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Posts tagged “There is HELP

Monday: What’s New ?

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Today is FIFTY, day seven.

Having a supporting role, in sobriety, is much easier, than being the LEAD actor. I’d rather come in quietly, and do some manual labor, setting up, and sit out front, and saying hello to people. I think, and I said this to one of my guys on the way home that:

Manual Labor is a requirement for sobriety. You have to spend some time doing the grunt work (as long as you can). I think service is THE cornerstone of anyone’s sobriety.

Service is something I learned to do, and still DO to this very day.

So it went, Tonight, we traveled across town to the entertainment sector of the city, where our Performing Arts Center is located. Place Des Arts. This is the HUB of Montreal’s Concert/Ballet/Symphony/Music Festivals … You name it.

It is where we gather to have some serious fun.

The Monday meeting is just up the hill from here. Notre Dame De la Sallette Church.

Monday Central is a well attended meeting. We had decided to change-up the game after completing a full reading of The Big Book, last week.

We were sitting out front tonight, as one of my elder friends, and another elder sober friend approached. They were surprised to see us. Others felt the need to change-up their routines as well, from where we had been going for so long.

Changing up your routine is necessary sometimes. My friend told me that when he gets into a funk about people and places and cliques, it is time to move on and go somewhere else.

We read from the Big Book, Page 92, in fact on “Working with Others.”

This passage talks about working with an alcoholic. And you can imagine, as it was said tonight that, back in 1939, when the book came out, Bill and Dr. Bob had their work cut out for themselves.

Imagine meeting a contact, via a wife, or a doctor or a hospital, someone who probably. really knew HOW to Drink … There was no A.A. There were no meetings. No television commercials.

In its Infancy, it was The Book, and that was it.

It was Dr. Bob and Bill, sitting with a real Winner …

The passage talks about what our role is when working with another. And how everything that matters, is about telling our TRUTH. Sharing the message of recovery as we have recovered, and how that went down for us. Speaking about what happened to US, honestly. That’s it.

Your Experience.

There were a few young people sitting in the room tonight, that when THEY got the message given to them, insanity erupted, and they took to sobriety like wild fire. And in their zeal for recovery, tried to bring their friends and fellows, along for the ride.

They know today, in listening to them talk tonight, just how bad they cranked up the message and made it all about their opinions and not a whole lot about personal experience.

Sometimes we need to return to the roots of the program and listen to what the book actually says, and how this program works.

Sobriety is SO different in 2017, than it was in 1939.

The stakes are just as high. Alcoholism is still alcoholism. And a drinker, is still a drinker.

The chance that someone had heard of A.A. before they hit the rooms are higher today, than yesterday. Imagine what it was like 80 years ago ?

Today, one of the MAIN struggles we hear over and over ad nauseam, is God. God is mentioned over and over in the book, and God is seriously, the biggest DOWNER for people across the board.

If God was your only problem, you wouldn’t be sitting in the room, would you ?

High Roller drunks of the 1940’s were a serious problem, just as the High Roller drunks are today, only today, you can bet, that alcohol is not their only vice. Times have changed.

And they haven’t changed for the better.

How do you stay sober at age FIFTY ???

I don’t know, myself. But I am figuring it out one day at a time.

I follow the men who participate in my own personal sobriety. I do what they do. I go to meetings they go to. And I listen to what they say to me.

Not everyone is meant to STAY, people come and go. At certain points, sober roads might diverge. The lesson there is to Let Go, absolutely, and Let God. That was good advice tonight.

If You are stuck in addiction, somewhere far, or somewhere near, there is help.

Over the past few months, I’ve been asked to sponsor rehab’s in the U.S. on the blog.

I have done this gladly, if someone out there needs help, and you read these pages.

Drug Rehab.Com and Elevate Rehab.org …

The links are on the sidebar, on the right hand side. If you click the links, they will take you where you need to go, if you need help.

Thank you for following and reading.


