It is Sunday, and this new interface is called “Calypso,” and I don’t like it at all. It is very wonky, and all JAVA, and is supposed to be better than sliced bread … Um, NO !
I want my old post editor back. Much more user friendly.
It is on the cold side, the past two nights. We saw flurries fall a couple of times today, but there is NO snow in the forecast in the next week.
It was an odd weekend. I saw the baby the other night, and she was sniffling and coughing. On Friday morning at approximately 5 a.m. i was hugging the bowl, sick as a dog for twelve hours.
I find that I am so thirsty for anything to drink, and I went to the store twice and spent $30.00 on drinkables, yet I could not quench that thirst, it was insane, not that I kept anything down enough to enjoy it. Hubby brought me meds after work, and I took them and was able to sleep until almost 11 p.m. because I was up so early and did not sleep all day long.
I had the funkiest dream … I was stuck in this warehouse of 70’s and 80’s stuff, like video games, toys and it got crazy when I was sitting in an old style Burger King, playing with toys and food. It just kept getting odder and odder, and it was never ending. Back in the day, I had specific toys, and things I liked. Roller skates, and Solid Gold on tv. It was just odd because I’ve never had visuals like this before.
Saturday, I had things to do, and responsibilities that I had to be present for, so there was no time to lay in bed and feel sick or sorry for myself. I had back to back meetings in another fellowship I belong to. During our two hour break between them, I had dinner with friends, down line, and we watched some John Oliver on You Tube.
We’ve been talking about rigorous honesty of late. It is funny, that the one section of my life that I wanted to forget and never talk about or mention to anyone, has become my greatest teacher, and brought me into the lives of men who have changed my life.
This morning, well, for a while now, I’ve been riding my pre-cake roller coaster, that 30 day period that comes before you take your anniversary cake, when your brain goes on overdrive, and one begins to obsess over needless and useless shit.
But this morning, I needed a brain drain, so I got up and opened a word document, and wrote my script for my share on my anniversary next Sunday. I had very specific things to say, so I wrote them down, so I would not fuck it up. It is going to be explosive.
Tonight we sat only a small number. Lots of people still out sick, and we did not empty the coffee urn once again. wasted coffee…
It was Tradition Night, and the eleventh month, means the eleventh tradition. Attraction rather than promotion. That topic of anonymity came up but not many people spoke towards it.
What I did have to say was that the first time I got sober, the room I was in was very nasty and not attractive at all, but that’s where I could hit a meeting, however harsh my peers were towards newcomers. That shitty experience, only added to my alienation from the program and my eventual slip. I had come in contact with enough assholes and homophobes that I was totally turned off with participation and sobriety.
The second time I came in, it was a whole other story. The right people showed up at the right moment, and were very good for me. And when I moved to Montreal, (read: No cell phones yet), I met great people who were attractive in many ways. They took me in and took care of me, and spent time with me, so I was not alone.
I remember one really fun memory… My sponsor at the time, Dave, took me to the mountain in the middle of the night, to climb.
There is a mountain in the middle of the city. There is a trail you can walk, up and down. But on this night, he said that we were going to climb to the top, up the side, and not use the trails. It was odd, but very fun. That was just one of the many attractive things that I did in early sobriety. The other was a few months in, 4 alcoholics climbed into a Toyota and drove all the way from Montreal to Nova Scotia on the Atlantic coast for some meetings, and a whale watching tour. That was 17 hours each way. It was fun but a bit irresponsible.
It was a good night. More to come, stay tuned…
11 years ago tonight, with family and friends present, we exchanged vows and spoke sacred words. Today, we continue to live into those words. Tonight, we had dinner at the fabulous FIRE GRILL, once again.
I have shared before that there are three restos, that are at the top of the budget when it comes to dining out …
- Fire Grill
- Rueben’s Smoked Meats
- Baton Rouge
This short list is a foodies paradise of good eats.
I am grateful that I live in Canada. Due to recent events, in the world, people are at odds, and words are being spoken, that are totally, out of left field. I’m not sure most folks, politicians and leaders alike, know what they are saying.
My tight group of friends are at odds with each other, because of differing views of current events, and what each of them thinks, as to what we should do and how we should do it.
The ties of friendship are being tested. And if a second conversation that needs to take place, because the first one began and ended badly, doesn’t heal the rift, I am afraid that my circle will be broken over non-negotiable statements.
We are Canadian. And we, for the most part, share Canadian values, and for some, that is not good enough. Everybody has a right to their opinions, because of their origins, how they were educated, and how they each decide to live their lives.
No One Person has the definitive answer, because, let’s face it, we don’t. I don’t think a real, tangible, solid, workable answer is possible amid the heat of argument and prejudice.
Let us keep each other in our thoughts …
Notice I did not say “prayers…”
Religion has become a dirty word. People are choosing to incriminate all, due to the actions of “a few.” And that does not bode well, for an entire community of people, world wide.
One day we will see this for what it really is, and we will shake our heads and say to each other …”Was I really that stupid?”
Yes, we really are that stupid.
At least I can unfollow people. And I can turn the channel, and better yet, I can totally turn off my computer when it all gets to be too much of hateful overload.
More to come, stay tuned …
Hubby has a monthly Metro pass, that we both use. I had to drop labs this morning for my first lab run of the new drugs (read: Tivicay) I am testing at the moment. Six fifteen came very early this morning. It was still dark when I got to my bus stop to board.
The process was quick this morning, as I was only 15 numbers in when I got there.
Read: take a number and hurry up and wait for the next available agent…
Here in Montreal, public sector workers are on rotating strikes to demand better working conditions and better pay. Teachers across the island are on two days of strikes that began this morning. At the hospital, they were out marching and blowing those god damned vuvuzela horns.
I was like, can I shove that horn up your ass now. We’ve heard you and you are still blowing !!!
**** **** ****
Since we are in Christmas mode, thoughts eventually turn to what we are going to get each other for Christmas. Over dinner last night, I said to hubby that I only wanted one thing for Christmas, and that one thing was a new phone, since my HTC Hero is three years old and it only has two functions, One, to make calls, and Two, to listen to music.
He came back with “dammit, you spoiled my surprise!”
Like he could have kept his mouth shut in consideration of what I had asked for.
He was in the works to buy me a new I Phone 5S for Christmas.
He just blurted out what he was up to, so the gig is up.
We have broken our Anti-Apple crusade. Since we are a Windows house.
I will enter the new digital, phone crazy, doing multiple things all at the same time crowd.
Not that I engage in that kind of behavior now. I’m just not that connected to my phone, as people all over the place are. No matter where you go, people are fixated on their little screens, Face Booking, Texting or Tweeting.
I guess I will find out what the phone will do and learn how to multitask with that little device.
**** **** ****
This Friday, November 20th, is our 11th wedding anniversary.
I re-appropriated my mothers birthday. Since she is out of mind.
We are having dinner at a very fine steak house called FIRE GRILL …
Last year was the first time we dined there. It was a great dining experience. However it is not cheap by any means. But you get what you pay for in the end.
There are three restaurants in town that we dine at that are at the top of the monetary budget, which (read: $100.00 dinners) Rubens Grill and Smoked Meats, Baton Rouge in the Hyatt for Prime Rib and Ribs, and Fire Grill for outstanding steaks.
A few months ago my friend ken visited from California, he is a foody …
That week, I spent over $150,00 on food in just three sittings.
But it was money well spent !
Today there are only 40 shopping days until Christmas …
More to come, stay tuned …
When a group of well organized jihadists scheme, plan, and execute an attack on innocent people, they further prove that men of radical bent, will kill with impunity, with No regards to human life, No religion, and No creed.
They are killing in the name of corrupt ideology.
They are not killing in the name of Islam.
