Sep 17

Conditional Queries…

occasionally, dreams of drinking and drugging will come up…it has been some time since i have had any, until last week…i met a neighbor across the street from me a couple years ago, through mutual friends…he is not addicted to anything (that i know of)…we became acquainted through a group that goes out skateboarding…and even though we have never drank or used together before, he ended up in the dream…we went downtown to some bar…after a few drinks, i had gotten lit up enough to lose track of him…being a big place, i had to walk around a bit, looking…so many people were there…coming in and out, walking around…it was getting difficult to find his familiar face, in all the darkness and blue lights…eventually we found each other…then it became a task for locating where i had parked the car…another big undertaking…i remember swallowing many glasses of booze…just not sure what it was…probably beer…that didn’t seem to matter much…it was the sensation of getting drunk that stood out most, since it had been a long while from having a dream quite like this…marching around for blocks…searching through the lots…still could not find where i had left our ride…fearing it had been towed…besides…did it matter?…was i not in the right position to be driving anyway?…much like my old moments…worry…confusion…loss

then the dream took another direction…not sure if i had woken up, or not…that is usually how a new one starts, right?…it changed as if i were watching some documentary…a show about crimes that were committed…with a narrator telling the story…only, i was playing the criminal in first-person…taking off as a flying dream…running and leaping from a ledge…swooping down, just above the country-side…then, slowly levitating beneath the awnings of some business complex…a police helicopter followed in pursuit…as soon as it began firing bullet rounds at me, i picked up these boxes, or bales of hay…something to catch this barrage of firepower threatening me…as soon as one blew up in my hands, i would grab another…using the roof slanting down to cover myself…eventually it turned into a stand-off…nowhere else to go…i was stuck at an end corner of a building…the lost block was blown out of my hands…a voice hollered from the loud speaker of the cop chopper…i slowly dropped down to the ground

once waking up, i went over the last parts of this dream…that this fictional tragedy had been told through narration…about a crime that had taken place…i just couldn’t recall what was spoken about it…what came to my mind mostly, was the fact that i had been flying…what did that mean?…this got me looking through an internet search…most led to positive results…rising above problems in life..freedom from inherent problems…control over unsurpassable obstacles…this didn’t seem like much truth for me, currently…life has been very difficult for me…not having work…funds to pay bills and provide for my family coming to an end……faith and belief in a Higher Power diminishing, slowly…didn’t make much sense to me…finally, i found another supposed reason for the flying dream…making more clarity…it talked about a lack of motivation…issues with the past…goals too high for reaching…losing confidence in where you are going…these were listed under poor dreams with flying…still not sure it fill well…the flying part wasn’t scary at all…not exactly a nightmare…kind of exhilarating, in fact…i had fun cruising through the air, using my body only…kind of comical, really…for, i had not enjoyed being shot at by the authorities…just didn’t see anything frightening about the flying part…still, i questioned why i dreamed about it all…very strange

i have never asked whether i was an alcoholic/drug addict, or not…coming to the 12 Step program at the age of 18, i was given lot’s of descriptions fitting me perfectly…not once have i ever wanted to drink or get high conservatively…it was always about getting fucked up…that has been my goal since the start…sure, there have been instances when i did what i could to manage my use…but, this was only because something stood in the way of my enjoyment…like money issues, or people calling me out about it…this led to me finding places and times for doing it alone…this called for lying over what i was doing, where i had been…all textbook examples of drug addiction and alcoholism…being the age of 42 now, i cannot sit here and tell you i never touched another drop after getting sober initially…i have gone back out a few times…relapse is surely inevitable for who doesn’t stick to a program of action keeping people like us away from the next drink or drug…this has always been my fault…something in my toolbox hadn’t been used…never by an accident…and i haven’t ever gone back to thinking i would one day use and booze like a normal person…it had come on the basis of getting trashed any chance i could…most likely imagining getting away with it better than before…this led to more failure…after a short period, coming back to the rooms asking for help…avoiding the pending calamity

substance of large proportion has to happen in order for me to request assistance…i haven’t ever returned to the program after a few days of seeing it didn’t work for me like i wanted it to…no…it comes from a deep seeding wreck…like jail…divorce…loss of personal freedom…facing the end, again…coming to that “jumping off place”…nothing else to turn to except those who had gone before me in similar situations…walking out the other side, released of that selfish slavery…not knowing what direction to take on my own anymore, i would reach out my hand in agony for someone to walk with me to the better way…giving up the old life, in return for the new…not easy…always takes me facing a brick wall to see through the other side…and that sucks…wanting to figure it out, all on my own…not simple to accept advice from another…until that is all that is left to do

which brings me to where i’m at today…thoughts of getting drunk and stoned still come to me…i’m sure that is that way it will be forever…realizing that i am stricken with an incurable disease of being addicted to drugs and alcohol…it is more in how i react to that sick thinking and emotions that secure my future…questioning myself is a pure act of defiance…assumption that i have been wrong since the beginning…does not my past show proof of who i really am?…where have i been?…where do i go now?…my own sick head does not fix itself…i must have that outside resource…since dope and drink failed to provide that for me, i must search somewhere else…reliance upon other human origin is the only solution i have found…and when that outlet is fleeting from my life?…well…i must get back to searching for that understanding…silence and action is what i use presently in cleaning my head of the bad logic and ideas…reading words on the matter and listening to who carries the message is what delivers my yearning for God’s communication…which never happens to me overnight…it takes a daily practice to repeat…slowly, it all gets better…maybe not the outside world immediately…only within will my perception and awareness improve…keep putting that foot in front of the other…no matter what is going on…better than sitting in the mire, expecting exterior chemicals to change matters…it may alter the inside of me…but, only for a short term…the outer world stays the same, getting even worse the more i look to dope and alcohol for solution

this came up at a meeting i like going to…being cross-talk, it is different than any other i have been to before…a speaker shares for ten minutes on where there are at presently in sobriety…then, everyone introduces themselves by name, and the floor is left open for discussion…no raising hands to talk…no time limit…you can share as many times as you want…interrupting is even allowed…there is just no bashing…no drunk or drug logs…no telling the speaker what to do…just passing own personal experience, strength and hope about what has been said…more like group therapy…not a meeting centered on a particular topic brought from the literature we read everyday…this week, the guy telling us about his recent story talked of returning to the program after a “break”…he had been seeing where he had gone wrong before…wanting to amend what he was lacking in…that what he had been doing previously obviously didn’t work…he felt the need to add more, because of what was missing…he also brought up the fact of this wonder of whether he was really alcoholic or addicted…this had me going over the requirements for membership in our fellowship…it is only about a “desire to stop” using drugs and drink…nowhere does it say we have to be addicted

it meant that this guy had every right to be at our meeting, even if it was closed to members only…he fit that bill, listening to him talk…even a couple of the people who shared didn’t see what was wrong with others asking themselves if they were one of us, or not…it isn’t a disease another can classify people on…it must be decided for one’s self…after the group was over, i talked to the speaker…telling him that if he was really questioning his affliction, he should exert more investigation…a strong look at his history…a thorough reading of our books…a deep connection with us who had been through the wringer…if approached that way, it shouldn’t take long to see if you are one of us…and it may even require some more tests of casual drinking and recreational drug use before finding out the reality…as unfortunate is it sounds, it is the sore truth for those who don’t really know yet…i’ve never had a doubt in my mind about my affliction with dopey substances…if i had wanted to get messed up, i would do it…in how i was unable to do this responsibly is what placed me in the class of addict/alcoholic…i could not stop on my own…being mentally, physically and spiritually ill usually takes a phenomenal catastrophe for sight of the honest truth…and that is probably why we are named doomed and hopeless…an active nature of providence is greatly expected for who is incurable, if they are to recover

 

 

 

Sep 05

Inwardly-Spiritually Conciliated…

even with a considerable amount of sobriety time, it has become difficult for me to be open about what is going on, lately…mostly i relate it to selfishness…that being the root of all my troubles, shouldn’t i be more concerned with what others are going through right now?…i mean, aren’t there people who are struggling far more than i am currently?…do not i already have the tools readily at disposal for fighting ill’s and disparities with life?…thinking about myself only is what i always battle with…and it keeps cropping up…so, when stuff gets very rough for me, it is unbearable to endure…going back to what was mentioned in the previous blog, what is it i ought to be writing about in here?…do i really have a place in telling you all of my story?…shall i keep personal trials and errors away?…who is taking a good look at this?…the aim of HMR has always been in reaching out to similar folk, and not those with power of criticizing or patronizing me…this blog is meant for the likeminded who need support and experience with what they are, or have been…who knows what is looking with a search on the internet, using it to disadvantage?

