You Ask, I Answer

Voice of Recovery from Addiction 

You ask, I answer…….

 

I frequently get asked questions and have decided to share some of them with you. If you have any that you would like to ask in addition to these, please feel free and I will be sure to answer them to the best of my ability.

 

I think the biggest and most frequent one I’m asked is:

“As an entertainer AND an alcoholic, people often

ask me how is it I work in bar after bar?”

First let me be the first person to tell you that not everyone can do the same.  Some choose. to stay away from anywhere  that serves alcohol and that’s fine, but it’s not something that they have to do once their obsession is removed. In recovery we learn tools to use, once our obsession is removed, we don’t have to hide or run from alcohol. We don’t give it a second thought most of the time.  We’re free.  It’s not about just NOT drinking, it’s about removing the obsession that occurs once we start that we have to get rid of. How is that done?  People use all sorts of different kinds of recovery methods, the one that worked for me was a 12 step program. No matter what method of recovery we choose, hopefully the end results are the same….recovery.

 

We can go anywhere  once our obsession is removed PROVIDING we have a reason to be there other than just because.  For example, I go to the club to perform, I have a legitimate reason to be there. HOWEVER once the show is over, I no longer stick around and socialize. I get my pay and I leave because my reason for being there is over. If I want to go see a band play, I can go see the band then once they are done, I’m out.  There are a few other rules I have to follow….I never car pool, I drive myself so if I get any kind of itch, I can just up and leave.  I never go to a club or bar just for the hell of it.  I don’t keep alcohol in my home, but if I have a gathering, my guest are more than welcome to bring it with them if they choose. The catch is when they leave, it’s got to go with them, it’s not to be left behind.

 

“Do I still get the “itch or think about it?”

Yes. I don’t know any alcoholic or addict who doesn’t.  It does happen on occasion. I find myself thinking, “I’ve been sober long enough, I can handle it now.”  Fortunately for me, I know better and the thought goes just as quickly as it comes.  They are only thoughts, as long as I don’t act on those thoughts, I’ll be fine. I allow the images from the video tape of myself to flood my brain, I think about how far I’ve come and how much I stand to loose if I test that theory of being able to handle it now….

 

“Do I miss it ?”

Not at all.  What’s to miss?????  I’ve had more fun sober than I ever did trashed. I don’t miss making an ass out of  myself, waking up in the morning and not remembering anything. I don’t miss people getting pissed off because of something I did or someone I insulted while I was under the influence.  I definitely don’t miss the hang overs and all that comes with them. Again I ask, What’s to miss?  I’ve learned to appreciate the good times I’ve had in my sobriety.

 

“When did I first realize I had a problem?”

This is a toughy…LOL  I never really believed I had one.  I figured the last three years of my drinking career MAYBE I got a little out of hand, but I definitely didn’t have a problem.  It wasn’t until I saw that video tape that the problem became apparent to me.  But it was in sobriety that I’ve realized the severity of it. I’d been drinking alcoholic for at least 15 out of 20 plus years. What I believe made it easy for me to justify over the years was because I am a binge drinker.  I could go days and days without drinking, but once I did, I was completely out of control from the minute that first drink hit my lips.

 

“What was my most embarrassing moment while drunk?”

LMAO!  This is where being a black out drunk comes in handy…I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened once I was off and running. I’m quite sure there are those who can tell some war stories though…LMAO

 

“What was your favorite drink?”
Towards the end, it was anything that would get me trashed. Vodka and Rum were usually the normal for me. However comma, my preference was “Jim, Jack or Jose.” Wasn’t a big fan of beer, but would drink Coors light once I was under the influence of something else. The hard stuff was my thing.

 

“How much did you used to drink?”

In the end, it was nothing for me to drink a gallon of vodka by myself. When I drank, I DRANK. The more I drank over a period of time, the more it took my body to consume in order to get that “buzz” we always start out wanting. I have to be honest, I’m shocked that I still have a liver.  My higher power was definitely looking over me. I drank like a six foot seven, four hundred pound man and should have been dead years ago.

 

“What’s the worst thing you ever did when you were drinking?”

That’s a list that can go on and on. I was no angel to begin with, but when I was drunk, I was evil. I thought nothing about hurting people in order to get what I wanted. The on thing that sticks out in my mind though, was when my youngest son who was fourteen at the time, pissed me off and I tried to throw him out of a second story window. I simply justified my actions by saying, “He pissed me off.”   I thank God every day for the people who were in my house at the time because had they not been, I’d be in jail doing life right now.

 

“How did your wife deal with you?”

I’ve been asking myself that question for years! Truth is, I have no idea, but I’m greatful that she did.  I never cheated on her, but my alcoholism caused me to disrespect her in other ways. I often ask her (to this day) why she stayed. She just looks at me and says, “I loved you.” During my last drunk though, she had made up her mind that she was gonna leave. Luckily for me, I got sober before she could put that plan into action.

 

“Did you go through withdrawals?”

Surprisingly enough, I didn’t go through the physical withdrawals. Don’t ask me why or how but I was lucky. I did however have drunk dreams in very early sobriety which can be connected with mental withdrawals.

 

“What was your first meeting like?”

I was terrified. I sat out in the parking lot with  my wife half tempted to run. My wife asked me if I wanted her to go in with me and I said, “No, I’ve got to do this myself.”  I was afraid, unsure that I needed to be there and unsure of what to expect. Once I was inside, I sat near the door ready to bolt at any moment.  But I stayed and I survived it.

“Do you have a sponsor?”

Yes I do. My sponsor is a man who is tough as nails. He doesn’t let me get away with anything and puts me in my place when I need it. He’s taught me what I needed to know in order to live and live sober. He’s got this annoying habit of always being right and although I don’t always like him, I DO always love him to death.

 

“Has your life gotten better since you got sober and how?”

The truth is, before I got sober, I had no life.  I was merely existing.  Today I have a life that I can be proud of.  I’m no longer disgusted at the reflection when I look in the mirror and I wake up looking forward to every day.  I appreciate what normal people usually take for granted. I feel like life has a propose today

 

Again, if you have any questions you’d like to ask, feel free, don’t be shy, I’m not..LOL

 

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