Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Some Days are for Screaming

I made it with my legally obtained art-ware. If you want to use it for some reason or other, right-click to save to your computer. If you are the copyright monopoly nazis, you are not welcome here. So go away. Far away. Scum.

     Yesterday, I listened to yet another person in recovery wax on about Robin Williams and his suicide. It has now come that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's and that his sobriety was "intact." In other words, he did not relapse. That is to say: his suicide by belt hanging was not because he drank, used, got high, got blasted, lapsed, relapsed, slipped, or anything else related to addiction.

     What I listened to I found to be deplorable on so many levels. There was shrink crap in there about how "suicide is an irrational decision," some other crap in there about how "suicide is selfish," and some morose crap in there about "what about the children?". What about the children? Seriously? wtf.

     The particular children being referenced were all the kids who ever watched a Robin Williams movie and now the dude is splitsville, gone, not suffering anymore. The "children" will have to get over it and keep on living, just like the rest of us.

     I could not sit there and allow the person to spread false info without saying nothing. It is truly pathetic that some percentage of us who are in recovery [and long-term recovery at that, not newbies] relate every trouble known to human beings to addiction. Not everything is about addiction. Not everything is about us. 

     I wanted to scream. [See taggie above]. I wanted to scream because once again, part of the recovery ramble was about how addiction and relapse caused an actor's suicide. 

     One of today's gatherings featured talk about how a few people are faking it. They say they are abstinent but they are not. Oh really? I was one of those at one time, early on. I omitted talking  about how I was getting high on reefer a bunch of times and drunk or trying to get drunk a couple of times. I lived anyways. When I was ready, I stopped all of it. I cannot claim sobriety if I am high. I cannot claim clean time if I am drunk. I count my abstinence from the last time I had anything. Period.

     Yes, people do lie. People by and large do the best they can with what they got. When people get enough support to quit their self-destruction and enough willingness to do the work, they turn around. I am no one's goddess. I cannot "make" someone want to quit. 

     I am not their probation officer, their physician, their shrink. I don't have to become emotionally over-invested into who is faking the program and who isn't. Mental masturbation. Fun but doesn't really take any of us anywhere.

          sapphoq itching for some strong coffee-- black please. No sugar or cream or substitutes.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Let's Talk About Suicide

     The last post I threw up here about not co-signing the b.s. of others sucked. That is to say, I thought it was pretty bad. I realized that what I really want to talk about is suicide in the rooms of recovery. 

     Those of you 17 readers or so who don't live in a cave know by now that Robin Williams died. He committed suicide by hanging [with a belt]. Some people who are in recovery locally are claiming that his presence in the continuing sobriety program at Hazelden this summer indicates that (a). Robin Williams was in A.A. and (b). he relapsed.

     To the first assumption, Robin Williams was addicted to alcohol and to cocaine. He could have been attending Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Secular Sobriety-- Save Our Selves [non 12-step program], or a number of other meetings where recovering people gather or none of those things. He had twenty years of abstinence before checking into rehab in 2006 in order to become free again of active addiction to alcohol. 

     To the second assumption, Robin Williams checked into the continuing sobriety program at Hazelden earlier this summer in order to reinforce his sobriety and not because he relapsed in the year 2014. There is no indication that he relapsed in the year 2014.
Please see http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/gossip/la-et-mg-robin-williams-rehab-treatment-tune-up-20140701-story.html if you are interested.

     Some percentage of people in recovery have other medical problems besides addiction. Those who have asthma [ought to] take asthma medication in order to achieve and maintain non-constricted breathing. Those who have diabetes or high blood pressure have certain lifestyle changes along with meds that are required in order to continue living well. Those who have been diagnosed with clinical depression also should be followed by a healthcare professional so that way they don't kill themselves even though they are abstinent and working a program. Period.

     I don't know whether or not Robin Williams was being followed for his mental health stuff. I don't know what his diagnosis was. That is none of my business.

     Many years ago, a friend of mine with six years clean killed herself by jumping off of a bridge. She did not take a drink or other drugs or overdose on meds or anything in order to "give her the courage" to take her own life. She simply did it.

     Just before she suicided, she was calling some of her friends and telling them that she wanted to kill herself. Her lover attended a counseling session with her the day before she jumped off that bridge. The therapist-- I wasn't there so I don't really know what happened there. But the very next day she was gone. I suppose she was eligible for an eternity coin. [Some groups in some places give them to a dead person who died clean]. The bottom line is that she was dead. Not among the living. Kaput. Her ashes showed up at a [now former] friend's house. We went to the memorial. Life went on.

