Anxiety & Alcoholism

Today is day #660 on this particular journey. In this post I’ve decided to tackle something that has transcended my alcoholism. It was here before I had a problem with drinking and it is here to this day; anxiety.

It was Easter weekend in 2010 when I discovered I had a panic disorder. I had no clue what that even was. What I did know, however is that I was going through something that created a great deal of upheaval in my life and I didn’t have the slightest clue what I was feeling. It all became clear when I was sitting at my Grandparents’ dining room table after a turkey dinner to celebrate Easter. My aunt had brought a desert of some kind that looked delicious. I can still smell it to this day. It was some kind of creamy, chocolate and whipped cream custard-looking dish. It had all the things in a desert I like: lots of sugar, chocolate, caramel and some whipped cream. I’ve got the (beer) belly to prove it! Continue reading “Anxiety & Alcoholism”

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

It is day #657 on this particular journey and what resonates with me today is step 4.

As the title suggests we’re talking about a ‘searching and fearless inventory’ of ourselves. To those not in the program this basically means this: 1. write your life story (essentially) 2. pick out the parts where you screwed up. 3. identify what kinds of character defects caused these screw ups. 4. figure out a plan to fix this going forwards. Finally, 5. read the list/story in its entirety to another person so that it’s off of your chest.

So aside from the fact that you need to make a list of things you regret, you also make a list of things you did well. Or, things that you’re proud of. So you can basically make a one-for-one list of things on both sides of the equation. Like most people fresh off a retirement from a drinking career, I didn’t see a hell of a lot of good. To this day there are times when I don’t see a lot of good, but that’s usually before my morning coffees!
Continue reading “Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”

A Cure?

It’s day #654 on this particular journey. I hope you’re traveling well.

Since the earliest days of my abstinence from alcohol I’ve had (often well meaning) friends, family and even strangers ask me how long until I could drink again. My answer, invariably was, whenever I want. I stick by this answer, even when some older, wiser members of AA might scoff at my arrogance. However, I don’t mean this as some kind of display of toughness or power. I can in fact, drink whenever I damned well please. But that it’s not the same as will drink.

As an alcoholic I know I have a problem with ‘things’. Anything that requires ‘moderation’ is something that I will have a problem with. I suppose it’s probably a good thing that I’m not 6’2, dark, handsome and chiseled because I’d probably find myself addicted to pursuing models! How fortunate for me that I’m not. (Ha!) Continue reading “A Cure?”

Let’s do this.

Well folks, here we are. It’s day 643 on this particular journey and I feel better than I have recently:

I’ve been thinking about beer a lot lately. Not drinking it, per se. More like the fact that it’s best enjoyed in a chilled glass with a bit of head on it. The kind of beer that is just cold enough that it’s slightly uncomfortable when it touches the roof of your mouth, but cold enough still to feel instantly gratifying; satisfying. I know, that’s a pretty indepth thought about a sip of beer, especially for a bloody recovering alcoholic. And that’s exactly my point; what ever in the world is a recovering alcoholic doing daydreaming about beer? Well from my point of view it’s a failing of sorts…

Not a failing in the sense that thoughts are a test and if I think about beer I fail. No, it’s a little different. It’s a failing because it represents ignoring the negative impacts that beer had on my life. It’s rewriting history and I won’t allow that.

Sure, what I wrote about beer is true. It does taste nice. It is refreshing when cold. Hell, it’s even aesthetically pleasing under the right circumstances. But it’s also addictive. It also brings out the absolute worst in me. It also takes away my filter while increasing my bravado. For me, and I would wager many, that is a very dangerous combination. It does a lot of bad things to me and plenty of others like me. (Thankfully there are others like me; more on that later.) So to think only of the minor positives is to ignore the incredible potential for pain and suffering. In short, it’s not fair to those I’ve hurt and to myself. Continue reading “Let’s do this.”