Family Time for Introspection

Got home last night after spending two days with my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, and Cousin’s friends.  A great time for me as this is part of the support system that I have been blessed with.  I’ve been emotionally and mentally “off” in the past several days and while I hadn’t quite admitted it.  Not to others or probably more importantly not to myself.

I’m currently in a mental world where I have a few decisions to make, decisions I thought would never come to me.  None of these decisions are inherently bad just…  nuanced.  I was able to spend some time with our rag tag group discussing some of such decisions.  I also reached out to a chosen few friends for some advice and worked a couple of my “tools” on the subjects with some good results.  I will continue to work my tools and explore these thoughts until I have reached a comfortable place.

The good in life typically does not come from having balance but rather from returning to balance.

A very wise friend in the above group stated to me last night during a discussion that the good in life typically does not come from having balance but rather from returning to balance.  After discussing I honestly agree with this statement, returning to balance is a welcomed good feeling and often comes with a self examination recounting things that may have gone.

My sleep is still nowhere near where I would like it but after taking action on these items in my life needing decision and change I feel much more serene and prepared to face things in front of me.  Another discussion with a different friend resulted in advice to view myself in each situation I might end up in after a decision in a yes situation for a few days, and then in a no situation for some time, take some notes and compare.

Often while discussing emotions it becomes human nature to respond with “me too” and while a bit of that did happen for the most part I received solid input.  I value these people and the input I receive from them.  If I were to sum things up in a short statement it would read “I opened up and gained introspection”.  I’m not unhappy with the situation at all today and need to make more efforts to ask.

~J

 

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What’s This New Thing?

Don’t be afraid of life

A friend and mentor of mine told me this once during a visit while I was at an inpatient rehab.  Such a simple piece of advice to think of at first thought.  Especially for someone who tends to display himself as fearless.

This mornings lesson came courtesy of poochie and mother nature we got to see snow for our first time.  This new soggy chilly ground covering did not stop us from potty!  We found it tasty though, something to snack on!  It’s everywhere!! We played, danced, ate, and rolled in this new thing.  Our once boring yard primarily used as a bathroom has become a new world all because a light dusting of this wet cold white stuff.

This morning I woke to a familiar deal, nightmares and terrors out of nowhere.  Pupster was right there with a nuzzle to remind me I was alright, that things were okay.  Her gentle nuzzle and pushing of her head against me with a soft low whine acted perfectly to remind me where I was and who I was with.  she reminded me that I should not fear life this morning.

Life is rough, topsy turvy, emotional, just a ball of crap for the most part and yet here we are being humans.  This is cold dad, this is fun!!  when do we lose our childhood?  Somewhere along the line we all forget the feelings of “new” and “interesting” we grow old and cold and stupid.  We get stuck in our stupid ways our habits and what we think being adults is.

Today I’m going to play with pooch, in the snow like an idiot because I can!  I will break out the snoopy sno cone maker my loving girl got me years ago and we will snack on snow cones and snow and just be.  Today I am not afraid of life, in fact today life should be afraid of me.

Run Elsa Run!!

IMG_1691These last few days have been strange for me, I’m not exactly sure why but I’ve felt a touch emotionally “off”.  I’ve been super emotional the last few weeks and for the last week and a half I’ve had an incredibly hard time sleeping.  Today I slept in, way in!  I slept snuggling my pooch most the day waking up a few times to go for our runs.

My history tells me that about this time the cravings and urges to shut my brain down with a splash (or a pool rather) of vodka would be the norm.  It’s different today, I have no urges or cravings, no intentions, no want or need to jump off that cliff.  This is a positive change for me and while I’ve been here before the trick now is to maintain this positive change.  Despite how strange my emotions are right now I need to absolutely maintain myself in proper fashion.

So, what’s different this time?

What’s different?  A lot is different!  I’ve been taking a drug called Naltrexone and taking it religiously, Naltrexone works as an inhibitor blocking the receptors of the brain that are activated by opioids and such, basically a dopamine inhibitor that is used to reduce cravings of alcohol and other such things.  My quitting smoking is another change (which the Naltrexone seems to be helping as well).  I’ve been on this before but last time I could not seem to keep on it daily, this time another big change that of routine has helped me maintain my dosage without fail.

The most impacting (and important) change though has been Elsa!  She’s been my light and my reason lately.  Knowing that regardless of how I’m feeling or what is going on she needs to be fed has strengthened my routine, and knowing she needs to run has reinforced my health.  She picks up on my emotions and responds without me ever saying a word, often from the other room no less.  Watching her run and roll and play, her looking at me with the Border Collie gaze and those blue eyes it’s impossible not to melt.  She’s my snuggle bear, my roommate, my pooches and while we have some things to work on behavior wise she’s picking up quick.

 

I only wish I had made these changes 10 years ago.  Such is life, the world continues regardless of what is in my head.  I can only pick up and keep moving, accept my faults and problems and try to repair what I have broken when I am capable.  There are plenty of things I need to fix that I am not ready to tackle yet but so long as I stay as positive as possible, and take Elsa’s example to run forward I think I will be okay.

Let’s go another few miles tomorrow Elsa

~J

Banging my head, sometimes I’m not smart.

So, many of my followers will pretty much know the reasons for my lack of posting recently.  I don’t think I need to really even tell them as even the most basic educated guess is probably enough.  For the rest of my followers that do not know me as well I’ll simply announce that I had a relapse.

I’ve battled alcoholism for far too long now and it’s incredible destructive nature has taken everything from me with the exception of my own life.  The fact that I am still breathing and walking is a miracle itself and for that I am grateful most days.  My father died at a young age of 58 from this evil and I need to continuously remind myself of this fact.  This thing is quite possibly the most destructive force I will ever encounter within my lifespan.  It takes everything away, money, time, family, friends, career…. The list goes on.

So the common questions that I am asked “what triggered you” and “why?” cannot really be answered so easily.  I cannot tell you what “triggered” me or made me think it was a good idea to take a drink, I can only tell you that it happened.  And then the lost time begins…. The inability to function during a drinking run equates to plenty of lost time alone but I don’t drink like normal people do.  The only thing that stops a day of drinking is finally passing out, I drink in massive amounts often more than a handle of vodka can be consumed in a single day which can absolutely not be considered normal.  Add to that the lost time during detox as I am fairly incapacitated for days of projectile vomiting, vigorous shaking, serious muscle cramps, sweats, and insomnia.  Absolute misery for a week or more, and yet when the next relapse hits for some reason the misery that follows is forgotten for some reason.

The anxiety, depression, and frustration with myself that follows sometimes feels unbearable and I don’t understand why it happens over and over again.  The sad part is that there in fact are a massive number of tools to deal with alcoholism it is only a matter of choosing and using them.  I’ve gone through good long phases of using the tools and maintaining sobriety with a good variety of these tools the secret was that I used them on a consistent basis.  The self realization that I picked up a drink because I got lazy and unregimented adds to the depression during a “post relapse” period.

So today I really have little choice but to try again and focus on my tools and regiment to avoid once again banging my head.  So again after a good week and a few days it’s another morning to get up and try to be a regular person for another day.

A Quick Diagram of Alcoholism

I’ve spent way too much time of my life doing flowcharts….

So I figured, why not?  The basic idea of an alcoholic decision cycle… as done in wreck-less fashion over the course of too few minutes with colors that probably make no sense!  Enjoy:

alcoholiccycle

Perhaps later I’ll do a Power Point but….. nah….

We have greenage,

~Joe