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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Spiritual progress and BM's...

I use the Bowel Movement term when I'm in a mood, thus, BM. It is Step 10 time, because I'm in a bad mood. I know I'm pissed because I slept through an AA meeting, and missed it. Of course that's better than taking a drink, but I do get down on my bad self when I do stuff like that. I think what is happening is I am placing expectations on myself. These expectations are not rational for where I am in life right now. I can see by placing these expectations on myself, it stunts my spiritual growth. I see the grateful faces of people in AA and I often wish I felt as happy as they seem to be. I know that some are truly happy and grateful. It's a beautiful thing. I have my moments where I am grateful. I find these moments are short lived. Come to think of it, a light just now came on. I do have moments of gratitude. This must be what is called growth huh? Perhaps these short lived moments will increase in duration. That would be groovy. Oops. Sorry about the groovy. I am dating myself. Ok, time to get it on with Step 10 and you all have another 24, and thank God I have another day...G'night.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Thanks...

Thanks to the nice people who leave comments on this blog. They mean a lot to me. I have some work to do, so I will post more later. I saw a special lady at the AA club last night. She is sweet. The doctor gave me a shot of something in my shoulder joint and I'm almost pain free there. Maybe I just had a rusty joint. I worked the bar at the club last night. Was nice to get behind the plank again. Still sober...Still no withdrawal from my pain meds. Maybe I won't have any...I feel good today!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A man without a horse...

A man once said, "A man without a horse, is a man without legs." That saying reminds me of the 12 Steps...They give me legs.

I feel yah dog...

Sometimes I think AA/NA folks are the only people I can relate to these days. Like a lot of alcoholics and addicts, I have had several different types of employment. I did work in the addiction field as a Therapist II and a CCDC III, and the Ambulance business, as well as a horse trainer. So it's cool trying to figure out what I wanna be when I grow up. I did all of these jobs very well. They say that alcoholics can actually fall upstairs. That is so true. I remember on the ambulance one time, and a co-worker was complaining about another crew member. All I said was, "Sounds like fourth step stuff to me." He had a tilt to his head that reminded me of a very curious dog. Like, "that's interesting, but what is it."


I am grateful for the principles that are laid out for people like me. I was an alcoholic before my first drink. All the green-eyed people in my family are alcoholic. The blue-eyed ones are not. I will never forget that first drink. It made things right. I felt like all the planets were aligned, and I just fit in the human race real smooth like everybody else. Alcohol was once my best friend. That best friend killed me, but I'm in a different space. I realize my powerlessness over it, and what a key to freedom. I respect the power of alcohol, and I leave it alone. I have a group of friends who don't hang out with me, just to see if they can manipulate me outta anything. Today I have friends who care. They stop by, have coffee and shoot the breeze, wanting nothing else but friendly conversation. Imagine that!


I thought by now I would feel a withdrawal syndrome from the pain medication, but nothing yet. I feel fine, except for the nagging pulling pain in my right shoulder, and I see a surgeon tomorrow. Sunday I will be working at the local Alano Club. That's fun. Free coffee and conversation with other drunks. I can't think of a better night. Well, I can, but I won't go there!LOL Thanks for another 24.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Storms...

Thunder and lightening tonight. Nothing like watching a lightening storm. I wonder what it's like to be hit by lightening. I wonder if it is like putting a massive dose of meth in your arm. I know what that's like. Sort of taking a left hook from a heavyweight. Out of sorts for a while. I was feeling out of sorts when I realized what happens when your car is impounded. Besides the initial towing fee, they charge thirty-six dollars a day impound fee. They charge you this until they auction it off, then they bill you for the balance remaining. I had no choice but to make arrangements to get my car out, so I did. I could have ended up owing thousands, and if I couldn't pay the balance, I would never be able to renew my drivers license. I could actually feel a wave of nausea overcome me. But I feel better. Better to take charge once in a while rather than being a victim huh? I think so. I can be very good with the self pity thing. Self pity gets me one thing...Drunk/loaded. Going to have a surprise party for a guy that does a lot of good for people in this town. That will be fun. Three days without pain meds. I'm trying the John Wayne thing. Without the whisky.


I have a friend that I help in recovery. When all else fails, work with another alcoholic. Sound wisdom. Thank God for another 24, you are all in my prayers. What a rambling mess this was huh? Bed time.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The sweet smell of rain...

