Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

You are reading from the book Touchstones
Sit loosely in the saddle of life.
  —Robert Louis Stevenson

Sitting loosely in the saddle is an image of detachment for us. Detachment doesn't mean we stop caring. It means we have an inner wisdom telling us what we can control and what we cannot. When we go to meetings and hear fellow members struggling with temptations to return to old behaviors, we need to detach. When family members or friends are engaged in an addiction, we need to sit loosely in the saddle by caring, but not protecting them from the results of their behavior. Sometimes close friends will be "off base" in the way they talk to us. We practice detachment by not being reactive to the person but being responsive to the inner message of what kind of men we wish to be.

We can't control another person's behavior toward us. Our inner security will never come from how someone else behaves. The most helpful thing we can do for someone is to listen and care; then we need to be ready to let go of the outcome.

I will accept the limits of my control over others. I will care and let go.

Revenge

Sunday, September 16, 2012

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go
Revenge

No matter how long we've been recovering, no matter how solid our spiritual ground, we may still feel an overwhelming desire at times to punish, or get even, with another person.

We want revenge.

We want to see the other person hurt the way he or she has hurt us. We want to see life deal that person just rewards. In fact, we would like to help life out.

Those are normal feelings, but we do not have to act on them. These feelings are part of our anger but it's not our job to deal justice.

We can allow ourselves to feel the anger. It is helpful to go one step deeper and let ourselves feel the other feelings - the hurt, the pain, the anguish. But our goal is to release the feelings, and be finished with them.

We can hold the other person accountable. We can hold the other person responsible. But it is not our responsibility to be judge and jury. Actively seeking revenge will not help us. It will block us and hold us back.

Walk away. Stop playing the game. Unhook. Learn your lesson. Thank the other person for having taught you something valuable. And be finished with it. Put it behind, with the lesson intact.

Acceptance helps. So does forgiveness - not the kind that invites that person to use us again, but a forgiveness that releases the other person and sets him or her free to walk a separate path, while releasing our anger and resentments. That sets us free to walk our own path.

Today, I will be as angry as I need to be, with a goal of finishing my business with others. Once I have released my hurt and anger, I will strive for healthy forgiveness - forgiveness with boundaries. I understand that boundaries, coupled with forgiveness and compassion, will move me forward.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Forever Grateful


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

You are reading from the book The Language of Letting Go
Getting Through Hard Times

We are sturdy beings. But in many ways, we are fragile. We can accept change and loss, but this comes at our own pace and in our own way. And only God and we can determine the timing.
  —Codependent No More

Hard times, stressful times, are not all there is to life, but they are part of life, growth, and moving forward.

What we do with hard times, or hard energy, is our choice.

We can use the energy of hard times to work out, and work through, our issues. We can use it to fine-tune our skills and our spirituality. Or we can go through these situations suffering, storing up bitterness, and refusing to grow or change.

Hard times can motivate and mold us to bring out our best. We can use these times to move forward and upward to higher levels of living, loving, and growth.

The choice is ours. Will we let ourselves feel? Will we take a spiritual approach, including gratitude, toward the event? Will we question life and our Higher Power by asking what we're supposed to be learning and doing? Or will we use the incident to prove old, negative beliefs? Will we say, "Nothing good ever happens to me... I'm just a victim... People can't be trusted... Life isn't worth living"?

We do not always require hard energy, or stress, to motivate us to grow and change. We do not have to create stress, seek it, or attract it. But if it's there, we can learn to channel it into growth and use it for achieving what's good in life.

God, let my hard times be healing times.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I Concede

The other day my therapist asked me if I was "willing" to finally let go of the girl and move on with my life.  She said then and only then will I be able to allow someone into my life that truly loves me for who I am.  Well after a little over two years, I am conceding.  You win honey.  For two years I have always been able to see the good in you and the great we could be but that was never enough for you to see past the bad in me.  So now I give in.  I will no longer fight for you and the love we once shared.  Today, September 14, 2012, ten months into my sobriety, I, Erin, surrender yet again.  I tried as hard as I could to give you the love and support that you needed, but in the end, you just did not want it.  I am very grateful that you are sober today, and I guess that was truly our purposes in each others lives.  I am going to leave you with a quote from an email I received from her back in June.

