Alcoholic Brain

Hi and thanks for visiting. I have an alcoholic brain. I will try to post comments daily about how this alcoholic brain functions.
Sober date: October 4th, 2005.

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Location: West Coast, United States

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Communication Loop...

To slimplify things, I will demonstrate the communication loop using two alcoholic players. The loop consists of the "Sender," and the "Receiver." When the sender completes the verbal data transfer, the receiver then gathers the data, and formulates a response. Upon responding, the receiver becomes the sender. This is how the loop works. Hence the name "loop." One of the big obstacles in recovery is that it is an illness of self-centeredness to the extreme. It is often comical to witness two alcoholics attempting the communication loop. It can be equally frustrating to be a participant in one. The alcoholic must grow beyond self-centeredness. The following hypothetical conversation will illustrate my point.

Sender:"Sure is a beautiful day."

Receiver:"I lost at cards last night. The cards were very old"

Sender:"I wonder if the Salmon are running?"

Receiver:"I usually win at card games."

Sender:"I have to get a fishing license and a good fishing pole."

Receiver:"I think the people I played cards with were cheating."

Sender:"I don't have the money to buy all that stuff right now, maybe I'll set some money aside."

Receiver:"I know it's only a game, but still..."

Welcome to the world of those, by nature of the disease are not so great at communicating at first. To be a successful communicator, the addict/alcoholic, must free themselves from "the bondage of self." Until that point, the alcoholic brain will keep the communication loop closed.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I am tired...Tired...Tired...

This morning I woke up after a good nights sleep, yet still feeling dog tired. I asked myself why on Earth why I was feeling so worn out? Thinking about it I haven't been dreaming mush for the past few months. I dream maybe once a week at best. This is not good. Humans need dream sleep, also known as "REM" sleep. I have concluded correctly that I have been staying off of alcohol, using my own devices. My own program, not the recovery program that AA suggests, which is a 12 step program. I have been using my own willpower, and for me, the result has always been the same...A return to acute alcoholism...A place I never want to be again.

In college, we had these things called text books that we had to buy, in order to study, and learn from, in order to successfully pass classes etc...AA has a basic text book too. Right there in the book, it is called a basic text for Alcoholics Anonymous. It contains the original 12 steps, that so many other programs use today and the steps work. I see myself as being in school, yet I have failed to follow the directions in the book. Do I want a report card that reflects failure? Hardly. On page 62 of the basic text of AA, you will find a passage that states, "self-will run riot." That is the perfect description of how I have been staying "sober." The result is predictable...I die of exhaustion, or I surrender to the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. For the first time in 27 years of being in and out of the AA program, I have hit an emotional "bottom." I'm tired; like a lame horse. (a lame horse is one that has episodes of arthritis, usually in the knee). I asked a fella who has been around AA sober for as long as I have been trying to GET sober. He's a straight shooter, and a tough hombre. Just the type of gringo I need to keep me guided on the right path with these steps. He's a very likeable hombre though, or I wouldn't have asked him. He has something I want...Peace of mind. Diabetics need insulin to live. If I were to get pneumonia again, I would need breathing treatments again, and take antibiotics as prescribed, or suffer; perhaps die. The 12 steps in the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous is my medicine. I better take it three times daily. If not, the prognosis is very poor. It is almost too simple. As a former football hero, it's like playing football. Sometimes the game is simple. You just lower your head and push...

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hangin' out...

Sunday evening I volunteered at the local Alano Club, working the bar. In case you don't know what an Alano Club is, it is a place for people to go, who do not use alcohol and or other drugs. There are social things to do, as well as just go hang out and have coffee with friends in recovery. The Club is supported by dues paying members. Today I went to the Club to hang out for a while. A fellow grabbed me and asked if I could talk to him for a while. Sure, cool. He was really full of frustration and resentment, about things beyond his control. By the end of our conversation, we had reached a near calm. Maybe his hidden desire to drink had left him. Another person was having a problem with an egomaniac that represents their AA group at the district level. It appears that this representative is not doing his job the way it should be done. Overall, the day made me think of control issues. There wasn't much I could do but listen to the problems, and offer a creative alternative or two. The alcoholic ego is something to behold indeed. I recalled the innocence of my youth...In the fifth grade. A friend bet me he could pee higher than I could. So after school, we waited till everyone was gone, and went out behind the school and dropped our drawers, and began splashing on the red bricks of the school. I was beaming with pride as I witnessed my great golden arch strike the wall at a great height, only to panic when I looked over to see my friend peeing higher than me! I stood on my tip-toes and arched my back and pushed as hard as I could!! But it was too late...The next day my feet hurt...

