Essay: Your Teeth Matter

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Many years ago, when I was in rehab, in my first year of sobriety, my counselor had some issues going on with her. Her teeth were giving her grief, and she ignored them, to her own peril. In the end, they had to pull them all, and put in implants. A job that cost a lot of money and caused her months of grief.

I seem to be walking that very same path myself.

When you are diagnosed with AIDS, like I was, whatever else was going on in your body took a backseat to your survival, from said AIDS diagnosis. The initial push to survived trumped any other problem, to our own peril, we know today.

The problem with AIDS, and now HIV is problematic. Because the medication you take is solely for the purpose of keeping you alive. And in many cases, the drugs we take are toxic to the rest of our bodies. And in many cases, other areas of care, become infected, or affected. there is no clear cut way, to properly medicate a body that is immuno – compromised.

AIDS does that to your body. You might be able to save the body, but not its constituent parts, separately. So you have to care for what you can, as long as you can, and hope major issues don’t arise. BUT, HIV is capricious. She is stealthy and devious. You never know when something is going to fail, until it fails you. Then you need extra attention or medical attention.

THAT IS, IF YOU CAN AFFORD SAID CARE …

 

We believe that our teeth will always be in our mouths, and that they will be our North Star, and never fail us … Sadly, that is far from the truth.

I should know this because Memere and Pepere, my mom’s parents, and my father’s father all had dentures by the time I came along. Grammy was the only one who died with all of her teeth in tact.

I should have heeded that warning long ago and took it into consideration, but that was not my case. Far more serious issues befell me and the concentration on survival, took precedence over any other arching issue.

Your medical heath came in the order of importance. Survival was at the top of the list. Everything else took a back seat.

Some time ago, my teeth began to fail, as I crossed the FIFTY mark in my life. One at a time. And as they gave me grief, my trusted dentist, who had been located in the HIV clinic, at the Montreal General, did the work for us, at reduced costs, because who could afford full bore dental payments?

Living on a fixed income as we had for so many years, cost us, in more ways than one. Thankfully, hubby has not seen serious teeth issues yet. But he sure is clued in now, because of where I am today.

Thinking that small problems could be “pulled out” and not repeat themselves was a false belief in my own body’s ability to prevent infection and further pain.

Many months ago, hubby insisted that I go find a reputable dentist who could fix my teeth, once in for all. We knew implants were the only real solution. After two sorties into the world of dental implants, and the costs of said work, turned out to be too expensive for our purses, combined.

We cannot afford upwards of $50,000.00 of dental implants.

Basic insurance in Quebec does not cover major dental. So we knew I would be screwed. One outfit, quoted me almost $48,000 and six months work time. The other was higher, around the $50,000.00 mark, with TWO YEARS work time.

I’ve been not doing well since.

Having to accept myself as I am. Knowing there is no viable solution to my teeth problem, at the moment. And having to accept that my friends look at me with pity, that I cannot afford to properly take care of my own welfare, makes me a little crazy, when my friends won’t look me in the eye, or look away from me, when I speak to them is disconcerting.

Over the past two months, I’ve developed serious infections. I had an abscess on the upper left side of my mouth, with a tooth that just disintegrated in my mouth. That got seriously infected and caused serious nerve damage in my mouth and on the left side of my face. My HIV doctor prescribed me Antibiotics for the infection.

That was a week’s treatment for an issue that only got worse. That hole in my mouth is still there, and the infection with it, it only moved around my mouth into the right side of my jaw and the right side of my face.

So, for the last two months, I’ve been on a steady diet of pain killers and antibiotics. I had been eating pain killers like candy, because the pain has been so insane. I’ve had issues with eating food, brushing my teeth, and sleeping at night.

This problem grew exponentially last week. By weeks end, I was a sobbing mess. I do not do excessive pain very well. I can do PAIN. But not PAIN that does not go away, and throbs in my head, like a jack hammer.

One oft day, I was getting ready to Skype with Spencer, and as the call went through and he appeared on my screen, I had a pain attack that went off the charts as I sat in front of him. Clearly, I was headed downhill very quickly. I could not pound away a pain-killer and hope it did the trick in a matter of minutes. WRONG !!!

This went on for two weeks, and culminated last week, when I could not stand the pain any more. I called all the appropriate doctors, my dentist, and made appointments, that fell during the rest of the month, and not appropriately, NOW as I needed them.

I could not get into my HIV doctor because he in on vacation, and when he goes away, nobody takes his patients. That’s just the way the Quebec Medical System works here.

