Mind Dump

Today is one of those days I need to simply write what I’m thinking. Yet again, a thought about drinking crossed my mind last night.  I won’t lie to myself or others,  I’m not okay – at all.

Everytime I’m in this place I think of the following passage as if its a clock tower going off to sound a new hour of a day, “Gong….gong…..gong”:

“Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.” Spiritual Experience Page 568 of the AA Book

First, I must be honest with myself, as well as others.  I have always held firm to this belief. Later, we’re taught to put things down on paper so that we can deal with them instead of finding other outlets to escape. We look at ourselves, what we have going on, prioritize those things, then deal with them one by one.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10 King James Version (KJV)

Wise words from men long ago . . .

It’s frustrating the hell out of me I’m in a financial mess.I’m not even sure right now if I’ll be able to pay rent from this month by the 15th. The landlord has already accepted this month’s rent late, so asking another “favor” isn’t in the playbook. Meanwhile, all the other bills I have to let go for this month. Right around the next corner is next months rent, if I’m able to stay here.

Now I’m in a comfortable situation at work, I can start working extra hours. At first, I didn’t want to put myself throught it just piling more stress on me. But the way I look at it now, its necessary. Not only because I need to pay my bills but my car just keeps getting worse by the day. There are two bald spots on the front tires, so there isn’t time to waste getting it in and serviced. Other services, alignment, brakes and an oil change are way past due too.  It’s the only transportation I available to me.  No transportation means a worse situation I am in now. As far as other options like carpooling isn’t an option either, nor is moving closer to work.  No one of my co-workers lives anywhere near me and living in Ithaca, NY is like living in NYC. To rent a one bedroom in many place is over $1000 a month. My car is the only thing I have, so it needs to get done sooner or later.

The biggest issue in my life is my friend. Yes, the one who screwed me over to many times to count.  I know – I simply need cut all ties. But I can’t. He’s an addict to a point if he’s on the street for any longer he is going to die.  Why should I care?  Because I do.  It has nothing to do with “feelings” towords him or fixing him because I have my own problems.  Because of his past, everyone has shut him out.  He hasn’t been given a chance. Yes, he’s screwed up. Didn’t we all – some of us over and over. But I truly believe there is a chance for him and I am not giving up hope.

On the other hand, I know what I’ve been through and I will not under any circumstances go through that again.  I haven’t made a decision. When I do it’ll be mine to accept the consequences, if any.  People may hate me, I get it, so be it.

I honestly don’t think I will continue to be a CNA. My application to a college for my bachelor’s was accepted.  I just need to follow up to talk about funding.  Right now, it’s not even the time to start classes. I may never start anything the rate I’m going.  I have other priorities, then I’ll follow the lead down this road.

Lastly, another friend from long ago may be less than a year from getting released from prison.  He’s another one, same situation, I helped and got screwed.  But after all these years we have talked and I’m on the side he wants to put his past behind him. But part of me says, “Hold on, wait until he gets out. You don’t have to make any decisions right now.”

Monday is my day off, so I’m starting a new routine. At least I have a plan to start something new but this time I’m going to make every effort to make it happen. I’m still in the working a total committment stage. It would the self-doubt I can actually do it.  It’s been started over and over again, always fails, so what’s going to be different about this time?  That is the question I’m trying to answer.

Two Weeks Sober

When I was ten years sober, days flew by without a thought. Again, only two weeks sober, I can’t believe only ONE thought of drinking crossed my mind. As with my past, I made a committment to myself to stay sober at whatever cost.  But as life throws fast balls, curve balls and the such, at times it can be difficult. Yet, if I use the tools of the AA program, I will see the light at the end of the tunnel in dark times like now.

Back in February when I quit my job, I knew I would have financial difficulties.  Then the bomb dropped after making a bad decision. So here I am. While it doesn’t have me down the anxiety I feel can be overwhelming at times, almost stopping me in my feet.

