It is a Problem when your New Idea becomes your Old Idea

kneelI’ve never been in so much visceral spiritual pain as I am tonight.

There is so much to say, and I want it to be coherent, so this might take a while.

Oprah says that “When God speaks to us, it is in a whisper, and if we don’t pick it up the first time, He whispers again, if we don’t pick it up the second time, He hits us in the back of the head with a two by four, if we ignore that hit, then He drops a Brick Wall on us …

Well, I missed the three attempts, and now the Brick Wall has fallen on me.

We’re Entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of Character…

This journey begins decades ago. It started with messages I heard, as a young man. From those messages, I made certain decisions, based on self preservation. I had begun to do this before I ever got sober, and before my alcoholism got into a full steam roll over.

In my life, in “sobriety” I made two more self preservation decisions. Decisions that I paid for dearly, which haunt me to this very night. When I did my Fourth Step I discussed these decisions with my sponsor to make sure they were not self centered decisions, and he clarified that no, they were self preservation decisions.

Ok, I can live with that truth.

I’ve carried a certain number of boulders on my shoulders for the whole of my life. I carried the drama of my family for my entire life. Problems that are not mine. Situations that were created by others, and NOT by me. For simple thought, I’ve been carrying this victim hood for the whole of my life, and it informed the decisions I made, and it has turned me into the seething pot of shit I have become over the last 72 hours.

I’ve been stuck on Step Six for months. Because my sponsor wanted me to be perfectly sure what I wanted to put on this list. And If I prayed enough and listened enough, that it would be made clear to me.

I’ve had a definite Moment of Clarity.

A clarity that is so clear, I am almost manic over it.

Many Many years ago the pain of not knowing began. Knowing I was gay, not having the ability to tell anyone for fear of my life. Moving away to be gay, and later getting sick, I have no one else to blame for that but ME. I never pointed a finger, because I only have hearsay evidence from one person about said issue. But I was a dirty filthy alcoholic.

Where alcohol is involved, all sense and sensibility flew out the window.

One particular day comes to mind. I can see it, smell it and I can relive it, as if it happened yesterday.

When I got sick I called a family meeting, and I did not get the response I so needed, and that discussion ended on a Christmas night months later, being humiliated by my father and mother in front of guests at a Christmas dinner.

I will never live that day down for as long as I live.

So In sobriety I made two crucial decisions that changed my life and brought me here to Montreal. I paid dearly for those decisions. I am now sober a lot longer now, than I was when I made those decisions.

The changes I made were merely cosmetic dressing. The family and blood line remains the same, but my parents would beg to differ. Once I made one fateful decisions, then another, in the end it was me who lost. The light switch was turned off and I’ve been in the dark for ages.

Self preservation …

You can’t change your family of origin, we are stuck with them.
Be careful the words you speak, because once you do, you cannot take them back
Blood is thicker than water.

Things I heard, from one side of a mouth, and hatred and homophobia coming from the other side of the same mouth.

Fuck me …

I am sober, but I am emotionally and spiritually sick.

Being told to leave a meeting and never come back in two separate meetings, the first and second time I got sober, did a number on me emotionally. I carry that shame and pain like a badge of courage. It has defined the way I see myself in relation to other sober people, even to this day.

It has infected me to the point of sickness. It taints my perception of every single heterosexual man I come in contact with. And has for the whole of this sober journey.

You cannot change another human being. And we cannot hold onto old ideas that someone is going to change as we expect them to. We cannot find the sunlight of the spirit if we are so blind, and relentless, vowing never to let it go and really get sober, after all this time.

I am carrying these boulders, and I am sick with an unrealistic expectation in the hopes that I will change the situation. I, Me, Me, Me …

A year ago this past weekend I went to my first men’s intensive weekend. I brought up old pain and tossed it on the table to see what the guys would say to me, when they found out who and what I was, and what sickness I was carrying. Shame … Fear, Guilt … Perception.

I was the odd ball.

Whisper one …

I worked through my steps that weekend, but came away amused and challenged.

For the next six months God would whisper.

In October of last year I attended my second men’s intensive. Same folks, same steps, but the pain became acute. But not enough to get me to act on it.

I got hit by the two by four. No response on my part.

Seven months later, this past weekend, I attended my third men’s intensive weekend.

This weekend there were three fruits in the proverbial basket. But it seemed that I was the only odd ball in the bunch once again. I felt that way, I said nothing, I let that fester all weekend, and it tainted the entire weekend experience, into visceral pain.

I listened to speakers talk, I listened to guys share, and I shared as well. This went on all weekend.

