Thursday: Life is Good


It has been a few days since my last update. It has been a busy time for everybody all around. We have a family wedding in May, it will be the first time, in many years that the entire family will be in the same location at the same time, to celebrate my niece Melissa and her husband to be, Stephan’s wedding.

We have watched our nieces and nephews grow up into fine young adults. And we spoil them whenever we get the chance. Holidays are always a big deal for our family. We will be traveling to Southern Ontario (on the train) a first for us.

In July, one of my guys, Juan is going to marry his fiancée Nadia, in a very intimate setting here in Montreal. We’ve been working very hard at keeping them “on the beam” so to speak. Juggling school, work, wedding preparations and life, is a tall order. But, like they say, “we have a program for that!”

The weather has been UNUSUALLY warm, as of late. We’ve had a long stretch of temps ranging from the lower plus side to the high negative side. Much of the snow that had fallen over the season is melting nicely, and thankfully, the sidewalks are clean of snow and ice. Which is very good news to the city population, because many older folks have suffered greatly, falling and breaking bones this season, because of the foul weather. Many of them have sued the city for damages, that is not a good thing. But necessary.

The great weatherman in the sky tells us, not to count our chickens just yet, and we are told that Winter will continue until Summer. With a clear SKIP of Spring. We are told that more drastic snow will fall, between now and May 1st.

God help us if the weather goes really South …

We will gladly take the weather we have had for the past week over more winter, and if it stays this good for the duration, all the better.

It is good that we have good plans on the horizon. This will be a first, seeing a good friend and his soon to be bride getting married. The whole focus on getting and staying sober, is to finally reap the rewards of hard work, done well.

Our young people are all doing well. Everybody is still sober, from our holiday extravaganza weekends. It is a hard slog for some, but they keep showing up, and they are talking. Which is a good sign. Many of us, have committed to being present, as often as we are able.

I am soon to start a new pass through the Big Book, with a young lady friend of my acquaintance, from the Monday meeting. I listen very carefully to what our young people say in meetings. And over the past year, have been blessed to witness one of our young woman, stand up and be counted among us.

Our Monday meeting has been talking hard topics and the discussion has been very fruitful to the extent that I am learning a great deal about sobriety, that I had never heard before, coming from the mouths of babes. Monday night, I asked my friend if she would be able to share her teaching of The Book with me. From what I am hearing from many of my friends and fellows, men and women, I’ve found that i still have a lot to learn. It may be unconventional, but any chance to walk through the book with new, fresh and younger eyes, is useful.

I’ve stuck close to my core meetings, Monday, Thursday and Friday. And I’ve placed my trust in all of my best of friends. One f them reached his Year Mark a couple of weeks ago, after a tragic crash and burn. Drugs and Alcohol will do that to you. With family, friends, and fellows present, we shared in a very special Year Celebration.

I have kept the same routine going for a long time. That being service. I heard a young man say tonight, that the first thing that he felt good about, when he got sober, and finally got connected, was doing service.

When folks in a meeting,ask you to Come Back, and to Stick and Stay, and put trust in you to do a job for any particular meeting, that is pretty special, but lost on many. But our young man tonight said that he took particular joy in knowing that people were drinking HIS COFFEE, and sitting in HIS CHAIRS.

It begins very simply.


It is high praise when someone says, “Hey, you make a mean pot of coffee!”

I know, the first job I ever had when I came in was setting up chairs and tables, for months and months, until the good ladies of my initial home group, trusted me enough to make my first urn of coffee.

Sixteen years later, I can make a mean Urn of Coffee with my eyes closed.

The next spiritual experience he spoke about was the first time someone asked him to share at a meeting. Someone, in asking him that, had wisdom that HE actually had something good to share, with a room full of drunks and addicts.

We all sit in rooms together, with assorted days, weeks, months, and years of sobriety. But is oddly the case, not too many people will ask for help, until they are down and out suffering. Even then, it is like pulling teeth, to get people to want to work with us.

It is hard work, going to meetings, and learning how to stay sober, because someone stepped up and took us on, when we came in and trusted us, with what they had to teach us about The Book and Sobriety. And the greatest gift we can offer, is our time, talent and treasure, when it comes to sobriety.

