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Archive for August, 2013

Thursday – Companion and Partner – A.B.S.I.

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Courtesy: Sponnsdammit

Well, it’s been a very soggy night. Earlier today during prep, thunderstorms rolled through and light was flashing and thunder rumbled and it poured down rain.

Now, here in Montreal, they say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait twenty minutes!”

So I waited.

By the time I was ready to depart, a little earlier than usual, because I was by myself tonight, it had slowed up a bit, however it was raining on my trek to the Metro. I’d rather it SNOW than RAIN !!!

The transit was painless, the trains were all running fast and I didn’t have to wait long for my track switch.

So you know, rain and snow are big determiners to who shows up for any given meeting. Friday night is a big Bike and walk night for many, and getting caught in the rain for them turns the night upside down.

However, we sat a full compliment. The meeting before the meeting was profitable. I got to spend some quality time talking to my friends about this and that.

The adage, “come early and stay late” is appropriate and useful.

Tonight’s reading from A.B.S.I. speaks about companion and partner.

And stems from the first meeting of Dr. Bob and Bill on that fateful night that both men met for the first time, and how Dr. Bob’s life was changed forever, but also, Bill’s life changed as well. With the help of the first handful of sober members and Sister Ignatia, the message of A.A. began to be disseminated among the people who suffer.

The New York tribe, the Akron and Cincinnati groups were some of the first folks to hear the message and heed the words.

Bill and Bob’s relationship began and so the movement followed.

When you come to your first meeting, and you tell us who you are and hopefully that you desire to quit drinking, people will welcome you gently. We have done just that for a number of newbies over the past two weeks. We heard from them tonight in light of tonight’s reading, and how they came to us and who led them to decide that recovery was what was needed.

From the very beginning people come together and create a common bond. And we heard how much that initial bond meant to folks around the table. How members took each other under their wings and helped them through some tough times without a word, just because we care about you …

The Book says that in most cases, “we are a lot who would not likely mix” but for the one common goal of sobriety, the process of unification begins.

We get to share with newbies who are working their steps, how we did it and how working our steps over numbers of years has changed. In a sense, at a meeting we are all, in a way, sponsoring each other.

One particular gentleman spoke about how we are allegories in the universe trying to figure out who we are. He goes on to say that when he hears someone speak at a meeting, he thinks that “here is the voice of God.”

You never know when you will hear something that can’t, but must be Godly counsel.

We are all trying to find our ways, and speaker meetings give you one voice speaking to a room full of people. But at discussion meetings, you get to hear many voices speaking on the same topic, and no two people will say the same thing, but often, you hear similar experiences, from folks who have been around a long time.

I’ve said this before, and it was yesterday I think, that I go to meetings, to be of service, to participate and to listen to my friends. Sober time varies between my friends. Some of my closest friends are sober months and years. And I want to be part of their lives, and they are part of mine.

At other meetings, there are the long time sober members who have solid time under their belts. And we can all learn from them. We are all battling a common foe, addiction, alcoholism, and drug addiction for some.

And wouldn’t you want you most trusted warriors by your side day and night?

People who know you and whom you trust and those who would come to your aide day or night, good or bad, whenever you need them.

I think we all have at least one person in our sober circle that we can count on day or night – and if you don’t – stick around – you will find one.

Meetings are an all powerful love in’s of like minded people who come to listen to experience, strength and hope. Give it some time, keep an open mind and trust in the process. People who are genuine and humble work to help us find our way, being mindful of who we are and who we are not.

You can’t get sober and keep your EGO. Trial and error will teach you that.

Had Bill and Bob not met, I don’t think the program would have gotten off the ground. And we all should be grateful for the founders and those first hundred folks that they helped get sober, one day at a time. It is by their works and words that we are here today reaping the rewards of Bill and Bob’s recovery.

It was another banner night.

More to come, stay tuned …


Pope Francis in a Selfie …

Pope Francis in a selfie photo

@Pontifex and the #Sabbath Selfies

John McCarthy  |  Aug. 29, 2013 National Catholic Reporter

 

Oxford University Press announced that the word “selfie” has been added to the online dictionary of the English language. In case you were wondering, selfie (plural is, of course, “selfies”) is defined as: “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” I bet at this point, you’re asking, “Why does this matter for the church?”

The Holy Father posed for a selfie with a group of young people visiting the Vatican. You can see that photo here.  Selfies are the new rage, and everyone is posing for them. Chelsea Clinton took one; Bret Michaels, Donald Trump and Donald Trump’s hair, too. P. Diddy and the Mona Lisa do a pose here (that’s my personal favorite).

Now last time I wrote about popular culture and the church (What Catholics can Learn from Shark Week), some people thought the idea was silly. However, I’m going to give it another try.

Think about this: It would have been very easy for the Holy Father to turn these young people down. He could have just as easily suggested that they pose for a formal photo taken by a Vatican photographer. Instead, he embraced the silliness of the opportunity and posed for a photo with the visitors (as a result, making their lives complete).

Catholics around the world can take away an important lesson here: Engage the culture.

At World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis said, “The results of our pastoral work do not depend on a wealth of resources, but on the creativity of love … At times we lose people because they don’t understand what we are saying, because we have forgotten the language of simplicity and import an intellectualism foreign to our people.”

When I read that statement, it really hit me. Why aren’t we talking more about the “creativity of love”? Why is it that every day, we fail to ask ourselves, “How can I bring love into the lives of others?” I happen to think it’s because there is growing sentiment that the world is scary, unsafe and unworthy of our faith. Our biggest barrier is this prevailing sense that we must “protect the church” from some outside, unnamed impeding force.

We make long theologically correct statements about why we can’t do something or who can be called Catholic versus who cannot. This is not to say that certain moments do not call for seriousness, but we need to learn how to take a joke every now and then. People are viewing the church as an exclusive, cold, barred-off entity. How can we let people in if the walls are so high? The “creativity of love” must begin with meeting people where they are, and joining them on life’s journey.

So take out your phones and tweet about going to church. Maybe download a Catholic iPhone app, or suggest to your friends that they read a Catholic blog (shameless plug). Moral of the story: Let’s take a step back and remember our simplicity — and pose for a selfie.


Moving Towards the Big Reveal

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Today’s Post is brought to you by Target Canada.

This in fact is NOT Alexis Nihon but a stock photo.

It was a bright and sunny day. However I am hearing complaints across the board about oppressive heat and humidity. As has been the case, September is just a few days away. And hopefully the temps will moderate and fall, hence the turning will begin.

I set out as usual and I am pleased to report that Alexis Nihon is coming along quite nicely. The escalator casing has been stripped and I assume that they are installing an elevator in front of the stairs. The up and down escalator sits in the center of the ground floor with the stairs in the center of the casing.

