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Jul 08

Alternatively Interactional…

the Men’s meeting i went to this week began with a member going over his history…he liked this meeting specifically…a lot of guy’s there had similar stories as his…having a sobriety of at least 20 years…first getting sober when 20 years old…hearing from people who have stuck with the program by doing the work…getting sound advice from that solid experience…what to do for overcoming issues…not just newcomers repeatedly pocketing 30 day chips, to come back in after numerous stints of returning to that old life…trying it all again…even though i’m glad he shared this story with us…since i didn’t know much about this person…i feel that my path has been somewhat different…not an easy thing to say…we are always asked to discover mirror images in people…not striking oddities

i did arrive at a group when in my 20’s…although, i have gone back out several times…getting a year here…60 days there…in early sobriety i did work steps with a sponsor…decided to branch out, visiting other meetings…in the 90’s, Young People’s groups sprung up everywhere around the place i lived…that is what i flocked to…finding kids like me…listening to the same music…wearing the same clothes…participating in the same activities…much like High School…sticking with a particular crew…which was nice, in a way…bringing me back to the old days…only without the drugs and alcohol…ability in living that former life…now grown-up and missed…just no bad and destructive behavior…not making with the rest of the stepwork, meetings became more of a social event…can’t think of how i was sharing…it was probably more like drunk-logs…not much about principles, for that is what i was lacking…and called for me to pick up the drug and drink once more…just not accessing the Power that pulls us back from the Gates of Hell

bringing me to where i’m at today…not sure how good of an example this is…and it rolled around in my brain this morning…the meeting i attended had a topic of us in early sobriety…struggling with thoughts and feelings of getting loaded…how to deal with them on a daily basis…it’s always been important for me to speak to the newbies at the group…those who are really needing to listen to a message…especially if they aren’t quite sure they have our disease…or are yet in securing a sponsor to mentor them through sobriety…i have been unemployed for a few months now…my last job (held for a couple years) deduced portions of my check into a 401K plan…this accumulated a few thousand bucks…and was finally released back to me…since i also collected unemployment benefits (that help in paying rent and utilities), i felt deserved to spend a little on me…this went to a concert ticket for a band i have wanted to see for awhile…a new seat for my bicycle…and dinner at a few places i like visiting

my wife is a realtor and works from home…she collects her funds from a 1099…so, we end up owing the IRS a good chunk of change at the end of the year (since filing jointly)…and she was pretty upset when i couldn’t supply the full amount promised contributing…being shy a few hundred from the splurge with the 401K money…and i had expected it…this came out of my paycheck for nearly 2 years…i was a W-2 employee, so taxes were already taken…this is the selfishness talking to me…she didn’t have all she needed in repaying her tax owed…dipping into a savings account for stuff needed to our kids…clothing…doctor visits…auto repair to pick them up, drop them off places…so, i had failed her…immensely…serving myself and desires

it’s all been worked out…we have been able to reimburse the IRS in full…kept us from entering a payment plan (that would hinder savings for next year debit in taxes)…however, my exuberance with money set me back…at first, it wasn’t that big a deal…i just ate at home…rode my bike more (instead of driving the car)…stopped visiting stores to add used music to my collection (another hobby that is detrimental with spending)…then i ran out of e-juice for my vaporizer…smoking has always been an addiction trouble with giving up…my wife is the one who encouraged me to change with vaporing…not being cheaper (by any means)…it is supposed to be more healthy…keeping away from cancer…emphysema…i breath easier now…no coughing and welching constantly…and that is good…not wanting to stop smoking…nicotine and caffeine are two drugs i’m not ready in relinquishing

turning it off when not possessing cash to buy more e-juice was incredibly hard…not wanting to mention this choice to the wife…already mishandled my money…and this cried for a cold turkey quit…i prayed for help at the start of each day…which came with normalcy, as it’s something i do about drinking and doping…what comes after that was grueling…throughout my walk, sensations filled my chest…got very nervous…anxious…fidgety…immediately putting my hands on something else…like washing the dishes…or riding my bicycle…anything to get my mind and obsession off what i could have no longer…even buying cigarettes entered the mind a few times…immediately replaced with the truth…if i couldn’t purchase more e-juice, what makes me think i could afford a pack of smokes?

it went on for a couple more days…asking God for removal of the cravings…calling people on the phone to see how they were doing keeping sober…taking actions that focused on anything else…ringing in my ears came about…how triggers and jonze-ing was described in treatment centers i’ve been a patient of in the past…these mental and physical traits are only to last a period of about 15 minutes…then they pass…this is what spoke to moving my stuck nature elsewhere through separate actions…while in the car with the wife one time, her vaporizer ran out of battery life…she asked to use mine instead…i knew this would come up…even contemplated happening many times before…surprised it hadn’t processed, yet…that’s when i opened up and said i had stopped using mine…that it was in a drawer in my dresser at home…i wasn’t using it anymore from not having money to support the habit…she sighed and cooed…rubbed my shoulder to console, asking why i never told her about it…she would have bought me more e-juice…i admitted to being guilty and feeling bad about going through money that should had been saved in helping out with taxes…this reaffirmed her telling me i should always disclose to her…speak up about what’s gone wrong, because we are partners

now i’m back to vaping again…ceasing my urges to wanting more all the time…i never wanted to quit for myself, anyway…it was all about the wife and my indulgence with overspending…why i didn’t think it was sufficient to bring up in a meeting about keeping away from the next drink or drug…more about what it takes in removal from the mind, body and spirit…guidance to abstinence…i remember after going back out one time…the new sponsor was picked for how strict he was…certain meetings he made me go to…parts of the book i had to read…steps to take, and when…if not following these directions, he would fire me…how i came across the Men’s meeting brought up at the beginning of this blog.

it’s cross-talk…the speaker opening up shares about what is going on with him currently…after everyone in the room introduces themselves (by first name only), the floor is open to discussion…being more like group-therapy…rather than a step-study, or book reading…personal and direct…i like that a lot…we get to know one another…in a level and down-to-earth way…used to be, once everyone in the circle of the room shared, the meeting was over…the door would be locked at the start…which meant, if you were late, you couldn’t come in…this has changed a bit now…no keeping anyone out…not requiring all members to share…and it’s still like talk amongst friends, rather than raising a hand in sharing…i still go in getting those connections…hearing from those struggling…how others get through the same…what has helped them recover from states of hopelessness

it’s how my life in sobriety has sprung and flowered…seeking to meet up with people doing the deal to overcome difficulty…that’s what leads us back to using and boozing in the first place, does it not?…once i sought out those likenesses, rather than clothing, music, events i had before…life in the Fellowship brought more meaning…some of those people i met back in the Young People’s groups have gone back to getting high, just like i did…a few haven’t made it back…i enjoy my sobriety more than ever, now…it’s the longest i’ve stayed clean, than any other other time before…i’m sure to keep my added up time to myself (unless asked about it)…this is vital in showing what quality defines, rather than the quantity…i always want to be a newcomer…not saying i think getting loaded again is an answer…i never want to pick it up again, once more…just not wanting to forget what those first few days, weeks or hours feel like…what it takes to stay sober one day at a time…one moment at a time…no matter what is going on with my life…i will always be afflicted with addiction…whether it be drugs, booze, money, sex, food, success…failure in itself can be a reward…as long as i keep looking to fellows who have gone through the same battles…this is assistance when defeating a problem