Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Get On Back

Get On Back

How did this happen once again
Seems like I would have learned
No matter how good that it feels
that feeling's gonna turn
(seems like I would've learned)
I'm gonna put away my bow
and my quiver full of lies
But it's hard to give up hunting
when it leaves me satisfied
(but I swear it's just a lie)

  I've quit everything but lyin'
  I promise I will do that soon
  But when you look me in the eye and say you love me
  what am I supposed to do
  I gotta get on back from you

Lord you just keep on talkin'
the mindless chatter never ends
What a price to keep on payin'
to end up lonesome once again
(seems like it'll never end)

Just like the pills, weed, and the blow
you make the pain go away
But it's hard to break the habit
I guess I'll wait another day
(Lord I hope I don't end up this way)

The time of reckoning has come
We both need to face the truth
 You're sharin' your soul with me
  and I'm just takin' from you
  and you're just takin' from me
  and a taker I don't wanna be


lyrics by: Richard Gillespie Proctor, circa 2005

GOD

Man God works in funny ways! Just when I was hitting a low point of the day my mother gives me my repaired St. Christopher medal for my birthday!

Anger


Fear and Love

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
― John Lennon

Remorse, Guilt and Shame

As I start writing this one of the guys in my office says, "determination and forgiveness are the keys to success." I could not agree more.  Life is full of obstacles to overcome and mistakes to forgive. Mistakes from others and from within that are in need of forgiveness, or we will surely drink and use again.  I have learned through my program in the last nine months that I drank and used drugs to mask the pain of grudges I held on to and mistakes I have made that I could not forgive myself for. Forgiving myself for the things I have done to myself and others has been the hardest part by far.  This is a lesson that I have to continually repeat.  The people I love will make mistakes and so will I. Today it is how I decide to handle those wrong doings that will keep me serene and emotionally sober and off drugs and alcohol.  Recently I have gone through an experience with someone special to me...  It was abrupt and my feelings we hurt and I reacted poorly, leaving the aftermath of remorse, guilt and shame.  Of course to start, I should have known better.  There is a history of events that has occurred that I should have seen this coming.  Love blinds this druggie terribly.  I was optimistic and wanted to believe that things were different now. There lies the remorse.  The guilt and shame come from how I handled the situation.  I should have been smarter and played with my logic, but instead, those old emotions came out with a whole load of new ones..  Immediately I lashed out and said some horrible things.  Things I have never said to anyone that I have ever said I love you to.  The rage that came from my birthday trip being cancelled on me and being told by email sent me into a true frenzy and I lost control of my thoughts and the send button.  Sure I can rationalize my behavior having been hurt by this person before and been pushed to the brink. And that is exactly what I did at first.  Rationalized like a true alcoholic, which my sponsor was quick to point out.  Now that all those hurtful words are out and I am the bad guy, I would take them back if I could.  I cant, but I cannot let the guilt and shame drive me back to where I was nine months ago either.  This is where the forgiveness comes in.  She did what she did and I know why.  Do I like it? No.  Do I have to accept it and face the reality that the relationship is finally over? Yes!  Do I have to forgive her?  Absolutely.  I have no desire to hold on to the pain that is in my heart right now.  It will not be easy but I can only pray for her and share with God my willingness to forgive and forget.  I also have to forgive myself.  I screwed up.  I said the worst things I have ever said any person that I have truly loved and tonight I am having a hard time with it.  It has brought out a fear and anxiety in me that I have not felt in months.  So right now, immediately, if not sooner I have to give myself a break.  Even though I feel like I have failed her today, I know that is not the truth.  I have to remember feelings are not facts.  Being the alcoholic that I am, I cannot define this relationship in one moment.  I screwed up and I forgive myself.  This pain will take time to heal, but I can no longer hold grudges against my self either.  Tonight, I had the privilege of hearing my dear friend Tiffany tell her story.  It was a story of truth, experience, strength and hope... It was her truth... Which in inspires me stick to mine and share this with whomever reads it.  I am human, I make mistakes, I will hurt, I will forgive, and I will be okay.  

