Introspection, Review, and Repair.

I’ve said that I’ve been dealing with my shit since I quit drinking in January, but boy, this shit is rough.

The title of this post puts it out more cleanly, but it’s still a rough, deep dive into my life.

For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me.

This belief was punctuated by the fact the people kept leaving me. I have severe abandonment issues. My wife will tell you that.

This started when my parents divorced. I was in third grade at the time. Its been a roller coaster since then.

Relationships start, they end and I wonder if there’s something I didn’t do. Something I didn’t do enough of, all of that kind of thing.

Abandonment is the big one for me.

Addiction is another aspect. I’ve been around alcohol for as long as I can remember. I raided my father’s vodka in junior high. I did this because I wanted an escape from the life I had.

Later, alcohol became my way of dealing with everything. Girlfriend leaves, drink. Father is a dick and wants nothing to do with you, drink. Family disowns you, drink.

This has gone on long enough. I reached a point where I couldn’t put myself or my wife and kids through it.

I’ve always pushed things away. Buried them deep.

Maybe that’s why I write horror?

Better than anyone else!

This is the most recent, though it is the hardest to deal with. I gained some perspective on this one recently. I understood where the idea came from.

I watched a family member disown and abandon others. Caring only about themselves. They were the most important. What they wanted mattered. No one else’s feelings were important.

I’ve had to confront this one head on.

For a long time I wasn’t the husband and father I should’ve been.

I was exactly like the person I mentioned.

Today I understand that yes, I am important, but I am not as important as others. I am not that perfect snowflake. I can’t have everything be about me without consequences.

I almost paid the bill on that one with my marriage.

All of us reach a point, okay most of us reach a point where we have to deal with our lives.

We have to learn to understand our childhood. We have to learn that our addictions are harmful and that they will cause further harm to those who matter most to us.

When I set about getting sober, I only thought about not drinking. Then all these things came out that I’d been suppressing. I wanted to drink. They go away then, right?

Nah, they don’t. They’re still out there waiting for us to fuck up.

But I didn’t. I’m staying sober.

The suppression of my feelings about my childhood and about my family is something I’m dealing with daily. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But this blog, and writing this stuff down helps.

It doesn’t matter how many people see it, only that I know I’ve written it down.

Have a good week.

Waypoints And Forks In The Road.

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I’m a firm believer that there are markers in our journey through life. That we reach a fork in the road and we can take the easy route or the hard one.

I refer to these moments as waypoints.

They are particular moments of decision.

Like waypoints in video games, they are either where we can continue the journey or stop and do something else.

For too long I’ve fought against the journey, taken the easy road. It’s either been through alcohol to numb my senses or through straight up asshole attitude.

But I’ve begun to learn from all the times I took the easy route.

There are maybe two times in my life that I believe I’ve taken the difficult path.

When I started dating my wife and when we moved our family to Utah.

I’ve thought about these moments quite a bit as I follow the path of sobriety.

What I’ve learned is I either haven’t tried hard enough or it did things out of fear.

Fear of rejection, fear of failure, and biggest of all for me, fear of abandonment.

That last one is bitch. I’ve felt like a lot of people abandoned me at one point or another for various reasons.

My wife is the only one whose stood by me through my alcoholism, my temper, my assholishness, and the mental breakdown I had in 6 years ago.

I’m getting to a point where I’m comfortable talking about these things. And I consider that the biggest breakthrough in my life.

There are still things I’m not ready to talk about publicly, but I am writing all of them down.

I hope you’re all doing well and that you’re following the path for you.

My path was constructed for who I am. Don’t let anyone say your path isn’t the right one. I listened to that shit for too long and it got me nothing but pain.

I’ve reached a new waypoint and it’s a difficult one.

Muse and Motivation, where have you gone?

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If you’re a long time reader you know my struggles with motivation. Well, I feel someone else has flown the coop.

I’ve been trying to stay motivated lately but I stare at my phone more than Scrivener.

When I do write, it doesn’t feel good and the fiasco of the missing 25,000 words hasn’t helped.

I feel like any motivation I have at one moment is gone the next. That my muse has flown away. I hope her wings have been singed by the frustration and anger pouring off of me.

So I feel I’ve reached that crossroads, the move on or die point. What I call waypoints.

It’s been hectic, to say the least. My mind has broken itself up into separate entities to deal with shit. Now with the motivation to write, the feeling that I’m failing myself, and that sobriety is making me feel better, I’ve reached a waypoint.

I can stop this train right now. Get off and never struggle with writing again, or I can what I know, fix what I’ve struggled with(hint editing)and do this shit for real.

I’ll have to do things I’m not comfortable with. I know I’m not happy with how my writing or how I’ve dealt with childhood trauma, but getting better is an everyday journey.

One step after another brother, one step after another.

Working through things.

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When you’re working through things it’s hard to get peace of mind.

I see it happening as I struggle to maintain sobriety this week.

It’s Sundance in Utah and as a bartender by trade I work it because it’s good money and fun.

