Milestones … Milestones are important. These little signposts that we stick in the ground as we walk the path we are on are useful. I walked through the gate into this land and have been traveling this path for almost ten years.
I could not have told you then, that I expected to be anywhere other than where I was in a dead end position scraping a life together trying to figure out how I was going to stay alive with all the money that was required to be paid out to fund this little life I was living.
Getting sober was the first step in making this life possible. And the group of people that I got sober with were instrumental in getting me to the point that I could look forwards. Last night I tried to pin down some dates to tell a particular story and my memory is too far gone to remember the finer details of the dates to plot on a map to say I was “here” and I went “there” and I did “this” and ended up “there.”
Suffice to say the beginning of this long journey into life began in 1994 when I first attempted to get sober. I held onto that for more than four years and a few months. That’s as close as I can get to the specific date of when I fell off the path.
There was the errant few years of uncertainty and my eventual re-arrival back at the starting point where I had been living to begin with. There are a series of memories that fall in this time period. When I arrived back in Miami – the summer of 2000. The last time I saw my parents – New Years Day 2001. Living in my studio and being called on the morning of 9-11 by Ricky to turn on the television because something was going down. But what I was doing from the summer 2000 until the summer of 2001 is missing.
I remember where I was, I think. All these points on the timeline can be confirmed. I’ve written about all of them before. I know what I was doing the months leading up to my return to the rooms. And then my final drink occurred and we reach the 9th of December 2001.
I was living. I was sober. I was hitting meetings every night with my friends. I made some connections online that ended in me coming to Montreal to visit over Easter of 2002. I came for a week, I stayed for two. Thus began the second chapter of my life in a new city, far from where I was.
If you told me then, that I would live – not just survive, I don’t think I would have believed you. But sobriety had its perks. There were a group of people in my life here in the city that were instrumental in me getting where I am today. And those people are still in my life today.
The meetings have changed. People have come and gone from my life. People are only meant to be in your life for a specific period of time. I know that some of those people were not meant to be with me longer than they had. But I had a good foundation in the program by people with some serious time in the program.
The first year and a half were spent learning to stay in my day, and live one day at a time. It took me a long time to learn that lesson. And as I remained sober and also stayed rooted in the series of meetings I was attending everything was coming as it would, in God’s time, and not my own.
Nobody tends to remark that I am still alive at this stage of the game. I think people take it for granted that I live on borrowed time. I don’t know who’s life I am living but someone has granted me this time for some strange reason. The god’s must be crazy. Why they took so many lives from me and at the same time allowed me to go on living is still that mystery I have yet to solve.
I am a medical anomaly. If you looked at my numbers you wouldn’t know that anything was wrong. These little med students I get to meet along the way are humorous. My doctor prides himself in telling the same story every time we get a student in the office. He grins and shakes his head as they look at me with skepticism. They don’t get it at all.
For the last ten years, as the years pass by, new abilities came to pass. New lessons to learn, new experiences to have. And all of it came by way of the rooms. Nothing I have today came from outside. All these years of gifts and lessons came by way of the program, because I did what I was told to do.
I had no idea when I got sober this time around that anything that has happened to me was foretold by anyone. The only exception to this story is the man I met on the beach so many years ago who gave me some sound advice. “Don’t wait to die to ask those questions in your head.” Ask them now. Find the answers now.
I guess it was fate that when I got sober, it must have been a sign from God, but the dance club I used to get drunk in closed its doors for good just after I got sober. It was a sign that I would never have to go back there and drink. But I walked by that building every day on the way to the meeting on South Beach.
All these achievement that I have been blessed with are gifts of the program. Canada has become the land of plenty. The passage of civil rights for LGBT people was a massive score for Canadian gay and lesbian men and women. We are a forwards thinking country. And many of the rights I have today came after I had moved here. Thank god for lies and people who told them. Because I have them to thank for this journey into life.
It’s amazing that so many years later, I haven’t spoken to my family at all. And in the end it was my family that made all of this possible. I know where they are and if I needed to I could go looking for them. Facebook is a useful tool, and I had my dalliance with family on facebook, that never materialized anything but silence.
But I have reconnected with family here in Montreal and the outlying areas. I had a relationship with my late great aunt Georgette before she died of cancer a number of years ago. That was a gift that came from my mother of all people. She was the one who told me that sister was still alive somewhere. And had I not visited the Mother House in Old Montreal on that fateful day, none of that would have happened.
My parents may not support me because I am gay. And they don’t, let’s not make bones about that. Their Catholic upbringing did nothing to assuage them into becoming friends with me at any point. There is error on both sides of this story. And one day Sometime maybe in the future I will get to make my amends, which has been long since overdue. but until then, all I can do is pray for that situation and hope one day it will resolve itself. But it is not on my radar of expectation.
I remained true to my heritage. I live the life I set out to find when I came here in the beginning. I followed that spiritual path that I was introduced to very early on in my life by my grandmother Camille. It was her faith and determination that fed this journey from the beginning. Had she not taught me all that I know about today, I would never have ventured into this without something to go on.
I’ve learned a lot over the last ten years. Probably so much that I could possibly fill a book, if I ever decided to sit down and write it. But all the stories that would go into it, are here on the blog. You can read all those stories here.
We are about to begin the Fall of 2011. Lots to do and life will progress. We live only for the day. We hope for the best and we strive for the truth. Hubby’s career in teaching will begin not too far down the road. And he is looking forwards to that. I have my studies and you know I do my best and hope for the best as well.
The seasons will change and the fall will come. And soon we will celebrate the coming of the silence. That is the most important day in my yearly observance of the seasons. That night always comes, but you never know it is there until it is upon you. So watch this space. It is one of the most blessed days in my spiritual observances. We welcome the mother maiden of the silence for her season. And it is always glorious. This time of year is truly magical.
Because we see the outwards changes in our surroundings like no other place. I love the seasons. The ending of Summer, the coming of Fall, the welcome of Winter. It is all magical and blessed. Life will move with the rhythm of the seasons. We shall get there – my 10 year anniversary.
I am having conversations with an old timer from the West Island at Friday West End. I may end up joining that group and quite possibly take my cake there in a few months time.
But we are not there yet. God willing and one day at a time. This has been a brief look at what ten years of sobriety has brought to my life.
More to come, stay tuned …