Faith

Here is the 4th in my series on spiritual principles.

Faith to know beyond knowing, beyond the intellectual mind. Faith is described in the New testament- Hebrews 11: 1 Now faith is the conviction concerning those things that are in hope as if it were these things in action* and the revelation of those things that are unseen. Frome the Aramaic Bible in Plain English.

This where in the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous suggests we Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the are of God as we understand Him. In the beginning, I was ready because my best thinking got me to the point of Surrender and the resulting arrival of a new Honesty with myself.

At this point in my recovery, I believe that I was always have been under the care and protection of Him. So for me, Step three is a daily dedication to cooperating with that Power instead of ignoring, or discounting it all together.

On a mindfulness angle, we’re talking about manifesting abundance. Raising my vibration and what have you. I just say it differently. If I am positive and I know it, positive things happen. Mind you things happen that may not seem positive while they’re happening, but experience has shown that even what seems like the worst imaginable, has turned out for the best.

I blogger I was recently followed by, and I, of course, followed back, wrote a lovely piece that is an excellent example of faith Mind over Matter  See I consider it a miracle that she followed just today, Easter Sunday 2017 Thank you!

“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! ❤

 

Do you Like?

I decided to start sharing on this site, as a creative outlet. I found that I had composed a few ideas that seemed to resonate with more fellow travelers than I expected. Initially, though, the idea was to write a book about who I have become through addiction, recovery, and life on it’s own terms.

Finding WordPress changed that, for now, into a series of blog posts, with similar objectives. In addition, I thought too, that some, if they found it, might be helped. Which is, I have found to be my recently discovered passion. I have learned that I love service to others, in my business (landscape maintenance) and in my endeavor to stay active in recovery from addiction.

Almost immediately, two unexpected dynamics emerged. 1. I want and crave madly for all of you to like my posts. And 2. That in order to develop any kind of following I have to read and respond to other bloggers, which turned out to be as much, if not more work than, formulating, composing, revising, editing any post I might devise.

Further on up the road, I have found that I absolutely love reading all of you whom I follow. I love reading and responding to items of interest. I honestly look forward to more and am, sincerely grateful for all of you, who follow me.

Happy New Year?

The mood was dark and somber. Another year had passed, we were all still stuck “On Stupid”.

The following is a composition I wrote for a writing class in September 1997. The events took place New Years Eve 1993. I am editing today as I transcribe from the paper I turned in…SOME SITUATIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS ARE DISTURBING AND FOR A MATURE AUDIENCE

Happy New Year?

The air was thick and still. A fog had settled onto West Capital Boulevard. Across the Sacramento River from the capital city of California, it was in another county, another world. Two thousand motel rooms line the next two miles of road, which I affectionately referred to as, West Crack and Smack.

The year was 1993, New Years Eve. The mighty Jester of the cosmos had guided my path into severe addiction. I was, at that time, a crack cocaine addict, and was selling heroine to help support my habit. I sold my wares, late at night to prostitutes and others on the strip. My supplier handled the demand during the day. Everyone on the street goes by an alias, mine was Pollo, “Chicken” in Spanish. Cavaillo, was my supplier and “mentor”. Little did I know, at that time, that there had been many just like me, to arrive on the scene, then to disappear without a trace, beaten, broke and used. The street takes it’s toll, Cavaillo and the others knew what was happening, I was headed to “the curb”.

Tonight, I was on my way to a room at the Pacific Motel for a celebration of sorts. Crystal, one of the old-timers on the street had invited me to a small gathering. She had been trying to get close to me ever since I arrived two months prior to the evening’s festivities. Victoria, was the girl who introduced me to Cavaillo and was very careful, before tonight, to keep me clear of other girls on the street. Vicky and I had a falling out, due to my discovering that she had been stealing from me. I caused a commotion, that led to me being arrested for possession of paraphernalia, and Vicky high tailed it away just before the cops showed up. That was Christmas Eve. Vicky knew all the crack dealers and she kept me away from them so I couldn’t score without her. She used Crack and was addicted to heroine. Tonight, however I was free to do as I pleased, I chose to hang out with Crystal and her friends.