One of our men spoke a couple of weeks ago and told me that I should ask for numbers of new folks coming in, INSTEAD of giving them My number first. Flip the equation, he told me. Go out and get numbers.

Caveat here … We actually have to commit to calling those numbers if they come to us.

I guess I am in a place where, I am seeking something new to learn. And in hanging around with young people in sobriety, I am finding that I can still learn something new, that I am not the center of the universe, not that I think that …

The holidays were a great reckoning for many. Through hard work and perseverance we all came through the other end, mostly unscathed. And far better for the challenge the holidays presented many.

Sit in a room for a few seasons. And commit to being present for the long haul. Read: Commit to a room for a Long Period of Time, and you too will see how your friends a fellows grow up and get and stay sober.

I’ve been at this a long time, and teach-ability is not lost on me.

Everybody is well. It is March. The snow is melting.

It might not be Spring yet, but it sure feels like it.

Save for the first appearance of our Red Breasted Robin at the Friday Meeting church yard. I always see her. She has not appeared just yet, because there is still snow on the ground and in the trees at St. Viateur Church.

Stay tuned …

Incidental Information: Severus


Severus Snape was in the employ of Voldemort, on the night he heard the first portion of Professor Trelawny’s prophecy regarding the child who would vanquish the Dark Lord.

Would it be Harry, Or would it Be Neville Longbottom. It was a toss up.
We know now who that child was and is.

Severus had a saving grace. Lily Potter.

There were two sides to the bravest man at Hogwarts. In his death, Harry learns the truth about his nemesis and Potions Master, Defense Against the Dark Arts Master, and Headmaster of Hogwarts.

This is a convenient visual to tell this little story about my brother.

I believe in that every human being has, within them, redeeming quality.

That we carry that one part of ourselves, unseen to the rest of us, that only they might, or might not know exists. I believe, that with time, growth, spiritual awareness and truth, we eventually find that redeeming quality, and we either embrace it or we ignore it.

People have a choice in this life. To DO Good, To BE Good, and To Honor Good. or They live their lives in the manner they choose, ignoring the light and living in the dark.

I’ve learned a great deal about spiritual truth in fifty odd years of life, coming from a bevy of teachers, spiritual and secular. Along with sixteen plus years of sobriety, a university education, spiritual teaching and living in the light for the whole of my sobriety, I have come a long way, in understanding redemption.

My Father and my Mother, for the WHOLE of our lives, my brother and myself, lived in a place of judgment and resentment, and darkness. I have stories about where this might have originated.

Childhood, Abuse, Alcoholism, War, Anger, Betrayal …

We are all products of our environment.

My parents come from rough backgrounds. And who they became after we were born, was a direct result of everything that happened to them in the past. Because it informed who they would become.

My Grandmothers; Jeannie, and Camille, were LOVE. Multiplied. My Aunt Paula, was Love Multiplied. Without those three women in my life, to this day, my father would have succeeded in killing me as a child, and probably would have gotten away with it, if I ponder for a moment, justice in the 1970’s and the prevalence of PTSD, that we knew nothing about for decades to come.

Even though my parents lived in hatred and resentment, they had their moments, when you could be mistaken that they did actually love their children. Least of all me.

Poison is Poison. And Life is Life. And this is the TRUTH:

My parents created me in a heated moment of passion in the back seat of a car, in a drive in, that every time we drove past it, my mother would BOAST that I was created there, happenstance.

In the end, as time went on, I was the MISTAKE and my brother was the CORRECTION.

I grew up in this dichotomy of love versus hate. When I knew life at home was no longer viable, I chose to leave, opting never to tell anyone I was gay. My twenties were a wash out, and a complete failure. Who do I blame for what I did not know?

I left my brother in this mix. I did not come back home. I never contacted him, and he never contacted me. We lived separate lives, to this day.

He does not know me, and in the same way, I do not know him.

My mother’s curse fell down around me. Both my parents got terribly sick. My mother survived, but she is a feeble human being today, with very little to live for, but to stoke the hatred in her heart till she takes her last breath, I am sure.

As long as she still breathes, and lives under my brothers roof now, my brother will never come to recognize his One Redeeming Quality, because it is hidden within him.

YET, over the past years, that redeeming quality, presented itself in peculiar behavior, that at times belie him. He communicates with Black Listed family, on the odd occasion. Which is how I keep tabs on him, through a back channel he knows nothing about.

