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

May 29

Independence of Self-Subjugation…

aside from drug addiction/alcoholism, i also suffer from another chronic illness called Crohn’s disease…after being diagnosed, i went through several surgeries and multiple medications…after many trials and tribulations, the gastro-intestinal doctor (who is pretty much my primary physician now…lol) a very expensive drug was administered…this had to be infused into the blood on a routine basis, for an extended period of time…this meant prescription every 6 weeks for a couple years…although it had a colossal side effect of reducing immunity, this medicine had potential for remission…which is why i’ve stuck with it…once feeling a lot better, and receiving substantial improvement in my condition, i decided to cheat…primarily on diet restrictions, which led to gain of weight…now, that i am currently unemployed, i can no longer obtain this treatment…it is much too costly, and i haven’t the health insurance that supports payment…most unfortunate, is that when treated aggressively, Crohn’s can begin attacks on the body in other forms…this has lead me on returning to my former strict eating practices…and that hasn’t been easy…but, necessary until filling the job vacancy in my life (that accounts for insurance of health issues)…

i bring this up because it relates directly to life problems with alcohol and substance dependence…once facing a hopeless condition, help can be sought out for solutions…when these require tasks to be completed, those who want relief to come immediately, attack the problem with the fervency of struggling victims…after taking immediate operations, results come abundantly, and life can return to better than normal (in most circumstances)…this sometimes ends up in cheating (like i have with the Crohn’s disease)…after life gets much easier, it is so simple to let up on that ‘spiritual program of action’…we think we have it licked…and like what i’ve talked about in the opening paragraph, addiction and alcoholism will rear it’s ugly head in other ways…the effects dope and booze had upon us were actually a solution we had found to daily problems experienced…the causes of using them to solve issues are large, wide and abundant…therefore, treatment must continue throughout our lifetime…the reason why i prefer calling the 12-Steps a ‘way of life’, rather than ‘the program’…chronic illnesses are with us until the day we die…even when offered remission or recovery, we must continue with what we have done so far and where we have started it, if we want to continue the path blazed

working with teenagers sucks…my son has been razing cane with my wife and i lately…he doesn’t drink or get high…his goal in life is to obtain money…and he has disregarded most rules and guidelines set down for him…he does not like school, and is facing repeating the 9th grade for the second time…and he has talked about obtaining a GED in order to quit pursuing his education…which, i have laughed about…because, in my mind i tell myself, “if he can’t effectively study and past tests in High School, what makes him think he can study and past a GED test?”…lies, hatred and selfish obsession have been the main focus of this kid over the past few years…and i haven’t seen any possibility of making him see our way, or take positive advice from those who care and love him unconditionally…i’ve even spoken to him about my own time at his age…nearly causing my parent’s divorce…losing trust in other family members and close friends…working minimum-wage jobs…and eventually landing in jail and prison, for pursuing own personal insights, wants and desires

and it wasn’t until then that i made the decision to ask for help…when i had reached that ‘low bottom’, i became able to listen through others…taking their honest compassion and empathy true to heart…feeling i had no other choice anymore…all my inner decisions had failed me, to the point where i had no one else to turn to…and that is how i believe it is with this boy…it’s best to just remain available when he does call out…it is unfortunate, but that’s the way it is with people like us…there is also a couple i have known for some time now, who had 10 years of sobriety…through a rough patch in their lives, they returned to the drink again…it’s affected those who love and care very much about them to the core…discussion of intervention has arisen…still, no affect on their pursuit of sobriety…and it is hard to accept, but it will most likely take some horrible event for them in succumbing to that desire of sobriety again…faced with absolute destruction, for hard-heading people, there most likely is no other choice…at times we feel like we have these problem mastered…however, being an alcoholic/drug addict, there is no other way…we have placed ourselves beyond aid that is human…we must have God’s help…otherwise, why the hell would i keep coming to meetings?…working through all 12-Steps, i should be done, right?…wrong…in our 12th suggestion it states we must work ‘these principles in all our affairs’…Continue…Improve…and Practice…the last 3 principles in our new way of living

