Tag Archives: Guilt

Weakness Or Strength

I had a situation yesterday or should I say conversation at work that I’ve faced twice before, in the conversation with one of my colleagues the subject of drinking came up and for the third time she called me weak for being an alcoholic.

The first time I was absolutely livid, in fairness at the time I was descending into a depression and I was so angry that they just didn’t understand how hard the fight is, I guess you can try and explain things as hard as you like sometimes, but if they’ve not been in that situation, they will never truly understand.

The second time I was mad, but I just laughed it off and responded with an “if you like” sort of comment, I was annoyed but certainly not as angry as the first time.

So fast forward on a couple of years to yesterday and my attitude to the statement was completely different.  Yes I did laugh it off, but it was because I was content to know this:

I know the weakness is in succumbing
The real strength is in OVERCOMING!

As I say sometimes you just can’t get over the state of mind, that as a person, I was in when I had no control over my drinking.  You can’t explain the nights you tried not to drink, how you would pace the house scratching the skin from your arms in frustration.  Or the times I worked out how much drink I could afford with the money coming in, rather than paying any bills or the times I took my children’s birthday and Christmas money, never to be replaced, as I drank it all away, how can anyone understand how that feels, unless of course you’ve been there.

2 Corinthians 12:10

2 Corinthians 12:10

I have this image of 2 Corinthians 12:10 printed on canvas and hanging over me on my wall as I sleep and I’ve come to realise and understand that it’s His strength that sees me through each day, His strength that makes me overcome when I struggle.  No one ever said recovery was easy, nobody said sobriety would solve all my problems, but it does make things clearer and makes me face those problems and overcome them, rather than hide away, but not of this would be possible without His grace.

I also had another one of those drinking dreams this week, slightly different this one, usually I don’t see myself drinking in the dream, I just believe I have and the guilt of the situation wakes me up with a jolt and I struggle for a few moments to work out the truth of the situation or whether it’s a dream or reality.  I have to scan the room, just to make sure there are no empty bottles or cans, it’s a tough dream to take, but come the sunrise you know it was a dream and has all gone away.  This week’s dream was a little different, I actually remember drinking in the dream, remember taking a few mouthfuls of wine and enjoying it, then suddenly realising what I was doing as I took another mouthful and then spitting it out, then the guilt takes control of the situation, I woke up again at that point with the same feeling of guilt, but managed to brush this one off a little quicker, again when the sun rises, all that guilt has disappeared, it just takes a bit of getting back to sleep.

I hate those dreams, but I guess they are part and parcel of the recovery process.  One thing that is hard to get over is the guilt of past actions, like taking my kids money, it’s not something you really forgive yourself for, I have I suppose come to terms with it, but I guess all that guilt comes out in those dreams.  Luckily I don’t have to put up with them too often.  Those thoughts of guilt are little more preminent this week also as my son turned 14 this past Wednesday, obviously at his age he get’s mostly money, so seeing that all those memories flood back on the wave of those guilt dreams.  But in the end that was the old me, the one that died on the 29th March 2012, not the guy that woke up sober on the 30th, that guy died to his old self and was made new by the grace of God.

I’ve been overcoming my addiction now for over 180 weeks, each day is still a celebration, a celebration of my sobriety and God’s power in my life.  So with His grace and strength, I’ll keep overcoming and counting those days.

LOVE SONG by JONATHAN DAVID & MELISSA HELSER
I can hear a love song
All around me, when the wind blows
I can hear Your voice speak
It surrounds me, when the leaves move

I’m just dust without Your breath
I’m just clay without Your kiss
I’m just skin and bones without Your wind in my lungs

I can hear a love song
In everything, You’re singing
I can hear Your heartbeat
Flowing through me, You’re inside me

I’m just dust without Your breath
I’m just clay without Your kiss
I’m just skin and bones without Your wind in my lungs

[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]
[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]
[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]
[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]

I can hear a love song
All around me, when the wind blows
I can hear Your voice speak
It surrounds me, when the leaves move

I’m just dust without Your breath
I’m just clay without Your kiss
I’m just skin and bones without Your wind in my lungs

[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]
[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]
[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]
[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]

[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]
[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]
[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]
[oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh-oh!]

I’m just dust without Your breath
I’m just clay without Your kiss
I’m just skin and bones without Your wind in my lungs

Drinking Dreams

I had another dream about drinking last night, it seems so long since I had one, yet this was different, not like the others.

Usually they take the form of me drinking something and the realising what I have done, usually at that point I wake from the dream in a deep sense of panic and guilt, not knowing if it was real or indeed just a dream.  There I scan the room for any evidence, a bottle or a can, when I find nothing and eventually convince myself it was just another dream, I attempt to get back to sleep, hoping the dream or should I say nightmare doesn’t return.

Last night was different, I didn’t see myself drink, there actually was no evidence of any drink in the dream at all. I seemed to believe that at some point I had drank something by mistake, I don’t know how, that wasn’t revealed, but in the dream I was convinced I had and I was trying to reason with myself if I was okay with that or not.

In the dream there wasn’t a sense of panic or guilt, I hadn’t drank purposely, it had happened by accident or at least that’s what I understood had happened. But I seemed to reach no conclusion as to whether I was okay with it. The dilemma seemed to hinge on whether I could keep counting my SoberDays or if I should start again, counting once more from day one!