The mood was dark and somber. Another year had passed, we were all still stuck  “On Stupid”. Next year would be better, maybe. We were lonely people, doing our best to fill the void by surrounding ourselves with others of our kind. I sensed a phony attitude of optimism about the future, but that was probably just me. I arrived fairly early, only Crystal and a man named Bill were there, when I got there. Bill was a tall man with a medium build. He wore a cowboy hat, so I naturally kind of looked up to him, due to my background on the ranch. He was very polite and friendly. I assumed that he was one of Crystal’s regular customers. Crystal was wearing something flimsy. One could see the lines of experience on her face. She had dirty blonde hair, cut fairly short, and with a dated style. The was an aura of independent wisdom about her. She was resourceful, confident and had a cynical sense of humor. Crystal greeted me and made me comfortable.

The room had two beds, a small table a dresser and a TV. Small talk ensued before the arrival of more participants in our modest celebration. A quiet knock on the door interrupted our conversation. Crystal got up and let them in. Larry and Rex were introduced. These two were meth addicts, the looked virtually the same. They were emaciated, wearing torn faded jeans, grayish white tee shirts and old sneakers. their hair was dirty and stringy. They were in constant fidget mode. I thought that they would jump right out of their skin at any moment. They were talking about how someone had done them wrong and the revenge they would get. I thought to myself that they were doing the easy part, talking about it.

Just then, came another knock on the door. It was Brian, he appeared normal enough, wearing a Polo shirt and khaki slacks. It turns out Brian was only there for service by Crystal. They politely excused themselves to the bathroom. I remember being surprised at how quickly the “deed” was done. Then Brian was out the door as quickly as he had arrived.

The conversation was dwindling, as we all really didn’t have anything of substance to talk about. My pager went off, time to go to work. I dialed the number on the display. It was Beth; she was new, only for me as she had recently gotten out of jail. We made arrangements for a rendezvous. The addicts love me. I sold Cavaillo’s dope, the best on the street, but I also answered and delivered quickly. This is vital, when a junky is dope-sick from the onset of withdraw. I did well selling heroine, as long as I did not smoke up my bas capital for another batch. It was time to go though, Beth would be waiting, just a few blocks down the road. I rode a bicycle, I found that this attracted less attention than a car, or in my case and small truck. I found Beth, and the transaction went smoothly.

I was on my way back, when the lights of a police car, came on behind me. Fear clenched my heart and sent a spike into my gut. I was carrying about $900 worth of dope, prepared into packages for sale, and $600 in cash. Cavaillo had coached me well for times such as these. The dope was stashed, none, too comfortably, in my crotch. The money was folded neatly in the palm of my hand, under my riding glove. I stopped and waited patiently for the officer to get to where I was. It was not far but everything was now, moving in slow-motion, or at least it seemed so. He asked to see my I.D. and said seen me talking to Beth. He inquired about my knowledge of her history. I played stupid. He commenced to pat me down, while asking if I had any weapons. He told me that Beth was a known prostitute; “really?” lol 😀 He put the handcuffs on me and had me sit down while he went back to the squad to check for any warrants on me. After what seemed like half an hour, he came back and took the cuffs of and told me that I was in the system but there were no warrants. “Get a light on that bike, and go straight home” he told me. “Yes sir” I responded, and off I went into the fog.

What the hell am I doing here?  I thought to myself. The next thing I thought about was getting a nice big hit of cocaine smoke into me and I could forget everything while the rush hit me. It was all that really mattered to me. Escape from reality. That is exactly what I did. The party was still going on when I got back. I told everyone about my encounter with the police, and how clever I had been to travel light with nowhere really to search. We all laughed and carried on; I would get a lot of mileage out of that story and still am lol 😀 We all went out to eat breakfast and I went to bed.

I remember this night as a reflection of my state of mind at that time. To some it may be disturbing. Maybe sick, twisted, even immoral. To me nothing else mattered but getting high and keeping the ways and means intact to continue. I was running away from how I felt. Quite an exercise in futility, at least doing it in that way.. It was, however, very necessary, as I look back on it today. I have grown to have a deep appreciation for life and no longer have a need to escape how I feel. I am looking for, (pilgrimage), and finding ways to make a contribution to life instead of demanding life contribute to me. I have embarked on a path to improve my life, with it’s incumbent fits and starts, and to connect with others. I am immensely grateful for my new found attitude, and am willing to share my discoveries with anyone who cares to listen. We are here, I believe, to love, learn and all laugh at the joke that the mighty jester shows us.

Peace

Jeff

 

 

 

Who The F%*k am I

Hi how are you?…no! I am serious How are you doing, feeling, etc?  I am interested.

Welcome to my blog. I have invited all to share in my ramblings and musings about my journey of self discovery. At this point, I shall inform you a little, (nearly all) about myself.