much like that ‘revolving door’ icon used as the default pic for this blog…it is part of a motto in our Fellowship…we don’t want to keep anyone out…in our 3rd Tradition it states that the ‘only requirement for membership is a desire’…everything else is merely a suggestion…we want to keep everyone who needs help in, and never want to bar those who have left us from returning…not that i encourage relapse…i condone it…by that, i mean i’m not wanting to shame those who have made repeated mistakes…i only look for ways in helping them see the source of their faults…for me, it’s usually due to something lacking in my actions for sobriety…much like what has been said about shortcomings…there’s that story of the trashcan lids, and always missing one for covering a can…it’s exactly how my treatment for addiction/alcoholism is…there is a part i’m not proficient with…’faith without works is dead’…i should not expect others to do the work for me…my sponsor is not calling me everyday, asking “are you praying?…are you going to meetings?…are you helping others?”…no…it’s my job in contacting him when having trouble…in which he passes on his own experience and guidance through the stepwork

it is only through that partnership with a Higher Power that i can maintain sobriety…and the reason now for me staying with the fellowship is more than keeping away from the drugs and alcohol…it’s further into communion with like-minded individuals seeking the same goals…to walk through life without needing mind-altering substance in coping with troubles…it is from dependence upon God that i find independence…which brings me to the most miraculous part of that relationship…it can be the most hardest moments in time that present opportunity for freedom…and what a bitch karma can be…the same way i threw harm and difficulty in other people lives while getting loaded revisits me today while keeping sober…but, for the Grace of God, there go I…it is in accepting other’s difficulty and leaving that hand out that i can be open to assistance when they earnestly look for outside help…because, i have been there myself and can tell them what has be done to make things better…for we are all children of that loving creator…and must treat each other as brothers and sisters from the same maker

May 11

Sojourning Terminus Genesis…

reading devotionals have always been the highlight in beginning my day…it’s much like hearing someone share in a meeting…how i get messages from my Higher Power…i’ve never heard the voice of God from the heavan’s…only through people like yourself carrying the word…devotional reading is how i make my start every morning, before prayer and going over plans in keeping busy…i have to admit, sometimes i’m not always where the readings are taking me…and there are times where the words just roll out of my mind…similar to some prayers i recite…they just go in and out of my head, as they have come in…yet, occasionally they are right on the beam i am standing…which is when i take photos from my phone and post the images here…because it’s usually something i have to talk about and share with those facing the same afflictions

taking part in Beginner’s meetings also has a lot of meaning for me…it’s a great place to meet new people who are just coming in…i’ve never been good at introducing myself, or starting conversation…so, this is a good way to continue in the practice…it is also a big reminder as to why i came in the program to begin with…keeping with the first few steps, and the definitions of alcoholism/drug addiction…i never want to forget what classifies me as a member of our Fellowship…and i also want to always be there for those in need, or have questions about our organization…i remember lot’s of questions coming to my mind when being a newcomer…it’s important that people with the right answers and experience are made available…connections are vitally crucial when coming into the rooms…finding those similarities, rather than the differences brings us together, when all other denial and ignorance pulls us apart…meeting people who have been where we have been, and are going where we want to go builds trust…that helps grow the honesty and willingness needed in moving forward with the new way of life…it is in when admitting that my old way of thinking and acting lead me nowhere that i will finally accept advice and guidance from those who have what i want through sobriety

thinking about likenesses, i watched the TV show Hoarders recently…this is a reality program about people who suffer from addictions to collecting items in excess…so bad, the rooms in their homes are filled to the roof with boxes, junk, garbage and all other personal things that weren’t ever considered being gotten rid of…this one lady had a fond affinity to teddy bears…she loved holding on to them when in times of strife or depression…it felt they brought happiness and security to her when struggling with life, which had been going on for years…so long, in fact, that her house was full of dolls and stuffed animals…it threatened her mortgage, as she purchased these things online…some were very expensive, yet she felt worth it, having collected a substantial severance package from a previous employer…these funds had dwindled to nearly nothing…and now, because of the overtaking over her home with this constant obtainment of things, it was closing in on condemning…after approached with family and psychiatry, she openly agreed to allowing professionals in to clean the place up…first, they emptied the garage, always asking if it was okay with her to throw things away…she hadn’t any problem with it, at first…and just waved her hand, telling them to get rid of it…then, they started inside the house…laying out tarps to show all of the teddy bears and dolls in question…this immediately brought the woman to tears, which led to crying out…she would yell at the movers, saying she didn’t want that stuff to go

