Monthly Archives: September 2013
i’d been an alcoholic for over 2 decades before i first heard the expression “Liquid Courage”, but after i did i couldn’t believe i’d never heard it before. Let’s just say i didn’t need subtitles to understand what it meant.
Lately things have been improving concerning that and here’s why.
- i learned early on that i had to give up my life to my Higher Power because when i was driving the bus, i drove it straight to Hell and got lost there. Giving the wheel to my Higher Power means i have nothing to fear because the HP is in charge. (For agnostics, just remember “The future is none of your business“. )
- On my sponsor’s instructions, i share at every AA meeting i go to (3 a week, usually). The more i share in front of a group of people, the less tense i am about it.
- i’m able to recognize the symptoms of fear and when i do i’m getting better at consciously telling myself to chill. Breathing deep is a big help when it comes to this.
The reason i’m going on about this is that i’ve only just learned these lessons and only have made significant progress with them in the last couple of weeks.
Unfortunately, because i think the girl i have a crush on has been avoiding my regular meetings because she had a crush on me too, but when i didn’t make a move she assumed i didn’t feel the same way so she’s given up. Which is sad but not tragic. i keep reminding myself that i can’t lose something i never had, and that sometimes rejection is God’s protection.
Still, i do wish i’d been braver sooner, and hope that the universe has some second chances left in its deep pockets.
The latest celebrity i didn’t know had troubles with alcohol is Lana del Rey.
That’s really why I got sent to boarding school aged 14 — to get sober.
I was a big drinker at the time. I would drink every day. I would drink alone. I thought the whole concept was so fucking cool.
My parents were worried, I was worried. I knew it was a problem when I liked it more than I liked doing anything else. I was like, I’m fucked. I am totally fucked. Like, at first it’s fine and you think you have a dark side – it’s exciting – and then you realize the dark side wins every time if you decide to indulge in it.
A great deal of what I wrote on Born To Die is about these wilderness years.
It’s been nine years since my last drink.
I feel like my work’s important, but I don’t always feel like I get respect for it…when I feel like people don’t like [my] music and that the 10 years I spent making what I made was not for a good reason, that makes me want to drink again.
A lot of the time when I write about the person that I love, I feel like I’m writing about New York. And when I write about the thing that I’ve lost I feel like I’m writing about alcohol because that was the first love of my life. Sure, there have been people, but it’s really alcohol.
And when I write about the thing that I’ve lost I feel like I’m writing about alcohol because that was the first love of my life.
Sorces for the quotes:
Heard in the rooms…
[The image i borrowed is The Fall of Icarus by ramastom]
i have a crush on this girl. She’s charming, timid and very pretty.
The problem is, i’m going to ask her out.
It’s a problem because i had no idea how complicated this is. And it is. Very. Hell, dating in civilian life is harsh enough without taking into account things like threats to sobriety, triggers and addictive thinking.
RelAAtionshps in AA
In Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a rule of thumb that newcomers (those with less than one year of sobriety) should not start new romantic relationships–neither with each other nor someone who has more sobriety than them (see the “13th Step“).
Also, and i didn’t know this at first, but ‘fellows’ of the opposite sex (or same sex, depending on which way you swing) are discouraged from exchanging phone numbers as a way of reaching out.
With these land mines in mind, i took a couple steps to make sure my sobriety came first.
What i Did
- Talked to my sponsor
- Spoke with people in the program who i admire and who have more sobriety than me
What they said
- Take things One Date at a Time: Think only about the date your on, not the next one. Or moving in together. Or babies.
- Go in with no expectations. That way, if things don’t work out, neither person is tempted to drown their sorrows in anything stronger than a Mountain Dew
As for what happens next, well, i’ll keep you posted.
Craig Ferguson made this stunning announcement in 2007.
Someone else i didn’t know was in recovery. Did you catch his plug for AA at the end?
i’ve decided to add a new category to this blog dedicated to well known people who are sober. i’m not trying to “out” anyone, and will only be talking about celebrities who are open about their recovery. The purpose is to demonstrate that famous people are sober, too, just like me and you.
One of the bad habits that followed me like a mangy dog out of my alcoholism and into my sober life was The Best of Intentions. The sad thing about my Best of Intentions was that it remained just that, an Intention.
- i should reach out
- i should read that book
- i should go to a meeting
- i should post that blog
Fortunately, every sober day makes it a little easier for me to stop thinking i should do something, but to actually do it instead.
- i reached out
- i read that book
- i went to a meeting
- i posted this blog…
The next time you hear yourself saying “I should”, try changing it to “I did”.
Remember me? i’m the guy who has a lot of defaults and is lucky enough to be able to see them clearer all the time.
The truth now: i judge a lot. All the time. Constantly maybe even.
i judge walking down the street, talking to people i meet, looking in the mirror, even getting clearer in the rooms.
I judge alcoholically, meaning compulsively, and for the wrong reasons because i judge to make myself feel better at another’s expense. i judge because i like to think i’m master of the universe and judging the world comes with the job.
i don’t just judge you, though. i’m an equal opportunity judge because i judge myself all the time, as well. i judge myself for being too shy, too fearful and i judge myself for judging too much.
But that’s OK, right? Judging myself is a good thing and it’s a tool for self improvement, isn’t it?
Judging myself isn’t an act of humility, it’s the opposite. Judging myself is a flagrant act of hubris because i’m basically punishing myself for not acting as perfect as i know i am.
i judge myself so i can feel guilty.
The solution to this is to be right sized. To see myself as i really am and not as who i think i am. Only after i accept myself for who i am today, defaults and all, will i be able to let myself off the hook.
Fellow alcoholics, let’s take a test.
Read the following list and place a check mark beside each true statement, as it relates to your drinking.
_____ “I haven’t blacked out.”
_____ “I haven’t lost a job.”
_____ “I haven’t caused an accident.”
_____ “I haven’t I haven’t been to rehab.”
_____ “I haven’t been arrested.”
_____ “I haven’t killed anyone.”
_____ “I haven’t killed myself.”
If you’re a still-practicing alcoholic, go back to to each sentence you ticked and add “Yet” at the end.
What if “Alcohol Abuse” didn’t mean that i abused alcohol, but that booze abused me?
Think about it. Liquor took advantage of my neediness and desperation. At the beginning of our relationship, it made me feel better, more confident, and more attractive. As time wore on, however, alcohol hurt me more and more, leaving me with physical scars and a bruised ego to the point i was ashamed of our relationship. i tried to hide from my friends just how badly it was hurting me but this became impossible, so i left it more than once. Yet every time i walked away, i soon missed the bottle so badly that i forgot how bad it was for me.
Until the last time, when i walked out, slammed that door and never looked back.
Except sometimes i open up that door to the past and think about the good ole days, back when alcohol loved me for real and treated me so well. There were some nights we really got along, but those moments were the exception to the rule. i remember those times fondly, but not enough to give booze one more shot.