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Archive for February, 2014

A Rudder for my Boat …

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Courtesy: Friend on Facebook

It has been a cold day. But no snow has fallen so far … Nightly lows are in the (-18c / -20c) range. The highs are in the minus teens. So not much better. And they tell us that March will be another COLD month. A whole bunch of monotonous, same ole, COLD !!!

Spring may SPRING up on March 20 … But there are still mounds of snow piled up in certain places, one in particular, in Westmount, snow is piled up at least ten feet. And in the yards there is at least three feet of snow that is turning to ice as the cold persists.

It has been one of those spectacular days to speak of.

I’ve been sailing my little sober boat, on the huge open seas of sobriety without a rudder for almost a year. Winging it, you might say…

I do not recommend it …

Reading prayers, saying them over and over, hasn’t made a dent in my hard head. I’ve heard that if you’ve got lots of sober time, they should be memorized already. I’ve got some time … Yet for the life of me, I have not memorized them to date.

My defects of character and my shortcomings have gotten the best of me over the past few weeks. And with no one to consult, at least no one I felt an affinity for, proved disastrous. And like I said the other night, I haven’t been very humble, nor tolerant, nor kind, nor sober.

This afternoon I had an interview luncheon with my new sponsor. He has lots of sober time, he is grounded in the steps. He is the keeper of our Tuesday meeting. We spoke about a great many things. What I am doing, who I am working with, how I maintain my sobriety, and what I need from him.

It was fruitful…

I already have an email waiting for me beginning the steps with him. We meet once a week, we work a step until it is done, we do meetings together on Tuesday, and I work with others, and keep my service commitments.

On the way home from that meeting, I got a call from an old friend. One of my first Canadian forever friends. She lives in another province and we haven’t had a catch up in some time, so when I got home I called her and it was like time stood still. We just picked up where we left off. It was a great treat. There are certain people in my life that even if time has passed, if I pick up the phone and call, they are right there, in the moment.

Since I had my Thursday meeting coming, I didn’t get my afternoon nap. And I left a little early, and the church was blessedly warm. I had a stop to make on the way out, and cranked out set up, and by the time I laid our table and set out chairs, the coffee was already done. That was quick.

We lost a founder this week, but we gained three new members. We had a business meeting, and it went very well. Something that tugged at my heart was – the other night I was coming home, and a newbie I know spoke to me after the meeting and said that he had been to a business meeting, and it wasn’t pretty, and he went out and drank because of it.

That was a direct hit to my gut.

He is now a member of the Thursday meeting.

We read from the Twelve and Twelve and Step 7 … “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.” This step talks about humility. I made my amends to the group, I shared my list of shit that happened and I mentioned his words to me a week earlier for everyone to hear.

I feel a whole lot better tonight knowing that I have a rudder for my boat.

Someone to call every day. Someone minding my store, so to speak.

We sat a full table. Thank God for our new men. They keep us on our toes and sober. Even if we fight it, in the end, God makes it right.

Today was one of my better days – a lot better.

It may not be New York, but it is pretty damned close.

More to come, stay tuned …


Some People Make me Sick …

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Courtesy:Steffrawr

Like I said a few days earlier, the approach to March is COLD !

There is snow in the forecast, and night time lows range from the minus teens to minus twenties, ugh !!!

I was up early today because I needed to run some errands into Westmount to pay rent for the Thursday meeting, and to figure out who was in the chair on Thursday. Which left me the whole day to fill with activity.

I usually do laundry on Thursday, but it has been creeping up on Wednesday’s and today it crept up even further. I stopped at the store for some goodies, soap and coin on the way home, because going back to bed sounded nice, but I was rather up for the day it seemed.

I did laundry …

It is good to do laundry during the day when a good chunk of residents are either at work or at school. I had free machines. That ate up a couple hours.

Meanwhile I did some stuff around the apartment, and farted around on the internet. I can only take this box a few hours at a time during the day. After you read email, Tumble, Facebook, blog surf and all those assorted things you do, what’s left?

What do you do when you are done?

