Just Another Recovering Person

Archive for July, 2009

The Pick-Up

The phone rings last night at 10pm.
It’s our son on the line calling from camp and wants to come home. It’s not homesickness but rather he is having problems with 2 other boys at camp whom are both older. I guess they were saying some things about his mother and it bothered him deeply.
I spoke to his scoutmaster and he said that they have all been going back and forth with one another.
I am frustrated and mad because I believe there has been no adult intervention on these incidents, they usually want the boys to work things out. That and I know David’s scoutmaster and I know he hasn’t said anything, that’s what pisses me off the most.
I made the decision to go and pick him up one day early. My son doesn’t call home crying unless he is miserable and something is really wrong.
I am picking him up today.

I hope you enjoy your weekend.
I will let you know what’s going on on Monday.
Take Care…..



I had no idea the camp was this far away as we drove out of town yesterday about an hour and a half. I had not been to this particular Boy Scout Camp. It’s called Camp Falling Rock. My wife and I talk about her day, my day, and the usual chit chat.

So we arrive and it truly is out in the middle of nowhere but what a beautiful camp it is. It wasn’t hard to find our son as it was time for all the troops to meet at the mess hall. They have a very organized schedule, and no boy is allowed to skip any meal.
We find him and sit down. We ask him what we are supposed to do or not do. He says he isn’t sure, that we can just hang out.
We were the only parents that came from his troop for this “Family Visit at Camp”. I’m not surprised. I’ve worked with these other boys for some time now and their parents just don’t care.

I know it sounds harsh, but it isn’t. Working with inner city kids, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are also known by another name. The Babysitters of America.
There is little to no parental involvement. Most children come from single parent homes, and they are impoverished. It doesn’t make them more or less than, I’m just saying most of the parents I have met don’t care.

I had given our son $20 for canteen purposes. They can go there and purchase pop, candy, creature comforts. During our visit, he asked if we had brought any money. I asked him why. He said…….

This is all I have left.
75 cents….
You spent $19.25 in two days buddy?
Yeah Dad….You don’t know what it’s like down there. (As he removes a Twix wrapper from his pocket) It’s very addicting.

I bet it is.
We gave him a few more dollars and told him he was going to have to make it last until Saturday. Poor guy, he just can’t help himself when it comes to the candy.
We stayed and visited a little while and it was time to go. We told him we would see him Saturday upon his return. My wife was not thrilled about leaving and later that evening would keep repeating…..I miss him.

I went to my home group last night after the trip. I saw my sponsor’s-sponsor there. I always enjoy seeing him and listening to him. He has been clean over 20 years and is just as real today about recovery as ever. There is no sense of “I’ve arrived at a different spiritual plane of existence than you” which I deeply respect.
As I sat there I realized I had 2 guys I sponsor, my sponsor was there, and his sponsor was there. It’s not like a “Powerful Sponsor Family” or “Sponsor Mafia” it was more like I had evidence in front of me that the program works.
We read Chapter 7 last night, Recovery and Relapse. It is a long and full chapter of not so much what to do if a relapse were to happen. It is more a chapter of all of the indicators that lead up to the physical relapse itself. The last thing to happen is the drug itself.

Emotional and Spiritual lapses lead to the physical use of drugs.
The program provides the emotional stability I so badly need, and our problem deals with a spiritual solution.
Daily maintenance is not a suggestion, it is a requirement.

Take Care.

Channeled by Whoopi Goldberg

I read a post yesterday from a recovering person who lost her son to what appeared to be an accidental hanging in February of this year. I cannot imagine the heartbreak of an event like this. It has been said many times the worst possible reality for a parent is to bury one of their children.

I read another post from a person whose wife had passed way leaving a husband and 2 children. Shortly before her death she spoke to her husband about the afterlife or lack thereof. She had said that in the event that there wasn’t an afterlife, that when she died that all ceased, that being here with them was beautiful and it was enough.

Reading both of these posts on the heels of the post I made yesterday in which I told you that I know of at least 4 times I should have died and yet I am still here.
I have no idea the whys and whens of death. I stopped thinking about it.

Until now.

Everyone has an opinion on death.
I have found most people don’t care for it.
The hardest part of someone dying is them leaving. I am left with the memories of what is, what was, and what could be. That’s the difficult part. The second guessings of life. Not talking to the person enough, not having said what I wanted to or should have. How did they really feel about our relationship, how did they feel about me?

This isn’t even considering the fact of what I believe happens or doesn’t happen when we die.
I’ve told my wife I’d like to come back as a house cat who is taken care of by a little old lady.
Knowing my luck I’d come back as an alley cat whom is terrorized by children.
It’s not that I believe in reincarnation……but I’d like not to rule it out.

