Dead end street…

dead-end

So I took the detour a couple days ago and, just my luck, ended up on a dead end street! That’s a good thing! It’s a good thing because I finally understand the utter futility of trying to overcome this beast by my own clever thinking. You see, I’ve always fancied myself as a pretty clever guy.  Yup, cause I know I was brought up in a good family, I got myself a UNI-VERS-ITY (said in a Southern drawl) education. I’ve probably read several thousand books in my life, from philosophy to physics, science to social studies, politics to religion.

Yep, I’ve got the brains and braun. I shouldn’t be a drunk! But I am. And not one shred of my upbringing or education can help me with that, as it turns out. It’s all just “stinkin-thinkin” in the end. I’ve spent the last 20 years trying to disprove that simple fact. Damn!

At the beginning of every AA meeting someone reads, “How it Works”. In there it states:

We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol—cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power—that One is God.

The key is to “let go absolutely” and to look to and rely upon a higher power–call that God, or the Universe, or Cosmic Consciousness, or Synchronicity, or even just the community of fellow AA’ers–it’s all the same. It’s a power outside of ourselves, above and beyond our own stinkin-thinkin.

As for me, thanks to the past two weeks of trying once again under my own power to stop drinking–and failing–and after 20 years of doing pretty much the same over and over and over again, I have finally LET GO ABSOLUTELY and am ready for my higher power to do for me what I couldn’t do for myself.

Let’s see what happens now. Thanks for joining me on the journey!

Nelson

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Day 10…back on track

Yes, back on track. Two slips this week. Two hangovers. But I guess that’s better than 9!!! My plan for the week was to have no drink at all. Well, that was the “ideal” anyway. But hey, for me to have only drank twice in the past 9 days is a HUGE accomplishment nevertheless.

My slips happened quite logically, actually. The first was because I took my elderly friend to the pub after spending the afternoon taxiing him around for his medical appointments. He asked to go for beers. He’s dying. I couldn’t say no, so there I was in the pub with him. I couldn’t say no to myself either. Going to a pub and expecting myself not to drink would be like sitting in a barber shop without eventually getting a haircut.

The second slip was because I still had a bunch of wine left from the bottle that I bought to use during my first few days of detoxing myself. I was feeling sorry for myself being all alone at home and not out enjoying my evening with my drinking buddies, so I rationalized to myself, “Well, at least you’re not at the pub, which is a really good thing—you winner you, so why not enjoy the wine at home at least!?” Oh, I enjoyed the wine all right, as well as the double caesar, as well as the bottle of beer that I “found” in the closet, etc., etc.

Lesson learned: If I am trying to not drink, then don’t have any drink close at hand! As obvious as that is, I don’t know how many times I have chosen to ignore it. Well, considering I used to drink every day, my mind just hasn’t been clear enough—no, sane enough to be that logical.

The other thing that I haven’t been doing in the last week is going to AA meetings. Ok, I’m not a great fan of AA, for various reasons, but I know that the community aspect of it is very powerful. Being in a group of caring, supportive people goes a long way to help prevent us alcoholics from doing one of the worse things that the beast of alcoholism does to us—isolate ourselves. Almost without exception, those who get far enough down the drinking road eventually isolate themselves. This last week, while I wasn’t drinking (for the most part) I was staying at home alone and that isolation invariably led to my second slip on Friday night. So, this week I have committed myself to going to at least one AA meeting per day, no if’s and’s or but’s about it.

Here’s hoping, by the grace of my higher-power, that the next week will be alcohol free. And maybe there at the meetings I’ll meet some new friends. I need new friends. All my friends are alcoholics like me. So ya, hopefully there I’ll find some other alcoholics to be friends with! Well, you know — dry-recovering alcoholics! Big difference!

Nelson

5…

The countdown has begun. I have 5 day’s to taper down and quit my drinking. If not accomplished by this Saturday, I will be enrolling myself in the local Daytox program as I described earlier. Last night I was at my usual watering hole and had my usual fill, but starting today I’m beginning my taper down to zero drinks by Friday. I think I can do this. While I don’t have what AA would describe as a classical “Higher Power”, I do believe in a higher power of sorts; call it the “Universal Intelligence”. And aside from that, I do believe in the power that an AA community can provide. Even AA suggests that for those who have a problem with believing in God, that the AA community can be substituted for that.

So, starting today as well, I’m going to be going to an AA meeting every day for the rest of this week and will likely continue doing the same indefinately.

For those interested, I’ll be reporting in every day this week as the countdown continues, with actual numbers of drinks consumed each day.

Cheeeeeers!

Nelson