10.20.09

Archive for the ‘relapse’ Category

more about days

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Short version:  housemate called ambulance, later advised me I had drunk up about $250 worth of liquor, I did my ER-to-Detox dance….and got out Friday. This is Monday. I’ve been to 5 or so meetings, something like that. Hope I will be at work this time tomorrow night.

A woman opened the sharing tonight tearfully describing her Saturday that evolved to pick-up-a-bottle-of-wine mode….ended up in jail, so sad, saying she didn’t feel she even deserved to be the rooms with us.  What a heartbreaking feeling to hear, to feel, to understand the baffled sorrow that results from “doing AA wrong.”   She touched me so deeply as she spoke of her terror and humiliation of being put in a jail cell with “actual criminals,” hair done, make up, way citizen-looking.  I know to the cellular level how sad and frightening her experience has been.

I shared in sympathy about lying in the ER for about 11 hours, taking up a bed that a trauma victim may need…time that nurses could spend on “real” emergencies. Shameful to find myself there yet a-goddamn-gain.

I met a couple guys today I might like to work with as sponsor but wait, scratch that, T is already pretty much out since I left him a message around 4 pm and it is now 10 pm, no return call. He’s unemployed. He’s also off the list. I don’t do may-or-may-not-call-back people.   I’m not setting myself for anything I don’t have to – self-will,  life on life’s terms, acceptance yeah yeah, but knowing I lack in those areas doesn’t mean I can just be “well.” and “strong.”  No more than coming to in the hospital when I first drank 30 years ago this December showed me something that could keep me out of the hospital last weekend.

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Written by xty

August 16, 2010 at 21:05

The Americans with Disabilities Act, FMLA, and God

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I’m damn blessed (yup) to have been welcomed back to work following my drinking a few weeks ago.  Even if I had worked at this generous and kind (one chance, which is more than I have a right to) company for longer than 12 months, there is no ADA coverage for absenteeism because one is drunk – only for treatment. For example, if I were sober, after one year of employment, and the only time I could make it to the only alcoholism treatment in town was during work, I could pursue ADA/FMLA intermittent leave and the company really couldn’t push back.

However, calling in the second work day of the week, drunk, advising I was out the day before because I had “relapsed,” or, more accurately, gotten drunk, and was seeking help following my contact with HR (which I did, gotta love that whole emergency room-to-detox process, yum, I just keep going back for more) doesn’t mean shit in terms of job protection. Ever. Now, the company happens to have a policy which does not terminate for job abandonment until 3 days have been missed no call/no show, but they also would be well, well within their rights to have told me “have a good life!”

It is just a personal decision on maybe 2 or 3 people’s part – who, I don’t really know, I’m guessing – that I was invited back to work. I missed 8 working days total – one out flapping in the breeze and the rest in ER or detox.

I really walked away from a plane crash on this one (in terms of safety as well, but that’s another post) and am blood-turns-to-ice well aware and stunned and grateful in “oh my fucking god I really gotta make sure this doesn’t happen again, I mean really really” kinds of ways.

Written by xty

July 7, 2010 at 07:10

Posted in gratitude, relapse

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split seconds

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I even lifted my foot off the accelerator for a moment, slowing down and thinking maybe I would go in and get some cigarettes — and in only the haziest way did I suspect that this was a very bad idea.  My foot drifted back down to the gas pedal, and the moment passed.  Some miracles are tiny moments:  The deciding not to stop, the turning of a corner rather than going straight, choosing aisle 7 instead of aisle 8 — tiny moments, but no less powerful, lifesaving or Divine for their quick tick of the clock.

via Mr. SponsorPants: … ,Alfie?

This phenomenon can happen in reverse too, as evinced by my bike ride downtown on May 22nd, where I decided to turn left toward Main Street instead of right toward my home group meeting. After so many times. After so much fighting, so much surrendering, so many folks reaching out to help me. I have a huge feeling the thing is either random as hell or I really just in my heart of hearts love drinking so much I will always go back to it.

I guess that’s the point of the alcoholism construct: one has no choice at times. It isn’t about “getting it.” How scary.

This time, though, I am thinking….I didn’t do anything wrong. I did what I could, however awesome or lame, and nothing about that meant god punished me by “letting” me get drunk. I got drunk because it’s my nature. I had some very good non-judgmental support, acquired in my new town, and it made a big difference in my ability to accept I made a mistake, it’s not ok, but I am ok, and would be best served by moving forward.  As opposed to a morass of self-hatred-let-it-ruin-my-life-for-months deal.

Oh, and I’m not going to try to figure out why I went left instead of right.  That’s just what happened, and I know what I oughtta do and what I ought not do.

Written by xty

June 6, 2010 at 07:24

eventual recovery

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“Time is not a tool” is an often quoted AA saying, one I agree with strongly — but it is also true that the last thirty days of my life are substantively different than the first thirty days of my sobriety.  My thought being that while long term sobriety is not a benchmark of mental or spiritual health, the point is to get and stay sober, not get sober over and over and over again — time is not a tool, but it should not be dismissed either.  Its a bit of a paradox, I guess.

via Mr. SponsorPants: it makes me optimistic for their eventual recovery.

Here’s the deal: I have been “in and out” a whole lot, which means that I have been in and out a whole lot . While this particular feature of my self has had an impact on my external life, far more important and more difficult to….let’s say “apprehend,” is its life in me.   It won’t stop being true no matter how long I stay sober.  As opined above and elsewhere, it doesn’t matter if one has 8 years or two weeks sober, in terms of validity of sobriety, ability to be of value, likelihood to get drunk….and yet, it does. It so very does.

Sponsor R pointed out to me (I paraphrase) that the alcoholic part of us and our thinking is not bolted on to our heads as an optional accessory,  but is a part of our conscious and unconscious self as much as gender or race. It informs everything, even when it doesn’t.

A challenge for me has been to come to respect myself in spite of my background, in spite of how endlessly I’ve surrendered only to un-surrender.  I’ve never been able to truly internalize the idea that I have nothing to be ashamed of and I am  not faulty or “a freak among freaks,”  stigmatized, an object lesson.

After having years of freedom from drugs and alcohol as well, the hopeless relapser feeling joins a faithful certitude in a strange blend of capable inadequacy.

Written by xty

May 2, 2010 at 16:38