You make an appointment, and hope you don’t progress further downhill in between. I could not get into the dentist either, because she was booked, and they did not think me an emergency, when I made the appointment, last week.

By Wednesday last week, like I said, I was a sobbing mess. I could no longer medicate the pain away. It was just too much on my system. On Saturday, I was up before dawn, waiting for the clinic, in the mall up the street to open.

It became an EMERGENCY VERY QUICKLY !!!

There is a Dental Clinic in Alexis Nihon, right up the street from home. I knew it was there, but never considered walking in there and doing something about my problems, because, I knew, for the last few months, what HAD to be DONE.

There were no two ways about it.

At Fifty One, my teeth need to be replaced.

So This is a General Warning to all of you …

IF YOU DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR TEETH AND TREAT THEM AS IMPORTANTLY AS YOUR MEDICAL HEALTH, YOU WILL PAY, IN THE END.

Having several warnings in my life, did not make any difference. Knowing people, IN SOBRIETY, who walked this same path, did not impress upon me, the importance of self-care.

But, when you know you cannot afford certain care, what the fuck to do ???

When one is stuck between a rock and a hard place, one has to accept certain truths, no matter how egregious they are.

Saturday morning I got an appointment two hours later.

I went to the Dental Care Clinic. They could not have been more accommodating.

They certainly rose to the occasion.

I was seated by my appointment time. They had done the x-rays, and in minutes I had several dentists in the room with me, telling me what I needed to know. One doctor said he could root canal the tooth and save it. That I did not need serious surgical procedures.

But I told him that the tooth had cracked and was broken, and was giving me so much pain that I could not stand it any longer, and that the tooth needed to come out.

The three teeth on my lower right side, from the back coming forwards are close together. The one tooth at the back is safe. The two teeth in front had such cavities, and the nerves in both teeth had been impacted, causing me neural infection on the right side of my face.

The choice was surgery …

A second young woman doctor came in and told me she was gong to freeze my mouth and told the hygienist that she should prep for surgery. About ten minutes later, they went in with both guns blazing.

They pulled and tugged that damned tooth out of my mouth, while I was holding onto the chair for dear life. They cleared the tooth in front of it. And twenty minutes later, the tooth was out of my mouth, and for the first time in weeks, the pain was gone.

Talk about GRATITUDE …

They gave me a second round of antibiotics and pain killers to chase them.

They took great pains to warn me of all the things I could not do, for twenty-four hours after surgery, for if I transgressed the warnings, the pain in return would be greater.

The infection in my mouth was all over the place. One round of antibiotics on their own did not do the trick, and the infection made a tour around my mouth. So after radical dental surgery, another round of antibiotics.

I’m eating on the left side of my mouth. Have been for some time now. Now, I just need to wait out a little longer for the hole to heal over completely, before I introduce food to the right side of my mouth.

The issue of what to do with the rest of my mouth is still in play. I have a follow-up appointment on Friday this week to get a full picture of the severity of my problem, because none of the dentists I HAD SEEN about implants did any kind of explorative foray into my teeth.

First they wanted a commitment AND CASH to begin the process.

I could not commit to either plan, because we could not afford to see it through to the end. And I could not, in good conscience, saddle hubby with a $50,000.00 loan that the bank would not give us even on a good day, and thinking that I would not survive seeing that kind of money paid back in full prior to my own death …

And that my friends is the latest saga in I need new teeth and soon story.

Hubby got the job, in principle, he has been working towards. Hopefully in the next little while he will get his start date. And hopefully soon after that, we may have a solution to my problem.

A Platinum Insurance plan that will cover Major Dental.

If that plan exists,  in the constellation of insurance coverage, hubby is going to BUY IN, and pay the extra costs in having that ability to help me finally.

Needless to say, hubby is clearly aware of my situation, and has had a serious time dealing with his inability to provide properly. Because I live on a fixed income from the U.S. Government and that money only pays for the roof over our heads every month. We do not get any more use out of that monthly stipend. So my hands are tied to what I can contribute to the house purse.

Being fucked sucks …

That is just the reality we live with day in and day out.

Hopefully, a solution is on the horizon. We will find it, one way or another.

Monday: Why is it so Complicated ???

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I got an email from New Zealand today, that my Odyn clothing order was now in production. That in a couple of weeks, my order will ship, after my clothes are lovingly sewn by hand.

YAY !!!

Today, I had ONE thing to do.