Perhaps its not anxiety at all but fear?  Fear I won’t be able to keep the promise to the landlord. While I should be able to meet my financial obligations, I have other financial obligations which can’t be ignored.  I just don’t know how I’m going to do it all.  I trust my Higher Power will take care of me. For now that is all I got.

I know damn well I need to get to meetings. I don’t like excuses but I’m babying the use of my car at present.  It’s the middle of Winter. I have bald tires on the front (and its front wheel drive), an alignment needs to be done, oil change and it appears I may have broken a weld which was a short fix to a muffler problem. But I keep trying to remind myself – I can get through this.

For my first weekend off I pretty much stayed at home.  With the Winter storm that came through, there was no immediate need to go anywhere.  So I ended up binging on Blood Bloods on Netflix.  I also got back into playing an old MUD (Multi-player User Dungoen) text-character based game which doesn’t cost money, for now.  Between the two my two days went by quickly. I’m glad because I rather work to keep myself busy so I don’t worry about my personal life for now.

I do have faith I will get through this but the selfish part of me wants all said and done to be NOW.  Yet, the sober part of me knows better than travel down that path.

A Fleeting Thought . . .

After working four days, Thursday through Sunday, it was nice to get a day off from work. After adopting an attitutde of “no expectations” when I walk into work has helped, thus far. Everyone does things different, everyday and though my bones want every part to control it, I simply can’t.

I went back to work on Tuesday working through Friday, as this will be my first weekend off.  There is an impending snow storm, which turned from “watch” to “warning” overnight. Snowfall details are still sketchy.  Last I looked they forecast less than an inch to up to 10 inches in some places.  This all starts this evening into tomorrow.  Obviously, I was hoping it would hit this weekend.

While the enviornment at work is different, it many ways it is not. Last night I had to hold my tongue. One resident reported to another CNA I was rude. Another resident had a wound I didn’t report to the nurse. Lastly, the attitude of my co-workers doesn’t help the situation at all.

So with all that said, there was a time on break last night where I thought about drinking. It’s been eleven days since my last drink. No thoughts, cravings or evening a wandering thought. However, last night while on break, with everything going on I had a fleeting thought.

It just lasted a couple of minutes. Then I remembered the taste of Budwiser (which I can’t stand anymore) and the way I felt afterward.  I just can’t and won’t go down that road. I’m already in a pit I’m trying to dig myself out, mostly financial. I have unresolved issues I have to deal with later but just right now.  Right now my concentration is not to pick up the drink. What I am going through is simply temporary, if I take it “One Day at a Time”.

I slept good last night despite the last week which was helpful.  This morning I feel refreshed to take whatever comes to me, especially at work. However, I’m not going to let things get out of control. Simplicity – that is my goal for today.

Getting Back in the Norm

As I look back at the last week of my new sobriety, I can honestly say not once did I think about drinking. It hasn’t crossed my mind in a single thought, craving or dream. An old friend I use to work with in recovery told me, “…it was just a hiccup. It sounds like you have a solid plan, just don’t deviate from it.” However, I can’t say life is like hot apple pie and ice cream.

The environment at work is completely different from what I’m use to in the past. This facility has many more residents (60) on my floor alone. I’m learning already, as with all facilities, there are staffing issues, personality conflicts, shift conflicts, etc. But as I begin to learn their policies, procedures, methods and routines, I’m also taking the higher road to ignore it all.

It’s actually a more laid back environment. While there is a mix of residents due to construction at the facility, many of the residents are independent long term residents. There is no rush to get people up and ready for the day. Despite what each shift says about each other, teamwork actually exists here. It’s not always smooth sailing but the insanity I went through in the past is almost non-existent. For now, though I’m sure it will change in time, I’m relaxed and comfortable.

At home is another story. As the income just trickles in, the fear sets in. While I’m working paycheck to paycheck until I get things caught up, the financial peace I seek just can’t come soon enough. The scattered glass is still in a huge pile in the middle of the floor with only few pieces put back together. At time I feel like I’m on a tightrope with one wrong step and I fall 100 feet into a dark abyss. But as the old friend assured me, “…you’re strong. You’ll pull through this. Learn from your mistakes and move forward.”