this is a number of reasons i’ve done my best in keeping the mouth shut…yet, doing what i can in staying away from the dark places has been timing for more ruin…i have finally reached an end point…i’m at that “jumping off” place…cannot keep quiet about it anymore…tired of maintaining that happy face…and when members of the fellowship are asking me how i am, i return with “alright…how are you?”…it has always been my focus in stashing what is wrong within myself to find out what is bothering them…looking for what i can do to assist other people having issues with sobriety and life…helping my fellows through service work…remaining available is a key tool for continuing that walk through sober time…i must give away what i have in order to keep it, right?…and what happens when i run out of more to hand away?…when i have depleted every resource inside myself?…empty of worth, guidance, hope, positivity and truth?…where to then?

exactly where i was Saturday morning…attending the Men’s meeting i normally go to…just didn’t want to be there…wondering why i came?…was it looking for more networking on the job search?…getting out of the house awhile?…a hundred other things i could have been doing…places i could have gone…and, no…i just suited up and showed up…because, it’s what i’ve been bred to do, using the 12-Step program of action…feeling as down and bad as i have been…a compulsory desire to cry out came…once the meeting started, i was bent on sharing about it…even if it had little (or nothing) to do with the topic at hand…i felt the need to disclose what was bringing me to this place…which eventually led to keeping my mouth closed, again…i’ve always been one to share experience, strength and hope with the newcomer…to side along with them…telling what it had been like for me before, what happened to walk me in and how it is like now that i’ve lived this new life of freedom from the disease of alcoholism/drug addiction…considering this, it meant i just wasn’t there…which made me want to confide in the group even more…because the first half of this meeting is devoted to the newcomer, and the last half for those who have the solutions and answers, i assumed it was right for me to throw my hand up and speak…then, looking across the room, i saw my sponsor…since i hadn’t talked to him yet about my woes, i put the plug in my mouth and steadily tried to listen…not easy to do…in fact, i didn’t much care what the last member had to share…and i walked out early to stand outside, waiting for it all to be over…this too, was a last straw for me…as i have always been good about separating that “moment of silence” at the beginning of a meeting to ask God for removal of my judgments against others, so that i can better hear His message

once my sponsor came out when the meeting was over, i let him know about this horrible place i was in…we got together later in the day, and i described in detail all the poor thoughts i was having…all the negative, awful ideas plaguing my mind…not being able to break away from it…no matter what i did…what stopped working…new directions taken…older routes not producing anymore…losing complete faith and belief in a Higher Power…not knowing what to do or where to go…reaching that ropes end…another month of this, and i wasn’t sure where i was headed…something had to change soon…although i had stuck with what was keeping me sober this long…i couldn’t not see any brightness ahead…everything i was picturing was in the dark…my sponsor really listened to me (as he always does), nodding his head…bringing assistance…first was evening review…something i had been keeping from…it is okay for me to talk to God about everything…no matter what it is…and i have been solely about placing prayer mostly on others struggling with course dealings…even when i don’t have solid answers in what they need to do…keeping the requests generic…expecting my Higher Power to give providence in taking them where they need to go…so, not only is starting the day off with direction important…but, closing it up by looking at what has been accomplished…where i have made mistakes…asking God for help in correction…this is vital, as well

secondly, my sponsor suggested  what i had never heard about before…the Two-Way Prayer…he said to find some time alone…in the silence with pen and paper…thinking of one question to ask from my Higher Power, writing it down…after a few moments, continue with scribbling whatever comes to hand…this acts as like an inner-screening, if you will…for i’ve never heard the voice of God coming from the Heavens…it has always been through other humans, like yourself…this is why going to meetings is most important to me…i hear his ethereal speech from your words…copying down whatever comes to me in such a short period of engagement should be enough in reviving a prayer back to me from my Higher Power…and as strange as it sounded, i figured it was at least worth a shot…my sponsor has always been choice in finding ways of moving me through alternate avenues…pointing out what is missing…after our chat, we went and committed to some service work…then i came home, telling my wife more about what had been distressing me…it was releasing, getting out what i had been holding inside me for many days…she then offered to do something special…bring me out of the awful spirits…we went and picked up items to get ready for barbecue at the house…i love cooking on my grill…she also brought up giving the church down the street a chance, since we hadn’t found a new home of worship in a few years

Sunday morning was right where i needed to be…the sermon at this congregation targeted on the Book of Job…not what i have ever read about before…only completing the New Testament, not the entire text, yet…Job was an upright citizen…outstanding man…free of sin…and all of the sudden, he ended up losing everything…possessions…children…health…this led him to alarm friends and family…even asking God why it had all happened…not much of an encouraging response from wife and companions…they decided to point at parts that he could have been responsible for, instead…where was he unfavorable?…God wouldn’t do bad things to good people, would He?…although Job never received direct response from the Lord, he eventually saw what caused ill was in outward appearance only…much more true and relevant examples are what live within us…to never give up…only carry on through closer examination of self…this is what moves us through individual strife with liberation…since i have not been through nearly what Job had…nor have i ever been the pinnacle of good manhood as he…i had been losing trust and countenance of greater assistance than human power

after the service, i decided to go on a bicycle ride…what i had been meaning to do a lot more of…getting exercise and losing pounds…never been one to get into jogging…or lifting weights…i like to have fun…and riding my bike is one of those things enjoyed…finding paths through neighborhoods…keeping safe…sticking to roads with bike lanes and are under a 40 mph speed limit…trails are my favorite…i have a beach cruiser…so mountain bike tracks are not for me…i like the gravelly, sidewalk ones that journey through the woods…which took me to the closest one by my home that i like a lot…good ride…still, i couldn’t keep crap from entering my head on the way there…this caused me to ask my Higher Power in taking that from me…to direct my attention on what i was doing…riding my bicycle and keeping an eye on the traffic…what came up in my mind the most was what to ask God for on the paper, when doing the Two-Way Prayer…in arguing with myself about this, i stopped…diverting the questioning to where was the ideal spot for sitting down to do it…in the shade…at a picnic table…which happened perfectly for me…and i believe the best result made from all this was realizing that meditation is what i lacked in freeing my psyche from the littered cognition…as i sat there on that bench, wondering what i should be writing about…alternatively shifted objective to what i heard around me…water running in the creek…birds chirping in the trees…wheels grinding through the gravel from other riders on the trail…this suited me well enough to finish what was started…i couldn’t have asked for more

it isn’t to say that it all has gotten better for me…outside, i’m sure it has pretty much continued the same…it is the inner me that has a greater opportunity for improvement…a lot like how drugs and alcohol were used, to tell the truth…whenever plans threw bad hands at me…not dealing well with what was coming forward…i would get loaded…an attempt at calming the disruptions in my brain and heart…this lead to more and more using…because nothing exterior had modified…it had only gotten worse, in fact…today i do what i find in transforming these obstacles…but, when complications keep arising, what do i do?…cannot just sit in silence, waiting for the change…i must reach out to any hand that is there…seeking quiet in a most natural way, not dangerous…do i know what is to come next?…no…i don’t…if i knew what God’s plan was for me, than i could actively play Him myself…wouldn’t need a 12-Step program in keeping me sober and sane…but, i do not have that power, being a human…the meaningful action to take is keep heading up the river…looking for the source of that life-wielding water…through the woods…mud…stones…and other difficult terrain…there is where it is found…everywhere else…inside and out…He is my Rock…my Redeemer…Immovable…only one strays from existence when the mind isn’t where the soul is…this dimension lives on forever…despite the material being…and i haven’t too far in looking to find it…it is wherever i go…always with me

 

 

Aug 15

Inquisitive Bibelots

never stop questioning where to go with this blog…still want to keep it on sobriety using the 12 Steps…better about not referencing already written books on the subject…focusing more on my own words…normally, i find each title first…how it’s relating directly to what is going on with me…which brings up personal things walked through…as well as memories of past mistakes and solutions found…this has been jogging around in the back of my head over the last couple weeks…getting emails from groups a part of on the internet, regarding writing…some of these are articles about blogs…one in particular went over how most successful bloggers stay away from intimate recollections, or specific instances in personal life…this sounds more like fiction, to me…i’ve always looked at blogging as a sort of journal…its how i have always carried messages of recovery from alcoholism/drug addiction…then again, i’m not really sure who is reading this…what truly has brought my eyes around to this is my profile on Linked In…being out of work, the wonder is if any prospective hiring manager, HR personnel or acquisition recruiters follow the links to this page…knowing i am the author?…in that case, maybe i should not be going on about my horrible past with dope and booze…for nearly ten years now, i have wrote under the pseudonym of Half Measures Room…protecting my anonymity to keeping in-line with the 11th Tradition…over the last many months, directions have changed with that…never claiming membership to any particular 12 Step fellowship here, it appears okay to connect employers with my work online to this website

writing has always been a hobby and passion of mine…beginning with poetry and short stories…this grew into blogging, once entering sobriety…and i miss the online radio program i used to host on blogtalkradio.com…can’t wait to start doing that again someday soon…it’s been my goal with writing to bring my own narrative to light, on paper and the computer screen…the best way i have communicating with people…always has been…now working on a novel started years ago…more of an auto-biographical piece, with some fiction thrown in…taking a lot of time and effort…not sure exactly how far through with it i am…over the past few days, the title and premise of a new, fully fictional novel has come to mind…too much to take in, right now…creativity has been running rampant in my mind and hands…and i don’t want it to stop…writer’s block had it’s hold on me for awhile…just not caring for it’s return…still not sure who is looking at material put out for this blog…are you addicted, like i am?…in recovery?…looking for help?…or, do you just like reading stuff?

