I know this topic is not what you want to read, and I’ve lost a few readers since I began posting these updates. It is what it is. This is the one location that I can record my thoughts and writings about all things ME.
I received my Rage Cage on Wednesday afternoon, and wore it in regular fashion, with my primary lock, locking the device incorrectly, because the lock provided was too small and it aggravated me.
Thursday after work, I went to the tire to find a solution, because the pin provided was not taking solder. So I needed a fix. I settled on bolts and nuts to solve my locking problem. I used a solid bolt, and three nuts to secure the locking of the device correctly.
I used my solder set, to permanently secure the bolts and nuts. So that the device is now UN-removable. As far as chastity devices go, I’ve tested several devices since April this year. I was asked to test a device from a seller, who came here and found that I was into that fetish seriously. Plastic devices are not for the hardcore user. Even if the seller claims they are inescapable. I just found that device substandard.
I have in my collection, several devices. I now own a Bon-4 Metal cage that is a bit obtrusive and a little too conspicuous. I also have my CB-6000 which is a closed poly-carbonate cage. With this device, cleanliness is a long term issue I found untenable. Using it long term was not an option, after using it for several months.I tested a third device from a seller, that turned out, not to be useful in long term use, because that particular device is only useful when you have an erection. Once you loose the erection, the device becomes useless. That was a bust.
Now I am permanently locked in my Rage Cage. It was the best purchase I have made yet. I love this device. It is a steel cage that has several rings connected from beneath, with a cage on the end, that houses the end of the penis. it is large enough to accommodate, within, 3.75 inches.
The male penis runs on bodily function. When one has an erection, blood flows out of the body, the erection grows, until you complete the deed. Once orgasm is reached, blood flows back into the body, and the flesh also returns into the body. People have asked me, in other forums about this. Once a man exhausts his erection, the penis will shrink in size. And as chastity cages go, men begin with a certain cage, and over time, they change that cage, in opt for smaller cages. I’ve seen several “Bird Cages” that are minuscule. I would not use a bird cage myself.
Once you remove stimulus, and you change your habits, permanent chastity, is not such a huge issue. It really has changed my entire perspective about my life and my choices. I now the device is there, and I know it is permanently locked. I don’t really ponder the thought of sex, or masturbation at all. I made this decision, and I followed through with it, because I felt that it would positively change my life, and as the days go by, I am more solid with this decision. And I feel much more oriented towards the next right thing.
When you turn your entire life and will over to the care of God, as you understand Him, the world is your oyster. I know that right now, I feel better than I have felt in as many years. I’ve never been so in tune with my body, and my spirit. And with God Himself.
I am oriented towards my God, and that is what is driving me right now.
Friday, Thank God it’s Friday, Friday, Fridaaaaaaaaay !!!
Basking in the afterglow of Thursday’s experience, sharing the book. I called my friend and told him what had happened last night, and today we had a second conversation about it.
You never know when inspiration is gonna hit, because specific spiritual experience is always a surprise. I just know that in my experience, if i wanna see a spiritual experience, I have to go to a meeting, and watch my friends, continue to get sober.
I’ve listened to people read the book, in a meeting setting. Several times. I’ve read the big book, in a meeting setting, several times. It has been my experience, that if I am going through a hard time, in any way, that if I sit in a big book meeting, I am not going to drink.
I’ve used that tactic before, and it worked. What stunned me afterwards, was the number of people who have read the big book, in the same room, decide, after reading said book, to drink again.
We talked tonight about criticism. Whether that be negative or positive criticism. Most people stay away from criticism. And if someone has something critical to say, they usually couch that criticism, in the form of a suggestion.
For the longest time, even as long as I’ve been sober, I always second guess myself. I am my own worst critic. And all along, I go to different meetings, and I share here and there. For a little while, like a year, whenever I would open my mouth, not sure if what i was about to say, was correct, or wrong, or maybe I should just shut up, I would talk. Sometimes just to hear myself talk.
Hoping against hope, that someone, anyone, would give me something ? Anything ?
I don’t know what old timers think about me, or about anything I say in open community. As I said, I share at discussion meetings, and when nobody said anything to me, nor do they even intimate, something in my direction, I have thrown caution to the wind. And I just let it fly.
