31 March 2022

A WORD THAT'S WRIT

 


"A WORD THAT'S WRIT

IS DOUBLY FIT,"

I SAY. 

"READ IT ONCE

AND THEN AGAIN

ON ANY OTHER DAY."

*****

#Enjoy ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

&

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery. It is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.

7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 

28 March 2022

LIVING SOBER/AGING SOBER/DYING CLEAN & SOBER

 



Aging Sober & Dying Clean & Sober may not seem like the most optimistic of topics to choose to write about, but I am sure of this one thing: Confronting my own mortality sober will help to increase the quality of my Living Clean & Sober.

When I was in my early twenties, way before my catastrophic downward slide, I already knew I was an alcoholic. At that time, I considered alcohol and other drugs as sources for inspiration. The Tragic Hero had to have a flaw, an Achilles heel, didn't he? Mine would be Alcohol with a Capital A, a source of inspiration and it would surely cause my Heroic Demise.

In my most dramatic fabrication at that time, I couldn't imagine living beyond 40 years of age. Surely, I would die before then. Likely every Addict at some point or another has surrendered to their Addiction. Addiction becomes accepted as a fact of life. That admission and acceptance, at least in my case, were actually forms of denial. NOT Denial of my Alcoholism and Substance Use & Abuse, rather Denial of the Possibility of Living beyond Addiction's Spell in that Unknown Land called Living Sober. I had to learn how to adapt to a new and vibrant life I knew nothing about. I would discover living in this new way and celebrate it. Somehow, I resolved to peer beyond the horizon toward future possibilities.

Imagined pain was inspirational, theoretically, way back when, until the real pains of living with and longing for my substances escalated my brain's tolerance for increasing dosages. And so, the cookies crumbled. The actual decade of my 40's surpassed the best delusional imaginings of my twenties. Addiction seemed to be the cause and cure like venom and anti-venom. I only thought that I could endure under addiction's tightening grip. Numbed, losing more, wanting more. It would seem to comfort as it killed.

Intolerable loss. 

The hospitals, detoxes, rehabs, intravenous drips, the jobs lost, the relationships destroyed, the repeated periods of homelessness. My 4th decade of living was, unknowingly, death on the installment plan. If I had died prior to or while being hospitalized, surely my death could have been called suicide by some. "You're drinking yourself to death" (or some other such proclamation) was to be ignored. "They don't understand" was my unspoken thought as I lay trapped in that other world. Total torment, a life impoverished by addiction slowly took everything else away until there was nothing left of me, barely a beep on a monitor. My life seemed to be coming to a close like a cigarette being slowly extinguished. 

Numbed by addiction. 

Slowly recovery somehow filled my lungs and in recovery, life itself would take my breath away, in the positive sense, each sober breath strengthening my resolve. 

In Recovery, I would survive Pneumonia, Cancer and a full menu of other physical and psychological hurdles. "Past is prologue," as Shakespeare so well expressed. No matter your interpretation, one thing is certain: There will be a final curtain. All of us, mere mortals. Addiction broke me and truly, my recovery has been about becoming unbroken. No half measures. I am committed to my recovery, to those before me and to those yet to come. Today is all there is and in recovery today is enough.

Adapt. 

As Charles Darwin has said and as I would slowly learn, "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change."

Adapt or die.

So, I did, do and will adapt to Recovery as I once adapted to Addiction. 

Sober. 

Grit. 

Connection.

Aging Sober & Dying Sober are the inevitable results of Living Sober. Aging is unstoppable. Dying is another sober day lived fully. 

Addiction is Suicide on the Installment Plan.

Adapt or die. 

Recovery is Possible, Doable, Irreplaceable.

Life is good. 

Sober.

Get used to it. 

Strive on!

*****

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.

7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 

25 March 2022

I DID NOT KNOW THE SHOE WOULD DROP

 


I did not know the shoe would drop,

The Glass Would Break,

My Heart Would Stop.

I did not know what I could not know, 

That Sobriety Fit to a Tee.

The me inside,

inside inside,

that the hole inside

could become Whole.

Now I know, I know, 

I Grow.

*****

Not in either book. Regardless, #Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.

7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 

17 March 2022

AFFIRMATION ARISEN FROM DESPAIR: Year One & Two: Clean & Sober (skip to) Year 16: Becoming Unbroken

 

(huffpost.com)

Right off the bat, here's what you will find here: I am in the process of moving (likely to a Senior Housing Authority location or a Sober House) and in preparation, my Spring Cleaning has unearthed handwritten notes from my First and Second Year of Continuous Sobriety. What is below is some of that. "recollected in tranquility," and a Facebook post from my 16th year of sobriety, June 18th of 2020. all of which is condensed and annotated here. 

