60 days is just around the corner and I have to remind myself to have an orgasm every once in a while. What? I love sex! I love sex and suddenly have very little interest in it. The wife is having concerns, though I don’t believe that it’s anything serious. What is more serous is just my colossal change. One orgasm a day, by any means, has always been the rule and now…nothing. Yes, I know, that I have a lot of internal work going on and that leaves less time to think about sex, but this is insane. There are medical articles online dealing with this subject but I haven’t read them because like a good alcoholic I feel that I am different than everyone else. I dunno, at least I will have this silver coin to to reflect the sun in my eye and pray for a sparkle.
That face that breaks with smiles and frowns,
Takes the sun in and calls it wisdom.
They say every time you learn something new
You get another wrinkle in your brain,
But it seems that every time you forget something you once knew
Another crow buries it’s foot in your face.
And you did,
You use to know so much,
Witty and sarcastic and not afraid of this world,
Your shoulders were iron
And your lips were as plump and ripe
As a summer-kissed anything.
And you loved a little but mostly fucked.
Loved that you could fuck without love.
You were what you will never be again.
Your life now is early bedtimes
After bitter drinks.
You sink into the sheets and through the bedsprings.
Travel places only devils dare.
And when you wake you stare into the mirror
Wishing you could write a poem to say
What this poem has once again failed to say
And who knows if it will ever be said.
I don’t know about you but I always used alcohol as a way to escape the pressures of the day (well, I used alcohol for everything but that was a big one). It was a way to, when I would first start drinking every day, unwind and escape all the stresses and irritations that I had been dealing with. It was my exit from all that. Now I don’t have that exit and I am having to reinvent my way out of the day. Oddly enough (he says sarcastically) my stresses have gone way down since I quite drinking. Life just seems easier without a massive hangover all the time. That being said I still have stresses and I still need to unwind so what am I doing? Well, I still smoke cigarettes. Less now, and plan to stop soon, but for now that is one. Another thing I do to relax is read and write, like right now. Going to meetings and talking to other drunks is a great way to get all the trash out of my mind and into the light so that I can relax. Mineral water and ice cream are currently taking the place of all those booze and you know what? It works. My exit from the rat race is a brighter one now. One that doesn’t follow me into the next day, the next lap in the rat race and for that I am truly grateful.
I couldn’t sleep last night. Maybe it was my typical restlessness that I find peaks it’s busy head as I try to go to sleep on these new nights of sobriety, or maybe it was the coffee I drank at the 6:30 meeting yesterday evening, even though I knew better, or maybe it was all the things that still needed to be done but that I had ignored to do throughout the day, but I couldn’t sleep. I’m guessing that it was around 3 am when I finally passed out and when my alarm clock went off at 6 am I turned it off and rolled back over, knowing that I should try to make it to the 7 am meeting that is my homegroup but I was so tired. So I went back to sleep. Bam, I woke out of nowhere and looked at my alarm: 6:05. 5 minutes had passed and suddenly I was awake and feeling more refreshed. “Now that is God working!” I thought to myself for the first time in my life. Literally. And it was God working. The meeting was about fear and I had a lot to share and learned a lot from what I heard from others. I was meant to be at that meeting and the God of my understanding made sure I made it. No, she didn’t get me coffee or put my clothes on for me, but she made sure I was awake and refreshed enough to hear the words that help keep me sober, just for today.
When I speak about alcohol now I tell people that I had a 17 year relationship with it, and to the best of my knowledge that has been a true statement. Then my sponsor wanted me to write about powerlessness and I figured a good place to start would be with my first drink. Well, it turns out that alcohol and it’s power over me, and my powerlessness to it goes back many years before I was a daily drinker, it pretty much goes back to when I was 13 and 14 years old going to keg parties or house parties with people that were far too old for me to be hanging out with. I remember that even at that young age I quickly became aware that 8 beers would make me throw up so to cut it off at the pass, in a manner of speaking, I would go to the bathroom and make myself throw up at 7 beers so that I could keep going, with everyone around me none the wiser. Powerless much? So with this new knowledge I now realize that even though I had never realized it I have been an alcoholic for 23 years, not 17. Am I surprised? No. It makes no difference in reality, but it is good to know.