this brought me to the realization of how drug addicts and alcoholics react when faced with oblivion…we seek out help from professionals after being called out by friends and family for our destruction when drinking and doping…after seeing this truth and how we have only been digging a hole, unable to crawl out of, only one solution is found…quit the booze and drugs to walk through life anew…then, after seeing what it will take in conquering this problem, we stall or argue about what’s needed from us in recovery…so quickly can we forget what brought us to this point in the first place…it’s probably why those of us leave after being part of the program such a short period of time…we have yet to see and absorb the fruits of our labor…recovery from our disease is not a quick fix…there is no cure from our ailments…only treatment…and it must be carried out on a daily basis…in this way, only one thing separates us from normal people:  in the way alcohol and drugs have it’s affect on us…everyone else suffers from bad thoughts and feelings…it is only how a person reacts to them that makes the difference…using booze and dope changed the way we felt…and that is the quickest solution we found in combatting life issues…once that hold has us like a baffled lot, we only had two other solutions:  continue on to the bitter end, or accept the help offered to us by the ones that cared and loved most

 

Apr 30

Indemnified Condemnation…

my home group celebrated a 34 year anniversary today…incredible…so glad it’s still around for carrying the message…Fellowship has been vitally important for me today, with what i am personally going through right now…so, i felt it crucial to show up and say hi at this event…taking my daughter for this ice cream social, i had to remind her, because she kept asking me “where are we going?”…i told her it was the place i’ve gone to meetings for years…she immediately understood that…once there, sitting down with ice cream and cake, i said i remembered her being a baby in a casket, sitting on the table in the very room…she just started laughing…lol…but, a few people around us opened their eyes and mouth in amazement…”how old is she now?!”…they couldn’t believe she had grown so much

in the past my daughter has asked me why i go to meetings…and i’ve been utterly honest with her about it…i tell her, it’s for sobriety, because i’m addicted to drugs and alcohol…that they have caused major problems in my life…she has asked why me and her mother aren’t together in marriage any more…which has also been hard to explain…would be so much easier just to point fingers at the other, blaming her for the misfortune…and no…i don’t have that right…i must own up to my own mistakes, for that is what i’m responsible for…so i tell my kid that it is my fault…that i could no longer be trusted…i wasn’t honest about my bad drinking and drugging habits…and that they put my own daughter at the expense…and her mother found no other way to rectify the situation than to separate them from the problem

and that has worked…my ex-wife and i get along much better now that we are apart…and i have managed to maintain my sobriety…which brings to mind something i shared in the rooms recently…it usually takes a major loss before a person finds capacity to take action in solving an issue…i’ve had to been taken away from, before given a rightful place in this world…and it’s not simple for people like us…we want so badly to control the situation…because drugs and alcohol made us feel how we wanted to all the time…even if it was only for a moment…and this would cause for more drinking and doping…which is one of the marvelous paradoxes of our 12-step program…in order to attain freedom, we must admit powerlessness over our condition…once i have admitted to myself and another person that i have lost control over my life, immediately i am free from the bondage of self

that doesn’t mean problems don’t continue to occur…i didn’t booze up and get high for one reason only…there are a number of different causes and conditions under which i craved to feel differently…once in sobriety, i have to look to a Power outside of myself for that kind of freedom…sobriety can mean more work than getting loaded, in that sense…only staying sober is the positive over the negative…when faced with dilemma or personal strife, i search for answers outside, rather than within…alcohol and drugs only satisfy my need for change momentarily…it’s a quick fix…and really, it doesn’t change anything at all…once the lapse of reality is over…after the truth becomes clear again…the damage has been compounded, because i never really remedied it…i just sat in it, making it ever worse…that power for change comes from God, or Higher Power, if you will…and i never hear Him speak in a voice from the heavens…it comes from people like yourselves, in the program…which is why meetings and Fellowship are so important

it’s why the 12 step organizations grew so close to me…here were a group of individuals who had gone through much the same things that i had (or even worse)…they talked to me on how they recovered, and what sobriety is like for them today, now that they have been away from the last drink or drug for some time…and i still don’t like calling it a ‘program’…it is a way of life…it’s less about making meetings and picking up sobriety chips…there is more than one or two hours in my day for just getting an attendance sheet signed, because i’ve been on probation by the court…there are 20+ more hours out there on the daily that must be dealt with…i know why the steps are numbered…it’s so we do them in order…but like the 12th suggestion states, we must “practice these principles in all our affairs”…and that goes back to what i’ve already mentioned here…there has always been more than one reason i used in order to get loaded…and drugs or alcohol aren’t the only problems plaguing my life today…once i’ve put the substances down, i have to work on not picking them up again