I usually turn the box off and nap or something. The tv pickings during the day are usually thin, unless of course you want to watch U.S. politics all day long ……………….. NOT !

After all the work was done, I did indeed go back to bed for an hour or so before I needed to get up and ready to go.

I departed on time, and was rewarded with full Metro operations.

Our room was a mess once again, and I had to clean up after whomever used it before us. There was garbage all over the floor piled up under the sink that needed to go out.

And I noticed on the front stoop someone had quite a party sometime. I found an empty liter of Bacardi Rum and an empty bottle of wine just outside the front doors. Not wanting to trigger our kids, I took the bottles and put them in the parish trash.

They are still working on the windows in the bell tower now. It took them more than 6 months to take out, rework, and replace the windows in our small hall, so I imagine that the entire bell tower should be finished sometime during the summer.

We had a good turn out. Baby mama was there. I had a gift for her, and she had more information for us. Nobody asked but we were rather put to tears after hearing today’s story. She indeed told the baby daddy about the baby, to which he replied …”Get an Abortion or put it up for adoption!”

You can’t really abort a 5 month old baby (20 weeks plus) in Quebec. I am sure there is some back door doctor who would do the deed, if you went looking hard enough, but you can’t do it legally.

She won’t abort, or adopt the baby out.

So we are keeping it.

There is a list of things we need to get her before the birth, like baby clothing and all that goes with it, a legal, up to date car seat, because she does not drive, but needs a car seat to transport from the hospital. Car seats expire here in Quebec. So it has to be “street” legal.

I am going to my gaggle of girls with pleas for help, donation or advice, since we had a new birth at T.B.’s about 18 months ago.

We had a bunch of newbies tonight that stayed and joined the group for the business meeting, so of course we gave them all jobs for the next month.

A hopeful incentive to return/stay sober/ and to become part of.

I was told that in looking for a new sponsor, that in fact when I did find one, he would help me terminate my old sponsor. I really haven’t spoken to him in months and months. And on Thursday I have a lunch date with a friend with considerable sober time, I asked to work with me, so we are having lunch to discuss.

All the bills are paid, there is money in the kitty and all the jobs have been taken for March. On April 1st, is out Two Year anniversary. I have been tapped to plan the festivities, since I have everyone’s phone numbers in my phone as of tonight.

It was a good night. The push to baby is on.

I get the feeling really, that it will be a boy. Baby mama didn’t ask on the first ultrasound, she was too much in shock to ask. But more folks say the same thing … that it’s a Boy … We shall see.

More to come, stay tuned …


The Run Up to Lent … A Little Truth …

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I realized a few things in the past hour.

The first day of Spring falls on March 20th. The second thing is that Liturgical Season of Lent begins on Wednesday March 5th. With the imposition of ashes in Catholic Tradition.

I sent a note off to a friend just now, admitting some truths that have risen on my dashboard.

Winter has not been kind to all of us. And some of my fellows have fallen into the “poor me” trap and the “oh, will it please end” trap and the “constantly complaining” trap.

And If I am honest with  myself, I have not been very charitable. And I have certainly not been very patient. And I have let my anger pour out of my mouth before engaging my brain or my heart. Compassion has gone by the wayside opting for shock and awe…

Not a very Christian ideal by any stretch.

With Lent, we get 40 days to reflect on our lives, not that we shouldn’t reflect every day of our lives, but we get the opportunity to engage with the passion of Jesus and the run towards Easter.

Thankfully Easter candy is available right now in most stores.

That is neither here nor there.

I have been in a certain penitent mode as of late. Keeping my head down and not speaking at certain points. For it is sometimes better not to say something, lest I stick my foot in my mouth, all the way up to my thigh.

It is the end of the month. And that never bodes well, when there are raw issues on the table for conscious minds of God to deal with. And I must take my ego out of the equation and let God take the wheel.

Spending a good portion of my time in rooms day after day is tasking. Living in community with the people you love and sometimes hate in the same breath is consuming. I don’t know what that says about me, but being in such close contact with my fellows day in and day out has become a chore. Not a joy.

