Thursday, September 27, 2007

Breakfast with Alcoholics Anonymous

Went to a breakfast A.A. meeting. It was Rosa's idea having talked to one of my A.A. friends on the phone last night. Rosa cooked a delicious sour cream, cheddar, and hash brown casserole to carry with us. It was an open meeting so she could go even though she is not an alcoholic. It was a pleasant meal with plenty of homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage. Rosa's casserole was a hit and there was only a small amount left to carry home. I felt comforted by seeing my old A.A. friends and even my friend, Wanda, was there, having a day off from working at the hospital. She has been having struggles with drinking as well and that is why I haven't seen her lately. When A.A. members tend to just disappear then you know that are "back out" as they say in the groups.

"I've heard you've been struggling a lot lately," Wanda told me after the meeting. "Your girlfriend just said something to me about it."

"The only time I feel well or okay is after drinking a six pack of beer," I told her. "I feel like a hopeless drunk."

"Just don't drink today, okay?" She said. "One day at a time. Let's do this together. Read the stories in the Big Book about the hopeless drunks that got sober. They were so much worse off than you and they got sober for years until they died."

I agreed to not drink just for today and promised my friend that I would try and stay sober to be there for her. Wanda told me she had a slip up as well and got drunk and said terrible things to her daughter.

"I destroyed years of built up trust in just one night," she told me forlornly. "All for a bottle of Cuervo Gold. I don't think my daughter will ever forgive me. Tequila always did make me mean. It seems I have to constantly remind myself why I can't drink."

I gave her a big hug and told her to hang in there. I am so glad I don't have children as I would have put them through hell over the years with my drinking and crazy ways. God works in mysterious ways and I think he worked wonders when he made me a very asexual creature -- no rug rat's lives to destroy in the process. I was never much one to sleep around.

After the meeting, was my shot for my schizophrenia. I have been afraid of driving lately and Rosa drove us down to my father's pharmacy to pick up my injection and to go to the doctor's office. I got my digital camera ordered while I was down there with my father's American Express card and it will be here next week. I can't wait to take pictures again and videos. It was a $380 dollar camera so it should take awesome pictures. I had to borrow the money from my father to be able to afford it much to my chagrin.

Canon 650 IS digital camera

Tonight is our usual Thursday night hotdog supper I host for my mother and Rosa. Rosa went by the grocery store a moment ago and got some delicious looking Hebrew National 1/4 pound hot dog wieners. Even after a big breakfast, my stomach is already grumbling and it is going to be a long wait until tonight. One of my favorite foods is a dog with mustard on a toasted bun piled high with kraut.

Felt so frustrated by the whole drinking, alcoholic thing and told Rosa about it after she had arrived back home.

"Why can't I just have two or three beers like a normal person?" I decreed. "I just want to be normal and average."

"You're not a normal person," Rosa said, plainly. "You're an alcoholic."

I get so tired of labels. Alcoholic. Mentally ill. Bulimic. Schizophrenic. Food addict. Bi-polar. The list could go on and on. I wanted to lash out and it is a shame you tend to lash out at those you most love when this happens.

"You can't drink for the same reason I can't smoke rock," Rosa finally told me after my little temper tantrum. "We get carried away. We can't stop once we get started."

I sat sulking on the couch as Rosa held me, frustrated. It doesn't help that I have a $269 dollar check coming in the next few days that I consider frivolous "play money" -- the money from last month's Google Adsense revenue. All my bills are paid. The car has a full tank of gas. I have plenty of food in my pantry and fridge. Two cartons of cigarettes. And I could just get rip roaring drunk for a few weeks with the only repercussions being the damage to the relationships I have by neglect. I sometimes wish I worked, as I would think that would help moderate these urges. I tend to have far too much freedom and free time. I would be too tired after working all day to even think of drinking and would just watch t.v. and go to bed.

The deep inner struggle is the hardest part -- that "stinkin' thinkin'" as they say in A.A. I put up this big charade that everything is okay for my family and Rosa when I am two steps from just saying, "to hell with it all," and walking away in a drunken stupor. Somehow, amazingly, I manage to keep it together everyday. For my loved ones. For Rosa. For Maggie. I've been pretending all my life really, since I was that young teenager hiding in that crawlspace in my bedroom drinking a bottle of wine as I smoked cigarettes. I've been hiding and struggling ever since -- putting on a brave face for a world the completely exhausts and exasperates me. For a daily mental grind I sometimes wonder if I can keep up.