Friday: Part 1, In Quiet Desperation

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Only time, life, experience, and finally hindsight, has given me new eyes to see life the way it panned out, how life changed, gave me its lumps, and now restored me back into the faith life that I was meant to live.

I’m amid a read of “In Quiet Desperation” Understanding the challenge of Same Sex Attraction. By Fred and Marilyn Matis and Ty Mansfield.

Having figured my self out, and finding myself of the backside of Gay, I have reoriented my life. Approaching Fifty next year, I prayed for a new experience. And I got it in spades.

I’ve reassessed my life as it played out. And I’ve figured out that What I became as a young boy, was directly related to the reading material I was consuming. I favored one flavor over another, for some strange reason.

Being fed two sides of the same coin was problematic. Having parents do one thing then say another, was confounding. Knowing I was headed in a certain direction, and having parents who derided me, and verbally and physically abused me, did not help in that process.

And I lament the fact that I did not have reinforcement in either direction, gay or straight. My parents might have loved us by the way they lavished “Things” on my brother and myself. Showing Love was not the same as Giving Love.

In my experience of parents who love their kids, and give them stable homes, with religious education and support, is something that was never afforded to me. I mean, there was church, and good people in my life, but that’s as far as that went, because when i went home, all the good was replaced with all that was terrible.

I reflect this question across many ideas … “Had someone stepped in, and said something, anything, to either dissuade me or give me another option to live my life, would I have listened, and what would that have looked like in reality ?

I know, that had my life changed even one degree from the track it took, I probably would not have gotten here, in the now, where I am in this moment.

I went into my twenties knowing I was gay. Was it a choice ? It all stems back to reading material and what fancied me, and I only carried it forwards because it was thrilling I guess. And the lifestyle I chose to take on, was based on a suggestion, from someone I thought I could trust.

My addictions only followed me and made the transition worse.

Still I did not know any better. And that is my fault. Once you are immersed in a culture and a people, and you become insulated into that community, and one does not venture very far from it.

But I see today, the wisdom of the Latter Day Saints. I understand their position on the Teaching on Marriage and Families. I understand how difficult it IS for young people, and adults alike who struggle with same sex attraction.

Because I am on the other side today, I see wisdom in ways I had not in the past.

To read Stuart’s story in this book, a young man of the LDS faith, struggle with SSA for so many years, go on a Mission, Teach and was loved, and the length he went to to get help, to pray, talk to his family and his Bishop, but in the end, being unable to reconcile his feeling with his faith, he planned his exit.

Stuart’s parents loved him, they supported him, they knew about his struggles and tried valiantly to help him, to no avail. All the words in the world, the scriptures in the book, the talks with friends, family, bishops and others, did not assuage Stuart’s feelings of his negative self worth and his unworthiness as a Child of God.

He told his parents that he was suicidal. He told his parents that the end was coming, everybody knew, but nobody had any power to change his mind, however hard they tried. They did not commit him because that was counter intuitive.

People of the LDS faith, and the Book of Mormon, rely on prayer and the authority of their church. I wonder, if I had that kind of faith life and family life, to the extent that many young people in the LDS church do, would something like that have changed my track, way back when ?

For Stuart Matis, there was no option. He had the gun, an on a Friday afternoon, Stuart went to their LDS stake center, and took his own life, by his own hand.

Mix this terrible tragedy, with the commotion caused by the push to legalize Gay Marriage in California, and the pros and cons in this discussion, and the firestorm the media creates in all things, this tragic event was defiled by hatred, only fueled by the media that twisted this young man’s death into a front page story about “hating the Gay.”

Being gay, we know is not a choice. Somewhere in our DNA there is something that triggers this state. I knew, before I hit the age of ten, who I was.

And that “Who” I was, was directly related to what I was consuming.

What did I know from gay in the 1970’s ? Nothing. The first gay man I met wasn’t until the late 70’s into the early 80’s. I knew squat about being gay, beyond what I was reading.

