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El Diablo

I'm An Alcoholic

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12 hours ago, ztejas said:

That's beautiful.

I don't think I ever told you this, and if I am repeating myself I apologize but want to make sure you know.

First time I met you these thoughts went through my head.

This guy's is really lit. He seems pretty damn smart, but out of control. He's on an edge. He is trouble waiting to happen.

Then we spoke and you asked me to share my story which I did. You really listened which surprised me given your state. We discussed some life stuff and it was a pretty good conversation given circumstances. However, I still walked away thinking two things.

I hope you get help and address your issues. Next, that I still didn't want to hang out cause I was concerned about the chaos floating around you and what it could mean to me.

Later on, much, I did some self reflecting particularly after you started down your path and got engaged on this thread

My biggest concern, that I didn't recognize at the time was... you reminded me a fuck ton of me at your age. I'm glad you are in this thread and working on your path. Really glad. I told you then and have said it since, but will say it again. I'm here if you ever need someone to talk to. 

(Edit - Just not on a rainy Friday in the hills of Tennessee. 😉)

Edited by BurntEyes

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On 9/5/2020 at 12:45 PM, TwiceHorn said:

 

Part of this is that she "catastrophizes" things, meaning foresees the worst possible outcome,

 

She is a she.  It is apparently what keeps them alive.   

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Oh...  @Celery Man  I must have missed it.  OUTSTANDING news!  Where is the new gig? 

Had something happen that I found interesting.  While in rehab, I've become much more versed in the opioid situation for a lot of reasons.   But a little over a month ago we had a good friend who lost a 21 yr old son.  Everyone knew what happened but I was giving them room before I even tried to talk with them.   And I never really saw anything to verify what everyone already knew.  Ran in to a common friend to check on their status.  I learned that the parents had jumped in completely to learn all they never knew and didn't know about opioid addiction.  Once I found out that they weren't putting their head in the sand or trying to deny the cause, I contacted her.  Then, a week later she posted this brilliant writing about the situation.   

I mainly wanted them to listen to Stephanie Wittles Wachs' BRILLIANT podcast, "The Last Day".  She later told me she had already read her book and just about every other book I knew about.  Then we were able to have a really long conversation.    One thing she said was, "I posted that because people are going to think what they want about us but I didn't want them to be dragging his name through the mud....but assholes who don't understand are going to do that anyway."   She also mentioned several time about what a failure she and her husband felt like.  All typical stuff.  I just listened and didn't say, "Don't say that.  Don't feel that way.  You are wrong...you are GREAT parents".  I just let her talk. 

At the end she said, "Thank  you so much.  You are the first of hundreds of people who hasn't told me not to feel this way."

One thing I'm learning through my little trail this past year and 4 months is, "You feel how you feel.  Don't try to change it.  Just sit with it, realize what it is and move on."  The moving on part is the variable.....some things take longer to move on from than others.  Moving on from a son dying from an OD will obviously just take a lifetime.  

I told her that being a Texan, I had to rely on my spiritual roots. The Tao of Willie.  I told her the story of Buddy Cannon overhearing Willie Nelson talking to a friend who had just lost her husband.  She told Willie, "I don't think I'll ever get over this."  Willie told her, "It's not something you get over.  It's something you get through."  

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1 hour ago, hullabelew said:

Oh...  @Celery Man  I must have missed it.  OUTSTANDING news!  Where is the new gig? 

Raleigh. We're excited. Should be able to get a bigger house, have space for guitars and I guess baby stuff if it comes to it. We had been kicking around the idea of moving - she's much more... on board isn't the right term, but motivated to go somewhere else than I am. Narrowly avoided moving to Cincinnati, and fuck that. A) I can't spell it, B) I don't want to have a kid from Ohio. 

Quote

One thing I'm learning through my little trail this past year and 4 months is, "You feel how you feel.  Don't try to change it.  Just sit with it, realize what it is and move on."  The moving on part is the variable.....some things take longer to move on from than others.  Moving on from a son dying from an OD will obviously just take a lifetime.  

