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

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Camping...

Cafeful!  That's hot!I went camping with a friend Saturday, and just got back this afternoon. Getting out of this town was what I needed for a while. Something about nature that's good for the soul. We had a couple of AA meetings too. The only issue was shade. There wasn't enough of it. Thank God we setup camp along a stream, that flows from a glacier. It was nice to be able to cool off in the stream. The night sky was splattered with stars. If one has question about a Higher Power, I think the question would have been answered looking at that sky. I would like to go back there next week...Thank God for the chance to see these beautiful things with a "new pair of glasses..."

Friday, August 25, 2006

Step Eleven...

Good Big Book study meeting tonight...I just finished reading Step Eleven. Randomly, I read that step. This picture I took today for a day late HNT. I added some light to this one. It isn't easy taking pictures of one's own body parts. A friend of mine on "Flickr" took a similar picture, with their feet in the air. They challenged me to try it, so I did. After the Fire department, ambulance service and the people from the "Save The Whales Foundation" were able to restore me to an upright position, I was able to upload this foto. Actually, I was able to get up off of the floor under my own power, and asking God for help. It took some prayer, but I made it. The words "Sought through prayer..." Stand out to me. I take time to pray daily, and maybe I'll do it several times daily. I did this picture to help me realize how important prayer is, and that there are many ways to pray. Use anything to pray. Use your feet. Whatever works for you...Please use it. It helps this jerky drunk stay calm and sober, a little serene.

Gotta Love Bonding...

Male bonding in the fellowship is awesome growth, as I can see. When I first came to AA, I would talk to and hug anything in a skirt. I thought hugging men that I hardly knew was gross. I'm eager today to hug these men who are trudging the same path as I. This is also scientific. Hugs promote healing and improves over health. There are psychological as well as physical health improvements. A recent study from a major California univsersity indicates these things. They suggest a minimum of four hugs daily, one around breakfast time, again at lunch, dinner and at bedtime. Any hugging after bedtime I would suggest would only be a fringe benefit and healthy, provided the situation is healthy!! :o)

As I grow in the fellowship of AA, I have come to understand the gift of bonding.
Many times in my alcoholic state, I drank to establish a bond between myself and others, but I succeeded only in establishing the bondage of alcoholic loneliness. Through the AA way of life, I have received the gift of bonding--with those who were there before me, with those who are there now, and with those yet to come. For this gracious gift from God, I am forever grateful.
from the Daily Reflections, page 246. That's today. Happy weekend to all!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Juiced!

Sounds like a Major League Baseball ad. I feel better today. I went and got my hormone shot. I wonder why these athletes are getting into trouble for taking Testosterone? Performance enhancing drugs. Our whole society is made up of chemicals that help improve our quality of life. But there must be other steroids that are worse. The Tour De France winner had high levels of Testosterone and he won, but was stripped of the title because of high levels of Testosterone found in a drug test. My excuse is that mine were below normal, so I'm having a synthetic Testosterone injections monthly. I have been taking antidepressants since age 15, and I'm down to taking just one now. Maybe I'll be free of that one, who knows. But I know that my outlook on life has improved with grasping a Higher Power and getting my testosterone levels up to normal. I really won't know until bloodwork for that, the first week in September.
Had a great meeting tonight and it's always nice to have visitors from the big city at the meeting. Tonight's topic was gratitude, with a little of everything tossed in. Just touching base with you all before I hit the sack. I am so grateful to be alive and sober today. It's unreal...G'night! Thanks for another 24... Sober is good.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Free, but dependent

I haven't felt so sharp today. I think I ate a pizza that wasn't right. That's all I can figure. My doctor had to go do an emergency surgery today, so I'm rescheduled to see him again in the morning. I had my meeting with my sponsor today. That was a good thing. Even though I feel like crap, I can't stop doing the things that are working keeping me sober. I also might be having a hormone thing, as I am due to get 400mg of Testosterone in my hip tomorrow. It takes 48 hours to reach peak blood plasma levels, so I know I'll feel better by then. I want to do a "Joe and Charlie workshop" that will be one night a week, until the group will be done with the steps. I have had to ask a friend about getting a copy of the cassette tapes, as of the 10 CD's I burned, three of them didn't play correctly. I have the workbook for that workshop too. It looks very cool. Off to bed, thanks for another 24.

I am free from addiction/alcoholism today, and I am happily dependent on a Higher Power to stay that way.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sponsor's after injury pic...

