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.

I Testify …

” when we became alcoholics, crushed by a self imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade,we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is,or He isn’t. What was our choice to be?

God Is … And God is everything …

Last night, I let go of the last vestige of who I was. Today, I took the last action, to turn all of myself over to my God. Over the past few days, I have been reflecting on my past. The other day I re-acquainted myself with music that really meant more to me, than any other music I had ever heard.

When I was a boy, and I told this story the other night, I was introduced to God. And His son, Jesus Christ. We, all of us, young people, on a particular Saturday night, in Lake Placid Florida, on retreat, were invited to commit our lives to Jesus.

That was a tall order as a teen-ager. What did that look at and what kind of life could we live, given the times we were living in, with all kinds of people, criticizing us, and mocking us openly, in front of our classmates. It was just untenable.

And my family, alcoholics they were, and abusive, were no role models, to speak about.

And I mused on this event today, while reading my Big Book with a woman I am reading with now. And for the first time in almost 18 years now, my Big Book exploded in my hands as I read the chapter – We Agnostics. Chapter 4.

Ag – Gnostic ( Ag – Without) (Gnostic – Knowledge) We are without knowledge.

For the first time reading this book, having read it over and over, in as many years, I became enlightened. I had words I never had before. I had insight I never had before. And I testified my faith to a woman who trusts me to guide her through the Book.

It was, simply, a Spiritual Experience. I had God on my mind. I prayed, and meditated on my way there. I know what I should do now. And for a little while, God was there, on that balcony as we read the book, because I’ve never read the book, in the way I was reading it today.

It was such an exciting day today. I think about the altar call, and thinking about turning my will and my life over to Jesus, and become “Born Again” with friends, whom I loved more than any other friends I have ever had. I cannot tell you how tight I was with all of my friends. The best years of my life, were spent in Youth Group with this group of young people. I’ve never again, in all my life, have had that kind of relationship with anyone.

And I think today, about getting sober. And both experiences are very similar. Because in order to get Sober – You must find a spiritual path. A spiritual experience, is the only thing that is going to save you. God is part of that experience.

Alcoholics will find any excuse, if you allow them, to wiggle out of the word and being of God. I’ve watch a multitude of people see that word, and are repulsed by it, surely, because, like the book says, we’ve had a bad experience, and God left a bad taste in our mouths, and really, why do I wanna go back there an be reminded of something that totally turned us off.

God is so much more than just a word.

I knew this chapter was in the book, but I’ve never really felt enlightened enough to relate what it says appropriately. Today, God gave me the words to do that. I started talking and the words were coming faster than I could think them.

We call that “Inspiration.”

We are told that when we are empty and we don’t have the words to use, God Puts Into Our Spirits, the Words we Need.

I so know that I am on the right track. For the first time in a long time. I feel so full tonight, that I am about to burst. Because I know, when I pray, that God listens. And my relationship with God, is particular, because God has always been on my side, WHEN I particularly listen to Him. And I know what happens when I ignore Him.

Life goes sideways.

Knowing Todd: Read:God … Was the most blessed time in my life, because for that little while, God was incarnate in my life. I lived. I survived. And I am still here. And the only way I can explain it was this … Every night, before work, I turned my will and my life over to the care of Todd:Read:God as I understood Him.

Todd spoke my language. And he still speaks my language, as if he were standing here with me. Because I hear him in my heart of hearts, and I know what he said to me was true. he never once, ever lied to me, or conflated the truth or the reality that I just might die, before this was all over with. He knew that was a possibility. But on his watch, he swore he would do what he could to make sure I survived.

Well, I survived.

God saved me. And it is God I turn my will and my life over to tonight, like the night I stood with my friends at that altar call, and we committed ourselves to Jesus.

I know today, being sober, what being Born Again, really means.

I know the truth. And they say the truth will set me free.

God Is everything. And that is true.

If you don’t know what to do, get on your knees and pray. Because Bob told me, to my face, that every time we pray we ratchet up our spiritual lives. So if you are not praying, then why not ?

Prayer changes everything.

I love my God and the life I have and the people I know.

