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.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer is Here

What a great few weeks I have had.  My social life has grown leaps and bounds since choosing a home group.  Now, I know why we are told to pick one.  Memorial Day weekend I was so busy and had so much fun I did not want the time to end. This was a HUGE milestone for me in my recovery.  I have met so many great people who are genuinely concerned and invested in my success and I in theirs.  I have always had lots of friends and as we all know when we get sober we find out who our real friends are.  I am very happy about the new people in my life and the support they give me.  It is so comforting to know they are just like me in the fact that they too struggle with a progressive disease that is deadly. In the last month I have managed to recognize my drug of choice, which, is a person and let them go completely.  This too is a HUGE milestone in my recovery.  Like choosing to get sober, letting go of her has allowed me to heal as I should and start rebuilding my self respect.  I have seen my favorite band, rock the fuck out, and learn that I can get back to seeing live music with out using drugs or alcohol.  Music is such a big part of my life, I cannot even imagine life with out it.  I am headed to the beach in a few weeks with my family and I am beyond excited.  I will get to see my God father whom I have not seen in at least twenty years.  This will also be my 4 month old niece's first family trip.  I cannot wait to spend the entire week with her.  She brings so much joy and love into my life it is beyond words.  She is motivation every day to be a better man and to stay sober!  Last, but not least, the 12th step of the Anonymous programs is to carry the message to the alcoholic/addict that still suffers.  This has allowed a friend from my past who I started on this path to destruction with back in to my life and an opportunity for me to carry that message to her in her struggle and hopefully make a difference in her life.  For all these things, I can only thank a higher power of my understanding and show my gratitude by consistently try to improve my life.  I am overwhelmed with excitement about the future and know with out a doubt this will be the best summer of my life.  One last note, I have had the wonderful experience of turning a fellow music addict and alcoholic into a Widespread Panic fan.  As much as he has fought it, he finally let that sweet sound in!  These lyrics posted below are for you buddy!


Transcribed by: unknown
Bryan Irby

Almost 23,
I took a trip to the sea.
Went out for a swim and the waves came crashing down on me.
Turned to head back in.
That's when I saw the fin.
As panic grabbed my legs, you know it, pulled me in.

I didn't see you were right next to me
But I'm so glad you could make it.
With you by my side, I might get back alive
From my next vacation.

Mountains looked like fun.
Climbed up the to sun.
And from the peak, I got such a view, I forgot to hang on.
The wind came rushing in
And broke my safety-pin.
But as I flew by, you threw me a line. Saved again!

I didn't see you were right next to me
But I'm so glad you could make it.
With you by my side, I might get back alive
From my next vacation.

Took a trip over there
To see how I'd fare.
Got on my little white boat and didn't have a care.
The third day at sea,
We began to sink.
They said "Women and children first", I said "Guess that's not me".

But you came along with a raft and a song,
And I'm so glad you could make it.
And with you by my side, I might get back alive
From my next vacation.

I didn't see you were right next to me
But I'm so glad you could make it.
With you by my side, I might get back alive
From my next vacation.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Laws of the Universe

It is nice to see the laws of the universe at work...  More to come on this subject soon!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This is so familiar!


you wake up your smile is strange
crooked with sugar coated pain
your tongue is stained with the name
the purple blood of The Viper

you fall out of bed and down your stairs
your kitchen is ice blue sharp and bare
one bowl of scorpions and scarlet hair
your breakfast with The Viper

so you click your big screen TV on
but your pretty panorama’s gone
just one scene throbbing on and on
those green cruel eyes of The Viper

so you put a shotgun in your mouth
but you can’t pull that trigger now
your hands are dealing for the house
you’re working for The Viper

and you smoke a pipe and you snort a line
that sultan’s stash he left behind
you’ve been an addict all your life
now you’re higher than The Viper

you walk out into your backyard
the lawn’s all tragic black and charred
burned flat and hard, your calling card
from your visit with The Viper

so you climb into your S.U.V.
you drive downtown to pay your fee
your spine still twists with ecstacy
now you’ve mated with The Viper

your life’s one sugar coated failure
but what a tale you have to tell
your brain’s still crashing with the bells
from your wedding with The Viper

now your soul is old and grey
how many lifetimes will you pay
raw meat is all you crave today
you’re hungry as The Viper