And they surely are not killing in the name of the Prophet, Peace be upon Him.
I kept my counsel until now, because I wanted to watch how the rest of the world framed this atrocity on human life. To see if there would be a backlash on Muslim people, and what kind of repercussions would take place.
One mosque in Ontario was burnt to the ground over the weekend.
I’ve relied mostly on European new agencies for news so that I would not get the taint that Western media tends to spin on any given subject.
The questions have been posed. Who did this, Why, Who funded them, and how did they plan and execute human atrocity and nobody was none the wiser. It did not blip on any radar, no security services had been alerted before hand.
And I read that the French Security services HAD dropped the ball.
The odd parking ticket, left at the club, where almost a hundred lost their lives, led to a hot bed of Jihadi men. Someone is going to pay, dearly.
The nationalities of the victims are coming to light, which then invites international scrutiny and investigations, in addition to the French authorities and French Security Services.
If the war had not been ramped up yet, it will now.
Here in Canada, the official Conservative opposition party, has put a motion forwards to our young rookie Prime Minister, to change his tack, and instead of pulling our air fighters from the Syrian theatre, to keep them there to assist in the destruction of Is.
The world is interconnected. We are one human family. We cannot say that we are not sad, or that we are unmoved.
We must speak up as One People and say “Je Suis Paris …”
Here in Montreal there has been an outpouring of sadness and solidarity over the weekend. Our community has marched in the streets, gathered at the French Consulate, and have spoken out as one in saying that we feel for Paris, and that we are here.
Canada is not immune to terrorism. But we are oceans and miles away from the center of action. And I guess that somewhat insulates us from the broader conflict. But does not make us immune to that “one off” lone wolf attack.
People still go about their business. But I sense that our community is a bit more aware of their surroundings, when out and about. You never know when the next hit is going to come, or from where.
We send all of our thoughts and prayers to the people of Paris and to France at large.
You are never alone. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
The scourge of jihadi terrorism will not win. We will find you and we will kill you.
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
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It was an uneventful weekend here. I am still in rest mode. I did what I had to do over the weekend. I spent time with friends, went to a few meetings, and rested in between.
Tonight was a big night in Montreal Sobriety.
Our humble Sunday Niters Group celebrated 52 years of being a meeting tonight.
In time speak, we are one of just a handful of meetings in the city that are so old. We have an illustrious history, and many old timers who were part of earlier incarnations of our meeting came tonight to celebrate with us.
14 years ago, Sunday Niters was located in a grand church names Saint Jame United, which is on the East end of town near Place Des Arts. The room had vaulted ceilings and a large kitchen with double ovens and counter space. Back in the day we had two meetings. One, a Step Discussion meeting, and Two, a Speaker meeting.
The holiday’s were the best back then, because we cooked massive Christmas Feasts and we fed hundreds of people, in the meeting and off the streets. It WAS the place to be at Christmas.
In 2009, we moved from the East end to our present location, St. Leon’s Church in Westmount, which is just shyly west, of Downtown Montreal. I am just a fifteen minute walk away.
We carried two meetings for a while, until numbers dropped off to far, and we dropped our speaker meeting opting for our single Literature Discussion.
One of our elder men spoke, then we discussed the Home Group. Afterwards there was a feast of food and drink and cake.
It was the first time in my memory that we had this big a turn out.
A good time was had by all.
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There has been a rumor running around our neighborhood for the past few weeks. On the way out to a meeting one Thursday night, we met up with a friend who worked in our Provigo, just downstairs.
I had commented to her that (over Thanksgiving) that the selection of good had changed to no name brands across the store. I had noticed that many of the name brands I purchase on a regular basis, had been phased out, for yellow box, no name same.
Her reply was, “they are going to close the store.”
Tonight, on the way out, I had to get some soda for the celebration. Now, I know all the cashiers on first name basis. And as I cashed out, she said to me, “will you miss us?” And I asked her why, and she replied, “they are closing the store on January 6th.”
I was like W.T,F.???
The stores lease is up and the Toyota dealership that owns the building, is taking over the space. There is a car dealership, just across the street from the Provigo. Upstairs, above the grocery store is the Toyota service center.
There is going to be a massive move of sites, and the other speculation is that condos are going to be built above the 4 story building that sits on that corner.
There are 4 grocery stores that serve our neighborhood. The IGA which is in the Alexis Nihon shopping mall, 3 blocks down. There is Adonis, which opened on the ground floor of the Seville Condo Project, which is two blocks down. And finally, P.A. grocery store which is a boutique store (which is directly across the street from Provigo, up the block, above Ste. Catherine’s street), with a butcher shop, fine foods, fruits and vegetables. (I don’t consider them a proper grocery store because I don’t shop there except for specialty items I can’t get anywhere else).
It is said that since Adonis opened a year ago, the Provigo sales have slumped enough that closing the store was the only option. I shop at Adonis, well, I shopped at Adonis for a while, and it looks like they are going to become our go to grocery store, because it is closer.
The Alexis Nihon Commission spent millions of dollars over the last year in renovating and retrofitting the mall to bring it up to spec. The IGA footprint was expanded to double its original footprint, and they offer a great shopping experience. However, carrying bags of groceries from the mall – home is going to be a real pain in the ass.
I might have to invest in a roller cart.
Christmas Decorations are up at the mall, and on the way home, I noticed that workers have begun framing out the new occupant (read: Canadian Tire) in the defunct Target space. A wall is being framed in front of the original frontage wall, which has a huge panel of windows to one side that rise to the second floor of the mall. We shall see what direction they take the new store.
The Big Switch is going to take place. The Old Canadian Tire is located on the floor above the ground floor, on the mezzanine. They are going to move it downstairs. Which opens up another store for new occupants. Winners is stuck between the Second and third floor (read: Parking) and they will stay where they are.
The old Target space is a larger footprint than the old Canadian Tire upstairs.
But, their car detail department won’t have a bay on the ground floor, so I am not sure how they are going to work that out. In the building proper, there is a massive car wash, a car service center for Canadian Tire, several business buildings (read: Towers) and many residential buildings (also towers) (read; Westmount Square), all incorporated into the original structure.
On the local scene, Le Square Condo project, just this week, raised its 20 story building crane onsite, that condo project is moving faster along, than Le Catherine, which is just a few spots down the street from home. Le Square, is on Cabot Square. Le Catherine, is on Ste. Catherine’s Street, just across the street from the new Starbucks that opened with the Seville Project last year.
With the loss of Provigo, and the addition of two MORE condo projects going up, the local shopping scene is going to change. Prices are either going to moderate in the existing stores, or they will go through the roof.
We will either Feast or Starve …
Time will only tell how the neighborhood is going to fare with loosing an anchor grocery store.
There are only 41 shopping days until Christmas …
Ho Ho Ho !!!!
More to come, stay tuned …
How often do we say to our friends, that, “yeah, everything’s fine, and I’m ok?” And how often do we tell ourselves that everything is fine, and we really want to believe that everything is fine, when in reality, everything is not fine. In fact, things are in really bad shape.
When we are always going, doing, and being, amid the business of our days, we (read: I ) tend to forget myself, because as long as I am not feeling it, or do I feel in distress, I can keep going, until that proverbial wall comes up and smacks me in the face.
Many people run on the premise that as long as I look good to you, then I don’t have to look at me. As long as I put up a good front, you won’t see what a mess I am on the inside, and how unmanageable my life is, as I am trying to manage your life instead.
Try as I might, I never want to admit defeat, in any sense. Try as I might, I feel like as long as I am breathing, and can do things, that I must do them, to the detriment of myself. I tend to take for granted that I am not twenty any longer, and that I am closer to fifty then I am to twenty.
