Courtesy: Iheefz (Chicago Photography)
I am snarfling, sniffling, sneezing and feeling all kinds of woozy !
All they have been talking about on the news is flu. And I don’t recall being near anyone who was sniffling. I went to bed last night medicated and I slept most of today away.
It is miserable and raining today. The iced over snow is melting, but I’d rather it snow than rain. But we are on a warming trend here after days and days of bitter cold. I heard something mentioned on tv that Spring was only some 70 days away ???
I kind of like this sleeve, I wish I could see more of it, it looks very whimsical and fun. Not that I am in the market for a sleeve, just yet, I would have to really sit down and draw one up. Then find the money to fund it.
Today’s topic is The 100% Step …
We are amid the month of January and we are still focusing on Step one this month. We revisit this step every day of our lives, it is the only step that we must do 100%. That admission is total and honest.
I skipped the meeting last night, because I wasn’t feeling up to traveling and doing set up, It was just not moving me. So instead I napped during the evening.
Hopefully we will be back to writing something more substantial tomorrow.
More to come, stay tuned …
Today’s post is brought to you by SK8ERBOY …
Guess what came in the mail today, all the way from Germany?
Well, not today, I got the drop notice in my letterbox yesterday.
After all that farting around to get my name on the drop sheet downstairs, they did not even attempt a drop.
We have these post offices in pharmacies located all around the city. We also have dedicated post offices for mail (out) only. But if you visit any major pharmacy here, they usually will have a mail/drop facility.
It is easier to drop at a drop location than to carry around packages to individual homes or apartment blocks. So you get a drop slip with the location of your drop which you then have to go pick up.
These have been on my “want” list for some time, and I just never got around the putting in an order mainly because of the currency (the Euro) and the foreign website (which is in English, but the store is in German).
Thanks to Google Translate, it made the whole purchase worth it.
I don’t think I’ve paid so much for six pairs of sox in my life, you would have thought that I’d go for some exotic underwear that would cost just as much, but we don’t do exotic underwear here.
My collection of exotics just grew by six. You see it on Tumblr. You put it into Google, and you come out with a website or Ebay store. Every exotic shoe/sock purchase I’ve made originated on Tumblr.
The weather is a bit iffy today. Flurry snow is falling, and they say freezing rain is going to follow, which will only complicate the icy conditions on the roads and sidewalks.
I think I am coming down with a cold. I’ve got that I want to sleep and achey feeling going on, so I may nap this afternoon.
I did some safari on the way home from the post office but I didn’t get anything for lunch, but I have frozen chicken in the freezer I could bake up, but I am not hot and bothered about it just yet.
I think that’s all for right now.
More to come, I am sure …
Let me introduce you to The Rick Shaw Run team.
Finn and Jack Harries, Louis, Harry, Ben, Will and Max pictured here at the Taj Mahal in India.
If you are not familiar with Jack’s Gap, it is a You Tube Channel run by two very ambitious you tubers Finn and Jack Harries.
They have been all over the world, they have sorted through a number of bucket list items, that most of us will never get to do unless we get off our sofas and get out there and do something bold.
Last fall, this team got together with other teams and ventured to India for a cross country drive from one side of India to the other. Last night part three was aired on You Tube which is where I screen capped this photo to show you.
At the time of the third episode they had raised over $100,000 GBP for the Children’s Cancer Trust in the U.K. We shall see just how high that number goes as the rest of the series airs on a weekly basis on You Tube.
What are you going to to this year that is Bold and out of your comfort zone? Do you have anything in mind?
Today is day 8 of 365 get out there and do it, I know you can.
More to come, stay tuned …
i thought of you, while in the shower
and i thought of how nice it’d be
to have your things among my things
along the bathtub’s edge
and i imagined myself running out of soap
and using yours
and wearing you to work, and the grocery store
and i imagined that night, laying down beside you
and smelling your neck
and finding out where all my soap had gone
The Supreme Court in the United States will be hearing arguments over same sex marriage and also D.O.M.A., the Defense of Marriage Act come this spring. Hopefully minds and hearts have changed and that these two issues get solved.
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I was going to prepare a retrospective about the last year of sobriety. And I went as far to prepare some numbers (by the book) and I took a look at some of my old posts there are hundreds of posts that have gone live over the last year.
So instead, I am recycling the title, as two former posts appear with this title from last year, so now we redux…
Looking at the Daily Reflections this month, the topic is Step 12.
” When the Twelfth Step is seen in its full implication, it is really talking about the kind of love that has no price tag on it. ”
I know at some point in later year nine, I was in the doldrums. Things were just “there” and I was looking for a little excitement. So I joined a particular group and celebrated my ten years there last December. But soon after things turned sour and people and personalities got rankled and I decided to leave said group.