Lyrics and music by Daniel Hutchens
© 2009
Published by Wet Trombone Music BMI

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


You had moved on
that is what you said
two more men
in three days
drinking away the vodka haze
Monday morning
Drunk again
Soon enough the lies came in
I miss you
I love you
I was wrong
Watch me drink all week long
Im such a mess
Sweetly you confessed
The drinking must be repressed
By your side I stayed
Until it was time to go back out and play
Five in five
Rolling in the hay
You never really gave a damn any way

Monday, May 14, 2012


Trust is a funny thing for me.  Unlike most addicts my trust issues are opposite from the usual.  For as long as I can remember I have always given trust with reckless abandon.  Never thinking to be hesitant to give it.  Even in my childhood I can remember giving unearned trust.  I would not wait to see how things would go before opening myself up to someone.  That trust could be earned in a conversation, a brief moment in time was all it took.  Now that I am making my list of people I need to make amends to I am realizing that this has been a dangerous mistake in my life.  All the anger and resentments over all the years mostly stem from choosing to trust those who were not worthy.  Girlfriends will cheat, brothers will betray you, people will take as much as they can get.  This dates back much further than my drug use.  So after sharing about this in a meeting tonight, I realize that I have to be way more picky about the people I allow into my life.  I use to pride myself on being an open book and not letting my poor choices in people allow me to become jaded.  Now, I have something just as, if not more important, than my heart to protect.  My sobriety.  We hear in the rooms to guard our sobriety with everything we have.   Now I understand that means keeping people at a distance and letting them earn their way in to my life. My poor taste in running mates has had me accused of trying to sleep with their girlfriends twice ( 15 years after learning the lessons of being a scum bag), ex girlfriends almost getting me arrested, and people that I have loved unable to man up and admit to their betrayal. And these are just the things that have happened in the last year.  I could go on for days about the things way before I became an addict.  I don't regret the past, but tonight, I realized I cannot shut the door on it and I MUST learn from my mistakes.  I have to guard my sobriety from all things that could put it at risk.  I can no longer give out that trust like a young child...  I must protect my self from those PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS, that are so very dangerous for me!  Six months in to this new life and I learn so much about my self everyday!  I am very grateful today for the family and friends that I can trust and who have stood beside through out the last 6 months.  The last four being the hardest and darkest of my life!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Love and Betrayal

      I am sitting here tonight, working on my forth step for AA, which for those of you not in the program is to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.  To make this a little clearer it is a big list of some pretty nasty things that we all endure in life, but to us alcoholics and drug addicts these are things that keep us using.  It is a list of people, places and things we are resentful at, we are afraid of, and the damage we have done while using drugs and alcohol.  We describe each resentment, fear, and who we hurt and what we did in detail.  We also have to describe what our part in each of these were and what could we have done differently.  The object of this exercise is to face all of these issues, mistakes, circumstances of life, what ever you would like to call them, analyze them, learn from them and leave them be.  The idea is that until I do this I will never be able to remain sober. It makes sense if you think about it.  Fear, regret, and resentment can be very power and dangerous things in life.  So I am trying to finish this step up since I have been working on it for a few weeks now and I am ready to have it finished and looking over what I have listed here is what gave me the title for this entry.
      While I am writing this I am listening to Eddie Hinton.  Songs about love deserved, love lost, love gained and the pain that goes along with all of it.  Listening to these soulful words, I keep looking at my list of shit here that pains me so and compare it to everything I have learned in the past 130 days of sobriety. What I have finally realized is that no matter how much I love I give other people there is always some fault of my own why I did not get the love in return I so desperately needed or wanted.  Because I wanted this love and affection so bad I allowed my self to enter into situations that in many ways were not healthy for me.  I allowed my self to be hurt over and over simply because I did not love my self.  There was a time in my life where I would walk away from anyone that betrayed me.. Once a cheater always a cheater WAS my belief.  When I say cheater, I am referring to all forms of cheating.  It makes me think of a line from Bloodkin's song "Rotgut".  " There are all kinds of Vampires in this world honey, some drain blood and some drain money."  It was not until recently that I have allowed myself to be hurt and lied to on a continuous basis and be ok with that.  It is simple, I have lost respect for my self.  Maybe some how some way I felt from all the years of abuse that this is how relationships were suppose to be and this was the best I could ever hope for... Well no longer can I be this person.  I have been sober almost 5 months now.  Sure I have had some help from my family which some people have been quick to point out, yet I am the one that has chosen to stay sober.  I am the one that chooses every day whether to stay sober or to go back out there and pick up where I left off.  This is something that I must be proud of.  Despite all the shame, guilt, fear, panic, sadness, anger, and one thousand other emotions I do love my self now.  I have no desire to go back to hurting and betraying myself like I did for so many years.  I do love my self and I do deserve back just as much as I give out because I am worth it.  No longer will I be a victim from your actions or mine!  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sweet Misery