Palabra. Este. Verdad. How you feel isn't how you think. It's how you feel. It colors how you think and act. Recognize your feelings. Recognize the mixture of feelings you have at an abstract level. Recognize how anxiety feels and what it makes you do, recognize frustration and anger, etc. Get to know yourself a bit. Understand why you respond certain ways in certain situations a bit. You don't really control how you feel, but if you can do that kind of... externalization and rationalization about it, you have a lot of power over how it causes you to act, and you have a lot of power over how able you are to process it and understand it and yourself.

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On 8/17/2020 at 8:47 AM, BearSchlong said:

Hi y'all.

Been through the wringer with Covid for the past 2 weeks and it's been awful.  Unable to work, which has thrown me into all kinds of fear and anxiety.  I'm coming back to work today, but admittedly at about 50% capability, my company's Covid PTO benefit expired so I basically have to just suck it up and see what I can get accomplished.

Acceptance, patience, and tolerance has to be my code otherwise I'll never make it.  Total reliance on the steps and the things I learned in AA about the disease of alcoholism is where I'm at today.  Think I'll attend some online zoom meetings today as well.

 

 

On 8/18/2020 at 9:11 AM, BearSchlong said:

Hope you get reconnected soon.  Day 18 covid recovery, going to lots of online meetings and just trying to stay alive at this point.  This is definitely the roughest curve ball I've had in a while.  At this point I'm just trying to endure through this.

@Celery Mancongrats!

Quoting myself to reflect on how my program got me through COVID, panic attacks, and fear. 40 days post 1st Covid symptoms.

Can't remember if I've mentioned this but back in 2004 before I had any clue that I was alcoholic I had a serious heart problem (ended up with a pacemaker), spent a few weeks in the heart hospital, then went nuts and spent a few weekends in the looney bin, had to take FMLA for a few months, and actually made a half assed suicide attempt.  Doctors said "oops your not ADD, no more Adderall for you, you're now Bipolar, here is some lithium and other pills for that." This was the first time in my life (I was 32 then) that I experienced the sheer terror of anxiety attacks.  I remember being obsessed for a few days about how I was going to just end it all, and leave behind a wife, a 12 year old, and a 4 year old.  Anyway, got straightened out and put on the rails for about 5 years before I started new and interesting ways to reach my alcoholic bottom.

When I (and my doctors) discovered in 2011 I was just a garden variety alcoholic and I sobered up, I've often thought back to 2004 and that week of inexplicable anxiety and terror, and how fucking real it all felt, and how in the context of my life that week was an outlier, just sheer insanity.

So a few weeks ago I reached a new understanding of powerlessness - New job with percieved huge expectations, covid and can't work, manditory hurricane evac order, took the dogs and wife and went and lived with a buddy in Leander for a week - I started having anxiety attacks and yes, had a few very fleeting thoughts similar to the ones in 2004 about pulling the plug.  Most of my fears center on financial disaster/bankruptcy.  What if I never recovered from Covid, what if the virus attacked my brain and made me disabled and I couldn't work?  I got obligations and an image, man!  Character defects just exploding.

Ah, but this time I've got a spiritual program - I had a period of 3 days when I was having panic attacks, but now I could chuckle at myself and pray and know that this too shall pass - and it did.  Didn't sleep for a few nights - and of course insomnia is listed as a Covid side effect.

Stayed in touch with my sponsor, grand sponsor, sponsees, went to a ton of meetings online, basically just stopped thinking and did what I was taught to do.  Even came here and posted "this just sucks"

Most of all, I prayed more than I ever prayed before.  I'm NOT one of those alcoholics that does this daily even though it's been recommended that I do. OK God, you got my attention.

Debated sharing this with you guys because I hate admitting weakness, I'm a man, I'm 40, but I gave an abbreviated account in the OCD/Depression thread and wanted to elaborate in the context of 12 step recovery.

So today is day 40, I'd say I'm 95% strength.  Looking back, I'm grateful for the shitty August because my program and faith were strengthened.

Edited by BearSchlong

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Has anyone spelled out what the 'language of the heart' is or means?

 

Forward to 3rd Edition 1976:

Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.’s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity.

 

Is there anything maybe in the preface to Bill W.'s collection of Grapevine writings or elsewhere? What you guys got? Or is the answer a personal journey?