Thanks Tod for emailing the "after" picture of his splint/cast removed. We just don't bounce back up running like we used to. I remember breaking my shoulder, getting up, no problem, where's the beer...Then the alcohol would wear off. If I were to drink again, I doubt I would have a recovery left...So, just for today, I'll work my program, help others, and try to do God's will.

Happy today...

I actually did some physical labor today, and that feels good. No back pain yet. Maybe I won't have any. I hope so. With each day that passes, I can feel how much freedom from self I feel. I am actually concerned very much about the well being of others, watching also however not to become an enabler. I am learning how to really like me a lot. I'm a great guy today, with lots to give, thanks to the principles of the program of AA, and my fellows. I am very grateful for:

  • Tod, just because.

  • Greg, because he helps me realize how sick I am.

  • Joey, for calling a spade a spade.

  • Fred, for his love and confidence and trust in me.

  • The Alano Club for being open 12 hours a day.

  • The fellowship of AA.

  • My fellow sober drunks, and the ones still doing research.

  • My family, who accepts that I'm a little strange!

  • Some air conditioning!

  • My fellow bloggers that rock in recovery! Hugs!

  • The season of Fall, when it gets here!...LOL

G'night everybody, be safe!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sponsor HNT!!

I'm posting it a day late, but here is my sponsors HNT. I asked him to send me an HTN pic to post. I have the x-rays too. This happened the first week in June I think. He took the family way up into the mountains for a camping trip. While setting up camp, he fell over a large rock that the Forest Service places at campgrounds to keep vehicles out of tent areas. Basically he shattered his wrist.  This is an external cast, (I think)and the bolts went into the bones for support. I can only assume it was at least an hour drive to the hospital. Thanks Tod for the pic. My mood has been good, and I'm touching my program today, and plan to attend the Big Book study tonight. I have a computer that needs attention around 5pm, but the meeting isn't until 6pm. I will be taking more of my fourth step and writing more on paper. Maybe I'll come up with more to write this evening. My AC is out, and it's rather uncomfortable. I would like to dump about 40 pounds...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Heat...

I managed to post an HNT pic over at the HNT blog. The sidebar looks off like the CSS is fouled-up. I'll look at the code with view source to see where the error is. Went to an awesome meeting last night. There was a young man there who had started out by saying this was his first meeting since 1997, then he said he just got back from Iraq. He drank a six pack prior to the meeting. I can only imagine what's going through his head. I pray he comes back. The budget cuts here have hurt veterans here. I hope he gets the help he needs.

I worked the Alano Club tonight, it was rather uneventful. But I enjoy doing that type of thing. Keeps me outta me. Hope you are all weller!! Peace out!

Oh, my AC went out. Heat. YUK!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Meetings

I expect too much of myself. I don't even have a year off alcohol yet, and I feel sometimes I should have this recovery thing nailed. I quit shooting Meth a year ago August 5th. Then I drank for about two months sporadically until October 4th. So hey, my brain is gonna mess with me no doubt. I met with my sponsor today and I started to pull outta my funk even more. I hadn't been outta the house for two days. I was isolating, and I have a tendency to do that. I went to an AA meeting tonight, and I sure feel better. There were some folks from outta town, so that's always cool. Welcome to the land of the Appleknocker. I gathered a few dinars to buy a 12 Step guide. I'm one of those addict/alcoholics that has a thousand faces and characters. My sponsor says I'm so quick and slippery I'm like "mercury." The president of the Alano Club calls me the man with the "rubber face." This evening is good. Now I just have to do the food thing. I have this thing about my waistline...If I entered a Dickie-do race, I'm sure I'd win. Thanks for another 24, and thanks for the comments and emails. G'night!

Creativity & comedy helps...

Run with the big dogs...

Whatever works!!!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bla............

It's funny how I can post about everything nice, and the next day have a raging case of the "fuck it's." I haven't touched my program all day and I sure can tell. I know I will feel better after I write this post, I always do, but right now, my attitude stinks. I can't put my finger on anything causing this, other than being complacent about recovery today. So what am I thinkin'? If I take a day off from working my program, then my disease takes time away too??!! Oh hail no. While I do nothing, I get pounded by my brain. I went from action to inaction in 24 hours. Today has just been another reminder that this is a one day at a time thing. Each day is a new beginning. Sometimes being an alcoholic really sucks. Today has just been one of those. I suppose I will have days like these. I just hope I don't have too many of them. On reflection, I didn't do what I do every morning, and that's begin with peace and quiet. I didn't pray nor meditate. I'll do that now before I go to bed. There, I feel better already. I'll climb down off my cross now. See you all Tuesday...I am grateful that I didn't feel the need to drink though. That's for certain.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Rituals and a Thank you...