I dedicated my time to my original home group on Tuesdays. And that is where I have been for the last year. I am hitting three meetings a week. I joined Sunday Niters a few months ago, even though I have been going to this meeting for a long time. And I am in the chair this month, as we have begun the big read through the Big Book.
It has been a good year. In focusing my time on Tuesdays, I have been present to lots of people there. We saw our group more than triple in size in the past year, and it is all down to our women. That has been the highlight of the year so far. I have written about them numerous times over the past months, and we have talked about them amongst the men.
Not having sponsees freed me up to spend an ample amount of time with our members and our women. I have heard it said by folks at a Sunday Meeting, that once you read the book, and you’ve been sober a long time, it becomes an inside job. The work on the frame is finished, so to speak, and now the interior work continues.
I’ve learned a great deal from our group of women who come to our meeting, we all aspire to learn as they do, to live as they do and get sober as they are. It is one thing to share a meeting with the ladies, but quite another when you get invited to share a meal or attend an event with them. And over the past few months we have dined together, gone to movies together and attended hundreds of meetings together.
I have cycled through my steps with my sponsor over the last couple of months. And the past year have been working on me. I got the opportunity to read
” 1000 Years of Sobriety,” which was a book written by folks with 50 or more years of sobriety. Many of then tell stories about Bill W.
I learned lessons about people. I learned lessons about myself. We participated on the Blog with Oprah’s Master Class and also her Life Class Series. They got a lot of traffic. This has been a year of getting to know myself.
I finished my studies last winter and hubby began his work on his M.A. in Sociology, which is coming along, however slowly. And now I am a housewife. I work at home, go to my meetings, and live life as it comes.
It was a year of friendships and building those relationships with love and care.
I have no regrets at this time. I am waiting to see what life is going to bring me now. Tomorrow is Sunday the 9th. We will read from the book and I will take my cake on Tuesday. And that is all for now …
But one more thing about love with no price tag …
July 31st In the World of Harry Potter …
Harry Would Be 32 today. And as it is my birthday as well, there will be festive cake and fun later on tomorrow evening.
You know we just can’t get enough of Tom. The hopes of all Britain are on your shoulders young man. No pressure at all …
They say that every so often you should open a blank page and try to write something cohesive. So here is my blank page and a photo to go with it.
Are these guys playing B-Ball, and the game has been paused while they sit there on the court all relaxing and chilling? There are spectators in the stands but the MTV shirts could be a giveaway that they are not really ball players. What are they looking at and what is that grin all about on the boy in the white trunks?
I like this photo. Sometimes you find a photo that kind of speaks to you and you re-post it. I try to find photos that you could tell a story about or figure out what is going on in the photo.
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The skies are clear over the city and it has been a quiet week so far. I haven’t dine much this week. We usually follow the same routine every day, we get up, fart around online, watch some tv and then hit the sack for a mid afternoon nap before hitting round two of farting around online and watching more tv.
The only channel we watch these days is MSNBC. It is all politics all day every day and into the night. There are hits of other shows that are interspersed in our daily routine like Community and 30 Rock.
Right now Mick Jagger is singing live on SNL which is a Saturday night ritual in our house. It is the season finale tonight and it is speculated that a few of the cast members will be leaving the show after tonight’s episode.
The summer television season will begin soon and that means So You Think You Can Dance and Big Brother … We don’t really watch any other live reality type tv shows. Although CBS does own the market on reality tv.
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What else can I write about?
I had a really interesting dream the other day during one of my naps. It involved a good friend of mine and another friend whom I am acquainted with from the blog sphere. It was one of those naughty but nice dreams that went on for a long time.
I kept trying to hold onto it as long as I could when I realized that I was in the middle of a lucid dream. I have to say that it was pretty vivid and I carried it out of the dream and into waking hours. It is not usual that I can carry a dream out into waking. I usually forget them right after I wake up.
Let’s just say that if I ever get to meet Ruff face to face, we will have a lot to talk about. It must be that the zip up combat boots I bought from him must be enchanted with some kind of sex spell. They are infused with the memories of many leather oriented events while he owned them, and that energy must be pouring out of them into my feet.
It has been a great week for EBAY. All of the items I put up on the site sold and two pairs of motorcycle boots I put up are bid on and will sell come the end of next week. So I am poised to make a fair amount of change from this purge from my closet.
Speaking of purging my closet, this spring we are cleaning house in the hopes that in a few months we will be making the big move up in the city. Which means that all those old clothes that we haven’t worn in more than a year can go to Renaissance. Renaissance is an organization that collects used good from the community and turns them around in reintegrating folks into the community and the workplace. So all the goods you donate go to people who can use them right away.