Tonight I met a young man 2 weeks in before the meeting. I gave him my number and a Living Sober, and he is supposed to call me tomorrow.

Let Us Pray …

Blow Up … There IS a Solution

I Lost My Cookies Tonight, It Was Not Pretty At All … Rigorous Honesty Post

Almost eighteen years ago, I came in for the second time, SO, I’ve had my slip experience. The first time I got sober, nobody spoke of steps, and I did not have a sponsor, I had Todd, who was teaching me how to survive AIDS. The meeting hall I was attending was very toxic and made getting sober, harder than anything I have ever seen since.

You don’t bet on newcomers to see when they will drink again, you just do not do that.

When I came into Montreal, in month 4, when I moved here, I walked into the room that I homed in for over twelve years. I was going to MANY meetings at that time, as I had no other activity going on before I got my Canadian Papers.

In those eighteen years, the way I got and stayed sober, was by watching what everyone else was doing, what they were saying, what decisions they were making. Along with working my own program, with men who really helped me seal my sobriety. I took the good, and I left the bad. Whatever worked for you, I thought that it would work for me, but obviously, if you drank again, I did NOT … And that’s the way I stayed sober.

It has not been all a cake walk. And I have had my share of trouble in sobriety, BUT, I did not drink, at any point during the hard times. I returned to that original Home Group many months ago.

And like I’ve said, Sobriety in 2019, is not the same as Sobriety in 2002. It just isn’t. For many reasons. In the rooms, over the years, I have stuck with winners. With people, Old and Young, who are enthusiastic about the Book and the Steps. I work my steps every year. I hit several meeting a week, all of them different. I have a solid sponsor, and solid friends in the program.

Recently, I sit in beginners meetings, and all I hear from our kids is sorrow, and pain, and for the life of me, I try to help those who will listen to anything I have to tell them about staying sober, and NOT drinking again.

It has become obvious that many of those folks, did not/and do not, listen to anything I have said to them, and tonight I heard them say, in the open, that they are hurt that I would be so rigorously honest, IN a meeting.

How dare I speak as if I am better than they are.
I am not better than anyone. And those people who know me intimately know this.

But I listen. And I watch. Over the last few months, many folks sit in meetings, they don’t take anything home with them, they don’t call anyone, they don’t do anything to stave off that next drink AND: THEY DRINK AGAIN. And More Than Once.

One of our kids said she took twenty five beginners chips. She’s been stuck in that revolving door for YEARS. I watched her. She never listened to anything I said, in both fellowships we both attend, that I don’t any more.

But I said and I quote:

I am tired of going of beginners meetings. it is painful to watch people come in, be miserable, and know there is a solution, but because I am who I am, nothing I have is very attractive to ANYONE. So Fuck me for trying. I’ve been sitting in this hall for the whole of my sobriety, and I can tell you, by name, how many people drank again, and again, and again. I know everyone who did. Because if I saw you go out, I knew that something that you were doing, was not working for you, so I knew not to make that mistake myself.

I stayed sober, while many people did not.

There are only three men, sitting in this room right now, who were here when I came in, and all three of us are still sober. Obviously, we did something right. Obviously, we found the solution NOT to drink again, and that entails WORK.

When people ask me for help and I tell them what I did that worked, that work entails WORK, not just sitting in a chair, and reading the book, now and then. You actually have to work to stay sober, you just don’t get sober by OSMOSIS.

I know how many of you are suffering and I know the women are no doing well by the rate of how many of you have drank, several times over the last month, but because we are men, you won’t ask for help, when the women aren’t helping you stay sober, it is obvious those women are doing something wrong if what they are telling you, does not work AND you drank again.

I pound the God Damned pavement. I seek answers, I work the Book, BY the Book. I seek information in the most enthusiastic in the rooms. And I know what they know, so whatever I have to give, comes directly from someone, who gave that knowledge to me.

By the time I had finished, my friends were sitting a bit higher in their chairs, and All I heard after I shared was indignation by everyone else who shared after me.

All because I said something Rigorously Honest.

We read How It Works tonight. And we all know what that reading says:

Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it – then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol – cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power – that One is God. May you find Him now!

Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Many of us exclaimed “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholics and could not manage our own lives;

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism;

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

This is IN the Book, we hear it at every meeting. And really, many people do not pay attention to the words. And I know from reading “Our Great Responsibility,” that Bill took great care with crafting the Steps based on the Oxford Group Six steps. He augmented the steps to make sure there was no wiggle room. Hence Twelve Steps.

Many early alcoholics who saw the first few chapters of the book, as it had been written in the 1930’s, were angry that Bill included so much God and so much Honesty.

I was rigorously honest tonight, and I am sure I made many enemies tonight, because I called out half measures, as the reading also speaks about. And I told the truth. I spoke about THE Solution. And that there is one.

And I closed with, we come here to learn how to STOP. How many people have I watched over the past few years, read the Big Book, cover to cover, and get to the LAST Chapter, and it tells us how to STAY STOPPED and that we NEVER have to drink again …

And I watched a number of those men and women DRINK AGAIN…

That just BLOWS my Fucking mind.

I mean really, people are afraid of honesty better yet, Rigorous Honesty. I say I can help you, but that will take some work on your part, and what does everybody say to that:

OH I DON”T WORK, I DON’T PRAY, AND I DON’T DO GOD !!!

Ok, then how the fuck are you going to stay sober when you’ve negated everything you must do, there are TWO MUSTS in the book, things we must do to stay sober, what are you going to do when the drink is in your hand and you chose to drink it rather that put that drink down and call someone who can help you?

We need to drop the walls between men and women, gay and straight, Non-Binary and Trans. We need to be able to ask ANYONE who has something to offer, has something like part of or all of the solution, ready for anyone who will listen, help you NOT take that next drink !

God give me strength …

I’m so tired of going to meeting where all people want to do is piss and moan about how miserable they are, knowing some of us sitting in that same room, are sober multiple years, decades even, who know what to do, but you won’t come up and ask, because we might ask you to do something, like Work, or Pray, or Step Work, and we know you won’t ask, because you don’t do WORK.

FUCK ME !!!

Throwing Up My Hands

I had coffee with one of my best friends the other night. One piece of advice he gave me was this: He said, I knew what was important to me and to those I work with. He then said that I really did not need to save the world, so to speak. That I did not have to overextend myself for people who really don’t appreciate me or whatever it is I am doing, and that there are too many people out there, who take advantage of my good hearted-ness.

The other night, Tuesday, we read over Steps 10 and 11, out of the Big Book, better known as pages 86 and 87. When referring to particular important passages, those ones that are vitally important, we don’t need the topic, all we need are the page numbers. Most folks who know The Book well, refer to “Just the page numbers.”

Anyways, I digress.

A few weeks ago, after long discussions with a young man who threw his Big Book knowledge at me, and his insistence that The Book is the only way, I set him a challenge from my perspective. I asked him to pray the prayers right out of the book, I gave him a You Tube Video to watch of a long sober member I met years ago, and who is today, long dead, and finally, I bought him a journal to write his tenth step nightly.

He stopped going to meetings altogether. Haven’t seen him in weeks.

Was it my fault, did I have something to do with his MIA status?

On Tuesday night, we shared on Steps 10 and 11. The Tuesday meeting is a Beginners Meeting, so most folks haven’t read the book in full, nor worked any steps, YET.

But as the share went around the room, what I heard coming out of people’s mouths were these words …

I CAN’T … I DON’T … and … I WON’T

I’m so tired of sitting in meetings, with people who come to meetings, ignore what they are hearing, drink, over and over again, and are miserable and want nothing to do with working a program of recovery.

I am wasting my time, talent, and treasure.

An entire group of young people, that I participated with, in keeping them sober over the last two holiday periods, have decided to DRINK AGAIN.

I can only watch so many kids drink, come to meetings, take a chip, go back out and drink again, come in and take a chip, and drink again.

So many of our young people are STUCK in the revolving door now.

I was so pissed the other night, I called in the troops and asked some of my friends to step in and try to mitigate the drinking, because they don’t want to hear what I have to say, nor do they want what I have.

Experience tells me that when this happens, it’s time to Step Back.

