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.

Perfectly HONEST ???

maybe

“No one can teach you how to be a storyteller, you have to live to be able to do that.”
Casey Neistat

If there is one thing you should do right now, if you don’t already, Go to your You Tube Account and SUBSCRIBE to Casey Neistat. Right Now. Today. Now, Right Now !!

I’ve learned, at this point in my life that, maybe it’s not always about trying to fix something broken. Maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better.

That is so freaking true for me right now.

Tonight we talked about Honesty. Honesty is one word that appears early in How It Works:

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

Before I say anything else, we must begin this discussion with the fact that we are all HUMAN, we are FALLIBLE, and we all make MISTAKES. Alcoholism is a human disease, and when we come to the rooms, however damaged and hopeless we are, some tend to forget the human quality and hurriedly ascribe some nasty word to describe fellow humans sitting in the same room with them, forgetting, that at one time, THEY were just as damaged and hopeless as newcomers are.

What have I learned in 49 years of life ?

We are born into families, be they rock solid and honest, or broken and hard pressed for any semblance of honesty or love.

As children and well into our teen years until the day we walk out of that house we were born into, walk out of said house and strike out into the great unknown.

We all carry that around with us, and that taints what we do next, (for many) and how we see the world. For me that was the great challenge. I lacked many things when I left home.

And I see that today.

Knowing all the secrets at home, and watching people live inside a secret and watch them produce a show for the outside world, where they were not their true selves, fucked me up.

My thoughts always centered around, “Well, if this is good for you (read: Your Secrets) then it is good for me.” (Read: What’s Good for the Goose, is Good for the Gander).

Gay IN secret was better than being gay OUT in the world. That was an abomination.

While all the while, I heard my parents demean me and many others, with racist, ethnic and homophobic hatred. In the end I knew I had to go. And I did.

But like I have said before, alcoholism followed me, and so did some seriously bad behavior. Namely, dishonesty, lies, and immaturity.

Honest was not something I aspired to.

In my twenties, I hit several serious situations that put me between a rock and a hard place. At first, I drank to drown. And I failed at coping with suicide. The second, when I got sick, I again, drank to drown, until Todd stepped in.

If he was one thing, he was honest. And I had to get honest to begin with, or there was no future. I learned the hard way what happens when you have to get honest, and remain silent for your own good, because the truth would cost you a lover, a home, a job, a family, and your friends.

Been there Done that …

When people show up, they bring with them everything that happened to them, everything they believe, and everything they have lost. Hope is the last thing on many minds in the beginning. And if we are honest with you, life is not a dress rehearsal, and this is not a trial run, there are no do overs.

This is it. You only get one shot. So you better make it a good shot.

Sadly, many don’t learn this the first time around. I surely did not.

Almost fifteen years later, I am still working on my Good Shot.

Honesty is something I struggle with every day. Honestly, I’ve expected better of people, and hoped in people to rise and grow up, when they are not able to do so. I’ve held onto idealistic expectations, that I will never see “This side of heaven.”

I have known for a while now, that when I turned fifty, I was no longer going to be willing to wait for people who are not part of my life today, to become part of my life. Because, as a wise man said to me tonight, “Twenty five years later, is a long time to make an amend to someone that might be sunk in their way of life, and that outcome be anything else but a big HUGE disaster.”

Good for me, my spiritual director cut me to the chase and made me see, how I was not being Honest with myself or GOD. Withholding my trust in God, and thinking that my will was the better will, and that God did not have the right answer, because the answer I have long wanted had not come YET, yet I was willing to hold on until it came, come hell or high water.

WRONG !

Over the years, being Gay and POZ, I watch people, when I tell the truth. I watch what they do, and I listen to what they say. And it is in what they Don’t Do and what they Don’t Say that I find appalling.

Sober people are just as guilty of this kind of behavior as those who live on the outside.

Today, I know what I know. And I’ve seen what I’ve seen. And I know, for damned sure, who I want to hang around, and who I don’t. They say that “Who we are is directly related to the top five people we have in our lives.”

Rafa is right up there at the top of my five list.

When we come, we bring what we have. And we cope the best way we can, based on each of our abilities to do that. Making sobriety the first priority, when we bring life into the room with us, is the challenge in making sobriety work, Honestly.

