All I wanted growing up was an exciting life...I did not realize that asking for excitement invited crocodiles...and fiery darts...and evictions. I thought yay, fun, excitement. What I got was AAaaaaAAAaaaahhhhhh! excitement. When you get to the point in your life when you look at boredom as a luxury, it's because excitement gets old. It really does.
Drinking didn't get old for me, the side effects of it did though. Messes and clean ups, overreactions and apologies, fires (yes, actual fires), fights, looking for my purse every morning and finding it sometimes, cheating, not remembering cheating, concussions, lies, explanations, hangovers...yada....yada...yada... Drinking itself never got old-the taste, the ambiance, the connections and the laughs, but the side effects of being a black out drunk...fuck em.
Now at two years I'm not a saint, I'm nowhere near where I could be, should be, will be....I'm slowly making amends and making things right, but the one truth I hold is that I haven't had a drink. And the bad excitement I've had in sobriety (that seems to follow me no matter what)...my ex disappearing on meth, getting cancer, losing several friends to suicide and addiction seemed less catastrophic and more hopeful. For instance my ex checked himself into treatment a week ago and I was clear headed enough to be able to help instead of firing off like I might have a year ago. When I found out about the cancer, my kidneys and liver had a year and a half to cleanse themselves so the chemo didn't send me into failure. My rent was reasonable, my support systems were strong and my kids and I had everything we needed. When I found out one of my good friends had committed suicide, it was after I had a dream about him which led me to find out. I felt I had a clear communication with him, but would that have happened if I'd been drunk. Most likely not.
At two years our brains start to repair the damage and broken connections, that's what I have heard. I guess we'll see.
1. A king of a very important kingdom appoints you to the position of night watch. Your duty is to stay at the gate every waking hour and watch for a mythical sign to appear. It is important that you sleep during the day and remain alert during your shift. According to legend a comet to the east will flash red for exactly 2 seconds. If you miss the flash the kingdom is doomed, the people will die and earth will replenish itself. The comet can detect intoxication as well and will just pass you by if it senses you have been drinking at all.
2. You get hired to swallow swords on fire.
3. You have a bowel obstruction that is forcing you to shit out your mouth. Every time you try to take a drink, the shit and alcohol meet in your throat causing you to choke up liquid shit that quickly eats away at your esophagal lining.
4. You are over-hydrated (Very dangerous!)
5. Room Raiders, the MTV show, alerts you that they will be doing an expose by taking a black light to your bedroom sometime in the next year at a spontaneous time.
6. It's the future. Alcohol has been outlawed in the new prohibition amendment of 2042. There is to be an execution tomorrow for everyone who is extracted from their home that tests positive for even .01%. Everyone will be tested.
7. News flash: the DABC has been notified that terrorists have hijacked hundreds of thousands of cases of alcoholic beverages and dissolved trace amounts of Anthrax in them. Every drink is now a dangerous game of roulette.
8. It is discovered that for every drink that disappears, a monkey dies.
9. You are literally on fire.
10. Every time you drink you're an asshole.
I've never felt such a sense of security as when my life was
completely a P a r
Many concussions later
I'm having discussions like I'm an AA'er
cause I have problems AND my problems have cousins,
as to minimize this reprise,
I'm rhyming now AS I've been smoking weed
and drinking wine................
PART OF THIS DISEASE IS D
ASS O CIA T I O
That's why I can drink and smoke and claim I'm clean
In the meantime...
existing under a cloak of chemicals
and *takes a puff off a cigarette* "the perks I get from other folks"
I finally did it!
So why am I stoned AND why am I lit?!
ADDICTION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF RHETORIC - It's like I'm listening to two arguments,
neither of which seem to reflect my own opinions
I SEE THEREFORE I AM NOT
I sat back and had a drink while the two of them fought.