I can’t go on, sitting in meetings, filled with misery and alcoholism. I’m an alcoholic who HAS a SOLUTION.

For many, my solution and route to that solution is too work related. I actually ask my kids and my guys to work a program. Right out of the Book. It’s not Rocket Science.

Most folks in the room, think me strange, and not many of them want what I have, and I am ok with that. I’m just not gonna hang around people who want to live in the problem, while the solution is sitting in the room.

If I did not listen when I got sober, I would be one of those kids that are sitting in misery, night after night. If they want to sit in misery and not do the hard work of getting honest and getting sober, then so be it.

I’m not wasting any more of my precious time sitting in halls of misery and sadness. I’m just not gonna d it any more.

Selfish Pursuits

We’ve been focused on The Book this week, and the two fold nature of alcoholism. The allergy to alcohol and the mental obsession of the mind. Which then follows into the spiritual malady that takes place when we introduce alcohol into our systems.

When I was a teen ager, I drank with my friends. Often. Whenever there was a party, we had that party all planned out, from beginning to end. We had plans that were executed to make sure everyone went home, a little more sober, than when they drank at said party.

All these years later, as I attempted to make amends to long since friends, none of them seemed to want to reconnect nor know me today. And they all have their reasons, and I know some of them.

I was working my way out of my closet. When it comes to the allergy, I cannot square that in my lexicon. I think I bypassed the allergy and went straight to Obsession.

My shrink, at that time, was coaching me out of the closet, so I trusted, implicitly, what he said to me. Because there was nobody else, giving me advice, as to how I was supposed to “Break Into” the gay community of the late 1980’s.

He told me, and I quote “The only way in, was through a BAR. I want you to go to said bar, sit down and have a drink, hell have two. FIREWORKS will happen. Wait for Fireworks.”

That was the advice I got. And I stuck to that advice.

Drinking became an obsession. Because as deluded as that advice was, it deluded me into fantasy and wishful thinking. These fantasies and deluded thinking, took me in and stunted my mental growth from the age of twenty one until I hit thirty four, when I put down the drink for the last time.

I drank because it would bring me what I wanted. When it was good, it was good, but in the end, it got very bad. I drank for fireworks, every time.

And it was in a bar at seven in the morning, on that fateful day that brought me more than fireworks, it brought me death along with them.

When I got sick, the mere thought of fireworks, became a MUTE point. I could not get laid for the life of me. Nobody wanted to have sex with a marked human being who was going to die. That was a bitter pill to swallow. But I swallowed it nonetheless.

When Todd moved away, left to my own devices, and nobody to tell me otherwise, I took a stab at selfish pursuits once again. That did not end up good, in any sense. What it brought me was drug addiction, in a dead end location, alone, and no way out. And I had to just bide my time and hope that the cavalry would show up.

The cavalry did come.

But my drinking obsession was not over. I just could not fathom, growing up or accepting that one very important portion of my life was over. That was the second bitter pill I needed to swallow.

In the end, that black outs got too much. And I finally put down the drink and came to my next first meeting to start over again.

In sobriety, I’ve read the book, as we continually read the book during the week at assorted meetings. And I am reminded WHY I am alcoholic and why I put down the drink. Because I am not like normal people. One drink is too many and a hundred drinks are not enough.

God, it seems, is still is action mode. He’s always in action mode. it is just sometimes, I don’t want to listen to Him. At my own peril.

It is what it is.

I know my selfish behaviors. The ones we never talk about in open community. The ones that haunt every man in the rooms today. But there was another option. And I spoke about it. And now I am doing something about it.

You can’t rid yourself of character defects and shortcoming, if you do nothing about them, wishfully thinking that if you just wait them out, they will disappear, the longer one is sober.

It doesn’t work that way.

Sobriety is ever changing, if you are up for the never ending ritual of change. You won’t get better or become better, or become spiritually fit, unless you allow God to prune the bush every once in a while.

I heard it said, for one friend, that when he got sober, his sponsor told him that “if it was in the book, he believed it, and that settled it for him.”

He is Very Long Sober today.

I want to become Very Long Sober like him too.

But in order to become that, I have to work.

