The Fool...

Old 01-05-2010, 07:08 AM
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The Fool...

My dearest ladies and gentlemen, may I once again introduce myself. In my life, I have been known by several names. As a teenager, I took my middle name as my agnomen, since I felt it had more prestigious feel to it. Next, being adorned with long flowing hair and a tattered cowboy hat, I was christened by a friend with another moniker, with which felt rather manly so I encouraged its usage. Yet another alias came about during my rock and roll stardom (notice the tongue pressed slightly against the cheek?) And through various stages, jobs, and locations, nicknames came and went. But today, I am accepting my true name...Fool.

This is not meant to be a self-condemnation, but graphic realization to what I really am. What other term term fits so well? Who would return to activities that will cause harm to their body? Who will continue an action that deceives those who care for him? And who would ignore the logistics and facts of an avocation that can potentially cost thousands of dollars in fines, retributions, and property? A Fool.

So, my dear friend, I do introduce myself, the Fool. Within just a few short days, not weeks, not months, but days of having some drinks with friends, I found myself wrapped within the chains of addiction once again. And along with those chains came the other wondrous gifts: loss of hope, self-esteem, hangovers, 5 o'clock drink pattern, hiding bottles, heart palpitations, irregular eating habits, 3 a.m. "oh my God, I've got to stop this" syndrome. Need I go on? I'm sure most of you know the scenarios. How I have earned my new name.

So a few days ago, I blogged, calling it "Zero" as that is where I stood—at day zero. I continued at day zero until yesterday, when I fought off terrible urges to drink. It was like the old Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk was fighting his negative self. I wrestled with the internal screams to pull over to the convenience store and buy something...anything as long as it had alcohol in it. It was immaterial that there was snow and ice on the road and, with booze in me and the car, an accident would have been disastrous. After passing the last stop to where alcohol was available and feeling both relieved I had not given in and terrified that I wasn't going to be able to drink, I made it home. Sober, I watched a movie with my family without passing out during it, had a couple of cups of tea, retired to bed around 10:30, and slept peacefully right past 3 a.m.

I sit here at the computer, a cup of coffee by my keyboard and sharing my reflections. I feel relieved to be reasonably clear-headed and have laid out the plans for my work today. I am a fool, no doubt of it. A fool for not seeing the danger I was in on day sixty-five. A fool for not recognizing my apathy was setting the stage for relapse. A fool for accepting that first drink as a temporary detour in my fight against addiction.

As I mentioned in the beginning of this discourse, I have acquired several names in my life. Maybe I could work on having one more...I would like to change it from Fool to simply Padraic.

But it is going to take time. I'll keep you posted.

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Old 01-05-2010, 07:21 AM
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I too am a fool - but today I am sober. Thankyou for sharing.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:37 AM
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Hey there Creek. Thank you for your post. It's amazing how quickly that one drink can turn into what it turns into. It's posts like yours that I will continue to re-read when I feel like just having " a" beer.

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Old 01-05-2010, 09:57 AM
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I just see honesty. I don't see a fool. It is what it is, Creekryder. Alcoholism.

Peace, brother.
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Old 01-05-2010, 09:58 AM
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If it's OK with you, I'll just call you Padraic. It hurts my heart when we're not gentler on ourselves, when we beat up on ourselves too much, so I can't think of someone having the name Fool.

I've made some mighty foolish decisions in my life, I've made a fool out of myself in my addictions. But for every day I make the decision to stay sober, to do whatever it takes to achieve sobriety, I'll choose to call myself Scott, a winner in recovery.

You're posting here, you're aware of your addiction and the disease of alcoholism, and you know what to do. Welcome back Padraic, please cast aside the fool moniker and take up the challenge, one day at a time, of being a winner.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:11 AM
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Padraic a fool you are far from!

A fool takes no action when a problem arises.

A fool does not reach out for help & support.

A fool is one that throws the towel in at the drop of a hat.

A fool is incapable of seeing the cause of their troubles, let alone even make an effort to do something about it.

The question is Padraic, what are you going to do today to stay sober?
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:12 AM
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I don't mind the tag of being a fool. But a fool does not need to remain as such. Only a fool would do that.

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Old 01-05-2010, 10:15 AM
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Yet, Taz, I did all those things, thus deserving the prestigious title.

Padraic the Not Quite As Foolish
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:27 AM
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I don't think posting a cautionary tale is foolish at all.

