It’s good to be back. My sober birthday is July 17th, 2016. I’m working the steps with a sponsor who has a sponsor. I don’t drink between meetings. I’m not a powerless cat who is riding an out of control big rig down a curvy road any longer. Because that is what I was. A truck. An overweight truck with multiple drug habits and a regular over indulgence in alcohol. Hope no one gets butt hurt I blow my AA anonymity here. Oh wait, I’m an internet pseudonym. Well that’s not all I am. I’ve also come to know, that I’m an alcoholic.
You could go as far as to call me an addict. I’ve gone through benzo withdrawals. That ominous hallucinatory feeling, crawling all over my body, a thousand miles from any human contact all while beyond surrounded all the time. That shit was awful. I told myself I wouldn’t go through that shit again. I haven’t had to, but even at that point, after a brief hiatus, I started taking benzos again. I went through withdrawals after two months of taking 1-2mg per day of xanax. This shouldn’t have activated such a strong withdrawal from me, but I was drinking on top of that.
As a human test subject of my own design, if I can give you any advice in this little rant, is to not combine alcohol and benzodiazapines together. For me, that combination, when combined with my inability to drink moderately, was always a blackout. A blackout is oblivion. It’s also shame and to some it’s scary. I remember when I met an elderly lady who told me that she had one blackout her entire life. It had scared her so much that she never drank that much again. That was some crazy shit to a guy who aimed for blackout almost every time he drank. I didn’t always hit my mark, and I didn’t always aim for that mark, at least consciously. but I hit it more often then not.
The FDA will tell you the same thing here in the States. I always thought those fucks were liars. Everyone knows “don’t mix with alcohol or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of this substance” means, potentiate your high with this combination. Like smoking weed during an acid trip, skyrocket your inebriation potential with this combination. The FDA already lied to me about the food pyramid, why wouldn’t they lie about drugs?
See, after about 7 months of not drinking, I decided to go full keto. I dropped my net carbohydrate intake under 20 grams per day, set a protein goal and a fat ceiling and I went for that. That was on March 14th of this year. For the first week, I didn’t count calories, I just counted carbs. Then I started eating a deficit and tracking my shit in my fitnesspal. But I have to admit right now, that I have been doing lazy keto for the last month or so, and my weight loss has been slower.
Lazy keto is basically where I don’t count anything, but know intuitively from counting in the past, what I can eat to stay in ketosis. Ketosis is where your body runs on ketones instead of glycogen. Ketones are formed from lipids, which are fats, so I’m basically fueling myself with fat. Now, I can’t say if I am losing weight because of ketosis, or if it’s because I am eating less and not eating sugar. I’m sure both are true. I also have to admit that I’ve cheated a handful of times in the last 4 months, which isn’t really advisable, but fuck advisories. I do what I want. (Please note, I have lost thirty pounds and five and a half inches off my belly. Rojo gettin’ his groove back. All while making gains at the gym.)
I know I couldn’t have done what I want if I was drinking alcohol. I researched keto years ago but never dove in because I was drinking near a handle a night of ye old bourbon. Look I knew I shouldn’t have been doing that, but I didn’t care too much about it. Plus I couldn’t truly help myself. I would tell myself I wouldn’t drink that evening, then that evening would arrive and I’d find myself picking up a fifth or a handle at the liquor store. I was probably only there for cigarettes, but we all know what I was really there for.
It was painfully obvious, but I wasn’t like what I pictured an alcoholic to be. I always pictured a dude who shook like a leaf first thing in the morning and had to get some fuel in his pump to get going. I wasn’t like that. I drank, usually and almost exclusively in the evenings, into the wee hours of the morning. That’s how I did it. Daily. I could take time out too. If I had to go somewhere with family, I wouldn’t drink. They already knew I was an alcoholic and wouldn’t allow it. I didn’t want the drama anyways. So a few days away from the sauce was never THAT big of a deal, but I was always ready to get back to it when I went home.
I had a free gene study done through the University of Michigan. Uncle Sam already has my DNA so it’s been seen before. I ran my file through Promethease, which references against SNPedia, and found out I had genetic markers for alcholism / addiction. Ford Trucks built tough, Rojo built to drink. So I am doing something incredibly different than I am supposed to do. I’m supposed to drink, but I haven’t.
One incredible thing I’ve been able to do is be in touch with how I feel. We’ve all heard the “Man should only feel anger and love for his dog,” trope. Look I’ve admitted here before that I’m bi-polar. I don’t care if you believe me. I had a hypomanic episode this year. I know that because I was sober, otherwise I would have drowned it out. I’m not trying to explain it, but certainly, an inability to deal with feelings was draggin’ on my wagon wheel. Depression is a very real thing that gets it’s claws in early and doesn’t let go. I had to deal with it honestly.
I don’t have any answers I just have some emotional sobriety which is a word I had never heard. Dudes gotta learn that shit to be able to handle themselves on the day to day. Over the last year I’ve freed myself from overwhelming resentment and anger. I feel like I’ve done my best to level my playing field so I have a fighting chance. I’ve lost thirty pounds, got off parole early, and I haven’t had a drop of alcohol in over a year. I tell you this, not because I think you have a problem, only to relay that I found a solution to a hopeless situation and a life of crushing apathy.