Friday, October 24, 2014

Day 43: Meetings, Steps, People, Etc.

sorry it took me so long. i'm working on day 43 (almost half way to the BIG 90!). i've been meaning to do an update, but am totally busy going to meetings (yeah, i found a really cool sponsor, and he's helping me to make it to meetings, work on the steps, and stay sober one day at a time), plus getting my life back on track. i feel like a train wreck survivor!

anyway, i wanna thank everyone that took the time to support me during those first few weeks of sobriety: all of you helped me to feel less isolated (and stay sober) big time, and i am totally grateful for that. now it's meetings every day, working on the steps, therapy, working, and cleaning up the mess that my life had become.

i won't be blogging as much as before, but i'll do my best to (at least) stop by and read my favorite blogs, plus leave a comment or 2. you guys totally rock! thank you for taking the time to offer emotional support when i needed it most :-)


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Day 23: Janis Joplin Died 44 Years Ago...

today. i've been listening to pearl since late last night. her awesome quote makes me think of my own early sobriety, and how i really need to keep on keepin' on: blogging, therapy, meds, vitamins, cool music, eating right, running, working, meditating, being grateful for what i have (instead of dwelling on all i've lost).

it's day 23 for me. i used to not be able to go more than a day without booze. now i'm looking forward to staying sober for a whole month. yeah, no more compromising myself. i really am all i've got. we only get so many chances  in this brief life. i'm a totally lucky dude. i'm sober, have a roof over my head, plenty of healthy food in the house, and a really cool therapist to help me figure stuff out when i feel uncertain about what to do next.

plus i have this blog (and all the other awesome bloggers) to help me feel less isolated and everything. oh, and janis is keeping me company big time. she's singing me and bobby mcgee.


do you have a favorite janis joplin tune?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day 18 (Movie Madness)

"The world is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel."
  -- Horace Walpole

i was depressed and lonely big time (on a saturday night), so i watched this epic woody allen/diane keaton rom-com: best antidepressant in the world! plus no nasty side effects to suffer gladly. right on.

how do you cope with  depression?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 11 (Therapy, Blogging, Books)

i know it's probably just my wild imagination (the meds don't start to work for at least a month), but i felt a bit more energetic last night, so i decided to go for it: i got rid of most of those empty heineken bottles! just 1 more trip to the recycling place, and the nightmare is over.

my new therapist is totally cool. i'm going to the same clinic i went to before, so i didn't feel as anxious as i normally do when i have to go somewhere. there were only 4 people in the waiting room, so i didn't freak out or anything. it's a huge room (really totally comfortable), plus i brought along a good book to read: mary karr's "lit" was waiting for me at the library, so i picked it up on the way to the clinic.

so far, i've only read 20 pages, but i already love this book. it's brutally honest, sad, funny, (i won't say anymore until i've finished the book).

yeah, my new therapist really is totally cool. i was worried he might insist i give aa another try, but he told me that it made perfect sense that i freaked out every time i went to a meeting. it's actually "normal" for people with social anxiety disorder to avoid large groups. also, he said i'm lucky i was able to stop drinking on my own - some folks cannot do that.

i mentioned that i started a blog about my battle with booze, and he thought it was a healthy thing to do. so it looks like blogging, psych meds, individual therapy, staying sober, eating right, running, and setting realistic goals for myself - that's what i need to do if i want a better life. i guess it all really is one day at a time, so i'm gonna stop worrying myself to death about the future. i've accomplished a lot in the last 2 days. now i just need to keep on keepin' on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 8 (Go to AA or Not Go to AA?)

i still feel totally wiped out most of the time. i get plenty of sleep, so i don't know why my energy level is so messed up. it's really weird. i was more active when i was still drinking. i can remember waking up after midnight, and dashing to the liquor store
before it closed. i did this on a regular basis. panic. i could only relax when i knew there was plenty of cold beer in my fridge.

i know depression can make a person feel tired all the time, so maybe that's the reason. and the booze was like a shot of artificial energy? i don't know. i still remember all the bad things about drinking:

puking my guts out at 5 a.m.