In the same token, when my brother uses back channels to communicate, my parents are none the wiser. What they don’t know won’t hurt them. He made specific communications prior to my father’s death.

There is a kernel of remorse within him. A kernel of goodness, A kernel of hope.

I learned this from my aunt.

When my father died, I scoured the web looking for him, only to fail. It took me to a government cypher, whom I paid for critical information that I needed.

I phoned my brother twice. The first call was Not So Sober at all. The second call I made was much more civil.

On the Wednesday after my father’s death, my brother called me, told me to lose his number and hung up on me.

He redeemed himself, when twenty minutes later he called back to apologize for hanging up on me, and we had a protracted, and rather angry exchange. But he called a second time.

There is goodness in him still.

Knowing his propensity for back channel communication, and his small attempt, in a very small way, to say something quietly, without saying it openly,

That is his TELL.

And if I am to believe my aunt, that there was a 99% chance he read my letter, tells me that part of him wants to know, however hard he tries to be angry with me, I believe that kernel is there, and when the darkness that surrounds him dies, once and for all, he will be free of that evil cunt energy.

When she is dead, that cunt; he will have to go on with his life. Once they are dead, he can carry forwards their vitriol and anger and resentment, or he will EVOLVE.

And IF he read my letter, he knows ALL the TRUTH. He knows ALL the LIES, and he finally knows MY story, from the beginning to the present day.

That will be a huge paradigm shift in his life that might take awhile to make sense, after a lifetime of not knowing me or having me in his life.


He was loved by the same women who loved me. That love, passed on in Jeannie, Camille and Paula is what sustains me and has sustained me for the whole of my life.

That love exists within my brother too.

He was caught in a No Win Scenario, a Kobyashi Maru scenario.

What was he supposed to do, walk away, and leave my parents? God forbid he had done that, walked away like I did, cleanly, never looking back! Imagine how this huge shit hole of a situation would have played out had my parents been left to their own devices.

I close my eyes and I can see and hear: THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES
playing in my mind. 

My brother was their care taker, because both my parents believed I was the mistake and not part of the family. My brother said to me that I had made a choice, NOT to be a part of this family. He is correct in that assessment.

What he did not know, unless he read my letter, is the WHY ?

If he read my letter, then he knows the truth from my own lips.

I give him the opportunity to redeem himself. I opened the door to his future, a future with me in it. But that will only be his choice to make, if and when the time and the climate is right. I cannot hunt him and force him into seeing the truth as it is.

He has to come to that realization on his own.

A Good Sober Sponsor, does not chase their sponsees.
We point the way to the truth and let you decide you want it.

And if and when he decides what he wants. I will be waiting.

Severus Snape will again be redeemed.

Because I am sure he remembers who I am.

Because in his small ways, his “TELL” tells me he remembers.

For all his harshness and anger and resentment, he knows deep within who I am.

And it will be a glorious day when he gets there himself.

Sunday Sundries: Guest Post: Uncomfortable Truth


I have friends who are teachers, students, and fellows in Religion Circles. Religion, for many, is a dying subject. Like some of my friends, my Religious education went nowhere. I spent countless monies and years of my time studying a subject that would not produce a career in my chosen field.

My friend Steve, works in Manhattan, in the publishing field. He also is a student of Religion and studied Old World Languages and Religions of the far East and taught religion for a while, until he fell out of favor with those he worked beneath.

Steve has a blog I read daily. There is always something to learn about life.

Tonight I am posting his entry for Sunday: Uncomfortable Truth

Ugly. That’s not a word I use lightly. The phenomenon of racism is ugly. More than that, it’s insidious. I recently attended a community course on racism sponsored by the Central Jersey Community Coalition. Since our government won’t condemn racism our communities must. This five-hour course was an eye-opener for me. I had known that race was a social construct with no basis in biology or any kind of science. What I hadn’t realized is that race was invented as a means of maintaining “white” power. And it was done so deliberately. The course leaders outlined the history of the modern concept of race and showed how it is primarily an American phenomenon (not exclusively, but it was intentionally orchestrated here). The idea was to keep property in the hands of wealthy whites.