YEAR ONE (All of these notes from my first two years sober are after my initial 8 years of relapse and were crib sheets for intended speeches I never delivered): 

"When I drink, the only world there is is alcohol."

"After 50,000 drinks, living got in the way of my drinking," 

This was to have been followed by a lengthy description of my Four (4) Near-Death Experiences: 

1) A roommate who attempted suicide, survived, and then, months later, attempted to kill me. 

2) A year or two later, a random thug followed me home after a drinking binge and proceeded to rob me. That resulted in a lengthy hospitalization and enough teeth knocked out of me by him that I ended up, prematurely, with a set of false teeth. 

3) Suddenly, I found a knife at my throat in the hands of my then-landlord's ex-husband. I had exposed him in possession of cop-killer bullets while he was out on parole. 

4) You guessed it; My Fourth (Almost) Killer was Alcohol. 

Naturally, and very likely, none of this would have happened had I been Clean and Sober this entire time. 

I then would go on in my imagined speech to list my work history as a waiter, bartender, librarian, advertising executive and my extensive radio and TV commercial work. All that fades in importance to a single day Clean and Sober by me, by you, by anyone. Then, Now and Truly.

"The drunk I was will drink again." I have heard this expression repeatedly in the Rooms of Recovery. It infers that if "nothing changes, nothing changes," again, heard in the Rooms, sometimes followed by "What do I have to change?" And the answer, of course is "Everything!"

For me, it came down to moving from being a Victim in my Addiction (with all its attendant Insanities) to becoming Responsible and Relatively Sane in my Recovery. My favorite line from this whole first year speech (which I never delivered despite a dozen pages of notes) is this one: Addiction is "a blind man descending a spiral staircase leading to nowhere." 

This undelivered speech ended with the now obvious: "In Recovery, life is possible."

YEAR TWO (Again, my thoroughly prepared crib sheets were discarded before I did finally get up to share before my AA Group): 

My favorite part of all of this Year Two Speech Preparation is how it was to have started: "An avalanche and then forgetful snow. This is how I would die. Death by alcohol. It would comfort as it killed." It sounded great and expressed how I felt repeatedly coming to in the hospital from near-death alcohol poisoning. Another favorite line, which until now I had completely forgotten, is this one: 

"Alcoholism is a war and we've all been wounded in action." This was to have been followed with comparisons to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

And then this, a Quote from AA's Big Book: "There inevitably ran some insanely trivial excuse for taking the first drink... our justification for a spree was insanely insufficient in the light of what always happened." 

I DON'T EVEN VAGUELY REMEMBER THIS PART: I had compiled a list of over forty (40) examples of Denial found in the Big Book, not limited to Blaming Others, Rationalizing, Minimizing, Hostility and Anger. Denial is such a big Topic for me, even today. Likely I'll keep this copy of forty (40) examples of Denial for another day and a few more years. 

Memory is a Gift of Recovery that I was robbed of by my near daily Blackout Drinking way back when!

I CLEARLY DO REMEMBER THIS FUNNY PART FROM YEAR TWO: In the Big Book's Chapter "Crossing the River of Denial" on page 333. when confronted with her alcoholism, the writer retorts that she could not possibly be an alcoholic because "I used ice cubes, for God's sake" [As any self-respecting social drinker can tell you, alcoholics DO NOT USE ICE CUBES!] followed by this Classic Line from the Big Book's "Flooded with Feeling" Chapter: "I sometimes drove a car when I was too drunk to walk."

[Not included in my Year Two Speech Preparations, but relevant to its content here, is this short Verse]:

"Denial"

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.

OMG, YEAR TWO EVEN HAD A THESIS: If you are not reaching out for help and you are not reaching out to help, then you are in Denial. THEREFORE: If you are not active in your Recovery, you are headed towards Relapse. 

JEEZ, I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD IT IN ME: Here's a little gem I wrote in Gratitude for my AA Sponsor, Mac. I wrote: "Wisdom is Kindness Intelligently Expressed." He inspired that. He embodied that.

Here's where I skip ahead to YEAR SIXTEEN (Nothing preserved in my memory or on paper of the intervening fourteen (14) years, Sober Anniversary-Wise, that is. The following is Condensed from a Facebook Post commemorating my 16th year of Continuous Sobriety. 

