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#287963 - 05/18/09 07:33 PM I choose
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Guys,

I drank my first beer in two decades the other night when I took my family to the local fair. Well actionally I drank about half a beer and realized I don't care for the taste of beer.
Alot of you are probably saying so what but I had not touched a beer since 1-15-89.
When I was 25 my daughter was born that was back in 1986. After her birth I started having flashbacks and overwhelming emotional feelings and thought I was going crazy. So I went to my health care provider and saw a doctor because I felt I was going insane. The doctor asked me some questions about my alcohol and drug use and then proceed to tell me that I needed to go to the chemical dependences unit to get clean and sober.
I made been self medicating myself with alcohol and drugs since I was 12 yrs old. My favorities were acohol and canabis because they worked so well in numbing me emotionally. I was high on a daily and conitually basis if at all possible. My need to be medicate was directly related to my emotion well being. The more I was disturbed emotionally the heavier my alcohol and drug usage would become. Which in time always lead to all shit hitting the fan in my life. Which for me always entailed getting in trouble with the law in one way or another. At 15 I got expelled from school for posession of cambis. At 21 while in the Marine Corps I was busted again for posession of a 1/4 lb of canabis. In between I was almost constantly in some kind of trouble with authorties in regards with my drug and alcohol abuse. Because for me it was never about use as much as it was abuse. There was never enought because it was the only way I knew how to cope with the overwhelming feelings that were inside of me. And I was convinced that if allowed these feelings to come to the surface they kill me. It was all about how I felt about myself in regards to all the abuse that I had suffered as a child. Not just the sexually abuse that I suffered at Mr Candell's hands but also all the years of neglect,emotional and verbal abuse from my parents. Which is the issue that I have been focused on in the last year or so.
Lately I have come to realize that alot of my recovery has always been focused on my lenght of soberity which has always been such a scource of pride. I have come to see that alot of my recover is solely based on how long I can abstain from some peculiar substances or activity. Which in the long run is a very narrow definition of recovery.
In my years in AA I saw lots of people who never had a drink for the rest of there lives but killed themselves with another of their behaviors smoking,eating,sexual acting out etc. That is why after about 5 yrs I drifted away from AA. Because even thu I was not drinking I was still about as unhappy as I had always been. That hole in my soul was still there. In AA I found a better way to live but had not resolved all of my personal demons.
But I conitue not to drink or use drugs for the fear of lapsing back into my former lifestyle and coping behaviors.
Last june i found this site and for the first time felt that I was finally home. The place where I belonged, among people who understood the abuse I had endured in my childhood and how it has affected me all thru my lifetime. Where for the first time in my life I find that I am becoming a whole person. Not two as I had always felt (a child and a man) in a constant struggle for control of my life. I am finally learning that I have the right to live my life as I see fit and not in fearful reaction to be loved by others in my life. My life is my own and belongs to nobody but myself and I don't have to live it to please anybody but myself.

So today I choose to be myself and live life on my terms and if I so choose I will drink a beer.

The Sweet Feeling of Freedom!!!

Mike





Edited by michael banks (05/18/09 07:39 PM)
_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#288015 - 05/19/09 02:07 AM Re: I choose [Re: michael banks]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
I still have a cocktail with a dinner out, maybe once or twice per week. And when I am up at the casino I will sip down a couple of their free drinks too. But I just don't drink anything like I used to pre-recovery 25 or more years ago either. In my late teens or early 20s it was rather normal to be stoned almost all of the time, and drinking a fifth of JD was a normal weekend habit for a time too, not to mention all of the beer every other night. I experimented with lots of other drugs too, but cocaine ended-up being my drug of choice. Unlike lots of coke addicts I didn't drink much alcohol when I was tweaked out of my gourd, and I quit smoking grass 18 years ago when there wasn't any to buy for a couple of months.

Quitting my ruinous cocaine addiction was very expensive and nearly impossible. I took 3 trips to inpatient rehab and three more to extended outpatient treatment too. I had to combine my CSA and other child abuse therapy with substance-abuse treatment and work on both at the same time. Experiencing some success in the abuse treatment encouraged some success on the substance abuse front. It was really touch and go for a long time, and there were plenty of pitfalls along the way. I had to rid myself of lots of my former friends who weren't being supportive to finally succeed too. It has been 6 months shy of 10 years since I took my last crack cocaine hit. To this day, I am not willing to try one more hit because of my fear of what would happen if I did.

But like I said, I do enjoy a cocktail with dinner, once in a great while two. Alcohol isn't the out-of-control problem that it was for me 25 or more years ago. I have learned to be much more responsible. I have learned what it is possible to enjoy and where to draw the line.

If you can honestly say that you are in complete control and know when to stop, for responsibility's sake, there shouldn't be any problem. I can't say that about crack cocaine. I can for an occasional cocktail with a dinner out.

There is an old saying in aviation, "any landing that you can walk away from is a good landing". The same thing is not true for over-consumption of alcohol. Just be very aware of the propensity for former alcoholics and addicts to quickly return to their previous level of abuse.

Maybe we can share dinner and a drink sometime. I'll be around through next weekend. Let me know.

Be safe, my man.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#288040 - 05/19/09 09:45 AM Re: I choose [Re: Trucker51]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Mark,

I have discussed my decision to drink again with my wife and some other people that I trust. I have just decided that I want to have that choice to have a drink if I so choose. I am not saying that I am going to drink everyday during dinner. Just want to have the option to have a drink if I want to have one.
I am well aware of the possiblitiy that I could fall back into my former detructive drinking and using. But the issues that drove ny need to use these substances in the past have been addressed.
I have never beleived that my drinking is a disease but was a choice in how I coped with the insanity of what happened to me in my childhood.
As I said I had that one beer at the fair the other nite and none since and my wife has bud lite in the rerfidgator right now as we speak.
In regards to using drugs they are still off limits for two reasons:
1. They are illegal
2. would cost me my job
3. would constitute not dealing with my issues again.Which is not the case with having a drink.

For years now i have used medications per the precription without having any trouble with abusing them and as soon as they are not needed stop taking them.
All my life I have use choosen not to allow my myself the choice to particpate in many things out of fear. In my recovery today I am trying to allow myself to have as many choices as possible.
Some people may disagree with me and believe once an alcoholic always an alocoholic and there are entitled to their opinion. But I choice to live my life free from the fears of my past or the dictates of other people.
I have become increasing aware of how in the past I have lived my life trying to seek the love and approval of those whom I loved.
I maybe proven wrong in this decision and at the first sign of trouble I will jump back on the AA wagon. But to be honest with you I doubt that this well happen. I have been considering this for some time and it is not a rash decision.

Mike

Ps call me and we can set up having dinner.


_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

Top
#288558 - 05/23/09 05:50 AM Re: I choose [Re: michael banks]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1143
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Mike,

I gave up drinking when my son was 3. I decided that I did not want my son to have memories of his dad being plastered (as I do my mom & dad).

That was 12 years ago. He's now 15 and my daughter is 11. The day she moves out will be the first day I drink a beer. It will taste very good smile

As far as pot goes, sorry I'm way too paranoid as it is!

Jim

_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#288657 - 05/24/09 01:16 AM Re: I choose [Re: Jim1961]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
jim,

I have had a beer or a drink a couple of times. But to be honest with you don't care for the taste. I would much rather have a soda.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

Top


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