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....
*****
(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.
*****
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."
*****
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.
*****
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.


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

23 April 2018

The Nerd in me, the Yearn in me, wants MORE than A.A. offers


Others may not have found it so, but one aspect of A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) that has been consistently a thorn in my side is expressed here:
*****
"One persistent complaint I have about my 12-step meetings is a very anti-intellectual mindset so prevalent there. 'Don't think. Don't drink. Go to meetings.' That's a commonly heard anthem. Religion is talked about in a roundabout 'spirituality' kind of way. Psychiatry and the medical community are not wholly admonished. But at no 12-step meeting have I ever heard anyone recommending going to a library to learn from a book about this disease called alcoholism.
"Knowledge may not keep you sober, but ignorance most certainly may keep you drunk.
"Done. Another burden has been lifted."
*****
Having written an Autobiographical Fiction about my descent into alcoholism and continuing recovery has been looked at as a Mortal Sin by many of the stalwarts in the recovering communities.
A.A. to the omission of all else has not ever been my way. The nerd in me, the yearn in me, the seeking of evidence and support from the worlds of art and science are part of my cloth before, during and after my addictions.
A.A. has been vital to my recovery, but never my one and only source.
A.A. may be the only way for many, perhaps for most, but for me, never was, never will be.
*****
To each, their own.



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


22 April 2018

"Pause When Agitated"? GOOD.... Better... ? Pause... When... NOT Agitated!


Time and again I've heard the advice, "Pause when agitated."
That makes much sense.
Prevent what reaction you might later be sorry you blurted out.
But pause when NOT agitated also makes sense. Preemptive sense. Lifestyle-changing sense. Meditation is the pause I'm referring to here. Pause, in meditation, in practice, in repetition, in calming. Calming that helps you open the doors to a new and better you. Contemplative, rather than explosive. Sober, rather than the bad side of unpredictable.
Meditate on meditation, if it comes to that.
But do.
Meditate.
It works when you don't work it (If you know what I mean). 
Meditation, the medication of presence of mind. 
Prescriptions filled in the renewable NOW.
"Pause When Agitated"? 
GOOD. 
Better? 
Pause When NOT Agitated!
Pause.... Pause....
... Applause.





19 April 2018

Jim's Song for Joe Frazier ("Storm Warning")


"Rich man down and poor man up - they are still not even." - Yiddish proverb

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The following lyrics, eventually modified for Joe Frazier, boxing champion turned vocal performer, are from Jim's only recording contract]:

"Storm Warning"

Now I say hear me out and hear me loud and clear.
I say I'm storming out and I'm gonna make you hear....
I say I'm storming out, storming far and wide.
I say I'm storming out and there's no place left to hide....
There's no use crying out, crying out with pain.
There's no use screaming out that love's a crying shame.
There's no use running out, 'cause you're running out of time.
There's no use holding out, 'cause I'm gonna make you mine....
Storm Warning....
*****
(Sotto): Vatchi! Dig this: Joe Frazier, struggling to remain in the limelight. Struggling to get back on his feet. Not in the boxing ring. On his feet, in the limelight, singing, performing. And Jim, going down, knocked out by the alcohol, not even knowing he's down for the count....


*****
This post is excerpted from Chapter 55, "Down For The Count," ALL DRINKING ASIDE: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
130+ 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."
*****
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!


*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
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.
*****
"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."






*****
No wonder that I learned to say "Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
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

12 April 2018

ADDICTION: "Trapped in the State of Being" (and a Confession)


Unintentionally, in the 6-year process of writing my book, I often found myself waxing poetic, despite the fact that this was to be a work of prose. Accordingly, many of my favorite verses made it into print, but disguised as prose.
Here is one passage as it ultimately appears. Beneath that, for edification, the reconstruction of how it originally flowed from my pen.
*****
"Trapped in the state of being, everything is as it seems. You cannot find your dream. You want to turn the wheel on which you're turning. You want to become. You want to be real, but find it disagreeing, really so unpleasing, when everything is as it seems. You cannot break the seal, it's so unceasing, trapped in the state of being. You cannot find your dream. You want to turn the wheel on which you're turning. You want to become."
*****
"Trapped in the State of Being"

