Just Another Recovering Person

Archive for July, 2010

Cut Hands, Bruised Ego’s, and Weight Loss


I cut my hand at work yesterday. Enough to require stitches. I’m still not sure if the gentleman at the hospital I went to was qualified to do it or not. You see what should have taken 6 to close, he did in 2.
I sat for 3 hours in a one room emergency room with my boss as it is a workers comp related injury. Nothing is seriously damaged, however my hand is swollen still and I am not feeling well this evening. I wonder if it has something to do with getting a tetanus shot as well?!?

 I declined any medication although I don’t believe at any time any was offered. It was eye-opening and frustrating as well. This pattern continued this morning as we took the kids to the dentist. We arrived at 9am and left at noon. The head dentist was late as his pontoon boat was sinking this morning. No one left happy.

 My daughter lost her job at Sonic. It seems there was a mix up with another girl’s ‘Changer’ but oddly enough her bank balanced with the manager on Thursday night with no problems only to go into work on Friday and be told that she ‘Purposely Switched’ changers to come out $29 ahead. Never mind that it was payday and she had made $58 dollars in tips. One of the girls she works with has become a fast friend and is leaving. This girl does not get along with the night manager and I believe there were some teenage personalities involved. My daughter may be a few things but she is a hard worker and is certainly not a thief. Her mother and I stand behind her whole heartedly in this matter. She was asked to pay the $29 dollars back and was told she was no longer needed. She told the night manager that there are employee’s stealing from them but she was not one of them to which he hung up on her. I told her to use this as a learning experience.

My wife is losing weight. A good deal of weight. I have never nor would ever make an issue out of someone’s weight. I have far too many years in life to realize that beauty is but a fleeting thing. The shape of one’s body can never measure the depth of one’s heart. She was very surprised at her new pant size today. I will not divulge it here because that is a personal matter but I can tell you she as ecstatic.

 I continue my search and my path of recovery here. Each day is a wonder to me. At times, to be honest, I really have no idea of how I stay clean. Some days it is just a sheer determination to let things pass, other days I can feel the energy of love and help from those both near and far. I do believe that my HP has put me here for a purpose and I will continue to move on in spite of how I feel at times.
Some days I am full of joy and others I just want a blanket to pull over my head. Maybe this is truly just life. I would like to think that at some point a calmness will return. Everything is still just too new, or I am balking at the decisions we made.

I hope this post finds you all well.
Take Care…
Bob D.

Intimacy…Part III or Texturing My Hair at 42


Do you care if I texture your hair, she asked in a deep southern draw.
Uhhh…I guess it’s ok.
It will take some of the weight off the front of it.
Ok…I guess.

Growing up I went to a vocational school that I have never used the trade I went for in the first place, accounting. There were several girls that I knew that were enrolled in cosmetology. Always looking for a willing participant and myself liking the fact that their boobs pressed against me while they cut my hair, it seems I couldn’t get my hair to grow fast enough in those days to volunteer to be a ‘Hair Test Dummy’ as often as I would have liked.

It’s a good thing I paid a little attention back in those days because I saw the stylist today using thinning shears and referring to it as ‘Texturing’ my hair. There is still nothing better than getting a hair cut even today, and it has nothing to do with the boobs….really.

I turned 42 this past Wednesday. Not really a milestone as turning 40 was but none the less another year older, a little wiser, and I actually feel like I’m in half decent shape for my age other than I am still too fond of AMP Energy drinks and smoking.

My diet has changed. I’m not eating as much junk food as I once did. I’ve lost some weight, do mainly to the fact of the heat and sweating profusely at work. My wife has lost weight as well and our relationship is at it’s best. It has shown recently with our passion for one another and my willingness to be more intimate with people in general.

Intimacy is a choice. I have come to understand that. It means that not all of my relationships are or have to be intimate. There are people who are involved in my life on many different levels. I think that the thought process of ‘It’s all or nothing’ is what had set myself up for rejection so many years ago. In that rejection I found a form of desperation that would simply feed off of each emotion. It set forth a series of complex thought processes that simply weren’t true.

It has taken time and will take more time to chip away at the layers of my being. The walls of insecurity that I built over time have been slowly lowered row by row, brick by brick. It is my hope that one day I will be able to listen, love, and understand more with my heart than with my mind.

