atma: ([SW] Eila - gpoy)
The one year anniversary of my first and most serious hospitalization with alcohol poisoning/delerium tremens is coming up on July 1st. A lot of my personal entries since, what scant few there have been, have been almost entirely dedicated to my saga with handling this, or mishandling, my alcoholism. It's only now that I can fully admit to myself that I am, indeed, a full blown, dyed in the wool, genuine, detox center hugging capital a Alcoholic have I begun to understand myself or begin any kind of healing process. It runs in the family. I was doomed, genetically, and am glad my sole sibling, my younger brother, hates the taste of almost all alcohol, guaranteeing almost that he will never get it and that I am the one stuck with it.

I joined AA. It's something I tried a taste of when I was last at the local detox center/drunk tank, which is hosted by a center for alcoholism and drug recovery that hosts many meetings per day every week, and if you're in detox you can attend these meetings if you've been there at least 24 hours, since after all, they have them come into the detox lounge once every Wednesday after dinner to talk to us anyways. The only way out of that one is to go to sleep. I stayed instead, and listened, and through donations from main groups, I was able to obtain a pretty complete set of their starter literature, including their Big Blue Book. I devoured most of them, since there's really nothing else to do in detox but, well, detox and talk to junkies/swap stories (boy, do I have tales) and was glad to find out that by reading it and attending some meetings, that some of the stereotypes about them just aren't true.

Except for the coffee, one, boy do they really REALLY love their coffee. I'm not complaining, though.

Mostly, the religious aspect. The whole God thing turns out to be mostly a placeholder for whatever the fuck you want it to be, much to my Shinto self's relief. I mean, some people even admitted in those meetings they hold their Higher Power to be a rock since "It's more sturdy than I am." There's even secular/atheist meetings/groups. So I found that, at least for me, this group/program is what is going to largely help, on top of me finally getting ahold of some therapy resources this week while my internet was cut off.

I'm trying to get in contact with a woman who would like to fully sponsor me, something I'm surprised to have gotten a few meetings in and not after a bit more, and I carry my 24 hour sobriety coin and the Little Red Book (a pocket sized version of the main meat of the Big Blue Book, it excludes the second half of the book which is personal success stories) with me everywhere now, as well as a copy of Sonoma County meeting schedules with potential meetings that would suit me best in every town near me on every day circled and a copy of the NA (Narcotics Anonymous) Sonoma County schedule, as a counselor told me that some Alcoholics find them a bit better suited to their needs as they usually have more recently updated materials on addiction and recovery. My wallet contains those little cards they have with inspirational messages on them. I'm not ashamed of any of this. If anyone mocks me for what it takes to keep me sober and healthy, well, I feel sorry they think that's necessary.

I have to keep a handwritten journal now full of thoughts I have through the day, and have daily thought books to meditate on I have to read first thing when I wake up every day as part of my getting up routine, and write down how they make me feel. I also need to attend more AA meetings, even if they're only online, so I keep healthy. Unfortunately, as much as everyone else's love and support is 120% needed and accepted by me, it is true there are some things only another capital A Alcoholic can understand and talk to me about fully. I may not have the immense history some of these people do, but they're proud of me for getting out long before I do turn into them. If you ever visit, you could go to an open meeting with me, since they allow friends and family to attend in support. You'll get cookies.

On July 1st, I do plan on talking about what I did a year ago and how it's completely changed my life in the year since, some for the better, some worse, but I just hope in by sharing all of this, that it can help even one other person get healthy and happy, or know support and help is out there, if only you ask for it.

Looking on my past entries, I see myself blaming and hating alcohol a lot. Now, I feel it's not its fault as much as the disease of Alcoholism. It's not even my fault. I'm just sick with a lifelong condition. I can live with it perfectly fine if I manage it, and I can manage it by not drinking. If not, then well, it can be fatal. At the very least, I would lose everything I have dear to me eventually. I have changed, and my outlook is becoming healthier.

It just took that First Step and admitting I was powerless for once in my life. I can tell that being stubborn lead me here, the refusal to ask others or even my gods for help lead me here, and my once hard obsession with the past and future lead me here, instead of living now.

It really is going to have to be One Day At A Time
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The Sunset Samurai

July 2017

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