Tuesday, December 14, 2010

81 Days...

I will be picking up a white chip tonight or tomorrow after 81 days without a drink.

I had 2 Bud Lights and a shot of tequila last night.

Not leaving the program, not planning on doing it again. Just had to see for myself.

Don't want to go into it, and I'm not sure how I feel about what I've done but shit happens.

I'll post more later.

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

December 12, 2010 - Quote

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mr Nice Guy

My entire life I've been an extremely caring, compassionate, generous person. I may be one of the most easygoing people you've ever meant.

Even on my worst day drunk I would still go out of my way to be nice.

It's who I am and how I was raised, and is ingrained in the very fiber of my being.

The only problem is that I end up getting taken advantage of A LOT because of it. People all to often mistake kindness for weakness. I vowed a longgggg time ago never to change who I am because, well... most people suck. That won't make me stop being a nice person.

Sometimes I feel like when someone I care about is having a bad day it's me who they take it out on. Not because I deserve it, but because they know I'll forgive them. I'm an easy mark in that respect.

I've also been made aware of a horrible coping mechanism I've developed over the years. Something I watched my father do for most of childhood, something he watched his parents do to each other his entire life. When someone I care about hurts me, I tend to use it against them. To somehow use my kind words and turn them into awful, hurtful things. I don't do it often, but when I do it's not pretty. I've also come to the realization that I'm very passive aggressive when angry, or hurt.

Its something I worked on for a long time in my youth, that came back somehow during my drinking. I'm much better with it now, and working daily to break the habit.

OK so now after reading what I've written I likely sound like a skitzo... but its true. I have no idea where I'm going with his, except for the fact that I'm fairly certain its all a result of me being 'Mr. Nice Guy' for most of my life.

My best friend has been sick this entire week. Her sister graduates college tomorrow so her entire family came into town. She hasn't been to a meeting in 5 days, so after I asked how she was I simply reminded her she should try to hit a meeting. We both remind one another of simple things like that all the time. She snapped at me, and told me not to lecture her. She's been doing this more and more.

I'm not saying I'm not guilty of snapping at her, but I'm working on it.

The same goes for my father. He was able to, for the most part, stop saying the hurtful things he used to say all the time. However on occasion the asshole creeps back out. Yesterday he tried to blame me for everything thats gone wrong with my family for the last 8 years. Did I play a role in some of it? Yes, maybe 30% of the problems. I'm certainly not responsible for it all. WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?

People in my life, people I'm close to do shit like this all the time. Then 10 minutes, a few hours, or a day later I end up apologizing for doing NOTHING wrong. Either that or I forgive them on the spot.


I will never change my forgiving nature... I just wish people would stop taking advantage of 'Mr. Nice Guy.'

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

(P.S. I know I'm all over the place with this, and not sure if I even make sense. Just, as always, needed to vent)

December 11, 2010 - Quote

“Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all” -Robert M. Pirsig

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10, 2010 - Quote

“I don't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you.” -Unknown

(Just liked the quote :)

My name is Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8, 2010 - Quote

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” -Steve Jobs

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 75

I have no idea whats happened to me since last week.

Everything has been going fine in terms of wanting a drink. I've handled a TON of obstacles sober the last 75 days that would have likely made others in early sobriety have to pickup a white chip.

I can't get out of my head! Its driving me INSANE!!

I don't feel right the last few days. I just want my life to be the way it was again.

So many people in my life keep telling me how proud they are of me, and how my sobriety is an inspiration. Yet all I want to do is have a shot of Tequila.

Not saying I plan on drinking and throwing away 75 days. Its just really trying.

My best friend just hit 120 days yesterday. I'm so proud of her I can't even put it into words!! She's come so far, and has changed so much its amazing.

I'm so worried about her though. Her primary addiction is drugs, and she's in AA because of the stronger sobriety. Apparently somewhere along the line a doctor said that her drinking seemed to be situational and not an addiction.

The last few weeks she's started thinking about drinking again. She honestly thinks she can drink safely and not use again.  This scares the shit out of me. She's a very strong, determined person. Let's say she was able to control her drinking. All it takes is for someone to offer her a pill after a few drinks and she's back to square one. We all know the likelihood of her saying NO in that state. Its not her will I question, its the disease. The addict mind alone is dangerous, let alone combined with alcohol.

I also know the chances of me drinking again are exponentially greater if she starts drinking. If she starts drinking again I know I'll likely have to cut ties. My sobriety is too important. Its the last thing I want to do, and I'm deathly afraid of having to make that choice. She's the closest person to me in the entire world.

I've decided to just "Let Go and Let God" handle this one.

This toolbox I've been given, this book. They don't prepare you for situations like this. My higher power is all I have to depend on, and it seems he's kinda been fucking with me as of late.

Nobody said this would be easy... but come on give me a fucking break!

I went to a meeting last night where the topic was dealing with anger... and it actually made me angry. How the hell does that help?!?

I'm so angry, so depressed. I know, I know... this too shall pass, easy does it, one day at a time, meeting makers make it, etc... How about this really fucking sucks sometimes, and it usually gets worse before it gets better. Why isn't that on a wall somewhere?

There's so much to learn. I have sssooo much further to grow as a person in sobriety. This shit is scary!!

Just needed a good vent. I feel a little better now, and realize this blog is an excellent tool for coping with whats on my mind so expect to see me more.

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

December 7, 2010 - Quote

“To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” -Unknown

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010 - Quote

"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections." -Unknown

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5, 2010 - Quote

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Maria Robinson

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

December 4, 2010 - Quote

“Never let go of hope. One day you will see that it all has finally come together. What you have always wished for has finally come to be. You will look back and laugh at what has passed and you will ask yourself... 'How did I get through all of that?'”

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2, 2010 - Quote

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.” -Unknown

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010 - Quote

"Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once." -Lillian Dickson

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

86,400 Seconds...

Today I had an extremely unnecessary fight with my best friend, after which we both apologized and realized exactly how pointless the things were that we had been fighting over.

I took something extremely valuable from the fight.

The last few months I've been looking at people leaning on me, depending on me as a tremendous burden in my sobriety. Today I realized that it's not a burden, but a tremendous compliment. I should be looking at the fact that people turn to me for support, guidance, strength as a privilege not a chore. It means they have faith in me, confidence in me I may not always see in myself. From this point forward I will no longer look at people depending on me as a burden, but as a privilege and honor.

Ironically shortly after this realization a song came on the radio that I've heard hundreds of times. I've listened to it, but never really heard the meaning. I'm looking at this as a sign, my higher power once again working in mysterious ways...

Kris Allen - "Live Like We're Dying"

Sometimes we fall down, can't get back up
We're hiding behind skin that's too tough
How come we don't say I love you enough
Till it's to late, it's not too late

Our hearts are hungry for a food that won't come
And we could make a feast from these crumbs
And we're all staring down the barrel of a gun
So if your life flashed before you,
What would you wish you would've done

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

And if your plane fell out of the skies
Who would you call with your last goodbye
Should be so careful who we live out our lives
So when we long for absolution,
There'll no one on the line, yeah

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

Like we're dying, oh, like we're dying..