I’m just thankful I was able to pull out of my relapse in a short time. If I had continued down that dark path for much longer, I may have not been able to come back. But here I am. I’m proud of myself for getting this far.

Rising Above It All

This is a continuation of the last post – Round 2 – Sober Day 4 . . .

I got screwed but I have to accept the consequences of my decisions. As mentioned in the previous post, recent events turned my life upside down. This morning I woke up, clear headed, to make a decision to cut all ties.  It’s been done. I’m rising about it all.

Even before I dialed his number, I knew how this conversation was going to pan out.  For the couple of minutes we talked it was all about him, more lies and placing blame on me.  However, I kept my cool and my boundaries.

The guy who left stole from me draining my bank accounts and taking my rent money. I knew about the bank account because I let him do it. I take responsibility for it. The rent money I didn’t find out about until last night when I noticed the place I keep it was disturbed. I never told him I had cash of any kind on me because I always use my debit card. I know I should be calling the cops right now but I’m not because it’s not going to help me nor will it help anyone else. Yes, it may help prevent him from doing it to others but right now, I have to keep the focus on me. I don’t need to be distracted or add more drama to my life right now.

Honesty

I remember my ex-Sponsor saying, “I want you to be honest with me but more importantly be honest with yourself at all times.” Now, I have learned there are times to be honest with others and times you should not. This is a time I need to be honest with my landlord. So, the next right thing to do was to call the landlord to give him the bad news. I didn’t know what to expect but again, I am accepting all consequences of my decisions.  After giving the details he has agreed to extend my rent date to the 15th of March with a late fee.

I called my sister who, in the past, I haven’t had an ideal relationship. In the past, I have called her for money (and paid back) but it was going to start at square one again due to the relapse. I wasn’t calling for money at all, I was calling to tell her exactly what has hppened. This guy has agreed to NOT come to my house for any reason unless I make a specific committment of date and time.  But he’s an addict, a resourceful one, so I have my doubts. That was the basis of our conversation.

There was doubt in her voice. Doubt I would keep sobriety, doubt I was telling a lie. Trust I had built up with her in my ten years of sobriety, all gone. I’m okay with it, honestly. I understand. However, it was nice to bouce ideas off her on what I should do in regards to this guy. We came to the conclusion “there is really nothing you can do”. Something I didn’t keep true in my ten years of previous sobriety was keeping in contact with her.  I will make it a point in this new journey to do that on a consistent basis.

Making a Committment

Right here and now I am making a committment to myself to stay sober and live a sober life to the best of my ability. Why “to the best of my ability”? I live more than 30 miles from an AA meeting (I perfer in person meetings, NOT online – I can’t see a persons face to see if they are actually geniune.)  I’m in the position of not being able to do much.

I will not be able to attend a meeting until I get an income. While I expect some income from the last job on Friday, I’m not expecting much. It may be enough to get me back and forth to work for the rest of the week at the least, I simply don’t know.

Perhaps I should investigate online meetings – readers please comment!

Moving Forward

On a positive note, after I quit my job on Tuesday of last week, I got another job on Thursday. I start with orientation today (in an hour and a half). I was told I’ll be working with a particular person (whom I worked with before) from 3-11. I have to work day shift (7 a.m. to 3 p.m. a day, a couple of days, I’m not sure.  Whether I have to work with weekend is another qestion mark. Typically, new employees are exempt working weekends during probation or at least one. I’m not sure who this facility works that out but its a question I’m going to ask today. One of many questions.

In the meantime, I am going to get my head back into the Big Book and start reading it, especially the first 164 pages. Already it is hard to go through this with a fresh start, but I’m going to try start this new journey on a clean slate. I’m going to force myself to think as “you know nothing”. Obviously, I don’t – I drank and the consequences of that making stupid deicisons.