During the discussion many topics came to mind. The primary two, for me, were capitalism and the Bible. These strange bedfellows are far too comfortable with one another. Both can be made to participate in the racism narrative. Capitalism appeals to the basest and most vulgar aspects of being human. Greed and selfishness. Wanting more for me and less for you. As one participant put it, it’s a zero-sum game. Your loss is my gain. We support this system every time we buy into the myth that life is about consuming. Buying more. Contributing to the economy. That which is lost is mere humanity. This is the narrative our government has adopted. The election of one of the uber-wealthy has demonstrated that with a nuclear missile shot heard round the world.

And what of the Bible? As the story of the flood unfolds in the book of Genesis, Noah develops a drinking problem. Naked in his tent, his shame is seen by his son Ham. Hungover the next morning, the only righteous man alive curses his son’s progeny. Then after the tower of Babel story, those cursed races, in biblical geography, end up in Africa. Christian preachers long used this myth as the justification of slavery. Races, after all, were decreed by God at that very tower. The tower shows us for who we truly are. Human hubris led to divine folly. And now we have a nation of liberty built on the basic premise of inequality. Racism is beyond ugly. It’s evil. The Bible may be complicit, but we need to take over the narrative. Race does not exist. Scientifically there is no such thing. Although race doesn’t exist, racism most assuredly does. Like all evils we must bring it to the light to make it disappear.

Friday: What are you Carrying ???

It is Friday. The best night of the week. It was a good day. I got out early, and arrived at the church, with my music on Shuffle … However, I chose some vintage Duran Duran.

I cranked out set up, in time to spend time with a new man I am working with these days. Now, I get to choose who I invest in and why.

The read spoke about the fellowship, and how there is a give and take in the rooms, when we get here. In the beginning we learn how to give, by simple acts of service, Coffee and Chairs. Greeting at the door. Shaking Hands.

In the ensuing years, we begin to learn about recovery. And we also begin filling our buckets with useful information, that at some point, we will know what to do with and how to use it.

Page 164, in A Vision for You, reminds us that
Obviously, you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.

It was a very long time, until I realized that, in fact, I did have something to offer, I just needed to learn how to do that from the spiritual angle. That only took 12 years.

Read: I had to learn and know how to pray and communicate with my God.

The read also says that we should give, because it is in giving that we receive. And that we should give, without the expectation of anything in return.

I thought about this, and spoke up early in the hour.

When I do not know what to do myself, I return to the basics. I do service.

History shows me that for a long time, I gave, to people who really did not care that I was giving, because as long as I was doing the lion’s share of work, they did not have to do anything. And some of my friends told me just that. They would not show up, nor do anything to serve, because they knew that I would be there to carry the load.

Selfish and Self Centered.

At the point, post emotional breakdown, that I spoke my mind out loud, people were incensed. They had never heard me get emotional or raise my voice, in all my years of sobriety.

What I did not realize, until a long sober woman said it tonight, that I needed to choose:

Was I going to Carry the Message, or Was I going to carry an Alcoholic/Addict ?

I’ve said before that I usually never say no to my friends, nee sponsees. I will do whatever they need to be done, without complaint. That usually worked for me, until I NEEDED myself.  When it came to the point that I needed from my friends, they could not comprehend that need, nor could they respond or give me what I really needed, because I was carrying them, with the unspoken expectation that My Friends Would be able to give me what I so seriously needed.

I had not realized that then, until my long sober friend said that in the meeting tonight.

I had very lax boundaries. They were porous to a fault.

And several of my friends thought nothing of barging into the private sector of my life with their self centered and selfish needs, even when I said to them that I needed a few days off to grow up and become Fifty years old.

It was obvious on my birthday that my friends did not care about boundaries.

I know today, what I need to know about boundaries.

Those who I work with where I Carry the Message, they are just fine. Those people whom I was Carrying All Along, are no longer.

Alcoholics and Addicts may be light when we pick them off the floor in early sobriety. Because they are void of life and soul, and we take them on to help build them up. But if we don’t know when to let go, and stand back and allow them to walk on their own, and we continue to carry them into sobriety, where we do all the work, they do not learn healthy boundaries, and they tend to take advantage of us.

Over time those same Light Weight Alcoholics and Addict become Very HEAVY.

