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How Fun Is This

Recovery: If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

One of my original followers, Day After The Hangover, commented recently that i should post about the advantages of recovery. As i will be reaching 1 year of sobriety in a week, i thought this might be a good time to do just that.

First on the list is this nugget.

i went on the wagon for 6 months one time. People always congratulated me and asked me how i was feeling and i always said better, and that was even kind of true. It did feel better living hangover free, but i still wasn’t happy.

Before i went sober this last time, i wasn’t happy. i knew i wasn’t happy. i also knew what i had to do to make myself happy, but i didn’t feel like doing it. It was too much work. It was easier not to try. It was easier to drink.

For some reason, i’m in a better place in my recovery now. The only thing i’m doing differently this time is attending group meetings, but whatever, i’m happier.

Recovery has given me the energy to work for what i need. The strangest thing is that, the more i work i do, the more it isn’t work. i’m making myself happy and i’m not even trying.

Recovery: If your life isn’t better, you’re doing it wrong.

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About Al K Hall

Like a battered drinker or a punch drunk boxer, i am here for another round. For those of you who don’t know me, i’m a semi-professional writer on the rocks and a non-practicing alcoholic (if after 30 years of practicing, you still can't do something well, it's best to just give it up). For those of you who do know me, thanks for stopping by anyway and where’s the ten bucks you owe me? Welcome to my Bar None. A hole in the wall where we can hang out and trade the kind of stories you swap only when you’ve had one too many and either can’t find your way home or are afraid to. Hell, it’s cheaper than therapy and plus the pictures are prettier. Here we’ll crack open bottles and jokes and ‘last call’ are the only dirty words you’ll never hear. Pull up a stool and make yourselves at home. http://about.me/AlKHall

Posted on January 3, 2012, in Alcoholics Anonymous, Alcoholism, Lessons in Recovery, Recovery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. Cool. Absolutely cool! Way to go, and CONGRATS on a year. I’m so thrilled you’re feeling better. Man, you are an inspiration. I hope i can “work” it the way you are! Mel

  2. I’ll congratulate in person on the actual day, but let me offer “pre-congratulations” here. 🙂

    “The only thing i’m doing differently this time is attending group meetings, but whatever…”

    You know, as someone who is here, by your side in this, I actually do see a critical difference compared to your prior six-months-at-a-time attempts (which happened before I even knew you, too. I think the longest you had last gone was in 2006 — four months or so? January to April? I only knew about it because of what you wrote on blogs at that time — not in person, so I don’t remember. Since 2007, I think the longest you went was six weeks). Maybe even two differences.

    Your attitude about your alcohol is vastly different. Before, you used to have the attitude of “I’m taking a break from alcohol and then I will try to moderate how much I drink when I return to it.” Now, you have the clarity of knowing you will die if you drink. It’s fatal. Maybe not immediately so, but it’s fatal nonetheless. That’s a huge difference — a great difference in beliefs about what alcohol does and how you are not someone who can moderate it.

    The other difference is that I see from working those 12 Steps that you are opening and blossoming back into your humanity — in your compassion and concern for others, in having humility, in getting some of your emotions back that you had numbed out with alcohol. It’s like watching one of those desert plants that seems dried up and dead come back to life again because it received a little water. I guess those are “resurrection plants,” huh. Duh.

    Anyway, I don’t think the only difference is that now you are *just* attending meetings. I see from the work you are doing that you are renewing your soul. That’s a HUGE difference as I see it!

    Keep up the good work, Mr Hall.
    xoxo
    The Missus

    • Whoops – I misread. You wrote “i went on the wagon for 6 months ONE time” and I read “I went on the wagon six months AT a time [when I was on the wagon]”. My bad. It’s why I wrote that stuff at the beginning!!

    • Hi Angel,

      You’re right, of course, AA and meetings have made all the difference. i just didn’t want to make a big deal out of the program because there are many readers who find AA too be too much and i don’t want to alienate anyone! Attending the meetings and doing the work is what makes sobriety worth it.

      Thanks for patronizing me,

      Al K Hall

      • “i just didn’t want to make a big deal out of the program because there are many readers who find AA too be too much and i don’t want to alienate anyone!”

