Monday, October 28, 2013

Work and relationships

I have been burying myself in work the last couple of months. It has been very good for my career development but not so much for my personal development. Professionally, I am on track to accomplish great things in my career with my company. Sometimes I get pretty stressed out about the situations I put myself in and realize it is because I care too much. I really do want to be the best at what I am doing. Usually, my alcoholism buries any type of ambition or self motivation when it comes to work, but since that is a non factor now those traits are really shining through. I need to have a healthy balance though. One of the things that I recently brought up with a friend was trying to have a healthy balance of work fun and family. Finding an equilibrium between those three things will lead to a happy life. For me it is about getting away from the work. I mean not like I am going to completely disregard my job. I just mean really start enjoying my life more and live. I am more than ever conscious about my isolationism. I realize that one it is the first step to relapse. Two that just because I am not the alcoholically induced socialite, that my life is not over.

I started trying to date again and have already had some interesting experiences. I know that I am very picky and it is going to take a strong willed women to rein me in. I just have a great attraction to a woman with a grand personality. I mean a power woman through and through. I have had fake ones that think they have it all together but don't. I have been around attractive women who are just dumb and possess no real intelligence. I have been around women who think they are intelligent and just really aren't. I am more than aware of my flaws and know that I will never receive that total package. I often find myself questioning the woman that I don't find good enough. I also catch myself filling some emotional void for my female friends. I don't necessarily have a problem with this as long as we are both aware of the situation and understand that I am at no ones beckon called.

I find myself in some interesting situations this week and doing a little bit of introspection. It has been a while and I think this time it will do me some good.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Been a while

It has been a while since I have posted. The last time I shared about my little brother bring in the hospital. Since then he went to a detox and then a rehab. He stayed with me the night he before he went into a rehab. He even came with me to a meeting. He looked defeated and I hugged him and told him I loved him and wanted him to get better. I kind of knew in my heart of hearts he was not going to get better though. He still hasn't hit the bottom he needed to get out of this. The kid has been through a lot but I fear that now I just need to wait for that call saying he is dead somewhere. He lasted a whole 5 days in the rehab before leaving and making his way back to south jersey. My mom called my aunt saying that he is in the hospital again. I told him before he had went into the rehab that this was his last shot before the family gave up on him. He clearly doesn't care anymore and heroin has its grip on him. It is kind of devastating to watch a love one go through that. I want to do so much for him. Before he went into rehab. I paid for some new shoes for him and to get a haircut. For a moment he looked like my little brother. I miss him dearly.

Speaking about missing people. I miss my grandmother. I try and put flowers on her grave whenever I can. It is usually on a Friday or so. I posted a pic of her tombstone on fb. I don't know why. I think it was to get some emotional attention. A look at me kind of post. Hey at least I am being honest about it. I know that time will eventually heal this wound. I sent a message to my aunt saying that I have been intentionally pushing her away because she reminds me of my grandmother and I don't like being at her house because of it anymore. It is pretty selfish of me to respond like that but we all have our own way of grieving. I am going to try to work on that and be a better nephew.

Sobriety has been tough these last couple of weeks. I have made it 7 months sober. My sponsor has been an incredible help. Those around me are really encouraging me to keep trudging this road. My life has changed for the better in a lot of ways. I still have a lot of growing to do but I feel like I am laying out the ground work for a more emotionally healthy life. I just wish I wasn't as big of a spendthrift that I am. I am sure that it will get better with time.

