Our Kids Are Suffering – Amended Update

This afternoon, Wednesday, I made a couple of phone calls, and asked my Ladies Calvary to help me with our girls. Right now, everyone will be looked after over the coming days. And I was assured that everyone would be taken care of.

It is always a shock for our new guys and gals to be sober a short while, most under two years, for them to witness someone with serious time under their belts drink again. But I am assured that my girls will be alright. My ladies are on the case.

Tuesday Night

Most people in recovery know what the word “powerlessness” means.

Some choose to learn the definition, others hang on for dear life to whatever it is they are holding guard over, until they can’t bear that pain any longer … Then they reach the jumping off point.

I watch people, I listen to them talk, and I wait to see what decision they are going to make, either to buckle down and do what needs to be done, or they choose to jump back into the canyon where there is no light.

The fellowship offers to us a tool kit, to build a ladder out of that canyon into a life what will be fruitful and prosperous. But the pain it might take to get to freedom from alcohol and drugs seems so arduous, that they just cannot bear the pain of sobriety, so they resort to the pain of addiction to soothe the pain of honest pursuit of sobriety.

Our kids are suffering. And I don’t know what to do about this ! They all know me, and have seen me in action for a long time. I have engaged many of them in conversation, I give them jobs at meetings, I support them and show them nothing but kindness.

Yet, still, they are miserable. There is nothing I can do for someone who chooses to live in misery and active addition. I can’t save all the kids I know, right now, who are suffering needlessly.

Women with time, who sponsored many of our latest crop of young ladies, have drank again. Recently. All my girls are besides themselves with grief and sorrow, anger and resentment, and then forgiveness.

Our LGBTQ kids are suffering as well. Because the spectrum of sexual identity has broadened into this amalgamation of “what ever you want to be today” has reared its ugly head.

Do you know what it is like knowing that you have kids on this spectrum, girls that want to be boys, boys who want to be girls, trans kids in the middle of transition, or at different stages of the game, who drink and drug, because they cannot bear the pain they are in right now ?

Not many straight alcoholics in the rooms know what to do with a kid on the spectrum. Most old timers will tell you that sexual orientation is not their responsibility. Some old timers will not even deal with kids on the spectrum, and a good number of them don’t do Gay either.

My kids are suffering. I know this for a fact. I know how many kids are on this sliding scale right now, some are sober, and some are not. I’ve had experience in dealing with trans issues, because over the years I have tried to help our kids, whomever they are, which ever direction they are traveling.

The pendulum is swinging widely and quickly. And a good number of my kids are struggling to keep it together. And I don’t know what to do, besides sitting each one of them down and read them the riot act, and give them a plan, like they would listen to anything I have to say to them.

But you know what the book says …
“THE ALCOHOLIC WILL DRINK AGAIN.”

I’ve been watching my kids come and go, and come and go. Whom ever they are talking to, has failed in keeping them sober. One, because they lack the tools to do the job, OR, those sponsors have drank again.

Which does not help our kids stability. You take on a kid who needs help staying sober, then you go off and drink again !! What the FUCK !!!

I’ve been watching folks with some serious time, do nothing. My peers, do nothing. They come to meetings, warm a chair, and they watch our kids crumble in front of them, and still they do nothing. Tonight, My heart broke every time I heard one of my kids tell the story they told tonight.

And I am powerless to do anything. Because nobody wants to hear what I have to say, and not many people believe anything I say, sitting in any room. But I have the time and the experience to speak truth.

People do not like the truth, I have said this before.

The I-phone generation want it NOW. They want sobriety NOW, they want happiness NOW, but they don’t want the pain or struggle to get there. They’d rather struggle in the drink rather than struggle in sobriety.

Sobriety is a struggle. Until it is not a struggle any longer.

Our kids are struggling. And they are not listening to simple advice. They are too wrapped up in their heads and their misery, to even pay attention to advice given, even if it comes from a chair, within a meeting, and not directly from a human being standing in front of them.

The rule is the girls work with the girls and the boys work with the boys! I can stand at the line and offer advice from behind my line and not cross the rule. But long sober women with time and experience ARE failing them, so what we we supposed to do, let our kids struggle until they die ?

What the Fuck am I supposed to do now ?

I wish I had the answer, I could use it right about now.

Friday Thoughts – End of Day

I am re-evaluating what I want. It has been a tough week, but in the end, it all came together. Two nights spent with the people I love, always does the trick, even if my head is in my ass.

Commitments were made and Along the week, I’ve come to a number of decisions that I think will turn out well, as time progresses. I quit one habit, and on Sunday, I quit the other bad habit. And I should be good to go, to put the next round of decisions into action.

