Friday, June 29, 2012

All I Can Do Is Write About It

All I Can Do Is Write About It

Lynyrd Skynyrd 

Well this life that I've lead has took me everywhere
There ain't no place I ain't never gone
But it's kind of like the saying that you heard so many times
Well there just ain't no place like home
Did you ever see a she-gator protect her young
Or a fish in a river swimming free
Did you ever see the beauty of the hills of Carolina
Or the sweetness of the grass in Tennessee
And Lord I can't make any changes
All I can do is write 'em in a song
I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord take me and mine before that comes

 Do you like to see a mountain stream a-flowin'
Do you like to see a young gun with his dog
Did you ever stop to think about, well, the air your breathin'
Well you better listen to my song
And Lord I can't make any changes
All I can do is write 'em in a song
I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord take me and mine before that comes

I'm not tryin' to put down no big cities
But the things they write about us is just a bore
Well you can take a boy out of ol' Dixieland
But you'll never take ol' Dixie from a boy
And Lord I can't make any changes
All I can do is write 'em in a song
I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord take me and mine before that comes
'Cause I can see the concrete slowly creepin'
Lord take me and mine before that comes

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Actions and Results

If anyone would have asked me seven months ago if I thought I could ever be this happy I would have laughed in their face.  I knew the program of Alcoholics Anonymous worked, i just did not know that it would work this fast.  My spiritual growth has transformed me into a new person.  I finally made my most difficult and most important amends last week, and that, I believe, finally allowed GOD to enter into a relationship that had been sick for a very long time.  My sponsor told me to hold off on making the amends and pray for this person for two weeks and see what happens.  After a series of events that were clearly out of my hands driving me closer to this person, the opportunity for me to make the amends walked up to me and jumped into my lap (Which a guy named Eddie in Hilton Head told me would happen)!  After two months of not speaking the first thing I did in the conversation was make my amends and IMMEDIATELY,  all the pain, fear, resentment, distrust left.  The sickness had been lifted.  I cannot put into words how much joy this brings me.  Ultimately, what brings me even greater joy, is that I did what I was told to do by my sponsor and I got the result I wanted.  For so, so, so long I have fought everyone about everything and I was hellbent on doing things my way.  Well look where my best thinking got me.  Fucked up on drugs and alcohol for twenty plus years and broken!  So, if there is anything I can share with anyone out there that is still struggling with drugs and booze, get your ass to a meeting and get the fuck to work.  I am living proof that it works if you work it.  Go to meetings, get a sponsor, work the fucking steps and do your service work.  It is that simple... Now just because it is a simple program does not mean that it will be easy at all.  It does take a lot of hard work and commitment.  I dont know about any one else but my life deserves all the hard work I can give it.  You would have to put a bullet in my head to ever get me to walk away from AA and pick up another drink or drug!  I am 38 years old, living at home with my parents, in a city I hate, 2000 miles away from the person I love the most, and today I have peace.  A peace that I have never known in this lifetime.  This only means that the work is just beginning.  Next step, sponsorship!

Believe in the power of prayer!!!!!  It works!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Letting Go

I keep listening to Son Volt's Cocaine and Ashes over and over tonight thinking about the speaker I heard to night.  I keep thinking about what he said about letting go.  He shared about letting go of people he loved, of letting go of his disease, and of people who loved him that let him go. It really struck a chord with me tonight.  I feel the need now to put into words what I have let go and never look back.  First, I will have to start with the drugs.  Luckily a little run in with the police on November 4th made me realize that I had to let the drugs and booze go once and for all.  That run in with the police should have also been a red flag for me to let go of the person that called the cops on me.  But just like I had held on to the drugs and alcohol for so long, I held on to a relationship that was sick with lies, infidelity, and hurt.  Just as the drugs and alcohol had driven me to the brink of insanity, so had this relationship.  It actually pushed me a few steps closer to the edge, resulting in the darkest time of my life.  I knew all those years that my life would get better if I let all the partying go but I just was not ready.  Once I finally walked away from the relationship for good, my life immediately got better.  What a relief it has been letting go of something so toxic, it was, just like the drugs, pushing me to a slow death.  I have let go of friends, homes, jobs, hopes, and dreams, that ultimately were causing more harm than good.  Today, I know longer have that weight on my chest.  November 14th I surrendered the drugs and booze, and mid May I finally surrendered the rest of it and gave it to GOD.  I will leave you with this.  The gentleman that spoke tonight said the best gift you can ever give some one you love is to let them go.  Let them go to live their life.  And now I am free to live mine, Happy, Joyous, and Free!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

God Works in Mysterious Ways

I use to shudder at the cliche "God works in mysterious ways."  I would always think to myself when hearing this that he sure does..  More like fucked up ways in my opinion.  From relationships, jobs, money, sex, or anything else that was not going my way I always thought I was God's punching bag...  If God is so good, then why does all this fucked up shit happen to me?  Well, of course now looking back, God was there all the time, and I am sure he thought it was real funny when he kept me from over dosing or going to jail.  In Alcoholics Anonymous there are what are called the 9th step promises.  These are the promises.