I tend not to, or ever admit that I am that old. Nor do I ever admit that I can’t do everything that I have always done, to the extent that I put myself in mortal danger of sickness, and in the worst case scenario, death …
I’ve been living on borrowed time for so long, that always doing “something” all the time, is natural.
There is a story that comes to mind about Bill W. He never said that he was an alcoholic, however he was. In his life, we alcoholics, wanted to be near him, with him in meetings, and or talking to him about a great many things. Bill could not go out to a meeting and be himself. He never could walk in an anonymous room, and be anonymous. He was saddled with who he was and what he represented to everyone in the rooms.
He just could not “go to a meeting, for himself.”
For a long time now, I have been responsible for many meetings, meaning, I either had the key and had to open, come rain, or come shine, or snow. Or I had to do service, be it coffee, or set up or something else. And I have been doing this for years now. There are not many folks, who come to mind at the moment, who have stuck around, to take over or do something other than coming to a meeting here and there. People just don’t stick and stay where we need them to.
And you can’t ask or force anyone to do anything, either.
For the last month or so, I’ve been sick. The proverbial wall came up and smacked me in the face. And I did not like it, to admit that, I could not do something, kicking and screaming all the way, I had to give up responsibility for some of my chores to someone else. I really needed someone else to step up and be accountable.
My doctor said to me that for a while, until I finished treatment, that I had no other choice than to stay away from the baby, because babies are toxic breeding grounds for sickness and infection, inherently because they go to day care. And kids get sick. And they carry that sickness home with them.
And so over the last few months, being immuno-compromised, found that every time the baby coughed or sneezed, I got sick. This last round got worse and needed professional drugs to get better. I finally got “the message” when over the counter drugs stopped working. Because I was not “getting better.”
So I followed medical advice. I stepped back. And others stepped forward. And I took care of me for the past two weeks. I cut back my schedule. I turned things over to friends. I only hit half the meetings I usually hit, and I spent a great amount of time sleeping and resting, because that’s what my doctor said to do.
This week, as it happened, I began to return to my old life. But now, I am not as “responsible” as I was a month ago. I don’t have to do anything, at the moment. On Tuesday, I visited Baby mama and the baby for the first time in weeks. I also hit the Tuesday night meeting, for the first time in a month. I went for my visit, I stayed a little longer than usual, because I did not have to be “ON.”
I was able to just be me. I walked into the meeting, a friend is opening for me, the coffee was made, another friend was in the chair, and I could sit down, and go to a meeting, and just be me.
I can tell you that there was an entirely different vibe, that I had never felt before.
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The best gift we can give our friends is our presence. Being there, sitting with, showing up, and not necessarily having to do anything beyond, just being there.
I can do this today. Just be present.
Yesterday, I sat with one of my guys, and I listened to him work his Fourth and Fifth Step, in progression, in real time. I’ve never done that before, and I wasn’t sure just how to do that, so I prayed about it, and decided that it was necessary to see him through this portion of step work and that it just HAD to work.
Tonight, it rained. Well, it pissed rain was more like it. Enough rain was falling to warrant an umbrella, but pissy enough that you really didn’t need one.
A young lady spoke. Turns out she is “family.”
So young to be so wise. She walked a long road to get here. But she is here, nonetheless.
In the end, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
She speaks about God and how she sees God, and connects to him.
She also said that when things are good, she is connected to God. She really doesn’t think about God. But when things hurt or things get tough, she tends to forget God, and she disconnects.
And she has learned that lesson the hard way. Now she respects the connection with her higher power, which she chooses to call God. and she says …
I am Always Ok …
We are always ok. It just depends on how we look at things.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned …
Another weekend is in the books. Today is day 4 of Nuclear Antibiotic Treatment. I was warned that they are the strongest antibiotics on the market, and they are also doing a number on my innards. I was very sick to my stomach this morning. UGH !!!
It has been an interesting week, and I get glimpses of clarity here and there.
I’ve spent so many months, being all things to all people, to the degree that I forget to pay attention to my own needs, mentally and physically. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends for so long, that the time came when I got knocked out of rotation, because I got really sick.
My doctors warns me to take it easy. “Taking it easy and just being” is difficult when you are always moving and engaged. God, in His infinite wisdom, has done for me what I could not do for myself.
Only this weekend, my voice is starting to return.
I’ve been hitting meetings, here and there, but I am not back to full steam with all my responsibilities across town.
I’ve been seeing the ugly side of my friends recently. And I don’t like what I am seeing, nor what I am hearing from their mouths. Sitting on Step Seven, God is showing me Character Defects and Shortcomings in the guise of my friends and fellows.
Everybody in the rooms is on their specific journey. Not all men and women sit at the same place on any given day. Some are taking it easy and trudging along as they are able, and for some of my friends, they are judgmental about the status progress of their fellows.
Judgmental enough to state that they have specific expectations of their fellows, and that, if you aren’t in it to win it, working your steps and being On Top Of Things 100% at their behest, that there is a certain price to be paid for lack of action.
And that price is the friendship and attention and care that some may bring others, because they feel as if they need to punish some for their inability to “get things done, on their time frame, to their liking.”
And I the thought came that those same friends who expect so much from others, aren’t even engaged in their own step work, none of them. Every time we bring that subject up, they are all busy.
I don’t suggest any work for any of my guys, unless I am it in myself. And I am.
How can you suggest something for another, and not be doing the same yourself?
A certain man I am working with is trying his best, and it hasn’t been a cakewalk.
But I stick with him, because I have faith in him. My personal motto is “You Don’t Turn your back on your friends, ever…”
Others do not share my vision. Having ongoing conversations with some of my friends, about what I can do, or what I should do, have been fruitless. Several suggestions were floated to try and get a pay out. But some of my friends, are unwilling to devote time to people, who aren’t in the solution, as they see fit. They either don’t have the time, nor are willing to spend the time necessary to see things through. (Oh, that’s too much work…)
After a heated conversation the other night, I spoke my opinion. That did not go over very well.
You don’t turn your back on your friends, ever …
That is treason to the soul.
Over the past month, my phone has rung less than usual. And I find that odd.
While I was here all summer long, keeping the meetings open and serving my fellows along with a rag tag handful of friends, who were not leaving the city, I did my best.
A second group of people were traveling the world, seeing other places, and working out of province. Now we are all back under the same roof. And everybody is where they are on the journey of life, as we speak.
We celebrated six months of clean and sober time last night, for one of my guys. And I opened the meeting and chaired, because our guy who was supposed to be there, was a no show.
I asked a friend of mine for a topic, and she suggested Step Seven. That was a fruitful discussion when all was said and done. The one word definition of Step Seven is “humility.”
When we need help, most of us, don’t realize we need help until it is too late. Or we think that we just could not ask for help, because we should man up/woman up, and do it ourselves. But that’s what our Higher Powers are for right?
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Most of us say we believe, but when push comes to shove, we forget our belief.
God, it seems, in lots of cases, seems to step in right when we need it, as we need it , as long as we need it. And that has been the case for my friends and myself as of late.
Tonight, I headed out for the Sunday Meeting. I was flying solo for set up, and I had only one chore for tonight, to give another of my men his first year medallion and cake. He has not had a drink for 365 days. We are all so proud of him.
Another of my friends, a fellow woman of our group, took a 24 year medallion and cake from her sponsor. It is still amazing to me every day, how much our women change when they get “into the work.” This is the model that I use for my guys. Reading the Book, doing steps, calling, tenth steps and honest hard work, really does pay off in the long run.
Many are at the stage in sobriety that they are “willing to go to any length to get sober.”
We hear that line read, every time we hear How It Works.”That if you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it, THEN you are READY to take certain steps.”
It took me almost twelve years in the rooms to understand quite succinctly, what that line really means. Because it happened to me. And it has happened to many others as well.