Many of my friends have taken up running. A LOT of running. Over the past few months, I’ve watched my friends hit new highs in their lives, and do things they never thought possible before, just by lacing up a pair of sneakers and hitting the neighborhood streets.

Completion of Marathons have been the task du jour.

I have, in my bank, new routines to follow. An old timer I know very well, has been good to me as of late. When I need to pick his brain, about anything, he always obliges.

This afternoon I had a conversation with a local friend who is running a half marathon the end of April. And we got to talking about a race in October that we both might run together. After inquiring about training with him, he was not sure he was the right fit for me, knowing his own strengths and weaknesses as a teacher.

But my old timer friend came up in conversation, because he is associated with our Running Room, here in Montreal. Tonight, I saw him at the Friday night meeting and we spoke about a plan.

Firstly he said this … One, you are over fifty. Two, he said that we both carry about 170 pounds a piece. And Three, he said that over taking myself in trying to complete a distance that is, at the moment, out of my league, would be unwise. So we set up a plan of attack, with simple goals to reach over the next month. Then we will regroup and see where I fall on the running scale.

I’ve got a good six months to train up.

One of my friends worked steadily at distance, over a long period of time. He ran a marathon and ran a personal best and got a medal for it. My other friend Jack. walked out his front door and trained for two weeks. TWO WEEKS, having never run before in his life, and completed the Stadium to Sea run in Los Angeles last week, with a 3 hour time.

But they are much younger than I am and in a lot better shape.

Being HIV Positive and a Type 2 Diabetic has its challenges. Being over fifty is my big downfall. I’m no spring chicken and I have to approach any goal and temper that goal by my present disabilities and hopeful abilities to win.

I have a plan. Sunday I put it into action, after I cross off another bad habit and directly affects me lung capacity. Smoking !!!

Take away touching ones self, and point positive sexual energy in another direction is very useful. It focuses you unlike any other focal method. It makes you a better fighter, a better runner, and a better human being.

I’ve learned over the last little while that when I think I know what’s good for me, that usually turns out to be bad advice, because if I act on my own will, it usually turns out anti climactic.

I should never take my own advice ever. Because I loose on every front.

I got a couple of new books in the mail today. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and If On A Winters Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. Both books came highly recommended by my writing teacher. He reads like I do, like a mad man. He also works in publishing, and is an author himself.

Usually what he reads, ends up on my read side table by my bedside.

So the week, five days, on self denial has passed. I am more the better for it. I don’t allow myself to take my own advice. Even if I want to.

Tonight we talked about the Sacred Circle, and what we can find within it, and when necessary, if needed, to go outside the sacred circle for help, that’s what we do. We are not doctors nor economists, nor marriage counselors.

If you need help that the rooms can not provide, Bill tells us that “If he was humble enough to seek outside help when necessary, and it was good for him, it might just be good for ourselves too.”

I have great friends who will go the distance with me. I have the best friends, and I am grateful for each and every one of them.

Thanks for reading. More to come.

Happy Weekend.

17 Sober Holidays

Another successful holiday is in the books. The plans I’d spent weeks and months putting together, came to fruition. The good thing about being sober, so long, is that, we get to chose with whom we celebrate the holidays with and why.

In my experience, And I said this to one of my guys tonight, after dinner, was this … Not in the last few years, have I ever witnessed another sober human being, walk up to me and say those magic words, and they are:

“I Know How You Feel, Let Me Tell You How I Dealt With That.”

Lorna and Bob, two long sober members from New York spoke these words to us, in person, a number of years ago. There are only a few people, guys I work with, who heard these words too, because I have shared them with my guys. It was obvious, when we sat together as a Round Up Group, many folks I know, forgot those words. And I muse that, when I was in a difficult place, nobody had those words, as Lorna says are “Of Ever Lasting Life.”

There are folks, I know today, when I show up to particular meetings, out of my regular schedule, like tonight’s meeting on Christmas Night, at my old home group where I spent the first TWELVE YEARS of my sobriety, say to me, “Why don’t you call me ever?” Most people I socialize with already have my number, because I give it freely.

If I give someone my number, there is a reason I do that. So that THEY would use it, when I ask them to use it. People don’t like being told what to do, even when they tell me they are in difficulty, and they ask my advice and sit and listen to what I say in response. Usually couched in my response, if not spoken directly is this … “If you ask me for advice, and I give it freely, because I make time for all of my friends, is that you reciprocate!”

I walked into a meeting with one of my dinner guests tonight, and half a dozen people noticed what I was or wasn’t wearing. I was out of my usual choice of clothing, because I was entertaining tonight, so I went a little conservative, instead of my sporty spice look. They did not ask me how I was doing, or wish me Merry Christmas, they only wanted to comment on my outfit.

