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Posts tagged “All About Me

Friday: Faith, Action and Dr. Bob

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The weather has gotten dreary, wet, humid and miserable. Thanks to tropical storm Cindy. She stormed the gulf coast, and now she is making it rain here, and it is supposed to rain for the next three days.

Which meant numbers were down. But we had a good showing.

Faith … What is Faith. Not sure ? Take the action.

We talked about Faith and Action tonight. If you don’t have the former, then you need the latter. And how do we do the latter ? We go to a meeting.

As many meetings, as it takes, for you to hear someone who has a message or you identify with the words, and you take that EXTRA step and go talk to said person to see

  • What it is that they have
  • How did the learn what they said and/or did
  • And how do you replicate that piece of advice
  • You take a SUGGESTION and you RUN with it
  • As far as it will get you

So many of our young people struggle with Faith, and God and Suggestions.

Many people want the easier softer way, and only the die-hard newbies will listen when you tell that WHAT it is that YOU DID, and WHAT happened because you did that thing.

If you are new to the rooms. Sit down, open your heart, and listen.

Listening is an ACTION step. It will come to pass, that if you sit in your chair long enough, you are going to sink in and then you will hear just what it is you need to hear.

You might have to hit a number of meetings, over a LONG period of time. In Montreal, there are plenty of choices of where to go, around the clock, every day.

I know, I did not know what to do, and I needed people to show me what to do. And I connected to all the right people when I needed them. And over the years, certain special sober folks appeared, because I went looking for them, where ever sober people gathered.

Meetings, Step Series, Round Ups. Going out-of-town.

It may happen for you tomorrow, and maybe it won’t. That is the adventure, RIGHT ?

If you want to get sober … 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’s written in the book.

If you don’t have faith, let us show you faith. Sit with us and listen to our stories. At some point, even you will identify with at least one human being sitting in that same room as you.

The last Paragraph of tonight’s read mentions the first meeting between Bill W. and Doctor Bob, on that fateful night, I wrote about a few days ago.

Dr. Bob got sober, because Bill told him HIS story. And for the first time in his life, he met another human being, who knew what Dr. Bob was going through. Bill was speaking his language. On June 10th 1935, Dr. Bob recorded his first full day of sobriety…

And what did that take ? One alcoholic talking to another.

Honestly.

If you don’t have something, then take your needs to a meeting, and lay them down on the table and speak your words.

ALWAYS take your needs to a room. ALWAYS. Because you would be surprised how often you will find exactly what you NEED on a need to know/have basis.

If you glean everything a room has to offer, EVERY single human being who walks into a room has something you might need. All you have to do is ask. That is why we stress the 20 minutes before and after.

Every single person in the room has something to offer, even if they don’t know it themselves.

The forward action of faith, is showing up, every day or every night.

You might not know what that looks like, but if you just try, one day at a time, your actions will become faith.

I promise you that.

I spoke to three people on the way out tonight. Hopefully they will return the next week for another dose of Friday Night Sobriety.

It’s the Best night of the week.


Thursday: Drink Your Way Across Europe

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It was a beautiful day today. I did some shopping early on, and hosted one of my guys for another week of Big Book reading, (Read: Booking). I opened and set up the meeting, since many of our folks are away for a few weeks, so we are low on workers for the next month, it is all hands on deck.

We are sitting at the beginning of two weeks of National Holidays, First, here in Quebec, the St. Jean Baptiste Holiday, (For you Separatists out there) not that I have many Francophone readers, or that I am that political to tell you what I think about “Separatist Politics.”

Next weekend is Canada’s 150th Birthday Celebrations countrywide. Canada Day on July 1st, will be the BIGGEST celebration Canada has ever seen. Montreal celebrates 375 years of existence.

Needless to say, Our Provincial and City Governments have gone to great lengths to beautify the city. Millions upon Millions of dollars have been spent to bring Montreal up to speed for our tourists and to get the people on the ground excited to be living in such a wonderful city that IS Montreal.

Who am I to complain …

We who live here want to know WHY they spent so much money on shit we really did not need, while millions go without. We need so many things for our people, that we are not getting, even though the government seems to have deep pockets to spend on rock stumps on the mountain, and electrifying the Jacques Cartier Bridge for the world to see on NEWS CAMS all around the city pointed at the bridge at night.

People need healthcare. So many people need clean water, and homes that are not mold ridden and Indigenous people who live off island REALLY need lives, better lives at that. We need food on our tables, child care, medical assistance, homes, clean water, like I said, there are too many Canadians going without, while the government spend a shit ton of money on beautiful …

WHY ???

Anyways, back to this evening.

Our speaker, a young lady friend of one of our men got up and spoke. We clicked right away. I know her, because I know her boyfriend. They are sober together.

She worked in Travel for a few years. I did myself as well. While I was still drinking too.

We got to compare notes on all the sick ways we used to travel.

READ: Drink Your Way Across Europe.

Nothing was more fun, than on a Friday afternoon, getting on a plane, (in my office we ALWAYS flew First Class) because we could. Free Passes were always a nice perk.

San Francisco, New York, Chicago, London, Paris, or Rio …

The fun started before the plane even took off in those days.

She asked me if I remember any of my trips. I do actually.

I did some serious drinking in my young life. You’d imagine that I was pretty pickled before I hit the ripe age of twenty, seeing how much liquor I could put away.

I am amazed to some degree that I survived those years.

I know, for sure, that I was Stone Cold Sober, when I went to see the Vatican. Because I climbed all those stairs up inside the Cuppola to the roof of St. Peter’s to see St. Peter’s Square from that high up and the Vatican Gardens below.

I drank SO MUCH in Munich that I put a public tour bus out of commission because I was so sick inside that bus on the way back to the city, that I ended up on the pavement, and the bus went in for a deep cleaning and never went back into service.