I have to clear out the balcony of boxes of crap that we haven’t touched since we put them out on the balcony. Living in a high rise building, there really isn’t a place to throw away trash, except what goes down the trash dump. Each floor has a trash drop that goes into a main drop in the basement. There are several recycling dumpsters in the basement so we will be inundating them with old shit that we no longer need or want. This will all pay off when we move because we won’t be moving all that shit.
What are you doing for your community? And what changes are you going to make at home to free up the clutter in your life and try to simplify things. I am reading a book called “The Way is Made by Walking” written by Arthur Paul Boers, he is a Mennonite minister here in Canada.
It is all about his journey to France and Spain to walk 500 miles from St. Jean Pied du Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. This is one of many pilgrimage journeys people from all over the world walk every year. There are a few pilgrimage points like Iona and Lindesfarne, the Holy Land and Rome.
From the European continent you can step out your front door in your respective town or village and find a “Flecha” and start your journey all the way to Compostela. People from all over Europe have walked from their respective countries to Spain over weeks, months and years. Several times a year a group from Montreal makes the journey. I attended one of those meetings at Concordia a few years ago, but I never followed up on it.
I think the one pilgrimage that I am going to make this year is to Cape Town South Africa. I am really looking forwards to going on this trip and also in what I will find and learn when I get there. My host is a world traveler himself and I will finally get to sit down with him and listen to some of his stories that we have only chatted about via email.
Pilgrimage is about transformation. And I am trying, ever so slowly to begin transforming our lives in new ways in preparation for our next step on our life path.
It is nearing the 1 a.m hour and I think I will close this blank page and say goodnight, I think I’ve purged enough thought for tonight.
Goodnight from Montreal.
Courtesy: BarackObama Tumblr
The Greatest Commandment Matthew 22:34-40
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
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You wonder if all those voters read the same bible as I do? And if they do, why did they vote the way they voted? Because in the end Love will win. You reap what you sow people. And one day, you will reap it big …
Almost without exception, alcoholics are tortured by loneliness. Even before our drinking got bad and people began to cut us off, nearly all of us suffered the feeling that we didn’t quite belong. Either we were shy, and dared not draw near others, or we were noisy good fellows constantly craving attention and companionship, but rarely getting it. There was always that mysterious barrier we could neither surmount nor understand.
*** *** *** ***
Life takes on new meaning in A.A. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience not to be missed.
As Bill Sees It Pg. 90
It is raining, well, it is trying to rain. And you know, here in Montreal, it never really rains for long, if it does at all. It was a drizzly day today. The kind of drizzle that makes you have to carry an umbrella and for the most part not use it because it is just a pain in the ass, but you carry it nonetheless, because you never know if the sky is going to open and real rain fall from the sky.
The week had a great start. My Ebay purchase is in the pike to me as I write tonight. On Sunday I filed my last paper for Geography, my prof is going green and wanted us to submit electronically, instead of going to school and handing in a paper copy. We are now waiting on final grades for our final exam and final paper this coming week. On Monday I had my last Psychology class, and next Monday is our final and I will then be finished with my educational career FOREVER !!!
Today was a good day. I wandered to the church as usual. I have a few MP3’s on my phone of “E.P.C.O.T.” (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow). I downloaded some of the ride music, like from Horizon’s ( that no longer exist), Imagination, Spaceship Earth and so forth and so on. I have them on loop and they play over and over again… So that has been my soundtrack as of late.
I finished set up by 5, because my girls come early to read their books. And tonight one of our women brought me a gift of a $15.00 I-Tunes Card as a thank you for just being present. Very cool.
The meeting was packed. We sat 42 folks. And we read from As Bill Sees It, from the above noted reading. Everybody in the room got to share, sans myself. My sponsor noted that newcomers take precedence and since I had ten years that it was ok that I did not get to share. So I will do that here.
Early on in my alcoholic career I always surrounded myself with people, be they friends, acquaintances, or allies. I never drank at home, it was always done in a club, with music, drag queens and club kids. And that life lasted long into my twenties. As long as I was young and pretty I was fair game.
Then the series of life tragedies came my way and life got ugly. Still in my twenties my diagnosis turned me from a pretty boy, into pariah overnight.
I became “other.” Something not to be touched or acknowledged. But still the drinking continued. I went from partying in the presence of friends and fellows, to partying on the periphery wanting so much to be part of, but knowing deep inside that I would never be ” Part Of ” ever again.
It was good that at that point I got sober. Because I was terribly lonely and if the fellows who came into my life during that period had not, I surely would not be here today.