I only want to leave you with this:  No matter how horrible and toxic I have been for you and your happiness, I value our relationship and the connection that we had more than words.  I am forever grateful that you were here for me when I was close to losing everything to encourage and push me to make this change.  I most certainly would not have done it without you.  It is the greatest gift I have ever received. 
Take Care,
Brandi

Goodbye

Now I will reward myself with Widespread Panic tickets!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sept 12, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
You are reading from the book Touchstones
Not all fights are bad; in fact they are preferable to disciplined serenity.
—William Atwood

A good relationship includes some disagreement. Anger and disagreement, when we express them respectfully, are important ways of renewing communication and breaking through the walls that sometimes built up. No relationship can tolerate constant fighting. But, when we don't agree with someone, we owe it to that person to speak up and follow through to resolution. We can promise ourselves and the other person that we will stay in the relationship through the disagreement. It is because we care that we fight.

In any relationship we care about, there will be differences. When we avoid all confrontations, our relationships go stale because all emotional issues are avoided. Carefulness and over control undermine love because they don't give it room to breathe, but disagreement and anger expressed in honest and respectful ways will help love grow.

Today, I pray for the courage to acknowledge my disagreements and angry feelings with others and to deal with their feelings toward me.

Healing



We should learn not to grow impatient with the slow healing process of time. We should discipline ourselves to recognize that there are many steps to be taken along the highway leading from sorrow to renewed serenity... We should anticipate these stages in our emotional convalescence: unbearable pain, poignant grief, empty days, resistance to consolation, disinterestedness in life, gradually giving way . . . to the new weaving of a pattern of action and the acceptance of the irresistible challenge of life.
—Joshua Loth Liebman

Monday, September 10, 2012

Honest, Open Minded and Willing



Tonight I am sore and exhausted. These physical feelings coincide with some emotional exhaustion as well.  Tonight I went to a new men's meeting looking for some new solutions to the issues in my life that are causing me to ask God why. What I learned first is that I have to be honest with myself about a lot of things.  I have to be honest with myself and understand that life is never going to go the way I want or plan for it to.  This does not mean don’t have a plan or “reasonable expectations”.  I will never dig myself out of the debt I have or MAYBE be financially comfortable without a plan.  But shit will happen…  Jobs will be lost and gained, but I have to hold my head up high and realize things are out of my control and that I am not always going to have a part to change in either situation.  It is just something that happens and it happens to everyone.  I also have to be honest and open minded enough to accept people for who they are and realize that they will never change. I can only try to do the next right thing and worry about keeping my side of the street clean…  I also have to understand that just because I do these things it does not mean that people won’t let me down.  It is the nature of any relationship…  I am not perfect and I will let people down and them me.  This is life.  So, now I have to be willing to grow.  I have to be willing to maintain my physical and emotional sobriety at all costs.  I have to be willing to go to any lengths to achieve this goal…  Do I know exactly what those things are?  I know what I have to do to remain physically sober.  The emotional sobriety is the hard part.  I don’t have these answers.  All I know is that I have to go to meetings and share about the pain at the beginning of the meeting so hopefully I can get the solution that I need.  I have to be willing to change my way of thinking.  I have to be willing to learn to forgive myself more so that I can forgive others.  I have to be willing to learn that I am not always right or wrong.  I have to be willing to let go and love from afar.  I have to be open minded enough and willing to believe that as long as I don’t pick up another drink or drug I will be ok.  I have to believe that my faith in a higher power of my understanding will get me through… Otherwise what is the point?  Just for today!
Last but not least, I am grateful tonight for all the love I have in my life.  I have so much support.  I am very lucky.  I know there are those with a lot less.  I am also very grateful tonight for the opportunity to be playing soccer again.  I do believe this will be a big part of getting back the old Erin that existed long before drugs and alcohol.  For me it is 90 minutes were nothing is wrong in the world!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

