Friday, July 15, 2016

A Different Solution

    I picked up a book at the library that seems to be working well for me.  It's "How To Quit Drinking Without AA" by Jerry Dorsman.  It's a psychological approach to alcoholism.  It describes the pros and cons of AA without ripping it apart and demonizing it.  It also says you can take what works from AA and still follow this book.  I still attend AA meetings on a weekly basis.
    At this point in my sobriety, I'm happy with my progress.  I'm over three months sober.  I haven't had an urge in a long while.  Life's a lot less stressful.
    I've been trying to define what spirituality means to me and I feel it's associated with nature and evolution.  I really connect to the science series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey hosted by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  I live my life by strictly adhering to a simple set of rules.  Test ideas by experiment and observation.  Build on those ideas that pass the test.  Reject the ones that fail.  Follow the evidence wherever it leads and question everything.  And always be prepared to accept being wrong and admitting it.
    What drove me to search for another solution other than the Big Book was its insistence that God was the solution.  My 4th Step Workshop ended with the last paragraph of chapter 5: How It Works.  "In this book you read again and again that faith did for us what we could not do for ourselves.  We hope you are convinced now that God can remove whatever self-will has blocked you off from Him."  It doesn't give any other solution for those who don't believe in God.  The book assumes that you'll eventually come around to believing in a higher power that will magically remove your will to drink.  And although there's the ever present phrase, "God as we understand Him", what they're really referring to is Christianity.  I don't have a belief in any religion or god.  I have an understanding of nature; I'm an atheist.
    The 4th Step Workshop ended with the same assumption as the book that because you endured its five weeks you now believe God will keep you sober.  Out of the fifteen people that started this workshop only two completed it; I wonder how many of them left because of their lack of belief in a god as their solution.  And as the only other person left was praising the instructors in faith, I was getting ill and desired a drink.  I quickly excused myself.  What I really wanted to do was explain how useless this was, but I've had conversations with the instructors before and they are preachers, not listeners.  They have the mindset of a cult leader that nothing they hear can change their mind about anything.  And I came to this conclusion by discussing something completely unrelated to AA.  They act like those infected characters in that new show Brain Dead.
    So, I'll keep you informed about my progress with this new (to me) book.  Thanks for reading.

Sincerely Yours,

-- Without Wax

Friday, June 24, 2016

I want to be a photographer

All I have is my eye and a lens.  I want to start a new life as a photographer.  I only have a few months of sobriety.  I know that drinking will only leave potholes in my life.  Clients don't understand about potholes.  I need to kick this addiction.  You tell me, do I have the skills to start my own photography business?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Done with 4th Step Workshop

It's been a while.  I'm almost 3 months sober; my sobriety date is 4/4/2016.  I just completed the 4th Step Workshop and being convinced it's completely based on the belief in a god that doesn't exist, found it useless.  So, I'm onto other solutions.  I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

I'm Back!

I'm one month and 23 days sober, or 54 days, or 1296 hours, or 77,760 minutes, and I'm not even going to give you the seconds, because who's really counting?  I have a sponsor (two, actually), going to meetings (about two per day), reading literature daily, and am working on my Fourth Step.  I'm attending a Fourth Step workshop. I will complete my Fifth Step in three weeks.
I'm living alone in my own apartment in The Twin Cities.  I could not handle yet another sober house. It's a fully furnished one-bedroom with a balcony and a view.  My daily routine consists of making coffee, reading literature on the balcony, chores, then breakfast.  I plan out my morning meetings before I do anything.  I find it easier that way; plan sobriety before life.  Well, I guess that's not completely true; I put coffee before sobriety. :) That's why I own a drip coffee maker and an espresso machine, which I'm going to use to make a cafĂ© lattĂ© right now...Ah, much better.
I got my driver's license back three years ago from a DUI almost a decade earlier and haven't driven drunk since.  I've owned a car for over a year; my first since.  It's an older car, so I've been putting a lot of work into it.  Just installed new tires.  I like working on my car.  My life has changed tremendously since owning a car.  I originally bought it as an accessory to my camera bag, but it's been so much more since.  For one thing, it's no excuse not to make a meeting.
All the photographs on this website, with the exception of I think a few when I was without camera, are my own photos.  However, since this is an anonymous blog, I can't put my name to them.  And, in fact, I cannot share my photography portfolio with this blog, nor these blog photos with my portfolio. When I take a photo for this blog, it's meant exclusively for this blog alone.  I love photography even more now.  I now own a DSLR camera and have been putting it to good use, as you will see here.
I do have a lot of drunk history to catch up on, but not on my first post in years.  A little of what's been going on lately.  I have neighbors who drink heavily here.  An old drinking buddy drunk dialed me two days ago, called me a fat bastard, laughed, then hung up.  This came as somewhat of a surprise, since he was last in rehab.  His treatment girlfriend messaged me on Facebook and told me he was kicked out of treatment.  I'm not too surprised.
I make a little money driving people around and doing store runs.  Speaking of which, my downstairs neighbor Larry just called.  He fell off the wagon and needs me to make a Hudson run for a case of beer.  I don't mind, since it keeps me in gas money.
I will be updating this blog often from now on.  I already have tomorrow's blog post draft in my head. Comments are greatly appreciated.