That first few years of sobriety were years of heartache and pain. Queens can be very catty and mean. And they made it very difficult to maintain, but I did it just to spite them. I was not One of Them. I wouldn’t call that first sober community fellowship. And I think that those first four years were all about staying sober on the periphery. And I think that’s why I went out …
By the time I was partway through my SLIP, I had moved back to Miami Beach and I was well into my 30’s now. I drank to fit in. To be part of. But it was a lonely slog. I wasn’t 21 any more, I was defective and I was as far from buff, beautiful, and brawny as I could be. But still I kept at it, partying in the club with the big pretty boys and I was alone in a crowded room. It was a terribly lonely existence.
I had very few friends. And there was nobody there to take notice that I was so lonely. It was just me and an empty studio apartment. I don’t know who it was that poured me into a taxi and brought me home week in and week out after blacking out at the club. I never figured that one out.
But loneliness would come to an end. And thank God it did.
Someone up there was watching out for me. Maybe my landlord, or the man who gave me something to do with my down time. I later learned that he was sober some time, when I finally made it back.
When I first hit that 10 p.m. meeting, my friend Fonda welcomed me and took me in and then the group took me in and I became “One of them.” It was good that the meeting was ever night, at the same time at the same place. Because it gave me some place to go every night. And after every meeting there was fellowship. We broke bread together almost every night. They kept me on the straight and narrow for a good long time. It being December and all …
And that went on for the first few months until I decided to move here.
And once again, I got involved in fellowship. I met my next sponsor and we took together like best friends. We did everything together. There was not a night that went by that I was alone or lonely. And I was grateful for that gift.
But one night my sponsor had an ego attack, and our relationship ended quite abruptly. Sad, that in sobriety, how hard people fall when their ego’s come to bear.
I have been part of the same fellowship for more than 10 years now. With the dawn of social media I am never far way from another alcoholic, either by phone or by Facebook or at a meeting. And I like it that way.
It is a gift to sit in the same room week in and week out for years and years because I get to see newcomers come in and get sober. And they come in and they are lost, and at some point they “GET IT!” And the elevator goes to the top of the tower and the light comes on and they get their spiritual experience. The first of many to follow.
We get to see 40 plus people come to the meeting every week. And we hear them and watch them and we care for them, because we are community.
It is an experience that must not be missed…
It was a good day, and a good night was had by all.
Stick with the winners, my sponsor shared tonight. I’ll take that …
Good night from Montreal.
There is a chill in the air and it was a grey day today. It spitted misty rain all evening and we are sitting at 9c at this hour. They say it’s gonna rain …
Tonight I won my EBAY item that I had bid on like a mad man over the past week.
Funny that, I posted a bid and the item went wild with other bidders, but I just had a feeling. So I punched in enough money that I would carry the listing all the way to the end. And so it went, the price remained steady for a couple of days and then someone would challenge my bid, and I would crank up my bid by $10. Every time someone else bid, I cranked $10.00 more.
At the end I bid a total of $160.00 for a pair of boots I have been looking for, like forever. I won with a total price of $105.50. And I know the person I won these from, he is a fellow blogger. I am one happy camper !!!
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The week started off with a bang. It feels very good to be financially secure for the first time in a long time. My M.I.L. is not doing very well after hip surgery, and she is in a short term care facility and my F.I.L. is all by himself, so hubby is going to go visit him soon for a few days to sort him out and make sure he has everything that he needs and that he is not alone. Hubby’s brother and family live in Ottawa as well, so they are going to triangulate Dad’s care so he’s not alone for a long time.
I cranked through my second Psychology exam and passed it. Last night we had class and one more next week and then the final exam on Monday the 14th. Tomorrow is my final exam in Geography. I still have to finish writing my Colony Collapse Disorder Essay. That’s due on the 9th.
There are huge stacks of exams sorted all over our living room floor as hubby’s grading contract is coming to an end, and he had hundreds of exams to grade and sort this past week. He finally finished the grading and got the grades in last night.
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The great coffee drama is over …
Over the past few days I have been writing here, much to the consternation of a few folks over at F.W.E. And it all came to a head yesterday when a member dropped off new keys to me for the cabinet. And once again I got scolded like a child for writing on my blog. I am 45 years old and if I wanted to be scolded for being myself, I would move home. I don’t need to be scolded by anyone.
So I was finished with them. I came upstairs and went on Facebook and deleted everybody from my sober Montreal circle. I un-friended 10 people and turned off subscribers. Then last night I asked grasshopper to drive me to drop off those keys to said member this morning.
I wrote a termination notice, signed it and put it and the keys in an envelope and delivered the package to the matriarch early this morning. Last night I had a long talk with my sponsor about this whole debacle. And he is of the mind that there are some people who go to that meeting who say they are sober, but in real life they are miserably abstinent and not very sober. And that I don’t need that kind of drama in my life and that I still had a home group where people love and need me … So I turned in my keys and ended my relationship with Friday West End.
