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Sober in Shanghai, Sober in LA

Marriage Counseling

My wife’s therapist says I have to be sober a year before entering marriage counseling.  I feel a lot of resentment about that.  I hate having all these emotions.


Day One – as much honesty as I can muster

I have a lot of thoughts right now, and frustrations.

First of all, clearing up a lie.  I first took addy on Thursday, not Monday like I told Kevin on the phone.  On Wednesday night, I got two 20 mg pills from a friend and cut them into quarters.  I took the prescribed amount on Thursday morning – 15 mg .   I took 10 mg on Friday.  I took none Saturday or Sunday.  Then I filled my prescription on Monday.  I took 30 mg on Monday, and 30 mg on Tuesday, and 40 mg yesterday.  I smoked 2 bong hits of pot yesterday at lunch.  That’s the full accounting of my run.  Why did I lie about the specifics of this to Kevin, even though I was being honest about the fact that it had happened?  I really don’t know.  It doesn’t make any sense.  Sorry about lying to you Kevin.

Something that’s in my head: I don’t want to sacrifice my identity.  I don’t want to become this guy who’s life is all program.  I want to be sober so that “Eric” can flourish.  But “Eric” flourishing means a lot of work product.  It means a lot of writing, and analysis.  It means being that guy who maintains intellectual distance from everything, and who explains the mechanics of things without committing to them; the anthropologist treating members of a tribe as a species to be studied, while maintaining immunity to being treated thusly by others.

I explored some old writings yesterday.  Stuff I had done some years back.  I was involved at the time in making a big metaphysics based upon the notion of channeling ineffable, non-rational truths through the making of media.  Basically, the whole system was founded on the notion that aesthetic relativism is false.  Let’s use music as an example.  A truly resonant song with a pure and intuitive melody isn’t really written by anyone.  Instead, the artist receives that truth, and his job is to manifest it into a consumable medium as accurately as possible.  That’s step one in this big metaphysics.  The whole thing is very complicated, of course.  Everything has to be complicated.  Anyhow, there’s a novel, and tons of text on and around the periphery of these ideas.  There’s also a lot of me “teaching people how to think.”  And poetry.  And various ideas about things, some personal vignettes; lot’s of stuff.  I enjoyed my “15 point plan on effective and correct conflict resolution,” for example.  Egotistical stuff, but well executed.

Here’s one old thing I read yesterday.  The colored text is in the original:

Once a man begins to think freely, and to challenge every standard and expectation, and to claim his right to test each for fitness, the whole of his life becomes infected, and there can never really be any return to health.  Of course, this is a disorder that potentially is very good.  Or, then again, maybe it’s more like alcoholism, a made up disease that serves to excuse us from having to deal with the the facts of human nature: People like to get drunk. They always will. And the how’s, why’s, when’s and whether’s of that are as unclean as humanity itself. Sure, some answers are truer than others, but certainties fail every time. Such are the quantum mechanics of truth. We’re dealing in shades of grey that perpetually defy absolutist declarations and yet, simultaneously, that scoff at the relativists and their games of rhetorical Chinese firedrill.

That text reads too wordy to my 43 year old eyes, but good anyway.  I want to be sober to be that guy, only better.  More careful.  More effective at hiding the ego.  AA requires that I actually get rid of the ego, not that I become better at hiding it.  Kevin doesn’t write poetry anymore.  I don’t want to not write poetry anymore.  I don’t want to not make decisions based on analysis, but purely based on my heart, and on God’s will, and helping others.  I want to be me, just sober me.  I know I can’t drink.  I’ve made the first step regarding alcohol 100%.  And the 2nd too.  The third step?  It’s qualified.  Yes, absolutely God, your will.  About alcohol.  For me, to drink is to die.  Pot?  No problem now.  I tested that yesterday.  I absolutely hated it.  It won’t be an issue going forward.  I’m willing to give that over.  Addy’s a tougher call.  Right now, it’s one day at a time on that.  I’m not taking it today.  I fear and resent the pushback I know I’ll get on that last one.

So, there you go.  That’s me being as honest as I can be at the moment.


I smoked pot today, and took Adderall.  Another reset of my sobriety date.  I’m frustrated, and kind of sad.  Smoking pot is definitely not sober.  It’s not drinking, but it’s not sober.  And I’m apparently unable to take the actual prescription medicine as prescribed.  I’m mad at myself.  This wasn’t supposed to happen.  No meeting Monday or Tuesday.  Wednesday I smoke pot.  Why?  To what possible good end?  It’s ridiculous.

Trees and Forests

How I like to learn:

I took some Spanish classes years back, after college, and was frustrated by the approach to instruction.   I wanted to learn all the grammar first – how to conjugate verbs in all tenses, assorted moods, placement of objects in a sentence, etc.  In other words, I wanted to learn how the forest ecosystem worked before learning about any of the trees or animals therein.  I couldn’t communicate naturally without understanding the grammar.  The vocabulary, I figured, would best be learned as something to plug into the grammar.  But that’s not how they teach Spanish.

How I like to teach:

Interestingly, I don’t teach in this fashion at all.  I’m a big believer in Miyagi school of teaching.  Drop the jacket.  Pick up the jacket.  Hang it on the hook.  “You do this instructive task, and don’t worry about why.”  The purpose will become clear.  Understanding of the whole emerges through mastery of the parts.


AA’s the latter.  It’s an ongoing source of consternation.  I want to understand it before I do it, but that’s not how it works.  I keep wanting to analyze, and I keep getting told, “that’s not helping.”


Proud as a Peacock

My sponsor this morning told me that I’m “proud as a peacock.”  I didn’t like hearing that.  It bugged me.  Why?  Because it hurt my pride.  Dammit Kevin, I’m getting a little tired of your laser sharp insight.  Since you are the most recent, I put you first on the list I just began in my spiral notebook.  Column one:  Kevin.  Column Two:  Said I was proud as a peacock.

I have ten names down now by the way.  I took a few minutes this morning and made some progress.


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1100 Paces

Sober in Shanghai, Sober in LA