Jul 29

Internested in it’s Bloggyness…

click the photo below to view a copy of mentioned blog book…

get_file

Jul 21

video collective of blogged absorption…

Jul 14

‘Notes’ from the Half Measures Room

took me awhile…but i finally finished getting the first collection of blogs for sale in book form…only a few bucks will be made from each purchase, which will go back to HMR…the plan is to start online radio meetings again…this is the first couple years of blogs made…there is enough to make a couple more books, which is what i want to do next…this is available in softcover, hardcover and ebook…my personal copy should be sent to me within the next week…i will post a vlog showing what it looks like in person, to peak your possible interest in picking up a copy

 

click on the image below which links you to the site for getting a book…

hmr

Jun 16

All 12 Steps Lead to One Door…

IMG_1893purpose…there is a reason we all exist today…it shouldn’t matter what we see, feel, think, want, hear or believe…it rests upon that in front of us presently…the reality of it…and the Steps move us forward into purposefulness…so much kept me from moving ahead when i was out using and getting high…i did very little, even though all i thought about was myself…must have meant i didn’t care much, which was clear to other people…within my selfishness i wouldn’t even care about myself…being loaded was mostly about changing my current state of being…avoiding actual events, hoping they would come to pass and i would never have to revisit them again…doing that avoided me seeing things as they really were…and then it got worse…i would use to satisfy physical cravings…my body called out for refreshment…the mind lost whatever control it thought it had, and the body took over

therefore the only reason i found for living was to stay high…sobriety was boring to me…it caused nothing but IMG_1896problems, especially after coming for a need to get loaded…mental control was taken over by a physical ailment…i became an addict, unable to change what had been created…selfishness turned quickly into selflessness…no longer did i care for myself only…i became bent on treating sickness the only way working so far…and death wasn’t a hard option…i never expected to live past my 20’s anyway…caring for anything slipped away…doing absolutely everything i could find to stay high was my only solution…right or wrong…bad or good…nothing mattered to me anymore…this was the last straw…a spiritual sickness

recently i finally got to read a book by Aldous Huxley…an author that has always intrigued me, by his constant referrals to the human psyche and religious beliefs…he mentions many things in the essay i finished looking over…a lot has been hard for me to absorb…one phrase that has stuck with me is talk about the “Door in the Wall”…this is described as a place man will go in which he “will never be quite the same as the man who went out”…i find this to be true in what turns people into addicts…as well as those who eventually recover into the new sober life

things always seem to change, the more we search out results…we may try and try again, yet never discover a true meaning…for experienced, trusting servants looking for real answers this usually highlights the wrong path…and new choices are decided to be made, in order to go another way…others, who mostly likely have ulterior motives inside, binge deeper…they go by any means imaginable to find what they want…and once success finally comes their way, it’s just cause for more of the same…once is never enough to continue re-feeling completion of that original desire…so they take more, and more often…uselessness is what the outsider views…and the user refuses to look at it that way…because the cause has taken over…no longer is the person in control

IMG_1892principles behind each step in the program provide a purpose in maintaining sobriety to stay alive…as i continue to work them in all aspects, there comes a usefulness to my existence…this is something i had failed to see before finding a need to be clean…there lies product of new light shining upon working ideals, rather than sinful seeking…after walking through this new way of life, i began thinking of myself again…the more i practiced the principles, my thoughts and feelings became positive…my attention then moved towards others, and how i could better meet their needs…helping them with the difficulties experienced i could be witness to

in this way, most of what comes into my life now can be seen exactly as it is…no longer do they appear as simple objects…material is less of a requirement or necessity today…i have the opportunity to look into everything, discovering the needs for their usage…how they fit into life tools to assist myself and everyone else walks us through what is stumbled upon presently…we have never found the Power to do this alone…we must have something greater than ourselves, wealth, drugs, or alcohol for that achievement…God has always been there for us, whether we have been obvious to it, or not…His presence enables us to see what we’ve been hiding from our own eyes, mind and heart…this change never comes from within…it is found all around us…outside of our own intentional (or non-intentional) substance of collection

 

May 05

The First Chip Monk Started With a Habit: Sister Ignatia

sister-ignatia 2The beginning of the beginners chip or the desire chip. An outward sign of an inner commitment to try our way of life (to stay sober) for 24 hours, are there any takers? If it doesn’t work for you we will gladly refund your misery.

