Tag Archives: Alcoholism

Tunes on Tuesday ~ Casablanca

Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman ~ As Time Goes By

~

~

In Casablanca, Rick never said; ‘Play it again Sam’, but he should have

Women can drive a man to remember, and to think

all that may make a guy so take just one more drink

and booze does no good, but his love is treacherous

he can do better, and he will always have memories

I never truly told a friend how much I loved her, and I should have.

~

jack collier                                                      jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I now know Exactly why I’m a lunatic

Knowing that you’ll push everyone away is tough to deal with.

Some people suffer.  Some people are in constant mental, psychological, and spiritual pain.  Those people may find themselves doing crazy and impulsive things, drinking too much, using drugs, getting into inappropriate and dysfunctional sexual relationships, pushing away everyone that truly cares for them, isolating themselves…..  Those people may be suffering from a serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder ~ they may need professional help.  They may act like a lunatic.

People with even mild Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD),  do very strange things; they test the people who care for them by doing things which are really socially unacceptable ~ for example constantly being late, flirting inappropriately, expecting and needing gifts lavished upon them.  They have extreme reactions to the thought of being abandoned and / or rejected.

People with BPD have a propensity to enter into dysfunctional and unstable romantic and sexual relationships / have casual sex / cheat / commit adultery with monotonous regularity.  They tell themselves their sexuality is normal.  They are impulsive and have intense, highly changeable moods.  Paranoia, anger, ennui, and emptiness all come easily to those who have even the mildest touch of BPD in their psyche.

They tell themselves that they like being alone in their comfort zone

Suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder is difficult, but the situation isn’t hopeless.  Recovery is possible, growth is certain, becoming a better person is the eventual reward for all that suffering.  I should know, I have been at the very Gates of Hell because for most of my life I suffered from undiagnosed and untreated BPD.

But now I know.  I know what caused me to push people away from me all my life; it’s a symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder.  If you don’t get close to people they can’t hurt you, and if you push someone away hard enough that they leave you, well that just means you were right about them all along…..

Knowing Exactly what’s wrong with you is very liberating.  Knowing Exactly why you have suffered and are still suffering is even more liberating.  And, I know Exactly why I developed Borderline Personality Disorder.

When I was about four-and-a-half years old, the woman who loved me most, the woman who cared for me, got sick and died.  She was my nana, my maternal grandmother.  And nobody told me that she’d died, my parents didn’t explain, there was a wall of silence, and I thought she’d abandoned me because I wasn’t good enough.

That one event blighted my whole life ~ until now.

Some say that it’s good to be mean to the one who loves you, because if they stay with you it proves that they love you.  And, that if they leave you it proves that you were right to be mean to them all along.  All I know is that only the mentally ill can like being alone and lonely.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

You can get so that everything seems normal

even crazy, vicious, evil mood swings

even turning into a Mr. Hyde

Not Sleeping is Very Bad

Insomnia turns an earthly paradise into a place of torture.

If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed and turning off the lights, if you toss and turn and wake up several times in the night, if you don’t wake up feeling instantly refreshed and ready to hit the ground running, then you are not getting enough good sleep.

Scientific studies show that for good health almost everyone needs 7 or 8 hours of good sleep, every single night of their adult lives.  Not getting enough good sleep does really bad things to you.

Just some of the bad effects of lack of sleep are; depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart diseases, heart attack, high blood pressure, poor immune system leading to illness, impulsive behaviours, irritability, paranoia, stroke, suicidal thoughts, and Death.

All of us know exactly that some of the things some of us do from time to time will prevent us from sleeping well at night; not getting enough fresh air and exercise during the day, drinking too much booze, eating late at night, using social media late at night, not going to bed at the same time every night, staying in bed late at weekends, having unresolved issues that prey on our mind, having an untreated mental illness, having our bedroom too warm, too noisy, and not dark enough, being in a dysfunctional relationship, hanging out in bars, casual sex…..

