Mar 12

Severing connections with the material world

“I wish to hold communion with the Great Spirit of the universe.  I have to hush my mind and bid all my senses be still, before I can become attuned to receive the music of the heavenly spheres.” – March 10, Hazelden’s Twenty-Four Hours A Day devotional bookBill & Bob wall

in early sobriety again, things have gotten quite full…i’m back at work full-time…started school again…part-time dad on weekends…still make as many meetings as i can…now putting in service work at my home group…keeping in touch with this page isn’t so hard…i check in a few times a week to check emails, comments and visitations…however, writing the blog is not something that comes to me very easy, yet…i want to make sure i have enough experience to pass on with the message that holds the program true for those of us that struggle with staying sober and practicing the 12 step program

my mornings in the previous period of staying sober were very quick…i was always someone who woke up, got dressed, and left the house within fifteen minutes to head on to work…this eventually led to me hitting my knees and reciting the 3rd and 7th step prayers…but, i still left out in quite the hurry…this all has had to change this time around…my sponsor encouraged me to invite meditation into the beginning of my day…so now i wake up an hour earlier…read my devotionals…invite instrumental music into my quiet mediation time…then go into prayer duties…only asking God for removal of my character defects…never asking for anything else for myself, except directions on how to live my life, and help others that are struggling with theirs

the meditation was a mystery to me, at first…the Higher Power concept of this program has always been a difficult and foggy thing for me to comprehend and integrate into my living…at first i thought that meditation meant inviting God’s instructions, or messages sent directly to me…so, i kept waiting to hear His voice and lines of directions from above…although, i am not Moses…i never have (nor probably ever will) heard the voice of my Higher Power…after speaking with members of my home group about this, i was told that meditation is actually a quiet time reserved to release and get rid of the horrible, destructive thoughts and feelings that plague my mind on a daily basis…even if it only stands for a few minutes at a time, meditation is spent in quietness, asking God to silence my mind…this is why the music is good for me in doing this…i am more focused on the instruments, percussion beats, and altering tones presented to me in that fashion

since alcoholism and drug addiction center primarily in the mind, these actions for preparing myself for the day at the start in my mornings is ideal…i leave the house in better serenity and a brighter outlook for what is ahead…what is next for me is to spend more time throughout my day for a conscious contact with my HP…so many occasions arise that bring out the negative responses engraved in my mind…i still have trouble in accepting difficulties, especially when it comes to others involved in this life…it is so easy for me to make judgements…and what i’ve come to realize…what is so hard for me to come to when facing adversity with different people…is the fact that not only do i not have the power to change myself…i haven’t the ability to change othersAA mirror (2)

“In the past I had always blamed others, either God or other people, for my circumstances.  I never felt that I had a choice in altering my life.  My decisions had been based on fear, pride, or ego.  As a result, those decisions led me down a path of self-destruction.” – p.78 AA Daily Reflections

at a time in High School i was deserted by some of my friends…grunge and alternative music had become very popular, and these buddies of mine ditched me constantly to go to concerts, not inviting me along…i had become introduced to a guy named Chad, and we became very close…he understood what i was going through, because he was experiencing much the same thing from the same people…we banded together and decided to create our own club of popularity

it was at this period in my life that drugs and alcohol had become a very important part in my being…Chad and i used very hard together…but, being the kind of person i was becoming, my usage and abuse took it’s own toll on our relationship…a couple of instances sparked anger and disgust in Chad over my behaviors…after a few months of this unsavory activity, Chad had enough and left me to my own devices…it was a hard blow for me to realize, but i kept on the way i was going…dope and booze were just more important to me that true friendship

recently Chad had a severe heart attack…this landed him in the hospital, awaiting an important, yet very serious surgical operation…although, because of his condition, Chad accumulated illness, including pneumonia…a tube was inserted into his throat, down into his lungs, and Chad was put to sleep for a few days…it was over last weekend that i chose to drive out of town to go and visit him…i hadn’t seen Chad since High School, although we have been active with each others profiles on facebook

the next morning after leaving the hotel, my wife and i visited Chad in the hospital…and he was awake!…the doctors had decided to have the tube removed because he was getting better…he wasn’t able to talk to me yet, but heard everything i had to say to him…i thanked Chad for his devotion to me as a teenager…and what it really meant to me today that he had no other choice but to leave, due to the disease of drug addiction and alcoholism…although it didn’t cause me to want to stop at the time…i did have thoughts of my problems with getting high because of the effects it was having on my personal life and actions

