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Having seen more people come in out of the storm, then turn around and march right out to face down a tornado than I care to recount, I will let you in on the one thing I did right when I decided to sober up – about two weeks after my back was against the proverbial wall: When I finally gave up and asked God to remove my desire to drink, I was entirely ready to lose that desire. And after I asked, nicely, the desire to drink was lifted…
This is a scary proposition for newly sobered up alcoholics. A number of reasons pop up that seem to make holding onto the notion that we’ll be able to drink successfully one day, necessary. What will I do with the rest of my life? How will I ever have fun? Why can’t I just enjoy one drink like everyone else? What about business prospects? How will I ever entertain people again?
The answers to those questions are simple: I’ll enjoy my freedom immensely. I hadn’t had fun drinking in quite a while, I was managing the decline as the saying goes, and the decline SUCKS! I simply can’t. I’ll figure it out. The new friends I meet won’t need drinking to be entertained… but seeing those answers when we’re not out of the haze yet is almost impossible.
One way or another, this noise must be ignored, fought, pushed back against, relegated to the scrap heap. The good thing, though, if you’re experiencing these thoughts, you’re close. Your addiction is against the wall and it’s trying anything it can to get you to leave just a little wiggle room. If you just take that last little step to pushing it down into the cage, you’ve got a real chance at meaningful, lasting, enjoyable recovery. Freedom is close.
The one thing we have to get right, without fail, if we want to salvage a life out of what we’ve created, we must be done.
That’s the only thing I got right when I sobered up. I stopped fighting to stay drunk.
One last point, now that we’ve decided to put the monster in the cage and be done; just remember, even though your addiction is in a cage, there’s no lock on the door. Don’t get cocky.
A blog I follow posts a daily reading from recovery literature and one struck my fancy the other day…
There are a few things I’ve done that have helped me live a sober, happy, wonderful life. One sticks out above all others, though…
If we are planning to stop drinking, there must be no reservation of any kind, nor any lurking notion that someday we will be immune to alcohol.
~Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition, More About Alcoholism, pg. 33~
I take the notion of hope for immunity to another level. Not only can I never achieve immunity, I can’t even hope for decency, happiness, or anything that remotely looks like success if I decide to consume alcohol.
If I take a drink, I’m cooked. Done. Stick a fork in me.
I will give up everything that is good in my life, in a matter of months, to stay drunk. Alcohol won’t take anything from me, by the way, dears. This is a program of honesty. I will give it all away. Freely. My health will follow, shortly thereafter, because if we know anything about alcoholism and drug addiction, it’s that the disease is progressive. It doesn’t take time off, it just lurks in the shadows for an opportunity to wreak havoc.
I am evil when I drink, so every morning I wake up and thank God for my daily reprieve from alcoholism… and for helping me to remember just how bad I was before I quit. I have done this 9,360 times, and with a little grace and another daily reprieve, today will be 9,361.
I also remember that which is second-most important; I can have all of that misery back, if I miss it. All I have to do is take a drink.
The lesson for the day; don’t fuckin’ drink, even if your ass falls off. Put it in a plastic bag and take it to a meeting. Someone will be able to show you how they put theirs back on.
You can’t get Fit with the same Thinking that had You Polishing the Couch with Your Heinie in the first place.
I had an awakening in the summer of 2001. A change of heart, an eye-opening experience, a spiritual experience of sorts. Call it what you wish; I woke up one morning and saw myself as I’d become in the mirror – not as I once was. I was overweight and on my way to chubby, and I had a choice to make right there in front of the mirror: Get fat or get fit.
I chose the latter and my life hasn’t been the same since, and the following is how I did it…
First, I made a decision standing there in front of the mirror. It was get fat or get fit, one or the other. No middle ground, no “gray area”.
Second, once the decision was made it was time for action. All too often you’ll see people bullshit themselves with “preparing” to change, or “planning” to change before they take action, and there they flounder for months, in misery. That wasn’t for me. Again, others may need “gray” to justify their bullshit, and I’m perfectly okay with others choosing that way. I knew all the planning I needed:
- Put shorts on.
- Put t-shirt on.
- Put shoes on.
I hated running, and I don’t use the word hate lightly, but I did it because I didn’t want to get fat more than I didn’t want to run.