There is a (newly built addition) retail space going in on the left hand side (ala the down escalator) side (on the ground floor) which extend probably 20 feet from the center (square). The new storefronts on that side of the ground floor are still dark and have yet to be revealed.

But one good reveal is this … We now know what the store front for Target will look like with the reveal of most of the storefront. The entrance, it looks like, is far to the right of center with a roll door and a glass enclosure to the left and center of the front.

They have tiled almost all of the ground floor in white tile, but the old support columns have been re-boarded and spackled have yet to be finished. More work is continuing on the mezzanine floor where the IGA and Pharmaprix is located.  The ceiling is all a mess of wires and hanging light fixtures with no ceiling put in place yet, there is a drop tile ceiling on the ground floor.

*** *** *** ***

It was another banner night for Changing Attitudes. Our business meeting was painless and once again this month we made rent and there is money in the kitty. Most of our opening expenses have been paid out, which means now the seventh tradition is going directly to the group as prudent reserve and rent.

We sat 15 folks. I even went as far as to set out extra tables this evening hoping that we would see guests that came last week. Others came in their place. It was good to see new and returning faces – a good sign.

Our group now has been registered at Inter Group, which means we have passed muster at the area level and that guarantees our placement in the next printing of the meeting booklet.

With a full house and a lot of gratitude, the chair read from As Bill Sees It. This book has become a regular staple at several meetings we go to during the week. We read from page 51 – The Coming of Faith …

“… When I was driven to my knees by alcohol, I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith. And All was changed. Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding, would I experience my former desolation. I saw the universe to be lighted by God’s love; I was alone no more.”

Many people in the world are born into some form of religious upbringing. Either by parent or grandparent. And growing up with this infrastructure of faith either fostered or devolved into painful associations and sore feelings of hard done by God and or the church.

We heard a handful of God experiences tonight. Some do not like the word God and most have found their way around the God of institution, and have found for themselves a faith a (as Bill writes in the Big Book – a “God of our understanding.” This one phrase saves the reader of the book, who may be at odds with an institutional God of the church.

I’ve related all my God stories and you can read them in the PAGES section of the blog, —> over to the right a bit a ways down.

My earliest memory of God is Memere presenting me to God in the church when I was a young boy.

Faith was a staple part of my upbringing. I learned about God via osmosis and seeing how faith was practiced by family.

I was faithful to the book and the church to the point of ending up in seminary after high school. And I imagine had I passed muster and the ego test, that I essentially failed, I may have made it to my ordination and all this would have never happened. Alas, it did not.

My addictions grew and I become at odds with God for a long time. However He still knew who I was and was paying attention, at least to deliver me from the many jackpots that I found myself in over the years.

I did not get to ask one of my fellows tonight how he squared his belief in a higher power when he faced his own mortality like I had almost twenty years ago for me. God made himself manifest in my life in the guise of Todd who saved my life from imminent death.

I knew God existed, because I lived…

Going out was a brief departure from faithfulness. I really did not have time to practice faith because I was sunk in the pit of hell until I was extricated from it by friends who had a modicum of care to extend a hand to someone who really needed it and had no way out of hell myself.

I have said, recently, that God was moving in my life, well before I admitted my second bottom, and imbibed my last drink (once again). He moved heaven and earth and put certain people in my path that facilitated, (By divine intervention) my return to the rooms.

A year sober – I returned to university. And what did I choose to study? At first it was psychology, but that was short lived, and I changed my major to Religion. So I was studying God during my days, and learning about my higher power by night in the rooms. Needless to say, I was sandwiched between two heavenly powers.

If I ever left the church of my upbringing, I would have become a Jew. Because that portion of my studies was cathartic. I am still a Catholic at heart, in Mother Teresa’s terms. (read the book).

I don’t attend Catholic Church, yet I practice my faith in the Anglican Communion. My mentor and guide will be ordained on the 8th of September, but I digress …

I have said that I find faith in the rooms. In its people. I go to certain meetings, and by going to certain meetings on a weekly basis, I choose to invest in the group of people who host the meeting and ALL who attend any given meeting on any given night.

I mean you can go to a meeting and warm a chair and do and feel nothing. I’ve seen that happen over the past almost twelve years.

Once you chose a meeting to go to, by default, you have chosen to invest in that meeting, its people and in that space, most likely, will be the familiar church basement. And if you STAY at a meeting long enough, God will manifest himself to you and to countless others.

I find faith and see God as he moves in the lives of our guests. Watching people get sober is an act of faith. It is participatory action. It is a movement. We go for our own well being but we get so much more in return if we stick around long enough.

Eventually, after reading the book, and understanding the Book in the terms of “WHAT THE ORIGINAL WRITERS MEANT IN THE BOOK” and not what YOU think about the book, you will find God, or He will find you. Go to meetings, sit and listen, little by slowly, everybody comes to some understanding of that Power Greater than Themselves.

Faith without works is dead. We also heard that quoted tonight.

If I don’t / if we don’t spend a bit of time praying daily, the A.M. Please and the P.M. Thank You and a few sprinkled 3,7, and 11, thrown in there with a dash of serenity prayer, then we are not acting out our faith. If I don’t / if we don’t go out and do service and work with others, I / we can’t keep what was freely given.

You might just want to warm a chair for a while. But eventually, we/you find your/our way into a meeting. We find our voices and our faith. We meet God on our terms and we become able to listen to how others see and find God in their lives.

You come, you come to, and you finally arrive.

We are thankful for the many who have arrived, and came tonight.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned…


Tuesday “Can we Choose?”

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Courtesy:Monkeyshinehim

People here in our city are bemoaning the humidity and heat. It has been terribly muggy and hot the past few days. The weather folks are calling for more weather and colder temps going into fall. And it seems that Quebec is on notice for some serious snow this season.

Next week is Labor day the official end to summer. School is starting up for many of my friends this week. Last night I was downstairs and it is “FROSH week” at the local university and the freshmen were being escorted on the local PUB CRAWL, a group of people were screaming in unison at the Karaoke Bar across the street with their pub cups in hand. UGH !! What a nightmare.

I heard a young person from out of town who is attending university here this fall, share at a meeting tonight that she is probably only one of FEW of her school grouping who doesn’t drink … “begin looks of strangeness ….”

What you don’t drink ??? Um, No I don’t …

Like I said it is Frosh week here.

I took my afternoon easy, and was up and out by 5 o’clock. I got to Trinity early and the room was set up and the coffee was already done by 5:30. It was also a friends birthday today. He looks so young for 31 ….