A handful of others, as I made the rounds before the meeting, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas that was sitting in the room, and shaking every hand, said to me …”Why don’t you ever call me?” My standard response came out quite easily. “If you really wanted to speak to me, you, yourself, would pick up that 2000 pound phone and use it for the purpose it was made for … To Be Used.

How much does a cell phone weigh, I ask you ?

Folks know I am reachable, 24 hours a day, and that I always answer my phone. I just don’t go out of my way, with just any alcoholic, to spend time, listening to them piss and moan. Tonight, there were a number of miserable young people sitting in the meeting. Kids, who, last year, celebrated their first sober holiday in living memory, many of them made it to year two. Because I told them, to their faces, that “if they stayed sober over last Christmas, that they indeed would stay sober.” Many of them listened to that advice and were successful. A handful did not make it. And were back for round two tonight. I watch my young people closely. I am present for all of them. I show up, so that THEY show up too.

So many people are miserable in their lives, and those people drink. There are also miserable people in sobriety, and they don’t drink. I talk to my guys often about this paradox. People stop drinking, yet they maintain their misery, like a rock around their necks.

When really … They can jettison that rock at any moment. When I say that to them, they look at me quizzically, as if to say, “Yeah Right.” You make it sound so easy. And things are easier said than done. Because folks make that conscious decision to remain miserable and sad.

We read from the Big Book and A Vision For You tonight. The portion of the passage that says at some point we come to the day that we cannot imagine life WITH alcohol or WITHOUT it. THEN, we will know loneliness unlike anything we ever known. And we reach the jumping off point.

We will want the end.

The reading goes on to speak of the fellowship and what we can do for each other, when we reach the jumping off point. When you come to your Home Group, and you connect, and you STAY, your life will change.

I show up so that others see me show up to tell them that ANYTHING is possible. It CAN be DONE. It takes Work. Consistency. Faith. and Action.

People WITH TIME, look at me strangely. People with little time look at me strangely. They cannot figure out, why I am so serene and happy.

Vulnerability takes Courage.

For a couple of years, I’ve been vulnerable. I speak my mind. I share honestly, and to the point. I am out there, in good times, and in bad times. I tell people when I am feeling sad, or angry, or happy. I no longer edit my words in public. People do not like it when I am deadly honest. People cannot understand why I speak honestly and with soul.

I am an Alcoholic who wants to get well. To live a good life. To know why I tick the way I tick, and to work on my character defects and shortcomings.

We might work steps, some more often than others. Many forget that Steps Six and Seven are the steps we work for the rest of our lives, on a daily basis.

My guys know this. And they struggle the same way I struggle, when they come to me and ask my advice, when sometimes I have no idea what to say to them, as I tell them how I dealt with those very same issues. The only way I know how to help another human is to tell them the truth, even if I don’t have a clue, what I am supposed to say, at least I say something.

Over the weekend I was home alone. And I rang up a friend, I’ve known for more than forty years now. Facebook, that necessary evil, makes it possible to keep in touch with people who matter to me, sober or not.

She asked me about me, and I asked her about her. I told her my story, and she told me one of hers. She said, and I quote … “If you don’t concentrate on your step work when it comes to certain people in my life, actually STEP the exact issue, you are going to become as bitter and angry as they are.”

She goes on … You know steps better than I do, of course I do, she’s not one of us. But she knows enough about me today, that she can offer that kind of advice, because I will listen to her when she talks to me. Because, we often don’t have an opportunity to talk for over an hour, like we did Sunday night. She was right. I shared that at the meeting tonight.

Everybody looked at me strangely. What are you talking about? I knew what I was talking about. Now I know what I can do now. The conundrum of sobriety is this … There aren’t a whole lot of people I want to talk to, to any depth, because only a handful of people I know today, would even offer to invest in me. Even sober …

A long timer said tonight, that he’d been hitting many more meetings than usual because his shift at work has changed. But he notices the disparity of not a whole lot of long sober people. They are either moved away, sick themselves, or dead. He hangs around with NEW BLOOD. He sees how many of us, who were around or, more, still around from the years when we got sober together. Few of us, are still around.

There are too many chair warmers. People want to get sober. Yet, they don’t want to put in the time and the work necessary, to get where some of us are, on the path to happy, joyous and free.

Not long ago, one of my kids, after facing a raft of losses in his life, walked into the meeting, on Thursday, a couple of weeks ago, and said to me and to God, as I stood there “Where are the fucking PROMISES?” God certainly has not dropped them on me,” at his almost ninety days of sobriety.

New comers hear us read those pesky promises day in day out, week in and week out. And they suppose that God is gonna drop Promises on them like Manna from Heaven, as needed, with no toil or tilling the ground so that the garden bears fruit.

