Examples of drunks and late-stage alcoholics

Kevin O’Hara, showcased in the last post, suggested we do a search on youtube and check out examples of alcoholics, particularly late-stage. I widened the net a bit, but here are a few results that came up:

Charley reminds me of a couple people I know in the neighborhoods bars…

That last one was powerfully emotional to watch. Very sobering to imagine being in his family’s predicament.

Goes to show there’s a difference between being a heavy albeit problem drinker versus being a full-blown alcoholic. But, then again, it’s a process getting to that extreme that first began with creating (or giving into) a habit of drinking regularly.

That’s enough of that for now.

AlcoholMastery

A channel I recently came across and have been watching the last couple of days, AlcoholMasteryTV:

I get where he’s coming from SO MUCH in that video above in terms of how he used to be as a drinker. His story gives me hope.

“Keep the alcohol out of your mouth.” Yep. Personal decision.

Personally not interested in purchasing his (or anybody else’s) course, but he has a bunch of videos up for free on his channel that are useful.

His channel is a good resource.

Saturday afternoon journaling in June 2017

Now on day 4 of my commitment toward change. Arm muscles are finally back to normal. Can extend them fully once again. Had dinner with my former partner last night and he said I had just awakened muscles in my forearm that probably had never been stressed so hard, then allowed them to get dehydrated and fatigued the day afterward, so there’s nothing really to worry about there. That’s good. Was nervous for a couple days there that I had damaged a tendon or ligament or something. But all is fine now.

Of course I’m still thinking about what all has transpired recently and why and how I feel about it. That last night out (Monday the 12th), the one where I mentioned the older lady bartender at the calmer bar seeming slightly nervous toward me, keeps running through my mind. The bar was dead that evening. A couple here or there would roam through but otherwise I was sitting in there alone, drinking and playing music on the jukebox. Wasn’t being rowdy or anything, just didn’t want to go home. And it’s that fear of going home that keeps perplexing me. Felt it so many nights while out and about. Like I’m afraid to be with myself, to sit there with my troubled thoughts and ideas and ruminations. That’s been the driving force for me in the barscene for as far back as I can remember. Just didn’t want to go home and be alone. And once it came time for me to return home, I’d want to be “set” to where I’d go to sleep shortly. Put myself out. If I didn’t drink enough at the bar to do the trick, I’d drink more once I got in. And I recall doing just that in my early 20s and here I am in my mid-30s still attempting to do the same thing.

That’s a lot of years of running from something. But what gets me is that I do look at my past and examine it in as much detail as I can. Always have done so. And I do look at what I’ve done wrong and let myself feel it deeply and acknowledge it for what it is. Just because I think about it, though, doesn’t make it go away. Worked it all out as much as I could hope to and yet here it always remains. Back another day to remind me. My thoughts are there when I drink though too. They don’t disappear. Might go under the radar for a while when distracted by others, but they crop back up as the night wears on. Not uncommon that by the end of the evening I’m actually fairly depressed or melancholic (as I prefer to call it). In other words, I didn’t remain a fun drunk for long many nights. I know that. Others knew that too. Told me so on occasion.

So the alcohol didn’t even fix what it was intended to fix, not even temporarily. Not even throughout the full evening of drinking. The thoughts always rise back up before all is done and said. And I believe it’s those thoughts I’ve been aiming to escape from all these years. I don’t know what to do with them. Don’t know how to tame them. But it’s clearly evident by now that adding alcohol to the mix not only doesn’t sufficiently eradicate them for long but also provides breeding ground for new reasons to be upset with myself.

I see it. I understand. More now than ever.

