This I Know is True

There is a God, and I am NOT God.

I am pondering God, this morning, because in a few hours time, I will kneel with a woman and pray the Third Step with her, formally, for her first run.

And as for prayer, and God, I know, that I Know God. Intimately. If you have been following along for a while, you know the story of Todd:read:God. God has been a presence in my life, for all of my life.

Many times, along the continuum I walked with God, intimately.

Then there were times, when I turned my back on God, because of my selfishness and self centered-ness. And paid for those character defects terribly.

Eighteen years on, in a few months, I have renewed my spirit. I’ve been sober all this time, and I have learned a great deal about myself, and those I care about. A handful of honest men, tell me the truth, and I respect them greatly for their honesty.

When Todd walked into my life, as a thunderous God, he turned my life upside down, from the very first moment I set eyes on him. He did not disappoint. When he took me in when I got sick, and asked me to simply trust him, with everything I had, I knew he was true.

Every night, for two years, on my knees we knelt together while I sobbed in his arms, because I was so sick, and was destined to die, miserably, like so many others.

His promise to me was simple, as long as I was on his watch, he would do everything he could to keep me alive. Twenty Five Years Later, I still tell this story because he was true.

Todd is true; God is True;. He saved me from imminent death.

Every night, I turned my will and my life over to the care of Todd:read:God. I was getting sober at that time, but sobriety took a back seat to staying alive, in the middle of the maelstrom of AIDS. I did stay sober, despite the toxic AA community I was associated with, and it did not get better, but worse. In the end, I walked out the door, to almost die in selfish pursuits.

Another God shot saved me. Because one angel knew where I was a got me out of dodge and saved my life.

I know, intimately, what the Third Step is, and what it means.

I am now ready to serve God in any capacity He sees fit to give me.

I’ve turned my entire life over to Him, there is not a single part of me that is not standing in the light right now. I made a commitment to my God, a commitment that took me six months to finally get. Six months of inner battling with my darkest demon, ended.

I made the final commitment of chastity to my God.The final piece of my darkest puzzle is now in the light. there is nothing left to hide, nothing to keep secret.

I turned my will and my life over to the care of God, as I understand Him, fully, without reservation or regret. I know where I am going, and what voice I am listening to, in my innermost heart of hearts.

There is true faith. When you get sober, you learn what kind of spirituality you want, because it is your free choice to make that decision. God, as you understand Him. God can be many things to many people. For as many people there are in our community, there is a belief in something that is aiding in keeping us all sane and sober.

It must be miraculous, because I know a lot of down and outers, who are sane, sober and are good people, both men and women.

So I listen to my heart, and I speak to God in whispers. And I wait for what He is going to show me or ask me to do, and I will do whatever He commands of me, whenever need be.

As a teen ager, I made a commitment, to Jesus, to follow Him, and be a soldier for God. That was untenable. The climate was too toxic for a teen ager to carry through with that commitment. Now more than 37 years later, I follow through with that commitment, because I was reminded of a time when I was young, clean, happy, and really, a different human being. Music is salvation.

Lying in my bed, my inner music player, started playing an old tune I remembered. So I came to my I tunes and downloaded two records, which are on my phone now, that I listen to constantly. Reminders of Christianity as a young person, and I was reminded of my promise to Jesus, God, to serve them.

I made that promise to God a few weeks earlier, when I made my final chastity covenant with God. And He followed through with Grace.

Now I am clean. Totally, without reservation. I have no regrets.

There is a choice to be made when we approach the Third Step:

God either IS or He Isn’t. God is Everything or He is Nothing !

What was our choice to be ? It comes right out of the book. It actually speaks these words to us at the end of We Agnostics.

I know God is true. God IS and He is Everything.

I walk in the light as I had as a young man. Faith is my salvation. God is my redeemer. And the maker of my life, and has for my whole life, but most importantly these past twenty five years, when I know God was on my side, because I live, and can tell the story about how I survived imminent death, when everybody else that was around me is long dead.