I was ready, this time around, to do whatever it took, at what ever cost, no matter what.

And I will have, very soon, fifteen years of making that system work for me. I have accrued all those years of work, honesty as I was able, and truth as I spoke, and love and care where it mattered to give away.

Not Many People are interested in my honest attempt to be a good human being.

And I have to let that be.

I know my elder friends who I speak to and trust implicitly are all on their journeys. My elder man is heading towards 65 soon, and my elder lady friend is heading towards 63, I am headed towards 50, my spiritual director just hit 53.

We are all trying to figure out wisdom of our times. We are all trying to figure out what we are supposed to know, and what is coming around the bend. I know what happened in my twenties, my thirties, and my forties.

I hit sobriety at 34. Wisdom did not begin to set in until I hit 40. I’m not sure what is going to happen when I hit 50. We all know what happened to some, who have hit the 70 mark. They got OLD very fast, became despondent, they suffer from old age that came on quite suddenly, and tragically. I don’t know but I watched what happened, I watched several of my friends age FAST. And they have faded into obscurity, by their own choices.

I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of old ideas and old expectations.

Sometimes being honest is not the wisest counsel.In certain situations.

Today I had a conversation with a friend, who is not in a good space, so I’ve been on top of that with her. She made a decision today that was detrimental to her, despite what we’ve been through together, and I know why she did what she did, and I could not be totally honest with her, because I am not her, and I am not in control of anyone but myself.

The only honest thing I could say was, Do you think that choice was wise ? Good or Bad ?

The scales of the past fall from us, the longer we work on ourselves. And truth and honesty comes in stages, and not all at once, because we are HUMAN, and we can only progress forwards, with TIME, WORK and with FAITH. As we are able, with what we have at each moment we need it.

I see that wisdom now, about how dishonestly I began my adult life. And just how long it took me to figure all that out.

That is twenty eight years later …

Better late than never.

I would rather you be honest with me, than give me the silent treatment or ignore me. Some of my friends just walk away. I’m not sure why, because I work very hard at relationships, it’s just that for some of my friends, I don’t have that kind of relationship, let’s say, that I do with my best friend or my husband.

Certain friends of mine when I ask them to be honest with themselves and me, have turned around and told me to go fuck myself.

One, they can’t be honest in recovery, And Two, they can be honest in telling me to go fuck myself.

That doesn’t make sense to me.

You cannot be all things to all people, its just not possible.

I’m honestly working on being better at honesty, all the way round.

How Free Do You Want to Be ???