My doctor got me a consult at the McGill Teaching Hospital, Dentistry department. I got to the appointment early, for paperwork. Shortly there after, my dentist came to get me and to begin my “consult” which did not go very well.

Firstly … I never thought that I would live this long, all things considered. In the order of importance, Living was right up at number one. Staying sober, a close second, being married comes in at three, everything else comes in whatever number it falls in, according to importance.

Oral health has never been at the top of any list.

I thought that having my teeth fixed, was going to be a cut and dry process. Easy Peasy, no problem right ? WRONG !!!

It ain’t that simple. God I wish things could always be simple.

My first trip to see a professional fetched me a $33,000.00 dental bill. They have one job, to build a bridge and put it in place. They did not talk about inconsequential s. They did not mention that I needed more work than they were ready to do, in order to properly build me a mouth that would not fail, in the long run.

Today … My goal was to find out, whether, the Student Dental Clinic would be AS expensive as the professional clinic ? YES, IT IS. To the tune of $22,000.00 on a good day, barring any complications with the entire process.

The process is LONG and ARDUOUS.

I’ve got bad teeth. Ok, Given …

The clinic is talking about orthodontic work, braces for my bottom teeth the straighten them out. And if need be, to extract some teeth and move others, because of a major over bite, and 50-year-old teeth that were never corrected when I was a kid.

They told me that the time investment would be 2 years on a good day.

They want to fix what is there in my mouth. They want to fill all the cavities, do the rearranging, and make sure my mouth is ready for major surgery, extractions, and the building of a bridge on the outside.

This is NOT a cut and dry process. I will need to commit to major mouth surgery, to 2 years of in and out of my mouth, with each of its surgery, and healing processes.

And then, on a good day, gave me the $22,000.00 dollar estimate.

Like I said, twenty-two thousand, barring unforeseen circumstances.

It isn’t going to be that simple.

The professionals were not concerned with the rest of my mouth or the necessary work to get my mouth to a place, where a proper bridge would FIT, Correctly, IN my mouth.

The clinic is a teaching hospital. If I make this commitment, there is no guarantee they will take me, in the end, because I am a complicated case, and I need serious maintenance before any major work can begin.

This is all totally overwhelming. And a bit too much for me to process, at the moment.

I spoke to a long sober friend in Miami, who is getting the same work done there, and they, The teaching hospital in Miami, quoted him the same kind of figures.

FUCK ME !!!

Friday: Episode 1 – Sexual Harassment

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Have you ever heard of the “Casting Couch?”

I learned this term a long time ago.

This term exists both in the Heterosexual world as well as in the Homosexual world. For many years, in many places of entertainment and occupation, the casting couch was/still is, an evil people (dealt with/deal with) regularly.

I remember hearing it.

And if you were paying attention to anyone who moved to Los Angeles or any big city center for work in the entertainment industry, there was a high probability that yes, you, would find yourself sitting on a casting couch.

Now, that doesn’t mean that ALL casting couches were tainted and included their fair share of harassment and under the table “goings on.”

But now we see that mighty TITANS of the entertainment industries, oh how the mighty fall. You can never escape your past, one way or another.

Sexual Harassment is a scourge on the world, for women and for men. I think we can all agree that eyes were turned away, and lots of hush money was paid out to keep those mighty titans in positions of power, and journalists and news agencies were paid and intimidated and legally stifled so that the dirty little secrets were kept under wraps.

I stand with women. I always have.

It just goes to show you how long men have worked to control the body of a woman, direct her where she could work, and what work she could do. And if she had a figure and was sexy and had sex appeal, all the better.

I believe that many, many women paid a price for pretty. How many women, you might ask ? I would gather that every woman who works in television and film, paid a price for pretty, one way or another.

How many women were abused by the powerful to get on-screen ? How many women were sexually abused, raped, harassed, and belittled by men who DID know better, but against their better angels, chose to diminish the talents and beauty of women.

The dirty little secret of the casting couch and the mighty titan executives who work in tinsel town are well-known. And they have been known, for as long as I can remember.

They might have the money, and shine up well for awards seasons, and people who knew did not say, for fear of retribution. But like they say, at some point, the darkness of man will come to light. All it takes is one rip in the veil.

And we know now, that men were also targets in the entertainment industry. And I imagine that on the Down Low, I am sure that the black community suffered as well. I’m not sure this is the correct terminology, so I don’t mean to offend.