But I know that before I speak, I’ve done my homework. I collect data in meetings, and then when appropriate, I let it fly. I read the book. I go to meetings. I work with others. I don’t criticize my guys openly, or even to their faces.I take the same tack my sponsor uses with me. If I talk to my sponsor and tell him a story, about me, or something that is weighing on my mind, my sponsor will tell me a story about him, and that story is not necessarily a sober story, but it could be a life story. Within that story, is usually couched a lesson.
With Todd, if he wanted me to learn something, he used work, or a chore, to make his point. Everything I did in that bar, during those two years, there was a lesson couched within my work. Everything I did came with a life lesson, that Todd thought I would need, HAD I reached the point of no return, with my AIDS diagnosis. All the major lessons, were about survival, and self care. He believed that if I could learn to do something that I did not necessarily want to do that was either difficult, or dirty, or repugnant, there was a reason he pushed my envelope. Because in the end, when I succeeded at doing something for him, that if I needed to do something for myself, I would know what to do, if shit got real, or I got sicker, or if my health took a bad turn for the worse.
Gratefully, it did not get that bad. I skated above the fray, that entire period, while people were sick and dying left and right.
I’m still waiting on someone to say something to me.
I recounted to a friend, that when I hit my emotional bottom, after the Pulse shooting, I was angry and upset for a long time. The only thing old timers said to me during that period of time was this: They noticed I was angry, and they were not afraid to point out to me that I was angry. One old timer woman, at a Sunday meeting I used to go to, one night I was setting up and she walked in to my tossing chairs across the room, quite angrily. And she looked at me and said this: “You know you are angry, and I’d like you to leave this meeting and not come back, you are scaring the women.” I left that meeting and did not go back.
Nobody in all that time, offered me one clue to how to cure my anger or get over it. None of those old timers gave me anything about coping with anger or dealing with my anger, or anything sober, that might help me stop being angry in sobriety.
I rode that roller coaster ALONE, for two years, because nobody wanted to touch me with a ten foot pole. Nobody said anything to me. Not a word. In the Big Book meeting I sat in for fourteen months, not one human, gay or straight, said one word to me, in any form suggestion or criticism, i walked this road all by myself. Until the roller coaster came into the station and stopped.
That is a thing. I guess he fact that I am good, in sobriety. I am fully engaged, doing service, going to meetings, reading the book, I try not to be self centered, or egotistical, or arrogant or angry, people just leave me alone. So I am doing the best I can, with everything I have, and everything I do in sobriety.
I work my ass off, unlike many people I know in the rooms today. they will all show up, because I have keys to every meeting I go to, and I am the one who sets up and makes coffee, several times a week. They know the room will be ready and the coffee will be ready when they get there. The only criticism I would get is this … “If the coffee were to happen to be late, or the urn of coffee was not good, you bet your ass, they would say something about my coffee.” You know you’ve arrived when someone tells you that your coffee is shit !
Lastly, I know I’ve lost some readers, over the past week. because of some of the information I am posting here about my personal life and choices. That’s ok. I get it. Chastity is not a topic people want to hear about, or about my former sex life. Suffice to say, I’ve been permanently locked for two days now, and I’ve had my rage cage for three days. I love this cage. And I love that I am so good with my decisions. it has totally changed my perspective on life and my surrender.
I’m really in a good place.
God is good. In all things.
If I know I’ve done a good job, I don’t need to hear from anyone. And I do a good job, all the time, to the best of my ability.
A long time ago, Todd taught me the lesson about approval. In short, the lesson of approval was this … I don’t need approval, (in the context of work) from anyone, if I know I did the best job I could.
Because one day, you might work for an asshole who will abuse you and not respect you, nor say anything nice to you, so you need to learn how to be nice to yourself, in any situation, by doing the best job you can all the time.
That lesson still sticks with me today.
I’ll tell you a story. When I was a kid growing up, my parents were really strict at what I could have and what I could not. For the longest time, while I was an athlete in school, over the years, they did not allow me to have certain clothing items, shoes, cleats for sports. If I bought them, I had to keep them in my locker at school, for safe keeping.