5 Things Expected of Me Now That I am Sober


I had heard my friend Bill share this in a meeting once, I believe we were talking about expectations of other people and of ourselves.  He said a great way to get to people to take a look at themselves  once you have become sober is to ask them 5 things they expect of you now that you are sober.  Well I posed this very question to someone who is no longer in my life.  She replied with loyalty, honesty, kindness, love, and patience...  Dictionary.com defines loyalty as the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations.  Loyal is defined as faithful to any leader, party, or cause, or to any person or thing conceived as deserving fidelity: a loyal friend.  I guess she did not get the memo on loyalty.  Anyways, what is done is done, and I have to live my life true to the principals of AA.  I know I am not now, nor will I ever be perfect, but like we say, progress not perfection.  The last few weeks have beat my ass just as much if not more than any three week bender ever did...  But I am here sober, feeling it all with an open heart, and a very clear conscience.  The really nice part is knowing that I am loyal, honest, kind, loving and as patient as I can be.  Last night I spent about three hours putting the last two and a half months with her into my own words...  After some contemplation it occurred to me that nothing good would come from me sharing all that with all of you.  Although it is some of my best writing to date, all that hurt and pain needs to be kept exactly where it is.  I did however share it with her.  That I did feel necessary.  With that being said I feel good.  I feel good with the effort I gave her, the effort I continue to give myself and others. I am a good man with lots of love to give and as long as I continue to stay sober, do the next right thing and believe that God will take care of me, someone will come along that will love me for those 5 things and she will give them in return!  Today will be spent going over my gratitude list in my head and hopefully I can get it on paper tonight.  I will be spending the day with the three women whose love will never fail me, my mother, my sister and Addie my baby niece.  I am so very lucky to have a family that loves me so much...  As the tears run down my face, I will leave you with this...  If I can change, so can you!


God Bless and Happy Saturday!

Letting Go Again!

