Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Today I Born Again

Thanks for your Prayers. I enter Rehab TODAY. To Find the New improved Father, husband, son and friend I want to Become. I WILL BE BACK STRONGER THEN EVER!


Sunday, January 28, 2007

My stepping Stones to 60 DAYS

Day SIXTY. 59 days ago I would be breaking my arm patting myself on the back. I have learned that this is not all about STEVE. I got my 60 day chip today. I had a chance to thank the family there today. I hugged most of them on the way back to my seat. Thanked the ones that where there at my first meeting. Now I am sending out the biggest hug that I can to all of you. With this table that we sit at on the web, you all have listened, cried, and prayed with me. Thank-you my new family.

Instead of a Sunday gratitude list. I want to recap this gratitude story. Following the stepping stones.

In November my wife told me that she was emotionally bankrupt. She had nothing left inside her except for hurt. I suggested counseling, but she said it was too late, she couldn't see getting herself back. I asked that we could wait until after the holidays for the Kids and for us. I was hoping that maybe she could see me change. She still talked about divorce. On November 28 I decided to quite drinking, a problem that plagued our marriage for years. She asked me many times to "slow down", "you seemed to drink a lot this weekend", "It's not even 11am and you are drinking." None of this sunk in at the time. I thought that maybe if I quite she would stay. Later I would discover something great Love for myself, and that I now stay sober for me. On day 3 of not drinking the withdraw was to hard to handle. I searched the web for answers. On the AA web-site there was a column of recovery blogs so I went and looked at them. I read many of them. I was touched by SOBER CHICK . I don't remember what the post was about. I remember commenting, and then emailing her. I thought what I was going thru was unusual, she talked about what you all have gone thru. I thanked her for being there, and she said it was just as much for her as it was for me. in the weeks to come she and others would post thoughts and prayers for me. Her and Scout both suggested to start a recovery blog, and how much it might help. Smart women, it did.

I never thought Day thirty would ever get here. Well it did. I was so happy and so proud of myself. WE did it. Never thought I could go a week, never less a month. I discovered love and uncovered a very messed up person. I gave that 30 day chip to my wife. It was something that I felt I needed to do. The more sobriety I gained the more painful memories I would uncover. In mid January, I would check myself into a hospital for depression. I was afraid of what I might do to myself or others around me. I learned so much about myself that weekend. I discovered what my actions had done to others. I discovered something great ,,,,my HP.

The second 30 days flew by. I can't believe it is here. We have shared our stories, our pain, and our joys. I now know what SC meant by she was there for her just as much as for me. I get that now. I have tried to give back to others like they have given to me. I took from you the knowledge of AA and sobriety, and I understand that it does no good to hold on to it. I will too give it away to others who are here now and who comes after me.

When I walked back from getting my chip today, I was thinking about a friend, who said they never stood up to get a chip or key chain ever. This person had been clean for over a year. I don't think that I could of done it without their support and friendship and prayers. I prayed for you today when I got this chip, hoping that together we can all make another 24 hours.

So sixty days today.. On day 62 my life will turn again when I enter rehab. I will learn and grow so much more. Thanks for being here during this bumping ride in my life.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Its like a major countdown in my head right now. This is my last day of work for 6 weeks. Tomorrow at noon is the last day I can drink before I go into rehab. Monday night is the last night I will be able to sleep next to my wife. Tues Morning is the last time I can hug my boys and help chase them out the door for school. I feel like this is "My last" everything. I know that I have so much to gain going into rehab. I have waited for this for almost 7 weeks. Now the closer it is, the more scared I get. I feel like I will come out and have lost everything. I know my marriage will be gone. My boys will learn that they really don't need me around. My job will be there, but it won't be the same. I will have to break in a new partner when I return. "B" has really carried me these last couple of weeks.

In rehab I know that I gain something very important. ME. A better understanding of myself and how to use my HP to help me thru the day to day struggles of life. I will learn different ways to deal with stress then self medicating myself with booze. I will learn so much, but I feel the losses will be to big to handle. I know that divorce is not the end of the world. Others have gone thru the same thing. Giving up beer was easy, since I had all of you to help. Giving up her is like giving a part of myself up.

