Relapse

Am I an Alcoholic? Try a Different Question.

August 1, 2010

A question often pondered but rarely spoken aloud by those facing the emotional distress and repercussions of problematic drinking is- am I an alcoholic? It’s a healthy question to ask oneself after a blackout or self destructive binge, but this probably only applies for those that abuse alcohol if one is expecting a truthful answer. […]

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TDA in Mexico Part II, a Recovery Travel Review

July 31, 2010

I’m halfway home temporarily stuck in Houston but with a confirmed seat; it’s been a grueling trip because of the distances between meetings and daunting schedule we had set, but I suspect the rewards will be great. Fortunately, we left Friday afternoon and evening idle to unwind at a literal Mexican oasis. Hotel El Tapatio […]

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TDA in Mexico

July 28, 2010

My apologies for the recent idleness of the site, I have always taken pride in the fact that TDA remains constantly updated. I have been traveling in Mexico since Sunday on business matters and the combination of free time and available connectivity have not coincided on enough occasions for new posting. Usually I would arrange […]

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Letters from Hell

Letters from Hell – Redux

July 18, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a feature from a guest blogger that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


It’s been a while since I posted a Letters from Hell. This letter was not included in the original series, as it had been lost. It was found underneath the cushion of a sofa at a relative’s house last week. It would have originally fallen in between Parts 11 and 12; so I guess I could have named this Part 11.5.

Please click here to read all the other installments of the series. Just to catch people up who are new to the site – I spent 76 days in a correctional facility the summer before last as a direct result of my alcoholism. These are the letters I wrote to my family while there. Moral of the story – stay clean and stay out of jail – it’s not fun.

June 21, 2006

Dear Everyone,

Two days have passed since I last sat down to write. Things are okay, I have been thinking about my situation more than usual, which tends to make me more depressed than usual. It’s hard for me to keep my mind off worrying when there is so little to do here. I almost welcome the fighting, stealing, and scheming that go on around here as a diversion.

The book I am reading is very good, however it’s a two parter and I only have part one. I have requested part two, but I am doubtful that they have it. I will certainly get it when I get out.

Click “Read more” to continue the letter…

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Letters from Hell – Part 14

July 8, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell – Part 14. Although in totality the letter and memories are pretty bleak, Part 14 nevertheless brings back some positive memories – in particular a change in my overall outlook from absolutely negative to somewhat positive. I think after seven weeks of drying out my brain was returning to a state that at least could be called medically stable. I think it was somewhere around this time that I may have genuinely laughed for the first time in five years. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.


July 9, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

I hope this letter finds you both doing well. Nothing new here. The last couple of days have been okay. It was good seeing everyone on Saturday.

I guess the two biggest things I can talk about are how quite it has gotten since Detroit and his cousin have left the block and the fact that we have no soap. I do – because I order a bar of Lever 2000 every two weeks. – but most in here simply do not have any. Whew. They (the guards) say we went through 6 months worth of soap in 5 weeks. They are not saying when we will get any soap, but I am sure when we do it will be with restrictions. If we don’t get some soon I am sure attempts will be made to steal mine and from the few others that have it.

I have been taking a shower once and sometimes twice a day for the last couple of weeks because of the staph going around. I will probably drop back down to every other day to conserve my soap. Believe it or not if I smell clean people are going to “sweat” me for some soap and I mean constantly. It is getting pretty foul in here.

Click “Read more” to continue the letter…

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Letters from Hell – Part 13

July 6, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell – Part 13. As befitting the holiday season this letter deals with a holiday; just not Christmas. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.

July 6, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

I hope this letter finds you both doing well. I hope the holiday was enjoyable for you both. It was just another day here in the joint. It was actually quieter than usual. I think subconsciously it made everyone miss there freedom more than they were willing to admit. Everyone kind of stayed in their racks or watched TV in the dayroom. Believe it or not there was actually a marathon of Steven Seagal movies on AMC and that’s what everyone wanted to watch. It was actually a subset of a larger marathon called the “Four Fathers of Action” which included a block of movies from Seagal, Chuck Norris, Jet Li and J.C. Van Damme over a period of 48 hours. I tried to sleep more than usual.