I love that smell. What a beautiful day. Finally it is raining, and it has cooled off here. A blessing in disguise happened yesterday. I went outside and my car was gone! Apparently Friday night it was towed away. I had to call the police to find out where it was. I have to park on the street, and with the 24 hour parking law, my car got busted. So I called the towing company to see how much it would be to spring the car. Over $300.00!! I am going to let them keep it. Maybe a sour grapes thing, but the price of gas, and the fact that it's breaks were going out on it, it's better for me to let it sit there. But we like are cars don't we?! The good news is I haven't felt the need to drink, and that's a beautiful thing. I did add a short text on the left hand side of the page. I have a handful of people who know who I am. Sometimes what I write brings up feelings that I am writing about them. A good rule of thumb would not believe everything you read on the internet. I do write this blog to help me keep track of my own reality. This is a paradox, so please read the text to the left. I you react to something I write, apply it to your own feelings and behavior. This is about you. If you are an alcoholic/addict, you may react to some things that make you uncomfortable. My only suggestion is to write whatever it is that's bothering you about what I write, on paper. Ask yourself why did I respond that way, or how was my behavior? This way it helps both of us. May God keep you all clean and sober today, and bless you all for the encouraging comments. They are very heartfelt.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Moment of Clarity...

Around 1:00pm today, I was trying to be cool. In the sense that we have had a sudden increase in weather changes. This is a very seasonal part of the USA and it unusually hot for May. Around 100 or more degrees F. Anyway I was watching TV, and sitting back in my recliner and just started crying, and I couldn't stop for almost 30 minutes. I feel overwhelmed with all of my issues, and just broke down today. Not just my back and skin pain, financial issues, shoulder pain, an inability to drive my car...The list goes on and on. There was a time when I was very good about helping people in my type of situation by developing a treatment plan. That consists of defining the problem. I'll just throw this out as a sample. 1.Problem:Back pain. 2.Objective:Relieve back pain. Plan:Refer to MD, spine specialist. Time Element:See Medical provider within one week.


I can't seem to apply this to my own life. I am feeling stuck. I should get back into therapy for my brain. When I try to share how I feel, I am at least so far met with two things. 1. One-upmanship. Whatever problem I have, the person I am talking to has had, or have it worse. 2.Avoidance by comparison. It goes something like this..."Well, I know so and so with that problem and they're fine." These accomplish one thing. Nothing, except make me feel worse about myself. I would rather just have somebody listen, and say nothing...Or maybe touch my hand and offer some assurance. The, "hey, I'm here dude." That kind of communication does more for me than anything. I suppose that's why I like my sponsor so much. He has that way of saying hey dude I'm here. He doesn't say much, but reflects and his eyes twinkle. That sends me a message of hope, when I'm feeling hopeless, like I was today. Hopelessness about an unmanageable life. Step One and Two things. I think it was a good thing for me to break down bawling like a baby today. I sure feel better having done so. I shared a lot of my feelings with the mother cat and the kittens during my crying episode. All of them got up in the chair with me. Some slept, some played, one was licking my big toe. They just listened to me. What a beautiful thing. It hurts to wear clothes, so I'm gonna do the Blue Ridge Mountain thing for a while. The bib overalls. I have an AA meeting to go to at 6pm tonight. I have to remember that it is an AA meeting and just that. A meeting. It's not a fashion show. Although I often wonder what it would be like to strut the catwalk with flash cameras going off all over the place...Well why don't I email Christy Brinkley and ask her what it was like?

Monday, May 08, 2006

I drank to drug and drugged to drink...

In the late 1960's and early 1970's I used a lot of drugs and drank tons of alcohol. The standard night out would be to get a nickel bag of speed and go to the local hippie tavern and drink beer and or wine. I would take a few hits of speed prior to going to the bar. I would have a nice buzz on from the speed when I got there. So a nice bottle of wine or a pitcher of beer was "required" to take the edge off. As the evening passed, I would find myself getting a bit drunk, so I would eat more speed to straighten up. It worked very well...I could party like that for days. I was living with my primary enabler back then. She could only handle so many years of that before leaving town. Imagine that!! It wasn't until the late 1980's was I able to make amends to her, face to face, in Seattle. Eye to eye contact is best when making amends. It promotes humility. Back in those days, I did use a needle. I shot opiates for a week then that ended with bleeding lungs. I spent 5 days in intensive care. I died in the emergency room. I saw Jesus next to my bed while in intensive care, and I felt so safe and peaceful. Then he left, and I took off the oxygen mask and told my nurse that Jesus was just here, and she said, "You're hallucinating." I responded with, "You're a fuckin' bitch!" I had no desire to drink alcohol or use drugs for nearly 13 years after that. It's almost funny how quickly we can leave our Higher Power and try to run our own lives. That's what I did. I left my Higher Power, and tried to run my life as I saw fit.

We know the result of that now, don't we?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Chronic pain and recovery...

If I ever get that one figured out, I'll let you know. I learned the hard way to keep my mouth shut about having to take pain medication. Some in AA are more than willing to opine concerning the rules of recovery. I have been given advice by several people in AA, concerning seeking an alternative way to deal with my pain. I have been told I'm not sober. I know lots of people who take magic pills in AA, I have to wonder if they have ever been told that their recovery is moot? Probably. I shared my feelings about it in a meeting recently about what others say about medication use, and an old-timer with 37 years of sobriety said, "Fuck them. There's nothing in the book about that."


