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Fiery Jack

How Late It Was, How Late: Fiery Jack's Summer Sojourn In Rehab

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The program I'm in has no connection to the 12 Step method. It's cognitive behavioural therapy based. I've been to over 30 AA meetings. Doesn't work for me. Quite the opposite. I find their approach bullying and brainwashing, and their goals unrealistic. They do not allow for self-development or self determination. AA is not a treatment. Their inert static paean to the evils of drinking is facile, emotionally damaging, and their God-bothering strategies are outdated and risible. Their dogmatic 'methodology' is unscientific and unproven. They claim alcoholism is a 'disease' brought on by personality flaws and 'moral defects'. That makes no sense. Diseases are cured by science, not by sitting in a room praying with people who also have that disease. They demand submission and prayer (!) to some fantastical 'higher power', advocate surrender, and deny the possibility of moving on. I want to empower myself and move forward. AA preys on the needy 'weakness' of those with addictive leanings, and replaces dependence on alcohol with dependence on AA.

 

That's my opinion. Okay. But it's more up to date and scientifically supported than the opinions of AA, which were formed in the 1930s, when we used to give women electric shocks to 'cute' them of sexual desire and smack babies on the arse at birth to make them squeal, and not revised since then. AA supporters (and I wish them the very best of luck with this pernicious and awful disease: we are brothers in pain) will smirk and simply say I am 'in denial'. That's their get out clause. I'm not in denial. I am in a modern scientifically-based recovery program which, based on the most recent data, features 3 out of the top 5 current most effective treatment methods for alcohol dependency. (AA, by the way, is ranked 38th out of 48 available treatments, just below 'doing nothing'.)

 

This is Day 77.

 

jack :help:

 

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"Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like AA?"

 

Not easy to find a non-12 step program in the US - at least during my last wild casting around for help, I just came up against endless AA based programs, and the alternatives the I saw we're not back towards the scientific direction, but rather deeper into the ether with various holistic stuff that maybe has some CBT elements. Anyway - for the moment, not my concern.

 

I'll tell ya what REALLY doesn't work at all - I mean, so counterproductive that dealers should refer clients to the program - is C.A, 12 steps straight to the Bolivian marching powder and off we go again! Utterly useless.

 

I also had a bunch of physical tests done my last time through the wringer and was shocked - almost disappointed, in some strange way - that they reported my organs to be functioning normally. I mean, jesus, my innards may just look like anonymous slabs of slimy, glistening meat jostling for space in my abdomen, but those fuckers are HEROIC slabs of meat if they've been able to take the abuse I've thrown at them, absorb it, and keep on processing poisons and regenerating their cells as if it was just another day at the office. Heroic, this kidney, this liver, this heart. Brain - well, still sorting out my relationship with Mr. Brain.

 

Electro-shock - like everything else, don't knock it til you try it... Who knows? Might be fun... Would be a shame about the sex drive, though.

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In response to the poster known as Pretendingtobemale (see the 'Fiery Jack Hailed As Truly Awesome' thread in General) and/or anyone else who might be confused about or questioning my attitude here... :hug:

 

Alcohol dependence is a disease from which I find I now suffer. It can be defined as an inability to discontinue repeated patterns of behavior and thinking arising directly from alcohol consumption, despite the knowledge that these patterns of thinking and behavior have extremely negative and damaging consequences. Alcohol dependence develops over decades as a result of certain biological and environmental vulnerabilities. After a certain point, it is (arguably, but most likely) incurable, but it is arrestable and manageable if a combination of appropriate medical treatments and cognitive/behavioral modifications is faithfully and successfully undertaken. I staggered past that point at some time during the last few years, and, after much self-deception and denial (just one of the damaging patterns of thinking arising directly from booze), realised I had done so this June. :relieved:

 

Alcohol dependence is nothing at all to do with being a bad/weak/morally-defective/stupid person. Whether or not one becomes alcohol dependent (above and beyond the aforementioned biological/environmental factors) ultimately appears (and the most up-to-date published medical studies claim exactly the same for cancer) to depend on luck: some people get it, some don't. No one aims for it. No one starts drinking with the intention of becoming alcohol dependent. At the end of the long day, it's the luck of the draw, and I have drawn a short straw. :down:

 