-- Without Wax

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Mama!…Siana screams. She’s always attached to her mother, when she’s at home. They’re more like sisters, with one difference: Mama D. is the older one. The way she’s attached to her mother is special…to me.
I can tell her mother is a special person, and yet I’ve never met her…and am afraid to. She loves her daughter like a possession; a property not to be tinkered with. Yet, Siana has a mind of her own, and she does what she will; Yes, she has her own will.‘Mama, I’m on the phone!’, like that really matters. If Mama D. really wants something, daughter Siana will get off the phone soon, no matter what it is. They share everything. We went out last week to bingo at a local tavern and I’d rung up a tab I couldn’t cover. Thankfully, Siana covered what I could not. Mama D. knew about it the very next day. They share the same check register evidentially.
Being close to her mother is one of the endearing qualities I find in Siana. In fact, most of my other lovers have had mothers that have died. They’ve been close to them, yet they’ve died, mostly early in life; Much like my parents had. Come to think of it, Siana is the first girlfriend I’ve had since high school that has a living mother. The fact that they are close says something; I’m not quite sure what that is or if I should even think on it.
Mama and Siana were instrumental in getting me out of ‘that house’ that I’d lived in for one month and a year. This was the house I chose to live in because of Mark J.; Yes Father Mark. He went schizoid embolismic once he learned I’d been drinking. I caused me to find other housing. Mark has confronted me each time I try to retrieve property from the house. It amazes me how someone with six years of sobriety working all twelve steps can skip some. Or is that just one of the limitations in the twelve step program?
How can a man who has been imprisoned and on parole, like Father Mark, with a felony conviction for violent phone threats be in the AA system and still threaten people? He’s still violent. The person I chose to live with, Father Mark, was the person of change I wanted to learn from. If anyone could change from his past to five years of sobriety, that would be my model of change. Yet, one year later, he’s not changed at all; He’s just become sober…longer; Terrible model for sobriety.
My sponsor doesn’t want to hear about the past; just what I will do to change. He won’t be happy with my choice to drink every chance I can get. Neither will Siana; I owe her money. After moving to my own place, called from now on as HillPlace, I am in debt up to my eyeballs. I will crawl out of this debt eventually, slowly; but it will be at the grace of very many friends; I had to borrow money for butter yesterday.
Mama D. and Siana D. had given me life saving stuff for a new move-in. Tons of stuff. I felt Mama D. was there giving me a hand with her daughter’s boyfriend’s move-in. Either she cared that much for me or her care for her daughter’s new love carried over. Either way, it produce pots and pans, glasses and plates, toaster, coffee maker, and other move-in stuff. These were all of the things that one would need to move it to a new place. All were thought out…by who? I didn’t ask.
I think, and I rarely get this right, Siana somehow will let Mama know how deeply in love with me she is…with me. {baring the obvious trailing participle.}
My new place is of my own. It’s just North of the Twin Cities and in walking distance of work. I’m working and keeping a job. I’m not staying sober. I cannot say what my plan to stay sober will be.
Siana is the most wonderful woman that I’ve ever met. We will see if she puts up with me.

-- Without Wax

Monday, January 16, 2012

New Girlfriend

Just a quick post to introduce Siana D. as my new 25 year old girlfriend. She's in the recovery community, a co-worker, and very Facebook proficient. I challenged her to find this blog, so I thought I'd post a little of what's been going on lately.
I have been drinking lately; as late as last Friday The 13th of January. That did not preclude me from getting my one year medallion. I have to lie to my roommates and the community if I'm going to stay living here. More on that later.
I plan to post more often and try to stay sober.

-- Without Wax

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blessed, not Dead

I have never been more sober in my life, yet I’ve only just received my three month medallion. One year ago, I stopped drinking for one month while I moved into Hunting Hotel. Before that, I was homeless in the dead of Winter in Minneapolis, Minnesota, jumping from treatment to homeless shelter to detox and back. Here is my story of what it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now.

Having failed three treatment facilities in one year, I’d stayed drunk on money from plasma donation. It seemed like a good idea at the time; nothin’ better to do. I had a case of the pore me, pore me, pour me another drink. I drank to near blackout and stayed at the Indian detox facility in South Minneapolis for two to three days at a time, just long enough to dry out to supply my blood for plasma…a never ending cycle. On one of those occasions, I left there as a guest for the very last time. That was April 2nd, 2010.

On that day, a councilor convinced me to try the Hunting Hotel. He gave me the address and the name of the manager, Matthew. It took a half a day of waiting, but I got in. That night I slept on my own bed for the first time in years. Contrary to common understanding of sleeping in a novel place, I slept like a rock and woke refreshed. That’s odd too, because I had another stranger in my room; we shared a single room. From that day and for the next month, I abstained from alcohol.

Long story short; after that month, my roommate moved to Northern California, which gave me license to drink in my room, now that I was alone. I drank until September 13th, 2010.

On that day, I had decided to stay sober. It was not for any Earth shattering epiphany. It was simply due to me being tired of being tired all the time. It was not because of some revelation I’d read in the Big Book, a spiritual experience, or hitting bottom. This time I was simply tired of being tired…physically.

Then things started happening. My mind cleared and I started pursing things; things that would improve my quality of life. You have to understand; being at the Hunting Hotel allowed me to not think in survival mode all the time. It also allowed me to drink, albeit covertly. But, because I knew how not to get caught there, I had a choice whether to drink or not. There suddenly was no pressure either way. So, prospective employers started returning e-mails and calls. I had some interviews. One of which landed me a job I interviewed for back in April.

Before starting the CallCenter job, I had a brief seasonal job ringing bells for the Salvation Army. That gave me enough money to buy a decent wardrobe for my CallCenter job. I’ve held it ever since.

I had a one-day relapse on Christmas Eve after three and a half months of sobriety. But, I now have those three and a half months of sobriety back now. I’ll describe in detail that relapse in another post. I attend up to three AA meetings a month. I live in a house with an old sober friend. I feel serene.

Please post comments and I’ll update this blog more often, okay?

-- Without Wax