I wrote earlier in the summer about letting go of a relationship.  I wrote about how toxic the relationship had become and that it was sick with lies, infidelity, and hurt.  Which was the truth.  At the time when I wrote the post I was right in the middle of my 9th step, the one where we in AA make our amends to the people we had harmed.  I knew at the time that I had an amends to make to the other half of the relationship that was so sick.  It was not all her that had done wrong.  Although I will claim my piece of the high road and NOT use my disease as an excuse to go out and sleep with someone else.  Anyways, I was worried about making the amends to her because I knew opening that line of communication could be deadly for me. So I wrote the first Letting Go entry, and discussed how low of a place, much lower than the drugs and alcohol, this relationship had taken me.  It took me to the darkest, scariest place that I swore I would never go back to.  Well after I wrote the entry, I received an email from her the next day.  The email went something like this.  I am sorry for this, I am sorry for that, you were always in my heart, now that I am sober I have seen the damage I have caused, I could not have got sober with out you,  and how special our relationship was to her and how near and and dear to her heart it was.    So instead of doing what I knew in my head was right I listened to that place in my heart that still loved her and replied.  At this point we had not spoke in almost two months. Before we got on the phone I prayed for guidance and planned to make my amends first thing in the conversation. Immediately I made my amends to her as soon as we got on the phone, and I truly felt as though God had lifted all the pain from the lies, and the cheating, all of it.  Once again I will clarify here, I did not do the lying or the cheating.  Things were good.  She was telling me that I made her happier than she had ever been, and that my love was so special, and everything felt right and easy and most of all she loved me.  Foolish, so foolish of me to think that this was true, but I did.  I finally felt that everything had come full circle.  She was sober, I was sober and we were in love and my life was finally on the way to where I wanted it to be with the woman I love.  A week later I land the perfect sales job that would get me on my feet and back to her in Colorado.  Everything was great, my life was fantastic...  Heck she was even reading to me out of her journal the things she had written about me, how much she loved me, what was she thinking being with this other guy and on and on and on...  Now who would not believe that?  I am going to interject here, the reason I am sharing so much of this is because I feel that the truth must come out...  I know that there are a whole lot of folks that always saw me as the bad guy or the wrong guy or what ever...  SO I feel as though the truth must be told. Ok, so where was I?  Everything was grand.  The 9th step promises were coming true.  I had worked my steps, worked with my sponsor, gone to meetings, and life was coming together for me for the first time ever.  Great woman, great job, great friends, sober and ready to bust my ass to get back to Colorado.  We were so excited and in love we had planned for me to visit her when she was home in North Carolina visiting her parents for the fourth...  Well I eventually decided this was probably not a good idea seeing that her mother thought I was a huge fucking loser and she needed time to focus on her family.  This brought me great accolades and now this unselfish act had made her love for me grow more than ever she said.  So we decided that she would use a voucher she had and fly me out at the end of August to Denver for my birthday. Aint life grand!  As time went on the I love you's became less and less and at the end of her trip home I get an email saying she was sorry, that she did not want to be here again with me but she was not ready to be in a relationship with me and that I would not be coming to Denver and she needed time to focus on her self and her sobriety... Knowing how to handle the situation, I told her I still loved her and she said she still loved me and that everything would be ok and I would give her the time she needed to heal...  Well as usual this lasted all of about a week and we were back at it again.  I texted every day, she called every day.  I always left the calling up to her.  I WAS NOT GOING TO CALL...  If she wanted to talk, that was up to her and so she did every day like clock work.  Finally in an effort to give her the space she needed we decided to only talk once a week...  The first week went ok and when we did finally talk, the I love yous and I miss yous flew around and we got on a conversation we had previously had about the birthday present she was going to buy me...  At first she mentioned that she had thought about buying me a pocket watch and having it engraved with some special saying about time.  I told her the only thing I wanted for my birthday was to see her.  So she said she would sleep on it.  Two days later she bought me a ticket to Denver and I took the time off from work.  Everything had seem to gotten back on track and I was headed home to see my baby for my 38th birthday.  This was going to be very special for me since it would be my first birthday sober in 20 years.  In the meantime home was great, job was great, AA was amazing.  I had started a new beginners meeting, picked up my first sponsee, life could not have been better.  In the next two weeks we would go on to make dinner reservations, camping reservations in Vail, all the things you do when you plan a visit like this.  Well as the day got closer, she started to get really snappy with me.  I chalked it up to her just being bitchy and getting nervous. My ticket was set for Thursday August 16th.  On Sunday August 12th I received a message from her, stating that I would be excited about the meal she was going to cook for me and have ready when I arrived in Denver.  Skip forward to Monday night and well lets just say in 30 hours something had changed.  The what ifs kicked in...  I got angry, seeing that we were waiting to the last minute to discuss issues that should have been being discussed all along.  We were on the phone all night but had finally come to a resolution and she said she felt better having discussed her feelings and we went to bed.  Around 10 am the next morning I got a text message that said "check your email".  Immediately I got a huge lump in my throat.  This email read something like this..  I have cancelled your flight, i do not feel like it is healthy for us to see each other right now.  My indecision is not good for me or you. Please do not contact me... Now, I will let you guess about the one part of our relationship that wasnt damaged.  We were very open about a lot of things with each other and I had shared about thinking about her in my "special alone time" when things were not good between us and it always made me feel better.  But somehow this was completely misread and used as a reason to call the whole thing off.  Oh and I punched a hole in the wall the night before, on accident...  This too she said was a reason for us not to see each other.  But the best part was the cancellation receipt that was attached and the lack of an I am sorry or anything of the sort....  Immediately I saw red...  After all the shit we had been through and all things I had forgiven her for came flying back into my head and I unleashed them all on her.  All the things I have never said over the last two years came flying out. It was bad...  I will tell on my self here a bit... I will spare you all the details but I used the c word and many more...  I will admit I was in the wrong and I have tried to apologize as best I could, but since she has blocked my phone...  We wont be speaking any time soon...  So now here we are three weeks later..  How do I feel?  I feel terrible!  All of this could have been avoided...  What it comes down to is she never wanted me in the first place.  It is all about one thing... The attention I give her.  All the times I have been supportive.  All the times I have told her she was the most beautiful woman on the planet....  All the times I told her I loved her...  All the times well you get the point...  And the best part is the friends in her life with shitty boyfriends that degrade them like shit telling her how bad I was! Or the single friends that could only get with a married co worker, that told her I was not good enough!  HA!  So now feeling the way I do, and going back and reading that first Letting Go post...  I am quickly reminded of the pain that I have endured from all the lies and all the bullshit I have been through...  Who acts this way?  And why do I fall for it every time?  She never ever loved me at all.  Never not once were my best interest at the top of her list.  Now I feel like I was wrong all along.  Nothing has changed...  I have never been nor will I ever be a priority in this woman's life...  I was never truly loved...  Yet I was the one that begged for her to get sober.  I was the one that cried with her.  And like she said in the email, I was the one that was there, keeping her from losing it all. She said this was the best gift she had ever been given. So now I will walk away..  I gave it the best I could.  I showed her as much love and support as one person could. I was there when no one else was!  I wish things were different but they are not... And she wonders why I think that she does not care.  So one day, and this will never happen, I hope she realizes how much of myself I gave and how little I got in return....  I will leave you with this.  The best thing she ever did for me was call the police on me!  Done!


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Locomotive

 Perfect!