I had this memory during a meeting today of times during the latter years of my drinking where I would wake up determined not to drink that day, I did this every day, and would write on my arm in permanent black marker “Don’t Drink Today” so that as the day went on I would remember how I felt that morning and not drink come afternoon/evening. It never worked. I would find myself washing the marker off in the shower while drinking, having lost the daily battle again. Pure insanity!
In my last post ‘Even Oompa Loompas Get Old’ I stated that I don’t understand why I can’t drink any more. That is not correct. I understand exactly why I can’t drink any more. I can’t drink any more because for many, many years it controlled my life, drained tons of happiness and possibility out of it and left me hungover and ashamed. I am glad that I said what I said though because it is the way that my mind often thinks and expressing how my mind thinks, putting it out in front of me to see, is why I write this. I do get upset that I can’t drink any more, but I am not upset over the end of drinking as drinking had come to in the later years. I am upset that drinking ever became anything but the relaxing, good time that it started out being. I am upset at the evolution of my drinking and the results of it. Thank God I am no longer drinking. Thank God for that. Now then, let’s move on.
When I was drinking, well during the later years of my drinking, I found myself consumed by two different things that now baffle me as to how consumed I was by them: sex and survivalism. Well, no, not sex. I have always been a very sexual person but I have also been married for many, many years and while my wife and I have always enjoyed a great sex life that was never enough for me. Online porn and sexual stories were things that I craved and would search for on the internet while my wife and children slept long into the night. My mind satiated for fantasies and situations that I could insert myself into and I had a primal need to feel wanted in the most animalistic way. Since I have stopped drinking, however, I am still an incredibly sexual person, but I have been able to concentrate on my wife and have felt needed with her in ways far more satisfying than animals ever know about. Trying to figure out why that is has been somewhat perplexing but also painfully simple. I believe that my need to feel wanted was a replacement for the lack of want that I had for myself for so many years. It is shameful and degrading to know that you are willingly killing yourself off yet you keep doing it and a part of me realized that that was in fact the case and so someone needed to need me. Of course my wife and children did, but why? I didn’t feel as though I deserved their love. Sanity, it is something that I am welcoming the restoration to.
The other subject that consumed my mind was survivalism. You know, those shows where they replay the aftermath of some worldwide pandemic or a super volcano erupting. Nuclear winters filled my thoughts and I would constantly be preparing for them. Canned food? Check. Batteries? Check. A back up generator with three weeks worth of fuel and a solar system to back that up? Check. What have I been preparing for and why have I been so afraid of all these unlikely scenarios? I dunno. Maybe it was trying to deal with disasters on the outside knowing that dealing with the disaster on the inside was a lost cause. Either way I hardly think of these things anymore (maybe because I am too busy rebuilding from my spiritual disaster) and the lack of fear and paranoia is amazing. Sanity. Insanity.
It was just a damn Facebook “advertised content” featuring facts about about the original Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and I never really gave a damn about the movie other than a few hours of entertainment as a kid, which I appreciate because I hated my childhood and anything that I look back on fondly I do so with appreciation. Anyway, this story talked about odd copyright deals and the author of the book that the movie was based on and other things like this but what got to me was when they showed the actors and what they look like now. They’re old. Also most of the candy on set was fake. And the chocolate river was water mixed with chocolate and cream that spoiled towards the end of shooting. All these ideals are just that: attractive ideas of a blissful universe where adventures are paramount but beneath the apex of all of these mountains so blissfully climbed for the profile picture is just cardboard or, at best, laminated wood with a cliff face veneer. Does this make any sense? I didn’t think so. I can’t drink anymore and that don’t make sense either. Alcohol really let me down, just like wooden chocolate bars or card board gobbstoppers must have let down those now old actors on set long ago. Dammit.