It was a fair group tonight. We are on tap for moving the meeting to another church up the way by the Villa Maria Metro – just one stop further North on the Orange Line at the top of the hill. Trinity is at Vendome which is at the base of the hill. And that should be taking place in October.

Our chair – The Birthday Boy chaired, and read from A.B.S.I.
And “Can we Choose?”

“As active alcoholics, we lost our ability to choose whether we would drink. We were the victims of a compulsion which seemed to decree that we must go on with our own destruction.

Yet we finally did make choices that brought about our recovery. We came to believe that alone we were powerless over alcohol. This was surely a choice, and a most difficult one. We came to believe that a Higher Power could restore us to sanity when we became willing to practice A.A.’s Twelve Steps.”

The first time I arrived at my First Last Drink in August of 1994, the choice I had made months previous was to drink myself into the ground and self destruct. The choice was made for me – that I would get sober – because that was the decree from the man who saved my life.

Later – I made the choice to pull that geographic in sobriety to an unknown place and situation. And on the other end, as the joint and beer was handed to me, there was no other option but to take them and use. That choice had been made for me – and what was I going to do, Say No??? That situation I walked into was detrimental in all senses of the word DETRIMENTAL !!!

When I put down the drugs, I made that decision. I had to walk away from a very toxic and brutal living situation that almost killed me. Once I put them down and moved away from them, I did not go back looking for them ever again.

And in that last year of my drinking, there were sober periods. But 2001 was a hard year for people in the U.S. And who could blame us for drinking heavily for a good cause like rebuilding New York City …

Once again, arriving at the Second Last Drink, I had made the choice to put it down. God, like I have said before was moving heaven and earth to prove to me that he was watching over me all that time that I was on the self delusional trip that the alcohol was going to magically make me 21 again, in my mid thirties.

WRONG !!!

The rest they say is history. I made the final choice to relocate. Because of the dire situation I was living in. You can’t live when you have to choose between paying rent or buying medication OR paying rent for the month.

My family took resentment that I would leave the U.S. and the guilt they put on me was oppressive. And I had to move on, to take care of me and nobody else but me.

I made choices in my life that alienated my family from me. And they all paid me well. And I make no excuses for them. I live a much better life than I could have ever imagined.

I made the choice …

It was a good night. We hit two meetings tonight. Saw lots of friends.

More to come, stay tuned…


Sunday Sundries … Traditions Night

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The weather is holding. It was bright and sunny this afternoon, but over time, it became a little overcast. I started off this evening and packed up and started my journey out the front doors and got a few steps out and realized that I had forgot my phone and hoodie, since I didn’t bring one the other night.

I came back up and got what I needed and took off. My helper girl was waiting for me at the church. She is coming along after browbeating herself up and dissing her ability to stay sober in the rooms. But sufficient light has shown in her life lately which acted as a huge “pick me / her up” And she is smiling for the first time in a long while. We are proud of her.

So we cranked out set up and went outside to enjoy the evening, and as we stepped outside I went around the bushes to look at I don’t know what, or why, but we were rewarded with a HUGE brown butterfly with white dot markings on her wings. She was exceptionally beautiful. I’ve never seen a butterfly like that on the property before, so it was a real treat. And she said that the butterfly was a good omen, I had to agree. She took a phone shot of it before it flew away down the hedge away from us.

At first it seemed we would have a sparse crowd, thankfully a handful of folks came in and we sat a fair number. Tonight, being the last Sunday of the month, was a tradition. Tradition #8.

“Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional but our service centers may employ special workers.”

The tradition speaks of the need of a non-payment 12 step work. That money and sobriety do not mix, for specific reasons. The discussion went around the table with several thread going on at the same time.

Historically, after good press for the fellowship in the early 40’s by Jack Alexander and others, requests for literature and books flooded the New York office where Bill was located, and where became the General Service Office.

He didn’t have a staff to answer all those letters, so Bill would mail letters to sober members located all over the U.S. as A.A. blossomed from city to city and suburb to suburb. In time, the first edition of the Big Book was printed and started to go out.

Someone had to work in the office and in the beginning it was Anne, Lois, Bill and a few others. But as the fellowship grew, Bill addressed all these problems as the traditions were written, they were discussed at several general sessions of sober folks at the time, ever before they were codified and Bill introduced them as solid traditions.

Those traditions were highly scrutinized and discussed before they were passed by general council. The traditions are there for the groups, as the steps are there for the individual.

Today there are a handful of people – working in the New York Office answering mail, taking requests, handling the seventh tradition that comes into New York from groups all over the world, for operating and publication expenses. Someone has to man the phones, and pay the bills for the building that we use in New York City.

Just so, here in Montreal, there is a small staff who work at the general service office here. Doing all the paperwork, the newsletter, the literature counter and then the volunteer GSR’s DCM’s and so on. A A would gind to a halt if there was no one to answer the phone lines or do the work that is necessary to carrying the message.

If you would like to find out who works at General Service in New York, you can always read the BOX 459, that is issued monthly by GSO New York and is sent to registered groups around the world. It gives you all the information on how A.A. affords its rent, pays its bills and who it employs, and why.

The word anonymity comes up in this tradition. And that sparked a lively discussion about recent events in pop culture with certain celebrities and their breaking anonymity on a professional level, which dismayed many folks tonight.

There should be NO spokesperson for the fellowship. Even Bill had this problem after he handed off the business to the fellowship and Bill retired into private life after spending years at the helm.

It troubled him to his death, that he could not go to a meeting anywhere, where someone did not know him, and he was idolized and put on a pedestal, he just could not go out as himself. On his gravestone is his name, and birth and death dates, and nothing more.

A.A. is for the people, by the people. There is no supreme leader or specific spokesperson. And that’s the way Bill wanted it.

After the meeting we had a short business meeting and we doled out the jobs for September and all. It was all good.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …


Friday Finking – A.B.S.I. Toward Honesty

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Courtesy: Sneakerfreakin

It was another stellar day in the neighborhood. And it was even chilly, I found when I left, I should have brought a hoodie but alas, I did not feel like going back upstairs to get one. The transit theme tonight was once again “Six minutes…”

It was a stellar night at the meeting. The hall was PACKED with friends and fellows, and visitors from Ontario, and as far away as Texas. We more than doubled occupancy this evening. This is a good omen, that last night, as well, we sat a full table of men. I wondered tonight to a friend, “where did our guys get the meeting info?” Because most of them were from out of town, and unless they called inter-group, or seen a blue sheet, would not know of us just yet.

Stopped for din din ….

Side observation: Somebody put up BLUE led Christmas lights on the outside balcony on the apartment building facing us … really ??? In August ???

The week began with a read in the Big Book, then a meeting for the newbie on Tuesday, How it Works on Thursday night and A.B.S.I. tonight. And once again tonight the word “honesty” came up, not only in the title of the reading but also from the text read.

