Obstacles

I can’t remember why I stopped posting blogs.  I don’t know if I got too busy or just disinterested.  This year has been one of so many changes for me, none seemingly for the better.  Perhaps I will look back on this time and see that the struggles I went through were necessary.  For now it seems as though there are only obstacles in my way, most of which I created for myself.

From June through October I drank.  My last binge set into motion a series of events which have left serious consequences.  I have not had a drink in almost a month, nor have I felt the desire to numb this crisis away with alcohol or drugs.  This is always the case for me, when I decide I am going to be sober.  My desire to drink is removed.  The danger for me lies in not following through; I do not maintain my spiritual condition.  I lack discipline.

Discipline of an unwanted variety will soon be given to me, to uphold or suffer a set of even more serious consequences.  I know that correctional, punitive discipline will not keep me sober.  Only an honest, willing effort on my part to abandon myself to what my experience shows to be a solution will keep me from dying a spiritual death by drinking.

 

 

 

A Rough Landing

The plane has not crashed into the mountain, but the passengers are pretty jitzed regardless. I had to check my best friend into detox on Saturday. She woke me up at 1:30 in the morning to tell me that, even though she’s been claiming to be clean and sober since July, she has never stopped abusing her drug of choice, Oxycontin. She also got drunk last week and high with a friend she went to high school with. She’s 32 and has been sober for just a year since she was in high school, back in her early 20’s.

She is already telling the staff that she doesn’t want to stay, but I am her ride home. She is an hour and a half away from here; there is no residential detox or treatment in this, the wealthiest county in the state of Wyoming. I had to procure a bed for her in the neighboring city of Sheridan. She took more of the drug before we left town and was completely out of it when we got to the facility.

I had not seen this happening. Addicts are the best liars. I will not take her call. I have such a hard time saying no to her, which is why I no longer sponsor her. She will find a way out of there if she wants it bad enough, but it won’t be from me.

A Desire to Stop Hiding

Last night there were five of us at the 8:00 meeting.  I chair this meeting every Sunday night.  The last few weeks there have been only a handful of us at the meeting.  Last night it was just three of us to begin10AA22 with: M, T and myself.  The three of us ladies all share a drug-using background as well as a past with alcohol.  Tradition three states:  The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.  Sunday night is a closed discussion meeting. Closed meetings are limited to alcoholics only.  S showed up after the meeting began.  He is a recovering IV drug user.  Meth, I assume.  Heroin is not a big drug in these parts of the country.  L came in after we had begun reading “A Ward of the Probate Court” from Experience, Strength and Hope, a volume of the stories from the first three editions of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Though the Sunday night meeting is a closed discussion meeting, I held a group conscience and asked if anyone would mind if we read this story, thinking that we might not have much of a discussion with only 4 people present.  The discussion after we read the story, which began with S, turned to “other issues”–program speak for drugs.  He spoke of needles and spoons.  I did not shut him down.  S shares rarely in meetings and I was not about to stop him tonight.  He stopped himself at one point and wondered allowed if he were saying the “right” things.  I told him that he was speaking our language, that no one in the small group that was there that night was going to ask him to leave for speaking about issues other than alcohol in a closed meeting.  I wanted to hear what he had to say.  T shared about the first time she was arrested.  It was for having a meth lab in her back yard.  M shared about losing her home and children–twice–to alcohol and drugs.  L shared about becoming a cocaine dealer so that he could use as much as he liked.  I shared a little bit about drugs, even though alcohol was my drug of choice.  Although we all talked about addiction in the form of chemicals, we each touched on the solution.  Here is what the author of the story shares about our new way of living:

I have a new outlook on life. I look forward to each day with happiness because the real enjoyment it is to me to be sane, sober, and respectable. I was existing really from one drink until the next, with no perception about circumstances, conditions, or even nature’s elements. My acquaintance with God-lost and forgotten when I was a young man-is renewed. God is all-loving and all-forgiving. The memories of my past are being dimmed by the life I now aspire to.

I was like this man, existing from one drink to the next.  I shared in the meeting that whether it was drugs or alcohol, nothing filled that hole like the solution that I found in Alcoholics Anonymous.  There was a plateau with those substances, but in recovery there is no plateau.  I can go as high as I seek to go.  The way this man has worded the last sentence has particular meaning, to me:  “The life I now aspire to”.  I don’t always live this way of life the way it is laid out for me.  I aspire to live this way.  What I have is a daily reprieve, contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition.  I miss the mark, often.  I will take steps forward and then take steps back.  But I will continue to advance.

Rhinoceros-Smashing Pumpkins

I bought the Smashing Pumpkin’s Gish on cassette when it was released in 1991.  I was 23, two years out of the military and in a deep depression.  I wasn’t drinking but I was smoking pot every day, all day.  I listened to this, Nirvana’s Nevermind, Ten by Pearl Jam and various Cure releases incessantly.  Everything the Pumpkins did after this recording paled in comparison, in my opinion.  This is my favorite track from Gish.

Planned a show
Trees and Balloons
Ice cream snow
See you in June

Could have known
I would reveal
Should have known
I would conceal your way

She knows, she knows, she knows
She knows, she knows, she knows
How’s it
She knows, she knows, she knows

Colors show
After the moon
I should go
See you in June
Your way

Open your eyes
To these must I lie?
The way

She knows, she knows……