This is tough isn't it!?


#45

Hello there @Gidget371 it can be bloody tricky having parents around especially when you are facing a challenge. Thanks for reaching out, if you fancy a brontosaurus sized moan about your old man don’t hesitate to give me a nudge. Hang in there with the staying clean. Rooting for you dude!


#46

I’ve got relations who would be openly antagonistic if they found me not drinking. They would be incredulous and it would be tough.

In the past I have given in just to shut them up. Dysfunction at its purest.

Well done for persevering I admire your strength. If it gets too much just post away and we will support you.

How long is he staying?


#47

Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence.

You are doing very well now. One year sober is fantastic.

You are not drunk Lola. It’s over xxx


#48

Two weeks sober, holy Moses! That’s longer than I lasted in most of the jobs I had in my 20s! The last week’s daily free writing has been lumpy, my mental health can also be described as lumpy…
The present tense and how to keep hold of it has become the theme of the first two weeks of sobriety. My wife’s health has taken a fall, she has been suffering since childbirth 19 months ago. Having babies is a wonderful and ridiculous thing to do with your body but for some it gets really bloody perilous indeed. I help her hold our baby and clean up her blood every day. This keeps me sober. My father visited before Xmas and I found myself not so much spending time with him as watching him. He is 76 now and is fast becoming a 10 year old within himself. His behaviour is heightened and his habits I’ve known all my life are big enough to trip over. ‘Artists and alcoholics are those who struggle to live within their allocated allowance of love…’ a late artist friend (Sebastian Horsely.) once told me. He was right. In becoming an actor and eventually a theatre director I found ways to top up the love I am so hungry for. My father is the same. He was a child in a family of 14 children in Dublin in the 50s without a father and in order to get love he learnt to tell you whatever you wanted to hear to get love. To make you feel brilliant and special at the expense of the truth so that the glow he created would be reflected back. He’s like a santa Claus of bullshit. He doesn’t really drink, 8 of his brothers and sisters have all died from alcohol related illness. His behavioral finger prints I find in my own behaviour, but i am more messy, less optimistic. More drunk. Looking for love and a fix in booze or bullshit doesn’t weigh as much as love found in clear headed truth. I am learning this/convincing myself of this as best I can. I have been googling ‘higher power’ and have been coming up with more theatre. More of a lie. A lady (the brilliant Lola) here said her ‘higher power is love.’ That stayed with me. I thought, yes, I will do that, that will do. BUT love now is taking on a new meaning, love has been a shit version of dependency, or when I was younger love was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, it was an exotic hunch but not something that belonged to me. it’s way more transient than what I am used to. Less of a lie. Since leaving home in 1996 I have been perpetually traveling away from the house I grew up in, in constant motion to seek the approval and sense of community that home lacked and too be fearful of any of the trappings of home. When I got married I only knew what I didn’t want marriage too be and I had no idea what I did want it to be, as soon as we even got close to resembling my parents I would loose my shit and demand a divorce, I quit my marriage on a weekly basis and my wife; the human lie detector would roll her eyes and tell me that it was in fact myself that I was arguing with and she was just a prop in my ridiculous theatre. She was right, it’s hard to have an argument with someone who is right.

I filled my life with adventures and crazy artistic projects and I was/am really good at that. I know how to be a good artist and theatre director, a sort of art gypsy but no clue how to be a person. A person who is able to live in one house consistently, have a balanced diet, a conventional body clock, own a fuckin sock drawer and actually be a husband and father. I can only do and be those things if I am present and in the present and sober. Having a one year old hit you on the head with his bottle because you have fallen asleep on the living room floor instead of playing with him because you have a hangover is not cool.

Again this week’s free writing is a sort of semi public journal. A way of understanding what drives me to be so good at drinking. I am doing this free writing as a form of art therapy and if you want to discuss anything I have written or share in this excersise you are most welcome. It can be perceived as masturbatory and I apologise if it clogs up your brain, I am happy to be ignored. Having people who are in a similar boat to me to fess up to helps, I am genuinely proud to have met you here.
For me the act of dumping my thoughts onto a page for a small piece of time every day and then consolidate it at the end of the week helps me get a bird’s eye view of what’s going on inside my ridiculous head and also. Slowly. Understand why I am here. With love.


