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.

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.

Truth

When we were kids, what was the one thing our parents told us, that was the most important idea ? Always tell the truth.

Growing up, I told the truth. Sometimes at my own peril. I learned early on, just How Much Truth, to let loose. When alcohol entered the picture, truth and all those other necessary ideas of honesty, went out the window.

Tonight I heard what happens, when you cannot tell another lie, to cover up all the lies you had already spoken, and the world caves in on you.

There is something I cannot wrap my brain around today.

Why are people so averse to telling the truth and also, hearing the truth?

Why are people so hell bent to shut you up and walk away from friendships and relationships, because you tell the truth ?

I’ve been sober a long time now. And I’ve seen a great many things over time, and I’ve also heard many things in many places. I had this conversation with a couple of friends tonight.

I’ve said, in an earlier post, that the train of thought in our rooms is this:

Feel Nothing, Say Nothing, Do Nothing.

God forbid, I speak a feeling in open community ! God forbid, I loose my cool, or even slightly raise my voice in a public setting. An Heaven Forbid, I tell the TRUTH, in front of my friends.

Over the past few years, I’ve learned about vulnerability, guilt and shame, from the Master Teacher Brene Brown. Vulnerability is not a liability, it is an Asset. And I live by that thought today.

We go about our lives, listening to people, tell us to just shut up. Listen to people tell us, that to openly feel an emotion in the general public is not advised. To the point, we become a Vulcan.

Say Nothing, Feel Nothing, Do Nothing.

Like I said before, I am not a robot.

If someone upsets me, I feel an emotion. In sobriety, the book tells us that “Acceptance is the key to all of my problems.” And that to admit that I am Powerless over People, Places, and Things, is the first thing I need to know before I open my mouth and say anything.

The book also says that “If I have a problem with somebody else, that in reality, the problem exists within me.”

Which means, SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP.

You’re not supposed to say that someone upset you, because you are your own problem. You are not supposed to be resentful at all, because an alcoholic’s worst adversary is an unjustified resentment.

That we aren’t supposed to get angry, If we’ve read the book, and worked our steps and we are OH SO SOBER !

We all have feelings. And to just sit back and listen to people read these passages from the book ad nauseum, turns my stomach. Because I cannot ignore my feelings any longer. And I am not just going to:

SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP, and KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT !!

Why are people so afraid of the truth ? And why is it such a sin to speak the truth when the necessity of speaking said truth arises?

I see, and I listen, and I watch. I remarked also tonight, that over as many years, I hit meetings, and listen to the reading and I share whatever it is on my mind, on any given night.

And I wait, for Someone, Anyone to challenge me, to tell me to keep my mouth shut, or maybe I am not so sober, if I am having a reaction to someone or something.

The implied silence rule still applies. Say Nothing, Feel Nothing, Do Nothing.

None of my peers would ever break protocol and challenge me. Not one Old Timer has the balls to call me on the carpet or even say something like, you’re talking bullshit, or maybe:

I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, LET ME TELL YOU HOW I DEALT WITH THAT!

I’ve never heard ANY of my friends, fellows or any old timer, for that matter, say this particular phrase to me or anyone else around me.

My best friend pissed me off. I sat on my resentment for weeks, until two nights ago, I wrote him a letter, and told him the truth. And tonight, two nights later, he has not a word for me, sideways.

He’s gonna walk away because I told him the truth. The last time I was in a situation where I was on the emotional bubble, and I spoke a truth, all of my friends, and ALL of my sponsees ran for the hills, and never spoke to me again. Because I was feeling in open community. Because I had an emotional reaction to being over worked, stressed, and tired.

Yes, I think we can be overworked, stressed, and tired. Making seven meetings a week, for months on end, doing all the work to keep an entire fellowship floating, takes a toll on you after 4 months of doing all the jobs IN a meeting, while everyone else is away on Summer Vacation. And needing people to step up and assume responsibility, is not a lot to ask for, in my opinion.

We get sober. We learn how to live soberly. We learn how to deal with life on life’s terms, and we learn how to tell the truth.

The proviso: DO NOT BE Vulnerable. DO NOT say anything, and for God’s sake NEVER tell the truth to your friends. And never tell the truth in a meeting, because like to old adage go …

YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH.