1) What about Covid-19, the protests of racial injustice sparked by George Floyd's death and the staggering unemployment? What if I were newly sober today, confronted with greater unpredictability than I've seen in my lifetime? Would I be able to accumulate 16 years of sobriety under these conditions?

Today, 16 years of sobriety has given me a certain degree of fortitude and I stand on solid ground. 16 years and one more day, I think I can do, but were this my first day sober, in the world as it is, might likely be a bridge too far.
And a drink, too close.
Hope too much to even hope for.
WRONG! 

"Stinkin' Thinkin'" can swallow up nearly anyone.

Enough of me looking back into a well of self-pity (I almost fell in there, if you didn't notice!). 

I did it. Under any conditions, including these, you too can do this and I could do this again. Each day, we all do it again. Every day, we all need help, including me. Please, include me. I am not immune. 16 years and a day, a day, another day. Each and All.

2) I need my Peeps.
It took me around 5 years to admit to myself that Social Connection is what brought me back to the Human Race. I began to understand that my most profound inspirations were offshoots of my human experience, refined in isolation, perhaps, but learned and experienced in real time at moments of Human Connection (including Science, Literature, Music, Art and all the Humanities).

3) A drink is the most disturbing company I have ever kept.

4) I have crossed the threshold of my 16th year.

THERE YOU HAVE IT, ONE, TWO (skip to), 16. 

Stay tuned. 

My 18th Year of Sobriety is on June 18th. How appropriate. Finding the balance between Seeking Attention and Paying Attention is being mulled over in my mind at this moment. 

Thank you. You haven't heard the last of me. And I, of you, I hope. 

Another day approaches.

Strive on!

*****

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.

7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 

"THE MOTH DON'T CARE IF THE FLAME IS REAL" - Aimee Mann

 


"By the time I had a reason to stop drinking, reason no longer had anything to do with it." - All Drinking Aside

Truly, Addiction is an unreal and insane world. Yet it is very, very real and all around us. It was and sometimes still is difficult to stop myself from Circling the Flame. Relapse can be a mindless reflex action. I know. Believe me, I know. 
It takes Balls to remain sober. Not Moth Balls ("We are not a Glum Lot." - an AA expression)!!!
I am a Butterfly in Recovery. A little sense of humor can go a long way.
Strive on my Fellow Sojourners. 
Life is Short. Sweet. I want to live it Sober!
*****

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.

7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 


 

11 March 2022

EXCUSES TO GET HIGH: One is ONE Too Many & 1,000 is Just Plain Ridiculous!

(newscientist.com)

"My Fair Lady" vs "My Unfair Addiction":

"The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plain" vs "My Brain is Sprained and Going Down the Drain." 

We can make Jokes All Day. And we can make Excuses for Picking Up a Drink or Drug All Night and Day. But there's nothing funny going on here. Nothing.

I have known far too many people who are no longer with us. Instant Overdose Deaths or Slow-Agonizing Deaths. Or anywhere, everywhere in between. The consequences always seem to exceed the imagination. Your Choice.

Geez? I get to choose? (Every time I thought I had a choice to start and stop, one drink, one drug, the train switched tracks, the lights went out & I could not stop, even when I wanted to. Somehow another drink or drug would find a way. And all downhill from there.)

There is Choice in Recovery. There is Life in Recovery. Nowhere Else. Anywhere else IS nowhere. 

Why me? Why can't I drink or drug? Addiction is so Unfair. Look, I have relapsed before and lived to tell. I can't deal with sobriety, reality, whatever you want to call it right now. I want to get high now. Just this once. Just tonight. I'll start working on Recovery tomorrow.

Tomorrow never comes. We all know that. Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry. How many times have you said it? How many promises have you made? And broken? And made again? How many lies? Apartments? Jobs? Lovers? 

"I'm not hurting anyone but myself." Yes, I've told this and other lies to myself (and others) countless times.

My younger sister blew her brains out with a shotgun, pulling the trigger with her toes ("Sometimes suicide's not suicide at all, it's addiction having the last word."). And so it goes. And so it went. And so she died.

How rude! I thought we were going to make light of all of this? I can't deal with this now. Later. Soon. Not now.

Later & Soon become Never & Dead. The Rain is Not in Spain. 

I will not have it! You don't know me. Nobody knows me better than myself. I will Control the Flow of Substance to My Brain. I can. I will. Just a little. Just once. I am Strong. I won't fail this time. Not this time. My Brain will not go down the drain.

You've said this all before. You've said that all before.

