How do you participate in your marriage? Are you the shopper, the cooker, the laundry doer, or the go to work-er, the eater, the player, what role do you play?
Here at home we have the roles down pat. Hubby takes the lions portion of work on a daily basis. He is also the breadwinner, the student, the teacher, the bill payer and house cook. And when the roles changed when I finished school he stepped up and took control of the every day routine of the house.
I come and go as I please, I shop for what I need at the store that he doesn’t buy, and I eat, sleep and sit here on the box.
But when necessity changes and he goes down, as he has been down all week with the flu, somebody needs to step up and get on with home care. It started with doing the daily grocery shop, the pharmacy runs for medications and elixirs, and taking care of hubby. And also do loads of laundry. I haven’t done laundry in a while, so it was something to do this week. One needs clean towels and underwear !!!
I had forgotten how much money it takes to confidently run a home from start to finish. I’ve been running every day, shopping and sorting out our needs and tonight I changed the sheets, cleaned the bathroom and cooked some dinner for us.
Taking care of house and home is a fine science. And having ample cash in the bank is crucial to the proper working of home. And we are finally at that stage of our marriage and relationship that money is there. And we don’t spend one unnecessary penny.
I just wanted to state that maybe I take him being the one in control for granted sometimes, having to step up and be the doer is quite a challenge. But it is rewarding because I still got it. I can be accountable and responsible. I know how to take care of us in all things. It is not an easy job. That’s one of those things you learn about when you get married. How to make it all work, well…
Hopefully we are at the end of this flu experience. At least that’s what I hope. I’ve had enough hacking and sneezing and sleeping all hours of the day and night.
More to come, stay tuned…
It is a doctor kind of week. And they say here, unless you are dying, never go to the hospital aside from your appointment day, because you would sit in the E.R. for 2 days before a doctor would see you…
Yes, that happens here.
So a little visitor came to me over the past week or two. It appeared as a little pimply thing on my left lower lip. I picked at it and paid it no mind. I surely was not feeling sick, and didn’t have it in mind to get sick. But the damned thing was persistent. It stayed and the flu came to our home.
Hubby got hid blindsided, and if he gets it, I am surely gonna get it. And it is brutal. I have pain in places on my body that I never feel pain at. A cough that keeps me up at night. But today I finally found a pill to make it stop long enough for me to sleep a few hours, earlier today.
Hubby is nailed in on finishing his readers papers for his final M.A. defense on the 24th of this month. But sickness has prevented him finishing it up. I’ve had to step in to shop, cook, do laundry and go to the pharmacy to stock up on exotic pills and potions to take care of ourselves.
We have been sleeping a lot. We’ve missed late night radio all week having gone to bed before midnight and having turned the radio off when we get to sleep eventually.
God damned it that cold sore … If it appears. You will get sick.
That little harbinger of things to come, I thought I could ward it off with all the pills I take on a daily basis, but having an already compromised immune system makes me far easier a hit for a cold or the flu.
I rested up today, after doing two loads of laundry, a trip to the pharmacy and two trips to the supermarket, had my disco nap, where I actually slept.
I was up on time and prepared for my Thursday night meeting. And it seemed that folks were a little off, so the whole meeting was a flight by the seat of our pants. The chair thought she was chairing next week, instead of this week, so she chaired tonight. She went into the crowd and found a victim (read: Speaker) to speak and appointed readers, thankers and the lot.
Never say no. I read the steps tonight.
It was a good share. Lots of warning of what will happen if we become ungrateful or take our will back or stop going to meetings. Even that little thought that “aw, I can do it myself, I don’t need you !” Maybe I can drink normally now I’ve been sober a while. NOT !!!
The message was well received. And the warnings were heeded.
Very soon, the Thursday night meeting will begin … May 2 2012 … And we won’t be attending St. Matthias any more. We are still looking for a cabinet or some box like thing to hold our stuff. But we have some time still yet.
That’s all for now.
Gonna head to bed soon. Friday night is another meeting. And I said I’d go and support the chair, and to bring along a new friend.
More to come, stay tuned…
Lifted from: In Dodd We Trust
I recently read a book about relationships that advocated following the Five A’s:
1. Attention [to the other person, what they say and do]
2. Acceptance [of the other person, even if you do not understand]
3. Appreciation [of the positive qualities of the other person, even if there are also faults]
4. Affection [shown in an appropriate and clear manner]
5. Allowing [the other person to be who he/she is, even if you do not agree with everything]
This post is brought to you by the words “Dis-Ease.”
Finally, after so many cloudy and cold days, the sun came out to shine. We are sitting at (-1c/-3c w.c.). The rest of the week may prove to be a number of days of sunshine and warmth. One weather website I frequent says that 10 to 15 cm of snow will fall come next Monday.
My mind has been in overdrive for the past few days. I am not sure where I am being led and what is going on with my shaken apple-cart syndrome, but I made an executive decision over the weekend.
I thought it through carefully, and only today told hubby what I had decided which turned into a full blown melt down on his part, after the valve went he took a walk and returned home and accepted the change.
The past year for both of us, has brought change. Hubby’s status at school is changing as soon as he finishes his M.A. and defends his thesis, he will graduate, and that is a big change. We are navigating the “solitude” question.
I called my sponsor a couple of hours before the meeting and asked him to meet me at the meeting earlier than usual. He inquired why? And I told him that I decided to turn in my keys and responsibility and that I was leaving the group.
However hard he tried to dissuade me from leaving, my mind was made up. I cleared out my Gmail and contacts. I just think that it is time for fresh blood to step up and become responsible for the needs of the meeting. I’ve done my time for queen and country. With the upcoming group conscience – my thoughts are that new blood needs to step up and those decisions don’t include me.
We sat 49 folks. The room was full. We read from Came to Believe and the topic
“From Loneliness to Solitude.”
When I was a young boy, I had two loves. My grandmothers. As the first born child, I was never alone, which put me at an advantage from my second born brother.
There were a few good years, then we moved away, and I grew up. My grandmothers were taken from me way too soon. Without their protection they provided from my violent father, I was alone and on my own.
I turned inwards and spent hours in my bedroom listening to music and drawing, I played music for years until I gave it up in protest because of physical abuse. Growing up I always had friends. When I began drinking, it was always in the company of others. I never drank alone, to begin with.
I grew up, I came out, I drank, I got sick, I almost died, two strikes against me, being gay and HIV+ turned everyone away except for a chosen few who tended to my care and well being, that lasted for a while.
But like all good things, they come to an end. Left to my own devices, I failed at good self care, and deluded myself into making stupid and detrimental decisions that almost killed me.
The last year of my drinking was a one night a week binge. I was alone. Living alone, eating alone, I’d go to Salvation, amid hundreds of bodies, and still I was alone. I prayed and drank my way into delusional thoughts that alcohol would make me acceptable and good looking enough to be part of instead of being alone. That never happened.
I wonder what I looked like at the end of the nightly binge and what person saw to pouring me into a taxi and getting me home afterwards. When I reached the end of my drinking I was utterly alone.
I prayed for someone to reach out to me and get me where I needed to go, and within days of uttering that prayer, God moved heaven and earth and put that person in my path, which led me to the rooms once again.
Again, for the second time, I wasn’t alone any more. I needed the fellowship that the rooms provided. I needed the people, and their care, because I was pretty well on poverty lane when I came in. All that changed when I got sober.
The one thing I wanted while drinking, didn’t come to pass until I got sober.
Many years prior, one night at Uncle Charlie’s Bar in Miami, my best friend Ricky met his now husband. They connected and became attached at the hip. They had a hovel of an apartment with second hand furniture and a card table to eat at. But they had each other, and they’ve been together ever since.
I aspired to be like them. To meet a man, get connected and never be alone again. I watched them grow their lives, get new furniture and grow their wealth and home. When I moved away, they were well on their way from owning one property to owning several. It was a lot of work, toil, blood sweat and tears.
It wasn’t until I moved here and met a fellow alcoholic who was a lone drinker too that I connected with the man I would eventually marry. We have followed the same path as my best friend and his husband. It has been more than ten years of toil, blood, sweat and tears.
Being married presents its own challenges. Now I was no longer living alone. And meetings and school afforded hubby time to himself, when he wasn’t in class or working. When he got sick, with his Bi-Polar diagnosis, I took on the many hat wearing dervish. I was carrying the load all on my shoulders.
We settled into a routine that still exists to this day. We both finished our education, hubby is coming to the end of his M.A. run. Like I have shared before, I have been living the same routine for the last eleven years.
Life has become rote. There have been really, no rough spots, no upheavals, no cathartic spiritual experiences. I’ve been on a good healthy run for a long time. And for that I am grateful. The pills are working, we are happy, and things could not be better.
I took the upturned apple cart today, and I made apple pie.
I left the one place that has been my anchor for the last eleven years. I turned my will and my life over to the care of the God of my understanding.
Hubby was not pleased when I told him what I was going to do, because that would upset the routine he has come to rely on, those few hours of solitude that he has when I leave for a Tuesday night event.
But I had to do what I felt I needed to do.
I am still a member at Sunday Nighter’s. They will be getting me a new key for the church this weekend. I plan on hitting a new/old meeting, that I used to frequent when I was newly sober. North End English up on the plateau. That meeting is on a Friday night, and from what I hear, it is mainly men who attend, something I believe that I need. I love my women, but I believe it is time to meet new friends and make new experiences.
Hopefully my friend who offers a ride up there will be agreeable to carry me up there instead of railing/busing it up there. It isn’t a long journey by train and bus, I just haven’t made that commute in years time.
When you are married, how do you find solitude? When do you find time for yourself ? Solitude is negotiated I think. Hubby is a day and I am a night. That tends to work, with me going to meetings on schedule. That schedule is changing now, and he will just have to deal with it. It’s a tedious negotiation.
I trained my newcomers tonight. Schooled them in all the quirky things about opening the hall, and how to do it, and what to do, and if things go wrong, where to find help. My sponsor will begin the task of monitoring the progress and accountability of our girls as they take control of the set up and preparation.
I will take a couple of weeks off on Tuesday nights, while they get used to things without me, now I can calmly go to a meeting as a guest and not a worker. I do service on Sunday nights at my other home group, so that is all and good.
A room full of women, who are willful and pissy at times, can be a pain in the ass, and over the last few months little spats have popped up and it wasn’t about me, I was growing tired of the estrogen tilt of the meeting. I need some serious testosterone for a while.