I would like to thank the half-nAAked blogger group for the invitation into the HNT blog. I'm very happy about it. I promise any pics I post will be tasteful. I have my totally tasteless pics on another server...LOL...This is why I'm happy about it I think. I see life as a series of rituals. The three areas of life, as I have learned are, waiting, beginning, and ending. Some things we just wait for. Waiting for graduation, love, the new arrival etc...Beginning something is a good example of when one first joins AA, starting a new career, courtship, romance, marriage etc...The ending is like closure of a loss, or a not so happy past. Without closure, it is almost impossible to move on huh? Yep. Ending something would be a divorce, funeral, retirement and so on.
These rituals are important. What I am learning in recovery is a series of rituals that help me not just stay clean and sober, but to grow spiritually beyond that. Some of my rituals that I practice are: Prayer, regular AA meeting attendance, seeing my sponsor once a week for an hour and a half for a one to one. Also on my list of rituals is to read something from the AA Big Book, even if it just a paragraph, and reading the Daily Reflections making a daily gratitude list. Blogging has become a ritual, and the half-nAAked will be also. All of these rituals I must keep doing, one day at a time.The 12 principles are also one of my rituals, as are the 12 traditions. 
ACTION, ACTION, ACTION. I saw this on Shannon's blog, and it is so true. I have done it myself, and that is Hotdogs through the keyhole.We cannot rely on prayer and meetings alone to get well. We have to get into action and get honest. We could even sit in a closet and just pray for God to shove hotdogs through the keyhole to keep us fed. That doesn't work. Prayer and action with these rituals, will reap rewards beyond our dreams.
Thank you Shannon for the keyhole post. It reminded me of the  Tea bag alcoholic. What? The tea bag alcoholic only works when it's in hot water...

I put a lot of effort into my drinking and drug use. If I can just muster 10% of that effort toward recovery, that gives me more of a chance at life today. Happy Saturday!!

Trust God, Clean house, Help others...

This is a copy of Dr Bob's prescription for recovery.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Happy belated HNT!

I'm a day late!! I was going to post last night after closing the Alano Club, but I was so tired, I left a trail of clothes to my bed. I was asleep befor my head hit the pillow. It's so nice to fall asleep rather than pass out due to drugs or alcohol, or both. I'm going to go out for coffee, so I'll post more later I hope!! If I can't get to my terminal, you all have a happy clean and sober weekend!!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The voices in my head...

I love this one: "You're just jealous because the voices in my head only talk to me." Anyway the bubbles post is a link that was emailed to me, and when I saw it I thought of Gwen's animated bubbles graphic. It appears I will be feeding livestock for another day. I just got a call from one party saying they were going to be a day late. Thank God for the cooling trend. Dropped into the 90's F. Looking forward to the meeting tonight. I can tell I need one. How do you all know when you need a meeting? A good indicator for me is when I can smile at a person, and at the same time have a hidden desire to put them in a sleeper hold. I have felt that once today, so I'd say I'm past due!!LOL Thank God for Step 10. It's a great spot check.
Debits and Credits:
Following a gossip binge, we can ask ourselves these questions:"Why did we say what we did? Were we only trying to be helpful and informative? Or were we not trying to feel superior by confessing the other fellow's sins? Or, because of fear and dislike, were we not really aiming to damage him?" This would be an honest attempt to examine ourselves, rather than the other fellow.
------------------------------
Inventory-taking is not always done in red ink. It's a poor day indeed when we haven't done something right. As a matter of fact, the waking hours are usually well filled with things that are constructive. Good intentions, good thoughts, and good acts are there for us to see. Even when we have tried hard and failed, we may chalk that one up as one of the greatest credits of all.
from "As Bill Sees IT" page 80.

For Gwen..Amazing bubbles...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Outside looking in...

