What We Do They Do Not Know

No, we are not in a cult. No, it’s not a secret – our books are sold in the open and there is no password to get into a meeting. Yet there is a difference between us and them. Us, problem drinkers and them, non-drinkers and non-problem drinkers.

Nothing against them. In fact, good for them, in a way. They don’t know the problem we have. Constant temptations. Perpetually lost wars with mind and spirit. Repetitive hangovers, loss of relationship, job, home, self-esteem – and all of that because of compulsive alcohol drinking. They don’t know what the hell that is – I’m happy for them.

However, there is something else they may not know. It’s our coming to our senses and recovery through seeking and obtaining spiritual liberation. They may be in church or in pagan temple, and if so, again, good for them for having that support in their lives. Still, the way many of us, the problem drinkers, came to having support in our fellowship is one of a kind, to be shared by few.

Still, there are things that we do they don’t know, don’t understand, and sometimes don’t want to understand. I hear it from time to time that families and friends of recovered alcoholics don’t understand them anymore. It’s too weird to them. It’s too hard to accept that the change is finally happening to their loved ones, and yet with the lack of drinking they become someone else. Some families and friends don’t seem to be OK with accepting it. “To Wives” chapter was addressed to them. I hope they read it, despite the title that may smell of exclusion.

Things we do and we know are of benefit to us, whether we are understood by those outside our circle or not. Still though, I’m sure Twelve Steps fellowships will welcome them all if they come to realization one day that they have problem with substance abuse similar to ours.

Shake It Baby

baby shakes head side to sideI’ve recently been taking a class and the instructor (who however very skilled and knowledgeable, jumped from topic to topic and here we go, I don’t remember how we got here) talked about shaking baby syndrome. The class I was taking was non-violence crisis intervention, so I think he started with how much strength and time people like us, the support workers, put into dealing with other people we were take care of, and from there the parallel with Shaken Baby Syndrome came through.

SBS is related to the idea that parents would shake their babies too hard to keep them from crying which worked only the opposite way. The point of what the instructor was leading to, and what I’m trying to get to here, is that there is a strategy aimed at the person going through that difficult experience and that it is to stop what they were doing, leave alone the task (a crying baby, if you will) for several minutes and… phone someone.

Life is that kind of thing that it may seem like it is a walk in a park in good weather one day, and it is a shaking crying baby time for the rest of the week. Stress is a constant plague of a modern human and getting out of the grind of the ever-turning wheel may seem impossible. So much work, so many responsibilities, frustrations, temptations, and unmet expectations. We can drown fast in that sea of emotions and information of all kinds, if we don’t pay attention. As the result, perpetual watching out for danger and possibilities may lead to mental and physical exhaustion, and then the spirit would start fading out as well.

What would people do in that situation if we haven’t learned and practiced (and some of us perfected) the habit of talking to others when we need it? Yes, when we need it. So often we ask a person who have flipped big time to almost lose their job, or relapsed on alcohol: “Why didn’t you talk to us?” There are plenty of excuses, and some good ones, but I think the most important reason is that we don’t see ourselves very important to take a break.

When I was in elementary school, we have an exercise in the middle of a writing session. The instructor would ask us to put pens down and stretch our fingers, saying along with that something to the sense of “we’ve been writing for a long time, our fingers are now tired. It’s time to relax before we go back at it.” (Shit, I still remember that?!) I don’t know if they teach something similar in elementary schools these days, but I hope they do. In the adult organizations they have health classes, and it is taught, as it is highly recommended, to take a break in the midst of what people are doing. Leave the desk for several minutes, take a walk around the room, bend forward, stretch legs, have a drink of water, go back to your project. It’s not just about your body – it’s about your focus and about breaking down your stress.

Good theories, and there is good proof too, too good not to apply to reality – and how often do we do it? I only do it when I remember which is many hours into the shift. Still, though, I take that time to stretch. Now how about talking to each other?

We need to do that. We need to put the baby back in the crib for several minutes and let it cry. Because if we are in bad shape, we cannot help the baby, until we are OK. And how are going to be OK? Stretch or talk. Or both. DO IT. Talk. Stretch. Give it a couple minutes. Are you feeling better? Just a little bit? That counts too. Keep doing it.


the image was copied from https://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Baby-Shakes-Head-Side-to-Side.html thanks.

Neutral Affirmation

I am given a wordblood

And I say my first name

And I call myself an alcoholic

After which I speak some more

About myself.

Whether I am in recovery

Or not,

Maybe still struggling through trenches

Of “human versus disease” war,

It is not a negative word.

It is not (or at least shouldn’t be)

Said with self-loathing,

Or sadness,

Or uttered bitterly to point a finger

At someone else to blame for my faults.

It is a neutral affirmation of reality.

Some folks are born with pale skin, not dark

Some others are born female, not male.