maybe your just wondering why the hell it’s put out for the eyes like this…it isn’t a reason i’ve gone into great detail about…kept it to myself, mostly…doing what i can in staying original…all the lower-case is meant in singling out each sentence…one statement as it’s own…these lead to definition of the three periods between them…also, a way setting aside the lines…keeping apparent their meanings…plus, i like numerology in written word…the periods stand for substance…Unity, Service, and Recovery…Honesty, Open-Mindedness and Willingness…the Father, Son and Holy Spirit…i could go on and on about it…but, i’m thinking you get the picture now…is this a good way to blog?…i haven’t the slightest clue…nobody ever responds to it anymore…i had to rid the comment box here on Word Press, because it was getting infected with malware and spam…the profiles created on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter are pretty silent…much why i’m itching to get back to internet radio…for getting the words out there again…online meetings…meetings in print…this has been the aim for HMR since it started in 2008…non-profit…spreading 12 Step recovery to those who want it most, and have not found it…reaching that hand out there to who is lost, not knowing what to contact for help

only ever been best at writing about what i have been through myself…this provides credence to the directive reviewed while reading…i haven’t any business going on about what i haven’t any idea of…it’s even how my pieces of fiction and poetry have been…all through the sight and thought of the author printing it…how i’ve come to describing such happening in my mind, body and spirit (three periods!)…once getting ahold of sobriety, my interests with the 12 Steps flowered and blossomed…through looking at what had been done…following angles to success and freedom…i wanted to discover more about it…it’s how i’ve always been about life…what my “Elevator Speech” in finding the right job goes into…the How’s and Why’s of everything…once i see an object working…why it is there?…doing what it does?…then, i want to find out how…particulars and specifics…what operates in giving desired results?…after going in all the intricacies, my eyes, ears and hands open to possibilities of growth and development…a larger toolbox is presented, offering availability to what similar creeps up next

inner workings of anything go to show true value after asking about purpose and scope…it is built when using products and services continually…much like how jigsaw puzzles work…we love seeing the proposed picture atop the box…opening it up, all types of different shaped pieces are exposed…taking each one out to look, we see them opposing each other…this can immediately cause confusion, frustration…if deciding to continue, we will step back and assess the situation…where do we start first?…with the easiest method, obviously…flat lines match up better…certain design and colors fit closely…time will pass, after taking this route…soon, we have borders…these line together, eventually…edges become square…now, we have the frame of this picture we want to create…how did we get this far already?…what can take us further than that?…seeking out pieces that fit in the holes left over…which ones slides in correctly?…according to shape and image?…with more watchful guidance, we will be well on our way to a finished masterpiece, one sawed and painted shape at a time

still, not absolutely sure where i’m going with this…so much on my mind and plate today…working…writing…responsibility…family…sobriety…friendship…is what i’m doing so far been effective?…should i be trying different ways?…will it all operate the way i’m expecting it to?…is what i’m assuming will happen really what is needed?…needs and wants are not always the same as each other…my will and God’s will can be far apart…the only times i’ve even looked for help is when facing a failure…and that is where this job search quest is for me…a query struggled with answering at interviews is the whole “What is your greatest weakness?”…some answers are not the greatest to give out…depends on what the hiring team is wanting to find…yet, i do want to be honest…only, not forbidding…how should i say it?…must be that i am overwhelmingly weak with looking for assistance when approached with a problem…always bent on figuring things out on my own…however, the solution i’ve found with this handicap, is involving help where it is needed most…trouble-shooting and advice from others who have dealt with the same kind of predicament…this deals with it adequately…but, when on a time crunch, or more is expected from you, what other choices do you have?…insanity is commonly defined as committing to the same ideal, over and over, when nothing ends up changing…the expectation is for it to be altered, all on it’s own…getting fastened to that is what points to service and support…nobody has to do it for you…they just nudge you another way

a guy i have known for years in sobriety called me the other morning…haven’t seen or heard from him for a few months now…we go to different meeting places…both of us lead busy lives…neither one is good at contacting those we don’t run into much…used to acting with schedules we have set up for ourselves…so, it was extremely nice catching up…he asked about riding bikes, since that is a big commonality we have…even mentioned getting together and cycling down a greenbelt trail we share an affinity for…that is awesome!…gives us downtime with spending in person, face-to-face…he also asked about my jobless situation…what had i been doing about that?…then, he went a little more particular…asking about sponsorship…telling me he wasn’t that good at finding that kind of partnership with someone…that he hadn’t sponsored anyone for some time now…”How do you find sponsees?” he asked…i couldn’t believe i was hearing this from him!…i mean, this dude has thirty years without a drink or drug…stopped getting loaded around the same time I started picking it up…i couldn’t think of what to tell him…so, i said “Dude, I am the wrong person to ask about this”

then, he went even deeper than that…wanting to know if the reason newbies don’t ask him for sponsorship is because of the way he shares in meetings…was there something turning these prospects away from him?…i could only return in telling him what i knew…that he had always been my back-up with issues in sobriety…if my sponsor were to ever move away…or, if i couldn’t get in touch with him, for one reason or another…this good friend of mine would be my go-to guy on working the steps for sobriety…he is dependable…does the stepwork steadily…and i trust him with my deepest, darkest secrets…”i’ve never liked the idea of raising hands to offer sponsorship to those needing it at the end of meetings.” i told him…all i could think about is how i met the man who took me through the steps…he drew near to me…listening to what i had to say about dilemmas getting sober…not having an ability in putting the drink and drug down…which he agreed upon, confiding in me his own likeness…and what did he have to do in quitting?…that is exactly what the 12 Steps are about…which is where we started in our relationship…one man walking with another…bringing him up with the way he was brought by another…because, we just can’t do it alone…it takes teamwork…one mind…one heart…and one action used together

 

 

Jul 29

Stomping Out the Fix…

my wife and i have kids that live primarily with their others…during each summer they do come and stay with us throughout the week…it cuts down on daycare costs, since my wife works from home and can keep a good eye on them…since i’m without a job right now, i’ve become involved this year…the younger two kids are the ones with us…and are constantly at the opposite’s throat…fighting and arguing about everything…getting on everyone’s nerves…happening every day…starts as soon as they wake up…and goes on until laying down for bed at night…then start all over again…when we see who is at fault, they get punished or grounded, or whatever…sometimes it is hard to figure out which person is in the wrong…one of them tells us something…and the other, usually at a completely different side…who are we to believe?…each is only looking out for themself…to each, his (or her) own…especially when they expect their opponent getting the blame…we have tried every means for coming up with on addressing such problem…getting them to play games together, or as a family…going to the park daily…which usually ends up with one coming home early…because they have hurt their foot…or, ran out of water to drink…anything to get away from the proposed partnership…it just grows tiresome, watching them play in their rooms alone…messing with tablets and smartphones all the time…or gaming on the Playstation (which turns up another sibling battle)…one wants to watch a movie instead…or play a different video game…just never seeming to stop…separately…apart…it doesn’t come out well

today it happened again (like always)…becoming very agitated, i waited…after calming myself, i found what to say…having both kids in front of me, i spoke as slowly and frankly as i could…telling them that feelings of anger are not wrong to have…we just can’t help getting frustrated, at times…it’s basic instinct…like love and fear…developing natural emotion isn’t bad…just part of the human make-up…it is in how we react to it that determines difference with the world…yelling and being mean to people will not solve the issue at hand…it compounds problems…”much how you are looking at me now”, i told the boy, who was giving me a hateful eye…continuing with this rhetoric, i said that quarreling doesn’t result in valued solution…only one-sided debate…best using soft-spoken, quiet voice when entering dispute…listening to the differing party in earnest…doing what we can to put ourselves in their shoes, for a change…hearing another angle in the story…once that entirely new picture is in focus, an agreement possibly is reached…otherwise, it’s adding fuel to the fire…best example i could come up with, so they could better understand what i was getting to is when an object becomes broken…instead of picking it up to get a good look at it…trying to find out what went wrong…we will jump on top of it…or throw it on the ground…shattering the valuable property to pieces…this happens in anger…now the piece of past quality never sees it’s day in court…not another opportunity of repair will arise…we will have to replace what has been destroyed…because of failure in putting special time and effort towards discovering exactly what went wrong…this calls for more cost and expenditure…which could have been avoided with care and attention

