Giving up…

I’m forcing myself to write today. I don’t really want to write. Frankly, I feel like giving up this battle with the bottle. But way down deep within me there is still an, albeit faint, glimmer of hope. I’m not looking for miracle, although I’m certainly open to one. I’m not looking for an “easy-way” out, although if there was an easy way, I’d be delighted. I’m not looking for sympathy, although I do appreciate kind words. I’m not looking for a magic potion, although I wish that there were such a thing.

I’ve been struggling with my alcoholism for SO long. It was about 15 years ago that I knew I had a problem. That’s when I started to address it. I went to A.A. and stayed sober for 3 months! In fact, it was easy! I wasn’t living alone then. I think that helped. Since then, my drinking has steadily gotten worse, although recently I have had some success with moderating. Ok — but then I make up for the moderation by getting that much more drunk a couple or few days down the road and suffer horrific hangovers! That’s called suffering the effects of alcohol poisoning! And I know that that can, and very likely will, kill me if I keep this up. How’s that for “rigorous honesty”?

Why I am having so much difficulty with this totally baffles me. As they say in A.A., alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful. I know all that — yet on-ward’s I go gleefully pouring gallons down my greedy gullet regardless! How insane is that!? Insanity, meaning here — doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results! Doi!

Don’t call me Nelson. Call me LUNY!!! *sigh*….. 😦

Nelson

Slow suicide…

Last night I drank way too much. I’m suffering for that today with a pretty bad hangover. Worse still, lately I’ve been developing classical alcoholic neuropathy…tingling and numbness in my feet, bordering on pain. This condition can be reversed — if caught early. With continued heavy drinking, it can get far worse and become permanent. That terrifies me!

Heavy drinking is self-destructive. I know that. My numb feet and high liver enzyme count are physical proof of it. Yet, I continue. How insane is that? Very! It’s like an inadvertent, lazy man’s form of suicide! Such is the insanity of this “dis-ease” that A.A. people well describe.

Having the neuropathy lately has effectively enabled me to reduce my drinking, but obviously not enough to keep me from having too much like I did last night. I have been drinking less lately overall, so I have been making progress. But now this. I’m scared.

Nelson

Just one more…

Famous last words from any and every drunk. How we hope, dream, for the next one to give us, to fill the hole in our heart, of that which we grieve. Any serious drinker knows exactly what I’m talking about.

Tragically, the next one never brings us the “liquid nirvana” that we hope for. Instead, we suffer the hangover tomorrow…and then reach for the very same bottle to relieve our misery.

And so the clock ticks….

Nelson

Rotting past…

I just came across a quote that my Jungian therapist gave to me some time ago, written by Annie Lamott, about Forgiveness, for mourning the loss of my past, as I have been so wont to do.

“Giving up all of having had a better past.”

I have spent— no let’s call it what is exactly — wasted — too many years trying to just cope with life, and have most of that time liberally doused it with the most unholiest of water, alcohol. I am easily tempted to beat myself up for this. Tempted to angrily punish myself for what an idiot I was — am. But, in reality I know that’s being too hard on myself. Most of us tend to focus on our most prominent misgivings when we look back like that. From what I understand this is actually quite natural.

So Ms. Lamott is urging us, when we do look back, even if the view is negative, to nevertheless forgive ourselves for being human and to give up and let go of our angst-filled notion of wishing we had had a better past.

Indeed, what’s past is past. Yes, it lies belly up, putrefying, rotting, in the basement of our memories. But we don’t need to go down there to purposely smell it. The past is over. Our only hope is to let go and hope for a better day, today and tomorrow. Easy to say…

May we all have better days.

Nelson

Dear Frank…

Frankly, I think that our drinking is largely a daily choice that we make. Yes, some drink to relieve last nights hangover. I’m not talking about THAT situation. Rather, I talking about the bulk of us who choose each day to drink. We all have our own reasons for doing so — absolutely. And for most of us, those reasons are quite sufficient to support our cause, our daily or weekend binge, habit.

THAT is the root cause of our drinking. I know MY root cause. Almost every day, still, I choose to band-aid that wound, those wounds, with my “DOC” — “Drug of Choice”, alcohol.

I know it’s my choice, every day. It really does help me to cope with my pains (ala Gabor Mate’s ideology).

And so it is, so it remains. Sadly.

HERE, we can find strength and support. I am so very grateful for that, for you my friends.

Here’s to an alcohol free 24 hrs! I’m still working on that.

Nelson.

Still drunk…

Seems that when I have the most resolve to NOT drink, that I go out and get pissed up! Why is that? I really don’t know. Oh well. If I live to see another day, I’ll start over. God-willing. Perhaps THAT’S the secret!? Having a real relationship with God. God, the great unknown. The prime mover of the Universe!? One would think that it should be somehow easier to connect!? Especially for those so desperate!? A mystery it remains. 

Checking in…verses out.

Time for a check-in, me thinks. Yes, I’ve had a few drinks. Less than usual, chiming in on a positive note.

I’ve been investigating the whole “SMART Recovery” approach to alcoholism since my last visit. It has some really good things about it. I especially like how it focuses on, as they say, “Science based” approaches to alcoholism. They de-emphasize the use of labels, such as “Alcoholic” or “Recovery” and choose instead to stand on the back of Dr. Albert Ellis, who founded the whole movement known as “Rational Emotive Therapy” (RET). Dr. Ellis died in 2007 as the age of 93.

In a nutshell, RET does not ascribe to the typical “powerless over alcohol” model made so popular with A.A. Ellis, and all of those who have preceded him and continue to promote his teachings, hold to the notion that an individual can, with appropriate guidance and understanding, get a grip on their alcoholism and can with old fashioned hard work and effort not only overcome it — it with it’s haunting labels of being alcoholic, or of one being forever in recovery — and grow past it, without the need to “become addicted to meetings instead of alcohol”, and be free. Well, SMART Recovery is now considered the 2nd most effective treatment for alcoholism, although their organization is yet minuscule compared to A.A.

So, SMART Recovery seems to work for some people. And so does A.A. And so does LifeRing and so does a bunch of other alcohol treatment and rehab centres and organizations around the world.

I think, that just as we are all unique and different human beings, that there are unique and different ways to treat alcoholism. For most it’s a matter of finding the method that works best for them…for you. There is no, “One size fits all” treatment for alcoholism out there.

So, before this post gets too long to bother reading, where does all this put me, this “One Drunk”? It puts me right into the Gumbo soup! The soup that has a little bit of everything mixed into it! There is no simple Consume soup for this guy. I have to take what I can get from all of it out there. Taylor-fit it for just me. Today I wrote out a list and posted it in three places in my apartment. The title of it is, “I will do whatever it takes to stay clean and free of alcohol today”. Then below that I wrote a list of about 20 things that I can do right now, today, to help me not drink. I put one above my toilet, one on my bedroom wall and one on the fridge. I think it’s going to help. Tomorrow, I’ll explain a little more about the philosophy behind it.

Take good care, folks!

Nelson