Friday: You’re Smart, Figure it out

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My friends seem to think that I have the answers I need, inside. Several friends have suggested I find someone (outside) the room to talk to. Which I have done already.

I know what is going on with me, right now. I said it on the way home.

They say, that prior to your sober anniversary, usually at the thirty-day mark out, the rat gets on the wheel, and that wheel spins at 100 miles per hour.

We call it The Pre- Cake Roller Coaster.

Those of us with time, can usually diagnose this in our friends, coming up the pike.

It is obvious to me tonight, that the rat has been on the wheel in my head for weeks now. It’s self-centered behavior I am exhibiting. I am consumed with people, places and things.

Over the last eighteen months I’ve sat in several rooms, and watched people react to my emotional insanity. And I see how my “so-called friends” treat me in meetings.

I hate people. Well, some of them.

I don’t know why I care about what people think of me. I should know better, yet I don’t.

My friend, on the way home, said to me that … He reminds me that I have all this time, and that I should know better. I have the answers, I just need someone with TIME, serious TIME, to bounce my ideas off of.

Old behavior, Old ways, still rear their ugly head. Because when I got sober, this time around, I had people, connected to me, all the time, like around the clock. Which only lasted so long.

Old timers, some of them, have proven to me that:
You might have the time, but you certainly are not sober.

Tonight, good friends celebrated anniversaries. One of them, my long sober lady friend, took her THIRTY year chip tonight. THIRTY years are a BIG chunk of time.

There are a couple of other men, who are up there, but not THAT FAR up there yet. Good men, who know me, and talk to me, whenever we find time to chat before the Thursday meeting.

I need to tap a few wells, that I have not yet tapped in that capacity.

My driver friend also said that, I need to refocus my eyes and get selfish for the sake of my sobriety. Meetings are important, and allowing people and personalities to affect where I go and with whom I associate with, has tarnished my spiritual program.

I need to go to meetings and FUCK ALL everyone else in the room. I need to go, in spite of assholes and elbows.

I have TIME.

Well fought for TIME.

Fuck what everyone else thinks.

I know how hard I worked and what has happened to me mentally, emotionally and spiritually over the last eighteen months. Nobody can take that away from me. That is MY OWN solid sober experience. I just HATE the way people have treated me.

But I also know that people are going to do what they are going to do, in spite of how I expect them to be, which is saying A LOT for my own EXPECTATIONS …

Expectations are Resentments waiting to happen.

Sometime I am such a stupid idiot. I should know all this shit, but I forget. Which is why I go to meetings, and have friends who will point out my ass-hole-ness back to me.

I love my friends, because they tell me straight what I need. And I have more time than they do, yet, my friends are wise in ways I am not.

I know what I want. I know what I need to do.

And we heard those words tonight from our other celebrant …

RESTLESS, IRRITABLE, AND DISCONTENT …

I need to practice prayer and meditation, further than what I have been doing, because that’s the only way I can still the rat in my head at night. I can’t sleep at night, and when I do, I have these horrible drinking and using dreams. UGH !!!

I’m too old for this shit. I should know better.

I have some time. A lot more time, than some of those people who IRK me to DEATH. And I don’t have as much time as some of those men who IRK me to DEATH too.

And I know that I sure as shit don’t want to be old and miserable as they are. I am sure as shit on this. I’ve spent sixteen years compiling data on my friends, like I have said.

I know what I want and what I need to be. I just need to get selfish and fuck all everybody else. Some are sicker than others.

And that is the God’s Honest Truth.

A side story … Tonight’s A.B.S.I. reading talked about the Tornado.

When we were out there, drinking and using, we all have our own Tornado stories. I heard a number of them tonight. And I have my own story on this theme.

When I was in my early twenties, I was working in a travel agency that not only booked travelers to exotic places around the world, we also drank like fish, every day, all day. And we even took flights to exotic places, so that we could drink on the plane, there and back.

I did not get the “You better get sober memo.” many of those people did, unbeknownst to me. I did not learn this truth for some time.

My father and thrown me out of the house because I did something stupid, DRUNK, in his home. I moved in with a lady friend, who had an empty house, and lots of room. So I rented a room from her, until I became a character in the back of the Big Book.

I had a room, and I paid rent. Until I began drinking my rent money away.

Gloria, got sober.