I know that I have a great support system now. I am not alone on this journey. I feel all of your hands holding me up. I know that you are praying for me. Together, I will be OK. After all I am SOBER STEVE. Sober Steve with 59 days of Sobriety.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Trying to decide

I have been asked more than once about why I feel it is important to maintain this blog. I was also asked to keep a written journal, and not share the personal stuff on this blog. My first answer was " it ain't going to happen." I thought about this last night and again today. I don't know about the rest of you out here in blog land but for me I have gained so much more by sharing my experiences with all of you then I would of keeping them to myself. As I read others blogs I sometimes think that sounds like me. That happened to me, I was not alone.

For me maintaining this blog I have worked through many issues about myself and this Dz call alcoholism. Sometimes maintaining this has taken my mind of the fact that I am dying for a drink. I have worked through so many emotions on this blog, and reading others like yours. We are not alone out here. The blog for me does not take away from the tables, it adds another chance for me to talk about my problem of being an alcoholic. To share your experiences and lives.

So there is my answer. I am going to continue to share with all of you. If you comment and come back thank-you, but I will continue to blog and share my experiences.

Hugs and Kisses

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saying Goodbye

Well More info about last weekend. Cracking up isn't as cracked up as it used to be. My AODA counselor said I can not make jokes about everything and make it go away. I thought it worked for me all these years why not now. Oh yeah I thought alcohol worked for me too. To much time to think. A week later my mind is clearer and I have a new look upon myself. It forced me to really look at myself and see some things that I lost. Many have commented on my negative thoughts and the constant blame of myself. I was easy to blame myself for the problems. But for me, it was the first time I took the blame. I didn't blame it on anyone else. I put it square on my shoulders. I have never accepted blame like this in 25 years. It was always easier to blame others around me. So sorry that I went overboard beating myself up. I had a lot of blame to catch up on. This Dz made sure I forced that blame onto others.

My counselor gave me homework. I had to write a letter saying goodbye to my love, BEER.

Three days after I put you in the ground and said goodbye, I still miss you. I can not imagine life without you.

For the last twenty years you have been my world, my reason for waking daily. The reason for rushing thru the day. I allowed you to rule my home, my life, my family. I made sure we went everywhere together. Made sure there was plenty of you to go around. Sometimes when we went out, you brought your friend with and we had fun together.

So now 52 days later, I feel different. I feel alive and generally happy. I no longer miss your smell, your looks, or the feelings I get when we touch each other. I can talk to my wife and kids without your influence. I wake and go thru the day without a thought of you. I have dinner and no longer miss you.

I have learned to stand on my own. Start conversions without holding you in my hand. I learned that I am more important than you.

Now is the time that I must say goodbye. I can no longer say I will miss you. It is time for me to move on. It is time. Time to say Good-bye BEER. You must leave my life for good now.

One last request before you go, please take your friend Satan for neither of you have a hold on me anymore

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A look at life thru the spouses eyes

Thanks Everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I learned a lot about myself and these Dz this weekend. Basically I had a AODA apt on Thursday so much came to the surface that my wife the counselor and myself were afraid that I might do something to hurt myself or others. So after thinking about it I checked myself in Friday afternoon. I had time this weekend and Monday to process everything and search my soul about everything. A lot about how my wife feels, about how any spouse feels. So this is a story of life thru her eyes, the way I would imagine it.

"The year is about 1996 or 97. The phone rings and I got up to answer it. It is the police department. The voice on the other end starts to talk. You understand up to the part about there was an accident, and you need to get to the hospital as soon as possible. My stomach feels like it is full of butterflies. I rush to the hospital. Once I get there the doctor meets me at the door. He starts to say about an accident and they used all the life saving skills they knew. My knees get weak. He says he sorry, but then says Steve didn't make it, but he died peacefully.