They also kept us on a short leash when it came to clothing. Not that clothing was that big a thing back in the 80’s. I did go through my Duran Duran clothing phase in high school, and that was allowed, but only to a certain degree.
When I moved to this apartment, I became a collector. I love shoes. Especially shoes my parents would never allow me to buy, let alone, wear outside the house. I have a modest shoe collection, for every outfit, I have corresponding shoe color or style. And also several sneakers sets.
A few years ago, when my Diabetes was in good shape and I was loosing weight by the month, I met a few men on Instagram who made clothing. Athleisure tights and shirts. I was like, I could rock that look, and since that time a couple of years ago, I never looked back. My tights collection is quite extensive, and I wear them all year round, even in Winter, with the appropriate under gear, warm base layers beneath.
Like I said I am the Blue Footed Boobie in the room. I see some of my straight friends rock tights, WITH SHORTS on over them, because they would not be caught dead, wearing tights alone, for the “man factor.”
That’s what my friend Jeffrey calls, “the modesty pad” that comes with his clothing line for those men who want to be a bit more discreet, with their packages.
Most men like my clothing, although some crotchety old timer, traditionalist call me the “wearing my underwear in public guy.” They just cannot fathom wearing something like that themselves. I buck the dress code for sure, and some traditionalist think I am a bit irreverent, and non-conformist, and inappropriate for social gathers (read: Meetings).
I’ve learned in sobriety that “What people think of me is none of my business.” However, I do get upset when someone makes an unsolicited comment in the negative to me. I bite my tongue and walk away. I try not to respond. Then I come home and I ruminate over it all that night long. And have conversations in my head about what I would say if I had the balls to say it.
My collar – like a friend said this morning that “It locks me to the most important relationship I have, with (Todd:Read:God). I’ve written about this in another post, but, the collar is a substantial piece of clothing, re/Jewelry that a Dom can give his sub. It marks us a “Taken” “Loved” “Respected.” it is the highest honor a Dom can bestow on his sub, because our Dom’s think us worthy of wearing an item of clothing that links us to our respective Dom, in a way others are not privy to.
When I got my collar, it was just that; a linking back to the time when I was most loved and cared for by the one man who knew me inside and out, good and bad, good kid and trouble maker. He knew I was up for trouble, and so to curb that, He claimed me as His, in the way Doms do.
The Dom/sub relationship is part of the Leather subculture. Folks today, in the rooms, would not get it. The one word I heard from a Lady Friend the other Sunday morning when I was working at the Old Brewery Mission, Homeless shelter was this … she said … “Oh that’s all about BONDAGE.” I did not correct her, because she need not the deep dive story in full.
Leather is not all about bondage, where I come from. it is partly that, but not all that. Where love in concerned, Todd loved me. And I knew that. He took me in and cared for me, and marked me as His, because, for all purposes, I was.
My community was dynamic, while it was still alive and viable. But in the end, only two of us were left standing when everyone else had died. Mark and I are the only two survivors from that sinking ship. If it were not for Todd, I would have been a casualty myself.
I told my friend John, on the way home last night, I don’t know why I lived, because those first two years were hellish and we really did not have the medication to keep us alive. It was all Todd, 100%.
All I had were experimental drugs found in dead folks medicine cabinets, that were passed on to me before I found a doctor in year three. In a different city altogether.
So my collar is a source of consternation, because people have their preconceived notions about it, and some are not shy about sharing those notions with me, even if they are way off base. I do not wear it to wrangle people, I wear it for me, because it keeps me centered on
It keeps me humble and reminiscent of those years that mattered so much to me because:
“IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES AND IT WAS THE WORST OF TIMES.”
I don’t tell the entire story to just anyone, because what will they do with it, tell other people, share it behind my back, would they keep my confession confidential and sacred? I don’t think so, because not everybody is steeped in BRENE BROWN and the ANATOMY OF TRUST.
I dress to look good to me, it has nothing to do with outward necessity of approval or consternation. I might not consciously be thinking about approval, but in the background, like a dos program, I might want to hear that “yes, I look damn good in my clothes.” Who does not want to hear “Hey, you look good in that!”
For that momentary rush of satisfaction.
