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

 

Not well…

I honestly thought that by now I would be free from this scourge. That this bitter sweet cup would have been past me by now. But no. I continue to slowly but surely poison myself, cup by cup, sip by sip, drop by drop. I’m not sharing this to solicit sympathy or ask for help or anything of the sort. I’m just stating the facts. This is my journal, “One Drunk’s Tale”, left open for all to see. To see the destruction that the demon drink can do, does do, to a Joe Blow like me.

There was a time when I wouldn’t consider going into rehab, not so long ago really. I’d go now, if I could, but I can’t. Well I could if I lost everything and ended up on the street. Then the government run rehab would take me in. That’s the last place in this world that I would like to end up in, honestly. I had the money a few years ago to afford a really nice private rehab, but not anymore.

A.A. is a good program, if you work it. If you call your sponsor. If you go to meetings. I can’t even do that. I guess I’m doomed, destined to die, of just old age maybe, in the grip of this disease. Many do. I’d rather not be one of them. But look at me. I started this blog almost 8 years ago. At least my drinking hasn’t gotten worse. One concession, but it was already bad enough.

I’ll go to a meeting today, probably. You see, I know what to do. I just don’t do it. And I don’t know why. Perhaps I’ve finally hit bottom.

Nelson

 

One more time baby…

Ok, I finally have myself a new AA sponsor. Starting today I’m going to commit myself to going to at least one meeting per day. That’s easy for me because I live very close to one of the busiest AA meeting places, with meetings a 10, 2 and 7 or 8 pm almost every day. I’m NOT going to “taper-down” my drinking this time. Rather, I’m going to get a small bottle of wine and have a few ounces of it only if absolutely necessary if I am going through any significant withdrawal, which rarely happens when I quit drinking. I’ve used this method before with success.

So that’s my plan, folks. Oh, and I’ll be seeing my therapist once every two weeks again, who is very supportive of my desire to stop drinking. I’ve also told all of my drinking “buddies” about my plan to quit drinking and attend AA. Only one called me a woose.

For some reason I really think I’m going to follow through with all of this, this time. I feel a definite spark of optimism deep within my loins. YES. I’M GOING TO DO THIS. With the help of my higher power, I will.

Thanks again to all who have been faithfully supporting me here. Your support has truly made a great difference. Bless you all.

Nelson

Last kick at the cat…

Well, this is it. You see the thing is…

No–no more excuses. I’m giving myself 3 days to get sober. If I’m not successful, I’m going to check myself into the Detox center. I stopped in to see them and they said that they can accommodate me on Monday if I wish. So, I’m taking two weeks of my vacation time starting tomorrow to take the last kick at the cat, and if need be I can go to Detox for the first week and then have another week after that to get started in the follow up “Daytox” program. Well, even if I do sober up this weekend, I may still check out the Daytox support program. Clearly, I need some help.

I did go to an AA meeting last night. Stumbled in to it that is, drunk. It was the same meeting that I used to attend almost 15 years ago when I put in 3 months sober. The fellow sharing last night at that moment very coincidentally happened to be the one and only guy who was also there 15 years ago. In fact, back then he and I were in another small group that met on Wednesday nights with our sponsor. We chatted briefly during half-time. He welcomed me, awkwardly. He’s stayed sober for the last 15 years. I think I might ask him to sponsor me.

I feel so ashamed and sorry for myself right now. Someone called me a loser in one of the comments from my last post, which I deleted, but today I do feel like that loser. Down deep I know that I’m not, that I’m just a guy suffering from an insidious disease, but I still feel like a loser nevertheless. Maybe this is my “bottom” as they say in A.A. Whatever it is, it isn’t a pleasant place to be (duh). If it’s my bottom, then I guess the only direction I can go from here is up, with some help. I’m hanging my hat on that.

Nelson

Thanksgiving blessings….

So last night (Tuesday night here in Canada) I cooked my finally thawed out Turkey and really enjoyed it. Well, after the blood stopped flowing anyway. Whilst carving it, the knife slipped and I severly cut my thumb, right on the joint. I narrowly missed hitting a major vein and tendon, thank God.

The turkey was delicious. I enjoyed a second helping of the same tonight. My thumb is in wraps. Totally bandaged. I have all my first aid and emergency responder training, so I knew what to do last night.

Someone messaged me today that they fell off the wagon, big time. I responded by telling them just how much I can relate to that. I’ve been off the wagon for ages! In a controlled sort of way, lucky for me…I can still function day to day…although I have difficulty figuring out just WHAT day it is from day to day! Not important. Not while we are caught in the grip of our alcoholism. Every morning when I sit on the John (the “WC” for our Great Britian readers) I ruminate, try to pontificate even, but end up having to just truncate all of that and figure out what day it is. I’m usually pretty close, within a day or two. I don’t wear a watch, so it’s not that easy!

Anyway, my point is. To my friend here who fell off the wagon, SO WHAT!? Like, it’s not an easy thing to fall off the wagon in our culture!? Getting on the wagon is the hard part. Those of us here are trying to get on and stay on the bloody wagon because we know that it’s not good for us and if we keep on like this, then the booze is going to KILL US!!!!

Everyone here knows that the booze will kill us, if we let it. IF WE LET IT!!! I know that that is easier said than done. Well, as for me, unless I stroke out or have an Upper GI bleed-out, which is beyond our control (especially when on blood-thinners as I am) I am NOT going to let this dis-ease kill me!!!

Join me. Your company is most welcome, and by the way, you are loved, by me and all the rest of us here on WordPress. Don’t forget that! It just might be the ultimate secret and path to our being free!!!

Nelson

“Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”. 

Quoted largely, historically, it’s been mostly debunked. Same with, “What’s one more! Give me another!” Ok. I did well the last two days. Drank very little. Slept like a dead man. Felt SO good the last couple of days. Tomorrow will be different. Many thanks to those urging me to get into rehab. Not doable for me here in Canada, due to the nature of my job/work, sadly. But that’s the reality I just have to deal with. Too bad there are not any “Rehab Coaches”. Perhaps I should change my job (as some have suggested) and do that once/if I get sober!! I know there would be a market for it here in Canada. Anyway. Another day in paradise! That expression is my trademark, my goto…because this is the only day that counts, and for me to see it through, is a pure blessing. Take care folks. Thanks for your care and concern.

Nelson

Another day’s end…

Alcohol is an insidious beast. It lures and lulls us, excites and invites us to dance with it. Even the servers join in. And then it kills us, unmercifully, with no compassion. We bleed out quickly from its quick jabs and stabs, then die. How we wine and dine it, as we spiral down from it…and if we are lucky enough to survive it, we wallow in our hangover haven. And then we grasp for another, as quick as a feather, drawn from a gargantuan beast. And so it goes, so it continues as the beast cuts down past the sinews…to our heart it travels, while we unravel…destiny waits…impatiently.