We shall see where it leads going forth.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned…
I once heard a preacher preach a sermon many years ago, when I was a boy. And the thought was … “It is Friday, but Sunday’s a coming …” and this thought was repeated in succession … “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a coming …” And he repeated these words until they caught up in fire-like fervor and the crowd was on their feet repeating … “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a coming…”
The reference was to Christ dying on the cross, on Friday, we all wept for him, in his humanness and brokenness. And we sat vigil on Saturday through the darkness in the hopes that He would rise again. And that came to pass, as Sunday dawned and the stone was rolled away, Jesus had risen from the dead, and in that there was victory over death … It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a coming …
Today all over the world people are coming together to pray for the little ones and for their families, and also for the children still alive today. We join their prayers and we say … “It may be Friday, but Sunday is coming …”
*** *** *** ***
I was sitting here last night as I usually do, Tumbling and farting around. And someone I know said to me that “Wouldn’t it be nice to just get shit faced drunk?” And this isn’t a thought that I usually entertain very often. Having just taken my cake, I should be wrapped up in the whole celebration in the knowledge that I haven’t taken a drink in more than 11 years. But for the Grace of God. And one day at a time.
But last night, I sat here and entertained the thought all the way through to its tragic end. It was like a yearning in my chest that I was for a few moments “thirsty!” And I sat here and thought about what it would feel like to just go out and get shit faced drunk …
I don’t usually entertain people who drink heavily nor do I spend time reading someone’s writing about just how much they drank the night before and how much alcohol that they imbibed. It is painful to read, to watch and to know. But so many young people I know today find comfort at the bottom of a bottle. it is a rite of passage to be able to drink others “under the table,” but that’s just the start of a long and sometimes never acknowledged drinking problem. shit happens.
So I was good to read from the book tonight and that there were a handful of beginners in the room who also needed to hear about “the solution.” And that for us, there is a solution. It is all laid out in the book. Along the reading we stop to skip back to the appendices II – Spiritual experience.
“Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience CAN recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.
We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation… ” Herbert Spencer.
Snow is falling over our fair city tonight. And the expectation is for more as the week progresses. It was a good day. The snow began early this afternoon, falling slowly and sparsely, but as the night went on, picked up speed.
I left early because I had a couple of stops to make on the way. And that was quick. Our Zeller’s here at Alexis Nihon will only be open for two more days, the final push to rid the shelves of useless items goes on in earnest. Soon the store will close and begin its transformation into a brand new Target store.
The church was open and bright. Thankfully the heat was on and it even got toasty as the meeting started. We sat a full compliment. We read a fair chunk of words and we completed the chapter, “There is a solution.”
These are the times when we find ourselves in a quandary about what we are going to do with ourselves, and for many, how am I going to get through the holidays without a drink … I think the worst time to get sober, is over the holidays. But this was the time that I came into the rooms in 2001. Just weeks shy of Christmas and New Years. And thanks to my fellows I did not drink, one day at a time. And here we are some 11 years and a few days more.
*** *** *** ***
A friend said to me tonight that he was troubled by the tragedy that took place on Friday. That it is bringing up memories of his childhood, coming from the life he did, deep seated anger still resides in his soul. Our man will be sober 24 years tomorrow. And he is seeking God in ways, never before sought. Trying to find something that he feels he lacks.
Tragedy happens. And God knows that only the human who committed the crime knows just what he was doing, or not doing. Gay men and women, and Gay marriage did not bring upon this town a tragedy so horrific that it is almost unspeakable. The killing of innocents. The killing of Children.
And let me profoundly say to the depraved family that has vowed to picket the funerals and wakes of little children, You are evil … And you should be stopped. I do not name you by name, because to do so would give you press. Surely everyone who will read this will know of whom I speak.
Gay Marriage, Fags and community at large did not bring this wanton tragic event to befall this town and these little children.
And how dare you speak that God is angry for gay marriage and killed these little children because God was angry …
I pity you fuckers. and God wept.
It is far too easy to get angry, because anger so deep seeded can upset our applecart of life. It does no good to harbor anger in our souls. Anger does us no good in sobriety, and when it comes up, we look at it, acknowledge it and quickly let it go, for this too shall pass. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.
Many people are suffering. Little children are dead tonight, and there isn’t anything we can do to bring them back. So we must surrender the little ones to God, who is love, life and peace. God did not smite the little ones because of anything. God had nothing to do with the killing of innocents. Don’t you dare even speak those words, because to do so would be to utter blasphemy.
God has NOTHING to do with the killing of innocents.
We will move past this in time. Time will heal the wounds of those who mourn, and one day, the sun shall rise, and it will be glorious.
Pray God, that he blesses the meek and small. Pray God that these little children are carried to the arms of the loving God in his endless mercy and tenderness. Eternal rest grant them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
These are the moments that every man and woman should be afforded. We do not take for granted our marriage rights here in Canada. And we celebrate with those who just got theirs. Congratulations. We sobbed at our wedding too.
Relive one of the most emotionally exhausting days of my life, when 138 couples got married in downtown Seattle on the first day gay marriage was officially legal. Wow.
The Supreme Court in the United States will be hearing arguments over same sex marriage and also D.O.M.A., the Defense of Marriage Act come this spring. Hopefully minds and hearts have changed and that these two issues get solved.
*** *** *** ***
I was going to prepare a retrospective about the last year of sobriety. And I went as far to prepare some numbers (by the book) and I took a look at some of my old posts there are hundreds of posts that have gone live over the last year.
So instead, I am recycling the title, as two former posts appear with this title from last year, so now we redux…
Looking at the Daily Reflections this month, the topic is Step 12.
” When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it. “
I know at some point in later year nine, I was in the doldrums. Things were just “there” and I was looking for a little excitement. So I joined a particular group and celebrated my ten years there last December. But soon after things turned sour and people and personalities got rankled and I decided to leave said group.
I dedicated my time to my original home group on Tuesdays. And that is where I have been for the last year. I am hitting three meetings a week. I joined Sunday Niters a few months ago, even though I have been going to this meeting for a long time. And I am in the chair this month, as we have begun the big read through the Big Book.
It has been a good year. In focusing my time on Tuesdays, I have been present to lots of people there. We saw our group more than triple in size in the past year, and it is all down to our women. That has been the highlight of the year so far. I have written about them numerous times over the past months, and we have talked about them amongst the men.
Not having sponsees freed me up to spend an ample amount of time with our members and our women. I have heard it said by folks at a Sunday Meeting, that once you read the book, and you’ve been sober a long time, it becomes an inside job. The work on the frame is finished, so to speak, and now the interior work continues.
I’ve learned a great deal from our group of women who come to our meeting, we all aspire to learn as they do, to live as they do and get sober as they are. It is one thing to share a meeting with the ladies, but quite another when you get invited to share a meal or attend an event with them. And over the past few months we have dined together, gone to movies together and attended hundreds of meetings together.
I have cycled through my steps with my sponsor over the last couple of months. And the past year have been working on me. I got the opportunity to read
” 1000 Years of Sobriety,” which was a book written by folks with 50 or more years of sobriety. Many of then tell stories about Bill W.
I learned lessons about people. I learned lessons about myself. We participated on the Blog with Oprah’s Master Class and also her Life Class Series. They got a lot of traffic. This has been a year of getting to know myself.
I finished my studies last winter and hubby began his work on his M.A. in Sociology, which is coming along, however slowly. And now I am a housewife. I work at home, go to my meetings, and live life as it comes.
It was a year of friendships and building those relationships with love and care.
I have no regrets at this time. I am waiting to see what life is going to bring me now. Tomorrow is Sunday the 9th. We will read from the book and I will take my cake on Tuesday. And that is all for now …
But one more thing about love with no price tag …
Make a list of things you’d like to change. Expand one or all of the point into a post. How do they inform one another? What connects them? What does that say about you?
This photo was taken many years ago, I was a young twenty something, and the woman I loved more than life itself was still alive. My Memere …
This was a dream vacation we got to take together because I had a really great job and the ability to take friends and family aboard the ships on the odd occasion. There was no better way to repay her but with a trip to the Bahamas.
Oh by the way, this post is brought to you by Plinky.
It is Christmas. My 45th Christmas. Imagine, I lived to see 45 Christmases.
What would I like to change ???
I saw Sally Field on Oprah last night, speaking about her Human Rights Campaign Award for the Ally for Equality. And in her speech she spoke about her son, Sam. And how much she loved her son and that “God created him” so he’s gay, (then continued … Who the F*ck cares ???”)
And she said about the f bomb, that sometimes it is useful.
The holidays are really hit and miss for me. I love the holidays, and I hate them just the same. I find solace in doing for others on the holiday then reliving the knowledge that my family wants nothing to do with me.
I would change lots of things. I would love to see past resentments finally get rid of in my family. Instead of the way things are. Nobody speaking to each other, however I am in contact with my aunt in Florida. And my cousin in B.C.
Being gay is strike one on me. Being HIV+ is the second strike, and living abroad is the third strike. So what, I made life decisions for myself. It was all about me and not them. However I used them to get where I am today. Just luck my mother was still a citizen when I was born which afforded me a birthright.
I’ve been on the persona non grata list for more than a decade. And I wonder when do we stop punishing each other for growing up and making decisions in our lives. And when do we move from Resentment into Acceptance ???
It’s not all about Me – or all about You. It’s all about Us …
I sent out 25 Christmas cards today. That two boxes of cards, and postage came to more than $50.00 … A nominal expense, but I enjoy cards. Sending them and getting them.
I wrote out one card to my family, in the states. Just my signature and sealed and set it on the pile. Last night I got balsy and tore up that card and wrote out a second card. With an invitation to dialogue.
You know, I am 45 years old. I am past middle age, when it comes to HIV. I am living on borrowed time, as they say. What would you give to hear your mother say that she loves you? Or your father the same. Or your brother say that he was interested in dialogue after more than decades of silence.
I’ve earned every minute of my life. I am a big man. And though my family lived on tit for tat backstabbing, we all played a part in where we are today. Everybody is guilty, for things we did or said, and for things we failed to say and do.
If I could change some things in the past, like knowing what I should have done when my grandparents had their strokes – they might have lived longer and our family would not have self imploded like it did.
My Memere lived a long life. The regret of my life, is not going to her funeral. That is another sore spot, because my mother did not want her infected fag son to be seen by the family. So she barred me from the funeral and burial. What was I going to say, “f*ck you, I’m going anyways???”
People who believe in the bible so hard, they loose sight of what is really the meaning of life, and what the words in the Bible really mean. How can you espouse the bible and never set foot in a church? Did Vatican authority really force you to think, believe and say the things you all said?
Like Holy Mother Church was in the next room !!!