“In 1950, the year of his death, (Dr. Bob Smith) carried the A.A. message to more than 5,000 alcoholic men and women, and to all these he gave his medical services without thought of charge.
“In this prodigy of service, he was well assisted by Sister Ignatia at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, one of the greatest friends our Fellowship will ever know.”– Dr. Bobs Nightmare AA BB p. 171

Sister Ignatia was born in Ireland as Bridget Della Mary Gavin on 2 January 1889 at Shan valley, Burren, in CountyMayo.
Having moved to the United States, in 1914 she entered the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine in Ohio, at which time she took the name Sister Mary Ignatia. A superb musician, she was assigned to teach music. She did this for about ten years, but found it “too hectic” and suffered a nervous breakdown.
When she recovered, she began working as a nurse. On August 16, 1935, Sister Ignatia was in charge of admissions at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio. She and Dr. Bob Smith admitted the first alcoholic patient who would be the first of millions to participate in the Twelve-step program of recovery, the beginning of Alcoholics Anonymous.

 

The founding of Alcoholics Anonymous is a topic of great discussion within AA literature. It is a discussion that is carried over into the meetings themselves, and many members pride themselves on rekindling the spirit of our ‘pioneering times’, claiming that the program and fellowship itself have been watered down, diluted and misdirected. The issues of sponsorship and carrying the message are the spearheads of this controversy, despite the 10th Tradition’s complicit suggestion that it be avoided. Although, this suggested point of tradition explicitly warns against involvement in ‘outside issues’ and ‘public controversy’. This may obviously mean that inner controversy and inside issues are tolerated, loved and accepted.
Something that is undermined and often overlooked in AA meetings when discussion of its history arises is the fact that many non-alcoholics were involved in the conception and evolution of the organization itself. In fact, were it not for these professional normal and temperate drinkers, AA may not have survived its early days of growth and sustainability. One such person is Sister Ignatia, a particularly spiritual figure in AA past that seems to have eluded the more predominant and popular AA literature. There is scarce mention of her in the Big Book itself. In fact, one will only find casual reference to her in the opening monologue to Dr. Bob’s story (of which the excerpt is provided above). Her name does not appear in the first 164 pages.
A long list of normies adorns the history of Alcoholics Anonymous. In addition to Sister Ignatia’s contribution are Sam Shoemaker, Dr. Carl Jung, Father Dowling and Lois Wilson herself. Without these people AA may not have ever become, and it is clear that their involvement with the fellowship has vastly improved and helped evolve the AA way of life. Leave anything up to a group of sorry drunks and they will muck it up every time.

“Could these large numbers of erstwhile erratic alcoholics successfully meet and work together? Would there be quarrels over membership, leadership, and money? Would there be strivings for power and prestige? Would there be schisms which would split A.A. apart?” – Forward to Second Edition AA BB p. xviii-xix

Yes, in the beginning it was the non-alcoholics that pointed out the frailty, strength, opportunity and danger inherent in the largely growing and developing sobriety movement that is now called Alcoholics Anonymous. It wasn’t until AA became the guiding force in sobering up drunks that alcoholism became seriously considered and treated as a legitimate disease. Before the 12 steps, problem drinkers were looked upon as derelicts and miscreants whose real issue was moral deficiency. When Sister Ignatia fell victim to the belief that she and a few other interested medical professionals could treat drunks as patients, the tide on alcoholic recovery really began to take its turn.
The stigma associated with alkies was that they were doomed, hopeless and helpless. At first, Sister Ignatia began treating drunks in secret, with the help of Dr. Bob Smith and another ER intern. As their treatment proved successful, soon alcoholics began being brought through the front door of the hospital and a ward was secured for this work. No longer were drunks locked up and administered Belladonna treatment for their ailments. The real problems with these people were addressed, and in 1935 the first official admission of an alcoholic patient was made.

