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    1. #11
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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Monday, March 27th 2017 (Adult Children)


      I received a text message from someone in recovery I haven't spoken to for a while. They are a member of ACA – Adult Children of Alcoholics. There's a new meeting starting up on Saturdays in this town. I'm interested, but I don't know if I'll be there this coming Saturday as Shaun from the college has asked me to go with him to the next town to do a bit of guitar shopping for him. I'll go to the meeting the following week. I quite liked the freedom given in the ACA meetings, the fact that we kept things current. What are we doing NOW to get and stay better? In AA it always seemed to be in the past tense. I WAS fucked up, I USED to behave this way and that, almost like they can't see their current defective behaviour. In ACA there was a sense that those in attendance were always trying to recover from what they believe their problems to be. Not so many of them still living in the problem.

      This ties in a little more closely with this whole Detached Protector thing that I'm investigating with my psychologist at the moment. There's a ''Laundry List'' for ACA. Have a look at this:

      ''
      1. We became isolated and afraid of people and authority figures.

      2. We became approval seekers and lost our identity in the process.
      3. We are frightened by angry people and any personal criticism.
      4. We either become alcoholics, marry them or both, or find another compulsive personality such as a workaholic to fulfill our sick abandonment needs.
      5. We live life from the viewpoint of victims and we are attracted by that weakness in our love and friendship relationships.
      6. We have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility and it is easier for us to be concerned with others rather than ourselves; this enables us not to look too closely at our own faults, etc.
      7. We get guilt feelings when we stand up for ourselves instead of giving in to others.
      8. We became addicted to excitement.
      9. We confuse love and pity and tend to "love" people we can "pity" and "rescue."
      10. We have "stuffed" our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).
      11. We judge ourselves harshly and have a very low sense of self-esteem.
      12 We are dependent personalities who are terrified of abandonment and will do anything to hold on to a relationship in order not to experience painful abandonment feelings, which we received from living with sick people who were never there emotionally for us.
      13. Alcoholism is a family disease; and we became para-alcoholics and took on the characteristics of that disease even though we did not pick up the drink.
      14. Para-alcoholics are reactors rather than actors.
      ''

      What a fucked up bunch of cookies must go to those meetings, right!? Strangely they are not as fucked up, on average, as their AA counterparts. But then there are more AA members to choose from. I can't say that I suffer from all of the above, nowhere near to it, but I do with some. I know someone else who can also relate well to this Laundry List – Lindsay. She's interested in coming along with me to her first ACA meeting. We'll be going to check out this new meeting this coming Saturday afternoon.

      We had a college assessment today and we have another to look forward to tomorrow. Today it was signal path stuff – anything to do with microphones or cabling; electromagnetic fields and impedance – tomorrow it's more to do with codecs and bit depth; aliasing and Nyquist Theorem. It's all good. This afternoon Shaun came top of the class with twenty two right out of twenty four. Second came some other guy, all the way down the line to one of us who actually failed it. Not so good. I got seventeen correct from twenty four. Not quite so good, but then I did do it closed book. Everyone else did it open book, meaning that they had all of the answers in front of them on their computer screen. I had the confidence not to do this and although some of the questions were obviously worded and designed to throw us slightly I managed to pull through.

      Tomorrow's assessment also comes with the open book option but again I am going to try to trust myself enough to complete it only having my brain to pull answers from. It might seem pointless doing it this way (and if you fail the resit it costs forty five quid to have a third go) but we're always told to try pushing ourselves more. Doing it my way is the best way of pushing myself I think.

      I haven't had many opportunities to push things with my Detached Protector much these last few days. The weather has been lovely (and is lovely now still) and I haven't felt threatened or exposed to the extent where I've needed to throw up this defence mechanism of mine. It'll come.