Third, after I realized I couldn’t outrun a bad diet, I came to the conclusion that I had to make more changes. I did so, without hesitation (even though I didn’t like it much).
The most important aspect to stopping the madness is to embrace honesty. I had to be honest about my reality. Only then did my thinking change enough to alter my situation. Einstein once said that you can’t fix a problem with the same thinking that created it. Getting fit follows the same concept.
Change the thinking that created the problem, or live in the problem. It’s simple as that.
They say to drink a lot of water, I just filter mine through ground coffee beans first… Thanks Again, California. You give New Meaning to the Phrase “Stick in the Mud”… Ya Dopes.
Trigger (heh) warning: I don’t particularly like California or Californians. I don’t like their arrogance or the fact that, somehow, they’ve come to rely on politicians who continually screw up all things good and happy, causing everyone to hate everyone else. This post will reflect that disdain for politicians, Californians and other general sticks in the mud. This post will not be my fit in my usual PG category posts. You have been trigger (heh) warned.
California is at it again, taking the best in life and exploiting it to remove all of the joy and happiness, bastardizing scientific research in the process… and all in the name of your safety. It’s kind of what California does (that gives me an idea, but we’ll get to that in a minute). In California, nobody can ever be happy, people must live on the screwed up edge of: “We must do more! We MUST remind the people of how necessary and brilliant we are!” I don’t like California because its idiocy tends to infect the rest of the US. When they threaten session, I say they can’t get there fast enough.
In fact, did you know the self-esteem movement, that which has likely led to more unmarriageable men than any other single “idea” in the history of humankind, can actually be traced back to California? Better, and not surprisingly, the science that was used to back up the need for changes to the education system was skewed and manipulated to support that lunacy.
Well, California is at it again, this time training their keen brand of idiocy and ignorance on coffee.
See, according to California’s “Council for Education and Research in Toxics (CERT).” coffee causes cancer (specifically a chemical created in the roasting process). Now, if you don’t know already, the study used to suggest that there may be a link to the chemical and cancer was conducted using the overdose method, where testers take the maximum tolerable amount of a chemical and inject it into a small animal. If the small animal gets cancer, bingo. The rub is that the small animal would have to inject something like the equivalent of 486 gallons of coffee a week into its body to cause cancer. Then you have to adjust that to human proportions… And folks, I’m not over exaggerating… I’m under exaggerating. In other words, there’s just no freaking way.
In fact, and let this sink in for just a second, The American Institute for Cancer Research lists coffee as a food that fights cancer. Allow me to channel Samuel L. Jackson for just a moment. Mother f***er, click on the mother****in’ “Research” tab. I’m not even going to copy and paste the quote, mother****er. Better, have a look at all the cancers coffee is shown to fight. Hey, here’s a mother****in’ idea, what does the World Health Organization say about coffee? Well, let’s see:
The World Health Organisation has cleared coffee of causing cancer
So, in other words, everyone else on the freaking planet has discovered that coffee is actually good for you, and in many cases decades ago, but that’s not good enough for the anti-science fun police in California. They’ve deemed it necessary to make convenience stores label coffee as a possible cause of cancer.
Here’s that idea I wrote of earlier…. How about a little truth in advertising, there California? I want the next commercial from the tourism board of California (whatever that bureaucracy is named) to include a disclaimer that while California may be one of the more beautiful places in America, its political apparatus foments hatred and division of its people by constantly attacking happiness itself and that human contact should be kept to a bare minimum lest you accidentally bump into one of those who support a life devoid of happiness and are infected with that resident’s penchant for supporting those attacks.
One of my least favorite sayings of late is the old, “failure is not an option”. The truth is, anyone who would utter such silliness obviously has no clue what failure or success is.
Failure is always an option, it’s just not a very attractive one.
I don’t watch much TV, though I’m hooked on The Food Network (Triple D, Triple G, BBF, Chopped…. to name a few), and I’m a sucker for sports. Other than that, not much interests me. I’d rather be cycling. Point is, on Chopped, many contestants, as they’re awaiting their fates after presenting a dish to their judges, love to say, “Failure is not an option”.
I root against every one of them, no matter how good they did, just so they can see that failure is indeed an option… and it just tapdanced all over their face.
I fail a little bit every day. If I don’t, I’m probably not trying hard enough.