In sobriety we work our steps. And I have been through my steps. I made my lists and spoke to my resentments and pain. Some items on that step 4 list never get removed for good. There is still bitterness and anger. But what can I do, I am powerless over people, places and things.
I know better than to get my hopes up. My 11th sober anniversary is on Sunday and what a sober gift it would be to reconnect.
All you gotta do is Google me. And there I am. I am not hard to find.
What does this say about me? Family is everything, when you have none. No gay boy or girl, should ever be sent away or forced out of their family just for being gay. No way, No how, No argument. No gay adult should feel less than because members of their own family deny they exist because they are gay.
Time is a precious commodity, once wasted it can Never be regained. We all live on borrowed time, we are all going to die, and would you rather go to your grave with resentments in your life, or a clear conscience, surrounded by family?
Shit, I have a great friend in the sphere and on twitter who gave birth to a gay teenager (well he is a gay teenager today) and the second son is (Gender Queer) and son three is still too young to present. And she loves her boys. So does her husband Adam. I would kill to have a mom like Sam.
Times have changed, and You owe me at least respect.
The bible says “Honor thy father and mother.”
I find it hard to honor a human/humans who do not honor me. Love skipped a generation when it came to my parents. It seems they did not get the memo from the grandparents. They all died too soon to impart the message.
And I don’t know if I can teach an old dog new tricks.
Buckingham Palace confirms that the Duke William and wife Katherine Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby…
We wish the Royal Family well and we send our thoughts and congratulations.
The Holidays are officially begun. The tree went up this evening. All my Christmas cards are done and are ready for the mail. We watched Rudolph and now Santa Claus is coming to town is playing … Later, The Little Drummer Boy … Maybe some of you have never seen it – it is a very old Christmas story on a dvd Christmas pack we bought some years ago.
There are only 24 shopping days until Christmas …
Today is a BIG DAY. It is our 8th wedding anniversary.
Yesterday I had to go shopping for cards and gifts, it was dark by 5 o’clock, and when it gets dark, it gets dark… Night time seems to last for hours and hours. And I had to force myself to go out in the dark to go shopping.
And what are the odds that I walk into a shop and buy a particular card after reading the bunch that was on display, and choosing just one of them.
I came home last night and before I went to bed last night I set the card and the goodies I bought for hubby on his desk for the morning. He in turn did his shopping run as well. When I got up this morning a card was waiting for me as well. And when I opened it – I chuckled …
Hubby had bought me the exact same card I bought for him.
Coincidence? Synchronicity? or do we really know each other way too well…
*** *** *** ***
I was up and ready to go well before I was supposed to set off. Which meant that I got to the church early and jammed out set up and coffee in record time. I spent some time reading the new Grapevine that came the other day. The November issue is all cranked up about “Gratitude.”
The running joke that I shared tonight was from when I got sober. The topic of Gratitude was common and to a point, overused, I believed. Many of us got tired of hearing that damned word over and over again. And it was said that if the chair could not find a useful topic to discuss, they would always default to Gratitude…
Tonight the chair chose the topic of Gratitude from Living Sober.
Many folks I know do this gratitude list on a daily basis. The women love the task, and they all talk about how wonderful the living list is on a daily basis. A few of the men I know do the same. The Gratitude list will change your life, it was said. It’s a good way to start your day, with a little gratitude.
From where I sit the reading or sometimes the discussion starts with me. Today it started up the line on the outer circle of the room and came down and around to me. I wouldn’t be sober – but for the meetings and the fellowship. And I surely would not be the man I am without the people in the rooms.
The twenty or so odd people we invited to the wedding eight years ago, most of them were/are sober today. One of our friends painted a mural that hangs on our living room wall, especially painted for us with love.
Another friend took care of photography – The men of our wedding party. All of the men pictured here are well, they all have prospered, but only one of them is missing from our lives today.
I was waiting tonight for the sentence that I would take away from the meeting, and it finally came. The last person to share, one of our women, spoke the words “I am not a dying drunk!” She is sober some time now and is in need of a liver transplant and finally a couple of weeks ago told us that they found a match and that the surgery would be coming up soon. Amazing the things that might come from the rooms. If you just but believe …
Gratitude is a good thing. Life could be so much worse. But it isn’t today because we are sober. And I have friends and fellows whom I can talk to about anything.
And for that I am grateful…
Courtesy: Terry’s Diary
Yes it’s Friday at this hour, on the 13th day of July. In 18 days (July 31st) I will be 45 years old. Remember that date, because it will be festive.
I’ve been mulling over in my mind some things to write about, I had a head full of things the other night, that I decided to sleep on, therefore when I got up the next morning, all those things were gone.
So I had to sit and collect some new things to write about free hand and just off the cuff. There are many little things that happened this week, they are all important on their own, but collectively they all come together as community.
Jeremy has been talking about church and families lately. Randall is out there in the field moving with the seasons and the heat. Susan has been in convention for the last nine days the house of bishops is hammering out new ideas and concepts for the Episcopal Community. News is being made there …
Stephan is working on saving a relationship taking it one day at a time. I’ve been keeping a very close eye on him and his goings on from half a world away, it has been tomorrow there for half a day now and it is just gone on Friday here.
I have been very mindful of my sober brothers and sisters this week. I want to know what the woman see in sobriety, and why they do what they do, because whatever it is that they have, I want it too.
I see them around town going from meeting to meeting and we all travel the same circuit during the week. It’s good I get to see my friends more than just once a week. We’ve been learning a great deal in our readings and studies this past week.
I also met some new friends in a meeting this past weekend. And when these friends come to visit – the room is filled with a sense of urgency and emotion. Every once in a while we get to minister to out of towner’s who bless us with their time and talent. And their words of kindness and words of need.
A very special man I know from out and about came to us on Sunday, and he has some time, and came with a heavy heart, there had been a tragedy in his life and all we could do was to listen to him share and offer our genuine care and love.
It doesn’t matter really who you are, once you cross the threshold and come down those stairs you are family. So I ask you all to pray for our friends who have need for them.
These are the hours that I steal from sleep to think on and to pray kind of out loud here on the page. Every post means something in one way or another. I don’t post “just for the fun of it.”
Can you believe that we are halfway through 2012, and halfway through the summer? I heard earlier today that I should really read the Farmers Almanac because they always get it right.
This is what the Almanac says: Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec.
Long Range Weather Forecast for July 12th – September 7th
12th-15th. Fair and pleasant.
20th-23rd. Mostly fair.
24th-27th. Scattered showers are followed by fair skies.
28th-31st. Changeable; mixed sun and clouds, with perhaps a shower.
1st-3rd. Thunderstorms, followed by fair weather.
4th-7th. Turning unset- tled and wet; rain showers could dampen New Brunswick Day and also Natal Day in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
8th-11th. Becoming fair and windy.
12th-15th. hit-and-miss locally strong thunderstorms.
16th-19th. A pleasant spell of weather; Gold Cup Parade, on the 17th, on Prince Edward Island enjoys sun.
20th-23rd. Wet, then fair skies return.
28th-31st. Thunderstorms, some heavy, followed by fair weather.
1st-3rd. Continued hot. A possible near miss for Nova Scotia and P.E.I. by the 3rd from an offshore tropical disturbance.
4th-7th. The Labour Day holiday may have violent thunderstorms.
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As for me and mine, the timetable for hubby’s M.A. Defense has been pushed back until October. His summer defense failed to materialize. I was not pleased with this little development because now even if he begs, a teaching job is just not in the cards for this term seeing he doesn’t have the MA in his hands, so there is nothing to put on a CV…
Which means that until he defends and / or finds a job in the meantime, he is working overtime writing and polishing his Thesis. Which means all those little plans we made some months ago will not come to fruition. We stay where we are and I had hoped to make a few trips to visit some folks on my list of things to do will have to be put on hold until we start bringing in teaching pay.
I have failed on my running training, and I really need to get back on the horse because the doc wants me to loose 2 kilos before my next visit in September. And I have yet to begin week four of Couch to 5 K, it has been sitting patiently on my phone waiting to start again.
I survived the mid point of the year and my 18th anniversary last week, the usual thought is that if I make it to my birthday I will make it to Christmas and so forth and so on. But life isn’t about survival but more of living.
I need to find something creative to do with my time, now that I am retired from school. I only have one more month of QFA coming until I get to the end of the run in August. So hubby needs to make haste in whatever he is planning to do to supplement and augment our monthly money haul.
People are in need, and friends have been talking about community. How to build it – maintain it – and save it. To bring the word of God to the masses and sharing the Gospel with the many we come into contact with every day. And if we reached one person a day, the Kingdom would be ever closer.
Jeremy has a great gig and wonderful thoughts about community and what he is doing is his respective community down under. We could learn a great deal from him and his friends.
It’s just past 3 am and I need to get some sleep so I will close this little page and wish you all a goodnight, good morning where ever you may be…
It has been a quiet few days. I should be posting more, with more time on my hands, and I find myself sitting in front of this screen bored out of my mind. Hoping that at least one of my reads from that day is going to jog my brain into writing something, but there have been no seeds to glean from my fellows.
I pondered the Blank Page Exercise again, but decided against it. I’ve been preparing myself for the next great achievement on my so called bucket list.
I got my Couch to 5 K podcasts on my phone. I downloaded the app for my runs and the only thing missing was a new pair of running shoes. I have plenty of sneakers, but they are all high top editions and you can’t run in high tops. So instead of waiting to go to the running store and paying through the nose for high end running shoes, I opted for the easier solution and go Ebay. I saw these sweet shoes for sale and they were a steal.
The whole kit and kaboodle cost me $50.00 shipping included. And to boot they shipped today so I will have them in a few days. Sweet !!!
It has been miserably hot and humid for the last few days. Almost too humid to sleep, (we don’t have A/C) and the fans we have only blow the air around the room at best. It was manageable. And it is only June. God forbid we get a heat wave like we did last summer and it stays humid out for more than a week at a time. God Forbid !!!
I am pondering buying a small window unit to hang in the bedroom, since we are getting taxes back on Thursday, maybe I can find one that would fit in a small window. I have to check “The Tire.”it would have to fit in a 20 inch window because we have side to side sliding windows in the apartment in both rooms, and you can’t hang a window unit in the living room 17 stories up, it is too dangerous. But we could hang one in the bedroom because we have the exterior balcony. So there would be no overhang outside the building proper.
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It poured all afternoon and I didn’t want to get soaked on my walk, so I waited for a break in the rain to get going this afternoon. I arrived and was all set up by 5 o’clock. I had the entire hour to myself. I finished reading my Grapevine.
One of the final articles in this edition was about gratitude. And when the meeting started the chair read from Came to Believe, and the reading titled
“An Open Heart.”
