Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A new challenge....

So, last week was a week with many meetings - I met with my counselor, who I mentioned earlier I was committed to meeting with once a week, despite the fact that I am not required to do this. He's pretty interesting and helped me to come to the realization that perhaps the boredom or loneliness I feel, which I have decided is the first set of binge drinking triggers I am gonna deal with, could be caused because the universe (he says its God, but I am trying to keep this as secular a blog as possible) - is trying to tell me that I am not living up to my full potential. I mean, I have HUGE dreams, and even some talent, and I am not using them the way I am supposed to - gave me a lot to think about.

We've already established that Mother Nature (God, the universe, whatever) can really stick it to you if you don't listen... and well, that kind of hit me as interesting advice, so I am going to pursue some of those dreams. I know one is supposed to happen.

He has also been asking me about my sugar consumption. A lot of guys on the farm balloon up and have severe sweet tooths and I haven't had that sugar craving. Initially this led him to believe that my craving for alcohol was only psychological and at first I believed him - however, when I reflected on that later, I KNOW that once I start drinking, I almost NEED to drink more - and that is physical. He cautions about thinking of alcoholism as purely physical because its not like a cold, it won't go away.

But it kept nagging at me. While I agree, phychologically, I often prepare for a drinking binge - renting movies, cancelling plans, getting food prepared, but once its gotten going, a blizzard won't stop me (nor has it - true story, I walked two miles in a blizzard once in bed shoes for a pint of gin - only to realize later it was SUNDAY and the liquor store wasn't open! Bad luck!)

And I never drank as much as the guys here (a handle a day is a LOT of booze - geezus!) But I take cinnamon supplements and have been taking them, and I read in Men's Health that these metabolize my sugar consumption as well as curb my appetite for sweets. I did this on my own as a weight loss technique, but there are other benefits as well, and he said he takes cinnamon also- that this is a GREAT idea that he may suggest to other patients who crave the lack of sugar their bodies are used to metabolizing from booze. He has asked me to keep a food journal as well as a weight journal. He also wants me to document when I feel physical craving for alcohol and if the cinnamon supplements counter act that.

This is OK, except, I keep this blog, I keep a real journal as in a diary, I keep a work out journal, I have to keep a gospel journal for my chaplain, and now this - I am going to have a LOT of juicy information for my 'E True Hollywood Story'.

Interesting... and I am glad he's taken an interest, I have often thought there is a physical reason I drink as well as a psychological one, and its cool to see someone take some time to help me break it down so that I can examine the whole picture. I think this is one reason I didnt like AA - because they only focus on the effects of alcohol and the results of drinking - and the daily reminder that 'you're a drunk' is stupid. You cant hang on to that kind of regret, I believe, and AA neglects the physical addiction to alcohol.

I also met with my case manager last week. He said that he is happy I am doing well here and that he envies me - this was a surprise - he said that when he entered a program (he is a former addict also) he wasn't in the same place educationally or mentally or spiritually, so that made me feel good.

The case managers know everything - there is a lot of big brother going on here and the guys in their case manager meetings tell their managers everything, and the managers talk - so they all know everything and hear everything about you.

He said that my work therapy supervisor (boss) likes me, and the guys here really like my personality - and so I am happy for that because "becoming wildly popular at rehab" is one thing I thought I would NEVER be able to cross off my bucket list.

I told him that I was worried about becoming complacent in the program - that I was worried I would skate through it on personality and charm (which, I am sorry, lets face it, I just can't shut it off.... just kidding) - but that I wouldn't get the full treatment I needed.

And he said, have faith the universe would somehow help me along...

And sure enough, it did.

Rob is a giant - almost 6'6" - he has been kicked out of several rehab facilities for relapse, he snores real bad, he steals, he breathes out of his nose (I know - it seems minor, but I am venting here!) Lane and I caught him his first day in the bee farm where we harvest honey, smoking something and drinking something (the zero tolerance policy starts on day 2 I guess - I wish I would'a known! kidding again - although, had I known I would end up in rehab, I might have done more 'experimenting'.... but thats a whole different blog).

He has a violent past, and as a former crack addict, his detox can be violent. THEY STUCK HIM IN MY BUNK! AND IN THE KITCHEN, and for the first time at the ranch, I am actually afraid of someone. This feeling sucks.

He slept and snored all through Sunday church and he really gives me the creeps because he talks in his sleep and its never anything I am equipped to hear. If I wanted a challenge, the universe sent it... and then some.

And so I thought about it. When I arrived here, I was extended so much warmth and generosity of spirit from the residents, and I soaked it all in, and it made this experience good for me.

I suppose, this is the universe's way of telling me to pass it on, so I am determined to make this work somehow, and, if he manages to stay in the program, I will do my best to be kind and realize that he is a human, with a heart, and we both went down a dark path - and like my mom had to do with the cat that got out one night - a cat she hated, in fact - a cat that was so dumb, she was actually afraid of the dark - she had to stand out there and shine the flashlight on the pathway to the house so the cat could come in - so, now I need batteries for my flashlight.

Besides, being a jerk isn't really me - and its certainly not how one gets to be wildly popular in rehab, now is it.

Take care all.

Days sober: 35

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