So I have to find a replacement for a Friday meeting and I will probably substitute Thursday Night St. Matthias right down the street from here in stead of a Friday night meeting. Because traveling to the butt end of NDG West End is a bus ride from hell and getting back is a pain in the ass. Hopefully my sponsor will want to hit Chateauguay one Friday night here and there. We haven’t been there in a long time.
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This afternoon I got out of the house earlier than usual, because I figured that after knowing folks come to the hall for 5, that I would make sure that the room was set up by 5 tonight. Well, it was 10 past 5 when I finished up. But nobody showed up until around 5:30.
We packed the house and sat 40 folks. We read from the Big Book, and the last story in Edition #4. “AA Taught him how to handle Sobriety.”
After the past couple of says, when it came time for me to share, I just passed because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say, and when that happens, I’d rather keep my mouth shut and listen. The shares went all the way around the room, everybody got in tonight. We had a handful of newbies take chips. It was a good night overall. Everybody was happy and joyful.
I went, I did my service and people were grateful for the meeting.
They say that every day we should be grateful for 5 things …
- Hubby made a fantastic stir fry last night for dinner
- It is Tuesday and I am always grateful for Tuesday’s
- I rid myself of needless drama once and for all
- Hubby is making a great dinner tonight
- School is almost over
- There is food in the fridge
- There is a warm bed to sleep in
- And a roof over our head
I have everything I need and a little more, thanks to Ebay and Ruff.
A good night was had by all.
Stay tuned, more to come…
The week is coming to an end. If it is Spring, it sure does not feel like it. We had flurries earlier today and now we are sitting at 0c, with a frost warning in effect.
Another night and another student march in the city. Students have been on strike for more than 10 weeks crying foul that the government wants to raise tuition rates 75% over the next 5 years, and students are not happy at all. We have seen night after night, marches taking place all over the downtown core. And it hasn’t been peaceful. Smashed windows fires, fireworks, tier gas and smoke. The police are getting tired and the city is getting tired of the marchers.
The last time I saw marches like this was in the lead up to the Iraq War when I first moved to Montreal. Hundreds of thousands of students are marching nightly from one side of the city to the other hoping to force the government to back down on tuition.
Last night they marched on our end of town. The cops redirected traffic and closed streets off and helicopters were following over head. It isn’t good.
Grades are coming in for these last few assignments that were due, I have a final exam on the 14th in Psychology. A second final exam in geography on the 2nd and the final paper due on the 9th. It is all coming together nicely.
Lizzy has been making it her responsibility to get me to the church in time to set up and make coffee going out of her way to help me and tonight we left here earlier than usual because she wasn’t feeling all that well, and when we got to the church the urns were perking and country man was sitting on his fat ass. He ignored me while we set up even after I attempted to speak to him. He had a bug up his ass for some reason. Not sure what rock he crawled out from under. But he should just crawl back there and stay there. He got to the chairs book and wrote in big letter DAVE made coffee NOT JEREMY !!!!
What the fuck was that, you fat prick !!!
He screwed up the urns using the old plugs and I had to fix them. Lizzy and I set up the room, while he sat and watched us from the sidelines. He hasn’t been seen in weeks, and tonight he showed up in his words … “To make coffee earlier than usual so that a newcomer would have coffee when they walked in the door!”
Thank God there was a business meeting tonight. Because I had a bone to pick with him and he wasn’t very happy about it, because they asked me if I still wanted to make coffee after he decided to fuck off and quit because no one was blowing smoke up his ass.And I said yes, that coffee was my job and I was keeping it. And they all told me not to apologize or let him get under my skin.
I was outside talking to my old timer friend from the West Island and he comes outside not three feet from me bitching and complaining about hating this group and this and that and talking about me through someone else standing there while I was standing there listening to him rant and rave.
Fuck You Fat Man … It’s my job not yours.
Things have gone missing from our cabinet. Money has been stolen, and cups were taken along with all of our medallions to give away to folks celebrating milestones. I don’t know who’s doing it, but someone is guilty. We will rectify that situation tomorrow.
We seem to have had less chairs than usual, we had to use spares instead but we didn’t sit the entire room, attendance was light tonight. Our speaker was a woman member of the group. 25 years of sobriety is a long time.
She got up there and told her story. It was all good. One of the things she spoke about is ones “word” and that in certain circles ones word is as good as gold. And I think in the program, when we speak words to each other and be supportive and guiding our words matter. We always try to give right advice at the right time about the right thought.
It was a good meeting. Lizzy went home early, Grasshopper and Rick were not there tonight so I had to hoof it bus and metro home. I was just praying that the late marchers were not going to be in the system while I made the transit. I got home and dinner was on the table. Pizza night.