A garden is not gonna bear fruit or anything, if you aren’t going to get your hands dirty, and get down and dirty in the mud with the rest of us. So many people want the PAYOUT with no LABOR.

I look at them and a giggle to myself. If you only knew.

Promises don’t drop out of heaven like Manna. They come when you invest in THE WORK. And you put your time in getting sober. You just cannot walk in the door and expect God to just lay it on you because you just walked in the room.

Because that’s exactly what I said when I came in this second time around. I actually gave God a list of “Things I wanted, Expected, because I HAD ARRIVED!”

Long Sober folks laughed at me and said: KEEP COMING BACK !

Talk about lessons in humility.

I worked my ass off for the whole of my sobriety. My best friend said it all when I took my 17th chip a couple of weeks ago … I don’t stop, I am always looking for the next big challenge. I ask people for help, even if they are less sober than I am. Newcomers saved my ass this past year. My lady friends who worked steps with me changed my life in ways I cannot explain.

Some of my kids are lock, stock and barrel, Confident Adult Women.

I’ve watched them grow up around me and in front of my own eyes. And that is what I wanted this round. So I asked for help, and help arrived. Because I was willing to sit, read, and to listen.

Because some of my women have solid, hard core sponsors, who don’t hand out bull shit, but expect hard work and honesty from their women. Some of my friends HAVE IT. Many do not. But they could, if they put in the work to get better, instead of pissing and moaning about how miserable they are in sobriety.

And I am oft to say … You know if what we have does not work for you, we’ll refund you your sobriety, and you can go drink again, and see if that works better.

Common wisdom of people who are long sober, or sober longer than I am, say this … Alcoholism might stalk me in the back of my head, and I hear it speak to me and woo me into the false idea that a drink would be nice.

Long timers, who are sober twenty plus years, know the kinds of drinkers and addicts they were when they got sober. They know how insane their lives were, and none of us are going to give it up for the chance to try some new drug or flavor of alcohol that some of our young kids drank or drugged with.

Our young people have that conscious choice in front of them. They can root and stay, and work and learn, and get better, OR they can warm a chair and bide their time, until the opportune moment they can say FUCK IT and go back out and drink and use some more.

Common wisdom also says that the odds of finding a better buzz, or a better drug, on a relapse will be better, is false. Because eventually you are going to wind up in a worse place the next time they chose to use, a bigger jackpot, even jail, or institution, or God Forbid, DEATH.

I know misery. I’ve been miserable too. And I am one of those men who will admit that in open community. Not many pay attention to anything I say.

But if I wear something irregular, they WILL SAY something to me.

Funny that !

I don’t have time for misery or anger or bitterness. My nuclear family have invested, lock, stock, and barrel on the alcohol, and the misery, anger and bitterness. Because they speak to me in those kinds of words.

I know those words. And from my mouth to God’s ears …

I WILL NEVER BECOME YOU !

I’ve been sober now seventeen Christmases. I’ve been sober longer than all the years I spent drinking and drugging. I’ve spent more holidays sober now, than I have ever, in my life, even as a kid. Because in my family, alcohol was a food group. If you did anything, it was bracketed by an alcoholic beverage of some kind. Beer or Spirits.

I’ve never been so cognizant of how subtle the fine line of sanity and insanity. Because I skate on that line often. And I know how precarious that skate is sometimes. So I stick with the winners. I suit up and I show up for my life, on a daily basis.

I heard a guy talk on Instagram earlier before I started writing this post and he said … IF YOU WANT CHANGE, IT IS EVERY DAY.

EVERY DAY !!!

EVERY DAY !!!

CONSISTENTLY, RELIGIOUSLY, WHEN YOU WANT TO AND WHEN YOU DON’T. WHEN PEOPLE SEE YOU, AND WHEN THEY DON’T.

IF YOU AREN’T IN THE ARENA WITH ME GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED LIKE ME, I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR CRITICISM.

Brene Brown … The Man in the Arena Speech. Teddy Roosevelt.

CHEAP SEATS ARE EASY. GET IN THE ARENA AND FIGHT FOR GOD’S SAKE. BECAUSE IF YOU AREN’T FIGHTING LIKE ME, YOU HAVE NO ROOM TO CRITICIZE ME.

Some sober folks are in the cheap seats, and they want to criticize, and not do any heavy lifting. Sobriety isn’t cheap seats, work. Sobriety is IN THE ARENA FIGHTING FOR ONES LIFE and SANITY.

Merry Christmas !



Thursday: Sinking into God …

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I wrote this letter to my Spiritual Director the other night. It is pertinent to my life today, because it reflects my growth in certain areas of my life at the moment.

I hope that things have gotten a bit better than they were a few days ago. Sometimes it’s a bitch having to recite and accept those pesky slogans …

They might come in handy when necessary, but when they become prayer mantras, that’s the worst, because you know, you have to totally “Turn it over, right ?”