I’ve got a bad case of the 3.00 am guilts ~ you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right?  Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression, paranoia, and self-loathing.  ~  D. D. Barant.

Some things that most of us do will disrupt our internal body clock, our circadian rhythm, and prevent us from getting a decent night’s sleep, for night after night after night.  Who knew that our internal body clock is so important to good sleep and good health?  If you do stuff that fucks up disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in a lack of good sleep, you will seriously damage your physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.

All the things that will help ensure that we will always have a good night’s sleep are so bleeding obvious that a child of 5, or 6, or 7 already knows them, instinctively.

  • Stick to a sleep schedule.  Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends and vacations.
  • Get plenty of fresh air and exercise.  Get out and walk for an hour a day, (10,000 steps), but not too late in the day.
  • Get plenty of sunlight during the day ~ tricky if you live in northern England like me, (or Canada, or Alaska, or Scandinavia…).
  • Avoid caffeine later in the day.  It’s a stimulant, and the caffeine in a cup of coffee will take about 6 or 8 hours to wear off.
  • Do not smoke.  Nicotine is a stimulant, smoking affects your breathing, you will get nicotine withdrawal through the night and wake up, you will have nightmares for years after you stop smoking.  Smokers never sleep well.
  •  Booze.  Don’t drink to much, especially late at night.  A glass of wine / hard booze just before you go to bed will stop you from getting a decent night’s rest.  Trust me, people who drink late at night, most nights, are three parts of the smegging way to being an alcoholic.
  • Do not eat late at night.  Don’t eat anything much for a couple of hours before bed-time.
  • Don’t take a nap after three in the afternoon.
  • Have a relaxing hot bath just before bed-time.  Light some candles, play some relaxing music, turn off your racing mind.
  • Have a dark bedroom, quiet bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom, and no fucking blue light from your phone / tablet / computer shining all night.
  • Forget all the bad things from the day, especially the ignorant son of a bitch person who cut you up on the freeway on your way to work.
  • Finally, if you just cannot get to sleep, then don’t just lie in bed fretting.  If you really cannot sleep, get up and do something else instead, (but none of the bad things listed above).

One thing that some doctors say will result in a restored sleep cycle and better sleep is using marijuana, pot, cannabis.  There are some serious downside risks to the cannabis user, such as; anxiety, breathing problems, poor coordination, damaging a child in the womb, hallucinations, heart attacks, impaired thinking and cognitive functions, nausea, road traffic accidents, smoking anything is a known health risk, suicide, paranoia and schizophrenia, being arrested, losing your job, and Death.  All other drugs you can take to help you sleep are worse than marijuana, especially in the longer term.  (Anyhow, I would never sleep with anyone who uses drugs.  Come to that, I wouldn’t have lunch with a drug user.)

Some say that going without sleep for night after night is dangerous.  And, that eventually going without sleep will kill you, after 11 days or so.  All I know is that not sleeping is very, very unpleasant.

~

Insomnia

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

you may be able to tell that I didn’t sleep well last night

 

Feeling Weird

the angst of solitude, where you’re alone with the cosmos.

I have just been through the Dark Night of the Soul.

Last evening I felt very strange ~ for no readily apparent reason.

Mentally I was quite depressed and melancholy, with a feeling of deep angst thrown in.

My thoughts were wandering into dark places I didn’t want to go ~ places that in the past would certainly have driven me towards strong drink as a way of escape from my own tortured mind.

Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.  ~  George Bernard Shaw.

Physically I felt weak, my arms and legs were as heavy as lead, and I had severe peripheral neuropathy in my hands and forearms.

It is said that our feelings are kept in our body, and that if we don’t deal with those feelings they will surface as physical symptoms ~ particularly if those feelings are causing undue stress.

Overall, this was extremely painful and mentally uncomfortable ~ I had to reach out to a close friend for support.

