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

Day 2…feeling grateful.

Day 2 of my sobriety.

Coincidentally, I had a hankering to watch the old TV show “Frasier”, to have a laugh, which I needed this afternoon. I haven’t been this sober in a long time. Anyway, I thought it might be neat to see if I could find the very first season of Frasier. I found it on the “Crave” TV station. which specializes in old shows and signed up for a trial month. I then watched the very first Frasier show…

At the beginning of the show, Frasier is on the air describing to his listeners how he recently moved from Boston to Seattle. With some embarrassment, he describes how his life was in a rut there in Boston and that his social life consisted of hanging around a bar (“Cheers”) night after night, and that he was clinging to a life that wasn’t working any more. So he had to do something, anything, to make a change… Bam! What an amazing coincidence, because that is exactly how I have felt and what I have just done with my local “Cheers”. Indeed it is time for a change, and here I am on the second day of my new life away from that.

Indeed, hearing Frasier say that was a marvellous synchronicity (meaningful coincidence). I’ve been looking, hoping for something significant to happen today to help me with my chosen quest. Chosen quest! Ha! The symbolic “Heroes Quest”, as described by the author Joseph Campbell in his marvellous book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. I am out slaying my “dragon” right now…the booze…and let me tell you it’s taking a lot of courage, but I feel up to it — called in fact, and that’s a good thing, a wonderful and marvellous thing. This is not “willpower”. No, it’s me being courageous. Simply stepping out against all odd’s, with faith, walking on the path ahead. God can’t steer a ship that isn’t moving. We gotta “take the steps” — 1, 2 or 12. Whatever it takes.What’s happened today with this timely Frasier coincidence has reinforced my quest, and given me the gut’s today to stay the course. I feel so grateful.

Last night I had a can of 4.5% cider and one small glass of wine. That’s it. I had terrible insomnia and slept like crap, but kept myself busy today, including going to the gym to help with my energy level. Before going to the gym I was feeling very out of sort’s (aka weird) so I had a very small amount of wine hoping that that would take the edge off, and it did. Tonight, I’m planning no booze, but will have a little more wine if I really feel the need. They say alcohol withdrawal takes between 24 and 48 hours to fully work it’s way out (although can take longer depending on how addicted one has been) but I think by tomorrow morning I’ll be past the worst of it for me. I hope.

I didn’t feel at all like writing today. Thinking even, that perhaps when I’m sober I won’t feel the need or even have the desire to write, but I think it’s more the effect of the alcohol leaving my system — my brain to be exact, that has me feeling a bit down today. From what I have heard and read, this effect is the norm and to be expected. Well, let’s see what happens.

Nelson.

Day 1…oh ya.

Whoa, “Day 1” packs an emotional wallop for me. I can’t remember the number of times I started an entry in my written journal with it. ALL FAILED. Sometimes I made it to day 2, most not. Well, THIS “Day 1” is different. LOL…I ‘ve said just that a bunch of times too. I’m writing myself into further insanity. I should just give up, give in, quit my job, live on the streets and hope to get thrown into a government run rehab program. Ah….no thanks. This Day 1 IS different. How so? I just know it is. I don’t think I ever wrote that in my journal.

Yesterdays plans all went to shite. I still drank my face off at my “Cheers”. I don’t care. Today is another day. Well, and I had a good excuse. My friends knew yesterday was my last planned drinking day, so they helped me out with that. That’s what good friends do, right?

So today I’m going to start detoxing myself, using alcohol, but only if I’m feeling desperate and in withdrawal, which has rarely happened during my million past failed attempts to quit. Ok, it did happen the last time, about 6 months ago. I had a small glass of wine about 2 in the morning because I couldn’t get to sleep. It helped, it worked. So I’ll do that again if I have to. Only if I have to.

This Day 1 is also different because I am doing bunch of extra things to help me. For example, my therapist (a Jungian) urged me to add a spiritual element in the mix. She suggested I light a candle and just stare into the flame to have a few quiet moments before I meditate. Well, I did light a candle, but I didn’t meditate. Instead — hold on to your hat’s — I drew a card from my Tarot deck. Let’s not get into what kind of spirituality we all think that is. It doesn’t matter! What matters is if it add’s that spiritual element for me, regardless of how much I or anyone else “believes” in it. Ok, so before drawing the card, I prayerfully asked God, the Universe, the Infinite Intelligence and Donald Trump for wisdom and guidance. No, I didn’t really add Donald Trump into the mix! And so, what card did I draw???

Using just the 21 “Major Arcana” cards, all in the right side up position, I drew card VII, number seven. Coincidentally (?), 7 my favourite, my “lucky” number. Nice. In a nutshell, the Chariot card means “moving forward towards success; a conquerer”. Another nice. I’d call drawing that card a meaningful coincidence, a rosy Synchronicity. At the very least, a nice bonus and encouragment for the day, for this new and fresh Day 1, of many more days to come.

Nelson.

2…1

Still drinking like a fish. I’m quite hungover this morning. I am SO tired of hangovers. I am feeling SO discouraged. I had planned to slowly taper down my drinking this week. Most of my plans go the same way. What can I expect from a DRUNK? Ohhhh, but the good news is that alcoholism is only a SYMPTOM of other underlying disorders. Sobering up doesn’t guarantee a change in personality. Ok, it does guarantee an elimination of the alcohol caused behaviours, like drunk texting. And it does guarantee that our health will improve. Oh alright, I’m being a pessimist. I could use another little miracle again today, like the bank deposit the other day.

So at the beginning of the week I decided that if I wasn’t sober by tomorrow (Saturday) that I would enrol in the Daytox program on Monday. I’m going to revise that a little. If I’m not sober by Sunday evening, then I’ll do it. I’m going to detox myself today, tomorrow and Sunday, using alcohol only as absolutely needed to help with the withdrawal. That’s assuming I have any withdrawal effects. In previous years I’ve had virtually no withdrawal effects other than feeling WEIRD. That and insomnia, but I have med’s to help with that part.

I’ve only gone to one AA meeting this week. Another disappointment, but I’ll go to one today for sure…

I’m really on the edge here. I’m feeling very powerless (Step 1) and not feeling very confident, but I do believe that there is a “Higher Power” of some sort at work, and available to me. I’m old enough, have had enough life experience to be convinced of that and that I’m counting to come through for me now, through meaningful coincidences, the Jungian concept of Synchronicity, just as it did on day 3. That’s MY “Higher Power”.

 

3…

It’s still early for me to report, but something kind of amazing and wonderful happened when I got up this morning. I had lingered in bed, feeling very down and discouraged, depressed even. Dragging myself out of bed was hard, like opening a soup can without a can opener. Anyway, while the coffee was brewing I decided to deposit a cheque into my account, using my iPhone to snap a picture of it with my online banking. When it asked for the amount, I was a bit confused because it looked like the amount was already there. Well, it was but that was the current balance of my account. The cheque was for the exact same amount as the balance of my account. After snapping the picture and depositing it, I even checked the balance, subtracting the cheque amount from it, just to be sure. The same. What are the odd’s of that happening?

Call me spiritual, but that seemed like a sign to me. It certainly felt like a sign and my spirits were immediately lifted. “Ok”, I thought to myself, “I can do this”. This, meaning follow through with my plan to quit drinking. And that, knowing that the Universe, or God, or what have you is there to help me. That, in Jungian terms (Carl Jung, the Psychiatrist, a contemporary of Freud) is called a Synchronicity; a meaningful coincidence, and I’ll take this one, thank you very much!!!

I’ll report back later with the days results.

Nelson.