Day 21 - thanks for the warning and I'm glad you're back on track.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:51 AM
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Hi Paddy,
I can't speak for the others, but I certainly missed you. So glad you came back to SR.
We are all here for you. You are no more a fool than the rest of us. Alcohol fools us all and we fall for it when the defenses are down. I've come close too, but I guess I was lucky. I can't say that it was true sobriety that saved me, just pure luck. I've still got a lot of work to do.
Welcome back.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:20 AM
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As I have stated many times, this battle will continue the rest of my life. But I have to live to continue the fight.

04Jan10 the campaign began anew.
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:47 AM
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So happy to see you back, my friend. You are one of the coolest people here & I learned alot from you as I tried to find my way out of hell.

I could've written your post. I know well that near-panic feeling of passing the convenience store where our so-called relief sits waiting for us. I've never found the answer to why we'd stick our hand in the fire when we know we'll be badly burned. I did it over & over for decades - always thinking of it as a willpower problem.

When I came here and was enlightened - in part by you, Padraic - I gathered the strength to do what had to be done. I could not have gone on another year the way I was. Thank you for helping save my life then, and thank you for this heartfelt post, which is helping me today.
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Old 01-05-2010, 01:42 PM
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I'm a fool, a friend, a student, a teacher, a tramp, a traveler on the windily road of personality reviler. With what I am...I'm greater badges that signify my being.
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Old 01-05-2010, 02:56 PM
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Hevyn and All—
If I have helped in some way in your recovery, I bow humbly to you, as I have just pointed out what you already know. My words are not my own but culled from those who have also suffered and, at some point, found that glimmer of hope and peace from addiction. I have told you nothing new, it has always resided in that higher self that lie within all of us. It is that self which shouts out what our mortal being has forgotten or repressed. I need to listen as well.

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Old 01-05-2010, 03:33 PM
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I feel like you were talking to me! I have been a fool as well. We have a ton in common. I relapsed yesterday and passed out on the couch. I have hiidden bottles all over my garage....everywhere really. Hoping I can get to the store and replace the "good stuff" I drank the night before, before my wife notices. Hopefully we will have one more thing in common and that will be staying sober.

Thanks for you post!
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:39 PM
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The title of fool implies that you have made a choice and done something that a sane mature person would not do...if you are an active alcoholic you will have the emotional maturity of an early teenager (at best) and be in the grips of the insanity of active alcoholism both whilst drunk and not drunk.

I go to AA and the steps have returned me to sanity and given me the chance to have a sober and happy life...being not caught up in the grip of the insanity of active alcoholism i find myself making very few decisions that would class me as a fool. Going to a meeting and finding out more for yourself, actually doing the work that is required of you and be willing to do so is a solution...but if you don't want to do that you are not a fool at all either...just another active alcoholic looking for an easier softer way:-)
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Old 01-05-2010, 03:43 PM
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I don't think you're a fool P - I think you're a lot like me though.

I had to accept the inevitable - really fundamentally accept - I am an alcoholic...and I needed to work through the fear that comes with accepting that sobriquet for the rest of my life

It wasn't easy, but if I made one good call in my life that was it
I thought my life was over...but it was just beginning, P.

I'm with you, mate
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:15 PM
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You know, Dee, I have accepted the stigma of being and alcoholic, have for years. But you bring up a very valid point that I have also known but tend to sweep under the rug-I haven't accepted the fact that drinking can never be part of my life. I know I can't control it. I know I will never be able to have a couple of drinks and leave it. Too much of my life has been centered around drinking. Since I was 15 when I took my first serious drinks, it has become a part of me. I look at old photos of me and I most always have a beer in my hand. That will be a great legacy for my children and grandchildren when they look through those photos in the future.

A couple of months back I wrote of going to a party where there were a lot of people drinking. I expressed the recognition that I didn't know how to interact as a sober entity. Then I convinced myself I could do just fine in that situation. Bull###t!!! I am not a pillar of strength, capable of just ignoring the lifestyle I have lived for years. I have yet to truly allow myself to believe that drinking must be out of the picture. On the gut level I have been lying to myself. And that is the reason I relapse. Thank you, Dee, for bringing that to my attention. I have said the words, but down deep am not listening. Until I do that, sobriety will remain a flighty condition that will alway be just on the brink of collapse.

I grow so tired of on and off abstinence. How in the world do I erase those elements that cling so tenaciously? I have a lot of thinking to do before I drift off to sleep.

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Old 01-05-2010, 10:34 PM
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While me poison is pills and not alcohol I could relate to what you were saying in that first post. I have felt that panic of not having my fix so many times, but ya know in the morning I might feel kinda cranky and I might need an extra cup of coffee but I am sober! I know you can do it.
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:42 PM
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Hi Creek, Power to you too. Im a recovering fool.
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