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

You never know a good thing till it's gone
You never see a crash till it's head on
Why do we think we're right when we're dead wrong
You never know a good thing till it's gone

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying

Like we're dying, oh, like we're dying..

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying..

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Friday, November 26, 2010

November 26, 2010 - Quote

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” -Gail Devers

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

61 What?

I'll be updating sometime today.

Everything has been REALLY REALLY crazy around here!!

I've gone back to both of my jobs full time, MAJOR family issues which are ongoing... the list goes on! I'll be filling in all the blanks shortly promise!

The good news? I have not had a drink in 61 days and my best friend has been sober for 107 days!!

More to come shortly. Until then...
My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic....

November 23, 2010 - Quote

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." -Buddha

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11, 2010 - Quote

Day 49

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress." -Frederick Douglass

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Monday, November 8, 2010


Sorry for the lack of updates...

HUGE family issue last week, still working things out.

Still alive and Still Sober (46 days).

Details soon I promise. Thank you everyone for your concern!!

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 2, 2010 - Quote

You won't realize the distance you've walked until you take a look around and realize how far you've been.” -Unknown

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Study: Alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack

Saw this on my google news feed today...

Apparently a recent study has shown that alcohol is a more harmful drug than even heroin or crack.

Read The Article Here


November 1, 2010 - Quote

"Our strength grows out of our weaknesses."
 -Ralph Waldo Emerson

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 31, 2010 - Quote

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” -John Quincy Adams

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010 - Quote

“Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.” -Unknown

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 28, 2010 - Quote

"A day is a span of time no one is wealthy enough to waste." -Unknown

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I've always thought of miracles as having to be something major.

Examples: "That baby was really sick... it's a miracle she lived" or "Those miners were trapped in that mine for months, its a miracle they all survived."

Lately I've started noticing the little miracles in life.

I've been sober for 33 days today. That right there is a miracle in itself.

Everyday when I walk into an AA meeting and see familiar faces, just knowing those people are all still sober.... miracle.

Seeing someone who's gone back out to drink come back to an AA meeting... miracle.

Sobriety has made me notice the little miracles that happen in life everyday.

This week I was lucky enough to witness not only the miracle of my 30th day of sobriety, but also a miracle so big its left a lasting impact on me.

Last week my best friend's insurance company dropped her from her PHP Rehab Program (Partial Hospitalization Program) because she missed a day for being sick. Within 24 hours of that happening her mother accused her of using and brought her to the hospital for a drug test, and shortly thereafter her sponsor 'dropped' her. She had no idea what she was going to do, and to be honest I thought for sure she was going to give up. I don't think I've ever seen her so depressed.

I had no idea what to do, except keep getting her to meetings.

Monday her PHP program called and said she could complete her outpatient rehab program at a facility called Hazelden. She immediately perked right up and we drove over to speak with the admissions woman. Only problem was that PHP neglected to tell her insurance wouldn't cover this program. The cost with a substantial discount? $4500.00 which her mother refused to pay.

My mind went into overdrive. How could I get her into this program?

At one point I had a substantial amount of money, but I haven't worked in months and am in the process of starting a new company. I simply don't have that kind of cash. I began to go though my art collection to see what I could sell to make this happen.

She would have never let me pay, so the plan was to sell whatever I had to (even if it was everything I own) to get the money, then tell her it was paid for by some sort of foundation. I was scrambling and panicking trying to figure out how to make it work. Simply put I love her... not getting her into this program was NOT an option.

Tuesday a miracle happened. We had both briefly spoke with this nice man at AA meetings before, mostly just in passing over a cigarette. At one point she mentioned Hazelden and he told her he was very familiar with the program and if she had any questions,  needed any information, or a contact at the place to just ask.

Monday it just so happened that she sat next to him for a cigarette after a meeting, and she told him about not being able to get into the program. He said he would make some calls and she would get into the program. We both wern't sure what this ment... but the prospect was very exciting.

Yesterday I was at a meeting with him, and we began talking over a cigarette post meeting as usual. He asked me about my friend and I told him how I was scrambling to find the money to make it work.

This is where the miracle comes in. He told me that he wanted to pay for her program. No strings attached. He didn't want anyone to know it was him,  didn't want anything in return. Just wanted to 'Pay it Forward' because someone had done the same for him years ago. All he asked was that she do the same someday when she can. He asked me to relay everything he had said to me, and encourage her to say yes.

I quickly came home and told her. She spoke to him at some length over the phone, and now begins her IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) this coming week.

The first reaction I had was EXTREME guilt that for the first time ever I didn't have the money. I felt horrible for letting this complete stranger pay for her program. Suddenly I lost it in the middle of the day, broke down and cried. How could my life have come to this point? WHAT THE FUCK had I done to my life?

My mother gave me a hug and explained that this truly was a miracle. I had prayed on this for awhile now, but I guess I didn't expect my prayers to be answered in this form.

Without this program there is no doubt in my mind she would have ended up back in an inpatient facility at some point in the future. She needs this outpatient program.

I don't know how or what I would have done to pay for this... as they say desperate people do desperate things, and we were both desperate.

This is a true miracle, and this generous stranger; this generous angel surely gave my friend a gift she'll remember for the rest of her life.

Today I'm still upset I couldn't help, but I'm now looking at this as a miracle. Someday I too will pay this forward. It's changed not only her life, but mine as well.

Thank you kind stranger. You will never truly realize the miracle you've bestowed on us both.

God works in mysterious ways. Thank you lord.

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

October 27, 2010 - Quote

"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." -Buddha

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26, 2010 - Quote

"An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men." -Thomas Fuller

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010 - Quote

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” -Mahatma Gandhi

(I'll have a post on my 30th day sober coming later today. Today's day 31)

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 2010 - Quote

"If you're going through hell, keep going." -Winston Churchill

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 23, 2010 - Quote

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do..." -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 28

I just hit my knees for the first time in, well, God knows how long.

I prayed for strength. Strength to get me through today, strength for my best friend. I apologized to God for not being around as much as I should have, for not praying for the past few years.

I prayed that he keep my best friend strong, she's having a really tough time with everything.

My pink cloud is officially gone.

The program says I should take care of myself first, which I have been doing. I don't agree with me not caring for her, or worrying about her. Being there when she needs me. That's who I am... that's who I've always been. Someone who deeply cares for others, especially the people I love. I love her.

She's been in a downward spiral the last few days, she's stopped confiding in me. She feels alone. I could never stop caring for her, or not be there. I know I'm never alone as long as I have her in my life. Yes... I know I always have God too, but its nice to have someone speak back.

She's never alone in this world, I'm always here for her. I love her unconditionally. I can't describe the way I love her. Its more than just a friend that I know, but I've never experienced this before. I'm not IN love with her, but I've never cared so much for someone who's not related to me. I can't explain it... but I know if she wasn't in my life I'd feel lost. She makes me feel better, knowing she's there just makes me feel safe I guess. We can talk about anything, everything. If there was a word beyond comfortable thats what I'd use to describe how I feel with her. No matter how fucked up everything gets, or how bad a day we both may have, I just feel better knowing I have her in my life.

