Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 61

Two Months!! Well it has been quite a journey so far. I have been so busy with my extra duty this last week I just haven't had the energy to post. But I figured it was about time. There really isn't much to talk about, just work and sleep. Although on the weekends I do get some free time to myself. My girlfriend came out this last weekend again. So that was nice to have some company. She brought her pet pit bull Roxy along this time. Probably the most spoiled puss of a pit bull you have ever seen. I think it is so sad that what was once considered the ultimate family dog during the early part of last century, has denigrated to such a hated animal. Ever seen the original Little Rascals? Their dog was a pit bull. Can you guess that I am an animal lover, no matter what family or genus? Anyway, I have one more month of extra duty, this first two weeks have gone by relatively fast, I can only hope that the next four do as well. I almost forgot, this Thurs I have to go see a counselor, to be evaluated, in order to see how long my substance abuse program is going to be. From what I have been told it could be anywhere from 20 something to 90 something sessions long, depending on your level of dependence. It is group sessions, so I will find out what it all entails soon enough. Luckily the sessions are during the week and they are at a civilian mental health hospital, so it will get me off base and out of alot of extra duty time. Got to look for the silver lining in everything, right? Hopefully I will get alot out of the meetings as well. Well back to work. I hope you all have a great day. Take Care.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Day 53/40 to go

The title of my post denotes how many days sober and how many day of extra duty I have left. I don't know if it will make it go by slower or not, but what the hell, I'll give it a shot. My first five days went by pretty fast. Luckily I only work Mon-Thurs, so I am not required to work as many hours on the weekend. And since I am done whenever my tasks are completed, not at a specific time, I have not been required to work the full hours yet. Which has been nice. Especially because my girlfriend spent the weekend with me. So it gave me a few extra hours to spend with her. She has also been really supportive through this, which has made it a lot easier to deal with it, and it's nice to have someone to spend time with after I am done with my extra duty. Unfortunately she will be going to the Cayman Islands, with a few of her friends for a week and a half, in about a week and a half, so this weekend will be the last time I see her for a few weeks. Oh well, as soon as this little chapter of my life is over, me and her are going to get the hell out of Dodge for a weekend. Someplace where there is no chance I will see anyone I know and someplace where I will not have any chance of seeing an Army uniform. I think I will just need to decompress and get away from it all. I will have earned it, and it gives me something to look forward too. Also as soon as this is over I am going to go to an AA meeting and collect my 60 and 90 day chips at the same time. Since I am not allowed to leave base to go to a meeting. I am still in constant contact with my sponsor, though. Anyway, time to go to lunch. I hope you all had a safe and sober weekend. Take Care.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Day 50

Well its the big 5-0. I am looking forward to 60. It should go by pretty fast, because I am going to be on the go for the next 42 days. That is how many days of extra duty I have left. I am on lunch so I have to make this brief. My new Sergent is in charge of my extra duty, and let me tell you, he may have saved my ass with the Colonel, as I said in my previous post, but it hasn't come without it's price. He is going to keep me busy. Today I had to pick up trash around post and this afternoon I am cleaning out the bookshelves at the library. At least its inside. I will gladly do anything this man asks of me. He even told me something else this morning that just reinforced the fact that this man was an answer to prayer. He told me that he went to talk with the post Sergent Major, the same one that treated me like crap and really wanted to kick me out of the Army, and he reiterated his opinion to my Sergent. He even told him that he was going to call my Command Sergent Major and try to talk him into putting in the paperwork to get me out. He really has it out for me. But my Sergent said that he would talk to him and tell him that he would put in his retirement papers or ask for reassignment if that were to happen. Basically he is willing to put his career on the line to protect me. And he told me that I don't have anything to fear from him. You couldn't ask for a better Sergent. And as far as the Post Sergent Major is concerned I have decided to make it my mission to do everything I can to change his opinion of me, and for him to see that I do deserve to remain in the Army. I can't guarantee that I will be successful. All I can do is try. Well back to work. I hope you all have a happy sober day. Take Care.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 49

I know it has been almost a week since I last posted and quite a bit has happened. I went to Ft Carson on Monday, because that is the hospital that my clinic is attached to, to receive my punishment. I was told that I was going to arrive on Monday and then Tuesday I would see the Colonel and then head home on Wed. So, I arrived on Monday night and got put up in a room and told to meet with my company commander at 8 the next morning. The next morning I actually met with my First Sergent, and he read what I was accused of and then told me I had to head over to JAG later that day. After going to JAG, where they make you watch a video informing you of your rights, I was released for the day and told that I would meet with the Colonel on Wed instead of Tuesday. Yet another night of very little sleep stressing out about what was going to happen.

On a side note, when I went to JAG there were about 30 other soldiers there to see the same video. It is just funny how many other people were in trouble just like me. And it may sound messed up to say this, but I was oddly comforted by it. The only way I can describe how I felt is to compare it to the way I felt the first time I walked into an AA meeting. What I mean is, that I felt like I wasn't alone. Even though it sucks to have to be there it is comforting to know that there are others that are in a similar situation. That even though we were not there for the same offences, we were facing the same consequences, going through the same trials and tribulations. And even though I didn't talk to any of them I felt comfortable around them. Weird, I know. And let me clarify one thing, I am not saying that going to AA meetings suck, far from it, but I know I think and probably alot of other alcoholics think, that given a choice it would be great to have never had to step foot into an AA meeting. That we could drink like normal people. That there was nothing wrong with us. Anyway, back to what happened.