How many times had I heard, Stick with the Winners, and Stay until the Miracle happens, and This Too Shall Pass … UGH

I thought about you last night, while at my Monday haunt. I was talking to a young man of my acquaintance, his name is John. He has quite the story, in summary though, he got to the bitter end and his marriage was in the toilet.

He came to us, and has stayed. The marriage is a work in progress. They are better for the ware and tear that took place. He’s in our rooms, and she is in Alanon …

A couple of weeks ago, John told me that he had found gainful employment finally, after his crash and burn. Starting off at ground level, he found a job as a manual laborer. In a school.

Answer: He’s a janitor.

Sweeping, mopping and shoveling snow… menial tasks but labor nonetheless. He started this week. And seems to be at peace with it.

He has found the meditative art in the quiet. His saving grace, it seems.

His wife is working in a kitchen preparing food for the restaurant, working with a friend of hers who took her under her wing so to speak. She seems to like that small quaint space. The Kitchen. It suits her well.

They got through the holidays, this year, just barely. John was one of the grouping from Monday night, we worked very hard at keeping sober over those two weeks. Everybody is still sober. Thanks be to God.

I had told John, before the meeting about my relationship with the man who saved my life, when it was most needed. Todd kept me focused and on point while at work.

He had a saying that stuck and worked miracles for me. He said early on that I could trust him, and I did, implicitly. I thought tonight, that I have not trusted anyone to that extent before or since. Now or before.

He said that as I approached the building we worked in, whatever was on my heart and worrying me, that I needed to leave it outside the doors, and once I crossed the threshold, the only thing I needed to worry about was the work I had to do each shift.

That pin point focus saved my life in the end.

So with my friend John, with all that is going on in his life right now, I shared that thought with him, that while he was IN the building, the only thing he needed to focus on was work, and not what had been going on in his head upon the approach.
Hopefully that piece of advice will stick and keep him on the beam, so to speak.

Then a God moment happened for all of us. The chair introduced for discussion, Step Three, in the Big Book, Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
How appropriate.

And here I just told the story about turning my will and my life over to the care of TODD, (read: GOD) as I understood Him.

If there is a God, I met Him in the flesh, all those years ago, and I am still alive to speak about Him to others.

Which bring me round to you … A while back, at one point, you said to me that I could not bullshit God that whatever I was holding back, needed to see the light. hence, I heard you say that and I took that last step into God.

But it wasn’t until I tell this little story to my friends that God makes perfect sense, in that, I knew without a doubt what it felt like to sink into Todd, (read: God) with complete abandon. I knew it, because I had practiced it. over and over.

With my father’s death, I have written about him. And lately I focus on his generosity when it came, and his goodness when it showed. and that when my father was good, he could do no wrong. Even if he tried.

I’m not sure that all the goodness in the world, when it came to abuses, if that cleared his good points off the score board. I’ve been trying to dream about him at night. No success there. I’m not sure he would think to come to me now. Too much water under the bridge I think.

I wonder how he died, if he was at peace, my brother was there, and the day he called me he asked me if I had had any questions about my father’s passing, at that time I said no, because there was too much anger on the dashboard to think clearly and have a lucid conversation about death. But I wonder now.

I wonder what God said to him, after this life he lived, and the manner he chose to live it in, including my mother, because I am sure she is going to have that same conversation with God He did, at some point.

I believe that they both want peace on the other side, after the lives they chose to live, and the way they chose to live them. I believe God would have wanted that for them finally. And I muse about the fact that my sainted grand mother was waiting for him when he finally got there, she was an amazing women who loved deeply.

I hope the three of them are there together, where ever that may be. My mother will have the same cheering squad when she goes, because Memere was all-powerful and saintly. She had the 1-800 number to God for the whole of my life. When she died, she came back to me for a long while.

In fact, all of my grandparents came back to me, in specific form, we all knew them when they showed up because we all saw them and interacted with them. When I was sick and going to die. grammy used to come and visit my home.

I know this because I slept with my bedroom door closed. And every morning I would get up to scattered magazines on the floor and the painting on the wall tilted. A friend who was a seer came to my home not long after and grammy was there, waiting for us.

She told him to tell me not to close the bedroom door, for some reason she could not find her way through the door closed. hence I never slept with a closed-door again. She comes to visit often and stands at the foot of my bed. But I see her. If she has that power to come back, then maybe she will share it with my father at some point, and he will find his way back to me eventually.

Sadly, my father has not made the journey back across to see me. That kind of bums me, I kind of wonder if he thinks about me there, and if he sees me from where he is. That is quite a question I have.

