I Have a Sponsor … Woohoo

Well…after waiting and taking my time a bit on being comfortable with someone I finally met with and hooked up with a sponsor.  Anxious to chat regularly with him and work the steps with him. 

Still chugging along (not best term I guess) and doing well.  1 month coin and feeling healthy and confident.  But not comfortable lol. I won’t let that feeling creep in. I’m fucked when it does. Doing daily meetings and almost without missing and I realize that is what keeps me going with this. That daily reminder is needed every day and it starts my day the way it needs to start. Looking back on 2 years ago that was where I failed. Got confident and feeling like I have everything in my control which is a fucking joke. I cannot control alcohol and that is the most important thing I need to remind myself every single day. Nothing about it can be controlled other than to not drink.

Going back over step 1 again with sponsor so I’ve now regressed back to step 1 for the third time lol. But this is ok and it’s the most important to embed in my brain so bring it. 👍

Glad to feel good. Glad to be sober. Glad to feel healthy and normal in the morning. Amazing how my brain works at the office when I’m not exhausted and out of it lol. What a concept.

Struggling a bit with the next week. Going to be dealing with some executive level outings with work and first pass since I’ve really officially stopped drinking. I’ve done it before I guess a bit but I would occasionally have one etc. and so this may feel a little different. But for now I’m going with I’m eating healthy and not drinking which is ok since I’ve lost a bunch of weight. We’ll see. My boss is taking a small group out for a fun celebration night so that will be an interesting evening. We will see.

1 Month

Well. 1 Month. Doesn’t feel like much even though I should feel proud…pat myself on the back. Blah. But I don’t. I’ve done this before. Gone months before after my first crash and burn, so it just doesn’t feel ‘wonderful’. And it’s hard to feel good when it’s been years of shit.

I have a temp sponsor right now as I find a full-time sponsor. Mike has been cool enough to work with me even though I believe his sponsor told him he should stick to himself right now. He wanted to at least help a little, so on this Father’s Day he said he would speak to me a little after the meeting. He recommended I read “The Doctor’s Opinion” and “More About Alcoholics” and “Step 1” from 12 and 12.

I have read the first one already, and just read it again. This reading is interesting because it explains alcoholism as almost an allergy…which is an interesting concept. An allergy that causes an a’s mind to operate differently than others when exposed to alcohol. I completely agree with this and have felt it numerous times. I even wondered if I was some sort of diabetic that had weird reactions to the point of low blood sugar or something and felt as though at times I have experienced a type of diabetic coma in the past. A weird sensation where even nights I didn’t drink (what I would consider…) mass amounts, still had a black-out type of weird experience that troubled me. I’ve felt this since I was 20 years old…which is sort of scary. Even though I can honestly probably say this was simply due to drinking way too much…it always “felt” different, like it must be something a bit different than what my other friends were experiencing in college. That point of just being so oblivious and out of my mind…but just wanting to drink more…and drink faster. It scared me even 25 years ago. I think I have honestly known I was an alcoholic since I was probably about 20 years old. That freaks me out a bit, but is somewhat refreshing to agree with now finally and accept.

Feeling as though I’m “wired differently” is an acceptable thing now. I KNOW I cannot drink. I’m a fucking idiot. I cannot just try to drink beer…occasional wine…stay away from the hard stuff…only drink controlled when I’m with my wife and see how that goes. It’s useless. As am I when I drink. This time back at AA is different. I don’t think I’ve ever accepted the fact ‘truly’ until this time that I cannot ever drink again. I think I even went to meetings last time with the thoughts that it would simply help me gain some type of control with my drinking but not ‘truly’ stop…even though I sort of said that was my intent last time. I cannot drink. And I AM completely great with that belief now. It is a fact. It is not just a way to control anymore. It is a complete admission that I must never drink again. Period. And that scares the fuck out of me, but I believe it. It scares me because at times it seems like being half way only through my life and expecting to live another 1/2 without ever drinking seems like such a tall order…even though I know I can’t. I’m not saying I don’t believe this is what it should be, it’s just the realization that I will face shit that is very hard the rest of my life and experience circumstances where I’m tempted and to abstain for 45+ years is going to be hard. I can only hope that with each year it gets easier. I see people that relapse after 10-20+ years and I’m just like wtf. After that many years how the fuck does this happen??? That scares me.

