I am so "in between" in every aspect of my life. I am now sober for my 380th consecutive day. I am not certain I will never have a glass of wine again or a brandy or even a drink. I am certain I will not today. I am certain I will never be able to drink and celebrate as I once did. Yeah that is right, I still have drinking and celebration conceptually linked. The AA'ers and rehab. folks I deal with would be much happier if I had celebration and alcohol in separate compartmentalized domains in my mind. There is nothing else I've found that feels like a celebration other than drinking. The greatest quality of my life previously was a sense that I celebrated being alive. I loved life and I pursued it. I devoured food (that ended with my gastric bypass surgery) I devoured drink (that obviously has not been the case lately, and I am still under court order that I would be imprisoned if I were to ever have so much as a drop), and I loved ravenously. My sexual appetite has dwindled to only a minor fraction of what it was before my alcohol abstinence. It is there but I can take it or leave it and there is little joy in it.
So here I am. By way of counting my blessings I have my sue and t. That is a miracle after the last year and a half. How they have remained here with me through this is a huge gift and a miracle. We still have our home, our two condos. Despite my career loss, we have so far weathered the financial loss that my transition to de facto retirement and the catastrophic costs of the ensuing legal fees, fines, and treatment costs. We are pretty continuously living by a thread financially, but living we are. I feel healthier than I have in years. My weight continues to be (stunningly 156 pounds this morning) quite controlled at levels that are less than 50% of my weight March 23 2009 when I had my gastric bypass surgery. I generally exercise a good deal daily. This last week I have been achieving about 5.5 to 7.5 miles each day on the treadmill. I also bicycle when the weather permits, and or power walk, and am integrating some upper body exercise with the health rider into my routine. I am definitely the most fit I have ever been in my life as I approach my 63rd birthday. As I write this I am almost narcissistic about the pair of snug fitting Banana Republic 32 inch waist jeans I have on. I was bursting at the seams of 54 inch waist pants in March 2009, and was about to be forced to move up to 56 inch waist clothing. My diabetes diagnosis continues, as it always will, but I am in remission. My diagnoses of severe sleep apnea, hyperlypidemia, hypertension, meralgia parasthetica, spinal stenosis, have all been eliminated. My arthritis is very much improved due to the weight loss, exercise, and diabetes control. The major chronic pain issue I had due to my severely deteriorated arthritic shoulder was ended last June by the total reverse shoulder replacement surgery I underwent and subsequent successful rehabilitation. If everything stays on track my disfigured and painful left knee will be replaced this June. When that is complete and rehabilitated I will be the proud possessor or two titanium prosthetic knees and a titanium right shoulder. I will have significantly less pain than I have had and will be much more functional than I have been in decades. My life is improved in so many ways. If only I enjoyed it and wanted to wake up each day.
Three weeks from yesterday I will "graduate" from my alcohol rehab. program's aftercare weekly support group meetings. That having occurred, I will have completed all of the court ordered alcohol rehab. programming I have been coerced to undergo. It is possible, I am told, that that having occurred, and there having been no "incidents" during my now 51% completed probation, perhaps I might be released from the remainder of my probation without having to live with it until next January. That would be good, if for no other reason than saving the probation fees. All probation has really entailed for me is my going to appointments at which point I am shown to the clerk's window to pay my fees. There is no counseling, or case management, or anything that is in anyway constructively beneficial...........that would lead to any sort of positive outcome. As with all of the legal process we have been subjected to, it has all been about paying large sums of money to the courts, and attorneys for the privilege of having my life wrecked.
Anyway that is what is....how life is. T has recovered from and is deeply engrossed in her rehab. from her rotator cuff surgery (which btw, has been way more difficult and painful than my much more extensive and invasive shoulder replacement........hopefully she will have greater range of motion as a result of all her pain and hard work.) Sue is struggling with an exacerbation of her migraine condition. We are taking her to a new doc Monday who specializes in headache treatment. He did his original work in Beijing of all places. Hopefully he has something in his armamentarium beyond the ever increasingly powerful (and therefore concomitantly disabling) drugs which have been hijacked from epilepsy or mood disorder treatment that Dr.'s we have seen so far have employed to disrupt her neural chemistry to prevent her headaches. It would be good in that she is suffering through about 20-25 headaches a month now. Likely her problem is living with me the biggest headache of all time. She has completed her PT for her shoulder impingement syndrome she suffered through this last fall and early winter and her on-going shoulder exercise seems to be steadily improving that without her having to have surgery. We really should be getting some sort of free gasoline stamps from our orthopedic surgeon and PT company:)
So I ramble on. Life is good in all these ways.
Just yesterday I completed the latest greatest therapeutic trick to treat PTSD................eye movement desensitization and reintegration (EMDR) treatment. It is a process that seems almost silly it is so simple. It seems to have been effective in getting me to release the previously ever present track in my consciousness, that was the police coming into our home, with me home alone passed out on the couch in the middle of the night, hand cuffing me and carrying me struggling from our home, only to realize when I got outside to the throngs of cops and emergency vehicles that they were accompanied by, it was t and sue who had brought them to get me and haul me to jail. That image and the attendant trauma, horror, sense of betrayal, fear, physical agony (my arthritic shoulder cuffed behind me and that arm use as a "handle" to carry me), and heart break it entailed has been a never-ending backdrop to my life since that event, no matter how I have tried to release it. EMDR seems to have allowed me to differentiate that event from my present............to be able to say that was 15 months ago, and was terrible, but it is not now. I am not in pain now and I have no reason to feel that moment in my present reality....IT IS NOT REAL NOW! That seems to have allowed me to move on to deal with a plethora of on-going issues that were previously eclipsed from my consciousness. I have learned that living with PTSD is like living in the reality of a computer which has a back ground program, always running and consuming RAM, and never performing any useful task or perhaps even being evident in our immediate consciousness. It is always there eclipsing your present, sometimes painfully filling your consciousness, other times just coloring your life, but keeping you disabled, sad, in pain.
So that is now hopefully past. At least I can now intentionally conjure up that image and I can feel fine in the present as I recall it. It still is the worst moment of my life..............but it is not now...and I don't feel it as now. That is, as they say, "progress."
I want to start writing here again. This is a start. I feel badly in that I have these posts I want to write about where I am with my "recovery" process, A. A., our evolving relationship, my sexuality's evolution (I am becoming a spanking switch), our D/s, if such there is, politics, movies and literature I am enjoying (most recently "A Dangerous Method"..........a must see for anyone interested in the historical evolution of BDSM in our culture as well as the development of psychology and particularly psycho-therapy), and just how I try to struggle on day after day in this continual gray fog of life without joy or celebration that is alcohol recovery. I feel badly that I try to write them and this negative crap is what comes out of me.
Having rambled on incoherently for pages now I will pledge to be more coherent and disciplined in my future scribblings and maybe there will be something I have to offer that will be worth your reading, as opposed to my just catharting all over the screen here.
Thank you for all of you who have held on to us here and continued to love us all, or some of us, as we have made this, now year and a half long, passage through dealing with my drinking....or whatever this was, or is.
In life unlike chess, the game continues after check mate.