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

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.

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

 

So….

Ya, that title will draw a lot. I don’t sew, but I do knit a little!

So, ya…I haven’t posted much for a while because I had a lot of people telling me to stop posting after I have been drinking. Not quite proper apparently. Well, tonight I decided that if I don’t post after drinking these days, then I’ll hardly post at all, which in my humble opinion, kind of defeats the purpose of my whole blog here — which is, to document either my “deliverance or demise” from the demon drink that we call alcohol. So I’m posting again tonight in the spirit of that (and full of the otherwise spirits).

I have cut down on my drinking, a bit. But, I’m still struggling. I would love to go to rehab, but I simply cannot afford the expensive ones and don’t want to lose my job, which I most surely would. So, I’m stuck. Story of my life!

On a positive note, I did start attending a “SMART Recovery” meeting group online today. The UK one. It was quite refreshing. I’m going to embrace this as yet undiscovered place. I’ve been so A.A. centred for so many years, I forgot that there are alternatives out there.

Wish me luck, or not. I’m going to keep writing more frequently, because I really do want to document publicly my experience, for better or for worse. If for worse, at least my children will know their father’s plight (they don’t know about this blog, but it’s in my will). If for the better, fantastic….and maybe a way for THEM to find their own way out of the forest, if they ever end up here, as I.

As for the rest of you, so sorry to be back, drunk, with my same old doom and gloom. Well, what’s a good show without it!!???

Blessings,

Nelson

Here we go again…day 1.

Yup, here I go again. But THIS time, I’m really going to do it. How do I know that? I don’t know how I know, I just know that I know. There is something different about that. I’ve committed myself to 30 days starting today. If I do the 30 days — which I am certain that I will — then I will continue FOREVER. I’ve told my friends, who are all chiefly drinking friends (the main thing we share in common anyway) that I’m doing this 30 day thing and that I have to have their support. In fact I told them that if I don’t do this 30 days that I’m going to quit my job and go into rehab and then a half-way house and disappear. Yes, I’m open to rehab, finally, if that’s what it takes to get and keep me sober. I don’t think I’ll end up there — but I am willing to do it now if I need to.

So here we go. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get and stay sober. A.A. meetings — anything and everything to do this, by God’s grace. I choose LIFE! See you there!

Nelson

5…

Five beers tonight (Tuesday). At zero by Saturday, forever. No “Moderation Management” planned for this guy. Tried that, many–too many–times. Doesn’t work for me. Total abstinence is my plan, finally. Well, reluctant acceptance of the facts that have stacked up for so long than I just cannot ignore them any more. It is what it is. I WILL achieve this by Saturday.

I’m thinking about starting up a video blog once I’m sober for a while. I’ve been following a fellow in the UK whose down to earth, candid and unrehearsed videos have really helped me recently. Here’s a link to one of his most recent to really impact me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_flWP7_fZJ4&t=884s

Nelson.