Checking in daily to help maintain focus
#49

Hey there @Gidget371 how did it go with your dad’s visit? I hope all is well. J


#50

As tough as my Dads visit was it spurred me on as I refused to give in and drink as he would have reacted and I didn’t want that. I’m ashamed to admit I did drink last night. I don’t know if that will result in me being shunned on this forum but I can say I am disappointed in myself. I regret it wholeheartedly and am resolved to do better. I might struggle with my friends and family visiting but it is also very hard on my own. Without anyone to distract me I can find my own company difficult to sit with and alcohol crept its way in. I was feeling so good too!!! :pensive:


#51

Hello there @Gidget371 ,
I am sorry you had a slip yesterday. Please do not worry about folk here, having wobbles is part of the process. I would suggest that you have a think about what brought you to the point of booze last night and try and create a way of booby trapping your life to safeguard yourself from this in future. Having clearly marked boundary’s helps me no end. I may get there eventually but for now pubs and the booze isle at the shop is off limits for me. I am gently fessing up to my friends about it and they have been really supportive. (Sorry I have slipped into talking about myself all of a sudden, I am hoping that by sharing my ideas you might want to steal some of those ideas… Help yourself dude.) If you fancy talking further feel free to drop me a direct message and we can hang out. Please dont kick your own head in over it though! Swap the energy you would invest in that with energy spent constructing a stronger wall between you and drinking. FULL STEAM AHEAD COMPADRE! X


#52

Hey there @LolaBurr
How has your week been, thank you for responding to my post last week, what you told me about your wonderful daughters made me nervous to respond, because I accidentally had to confront my own mum issues in reading your post. its taken me a week to say hi because I have been effectively hiding. Silly silly business. I think you are amazing and I have learned stacks from what you have been writing here. I hope that you have a lovely weekend mapped out ahead wherever you are in the world and the sun is on your shoulders. XXX


#53

Hi Jonathan. That’s kind of you to respond. My week has been a roller coaster. I still struggle with emotions. I get easily offended. I get angry and lash out, then i get angry at myself for lashing out. Sober Lola has a lot of growing up to do. Gratitude is good to think off when I’m coming undone. And I pray. I pray to my higher power to help me with my unbelief. And I thank my higher power for my sobriety. Have a great evening🐢 lola


Checking in daily to help maintain focus
#54

I have identified the reason for my slip up and it is absolutely ridiculous but part of this journey is dealing with your own personal quirks isn’t it? I fear the rawness or the feeling of exposure that I am expecting when I venture further into being free of alcohol. Like I use alcohol as a second skin but then I remind myself that in the nine days I wasn’t drinking, which was a long time for me, I felt so proud of myself that maybe that is the second skin I need to throw over myself. Does that sound conceited? I would appreciate having a non-drinking buddy but do not know how to pm someone on this site :flushed:


#55

Love being a higher power is something i learned from another brilliant alcoholic. I feel pressure in AA to use the word god. I don’t believe in Jesus or that god is a man. Lincoln said, “when i do good, i feel good. When i do bad, i feel bad. That’s my religion.” I was a terribly selfish drunk. I like me sober better. I’m disappointed things haven’t gone my way this week but I’m okay. Hope you are doing well. I like your writing.


#56

Week 3 splashes around and the week in freewriting has not been as consistent as the first two weeks dry. Hospital visits to see my wife who has been in 8 days as of today and looks set to be there another 10 days. She looses so much blood that she needs more, its gnarly.