I can’t carry anyone any more. I need to take care of me. I was told, by my lady friend, that I needed to step back and fill my bucket and relax, and not try so hard to do what others can do themselves.

Food for thought.

Words of the Elder


One thing I know for sure is that if you were to make that call in a rage it would never bring you peace, but then again, neither would living without closure. The peace you are looking for will come to regardless of what your family does or does not do. That must be your goal, to reach conclusive harmony independent of what they choose to be.
Your question is insightful. What do we do with the horrible truth? What do we do with a justified rage? It is all fine and well to say “love thy neighbor, and honor thy father and mother,” but then those people do something like this. What then?
First, you cannot diminish or try to deny the fact that the rage is there. Sometimes good Christians try to bury emotions like these because they don’t feel like a christian should ever have them, but we do. We can’t just hope for them to disapear. Emotions, like energy, are neither created nor destroyed. They only change forms under certain conditions, and that is exactly what can happen to this last complex of work for you to do.
It requires certain catalysts in order to break down a mass of pent up anger. You have to fill your soul with so much light that it forces the darkness into submission. Coming to peace with something as entrenched as this requires your own personal Gethsemane. When the spirit of Christ is at work, it can literaly break down the worst in our lives. The spirit of Christ comes to us in the form of truth, so we have to saturate our minds and hearts with it. We feast on the scriptures. We pray with an intensity we have never known. We meditate on things as they really are, as they really were, and as they really will be. We plead with God to do the real work for us.
Then, slowly but surely, we start to feel our anger changing shape and flavor. It gradually undergoes a change from rage into strength. The storm becomes calmed. The huge tangle of emotions has been examined, undone, and ironed out into a clear vision. We realize that we haven’t cast aside the rage, we have transmuted it into something useful and not destructive to ourselves and others. When you can think of it all, all that they did, and all that they might yet do, with that calm inner strength, that reassurance that you are at total peace and they have no more power to effect you in any way, when you have achieved that firmness of mind not to be swayed in your resolve to maintain your peace, then you can do anything, even look them all square in the face, and whatever they do, whether they vomit up all their old bile over again, or beg your forgiveness, it would change nothing about how you feel in your own shoes.
At that point you have taken the high ground. If they lash out, it is like a man shouting at the sea to stop producing the tide. You have united yourself with a force of nature, the creator of nature, and you cannot be stopped or swayed. They might choose to struggle with their own poison for the rest of their lives, but you will be free.
As to what God thinks of you and your situation, if you fill your mind with enough light to dislodge this hurdle in your progress, his desires for you will be revealed so naturally you will hardly have to ask. Light shows us the pathway we need to travel. The light of spirit reveals the mind of God. God knows better than any of us what it is to endure injustice and shame. We took upon himself such a load of it that it defies human comprehension. There is no better source to go to learn to pass through it, because he knows it so well.
My advice? Find peace. Take the high ground. Then you will not be asking for closure from them. You will already have closure regardless of what they say or do or think. Then, if you feel ready, in your mercy, you might give them one final chance to have closure, and if they refuse it you will pity them, but no longer hate them.

Friday: Stories …


We sat a small group tonight, which is very unusual. Not sure where everybody was tonight, they just weren’t at the meeting. The topic was Spiritual Alibi … And touched on several points, firstly, our inventories, self-aggrandizement, approval, power, fame and applause.

A small group, usually leads to serious discussion, because there is more time to talk about ourselves. Sometimes the discussion is simple, sometimes it is deep and tragic, and other times, we just need to hear ourselves talk, just to know we made the right decision by coming to a meeting and showing up.

If we don’t talk, how do we know we are moving forwards ? A good portion of getting sober is action. Part of that action is coming to meetings. I take it one step further, where in every meeting I go to, I want to learn something about my friends, and something about myself.

The bulk of How I Got Here, is based on watching other people do what they have done over the years, and learning from THEIR mistakes. Not that I don’t make mistakes, I do. I am no perfect angel, and I surely don’t have all the answers. But I know what I know, and my bank is full of useful information that maintains my “Base of Operation.”

In reading the passage tonight, the word APPROVAL appears.

And right away, I latched onto the word, because it stirs a very hard lesson, that I learned from Todd, the first time I got sober.