(Slash / Rose)


Gonna find a way to cure this loneliness
Yeah I'll find a way to cure the pain
If I said that you're my friend
And our love would never end
How long before I had your trust again
I opened up the doors when it was cold outside
Hopin' that you'd find your own way in
But how can I protect you
Or try not to neglect you
When you won't take the love I have to give
I bought me an illusion
An I put it on the wall
I let it fill my head with dreams
And I had to have them all
But oh the taste is never so sweet
As what you'd believe it is-
Well I guess it never is
It's these prejudiced illusions
That pump the blood
To the heart of the biz


You know I never thought
That it could take so long
You know I never knew how to be strong
Yeah, I let you shape me
But I feel as though you raped me
'Cause you climbed inside my world
And in my songs
So now I've closed the door
To keep the cold outside
Seems somehow I've found the will to live
But how can I forget you
Or try not to reject you
When we both know it takes time to forgive


Sweetness is a virtue
And you lost your virtue long ago
You know I'd like to hurt you
But my conscience always tells me no
You could sell your body on the street
To anyone whom you might meet
Who'd love to try and get inside
And bust your innocence open wide


'Cause my baby's got a locomotive
My baby's gone off the track
My baby's got a locomotive
Got ta peel the bitch off my back
I know it looks like I'm insane
Take a closer look I'm not to blame
No


Gonna have some fun with my frustration
Gonna watch the big screen in my head
I'd rather take a detour
'Cause this road ain't gettin' clearer
Your train of thought has cut me off again
Better tame that boy 'cause he's a wild one
Better tame that boy for he's a man
Sweetheart don't make me laugh
You's gettin' too big for your pants
And I's think maybe you should
Cut out while you can
You can use you illusion-
Let it take you where it may
We live and learn
And then sometimes it's best to walk away
Me I'm just here hangin' on
It's my only place to stay at least
For now anyway
I've worked too hard for my illusions
Just to throw them all away


I'm taking time for quiet consolation
In passing by this love that's passed away
I know it's never easy-
So why should you believe me
When I've always got so many things to say
Calling off the dogs a simple choice is made
'Cause playful hearts
Can sometimes be enraged
You know I tried to wake you-
I mean how long could it take you
To open up your eyes and turn the page


Kindness is a treasure-
And it's one towards me you've seldom shown
So I'll say it for good measure
To all the ones like you I've known
Ya know I'd like to shave your head
And all my friends could paint it red
'Cause love to me's a two way street
An all I really want is peace


But my baby's got a locomotive
My baby's gone off the track
My baby's got a locomotive
Got ta peel the bitch off my back
I know it looks like I'm insane
Take a closer look I'm not to blame
No

Affection is a blessing
Can you find it in your sordid heart
I tried to keep this thing ta-gether
But the tremor tore my pad apart
Yeah I know it's hard to face
When all we've worked for's gone to waste
But you're such a stupid woman
And I'm such a stupid man
But love like time's got its own plans


'Cause my baby's got a locomotive
My baby's gone off the track
My baby's got a locomotive
Got ta peel the bitch off my back
I know it looks like I'm insane
Take a closer look I'm not to blame
Yeah
If love is blind I guess I'll buy myself a cane


Love's so strange

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Love pt. 3

I was talking to a great friend of mine last night about the mistakes I have made in the past, especially the ones in my relationship.  He pointed out something that he thought was a mistake, and this had me thinking all day...  I am a very emotionally open person.  I have never been one to hold things in.  I will definitely tell you what I think and how I feel, good or bad.  I am a grown man that is not afraid to tell you how I really feel.  So my buddy posed the fact that maybe I told my ex that I loved her too much.  Having just turned 38, and being a long way from 16, this turned my stomach a little bit.  Why?  Well because if he thinks this then other people might think it too.  I grew up in a very loving and affectionate home.  My parents always told my sister and I as well as each other, I Love You...  This still happens multiple times a day.  This is where I learned to be a loving mate.  I learned here that it is important to always be affectionate and to always tell your better half how important, special, kind, smart, funny and wonderful they are...  Why would you not? Maybe it is cooler to be a cheater and to laugh about your friends being unfaithful to their mates.   The outside world is loveless, for a lack of better terms.  So why would I not want the woman I love to know every day how special and amazing I think she is.  Why would I not want her to believe in those feelings I have for her by holding her hand, sending her flowers, or even buying her a cup of coffee via the internet.  Now she and I did discuss this at one point and she did say that I was affectionate in ways that no other man had been.  So when did this become a bad thing?  Is it so taboo to be truly and intimately in love with someone that showing that love is too much for people to handle?  Who on earth wants to be with anyone that cant or wont give that?  Maybe all that reading my parents made me do as a kid turned me into a hopeless romantic.  I dont know...  I do know that I am not going to change my ways.  I will remain a loving, kind, gentle, man that enjoys the sweet side of life.  Sure, I have mad mistakes and I can be a raging ass hole.  But this is not good for me or for you.  If my kindness, love, and affection is ever misconstrued for weakness, then I feel sorry for you.  It takes a real man to love and love hard.  I have fought hard to change my life.  I have changed to live, to love another day.  I have seen days that I would not share with my worst enemy...  They were that bad.  But I have come out on the other side to fill my life and my heart with the best in life.  A life full of love of the most romantic kind.  Any man that tells you he does not need romance, he is a liar.  At lease one over the age of 30 any ways.  So if you are to read this.  Go home, kiss your significant other.  Remember to show your gratitude with a little sweetness and honesty.  It will go a long way!