Only two of us survived that maelstrom. Mark, my friend who lives in Florida, who worked with me, in Todd’s bar, all those years ago, and myself.

He had his path to salvation and I had mine. I had the ace up my sleeve, Todd:read:God.

Had there been no Todd, there would not have been any God. And I would be long dead now. Thankfully, God became incarnate and walked with me, spoke to me, and gave me a life I surely did not imagine even possible, because if you told me then, how good my life would be today, I would have laughed you off the planet.

God Is Good, God is True.

This I know is True.

Sometimes you Must tell the Truth

At some point in sobriety, you learn that your experience, observations of others, and the way people behave, or act, plays out to the point that one must speak a truth. At some point, what you know, to that point, plays well with what you have learned in sobriety.

For me, I never knew if I met those qualifications…

I never thought I had anything of substance to say that mattered. And for many years, I always second guessed what I wanted to say, in regards to the community I am going to share words, within.

I’ve said before that, I never knew, if I “Had it” to give, because I got no feedback from anyone from either direction, as in, a positive criticism, or a negative criticism. People would rather tell me what they think about my clothing, or my collar, or the color of my underwear. Not that anyone can see my underwear, but that was one comment I’ve gotten.

In the last year or two, I had added the Monday and Tuesday night meeting. Both full of young people, early in sobriety. Both communities are experiencing growing pains when it comes to sexual tension, and the broadening of the sexual spectrum. I have chosen to stay out of that battle for my own sanity.

Beginners meetings, they tell us, are important, for our own goods, because it reminds us of where we have been, in order to share experience, strength and hope with those coming up the pike. I get that.

But at some point, one has to look out for ones mental health, sanity and personal well being. And painful as it is to say, I’ve outgrown my willingness to sit in a room filled with misery, and having to sit with kids who are in trouble, miserable, though, don’t want a solution, because they need to learn their lessons the hard way, because we cannot save everyone. And nobody is listening to a single thing I have said recently.

We read How It Works day in and day out, meeting after meeting. We work steps, over and over. And you never know what you are going to get from me, at any given meeting. But recently, I had a five minute rant, stream of consciousness.

And I spoke the God’s Honest Truth, Rigorous Honesty.

Today, I had a conversation with another friend who heard my share last week, and told me to my face, how bothered he was by my truth telling, that it rubbed him the wrong way. But after he left that particular meeting, took home what I had said, and thought about it further, and decided that what I had done was right. That, in the end, he agreed with me.

Most of my friends agree with my honest appraisal of people.

I am powerless over people, places, and things.

I had a conversation with the men, at my men’s group earlier tonight, and I got some help. They all know, true to form, that we only learn, and grow, when we stop making the same mistakes. My men are honest men. They tell me the truth. And I know, how long it took them to “Get it.” and “Grow up.” and “Get Sober.”

At this point, I live in the solution. And I share that solution with the folks who want to partake of that solution. Right from The Book.

You can only sit in a room full of misery and woe for so long, before the pain of listening to that misery and woe, gets to be too much. Old timers sit in meetings like that and say to themselves, “God, I’m so glad I am not them any longer…” And yes, I’ve said that to myself before as well.

I’ve grown enough to know what I can do, and how I can do any one thing. I know my friends, miss me when I don’t hit a regular meeting, I got that tonight from a lady friend who noticed I was absent Tuesday night. And I told her why I was absent. My reasoning troubled her. But it is what it is.

I have better things to do right now, than spend my profitable hours sitting in holes of misery. I’m too old for this shit. And I have better things to do. If people want my help, they know where to find me, and how to reach me. Because I am all over the city, every God damned week. I am a clockwork service hound.

You either want to get well, or you don’t. You either decide you really want to grow up, or remain the person you are, and fight the process tooth and nail. I’m tired of watching people suffer and share about it over and over. I have better things to do with my time.