the consciousness of God resides in all things living, working and existing in this world…it is in how i’m reacting to it all that awareness is brought to my mind, spirit and body…this is through action…which means i must take the cotton out of my ears and place it in my mouth, like the motto we hear in the rooms sometimes…and i have to give away what was placed in my hands, so freely…it doesn’t matter how long i’ve been sober…it is the quality, not the quantity of sobriety that matters most…service is the paramount way of getting outside of myself to see how my Higher Power is working in other people’s lives…that is the meaning of our program…finding our place in life for contribution to others…it’s how we lurked out from under the mire…hands of help reached out to us to lead the rightful way…and the only thing asked in return was to pass this on to those in need…which is the reason why there are no dues or fees for membership…we have already paid for that with the suffering and pain caused to ourselves and those closest to us…it leaves witness to the miracle of healing when giving up completely…only to find salvation by taking that best foot forward, moving ahead into the Sunlight of the Spirit

 

Mar 18

Is Silence the Absence of Noise?…or Devoid of Thought?…

when experiencing trouble and strife without answers to problems, i make sure to approach my sponsor for some solution…after listening to my woe’s for a minute, he will nod his head in agreement, acknowledging his own likeness…then asks questions of what i’m doing presently to maintain my sobriety…and i’ve realized that the tools i use are very similar to my shortcomings…like that story of all the trashcans missing one lid…it doesn’t matter how much i’ve done for their removal, there is always one remaining open…what i am lacking in my daily involvement today in sobriety is evening review…at night i thank my Higher Power for keeping me sober…i bring up large issues having been unresolved, asking for guidance and direction…but, i am not following the questions mentioned in the literature…nor am i reciting prayer in asking what i can do to pack more into the ‘stream of life’

a practice missing in my program is meditation…something i had formally picked up with some success, yet never continued it’s use…i was suggested to start attending meditation meetings at the groups…something that has grown in popularity over the past few years…so, this morning i got up early to make one…the room normally used for it had been taken for some special engagement…and we moved to a smaller, more intimate location…after the lights were turned out, and everyone was quiet and comfortable, the chairperson began with an intro…he proposed that we focus on our bodies…what physical feelings did we notice?…taking a couple deep breaths for position to relaxation, it was asked what we knew about consciousness…was it internally or externally that it came from?…are our minds or hearts where consciousness resides?…or is it further removed than that?

taking meditation into memory, i recall people reciting mantra’s and sitting in lotus positions…i also remembered candles, in which people gazed into illumination of it’s flame…for me, it has always been nature…i like listening to birds chirping…wind blowing…which worked with this situation…being inside, i direct attention to the air conditioning unit running…or traffic moving outside on the road…in the past i used instrumental music from my phone…hearing the variations of tune and particular sound from different instruments…this is what has worked when aimed at removing constant thoughts from my head…which allows the presence of God to enter that quiet and empty zone now

this was soon interrupted, as some late attendees opened the door and sat down to join us…then, i heard other people coming into the group, asking each other what was going on in the other room…was there another meeting going on they didn’t know about?…the door opened a couple other times with people saying, “sorry…”, not meaning to intrude…every few minutes, something invaded my calm time…repeatedly, i would bring my head back to what was given at the beginning…how are my legs feeling?…what are my arms doing to stay still?…is my back in a relaxed stature?…take a couple more full inhales, and exhale for that peace-ness

finally, the door came open one last time…a group member asking us to wrap it up, because the room was needed to be used for the upcoming event…the light was turned on…we all opened our eyes…and ended the meeting with a prayer…asking that we be shown all throughout the day what our next step is to be…and at first, this really ruined my plans in returning to meditation as a means for opening my brain and soul to the Higher Power…and then i realized it is what i take from the meeting that can be used for endeavors of improving that tool…a man spoke before we started, saying he chose a spot at home for optimum stillness…even when he was rushing out the door to leave for work, or whatever…he could quickly sit down,  if only for a few minutes…giving that time for opening his heart and mind to a Power greater than himself…which made me think about a place in my own home…where i can use what i’ve learned today in continuing daily work so sorely needed for closing cans of trash infiltrating my sober life