How true those words are in today’s climate of lies and untruths.

Fuck me for being Honest.

I just don’t understand, and I wish someone would explain this to me in language I can understand.

Because I don’t lie to my friends, let alone my hubby.

At least that is a Sober Act.

Sunday April 28 Updates

So much has been happening this past week, so much I wanted to say, but felt that if I opened my mouth, it would not be good. I erred on the side of caution.

Last weekend, Easter, did not go as planned.

And I got sick.

Having two medical issues back to back, sometimes makes life a little difficult. We have to be spot on perfect, when it comes to treatment, when one side of the equation goes south, so applied medication does not counter the drugs I am already taking for the other side of the equation.

It is day 28 …

I developed a rather painful infection in the one location that is ripe for infection at any time, that being my “manly bits.” Too much sugar going out of the body, in urination, causes an imbalance of fluids going out. I am on a stable amount of insulin daily, with a booster shot once a week on Sundays.

The booster shot guarantees my body will make insulin on its own, and works twenty four seven. With the added 34 units of insulin I shoot daily from an inject pen.

Let’ just say that by Easter Sunday I had swollen like a stuffed pig, and the pain was immense. I knew I was in trouble. So I obtained the emergency key and unlocked myself. On Monday I phoned my doctor, who was not in, but he reached me part way through the day. I knew what was wrong, and so I also knew the drug I needed right off. A quick call to the pharmacy, and a fax of the request was sent, on Monday night, I had my fix.

If you think socialized medicine is such a bad thing, think again. In any areas, getting treatment is a wait and see prospect. I have two phone numbers I can call, any time, any day, and find my doctor. If it is an emergency, I get pushed to the head of the line in the office. And I get taken right away.

My doctors are brothers. Which makes things a lot easier. Both know the total situation, and I have a team of specialist who will do whatever it is I need at a phone call, and if I need to see them, like I said, I get right in.

After five days of treatment, my body is back in sync.

It was a regular week last week, meeting wise. We had celebrations on Monday night, of serious sober time. Our Matron of the Monday Meeting gave birth to a baby boy on Monday night. We could not be happier for them.

It has been raining too much, and thousands of homes have been flooded because of rising rivers and snow melt from up north. Rivers that flow downhill have overflowed their banks, in Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick. Thousands of people have been displaced as of tonight, and the worse, they say will come over the next 48 hours.

Flood rates are higher than they have ever been, and more homes are flooded by multiple FEET not inches. And rivers have yet to crest in many places. Which evacuated people are in the thousands as of tonight.

Homes that were flooded two years ago, are further under water tonight, than they had been back then. The province is talking about shelling out money to move affected residents from the flood plains, but they aren’t offering enough money to make it work. The amount they are offering, $200,000 per house hold, does not hold a stick to multiple hundred thousand dollar homes they are trying to move people from.

It is not a good scene by any stretch.

If you pray … Say a prayer for our people tonight.

I went to The Mission this morning and heard a very bright and intuitive young man speak. He said many good things, I had never heard before and also, his perspective about gratitude for life’s problems. We all have problems, but how many of us find ourselves in the middle of them having either created them, or walked right into them, knowing that was a bad choice to begin with… food for thought.

I went and did some shopping and farted around all afternoon until my evening meeting with my friend. I took a shower and prepped to go out, and today, I locked back up. can’t tell you how good it feels to be back inside.

It frees my mind and my body, because of the word NO.

NO is a Complete Sentence …

I met with my friend today, and we spoke of goals for the future. He has some good ideas. We talked about publishing. Something I have pondered for a long time. I have plenty of material to publish and there are several key demographics I could publish towards as well. So that is tinkering in my brain tonight.

We’ll see where today’s discussion will lead.

I got the third book in Jared Diamond’s Trilogy, beginning with Guns, Germs and Steel, then, Collapse, and now Upheaval. Turning points for Nations in crisis.

Time for bed and a little light reading.

More to come.

Friday: Prisons

Prisons

There are those who suffer within prisons of their own making. In some cases, society has also built a wall around you.