Honor Thy Father and Mother

In my life, I’ve studied the Bible. Religion. Theology. I know my teachings, and my faith life. The bible says, “Honor thy Father and Mother.”

I disagree with the Bible.

I don’t honor either of them. And never will.

Today is Mother’s Day. Everyone I know, inside and outside the rooms, whether sober a long time, or a short time, is to repair their bridges to their parents, because you only get one shot. Once they are dead, it will be too late to do anything.

The last time I spoke to my mother, probably three years ago, she said the same litany to me. Her favorite stab me in the heart phrase is this:

YOU WERE A MISTAKE AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN BORN

In my life, when it counted, when I really needed guidance, they tossed me to the four corners and said, “Have at it, we are done with you.” I left home, because they would not allow their gay son, to live any longer, under their roof. My father had ample opportunity to kill me, and He did try, valiantly.

I THINK OUT LOUD TODAY, WITH THE PREVALENCE OF GUNS IN OUR SOCIETY, WE HAD A SHOTGUN AND A PISTOL IN THE HOUSE AT ALL TIMES, LOADED AND LOCKED. IT WAS A VERY GOOD THING THAT I NEVER RETALIATED FOR THE ABUSE HEAPED ON ME BECAUSE MY FATHER KNEW I WAS GAY, AND WAS GOING TO BEAT THE GAY OUT OF ME.

When I got sick, and was going to die, I called a family meeting, and begged for support and help. My Mother, My Father and my Brother, said nothing. They did nothing. They did not help me, or even deign to pick up the phone and call to see if I was ok, in all of almost thirty years since.

I survived, By The Grace of God and a key few people.

Todd was the leader of that rag tag group of men who kept me alive.

I lived because strangers to me, other than work colleagues, stepped up and decided that I would live and that they would see to it that I did live.

I LIVED

On New Years Eve Night into Day 2001 – I had worked an all night shift at the bar, doing lights, and got home around 8 am New Years Day. I got into bed to sleep, and my mother called at 9 am and told me they were in Miami, and HAD been in Miami for an entire week. Unbeknown to me. She said they were coming to visit on their way out of the city.

My father drove up, parked the car in a fire truck emergency zone, and gave my mother TWENTY minutes to visit with me. We walked around the block, we spoke, and she got in the car, and they drove away.

That was the very last time I saw both my parents alive.

My Father Died on January 7th 2018. Hating me with his last breath.

When I moved to Canada in 2002, I spent two years, every other week sending mail to Florida, trying to get my mother to respond. I mailed packages of stuff, and letters. For two years I did this every other week. My mother did NOT respond, ONCE.

Over the ensuing years, I would call my mother when I thought it was appropriate, like a death or something big, I thought would be important to tell her. She usually said the same thing to me.

YOU WERE A MISTAKE AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN BORN.

I do not honor my Father or my Mother. They did not honor me, nor did they support me, after they figured out I was gay. They did not help me when I was sick. They never once called, none of them called, my Father, my Mother, nor my Brother, in this lifetime, to see if I was still alive.

I think about my father now, more often. I connect him to a particular piece of music that I wrote about some time ago here. I talk to him too. I see the good that he had, and I try not to dwell on the bad that was there too.

I think my mother is still alive, she lives with my brother, and they both want nothing to do with me.

So fuck me for trying.

I spoke to my brother three days after my father died, and he said and I quote: “I don’t want to know about you nor your story. They all blame for for all of their problems.

They say that it was my choice to leave the family, like I did, but none of the take responsibility for the parts each of them played in pushing me out of my home so young, to severely crash and burn as a young alcoholic.

I made self preservation decisions, because I wanted to live, because of all the shit heaped on me for my entire life. I did not decide one day just to up and go because of only myself. I made those decisions, based on repeated mental, emotional, and physical abuse.

My parents only wish, during the years I was living alone and on the edge of death was this … They just wanted me to die, already, and could that be today, for God’s sake !

They did not care if I lived, because they were only concerned with my impending death. And I was not going to give them one single opportunity to be able to claim my corpse and do whatever they wanted with it. I would probably have ended up in some cemetery, buried alone, if even that, for all of eternity.

