Tuesday, 19 March 2013

2013 - emphasis on the 13...

2013 is living up to the 13 part of its nomenclature if you believe in the superstition that it is unlucky.

I apologise for the rugby rant - I think I now know why I ranted so much, I'm angry about other stuff I have no control over and this is my anger/frustration about that coming out sideways in a place I feel comfortable ranting and safe from any effects of said rant!  That all said - I still think England have much to learn from that performance.

Why am I angry?  Life is throwing a bunch of stuff in my direction at the moment - all of which I have no control over and little that I can actually do to help in any situation.  Here is the list...

  • In January - a good friend in AA succumbed to Lung Cancer, only 47 and such a sad loss.
  • In February - another acquaintance in AA died suddenly, probably from a blood clot.
  • In March (so far) - a friend has had a car crash and has a suspected broken back, he is being transferred to one of the countries leading specialist units.
  • A good friend of my wife's Mother-in-Law died suddenly.
  • The father of a really close friend died suddenly over last weekend from a bleed on the brain.
  • My son's girlfriend had to spend the weekend in hospital as she suffers with a blood disorder and the treatment she has been on went all wonky.

So as I say - none of these are about me directly and in many I'm a removed observer to a degree but I feel for the people involved and as I say and you can probably see I can't do much directly to help I'm not an Orthopaedic Consultant, or a Hematologist etc.

One of my character defects (to use the terminology used in the 6th step of AA's 12 steps) is that I really want to dive in and fix peoples issues for them - to be the rescuer. Couple that with my desire for me to the one totally in control of any situation and you have a recipe for frustration and anger.  Now knowing that and working to minimise the issues with it is easy said etc. but it runs deep within me and this catalogue of things where my sensitive soul is touched but I can do little about any of it is hurting me inside.  And my addict brain will do it's best to delude and deny me the reasons behind all this - it craves the easy solution of course.

This all became so clear to me yesterday as I listened to a friend talk about their physical recovery from a painful condition and difficult surgery over the last year or so.  It hit me that was the underlying feeling of discontentment - strike that - ANGER - at the world, nature, the universe and what it is doing to my friends at the moment.  Also there is a hint of survivor syndrome guilt in there in that part of you is relieved that it isn't me directly with these issues.  I have to be honest that feeling is there too and that is not atypical in my thinking/feeling that contradiction of feelings about things like this.

Now there is one of the major reasons I used to drink - it is one of the major reasons for me that I believe I'm an alcoholic as I really really struggle to cope at times with that type of contradictory feeling/thinking and the best way, the instant way to deal with it is of course to drink.  If I drink the feeling will be numbed, my feelings will be instantly disengaged from my consciousness and the bullshit will start and I'll be telling the guy at the bar next to me what a great guy I am for supporting all these friends with these disasters where in reality I'm there at that bar drinking away to avoid all of that - especially to avoid thinking about it, heaven forbid actually feeling it and then somewhere in another dimension actually talking about feeling about it, I mean that would have to expose my fear of not being able to help, feeling helpless etc.  I could never admit to that.

As they say "progress not perfection" (page 60 AA big book http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/bigbook/pdf/BigBook_chapt5.pdf).


  1. I love your honesty about your feelings, and that there is this outlet.
    If it's any consolation, not that it can be but you know what I mean, I had my annus horriblis last year, with friends getting ill, friends dying, friends splitting up, friends going through hell... and a few problems of my own to deal with too. What can we do? It's tough out there, it's so horrible sometimes, and awful shit happens to good, kind people, you wonder if there's ever such a thing as karma!
    Just hold on tight! You're not alone!

  2. That's called projection. You vent your spleen someplace that has nothing to do with what's really eating you. A great defense mechanism. I have ninja projection skills.

    That's a long laundry list of mishaps. You're entitled to you anger. Better days to you and those in the bullet points. Maybe you can channel all this into your music?

  3. Progress. We talk about being on a journey a lot at Zac's. We've started but still have a very long way to go. You're not drinking: you're progressing.

    As for life, well, shit happens sometimes. Hope Girlfriend is well soon.

  4. She was much heartened by the game Saturday! she was in the day room with drip attached shouting in Welsh with a bunch of octogenarians!!

  5. Amen, man. I totally related to this post.

  6. I'm sorry for all that you have gone through and I hope Girlfriend heals quickly.

    I'm constantly working on not trying to be the rescuer, my sponsor called it people pleasing, and controlling. Control is my biggie in my list of character defects. Progress, not perfection. I'm going to reading it now. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Crikey--things can only get better eh? Sorry to hear all that. I'm getting better at just listening now rather than trying to barge in with solutions. I've been told many times (and know it from myself) that that's all people want sometimes.

    Anyway, about the rugby...

    The teacher asked her class to write down the type of work their Dads do. One by one, the teacher asked each child to stand and read out their work.

    One little boy looked terribly worried about reading out his answer. “Tommy, what's the matter?" asked the teacher.

    Blushing to his roots, Tommy stammered-- “My... my... Dad’s a... stripper ina gay bar”. A shocked silence descended on the class. “Sometimes, he doesn’t come home, and my Mummy sits crying, until eventually he comes in and he goes to the bathroom and takes all his makeup off.

    There were gasps around the classroom. The teacher acted quickly and
    told the class to go out and play. She put her arm around the lad's shoulders, and asked: “Is all that true, Tommy?”

    “No, not at all, Miss. He really plays rugby for England, but I was too
    embarrassed to say”.

  8. Your wanting to fix everything and make everything right for everyone is a male thing, I'm convinced. Men are like that, bless their hearts. It is a very endearing quality until such time as I want to fix it MYSELF, but need to talk about it first. (The talking about it thing is a female thing, I think)

    Which all goes back to the Serenity Prayer thing, and that whole "Wisdom to know the difference".

    Sometimes just being in the same room, saying nothing and listening when needed is a more helpful thing to do than all the "doing something" in the world. And ranting about football or rugby or politics to channel your anger less harmfully is a good thing. Rant on, Buddy!

  9. take a deep breath, furtheron... it is only for now. so very sorry that your year has gotten off to such a dark start. here's hoping it improves... you do what you can.