I’d rather not bet the farm on anyone thing.
After all, I could be wrong.
What is the secret, The smile on the hanged mans lips?
This really has nothing to do with my belief in God or a HP or anything else.
What it comes down to is I am addicted to certainties.
I’d like to think that there is more than in the end, than me just closing my eyes and it all goes dark. Being a carbon based form science would tell me differently.
Maybe I have a spirit or a will that wants to continue on in some other form of energy or conscience.
Maybe I would become a ghostly figure, doomed to roam the halls of some property for all eternity because I am restless.
Maybe Whoopi Goldberg would channel me like she did Patrick Swayze.

Then again, maybe I don’t want to be channeled by Whoopi Goldberg.

I’m not sure what happens. No one has come back to tell me. It doesn’t however take away the pain of someones death no matter how much humor or light I try to make to quell my own fears.
I have had to bury friends and family members since getting clean, as early as 4 months clean, I lost my grandmother.
I have found that there is no amount of spiritual awareness, not enough friends, not enough meetings, not enough of any one thing to ease that pain. I need a relationship with something more for that. Something I can sit quietly with and cry, grieve and tell these fears to. Something I can try to find solace in a sea of chaos and storm of life.

I need something……..
And it’s not Whoopi Goldberg.

Take Care…….Bob D.

The Phone Call

Before you sit down this morning armed with the information you have compiled after endless Internet searches from Google, Ask, and Yahoo to further the cause there are some things I’d like to get off my chest.

Try writing from the heart.

I guess I’m fed up with the mindless, ongoing efforts of some bloggers to continue posting the same material over and over to make a fruitless point.
While you continue to pull random facts of nothingness from the air, the world continues to turn in spite of your efforts and fears. It is fear after all that drives the cause isn’t it? Fear or lack of acceptance?

If you hate, then you are full of hate.

Continue to rage against the machine, it suits you. Raise up your hammer and anvil and pound out the words you use in mental manipulation as you fabricate the new language and answers to age old problems.  Trapped by misinformed ideas, iconic imagery, and a understanding that has slipped past you, the rage that you desperately blog about will in the end destroy the medium in which you find so much comfort and solace in. As your fingers fly furiously over the keyboard it drowns out the subtle ringing of the phone in the back ground.

Guess what……It’s you life calling.

Sorry for the above rant. I read so many informative and helpful posts here, the mindless ones just stick out like a sore thumb. It has nothing to do with any paticular subject matter, mindless is mindless.

The phone rang last night and it was our son calling from camp. I became concerned because he hasn’t called in the past that I recall. My wife immediately sat up. He was calling to let us know that today (Wednesday) is family night at camp and wanted to know if we could come to see him. I told him we would be there. I talked to the scout master and he said he had been moping around a bit. Poor guy. He comes home Saturday and it seems he is already homesick. I told my wife it would be ok, we would go see him.

I think I’m an open minded guy. I guess the rant was just something that was overdue. People are going to continue to do what they will with or without me reading their posts. Still I feel better.

Have a good day.

One Promise

Sitting in the beauty parlor last night waiting for my wife and daughter to get their eyebrows done, listening to this late teen-early 20 something boyfriend of the stylist talk about how he just did 9 days in the County Workhouse didn’t set well with me. I mean this is a place of business and I still have a good mind to call the manager and let them know. I mean he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I felt bad for his girlfriend, she was pretty, and had settled for that.

Sounds judgemental doesn’t it?
I don’t know the circumstances behind his vacation courtesy of the county.
All I can do is make judgements based on pictures and information.
It’s like Internet dating and wondering why the other person will only send a portrait and not a whole body shot….There is always something to hide.

It’s kinda like that for a recovering person who may still be facing the stigma of being an addict. I am reminded by the literature that this stigma will be the last to go. I will always be known or remembered by someone, somewhere of the guy who did this or that. Who hurt this person or that person, who stole this, lied about that, cheated his way into or out of this, who was nothing more than a dope head, a drug addict.

Sounds pretty grim, but in that there is some form of comfort.
What am I trying to say? I’m trying to say no matter how many amends are made and accepted, there will always be some level of guilt or shame I will have to deal with in my lifetime as a recovering person.
Some folks won’t or don’t accept amends and I am left with the residuals of those incomplete amends. There are some folks that won’t or can’t be found or talked to based on further harm.

I find a comfort and a peace by simply knowing that I have made my peace with those I can to the best of my ability. I find comfort in knowing there is a HP who for whatever reason has decided I should be allowed to stay another day, because the kicker to all of this is……

There will come a time when I won’t have a full 24 hours.