Josie Two Shoes said...

I'm glad you found the breakfast meeting enjoyable and beneficial, Andrew. One day at a time is the only way any of us can really get thru life. It was nice that Rosa went with you, and I'm glad you were there to support Wanda. That's what friends are for! :-)

Mary said...

Hi, Andrew. Glad to know you have the camera on its way. I almost suggested this camera when you were talking about cameras on an earlier post. My oldest son has the same camera and he really likes it. I have a Nikon Coolpix880 that I bought in 2000. It's way out of date but still makes good pictures. Pictures of our two reef tanks come out good using my camera but my son's is much, much better. I know you'll love the camera you ordered. (If you'd like to see pictures of our two live reef tanks you can find pictures on my blog. I think you can get there by clicking on my identity in this post.)

simonsays said...

Yea for you Andrew----a new camera, and an AA meeting! A good day. I'm proud of you!

Cheryl said...

Loved reading this post!

You'll be on pins and needles waiting for you camera. It should be there any time now. We'll know when we see a picture on your blog.

I'm off to get Emily and go to the orthodontist, then her away field hockey game. It will be a long day!

azure said...


I'm a loyal reader...can I ask some questions about the camera?

Does it have a viewfinder? You can look through the camera when you take the picture? Looks liked it does

My husband has a 10x camera, means you can get 10 times closer (or something) this is a 6x camera?

My blog is a photoessay blog and my husband is sick of me using his nice camera. So I'm trying to figure out what kind of camera to buy.

Why did you pick this camera?

Eric said...

Glad to see that you are getting the camera. I can't wait to see if your creative eye works as well on film as it does on paper.

I am glad that you struggle to stay strong for you family and Rosa, but I truly believe that when you start staying strong for Andrew's sake, you will do the best.

One day at a time.

Anonymous Boxer said...

Does it help to know that even those of us that are "well" (meaning not alcoholics), have the same feelings you do? It's hard somedays to get up, do the same thing, be whatever we need to be for those in our lives. *sigh* It's the human condition, this daily grind. We're all in it together. :-)

The camera, is cool. I hope to see pictures from you soon.

Tiffanie said...

It's like this Andrew:

One is too many and a thousand is never enough.

Nikita1 said...

wow! Andrew, your camera is twice as better as mine...mine is only a 6.0 megapixel...and yours 12! you will be able to take the most wonderful pics! A friend of mine has got a 10....Canon...and his pics are, can't wait for yours!! great! well done...

Golden To Silver Val said...

Happy to see you've gotten another camera (what happened to the other one?)...can't wait to see more of your great pictures. Keep the faith, Andrew.

abbagirl74 said...

If you have extra money, help out others. Reach out to the gang and join them for a hot meal or help Ferret get on his feet. You don't have to spend much. You could also use the money on a nice gift for Rosa. Perhaps she collects something. You could also get gifts for any neices and nephews you haven't seen. Whatever you do, just don't spend it on booze that is going to make you feel lousy and regretful after you drink it. The cycle needs to stop somewhere. We really care about you Andrew. We are here if you need us.

Iris Blue said...

Three questions.

1. when will you get to start with the painting lessons?

2. Would you be able to volunteer somewhere? Maybe the Humane Society with animals.

3. Is there someway you can use your musical talents?

johnandem said...

Hi Andrew, Im another loyal reader creeping out of the woodwork. You've put a smile on my face hearing that youve made it to and AA meeting again. Good on ya! Im the daughter of an alcoholic who is in denial and your blog has opened my eyes to a lot that is going on in my Dad's life. So many tears and angry words have been spent on trying to work out why he is willing to give us all up for the bottle, but reading your struggles has helped me to see things from his troubles.

I am looking forward to seeing this camera in action. I hope that with the extra money that is flowing in you are able to help others (like abbagirl suggested) and then get stuck right into your new hobby which will keep you busy and happy.

best of wishes all the way from West Australia.

pai said...

Then stop keeping up appearances. Be who you want to be and let go of what you THINK you should be. I know it's hard - I'm learning it too.

Those labels are are a part of you, but they aren't who you are as a whole. Leave them behind.

Summer said...

I've been reading this week, keeping an eye on you. It's been a tiresome week for me.

I am so excited about your camera! When will it arrive?


impulse control, so hard to overcome..but, the camera-WOW!! I Love it! ANd I can't wait to see your pics with it!!