I kind of know what redemption feels like because I am still alive. I’ve felt the true power of God in motion. Here on earth. Very few people harness that kind of energy for me. Todd was one of them. The only one for what he was able to do for me.

Surely, if that were God, then I know. I believe that we all have One redeeming Quality, deep within. Deep in my father’s heart there was goodness, kindness and love. It just got buried with all that abuse and crap he went through.

If I know God, like I think I know God, my father was redeemed. And was forgiven. In keeping with thoughts of how good he was, I can forgive him as well. Because God would want that from us, right ?

I know how to turn it over to the care of God as I understand Him, implicitly. Been there, Done that.

Every time I know I am in deep water, spiritually, all I have to do is close my eyes and see Todd in my mind’s eye, and I know God loves me, and all of us.

So I sink into God fully and completely. Without reservation.

Wednesday: Shadow, Darkness, Reality

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Life is never perfect. And over the years, I’ve taken my lumps for sure.

“We are not a glum lot …” The Book Says. And also, “We did not get sober to be miserable.” However, people ARE miserable.

There are some issues, we all carry in the shadows, parts of us consigned to the darkness, that really never sees the light of day.

In reality, at some point, we all reach a breaking point. We get hit with a trigger, and life goes sideways. In the world of reality, people seem to skip over water, until they hit a personal tragedy, a death, or illness, or a major life change.

Some ride it out. Others turn to addictive substances to blunt the pain, and to barricade ourselves from the darkness and shadows.

Alcoholics and Addicts are imperfect people. We are all imperfect people, because we are fallible human beings. And shit happens.

There are a few lessons, I’ve learned over the past little while. I’ve written about them before, but they bear repeating again.

We are angry people. Because it was our resentments that drove us to drink and use. That anger lies dormant, until, like I said above, it is triggered. We are people who might have been abused, mentally, emotionally, physically, or sexually.

Shit like this, when it occurs recedes to the darkness of our hearts and minds. And we spend a lifetime drowning that pain with substance. For some, we get to the bitter end, and find ourselves in rooms together, getting sober, once and for all.

The Book and The Work tells us how to get sober. The Book also mentions that we are not doctors, and if outside help is necessary, “you should really consider it …” Not many people do that.

Over my time in the rooms, I’ve watched people. Studied them like lab rats. I know my peers, better than they know themselves. I’ve watched people hit the skids, and those occasional, bottoms, we hit in sobriety.

  • People drink and use again.
  • People go out and never return.
  • Some people end up dead.

I’ve watched, over the years, men and especially, some of our women, hit emotional bottoms in sobriety. Of all the women I watched hit that hard ground, none made it. Why they did not make it, is related to how their peers reacted to their emotional tumult.

Alcoholics are unforgiving. Sad but true.

Alcoholics do not like to think about, or even sit in the same space with someone who is in difficulty. Because we are uncomfortable with UNCOMFORTABLE …

Transparency is important in sobriety.

Being honest with who you are at all times, is the code of conduct. Many do not live this way. Believing that they need to project a calm exterior to their friends, where everything is OK, when in reality, we are broken up inside and dying from within.

It takes a long time to figure out how to be transparent. But I’ve worked hard at being true to myself and my friends. Being Calm and Zen takes work. Always putting ones best foot forward also takes work. And pounding the pavement takes its toll on us eventually.

When I hit my bitter end, after the Tragedy of the Heart, my calm, zen, exterior faded, and my broken, emotional, suffering soul, rose to the surface. This freaked people out, and they all ran for the hills screaming.

People did not treat me kindly, nor with compassion, when I was in pain. They just piled more pain on top of what I was carrying outwards, already.

Alcoholics are unforgiving …

I watched people, react to my emotional breakdown, and it was not pretty at all. Because we really don’t want to look at shadow and darkness sitting among us, while we are in meetings, because we are trying to show you that everything is good.

When it really ISN’T.

People do one of two things here. ONE, they turn inwards,and ignore what it right in front of them. As they are looking at us suffering, they know, or might be, suffering in their own silence, something that happened to them in the past.

That item that I above listed as, Never Seeing the Light of Day.

Or TWO, the trigger is so strong, that they cannot ignore that item within them, and they go down the proverbial rabbit hole, and they seek to figure out what the pain is, how it happened, and how to finally, Once and for All, turn out the darkness and shadow into the light and healing.

It took my emotional melt down for people to turn inwards on themselves. Because it was raw and terribly emotional for me. And when all my friends and peers turned away and told me To Go … They could not handle my anger and THEIR FEAR.

Alcoholics live in FEAR. Sad but True.

It has only been AFTER the FACT, that I know what happened to some of my fellow men and women. After witnessing my meltdown, some of them had their own meltdowns.

