Tag: Addiction

Keep Sobriety Simple

Get your head right, and keep it right!

I’m Still Sober–Barely

wp-1484928101125.jpgWell tomorrow will be one week since I left the VA Treatment Center in Brockton, and landed in this Transitional House in another part of the state.  I wish I could say things are just ducky but they are not.

First of all, this is not the rural location I was hoping for; far from it.  The huge house I live in, it’s got 4 3 floor apartments in it, sits squarely on a residential street lined with houses.  No lawns, hardly a tree, just houses sitting on top of each other.  I live on the third floor, in a fairly spacious room at least.  However, it is 100 degrees up there constantly and I wake up sweating profusely on a regular basis.

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Then there’s the new VA.  It is over 100 years old.  The buildings are beat up.  They decided to build the -ugliest outside tunnel system around the interior perimeter, destroying any charm the campus once had.  And there is wifi only if you can find it.  This enrages me.  I have found a few choice locations to stand in, but forget walking and texting, not happening.  They also take smoking outside ANYWHERE OTHER THAN THREE SMOKE SHACKS, very seriously.  I have already been spoken to twice by VA Police.

And no longer am I helping paralyzed veterans go through their days.  No more muffin conversations with my friend Jim.  No more post office runs for Ken.  No more bedside visits with the Sergeant Major.  No, nothing special like that.  Instead, I get to empty a dishwasher in the kitchen.  I have to be there at 6:15 in the morning, ungodly hour.  I am there for 9 hours, but I get two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch.

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My actual work time is about 3 hours.  The rest of the time I am thinking of various ways to pull the eyes out of my head.  It’s not the actual job that sucks–though it sucks indeed–it’s the down time that is murderous.  And remember, there is no WiFi, so I have to duck out and hide if I want to text my dear friend.  The friend who has been my rock through this entire ordeal.  The friend who, without, I am not sure I would still be sane.

And let’s talk about the town.  Ah yes, the town without an identity.  This is the most fucked up town I have ever seen.  On the one hand you have lots of college students. Then you have the soccer mom types strolling out of Stop N’ Shop with their go green grocery bags.  Then you have a large community of lesbians which make this town their home.  The place has no real identity, it’s hard to explain it to you unless you saw it. You would immediately know what I am talking about here.

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The downtown is a hodgpodge of weird, useless shops.  There are way too many restaurants and not enough pizza and sub shops.  The other side of main street is rundown, with empty lots, deserted buildings and car dealerships.  It’s about as depressing of a place as I have ever known.

And the trees and grass and woods and lakes and ponds?  Nowhere to be seen.  Everyone was like “Oh man, it’s so beautiful out there!”  Really?  Where the fuck did it go?  I am being totally serious when I tell you that I nearly cried as I was being driven to the house from the VA on that first day.  I felt like I did the first day I landed in Basic Training, in the pouring deluge of rain that night, thinking “What the hell did I just do?”

So ya, you might be noticing a severe lack of gratitude and acceptance.  And, to be quite honest, right now I am so overwhelmed at the shitty aspect of ALL of my move, that those have gone by the fucking wayside.  I couldn’t get lucky in just one aspect of this move?  Decent town?  Decent Job?  Decent VA?  Decent neighborhood? Decent environment?  NO NO NO NO NO.  Add to that I left the few friends that I had behind, lost my regular psychiatrist and I lost my dear therapist Molly.  Ya, I’m going through a tough time that kind of took me by surprise.  But I am still sober!

Sorry my first post in awhile is this, but that’s where I am at.  If it wasn’t for me digging really deep, and having the best of friends anyone could ever hope for, I’d be in deep shit.  As it is, I have  mist of depression that is creeping in.  And, if this mist turns into a fog, acceptance and gratitude are going to be the least of my problems.

(FINE, HERE’S A FEW POSITIVES:)

  1. I just found the computer room which is decent.
  2. The Wifi works in my room.
  3. Dunkin’ Donuts is 5 minutes away.
  4. I am still sober.
  5. I am not truly alone.

Happy now?  You probably are all wondering what the big deal is, I hope that some of you truly get this.  I am so sick of not catching a break.  So sick of nothing going my way.  Of course I am glad I’m not in jail in sober, but is that all I am going to be happy for in life?  Bullshit!  I want a higher quality of life, I deserve it.  I feel misled about what this place was, where it was and now I am stuck here.  Ya, I’ll make the best of it, but that’s not even my damn point.

Oh, and here’s what I get to look at to the right from my fancy new porch:

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Ya, not fucking cool.  And the view directly in front of me?  Ya, that sucks even more:

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A.A. Today: Give It Away

wp-1485821892780.jpgAA Today are daily readings from the book “Twenty-Four Hours A Day.”

“Twenty-Four Hours A Day is intended for members of Alcoholics Anonymous as a help in their program of living one day at a time.

