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.

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.

Friday … Thoughts

Friday, Thank God it’s Friday, Friday, Fridaaaaaaaaay !!!

Basking in the afterglow of Thursday’s experience, sharing the book. I called my friend and told him what had happened last night, and today we had a second conversation about it.

You never know when inspiration is gonna hit, because specific spiritual experience is always a surprise. I just know that in my experience, if i wanna see a spiritual experience, I have to go to a meeting, and watch my friends, continue to get sober.

I’ve listened to people read the book, in a meeting setting. Several times. I’ve read the big book, in a meeting setting, several times. It has been my experience, that if I am going through a hard time, in any way, that if I sit in a big book meeting, I am not going to drink.

I’ve used that tactic before, and it worked. What stunned me afterwards, was the number of people who have read the big book, in the same room, decide, after reading said book, to drink again.

We talked tonight about criticism. Whether that be negative or positive criticism. Most people stay away from criticism. And if someone has something critical to say, they usually couch that criticism, in the form of a suggestion.

For the longest time, even as long as I’ve been sober, I always second guess myself. I am my own worst critic. And all along, I go to different meetings, and I share here and there. For a little while, like a year, whenever I would open my mouth, not sure if what i was about to say, was correct, or wrong, or maybe I should just shut up, I would talk. Sometimes just to hear myself talk.

Hoping against hope, that someone, anyone, would give me something ? Anything ?

I don’t know what old timers think about me, or about anything I say in open community. As I said, I share at discussion meetings, and when nobody said anything to me, nor do they even intimate, something in my direction, I have thrown caution to the wind. And I just let it fly.

But I know that before I speak, I’ve done my homework. I collect data in meetings, and then when appropriate, I let it fly. I read the book. I go to meetings. I work with others. I don’t criticize my guys openly, or even to their faces.I take the same tack my sponsor uses with me. If I talk to my sponsor and tell him a story, about me, or something that is weighing on my mind, my sponsor will tell me a story about him, and that story is not necessarily a sober story, but it could be a life story. Within that story, is usually couched a lesson.

With Todd, if he wanted me to learn something, he used work, or a chore, to make his point. Everything I did in that bar, during those two years, there was a lesson couched within my work. Everything I did came with a life lesson, that Todd thought I would need, HAD I reached the point of no return, with my AIDS diagnosis. All the major lessons, were about survival, and self care. He believed that if I could learn to do something that I did not necessarily want to do that was either difficult, or dirty, or repugnant, there was a reason he pushed my envelope. Because in the end, when I succeeded at doing something for him, that if I needed to do something for myself, I would know what to do, if shit got real, or I got sicker, or if my health took a bad turn for the worse.

Gratefully, it did not get that bad. I skated above the fray, that entire period, while people were sick and dying left and right.

I’m still waiting on someone to say something to me.

I recounted to a friend, that when I hit my emotional bottom, after the Pulse shooting, I was angry and upset for a long time. The only thing old timers said to me during that period of time was this: They noticed I was angry, and they were not afraid to point out to me that I was angry. One old timer woman, at a Sunday meeting I used to go to, one night I was setting up and she walked in to my tossing chairs across the room, quite angrily. And she looked at me and said this: “You know you are angry, and I’d like you to leave this meeting and not come back, you are scaring the women.” I left that meeting and did not go back.

Nobody in all that time, offered me one clue to how to cure my anger or get over it. None of those old timers gave me anything about coping with anger or dealing with my anger, or anything sober, that might help me stop being angry in sobriety.

I rode that roller coaster ALONE, for two years, because nobody wanted to touch me with a ten foot pole. Nobody said anything to me. Not a word. In the Big Book meeting I sat in for fourteen months, not one human, gay or straight, said one word to me, in any form suggestion or criticism, i walked this road all by myself. Until the roller coaster came into the station and stopped.

That is a thing. I guess he fact that I am good, in sobriety. I am fully engaged, doing service, going to meetings, reading the book, I try not to be self centered, or egotistical, or arrogant or angry, people just leave me alone. So I am doing the best I can, with everything I have, and everything I do in sobriety.

I work my ass off, unlike many people I know in the rooms today. they will all show up, because I have keys to every meeting I go to, and I am the one who sets up and makes coffee, several times a week. They know the room will be ready and the coffee will be ready when they get there. The only criticism I would get is this … “If the coffee were to happen to be late, or the urn of coffee was not good, you bet your ass, they would say something about my coffee.” You know you’ve arrived when someone tells you that your coffee is shit !

Lastly, I know I’ve lost some readers, over the past week. because of some of the information I am posting here about my personal life and choices. That’s ok. I get it. Chastity is not a topic people want to hear about, or about my former sex life. Suffice to say, I’ve been permanently locked for two days now, and I’ve had my rage cage for three days. I love this cage. And I love that I am so good with my decisions. it has totally changed my perspective on life and my surrender.

I’m really in a good place.

God is good. In all things.

If I know I’ve done a good job, I don’t need to hear from anyone. And I do a good job, all the time, to the best of my ability.

Goodnight.

Permanently Sealed

My Rage Cage Arrived Yesterday. The Pin and locking mechanism are useful, but the pin has a very small pin hole for a small pad lock, and not large enough to accommodate the lock I had been using on my CB-6000. Last night I removed the pin entirely and used my main stay lock in place of the pin and lock system.

Today after work, I went by The Tire and bough a package of bolts and nuts, that would fit the pin hole, where the pin is inserted into the top of the base ring. I tightened a bolt with a couple of nuts in the pin hole to lock the base ring together, because the cage portion has an arm that fits onto the wings of the base ring (it fits together in two parts).

Once you fit the cage arm over the base ring, comprising the pin hole for locking, you have two interlocking parts that lock the device together, then you have to either use the pin and lock to lock the device closed, or like I did today, I am using a bolt and nut in place of the pin system.

I took my metal solder set and soldered the end of the bolt behind the nuts permanently sealing the bolt in solder.

My Rage Cage is permanently sealed now.

I cannot take it off now.

Let’s ROCK !!!