I usually only post when there is great emotional restlessness. I guess tonight was one of those nights. I am on vacation this week so maybe I will get to post a lot and get some things out of my head and chest and be able to rest easier at night.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Brotherly Love

My mother rarely calls me. A great deal of it has to do with the relationship we have cultivated with one another over the years. She called me tonight to tell me that my heroin addicted brother is at it again. He stole not only my mothers boyfriends car but also part of their rent money. I can only assume he used the money to get high because my mother informed me that he was currently in the hospital because he OD once again. She was crying because she didn't know what to do. She said, " I cant take this anymore" I understand her pain and I think I understand the pain of addiction as well. I know my brother is not going to change unless he wants to. He just escaped from one rehab and another wont work unless he wants it to. I write this not to snitch and put my family business out there I write this because it effects my sobriety to keep all this nonsense inside. She kept saying to me that if I was in the same position she wouldn't call the cops on me. I told her that we are all the same. We are all stubborn and pig headed and think we are right. I told her the best thing that she could do for him is call the cops and hope that he gets locked up for a really long time. She was concern about him dying if she does call. I said if he continues to use, he will be dead anyway. I told her that is not her son anymore. Her son died a long time ago. She still refuses to give him this tough love. I don't see any other alternative for my brother. It sucks to have to deal with this, there was a time where this call would drive me to drink. It caused me to drink to not have to deal with the issue. To drink instead of play out the fictional hero role I've created for myself but almost never in reality actually followed through with. I hope no one else has to go through something like this. There is a solution out there. I have full confidence in 12 step programs. A familiar quote is that many people need AA or NA but it those who want it that actually succeed.   

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hawwa's Speech to me

My friend gave me this speech a few weeks before my grandmother passed away. I was struggling with wanting to see her in the hospital in that condition.
I find it poetic and amazingly uplifting.

Anthony you really owe it to yourself to be strong. Being strong means shedding a lot of layers and confronting the honest truth about ourselves and our situations. Not all of which you will like. Being strong means embracing a better part of yourself and allowing others to see that, you're on the verge of really changing. Don't let your fears hold you back. Its time Anthony. I see nothing wrong with challenging yourself to be a better and stronger person only because you've been through too much to give me that, "I don't want to be strong" nonsense. We all have those moments but the greatest gift you can give YOURSELF is strength and an unyielding belief in your positive future.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Last words for my grandmother

This is the speech I gave at her wake.

Buenas noches, gracias todo por vienir.  Soy el neito de Blanca. Voy a empezar en espanol y despues hablar ingles. Amo a mi Abuela. Ella era una persona muy amable y gentil, que lucho a traves de cancer y otras problemas de la vida. A pessar de todo nunca dejou de amar a su famila y amigos. Su luz y illumina nostras viedas para siempre. Trata de no lloara a pesar de que yo lo hare porque mi abuela esta decansando en el cielo con su madre hermana y hijo gracias.

Being a grandmother means you get to spoil your grandkids the way you never spoiled your kids. I equate being a grandmother as the ultimate protector. Being an grandmother was saying highly inappropriate things at highly inappropriate times but thinking it was ok.

Now mi Abuela, was a strong woman. Mi Abuela was a God fearing woman with God like resolve. Mi Abuela was the kind of woman that got beat down by certain family members, beat down by chemo and cancer, beat down by former lovers, beat down by life and was still able to get up and show unconditional love to her friends and family. There was no mistaking the love of Blanca Romero, because you felt that love from your heart to your soul. It was not the commercial hallmark love. It was not the obligatory family love just for family sake. It was the kind of love more powerful than death and time itself. Mi Abuela was the kind of woman as she was grasping for air, could still shoot you the most beautiful and most wonderful smile to melt your heart. Mi Abuela was so many things.

I hope that the traits and life lessons she instilled in me can be a testament to the kind of woman she was. I hope all her grandkids can be a testament of her life. A reflection of her inner beauty. Her death has hurt me profoundly because I know the warmth of her love cannot be replicated. She may be gone from this Earth but never from my heart.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pleas of my grandmother