Or more to the point, was getting sober, while I lived under her roof, as an active alcoholic. I was working for a cruise line by then, so we weren’t in the same office any longer, but we lived together.

Until One Fateful Night …

I had been out all night, came home drunk. The locks had been changed and her son was waiting up for me. I tried my key and it wasn’t working. He opened the door and told me that I could NOT come in and sleep nor change my clothes. He sent me away with sodden clothes and I lived off a friends sofa for two weeks while I made back my rent money.

What I did not know then …

When I got my next paycheck, I went and paid my back rent, and moved out. Which began an odyssey that last almost two years.

James committed suicide on my watch. Then I was diagnosed with AIDS a year after.

When James died, in April of 1993, I was working for Todd, where I eventually got sober about 45 days after my diagnosis in August of 1994.

I worked for Todd for two years, until he moved to San Francisco.

I quit the bar, a few weeks later, and my DJ friend Bill, got me a gig working at a club in Miami. I packed up and moved from Fort Lauderdale to Miami, approaching my third year of sobriety.

One day I went to a lunch meeting in the South Miami Club room.

That day I walked into the room, WHO was sitting at one of the tables ?

Gloria …

She had been sober about five years now. I was heading for three.

I had NO idea that I was that DRUNK tornado running through her life, as she was in the infancy of her sobriety. I had no idea. And I had to make one serious Amend to her right then and there.

We really do not know what we do to others while we were drinking and using.

Another long sober man I know well, spoke about that as well tonight.

A while back, he was sitting on the sofa with his wife, he was early sober. And he looked at her that night and said …

“You know, all that shit I did when I was drinking, I’m sorry.”

She looked at him and said

“You really don’t know WHAT you are saying Sorry For !”

It did not come to him for many more sober years, what damage he had done to his wife and kids. Last year, during the Montreal Blizzard, that crippled the city for days, he was stuck at home watching Net Flicks.

They were watching a certain movie, with the main character being a sodden drunk mess. And for the whole of the movies, he watched this Tornado of a Man run rough shod through the lives of his family.

It was only then that he realized just how much pain he had caused his kids and his wife.

Lorna Kelly talks about this fact of her life:

Only those with some serious Double Digit sober time, do we realize just how miserable, alone and lonely we were. It only comes with some serious long sober work and reflection, do we finally, really GET IT.

My friend is seriously long sober now. He got it, Finally.

I cannot begin to understand the depth of that statement yet. Because I am almost halfway down that same road myself.

Anne Rice talks about her vampires. I know her and all of her stories. Lorna also relates this story too. Anne Rice’s vampires, the truly OLD ONES, they get it, they understand the depth of sadness, loneliness and misery. Anne’s vampires have very human qualities.

ONLY WITH SERIOUS LONG SOBER TIME DO WE FINALLY UNDERSTAND THE DEPTHS OF OUR ALCOHOLISM.

Lorna still speaks to us from the grave, as long as we listen to her talk.

I listened to her again today.

Was that ODD or was that GOD ?

I would like to believe it was GOD.

Is that ODD or Is that God ?

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For the second time in two weeks, whilst I was traveling about, today, my music shuffle landed on Lorna Kelly’s share at the West island Round Up in May of 2012.

Shifting from Music to a Pod Cast, on my I Phone usually never happened before, ever. For some oddly Godly reason, Lorna came to me in a whisper, again, I wrote about it when it occurred the first time.

Odd that Bob’s share from that same event, never comes up in rotation, but for some oddly Godly reason, she came up again today.

Last night was a hot mess. I’ve been keeping what’s going on with me outside of the house for such a long time, and after deciding I was no longer going to go to places where people are mean and hateful towards me, I was going to nap for the evening, like we usually do, but as it happened, I had an emotional meltdown in front of Hubby.

Not Pretty at all.

There are two Ted Talks I enjoy watching. One is called “The Fuck It List,” by Scott Jones. The other is “The Magic of not giving a FUCK,” by Sarah Knight.

At what point, in sobriety, are you able to say with certainty, that you don’t need a particular meeting, or that you don’t need to hang out with particular groups of people?

That is up for debate. Because even if you cut a meeting here or there, you still have to go to meetings, whether you like it or not. They are our bread ad butter of life.

There is a pattern to my meeting meltdowns, and people, places and things.