But…most important, I have completely accepted that I am powerless over alcohol and that it has made my life uncontrollable when it is part of it. It cannot be a part of my life, and I feel good admitting and saying that. As I named this blog…I AM finally ready and I AM willing to accept this.

In reading “More About Alcoholics” really 1 single thing comes out of it. I cannot have that “first drink” – it is deadly and would suck me right back in. Stay away from that first drink no matter what happens. It cannot happen. Hearing the story of people 25 years sober suddenly falling off the wagon is the evidence of that. Finding that spiritual remedy was the key to keeping from that first drink. Really this chapter just shows the simple fact that I am an alcoholic for life and must accept that, realize it every day and most importantly LET IT SCARE THE FUCK OUT OF ME. That is just a fact. It will always be there haunting me. Hiding. Waiting for that moment where it sneaks out and says…”yeah, just one…cmon”. And it does scare me. A lot. So I must always respect it and be afraid of it. Always.

Step 1 in 12 & 12 says similar things. Just realizing that I am defeated. And I am. And I am ok with that. I must accept defeat and realize it and the fact that I NEED external help to get through it. I need some sort of higher power. Some sort of alternate approach because I CANNOT DO IT ON MY OWN. And I realize this. And I do accept it fully.

Mike asked me to do some other homework today and wanted to chat about it. The first thing he asked me to do is jot down a list of any examples where I can prove to myself it is unmanageable and not in my control. Ways it has impacted my life and my work and my family, etc. So…let’s start a bullet list – this should be an interesting thing…

  • Black-outs my Junior and Senior year in highschool when drinking. Something I don’t really recall my buddies experiencing back then. Shit, I had just started drinking…how was this normal. Passing out on a couch in my friend’s basement, then waking up to go to the bathroom…unable to find it…walking over to my friend’s TV and peeing on it because I was so out of it and not knowing where I was.
  • Another high-school or perhaps early college home, waking up and walking into my parent’s bedroom and peeing in their closet thinking it was the bathroom and not remembering.
  • My father telling me he found me passed out on the floor of the bathroom half naked when I was probably a Freshman in college home for the summer and getting me back to bed.
  • Falling out of my loft bed in college trying to get to the bathroom and having a scar on my chin to this day because I took such a bad fall.
  • DUI in college driving home from a bar
  • Home from college on a normal weekend and drinking almost a case of beer by myself in the basement while hacking away at the old PC. My father coming down Sunday morning to grab a few beers for his buddies for after tennis and seeing that it was almost gone and thinking ‘who the fuck drank all this’ since he had just bought it Friday. Me thinking to myself holy shit…I drank a case of beer in 1-2 nights…pretty easily without even thinking about it. And realizing even then that this wasn’t normal.
  • Countless times in college being mean to my (now) wife. I was nasty. I’d get drunk and tell her how she was a bitch and needs to stop bitching at me. She’d have to deal with it the remainder of the night until she could hear my apologies the next day. That realization from her recently that I’ve been an alcoholic since before we even got married. Hard to hear. But true.
  • Countless black-outs in college that occurred all the time. Not remembering who drove…then people telling me I drove home. Waking up with my wife not in bed with me in college, or in bed with me, not remembering anything in how I got there and the last several hours of the night and how much of an idiot I was.
  • Waking up in a wet bed after pissing myself in college and sneaking shit to the laundry or even later in life in the last 10-15 years a couple times finding this had happened.
  • Passing out with 2 tiny kids at home while my wife was at a concert – one of the first wake up calls I remember with my wife in later years. I always kept it hidden late at night, but chose to drink while she was gone at a concert and my 2 kids were asleep and I was clueless to the world.
  • My wife up on a ladder on the very top step (not supposed to do) while 6 months FUCKING PREGNANT because I was so drunk I could not do it. We had a battery bad in a smoke detector and we had to replace it. I couldn’t function, talk or even help. Holding the ladder for her, but instead passing out while standing while she balanced up above our 15 foot stairs on the top of a ladder trying to reach it because I was useless.
  • Throwing up on the way to work a couple times because my late night bender (which was the norm) went a little later than anticipated and I was still drunk going to work.
  • Remembering some mornings going to work where I should have turned back around because I was still half drunk.
  • Realizing there had to have been numerous times I was half drunk in the morning at work and my office HAD to smell like a fucking booze bottle. I think I hid it very well for a long time, but there HAD to be moments I stunk like booze. My trick was to stop by 12:30-1 and I’d usually be functional enough and fine…but abused this all too many times I’m sure.
  • “Working from home” days where I did in fact sneak during the day. This was more in the last 5 or so years as I got worse, but they did happen a handful of times even though I’ve never considered myself a day drinker.
  • Knowing where every bottle of hard liquor in the house was. Knowing which was water, which needed replacing, where empties were hidden, what I needed to swap out. I was a nighttime sneaker. I drank a ton at night on my own alone. Nobody really knew. The number of empties I replaced and snuck out in the trash got unimaginable. The amount was crazy. Looking back now I realize the magnitude which I never really accepted in the past. I had a routine. Scary. This is how I managed for so long secretly.
  • Going to my daughter’s banquet during the middle of the afternoon and just getting stinking drunk. Embarrassing her, scaring her in front of her friends. Her crying alone in the bathroom. Doing this in front of friends and their kids. This was what got me into AA the first time. I sort of realized it was bad, but hadn’t accepted it enough.
  • Stopping drinking for months (maybe 10? which is why 1 month doesn’t feel like shit) and thinking it was under control again. Then going out with my wife..thinking sure, why not a little with her..and completely crashing and getting shitfaced.
  • Realizing that got me back on the nighttime occasional drinking again, replacing, sneaking again. Falling right back into a rut.
  • Completely going on a bender for 3 nights over the top, skipping work on a Thursday, drinking all day Thursday to the point where my family thought I was having a stroke or something and knowing something was wrong. Driving hammered in a pair of shitty sorts, t-shirt and messed up hair to my son’s baseball game. Thank god my wife came and talked me into letting her drive me home…and that was what got me back in AA the final time 1 month ago.