      I'm heading off to a SMART meeting in ten minutes or so. I keep thinking of Jimmy and how he said he drank four pints and that was that. A lot of these guys who go to Restoration and to SMART don't really have a drinking problem I don't think. It's more a living problem they have. If they were forced into work then they'd go out and have a drink. Then they'd play the system. The drink is there as a manipulation technique to ensure that they are forever granted their welfare. It's sad. I think that both Lindsay and I could be seen as examples of people who can change their situations and grow a little while attending these groups.

      In AA I never managed to get my Spiritual Awakening while going through the Twelve Step program with Stu. It just never happened. Now I can see that it's totally obvious why this was so – my Detached Protector Mode.

      With Dr. Bacon, my clinical psychologist, I can work on breaking down this mode of thinking and behaviour. When this happens I think the rules of the game will change. I think that then I'll have my Spiritual Awakening.

      Then the personal growth will really gather momentum.

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      Stevie

      Still an Adult Child.

      1090

    2. #12
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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Tuesday, March 28th 2017 (Half Time)


      That's now a full forty five days I've been away from the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. I'm doing well. In saying that, I probably write and think about them a little more than I did in the first couple of weeks of my ninety day abstinence plan. Absence makes the heart grow fonder is what they say. It could also be said that absence makes you forget all the bullshit and remember only the good. Both are probably true in my case with AA at the moment.

      Six weeks on Saturday and I'll be able to return whenever I want to (although the only thing currently stopping me is me and so I could go back tomorrow should the fancy take me) and I find it interesting that Lindsay actually hasn't been to a meeting in even longer than that. Her last meeting was on the Saturday night exactly a week before my last meeting. For her this is day........fifty two......yet she isn't keeping count. She says that she doesn't have that competitive streak in her where she has to challenge herself all the time with little experiments the likes of which I am currently undertaking. She's been away from the rooms for longer periods than this too and so she likely already knows that it can be done. But I am still learning if I can do it. She's going to a meeting tomorrow afternoon. I'm sticking to my guns.

      Were this ninety days of abstinence a football match then we'd by now have entered the break. So perhaps I should be giving myself the half-time team talk. Nothing really to say other than to keep going as I am and have been. It's been interesting though. There have been a few times when life has thrown a little at me and I've had to deal with stresses (could anyone realistically manage to go forty five days without any stresses whatsoever?!) but never once have I felt the need to go running to a meeting to tell them all about it. That's not what it's supposed to be about. I guess that if you don't have a sponsor or have managed to get into the habit of talking things over with someone, or have developed the habit of being able to write things out in the manner in which I have practised, then you are kind of stuck.

      Last night I was at a SMART meeting. I often go on a Monday night but I was at a different one last night. I found myself being a little grateful that the fellowship was there when I was trying to get sober because there's no fucking chance on earth I'd have managed to get sober using SMART tools or suchlike. Last night's ''tool'' involved us actually sitting there and writing out the benefits and disadvantages of drinking and not drinking. We are supposed to be doing this while surfing the crest of the craving wave, by the way – a ridiculous concept to someone who drank as I did in the last couple of years. I get it all now – the fact that I had a choice all along and there's no doubt that there are some good ideas within these tools – but there's no fucking way that I would have been able to sit and write out a diagram like this when I am trying not to drink or use. It just seems completely idiotic to even suggest it's possible.

      But then SMART is what it is. I don't think I'll be going back simply because I don't have anything to offer and can't ever get anything from it. Marshall (guy who will be helping me run a guitar class for people in recovery pretty soon) says that I do have something to offer the meeting. That even by being two years sober I am showing others that it is possible. Bless him. He hasn't sussed SMART out quite yet. People who I have known that attend SMART meetings do not do so as part of a desperate bid to stay sober and try to conquer their addictions. In fact – they aren't even addicted. It's more like Restoration in that it's a safe place to go and be with other people you've got to know over a period. Sure, drink is something that they all have in common, but the people in SMART aren't ''alcoholics'' or ''addicts'' at all. They are just people who have little problems here and there. The real world version of the old WQD forum. People at SMART will always relapse because no one will ever reach the rock bottom often needed to take a quit seriously. All of this makes me think that for this first half I have been away from the rooms of AA I have been away from people who are like me in the way they once were.

