Earlier, I had a bit of an emotional outburst. I appreciate any of you that decided to stick around after I erupted into a whiny wuss wad. The truth of the matter is that yesterday morning, began with a bit of an emotional low, followed by some positivity, ending the evening with reminiscent thoughts and regrets. And then, I woke and experienced the emotional vomit I discussed earlier. I had every intention of writing about the topic in this post now, but I had to change my thinking a little.
But, I’m an alcoholic, and as they say in most AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings, alcoholism is a malady that exists in the mind. I’m going through the first step and preparing to take the second step and I am working with a sponsor in “working the program”, as they say. And yesterday afternoon, I had a discussion with my sponsor about some of the tasks he has given me to accomplish within working the steps.
You see, one of the recommendations made to those in early recovery is to attend 90 meeting in 90 days, but I have the kind of job that really impacts that ability. So, my sponsor has suggested I do other things when I am away for work and unable to attend meetings: read out of the Big Book, listen to AA speakers online, keep a gratitude journal, call him on a daily basis and physically get on my knees and pray to a Higher Power. I’m not going to go into detail on each thing, but I did speak to my sponsor yesterday and we were discussing my allergy of craving and ultimately it led me to begin remembering different experiences involving alcohol. Members of AA, refer to these experiences as “drunk-a-logs”.
Well, I would be lying, if I said I didn’t continue to think about the various times I’ve drank too much. During the evening, I was continue to think about my relationship with alcohol and listening to old songs on my iTunes. In my previous post, I indicated I had broken out into a bit of a cry-fest because a lot of the songs were reminding me of times when I felt I had my life together and reminding me of times I knew what I liked about life and it was a reminder of the times I liked myself. And it didn’t help that I was also thinking about my relationship with alcohol.
In one of the online AA speaker recordings I was listening too, one gentleman said when new comers come to an AA meeting, he tries to convince most of them that they are not alcoholic. His point is that there is a strong difference between heavy drinkers and alcoholics, and not all alcoholics are heavy drinkers. He was making a compelling argument expressing and describing how craving affects an alcoholic. And it got me to think about the times I’ve drank, drank too much, and drank enough for a small city. Furthermore, it made me look at how it’s been problematic and how I have lost the power of choice – the telling quality of an alcoholic.
A few of these times, including the risky behavior (Alcoholics don’t drink to do anything other than drink, so celebrations, failed relationships, a new job, losing a job, etc., etc.):
- Celebrating after exams in college, did not include just a celebratory drink with a toast. It was a mission to get drunk.
- Various celebrations involving beer and tequila
- The time my friends took me to a party to get my mind off a girl that rejected to me (I wooed her with a poem, damnit!!!), I drank until drunk.
- Having EMTs strapping me to a gurney, when I passed out in a bar’s bathroom after getting drunk to get my mind off my girlfriend who boned another guy (this was the first time I was hospitalized, but not the first time I drank over this woman’s love of other men). The friend that took me out was concerned, because I had drank so much and he knew I was a type 1 diabetic. Interesting enough, he was also the guy buying me all of my drinks that night.
- The time I was out with fellow classmates and proposed to my cheating girlfriend, who happened to tell me, “Propose to me when you’re not drunk”.
- The time I was living with my grandparents who had a foreign exchange student and she tattled on me to my grandparents, because she felt I drank too much at the club I took her too and drove us home.
- The time I went home with a stripper and neither of us knew if we had sex…that was effing weird.
- There was the time I was a deputy sheriff and showed up for work, still under the influence of alcohol (luckily, I worked in a jail at the time and was not driving or anything).
- The time my wife and her sister had to practically drag me back to a car after celebrating my birthday – I was informed I was trying to cozy up with homeless people in alleys.
- Every single time I meet my dad for a drink and he has one rum-n-coke and I have about 3 or 4 tall beers (and probably more, if money was not stopping it).
- The other time I ended up in the ER, because I was found by family laying naked on the stairs. I had met classmates from highschool and once the drinking started, I did not stop. Someone drove me home and then I woke up in the E.R. Needless to say, that was the last time I ever drank anything “hard” and convinced myself I only could drink beer (but looking at the one above, it doesn’t matter, since it has been more common, along with dinners out or just wanting to drink a beer to deal with life).
This is not a complete list of my drunk-a-log, but it demonstrates some of the more serious episodes. And what finally convinced me, is the fact that the most recent time I recognized that I was craving it in a fierce way. I was waking up each morning, waiting for the day to come to an end, so I can go to my favorite watering hole and have three of four beers before going to bed. Sitting there last night, listening to old music and reviewing these experiences, along with some of the better times of my life that I miss so much, I turned into a crying mess. I felt weak.
I believe I am a real alcoholic. I believe I have no power of choice and that my life became unmanageable. I am finally at a place of acceptance about this disease. I don’t like it. I don’t want to be an alcoholic. But facts are facts and cannot be refuted, no matter how many years I’ve denied it, not matter how many years I’ve tried to hide it or minimize it. I need to begin this process.
And I’m on the verge of accepting a Higher Power beyond myself that can restore me to sanity. And I’m hoping the need to control those things I cannot will leave me.
22 days Sober, today…