15 January 2021

The Daisy Chain of Recovery


One Alcoholic Helping Another. One Addict Helping Another. This is the Daisy Chain of Recovery. One Day at a Time. One Moment at a Time. One Life at a Time. One Day, Two Months or Thirty Years Clean and Sober. All Are the Same. All Benefit from Each. One Flower Equals All Flowers.

This is Not the Chains of Addiction. The Chains of Addiction are Treacherous, Slavery to a Substance. This is HOPE: Our Most Renewable Natural Resource. This is Living. This is Doable. This is Irreplaceable.

"Nothing Matters More than that We Remain Sober because when We Remain Sober Everything Matters More."

Addiction Disconnects. Recovery Connects, Reconnects. Recovery is Expansive. Addiction is Restraints. 

This is the Daisy Chain of Recovery. Everybody's Recovering from Something, so the Daisy Chain refers to Each and All.

It's Child's Play once we work ourselves beyond the Insanity of the Chains of Addiction. This is the Daisy Chain of Recovery. 

Pass it on! Pass It On!! PASS IT ON!!!

*****

Passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  

Find it on Amazon. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

Find 6,000+ Recovery Tweets here: twitter.com/jimanders4 

13 January 2021

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


The Search for a Realistic Hope

There is a certain fleeting sadness within my recovery at times. 

When I reflect back on the way it was, it seems that it was all a necessary evil before I could find a lasting sober shore. I could not be in this here and now had I not gone through all that I went through then. Discarding hypotheticals, I'm left with the hope that changes will occur in our culture so that in the future our youth will not transition from adolescence to adulthood in a 30-Spectacle, lost in addiction as I had been. 

I live in hopes that a better way evolves for others far younger than I as they search for a fitting meaning to their lives.

Education is likely an effective preventative tool. Not a "Just Say No" with no realistic plans to deal with the experimentation with alcohol and drugs that is almost inevitable for many future fiery youths. May the world around them enable positive progress not stymied by the stigmas, prejudices and hatreds that surround us today. One day soon, the likelihood of more effective educational tools may be developed and acceptance by the non-addicted world may soon grow. A smoother path cleared for seeking help with constructive rehabilitation and recovery, easier and more widely accessible is surely possible. 

False hope, perhaps, but every step taken in a better direction cannot fail to produce better outcomes. Addiction does not have to be a part of growing up now, does it? Education and better preventions and treatments can replace crime and punishment.

Crime and punishment are not necessary evils. Change is possible. And a realistic hope becomes possible when there is a groundswell of actions. Actions create hope. Actions make hope a reality. Hope alone may be just another elusive pipedream. 

I'm not here to prescribe behaviors or to provide blanket solutions. All I seem able to do is to present the feel of it, the real of it, from my perspective, with the hope that it may help others to 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....

*****

"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 a daily basis, I drank to return myself to what had become my level of addiction, drank to feel normal and for brief moments, drinking sometimes made me feel sober. Drinking filled the lack of alcohol, its absence painful to me. I sometimes drank beer in the shower from a sippy cup in an effort to feel sober, feel less pain from alcohol's absence.

All of this was a sort of fine-tuning of the thermostat in my alcoholic house of horrors. I found myself drinking myself sober and drinking myself drunk, often just one drink away from whatever insane alcoholic thermostat my derangement was set at in the moment.

Living this way, as you can imagine, was unsustainable. The fabric of my life was tearing apart and soon, no more jumps on this alcoholic trampoline could last. I fell through, again and again. Essentially, I was dead, but somehow, by a single thread, survived. 

True, "there is no safe harbor when the sea is alcohol" and I was lucky to survive, but as I said at the beginning here, I felt a fleeting sadness about the whole thing deep inside of me. Life can be insufferable at times and addiction is a form of needless suffering. I was one of the lucky ones for whom life found a way to flourish beyond the attendant obstacles of my addictions. 

And so (denouement), save whatever little time and strength you may have left to find your sober shore and if you're not yet there, find shared courage in a sober friend or group of friends to help guide your ship ashore. 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 sober shore. My recovery is on dry land and I have much more living to do.

Connection. Balance. Peace.

