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Jail...Again: Maybe I Should Sober Up!?

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

I looked around and realized I was in jail… again. As the booze and Xanax wore off, reality set in. I understood I had done it again and the best course of action was to sober up while I was there and wait patiently to be let out on my own recognizance. However, this time was different. I knew there was an altercation with my mom, but didn’t recall the details. Then a week went by and I was still there. I started thinking, “okay something about this little stay is different.” Why the hell am I still in here? A standard drunk hold is a few days maximum. I got a hold of the charges against me. My mother had me arrested for trying to cut her head off. The charges included attempted murder with a deadly weapon, assault, and battery, and domestic abuse. Clearly, it was more than a disagreement. I suppose I can shed some light on the character of my mother as it may demonize me a little less. My mother is currently an addict and alcoholic without the slightest hint of recovery or responsibility and the list of people who have attempted to murder her includes her fist husband (my father), her second husband, my grandmother (her mother), several of her roommates, and her boss. Now, I’m no angel and we were both under the influence. However, I could not recall what the hell happened and I do know that we were both on the ground at some point. After a few months of being locked up, I spoke to a public attorney and they presented the footage. Honestly, I appeared to be in control but I remembered zero about what happened. Upon being released, it was clear, my mother and I were like oil and water. Still are. But why? I would say substance abuse is 99% responsible for the lack of a relationship. The other 1% is we are both assholes. I made the most of my time in detention. I did my best to perform calisthenics. Mostly pull-ups on the bed and pushups of course. I did downward dog yoga-style pushups for a few days and the response by the gentleman in the state’s grand hotel wasn’t nearly as motivating as I thought it would be. I was called a “fag.” This was the extent to anyone going out of their way to bother me or give me a hard time. However, make no mistake the tension in there is high. I’m a tall and athletic Caucasian man with freckles and blue eyes. I’m 6’2” and about 200 lbs. I look more like a cop than I do a person who has smoked meth. Not just once or twice, I have done a lot of meth. Tension was high, but showering was just fine. What seemed to surprise many people I have shared with is that I washed my underwear in the shower with me. It made the most sense at the time as the laundry service was twice a week. If you were lucky. So, I managed to get a little exercise and avoided any real altercations aside from a couple of light scuffles, but my brain was parched. There were a couple of books available to read. Roughly 30 titles. Most of them were Christian and one gem nestled in the tiny rolling cart. “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill. We will address the power in this must-read later.

This was a moment of truth. Being locked up, the scene footage and the ending of the relationship with the person I came out of was undeniable. There was no real way to twist the perception of these hard truths. But the truth is what you will need to make it to the other side of this thing. To achieve any real traction in recovery, truth is imperative. Most people have heard the first step is admitting there is a problem. The reason that it’s a cliché is because it’s accurate. Without it you get nowhere.

Three R’s To Consider While Getting Sober

Three R’s round out an approach to truth that is useful. First, there is recognition. Or admitting there is a problem. Second, responsibility for whom and where you speed up the process. Finally, there is the development of resilience.

1. Recognition

2. Responsibility

3. Resilience

Recognition involves understanding where you are. Consider walking around the mall and despite all your resistance to looking at that damn map, you realize you can’t find where you need to purchase this expensive, and apparently important, gift for your partner. So, you can’t find where you need to be and realize you need to understand where you are. “You are here!” A big arrow is what you need. Observe that you still have resources for recovery. Who still speaks with you with care. If there is not too many people left in your social circle, is there any family that may sacrifice some time and space to listen to you? Ideally, there are some people who will spend time with you. It’s important to see that any efforts on their end are precious. So, don’t squander their efforts. What do you do if there is nobody still whom you used to be close with still left? There are community efforts to help people. What is recommended is you stay humble. Recognize exactly how you match up to others, or what is considered normal, for the consumption and use of substances. Even if it’s an illegal substance, there is use and abuse. What may be skewed is your ability to recognize where you are because you are in a bubble of people just as bad as you are. Do not fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. Especially, if they are just as trapped. You want to hold yourself up to some level of normalcy on a realistic spectrum of behavior.

