The Inmates are Running the Asylum


Just me and the boy this weekend.  Girls are gone to a baby shower out of town so it’s man weekend at the ranch.

the bad news (fantasy):  the old thoughts were still there.  woohoo! I’m by myself I can go get slammed! wait….I’m not alone I’ve got the boy.  ok, well we can still go to a place for dinner and I can get some drinks then I’ll stop at the likter store on the way home and get some more. I’ll just watch him and we’ll do whatever and I’ll have a wicked buzz the whole time.

the good news (reality): we went to dinner and I didn’t have anything.  I did get a 6 pack of Sam Adams Noble Pils at the likter store on the way home.  It’s a really good seasonal brew they do.  Regular SA is good too, but it’s not my first choice.  I stumbled on this stuff somehow when I was in Asheville by my lonesome a while ago.  Anyway…do you know what it’s like for an alkie to walk into a liquor store and only get beer?  It’s like a lion at an all you can eat buffet and he ain’t whistlin hakuna matata.  But I’m at a better place than I was.  I didn’t want anything more than the beer.  and I only drank 3 when I got home.  The boy and I had a great night, and now we’re gonna have a great weekend. looking forward to it. moderation in effect yo.

but ya, it’s like the bad thoughts will always be there.  I just have to ignore them.

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~ by sobriety6923 on April 9, 2011.

7 Responses to “The Inmates are Running the Asylum”

  1. “It’s like the bad thoughts will always be there. I just have to ignore them.”

    As I’ve shared before, my brother was an alcoholic who died of cirrhosis of the liver.

    Of course, I tried in vain to “save” him and we had many lengthy conversations about his life and his addiction. I vividly remember him saying that when he was sober his life was filled with this unspeakable dread and that only alcohol could take it away.

    He was a published poet, and while he never wrote openly about his alcoholism, if you knew him and read between the lines, his internal battle was very evident.

    For some reason this poem of his popped into my head this morning as I read your post. By sharing this, I’m not implying that you have “dread” in your life. There’s actually an enthusiasm for life that’s starting to sneak its way into your posts and I’m thrilled for you (and your family).

    I just have empathy for alcoholics and their daily struggle of “bad thoughts” or “I really need a drink” or “I have this dread that is only removed by alcohol.”

    If I were ever granted three wishes, one of them would be to remove the cravings and “bad thoughts” of every alcoholic.

    Please note that his poems were usually letters to God.

    ******************************************************************

    “WHITE SHOES”

    God,

    It is that silent hour again
    as a day has stood and watched
    as we passed by and through
    and have gone to the next, as if each were the same.

    Here the world sleeps,
    while somewhere this same world
    awakes to that same dread
    that we carry from day to day.

    This same dread is our burden forever,
    day after day,
    and maybe even after the last day,
    that we might awaken to yet a new dread,
    one that was impossible before when there were still days ahead and not only days gone by.

    And so let us vow to You and to ourselves as You:

    That each day we will find a sparkly stone,
    A magic leaf,
    A bite of precious meal in our mouths,
    Something to hold up and show You
    That we might stand this very next day,
    not in the weary boots of dread
    but in White Shoes,
    shoes so clean, they could have known no other day
    but this… this perfect day.

    God, I hold up my hands and spread my broken fingers like these words on a blank sheet.

    See! I have on my White Shoes,
    And in my hands I hold something for you: a child.

    ****************************************************************

    I believe this was written shortly after I had my daughter and that she is the child referred to, although I never asked him. To this day, when I think of my brother, I like to think of him standing in heaven wearing the shiniest, brightest White Shoes, forever free of the dread that took his life.

    I’m hoping that your “bad thoughts” stay manageable. It seems if we let our “bad thoughts” graduate to “dread”, that real trouble ensues.

  2. “Please note that his poems were usually letters to God.”

    let this then, be my prayer…

  3. A beautiful poem!

    Be grateful that your brother had those moments where he walked with God, side by side, in those bright white shoes, sharing his thoughts, pouring out his feelings in the only way he probably knew how. Take comfort that God knew his feelings, even before he was born, and yet was there, even though it didn’t appear so to you.

    But also know that God doesn’t want our white shoes, but rather our darkened, ashamed, bruise and hurt soul, and He will make it clean and new again. While no one wants to lose their brother (especially in a horrible fashion as that), know that he is whole again, walking with you (even thouugh you don’t see him, he’s there), standing along side Jesus, and giving you great big hugs, comfort and love. And, in time, and in God’s will, you two will be whole again.

    And, speaking as one that almost met the same fate, I can say, without fail, that the ONLY thing that saved my soul was realizing that I was broken, and that only my higher power could save me (that third step thing…..). That doesn’t guarantee me one additional day on earth…not one! That’s why we live one day at a time, and try to do the next right thing. Other than that, there are no guarantees, whether you’re an alcoholic, a recovering alcoholic, one that’s giving it a half-ass “white knuckle” attempt, or a loved one hurt by the pain. The one thing that we ALL should realize is that:

    “And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

    ‘Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”

    the big book, pp 417 ff, 4th edition

    And yes, this applies in all walks of life. Exchange the word “alcoholism” with whatever deamon you are facing.

    (I know what you are thinking…yup, intelligent life here!)

  4. Dear Acceptance is the Key:

    Thank you for your kind words. I think my brother’s poem is beautiful also!

    You made the comment that I should envision my brother walking beside me. That is impossible for me to do.

    My brother made the conscious decision to drink too much. His liver started to fail, among other things. He was warned, if you continue to drink, you will die.

    He was on a mission to die. We talked about it. He had this mental timeline of death. He even took out a 10-year term policy of life insurance on himself when he was 41 years old. Who does that?? He died about a week after the 10-year term was up. (Yes, I was able to receive the funds from that policy.)

