Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Days are Just Packed

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Day 253

The leaves are falling like multicolored raindrops, pumpkins are perched on porches, and that candy-corn crap that tastes like chalk is on sale; all telltale signs of October, yet I woke up this morning having no idea what month we’re in.  I mean I really had to think, which was initially unsettling.  Aren’t I supposed to be restoring my sanity, not losing it?

It turns out there is a simple explanation; time flies.  What a relief, I’m not crazy…okay I am a little crazy, but this sensation is normal; it’s just something I have not experienced in a very long time.  My life is full again and it’s moving faster than that starship in Star Wars.  I wish I had an ewok as a pet…Anyway…

Time in early-early sobriety moved slower than a three-toed sloth, probably because I was in so much pain; every step was excruciating, and I fought practically every inch of the way.  I wish someone had told me sooner that alcoholism is 90% thinking and 10% drinking; maybe it would’ve made those days easier.  Probably not. Fighting is inevitably painful and drawn-out whether it be against time, people, or Alcoholics Anonymous.

I have documented almost everyday of sobriety since my first AA meeting, and sometimes when I feel like I’m the same person who walked through the doors 253 days ago; all I have to do is scroll up.   Entries in the beginning had a common thread of agonizing resistance, and skepticism that almost took me out one hundred times.

Maybe I read too much Carl Sagon as an undergraduate, but I wanted to question everything about this program.  I wanted answers to the reasoning behind all steps and suggestions.  I wanted to debunk the theory of AA.  This skepticism, coupled with a yearning to bolt back to California made life drag on for a while.

By the grace of my Higher Power, I have stayed long enough to accept what I do not understand.  Acceptance has allowed me to let go; letting go let me surrender.  The moment I stop resisting the pain starts subsiding.  I’ve learned in the rooms that to surrender literally means to go to the winning side; surrender is what has saved my sobriety,  it’s given me a life so full I can barely keep up, and an awareness of what I need to keep going.

Time is flying because I have willingness to be a better person tomorrow than I was today.  The days are packed because I have accepted that I don’t know much, and there’s a lot more to learn.  Today, for example, I have learned that we are in the month of October, which means I must accept that I am approaching my first sober Halloween.  Weee.  Maybe I’ll dress up as Bill Wilson.

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Well This is New…

Day 251

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I haven’t had time to write and it’s been stressing me out; then again, for the first time in my life I feel like an adult.  I found myself yelling in enthusiasm last night “I LOVE sobriety!!!”  Shortly after, I fell asleep sitting up in bed with amy laptop open and lights still on.  Maybe I skipped adulthood and moved straight into elderly-hood.  Totally okay with both.  

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You’re sick? Here, Prison Should Help

behind bars

My friend’s little brother is struggling with opiate addiction. Actually, he’s not little anymore; he’s 22 years old and has a good 5” on me.  Regardless, I’ve known him since he’s had chubby cheeks and temper tantrums; therefore I reserve the right to forever see him as a little brother.

The last time I saw “little brother,” was about a month ago; he was strung out and had the glazed over hollowness in his eyes that we all know.  My heart hurt for my friend and her family and for little brother’s future or lack there of.  I think the most frustrating part about being in this program is “getting it,” and seeing someone else missing “it.”

After seeing him that day I went home and expressed my troubled thoughts and feelings of helplessness to someone who was familiar with the situation.

“What happened?”  My confidant asked with concernment, referring to little brother’s reality, “he was such a good kid.”

He was such a good kid.  This notion makes me want to scream and yell and throw big books around, because the professed solicitude is misplaced.  The tragedy is not that he was such a good kid, it’s that he IS such a good kid, but the need for drugs has taken over his want to live.  I feel like when many people witness the disease taking over, they preemptively decide it’s the end.

There seems to be an understanding among those who don’t understand that once a fuck-up, always a fuck up, and you chose to be a fuck up.  You got an addiction, you fucked up.  What these people don’t see is that the “fuck up” is still a good person; the “good kid” is still inside, and what the kid needs is help, not judgment from society with an arms up, “see ya.”

When I voiced my despair over little brother, it didn’t matter to my confidant that he has a kind smile and a genuine laugh with a big heart.  To someone who doesn’t understand, those characteristics are engulfed by shameful addiction that probably could have been controlled if they had tried a little harder.

I read the St. Francis prayer every morning when I get out of bed to counteract whatever selfish thoughts are already brewing. The portion of the prayer that asks  “I may not so much seek to be understood as to understand,” rings relevant in this situation, but despite St. Francis, I’m am still wanting to be understood as a representative of the fucked up population.  What I’ve written here is a result of over-sensitivity, justified anger, and a self-centered demand for the world to rethink their stigma against addicts and alcoholics. All the same, I believe these wishes are warranted.

Of the 2.3 million inmates in the US, more than half have a history of substance abuse and addiction, and a large percentage of those million landed themselves in prison because of desperate busted attempts to feed their habit.  The punishment of people already being punished by a disease is fueled by convictions that drug users and alcohol abusers are good people gone bad; they are undeniably lost causes.

It doesn’t take addiction for a human to lose his or her way; everyone gets lost sometimes.  But those who don’t lose themselves in a bottle or baggie have a better chance of betterment, and why shouldn’t we all?  Help is available but not behind bars. Little brother IS a good kid and not was. Anyone’s genuine smile can be restored, but not if people decide for the sick that it’s already the end.

Day 247

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Woe is me

I’ve been lamenting the loss of my old life all day, and I don’t wear mourning well.  I’m sure my appearance was almost as bad as my mental state this afternoon; bloodshot eyes from no sleep, sweaty and frumpy from a panic attack at work, and either on the brink of tears or seconds away from murder.

