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Old 03-19-2018, 03:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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If drunks ruled the world...


I've been very active on SR for the past couple months. I'm reading so many posts. Reviewing all my old ones as well. And I'm struck by the lack of respect for the concept of obligation that runs through an addict's life - my life especially.

Definition of obligation: An act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.


When I'm drinking and drunk and craving, everything is sacrificed on the altar of my addiction. Some things are sacrificed entirely - my health is a mess, so is money, my aspirations. Some things are sacrificed in part - this is the myth of the functioning alcoholic - my career, for example. Being a successful professional in a highly competitive city at a highly competitive job - oooh what a "functional" alcoholic I am. BS. Truth is that I'm barely scraping by, the bottom always ready to drop out. Truth is that the hill I've been running down towards the skid row drunk that my Beast wants me to become only has gotten steeper and steeper over time. I'm not doing my best at work. I'm not the father or husband or man or son or friend or citizen or anything at all that I could be.

I have no sense of obligation when I'm a selfish, self-pitying, pathetic drunk. No sense of civic duty. No obligation shown towards my family. And just because when I get sober I lament how badly I have treated my wife or my kid or my self means nothing - just another hungover pity party.

When I'm sober I can be woken up at 3am, roused from bed and I can drive my son to an emergency room. When I'm sober I have the time and the money and the energy to reach out to friends, to family. I can attend community board meetings. I can just clean up after my damn self.

I was thinking today as I rode the subway in my city - thank "god" that most people aren't drunks. Subway tracks would not be repaired, medical treatments would not have been discovered, etc etc. All the things that allow for me to live the life I am blessed with - the drunks on skid row can't be counted on to not crap themselves. Imagine if drunks ruled the world.

I so much do not want to be the selfish waste I become when I drink. I want to be of use. Someone to be counted on. Someone who fulfills his obligations.

I can ONLY do this sober.

No one is coming to save me.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great post lg

I also want to be of increasing service, and for all this suffering and selfishness
to add up, in the end, towards something worthy.
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All the study in the world - and all the subjective hierarchies - won't get people sober. . .

Only action can do that."


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Old 03-19-2018, 03:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds like you're doing some good self reflecting/taking your inventory/whatever. That's a good place to be.. Drunks ruled my world(myself included) for several years and it sucked!
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I always fell for the "functioning" alcoholic thing until one day I was no longer functioning.
For years I could drink a twelve pack a night and never miss a days work, then slowly the morning anxiety got worse and worse til I needed a shot of vodka to make it to work then when that wouldn't do I chose staying home and drinking all day vs going to work, well that train of thought cost me two excellent jobs.
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Wow. I have no words but two: Thank you.

I needed to read this today.

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Old 03-19-2018, 04:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Amen, bro.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sometimes, though, I wish the world was run by recovered alcoholics, because I see so many recovered drunks unselfishly offer so much to other expecting no reward, and i sense such strong empathy from so many sober drunks i rarely see among "normal" people.
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great post LG!
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Old 03-19-2018, 08:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You are not there yet. Not diving into garbage and homeless! Do what you must and I think you have realized this, make a turn for the best. It's a slippery slope but you seem not to be in denial so be there for you, your wife, family, your job... all of that. If you need a break, take it but be honest.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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And yes, yes and yes! There are some awesome recovery options and there is always personal experience, some people are still in AA after 30 years of sobriety and counceling others.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SoberTyger View Post
Sometimes, though, I wish the world was run by recovered alcoholics, because I see so many recovered drunks unselfishly offer so much to other expecting no reward, and i sense such strong empathy from so many sober drunks i rarely see among "normal" people.
I like this and tend to agree with you. It's one of the gifts I think I am gaining from my addiction. And that's not some platitude I pretend to believe - I very much think you are correct - the empathy that comes with getting sober, the strength that I think I am beginning to find that comes with fighting our own demons - both translate to being able to understand what other people might or must be going through.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:11 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Not to nitpick this premise or anything, but I believe Winston Churchill and Sam Houston both were able to get a lot done while being total drunks. Obviously that's not the example we, the general population, should follow as a rule, but there have undoubtedly been humans who walked the earth who have been able to function at a high level while being active drunks.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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What a great post for me to start the day - thank you!
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Not to nitpick this premise or anything, but I believe Winston Churchill and Sam Houston both were able to get a lot done while being total drunks. Obviously that's not the example we, the general population, should follow as a rule, but there have undoubtedly been humans who walked the earth who have been able to function at a high level while being active drunks.
Imagine how much more they could have had/achieved if they didnít drink.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Great post Less’
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:46 AM   #16 (permalink)
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A drunk ruled my world for nearly 3 decades. He did a horrible job, so I fired him and found someone I am much happier with.

