Drinking – A Love Story – The Story Continues

Our reading this week took us to the end of Chapter One and the beginning of Chapter Two.  The joy of reading together like this, is the ability to share our stories and to look at the similarities we have with the author. I highly recommend this form of study to others as a wonderful supplement to the recovery process. One of the topics Ms. Knapp discussed was the situation of being in a dry location, and carting her own alcohol in her overnight bag to be sure she’d have enough to get her through the time she would be spending there.  She also talked about making a 90 minute round trip visit to the nearest county that sold alcohol and crafting what she perceived to be logical reasons for the need. I have memories of visiting my parents’ vacation cabin.  Nothing exciting – a little one bedroom wood frame… Continue reading

Drinking: A Love Story – Chapter 1

A recovery friend and I had heard about a book called Drinking: A Love Story, written by Caroline Knapp.  As it suggests, it is a woman’s walk through alcoholism as a love affair, and how she had to remove herself from it.  My hope is to write a bit about each chapter and share that part of my story with you in conjunction. Chapter One is titled “Love”, and is the beginning of understanding how a casual relationship blossomed into a love affair and then a co-dependent relationship.  The author discusses how she first came to see alcohol as a way to deal with her insecurities and to fit in.  She talks about her early enjoyment around drinking in social situations and the progression of her drinking from casual to frequent to daily drinking.  The overriding thought in this chapter is her focus on how this could have happened to… Continue reading

AA Language – Does it Help or Hinder Recovery?

“My name is Damien, and I’m an alcoholic.” This is the conventional way to introduce oneself at a meeting of the fellowship. It bugs me. The very first time I said these words they were incredibly powerful and liberating — when I finally said them, my surrender was complete. But as my sober time increases, I’m growing more uncomfortable with saying these words. They’re not inaccurate. These words defined my drinking in the end. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines alcoholic as “affected with alcoholism” and alcoholism as “continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks.” But these words do not define me. These words focus on the problem rather than the solution. Every time I introduce myself at a meeting, I struggle with how to label myself. I wrestle with a few phrases in my head, more often than not, I default to using these words even though they irritate me.… Continue reading

Just Like Amy

I wonder sometimes, where I’d be now, if I hadn’t stopped drinking and popping xanax. I’ve been advised over and over not to “what if” myself into a bout of anxiety. I get anxious easily. But my mind goes there, now and then. Especially when things are going well. And things are going well right now. They have been for quite some time. I’m not used to this new method of experiencing the world. It seems a bit morbid, even to me, to think these thoughts. But being unaccustomed to stuff working in my favour, my mind tends to wander back to where it dwelled for most of my life. In the immortal words of Amy Winehouse, I go “Back to Black”. I’m still distrustful of my thought process at times. But this type of contemplation makes me grateful. At least that’s my understanding of it. I imagine I might… Continue reading

Little Steps – Ryan Michael Sirois

Last night I drove to a meeting where I was asked to speak about my experience with addiction. That relentless butterfly in my stomach began flapping its wings a bit faster, my heart quickly followed suit. A growing anxiety that I would be the epic failure of the century. It was night, a silent static in the air. Resting in my chest. What if they laugh at me? What am I going to say? What if they judge every ridiculous word? Typical thoughts as I drive to my execution. I can only imagine the thoughts of a man walking down death row. Google directed me to a neighborhood I had never been before. Run down homes, a gas station, a few people had already put up dangling strands of Christmas lights. I can’t believe it is already the holiday season. Thanksgiving had just wrapped up. Pale, cream colored homes stained… Continue reading