Yes, I can rock that look, because somebody noticed and said something nice. One night I was at a bus stop waiting for a bus, wearing my Flower Basket tights, they are RAD, and a guy driving by, stopped his car in the middle of traffic to say …”Hey, I love your tights man!”
I will never grow up to be an old, miserable, frumpy old man, like many of my friends are. They could never see themselves rocking clothing or jewelry like I do today. And maybe, like I was told earlier this morning, it might spark something within them, not necessarily right now, but maybe farther down the road. I just want to be free to be me, as I am.
I don’t know how much longer I am going to live, so I try to live my best life, for me right now, wearing clothing I like, loving the people I love, and respecting the most important relationship I’ve ever had:
TODD Read GOD.
Yes, this is all about me. And if you came from the world I came from, you’d live for you too. Damn the torpedoes, and full steam ahead …
You might not like, or question my choices, but like Brene Brown says, do not become party to Common Enemy Intimacy .. If you don’t have nothing nice to say, come sit by me …
I don’t tell people everything about my life, because I don’t trust them to keep my words confidential. If I don’t know you and you are not someone I trust, I am not gonna tell you my most intimate secrets and stories, Period!!
So I get rattled when someone says something that just reeks of judgment. it is not very sober behavior on their part. I think people should know better than to shoot off their mouths with me, when those folks who do that, are not “Friends” of mine. They don’t know me, nor do I know them either. They see me in the rooms, and because I am always present they feel they can offer me unsolicited advice, because I guess they feel emboldened to say whatever they feel is appropriate at that moment, feelings be damned.
I’d rather people I am not intimately connected to, to just, “Shut the fuck up and leave me alone.” Keep your shit to yourself.
I’m in a meeting to stay sober, to stay stopped. If you are my friend, all the better for both of us. But I know MANY people, I see MANY people on a nightly basis, for years and years, and people know me for me because I am always reliable and there.
I make the room hum, before anybody sets foot in the room for that first cup of coffee. I know people, I just don’t KNOW many people intimately, except what they tell me in confidence.
My collar is a confidence story.
If I am not confident you will respect my story and hold it respectfully, then I don’t owe you that story. People fear what they don’t know, and they don’t necessarily respect a certain backstory. But my story is also a sober story, so we have that in common.
Just not my Todd Story. That’s mine and mine alone.
One of my friends returned from Summer vacation a new man. And he remarked to me, upon seeing me, for the first time in three months, that I too had changed.
We both took the Summer to re-evaluate our lives, learn new skills, and make positive changes to maximize our time, as individuals, and as friends.
We had a pow wow prior to his departure, and we both had goals that were attainable, (provided we put in the work) but, as you know, life does not toss you roses and teddy bears all the time.
For both of us it was a challenging Summer for each of us, in our own ways. He shared his story with me, and I shared my story with him. We both came away with a new appreciation of possibilities.
I believe I am about to make another turn, in my sobriety. I told him what has been going on with people, young and old. Told him about the misery in the rooms in many places, and my irritation with negativity and misery and the fact that there are battles I cannot win, and people, I will never please, and work that I do, for people who really take advantage of my good hardheartedness.
And that the Alcoholic WILL DRINK AGAIN.
Give people an inch they will take a mile.
He reminded me that I really don’t have to over extend myself, because I have done my job for King and Country. I know what my strengths are, and if I don’t need to hang around drunkenness and misery, then DON’T.
I don’t have to stay in places that thrive on conflict and misery. He told me that I might be on to something, because the way I explained things to him, it seemed to him, that people won’t step up, but will make snide comments because I am on the ball, so to speak. I have goals and I pound the pavement, and people see that and for many, they are jealous about what I have, because they won’t step up and do the same for themselves.
He also told me that I really helped him and that in that help, I changed his life in ways he never imagined.
He was grateful. And I was humbled.
Todd always told me that if I wanted to do right, then pick the people with promise and potential and take them under my wing and teach them what I was taught by Todd, and thereby changing lives, one at a time, in ways they nor I ever imagined.
I have done that.
There is a solution, available to everyone. It just seems that people are more comfortable in complacency and misery. Because not many want the challenge I put to them. I even scared a boy away from the rooms, by asking him to pray, and to do some step work, hell I even bought him a really nice journal to write in, and he’s never hit another meeting since. It’s been about a month now and he’s been MIA.