It could be Winter, it could be age. It could be me. It could be them.

It could be that we are all feeling a bit cabin fever being shut in day and night from the cold and the only time we get out is for a meeting and then all hell breaks loose because people do not have any other place to vent their shit then in a meeting in front of each other.

Here is where tolerance and patience and charity come to bear.

I’ve not been practicing very well. And that is my fault. I have not been mindful of my brethren. I have not been mindful of myself.

Which means I need to step up my prayers. For them and for me.

Just because you have time, does not mean you are necessarily sober.

I’ve not been very sober. It seems. I will rectify this …

More to come, stay tuned …


Don’t Fear Truth …

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Courtesy:Wrestlingisbest

Lifted from: donteattrash

A late night read through brought me to this message. It resonated. I hope you will find it resonates with you as well. Our writer is from the land down under, and is currently residing in South Africa. I follow his blog because his words lift my spirit.

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

“I don’t fear truth, especially the truth I do not have.”

I hadn’t been in the ocean in five years. But my New Years resolution was to get in… It was the 27th December. So we hike up this steep and sharp rock face, and then I’m told to jump. I can see the water. I can see how far I will need to jump out. I have seen others jump. I am told how easy it is, but I fear the truth. I fear the conclusion.

I wake up to a cancer ridden friend telling me about the gospel and asking why I haven’t jumped in yet, to the sweet waters of baptism. I am pretty sure I have to be a little less sinful to jump in. She says I have it wrong, it’s the opposite. The truth scares me.

I grew up knowing that weed and alcohol were not scary things, so although I tried them, I never got infatuated by them, but sex was always something to fear. Something to keep secret. Something to sneak around to find out. The truth, even tho it made me curious was something to fear, something to avoid.

Someone once said God is like a good father, who is always looking out for our best which i had a great example of in my own parents. But I held to a truth that God was angry and vengeful and a little elite. I knew I was right, and I knew if I let go of that truth, then most of my truths would fall apart. Letting go was a mystery, so even tho Gods goodness was attractive, I feared it. I feared the truth.

I never knew how bitter I was until I was forced to look at the truth through the mirror of others.
I never knew how sarcastic I was until I heard myself through the eyes of an American.
I never knew how defensive I was until I hurt a close friends feelings and saw it in his eyes as he came to me humble and truthful.
I didn’t want to know because the truth freaks me out. Because if truth is true, then I can continue in lies or I have to change.

I don’t want to fear truth anymore. I want to invite it, tension and discomfort and all. I don’t want to fear the unknown, because 9 times out of 10, new is fun. And new is good for me.

I want to hear different perspectives and not instantly try to prove them wrong. I want to agree with opinions that I don’t share because they are true and great.

I don’t have to be right. I fact I’m not right. I want to fight for relationships and finish with trying to trump the right of relationship with the wrong right of being right.


Sunday Sundries – Canada Victorious – The End of the Month

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It was a beautiful weekend. Temps were mild. The snow is melting but with daily moderate temps come frigid nightly lows. The approach to March looks like cold. Winter is not giving up its hand very easily.

It was an early call this morning. I wasn’t feeling all that well when I went to bed last night. But I had to get up and see the winning game. Our boys played a good game. They did a good job. It wasn’t a total massacre, but both teams were down players, but Canada had the better team consistently, on the ice. So the games come to a close with Canada in good standing for medals, and Gold where it really counted.

HOCKEY is CANADA’S GAME …

Our best women and men proved that once again. The pride of our country swelled just a bit this morning. We are all so proud of all the athletes who competed in Sochi. Well done.

I slept a little this morning. I really wasn’t interested in the Closing Ceremonies, the only reason to watch them is to see your home country march into the stadium.

I was and ready to go early because I needed to get a baby present, and I didn’t get into the core so I opted for the Hallmark Gold shop in our home mall. I arrived to the church and cranked out set up.

We sat a good crowd for the last Sunday of the month. Traditions meetings are either hit or miss. It is all about the newcomers, being prepared to welcome then getting out of the way.