I look back at all my years, and I can tell you that the two best years of my life, were spent in service to my caregiver Todd. He got in the game with me because he thought it was the right thing to do at the time. I had nobody else to turn to. He made a conscious choice to be part of my life, in the way that he did.

Every moment was used in learning how to survive.

The difference between myself, and you a normal human being is that I have faced my own death, I almost lost my life in the process, and I lived. I have the greatest lesson under my belt. The lesson of knowing how to die, and learning what really matters.

Normal humans don’t get this lesson, until they themselves get sick, or face their own deaths, or in the end, they die. We go about our life, doing what we are going to do, for better or worse. We don’t usually concern ourselves with worrying about death, until death Call Our Name…

Some know, for sure, that they Do Not have another Recovery within them. And they live with that conscious fear of going back out, and that keeps them “On the Beam.” Living with that kind of fear can be counter productive, because if we live in fear, we are not living in peace. We are expending energy where it could be better used elsewhere.

I’ve had my slip experience. I know what it feels like to be In and be Out. I know what took me out, and I know how hard I had to fight to get it back again. I know, implicitly, that if I ever picked up again, death is certain. I don’t live in fear that I don’t have another recovery within me.

I know what I have to do, on a daily basis. And when I don’t, I call a friend, I have a conversation and I do service, until I turn blue.

I’m in a state of not really knowing what I am supposed to be doing. Because I know now that God had “cleaned my clock” by showing me emotion in myself. And in that action, I learned just what my friends think of me. And in the same action, every situation where I was expending energy uselessly, those situations, meetings, and people were removed from me.

That is what I know right now.

I also know that many of my friends suffer from a sickness … “TELEPHONE-APHOBIA.”

The fear of using the phone.

That is a litmus test for people who think they want to know me. I give them my phone number and I ask them to call me. For the most part, my phone is quiet. I only hear from those men who I work with right now, or my best friend.

The Lesson of Approval …

Every night, at the bar, had its meaning. Every night, I sat with Todd, before shift.

I cried. I sobbed. I begged.

He would talk, and I would listen.

Then I would get my nightly work inventory. Along those two years, while I was going to meetings, and not really getting anything useful from them, what I WAS getting, was credible, true, sober lessons, from someone who was not IN the program, but his partner was.

In the beginning, while I was waiting to die, I would work my ass off. If only for one thing:


For a long time, I would attack my nightly list. And every time I ticked something off that list, I would go back to Todd for a pat on the back. I needed him to say that I had done a good job. Those words were gold to me.

A while later, he figured out that I had a problem. I thought that if I was doing what I was told, and I was surviving the best way I knew how, that I needed to be told so.

At one point, Todd would have my friend Puddles, give me my nightly list. He would purposely avoid me. He would not talk to me, nor allow me to approach him while I was on shift. On any regular night, I could look across a crowded room, and catch his eye, from all the way across the bar. He had the eyes of Jesus. Blue Grey.

I could not seem to catch his eye either.

At the end of shift, I would get paid out and wait for him to speak to me. Which he did not. So I would go home, bent …

Twelve days went by, with him purposely ignoring me. I needed to learn the lesson about approval. I was a mess the night he finally said something to me, and I sobbed in his arms.

He took me by my chin and said the following …

“One day, you might have a job, where you are working for a son of a bitch who will take advantage of you and disrespect you. And you might have a job, where your efforts will go unnoticed. So you need to always do the right thing FIRST, and not DEPEND on anyone to give you something you can give yourself.”

A few weeks later, a coup would take place in the bar, and Todd and his partner were fired, and escorted out of the bar. And in that moment, those words became true.

I would not last very long, under the regime change. I would find a new job, in a new city, and in the end, I would be alone.

Every memory I have with Todd is wrapped in a particular lesson, that I got to learn in the furnace of Death, Faith, and Spirituality. I have certain gifts, that none of you will ever get, until your appointed time arises.

It’s not about my ego. It’s the plain truth. Many of my friends don’t see it that way, and believe me to be arrogant and prideful. Keeping ones self in check is the job of spiritual practice. If I don’t practice spiritual work, on a daily basis, all my character defects will rise and haunt me.

Recently, as it has gone, every time I hear someone SPEAK and tell their story, I come home, and I listen to myself, tell me my story, again and again. But as I listen to myself talk, I work in what I heard that night from whomever spoke and see where, what I heard can be useful to me.