Everybody's recovering from something.

Life is good.

Strive on! 

*****

"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: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  

Find it on Amazon. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

Find 6,000+ Recovery Tweets here: twitter.com/jimanders4 

09 January 2021

WARNING: Graphic Language of Drug Use CENSORED / DO NOT READ If Easily Triggered

 

(prisonersfamiliesvoices.blogspot.com)

Let me start with this: The Queen of England & Marilyn Monroe were both born in 1926. Seems odd. No joke. Is that true? Yes.

I know now that using certain pictures to grab a reader's attention may not be appropriate, depending on the audience. I know too that my perspective changes over time. 

A different photograph appeared with the short quote a bit further below. The only thing I can recall is the appearance of a hypodermic needle in it. In a sense, it's irrelevant except for that fact. Then and now, some other people's reactions to it seem to me "much ado about nothing." I was trying to express the reality of confronting the cold, hard truth of my addiction to alcohol by using the terminology of a heroin addict.

I believe I may have been simultaneously trying to break through the icy stares of social drinkers and my own fragility to face the fact that addiction is addiction is addiction, whatever the substance, its social acceptance or legality. 

Both the language and photo I used were found to be objectionable to quite a few people, including the administrators of at least one Facebook Recovery Group. TRIGGERS they said. I know a little more and think a bit differently today than then, but my initial reaction was that I am an Alcoholic and that MY TRIGGERS are EVERYWHERE, on television, magazine ads, billboards and on many menus of restaurants that serve liquor, to name a few. So what's the big deal?

My perspective has moved outwards since then.

I know that navigating recovery can indeed be very difficult. My intent (as if that mattered) was not to trigger someone else's addiction. If you think a graphic depiction of drug use might trigger you, stop reading now and continue living in your protective bubble until you gain more strength in recovery. Whatever it takes to remain clean and sober, do that.

Enough already. Here is the objectionable passage in question:

*****

"Slow the injection of truth. Insert the needle of truth into my vein, into my brain, slowly. First, hold the needle upright. Squeeze out any air. Leave only the clear, the liquid, the truth. Inject me slowly. I want to watch that crystal clarity enter my vein. The truth, too fast, could only scare me. Inject me slowly, or quickly watch me die."

*****

Well, there you have it. 

Admittedly, it's a little over-the-top, but it captures the feelings I had at that time confronting the absolute fact that I was an alcoholic in utter denial of the reality I was trying to process. Confront. Confront. Confront. My addiction to alcohol was a brutal truth separate from the glamorization of alcohol in our culture. I was an addict, addicted to alcohol, which in many ways is no different than a heroin addict is addicted to using heroin. I chose in this one short expression of my feelings to confront the cold, hard truth of my alcohol abuse. Stopping drinking, staying stopped, learning to deal with it, was truly an internal confrontation. Complete acceptance accrued over time.

Calling myself an alcoholic felt like a deadly admission that rattled me to the core for a long time. I was surprised at the objections of how I had expressed it in the passage above. It was perhaps insensitive on my part, but the world is insensitive, I thought. "Poor me" was in the mix, too. Self-pity, doubt, fear, a volatile mix of emotions.  

Today, after more than 16 years of continuous sobriety, it is still necessary to reflect upon feelings even after they have evolved and are long passed. Odd perhaps, but memories sometimes help me stay grounded and focused on the future.

Dead or alive, people like Marilyn Monroe and the Queen of England are garnering another day sober somewhere, in AA, NA, Group & Individual Therapy, Smart Recovery and more. My hat is off to anyone anywhere who finds another day clean and sober. We, the men and women in recovery, strive daily to right our rudders on our clean and sober ships.

I hope everyone reading this is TRIGGERED to remain on the path of recovery and not revert to old behaviors. And please note, this time, I will not post this remembrance in any media that may find it objectionable. 

Chill. Strive on. I'm next in line for my Covid-19 vaccine, socially-distanced, close, close to acceptance of whatever comes my way. Sober. Today.  

Thanks!

*****

"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."

*****

Passages in quotes are excerpted from my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal  

Find it on Amazon. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

Find 6,000+ Recovery Tweets here: twitter.com/jimanders4