      I'm at my brother's and Scottish Sarah's and have just got the nieces down to bed. I haven't been here for six weeks for some reason which is the longest time I've been out of their lives for since, well, since forever. It's been too long. When I got the text message last night asking if I was available to watch them for the evening I jumped at the chance although I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't even the slightest hesitation. Now I am hoping to get back here for the weekend.

      We had another assessment at the college this afternoon but it was another pretty straightforward one and is now in the bag. I'm doing okay. That's ninety per cent for today's assessment. I've done everything up to date that needs done. To be fair, and I say this a lot – this is only a National Certificate in sound production I am doing here which is a Level Six course in the British qualifications framework. Level six out of twelve (twelve being a Ph.D), and so it is hardly challenging me to the maximum. The thing is – this course would have been impossible for me to study two years ago, three years ago, impossible. That's the difference I think between where I was and where the SMART guys are currently. They'd likely be very capable right now, while in the midst of their drinking and drugging, to be able to compete at much more difficult educational levels. For me this is a challenge in that it has meant that I've had to commit to something long term. I've had to look after myself at times. I've had to learn to do some of the things that healthy people do on a regular basis.

      The idea of being healthy one day is still something that very much appeals to me.

      It's gonna require a heck of a lot more work though.

      Here's to the second half.

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      Stevie

      Waiting for the ref to blow the whistle.

      1171

    3. #13
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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Good for you for finding your way out wishing you many years of continued success
      To see a world in a grain of sand
      And a heaven in a wildflower.
      Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
      And eternity in an hour.

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    5. #14
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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Wednesday, March 29th 2017 (Second Half Whistle Blows)


      Just seconds after posting last night the nieces' mum walked through the front door after being out for four hours or so. She'd been training at the salon and has nothing to say about it that is in any way positive. In fact she has nothing really positive to say about anything and what follows is a moan after a moan after a moan. Considering all of the good stuff that's happened to this family in the last year or two (Gary successful getting into university; the wedding; the winning back of funds lost during the wedding at the small claims court the other week; two healthy daughters , one of which started school last year – I suppose you could add my sobering up to that list a little further down the line) I find it difficult to accept that she might have anything to moan about, but then I guess I am in the same boat myself. I was in a horrible position a couple of years ago....hell – I was in a horrible position this time last year as WQD's Megs had yet to come and assist me in clearing out the cave, yet still I find things to be critical of in almost every post I type.

      I do actually notice when I'm typing things negatively about my fellow human beings and their attempts at living their lives and fitting into their communities. One might say that I could greatly benefit from stopping myself in my thoughts, noticing the negative thoughts, and then typing something else instead. There's something feels silly about doing that though, something fake. I'm not here to suppress and hide away from what I am and what I feel (I do enough of that in the real world, unfortunately), to type only that which will create for me the greatest likelihood of readers respecting and loving me, this has been the downfall of dozens if not hundreds of members of forums and message boards I've known in the last two years. I'm supposed to be working through these negative feelings of mine and I can't do this if they are being suppressed all the time.

      I'm going to nip into the Charity Shop Cafe for some breakfast and then take myself out on a stroll. I'm not sure how far I'll be travelling but the training plan for the double marathon charity walk will be coming through my door any day and it will be asking two things of me: distance, and pace. Over ten weeks of training I'll be completing four hundred miles of power walking in time for this Moon Walk in Edinburgh in mid June. It's a lot of walking, but not really. Anyone who goes out and runs six miles every morning will surpass this total every ten weeks by a large distance. I might one day turn into one of those guys who does exactly this but I'm starting slow and think that walking two back-to-back marathons is the next big challenge I should go for.