Four months ago, we all attended the West island Roundup. We heard boisterous speakers from New York City, rally the troops to get active and get into the work of hard core sobriety. Montreal is not Hard Core at all. We are like, well if you want to … but we are not in a hurry to get there.

For the first few weeks I was on the hunt for a man who could take up the mantle and lead, but many of the men I know, did not get the opportunity to hear the message some of us did, so the effort went without a win.

I spent a couple of weeks spinning my wheels and pining for something more, which did not transpire. My sponsor is still my sponsor. Then time passed and I stepped up my meetings in a way, I joined a new group of men because that’s where I thought I should be for now, working with others on a more personal basis. I did the work, said my prayers and just let go and let God.

On Thursday nights, in a way, we always come back to the Big Book. And the same chapters come up in discussion.

But first … A few weeks ago, at the Friday meeting, we had a major dust up between the guests. Voiced were raised and some of us voiced our dismay about how we were working our programs, unlike some of our more “connected women.”

The word Hypocrite came up and was tossed on the table.

To date, many of those people who were involved in the dust up, no longer attend the Friday meeting, much to our dismays …

Life goes on …

For a long time we’ve known that there is a core of women here in the city that work on the New York sober model. It is an every day sandwich effort of sponsors, sponsees and others. Steps, Big Book, prayers, one on one meetings, and then massive attendance at the Tuesday Night meeting. They really have it good, and they work harder than anyone I know here.

After the roundup, I so wanted what they had and I spent a lot of time trying to find other men who wanted to engage sobriety in the same way, alas, I failed at that task.

Now you might say that I could ask a woman to sponsor me – but they say here, the men with the men and the women with the women, UNLESS you are gay, then you could find at certain meetings, women who will sponsor men. But those women are not in the same grouping as our “Tuesday Women.”

The topic of rigorous Honesty came up twice this week. And practicing these principles in all our affairs.

I have slacked in my prayers. However I hit four meetings a week, without fail. I am reading our material, and calling people more than usual these days which is a direct result in my choice of Tuesday meeting.

I miss the girls, but I am needed at Vendome right now. I noticed lately that I am feeling a bit off. Like I need to step things up, in a woman’s sort of way. I haven’t spoken to any of the girls because we don’t cross paths on the meeting schedule I am on now. We used to see them on Tuesday’s and Thursdays, but since we opened the men’s meeting on Thursday, we don’t see them at all.

Since the dust up the dynamic of the Friday meeting has changed. But God has seen to it that now I get a whole day to myself, since hubby is gainfully employed and I have time on my hands every day. And some days, I get freaked because I don’t know what to do with  myself. Funny that the thought of sober work has not popped in my head, which means I have to actively DO IT.

The message here is – no one can create sobriety for you, nor can anyone work your program for you or get you sober.

If you want it – you will create it. No matter what the cost. God gives you time to create, what are you going to do with that time ???

I am missing some folks. I need to also step up my game.

It was a good night. Lots of good shares and great people.

More to come, stay tuned…

 


Tuesday Thoughts – A.B.S.I.

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Courtesy: Lycrakeen

It was another nice day today. But things will turn overnight and into the rest of the week with humidity, rain and possible thunderstorms. Things are a little tight right now, in anticipation of the floodgates opening later this week.

With plenty of time on my hands, I departed for Trinity. And the 90 bus was right on time on the way out. With the mall under construction inside and out, the stops are all wonky. The mall stop is closed for now because of scaffolding outside the mall on street side. So the stop prior and the stop after were packed.

The good reverend was waiting for us when we arrived at the church to let us in because she was on her way out and the doors were all locked. A little more space was opened up in the main hall, which we decided to move the tables from the crossover area, where the CA meeting opens just after ours, we had more dedicated space away from that insanity.

I made coffee tonight. And our pot is a huge 500 cup urn. And the first depth marker on the inside of the pot is for 100 cups. But nothing in between 1 and 100, so I had to gauge how much water I was putting in the urn and how much coffee I needed, because I’ve never made coffee in this  urn before. In the end it was a little strong and on the dark side. Folks are just happy to have coffee …

We were missing a good number of people and it seemed that numbers were going to be light, luckily, a handful of folks showed up as the meeting started. Which made the meeting a bit more successful. My sidekick was in the chair and decided to pull the topic out of As Bill Sees It.

As we are a beginners meeting, we try to keep the topic standard fare from steps 1,2,and 3. We read “Personality Change.”

“But anyone who knows the alcoholic personality by firsthand contact knows that no true alky ever stops drinking permanently without undergoing a profound personality change.”

It was stated to me in early sobriety that the only thing that needed to change now was EVERYTHING !!!

I guess I had an easier time in some aspects. I moved here sober. I had never drank here, and although opportunity to drink was still present, the first year, only a handful of times can I recall ever being tempted to drink.

I have not had the desire to drink, nor the desire to go back out and further my experience. I had had enough of the misery and alcohol.

Lessons of early sobriety …

  1. Build your life AROUND your meetings, NOT the other way around.
  2. Find a home group
  3. Do service every week, find structure
  4. Don’t make any grand decisions without proper thought or advice
  5. Get phone numbers. (They say that if you exchange phone numbers and they aren’t used within two days – they never will be used).

I did all these things. Coming from the Deep South, to the far North, was a challenge, and yes, the only thing that had to change was EVERYTHING.

I had to learn how to get around. I had to find a place to live. I had to find my way into a foreign culture. That took some time to figure out. I have written about this phase of my life before, so I am not going to repeat myself.

Habits take 30 days to change. And the guide is 90 meetings in 90 days, so several habits can be worked out within those 90 days.

It wasn’t the drink that was the problem. The problem was ME.

The spiritual/psychic change comes over time. And certainly not over night. It takes patience, attention and work.

That’s why the writers of the Big Book, encourage us to “Read the Book.”

Find out what makes you tick. What is the good and what is the bad. Find out, make your lists, share them and make amends and work with others. And finally give back freely what was given to you.

In the beginning we start in a circle, and in time, you come around full circle.

That is the essence of change.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …


Sunday Sundries – Dr. Bob’s Nightmare Part 2

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Another Sunday, come and gone. Another stellar day to be out and about. Last night standing on my balcony, just before sunset, there was a great light in the sky, it wasn’t a reflection or a plane but it was the brightest object in the sky with the sun setting. It soon set as it got dark. I half expected it to rise again tonight in the same spot, or trek across the sky but tonight I did not see it either in the sky or at the spot I viewed it last night.

