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That God-Awful Return of the Obsession!!

I sent essentially this in an email to another member and thought it would be worth while posting it here for you ... It is long.... there are a couple of attachments at the end, my most precious possessions.

That God-Awful Return of The Obsession....

You ask why it returns with such fury when we pick up the first drink...

Well, now, the reason and understanding that I was given that it returns with such fury, and it would return even faster and harder for me now, even after all these years, is that the disease of alcoholism is PROGRESSIVE, even if we are not drinking. It progresses all the time. We alkies and addicts are different in our metabolism from other folks. We do something with the alcohols and sugars that others don't do.

To explain it in simple terms, we metabolize the alcohol into glucose like the normies, but we do something else, we make a by-product chemical of the breakdown elements, called Tetra-Hydro-Iso-Quinoline, the most addictive chemical known to man. It was discovered about 1939 as a substitute for morphine, but un-usable as a war time pain killer because it is so addictive... and WE MAKE IT ALL ON OUR OWN!! Well, making it is not the bad part...Nope... I am told that the bad part is that we store it and never metabolize it from our systems and every time we pick up, we reactivate what we have stored... and we keep adding to what we have stored, making it worse and worse.. progressively worse..day in and day out, and the only reprieve we have is total abstinence.....

You can read about the genetics of it here -- The Disease Concept of Alcoholism

Now, the reason I capitalized the initial letters of Tetra-Hydro-Iso-Quinoline is they describe us alkies and addicts perfectly, THIQ (pronounced THICK). We alkies and addicts are definitely THIQ-headed... we insist on having our own way, and deny to our dying breath that we could possibly be wrong...until, by some reason and miracle known only to God, we are given a moment of clarity where we can see some light, and we can then go about correcting the errors in our thinking, ONE DAY AT A TIME...as we learn to live life without drinking. We can LIVE our way into better thinking, but we could never THINK our way into better living.

There is the word Hydro there in the middle and like the Hydra, the nine headed snake of mythology, we have many snakey heads whirling and writhing about, and when any one is cut off it is replaced by two others...

That is why we can't win the battle by ourselves, we need Higher Power to slay it, to cut it off at the root. But the Hydra returns the moment we pick up, with all nine heads and more writhing and hissing and screaming...

And now you know why... but when it comes to asking the question "Why Me?", don't ask. "You Are, So Just Accept It and Surrender to Win."

I have attached a copy of my most precious possession, a letter from my dad that I received a week after I got sober... and another I received two days later...

They cleared the way for my understanding and were my strength to hold on to in my early recovery... I hope that they can do the same for you...

With much love and understanding, my friend, go with God.

Love and Peace, Barefoot...

First attachment-

I would like to share with you my most precious possession. It is a letter I received from my Dad. I got sober Feb 28, 1974 and received this letter March 7, a week later. The very first amend I had to make was to Dad, because I had a set of words running around in my head all that first week.

They were words I had said to him in anger when I was just 18, when he found me passed out in the front yard parked on top of one of Mother's newly planted trees. He got me into the den, and said "Sit down", very quietly. I sat down very quietly, because if there had been any noise my head would have exploded.

He looked up and said in a loving tone of voice, "You had better watch that stuff, it's gonna get you."

My instant reply in my alcoholic arrogance was "No, not me, you SOB, I'm not going be like you, and besides I'm smarter than you." It had me then and I didn't know it. It took me another 22 years to come to that reckoning.

I sent a letter to him apologizing for those words and received his reply in just three days. Dad had come to the program first in 1941 as a result of the Jack Alexander article in the Saturday Evening Post, but slid in and out for the next 28 years, dying sober with 13 years of contented happy sobriety. Even in those 28 years he was probably sober 25 all told. Not much AA where he was living. In fact he was about the only one.

Dad's Letter---

To my beloved son,
Hail and farewell! That is , Hail to you and farewell to that monkey that has been on your back so long.

Your letter has made Mom and me extremely happy and proud and at the same time we have deep sorrow. You see, we love you, and because we do, we are happy and proud that you have made a decision about yourself, and of course the sorrow stems from the fact that it was necessary for you to have to make that decision.

By the time you receive this you will no doubt, have read a ream or two of AA literature, listened to a number of fellow alcoholics and started to learn something about your affliction. There will be those who know all about it after half a dozen meetings and those who after twenty years of sobriety know only that they can't take that first drink or one beer, or a glass of wine, and that AA is a way of life, not a crutch, and that making meetings religiously KEEPS THEM SOBER. Get Involved!

These are some do's and don'ts that I think might be of help.

Don't feel sorry for yourself, you know you are not alone.

Don't ask "Why me", you are, so ACCEPT it.

Don't be too eager to get into 12th step on your own.

Don't ever make a 12th step call on a female alone. If called get some gal to go along, or turn the call over to her.

Do think about your Higher Power, there is one, you know.

Do make meetings.

Do listen to all discussion. What you hear may help you or give you the key that can help another.

Remember that actions speak louder than words and when it comes to making amends, restored faith is better that ten thousand meaningless words.

Not long ago I ran onto some preserved notes of mine that were the basis of programs of meetings that I chaired in Casper and Winston-Salem. What brought them to light? I don't know, here is one copied out of the note book, for what it is worth...