Things are ok. My daughter continues to work and has had some moments but nothing like I posted about in June.
My son continues with summer football conditioning.
My wife is still looking for work.

Me…I’m getting by. My life is not nearly as full as it was a few months ago, which really now seems like an eternity ago. Time is a funny thing. It feels like we have been here forever but in reality we have only been here a little over 2 months. When I as younger there was all the time in the world, and now I’m a little older and guess what….I still have all the time in the world.

Take Care,
Bob D.

Intimacy….Part II


The fear has always been there. This fear is based in one area.

Rejection.

In my first post I talked about the fear that seems to permeate my being. This fear of intimacy based in thoughts and feelings. These thoughts and feelings are centered around one thing; Rejection.
None of us like or want to be rejected. I believe it is a basic component to our recovery, that what I want most is to feel good about myself, to feel good about my set of life circumstances. When this is not occurring I have it worked into my fabric of being that somehow, someway I am being cheated. That you are laughing at me, that you are rejecting me.

This goes to a much deeper level with relationships. As far back as I can remember the thoughts have been there that, ‘There is something about me that if I could just change he/she would like me’.  If I walk into a room and believe that a particular person is not speaking to me because I think they don’t find me attractive, it is not necessarily what the other person is thinking, it’s what I think about myself that sets the tone.

I am certainly no Dr. Phil nor am I implying that I have all of the answers that can ‘fix’ my human psyche. What I do know to be true is that I rejected myself long before I thought or felt others were rejecting me. I believe this to be the basic cornerstone of addiction. That I did not like myself nor did I like the way I perceived the world or others around me. This is what in part set off my search for ‘Something Different’. I had always been looking for something different, something different in myself, my world, my life. For most this may not be a startling revelation but for someone who used actively for 25 years it was the awakening that I needed to move forward in my life as a recovering person. The something different I thought I had found in drugs was just one of many attempts to fix my unltimate problem; myself.

 I don’t believe until I got clean that I ever was honest with people about how I really felt or thought about things. I don’t think I really have anything more to hide. I have arrived at a point in life that I have accepted myself on some level. Does it mean that I am an open book, ready to spill secrets or share some horrid tidbit from my past? Not necessarily. I have to be more practical than that. What I do mean is that by understanding why I do what I do I don’t have to run around trying to be understood by using what you want to hear or have me to be. That I don’t have to be a chameleon in the hopes that you will accept me, because I can accept myself to a degree today I don’t need the outside validation of others to remove the rejection label I placed on myself so many years ago.

With all that being said, life is complicating enough for me to realize that it is easy to fall back into old behavior. A quick story here, or a white lie there to gain acceptance, to gain approval so that I don’t have to feel that feeling of rejection all over again.

Rejection is a powerful feeling, almost as powerful as desperation.

I wonder if the 2 somehow walk side by side?

Maybe more on that later.
Happy Birthday Elizabeth…..

Take Care….Bob D.

Intimacy…. Part I


Intimacy:
Noun
-a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.

-an act or expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like: to allow the intimacy of using first names.

A dictionary gave these two definitions for intimacy.

Bob D’s definition is:

-Fear based on thoughts and feelings

What do I mean by that you may ask? Quite simply I have had a fear of intimacy on almost any level as long as I have been alive. This is not some startling revelation. I believe we all possess some fear of intimacy on some level. Some are more open from the start, others more reserved, and then there are those who may feel if someone knew, truly knew us, they would turn away from us.

I guess from the earliest memories I have I wasn’t quite comfortable enough with myself, my family, my friends, the places I lived to make that bond or connection where passions are formed and intimacy is nurtured.
Perhaps an explanation of sorts is in order.

 I grew up in a dysfunctional home filled with drugs, violence, welfare fraud, verbal abuse and a sorted list of problems. I want to make it clear that I don’t necessarily buy whole heartedly into “The Product of the Environment” theory. I mean at some point I’m sure I had a choice but it passed me by as if I cared enough to look for it to begin with. These are not the reasons I am an addict. I am an addict because I never really liked the way I viewed myself or the world around me. In this state of mind it simply became easier to put things like intimacy on the back burner so I could deal with more pressing issues such as being self-centered.

