Tag: feelings

My Ruminations: Give Me Drugs


So yesterday I saw the head Psychiatrist for the program.  We have been monitoring how I’ve been doing on 1,400mg of Lithium.

I reported to him that I was not doing all that well.  I’m just so bored.  No matter what I try to do I can’t seem to settle my thoughts and emotions.

As many of you may recall I started my Work Therapy job last week.  I am supposed to work around the vast grounds of the VA.  In just about two weeks, I may have worked all of three hours.  I hate going to it.  I refuse to wrap up a full 2 more months here going to a job where I sit on a couch and vegetate.

depression on justruminating men's blog

Also, I informed him, I am habitually borderline depressed.  I get up and instead of being happy and excited in recovery, I am tired, annoyed, aggravated and mildly depressed.  It hasn’t always been this way.  It has been just the past few weeks.  And, the more I try to fill that void, the emptier it seems to get; it’s infuriating!

I am desperately lonely.  I don’t have anyone I can really talk to.  Nor do I choose to talk to any of the guys here.  It’s like this constant river of muddiness flows within me.  Sure, I get moments of peace and satisfaction, you all know that.  But what I am talking about is a condition of being overall.

No matter how many meetings I go to.  No matter how much I focus on positivity, and acceptance, and gratitude.  No matter how much I write.  No matter how much I commune with nature, my general demeanor is shit.  I just don’t know how to find tranquility and peace.  Actually, I do, but sustaining it over an extended period of time escapes me.

psychiatrist on justruminating men's blog

Sooooo, Dr. Osser’s answer is to start me on another medication.  A medication that is supposed to combat Bipolar Depression:  Lamotrigine, I think it’s called.  I still don’t think I am Biploar because I have the absence of Manic Episodes–or so I believe.

I don’t get all this giddy, happy-go-lucky Manic affect he keeps describing.  I do get sad, lonely, angry, irritated, depressed, bored, hopeless, lethargic, apathetic, and tons more opposite emotions of mania.

But he’s the expert, and at this point I really don’t care what he puts me on, to be honest with you.  I just need to feel somewhat stable and less irritable, anxious, depressed, and all the other shitty emotions I constantly have been feeling.  I also told him I wanted to be removed from my job.


I want and put into the Gym job that just opened up due to one of the residents not coming back on Sunday.  In the last two weeks, three residents have bailed on the program.  And if I were to guess, at least two more look like they are borderline snap cases.

I’ll be damned if I am going to be one of them.  If I have to go on medication to stabilize my thoughts and emotions, then by God’s bring on the drugs!  Failure is not an option, and if I don’t get a bead on this, things are going to turn to shit in a hurry.

My Ruminations: Discontentment In Recovery

justruminatingAs a recovering alcoholic faced with his emotions I can tell you that finding inner peace is not an easy thing.

I talk with  my therapist about this all the time:  “Why can’t I just wake up one day and just be content for the entire day?”

It seems that no matter what activities I surround myself with:  AA Meetings, reading the Big Book, listening to my music, blogging, even former relationships, I am still left with the gnawing in my gut.

I still feel irritable and restless most days.  This pisses me off!  Although I am surrounding myself with activities, I am still restless and dissatisfied.  And then, when I went skiing yesterday, I cam across a possible reason.

View From Loon Mountain Saturday

I still have not found my Higher Power.  I think my Higher Power might actually be nature.  When I was standing on top of that mountain, breathing that crisp New Hampshire air, I felt that elusive peace I have been searching for.

I have not found this peace in the Bible, the Quran, the Big Book, not in any of the other activities I have yet pursued since coming out of jail in October.

Now, obviously I can’t be in nature 24/7, so how do I sustain this peaceful contentment?  How do I keep my afflicted mind from taking over and sitting on the throne all day, ruling my emotions?  Well, I think I know how:

Meditation.  I can meditate myself to any place I want to go.  I was meditating all the time at my previous program.  I stopped meditating because I’ve used the excuse that I have no privacy.  Well, I have to make privacy.  I have to find a way each and everyday to meditate so I can join nature.