How many men and women were sexually harassed just for a job, when talent wasn’t the issue but the sexual quotient of the individual ? A little grope here and a little grope there, just to let them know that the Big White Man behind the desk controlled the scene.

That is Repugnant !!!

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In the gay world, the casting couch is also ever-present. And it comes in the form of some fat old man, sitting behind a desk, bringing young talent into the mainstream. I have a serious aversion to fat old gay men in power. I think they are repugnant.

When I was but a young boy, I was looking for work in the business. At one point, I was in Daytona Beach, applying for a job. What I was faced with turned my stomach.

Like I said, I have an aversion to fat old gay men. Those “Jabba the Hutt” men. It is a particular visual from Star Wars, that captures the idea quite succinctly.

I may have been young, but I was not naive. There was no way I was going to sink to the level of sexual favors for a job.

Sexual Harassment is alive and well, on both sides of the sexual partition. How many young gay boys have been tainted ? I cannot even begin to count. The entertainment industry is rife with Fat Old Gay Men, who run these ‘Casting Couches” in many areas.

I am 100% confident in this assessment.

It was a good thing that Todd was not like any other man I had ever met. Because if the table was set any differently, I would not be here today.

I know that when Todd and Roy lost the bar, the bar take over was given into the hands of a man I despised. He was an ugly fat old gay man, who used to carry around with him a cigar box full of illicit images, I found sickening and repugnant. I only lasted a few days after that take over.

I would not sink to his level of repugnance. But I knew his type and avoided him.

Let us Stand with our Women and say No More.

Not On Our Watch.

Sunday Sundries: IDEALISTIC MILLENNIAL MILLIONAIRE’S DISEASE IS FATAL !!!!

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All we have is this one life, and in the words of the Queen of Ireland …

This is the Big Show. There is no Dress Rehearsal. This is it …

We only get one shot at this life.

We are born, we grow up, are educated in whatever way that education comes, and we are turned loose on the world to make our marks, to get good jobs, have families, and later, children, and hopefully we make some money to live on, and also, to have a little to retire with as well.

We go into the world with our certain world views on ethics and work habits. The world is an unpredictable place, and nothing is ever a given.

Especially if you are addicted to one thing or another …

There is a certain millennial of my acquaintance. He is young and has a good job. But at age twenty-six, all he knows about life, is pounding himself into the ground, working like a madman, trying to make as much money as he can, so by the time he is thirty-five, he will have made enough money to retire on a yacht somewhere, other than in Montreal.

  • He overcompensates in the hopes that he is recognized as a hard worker, therefore, indispensable, and a secure employee.
  • He believes that overcompensation will get him the Golden Ticket and a Million dollars by age thirty-five.
  • He does not work nine to five .. but eight to seven-thirty. He does not see the world as his workmates do. He is focused on one point in time, “retirement at thirty-five.”

But as it went, he mentioned, in passing, that he was not feeling well, and had to see a specialist for a certain medical problem.

You could say that “A Yellow Sign” went up in front of him.

I just wonder, how many YELLOW SIGNS will have to go up, in front of him, hopefully keeping him from ever encountering a RED SIGN of Major Problems ???

We are worried that he is working himself into sickness. Because we know how he sees his job and the end point he desires, and wild horses will not keep him from victory.

Yes, we need a job, something to do, and money in the bank, BUT AT WHAT COST ???

I know, I have friends who are older than me, who have jobs. Some of them enjoy what they do, and work is enjoyable and fruitful. Others, work nine to five, stuck in a cubicle, never seeing the sun at all. They ride a bus for an hour to get into their city centers, they get up in the dark, go to work in the dark, and at the end of the day, they come home in the dark.

Miserable …

All this, in order to secure employment and some cash, but not much.

Some of us were educated in specific studies, that, in the end, did NOT translate into long-lasting, fruitful careers, and we were stuck with something we’d rather not do, but are forced into because of the economy or the lack of really good work opportunities, in our respective fields of study.

I’ve mentioned, in past entries, the concept of the DO OVER, we get when we get clean and sober. The world OUT THERE, does not know of this concept. Most men and women go into the world and they get stuck, in environments that might not be healthy or good for them, but they persist, because it is all they could get.

They might never ponder Re-Orientation.

How many of us go into life and get that really good job, from the get go ? And how many people, out there, get stuck in a life of ambiguity, having to settle for a barista job in a coffee shop, biding ones time, until that Parliament Hill Job opens up ???

Been here, seen it, recently celebrated the emergence out of ambiguity.

