Tag Archives: Kids

Retro Recovery: Why I Won’t Relapse

Recovery Retro

Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.

Published 12/02/2016 at 5:04 p.m. – Day 55 of Treatment
my_recovery

In the 6 weeks I’ve been here at the Boston VA for Alcoholism Treatment in all the groups, therapy sessions, meetings, no one has ever asked us to list the ways that alcohol has negatively impacted our lives, or will impact our lives should we pick up again.

I think this is a missed opportunity.  I think if we as recovering alcoholics/addicts had an exercise where we attempted to list many of the ways in which our disease has reared its ugly head, or how it will affect us if we do pick up again, that it might have some impact.

It might also be a good list to keep handle should I start thinking that I am ok to pick up again.  I am pretty sure it would put me right back on the right path.

So here goes!  This isn’t going to be pretty:

20 Reasons Why I Won’t Ever Drink Alcohol Again:
  1. I become a loud, overbearing, and obnoxious asshole.
  2. I have picked up the phone lots of times and bought other drugs.
  3. I ruined almost every single friendship I’ve ever had since college.
  4. Drunk dialing.
  5. Drunk driving.
  6. Defects of the mind and character.  Suicide attempts.
  7. Financial ruin.  I am homeless and poor.
  8. I will end up back in jail.
  9. Kids out of my life. (mainly an affliction of the exes poison.  Yes, SHE owns that, I NEVER drank in front of the kids).
  10. I got kicked out of the military for an OUI in Germany, then subsequently tested positive for hash (Honorable).
  11. I got 2 USA OUI’s and have 2 years of jail time/probation hanging over my head.
  12. I have had over 60 jobs out of 48 years of eligible employment.  Yeah, that one staggers me when I added them up.
  13. I destroyed, or have been involved in destroying 4 out of 5 of my significant adult relationships (of more than 3 years).
  14. Loss of major income.  I have wasted umpteen thousands of dollars on alcohol and drugs.
  15. I cannot have just one.  I have to close every place I go.
  16. Isolation, loneliness, depression, despair.
  17. High blood pressure, weight gain, physical exhaustion.
  18. Cost of car insurance, and installation of a breathalyzer in my car (which I currently don’t own).
  19. Instability, chaos, loss, depression.
  20. I will end up dead.

So there you have it folks:  it ain’t pretty, but that’s my truth.  And having just finished the list and reading over it, it staggers me and I have to take a moment to regroup.  Not all my life has been that doom and gloom, lol.  But for the most part it has not been pretty.  I think tomorrow or Sunday I will post 20 Great Things I’ve Done In My Life, just so you don’t think I am a complete washout.  I know you don’t think that, just sayin’.

Alcohol is a disease.  Alcohol will swallow you whole, chew you up, and vomit you onto the cold hard pavement.  It will do this over, and over, and over again.  Alcohol got me so I ended up a lonely, isolate–but on the mend!!– poet blogging at a VA Treatment Facility on a Friday afternoon.

But a sober, lonely poet (wink).

Retro Recovery: I Want My Kids

Recovery Retro

Recovery Retro features posts from my archives 2016-2017, my chronicles of recovery from alcoholism, mental health issues, and substance abuse. After 35 years of chaos, my life in several VA Treatment Programs was anything but boring. Join me as I share with you my most intimate posts about spirituality, living in the now, acceptance, gratitude, mindfulness, and the lessons I learned that keep me sober to this day.

Published 03/12/2017 at 8:00 am – Day 145 of Treatment
my_miscellany_on_recoverywise

So hello my dear readers.  I am still resting from writing and blogging.  I am not, however, resting from the purpose many of you are familiar with:  trying to reunite with the children I walked away from 11 years ago.

I am not one for very long blog posts; however, if you are to appreciate this particular post, some background information would be helpful. 

If not, just read my letter to my sons in the scope of a father having had to let them go to be parented only by their mother these last 11 years and that they truly hate my guts.

In the table below, the first link to a post I wrote explaining why I gave up my children in the first place. The second link is the actual letter I wrote to my ex-wife, requesting assistance in reaching my sons and making amends. The third link is her scathing response.

