Self-Acceptance…

selfacceptance

As I look back over 20 years of heavy drinking it’s easy to see that my behaviour all that time was self-destructive. Easy to see, but not that easy to accept. We all want what is best for ourselves, for our lives, right? Of course we do, but we know that that’s often not what happens. Life is what happens to us in spite of ourselves.

Now that I’m on the road to recovery, one of the hardest things to do is to accept the fact that 20 + years of my life has been irreplaceably lost, wasted “getting wasted”! How can I forgive and accept myself for that? Accepting something doesn’t mean that we agree with it. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean we have accepted their behaviour. It means that we choose to let go and choose to put behind us the harm or damage they have done to us. We accept them in spite of their past behaviour and move on. And so we must do the same with ourselves.

For my “wasted” 22 years of active alcoholism, I certainly don’t agree that my behaviour was somehow OK. It absolutely wasn’t. But, I need to simply accept that it was what it was. For reasons still not at all clear to me now I just drank and drank and drank. Yes, it was a waste of a huge chunk of my life. I have to accept that fact and let it go. Why? Because, and here’s the rub —if I don’t I’ll most assuredly keep on drinking. That’s why self-acceptance is so important for the recovering alcoholic. It doesn’t mean that we agree with having wasted many precious years of our life. It means we choose to let it go and move on. That’s the essence of forgiveness, and it has to start with ourselves.

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Old habits die hard…

So, its been a few weeks since being delivered from the obsession to drink. But I still am, drinking, every day.

Another case of alcoholic insanity! I’m drinking, gleefully, to excess — but I’m FREE from the obsession! So what’s the difference? The difference between obsession and habit!? A LOT actually…but…so now THIS is a whole other issue. Boing!

Surprise, surprise, my fellow alky’s. God can and will deliver us from the obsession. Can and will open all the doors for us to be free…but…it’s up to us to get up off our arses and walk through those open doors! Some of us don’t want to! This is something altogether different…altogether baffling…altogether a new chapter in this mysterious book, for which the final chapter has yet to be written.

Nelson

Drunk again…

drunkagain

Well, what can we expect!? I have been drinking every day since I was 19. Not to excess until I was 41, when I started to go into bars and pubs. Since then, to excess, often. And so? What does a drunk do best? Drink, of course.

I do have an excuse for last nights over-imbibing; a close friend–not just a bar buddy–came into town yesterday. When he comes to town, which is about once a month, for years we have gotten together over a few beers at a restaurant near by. Had he not come to town, I would have stayed on course. I’m back on track today.

I think that I’m dealing mostly with a long time habit now. The addiction is gone, thanks to the recent grace received.

I gotta dump the habit. I think I can do that, now.

Nelson

Quack…

duck

I had a fair bit to drink last night. I certainly didn’t plan to. Here’s what happened, and what I learned from it.

Around 4 pm I got to thinking about a friend of mine (who am I kidding — a drinking buddy actually) whom I haven’t seen in over a week. And he hasn’t been answering my texts. So, I thought I would walk past the two watering holes that I know he frequents. My thought was, my intent was, that if he wasn’t in either of them that I would just head home.

Well, he wasn’t at the first place, nor was he at the second. What did I do? I sat down at the second place and ordered a beer! And in predictable pattern, of course the one led to many. This morning, I wondered why…? I’ll tell you why, and this sure ain’t rocket science…

While I had no interest or even desire to drink yesterday (still enjoying the recent grace received) when I consciously walked into the bar, the easiest thing to do at that moment was to drink. Had I not put myself into the environment, had not walked into the bar, then the easiest thing to do would have been to not drink, because I truly had no desire to drink. I merely wanted to see my friend. Had he been there, well of course I would have drank, but that’s besides the point!

My point is, the mistake I made was putting myself into a situation almost impossible to resist. Once there, I followed the path of least resistance. If you walk into a donut shop you’re going to want to have a donut! This perfectly illustrates the insanity of this disease, how it totally screws up our our seemingly logical thinking. To a non-alcoholic, this might all seem insanely obvious. To me, it’s not, or wasn’t yesterday. Yes, I know — that’s just plain ol’ crazy!