The Final Turning Over …

918

Hi brother,
Your email overwhelms my heart. I’ve been sitting with it for days now, just holding it and you there in my heart, and before God.
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Your life journey is epic in size. There has been great cost to you, and much brokenness. Caring and nurturing parents have not been a part of your journey it seems.
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Yes, you know the joy of the little ones calling your name, and so you also know some of the pain of missing their little hugs. Its such a bitter sweet thing. Their love and the distance that separates your heart from theirs. Life and its distances seem to be such a challenge these days.
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Even distances of the heart.
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Your heart distance with your parents is a longing that, as you are seeing, may never be crossed over. I’ve seen aged men long for and crave the love of their moms and dads and it never comes. Never ever comes. And how is the aged man supposed to live with that love gap in their lives?
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Maybe it’s connected with your love for this little girl, Lu Lu.  Perhaps it stirs your own questioning of your parents and how they could so easily reject their little boy?
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The pain you are experiencing, the desire to be heard, the desire for justice, that is all legitimate and real.
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But you may never feel heard this side of heaven.
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How are you to live then with this glaring injustice in your life?
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There is an emotional need in you, in all of us, to be respected. To be loved and cared for, supported and listened to. We crave emotional connections, or intimacy with significant humans in our lives. Our parents, our spouses, our friends.
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And when it is slow in coming, we end up getting our self worth our intimacy our value and love from other places. Maybe from our jobs, maybe from our financial worth. Whatever, but we crave it, we want it.
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For Leah, she just wanted the love of her husband, Jacob
Remember, Jacob thought that Leah’s younger sister Rachel was beautiful. Jacob had been tricked into marrying Leah when he wanted Rachel.
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Genesis 29:14-35
31 When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. 32 Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”
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33 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.
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34 Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So he was named Levi.
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35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
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 For Leah, she was not loved, something which she craved. So she did what women of that time were to do, have babies, male babies. And she did it really well.  She thought that if she had God plus her husbands love, she would have all she needed.
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 And so she kept trying to gain his love, by producing male babies.
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 “Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”
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“She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Because the Lord heard that I am not loved, he gave me this one too.”
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“Again she conceived, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “Now at last my husband will become attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.”
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Each new baby you see her heart torn out that maybe now Jacob would love her. But he never did.
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All these sons she was producing, and the reason was to gain the love and respect of her husband. She craved his love and affirmation just like many of us do today. She was willing to try the best that she could to gain his love. But it didn’t work.
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We think if only we could have the love of someone close to us, then it all would be ok, and life would be good or better or we would feel heard.  But that equation never worked for poor Leah.  And it really doesn’t work for us either.
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And then we see with her last son, a shift in her heart.
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35 She conceived again, and when she gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” So she named him Judah. Then she stopped having children.
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This last time her focus was not on her husbands love, but on her God. Her heart changed and she decided to focus her needs her value, on God who was worthy of praise.
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And when she did that shift, Judah was born. When she stopped trying to gain value and love from her husband, and just from God, life came.  The line that Jesus would be born into, came through that line of Judah. Life came then and there.
And interestingly enough, Rachel would die in childbirth and Jacob was buried with Leah.
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God took notice on the unloved Leah (and he took notice on the “unloved” Jeremy too). When she stopped trying to gain Jacobs love, she was free. When she decided to gain her value and self worth from God, who was worthy of praise, she was free.
There is something there for you too Jeremy. It is a grief you go through realizing that you will never be heard and received by your parents. That’s real pain. But as you are able to shift your sense of value or self worth or even just being loved, from your parents to God, you gain freedom.
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And there are prayer things you can do to unhook the barbs from your parents that are still hooked into you. Things that I can explain later. But shifting your measure for happiness from the love of your parents to the love of God, is a real start.
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This letter has been a few days in the writing, because its included prayer and some levels of discernment. I believe God is here too, and I’m asking you to prayerfully consider what God may be inviting you to consider. I assure you of my own prayer for you these days.
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It seems like things in your heart are opening up in these love areas these days.
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**** **** ****
This letter from my spiritual director came the other night. I have been engaging in this discussion with him for some time. When we reach Step Three, in The Work, The Book, we pray to turn it over to God, to trust that He has our backs to relieve us of the bondage of self.
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I’ve not been completely “Willing” to let go my need for self will, when it comes to “waiting” for people, who will never affirm, love, nor dignify me, to be who I want them to be.
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I know, for the whole of my life, that God has been doing for me what I could not do for myself. And that is just plain fact. I am here, because of God’s grace and His intervention, by placing the right people, in my life, at the moment of most need, and so here I am.
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 I knew this, all along.
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 Secretly, in my heart of hearts, I’ve been “Waiting to exhale” waiting for the moment when God was going to say YES, to a desire, that clearly was a NO. I admit that the NO was in my rear view mirror. I knew NO, but was unwilling to let go, that part of me that desires love, respect, dignity and validation.
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 That is never going to come, from people I need it to, because of WHO they are and not because of who I am. Never…
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I am so plum stock, lock and barrel tired of holding my delusion of self will any longer.
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I just want to be Free of It. Finally, once and for all.
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I was waiting for permission, in a sort of way from God, to let this go and be ok with it, knowing I exhausted myself totally, and that it was ok, to let it go and walk away, without the guilt, remorse and shame, for not being able to change them.
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I just cannot do this any more.
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In the back of my mind, I feel guilt for leaving people in a bad situation when I left and did not look back. I feel sorry for the way that their humanity was destroyed by trauma, drama and alcoholism. I feel remorse for not being able to change THEM, because what alcoholic, does not want to change others, instead of ourselves? Always trying to run the show and have all the actors hit their cues just right, so the show is a hit, because of OUR control.
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 I cannot save anyone. I am not Jesus Christ.
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The lesson of approval, that is —> over there in the PAGES, is appropriate right about now, and I knew that lesson, because I learned it long ago, yet I was unwilling to allow God the rest of my heart, because of a desire I HAD, that was never going to come to fruition.
I’m tired of waiting to exhale.
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I just need to breathe.