My ChildrenLetter To My ExMy Ex Wrote Back

And now, here is the letter I have drafted to my two sons.  I would love any feedback you have regarding this letter.  It was extremely difficult to write.  I am hoping it is as honest and as loving as it feels to me.  Thanks, and bless all of you.  I hope to be back sometime in April after I get settled into my new place.

THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED ME AMEND THIS LETTER.  HERE IS THE NEW VERSION I WROTE WITH YOUR HELP, AND ALSO SOME MORE SOUL SEARCHING:

Dear Nick and Matt,

I decided to write this letter to both of you, as the message is the same. I am in a place in my life where I would like to–and am healthy enough–to see you. That has not always been the case. However, I feel it would be doing an injustice to explain everything on a sheet of paper. You deserve more than that.

You may be angry. You may be feeling like I abandoned you. You may be a little sad about the whole thing. You may not actually give a shit. Whatever you are feeling, I certainly do understand it. They are all valid emotions. I consider not keeping you in my life my greatest blunder. It has caused me great sadness. I have missed you terribly.

I am very sorry for any pain I have caused you. I thought I was making the best decision for you and your welfare. I regret making that decision as it has probably caused you tremendous pain. I missed a lot of important activities and events in your lives. I wish we could do it over, but that time has passed. Perhaps we can create new memories together.

I realize that the opportunity to be a dad may have passed. However, I am always willing to be that to you if that is what you wish. I would like to have you consider perhaps having me in your life in a different role if that is not a consideration. If there is a possibility, I would like a chance to show you that I can be someone you can trust and rely upon.

I have battled quite a few demons since we parted. I have PTSD, Bipolar 1 Disorder, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, and am now just 10 months sober from drugs and alcohol. I was in no position to be an effective parent to you. These issues have affected me negatively throughout my life. They also had something to do with me being out of contact with you. But now I am sober, now I am at a healthy place, this is why I am contacting you today.

If you decide you don’t want to see me, my hope is that at least you will be able to try and get past any negative feelings I may have caused you so that you can be free to live in peace. Of course I do hope that you will be able to find it in your hearts to forgive me, and to consider at least talking with me. I might just surprise you! I can’t imagine the entire rest of my life without you in it.

We were Dad and sons once. I know you remember how much fun we used to have. How much time we spent in the woods exploring, hiking. Our trips to the White Mountains. Trying to defeat that damn game Kid Chameleon. Fishing, playing sports, the crazy fireworks, Christmas together, and so much more over your younger years. I’d like to create new memories with you. I have never stopped loving you. I always have, always will. I’m not here to convince you of that. I already know it to be true. I hope that one day I can prove it to you.

Here is my phone number. I hope to hear from you soon. If not, take good care of yourselves, and your mother. My phone number is 222-222-2222. My email is xxxxx@gmail.com. Remember, whatever you decide, I respect and accept.

Love,

Your Father

UPDATE: My sons never responded to the letter. I doubt that they even received it, considering how quite vindictive the ex was towards me. I did finally call my two sons in the Fall of 2018. In those phone calls, I tried my best to explain to them the whys of my ways.

Nick seemed receptive to possible further contact. Matt, my younger son, outright told me he would never have an interest in pursuing a relationship with me. He told me never to contact him again. To this day, neither has contacted me.

My Miscellany: I Want My Kids Back

my_miscellany_on_recoverywise

So hello my dear readers.  I am still resting from writing and blogging.  I am not, however, resting from the purpose many of you are familiar with:  trying to reunite with the children I walked away from 11 years ago.

I am not one for very long blog posts; however, if you are to appreciate this particular post, some background information would be helpful.  If not, just read my letter to my sons in the scope of a father having had to let them go to be parented only by their mother these last 11 years and that they truly hate my guts.

First, here is a post I wrote explaining why I gave up my children in the first place:

MY RECOVERY:  MY CHILDREN

Second, I wrote a letter to my ex-wife requesting assistance and also apologizing to her for some of the things I put here through:

LETTER TO MY EX

Finally came her response email.  Quite a dramatic and impactful one.

