It’s Payday!

This piece is a brief description of “what it was like” in the fairly early stage of my addiction to alcohol and other stuff.

The year 1978. I am a utility assembly finisher by trade at Smith Tool Company. One of two, in that era, largest manufacturers of rock bits, used for drilling for oil and in other types of mining. I operate several machines in the performance of my job including, grinders drill presses lathes etc. Safety first right?

I am 18 years old and I have been smoking weed and drinking with increasing frequency. I worked first shift 6:30 AM-2:30 PM I arrive at work having smoked a joint or several bong hits of Columbia gold cannabis sativa. At that time the indica green bud had not yet become preferred. It was some good shit, trust me.

Today was Thursday, which was payday. We would get our checks sometime between morning break and lunch. This occasion, a sort of routine was developed over time with my buddy Dennis. Upon release for lunch, for which we have half an hour to complete, no time is wasted. Out to the parking lot into Dennis’s van, a couple joints rolled quickly. One fired up and we’re  off to the bar that will cash our checks. 15 minutes in and out and off to Dell Taco which was one of the first to serve a 32 oz drink with a meal. Stop at the liquor store to grab a half-pint of Wild Turkey 101 proof Kentucky Bourbon. I love that stuff and it provided a nice compliment to the weed buzz. If one drinks the beverage to the top of the sun on the logo printed on the cup a half-pint fits quite nicely into the beverage. The second joint smoked on the way back to the factory, walk back into work booze in tow and security is none the wiser.

wild_turkey_logoImage source- whiskeyid.com/google

Looking back on this now I realize how hazardous it was for me to be operating large machines and grinding small parts by hand was but I was indestructible then.

That is just a taste of what it was like for me way, way early on in my using life.

Thanks for stopping by

some music from the era

 

Surrender

Hello, freaks! With my tongue planted firmly, where it belongs.

When I hold on, I’m left with nothing. If I let go everything is possible

On this glorious Palm Sunday morning, I am embarking on a trek through some principles I have embraced, due mostly, to the idea I was in control and knew exactly what had to happen, and how you were joining me whether you liked it or not.

Fortunately for me and everybody close to me, I didn’t die before I surrendered. I am finding as well, that I am in a continual state of surrender unless I am not, in which case I am in for some emotional pain.

According to Meriam Webster Surrender is defined thusly

Definition

1.  a: to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand surrendered the fort

b:  to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another

2.  a:  to give (oneself) up into the power of another especially as a prisoner

b:  to give (oneself) over to something (as an influence)

For the purposes of this discussion, I like #2 as it relates to my surrender to a feeling of separateness and my behavior trying to feel connected through portraying myself, as something, I am not and engaging in activities aimed at establishing a connection with others doing the same thing. Use of imagination and experience can allude to a vast range of erroneous endeavors here.

As soon as I surrender to that idea, I am able to be liberated to embrace my already established connection to the whole and that I was never really never separate from it.

 

“I hope you’re done and not here just to take a break”.

Those were the words of Roger B. at The Retreat in Wayzata The Retreat

His words stuck home with me that day in November 1998. I was done and had finally reached the point where I was “willing to go to any lengths to get it” I had to want to be “done” in order for any of the suggestions proposed by 12 step programs to work in my life.

If I hang on the delusion that someday, I will be able to drink and maybe smoke a little weed and I will not at some point be “on the hunt” for a hit, I am a goner.

It is I am told the great obsession of every addict to be able to use or drink without consequences.

Those days are long past though and I have discovered, that it wasn’t the using that was the problem. I was the problem. I am super sensitive and have chasm within me that is insatiable and drug and alcohol were the only things that dulled that ache. I describe it here The Longing

As long as I think I can use something, somebody, some activity to quell that craving I am a slave in chains to it and will use any means to at least try to calm the desire to feel whole.

