Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Voices

Used 2013-06-20 Is this you (AlKHall Anonymous Sobriety Recovery)

You could pig out on candy and not have any dinner.

You should just binge on TV all weekend.

Take another 5-minute break on top of the 18th 5-minute break you’re just finishing.

Just click on one more link.

You owe it to yourself to look for every sexy picture of Amber Heard every leaked online.

You deserve a drink.

Angry Birds is on Facebook!? And you want to write!?

Maybe it’s just me, but i realized the other day that my cravings come in voices. I’m not saying the fish sticks in the freezer are telling me to kill my boss, but when i’m tempted to press the “fuck it” button, the temptation comes in the form of words. Exactly like those above.

The frustrating thing is that i recognize all of those actions won’t make me happy, but i have to take the time to quell the voice before i can enjoy my time. Or sometimes i give in (except for the drink, of course) and feel some degree of bad about it later.

At least now i understand that voice is not right. Before, because it came from inside me, i thought it was what i really wanted. The more meetings i attend and the more service i give, the faster i’m able to recognize the voice as temptation.

But here’s the thing i don’t get. Where does this voice come from? Where inside of me do i get these messages that will lead me to being unhappy?

A Loss for Words / Words for a Loss

Used 2013-06-10 RIP (AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery)

i learned of the loss of a dear friend a couple of hours ago. He died as the result of an alcohol induced accident. He was 45 still going on 22. i saw him for the last time when i went back to the States for Christmas. We went to a sports bar to watch football with friends on a Sunday afternoon and he was the only one drinking. He never got a driver’s license, which probably explained how he made it to 45. i hugged him when i said goodbye to him and i’m glad i did.

It’s not my place to determine if he was an alcoholic or not, but those that loved him worried about his drinking. It’s unfair to him, though, to reduce him to this. He had a job, he had girlfriends and ex wives and friends and he had talent. He was a gifted artist and was without a doubt the most talented musician that i knew. He could not just play every instrument known to man, he could play it better than anyone else you knew.

Plus, he was unbelievably sweet. Constantly smiling. Always telling bad jokes and laughing at yours as though they weren’t bad, as well. He was very giving, and had jobs that included working with children and the elderly.

Children loved him because he was not broken by life and did not feel he had to hide the child within himself. He carried with him a naivete that he shared with everyone and his innocence was so infectious everyone caught it. He was a loyal friend and intelligent beyond the age he acted. While he often drank, i never once saw him become belligerent or aggressive. The times i saw him at his drunkest, he merely passed out in the chair with a smile on his lips.

i don’t know if his family and friends ever staged an intervention to get him into recovery, but it would surprise me if they had. As he did not act violent when drunk and seemed to be able to function in his day to day life, it probably didn’t seem necessary. Also, as anyone in recovery will tell you, there is nothing you can say to convince an addict they need help. Until they realize it themselves, all your pretty words are like sweet smoke.

Sad as it is to say, i’m sure all of us who loved him felt this was his destiny.

The mutual friend who informed me of his death said, “It’s shocking but not surprising.”

We all knew it was going to happen one day, but never thought it would be today.

i don’t want these words to be his elegy because they are not good enough for him and i don’t want him to need an elegy. i want him here, telling me the story of the crazy girlfriend that chewed his fingernails after he passed out, or telling me again how we should be in a blues band with me writing lyrics and him playing every instrument known to man.

After my suicide attempt, i was in ICU for a couple days and there was someone else in the bed across the hall. He had, i think (but i was in a haze for most of that time), a terminally ill disease. i remember feeling a twinge of guilt when it became apparent that, despite trying to to fuck myself up permanently, i was granted a longer life while that stranger across the hall was a victim to a disease he had not brought on himself, yet had to die from it.

i’m feeling a little of that guilt tonight. Why is it that i am the one who became sober after surviving a suicide, while he falls victim to a freak accident?

Untreated alcoholism is a terminal disease. i may not deserve the chance i’ve been given but i will use it to let other people know this simple fact: untreated alcoholism is a terminal disease.

My friend did not deserve to die, but i will use the life left in me to let others know that he created a work of art with the short time he’d been given.


Self Love

Used 2013-06-08 I'm of Two Minds (AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery)

I’m of Two Minds

Do i love myself?

As an infant, i was a playmate to myself.

Through puberty, i was a stranger to myself and, as i’d been taught never to talk to strangers, i felt very alone and alienated.

Then, i took up the bottle and got to know myself a little better.

When i was drinking i had a passionate, love-hate relationship with myself. i was like Sid & Nancy where i rocked both roles–enabling my own dysfunction with heartfelt loathing.

Towards the end of my alcoholism, i divorced myself in a very acrimonious and destructive trial. As i had to live with myself afterwards, there was a lot of blame and animosity.

Eventually, this led to attempted murder when i tried to kill my other half by killing myself.

Now i’ve passed the reconciliation phase and have been making up to myself.

Do i love myself? Hard to say.

i do admire myself and i’m better at listening to myself, which means i can live with myself again. And every day that gets a little easier.

What about you? Care to share your ‘personal’ relationship?


Practicing Alcoholic

Used 2013-06-03 Working On It (AlKHall Anonymous sobriety recovery)

Working On It

When i was 25 years old, i tried to become an alcoholic.

During a period that lasted  a week, i woke up, showered, dressed for work and sat in the recliner in my living room while i drank two glasses of wine with a purpose. And by “with a purpose” i mean that i did it even if i didn’t want to and i did it for a specific reason.

i forced myself to gulp wine like medicine (or poison) before driving to work because i wanted to be a real alcoholic.

Some alcoholics cannot live without alcohol, they get the DT’s if they don’t imbibe and can drink almost constantly and not get overly drunk. i was am not this kind of alcoholic. When i was active in my alcoholism, i could go several days, even up to a week, without a drink. i did not wake up with cravings, i did not eat hand soap at work or hide bottles in the bathroom.

But once i had one glass, i would not stop until i was physically unable to have another.

My ‘problem’ was that i didn’t think binge drinkers qualified as alcoholics and i desperately (and ‘desperately’ is really the perfect word here) wanted to become one.

Why? Simple. i hated who i was and i hated my life and i wanted something to change. Anything to change. Change for the worse was still a change. i hoped to become a skid row bum with a red nose living in my clothes and sleeping on benches because at least that was different than what i was living at the moment.

The good news is this story has a happy ending. i learned that binge drinkers are alkies like the rest and found a way out of my hell. The bad news is, it took me 23 more years of suffering to get there.