996. Had to... or I'd be a drinking, smoking corpse, cowboy!


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Glad to be alive to tell the tale!
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"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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#alcoholism #addiction #recovery
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The passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
130+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

10 April 2018

"At Least I'm Not an Addict.": THIS Alcoholic Was THAT Stupid


"'At least I'm not an addict.' That's the sense of moral superiority I once had. Today, that statement would be sadly laughable. Too hung over to carry a bar tray full of drinks without spilling them. Asking co-workers to place the straight up martinis in front of the customers' placemats because my daily shakes wouldn't allow me to do so without spilling. Spill. Spill. Spill. Spill. Spill. Avalanche.
If alcoholism isn't addiction to alcohol, what the hell is it?
Spill. Spill. Fucking spill."
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At this point of my alcoholism, I believed that my addiction to alcohol was manageable. My ability to diminish the dimensions of my large and small daily disasters illuminates the power of denial. And at each point in my downward progression, I'd slowly become accustomed to that state, always believing that it would never get worse. And when it did get worse, I got used to that new normal.
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Now I feel no sense of moral superiority over those addicted to substances other than alcohol. They all offer their own particular versions of hell. And I truly have no sense of moral superiority over my alcoholic past.
After all, it was alcohol that brought me to today.
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My recent cancer diagnosis has been a certain kind of breeze, another progressive disease to surmount. If I could get sober and remain so after 30 years of my progressive slide and 8 years of bumpy relapses, cancer will be less stressful for me than for others who have never ridden on the Road of Recovery.
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Spill. Spill. Spill. Spill. Spill.
Today, rather than dread, I live in anticipation of tomorrow.
Recovery (and alcoholism) has taught me that I can and will deal with this.
I will keep you posted because I am not toasted, LoL.

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"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
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The passage in quotes is excerpted from Ch. 44, "Sweet Oblivion, Pretty Poison," ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
130+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

08 April 2018

For the Verse Averse: Addiction Lines Realigned


"There was a time when I was not there, but I did not know it yet. I would drink to forget, forgetting what I did not know. Not yet. I did not know yet. Where was I then, when I was not there? For years I lived somewhere between myself and the next drink. I would drink to forget what I could not think, halfway to nowhere and another drink. I was grieving and I did not know it. Someone was dying, but I could not feel it, feel my own dying. I could not own it because it owned me. Denial is so hard to feel, yet, there it is, standing next to you. You: Halfway to nowhere and another drink."
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There. I did it. Unpacked a poem and repackaged it as prose for those averse to verse. ALL DRINKING ASIDE may not be for you. Verse infiltrates that text as prose because as everyone knows, don't pose a poem except as prose. Otherwise, who knows? The patient may take a turn for the worse.
It's only poetry if I say it is. It's not. It's the Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal.
Build with it what you will.



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#alcoholism #addiction #recovery
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"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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Passages in quotes are excerpted from All Drinking Aside: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
130+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b