Peace be with you! ❤

 

When you can’t look on the bright side, I’ll sit with you in the dark -Alice in Wonderland

This week a theme has been percolating within me since my last post and the one before that. Things that I’ve read, things I have been thinking about, I know that is a dangerous endeavor, given my thinking problem. I have uncovered something that seems universal.  There is no way I can be of any help if I can’t comprehend what you’re even talking about. In addition, good things grow out of compost.

If I am to help anybody find God I must understand the sinner- God Calling

One thing that had been scratching the inside of my skull was one I heard in A.A. meetings and I found it here.

A drunk fell in a hole and couldn’t get out. A businessman went by. The drunk called out for help. The businessman threw him some money and told him, get yourself a ladder. But the drunk could not find a ladder in this hole he was in.

A doctor walked by. The drunk said, “Help, I can’t get out.” The doctor gave him drugs and said, “Take this, it will relieve the pain.” The drunk said thanks, but when the pills ran out, he was still in the hole.

A renowned psychiatrist rode by and heard the drunks cries for help. He stopped and said, “How did you get there? Were you born there? Were you put there by your parents? Tell me about yourself, it will alleviate your sense of loneliness.” So the drunk talked with him for an hour, then the psychiatrist had to leave, but he said he’d be back next week. The drunk thanked him, but he was still in his hole.

A priest came by and the drunk called for help. The priest gave him a Bible and said I’ll say a prayer for you. He got down on his knees and prayed for the drunk, then left. The drunk was very grateful, he read the Bible, but he was still stuck in that hole.

A recovering alcoholic happened to be passing by. The drunk cried out, “Hey, help me, I’m stuck in this hole.” Right away, the recovering alcoholic jumped in the hole with him. The drunk said, “What are you doing? Now we’re both stuck here.” But the recovering alcoholic said, “It’s okay, I’ve been here before, I know how to get out.”

Taking all of that into account, all of which I, wholeheartedly agree with, I am willing and able to get into the foulest putrid muck of the abyss, with you.

It is a place from which I have emerged, but not without someone who has been there. So the cycle continues, a seemingly catastrophic fracture of psyche takes us to unfamiliar territory, where the solid ground on which I once found firm and reliable is now quicksand. All of the survival mechanisms on which I had relied upon have evaporated. The primary reason, I have found was and continues to be my recent discovery of using things, people, activities to make me feel better. That I was maniacally self-centered and demanding that these things continue to do their magic. They inevitably fail, leaving me in nearly unbearable pain. The only things left are find something more satisfying or surrender.

I ask for help from God, and others who have shared their experience with me, elucidating the familiarity with my dilemma. I can sit in that dark place with you and share without fear and grow.

I’m getting there

Liberated from my self-interest, discovering the best and worst in myself, reentering reality and society, as a being, with something valuable to offer without consideration of what, I am to get out of it, only, that I know now that by being generous and grateful with others, we’re all better for it.

Bill W. and Dr. Bob were divinely inspired and have saved my life.

“We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection”

I have a long way to go!

Out of the mouth’s of babes

How I treasure the newcomer and hearing and reading about the stories of those still struggling with addiction.

Way back when almost before I could remember, I was told don’t give up before the miracle happens. Bah! I thought, I’ll never get over wanting to be impaired..ALL THE TIME!

Until the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, you will be stuck on stupid.

The newcomer is the life-blood of the program.

All of these sayings made little if any sense to me when I was early in recovery. I think I remember having an inkling about them that there was some intuition that made sense. I scoffed them off mostly as just slogans to help make newly sober/clean individuals feel better about being there and appreciated.

I am here to tell you, it is a miracle and it has happened to me. I not only have no desire to use or drink. I have forgotten what it feels like. Reality in all of it’s magnificence is so much more vibrant and well real. I’ll get back to my original point.

Listening to and reading here about the feelings, objections, reluctance, struggles questions and most of all the victorious breakthroughs. The lightbulb coming on. Is exhilarating. The feelings I experience are indescribable. To have the honor to be a witness to a person clawing their way out of the relentless death grip of addiction is an overwhelming joy.