after seeing Chad, my wife and i went to a meeting in Sherman, TX…this is where the photos i have posted in this blog have come from…after the meeting we started back home, driving through the countryside, aiming to make a day of the trip back…i had come to a stop on this highway, for a line of cars were waiting for someone to turn…i looked up into my rearview mirror, and suddenly i saw a truck barrelling down the road at me from behind…immediately i started to move, and turn my wheel to the right and get out of the way…but, it was too late…the Chevy Suburban slammed into me, probably going near 50 mph…it smashed the trunk of my Volvo into the backseat, and spun us around, sliding down the ditch on the side of the road

thank God we weren’t severely hurt…i’m pretty sure my car is totaled, but my wife and i are okay…Chad’s wife felt really bad about the accident…that we had driven so far to see her husband, and now lost our vehicle in a car crash on the way home…it didn’t bother me one bit…i told her i did not even regret making the long trip to see a good friend of mine, who is partly responsible for my own sobriety…i said to Chad’s wife, “vehicles can be replaced…you cannot replace the meaningful relationship between two people that sparked importance in each others lives”AA stones

Feb 21

Faith Alone is Insufficient…

“To be vital, faith must be accompanied by self-sacrifice and unselfish, constructive action.” – p. 93 AA BB


starting over in sobriety again i have had to approach things differently…my sponsor first asked to give some of my morning devotional time to meditation…this has made me wake up earlier before going to work, which is good…i read from the ‘Daily Reflections’ AA book, and the Hazelden ’24-Hours A Day’…these are great additions to directing my mind toward the program at the beginning of the day…meditation has been tougher for me…listening to music from my iPhone is helping with that…i have found some instrumental songs to hear, from such bands like ‘Explosions In The Sky’ and ‘God Is An Astronaut’…it gives 5-10 minutes to silence my mind…at first i thought i would begin to hear my Higher Powers directions, but that hasn’t happened yet…after sharing with others at my home group about this, i have been told that meditation is more devoted to silencing the mind from all destructive thought, which has been helpful…after the meditation and devotional, i pray the 3rd and 7th step prayers…then ask for removal of my obsessions and desires…and direct my thinking towards how i can be of service to others


there are many in my life that struggle with sobriety…i have known alot of them for years, and include them in my prayers in the morning…trying not to be so specific in my requests (seeing as i don’t know what is the best job for God to do) i simply ask Him to give directions to those willing enough to look to their HP for help…an issue that has been a big problem for me lately is having the knowledge that not only can i not change myself, but i haven’t the power to change others, either…this has been difficult for me to swallow…but the truth is, if i have taken the First Step 100%, this idea should not be a hard one to understand…this may have to do with the fact that when i see the wrongs in others it hurts me, because i see the things that i have within myself, as well…my mornings are spent well in asking God to remove my selfishness, so that i can be of better service to others who need my help


“You will be most successful with alcoholics if you do not exhibit any passion for crusade or reform.  Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection.  Show him how they worked with you.  Offer him friendship and fellowship.  Tell him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to help.” – p. 95 AA BB


after getting about a month of sobriety this time, my sponsor asked me to begin adding service to my program…at first i started working the coffee bar…i signed up to do this once a week, and to this day if the bar needs cleaning after a meeting, i do that also…or, if noone is working the bar, and coffee needs to be brewed before the meeting, i do that…now that i have over 90 days sober, i have begun chairing meetings…the day of the week i have chosen to do that is for a Big Book study…i love literature meetings, because we get to read through the instructions and share our own experience, strength and hope with that, instead of focusing on one particular topic of discussion


recently we have begun reading through ‘Working With Others’, which is the chapter completely devoted to the 12 step work with other alcoholics…i am not in a place to sponsor yet, but i do not see where i cannot be of help…someone with a few days without a drink has an easier time listening to a person with a few more days, weeks or even months…sponsors are detrimental to 12 step sobriety, i believe…but, it also important to find a group of fellows who share in the same amount of sobriety as i do…it is sometimes easier to watch what others go through who have the same time, than someone with many years who may not have walked through it since the beginning of their own sobriety


