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.

Inside the Circle

The week has come to an end. And Friday’s have always been the best night of the week, because of the people I share company with.

I was taught a long, long, time ago, that if I ever needed anything, ANYTHING, I would need only look as far as the circle. Looking back, I never had to go outside the circle for anything. Whatever that Anything was.

Suffice to say that tonight, several key friends showed up. People I trust, whom I am able to talk to about a myriad of subjects.

My kids have been on my mental radar the entire week. I’ve been talking to my friends about how I can help them. Each person I spoke to, gave me a distinct answer.

Worrying that I could not do anything, turns out that, I actually can do something. Tonight, I spoke to several key people in the circle, familiar with my worries.

I learned who can help me on a greater scale. I learned where I can go to find more help, specifically built to help my kids on the fluid spectrum. I told my friends tonight everything I observed and what I worried about. And with that said, I got solid solutions.

I also spoke to other friend familiar with specific kids in difficulty, and I am pleased that my friends will step up and do what needs to be done to help them. I’m gratified that within the circle we learn to trust each other, and know that if we ask for help, help will come.

Mental Health assistance for our kids is thin on the ground, but there are communities within the circle that CAN help. I know where they are now, and what solutions they offer to our kids.

You might not think we cover all the bases, but as the playing field changes, we adapt. I did not know what we could do for my kids, but I do now.

All will be well.

A good night was had by all.

Friday May 3rd 2019

Times are changing. Our Friday location at St. Viateur Church up on the mount, is going through changes within the parish.

We’ve been in the same room, for more than 60 years. The incarnation of the meeting, has changed over time. And for the last 6 years, we rebuilt a meeting that was falling apart, after the last incarnation, and her people had moved on.

What began as 5 people and a coffee pot, morphed over time to a cohort of over 50 folks. We broadened from the back room and few people to a two room meeting, split up to give everybody time and place to share.

A couple of weeks ago, the church told us, that we had to move out of our room, along with all the other meetings, that used the same space, throughout the week.

They offered us a room, in the church proper, and early this past week, myself and a friend, moved all of our supplies from the basement hall to the church hall room. It is half the size of the full room we had been in. The room does not have a kitchen. We do have one bathroom and sink set up to fill the coffee and tea pots. Since we don’t have a kitchen, we went to styrofoam cups and later paper warm cups, so we don’t have to wash cups in a sink in the bathroom.

The hall will happily seat 50 people. I arrived uber early tonight with a couple of fellows and we set up the room, in the same fashion we used to have in the old room. Save, that the group cannot split up into two, sitting everybody in the same room, for the entire hour.

You cannot throw alcoholics into change, because it throws them off kilter. We welcomed everybody, to the room. Our first meeting in the new space was a success. People seem to like the cozy comforts of the room.

The reason we had to move is this … There is a daycare up in the parish building. That room needs renovation. Before they can move downstairs into the basement hall, that room needs to be retrofitted for safety and regulations, as a child care facility, as per the city and province.

You can’t just toss a daycare, into a room, that is not safely set up for that purpose. We all had to move out so they are now retrofitting the room for the kids. The room upstairs is being renovated. Once all the work is done, the kids will either stay downstairs, or move back up.

We have this new room until October. Between now and then, we are negotiating with the parish rector to remain in our original space, because finding another church, IN this neighborhood, is unlikely. We won’t be able to recreate the old dynamic, in another church anywhere in this locale.

There are a couple of choices still. But some feel that if every meeting in the area, utilizes the same space, 7 nights a week, we loose the distinctive feel of the meeting. Because the one church open for business with a rector who is familiar with our work, will rent his space, for very little money, because he knows what we do. He has three meetings now in that space. We all go to those other meetings in his ballroom in the basement.

The dynamic of that room is far different. it is not the room the Friday meeting wants to inhabit, in any case. So we shall see what comes of the renovations and what will happen next fall.

More to come.

Friday … Updates … Trust

julia

It has been One Long Day …

Never let it be said that Socialized Medicine is terrible or not very good.

Never in all my years, living here in Montreal, have I gone without, or not been able to see my doctor whenever I need him, at a moments notice, anytime, any day.

The good thing about my doctors, is, that both of them (are) brothers, and work out of the same office, on different days. And in an emergency, both are available, even off hours.

So today, I had a morning appointment to get my diabetes numbers. I got there early, and as usual, the office was full, ours is a family office so multiple generations show up for appointments. I waited …

When it was my turn, I had not sat down for five minutes when I told George that I had fallen and seriously hurt myself. The appointment went out the window and he listened and then took immediate action. Since I see my doctors offsite, not in a hospital complex, I get personalized service with one stop shopping.

The Metro stop which I use to get to the office is centrally located, with all ancillary offices tucked in the same neighborhood. Within three blocks are all that is needed, however, I do use the Montreal General Hospital for my lab work. That is the only reason I set foot in a hospital.

George sent me for x-rays, which cost me a whopping $10.00 for the dvd copy of my x-rays. I walked to and from the image center and back to the office.

I have a crack in my wrist, it isn’t broken or fractured, just a small crack in the bone in my wrist. No cast required, I do have a pressure wrap that I got. The hand is swollen, and purple, and the pain is sometimes excruciating. I have pain killers when I need them, and my doctor said it will heal, as long as I take care of the hand and not agitate it any more than it is. But my right hand is my dominant hand, and certain things I have trouble doing, like bathing, showering and dressing. I have limited movement in that hand right now, and limited range of motion.

It is ok.

I left home at 10:30 a.m. and got back home at 4:45 p.m.

That might be a long time, but I am willing to wait my turn, in return, I get the best care for the tax dollars I pay yearly.

**** **** ****

I departed early to make a stop on the way, it was cold. I arrived at the church in good time. It is the best night of the week for many of us.

We talked about Trust …

It was a good discussion. But the icing on the Friday cake, was sugar pie.

One of my good friends, a man I adore, came with his family, to celebrate his three year anniversary. He has come such a long way in those years. He trusted us with his life, and we, in turn, gave his life back to him.

We come in dirty, dejected, sad and disillusioned. Not knowing who we could or should trust. But where on earth can you go, and find people you CAN trust, trust with your life and your spirit?

The rooms provide.

We clapped and we cheered and everyone went home, just a little bit better than when we walked into the room tonight.

Before the meeting, I was standing outside talking to Mama Bear, and a great wind blew through the trees, and knocked ice and snow from a pine tree that is at least a hundred feet tall. It began to snow, ever so gently.

When we left the church there was a blanket of snow on the ground. It was not as cold as it had been just an hour earlier. I walked home with “my person.” Everyone has “their person.” It was a great walk home for both of us.

Took the train home and had a nice dinner.

Now it’s time to hit the sack …

Goodnight.