“Look mummy, there’s an airplane up in the sky”
Pink Floyd, The Wall
Have you ever listened to the lyrics of this song and wondered what they meant. The melody is so soothing but the lyrics are anything but that. The confliction reminds me of my childhood in a lot of ways.
For most of my adult life I suppressed all notion of having anything but a happy childhood. When certain unpleasant childhood memories did breakthrough the phalanx of my suppression, I played my own little game of “trump that”. I just reached into my memory bank of abuse stories that I had collected, all ranked as being worse than any abuse that I suffered and I sought solace in knowing that others suffered worse abuse. Like the woman who told me that eleven broken bones as a child is her badge of courage. Or the man who told me how he, as a child, endured blows from a ball-peen hammer when he failed to memorize math formulas that his father had given him as an exercise. In my mind, those were all worse cases of abuse.
Today, I know that no rating scale for abuse exists. If your soul was pierced as a child, you most likely have a deep wound that, unless addressed at some point in your life, will never properly heal. A soul sickness will remain. That has been my experience. Continue reading “Goodbye Blue Sky”
I experience internal conflict when I state that quitting alcohol was the easy part. There is nothing easy about putting down the bottle and getting sober. It is the journey that awaits you that is also very difficult; in fact, I found it a lot more difficult. I believe it is that way because we are now going forward in life sober and not numbed out to the world around us! I wish someone would have given me a heads up about this because it was a rude awakening that I did not find inviting when I started to make this connection. Continue reading “Alcoholism’s Gift”
“Try Not! Do, or Do Not! There is no try.”
On Feb 9th, it will be 3 years since I “surrendered” to my alcoholism and entered a 28 day treatment center. WOW! Today….it is painfully obvious to me what I would do if I were in that cycling struggle of trying to stop my drinking. I would go to treatment as soon as possible. And, if I didn’t have the money, I would borrow it. Isn’t hindsight amazing! I tried and I tried to get sober for 7 years. But it doesn’t work that way. There is only Do! Unfortunately, we generally have to experience much pain, over and over, before we actually do something about it. Hopefully we don’t die in the process, or worse, kill someone on this destructive journey.
I was commenting to my wife the other day about how I watch the daily struggle on the Sober Dare page. Where it is not so painfully obvious of what to do when one cannot stop drinking, despite continued adverse consequences. If I offer up my advice and tell them what to do, in the kindest way possible, it just seems to fall on deaf ears! Hell, I owned those ears for 7 years! Continue reading “Surrender…Surrender Not!”
I have always considered myself to be a pretty good planner. From a very early age onward I seemed to have my life pretty well planned out. Go to school, get good grades, play sports, have fun, graduate, go to college, get a degree, pursue a career, fall in love, get married and have children. Living the American dream had a real appeal to me!
I never considered the fact that things might happen in my life that I had not planned. At about the age of 35, career on an upward path, married with two small children and another on the way, I began to have an affinity for alcohol that seemed to gradually escalate beyond normal social drinking. Hey, who could blame me though for having a good stiff drink or two or three or four! There were now a lot of demands in my life and alcohol just seemed like a pretty good way to offload some of the burden that I had started to feel.
As my family grew, my marriage carried forward and my bank account increased as my career began a meteoric rise, my alcohol consumption kept pace with all of the things that I had so carefully planned for. For the next few years life was pretty darn good!
They say that a DUI is the first legal indication that you might have a serious drinking problem. In fact, you might even be an alcoholic! I learned that in one of the AA meetings that I had been sentenced to attend by the Courts. When my children were the ages of six, four and two, I went out partying one night after work. After leaving the night spot, that I had been at, I drove my vehicle down a winding road on my path homeward. Traveling at about 50 mph, I passed out as I was navigating an s-curve and proceeded up an embankment until my Jeep Cherokee began a barrel roll back onto the road that I had been traveling on. Amazingly, my Jeep came to a stop on all four wheels and did not take out any other vehicles in the process. The police arrived, assessed me for any injuries and then assessed me under the suspicion of driving while intoxicated. When I failed the field sobriety test, I was handcuffed, put in the squad car and driven off to the county jail.
In all my 38 years I had never been arrested. Being arrested was never anything that I had planned for in my life. Neither was the precipitous decline into alcoholism that I had yet to become aware of