      So where I stroll is yet unknown but I've Slimming World this evening in Lindsay's town and that's eight miles or so away. It'll be into double figures. I'm way over two hundred miles now in the near two months I've been off the cigarettes. When that training plan comes through the door the ante will be further upped. I'm pretending to walk down through the Euro Tunnel and through Europe. At the moment I am still in the very early stages and am heading for London but I'll get there in time.

      To go with this healthy exercise routine I have adopted a healthier attitude towards food also. Slimming World kind of demands it. I'm hoping to have lost another pound this evening when I step on their scales but I know that at the moment I am well within the healthy weight guidelines for my height and age. Still though – the target weight is eleven stones and seven pounds and I'm not yet there so I have work to do. If nothing else it'll mean I save a fiver a week by not having to pay. We don't pay at Slimming World the whole time we are around our healthy target weight. Lindsay is currently slightly below her weight so is avoiding the place just now. ''I'm not paying for a Slimming organisation to try to fatten me up!!'' so she says. The thing is – Slimming World has a way around this and if you don't attend for more than a full month then your membership is void and you have to rejoin, which costs more. It means you have to keep going regularly and stay within your target weight. It also, of course, means that the money keeps rolling in for them, but that's for another more negative time.

      Speaking of challenges – I've failed a few of them since I sobered up. I couldn't keep a house plant alive for a full year and both my Dragon Tree and Leopard Lily died in the second half of my attempts last year. I repeated the challenge again on June 30th last summer and bought the same two plants. The Leopard Lily died last month but the Dragon Tree is looking better all the time. The winter is over and so it has a little recovering to do and it'll be fine, more than fine, it'll be healthy for the coming summer. I also failed, twice, the One Hundred Push Up Plan. Six weeks (or more if you need them) of training to be able to complete one hundred consecutive good-form push ups. I think it was sixty one I got to. Good, but miles short of the goal. This has to change and so this morning I got down to the floor and got started. Not much for this week – just set an initial score which will decide the training column I am to follow for the first four weeks or so. I managed to make it to thirteen which means I'll be following the third column. It's a poor effort and I did give up as soon as I began to feel even the slightest burn. It's a lame attitude. But I'll ''push'' on with that challenge now that I've managed some.

      When I got back to the cave last night from babysitting the nieces (who were very well behaved I must say) I noticed some mail. I haven't been back at the cave since Friday so there were one or two letters, most of them just shit, but there was one particularly interesting one. The concession bus pass has been renewed. Thanks, Dr. Bacon. I can now once again travel all over Scotland at no cost to me whatsoever. This'll be handy for all manner of things this coming summer.

      In fact – I notice that it has been granted for twelve months this time instead of six. It doesn't run out until March 20th 2018.

      That's really good news.

      But then most news I receive these days is good.

      It's just how I perceive it that's often not so good.

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      Stevie

      Lunarer.....


      1215

    6. #15
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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Thursday, March 30th 2017 (Two Bakeries)



      College is going well. It and Lindsay have been the two main things I've had going for me in my recovery that has given it some purpose and direction. There have been many other things I've had going for me in this time such as my nieces and so on but these two elements have been the most interesting as they wouldn't have been possible during my drinking. The relationships I've had with my nieces are better now than they were when I was drinking (although maybe not recently) but I still had relationships with them. I was still a part of their lives, just not playing as active a role. College and Lindsay though – they have provided me with the greatest challenges in my first two years of sober living. It had been a great number of years since I'd been romantically involved with someone and managing to get into the final trimester of a college course, even one as lowly as this Level Six in sound production, wouldn't have been realistic before I sobered up. They've made big differences in me possible. They've encouraged me to try this living thing that everyone talks about.