Note: In one of the posts that I wrote in the past I went back and edited before I published. This practice will no longer be a part of this blog. The purpose of this blog is to write what is on my mind, unedited and unfiltered. If I feel as though I have written something that does not represent what I meant I will clarify below the original idea or in another post.
My wife and I decided to watch The Matrix last night. She had never seen it all the way through and I like to revisit it from time to time to remind myself to live my life disconnected from The Matrix as much as possible. Anyway, the scene where Neo finally realizes that the rules inside of The Matrix are self imposed and that he can bend or break them really got to me in terms of sobriety. You remember, he is going against the three agents by himself and he looks down that hallway and sees for the first time that these seemingly unconquerable threats are simply lines of code and the world in which they operate is the same and when they unload their clips at him he simply says “no” and puts his hand out stopping the bullets in mid air. He plucks one out of the suspended group and studies it, contemplatively before dropping it to the floor, where all the others fall. Flexing his new found realization the walls bend around him and instead of fighting the agent he runs toward it and actually jumps inside it, destroying it from the inside. After that scene I told my wife that it summed up exactly how I feel in AA. Now I know that stopping bullets in mid air sounds awful cocky of me but let me explain. To me alcohol has always been not unlike bullets, something that I would never be able to dodge or outrun, something that would get me no matter what I did. It is earlier in the movie where Neo asks Morpheus “Are you saying I will be able to dodge bullets?” and Morpheus replies “I am saying that when you are ready, you won’t need to”. That is what I feel Alcoholics Anonymous is doing for me. Yes, there are still bullets coming at me all the time, and I can’t dodge them, but at least for today I can stop them. With my higher power, the fellowship that I surround myself with and a strong will to stay sober just for today the bullets halt before hitting me. Piercing me. Walls bend when I flex, it’s lovely.
Hurt people hurt people and in what aspect of life is this not true? This, of course makes me think of parenting, mainly my parents and specifically my mom. In her childhood she had a schizophrenic father who sexually molested her, her sister and any friends they happened to bring over. He used to beat my mother bloody and throw her out of the house for days at a time, all before the age of 10 and after. This may or may not be true, but it was what my mother said to me, usually crying. Me, balled up in her lap hating her, but glad that the storm was over, she would bawl and apologize and beg for forgiveness and give me all of the excuses as to why it had happened again. My black eyes would never shed a tear. In my drinking I may have been neglectful to my family, preferring the company of myself to theirs, but I have never been violent and for that I am grateful.
After a meeting last night a man with 6 days of sobriety came and talked to me. He was explaining his frustrations with his inability to stay sober, despite going to meetings and using every last bit of willpower that he had. He was sad and I was sad for him. I asked if he had at least acknowledged the possibility of a higher power and he told me about how he had gone to church and even been to confession, but did not answer the question. I am certainly in no place to give anyone advice, but I explained that for me acknowledging that I believe, and had (surprisingly to me) always believed that I have a higher power, though I doubt he or anyone else would recognize it as being such, had been the thing that made recovery real this time around, as opposed to all the other times that I had tried to stop drinking. I told him about my mother, who had been a devout Christian her whole life but had remained a tormented and violent person her whole life, despite her best intentions. I explained that I didn’t believe she had ever actually met her higher power, or at least the evidence did not point in that direction. I, of course, have no idea whether or not this is true. It took her dying and the beginning of what surely would have been a particularly long and destructive spiral with my drinking to get me back into the program. Unfortunately, assuming I stay in the program (by the grace of God) I will have to make amends with my memories of her. Shit.
I want to sum up what I am trying to say but I don’t have an exact point. Hurt people hurt people. I was hurt and have hurt plenty of people. I regret that and am changing my life in so many positive ways so that I hurt people less because hurt people do indeed hurt people and I have seen enough hurt for more than one lifetime.