No more promises, excuses, lies. All said and thought and felt before. And wrong before. Again, again, again before.

Get help. 

There is a whole, large world of people in long-term recovery. It is not easy, but help is available. Recovery is doable. Others have done it. You can do this. Remember: The consequences are as progressive as the addiction is long.

Your brain is sprained. Don't let it down the drain.

Refrain. Refrain. Refrain. 

*****

This post is in neither of my books. But don't let that stop you.

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.

7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 



09 March 2022

A SECOND CHAIN OF ADDICTION BROKEN (and Celebrated)

(Bulgarian Salt Mine Smoker)

The consequences of addiction lead down many paths that in recovery we struggle to conquer. 
After 8 years of being on the wagon, off the wagon and back on again, I finally had my last and final drink. Four years after that, four years into what is now my 17th year of continuous recovery, I broke the second chain of my past addictions: 
I QUIT SMOKING!
There are two relevant things I wish to express here:
1) Change your perspective and it will change your life.
2) Become responsible for the inevitable consequences which arrive long your addictive behaviors no longer control your life.
One of the simplest and most life-changing things I ever read was folded countless times into the tiny pamphlet that accompanied the Quit Smoking Patches I used to help me taper off my addiction to nicotine. Prior to this, for my 8 years of on again, off again sobriety, I had begun to think of myself as The Relapse King. 
CUT TO THE CHASE: That little pamphlet, paraphrased here, said this "Don't think of yourself as a smoker who is trying to quit. Think of yourself as a former smoker."
BAM! I had a little epiphany of sorts. I shouldn't have thought of myself as The Relapse King. I should have thought of myself as a former drinker seeking long-term recovery. That tiny leaflet changed my perspective on quitting smoking (and drinking) from the get-go.
CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE and you will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
More than 8 years after I quit smoking, I was diagnosed with Cancer, an unintended and almost inevitable consequence of 42 years of smoking two or more packs of cigarettes a day.
Today, in Recovery, I am becoming Responsible for Whatever Else Hits the Fan from my long, dark and inglorious past.
4 years this March since my Cancer Diagnosis (As of today, I remain cancer-free). 
13 years this week since my last cigarette.
After an earthquake, the aftershock tremors may go on indefinitely.
Today, I celebrate this breaking of the second chain of addiction.
I was a chain smoker. That chain has now been broken.
I have not let Cancer break me. I am responsible for my Cancer recovery.
My perspective has changed and will continue changing.
Life is good.

*****

This post is in neither of my books. But don't let that stop you.

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.

7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 

[This photo of a Bulgarian Salt Mine Smoker is from an unremembered source, but likely National Geographics]




 

07 March 2022

I am AN IMPOSTER. Less than Others Think, A FAKE. I don't Deserve, Believe, Feel...

 

(might-could.com)

Technically, IMPOSTER SYNDROME is "a collection of feelings of inadequacy that persist despite evident success." 
So beaten down by addiction and others' perception of me when I was in addiction's trenches, the feelings occasionally resurface in the present, and I can almost hear the voices saying: "A Leopard Never Changes Its Spots, once a Drunk, always a Drunk, You're Not Welcome Here, You're an Addict, You're a Fake. You're a Phony. You're a Failure." On and on. Perhaps you've heard these voices inside of you, echoes from your drunken and addicted past. 
Feelings of worthlessness in addiction live long after recovery has been found.
I DESERVE NO BETTER. That feeling can be almost overwhelming at times. Addiction chipped away at my self-respect. I became the dust on the Addiction Sculptor's floor, worthless and to be discarded.
Recovery is slow to change the feelings brought on by my thirty (30) YEARS! in Addiction's Womb. When I emerged into the clean and sober light and a life in recovery, the emptiness I felt in my addiction is sometimes more than merely remembered: The feelings are relived in my sober present and cannot be soon released. In Recovery, we become much more than our storied past, but feelings and thoughts linger, naturally. They are a part of who we were. We are not that now. We are becoming more than THEN.
The War goes on in our heads long after the last battle has been fought and all the paraphernalia has left our hands.
We Are Better. We Are Becoming Unbroken. We are Worthy of our Suffering. The Darkness of our Experiences has left us. We are that but we are MORE than that. 
Have we truly surrendered to recovery? We must. We are worthy. It will time take time for us. Courage, Shared Courage.
Let us do this. Help me do this for myself. Let me help you. It is not easy, but it is and will be done.
I am not an IMPOSTER. I am not Less Than. I do Deserve. I do Believe. I do Feel.
I am. You are. He is. She is. We are... 

