About Dennis

[Tags: Serene]

This is the biography that Dennis posted to the myRECOVERYspace site, with an ammendment.

Greetings.... I am a mid 50's programmer/engineering manager. Workaholic (seems like us holics can't just have one - we just pile them on). Finally growing up and learning how to enjoy my life - one day at a time. Realizing that the good life isn't stuff or all about me.

I started the really dumb part of my life when I was 16 or so. I was one of the ones that fell in love with alcohol. The taste, the feel, and especially the effect. I was no longer one of the hangers-on, also-ran, what-his-name people. I was right in the middle of the "in" crowd. I was cool. For a while...

Put the emphasis on "was". Now it's 1968 and the social revolution here is on full swing. With some prodding from the local authorities I ended up attending another social revolution. My part ended up in a small country full of rice paddies. The main idea was to chase small people who didn't want us there all over the countryside so we could kill them for their own good (Yeah, go figure). BUT - there was even more alcohol and it was easier to get. Being part of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children had its benefits - cheap booze. I ended up in various places with them for almost a double handful of years. Just them, me and my buddy Al. In and out of trouble countless times.

One really good thing that happened towards the end of my time in the Corps - I met she who was to be my wife. I actually slowed down, cut back and tried to act like an adult. For a while...

I ended up working for a company doing weapons systems work (it was all I really knew other than drinking). So I spent more years - again all over the world working and drinking in exotic places. I attribute this to aiding in keeping my marriage in one piece - she didn't have to put up with my drunken foolishness all the time. After Desert Shield and Desert Storm, I promised her no more getting involved with people that don't seem to appreciate me (like stop the death wish thing). For a while...

So we settled down to a blissful, quiet married life. My drinking over the next 16 years (the blissful part - ignorance IS bliss, ain't it?) and her quietly (yep, the quiet part) watching me withdraw even further from everything and everybody and drinking myself to death. This piece of my life ended when she (with help from others) convinced me to either get my act together or go die on my own time.

The choice was obvious (even to a fool like me) - I'm still here. Spent almost a month in rehab where I came out with a Senior Partner that I don't understand (and don't need to). Between that and Alcoholics Anonymous I've learned so far:

A few basic truths about myself - pretty ugly if I do say so myself. And I do.

How to fix those flaws.

How to not drink - one day at a time.

The real difference between spirituality and religion is the first has God, the other has His words. I don't have all his words, but he's sitting here next to me as I edit this.

I'll stick with the first - it actually means something to me.

All people are not like me (lucky them) so I shouldn't compare my insides with their outsides.

I don't have to hate myself for what I have done.

I don't have to hate others for what I think they did to me.

I have to be able forgive myself before I can expect others to forgive me.

I am responsible for my actions, no one else can make me do wrong things.

I am not responsible for others actions.

Life is always throwing curveballs - it's the fastballs that can hurt.

Being humble is a good thing.

Being humble does not mean I let people use me for a barnyard shoe scraper.

Doing the steps does not mean when I feel like it.

"Practice these principles in all our affairs" doesn't mean on alternate Tuesdays.

There is nothing so bad that I have to drink over it.

There is nothing so good that I have to drink over it.

Meditation is not just for "those" people (you know who I mean).

God is not just for Jesus freaks.

Addiction to mind altering substances is a treatable disease, just like diabetes.

I can't stop my treatments for this disease (I lost the death wish).

I can be cool without drinking (wish I'd known this a million years ago).


Now it's been two years. A pretty amazing period of time for this drunk - notably marked by many extended segments of time where sanity and peace reigned over my life. I spend a fair amount of time doing what I did when I first got here - if for no other reason than doing it seems to keep that sanity around. I've managed to keep clean and sober just for the fact that clean and sober is easier to deal with than dirty and drunk. And life becomes easier to plod through if I'm not staggering around like a clown in an earthquake.

There is also the outside chance that I can help another - something I cannot do if I'm falling down stupid. I find working with others (just like the BB says) goes a long way towards keeping me centered, willing to be willing and spiritually teachable. Because if I ain't got it, I can't give it away.

If anyone reading this is wondering if it is all worth it - that admission of insanity and unmanageability, finding a God that I don't have to understand, living the steps, working with others, I believe it is.

Life is good today. Not perfect - but then neither am I. But good - just as good as I need it to be today...

Nuff Said

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