Oh well …

I departed early and arrived at the church alone. My set up helper arrived shortly after, and begrudgingly set up with me, then I noticed she walked off in the direction of Cinq Saisons. When she spoke up at the meeting, she said that all this stuff, the meetings, sharing, the sponsor, were all annoying her. And she left before I could speak to her afterwards.

Oh well …

Today we read the remainder of the story about Dr. Bob and how he met with Bill and never had another drink again. The story is better served when/if you have read “Dr. Bob and the Good Old Timers” and possibly seen the documentary illustrated in the above image.

Dr. Bob was a man with a serious problem. In the end he was hiding copious amounts of liquor, he had the shakes and all that goes with an “A” type alcoholic. His wife made contact with Lois, who invited them over to the house to try and help Bob. Bob agreed to the meeting, but only allotted Bill a maximum of 15 minutes, then he had to leave.

As the story is told, the two men sat down and began discussing this problem we call alcoholism. Six hours later, when all was said and done, Bob remarks that

“Of far more importance was the fact that he was the first living human with whom I had ever talked, who knew what he was talking about in regard to alcoholism from actual experience. In other words, he talked my language.”

Bob’s last drink was on June 10th 1935. He stayed sober ever since.

Reading side literature about this event, and seeing it on film, really drives home the point that nothing guarantees one’s sobriety than working with another suffering alcoholic. Bill laid out the words and Bob was receptive to the message. And you could say that it was during that talk, that Bob’s spiritual experience began.

If not for the first hundred men and women who got sober using the book and working with others decades ago, we would not have this amazing movement that has helped millions of people around the world, conquer, one day at a time, the cunning, baffling and powerful addiction we call Alcoholism.

Bob shares with us the four points of why he gives it away to others, something we can all aspire to:

  1. A sense of duty
  2. It is a pleasure
  3. Because in doing so I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
  4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance from myself against a possible slip.

And the story ends with these words … Some people think them arrogant and think that they were written before the concept of “God as we understood Him.” The book was penned along with the steps which is where Bill came up with “God as we understood Him” after talks with several people.

“If you think you are an atheist, an agnostic, a skeptic, or have any other form of intellectual pride which keeps you from accepting what is in this book, I feel sorry for you. If you still think you are strong enough to beat the game alone, that is your affair.

But if you really and truly want to quit drinking liquor for good and all, and sincerely feel that you must have some help, we know that we have an answer for you.

It never fails, if you go about it with one half the zeal you have been in the habit of showing when you were getting another drink.

Your Heavenly Father will never let you down.”

The writer of this book encourages everybody who has this book to “READ THIS BOOK !!!”

I learn something new every time I read the book again.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …


Never Again

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Courtesy: RThompson80

It has been a full day in the neighborhood. After dinner last night we both went a little manic and hubby took on the bathroom and I took on the kitchen and we scrubbed them both from top to bottom, because building employees always observe the living space whenever you invite them in.

This morning I was up as hubby left for work, and I finished prepped for the arrival of our repairman. Which meant clearing out the hanging clothes in the closet and vacuuming the floor because it was quite messy. If you stick anything into the closet it usually doesn’t see the light of day again. Aside from the clothes we wear on any given day.

And while he was working on the tap, I was upstairs doing a load of laundry, which means we are up on the game for this week. YAY !!!

It took about two hours to rework the pipes and tubing and to install the new tap, after that I had to reset the closet and re pack the kitchen sink cabinet and clean up where everything was piled up in the living room.

I had some time to myself and then decided on a nap about 2 until I needed to get up and shower and shave to go out this evening. And that usually takes 20 minutes – so I slept until 6.

It was an easy trip out and back. And lately the theme of travel has been six minutes. Whenever we hit a transfer, the time on the train has been six minutes in either direction.

We sat a fair number, but a few faces were missing from the usual crowd. I called my pigeon to see if he would come on the way out, but he didn’t return my call.

We continue our reading of As Bill Sees It and the page “Never Again.”

“Personally, I take the attitude that I intend never to drink again. This is somewhat different from saying ‘I will never drink again.’ The latter attitude sometimes gets people in trouble because it is undertaking on a personal basis to do what we alcoholics never could do. It is too much an act of will and leaves too little room for the idea that God will release us from the drink obsession provided we follow the A.A. program.”

For many at the meeting, never is a word we stay away from, and the concept of never is also avoided. Forecasting too far into the future brings with it its own challenge. Working with 24 hours or staying in ones day is preferable.

I had two attempts at learning how to stay in my day. Both lessons at separate times, had their challenges, one far greater than the other.

Dealing with never drinking again on the first go, had the added pressure that I was “going to die” imminently. I was given my date and all I could do was focus on the date to the point that I drove my sponsor and care givers crazy, marking calendars in my kitchen, marking every day that I was on my way to my death.

I wasn’t drinking, one day at a time. And I was living, one day at a time. I could not see past the day I was in, until I lived into the next day. And days turned into weeks, and if I lived weeks, I managed a month. And if I managed a month, I could see into the next month. Moving from day to day to month to month.

And I finally arrived at my death date, and I was stymied. Because I was still alive. And I didn’t know what to do at that point. It was a good thing I had somewhere to go and something to do on a daily basis. Structure that was a blessing because I could live outside my head for as many hours as I was working at the bar.

But when that came to an end and I had to reenter the world, and my safety net disappeared, I was left to my own head and my own devices. And that didn’t go very well, and I went out.

Living on emotions is not recommended for people in early sobriety, and that includes people from 1 day to at least 5 years of sobriety. Because at 5 years is when you hear the POP and that is your head coming out of your ass.

The geographic INTO the drink and drugs was a mistake. A total REGRET !!!

But the geographic OUT and the distance put between me and the drugs meant that I now NEVER had to do drugs again. And that stuck and I never used again.

Moving from a daily drunk to a binge drunk meant I drank only one night a week, and that was on a Saturday night at the club. When I took my last drink, I met a boy who did not drink on a daily basis. Who took me to my first meeting.

The club I drank at finally closed its doors. I like to think that the last alcoholic left the building so they had to close, because I was no longer there. However I had to walk by that building every day to get to my meetings.

Another geographic HERE and after a few months of sobriety again, I never had to drink again. I came here sober and to date I have never had a drink, the caveat is “One Day At A Time.”

The story goes that I got a little arrogant and decided to live in expectations and they told me to stay in my day and keep coming back. The second time, it took me considerably longer to learn how to do that, eighteen months …

I had one day that I craved a drink. In my first year of sobriety. On Jean Baptiste Day, I was at the Old Port and really wanted a beer, not my usual poison. Because I loathed beer, but I wanted one. Needless to say I got my ass home and bypassed the drink. Thankfully …

I’ve learned in as many years that I cannot live too far into the future. It messes with my head, it creates expectations that I know are pointless. And I get angry and resentful. All those lessons came again, in the last year of sobriety.