All the ways in which life is no fair have been accumulating in my head and I was fully prepared to embellish the crap out of them right here.  The thought of never again having a Thanksgiving dedicated to beer and football sent me even further into a “woe is I” orbit.

The pity party came to an abrupt end sometime about 5 minutes ago.  Writing has this crazy way of giving me clarity, and the clarity still sucks, but it brings me back down (or up?) to ground zero.

Rationale has informed me that it’s not that I can never drink…it’s that I can never drink safely.  I’ve heard of alcoholics harnessing their obsessions to drink like a normal person at least for a little while, but there’s no white knuckling it forever; ultimately the result is some variation of a painful, destructive, long or short shitty life.

When the present isn’t all peaches and cream, glorifying to the past is a knee-jerk reaction.  It was so much better then!  When I had wine!  And football!  And that little Italian restaurant!!

The reality is that the last time I had dinner at that Italian restaurant it wasn’t the food or company I was happy about; it was the bag of blow in my pocket I wasn’t going to share.  While everyone waited for the check to come I was in the bathroom taking key bumps.  This was in January, when I had a one-way ticket to Central America.  It’s a good thing I didn’t follow through with that plan…I hear the cocaine there is terrible.  Yikes.

There was nothing glorioius about Thanksgiving last year. I was still on the pot farm, and made plans to drive five hours south to spend the holiday with close friends who felt like family.  I would have made it, too, if the night before I hadn’t been guzzling three bottles of wine with a married-ish total-mistake-man.  Thanks to my impeccable decision-making, I spent the day puking in a house on the mountain with no electricity, no furniture, and nobody; there was no football and no beer.

At the first pot farm I lived on in 2010, for Thanksgiving my “co-worker’s,” and I spent $500 on food which I didn’t even end up eating because we started blowing lines too early.  Poor time management.

Two years later, as I puked my brains out by myself in an empty cabin one pot farm over, I reflected on that first Thanksgiving, (again, looking to the past), and thought how awesome that year had been.  It never struck me that things were getting progressively worse, or that that first year wasn’t as joyous as I had it written in my memory.  I have no idea what I just wrote.

Like I said, I don’t wear mourning well.

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But Why is the Good Mood Gone?

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I wrote this last night…not exactly my most inspirational shit.

Day 242

I want to live in a world where if I wake up in a good mood, I have the right to retain that positive condition for the duration of my day.  Let’s take this morning, for example; woke up thrilled to be alive.  Before the day even started there was prayer, meditation; I almost skipped out of the house leaving flower petals in my path, like a friggin Disney princess.

Fast forward to tonight.  Here I am sitting at my kitchen table positively apoplectic at nothing and everything, with a ‘tude that’ll probably land me on Isolation Island.  Isolation Island is the place I refer to when I shut down.  Kind of like the government, only they’ll be bullheaded idiots forever.  Anyway…. I digress.  Back to hating myself and everyone involved.

For me nothing is more annoying than someone trying to take my bad mood away–sounds childish, I know, but maybe isolating myself just to feel the shittiness of a situation is what helps most. I feel an extreme loathing toward AA right now, and AA is always talking about feeling feelings, and this is what I’m feeling.  AA is also always talking about bullshit that makes me want to bang my head against every door of the church on my way out, which I came close to doing this evening.

The topic for discussion was willingness.  What a stupid fucking topic.  I wanted to share and say to the leader,

“Hey lady, our asses are glued to these foldout chairs aren’t they?  These moronic made chairs that are physically impossible to sit comfortably on?  If we weren’t willing, why else would we subject ourselves to this torture chamber?  And why are you talking to a room of willing people about willingness?  Why not go to a bar, find the alcoholics still drinking, and talk to those messes about getting their shit together.”  The speaker is someone I actually respect so I held my tongue.

When the discussion closed I bolted down the staircase before the ceremonial recitation of the Lord’s Prayer.  I didn’t put my chair away, either, I wonder if that’s double whammy AA blasphemy.  To be on the safe side I apologized to my HP as I power-walked through the parking lot.

I’m not sure at what point today or tonight my good mood started checking out but I can pinpoint where it was totally annihilated.   It wasn’t when I had to shell out $660 to a tax collector agency; (for a drunk accident last year, I tripped over a boat…different story), it wasn’t the stupid fucking topic, it was a casual drive through town that has sent me over the edge.

There’s a little Italian restaurant near my house where my friends and I would wine and dine every once in a while.  I’ve passed this place over 100 times since I got sober and it’s never made my heart hurt or my anger flare like it has tonight, and it was triggered by two complete strangers and some cancer sticks.

My mind was staring blankly at the red light in front of me, numbing out from the nonsensicalness of the meeting, and the restaurant was to my right.  Two men walked outside, lighting up cigarettes.  That’s all it took.  I am suddenly so fucking angry at my sobriety.

Cravings pass–they turn me into a ballistic fire breathing human dragon, but they pass.   This isn’t about not being able to drink in the moment; it’s about not being able to drink ever.   It’s feeling like I’m missing out on parts of life because of my sobriety; those parts I miss now and I’ll probably miss always.  It is infuriating and depressing all at once.  Seeing those men outside the restaurant has brought the consequences of sobriety to the forefront, because I used to stand outside that restaurant, with cigarettes, and friends, and have nights to get ready for.  I don’t feel like I’ve been freed from a disease, I feel like I’ve been sentenced to sober hell.  I do dramatic really well.

I don’t care how ridiculous it is that I miss smoking cigarettes outside a fancy restaurant, or how “first world” problematic it sounds.  Trust me I know the pettiness of these “issues” in the grand scheme things, but that recognition doesn’t make my reality any less painful.  I am officially in full fledge everything-is-about-me mode.

Blah blah blah, ego ego ego, insert AA jargon here.  Still not listening.

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