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we
will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to
know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the
past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the
word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down
the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can
benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will
disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest
in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude
and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of
economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how
to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly
realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being
fulfilled among us-sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They
will always materialize if we work for them.

I can honestly say that this is the truth.  I have worked hard to gain the sobriety that I have.  I have worked the steps, just finished the ninth step, worked with my sponsor, and done just about everything I have been told.  I had faith that if I did what I was told the words above would become a reality.  I have found a new freedom and a new happiness.  I can never shut the door on my past.  If I do, I will surely use and drink again, and I will surely be dead before I could ever get sober again.  I have no self pity.  No one else got me here.  Just me and my fucked up thinking.  I now have an honest interest in my fellows (which is what prompted this post which I will get to shortly).  My whole attitude and out look on life HAS CHANGED COMPLETELY!!!  I have two job interviews tomorrow and I do not fear that I will not find exactly the job I need for where I am right now.  Last week I did realize that GOD was doing for me what I could not do for my self.  My prayers are being answered.  Tonight I had the beautiful opportunity of seeing how my experience can benefit another human being.  A few weeks ago a beautiful woman I went to high school with put up on her Facebook page "16 days."  I knew immediately what that meant.  I wrote her an email asking if this was an accomplishment. She replied that she was struggling with trying to get sober.  After exchanging a few emails we were finally able to talk on the phone tonight.  Hearing her tell me that I was an inspiration for her and that she was so happy that I had reached out to her overwhelmed me.  We shared our stories while she packed for detox and rehab.  She was more than grateful to hear that she could call me any time and that I would come visit her in rehab.  She was so excited to hear I was back in Atlanta and that I have an amazing group of sober friends that lean on each other in ALL of our struggles.  I know that frantic sound in her voice all to well.  And what ever bullshit that was going through my head at the time vacated almost immediately when given the chance to help a fellow addict.  I can only keep what I have by giving it away.  I am no expert at this program by any means, but through the grace of God, I have people in my life that show me everyday how to live a full and meaningful life without the use of drugs and alcohol.  It is my duty to carry that message to the addict and alcoholic that still suffers.  Then and only then can I keep my sobriety.

Good luck to you my friend and I will see you on the other side in a few days!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Cocaine and Ashes by Son Volt

I’ve had strychnine, I thought I was dead
I snorted my father and I’m still alive
I did because that’s how it is done
I’m the same as everyone, just kinda lucky

Body and soul, Cocaine and Ashes
Get to that place in time
Tears and blowin my mind

It’s no way of life but I’ve tried everything once
I have no pretensions of immortality
I’ve been told I had six months to live
But I’ve outlasted them all

Body and soul, Cocaine and Ashes
Get to that place in time
Tears and blowin my mind

Senses and Spirit, Mourning and Misery
Addiction is somethin I should know somethin about
Whatever gets done I know that I’ll be blamed
They say the King is the man who can

Body and soul, Cocaine and Ashes
Get to that place in time
Tears and blowin my mind

Body and soul, Cocaine and Ashes
Get to that place in time
Tears and blowin my mind

Body and soul, Cocaine and Ashes
Get to that place in time
Tears and blowin my mind

Friday, June 15, 2012

All Good Things Must End!

It is 11:03 on Friday night and it is the last night of my vacation.  What an amazing trip it has been.  First and foremost, this was the first vacation I have had without some form of mood altering substance in twenty years.  It is hard for me to really believe that I actually came to the beach with out any LSD and had an amazing time.  No drugs, no booze, no crazy women.  Just the beach, the sun, and my wonderful family to enjoy my lazy time with.  I was able to make it to some fantastic AA meetings while here on Hilton Head.  This was such a wonderful experience, learning that no matter where I go, there are people just like me, whom are willing to share their experience strength and hope with me.  I was able to hear some very very old timers share their wisdom.  On this trip, I was able to make a few amends, grow closer to my higher power, and most of all reenforce my belief that I CAN have fun without drugs and alcohol.  I was a little nervous the first night when my cousin greeted me with a cocktail in his hand, but other than that it was smooth sailing as far as my obsession for intoxicants is concerned.  Looking back over the past week, I don't think the thought of using or drinking entered my mind once.  This is truly a miracle.  Because I was sober, I was able to spend every morning with my beautiful niece, Addie.  For the first time in as long as I can remember there was no tension with my parents.  Whom by the way are the best parents any one could have..  They did foot the bill for me.  Thanks Mom and Dad.  I was able to reconnect with my cousins which I have not seen in twenty years as well.  This by far was the best part of the trip.  To be genuinely interested in there lives and their children was a beautiful blessing.  The weather was amazing, I have a fantastic tan and can honestly say I am at peace and completely SATISFIED.  Thank you Granny, Mom, Dad, Corrin, Craig, Addie, Big Bob, Debbie, Samantha, Jennifer, Bobbie, Nichole, and Adrianna for the trip of a life time.  I cannot wait already for next year.  I love you all!