feelings, thoughts and moods can set the eve of destruction…and it doesn’t always have to be that negative…no matter how much is going on…seeming out of control…too much in handling…just should not be taken in all by ourselves…reliance on separateness…honesty with people of trust..giving larger scope of the conflicted life circumstances…especially entailing brutality about it…further necessitating interaction with those worthy hearing our darkest, secret outset…showing we accept help in that way…realizing that of our own device, nothing healthy comes out…taking it all piece by piece…dissecting it…appearing much clearer for approach…eyeing it all as one big mess is tougher to swallow…one particular at a time…can it all be concluded right now?…no…of course not…usually combines time and distinctive study in how to amend what went wrong…not easy…but simple when looked at that way

answers for what was mistaken with me and the world surrounding had been with getting loaded…it was the chief resolution found…changing the way i felt about any given position…probably why i became dually addicted…ready to pick up anything…wanting excitement when morose…needing to chill out with too much to deal with…other times just bored and wanting to liven up a little…or depressed and expecting to be happy about goings-on…didn’t matter anymore…after being empty of money, a certain substance wasn’t of concern…it was the effect that i needed…eventually came physical, medical symptoms…using to overcome cravings…ailments…side-effects…tremors…hangovers…whatever it took to satisfy body, brain urges for more…drugs or alcohol only temporarily treated that serious inner conflict unprepared to face…that bothersome reality always back there waiting when coming to…strong reasons for continuing being fucked up…escape…this repeated routine and cult expanded mistakes and trauma into doubles and triples…onward and further outward…ultimately came no other alternative with running away…apparent to everyone in contact, for it had affected them to the core, also…only option left was facing the music…or continue chasing the dream…oblivion…this boundary can be so bright for those devoid of hope and forgiveness…amazing in that way…seemingly broke and beyond, correction turns on it’s side for us…just requires seeing it other ways

at 3 months sobriety i had faced a divorce…my daughter only 4 years old, at the time…still thanking God she cannot recall how much of a drunk and drugee i used to be…at times my wife would be working at night…i’m at home, watching the baby…the door would slam shut…screams crying out…waking me back up…eyes going down to the floor, where the baby lay sleeping…empty 32 oz. beer laying beside her…guzzling so much with her on my lap, i had passed out…she rolled down to the ground…the empty booze container bouncing off alongside…not a pretty sight…and i hope she will never remember anything like that happening…horrible…and it’s just how i was…on more than one occasion…in and out of sobriety…not only once had i gone back to the old life…so, was it such a shock that divorce impended my future?…yet, i became enraged over it…i mean, here i am…doing what i could getting through the 12 Steps (again)…making meetings every day…a couple times a day…more, if i could…getting with my sponsor…going over where i had come…where i need to go next…and it still wasn’t enough?…the battle was over…forced to move out of a family i had damaged

living back with my folks…sharing a room to sleep in with my brother…he smoked pot all the time…coming home in the evenings…i did everything i could to not raid that liquor cabinet i had done as a kid…or pack a bowl in the bong under my siblings bed…not a snap overcoming these temptations…so, i just spoke to people about it…friends…parents…sponsor…the group…telling them it didn’t seem to matter anymore, not getting fucked up now…no wife to come home to…no child to look after…i was in solitary…and “no!”, they would all respond back…i’m still a father…if ever wanting to be part of my daughter’s life again, i had to carry on…keeping up with what i had been doing…knowing how it had worked for me, so far…i hadn’t yet picked up again…even if it was only a few months since that last drink or drug…it was possible to never give up…for, faith without the works is death…turn the 12 suggestions around…practice their principles in every case threatening…admitted powerlessness over a wife…that marriage had become unmanageable…insanity when thinking that dope or alcohol could alter anything ultimately…coming to belief that different powers (other than myself, or humanity) would change things…and after making that decision to turn will and life over to this entity, to launch on that ‘course of vigorous action’…take inventory to find where i had been the cause of predicaments…making arrangements in correcting what i had done…all of it followed by continuous relations with supplemental people…communion with similar individuals…showing witness to continuance of sobriety, despite whatever difficulty…expressing how by giving we receive…at what great measure, we expect the least

 

Jul 27

Inept Perception…

following plans of action and keeping with fitting schedules comes first…no matter what is happening…with specific goals in mind, and the duties required for performance…this will secure completion of what must be accomplished day to day…over the past few months, i have been doing what i can to fulfill these specifications…with more time on my hands (due to unemployment), it has been imperative that i stay busy…i no longer enjoy wasting what would be better spent in contribution…especially coming to fear, worry and concern about that going on within myself…as been discovered (and a hard time understanding) through discussions with my sponsor…listening to what others share in meetings…the best way of getting out of ones self is directing focus on what to use in helping those around us in need…keeping close to the home group…approaching newbies with making connection…offering personal experience to topics brought up…these are ways i am reaching out for support at the Fellowship level

what i have been considering most right now…education and learning only bring a person part of the way looking to go…it takes hands-on experience for truly going through a path originally blazoned…work should follow steps taken in the beginning…which is brought by people who have gone that way before…a good friend of mine has also become unemployed…therefore, i am helping him out with what i have done so far…creating a better resume…updating the Linked In profile…scrolling through job searches for positions qualified for…speaking with each other daily…keeping up with what is next…what has been done since last talking…it has become pivotal in crossing our t’s and dotting our i’s…fulfillment in plans for future employment…an excellent way of staying centered with how what we are doing is moving us forward…keeping up to each other also boosts esteem and moods, when not being so pleased with where we are at…seeing through another’s eyes help in portraying life alternatively than how we’ve been living it…what presents itself so negatively in the mind, simply becomes that second chance with production

lately, life has become busy for me…still doing what i can to keep with plans and roles committed to…the third-wheel employment search activity with the internet hasn’t ended with anticipated result…running with not much more time on unemployment benefits, i’ve decided to go other routes…the prior attempts haven’t given much to what is expected…which has taken me to job clubs…much like 12-Step groups, these go over areas for attention..improvements over maintaining work…providence for what has been lacking…mostly about networking, for me…in addition to knowledge and involvement, it can be counted on who you know in guaranteeing candidacy…glancing back at the past, jobs held were due to education, employment summary and word-of-mouth…meet-ups are another commitment of mine…going through the freeCodeCamp website in building a portfolio is work with Full-Stack development…this led me to groups of people like myself…getting together at coffeehouses…going over where we are…what we have come from…what we aim on doing with the future…using this time in finding where i need improvement..asking questions about places i’m stuck on…walking others through things i’ve been in myself…aside from that, i’ve kept appointments with consultants about acquiring federal grant money for use in certifications…something else i’ve seen a lot of hiring teams asking for in job description

all of this has changed my outlook…where before i have felt lost, alone, caged, afraid, bitter and hopeless…now i’ve become more confident, positive, thankful, spirited, together and energized…with new avenues opened for me, i’ve placed extended promise into already planned scheduling…moving it all around…making room for what is really important…still riding my bicycle for alone-time and exercise…spending quality moments with family…using gift and inspiration for writing more…adjusting those front burners on the stove with what has now come in for guidance…waking up earlier…dressing better…eating more healthy…preparing to what is ahead has become primary…and none of it has came from my own accord…i did not see it all coming…i’m only witness to the bad feelings and thoughts that have flooded mind and heart…this has affected my loved ones and those closest to me the greatest…all they would do is keep up with encouragement…keeping my eyes and head onward, when all i reacted to was heartache and loss…assuming i was going nowhere…and in reality, a horizon was ahead…just not viewing that far, yet…what i assumed were boulders and blocks to pursuit, where merely molehills and indicators…all motioning to try other guidelines…when something doesn’t work an longer, it is best to find other outlets…rather than trying again and again something that leads nowhere

i may never know my true place in this world…if actually coming to the finality of God’s will for me, why wouldn’t i be playing Him myself?…it’s just otherworldly…not needing anyone’s help with things…Utopia…isn’t it better when seeing trouble and strife as venues to answering questions that plague our very being?…it’s how drug addiction and alcoholism has worked for most of us, hasn’t it?…just when we are shown destruction in everything of real value to existence…a true solution to recovery is shown to us…no wonder there aren’t any dues or fees for 12-Step membership…have we not paid enough when walking through the doors of freedom?…how simple is it to trudge through that other side…once accepting why coming to such bleak endings…for it is termination of the old life…into recognition of anew…looking at it all through someone else’s eyes…assistance in coming to realization with different minds…watching who has gone ahead…following their directive to bring new operation to a forgotten life…it’s not enough with what we think we know…it’s in actually doing that makes a point…you can tell me all day long how you have done something…it isn’t until actually trying it myself that is completely getting how it works…picturing and doing are absolutely different, in that way…much like fact or fiction…abstract and proof…thought or action