The way this thing works is in my opinion divinely inspired. We come gather go through a, dare I say ritual of sorts, at the beginning of meeting and then depending on the type get on with the format. Ending most often with The Lord’s Prayer.

I hope I am able to give people hope that recovery from addiction and alcoholism is indeed possible and is a riotous fun adventure which should not be missed.

Thank you so much and “Keep Coming Back”

 

 

 

 

 

 

And acceptance is the answer

via Daily Prompt: Acceptance

I know this has probably been posted thousands of times, it is the one paragraph from the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous that saved me from picking up more times than I can count. And for this prompt, in my humble opinion, it bears repeating.

And acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation–some fact of my life –unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism (addiction), I could not stay sober (clean); unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world (reality), as in what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes. (response to reality).

I know, I know it was too easy but, go ahead, kick me while I’m down, it’s appropriate and I’ll thank you for it.

The Way It Is – Tesla

But for the Grace of…

The stark contrast of what I have become aware of as my natural self, ruled by ego and my earthly desires, and my true inner self, untouched by this mortal existence, is exasperating to observe. If I am left to my own decision making without cooperation with something beyond myself, I nearly extinguished this miracle of living tissue, my soul’s current accommodation, through absent minded abuse of toxic substances and behaviors.

By the grace of God, I was spared for no reason I can think of, other than that I may be able to make some sort of contribution to others of my kind. The process by which this revelation has come about still astounds me. Who The F%*k am I

“Poetic Justice
I walked out into the world that I thought I was going to ransack and rob of all it’s pleasures and satisfactions.
I had done what I intended, and now I found that it was I who was emptied and robbed and gutted.
What a strange thing! In filling myself, I had emptied myself. In grasping things, I had lost everything. In devouring pleasures and joys, I had found distress and anguish and fear.
And now, finally, as a piece of poetic justice, when I was reduced to this extremity of misery and humiliation, I fell into a love affair in which I was at last treated in the way I had treated not a few people in those last years.”
Thomas Merton
The Seven Storey Mountain

I have recognized that I once thought I was faultless and all of my problems were circumstances beyond my control, either people or situations. I know now through grace that I need to summon the power within my grasp to admit my human frailties and allow this unfathomable source to lead me to a more productive and meaningful life.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.

and some music

“For The Love of God”

 

I know Exactly What you Need

I am returning to the theme of wanting, too much, to help. Can I help?

In my encounter with someone, I care for and am paying attention to. I identify with the struggle that is apparently, to me, going on with you. I immediately relate to something I have experienced. I begin to formulate and present a plan of action to alleviate all of your problems.

 

I devise an elaborate plan to build a magnificent being from the shambles I presume. And I wonder why you suddenly are unreachable or react like I must be talking to somebody else.

 

Then I’m confused and bewildered as to why I can’t reach you. I know I recognize the pain in your eyes. I have deduced that you are interested in improving yourself. We are on similar paths. I know not exactly but close enough to be arrogant enough to think I have the answers you need.

 

You see I am afflicted with being a typical, however weird most of the time, Male of the species. I want to fix things. I want most to deliver solutions to perceived problems. When all that is really needed is understanding and expressing that what I am seeing is authentic and valid. I just need to be there and will be when you need.

a-sprout

I care about people and have defied, with His and others help, the death grip of addiction and self-absorption. I know you can too but it’s not my place to decide when and where.

To understand. To do my best to see. To be ready when the time is at hand.

I love ❤

 

 

 

Love is never wasted

This ramble was inspired by an interaction with a lovely soul, with whom I only encounter on social media. A hashtag on her post #wastedlove, cut me to the core. My immediate response was to comment. No love is wasted, it’s painful when unwanted. It was impromptu and from my heart.

From the prayer of Saint Francis11thstepprayer

I believe it is more important to love, although the The Longing is ever present and in my opinion provided by divine grace. That is all for now.