I'm at a loss right now as to what to do. Instead of being there for her, reassuring her, my friends mother brought her to the hospital for a drug test this morning. She refuses to believe that this is what we go through to get better. The lady went to one al-anon meeting and thinks she's got it all figured out.

The reality of the fact is that every time my friend turns to her mother for, well, a mother she ends up worse off than where she started. Somedays I wish I could just 'kidnap' her from that situation. She loves her family so much, and I know they love her... they just don't understand. They think they do, but they have NO IDEA what this is like.

This program, this process... its not easy. It takes everything I have every day to stay strong enough to not drink or not go back to pills. When I felt anxiety over this a few minutes ago my first thought was to find my father's Xanex which I quickly talked myself out of. I know how fucked up my mind is, and I can't begin to imagine whats going on inside hers.

The fact that she's gotten so depressed, so hopeless scares the shit out of me. It's in God's hands now... all I can do is pray. The progress she's made the last few weeks. I can't even begin to explain the changes I've seen for the positive.

It's ironic... she's been telling me to hit my knees on some of my worst days and I've refused to do it until now. She's a great friend, a great companion. I can't imagine my life without her.

Today I called out of work,  I'm planning on hitting meetings ALL day. I need AA in my life today, I need as many meetings as I can get. Its gonna be one of those one minute at a time days.

Please keep me and my best friend in your prayers today. We BOTH need it.

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic.

October 22, 2010 - Quote

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.” -Unknown

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21, 2010 - Quote

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." -Dr. Seuss

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

26 Days?!?

Quick note... I didn't realize today was 26 days until I looked at the sobriety counter on my blog.

Since waking up this morning I've thought it was day 25.

Strange... I've been so focused on that number for the last 26 days. How could I not know its day 26?

Time flys when you're having fun I guess? ::sarcastic tone::

In all honesty it's just been a rough few weeks. As a fellow blogger in recovery commented yesterday I'm still on the 'big rollercoaster'. I had a GREAT day yesterday for a change, and so far despite some early morning nonsense (my fault... I overslept) I'm still feeling really good!!

Meeting with my sponsor at 4:30 to begin step work. I'll update tonight with more on that I'm sure.

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

October 20, 2010 - Quote

"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar." -Raymond Linquist

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010 - Quote

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence." -Helen Keller

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 24 - F Bombs Galore

Its one giant fucking roller-coaster. I'm up one minute, and down the next.

Ignorant people piss me the fuck off.

I hate myself, I hate stupid people, I hate my family for not understanding anything I'm going through.

If I tell someone I need a few minutes alone to calm down and blog, why the fuck can they not leave me alone without making some stupid fucking snide remark?

For some reason I feel threatened by this kid who my best friend met at a meeting. I don't trust him as far as I can throw him. It has nothing to do with my next statement, but I'm generally good at reading people and I don't trust him. I'm also pissed off because he's better looking than me, and he's way to fucking smooth to be a good person... nobody that smooth is ever a good person.

When I was drinking I never really cared what everyone else looked like. Now I can't stop focusing on the fact that I don't like my appearance. I don't feel attractive in the slightest bit (I know I sound like a woman... but I guarantee I'm not the only guy to ever feel this way). I feel like every woman I've liked or tried to date over the last few years has put me in the friend zone because I have "an awesome personality, we get along great" but I'm not attractive enough or not a giant douche bag so I'm not dateable.

I hate rude, uneducated people who don't think before they speak. I'm trying to practice acceptance, but I just can't help but want to tell some people to fuck off. Practice what you preach (i know i know... I'm working on acceptance just go with it). When I say uneducated I don't mean they don't have a degree. I'm talking about people who claim to know this program so well and live by it, but the second they walk out of the door its like they flipped off the 'AA switch'.

I'm sick of people who think because they have a few years in the program that they have all the answers. I mean shit I may only be on day 24, but maybe... just maybe I have something I can add that SOMEONE ELSE might benefit from.

Also where does it say I can't be there to help a woman in the program? I don't mean 13th stepping someone. I find that INCREDIBLY DISRESPECTFUL and COMPLETELY INAPPROPRIATE. What I mean is if there's someone of the opposite sex outside smoking a cigarette crying where does it say that I can't be there to talk to - for support?  NOWHERE!!!!!

"Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism."

"Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety."

Did I miss something?

I'm sick of always being there for people, and when I need someone I feel alone.

Why does everyone in my life, outside of the program think they know whats wrong or whats best for me? I don't want your advice and I don't want to hear your thoughts if you don't know what its like to be where I am. If you're in the program its one thing, but if you don't have any fucking clue what your talking about then don't get upset when I politely tell you that you don't understand, or if I politely listen but choose not to follow the advice.

Yes, I'm aware the bulk of this makes no sense... I just need a good vent.

Everything is confusing, life makes no sense. I hate that I'm short tempered with everyone, I don't know how to live sober. I know drinking won't solve it... or else I'd be at a bar instead of blogging right now. Knowing is half the battle I guess.

On a brighter note my sponsor is great, he heard me share today in a meeting and decided we should start working the steps after seeing my willingness and devotion to be in this program just from hearing me speak. I could tell he was apprehensive the first few days... he wasn't sure what to make of me or if he should even think about step work or busy work. I've had an open mind since my first week in the program, and the amount I've learned in just 24 days is absolutely amazing.

Its just a matter of learning how to use it now... and that my friends is an entirely different adventure.

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15, 2010 - Quote

"No man is an island entire of itself. Each is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." -John Donne

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 14, 2010 - Quote

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October 13, 2010 - Quote

"Set your goals high, and don't stop till you get there." -Bo Jackson

I have A LOT I need to get down in a blog... so expect something later today. I've been hitting a lot of meetings and am exhausted by the end of the day, so its hard to keep up... but this blog is an important part of my recovery so I'm finding time today at some point to 'spill my guts.'

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 12, 2010 - Quote

"Life is simple, it's just not easy" -Unknown

I'll be back to my regular updates hopefully tonight or tomorrow :)

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11, 2010 - Quote

“You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying about the future” -Unknown

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 10, 2010 - Quote

"Great changes may not happen right away, but with effort even the difficult may become easy." - Bill Blackman

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Tattoo...

Got my first Tattoo this week. I've wanted to get one for a LONG time, but never had any idea what I wanted to get, so it never happened.

I'm happy I waited. This is my permanent chip to carry with me, something to never let me forget about my sobriety.

It's an ambigram (a tattooed work of art that can be read both forward and upside-down) on my right upper arm - the word Strength. I plan on getting the word serenity below it next week to form a semi-circle.

Even better is the fact I got it with my best friend. She got one on her left side that reads Hope one way and Faith the other. We both got into the final stages of this mess together, so it's only appropriate that we have a way to remember getting out of it together.

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

UPDATE: This wasn't something I did to stop drinking... its something I've wanted for a long time. It was just nice to get something to symbolize my sobriety.

Day 15

15 Days!  It's hard to believe I've been sober for 15 days.

I don't feel as angry anymore (but I'm still insanely cranky ha-ha). FINALLY got a good nights sleep last night.

My body's starting to like this sober thing. The sober 'mush mind' isn't as mushy anymore.