Sunday Sundries – How Free Do You Want to Be ?

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Hello peoples, how the hell are you ? It’s been a while. I’ve spent the better part of these many days unpacking and thinking about life in general.

I’ve been sitting in a place of gratitude and respect and pride that I have for where I am, how I got here, and just what it means to really savor, Citizenship. My experience sitting on Parliament Hill with my best friend, listening to Oh Canada being sung, meant a great deal to me personally and spiritually.

I’ve been trying to understand what it meant to attend a Pride Event, after so many years, NOT attending pride at all. Pride twenty five years ago, is not Pride in 2016. Everything changes. The mission of Pride, every year, is a gathering of people, who want to be seen, want to be heard, want to be respected and want to be legitimized.

I expected to see, people like me. Men and Women from my time period, who came, survived, and are still alive to celebrate life. That did not happen. I did not see many men from my specific range of experience. I did not see any mention of People living with HIV, however, we collected package after package of specially wrapped condoms.

What I did see is many young people. Boys, Girls, Gays, Lesbians, Trans, Bisexuals. What struck us odd was the militant lesbians, especially one very outspoken black militant lesbian at the Dyke March Protest.

The trans bathroom issue was front and center. The black-white divide is alive and well. The pushing out of privileged white men, opting of course for the more politically correct minority groups, within the LGBT community.

What I think they lack in realization is that the LGBT community began as a minority group, marching for acceptance, inclusion and respect. And we have passed through those times as the LGBT community grew in number and visibility over the last two decades.

AIDS has come and gone. And is not the hot button issue it was just a mere two decades ago. What do these young people know of AIDS ? Not One Idea. Most of the kids we saw at Pride in Ottawa are young enough to have been born in recent years, never having to see or participate in the real fight for life.

So while in Ottawa, the Big Wide LGBT community is right back where it started for this new age. Pockets and small communities of young people marching for their own causes, which are today’s Hot Button Issues.

The politics and issues of the past, are no more. Our community has evolved, as the binary male/female, gay/straight, simple issues of sexuality has blossomed into what we see today and the FLUIDITY of Sexual orientation. This notion of Fluidity has broadened the spectrum of people and personalities. We’ve moved from a few voices of change, to an entire spectrum of voices fighting to be heard and legitimized.

Very complicated. And I am not the person to illuminate these topics. But a few of my friends, today, are much more well versed on this discussion. I cannot speak for what I don’t understand or fully comprehend the minutiae of the sexes.

Suffice to say, Pride … There is a difference.

How free Do You Want To Be ?

It has been a few weeks, working a new round of steps with my new sponsor. I, along, with one of my lady friends, sit on Sunday evenings before the meeting, and we do step work together.

The last few months have been trans formative. I know now, how free I want to be. Because I understand, with certain hindsight and perspective now, where I want to go because I am willing now to go to any length for spiritual freedom.

When you have new eyes on the book, and The Work, after so many years, reading and reading and re-reading, over and over again, one of my friends, tonight, said that this round of steps is teaching us to be efficient in learning How It Works, to be able to Give it Away to our sponsees.

Within our group of intrepid steppers, we all agree, in one way or another, that we are just tired of ourselves, and the things we cling to, not because we are blind to them, but because we have been made aware of just how insidious alcoholism is, and what it does to us emotionally, mentally, bodily and spiritually.

Today, I am prepared to walk away from the area of my life that has been fruitless for the whole of my life. Rafa and I spent weeks and months talking together about life, family and my book manuscript that is sitting on my dining room table right now.

I get it. We are all human. And the whole journey through my forties has been a journey of wisdom and understanding. I know, where I come from, and what makes people tick. I know the roles we all played in making this life what it became.

I am the only one, who is clean and sober today.

I can’t save anyone.

I am not Jesus Christ.

In a sort of way, I feel an amount of guilt for leaving people in a bad situation, when I decided to leave and not look back. I am guilty of hoping and denying God’s truth from reality. I know, that for the whole of my life, God has been with me, and has given me what I needed, when I needed it, in certain truth order.