Not sure why I seem so afraid of sitting alone with myself for too long. Why it makes me stir-crazy and uncomfortable. I’ve known me long enough by now to recognize that these are simply thoughts, memories, and that they can’t do much more than pester me. Seems they wish for some sort of expression, some outlet, some way of being concretized, so to speak. And actually, if I’m honest with myself, I have known this for a long time. Guess I haven’t wanted to do it. Didn’t want to have to sit with them so intimately and try to fashion them into something else. Maybe it feels too personal, too sorrowful, too impossible to remedy. But they’re just emotions, and life could’ve been much worse. Not dealt the worst lot here. Just an awfully emotional person who feels these things so deeply that that worries me. Made me think these emotions might capsize my little ship eventually if I took up too much time with them all. So instead I opted for a “slow death” (as I call the drinking lifestyle), which is no better. Not one bit better. Very likely much, much worse. Dangerous for myself and others and completely unproductive in the big scheme of things.

So there’s no choice here right about now. This is what it is, and this is calling for what it wants. Maybe taking up these concerns and finding a way to make use of them will eventually satisfy that internal “gremlin” a bit too. I always return to what Erich Fromm wrote about our options as people: we can either find a productive path or wind up becoming destructive (whether toward others and/or ourselves). I’ve always known his words to be true, and yet I ran anyway and created this situation for myself. Reasoning alone apparently isn’t ever enough.

But I hear it now. Understand more than before, now that there are so many more memories added to the heap, generated within the last several years. New forms of destruction and chaos that were sparked by my hands and my words this time around. Teaches me about the dark side to one’s being. Our capacity to cause harm, whether we deliberately set out to do so or not. And that’s been a valuable lesson. Gotta thank something out there for showing that to me in the ways it has.

Seems to be true that we start to really strive toward heaven once we have reckoned with hell. Otherwise we don’t know what we’re even striving for. But, then again, most roads to hell are paved with good intentions. Maybe dealing in our own versions of the abyss is what helps clarify what’s actually better, more worthwhile, truly healthier, less idealistic and more real.

I can’t regret these years fully since they’ve provided a treasure trove of opportunities to observe others and myself. Lots of shocking material there. Parts of myself I wouldn’t have believed existed had I not witnessed it directly, and same goes for plenty of others. We humans are far more complex than we can imagine, because life is far more complex than we are capable of imagining. Consciousness is a trip, to say the least.

It is what it is. And I’m here to explore it amongst all of you. No one’s perfect, nor is it worthwhile to expect anybody to be. Not even sure what perfection really entails anymore. Just no longer want to toss chance to the wind and act like I’m not responsible for any outcomes when that’s so obviously not true. Such a strategy is an attempt to hide from reality. But we know how that goes…we can run on for a long time, but sooner or later we will be cut down…

True. And it’s okay. I know these days that I can take the pain. Besides, there’s nowhere else to run. And so be it. This is a blessing in disguise, I do know that and appreciate it as such. Just a transition period right now is all. Gonna take time to get my bearings and to form new habits and whatnot. Still, this is FAR better than the road I’ve been on, even if this winds up being treacherous for a spell. So far it is not, but I am preparing myself for that possibility and will accept it if it comes. Because it’s just life. This is how it can roll. Still better than the alternative I had been pursuing. That was monotonous and nihilistic and was tearing me apart. Turning me into something I didn’t want to be. Don’t want to go back there ever again. Not like that. Too pointless and painful and chaotic and uncontrollable. Became useless. Frustrating and saddening and pitiful and not much else.

Why do we fear life and living? Why do we try to hide out and not be seen for what we are? And why have we humans been attempting this since the dawn of time? What are we so afraid of? Rejection? We’re going to be forced to deal with that regardless. Pain and suffering? Same deal. Failure? I think that hits closer to the mark. Existential guilt and confusion.

Anyway, time to move on to something else.

Forward-moving gameplan

Briefly, a few goals to focus on in the immediate future.

1.) Wake up earlier (and hopefully head to bed earlier as well). James Altucher sounds like he knew what he was talking about when he wrote about his decision to sober up years back requiring him to shift his sleep schedule. The night time is the right time for gremlins to run amok. I am up today at 7am. Fell asleep last night a little after midnight.