Still get the shakes... A LOT but its not as bad as the first few days.

Full meals... yummmm. Hadn't had much of an appetite until the last few days... now give me something to eat and I'll destroy it!

I'm really starting to like sobriety. It feels good!!

The temporary 'Pink Clouds' are still amazing, but I don't depend on them as much right now. Not every day is going to be perfect. Sure they seemed perfect while drinking, but that's because I really didn't give a shit anymore. As strange as it sounds its nice to feel the effects of a bad day.

Today is also my best friends 60th day of sobriety. I'm overwhelmed with a sense of pride. 60 days is HUGE! Her 60 days has given me so much hope, so much inspiration. Hell I'm excited for 15!!

Never did I think I'd see the day when I'd be excited to bring my best friend to get a 60 day chip. If you told me a few months ago I'd be as proud as I am to see this day, or be as excited as I am looking forward to my 30 day chip... I would have thought you were insane.

I'm in complete awe! The second family I've began to make at meetings has quickly expanded to the net... who would have ever thought I'd find so many folks in recovery with a blog started to vent. Even more amazing is the strength you all give me daily.

It's a HUGE day for my best friend at 60 days, its a HUGE day for me at 15 days. This sobriety thing is nice. Who knows how I'll feel about it tomorrow, but that's not an issue. I'm taking this 'One day at a time.'

“Great effort from great motives is the best definition of a happy life.” –William Ellery

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pay it forward...

GREAT MOVIE! If you haven't seen it here's IMDB's synopsis...

"Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him"

I know its a little astray from my usual type of blog post... but there's a reason I'm sharing this.

When we give someone a ride, pickup that phone call, make that phone call, share at a meeting...

Essentially we're all just paying it forward.

My name's Bruce and I'm an alcoholic...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Courage and Fear

Today's day 12. I've made up my mind to never drink again. I can't... nothing good could possibly come from it. I've lost to much already. Now I'm deathly afraid of losing something else.

I'm worried about my best friend. She starts everyday so excited and ready to go, but inevitably something happens during the day to knock her off that early morning pink cloud. She seems so down, like she's lost her focus on recovery. It's impossible to get her to go to meetings the last few days, unless I have to force her. To be honest that scares the shit out of me!!

We both always have such a renewed spirit, renewed strength and courage when we leave a meeting - I'm worried she's going to lose that.

Another concern are the people she met in Rehab. My best friend is so trusting, and has such a kind heart. She keeps getting screwed by people she met in rehab. She thinks because she spent 28 days with them that they have some sort of bond, she often refers to rehab as camp.

Now I know a lot of these people are just normal people with addiction issues, but I'm afraid she's going to start hanging out with these people during or after recovery and take a dive off the wagon. She thinks that because her and I can be strong for each other and not drink or use together - not let one another fall back into old habits, that every person she met in rehab is like that. I know this isn't true, and I'm deathly afraid.

I hear so many stories about people coming out of rehab, hanging out with or dating someone they met there, and quickly ending up back in rehab once again.

I'm deathly afraid, I don't know what I'd do if I ever lost her. We've been through so much together, I couldn't lose her again. At the same time I love being there for each other through this recovery process, it keeps me strong. We're opening up to one another again, we've both realized we don't need to be on something to still have an amazing time together. My fear is no longer will she still love me sober... it's will she stay sober with me?

God please keep us both strong, and grant us the courage and strength to stay sober - one day at a time.

"Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow." - Dan Rather

My name's Bruce, and I'm an alcoholic...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Power of a Good Meeting

In my few short days of sobriety I've quickly learned one VERY IMPORTANT thing... the power of a good meeting is like nothing I've ever experienced!!

Today started off great and quickly became a horrible, stressful, crap shoot!

I didn't want to deal with anyone or anything, just wanted to turn on my TV and get some sleep.

Went to have a quick smoke before sinking into a TV coma, and CRAP I was out of cigarettes!
Soooo...I got in the car and went to the corner store. On the way back I found myself sitting at a traffic light and out of nowhere I just started crying (for the record I'm not yet a big fan of the plethora of emotions that come with sobriety).

The light turned green, and next thing I knew my car had steered its way on over to a meeting. Now I thought the meeting had started at 8:00, I would have been late so decided not to go earlier. Turns out when I pulled in at 8:29 and looked at a schedule it started at 8:30.

DAMN YOU HIGHER POWER and your sneakiness! ha-ha

It was a GREAT meeting... one that I was clearly put at for a reason. The meeting ended at 9:30, and just got home now at 11:45. I sat outside and talked to people for 2 hours after the meeting!!

Crazy part is I feel like a new person. It boggles my mind!

Not sure how, or why it works... but I keep coming back. Apparently it works if you work it.

I'm an alcoholic...

Higher Power In Action...

Not sure who my higher is yet, but whomever he/she is they've been busy workin the last few days.

Higher Power In Action? - 1
Friday after flipping a shit on my best friend I got a phone call. It was from a good friend who had seen a new quote I put on Facebook (One day at a time... easy does it), noticed I had a random number in my status daily that was counting up (apparently other people do a countdown? ha-ha), and decided to ask me if I was 'a friend of Bill.' He then told me he's in AA and had been sober for almost 8 months now. So random!!  He was always one of those 2 drinks then home kinda people, but apparently unlike me he would go home to drink, and drank until he passed out. I hadn't heard from him in about 8 months, he kinda dropped off the face of the Earth and now I know why.  It was GREAT to hear from him!

Higher Power In Action? - 2
A day later I got a phone call from a friend who I had informed just days earlier that I had started going to AA.

She called me to tell me that she had a problem with pills, and wanted to get help. Watching what my best friend and I had been through, and knowing we both had the courage to get help, had given her the strength to admit she had a problem and get help. It was a very powerful feeling!!

Higher Power In Action? - 3
The other night before a meeting I was sitting outside having a smoke, just making conversation and bullshitting as usual. I was talking to some people about what they do to keep their minds occupied during the times when they'd been at a bar 'in a previous life.'

One gentlemen said he blogs, and ask me if I had ever done any blogging. I told him I had actually started an anonymous blog on day 2 of recovery. I then mentioned that the first comment on my blog had come from someone I had never met, whom I had started following the day before. It was strange because she was the person who had inspired me to begin a blog - I had stumbled upon her blog during a google search and decided I should start my own. From what I could tell she had quite a popular recovery blog and I was amazed that she had even read mine, let alone commented.

He asked me if the blog was titled "Being Sober" and if her name was Mary Christine by any chance. It turns out he had a blog I had run across on here as well "Steveroni's Blog", and knew her as well.

WHAT ARE THE ODDS of running into someone at a meeting, mentioning blogging, and discovering we had 'friends' in common?!?

(Side-note: Mary Christine - I was absolutely amazed when you commented on my blog. It gave me an overwhelming sense of hope to know that the unity and fellowship I had seen at AA meetings extended to the web as well. Thank you for that!)

I'm starting to like this higher power person.

I'm an alcoholic...

Day 11

It's Day 11... WOO HOO!!

I had a HORRIBLE day yesterday, and it was the first time I haven't been able to make a meeting.

