Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production

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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…


One response

  1. Hi Jeremy….

    I have made similar changes. I see no reason not to other than the regret of others for losing a friend and contributor … as well as perhaps our own resistance to change which we all have on one level or another.

    For me, when I make a big change, I usually check with myself and others to make sure I am not being flighty or chasing greener grass. This is a wise caution I build into my decision making.

    From there, I think embracing the value of change, such as new voices, settings, and experiences on levels we are only barely aware of, can refresh our perspective. As long as we aren’t fleeing for shallow or vain purposes.

    And of course people are going to prefer you stay. I don’t detect for a moment that you simply don’t care. But like taking a band-aid off, separation always hurts at least a little.

    I look forward to hearing what unfolds next for you bro.


    March 9, 2013 at 11:56 am

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