UGH …

Not A Pretty Drunk at all. Not the most famous memory, but a memory nonetheless.

A good night was had by all.


Tuesday: Harmonization FAILURE !!!

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I have been riding a wave of feeling good, looking good, and hopeful that my medical condition was about to get much better with labs on the table coming today.

I was terribly Disappointed with my doctor visit today.

  • Yes, I have lost some serious weight
  • Yes, I have been on the Keto Diet since the end of March 2016
  • We added Edurant (HIV) medication (once daily dosing)
  • And upped my Trulicity (dosage weekly)

My HIV numbers are stellar. Cd4’s are above 1000, but:

  • My sugar test stick at the clinic was 20.7
  • My resting fast was 20 on paper
  • And my sugar number was 9.5
  • My Triglycerides were high as well (they have been see sawing for ever)

It was obvious today, that the Harmonization Tests of both types of medication have Failed. Either the drugs are conflicting still, the dosage is wrong, or put bluntly, my doctor could not find an “on paper reason” for my numbers to be so, “out of whack” today.

With serious weight loss, and corrective diet, and reworked medication, a change should have appeared on paper, and didn’t.

My doctors had a phone conference as I sat there, when they decided to test me right then and there to check my sugars, by test strip. Which landed at 20.7.

I test at home and my numbers bounce from 10, up to 20 on any given day. Even if I have a restricted diet, and I am not putting bad food into my system and I am eating a restricted diet, the numbers should be working in my favor, but they are not.

Friends have said that I need to keep my head on and wait to see what the Diabetes clinic says at my emergency appointment on Friday morning, and not jump to any conclusions.

I might need insulin corrective medication added, or just rework my insulin regulation  or they are going to change the mix again.

Some people, I have heard, cannot regulate their sugars successfully and need serious medical intervention. It seems I am at that point myself.

Stay tuned …


Friday: Humbly, On Our Knees …

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In the Original Manuscript of the Big Book, on page 26 of that manuscript, Step Seven reads: Humbly, on our knees, asked Him to remove our shortcomings, holding nothing back.

There are such religious notions, peppered throughout the Original Manuscript. Not all of them made it into the first printing of the Big Book in 1939.

I actually have a First Edition Big Book, printed in 1939.

Some of the more drastic “suggestions” that might seem, just a little too harsh for the sensibilities of those who see the Judeo-Christian influences in the Big Book, a problem in getting sober, were scrubbed from the final copy that went to print.

In one pass at my Steps a few years ago, in reading the Twelve and Twelve, approached Step Seven with this process: Read Step Seven, and find every word Humble or Humility.

Step Seven is the Step where we encounter this term. Humility.

  • What does it mean,
  • What does it look like,
  • And how do I find it for myself ?

For me, as I have stayed sober, Humility has been defined and refined over my years.

One friend tonight said that for him, “Humility was the recognition that he was not as big as he thought he was, but also that he was not as small as he thought he was either.”

Others talk about being “Right Sized” What does “Right Sized” mean ?

My definition of Humility, at this moment, means, “I don’t know.” I also add that, one specific old timer has offered to me that, “If I think I know something, I’d better sit down, and keep my mouth shut.”

Humility asks us to be Vulnerable to that Power Greater than Ourselves.

We constantly work towards turning it over, to that Power, which I choose to call God, every day.

Humility has been the lesson that has been hammered home in my life over the last year.

When the Orlando Tragedy happened, I threw in my spiritual towel and I cursed God. I fell apart in public, and fell to my knees, sobbing, pleading God to help me, because I was bereft, and had no idea how to begin to figure out why I was on my knees sobbing.

It all begins, when we get on our knees.

We might not know the reason why ? But to defer to God, and set one’s self before God in humble supplication, begins on one’s knees.

I learned that in Seminary. Why we prayed, and why we knelt and what it meant as men who came together to learn how to follow God. The men who were leading us, in the end, turned out, not to be the finest example of humility, based on the scandals they caused during their tenures in their priesthoods.

I wanted, so badly, to count myself as a man who would serve God. I made God that promise all those years ago, as a teen-ager, with stars of God in my eyes.

That promise to serve God would take my entire life to figure out.

It has to be the right time, the ground fertile, and I would be able to fulfill that promise, one way or another.

A year ago, I fell to my knees, and was rebuked by a man who was LONG sober, rebuking me that “You think you are so special, that we should treat you differently, You are such a child.”

I could have slapped the shit out of him right then and there. I could have hurt him seriously, in that moment, but my better judgment took over, and I got up, wiped my face and walked away, keeping my mouth shut, and not saying a word or acting on my impulses.

Thank God, Elder Spencer came into my life.

I don’t think I would have made it without him, today.

Sometimes, I have shared, that I need to be Bitch Slapped by God, in order for Him to get my attention.

Oprah has a better definition of this process:

God speaks to us in a whisper. If He whispers and we miss it the first time, He will whisper again. If we miss it the second time, He hits us over the head with a 2 x 4, if we miss Him the third time, finally, He drops a wall on top of us.

I actually lived this out a few years ago.

I’m not sure God was trying to get my attention, with a catastrophic massacre of kids in a nightclub to get me to notice Him. But He had my attention for sure.

Which led to an entire year of trying to find God, after I had cursed Him as I sat where I am sitting right this very moment.

Enter Elder Spencer … There are no coincidences. Only God.

I was there at one time, now I am here.

Now I Know !

The message is loud and clear. My life and sobriety are all about God and His goodness and kindness. I can let go of that old, tired and miserable story.

Sobriety today is about Humility, Faith, Love and the Atonement. 

The Atonement makes everything work.

Without it we are nothing, and can be nothing.