 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Last Weekend of the Summer

     The Labor Day weekend has officially come to a close along with the end of summer.  Having a birthday at this time of year has always meant a celebration around the time of something ending or beginning or both.  It is funny how my life has always worked that way.  Three years ago today I had moved into a new apartment in downtown Denver by myself.  Two years ago, I had met a new girl.  Last year at this time I was moving head strong into a full blown drug addiction with out any regards for much else.  This summer, relationship with said girl has now ended permanently, and I have joined a new soccer team.  Things change in my life so fast, I had to take some time for my self and get out of town.  I find Atlanta, especially where I live, can be stifling sometimes and making it hard to think.  So I headed for one of my favorite places, Asheville and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  On this trip I was hoping to gain some insight on the end of my relationship, my thoughts on God, where I stood with AA, my job, and anything else that had been banging around my head for the last few weeks.  Well here is what I came up with.
     I am going to start with the relationship since it seems to be a biggest piece of the man standing on my chest these days.  I spent a good bit of my time while driving contemplating how until a month or so ago her parents hated me for what ever reason...  She said that they thought that I was some looser who lived at home with his parents, had no ambition, and was merely chasing something way out of my league.  A few days later she went on to explain that she had emailed her parents explaining to them how we were very similar and that I was a very important part of her life and that I had helped her with her changing her life and was and I quote "her rock".  Her parents replied that they had not understood the situation and they were very grateful for me and that they would no longer bad mouth me the way they had in the past.  This seemed to be a hurdle we had needed to over come for quite a while.  Of course one could see how this could lead to mass confusion when I try to figure out how we got from being "her rock" to where we are now.  I also spent some time going over the conversations we had the Sunday before I was suppose to arrive in Denver and wonder how in about 30 hours we went from her being excited for me to get there and the meal we were going to have.  The I love you too's to I canceled the ticket and please don't contact me.  Then I also wondered what the heck her friends think, I know what the friends who dont know me think.... But what about the ones that do...  Not that it really matters... I am just curious...  I know the ones that dont know me like to say things like you should not be with a guy like that...  That always made me laugh.  Then last but not least I spent sometime reflecting on what I have done wrong over the last two years.  I wondered if I could have shown her in some other way the love I had for her.  I wondered if I will be forgiven for the horrible things I said a few weeks ago.  After all this thinking and hoping for some resolution, This, with some professional help, is what I have come up with.  First, the relationship is over.  Now it is time to figure out how and why I let her in and love her the way I do...  I am hoping that with a little help from the doctor, I can get to the bottom of all this.  I really do want to move on!  It is hard when she is in my dreams every night and according to my sponsor I am suppose to be praying for her. EVERY DAY!
     Next up is God.  This has always been a very difficult concept for me.  Obviously during my active addictions I was very far away from God.  I can remember being a young child sitting in mass and wondering if it was all a hoax...  Today, my faith has faltered.  Yes, of course there are things I am grateful for and I do believe that there was something greater at work keeping me alive all those years.  But do I believe that God, will bestow upon me this amazing life now that I am sober?  Will my sobriety alone be enough for me to pay for the sins of my past?  What will happen if I continue to pray for unselfish things, which with all honesty in sobriety I have done.  Will just being sober be enough to satisfy my needs or should I learn to want for nothing?  So many questions and so few answers... I am not really sure where to go from here, but I will continue to pray and work on my meditation...
     As far as my job is concerned, all I can do is look for another one.  I keep looking for the lesson that is to be learned here.  Maybe it is just this simple.  There are selfish people in the world and they might not mean us harm but they in no way have our well being in mind.  I think Mike Cooley says it best.  "Tell me how to tell the difference between what they tell me is the truth or a lie."  It is funny there is some bullshit I can smell a mile away and others blind side me like a freight train...  That is blatantly obvious in this and the last few posts. But for now I will keep on selling and keep on looking.  Something will come around, it always does.
     I am sure this looks like a big pile of crap I dealt with instead of enjoying my time in North Carolina..  I did have a great time.  I had a fantastic meal at the Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville.  The food was amazing and the service was the best I have had in a long time.  My server was a cute little dready named Jeniffer I think.  I left her a nice tip and a note telling her she did a wonderful job.  The room at the Double Tree was a birthday present from my wonderful mother.  The privacy, was well needed and enjoyed.  One day I will have a shower with seats in it.  The time in the mountains was work as usual but I enjoyed it.  The time on the river was nice but I have a lot to learn about fly fishing.  It is something I have always been interested in, now it is time to really work at it...  And no, I did not catch a thing.  You see I am much different from most "fisherman".  The time away from the city was wonderful.  That part of the country is beautiful and small city living is calling my name.  This trip only reinforced the love I have for Colorado and how hard I must work to get back to the place that has my heart!  Despite feeling a little lost and heartbroken, I hold on to that dream of getting back to that place tightly...













Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reasonable Expectations

According to my sponsor who has 22 years of sobriety it is ok to have "reasonable expectations".  Its late and I am tired so I am not going to go into what "reasonable expectations" are.  I think it is pretty self explanatory...  Tonight I am feeling let down, embarrassed and burnt out and here are the reasons why.  First, the person I mention from time to time as my special person had been going on and on about buying me a birthday present that truly represented her love and affection for me.  Finally she decided that a plane ticket to Colorado for my birthday would be appropriate.  We had decided to go to Vail and go camping, a couple of dinners and I would be headed back to Atlanta.  It was quite reasonable for me not to expect to get an email two days before I am suppose to leave Atlanta, saying the trip was canceled, please do not contact me.  Now, did I expect, once I got there for things to be a little nutty?  Sure...  But to renege on my birthday present that was very unexpected.  Of course there was no apology and I went way crazy and said a bunch of shit I should have never said and now we will never speak again...  All this because I wanted to see her for my birthday... With the ticket she bought as my present...  Yeah, I am still at a loss.

Now, if that was not enough for you try this on for size... So after completely wrecking my profesional career the last few years, I had finally found the perfect job to get back on my feet with...  A mid level inside sales postition, with good money, great benefits, close to my house and a well know product.  After about six weeks I began to hit my stride and starting closing deals..  This was also about the time I started hearing rumors about the company being sold.  Yet I kept working.  The rumors kept flying and I kept closing, well ramped up before the 17 weeks that I was given to do so.  Then on Monday evening I heard a rumor that the office is closing a month early and anything I sell in the month of August, I will not get paid commision on in September...  Now here is a few very important details I cannot leave out.  In the first week on the job my boss had me in his office to bitch at me about the hour I took for lunch, and two other things I cannot remember.  We have argued over dentist appointments I have not taken yet, and wether one deal is better than no deals,  My boss hired me knowing I would be out of a job in three months and also knowing that I might not get paid for the book of business I have built.  Here is the kicker, I had the highest number on the board today, so my boss hits my desk with a roll of wrapping paper hard and asks about my numbers in front of the whole office.  I am sorry sir you are asking me about numbers that i have sold for a company that no longer exists that I may or may not get paid on.....

WOW

From what I have been taught over the last 9 months, it is ok to have reasonable expectations of the people in my life.  So what happens when even those begin to fail?  Obviously, I am not going back to drinking and drugging, but...  Am I suppose to expect everything to go wrong, and when something good happens I am surpised.  It was reasonable to expect to get on that plane.  It is reasonable to expect to get paid for the work I do...  What I do know, is that people will always let you down.  Maybe that is just what I need to expect! 

So to make up for my birthday trip being abruptly canceled I am headed on a solo camping and fishing trip.  Four days of solitude and the great outdoors.  Western North Carolina does not compare to Vail, but it will do.  And for that time I dont have to worry about any one failing me but me!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

   This is perfect for me today!
You are reading from the book Twenty Four Hours a Day Hardcover (24 Hours)
A.A. Thought for the Day

"We must be willing to make amends to all the people we have harmed. We must do the best we can to repair the damage done in the past. When we make amends, when we say 'I'm sorry,' the person is sure at least to be impressed by our sincere desire to set right the wrong. Sometimes people we are making amends to admit their own faults, so feuds of long standing melt away. Our most ruthless creditors will sometimes surprise us. In general, we must be willing to do the right thing, no matter what the consequences may be for us." Have I made a sincere effort to make amends to the people I have harmed.