And so, with a little courage, and faith, we work with newcomers and each other. And we invite them to participate. The odds are against us/them. But there are those few who are ready to step up, because stepping back, would mean much more suffering.
The other line that means the world to me comes from A Vision for You …
“Obviously, you cannot transmit something you haven’t got.”
Wow, is that line packed with meaning. For how many years, did I have to trudge this road, to figure out succinctly, what that meant as well?
I had to practice the work and do it myself, and see the results come. Along the way, I was working with a sponsor who cares about me and is always there, work my own steps, go to meetings, hit retreats, and hone my message, and find that voice that suited me.
And voila … God did for me what I could not do for myself. And the men and women who were put in my path, came for a specific reason.
It has become seriously obvious that some of my friends, in the rooms, are sober, (or not so sober) at the moment,(read: Dry) are sick individuals. My sponsor warns me to steer clear of them, and do not react, and not to say a word.
He did tell me to pray for them for 21 days.
I just cannot understand how friends can turn on each other at the drop of a dime.
I watch them act around each other and myself. I listen to the words that come out of their mouths. This is where my sponsor warns me to be vigilant with my words, thoughts and actions, and to pray. The words are incongruous, and I don’t understand detestable language or action.
Friends don’t turn on each other, friends don’t disrespect each other, and once again I repeat, friends don’t turn their backs on their friends.
Sadly this is going on right in front of us at the moment.
I learned a while back, that people may be in the rooms, and have time, but not be very sober.
We have been seeing this thought play out in open community.
Steps Six and Seven take time to present themselves, at least that is how it happened for me.
The diligence of time, and the grace of God and not drinking, has its perks.
It was a good night, capped off with laughter and lots of cake.
In a few weeks time, I hit the 14 year mark.
One day at a time. And by the Grace of God.
More to come, stay tuned …
The last time I saw the baby, I got sick. That was more than three weeks ago. I thought that it would just be a cold or quite possibly a short lived flu… Wrong !!!
My cold just got worse. And added to that I was taking a new pill, and I could not differentiate whether it was the pill making me sick, or something else. When that question arises, in any situation, one should roll the clock back to the point where everything was well and good. And if you can pin point what it was, at that point that changed, one figures out what to do.
I stopped taking the pill, until I could prove otherwise, that IT wasn’t making me sick. All the while, I am spending way too much money on over the counter medication, cough syrup and other cold ending drugs. I had a problem. The simple shit wasn’t doing the trick.
Being immuno-compromised, you must always fear a bug getting worse. Your T- Cells, aren’t always going to work their magic. Sometimes shit gets past the sensors.
I had a laundry list for my doctor, whom I called first thing when I rolled out of bed.
My doctor is not in his office everyday of the week. So it was a shot in the dark to call and actually get his receptionist on the other end.
I am pumped up on over the counter shit, if I sleep on my right side, I wheeze and cough. If I sleep on my left side, I am clear to go. “problem!!!”
I had things to do and places to go, and there was nobody to do my sober chores for me. I got ready to go, and headed for the Metro. I had to make a trip all the way to the East end, to the inter-group office to pick up chips for my guys. UGH !!!
I had a call into my doctor by that point. He had not called back, so I called him again, before I got on the train, I needed to see him, today, if it was possible. I got the green light, to see him, so I ran my errands, because he was not expecting me until around 4.
I was headed way east, I hit my destination with plenty of time. Then I had to decide what to do next. I was on the far side of the grid which lends the ability to take the green line back into the grid and make a transfer to the line that will take me to the line I needed.
There are four lines … Green, Orange, Yellow and Blue.
Quick Metro lesson …
One the left you see Atwater on the green line. I live near that station. I traveled to Pie IX station on the far side East on the Green line. On the way back, I changed stations at Berri (see big yellow box) on the right hand side. This is one connection point between the two solitude’s, the green line and the orange line.
I needed to make my way to the Blue line, which is a trek up the Orange line to Jean Talon station, upper right hand section of the grid. I made my transit towards that doctors office, Which is on the Blue Line at Acadie.
Because to come all the way home, to go all the way back out was pointless.
I had confidence I would get in today, so I packed a book in my bag.
When I got to the doctors office, it was 2 o’clock. Doc told me not to show up before 4.
As is always, I always wait, I am always the last patient, sometimes that is a good thing, because I get ALL the time that I need.
I dressed in my most flashy, long sleeve Sunflower (read:Yellow), shirt.
I get to the doctors office, I walk upstairs, and the office is packed to the rafters, all the chairs were taken and there were men standing up waiting on their wives. In our Greek community, you never travel alone. People travel in packs.
Today I noticed a trend …
As I walked upstairs into the office, it was as if I was walking into a funeral home, being the brightest flower amid a sea of black. Everybody was dressed in black, the men included.
I felt like Luna Lovegood at the Weasley wedding… (10 points if you get that reference).
I had a book, I had a Pepsi, and I had M&M’s … I was good to go.
A few minutes later, I even got a chair to sit in.
I had wanted to ask that question … But it slipped my mind.
I saw my doc. He said I had a little right side pneumonia going on, and maybe a little Bronchitis while we were at it. He gave me some serious Nuclear Fusion antibiotics to take, and sent me on my way.
I left the house at 12:30 in the afternoon. I got home, at was six o’clock.
On the way OUT, I get to the mall, heading for the Metro, and I look up and god dammit, as I live and breathe, there are CHRISTMAS decorations hanging from the ceiling. On the way home, I walk home from that same mall, and wouldn’t you know it, The city has put up the damned flashy light Christmas decorations on the street poles.
Today is November 5th …
Isn’t there something that goes a bit like this:
“Remember, Remember the 5th of November.”
Yeah I will remember it because those damned Christmas decorations are up already !
A long day was had by all.
I completed an entire circuit of the Metro. Feeling strong, I popped a pill and waited for the evening event. The Thursday night meeting. It was time to get back on the hobby horse and give hubby a break, that break being me in the house all the time.
I saw some friends that crossed my path over the weekend, last. There was conversation.
Before I knew it, it was 2 minutes to eight.
I ran back inside, thankfully we had our seats saved with jackets.
Our woman spoke. As she was introduced, she got to the table, and rearranged herself a bit, looked up at us, she took a deep breath, as tears swam in her eyes, and she said the following:
“My husband just walked in the doors!”
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after that.
In the end we celebrated five and twenty eight years, respectively.
Five years is a good chunk of time, when you get there.
You come in, and you make your months, then your year, and get that medallion. If you stay sober, you get a silver oval chip at two years, that is a milestone for us, because that silver oval two year chip, gets dipped in gold and you get it again at ten years.
The next stop on the time line is Five years. It is the first marker of serious time.
Then you hit Ten years, Fifteen, Twenty, and multiples thereafter.
Last week we celebrated over sixty years in the same room. And tonight, one of the sponsors, thought out loud, to the rest of us … “Who was here sixty years ago?” Our woman has been in that room for more than twenty herself.
We hopped a bus right away, on the way home.
As I crossed Ste Catherine’s Street towards my building, I got into the slip stream of several people, walking in the same direction I was, walking towards my building. Everybody was walking at their speeds, some making ways for others, and some passing others, left or right, giving them wide berths as not to interrupt their gait…
I pulled up, behind a young woman in white “come fuck me pumps…”
She was headed for my building.
Now it either goes like this, One, you have the key to the door, Two, they have a key to the door, or Three, They are going to wait until you let them in the door while they pay not one ounce of attention to you while in the vestibule.
She was aloof and sucking very hard on some kind of Starbucks frothy drink.
She did not, in any way, notice who I was, nor that I had opened the door. She just floated in the door, unaware, while she was sucking on her drink.