One day, someone is going to ask me to Speak again. And those nights are far and few between. I’m not on the Speaker Circuit. Like many old timers are. Nor do I want to be on any circuit. I just go to meetings as I always do.

At some point, someone is going to hear something I say, and want to know more, and a teaching moment will appear. That hasn’t happened in a while.

The Spirituality of Imperfection is a game changing book. It will turn your sober journey upside down and make you a better human being all the way round.

I may not be always spiritually fit, which I why I have to practice, every day.

We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection…

I’m not yet perfect.

I know that those people I used to know, saw me in my imperfect state, and that sent them running for the hills screaming …

Better off alone and happy, than need to be approved by everyone in a meting.

I can’t get anyone sober. We are imperfect beings, but it is something when imperfect humans accept us, imperfectly, as we are, without judgment.

Sadly, Some people are incapable of this.

Monday – Give Back Unconditionally


What to do with the new year ? What do I do with myself ? Where am I going with this blog? I’ve been writing here for more than a decade now. Almost 12 years.

Many things have come and gone. If you told me, when I first got sober, this time around, what this life would have looked like, I would have laughed at you.

But I do know this one thing is true … The day I set foot in this apartment we still live in today, I was on my way into a life that I never imagined.

I have friends, gay friends, who love men who lived through AIDS, and are still alive. I have friends who stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park when it came to us.

Those of us who made it out alive.

Let’s just say, that I have seen a great many things over the last twenty-two years of staying alive. I see now, how every human being I knew, played a decisive role in my life that helped me to survive the horrors of a deadly disease.

Our marriage, has been a series of trials and errors. Even before we got married, we were tested through several harsh trials and errors. Practice, I call it, for the vows that we speak when we get married. Practicing non negotiables, and how to get through them.

I have a life. I have an education. I have sobriety. I have a husband. I have good friends. There is money in the bank. We have heat. Food in the fridge. Clothes in the closet.

The world has changed over the last 50 years. Well, almost 50 years for me. I did not follow the cookie cutter cycle of life choices. I took the more, harder, longer, beg, borrow, and cheat path. I thought that if I struck out on my own, on my own capacity that I would finally arrive.

That did not work. I never arrived …

God has a funny sense of humor. He never ceases to amaze me, in what He can do, when I get out-of-the-way. Over the last year, handfuls of people came into, and departed from my life.

I spent SO MUCH TIME investing in communities, and people, who, in the end, did not care one iota, in giving back, or investing in me. Now I see, where my time is best spent.

Friday afternoon I got a phone call from a friend. One I care a great deal for. Who, had to journey on his Odyssey only to return full circle, back where he started.

Drugs and Alcohol are very patient and very cunning.

Even though, over the years, I have watched my friends, and I watched them make not so good choices, and end up in a black hole, after I warned them to NOT DO THAT…

They did it anyway. And did not listen to one word I said. How many people, in the last six months have I seen fuck off and turn their backs on themselves and us ?

Too many to count.

Today, I sat with a friend for the first time in almost a year. He returned from his Odyssey, a little worse for wear, but he is still alive, barely …

This year, I am pulling back my time, talent and treasure. I will not offer those things freely, any longer. I will not put my life on the line for everyone. I have curtailed my meetings. I have set a course to hit meetings, with good people.

I invest in my meetings, and those people who come to those meetings. I have long time friends who know me in each of them. I have a solid bank of people, whom, if I needed them at 3 a.m. I could call any one of them.

I know what circle I will invest my time, talent and treasure.

I have some basic rules that I live by. Values, Morals, and Codes.

I have friends. They exist in concentric circles around me, based on how well I know them, how well I trust them, and what they can give me. This is not a selfish “give me,” but more in the sense of, most of my friends have expertise in one area or another. They do certain work in the community, and we all serve certain purposes in each others lives.

I try, the best way I know how, to give back to my friends. I will never turn my back on a friend. Because that is low down and dirty. You don’t back stab your friends.

I learned a long time ago, from Todd, how to give back. I learned how to care for human beings, on a Macro and a Micro scale. You don’t walk away from people.