But my young millennial friend works with someone I know, who is concerned that our young man is going to kill himself for an ideal, that might not ever happen, because there are no givens in this life.

There is respect in serious work ethics. That young people go out into the world and find their place, in a good job, that PAYS. But At What Cost to their lives ?

I spoke tonight about this topic with a friend, who, like I said, is concerned.

He has, in the past, tried to talk to our young man, to no avail. Our young man is not interested in listening to reason or direction.

How do we help people when we see an opportunity to help them? How many people, really want our advice when it comes to wealth and power? Single focus idealism is good to a certain degree, I just don’t know many people, who came INTO money, coming from without.

I don’t know many successful money spinners that did not pay their dues, one way or another, or came from money so they really did not have to work very hard to get theirs.

In my life, I was a tornado spinning on a collision course with destiny. My aptitude to work hard, honestly, and with integrity was tossed into the trash when my alcoholism took over.

I did not know any better, nor did I really care, either way, where drugs and alcohol were concerned.

God had to throw a Very Big RED Stop Sign in front of me to STOP my forward momentum.

I needed a serious Re-Orientation. AIDS did that for me.

We don’t wish terrible circumstances to befall anyone we know, so that they Re-Orient.

But I wonder, if I could give you sickness for some time, or trade my medicine cabinet for yours, would YOU STOP and take stock and Re-Orient your life, in order to make a change that might really benefit you in the long run ?

God took me out of the world of dating, men and sex. Once and for all. Because that’s what my life turned into in the end.

It was good that I did have a job that paid, a roof over my head and a doctor and minimal drugs, when they counted, when I needed them. But that only lasted so long.

My Re-Orientation was not complete. And would not be complete until I moved to Montreal in 2002. In the end it was not until I hit my late forties that the process came to total fruition.

The possibility that we go into the world, and GET that really good job, that we ENJOY doing, beyond the simple paycheck to make ends meet are slim.

We know many people who are stuck, working jobs they hate and have no passion, because it is all they could get, and are doomed to sit in a cubicle forever …

The koan of “Find your passion, DO IT, money will FOLLOW” is a fallacy.

What a rude awakening that was.

I may not make money doing what I do today. Because I don’t.

But at this stage of my life, I am in a life situation where, I am provided for handsomely. Which frees me to do whatever I want, on a daily basis, because I want to, and not because I have to …

I’ve spent the past fifteen years in University, In the rooms of recovery, listening to people talk about their lives, and just HOW they worked out their Do Over’s.

I have hundreds of books in my library here at home that I have actually READ.

I have, almost fifty years of life experience to bank on and talk about.

I see people, out there, spinning aimlessly, without direction or thoughts to their futures beyond punching a clock, taking home a pittance, doing work they don’t enjoy.

I told my friend tonight what happened to me, in order for God to get me to Re-Orient.

That covenant between God and myself was still in action. A promise was made, long ago, and God needed my attention.

Failure was NOT an option.

Every man and woman out there, has a duty to serve their creator, whomever that creator is. We are duty bound to go into the world and make a difference, with honor and integrity.

And when we get the chance, we try to help our fellows, do the right thing, for the right reasons, and the right intentions.

What would it take for you to consider what you do for a living ?

  • Do you enjoy your job?
  • Do you make good money, Yes or No ?
  • Are you killing yourself trying to work yourself to death all for a paycheck ?
  • Is what you do Fulfilling to your spirit, Yes or No ?
  • If you had the opportunity to Re-Orient, would you ?
  • And if you could, what would you do with the rest of your earning capacity ?
  • What goals do you have for your future prosperity ? Are they attainable or not ?
  • And if they aren’t, how CAN you get there from here ?

Just a few question that came up in our discussion tonight.

You don’t have to settle for just punching a clock and killing yourself in order to retire in your thirties with all the money in the world, you believe you will make between now and then.

Idealistic Millennial Millionaire’s Disease is FATAL …

I don’t personally know any millionaires.

Most of my friends are just getting by, some are miserable, some are not. But it is all in the way you see the world, and how you approach personal success.

SOBERLY …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday – Money – Before and After

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There is so much WRONG going on right now. The wisdom goes thus … It is better to keep ones mouth shut on certain issues, because there are no sides to pick, save for one, and if you speak, counter to that ONE, the hoards of massive crazies will come out with their pitchforks and batons of fire to smite you.