I think I did a post a few months back on what nature has meant to me throughout my life.  I feel that oneness I long to feel with the universe when I am fully present in nature.  I feel as if I journey home when I immerse myself in nature.  And, if I can’t get into nature, I know I can get there through my mind!

So today, it’s back to meditating!  It’s back to nature.  By doing so I come back home to myself!  At least that is what I am thinking.  I’ll keep you posted.

My Ruminations: Letter To My Ex Wife

justruminatingIf you don’t have the back story down, you might want to read my post from yesterday titled “My Recovery:  My Children.”  It will explain why I am writing this letter.

I have decided to share my letter to my Ex-Wife with you, because my blog is primarily about recovery–with poetry and music mixed in–and to exclude it would be disingenuous.

And, as always, I welcome all of your feedback, impressions, comments!  Even though this blog is about my recovery, it’s really about everyone’s recovery in some sense or another, isn’t it?

Dear Judy,

I can only imagine the look on your face when you saw my name on the outside of the envelope.  I just want you to know that I am hoping that my letter doesn’t seem intrusive to you.  But I had to write.

It’s been close to 10 years since we last had contact, I think.  I am not sure.  My brain doesn’t function as well as it used to.  I guess I will just cut right down to it.  We are not getting any younger and, now that I am in recovery, I am hoping that perhaps we could meet and discuss more of the content of this letter.

In May of 2016, after a few years of severe alcohol abuse and a mutually destructive relationship, I went to jail.  I served only 5 months, but that was all I needed to finally come to terms with the fact that I had to make some serious changes.  I could have come out of jail and gone right back to work for the dealership, but I chose to enter a V.A. Treatment Program and continue not drinking when I got out in October.

I then volunteered for the program I am currently in, a 3 month V.A. Residential Work/Treatment Program here in Brockton.  From here I plan on transitioning to a structured living VA Program in Pittsfield for another 6 months.  I have been clean and sober for over 8 months.  It’s the first time I have put more than 3 months sobriety together since I was 17.

I’m not writing you to blow my horn.  I just wanted you to know what I have been doing and the reason why I am contacting you.  Not only would I like to see if we can at least get past ancient history, I am hoping that you will consider speaking to Nick and Matt and telling them that I still desperately want to see them.

This may seem out of the blue to you, but in actuality–as you may or may not know–I’ve tried to reach them many, many times over the years until they finally shut me down from Facebook.  I know in your heart of hearts you know I’ve never stopped loving the boys. 

When I made the decision to leave them just with you, rather than split them unhappily between us, I thought I was doing the right thing.  I really did.  I saw the toll it was taking, sharing custody, especially as they got older.  They didn’t seem to want to visit me anymore.  Looking back, perhaps it wasn’t the best decision, but I made the decision and what’s done is done.  It was a very painful one that I did not make easily.

I know that none of what I am saying may matter to you.  And I do get that.  I am simply writing asking that you please at least tell them that I am trying to amend my ways.  I never got drunk in front of them.  I know in my heart of hearts I was a good father.  But we both know I was a t a serious disadvantage due to our contentious relationship.

Judy, I am sorry for the things I’ve said and done.  For my part, which was great, I did you wrong on so many levels.  I can never undo those things.  But as we both march onwards towards 60 (omg), I am hoping that we can somehow find a way to mend at least part of the fence.

I am not proud of what I did to you.  I was never really there for you.  Yes, we had some good times, but let’s face it:  I was a self-centered, self-absorbed, drinking, drugging, abusive man.  I may not deserve your forgiveness when it is all said and done.  I will have to live with that if that’s the case. 

But I truly am very sorry for my actions.  This is by no means as thorough an apology as I would like to discuss should you agree to see me.  If not, just know that I didn’t just get sorry about my treatment of you this year; it has bothered me for many years.