Yet, in the past year, how many people walked away from me ??? And how many people, it turned out, were dishonest, and untrue and hateful ? How many times did I have to get my heart-broken in the last year, before I learned the valuable lesson that

NOT EVERYONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT YOU … Even if you wish they had. Not everybody has the capacity to be like us … To give a shit, to bend over backwards to be of service, only to finally see, just how little some people think about us or about our feelings.

Find your passion, DO IT, money will follow …

I used to believe in these words. I thought that, after I finally decided to grow up and do the right thing, and follow the logical life path, of any right-minded human being, that life would pay out financially.

Well, it paid out, just not in the way that mere mortals get/make money.

When People were diagnosed with AIDS, back in the day, to get something out of life, many thousands of people, sold their life insurance policies for cash, while they were still alive. That money did not go very far, when we had to pay out-of-pocket for meds that were not covered by insurance, because there was no insurance to speak of.

I had to practically kill myself, and set myself on death’s door step to get government help. Help that today, pays the rent here. If I did not have that specific help, we would not be where we are today.

Fifteen years ago, I began this journey again. And dammit I was going to make it this time, come hell or high water. Unlike many of my friends, who cannot be bothered to do what they are told, I did everything that I was told to do, and then some…

If Todd taught me one thing, it was Follow The Directions Given …

When I went back to school it was my choice. And I attacked my education with every ounce of energy I had. History has shown us, just how much we pay out in blood, sweat and tears, for a Degree, a Masters, and then a PhD, only to have the doors to the future, slammed in our faces, and all that work goes into the crapper FOREVER.

How many people do I know who did the education route, all the way up the food chain, get university jobs, never make tenure, then get fired because their jobs become obsolete, and they are replaced with Yes men and women, and we got the shaft !!!

Today, young people all over the world ask the eternal question, Should I go to University, and if I do, where is that going to take me ? Those answers are not so set in stone any longer.

People are trying to find their way into life, marriage, kids, a house and a mortgage, and a job that will pay the bills. And how many people, world-wide, work 9 to 5 jobs, making barely enough to pay the bills, and have money left over to buy food for their families ?

Jobs that just pay the bills, a cubicle job, that holds no passion or upward mobility. Jobs where people just punch a clock for that meager paycheck.

So many are starving for a life, that is more than just punching a clock. Money makes the world go round, and following your passion, will not necessarily put food on the table.

You’d need a really good gig, (read: Your passion) that would make enough money to make it profitable and workable. But the world, based on money, is never kind to those who would turn their noses up to a 9 to 5 gig.

There is so much inequality here when it comes to financial stability. Do you know that there are populations of people, here in First World Canada, that cannot take care of their families needs because they are paying out 150% of their pay into bills. People are going without heat and safety, because they have to choose between buying food to feed their kids, and paying out a shit ton of money for Hydro (Read: Electricity).

There are the very rich. There are the middle rich. There is the middle class. There are those who can barely make it from paycheck to paycheck. Then there are those who live in First World Canada, who live in Third World Conditions, the disparity is glaring …

The disparity between those who have, and those who have not is getting closer together.And the disparity between First World Canada, and Third World Canada is horribly wide.

I believe that if we as a nation, took all the money we spend elsewhere, giving to every charity known to man, and giving hand over fist, millions of dollars in aid to others, and for natural disasters, if we spent that money in building a better Canada, the disparities would vanish. Communities would be built, and the nations would come together and nobody would go without basic means for survival.

I’ve learned, in all the years, that I have lived in Canada, is that, yes, life is better than I would have ever imagined it would be, knowing how poor an existence I was living in the United States.

  • Life is very different here.
  • Truth is very different here.
  • I am very different here.

Canada has its issues. Just like any other country around the world. But we don’t have half the problems you do, South of the Border.

Let me tell you …

I have a lot to say about the ILLEGITIMATE man taking office on Friday.

Nobody wants to hear what I have to say on that matter though. But I will say this:

All those people, who believe in their bibles and theology, and nothing else, those of you who voted in HUGE numbers for a man who is incapable of being president, are in for a huge rude awakening.

Pandora’s Box is open. And the Monster is approaching. And mark my words,

Those who think they know God and speak for God, will very soon, come to the realization that they made a huge mistake, and they will call out the name of God.

And God will turn around and say to them …