Sunday, March 4, 2012


I still don't know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets
Every time I thought I'd got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I've never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
I'm much too fast to take that test

(Turn and face the strain)
Don't want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

*Lyrics used without permission.

The last year of my addiction to alcohol was a sorrowful, sad, pitiful existence. I did not care about anything or anyone. I had no friends to speak of. I rarely shaved and did not cut my hair. I wore t-shirts and old jeans. I was a wreck. My appearance mirrored the life I had created for myself.

A lot has changed these past one hundred days. I only wear collared shirts in public. I have a pair of nice jeans that I wear on Fridays and to do yard work. I own six pairs of slacks which are two sizes smaller than the old, tattered jeans I wore last year. I like sweaters and no longer wear tennis shoes.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Cactus, cacti--
Catch me,
Not catch I.
Breathe in, breathe in, breathe in.
Exhale. Exhumed.
Let's go from this room.

Far away--
Away from here
Out on the streets
Like imbeclic cheats
Counting the flowers as they sway,
In the cracks we find along the way.

Tell me of the multifarious one;
Who preyed upon the crowd.
The judas goat,
Stabbing and then staggering
To his prayer rug
At the close of day.

Beaten and abused,
Picked up, put down, and used.
The gregarious remora, a beauteous fruit
Now bruised.

Lotus, Lodi--
Drunken and loaded?
No, not I.
Breathe in. Breathe out.
Respire. Retire
Now into your tomb.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Romancing the Bottle

"The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker."  From the big book of AA, pp. 30

I have been having a lot of trouble with this lately. Call it fantasizing, romanticizing, or whatever you will. I know I will never have the ability to control my drinking.

I have heard it said, "one drink is too many, a thousand drinks is never enough." So I ask myself, what of one thought? Is one thought enough to lead into actions that will take me back to that horrible place?

Perhaps the thought, that causes me to cry out, "I wish I could control my drinking," is insanity in itself. I know where that first drink will take me. I do not wish to go back there. Why then, does my alcoholic mind try to convince me otherwise?

I do not want to feel the shame these thoughts bring me. I know it is my pride that makes me not do the right thing. I should call another AA. I should talk to someone about it. I cannot keep these thoughts to myself.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Returning to Work?

Returning to work.
Sooner or later, I knew I would have to do it. The rigorous schedule of the past few weeks have given away to the dull hum of the Onan generator on my truck.
Nervousness and worry soon gave way to boredom, as a good amount of time at my work is spent driving. While I haphazardly trek along the I-10 corridor, my mind tends to wander. How would I spend this new found time with my worst enemy for the past twenty-two years, my mind? I began a journey into the depths of my mind. Twists and turns, like the roads I drive everyday, revealed many things about who I was trying to keep locked away for so long.

I suppose I have long held a low tolerance for boredom. Sobriety has taught me many things about myself. Some were things I kept hidden deep inside and may never reveal here, but others I try to share.
I enjoy the rigors of my job greatly. At times the work can be challenging and engages my mind, so that I have no other choice but to remain focused at the task at hand.
Other times, especially when I find myself alone, my thoughts wander into places I'd rather not go. Places that reveal the true nature of my alcoholism.

These thoughts and places I tried so many years to avoid, I have shared with my psychiatrist. Like me, he agreed, I returned to work too soon. He has given me three more weeks off of work. He told me the alcoholism that I suffer from is not only a disease, but also a symptom. A symptom to something I may have been hiding for as long as I can remember. He has agreed to take me on this next step of my journey. His work is similar to mine, in that he also takes broken lines of communication any tries to repair them. I do not know if I will ever return to work or not. I do not know anything about the future, nor have I ever. At least for the time being, I'm not afraid of it.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Who Are You?


You never know what to expect when you marry someone, the future is uncertain. We all have our ideals, of a life full of joy and ecstasy. Even when we know we are marrying someone who had the disease of addiction. Sometimes you can sense what is hidden beneath all the masks. When the masks are shed and the person who lies beneath comes to surface, it can be hard to swallow. You have known the other person so long, and loved that person and now love starts a new in many aspects. This is not an easy process for the addict nor for his family. You think to yourself "Who is this person?" This happened a lot during the latter part of his recovery when I met people telling me how amazing and awesome he is. Not that I don't think he is, or we would not have married but, I had lost that. When people would say he was a good listener and a good friend I wanted to cry. Again questioning, "Who is this person?" Then I resigned myself to "waiting my turn" to know this person.


He was thinking, "How do I find myself?" While treatment brings out a lot of pain it also bring unexpected joys. Long lost talents and passions resurface. For my alcoholic they are things I have tried to nurture in him, things he pushed aside for a can of beer. Slowly, as the old skins shed and fall to the floor the new skin slowly comes together like a puzzle picture sides down. It's not fast, nor is it easy but....with a little help it can be achieved.


Right now, my husband also known as my alcoholic is in transition. He was able after three days back to work to get two weeks off. He went from an all day social healing experience to mostly solitary work. This gave his mind too much volume. Something that was masked by years of drinking, along with underlying depression. Yesterday, I learned that even though he is 36 years old he is mentally and emotionally 15. His heavy drinking began at 14. He never learned to be a teenager or adult properly.
I do get frustrated because his memory and concentration is that of a much older man. He can not remember many of our past, even recent past conversations. We have been working on communication because, without proper explanation I tend to end up in tears and he ends up frustrated. It's become almost like a parent and child relationship. Me making sure he understands and him thinking I should just know. However, I know he is not my child and is in fact my husband, lover and friend. But, his mind will not function normally for 2-5 years or so it's been said. So a lot of prayer is at hand as well as a lot of patience.