a lot of work is left for me to do…struggle will never stop, just because i’m sober and have a job…new difficulties arise…not mattering what day it is…it’s in how we approach it…emotions pin us down…confused in where and how to go…this is the nudge in asking for assistance…getting that clear and opposite hindsight from others…some will not know exactly what you are going through…they probably haven’t been in that same situation…still…more than likely they will have sound advice and recommendation…especially if they care about you welfare enough…this is much the same in how we reach out to others with help…i may not have ever stuck a needle in my arm…or foreclosed on a home i’ve bought…but, i plan on being there to support those i love who are in that kind of trouble…we must travel hand-in-hand, like it was done for me in calamity…it is never an easier path alone…only going in that same direction as before…looking at the old pinnacle abolition…wanting another road around to appear…and haven’t we been that way before?…what was the result in that?…nothing…when tracking those who are wanting to carry us, something is sure to materialize…going to a place we have been to before…even if it’s just one step at a time…it’s greater than staying in that similar, old stance…only having the chance in moving backwards…keeping the open heart and willingness for trying something different will we ever get to see, think and feel what hadn’t been accepted as possible…drop what has been done and pick up somewhere else…yes…it is sure to be uncomfortable…but, isn’t where we are at now just as much, if not more troublesome?

Jul 08

Alternatively Interactional…

the Men’s meeting i went to this week began with a member going over his history…he liked this meeting specifically…a lot of guy’s there had similar stories as his…having a sobriety of at least 20 years…first getting sober when 20 years old…hearing from people who have stuck with the program by doing the work…getting sound advice from that solid experience…what to do for overcoming issues…not just newcomers repeatedly pocketing 30 day chips, to come back in after numerous stints of returning to that old life…trying it all again…even though i’m glad he shared this story with us…since i didn’t know much about this person…i feel that my path has been somewhat different…not an easy thing to say…we are always asked to discover mirror images in people…not striking oddities

i did arrive at a group when in my 20’s…although, i have gone back out several times…getting a year here…60 days there…in early sobriety i did work steps with a sponsor…decided to branch out, visiting other meetings…in the 90’s, Young People’s groups sprung up everywhere around the place i lived…that is what i flocked to…finding kids like me…listening to the same music…wearing the same clothes…participating in the same activities…much like High School…sticking with a particular crew…which was nice, in a way…bringing me back to the old days…only without the drugs and alcohol…ability in living that former life…now grown-up and missed…just no bad and destructive behavior…not making with the rest of the stepwork, meetings became more of a social event…can’t think of how i was sharing…it was probably more like drunk-logs…not much about principles, for that is what i was lacking…and called for me to pick up the drug and drink once more…just not accessing the Power that pulls us back from the Gates of Hell

bringing me to where i’m at today…not sure how good of an example this is…and it rolled around in my brain this morning…the meeting i attended had a topic of us in early sobriety…struggling with thoughts and feelings of getting loaded…how to deal with them on a daily basis…it’s always been important for me to speak to the newbies at the group…those who are really needing to listen to a message…especially if they aren’t quite sure they have our disease…or are yet in securing a sponsor to mentor them through sobriety…i have been unemployed for a few months now…my last job (held for a couple years) deduced portions of my check into a 401K plan…this accumulated a few thousand bucks…and was finally released back to me…since i also collected unemployment benefits (that help in paying rent and utilities), i felt deserved to spend a little on me…this went to a concert ticket for a band i have wanted to see for awhile…a new seat for my bicycle…and dinner at a few places i like visiting

my wife is a realtor and works from home…she collects her funds from a 1099…so, we end up owing the IRS a good chunk of change at the end of the year (since filing jointly)…and she was pretty upset when i couldn’t supply the full amount promised contributing…being shy a few hundred from the splurge with the 401K money…and i had expected it…this came out of my paycheck for nearly 2 years…i was a W-2 employee, so taxes were already taken…this is the selfishness talking to me…she didn’t have all she needed in repaying her tax owed…dipping into a savings account for stuff needed to our kids…clothing…doctor visits…auto repair to pick them up, drop them off places…so, i had failed her…immensely…serving myself and desires

it’s all been worked out…we have been able to reimburse the IRS in full…kept us from entering a payment plan (that would hinder savings for next year debit in taxes)…however, my exuberance with money set me back…at first, it wasn’t that big a deal…i just ate at home…rode my bike more (instead of driving the car)…stopped visiting stores to add used music to my collection (another hobby that is detrimental with spending)…then i ran out of e-juice for my vaporizer…smoking has always been an addiction trouble with giving up…my wife is the one who encouraged me to change with vaporing…not being cheaper (by any means)…it is supposed to be more healthy…keeping away from cancer…emphysema…i breath easier now…no coughing and welching constantly…and that is good…not wanting to stop smoking…nicotine and caffeine are two drugs i’m not ready in relinquishing

turning it off when not possessing cash to buy more e-juice was incredibly hard…not wanting to mention this choice to the wife…already mishandled my money…and this cried for a cold turkey quit…i prayed for help at the start of each day…which came with normalcy, as it’s something i do about drinking and doping…what comes after that was grueling…throughout my walk, sensations filled my chest…got very nervous…anxious…fidgety…immediately putting my hands on something else…like washing the dishes…or riding my bicycle…anything to get my mind and obsession off what i could have no longer…even buying cigarettes entered the mind a few times…immediately replaced with the truth…if i couldn’t purchase more e-juice, what makes me think i could afford a pack of smokes?

it went on for a couple more days…asking God for removal of the cravings…calling people on the phone to see how they were doing keeping sober…taking actions that focused on anything else…ringing in my ears came about…how triggers and jonze-ing was described in treatment centers i’ve been a patient of in the past…these mental and physical traits are only to last a period of about 15 minutes…then they pass…this is what spoke to moving my stuck nature elsewhere through separate actions…while in the car with the wife one time, her vaporizer ran out of battery life…she asked to use mine instead…i knew this would come up…even contemplated happening many times before…surprised it hadn’t processed, yet…that’s when i opened up and said i had stopped using mine…that it was in a drawer in my dresser at home…i wasn’t using it anymore from not having money to support the habit…she sighed and cooed…rubbed my shoulder to console, asking why i never told her about it…she would have bought me more e-juice…i admitted to being guilty and feeling bad about going through money that should had been saved in helping out with taxes…this reaffirmed her telling me i should always disclose to her…speak up about what’s gone wrong, because we are partners

now i’m back to vaping again…ceasing my urges to wanting more all the time…i never wanted to quit for myself, anyway…it was all about the wife and my indulgence with overspending…why i didn’t think it was sufficient to bring up in a meeting about keeping away from the next drink or drug…more about what it takes in removal from the mind, body and spirit…guidance to abstinence…i remember after going back out one time…the new sponsor was picked for how strict he was…certain meetings he made me go to…parts of the book i had to read…steps to take, and when…if not following these directions, he would fire me…how i came across the Men’s meeting brought up at the beginning of this blog.

it’s cross-talk…the speaker opening up shares about what is going on with him currently…after everyone in the room introduces themselves (by first name only), the floor is open to discussion…being more like group-therapy…rather than a step-study, or book reading…personal and direct…i like that a lot…we get to know one another…in a level and down-to-earth way…used to be, once everyone in the circle of the room shared, the meeting was over…the door would be locked at the start…which meant, if you were late, you couldn’t come in…this has changed a bit now…no keeping anyone out…not requiring all members to share…and it’s still like talk amongst friends, rather than raising a hand in sharing…i still go in getting those connections…hearing from those struggling…how others get through the same…what has helped them recover from states of hopelessness

it’s how my life in sobriety has sprung and flowered…seeking to meet up with people doing the deal to overcome difficulty…that’s what leads us back to using and boozing in the first place, does it not?…once i sought out those likenesses, rather than clothing, music, events i had before…life in the Fellowship brought more meaning…some of those people i met back in the Young People’s groups have gone back to getting high, just like i did…a few haven’t made it back…i enjoy my sobriety more than ever, now…it’s the longest i’ve stayed clean, than any other other time before…i’m sure to keep my added up time to myself (unless asked about it)…this is vital in showing what quality defines, rather than the quantity…i always want to be a newcomer…not saying i think getting loaded again is an answer…i never want to pick it up again, once more…just not wanting to forget what those first few days, weeks or hours feel like…what it takes to stay sober one day at a time…one moment at a time…no matter what is going on with my life…i will always be afflicted with addiction…whether it be drugs, booze, money, sex, food, success…failure in itself can be a reward…as long as i keep looking to fellows who have gone through the same battles…this is assistance when defeating a problem

