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

Thursday, April 21, 2005

My Alcoholic car...The Shapeshifter...

     Someone once told me, "This ain't no time for pride...."

I recall completing a very well known inpatient 21 day spin dry, for the treatment of alcoholism. The treatment consisted of education, group therapy and individual counseling. They also introduced you to Steps one through five of the 12 Step program. We had to do a written first step, and share it in group, to show powerlessness over alcohol. My counselor also gave me extra homework. I had to write a daily journal, and slide it under his office door in the morning before he arrive to work. He made me re-write my first step four times, because of all the BS I had in it. He finally accepted it on my fifth attempt, then I had to read it to the group. I smiled my way through treatment. People there would say, "what a nice guy he is..." I was honest in treatment. I simply "withheld information."

With this being said, the prognosis was predictable. At eight months "sober" I entered into an instant meaningful relationship, and got drunk. When I got out of treatment, I recall my car was goodlooking too...As I continued my spree, I noticed my car began to change. The driver side window was shattered. The hood had disappeared, and it was having overheating problems. I had to carry around two milk jugs full of water, as I had to constantly put water in it. One day while in town, with my car overheating, an old friend approached me that I had not seen in a long time. They got within twenty feet of me, stopped, and started crying. They said, "you gotta stop drinking!" Then turned away. I said "What?"

The longer I drank the worse my car appeared. It was now an ugly car. It had a mind of it's own. It would change as I drove. It created a habit of "turning into bars." Then I got a good look at myself at home as I peered into the mirror. I looked like my car. I had grown a full beard, shoulder length greasy hair, with the associated nasal hair. I didn't understand what was going on. I mean, I was bathing at least once a month.

I entered treatment with my secrets, and I left treatment with them.

After I saw myself in the mirror, I called AA. Thank God I did...

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Junkie!!

Sounds like a great name for a heavy metal band. I have been in many relationships for the past fifteen years. My latest relationship ended recently, much the same as all the others. Last night I spoke with my sponsor on the phone for about an hour, then we met today for a one to one. We had about a two hour chat. I came to realize that I am not just an alcoholic, but a love junkie as well. I was divorced 15 years ago from a lady I truly loved. It was euphoric. Ever since then, I have been trying to recapture that feeling. I am currently in the process of writing my fourth step, and this realization couldn't have come at a better time. I can incorporate all this relationship stuff right into it. It has also been my fears that drive me into relationships. Ideas of not having a woman in my life brings on fears of low self-esteem, emotional insecurity, blunted pride and so on. Relationships for me were nothing more than a drug, with it's associated behavior. I now have to face this reality, and it's through only a change in my behavior, will it become a habit. Until then, all I know what to do is keep my pants on. Like to the new comer in AA, just keep the plug in the jug...Pardon the expression...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Good times...Bad times...

Didn't Robert Plant sing that? Anyway, for the past two days something happened in my life that made my depression do a slam dunk. I have always been prone to depression anyway, but this bout was very bothersome. The only thing I knew to do, was grab my Big Book, and a Bible, then jump in bed and cover my head. I could see no light at the end of my tunnel I felt I was in. I didn't want to have anything to do with anybody, or anything. Didn't even want to see nor speak to my sponsor. I couldn't get the thought of suicide out of my head. Finally I was able to drift off to sleep. For the past couple of days I have been this way...Until now. Around 11:30pm, I called an old friend who just graduated from intensive treatment for alcoholism, just to chat. I wasn't really going to share the past couple of days with them...Just wanted to talk. They had call waiting and was on another call with a group member in crisis. I just said hey, no big deal, was just calling to see how things were going with recovery and all. So I made them get back on the other line and help that person. About 30 minutes later my friend of over twenty years calls back. They went on and on about their treatment experience and how great it is to be sober, and all the new feelings sometimes confused emotions, and tears. A funny thing happened. Never did I share what I had been feeling for the past couple of days with them. But during my listening to this persons wonderful treatment experience, my thoughts of ending my life disappeared. I found myself laughing out loud. I adore this persons sense of humour. (OOPS, sorry, Canada eh?) I am sitting here typing this with a huge smile on my face. I almost feel...Happy! Somehow, my dread was lifted, without saying much at all. Funny how AA works. I am so grateful it does...The fellowship saves lives.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Growing pains...

Having worked in the addiction field, I am now convinced that past and current treatment programs are just not long enough. I will let you ponder that one. In the city where I live, we even have an inpatient treatment center, that does not use the steps of AA as part of their treatment modality. They use Dr. Bob Glasser's Control Theory. Some of you may know it as "Reality Therapy." Control Theory is interesting. It does not suggest controlled drinking. It does promote total abstinence. The problem is that Glasser does not believe that we are shaped by our past. Sorry, Bobby, but humans are shaped by their past.

What we live with, we learn.

What we learn, we practice.

What we practice, we become,

and what we become has consequences.

I learned most of what I know about life were from my teachers. My teachers were my parents. My alcoholic mother taught me how to drink. My father taught me how to fish. The odd thing is, I never, ever, drank alcohol when fishing. That's practically unamerican! I never had the talk about the birds and the bees. No training about budgeting, work ethics and credit management. I think my parents did the best they could with what they had to work with. They had three kids, so just keeping us fed and watered was a handful I would guess. Enough of that shit. This local treatment center pisses me off. They do not refer their patients to AA upon completion of their 21 day spin dry. Unless of course the patient is ordered by the courts to attend AA. I see people in some of the local Intensive Outpatient programs drop into meetings from time to time, on their pink clouds. Pink clouds are a necessity I think. Because when the sky is clear, and treatment is over, the only thing left is AA. The fall from a pink cloud is a painful one. I am grateful the hand of AA is there to catch-n-patch people, if they are lucky enough to find the fellowship. No matter how much treatment one has, counseling, psychotherapy, the antidepressants and prescribed sedatives, antipsychotics, and maybe Antabuse, the only thing left is Alcoholics Anonymous. One could spend millions on treatments, but in the end, AA is the only constant. Treatment ends...AA is forever, a day at a time. After the money runs out for treatment or the insurance, the only way to turn is north or south. Return to the misery of drink, or get AA. Yes, I said, "get AA." AA is the best treatment available today for Alcoholism. It's free. The 12 Step program designed by a couple of drunks. Let's ponder this. If you donated a dollar at a meeting of AA daily for one year, my addition shows a cost of $365.00. I know, a meeting a day is not realistic, but it makes my point. How much did drinking cost you in just money? I'm not mentioning the dishonest life we had to lead while drinking, losing family, friends and sometimes jobs along the way. We may not get our money back spent, but some of the other losses can be regained and or repaired. Things can be salvaged. We are salvageable too.
Off my soap box now. I am a broken man. AA has the tools to best repair me. My doctors say I cannot work anymore. My EGO is crushed. Maybe that's a good thing to have smashed. It is the psychology behind the 12 Step program. EGO deflation at depth. Whatever my truth is, it's cool. I am getting to know me a little bit. So far, despite everything I have done that has been ugly, I believe I have a kind heart. I didn't believe that before...ever.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Screw it!!

I'm tired of sitting at home, in pain. It doesn't matter where I'm at, I'm going to hurt. So, screw it, I'm going to an AA meeting tonight and sit there in pain. My Alcoholic Brain says stay home and rest. It's lying to me again!!

Seattle Post Intelligencer at West Baltimore Group

Alcoholics Cannot Learn to be "Social Drinkers"
By James Royce. A good read and former instructor of mine....

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