Christmas night this year my wife and i went to eat dinner before going to a meeting to pick up our sixty day chips…i received a phone call from a friend of mine who was drunk and contemplated committing suicide…i told him to hold on, that we were coming over to take him to the meeting with us…since i’m still early in sobriety, this isn’t something i would have been comfortable with doing alone…i have to take someone in the program with me…i’ve never been on a 12-step call before, and neither has my wife…my friend wanted help cleaning his room…empty beer cans and vodka bottles everywhere…he was crying and asking for help in staying sober, smoking a bowl of weed…on the way to the meeting he came out of a blackout, or something…immediately upset once learning we were going to a meeting…but, it went well, and he got to meet some people up there who offered help in getting sober


my friend is still struggling with sobriety…but, i know that there is very little i can do for him…instead, i describe what i have done and are doing today to keep sober myself…i refrain from lining out a plan of action for him, unless he asks me questions…i am not one to hand directions to people…instead, i give him descriptions of my own way of life, and how it is helping me keep away from the drink and drug…i know there is nothing i can do to save my friend…so, i look to God for that…what strikes me accordingly is that i believe my help towards my friend is more of a help towards me…it takes me out of myself…my bad thoughts and feelings are replaced with a genuine concern for another suffering alcoholic, like myself…although my friend may not have enough willingness yet to give himself completely to the program, and a God of his own understanding that will help solve his problems…his difficulty in life and this horrible disease has gathered my attention, which guides me to looking to my own Higher Power, whom i ask for help in my friends addiction

Feb 17

Experience in an Instance of Change

“I had fallen under the care of a physician – a Dr. William D. Silkworth – who was wonderfully capable of understanding alcoholics…It was his theory that alcoholism had two components – an obsession that compelled the sufferer to drink against his will and interest, and some sort of metabolism difficulty which he then called an allergy. The alcoholic’s compulsion guaranteed that the alcoholic’s drinking would go on, and the allergy made sure that the sufferer would finally deteriorate, go insane, or die…most conversion experiences, whatever their variety, do have a common denominator of ego collapse at depth. The individual faces an impossible dilemma. In my case the dilemma had been created by my compulsive drinking and the deep feeling of hopelessness had been vastly deepened by my doctor.” – letter written by Bill Wilson to Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, dated 1/23/1961


it’s been a few weeks since i’ve contributed to the blogging of this page…things are taking awhile to return back the way they used to be in my life…alot has changed for me since August 6th of 2013…the head injury that occured and caused brain trauma in my head has altered my thought processes and emotional states…this mostly lead back to me drinking again…although, after i have reviewed what my life was like before the accident, i realized there where some aspects of my previous period of sobriety that were lacking in tools given to me by the 12-step program…the biggest thing was honesty…i wasn’t disclosing myself in secret to people like my sponsor, whom i trusted in giving the upmost sure advice on staying sober and living a healthy life…i also went back to ‘playing God’…although i kept to prayer in the morning and evening times, the decisions i made in life where left of my own devices…so, had i not injured myself like i have, i do think it would have been only a matter of time before i picked up the drink again, had i not changed anything about the way i was living life


this has been a major guiding force in my new way of living this time…i’m attending meetings more often…i’m listening to my sponsor, my wife, and other people whom i trust care about me enough to give me the right answers…i look to God for direction and release from the manifestations of self that plague my everyday living…i ask for help in discovering what i can do to be of service to other people…alot of this depends upon my distinction of what is right and wrong for a person like myself who is suffering from a mind-altering and allergic-body illness that is chronic…what i think i know is best may only mean what i want out of life…that is not the answer to my problems today…no matter how i am feeling about something or someone, i must carry forward in what is a good decision i can make in this world…even though it may bother me at the time, in the future i can look back and be grateful that i had a place to be of service, and help somebody else out for a change…God is doing for me what i cannot do for myself…i’m lucky i’m still alive and have a chance to make another sober living inside this world


aside from being a member of my home group, it is also important for me to get out and visit other meetings for a change…one of these is a group that gathers at my sponsor’s house on Wendsday nights…we had read through the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and shared with each other what we had ascertained from the chapters…there was also a copy of the original manuscript present, which was important to me, because alot of changes and deletions were made to publish the textbook we read from today in AA…after finishing the last chapter, ‘A Vision For You’, it was decided we meet to discuss where to take the meetings from there…last night we came to the decision to begin the ’12 Steps & 12 Traditions’ book in the same manner, which was exciting to me…i’ve read through that book many times, but the Traditions part is something i’ve rarely walked through


