Author Topic: Memories of being clean and sober  (Read 2913 times)

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Offline Jimmy Cusick

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« on: December 24, 2004, 12:37:00 PM »
I have been "straight" for 38 days. That means without any alcohol and drugs. I remember back to my days in the seed and being straight meant something. We frequently held raps on staying off the "dope". Remember step 1? We admitted we were powerless over drugs. I never really grasped that as a seedling, I just made a decision that because I was a part of a group of people that were straight, I would be straight too. As an adult and an addict I know what powerless means. When I pick-up a drink or a drug the phenomonom of craving kicks in and I continue to drink or use until I'm face down, in jail, the nut ward or out of money.

 I was a proud(sometimes embarrased)seedling as I went off to South Plantation High School and I held my sobriety close to my belt. In other words I KNEW that there had been a major change in my life(no drinking or drugs)and I was able to do what was neccessary to retain it. As a seedling I learned how to have fun and a good time without the "dope". I think I smiled more in the 5 years that I was clean and sober from the seed than I have in the past 25 years.

 Its no wonder that I have forgiven the seed and have showed some appreciation for what they gave me. On the other hand  I accomplished alot by doing internal work to improve and change my atittude towards life.

30 years after a scrawny little, acne faced kid became straight in the seed, he seeks the same rewarded sobriety after finding nothing but trouble in the bottle.
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Offline Robin Martin

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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2004, 01:56:00 PM »
Quote
On 2004-12-24 09:37:00, Jimmy Cusick wrote:

"I have been "straight" for 38 days. That means without any alcohol and drugs...I think I smiled more in the 5 years that I was clean and sober from the seed than I have in the past 25 years.


Jimmy - keep up the good work! (and I know...it is WORK!!) I can relate to the smiling reference :nworthy:
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bid you peace!

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2005, 01:17:00 AM »
Jimmy,

I would love to connect with you.  I believe you know how to reach me. I am proud of you.

Love,
Oogas
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Offline JaLong

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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2005, 09:31:00 AM »
Jimmy,
Oh how I remember that clean and sober feeling I first felt in the seed. I felt happy for the first time in a very long time. This may sound corny, but I could hear the birds sing, feel and enjoy the wind blowing in my hair, and seeing and feeling the wonders of God. I am very proud of you for being clean for 38 days. i can relate. After being clean and sober for 19 yrs after the seed, I started to bend my elbow a little too much, so AA here I came. It has been almost 7 yrs for me now. I don't go any longer, and after talking to my sponsor, I realized I am not an alcholic. I use my toolbox on a daily basis. As far as step one, we are powerless over a lot of things. Ya know, people, places, and things. I just need to always keep my side of the street clean, and let others do it on their own. Congrats Jimmy.
Julie
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Offline Antigen

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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2005, 12:50:00 PM »
Uh, JaLong, Jimmy's post is almost a year old.

Sorry to be such a harsh asshole, but your response is just so emblemic of Program culture. You said the right thing, delivered reenforcement of Program dogma, the well rehersed knee-jerk response that you probably hear and practice weekly or whatever w/ your current support group. But it's totally and completely disconnected from the reality of the situation. You don't know Jimmy. You don't love him. Fact is, you haven't even noticed him missing for so long.

It's just this kind of false affinity that supplanted the genuine love in so many Seed families. It was a horror to me then but I didn't dare say a thing about it.

You say there is but one way to worship the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it?
--Chief Red Jacket, Seneca Indian Chieftain

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Offline landyh

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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2005, 08:18:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-11-29 06:31:00, JaLong wrote:

"Jimmy,

Oh how I remember that clean and sober feeling I first felt in the seed. I felt happy for the first time in a very long time. This may sound corny, but I could hear the birds sing, feel and enjoy the wind blowing in my hair, and seeing and feeling the wonders of God. I am very proud of you for being clean for 38 days. i can relate. After being clean and sober for 19 yrs after the seed, I started to bend my elbow a little too much, so AA here I came. It has been almost 7 yrs for me now. I don't go any longer, and after talking to my sponsor, I realized I am not an alcholic. I use my toolbox on a daily basis. As far as step one, we are powerless over a lot of things. Ya know, people, places, and things. I just need to always keep my side of the street clean, and let others do it on their own. Congrats Jimmy.