The end of the month brings the traditions and the monthly business meetings across the city. So we read from the Twelve and Twelve and Tradition Two …

“For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants they do not govern.”

It is suggested that we join groups and become part of. It is suggested that we welcome the newcomer and being part of a group allowing them to serve others, (and make their mistakes). A long time member said that tonight.

There have been moments in the past that certain people came and demanded positions and tossed old timers out on their ass. The groups survived them.

I’ve learned that we are dispensable. I am part of many groups. I am responsible for two churches. And i do service so that I can make space in my daily life for the newcomer who might show up.

There are always opportunities for members to get active. New faces, means new blood and new opportunities to learn how to serve others. Because in the end, it is not about me. I am just one person. I do not govern.

However I feel, in certain cases there are newcomers who resent my presence, and once again tonight, at a business meeting I assented and deferred to newcomers to do service, and once again was rebuffed, with “what are you looking at me for?” I work very hard to include everyone in group activity, to work along side folks who want to show up. Because that is why we are there.

Another friend said that “A little conflict is healthy because it means that people care.” There has been conflict in our little meeting, which came to a head last month and I am sure will carry into our business meeting coming this week. Which is why we need all the voices and not just some. For certain situations we need all the members to be present to make certain decisions. God as we understand him speaks as we all sit around the table and discuss.

I always learn. I am always trying to be teachable.

Because it is not about me. You can’t get sober and keep your ego.

It was a good night.

More to come, stay tuned …

 


Canada’s Men’s Hockey Team is GOLDEN !!!

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And the final GOLD goes to … CANADA !!!

The early morning game went off and Team Canada brought home the Gold once again besting Sweden 3 to 0 …

Well Done Team Canada.


Friday … Black Ice, Rules and Team Canada

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Courtesy: Jason Huskins WordPress

All that matters tonight, is a GOLD medal on Sunday Morning (EST). The puck drops early – 7 a.m. here in Montreal. Check your local listings for the Marquee Event of the Sochi Olympics, the  Men’s Gold Medal Hockey Game. No pressure right?

All of Canada is waiting to see if Team Canada and Syd the kid to bring it all home for us. Needless to say that Canada as a whole won’t be sleeping a whole bunch this weekend.

*** *** ***

It has been a wet day today. It rained for most of the day, thankfully it had rained itself out by dinner time and my cross city commute. I figured that if it poured down rain, that would dent the snow piled up in places, but the little rain we had started the melt …

Rain … wet melting snow … cold temps … equals black ice.

It was a wet trip out and an icy trip home. All that standing water that had pooled began to freeze back over as the meeting came to an end. I noticed that the sidewalks were very slippery and that the salt truck was dusting the sidewalks up in Outremont.

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

You never know who is going to show up at a meeting. Friday night is always a who’s who of our weekly meetings. Lots of conversation and the usual getting up to speed on everybody’s week as it happened.

I left early and it was a sweet transit end to end. One of my buds was almost finished setting up so we finished the work and sat and waited over coffee.

Tonight’s reading spoke about rules and regulations.

If you’ve never seen the biographical film, “Bill W.” you should.

Funny that Bill himself and Dr. Bob had their dalliances with pills and extra curricular substances. It was also funny that the film tells the story about the early days of the fellowship.

One meeting where it was common to drink beer during the meeting.

Another where two black men showed up at a certain meeting hall, and the members would not allow them entry. Because they were black. it came down to a group vote to allow them into the meeting because, simply, that they were alcoholic.

And the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. They nixed the “Honest Desire” and it ended up as a “desire!”

G.S.O. in the beginning collected all the rules and regulations that arose in the early days and the steps and traditions were set up.

When I got sober, there were rules to follow in my main home group. You had to earn your seat. By doing service. By making coffee, setting up chairs and making coffee. And over the months as you remained sober, you were granted access to the meeting chair table. You started in the group and worked your way into the chair and other assorted positions.