But I was holding on to my will, in this one area, denying God’s will and hoping for my own will to manifest. It is time to let it go. Turn my will over to God in ALL areas of life, and not just some.

You cannot be ” Just a little Pregnant …”

So that is a thing.

Our young people are back from their summer vacations and jobs. And in the coming days, we will be sorting out meetings, jobs and money. It’s time to hand over responsibility to someone else for a while.

Fall is on its way. Cooler night temps are coming little by slowly.

THERE ARE ONLY 118 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS …

Sunday Sundries – Pride Montreal Edition

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Pride in Montreal came to and end tonight with a massive T- Dance that ends in just an hours time. This afternoon, the 10 anniversary edition of the Montreal Pride Parade Stepped off, just around the block from home.

I watched the parade go from my balcony. My Pride event will come next weekend, when I attend Pride Ottawa in the Nations Capitol. Our Honorable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was here today and marched in our parade, as he has been marching in all the Pride Parades in Canada so far. Next weekend he will march in Ottawa. And I will be there with Rafa. I have my outfit all picked out and ready to go.

I noticed just now, looking at the weather, that this week, all week, we will see mid teens overnight, and day time temps in the mid twenties. It is gradually cooling off here. Canada’s East has been in dire need of rain. Yesterday, and well into last night, it rained, not just rained, but poured down cats, dogs and little fishes rain. I got soaked at the meeting last night.

Our young people are on their ways back to Montreal. One friend is in Calgary right now, having left Vancouver last night around 11 pst. I had called her around 2 am our time last night as she was boarding her first bus leg.

By the end of next week, we will have all of our folks back from their summer jobs around Canada.

Our little Big Book Group met today for the last reading for Step One, next week everybody is away, which means we crank through How It Works in two weeks time.

I’ve extended The Work to one of our men in the other fellowship last night, so he is cranking through the preliminary reading material.

Tonight, at the meeting we read through page 94 – 96, and working with others. It was good discussion. I spent some time with an old friend after the meeting, trying to forge connections within my circle of friends. My circle of friends all know each other.

Funny, that whenever I talk to Rafa, he asks about another friend of ours, and when I speak to that other friend, he asks me about Rafa. I feel like a push me – pull me. So I suggested to both tonight, that maybe they should start talking together again, between themselves, since Rafa moved away, his friends here don’t call as much as they should.

The wisdom on “Connection” is a thread I am trying to weave for my friends. We have had a good start with that here among the guys here, now I need them to reach out to their friends in other places on a more regular basis.

A good night was had by all.

One more week of work then I am off to Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.

Happy Pride …

 

Friday – Accepting God’s Gifts

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Though many theologians hold that sudden spiritual experiences amount to a special distinction, if not a divine appointment of some sort, I question this view.

Every human being, no matter what his or her attributes for good or evil, is a part of the divine spiritual economy. Therefore, each of us has their place, and I cannot see that God intends to exalt one over the another.

So it is necessary for all of us to accept whatever positive gifts we receive with a deep humility, always bearing in mind that our negative attitudes were first necessary as a means of reducing us to such a state that we would be ready for a gift of the positive ones via the conversion experience.

Your own alcoholism and the immense deflation that finally resulted are indeed the foundation upon which your spiritual experience rests.

Bill W. Letter, 1964

The time has come in our circle of intrepid young men for much needed change. This summer has not been kind to our small fellowship. And retreading the same mundane literature in one fellowship, is not the same as retreading old literature in another.

The main corpus of the Big Book has not changed since the day those words were printed in the 1930’s. But the wisdom of its writers was genius. Reading from the first 164 pages gives a wealth of wisdom. And over the past four years, a growing number of folks in the Montreal A.A. fellowship have been introduced to people from other places, who see ideas and words and the writing of the Big Book, in ways, we, here, do or have not, in the past.

When I met Bob in 2012, He introduced me to The Work. At that same event, over 300 people were introduced to the Same Work. Maybe a handful of folks went home and did as we were shown. I did, at least.

Now this Summer, I met another man from New York, who is working with a primary small group of people, reading the book, and doing The Work, anew.

The Big Book is written in a way that, beginning with The Book, at large, can be drawn down to chapters, and further into pages, then further into paragraphs, and finally into sentences. The book is written in a certain fashion, with certain reason and process.