Anita AnnLink

Orginally Blogged at Oh, What A Spectacle!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How Alcohol Broke My Heart

My oldest child was born while I was still a child myself and I named her, Stephanie LeAnne, after a Cabbage Patch doll. I was sixteen and her mother and I got married two weeks after she was born. I was a proud father, albeit a young one. I worked hard and managed to stay in school with passing grades. My life centered around that curly-haired, blue eyed angel God had placed in my arms. After school and long hours as a pastry cook in a hot kitchen, I still had the energy to hold her in my arms and rock her to sleep, whispering promises of a better future in to her tiny, pierced ears.

When I was eighteen, I graduated high school and joined the Marine Corps. My hopes of a better future for my daughter seemed in sight and I shipped out to boot camp two weeks before Stephanie's second birthday. I should have been gone only twelve weeks, but fate and a failure to disclose pertinent medical information kept me gone an additional four weeks. When I arrived home it was late in the evening and Stephanie had been long asleep. She woke up in the middle of the night and ran to my arms like I had only been out of the room for a few minutes. My heart melted. I was sure she would have forgotten me by the time I returned, but she had not.

Through a series of events I choose not to share here, I left for Marine Combat Training, two weeks after I returned, estranged from my wife. Unknown to me at the time, I would never live with my daughter again.

Suffering from depression and with a freedom not experienced in boot camp, I began to drink on a daily basis. I gave up calling my wife or talking to my daughter at all. I missed my daughter badly and I suppose out of spite for her mother I did not send any money home until her mother had to call my commanding officer and tell him of my devious acts.

I spent four years in the Marines and saw my daughter a few times on leave. I hated watching her grow up in pictures but it seemed to me to be my fate. I never stopped drinking. I forgot to send birthday cards or presents because of my drinking. At Christmas time I didn't call or write or send gifts like a father should. All I did was drink.

I spent a year and a half out of the Marine Corps sharing joint custody with Stephanie's mom. I was able to see Stephanie every other weekend and for an hour on Wednesdays. I hated the arrangement. I drank to deal with the pain and heartbreak. I drank because I was an alcoholic.

I moved to California when Stephanie was six. For a couple of years I was able to make the trip to pick her up so she could spend the summer with me. Then finances and my drinking problem got in the way of what little time we had. By the time the first summer came around that I was unable to make the trip, I had been a daily drinker for years, but that didn't stop me from trying to stuff my heartache deeper in to a bottle. This pattern of self abuse continued on for several years until I was able to fly her out in 2007 (thanks to the thoughtfulness of my current wife).

Stephanie had just turned fifteen when she arrived. It had been three years since she came out last. I met her at the airport, alone, and when she walked off the plane we hugged for an eternity. I felt the sense of relief I felt that first night I came home from boot camp. Time may come between us, but she didn't forget who I was. In spite of the joy I felt, reunited with my daughter, I drank all summer but we had fun and even made it to the beach. When the time came for her to leave, I again drove her to the airport alone. For some reason, as I watched her walk on to the plane, I knew I'd never see her as a little girl again. On the way home from the airport, I pulled off the road, and cried.

I was right. Stephanie isn't a little girl anymore. She has grown up into a beautiful woman with a life of her own choosing. This past summer while I was drunk, I upset her and her mom and for awhile neither would talk to me. It is hard knowing that she wouldn't talk to me because of something I did. I am very proud of her. She has a husband who is hard working and takes care of her.

They have a beautiful son together and another angel on the way. This summer will be five years since I have seen Stephanie, I am looking forward to seeing her again and the better future that she was able to make without me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What Shall We Do Today?

"I like whiskey. I always did and that is why I never drink it." ~ Robert E. Lee

Today is day fifty-two. As my mind begins to clear each day, it doesn't seem like it has been that long ago, but I suppose the calendar does not lie. Today was also the first day back to work from my disability (all though I took a vacation day).

I have had a bad habit of waking up early since my time in the Marine Corps, so this morning I set reminders for myself. First make the coffee (no reminder needed)! Second, say the serenity prayer and ask God to do his will in me today. Third, read from the daily reflections for A. A. members. Fourthly, read from the big book and reflect on what I read. I did all I had set out to do and looked at the clock on the DVR, 6 a.m.. Oh boy, I still had the whole day ahead of me and no plans.

I made chicken rice soup for breakfast and started the dishwasher. I washed clothes. I picked up toys. I vacuumed. I hung the clothes on the line. I looked at the clock on the DVR, 9 a.m.. Still had the better part of the day.

I tried to call my parents to let them know I finished my treatment, no answer. I tried watching a movie. I tried watching another movie. We ate turkey sandwiches and chicken rice soup for lunch. I tried to take a nap. I looked at the clock on the DVR, 2:30 p.m..

I wanted to go to a meeting, I didn't want to walk. I wanted the van to be fixed, it isn't. It is going to cost another $550. I don't have $550. I won't have $550 until February 3rd. We told the mechanic. He said that's fine as long as we pay him on the third. I wish more people were like our mechanic. I wish I was like our mechanic. I still wanted to go to a meeting. I still didn't want to walk.

I have a very low tolerance for boredom. Today was quite boring, but I didn't drink. In the past vacation days were excuses to drink all day. Today I learned to play two new songs on the guitar. I read. I cooked. I cleaned. I didn't take a nap or go to a meeting, but most importantly, I didn't drink.