I dug into the compartments of compartmentalization-
It wasn't until six drinks later
I had the dialogue going about how I'm better
See, having been clean three times last week
Seeps into my current,
see and I pat myself on the back
For having the self-control IT NEEDS
If you go to anonymous meetings, al-anon, gamblers, coda, over eaters, etc. you may find yourself getting called out with nothing to say. Here we've provided a template for you so if you're an addict (or just pretending to be one to get all the cool member benefits) you can fit right in. Just fill in the blanks with your name, DOC (drug of choice) and whatever else fits the context and you'll be well on your way to saying the serenity prayer and accepting the things you can't change (i.e. that you're not great at telling stories, talking in front of other people or following directions).
My name is ________________(you're name here) and I'm a grateful ______________(alcoholic, ragaholic, sexaholic, addict, bingeaholic <-see my last post AA greetings for AA meetings to get more ideas).
(Clear your throat)
I realized I had a problem when I saw my friends ___________ (insert normal activity) while I was __________(adverb)___________(verb ending in "ing") until the next morning when I would discover I lost all my ________(plural noun). This went on for ______(number) years where I would start ________(addict behavior) and gradually over time I lost my _______(noun), my ______(good personal attribute) and my _______(a virtue). Soon enough none of my ________(type of relationship) would have anything to do with me. That's when I discovered that I might have a problem. When I first came into these rooms I thought _______(an elaborate existential realization), but discovered it was just my addiction _______(verb ending in "ing".) I did what everyone ______(verb in past tense) me to do and _______(irregular verb) hold of the first ______(noun) I could. I did the ______(noun) and it kept me _______(irregular verb) long enough that my own will took over. I'm forever _______(verb ending in "ful") to _________(Meeting name) for ______(verb ending in "ing") me recover from the insidious use of ________(DOC) and for that I will take another 24.
I get it...it's important to drill into your own mind that you are an alcoholic. If you say it enough, you might actually start to believe it. But sometimes you don't want to be just an anonymous alcoholic when you introduce yourself to a room of people, sometimes you want your ego to SHINE "Hey, I'm the funny one!" or "Hey, I have a name!" so here's ten alt's to use or get you started on your own.
1. My name is ____ and I'm A PERSON. (Whoa, how about THAT bomb!)
2. My name is _____ and I'm a dipsomaniac (clinical name for alcoholic)
3. My name is ______ and I'm a tea totaller (Old timey name for a sober person)
4. My name is ______ and I'm good (just nod)
5. My name is ______ and I'm a Virgo, Existentialist, Cisgender, Reptilian Cross breed.
6. My name is ______ and sorry, what was the question?
7. My name is ______ and I'm a drunk
8. My name is ______ and I'm NOT annoyed
9. My name is ______ and I prefer not to label myself
10. My name is Slim Shady, please stand up.
When attempting to get sober, it's important to identify our lists of triggers. Some of these triggers are easy to identify like a hard day at work and subsequent reward. Others kind of evade us until that moment when we drive by a car of yodeling Mexican's and think "Okay, that's weird, but that just totally made me want to drive my car straight through the walls of the liquor store." Here are a list of some potential triggers that might not come to mind immediately, but if you think about them long enough you'll be calling for bail money.
1. Phone battery is at 1%. At 15% you told yourself you had time. At 5% you started to mildly panic. Now your phone is 1% and somehow you feel like Bruce Willis in Die Hard except you lack the tools to disarm the impending boom. You know you are on a serious countdown to being alone with the void your own mind and somehow you're only problem solving skill involves a drink which will end up being much more expensive and time consuming than finding a friend or a store with a charger.
2. Girl yelling "whoooo" in the distance. Mind: "Must be a girl partying. She sounds like she's having fun. I remember when I used to have fun like that. I can almost taste the Long Island now. Hmmm, I'm thirsty. Oh there's a bar over there. Okay, I'll just go have one." Game Over, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 anything except random numbers, scrapes and cuts.