It is designed for those who want to start each day with a few minutes of thought, meditation, and prayer.”

March 1, 2017

When I find myself thinking about taking a drink, I say to myself:  “Don’t reach out and take that problem back.  You’ve given it to God and there’s nothing you can do about it.”  So I forget about the drink.  One of the most important parts of the A.A. program is to give our drink problem to God honestly and fully and never to reach out and take the problem back to ourselves.  If we let God have it and keep it for good and then cooperate with Him, we’ll stay sober.  Have I determined not to take the drink problem back to myself?

Meditation for the Day

Constant effort is necessary if I am to grow spiritually and develop my spiritual life.  I must keep the spiritual rules persistently, perseveringly, lovingly, patiently, and hopefully.  By keeping them, every mountain of difficulty shall be laid low, the rough places of poverty of spirit shall be made smooth, and all who know me shall know that God is the Lord of all my ways.  To get close to the spirit of God is to find life and healing and strength.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that God’s spirit may be everything to my soul.  I pray that God’s spirit may grow within me.

My Recovery: A.A. Slogans (Pt. II)

wp-1484928101125.jpgI go to A.A. at least twice a week. I mainly sit there, absorb, and leave. I’m into the message, not the medium. I am into the Big Book, but I am not a huge advocate of A.A. I take what I need from it and I leave the rest for someone else.

That being said, A.A. has a lot of terrific slogans that can be applied to anything in life. I have compiled a list and put comments next to each one as to what I think that slogan means for me, not for you, for me. Feel free to comment with any I have missed. You don’t have to go to A.A. to benefit from A.A., but it is one of the pillars by which I remain sober today.

Here is Part II of the list. Part I can be found HERE

  • I can’t handle it God, you take over–giving your will over to a Higher Power.  Surrender fuels freedom and acceptance.
  • One day at a time–shrink your world into a manageable situation.  Don’t think in terms of years, months, but days, even hours.
  • Keep an open mind–closed minds do not receive key information to assist you in solving your problem.  Let it in!
  • Willingness is the key–being willing is the second step after Recognition.  If you are willing, then all things are open to you.
  • More will be revealed–keep paying attention, keep coming, keep that open mind and you will not stop progressing.
  • You will intuitively know–your gut will tell you what you need to know.
  • Don’t quit 5 minutes before the miracle happens–you never know how close you are to a solution.
  • Some of us our sicker than others–you are no better or no worse off than anyone else.
  • Alcoholism is an equal opportunity destroyer–alcoholism didn’t pick you because you’re special.  It hurts everyone who is alcoholic.
  • Practice an attitude of gratitude–gratitude will keep you grounded and makes you appreciate what you have, not what you don’t have.
  • God is never late–He is always there.  You just have to tap into Him (or your Higher Power).
  • Have a good day unless of course u have made other plans–you determine how your day is going to be going.
  • I can have complete serenity at this very moment…if I live in denial–it’s ok to feel what you feel.  Denying feelings is a problem.
  • We came to AA to save our ass, and found out our soul was attached–alcoholism is a disease of the spirit more than it is a disease of the body.
  • It’s alcohol-ISM, not alcohol-WASM!–you are never cured.  Don’t live with a false sense of security.
  • I can only carry the message, I can’t carry the drunk!–no one can save me from myself but myself.

So what sayings have I missed?  What do some of these slogans mean to you, either in recovery, or in your everyday life?  Please keep in mind, the interpretations of these slogans I applied to ME.  Obviously they can mean something much different for you!

A.A. Today: Honestly and Fully

wp-1485821892780.jpgAA Today are daily readings from the book “Twenty-Four Hours A Day.”

“Twenty-Four Hours A Day is intended for members of Alcoholics Anonymous as a help in their program of living one day at a time.

It is designed for those who want to start each day with a few minutes of thought, meditation, and prayer.”

February 28, 2017

We should be free from alcohol for good.  It’s out of our hands and in the hands of God, so we don’t need to worry about it or even think about it any more.  But if we haven’t done this honestly and fully, the chances are that it will become our problem again.

Since we don’t trust God to take care of the problem for us, we reach out and take the problem back to ourselves.  Then it’s our problem again and we’re in the same old mess we were in before.  We’re helpless again and we drink.  Do I trust God to take care of the problem for me?

Meditation for the Day

No work is of value without preparation.  Every spiritual work must have behind it much spiritual preparation.  Cut short times of prayer and times of spiritual preparation and many hours of work may be profitless.  From the point of view of God, one poor tool working all the time, but doing bad work because of lack of preparation, is  of small value compared with the sharp, keen, perfect instrument working for only a short time, but that turns out perfect work because of long hours of spiritual preparation.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may spend more time alone with God.  I pray that I may get more strength and joy from such times, so that they will add much to my work.