I've been the 'adult' in my family for YEARS. I started the company my whole family works for, have handled all the finances, etc... since I was 17 years old. Unfortunately over the last year my drinking progressed to the point where we had to close the company.

We are in the process of getting it back up and running, and my family had promised to help me. "All you have to do is get it ready at night after your meetings, and we'll handle the rest."

I turned my finances over to my mom for a couple months last month so I don't make a stupid mistake. Now my cell phone's off because someone neglected to pay the bill.

How the fuck did I fall for that one? I've been taking care of this family for years... now that I need to focus on me and my recovery they can't wrap their heads around it. I asked my father to do two things yesterday... make a phone call, and go have my new tire put on the car. How many of those do you think got done?

I could understand if he was doing something, but instead I came home to him sleeping on the couch at 2:00 in the afternoon! And how hard is it to give me a check to sign to pay my cell phone bill?

My family just can't wrap their heads around the fact that I need a few weeks to take it easy. I have no doubt in my mind that had my stress level been less the last few years I without question wouldn't have drank so much. Correction I wouldn't have drank so often - the quantity is all me. I started as a problem drinker, and progressed to hardcore drunk. I don't think its too much to ask after all the time I've put in over the years taking care of everyone.

Yesterday all I wanted was to pull into a bar and get SHIT FACE DRUNK! That's how I've handled stress for the last 5 years. Instead I just started yelling. Maybe not the best response, but certainly better than drinking.

Thats another thing, I've never been this cranky in my life!! I have zero tollerance for stupid people, bad drivers, even people who talk to much. Never gave a shit when I was drunk.... but now that I'm sober LOOK OUT. God I hope this is just a part of the process!!!!

My best friend pointed something out yesterday that really hit home... if I relapse/fall off the wagon she likely will too. What we're doing is very dangerous. Then it occured to me... I don't want a drink. I won't drink!!!

I'm still trying to figure out this higher power thing (Grew up Catholic... enough said? ha-ha). Everytime I want a drink I just think about all the people in my life who are supporting me, all the people who I'd let down. My family, my friends, all the great people I'm meeting at AA, and perhaps most importantly my best friend. I wouldn't be in AA without her. I have to stay strong and sober, not only for myself, but all the great people who are staying strong for me.

Closing today's blog is a quote I found on an AA recovery site that made me laugh, but it's so true.

"I need to stick with the winners, not the people who co-sign my bullshit."

Essentially a 'keep coming back' slogan for people like myself who like their advice straight to the point sometimes.

I'm an alcoholic...

Monday, October 4, 2010


Haven't had much time to update... Been going to lots of meetings. Its day 10... Still with it. Update coming later today/tonight :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

My Sober Mind

I had a rough day today... my sober mind is hard to deal with.

How the fuck did I get to the point that my mind and body function better with alcohol than they do stone sober?

I yelled at my best friend for no reason today. I flipped out, and I feel like an asshole. My emotions are so hard to control right now.

I'm afraid. What if my best friend discovers she doesn't like me sober? What if people don't like sober me?

A few minutes ago I got back from a car ride... I like to do that when I wanna think or clear my mind.

The clear my mind thing didn't work, but I thought wayyy too much.

Somewhere in my fucked up mind I was angry with my best friend the last few weeks, but not for the reasons that I should be. I'm over all that, she's my best friend and I love her unconditionally. I think I was angry that she found the escape from life I had been searching for all these years when I drank. She went to a different world with pills and left me here. The first adventure we didn't take together. How fucked up is that?!? I see what she's gone through the last few months, I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

It's not so much the world she escaped to that I think angered me... its the fact that it was her that hit rock bottom and not me. I feel so responsible for her pain... I know its not my fault. I know she doesn't blame me either. Nonetheless I feel responsible.

Whats fucked up most is that it's not, nor will it hinder my recovery. The fight today, my anger its all just part of the process. I'm not going to go drink because of this, nor am I going to take it out on her. I need to learn how to cope with all these feelings in my sober mind.

This world feels fake as I begin my long journey into sobriety. How can it be possible that being sober for me is like being drunk is for others. Drunk I feel in control, being sober seems unreal. How out of touch was I with the sober world that I can't even function in it?

Couldn't even walk more than 2 feet all day without feeling like my body didn't belong to me.

I know its going to take time to be able to understand my sober mind and body, just as it took time for me to prefer being drunk.

One day at a time... I keep thinking it over and over. Easy does it, one day at a time.

I need to go to bed, wake up, go to a meeting, and get an extra boost first thing tomorrow.

Hopefully my best friend will join me. Its much easier to deal with my mind like this when the person I trust most can relate.

I'm an alcoholic...

Friday, October 1, 2010

7 Days

If someone had told me 8 days ago that I'd be sober the next 7 I would have laughed and called them an asshole.

I've been sober for 1 week!

To some it sounds like an insignificant amount of time, but to me it means the world.

I'm an alcoholic...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A break from me

Today, my sixth day of sobriety, is also my best friend's birthday.

We both just had our first of many sober semi-fights. It was nice though because all of my walls are still intact, and I got to call her an asshole at the end of the discussion.

Ok I'm kidding... your not really an asshole. I actually like you much better sober.

Note: In case you have yet to figure it out I'm skipping a recap of my fifth day and dedicating this blog post to my best friend. Why? Well frankly my fifth day sucked! It's in the past, and the past is just that... the past. I only get to move forward now, one day at a time.

Eh... ok so one sneak peek into day five.

On day five  I heard my best friend say that before she hit her rock bottom she didn't care if she lived or died. 

Notice the bold, underlined portion of the previous sentence in italics - it's important. I'll say it again...

My best friend didn't care if she lived or died

That really puts things in perspective. I got upset today because I wanted a beer.

I'll tell you one thing for sure, had my best friend died at that point I would have killed myself without a second thought. That would have been two perfectly good lives lost to drugs and alcohol in a flash.

Funny thing about pills and alcohol... you don't give a fuck about anything but yourself and your high/drunk when on either one. I guarantee she never stopped to think what I would have done had she died. The truth is she no longer gave a fuck about me, her family, and most importantly herself.

She had become powerless over alcohol / drugs - her life had become unmanageable. The only problem with that is she had NO IDEA, and neither of us knew a damn thing about AA.

We still aren't experts... but we can both now at least admit and accept that fact.

I wanted to go somewhere epic with the statement she made when I started writing this blog... but I'm not sure I have to. I've dedicated this one to her, I'm afraid that a birthday in recovery might push her off course.

Stinky (I know its your favorite nickname) - You are my salvation. Without you I would have never admitted that I'm powerless over alcohol and my life has become unmanageable; without you I wouldn't know I'm an alcoholic.

In just under 60 days the progress you've made has me in complete awe. When i think about where you were then, and where you are now I'm speechless. As I type this I'm crying.

Had you died I would have certainly taken my own life. 

There's some real life shit. Such a powerful statement, one that we both wouldn't have cared about just a short time ago.

You've come such a long way, and the best part is you made sure I got on the wagon so we can take the journey together. The first thing we'll be doing sober is getting sober - together.

Early on in our friendship if I had a bad day, you had a bad day. If you were sad, I became sad. Those were the days, the easy days.