While my obsession to drink has been miraculously lifted, I am still an alcoholic! A doctor who stops practicing medicine is still a doctor. A drunk who stops practicing drinking is still a drunk! You’ve heard the old expression, If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck!? An alcoholic like me would probably suggest, “Well, you know, that just might be a chicken in disguise!?” Some A.A.’ers call this unique form of insanity “stinkin-thinkin”. Yup.

Today, thank God I clearly see the insanity of my thinking yesterday. Today then, and for every day hereafter, I will not be walking past, or especially into, a bar or pub, no matter what the reason. Maybe someday I’ll be able to do that. Certainly not in the foreseeable future. I’m ok with that.

Nelson

 

Grace…

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I’ve been drinking a lot less in the past few days. It’s just before 5 pm. I just returned from a walk to the liquor store, and to get some mushrooms for the pizza I’m going to make later. The beer I bought is in the fridge. I turned on the radio to listen to some music as I write this. By this time of day I’m usually several drinks in. Today, none.

On the way to the store, I noticed the lovely scent of fall leaves, which are scattered all over the place today, after we had a long rain and wind storm overnight. I walked past the elementary school that’s near by. Lot’s of kids were still in the playground. Peels of delight, fun and laughter adorned the air (see pic above). As I walked past oh no — suddenly haunting memories came to mind, of my own children and now their children who I rarely see. A painful thought — but just as suddenly the pain transformed into gratitude! Gratitude, for at least having had those experiences with my own children, and to some extent with theirs. Yes, gratitude.

Then, as I walked home,  with one beer and the mushrooms in my tote, I suddenly realized — for the first time in a very, very long time, I had truly enjoyed the scent of the autumn leaves; I had truly enjoyed hearing and watching the frolicking children in the playground; I had truly enjoyed the walk to and fro! When I got home, I put the beer away and thought I’d write a little about the grace I was gifted with out there on this special fall day.

As I started to write I also realized a few other things, one especially significant. I realized that I easily put the beer away; I realized that I actually wanted to listen to music as I wrote; I realized most significantly that, true to the A.A. “Promises”, God has done something for me in the past few days that I have not been able to do for years and years under my own strength and power — granted me these simple pleasures this afternoon (see this recent post for why this is remarkable) because I have drank very little compared to before.

But most significantly — in the past few days my long-standing obsession with drinking has..been..miraculously…lifted! Yes, the obsession to go to the bar, lifted. Yes, the obsession to drink to excess, or to drink at all, lifted. Yes, all of this completely lifted, removed, vaporized. How? We can call it God, or my “Higher Power”, or even just the benevolent and loving spirit of the universe, has done all of this for me. I call that grace. Grace most gratefully received.

Yes, and amen.

Nelson

Pure poison…

citylights

The city lights, they are so bright, especially when you stare right at them. But its plain to see that we’re only trying to see…our ghost in their reflection.

That ghost is us, as we really are. Really are, near or far. It’s hard to see, because its hard to know, the entire truth about our show. We douse it all with lots of booze, or swallow our pills in a delightful ruse. We do it all and don’t want even ourselves to know.

Yet we do it still, to get our fill…of the love we’ve lost, the love we need, just to feed ourselves…poison. Pure poison.

Nelson

Without a sigh…

stairs

We walk upon these stairs so deep, not knowing for what they keep.

A deep dark mystery awaits us there, there…at the bottom of the stairs.

For those so bold to go, to that place we do not know, we tread down steadily upon the keep, still not yet knowing how how wide or deep.

And yet we go, with heads held high, we go down boldly without a sigh.

And when we land we see the place, and see the mirror that reflects our face, and yet we go still boldly still, to that place that will surely kill.

What hope remains, is still there too, a place of solace for me and you. We hold to that, heads held up high, and move on boldly without a sigh…

Nelson