Early on I was introduced to a particular Group of men. They were straight laced, I was gay. There was an automatic disconnect. The rule was men needed to wear shirt and ties and pound the Big Book, as instituted by their fearless Mafioso leader. I went to one meeting and never went back.

Meetings have changed over the years. And some would say that with the change in the times and the slowing numbers of “just alcoholics” moving towards many who are cross addicted, and come to A.A. via other substances, many meetings are populated by dual addicted folks.

But we sometimes say in meetings, whether they be beginners meetings, or men’s meetings or others … Please stick to topic as it pertains to your alcoholism, as this is an A.A. meeting.

In most groups you may find the No Crosstalk rule in place. We all get that. Crosstalk has begin more than one war at a meeting.

We all have our collective horror stories from the past two decades. Most of our old timers we see at meetings are in the 15 to 20 year sober set.

The LONG sober folks don’t usually attend meetings regularly.

The face of A.A. is changing, and the old rules are falling to the wayside. One of my friends I admire and respect says that the fellowship will change over the next twenty years, however staunch we are to hold fast the the Big Book, the face of the fellowship is changing.

And it wouldn’t be odd for me to say that the next edition of the Big Book that hits the press should be rewritten, reflecting the changing faces of the fellowship. New stories, new voices. In addition to the classical stories we find in the back of the book today.

The face of A.A. is changing. And we welcome the many, not just the few. In order to keep our young people, things have to change. because it is not just alcohol taking down our kids and our adults.

I think literature should reflect this need.

Meetings are as they are. The standard readings, texts, topics and rules and regulations. They exist, go to a meeting and listen closely.

Do you subscribe to rules and regulations in your meetings?

Because of certain people being present, I did not dare open my mouth, because it would have been major suicide to mention certain issues in community, so I rather kept my mouth shut.

We all pray to the God’s of HOCKEY … GO CANADA…

More to come, stay tuned …


Advice for the Men’s Hockey Team

1912288_10152229201052209_1009732988_nCourtesy: my cuz on Facebook

If the women can do it, then all the men have to do is play like girls…

Tee Hee …

Will it be a Gold Medal Clean Sweep? Stay tuned to find out.


Page 417 … Acceptance was the Answer

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Courtesy:PBJars Daniel

The weather is heating up. it is warmer than it has been in some time. And freezing rain/rain is on tap overnight and into tomorrow. I arrived at the church and the heat was on. And a new security system switch box had been installed in the church. That was a pretty penny or two…

I set up and I waited. We sat a good size group. Coming off last Thursday’s post, I posed a question and tonight we fleshed that question out in Double Jeopardy !!!

The Topic : Rhetorical Questions for $500.00

The questions such as, if only someone said something to us earlier on in our lives, considering our “problem with alcohol” what would have happened? “If only” is a popular lament in certain circles. But we cannot or should not live in “if only’s or what if’s.

I told a story about me during a pivotal time in my young life. Being a full fledged drunk. Ruining a trip across Europe, and coming back home, one very angry and resentful young man.

Family, Friends, coworkers. All adults. Not one of them ever intimated to me by word or deed, that I had a problem. i could have been stopped well before I did all the damage I did in my life.

We all had to walk our walks, our paths.

God is up there, weaving a pattern. We look up and see loose threads, but no picture, but God sees a picture as He weaves.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.

Which means, that everything happens for a reason, maybe even predestined.

Another said this … I had to walk this journey, and I had to hit my worst rock bottom, and become devoid of any will, and then God says, “now you will do my will.” Because your will did you no good. Look where it got you?

It wasn’t until I turned 25 and met Todd, did my drinking career begin to end. It took a a year, my very first sponsor got sober a year to the date that I got sober. He kept his Big Book on his register at the bar, and I would ask him “what that Big Book was” and his response never varied …

“When you are ready to know, I will tell you!”

It took my mortality and death to get me to stop and ask for help.

Because my attempt at liquor suicide did not work after deciding that dying from AIDS was not an option I wanted to entertain.

If Todd did not step in when he did, because he could and he loved me, I would not be alive today, most likely…

But I got sober, in spite of all the assholes who attended meetings at the Lambda House in Fort Lauderdale.