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To me it's one of those things that you know it when you hear it because it's full of God's grace, and a strong emotional identification with recovery, but I have to be spiritually equipped to hear it.

Like if I'm at a meeting and in a bad mood, preoccupied with something else and halfway listening to some newcomer blubber on about their pink cloud, I'll roll my eyes and think to myself "get ready honey, this too shall pass."  When I'm in this mindset, I get a mental picture of the Randy Quaid character from Major League, sitting in the bleachers crapping on any good thing the tribe is doing.

But if I'm at a my annual conference, no internet, detached from the world, and catching up with old friends or listening with rapt attention to a good AA talk then all resistance melts away and I'm "wow that's a damned miracle, only by God's grace and our program of recovery does that happen" and I get all teary eyed and grateful that I'm smack dab in the middle of the greatest "organization" in world history.

I'm occasionally the defiant asshole who rolls my eyes at metaphors like "spiritual toolkit" and "language of the heart" or my least favorite, "the music in the rooms" as trite AA cliches, but that's just my disease getting in God's way.

I'm powerless over newcomers, but I hope that they get to where they can hear "the language of the heart" - obviously they do at some point if they "get" the program, right?

In thinking about what constitutes "language of the heart" I realized my first trip to AA in 1995 I was completely unable to hear it even though I'm positive it was there.

Glad I have a little fluency now.

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To me, the language of the heart is anything that is gut level honest about sharing (or hearing.... as Bear said) our common experience, strength, and hope.

It's being open and vulnerable and knowing I need you and you need me....without my ego or self-centered mind getting in the way.

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On 9/10/2020 at 12:13 PM, BearSchlong said:

 

@Celery Mancongrats!

Quoting myself to reflect on how my program got me through COVID, panic attacks, and fear. 40 days post 1st Covid symptoms.

Can't remember if I've mentioned this but back in 2004 before I had any clue that I was alcoholic I had a serious heart problem (ended up with a pacemaker), spent a few weeks in the heart hospital, then went nuts and spent a few weekends in the looney bin, had to take FMLA for a few months, and actually made a half assed suicide attempt.  Doctors said "oops your not ADD, no more Adderall for you, you're now Bipolar, here is some lithium and other pills for that." This was the first time in my life (I was 32 then) that I experienced the sheer terror of anxiety attacks.  I remember being obsessed for a few days about how I was going to just end it all, and leave behind a wife, a 12 year old, and a 4 year old.  Anyway, got straightened out and put on the rails for about 5 years before I started new and interesting ways to reach my alcoholic bottom.

When I (and my doctors) discovered in 2011 I was just a garden variety alcoholic and I sobered up, I've often thought back to 2004 and that week of inexplicable anxiety and terror, and how fucking real it all felt, and how in the context of my life that week was an outlier, just sheer insanity.

So a few weeks ago I reached a new understanding of powerlessness - New job with percieved huge expectations, covid and can't work, manditory hurricane evac order, took the dogs and wife and went and lived with a buddy in Leander for a week - I started having anxiety attacks and yes, had a few very fleeting thoughts similar to the ones in 2004 about pulling the plug.  Most of my fears center on financial disaster/bankruptcy.  What if I never recovered from Covid, what if the virus attacked my brain and made me disabled and I couldn't work?  I got obligations and an image, man!  Character defects just exploding.

Ah, but this time I've got a spiritual program - I had a period of 3 days when I was having panic attacks, but now I could chuckle at myself and pray and know that this too shall pass - and it did.  Didn't sleep for a few nights - and of course insomnia is listed as a Covid side effect.

Stayed in touch with my sponsor, grand sponsor, sponsees, went to a ton of meetings online, basically just stopped thinking and did what I was taught to do.  Even came here and posted "this just sucks"

Most of all, I prayed more than I ever prayed before.  I'm NOT one of those alcoholics that does this daily even though it's been recommended that I do. OK God, you got my attention.

Debated sharing this with you guys because I hate admitting weakness, I'm a man, I'm 40, but I gave an abbreviated account in the OCD/Depression thread and wanted to elaborate in the context of 12 step recovery.

So today is day 40, I'd say I'm 95% strength.  Looking back, I'm grateful for the shitty August because my program and faith were strengthened.