Eventually It became if one of us was drunk, the other was drunk.  Then it became if one of us was high, the other was high.

What a fucking wreck we became. What a serious rock bottom WE caused.

Today just a short time after the worst day of your life, and your biggest concern was having a shitty birthday.

I have news for you... there's still a long way to go, but you've made it out alive.

Today we are BOTH sober, BOTH alive - Because of YOU!

Today you celebrate your 22nd birthday, and have been given more gifts than you can ever imagine. This birthday isn't about the tangible, its about the intangible.

The gift of life
The gift of a second chance
The gift of sobriety
The gift of saving a friends life
The rebirth of a lifelong friendship
The regaining of a lifelong companion

The gifts you've been given only come once in a lifetime. There is no exchange or refund policy, you can't put them in a closet for a rainy day. I can't buy you a replacement for any of your gifts this year if you lose or break them.

Take advantage of the gifts you've been given this year for your Birthday. Use them well, use them responsibly, and most important of all use them SOBER.

Keep up the good work, I cannot possibly express how proud I am of you and how lucky I am to have you in my life. I love you! Happy 22nd Birthday... AND MANY MORE!!

WE are alcoholics...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day Five

Its good to be alive :)

Proud of my alcoholic

I'd like to point out that in my last post I mentioned by best friend is an addict and alcoholic.

As of 10:00pm tonight she was simply an addict, and didn't understand why she couldn't ever drink again. Her problem was pills, not drinking.

I've tried to tell her 100 times already, alcohol is the gateway that got you to drugs. Naturally, just as her best friend had also done, she refused to listen to me. Big surprise right?

I'm extremely proud to say that as of around 11:30pm or so tonight I am now the best friend of an addict AND alcoholic.

OK... so if you don't understand the program, or what I'm talking about that sounds extremely fucked up.

The reality of it is that had she not come to this conclusion, she would have gone through recovery only to pick up a drink a few months later and begin the cycle all over again. Liquor is just a different kind of drug.

I was told but four days ago "It feels weird but good to say doesn't it?"

To say I'm Extremely proud of her would be an understatement !!

One day, one minute at a time and IT WILL WORK!

I'm an alcoholic...

Saving My Life

I mentioned in an earlier post I went to a meeting today, at which the topic quickly switched from "Step 7" to "Advice for ________ (Insert my name here)" after I shared the test I'd be faced with at a function I had to attend. The response was overwhelming.

At the 10:00 meeting tonight someone said something along the lines of "I always feel like I have to say something amazing and life saving when I share, but I'm just an alcoholic and addict."

I thought for a minute about what she said, then I thought about what happened at the meeting earlier that day, and I thought about my best friend (an addict and alcoholic). Quickly I said My Name's _______, I'm an alcoholic and began to share.

I'd like to go back and address something Tara said. I explained to her what I had dealt with just a few minutes prior to that meeting. I explained to her what had happened at the 12:00 meeting earlier. I then said something I never thought would ever come out of my mouth "Without Alcoholics and Addicts I wouldn't have been able to make it though having an open bar at my disposal on day 4 of my sobriety, and I wouldn't be on day 4 of my sobriety or here in this room either."

The fact of the matter is that Alcoholics and Addicts stories are what made me realize I was an Alcoholic. Listening to these stories made me come back to AA. The advice Alcoholics and Addicts had offered earlier that day had kept me from drinking on day four of my sobriety.

It was my best friend (an addict and alcoholic) who had gotten me to go to my first AA meeting in the first place.

I told Tara she should always share her story, no matter how insignificant she may think it is. To me everything I've heard at AA has left an impact. The stories I've heard are what led me to realize I'm an alcoholic, and the wisdom and experiences that have been shared by others are what have made me want to stay sober.

While telling Tara this I realized something, my best friend had saved my life.

There is no doubt in my mind that had I taken that first drink tonight I wouldn't have stopped. I would have gotten out of control, made an ass out of myself, and likely gotten fired from a job I've worked extremely hard at for 7 years. Not only that I would have gotten in my car afterwards, likely to a bar where I would have continued to drink, and then driven home wasted beyond belief and more than likely killed myself and possibly someone else in the process.

Thats the point in my life that I'm at. I can't moderate my drinking, I can't just have one.

It's funny how life works out. Here I am with my best friend, my partner in crime for the last year. My fellow enabler and I at an AA meeting together, sober. Sober together for the first time in god knows how long. There we were, together in a meeting, the person who I would have most certainly died with had we kept going at the rate we were - and she had saved my life.

I'm starting to believe this higher power business, because no way in hell could this be a coincidence.

"A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it."

There it was, SMACK, right in the face... destiny.

Everything had happened for a reason, and the fact it had happened with my best friend was no coincidence.

Maybe it wouldn't have happened tonight, tomorrow, maybe not even for a year or two... its not a question of if - just when... inevitably I would have died as a result of my alcoholism.

My best friend saved my life.

I'm an alcoholic...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"It isn't the load that weighs us down - it's the way we carry it"

Day Four....

I went to my first meeting of Day Four (7th meeting) and shared about a huge risk I have to take tonight.

Tonight I will be at an event I don't have the option not to attend, and there will be an open bar.

Yes, an open bar. An alcoholics wet dream! All we can drink... and its FREE!!!  YEA BABY!!

I'm scared shitless so to speak. Do I have the will power to overcome this obstacle?

The meeting then turned from an open discussion on Step 7 into an advice forum, all directed at me.

Overwhelmed - thats how i felt. Overwhelmed with a sense of not being alone in this for the first time ever.

Knowing that so many strangers cared enough to take this meeting and tailor it to my specific problem after only 4 days into my sobriety. I stayed for an hour afterwards, people were lined up for support. Giving me numbers and telling me "call me first - don't drink!" "You've come so far, don't throw it away" even "Stay strong and go for day five... or if all else fails call me for a ride and I'll meet you the day after for another white chip." ha-ha the last was my favorite, directed at humor more than encouraging me to drink obviously. I love that about AA - we all have the same sick, fucked up sense of humor.

I'm happy I made it to the 12:00 'Brown Baggers' meeting today, and they've asked me to come back tomorrow and let them know what happens, good or bad. It'll be a new day either way -  one for celebration or another white chip.

I'm an alcoholic...

Sweet Sweet Liquor

I missed writing yesterday... it was a LONG EXHAUSTIVE day that truly put me to the test. A LOT happened...

Driving to my first meeting of the day yesterday (meeting 5) I had my tire blow out on I-75 at 90 MPH. Car went sideways down the highway, the whole deal. When I pulled off the road and called AAA my membership had expired September 1st. After being a member since 2003 they pretty told me to go fuck myself. Called the road rangers... 2 hour wait. Called the police to see if I could get a car to sit behind mine while I changed the tire myself... it'll be an hour sir.

FUCKKKK!!!! I ended up calling AAA back and paying $75 to get my tire changed. It was that or risk getting clipped by some retard at 90MPH.

What did I want most as soon as that tire was changed? ANYTHING ALCOHOLIC... Wine, Beer, Shot, ANYTHING!!!!!!! Thank god my father showed up just as I was ready to pull away.