When you add further “in depth” homework, questions to ask ones self, working along side a sponsor who is IN the primary small group, doing the work themselves, miracles happen.

In our other fellowship, Life With Hope, is just a book, that has the twelve steps and traditions and a number of stories, akin to the Big Book format. There is no retreading Life With Hope. It lacks the wisdom writing and the function of the book, to be gleaned for new wisdom, as the Big Book offers.

Some of our men, have realized that “If nothing changes, Nothing Changes.” And I’m about at the end of my journey, as mentor with the most time banked.

The problem with the fellowship(s) is this … In today’s day and age, addiction crosses many boundaries. The oldsters, who have remained, in A.A., most of them have singular problems, and they came and rooted in the “rooms.”

Over the last fifteen years, I have seen dual addictions come into A.A. and years ago, speaking of dual addiction, or uttering the word DRUGS, in ones share, was met with anger, resentment, and the person who uttered that dirty word, was shown the door.

Usually, they never came back.

Today, in certain meetings, speaking about dual addiction has become more commonplace. Peoples sensibilities have softened. Because, we must meet the times with equal concern and try to be accepting and welcoming.

Some do, but Some DO NOT.

Before other (A) meetings opened, A.A. was the only route to recovery. That is IF you found your way to our rooms. And there are, today, many routes to recovery. The fellowship is not the only way to find freedom from addiction.

Tonight, I talked with some of my friends at the regular Friday Night meeting, because we really need some additional man/woman power, for our floundering M.A.meetings. What I got in return was … addicts, who cross many addiction lines, stick to certain groups, for certain reasons. That is a logical answer, because they have found some solidarity with others in the same boat.

Men and women who were equal opportunity users of many drugs, pick the strongest affinity with the most commonality. That is N.A./ C.A. or M.A. so forth and so on.

Even if they cross several boundaries, they do not cross meeting lines into the lesser of their evils. Many just don’t see the need to add just One More Meeting. Even if I asked them to participate, none of my friends are inclined to do so.

That has been a long standing problem. When the needs of one group cannot be met, by bringing in fresh folks to share experience, strength and hope, the wealth of existing  experience only goes so far, before we hit the bottom of the wisdom and experience bank.

You can only tell the same story so many times, without fresh wisdom, and if you do that your story becomes boring and useless, and those around you go looking for something different, because you are retreading the same material and not adding to it.

That is where our little fellowship is right now.

Our barrels are empty. And not all of my guys, hit other meetings, other than the ones we provide three times a week, even if the topic changes along with the type of meeting.

We are tired and burned out. We need to replenish our banks with fresh knowledge, wisdom and sober education. So it goes, I have told my guys that if they want to remain clean and sober, sitting in a stagnant room, is not going to get them anywhere. They need to hit other meetings, IF and ONLY IF, they have commonality with another fellowship.

Most drug users, have crossed several boundaries. Alcohol, other drugs, pills, and other mind and mood altering substances. Some pot heads, drink, still. Some have come to the realization that clean and sober, means, just that: Clean and Sober.

So it goes.

“Obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.”

I’ve given all I’ve got at this point. When our young people, who have been away all Summer return in the next week or so, those of us, on the front lines, will step back and go fill our banks, while they step up and take the reins, so to speak.

Tonight, we talked about Gifts. And God. And Sobriety.

Bill believes that God would not exalt one over another. We are all equal in the eyes of God. And with what God gives us, each in our own ways, should accept, and have some humility in the grand scheme of things.

A friend of mine spoke about a conversation he had with one of his friends the other day. He asked his friend if he had heard from God that day, and the answer came back,

When I am listening for Him.

Life is one Big Spiritual Experience, if you want to see it that way. Some do, Some don’t.

Another friend talked about alcoholics and addicts being The Chosen Ones. That pushes the envelope into arrogance. Once you cross that line into ego and arrogance, you’ve lost your humility and grace.

That kind of shit is the first thing that many people recognize right off the bat.

I can ponder my story, now, with the eyes and experience I have, and see where God had stepped into my life and did for me what I could not do for myself. And that means that in all cases, it was another human being who was at the right place at the right time, to get me through certain periods of time in my life.

I’ve seen my fair share of tragedy, death and suffering to last me ten lifetimes.