Julie"

I don't care that Jimm'ys post is so old as I liked your response. I am relating from my first experience in the seed not my second though I found some good elements then too they were just further and fewer between. But what you said about how you began to look at and appreciate simple things in a new way was very much my experience too. I don't even remember what got me back into drugs and alcohol but I also know that if my first experience at the seed did anything it made me unable to socially do anything with mind altering substances without feeling a failure. My own alcoholism taught me about the real darkness of addiction. Because although I was seriously troubled when I came to the seed at nine and the  substances I used unquestionably were harming me I was not yet addicted in the way I now understand the term. At most I was a user of habit much like the way I smoked cigarettes I overdid it to be sure but I was not enslaved by it. Other than the Huffing I did which I thank God was relativeley short lived the things I was doing were not addictive although potetially habit forming. I definately had values before the first venture with the seed in that I would not do hard drugs. If anything became a gateway for me it was alcohol. Eventually it was under the influence of it that my values crumbled in a kind of step by step fashion. I had a "friend" who I roomed with for a time and he was a full blown junkie who on occasion convinced me to give him a ride to Miami from Ft. Laud. to score junk. At first I didn't know what he was doing as he would claim he had to pick up money owed or some such thing. But as I found out and asked if he could score some coke (which  I found acceptable) for me it wasn't long before I was asking him about the difference between how it felt to snort coke as compared to running it. Of course I had to to try it and it wasn't long before I wanted to feel whatever it was he got out of Heroin and used it for a brief while. Not in sufficient quantity and duration to get strung out though as I was fairly careful with it an didn't have the money to go to far. I would not have done those things sober and I was seldom sober. Later though when I was a little more successful because of sobriety and found myself exposed to temptation to try Hydrocodone/Apap I found it easy to fall into even though I was living alcohol free. Because I could function on this type of drug fairly well it made it all the more difficult to keep from going to far. I seemed able to do it and quite alot without losing my job, friends, family etc. in the way I had with alcohol. Because of tolerance I found myself in a position where I taking 30-35 10/325 lortabs a day. In spite of of the obvious risk to my liver I found myself quite trapped and there were several cycles of withdrawal and then restarting. Each worse than the next. It was in the throws of withdrawal and some other emotional turmoil that I again found myself drinking. In the last 20 years I have been sober 17 years with 14 years being the longest in duration and during that particular period I was clean as well. I had one slip that lasted 3 years and cost me my family and 2 more DUI's. One slip that lasted 2-1/2 months and gradually the last few slips I have had were literally 1 -2 days that left me ashamed and empty. Why so short partly because as they say AA really messes up your drinking. The other part was and this is similiar to why I gave up pot in my late teens was because i just didn't enjoy it anymore. There was no period of relief just an almost instantaneous plunge to a depp and dark place. I also have found for myself that these slips I had were almost always occuring in a time when I had slipped away from my relationship with God. I truly believe that God will bring us to a place of decision with discomfort when we slip away from him. I stopped picking up chips a long time ago becuase I found it artificial and recognized for myself that I was thankful for the peace and relationship I have with God that sobriety permitted me. I don't think that alcohol or even drugs in moderation are evil even though I was raised to think so but I do know that I have never been able to moderate in a way that would work over a long period of time. I also don't feel so terrible about myself for slipping I kind of feel it was a not so gentle guidance to return to God. If I were to have a slip every couple of years that lasted a night or two I would not feel my attempt to stay sober was wasted. My life works better when I am sober and clean. Plain and simple and I for one choose to not to let my mistakes diminish me or my experience. I do know that if I ever went back to fullblown alcoholic drinking the  results would likely be the same.  Basic destruction of everything I value. They say every alcoholic shares the hope that they could one day drink normally and i suppose I still wish that I could enjoy a bottle of wine with someone I love over a romantic dinner. Or maybe an occasional cognac or something with a close friend. The reality is though I am scared to try because everytime I have it hasn't worked. I am very curious as to how you were able to discover you wern't an alcoholic if it isn't too personal to ask. I do believe there are many in the aa of today that were no more than problem drinkers but since the real goal of the program is to develop a spiritual way of life that they find benefit from I have no problem with them being there. I try to keep my program to the basics outlined in the big book which sometimes puts me at odds with those who think that all the things that have been added to the program over the years are essential. Though I am willing to try those things I just know they are tools that are not what the heart of the program is. One thing I love about AA is that no matter how much or who I disagree with there is only one requirement for membership and that is a desire to stop drinking. Along with that they have no more or less right to be there with differing views than I have. So while they can preict my doom for having a differnce of opinion I can in my nicest manner of speaking say FU and continue on my path. I wonder also after seeing you sign as Julie if anybody remembers a girl in the program named Julie who was a truly beautiful girl with long straight dark hair. I don't remember exactly what happened but she left the program and became involved with a guy who was a very wealthy heir to his families fortune. His name was Leo Goodwin Jr. if I remember correctly who went onto commit suicide at a time when I think Julie was still with him. OD'd. I often wondered what happened to her and hoped she was OK. Even though I was probably only about 10 at that time I had a crush on her spurred in part at least by her striking beauty. I remember being sad for her.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2005, 08:22:00 AM »
It sounds to me like you, and Jalong and Jimmy thrive on the failure of getting trashed,losing your families and then seeking forgiveness as if that's something to aspire to.  It's like you have no sense of self-worth UNLESS you "work a program." As for hearing the birds and smelling the flowers?  That's simply a matter of whether or not you choose to pay attention to your surroundings.  Apparently not paying attention to the details and results is something you all have in common.