MY EX WROTE BACK

And now, here is the letter I have drafted to my two sons.  I would love any feedback you have regarding this letter.  It was extremely difficult to write.  I am hoping it is as honest and as loving as it feels to me.  Thanks, and bless all of you.  I hope to be back sometime in April after I get settled into my new place.

THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED ME AMEND THIS LETTER.  HERE IS THE NEW VERSION I WROTE WITH YOUR HELP, AND ALSO SOME MORE SOUL SEARCHING:

Dear Nick and Matt,

I decided to write this letter to both of you, as the message is the same. I am in a place in my life where I would like to–and am healthy enough–to see you. That has not always been the case. However, I feel it would be doing an injustice to explain everything on a sheet of paper. You deserve more than that.

You may be angry. You may be feeling like I abandoned you. You may be a little sad about the whole thing. You may not actually give a shit. Whatever you are feeling, I certainly do understand it. They are all valid emotions. I consider not keeping you in my life my greatest blunder. It has caused me great sadness. I have missed you terribly.

I am very sorry for any pain I have caused you. I thought I was making the best decision for you and your welfare. I regret making that decision as it has probably caused you tremendous pain. I missed a lot of important activities and events in your lives. I wish we could do it over, but that time has passed. Perhaps we can create new memories together.

I realize that the opportunity to be a dad may have passed. However, I am always willing to be that to you if that is what you wish. I would like to have you consider perhaps having me in your life in a different role if that is not a consideration. If there is a possibility, I would like a chance to show you that I can be someone you can trust and rely upon.

I have battled quite a few demons since we parted. I have PTSD, Bipolar 1 Disorder, Anxiety, Borderline Personality Disorder, and am now just 10 months sober from drugs and alcohol. I was in no position to be an effective parent to you. These issues have affected me negatively throughout my life. They also had something to do with me being out of contact with you. But now I am sober, now I am at a healthy place, this is why I am contacting you today.

If you decide you don’t want to see me, my hope is that at least you will be able to try and get past any negative feelings I may have caused you so that you can be free to live in peace. Of course I do hope that you will be able to find it in your hearts to forgive me, and to consider at least talking with me. I might just surprise you! I can’t imagine the entire rest of my life without you in it.

We were Dad and sons once. I know you remember how much fun we used to have. How much time we spent in the woods exploring, hiking. Our trips to the White Mountains. Trying to defeat that damn game Kid Chameleon. Fishing, playing sports, the crazy fireworks, Christmas together, and so much more over your younger years. I’d like to create new memories with you. I have never stopped loving you. I always have, always will. I’m not here to convince you of that. I already know it to be true. I hope that one day I can prove it to you.

Here is my phone number. I hope to hear from you soon. If not, take good care of yourselves, and your mother. My phone number is 222-222-2222. My email is keatsj1964@gmail.com. Remember, whatever you decide, I respect and accept.

Love,

Your Father

My Ruminations: Split Personalities?

my_ruminations_recoverywise

Well folks, I guess it’s time to introduce you to the three personalities that represent me.  Technically I don’t have Split Personality Disorder.  According to Freud, our psyches are structured into three parts  the id, ego and superego, all developing at different stages in our lives.

And, while he insisted that these are not parts of the brain, or any way physical, somehow my id and superego popped out of my head in the form of Robmoji and AnnaMoji.  You heard right, my id and superego are emojis!

Before I introduce them to you–some of you already know Robmoji–I want to give you a crash course in psychology 101.  According to Freud’s model of the psyche, the id is the primitive and instinctual part of the mind that contains sexual and aggressive drives and hidden memories, the super-ego operates as a moral conscience; and the ego is the realistic part that mediates between the desires of the id and the super-ego.

Ego (Rob)–I

The ego develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. It is the decision making component of personality. Ideally the ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and totally unreasonable (perfect description of Robmoji).