Humbly, on our knees, we asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Holding Nothing Back.


Thursday: Now I Know …

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It was a full and beautiful day. And Now I Know …

After a year of searching, talking and listening, Now I Know, what it is I am supposed to be doing. Now I know, what brings me joy. Now I know, who I need to be with.

Now I know, that friends I am connected to, friends I have known for a long time, that I never really connected to intimately, like those that I HAD been intimately connected to, have come to the fore.

There are friends and fellows, searching for connections and solutions. And over the past week or so, new connections have been forged. And working with others has come in small and simple ways.

They say … “IF you build it, they will COME.”

A Booking (read: Big Booking) series that began last Summer 2016, with Joe from New York City, with a small intrepid group of First Gen students, worked the 12 week program. We then endeavored to find other like minded folks on both the French side and the English side.

At that time, we hosted an Open House for the French side, and 50 women showed up and a handful of men. We opened a dedicated meeting serving the French side, to sister up with the Sunday evening meeting on the English side, doing the same format.

Big Book in both French and in English.

That 50 plus group of men and women were partnered with men and women, on both sides, and over the calendar year, all those men and women, went through the Book.

Now, all those men and women are taking another generation through The Book themselves. And the 2017 campaign has opened. The initial Gen Booker’s from last Summer, are beginning a new Summer session with another Gen of men and women.

I begin my next Gen Booking myself in August, for the second time.

On Sunday last, a young man who has been showing up on Sunday’s came and asked me if he could do the Booking himself. Today, we sat for our first Booking Session, that will run 12 weeks.

Tonight, at the regular Thursday meeting, a very good friend spoke. The same man, who, when I spoke a few weeks ago, did the Thanking.

Before the meeting I sat and listened to a Fifth Step from one of my men.

Then at the meeting, I heard my friend speak. He hit many salient points that I had spoken earlier in the evening. My friend has spirit, and he has God, and He lives in the solution, every day.

And as I sat there listening, I said to myself, Now I know.

I know my message. I know my experience. And I said to my friend afterwards that, I should have known better, when I got up there and made a fool out of myself.

Now I know, what I should have said. But like a good alcoholic, breaking the rules about intention, I had to have a fucking script, thinking that I needed to tell a specific story, for whatever fucked up reason I had.

When I should have really spoken the message that was supposed to be spoken and wasn’t, and listening to my friend talk tonight, I Got The Message.

I’ve spoken my displeasure. I’ve spoken my words. And I’ve said to those who needed to hear it, “I Don’t Give a Fuck anymore…so Fuck It.”

I’ve had spiritual teaching from my Elder friend Spencer. Who is a very bright light, whom, it seems, God smiles upon, every day.

I have faith. I have God. I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, and wants the best for me, and so I am surrounding myself with really good people.

Now I Know.

I know what I want to do, and why. Every day I am presented with choices of what I AM going to allow in, and what I am NOT. Every day I am presented a choice of what I want to do. How to Pray, and what I am going to engage with.

I don’t have to engage in thinking, and acting like a miserable dry drunk.

God has been very gentle with me. And gives me that persistent PUSH in the right direction, because I hear it in my heart, and the prompts come, and have been coming far more often, maybe because I am paying attention to that Still Small Voice Within.

Tonight Elder Spencer said to me that, “if he had the chance to go back to the beginning of his mission, with what He Knows Now, he would do it in a New York Minute.

His younger sister is just a few weeks into her two year mission in Montana. And a brand new crop of young Elders and Sisters are engaged at the M.T.C. Elder Spencer is right back at the beginning of a new mission, sharing stories about His mission, with a new crop of missionaries.

Indeed, he spoke his intention to return, so God has brought him full circle to return to the beginning of a mission for a group of young men and women, with ALL of the wisdom he learned on his mission here in Montreal, that ended last Fall.

When Elder Spencer went home, I gave him homework. Home work to record the wisdom he learned here, on paper. Which he did gladly.

And that homework led him to this new job. One he had not anticipated when he got home and finished his first semester at B.Y.U.

Successfully I might add.

Now he has come full circle. And I reminded him of this blessing that he intention ed himself. We both believe that when we met and through today, that there were too many coincidences between us, that were confirmed spiritually before our eyes.

And we both acknowledge that there are No Coincidences. Only God.

I feel renewed with a new solution, based in Love and God and the Book and Prayer.

It is all about the Daily Surrender and the Quality of that Surrender.

The work is there to be done. And Now I Know…

NOW I KNOW …


Sunday Sundries: The Changing Faces …

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It was another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Much warmer than it was yesterday, and we will take any day full of sun, as we can get. It might be the second week of June, but before we know it, it will be the beginning of September, and Summer will all but be gone.

For the past few months, I have witnessed new members coming to our rooms, that we have not seen, at all, in the past. Montreal’s Jewish community is legendary. When I got sober, this time around, it was the Jewish Chabad community, who took me in and cared for me when I needed it most.

Whenever I am able, I give back, until I am empty.

It seems, as of late that, we are serving the Hasidim community on a much more personal level. I’ve been listening to our men talk, about their struggles, their families and their troubles with addiction.

Addiction knows no barrier when it comes to the who and the why. Everyone is fair game. With communities that are insulated, they usually deal with daily problems, “in house, among themselves.”

Montreal is a city that is based in communal living. With many religious and ethnic communities existing side by side. But again, there are certain conversations that are only dealt with, inside the sacred circle of that respective community.

For a handful of men, they have left the security of their communities, and they have found their way into our rooms. And I have been paying attention to them, personally.

Today we read from the book, and the chapter: The Perpetual Quest.

It is a story about a woman, who reaches her bottom, and finds her way to the rooms, in her city. The portion of the read I focused on was the last three pages of the story, where she hears just what she needs to do to stay sober.