I went thru the service waiting for Steve to walk in and hold my hand. He never did. I waited for him at school for the concerts, bought him Christmas presents, made his side of the bed. I was so much in denial. Hoping that one day he would walk back in the room. Life went on for the rest of the world but my heart was empty. Finally after ten years I decided to move on. Pick up the pieces, and live life again. That would be November of 2006.

One day while sitting on the couch reading my book there was a knock on the door. It was Steve standing there. He said sorry he was late, but got tied up. I thought to myself how can this be, I mourned him for years. Finally after years of denial I decide to move on with life, then he walks back in. I'm not sure what to do now. Not sure if I can love him again."

So this is what I think about how my wife feels. In 96,after about 6 months of being sober because the birth of my son. I started to drink again. Maybe one day would go by without a drink but never two. I spiraled out of control. My wife hoping that I would stop again so we could be a family again. She sat and watched our marriage and me slowly disappear to alcohol. In November she said she had enough and wanted to leave. So now I quite drinking and think that everything should be ok. I want to turn back time and make everything normal.

After this weekend I understand How she feels and that I can not turn back time. She waited for years for me to stop. She thought I never could, and that things could never get better. she needed herself back not the enabler she turned into. So I quit and expect her to come running back. It took time to hurt her as much as this DZ did. I can not expect her to change her mind so quickly about this. I just pray that she can give this new person standing here a chance to better our lives together.

Hugs and Kisses

Sunday, January 14, 2007

January 14, 2007

Morning 2 inside the Rubber Room. Last night sleeping was strange. They gave me a sleeping pill around 10:15, out like a light by 10:30. We were watching a movie. The nurse had a hard time waking me up to go to bed. I'm not sure what time I woke up, there are no clocks in the room. I sat in the dark, feeling empty and alone. I had a massive feeling of failure to control my drinking, failure in my marriage, failure as a father, son, friend, employee, co-worker. Those words of wisdom came over me "Don't beat yourself up".

So let's try something new. "Steve, you should be proud. Your family, friends and support staff are." So, instead of beating myself up here goes the things that I should be happy about.

After drinking for 20 years, I decided not to drink anymore. I decided daily not to drink. With that good choice, it's been 46 days. I decided to seek help for my addiction. I have not missed an appointment with my AODA counselor. That was doing some good, but at an hour a week, things move slow. I decided to try AA. That was a huge help but still only 2 days a week. Still this wasn't fast enough for me. I made all the phone calls to try to find a rehab center. I made the appointment for intake. I felt good but as the days slowly approached, my depression grew faster than the days could pass. My thoughts darkened as each day passed. Soon it would consume me. When almost all rational thinking was lost and death seemed like the only answer, I found the strength to talk to my wife, talk to my best friend "M". Everyone said the same thing-I needed help that they could not give. I called the hospital. I admitted myself to the psychiatric ward. For this I feel good. Not great but good. It is important that I now realize I did this for me, not others.

In group today, one thing stuck out: "Failure is an event, it is not the person!"

Thank you everyone for your positive thoughts and prayers!

Hugs and kisses
(Typed & posted at his request by wife)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Day 45, January 13, 2007

Today is day 45 or maybe I need to say Day 1. No, not again. I have decided that the depression growing inside of me was not only unhealthy for myself, but others around me. For the 3rd time in recent days I have made another small step. I voluntarily checked myself into the psychiatric ward at the hospital.

I have heard and read so much about depression and how it is normal to go through it after you stop drinking. I now feel that depression was the root of my drinking problem. It is costing $1300.00 a day to find out that I was just self-medicating it.

When checking myself in I feel like a prisoner. No shoes, belts, watches. They went through my bag and put everything away in my "locked" dresser drawers. My BB, daily prayer book and journal were the only things left out. The bathroom consists of a stainless steel sink and stainless steel toilet with no seat (just like in the prison movies). The grab bars in the shower and around the toilet are blanked off on the back so you can not slip anything around them to hang anything or anyone.

Really for the first time in my life, I am alone. Locked in a room, locked up with myself. This time alone will hopefully give me some time to really figure Steve out and what it is that makes me want to forget about life.