So I wonder, would a change in that equation, have changed the outcome ?

My heart weeps for Stuart. I was just dumbfounded as I was reading last night. I cannot imagine what his family went through, well I can, because the book tells the story, but just as well, reconciling faith and homosexuality has its problems.

Matthew Vines has spent the past five years teaching the evangelical faithful that there can be reconciliation between faith and homosexuality. I’ve read his work. And the work is sound.

People of faith, in all faiths, deal with the issue of Faith, Homosexuality and Same Sex Attraction, each in their own ways. And across the board, if reconciliation is not found, it is either “Living the lifestyle” or “Suicide.”

The LDS church offers the Option.

And I can testify that many young people in the LDS church, who deal with SSA and their faith, have, each themselves, contemplated suicide as an option.

Suicide is Not and Option.

I dissect my gay life into these areas … Gay, Attraction, Sex, Money, Addiction and Relationship.

I had dated women in my teens. I am still friends with one of those women, to this day. But I never went as far as sexuality or the spectre of marriage with any of them, because what did I know about marriage, beyond what I had seen in my life.

Alcohol and Drugs were the glue and the mortar that solidified being gay. If you take away the substances, then you have sex and relationships left. If you remove sex from the equation further, then you have just relationship.

The above list involves non-negotiables in any relationship. Remove any of them, and the relationship will fail.

Which is why, at this stage of my ball game, I am on the backside of gay, due to my special circumstances. And I am a unique case in my approach to the Latter Day Saints. And my case will be reviewed by the proper church authority before I progress further.

And I wonder … What was it that made gay good ? Boys, Alcohol, Drugs, Sex ???

That’s what made the world go round. Would I have changed anything, YES, I would have gone without certain people, activities and certain relationships back then.

It was an experience.

It got worse as I approached my diagnosis. I had never met such dishonest people in my life, until I met Todd on that fateful night.

Yes, I was still gay. But I was a sick gay. Which removed me from general population. I was serving the least of these, but I wasn’t “one of them.” Heavenly Father removed me from general population in order to save me from them and from myself.

Heavenly Father removed the

  • substance
  • the relationships
  • the attraction
  • the sex
  • and the lifestyle from me.

And over time, I changed as circumstances changed. And now in hindsight, I see the trajectory as it played out.

Today, all I have is the relationship. Everything else has been removed.

The book talks about being refined in the fire …

I was refined in the fire. Absolutely.

And now I am here.

Faith is such a personal practice for every human being. The Church of Latter Day Saints is the true church. And is built on the authority given to its leaders from the prophet Joseph Smith.

You need to read this book, to understand what I am trying to share.

I think, simply, life is about choices and options, and what lifestyle you choose to live.

We gravitate towards what is familiar. In life, In Sex, In Addiction, In Relationships, and In Faith. We are born into families, that is fact, and they don’t change.

A family, in the church, loves hard and seriously. Faith, Prayer and Scripture are absolutely important as the glue that holds families together.

Many young people in the LDS church suffer from Same Sex Attraction.

In a life of faith, in the church, it all comes down to choices.

Again, being gay is not a choice. And for many, these two ideas, faith and gay do not mix and can not be reconciled, so people suffer, until they make a decision on what they want to do.

Sadly, in high percentages, Suicide is that option. Some cannot bear the commitment to either marriage or chastity. So many choose the only route they believe is viable.

Suicide.

Suicide is Never an option.

The Church teaches that Marriage and Family are at the center of religious practice. To find a wife and then bear children. If that not be the case, and marriage does not happen, for those with SSA the commandment is to offer ones life over to God completely, and we make a covenant with Heavenly Father to live lives of chastity and obedience to the commandment set down by God.

In every life, there are challenges to be experienced, goals to reach, and divinity to seek. We might not know why we are suffering so, but Heavenly Father does. And only life. experience, struggle, pain and adversity, with the benefit of hindsight, do we figure out what God meant for us in this world.