I was born pale skinned male,

With birth-attached ill disease

Streaming through my blood,

A condition that plagued me for years

Until its essence was explained to me

And I saw it for what it was,

Not an illusion that I kept alive all that time.

Alcoholic is not a derogatory word that shames.

Neither it is a happy word.

It is a diagnosis that doesn’t discriminate.

It is part of my nature,

That I know now,

And with that I know who I am,

And things I can and no longer can do

If I want to live freely in mind and spirit.


the image was copied from https://www.newscientist.com/article/2191282-weve-discovered-a-new-type-of-blood-vessel-in-our-bones/ thank you

Saved by the Wall

wall2Thanks to Brian for the wall inspiration.

In the grey mist nothing was to be seen, or so it appeared. I ran fast, making jumps here and there. I yelled loudly, they were curses and shouts of joy. Growls were loud to the point that as they left my mouth, my throat hurt. Yet still I did it, because I wanted to express all of my anguish and joy of liberation which I thought I was experiencing. And when I was just about to make it out of the woods, I ran into something. I should’ve known, of course, what it was – I ran into it so many times before. Still somehow, I managed to forget each time. So much good time, so much forgotten in the midst of it. I hated the pain that pierced my head, I hated forgetting, but oh how I hated remembering! It would always appear just when I started to have a real good time. I looked at the wall that mounted above me, and I recalled more and more of the past instances. Resentments, pain, need for the cure, instantaneous relief, blinding intoxication, freedom at the tip of my tongue and all over my brain, and then – hitting the wall and all the self-loathing that came along with it…

No, that is not the wall to symbolize the isolation as in the great Pink Floyd album/movie, although in me past of self-destruction that certainly would come over for a visit and stay for a long time if I’d allow it… and I did.

Each time my mind wanted to party, even if it was a celebration of the day just for me, myself, and I, my body would perform all the necessary rituals, no matter how tired it may have been minutes prior. I’d run to the store to get booze so fast I’d beat an Olympic champion. And then the chug-chug-chug must-do and I was back in business of fun. Colors came back, and the reality would retreat. And since I could never stop if I started, I’d let party keep going. More beating Olympic champions would follow, and oh dear, how bad my stomach was ravaged, while my mind danced not realizing it was kept being raped!

And then would come that time when my spirit would be running in the grey mist of not seeing too clearly anymore and then BAM! I’d hit the wall. I’d be lying there wonder what the hell happened. Most of the time that would happen in the morning after. What a crash! Getting on with the day in “the morning after” was like a world war! And I could never learn from that lesson of which I had thousands.

Lessons! Oh, how well I tried to ignore those! I kept trying to bash my head through the wall. Just kept doing the same thing. Then I decided it would be smart to try and walk around the wall. My mind was looking for the loopholes in the Creation that would allow me out-smart my body. Mostly those attempts were based on the advises from other drinkers. Listening to those, I was rejoiced. The illusion that the grass is greener somewhere out there where we aren’t at yet didn’t want to die. I believed I could still find the way to be happy on my own terms, doing what I wanted, being reckless if they just let me, or dream all day long if life allowed it.

And yet I kept hitting the wall, only these times instead of being blinded by pain and growling helplessly, I’d be wondering aloud “Hey, I ate this time!” or “I was drinking water too!” or “Well, I wasn’t mixing anything!” And no, those attempts to calm down hangovers didn’t work for me. My body simply didn’t want to have anything to do with alcoholic intoxication beyond certain point. Problem was, I couldn’t stop drinking at any point except for brain shut down, or I’d be out of money, or the liquor store was closed.

The wall was a testimony to my being unteachable and lost in denial. Yet at the same time, all these times I failed to see that the wall was also the extremely useful limitation created for the sake of my self-preservation, my body trying to teach me a vital lesson. It was to signify my boundary I believed I wanted to and could cross, but my body and mind won’t allow me to. It worked just as the blackout was not a curse, but just my body shutting down on me so I wouldn’t kill myself with all the truly lethal massive dosage of ethyl spirits.

It is easier to see now that I was spending crazy amounts of money and time to pretty much kill myself each time over the last several years of my drinking “career”, while I was thinking I was having a good time, diving headlong into the illusion of running away from reality for a little while. The wall of my body and mind reactions saved me, and yet I felt I was weak and needed to strengthen it by building a seasoned drinker’s attitude and gut. Silly, but sad.

And that just how my mind and body reacted in the real time. The way my mind was screwed by my own hands during those years is sometimes hard to look back at, so crazy those thoughts and ideations were. I still say in the AA meetings that this recovery fellowship literally was the best thing that ever happened to me. No lie about that. I’ve learned about my limits. I’ve learned how not to run away from life, and I’m still better at it these days then in the past. I became better with living in my skin and accepting responsibilities. And I no longer go too crazy to kill myself and deny it.