Unconditionally


Friday, August 17, 2012

Changes


Prayers for Today

WHEN I AM DISTURBED BY THE CONDUCT (SYMPTOMS) OF OTHERS
"This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."
(p. 67 BB)

God help me to show this person the same tolerance, pity and patience that I would Cheerfully grant a sick friend. This is a sick person, how can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.
(see above and p. 141 of 12&12)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lessons Learned

 I learned a hard lesson today! Some people lie! Period! Some people will do what ever they can to feel good about themselves and not care about the wake of destruction they leave behind them! This program does not work for everyone!  Dry drunk is a direct result of not being brutally honest! Yet I have to take responsibility for my own actions and realize that  some people will never change!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Grateful

Tonight I am reflecting on yet another amazing weekend and feeling it is time for yet another gratitude list.  It is hard to know where to begin tonight since I have so many blessings to be grateful for.  I guess I will start with Alcoholics Anonymous.  I wish I had the words to describe the amount of gratitude I have tonight for this program.  I cannot nor do I wish to imagine where my life would be today with out AA...  It is the sole reason I have all the other things that I will mention in this post that I am grateful for.  For those of you that new me at the very end of my active addiction, you know how bad things had become, cops, trips to the hospital, no job.  I had completely fallen apart.  Today, a little less that nine months after leaving Denver to get sober, I am a completely different person.  I could type out a huge list that could go on forever, but, here are just a few things this program has helped me achieve.  The first and most important, with the help of my amazing sponsor, I have found a higher power and welcomed him into my life.  Having had a spiritual awakening, I am finally at peace, with my self and life from day to day. I have no more fear, which, was one of the main reasons of my drinking and drugging.  The gaping hole in my heart, that I tried to fill for years with cocaine and whiskey, is all filled up, with love, joy, and security.  I know with out a doubt, that if God kept me alive when I should have been dead, I will be ok and can handle anything life has to through at me.  All of my relationships have prospered, even the difficult ones, because I now have a set of tools to use in my every day life which I have never had.  This program has brought me friends that came with out judgement and a crooked finger full of blame.  This program has also saved the life of my special person....  There will never be enough action or money for the basket for me to show my humility and gratitude for saving our lives...  All I can do is try my hardest every day to be a stronger, wiser , braver, more loving person.  I don't think we would both be alive today if it weren't for the program and people of Alcoholics Anonymous.  Thank you GOD, for all your blessings...




Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Love Pt. 2

Unable to sleep tonight, I have the Colorado shooting rolling around in my head and how it relates to the conversation I wrote about in my previous post.  That conversation occurred only a few hours before the shooting and I told my friend that, and I left this out of my last post, I would be willing to die for the woman I love.  Since then I have thought about over and over the people in my life I would be willing to sacrifice myself for.  There are those obvious answers, my little sister, my brother in law, my niece, my mother and father.  Then I think there are a few choice friends that I would be willing to jump in front of a bullet for.  But when it comes to your mate, your other half, is there any question?  This, now after a few days of reflection, is a pivotal part of the idea I call love.  The willingness to ALWAYS put the well fair of my person above mine.  Now, my fellow alcoholic friend asked.  You want her to die for you to prove her love?  Of course not, I answered.  But put in the same situation as the three young men that died protecting the women they loved in the shooting, I would act no differently.  This to me is what defines true love.  A gift so amazing, a sacrifice of the ultimate kind is my only choice....  My hat goes off to those young men!  Rest in Peace!

Below is the link to an article about these three young men.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/aurora-shooting-died-bullets-sweeties-article-1.1119395

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Love

As I sit here tonight at my desk, listening to the soulful sounds of Lucero, I am pondering these questions.  What is love?   And what does it mean to truly love someone?  Webster's dictionary defines the noun love as strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. Also as an attraction based on sexual desire or an affection and tenderness felt by lovers and affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests.  The definition of the verb love is to hold dear, to cherish, or to feel a lover's passion, devotion, or tenderness for or to caress and to fondle amorously, to copulate with.  It is also defined as: to like or desire actively:  to take pleasure in.  I find it interesting that even though I do agree with these definitions there is no description of what makes someone feel the love itself.  In case you are wondering this is all stemming from a conversation I had last night with a fellow alcoholic.  It is said that we “alcoholics” remain the age we were when we started drinking.  So the conversation started with this and our concepts of love.  Are the concepts we have on the subject of love based on the way we thought about love as 15 and 16 year olds?  She started drinking at 15 and me at 16.  So does this mean that the ideas we have on love are completely skewed?  She seems to think so, at least for herself.  So this got me thinking about what my own ideas are on the subject...  Maybe you can decide if my thoughts on love are one’s of a teenager or one’s of a 38 year old grown man.