After a long sleepless night, I went to see the Colonel. Now in an Article 15 hearing your Commander is your judge, jury and executioner. So you are leaving everything up to them, unless you demand trial by court-martial, where if found guilty you are subject to harsher punishment and it will go on your permanent federal record as being convicted of a crime. Where as, if you just do a Article 15, you are technically never convicted of a crime. Which is why it is called Non-Judicial punishment. So in my case where I was obviously guilty, there is no point in demanding trial by court-martial. However, when you go to see your commander one of the rights you do have is to have people speak on your behalf, kind of like character witnesses. These people are usually from your chain of command, people you work with, people who will tell your commander what kind of a person you are. I was not given this option. The reason for this was because the Army didn't want to pay to fly any of them out to Carson, even though it is my right to have them there. Needless to say this was a major concern of mine.

I get to the Colonel's office at 830am, but she is running late so I am told to wait. While I 'm waiting a Sergent First Class comes up to me and introduces himself. Turns out he is going to be my new boss, and he just happened to be there inprocessing into the unit. He then tells me that he had heard of my situation and that he had talked to a few people and that everything he had heard was positive. He also wanted to assure me that he would not judge me according to my current situation and that he will treat me with respect unless I do something to make him lose it. You have no I idea how it felt to hear him say those words. You see, I knew that he was due to arrive sometime in the near future and I was really nervous how he would treat me. Because everyone knows that first impressions mean everything. Anyway I digress. So, after we speak for a few minutes I tell him about my concerns about not having anyone to speak for me and he said that since he was there, he would. I had just prayed earlier that morning, and I was beginning to think that maybe this man was the answer to that prayer.

After waiting awhile I was finally brought into the Colonel's office. Talk about walking into an intimidating room. There was the Colonel sitting behind her desk, a Lieutenant Colonel standing behind her, a Command Sergent Major to my right, two Captains and my First Sergent behind me, and my Sergent First Class to my left. I was surrounded by about 150 years of military service. I was nervous and just wanted it over with. The Colonel then read the charges and asked if there was any evidence I would like to present, so I gave her a letter that my sponsor had written about my progress in AA, and then I proceeded to tell her about everything that I have been doing and basically begged for mercy and another chance to fulfill my commitment to the Army with honor. Because kicking me out was definitely on the table. Then she asked my Sergent if there was anything he would like to say. And he proceeded to say how he had just met me 45 minutes prior, but that he had heard good things about me, and even though he does not condone my actions, he thinks that it would even be worse for the Army to just kick me out and have done with me. He went on to say that he viewed me as a fallen soldier in need of help and that it was up to them to help me, not abandon me. When he was finished, the Colonel turned to me and said "You have no idea what he just did for you.". It was then that I lost control of my emotions, and tears started to stream down my face, because when the Colonel said those words, I knew exactly what he had done for me. It was also the first time that I believe I actually saw the answer to prayer. So let me just say that I am still a soldier. But that doesn't mean I got off scott free.

I was demoted and I was given 45 days of extra duty, but they didn't take any money. Now that doesn't mean I am not losing money, because I was demoted that also means a cut in pay, but I will get my rank back in a few months and money is just money. I will do my extra duty happily knowing that I am still a soldier and I will finish my commitment and get out with honor in a couple of years, and then I will begin my new life and go back to school and work toward my masters and hopefully one day a PhD. Who knows? All I know is that it is true what they say that this to shall pass. And now I will continue to take it one day at a time. I will have one eye on the past so that I will never forget, and one eye on the future so that I can see my goals and work toward them. But never both eyes on the past because I would be consumed by it, and never both eyes on the future because then I might forget the past and become complacent and repeat my past mistakes. One back. One forward.

I hope you all have a happy and sober day. Take Care.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 43

I am off to Salt Lake for the weekend. This will be my last weekend of freedom for a while so I am going to enjoy it. I am finally going to Ft Carson, on Monday, to officially receive my punishment. I did get preliminary word that I will only be getting a Article 15 and not getting kicked out of the Army, which is definitely good news, but nothing is set in stone yet so I will just keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. As a result of the article 15 I will lose some rank, one months pay and 45 days of extra duty and 45 days of restriction. Which means I will be working up to 16 hours a day for the next 45 days and I can't leave base for the same amount of time. Oh well, at least I will be sleeping in my own bed every night. In fact, I think that I am probably going to get off lite considering how drunk I was when I got behind the wheel and given the potential for me hurting someone as a result. Either way I am just glad that the waiting is finally going to be over. Well I hope all of you out there have a great weekend. Take Care.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 40

Day 40!! I can't believe it. This is officially the longest I have gone without drinking since basic training. And when I reach 3 months, I will have gone the longest without a drink since my heavy drinking career began back in college. And I feel great.