I believe that what is going on with me, both mentally and physically, is due to all the introspection I’ve experienced through diligently working through the Hay House World Summit programme.  And let me tell you, twenty hours of this in a week is a lot of work.

This is all to the good.  It means that I’m not wasting my time with all these audio lessons and films.  It means that deep down in my subconscious I’m turning over the dead earth of my past traumas, character defects, and negativity.  It means that I am creating a new and better view of myself, my relationships, the world, and the cosmos.

It may be that I am truly walking the warrior’s path.

At least I sincerely hope and believe that’s what is happening to me.

Spiritually, mentally, and physically I still feel like crap today.  However, sometimes there has to be a little pain along the way before we get to those sunlit meadows of inner peace.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I am not my emotions

From time to time the darkness would overwhelm me.

It turns out that I am an emotional being, which is an unwanted paradigm shift for a taciturn and repressed English guy like me.  And yet, for much of my recent life I have been completely defined and driven by powerful emotions.

From time to time my psyche would spiral down a dark hole into a place where I became angry, jealous, manipulative, paranoid, resentful, unreasonable…  filled with negative thoughts and feelings.

These emotions would hit me out of nowhere, coming from deep within my subconscious mind, usually when my conscious guard was down ~ because I was tired, stressed, had been drinking, or someone close had lied to me, or perhaps just because something had gone slightly wrong in my life.

And these intense, darkly negative emotions could often drive a complete change in my personality, turning me from a rational and sociable man into an irrational and dangerous Mr. Hyde.

One thing you can’t hide ~ is when you’re crippled inside.  ~  John Lennon.

The reality is that intensely negative and darkly dangerous emotions are driven by fear, and in my case probably a paranoid fear of abandonment created by the Borderline Personality Disorder I have suffered from for most of my life.

Fear is powerful, deep, affecting the most primeval part of our psyche, what Freud calls the id.  And fear generates the equally powerful fight or flight reflex.  At my darkest I would fight by attacking people verbally and in writing, and run away into a bottle of booze.  Neither of these reflex actions was in the least useful to me.

What I needed was a strategy which allowed me to accept my negative emotions without allowing their destructive power to ruin my relationships and my life ~ wanting to find a suitable way to check out of life is not good.

What I needed was to be more emotionally stable and resilient.

It turns out that emotionally resilient people have some important things in common.  Emotionally stable and resilient people;

  1. Are Realists.  Grounded.  Optimists are soon disappointed and easily lose hope.  Realists make the best they can of the ‘Now’.
  2. Have Faith.  Believe in something greater than themselves, something greater than whatever bad situation they may find themselves in.
  3. Are extremely and radically creative.
  4. Have a support network of close friends, doctors, counsellors, 12-step groups…
  5. Have a great, but usually weird and warped, sense of humour.

These are all things that I could invent for myself.  I can grow and develop these character traits that actually exist in all of us.  Each day I have been able to further manifest these character traits within myself.  Every hour I have become more emotionally stable and resilient.

One ought to hold onto one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.  ~  Friedrich Nietzsche.

Life goes on, and I do not have to allow my emotions to control me.

Although my emotions are an important part of me, I AM NOT MY EMOTIONS.

Some say that negative emotions have an important role to play in a happy life.  And that negative emotions are telling you that you need to change and transform yourself.  All I know is that you can turn things around and control how your emotions affect you.

Life does not have to be perfect to be good.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Self-Healing & Self-Development

Hay House World Summit.

Following my recent return from a vacation in California, it was obvious to me and my friends that there was an empty darkness in my soul.

I made a half-hearted attempt to escape from this by drinking ~ and as usual that didn’t work.  Trying to escape into booze and / or drugs never works, not for anyone.  Booze is usually a bad idea, and taking drugs is always a very bad idea.  Both booze and drugs create more problems than they solve, up to and including dying from alcoholism and drug addiction.

What I really need is help to find a new way of living, new values, a new psychology of friendship and love.  I need to find a way towards real spiritual growth.  I need to accept the pain of confronting and solving my problems, and I know that I cannot do that through my own sheer willpower, self-control, and self-discipline.