 

Mar 15

Up-giving of Operations on the Daily…

attendance at Beginner’s meetings has been my favorite at the group…i always want to remember what it took in order for me to stay sober when coming into the program…and I never want to forget how bad it was out there that caused me to come in the first place…so many motto’s on the walls and shared in the rooms that made supreme sense to me…and reading from the front of the books fit my alcoholic/addict profile well…if it wasn’t for that, i wouldn’t have stuck around and kept coming back…not saying that i want to repeat being a Newcomer…i just don’t want to ever believe like i’ve got this thing sewn up…never do i want to feel that i’m in control of this thing…no matter how hard i work at maintaining sobriety, my life will remain unmanageable, and i will stay powerless over drugs and alcohol…which moves me to proclaim again, it will take a Power other than human aid and greater than myself to stay abstinent

some years ago i met a guy that didn’t like our organization…he was ordered to come and get his paper signed for probation, according to some crime committed…yet, we got along quite well…having the same tastes in music, clothing…he also enjoyed skateboarding…which i invited him to join me with a group of sober guys who skated…most were not alcoholics or drug addicts…but, they had quit in order to stop destruction in their lives…it kept them from filling life responsibilities and keeping to main interests in their lives…eventually this man asked me to be his sponsor, and ended up keeping away from the drink and dope…i stopped hearing from him after some time…and occasionally he would contact me…usually because falling into some trouble, or picking the booze or drugs up again

this happened yesterday…even after moving out of state, he kept my number in his phone…drinking and causing problems in his life again, mentioning bad thoughts entering his mind…i told him that must not be acted upon and can be removed with simple actions taking place in the moment…keeping busy with what is at hand presently is one way of staying out of my head…regretting the past and wanting to change it is not something possible for me…in fact, i can use that ugliness to show others in the same boat how it was overcome for me…and the future isn’t any of my business…no matter what i demand or expect to receive because of where i’ve come…my only manageability is what is in front of me now…what am i accountable for today?…what tasks need to be accomplished?…making a plan in the morning, along with my prayers and meditation, is primary with making that beginning…when laying my head down at night, i thank my Higher Power and go over what i’ve missed, where i’ve gone wrong and ask for help in making corrections…’moving forward’ is a phrase my sponsor told me when we started with the step-work…which holds meaning and direction with me currently

sponsorship is not a employee/employer relationship…my mentor can’t be the boss…he cannot tell me what to do…the only duty that partner has is to carry the message of hope with what has been done to continue sobriety through his own travels in the program…using descriptions of steps from the literature as a source…making decisions on my part is just the beginning…much like cooking, as an example…i can tell you i’m going to bake a cake all day long…but, it isn’t until i collect the ingredients, tools and equipment, and follow the recipe that the product will come to reality…our literature tells us that after taking Step 3, we are to “launch on a course of vigorous action”…and that stays true to anyone anywhere they are in recovery…so we pass on where we have come with this in order to ‘carry the message’…it doesn’t take someone working through all 12 steps in order to be of service to the new person…we can be put on a call list…even though we might not have answers to every problem, it is pivotal that we listen…a lot of people struggling with problems just want to be heard and know that someone cares…we can be that source of support

meetings aren’t the only thing to keep me sober…it is said that ‘meeting-makers make it’…and i’m not so sure that is a great line to repeat…i understand the meaning behind it…there is crucial importance in joining a group and being ‘a part of’…that is where we meet people, and they get to know us…it’s what the Fellowship is all about…however, depending on how many meetings gone to, it’s only an hour or two out of the day…there is an abundance of time left out there for the taking…which is where working the steps come into play essentially…a triad of main principles is showcased in the icon for our way of life…they are called the 3 Legacies…Service is being of help to others…as i’ve mentioned above, it is a great way of getting out of ourselves, our “plans and designs”…we can only keep this thing by giving it away…next is the Recovery part, which is doing the program work…walking through the 12-steps with a sponsor, and “practicing these principles in all our affairs” is primary in success through sobriety…then there is Unity…this coming together as a ‘Group of Drunks’…keeping with a crowd of like-minded individuals who follow the same dictates…for we can either live alongside each other through these practices of keeping clean, or die separately continuing on with what didn’t work so well for us getting loaded