I chose the reading, because, if we could cut, copy and paste this portion of the story, and hand this document out to newcomers or, more to the point, to anyone who has a desire to stop drinking, we would have our work done for us, in one swing.

Many people talk about the suggestions.

Service, Meetings, Big Books, Steps and Sponsors.

Everybody hears the same message, from the get go. Many of us would rather eat dirt, than follow a simple suggestion.

This problem exists everywhere. There is a lot of anger being spoken about. Yet, we come to meetings, anyways. Because we are told that if we show up, the rest will fall into place.

Getting sober is just the tip of the iceberg for many members and my friends. Many people come with multiple problems, and are cross addicted, or have more than, “just a drinking problem.” And I heard those words spoken again tonight.

Our new men, who come from their respective communities have said to us that they deal with more than just drinking. And people across the board, beg the question, “what do I do with the twenty four hours, each day?”

One answer I heard tonight was, “well, as long as you are sitting in a meeting, you can knock that hour off the time line.” And “the more meetings you fit into your weekly schedule, the less time you have to spend in your head.”

When we come into sobriety from whatever addiction we inhabit, we begin to cleanse the temple of our bodies, that God has given us.

I was not sure how to approach this topic with our men, I just spent the last hour with my Elder friend Spencer and he gave me some sound advice, at how to bridge faiths.

Now I have an idea of what I need to do. God brings certain people and problems into our lives for a specific reason. We either know what to do, or, we know other people, who might know what to do, or we ourselves learn what it is we need to know, in order to serve the greater good.

I have faith. I have the book. I have my knowledge. And I have God, in my pocket.

If some have left the security of insulation, searching for a solution they need, because they have suffered and have transgressed their scriptures and proscriptions and doctrines and covenants of Judaism, they have come to places that I exist in.

I have a desire to help them, and tonight, I was taught, what it was that I did have, by someone I respect fully, and now from him, I know what I can do, with the tools God has already given me.

There is a three fold recipe that is necessary for transmission:

  • One, you need a Human Being
  • Two, you need the Book
  • Three, you need a problem that you can give context to, teaching wise

If you have these three dynamic pieces, miracles happen.

Spencer was at the MTC this week, and he met a young missionary.

While Spencer was here, in Montreal, he worked in Cornwall, a few hours drive from Montreal. While there he ministered to our young man’s grandfather, who was, later, baptized in the church.

His grandson, our young Elder in training, there in Utah, had met Spencer here, while on his mission. It was a Miracle Full Circle moment for him. Because our young man said to him, weren’t you in Canada, that answer was yes. Weren’t you in Cornwall, that answer was also yes, he put the pieces together that before our young man was called to his mission, he met Elder Spencer here in Canada, during His mission.

How often do you see someone in a foreign country, and meet them and share time with, and then find out that they are right in your own back yard, preparing to go on their very own mission ???

That is a miracle for sure.


Thursday: What You Send Out Comes Back

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Today was a beautiful day. The shift in my life continues. If you are not growing while you are getting sober, then, you are wasting valuable time.

I got a major clothes haul in the mail, a few more pieces for my sporty wardrobe. There is a major piece on its way right now.

I did my chores and my grocery shop, and had the rest of the day to fart around, and get a power nap in, before I had to go. One of my lady friends, lined up my speaker for the evening. And she is a critical woman in my life.

My friend took her lumps early on in her sober journey. After a crash and burn, and the loss of everything good in her life, a husband, children, family, and friends, she ended up in the familiar “Spa Rehab” that many of our women characterize their rehab experiences as.

That is a common theme with some of our gals. We all know what that Spa is …

She came out of rehab and landed back here in Montreal. That was just the beginning of shit that happened to her. Not long after, doctors told her that she was going to die, because she trashed her liver.

Thankfully, because she was sober, she got on a transplant list. Cue the Hurry Up and Wait period of time. In that time, she was very sick and on the edge of death. By God’s Grace, a donor was found. We hauled her off to the hospital and sat with her from start to finish.

I can report that my friend is indeed, Alive and Well.

I had not seen her since I began this trek with my personal well-being. And like most of my friends, she was flabbergasted with how good I looked. She said to me, that I looked really well, and add to that, she noticed that my entire “being” had changed. She commented that “the energy I was giving off was the biggest change.”

Both of us have experience in recovery and rehab. We are both schooled in nutrition and both of us are on the “real food diet.” We compared notes together and found that we were on the same page mentally, emotionally and physically.

Sometimes listening to our friends talk from the chair, is just what the doctor ordered.

Sobriety brings many gifts to us. But they only come when we are ready to receive them. One thing she focused on was her belief that what we send out to the universe, comes back to us, from the direction we sent it out.

Over time, we learn that sending out negativity and sorrow, turns into positivity and happiness. Because a little bit of the universe, is inside of us, and a lot of the universe lies UP THERE, in the firmament, we are connected, every second, to all that is …

The universe is always there, paying attention to our progress. My friend is a prime example of what is possible when you get well. We take care of the insides, and over time, the outsides begin to match us pound for pound.

We only want good things to come to us, so together, like many others in our lives, we send goodness out, and in time goodness returns.

Another thought was this …

Once we get sober and we begin to honor our bodies, soberly, we must turn inwards and honor our spirits and our well-being. Over time, the Inside Job, turns into an all out Outside Job.

90% of feeling good is looking good.

Me No Frumpy Man …

Everybody has noticed. And it looks really good on me. People are amazed at the positive progression that I have been on. And my lady friend is right up there with me.

People who face serious adversity, and some, even death, we see life in a way that most don’t. Because if you survive a trip into mortal territory, and you survive, one never takes for granted the life we have been spared.