    I begged that man not to leave me. Our parents were already gone. He was 11 years my senior. My big brother.

    I can’t stress this enough: HE LEFT ME. He made the conscious decision to drink too much. Hard, hard liquor. Whiskey. Scotch. Bourbon. (Isn’t it all the same??)

    He made the conscious decision to put liquor ahead of me. This is the point of my response. The readers of this blog are probably tired of my ranting and raving. But I would love for just one alcoholic to understand the pain of the sober people who love them.

    I know there’s an addiction at play. I know that I’m internalizing something that didn’t have anything to do with me. I’m sure he needed antidepressant medication and that he had some mental health issues going on.

    But by the same token, every time an alcoholic chooses to drink when you know it’s an issue in your life, every time you put that glass of wine or bottle of beer or fancy crystal highball full of scotch up to your lips…. You are making a CONSCIOUS decision that that drink is more important than the sober person who is standing there loving you, whether it’s your child, your spouse, your parent or your sibling.

    Is my brother standing in his White Shoes? I choose to think so.

    Is he walking with me, loving on me the way you portray? As much as I’d like to believe that, I know in my heart that the answer is a resounding NO.

  5. …then let this me my prayer….

    “Lord, I come to You as Your humble servent, Lord. I lift up Horse-Girl, as well as all the other readers of this blog, to You, as only You know their pain, their anguish, their grief and their sorrow. Lord, hear their pain and heal them Lord. Only You know the reasons for why we alcoholics do what we do, why we tempt fate with the bottle, why we can’t seem to control things without it, Lord, why we’re so selfish and self-loathing, why we let the bottle become our seductress, our idol, our object of worship instead of giving all that glory to You. Oh Lord, all the hundreds and thousands of times we have personally told You to get lost, and yet still prayed that You don’t leave us. How we’ve come to feel that we’re wholly unworthy of love and respect, especially from the ones that love us. Why do we hurt them? Why do we give up trying? Why do we do those things, even while thinking “Why am I doing this to myself, Lord? Why am I doing this to the people that love me and care for me, how can I be so damn selfish? How could I ever make that up to them. Lord, how could I ever take away that pain and suffering that I caused. I feel like I am worth nothing to you, Lord. Isn’t there even just a little room in Heaven for a bastard like me?”

    ‘Thank you Lord, for your gift of unconditionally acceptance and love. Thank you Lord, for allowing me to be totally broken, weeping, grieving, begging you to let me die, and thank You for giving me the free will to nearly kill that precious child that you made when you made me. Lord, thank You for that church sign in Robin’s Nest, AR, where I came to my knees and only had one thing left, Lord, and that was YOU. At that moment, I didn’t care who I was hurting Lord, I didn’t care whether I lived or died; You could have said one word, Lord, and I would have been dust–a worthless, waste of a life piece of dust, because all I cared about was my selfish nature–and I would have surely deserved that fate. But You broke me, Lord, and afterward, You picked me up, Lord, in my tears, and you said “I will heal you, my son, for I know the plans I have for you, and I’m not finished shaping you yet.”

    ‘Lord, thank you for letting me make amends to the people I hurt; even the ones that refused my apology, as that is their Free Will, Lord, but thank You for that chance. Lord, I would lay my life down right now, at Your command, if it could take away that pain, or anyone else’s pain, as the result of my selfish, alcoholic life. But You gave us all Free Will, Lord, and all I know to do is to lay my will down at Your feet, Lord, and let you take over my live, and let me live it for you, to help others, as You taught us to.

    ‘Lord, hear my huble prayer, and let those that have been hurt by us selfish alcoholics begin to have peace and serenity again. Thank You for the tools you have given me and other recovering alcoholics, to live our life one day at a time, and to serve Your will, Lord.

    ‘All this I pray, in your powerful and precious name, Amen”

  6. Dear Acceptance is the Key:

    I am so humbled by your prayer. I am overcome with emotion, for many reasons.

    On one level I am astounded at the pain and brokenness that you had to endure and the depths to which you had to fall to finally give yourself and your addiction over to that Higher Power. (There are some readers who are not God-followers so I will refer to Him as our Higher Power.)

    I feel compelled to try to comfort you and make you feel whole and worthy and lovable. But yet you seem to have already reached that pinnacle by giving your life and addiction over to your Higher Power.

    I am starting to see that in my pain and anger, I have neglected to recognize the pain and and guilt that the alcoholics in my life have carried. Perhaps I am the selfish one, after all.

    In reading your apology, my heart and my soul felt like they were soaring….those words were so healing. I can imagine my brother saying those words to me. I can imagine my dad saying those words to me. I really can.

    I think you gave them the voice that they do not have from their graves, and for that I am eternally grateful. I can only hope to hear those healing words from my husband one day.

    Saying thank you seems wholly inadequate, and yet that is what I need to convey to you. Thank you. Thank you for your healing prayer. Thank you for allowing yourself to be broken and healed. Thank you for letting us blog readers feel your pain and the depths of your despair. It couldn’t have been an easy thing to share. Thank you for caring.

    “I will heal you, my son, for I know the plans I have for you.” One of His plans had to be this blog, these readers, these authors, on this day.

    My (inadequate) prayer for you: Higher Power, I lift up Mr. Acceptance and the rest of the addicted people to your loving care. Wrap your arms around them… assure them that they are lovable and worthy and capable of being healed ~ amen.

    I am sitting alone at my kitchen table….my husband and children are riding their bikes…. my neighbors will think I’m insane but I have this overwhelming urge to run outside and scream the words !!!!!!!!WHITE SHOES!!!!!!! for all the world to hear.

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