Seeing Another Alcoholic Before He Knows…He’s An Alcoholic

Never before have I responded well to people telling me what to do, especially when I knew I needed to do it.  And when an old college friend made amends to me a couple of years ago, before I knew I was an alcoholic, his words and actions spoke louder to me because he was making amends for HIS actions never even beginning to suggest any of my own.

That day, was a turning point for me and even though it took me another year to believe it myself, his loving amend was about him and not finger pointing at me.  He wasn’t someone telling me how to live my life.  It took a hopeless day of sitting on the couch with my stomach burning, body shaking and mind blowing to realize, I too, was an alcoholic.


 

Best Lesson

For me, the best lessons are ones that are not pushed at me or shoved down my throat.  I have learned most things in my life by watching to learn and then living to learn.  So as I approach 10 months (which is very GREEN, very new), I remember this humility gift that my old friend gave to me by just being there.  Because it was him on that very first day that I called when I had no idea what I was thinking, feeling or doing.  I sat in my car crying and blubbering over the phone to the very man that planted the seed by his own honesty that ANYONE could be an alcoholic.  Anyone. EVEN me.

Old Friends

Because of Facebook, I have made many more connections with old friends as well as new ones.  I am pretty sure I have mentioned this in this blog before, many renewed relationships that were long before I had any problems with alcohol.  In one case, after being reconnected, I made a simple acknowledgement of appreciation to the person for his support during a rough patch I went through back in high school. There were no amends needed but this program is teaching the importance of Gratitude and I am making it a conscious effort to express it more often.  Once I thanked him, we started talking on the phone and staying more closely in touch on Facebook.  We exchange what we are doing on any given day, how our jobs were going, what was happening around the household, we were being pretty frank.  We always were with each other all those many years ago, we just picked up from where we had left off.

The Lunch Whistle

The more he shared with me, the more I realized my old friend needs “the program.”  On many fronts, when he shares things with me, I hear them as if they were coming out of my mouth.  The Lunch Whistle sounded, “He is an alcoholic still doing research.” I can hear the sadness, the fear and the anger building. This is not the same sound of my high school friend, this is my old friend traveling down a similar road I have, only he doesn’t seem to know it.  Bloody Mary’s and Scotches included.

The Now

I started to share with him what my day is like in more positive ways. I mention meditation, I mention going to the pool, I mention feeling a lot better since I stopped drinking.  I don’t mention AA.  (Don’t yell at me, please.)  I stopped short of mentioning AA because it was almost like “something” told me I shouldn’t.  That my old friend needed a friend so that he was not alone.  It is very obvious to me that he is isolating himself and these emails or texts of affirmations from 800 miles away (me) are causing him to pause and ask questions about where he is in his life, I know this because he has told me.

If You Want What We Have…

I have been praying for guidance about this because I cannot “unring the bell.”  Once I tell my AA story I cannot take it back.  I am turning it over daily and still don’t feel as though the time is right.  We will see and stay tuned.  Thanks for listening as I navigate yet another new experience. Trying to put into practice what worked for me and what may have saved my life.

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Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll

Maslow had a theory.  It was called the hierarchy of needs.  And if you have never heard of it, every person in psychology or marketing class discusses it.  It is a theory on human behavior.  This blog isn’t a discussion on whether the theory it correct or not, though as I work through this life more and more I am observing that somehow I am in that triangle.

I am Living at the Bottom

The bottom of the Maslow’s triangle is Physiological – that means Air, Shelter, Sleep, Water, Food, Sex.  If you have ever seen a person in Hospice or a person die, it is amazing to watch the human spirit try and survive.  Until its last breath. And I always thought Sex was on this list because of our need to procreate, as a tree dies, it uses all it’s energy to make sure that life goes on when it no longer can, it sprouts saplings and seed pods, cones, etc. It wants it’s species to survive.  Since I stopped drinking, lots of things have happened to me as part of recovery.  When I was drinking my sleeping patterns were horrendous, I didn’t care much about eating, booze was my water and sex was usually something that happened after drinking and drinking a lot.