Some of my friends and fellows sought out professional help for long standing pain that had been buried in the darkness and shadow of their souls for their whole sober lives.

And it was only then, that some, found empathy for me.

Humble Pie to admit that we have sinned against each other terribly.

The other day, I got an email from a friend, after telling her that my father had died. She is on her own fact-finding mission now. Another friend, is also on a fact-finding mission himself too. Spurred on by my public emotional breakdown.

What I found offensive here is that, I got a second email a few days later, requesting my presence at a certain meeting. I went to that certain meeting on Sunday evening. Where both of these fact-finding friends, roost.

I am introduced to a literal, By The Book, Step Eleven process and am invited to participate in this venture. The caveat is this …

My friends, both, seem to think I need professional help, NOW.

When I was in the thick of suffering, nobody wanted to know me, offer me kindness or any help whatsoever.

They did not want to bother with me.

I may look stupid, but I am NOT stupid.

If I needed professional help, I would have sought it out.

I sought out all the help I needed from people I trusted. And that was good enough for me. I’m not quite sue how to react to this, because I think my friends mean well, and I think they are trying to amend their behaviors.

Just because you got help for yourself, does not automatically mean that I need the same help for myself too.

Daddy is dead. No need to go barking up that tree any longer. I have no use for him now, he’s dead, good riddance. His energy will dissipate and die along with him. And soon the cunt energy will go the same way and for the first time in all of our lifetimes, we will ALL be FREE.

Wednesday: Thoughts and Things

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It is pouring down rain at this very moment in Montreal.

The time has come to make some changes again. The writing has been on the wall, and Heavenly Father is gently pushing me in new directions. I can trace back, not so long ago, what this looked like, when the Elders came to me and ministered to me. Elder Spencer is still a part of my life today.

General Conference took place last weekend. I participated via stream. Lots of good things shared and spoken.

I guess I want to talk about gifts and movements.

I thought about this the other day, and I’ve been ruminating on it ever since.

Am I the only drunk who goes to meetings and pays attention ? It seems that not many people pay the amount of attention to what they hear, like I do. You hear that Anonymity Statement, we have a few in the rooms here. Each of them different.

But the one I go with is this …
You can carry the message outside this room, but names and personal details stay here. We use this one on Friday Night at the A.B.S.I. meeting.

I go to several meetings, or have been. I’ve since cut my meetings by one.

In talking to my friend Sean the other night, he’s got time, like I have time. He is sober as long as I am sober now. He has a family, kids, (plural) and he does business in Asia a lot of the time. Seeing him often, is hit and miss. But we spoke.

Getting back to Heavenly Father and the prompts…

You know it’s time to go when these things begin to happen.

  • When your ideas on certain subjects begin to lose traction, and people begin moving away from you or avoiding you, it’s time to go.
  • When what you are hearing from your friends, push you to realize that, between us, we are on totally different pages, in sobriety, it is time to go.
  • When you realize that some people just do not like you. When you realize that some people do not respect you, and treat you differently, among your peers, it is time to go.
  • When you begin to regret walking into a particular meeting because of the people you share that room with, and the purpose of that meeting, becomes inconsequential to the people in the room, it is time to go.
  • And finally … When sober people you either know, for a long time, or men and women you work with, find out you are human and not Vulcan, and they turn on you and walk away, IT IS TIME TO GO !

I’ve been going to meetings for the whole of my sobriety. This blog is a testament and a record of most of the meetings I have attended over the past 16 years.

In those sixteen years, I have had to shut down, export, import and re-Domain this blog three times. Each reason is different. And usually has to happen when flamers and hackers and Evangelical Christians come knocking on my front door.

I opened this domain and blog in response to an alcoholic who thought I had broken his anonymity by telling a story about him on my former blog. He never bitched about what I wrote about until I started talking about him specifically. Yes, he lives here, and goes to the same meetings I do, but he has no respect for me, nor my presence, nor my life.

Anyways … I was thinking, Am I the only drunk who pays attention at meetings, pays attention so hard, that I come home after a meeting, I transcribe what I heard for you here and for me as well ?

I mean, how the fuck do we learn how to get sober, if we don’t study our friends behaviors, choices and actions over time ?

That’s how I got sober. By watching my friends do STUPID things over sixteen years.

Watching other people ACT is the best way we learn how NOT to BE.
Which is how WE Become US.

I am done with going to places where people don’t respect me. I am done going to meetings where people ignore me around other people, and treat me disrespectfully.

Sean, told me to go to meetings where I am a trusted custodian. Those would be the Monday Central Meeting and the Friday North End English Meeting.

Newcomers.
Simple Service.
Respect.

We all have gifts. Heavenly Gifts. Before we got here, Heavenly Father, or the powers that be, handed us a script. A job, so to speak.