The telephone rang and Sister Ignatia answered it.
“This is Bill, Sister. I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to send you back the Sacred Heart Badge. I’ve had a rough morning and I’m going out to get a drink.”
Sister Ignatia sighed, but said quickly: “Don’t do it, Bill. Wait until you finish work at five. Then call me again. In the meantime, I’ll pray for you. Whatever you do, don’t send me back that badge. Keep it with you for strength and inspiration.”
Sister Ignatia prayed hard all afternoon and, finally the call came from Bill.
“It’s O.K., Sister, I never took the drink. I think I’m going to be all right now, thanks to the Sacred Heart and you.”
image003image002 2After sobering up for a few days, Sister Ignatia would present these patients with a token, representing personal commitment to God, Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 step program. The only requirement for accepting this ‘Sacred Heart Medallion’ is that if the patient ever returned to the drink again, the coin would be given back. This is a tradition we carry on today in the rooms of AA when we hand out chips decorating members who have achieved increments of continuous sobriety.
Sister Ignatia claimed that the real back bone of this effort was Ann Smith Dr. Bob’s Dutiful wife. When Sister Ignatia was not sure of what the next right thing to do and did not want to bother the Dr. (Dr. Bob) with every dart and fiddle for there were 5000 that found beds and a new way of living.
She would rely on Ann, as she always knew exactly what to do. Sister Ignatia also claimed that women had a harder time getting sober because they would have the innate ability to stay in denial that much longer, Ann would always have insights otherwise denied to others.
In a collaboration with Dr.Bob they convinced the powers that be, the hospital board to put on an alcoholic wing. It was paid for and built by the alcoholics. The wing was named Rosary Hall because every time you saw a rosary you would think of prayer and it was through the prayers of the penitent that this work and this wing was there.
The Sister wanted to name after Dr. Bob and in a way she did, it was finally called Rosary Hall Solarium in honor of Dr. Bob’s Initials, Robert Holbrook Smith the initials on the doors read RHS.

Written in collaboration with Joseph G. from www.rumradio.org

May 03

The Matter of Factual Higher Powers

“All material things, the universe, the world, even our bodies, may be Eternal Thought expressed in time and space.” – 24 Hours a Day (May 1st)

IMG_1732many times have i heard people say that God resides up in the heaven’s…that the Creator is center of the universe…i must disagree with that ideal…i believe that His presence is everywhere…i have faith that He makes up everything…the Earth…it’s people…the animals…the weather…the stars…all of it…at the same time…i’ve never agreed with it being a mistake…all around us i see purpose and creativity…it has been with proof that i’ve come to some understanding of a Higher Power…and I’m still looking for it…and occasionally i find it…but, only when i pay close attention…it never seems easy to do…i’m still awakening to spiritual experience…

 

“In the final analysis, matter is thought.  When Eternal Thought expresses itself within the framework of space and time, it becomes matter.” – 24 Hours a Day (May 1st)

thinking has appeared to be an issue with me, from the beginning…my sobriety has been built on discarding my old thoughts, to bring in the new…from outside sources…people who have gone before me with tools that have carried them into new sober life…it’s what meditation is about, i have found…spending quiet time to erase all the thoughts crowding my head…bad thoughts of what i want…things i think need changed…mistakes i’ve made…fears i have…people i loath…concerns plaguing me…problems no solutions are yet found…these are all given special time of silence to be removed, in order to make way for the thinking from my Lord…and i’ve never heard the voice of God, in particularly…it always has seem to come from people like yourself…which is why meetings and fellowship are so important to me…i must make time for fitting these activities in my schedule…for they are an integral part of this new way of life…
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coming right down to it, i’ve always felt my thoughts were my own…rarely did i ever quickly accept they had come from somewhere else…when believing i had grown wise from my thinking, i congratulated myself…and this is where the root of my troubles stem from…the selfishness and self-centeredness…from learning and being taught i had been given advice from others…these people had journeyed previously, marking footsteps for me to follow…just like they had by their elders…it was passed on…so they just lead the way…it has been through my own personal experience that wisdom was paid for…errors made and corrections taken…after overcoming disaster i became witness to others facing similar problems…

IMG_1730this is why i do my best in being careful when sharing in meetings…i mean to carry a message…always referring back to our literature…much how i blog with quotations from books on sobriety…the readings blossom with fruition as i walk through the program…although i may have read these books over and over again…when i pick them up once more, it’s like going though them all over again…i start wondering if i’d ever even flipped through the pages of this chapter before…and i’m sure it’s because i’m seeing them though different eyes and mind…or maybe they are just spoken to me from that eternal thought…pain can be a great master…with healing we become stronger, in that sense…scarring can build a thicker layer of overgrown skin…of the same flesh gone through horrible times…alive to speak of the trials and tribulations gone to walk out the other side…it’s how we have bonded with one another in this program…we find similarities that safeguard us from making the same mistakes over again…

 