Jun 24

What is Othering Myself…

not having a complete, thorough understanding of the 12 Step program is what keeps me coming back…if i was a one-stop shop, only reference needed for assuredly conquering the process of keeping sober, what would keep me in the rooms and member of the Fellowship?…i would still be expected to take part of, in order of passing on what had been given to me…this comes up after a reading at the beginning of a meeting i went to this morning…going on about early sobriety…shying away from the next drink and drug…i remember it being a big problem for me…everywhere i turned…commercials on TV…billboards i saw while out driving…social engagements…even just walking into a convenient store to buy gas, cigarettes, snacks…alcohol is present in an iced-down cooler at the front counter…there is just no way of absolutely avoiding it, anywhere in this world…such are other things in this life, as well…so many objects that i crave…wrong activities obsessed to do…bad people yearning to hang out with…much like dope and booze…i have to check motives…and bring caring individuals along…asking them if it is the right thing to be part of, or not

meetings have become the same way for me…there have been a number of different reasons why i go up to the group…not always for sobriety, either…and that isn’t good…coming home, my wife asks how it went…and sometimes, i’m like, “yeah, it sucked.  nobody shared anything i wanted to hear.”…that is weird…on the other hand, taking the chairperson’s seat is always better for me…i must prepare for it…using passages from the literature in holding a topic up for discussion…paying closer attention to what is shared…even when the talk strays from the intended ideas expressed…i often hear what means a lot to me…it’s simpler in pushing away judgements i have against other people, in that way…miraculous moments happen when i least expect it…the other day, i went into the group for a meeting…i always make sure to come early and stay late…my greatest interactions happen that way…another reason i named this blog Half Measures Room…it’s that area just outside the group room for people to speak to one another…a guy i hadn’t seen in a while came up to me at the coffee bar and talked to me…i ended up missing the entire meeting…and it was wonderful…we went into some guiding principles that rang true and purposeful with what i was going through at the time

it is in focusing on what is in front of me right now…the tasks needing to be accomplished…what am i responsible for?…what is needed for me to do?…why am i here, presently?…what are my capabilities today?…who can i help?…and that isn’t easy…there are always certain things that i want, that haven’t been given to me yet…which creates fear…obstinacy…ignorance…defiance…bitterness…but, i am provided for, am i not?…something else mentioned in the meeting this morning was spiritual experience…once following the suggestions for a ‘new way of life’, the experience of spirituality comes as the result…not the other way around…i do not become spiritually-minded, and then suggestions for the new life appear…it takes work in building faith and trust in the Higher Power…i am dead inside until taking actions that follow through my side of a relationship with God…the program has already given me so much…it’s how i’ve stayed sober so far…now, what can i do to give back?…what has “so freely given” to me has to be returned…this is in receiving answers to the life problems…that must be how it works, right?…treating others how i’m wanting to be treated…i’m not paying the 12 Step Fellowship for their services…they are doing it in keeping sobriety for themselves…and i “follow in their footsteps” to truly seek what they have

when i did not share in a meeting…having that ‘burning desire’…i usually end up blogging about it here…it happened to me last week…in a bad place, i heard a guy open up with a topic…playing “different roles” in his situations…a boyfriend…an employee…a member of the Fellowship…immediately i thought about a part in one of our books where it describes the “actor” and “trying to run the show”…only when others do as we wish they would, things turn out marvelously…however, it’s only for ourselves, right?…and what about everyone else?…i haven’t that power in changing other people…i don’t possess power in even changing myself, do i?…it takes adamance and perseverance in chasing the dictates of God…then is my view of the world altered…thoughts and feelings over matters turn around…whatever else is going on outside me…i become able to adjust, rather than fighting it…how can i better meet others needs?…listening to them can highlight the part i can play in their lives…what help do they need from me?…how can i best be of service?…looking to others for help gets me away from myself, desires and obsessions…it’s what my sponsor has been edging me towards over the last many time we have met

i’m just not good at approaching people…when asked to raise a hand for availability in sponsoring others at the end of a meeting…i do that…but, it’s just not how mentorships start…my sponsor walked up to me when we began our partnership…with illuminating ‘partners’, i mean we keep each other sober…he takes me through how he has done it, using the steps…and because he has been of service to me, his ability in maintaining sobriety continues…a two-way street…thinking of others and we help them meet needs provides for us, in the same way…the only intention is sobriety and growth through spirituality…no monetary gain…no personifying effects…only reaching that hand out to those wallowing in the muck…walking through it together, so we are not alone…and i’m bad about it…you can find me standing by myself after the meeting…not a good one in starting up verbal exchanges…it’s hard for me…i’m quick at handing out my phone number…for people to connect and call when they are having some trouble…i’m also one to answer questions…small talk in getting to know someone personally is not my best suit…i do have many friendships in the program..a few guys i’ve met recently…we stay in contact weekly through text messages or meet-ups…it is the newbies i have most trouble getting to know…how to introduce myself…what is probably pivotal in this is remembering how i was approached…having been going through a heavy part of my life…my sponsor asked me questions and listened closely to what i had to say about it…what is so hard with that?

planes of spirituality are built upon the material use in a positive way…just the simplest of physical action can blossom into that “4th Dimension of Existence”…as simple as ‘suiting up and showing up’…i can talk to anyone that i see…and it is not so much in what i way, but in how i say it…and sometimes not so much in what i do, but how i do it…purpose and reason can mean the world to other people…mostly all are just like myself…”i don’t know how to talk to this person.”…”i don’t know what to say to them.”…”what do they really need to hear from me?”…it’s probably that they must see that we are really interested…that i’m concerned about their well-being…that i truly want to find out what is bothering them…it is in finding out more about a person that opportunities arise…which brings about avenues for me to say something like, “yes!”…”i am one of those, too!”…”i have gone through that same thing!”…it’s how wonderful relationships are built…otherwise, we end up wandering through the troubled life alone…help can be found when help is sorely needed…and who is to say that the person reaching a hand out to help, isn’t just looking for help also?…that’s just the how and why of it…through being of service to others

 

Jun 19

Walk the Talk…

things aren’t the easiest right now…i’m out of work…my health isn’t great…close friends of mine in the program have gone back out…the simplest solutions to areas of strife for me have always been going out to get loaded…this removes my fear, anger, worry, depression, sorrow…you name it…and it only treats these symptoms for a short period…just leading to more of the same, and worsened…not quite solving the problem, eh?…i mean, i guess i could bitch to buddies…what could they say about it?…”Oh, that sucks, man!”, or “Damn, bro! Looks like you could use a drink!”, even “Wow! That blows! You should go show those people a piece of your mind!”…not really…i don’t keep friends like that anymore…still, it’s not what others say to me that makes terrific impact on my situation…always on the lookout for a change…doesn’t happen with words…i can read as many books on the subject as i want…not making much difference…same can be said about prayer…asking my Higher Power for the gifts feeling i deserve…and nothing will probably happen

these blogs have been going that way for the past few years…to say the truth…after my head injury sustained that brought me back to square one in sobriety…my focus has been on certain principles/meanings found in this new journey to spirituality…which has lead to only a couple of submissions per month…used to be, when starting Half Measures Room, i would go through events happening right now personally, every week…over the past couple days, my mind has altered on what should be written here…needing to get back to what it used to be…my wife bought me this typewriter for Fathers Day…it means so much…i’ve been wanting one for a long time…writing has been my passion since childhood…using the laptop for blogging, access to a typewriter involves more effort…providing immediate, hands-on proof before me in paper, for the eyes to see…i love that…it’s giving fruits of the labor before even showing it to the world…gives instant results of putting forth what i’ve felt earned through it…taking a lot of work, mistakes are made often…and i have this product, where i can find what went wrong…making ready the tools of correction to fix it…it’s what i’ve always built writing on…i never want to lose that grasp…whether it contributes to the world, or not…i’m doing this to fulfill that innermost desire inbred from the beginnings…without the use of mind-altering chemicals…creativity that lives inside…never wanting to lose it…must keep on trying…that aids development of growth…done through movement, thought and feeling…noone else’s, but my own…getting inspiration from others…i always peruse other, different writings…i love to read…probably what sparks my interests…and it’s in other things that i see and experience that matters when making mine…what completes the words you absorb here in this blog

