Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dec 20, Day 22.

Feeling strange about the Christmas party thing. Not sure if I should attend or not. Talked to the AODA counselor about it, talk at group last night. Why, if everyone says it is a bad idea, do I want to go? She hit it on the head.

I'm pissed. I'm mad at my wife, in-laws, co-workers, fire department members. I'm pissed because they can drink and I can't. That anger is consuming me right now. The way that I consumed the drink, anger is slowly taking over my body. for everyday of sobriety, I gain more of myself back. This is the part of me that I buried in the drink. ANGER. When I would get upset, I stopped yelling, throwing things years ago. I changed to something even more destructive-alcohol. Bad days at work, meant more drinks at night. Bad night at home, more drinks at home. Move to the basement or garage, yard, away from others. I find myself losing it at the slightest problem. I'm acting like a simple mistake is the end of the world, from co-workers making a mistake, to my wife being busy at work and getting home late for lunch. This anger...this rage building inside scares me, scares me so much that I'm not sure who I'm turning into. 90% of the time I'm the Steve that L. and my family loved. Then this ugly side comes out of nowhere. No way to control it. Sometimes it takes all my courage to tame it. I am trying to control it, but it seems the harder I try the more it shows it's ugly head.

So why should I be so pissed at everyone because they can drink? I, Steve, am the one with problem, not them. I am the one who wants his life back. I am the alcoholic, not them. So why...why...why. I love the steps that I am taking in my life right now. I would not trade them for a drink anytime. I just need to control this part of me that is starting to consume my soul again. Somewhere in the big book I'm sure the answer is there. I need to find it myself, within myself.

At the AA meeting, they are closed with the Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
and the wisdom to know the difference.

I cannot change the fact that others drink.
I can and did change the fact that I can't drink anymore for me, it was leading me down a path of self-destruction.
And somehow God is guiding me through this knowing it is rough, but He is by my side holding my hand through this tempting time.

So this week, when glasses of good cheer are raised, I will raise one too, just alcohol freeeeeeeeee.

Dec 19, Day 21. My first true love

I sit here and reflect on the 21 days in my life. The changes that I have gone through, physically and mentally. somewhere last night I thought about this, and how good it is for me, not others, me. I started to think about everything that has happened over the last couple of years. How I hated what I turned into, but felt helpless to stop it. Thought about the pain I caused everyone, the ones closest to me, the ones that loved me so much. I started to think about the loves in my life. They say that you never forget your first true love. Right now I'm not sure who that is.

For years, I thought is was M. My first real crush, first girlfriend, first heart break of many by her (ok, US). I felt so unworthy of her love that it made me jealous if she talked to someone better looking, smarter, more athletic than me. To this day I can close my eyes, and see the glow of her smile, her hair blowing in the wind at our 8th grade picnic. I can see and feel the hurt that I caused one Wednesday night many years ago. I felt so unworthy of her love that I got what I deserved, dumped. I did love her, still do, but that night I said if she wouldn't have me, no one ever would. I called her to say goodbye, we cried for hours, she begged me to shut up. she made me promise that I wouldn't do anything stupid. I did promise on our love and friendship. We are still good friends to this day. I could and would not be here without her, and for that I am ever grateful.

Later I would meet V. We seemed happy together. Had the same likes and dislikes. We spent 1 1/2 years dating, and we grew together as most couples do. On my Senior Prom night, I got a hotel room for the night. Dropped the bill at her house. Needless to say, her parents were not happy. couldn't see her anymore. We would sneak around for another 6 months, then I got the hairbrained idea to marry her. Her dad would have to let me see her then. No go. It lasted another 1 1/2 years. Then I found out she was sleeping with the guy that was supposed to be my best man. I now believe that I never really loved her and she never loved me. We were young and told not to see each other, so we'll prove you wrong. It ended badly.

I later met the love of my life, my wife for the last 17 1/2 years and still loving her. We have had our struggles as many do. From money, kids, family, and drifting apart emotionally. Several years ago, I thought I could find happiness in the arms of another woman. She did make me feel special again, but when it came right down to it, I loved my wife, and I promised to love her for better or worse till death do us part. I believe that L. is my true other half, the part that does complete me. for years I was yelled at for finishing her sentences or cutting her off in mid-sentence. Most of that time it was something that I didn't want to hear. I have not really told her that I loved her in years, and didn't do things to back up those words. So, now I want her to believe whatever I say. I do not deserve that right now. My actions must speak louder than those words could. I need to prove to my wife that love is something still inside me. that I truly do love her with all of my heart and soul like I say. I know now that just love and words can not take back the pain that I caused, not just through my drinking, but from the actions that followed.