My first impulse was to go and see my doctor, confess my problems, and ask for help.  But, you know what, most doctors are very bad at dealing with psychological and spiritual problems, together with the booze that has gone along with mine.

A very close friend then pointed me towards the Hay House World Summit, which is a 16-day journey to self-discovery, health, and success.  In 2018 this runs from May 5th to May 20th ~ the timing is ideal for me, and it’s free.

I’ve registered for this and I’m very much looking forward to exploring the 100 lessons and 15 videos.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

From time to time I will let you know how this is working out for me.

If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes

Only I can change my life ~ no one can do it for me.

Life is about change.  Without change, without variety, without some stress in Life, all will stultify and diminish.  Without change there can be no growth, and without growth and development all things will wither away and die.

I will not meddle with that which I cannot mend.  ~  Thomas Fuller

But, as the Serenity prayer tells us, there are some things that we cannot change, some things that have to be accepted, and the wise learn to know the difference.  I can think of a myriad of people, places, and things I cannot change.  In reality no one  can change another person, unless that other absolutely wants to change.  This is why it is mostly pointless trying to talk to most addicts in an effort to make them change their ways.  This is why many relationships, and many marriages, end in failure and recriminations. This is why there are wars.

A while ago I resolved to stop trying to change others and instead decided to work on myself to become a better person.  That is now my lifetime’s project, and it doesn’t always go smoothly.  Sometimes it doesn’t work at all.  Sometimes I make progress, and sometimes I go backwards a couple of steps or more ~ it’s like a man walking into a gale, sometimes he wins and sometimes the storm wins.  In the last few days I think the wind won more than I did.  In the last few days I went with the wind and my negative emotions, and that meant I really staggered in the wrong direction.  In other words I totally fucked-up, again.  For me, going with the flow is usually the wrong choice.

Life will do it’s best to deceive you.  You may get knocked down, but you must always get up again.  The mark of a really great boxer is not that he never gets knocked down.  A really great boxer can get knocked down, but he will always get up again.  And that’s up to and including Mohammed Ali in his all prime and pomp.

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up.  The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.’  ~  Thomas Edison

The English language is filled with wise sayings, allegories, parables, and proverbs.  As you would expect a lot are by Churchill; ‘To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often…’  Then from Scotland we have the allegory of Robert the Bruce and the spider, which gave us the saying; ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again…’  But we also have almost the converse of that saying…

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  ~  Albert Einstein.

The Goddess knows I have been there often enough ~ every time I took a drink I expected it to be different from the last time, and it never was.  But, somehow I usually got away with it.

Back in my illustrious career in banking I once went into a meeting on Madison Avenue with no ideas and nothing but blank pieces of paper in my briefcase.   I had got good and drunk in the Plaza the night before, so I both looked and felt far from my very my best.  But I stood up in front of the board of the world’s biggest advertising agency and tried just one more time.  I told them not what they wanted to hear, but what I wanted to make happen.  It worked.  The thing is I didn’t give up, and I didn’t try to change anything except myself.

After that almost debacle I resolved to make a big change by giving up banking for good.  It was the wrong change ~ I should have given up booze for good.  Back then I didn’t have enough serenity within me to even think about being sober for life.

Right now, today, all I try to do is be the best Jack Collier I can be, sober.  That is difficult enough for anyone.  I realise that life is difficult and painful.  I know that the causes of my problems and pain are my own cravings, lusts, and the blaming others for my faults.  I now know that I can’t change others and I can’t change what happens to me, but I can change what I do, and how I react to people places, and events.

I know that the warrior’s road to freedom from continual distress, pain, and suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, spirit…  and that’s a hard road to walk in honour, honesty, and truth.  I try to always walk that road, and often I fail.  But, at least I try, and perhaps not one in ten men even do that.

The world and the sky is ours if we want it enough.