      I'm running a little late for class this morning which is frustrating as I used to have problems with falling asleep and waking up and so when I have nights like that now I tend to make a drama out of it and freak out that this might be the return of the sleeplessness. I get to the college and it's after ten past nine. Shaun has been on the text messages and so I am aware that I am to be walking into a classroom full of people. The class was rearranged and both groups are sharing the class for a new unit on radio broadcasting. I head to the toilets and try to wash the anxiety from me. Why is this happening again? It's because I don't spend enough time connecting with my Higher Power, that's one reason anyway. Anxiety used to be a bigger problem for me than it currently is but here again we have it rearing its ugly head once more, trying to sabotage my plans again when I am doing so well. Forcing away the temptation to walk off home and take an authorised absence isn't workng so I slow things down and try to establish a conscious contact. Then, after a short while, I am able to head into class feeling ''normal.''

      We have a class all morning and are then given an open book assessment on it. It gives me a chance to scope out the other group. They seem more tight-knit than our group. I guess I've done okay with my plans to work on better bonding with other guys during my stay at the college since I was (unknowingly at the time) placed into the less sociable group. I'm sitting not far away from Marshall's son. Marshall and I are starting up a guitar class for people in recovery at some point in the near future and his son is in the same room as me right now. I don't know if he knows who I am. If he does then I don't mind, but it would be a small breach of anonymity on his part. If his son knows who he is running this guitar class for then he'll know that I have had addiction issues in the past. There's no need for him to know but I wouldn't want Marshall having to worry about slipping up with my name every time he's talking about it. Maybe it's best his son knows the script, assuming he doesn't already.

      So the other group is a tighter group. This had been mentioned to me by one of the lecturers anyway on the bus on the way through to Lindsay's town a couple of weeks or so ago. We are given the choice this morning of waiting to get our results after the Easter holidays or coming back in half an hour to find out if we've passed. I head with Shaun to the town to fill up fuel in his car and nip into the Credit Union for a little cash withdrawal to see me through the weekend so we are late in getting our results. Both of us pass with flying colours but there is a pile of maybe half a dozen who have not passed. I'm thinking these failings must have come from the other group. My group was well capable of passing that assessment – especially with it being an open book one!! So the other group of students might be tighter as a social unit, and may still have all of their original numbers except one (whereas our class has halved – Devin being the latest to leave us this week as he's found himself a job) but we are the better students. I am sure all of my group will have passed, that we have the higher percentages. I'll find out when we return after the Easter break.

      One day we will, collectively as a race, look back upon the times we currently refer to as ''the present'' and face what it is that we created. Only it won't be ''us'' specifically. It never is. The Vikings never had to look at themselves and think – ''Oh – What a nasty bunch of fuckers we have been!!'' It's always our great, great grandchildren who bear that responsibility. So they'll look back upon these times we think as being sophisticated and futuristic and see just what it was that we created for ourselves and actually supported until our dying breaths.

      I've just been to the bakery ''Bayne's'' and purchased a filled roll for my after college lunch. It says on the paper bag it comes inside that: ''We are passionate about what we do and strive to give you the best every day – great value, freshly baked goods, served with pride.'' I open my roll and can see exactly what they've done. They've conned me by making the roll look full. They've pushed everything to the front. No – this hasn't happened as I've been walking, the contents swinging back and forth in tandem with my stride. No. The slices of boiled egg remain neatly placed aside one and other. I've been ripped off by a company who is passionate about what it does and strives to bring the best to us every day.

      I head to Gregg's next as they currently have a deal on their coffee making it more affordable than Bayne's. It doesn't take long to see what is happening here either. There are two sizes of latte: normal, and large. I can clearly see as one punter after another orders one of varying size that the only difference between the normal sized latte and the large, besides the extra cost, is that with a ''large'' latte the woman finishes with the latte machine and then adds a little hot water from the same water dispenser we use at the Charity Shop Cafe. It's insane. We're effectivley paying twenty pence extra for some hot water to fill up our cup a little and water down our ''normal'' sized latte. Everything designed to look fuller and of greater value than it actually is.

