And now…

I seem to have abandoned my blog for the last year and a half. The writing process stunted and not useful. But I have returned once again to continue the process of purging and hopefully, gain support and insights along the way.

I have unofficially decided I am not an alcoholic as my last blog post suggests – but rather, at least I am choosing to go down this path of the Adult Child of Alcoholic. I finally pulled my emotional self off the floor long enough to realise a little therapy might go a long way. My therapist instinctively picked up on the dysfunctional family vibes (funny how they do that) and we spend our time trying to release the childhood wounds and traumas – you know when you have them – someone mentions something to trigger x and you’re sent right back to that 4 year old self who is weeping in the corner. The technique we are using is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) which is tapping on meridians to release emotions as well as rewire the limbic system, if I have that correctly. I have also decided to join online meetings of the ACA in order to share and explore and find ways and systems that actually work in order to change these patterns. Since it is confusing, overwhelming and terrifying, I hope writing/sharing will help. I guess I want it all out there, no more hiding, no more shame, no more denial, no more isolation. The system is based around the 12 Steps (adapted for ACA specifically) so that goes without saying, no drinking.

Here is a modification of the Laundry List – basic characteristics of people who grew up in alcoholic homes (and an amazing blog for ACA), should it be useful. In fact I think anyone who feels they would benefit from this path, why not. I want to grow and love more. And we are not reinventing the wheel here, the literature, steps and support is out there! The end.


day 32 or something

So besides moments of clarity and level headedness, I do not know what I am doing this. I definitely do not miss alcohol and all that came with it, and I certainly don’t feel like drinking.

But I don’t feel any better either. Not a lot. Not profoundly. Not even all that little.

So that is all I got. Except the world kind of feels like it is falling apart around me. Seems like a lot of the decisions I made along the way have not really been based around anything substantial, besides my decision to study, and it’s almost always like I am fleeing one weird scenario for the next. Fleeing. Not moving precisely or gently, but actively running, whilst tripping and bumping into things. Into yet another crazy thing. And that doesn’t make me feel very good because I can’t even call myself an alcoholic because I no longer think I am. I am just depressed and I don’t know how to live. HOW to live. HOW to be a grown up. And well if that’s the whole adult children stuff, then what the fuck? That wasn’t even me. I don’t know how to fucking fix that.

Oh yeah, and all my relationships over the last 9 years have been shit too. Utter shit. and they are all falling apart. And no. They are not even the relationships that were around alcohol. Sure my friends like to party occasionally, but they lead very normal, healthy lives where they like get promotions and married and buy houses and have hobbies.

I am emotionally stunted. and I don’t even know where the muscle is that I am supposed to be working to get better.

All I can say is what the fuck?

Today I wish I were a different version of myself,

stronger, wiser, all the more.

The side of me that gets things done,

smiles in the morning

has something to say.


Continue reading

Hey wow, day 21

Can you feel it? The warm beams of joy emitting from my being? Through your computer via the wonderous internet? NO? Come closer?

Okay, so it has been 21 days. And this week has been a breath of fresh air for a few reasons.1) I was on Thanksgiving holiday here in South Korea;2) I was sober; 3) I have been sleeping pretty damn well and restfully; 4) I have been cycling, hiking, roller blading, spending time in the fall sunshine and cool breezes; 5) I have been sober.

I was feeling pretty awful around day 16 – just demotivated and depressed, which reminded me why I drank in the first place. If life is this shitty, and painful, why don’t I just drink it away anyway? Just fully accept the fact that I am going to do this (drink) and be fucked up in a fucked up world or try some level of sanity (difficulty rating: off-the-charts) in a fucked up world. Thanks to some encouragement from Tired of thinking about drinking, I managed to stay sober albeit begrudgingly.  I was kind of border line “well every thing sucks anyway” (teenager much?)/this is really fucking awful and I hate life (yeah, me)/Just give yourself some more time (rational-angelic-voice-that-only-comes-out-on-special-occasions).