Yesterday hubby spoke to his dad about our financial insecurities and after that talk – he stepped up and made a considerable donation to our lives to help hubby stay in school and finish his MA. All the bills got paid in full. I don’t remember the last time all the bills were all paid in full at the same time.
It was a gracious gift. As his dad said to him, “that’s what father’s are for.” We are truly grateful for kind in laws. So it was a successful week in many ways. We are now set to finish term on the up side. Hubby will defend sometime during the summer and get his MA finally. He will apply for a teaching position here in the city and we will truly be prepared to begin the next chapter of our lives.
Hubby is very happy and so am I.
That is all for tonight.
I am powerless over people, places and things.
It is better never to get on my bad side because I can be a cunt when I need to be. Hell hath no fury like a pissed off queen.
Good night from Montreal.
Courtesy: Hike Now Nyiragongo Volcano
The week has begun and you could cut the drama with a knife. Thank God I am sober and can take care of things with a sober mind. 10 years of bank time has come to bear and we are at a turning point in our lives. Let Us Pray !!!
This week will see me finishing up final assignments due in a two weeks time. I have my Introduction and Bibliography for my Colony Collapse Syndrome due tomorrow night, then my final exam a week later and the final draft due on the 9th.
We had our second exam in Psychology last night. It was slick and quick, I’m not sure how it went, but I think it was ok. I got 36.5 out of 40 on my last assignment which is good. I am just trudging down the path completing work as it comes.
The weather has been up and down. All those fears of some great snowmageddon never materialized here, however CTV painted a picture of snow falling all over the place, which wasn’t true. It rained, rained and rained some more, but that was it. Thankfully no snow …
I left the house earlier than usual because I was bored and I arrived at the church early, and I did not get my coat off before people started showing up “really early!” I had my tunes cranking and I usually have a method to my madness, set up wise. I usually take my time and the routine never changes.
But there were guests there who came early to read, and they were taking things out of the store room out of order and bringing stacks of chairs out of the closet so they could sit down and I was like ” YO LADY !!! I have a system to this set up!”
So you know, you can’t just crank tunes and ignore guests, so I turned off the tunes and did set up all backwards, which threw me off … But it all came out in the wash. They went off to their corner and I continued to do set up as usual. I am not complaining about people coming early, that’s why we set up early.
We had a business meeting and we have 19 members as of tonight’s meeting. We’ve got lots of things going on. So it’s all good.
The topic came from the chair … Learning to Love Ourselves.
As a younger man, early in sobriety, the men of the Stud took care of me. They saved my life. I stayed sober for four years that first attempt. I had moved from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami for care. So I was going to meetings with people I really did not know well. But I had friends. And at some point, I decided “myself” that I was missing something and that I needed to go find it.
I did not talk to my friends about that decision. And it was a shock to them when I decided to break the news that I was making a geographic. I wasn’t dependent on anyone for anything. It was all about me. I hurt a lot of people in leaving.
During these intervening 3 years I spent in Miami getting sober, there was a boy who was stuck in the revolving door and couldn’t get sober to save his life. And that really dismayed me that he could not “get it.” And at the same time I was just about to give it all away… Who knew …
So I made that geographic and it turned out very badly. I had no connections with home, I had cut all my ties and went off to the country to “sow my oats” so to speak. That was the worst mistake I made in sobriety.
After the return arc of my journey brought me back to Miami, I was still drinking and would for another year. In 2001, I got sober the second time. I had returned to the city I was sober in years before. And all those people I knew before were all still sober (years now) and I was coming back after a wretched slip.
Thank God I got sober on the beach and not in the city. But Miami is a huge city but in sober terms, is very small. People travel from point A to point B to go to meetings and eventually those people I was friends with so long ago, would find out that I was back and trying again.
I was pretty beat down. I had failed on my geographic to successfully attain what I went looking for, that was a huge failure. I had failed at reintegration into a gay community that didn’t even notice that I was trying to get it. I failed at growing up, I mean what was that anyways? So I was shot emotionally and mentally.
I hid on the beach for the first few weeks, getting my feet wet at Sober on South Beach. Had it not been for the group of people I fell into then, I don’t know that I would have stayed sober. They took care of me, the talked to me, they broke bread with me, they got me into meetings and steps and service. December is a really sticky month to get sober because of the holidays, but they made it worth my while. I was really ashamed that I failed at sobriety. I had to save face and I didn’t know what all my friends would think of me on my return. I was terribly concerned with what everybody else thought of me.
Near Christmas Eve, the group took me to The Poinciana Group, in town, over by the airport. It was a late night meeting that began at midnight and ran well into the morning. I was a couple of weeks sober at that point. And it was a dark, candle lit meeting and I thought I was safe in the dark. I was wrong.