I have been away from the keyboard for a while doing some livestock caretaking while friends leave town for a while. I missed my meeting with my sponsor today, as I had a "senior moment" and thought today was Monday!! It's nice to finally get all the cards out on the table to see what's in my hand. It's nice to be able to get outside of myself and watch my alcoholic in action, especially when it comes to the twisted stuff. Anyway, my sponsor is leaving town tomorrow, so, I'll cover his shift Sunday night at the Club, and do the Wednesday and Friday AA meetings. We are trying to mix it up a bit and let other people chair the meetings. Getting involved is vital I think. I have a sense of calm today. I feel restored to sanity, and acceptance plays a huge role in my life today. It's easier when I give up fighting with me. It is amazing what I will do, or did do, to try and get the attention of somebody. Alcoholics are charming and creative in lifestyle. Ok, nothing huge to report. I don't find it necessary to drink today. A neat question I came up with for myself is "who did you help today AB?" Time to surf the blogosphere!!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Just a geek...

Sometimes I feel just a geek in the worst way. I feel lonely, but I know I'm not alone. I have a Higher Power I call God, yet life can be strange for a guy who basically is used to being in a relationship, even if they are unhealthy. I'm a good Alanon too it looks like. When I went to college to study alcoholism and addiction, one of the requirements of the two-year program was to attend one open AA meeting a week as well as one open Alanon meeting a week. These had to be monitored. I sometimes felt like I was court ordered to go, by having the chairperson sign my slip saying I had attended.

God knows I have been in my share of unhealthy relationships. It's odd for me to be doing the single thing, and I'm not trying to get into a relationship either. I have heard it said there is a "slip" under every skirt. I have a female friend who is in a relationship, and I got an email recently asking if I was bored, to give her a call Sunday. So I did. Her husband/mate answered the phone. She was cool and might call back if she needs a ride to the meeting tonight. But as soon as he answered, I felt as if I had stepped in something. This is a red flag for me. I have to ask myself why I felt that way? I already know. I don't want her partner to get the wrong idea, and cause a problem on her end. I would like to say I'm confused, but I've always said that by coping out by saying one is "confused" is just a slippery way of ducking a feeling/thought you already know the facts about. This gives me pause to ponder about my motives. I don't like it, but I have to examine these things. Am I looking at the "looping resentment behavior?" Probably so.
I have to pray about this one, and write about it on paper. Honesty being single has it's advantages, but I have to find out what they are. Hope you all are having a pleasant Sunday.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

This may be helpful..

At the same time,  it may not be legal. I found this recovery site, with the first edition of the AA big book, and a copy of "As Bill See's It" available for download at no cost. The General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous does own property rights to all AA approved literature. The file format is *.hlp, so it is safe to assume these things will only work on Windows operating systems.


"Free AA Stuff."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Good news, bad news...

The good news is I'm sober and grateful today and the bad news is, a lot of alcoholics are trying to drink like normal social drinkers, and failing miserably at it.
I worked the bar at the local Alano Club last night. There was an NA meeting there, that was the only one. Too bad, the club has two meeting rooms. Anyway a lady came in that I really wanted to chat with, but some dude was talking non-stop and telling very adult jokes. I told him I was gonna put parental controls on him if he didn't change the subject. For the men: Telling sex jokes repeatedly to women in recovery is entirely inappropriate.  Tell me the jokes first. Some ladies have histories that are just not conducive to that type of humour. (oops Canadian!). Just something for the guys to think about when in mixed company. Kind of a "if ya want respect, be respectful" thing.
It is a privilege to be able to volunteer at the Alano Club, and I now have devoted every Thursday evening to doing that. What else happened today, oh I went to see my doctor Kenny S., and all my bloodwork was perfect. My swelling has gone away, but he still wants me to take another diuretic for a month then see him again. He said it may have been the result of the recent heat wave we had, a clot, and I'm just getting older too, and my beautiful legs are just not working as well as they used to. But damn, they still look good.(LMAO!)
Today I am grateful for:

  • Gregory for making me feel big.

  • Tod, who helps me with tolerance and patience.

  • Sharon, who reminds me to be humble.

  • The air conditioner.

  • Fans that push the cool air.

  • Food, wheels, and a roof over my head.

  • Fred, for his hugs.

  • Mellissa, for her frank honesty.

  • The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • Kristina, for reminding me it's ok to ask for help.

  • Recovering bloggers that rock!

  • Cut-offs!

  • A loving God.


Have a beautiful weekend everybody :o) AB...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

HAPPY HNT!!

Happy half-nekkid Thursday...I've got my eye on you!

Put the lime in the Coconut...