I didn’t drink. And the dark horrible cloud passed. And it was vacation, and the sun was shining. Beautiful, small, perfect privileges.

So this is a scary space to be in. I know from my own depression recovery attempts, and from what this blogger Al K Hall-ic Anonymous has stated, and my own insight into my behaviour, this is the Pink Cloud time. Where life is magical and sunny and sweet, the breath of fresh air that had been putrid for so long you forgot how to breathe. The excitement and enthusiasm of getting sober/getting well is overwhelming, exciting and beautiful. I know from experience that this phase passes and complacency creeps in. Or my addictive mind gets going, or my need to fuck things up resurfaces. Self sabotage/self doubt. I know this period can last a good few months. In the past, with my depression, not sobriety, this is where I would feel fixed and would think, okay well it is okay for me to drink, a little. The depression has subsided; it is safe for me to get back into the world – where I can drink moderately and feel a part of my friendship circles again. Where I can just be ‘normal’. I can take on more stressful situations, put myself out there, have the whole 9 yards, do ALL THE THINGS depression has kept me from doing. And I would begin drinking, a little. Sometimes for months at a time. Eventually, it ends badly with either a break up that accelerates my drinking; or a life set back that pre-empts a depressive episode, or I have taken on too much and stress out which leads to a depressive episode all over again Wow. So I need to work on this tool box don’t I? Sober support. Spiritual connection.

Any advise on the ‘ol tool box? Maintaining the clear head space?



I started understanding my roots when I went to therapy in 2005. I had had a suicide attempt that had left me wishing it had worked, rather than relieved that it hadn’t and that I was now seeking help. During that period my therapist advised me to go to Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings as, if memory serves, it was something that had helped her. I was never sure if she was projecting or if it was really something for me to look into. Finally I got a friend to take me to one of the meetings on a Wednesday night. The funny thing was, I went to the wrong meeting. I ended up at an Alanon meeting, instead of the Adult Children. The result was serendipitous to say the least. The woman there was talking about Shame. How her fathers drinking had led her to feel ashamed, and shameful. Like something was never quite right with her. I can’t remember the exact details of what she said, but I remember it struck me with such a resonance it was like someone had read my heart and mind, and knew exactly how I felt. This is it! The level of shame and of feeling inherently flawed was overwhelming. I felt unlovable. Broken to the core, and if anyone truly saw me, they too would reject me. I felt that way with my father from a very early age and continued until I was about 10 when he retired and seemed to relax more into the world. But the damage was done. And it certainly repeated itself – the self fulfilling prophecy. Finally when I contracted Hepatitis, and went down a depressive spiral, my boyfriend at the time rejected me, and that was it. I was flawed, unlovable, inherently broken. The physical illness left me so depressed – ah ha, and yes I had started drinking again because I so desperately just wanted to get rid of the pain of the break up, the illness, the social isolation that had occurred. The all of it.

I digress, some time later, dealing with the aftermath of the break up, the illness, my own depression, and therapy, I walked into that meeting, heard her talk of shame… and since then feeling like I had dealt with all this nonsense, but clearly I had not. How do you cope when you do not having coping skills? You don’t have the self confidence to tell yourself you are going to be fine, you don’t have the emotional capacity to know that the pain will pass and if you just feel it, it will not kill you.

So now, here I am again. Shame, there you are. I am going to flipping get to the bottom of you and deal with this, in every single way, in every spiritual way, in every way with love that I possibly can. I am done fighting/running/hiding/thinking I am okay because you keep coming back. You might be my Achilles heel, but I am going to over come this.

Shame I am here to love and accept you and integrate you.



See you in another life

I feel like something that precipitated this extreme low and drinking spree was the death of my dear friend, M. I met him while I was teaching in South Korea. There was an immediate ease between us, just a common laid back attitude that allowed us to joke and talk like old friends. Funnily, he had me at Marilyn Manson, something we would always joke about, a shared love for this particular band, amongst many many others (including Nine Inch Nails which deepened our bond). We could talk about music and bands for hours, we probably started one conversation about it, and we never finished it. We would hang out in parks here in SK, sipping bears and talk about music and travel and making a change in the world. He was from the USA, came from a completely different background from me, but we both studied Psychology.