 

 

 

Feb 25

Re-visiting Unwanted Places…

being a part from has become an issue for me again, lately…that’s the good thing in keeping contacts on my phone…a close friend in the program text me, saying he hadn’t seen me in awhile…asking if i’d like to go to a meeting with him soon…it’s a part of my life that has been missing…i’ve kept job and family as the primary source of responsibility…work hours were taking up most my time…so coming home and spending that free time with my kids and wife were important…still no excuse for excluding the fellowship…keeping telling myself that there are no thoughts of getting loaded…however, when bad ideas do arise, it is an immediate danger…or, when someone mentions drinking and getting high in passing, it can stay in my head…and that can be a problem…those thoughts must be removed immediately, through prayer and disclosure to other’s that are likeminded

inclusion of all areas in my life are vital…nothing should be missing…it causes a major shift in my ways of feeling, thinking and acting…for me it’s been negativity, which leads to anger and depression…expecting so much that i believe i deserve…for all the work i’ve gone through and what has been accomplished…i haven’t felt respected and appreciated, in certain areas involved with…and it still doesn’t happen for me…no matter how far i continue with where i’ve gone…i’m still not gaining those expectations…which brings me to the First Step…i’m not only powerless over alcohol and drugs…i haven’t the power over several other areas, as well…which makes managing life difficult…so, i shouldn’t be going it alone…no matter how hard i try and keep my mouth shut from negativity, it’s crucial that i admit these things to someone else…a person with eyes other than mine…who can see things i’m unable to, at this moment…for it’s not me who knows what i need, at times…it’s a Higher Power, who speaks through other people…and i should understand that i am right where i’m supposed to be…dismiss what i have gone through and done in the past…and what i demand comes to me in the future…it’s the right here and now that holds the greatest importance…and the only time in life worth focusing on

i’m starting to disagree with the notion i have an illness, or disease…isn’t it much more than that?…i get that it’s chronic…i also see how it is progressive…however, for me it’s more like conditioning…i can’t rightly say i’m that different from other people…we all have similar defaults and errors in character…it’s the condition of which that sets a person like me a part from the rest…i choose to use and get loaded when times are rough…or when life is good…or when i’m bored…once doing this for awhile, the physical side rears it’s head…i’m doing it to overcome the effects of allergic reactions…then there’s the mental state…i’m forced to follow insane frames of mind…obsession…denial…which sorely falls into a malady of spiritual nature…this was the hardest factor for me to accept…and now i see that spiritual is the polar opposite of material…so when i’m bent on using, i will take on everything in order to get what i believe i need and want and desire…which brings me to the most pivotal part in our recovery literature…the description of selfishness and self-centeredness as the “root of our troubles”…i do not see a cure for alcoholism and drug addiction…instead, treatment is made available…which, when used continually, has the ability for altering our condition…this is the 12 Step Way of Life…and like the final suggestion mentions, these principles must be practiced in all areas…for, i never used and drank for one reason only…there were a number of means by which i felt it necessary to continue…and these must be addressed on the daily now, in order for me to maintain sobriety

no longer do i see myself as a victim…i’m more like the perpetrator…or assailant…and i have to get out of my condition to start helping others…so many times have i taken from others in order to succeed where i deemed necessary…doesn’t this sound similar to where i described being at the beginning of this blog?…so yes, that is dangerous…when that old mode of thought arrives, it is only a matter of time before the destructive actions begin taking place…selfishness must be exchanged for unselfishness…and our recovery program immediately shifts that aim from us to them, within the first 3 steps…although, actions do speak louder than words…i can admit and believe and decide all day long…and then nothing will materialize, until i begin moving forward…doing things for the support of others through their own trials and errors promises growth and development for my own…reaching out to people for help…being a witness of removal from your own problems shows those struggling that change is possible…it is in looking to people as being the same and not different that links us to spiritual matter…as the prayer goes, “But, for the Grace of God, there go I”…sharing an emphatic connection brings sufferers together as a group in recovery…giving of myself to help others in need is the basis of our sober Fellowship…and i could not have gone where i’ve been without it

 

 

 

Feb 05

Win or Lose…Keep Sobriety First and Success is Possible

click links below to purchase copy of book

Jan 08

newest blog book collection edition out now…

bookemon

dually-cover

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