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Class Of December 2013 - Part 9

Old 10-11-2015, 05:27 AM
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Good to hear from you again AA. How have you been?
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Old 10-11-2015, 05:32 AM
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You'll get there LB - I did

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Old 10-11-2015, 10:01 AM
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Howdy, AA. What's up?

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I just got an invite to perform for my annual Turkey Toast the night before Thanksgiving. This will be my fourth year invited to the same venue for this event. I'm way out of practice, so I'm glad they gave me plenty of notice. What with health issues and two surgeries I've kind of slipped in the music department, but this will get me going. My sidekick is down, but he just had knee surgery. We'll be practicing at his place on Tuesday night. I'm thinking since they keep asking us back we should step up and offer some new material. We usually make about $500 at this gig, which ain't bad for a duet - $100 bucks an hour if you don't count practice (which is fun, anyway).

Good to know I haven't been entirely forgotten. I've been holed up for months with almost no socializing. The drinking crowd doesn't call me anymore, and I just haven't made other connections despite almost two years of sobriety. I take responsibility, though, because I haven't been reaching out and I quit going to our Wednesday picking circles (got kinda bored with the same three chord clusterplucks every week, and with legal weed these days they're all stepping outside to get baked after every few tunes).

Still trying to muster the courage to get involved with the AA community in town. I was just talking with my supervisor about some colleagues with substance abuse issues. She mentioned her brother has been to rehab several times but it hasn't stuck and was wondering about the efficacy of coaching a specific worker into rehab. I told her it could plant a seed, but she wasn't convinced and made a comment that normal people just don't really understand how the mind of an addict works. I almost told her I'm not all that normal, and I felt kind of inauthentic when I replied simply, "I'm sure there's some truth to that. Lots of addicts don't really understand how their minds work, either, which I think can be part of the problem." Anyway, now I feel weird about eventually coming out of the closet, so to speak, but I don't think it will be an issue. She's not top brass, but she is compassionate and empathetic. I guess I'm just holding out until 2016 because it will sound good to be able to say I've been sober since 2013 in case management fears I could relapse. Then again, it would be nice if they quit leaning on me so much because I'm so damned responsible. Even when I was an active drunk I never really let myself **** up too seriously. Ironically, that hasn't really served me well.

Back to work... Enjoy your Sunday. Wife out of town so I'm running the inn solo. Beds to make...
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Old 10-13-2015, 12:36 PM
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Hey all. Not so great, truth be told. lol

Fell off the wagon. Going to try to get sober again. Been a rough couple months.

Cool to know you guys are still around and kicking. Hope all y'all are well.
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Old 10-13-2015, 03:35 PM
  # 145 (permalink)  
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if you need any help on trying again AA, we're all ears

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Old 10-13-2015, 05:26 PM
  # 146 (permalink)  
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You can DO eat!
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Old 10-13-2015, 06:53 PM
  # 147 (permalink)  
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Still around and, more or less, kicking, AA: that's me.
Want to talk about your journey? I remember that last winter, you said you were doing a bicycle messenger service in the snow? Maybe I've got some details wrong. I thought that showed determination, risk-taking, and a great ability to ignore snow and ice conditions while doing work on a bike. Qualities that I do not possess. Good to see you checking in.
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Old 10-14-2015, 11:24 AM
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sorry to hear you are still struggling Actual. What are you thoughts on how to beat this moving forward? I think when we finally get to the 'enough is enough' phase, we are ready to take charge. Time to make a stand!
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:28 PM
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I hear you, Brian. I know I had to become pretty damn miserable before I made the decision to quit for good. Then I had to come to terms with the realization that drinking became a problem because I was miserable; I was not miserable because drinking had become a problem. I would be rewriting history if I believed I was miserable all those decades. The truth is I loved the hell out of drinking and getting high for a long, long time. It was misery that turned relatively normal consumption and free-spirited partying into a death spiral, but sobriety is what I most needed in order to face that misery head on. Sometimes a voice in my head tries to convince me that alcohol abuse was just a symptom and I'm not actually an alcoholic, but at this point I'm so much better off sober that I wouldn't risk testing that theory. I'm probably fooling myself, anyway.

Anyway, we're all different, and I'm hoping you find your balance, AA.
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Old 10-14-2015, 07:18 PM
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So, Zero:
Miserable state + booze =shelved miserable state + booze =even more miserable state+ booze + ticking clock+ years=Wall.
Wall +insight =path out with original miserable state muted but present.
Nurturing insight =working agreement with miserable state =more insight = now?
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:14 PM
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Someone posted a line that is similar to what you say Zero/JR. Something like: It is not the fault of sobriety things don't always go your way...

Another way of saying, drinking did nothing more than delay your reality of the situation. Being sober allows you to deal with life on a more level basis.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:11 PM
  # 152 (permalink)  
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"working agreement with miserable state = more insight"