Trapped in the state of being,
Everything is as it seems.
You cannot find your dream.
You want to turn the wheel on which you're turning.
You want to become.
You want to be real,
But find it disagreeing,
Really so unpleasing,
When everything is as it seems.
You cannot break the seal,
It's so unceasing,
Trapped in the state of being.
You cannot find your dream.
You want to turn the wheel on which you're turning.
You want to become.
*****
Truly, I'm not sure if that will clarify or act to muddy the waters.
A bit of both is my best guess.
*****
P.S. Speaking of STRUCTURE, prose vs. poetry, here, I have a confession to make about the structure of All Drinking Aside. The subtitle is The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. The word STRUCTURE is the root word from which all three key words in the beginning of the subtitle are derived. Recovery has many elements of structure about it as well. Forming new habits to replace old habits. That's changing the structure of a life of addiction into a structured life of recovery that will sustain itself. A strong foundation, structure, upon which change may occur.
*****
In addiction, I was an ANIMAL, the proverbial hamster on the wheel. "You want to turn the wheel on which you're turning. You want to become." In my addiction, I was powerless over alcohol. It was alcohol that turned the wheel. And as for "you want to become," I was becoming nothing more than more of an alcoholic and less human at every turn of the wheel. I am restoring my humanity in recovery and I am becoming, reclaiming, a sober me, to the beat of a sober drum.


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

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."
*****
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.
*****
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!


*****
Glad to be alive to tell the tale!
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery
*****
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."
*****
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.
*****
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.
*****
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.
*****
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.

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

Short & Sweet: The Old Math of Addiction VS. The New Math of Recovery


"The old math was calculating how many more drinks I could have and how many less hours of sleep I could sustain to come to with alarm clock blaring. The old math was calculating how many hours it would take the next day before I could begin the vicious cycle again. My old math measured time in ounces and quarts, in urges and surges and blurs, blaring and bounces, bangles and jangles and booze.
This new math is sane and sober: one is one is won."


*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery
*****
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

"Let Addiction Die First": A Song of Recovery


The few of us, the many of us... (and someday most of us)....
*****
The words "Let Addiction Die First" seemed to come to me out of nowhere. I wrote a note to myself so that I wouldn't forget them. The words reverberated in my head as I went about my business. Then, on the way home from picking up the newspaper, I found myself singing a never before heard melody (out loud, not caring what passersby might think): Da... Da-Da-Da... Da... Da. Trust me, I did not know where that came from either. Then it became clear to me: Da... Da-Da-Da... Da... Da, the new melody I sang, were for the words "Let Addiction Die First." That, and no other.
*****
Song of Recovery: "Let Addiction Die First!" The rhythm repeated itself over and over with variations, subtle and bold, taking hold and letting go, a quiet jazz formation. "Let Addiction Die First."
*****
At some point, I reached the tipping point, after which addiction affixed itself to that part of my brain that holds the instinct to survive. Despite myself, fooled into believing I needed alcohol to exist, all my priorities lined up: I felt I needed a drink to persevere, even as it had began killing me. My brain, it seems, always wanted more alcohol than my body could endure. Multiple hospitalizations escalated, me, bumping against the walls of death, nearly crashing through.
I stopped drinking each time only after my body gave out.
*****
So the phrase, "Let Addiction Die First," really was not my experience. My hospital stays were more a case of my body giving out and my brain never stopping the desire for more. My body, exhausted, depleted, delirious on sidewalks and in gutters, forced me into emergency room interventions that my brain's thirst could not foresee.
"Let Addiction Die First" expresses the reality hidden beneath it. "Let Addiction Die First" is more truly (in my experience) expressed as "Recovery, Let Me Live." For it is in recovery that my addiction died. A stern warning to others, especially in early recovery, is that the desire to pick up a drink dies slowly, over time, replaced by new and healthy habits that recovery will instill. The will to live without a drink returns to its rightful place in a drug-free brain, survival instinct cleansed. Addiction arrested.
*****
But to make it completely clear, here's how to finish that sentence, what you should have heard implied but may not have: LET ADDICTION DIE FIRST OR SURELY IT WILL MEAN YOUR DEATH. Each and every relapse in my experience had always, sooner than later, returned me to my former progressive state of descent, ever-closer to death.
*****
Well, anyway, that's what "Let Addiction Die First" means to me. The few of us, the many of us... (and someday most of us).... Recovery, let us live. Let us live in recovery. Addiction is not living, not fully. Never was, never will be....