You can only stay so young or so dumb, until it stops working for you.

We all must grow up at some point. You can either hang on for dear life, or you can let go and let God.

When you are ready to grow up, let me know.

Locktober is coming

Here is your chance to get some Locktober swag from Tee Spring. If you are joining the movement of locked boys and men, order your swag today and wear it with Pride during the month of October.

My Sweatshirt arrived today in the post. Along with some Nike Color Burst Tights. Finally, they appeared on Ebay. You could not find them anywhere but in the U.S in shops that would not ship to Canada. I picked up a Blue/Black set for good money.

I am beginning to collect warm weather gear for the Fall/Winter Season. Temps are going down into (Tens) this week, but daily temps are ranging in the mid to high twenties.

Lock it up continues. I did some solder work last night, to further secure my Rage Cage, even further. And added some rubber bumper tubing over the solder area, so that it is not rubbing up against my stomach below the belt line.

October 11th will be one month in my Rage Cage. I can’t tell you how pleased I am with this particular cage choice. The weight, feel, and look of the cage is great.

More to come.

Re-Orientation Part 2

I wrote about the Fall/Winter re-orientation the other day. Today begins my own. After last weeks meltdown and discussions with other old timer friends, I have decided to delete certain meetings from my schedule going forwards.

Sunday remain, at the Old Brewery Mission, Monday and Tuesday, I will be off for two days, dropping both Monday Central and Tuesday Beginners, both full of kids, and both full of newcomers and slippers. I cannot sit in rooms of strife and misery any longer.

Between the arguments between the kids over pronouns and gender qualifications, and the battle between the non-binaries and Trans folks, and the constant revolving door habits of so many of our kids, I just can’t partake in their strife and misery any longer.

Many old timers are saying the same. If you don’t want the solution, and you want to constantly live in your problems, and you surely are not talking to me (read:us) then why bother ? I’ve been sober long enough to know my emotional and mental limits, as to how much misery I can stand on any give night.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday remain the same. Since I am doing service and opening and making coffee all three nights. it pays to have church keys on my key ring.

For the time being, 4 meetings will be my max limit through Fall and Winter. Since I have keys, I won’t have to wait outside when temps drop and it begins to snow.

I’ve got several irons in the fire right now, and working with others, has become my primary focus as of late. I work steps and read the Big Book with a lady friend on Thursday mornings. I have a new fellow I am in conversations with. And my regular cohort of guys remains constant.

We go into Fall/Winter anniversaries in a few weeks. God willing, Juan will hit his five years on November 11th, and I will hit 18 years in December. Oddly, I have to work almost an entire calendar year before I take my chip. A whole 11 months to work out the issues I hit the year prior, and to work on my steps for a while.

Working steps in the fall of each year is a good schedule. Because we read the book, and do some step work, then have some (real time) practical application of what was brought up on the last pass.

I ratcheted up my prayers, and my meditation is getting stronger. Albeit, meditation is never a perfect process for me. But I have been able to amend my prayers to include some new forms of prayer. I have 3,7, and 11 next to my computer, and I have some meditation practice on my phone. There are some good apps for that as well.

They say that prayer changes everything. And every time we pray we ratchet up our spiritual practice and our lives do get better. On Universal Time.

Fall has been pushed off for another week here. As temps are going to be in the high twenties for the next week and a few days. It’s gonna be a warm week, as the weather people said last night.

Where leaves are turning in other places and provinces, we have not hit the all important cold snap to goad the trees into turning just yet. But a good Fall, would be nice. We’ve had several shitty Fall turnings over the past few years, where leaves just fall from trees, without turning, or we get shit faded colors that don’t burst with color.

We’ll see what Mother Nature has for us this year.

We need that first really cold snap to hit first.

More to come.

