Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sober

You'd think staying clean would mean abstaining from alcohol too, right?  For many addicts, that is the case, especially if they adhere to NA tenets.  I've always "cheated" by continuing to drink when abstaining from other drug use.  I know it's risky.  I tell myself that it's the lesser of two evils, it's legal, at least I'm not jabbing a needle in my arm, and I can control it.  Alcohol is not my drug of choice so it's OK, right?  Right?

Control is such a grey area.  In my desire to escape reality, I'm drinking myself into a stupor every night.  I know when I've gone too far though, and when it's time to pull back.  Now is one of those times....various physical ailments are popping up in unpleasant ways and I know I need to give my body a break and take better care of my health.  So is that control?  

That brings up the internal battle that is always being waged in my head, the feeling that I don't deserve a happy healthy life, that I'll just fail anyway so what's the point in trying.  I know it's mostly my disease talking....but the feeling of inadequacy was instilled in me from such a young age that it's part and parcel of my being.  I do try to believe that I deserve better, but it's like what I was writing about faith a few posts back -  it's hard to wrap my brain around it when I don't feel it inside.  Maybe I'm just so out of touch with my emotions that I have no clue what I'm talking about.  But I'm writing about it so I must be searching for some inner strength somewhere.

Writing....now that I'm doing it again, both the creative stuff and introspective stuff, I'm realizing how damaging it's been to isolate so much.  I think I've smiled more in just this past week than I have all year, so thank you my friends for your support through all of my bullshit.  There's a part of me that says "You can't quit drinking, you write better when you're drunk!" which I think is funny but sadly true.  So we'll see how this goes, this writing completely sober thing.  It's a bit scary to think about.




15 comments:

  1. I've always wondered how it works for addicts that drink. I think I understand it better now. I'm not an addict but I am an escapist who's working on staying in the here and now. It's not an easy thing. It takes faith and courage to stay in the game and believe that things will get better. I'm glad you're writing again. Katy

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    1. Thank you Katy....it's your turn!

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  2. My experience is a lot of addicts trade one crutch for another, replacing the original with something else. (another drug, religion, work, etc). Writing helps because it allow you to look at the problem from the outside, rather than from the inside.

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    1. Outside feedback is definitely a bonus, yes. Thanks Chris.

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  3. I dunno I went through all the shit of thinking I wasn't worth better..I didn't deserve better and I made some pretty horrendous choices while steadily putting myself down. well I got sick and tired of being sick and tired of myself..and My pitiful self destructive ways one day..maybe you will sick and tired of feeling useless, sick and tired of not caring about yourself..sick and tired of stopping yourself before you ever get started. You can't MAKE yourself care, but you CAN start by really taking care of yourself..I just got so fed up with ME, that I changed..just like that..you can too..can't do today? Ok just start again tomorrow ..I'm here I love you "infinity"

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  4. this post really touched me. All I'll say is I'm glad you're smiling. Chris' comment is very wise by the way. Keep writing and keep smiling.

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    1. I'm a tryin', I'm a tryin'. Thanks Sue.

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  5. Steven, your writing has made me smile AND think. This is a good thing. =)

    BTW. Even if you don't believe it I do, YOU ARE WORTH IT AND YOU DESERVE HAPPINESS AND HEALTH. You deserve laughter and joy and contentment and excitement and puppy kisses. YOU DO!

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  6. I do know an addict that still drinks, though clean of all drugs, and sometimes drinks too much, but mostly it's a couple of drinks and then like a signal goes off and the drinking is done. Water becomes the drink of choice. That control seems to work to also believe he is worth staying clean. The pull is always there.
    I have dealt with depression on and off my entire adult life. It is a minor annoyance for me at this point. I'm 62 and often feel inadequate, unlovable, ignorant, selfish and alone. Logically none of that makes any sense. I am married to a really good man who adores me, I have children and grand children who adore me and all of them show me this love. I am far from ignorant, I am actually quite intelligent and well educated. I can be selfish, but I usually keep that to myself unless I am in the midst of a depressive bout. I will then show that selfishness more likely. In real life, I am a giver and I like it that way, but in depression I am the taker and since no one is really used to me being that way, they don't know they are supposed to give more. It's ridiculous, but it's how my life goes. Depression is similar to if not exactly where you are right now. You are doubting absolutely everything and are convinced that nothing really matters to you or anyone else. Everything seems kind of senseless and a lot of energy is spent proving that is right.
    The fact is, it's all wrong. The fact is, if for no other reason in the entire world, your writing is worth reading and could seriously help someone else get through what you're going through. You can help someone else without even knowing. But even more, you have no idea what other gifts you might have to share because you aren't really sure what you are going to do when you grow up! So to speak.
    I wish there was a magic bullet but the disease you are suffering with is a powerful one and the strongest tool to win against it is without question DESIRE to win. Without the desire to be clean and sober, without the desire to be a healthy and productive man, it's going to be difficult to stay the course.
    I'd love for you to practice meditation. It is so helpful when one's mind is all topsy turvy. Quiet yourself, lie down or just sit comfortably and close your eyes. Concentrate on your breathing pattern and then control it. One deep lung filling breath in and then slowly release it ... repeat a few times. Then relax your toes, your ankles, your calves...and so on until you are relaxing your face. Then picture really SEE yourself completely healthy, in good physical condition, eating good healthy meals and snacks, running or walking or working out in whatever way you might enjoy. SEE the new you and study how he looks and how he feels.

    This will help your mental conditioning and once you can easily see who you could be, you will be able to begin to work toward being him

    I really do care, Steven and obviously a lot of others do as well.

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    1. I had a friend tell me once, "Think how far along you would be if you put all the energy and time you spend trying to score and stay high, into seeking health and wellness." He's right of course, you are right, everyone is right. I'm trying to have as much faith in myself as all of you do. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtful responses. Thank you.

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  7. Hi Steven. I must live in a cave... I didn't know you were writing again. But, I am glad! I see I have some catching up to do. I'll be back.

    Regarding sobriety...it was the hardest thing in my life to achieve. It was even harder than quitting smoking. When I returned to my faith, it was pretty much a done deal. I was tired of the guilt and I just wanted my life back. And I took it back...1978... The first year was the hardest, but it got easier and easier. I never even think about drinking or smoking any more, but I do have to watch my eating because those of us who have addict personalities will always find a replacement. My replacement is food... But, I would rather gain a few pounds than to drink. You can do it. You just have to want it enough to do it. My best wishes go out to you. (((hug)))

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    1. I've been in a cave too and just recently poked my head out. Thank you Darlene.

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  8. Glad to see you writing again. Life can get tough at times, but you need to stay strong. Hopefully you have someone who you can talk to. Hang in there because you are important.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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  9. Just ran across your blog. Haven't heard from you in a while! Darlene put it best and you can do it, but you have to give it a try. Try one day, today...wake up and do it again. I've drown a many sorrows in a few glasses of wine. It just no good...You feel like crud the next day and you aren't really there for yourself or anybody else.

    We have to be our own best friend.

    Take care and keep writing! You don't need to drink to write, I promise! ;)

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