Life has been moving very quickly in the past two weeks between work and family. I had a trip to Florida right before the inauguration. The following week I had a few health related appointments (nothing to worry about, routine things like an eye exam — turns out I need readers for my daily computer work). Of course, mixed in there has been the rush of being a father, with a son in cub scouts, and basketball. I got violently sick (Norovirus) towards the tail end of last week and didn’t really recover until Monday of this week.

I’ve been trying to keep with a cadence of at least one post per week, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to write since the inauguration of President Trump. It’s hard to believe its only been twelve days since the inauguration and only nine since we were introduced to the idea of “alternative facts.” Everything feels like it’s accelerated over the past two weeks, and the chaos with which the administration steeps its tea hasn’t helped much either. The truth is, I’ve wanted to write, but not about sobriety. I’ve wanted to write about politics, but I am trying not to do it here. I am considering writing about it elsewhere but I don’t know if I’ve got the energy for it.

My energy has been sapped — sucked out of me. With the whirlwind of travel, my son’s activities, my wife’s activities, illness, and just life in general, I have not made many meetings in January. In fact, I think I only made it to three meetings in the whole month.

Now, I’m keenly aware that this is very likely a bad thing.

But I am also keenly aware that (at least prior to the shock and awe of the last two weeks) I actually was feeling better and more comfortable in my own skin than I have in a long time. I firmly believe that part of this was likely due to the fact that I wasn’t listening to the negative talk that sometimes overwhelms meetings.

And yet…

With the overwhelming machine gun fire of news over the last two weeks, I’ve known that I needed desperately to get to a meeting. I could feel the tension starting to fill up in my body. I was starting to lose my temper over things that weren’t a big deal. The cortisol and adrenaline, pumping through my veins was taking their toll. My emotional sobriety was shot.

So, I went to a meeting on Monday night. And it was good. I saw friends who I hadn’t seen in a while. I got to share about a powerful experience that happened as a result of this blog — an experience that lead to a great sense of healing for me and one that I want desperately to write about, but cannot because it would break another’s anonymity.

Yesterday, I spoke with a friend in recovery who like me is struggling with the news of late. We spoke of having faith, faith in the process, faith in our democracy. We spoke of how stunning things have been for us, and how it’s hard to know how to respond. And we spoke of the fact that this may be a turning point in our lives, perhaps a turning point in the country, and that perhaps, there may be a better dialogue which results — that maybe good can come out of what we perceive as so horribly wrong, so violently against our shared values as a nation.

I don’t know if that will happen. I’d like to thing so.

What I do know, is that in these tough times, I need the connection that the program offers more than ever. I know that getting out of my head, getting out of the political morass, getting off the social media, and actually seeing and talking with other people who struggle with this brain disease called addiction, is key to my survival.

And so, I’ll keep coming back.

11 thoughts on “Connection: Key to My Survival

  1. The next four years will be difficult for those of us who simply know “right from wrong”. I read the headlines and try to not get sucked in. I tolerate. Some days its the best I can do. Recognizing that you were feeling better in your own skin before life became chaotic is such a blessing. It dials us in to taking care of ourselves, physically and mentally. We alcoholics tend to put everyone else first, even things that are happening in this world and then we become last. Then we suffer, and then that is when I recite the serenity prayer. Sometimes I have to say “and the wisdom to know the difference” over and over. Glad you have decided to “keep coming back”. its worth it and yes I still believe that goodness will prevail!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reminding me that I am not alone. It is a blessing to be more fully present and aware of my emotional state – we can’t manage what we can’t measure after all.

      Like

  2. You and me both, brother. I can’t tell you what our connection meant last night. Just someone perceiving I’m losing it a bit and reaching out. I think you know exactly what it means though! It’s the cure. I need to write about that call, as you have. I’m back at work today so i haven’t had the time to process it all. But, I will.

    The connections of the program, of the posse, these connections keep me alive. I don’t doubt it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been struggling a lot too. I’ve never felt so much anxiety in my life. The future feels so uncertain but I try to remember it is out of my control and just do the things I can, even when they feel so small and pointless. I agree that connection helps, though I find I just want someone to tell me it’s all going to be ok, and most people I trust enough to reach out to don’t feel that way right now. So I’m not getting the answer I want and that can make me want to retreat more. Getting out of my head and focusing on others is really the only thing that helps. And definitely staying away from facebook as much as possible, since it sends me into a tailspin. Sending you peace and strength. We will get through this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. February 2nd 2017!
    I keep coming back too Damien. My stubborn streak pays off as dogged perseverance & commiment to life free from active addiction – no matter what today.
    The American political landscape has ruptured with fear mongering nationalist hate groups & neo-fascists. This appears to a backlash for our system being primarily run by special interest groups and corporations for decades. Its horrible and heart breaking AND i beieve it will ultimately fail badly! We seem to be governing by nightmarish pendulum swings of trial and error rather than the proven principles our country was founded upon? I believe we are in an extreme time of crisis that demands more openness, transparency, equality, & freedom on a global scale.
    The arc of history has to be dragged in the right direction sometimes. This is one of those times.
    I’m hopeful #we collectively learn an invaluable lesson from these tragic times.
    Glad you are alive and in recovery. Our children need ethical principled parents NOW more than ever. They will live in the world we leave them. I want that to be a much better world.
    Hugz&Love my friend!
    Paul_JFT 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Now you know how I felt for the last eight years (funny how that works). Definitely keep up on your meetings, brother. Maybe buy a pistol.and take it to the range and pop off a few thousand rounds. It worked for me.😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Damien!!
    I am with you on the state of affairs in our country!
    My hubs is trying to keep me calm.
    I am trying to spend less time watching tv, or even reading the newspaper.
    FB is awful, and I have family on both sides.
    I am sorry you have been sick!
    I haven’t taken any action, like making 5 phone calls a day, and then I feel guilty that all I do is complain.
    But today, I read blogs, going to yoga, going to the theater with hubs tonight.
    That is a good day.
    xo
    Wendy
    Here’s my latest post..I hope you can read it!
    tipsynomore.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

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