Though when it comes to alcohol I’m on the program. It doesn’t interfere with my bartending but I do still want a drink.

I’m hoping that I won’t be doing this in a year. I want to be writing and get paid for it.

It won’t take much for that to happen. I only need to make a certain amount for my life to function properly.

But this week is difficult.

I went sober from July until October but this time feels different.

Then I focused on working out. This time my focus is distorted.

This time I’ll be throwing everything into writing, where it should’ve been.

I haven’t reached that moment but it’s coming.

There’s more to this but some things I need to keep close.

Coming to terms with addiction and finding my way.

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As I said on Wednesday, a game took away from my writing time.

Oddly enough, this initially happened when I went sober the end of July.

I swapped one addiction for another.

Instead of blinding myself with alcohol, I shut the world off and buried myself in leveling a character online.

This led me to taking up the bottle again the end of October.

I did this for many reasons but mainly because I have always needed to bury my emotions.

It’s been that way for as long as I can remember.

As a teenager, I would keep to myself, not wanting to let the world know how depressed I was. That led to issues with relationships in high school.

I wasn’t mature enough to handle a relationship with myself, much less another person.

Thankfully, as I got older, met my wife, who has kept me safe from my worst tendencies, I was able to understand a few of those things.

But there was always something to subvert, numb, or chasten myself with.

It was either drowning myself in a bottle, burying myself in the pages of a book, delving into online games. In my blindness to these things I kept myself safe from pain.

I was obliterated at times because of family problems.

The bottle has been there since my late teens.

The feeling that one thing gave me led me to run off the tracks and nearly destroyed my marriage.

I try to keep myself safe and I have a tendency to bury myself in things that aren’t as good for me as I would like them to be; the bottle, video games, and other distractions.

I feel it’s necessary to bury myself in one thing that will help me get through all of this. My writing.

Writing gives me a similar high as alcohol, without the side effects.

I have this tendency to latch onto something and it can control and affect my entire world.

I’ve chosen to latch onto my writing and work it for all I can.

I’m sober again and though I’ve fallen I got myself back up.

I pick up the pieces and find new things daily. This journey will lead me to better places and better states of mind. Both of which are needed.

I’ll do my best to write for myself and will continue to write this blog.

The words are important and the message is as well.

I hope you’ll continue to read, continue to follow me on other platforms, but this is where I intend to spend my time.

I have Twitter and Instagram, but I’d rather use this blog. It gives me a bigger space and on days like today I need that.

This week feels difficult…

I don’t know whether it’s that I’m stressed and I won’t reach for a bottle or that I’m trying to immerse myself in the current project, but this week feels different. More difficult.

I’ve thought about this over the last week.

I started drafting on Thursday.

This week I’m fully invested in the project after doing the outline, character sketching, and all the other stuff it entails.

So, I’ve been sober for 1 month 25 days.

This is a full time thing. I don’t see myself drinking again.

I may bartend, but I’ll never drink alcohol again.

I used it as a crutch to deal with stress and life for so long it’s difficult to manage things without it.

Though I’m trying.

Sobriety, writing, and finding yourself.

A year ago, maybe earlier, I read Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. It woke something in me.

Before that book I’d never considered getting sober, or that I may have a problem.

I’d always thought, that happens to other people. I can handle my alcohol. But that’s what we say when we have a problem.

I haven’t been sober for longer than a couple of days in a long time.

I thought I had it under control.

After reading Doctor Sleep, I noticed similarities between how I drank, why I drank, and whether I got any enjoyment out of it.

Secretly, I started looking at AA. I never told anyone because I was afraid of judgement. I didn’t want the possibility that I could have a drinking problem to be leaked to anyone.

In my family, we drink for a lot of reasons. For celebrations, weddings, birthdays, and a lot of other things.

But when have these things I felt like I couldn’t be me. I had to drink to numb certain pains of being around some family members.

I drank when things at home got too out of hand and my head hurt. If me and my wife got in an argument, I’d do a shot, or two, or three.

It was my coping mechanism.

In my early twenties I drank to deal with rejection. I drank to fit in because I didn’t like who I was.

It’s odd to think of this now, but I did. I drank because I felt I had to in order to fit in.

I also believed it would help my writing. It did for Hemingway.

I fell under that spell. The one where a writer or creative must drink in order to be creative. I fell for that hard.

Now, after being sober for a month. I’m nearly done with the edits of the book I wrote in the spring. I’ll finish those later today.

I’m learning that I have find other ways to cope with things. I have to talk to myself more, I have to talk myself down from things, and when my irrational mind starts acting up, I don’t reach for a bottle.

The last month has been difficult. Not because I got sober; but because I learned I can get through life without alcohol. I can have fun with my wife without needing to drink.

As of this writing I’ve been sober for 1 month.

I feel more focused. Food tastes different, which is weird. My stomach doesn’t hurt as often as it once did. I feel a better connection to my wife and kids, and that’s the big one for me.

It hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns but it’s a hell of a lot better than my last drunk.