“Therefore, when you members come into the world of A.A. on the outside, you can be sure that no one will care a fig that you have done time. What you are trying to BE – not what you WERE – is all that counts with us.”

Very few people, in today’s rooms, have experience with bringing a meeting Inside the walls of a prison. In the first years of sobriety for me, I participated in bringing meetings inside the prisons here in Montreal. If you have never reached beyond your comfort zone of safe and sober rooms, you are missing out on an experience that will change your life.

The topics of Prison, Suffering, Adversity, Sobriety, were on many minds tonight.

We all have our stories. And every story is important. Our stories, in the rooms are still being written.

A good friend of mine says that, once we relent, and say, We’ve had enough of existing in the prisons of our own making, and we accept the promise of what the book offers, a Spiritual Solution, that WILL change our lives, if we only allow the process to do its work.

Not many people want what we have to offer them. Many still battle within their own heads. Believing that they are good, that everything is just fine, as long as they “cut down” the drink or the drugs.

The holidays are upon us. The time of greatest misery for many in the rooms. Because we can’t just have ONE and be DONE. And hour upon hour the television shows us just what good a time the world is having around us, drinking and celebrating the season of goodness and gift giving.

This is the hardest time to get sober. I got sober in the month of December. it was not a cake walk by any stretch of the imagination. But I persisted. And I won this round.

And in not so long, I will celebrate 16 years sober.

We’ve all experienced the furnace of life lessons. Even in sobriety.

Life is a furnace that continually tests us to make sure we earn our metal.

It gets better.

Yesterday my best friend went to work, having experienced a few days of down in the dumps drama and stress, got on his knees in the office and prayed.

Within an hour of those prayers being said to the Power Greater than Himself, his phone rang, and on the other end was the help he so needed and prayed for.

I told him, He had the number, he used it and called, and help arrived.

Just in time. As needed.

Help will always come when it is asked for.

 

Monday: Sober Observations

o-BRENE-BROWN-ORIGIN-MAGAZINE-facebook

“If your marble jar is empty, you don’t have it to give away.” “Do you have marble jar friends ?” “What is a marble jar friend ?”

Braving
Boundaries
Reliability
Accountability
Vault
Integrity
Non Judgement
Generosity

Trust – is choosing to make something important to you, vulnerable to the actions of someone else.

This mirrors A Vision for You, when it says: “Obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.”

I have a marble jar. I’ve been working to fill it, over these very trying months of my life.

And I have spent time listening to Brene Brown, Timber Hawkeye and others talk about The Anatomy Trust, Vulnerability, Shame, Guilt, Peace, Letting Go, and the Fine Art of Not Giving a Fuck, and finally, The Fuck It List…

When my emotional roller coaster left the station, I observed something that shook me to my sober core. My friends, fellows, sponsors, allies, did not want to hear my pain. They did not want to listen to me, honestly and compassionately, and without judgment.

As the months wore on, the people who did not want to listen to me, became afraid of me, and some, even asked me to go from meetings because of their fear factor.

Men and Women who were double-digit sober, MUCH more double digit sober than I am right now, thought out loud that “Oh, you want us to treat you special, unlike everyone else in the room!” No … I just want to be treated as a human being in difficulty.

I have friends, well, they’re not friends any more, who just cannot sit with me and listen to me talk when I need to talk. If only to hear words come out of my mouth, that seem important to me in the moment.

Yesterday I was sitting with a friend, well, I thought she was a friend. We were talking about HER. There is a situation on the table, she wants to invest in. And she wanted me to walk her through this process, because I have personal experience, in this area.

I have friends, well, fellows, who will invest every dollar of their mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical selves with people far away, or on people who have a very low R.O.I. (Return on Investment).

I’ve been floundering here in my own stew of emotional and mental soup for months, and every time I want to talk to and/or in front of these people, they tell me to SHUT UP.

I’ve learned that I have a choice in the WHO, the WHAT, and the WHY …

I don’t have to engage in every problem in a room. And I don’t have to invest in something that is wasteful and/or a waste of time.

I’ve done this over and over again.

Timber says that WE need to be LIGHT.

Light as in a LIGHTHOUSE.