We got in the elevator, and she got off a few floors up. Once again, not even a look !
Yes, dear girl in the “Come fuck me pumps” I opened the door for you, and you didn’t even acknowledge I was even there…
God give me strength…
Last night, we all “Fell Back.” We were headed to bed early again, so that I could get some sleep, I turned all the clocks back and we went to bed.
When I woke up, it was light outside. But the skies were dark and foreboding. Clouds were speeding across the sky, rain was falling, thunder was rolling and lightening was streaking across the sky. It came so fast and furiously. It was a “carry” night.
I have spent the better parts of days and nights resting my body so that I can do what must be done, because for several meetings, I am the sole key holder. I departed for the church at 4:30 and met up with a friend in Westmount Square, and we walked together to the church.
When we entered the church, it was still light outside. And it was raining.
We took our time cranking out set up, because I am not back to 100% myself yet. I just don’t know when this cough is going to let up. It does not seem to want to go, no matter what I throw at it, medicinally.
An hour later, I went outside and darkness had fallen. It was not even six yet, on the clock, but the quality of the darkness made it feel like ten p.m. It felt like it had been dark for hours and hours, and the evening meeting, was taking place in the middle of the night, so it seemed.
And it is only going to get worse, darkness falling during the afternoon rush hour.
A couple of years ago, (the second week of November) it got dark, then it got cold, and then 60 cm of snow fell and the city went into lock down, having not been prepared for that kind of snow so early in the season.
On the way home one of my friends reminded us of this fact.
The 14 day outlook says this weekend we drop from double digit highs, to single digit highs (7’s,8’s,and 9’s) for the following ten days with lows in the (1’s.2’s and 3’s). We will see some rain, but as of tonight, thankfully, no snow …
We sat a packed house. We read all the way around and did not quite get back around for everyone to share.
The short version of tonight’s read …
I drank – I drank more – I blacked out – and could not find my car.
For some, the drink begins tamely, it is enjoyable, for awhile, until …
Then there are others, who begin to drink, and we enjoy that drink so much, that all we want is MORE, until the alcohol stops working for us…
I was warned about drinking and driving early on. I listened to that advice. And in the end, I can safely say, that “I never got caught.”
At one point, I got rid of my car. Which was a good thing.
In tonight’s story, our man is young, goes to fight in the Great War. And the story does tell us that he is Canadian. Canadians, know how to drink, drink well and drink hard.
He mentions that he gets on the wrong train, and ends up somewhere else. On several occasions, he mentions, parking his car in one place, drinking hard, and returns only to find that his car, is not where he had originally parked it.
Our folks tonight, spoke about getting on planes, trains and automobiles, drunk, not knowing where they were to end up, or how they got on planes as drunk as they were.
My experience with drinking and driving, drunk and high were not fun. Watching someone wreck a car (drunk and high), and survive that wreck, only to be airlifted to a hospital a hundred miles away, not knowing if they were going to live or die, was something I lived through.
You can only temp fate so many times, until you get the backlash.
The last year of my drinking was hit and miss. Periods of self imposed sobriety because I could not do the job I had drunk. 2001 was the cathartic year for millions of people. When entire populations of people suffer P.T.S.D. by extension, the drink comes in very handy.
I lived through that, drinking hard, then having the experience, of crash and burn, sobriety, then months of drinking as hard as we could. But that was not sustainable. Not in the long run.
My drinking went from a hopeful magical transformation into a beach buff god, to one of drinking hard, one night a week, ending up in a blackout, and not knowing who took me out of the club, how I got into a taxi, how I got home, and through two key locked doors, several times, before I finally put down the drink.
The end was coming, I could not answer my own questions about the who, what and where.
So I quit. I prayed. and God answered me swiftly.
That human contact, I craved so badly from people I was drinking to impress, turned out to be the wrong people I did not need in my life. In the rooms, I found that human connection that was right and correct. And those people, in that specific 10 p.m. SOBE meeting saved my life.
In the end our man figured out that he had a problem, when things began to happen that did not add up. Getting on the wrong trains, loosing his car, the continual blackouts that did not get better, only worse.
He found, in the rooms, as is told by everyone in those rooms, that we come and we find that which we have longed for for so long, that we thought we had to drink to find, are relieved to learn that we never have to drink again and that the rooms provide everything that we need.
The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, but Connection.
It is in the connection we make with others, that we find salvation.
It was a good night. More to come, stay tuned…
Last week, I was visiting the baby, and she coughed and sneezed on me, and now I’m not feeling 100% tonight. (It would get worse, much worse) Last night I went to the pharmacy to find some high powered drugs to take, because I was going downhill very quickly. This morning (Sunday) at 5 a.m. I was a mess, and thought for a moment, that the Pharmaprix on Guy used to be open 24 hours. I got dressed, bundled up, walked the four blocks over, (in a rain storm) and wouldn’t you know it, they were closed…
I came back home and got back into bed until 9 when the Pharmaprix at Alexis Nihon would open. Thank God for commercials. Because I went and got a name brand elixir to take to help me. I took a hit standing outside the mall not waiting to get home. I waited an hour, and it didn’t seem to be doing anything. So I took a second hit, that did the trick. I spent the better part of the day hacking into a tub. UGH !!!
Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, and spend your down time healing, so that you can go out for a couple of hours and do what you have to do, because you have the only key to that particular church basement…
I am still a mess.
**** **** ****
Last week, Tuesday, I saw my doc. He gave me a clean bill of health. And the discussion continued about changing my twice daily meds (that I only take once a day, but he does not know that) to a single dose pill. I get thousand numbers and nobody is none the wiser.
But I wonder if that has a direct impact on the fact that if the baby sneezes or coughs on me, I get sick within hours ?
The new pill is called TIVICAY. It is a single does HIV medication. That is combined with three other pills that I take, in conjunction with my other medications, nightly. I dropped the script at the pharmacy on the way home, and picked it up on Wednesday morning.
Canada has socialized medicine. We are covered by government insurance. We also have hubby’s insurance to cover other things we might need. I go to pay for my pills, thinking that it would not be so much, I was wrong.
The Tivicay alone cost $599.48 Yes, that’s five hundred ninety nine dollars…
In the end, I paid a grand total of $60.00 for a thirty day supply.
**** **** ****
I have been taking the new pill for almost a week now. As you might have noticed, this is the addition to this post, which I started on Sunday last, and it is now Friday October 30th.
I have been sick as a dog all week. I’ve spent a good chunk of money on medication that I am still taking today. Baby Mama ended up in the hospital on Tuesday morning because of an adverse reaction to medicine she was taking. So I took the entire week off, which is totally out of character for me, to miss a string of meetings because I was sick.
But my friends stepped up and helped me out. And so this weekend, I return the favor by opening a couple of meetings while my friends get a night off. It’s all good.
**** **** ****
Last night, I got out of the house for the first time in almost a weeks time, for the Anniversary party for Saint Matthias Group. I can’t remember the date at the moment, but they are in the high sixties, and can claim for fame that their group has been in the same location at St. Matthias for over six decades, when A.A. first came to Montreal in the 1940’s.
Quebec A.A. began with Dave B. A lone member. From there the group grew to twenty five people. A single meeting opened, and spawned two others. Rounding the meetings out was a third meeting at Snowdon. The Westmount meeting moved to St. Matthias and has been there ever since.
The house was uber packed, with probably more than 150 people in attendance. Our speaker came from the South Shore, a woman I have known for the entire time I have been sober. She is sober some 45 years now.
At the end of the meeting, before food was served, there was a sober countdown. Starting with fifty or more years of sobriety, there was one man with that much time. Counting down all the way to One Day, there was one man with one day of sobriety in the room. After the meeting, I said to him, that he was the most important person in the room tonight.