Now back to reality!

Here is a song by Van Morrison that explains it all!

 Performed by Van Morrison

Let's go walkin' up that mountainside
Look down in the valley down below
And we survey this wondrous scene
Wait a minute-
Hold that dream.
Hold that dream.
Don't want to change my name and write a book
Just like Catcher in the Rye
Settle down in a shady nook
Talkin' to my baby now
I'm satisfied
With my world
Cause I made it
The way it is.
Satisfied (Satisfied.)
Go to the mountain
Come back to the city
Where a whole lot of things
Don't look very pretty
Spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst
But you got to change it
On the inside first
To be satisfied
To be satisfied
Sometimes I think I know where it's at
Other times I'm completely in the dark
You know, baby, cause and effect
I got my karma from here right to New York
I'm satisfied
With my world
Cause I made it
The way it is
Satisfied (Satisfied)
Sometimes I think I know how it is
Other times I'm completely in the dark
You know, baby, cause and effect
I've got my karma from here right to New York
I'm satisfied
Cause I made it
The way it is
I'm satisfied (satisfied)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

South Alabama

South Alabama

                The black Cadillac pulls into the clearing at the edge of the marsh.  Tyler steps out into the muggy Alabama August night.  He pulls off his suit jacket exposing the two Colt.45s stuffed into the shoulder holsters.  Tyler rolls up his sleeves and walks over to the passenger side door.
                “Get out of the car,” Tyler yells as he opens the car door.  The passenger does not move.
                “Get the fuck out of the car!”
                Tyler grabs his hooded passenger by the arm and pulls him out of the car.  Dragging him quickly to the front of the Cadillac, Tyler pulls out one of the guns and strikes the hooded man on the back of the head but does not knock him out.
                “You know it did not have to be this way,” Tyler explains to his captive.
                “Son, this will not change anything,” Judge Adams pleads.
                “You are the one that made this happen,” explains Tyler.  “Get on your knees, now.”
                Judge Adams begins to sob.  Tyler pulls the hood off the Judges face and it is covered in blood from the whack of the pistol butt.  Tyler, now soaked in sweat from the extreme late summer heat, walks to the trunk of the car and gets the chain, two cinder blocks and the garbage bag.  His employer wanted proof the job was done or Tyler would not get paid.  Tyler did not mind this part of his work.
                “You see Judge; it is harder to identify the body without a head or hands.  I can’t get caught again.  If they get me for this I will get the needle for sure. “Tyler tells the Judge while he smokes a cigarette finally dropping it to the ground, extinguishing it with the heel of his boot.
                Tyler slams the trunk and walks back to the front of the car.  The mosquitoes and dragon flies are buzzing around the head lights and the Judges bloody head.  He drops the chains and cinder blocks and sits on top the hood of the car and lights another smoke.
                “So your honor, what do you have to say for yourself?” Tyler asks with the cigarette smoke billowing out of his nose and mouth.  Tyler ashes the cigarette with his left hand and twirls his gun with his right, waiting for a response from the Judge.
                “What could I have done, there was an eye witness?”  Judge Adams cries. 
                Tyler flicks the cigarette at the Judge.  “You were told what to do and you did not do it.  Now you have to pay the piper.”
                “Please, please, I will do anything.” Judge Adams begins to yell and scream.
                “Go ahead and scream, scream bloody murder, no one can hear you,” Tyler lights another cigarette.
                “Look, you really do not want to kill a federal Judge, they will find you.” The Judge begs.
                Tyler flicks the cigarette into the marsh.  His jaw clenches as he draws back the hammer of his pistol.
                “I hope you made your peace with your maker; God knows I did a long time ago.”  Tyler presses the pistol against the Judge’s forehead.  Crack, crack rings out into the darkness of the south Alabama swamp.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