Obviously in the dream I woke before I reached a conclusion. I woke with no sense of guilt or panic like before. Just intrigue as to how I would feel if that actually happened, if I innocently drank alcohol by mistake, how would I feel?

I’m pretty sure I would be angry, especially if it was avoidable and a mistake on someone else’s part. If someone had done it as a deliberate trick, I’m sure I would be livid, I don’t think I would be in any mind to forgive them, even though I know I should, that’s one of the reasons I avoid nights out with work colleagues and people I don’t know so well, not that I don’t trust them, but I just don’t want to take the chance of it happening.

I guess the real question is would I see this as falling off the wagon, in the dream it appeared to be just a sip or a glass of something, not a continuation of drinking until I was drunk, just that one drink. Would I see this as a reason to stop counting, if I kept counting would I feel I was cheating?

I honestly don’t know how I would take it, should the scenario arise.  I guess if it does, then I’ll find out then for sure.

But for now I keep counting, currently SoberDay 1208.

I love this song, I was a fan of it years before I realised I had a problem, I listened to it earlier today, maybe the answer to my question is in the lyrics.

ACCIDENTS CAN HAPPEN by SIXX A.M.
Don’t give up, it takes a while
I have seen this look before
And it’s alright
You’re not alone
If you don’t love this anymore
I hear that you’ve slipped again
I’m here ’cause I know you’ll need a friend

And you know that accidents can happen
And it’s okay,
We all fall off the wagon sometimes
It’s not your whole life
It’s only one day
You haven’t thrown everything away.

Take some time and learn to breathe
And remember what it means
To feel alive
And to believe
Something more than what you see
I know there’s a price for this
But some things in life you must resist

And you know that accidents can happen
And it’s okay,
We all fall off the wagon sometimes
It’s not your whole life
It’s only one day
You haven’t thrown everything away.

I hear that you’ve slipped again
I’m here ’cause I know you’ll need a friend

And you know that accidents can happen
And it’s okay,
We all fall off the wagon sometimes
It’s not your whole life
It’s only one day
You haven’t thrown everything away.

You know that accidents can happen
And it’s okay,
We all fall off the wagon sometimes
It’s not your whole life
It’s only one day
You haven’t thrown everything away.

So don’t give up
It takes a while.

Guilt & Self Loathing, Is This Really Just A Dream?

I woke last night in a state of panic, in a state of self loathing, hatred and guilt, not knowing if what  I had just witness was a guilt ridden truth or just a trick of my imagination as I slept, it’s not the first time I’ve woken this way and sadly I guess it won’t be the last.

I woke staring at the floor, right next to where I lay, was an empty bottle of 20Cl Captain Morgans Dark Rum, the same bottle I had just drank right down and tossed to the floor.

I don’t remember any other detail from the dream, I don’t remember why I was drinking the Rum, all I remember is those few seconds where I emptied the bottle of rum in one go and threw it to the ground.

At that moment in the dream there was this immense feeling of guilt and self loathing when I realised that I had drunk the rum, then at point that I woke, for a moment it was hard to fathom out if I was still in the dream or I had actually woken from it.  For those few moments upon waking the guilt remained, along with the self loathing until having looked at the floor and realising there was no bottle, it dawned on me that it was only a dream.

I’ haven’t had one of these dreams for a number of months and to be fair they only come along once in a while.  Usually there is no trigger, they just come along rather randomly and have the same effect each time, that over whelming feeling of guilt.

The guilt comes with the realisation that I have drank again, which makes me feel like I have totally let everyone down, which leads to the self loathing and hatred.

One thing is, that if these are the feelings that come from a dream, how much more intense will the feelings be if this was for real.  In a way this drives me on, it serves as a kind of constant reminder that I am never going back, I can’t go back to who I was.

But I also hate these dreams, I really do, it’s just that moment of confusion, that fleeting moment of deep guilt really does hurt, it takes a while to come around to the realisation it is all a dream and get myself to the point of comfort that I can get back to sleep.

I thank God so much that His grace allowed me this freedom from the addiction that controlled me, but these dreams evoke that the guilt of feeling that I have betrayed His love and mercy for me, that is the part hard to take.

GRACE AND LOVE (ACOUSTIC) by KUTLESS
Many things in life are hard for me
Many things can pull us down
I don’t understand why I do what I do
How could I take my eyes off you
After all You’ve done for me
And after all You’ve done for me

It’s by Your grace and love I am saved
It’s by Your grace and love You’ve forgiven me, hey
And by that love and grace, I’m amazed
It’s by Your grace and love I am free
I am free

And it’s by grace and love that I am free
I’ll live with you eternally
I thank you Lord that I am free
I thank you Lord for loving me
I thank you Lord for dying upon the tree of Calvary
I thank you Lord for loving me
I thank you Lord for dying for me

Because it’s by grace and love I am saved
It’s by Your grace and love You’ve forgiven me, hey
And by that love and grace, I’m amazed
It’s by Your grace and love I am free
I am free

Many things in life are hard for me
Byt my grace and love You’ve forgiven me
And by grace and love we are free