3 weeks ago this would be easy. My first love would be M. My first true love would be L. Today I am not sure who it is. I found a new love lately. One that has been here all this time. ME. I'm not sure how I fit into the picture now. All I do know is that I caused so much hurt in my life, that first I must learn to love myself again. Give ME to myself unconditionally. Then I can repair to rest. So as of right now:
I love Steve,
I love my God, who has guided me all these years without my asking,
I love my wife, the true love of my life,
I love my friend, M., the first love,
I love my children, for they give me a purpose to continue on in sobriety,
I love my family and friends, old and new,
Oh, did I say that I LOVE being sober!

So, I sit here again, and SAY something different again.
I love my first true love......ME......Steve.

Dec 15, Day 17. Alone on my path

Today I tried to walk the new path in my life. I felt lost, and alone. I have heard and talked about this new path, new way of life for me. One with sobriety, and people there to guide me. I felt hurt, abandoned and left out to dry. I had the numbers of new friends that I have met at the AA meeting. The blogs and words of wisdom from others. But still I could not move my feet.

This new path that I had chosen looked familiar. The path was littered with broken parts of objects. It was hard to move without stepping on something. I bent over to move something, and then I saw what I was standing on. For these were no ordinary objects they were all pieces, pieces of myself, pieces that were torn off my body during my self-destruction. My hands became very full. I picked up another piece to see it was part of my wife, another part of my kids, parts from my family. I slowly began to cry. These are parts that my family and friends lost because of my drinking. The parts that were lost that are now replaced with walls. I quickly picked up what I could. My hands began to fill up again. So many parts, so much hurt. I had to make a decision, what could I bring and what could I leave behind. Night was beginning to upon this trail. The stars began to shine. I sat there on a stump looking at each piece. My sons missing me at teacher conferences, my wife missing my compassion. SO much hurt. To much to take. I need to bring these pieces back. I needed to fix them. Fix the problems that I had caused.

As I sat there, crying now, I picked up a piece. It brought a smile to my face, a twinkle to my eye. It was a person that I fell in love with many years ago. A friend that I hurt badly, I forgot all about this person, the love and good times we shared. The stories about trouble we avoided. The tales of childhood pranks. For this person that I hurt was not just any friend, not just any love, not just any memory. It was me.

I held that part tight close to my heart, dropping the others. I knew if I was to fix the others I must fix myself. I must begin to love myself. As God loved us so much that He gave us His only son, I must have that love for myself to give anything back. so when I stood to continue down this path, the other parts moved slightly. Just far enough out of the way not to be walked on, but close enough for me to remember the pain. I held myself tight, and walked. I began to notice other lights, voices began to be heard. Faces and other paths appeared. For this whole time that I thought I was alone, I wasn't. Others watched just out of sight. They knew that this was something I needed to do. Something I needed to know. I began to smile, not just me, but that part of me that was lost for so long. I found myself, and I love it. I am so filled with life, that I glow. As long as I can keep the others at my side, holding their lights, my path is brightly lit.

I promised myself to be back for the other parts, the parts from others that I have hurt. The people that I must make amends to. As soon as Steve is back, healthy, I will be back for them, and try to repair all the hurt I caused.

Dec 10, Day 12. First meeting

This morning when I awoke I was looking for a fight. An argument with my wife, kids, anything to give me a reason why not to go. I started to get Christmas things together. Setting up the tree in the front yard, lights out. Anything that might let me forget about the AA meeting. I am a very open person one on one, but in front of others I'm quit and shy. So i decided it was time to go, yes i would be late, maybe another reason why not to go. If I was late why bother going in. I made it there late, but I did go in. Not sure where to go I walked towards the counter. A lady asked if I was here for the meeting, and I said yes. She then told me in a soft sweet voice, the meeting was downstairs. I didn't know what to expect when I opened that door. There were so many people there, young and old, Male and Female. At first I sat there looking around at everyone, the words from the speakers fell on death ears. I was looking around to see if I knew anyone, how embarrassing would that be. After awhile I sat and listened, the introductions, and the stories. I was not alone there. As they gave out information about aa events, they asked if anyone was from out of town,,,,any ones first meeting. Well I almost didn't raise my hand, but this was why I was here, for help. The applause was loud and comforting. A lady come over and welcomed me with a hug and gave me a chip, 24 hours, one day at a time. We then broke into groups. I was in group five. Before going into the group I went to the washroom to compose myself. As I was walking out a man introduced himself to me, "I'm Rick, welcome Steve. Don't worry we all walked down those steps once for the first time. I'm in group five also, everything will be ok."