I finally want to say that I am not the man you married in 1991.  I have changed.  I have pure intentions and my desire is to only see what reparations I can make with you and the kids.  I am now is clean, sober, under medication for my Bipolar and PTSD (which I had no idea I had for many years).  I am learning about living like a decent human being who worries about other things and people other than himself for once.

This is one such instance.  Please talk to Nick and Matt and I am asking you once again to find it in your heart to ask them and encourage them to see me, or at least talk to me on the phone.  I bring no baggage to the scene.  I have no drama to cloud over their lives with.  I just want to know my sons.  I miss them terribly.  And you are the only one who can make that happen.



These Stinkin’ Emotions!

wp-1484928101125.jpgSo now that you’re not burying your feelings under drugs and/or alcohol, what next?  I’ll tell you:  a shitstorm of emotions seemingly coming at you at the sound of speed!

This is something I have found out in my nearly 8 months of sobriety:  alcohol is not my problem, regulating my emotions is.  In addition to the fact that I have Bipolar I Disorder, I have the pleasure of having to deal with emotions that are sometimes on steroids.

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What to do?  Well, I have learned some really helpful skills in emotion regulation; those little darlings of life that can bring you to the depths of despair, or make you soar so high you’d think you could lasso the sun.

Here is a quick synopsis of how I have been able to move from emotional chaos/alcohol abuse, to a somewhat symbiotic existence on the plane.

Emotional Management:

  1.  Check the facts.  Does this emotion fit the facts of the situation?
    1. If yes–>Is acting on this emotion effective?
      1. If yes–>Be mindful of those emotions and keep them in perspective.
      2. If No–>Do not act on the emotion or consider Opposite Action (like walking away from a situation when we are angry, or distracting ourselves with something nice)
  2. Check the facts.  Does this emotion fit the facts of the situation?
    1. If No–>Is acting on this emotion effective?
      1. If No–>Do not act on the emotion, consider changing your thoughts or using opposite emotions.
      2. If yes–>Be mindful of those emotions and keep them in perspective.
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Example:  You are about to go into your first AA meeting and you are full of apprehension and fear.  Why?  Perhaps you are afraid of rejection.  Afraid of what people will think.

Does the emotion fit the facts of the situation?

NO–>There is no basis for you to decide how the people will react to you.

Is acting on this emotion effective?

No–>Be mindful!  Use Opposite Action:  Go in with an overabundance of confidence.  Result:  You attend the meeting with confidence and chances are excellent that you will be accepted.

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SO, now that you don’t have alcohol and/or drugs to act as the garbage man for your emotions, it’s time to stop-drop-and roll with your emotions!  Slow down, take a moment to check the facts, then proceed with an appropriate measure of the appropriate emotion.

And by the way, don’t be fooled by that wonderful feeling ANGER:  many times it is a cover up of some other emotions we are feeling:  hurt, fearful, guilty, shameful.

Anger is the addicts’ ultimate weapon of mass destruction:  it keeps all the other emotions and/or people/situations causing unwelcome emotions at bay.  But that’s another post entirely.

I promise you, the more you practice emotional regulation, the more adept you will be at handling situations!  It’s working for me–well, mostly lol.

thoughts vs emotions

Just Another Rumination: Friendship

iloveyou on justruminating men's blog

Thought I’d create a new section of posts for my blog:  Just Another Rumination.  Simple thoughts and questions that sometimes enter and exit my overactive imagination.

So I’ve been at this particular facility for over two weeks.  I am friendly towards my roommate, but we don’t go to chow together.

I am friendly to other residents, but I have no deep conversations.

I am congenial to everyone, I am not isolating, yet no one takes the time to even say my name.

Why the hell do I continue to struggle to make friends?  What is it about my demeanor that prevents this from happening?

Everyone is so damn cliquey here.  I am once again baffled by my inability to fit in.  I’m exhausted in this concept.