Major Surgical Procedure

The problem with metal base rings is this … You see this base ring comes with a partial rubber bumper tubing covering the joint at the bottom of the ring. What I did not count on, was the metal ring, cutting into my skin around the top of the ring. Which was causing me grief.

I noticed it today when I went to shower.

I had to perform a surgical removal of said cage, by removing the solder, and unscrewing the locking mechanism first. It was not that terrible. The solder popped off with the assistance of a wrench, and I was able to remove the cage. I had rubber bumper tubing in my storage box, that I was using for the base rings for the Bon-4 cage, I had used prior.

I took the rubber bumper tubing and slid it onto the Rage Cage base ring, and it went all the way around the ring. I made several attempts to re-solder the end of the bolt set up, failing miserably, and causing myself even more grief. The wide metal solder I was using was not adhering to the bolt/nut end.

The soldering gun was generating heat into the ring itself, which raised the heat level almost to unbearable temperatures. Trying to solder a locking mechanism that conducts heat while you are wearing it, needs to be done “very carefully” so you don’t intentionally burn yourself, where it counts.

I had another metal solder spool in my tool box, a much smaller grade solder wire, that I was able to use successfully.

Should have thought about before:

  1. Metal Base Rings will chafe. And if they are cut in a specific way, they will tear skin at the contact point with the body, above the groin where the ring meets the body.
  2. A partial rubber bumper tube needs to be much longer and cover the entire ring, around from end to end.
  3. If you are using a metal base ring, it needs to be buffered, because long term usage will depend on a comfortable fit.
  4. Soldering between your legs has to be done very gingerly and carefully.
  5. Metal on Metal conducts heat around the entire set up. Have wet washcloth standing by.

Mission Accomplished.

Fall Re-Orientation

On Friday night, it got really dark, earlier than everybody was expecting. Here in Canada, it is beginning to get dark earlier and earlier. And with DST coming, it will be dark by 4 p.m. in the afternoon soon.

And this change coming, I associate with the Fall/Winter reorientation for meetings. From now, until the end of October, I am telling my guys, and everybody else who listens to me, that people will begin to reassess where they will be going through the next few months.

As it begins to get colder an then snow begins to fall, people will really get funky. Every year it is the same. As the cold begins, people will figure out how much time they will spend above ground, trekking from home to either a bus stop OR the Metro. How long they will have to wait for a connection, then how much time they will spend trekking from point B to a meeting. And the same time period going back home in the other direction.

I am guilty of this myself.

There are particular meetings, situated in locations that one has to walk a fair distance to reach a Metro Kiosk, or to catch a bus, that will, in the end bring you to that same location, and back again. So walking and waiting is an issue for me. Because last year, sitting outside a church waiting for someone to open the hall is a pain in the ass. And then after the meeting having to walk to either point A, a bus stop, or point B, the Metro becomes a pain.

And I won’t wait outside a church for someone to saunter up whenever they like to open while it is (-20c) outside and windy. I just won’t do it.

Which is why I have keys to all the meetings I go to now.

I open early, well early for anyone to show up, EARLY. I don’t have to wait outside, Period!!!

I can open and close quite easily. On Sunday the Brewery Mission is always open, I don’t have to wait outside. The coffee is always ready when we get there, provided by the house to us. It is on the Metro line, just 5 stops up from home, and a short walk through the tunnel down to the metro, a 5 minute walk.

If it really snows, people won’t show up. But if you dangled a beer in front of them, yes, they would show up. Funny that …

As Winter progresses, only the die hard alcoholics come out for meetings, but you find on Christmas and New Years, people come out in droves. Christmas is always a great meeting, because we’ve had upwards of 30 to 40 people show up for a Christmas meeting. Which is why we Always are open on Christmas. One, for those who need it, if they are alone, and Two, because being with family is always a stress-er.