One day at a time works. If you work it.

It doesn’t come overnight. You learn and earn along the way.

I live on borrowed time these days, always waiting for the other shoe to drop, and the way around this fear is to meditate every time I visit my medicine cabinet and pour out my pills. It takes a lot of personal energy to positively charge medication to make it work better. I’ve learned how to re-point negative energy into positive energy. That was a great lesson. And the energy is quite potent.

Almost time for dinner.

More to come, stay tuned …


Foundation for Life

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Courtesy:Christopher Jordan

It has been an eventful week so far. The weather is holding, minor showers fell overnight – the streets were wet when I went to bed last night. But the days have been clear and breezy.

Today was an interesting day in home issues. We’ve had issues with repairs that are needed both in the kitchen (the sink has never been a problem since it was first installed. And now it is leaking from the tap and from under the sink, into the cabinet itself. ) And our bathroom really needs a re-up. The man who lives above us is an older gentleman and is rather portly. And the ceiling has been leaking water for months. And now there is mold and rust appearing across the ceiling that must be addressed.

So this afternoon – after cleaning out the kitchen sink cabinet and finding too much water damage and minor flooding, I went downstairs to report that we had needs.

And I feel kind of “wrong” asking for things to be fixed for some strange reason.

The work needed is gonna cost, which will translate into higher rent. But we’ve lived here for almost fifteen years and we’ve never had problems like this before. That’s why you pay rent and there are men to fix things when they break or need fixing…

I had to clear out the closet because the water shut off is in a wall box, in the bedroom closet. And they will be here first thing tomorrow morning.

I cleaned up the apartment and scrubbed the kitchen and vacuumed as well, so that everybody is happy and that the apartment is clean.

Hubby arrived from work a little bit before I set out for the church. The shopping mall is under massive construction. All along the outside of the building they are retrofitting the exterior with new signage meanwhile inside the mall, many spaces are going up. Both floors have construction walls up and they are still filling out the ceiling on the ground floor. Target is due to come on line in a few months, (e.t.a. late fall). The facia on both floors is being refitted and when finished will look really nice.

The brand new Cinq Saisons opened on Greene. It is a high end grocery store located in a brand new million dollar condo project on the way to the church. The intersection outside the condo is being laid in marble with brand new sidewalks, planters, and foliage. We did not go inside because it was packed, but there is a very nice bistro like patio out front on De Maissonneuve and they have not finished the rework of the intersection – it is still closed.

We sat a handful of people tonight. And my fellow in crisis came as well, and finally I was able to exchange numbers with him. Eventually when you go to enough meetings, you will eventually get around to talking about God. (As we Understand him) And if you come around the God, then the next topic that follows will be prayer and meditation.

And that was our topic from As Bill Sees It and “Foundation for Life.”

“We discover that we receive guidance for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God to give it to us on order and on our terms.

In praying, we ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by which we may carry it out.”

And so the topic went out and quiet fell around the table.

How does one come to pray and therefore learn to meditate?

It takes time, practice and devotion.

I’ve been thinking during my days now, when I have noting to do and I am tired of staring into this box, what to do … And not once does prayer or meditation come to mind. However I have my prayer cards and daily reflections right here on the desk.

I work in a little prayer throughout the day. Every day, at least once a day someone asks for prayers on Facebook. And in that moment, one prays.

When I set up the church, I meditate as I set down chairs. A practice that I began some years ago when a member I knew then was in dire straits. So began my member meditation. As I set down a chair, I being to mind a face of someone who always sits in that chair as I set it down. And i commune with God in that hall on a regular basis. (because God favors our hall).

I read literature at night and before bed. I don’t write every night, but when I do write I mention at least someone who is troubled whom I think may benefit if I mention their name to God at some point in my day.

We all find our groove, however long it takes. We really need to take a few moments every day to pray honestly, humbly and patiently. I learned that the hard way, when it was all about me, and not about others.

When my expectations were wiped from the slate and God’s needs were replaced. It is practice…

We all walked home together.

A good night was had by all.

More to come, stay tuned …


Alone No More

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It is raining …

I don’t know if having a lot of time on ones hands during the day is a good thing. There are only so many things to do in any given day to fill the empty space. I can only sit in front of this box for so long before I tend to go batty !!!

Which meant that today I napped just for the dream possibility during that nap. I was up early enough to welcome hubby home from work and to get ready for the trip to Trinity Memorial and the meeting.

It was an A.B.S.I. meeting… (As Bill Sees It)

We really need to find a new space for the meeting, because the overlap of groups all at the same time is ruining our attempt at a cozy meeting space in a huge gym like room. The background noise is a terrible interruption.

There is a good amount of scuttle going on about town with the sale of a church and the soon to be out on the streets meetings coming up, and people coming in checking out the space to open new meetings, this one will be on a Friday night, founded by a member who is one of those angry alcoholics. We don’t cross paths very often.

Lots of newbies today. And my friend (who is stuck in the revolving door) came as well, and picked up another chip. I spoke to him after the meeting, trying to gauge where he is and how to help him. I Invited him to the Men’s meeting on Thursday night. Hopefully he will show up and we can talk in a more conducive space to talking.

“Alcoholism was a lonely business, even though we were surrounded by people who loved us…

For those of us who were like that, A.A. has a very special meaning. In this fellowship we begin to learn right relations with people who understand us; we don’t have to be alone any more.”

I wonder if some, who are stuck, are not properly getting what they need from us, if they don’t show up on a regular or semi-regular basis. And if, as the group, we can help someone by interrupting their nightly cycle of self abuse.

Our men and women are all very smart and work very hard at staying stopped, but it seems that some are falling through the cracks, which is why I am homed at this meeting, we have very few members (on both the men’s and women’s) side who have solid sober time under their belt.

The problem with this space we are stuck in at the moment, is too big, too noisy and not very welcoming, because we share the space with the NDG Food Bank, which is blessedly “closed” on Tuesday nights. The space does not lend to an atmosphere of welcome or beckons one to stay after, because right away another group is usurping the space out from under us to set up for a meeting that starts a half hour after ours ends.

Which means that our outreach tends to move outside the building, which today it was raining after, so people didn’t hang around. So I invite folks to other meetings, for (one – that they will show up and not drink ) and (two – to have some quality time to minister to their needs in a warm and welcoming space).

Looking back, I have touched on this topic recently, that the group I got sober in this last round, was beneficial. We counted days, the first 90 days. We had a community that spent a lot of time with the newcomer be it at meetings, meals and over all fellowship. Getting sober over the holidays is a bitch, so all the help you can get over that month will save your body and soul.