it’s what i’ve been doing in other areas of my life right now…waking up every morning, i start with devotionals and prayer…going over the 3rd and 7th Steps…asking God to remove my judgement of others…to direct my attention to ‘What He’d Have Me Be’…asking for absence of obsession over booze and drugs…guiding me in being a better father, son, husband, friend and member of the Fellowship…then it gets more generic than that…asking for the help to others…what best meets their needs…for i cannot play God…i don’t know what these people need help with specifically from a power other than human…otherwise, why would i be asking Him for assistance with my own?…no…i only see people who are struggling, like myself…and i don’t know what it is that sets their paths straight again…anymore than i do mine…there is some inclination of that barring me from further investigation…shortcomings in myself through intensive Stepwork 4-7…having potential for growth and realization…which is a purpose for continuing the program…it’s a Way of Life…never being cured from alcoholism or addiction…and if humbly made, gaining opportunity each day for that chance in understanding of what sobriety truly is…One Day at a Time…one moment at a time…continued action…following the dictates of my Creator…some things may be good…others, bad…it’s in how i respond and react to them that makes up the change…it never comes just because i’ve asked for it

after setting the mind straight and clear from waking up, i eat breakfast and drink kombucha with psyllium husk…for treatment of my other chronic illness, Crohn’s disease…since i am out of work and haven’t any health insurance, i do what i can to aid that issue…the diet thing hasn’t been a breeze…Paleo is what i’m after…pork and beef do not digest quickly…so i stick to mostly chicken and poultry, when it comes to meat…much like drinking and drugs, i’ve had to find some replacements…gluten is another source bad for me, so i turn to rice and corn…milk is another…it has a protein called casein my guts have no defense against…almond milk takes it’s place now…soda is the worst…having processed sugar and other chemicals…which i drink sparkling water instead…kombucha is most beneficial, for it has probiotics and amino acid that i lack…the psyllium husk is another natural way in combatting this disease…it flushes the intestines out slowly, kind of like sandpaper, in that polishing off of scarring tissue…caused by bad bacteria taking over the digestive tract…it gives fight and assistance to face another day…after treating Crohn’s aggressively, it moves to other places…the joints in my arms, legs, back…reduces appetite…decreases energy…which brings me to exercise…i’ve been riding my bicycle again…something i’ve always loved doing…not a working-out guy…i like to have fun…picking up this app on my phone called Strava…keeps collection of my routes in mileage, time, elevation and trophies (for when i’ve matched, lost or beat previous records)…this and skateboarding build my stamina and help lose weight…plus, it gives more energy in coming across the next days event…of which my Crohn’s can take away from me

then it’s on to job searching…since i’ve obtained unemployment benefits, i make sure to log-in the WorkInTexas.com website…a few opportunities present themselves that i haven’t seen in other places…according to my job history and skill set, a few will match up perfectly…there are other places i look, like LinkedIn, CareerBuilder and ZipRecruiter…sometimes Job Fairs arrive locally,..which i visit in getting my resume out there for perusal…mostly, my focus has been on building a portfolio…this is a list of projects completed showing my work as a potential candidate for hire…hasn’t been built much, yet…since i’m educated in IT, but no job experience…i take time every day in creating this portfolio, using the freeCodeCamp, CodePen and Udacity websites…i’ve really grown to enjoy learning like this through staying sober…but, like mentioned before, it is the actions (not the words) that give complicit meaning to life angles

bring back what was started this discussion with…in the evening, i make sure to attend meetings…whether it’s at my home group, or another place found to meet like-minded people…one of these is a meet-up…where fellow coders in IT are looking for work, just like i am…giving me a lift in hearing where others are…asking for tips in problems i’m having building the portfolio…in the sobriety fellowship, i do my best in connecting with newbies…something else that isn’t simple…i’m just not the best at reaching my hand out there for people…talking is not something i’m good at starting…i ask question, instead…like, “Are you new here?”, and “What brings you to this meeting?”, or “How is it going for you today?”…hopes that this will start some conversation…occasionally it propels into relationships…a guy i’ve met over the past few months has entered my circle…we text each other during the week…go out and do things together…another one, whom i’ve known for years now in the program, contacts me daily…we are in the same boat, looking for work…he asks what meetings i’m going to…if i’ve called my sponsor…have i hung out with guys from the group?…last Friday i had him come over to work on his resume…getting him started in looking for a new job…trying my best to get him new footing…it’s helpful to walk with someone through difficulty, rather than just telling them what to do…like with my position with learning…getting knee deep into it is a different thing…Saturday, i took my daughter and another kid to the skatepark to ride around…she loves Roller Derby, but only likes skating at the park, not the roller rink…i don’t know anything about rollerskating, so i just let her go at it…she is centered on learning by herself anyway…i mean, she watches other girls doing it, but tries the tricks on her own

the kid that came with us wouldn’t do anything…i encouraged him to get out there to cruise around…he just told me, “I’m no good at skateboarding, like you are.”…i said, “I’m not so good, either.  Look around us.  Everyone else is falling.  They get up, and try again.  We do what we can to get better at it.  Just takes practice, everyday”…much like how i see meetings…it’s good to share about what has happened…what was done to amend any situation…just not enough, though…until we ourselves have been through that wringer, walking out the other side a changed man…talk does very little for ourselves…in that way, we must step in what we speak about…i can read that Big Book all day long…saying i understand what it’s written about…not unless i follow through with it’s suggestions will the ‘prodigious result’ and promises come to fruition…which brings to mind another area i need work on…evening prayer…i’m not good at reviewing my day…just thank God for what has happened for me…requesting direction for adjustment in what went wrong…i don’t recall particularly what has happened throughout…or what i’ve been doing over the past 24 hours…and that’s how i miss out…it’s pivotal to answer those questions asked of us in our literature…and i have a .pdf file of them right on my phone…that is kept on my bedside table…perfect place to get it done when laying down at night

i’ll close with this…my vehicle has been out of registration for 3 months now…some engine lights have come on…and my brother came over to clear one out…putting in some parts that needed replacing…another engine light he hadn’t any knowledge of…so, he sent me to a colleague of his…who happened to get it changed and brought back to normal…still worried about passing inspection, i took it to the shop today…they said it was going to be a couple hours before getting to it…which pissed me off, at first…i hadn’t even brought my laptop to keep busy that long!…so, i walked over to McDonald’s and had breakfast, texting my wife what had happened…not too far from the house, i decided to just walk home…no big deal…gives me time to think over the day and what needs to be done…on my way i found this graffiti on the sidewalk…not knowing what it means, i took a photo of it, because i like it…and immediately after i thought about writing this blog…the title for it came closely after…which i put into my phone notes…as i kept walking, i thought about how much the typewriter means to me…and texted my wife again, telling her i loved her…that the typewriter was the best gift she has ever given…that i would be using it as soon as i got home, in adding to my writing…the trip home brought more to me than i ever imagined it would…now the blog is written, and my car has passed inspection…i’ve submitted payment online to get the registration sticker…and now adding this to the HMR website…tasks done

Jun 18

The Steps Past Looking Forward…

today has been my first attempt in using a typewriter for blogging…it’s a gift my wife got me for Father’s Day this year…aside from writing, music is another thing i love…always visiting Goodwill’s, Half-Price Books and other resale shops, looking for CD’s…and I’ve also kept my eyes open for an old typewriter…especially the ones kept in a box to carry around with to different places, like i do with my laptop…i just don’t need or want to keep it out on a desk in the house somewhere…i’ve always been one for writing stuff, which a lot has been done free-hand with paper and pen…learning how to type increased this passion for writing even more…it keeps things in a more professional-visual manner…looks like a book…because, my handwriting is not the best…and my favorite old-school authors used a typewriter…once i learned how to type, i was especially bent on writing most…then, being navigated through word processing software, my interest grew in leaps and bounds…writing out personal experiences has given so much more to write about, other than fictional pieces and poetry…and having a typewriter to call my own has been a goal for some time now…so, i couldn’t help but use it for the first time in contributing to the current actions in composition, the Half Measures Room

this machine still has it’s quirks…i didn’t want it to be brand new…been looking for a classic, one with class and character…a tool i will cherish and take care of…and this one needs work…i’m having to figure out how it is used…it needs repair, and that is fine with me…a few keys get stuck…still don’t know exactly how to change tabs or insert the paper right…this will just take time and attention for getting acquainted…and that brings me back to this blog, in particular…what is normally talked about in here…i met someone about five years ago in a meeting…he didn’t like having to be there…it’s was needed in order to claim attendance, according to probation condition requirements…he did take an immediate shine to me…we liked the same kinds of music…he enjoyed skateboarding…so, we got out to get him back into that again…there’s a group of guys i get together with who skate without getting loaded…not all of them are addicted…but, a few of them have put down the bottle or pipe because of the trouble it had caused in their life…soon, this guy asked me to be his sponsor