since the meeting last night was short, my sponsor offered to read through the letter i’ve quoted from at the beginning of this blog…i really enjoyed that piece, and never heard about Bill W. writing the doctor Rowland Hazard had seen to solve his drinking problem…for those of you that don’t know, Hazard was support in getting Ebby Thatcher sober, who met Bill Wilson at his kitchen table to reveal his solution to alcoholism…thus was AA born…below I have provided the links to this letter and the response Dr. Jung had replied to Bill…someone who attended the meeting last night at my sponsor’s house mentioned that Dr. Carl Jung passed away that same year…so it is apparent that Bill made a wise decision to thank him for his contribution to an association that has helped millions stay sober for over 75 years now


“…craving for alcohol was the equivalent on a low level of the spiritual thirst of our being for wholeness, expressed in mediaeval language:  the union with God…The only right and legitimate way to such an experience is, that it happens to you in reality and it can only happen to you when you walk on a path, which leads you to higher understanding…You see, Alcohol in Latin is “spiritus” and you use the same word for the highest religious experience as well as for the most depraving poison.”  – reply from Dr. Carl Gustav Jung to Bill Wilson, dated 1/30/1961 




link to Bill W. letter to Dr. Jung



link to Dr. Jung reply to Bill W. letter 

Feb 17

Loneliness and Despair Found in that Bitter Morass of Self-Pity

“How dark it is before the dawn!  In reality that was the beginning of my last debauch.  I was soon to be catapulted into what I like to call the fourth dimension of existence.  I was to know happiness, peace, and usefullness, in a way of life that is incredibly more wonderful as time passes.” – p.8  AA BB


this is how i used to start my blogs off…with excerpts from our recovery literature…it describes the problems we have as alcoholics and addicts…and it also explains solutions and directions on recovery, and a new way of life…for the longest time i thought that selfishness was outlined in the chapter How It Works…where it talks about the Third Step and leads into instructions on how to go about making a personal inventory…but, i have been reading into the beginning of the book alot lately…selfishness is mentioned in the first few chapter of the book, as well…in the Doctors Opinion…Bills Story…There is a Solution…so much is this issue talked about…no wonder it is labeled as the ‘root of our troubles’…now that i have quit drinking and using again…now that the obsession and desire has been lifted from me…i’m seeing so many other problems that plague my being…quitting getting loaded is just the beginning of this new life of mine…a more important demonstration lies before me in my respective home, occupation and affairs.


“Thus was I convinced that God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough…I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would.  I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction.  I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost.  I ruthlessly faced my sins and became willing  to have my new-found Friend take them away, root and branch.  I had not had a drink since.”  – p.12-13 AA BB


the first hundred members of Alcoholics Anonymous were low-bottom drunks…something else i have noticed this time in sobriety is that alot of us come into the program broken…facing a laundry list of baggage, we see no way of combatting these problems alone…faced with such a tumultuous life we havent any trouble admitting the principle of Step One into our life 100%…i have to take this First Step every day…i understand that i have lost the power to control my drinking and drug use…my friends could not get me sober…my wife couldn’t…my folks…probation officer…people in the program…at church…it easily became evident to me that quitting getting high was humanly impossible for an alcoholic and drug addict like me


moving on to the 2nd Step was harder…being an agnostic, it was alot to ask of me…but, i had a sponsor that walked me through this, and gave me an opportunity to develop my own conception of a Higher Power, no matter how basic and simple it might be…for me this meant finding something that i could see, touch and feel…so, i looked into nature…i admired the birds with colorful feathers and innate song…plants that boor fruit and nuts i could eat, adorned with designs and bright colors…flowers that bloomed, centered with pollen that insects such as bees consumed…it all seemed like such an intricate design…nothing that a Big Bang theory could have produced on accident…large bodies in the universe colliding with one another…it all appeared too specific than that…like they were created and placed on this planet for a purpose


as low-bottom drunks and addicts we become as willing as the dying can be to take a new direction in our life…for me this meant discarding my old ideas and replacing them with new instructions from those that have gone on before me…placing the powerlessness and unmanageability first, this doesn’t seem like a novel idea for one who feels as doomed as i have…placing my thoughts, feelings and motives under the care of those that have overcome the same difficulties as me has placed me in a position to be more acceptable of the things to come