I'm a strong person, or at least I'd like to consider myself as such (with most things anyway), but the problem in my head is not just the desire to drink right now. Its not the wanting, the feel of need for an ice cold Bud Light. Its that combined with the fact that I "CAN'T"have a drink when I want one. I feel like a fucking two year old when his mother says "no snacks before dinner." I WANT A GOD DAMN SNACK!!

Needless to say I missed my first meeting yesterday. Instead I drove to my favorite bar after getting my new tire ordered, and pulled the manager aside who is also my friend.

I told him I'm an alcoholic, I've been sober for 3 days, and this is the longest I've been sober in 3-5 years, and I'm in AA.  His reaction was not what I expected. Shit I expected him to talk me out of it, that bar's going to lose A LOT of money without me 'paying the rent' every night. I think that may have even been what I was subconsciously looking for - Talk me out of this... give me an out.

He gave me a hug, and told me he was proud of me. That he knew I had a problem, but never realized how bad it was until I fessed up, and that he had wanted to say something but knew if he had I would have likely never talk to him again. He knew that I needed to discover it on my own. Then he said that he's my friend first, not my bartender, and that I can call him anytime to go do something 'sober' or just to talk.

HOLY SHIT! The person who had been feeding my addiction for the last 3 years was proud of me for getting help. What a wake up call!!!! The rest of my day was like that, fessing up to close friends who I had lied to for years, all of their reactions being the same. It really through me for a loop - at the same time it made me feel incredible hope.

I went to two meetings that day, and found a sponsor that night.

Also something else happened. My best friend who's going though the same thing right now opened up to me. She admitted that she had used me, manipulated me, and lied to my face for months because of the pills. I then had to ask her the question I'd been wondering since the day she went into rehab.

"Do you or have you ever really loved me?"

This by the way was a question I had to ask myself when the shit hit the fan. Did I really love her? or did I love what we were together when we were drunk? I knew my answer and had hoped for the same from her.

I got an honest answer, and it was the conclusion that I had come to myself. We would have both gone down that path with or without each other eventually, neither one blamed the other, and we do love each other.

I then began to think about how amazing it will be to someday be able to do things together sober. After all we had made such an unstoppable force when fucked up. I can't imagine the things we can conquer with sobriety.

I'm doing this for myself - but I'm also doing this for the people around me. The people who care so much about me, knowing that I've lied to them for so many years, that they're ready to be there and support me in my recovery.

My lesson on day three?

Sweet Sweet Liquor will not be touched by me today, and by the grace of God not tomorrow or the day after that... if for nothing else I have to do this for the people who love me enough to risk being a part of my recovery - the people I can't let down yet again.

I'm an alcoholic...

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Texts...

If I get one more text message asking me to come out to a bar, or to stop by for a drink I might explode.

HOW THE HELL DO I LET PEOPLE KNOW I'M DONE and still remain some semblance of privacy?

Don't invite me to come have a fucking beer or a god damn shot!!

I'm an alcoholic!

My Rock Bottom

I heard a story tonight at my third meeting of the day (forth so far) that made me realize how different my mindset is from 'normal' people, and that I am in fact an alcoholic. It was a very simple story, a simple statement. Something many people don't think twice about, but once I heard it something clicked in my brain that said "WHOAAA _____ (insert my name here)... What the fuck? Really??"

A woman at the meeting said she works in a local restaurant that serves only beer and wine. At least once a day someone will come in and ask for a lets say a Vodka Cran or a Margarita. To which she'll reply I'm sorry we only have beer and wine.

Now before I finish the story my thought the second I heard what she said (in an attempt to foresee where the story was going I guess) was "Well what kind of beer do you have?" or "What's on Tap?"

She said the most common response when she says that statement is "I'll just have a water" or "I'll just have a soda." Her point in telling this story was that 'normal' people, people who can control themselves and moderate drinking, won't just move on to whatever kind of liquor is available. Whereas someone like myself would just choose a different 'poison' and say fuck it, give me a Bud Light.

I assumed thats what everyone else always did, just moved on to something else if their liquor of choice wasn't available. Apparently that isn't the case... and it really made me realize how some of the most simple actions I take are a direct result of alcoholism.

We also did a group reading in tonight's meeting. I found a passage from the 'Big Blue Book' - Page 21 that really described my alcoholic self almost perfectly.

"He is a real Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He is seldom mildly intoxicated. He is always more or less insanely drunk. His disposition while drinking resembles his normal nature but little. He may be one of the finest fellows in the world. Yet let him drink for a day, and he frequently becomes disgustingly, and even dangerously anti-social. He has a positive genius for getting tight at exactly the wrong moment, particularly when some important decision must be made or engagement kept. He is often perfectly sensible and well balanced concerning everything except liquor, but in that respect he is incredibly dishonest and selfish. He often possesses special abilities, skills, and aptitudes, and has a promising career ahead of him. He uses his gifts to build up a bright outlook for his family and himself, and then pulls the structure down on his head by a senseless series of sprees."

Listening to this passage, I pictured myself. Never am I 'mildly intoxicated', and once I get going on a bender I'm not going to stop - I'll lie my way into more time to drink, for another beer or shot, just say fuck it to anything of importance. In that moment nothing to me is more important than my drink.

I guess I can amend that statement a bit however, I'll leave a bar in a second to help someone I love or care about. The real question there though is how much help can Dr. Jekyll really be as opposed to Mr. Hyde coming to the rescue?

After the meeting wrapped up I met a guy around my age when I stepped outside for my 'post meeting smoke.' Ended up sitting and talking to him for about an hour and a half. Not a bad guy... but he was determined to tell me that trying to be 'proactive' with AA instead of waiting until I hit my true rock bottom likely wasn't going to work. Thanks for the vote of confidence I guess? WTF!?!

He then proceeded to tell me that I sound like the guy who's only got 1 life, as opposed to many of the AA members who seem to have nine. Meaning for instance he has been in 4 or 5 very serious car crashes, and walked away unscathed.

Me? I'm the guy who gets away with driving drunk for years, never hurting myself or anyone else.... until you wake up one day and read about my tragic alcohol related death in the newspaper. I'm one of those drinkers with 1 life.

OK... now he was making sense. Finally something that has really began to put things in perspective for me. One slip, one drink is all it will take someday to kill me. My rock bottom won't be drugs, it won't be a trip to rehab, or losing everything.

I've tried drugs, I've lost almost everything... didn't make a difference, and didn't change a damn thing.

Rock Bottom for me will be my death.

The statement was absolutely true. I needed to make this decision, not only for me - but for everyone else I'll hurt or take down with me if I ever hit that of the most extreme rock bottoms. I don't want my final legacy to be my alcoholism. That's not what I want to leave behind as the final memory of me.

As I sit here now my mind continues to go at a mile a minute. There's so much I want to say, so much I want to do. I'm worried about my best friend... I can't imagine what's going on in her mind after knowing 24 hours after my first meeting that I'm seriously fucked up when it comes to drinking. I'm wondering how long it will take me to slip. I know its going to happen... I'm determined not to let it, but I can feel it with every fiber of my being. I keep picturing how its going to happen, where its going to happen. Will I be alone? Even worse... Will it be my rock bottom? 