At the beginning of my sobriety I was under the belief that everything in my life was immediately going to change for the better.  I truly believed that all of my problems would go away and I was going to get everything in life I had ever wanted. The woman who I had loved for so long had finally committed to being in a relationship, I had stopped using cocaine and had lost the obsession to use it, and I had a new job that was going to make me the money I needed to get back on my feet immediately. I was going to meetings everyday, I was hitting the gym everyday, loosing weight, deeply in love and happy.  I felt as though I had finally reached a place in life that I had been looking for.  Now it was not perfect by any stretch.  I did still live with my parents in Atlanta, but I had plans to get back to Colorado.  My job was not paying me what I wanted but that would soon change and my girlfriend drank too much.  All these things in my mind were going to get better the longer I stayed sober,  My life was not perfect, but for the first time in as long as I could remember I was happy.  My plans were set.  I was going to stay sober, make the money and get back to Colorado and get to work on the future I have always wanted.  All of this was going to happen, in my mind, simply because I was no longer using drugs and alcohol.    Well was I wrong.  Somewhere around my 60 day sober mark, my relationship with my girlfriend went to hell, the job was not moving as quickly as I thought it would and this was crippeling.  The two things in my life I was so sure about were crashing down around me.  How could this be happening?  I am sober now.  This is not how things are suppose to be.  I have changed so I should not be dealing with this kind of crap anymore...  The depression set in and soon I realized that I was dealing with emotions with a clear mind which had not happened in almost twenty years...  Things hurt now.  Reality hurt.  Being the self loather that I am as an addict and alcoholic, I figured I would take it one step further and take an honest hard look at my financial situation...  Ha!  Well here is where we are now...  The girlfriend is gone, I am 37 living with my parents, in Atlanta, and I am going to be here for a while.  A very long while.  I have no plan, I have no idea what to do next nor how to do it.  In some ways I feel as though I have hit a new bottom...  An emotional bottom with depths I have never felt before.  I am  bored, angry and depressed.  But I keep going to meetings, talking with my sponsor and other addicts and alcoholics, and most of all I am not using today.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Drunk Driving

