No more “My Flat is a Sauna” joking around, this is a serious one.  However, I did escape to the pub and have some beer.  In doing so after reading the paper, I let my thoughts wander to my drinking habits, things I have done, my own longstanding self-medication history, my family’s predisposition to alcohol (i.e. genetics.)  These things are nothing new to this blog.

Also, the self-medication history has been all balled up and tangled with being undiagnosed with Bipolar and living in a constant state of (hypo)mania for about seven or eight years, then a misdiagnosis for several years.  Also, perhaps the genes? Although, nothing is conclusive there yet.  Not that these are excuses, no, they are simply (or “complicatedly?”) reasons. Use alcohol as some sort of coping mechanism, use it to dull the pain, use it to party when you’re out of your mind, cycling like crazy and not thinking straight.

Because the funny thing is, I hardly drank at all when I was a teenager, no drugs and really the same when I was just approaching my early 20s.  Then the Bipolar hit like a freight train and well, the self-medication followed.

I’ve never been “proud” about it.  And sure, you can make all sorts of “jokes” about what happened when you were “all wasted,” however, that is either a very immature view or a way of practising denial.  That is to say, if you are a habitual self-medicator.  Sure, someone might have an “Oops!” party moment and it will be funny but if you self-medicate, there can (and will!) be far to many “Oops!” moments–and they will not be very funny at all–no matter how hard you try to convince yourself.

So, as I quietly sat there with my iPod on, it suddenly came to me that, oh yes, I have been living in denial for a long time.  In fact, I knew I had been living in denial for a long time.  I’ve been in denial about my denial.  How crazy is that?! Well, probably not that “crazy” or unrealistic at all.

I felt this was “big news.”  No, really.  For someone who self-medicates and won’t admit they have a problem? That is a huge step, I think.  And in terms of “Steps?” AA?

I’ve never been a big fan of it.  I don’t like “Support Groups.”  They make me kind of antsy and for someone who already doesn’t do so well in therapy, having a bunch of others there just…I feel I get nothing out of it.  Plus, studies have been done showing that the recidivism rates are fairly high for members, anyway.  Regardless, I looked at the “12 Steps” this morning after thinking of last night.  Some don’t resonate with me but here are a few that do.  And remember, I was thinking of “the big picture.”  The entire span of my life.

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. (NOTE: I have a wee bit of a problem with the “12 Steps” due to being an Atheist so I’ll just call out to the Universe? Also, since this is over the span of my life, the exact nature of my wrongs? I don’t know what that means.  For my entire life? All I can say is admitting denial.  There is also point eight where you make a list of people and make amends.  I don’t know who or everyone in my entire life, again.  A blanket sorry to whomever I haven’t already said I’m sorry?)

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and to carry that out. (NOTE: See point number five so I’ll just go with the flow, Buddhism, whatever on this one?)

I tried to explain to someone that I had basically come out of the denial closet last night but apparently it didn’t go over very well at all.  That may be a huge understatement! I didn’t know about potential Triggers for them.  However, I do understand.  My sister was married to an alcoholic for so many years and it was awful for her.

I guess that is one person out there I will make amends to? Apologize? I didn’t mean to hurt or upset this person at all.

So, all of this being said, an MP3 for me? “Two Worlds Collide” by Inspiral Carpets.  Two worlds have indeed had a collision: Denial and Reality.  It’s not “The End,” as the song goes, though.  It can’t be.  It’s just time “to make amends.”

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