Friday, November 23, 2012

30 Days

30 days since my last drug.  Woo Hoo!

The 5,6,7,8s were probably one of the best rock and roll bands EVER

I had been trying for days to remember what we did for Thanksgiving last year (or Christmas, but maybe it will come to me).  I didn't know if we stayed here, were someplace else or what.  

Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I was grateful to be sober.This is not the life I saw for myself.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Best is Yet to Come

I got this  in my inbox today:

" Shame and guilt left unaddressed can paralyze us, preventing us from moving forward in our lives. Some of the most meaningful amends we can make for the mistakes of our past are made simply by acting differently today. We strive for improvement and measure our success by comparing who we used to be with who we are now.
Being human, we will continue making mistakes; however, we need not make the same ones over and over again. By looking over our past and realizing that we have changed and grown, we’ll find hope for the future. The best is yet to come."

Copyright © 1991-2012 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The less I try to make things fit into my preconceptions, the more they make sense.

Two things that people often tell me are that I have low self esteem and that I make things too hard for myself.  So, when I saw that the next group was going to be on shame and guilt, I prepared myself for a grim and fruitless struggle with my guilty conscience knowing I would never be free from the bondage of my shame.

When I think about my shame and guilt, it is through a  lens of what (I think) a healthy, normal person would have done, not someone with the disease of addiction.  That is how sneaky it is; we addicts are more comfortable seeing ourselves as mean spirited, lying, manipulating, stealing, evil minded selfish monsters than admitting we are sick people.  People who, if we were in our right minds, would never have done the messed up stuff we did while in our addiction's sway.

And it was our loved ones that got the worst of it; their love and trust was a great resource for helping feed our addictions.  But that addiction is an illness.  Instead of attacking  on a cellular level like other illnesses, addiction clouds our judgement and makes us susceptible to making bad choices.

Emotions like guilt and shame are useful only because they warn us that other people can have real consequences of our behavior. In order to stop me from hurting other people, I built a jail and lined the walls with my shame and guilt.

Our facilitator asked if, since we got clean, were we still doing shameful things?  I can honestly say that in the last 24 days, I have not. I did those shameful things because I am sick, not because I am a bad person.  I am a pretty decent fellow, capable of loving and being loved, respecting of others and worthy of their respect.

Alcoholics and addicts in recovery strive to change their behavior first, then their thinking.  Next, we are urged to "clean house" by examining our old bvehavior, especially those behaviors that affected others and making amends to them.

I have been sick for a long time, not just the last few years.  My drinking and drug use has always been irresponsible since I was 19 (the drinking age in Ohio in 1983).  One of the things that has motivated me these last 3 weeks is that I have 20 years of amends to make.

In movides and TV,when ever some goes into recovery from addiction, they immediately begin to make a series of awkward and insincere amends.  They are apologies are for their benefit only,  "I don't want you to be angry at me any longer." or their amends are simply thinly disguised resentments.

Right now, I am working to get better.  Until then, I won't be able to process and appreciate my responsibility in my actions.  Only then, will I feel worthy of asking you for forgiveness.

Until then, every day that I don't use, I get stronger and my disease gets weaker.

Friday, November 9, 2012


"No one's ever lost forever
When they die they go away
But they will visit you occasionally
Do not be afraid
No one's ever lost forever
They are caught inside your heart
If you garden them and water them
They make you what you are"

from the song "Lost" by Amanda Palmer and the Grand THeft ORchestra from the album Theater is Evil

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Baby Punching

After the election, I saw that America had made a definite step towards legalizing marijuana . Personally, I have always thought that our laws about marijuana were archaic, expensive and had nothing to do with protecting us from ourselves.  It was kind of cool to think aobut an America where dope was legal (and, what the hell, taxed) until I realised that I probably would not be joining in the celebration.

Then I was mad. Here it was, two weeks after I stopped using, and my dreams of legal highs were taken away.  For my facebook status, I posted that I was angry enough to punch a baby.

 I remember when people used to tell me that they never knew what I would say next.  But I had been so busy trying to people please, hide my addiction and everything else, that saying outrageous things where no longer a part of my life.  It was good to see a glimpse of the old me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I said, "Yes! Yes! Yes!"

There were no beds for me at the local detox place, so I ended up doing it from the "comfort" of home. Mark Renton, the heroin addict protagonist of Irvine Welsh's novel Trainspotting, describes the relationship between opioids and ourselves as floating on a beautiful sea:

"This internal sea.  The problem is that this beautiful ocean carries with it loads ay poisonous flotsam and jetsam... that poison is diluted by the sea, but once the ocean rolls out, it leaves the shite behind, inside ma body.  It takes as well as gives..."

I consider myself fortunate that my withdrawal only lasted about 72 hours, 60 of them on the toilet.  But when I woke up on the fourth day, the second thing that popped in my head (the first was a realisation that I didn't have to run to the bathroom) was "Oh no, I have to be sober all day!"