In the end, we counted more than 1,145 years, 9 months and 4 days of sobriety.
We did not stick around, as there were so many people scrambling for free food. So we came right home.
Tonight is my last night off. The pesky cough is still lingering, and my voice is half of what is was, so I get to whisper… UGH !
More to come, stay tuned …
It has been a very busy week. I haven’t had time to sit down and write, because life is happening at warp speed as of late. However busy it has been, this week, I have had moments of just being present for my friends.
I have spoken a great deal about “presence.” And how important that is to others, as well as for ourselves.
Life, it seems, as of late, has been full of opportunity to just be present.
Every day, there is Something to do. Places to go. People to see. Meetings to attend.
I spend a good chunk of time with the baby. And the game is changing up because our friends have now, more time to commit to being present themselves. Which is giving baby mama time to step outside of motherhood, to find the woman she was, before the baby. But she has found that she does not remember the woman she was.
So the task at hand is to realize who she is today.
And we’ve begin the process of being present for her, so that she can take some time to herself during the week, to find herself. It is a good thing.
I have other friends that just need to be loved. The consensus for some of my fellows is that they can’t devote time to people who aren’t “in the game” or “in it for the solution.” I differ in this process. I believe that just being present to begin with, is a start.
We’ve all had things to do this week, which were tedious, and stressful. And on one particular afternoon, I sat with my friends, just to be there, to offer them strength and to witness a change in the way of things.
There have been many ways that “presence” has been presented to me.
This has been a long running theme in my life.
We talked the other night about Ego and Self Esteem. When I think about these two words, images flood my mind.
Nothing kills an ego, faster, than looking down at an overflowing toilet full of shit and piss, because someone has stopped up the toilet with a cup placed backwards in the system.
And knowing that YOU have to clean it up. And not complain about it either.
Todd did a good job at teaching me valuable lessons, I get to draw upon to this day. I’m really grateful that I had the life I have lived up to this point. Because in the end, it has played out quite nicely.
When I came out, I don’t think I ever thought about self esteem. Because I was just a boy, who, with a little alcohol, would find myself, and others, and I would be one of many, just like myself.
The alcohol did for me what I could not do for myself. Until it stopped working.
My brand of alcoholism, was always, trying to find something, do something, or be someone that was unattainable, for one reason or another. I was finished when I put down the drink for the last time. Who I am today, is a direct result of all the work I have put into myself over the last almost fourteen years.
I had to get to the end of whatever road of misery I was on. It was good that I did not have much in the way of things, or money, or responsibility. It was an uphill battle. My life’s career from my teens into adulthood was fraught with complications.
I did have that two year break in the trend of misery, and had the opportunity to live the two best years of my life, with Todd. For a brief time, I knew who I was, I had self esteem, and my life was honored by men I respected and adored.
We read these stories of the folks from the second edition of the Big Book tonight.
I had not wealth, nor title, nor achievement to my name, when I was drinking, and a good thing too. Because it would have been wasted opportunity. God, in his infinite wisdom, held achievement just outside of my reach, until I was finished destroying myself.
They say, that good things come to those who wait …
I’ve learned the fine art of patience and persistence. One day at a time. Sobriety is a long term proposal, that for most, is too daunting to see right now. Which is why, one day at a time, is so useful.
Mortality, or the threat of loosing it is another ego buster. Knowing that your life hangs in the balance, and you are surely going to die, because everyone else is dying or already in the ground, so buckle up and hang on for the ride. Been there, done that …
I get two daily reminders of just who is in charge, and why I am still alive …
Just looking at my medicine cabinet is a sobering thought. That keeps shit real.
LIQUOR LIQUOR EVERYWHERE AND NOT A DROP TO DRINK …
Living in a big city, with mass transit, that, at certain times of the day, is a nightmare, brings with it a myriad of people, riding the rails. And there are a million and one stories I could tell about them.
Usually, if you travel during rush hour, it is a forgone conclusion, that at some point, the trains are going to stop, for one reason or another. If you travel after 8 p.m. the party crowd tends to ride with arm fulls of beer.
The other day I was on the train, and a gaggle of girls was traveling in the same direction I was. One girl had a bottle of Triple Sec, a second girl had a bottle of Vodka, and a third girl had a bottle of Jim Beam. For a few minutes I sat there, trying to figure out a drink combination from these three liquors …
Having been a bartender myself, I knew what I was trying to figure out.
But I had never used these three in conjunction with each other in the past.
Finally, I had to say to myself that it was either shots or mixers.
Either way, I was glad it wasn’t me carrying any bottles.
Tonight, I had a meeting with a friend, before the meeting to discuss group business. And we headed to the church a little early. And a good thing too.
The streets were packed with parked cars, the organ was cranking in the church, and we walked into the hall, and the smell of booze was sickening.
Apparently a memorial service was going on upstairs, and a wine bar was prepared down in the hall to cap off the service. Our main table was covered in glasses of red and white wine. Funny that all this wine was all over the place, and here were a few members of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting coming to set up a meeting.
That was the closest I have come to open liquor being served in as many years.
Can you say … “Oh, you can have just one … It won’t hurt, will it?”
We set the coffee pot perking and waited out the group to imbibe and go. Which ran the entire time period from when we got there, to six fifteen, when the meeting was supposed to start.
We had to work around them, and set up the room, as we quietly, ushered them out by turning down the lights, and saying nothing. It was all good.
CANADA VOTES 2015
It has been a contentious Seventy Eight Day Campaign. The leaders of our Federal Parties have been battling for votes for the longest campaign yet. Our Conservative leader, the Honorable Stephen Harper is about to loose his position, in an election that is still, too close to call.
The Conservative Party is on its way out, because an overwhelming number of Canadians say that it is time for change. But just what that change will look like is too close to call tonight.
We vote tomorrow. I voted in early voting last weekend.
The Liberal Party, headed by Justin Trudeau, The New Democratic Party, headed by Thomas Mulcair, The Parti Quebecoise headed by Gilles Ducepp, and The Green Party headed by Elizabeth May, are all vying for a position.
We have a Green Party. They are not in contention for leadership, but more supportive role in the government. They hold a few seats, and hope to more than double their numbers which will give them negotiating power in coalitions in the next parliament.
It will be a dead heat between Thomas Mulcair and Justin Trudeau for Prime Minister.
The man who wins the most M.P.’s by riding, across the country, will be our next Prime Minister.
I am rooting for the younger, Justin Trudeau.
Stay tuned. It is going to be one rip roaring ride.
More to come, stay tuned …
It has been one fully packed weekend. And the rain stayed away. YAY !
All my planning and preparations came to fruition today. I cooked a massive Thanksgiving meal for my family today. This year, Baby Mama and Baby Lu Lu joined the table along with hubby, Bill and myself. It was my crowning achievement, to bring all of us together to share a meal.
I had ordered a HUGE turkey from my favorite butcher, which he gave me a deal on. It came fresh and already cleaned, so it went from freezer to fridge to oven ready. And it came off without a hitch. My Butter/Rosemary/Honey recipe was a smash hit.
It was important that I included everyone at my table. The baby had a great time. She ate and then we let her loose and she had a ball, running around the apartment laughing and giggling.
She loved the mirror we have in the bedroom, but she was amazed at my book collection. Lu Lu is a bookworm, even at her age. We have an entire collection of books at their house for her, which we read to her, often. She sat on my bed, and pulled one book after another off the pile and thumbed through them.
It was the first time that hubby and Bill got to meet the baby and share space with her. I was totally consumed with spending the time with her and mama.
The meal was a success, the dishes got done, and I set off for the meeting on time.
My coffee gal was waiting for me at the church, so we had a long chatty conversation.
I’ve never felt so alive as I did tonight.