I can understand how one might develope a purely physically addiction to a drug or alcohol, but you have managed to splinter that into habit versus physical addiction.  But what I see more clearly that naything is that you are either too weak or too lazy to listen to your body, pay attention to the world around you and just plain take care of yourself. Isn't that kind of like perpetually being in first grade?
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Offline Ft. Lauderdale

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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2005, 08:38:00 AM »
I love the ANONYMOUS posters braveness.  Did you learn to be a coward in the 1st grade also? :idea:
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2005, 09:29:00 AM »
Why don't you attack the contents of the post as oppossed to the person who posted ?
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Offline cleveland

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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2005, 09:59:00 AM »
I remember my sister telling me, after a long stretch of sobriety in AA, that she "loved being drunk, loved passing out, loved the hangover." And I can believe it - she seems never to feel more alive than when there is a ton of drama. Even in sobriety, she seems to cycle thru periods of depression, then plateau, then mania, and back to depression. I think that is interesting. Perhaps for some of us, the self-flagellation in AA, the need to confess and repent, is just as addictive as drinking or using.

I am not judgemental about this...in my own experience, I had long cycles of depression, anxiety and mania, on a sub-clinical low level. 'Self-medicating' with alcohol and cigarettes, or more positively with exercise, was part of my routine, as was getting involved with dramatic romantic entanglements. Briefly I tried psychtrpic drugs, which had side effects during their use, but seemed to have 'reset' my emotional thermostat, if you will, so the anxiety and depression was much diminished. Or maybe it was just due to maturity?

I have also subscribed to the belief that if you try to be aware of your feelings in the moment, you will tend not to abuse drugs or alcohol, because you will fully experience the low as well as the high. So I can have two glasses of wine, without wanting to finish the bottle. And thank god, I stopped smoking!

But I, like many of us here, came from a family that had multiple generations of disfunction. I was operating on a model that I inherited from parents and grandparents, as well as a genetic predisposition for behavior and feelings.

Based upon my experiences of the last 46 years, I can only say that our experiences with drugs and alcohol as well as various paths to sobriety (or moderation) are very complex and have roots in our culture, families and genetics.

It is my belief that use of drugs and alcohol can reveal underlying emotional issues that people will need to deal with - I think an emotionally stable person can enjoy a drink or two, or marijuana or even acid, without ill effect and mayge with benefit of broadening their emotional experience (I feel less certain about heroin and nicotene, crack and meth - these seem to be very addictive when used, except the medical use in some applications).

Meanwhile, we have a very political and polarized national debate, and even here on fornits site, where one side bashes the other. As if we are all perfect in our sobriety, moderation or various addictons!

And when we speak about love - who among us even understands the word? We throw it around so casually.

So as usual, I am up on my high horse. I know nothing, really. I just want to stay happy and healthy for as long as I can, and enjoy the journey! (Oh my god, Art used to say that!)
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Offline JaLong

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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2005, 11:26:00 AM »
Ginger,
You never cease to amaze me. I'm just glad I don't take things personally. As a matter of fact dear Ginger, I know Jimmy. Known him since he was a kid. OOPS, your bad. I still can't fathom how negative you are. Everyone has an opinion on something, and no one is neither right or wrong. I spoke from my heart. Try it sometime.
Julie
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Offline JaLong