I hate my anxiety so fucking much. The past 2 days it has made me absolutely miserable to where I want to go drink to escape it. I just have to convince myself "this won't last forever, everything will be okay, it's going to get better, not worse" and fortunately the more I work that muscle the easier it gets to recoil from the idea of picking up again. 

One of THE BEST things I can do for my anxiety - better than meditating, smoking, exercising, whatever - is getting to a meeting and sitting my ass down and listening and sharing. It's a consistent reminder that I'm not alone and that I don't have it that bad and there's a reason I don't drink anymore.

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I understand, hang in there buddy.  This too shall pass.  I know it feels so damned real, but it's just the disease playing tricks on your mind.

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58 minutes ago, ztejas said:

I hate my anxiety so fucking much. The past 2 days it has made me absolutely miserable to where I want to go drink to escape it. I just have to convince myself "this won't last forever, everything will be okay, it's going to get better, not worse" and fortunately the more I work that muscle the easier it gets to recoil from the idea of picking up again. 

One of THE BEST things I can do for my anxiety - better than meditating, smoking, exercising, whatever - is getting to a meeting and sitting my ass down and listening and sharing. It's a consistent reminder that I'm not alone and that I don't have it that bad and there's a reason I don't drink anymore.

@ztejas    I get it.  It sucks. 

I've always trended toward anxiety...sometime debilitating.  Since becoming sober, one of my crutches I lean on to help me (besides all the other things you are rightfully doing) is to listen to recordings of Sandy Beach talking about emotional sobriety and more importantly, recognizing the tape I play in my mind and the story my ego creates.   Once I am reminded of what I'm doing, it is easier to get a reset and some relief.

He really helps me boil things down.  AudioJoy is an app that has a lot of his talks and even some of his workshops.  He really helps me.

Anyway....maybe that's something to put in your arsenal.  Keep doing what you are doing.  It does pass.  God speed.

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@Reagan1kis there a particular talk of Sandy's, i.e. date, place that you particularly like?  I was supposed to see him a few years ago but he couldn't make it and then passed away.

Funny thing about Covid and the cancellation of most 2020 conferences is access to speakers - it's blown up.  I've been going to the Covina Speaker's meeting (click the link, search Covina, and scroll down) and so far that group has had 158 speaker meetings since March 26.  My grandsponsor is actually #158, he has a good talk.  Just click the name and the mp3 file plays.

https://amotaudio.com/zoom-conferences/

Love him or hate him, but Clancy gave this talk about alcoholism as a "Disease of Perception" - it's a good talk but the meat of the concept begins about 27 minutes in.  Blew my mind the first time I heard it, that I simply perceive the world inaccurately - which manifests in that panic and anxiety that seems so goshdanged real sometimes.

 

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AA Workshop - Pushing Forward To Your New Life

AA Workshop - Hope for Tomorrow

Living in the Moment

The Basics of Awakening, Again

Those are a few I have flagged on AudioJoy.

( I really like that app and also add SoberCast podcast for some variety. )

I'm not sure if they are searchable by those titles elsewhere or those titles are specific to AudioJoy.

Pretty much anything from him is beneficial for me.  

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4 hours ago, ztejas said:

I hate my anxiety so fucking much. The past 2 days it has made me absolutely miserable to where I want to go drink to escape it. I just have to convince myself "this won't last forever, everything will be okay, it's going to get better, not worse" and fortunately the more I work that muscle the easier it gets to recoil from the idea of picking up again. 

One of THE BEST things I can do for my anxiety - better than meditating, smoking, exercising, whatever - is getting to a meeting and sitting my ass down and listening and sharing. It's a consistent reminder that I'm not alone and that I don't have it that bad and there's a reason I don't drink anymore.

It WON'T last forever, you're  right about that. Getting close to 1000 days for me and I can't tell you how many times anxiety has brought me to my knees. Early on it could have been deadly. But, each one passed and I was the better for it. We can only do what is possible,  not asking for more, being okay with everything else, just take care of your side, do your duty. 

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So my coworker who went to rehab for the full 30 came back a few days ago and I have to say he is blown away by some of my knowledge all thanks to this thread. He was talking about how he dropped 20 pounds and then gained 12 back and I was like yeah your brain craves the sugar and it’s remapping  and then I brought up drunk dreams and he was like fuck yes and how did I know?