The other night I completed phase One of my full transition. Getting rid of distraction. I scrubbed my computer, and closed all of my distraction accounts, and deleted them from my system.
I am making good use of my CB-6000 right now.
Tonight I completed phase Two, of my transition. The Rage Cage has been purchased and will go out sometime tomorrow, with a receive date of probably next week. I went to The Tire to see if they had the solder supplies I need to seal the deal, so that I don’t have to trek all the way to St. Henri and hit the Home Depot instead. Thankfully, in a few hours I will go to The Tire up the block and get the necessary wand and metal solder wire.
We will be prepared to make it all happen as soon as the Rage arrives.
I have a goal in mind, and I am making it happen. I have all the necessary support to be successful and now I have the permission of my guides to make certain changes I wanted to make, but I needed to run them by sound minds before I put my choices into action. First I needed to know if I was right, if my thoughts were clear, and I explained the issues correctly to make a solid judgment call.
With that said … My final plans are coming into fruition.
By next week, a new chapter in my life will begin, in ways I had never imagined just a few short months ago. I had a prophetic dream one night, I acted upon it the next day, and here we are with a totally new perspective on Life, Chastity, Obedience, Humility, and Friendship.
The month of July, this year, has been a month of reflection and thought. It is like I have been working through a personal inventory of myself, and what I have learned about myself. My good points, and my bad points.
I have a particular Gay experience to draw upon. I have said, in the past that, things were not so easy, in the very beginning.
Living with AIDS, was not easy. Watching other people CRACK UP in front of me and my friends was disturbing. Loosing everyone, I thought would be in my corner, was a terrible by product of getting sick.
Ignorance was rife …
I learned early on after that, that it was not so important what people SAID, what was more important what people DID.
Living on the edge of society, well under the poverty level, procuring services that decided life or death, was paramount. I learned what were Cast Iron Panties, and how to put on those Cast Iron Panties very early on.
Several times I actually had to use them. Let me tell you that, if you said you’d do something I needed, on any level, and you failed to do that thing …
Hell hath no fury like an AIDS sick man.
A very TRUE STORY…
Back in the late nineties, after I got sick, for years, I had tried to get disability Insurance from the Government and I failed several times.
At the last, I stopped taking my medication for a month, I did not shower, or change my clothes, once. About a month in, I had a disability appointment with someone who could sign off on my application and grant me much needed financial support.
He, in the past, denied me that financial support.
So unwashed, sick and dirty, I walked into his office and sat down in front of him. He started talking to me. I took a deep breath and I coughed on him.
He stopped talking right then and there, and signed that application with not a further word of argument.
True Story …
You learned the character of the people around you, by their words, and indeed their actions. This piece of advice still applies today.
I know how alcoholics treated me when I came into the program twenty five years ago. Had that experience been more positive and supportive, this year I would have reached twenty five years sober.
Alas, that was not my experience.
Todd knew more about humility, honesty, and love, than any man or woman I know, to this very day.
Had he not stepped in and took me into his orbit, and taught me all the lessons he had, I would have surely died.
I spoke about this tonight, in my Step Group Study. In this meeting are a handful of LONG SOBER men whom I like and trust.
When I returned to the rooms in 2001, it was people who first hugged me and welcomed me into the SOBE room. They really cared about me, and that meant the world to me, and kept me IN the Room.
When I moved to Montreal, I looked for those same attributes in the people I met when I first arrived. In the first little while good people were Hit and Miss.
When I found the group I would HOME in for twelve years, the way I got sober and stayed sober, was by watching everyone else around me. I listened to them talk, lots of talk. I watched them make decisions, good and bad.
Most importantly, I paid attention to my friends who drank again, and again, and again.
I stuck and stayed while masses of people were drinking again.
I knew what NOT to do. I knew who to avoid, and who to stay away from.
Alcoholics are fallible people, we know this. Bill said as much in many of his talks before General Conference Meetings, for years.
None of us are perfect, none of us are better than another. Least of all ME.
Many years ago, I entertained a long sober man and asked him to sponsor me. An NDG man. For all intents and purposes, I stay away from NDG Men.