Within that reading was a mention about gratitude, suiting up and showing up and having or cultivating an Open Heart. From the shares that went around the room, people struggle with this concept. How should I open my heart, and just how open should I make my heart and what cards do I hold close to my chest?
Words like Fear, Pain, heartache and few others were mentioned as well.
Getting Married – There are certain activities in life that take place as we grow up that afford us to begin cultivating an open heart. We grow up and become independent, we meet someone (our significant other) and we get married. This is an exercise in opening ones heart. Especially if you write your vows and speak them to the one you love.
Adversity – emotional – mental – medical and physical all tend to open ones heart and soul to the unknown. Illness tends to turn you inwards because in facing adversity, one becomes ONE with ones being or heart.
Babies – The gift of Life and the birth of a child is the closest thing I have ever experienced that is divine. Being present for the birth of a child is the closest that I have ever come to seeing God’s face. And this is truly the biggest heart opening experience I can tell you about.
Death – The ending of life is also an experience in opening ones heart to feel and to mourn, as was the case at our meeting recently. There have been several deaths for folks in our group over the past few weeks and although they are raw and mourning, they come away with a tender open heart.
Getting Sober – We find when we come to the rooms that we may be a bit frayed, and maybe raw from the beating we gave ourselves, and it will take some time to learn how to open one’s heart, but it does happen, if you stick around long enough for the miracle to happen.
I’m sure you can add your own experiences that have opened your heart. This was just a short list that I can rattle off from my own life. But you get the idea.
The room was full. We sat 33 folks. Uncle Bill showed up and when he said that he got sober in 1950, people clapped and cheered. That would be 62 years of sobriety. 62 YEARS !!!
Thank God for our Old Timers.
What has happened in your life that your heart became open? Leave a comment below…
I start my running as soon as my shoes get here and the training will begin. I was talking to a friend before the meeting and she said that running/walking is a life changing event, if you stick to it long enough. And I am hoping for big changes to happen in my life and on my body as well. My doctor would be Oh So Pleased.
Sorry for being so quiet lately.
Stay tuned. More to come…
Look ^^^ up there …
A new PAGE has been added to the blog. It is a presentation by Matthew Vines on the Bible and Homosexuality. I wish I could post video on this blog, but I can’t, so you are in for a good LONG read !!!
If you click on the page and scroll down to the bottom, you can directly go to his You Tube account and watch the video, which last a little more than an hour.
It is very sad – if you go to the video and read some of the vitriolic comments that have been left on this video, the theology is sound and has been proven by researchers in the field of scripture and theology. Some people are purely ignorant and stupid. You’s think that in today’s world – people could be so vitriolic.
It is all about acceptance…
For many years I contended with one writing that was written by a Pastor who I have known for many years. But Matthew, on the other hand, has spent the better part of 2 years researching this topic and his presentation is rock solid.
But it is well worth the hour you should take to listen to a young man who Loves God and Loves Jesus and speaks from his heart about the six passages from the Bible that many Christians use to demonize and perpetuate hatred and condemnation.
He has studied Hebrew, Greek and Latin and in depth covers all the scriptures and explains the history, context and meaning of biblical history.
Take some time to participate. Show him some love,
Because in the end :
Being different is no crime. Being gay is not a sin. And for a gay person to desire and pursue love and marriage and family is no more selfish or sinful than when a straight person desires and pursues the very same things. The Song of Songs tells us that King Solomon’s wedding day was “the day his heart rejoiced.”
To deny to a small minority of people, not just a wedding day, but a lifetime of love and commitment and family is to inflict on them a devastating level of hurt and anguish. There is nothing in the Bible that indicates that Christians are called to perpetuate that kind of pain in other people’s lives rather than work to alleviate it, especially when the problem is so easy to fix. All it takes is acceptance.
The Bible is not opposed to the acceptance of gay Christians, or to the possibility of loving relationships for them. And if you are uncomfortable with the idea of two men or two women in love, if you are dead-set against that idea, then I am asking you to try to see things differently for my sake, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
I’m asking you to ask yourself this: How deeply do you care about your family? How deeply do you love your spouse? And how tenaciously would you fight for them if they were ever in danger or in harm’s way? That is how deeply you should care, and that is how tenaciously you should fight, for the very same things for my life, because they matter just as much to me.
Gay people should be a treasured part of our families and our communities, and the truly Christian response to them is acceptance, support, and love. Thank you, and thank you to everyone for coming tonight.
A Fascinating read from: Don’t Eat Trash
Ok time for my two cents I suppose.
I have been discussing a few things with people for the last few days because of some decision in a state of a country that i don’t live in. Makes me laugh a little. Because a couple of days ago, it wasn’t really being spoken about. But the issue still existed.
I want to illustrate two things and see where that gets me.
Number one – democracy is not Gods best.
No where in the bible do you find the blue print of democracy. The trinity isn’t a democracy. Its holy. It is perfectly relational? Do I tongue in cheek think that the three members of the trinity discuss things and disagree on certain designs? Maybe. But are they relational perfect anyway? YES. More then our peon brains understand.
Democracy is a stunted version of what God envisioned for government. A very stunted version. And although most of the conservative right of the western world has convinced themselves and the rest of humanity that capitalism is Gods best, that is also a fallacy. Capitalism works in a supply and demand language, collecting as much as one can. Gods kingdom works on a giving and receiving mentality. Balance. Not consumptive excess.
So when one argues that God wants us to uprise and call on our governments to outlaw gay marriage, it makes me laugh. Because it makes Jesus look bad. When we call on our governments to give more in international aid, it makes me die a little inside, as we facebook our friends sitting next to us, buy our retardedly expensive cars that drive on a fuel that will cease to exist in 40 years and think ‘i have no money to help’.
- The spiritual elite – the hypocrites.
- The pagans that got in the way of the gentiles having access to God in the courts.
- and Peter.
- aaaaaand technically Satan by destroying the enemies power at the cross.
Why do we think we can attack sinners when Jesus called for no rocks to be thrown, no judgements to be made, and no stumbling blocks put in their way.
Where would one find a bigger stumbling block then presenting a Jesus that hates people and protests friendship even going as far as picketing funerals with signs that speak of God hating fags. Does God really hate fags?
Back to the point. Taking Australia for example, through wise choices and intelligent living we could each afford to personally send financial support to the developing world, making sure everyone can eat. Aid money accounted for. If the body of Christ took to loving and servant-hearted community, we would fully exemplify the freedom of Gods love, as opposed to carbon copying the world in our day to day lives and saving Jesus for the church service. We are a tribal people of significant influence over life and love. We need not mere nation state puppet governments, who can neither legislate morality or stop love from changing the world.
If Jesus was invited to a gay wedding, would he go?
As he walks in he begins to teach people how to live abundantly. He dances hard, he drinks wisely, he has crazy conversations, he’s honest and real and affirms people deeply. he becomes the king of the party because he is the best partyer. and people are drawn to his freedom-from-fear-of man. He walks out of that wedding with more people following him then if he stayed at home angry that gay people get to marry.
Secondly, if God calls us to not judge people outside of the ‘church’ could it be because he wants us soft hearted so that the holy spirit can move? But if we are elitist, judgmental – we toe the line of broken-relationship or ‘sin’. Let God do what he does best – healing the broken, freeing the captive. Hes much better at it then our sinful hearts, hands and feet.
The last few days i’ve heard scripture quoted as the reason we should out law ‘the gays’ as if a law would stop people falling in love. Does the fact that divorces happen stop you from being in a committed loving marriage? Does the law that permits tobacco being sold to people mean you have to be addicted to it or smoke at all? The law means crud-all when you are a free man. The law is for the guilty. But so is human non law.
If pedophilia wasn’t against the law does that mean we let people abuse our kids? FRAG NO.
And no i am not making a correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia. They are two completely different things. Pedophilia just seems to be the universal moral absolute. #pointmade
Lastly, to those who are already formulating comments to do with ‘But God says homosexuality is wrong, we must stamp it out’ God’s perfection speaks of everything less then holiness is wrong. We were designed for relational perfection. Pointing fingers is the echo from the garden of eden when Adam first felt uncomfortable being naked of Gods holiness. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil means we compare, judge, become prideful and faux humble.
God wants YOU, reader, to be able to love uncomfortably, and unceasingly.
Courtesy: HuffingtonPost-Sam Stein
WASHINGTON — In a nod to a dramatic shift in public opinion, Barack Obama on Wednesday became the first sitting president to announce his support for same-sex marriage.
In a sit-down interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, Obama completed what has been a markedly long and oft-mocked evolution on the matter.
“I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly,” Obama told Roberts, in an interview that will air in full on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday.
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,” he said.
The statement constitutes an act of political bravery on the president’s behalf, as well as a major victory for the gay rights community, which has been pushing him to declare his support for marriage equality for several years. With the issue back in the news this week, the pressure intensified.
On Sunday, Vice President Joseph Biden told NBC’s “Meet The Press” that he was personally comfortable with same-sex marriage, which was followed the next day by Education Secretary Arne Duncan saying the same.
The White House insisted that there was no daylight between the vice president’s position and the president’s, noting that Biden clarified his statement as being in reference to civil rights for gay couples. But the explanation was largely dismissed by both supporters and critics as a convenient way for the president to signal support for marriage equality without having to declare it himself.
On Tuesday evening, the state of North Carolina passed an amendment that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The president expressed his disappointment with the measure, but it remained difficult to square his opposition to a measure outlawing same-sex marriage with his opposition to same-sex marriage itself.
As the political pressure continued to mount, the president finally chose to speak out Wednesday, with the White House hastily scheduling a sit-down interview.
“It’s interesting, some of this is also generational,” the president said. “You know when I go to college campuses, sometimes I talk to college Republicans who think that I have terrible policies on the economy, on foreign policy, but are very clear that when it comes to same sex equality or, you know, believe in equality. They are much more comfortable with it. You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.”
The president’s support of same-sex marriage will have little political impact, from a practical standpoint, as much of the activity on the issue is currently occurring in the states and the courts. Already the Obama administration’s Department of Justice has stopped defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as a legal union between a man and a woman. Legislation to overturn DOMA outright would likely be blocked by congressional Republicans.
The more promising path for same-sex marriage advocates remains a friendly hearing by the United States Supreme Court.
Still, the symbolism of Obama’s remarks is hard to ignore. In becoming the first president to publicly support marriage equality, he sets the bar for its political acceptance. He also has the ability to shape public opinion further on the matter.