All the people I knew when I was sober the first time, had come to that meeting to see me, and they had nothing but good words for me they were supportive and genuinely happy to see me. But, for a few of my closest friends, I never got back those relationships. People were very wary of me. And for good reason I suspect.
So what about the boy stuck in the revolving door you ask? While I was out, exploring the farm, he came in and got sober, and was sober a number of years upon my return. Funny those planets and how they turn. One goes out, another comes in, and it all comes out in the wash … I don’t know if he is still sober today, But I have hope he did …
When I moved to Montreal, and started going to meetings I was doing aftercare here in the city by day, so I wasn’t alone, and I was doing a few meetings that are still going today. I happened into Tuesday Beginners and liked it so much that I made it my home group. And those women in the group took care of me and helped me stay sober. Over the years there was always somebody there who made sure I had pots and pans, food in my fridge, money in my pocket so forth and so on. I never had to leave the security of the meeting for anything I needed.
I went from hiding behind a ball cap, scooting in and out of meetings quietly to being open and feeling good about myself. I stopped wearing the ball cap and I wasn’t hiding any longer. It took me a good year to get comfortable in my own skin, and it was the people in the meetings that helped me get there. I am still friends with those people today. They loved me until I could love myself.
The Church Of St. Leon’s is a very hallowed church. That is where I have been for more than 10 years, I got the first look at my now husband at that church, and that is where I have grown into the man I am today because of that group. Sobriety has not been easy by any stretch, but it has been beneficial. There are not too many people who have stuck around that group as long as I have to see how life has changed for me. All those old members are gone. And we have a fresh crop of newbies today that are all on the happy road to their own destinies.
This was the message I tried to share tonight, but it did not come out this way as I have written it. There is only so much you can share in two minutes, and this has taken me more than two minutes to write it all out in story form.
Tomorrow is a big day for hubby – say a prayer for him, he needs it.
That is all for tonight.
More to come, stay tuned …
The weather has been nippy for the last couple of days. We are sitting at 7c at this hour. Days have been nice and sunny with a breeze, but nights are still on the cool side, and they say rain is on tap for the next few days. The trees and grass really need a good watering. I’ve been noticing that the trees in the neighborhood have been slowly greening up. As the trees are coming back to life, so the seasons are slowly changing.
We are in the final three weeks of class. I have an exam on Monday night, my introduction and bibliography for my Colony Collapse Syndrome paper is due on Wednesday, and our final exam on Wednesday is on the 2nd of May, and the final paper is due on the ninth. The last Monday class is on the 14th and that is the final exam for Psychology.
I am working on a daily schedule to get all the work done and studying for exams and doing what I need to do everyday, so it’s all good.
There is an International HIV Conference here this weekend at the Queen Elizabeth that grasshopper is volunteering at. He came to the meeting tonight. It was good to see him. He’s been so busy with life lately that I haven’t seen much of him in the last couple of weeks.
Lizzy was up and around this evening to bring me for set up. It seems that someone has been pilfering things from our cupboard, first it was a box of coffee cups and tonight we realized that our medallions were missing from where they should have been, somebody is stealing from us…
It was a packed house. We drained two urns of coffee and tea tonight. And I filled both of them full upon set up.
Our speaker tonight came from the Lachine area. Almost 9 years sober. Tonight our speaker took us down a short road of qualification. If it weren’t for cocaine, he probably wouldn’t have reached his bottom as hard as he did.
Denial of the problem is so prevalent in the rooms. But eventually we/he got to the point that yes, we are addicts and alcoholics and our lives have become unmanageable. Lucky to be old schooled from Beaver (treatment house), his minder drilled into him that
“NO, you can NEVER drink again.
And SLIPPING is not an option…”
That is a good thought to remember, that NO we can NEVER drink again… not maybe, or someday or one day, but NEVER. He came into recovery via Beaver, but graduated into the rooms. And suffice to say, when he got here, he really did not want to be here, because surely he wasn’t “one of us!”
Like a good newbie, he did what he was told. He went to meetings, sorted out his life, cleared away the wreckage of his past, and began to work with others. This is the recipe for success.
It has not been an easy road for our man. Yes, when we get clean and sober, life begins to get better, but that is no guarantee that everything in our lives will magically change. Life happens. People get sick and they die. That is one fact that we really are not prepared for early in sobriety. Loss, of any kind.
But today, our man is caring for a mother who is in the last stages of a battle with Cancer and today he can be there for her. And along with his family, they care for her and will care for her until she takes her last breath. And that is a gift of sobriety.
Because we know where things could have gone … thankfully they didn’t.
The take away from tonight’s share … PAY IT FORWARD.