He is so much more enjoyable and can carry a conversation and not be irritable and bloated. I am thrilled for him. I am thinking about turning him on to this thread but I am not sure about how he would feel about when I mentioned his boss at first getting pissed when he told him he needed help. I just know his battle is beginning now that he is home and I want him to succeed. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Clintonaldo said:

So my coworker who went to rehab for the full 30 came back a few days ago and I have to say he is blown away by some of my knowledge all thanks to this thread. He was talking about how he dropped 20 pounds and then gained 12 back and I was like yeah your brain craves the sugar and it’s remapping  and then I brought up drunk dreams and he was like fuck yes and how did I know?

He is so much more enjoyable and can carry a conversation and not be irritable and bloated. I am thrilled for him. I am thinking about turning him on to this thread but I am not sure about how he would feel about when I mentioned his boss at first getting pissed when he told him he needed help. I just know his battle is beginning now that he is home and I want him to succeed. 

 

Be careful though - there's a non-zero chance that reading Surly will cause your co-worker to relapse especially if he accidentally finds his way into the Cloak Room.

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Be careful though - there's a non-zero chance that reading Surly will cause your co-worker to relapse especially if he accidentally finds his way into the Cloak Room.

In my perfect world the Cloak doesn’t exist. I would drink if I had to read that shit.


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In my humble uninformed opinion the best way to deal with anxiety is to work with others, get out of self, show someone how to do something. All of a sudden you come to and realize, holy shit, I wasn't worrying about my problems that whole time.

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9 hours ago, JohnnyRage said:

In my humble uninformed opinion the best way to deal with anxiety is to work with others, get out of self, show someone how to do something. All of a sudden you come to and realize, holy shit, I wasn't worrying about my problems that whole time.

^^^
This guy...... he gets it.  Spot on.

In the depths of anxiety it can be difficult, but it is a relief.

Being of service consistently  is any fashion Is a sure fire way to help ward off anxiety in the first place.

Making it a habit will provide some measure of insulation.

Volunteering at a food bank, soup kitchen, or animal shelter on the regular will do a world of good.  Nothing beats working with other drunks, but there are countless ways to be of service. 

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On 9/11/2020 at 5:36 PM, Reagan1k said:

AA Workshop - Pushing Forward To Your New Life

AA Workshop - Hope for Tomorrow

Living in the Moment

The Basics of Awakening, Again

Those are a few I have flagged on AudioJoy.

( I really like that app and also add SoberCast podcast for some variety. )

I'm not sure if they are searchable by those titles elsewhere or those titles are specific to AudioJoy.

Pretty much anything from him is beneficial for me.  

Thank you. 

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On 9/11/2020 at 10:20 PM, Clintonaldo said:

I am thinking about turning him on to this thread but I am not sure about how he would feel about when I mentioned his boss at first getting pissed when he told him he needed help. I just know his battle is beginning now that he is home and I want him to succeed. 

 

I think he could get everything on this board and much more through attending AA meetings and good sponsorship.

Have you considered offering to accompany him to an open meeting if he’s reluctant to go alone?  He may not be.

Whatever you can do to just be an open ear and comfortable safe confidant is all it takes.

It sounds to me like he’s very lucky to have you as a friend/Co-worker. 

 

Edited by Reagan1k

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I think he could get everything on this board and much more through attending AA meetings and good sponsorship.
Have you considered offering to accompany him to an open meeting if he’s reluctant to go alone?  He may not be.
Whatever you can do to just be an open ear and comfortable safe confidant is all it takes.
It sounds to me like he’s very luck to have you as a friend/Co-worker. 
 

Man, I would be more than happy to go with him if he wanted. There was a time where I wondered if I had a problem so in a 10% way I understand on a small scale.

At this point I am afraid of running the risk of some know it all so I try my best not to push too much. I appreciate the kind words. I just want people to succeed.


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If he's been in a good treatment facility for 30 days he's been given the information that he needs to segue into AA.

Being sensitive and concerned is more for you than him at this point, he's either going to do it or not but the fact that it was his idea in the first place bodes well for success.

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