That sober journey wound around, and on my slip I had to loose everything in order to be ready to begin rebuilding my life from the bottom up.

It all happened as God planned it. I stepped off the path of His light and took back my will and paid dearly for that detour.

At the point that I had that next spiritual experience, the rest they say is history. I am here today. It was all God inspired.

I can ask all the rhetorical questions I want, and they will remain unanswered. All I can do is chalk all this up to life history.

If only someone stopped me sooner, I would not be living the life I am living today. But would it have been worth it?

I don’t know.

More to come, stay tuned …


Canadian Women’s Hockey Team is GOLD !!!

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Feb 20, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Team Canada celebrates winning the gold medal as team USA (who won silver) skates by in the background in the women’s ice hockey gold medal game during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Bolshoy Ice Dome. Canada won 3-2 in overtime.

Courtesy:Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports


Our Paths are our Own … Tidings of Great Joy

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The Annunciation …

It snowed a bit today, just a light dusting. February is ebbing and March is just around the corner. But we all know that March can be an iffy month, so we shall see if Winter continues or slowly comes to an end. In years past, Winter seemed to last into May …

Many people have been crossing my mental dashboard. People I haven’t seen in some time, or just people who miss a meeting here or there. In that effort of thought, it usually happens that if I think of said person, they show up at the next meeting I go to. As happened tonight.

I arrived at the church, it was a mess. They put in new windows in our room and they are tearing apart the front of the bell tower windows. So there is construction material all over the place. I got a call from our chair that he wouldn’t make it and could I sub for him.

Thinking on the fly, I thumbed through A.B.S.I. and nothing jumped out at me. I then picked up the Daily Reflections and went with today’s reflection. “Our paths are our Own …”

… there is nothing left for us but to pick up the simple kit of spiritual tools laid at our feet…” B.B. pg. 25

What did we learn first in early sobriety? What tools were there for us to find? Everybody had a different answer. But everybody had a path that they walked. And now we are here.

You never know what you are going to get when you go to a meeting.

We have been closely guarding some of our newcomers. Taking care of them, being present, and reaching out often. One in particular went home to Newfoundland for the holidays for a month, we prayed and she prayed that she would not drink. In the end, she stayed sober.

And it was a good thing too.

She picked up six months on Sunday.

What we didn’t know, changed all of our lives tonight.

Over the holidays our young woman entered a fitness challenge at work to loose weight, but to her consternation, she couldn’t drop a pound.

Months went by, and God was moving.

Because of things out of her control, doctors told her early on that she would never get pregnant. She couldn’t.

Last week the pieces all came together, and she took a pregnancy test.

Thinking she was going through menopause, she looked up the symptoms for both pregnancy and menopause. They were similar.

The first test came back positive. Then a second and a third …

Someone got on the hobby horse early in sobriety.

They say that we should stay away from relationships and BIG decisions in the first year of sobriety. Well, that didn’t happen,

God has graced us with a baby. It was a miracle. All we could do was speak kind words of support and love. What else would you do?

I had not seen our friend for a few meetings, but her sponsor kept us in the loop, but never intimated anything was amiss. Because she was in shock herself.

You never know what is going to come up at a meeting.

It is so good to know that we all have become family for our lady. We all rallied around her and will continue to do so.

“I bring you tidings of great joy …”

It was a miraculous night all the way around.

Our paths, all of our paths, have changed.

When you invest in your home group, you invest in all its people. And what better way to welcome a new life than in a meeting. Where else can you find such love and support.

I am totally in shock. But totally happy in the same way.

Mom and baby are doing fine. If everything goes well, our due date is in June. Since she is high risk, we will all keep a close eye on her.

Pray for our ladies.

More to come, definitely, stay tuned …


Alexandre Bilodeau – Gold Medal – Men’s moguls

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Canada’s Men’s Gold Medalist, Alexandre Bilodeau Men’s Moguls. He returned to Montreal this evening, to a hero’s welcome.