It doesn’t mean I didn’t care, that I didn’t have passions for things. It simply means that I could not move to that next level based on past experiences. I had people tell me my whole life how I should think and feel about things. How is it I can tell someone…’You shouldn’t feel like that about this’?

Drug use certainly didn’t help fill the void where intimacy and many other things should have been. It did just the opposite. Intimacy was replaced by isolation, hope was replaced by fear, and courage was replaced by desperation.

I am certain no one has loved me any more deeply than what my mother did. But at some point, I was replaced by an alcoholic father and life. Too often we shuffle people, like cards in the pursuit of what we think we deserve. I’ve done it. I often think of all the people who passed in and out of my life who had a genuine concern for me and I dismissed them like hired help.

Could I have been intimate in my relationships with them?
Do I have the capacity to move past this fear of letting someone else in? What is this fear really based in…..
I believe it is based in rejection. That whatever I do, it will not be enough for you to like me, love me, or be with me.

Where does this come from? It could be the past. It could be my thought process. It could be that my ability to perceive others and situations is not what it should be. It has affected every relationship I have been in to this day. So where do I go from here?

More on that in my next post.

Take Care…Bob D.

The World is Round and Other Mistruths


Louisiana is flat. I am sure of it. Just drive I-20 West from Jackson, Miss to Monroe, La and you will see what I mean. It’s also flat in several other ways as well, but I might get to that later.

I hope this post finds you all well. Things have been ok. Not great, not poor, but ok.
My wife continues to look for work while I am working. My daughter has gotten her temporary license and has also found a job at a local Sonic, which there seems to be on every corner here as well as Dollar General.
My son is currently in summer football conditioning for 7th grade. I had an interesting conversation with my supervisor today who shed some much-needed light on the culture here that has been baffling me.

Although the war between the North and the South ended decades ago, there is a racial divide and tension here that can be felt and seen on a daily basis. It is on both sides of the fence.
People here seem to be so far behind in the times as in important matters that affect the world or other parts of the US. It truly is an encapsulated area. People here are passionate about the families, their faith, and their crawfish.
I think an aire of apathy has set in, or at least general negativity. I haven’t lived in this state long enough to say I have a voice on how people feel here but I can see and feel something. Maybe it has to do with Katrina, or BP and The Evil Empire wanting to take another shit on the people of the gulf coast who seemingly have done nothing except help provide a large majority of the US with seafood the past I don’t know 100 years or so.

Just some thoughts I guess. My supervisor has been having me ride with him to show me the area and some of our clients businesses. We have had some good talks.

I haven’t been getting to many meetings but I am ok with that for right now. I have done a little stepwork, talk to my HP, and have been in pretty good spirits. I spoke with my sponsor on the phone the other night for about 45 minutes trying to paint a picture for him of recovery in a rural community. I think he understands a little better about what has gone on here.

Most days are ok. A routine has kind of set in. I know routines can be dangerous. I also know that isolation is the breeding ground of resentment and relapse. There are times I come home and want to run to a meeting only to know that there is not a meeting to run to. I am reminded of our literature talking about finding the ability to face life on its own terms right from the start. That is why when meetings were first formed, in most areas, they were not ‘Secret’ meetings. Schedules were made, handmade bulletins passed out, and a set of regular meetings in the same time and place began.

It’s not to say I have become delusional and don’t need NA or any other form of 12 Step meeting in my life. I am trying to apply the principles of the program in all my affairs as it is suggested. I am not that far removed from active addiction that if I sit quietly I can still feel the pain and desperation of my last night using.
It’s more that I need to choose my recovery network carefully because there is not quantity here, so I need to look for the quality and make the most of it when it occurs.

I am sorry I haven’t had a chance to read or comment on some of your blogs. I am certainly just as interested in what is going on in your lives as you are in mine so I am off to read and comment.

My posts have slowed down to once a week or so. Maybe twice a week if I am lucky. My friend Elz asked if I just didn’t have that much to write about or perhaps there are other things going on. Quite the opposite. I feel a 3 or 4 parter on a touchy subject coming up. One I have been afraid to tackle for a number of years.

Intimacy.

Take Care…..Bob D.