30 May 2019

*_*_*_* FETAL Alcohol /FATAL Alcohol *_*_*_*

(internationalbluecross.org)

Let's take a whirlwind tour of the effects of Alcohol from BEFORE Birth to AFTER Death. Much will have to be glossed over, twisted and ignored to make it all conveniently fit into this short, sweet, easily digestible post for Social Media.
*****
BEFORE Birth: Alcohol affects the unborn in a wide variety of ways, but fits comfortably under the umbrella of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Vision, hearing, heart defects, brain changes, problems with kidneys and bones, deformities of joints, limbs and fingers, reduced birth weight and height - ALL may be in some way damaged as the result of alcohol intake during pregnancy. No amount of alcohol consumption while pregnant is without risk.
All of this potential damage in the womb may be carried into the newly born and result in conditions that may, and likely will, last a lifetime. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) cause physical and mental damage enough to last the life of the child. It is considered incurable, irreversible and may result in a lifetime of shortened attention span, hyperactivity, poor coordination, speech impairments, brain damage, antisocial behavior and more.
Because the fetus metabolizes alcohol through the umbilical cord at a slower rate, the pregnant mother is sometimes putting her unborn child at greater risk than herself. In the ideal world, a future mother should stop drinking alcohol before she gets pregnant....
That about covers BEFORE Birth.
(Hardly. Whirlwind Tour. Remember?)
*****
AFTER Death will come crashing into us momentarily, but let's take a look at that brief period BETWEEN Birth and BEFORE Death. This is the period we call LIFE (you may have heard of it).
*****
"A fish does not know the water. A bird does not know the sky " I did not know how much alcohol was in the cultural air I lived and breathed as I was growing up."Everyone drinks. Everyone drank. Everyone got drunk." That could have been my cultural mantra. My cultural mantra today is Recovery. I eat, breathe, drink and sleep Recovery.
*****
Alright, alright, alright, alright.
This is too big of a story, this Alcohol BEFORE Birth to Alcohol AFTER Death. Too big of a story. Bigger than I am. I know. But here's how I got to this point: Today alone, on the Social Media, I was confronted by several deaths from alcohol and drugs, the opioid crisis, the drug crisis, binge drinking, drunk driving, and on and on.
Several deaths around me, surround me, on this one day alone. It is dizzying.
None close to me. No names I can remember. That hardly matters. Unless the death is of someone you know or knew or loved or lived with or... or... or... A life, many lives have been cut short.This is Alcohol AFTER Death, my heart drawn to the survivors of those who died today, their families and friends. Take a breath. The Aftermath. Take a breath. And another. And another.
*****
From before Birth to after Death, the effects of Alcohol and Drugs are everywhere around me. "Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly," I know that's true  But I also know this: It is NEVER TOO LATE to stop, NEVER TOO SOON to live free of... all of this. Never a time to lose hope, always the time to move forward.
Wherever you are, whomever you are, however you are, life will go on.
Breathe in, breathe out.
My whole damned point I guess is this: I did not drink today.
Reach out to whomever you have to, however you can.
I'm coming up on 15 years clean and sober this June.
30 years drunk.
Almost 15 years sober.
Always...
Almost...
Half-Way...
There...
Join us. Join in. There's room for everyone in this fine air.
*****
FETAL Alcohol / FATAL Alcohol. From Before Birth to After Death.
"Everyone drinks. Everyone drank. Everyone got drunk." It was a cultural thing.
My cultural thing today is Recovery. I eat, breathe, drink and sleep Recovery.
Take a breath.
We Are Always...
Almost...
Half-Way...
There...
Join us. Join in.
There's room for everyone in this fine air.
*********************************
Also, by this same author, you may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

28 May 2019

*_*_*_* A Silly, Happy, Little Poem *_*_*_*


(Music Radio Creative)

We are the poorest among you.
We are the richest among you.
Whatever your yardstick or metric is,
We are those things and more,
At both ends of measurable and
Immeasurable.

We are Recovery,
Blessed and cursed,
Extreme, at the center,
Straight forward, reversed,
The Topsy in Turvy,
The empty in full,
The fool in the wise man,
The sparkle in jewel.

We are Recovery,
In Recovery immersed.
Thank you for listening to our little verse.