Past Lifers would say that if we got here again, then, there was something we missed or screwed up, on our last visit. And now we get to work it out all over again, hoping we hit the mark this time, and not have to do this all over again …

Re-incarnators talk about how we get to reincarnate with people we knew in the past life we just left, or several lives before that. The proviso is that, we come back with a contract, which is unlike the former contract we were on. This time around we may be together for the whole journey, or maybe part of it.

There are reasons God put us here. Mainly, to learn Love, Dignity and Respect. To help our fellows and our friends. To learn how to GIVE, and not take.

The world need to learn how to LOVE … AGAPE LOVE …

Gifts … We all have them. We may not know what they are, it is our job to figure that out while we are down here, in the ways we relate to others, the work we do, and the service we give to our friends, family, peers and fellows, men and women alike. The love we share, the respect we give, the dignity we attribute and give to others.

Do you know what your gifts are ? Are you aware of them ? I am of Mine.

And to a greater degree now.

I’ve listened to my friends for a LONG TIME.

I hear them, they make stupid decisions, do stupid things, they hurt, they drink, they use, some get back, many don’t.

I seriously pay attention to every human being who talks in front of me. I KNOW all of my friends intimately. They probably don’t know that, until I walk up to them and say such things like …

  • Been there, done that.
  • Maybe you should try something else.
  • I can help you through this portion of your journey.
  • I see you did this, and paid dearly for it, now I am giving you a tool to make sure you don’t make that same mistake again …

And you know what they do ?

  • They take a step backwards,
  • They look at me with those eyes like
  • Are You Fucking with Me ?
  • You can’t be serious ?
  • Fuck your advice, even if you are sober sixteen years and haven’t drank or used in all that time.
  • Even if you have experience,
  • I don’t want YOURS !!!

Fuck me for trying …

When these things happen, IT’S TIME TO GO  !!!

I have ears to hear, and eyes to see. I mean that’s what God gave them to us for right ? I use those gifts to help my fellows, and I know today, none of that matters to a majority of them.

Which is why I need to move on to better pastures where the grass is green and the sober time is low, and people who want my message may be receptive to it. Because a few people with little time, and a lot of people with A LOT of time, have no need for me or want me around.

Thanksgiving is Sunday, here in Canada.

And I joked with a friend who works up the block that, within days of Halloween Night’s end, Christmas decorations will go up. Every year it is a contest to see who is gonna jump the gun this year and play Christmas music in their stores, and put up decorations in their shopping malls or stores.

Friday: Sacred, is the Room I find in Myself

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There are but two sins … The Lesser, is to get in the way of our own spiritual path. The Greater, is to get in the way of someone else’s spiritual path.

I see humility for today as a safe and secure stance midway between violent emotional extremes. It is a quiet place where I can keep enough perspective and enough balance to take my next small step up the clearly marked road that points toward eternal values.

The reading tonight touches on Arrogance, Attitude and Humility.

Which leads back to yesterdays quote:

I don’t know, but I am trying to find out, OK !

The Fellowship, early on, was a sordid affair. And thinking about it logically, the Big Book was written towards a certain segment of the population. And in the early years, the Fellowship grew out of trials and errors.

They really did not have a leg to stand on, when it came to knowledge or certainty.

This reading talks about some, early on, who believed they had the “Real A.A.” And that they had a definitive answer to the problem of the drink, and only they could impart this message and that, from the reading, “You better get it…”

A very arrogant approach, don’t you think ?

This reading is dates 1961. The Fellowship came together in 1939. That is only 22 years from inception, to the point Bill wrote this passage for the Grapevine. I imagine that Bill probably mulled over what he was either hearing himself, or from others, who came in contact with the men, whom this reading, refers to.

I don’t know, in my life today, WHO has the definitive answer to recovery. Because I know, for myself, that there are old timers with TIME, but they surely are not sober. There are men and women I respect, who have some time.

All I know is this … Every so often I am introduced to someone who has a method, or a practice, or a way, they work their program. Over the past four or so years, I’ve employed several practices and methods that I know worked for the men and women, I have adopted these practices from.

None of them, we could say are the End All Be All. They are merely, additions to practice and method, to incorporate, along with the Book.

Working with others, is a great way to find out for ones self, that:

No, I don’t know, but I am trying to find out. OK !

I don’t have all the answers, which is why I go to meetings and talk with people I respect, who have a little more experience than I do. We are all souls walking in the same direction, trying to figure it out ourselves.

There is no ultimate authority, except the God of our understanding as He speaks in our Group Conscience.

I know what size my pants are. And I know how big, my head can get if I am not careful.

Keeping it simple and staying out of my head is a daily task.

If either my pants or my head swell to greatly, then I know:

I must decrease so that He may increase.