Meditation for the Day

The grace of God cures disharmony and disorder in human relationships. Directly you put your affairs, with their confusion and their difficulties, into God's hands. He begins to effect a cure of all the disharmony and disorder. You can believe that He will cause you no more pain in the doing of it than a physician, who plans and knows that he can effect a cure, would cause his patient. You can have faith that God will do all that is necessary as painlessly as possible. But you must be willing to submit to His treatment, even if you cannot now see the meaning or purpose of it.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may willingly submit to whatever spiritual discipline is necessary. I pray that I may accept whatever it takes to live a better life.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Grateful

I just realized as I began to type these will be my first written words of my 38th year on this earth.  I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by.  It feels like just yesterday I was staring at those cops on the night of November 4th.  My life is so different and removed from where it use to be.  It truly is a miracle I am not dead or in jail.  Tonight as I reflect and put my life into these words, despite my lack of emotional sobriety, I look back on all that I have achieved this year and I am grateful.  I have been taught through out the last 9 months that when I am feeling irritable or discontent that writing down a gratitude list will put things into perspective and should relieve some of those feelings that I use to not know how to deal with without drugs and alcohol.  So here I am, sore from the gym, with a heavy heart and a head full of recovery trying to express the gratitude I have for all the blessings in my life.  I know most of this I have said before but I am going to say it again.  I am so very grateful to be sober today.  It is such an easier way to live I cannot believe it sometimes.  I never have a hangover, my bank account always has money in it and I am always safe to drive.  Because I am sober today, my family and I have begun the journey of healing.  I have a beautiful baby niece which I see several times a week.  Her smile and laugh are a quick reminder of why I changed my life.  I have a relationship with God today that I have never had.  Albeit I do not always understand his will, I do have faith that I will remain sober.  I have faith that I may not always get what I want but I will always get what I need.  Tonight I am grateful to be a productive and active member of society.  A year ago today I was submersed in a drug subculture, hiding from all the beautiful things life has to offer, such as the sunshine, exercise, and quitting smoking.  I now have a group of friends that I can really depend on for more than a buzz or for gasoline to pour on the flame.  I am so grateful for the tan that I have, the weight I have lost, and the fact I have not smoked a cigarette since July 9th.  I never thought I would be able to quit smoking.  I have been able to get back to work making great money and pay the bills that no longer loom over my head.  Tonight I will go to bed thanking God for all these amazing things instead of hoping that I wont wake up.  This is the greatest blessing of all.

Thoughts on getting older, moving on yet again, living and loving despite illness, and rock n roll sober are all coming very soon...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A World of Hurt

Once upon a time, my advice to you would have been go out and find yourself a whore
But I guess I've grown up, because I don't give that kind of advice anymore

Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt

I was 27 when I figured out that blowing my brains wasn't the answer
So I decided, maybe I should find a way to make this world work out for me
And my good friend Paul was 83 when he told me; that "To love is to feel pain"
And I thought about that then and I've thought about that again and again

Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt

"To love is to feel pain" there ain't no way around it
The very nature of love is to grieve when it is over
The secret to a happy ending is knowing when to roll the credits
Better role them now before something else goes wrong
No, it's a wonderful world, if you can put aside the sadness
And hang on to every ounce of beauty upon you
Better take the time to know it there ain't no way around it
If you feel anything at all

Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt

So if what you have is working for you, or you think that it can stand a reasonable chance, and whatever's broken seems fixable and nothing's beyond repair
If you still think about each other and smile before you remember how screwed up it's gotten or maybe dream of a time less rotten
Remember, it ain't too late to take a deep breath and throw yourself into it with everything you got

It's great to be alive

Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt / Gonna be a world of hurt

Patterson Hood / Drive-By Truckers (In studio 11PM, June 16, 2005) © Soul Dump Music (BMI)
Pedal Steel Guitar - John Neff / Wurlitzer Electric Piano - Jason Isbell / Lead Guitar - Mike Cooley

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Me and Addie!


John Denver Quote

"Perhaps love is like a resting place, A shelter from the storm, It exists to give you comfort, It is there to keep you warm, And in those times of trouble, When you are most alone, The memory of love will bring you home" - John Denver

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!