Love your posts, Brother.
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Old 03-20-2018, 11:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Not to nitpick this premise or anything, but I believe Winston Churchill and Sam Houston both were able to get a lot done while being total drunks. Obviously that's not the example we, the general population, should follow as a rule, but there have undoubtedly been humans who walked the earth who have been able to function at a high level while being active drunks.
This is about the last thing I'd ever let my AV tell me.

We should ask what Churchill and Houston's family thought of their drinking.
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Old 03-20-2018, 05:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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When I'm drinking and drunk and craving, everything is sacrificed on the altar of my addiction. Some things are sacrificed entirely - my health is a mess, so is money, my aspirations. Some things are sacrificed in part - this is the myth of the functioning alcoholic - my career, for example. Being a successful professional in a highly competitive city at a highly competitive job - oooh what a "functional" alcoholic I am. BS. Truth is that I'm barely scraping by, the bottom always ready to drop out. Truth is that the hill I've been running down towards the skid row drunk that my Beast wants me to become only has gotten steeper and steeper over time. I'm not doing my best at work. I'm not the father or husband or man or son or friend or citizen or anything at all that I could be.
Can so relate to this. Many parallels my friend. I understand now - as I've been reflecting on life - that being an alcoholic doesn't just include the time with ethanol in my blood. It's the complete me, the complete package.

For me, my sober time was usually - sometimes to a high degree sometimes to a lesser degree but always to a degree - simply an exercise in managing whatever damage was going on as a result of drinking. Spiritual, psychological, professional, relationships, self care, etc. Sometimes I'd manage better than others. But the overall trend line was definitely on a negative trajectory. Hence the AA phase "our lives had become unmanageable." Bingo.

I think I understand at least a little what the nature of alcoholism really is and why - for me - it's imperative that I work the 12 steps so that I can make changes to the underlying issues.

Quote:
I have no sense of obligation when I'm a selfish, self-pitying, pathetic drunk. No sense of civic duty. No obligation shown towards my family. And just because when I get sober I lament how badly I have treated my wife or my kid or my self means nothing - just another hungover pity party.
From the Big Book, p.62, Chapter 5 'How It Works'

"Selfishness -- self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity..."

To be honest, I'm seeing for the first time just how deep this thing goes in me - and while that's good news on one hand - it's scary as **** on the other.

Best-

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Old 03-20-2018, 07:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Sometimes, though, I wish the world was run by recovered alcoholics, because I see so many recovered drunks unselfishly offer so much to other expecting no reward, and i sense such strong empathy from so many sober drunks i rarely see among "normal" people.
I usually post in the F&F side of SR, so i'm a bit out of my comfort zone here but I was reading this thread and it is an interesting take on things.

Your post made me think. I've seen this said before and I wonder. For every alcoholic Husband or Wife there is, in many cases, a sober Husband or Wife. One who takes on responsibilities and child care/raising, as lessgravity said "Someone to be counted on. Someone who fulfills his obligations" (or hers).

For alcoholics who have been dodging responsibility for 5-10-15-20 years, there may well be a spouse picking up all the slack.

Maybe the "normies" you see that appear to have less empathy and compassion are just tapped out (and not necessarily from alcoholism in the family, of course).

I say this without resentment btw, I do think that the hardship faced in alcoholism can indeed make for compassionate people, I see it here every day.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I agree with the sentiment, but also try to look at it realistically. It is much easier to be a "functioning alcoholic" when you are well-employed, probably a white-collar/high-esteem position and have others around you to help you out. I'm definitely no martyr or hurting, but the "skid row" reference always gets to me.

IMO, a lot of that is a matter of environment and circumstances. We could ALL be there. We are no better. We are addicts.
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