Why you ask ? I’m Gay.
Nothing turns my stomach quicker than a heterosexual man who needs to talk to hear himself talk, the pussy loving, hockey fan, who just has that air of heterosexuality about him. Men who overcompensate for being straight. Pissing contests are usual. And the size of their penises.
For a few years, I hung out with these men, because they were sober longer than I was, then. I did not go to their meetings, BUT I did attend several Twelve Step Retreats in Vermont with these men.
Imagine being the only queer banana in a car, driving to Vermont with overcompensating heterosexual men.
God give me strength.
At the very first group meeting, at the very first retreat I was at, in Vermont, I came out to the group of men. Because I was the only queer member in that group, for several retreats.
I quote …”Oh we accept you and we love you and we want to be your friend.”
That was all well and good. All that changed when we hit our first communal meal together.
I went through the buffet, got my food, and found a seat at an open table. I sat down, and I waited. And I watched.
I watched every single man, who said they accepted me among them, grab their own food, walk by my table, and sit somewhere else, not one of these men chose to break bread with me.
This happened at every retreat I was at, over and over.
Right then and there, the nails in their coffins were hammered.
Some time would pass, and my NDG sponsor having witnessed the worst painful experience I had ever experienced in Sobriety, spoke to me and he humiliated me in front of our group.
I swore I would never share space with any of those men ever again.
After the shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando, I was devastated. Because as a kid in my twenties, I drank in that building too. I knew the story of the kid who did the shooting. I knew that he scoped out both Pulse and the Parliament House, where I had my Coming Out Experience.
I wanted to drink so bad. But I knew I could not.
I turned to meetings to save me. Most importantly, a Big Book Reading Meeting. I knew that if I read the BIG Book through, I would NOT DRINK.
There were 45 men and women in that meeting. All the Queer men in the program on the English side, ALL OF THEM, sat in this meeting.
I was a wreck for eighteen months. Emotionally and mentally.
Not One Man or Woman, GAY or STRAIGHT wanted to know me. Not one of those men or women said one single word to me, personally, at any time, before or after any of those meetings over eighteen months.
Not One Alcoholic said those words to me… “I Know How You Feel, Let Me Tell You How I Dealt With That.” NOT ONE !!!
I’ve NEVER heard those words come out of ANY sober mouth, in all the years I have been sober, EXCEPT from Lorna Kelly who came from New York to speak at a Round Up. She spoke those words in front of everybody.
I think I was the only who who heard her. To This Day.
And in the end one of those queers, who read the same book I did, got to the last chapter of the Big Book, and we read HOW to stay SOBER and NEVER drink again, HE DRANK AGAIN.
Because he IS constitutionally incapable of being honest with himself.
Now I am not, in any way, stating that I am better than anyone else, but I do know the work I have done in as many years to stay sober. I know every man and woman who participated in my sobriety TO DATE.
Todd taught me about My Place in the World and in the Universe. I know my place in the world. I know, that as long as I serve others, to the best of my ability, I can maintain some semblance of humility.
I commented tonight, at the meeting that last night, I had a visceral reaction to some folks who came into the meeting last night.
I just don’t have any desire to be friendly with some of my heterosexual counterparts, because of the way they treated me over the years. They walk in the meeting and announce their presence, and I’m just like:
SHUT THE FUCK UP AND SIT DOWN.
I was SO uncomfortable sitting in my chair, that at one point, before the meeting, that I actually got up, and walked outside, to sit with my friends who were hanging out, outside the church on one of the benches.
I had no desire to sit there and listen to people I have no desire to want anything that they have. I stayed sober, by watching and listening to everybody else. That may be a good thing, or a bad thing.
I am a Gay man who survived AIDS.
So I am a bit more judgmental of people, in a way that other queer men are not. Not that there are NO QUEER men in the rooms who want to be my friend, so when we sit in the same room, they have nothing to say to me and I don’t have anything to say to them either.
I know who my friends are, and who I take solace from, and those men and women who contribute to my sobriety.
It just struck me odd last night, that I had that kind of reaction sitting in a room, I regularly sit in on a weekly basis. And I brought that up with my old timer friends tonight at the step meeting.