All of my friends – a good number of them – have faced medical challenges over the last year, and on certain nights, we get to sit in the same room together and share experience, strength and hope.

Life is good. Everybody is well. And we are all sober.

Claim your life, Honor your spirit, and be Good to Others.

The Universe is paying attention.

We are all very thankful that we did not drink today.

One little drink, would really fuck up a good thing.

Which is why we go to meetings.


Tuesday: I Don’t Give a Fuck !!!

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Today was a really great day.

I take an hour, every day, to watch a Ted Talk, maybe Two, maybe Three, if I am on a roll.

I am still working to figure out what has happened to me, over these last number of months. I need to own my feelings. I need to tell you that you hurt me. I need to tell people that I no longer give a fuck, anything about them.

The rooms are not what they were years ago. And people are not who they once were either. That is disheartening. Because, isn’t the purpose of a room, to grow up, learn responsibility, accountability, and knowing one’s self ?

I got Fucked Over by friends. Or at least I thought they were friends.

They aren’t.

I’ve grown up some more. And I own my feelings and emotions. I am no longer going to bury my feelings and smile at you and say … Oh, it’s all right, and I’m ok. Really !

FUCK THAT.

I think we all need to own how we feel. And I think brutal honesty is good. I also believe that true authenticity is what I want of my life right now.

I know who I can trust today. I can name those friends quite easily.

Today was brought to you by: I Don’t Give a Fuck, and The Fuck It List.

Both of these thoughts came from Ted Talks I watched earlier in the day before I headed out for a commitment I made to a friend on Friday, last. I gave a talk on Step 11 to a new group, I’ve never been to before, and I heard a beautiful story from a beautiful young lady, I know as well.

I am continually learning about life and about myself. I’ve spent countless hours watching Brene Brown talk about Trust, Vulnerability, Shame and Guilt.

I feel raw and vulnerable. And I own that today. And now, I can look my fellows in the eye and say, NO, NOPE, Not Gonna Do it.

FUCK IT.

Some of my friends are now on the Fuck It List.

My Time, My Talent, and My Treasure are no longer going to be wasted, on people I don’t need in my life. Doing work for people who take advantage of my good will. And I am not doing anyone, any more favors, just because I am SOBER.

A friend I have, is in my life, because nobody else wants her. And I bent over backwards to help her over the last month. Time I did not have to give, yet I gave it any way.

She asked me to do something for her. Rent a moving truck, because I had time allotted to her. So I rented that truck, based on information SHE gave ME in a prior discussion.

I did rent that truck.

And she was not happy because she accused me of not hearing what she actually said, but I have notes to the contrary. And she scolded me for not getting it right.

FUCK IT.

That reservation is being held by MY credit card.

Today she did not call, but texted me the directions for the meeting, begging off that she could not meet me like we had previously arranged.

FUCK IT.

I have been spinning my wheels with anger and resentment at a handful of my friends because they are total DOUCHE BAGS.

FUCK IT.

I am De-cluttering my mental barn. I am giving myself permission to be certain of what I want in my life, who I want in my life and just what I am going to devote my time, talent and treasure to.

So FUCK IT.

  • If you are doing for others because you feel obligated … Fuck It.
  • If you are working a job you hate, that does not bring you joy … Fuck It.
  • If you have people in your life whom you really don’t like … Fuck It.
  • If you are doing shit, that you don’t like doing, WHY ??? Fuck It.
  • Anything you don’t need to do any longer … Fuck It.

Your Time, Your Talent and Your Treasure need NOT be wasted on Assholes and Elbows.

Find your words, re-order your life and your priorities.

Just Say … I Don’t Give and Fuck any more.

FUCK IT !!!


Monday: Personal Responsibility

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Our sobriety is in our hands. I am personally responsible for my sobriety. If I want to be sober, then I have to do the work. That’s all there is to it, really. I’m not going to get sober, sitting at home isolating, or sitting in a meeting and not engaging.

There is only a short amount of time for you to just WARM a chair. At some point you are going to have to engage, or go back out and DRINK. Who wants that for themselves ?

There are some who still do that, to this very day.

If you want sobriety, then you are going to have to work for it. What you put into it, is what you get out of it. And I am putting a lot into me right now. It’s coming fast and furiously.

If someone gives me suggestions, I should really DO THEM. If you ARE NOT doing service SOMEWHERE at least one night of the week, what the FUCK are you going to meetings for ? Really !!!

I tell my friends to do service, or to call a friend and connect, and they look at me like I am from MARS or something, or that I must be CRAZY.

Oh, for the Love of God ….

I am still processing all the pieces of advice I have heard from friends and fellows. I’ve been to a few meetings. Tonight, I saw my sponsor and HIS sponsor. I spoke to another friend who is LONG sober, and understood where I am in my head.

  • I have been through the Angry Period
  • I am sitting in my Unvarnished/Unfiltered stage
  • My Sober “Give a Damn” is Broken
  • Sometimes I just need to call a “Douche Bag a Douche Bag”
  • I am allowing assholes and elbows to infect my serenity and sobriety
  • That’s not good at all. Working on that presently !
  • Heavenly Father is directing the show – there is no doubt
  • My Elder Friend Spencer is in the loop
  • According to the men who were in the room on Thursday, I did fine
  • I was honest, I spoke what needed to be said
  • Even if assholes and elbows were sitting in the room
  • My Long Sober friend who “got me” said that once he was so angry from the chair that he got up and stopped talking and left the meeting, because of the same shit I was seeing from the chair the other night
  • I may not have IT, but I do have a variant of IT
  • I am directed to PAGE 112 in the Book – The first three words … READ THIS BOOK
  • We are reading the book.
  • If faced with an asshole, I should suggest page … 112
  • Right now, I don’t really care if I hurt your feelings, this is where I am right now
  • If I don’t know what to do, I do service, ALL the TIME
  • It is HIGHLY suggested that if I give you a suggestion … LISTEN for Fuck’s Sake

Oprah on God …

Heavenly Father speaks to us. Often. However, we don’t always hear Him or get the message or the memo. In the beginning, the first time, Heavenly Father whispers, if we don’t hear it the first time, He whispers again, the second time.