Today I am greAAtiful:
To be alive.
To be sober for 45 days.
For my AODA counselor who pushed me with hard questions.
For my Junior High sweetheart, who is the best friend I could ever have.
For my wife, even though our future looks bleak. It is her love and support which drove me to seek help.
For my two precious, pain in my a** boy's. They fill my life with joy.
For my HP, may I soon accept him back into my life.

Hugs & kisses

Friday, January 12, 2007

I am not OK!

Can someone please tell me why "OK" is not good enough for emotion. Why can't someone just be ok. Now someone has to pipe up and say "ok" is not an emotion, how do you really feel. Well To flipping bad. I'm not "ok". What are you going to do about it. Nothing! I am the one that has to do something about it. So if I want to say I'm ok or not is my flipping business. If I want to keep all the shit inside, Its up to me to let it out. Over the last couple of days even on meds I feel myself slipping deeper over the edge into depression. I feel that there is no way back from this. The walls of hurt and anger have fallen on me, and I'm not strong enough to lift them. I just want to lie here and go home again. I want to spend time with The sister that I never knew. I just want to DIE! Last night I had a dream that my sister who died when i was two was standing by my bed, reaching for my hand and telling me that it was ok, soon all my pain would be gone, and we could go home again. I never thought this bad during my drinking days, it would kind of disappear after the first couple, and I could be a happy drunk. There is nothing happy about me now.

So I'm not ok. There I said it the earth did not stop. The sky did not fall, but the hurt, pain, sorrow, abandoned feelings, loneliness, mistrust, and complete emptiness are still here. I don't feel any better saying that. I still feel the answer is in something else. I feel that my HP is off helping someone else, and Satan stepped in. I am not sure if I can be strong enough to face him again. There is a country song that goes" I threw my hands up and the air, and prayed Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hands...I don't want to do this on my own::" That is all one can do, ask for help and pray. Pray for help support wisdom and strength.

Today's prayer
"May God grant me the patience to apply those same principles of faith and acceptance which are keys to my recovery to the whole of my emotional being. May I learn to recognize the festering of my own human anger, my hurt, my frustration, my sadness. With the help of God, may I find appropriate ways to deal with these feelings without doing harm to myself or others" Jan 11 a day at a time.

Monday, January 8, 2007

The controller is not longer in control

Jan 9th reflection prayer. (jumping ahead one day).
"May I learn to control my urge to control, my compulsion to manage, neaten, organize and label the lives of other."
Wow that sure says a lot to me. Besides giving up the drink that would the next hardest, giving up control. I never saw my self as a controlling until 40 some days ago. Now i see what and how bad I WAS. For everything my family wanted to do I had ten reasons why not to, most of them involved not being to far away from my drink. I found reasons why my wife couldn't sing in the church choir, interfered with a volunteer fire dept meeting night (lots of beer there). So many things, in so many ways I controlled everything in this house. My wife is slowly taking some of that control back with the hurt and anger I caused with it. I hope that it is not to late for her to forgive me from taking that from her.

Today I lost even more control of myself. As each day passes my depression grows deeper and deeper. Over the last couple weeks it has not been have i thought about suicide, it was when and how it would happen. This has scared me deeply. I do not want to hurt my wife, kids family, friends, and all my new recovery peeps out here. So today i took another step in the preservation of Steve. I went to the doctor, and told her about my thoughts, and fears. She agreed I needed to be medicated for Depression, no DA. This is something i would of never of done back 50 days. I could handle anything that life threw at me, if not alcohol would hide it.