Then it hit me - the ultimate stronghold. If all else fails I need to stay strong so I don't take the people I love the most down with me. I'm doing this for me, 100% - but I can't risk falling off the wagon and potentially pulling someone I love off with me. That's what will, for the time being, keep me from slipping - at least until I figure this whole program out. 

"The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death."

I've accepted I have a problem, something I can't moderate or control. Now its time to learn how to deal with it.

I'm an alcoholic...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Third Meeting

Just got back from my third meeting. When I got there I ran into two people I know, not people I know well, but nonetheless people I know. It was extremely awkward at first... I was afraid to say hello.

 The first I ran into outside while smoking a cigarette before the meeting (I tend to light up when I'm nervous). He didn't recognize me... disaster/embarrassment averted. I would later see him outside after the meeting, and fess up to the fact that I was too embarrassed to say anything, to which he replied "I figured, but you don't have to be embarrassed. I've been coming here a long time, and you my friend are going to see a lot of people you'd never expect to see here. A LOT of people you know."

It hit me hard. 

Once inside the meeting I looked up and realized the person running it was someone I used to drink with. I can't figure out where exactly, but I've definitely been wasted with him a time or two. The meeting was an open discussion, and he started it off. HOLY SHIT did his story hit close to home. 

He started talking about how he was seeing this girl, and how they had shut themselves off from everyone in their lives because of their drinking and drug use. The two of them enabled each other so much so that his only friend was her.  They would ALWAYS drink together, and once drunk they would usually end up in a huge fight, and when they fought - he had nobody. 

I started thinking about the last year of my life, and how my best friend and I had enabled each other. We became best friends without excessive drinking, but quickly enabled each other to the point where we'd skip work, class - life in general just to drink. It got to the point where we shut everyone else out of our lives. The first three months we were together constantly, and never fought. Around that third month is when I think we really kicked the drinking into high gear, and that's when the fighting started. We'd go out, get shit faced, and end up in huge pointless fights. The fear of having nobody would set in, I'd panic, and go drink alone. 

His story brought me some real clarity. I realized that our fighting wasn't caused by us hating each other, it wasn't caused because either one of us was a mean or violent person, it was caused by our alcoholism. 

I now look back at the last year and realize how much I truly hurt someone I love so much. How much we both hurt each other. Not only by being enablers, but by our actions when we would drink. I can't go backwards... all I can do is take it one day at a time, and look forward. Look forward to the hope of having the amazing, sober friendship I once had. 

I need to do this for me. Being sober will not only better my life, but allow me to be the person I've always been. I'm a genuinely good person, a kind soul who's gotten lost the last year or so. I've lost touch with my core, and haven't been me in quite sometime. 

I'm excited to be the person I once was. I'm excited to not have to hide the fact that I'm drunk or at the least intoxicated most of the time - because I'll finally be sober. 

Only problem is on my way home from the meeting I once again pulled into a bar. Even now I find myself with an overwhelming desire to just say fuck it, and pound 'just 1 beer.' A fellow recovering friend told me to keep my chip in my pocket as a reminder. I pulled it out and was instantly reminded that I'm not alone, and decided maybe 'just 1 drink' wasn't a great idea... so here I am blogging away. 

This process, this program isn't going to be easy for me. Will I stumble? Sure! Might I fall a few times along the way? I don't plan on it... but I'm only human. 

"A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. "

Avoiding it got me nowhere. I'm on a new road now... its going to be one of those unpaved, pothole filled rough roads, but who knows... maybe I'll find my destiny.  Just gotta keep driving, one day, or as a friend says, one hour at a time. 

I'm an alcoholic... 

The beginning...

Today is day number two. I got my 24 hour chip yesterday at my first AA meeting. 

I'm finding it so hard to understand how I got here... I come from a LONG line of alcoholics (although none of them admits to it... we're Irish its what we do) and growing up watching 'alcoholism in action' since I was young I've always said "That will NEVER be me." Well... here I am, at 26 years of age, with a drinking problem. 

I'm not just a drinker. I'm the best kind of drinker, what I like to call a 'fully functioning alcoholic.' The guy who gets all out shit-faced 7 days a week, wakes up the next day for work, and does it all over again.  Ever meet that person at the bar that can drink and drink and drink, and rarely shows any sign of being intoxicated? I'm that guy. Sure, I know what your thinking... everyone says that. I my friends have proven the statement. Night after night, year after year, I've driven home so drunk I have to close one eye - breathe in through my nose, out through my mouth - praying I'm on the right track. I've been pulled over so many times while drunk I can't even count them, never once getting a DUI. I have the uncanny ability to make myself seem sober, that combined with my ability to pretty much 'talk my way in and out of almost any situation' has worked every time - to the point where I'm no longer afraid to get pulled over. I feel invincible. 

The best kind of drinker... thats the way I've always thought of myself. I'm the guy everybody wants to be around at a bar, the one who buys insane shots for EVERYONE, and never slows down. I'm the life of the party, and nobody parties like I do. 

There is no such thing as 'just 1 drink' with me. I go out all the time with the intention of 'just 1 drink' which quickly turns into 2, 3, 5, 7, 10 - until the bar closes. I always just need 1 more drink, then I'll stop. 

If someone asked me a week ago if I was an alcoholic I would have laughed my ass off. I'm not one of those people, my favorite line "I'm not an alcoholic. The only meetings I go to are at bars." 

NOTHING could stop me from drinking... NOBODY EVER STANDS IN MY WAY!

The last year I've taken it to a whole new level. I started leaving work to drink, not even going into the office some days. Getting drunk before work, during. 

I find myself craving a drink all day, every day. I recently went on a bender where I did nothing but drink and sleep. I'd wake up, drink, go to the bar - drink, come home - drink, go to bed, and do it all over again when I woke up at 2PM the next day. 

My most amazing 'ability' - nobody has ANY idea I have a problem. I'm just that bar regular, the 'Norm' of my 'Cheers'. All my friends think I'm just really good at handling my liquor. One of my closest friends called me a hypochondriac when I told her I went to an AA meeting. I've hidden my problem so well from so many people that mostly everyone finds it unbelievable that I have a problem. Hearing the stories at my first meeting last night I doubted it myself. It took me leaving the meeting having received my chip, and heading directly to the bar for a beer that made it seem believable to me.

I'm still not even sure if I 'need help' even after all my realizations. I know I need to stop, and my heart is telling me its time to quit. My mind just keeps playing tricks. I'm questioning my will power. I KNOW I need to stop, I need to get help. If it weren't for my best friend (who's the only person who knows me well enough to see it) I wouldn't have even gone to a meeting. I walked in to make her happy, fuck it... I'll go to a meeting. I don't need help, but I'll go so I can prove to her I'm not an alcoholic, fuck it! 

Something funny happened at that meeting... I got my 24 hour chip and almost cried. The feeling of knowing an entire room of people had all been at that exact same place, at the exact same moment touched something inside me. It set off a spark somewhere. Today at my second meeting, after hearing the story of today's speaker, It made me realize I'm not the only one. I'm not alone. 

I'm an alcoholic...