So I could try and start with my ideas about the different kinds of love.  The love we have for family and friends, but that is not where my mind is tonight.  Those of you that know me well know that I am focusing on the love we have for a mate.  The romantic side of the subject is where I find myself tonight questioning my own thoughts.   I shared with my friend last night that my definition of love is a feeling for someone that I do not want to live without.  So what is inherent in the other person that makes me not want to live without them?  I will keep the things to myself that makes me love the woman I do, but I will share with you some things that I do believe define a loving relationship. Loyalty is at the top of the list for me.  This is something that is hard to come by the older we get, so the person I am in love with should be loyal… If you are my person, I will defend you, right or wrong.  I will always be on your side, when facing the outside world.   The concept of loyalty then leads to trust.  Without trust, what do we have?  I have to trust you with my most intimate feelings.  Things I don’t share with anyone, even my sponsor.  I also have to trust that my person will remain faithful…  We live in a world full of infidelity and temptation.  Sure there are plenty of beautiful people out in the world away from our mates, but for me this is something that is a must…  For me, the love that I have, makes it hard for me to even imagine being with another woman.  SO I definitely expect the same out of a mate.  The next component to my love for a mate is the friendship.  The ability to enjoy each other’s company is so important.  To laugh, to talk, and to sit in complete silence and not ever feel uncomfortable with each other is so important to me.  The last thing I am going to touch on is this simple question.  Does my mate challenge me every day?  Does she challenge me to be a stronger, smarter, kinder, wiser, more compassionate person?  And do I push her the same way?  I will always have room to be a better lover, son, friend, brother, sponsor, and employee…  These are a few things that define my love…  What defines yours?

I will leave you tonight with this quote from one of my favorite authors.

“We all have the potential to fall in love a thousand times in our lifetime. It's easy. The first girl I ever loved was someone I knew in sixth grade. Her name was Missy; we talked about horses. The last girl I love will be someone I haven't even met yet, probably. They all count. But there are certain people you love who do something else; they define how you classify what love is supposed to feel like. These are the most important people in your life, and you’ll meet maybe four or five of these people over the span of 80 years. But there’s still one more tier to all this; there is always one person you love who becomes that definition. It usually happens retrospectively, but it happens eventually. This is the person who unknowingly sets the template for what you will always love about other people, even if some of these loveable qualities are self-destructive and unreasonable. The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different than anyone else, and they’re often just the person you happen to meet the first time you really, really, want to love someone. But that person still wins. They win, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.” ― Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story

Good night, God bless, and don’t forget to pray!
                          




Monday, July 16, 2012

Everything is Everywhere

My mind is all over the place tonight, hence the title of this entry.  Hopefully I will be able to find the words to get it all out...  Tonight there are thoughts about fear, the truth, self realization, and detachment.  Throw all that in with a new sales quota, eight days into quitting smoking, and starting an extreme exercise regiment that includes playing soccer and I have a full plate!

So I guess I will start with the fear.  Tonight on the way home from my Ala-Non meeting I realized that after what I have put myself through with all the drugs and booze, there is nothing life could throw at me to fear.  I can remember two nights that I thought for sure I was having a heart attack.  I was so high, I thought for sure, I was going to die.  Left arm hurting, pains in my chest, blurred vision, and  was too scared to call 911.  I don't think I have ever been more scared than I was at those moments.  I have been so messed up on LSD, I have hallucinated things that were not there and could not speak English, only French, or at least I thought.  I don't know any French... Or at least I did not at the time.   The only time I saw Jerry Garcia I thought all my friends were cops and I thought the top of the Omni in Atlanta was a spaceship, and it was going to take off.  I was terrified out of mind.  I cannot think of anything that could occur in life to ever be scared like I was at those moments.  Drugs and alcohol kicked me harder than anything ever has, and today I have grown to look my fears in the eyes and realize that they are just a feeling and not as real as I think those heart attacks where.  It feels so good to be able to KNOW, I no longer live in any type of fear.  I have beat my addictions into submission, before they had the chance to take my life.

Now that I have the fear out of the way, on to the truth.  We drug addicts and alcoholics are the best liars I have ever met.  We are masters at hiding everything from everyone that loves us, including our selves...  I lied to my self more than I lied to anyone.  And I lied to everyone everyday in one way or another.  After, some time sober and the fog begins to clear and some of these lies start to come to the surface, it is almost like freeing a political refugee.  The weight that is lifted, is amazing.  I think this is why God allows us to get that feeling in our stomach when we lie.  It is a burden to carry around.  And Lies come in all shapes in sizes.  If you don't ask and I don't tell you, knowing that I should is still a lie.  I was talking to a fellow alcoholic last night who shared with me about coming clean about a relationship with her parents.  She had only allowed them to see one side of it for a very long time.   After a few hours sober she realized it was time to "come clean" and set the record straight.  Now everyone is on the same page and that is a relief.  It is always a wonderful thing to see the light slowly come back on in people in recovery.  The truth will set you free....