~

jack collier
jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ Booze

Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity.

Some of you may be giving up alcohol for lent, or to lose weight, or to control your cholesterol ~ in which case here are some cool drinks you may well be missing out on.

Or, some of you may be determined to have a good time now that we are really in the deep dark depths of winter ~ in which case here are some cool drinks to help you get the party going.

Whatever, please drink responsibly. Don’t end up feeling as though you need to give up booze for good and all.

First this week, and bearing in mind that we have just had Valentine’s Day, San Diego girl Averie Sunshine offers us this very aloholic kiss on the lips cocktail.  Who could possibly say no?

Kiss On The Lips Cocktail

Continuing the St. Valentine’s Day theme, Tieghan Gerard from Half Baked Harvest offers us this delicious looking rose and ginger paloma.  Nice if you like tequila and roses ~ who doesn’t?

Rose and Ginger Paloma

I’m not certain I’d ever have tried this cocktail from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats, but having seen some of the things The Girl Riding Shotgun drinks I’m pretty certain that spicy blood orange beergaritas will find a few takers, at least in Orange County anyhow. Highly alcoholic.

Spicy Blood Orange Beergaritas

Another blood orange cocktail, this time from Andrea at Cooking With A Wallflower; blood orange vodka soda ~ or you could substitute tequila for the vodka, if you don’t like vodka.  This is just so easy, but please squeeze the fresh orange juice for yourself.

Blood Orange Vodka Soda

One of the things about booze is that it plays havoc with your cholesterol levels and the triglycerides in your blood.  This recipe for Mumbai mules from the Bojon Gourmet could help a little, as it contains cumin, which is good for you.

Image courtesy of Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Mumbai Mules

On a really cold winter’s day there’s not much better to come home to than a hot toddy.  Cookie + kate have a very easy recipe for a classic hot toddy ~ and you can make this as strong as you like.  Also, try making a hot toddy with dark rum for a completely different and interesting flavour.  My favourite was always Woods 100 Old Navy Rum.

Classic Hot Toddy

I like recipe collections, and I hope that you do too.  From the chi-chi Town and Country Magazine we have a collection of 21 winter cocktails to help you survive the cold.  From their collection I’ve chosen to feature a Porto Santo, which rivals a Long Island Iced Tea for a total booze-fest.  You could always get your guy to take you to the Island of Madeira to try your first Porto Santo cocktail.

Porto Santo

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I hope that you,

and all the great drinks’ mixers

featured this week

had a lovely St. Valentine’s Day.

 

Feeling Good isn’t Good

If you’re feeling good then nothing else should matter.

Like many who have had an abnormal Fear of Abandonment due to suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder, I have been very used to feeling bad.  Alcohol abuse, anxiety and depression, anger, low self-esteem, relationship problems, suicidal thoughts, problems trusting anyone, fear, disgust, sadness…  In the past I knew all of these bad feelings intimately.  My whole world was a pale, dead, dark moon.

The nadir of my misery was on December 11th 2017, when I suffered from mental, psychological, and spiritual distress that was almost unbearable.  I felt as though I was having a mental breakdown ~ that my mind was broken and my soul was destroyed. I was physically, mentally, psychologically, and spiritually afraid.  I was afraid that I was becoming a lunatic.

That is not a good feeling.  But then, I was very used to feeling very bad.

The Christmas and New Year’s holidays came, and things were a little better.  Once you have hit your rock bottom, then the only way should be up.  It doesn’t work like that.  Below your rock bottom is another, lower, more hellish rock bottom.

I know because at the New Year I caught influenza, and I did become a lunatic due to a fever caused by the virus.  I don’t quite know what I did during the couple or three weeks I was deathly ill, except that I had strange visions and imaginings.  I remembered things that never happened, and I remembered real events, and each memory taught me a lesson.  Each memory lifted some evil from my mind and my soul.

Today I feel pretty good.  And I’m struggling to cope with feeling good.