“I was to test my thinking by the new God-consciousness within.  Common sense would thus become uncommon sense.  I was to sit quietly when in doubt, asking only for direction and strength to meet my prolems as He would have me.  Never was I to pray for myself, except as my requests bore on my usefullness to others.  Then only might i expect to recieve.  But that would be in great measure.” – p.13 AA BB


placed in this kind of care, i have found a way out of the life i have incorrectly built for myself…no longer looking to the drink and drug for answers to the problems of my being, i spend quiet time alone asking my HP for help…today i see that i have other issues besides getting loaded…there are ideas that compact in my mind that lead to the insane idea of getting high to quiet them…these are all manifestations of self…since i haven’t the power alone to combat booze and dope, i look to a Higher Power for help in this…asking Him to remove these horrible thoughts and feelings from my mind, i then resolutely look for direction in helping those i can…any decisions i think must be made in my life, i run by those that care and love me the most…those that understand my inability to face life alone sober…those that look after my own well-being…alone i cannot do it…i look to others for the help


Oliver V.

Feb 17

The Face of Collapse and Despair…

it’s been a while since I have logged on here…about six months, to be exact…alot has happened to me in this time…i am just now getting back to logging in and cleaning up this page some…i have really missed being a part of the online recovery world and devoting my time to this page…for almost six years HMR meant alot to me…for those of you that are new friends to Half Measures, it started over at Myspace as a blog-conversation starter…it grew from there, once I had it moved to Facebook…i ran into an old friend of mine in the program, who was very interested in online recovery radio programming…Rum Radio and I grouped together and started our own shows, which was a success…money problems came my way, and i had to drop the show for awhile, but it was picked back up eventually…i even started a website for HMR that highlighted the blog material and players for certain episodes of the radio show…i was even interested in phone apps at this time, and created one for the website


all that changed on August 6th, 2013…i am an avid skateboarder and had bought a longboard for downhilling in my neighborhood…i do not remember the day at all, but my sons were with me…we had ridden down a steep hill in my neighborhood…in the sharpest hill of the road, i gained about 30 mph…a vehicle came up sharply from around the corner…this forced me to turn quickly, going around it…i was thrown off my board and slammed my head into the pavement…not wearing a helmet, this cracked my skull, shaking the brain around in my head, causing me to bleed profusely from the injury…the vehicle i had gone around to avoid impact took off quickly, after seeing what had happend…my two sons immediately ran to houses, knocking on doors to call an ambulance…luckily another car came and saw my body laying there, and they were able to dial 911 for help


i thank God from the bottom of my heart that my boys were with me that day…had they not of been, i wouldn’t be alive today…the accident put me in the hospital for a month…for ten days the doctors had placed me in a coma…my wife knows alot more about this time…it is all very foggy for me…i can only remember the last week i spent in the hospital…and that isn’t very clear for me


once out of the hospital, i spent most time at home…there were therapies i had to attend…i also continued making AA meetings…but, my brain was not right…alot of memory loss, strange thought processes, and intense emotional displacements had me into a different person…immediately i picked up the drink…this was also something that had changed…two bottles of beer put me into a black-out…my drinking had gotten worse from the accident…alcoholism is a chronic illness, but also a progressive disease…the neurologist told me that alcohol could cause me siezures, and ultimately end in my death…but, i continued to drink anyway


on October 24th i went to a restaraunt after the AA meeting and drank two margaritas…immediately i was sent into a black-out…when i came to, i was in jail…spending a few days there, i was bonded out from payment by my folks…the arrest affidavit listed from video footage that i had ran a red light and parked in a lot, sitting in the backseat with the car running…music playing…headlights flashing…windshield wipers flapping…i was arrested for DWI after failing the drug test…i have been sober since


things have changed quite a bit since then…i still have court to attend for the charges…but, i have returned to the 12-step program with my sponsor and others that have known me for a long time in sobriety…i am starting back from day one as a newcomer…my brain injury still causes me problems, but the neurologist has given me help through testing and medication…i have returned to work last week, part-time for now…my life is slowly returning to normal…and i have thought some of what it was like before the accident…i wonder if i wouldn’t have eventually returned to the drink, had i not had the brain injury…i was very active in the program…service work…sponsoring others…treasurer of my home group…running this page and the radio show about recovery


