Tag Archives: feelings

My Ruminations: Discontentment In Recovery

my_ruminations_recoverywise

As 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 came across a possible reason.

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View From Loon Mountain Saturday

I still haven’t 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.

Meditating

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

Letter To My Ex on recoverywise

If you don’t have the backstory 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.

Sincerely,

Rob

My Recovery: Thoughts On Recovery

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Ok, so I haven’t written about my sobriety or recovery in a little while.  I will tell you I am strong and healthy in it.  I am doing well.  However, I am noticing a disturbing trend:  many of our fellow writers are tormented with recovery “shoulds,” and rules that are really myths.  So I’d like to share my own two cents on this.

First of all, I am not sure counting recovery days is a sound practice.  But I do see it’s value for many people.  What I don’t think is healthy is folks who feel as though they must reset their sobriety date because of a slip; a perceived relapse.  Also, get rid of should haves, would haves, could haves; they are all self-defeating and serve no purpose in your long-term recovery plans.

Only I can Prevent My Relapse–No Other Person, Place, Or Thing Can

A slip is just that:  you drank or used and the next day you realized the error of your ways, and so you’re-devoted yourself to your sobriety.  Plain and simple, forgive yourself!  Be compassionate to yourself and just keep on keeping.  Your sobriety date need not change!

A relapse is a more prolonged conscious decision to pick up again.  A relapse can go for several days, or several months.  In my opinion a prolonged relapse warrants a recovery date reset.  A relapse of an extended length kind of defeats the purpose of having a recovery date.

I Tell Myself Every Day: I Will Drink Tomorrow, But Not Today

As far as judging yourself for the feelings you are having:  STOP IT!  It is OK to feel whatever feelings you are feeling at the time you are feeling them!  Emotions are going to get a lot stronger than they are weaker, I can attest to that personally!

sobriety on recoery-wise.com

We used to numb feelings.  We used to escape.  We used to isolate and avoid.  Now that we are not using, we are faced with the things that we tried so hard to avoid:  FEELINGS.  So, please, fellow drunks and addicts, give yourself a break! 

Accept yourself in the situations you find yourself in and do the best you can!  Love yourself as much as you can while you are learning to be yourself once again.

Picking Up Is Not An Option!

I care about each and every one of you and your struggles.  I may not always get a chance to read all your posts, but you can ALWAYS reach out to me if you need a friend.  You can ALWAYS email me just to vent.  I know what it’s like to struggle.  I know what it’s like to be alone.  I know what it’s like to fight for each hour on some days.

signs of relapse

My Ruminations: Friendship

my_ruminations_recoverywise

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.

My Miscellany: Let It Flow

my_miscellany_on_recoverywise

I’d like to talk to you about something that is very near and dear to me:  YOU!  More specifically, your presence in this world of blogging; this world of expression.  Many times I read comments about you not being sure you should write this, express that.  Well, I am here to tell you:  Let It Flow!

Those of you who know me know I let it rip.  I don’t care what the subject, what my emotions, what the situation:  I let it fly!  Some people have commented I should leave recovery in anonymity.  That I am revealing far too much about myself and my recovery.  Sometimes I wonder myself.  And then, I remember:  I have been given one life to live and I must live it freely!

I must speak my truth and I must be pure and honest and reveal everything!  Why?  Because I want to, need to, have to, and because I can!  And something funny has been happening since I have taken this new approach to my life:  I am healing, growing, flourishing!  Don’t get me wrong, I have miles to go before I sleep, but what a difference it has made.  Disclaimer:  this is not a sales pitch for rose-colored glasses, miracle cures, life is going to all work itself out, or any other such namby pamby philosophy…haha.

I do not believe sobriety and trauma and pain and abuse and sorrow and sexual abuse and ptsd and rape and physical abuse and torture and depression and suicide and health issues and psychological disorders and any and all the other myriad things many of us suffer from, should stay in the shadows (and no, that sentence is not punctuated properly).  Oh no!  Quite the contrary:  That’s where our demons like to live.  That’s where they like to breed, to multiply, and to keep us:  living in fear and darkness.writing2

Our demons, our thoughts and emotions sometimes like to keep us under their thumb.  They do not want exposure.  They fear the recriminations.  They fear the light.  They keep their hands around our throats so that we will remain ever mute and silent.

They keep us company and pretend to love us.  We are fearful to expose ourselves, lest we cheat on them.  We worry what people might think.  We worry we might say the wrong things.  We worry that what we have to say is not important.  Let It Flow!

I don’t need to go on and on about this.  You know exactly what I am talking about here.  And I am here to tell you that you must be brave!  You must trust that your feelings are valid.  You must trust that your truth matters.  You matter!  What you have to say matters!  If not to anyone else but to you! 

I cannot tell you how many times–over and over again–I read something you have posted and just sit back and feel myself change.  I truly evolve each time you take risks.  Without you, and I mean this with all my heart and soul, I daresay I would not have come so far so fast.  And if I am feeling that way, many of you are having the same experiences!

So, as I like to comment many times, Write On!  Bleed your heart onto the page.  Don’t hesitate.  Don’t vacillate.  Don’t wonder.  Just write and in so doing you will free yourself, little by little and bit by bit, from that which despairs you, troubles you, keeps you hostage.  Who cares what other people think?  Isn’t that what keeps us down many times when we want to scream out “HERE I AM.  VALIDATE ME!  I EXIST WHY CAN’T YOU SEE ME?”writing3

When you think that what you are about to write, or have written, can’t possibly be of any value to anyone that’s when you post it the quickest!  You are relevant!  You are not alone.  We are in this together, you and I.

I am convinced that 50% of the world is batshit crazy and the other 50% are living in denial lol.  So there isn’t a soul out here that has any license to pain and suffering.  Nobody is The Judge.  I don’t care how bad our lives have been:  NONE OF US HAS A COPYRIGHT CLAIM TO LIFE, THEREFORE WE ARE ENTITLED TO ITS EMOTIONS.  Let It Flow!

With that being said, dear readers–dear writers–dear fellow sufferers–dear fellow humans–dear kindred spirits–dear children, Write On!  Be who you must be and get out of the darkness.  You might have to wear shades for a while, but your soul will get used to the light.  Notice I did not say everything is going to become rosy and cheerful and all better once you simply start practicing this.  But, on the other hand, you will be surprised at what transpires within you and around these hallowed halls of words.

My simple point is just do it.  Be who you need to be.  Speak all of your truth!  Aspire to what you want to become, and become it.  We only have one life, and it’s gone in a blink of an eye.  Do you really want to be second guessing what you are presenting and who you should be presenting to?  I thought not…writing1

My favorite poet, John Keats said it best:

‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,’ – that is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know. John Keats

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