Last Monday at five pm, I smoked the last cigarette in the pack on the way home from work. On the ride home, I stopped and bought the patch, and have been smoke free now for eight days.  Just like drugs and alcohol, I realized I am powerless over cigarettes and my life had become unmanageable. My life for a long time had been influenced by my smoking.  I am sure all you smokers understand what that means with out me having to type it all out.  Anyways, as of Monday I had had enough.  I was going to quit.  Plus, I knew that soccer practice was starting this past Saturday, and if I wanted to play and enjoy it, I had to quit.  So, just like quitting drinking and drugging, I made up my mind and quit with some help.  I have followed the guidelines to quitting successfully on the cancer.org website and slowly but surely the cravings are going away.  But cravings or not, I don't smoke anymore.  I don't know what feels better, knowing that I will never smoke again, or feeling my body getting healthier everyday.  Here is where the self realization comes into play.  I have tried to quit smoking more times than I can count.  At best, I would make it three days...  So what is different today you might ask.  Today, I have a faith in a higher power that I have never had.  "Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out."  This is why I KNOW I have smoked my last cigarette, just as much as I KNOW I have tasted my last drink and ingested my last drug.  Never again!  I am free!

The last thing I am going to share about tonight is detachment.  Learning how to detach my self with love from my the people that I love, friends, family members, potential sponsees that are alcoholics.  I have several relationships with alcoholics today, some of them are very strong, and very important to me, and yet I have to learn not to let there disease rule my life the way I tried to rule the lives of people in my life during active addiction.  Now of course, the alcoholics that I have relationships with are in recovery, but that does not mean the "Alcoholic Behavior" disappears.  We are sick people and will be for life and it takes a lot of work to keep our selves in check, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.  So for these reasons I have started going to Ala-Non.  Tonight, I learned that even though I want to help the person I love the most, or even be a part their life, I have to get out of the way, and let them figure it out on their own.  I cannot be a distraction, and ultimately, I have to mind my own business.  I have to learn to be selfless and love from a far for a while.  This will allow the healing to run its course with out distraction or influence from me.  Sure it is hard and painful but it is something that I must learn how to do...  Once again, and this is for you Susan, the goal is progress, not perfection.

I will leave you with this..  A friend of mine who is a fellow alcoholic and drug addict said to me tonight and I quote; "Yes, Erin, you are an anomaly.  The reason this program works for you is because you ARE a raging alcoholic and a raging drug addict, and God made this program for people just like you.  And you get it.  Through this program you will have success and with out it you WILL DIE!"

AA has saved my life and I am so so so very grateful today!

God night and God bless!

DETACHMENT


Detachment is neither kind nor unkind. It
does not imply judgement or condemnation
of the person or situation from which we are
detaching. Separating ourselves from the
adverse effects of another person’s alcoholism
can be a means of detaching: this does
not necessarily require physical separation.
Detachment can help us look at our situations
realistically and objectively.
Alcoholism is a family disease. Living
with the effects of someone else’s drinking
is too devastating for most people to bear
without help.
In Al-Anon we learn nothing we say or do
can cause or stop someone else’s drinking.
We are not responsible for another person’s
disease or recovery from it.
Detachment allows us to let go of our
obsession with another’s behavior and begin
to lead happier and more manageable lives,
lives with dignity and rights, lives guided by
a Power greater than ourselves. We can still
love the person without liking the behavior.
IN AL-ANON WE LEARN:
• Not to suffer because of the actions or
reactions of other people
• Not to allow ourselves to be used or
abused by others in the interest of
another’s recovery
• Not to do for others what they can do
for themselves
• Not to manipulate situations so others
will eat, go to bed, get up, pay bills, not
drink, or behave as we see fit
• Not to cover up for another’s mistakes
or misdeeds
• Not to create a crisis
• Not to prevent a crisis if it is in the natural
course of events

By learning to focus on ourselves, our
attitudes and well-being improve. We allow
the alcoholics in our lives to experience the
consequences of their own actions.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

God

God, please forgive me for sins old and new.  Please show me how to be a better man.  Please allow me to accept the ones I love as they are!