3. Being told what to do by anyone. Mind: "Who do they think they are? Wow, they really need to work on their approach. No one tells me what to do." These are common thoughts you might have upon being told what to do by anyone. We don't take authority well and somehow this is news to us. There's no right way for anyone to approach us and give us instructions and they are just as apprehensive about doing it as we are receiving it which is why the whole thing came out so weird and tense.
4. Drinking something out of a brown bag. If you do this with anything but booze you will feel like Martin Short in Three Amigos when he goes to drink water out of his canteen and it's filled with sand. You will feel the thirst. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHVpJGXZ21o
5. Patio Dining. Mind: "Oh man, look at those people drinking over there having such a good time. No fair." Aaaaahhhhhhhhh! You may have to just run every time you see patio dining. Tell people you are a patio dining phobe. You'll actually look stupider getting drunk in the middle of the day at a lovely patio dining arrangement then just seriously belting every time you pass one.
6. The Real Housewives of anything, Big Brother, Dating Naked as well as several other reality shows. They are fighting. Drinking. Shopping. Drinking. Working out. Drinking. Travelling. Drinking. Suddenly, you feel like you know them and they are your best friends. Soon drinking seems like a normal part of life again and you've completely forgotten how you know the detox unit at the hospital on a first name basis.
7. Having your shit together and looking good. It seems like you should only be triggered when you are having a rough day, but now you have money to lose and weight to gain. Everything is great, but your mind whispers to you that the only thing you are missing is a drink...then you'd really be great. All I have to say is play the tape motherfuckers.
8. Church. All these good people make you want to be bad. Maybe not necessarily bad, but definitely not one of them. You feel more comfortable in a bar than church, more like you can express yourself. Church isn't about you and that also makes it difficult. Maybe church isn't for everyone and that is okay. For some of us it's just better to avoid.
9. Car problems. There's a reason triple A has two A's in it. Never go without it if you are planning on being sober for any substantial amount of time.
If you're really an alcoholic then you're really an asshole too. The correlation is +100%. If you are getting sober and thinking back saying "well, I wasn't hurting anyone besides myself" then I suggest you stay in your room and try not to bother anyone. An alcoholic is like the epicenter of an earthquake. The big quake starts with you, but everyone around you feels it so in relation to dealing with conflict everyone in your life is just as shaken as you when there is something that needs to be addressed. You don't like conflict and they fucking know it.
"Drinking is the symptom, not the problem" and the problem generally lies in our psychotic cycle of self-pity, poor reactions and egocentric adolescence we never grew out of cause we started using or drinking instead of practicing normal development and conflict resolution. Instead of coming to mature resolutions like "One of the only things I have control over is my reaction" it was "he, she or it is making me so pissed off I couldn't help but throw that $4,000 keyboard out the front door" [or insert whatever INSANE action and justification you went with (in my defense he was a SELFISH ASSHOLE)] so soon enough we were creating problems to drink instead of drinking because of our problems.
There's a few conflict styles I've seen with alcoholics and just like any recovery process identifying them is the first step in the process of change. Here are a few I have encountered and a contrast with how a normal, mature healthy non "addict" OR the ideal might compare:
The Defender: This person is always ready to snap back and always has to come out on top. Appearing very argumentative, the defender typically has stockpiled a list of ammunition against anyone who might even vaguely criticize something they have done. Internally, nothing you say will effect their ego, if you continue to push them they will simply blame it on your jealousy, your lack of reason, your socioeconomic status and the fact that you are just out to get them.
The Salesman: This person doesn't get angry, but they are filled with justifications even OJ Simpson would envy. Always having to be right, the will run rhetorical laps around you until you leave in a tired complacency thinking okay, you win, I just need to get out of here.
The Passive Aggresser: Passive aggressively and publicly they admit to doing things that they suspect other people of doing, they have a I'm-better-than-everyone-because-I-can-admit-my-wrongs attitude. Instead of addressing a problem, they leave notes or gossip behind your back with the secret hope it's going to get back to you. Instead of asking you directly if you did something, they say "somebody is blankety blanking and I hate it!" right in front of you.