Some people have a hard time finding a Higher Power or God, but for me here in this passage from the 23rd Psalm is help, "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me." As alcoholics we all walk that valley each day, with or without fear, with or without our God as we understand Him. Then there is the story of Elijah that I think I analogous. It is found in the 1st Book of Kings, chapter 19, verses 1 through 15. Elijah could not find God because in him there was no humility. He wanted God to come to him on his terms. This just doesn't happen. The story goes on to tell of Elijah's travail in the wilderness cowering in fear because he did not know God. There came a great wind, God wasn't in that. There was a great thunderstorm, and an earthquake and God came not in them as he had expected, as he had thought that God should come to him.

No, only after much humble prayer did a still small voice enter his consciousness and tell him God's will for him.

You have heard that STILL SMALL VOICE, that's why you are here. We alcoholics have all cowered in fear in a wilderness of our own making, many of us still do, and shall until we in true humility surrender our wills to our higher power. The AA program suggests that we follow twelve steps.

Our founders were alcoholics of the first water, we must remember. They knew and we know that NOBODY but NOBODY is gonna TELL US WHAT TO DO. They the founders by their own bitter experience, like Elijah, found it necessary to surrender their wills to their Higher Power that they might walk through the valley of the shadow of death fearing no evil.

Surrender to win, a strange approach in this highly competitive world. A Paradox. But is not this whole thing based on paradoxes. To change others, first change yourself. Give of yourself that you might gain contented Happy Sobriety.

There are probably more alcoholics who have quoted or have heard Omar Khayham quoted than any other group of people. I speak of that old barroom favorite wherein he says "Ah - come beloved and quaff the cup that clears today of past regrets and future fears, for tomorrow I may be myself and yesterday seven thousand years." Let's analyze this. The word beloved we often hear in Christian churches, at baptisms, weddings and other formal occasions as "Dearly Beloved". Then look at "quaff the cup", Christian communion covers this. Partake of the giver of Life to be forgiven for past sins and stop all fear of the future. "For tomorrow I may be myself and yesterday seven thousand years." Between the lines he seems to be saying, "So that I may be living another today and even one day back is as remote as seven thousand years."

For me ONE day lived without fear of the future goes a long way toward removing past regrets. END

You are anonymous,
Easy Does It,
One Step at a Time,
One Day at a Time.

I wrote once about the wisdom of Solomon, particularly chapters 20 through 23, although it doesn't hurt to study the whole Book of Proverbs, I truly believe that if the whole world lived by those admonitions, there would be no problems.

You mentioned the increasing frequency of your twist offs. Thank God, you hit your bottom now. This has to get in the mail, will write again soon.

Love, Pop

I loved you as a baby, a child, a big boy, a man and I always will - Mom

(and she still does)

Second attachment-

I received this letter March 9th from Dad two days after the first letter. He was trying to bring some truth and humor into my situation. You KNOW there is not much of anything humorous in those first few days of Sobriety, what with all the confusion, hurts, fears, the whips and jingles, and all the rest that goes with it.

Dad's 2nd letter-

Dear Bob,

Ain't it awful? I mean that tooth grinding, gut tearing, nerve shredding desire for a drink, plus the battle of wits that goes on between the goodies and the baddies in your head. Recognize it for what it is - STINKIN'THINKIN'- and then seek serenity. You have the mental capacity to enlarge your search beyond the prayer. Hey! maybe that's the answer. The old time prospectors found their happiness and a serene existence in the seeking and searching. I wonder if anyone has ever experiened true serenity! Maybe not, but the happiness and understanding gained in the search have proven to be reward enough, for most of us. Just a thot.

Poor Auld Robbie Burns revealed, in his plaintive prayer, "Oh, wad some pow'r the giftie gie us to see oursel's as ithers see us", that he was like all other alcoholics in refusing to recognize themselves as what they are. Don't know why Burns came to mind except that I have been reading Glencannon again.

(My note - -Dad and I used to look forward to the arrival of the Saturday Evening Post and the Glencannon Stories of a Drunken Chief Engineer and his drunken shenanigans aboard the Inchcliffe Castle, a rusty old tramp steamer. We would laugh ourselves silly. Hell, only an alcoholic would recognize the humor in those stories.)

Meanwhile back at the ranch, spring was creeping up and as usual the old man was behind in his work because there wasn't any use diggin' post holes because there ain't enough posts for the whole job and even if'n they was enough posts they ain't nuff wire, short on steeples too. Then too plowin' and plantin' is behind because they ain't enough stuff to finish the fence and they ain't no use plantin' and then tearing it up just to put a dang fence in that should have been in before the plantin' was done. 'course we could sell the cow critturs and then we wouldn't need the fence to keep them out of the new plantin', and then if'n they was gone the plantin' wouldn't have to be done 'cause they wouldn't be nothin' around to eat it after harvest. Harvest! That's another thing that's creepin' up and I ain't nowhere near ready. Dang It!

Love, Pop


He was a grand Old Man, Pop was, and he taught me so much of what I am today. But drunk he was worth less than the tits on a boar hog. Me too.

Love and Peace, Barefoot

PS-- I have a stiking C on my keyboard, got pipe tobacco and ashes in it, should take it apart and lean it, but really it is easier to just explain it away. Who ares if I an't ee!


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