Often the ego is weak relative to the headstrong id and the best the ego can do is stay on, pointing the id in the right direction and claiming some credit at the end as if the action were its own.

The ego engages in secondary process thinking, which is rational, realistic, and orientated towards problem solving. If a plan of action does not work, then it is thought through again until a solution is found. This is know as reality testing, and enables the person to control their impulses and demonstrate self-control, via mastery of the ego.

I’m the one who has to live with these two. Over my 35+ years of addiction, I have been weak relative to the headstrong Robmoji and the best I’ve been able to do is stay on, pointing Robmoji in the right direction and claiming some credit at the end as if the action were my own.  But in recovery I am getting stronger and stronger and I am more willing to hand the reins over to Annamoji, because she really is the glue.

Id (Robmoji)–It

wp-1488071973439.png

The id remains infantile in it’s function throughout a persons life, and does not change with time or experience, as it is not in touch with the external world. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world, as it operates within the unconscious part of the mind.

The id engages in primary process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational, and fantasy oriented. This form of process thinking has no comprehension of objective reality, and is selfish and wishful in nature.

Robmoji lives up to his reputation as id:  he’s impulsive, arrogant, sarcastic, disrespectful and lives for him and him alone.  So please, don’t ever take what he says seriously.

SuperEgo (Annamoji)–Above I

wp-1488071846699.png

The superego’s function is to control the id’s impulses, especially those which society forbids, such as sex and aggression. It also has the function of persuading the ego to turn to moralistic goals rather than simply realistic ones and to strive for perfection.

The superego consists of two systems: The conscience and the ideal self. The conscience can punish the ego through causing feelings of guilt. For example, if the ego gives in to the id’s demands, the superego may make the person feel bad through guilt. The ideal self (or ego-ideal) is an imaginary picture of how you ought to be, and represents career aspirations, how to treat other people, and how to behave as a member of society.

So, basically, we are all in a struggle to balance these different deeply rooted parts of our self.  Because of my childhood trauma, Bipolar Disorder I, Borderline Personality Disorder (thanks Robmoji), and alcoholism, my id and ego have suffered greatly.

Annamoji, my superego, has been the glue that has kept us together.  Therefore, I have decided she is the best one to tell my entire story through something she wants to call “Chronicles of Rob.”  Unfortunately, Robmoji is going to continue to be Robmoji. freud on justruminating men's blog

My Ruminations: I’m Sorry

my_ruminations_recoverywise

I owe you all an apology.  As much as I have always prided myself on being up front and honest about my life–almost to a fault–I haven’t shared with you the essence of my afflictions.

I feel like I owe you an apology because I have always been truthful with you, and I feel as though I have been living a lie by not exposing my darkest issues and behaviors.

So, I think in the coming weeks I am going to have to find the fortitude to lay it all on the line.  Some of the topics may well alienate some of you away from my blog.  fear on justruminating men's blogI have always prided myself on supposedly not giving a shit what people think.  Well, suddenly I am realizing that I must, because I am afraid to expose my ugliness to you.  Ultimately it is what I have to do.

Since I disagree with A.A.’s Step in which you are to make amends to those you have wronged as long as where to do so wouldn’t be harmful to them. I am going to make my amends to over 1,100 of you instead.  Besides, these folks don’t want to hear from me.  Some of them could care less whether I live or die.

I’ve been mulling this over all day.  I have come to the conclusion that I will not fully recover unless I disclose the exact nature of my wrongs.  To me, it’s just too safe and convenient to do it to one male human being in AA.  amends on justruminating men's blogThat seems to be a copout to me.  I’m willing to face my community with the truth you deserve.  I would be a hypocrite if I did not.

Some of my bleaker behaviors have to do with women.  Many of you, dear readers, are women.  So, if I am really going to be a truly transformed human being, then I will do it here.

I cannot control how you will react.  I cannot change who I was.  I had a lot of things going on in my life, no excuses though.  I will get into those with each post.  I do know for the first time in my life I am willing to be accountable for my behaviors.

Stay tuned…damn the torpedo’s!

accountable

« Older Entries