Wolfrum Chronicled: Finding my way

June 22, 2013 by  

It’s been, what, 10-plus years since I quit drinking? Time, it does fly. Mind you, it’s not that I take my sobriety lightly. I don’t. I just don’t use time as a gauge as much any longer. In too many ways, I’m the same person as I was the day I quit. For me, I will always be newly sober and need to be ever-vigilant.

Ok, I have no ability to write about my alcoholism without sounding like a complete tool. I’m Mr. Inspiration, producing hings like this from 2008:

It was 1,825 days ago that I nearly drank myself to death. And it wasn’t some party gone wrong. It was a culmination of nearly two decades worth of drinking. It was a desperate attempt to keep drinking when every part of me knew it was way past time to stop. It was the final act of a nightmare. It was my bottom, and I hit it as hard as possible.

And now five years later, I haven’t had a drink since.

While I quickly discovered that AA wasn’t for me, I adopted several of the 12 steps to help what has been a recovery pf 1,824 days and counting. My main step was basically accepting my wife as my higher power. She means everything to me, and has helped me in more ways that I can imagine or even express. And she continues to, every day. Mainly, I’ve taken sobriety seriously, and never take it for granted. I’ll always be an alcoholic, but I never want to go back to where I was.

1,826 days ago I saw no way out. I never could have imagined I could be sober for five years and eager for more. I was lost. My wife and family helped me find myself, and I am more thankful than I can say.

If you’re lost, just know you don’t have to be. That recovery can happen. That no matter how bad it is, and how deeply you’ve buried your secret, you can be the person you want to be and should be. If you’d like to chat with me about anything, click on my name in the “Contributors” section over on the left. Or find a family member or friend you trust. It’s hard, I know. But it’s worth it. Because life can be beautiful if you’re willing to see it with a clear mind.

 

And this:

One of the big things I’ve gotten from blogging is the ability to be more open as a person. And the one area of my life I’ve tried to be more open about is my alcoholism.

Not too long ago I celebrated my fifth anniversary of sobriety, and I wrote about that here. It was received with a lot of positivity and a lot of people sharing their own experiences.

But this weekend, I wanted to write to those of you still out there fighting your demons, whether it be alcohol, drugs, food or anything else that has grabbed a hold of you and won’t let go. And really, my message is simple and as non-preachy as could be:

I’m thinking of you.

Because this weekend is a holiday weekend. And whether you celebrate Easter or not, I know that holidays can be just plain awful for the addicted. I have drank away more holidays than I could ever hope to remember. And I have spent holidays actively trying to get away from friends and families so I could drink. Holidays can really suck if you have an addiction.

So if you’re out there, and fighting through this holiday weekend, know that you aren’t alone. Know that others are struggling just as you are, and that others like myself have struggled through holidays. Whatever your addiction is, there are others out there, even among the Shakers that have a pretty good idea of how you’re feeling this weekend. So please hang in there.

Because you aren’t alone. We’re thinking about you.

Bill

Now, I really felt those things at the time, and still do. But that’s just a part of being a recovering alcoholic. It’s great and useful to try and express a level of positivity, but it doesn’t mean I’ve shared anything. How drinking affected and continues to affect me in day to day life are areas I’ve rarely tread. It’s too real for me, I guess.

All I can say is, it’s made me feel older than I am. More tired than I should be.

It’s a lot like when you see a basketball team gets down by 25 points and then make a valiant comeback but falter at the end. I feel like I just can’t completely overcome it. The battle for me has been to close the deficit, not overtake it. I just don’t feel like I have the gas to get all the way to the finish line, that I’m developing into one of those aging ex-addicts who have the look of a whisper and time.

It’s more than a decade later. The feelings of shame have gone. The strong urges have gone. All that’s left is me, trying to make up for lost time. And, you know, speaking of time, I just did the math and today is day 3,794. And I still don’t want to go back.

 

(Note 1: The full story can be found on the Wolfrum Chronicled Main Page.)

(Note 2: For an explainer on this project, please go here.)

Comments

5 Responses to “Wolfrum Chronicled: Finding my way”

  1. terri on June 22nd, 2013 2:29 am

    Tired? Yup. That’s what it feels like. Inexplicably tired. But I just keep on swimming, swimming, swimming…

  2. Michael Scott on June 22nd, 2013 8:18 am

    I’ve been struggling with booze for what seems my whole life, and maybe a couple more I never thought I had. I finally put it down not too long ago, but each day I think about taking just one drink, after all it will make me feel better right? Good article. Thanks for sharing.

  3. dgun on June 22nd, 2013 8:39 pm

    Luckily for me, if I drink more than a few I vomit for 12 straight hours. Therefore no need for 12 step plans and whatnot.

  4. William K. Wolfrum on June 23rd, 2013 1:41 am

    It’interesting, Michael, how it is different for all of us, yet the same in so many ways. Keep the faith, brother

  5. Dean Pitman on July 31st, 2013 5:46 am

    Congrats! I just hit year 15 in April after 21 miserable years. I do the 1-2-3 waltz as far as the 12 steps go. It works for me. I’m not doing step 4 ever because there are some things I won’t admit to myself, much less confessing to someone else. My new life, new wife of 11 years, and new family and friends know my past but don’t bring it up and help me stay sober.

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