We are among you,
Silent no more.
*********************************
[This and other poems of Addiction & Recovery by the author of ALL DRINKING ASIDE are to be found on LinkedIn, here:

"A Universe of #Recovery Verse... "​ (13 favorites in order by title)

 https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/universe-recovery-verse-jim-anders/?published=t ]

15 May 2019

*_*_*_* PTSD & The Tomb of the Anonymous Addict *_*_*_*


(hope found: on pinterest.com)

In 17 short sentences, here, combined, my heart opens to expose my pain for those who suffer, survive and sometimes die from post-traumatic stress and addiction. Because both posts are spare in words and similar in sincerity, I share them both here for any and all who allow themselves to feel and share with me the multiple traumas briefly laid out here for all to see.
*****
PTSD
(In a few short sentences, 154 years of history are traced by the different names we have assigned to PTSD... and how it has changed us):
*****
A Soldier's Heart is what they called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during the U.S. Civil War (which ended in 1865, 154 years ago). They did not know what else to call it. It was at the core of what they felt. "He's suffering from a Soldier's Heart," they said.
Time marches on (and did march on) and during World War One the same sick soldier would be called Shell-Shocked. The munitions changed and the positions changed, the diagnoses altered slightly from the Soldier's Heart to the shell-casings of bombs dropped too near.
The concentric circle of war overlapped once again in World War Two and combat stress reaction and a spray of other diagnoses erupted as the medicalization of symptoms evolved and the prescriptions changed.
Today we call it PTSD and for a second we may look upon that same soldier as if under a microscope whose magnification may bring us closer to the truth found possible through advanced scientific methodologies, yet somehow far further from the man, the man an echo beneath a barrage of symptoms...
Do Not Forget a Soldier's Heart...
*****
[Please note, when I had first heard about Soldier's Heart, I was immediately reminded of PTSD and of how I had felt when I first hit bottom in 1996... lost in terror.]
*****
.
.
.
*****
THE TOMB OF THE ANONYMOUS ADDICT
(No words minced, the hope for change is submerged here, emptied out by deaths too soon in addiction's wake.):
*****
Sometimes walking down the street you think you hear the sound of leaves scuttling along, but these are the plans, hopes, dreams of the dead. Wind barely whispering over the green lips of empty bottles, syringes puncturing the silence in their stillness. Sentences gasping for a last breath, forever unfinished.
The Tomb of the Anonymous Addict is really many tombs in many doorways, further down anonymous valleys than any still alive have ever ventured.
No such monument truly exists. It's undedicated, the dead remains unidentified. It is truly unnamed and unguarded.
It tires me, this Tomb of the Anonymous Addict. It exists in my mind only.... And it makes me weary.
*****
[Truly, I do have hope today, but for however briefly, it had been eroded here. Hope is Our Renewable Natural Resource. Give yours to those in whom you find it lacking.]
*****
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more." 
*****
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

08 May 2019

*_*_*_* #Addiction: Reptilian Stairway to Nowhere *_*_*_*



(mc escher lizards ixora.pro)

Alcohol was certainly not the only drug I used. True, it was center stage, but co-conspirators often stole the show, beyond over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and including prescription drugs, street treats and sundry hallucinogens. 
It was only after I had come off this one particular LSD-like trip that I realized I couldn't have climbed a staircase in the jailhouse I was being held in because there were no stairways in that one-story building. No basement. No second floor.
Trust me though, some reptilian (me, so very high) had climbed that stairway that was not there.
*****
"Climbing an invisible, hallucinated staircase, high on organic belladonna plucked fresh off the tree by me hours earlier, high in the Guatemalan mountains, Gene and I were arrested on suspicion of substance abuse, awaiting release through bribery. Some memories, like this Guatemalan belladonna one, bring flashbacks" of me being not fully or even partly there, melted into a drug-induced haze. Sometimes I have to remember these moments to fully appreciate that I have surrendered to recovery, that I am savoring the present moment and that I have survived all of it.
*****
All the other drugs involved in my 'other' life were dissolved by alcohol, always alcohol. It took me half my 30-year drinking career to understand, fully to understand, that alcohol was both set and setting in the unreal play being acted out in my addiction. Drugs dissolved in alcohol, my universal solvent. So smooth. So soothing. I did not know until I, too, had become dissolved in alcohol and the curtain had begun to draw closed that I was a chronic alcoholic nearly beyond help.
Such a romantic-sounding dying it seemed to be, until the too-real catastrophes began exploding around me, all-the-while my life imploding until there was nearly nothing left. I, a spitball on some mad scientist's floor. I, too small, the door of recovery too large, too large. It would not seem to budge.
That I am alive today seems mostly luck, some hard, hard work and a reptilian brain learning, unlearning, relearning. 
A wild animal, unleashed from addiction's cage, takes years to tame.
I am free. I am human. I am me again.
I built a stairway to recovery that had not been there. 
Shared courage opened the door to recovery. I could not have done it alone. 
Gratitude unbound for all who helped me find a way, my way.
Reptilian stairway to nowhere... nowhere to be found.
Recovery built on solid ground.
Shared courage.
No way.
Yes, way.
*****
#alcoholism #addiction #recovery
*****
You may also enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal
Find it on Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO