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Old 05-17-2018, 04:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Heaven, Hell and Sobriety


Heaven or Hell! Call it that if you wish. Or call it Happiness or Suffering! Sober or Drunk! Where? Inside you or Outside. “The Kingdom of God is within”. Also the Devil?
When I first admitted I had a drinking dependency I was told that I was my worst enemy. No truer words were ever said. Recent medical research indicates that substance dependency is a product of four or five differing brain sites, each sending messages to an already numbed prefrontal cortex. A substantial part of any relapse originates in the subconscious. The prefrontal cortex only has a final veto power. National Geographic Magazine Sept. 2017, pp. 30 ff., available on the internet. This discusses Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies of addictive persons and treatments involving electrical stimulation of the prefrontal cortex, which is numbed by ingestion of addictive substances. Administering Buprenorphine to heroin addicts has also been promising. Programs dealing with substance abuse, such as Rational Recovery, have referred to the so called “addictive voice”, which in response to alcohol induced changes in brain chemistry and neurology, sends covert messages to a numbed cerebral cortex to have “just one” “just one more” or “that didn’t do any harm- guess I can now drink moderately, a glass of wine ‘now and then‘ just like the rest of the folk”.
And what’s in the outside world? Some refer to God and the Devil. Or a “Higher Power”. Or a Force, unknowable but capable of being felt or believed in.
The primary perhaps the only issue for those with increasing substance dependency, for us, for we are all together in this, is sobriety, the key to Heaven or Hell, within or without.

W.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Bill
I'm not sure I'm in Heaven but I'm in a heck of a better place than I used to be
I hope you're doing well

D
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee74 View Post
Hi Bill
I'm not sure I'm in Heaven but I'm in a heck of a better place than I used to be
I hope you're doing well

D
Thanks Dee. Doing as well as might be expected of an old geezer just turned 91. The dog's a geezer too, Dog equivalent of 82 or so. Got a severe dog dependency (codependency?). What will I do when he checks out? No cure. Just have to get another dog. No detox or 28 day rehab for a dog loss! Have you got a dog, a cat or maybe a kangaroo nurse practitioner?



Bill.
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Old 05-17-2018, 06:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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No pets allowed where I am now Bill - but I've had my share of dogs cats and guinea pigs in the past.

No Kangaroos tho - too hard to catch

D
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Hi Bill. I like your thinking. I consider I get little bits of heaven and hell right here on earth. The good things feel like heaven and the bad things feel like hell.

My critters comfort me. My old Jack is equal to 83 human years. He has lots of senior moments where his doggie dementia takes over and confuses him for a bit. I am just glad I found him when he was lost so I could guide him thru his golden years. I'm his 'guide person'.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Abstinence as opposed to recovery can be hell on earth, but like the AAs said, I have found much of heaven in sobriety.

Bit worried about electric shocks to the brain. Electro convulsive therapy was tried on alcholics as well as other victims in the dark ages. I wonder when they will come up with something new.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Not sure if I'm in Heaven but I surely did escape from Hell! Great post, W. Happy Birthday in advance!
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I realized I could probably go on drinking like this for maybe two or three more years, or live for another two or three decades...but not both. Suddenly the choice became crystal clear.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Carpe Diem! (Cherish the Day). I try to live in the NOW, the Present. Do one thing at a time. Go with the flow.

W.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have grown old - ninety one. Increasingly I feel that my time is limited. Speaking only for myself, I believe that extended sobriety has brought me happiness and meaning. The essence is love. That there is something or some One out there who loves me. Perhaps wants me to help others. That I may have done so has brought me happiness. And meaning.
Increasingly I have been concerned at how others, particularly in my native land, seem to have lost their way, obsessed with “self”, greed, “money”, power, lies. A slippery slope to unhappiess and fear. What may happen to those I shall leave behind? I shall never know. But I wish them well.

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Old 05-19-2018, 05:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Love your expressions my friend !!
I've got an 11 and a half year old black lab had him since a puppy!! It's just him and me in my home!!
He's a big source of comfort whether I'm sick or well!!
Best to you
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thank you Bill, I also suffer from severe dog dependency/ codependency love triangle severe attachment etc, with my two babies
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Old 05-19-2018, 05:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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W,

Thanks for sharing your perspective.

Although I am not a religious person per se, my re-introduction to the existence of something greater than me through AA has been a significant part of my sobriety. To me, the Indian parable of the blind men and the elephant is a great analogy for mankind’s search for meaning and the divine. We each grasp the smallest bits of the elephant and claim that what we experience must be the truth, and therefore any contradictory perspective is false.

If we truly believe that this thing is the alpha and the omega, surely we can accept that any attempt to define God will fall be limited and fall short of the truth. I believe that there is no inherent meaning to life; we, like the God described in Genesis in whose image we apparently have been made, are here to create. And perhaps it is our fallibility that makes the small things we do create inherently beautiful and magnificent, like Beethoven’s music despite his lack of hearing. I think the connections we create with one another and the small ways we lift each other during the journey, are what give life its meaning. Your posts have a way of doing that, I suspect for far more people than you might imagine.

Thanks for your honesty and courage to share.
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Old 05-19-2018, 07:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I appreciate your wisdom.
Thank you, Bill.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I never forget going to my first AA meeting about 8 years ago and dwelling about the concept of a Higher Power when an old timer just said: "Look at all the people in the room, together they have a lot of time booze-free, you can stick around and make them YOUR Higher Power if you want"
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Old 05-20-2018, 02:06 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Very interesting to read the thoughts of someone at your age W.

You definitely have my respect at 27. The sheer amount of life experience you have obtained over your years demands all of our respect.

I cherish my time with my grandparents because they teach me alot about life through their experiences.
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Old 05-20-2018, 03:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Agree with your thoughts on how the brain works!
Thanks
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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"And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid."

T.S. Eliot: "The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock"

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Old 05-20-2018, 10:30 AM   #18 (permalink)
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painter, love you. Your love shines through as well.
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Other people have cared about me more than I cared for myself.

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