She stood in the kitchen covered in flower.  Her red apron smeared with butter and chocolate. The spring air flowed through the kitchen with smell of blooming dogwoods and fresh cut grass.  Her fore head beaded with sweat from the heat of the oven.  Flour finger prints wrapped around the oversized wineglass.  A bottle of Pinot Grigio sat on the counter among the baking clutter, condensation, pooling at the bottom.  The sun bounced off the green bottle displaying multicolored kaleidoscopes around the open country kitchen.   Jesse hummed to the bluegrass playing in the background as she looked out the window watching her goats graze..  Jesse filled the glass to the brim and quickly gulped down half. 
“Hey baby” Tyler says calmly…  Jesse jumped startled from the surprise of his voice. 
“Hey Hun, you scared me.  How long have you been standing there?”
“I have been watching you for a few minutes,” Tyler exclaims as he grabs Jesse and pulls her close to him, leaning in to kiss her.
“Stop, I’m busy,” Jesse pouts pushing Tyler away.  The smell of booze permeated his nostrils and filled his lungs with anger.  Disappointed he let her go watching her eyes dart around the room.   Tyler backs away rejected.  Jesse refills her wine glass and takes another long sip.
“So, what is going on in here?  You have not baked in months.  It smells great.”  Tyler tells Jesse trying to keep his mind off the nearly empty wine bottle on the counter.
“I just felt like some wine and doing some baking today…  Is that ok with you?”  Jesse bites at Tyler.
Not in the mood for a fight Tyler leaves the room. 
“Axl, come here boy, cmon boy lets go for a walk.”  Immediately the stout Chocolate Lab shoots out the back door and darts across the yard scaring the goats.  Tyler lights a cigarette and walks slowly through the long grass dragging the heels of his boots..
“Axl, get your ball.  Where is your ball?  Axl darts off only to return as quick as he left with the dirty tennis ball in his mouth.  Tyler takes a long drag of his cigarette and pulls the ball from the dog’s mouth and tosses it into the field on the other side of the fence.  Axl darts up and down the fence until  Tyler can get the gate open.
“What are we going to do with her Axl?”  Tyler looks at his dog expecting a response. 
“Even you know something is wrong don’t you?”  Axl nudges Tyler’s leg to throw the ball again.
“Do you think she ever thinks about quitting?  Do you ever wonder if she thinks about the mean tone in her voice that is always there when she is drinking?” Once again expecting or hoping his lab would have some wise wisdom on the state of his alcoholic girlfriend. 
“Hell Axl, some days you love her more than you love me.  What kind of bullshit is that?  You are my dog!”  Tyler yells throwing the ball even further out of frustration.  Tyler and Axl walked the property to the sunset having a one way conversation and playing fetch.
As the sun completely set Tyler and Axl arrived at the back porch..  The lights were all on and he was ready to kiss Jesse. 
“Really?” Tyler yelled after seeing two empty wine bottles on the counter. 
“Babe, where are you?  Hello? Jesse, where are you?”  Tyler waited patiently for an answer.  Quickly he ran upstairs with Axl close at his heels. 
“Maybe she is just taking a nap Axl!”  Tyler says to his dog.  Tyler looks out the window and Jesse’s car is not in the drive way.
“I am so sick of this!  Oh I swear I will slow down on my drinking she says.” Tyler mumbles  to himself mocking Jesse. 
He dials her cellphone to no avail as it rings from the living room.
“I know she is blacked out.  Where on earth could she have gone? Back for more booze I am guessing.”  Tyler has this familiar discussion with himself yet again.
The buzz of his cell phone vibrates from his shirt pocket.
“Babe, are you ok? Where are you? Tyler yells into the phone.
“Mr. Simms? Mr. Simms?” The voice on the phone interrupts Tyler.
“Yes, who is this?”
“Mr. Simms, it is Deputy Rawls with the Guilford County Sheriff’s department.  Are you at home sir?”
“Yes, I am home.  Why what is the matter?  Tell me what is going on?  Tyler yells back into the phone.
“Mr. Simms, I need you to relax.  We have a deputy on the way to you now.  Mr. Simms there has been an accident.  Had Jesse been drinking?”  Deputy Rawls asks in a firm voice.

Monday, February 6, 2012


As I sit here reflecting on the last few months, listening to the Drive by Truckers, trying to find a way to get out the feelings of frustration and anger that are running through me, I realize that I really do have a lot to be grateful for.  The first thing I am grateful for is the fact that I am still alive… The last day of my using should have killed me…  There were numerous days that I should not have lived through.  All those years I always doubted a higher power, and ultimately I am sure of it now, it was GOD that kept me alive.  I am more than grateful for my wonderful family.  No matter how bad things ever got or how much I lied or stole or abused their love they were always there…  Maybe I could have accomplished this without them, but moving back to Atlanta was the route I chose, so maybe not.  They are very supportive and are happy to see me clear headed and healthy for the first time in almost 20 years.  I am very grateful for Brandi.  Grateful beyond words…  I would not even be here if it was not for her.  She has been there since day one listening, loving, motivating…  Not sure what those first two months would have been like without her…  No matter where she and I end up, I am eternally grateful!  Thank you, I love you!  The next person I cannot fully explain my gratitude for is Jake Warren.  He has answered the phone when I was at my lowest.  He has listened to me cry.  And when I mean cry I mean the kind of crying that no man wants another man to hear.  I never have to question his motives or his loyalty…  He is the one friend, rain or shine, no matter what will always come through for me, and I for him.  He is truly the brother I have never had…  Who else but your real brother would tell you they would smash your nose into your face if you ever snort another line of cocaine?  I am very grateful to be a part of the Warren family and to be healthy and able to participate in his children’s lives.  Speaking of children, Corrin, my little sister, is due in just a few weeks…. Yet another reason to stay sober… I cannot wait to be an uncle…  To be able to teach things like how to kick the soccer ball, or how to tell a great story, and all the other things that uncles get to do!   I have to remember that I am very blessed with wonderful friends and family that are more supporting than I deserve!  Kind of funny this is the song I am listening to as I come to an end of this entry!
The Living Bubba
I wake up tired and I wake up pissed
wonder how I ended up like this
I wonder why things happen like they do
but I don't wonder long cuz I got a show to do