It is Tuesday, June 12th, 1:49 AM EST and I am sitting here on the balcony of my condo on Hilton Head Island listening to Widespread Panic playing Fire on the Mountain from the Athens shows last February, reflecting on the last few days and enjoying the slight tinge of pain that only a sunburn from a great day at the beach can cause.  The last three days have been such a blessing.  I will be amazed if I can write all of this without crying.   For as long as I can remember I have been spiritually vacant, well up until the point I decided to change my life, admit that I had a problem with drugs and alcohol and get the help that I needed.  Part of the 12 step program is rebuilding that spiritual life that is lost during active addiction.  It is said that one cannot stay sober without the connection and faith in a higher power of ones understanding.  I always believed that there was something greater out there but I was in such a bad place I thought God had turned his back on me, especially during the last two years. In two days I will have seven months of sobriety, and with an open mind and heart, I can honestly say that I have reconnected with a God of my understanding.  In my AA meeting this morning an individual shared about the exact subject  I have been praying about for the last few days in regards to someone I need to make an amends to.  I cried, it was so moving.  It took all of my power not to weep with tears of joy, pain, and GRATITUDE.  Then once I arrived back at the condo from my meeting I received even more information on what I have been praying for.  I share these words tonight because I now truly believe in the power of prayer and that as long as I continue to build a relationship with my higher power, I WILL STAY CLEAN AND SOBER!

Today I had the wonderful experience of catching up with yet another old friend that I began on my path of self destruction with.  I first met this friend in the spring of 1992, and the two of us, got after our partying full force.  Today, was the first time we genuinely spoke since 2005, i think.  It was definitely the first time we have a had a conversation sober in at least 10 years.  Today he has changed his life and has a beautiful family and is no longer the wild and crazy person who I loved and feared for so many years.  I wont go into all the details of our conversation but he shared with me taking a life long friend into his home for hospice.  This to me is as selfless an action as one could ever do.  After he shared this with me we went on to discuss how deadly this disease is and it is only by the grace of god we lived to tell our tale!  I am very proud of you old friend, I love you, and I cannot wait to see you when I get home!  This my friends is a miracle!

Last but not least I once again want to share my complete humility and gratitude for the people in my life right now.  My family is so loving and supportive, I have no idea where I would be with out them.  Mom, Dad, Corrin and Craig, I love you so much.  Thank you for rescuing me from the depths of hell.  You guys have given me my life back... This is a gift I can only repay with my diligence to work my program as hard as I can and protect my sobriety with everything I have, because without it, I have nothing.  Corrin and Craig, y'all have given me such a beautiful niece, that I am so proud to have.  I cannot put into words the joy she brings me when she is in my arms.  I knew I would not make it through all this with out bawling...  God, it feels so good just to let it all out!  OK, now that the tears are out, I have a few more people to mention.  Jason, Geoffry, Brian, Chase, Annie, Tiffany, Aaron, Adam,Marcie, Kim, and Tony, I am so grateful for you.  Your experience, strength, and hope keep me coming back.  I am blessed to have such a wonderful group of new friends.  God has put you guys in my life and he talks to me everyday through each and every one of you.  You guys help me everyday to stay sober and for that I am eternally grateful.

OK, that's all for tonight.  One more smoke and I am off to bed.  I have an early breakfast date with a young lady named Adelaide Amanda Baines and a walk on the beach!  I love you all!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Rhythm and the Soul

The Rhythm and the Soul
Erin Drello
Tyler sat quietly with his guitar in his lap watching Jesse run around in circles aimlessly.
“God, answer the fucking phone. Why won’t you answer the phone?” Jesse yells into her cell phone
Tyler leans over and snorts another line of cocaine off the small mirror sitting on the coffee table.
“Baby, quit freaking out and sit down and talk to me please…   Who are you trying to call anyways?” Tyler asks while he strums the guitar gently.  Waiting for her answer he takes a long pull off of his whiskey drink that sat sweating on the table.  Tyler gets up from the couch tossing his guitar down clunking the heels of his boots across the hard wood floors.
“Babe, why are you so upset with me, this is your birthday we are supposed to be having fun.”  Tyler’s voice gets louder while Jesse proceeds to dial a number over and over on her phone. 
“Why the fuck are you calling Barry any ways?” Quickly he snatches the phone from her.
“Gimme back my phone Tyler.”
“No, not until you sit down and relax a little bit and tell me what the hell is going on with you tonight, Stop!”   Tyler says resisting Jesse’s advances to grab her phone out of his hand

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


In A Razor Town

by Jason Isbell

In a razor town
you take whoever you think you can keep around.
There's an echoed sound
that permeates the sidewalk where she shuffles 'round.
It's a big machine.
It used to be the avenue of changing dreams.
She's a lonely thing,
sweeping up the glitter while she pulls the strings.

Take a long last look
before she turns to stone
what the last man took
and what was long, long gone.

The way it used to be...
I wasn't there to see it working properly.
Now it seems to me
both of you are suffering.
I've heard her say
that you're the only reason she's alive today.
I just turned away
thinking maybe she was right.

So say your last goodbye.
Make it short and sweet
There ain't no way to fly
with her hanging on your feet.

Let her go out if she wants to.
If she don't, go out yourself.
Don't take sorry for an answer
unless you really want what's left.

'Cause in a razor town
the only thing that matters tends to bring you down.
There's no way around,
but maybe you can barrel through
cause a razor ain't no good for you.