The Aggressor: This person charges like a bull at any suspicion even if false. Their imagination can take them to some pretty crazy places and they don't have the mental intervention to stop and tell themselves to calm down and check the facts. If you've wronged them, you will know it and their irrational rage may never allow them to reconsider or forgive. Trying to get this person to the point of reason can be a daunting task.
The Stutterer: This person obviously doesn't know how to just spit it out. They approach things with words like "may have" or "maybe possibly" or "could you maybe have". You know what they are implying, but obviously they are too bound by fear of conflict to engage in it so they are just doing perouettes on the outskirts.
Conflict is the beginning of consensus, coming to a common denominator that we can all be happy with and should be looked at as such. Too often we look at our differences with blame and resentment. So and so is not doing things like I would like them too so in effect they are wrong and I need to fix them. We feel anger that we have to fix things, we feel shafted that they can't read our mind, we feel superior that we know how to do things and other people do not which causes intolerance and hatred. On the other side, we feel oppressed by others that are casting expectations and judgement, we feel resentful of those who are trying to control us and make us adhere to their standards and we are threatened by almost any approach that demands change. A more healthy approach is solution oriented and realizing that change, although uncomfortable is not a bad thing. When approaching others the first thing to think about is your intentions and if they are to create a solution or they are intended to hurt, belittle or overpower them. It's amazing what kind of conversations can happen when driven by good intention.
Note: I am not a motivation speaker, just a hack psychology major with a drinking and thinking problem that over analyzes everything and would like to embody these suggestions, but most of the time has the emotional maturity of an otter pop.
An affirmation is something you tell yourself in the mirror to try and get yourself to believe it. Blasphemy is when you speak negatively about something that is sacred. Positive blasphirmations are when you speak negatively in the mirror about something sacred thus taking away it's power. Plus the word "blasphirmation" is just pretty fun to say.
I had a roommate that relapsed and contrary to popular advice, I gave her some tips I had developed to help me be a better alcoholic. Of course abstinence is touted as the only way, but I found that I could program my subconscious mind while I was sober to perform better when I was drunk. And of course I am a proponent of simply not drinking, but easier said than done. I knew that she wasn't ready so I gave her these Positive Blasphirmations to help her be a better drunk. Always do these Blasphirmations sober and in front of a mirror. Repeat them to yourself as much as possible. The more you repeat, the more your subconscious mind will believe them.
"I do not sleep with homeless people" - Hey, a homeless person is just a person that temporarily doesn't have a house, no hard feelings, however, I don't want to be sleeping with any of them. If you repeat this sentence and go ahead and just insert "anyone" in there it actually helps a lot and makes your drunken self take a pause before you get in bed with anyone.
"I am a jovial dipsomaniac" - Telling yourself that you are a happy drunk and believing it with all your heart and might will help your self-conscious be your ideal wing man. When you're having fantasies of breaking a saloon chair over a guys head, your little voice will say "what are you talking about, you're a great guy, you don't do stuff like that, tsk, tsk!"
"I do not put keys in things while I am drinking" - Not your car, not your friends car, not your house, not your keys in your friends car. Once I tried to put my keys in a car I'd mistakenly got into and worked on that for a full hour before discovering I was halfway to a grand theft auto charge.
"I talk graciously to authority" - You tell yourself over and over that you are not a vigilante, you are not the uni-bomber, you are not Wyatt Earp, you are just a fine citizen with a 'polite' buzz who will listen to those in higher positions whose interest is to keep you safe. When you regain your sobriety again you can go back to your stance of civil disobedience, but leave your drunk self out of it.
Dead serious. I found these really helped and cut down on the number of party casualties I was having by at least 80%. The best way is to stop drinking PERIOD, but it takes something beyond will power for most of us to do so.