And spending the couple of hours with friends was a great end of the day activity. On the way home I got to spend time, with another friend, I don’t always get to see during the week, so that was great.
Tonight’s Read was another story from the First Edition of the Big Book. I have a First Edition Big Book, that was published in 1939. The Story … Lone Endeavor is part of the collection in the book we are reading called Experience, Strength and Hope.
There is an asterisk at the top of the story that reads:
“This story appeared ONLY in first printing of the First Edition.”
Which means, it does not appear in any other edition printed, but we have it to read, because the story is so important. It tells the story about how the fellowship, that did NOT even have a book to send, because it had not even been printed, let alone, was incomplete, at the time this story took place.
The story begins with a mother, concerned for her son’s welfare and life, reads an article about a doctor who seems to have considerable experience, helping men stop drinking. It is the early 1930’s. She is so concerned that she writes New York City to ask for help, for her son.
Letters cross from one side of the U.S. (read: West coast) to the other (read: East coast).
The book is not complete, the only chapters ready for consumption are the First Two Chapters of the book. That would be Bill’s Story and There is a Solution. Those are numbered one and two in my first edition. The doctors opinion, is listed as xxii.
The office in New York sends a multilith copy. Their response to the mother reads as follows:
“About a hundred men, here in the east, have found a solution for alcoholism that really works. We are now preparing a book hoping to help others who suffer in the same way, and are enclosing a rough copy of the first two chapters. As soon as possible we will forward rough copy of the rest of the proposed book.”
“We are sending you a pre-publication multilith copy of Alcoholics Anonymous. We would appreciate hearing about your son’s condition and his reaction to this volume, as this is the first time we have had an opportunity to trying to help as alcoholic at long distance. Won’t you please write us?
Sincerely Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Just received letter, may we have your permission to use letter anonymously in book as first example of what might be accomplished without personal contact, important you wire this permission, as book is going to printer.”His wire arrived next day:“Permission granted with pleasure, lots of luck.”
“The only thing you need to change when you get sober, is Everything !!!”
There is a common thread running this past week. Change …
In speaking at length with my sponsor, last week, his advice to me was simple. I need to avoid certain people, to the best of my ability, keep my mouth shut, and not attend the Friday meeting any longer. Because of the unhealthy topic on the table, I am told to just stay away, and not involved myself any further in the drama.
So I add another night to my baby watch.
When does a baby, realize time (read: what day is it), days and presence?
The baby is clearly awake to certain things that we did not expect her to be at this point.
I have a regular, consistent schedule, with Mama and the baby. Sunday afternoons in the park, Wednesday dinner, and now Friday dinner. This past week, we changed up my arrival times, to coincide with the baby going to bed. Instead of her staying up later, we try and put the baby down at a more manageable time.
Wednesday, Mama asked me to come later than I usually do. Not a problem. In the early evening, Mama tried putting the baby down, before I had arrived. But the baby wasn’t having any of that. She wouldn’t go to sleep, and was clearly acting differently.
I’ve kept this Wednesday date since July, so it is consistent. We are now October.
I arrived at the apartment, and mama came down to let me in, and the baby was wide awake.
Clearly, so it seems, she realized, we think, that I had not come, as early as I usually do, and we think, the baby has a grasp on time and presence. I set down dinner, and mama put the baby down and she went for some toys. We put her in her chair to eat, usually she will eat dinner that I make on top of the dinner she gets earlier (read: baby food).
She indeed did eat some chicken, we spent half an hour together, the baby then decided it was ok to go to bed, we think, because she had seen me, and maybe she had been missing me earlier, she demonstrated behavior we had not seen before, in this manner.
Saturday I went to the Saturday meeting, a new addition to the weekly schedule.
I have a book in the works, that I haven’t been writing towards, because I’ve been mulling things around in my head these past few weeks. And it revolves around family. This topic has been on the front burner these past few days.
And again, it was talked about in today’s reading.
Our guy, living in the early 1900’s, told a story about San Francisco before the big fire that destroyed the city. So the story is older, and appears in the First Edition of the Big Book.
Simply, our guy became a drinker, to get over the fact that his father was emotionally unavailable to him growing up. Not satisfied with staying in one place, he starts moving from one location to another. Eventually joining the army, and seeing action in the Great War.
He tells his mother, on the day of his deployment, that if he survives the war, that He will come home and be present and make his home with his mother.
He indeed survives. But already, he is drinking himself two ways from Sunday. Always being able to find liquor, even if it was banned to American troops, as was said in the story.
Anger and Resentment, fear and missing something are all good reasons for an alcoholic to drink, right? Yes …
I have many thoughts in my head tonight. And I chose not to speak at the meeting. But as it went around the room, family was the topic of conversation.
I don’t know when, as children, we ever got the “talk” about being emotionally available to our parents or our brother’s and sister’s. I didn’t. I guess you could say, growing up, that I WAS emotionally available. I had to be, both my parents were consummate drinkers. I had my brother to consider. But as far back as I know it to be, my father always encouraged my brother to be my rival, never to listen to me, or respect me either.
That is a thing.
Growing up, when I got to that jumping off point, and I knew I had to go, I indeed moved out. My brother drove my car up, while I was in the moving truck. We never really had emotional conversations, and he was just “doing a job.” Either to get rid of me, or not, I don’t know.
But in the end, I left. And I left him behind, with my drinking parents.
Should I have thought more about this? Was there more I should have done for him?
This is one particular existential question I ask myself.
Later in life, my brother was never my keeper. Nor my protector. Nor someone I counted on for anything. He never stepped up and said or did anything for me, even when I got sick. He could not have been bothered, either way.
And that was the way we left things in the end.
I wonder, if my parents ever think about emotional unavailability. The fact that when I moved out, i was only thinking about myself, and nobody else. And in the end that was a problem. Because as repulsive as it is, I was irresponsible, and in the end, laid my problems on my father’s shoulder’s without any thought.
He did what he thought he should do, and he bailed me out, the the tune of $30,000.
That was a kick in the rubber parts.
He never mentioned it. And I never brought it up either. But the damage was done.
When I moved out I was emotionally unavailable to the parents, who became emotionally unavailable to me when they figured out I was gay, and it got even worse when I got sick.
As long as I was a straight boy, my father had time for me. Sex talks, learning to drive a car, taking care of the house and cars, he was all in it. Up and Until he figured out that I was gay. So he drank, he beat me regularly, and never said a word about it, ever.
Like He’d ever admit what a fuck he was and what he did to me.
It was like they were relieved of their responsibility, and the fact that maybe they should care, and maybe they should be present and help me, one way or another. But they had made their choice, I was on my own, my father’s humiliation at Christmas Dinner was a dead give away.
Neither my parents, nor my brother and his wife, nor myself are in any way emotionally available to the other. There is just a black pall over us, the lights are out and communication is not a possibility. I made my choices, and now live with the circumstances for those choices.
My brother and my father are both on Facebook. And to this day, neither one wants to even be my friend, or speak to me. And to this day, this fact blows my mind and turns my insides out.
We aren’t getting any younger, and my delusional self longs to believe that one day we will all wake up from this terrible nightmare, and all sit at the same table to talk.
Fat Chance …
I know better than to try and put into words what is in my head. That would be too much emotional and mental energy to point in a direction that probably, still to this day, would be met with silence and derision.
Alone and with one’s thoughts … A mixture, for some, that would lead right back to a drink.
I don’t have that option, it is NOT an option.
I can’t drown my thoughts with alcohol like I used to. And sometimes growing up and coming to is a bitch, because the longer we are sober, and the more hindsight we have to the past, and the more meetings we go to, and topics come up, we re-tread old pain and sorrow, and see it from another perspective, once again …
What do we do with it, when solutions are not forthcoming ?