Sunday Sundries … Seventeen

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Courtesy:Cryptoray (special archives)

Another week begins. It was a blustery and cold day today. There are piles of snow all over the place, as the plows are working in my neighborhood tonight. They say it will take four days to clear all the snow that fell.

I arrived at the church and the radiators were on once again, so the room was nice and toasty. Set up went quickly and we sat a good size group.

Our final Big Book reading for the month … “A chance to live.”

How many young people make it to the rooms? Not enough. Why don’t young people come to the rooms, Because they believe they have a whole life to live yet, with or without alcohol.

For those who do come in, we are all in awe of them, because they came and we hope they stay.

How can I go on with my life – from a teen-agers perspective – if I get sober as a young adult? What happens to the rest of my life?

So many of us started drinking early, but many, never get to the door until they are well into adulthood. However, there is a crop of young people in the rooms as we speak. We work very hard to make them feel comfortable and welcome.

And we encourage them to stick and stay.

Our young writer of tonight’s story came in at seventeen. She had a short drinking career, but from the get go, it was drink, get drunk, black out and throw up … It is a familiar tune.

Many people picked up on seventeen, and where they were in life and where they were on the drinking time table. I was in high school. Which is where my drinking picked up and took off.

I just barely skated through my senior year, and graduated because I told the truth to one of my teachers, and he passed me.

I took the S.A.T. three times in high school. (standard aptitude tests)

By the third run, I was fed up with taking this damned test. The night before we had a party, and I drank until I fell down. I remember my friends driving me home drunk and almost passed out, and my mother just putting me to bed, as we said it was nerves for the test the next day.

I was SO HUNG OVER, my test site was the school library, which was in the biology wing. Thankfully there was a bathroom just outside the library. As each module would begin I would have to hurl, so I ran out to the bathroom and get back to just barely finish that module. That took place several times. I actually did better the third time.

Needless to say, I had a drinking problem in my teen age years.

But nobody said anything to that effect, ever.

At home, we Never spoke about alcoholism. It was an acceptable evil. It existed and we learned to exist around it. There was an elephant in the room, but nobody saw it.

My drinking career got off to a good start because I was primed and ready to drink big, when I left the nest. My drinking became a real problem the older I got. And nobody said anything. I am sure my parents still harbor resentments because of the shit I did.

The book says that: Nothing Absolutely Nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.

Which means that I had to walk the path I had, in order to get here. And I muse this thought, had there been one significant change or intervention at any time on my time line, I wouldn’t be here.

The way that final year of my drinking panned out and how I ended up in Canada a few months later, was all divine intervention. It all happened like clockwork. Divinely.

If one aspect of the timeline had been diverted or changed, I would not be here right now. And I probably would have ended up in a sorer state of living, living on charity, in a dead end life that had no meaning.

But I imagine I would have stayed sober, where ever that would have led.

At least I know that had I stayed where I was, there are still sober people who helped get me sober in Miami.

Many young people, and older people as well, in the beginning, feel shame that they lost control and ended up in a meeting. Having to admit to themselves that they are indeed alcoholics and need help.

That is one reason people stay away until the pain gets too painful and/or  the bottom comes sooner or later.

Many of us old timers, wish we would have found the solution earlier, and lament that we had to get piss ass drunk and hit rock bottom before we sought out the solution.

We do what we can for our young people. And that’s all we can do.

There is a solution, no matter what age you are. If your drinking is out of hand, and your life is becoming unmanageable, there is hope.

If you can’t just have One, and you suffer from the disease of MORE, you may be one of us.

I began with more, and lived into MORE, until MORE took me down in a blaze of painful pitiful incomprehensible demoralization.

It doesn’t have to be that way for you.

You are not alone any more.

More to come, stay tuned …


Friday … Snow, Realizations, Material Achievement

tumblr_ljdkbd5ReD1qztrv0o1_500 voodoovoodoo

Courtesy: Voodoovoodoo

The other night I heard a man say that he wanted snow …

Well, we got snow. A lot of it. Piled up all over the place. However, the estimated final snowfall total, was a bit less than we expected, which meant that life did not come to a stand still because of snow.

