Monthly Archives: May 2013

We will not regret the past…

Sometimes I love looking back these days, I feel like I’m in a safe place to do so. Surprisingly, it’s not always the big dramatic things in my past that don’t happen anymore that fill me with gratitude, it’s the small things – the small things that all added together and made me a person I thought I was, but didn’t want to be.

Sure, it’s awesome that I haven’t peed by the side of the bed, had a hangover, broken a door, passed out in front of my kids, screamed at my family, or driven drunk in a while, but it’s really the small things that make me feel different.

Last night I was at a school event and I asked a friend who a certain teacher was on the stage, I recognized her but couldn’t place the name. She said “Oh, that’s Mrs. Allen. You don’t remember her? We had a ‘discussion’ about her once.” I said “I don’t exactly remember the discussion, but I was in a different place then.” She said “I know.” Our brief exchange felt so good to me, I will tell you why in a minute. While I don’t exactly remember the details of the “discussion”, I kind of remember it happening (more than once) and I can easily fill in the blanks: I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a “discussion”. I’m pretty sure it was at a booze-fest at my house or my neighbors. I’m pretty sure I was loaded. I’m pretty sure I was dissing this teacher because I remember at one time I felt she was burned out and just phoning it in. I’m pretty sure I had to be right. I’m pretty sure sure I couldn’t stop talking about it until I convinced my friend she was wrong. I’m pretty sure I wasted an hour of my life on something that doesn’t really matter. I am pretty sure I became restless, irritable, and discontent, and tried to pass it off as a healthy debate.

As I sat there watching this teacher giving her time after hours, celebrating the Jr. Honor Society kids who went above and beyond, I am also pretty sure I was wrong. I kind of felt like an asshole, but I was ok with that because I have learned how to forgive myself. Anyway, I realized the reason the exchange with my friend felt so good was because realized that I don’t have to do that anymore. It’s the small things that set me free.

I’m going to send this to my friend. I’m afraid of that, and she may think it is completely weird, but that’s the kind of shit that sets me free today, and I like being free.


Kernel of Truth

In case you wondered, I am good. Sobriety continues and although there are bad days sometimes, it mostly just keeps getting better. I was trying to think about why I haven’t blogged recently. Maybe I only like to blog when I need to get something out, and therefore I must be doing better cause there’s nothing to get out. Or maybe I am not getting it out so I’m not better. Ahh, alcoholic, spinning head, must figure it out behavior…. I’m going to blog when I feel like it and that’s that!

I had a bit of an epiphany a couple days ago, funny how this seems to keep happening in sobriety. My epiphany is about how finding the “kernel of truth” just makes everything better for me.

Once in a while, in our more heated moments, my wife will say “You Haven’t Changed”. Yes, this hurts. You might consider it mean or whatever, but that’s not the point of this post – I love my wife and all of us say things sometimes. The point I do want to make is that finding the kernel of truth set me free from this statement. When she said this it would really bother me, it was bullshit, I have changed a lot and she knew it, she even recognizes it sometimes, she’s just trying to stab me, on and on. Believing that her comment was completely false essentially kept me in chains.¬†My breakthrough was this: I realized that, to her, at that exact moment and time, I hadn’t changed. Maybe not even just to her, maybe at that moment in time, or on that day, I was acting like I used to when I was drinking. A kernel of truth. For some reason, that realization set me free. The “You Haven’t Changed” comment carries a lot less power now, I am comfortable with my change and I don’t need to argue whether it is there. My therapist called this “reframing”, I don’t really know what that means. I do know that releasing myself from this comment in this way goes against everything I would have ever believed. Amazed every day.