after working through most of the steps with this guy, he was able to maintain sobriety, get a good job of employment, socialize and grow in development (without the use of drugs or alcohol)…however, he didn’t follow through with the rest of the program…he didn’t finish the stepwork…just went on his own way, now that things had gotten better for him…a year or two went by…i would occasionally hang out with him, when our skate crew got together…catching up, i could hear about how all was going…yet, no mention of the program or sobriety…finally, i got a call from him one day…things had sunk into peril…this buddy i met in the rooms was facing homelessness…loss of the job…arguments with his mother…and picking up the bottle again caused him the ultimate trouble…he looked for help in the only person in sobriety he knew of and felt comfortable with in getting advice from…thus, the 12-Step call ensued…a couple of my good friends in the program went a long…we got him cleaned up and went to the closest group in his location…bought him a Big Book…which many people in the meeting signed with contact numbers…after taking my friend home, i encouraged a call from him every day…letting me know how everything was going…which he did, for a little while…then, once stuff had improved, i didn’t hear back any more…until things got bad again…he would contact me, looking for help

this continued…i wouldn’t hear any words from this guy until life had gotten super-rough for him…and it was always questions about how to get sober…it happened again, recently…even though he had moved across the country, he still reaches out to me for help in this…in fact, it was just the other morning that he called…afraid of losing his current girlfriend/roommate…having to drop out of school..and just ruining everything he had worked so hard for this past year…all because of picking up the drink again…thoughts of suicide had entered his mind…which i immediately told him would only make the situation worse…there would be no solution in that…i reminded him that the only answer i had found for sobriety was in using the 12-Step program…and it must be practiced on the daily…he then reminded me of how much he hated the rooms, and the people that go there…i said that this is just something he would have to endure…that it would get much better once sobriety kicks in…i said that even today, i go to meetings i’m not happy with…so, i will just go to another one the next day…different people…different shares…eventually, it gets more comfortable…this brought up another complaint…i am the only one has has ever been okay with going over sobriety…this pushed me in stressing the importance of attending groups closest to him…where he can meet up with people, getting to know them…and they will get to know who he is…as soon as he finds someone to trust, an opportunity opens to talk about what is going on…i said that this has always been that way with me…it’s how we all stay sober…passing it on…and it must be done on the daily…it all adds up…causing more sobriety…as each day comes it accumulates to added time…this is how my story translates to others…giving hope by seen strength in others in what they have accomplished over periods of time…thus, showing how to practice the 12-Step principles in all affairs…for, it is not the loss of a girlfriend, job or home that keeps us sober…we can’t get and stay clean for others…it only works when we want to stay sober for ourselves…which shouldn’t be so hard, should it?…seeing as it is selfishness that kept us drunk and high for so long.

i spoke about this in the Mens meeting i’ve attended lately…really neat format…the speaker shares for the first ten minutes on what is happening to them currently…then this meeting opens up for all the members to share on that topic…being mostly cross-talk, everyone introduces themselves before the floor is opened…this keeps it more like a group therapy/discussion meeting…nothing derogatory or negative can be said towards the speaker…only what is helpful and positive to the other person’s sobriety…it was my chance to open the meeting as speaker this week…and i talked about my the friend calling me…immediately, some guys said that although it was good what i said to him, and that i was in a good place with sobriety, that it might not have been so helpful (since he was drunk)…that it is most beneficial when the person  is nursing a hangover…which i understand and agree with, and questioned myself, since the guy was loaded when we spoke together…would he even remember what i had said to him?…it was also mentioned to me in this meeting that my time and efforts could be better spent with a person who is ready to do the work…also something i couldn’t argue about…then, i thought about my friend calling me so early in the morning…plus, i am the only one he has ever confided in concerning sobriety…so, i’m not so sure my effort and time was wasted…in that manner, knowing this guy was drunk when talking to me, i repeated the same ideals and practices…reminding him that speaking over the phone would do very little in securing clean time for him…he must take actions in order to maintaining and continuing sobriety for the future…that i do the same…for, it is when losing sight of what has worked so far that i leave the door open to added mistakes…and when these get multiplied, i’ve ended up contributing more to relapse than keeping sober

 

Jun 06

Similarious Differention…

i’ve been doing my best not to separate myself from others in this world lately…there is so much talk in our meeting rooms claiming that as alcoholic’s and addict’s we are stricken with a disease (which i’m fine with)…i just find issue when it’s meant as some sort of victim role…for so long i’ve played that “actor” part that is written in our 12 Step literature…not “playing the role” that is assigned to me…only doing what i’ve found to present an image i want the outside world to see…it’s something dope and booze did most for me…clearing the air and disguising thoughts, feelings and bad deeds i had done to continue my abusing usage…which really isn’t much different from other people…my wife has been dealing with problems after acquiring a real estate license…she is more into finding candidates who are looking for leases and rentals…she is not fond of the selling homes aspect…although it is a much higher paying gig, she has complained about dressing up and showing make-believe appearance, in order to sell the house…which is a lot like how i am with sales…i’ve only been able to push products onto people if it is something that they like and need…never have i enjoyed promoting things that are bent towards creating revenue only…and i have encouraged my wife that she has the expertise, knowledge and eye for placing buyers into the right home

everybody deals with this kind of thing, whether they are addicted to a substance, or not…think about photo albums and pictures posted on Facebook…how many of those show individuals going through depression, heartache or anger?…no…they are all smiling and having a good time…it’s only professional photographers who are out in the field covering horrific events taking place in the world to capture that type of truthness…it’s not something family’s want to keep and cherish for memorance in the future…how could anyone forget that kind of tragic event?…why would we need to be constantly reminded of it, through looking at images that horrified, sickened or saddened us?…we do our best keeping the most troubling memories to ourselves…and the only thing that separates people like me from those “Normies” out there, is in how i have handled strife and shortcomings from the past…i would get loaded…the effect drugs and drink have upon me is what singles everything else out…physically…mentally…and spiritually…i’ve become broken…and since it is an incurable disease, i have but one option…to treat it on the daily from a Power other than human

this highlights the honesty principle shown when working through the steps…inventory work is vital, especially when continuing to face difficulty in life…it must be ascertained in order to remove those desires of getting high that will arise…finding someone whom i trust in sharing my deepest, darkest feelings, thoughts and actions is pivotal…i can’t be keeping things to myself, because i will only be looking at it through my eyes and perception…after writing down all the answers to questions, i share them with my sponsor…he listens and then will point out things that could be missing…like, “do you think that this may have affected your personal relations?”…or, “how about fear?…are you afraid of anything from this situation?”…when questioning these points, my sponsor most likely gives parts from his own experience that mimic what it is we are currently talking about…he may not have gone through the exact same thing i have, but has something showing likeness

signals illuminate the pinnacle of meetings and fellowship…a factor i’ve been focused on most, recently…keeping contact and approaching newbies is my focus in sobriety right now…whether they are low-bottom or high-bottom drunks and addicts, it is in discovering mirror images within that makes the most difference…because our message must carry that kind of “depth and weight” if we are to pass on what we have to those that are struggling getting and staying sober…it’s what i do in that moment of silence at the beginning of meetings…i ask my Higher Power to “remove my judgements against others, so i can better hear His message and be of service to those i can help”…i never know who i will relate to, or what it is i will hear that reaches out to me…even if i haven’t any imagery that fits their stories, usually something they say touches what i’ve gone or are going through at this point in time

the best example i can think of right now is this TV show i’ve been into for the past several months…it’s called Naked and Afraid…if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s about a challenge in which a survivalist man and woman are given 21 days to live in the wild without food, water or clothing to take with them…they use their learned skill set and and goals in completing the mission…some get overtaken by insect bites, cold weather or lack of food, poor shelter or illness conditions…this gives them the option of “tapping out”, where the producer of the show will come in and let them go home early, ending their chance of completing the full challenge…over the past several weeks, i’ve been riding my bicycle to get in shape and lose weight…never been much at working out with weights…exercise for me always entails doing fun things, like biking and skateboarding…so, i’ve worked at building up goals…last one being a 20 mile trek, which radically boosted my esteem…confident i could beat my last mileage attempt, i decided to ride further, accessing a trail 10 miles from my home…after making the trip today, i was excited!…and then, on my way home, some hills drastically took my energy down to a dangerous level…it was hot outside, and no shade for many miles up the road to bring me back to my neighborhood…after seeing some shade ahead of me, i thought of Naked and Afraid, and decided to “tap out”, calling my wife to come and pick me up…it wasn’t an easy thing to do…i was upset about not completing my mission…but, i was physically and energetically spent…although, i still upheld the goal-smashing idea and rode 26.7 miles…it is in striving to do the best that i commit 100% to a program…tomorrow is another day…it is in how much i put into life that i can get something out of it…and there are others i can watch in collecting advice and experience who have gone through something similar…no matter how different it may be

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