not paying my bills on time.

avoiding the shower (and mirror).

wasting money.

collecting hundreds of empty bottles.

never having anything to eat in the house.

falling down.

wanting to die.

a couple of bloggers have asked me if i'd given any thought to joining aa? yeah, i've gone to lots of meetings. and because of my social anxiety disorder, it took a lot of effort on my part. just being in a group totally freaks me out. so after 2-4 weeks of sobriety (and going to meetings), i'd relapse big time.

i've had 3 sponsors, and they all told me the same thing: if you stop going to meetings, you'll just start drinking again. yet going to meetings always made me want to run to the liquor store as soon as i managed to escape.

so far, the only thing that has worked for me is therapy and meds. last year, i actually stayed sober for 6 months. the big mistake i made was to stop taking the meds. there were a lot of nasty side effects (couldn't sleep, shaking hands, always felt like i was gonna throw up, agitation big time, etc.). but now i see this as the lesser of 2 evils. being a drunk is a million times worse than enduring a few nasty side effects from psych meds. so i'm gonna give therapy (and meds) another try.

i know aa has worked for a lot of people, and i'm glad about that. hell, even my favorite film critic (roger ebert) went to meetings on a regular basis (he mentioned this in his last published book). but it just didn't work for me.

 i have to deal with major depression, anxiety, and ocd on a daily basis. i have a sickness, and what does somebody do when he/she is ill? you go to a doctor (therapist). you take your medicine (psych meds). you watch your diet, and take your vitamins. you do your best to avoid stress. you try to be nice to yourself (and others). you pray, meditate, listen to beethoven - anything that will help you to feel like you are in a safe place.

you don't drink.

man, i'm totally looking forward to my appointment (with new therapist) on thursday.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 6 (Staying Dry)

i finally made it to the store, so i have plenty of food (and tea and coffee) in the house. also bought a bottle of multivitamins. i still feel totally wiped out, and i know it's because i was not eating right while i was drinking as many as 24 heinekens every single day. yikes!

still working on getting rid of all those empty bottles. i'm making progress, but because i'm only able to fit around 30 bottles in 2 shopping bags - it's gonna take a few more trips.

i was more than a little nervous about going to the store, because i was worried i might be tempted to buy more beer. i've been dry for close to a week, so i really don't want to take any chances. however, once i made it to the store, i managed to stay focused on my grocery list (yeah, i'm a secret nerd), plus i found and bought everything i needed as fast as i could, and got the hell out of there.

at least i won't have to worry about money this month: 2 people have asked me to do their portraits. since i always request 50% payment in advance, i'm good to go for the next 2-3 weeks.

i'm almost done reading  burroughs' book (dry). i can identify with so much of what he has written. he also ended up with a bunch of empty bottles that he had to get rid of. but he was able to do it all at once. i wish i could say the same. maybe it's a good thing that i am going through this experience? it makes me hate booze big time.

the hitchcock movie (rope) was not one of his best, but i am glad that i finally got to see it. the next movie i watch will have to be a comedy: morbid stuff is not a good idea right now.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 4 (Dry)

wow, i just took a 12 hour nap! i meant to go to the grocery store last night (even got 2 more bags of empty  bottles ready to drop off at the recycling place), but felt totally sleepy all of a sudden. so i sort of collapsed on the couch, and closed my eyes. next thing i know, it's 9 a.m. but the night was not completely wasted: i feel less exhausted than i have in months.

the trouble is, i have nothing to eat in the house. i did find some stale whole wheat bread i'd bought 2 weeks ago, so i'm munching on some toast right now. i really need to make it to the store tonight. i'd go now, but i feel safer getting rid of those empty bottles at night. i'm too ashamed of myself to be seen doing this during the day.

yesterday, i started reading burroughs' book about how he came close to drinking himself to death. it's an amazing read. so much humor and sadness. i'm glad he survived. and i hope my story also has a happy ending.

so far, i've been dry for 3 days (soon it will be 4). it's a good start. my crazy life is far from perfect, but i am working hard to make things better. at least i'm still alive. it hasn't been easy.