So, given the above, there is no need to feel 'regret' or 'shame' or say 'sorry' for becoming alcohol dependent prior to proper diagnosis and acceptance of that diagnosis (just as there is no need to feel 'regret' or 'shame' or say 'sorry' for having cancer or diabetes or hay fever). And this 'it's a disease and it's not my fault' defense is not an excuse or an escape from responsibility; it is an unconditional embracing of responsibility hereafter. I know now that I am alcohol dependent, and I know that how this condition develops from now on is wholly my own responsibility. I can become a 24/7 fall-down drunk and quite probably be dead before I'm 60, or I can start to manage my thoughts and behavior in the light of the diagnosis I have received and accepted, and modify myself and my life accordingly. I am choosing this latter. It's the more difficult option, but the most attractive to me right now. :applause:

 

So, I neither feel 'regret' nor do I see why I should, and I neither intend to 'complain about booze' nor do I see why I should. (If anyone reading this thinks I should, please explain to me why you think so.) Booze is wonderful. It's been the longest most enjoyable love affair of my life. I've had over 3 decades of booze-inspired joy: hundreds and hundreds of thrilling encounters and marvelous adventures and life-enriching experiences I would never have known if I hadn't been a round-the-clock boozer. I regret nothing. I'm disappointed that I can't continue along that happy path with the gay abandon of yore, but I'm glad I'm still alive and I'm overjoyed to be receiving treatment that will mean I can nevertheless, if I proceed with due care and caution, not entirely relinquish that world. I do not intend to imprison myself in a dreary tomb of temperance hereafter; I simply intend to re-empower myself into a controlled non-damaging pattern of drinking. That is easier said than done, but it is doable, and am giving it my best shot. That's all. :up:

 

 

Boozing is brilliant. It was brilliant for me for many, many years, but recently it suddenly started becoming problematic, so I'm sorting that out in order that is will be brilliant again. :bang:

 

jack :help:

 

Disclaimer: The original 'How Late It Was...' post was written six days after I'd entered the rehab program. It was my birthday. (3 months ago now.) I was on medication and feeling a bit lonely and lost, so parts of what I wrote in that piece might appear to contradict my arguments here. But please don't pull out those maudlin phrases and shout 'But you said blah blah blah...'. My thinking is crystal clear today and I'm rehabilitated and already content with the brilliance of boozing anew. And so it must and should be, and so it always is. :drunk:

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Hi Jack, thank you for that, for me the part I like and appreciate is

 

<<Booze is wonderful. It's been the longest most enjoyable love affair of my life. I've had over 3 decades of booze-inspired joy: hundreds and hundreds of thrilling encounters and marvelous adventures and life-enriching experiences I would never have known if I hadn't been a round-the-clock boozer. I regret nothing. I'm disappointed that I can't continue along that happy path with the gay abandon of yore, but I'm glad I'm still alive and I'm overjoyed to be receiving treatment that will mean I can nevertheless, if I proceed with due care and caution, not entirely relinquish that world. >>

 

That's honest and blunt.

 

Wishing you all the best going forwards,

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Charles Kennedy who died recently is an interesting case.A talented politician and one time leader of the Lib Dems in the UK,he had a long-term problem with the booze which ultimately led to his early demise.Strange how he was unable to control this one aspect of his life :dunno: ....

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I have a friend who says he doesn't dare even drink a single beer now. Problem is that when he starts, he simply cannot stop. He's happily married, retired from a good job, USAF veteran. It's just the way he is. He can't allow himself to touch the stuff again.

 

Good luck. :up:

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Always believed everything in moderation. But I gave up cigarettes almost 10 years ago and have no intention of risking undoing it all with one smoke.

Good luck FJ. Gave the grog up for 20 years myself. By choice not by circumstances.

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I have a friend who says he doesn't dare even drink a single beer now. Problem is that when he starts, he simply cannot stop. He's happily married, retired from a good job, USAF veteran. It's just the way he is. He can't allow himself to touch the stuff again.

 

Good luck. :up:

 

There are different versions and different degrees of alcohol dependence. It's not a one-size-fits-all diagnosis. Your friend and I are an illustration of that. In some ways, his condition is simpler than mine: there's only one safe way forward for him, and that is complete abstinence. I can drink to excess without incident 99%. of the time, but ever so occasionally I choose to let it snowball out of control. I couldn't predict when or why that would happen before, and it was interfering with my life in negative ways. I think I can predict, and therefore preempt it now. We'll see.

 

I wish your friend the best of luck and health.

 

jack :help:

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