        Whether it is AA or another organization or therapy or whatever, I have witnessed how when people do their personal, inner work, and address the core issues that got them into the alcoholic pattern and illness in the first place, then they experience greater happiness. You are also following this same path.

        What I was getting at up there is that the main difference is that this time you are doing the inner work, you are getting real with yourself and working on those issues, and you are addressing things that long needed to be addressed in your life. It just so happens that the vehicle to do that has been AA. But the point is, it is not the fact that you are attending meetings that things are going better, it is that you are doing the inner work and having a shift in beliefs that is leading to sobriety. You have had a fundamental shift in your attitude about alcohol and your drinking, and that is the key.

        It’s not going to the meetings, per se. Just because you are in a McDonald’s does not make you a hamburger. It’s that you are doing your inner work! That’s the main difference, I think, and what I was getting at up there. (In case there is anyone who feels alienated because of what I wrote. Just for the record: I don’t think the organization matters; it’s doing the inner work that matters. However and with whomever that happens, then it’s all good, IMO.)

        • Hi Angel,

          Agreed, the inner work is key and i’m definitely trying to use my contact with AA as a platform for it. It seems to be working so i’ll keep working this way until it doesn’t work anymore. But thanks for noticing my progress!

          Keep coming back,

          Al K Hall

  3. Congrats on a year, that’s something to be proud of and to celebrate

    • Thank you, Hope!

      i am proud, but trying to temper that with some good ol’ AA humility because it’s my Higher Power’s victory that brought me here! I’m also celebrating here on this blog with my dear readers!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  4. Al,
    Congratulations on a year! I can’t tell you how pleased I am to hear that you’re recovering and happy again. Oh God, am I crying when I write this? Tears of joy!

    Thank you so much for keeping this blog, allowing me to guest post my victories, and making me laugh on your other blog. You’ve helped me a lot and I draw from your courage and enthusiasm to eliminate a deadly habit. I’m so glad you survived that ordeal and are now able to help others as well as yourself.

    Keep it up!

    All the best,
    ITSB

    • ITSB!

      It’s been a crazy trip, hasn’t it? You’re one of the few, the proud who have been with me since before my recovery and i imagine it’s as much a trip for you as it is for me to see the changes that have taken place in my life since the foundation of the Bar None.

      Anyway, as i said, it’s been a crazy trip with a lot more craziness yet to come and i can’t think of anyone i’d rather do it with than you!

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  5. You know what I have learned in sobriety is?

    Life, well, sometimes it just sucks. And that is all there is – no chemical, food, sex or wager will change what is going on. I have had such a rough past few weeks. From getting my Mercedes totaled in a head on collision (not my fault – yes hurt, not badly though) to hating my workplace tension- future not really looking to great with money issues – life has been a little lecherous beast for me to deal with. But deal with it – I have. Even if that means hiding in the studio, mixing music till 4 AM. Better to lose myself in beats than in coke.

    Man it was easier to numb everything – until you either ran out of your stash or wound up in jail- again. Then – where did that crap really help?

    So funny it takes years to realize that the beginning point and the ending point are the same. Yourself.

    • Brandi! Thank “God” you’re here. Lol

      Life really really can suck. This week seems especially hell bent on kicking my ass and is doing a damn good job of it,

      i understand the working on beats until 4am. i’ve become addicted to writing, for better or worse but really for the better. It’s now 2am here and i still have a movie review i’d like to write.

      You’re right. It was easier to numb everything, at least until it wasn’t easier anymore, you know?

      What i do know is that, for me, i’m much better equipped to get past the sucky parts and onto the fun than i ever have been.

      Keep coming back,

      Al K Hall

  6. Hello
    Glad you are doing well! I am glad you are reaping the rewards of your work. Why do we like easy? I don’t do the easy stuff…I tend to tackle the hard things but when I think about that I know I set my self up…I can say I tried the hard things but they were to hard to carry out but hey I tried…A for effort…omg….I think that came from my catholic upbringing as well….

    • My Sweetest Hangover!

      Nice to see you back. The nice thing i’ve been noticing about sobriety is that life gets easier all the time. Man, i can’t believe i didn’t try this earlier!

      Keep coming back, m’dear,

      Al K Hall

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