Today didn't start like any other day off. I decided to skip my morning 7am AA meeting to sleep in. I went go visit my grandmother who hasn't been feeling too well. She looked paled and was feeling restless. I stayed for a couple of hours. My family decided to have an impromptu memorial day cookout. While everyone was out getting supplies things took a turn for the worse. My grandmother started slipping in and out of consciousness. She was losing feeling in her body and feeling cold. We tried to give her a nebulizer, hoping it would relieve some of her symptoms. It did not. At this point I thought the best course of action was to take her the hospital. She couldn't really move so we had to help her. That was when she started saying that she was dying. That's when she said to leave her in the house to die. Before my eyes one of my greatest fears was being brought to reality. I cannot bear to watch this woman go through any pain let alone hear her pleas of defeat. We continued to press forward. We reached the top of the stairs. She had no will to even attempt going down. We still pressed forward. She asked for an ambulance. We told her we could take her. At this point I lifted her up and carried her down the stairs. The entire time she was asking me to pray for her and that she couldn't go on. I get her to the bottom. She sits on the couch. She is still coming in and out of consciousness. As she sits on the couch she defecated on herself. I stand my grandmother up to allow her to relieve herself over a trash bin. My Aunt cleans my grandmother. It turns out to be blood. My cousins arrive on the scene. They gripe about us calling the ambulance. I brush it off. I explain the logic behind it, they still gripe.

We get into a heated argument and I let my emotions get the better of me. I apologized later. I could not cope with the situation or my feelings. I was supposed to go to the hospital but instead I stayed in the parking lot and called my sponsor. He didn't answer. I called another guy in the program he didn't answer. I called a guy from lcc. My former church in CT. He  knows all about AA and addiction. I knew if I had gotten into my car that I was going to drink. He talked me off my potential slip. He asked me "Why did I want to drink?" I told him I didn't like what I was feeling and the best way to get rid of my feelings was to drink. I am well aware that my grandmother is going to die eventually and quite possibly soon. The reality of the situation is that I am no where near ready to handle that situation. Sobriety doesn't make my life any easier but it lets me deal with it. It makes me face reality for the good or bad that may happen. I went to a meeting and started feeling better when I saw all the familiar faces. After seeing my friend tonight and her telling me how proud of me she was for the strength I had not to drink during this moment of doubt made me feel better too. Its one day at a time. We never know what is going to happen.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Can't sleep

I have been trying to sleep for the last hour and I just can't seem to. I'm not overly concern with anything and I actually feel more peaceful today then I have felt in a long time. I read some of my AA books tonight and the pages I read were really really interesting. It was mostly dealing with spirituality and the concept of a higher power. Two sentences really struck out at me. The first was "we tend to suffer from our own intellectuality."

That was a pretty deep statement to me. I have always been my worst enemy. Too much introspection, too much dwelling on the could ofs and should ofs. Too many thoughts of where did I go wrong. Sometimes it's terrible to be conscious of one's own suffering and be "powerless" to do anything about it. Sobriety and the journey has definitely brought these issues to the forefront. The program is making me work on not only my thinking but my faith. Intellectualism has been a hindrance instead of a tool. I learned that I could make it an asset, the first step is to learn to humble myself. I'll talk about the next sentence in a post tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guess I need to start posting again

I haven't posted in a while. I am typically an open book, while that is great in many aspects, it also dangerous. I have dealt with my public persona being who I "really" am for years. I think it has finally caught up with me. I have decided to quit drinking for the umpteen time. This time there are two very big and radical differences. The first being that I crashed my car. The second is that this time I decided to go to AA.

When I woke up to my damage vehicle with no recollection of how it happen, I realized that I needed to make a change. I've tried to do it on my own and ended right back to boozing more than before. Currently, I am at 46 days sober. I am a mental mess who feels like the only real progress is intellectual acceptance that I have a disease of alcoholism. I have learned a lot in my short time in AA. I've come to understand the multiple facets of the disease called alcoholism. Before I thought it was just about the drinking itself. Nothing, can be further from the truth. It really is about how we (the alcoholic) think. It is about suffering from the disease of more, its less demeaning name. I decided that I needed to start blogging again because I need to get out of my own head and give some relief to the debating society going on in my head.