Some of my friends have taken this advice, but a choice few said, “fuck that” I am going to speak my truth, and be damned the naysayers. Which ended them in a pit of fire with comments that are truly inhuman.

Words Matter.

When a WOMAN SPEAKS, HER WORDS MATTER.

Nuff said …

In our drinking time, we acted as if the money supply was inexhaustible, though between binges we’d sometimes go to the other extreme and become miserly. Without realizing it, we were just accumulating funds for the next spree. Money was the symbol of pleasure and self-importance. As our drinking became worse, money was only an urgent requirement which could supply us with the next drink and the temporary comfort of oblivion it brought.

Although financial recovery is on the way for many of us, we find that we cannot place money first. For us, material well-being always follows spiritual progress; it never precedes.

The talk tonight was all about money. It began with a friend reminding us that money is a necessary evil. Without it, we have nothing, and can get nothing. We are reminded daily that to get on a bus, you need money, or else you get tossed off the bus.

We need money. For some of us, or maybe, all of us, we have to cultivate the right attitude and respect for money.

I had a respect for money growing up. I’ve spoken at length about some of the best jobs I ever had, and why. When one gets mortally sick, and death is the next stop, trying to figure out HOW you are going to survive becomes paramount.

Been there, Done that. Got the T-Shirt.

In my world, growing up in my family, I said tonight, “All the men in my family drank, heavily, BUT they all had nice homes. If I had a million dollars I would seriously find a parcel of land, and an architect, and rebuild my grandparents house brick for brick.

They provided the cash to sustain families, they all had good jobs, and it seemed to me that they were getting away with highway robbery, being able to make the scenes look good, all the while, drinking behind the scenes, abusing their wives and children, who suffered that abuse silently, because we dare NOT say one word.

Silence gave consent. Nobody complained openly, and the men got away with the drinking, the abuse, and the violence, unpunished and / or reprimanded, ever.

I was an alcoholic from the word Go. When I left home, I had the good sense to know that I HAD worked in good paying jobs that I really enjoyed doing. Been there, done that.

For some strange reason, when I moved out, I had a brand new car, that I could not pay for, I had to have that big ticket apartment, in the apartment complex that my new Gay Friends lived in, because I wanted what they had, and had NO IDEA how I was going to pay for it. I had never balanced a check book in my life, and also, why, I was terribly irresponsible, and I should have known better, but I did not.

When faced with the reality that one might not have enough money to buy alcohol, because, before you moved out, your shrink told you that the only way into the Gay Community, back then, was through several drinks at the bar, where all that money was going to come from was the challenge.

And what was my answer ?

Daddy will pay for it.

Almost a sick perversion, to make that man pay for his indignities perpetrated on me. I don’t think I thought that deeply about indignities, but I do today, and would love to ascribe certain PAY BACK for his abuses.

I just used the excuse that daddy would pay, and that got me only so far. They took the car away, and in the end, daddy did pay.

But in the end, I would pay.

Dearly.

Dueling alcoholics you could call us. My assault began, the first time I got sober, but there was a preemptive strike when I was a teenager, I gave up my musical talent as a punishment for his abuse of my mother, and the double decker organ had to be returned because I told him that I would never play another note on that organ again.

And I never did, to this day.

That was serious wasted talent down the drain. What I did not know then hurt me.

I was clean and sober on the first pass, but still untreated properly. I would not understand what that meant, until recently, (read:Today). My father, being the active untreated alcoholic, is just as bad as a sober person who has untreated alcoholism.

The brain is just as fogged as the active drinker, sometimes worse.

Somewhere in my young brain, I realized that all the men in the family were getting away with bloody murder and not paying for it, in any case. Nobody complained, we bore our pain in our own ways, (that was my perception) (read: Not the same as my family, as I was the cause of all of their problems).

How it became ALL MY FAULT, is still beyond my comprehension.

I figured that if the men got away with it unscathed, then I would get away with it too.

I didn’t.

I am clean and sober almost fifteen years, and I carry a terminal disease that will probably not kill me, my doctor likes to tell me, because of my alcoholism and my own short shortsightedness and stupidity.

So there’s that. I did not physically survive my alcoholism, I paid a hefty price in the end.

The tenth promise of the ninth step reads:

Fear of People and of Economic Insecurity will leave us.

I can attest to you right here and now, that that certain promise took thirteen years to come to pass. We’ve learned a healthy respect for money. We know how to use what we have properly and to respect the almighty dollar.

I hear Cyndi Lauper sing … “MONEY, money changes everything …”