The disease of alcoholism is a disease of perception.

Let me tell you, my perception has been skewed for a long time. Because of old ideas, old pain, unrequited expectations, anger, frustration and RAGE…

I felt all weekend long, like I was sitting in left field all by myself, because of how others did or did not interact with me all weekend.I watch people with a morbid fascination to see what they will or won’t say, whether they break bread with me, or even have a conversation with me, simply.

And by the end of this mornings meetings, all I wanted to do was run. We could hot have left any earlier, but that’s what I wanted.

I was so emotionally sick by noon today, it was turning my stomach. The ride out and the ride back, more than 300 miles to and from, was excruciating. There are just some people who get on my nerves, and I can’t stand to be in the same room with them. Let alone stuck in a car for an indeterminate amount of time, going to someplace I’ve never been, to hang with a group of men, some I knew, many I did not.

When I shared, I shared things I heard, in the past from other drunks getting sober. Things I do in sobriety today.

My spiritual sister tells me tonight that I wasn’t sharing I was lecturing. And I got it.

Nobody wants to be told what to do, especially an alcoholic.

But that’s what this entire weekend was, a primer in what to do, how to do it and why. The messages were the same.

It was the delivery that mattered.

When we got around to steps eight and nine,

Made a list of all the persons we had harmed and, and became willing to make amends to them all. And made direct amends to such people where ever possible except when to do so would injure them or others.

The words: Parent, Father and Mother came up, in regards to amends and everybody was off and running. I went from calm and sedate to manic rage in about three seconds.


The brick wall fell on me.

I guess I was in enough pain to feel something. I went through the roof, I spilled my guts in the meeting, nobody said anything to me after that meeting. After that meeting I sat with an older gay man who was there, who happens to live here, and we discussed the boulder.

That was just the beginning.

It all came to fruition on the way home.

My sponsor driving the car, one of his sponsees, (read: the man I cannot stand) sitting shotgun, one of his sponsees and myself in the back seat.

Trapped !!!

They ignored me all the way home. One would not shut up the entire way home. He calls my sponsor COB. (read: Chris Old Boy)

Can I tell you how many times I heard him say that phrase all weekend? Or how many crude and stupid jokes he told ad nauseum.

Oh My God, I wanted to throw him out of the car, and we were so relieved when we dropped him off finally.

Before we left, we were warned that:
It might not hit you right away and it might hit you later, or it just might hit you like a ton of bricks when you least expect it.

I was mere hours away from critical mass.

After an intensive, they recommended that we go home and hit a meeting to Decompress.

I did that.

I got home with thirty minutes to spare. I unpacked and changed, charged my phone, packed my bag with what I needed, grabbed the umbrella and set off.

My head was spinning like a washing machine on HIGH Spin Cycle.

My chest was heavy and I was angry, resentful and almost in a rage.

Do you know what they did to ME?

Do you know how I feel?

Do you want to know what I think?

I asked someone else to be my new sponsor the other night. That might have been a tad bit premature.

My friend, tonight, showed me the pattern of cut and run that I am so adept at doing.She showed me the pattern of old ideas I was still carrying almost fourteen years into sobriety. It might seem I have all my shit together, yet I could be so spiritually sick. She showed me the pattern of God trying to get my attention in the repetition of those pattern she paid out.

I am holding on to this grudge, this pain, this shame, and this anger and rage so hard, and that I have little faith in my God that He would remove these things from me.

Oh Ye of Little Faith …

She offered me her God to supplement my lack of faith in my God.

Patterns that are etched in stone on my heart. Old ideas ensconced in my soul. Ideas that I have harbored for decades. Fantasies of getting even and having my say finally, once and for all, words I want to say, people I want to rage at for personal parental injustice, years of ignoring me like I did not exist. For hating who I became by no fault of my own.

I did not chose this life, it happened the way it did.

I would not change but a few little details in my history and my life story.

I am alive. I am sober. I survived, Don’t you know who I am? Or Don’t you want to know who I am today? You’ve been ignoring me for decades. I have a narrative in my head that I have spent my entire life, fleshing out, based on stories, evidence, study and family.

This two ton boulder has been hanging around my neck and God has been trying to get me to pay attention and see it. Today I am in enough pain to see it.

Have I been paying lip service to prayer and meditation? I don’t think so. But I haven’t been very forthcoming to God about removing this from me, because it is such a deep and heavy boulder, that if I let it go, what will happen, who will I become?

What is going to happen?


I have an appointment to complete Step Six Tomorrow.