I got drunk Saturday afternoon.  Three twenty-four ounce cans of Old Milwaukee’s Best Ice Beer.  That’s what it took to black out, scream at and terrify my wife and daughter, throw up repeatedly and piss the bed.  Sunday was spent in the basement on the guest bed, which will once again become my regular bed, which is what I deserve, as I can’t seem to find a place in this world that doesn’t make me want to break down and cry. Two and a half years down the toilet.

It’s not a drinking disease; it’s a thinking disease.  And even though I read from the Twenty-Four Hours a Day book Saturday morning, and went to a ten a.m. meeting, if I don’t truly engage in this program, what’s any of it matter?  I can’t recall the last time I called my sponsor, or met with another alcoholic outside of a meeting.  Doing the bare minimum, that is, not drinking, can only last for so long.  If at the end of the day I’m still miserable, depressed and broken, and simply waiting for everything to fall apart (marriage, child, work, family, friends), it’s extremely difficult to not want to tear everything down myself, just to feel like I have some control, just to confirm that I was right all along, and that I’m not worthy of a normal existence: a loving wife, a wonderful daughter, a steady job, family or friends.

I’m angry that I can’t be happy.  I blame others, warp the thoughts and beliefs in my head until it’s everyone else’s fault, and close myself off from everyone and everything.  Truth be told, and this is it:  I hate myself.  Pure, straight-up hatred.  Therefore, whatever’s in my life, I’m not worthy of.  I’ve lost all ability to interact with those I love in a positive manner.  I want it to be done, to be over, to be finished.  If I’m only going to destroy what’s around me, better to cut off all ties with those I love than force them to watch my descent into madness.

Ironically enough, tonight’s meeting is with my home group, the people who saw me come in the doors over four years ago, get sober for a year, slip, get sober for two and a half years, and now tonight again get to listen to me admit my failings.  Yes, it was only one day, and I have no ambition to start-up again, but it still points out that I continue to be a walking-talking depressive that refuses to accept any happiness in my life, simply because I feel I don’t deserve it.  Saturday’s relapse is a perfect example of that.

Step One: we admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.

10 thoughts on “back to zero.

  1. Hi Paul,

    You are still the same Paul we all love in the blog world. I don’t see you any different. 🙂

    While reading your post I recalled a Dr. Kevin McCauley who does research on addiction. He explains in a great way that addiction is a disease and the disease kicks in when we are under stress. It’s really not that you are a bad person — you aren’t at all! In fact that you got drunk and did stupid shit has nothing to do with your SELF and has everything to do with your disease. Ease up on yourself. You are a good guy and your blog helps a lot of people, including me.

    Here’s a link to a long video that’s really worth watching. I listened with head phones because the sound isn’t great. Maybe if you have some down time today you can chill out and give it a whirl.

    You are worth everything and more!

    xoxo Fern

  2. Finding a way to love ourselves is not easy. I didn’t even believe it was possible, but it is.
    Brene Brown’s book the gifts of imperfection truly helped me. Maybe you might find something in it?
    Big hug. You are worth it. We all are.

  3. Big hug to you, bro. Hugs won’t make us sober, but they feel good when we need them. I wasn’t gonna looks at posts today, but this was the very first one in my reader. Maybe I was meant to read this. I too have not been engaged in my recovery community in real life. No meeting in almost two months, no talking to my sponsor, etc. I have halted in my tracks. This is a reminder that I need to get back in the game.

    Self-hate? I know that, sir. I know that feeling of wanting to sabotage everything good in our lives to just say “See? I’m a big fuck up! is THIS what you wanted?” to ourselves. I sometimes wonder when the shoe is gonna fall…even now. I am sometimes uneasy in my own skin and wonder why I get to have the shit I have. But I had to learn to forgive myself. I had to see who I really was and my old patterns. Doesn’t come overnight, and I had to work at it.

    I read what you write, Paul. I don’t often comment, but I read. I see me in you so often. Then and sometimes now. I used to rage against why not ME? Why do THEY get to be happy and not me? fuck them and fuck me, I used to say. Glug glug. Even in recovery, I waited for that magical moment where I could smile and be happy. And you know, it finally came. But it wasn’t an overnight matter. Came slowly to me. Working the steps helped me. White knuckled the first two months or so. Got all suicidal and shit. But I got there…and so can you, Paul.

    You are worthy of happiness, even if you don’t see it or feel it or think you deserve it. You are worthy. You are a child of the Big Kahuna, of the Universe, of God. You are worthy of a happy life. Of being a great husband, dad.

    Nothing I can say will want you to get sober and stay there, but I hope you can see that another slug named Paul did it. So can you.


  4. I too have been there, more than I would like to admit. It is such a hard cycle to break! I feel ya completely. I have to still work at it every freakin day. It is powerful, it’s always there.

    Hang in there! Thank you for sharing this part of your journey, you are helping many that have found themselves in a similar situation. Don’t give up! –

    Heard someone say once:
    Don’t go slashing all the tires just because you got a flat.


  5. I am glad you are back You were honest and forthright. No one is counting, no one is judging. People learn from you and you help them, in good times and bad. You are intelligent, witty, and you write well. And you have been a good friend. And from all he comments, you have many good friends too.

    Of course you deserve a sober life and the opportunity for happiness. You deserve no less (or more) than anyone else in or out of the program. But it is not effortless either. Happiness is the byproduct of a life well lived and cannot be achieved as a “destination”. Searching for instant happiness is what brought many of us to alcohol. Kept me there a long time. And we learn the lesson that alcohol solves no problems and makes the vast majority of problems worse.

    So back to step one but, in the grand scheme of your HP, that’s not such a bad place to be. It’s another opportunity to work the plan for living. Hang in there!

  6. Thank you for being so honest, so raw, so brave. You have no idea how many people you’ve helped with your post…I’m just one.

    And from one self-hater to another…you’re not a bad human…you’re just a human.


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