Of course, there may be drawbacks to such a strong expression of support. While recent polls show that popular support for marriage equality is gaining widespread acceptance, some pivotal swing states remain largely opposed to the concept. And one of them, North Carolina, remains a major target for the president’s reelection campaign.
“The question is, is there a risk?” a prominent Democratic Party official who requested anonymity told The Huffington Post after Biden’s remarks. “It is not nationwide [polling] we are talking about. We are talking about Virginia, North Carolina and other swing states. And we are talking about, would Karl Rove and his team stoop to using horribly grotesque and hateful tactics … and would that peel off 10,000 votes?”
As of Wednesday, that question was hypothetical. Now, it’s a critical component of the 2012 election.
The women of my home group are all about this book as of late. It has made the rounds from one member to another and finally it came to me this past Tuesday.
I was all excited and ready to read something that was, hopefully, going to blow my socks off. That I was going to read something that I had never heard of in sobriety until now.
I’ve read a lot of books over the last ten years. Our bedroom is full of stacks of books that we have read for school and for fun. I found that in reading this book, I have heard the lessons written about before. But I wanted to give you some point of reference to look at in your own sobriety.
Stage I sobriety is the first stage in recovery. The admission of addiction, the surrender of ones life and the coming to believe that a Power Greater than Yourself can restore you to sanity. And so the journey begins. And last for a number of years. Numbers like 5 years, 7 years, 10 years appear in the text as the when Stage II recovery begins or should be begun.
You have to tackle stage one and work it successfully to begin to get your life back in one way or another. After so many years, one approaches Stage II recovery. The book, written from a woman’s perspective addresses many ideas. But I will begin with the first question that stopped me in my shoes.
- How do you define recovery? If you are in a recovery program of any kind, you need to know. Write out your definition.
When we define recovery, we also define (1) what the problem or issue is, (2) what needs to be done about that problem of issue, and (3) what our program is for. Your program cannot take you further than your own definition of recovery
- If your definition of recovery is ________, then your problem is ________, and your program will take you to _________ .
The book makes a specific request of the reader to actually specifically define what recovery means to you/the reader. And secondly asserts that problems exist in your life, therefore you need to name them in order to learn about them and thereby ridding yourself of them so as to move forwards in recovery. That before you can move forwards in recovery these things must be accomplished.
The major thrust of the book is about relationships. How to define them, what they are, who you are, what roles we played in past relationships, how do we change the people we were, into people we want to be and how to live in harmony in true loving relationships with the alcoholic.
In the book, the word “men” is missing from the story, but is instead noted as “the alcoholic.” This book was surely written by a woman to address women readers and how to get them into right space and right life in order to live accomplished lives with alcoholic husbands.
My life story, as it has been documented here gives credence to the lessons I have learned over the last 18 years living with disease, and dis-ease. Learning how to live and what to do to take care of myself and others.
I understand the sick patterns I used to follow when in relationships with others in the past, I did not have many successful relationships in the past, until now.
In the book, she talks about types of people:
- The Caretaker
- The People Pleaser
- The Workaholic
- The Martyr
- The Perfectionist
- The Tap Dancer
The writer assumes that each of us either in the past or in the present find ourselves as one of these people. And therefore have certain issues that must be dealt with in order to have a loving relationship with another.
She goes on to ask “Who is driving our Bus ???”
Then moves into this next project:
” According to my best insight, the habit pattern I most need to change, because it is limiting my recovery is this: _______________________.
We all have habits. Good ones and bad ones. And as sober people we are supposed to be able to detect and once detected, change habits. But habits are hard to change and will go down to the death before they allow us to change them. Hence, habits are a civil war …
What you live with you learn
What you learn you practice
What you practice you become
What you become has consequences.
The book moves on to change … And in order to have change one must hit a conversion point. When we “hit the wall.”
The Second First Step:
Everyone familiar with the Twelve Step Program knows that the First Step is called the desperation step. You take it when enough is enough, when things get to such a point that you say, “I don’t care what it takes. I’ll do anything. Anything. But I am not willing to continue this way.
Until there is a first step, there is nothing.
Stage II Recovery takes another first step. We call it the second first step. With it, you become as serious about your living patterns and habits as you were about the addiction that brought you into the program in the first place. Until the second first step happens, there is no Stage II Recovery …
We can only change ourselves and we are powerless over people, places and things. The whole thrust of the book is to recognize aspects of your life that need to be changed in order that in the end, you will be prepared to embrace a Stage II recovery level.
This is not new news to me. I have been in a loving relationship for almost 10 years now, and over those years I have learned about these things via other means of learning. Books, School, Life and medical situations.
I think the author assumes that we are damaged goods. That we have been addicted ourselves and so have our significant others. And that we all have issues that must be approached honestly and genuinely. And not until you face these things are Stage II recovery possible.
Been here, Done that, got the t-shirt.
In Working a Program there is a chart to fill out:
Daily Reading or Input …………………….. What and When
Sponsor / Mentor …………………………… Who and When
Group ……………………………………………. Where and When
Evaluation ……………………………………… How and When
Prayer / Meditation …………………………. How and When
Health Care …………………………………….. What and When
Celebration …………………………………….. What and When
We each should take part in every portion of this list on a daily basis. Because if you do it regularly, it becomes ingrained and then becomes a habit. I think I hit all of these on a weekly basis.
All in All habits can be good and bad. We need to foster the good habits and detect, define and work on changing the bad habits. And the writer assumes that in order to reach Stage II recovery, you must first do all this work and then be able to approach and begin to reap the rewards of Stage II Recovery.
At the end of the day, I see things that I need to work on. Some habits that I would like to change. There are areas in my marriage that could be better and need to be discussed in the future.
We are both heading into a transition period over the next few months and life with make a certain turn for the better. Because we will finally define what it is that we each want to do with the next stage of our lives.
You have to have stage I recovery for a while, well lived and situated, before embarking on Stage II. I don’t agree. Recovery comes as it does, and as life happens we see these things and habits that we need to change. At least for me and my sponsees. They write, they look and investigate and so they are always changing as the days go on.
We are all damaged by addiction. And it is up to us to make things better. It takes time. Years really. And you can’t rush the process, it comes with time. Well invested and finely worked one day at a time.
Courtesy: Elleusine “Edna Mode …”
We are sitting at (2c) at this hour. They tell us that snow will fall once again and gusty winds will blow overnight. It was a rather bright and balmy day in the neighborhood. The weather has been up and down and up and down for days.
But we keep on keeping on. There are things to do, meetings to set up and people to serve. And not even snow keeps us from the work of our hands.
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Things at home have been at a strain for a while now. Bi-polar depression is taking its toll on my hubby to the degree that the doc has bumped up all his meds to maximum to try and get him out of the funk he has been in for some time.
Today we had a mini state of our union meeting. And we talked about everything that has been going on, problems we are having and issues that need to be looked at. And if I don’t say it enough, I love my husband. I loved who he was before and I grow to love who he is more and more each day.
At times it seems that I am not paying close enough attention to things going on around me, and I missed a few cues along the way. But I was made aware of them today. Hubby is working hard on digging himself out of the pit of depression he has been in for some time. And work has suffered because of it, but his supervisors and fellow teachers have been trying to help him along the way as he is able.
That’s a problem with Bi-Polar depression. The lows can get really low and when you hit a high, it may be very high, but not sustainable for long periods, so one peaks and then begins the hard fall down again.
Part of hubby’s occupational therapy coming back was to give him responsibility after being down for so long in the beginning. And he has not only stepped up to the plate but he has systematically taken charge of all things house and home.
And I think to myself that I haven’t been contributing enough to this effort except in paying rent and keeping the bills up to date. But Hubby has taken charge of making sure all the major accounts are kept up.
But he has goals for both of us. Goals that I can hardly wrap my brain around.I never imagined that I would live this long nor have dreams this big.
We have been on an uphill climb for years, ever since we moved in together in 2002. We have made a home, decorated it simply and over the years we have replaced all of our electronic devices. And life has been comfortable, to a degree. But the one boulder we still are under is financial.
They say that “fear of people and of financial insecurity will leave us!”
Living with AIDS tells us that we should never look to far forwards into the future because you never know when the other shoe is going to drop …
But hubby thinks otherwise. So here is the plan.
First: Hubby is proud that I have found a vocation in the room of Alcoholics Anonymous. That I am working with sponsees and I have found two groups of people who I love to be with and who love me in return. This has been my life for the last ten years, and though it doesn’t pay out dividends in cash, it does pay out spiritually and helps us both. It is my sober head that hubby needs in his life. He said that this is my vocation. However simple it is, it has brought me joy and fulfillment.
Secondly: He has stated unequivocally that this year is the last year that I will be studying at school. The only real reason that I am still in school is because of the payout that we get for school via financial aide. Since I have had the time credit in the bank for Cegep since I did not do that earlier in life, that I would use it now and bide my time until the next door opened up to us. At least it is some contribution to the household.
Well, the door has opened.
I will finish this term in May and finally bring to a close my years of education. Since neither of my degrees in Religious Studies nor Pastoral Ministries has paid out in any functional job opportunities, the fall back position has always been my meetings.
Hubby was granted a full pay position at school which he is being paid handsomely for. And he will finish his M.A. this year and defend sometime later in the year. And in September he said that he hoped that he would begin his full time teaching at some level here in Montreal. He has all the credits and degrees he will need plus his M.A. in Sociology to put to good use.
Thirdly: Our apartment has done well for us over the years. But the time is coming that we will be looking to move from here into something bigger with new furniture and new carpets and new bedding and just all around new things. His long term goal is to find a condo somewhere that would suffice that we could possibly be able to afford come the end of the year, once he hopes to be making good money. The only caveat here is that I want a view. Nothing on the street and not in some squat 40 year old building.
I will be afforded the luxury of living off my assistance from the states and what ever other money I need from hubby’s pay. Hopefully these goal will come to fruition as he sees it. And why shouldn’t it, seeing that he has done all this work and not for naught. Once he finishes his M.A. good paying work should follow.
The fact that I could not find a job that I would love to do to save my life is apparent. I am not going to become a barista at some doughnut shop or work some retail job in some box store nor sling burgers at some burger joint. I did not go to university for seven years to have to stoop to that kind of work at my age. You’d imagine that somewhere on the net, with all the business profiles and contacts I have that a job would present itself, well it hasn’t. Which is why I deleted all my university contacts from my LinkedIn profile. They havent served me so why maintain those connections. Really ! Really !!!
Hubby has stated that his goal in life is to become a teacher, it is something that he loves to do and he does it well. And I will move into a role of house husband. Taking care of house and home, shopping and taking care of things while he works.