There's truth in that. I just listened to a Shambhala lecture about Contentment in Everyday Life. The speaker equated contentment with satisfaction, and I have certainly been dissatisfied. This led me to ponder The Four Noble Truths and the concept of dukkha (suffering or dissatisfaction). I have changed my external circumstances, but not much. I basically have the same job as I did when I was drinking but in a different building, and it helps that it is generally a happier place, but the work is too often the same drudgery. I look forward to retiring sooner than later, but I'm holding on for financial reasons. Still, my level of dissatisfaction is considerably diminished because, I'm convinced, of my meditation and mindfulness practice. I'm averaging 20-30 minutes almost every morning, and I carry this with me. When I'm bored at work and slip into grumpy autopilot, I find my breath and connect with the present. No matter how unpleasant the present might be, it beats ruminating about regrets or creating negative stories in my head about how things could or should be. I'm not entirely happy with my circumstances, but I'm more accepting. And I'm grateful. That's all a far cry from where I was just a few months ago. Plus I can walk and pee now, but ironically I didn't have any severe health issues until a year after I got sober.
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Old 10-17-2015, 03:40 PM
  # 153 (permalink)  
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First snowflakes blowing through the gorgeous autumn environment here. It's a rogue attack, one to test my readiness, I'm sure.
Firewood in basement: check.
Snow tires on truck: almost check. Monday.
Storm windows up: check. (I popped two old wooden storms into slots on the back of the house today. These babies have 20 small panes each. I figure they were built with the house almost 150 years ago, and am always amazed that they fit into their openings sooo tightly each year, not a sixteenth of an inch clearance. Now: that is good craftsmanship. I praise the late builders.)
Temps back to normal this week.

I realized this week that mindfulness for me is very much like my tinnitus. They both run 24/7 like recording tracks. And most of the time, I'm utterly unaware of each track. Then, now and again, I'll be reminded: 'hey, that tinnitus is still there, like a field of cicadas, and it never stops. I'm so glad I don't hear it.'
Or, I'll think: 'hey. Here I am in space and time, in my body. Feel that sun. Better put some socks on the old feet. take a breath, take a breath, where exactly am I? etc.
Which is to say: moving in and out of consciousness has its pros and cons. In my case, the transitions are mostly not deliberate.
Good weekend, all!
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Old 10-17-2015, 04:52 PM
  # 154 (permalink)  
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JR, I can relate about the mindfulness thing. Sometimes it's not deliberate. Sometimes I have to consciously bring it back, but I have to remember to bring it back. At work I have a tendency to go on autopilot when I'm feeling lulled and dulled by tedium, and then I catch myself. It's that autopilot that has contributed to a number of injuries. I was more accident prone when I was drinking because I was less often mindful between binges (not to mention while binging). But, ironically, my accidents tended to happen between binges. It was like, if I'm doing something potentially dangerous while drunk, I would be a little extra careful. It was in the dull moments between binges that I thought I was okay but not. That's when I'd fall off **** or slam my thumb with a hammer or fall down the stairs or bang my head on **** or just twist an ankle tripping over **** and ****. I like the word **** sometimes. It's very imprecise but kind of covers it all. Sometimes I feel like **** covers everything. That's when I know I need to be more mindful cuz I'm sinking into that dull despair. That fear and loathing and sickness unto death. That ****.
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Old 10-17-2015, 04:54 PM
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And ****.
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Old 10-17-2015, 04:59 PM
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"old world craftsmanship" Yeah, definitely a thing of the past. Much why I like to build things myself rather than paying someone for a temporary fix.

I'm thinking new windows next year. Of course this will be hired out - not in my league.

Gonna be cold tonight here. I picked almost what's left from the garden and covered my summer squash plant, one left.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:16 AM
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so last night I'm banging away on the mando and took a break when I heard a door close- wife was in bed already, at midnite-30 - I asked why she went to bed so early.

up at 530 to go to work - "I told you" um, no you didn't... so now I have the house to myself during daylight , have to change my routine again...
another gorgeous loking day here - I need to cut grass one more time - at least and get ready for falling leaves...
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:05 PM
  # 158 (permalink)  
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Seems so strange to be sneaking up on two years. And yet...today I threw away what was left of my meds, including some Skelaxin, Norco, and Percocet. They were nagging me from the drawer in my bathroom and after months of not thinking about them I recently found myself making excuses and dosing for no good reason. It was at night when I was sore, and I basically just faded off and slept well. I took a couple of pills last night and had an awesome night's sleep, but while I was meditating this morning I thought, okay, this qualifies as a few little relapses and I need to move on. I haven't been without painkillers in the house for years - literally - and though I rarely took them, I have a kind of dependence that goes something like, what if something goes wrong with my back? What if I'm suddenly in the kind of pain I was in before the surgery? I know full well, though, that though it is possible I could find myself in horrible pain again, I actually endured the worst of it without painkillers because I was early enough in my sobriety to be terrified of them. I'm getting kind of complacent, and I've started dreaming about getting high again. Oddly enough, I haven't been dreaming about or craving alcohol, but I've been wanting to get high. Perhaps not coincidentally, today marks two years since I last dropped acid, and that paved the way to my last weed and my last alcohol in December of 2013. Thursday I think I'll go to a Big Book study group. I've worked the 12 Steps in my own way, but I haven't done the sponsor thing. I feel like I could just stumble into an opportunity and go with it. True confessions. Remember Philip Seymour Hoffman, may he RIP.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:15 AM
  # 159 (permalink)  
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You sound good, Zero. Amazing that you did acid 2 years ago. Boggles my already boggled mind to remember my acid days. A universe away, thankfully. Still struggling in this universe, but doing OK. You seem very strong in your insight and resolve. And heading to a Big Book study group demonstrates that. Congrats on dumping the meds; and on heading into the second anniversary of your choice to make changes. And to LB, who's entering the same zone.
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:02 PM
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hey folks, hope you all are well.

I recall keeping a large bottle of percocet or oxy somethings in the cabinet just in case I ever needed them. Then one day they were gone. MrsLB saw no need to keep them around. I was po'd over it too. That was a couple years ago. I remember even telling her "They're worth ten bucks a piece." good thing she got rid of them. It's also a good thing I wasn't into pills or anything else. Alcohol was bad enough.
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