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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2005, 11:54:00 AM »
Landyh,
I was told by a counslor that I was an alcholic, a drug addict, and a sex addict(yeah right). Anyhow I did question that because I was drinking on a daily basis with my youngest daughters father. So into the room of AA I walked. I joined a group of women only. I felt very loved and welcomed there from the first day. The values and goals I saw in these women was something I wanted.I soaked things up like a sponge. After 2 wks I chose a sponsor, and from the beginning she kept asking me, " are you sure you are an alcholic"? Well being at a very low point in my life right then, I thought I was. As the years went on she kept asking me the same thing. Then I moved to Gulfport, and joined a group on the beach. There I saw so much bull. Gossiping, 13 stepping, others hooked on gambling, stealing money for their own selfish reasons, and I blew out of there. I tried a beer many months later, and didn't have another one for 2 months. I have a drink on occasion, yet I can take it or leave it. So, do you understand why I am not an alcholic? Thank God!. In the program I did learn a lot about who I was, and what I wanted for my life. I just felt so much negativity in some of the rooms. It just wasn't for me. Lyndyh, as I said before, I still have all my tools in my tool box that I use. Being in the program definatly brought me back to a very close relationship with my Creator. I have that peace that surpases all understanding, and any trials or issues I go through I grow from. I have an addictive personallity, that I know for sure.So I stay away from people, places, and things that bring any kind of negativity into my life. I do have choices, and I use them wisely.
Take care, Julie
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Offline Antigen

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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2005, 11:56:00 AM »
Quote
On 2005-11-29 17:18:00, landyh wrote:


 I don't even remember what got me back into drugs and alcohol but I also know that if my first experience at the seed did anything it made me unable to socially do anything with mind altering substances without feeling a failure.


Eskimo: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?"
Priest: "No, not if you did not know."
Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?"
--Annie Dillard, "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek"

I've never noticed that enhancement of the senses that Program people talk about w/ sobriety. And I have been stone cold clean and sober for months or years at a stretch, except for my morning coffee. What I have noticed is that enhancement and vividness from getting away from the constant low level hum and whirr of the city (or during Florida Plunder and Loot's yearly or more day or two hiatus).

But I've found that MJ or very mild psilocybins, when used occasionally, can open your senses in a most pleasurable and therapeutic way. Best thing in the world for getting a short break from unavoidable stress when you can't get away long enough to leave civilization. I'm quite keen on finding out about MDMA, too, once we're over the political histrionics about it and we can access pure, reliable sources of known dose. I'll be 90 by then, of course. But it's something to look forward to.

I've also heard good things about Ibogain. Nobody who's tried it has ever told me that it's pleasurable or recreational or that they'd want to make a habit of it. But every last one says it was worth the unpleasantness and that, if their reason for taking the trip was to get a handle on an opiate or niccotine addiction, it helped in that regard.

I'm just glad I never bought into that dire guilt tripping and gloom and doom mythology over the use of certain drugs.

In all history, there is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare. Only one who knows the disastrous effects of a long war can realize the supreme importance of rapidity in bringing it to a close. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war who can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.
--Sun Tzu (author of The Art of War



_________________
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Straight, Sarasota
`80 - `82
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Offline JaLong

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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2005, 12:08:00 PM »
Sorry Anonymous, but you just came out of left field not understanding the feelings and thoughts we are sharing. I live a very happy and proporous life, and I'm not talking financially. If we can't share how we feel here with someone who has been in our own shoes, what's the point of this site. No one is dwelling on the past, we are sharing positive things here. Things that have helped us to grow as individulas. So what is so wrong with that. Judge not, yet you will be judged. I came from a very dysfunctional familiy, yet all members of my family have grown up and we are a very close family and have been for many years. It all boils down to letting go of the past, forgiving, and letting everyone just be whom they are. I am in no program, and haven't been for years. I also was not "addicted" to any drug or alcohol, except cigarettes which is demon all by itself. I am still fighting to quit. Have a fantasic day.Comments like yours is why you don't see me post very often. It is uncalled for and very disrespectful. [ This Message was edited by: JaLong on 2005-11-30 09:09 ][ This Message was edited by: JaLong on 2005-11-30 09:11 ]
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Offline Antigen

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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2005, 12:18:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-11-30 08:26:00, JaLong wrote:

"Ginger,

You never cease to amaze me. I'm just glad I don't take things personally. As a matter of fact dear Ginger, I know Jimmy. Known him since he was a kid. OOPS, your bad. I still can't fathom how negative you are. Everyone has an opinion on something, and no one is neither right or wrong. I spoke from my heart. Try it sometime.

Julie  "


Funny that your heart speaks from the same script as all other devout practitioners of stepcraft. Sorry if it bugs you, JLong, but I paint's what I sees. And I see that you evidently didn't notice that your dear friend was talking about something that happened almost a year ago. Frankly, I'd worry some. It's not uncommon for ppl to have a serious crisis right after returning to stepcraft. Have you heard from the guy lately?

Marijuana clearly has medicinal value.
 Thousands of seriously ill Americans have
 been able to determine that for themselves,
 albeit illegally. Like my own family, these
 individuals did not wish to break the law but
 they had no choice.
 

--Lyn Nofziger, former deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee

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