I will do my meetings and keep my end of the sober bargain up. Maybe I will branch out and devote more time to A.A. in some other service oriented way. That has always worked for me in many areas of my life. I am going to be 45 this year. And I will have been living with AIDS for now 18 years.
I never expected to live this long. And I have been biding my time trying to help us out by keeping busy and bringing in some cash to the house over the years and going to university for my degrees. We’ve never set these kinds of goals out before, but hubby will turn 40 this year and he wants to move and shake. So we will move and shake.
This all sounds good on paper. But making it all happen according to plan is the challenge. Because you know what they say, “You make plans and God laughs” and “the best laid plans are just that, best laid plans.” Don’t bank on them coming true.
Hubby seems to be of the belief that his accreditation will pay off in spades which will put us in the position to move and shake. And he wants me to do what makes me happy. He cares more about taking care of me and working, in ways I had never imagined before. The way he spoke the words with such conviction blew my mind. I was having flashbacks of our wedding day, standing there reciting our wedding vows.
Wedding Vows do mean something to me and hubby. That is for sure.
I have accepted my lot in life as it has come happily and without complaint. And all that time, biding my time until the next door opens is just about here. It’s only a matter of time.
It’s a tall order. But I have faith in hubby. And he loves me enough to move up and take the lead and let me do what I do best. Working with others and going to my meetings. And if somewhere – something opens up so be it and if it doesn’t then so be it …
That’s all for now …
Lifted from: DanNation.Org
“There’s something kinetic about him and his being. He’s classically sexy, yet he’s very much a boy in his energy. It’s a great dynamic. When I see people who are equally attractive, they tend to seem more quiet and kind of Marlboro Man-y, and David’s the antithesis of that. He’s more like Tigger. I’m, in turn, very introspective — the thinker, rather than the doer. I tend to weigh options before making decisions, and David is the polar opposite of that. We’re hyper similar and also incredibly opposite. We share a wardrobe. We have the same shoe size, body size, height, and weight. We’re both Gemini. We both like the idea of family — not a nuclear family, but a social family. Yet, we’re incredibly opposite in the way we process information.”
Neil Patrick Harris on partner David Burtka, in Out magazine.
I love this piece. Hubby and I are very similar. I will have to get a copy of this.
Courtesy: Flickr 21lau_z
What a bru-ha-ha it has been today.
Are you married or are you not? Does Canada acknowledge your marriage as legal and binding if you live elsewhere other than in Canada? Did the government nullify more than 15,000 gay marriages that have been performed in Canada since the law went into effect in 2004? The Government says it isn’t opening the marriage debate again, but what is it going to do with you all who want divorces???
This story is still evolving. From CTV News:
Sonja Puzic, CTVNews.ca
Date: Thu. Jan. 12 2012 11:30 PM ET
The federal government is considering changes to the law that will make it easier for foreign same-sex couples who married in Canada to obtain divorces, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Thursday.
Nicholson also stressed the government has no intention of reopening the same-sex marriage debate after a day of confusion over the validity of marriage licences issued in Canada to same-sex couples from abroad.
Ottawa was pressed to clarify its position on gay marriage after an apparent about-face on the issue surfaced in a Toronto divorce case.
A lesbian couple who married in Canada seven years ago and recently filed for divorce was told by a Department of Justice lawyer that their marriage was not legal.
The stated reason was that because the partners live in Florida and England, where same-sex marriage remains illegal, their Canadian union was invalid too.
The case threw into question thousands of marriages non-residents entered into since 2004, when same-sex marriage became legal in Canada under a Liberal government.
In a statement, Nicholson said the issue centres on dissolution of marriages performed in Canada.
Non-resident couples who marry here must live in Canada for one year before they can legally divorce. The lesbian couple at the centre of the controversy has launched a constitutional challenge of that provision in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
Nicholson said he will be “looking at options to clarify the law so that marriages performed in Canada can be undone in Canada.”
In an interview with CTV’s Power Play, Nicholson’s parliamentary secretary Kerry-Lynne Findlay said the Canadian marriages of non-resident same-sex couples are legal in Canada.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had little to say Thursday other than relate his government’s reluctance to wade back into a same-sex marriage debate.
“We have no intention further of opening or reopening this issue,” Harper told reporters gathered for a shipbuilding agreement announcement in Halifax.
“This, I gather, is a case before the courts where Canadian lawyers have taken particular positions based on the law. But I will be asking officials to provide me more details with this particular case.”
Opposition parties and critics quickly weighed in on the issue, accusing the prime minister of trying to rewrite Canada’s same-sex marriage laws “in stealth.”
In a statement, Egale Canada, a human rights organization advocating equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, called the apparent flip-flop “a direct insult to gays and lesbians both in Canada and abroad.”
If the federal lawyer’s arguments in the Toronto divorce case are a misunderstanding, Harper should make that clear, NDP MP Olivia Chow said.
With files from Kieron Lang and The Canadian Press
We shall see where this story goes. It was all over the news tonight. All those people came to Canada to get married and have that joyous moment in their lives. And now I fear that we are beginning to see just how long those marriages lasted, as this is probably not the last divorce case we will see come from abroad.
I mused earlier that you came all this way to get married, and you spent all that money on that day. And now you want a divorce. What to do??? They say in gay circles that lesbians mate for life. I guess that’s not really true any more.
I guess you all got caught up in the woo hoo about being able to get married so you came here and cashed in your relationship chips for a marriage license.
Six state governments (along with the District of Columbia, the Coquille Indian Tribe, and the Suquamish tribe) have passed laws offering same-sex marriage: New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, and New Hampshire. In all six states, same-sex marriage has been legalized through legislation or court ruling. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts since May 17, 2004; in Connecticut since November 12, 2008; in Iowa since April 27, 2009; in Vermont since September 1, 2009; New Hampshire since January 1, 2010; and New York since July 24, 2011.In 2009, New England became the center of an organized push to legalize same-sex marriage, with four of the six states in that region granting same-sex couples the legal right to marry.
And now couples are starting to figure out that they really don’t want to be married any more. And we could speculate on just what the reasons are that a couple would want a dissolution of marriage.
As good gays and lesbians we are supposed to show up the heterosexuals and prove to them that we can marry and stay together longer and truer than our straight counterparts.
Marriage in celebrity circles has become a mockery and a joke. What have they done to the institution of marriage for all of us ???
This whole push to legalize gay marriage nationwide in the United States is going to come up eventually in the campaign race. They just haven’t gotten around to it yet, but rest assured those Christians who want to see us damned are going to make sure their chosen candidate does all he can to stop gay marriage from being passed across the rest of the 44 states.
Why did you come here and get married then gone home with that little piece of paper, that got all dusty and forsaken. And now you want a divorce. What a waste. It is very sad to see couples separate for any reason. I just hope it was a good reason and not something stupid like, “oh well, we thought we’d get in on the excitement and really when we came to think about it, we really did not want to abide by our wedding vows, till death do us part …”
So now we want a Canadian divorce because we got a made in Canada marriage.
I Don’t think Canada prepared for this contingency in hindsight.
*** *** *** ***
Ottawa will change law so same sex marriages are valid: Nicholson.
By The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press
13 January 2012
TORONTO – The federal justice minister says the government will change the law to ensure gay couples from abroad who marry in Canada will have their unions recognized here.
Rob Nicholson says it’s the government’s view that these marriages “should be valid.”
“We will change the Civil Marriage Act so that any marriages performed in Canada that aren’t recognized in the couple’s home jurisdiction will be recognized in Canada,” Nicholson said Friday during a speech to the Canadian Club of Toronto.
Doubts were raised about the validity of thousands of marriages conducted in Canada for same-sex couples from the United States and elsewhere following a federal twist in a Charter of Rights case launched in Ontario by two foreign women seeking a divorce.
A legal brief filed by federal lawyers denies the women are even legally married.
Critics accused Stephen Harper’s Conservative government of seeking to rewrite the rules on gay marriage to suit its right-wing agenda.
In announcing the government would change the law, Nicholson said Friday that “the confusion and pain resulting from this gap … is completely unfair to those affected.”
Liberal Leader Bob Rae, speaking to reporters at the party’s policy convention in Ottawa, responded to Nicholson by lamenting, “Oh please, give me a break.”
“These guys specialize in trying to turn the tables,” Rae said of the Harper Conservatives.
“The only gap is the gap between the heads of Conservative cabinet ministers who have failed to live up the best and finest traditions of Canada with respect to our positions of tolerance,” Rae added.
The couple seeking a divorce, identified in court records only by initials to protect their privacy, were married in Toronto in December 2005 and separated two years ago. One lives in Clearwater, Fla., the other in London, England.
Their marriage is not recognized either in Florida or the United Kingdom. As a result, they are unable to obtain a divorce in their home cities.
The couple also faced a barrier to divorce in Ontario — a requirement that at least one of them live in the province for a year or more. They have launched a constitutional challenge of that provision in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
I’ve been to New york City. I’ve stood in Time Square and drank it all in. But I’ve never been to Time Square on New Years Eve. I mean once you get penned in, what if you have to pee ??? What do you do??? Where do you go with millions of people being penned in at the same time. Where do they go??? It’s a conundrum.
One day maybe …
I learn something new every day. And sometimes it takes a conversation to make that a truth. I have very few friends I talk to on a regular basis. I see people at meetings and I know them on Facebook, but only a handful of people make use of my time.
I said this after I turned 40 that there came a change in myself. I began to realize that I “knew” things. Truly as the nose on my face. I began to realize that I had enough experience behind me that I could speak to people from a place of experience and not just spout bullshit to hear myself speak.
And that came with age. It also comes with experience. Some of my wisdom came by way of teaching that I was given over the years just after my AIDS diagnosis. I learned how to read people. You had to know how to do this when dealing with the public having a red X on your face, knowing you were soon to die, that you didn’t waste time with people who did not matter to you because wasted time was just that wasted time. I use this little nugget of truth in my daily life now in sobriety. And the gift is only enhanced the longer I am sober.
Because as I grow up as a man, and as I grow in sobriety, and having lived this long with AIDS, if you are a waste of time, I am not going to waste my time with you. I can spot bullshit at 50 paces and in sobriety this is very useful.
My sponsor is apt to say that there are people with time who are sober in number only. And at first glance you should respect everybody on their personal journey because you never know what they have been through and everyone’s life is important.
The drawback here is that people with SOBER time comport themselves differently. There are people with time who clearly have not invested in their own sobriety enough to grow up and it shows when they open their mouths and you get to know them over time, and you see what gifts have manifested themselves in them. There are many people with time, that I know, who are clearly not SOBER.