“Our thoughts, within the box of space and time, cannot know anything firsthand, except material things.  But we can deduce that outside the box of space and time is Eternal Thought, which we can call God.” – 24 Hours a Day (May 1st)IMG_1731

it doesn’t matter to me how we find God…just as long as it doesn’t remain a mystery anymore…i had the hardest time with the phrase God Consciousness…trying to figure out what it meant…i looked for my Higher Power in places i thought Him to be found…trying my best to pay attention to what was around me…my prayers most centered around others…doing my best to stay generic, as i knew it wasn’t my job to play God anymore…i haven’t the slightest clue what people really need…and for myself, i simply ask for removal of the things blocking me from the Spirit…my sponsor has told me that consciousness of God comes from being of service to others…when doing that, we see the miracles happen in other people’s lives…and is that our power coming to life?…no…i believe it is our Higher Power working through us…i never know what it is i say or do come to light in other people’s lives…and at times they come to me, thanking me for what i did…and it surprises me…i can’t believe that what i said or did really made that much of a difference…it is with that Eternal Thought that His light shines through in everything around us…for i see, and sometimes odd things happen for me…seemingly without reason to other people…but, for myself it becomes revelation…especially when looking backwards at how far i’ve come…

 

 

Mar 02

the problematic solution comparative…

lately i have seen that the name of my blog has become most accurate…my measures at staying sober have been half-baked for some time now…i could come up with a number of different excuses for you…and none of them would give best answers for the inevitable outcome of not working hard through sobriety…there are not any solutions for recovering life from terminal diseases, like alcoholism and drug addiction…in that sense, i’m saying there isn’t a cure…we are infinitely screwed…however, there are daily practices, attitudes and actions that pose potential of sending our illness into remission…IMG_1418my daily’s have been focused primarily on prayer, devotionals and finding the faults in my character that lead to selfish/self-seeking motives…in which, i haven’t been suitably efficient…the meditations i had grown accustomed to are missing…meetings are very few and far between…and service work is non-existent…i still occasional get in contact with members of the program i’ve known a while…but, talks with my sponsor are missing…and more than usual…

thinking of myself is the humongous issue of sober and loaded life…i’ve discovered that sadness, glee and even fear are centered in this problematic state…and there is no way of removing it on my own willpower…otherwise, i would have been able to sober up all by myself…i need a power greater than human…which is why i look to God…

 

last year i began looking into the God-consciousness topic brought up in our literature…confused by it’s meanings and placement in stories, i asked my sponsor…he told me that finding help for others will bring about a conscious alert of God working in life itself…i’ve never been one to hear the voice of my creator…never have i seen His face, or specific instructions…miracles and God-power have always been apparent to me in events, helpfulness and love from other people around me…no matter how hard i’ve tried to think about it, or ask in morning and daily prayer, it has only been through actions on my part, and the part of others, that God has become visible to me in this world…

therefore, it is not my thoughts, beliefs and understanding that manage to keep me sober…it is only though my actions…i cannot think myself unselfishly…that is what thought singles itself out in, even with this writing…the more i read about this disease, i find myself discarding principles that brought me this far in the first place…i get a guilt-shame coming over me, and shudder when i come across tools i’ve misplaced and no longer use…my focus has been on self, when that is where the problem lies…how can i rid of self when i am all who is thought about in this head?

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drink and drugs have been the furthest from my mind…there have been times when a desire comes, but i have been quick to ask for it to be removed…my life has been centered primarily upon my family, work and home life…this schedule has been tight, and there are still problems to work through…however, just me, my talks with God and the devotionals i read are not enough to solve the issue…

finding these reading in the past few days has truly brought this to my attention…although i pray for others, and ask for help in removing selfishness and desire to get high, it is still obvious to me now that i have returned the problem back to myself…and without the help of others, there is no common ground…defeat is imminent..

after i went back out again 3 years ago, the most i appreciated in returning to the rooms is the attention of being a newcomer…i never wanted to be an old-timer anymore…not that i didn’t want to be sober for the rest of my life…that wasn’t my point…i just liked being the most important person in the room…being forced to listen to others tell their stories…i’m still not comfortable sharing in the rooms…i feel i just don’t have the best answers to people’s questions, as i have failed over and over again to lead a sober life…

we all have our own problems…but, we are not different in that way…there are those of us who have encountered the same difficulties, and overcome them without picking up again…i may feel at times that life is heading nowhere…that once an issue is overcome, another problem fills it’s place…life is not a bed of roses…the grass isn’t always greener on the other side…we have abilities to regrow the grass in our own gardens…to replant the same seeds, yet care for them better and with the utmost of care…

determination of what is blocking us is only the beginning…it is in how we discover to move around and move forward that brings our life into light…i cant just keep asking God for the help…i must take actions in order for the prayers to come true…if it was just a matter of sitting here and asking for help to be received, than wishing would be the answer…but, as with those wishing wells, they just fill up with loose change people have tossed in for thoughts to come true…only the person diving in to collect all that money retains a true profit…yes, it may get them soaked with cold water…but the dampness will dry quickly with time…it is action coupled with thought and presence that leads to a new and productive life…