If we don’t get it twice over, the third pass, is when Heavenly Father hits us in the back of the head with a 2 x 4. If we miss it the third time, the final pass is when Heavenly Father drops the wall, on top of us …

I’ve actually experienced this series of hits, I had the wall fall on me. This happened a few years ago, during my heavy growth period between twelve and fifteen.

I’m sure that some of my friends took it personally, that I said the words, “YOU are a Douche Bag,” at the Friday meeting, two weeks ago, because they are not returning my phone calls.

That’s the problem with some people. People always assume, you are talking about THEM, in a meeting, and rather than ask ME what was going on, or if I indeed was talking about them, they go silent and they avoid me like the plague. If I have something to say to you, I am going to say it to your face.

That night, I WAS talking about someone specific, which was very close to cross talking,

It is what it is …

Some of my friends ARE Douche Bags. That’s just the honest TRUTH !

My friends, my CLOSE friends, will come to me and tell me when I am being a DOUCHE BAG. Last Friday my friend Joe took me aside and sternly suggested that I change my tack, because I scared some of my friends out of the room that night.

Douche Bags … All of them.

Why do we always have to be Politically Correct, and skate over the truth, so we don’t harm someone’s tender sensibilities ???

FUCK ME ALREADY

I’m tired of SUGAR coating my WORDS and dancing on the head of a fucking PIN.

I’d rather be Imperfect and Honest, rather than be Perfect and Dishonest.

I’d rather be honest and be hated, than to always have to sprinkle sugar on my friends character defects and shortcomings, like they don’t exist.

Oh, but they say, progress not perfection, you cannot expect someone who is less sober than you, to be in the same place mentally and emotionally, where you are. People have been straight up honest with me, they never let me skate across the ice like I was a professional hockey player.

I don’t play hockey and I’ve never been to a hockey game, not once.

It’s OK for you to be an asshole and I let you slide, and if I step one step out of your comfort zone, you fucking shun me like pariah …

What the FUCK is that, really ???

I may not be very sober, at least, here I can be honest. I am doing my best.

I’m so glad that I got my “Geographic Disease of Alcoholism” under control. I just know that if I had a car, all bets would be off … Not that I’d drink again.

Heavenly Father took the car away from me for a reason when He did. If I was grounded in One Place, I might settle down and get better and stop drinking.

Which is what I did here. I landed sober, and I’ve stayed sober.

Living here is the longest period in my life that I have been settled in One Place for this long. I made the right decision.

Met a young girl from ICELAND tonight, here on vacation. I asked her, “Why would you come here of all places, if you lived in freaking ICELAND ???”

Her response … Well I live there. She wanted to see Canada for the first time.

That’s like when I lived on Miami Beach. Locals never pay attention to their surroundings, because we live there and work there for a living.

I never went to the beach, probably once or twice in the middle of the night, and not during the day. It’s funny, I worked for a bit in a friend’s tanning salon, during my final drinking period.

I was amazed at all the GYM bunnies, who would not dare go to the beach and get sand in their bathing suits. On a Friday afternoon, or all day Saturday, they would come and tan, so that they had that GLOW about them to go drinking that night.

God forbid someone actually had to do the work of taking care of one’s self naturally.

If I can drink it, bathe in it, or spray it on, all the better.

That is, if you can afford, the easier softer way …

God I love sobriety.

This entire emotional period of my life is like one HUGE rocking roller coaster.

They warned me that I would feel again. It only took fifteen year to get here. I have friends who are early on, who are also on this roller coaster themselves.

Political Correctness has gone out the window for many of us. Not sure how sober that is, by my sponsor and HIS sponsor tell me that sometimes Honesty is the best policy.

YAY for Honesty …


Monday: Remember …

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A long time ago, in a jungle far far away, a man perished in the Viet Nam War.

He is a ghost in my life. A man I remember today. I may not have known him but my father did. Love has no boundaries in the theatre of war, and strangers fighting in a common fight, find companionship, security, honor and valor, together.

I carried his name, until the burden of never ever living up to his valor, courage and honor, drove me to wipe him away, the only way I knew how.

I never figured out why a man would name his son after a soldier who died in the heat of war, then tell that child, he was a mistake, and should never have been born.

It is an indictment of my father, and besmirches the name of that man who died.

Honor has its place.

I remember …


Sunday Sundries: Yes, We are Back. Bringing Order to Chaos

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The Odyssey of self has returned to where it all began. It has been a long time coming, and after listening to Brene Brown talk about Vulnerability this afternoon, I got dressed and took myself back to the Sunday Evening Meeting.

Where they elected me Chair for the month of June …

My sponsor said that I needed to un-clench my fist and open my hand to God. The only place I thought that I could begin that process, was in the church I first got sober in over fifteen years ago.

The woman who led me through my booking last Summer, is important to my spiritual path, and has been for many, many years. I need her in my life, and anything that took place in the past, was amended tonight.

In sobriety, you either grow towards God, or you wilt, and drink again. I don’t want to drink again. I know who I need in my life right now, and returning to my roots, just reorients me back into spiritual truth.

“We are responsible for the energy we bring into a space…”

Urban Legend says that this thought is in Oprah’s office. Brene Brown spoke those words during the talk I heard earlier today. I was watching her talk on the Good Life Project.

We are still working on the subject of vulnerability. And I am still a work in progress.