I attribute this ability to see and hear with the combination of factors that I have lived with for more than half my life. I was taught the lessons in my mid twenties. And you hear the lesson and you get to perfect it over time. And because I have lived so long – I have learned to perfect it to a degree that is sometimes scary, even to myself.
Then, you get to hear new lessons, based on the originals from a new teacher. And you hear the lesson, again, and you take the knowledge you have and you expand that knowledge on top of the new lesson you are hearing. And that makes your personal arsenal of tools even greater and stronger.
Every time we work our steps we uncover a layer from our lives. We peel back another layer of the onion. And this is a continual process, it is not done in one fell swoop. You don’t work your steps on the first go and take the plunge and do the BIG DIG and expect to survive the process. What comes to the surface on this pass is what we deal with. And only that. It isn’t brain surgery.
Can you tell I am working steps with sponsees? Every conversation I have with them gives me an opportunity to reflect on these thoughts over again. I don’t often get to use certain tools until the opportunity arises and they come to bear.
I have begun to live my best life. I have listened to lessons on self, and others. I am responsible for the energy I give out and the energy I bring to myself. When people show you who they are the first time, believe them. And when bullshit opens its mouth and speaks, call it for what it is. BULLSHIT !!!
Sometimes when the dynamic isn’t just right, and you get that HMMM… Something just isn’t right, I see it. I see it now. And I can recognize it. Then I have a choice. I can stay in that situation or I can extricate myself from it. This is a new tool for me. It’s only recently that I have had the opportunity to put the lesson into action.
We are amid steps 6,7,and 8 now. Character defects and shortcomings. The task of making the list for ourselves. For every negative defect there is a positive attribute that one can aspire to. I’d like to think that I work on my defects on a daily basis. And as well my shortcomings.
I think being in a relationship for so long has afforded me the opportunity to make changes in my life in the way I relate to my husband and others. We’ve been together going on 11 years now, and marriage changes everything. And hubby’s Bi-Polar diagnosis and treatment was a game changer.You either take it on full force and you become a man, or you walk away and leave them to deal with in on their own. I decided to stick and stay.
I was committed to him from the day we met. I knew the very day we started dating that he was the man I would spend the rest of my life with. And it began with that idea. I never imagined that it would have taken us to this point in our lives, but relationships are organic and they change over time.
Illness changes everything.
I did not have much to work with when he got sick. I knew very little, but where there is a will there is a way. The one thing I kept doing was going to meetings. I had good people in my life who gave me sound advice. I learned how to care for another human being. From the bottom of my heart, from sun up to sun down.
If I tell you that all that I was had been purged and tested under fire, I mean just that. With Explicit certainty. I was only a couple of years sober when this all started and I had to stay one step ahead of the wave and meetings gave that to me. All those negative character defects were purged. Because you get sober and you go to work, and you give and you learn, and from that comes love. Of self, others and of God.
I may not have known at the time what was going on, but now that I look at it from this perspective over the years, all those negative defects and shortcoming are shown to me in vivid detail every day I live with my husband. And when I miss something, hubby is right there to remind me who I am and what is important to the both of us. So I’ve had a number of years to continually work on these lists.
I go to meetings, I share, I talk to my sponsor and I work with others. It is not an exact science, and opportunities to work with others might be just presence at a meeting, or really getting into the mud and dirt with a sponsee and working it all out with them. And over the years I can count on one hand the people who have given me this opportunity.
They have even begun to critique me while I sit in meetings. They have told me of certain things I do, certain foibles and actions that occur when I sit and listen to people share. It seems my bullshit meter manifests itself openly, and if you pay attention to me for any length of time, it will appear. This is very unsettling because it is not something I do openly or with knowledge. It just happens.
I would like to think that my marriage has afforded me certain gifts of becoming the man I want to be, because I give of myself 100% every day of my life where my husband is concerned. And he tells me when he needs something specific and we talk all the time about what is going on. And when he sees something wrong, he speaks his mind. He is sober as well, but because of extenuating circumstances and his choice, he does not go to meetings. But he knows when I need a meeting and he tells me so every so often, he makes sure that I do what I need to do for myself every day.
Mental illness is not kind.
It takes from both the sufferer and the partners involved in their lives. There are challenges and there are good moments. And after a med change we wait for things to get better. Meds can be brutal and I must be present emotionally as well as physically. I don’t have time to waste on needless issues of self. I don’t have time to feed my ego or be an ass. And some may say I have a huge ego. I don’t know if that is true. Only one person in the last ten years went head to head with me over their ego and I survived them and so did our meeting.
When I got up to speak a few weeks ago, it was a very humbling experience. Because no matter how much thought I put into what I wanted to say, in the end what came out was what was necessary to get my message across and that is not my ego at all. When you open yourself up to a room full of people and you make declarative statements of coming out to strangers both as gay and living with AIDS it changes you and it changes them.
And like I stated above, once you say the words, you can never take them back.
You then get to witness how people begin to act around you. And like I have said, I can spot bullshit at 50 paces. I always wait for contempt and the sly eye look, because you can see it in people’s eyes. And in their stance, and the way they speak after the fact. And I have to say that I have never met a more genuine bunch of people as I have at Friday West End. And I am ever blessed to have them in my life.
I don’t know why I used the title above, because this hasn’t been a post about resolutions or and wishful thinking. So I changed the title now …
Resolutions are useless when you live on borrowed time. I could die tomorrow, and that is the truth. I have a terminal disease that could take me at any time. Normal humans don’t live with this kind of sentence. They have no idea what I live with on a daily basis. So I usually don’t make New Years Resolutions.
I strive every day to be present for my husband because he is my greatest joy, ten times around and twice on Sunday. The rule is if I make it to my birthday in July, I will live to see Christmas in December. And If I live through Christmas in December, I will live to see my next birthday. And that is how I live my life, after so many years of learning how to live on Borrowed Time.
What do I want to do in 2012??? I want to finish school at the top of my game. I want to be a better husband. There is always room for improvement as I get soberer. I want hubby to finish his MA and make a decision on what we will do next! Because I am just waiting on him to tell me where we will be going from here, whether we stay here or we move, whether he gets a teaching gig and we remain living here. As long as I can get money to study then that’s the most beneficial way to live. And as long as there is money I will study.
My spiritual director has plans for me that I have shared with you already. And those plans are long haul plans and will not come to fruition in the short term so we shall see where that leads. I need to pray more, and find a community to become part of. That’s really a goal for 2012.
I really want to change my body. I really need to get into new shape because this old shape is wearing on me emotionally. You know you plow someone with radical drugs for more than 17 years and you get what you are stuck with. I’ve kind of settled for this pear shape. Resigned to the fact that I am not ever going to recapture my 26 year old shape any time soon, but a glimpse would be nice.
I want to surpass the 26,000 page views this blog has had in the last calendar year. I want to write more on varying topics of interest. And maybe I will get to answer those burning questions that have been posed by searchers who have come to the blog with very specific search terms.
Wouldn’t you all like to know if Lisa Laflamme is gay or not ??? And does that really matter to you all? But it is the top searched term on my stats board. She is a professional news anchor, and I don’t make it my business to out people. Famous or not. I never have and I never will…
It will be another sober year. Time to redouble my efforts with sponsees. To work with others more, and to give time to my two meetings each week. I make myself pretty available. But very few people take me up on that offer.
A casual observation … If you ask me for my number and I give it to you, you’d better use it. It is fact that if a number is not used within the first 48 hours of getting it, you won’t ever use it. And that is just plain fact and proven. Just saying …
Time is a precious commodity, once wasted it can never be regained
My ninth grade math teacher Ms. Jackson used to say this to the class every day she set a test in front of us. And I’ve carried that thought throughout my whole life.
Do you think that if you lived on Borrowed Time that you would make greater use of your time and life? Or would you be the same person you are today???
Think on it and share …
That is all, time for bed. More to come, stay tuned …
“I thirst,” Jesus said on the cross when Jesus was deprived of every consolation, dying in absolute Poverty, left alone, despised and broken in body and soul. He spoke of His thirst – not for water – but for love, for sacrifice.
Jesus is God: therefore, His love, His thirst is infinite. Our aim is to quench this infinite thirst of a God made man. Just like the adoring angels in Heaven ceaselessly sing the praises of God, so the sisters, using the four vows of Absolute Poverty, Chastity, Obedience and Charity towards the poor ceaselessly quench the thirsting God by their love and of the love of the souls they bring to Him.
Mother Teresa writes:
Jesus wants me to tell you again … how much is the love He has for each one of you – beyond all what you can imagine … not only He loves you, even more – He longs for you. He misses you when you don’t come close. He thirsts for you. He loves you always, even when you don’t feel worthy…
*** *** *** ***
This will be my 2,582nd post…
We begin this tale of the last 365 days at nearly the end, because that is where I think we need to begin. I re-read my end of year 2010 report to try and get a sense of what I need to write about this year. So many things have happened this year and I haven’t written out an outline, I will then free write …
First, we need music. Barbra Streisand … A Piece of Sky …
The winter 2010-2011 school season was a success. I did very well in my courses and finished at the top of my game. Not much happened over the summer so I took off those months. There wasn’t much in classes that I really wanted to take. I went to an inordinate amount of meetings over the summer.
This past Fall, I pursued my education at CeGep this year with as much zeal as I could muster. After two semesters of French, I decided that I would no longer pander to the language police here in Quebec. I would rather eat glass then study French another day in my life. So I gave it up on the first day of the third semester. I sat in the chair and the prof started in and I sat until the break and then I left. Never to return. I had had enough of that …
That night I decided to study Western Civilization instead. So the Fall Semester I studied Sociology, following in my husbands footsteps. Added to that was Western Civilization. Both courses I did fantastically well. I had great teachers and a little help from my friends in the form of free textbooks and occasional coaching from the side. That’s what you get when you go to meetings. People truly want to see you succeed and if they can, play a part in that success. So thanks to Eric and Hubby for their help.
Last year I spoke of Hubby’s doing well in University. And today I can say with a proud heart that he has more than exceeded all of our expectations. He not only was a student in the Graduate Studies program for Sociology, he taught a section of tutorials this past semester. Something he worried about – but to me, looking at it from the outside, it was effortless. He just is the most fascinating man I know. He did it all like a Master…
On the medical front, I lived another year. All my numbers have been above the 1000 mark. My good run has been extended this past year. My doctor never varies from his talk to me whenever I see him. He says the same thing like a litany that never changes. Loose weight, stop eating junk food and exercise. The theme never varies. However I can report that I did lose some weight over the last year. I changed up my diet – hubby is a very health conscious cook.