Over the whole of my sobriety, I’ve always been connected to a meeting, or several meetings. And I get situated at a meeting, do some service, and usually, as is the case, my capacity to endure meeting drama and bullshit has lessened over the years.

Alcoholics are only good for a limited amount of shelf life, until they either do something stupid or they say something stupid.

As a Gay, heterosexual men, fall n this category, all the time. The stupid, My dick is bigger than your dick, or my knowledge of hockey is the greatest, and / or I am SOOOO Sober, you’ll never be like me, routine.

I can smell an ego maniac at fifty paces. And there are certain men, of my acquaintance, that just rub me like spiritual sandpaper.

People piss me off – and I walk away from them. People are resentful that I was critical about them in the past, and many of them carry those resentments around their neck like jewelry. Over the years people have formed their opinions and to this day, many of them carry them and would rather hate and ignore me, rather than talk to me and find out what makes me tick. Not that I spared them that info at certain discussion meetings and certainly while we were reading the Big Book on Monday.

Several times I used the word FUCK in my shares, and that really got gasps from the crowd. People were like, Yup, there is something definitely wrong with Him !!!

I guess you can say that right now, there are a handful of people who are rubbing me like spiritual sandpaper. I don’t like it, but there is a lesson there for us.

This is what jumped out of her talk to day for me because this is right where I am at the moment.

We talk about peeling the onion in sobriety, Lorna likes to think of it as a LOTUS flower, that sits on a pad in the mud. It unfurls its petals all beautiful, and everything is there, the good, the bad, the ugly, the resentful and angry, the suicidal tendencies, all of it – along with all the good. The compassion, the loving, the generosity, and the gratitude.

Lorna talks about going to meetings. and how at times she FELT the most hateful, resentful, suicidal, or more angry in A.A. At the same time she felt more compassionate more loving, more generous and more grateful.

The negatives are all there, and so are the positives.

All those things are part of me, and I NEED to know those feelings, so that I can say

I know how you feel, let me tell you how I dealt with that.

The thing about US is that we have been to hell and are on the way back out of Hell.

We know how we feel, at least I do. And I am not shy about saying to someone that, You’ve done all this shit over and over, when are you going to sort yourself out, for God’s sake ?

We have a three fold disease. Mental – Physical – Spiritual … All three areas need attention all the time. If you don’t cover ALL your bases, you are on slippery ground, Lorna said. You cannot ignore one save for the other two or the other one.

  • Mental
  • Physical
  • Spiritual

Elder Spencer and I spoke last night, and we talked about gifts.

He said to me and I quote …

He said that I was like a mirror. While he was here in Montreal we spoke all the time. And I learned about him and he learned about me. When he went home, there was a two month period where we had lost communication, and his life turned upside down.

The very first night, that we talked together on Hang Out, I spoke to him in truth and told him what I had seen, in what he had just told me about that portion of his journey, and I was able t mirror back to him what he really needed to hear.

Today, he is all the better, every week that we talk, that I get to mirror back to him, what he is doing and what needs to change, and what he needs to do.

And he does the same for me. He truly has many gifts as a young person.

Hubby said to me last night, that maybe I needed to keep my mouth shut and just go to a meeting, listen, participate and then LEAVE. Don’t stop for conversation and don’t give your two cents all the time. (Which I don’t really, unless someone asks me)

There are young people I know, that I strike up conversations with after a meeting because I want to know them and I want them to know me, not that I have anything to offer, generally, but you never know when a connection is going to pay out …

Most of those older queers and other folks who hate me, wouldn’t know feelings if they dropped on them like pigeon shit. And many of them wouldn’t know honesty if it bit them in the ass.

I study my friends and fellows like science projects. I am really good at that being university trained and educated. Knowing my history of wanting to know all the nitty gritty details of someone’s life.

Hell, I did that as a kid when I was a boy. I knew ALL of my family secrets by the time I was twelve years old for God’s sake.

I am angry. I am resentful. And I am Hateful.

Now that those feelings and emotions were brought up by Lorna’s share. I can see them now, and I know them. And I know what to do with them.

People are going to do what they do, even if I say something or I say nothing.

Like I said, most people don’t like my brutal honesty or as the book calls it:

RIGOROUS HONESTY …

But that’s the way the cookie crumble I guess.

Love me or Hate me, this is who I am in sobriety at this point of the journey.