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

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."
*****
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.



*****
#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
130+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

05 April 2018

An ALCOHOLIC Allusion to CANCER (Before I Knew I Had IT)


"Like an older uncle or grandfather at a family reunion, beckoned to tell again some infamously funny and poignant story from his own life to a rapt audience of shiny faces aglow with anticipation, the story of my disease takes on a life of its own, a separate reality, these alcoholic memories. Like a mutant cancer cell dividing, dividing, dividing, even memories can forget and a cancer can return and a drink can reach my hand. In memory I can forget what it means to be an alcoholic. My insane memory can become insanity again. And I must not forget."
*****
Now, years later, the tools I have learned and used to remain sober have come into play again in my life as I face cancer.
I can do this, I can survive this.
Addiction has prepared me for this.
Yesterday will become tomorrow as I live through each day, sober and alive.


*****
"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: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4

03 April 2018

ACTING YOURSELF SANE... / ... Welcome to Bob's Brain


"Bob had plea-bargained himself out of doing more jail time for possession of the hollow-point, cop-killer bullets. The system sent him to Ancorra State Mental Hospital because, clearly, he was (shape-shifter, smoke and mirror making) insane.
But then, three months later, he acted himself sane (oh, how lovely and sometimes so, so simple to appear sane). And now. Now he stood before me while I worked as a food server at the Mays Landing Diner. I remember wondering if he got out of the mental hospital early, on good behavior, as he had gotten out of prison after a seven year stretch for the same ability to play the role expected  that would best serve his needs. Bob did what he had to do to be free of the rule of law. Act like a good prisoner. Act like a sane person in the mental hospital long enough to be reprieved. Fool doctors, parole officers, whomever you have to. This was Bob's modus operandi. Get free to be free to return to insanity. Welcome to Bob's brain."
*****
This excerpt from my book, All Drinking Aside, illustrates how well some individuals are at appearing such and such a way to others. Under the influence of alcohol, I was not so clever or adept at hiding the insanity that is addiction. After the first ten years of my drinking career, my alcoholism had become apparent to anyone who glimpsed, even briefly, beneath the surface, behind my facade. By the second ten years of my drinking tenure, it had become increasingly difficult for me to even hide it from myself, obscured by layers of denial, as it were. Then, those last ten years, my surrender and abandonment to addiction, my victimhood, became fully entrenched and unstoppable.
*****
Hope springs eternal in this last quarter of my life as I battle cancer of the throat with a team of doctors. Glad I wrote my book, frankly, it has probably been more of a help to me than to my readers, but it is the gratitude expressed by my readers which will continue to help me continue to plod on, move forward and accept and deal with this progressive disease (hopefully, this cancer has been caught early enough).
Learning in recovery to no longer be the victim of my addiction to alcohol and other drugs will serve me well in my struggle with cancer. Recovery has taught me to be responsible, to do what I can, to deal with life (and death) as it is served up to me.
*****
In less than a month I'll know if my seven weeks of chemo and radiation have left me cancer-free.
But what about Bob? Where's Bob?
I have no idea, but in the most twisted of ways, his insanity has helped clear the path ahead for my recovery, from alcohol, from cancer, from whatever my future may hold.
Welcome to Jim's brain.
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
Explore More ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
140+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b





02 April 2018

My Bleeding Edge (Recovery from Addiction meets Cancer)


Coming up on 14 years of continuous sobriety, today, my diagnosis of throat cancer has been confirmed.
One progressive affliction (addiction) meets another (cancer).
Thankfully, there has been another flourishing progression to connect this daisy chain of events.
That progression is my ongoing recovery from addiction.
Were I never sober, I can assure you that I'd already be dead and my earlier death would have preempted this cancer diagnosis.
Chemo and radiation are in my near future and surgery has not been yet ruled out.
Drinking has been ruled out.
Relapse has been ruled out.
Recovery rules.
*****
P.S. Work on the follow up to my autobiographical fiction, All Drinking Aside, has slowed to a near stop while I catch my breath. Until I cross this hurdle, my posts from this point forward will likely be repeats and less frequent.
*****
P.P.S. I am at peace with all of this. Recovery has been remarkable. Thank you.