Responsibility is advised. The last person that gets better is the biggest victim in the room. As long as thing exists outside of you, you will not get better. Why? Anything outside of you is outside of your control. Now, there are some things that are influencing you and definitely making it more difficult to not drink and use. However, there is some portion, and most likely a large portion, that is all you. Own it. Understanding what you are responsible for creates accountability and this is your ally. Shedding responsibility is the same thing as running and hiding. Lean into the weight of responsibility and shed the weight of guilt and shame. Believe me, you don’t get to not bear any weight. You want to pick the one that doesn’t make you feel like a coward. Break the word up. Response. Ability. This is useful because now it can be conceived as a skill. And skills we can work on. Increase your ability to respond well to what you own up to in your life. “We’re all self-made, but only the successful will admit it.” - Les Brown.

Owning your truth will make you tough. “You don’t want to secure; you want to be strong.”- Jordan Peterson. Resilience will happen when you have gone through enough trials and tribulations. Like, steal being put into the fire and removed and then beaten. The process makes you harder each time you go through it. It can be a source of strength. Realizing that you aren’t being destroyed. You are being developed. Understand that resilience isn’t the same as being callused. Calluses are dead skin no longer able to feel. Essentially, they are dead parts of our nervous system. Resilience is the development of resistance to destruction and emotional breakdown. Being resilient is useful and tough. While being emotionally callused is useless and tough. It all depends on the end you want to arrive at. Your ideal life will most likely be a useful life. Getting to another level of experience and livelihood. Realizing a better existence will no doubt require toughness and being resilient is the most useful form of being tough.

There are no tricks for becoming sober.  You just have to decide you want it.
Sober Up Or Get Stuck Here

In conclusion, finding myself in jail once again forced me to confront the harsh realities of my situation. As the haze of intoxication lifted, I recognized the gravity of my actions and the need to sober up while awaiting release. However, this time was different. I discovered that my own mother had accused me of attempting to harm her, leading to serious charges and a prolonged stay behind bars. Reflecting on our tumultuous relationship, I couldn't help but attribute the lack of a meaningful connection to our shared struggles with substance abuse. While acknowledging my own flaws, I also understood the destructive patterns within my mother's life.

During my time in detention, I made the most of the circumstances. Engaging in physical exercises like pull-ups and pushups helped me release tension, although the environment remained fraught with high levels of unease. Interestingly, even amidst the tension, something as simple as showering brought a sense of normalcy. To occupy my mind, I delved into the limited selection of books available, stumbling upon a gem titled "Think and Grow Rich" by Napolean Hill, which held promises of addressing its power at a later time.

This experience became a moment of truth, where I could no longer deny the hard realities before me. I understood that embracing the truth was paramount to moving forward and achieving genuine progress in my recovery. Recognizing the existence of a problem and taking responsibility for my actions became the first two steps on the path to healing. Through recognition, I aimed to understand my current position and leverage the resources available to me, be it supportive friends, family, or community efforts.

Responsibility emerged as a vital component in my journey. I realized that blaming external factors or playing the victim would only hinder my growth. By embracing my personal accountability, I could shed the weight of guilt and shame, transforming them into a catalyst for positive change. Responsiveness became a skill to develop—a way to navigate life's challenges with grace and wisdom. As Les Brown wisely said, "We're all self-made, but only the successful will admit it."

Owning my truth would cultivate resilience, the third pillar of my approach to truth. Resilience did not mean becoming emotionally calloused, but rather developing the ability to withstand and overcome adversity. It was about recognizing that the trials and tribulations I faced were not destroying me but rather molding me into a stronger individual. Resilience, unlike calluses, allowed me to retain sensitivity and empathy while building a source of inner strength. It was through resilience that I could aspire to lead a useful life—a life marked by growth, fulfillment, and a higher level of existence.

In this journey of self-discovery and recovery, I had come to understand the power of recognition, responsibility, and resilience—the three R's that would guide me towards a brighter future. With unwavering commitment to truth and personal growth, I was determined to emerge from the shadows of my past, embracing the challenges ahead and forging a path to a life worth living.

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