WORTHY.

*****

This post is in neither of my books. But don't let that stop you.

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.

7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 



05 March 2022

Give Thanks for RECOVERY'S ENIGMA: Anyone can make it, yet many don't.

All of us, together and separately, have said of others and of ourselves, that anyone can make it. But in our hearts, we doubt we can. At times each of us has doubted, been filled with doubt. Because we know, too well we know, that many can't. 

All we are left with, sometimes, is hope and puzzlement: Recovery's Enigma.

(englishlive.ef.com)

A certain faith and an uncertain doubt are intertwined and from it a fabric both coarse and fine is woven.

So much of life a mystery and difficult and sometimes impossible to understand. Yet in moments distant and too close to us, at times we understand the very fabric of our lives and others can be torn apart.

We must work together to repair the damaged sail when the storm has calmed, and we have taken measure of our losses and our gains. A thousand generations have brought us all this far. And by now we have learned that beyond the far horizon, soon another day will appear. We do our best to keep this ship in good repair, even knowing every day a multitude will die and a birth of plentitude will provide new menders who will tend to right our course.

Recovery's Enigma, that anyone can make it, yet many don't, becomes a good thing, not because in itself that it is good, but in our knowing we can make it right. Through learned strength and shared courage, we continue to long, endure our struggles and to make life good. Move on. Move forward.

I don't know why I awoke in the middle of the night and felt compelled to write this. Somehow, the far horizon had become today, half a thousand years behind us and untold futures lie ahead. 

I won't drink to that, to all of this, but I will pause.

Give thanks, be kind. There are many storms ahead. This is but one day for thanksgiving, with many more ahead. Give thanks. I'm going back to bed. 

*****

This post is in neither of my books. But don't let that stop you.

#Enjoy my first book, the Autobiographical Fiction titled ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal. Find it on Amazon. Book it here:  http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

My NEW, Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, is also on Amazon and may be found here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books 

03 March 2022

"Jim's Not Drinking: He Must Be Dying of AIDS" [SPOILER ALERT: Dying of Drinking]


(decurions25.rssing.com)

RUMORS CAN BE AS CONTAGIOUS AS ANY DISEASE.

I mostly thought of myself as the solitary drunk at the end of the bar that nobody much noticed.
I went from Top Shelf Liquor at the Clubs to No Name Vodka in plastic bottles at home and alone.

"No one could believe that I had stopped drinking when I did finally stop. Of course, I couldn't have known this, because for the first few months I had severed all connections with the 'Bar Scene.' In retrospect, they must have guessed that something catastrophic had happened to me. This was borne out much later when after a sustained period of sobriety, I entered a bar just off the Boardwalk on South Carolina Avenue called Reflections, one block from Resorts International, Atlantic City's first casino.
An old drinking buddy and pool player, Donald, came up to me there and asked me how my 'prescription regimen' was going. I must have had a fairly perplexed look on my face, because, to tell the truth, I had not an idea in the world what he was talking about. It turned out that since I had suddenly stopped showing up to take part in the local bar scene, the rumor mill wrongly deduced that since I had been such a hard partier (and every other euphemism for drinking that ever existed), and that I had quit drinking, I must have AIDS.
I guess that when you are confronted by a bar crowd whose regulars are fully in denial of their own alcoholism, it shouldn't be surprising that they would have to concoct some outside reason for anyone quitting drinking. After all, who in their right mind would quit drinking for drinking's sake? Wouldn't that be insane? 'Cunning, baffling and powerful' is how the rooms of recovery describe the insanity of alcohol. How odd that the reason for picking up the next drink is rarely for the simple 'I am an alcoholic.' There are always reasons, people, places, things."
I guess I had become so adept at holding my liquor and so often appearing to be loving the Drinking Life that no one could know the pain the addiction was causing me hidden from the public's view and the way the progression of the disease had sped up inside of me.
Truly, I was beyond QUIT OR DIE. That thought never occurred to me.
I would have continued drinking each and every time I hit bottom, but for emergency rooms strapping me down after being dumped off by ambulances. 
The Bar Crowd never got to see all that hot mess happening.
They were right about one thing though; I did stop drinking because I was dying. 
But I wasn't dying of AIDS.
I was dying of drinking.
*****
The three paragraphs 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  
You might also #enjoy my NEW & second book, the Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery, to be found on Amazon here: https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 
Both books are available in Print and Kindle editions.
7,200+ Recovery Tweets here: https://twitter.com/jimanders4

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books