      This is, of course, just me ranting, and I'm not overly upset by this. What I am upset about, however, is how this pertains to sobriety and recovery. You see – many people say that when they sobered up they started to see that the world was good, that people were good. These are the same people who will tell you that you have to get and stay honest if you want to be sober. There's a mountain sized contradiction there.

      I know what people are like. Am I afraid of people? Hmmmm.....some, yes. Am I afraid of human nature? Absolutely!! I think that human nature is very present in what just happened to me with Bayne's and Gregg's. It's probably happening with you right now as you read this – you're helping support them by saying that I am overreacting. Both of these bakeries doing what they can do deceive and con their customers into getting what they want. I just helped support them. Not only did I support the bakeries themselves but I also helped support the mentality that we should continue to fuck each other over. Support the philosophy that this is what will make us successful.

      Steve Jobs didn't mention when he stood up on the podium of worship that we granted him and told us all about the new ways in which we'd be able to store a fuck-tonne of stuff and got us all excited about it that this fuck-tonne of stuff would actually be compressed to the extent where the sampling rates and bit depth would be so low that we'd make it okay to listen to audio at poor quality. We'd actually get used to listening to third rate stuff no better than our folks used to listen to. We're about twelve years now into a low point in music listening whereby we don't currently have the technology to listen to music the way the artists record it. We're getting close to getting ourselves out of this hole but it has taken a long time. A few people have made a shit load of money by creating this scenario though.

      I bumped into a pal of mine at the college this morning. I haven't seen him since we stopped playing football on the Monday night. He's doing alright for himself. This is what he tells me. He and his girlfriend have just moved into a new house – one out by Formonthills, no less – which is a pretty suburban area. He's a lecturer at the college now and so is playing the game to perfection, like he was always taught to. They officially move in this coming weekend. It's all good and he's raking it in.

    7. #16
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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Thursday, March 30th 2017 (Two Bakeries)



      Part Two (since posts cannot exceed ten thousand characters).

      Makes me wonder what's wrong with him though. Why would the first words out of his mouth be to tell me that he's just moved into a house (as well as telling me exactly where it is) and telling me roughly how much money he makes? Why would that be the first thing he would want to tell me? When I ask him how his brother is doing I am only told that he is the head guy on some building site in Glasgow and that he's also ''raking it in.'' In other words – making lots of money.

      It interests me greatly that my former friend and football teammate has put on weight, and quite a lot of it. He's also looking a lot more run down than I've ever seen him. He's vaping as opposed to quitting smoking. He's only twenty seven so he's set himself up quite nicely for a happy life. Yet if he continues like this he'll be twenty five stone and suicidal by the end of the year. This is the mentality I have helped create today by going to these bakeries though – the idea that if we do everything we're told to do at school then we'll play our part as a passive and placid little consumer and will be rewarded with a mediocre life the same as the next guy.

      I got the concession bus pass through the door yesterday and today I've received the pack for the coming Walk The Walk charity double marathon for breast cancer in June. Back-to-back marathons in under fourteen hours. I'll look at the training plan with you guys tomorrow. I'm late in starting but the training I've been doing up until now far exceeds the training asked of us. It'll be another challenge if nothing else but one over fifty miles long.

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      Stevie

      Looking at the training plan.

      2010

    8. #17
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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Evening @Lunarer:

      I missed your posting last night, glad you have caught up today.


      Quote Originally Posted by Lunarer View Post


      I head to Gregg's next as they currently have a deal on their coffee making it more affordable than Bayne's. It doesn't take long to see what is happening here either. There are two sizes of latte: normal, and large. I can clearly see as one punter after another orders one of varying size that the only difference between the normal sized latte and the large, besides the extra cost, is that with a ''large'' latte the woman finishes with the latte machine and then adds a little hot water from the same water dispenser we use at the Charity Shop Cafe. It's insane. We're effectivley paying twenty pence extra for some hot water to fill up our cup a little and water down our ''normal'' sized latte. Everything designed to look fuller and of greater value than it actually is.