NO FUCKING WAY

It really is a bitch being almost 52 years old, being sober almost 18 years, and learning so much about life and people. I respect the place of humanity in my life. And it breaks my heart every year to know that the family of origin I had, will not grow up to the point, where they would deign to speak to me. You don’t abandon your children. Gay or Straight.

Happy Mother’s Day you Bitter Old Woman. I hope you choke on your words, when you take your last breath.

In Order to Move Forward, We Must Review the Past…

We’ve all done things, that we might not want to own up to. It is difficult watching the massive amount of strife going on all around us.

The easy out for what ails us here in Canada, is N.I.M.B.Y. (Not in my back yard). It is far too easy to just turn the channel and ignore what is going on in the world, but I cannot.

In the past little while, a good number of the women I grew up with for the last 40 years, have stated truths, that I had no idea had happened. What do you say to your friends, when they say, out loud, that they too, have been sexually assaulted as young girls.

In a time when we all spent inordinate amounts of time together, sharing meals, homes, and bedrooms. Somewhere in the middle of our lives going on, my friends were violated.

I had no idea.

Human beings are flawed. None of us are perfect. Show me a human being without a skeleton in their closet. I was raised by parents who had skeletons in their closets.

I was having a conversation in my head the other day with the brother who refuses to acknowledge my existence, when I ponder my dead father, and the possibility that my mother will die, and as I was told, nobody would tell me. So I talk to them in my head, when I sleep.

How can you be angry at me for my choices, when it was You to begin with who pushed me out into the street alone, with no street smarts, and left me to the wind, because you could not reconcile your skeleton with my reality.

My father abused me, in every way possible.

So when my friends say, out loud, their truths, I can safely admit that I get it. I understand.

They call it the Reckoning …

The world has exploded and chaos reigns at the moment. It is not safe for any of us, right at the moment. It has been said by wiser men than I that,
“People who forget the past, are doomed to repeat it…”

Drinking is not an outside issue for many of us. The severity of just how much one drank, and the situations that followed are what worries us.

I can share a story about high school. A story that many of the boys who participated in this story, would never admit that they participated in them.

I know this because, at one time or another, I went looking for old friends, and they point blank told me to get lost. They had moved on, and I was not invited to join them, because “I” had the drinking problem, don’t you know.

Much drinking took place in my social circle. We even had our own dedicated “Funnel” that was employed at odd times of serious drinking.

Boys and girls drank together. Not that I knew what went on with my friends, to a great degree. But when boys and girls would drink together in the same room, the girls were afforded their dignity. I know this because if girls were invited to the party, they were given certain directions, prior to drinking with us.

We had designated drivers, and after such heavy metal drinking parties, my friend’s sister would gather the girls to clean them up, and change their clothes, and drive them around town, while they puked, to get it out of their systems, before a second designated driver, brought them safely home.

My best friend, who was my best friend for a number of years, transgressed our friendship, by sexually violating my cousin one night. That transgression cost us a friendship, when my father made a call, fifteen hundred miles from home, to my cousins father, who flew to Florida to confront my best friend to ask him “why did you take my daughter’s virginity?”

I don’t know, to this day, the words spoken by my uncle and my father to my then, best friend, because decades later when I quizzed him about that night, he rebuffed me and hung up the phone.

Not a shining moment for him I guess.

Drinking does take a toll on the drinker, and every single person in the orbit of said drinker. Because if you drank like we did, and we know, right at this very moment, a certain man, drank as hard as we did when he was a kid, and he refuses to own up for his actions.

I can tell you from personal experience, that blackout drinking is common. I can also tell you that my friends who were educated in religious institutions, along side the secular schools, drank hard, and some even harder than we did. Because if you were educated by the Brothers of St. Christopher, You’d Drink Too !!!

There are regrets I have to this day. Mistakes I have made. People I have hurt. Memories that won’t go away. Visuals that are burned into the back of my brain. There are things each of us, will take to our graves.

Sometimes, letting sleeping dogs lie, is the best advice.

There are just some stories that will never be righted, for one reason or another. There are some people, who will never allow us to be recognized as humans, imperfect humans, who just would like to be loved.

For once in our lives.