Yesterday I was coming back to base, and since I am no longer allowed to drive on base anymore, I had arranged to have my NCO, or boss to you civilians out there, to pick me up at the gate and drive my car back to my apartment. Well, one little problem, he didn't answer his phone. So I am parked outside the gate calling everybody I work with to see if they could help me out. Finally I found someone and I got home without incident. This all happened around 6pm, then around 10pm my NCO finally called back to apologize and see if I had gotten home alright. I told him I had and asked what had happened, he said that he had gotten so drunk the night before that he hadn't gone to sleep till 8am, and that he was completely passed out and hungover when I had called. Oh how I miss those days of feeling like shit and completely shirking my obligations and letting people down when they needed my help, all because I felt like getting f***ed up. I wasn't mad or anything, it just got me thinking about how that used to be me. But other than that my weekend was great.

I went out to Salt Lake on Thursday after work and went to a 7pm meeting. My sponsor couldn't make it so I just went by my lonesome. Funny thing was I accidentally went into the wrong meeting. It turned out to be a meeting about the 12 steps. I'm sure that it has an official name but I am still learning the terminology, so please forgive my ignorance, but it was focusing on the 11th step and I decided to stay and see what it was all about. It turned out to be pretty cool, now I just went over the 1st step with my sponsor, so I didn't know what the 11th was all about. Anyway, we all took turns reading from a book that I hadn't seen before about the 12 steps and then talked about it afterward. Or I guess I should say that they talked and I listened, but all in all it was an interesting and informative lesson. Then after the meeting I went over to my girlfriend's house and just hung out. Then on Friday we went to see the new Indiana Jones flick. It was pretty good, but definitely not as good as the first three. After the movie we met up with her friends and decided to give camping a shot, even though the weather looked iffy.

Now I feel like I need to say something here. I have been making a conscience effort to change the way that I act recently. I am trying to change everything that I perceive to be negative about me, a personality makeover if you will. In the past I was a very selfish individual, I think that is an aspect that most alcoholics share, and I am trying very hard to think about everybody else's feelings before my own.

I remember one time about 7 years ago when I went to Disneyland with my family. This was the first time that my little sister, who was 4 at the time, had ever gone. Now I had been there many times before and me and long lines don't mix, so I proceeded to be a complete a-hole and complain about everything and basically ruin the entire day because of my selfishness. So, when it came to camping this weekend, a trip that I really didn't want to go on, for one; because of the weather, and for two; because the other people there were going to be drinking, I just kept my mouth shut put a smile on my face and went. And you know what? The weather was beautiful, if a little cold, and the drinking wasn't an issue and I ended up having a good time. Crazy isn't it?

Another thing I have been trying to change is my pessimistic attitude that I have always had. I always look for and expect the worst to happen and I think that I have made myself and the people around me miserable as a result. This came into play this weekend too.

My girlfriend invited me over to her older sister's house to watch National Treasure 2, with her husband and 2 kids and her parents. And of course, I thought that it was going to suck and be boring, but I kept my mouth shut and went anyway. And guess what? Yep, I had a great time. We watched the movie and then my girlfriend's younger nephews took out their Nintendo Wii. I am not into video games at all, but I have never played the Wii, so I gave it a shot. And let me tell you, now I understand why it is so popular, the Wii is alot of fun. So all in all, I had a great weekend, and I didn't have one drink. Although the true test of my sobriety will be my girlfriend's birthday party next sat. There is going to be alot of drinking going on, and my girlfriend who doesn't normally drink will be that night. So wish me luck. I hope all of you had a great sober weekend as well. And thanks for the comments and the heads up about MICKY. I hope I never hear from him again. And I hope, that even though he may hate AA, that he is sober as well. Take Care.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 35

Well the weather is still horrible so it looks like camping is definitely not in the cards. Oh well, I guess I will just have to go see the New Indiana Jones movie. I absolutely loved all the other ones, so I hope this one lives up to my expectations. Also, if anybody read yesterdays post I just want to apologize for my little rant. I was just in a bad mood and let my feelings get a little out of control. Speaking of my post yesterday, I got a nasty comment from some guy named MICKY. Have any of you gotten one from him too? It seemed like it was canned, like he just cut and pasted it, and it was all about how he thinks that AA is a product of Satan and how it is brainwashing people. Does this type of thing happen alot in blog land? I just thought that it was completely inappropriate, so of course I didn't publish it, but whatever, I guess there are crazy people everywhere. So far my blogging experience has been entirely positive, and I guess it couldn't last forever. If I choose to use AA as my way of combating my alcoholism then it is my decision. I am not being brainwashed into it. And if sometime in the future I find that it doesn't agree with me then let me come to my own conclusions, don't come at me like some virtual Jehovah's witness, knocking on my door when you know that I don't want to hear anything you have to say. OK, MICKY? Leave me alone and don't send my anymore of your negative and hateful comments!!

Now that that is over with, I hope that all of you happy and positive people out there enjoy your brainwashing and have a safe and sober weekend as a result. I will see you all on Tuesday. Take Care.