30 January 2019

Worried by Alcoholism? I Wasn't.... (Worry is Like a Rocking Chair... )


"Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere."
- Anonymous
*****
For at least the first decade of my drinking career, calling myself an alcoholic, at least to the people sitting on the barstools next to me, was not a problem. Bragging rights. "I don't know how I got home, I was so messed up." Expressions like these were commonplace. But by the second decade, I started losing coats, keys, apartments, jobs. The progression of alcoholism with all its subtle and in-your-face changes is not a straight downward descent. It is marked by peaks and valleys. My third decade of drinking was littered with lapses in employment and housing. That new normal required that I drink at home, alone, when I had a home. By that time, I was not worried by alcoholism, I was worried about the next drink. Increasingly I drank more. My blackouts would occur around the end of the sixth drink and I would continue to drink until I passed out, usually two or three hours later, by my recollection.
"The further alcohol took me away from myself, the less I understood that I was losing my foothold. From the outside, I am sure it looked like I was becoming more and more selfish, but increasingly, I was not feeding myself, i was feeding my disease. The more selfish I may have appeared, the more my disease had dissolved my self away."
Not worrying in my addiction was really a form of defeatism. In recovery, not worrying is a positive thing. 
Recovery: Do the next right thing, the next right thing. 
No worry.
End of story.
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
The passage in quotes, above, is from ALL DRINKING ASIDE.
I hope that this post will serve as a bridge, a window and a door
to what you will find there....
*****
ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction
of an Alcoholic Animal
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: https://goo.gl/ycu5jg
Recovery Tweets here: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
99+ Recovery Posts onLinkedIn here: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

24 January 2019

15 New & Improved "Favorite Recovery Tweets" (with a few links)


(in alphabetical order, not in order by favorites [BTW, my favorites are 4, 10 & 12].)

1) 88,000 people a year die of alcohol-related causes, more than twice the annual death toll of opiate overdose. - WashPost

2) Alcohol took over the desire for all else, including the desire to stop.

3) The art in concentration camps was produced despite the facts, not because of them. So, too, what I wrote when drunk. Despite addiction.

4) By The Time I Had A Reason To Quit Drinking, Reason No Longer Had Anything To Do With It. 

(This Tweet links with this LinkedIn Post):https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/time-i-had-reason-quit-longer-anything-do-jim-anders/?published=t
5) Cognitive Dissonance: Alcohol, an Avalanche, Comforting as it Kills...
(This Tweet links with this LinkedIn Post):https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/alcoholic-problem-up-deaths-door-alcohol-comforting-kills-jim-anders/?published=t 

6) EMPATHY'S SOBER BEGINNINGS: "Bleeding Now Where I Didn't Bleed Then"​: "Addiction blocked out and eventually shut down my ability to empathize during my alcoholic descent.... " 
(This Tweet links with this LinkedIn Post):https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/empathys-sober-beginnings-bleeding-now-where-i-didnt-bleed-jim-anders/?published=t …
7) "Every recovery meeting is an intervention between me and the first drink." - p. 81, All Drinking Aside
8) The Flow of Alcohol is Beaten by The Flow of Life. (The River of Time is Slow & Deep)
9) "I did WHAT? WHEN? (Time Travel, as Goes the Alcoholic)"
(This Tweet links with the LinkedIn Post titled "An Emotional Pendulum Created & Propagated by Alcohol's Daily Highs & Lows... "): https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/i-did-what-when-time-travel-goes-alcoholic-jim-anders/?published=t …

10) I was surviving when I drank & became a survivor when I stopped.

11) "Pills for everything except for who I am." - p. 213, All Drinking Aside

12) The punishment for addiction is time served.

(This Tweet links with this LinkedIn Post): 
https://bit.ly/2Uh5qax

13) What the hell is a "C.A.G.E.D. / G.R.A.P.E.S. / W.I.S.H."? 

(This Tweet links with this LinkedIn Post):

14) What would ONE WORD for EVERY DRINK I ever had look like? Well, the 82,313 words in [my book] just about cover it.

15) When I first got sober, I thought my life would be leafless and dull. Instead, my life went from NEVER green to EVERGREEN!
*****
Lucky for me, this list ends on a sweet note. 
Discover 1,000's more Sweet Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/JimAnders4  
ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO   
99+ Recovery Posts on LinkedIn here: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b 


21 January 2019

A Different A.D.D.... NOT Attention Deficit Disorder... Guess, then Read....


A Different A.D.D.
NOT Attention Deficit Disorder, characterized by having difficulty paying attention, being hyperactive and exhibiting impulsive behavior. I'm talking about Alcohol Deficit Disorder, an attention-grabbing acronym for alcoholism. Where it took me. What it did to me.
*****
Now what? What next? Where?
*****
"To try to tell the story of my life, I see there is no story to tell, just episodes united by the disease of alcoholism. Selective recall. I doubt hypnosis would reveal much more of note as most memories were never formed in the first place during my nearly daily blackouts. Artificial excitement, emotions raised and lowered by drugs and alcohol. Opportunities pursued drunkenly or not at all.
Sometimes I wished I could stop, but I never thought I could stop drinking. Half of my Tower of Babel was my alcohol-induced inability to understand A.D.D. (Alcohol Deficit Disorder). 'I'll gladly pay you Tuesday to stop my alcohol deficit today.'"
*****
Perpetual taking. That's what alcohol did to me. And me, all the time, thinking it added to my creativity, despite the illegibly scribbled notes I might have woken up to. In no way did alcohol expand my vision, actually or metaphorically. Like a horse wearing blinders, I saw only the road ahead and the road ahead contained only the next drink.
Always in a state of alcohol deficit, the drink in hand, never enough.
Of course, that was never my intention. Alcohol changes intentions into a wide arc that circles back upon itself, complete only in the next drink, the illusion of the next drink.
*****
The continuous undulation of a complete, fulfilling and utter presence in this moment.
Alcohol could give not give me that.
Focused attention on the spectacle of an ordinary life.
Alcohol would not give me that.
The wind blows over the dunes on the beach beneath me, crystalline sand blowing my way and the ocean waves singularly and together meet and define the shoreline.
Alcohol did not want to give me that.
*****
Abundance, satisfaction, the simple perfection of life as it is.
The order of life, imperfect, perceptible in recovery.
*****
My Alcohol Deficit Disorder is DEAD.
Recovery uncovers reality, minus the unreality of addiction.
Subtract alcohol.
ADD Recovery.
Stand back.
Live.
*****
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
The passages above in quotes are excerpted from All Drinking Aside: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 
Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/JimAnders4   
99+ Recovery Posts on LinkedIn here: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b 