I'm sick at my stomach from the A.Z.T.
Broke at my bank cuz that shit ain't free
but I'm here to stay (at least another week or two)
I can't die now cuz I got another show to do

Don't give me no pity don't give me no grief
Wit till I die for sympathy
Just help me with this amp and a guitar or two
I can't die now cuz I got another show to do

Don't give me no preachin' no self servin'
I ain't no angel but nobody's deserving
I can dance on my own grave, Thank You!
but I can't die now cuz I got another show...

Some people keep saying I can't last long
but I got my bands I got my songs,
liquor, beer, and nicotine to help me along
and I'm drunk and stubborn as they come
chain smoking, guitar picking, til I'm gone

I ain't got no political agenda
Ain't got no message for the youth of America
'cept "Wear a rubber and be careful who you screw"
and come see me next Friday cuz I got another show...

Some people stop living long before they die
Work a dead end job just to scrape on by
but I keep living just to bend that note in two
and I can't die now cuz I got another show...

lyrics by Patterson Hood
music by Drive-by Truckers (Cooley, Hood, Howell, Lane, Neff)
©1998 Soul Dump Music

Monday, January 23, 2012

Childhood Friends

      On Friday evening the 2nd oldest friend in my life will be coming for a visit to Denver.  John and I have been friends since we were in the 7th or 8th grade.  I cannot quite remember which..  The funny thing is that we have not seen each other in 10 years, we think.  We cannot seem to remember what year it was the last time we saw each other.  But we are guessing it was somewhere around 99 or 2000.  The really funny part about it to me is that no one here in Denver knows anything about me from that long ago, unless of course I shared any of that old stuff with them.  So after discussing John’s travel plans today with him my mind started to wander all over these old memories that I had not thought about in years.  Places we use to ride our bikes.  Memories of old girlfriends and first dates in a car with out our parents and what we were really doing with them in my parents basement when we were suppose to be watching movies.. .  A few of you reading this remember my parent’s basement.   HAHAHAH!!!  I also thought about memories of fights, some won, some lost, but ultimately the feeling of having your best friend standing up for you and what that truly means.  I thought about memories of being an innocent kid and having nothing to do on a Saturday afternoon in the Atlanta suburbs but ride my bike.  I have also thought about the two of us being the only freshman on a soccer team with 11 starting seniors and still getting to play.  We took a lot of abuse on that field but man was it fun.  Stephen King says “You never will have the friends like you did when you were 12,” and I could not agree more.  Some of us are just fortunate enough to have maintained those friendships through out a life time…  So it will be nice to give my old friend a big hug and exchange stories of our wild existence, places we have traveled and women of our past…….  Friday will not get here soon enough!!!!
Monsters are Real
Terry sat for a moment in his dirty F-150 exhausted from the day.  Happy the weekend had finally come.  He cranked the old truck and headed down the highway.  The layers of dust from a long days work on a cattle farm in Lubbock, Texas peeled off of him as the cow hand drove into the sunset.    This was the best part of Terry’s day.  The anticipation of seeing his beautiful wife and two wonderful children put the biggest grin on his face every day no matter what had happened.  His two kids Noah and Janie were always in the front yard waiting for their daddy to get home.  This was better than any bottle of whiskey Terry had ever consumed.  Terry and his wife Joanne had decided to move back to Lubbock from Houston two years ago.  They were happy with the choice to get away from the big city and horrible traffic to raise their children in a small, safe town.  Terry and Joanne had been high school sweet hearts and had run off to Houston to get married and start their big lives in the big city.  After ten years of scraping by Terry figured it was time to get back to what he knew best, cattle ranching, so he could make some real money for his family and live the peaceful life watching his kids grow up.  Friday night football games, cheerleading and barbecues in the back yard was his life now.  Terry’s stomach filled with excitement as it did every day as he turned on to Jones Farm Road where his house sat at the end.
                Terry pulled the truck into the long drive.  He could see Joanne sitting on the front porch as usual sipping a glass of sweet tea waiting for her husband.
                “Hey baby, where are the kids?”  Terry asks Joanne looking around the yard for the kids, waiting for them to jump out of the bushes.
                “I sent them to my mothers for the night.  My dad had to take some horses to Houston and she wanted the company.  I thought we could use some time to ourselves too.”  Joanne tells her husband.