My first drink was at a family BBQ at the age of 9. I got hammered on alcho pop given to me by my parents friend Iain, he and his boyfriend were there all the time, I was all woozy and tearful because it was my first experience of loosing control over my mind and body, he talked to my mum about how he was concerned about me being bullied at school and that he thought it was because I was gay and that i should spend more time with him so that he could take me under his wing. Grooming and trips to gigs and nightclubs out of town followed. I looked allot older than I was and by the time I was 15 I was being liquored up and taken into the dark rooms in underground clubs and expected to service a number of men, Iain included. Booze for me had changed over those few years, I remember thinking that drunkenness was a place that I could hide and disassociate myself from my body and mind, a messy bed to hide under. I lacked the confidence to exert myself and self awareness to recognise that this was not normal. it was normal. when your mum arranges for you to go out ‘dancing’ you dont question it. I was taken to woods after club visits, car parks and toilets. there would always be a long car journey to go to the club, it was always an hr away, not the nightclub close to the house it was in another city. He bought me clothes and presents and I felt special. My parents taught me that homosexuality was great, which it is! that it was as valid as heterosexuality, this is a lesson I am proud that I learned, what i didn’t learn was that homophobia even existed. it was a shock that talking about gay culture would get me beaten up. I had ribs, a wrist, fingers and a nose broken at school over the years. being vocal about homosexuality was unacceptable. This is a separate but interconnected problem in my autobiography. At 17 I got to choose which university I wanted to apply to, without making a huge deal out of it I knew that the uni that was 300 miles from my home town was the one for me!! I got into drama school and catapulted my bones north, the promise I made myself then was that I would rather be homeless than go home. Acting was a great way to get love and attention and to fill up my self worth piggy bank. fill it up with loose change and quick fixes. Nothing meaningful. love and attention from acting is like seeking love and attention from social media. It doesnt fill you up. its junk food love. It makes you, more empty.

Rummaging around in my relationship with Iain has been the destination my weeks free writing has found me. and above is the highlights from that. ‘You are only as sick as your secrets’ they say. The dark rooms and woods and car parks will always be there but I am working to not let them be the only part of my teenage years. My dad, he was always away, when you have children, the least you can do is be there. He left Dublin at 17 and went into a religious order, he was a claretian monk for ten years and then spent 2 years in Africa as a missionary. This meant he never had a teenage years, he had no clue how to be there for a teenager. One night at the age of 15 my um came into my bedroom and said that I should go out with Iain and find a life or go into church and commit myself to Jesus like my father did. Talk about the PAN OR THE FIRE!!?? With love. XX


#57

Hey buddy, how are you keeping over there? Beaming hugs to you. X


#58

Hello Jonathan. Having a few tough days. My dog died last month so i miss his presense. My sponser is a nice, but very cranky lady in her late 70s. She says i don’t pray enough. Ugh. Just want to tell her to bugger off but she’s been sober for 40 years while I’ve been drinking. I have days where i feel i cant measure up to expectations. This is one of them.


#59

Hey @LolaBurr. I’m sorry to hear you are having such a bumpy ride of it. If ever you fancy a great big brontosaurus sized moan and grumble don’t hesitate to message me. I’d love to hang out and put the world to rites with you! Regarding your poor dog I really am sorry about that, they really do become a part of the family do pets. Beaming bear hugs to you from afar. XXX


#60

Thanks Jonathan. Eventually I’ll get another dog because I need that kind of companionship. He leaves a void.
I’m back down in Florida, where cold is 65°F and sunny this time of year. Started going to meetings here and have a sponser. I’m feeling pounced on by the some of the old guys, who see the new old female as a possibility. It’s annoying that some see AA as a dating club. No judgement if people want to date but I’m clearly married. So it got back to me that one man was saying, “he’d met a blond that’s interested in him” and he was talking about me. This makes me angry and I want to put this numpty on blast. But sober me isnt supposed to react that way. Sober me is clueless on how to handle this without acting badly. So far, i have avoided this person who’s still trying to approach me.


#61

I don’t understand that. Sober you,and me, need to be aware of our feelings, and recognize they’re finally coming from a real place, and not a chemical. Blast away !!


#62

Hell’s bells!? What is the matter with some people? How are you supposed to feel safe enough to be present and open at a meeting if you have some old goat twerking his way over. Sheesh!


#63

Thank you for your response. Alcohol affected the way my brain processes anger. It was to scary others and me. Because i drank from such a young age, i dont have the proper mechanisms for coping with this complex emotion.


#64

Exactly, that old goat was to the right of me at a meeting the other day. I felt very uncomfortable. I didn’t share. There are alot of good guys at the meeting who will step up for me if i ask. I’m embarrassed and hate to make a fuss, but I will.