I felt better after getting that off of my chest. Staying sober with chronic physical pain, is certainly not taking an easier softer way. If I were able to drive, do my laundry etc, I would be going to more meetings I'm sure. Being financially strapped all the time isn't making things easier either. I have to find a place to park my car, because the tags are expired. I have no auto insurance anyway.


I don't have a lot of friends, but the ones that I have are very important to me. There's a fella who volunteers at the local AA Club that I like a lot and he drops by from time to time to just shoot the breeze. He makes me laugh he is so funny. One day out of the blue he says, "I'm gonna relapse when I'm 84." Pearls of wisdom fall from his lips. I have been out of my antidepressants for a few days and I can already tell the difference. This friend is going to run me around tomorrow to pay bills and get meds, food, etc...


Upon awakening, I sit on my bed and go through my head the things I'm grateful for. That's about all I can do, until I have a cup of coffee and a cigarette. Then another cup of coffee and another cigarette. Then I start to wake up. Yesterday afternoon I laid down on my bed and was reading one of the personal stories in the AA Big Book(one that I could really relate to)and I fell asleep, waking up two hours later with drool as a bookmark. I really like my sponsor a lot too. He is one of the constants in my life. I can always count on him. He never misses a beat. He follows up with what he says. He is very punctual. He is one of my "rocks" in recovery. I have two other "rocks" too, both guys. These folks keep me grounded. They lead by humility. Never offering polished advice, nor am I bombed with "you need, or you should bla, bla, bla." I believe they know I do not react well to direct "in your face confrontation."


I have had three injuries that have required a surgical fix. The funny thing is I was never under the influence when I hurt myself. In 1979 I tore my right collar bone away from my shoulder, so now I only have one stitch holding my shoulder together. The next step that year to fix my shoulder was to have a collar bone replacement, with one made of Dacron. The material used in making football helmets. But I never went back to get that done. I just went away, drinking wine, smoking pot, eating acid, mescaline, speed, and penicillin for the occasional STD. That was back in the days of the "hippie." We loved everybody back then. Now for the past several months, my shoulder has been hurting constantly. It appears I should have followed my doctors orders back then. I know in my guts, something is going to have to be done with my shoulder. Maybe I'll get that football helmet after all. Even with the opiate I'm taking for pain now doesn't help. But dose wise, I am taking a small dose. After my second back surgery, I was on 85mg of this stuff daily. Today, after my third surgery, 30mg is the maximum I take in one day. That's a good thing I think. I had knee surgery once, but that hasn't bothered me much at all. Maybe a little stiffness during the winter months.


Today, I don't have the luxury to drink my pain away. I know that's what I did in the past. I had fears back then too, and drank to erase my fears. But if alcohol has taught me one thing, it's how to be afraid. I do know that with a little time, my body will be put back together and I can again join the human race.

I'll write more in a little while...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Relationships in recovery...

This topic is a complex one. The theme in AA is to not make any major decisions in ones first year of recovery, like get into a relationship. Any addictions study program that is worth a damn, will require a minimum of two years of abstinence from alcohol and drugs prior to enrollment. Provided one is admittedly chemically dependent. This is based on the fact that a brain that has been physically changed due to alcoholism/addiction, takes up to two years until cognition is fully restored. It's as good as it will get. Again the AA community and institutes of addiction studies clash in ideas. I have never seen it written in any AA approved literature that says don't get into a relationship during the first year of recovery. The 12 Steps are the suggested program of recovery, so I am going to assume that one reaches recovery upon completion of these steps. With the resulting spiritual awakening. Ongoing maintenance meetings along with the maintenance steps are usually required to maintain sobriety. What causes this dilemma in early recovery is, who says when someone is falling in love or not? Is it true that a person who has less than a year clean and sober cannot fall in love? I have heard it said in AA meetings that "feelings are not facts." So what are they? I have feelings all the time...Are not my feelings factual? Now, looking at how long it takes to recover from alcoholism/addiction, these feelings in early recovery may indeed may not be based on fact, due to deficits in cognition. So as I look at the program of recovery that AA offers, it all begins to make sense. A newcomer in AA, I would venture a guess, will take one to two years to complete the 12 Steps. Completing that time element, completing the 12 Steps, then will produce rational thought processes. Only upon completing these things will we be able to begin to trust our feelings as being most factual. That is my estimate of all of this.

The danger of relationships in early recovery is the obvious distraction from the 12 Steps. I would go as far to say that some of these relationships would be like switching addictions, and the result is an entanglement of irrational thought.Thoughts produce feelings.

This is the dilemma that the single recovering person faces, when psychology tells us that we all cry for love from our very core. I can see that to recover is to suffer. There must be a wonderful payoff when the steps are done...

The song below, Just Like A Pill, by PINK, describes an early recovery relationship to me.

Just Like A Pill, by PINK...

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