Many thanks again for taking care of all my business while I’m in here. It sounds like I will be in here at the very minimum for another month or so. It could very well be longer – hopefully you won’t have to deal with the wake of my problems I created for a while. I know the only way I can repay you is to stay sober and I intend to do that.

I have been incarcerated for 62 days now. Each day goes by very slowly but looking back on it, it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long.

Click “read more” to continue with the letter…

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Letters from Hell

Letters from Hell – Part 12

June 30, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell – Part 12. This letter is a little out of sequence as I left a couple of letters at work thinking I would have time to transcribe them but did not. But being as there isn’t much of a back story except an alcoholic in jail, I am going to go ahead and let TDA put it out this week and correct the order later when they have all been done. I think there’s only one or two short letters missing in between. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series.

June 25, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

I hope this letter finds you both doing well. It was good seeing you Saturday. It’s late (10:30ish) Sunday evening and the TV has just been cut off. We are in lockdown for the night and about half of my cellmates have pulled the covers over their eyes. The lights have been dimmed but there is still enough light to read and write.


My friend T-bone is reading the Bible to my right. It’s the only book he reads. He has court on Wednesday and is a little nervous. To my left, three people are arguing loudly over a card game. Resting on the farthest bunk from me (about 12 feet away) is a new inmate laughing crazily at them. It is the forced nervous insane laugh of someone who is not all here. He is 18 and does not know how to act in here at all. I can predict with 90% percent certainty that someone will beat him up by mid-week. I am positive he has mental problems. It’s a shame, but I will welcome his beating if it will shut his mouth or better yet get him out of here.

Click “read more” to continue with the letter…

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Letters from Hell

Letters From Hell– Part 11

June 24, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.


Welcome to Letters from Hell Part 11. Click here to read all the prior installments of the series. Today is the 72nd day since I first started posting these letters to TDA’s website. I used an online calculator to come up with these statistics:

Duration calculation results

From and including: Saturday, September 29, 2007
To and including: Sunday, December 9, 2007

It is 72 days from the start date to the end date, end date included

Or 2 months, 11 days including the end date

Alternative time units

72 days can be converted to one of these units:

  • 6,220,800 seconds
  • 103,680 minutes
  • 1728 hours
  • 10 weeks (rounded down)

That’s about how long I was in the slammer. Actually I was in 76 days. I just wanted you to get a feel for how long (or short) that length of time is. Has anyone one read all the Letters from Hell since the beginning? Does it seem like a long time ago? I can assure you it seemed like an eternity in the Shelby County Correctional Facility.

June 18, 2006

Dear Dad, Sarah, Amy, James and Audrey,

Hello to everyone. I hope this letter finds all doing well. It was good seeing Dad and Paul yesterday. I hope my house sells and that everything goes smoothly with the movers. I truly wish I could help. I know I am very lucky to have Paul taking care of everything for me.

I was robbed yet again (the fifth time if anyone is keeping track), but this time it was kind of a trap to see if I could catch the person that keeps on stealing from me. On Friday mornings we always get the best breakfast of the week; two biscuits, gravy and a boiled egg. As you know, I don’t like boiled eggs, so I usually trade my egg in the morning for an extra biscuit. The boiled eggs are a delicacy here, because people will save them and pickle them by putting them in the juice of a “store bought” hot pickle. Friday morning I saved my egg and placed it in a used orange juice cup conspicuously at the end of my bunk. Unfortunately, I was once again foiled (between Saturday night and Sunday morning) and did not catch the thief.