I know, for me, that when I got sick and was going to die, that had Todd not stepped up and did what he did for me, I would have died like all my other friends who did.

Out of all those people, Todd chose to help me. And Saved my Life.

I can say, without a doubt, that that was a Certain God divined decision.

For my entire life, well back in my teens, I was searching for God. I went to church, I prayed, I attended Seminary, and failed.

When I put down the drugs and the drink for the last time, when I was beaten and broken, and had no where else to turn, I prayed once again. Because up until that point, I had not uttered a prayer, once.

I knew it was the end for me, if I did not STOP.

I prayed for an alcoholic, and that alcoholic appeared. Another God ordained decision.

Today I serve my God to the best of my ability. I do what I can, every day to help my friends and fellows. Even if I don’t want to, I know, that if I just Do the Next Right Thing, God will provide.

Edit Addition:

We hear, many times from both men and women, that when they come in, bashed and broken, many feel unworthy of anything like freedom or happiness or life. Then they hear the Promises, and they come back for more, waiting for them to come true for them as well. I heard a particular woman tonight say that early on, she felt as if she deserved nothing and was hurting inside. Those feelings of unworthiness are common among many folk, men and women alike. And I’ve heard the slogan that people have repeated to me countless times since I first got sober…

Stick around until the miracle happens.

When I first got sober, a woman who worked at the associated rehab, where I was getting sober, would tell me that every day. The miracle was coming rather quickly. Todd was on the case, and every day that he gave me a reason to hang on and to choose life over death, the miracle was happening. That miracle is still ongoing, because I am still alive. twenty two years later.

Come, Sit, Stay …

You will find that power greater than yourself.

The obsession will leave you, I promise.

And You Too will see how HP, or God, as I call Him, will work miracles in your life as well.

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

God never fails us.

It is we who fail God.

For many years God had been trying to get my attention. And I wasn’t aware that I really needed HIM when I was off the beam. Because when I was in SELF, I did not need God. But God waited, and through trial and error, several times He got my attention when needed. It took me until this time around to really consider, living by God’s will and not my own. I never knew that turning my life over, to the degree I did, TOTALLY, that life would be like this. I never imagined it that way, way back then.

I thought that I would find my way “OUT THERE” in the Other World. That included drugs, alcohol and warped thinking. When I moved here, to Montreal, I said to God that I would do this, if HE would take care of me. I really had no idea what I was going to do, when I got here. When I walked into St. Leon’s Parish hall, I settled in for the long haul and i waited upon God. I was steadfast and obeyed every word that was given to me. And here I am, almost fifteen years later.

God did not disappoint.

The rooms provide. I have not had to go outside the room for ANYTHING in all my years of sobriety. You can take that to the bank.

Be careful for what you pray for, because if God thinks you are ready for it, it is going to come, and usually in spades.

But on the flip side, if you get up and want a SHIT DAY, you will get your shit day, because that is where you go in your head.

It is our choice, what we choose to connect with on a daily basis.

Because we all know, and the book says,

All we have is a daily reprieve based on the maintenance of our Spiritual Condition.

If I don’t hear from God directly, that just means I need to hit a meeting and go listen to my friends. Because one way or another, the words will come, I just have to be attuned to listen for them.

That is, to this day, a work in progress.

One day at a time.

 

 

 

Wednesday Over Night – Welcome to Night Vale Part 2

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Earlier I shared with you what I am listening to via Pod Cast. And I highly recommend that if you like good listening, those Pod Casts are the real deal.

This morning I had an early start, having to run many errands, well into the day, I made a cursory trip into the Village, as it is PRIDE right now, traffic is higher than normal, coming from the West end of town, Eastwards into the Village.

I had placed an order in my favorite shop in the Village last week, and had heard nothing, so this morning I went out to see what was up. Nothing …

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The Village is a ride from home.

I was told that my order would be completed by 2 p.m. and could I come back then?

Certainly.

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I was headed to my favorite book sellers, to see if I could get a copy of “Welcome to Night Vale.”

 

I rode the Metro Westward and When I got to McGill Metro, a few stops West of the Village, I was half on my way (all the way) home, and in an instant, I stepped off the train and walked through the station to Place Montreal Trust … There are several shopping malls all interconnected underground, at the McGill Stop.