The Day the Music Died

I have always loved listening to music. Though I do play an instrument here or there, but blasting  music and cleaning the house, cooking or just working has been part of me.  In the past couple of years of my drinking, I wasn’t listening to a lot of music.  Certainly not singing in my car like I used to do. I would listen to talk radio and get irritated at politics and politicians rather than to enjoy an old favorite Patsy Cline tune.  It was as if my feelings for joy had become dulled.  Music sometimes irritated me also, even my old favorites.

Sex Talk

I remember early in my recovery, people used to talk about sex. I was worrying about making it an hour without drinking and they were talking about sex?  They talked about how it effected them and how they may have used it as a weapon with others.  As I work the Steps, I learned about some sexual situations in my past that molded my life. I never dealt with them then and as I grew older, sex and other situations like sex were enhanced or covered up by alcohol.  Ending up in the wrong bed with the wrong guy, waking up next to someone, taking inventory or my body and wondering, “Shit, did we…?”  Or just sneaking out altogether hoping that my companion wouldn’t remember either.  Just like music, I stopped enjoying sex and certainly knew nothing about the correlation of sex and love since my marriage broke up in 1999.   I believe that Maslow is talking about sex in the way of procreation and not necessarily for pleasure purposes. I am not sure where I am on the sex part.  Too old to procreate too young not want to lose my “groove.”  Not sure where this fits in with my recovery but it must somewhere.

I May Be a Slacker…but I am not drinking

Here I thought I was going to be writing more and yet I have been blogging for others and working pretty hard.  I also have been doing step work and working on myself.  Sorry I have been gone for a while.  I do hope you missed me!

Anniversary

No not mine, I am just over 9 months sober and grateful for every day. I have a list to prove it.  Still doing the “Gratitude List.”  So practically every night since Thanksgiving Day,  I write 3 – 5 things down in a notebook.  It does seem to slow the spin of self doubt and does make me think a bit differently.  My friend (we will call her Jane), celebrated 1 year today at our Shelter Meeting.  It was great for her, lots of tears and her Mom and sister were there.  Since I am involved with the Group Conscience with this meeting, I did some of the work, made arrangements for things to happen,  she asked that there not be a “big deal made” she doesn’t like to be the “center of attention.”   All I can say is, “I tried.” She got the traditional, cake and card.

Upon my arrival at the Shelter, the normal set up person was not there.  And because of some renovations at the Shelter, things were all over the place, it was a full moon last night and St. Patrick’s Day, today.  If you don’t believe in any karma surrounded by a full moon, you check out a homeless shelter during the cycle for a few months.  It is amazing the upset that happens.  New Moons are similar.  So along with setting up for Jane’s anniversary the meeting needed to be set up too.  We all scurried around, asked Jane’s sponsor to chair the meeting to which she declined in quite a bitchy fashion and pushed her Sponsee – Jane (the celebrant), to Chair.  Because in her words, “That is what sponsors do.”  Um, no thanks.

Great Way to Start the Day

Without recounting every last detail, we got the meeting going, Jane Chaired and our normal setup person appeared and did he ever look terrible!  Bloated, red face, glassy eyed.  He came to me and said, “I went back out and I feel so shitty.”  All I could do was hug him and tell him how happy I was to see him and that I was so glad he came back.  He told on himself in the meeting and got support and love from everyone.  Oh sure the usual “Preacher” preached but most everyone else offered love and compassion.  We all were reminded how fragile our sobriety is.  He could have been any one of us on any day.

Cupcakes

As we did “Round Robin” around the room, Jane got her wish as not being the center of attention, there was some Congratulations mentioned but mostly we unintentionally focused on the wounded.  We ate cupcakes and presented a Certificate and Chips.  One “White” Chip and a “One Year” Chip. And so it goes/