yet, i had lost certain key elements of sobriety for alcoholics and drug addicts in the program…i wasn’t honest with my sponsor about what was going on in my life…i had returned to playing God and making decisions on my own…my life was full of many responsibilities…today i have had to begin all over again…i’m starting life all over…because my head has changed drastically, i’ve begun slowly, introducing activities in at an easy pace…there is scarring on my frontal lobes, which has caused all the mental and physical problems i have…but, my neurologist says that will return to normal in time…the scarring will be there forever, but my brain will send it’s signals around it and return to normal activity in time


i’ve decided to return to this page…but, at a slow pace…i think starting over like i had in the beginning of July 2008 is the best idea…i will blog occasionally, when i have something about my sobriety to share with my friends here…the radio program is not something i am ready for…i do want to eventually get the website back up and running again…this will take some time…i have so many other things in my life right now that i have to attend to keep in good shape…keeping a conscious contact with my Higher Power is key…letting those in my life who are closest to me know what is going on is also a big factor…i have lost the power in controlling my drinking and drug abuse…my life has become unmanageable…making decisions is something i must reside in talking to others about…my selfishness and self-centerdness is the root of these troubles…my time must be spent on how i can be of service and help to others


thank you so much for reading and being a part of Half Measures Room…i am so glad to be back at this…please bear with me and feel free to comment below about what you may have experience, strength and hope with what i have shared…this is how HMR started in the beginning…and i am now back to that place once again…i love you all and hope that your life in sobriety is better than anything it was before, when you were drinking and using drugs…i will talk to you again soon


Oliver V.

Apr 23

exception to the rule

“Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class.  By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic.”  AA BB  p.31

this passage has been on my mind for the past several weeks…and i think i’m beginning to understand why…i have been specifically at this place before in sobriety, many times…this is not my first attempt at getting and staying clean…everytime i have returned to the drink or drug, it has always began with the casual thought of, “well, maybe i’m not alcoholic after all…why not try some controlled drinking”…the experiment goes so well, that i try it again…and again…and again…and the next thing you know, i’m drinking every day, all day, and every chance i can get…like i’ve said before in the rooms, if i could drink normally, i would drink all the damn time…or, if there were a pill i could take that cured alcoholism, i would smoke it…or crush it up and snort it…that’s just the kind of dope fiend, drunkard that i am…i am the real thing…and there is no way of turning an alcoholic into a normal drinker

sadly, however, self-knowledge is not enough to keep me away from the drink and drug…drugs and alcohol are not my only problems…i have many other pressing issues…in fact, alcohol and drugs cease to be a problem for me today, simply because i do not use them anymore…although, if i do not keep up with my spiritual program of action, drugs and alcohol will once again become my only solution…and i don’t ever want to revisit that place again…i never want that to be my only option…because, i only have two:  drink and drug, or accept spiritual help…and that is not always an easy alternative to face

and that is where i am at today, folks…i am at that crossroads…if i am to be brutally honest with you (and i believe you deserve that), i must say that in this period of time, i am the furthest away from God as i have been since i first walked back into the rooms on December 3rd, 2007…i feel void…lost…and empty…in fact, there are only two areas of my life that i am feeling really good about right now…every thing else is mediocre…i feel fake…phoney…i have many obligations, but cannot seem to live up to them, right now…i am hanging on by a thread…i am at the end of my rope…i am at the jujmping-off place…something has to go…i don’t have room for anything else…i must make more room for God in order to be filled back up

at five years sober, this is the longest i have ever stayed sober…i thought i would have had my shit together by now…but, i’m falling apart…i regret going to my home group to chair meetings, because i know i have nothing to offer the newcomer…i regurgitate old stories…old experiences…because i have no new ones…there is no passion in my speech…in my life…no hope…no strength…in our literature it talks about staying spiritually fit to survive the certain low-spots ahead…well, i’m very spiritually sick and at a pretty low spot in my life currently…i have everything i could possibly want…everything seems to be going great, on the outside…but, on the inside, i am weak…i need restructuring, badly…so, it’s time to keep it simple…i’ve complicated my life…and that is one of the most wonderful things about our way of life and spiritual program…i can start over anytime i need to, without getting loaded