2.) Tend to my health, particularly through exercise. Fell off that wagon over the winter and have been trying to get more active in the last couple of weeks. Until I hurt my knee again, I was on a roll for a minute there. But I worked with my trainer on Monday and am still sore as the dickens in my arms and back. It’s a better kind of pain, worthwhile pain. The aim is to work out vigorously 3-4 times each week from hereon out.

3.) Embrace thriftiness. Time to save money. Used  to be able to set money aside in savings and need to get back to that.

4.) Take some downtime. Stay home more doing things that need to be done around here. De-stress from all the BS.

5.) Regain contact with some of my people, especially my Grandma. Haven’t been calling her much over this past year. My best girlfriend’s grandfather recently passed away. My buddy in Omaha called the other day but I missed it. Another buddy in Mississippi has reached out to me on occasion, but I’m never around. Haven’t talked to my Dad on the phone in many months because I kept missing his calls. Haven’t heard from my brother either. Or my uncle. Or my cousin. Gotta eventually reconnect.

6.) Stay away from certain places and people. Bad influences who stress me out and bring little to nothing to the table of real value. Tired of dealing with idiots and assholes. Took up too much of my time in the past.

7.) Play in healthier ways. Ceased transcribing portions of books years back. Ceased painting and creative writing attempts. Ceased learning to make videos. All are better uses of my time and energy now.

8.) Resume counseling. Been about a year since I quit. Call her up again and schedule visits.

9.) Form better habits and routines. Like keeping up on my various email accounts more regularly. Taking time for writing and watching lectures in the morning hours. Go on walks now that the weather permits. Keep up on my schedule and improve on what needs to be done. This one will require more detailed planning from day to day.

10.) Imagine the possibilities. A lot of opportunities await the future. I miss dreaming of constructing a better reality. Been too bogged down day to day. It can become much better without that monkey on my back pulling the strings. That gremlin only has as much power as I afford it. Those days are over now. Thankfully come to my senses. It can be better from hereon out.

The writings and podcasts of James Altucher didn’t fall on deaf ears and blind eyes, even though I’ve been stewing on them for a couple of years now. He’s a godsend in his own right and I’m glad people like him exist to share their stories and provide ideas to others in similar straits. Lots of interesting resources available out there. Many good books have come my way and deserve deeper scrutiny and attention paid. I miss that side of myself who used to could focus for long spells on such matters. And I understand this transition won’t be easy. But it feels so necessary, so entirely overdue. It’s worth making a change, for myself and my loved ones. I know it’s going to be okay.

Tuesday morning journaling

My knees are so jacked. And if I quit falling on them it would probably help immensely. Oy.

Drunken me. Can’t recall everything I got up to last night but know I was in safe company. The night before I was just as bad yet not around the right people. The word was that I took a couple hits in the face by a guy whom I know as a barpal who claimed to want to teach me a couple fighting moves. He’s a married man and ex-cage fighter. Apparently he fucked me up a bit, and publicly. Don’t remember it hardly at all and luckily my face didn’t hurt the next day, though my knee did. My knees have been put through entirely too much over the years. Between walking in snow and ice and being a barhound my poor knees have taken a beating.

Been dealing with idiots for far too long. People can say we’re all equal all they want but the truth is that some are dumber than others. Apparently I give time to retards more often than I should. Thinking their hearts are in the right place, but no, they’re too stupid to behave properly. Hence why a guy, so says the bartender on duty that night, got jabs in on me in my face while claiming to be teaching me something. Didn’t teach me jack, just fucked me up. My fault for trusting the idiot for a minute.

And it’s nights like those when I wonder most about what I am doing in this life.

At least last night I was in safe company, but even still I intended to come home 12 hours ago to eat dinner. Got distracted by alcohol and entertainment, like usual.

I surely am an idiot for allowing my life to become this. No question there.

There are so many things I’d rather share on here, like my reading material, and yet this is what I keep having to report on. Because I’m fucking up, relentlessly. Middle-aged barhound with no direction at present. Just recovering from the past while making stupid decisions day to day.  I know.