Friday, June 10, 2011

Fixing the past

 Once I got sober I started to recognize how horrible I was to the people I love while I was drinking.  No manner of apology can ever erase some of the pain I caused and I have to accept that.  I have a tendency to want to "fix" everything right away and that is just not how it works.  It will take time to turn my life back around and I need to be patient with myself.
The problem for me comes when I want so much for a person to see how I have changed but all they can see is the old me.  Well the old me has been around a lot longer than the new me so guess who is going to come to mind first when someone things about me?  I need to stay confident that I am doing the right thing even if people never come back to me.  It's hard but I need to deal with reality now and not in a dream world like when I was drinking.
Sobriety is just the first step in my recovery.  It is a difficult first step to say the least but after that I can take a look at other character defects and begin to solve those with confidence.  Some of my difficluties will take longer to fix but if I keep at it I am confident that I can become a better man.  One day at a time.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Anger management

I didn't think I had an anger problem...that's because I never let myself get angry.  When I was a child I had a bad temper and as I entered adolescence and began to self medicate I realized that drinking made me forget most of my anger leaving me with only drunken rudeness to worry about and lets just sat that's not much to worry about.  So I created this anger management theory of either "whatever" or "fuck you" with no room for negotiation whatsoever in between the two.  Not very useful. 

Learning how to express appropriate male anger is my latest character defect I am working on and the other day I had a bit of a breakthrough.  I was visiting a friend of mine who has a dog and Fido had chewn two small holes through a soccer ball and had torn the bottom off of it completely. Another "friend" thought it would be funny to put the deflated ball over the dog's face like a mask.  It got put on and I was pissed but I didn't want to flip out on folks, so I stayed quiet, and was happy when the dog escaped.

The second time the "mask" was attempted to be put on the dog was running away and my " friend" said " It seems like he doesn't want it to be on"  and using my best authoratative voice I said " Well then don't put it on him then!" just that, no speech or grand gesture,  and it worked! The dog was safe, no more ball mask and most of all no escalation.

Not a huge moment but one that I will take with me and build on.  While I could have spoke up sooner I felt good about expressing my anger in a way that helped to stop a situation rather than cause it.  These are the little things that make sobriety so amazing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Was Blind but now I see

Admitting I was an alcoholic was like removing a prism that I was looking at my life through.  I could finally see that it was me and my bad choices that were ruining my life, not the "world" or "they."  It's amazing to me that for sooo long I felt like something different would happen when I drank besides me getting totally wasted and turning into a dick.  I never had One beer.  It was all of them.  I never left any wine for cooking.  I emptied every bottle I opened.  I didn't think I had a problem, I just liked to drink and my life, for some reason, was not working out for me.  One day I would drink like a normal person and my life would get better.  Some days never come.

 I made  no connection whatsoever between by drinking and my utter lack of ability to carry anything through.  Start with five classes, drop two and get C's in the rest if I was lucky then take the next semester off because I wasn't " ready."  Quit a job because the boss was an asshole.  Drop a woman because there was another.  It's funny how once I stopped drinking the "assholes"disappeared, I got willing and I missed the woman I loved.  Well it's not funny at all.  It sucks.  But you know what, it's a fact.  I don't have to like it but I do have to deal with it. Admitting that I am an alcoholic let me start making the climb back out of the pit of incomprehensible despair that I had fallen into.  The truth really can set you free.

Not Hiding

Today's topic was not hiding from alcohol.  As if one really could just pretend that it didn't exist.  It reminded me of when I would take a week, well more like three or four days, off of drinking...only to "celebrate" afterwards.  I cannot hide from alcohol.  The great thing about admitting that I am an alcoholic is that I don't have to hide from it anymore.  I might not like it, but so what?!  It's a fact.  I have a problem so I should be careful about who I hang out with and where.  My old " friends" across the bay? probably not.  A friend's birthday party at a bar?  Sure.  As long as I go to say " Happy Birthday!" say hello and catch up, meet a few people and leave I'm fine.  I knew when it was time to go.  I am not drinking but I still have the thinking so when I saw the second bottle coming around and the crowd getting to that fevered drunken pitch right before all hell breaks loose I cut.  So much fun to drive home without fear of getting pulled over.

I don't have to shield myself from alcohol.  That would be impossible.  All I have to do is remember one simple thing.  If I have one more drink I will die.