When Spring arrives and the first Resto opens the first terrace, outside, the story is always the same. Folks who have been suffering cabin fever get on their bikes, and go for a spin. As usual, they get hot and sweaty, and then they get thirsty. And what eventually happens, Every Year …

They roll by a terrace, with tables and chairs, they sit down at a table and what do they do?

THEY DRINK …

The story is always the same, with the SAME people, every year, I can predict it like clockwork.

If you are an alcoholic and you go to meetings, now it the time when you re-assess where you will go. Find the meetings you like, and get Serious. Commit to the meetings you will hit from NOW until Spring. make that a priority. You don’t want to get caught up in the

“Oh it’s too cold, or I don’t wanna go out in the cold syndrome.”

Hitting meetings is serious business in the Winter. Don’t be a lazy asshole.

Make your Fall/Winter meetings a top priority. Commit and then stick to that plan, come hell or high water, or cold and deep snow.

If you drank in the Winter, you can hit a meeting in the Winter. There is no excuse to slack up on your program. Staying sober in the Winter is tough and rough. I have now warned you of what’s to come.

Stick, Stay and Remain Sober. Now is the time to sort out your meeting schedule. It might save your life or the life of another. We show up, so others will show up. We make sure rooms are open all over the holiday season just for YOU.

Make use of them.

Don’t be an idiot.

Permanent Chastity Day 3

I know this topic is not what you want to read, and I’ve lost a few readers since I began posting these updates. It is what it is. This is the one location that I can record my thoughts and writings about all things ME.

I received my Rage Cage on Wednesday afternoon, and wore it in regular fashion, with my primary lock, locking the device incorrectly, because the lock provided was too small and it aggravated me.

Thursday after work, I went to the tire to find a solution, because the pin provided was not taking solder. So I needed a fix. I settled on bolts and nuts to solve my locking problem. I used a solid bolt, and three nuts to secure the locking of the device correctly.

I used my solder set, to permanently secure the bolts and nuts. So that the device is now UN-removable. As far as chastity devices go, I’ve tested several devices since April this year. I was asked to test a device from a seller, who came here and found that I was into that fetish seriously. Plastic devices are not for the hardcore user. Even if the seller claims they are inescapable. I just found that device substandard.

I have in my collection, several devices. I now own a Bon-4 Metal cage that is a bit obtrusive and a little too conspicuous. I also have my CB-6000 which is a closed poly-carbonate cage. With this device, cleanliness is a long term issue I found untenable. Using it long term was not an option, after using it for several months.I tested a third device from a seller, that turned out, not to be useful in long term use, because that particular device is only useful when you have an erection. Once you loose the erection, the device becomes useless. That was a bust.

Now I am permanently locked in my Rage Cage. It was the best purchase I have made yet. I love this device. It is a steel cage that has several rings connected from beneath, with a cage on the end, that houses the end of the penis. it is large enough to accommodate, within, 3.75 inches.

The male penis runs on bodily function. When one has an erection, blood flows out of the body, the erection grows, until you complete the deed. Once orgasm is reached, blood flows back into the body, and the flesh also returns into the body. People have asked me, in other forums about this. Once a man exhausts his erection, the penis will shrink in size. And as chastity cages go, men begin with a certain cage, and over time, they change that cage, in opt for smaller cages. I’ve seen several “Bird Cages” that are minuscule. I would not use a bird cage myself.

Once you remove stimulus, and you change your habits, permanent chastity, is not such a huge issue. It really has changed my entire perspective about my life and my choices. I now the device is there, and I know it is permanently locked. I don’t really ponder the thought of sex, or masturbation at all. I made this decision, and I followed through with it, because I felt that it would positively change my life, and as the days go by, I am more solid with this decision. And I feel much more oriented towards the next right thing.

When you turn your entire life and will over to the care of God, as you understand Him, the world is your oyster. I know that right now, I feel better than I have felt in as many years. I’ve never been so in tune with my body, and my spirit. And with God Himself.

I am oriented towards my God, and that is what is driving me right now.