 

 

Jun 23

The Individual Liberty of a Common Suffering

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it’s been some time since i’ve added anything to this blog page…i’ve gone through so much in the past several months…it has been hard for me to arrange my schedule to fit everything in…too much to say about it all right now…so i will just stick to what is newest

a few weeks ago i went though a surgery because of a bad Crohn’s disease attack…this has put me out of work until next week…living in a new place, i’ve spent most of my time in bed, resting up…thought about adding another vlog to this page…but, changed my mind, and decided to write instead

my wife and i moved into a new place…i have a new job…this has kept my life super busy over the past few months…been hard for me to even fit as many meetings in, as i’m used to…meetings are more about fellowship to me now…less about what is shared and discussed…although, i do try to keep an open-mind and listen to what is said…during that quiet time at the beginning, i ask my Higher Power to remove my judgements against others, so i can better hear His message, and help those in need of my service

“The first thing I had to do was resign from the debating society.  That didn’t mean I started agreeing with everything I heard.  It means only that I listened without arguing, used what I could use, and filed the rest for future reference.

“The second thing I did was become an active member of my home group, which happened to be my sponsor’s home group.  I saw that whatever else spirituality might consist of, it had to include being of maximum service to my fellow alcoholics, whether or not they were still suffering.” – p.8 Many Paths to Spirituality AA pamphlet

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there a couple of devotionals i read in the morning after my meditation…one of them is the Hazelden 24 Hours a Day book…which i love the most, because it touches upon spiritual principles in our 12 Step program, frequently…in one portion it talks about supplication and appropriation, when it comes to forming relationships with our HP

looking it up in the dictionary, supplicate means to ask or beg for something earnestly or humbly…appropriate is taking something for one’s own use, without the donor’s permission…this had me at a big eye opener, especially when coming to prayer…i’ve been doing my best to only ask for those things for myself that i expect help in my service to others around me…all my other parts of prayer are centered around people i know that are dealing with rough, difficult and unmanageable trials in their lives

knowing that it is not my place to play God…i obviously do not have the most sane and useful thinking and feelings…otherwise, i wouldn’t need something like a 12 Step program to stay sober…it is in my best interest to keep my prayers very generic…i haven’t a real clue what other people need to solve their problems…anymore than i do about what will take me down the right path…

“When a man or a woman has a spiritual awakening, the most important meaning of it is that he has now become able to do, feel, and believe that which he could not do before on his unaided strength and resources alone.  He has been granted a gift which amounts to a new state of consciousness and being.  He has been set on a path which tells him he is really going somewhere, that life is not a dead end, not something to be endured or mastered.  In a very real sense he has been transformed, because he has laid hold of a source of strength which, in one way or another, he had hitherto denied himself.” p. 11 Many Paths to Spirituality AA pamphlet

recently i’ve had questions about this God Consciousness that’s talked about in our way of life…it seems to me that it’s always in hindsight, when looking for the way God works in my own life…as with others however, i appear to locate it immediately…which is strange…being a former agnostic, belief in something always meant vision, sound and feeling of something tangible…i just couldn’t find faith in anything, unless it was something i had first-hand experience with…unfortunately, it is still somewhat that way for me today

my sponsor told me that the best way to find God working in others (as well as myself) is to be of service…to sponsor other addicts/alcoholics coming to the meetings…to do 12 Step calls…and just remain available for anyone who is in need of help from drugs and booze problems…for i am following a solution that has worked best for me…and that is what attracted me to the 12 Step program to begin with…it had nothing to do with spirituality…i was broken…desperate…nowhere else to turn…and then found a place where people just like me…who had gone through much the same turmoil…and they had found a way out…so, it was up for me to follow in their footsteps, if i wanted what they had found

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Dec 08

Sacrificial Substance as a Safeguard to Future Sobriety…

…i had a lot of trouble finding proper link to what is spoken of in the video above…

…so, just click on the link below and type WSR into the search bar…

…this should provide you with uploads of documentation for sure, safe contact with inmates…

…obviously, this is for NA members (particularly) and requires certain amounts of sober time…

…however, it’s the safest venue i found through my search that meets needs…

NN-youth-in-recovery1

Dec 01

Promoting Tools We’ve Gathered So Far…In an Ambition to Further the Purpose

…below is the link to click for taking you to the 12 step website i found today…

 

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