PAWS, Coffee Shops, and Superman

I’ve written about Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) and how it can last anywhere from six months to two years. Lord, I’m hoping for the former. I’m still quite in the thick of it, but it comes and goes.



Yesterday was strange but overall good, and I ended the evening with a meeting at my home group. As always, I left feeling better. I zipped back home, had a cup of coffee and a piece of apple pie (yum) and off to bed I went.

This morning was fairly routine: got the kids up, made them breakfast, fiddled around the house, and drove to work, listening to Iggy Azalea, an artist I never expected to like. I got to my first class and gave out a test…and that’s when the “sense of impending calamity” struck.

Perhaps you’re familiar with that sense of dread. Bill W., co-founder of AA, talks about it in “Bill’s Story.” Here’s the quote in context. I added the bold to the quote itself:

One day I walked into a cafe to telephone. In no time I was beating on the bar asking myself how it happened. As the whisky rose to my head I told myself I would manage better next time, but I might as well get good and drunk then. And I did.

The remorse, horror and hopelessness of the next morning are unforgettable. The courage to do battle was not there. My brain raced uncontrollably and there was a terrible sense of impending calamity. I hardly dared cross the street, lest I collapse and be run down by an early morning truck, for it was scarcely daylight. An all night place supplied me with a dozen glasses of ale. My writhing nerves were stilled at last. A morning paper had told me the market had gone to hell again. Well, so had I. The market would recover, but I wouldn’t. That was a hard thought. Should I kill myself? No-not now. Then a mental fog settled down. Gin would fix that. So two bottles, and-oblivion.

 From “Bill’s Story,” Alcoholics Anonymous

There’s nothing on the horizon to cause me dread except, you know, life without drinking. I’m also getting used to going through my night without my rehab support group, though it was heartening to see two of my friends from rehab at the meeting last night.

One thing that helps me and that I look forward to all week is going to my favorite coffee shop on Friday mornings. I love the atmosphere and the coffee and also the fact that it’s not crowded in the morning. There are usually a handful of people, quietly conducting their business on laptops or reading books. In other words, it’s perfect for an introvert.

Shifting gears rather dramatically now to the subject of power posing and Superman. As some of you know, I’m a teacher at a college (English and humanities) and I have my English students do a weekly writing assignment on a variety of topics. This week, I chose an article I came across about power posing. My students scratched their heads when I talked about it, and then they were speechless when I played John Williams’ theme from Richard Donner’s Superman and struck a power pose of my own.

Sadly, I didn't look like this.

Sadly, I didn’t look like this.

I told my students that I would strike a power pose for two minutes between now and Saturday, which is when their assignment is due. Will it help? Maybe. I’m willing to give it a shot. Anyone want to join me in this? Anyone? No? Oh, well.

Carry on, sober people….


About Robert Crisp

Just a lad who likes to create.
This entry was posted in AA, addiction, alcoholism, early sobriety, recovery, sobriety, treatment, Twelve Steps, withdrawal and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to PAWS, Coffee Shops, and Superman

  1. I hadn’t seen that Ted talk. I’m giving it a whirl. Superwoman. That’s the one.


  2. New to your blog thanks for sharing.
    btw I am in for power posings


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