I will continue with this blog.  Obviously, I need to make some revisions. But, first and foremost, I will write about what is going on.  This blog has always been about my thoughts, feelings, a journal of my life. I’m not a writer. So, if you’ve been with me this long, please stick around. However, if you tired of “newbie” blogs, I completely understand.

 

 

Round 2 – Sober Day 4

Today is my fourth full day of sobriety.

I woke up today a completely different person. In recent days there were a series of events I’ve kept to myself because I thought I could handle it alone. I’ve known this is the wrong decision from the beginning, but what was done is done. I, as well as many addicts and recovering addicts deal with issues of codependency. Codependency for me is the process of helping others because you think by doing so you’re helping yourself. Instead, you just ignoring yourself, your own sobriety and making matters worse believing by “fixing” another person’s problems you’re fixing yourself. We’ll all absolutely wrong to think it!

A Brief History

Last week, when I was still drinking, I picked up a friend because he was kicked out of his house, no where to go, sober and needed a place to stay to “clear his head”. Without a thought I made the long trip to pick him up to bring him home. Actually, my thought was, if he’s sober, he can help me get sober. But deep down inside something wasn’t right and I ignored it. Typical when your in active addiction. A couple days later my world has been turned upside down. I’m going through the same situation I have gone through before, years ago.

Yesterday, after much frustration, I confronted him. He’s not sober at all. Thankfully today, he’s back at his parent’s house trying to swindle them instead of me. So now I have resentment, guilt, shame and a host of other feelings. But I know what must be done.

What now?

This is going to be the first big step in my new life of sobriety. I will NOT guarantee things will go smoothly. My ex-sponsor always said, “Don’t expect anything because if you do and it doesn’t work out, you’re going to be disappointed which leads to resentment.” But my experience has taught me, when you’re trying to get sober yourself, it’s best to cut all ties.

The Focus Right Now is ME and MY soberity

First, thank you bgddyjim, the author of another sober blog I read (Fit Recovery, Stay Clean Get Fit). In a recent comment, bgddyjim (the author) commented on a post of mine:

“…without recovery none of that other crap matters.
The job, the apartment or home, the wife
and kids…
without recovery none of that stuff is possible.”

If I want to stay sober, the focus needs to be ME. Perhaps I’m wrong to think this – when it comes to my sobriety, nothing else matters but ME. Already is my first couple days of my sobriety, I have enough issues. Everything else doesn’t matter right now.

 

 

 

 

 

New Chapters in Life

This week was full of ups and downs, as life is most days. I quit my job, I relapsed, I got another job and I’m helping a friend who is now staying with me. While I’m actively drinking, I am attempting to cut down so withdrawal symptoms aren’t severe. But the future looks bright and I have hope again!

For those sending messages or emails, my apologies for not answering them. At first I got tired of all the “suggestions”. At the same time, I’m attempting to start again with an attitude of  “I don’t know anything” instead of “I know . .”. Honestly, I relapsed because I wanted to. I simply gave up. Plain and simple.

There is a since of relief I quit my job. But then there came worry about finding another. But ex-coworkers told me, “Mike, you’ll get a job in no time, trust me.” Honestly, I didn’t believe them. Then I received messages saying I was expected somewhere, so all I had to do was apply and I would have a job. It was TRUE. I went to another facility, filled out an application and I’ll be starting my new job on Wednesday of next week.

In the meantime an old friend needed some help. Despite my own problems, I reached out my hand. He’s a recovering addict who fell on hard times with a girlfriend. He’s now staying with me for a while to clear his head. At the same time, he knows my situation and so we have a plan.

Lastly, I have begun the hard task of tapering my drinking. In the last two days I have had six beers total. It helps to have another sober person in the house. On the other hand, its not ideal to just suddenly quit either. Why?  For those who are not aware, alcohol withdrawal if not properly managed can/will lead to death. When I’m more clear headed perhaps I’ll post my views on that subject. For now, its not a reason to keep drinking, believe me. My friend is going through a lot already.

So this is where I am today.