Friday, February 18, 2005

Trusting the alcoholic brain...

Sometimes AA confuses me. What I mean is, some of the things that some AA's say. Recently I was listening to a sober alcoholic telling his story about how he "lost" his spouse and job, due to his drinking. He even had his drivers license revoked due to drinking. Another member said, "Yow didn't lose those things, you "traded" them for booze." Should the same be said for the dying cancer patient? The one suffering from HIV/AIDS? Sometime people find jobs, spouses, homes, money, and other things disappearing as their disease progresses. Sometimes I think people in AA just say things to make themselves look smarter than the other alcoholic. To make themselves look pretty. I don't believe for a nanosecond that an alcoholic willingly "trades" these things while in the grip of the disease of alcoholism. To say that an alcoholic "trades" people, places and things while drinking, is to indicate that the drinking alcoholic has the luxury to choose. That's ignorant. An alcoholic that is drinking has not the ability to choose. They drink because they cannot, not drink. They find it impossible to function normally without alcohol, even though this is beyond reason. The drinking alcoholic cannot see. Take alcohol away from an alcoholic and see how well they function for a while. What I find awesome in AA, is that the people in AA who want to appear smarter, and or prettier than another drunk, is just a reflection of how altered and damaged my brain really is. I need "smart" and "pretty" alcoholics because they keep me reminded of how really ill my mind has become. Alcoholics have physical brain damage. It's only a matter of degree. I know my alcoholic brain is damaged. I can recall vividly my first AA meeting in 1978. I can't recall very well what I saw or heard in an AA meeting just last week. That's brain damage. So can I really trust my damaged brain? Perhaps not. I do know this...If I hangout with AA members every day, my chances of drinking will be greatly reduced. So you pick. Should I just trust my own alcoholic brain, or trust a group of alcoholic brains? DOH!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I can't think...

Ok, so do I write pages upon pages concerning the behavior of a common drunkard? Should I write what people want to hear? Being a "recovering alcoholic" I would love to write just about me...After all, the world does revolve around me. I am the center of the ever expanding universe. I am the center of attention when I am drinking, or when I'm not drinking. "Oh he's drinking again! What an idiot! He lost his job!! His wife, the house he bought!! Both the cars!!"...To..."Isn't he doing great, now that he isn't drinking and attending Alcoholics Anonymous!! He even has a sponsor!! He takes a bath everyday!" He is back to his real self again!!" It's all bullshit. Alcoholism has turned me into a pathological liar. I seem to see the world through someone else's prescription glasses...Just the way I want to see the world. I arrange people, places and things to my liking. Do I like being without a job? Do I enjoy hurting the people who really love me? No. But that's what I have become. Even though Alcoholism was declared a disease by the World Health Organization in 1953, and again in 1955 by the American Medical Association, people still judge this disease through moral eye glasses. Why? Because of what I do as a drunkard. People judge what they see. Alcoholism is not pretty. Having been a medical professional, it's about the ugliest disease I have witnessed. Is my ego convinced to the reality of me actually being a common drunkard? Maybe. Despite overwhelming evidence to the reality that I am a flaming alcoholic, I still say "maybe." Quitting drinking is easy. I have quit drinking a thousand times it seems. I nearly went 13 years without a drink. My alcoholic brain had me convinced that I could return to drinking with impunity. It had me convinced that I could drink like a normal drinker and rub shoulders with men of science and stature in society. I was convinced that by drinking as a normal social drinker, I could really be someone famous, wealthy, and very handsome. My brain had me convinced that I would be living in a castle, with women knocking at the gates crying for my love.
My Alcoholic Brain has me living in a castle sure enough. But my castle is a prison...Even as a free man. Tonight I will attend a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous, to look at other alcoholics, and thank God I am not like them. I will then meet afterwards with my sponsor. What should I tell him? What he wants to hear? Probably. That's the way an alcoholic brain works...Remember...Dipsomania? That's me without alcohol...just another common drunk. Nothing really special about that.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Let's begin the insanity...

I took my first drink the day I got my drivers license. I drank homemade wine that night, and passed-out while urinating, and hit my head on the toilet, knocking myself into unconsciousness. I felt like death warmed over the next morning. I told myself I would never do that again. In less than a week, I was drinking to get drunk. Not to be social, but to get drunk. This went on, for nearly 36 years...Welcome to my blog, and the insanity and madness of the Alcoholic Brain. Alcoholism at it's best. In the early years, psychiatry called "acute alcoholism" "Dipsomania." You will soon find that this label is entirely appropriate in describing my brain. More tomorrow...

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