20 January 2019

A "C.A.G.E.D. / G.R.A.P.E.S. / W.I.S.H." for #Alcoholism, #Addiction & #Recovery

*****
A Mnemonic is a Memory Devise. A most familiar Mnemonic (pronounced /nəˈmänik/) from childhood is "Roy G. Biv" which is used to remember the colors of a rainbow (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo & Violet). 
Short & Sweet (No Sour Grapes Here), here is a helpful Mnemonic for #Alcoholism, #Addiction & #Recovery:
A "C.A.G.E.D. / G.R.A.P.E.S. / W.I.S.H." 
Here's what each letter of a "C.A.G.E.D. / G.R.A.P.E.S. / W.I.S.H." stands for... 
*****
C is for CAUTION
A is for ACCEPTANCE
G is for GRATITUDE
E is for EDUCATION
D is for DECISION-MAKING
*****
G is for GROWTH
R is for RESPONSIBILITY
A is for ANGER
P is for PERSISTENCE
E is for EMPATHY
S is for SAFETY
*****
W is for WORRY
I is for IMPULSIVENESS
S is for SELF-CARE
H is for HOPE
*****
If I can remember the 15 words that a "C.A.G.E.D. / G.R.A.P.E.S. / W.I.S.H." stands for, I will be a Grateful (Mnemonic-Remembering) Recovering Alcoholic (or Addict) Just For Today (and Hopefully for Tomorrow and many Days and Years to come).
At your insistence (!) let me break it down as briefly as possible: 

C is for CAUTION: Proceed with Caution to prevent potential disastrous results.
A is for ACCEPTANCE: Self, Others, the World-as-it-is... This is where real change starts.
G is for GRATITUDE: The Prism of Attention through which life may become more livable.
E is for EDUCATION: Continue to read and learn. Libraries & Books are everywhere.
D is for DECISION-MAKING: Not a decision on earth requires a drink or drug.
*****
G is for GROWTH: Alcoholism & Addiction are Death & Destruction. Recovery is Growth.
R is for RESPONSIBILITY: The days of playing the victim are now over. "We are Responsible."
A is for ANGER: (H.A.L.T.) Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired (see Caution, above)
P is for PERSISTENCE: The accumulation of continuous clean time takes time & persistence.
E is for EMPATHY: No matter where you are in your journey or they in their's, Empathize!
S is for SAFETY: There is Safety in Numbers. Become and remain in a Recovery Group
*****
W is for WORRY: "Like a Rocking Chair, Worry gives you something to do but leads nowhere."
I is for IMPULSIVENESS: Tread carefully in this territory, Safety First. Think, think, think.
S is for SELF-CARE: Not a care in the world in becomes self-care first. Survival depends on it.
H is for HOPE: What seems impossible will remain impossible without it. Let Hope Blossom!
*****
The Prison of Alcoholism. 
The Prison of Addiction.
Even if you can't remember Mnemonic (pronounced /nəˈmänik/), Remember... 
A "C.A.G.E.D. / G.R.A.P.E.S. / W.I.S.H." for #Alcoholism, #Addiction & #Recovery
Freedom is Grape (I mean GREAT!)
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal
Find it on Amazon.com here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4

18 January 2019

Street Drugs, NOT Controlled / Alcohol, CONTROLLED


The quality of street drugs is NOT controlled. People die every day and hour from ingesting, snorting and shooting up different substances than what they presume they had just purchased.
Alcohol IS a controlled substance. In my home state, Pennsylvania, liquor is sold by the state and monitored by a Liquor Control Board. You are certain of the quality and purity of every substance you purchase.
So alcohol is safer than street drugs, right?
Absolutely.
Except for me. 
It's not safe for me. 
Presumably never was. A long, hard lesson to be learned. 
A 30-year look back on my drinking experience has proven to me beyond doubt that it is not safe for me to drink under any circumstances or conditions. Ever. No matter how many decades between sips. Alcoholism and its attendant consequences have been progressive for me. My life always has always gotten progressively worse each and every time I have picked up a drink.
No matter the purity and proof of the alcohol I might ingest, it's me who is out of control when I drink. I'm a blackout drinker who continues to drink, well after my ability to form memories has evaporated. My brain's desire for all else dissipates. Alcohol replaces what alcohol displaces. Illusion, delusion and insanity ensue. The only gain is loss. And loss is all.
After years of sustained sobriety, all street drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs (except as prescribed by a doctor) are off my Wish List, Bucket List and a list of other lists. With no illusion of control over addictive substances, my recovery continues to flourish in their absence. 
Period.
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal
Find it on Amazon.com here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4