so rather too little, than too late…this will be the last time you hear from me for a while…Half Measures Room will be going on an indefinite hiatus…no more radio show…no more blog…at least for the time being…this is not to say i will never pick it back up again…i will keep the facebook profile live…the website will still be here…the phone app…the site…all of it will still be here…just inactive until i can again muster the energy and vibrance that something like this deserves…i cannot transmit something that i haven’t got…and right now, i need to work on number one…rather that deliver a product that is less than desirable, i would like to gracefully bow out until i can present something of greater quality…when i do return it will be with a fresh perspective…new experience…and positive, solution-based messages that speak to the hearts and minds of those who relate…i love doing HMR, but the time has come for me to move on and move forward

thank you all for listening and supporting me over the past several years…this has been one of the brightest spots of my sober life…i will occasionally check in on facebook, so feel free to message me there…or, you can always reach me at via email…i will never be too far from this page, facebook, or even…there are still some very good sober radio shows out there to listen and take part in…CoolAAStuff…RumRadio…i will post up some links here for those who want to check it out…God bless you and keep you on your own spiritual journey through sobriety…again, i appreciate you being my friend and understanding my current position

Oliver V.

Rum Radio


Apr 23

Spiritual Healing and Recovery with Rabbi Mitch

Episode #64:  “Modern, passionate, independent, and dedicated”…Rabbi Mitch is a “Spiritual Counseling Professional with a proven track record of work with culturally diverse populations including both individuals and groups.”  He is also a devoted sober blogger sharing his own experience, strength and hope of clean living and spirituality.  In this episode we talk with Mitch about sobriety and his own spiritual journey.

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Feb 06

awakened pleasurable echoes and anticipation

“A searching and fearless look at our complete drinking record shows that in the last years and months our drinking never created those perfect, magic moments again, no matter how often we tried for them. Instead, over and over, we wound up drinking more than that, and landed in some kind of trouble as a result. Maybe it was simply inner discontent, a sneaky feeling that we were drinking too much, but sometimes it was marital squabbles, job problems, serious illness or accidents, or legal or financial worries.

“Therefore, when the suggestion of ‘a drink’ comes to us, we now try to remember the whole train of consequences of starting with just ‘a drink’. We think the drink all the way through, down to our last miserable drunk and hangover.” p. 51 AA Living Sober

something we hear routinely in meetings is ‘playing the tape all the way through’, or remembering what it was really like…too many people that choose to go back to the drink and drug only recall the good times, or how good it felt to get relief from the first beer, joint, or line of coke…how easily we forget what drove us to the rooms in the first place…we have a selective memory when it comes to our disease…it’s the cunning, baffling nature of the illness…in the face of calamity and self-destruction, we do an about-face and pick up right where we left off…the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction is a chronic and progressive one…we get worse and never better…once an alcoholic/addict always a addict/alcoholic

i know for me, when thoughts of drinking or getting high enter my head, i start to think about those last couple of months before coming to the program…how i used to hide my use…drinking and driving to get away with it…the lying to cover up my use…the fear that gripped me when cops would follow me…the terror i experienced when i came to the next morning to find the house empty…did my wife finally have enough and leave?…what did i say or do this time?…i couldn’t rightly remember

something else that occurs to me when that ‘stinking thinking’ enters my head is what life would really be like if i picked up again…for starters, i would no longer be able to maintain this page…i couldn’t rightly blog about sobriety anymore if i were using…what about all the readers i would let down?…then there are the friends i have in the program…the guys i talk to on a daily-weekly basis…i wouldn’t be able to hang out with them anymore…my whole life would change…my wife and i would instantly have a new relationship…it would ruin and alter everything my life has become over the past 3 and half years

there are so many good reasons for me to stay sober today…i have oppurtunities to be a good father, employee, husband and friend…these relationships were not only difficult before getting clean, but cumbersome as well…i get to live in a beautiful home today and have open and honest partnerships with wonderful people…i get to have responsiblities, like raising children, keeping an orderly home and filling roles in business and school…before, when i was drunk and high, i could barely stay conscious to watch a movie, play a video game, or read a book…most times i passed out, wondering what i had just seen or heard the night before…i missed out on so much…today i have the capacity and ability to be present in the world…this is the fundamental fact i consider when faced with the proposition of picking up again…is it really worth it to throw this life away?…i don’t think so…not to mention the horrible feelings of failure i would experience after coming to and realizing i had thrown all that clean time away…it is so hard to come back from that