Remember that song? I can't get it out of my head this morning. I don't even know what that song really means, but I love it. I'm feeling frisky today, as in I feel as if I could tackle the world. I'm not bi-polar, but I would swear I'm having an episode of transient mania. Am I afraid to just call it "happy?" I know it's transient and reality with show up soon. My reality is "ok." Could be better, could be worse. So, I'm so-so.

I am volunteering at the Alano Club tonight. Pulling the 6pm to 10pm pacific time shift. I think they're some NA and Hispanic AA meetings going on there tonight, I can't recall. It doesn't matter. One night I was working the Club, and this guy walks in and he looked like the old me. He was so sweet. He had cheat grass in his hair, dust and grass all down his back. Anyway he just does a waltz to the counter and says,"I'll have a pound of Bud." I stayed cool and said, "I'm sorry, but we only have coffee, tea, bottled water, V-8, Gatorade, and various sodas." He says, "No thanks, that stuff makes me shake, especially coffee. Is this one of those AA places? I've been here before! Thanks but see ya later!" Scurries out the door.

I've done that myself.
Happy Half-Nekkid Thursday everybody, maybe I'll post a pic later. Hay, My fat pants are too big!! WOW!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Gratitude...

I would like to thank those who leave supportive comments. They mean a lot to me. There are two words that I used in a lecture series I did years ago. "Embrace them." Thanks markw for reminding me of that notion. I have to remember what my feelings are. Our feelings are our friends, they tell us who we are. Embrace them! They are not necessarily right or wrong, I(we)just have them. My feelings tell me who I am. Sometimes I hate who I have become, other times I'm grateful just to be breathing. It all revolves around my thinking. I do know enough that thinking creates feelings. In AA we speak of "stinking thinking" these produce the obvious feelings. If I react on some of the feelings I have, I'm in trouble, spiritually speaking. At the meeting tonight there was a young man who had tried an AA meeting a couple of years prior. When the chairperson asked if there was anyone there for their first, second or third meeting ever, this guy introduced himself and just took off talking. I could feel his pain and I recognized that crazed look in his eyes of living a life of insanity. This dude is hungry. I pray he keeps coming back. He reminded me to "stay hungry" and eat the good news of AA. AA has to become a way of life, and a way of thinking. I am learning to do that...

WE BECOME WILLING...At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself.  from page 77 Big Book of AA.
Keep coming back!

A looping resentment...

After 17 months of keeping a blog, and writing a lot of very personal stuff, by using a real ball point pen, I have discovered the resentment that is the primary cause that leads to that mental twist that precedes my next spree. In the late 70's till the early 90's I was clean and sober, and had completed the steps, was attending maintenance meetings and doing 12 step work. Also during that time, I was seeing a psychiatrist once a week for 10 years, and I was able to work through a lot of childhood issues. This was with good insurance, because without it, I would have had to pay $110.00 per session. Back then I truly was happy, joyous and free. By 1988 I had to walk out of my marriage, due to the active addiction of alcohol and drugs going on. This is the root of my problem. I felt very guilty for not sticking to my vows, that I made to her and God. In 1996, we attempted a reconciliation, to the point of even moving in together. But I still had not worked on or through my feelings of failure and all that goes with that. She was still chippin'(controlled drinking)and I know that it bothered me. So I see now that this attempt to reconcile was doomed from the start. It had a synergistic affect, 1+1=5. For the first time in 18 years, I have discovered the resentment that I have handled by acting out with inappropriate behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, addiction. I was going to go to the Club after I met with my sponsor today, but it was all I could do to drive home, and collapse on my bed in projectile tears. I cried until I fell asleep and slept till 7:30pm.
Even though I'm feeling a ton of pain, I feel a sense of hope too. I know, and have faith that I can work through this. So for me, this is the one resentment I was looking for.
I have to forgive myself, and my ex-wife. I am happy we are still friends. After I finish this step four,(this week) and the others, I have some amends to make. I find myself in a zone today that has no room for pride. I am ready to hand over to God my old tool box, that is full of tools that try to kill me. My gut tells me a life-saving change is about to happen...I have no fear about it either...That's odd....

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Bored?

A friend made a bunch of bookmarks. This one they gave to me. This is just the top section though. But it's nice. I feel that a great antidote for boredom is to get creative. It's another way to get out of self, and to increase self-esteem. Maybe the next time you feel bored, do something cool. Boredom is a killer of alcoholics and addicts. Use your imagination!! It's endless. Oh, I gotta go meet my sponsor in 45 minutes. I better get pretty...

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