It is meaningful that when visitors come from out of town, which happened this evening, that they feel welcomed and that everybody knows that they are “Not alone any more …”

I rode the rails home and supermarket safari’d on the way home.

A good night was had by all. All my friends were out which was great.

More to come, stay tuned…


Dr. Bob’s Nightmare Part 1

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The weather is holding. It was a beautiful night to be out and about. I departed early for the church and my helper lady friend was waiting for me. We cranked out set up and coffee and then sat and chilled before the meeting.

We are finally at the stories in the back of the Big Book. This first chapter The Pioneers of A.A. speaks about these 10 stories that show that sobriety is A.A. can be lasting.

Pioneers of A.A. …

Dr. Bob and the nine men and women who here tell their stories were among the early members of A.A.’s first groups.

All ten now have passed away of natural causes, having maintained complete sobriety.

Today, hundreds of additional A.A. members can be found who have had no relapse for more than fifty years.

All of these, then, are the pioneers of A.A. They bear witness that release from alcoholism can really be permanent.

We began reading Dr. Bob’s Nightmare.

A co-founder of alcoholics anonymous, The birth of our society dates from his first day of permanent sobriety, June 10, 1935.

To 1950, the year of his death, he carried the message to more than 5,000 alcoholic men and women, and to all these he gave his medical services without thought of charge.

In this prodigy of service, he was well assisted by Sister Ignatia at St. Thomas Hospital in Akron, Ohio, one of the greatest friends our fellowship will ever know.

Through the beginning of his story, we learn where Bob came from how he did as a young child and teen, and into his adult life. And at some point he crossed the invisible line into uncontrollable alcoholism.

He became somewhat functional when applying himself. But there at the came time, we read, when alcoholism stunted his growth both emotionally and academically. But in the end he pulled out the stops and finished his schooling.

We stopped at this point in the story till next week.

It seemed everybody fixated on academic stories and how alcoholism made it into our lives as young people.

I guess I will share some stories with you about that time in my life as well.

Bob was an only child, he speaks about it.

I was the first of two children, and had three years on my brother who came later. And I was thinking about this tonight and what I had seen as a small child being raised in the homes of die hard alcoholics. My grandfather was much farther gone than my father.

He had to have alcohol – all over the house. He was a bottle hider. He drank around the clock and especially before bed, as there was a bottle under the kitchen sink.

My father was a heavy drinker, yet, he was functional. In hindsight, I don’t remember him ever being taken away from work because of drinking, in all the years I lived at home. He seemed to skate through unscathed.

I on the other hand, was raised in a “nobody speaks of it” and there “is no solution and you lived with your lot” mentality. Alcohol was a major food group and was a daily ritual.

I began the task of bartender for my father when I was able to reach the kitchen counter and be able to mix him his nightly highball after work. Growing up and moving house in grade school, we bought a huge house with bedrooms, a yard, in ground sprinkler system and a POOL !!! We had hit the big time.

My father had two cabinets for alcohol. And a standing bar in the dining room. My brother and I grew up not far from alcohol. My drinking started in high school and it was a big part of socialization.

It was beer, that I found satisfying. Until my friends introduced hard liquor into the mix. We would have binge and purge parties where we would serve copious amounts of alcohol to party goers. For the girls we had a fail proof system to bring them to a party, get them drunk, and then get them home sober after our tried and true sober work after the fact.

The girls would bring two sets of clothing with them to the party. We would all drink, and they would get sauced over and over. One of us drove the first sober car, driving around town until they puked up what they drank and sobered up.

Then we handed them off to a second house for them to wash and redress, before the third car would finally bring them home.

I drank heavily in high school. And it showed in my work. I was an athlete and swam in junior and senior year and finally lettered.

Two significant occurrences in high school come to mind.

One, our final S.A.T. test. By this point we had taken that damned test twice and in my senior year, we had to take it again, a third time.

The night prior we all got drunker than drunk. I remember my friends bringing me home, BOMBED !!! Telling my mother that I was just a little sick because of the test the next day.

The next day I went to the school and my test location was in the library, which was in the biology wing of the school, there was a bathroom and gym workout hall in the same wing.

The module would start and I would begin bubbling in my answers, eventually I would get the heaves and have to rush to the bathroom and purge and get back into the library to finish each module in the time allotted.

I know, when all was said and done, my third score was higher than the first two.

Two, in my senior year I was drinking heavily and my studies were paying the price. I was passing, albeit, by the skin of my teeth. I was no mathematician and hated the subject. No matter how hard I tried I could not “get it.”

I was not part of the “in crowd” that partied together and cheated together. I ran in another social grouping. On my last math exam, I knew I was not going to pass, but in a “Hail Mary” kind of motion …

The cheat sheet had gone around prior to the exam. And I was not privy to that cheat sheet. I took that exam, however impaired I was at the time, on the last page of the exam I offered this to my prof …

“The exam is complete. I would also tell you that I am the only one in this room that did not cheat on this exam … “

I passed math, therefore, I graduated with my fellows.

My drinking career began in earnest after graduation. I knew something about myself that others did not. I am sure my parents were picking up on it. And my racist, homophobic, bible quoting, but never went to church father, continued to “beat it out of me, because I was abhorrent.”

When I finally moved away, I could drink without impunity. I have stated in the past that when I moved out on my own, I knew NOTHING about responsibility.

Paying rent, buying food, and making a car payments came second and third to my drinking. To the point that my car got re-possessed. That was a clincher for my parents. Probably, resentfully, my father bailed me out. We never spoke about it, but I am sure he never forgot nor forgave me about allowing alcoholism take something away.

I am sure they thought that I could not hold my alcohol in check like they did, and they would have been correct. I was a step beyond than my father.

That period of my life from 21 to 26 I was sunk in the drink. I got sober once, and became responsible. I had a really good job. And men who loved me. They saved my life.

The story does not change. I went out and stayed out a number of years, until I returned in 2001. God moved heaven and earth. And I decided to grow up and become a man, finally, whatever that meant.

I would not figure out what my manhood meant to me until much later. That is another story.

Moving out of the country was the best move I ever made in my life, however hated I was for leaving the country of my birth, it was an absolute break from the misery I was living at the time.

Coming to Montreal sober began the next leg of my journey. I was 34 years old. I had failed out of junior college and could not afford University in the U.S. so I didn’t go on. I had a place to live and meetings to go to.

And at my First Anniversary, I was asked what I wanted to do next, by my aftercare counselor, and I said, that I wanted to go back to school. By then I was hitched and living with my then boyfriend. That was a nine year academic career which I graduated with two degrees, Religion and Pastoral Ministry.

I have not had a drink in almost twelve years now. I came here sober and this is where I am going to die sober. One day at a time.