I sat in the group listening to stories how everyone got there. I was the third at the table, I passed when it came to me to talk, i said that I was not strong enough yet. After the other people went Rick told another story about the family and friends gathered around these tables. They were not here just for themselves but here for other like myself. I sat there holding back my tears, like I'm doing now. He handed me a copy of the big book that the others had signed and wrote thoughts and wishes in for me. He then asked if there was anything I wanted to ask or say. I sat there, the words in my mind couldn't find my mouth. A lady across the table from me, who was there for court ordered inpatient care for attempting suicide to control her drinking said "Steve we have been here for awhile if you can't share with us, its ok. With time you will find strength inside yourself to talk to us or your higher power." This lady, a stranger just told me how she hurt so bad that she didn't want to live. She found a purpose to be here today and said God wasn't done with her yet, that's why she was still here. I thought again and found those words

"My Name is Steve and I'm an Alcoholic..."

The tears followed as I talked, I was comforted knowing that I was not alone. There are others there for me on this new journey in my life. I know that it will not be sugar coated and easy. But never less on this journey I will not be alone, others have made this journey and light the path I now walk down. Rick said others where there first, they are here now, and I will be there for others to follow, because if you don't share the path with others what good is it.
So as I walk down this path for the first time in my life I am guided by many that were here before me, but thanks to the few special people that hold that light high, your strength will guide me. Thanks SC

Thanks for your prayers I need them.

Dec 8th 2006...Day 10

As I sit here and think of the last ten days. I reflect back on the last ten years of my life. The things I missed, the people I hurt, the wife I lost, and the respect of my kids. Yesterday at counseling I was asked how did it feel that I chose alcohol over my family, even when I knew that it hurt them. I was told that I have control issues. I always want to be in control of things and people around me. Could this be the fact I couldn't control myself. The fact that alcohol has controlled me for so many years. I sit here and think of the what ifs and I wish I could take them back. Well to this day there is no magic trick for that to happen. I have to deal with the present, with effects of those actions. With time and Help I hope to restore the old Steve, the one who loved life, the one who cared about others.

Over the last couple years it was easier to bury my head in a can of beer, then it was to face my problems. Now I face it everyday, ME. I have hurt many of my friends and family. I never knew how far I had fallen. People I knew for only a short time saw I had a problem, but why couldn't I. I can only blame myself, NO ONE ELSE. I drank every can of beer, not them. I told myself if I ever turned out to be like my grandfather I would rather be dead. He was a mean functioning drunk who beat people closet to him. Well I should be dead, I turned out just like him. I don't beat people physically, but mentally, I am a drunk!

So on this day, day ten, i can only promise to the people that I have hurt that there is a new Steve coming. A caring and passionate man, one with a better understanding of what life is. What life is not. It is not a perfect clean house, perfect lawn, with not bikes or toys lying around, a perfect vacation. Life is nothing if you have driven everyone that cares about you away. The perfect house is nothing without a family. It may look nice from the outside, but the inside is dark and lonely. This is the way my heart feels now, dark, lonely, and empty. I hope and pray the stopping drinking and stop hurting the ones close to me can someday fill my life with love and laughter again.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Letter to SC (on day four)

Dec 2, 2006

Thanks for the encouragement of Starting a recovery blog. Right now I do not think that I am strong enough. I was amazed on how many people like yourself are there for support. I called AA this morning about a meeting, all I got was voice mail. Found meeting dates in the area from the net. My company Christmas party is today, passing it up. There wouldn't be a day five. Like I said not strong enough.

So if I was to write a blog this would be my start...

On day Four God created the seasons for days and years...God made two great lights to rule the day, and a lessor to rule the night, he then created stars. God then set them fourth to give light upon the earth one to rule the day, the other to rule the night. and God saw it was good.

So day Four for Steve
I have awoken to a new beginning. A new day with new hope. The sun has always rose in my life and darkness has always followed. A drink has also followed these times, by nightfall it would consume me. So this morning with a new day upon us something was different, for the first time in years my world was not cloudy, there was hope, there was life. So tonight when darkness falls, it falls upon a new person, one with hope, one with love for myself, wife and kids. As the stars start to glow I will remember the wish I made last week. The wish for strength for stopping and controlling my drinking.
And Steve saw that this was good