I am the driver of the struggle bus right now. I have been feeling restless, irritable and discontent for a while now but lately it has elevated to a new level. For the first time in almost two and half years I felt the strong pull to step foot into either a bar or the liquor store. My emotions have been in control for a few days now and my disease is telling me that the only way to get some relief is to have a few drinks to take the edge off. This was the way I used to get through these tumultuous days. I could hide out and avoid people and just wallow in my misery. I am feeling very lost and don’t know what to do about it. Thankfully I did not ride the truck all the way to the dump this time. I didn’t actually get as far as actually drinking, but holy fuck I wanted it so bad. I made it to a meeting and I am reminded of what I am doing there. Step 1 again, always a fresh reminder of how bad it can get.
So here I am with dealing with changes and not having had a check in with my spiritual condition. I haven’t been doing the do things and this might be part of my problem. I don’t think I have meditated or prayed honestly in a while. If I don’t get this out and open up to someone soon I am lost. I am sure of that.
Interesting thing happened to me the other night, I have this new comer to the program that I am helping. I have been driving her to some meetings and encouraging her to get involved in her recovery. In doing so we to exchange portions of our stories. I was telling this girl about how I struggled with my relationship with my mother and how she seems to be always worried about me. This girl says to me “gee that sounds nice, I wish my mother cared enough to be worried.”. That was a moment where I had to pause and reflect on this. I certainly realize that I am lucky to have a mother that is still around and that is in my life. I need to work on allowing myself to forgive her for my perceived wrongs and to be more tolerant of her over dramatic behaviour. I suppose that I cannot change how she acts, but it is going to be hard to adapt to this idea. Life sure is crazy.
I am capable, worthwhile and loveable.
There is this woman in the program that I have spoken with a few times. She is super nice and I always enjoy her shares as she is very open and honest. But she has a habit of disappearing from the rooms for extended periods of time. One time she was gone for months and it turned out that she was in jail for some past DUI conviction. She has pretty much lost everything do to her disease. She has lost her job because she can no longer drive. It seems just as she gets some momentum in life she drinks and gets knocked down again and again. It’s very sad to watch from the outside. Having had that change of heart that drinking is not for me.
So this woman was back in the rooms on Saturday and she asked me for a ride home. Which is normal as I’ve dropped her off at home several times. She started confiding in me that she is under some crazy stress and has relapsed again. This time she has really gone for it. She was doing some volunteer hours, part of her probation, at the Salvation Army shelter downtown and got herself involved with a homeless guy. They had a bit of an affair for a while and she was thinking about leaving her husband for this guy. He had her convinced that he could look after her and would give her nice things. Now this guy has turned on her and is showing that he is mentally unstable. He is threatening to go and tell her husband. He knows where she lives, he has photographic and email evidence of this. She is losing her mind and of course feels like her life is falling apart.
I often think I’ve heard it all in the rooms, but I am continually surprised. As Keith tells me, there are those you can learn from, then there are the “other” people you learn from….
I attended the 27th annual Barrie Men’s Group Christmas breakfast today with mare. The speaker today was a guy from Parry Sound and he was a one of the first speakers in a while that really made me think. He spoke about how he and his brother were raised in a broken up alcoholic home situation. He was the younger brother in that situation, but what I could relate to was the idea that his mother used him as a sort of surrogate husband. He also spoke about how he ended up going to the fellowship known as Adult Children of Alcoholics. Holy SHIT! I have been thinking the same thing. There is something missing in my life that I think would be very beneficial to my recovery journey. I have already purchased the literature for this program, I have yet to really dig into it. I have been thinking a lot lately about my relationship to my parents and I don’t know what to call my relationship to my mother. But she certainly relied on my far more than was appropriate for a young person. She was always treating me more as an ally that than a child. I have to get into this meat of that program somehow. And I was wondering if I should be waiting until after I have gone through the step work in AA.
Yesterday was very off for me. I think that the first issue was that I let a guy at work get under my skin. I don’t know what it is about the guy; but one issue is his obsessions with small issues. He is like a dog with a bone on some things. He cannot let something go if he “thinks” that he is right. I’ve over heard him say that he has something like 17 outstanding grievances filed with our union. Which probably should tell me all I need to know about the guy. Anyways, he spent the whole day freaking out about some small issue and it really wore me out. Later in the afternoon I got some messages from Mare that made me feel like she really doesn’t get how much I do around the house. She told me that she was planning on working on the huge laundry problem we have at the moment. Well, I have been keeping up with doing laundry! So what the fuck is she talking about? I tried to run out the frustration at the gym, but that didn’t really work this time. Well it felt good, but it also gave me time to get into my own head and get myself worked up about it. So at the house it seems like I cannot keep up with keeping things clean. Mare will tell me how frustrated she is with how messy or cluttered rooms are. But I have sorted, organized and cleaned lots of these areas so many fucking times! It just seems like the give a fuck factor is missing. This really left me feeling drained and miserable. I just wanted to crawl into a hole and pretend that this situation isn’t happening. I have learned that this is not healthy for me, that isolating is not good for me. Isolating is a problem that I developed when I was drinking. It’s insanity, I feel lonely so I am going to make myself even more lonely by hiding from everyone. My misery wants to grow!
I guess the good thing to learn here is that I can recognize this in myself and reach out before it becomes a problem. I really should be calling my sponsor when it comes to things like this.
Mare has been sick for a few weeks now. Normally I would do my best to help out and take care of things and her to the best of my ability. But holy shit, I have become so very annoyed with this situation. She has been keeping up at night with her coughing and with I think I am going to be coming down with the same thing. She gets these awful coughing attacks and I just keep thinking “ENOUGH”! Now I am wondering where this coming from? Why am I so annoyed with this? Weird.
I also have come to a weird realization. I was watching something on TV that got me thinking about my relationship with my father. I have so very many resentments towards him, but one of the biggest might just be that I have become just like him. I used to swear up and down that I would never become like him. I thought that there was no way that I could ever follow in his foot steps, or do any of the same things he did. ………and here I am. I certainly followed down his path for a time. I want to believe that I have stopped and started to forge my own path. God I want to believe that so badly.
We have had a few new comers to our group lately. I want to help these people, it’s part of the program and I enjoy seeing people succeed in making it in recovery. The problem I have is that I have not yet completed my step work so I don’t know how I feel about trying to be someone’s sponsor. I have not been asked yet, except for one time. That was a long time ago. This young guy was at the Saturday morning men’s meeting and I greeted him and he sat near me. I spoke to him a little bit and after the meeting he asked if I would be his sponsor. I told him that I couldn’t because I haven’t completed my step work yet. I gave him my phone number though and told him to call any time he needed to and that we would work on finding him a sponsor. I have never seen that guy again. I hope he is doing OK. Keith later told me that I could have offered to be his temporary sponsor because I have more than enough time in the program.