  • Le Cours Mont-real (Peel Metro)
  • Place Montreal Trust
  • The Eaton Centre
  • Complex Les Ailes
  • Place Cathedral
  • The Hudson’s Bay Company

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I was headed to my favorite book sellers, to see if I could get a copy of “Welcome to Night Vale.” I logged onto the stores computer kiosk and found several copies on the shelf. That was a very pleasant purchase, saving me cash and delivery on an online purchase.

I had some lunch, and headed home.

I stopped off and did my groceries and pharmacy pick up and finally made it home. I had two hours to kill. I did my laundry and after folding, I got dressed again, and headed back East into the Village once again. And I was totally satisfied with the design I had put together, and the craft work that my artist did for my piece. And he charged me little to nothing for it too !

We chatted about the PRIDE celebrations taking place, and they asked me to definitely participate with the shop this weekend.

I am headed to Ottawa on the 20th to visit Rafa and attend PRIDE in the Nations Capitol Ottawa – Pride Parade that Sunday. Our Esteemed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been marching in every PRIDE Parade across Canada.

He would be the FIRST sitting Prime Minister to do so in our Nation’s History.

So that is a thing.

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The other Fantastic Purchase from Overseas, was probably the FIRST printed Jersey for Mario Gotze, Number 10 – newly re-joined his old club Borussia Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund, is a direct competitor of his Former club, Bayern Munich.

A little over two years ago, Mario was a star player, along with his sidekick, Marco Reus. Marco stayed with the club, and Mario sought greener pastures at Bayern.

German players have a problem. They play on a first tier team for a while. They make a name for themselves, they play some good football, then it goes to their heads.

We have seen this happen with several players in the League.

Mario left Borussia for Bayern Munich. And for a short while it was a good move. Until that move proved fatal to Mario’s career. He went from Bayern, to the World Cup, he had several titles to his name. He shot that Winning Goal at the World Cup and that cemented him into the pantheon of Top Tier Players.

That did not last very long.

Mario’s fortunes began to fall. He went from serious pitch time, to almost NO pitch time. And in the end, NO pitch time, that certainly killed his career at Bayern. Not to mention assorted injuries that sidelined him at Bayern.

So they exercised a transfer window – Mario Leaves Bayern and returns to his former Club, Borussia Dortmund, and hopefully, Mario will see his star rise once again. Mario and Marco really made a good team together. They will once again.

A good chunk of money passed between teams to get Mario from Bayern and back into Borussia Dortmund.

 

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Bastian Schweinsteiger, was another Bayern Shining Star. He had great numbers, a career next to none, and was a leading player at Bayern. But Bastian suffered the same issue, with wanting greener pastures in another league.

He left Bayern for the English League, Manchester United. Another Hallowed Football team. Bastian, I think, thought he would make bigger money and have a better career in England.

Sadly, not too long ago, Manchester United, showed Bastian the door. He was cut from the first team. Bastian has been plagued with injury after injury stemming from his time at Bayern and those injuries followed him to England.

And those injuries killed his future with Manchester United.

He was shown the door, and an invitation to play with the junior team, instead. But was told he was not welcome at Manchester United any longer.

Bastian has no return clause to even consider going back to Munich. And Bayern has said that they see no future for Bastian with the Bayern Club again.

Bastian lost BIG. With no where to go and no where to play, he will either retire, as a major player or (he was recently married) could probably start a family and live comfortably. But if his eyes are still on the pitch, finding Bastian a new home needs to happen quickly.

And there are not too many choices on the table right now for him, so it looks bleak.

The Football World is eagerly awaiting Mario’s re-introduction at Borussia Dortmund.

Germans are very proud people, and they might not easily forget, or forgive, Mario’s faux pas and his defection to Bayern, that two years later, now, he returns to his former team.

Mario has said he will work hard to gain respect and trust once again. Hopefully, the Borussia fans will welcome him.

Provided he produces results in the end. So I bought the Borussia Jersey with Mario on the back. He is not listed on the roster yet at the British Printing Company I buy from, but you can order your own jersey, and for some coin, get it personalized.

Now I have 2 jerseys that are collectors items.

Mario’s Bayern Jersey and his World Cup Jersey for the German National Team.

A good day was had by all.