There are many many more. But this is a handful. I’m a fucking idiot when I drink. I cannot drink. I cannot think I can control drinking because I continue to fail over and over and over again after having 1. I love drinking. I love the way it makes me feel at the time that I am doing it. Numb, careless, not stressed out, everything is fine now…ugh. But the results are far from that. Everything is fucked up now. Kids worried, wife ready to leave and hates what I’ve become. I hate what I’ve become. Just a sick fuck. And now I worry 1 or more of my kids might have this gene. I pray they don’t. And I will talk to them regularly now about it. I have shared with all of my loved ones, something I didn’t do last time, but did do this time, and it is refreshing to feel this. I love going to meetings, something I hated before. I love feeling good like I do now. Alert. Better at work. Down 15 pounds in my weight. Better at home. I just hope I can mend the shit stains I’ve left behind because there are a fucking lot of them.

Youd-be-suprised

 

Limbo

Well…weird day. Just back from a week away in another country, managed to turn down about 15 attempts by other people throwing drinks at me or being around freebies in every direction..including free all you can drink flight and lounge at hotel…and i’m a bit i don’t know…in limbo.

Why. I don’t know. I feel good. I’m down a bunch of weight because I started low carb prior to the crash which got me back at AA. And I’m loving meetings. Look forward to going to them. Don’t want to miss them in mornings. Have a totally different attitude this time like nothing i’ve felt in past. so all good…right??  lol

I don’t know. I should have a sponsor by now and I don’t. I feel like i’m getting into step 4 which really truly needs a sponsor based on other feedback from others. Maybe that’s all that’s really bugging me. I don’t know. I feel like since I haven’t been hitting this hard as hell to get these things figured out i’m coasting…and i don’t want to say ‘oh i was travelling for a week’ or ‘haven’t found the right sponsor yet’…blah blah. but honestly…it is sort of true lol. Being in another tiny country for a week did sidetrack me. And reading at least while i was gone, attempting aa-online.com (which was a waste of time lol) and completely keeping myself sober in a position i could have drank the entire time without anyone knowing…should impress me. so i guess it does a little bit. shit. i just cannot pat myself on the back at any step along the way. it is too much a reminder of where i was last time…how i made it i think around 10 months completely on my own (after starting with a handful of meetings) – i had it. under control. oh yeah. then crashed again.

i don’t know. just finding it hard to feel like i’m accomplishing shit when this measly month i’m coming up to is only a fraction of what i’ve done…and i’m doing everything differently.