      There was a interview on 5Live this morning where Rachel interviewed some CEO or other from XY & Z incorporated. Surprisingly for the BBC it was a strong interview where he was trying to justify charging the same price for a product that had shrunk in size. It was sort of Paxman'esk and eventually this twat had to admit that in fact despite his protestations to the contrary, in fact Rachel had a point.

      I was screaming at the radio "Do these people *really* think we are c***s"

      I guess they do and I guess we are, as the majority just keep buying.

      Thanks for the read.

      Regards,



      Bacman
      I am not a Doctor - I am an alcoholic.
      Thoughts expressed here are my own, often poorly put together and littered with atrocious grammar and spelling.
      AF since 2nd January 2016.

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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Hi Stevie,

      Enjoying reading your journal, so thanks for sharing. Musician and runner here too. Similar views/experiences to yours were expressed by a friend here this week re SMART. Did you know that Hendrix's middle name was Marshall? James Marshall Hendrix. All the best with the course and charity do.

      Safe travels, G.

      'I am part of all that I have met, yet all experience is an arch wherethro', gleams that untravelled world whose margins fade, forever and forever when I move'

      Zen soul Warrior. Freedom today-

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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Friday, March 31st (The Wednesday Meeting)


      I'm on the phone with Lindsay last night. We discuss many things – one of them being the Alcoholics Anonymous meeting she was at on Wednesday. I have purposefully kept myself away from the rooms for a while now, hoping to reach the goal of ninety days without a meeting. It's a way of testing out my recovery. People say that when we go periods without attending meetings that the ''head goes'' and that we tend to lose focus in our lives. Our mood plunges and we act out almost as if we are back drinking. Then, inevitably, we return to alcohol and our ways of the past, undoing all of our good work. It seems to matter little how long we have been sober – this is what the ensure will happen. Stop going to meetings and you drink, and for us – to drink is to die. We even have sayings and slogans: ''Seven Days Without A Meeting Makes One Weak!!'' and so on. I think that it's more a case of AA wanting to ensure its survival and so it tells its young that they must stay, scaremongers them into attending every week. That worked with me for a while and I felt I could never leave. Now I have managed to stay away for more than half of the intended ninety and have seen or heard little of the apparent madness that should be happening.

      Lindsay has been away for even longer than I, by a full week (so around fifty two days when she got to the meeting on Wednesday), but she isn't doing this deliberately to test out what happens – she just goes through periods where she has to do other things and gets sick of hearing the weak and watered down message we know we get in the meetings around here.

      Stevie – ''How was it?''

      Lindsay – ''Yeah – it was okay actually. I think that being away for so long made it a lot more interesting.''

      This was another of the reasons I am staying away. When I return I will have to relearn some of the cliches. I won't be as sick of listening to the madness of people who stay in meetings every week and sometimes day. I wonder which sickness is worse: those who stay away from the meetings for extended periods or those who remain and so enter a form of denial about how bad daily meetings can make you become.

      We're not supposed to talk about other people and what goes on in meetings after we leave but no one ever listens to that and asking Lindsay about the meeting is as easy as it is for her to tell me about it.

      Lindsay – ''Mrs. Gangster has had some kind of mini-stroke and they were saying that it had much to do with what was happening at Intergroup. One or two were ranting about AA after hearing that.''

      There's a couple in AA in Fife who originally come from the city. I call them AA Gangster and Mrs. Gangster. They've been sober for yonks and yonks and they completely immerse themselves in the fellowship and everything it has to offer. A little too much if you ask me – it's a dependence for them, their whole life. They always preach service and getting involved in the running of AA. Mrs. Gangster was recently ''chased'' out of Fife Intergroup and I remember her bitterness from the top table at the Saturday evening meeting many times over the course of the winter. How much this ''chasing'' her out has to do with her leaving from not getting what she wants is up for debate. So the meeting tells each other that this stroke has everything to do with this Intergroup situation.