E

Friday, July 13, 2012

I WAS WRONG

I Was Wrong lyrics
Songwriters: Ness, Mike;

When I was young, I was so full of fear
I hid behind anger, held back the tears
It was me against the world, I was sure that I'd win
The world fought back, punished me for my sins

I felt so alone, so insecure
I blamed you instead and made sure I was heard
And they tried to warn me of my evil ways
But I couldn't hear what they had to say

I was wrong
Self destruction's got me again
I was wrong
I realized now that I was wrong

And I think about my loves, well I've had a few
I'm sorry that I hurt them, did I hurt you too
I took what I wanted, put my heart on the shelf
Now how can you love me when you don't love yourself

It was me against the world, I was sure that I'd win
The world fought back, punished me for my sins

And they tried to warn me of my evil ways
But I couldn't hear what they had to say

I was wrong
Self destruction's got me again
I was wrong
I realized now that I was wrong

I was wrong, yeah
I was wrong

I grew up fast, I grew up hard
Something was wrong from the very start
I was fighting everybody, I was fighting everything
But the only one that I hurt was me

I got society's blood running down my face
Somebody help me get outta this place
How could someone's bad luck last so long
Until I realized that I was wrong

I was wrong
Self destruction's got me again
I was wrong
I realized now that I was wrong

I was wrong
Self destruction's got me again
I was wrong
The only one that I hurt was me

I was wrong

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More Gratitude!

Just a quick note!  This has been a terribly hard week for a lot of reasons...  All of which have been brought on by my self!  The great thing is that I am not walking alone.  Today I have God, and with that faith, I will get by, with only just enough.  Not what I want, only what I need!  More to come on this subject as the week goes by!  I am exhausted!   Good night and God Bless!

Meditation

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You are reading from the book Twenty Four Hours a Day Hardcover (24 Hours)
A.A. Thought for the Day

We in Alcoholics Anonymous do not try to chart the path for the human soul or try to lay out a blueprint of the working of faith, as one might plan a charity drive. We do tell the newcomer that we have renewed our faith in a Higher Power. In the telling, our faith is further renewed. We believe that faith is always close at hand, waiting for those who will listen to the heartbeat of the spirit. We believe there is a force for good in the universe and that if we link up with this force, we are carried onward to a new life. Am I in this stream of goodness?

Meditation for the Day

God will protect you from the forces of evil, if you will rely on Him. You can face all things through the power of God, which strengthens you. Once God has set on you His stamp and seal of ownership, all His strength will serve and protect you. Remember that you are a child of the Father. Realize that the Father's help is always ready and available to all His children, so that they can face anything. God will do all that is necessary for your spiritual well-being, if you will let Him live His way.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may rely on God as I go through this day. I pray that I may feel deeply secure, no matter what happens to me.

Serenity

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Fear or Gratitude?

I had a long conversation last night with a fellow alcoholic about fear. Fear was a huge trigger for this alcoholic for a very long time.  Fear of not being liked, fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of loss, and the fear of success are just a few things that I used as excuses to go out and use drugs and abuse alcohol.  Last night in this conversation I shared with my friend that I have been hearing a lot of fear lately about drinking and using and how it has started to frustrate me.  I no longer have to live with those fears nor do I want to.  Is fearing a relapse the best way for me to think so I dont?  Of course not.  I KNOW I will be dead in three days, three weeks, or three months if I go back to that life.  Is it something I need to fear today?  Absolutley not.  It is a simple fact of my life.  Fear is a feeling not a fact.  And the facts of my life determine how I live today!  What I also know to be a fact is that I do not go out and drink because of all the blessings I have in my life today because I am sober!  Fact, my relationship with my family is 100% better than it has ever been.  Grateful!  Fact, I have a fantastic career again with the opportunity to make a comfortable life for myself! Grateful!  Fact, I have an amazing relationship with God, that allows me to handle any situation that may arise! Grateful! Fact, I have the love and encourgement from a group of friends that I have never had!  Grateful!  Fact, I have peace today that I have never had in my entire life!  Grateful!  Fact, I have had and will awlays have the opportunity of helping another drug addict and alcoholic!  Grateful!  Fact, I love myself today and it shows! Grateful! Fact, I have a beautiful baby neice! Grateful!  Fact, today these are the blessings in my life that give a reason to stay sober.  These are the reasons that give me the strength to handle situations that use to baffle me!  Life is and will forever be full of challenges and ups and downs and today I have the courage and faith in my self and my higher power to make sure I ALWAYS TRY to do the next right thing!  Progress not perfection.  This is my experience, strength, and hope today!

Remember to pray today!  It works!

Gratefully Recovering!

Friday, June 29, 2012

All I Can Do Is Write About It

http://open.spotify.com/track/0YGg9fHr3V9hdUhB60eGWs

All I Can Do Is Write About It

Lynyrd Skynyrd 

Songwriters: VAN ZANT, RONNIE / COLLINS, ALLEN
 
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
ourselves.
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!
 
Satisfied

 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.)
Inside.
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)
Inside.
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

Vacation!!!!!

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
By
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

WOW

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.

 http://open.spotify.com/track/3h2oxIj7l4zEDZyZbwaQxG

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!

Vacation

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!


THE VIPER

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

DOC

Friday
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

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!