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.