                Terry kisses his bronze Texan wife and kicks his boots off on to the porch. 
                “Babe, why don’t you get in the shower and I will come join you with a couple of whiskeys in a minute.”  Joanne says to Terry smiling.
                Terry turned the show on nice and hot.  The near scalding water danced along his bronze farmers tan removing the dirt and manure dust.  Terry let the water beat him on the back of the head while he watched the brown murky water roll down the drain.  The bathroom door opened and the smooth sounds of George Jones danced in with his naked wife.  Terry opened the shower door and grabbed one of the tall whiskeys from Joanne and helps her step into the steaming hot shower.
                “Damn, you knew exactly what daddy needed today didn’t you Hun? Terry says putting the two drinks on the shelf and grabbing his wife.   
                Joanne kisses Terry deeply, “What makes you think this is all for you?  Maybe I had a really long day too and need my husband to come home and fuck me.”
                Terry smiles and kisses his wife back pushing her up against the wall of the shower.  He grabs her by the thighs and picks her up and pushes himself inside her.  Joanne’s eyes roll back in her head as the hot water runs over her hard nipples.  Terry’s deep thrusting makes her moan loudly.
                “Faster, faster gods damn it,” Joanne moans while Terry pushes with all his might.  Joanne’s back slamming repeatedly into the shower wall.  Joanne leans her head back gasping for air.
                “Can you still hear the music, babe? Joanne asks Terry as she wipes the water from her eyes.
                “Huh, what,” Terry replies panting from concentrating on his wife’s body.
                “Stop for a minute please.”
                Terry pretends not to hear her and keeps at his task of fucking his wife as she had demanded.
                “Terry, fucking stop for a minute,” Joanna yells.
                “What, what is it?
                “The music stopped.  There are like twenty songs on that cd.”
                “Come on babe, screw the music.” Terry picks his wife back up and kisses her neck pushing him self back inside her.  Joanne cannot help but relax as she rapidly approaches her climax.  The couple moves in unison, almost as if they are one person instead of two.  Joanne wraps her arms and legs around Terry while he screams with excitement.  Joanne opens her eyes looking over Terry’s shoulder into the bathroom and sees a man standing there watching wearing something on his head.  Two eyes stared at her from the holes cut into the makeshift mask.
                “Ahhhhhhhhh!” Joanne screams in terror. The glass door opens and the man shoves a pistol into Terry’s mouth before he can turn around completely.
                “Get the fuck out here you two fucking rabbits.”  Terry moves gently not to upset the revolver resting on his tongue.  The man grabs Joanne by the hair and throws her into the bedroom.  She laid there sobbing, watching.
                “So Mr., we are going to have a little fun this evening.” The intruder tells Terry calmly. 
                “What did you say Mr.? I did not hear you.”
                “Yes,” Terry mumbles as the tears swell up in his eyes.
                “Did you have a good fuck?  I hope it was great, cause it’s the last one the two of you will ever have.”  The intruder removes the pistol from Terry’s  mouth and instructs him to walk into the bedroom and lie on the floor.  Another man wearing the same potato sack mask walks in and grabs Joanna by the hair and drags her into the living room while the other proceeds to hog tie Terry. Joanne shrieks again.
                “The way she screamed in there I bet you can’t help but wonder what I have waiting for you in your living room can you?” The masked man heckles Terry while he drags him into the living room.
                Terry begins to sob himself as he sees the horror in his living room.   Joanne clings to her husband while she sobs wildly unable to breathe.
                “Now, before I finish this little game of cut and bleed, I just have to let you know, this is not personal.  We have never met and there is nothing you could have done to stop this.  Your house was just in the path of a very sick man. “The masked intruder tells the couple.
                “Any thing you want to say, last words if you will.”  The man says calmly.  He pulls out a large knife from his back and quickly silences Joanne’s sobbing.  Her face hits the floor with a dud.  Terry clinches his jaw while the man pulls him to his knees.  The mans partner is laughing rummaging through the fridge for sandwich meat.  The man with the knife pulls Terry’s neck back and slides the sharp blade across it.  The blade is so sharp it nicks the bone on its route.  Terry hits the floor on the left side of his face.  His last moments are spent staring into the eyes of his two dead children.  His blood soaks the carpet red.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