So this ginger haired hearty human became one of my best friends. Companions and friends are made here in a land of foreign language, culture and often loneliness and alienation. I really mean made, bonds that form and outlast time and distance thereafter. Besides just kicking back and being real, being silly and just being, I was able to provide support to him after his grandmother passed away and well, he was there for me when I hit trouble with a boy back home.

Even though he returned home, and later I too; we still kept in touch via skype and chat, facebook. When I finally came back to Korea, we were talking almost every second day again. I, at the time, felt as though my friendships at home had been put to the test (due to said boy) and M was just there for me all the time. A bad day comes around, chat to M. A bad week, chat to M. Here a new song? Chat to M.

Sadly this amazing human passed away very unexpectedly in his sleep. He was only 25. I had skyped with him a week earlier and still remember him giving me a tour of his home in the US, whilst he tried to convince me to come visit, and if I did, this was all the glory I would be coming home to. Yes, home. I met his mum, his dogs, caught a glimpse of his view from his balcony. The day before he departed, I chatted to him online, he said he felt sick. Feverish. He had been ill the past few weeks, nothing too serious, nothing that one would consider to be fatal.

I kept trying to get hold of him that week. Skyping him and chatting online, but he never replied. I didn’t know what happened until someone posted on facebook. M had passed away in his sleep.

We never learn to deal with death in the West, it certainly isn’t a focus of ours as much as it is in the East. I didn’t know how to deal with it, and so began a very drunken 8 hours and had already pre-empted my non arrival to work the next day. I slept till 1 pm after arriving home around 2 am (that’s a lot of sleep for me) and promptly went back to bed. I slept and slept and slept. What else do you do?

Anyway, this was more of a space for me to talk about M. I didn’t get to say goodbye and I love you, when do we ever? You’re my first friend to pass in my adult life, and I love you and I miss you so much. You are so dear to me, and I am so grateful for having known you, I so wish I could tell you one last time and this fucking place is so lonely without you there, to talk, to ramble, to listen, to share. Ah life can be such a bitch sometimes? Dude, I fucking miss you. What do you do?

See you in another life.



12 days

Awesome sauce. I have made it to 12 days. The physical nag to drink has dissipated – not that I had physical withdrawals or anything bordering on drastic, it was more mental-physical – the thought of a cold beer, the dry crispness of a glass of wine, with the desire to just have it all fuzzed down several notches.

But now, what do I do? I feel seriously underwhelmed by my life. I don’t really feel like doing anything, this sense of demotivation persists and I am not sure how to get myself motivated again. Most of the blogs I read out there are of wives or husbands, what do single people do to refocus? My job is very undemanding at the moment, which of course is a lovely break, it’s not the lack of things I could be doing, but the will to do them is just.not.there.

Any tips or suggestions? I know from my depressive episodes, the fight to get back on my feet was so much effort and quite exciting, knowing the light was getting brighter and the lens widening, but now I have just stopped something that used to be a brilliant companion, an answer to loneliness, and answer to boredom, something to entertain me while I was home alone trying to get on with my tasks.

I am exercising, I am trying to learn to play guitar, I still force myself to go on exploration missions in my city, hiking on the weekends etc. I force myself to meet friends for dinners or coffee. I am still taking pictures when the opportunity comes, I have joined several meet up groups, I read blogs on here for inspiration and a sense of community, I read books on spirituality that help me feel connected; but most of it feels so dull and dreary, like I am treading water – I am merely going through the motions of it all because if I stop, I will drink. Or I will just stop. Do I need to just stop? Maybe but for how long can one sit and stare into space? I feel like I stop so much between it all time forgets to move. And I watch busyness all around me and I wonder why I am still standing still?