     I was glad that folks in recovery where I live didn't know my friend. [She was from another area]. I was glad that I didn't have to listen to people supposing that her program wasn't good enough or at fault somehow. Some folks in recovery did that to the two fellows here that committed suicide the same year that my friend did. None of the three people who killed themselves were failures. The fault was not in the way they "worked the program." I lay the fault at the feet of the mental health treatment industry. Period. All three of them-- my friend and the two guys-- were diagnosed with major depression. All three of them were being followed by mental health professionals. The two fellows got drunk [and one of them took too many of his diabetes meds as well] before shooting themselves with their guns. My friend jumped off the bridge sober.

     The common bond between the three of them was their major depression, their clinical depression. 

sapphoq itching for coffee says: If you want to kill yourself or hurt yourself-- regardless of whether or not you are in recovery-- please tell someone and get help. 

Not Co-Signing the B.S.

N.B. This post is poorly written. Mea culpa.

     Fact: There are people in recovery who are unlovely. Unlovely: not lovable, loud and verbally abusive to others or to at least one other individual, making a scene, erupting at a perceived slight or insult, puffed-up with resentments, unable to get along with others, unpredictable in mood and/or actions, bringing up thinly disguised character assassination as a "topic."

     There are people for whom I will never be good enough for. And there are people who I don't care to hang out with. That is my right and also yours.

     I don't hang out with people who expect me to co-sign their b.s. This sort of negative contracting is more forgivable in newcomers to recovery than in folks who been here for several years plus. If you announce that your recovery comes first and for that reason you chose not to show up for your responsibilities today, I will figure you for some sort of lout-- the same sort of lout that I used to be. If you are cursing excessively or once again announcing before a meeting how pissed off you are at [whoever it is this week], more than likely I will not deem to take sides in your controversy. If you bring up a "topic" which is actually a story of how you had it out with someone else sitting there in the meeting, I will not endorse you for doing that. I don't have to. 

     There is a problem when any one of us expects the world to conform to our own standards, disabilities, desires, lusts, ideas, or hot-headedness. We have a responsibility to allow ourselves to blend in a bit with regular society as well as with each other. When some recovering person proclaims his or her greatness, infallibility, foxiness, and talent, I know for sure that he or she is not a gift.

sapphoq itching for a coffee says: I am very careful not to co-sign anyone's b.s. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Care and Feeding of Drama Llamas

     The drama llama is a hybrid of human being crossed with the obnoxious kind of interwebz troll. Known to hang out in such venues as chat boards, social media blogs, high schools, and extended family holiday dinners, their numbers are spreading. Like mythical dragons scorching the populace with their fiery breath, drama llamas make their presence known by their highly volatile spittle. Chronometer results of their saliva indicate the exclusive presence of drama. Even in the test tube, this drama shrieks and has been known to pierce more than one scientist's eardrum. 

     Drama llamas have been recently making their presence known in twelve step rooms. They stand up during a meeting and begin to pontificate loudly about how the world has done them wrong. The world is usually given a specific name of a human being somewhere who may have not greeted them with the profound respect they deserve, looked at them cross-eyed, sneezed in their presence, or made a joke. Making a joke involving drama llamas is the most serious of offences.

     The hapless chairperson is unable to shut up a drama llama. Pounding a gavel feeds the fury.  People who wish to exit the rooms to the relative safety of the parking lots and streets find their way blocked by a pacing beastie and their admirers. The wrath of a drama llama is most serious business.

     While the drama llamas occur in all stages of recovery, their hapless admirers usually have less than a year in. The fans punctuate the performance of a drama llama in full regalia with shouts of "Amen," "Tell it," and "Free yourself." Once the fans begin to add to the ruckus, the atmosphere of recovery implodes.

     Here are some suggestions for the involuntary audience of a drama llama:

1.  Don't make eye contact.

2.  Don't join the fans.

3.  Don't nod in agreement with any valid point.

4.  If you are able to exit safely, do so.

5.  Crowding into a locked bathroom or climbing out the window is permitted. 

6.  Restrain your impulses to curse out a drama llama.

7.  Killing or maiming a drama llama-- regardless of how justified such action may be-- will only result in you becoming their legal victim. Hands off!

     Once a drama llama has converted meeting space into a stage, it is too late to restore the atmosphere of recovery until the next meeting. The only piece of good news is that the drama llama is likely not to attend a meeting in the same place for several days, years, or lifetimes after his or her performance. For that, you can be grateful.

sapphoq itching for a coffee says: Drama llamas are frustrated folks who have never been discovered and whisked away into stardom. Falling into the trap of believing that you are part drama llama yourself because you object to them holding a meeting hostage is not accurate thinking. Sometimes, people really do exhibit strange or injurious behaviors independent of your own personal flaws and liabilities.   



If that does not work, the direct link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djtYkAb2dmA