      We like to do this a lot in AA and I am very careful to make sure that I do not do it, do not fall into that trap, because it's resentment really. There's one guy in Glasgow just now blaming his health on his drinking which there's no proof for. It's just ego telling him that it makes it seem as though he drank more than everyone else. There's a guy in Fife at the moment who's blaming his onset of dementia on his drinking (he's thirty five years sober) as he's recently discovered that alcohol can lead to health issues like this. Now we have Mrs. Gangster telling us all that it's Intergroup that's stressed her out to the point where her health is taking a battering. Anything that happens in your life – blame it on the drink!!

      I don't want to fall into that trap years down the line. I don't get to see my children. Haven't seen them in years. They are both teenagers now but I haven't seen them since they were the ages my nieces are just now. My drinking was a factor in that happening, sure, but it wasn't the reason I don't see them. I left the family home for all manner of reasons and my ex took full advantage of our government's total lack of care for family stability. When she realised I was staying away for good she upped and moved away. We couldn't find her. Until recently. I always say that it was this event that crushed my world and set off my alcoholism. My ex-sponsor Stu thinks that this is ridiculous as the Book tells us that alcoholism is a unfit spiritual condition and nothing more and that an event cannot cause it to happen, but I think that he's ridiculous. I have to be very careful in my future not to distort this truth so that it makes me look as though I had it worse on the drink than I did and in turn makes my recovery look better when I finally do manage to regain contact with them.

      The bottom line is that if I get to the age that Mrs. Gangster is and still smoke, am as overweight, am still as angry and quick to upset, then I should expect a stroke as well.

      Besides all that Lindsay is fine. I'll see her tonight.

      Today I have a hectic few hours coming up. I'll be heading next door to the Charity Shop Cafe for my volunteering shift in a little while before making my way down the town for some lunch (won't be Bayne's or Gregg's) and then into Restoration to meet up with my fellow alkies. After that I'll be coming back to this library. It closes at five o'clock this afternoon and won't reopen come Monday. Closed for good. Then I'll be walking across town to meet with English Sara and Dennis and hear all about how they can't afford to go to Montrose this year. If nothing else it'll be a reminder of how I'm doing the right thing in not smoking. The amount they spend on nicotine they could effectively do whatever they want. Yet they choose cigarettes.

      Been there.

      Never again though.

      A day at a time.

      '
      '
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      '
      '
      '
      '
      '
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      '
      Stevie

      Careful of traps.

      1204

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      Re: The Sobriety Experiment: Chapter Two

      Quote Originally Posted by Baclofenman View Post
      Evening @Lunarer:

      I missed your posting last night, glad you have caught up today.

      I was screaming at the radio "Do these people *really* think we are c***s"

      Bacman
      Thanks very much. Sometimes on the forum I used to post I was a day behind, often two, because of my lack of internet in the house and so I have to wait until I get to a wi-fi hotspot so that I can get it online and out there. It's tough going, to write every single day onto one of these message boards, but it serves me well in the long run I feel.

      I'm gonna search for that programme, might find it on a podcast or something. I do often feel as though I'm overreacting when I go on these rants but there's more room out than in, and all that.

      Thanks for checking in.

      Quote Originally Posted by Guitarista View Post
      Hi Stevie,

      Musician and runner here too. Similar views/experiences to yours were expressed by a friend here this week re SMART. Did you know that Hendrix's middle name was Marshall? James Marshall Hendrix.
      Marshall Hendrix indeed. The Marshall in this story isn't quite up to that standard though.

      About SMART - sometimes I do this, criticize things that have helped me in the past, and then go back to defending them at a later date.

      I'm very inconsistent.

      But SMART alone could never have got me sober.

      The coming back-to-back marathons are actually just walking, there's no running allowed. It's held every year.

      The MoonWalk Scotland 217

      You never know though. May get myself running one of these days.

      Thanks,

      Stevie (aka Lunarer)

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