If you’ve never seen the film, then put it on your Netflicks Queue.
Today our man does his meetings several times a week. He works his steps along with his sponsor and now his three sponsees. He does the work, so he can pay it forward to the men in his circle. You can’t reap the rewards of sobriety until you are ready to give it away.
It was good to hear someone get up there and talk about true gratitude in action. To see just how the program works in the lives of so many each week we come together there.
And he commented about an Old Timer Tommy M, who grew up and got sober here in Montreal in the 1950’s, today Tommy M is in his 80’s and in the book I am reading “1ooo Years of Sobriety” He asks the question:
“Does A.A. work ???”
Yes, it does work. If you do the work. Suit up, show up, work your steps, clear away the wreckage of your past and give freely of what you have …
It pays off in spades when you do something kind for someone else, just because.
At the end of the meeting one of our group members took a 5 year cake.
A good time was had by all. We had food, and conversation and we all went home fulfilled again.
What kindness have you done today?
More to come, stay tuned …
“Fear knocked at the door; Faith answered, no one was there.”
It is not known who this quote should be attributed. But this was the topic for the evening …
But before I get there, a little update on things going on here.
Yesterday we had a heat wave. It was 28c all day and got cooler overnight. It got progressively cooler today, and we are sitting at 7c at this hour. Cool enough for a jacket.
Last night I handed in my Psychology project in class after both hubby and I worked on it. I did the writing and he did the editing and finer points added. It would have been an easier assignment had the directions been a little clearer. It took hubby a couple of read through’s for him to get the idea of how I should write the paper so as not to incur needless marks for wrong work.
Funny, that on nights when work is due, more than half the class is a no-show for class. Which means late assignments and all of those people missed the test review portion of class for next weeks test. As we are in the final push to the end of term, it doesn’t do well to miss important class dates.
Today was beautiful out. We had lots of sunshine and it was cooler and breezy, like I said, and I was up early today waiting on mail that hasn’t come yet, because someone somewhere got access to my U.S. debit card. Me thinks that that hack into the U.S. pay systems got my number. So they shut down my card and issued a new one, after I had to fill out claim forms for the missing cash.
I have yet to receive the new card and I can’t access cash on the account until it gets here. I was bored all afternoon. Too much time on my hands left me to decide to leave early for the church and I was done with setup by 5:30. My girls came shortly after that.
It was a packed house, with more than 40 people in attendance. The chair decided on the Daily Reflection for today. Love and Fear as opposites.
Most everybody in the room spoke about fear. It seems that as a group, everybody has faced considerable fear coming into the rooms. Two of the base feelings as alcoholics is fear and insecurity.
And I was no different. The first time when I came in I was facing some hefty fears about life and death. I was facing a near death sentence and I was drinking myself into the ground slowly until I hit that bottom and got sober.
I wasn’t really afraid of God, but I was afraid about dying, alone …
My care team had other plans for me. And I spoke about that tonight. Yes, I had my fears and I had a life that I was living, but as long as I was under the safe roof of my employer at the time, I had work that needed to be done, and there was not a lot of time to sit and worry. And I believe that had I not been kept busy, on a short leash and working my sobriety daily, I surely would have died.
Fear is a good motivator to change. And most alcoholics fear change. But I had no other choice but to change. And I learned to trust my keepers. And learn to love them and myself.
Overwhelming fear is not good. Allowing fear to rule your life is also not good. They say that F.E.A.R. translates into several things:
- False Evidence Appearing Real: and in sobriety you either
- Face Everything And Recover, or you
- Fuck Everything And Run … it’s your choice.
I have a healthy appreciation of fear. I don’t usually sit in my fears. And living this long with death hanging over me, once you face your own mortality and you win, you learn just what to do with fear on a daily basis.
Another member spoke about fearing being with themselves. Which brought on a panic attack, when for a moment, that member was alone with her thoughts and self, and for several minutes she did not know what to do. So she panicked.
People fear lots of things. The list is long and distinguished:
- The fear of Love and Rejection
- The fear of being Alone
- The fear of Not being good enough
- The fear of Not having enough
- The fear of The drink or drug
Add your own fears to this list and recognize that you are not unique nor are you alone in these things.
Since we are in the 4th month of the year, we are steeped in the Fourth Step. Hence all the readings for the month center around working the Fourth Step completely and honestly.
This is the first “Working Step.” when we begin to put fears and resentments down on paper. And we look at both, what has been done to us, and really, what we did to other people. This is the make or break step for many, because the fear of looking at ones self is so scary that many people go back out and drink over it. We have seen this happen countless times in step series.
That has been a look at the day as it happened. I hope you all had a great day where ever you are. Thanks for stopping by and taking a read.
More to come, stay tuned …