They got scared when they started feeling good, just because it was so unfamiliar.  Like chronic prisoners facing release from their cells.  ~  Lisa Alther.

When you are used to being Mr. Hyde, it’s a struggle to be a good guy.  It’s difficult to love and trust when you are used to never trusting anyone.  It’s hard to take a chance on people, even with someone you told yourself you cared for, when you never took a chance on anyone, ever.  When you are used to feeling disappointment, anger, resentment, suspicion, distrust ~ when you are used to being Mr. Hyde ~ it’s scary to focus only on the good things.

I’m very uncomfortable with good feelings because I am so unused to feeling really, truly, genuinely fine.  I wake in the morning and I distrust the fact that I feel good.  I am expecting crushing disappointment, sooner or later, because I don’t expect these good feelings to last.

But I’m doing all right today, and step by step things are getting better for me, and for those I care for.

I have a strategy.  I know I will have bad thoughts, bad feelings, and a temptation to return to my old ways of misery.  I can accept feeling bad, but I no longer have to let feeling bad take over my life again.  I can accept the bad thoughts for what they are, my old demons trying to drag me down to another hellish rock bottom.  I never need to let that happen again.

Today, tonight, and tomorrow I can focus on feeling good.  Feeling bad is a choice I need never make again.  In future I will choose to feel good.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Spencer Tracy as Mr. Hyde

 

Begin A New Beginning

In every life there will be some troubles.

Recently I was pretty ill with the flu.  In between feeling very poorly, and very tired, my feverish mind wandered to some very strange places.  I vividly remembered things from the past, and some of those memories were  false,  but even the false memories had a lesson for me.

In my fevered imaginings I realised that I had often been judgemental, unforgiving, and aggressive.  That I measured people by my own standards, morals, and mores.  If I thought a person had hurt me, or intended to hurt me, or didn’t measure up to what I thought was acceptable standards of behaviour, then I was quite likely to attack that person.  I could become a real Mr. Hyde character.  That applied especially if I told myself that I cared about the person concerned.

In my fevered imaginings I realised that my judgemental, unforgiving, and aggressive behaviour was totally unacceptable.  Not only that, it didn’t achieve anything good, and it didn’t make me happy ~ it didn’t make anyone happy.

In fact, being a judgemental unforgiving perfectionist made me so unhappy that from time to time I would try to escape my misery by drinking far too much booze.  As you would expect, getting drunk didn’t make me happy either.

In fact, drinking just made everything much worse.  Every single time I’ve touched booze in the past few years something extremely, irredeemably bad has happened.  Every single time I’ve had even one drink I began a downward spiral which inevitably lead me to becoming Mr. Hyde.

It didn’t take fevered imaginings brought on by the flu to make me realise that I needed to make a new beginning.  On December 11th last year I had the worst mental, psychological, and spiritual day of my life.  My mind was broken and my soul was destroyed.  I knew back then that I needed to change or there wasn’t much point in my being anything other than a lonely recluse.  If I wanted a good life, then I needed to begin a new beginning as a kinder, stable, more reliable, more likeable man.

My mental health was at stake, I needed to change or continue on the downward spiral to the rock bottom of total lunacy.

I have changed, and it was both very difficult and very easy.  The easy part is that all I need to do is stop being a judgemental unforgiving perfectionist.  Stop thinking the worst of people, stop imagining that the people I care for are trying to hurt me, and stop dwelling on the past.  As I said easy.

The very difficult thing is that making a fundamental change to one’s own personality means overturning one’s core beliefs and values ~ and that’s hard.  It means reconsidering what’s important in life.  It means letting go of old attitudes, old habits, beliefs, outdated goals, even one’s old Life’s Purpose.  It means changing how we think about relationships, love, and life.

However, we can create anything we want, if we want it enough.

Einstein said; the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

I needed to do things differently.  I needed to begin a new beginning.  I firmly believe I have started on a different and better road.  I don’t think I’m a lunatic anymore.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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