Monthly Archives: February 2013

What if Pinocchio was an Alcoholic

.Giving up drinking
When I was drinking my life was one Big Lie.  I would go to any length to protect my alcoholism.  In May 2013,  I will have three years of sobriety.  This last year my brain has finally got back to some sort of normalcy. I look back over the last 20 years and wonder where it went.  I’m 41 years old and basically starting over.  I lost absolutely everything except for my life.  I lost my marriage to my high school sweet heart, I lost three of the most beautiful children in the world and a awesome job at a large insurance company here in Minneapolis.

I crossed that invisble line of alcoholism when I was 28 years old. The line once crossed began a life of misery.  I started waking up in the morning not feeling right. I felt shaky and my anxiety was real high. I soon discovered having a beer in the morning would alleviate the problem.  Not only would it get rid of the shakes, but it also gave me that boost of confidence and physical energy.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease. Meaning it never gets better, it only gets worse. Once you get to the point were you have to drink just to feel “normal” you become trapped and you begin to lie like Pinocchio just to hide the fact that you have to drink to feel well. I felt so lonely and trapped.

Here I am just married with one child and I am drinking beers in the shower to get rid of the shakes so I can go to work. Driving to work I was drinking beer the whole way there. I look back now and can’t believe I thought I could fool all these people. I thought I could chew a piece of gum and nobody would notice a thing. How wrong I was, when we are in our addiction our minds convince us that we are right and everybody else is wrong.  Co-workers would ask if I was drinking because they could smell it. It was obvious, I was drinking beer for god sake. I would look at them like they were crazy and just lie to their face.

This is the worst part of being an alcoholic. Your whole life centers around obtaining, consuming, hiding, and creating lies to cover up lies you already told.  You can’t tell a normal person that you have to drink so you feel normal or sober. They would look at you like you were crazy.  After 8 hours of covering up my drinking at work I would come home and try to do the same to my wife.  I had bottles of vodka hidden all over the house and yard.  I withdrew from family events that didn’t involve alcohol.

One day while at work I was going through withdrawals real bad because I was unable to drink that morning. I remember talking to an agent on the phone and then I remember my vision and speech started to slur and the next thing you know I was in a full blown seizure. I was taken out of work by an ambulance and had to go to detox for a couple of days.  I was so embarrassed coming back to work.

Over the years at work several people had approached me about my drinking and offered their help. These people were not alcoholics but had parents who were. They knew what I was going through and were watching me go down the tubes. I told them I don’t have a  problem with alcohol and always looked at them as geeks or pussy’s.  How sad, if I were to have taken their help at that time and if I were to have gone to those meetings with Dan a fellow co worker.  I could of saved my marriage, my family, and my career.  But I did not listen because my alcoholic mind was telling me that they were wrong and that my drinking was different.

That company sent me through 30 day inpatient treatment twice and paid me while I was there.  They saw my talents and potential but I did not. All I cared about was alcohol.  I eventually resigned from the company so I could drink full time. My wife left me and I got kicked out of the house. Why did this happen ? because I was believing a Lie. I listened to my alcoholic mind that was telling me that this time it will be different. It was a lie. Listen to the people who are reaching out to you. They know what’s best and are doing it because they love you.

Stop Drinking: Get Active

  When you stop drinking alcohol. It is very important to stay active. Have you ever tried to sit still and not do a certain something, or not even think about it. It’s so much easier to get active and do something else- other than the act you were trying to avoid.

  This is especially true when you stop drinking alcohol. The more we think about not drinking the more the thought occupies or mind. We need to get up, change or thoughts, and do something totally different. What you decide to do is not important. It’s getting out of that stinking thinking that matters.

  When you are breaking an old bad habit. You need a positive habit to replace it. We spent a lot of time planning, getting the drink, hiding it, drinking it, and recovering from it. Now that we stop drinking we have a hole in our schedule. Time to do fun and rewarding things, that we could not do when we were drunk. I recently got back into hunting and kayaking. I feel like kid again tryng new expierences. Make a list of things that you always talked about doing, write them down, then do them. I promise you it will be so much fun.

  Something that I think changes a person instantly is helping out others. It brings you and the other person happiness. It builds your self-esteem. You learn new things about your self and about life. One other very important thing it does is keeps your mind away from drinking. Help a friend, neighbor, hospital, nursing home, animal shelter, homeless shelter. With six billion people on earth, it won’t be hard to find somebody who needs a hand or a ear to talk too.

  Keep a journal and write each day on how your spending your time without alcohol and the challenges you face, it can be very therapeutic and can make you aware of the triggers which make you want drink. Maybe start a blog and write about your experiences, the thought that you are helping other people will make you feel good too.

Creating Dreams,
from the nightmares of hell

An inspirational site about the hopes and dreams that come alive through sobriety.

Gifts of Soberity

Gifts of Soberity

One of the delightful and frequent gifts of soberity is a renewal of our self-esteem and the dropping of the feeling of uselessness and self pity. The solitary act of not picking up a drink or drug is a major contributor to this quick perception of improvement. We soon find there are positive things we can do instead of so many things we can’t do. The operative word here is do.

Action , or becoming useful is the antedote of self-pity. In recovery we begin changing our attitudes. We may not see the change on ourselves, but other see the change quickly. Our growth process is attractive to the people who love us. They become more willing to help. The energy we used to use drinking is now spent doing valuable things that truly make us happy. Our self esteem is improving and we use or talents and gifts to better ourselves, instead of keeping us in our addiction.

“ We will know a new freedom and a new happiness” This is the first promise that will come true in recovery. Freedom is a fundamental human right. No wonder why it’s the first thing our disease takes away from us. But there’s good news, it’s also the first thing we get back when we surrender to our alcoholism. Just think about the freedoms you lost while drinking. May be driving privileges, what about trust of family and co-workers, time spent worrying about when and how your going to get your next drink, or are you not in touch with people who at one time were very close to.

I really like the sixth promise of A.A. “We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows” Self centeredness is a character defect that all addicts carry. It’s what keeps us sick. The disease wins when we only think about ourselves and or drug. We stay away from anybody or anything that would jeopardize this relationship. With a clear mind, healthy body, and open heart, we begin to see others who are struggling from this deadly disease. We help ourselves by helping others. It’s a win-win situation. A shift happens in our belief system. We realize that “Bad” people don’t help others. “Good “ people do. We are becoming “good people” it feels great and others notice and are attractive to us. This raises or self-esteem and self worth. Self centeredness slips away.

To kill the disease of addiction you must realize that the disease “Can Not” survive in a positive environment. It’s thrives on negativity. Beware though that the disease will use or gifts and talents to keep us sick. Let me give you an example, let’s say your a great sales-person. The disease will use your gifts of schmoozing, confidence, and gift for gab to hide the fact that you are hurting, and ruining your life. To the outside world you seem great but it’s only a mask. The disease does not want to be discovered or found out. It also gives us a sense of false over confidence. We tend to compare ourselves to others that seem to be less fortunate. We say to ourselves “ I don’t drink in the morning” or “ At least I have a job” we minimize to keep the disease hidden.

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