I have this hindsight to parse my life, and those of my family to figure out what made us tick, what made us drink and where that led us.

I do not know my father or mother or my brother. I am pariah still to this day and in their lives, they have shut off my light switch as punishment for defying my father’s social gospel. It has been more than 13 years.

I do not mourn them any more.

Many emotional reasons, alcoholism, lies and secrets tore apart my family, I may be the only sober member today, but who knows. I will never know.

It is a living amends to stay sober one day at a time.

More to come, stay tuned …


Thursday – Eternal Values

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Courtesy: Summer Diary Project

The skies have been rumbling and grumbling over the past day or so. We get an odd rainfall and it passes. A thunderstorm passed through overnight, and it looked, earlier in the evening a little foreboding. It was a wise option to carry an umbrella just in case.

It didn’t rain on us tonight.

I did a little supermarket safari earlier in the day and the new grocery store is beginning to moderate their prices. The great opening sale is over. I also had to go by Provigo on the way out and they are matching some of the prices we saw over at the new store.

Needless to say, Adonis is taking traffic from the neighborhood staple stores.

We were out a bit early tonight and made a smooth transit from here to the Plateau. We hit a bus and two trains with little wait time on the way back.

The topic came from A.B.S.I. and Eternal Values:

Many people will have no truck at all with absolute spiritual values. Perfectionists, they say, are either full of conceit because they fancy they have reached some impossible goal, or else they are swamped in self-condemnation because they have not done so.

Yet I think that we should not hold this view. It is not the fault of great ideals they they are sometime misused and so become shallow excuses for guilt, rebellion, and pride. On the contrary, we cannot grow very much unless we constantly try to envision what the eternal spiritual values are.

“Day by day, we try to move a little towards God’s perfection. We we need not be consumed by maudlin guilt for failure to achieve His likeness and image by Thursday next. Progress is our aim, and His perfection is the beacon, light years away, that draws us on.”

The discussion went around and a few key words came up repeatedly.

One – that the book talks about spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Two – that who really knows what God’s perfection is, or what it looks like.

Three – that the universe is always changing, so with that posit, we are also always changing. It is up to us to figure out which way we are going to change, for the good or the bad.

Speaking of values. I could never, in my life, accept nor adopt the values that were taught in our home as I was growing up. They went against everything I believed. And I moved away from home, with some morality and set of values, however loose they were, I was too busy drinking and acting out to stop and think about them. But I had values. Who I hung around, who I dated and who I ultimately slept with.

That was then, this is now.

Ending up where I did at the end of my slip, in a big city I grew up in, I was in a hole, spiritually and emotionally. I was all alone, and you know, if I dropped off the face of the earth, then and there, nobody would have missed me or come looking for me. Because I was deemed pariah …

God, in his infinite wisdom began working in my life well before I began asking for help. It was an antecedent assistance.

I guess I recognized the almighty moving heaven and earth and I began to ask for certain things, that eventually came to fruition, just as I called them out and needed them.

I wanted change. Lies were told to me. And never lie to your children because eventually the truth will come out and it may not be a good end game.

I took a lie and I used it to my advantage. To finally get me out of a hole and into a life that was worthy of value and credence. When I came here, I had 36 years of living, knowledge and indoctrination.

The first two years were difficult as I experienced severe culture shock. Learning where my loyalties lay, and what values I would adopt coming to a new country and an entirely new life.

Which leads me to this proclamation to you folks South of the Border …

“Drop your beers and chips, get off the sofa and turn off the tv. Pack your bags, your children and whatever else you need and leave your homes and venture OUT into the world for ONE calendar year.”

Your life will change in ways you would never imagine. I guarantee you that.

Today my life has value. I have values. I hold certain beliefs and thoughts.

I don’t engage in maudlin guilt or depression. However it comes, that on the odd occasion I wax nostalgic and I remember all the men who went to their deaths so I could live. And yes, I have survivors guilt at times. Especially around anniversaries or specific death dates. But It comes and goes much quicker.

I am constantly learning about my feelings. I can count on one hand the times I have gotten really angry. And holding on to that anger comes and goes much quicker. H.A.L.T. is very useful. Letting Go, and Easy does it …

I will never see ultimate perfection, I am not Borg. The bible speaks of:

“Being perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.”

That is a daily job. Always striving to be better, not the best, because what is best?

I will close with scripture … Micah 6:8

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

That is what we should do every day.

More to come, stay tuned …


Let’s Keep This Thing Simple

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Thursday  August 8th – on this  date in 1879, Robert Holbrook Smith was born in St. Johnsbury, VT.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Bob.  And thanks.

Lifted from: In Dodd We Trust

 

 


The Train is Leaving the Station

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Courtesy: TGrade5

What an exciting week it has been all around. Lots of change going on around the berg and at home. Hubby finally got his interview for a great professional job, right up his alley, and today he started that job, shirt and tie and brand spanking new business cards of his own with an office, desk and computer.

We are very proud of him.

Finally, the train has left the station. And the last promise that has been dogging us for so many years, may finally come to pass. I am just living it one day at a time right now.

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In other berg news, the Seville Project’s next greatest opening took place yesterday with the opening of “Adonis” grocery store. It was a grand event, for the condo project, as the “in house” shopping location, with dedicated entrances and parking.

This makes 4 local grocery offerings within a five block area of our section of town. The IGA at Alexis Nihon. Adonis at Seville just up the block, and on Fort, the P&A and Provigo.

As I see it – I am now shopping at the new Adonis because they undercut all the other stores by a significant amount of money. Prices are much cheaper that what we have been paying out of pocket. Not sure how long that will last, but while the getting is good, better take advantage of the savings.

The store is beautiful. Well planned out and executed. They offer perks that the other stores do not by way of full restaurant, fish monger, cold cuts and butcher block, a cheese and deli service, and plenty of fresh foods across the vegetable and fruit selections. And their prices are much cheaper than the rest.

I went by yesterday and also tonight on the way home. The neighborhood has been very welcoming and the opening has brought a new buzz in the area, with more people now living at the Seville, the people coming to shop, and all the steady business that the 3 block area is now producing.

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Set up was quick, and we sat a small  number. But small and intimate is a good format. Lots of time to share. If we seat at least one or two newcomers on a weekly basis, it’s all good.

The topic came from A.B.S.I. and the word CHANGE.

The only thing that we have to change in sobriety is EVERYTHING !!!

And that takes time, energy, creativity, hard work and a little honesty.

It was a good night. And it has been a good week. For the first time all is well in the world. Now that the train has left the station, life is only going to get better, and it better, we’ve been waiting for a long time for this change to come.

More to come, stay tuned …