Click "Read more" to continue the letter…

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Kombucha Tea No Excuse For Lindsay Lohan Living The Life-Less-Sober

June 20, 2010

The moment I saw that Whole Foods had pulled Kombucha drinks from its shelves for having elevated alcohol levels I envisioned the 90’s practicing alcoholic version of myself bolting to the store for a case of excuses. So it came as no surprise that later in the day I ran across this story about the […]

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Setting the Bar as the Goal

June 16, 2010

Suffering from tremors, facing repercussions and embarrassment from blackouts, and totally failing socially, professionally, and financially because of my drinking- in the early 90’s I had accepted the fact that I was an alcoholic and began efforts to become sober. In retrospect these attempts at sobriety were half hearted at best, but only now am […]

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Stop Trying to Drink Yourself into Sobriety

June 8, 2010

Thinking about sobriety? No one ever gets sober with a drink in hand, here’s two reasons why it’s absolutely necessary to put down the bottle and let the hurt begin. Drunkard’s megalomania: A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence. Ask any drunk, there is absolutely nothing beyond their reach… except […]

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Letters from Hell

Letters from Hell – Part 3

May 29, 2010

I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This is a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page, some of the language may be disturbing but I think it is important that the text remains unedited the way it was originally written from jail.

LTR

letters

Part 3

 

Welcome to the third installment of Letters from Hell. Things start to heat up a little in this letter as the first of many thefts and confrontations begin. I was a little worried about the racial content of the letter but have decided to post it as is. I hope I do not offend anyone. As you will see in later letters there is an equal amount of “badness” reflected in all the races within the jail. One thing that anyone who has been in a long-term stay in a correctional facility will tell you is that it is a very racially tense and segregated place. Everyone there has to pick a poison and there is really no choice. It’s just the way it is.

Click “Read more” to continue reading…

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Letters from Hell – Part 2

May 27, 2010

This is a special treat, I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This will be a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page.

letters

letter

Part 2

Welcome to the second in my series "Letters from Hell". Despite what TDA said in the prelude to Part I this one is not quite a doozy. More of a description of my surroundings again. There are some doozy letters that are coming up as the summer and jail got hotter and the inmate crowding escalated. I do introduce an inmate that will be the subject of many letters in the future – Detroit. As you may have guessed Detroit is from Detroit- aah the originality – he has a very sordid past of gang banging, drugs, and death.

May 18, 2006

Dear Paul and Nan,

Greetings from cell block A. I hope this letter finds you doing well. I am doing fine and staying out of trouble so far. I get my first “store” this week. That’s what they call items ordered from the commissary. I ordered me some real shoes – they are like white boat shoes – they cost $9. I also ordered 2 pairs of boxers, 2 pairs of socks, and a t-shirt. A fellow inmate gave me a thermal underwear top and so far that has been my prize possession. You wouldn’t believe how chilly it is in here. For food from the commissary I ordered 3 honey-buns, 7 orange juices, 2 beef-sticks, 1 pack of cookies, 2 packs of m&m’s, a ½ box of Club crackers, 3 bags of cheetos, 3 bags of jalapeno bites, and 2 bags of hard candy (root beer and jolly ranchers). I also ordered some soap, shampoo and deodorant.

Now the big thing will be to keep my “store” from being stolen. I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. Everyone in my cell has said they will look out for each others store, but I have been told there may be thieves among our own ranks.

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Letters from Hell

Letters from Hell – Part 1

May 25, 2010

This is a special treat, I want to thank Screedler for posting these Letters From Hell. This will be a weekly feature that I always promote to the front page. Please stayed tuned for part two, its a doozy!

Letters from Hell
letters
Part 1

As you may already know from my past postings, I spent 76 days in a county jail last year due to my addiction and actions. This is where I became sober; this is what finally gave me my longest period of sobriety in 30 years. Recently my family gave me a treasure trove of artifacts from my stay in jail – many letters that I wrote them during my incarceration. After speaking with TDA he asked me to share these letters with you and I will as a reminder of what I’ve been through because of drinking, a warning to those who are still drinking and what awaits them if they go down the path I and so many alcoholics have, and as a way of putting these letters to rest (maybe I’ll burn them after 5; no 10 years of sobriety), they are not something I would share with anybody without the protection of anonymity.

The following is the content of the first letter I sent, 10 days into my jail experience – I have only changed the names to protect the innocent (and not so innocent – including me):

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Regret, Recovery, and Rock and Roll

May 23, 2010

I had a down day in Cleveland last month and took advantage of the lull to check out the Rock and roll Hall of Fame. That’s me by Joan Jett’s Jaguar that’s displayed in the down stairs lobby. Let’s just pretend that I’m always a hep cat sporting the rat pack stylish head cover. That […]

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