Feb 06

Punk Friends in Recovery

Episode #57:  On tonights special show we speak with Jeff R., creator of PFIR and sober social media pioneer.  In June of 2008 HMR was created, inspired by Jeff’s work.  Edgy…unapologetic…brash…ugly…honest…and real.  PFIR is not afraid to show and share the stark realities of drug addiction and alcoholism.  In this episode we hear Jeff’s story and share ESH with 12 step recovery.

Listen to internet radio with halfmeasuresroom on Blog Talk Radio

Jan 30

Everything Anonymous

“Though our decision (the Third Step) was a vital and crucial step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a strenuous effort to face, and to be rid of, the things in ourselves which had been blocking us. Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.”   AA BB .64

had a discussion in the chat box with a friend of ours a few days ago…she voiced a problem deciding whether or not she should switch Fellowship from AA to NA…being a drug addict (and not much of a drinker) she asked what i thought…i encouraged her to follow her own concious and reminded her that symantics aside, it’s the stepwork that is vitally important to our recovery, not the meeting itself…i find the Fellowship i am most comfortable with personally, is the one for me…in either Fellowship, we practice the same principles…alcohol and/or drugs are only mentioned once in the Steps themselves…and only in the First Step, when we admit our lack of power over them

i am poly-addicted myself, and would qualify for either Fellowship…i have attended both meetings before, but are sure to identify/qualify myself as an addict in NA meetings, or an alcoholic in AA meetings…i’m careful not to confuse the two…for if i share about my addiction to say Exctacy in Alcoholics Anonymous, i stand a good chance of not relating to a newcomer drunk who just walked in the door…same goes for Narcotics Anonymous…i do not go on and on about my drinking when i share there…to tell the truth, i try my best not to drunk or drug log at all in meetings…everyone there already knows how to loaded…why should i be reminding them?

switching gears for a second, i got really angry at work yesterday…things just didn’t go as planned, and i ended up having to stay overnight out of town, unexpectedly…it pissed me off for a number of reasons, and i was just hot by the time i left the job site…driving down the road in the direction of the hotel, i called a buddy of mine i had met in San Antonio a couple of months ago…”Man, i am in a pissy mood…was thinking of hitting a meeting…you going to one today?”…actually, he was at the group already and told me to come on over, that there was a meeting starting within the hour

by the time i got there, i had settled down considerably…during the meeting, i reflected some…i realized that back in the day, i would have stopped at the nearest convenient store and bought a beer…popping that top, i would have drained half that can with an exasperating “aaaaaahhh” in relief…i also realized that normal people CAN do that…i have lost that luxury today…i can’t drink or drug normally…i have lost the ability…normal people, when they get upset and say they ‘need’ that beer or joint, it stops there…not with someone like me

that’s just how i coped with things, by using…didn’t really matter what it was either…it’s just how i dealt with life…when things became bothersome, or i felt helpless, frustrated, irritated, angry, sad, fearful…any range of emotions…especially when to celebrate or some horrible tragedy occured…that was always the answer for me…sometimes out of sheer boredom i would get high, just because…after using like that for awhile, i depended upon the chemicals to make me feel better…then the addiction took over, and i got loaded to overcome the cravings…the uncomfortableness…the sick feelings in my stomach, head, and nerves…by then, it was too late…i couldn’t stop

that’s what sobriety is about for me today…going through life and actually experiencing it…i heard it said best in the meeting i went to last night…apparently an old-timer of the group had just passed…quite a few people shared about being there for him in his last days…this man had been battling cancer, and they were saying that although they knew he was in a great deal of pain, he didn’t complain once…he just walked through it and took it…he died sober, in a room full of sober friends and family who loved him…he didn’t do it alone…and that’s what it’s kind of like for me…i can get angry, lonely, tired, confused, sad, whatever…and i have to walk through it and take it…but, i don’t have to do it alone…and i don’t have to get high…i don’t want to anymore…and i have God, friends in the program, and family to support me and walk through it

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