God only knows, right ???
More to come, stay tuned …
Our local weather has indeed turned. We are sitting at (10c) at this hour.
Last night it was cool enough to warrant a little heat, just to break the chill. Today, as it happened, I crated the A.C. for the Winter. We won’t need it again this year. It was cool and comfortable all day, but as the sun went down, it was markedly cooler.
I broke out the winter jacket and my toque collection.
It is October already, can you believe it? Thanksgiving is not far away. The second Monday in October, but I always cook on the Sunday. And This year I have a full table, with the addition of Baby Mama and Baby LuLu. Which meant, today, I went to my local butcher shop and ordered a 15 lb turkey that will be in on Monday for pick up.
It was a full day of coffee dates and get togethers. I had more coffee today than I usually drink in a weeks time. My tummy is not happy at all.
We headed out for our usual Thursday fare. And a very good friend of mine was in the hot seat.
I’ve known her since she came in. I’ve been present for her, at several meetings in town. And tonight, we got to hear her share.
Oh to be young again.
It is, on one hand, great to see young people in the rooms. But at the same time, it is terribly sad to know that alcoholism is an equal opportunity predator. I was as young as she, when I came in the first time. But I lacked a lot of what I see today in our young people. And I don’t see it the same way in many people, but there are a select few who, have learned about:
“Feeding the right fire.”
I haven’t heard those words in a long time from any of my friends, put so succinctly.
Once a fire is lit, in order to keep that fire burning, we need to feed it with fuel. And for many of us, as young people, we learned of “fire” and were enamored by it. It was warm and soothing, and in the beginning, it kept us warm and shed light on our pains, and fears.
More like, burned away our pains and fears …
But like many, once that fire was lit, it felt so good, that we heaped all the fuel onto that fire that we could to keep the burn going for as long as we could.
Sadly, in the end, we all came to that terrible “Crash and Burn” end.
Some end up in jail, some end up in hospital, many end up dead.
My young friend, at the end, was lying in a tub of water, a broken bottle on the side, and thinking that she could not go on any longer, contemplated joining the “27 Club.”
Ten points if you get that reference …
Most women I know, when the end comes or life takes a serious turn, they do what comes natural, “they call their mothers.”
That started the ball rolling, not to mention closing up shop, moving provinces, and living under “family rehab” as she put it.
She, like many, fed that fire of addiction to its bitter end. She had to stamp it out, once and for all. And she needed help. Months later, she came to us. Now she is one of our gang.
A beautiful young woman of courage, faith and beauty.
She talked of spirituality, that which she chooses to call God. And she warned us tonight that recovery is no laughing matter. And is not for the feint of heart.
Shit is going to get real, and it is going to take work.
Those who begin and end their days praying and meditating, interspersed with meetings, inventories, sponsors, and sponsees down the line, learn about the “Right Fire.”
Spirituality is a fire, that when lit, will warm our hearts and keep us warm in the cold. Because alcoholism is a cold and patient predator. But if we learn early on, what that fire means for each of us, that becomes powerful, personal flames.
Today we feed the Right Fire. And we do what is necessary to keep that fire burning.
Because we all know, each of us, what it felt like to get burned from the inside out, gong down in a hail of drugs and alcohol. It wasn’t pretty in the end.
But as young people, we get sucked into bad fire, and once sucked in, we are on for the ride until it kills us.
Thankfully, our young people lived through burning destructive fire.
Now they are here, safe, clean and sober. They never have to go back.
The rooms might not have been where they really wanted to end up, but for most, I can safely say today, was the best choice they have all made in their lives.
And I get to know these young people.
The best part of my community is that young people are so glad to have us.
That thanking hug was the best part of the night.
Not to mention giving my number to a man, on his valiant return after a slip.
Pray for him.
Feed the RIGHT fire within …
Tonight we read from Living Sober and “Avoiding Anger and Resentment.”
Every time I come around to these topics, some of the same thoughts come to mind, the same old pains and hurts and sometimes new thoughts come as well.
When I think of anger, it brings up my delusional self that has a bent towards revenge and vindictiveness. The alter ego of the man I am today, who wields a very large aluminum bat.
Quietly plotting in the back of my mind, onerous things.
Tonight, that thought came, and I realized that I’ve already inflicted pain and suffering right where I wanted it to land. All because I chose to act.
Every action has consequences, either good or bad consequences.
I remember points of anger as they played out and I spoke of them to my friends.
It is always good to have men who are more than twenty five years sober to talk to.
When I got sober the first time, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times.
The location I got sober, was not healthy at all. The location I worked in was very healthy for all the right reasons. So I overlooked the negative.
The first year, when I got to a year, I had won the race. My horse came in first. I stayed sober, even while my fellows were all betting that I would go back out and drink, and made it plainly aware that the bets had been laid down.
As my sponsor gave me my chip, I told them all to go fuck themselves.
Not healthy at all. And that clouded the rest of the time I was still in the rooms. That unhealthy beginning only led to more unhealthy decisions and actions not to mention, unhealthy and not so sober men and women.
The second time I got sober, I followed the local playbook. And I played by the rules and did what ever I was told to do. And I have to say that, over the last 13 years and some months now, I have lost more friends to anger and resentment, in sobriety, than I did growing up.
When I was newly sober, I stayed away from conflict and kept my head down and when shit happened, if it didn’t involve me, I walked away. Said nothing. Did nothing.
As it went, people I loved and respected and adored, usually became casualties of their own shortcomings. It was my loss, but it was their anger and resentment that drove the wedge.
Today, in sobriety, I have a choice. To Act or Not to Act.
In most cases, if it does not directly involve me, I usually avoid the problem.
That has been my personal decision over the years.
The longer I am sober, I grow up, and I change.
When there is injustice or inequality or an inequity within my friends, for the most part, I am invested in the lives of my friends, I will sometimes offer counsel. Only when asked.
I never assume to have all the answers, because it is not all about me.
When my friends come to me for advice, I can do one of two things, One, give a solid answer, or Two, allow them to choose what they want to do, enlightening the subject they have asked about.
My friends trust me because every once in a while they come to talk.
Recently, I have shared a situation that has been on the stove.
The situation does not directly involve me. but when more than one friend comes to talk about the same subject about another friend, I chose to act. That action came full circle and I lost in the end. Not because of me, but because of someone else’s anger.
I spoke to several old timers about this situation, and not one of them had the same answer for me.
I owe and amends, I don’t owe an amends, I did the right thing, I should have stayed out of it altogether.
My sponsor has the last word in the consultation process.
But I see today, how sobriety has affected what I listen to, what I devote my time to, what I chose to act on, and what I choose to ignore and walk away from.
Situations arise. And the fine line is drawn. That fine line of wisdom to know the difference.
I see that today, that although I don’t always think about life in these terms, the serenity prayer always applies to any situation I have on my plate.
In the beginning, the better wisdom was to do nothing and not get involved.
Because, I did not have the ability to be objective and solid. They say that hindsight is our best teacher. And I have that today. The old timers have much more than I do.
Tonight’s revelation came when I realized that fine line that sits between action and inaction and how that applies to my life. And everyone in it.
People are where they are in their lives. And we have to allow them that latitude. Sober people are all over the map, when it comes to people, places and things. I am powerless over my friends, and I surely don’t want to be like some of my friends.
So I keep a safe distance, and I learn what NOT to do, based on the actions my friends choose to make on any situation. I’ve been doing that for almost 14 years now. My friends have been my greatest teachers. A good number of them drank again. And some of them never made it back and are either drunk or dead.
I stayed sober, because I did not follow the trend. I sat back and watched the fireworks.
Knowing when to act or not to act is wisdom in the bank.
“Wisdom to know the difference.”
More to come, stay tuned…