Today the woman who led me through my booking spoke on Step 5 …

Admitted to God, to ourselves and another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs. It was a pertinent subject, seeing that it was in that particular church that I worked my last round of steps, and in turn, took my very first sponsee through his steps in that very same church basement.

Working your steps can be life changing, if you allow the process to work, as you are able, and to the level of honesty you employ yourself in your step work. Then turning around and booking a sponsee and seeing them through their steps is another life changing event for sure.

Only someone who has been through the process themselves, can lead another through that garden of self discovery, and be able to receive someones steps.

I walked to the church, overland and not through the tunnel because te sun was shining and I wanted to collect light form the sun, as I walked back into the church, and also, to have the right state of mind and be able to have a moment of repentance.

Elder Christiansen has been speaking to me about repentance over the past few weeks we have been talking. It is the lesson he is teaching at the Missionary Training Center in Idaho. My Elder is a wise young man with insight I appreciate greatly.

I need to feed my spirit and commune with God. The first place I learned how to do that is in the Church Basement of St. Leon’s Church. The location I first watched God move among my friends.

We are still in “New Experience Territory, and have come full circle tonight.”

We have all changed over the past nine months. New people are in the room, some old people are still in the room, new relationships have blossomed, and we are all the better for the spiritual journey we are all on.

That IS a good thing.


Friday: Episode 2 – Mentally Drinking !!!

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This morning, first thing, before I did anything else, I called my sponsor.

He picked up the phone.

I went about my day, with a clearer head, and a lot more calmer than I was before I went to bed last night.

I took the Metro to the meeting, and cranked out set up until a fellow showed up to help me finish. And one by one, I spoke to other men, who are much longer sober than I am, who were sitting in the room last night, while I spoke.

I am told, by one, that if there is someone in the room, who I don’t like, or who does not like me, for one reason or another, THAT is the person I need to speak to, from the chair.

And really, when are things, at any time, all about me ? But my perceptions…

I know, some, have problems with me, because I am prosperous, doing well, have good friends, and am somewhat sober.

In most cases, it is NOT all about me.

My friends tell me that I carried the message. And that my friends sitting in the room, only wanted to help me along. That’s good.

Another friend, I had dinner with prior to the meeting, tells me that at this stage in my sober life, I should be at the jumping off point, where I have not had a drink in a long time, I’ve done The Work, I am living life, well, it is time to seek spirituality a little harder.

Wednesday afternoon, my sponsor said to me that, he sees that I like regimen and structure, and order. Not in a “controlling” fashion, just orderly. He tells me that I need to let loose my fist, being clenched so hard, trying to maintain order and control, and open my hand and Let Go and Let God.

I need to practice, a little harder and trusting God.

I’m not quite there yet, even now.

And tonight, I said to the room …

My head is not someplace I should go alone. That my thoughts are dangerous, and I was reminded that, if I think I know something, and plan on talking about that, really, I should just keep my mouth shut.

When I got sober the first time, and Todd was guiding my little ship of horror, I would go to work, leave my problems outside the door, and I allowed Todd to do the thinking for me, because that is what was needed, Todd knew that if I fixated in my brain, the thought of dying, that I WOULD DIE.

And He found the way to keep me out of my head, while I was in the building. It took years upon years of hard work, to be able to do that OUTSIDE the building.

When Alcoholics told me to “go and not come back,” what was left, but the thoughts in my head. Once that happened, the disease of alcoholism, that sick little voice in my head, began working its magic, which lead to my slip.

Because I was thinking, and not thinking very well, left to my own devices.

And over the past months, as feelings and emotions came on, hard and strong, the rat in my head had become overpowering, and what happened ?

I began to mentally DRINK.

In the beginning, there is an idea. Then the thought follows. If not controlled, that thought becomes an action, which leads to a drink.

I didn’t physically pick up a drink, I just went there MENTALLY.

I planned my share last night, down the the finest detail. I THOUGHT I had something particular to say. I ran those thoughts past my sponsor, and got approval.

I sat up there last night, knowing that a major pain in my ass was sitting in the crowd, and I allowed that individual to crank me up, which sent me off script and into my head.

I got home and I was IN my head all night long.

And now I know what that feeling was, it was a Mental Drink.

At fifteen and a half years sober, I still don’t have it, that something I thought I had, looking back at all my friends, knowing where they are. I am not like many of my friends, I’ve said before, who are emotionally and mentally cracked, in double digits.

I am my own worst critic.

I know, right now, that I probably will not get up and talk in front of a room of drunks again, any time in the near future.

I had a message I wanted to speak. I wrote it down. Prepared myself to speak my truth. I can do that in meetings, talk with clarity and faith and meaning. And when I talk, inside a meeting, I am good, for the most part.

I don’t speak, often… I’ve not spoken in front of a group in over six years. So it isn’t second nature. I might hear myself talk inside a meeting, speaking to a Speaker crowd is much  different than sharing in a meeting.

And I don’t have it.

Whatever, I think I should have. Clearly, it was not my night, and I wasn’t spiritually full, and I was easily swayed into homicidal thoughts because of a single man sitting in the crown, who slept through my share … Whom I loathe with all my soul.

My sponsor repeats the thought that:

Your Sobriety and Serenity are the only things that matter now. And anything you allow in, that affects either your Sobriety or Serenity is dangerous. Because if you are not vigilant, and you allow (people,places or things) to sway you …

That is going to lead you back to a drink.

And now I know that I’ve been mentally entertaining a fucking DRINK…

Whatever I think I have, I don’t. No matter how hard I fought to get to this point, I thought I had it, until I got up in front of a room, and opened my mouth.

FUCK ME !

It matters when you get up in front of a room, to have IT.

I did not have IT, at all …

Thank God I am not perfect, nor God. I am not a saint by any stretch of the imagination.