        So this time last year is when my quest to begin writing on a serious level began.  Laying in bed in my parents house unable to sleep recalling the previous year of my life in Colorado.  Well here I am again up late sitting in my parents living room listening to music and reading some of the work if have written over the past year.  Wild and crazy would be the best way to describe the past year.  From meeting new friends that quickly became brothers and others that just well shall we say made me a little crazy.  Some friends have come and gone this year, one in particular came to Colorado to visit three times this year.  I cannot explain how much I trust him, but, then I really do not have to explain anything.  I was also lucky enough to get a visit from John Rand.  My best friend from my adolescence. After 23 years or so the guy has not changed one bit.
      This year was a bit more uneventful as far as the travelling than last year.  I did how ever make the drive from Denver to Las Vegas.  The drive is absolutely amazing. Well at least through Utah it is anyways.  It is truly amazing that there are still places in the United States that do not get cell coverage and if you break down it could be a while before you see another car.  I definitely plan on doing some exploring in western Colorado as well as Utah after the snow melts this next year.
     This year school for the most part went really well.  I should say spring semester went really well.  I was derailed a bit here this fall but I have found the track I was on and have dusted myself off and the train is moving again.  This spring I am taking a couple of different creative writing classes that I am really excited about.  Hopefully I can turn this obsession/hobby into a career.  This is ultimately the goal.  Now I just need to make myself sit down everyday and write.  This of course is easier said than done.  We will see what happens.  The future is wide open. 
      The words above bring me finally to my Christmas wish for this year.  After reading last years wish I do believe I will take a different route.  My wish this year will be a bit more selfish in that I will wish for the strength to change the things in my life that need to change.  The things I need to change I will keep to my self.  For those of you that know me know what these things are and for those of you that don't I guess you will just have to guess.  Hopefully with this strength I will make the changes in my life to make next years Christmas the way I thought this one was going to be.  I do apologize for be being so cryptic but there are somethings I have learned I must keep for myself.
     I hope all of you find the time to reflect on your own lives in the next few days and make your own wishes.  I also hope and pray that you all will get the time to spend with your loved ones.  I am very lucky and will appreciate every minute I have with mine while I am home in Atlanta.

Next Widespread Panic!
                Another year has come and gone.  While I sit here in my parent’s living room late on Christmas Eve, I am listening to the smooth sounds of the 70’s and looking back at the year that has quickly come to an end.  This year’s trip home from Denver to Atlanta has been a little different from others.  I needed a break from the madness of being an obsessed social being.  It has been really nice spending some quiet quality time with the family and getting plenty of rest.  God knows I will need it to get ready for what lies ahead next week. 
                Looking back on the past year in Colorado I get a warm feeling  knowing I am right where I am suppose to be.  There was less travel this year and the school year did not end quite the way it started, but everything that I have experienced west of the mighty Mississippi has yielded lots of introspection and lessons learned.  I have seen an over abundance of fantastic music and have met some wonderful people that I am more than proud to call very close friends.  You all know who you are!  I am thankful for all of you!
                Just like the last twelve years I will be attending the NYE Widespread Panic shows.  This year the shows will be a little different in the fact that no one from my Atlanta family will be in attendance.  This has been on my mind and I was feeling a little stressed about this but the more I think about it I am welcoming the freedom to roam and see what happens.  It will be fun to go to the shows with some new folks and boogie.
                All of the above brings me to my Christmas wish.  It is funny what we wished for when we were young and the world was a simpler place.  After 36 years my Christmas wishes have varied quite a bit.  This year I am wishing for wisdom.   The wisdom to know when to run, when to stay and fight, and when to say I have had enough.  I wish for the wisdom to make the right choices in my life that will keep me happy, full and satisfied.  I wish for the wisdom that will guide my heart to be a more compassionate son a more loving brother and a stronger friend.  One can never be to wise.  So if you are reading this, take some time for yourself to think about your Christmas wish and what could guide you to be being the person you want to be.   You might be surprised what you will find.
Happy Holidays and Peace on Earth!
I cant eat
I cant sleep
All I can do is drink
Whiskey in my veins!
Vodka on my brain!
Hoping it will kill the pain!
A life full of shame
I wish I could whisper her name
She made me feel so sane!