well. guy i trust coming tomorrow and he said he had some thoughts on sponsors and he’d let me know what he thinks. i wanted him but his sponsor doesn’t think he should at this time yet, so i asked him if he had any ideas. we’ll see.

should feel good. and while i ‘sort of’ do…just not feeling like jumping for joy at this point…but…excited to be feeling good health wise and sober wise. tons of comments at work at how i look like a different person in a great way, and even though i know my face loses weight first, so i do look a lot different quickly…i have to believe a huge part of it is stopping the drinking. it ages you. and it just makes you look like shit a lot of the time.

anyway…onward. and looking forward to hopefully getting some ideas on sponsors tomorrow. rock on. 🙂

limbo_ps4

Day 20 – No I don’t want any ракија lol

Interesting traveling to another country and visiting a group of 30 employees who are normally all used to hanging late with you and partying when you visit. Went with the ‘eating well and not drinking right now’ which is fine for now and all they need since 1. they all report up to several of my directors and managers and I don’t need chatter around the office and 2. I’ve lost about 15 pounds already and quite a few noticed, so it seems pretty legit.

Ah … ракија or Rakia (in English) that they all are proud of and love to share here and turned them down with a smile. I’ve even gotten the “even 1?” or “just one glass of wine with your dinner?” lol – but I’m fine.

I tried aa-online this week and was very disappointed. The chat room is always up, but they have “organized” meetings – hah. Nothing at all. Just more people show up for chatting. It was a complete bust, which was a bummer because I really thought I’d have a chance with it out here to give me ‘some’ type of outlet. But oh well, just need to deal with it. I’m busy enough so it’s been fine so far. And the jet lag gives me reasons to be tired and getting shit done at the hotel anyway so oh well.

Home seems ok but stressful wife and busy. Kids just out of school so they’re all running all over the place and my wife has turned back into a full time driver lol. She seems ok. Antsy to get home this time and can’t wait to head back Friday morning. Very anxious to get back to a meeting Saturday morning as well and see the gang and tell them I was successful. Feel good that I’m really not itching too much to party. It has been a ‘little’ tough, but really not bad overall at all. Pleased at the will power so far to just avoid it. Couple days left, but I’m confident they’ll be no issues.

On to step 4! Start my list of personal inventory…whatever that really means lol. Got the 12 step add-on book before I left and was anxious to read it until I realized my co-worker that traveled with me ended up in the seat next to me lol – oops.

2 more days of meetings and I know we’ll have 1 big night out before we leave, but should not be an issue since they all realize I’m not drinking. Day 20. Here we go.  🙂

tikves-lozova-rakija-zolta-brandy-macedonian-republic-10497754

 

Day 15 – Yesterday sucked

Rough day yesterday. Started with me sitting outside meeting in car for 30 fucking minutes arguing with my wife over text messages. Brilliant. Very productive. Said nobody…ever. 

It sucked. I was angry. Defensive. Barely remember the trigger other than something I said the night before making my wife think I was being an asshole. Something stupid. Misunderstanding. Shit. Who knows, maybe I was a dick without knowing it. But in any case it dragged to the next morning for dumb reasons. Then the nails came out. Horrible things said to me. Years of anger loaded into a few piercing bullets and it sucked. 

For the first time in 2 weeks I didn’t want to go into my meeting. The anger and shit I was feeling consumed me. I realized that the feelings I was feeling yesterday morning are the very feelings that make me want to run away and hide. Shut down. Do something to clear my mind. Drink. And that was weird. How something so quick can be so intense. Make me feel shit again. Crazy. I then walked into the 2nd half of the meeting and joined a group and shared and talked about how pissed off I was. I left the meeting feeling a little better. Then found an apology on my phone from my wife when I got back into my car. 

Point is I was aware. I realized what was happening and did something a little different. Not earth shattering…but something. And I need to realize that at least. 

Today is better. Feel good. Ready to let go on step 3 after listening to a good chapter from BB on way into office and I think I’m good. I’m OK letting go and am now telling myself I am. Weird for me but whatever. Worth it and I know I want it. 

Leave for out of town Sunday. Sort of freaking out about that but I think I’m ok with it. Going to try to do online meetings every day and take it one day at a time. 

Another day another step in the right direction of realization of myself and where I’m at. Rock on.