I have seen my fair share of adversity, and I have also seen my fair share of goodness from Heavenly Father as well.

If sacrifice is what is needed, I am ready and willing to make whatever sacrifice needs to be made, save only one. and everybody knows that my husband is Non-Negotiable. That card was on the table from the very beginning. So that makes my case particular, to be dealt with on this basis alone with the proper church authority. I have not lied, or cheated. I have made my covenants that needed to be made and I honor those covenants.

I am still alive, so that first covenant I made over twenty two years ago, is still in play.

Once again, it is all about choices. And the options are all on the table.

Many are called, but few follow.

Having been through the fire myself, I don’t think there is anything that I cannot do for the love of Heavenly Father.

You are never alone. We are here. Suffering is part of life, it just depends, really, on how much time you want to spend suffering in the end. Let me tell you, the sooner you get over it, the better you will be and the easier a life of faith can be.

God can take care of all the things that others cannot.

But only if I let Him.

There are always options, one way or another. There is help. We are here for you.

Heavenly Father loves his children.


Thursday – HELP

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It is a sad day in the music business today. It is always sad when a trailblazing genius of musical craft, dies. Prince was the ultimate Master of musical craft. There will never be another like him, ever.

It has been an interesting week so far.

I try, every day, to do the right thing, and give the right advice. But it seems that not everybody listened, or is communicating when needed, and with that, some have sunk into a funk, and only when the pain gets too much to bear alone, do they ask for help.

All along, everybody knows what they could do, and should do. The problem is that many forget what it was like before The Work, or past conversations and past experiences, and complacency and laziness take over, or maybe it is just that life takes over, and in the busyness of school, work, families, significant others, they loose sight of what they should be doing to make sure everything else in life works well.

Depression is a bitch. And I know a bit about depression, and other forms of it, because of personal experience here at home, and over the years working with kids with disabilities and functional problems. People are suffering across the board lately, and I do what I can to help them.

If you are sad, or you are in difficulty, or you seem to be in a hole that you can’t find your way out of, there is HELP. You are not alone. There are people out here, who can help you. You just need to reach out and make that call.

Sadly, this past week, we have seen example after example of people, in certain mediums online who have no idea how much some people, and kids suffer on a daily basis with depression and suicidal tendencies. And add insult to injury by shooting their mouths off.

Here at home, In Canada, a First World Country, we have failed thousands of kids, families and entire populations of native, and indigenous people who live in Third World communities, live off grid, in places that are difficult to reach, are not connected to Big City Centers, who have no running water, homes that are falling down around them, and recently rashes of kids committing suicide has reached terrible proportions.

The Attawapiskat community located in Ontario has issued an emergency call for help, because scores of their children are dying at their own hands, this epidemic of youth suicide is a scourge on the face of our First World Country.

Canada is NOT doing enough, we have FAILED to help.

The solution is very simple, but because of bureaucratic red tape, native treaties, and policies that really need to be scrapped all together, we could do right by these communities that have nothing, and need so much and go without every day.

When you can’t have WATER, or HEAT, or HOUSING that is solid, and you can’t afford simple food, because of the jacked up prices they pay for food, THIS is unconscionable.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what has to happen to guarantee that generations of kids stay alive. It does not take a rocket scientist to know that if we don’t connect the lost to communities that can help, more kids are going to die.

I don’t know what else to tell my folks, to get them back on the bus and reengage in their sobrieties.

We spent an hour tonight talking about relapses, and slipping, and staying sober in the long term, because one of our number is stuck in that proverbial door of do I keep the pot on the living room table, do I smoke it, or do I flush it?

We all offered to get rid of it for her, and she said no.

At some point we all made that choice that we wanted to get clean and sober and were willing to do anything to get there. Sadly, some seem to not take addiction as serious as their fellows, and have begun to use again.

I don’t know what to do now, but be present and available when my phone rings.

So much sadness in the country that has so much to offer.

Nobody is immune. Get on board the bus, and listen.