People are not apt to speak to me about anything I say in meetings, and old timers rather keep to themselves, and they don’t usually offer counsel, or criticism, or tell me to just shut the fuck up and listen.
I find that odd. That people won’t call you out, or say anything when we share in meetings. It’s like I am having this particular sober experience, and nobody is playing pin ball with me, there are no bumpers on the side, banging me back into play.
It’s like I am running on my own.
If I don’t ask someone directly for advice, nobody offers advice.
Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Tradition Five … That is the resounding answer I received from the many men I count as friends over the last two days.
There is a reason the fellowship has done well, for over 80 years. They did not get it all, RIGHT, on the first pass. It took trial and error, mistakes and failures, to find the solution to make us work together to help the alcoholic who still suffers.
The first bit of advice I got about the topic I wrote about last, was this:
A meeting is there for one purpose. To help the alcoholic who still suffers, to keep the doors open for those who need it most, and to help those who not only want it, but are WILLING to do the work to get better.
I heard that last week … The program is not for those who need it, or those who want it, the program is there for those who are WILLING to do the work, which is outlined in the Big Book.
We read a passage from the back of the book on Tuesday night, and the writer was talking about Big Book meeting she went to in the beginning of her sobriety, and she writes …
“What I found out was that people who attend Big Book meetings on a regular basis tend to READ THE BOOK AND DO WHAT IT SAYS.”
She learned how to be sober, by watching other sober men and women get sober themselves. In simple terms one of my sponsors said was this …
MONKEY SEE – MONKEY DO !!!
If you want to quibble over semantics and words in the literature, you must ask yourself, ARE YOU AN ALCOHOLIC ? Because if you are, then sit down, take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth and listen.
We aren’t concerned with what word you use to signify who you are, you are in the room for one reason, to STOP drinking and GET sober. If you aren’t here to do that, then maybe you should go back out and drink, until you are ready to get sober.
The old timers I call my friends were adamant about this last night.
People are so hung up on what we call them, as it relates to the literature, and we know that the literature is dated, and sexist, and God oriented, but the literature has stood the test of time. And so will you, if you stay the course.
The fellowship is evolving, but if we begin changing the core values and significance of the hallowed literature to appease one faction or another, we loose the spirit in which those words were written, by Bill, Dr. Bob and the first 100 sober people in the 1930’s.
A very good friend of mine wrote this, I found it meaningful, so I am sharing it with you here.
Another day, another vicious hate crime against Jews. This one in a Poway, California synagogue, six months to the day since a Jew-hating gunman opened fire in a Pittsburgh synagogue. See a pattern here?
Although it seems like the stuff of nightmares, you’re not imagining it. The drumbeat of anti-semitism has been getting louder of late, with Anti Defamation League data confirming a 57% increase in Jew-targeted acts in the U.S. in 2017, the largest single-year increase ever. Those swastikas showing up on Jewish homes overnight? Not just punks with paint.
But let’s not kid ourselves: If you’re Muslim, or Christian, or any other identifiable religious group, you’re at risk, too. Muslims slaughtered in Christchurch and Quebec City. Christians blown to bits in Sri Lanka. All because they had the temerity to express their faith.
No doubt today’s political climate contributes to the spike we see now. But, again, hatred has been with us forever. Thanks to dog-whistled support from the highest offices in the land, it’s simply emerging from the shadows. The irony that the same politicians fuelling today’s hate-driven fire have the unmitigated gall to tweet out the now-de-rigeur thoughts-and-prayers stupidity should enrage us all.
I almost don’t know what to say anymore, or what to do. I read the San Diego gunman’s so-called manifesto, a screed so filled with hatred that the mind struggles to understand how someone can become so warped. It makes me fear for humanity’s future.
Key word in my previous paragraph: Almost. We can’t afford to be silent. Because cowering in fear only gives power to those who hate, allows them – and the leaders who validate them – the room and resources they need to expand their malevolent, society-killing influence.
We must also stand together, because an attack on one religion is an attack on all of us, and a cancer that can and will ultimately reach our homes, our communities, no matter who we are or where we live.
Because if they haven’t come for you yet, your silence ensures they eventually will.