Monday, September 29, 2008

61 Days and Doing OK...

Yesterday I crossed the 60 day mark for the first time since I went out with 3 years clean to the day on 12/19/99. I was in Hollywood on assignment for the music magazine I was associate editor of at the time in the VIP lounge backstage at The House of Blues on Sunset with the band Type O Negative interviewing Peter Steele and there was food, booze, blow and broads galore and I was away from home (then Santa Rosa, CA) and I remember thinking to myself: "Today you have 3 years clean, you've proved you can do it, it's all here laying at your feet, you're out of town, no one will know, you can handle it for just one night, slip back home in a day and no one will know, you deserve it, you earned it, go on, celebrate, go on, just a little drink and a line, go it!"

The next thing I remember I was tossing my bags out a second story window of the luxury hotel suite the record company had put me up in having racked up the bill with room service charges, porno, booze etc. about 4-5 days later coming off a severe binge of booze, crack and hookers, you know, the usual! My Hermosa Beach AA buddy George who I got sober with 3 years prior catching the bags, tossing them into his car while I shimmied down a drain pipe and jumped into his car and he peeled off down the alley whisking me off down La Cienega to LAX where he poured me onto a late night flight to Oakland for what was to be yet another "Escape from LA" for me. It was not to be my last by a longshot. It was only the start of what turned out to be an eight year, seven month and ten day run until I landed on the front doorstep of Sundance on 7/29/08.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One week out of Sundance....

Tonight makes one week out of Sundance for me. It's been a busy week for sure! I left Sundance basicly homeless, unemployed and all my stuff in a storage unit in Fountain Hills with no clue what the future held for me. My PO told me I had to continue to live in Surprise or else transfer to a different probation office and with only one month left prior to being able to submit for early release I chose to stay way out here almost one hour away from Sundance.I spent the first night at my friend Judy's house in Desert Ridge and found a furnished studio just inside the the eastern border of Surprise along the western bank of the Agua Fria river on Bell Road. It's totally furnished down to towels, dishes and silverwear and has a murphy bed in the wall. I settled in over the weekend and it's now home until I can get released from probation.

I've lived in worse places!

I attended four twelve step meetings (two AA & two NA), Sundance alumni meeting as well as the Art of Recovery Expo at the Phoenix Convention Center on Saturday and been calling into probation every night and went in last week once for UA testing at TASC (clean of course). I also went to Sundance on Monday morning for my first day as art mentor for Dr. Paula's expressive art therapy group and will continue to do so weekly.

I've also been going over to my parent's home in Sun City West daily to assist my sister pack & clean the house in preparation of them moving back to New York with my sister this Thursday which most likely be the last time I will see my folks. Pop is nearly 87 now, in very poor physical health from a series of strokes over the past six years and rapidly declining mental health due to a recent diagnosis of dementia. Mom is 82 and also in very poor health, had spinal fusion surgery in March and knee replacement surgery one month ago as well as several other progressive health conditions.

I have very mixed emotions about my sister taking them back to NY after having been their sole live-in caregiver for the past 6 years. On one hand I am vey relieved to be free to get my own life back (such as it is) yet I will miss them very much and probably won't see them again before they pass. At this stage I'm not allowed to leave the state to be able to visit them and their health conditions and advanced ages don't make the odds of them living much longer very good, especially Pop. The moving van arrives in the morning as well as my nephew and he and my sister will drive them back to NY on Thursday morning.

Then end of an era, The beginning of another.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First day out....

I'm 24 hours out of Sundance and it's been a very hectic and stressfull day but I'm actually feeling strong and proud of the progress I've made. I'm sitting in my new apartment writing this on my new laptop via my new wireless card. This time last night I was leaving Sundance with my car packed to the gills with nowhere to live, a broken computer and no wireless connection. Spent the night last night at my friend Judy's house in Desert Ridge and got up at sunrise and hit the ground running. I spent the early morning online at Kinkos searching for apartments then went to the folk's house which is now listed for sale and in major "move" mode as my sister is preparing to pack them up and move them back to NY next week, then picked up my Pop from his nursing home and drove him down to his Dr's in Peoria for a final physical and record transfer to his new Dr in NY. I spent the rest of the day looking at a few apartments but grabbed one where a friend of mine stayed last year. It's no palace but it's a large, fully furnished studio with a murphy bed in the wall but it's "home". Tonight I'm setting the apartment up, going out to dinner with a friend, getting a haircut nand crashing out here. Tomorrow I start the job hunt!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The child I've found again inside....

Through my work with Annette and doing EMDR therapy I have found this little guy again and I have discoverd that I have been living my life as best I could with his heart and mind instead of my adult heart and mind. I had some dramatic PTSD issues that he suffered in very early childhood resolved and I feel that I am now able to take his hand and bring him into my adult life without fear.

One week and counting...

I coin out next Tuesday September 16th on my 50th birthday which will be my 48th day of treatment at Sundance. One week to go and I still have no clue what lies ahead for me except for continued sobriety. I am very grateful for that and am keeping that as the center of my day to day existence yet I am growing impatient and a tad fearful of my future beyond these sheltered walls and I find myself falling into worry more and more as my discharge looms closer on the horizon. I have pretty much concluded and presented all the assignments of the Sundance program, except a few RRA letters which I still need to present in group. I have a few more sessions with Annette & Kirby and sooner than I can imagine I'll have this little coin in my pocket and sent on my way. Forty eight days is hardly enough time to compensate for thirty eight years of addictive living and relapse prevention is at the forefront of my aftercare plan.