So today, day 40 something I am happy to be here, happy for the miracle of life. Happy to have myself back. I am still counting the days to rehab. Jan 30th is getting closer.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Pot Luck Feelings

Good Morning my recovery peeps. Its AA Fine beautiful morning here in Northern WI. to warm, our snow is melting, lakes not safe to ride on, but a great day to be alive. Over the last 24 hours my mind has changed several times about what to write or rant about today. My emotions are being pulled in so many directions, I'm not sure which is forward or Backwards. Well Forward, went to the last x-mas party of the year small get together of about ten, had all the escape plans set up from the in-laws taking my wife home, to making it and wanting to stay for desert. It was the first time i was in public with others drinking around me. I was worried about what could and would happen. i made it until the last 5 minutes. I was proud of myself until then. My wife works for her dad, normally she writes the check for this kind of stuff, back up plan number 6. A asked my wife to give her dad the check and let him write it, just in case we had to leave fast. The last 15 Min's the walls were closing in on me fast. i needed to get out fast. Told my wife it was time. 3 hours of watching other drink had done its toll on me. We were are the stairs going down when her dad called her over. Yes to write the check. I ran out of the restaurant. I couldn't be standing at the bar myself, not right then. I was pissed at her, once again she chose getting approval from her father over me. This was a big problem early in our marriage. We did get over this, Saturday on the home we talked about this, and how it hurt that she put her father first over me, and right then I NEEDED that support. I told her that it took awhile but I did take her away from her needing her fathers acceptance for everything, then she told me that all I did was replace it with me, instead of giving it back to her!

We talked on the way home, and she said that I seemed fine, and writing the check was a 2 min deal. Tried to explain how those feelings rush over me so quickly, and what it feels like. Somewhere around me there is a switch and someone likes just to turn it on and watch me go...crazy, so many emotion's hit me all at once I can't describe it. It is fear, anger, rage, self doubt, anxious, jealousy, fear,anger, oh i said that. I want to be able to control these feeling,,i need to control them.

Over the last couple of posts many of you are telling me to read the big Book. I can read, but no matter how hard I try they are words, I can not find the meaning behind words. Its not just the big book, its any book. My high school failed me on this one. I got more out of it during a big book meeting than trying to read it myself. I still try though. Thanks for your support and showing me exactly were to go in the book to find those answers to questions.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

"Don't beat yourself up"

Over the last couple of days my self doubt about taming these Dz has gone from I can do it, to struggling every second. This last week I have heard more about people slipping of the wagon than there are on it. From the guy at group the other night, to SC friend, to Scout friend how just died from a drug overdose. I heard that the holiday season is the worst, but everyday seems to be bad for someone. I have an intake appointment for Jan 30th for a rehab program. it seems so far away from here now. I call every couple of days to see what are the chances that someone else cancelled. I hate to hope that someone else is not coming to rehab so I can get in earlier. I know I must not think of just myself, but I hurt everyday, and no matter how hard I try, I hurt the ones I love around me.

Although she doesn't say it, I know that my wife supports me in my rehab. I know that a 45 day program will but a hardship on our finical status. But it is nothing compared to the hardship I have put on this family. Last night feeling down and lonely, I tried to get intimate with my wife. Even though I knew that she is unsure were we stand, and unsure if she can take the chance of getting hurt again. After my advances where brushed off, I felt guilty. I knew that she wasn't ready for anything, but i pushed on anyways. I wanted to leave the house. I felt like ,,,,shit. I told her that I was going out for awhile, put on my jacket and shoes kissed here on the for head, and said " Good-bye Honey, I can never stop loving you" and walked away. What did that mean I thought "Goodbye" you stupid fool. You are not going anywhere. There is no way that I could ever take my life. I would not want to leave my family with that burden. I sat outside looking at the stars for awhile, then came back inside. I cried on her shoulder for hours. "sorry came out at least 200 times. She hugged me last night like a friend would hug another hurting sole. She said not to beat myself up over what happened. I felt like I lost the only person that I cared for in this world. I cried about failing. Thinking of the family that is starting over at day one again. She told me to be strong, that I could do it. Day by dayIistay sober.

I am unsure today were my life takes me. This has been one long, bad roller coster ride. The one thing that I can say is that there does seem to be more highs than lows lately. So tonight when I go to bed I will try to remember those words" Don't beat yourself up over something that you have no control over,,,,Others have fallen....that doesn't mean that you will."""

