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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Let us discuss insanity...

Insanity. The word conjures different images for different people.

There's the rocking back and forth in your own filth while yodeling pig-latin variety; carving up a family and placing them in the freezer "Donner...Party of six!" type, as well as simply talking out loud to yourself-and answering, to name, according to the American Psychiatric Association, but a few.

There is also the definition of doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. That is the variety I am most at home with.(Talking to myself not withstanding.)

One would think that armed with the self knowledge that alcohol and drugs were a bad mix for me, I would leave them alone, as in, burn your hand on the stove, don't touch it again, kind of thing.

Not so much.

Self knowledge rarely availed me anything at all, except fodder for guilt when the dust began to settle.

My first revelation that I might be alcoholic came one freezing night in the army, when drunk and carrying a bottle of Jack Daniels across a frozen parade field at three a.m.

I slipped and fell, shattering the bottle and cutting my hand. I watched it, helpless, as it pooled amid the shards of broken glass. The amber liquid mixed with my blood, melting the ice in small, concise spots. I cried when I saw the broken bottle.

The revelation struck me right between the eye's...I was a drunk, and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Did I stop? Like hell.

Later, after treatment and gaining all the self knowledge about the condition I could handle, one would surmise I would recoil from the stuff as if from a flame. Instead I ran to the stuff...expecting things this time, to be different. (found out there are many sharp edges in sobriety...booze rounded them off. If I had learned to dodge, just a little bit...)

Now, that's insane.

That being said, we can resume our adventure...

Easing God Out (Ego)

I was twenty three and healthy. My roommate at the halfway house thought getting in shape would be a good idea, so we started to work out. The results were fast and I began getting noticed.

My boss was being little miss flirty and I ate it up. We had lunch together at a little Italian place on the wharf, not far from where I hid my box, although I neglected to tell her that. Need to know, and all. (I was reminded of Lady and the Tramp, but I stopped short of rolling a meatball to her with my nose.) It was a lot of smiles, long looks and stupid little jokes.

Her husband, the trooper, was at symposiums all over the state and as far away as Seattle. She was lonely. I tried to keep it innocent.

I failed to realize I had no self esteem. I thought if I looked like I had it together, and someone, albeit a married someone, found me attractive, how screwed up could I be?

Years later I would hear the following at a meeting: To have self esteem, do esteemable things. Who knew?

I started to cut back on meetings and began what would later become a pattern in my recovery dynamic. Get sober, meet a woman, and blow it, waking up broke, sticky and confused.

I was coming up on a year sober and our flirtations finally culminated in the physical. We went to a movie, "Against all Odds" and I recall Jeff Bridges drove a Porsche and drank beer in Mexico. The beer looked good, really good.

While Juneau was the State Capitol, it was still a small town, and her husband eventually heard the rumor. People disappear in Alaska almost daily, and I didn't want to be one.

I cashed in my terminal leave and caught the next plane to Hawaii. I was tired of being cold.

My new disclaimer...yeah I know.

Okay, the old disclaimer was tired. The ideas were outdated and keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be now for something more refreshing.

I have recently changed my views regarding women. Seems I had some issues with the fairer sex due to past pain and self- centered fear. (Yes...duh applies.)

I'm done with that.

Being in recovery has helped me change my entire life, perceptions and attitudes. I cannot change my history but I can change my today and my future.

I recently realized that the women I know in recovery are some of the strongest, bravest, most gentle and kind teachers I have ever had. You exemplify integrity and spiritual growth, and I hope you know who you are.

Some may know of my past marital and relationship history and been a participant in them as well. It's past and that's where it the past.

I own my part in those failures but claim no more responsibility in any misery you may be experiencing. I am sorry, but it's time to get off the cross. We need the wood.

Thank you all...