My diabetes numbers have been nominal to the degree that the last time I saw my doc for that it was for five minutes. He has dispensed with the whole triage, dietician and extensive medical history and check up for a brief looking at the number on my meter – signing off on refills and sending me on my way.
The other night at a Christmas dinner at a friends, I met a man who is diabetic and we talked about our respective situations. I seem to be doing so well and he has all but given up he says “you only get one life, so might as well live it” and not in the good way either. You see this happen with certain people who can’t be bothered to take care of themselves correctly and follow medical advice, and at that I shake my head, I keep my council and I let it go. He takes pills to control his diabetes, but he doesn’t test daily, nor does he do what he is told. Which is a shame, because in the end it may kill him one day and that would be a loss.
The same goes for people with HIV. I get them newly diagnosed and I talk them into a life plan and we find them the next step to survival. Most of the men I have worked with in the last calendar year have dispensed with my advising. It is not something they wanted to continue, so I must let them go. If they live or die is entirely up to them.
Another of my fellows on the HIV train was dumped after a long term relationship by the man who fell out of love with him and over a steak dinner divulged that he did not love him anymore. This sent my friend into a tailspin that almost killed him. I warned him not to use or drink. But what did he do? He went out in a blaze of glory.
Where everyone was pissing and moaning about lost love, I was the only one to warn him of the consequences of a major slip in recovery after being sober for so many years. My counsel fell on deaf ears and he used heavy narcotics in a haze that almost killed him. And with that I took my leave of him. He ended our friendship over this.
One of my guys got sick, ended up in the hospital and had a near death experience. That experience sent him out the door into a drunken drug filled stupor for a few months only to end up in rehab, and in a haze of forgetfulness calls me one night begging my help once again. I can proudly say that today that man is sober and clean. He has a few months sobriety and is actively working his steps with me in a 12 step intensive. One of the only success stories I can talk about on the HIV front.
Another year in the books as year 44 came around this past summer. I am soon heading for fifty. Can you believe it??? Me at 50. Who knew. But we are not there yet. One day at a time … I read the book Aging with HIV, and in the book I am at the near beginning of the scale, not so old as the men in the book, but I am getting there slowly. In reading the book, I learned what concerned men going into their 50′s. Most of the issues I read about, I have already dealt with in my sobriety.
This past year has been one of disappointments in people. As I stated above the theme is recurring several times over. When people show you who they are the first time believe them…
A long time friend who I had been counseling, listening to and confiding in for the last ten years trying to be her friend just pissed me the fuck off. After 23 years of sobriety, she admitted after the fact that she was drinking and lying to me all the time, prior to her return to Montreal this past fall. I am beginning to learn just who is my friend and who paid me in lip service over the past year.
Suffice to say that I held my tongue quite well when she picked up a desire chip after 23 years at my home group. I sat on my feelings and stuffed them until they almost choked me. And one night words were spoken. Words I can never take back. It all came out one word after another …
I am not ashamed that I caved. I mean what are we unfeeling cyborgs? Can’t I feel an emotion and put it out there? Well, that was another ending. I said my piece and she felt victimized and reported me to her sponsor as a bad man. I ended that friendship in a blaze of glory. She went back to Florida. If she is sober is up to her and God.
I am beginning to find my voice as a man who knows himself. I have spent the better part of the year taking care of me and learning all those lessons that Oprah had to offer in terms of Life Class. And I put to practice all those things that she says will help us become who we are meant to become.
Being true to ones self. Knowing and being responsible for the energy we give out and what energy we bring to ourselves. When people show us who they are the first time, believe them. Things like this …
Every day of my life is book-ended with meetings. That formula for success is what I attribute my successes. I have this year crossed a huge mile marker which I will touch on a bit later. If I have a night free, you can usually find me at a meeting somewhere. Tuesday Beginners has been a part of my life for more than ten years now. And it served me well.
Over the summer, my sponsor and my friend Dave, who is a proud daddy today used to travel to different meeting on Friday night. From the South shore to the West End to NDG. We did this for weeks on end until I had enough of traveling from here to there. I wanted to invest in somewhere certain. You can’t invest in a meeting and their people if you are not a weekly attendee. So I decided to go to Friday West End by myself.
I set a goal for myself and that goal was to go and wait for God to tell me what to do. I went, week after week until the voice gave me direction. And I knew it one night when after the meeting I felt the urge that this is where the next chapter of my sobriety was to open. So I joined the group a few months ago. I needed three months of service to become a proper member, and so I did that gladly.
I would go and set up chairs and make coffee. I sat in the same chair week in and week out. People began to notice me, not because of what I was doing, but because of my presence in the same spot week after week. People started talking to me, I learned their names, and made some friends. An old timer and his wife from Dorval. I have spoken about them before.
The next chapter of my sobriety was opening up. I did my time and got into the rotation as a full member. And then everything changed. And it was the greatest gift I have ever been given in sobriety. Firstly there was the night we were in the church for the meeting – it was the first time I was responsible for setting up and doing all the grunt work because most of the group was out of town that night, and the hall was being used the next day for a church bazaar so we were in the church proper and that night we all had a spiritual experience. It was the most beautiful night on my life, listening to a young lady play the piano. It was angel speak. The night was a HUGE success. And it did not go unnoticed.
The fall came and went. I am still doing service every week. Now I am the designated coffee maker. That along with minor set up skills I am an upstanding member of Friday West End.
Weeks before my 10th sober anniversary, I had been in a really deep conscious contact with my God. My prayer life I stepped up. I was reading holy texts and I came across Mother Teresa once again. A book I had once dismissed, I picked up again, just by happenstance. And I was convicted … The story of how she began the Missionaries of Charity with “I Thirst …” I knew that was going to become the marker for my anniversary.
On certain big anniversaries, I was taught in early sobriety, you make an offering to God for your sobriety. I did it on my first anniversary with a piercing. And now at ten, I needed to do something big. I made a few calls and visited a few tattoo parlors in the core and settled on Adrenaline. I talked it over with hubby and he gave me the green light to get the tattoo I wanted. I prayed about it for a week. And on the Friday prior to my anniversary, I got that tattoo. It was all the rage at Friday West End. Since I Face booked it everyone wanted to see it, and so it went. I was really proud of myself.
And also as it came to pass that I was approaching my 1oth sober anniversary, is when God stepped in and gifted me. The Friday before my anniversary, the chair asked me to speak, ON my anniversary. On that same night our matriarch asked me if I would take my cake on that next Friday night. (Now I was prepared to wait until the 13th at TB’s to take my cake) But she had other plans for me.
She asked me if I had my 2 year silver oval medallion. Yes, it was in my wallet. I gave it to her and she took it and sent it off to the jewelers to be Gold Plated and engraved with whatever I wanted on it … “I Thirst…” is on that medallion now.
I talked to my sponsor about sharing. And he said as long as I keep my ego in check, all should be well. That Friday came to pass. I got up there and knocked it out of the park. I don’t remember all of what I said. But whatever I did say made a difference in my life and the lives of the members of the group and others as well who came to hear me speak. It was the most exciting night of my life in recent years. Then I got my cake and my GOLD medallion. It was the most exciting moment in my sobriety so far.
The people of Friday West End gave me a gift that I could never repay. They gave me a memory that I can take to my grave as being had. And I am forever grateful to them for that. We are a great happy bunch of drunks that do good things every Friday night for every person who walks in our doors.
We had our anniversary the following week and we had over a hundred and some odd people. We had food galore and fun, fun, fun. I even got to thank that speaker because the chair thinks I am so eloquent in thanking capabilities. I don’t know if it went over as good as I wanted because of the man I was thanking. Some stories are tougher than others to thank because of content and experience. And he was rough trade… But I did my best.
On the 13th of December I took a second chip and celebrated with Cake at my original home group. To show to newcomer that it can be done. Many old friends came to help me celebrate. We had lots of cake and conversation. So I have a ten year medallion to keep forever, and one to share with someone coming along to their tenth… December has been one very exciting month.
The holidays have come and are nearly gone. The weeks are just flying past, as if to say, let’s get this year over already !!! Christmas was a big BLUR on the radar screen. And it is Tuesday late night once again as I write this. I was so busy over the holidays that I forget that the day came. Our home Christmas was sandwiched in between cooking for home, setting up for an evening meeting and attending a second Christmas dinner all on the same night.
And with great effort the world is going to welcome in the New Year in the way they know how to do… With lots of liquor and celebrations. I talked to a friend on Tumblr earlier and I said that all those young people won’t know what hit them after imbibing copious amounts of liquor and smoking the best weed out there. What a waste … But what can you do???
We will take in the New Year as we always do. With our Crystal Goblets and a little non-alcoholic bubbly. We will watch the ball fall and kiss on the moment and then we will go to bed and listen to Coast to Coast AM and the yearly predictions show for 2012. This year proves to be exciting, with Armageddon knocking on our doors on December 21st 2012.
PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR. TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE SOMEWHERE SAFE BECAUSE IT IS ALL SUPPOSED TO END. WE CAN ALL KISS OUR RESPECTIVE ASSES GOODBYE BECAUSE THEY TELL US THE WORLD WILL COME TO AN END.
At Least the Mayan’s have given the preacher world something to go on about for the last year. And needless to say it will only get worse as the date draws nearer. So we will see who the forgiven/saved are and who is going to suffer damnation, hellfire and sorrow.
And that is how we will close out the year that was 2011.
What did you do this year that is noteworthy? Share those thoughts with us.
I really want to thank all the people who have subscribed to this blog, and to all my readers out there. From all over the world. Especially, Bear Toast, Rod, Vincent and the rest of you. Thank you for a great year. It has been a joy writing for you – and you have helped me polish my voice so to speak.
I am in touch, so you be in touch.
I love your faces.
WC: 3,173 Post 2,582
“But didn’t get for Christmas is on sale now at Sears !!!”
Do you remember that little after Christmas jingle commercial from Sears from long ago? I only get to use it once a year so there it is …
Snow is falling on the city at this hour. It is (-11c) outside and we got the snow they promised us. Today will be a long day with food, meetings and festive Christmas party fun later on tonight.
I was up at 10. Got the turkey in the oven and we opened presents. It was a very small occasion. There weren’t loads of presents but just a few. We have everything that we need so why waste the money on needless things …
I got the final installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part II. And hubby also got me a nice Christmas shirt that I can wear later today to the meeting and the party afterwards. I got hubby some new bake ware and storage containers because we needed them badly. So it was a simple Christmas…
The Wizard of Oz is on tv – who knew they played it on Christmas Day. It was always an Easter event from my memory. “There’s no place like home, There’s no place like home …”
I will have much more for you later today.
Stay tuned …