Don't beat yourself up today,,,was the first thing I said to myself this morning.

Hugs and kisses

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Feeling like a second away from day one.

My thoughts today are with Soberchick friend "D". How hard it most of been to go through 18 months of sobriety to start over at day one. I know that I am the new kid on the block with only 30 plus days in. Today is day 35 for me, right now hearing about how easy it is to slip has me scared that I will not see day 36. Right now I feel like crawling inside that bottle and hiding for hours. Figuring that should take away my pain for at least a little time. SC told me on day 30 not to go have a drink to celebrate. i thought how stupid was that. But after some thought she must of been in my head, or just in the same place before. I did think day 30, that was easy, what would just one drink do to me. I can handle it. I know that I can't. Last night at the tables there was man there that talked about him slipping. He had 14 years in thought he was cured just a drink with dinner, well maybe just one more etc. He slipped. He was been sober again for 2 years straight. He said that he should have 28 years sobriety, just not all at once.

Last night on my home from the AA meeting I counted those really neat neon signs that call us back everyday, some Miller, Bud, Cold Beer. Funny its about 35 miles from my house to where I went last night. 33 bars/taverns between those points, you can tell I live in Wisconsin. A little over one mile part. I texted a great friend and said that I was stronger than those signs. I would be OK. I'm not really sure what OK means right now though. My family and friends ask how are things going with you, your drinking, marriage...What else can one say ..."OK". I guess I lie pretty good. I hurt and I hurt everyday. With everyday that passes it is one less day that I will be able to spend with my wife. Until she said that she wasn't happy and wanted to leave after the holidays I did forget how much I love her, how much she is my other half. At first I did quit drinking for her. Now I know it is for me. If I hated that drunk in the mirror, how could I expect her to love me.

"D" were ever you are, I with many others prayed for you last night. Hoping that you will find your way back to the tables. Just like I know that others will pray for strentgh for me to get through these hard times.
Thanks and God bless

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

The things I didn't miss this New Years

Today I was talking to a friend and she thought that she might be coming down with a cold. After talking for a bit she thought maybe it was still from New Years Eve. She dosen't drink a whole lot, when she does, she is down for a couple days. That made me think of what I'm gratefull for. Here are a list of the things that I did not miss Jan 1st.
#1 The head pounding earth moving headache
#2 looking in my wallet or checkbook to see how much I spent that night
#3 The look on my face, and my reaction to getting up aat noon, with all the things that needed to be done not even started.
#4 The look of disappointment on my kids faces when I said I didn't want to do anything
#5 The huge pile of empty beer cans lying around the house and my truck.
#6 The most important that I do not miss is asking my wife to drive home again since I had to much to drink again.

I am Much happier now since I dont drink. One day at a time works, and it is working for me.

Monday, January 1, 2007

New Years with new Beginnigs

Happy New Year to all who stop by. With 35 days into my recovery I most remember how I got here and never lose sight of how far I sank before beginning this new path.

Last week while putting somethings away in my teenagers sons room, we found lighters, bottles made into homemade bongs. This put up big flags in my mind. Nothing was hidden, in plan view. I sat there in shock, apple didn't fall far from the tree. We talked to him and told him either he gets everything out of his room or we would. That night he came out with bags crap, empty cig cartons, booze bottles, lighters, pipes. My wife and I sat in shock. He was calm when we talked and laid down some rules about using in this house. So last night New Years eve, what should we do. There was a pot luck dinner of NA and open to others like AA, it was an open speaker meeting. Brought him with. Made him sit through the meeting. I think him hearing the speakers opened his eyes, if only a little.

During the introductions it was hard for me to say, "I'm Steve and I'm an Alcoholic" in front of my wife and kids. I am an Alcoholic it is nothing that I can run from anymore. I hope he choosing a clean path before he has to follow the path that we are now walking down.

I know from what I have learned I need to concentrate on me. But this is my son. I do not want to see him make the same mistakes that I have made. Of course he said he didn't listen, but I know he did. Maybe some good did come out of last night.

Happy New Year to all.