Thank you for fourteen years of sobriety!


the image was copied from https://www.reddit.com/r/starcitizen/comments/b3xhua/found_it_the_wall/ thanks.

Axioms

maxresdefaultThere are things you can’t argue about or with. Like arguing with a drunk person, it’s pointless. For an attempt of more practical argument, think school. At school we are taught about axioms, statements about positions of the geometrical figures or related objects that cannot be questioned. Like there is exactly one line incident with any two distinct points, no matter where in space they are positioned. Or, two distinct lines intersect in exactly one point. Proving it otherwise will get you failing. (www.Web.Mnstate.edu)

Now here’s another axiom that I’ve found on the wall at a chiro/massage centre: “Every decision you make moves you either toward wellness or towards disease.”

It’s not easy to come up with words…after you lift your jaw, dropped on the subject of astounding sense of that statement…and comment on it, is it? But I will try.

Pondering this to me means looking at your life as some sort of weird lineage, tracking down every behavior and every action you’ve expressed and taken. Which would be very mind-breaking and possibly even senseless, certainly not too good for the mind balance. Maybe you’d try to dissect the memory and look at some pivotal events, but not all of them! And those that would matter most – hey, put them on the Step Four list. They belong there.

After your resentments and defects of character list is complete and is spoken of aloud in the presence of another person, under the watchful eye of the Higher Power of your own understanding, you get on with doing the Steps and get on with your life, right? And that’s when you keep looking forward and you think that you got to live better and healthier. But it’s hard. Life is rarely a smooth ride of a boat down the lake on a cloudless day. Things you want to do mess with things you need to do, and the things that are good for you may start looking like annoying ditches on the road you go through that you feel you are compelled to drive around.

If you consider yourself the captain of your fate, no one can tell you how to sail your ship, but deep inside you know. If you were paying attention during studying your Steps, you now know that in the mind everything is interconnected, just like in the body. Bad choices and no choices, they all matter and one day shit will catch up with you, just like right choices will bear fruits that will nourish you. And every decision you make will move you toward either negativity or the positive life in all of its systems and revelations, just as toward disease or wellness.


the image was copied from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJVKaGqiKoE thanks.

In Conscious Denial of Impertinence

interconnected+vortexEither everything is important

Or nothing.

In recovery and sober living

Everything is pertinent.

It’s a living organism of body, mind and spirit

Like a web of Gaya

Spreading through all that dares to breathe

Valknut of life streams of energies

And roads to all living powers.

 

Wars of emotions in us

Are just like the nerves and sinew-

All connected,

Interdependent.

Cohesion of thought and muscle work

As life events occur around us

We are influenced hundred times faster

Than we will ever know

So our behaviors

Are of fragile and vulnerable children

Relearning how to walk, speak, and connect to the world around.


the image was copied from http://www.essenceandmuse.com/musings/2016/11/25/week-6-8-interconnected. thank you.

Yeah, seriously

YellowtaillogoI saw this advertising on the bus that made feel rather uncomfortable.

“We take wine seriously, so you don’t have to.” © Yellow Tail

So… what’s going on here? Why am I taking offence to this? Am I one of those in the legion of the Upset who can’t breathe without pointing something out and complaining about it? Or is there something here worth thinking of?

I think that thinking is required. Ha.

First of all, it is a clever advert and I got to give them an “A” for that. There’s been quite a bit of smart ads around lately that either make me chuckle or admit that even though I don’t care or don’t agree with what was advertised, it is still smart. Yellow Tail, the company selling wine from Australia for over half a century, or whoever is writing down their ad campaign, got their heads together.

Secondly, though, there is a problem too. Tell me, what happens when someone tell you “Let me handle this, so you don’t have to”? Isn’t that how the world powers became the ones who have the power and the majority were left screwed? Isn’t that how we ended up with the banks running the globe? They still talk it: “Let us handle this for you.”

And thirdly, about that word “seriously.” Somebody doesn’t want you to take your wine seriously. Think about it. Someone you don’t know, knows nothing about you (but wants your money to buy a fun looking bottle) tells you that you don’t need to take your (drinking) seriously. This ad was on the bus. Who takes the bus and can’t yet afford cars? I mean, besides the seniors and low-income adults? Right, kids. And freshman students. So, do you think there may be some kind of an issue with the bright yellow ad basically throwing itself in the eyes of a kid/young student on the bus, an ad saying you don’t have to take your wine (drinking, responsibility around alcohol) seriously?

OK, enough about the kids. How many adults do we have out there in the world who don’t take their behavior involving alcohol seriously? Do we need more? Well, we keep attracting them into the wrong thinking right now. It gives us some strange ideas. No, not thinking about the ad’s pros and cons. More like, let’s just let it rip, who cares…

Am I exaggerating?


the image was copied from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Tail_(wine) and mutilated by me. thanks.