I entered this realm in Denver Colorado at the end of the 1950’s. I grew up mostly in southern California (across the orange curtain) Newport and Irvine to be precise. I remember riding my bicycle on I 405 between Culver and Jeffrey before it was finished. I am among a unique demographic that rode the Pink Bus to the beach during summer.

I spent my high school years in rural northern California, Butte County. I cherish those years and feel very fortunate to have been exposed to the business and life of food production. Sadly at this point in my life I felt lacking somehow, I didn’t know it at the time but as I look back, I know it to be true. My response to that was drinking and smoking weed, to alleviate my perceived inadequacy.

The consequences of the use of substances, was not getting enough credits to graduate high school with my class. Now what? Let’s move! Ha ha! The geographic solution, often attempted, never really works. But I digress lol

I moved back to southern California to live with my dad, who has traveled the world as a mining engineer. He got me a job in the factory that built the rock bits, that he helped design. …This is going on way too long

Let’s see if I can pick up the pace here. Keeping in mind that my addiction continues to progress with brief interruptions, in the form of crisis, moving, general chaos and running out of money. Bought and crashed a new car, lost my job, started in the hospitality field as bellman and busboy, my car got repossessed, gained and lost love and reached the end of any good will left from my family due to abusing their generosity, without any gratitude.

I joined the navy during peacetime in 1980 and managed to get discharged under less than honorable conditions. Upon leaving service, I was graciously offered a position as a hand on my step fathers, soon to be acquired cattle ranch in central Nevada. It was a 2,500 cow operation with 5,000 acres and permits for grazing on 25,000 acres of Federal Government land. I spent a day helping feed the cows, we started before dawn and didn’t finish until after dark. I was smoking weed the entire time. The deal on that ranch fell through and My step dad felt obligated to do something so He allowed me to stay on another ranch he had in Oregon.

While there I got my girlfriend pregnant twice, witnessed and experienced the trauma of terminating those. Bought an ATV wrecked it got another one and nearly killed myself and a neighbor’s son wrecking that one.

Moved back to the Sacramento area where my family lived and started back in the restaurant business, busing and waiting tables. I decided to venture into the back of the house and found a place where my people dwell and thrive. I got help to go to Culinary School and nearly made it through that program before I screwed that up. I did manage to learn quite a bit and was doing well with a job in the restaurant where I was doing an internship with a pastry chef.

The details of what and how much I used are, in my opinion irrelevant. From the stories I have heard at meetings, It all leads back to The Longing . The reason I used drugs, which led to the most severe consequences, but also using people and things to help me feel okay. Wow okay here is where Happy New Year? is inserted

They told me not to smoke crack and now I live in Minnesota..No place I’d rather be.

July 24 1994 I arrived at MSP Minneapolis/Saint Paul International Airport. I was met by a fellow from Hazelden and I was going to find my bride in treatment, Oh my F’n God what a sick puppy I was, I really thought that…She could relate to my plight and I to her’s There’s a reason we’re told not to enter into any kind of loving relationship within the first year of continuous sobriety. One just does not have the emotional maturity to deal with those feelings and it just ends up being another addiction. I recommend more than 18 Months or better yet don’t do it until you don’t want to.

I struggled a bit early on and relapsed a couple times then gained about 2 years of continuous clean/sobriety. During that time I was introduced to meditation and learned about not being attached to results. It was about this time that I started to work in the front of the house of a restaurant in Minneapolis. That is when I began to think I could just drink and maybe smoke a little herb and not have any problems. I am just now realizing that the issue of my separation from my true eternal self  was driving me to seek fulfillment with and from the people I was cavorting with. I was of course disappointed, leading to discomfort /pain to the degree that only using could give me relief.

I was off again to the dope man. I was on a binge that lasted a few months, which landed me back into inpatient treatment at Hazelden. I emerged fairly humiliated and dejected. I wasn’t done. I had to go out one more time briefly when, at that time a new model of treatment had been introduced by some fellows I had met in meetings.

The Retreat in Wayzata  http://www.theretreat.org/  that uses the “Big Book” Alcoholics Anonymous as the guide by having residents work through the twelve steps just as the first 100 alcoholics did.

This worked I have been clean/sober ever since. This is only a prelude to my actual “awakening” I ambled along mostly unaware and using the principles I had been taught to stay sober and mostly spiritually fit. The key being is that I remained sober.

That is what is was like and what happened.

I got married fathered 2 daughters and still made several poor decisions that lead to my getting divorced. Follow my updates to learn more if you like