The Books reads … We are Not Saints. Progress not Perfection. Willing to go to any lengths. Then you are ready to take certain steps.

A. That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
B. The probably no human power could relieve our alcoholism.
C. That God could and would if He were sought.


Friday: Episode 1 – Spooked !

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Have you ever loathed someone with every fiber of your being ?

Sobriety brings with it a myriad of emotions, vying for purchase. And all those emotions are running through my head since I left the meeting I spoke at last night.

There are (not so) sober men in the rooms, that I loathe will all of my being. I hate them as much as I hate addiction. Sitting in the chair, looking out at the room, trying to speak coherently and honestly, watching people react to what you are saying, and seeing someone you loathe with all your being SLEEPING in his chair, playing with his water bottle, fucked with my brain.

I invited several people to come hear me speak, and that spooked me too. At some point I looked at our Matron of our meeting, sitting in the front row, and I sensed she was tapping at her watch, which threw me into fits of “shit, I need to wrap up,” it might have been that, or it might not have been that.

I had a script in front of me, and still, I was all over the place. In the end I feel like I really did not carry the message honestly, because I was all over the place mentally.

I can’t go back and change anything about what I said or did not say.

I’ve heard a long sober woman talk about the fact that in one moment she is the most resentful and angry woman, while being the most grateful and happy woman, all at the same time. All those emotions vying for attention, in that moment.

The Third tradition speaks about the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking, and nobody has the right to tell someone to leave.

Right now, I want to haul off and speak some not so sober words to a particular man in the crowd. I want to tell him how much I hate him, how much I loath his existence, and his presence in the same space I sit in.

It is like a malediction.

I cannot stand disrespectful people. I’ve known for all of my sobriety how much I hate certain people in the rooms. They make we want to spit. And say things that are not so sober.

As a gay man, there are certain heterosexual men who just make my stomach turn. I won’t break bread with them, I won’t go to the same meetings as they do, and I sure as shit do not call them fellows.

I strayed off my script because my sponsor said that I needed to stick to my story as it relates to alcoholism. Some of my script went well outside that requirement.

Figuring that I was going long, I cut short an entire section of my share.

In the end, I got good marks from my friends and the members of the group, which meant I had hit my mark. Being that the last time I spoke in front of a crowd was six years ago on my tenth anniversary.

So why do I feel so fucked up and angry ?

I felt very intimidated sitting up there, talking to people who did not care for anything that I had to say, yet they were sitting in the room with us. I might not be 20 plus years sober, but I am sure as shit not like any of those men I loathe.

Fuck Me ten ways from Sunday …


Thursday Episode 1 – Harmonization

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Years ago, when I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I started drug regimens very slowly. Over those years, it seemed the drugs were not working as well as expected.

What we did not know then, was that having dual diseases meant that both sets of drugs had to harmonize, so that both regimens worked on their associated problems.

Together.

Last fall, Dr. George changed up my Diabetes medication and added Trulicity to the mix at a low dose. Trulicity is a once a week injection. I began to loose serious weight, for the first time in over twenty years.

In February when I saw him again, the numbers were still too high. I then went to see Dr. Chris, and that day both he and Dr. George were in the same office. They had figured out, for the first time since I got sick, that the drugs were knocking each other out, one for one, thereby negating the effectiveness of the drugs across the board.

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Dr. Chris took away a few drugs, and added new ones, on single dose daily dosing. Dr. George upped my Trulicity to a higher weekly dosage as well, he tweaked my other diabetes medications also.

I had lost ten pounds by the February medical check-up. In March, my friend Joe introduced me to the KETO diet. Which I jumped on furiously.

I have lost a total of thirty pounds so far.

In the words of the Divine Miss M … I Look Good !

Today, I was up at 6 a.m. to make my trek up the hill to the General to drop labs.

Three months of new drugs, one intense diet that has totally changed the way I live, and a lot more healthy living, we will see just how good this harmonization test worked.

If it was successful we will have found a new way to treat dual diagnosis patients with HIV and Type 2 Diabetes.

Let Us Pray …


Wednesday: Ready to Rock and Roll

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The sun is shining. The city has been basking in Summer like weather for the past couple of days. Days of sun, are going to turn into days of rain tomorrow, and on through Monday and Tuesday. UGH !

Tuesday and Wednesday are my off days. Off days, are reserved for chores, laundry and cleaning. Yesterday I cranked all morning to get all my chores done, so that I had the rest of the day to sleep.

It pays to have the BED of DEATH …

Once you lay down, there is no getting up, it’s so GOOD.

Recent New Updates

I am so very tired of politics on the telly.

I’ve changed up my home page to the BBC a while back, so as to change the messaging coming at me on a daily basis. I am more interested in what is going on overseas, than I am in what is going on down South.

Any senseless killing of any innocent is a tragedy. The killing of innocent young people is abominable. There is no joy, blessing or eternal inheritance when you kill innocents.

If you kill an innocent, there won’t be 72 virgins waiting for you on the other side.

PERIOD !

We are reminded, once again, to be VIGILANT, where ever we live. Be mindful of your surroundings. Be mindful of your fellows in public places, and most especially on the TUBE or the METRO, BUS or any other public transportation.

You are the best eyes law enforcement has, on the ground, in real time.

You might be cranking your tunes on your head set, Just pay attention to what is going on around you, as concert and events begin to crank up for the season.

If you see something strange, SPEAK UP.

If you see someone strange, PAY ATTENTION.

No city is totally guaranteed safe. Those fuckers always find a way to undermine our security. Go about your daily life, just a little more VIGILANTLY.

This afternoon I sat with my new sponsor to go over my script for tomorrow night’s meeting. I am speaking.

We are Ready to Rock and Roll people.

It is going to be great.