That usually doesn’t happen here. We need a good snow fall to incite panic and travel stoppages on our streets. We haven’t had that kind of snow event, yet, this winter.

I saw lots of flowers, roses, bouquets, bottles of wine, being carried on the Metro from place to place on my travels tonight. Even though the weather was shitty going into today, people made the most of it.

Thankfully the trains were all running properly. However the buses were a bit slower than usual because of piled up snow. I imagine the plows will begin working this weekend.

We sat a largely male crowd with a sprinkle of women here and there.

The topic … Material Achievement.

By the time my father was in his forties, he had amassed a wife, two kids, a home with a huge yard, a riding lawn mower, a two car garage with two cars to to in it, and a pool.

We were living large. But it was still a competition to see who had the most toys and who would win. Sadly, my father did not have all the nice toys that some of our neighbors had, so he came in third place.

It seemed that alcoholism did not affect the attainment of wealth. It was part of that wealth. It came with the territory. A trade off, you might say.

In order to have nice things, you needed the alcohol.

Sad, that I am in my mid forties, and all I have to speak of is a husband, a 1 bedroom apartment, enough food in my fridge, a roof over our heads, and the rent payed on a monthly basis.

It’s not about money or wealth. We hear stories from the many about the evils of money and how money can’t buy you happiness. One story in particular, a friend of mine, over the holidays, has a good paying job, but he is a humble servant. Goes to see his family on Christmas, and is repulsed by the fact that the rest of the family thrives on Big Ticket Items and large sum money pot presents. You can tell, from his point of view that he cannot compete with his family on the money front. And he doesn’t want to either.

Alcoholism and drug abuse took too much from me. Twice in my lifetime I have lost everything that I owned because of alcohol and bad decisions.

On my slip, I moved my house and all of my wealth that was considerable to a new home. Which turned out to be the biggest mistake I ever made in my life. Because when it was over, the cops took me and on that day they told me that I could only take what I could carry and leave.

I left everything behind. My life, My things, Almost everything that I owned. Save for what I could carry with me.

Granted, coming into sobriety the second time, when I moved countries, I had a few boxes, a couple of suitcases, And that was it.

I remember those first few months living here, I thought I was entitled. how wrong I was. That began a journey of learning just how much I needed, how I was going to get it, and keep it, and make it work.

I went back to school. I worked my ass off for two degrees, that translated into NOTHING. I learned a lot, but what I learned served no one but the folks in the meetings and you here my readers.

I am not rich. We live simply and Spartan.

Coming from a life of having everything and more, and moving into a life where it took work, blood sweat and tears to get here, I don’t know if it seemed that it came so easily when I was a teen ager? For all the good things we had, there was that trade off … Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

I survived the great purge of 2013. We own what we need. We gave the rest to charity over Christmas.

We have the trinity of needs, and that is all …

The roof over our heads,
Food in the Fridge and,
A warm bed to sleep in.

And we are grateful for those things on a daily basis.

More to come, stay tuned …


Canada Silver Men’s Free Skate

patrick chan silver medalist mens free skate

A smart ass comment went across Twitter about Patrick today …

“That he had the Gold medal on a platter, and he took the platter.”

People did not like that at all, especially from the person who dished out the insult.

Patrick has always been the underdog. For many years, his skating was not stellar all the time. And wins were hit and miss, however successful he has become going into the games. He has struggled and that is nothing new.

Sometimes he had it when it counted, and other times, he just could not cut a break. Skating is a cumulative sport. You build and you grow. You get confident with your skating and you do well. It just seems to me that another Olympics and Patrick came in second.

Even without Russian star power, the gold was up for grabs. I have been a watcher of skating for a long time.

We got a medal at least, Silver was the best we could get this time around.

We shouldn’t be so harsh on our athletes, because only the best make it this far to prove what they have on the world stage. And I wonder if Patrick left some of his umph in the locker room.

Well done Patrick. You did your best.