A lighthouse is static. Stands in one place, and shines its light for ships to see to navigate away from rocks and danger.

For years and years, I thought I needed to shine my light in people’s faces, as if to say …

“Here is the light, do you see it, I am the light …”

NO, WRONG …

I just have to sit still and be present, and keep my mouth shut until it is necessary to speak.

One attracts more bees with honey than with vinegar.

It is apparent to me now, many months later, that as long as I am serving other people, talking about what THEY want to talk about, and helping THEM, as long as the conversation is serving THEM, everything is kosher.

As soon as there is a break in the stream of consciousness, and I turn from helping THEM into hoping they will listen to ME, to help ME, that’s when they tell me to SHUT UP.

Does that seem right to you ? Because it doesn’t seem right to me.

Timber tells us to make a list of our CORE VALUES. Write them down. All those things that we want to be, the men and women we want to become.

When you finish writing, take that list and compare it to WHO you ARE right now.

Right away, we begin to see just how much work we have to do with US, to become the people we want to be.

I have that same list for my friends. People are people and I have to let them be who they are, without expectations, judgments or conditions.

We have to allow people to be who they are warts and all.

But in these times of troubles and strife, I need my friends to help me. I bowed down and asked for help. I’ve asked people to help me, to rise up and do for me when I could not do for myself.

Barely a handful of those people did RISE UP and helped ME.

I’ve learned that I don’t always have to be the voice of reason and sobriety. Not everyone wants to listen to me give them unsolicited advice, because someone, or a friend is in difficulty. I gotta let them work it out. And not get involved in their spiritual journey.

That is one of the Great Sins …

One, to get in the way of YOUR spiritual journey, and TWO, getting in the way of someone Else’s spiritual journey.

I’m tired of my friends, telling me to just SHUT UP.

Thursday – Is there anybody out There ?

kneel

I know where I am going. I know where I have been. I know the way out, but I am not quite there yet. It’s like I am standing in front of the door of the church, and the door is closed at the moment, because it hasn’t been opened for me just yet.

There are steps I need to take, and people I need to meet and talk with, before that door is fully opened. I just need someone to talk to, someone to share with, someone who can be there and to listen.

I have heard the warning about “Disclosure,” that Heavenly Father will send the right people to us, when the time is right, and that we should not look to having conversations with people, who won’t necessarily accept or understand the finer details of the story I am living right now.

Right now, I have my sponsor who knows, I have my Elders who I have asked for help from, and for someone to talk to.

This afternoon, I had “The Discussion” with my best friend. He lives in another City, Ottawa, so he isn’t local, and if I want to see him, I have to go to him.

I had not really prepared what I was going to say to him, but I had an idea. I just was not sure that I would have the right words to explain all the details fully, or that I would be able to paint the right picture for him to look at.

He knows me, and he knows my story. We have spent months of Fridays sitting on his back patio, when he lived here, talking through a manuscript that, at one time, I thought would make a good book. I later decided that writing said book, was not a good idea, so I shelved it.

In my story outline were 5 threads. One of them is a Heavenly Father thread.

With that idea firmly sussed out between us, the story I told him made perfect sense. For over an hour we talked, and he did have valid questions, worries, concerns for my spiritual welfare, because he has seen me get burned before, and he does not want to see me get burned again.

He is walking with me. He gets it. It makes sense to him. And he supports this journey.

When I hung up the phone, I was emotionally and spiritually exhausted. In a good way though. I talked about my Testimony of Faith and The Atonement. I’ve studied the Plan for Salvation. Last night, I went over my scripture readings and I prayed.

I sent word to my Elders that I really wanted to know if there was someone who they knew who could be there to listen or to guide.

I listened to another story from Voices of Hope when I got home this evening.

I don’t have a map of the next steps. I don’t know what is going to happen. Or who is going to come into my life right now, to walk with me.

If there is anyone out there, who has time … Contact me. Please.

jeremy1350@gmail.com

You know, I sent two emails out over the past week. Neither of them have been returned.

I have an odd story, I am where I am.

I also know that if I don’t hear Heavenly Father myself, that the next step is to go and listen to someone who knows Heavenly Father, because words might come from them.

He always finds a way …