I should be dead.
I counted 4 times that I know of that I should have died and didn’t.
Luck is for losers and there is no such thing as a coincidence.
I say this not to brag, too often we do this in sharing our story. I do this today to remind myself of the gifts I have been given as a result of effort.
There are programs that offer a lot of promises which I believe can be simply explained as dong the next right thing for the right reasons, and as a result my life becomes more manageable and livable.
NA only promised me one thing, Only 1:

Freedom from Active Addiction

The other things I worked for. Working a daily recovery program and continuing to do what has worked for others. Too often there is a new fad, a reinvention of the wheel, a new book explaining in twisted words the same principles that have worked since the formation of the 12 Step Program:

God     Self     Service     Society

The same things work:
Don’t Use     Go To Meetings     Read the Literature     Get a Sponsor
Get Involved     Work Steps with a Sponsor    

It hasn’t changed, nor likely will it.
One Promise.
I can live with that this 24 hours.

Take Care…….Bob D.

Sign Here……

A lot on my mind today.

I saw where President Obama is going to have the professor and the police officer who are in the middle of alleged racial tensions in Massachusetts over to the White House for a beer. I think it would be really cool if they got hammered and had like an old west bar room brawl in the oval office……
Now that would neat. Come on close your eyes and just visualize it.

I’m not in the best spiritual condition I could be. I’m putting forth the effort but really just trying to muddle through.
Our house was egged twice over the weekend.We have set up a video camera to try and catch the girls doing it on tape.  My wife and I had an argument over some nonsense, mostly my feelings being hurt and being perplexed by my daughters actions. My daughter stole money out of my wallet and my son, my wonderful son who has been a source of strength for me the past 3 months or so left for boy scout camp for a week on Sunday.

Work has been a hassle. I feel like I’m spinning my wheels in so many areas. The bright spot of the weekend was the meeting last night. I got a little emotional about some things I’ve mentioned and it helped. Too often I want to still keep things inside, out of fear of what others think and in the end it does absolutely no good.
I met one of the guys I sponsor before the meeting and we reviewed his 3rd Step. NA’s Step Working Guide is an invaluable tool because it allows throught the nature of our own writings to allow insight into our own thoughts revealed in writing.
I have found most folks believe in something because at one point in time or another we place blame and anger on the very thing we say we don’t believe in….A Higher Power.
Funny if I don’t believe in it….Why am I so angry with it?

We talked about Sponsorship and Fear. These are powerful subjects because Fear is a common denominator in addicts. It is one of the main sources of character defects.
Sponsorship is the heart of the program. There are things that cannot be done without a sponsor. I realize some would say it’s just a suggestion to have a sponsor. I would say from experience those who don’t have a sponsor usually aren’t around long enough to hear any other suggestions.
If a person in recovery is sponsoring themselves, well, I sponsored myself for 38 years and it helped get me to NA to start with so I would imagine self-sponsorship would eventually lead me away from NA.

I had another guy ask me to sponsor him after this meeting. I guess my HP wants me to be in this guys life. Maybe it’s so I can get out of myself and stop fussing over the problems I have and help someone else.
Self-Pity is one of the most draining defects of all. It will drain us of all positive energy. It’s not that my problems aren’t important, they are. It’s when they dominate my life, my thinking, and right now they are. It makes me feel like my life is spinning out of control and I hate that feeling.

It’s like what my sponsor says to me……

I have to keep moving my life forward in spite of how I feel about things. My feelings will bog me down to the point I don’t want to move forward, become complacent, and complacency is a dangerous area. I can lull myself into thinking that things just aren’t paying off the way I would like and that somehow getting high would fix that.

That would be signing my own death warrant.

Take Care……Bob D.

Because of the Eggs

So as I come in the door and my son is telling me that drama has invaded once again it only confirmed what I had felt all day.

I want to be anywhere but here.

Accusations, girl drama, boyfriends, Bitch, Fuck You……….

This is what we dealt with last night. 15 and 16 year old girls and girls talking to other girls boyfriends, hollering, calling each other out. My daughter called 2 girls out last night and neither one would do anything. I am of the belief that you can only stand around and call each other names for so long before it breaks down.

I shut the door. We had month long talks about this. Associations, friends who aren’t friends. We also talked about social skills and what was appropriate and what wasn’t. My wife said maybe I should go out there and break it up. I said no. My daughter and her friends painted themselves into a corner that only they can get out of. I knew it was coming, it was just a question of when.

3 of her friends walked away, walked away from her. I could care less if they ever come back around again. She feels the same way. we tried to tell her, but as it is with all of us, we learn in our own time.

So I woke up late.
Opened the front door and found our house had been egged last night.
So I spent the first part of my morning cleaning eggs off of our windows.
I was late for work.
Because of the eggs.
I have a bad feeling all hell is going to break loose today.

I wish I could come up with some fantastic spiritual solution but it isn’t within my reach right now.
I could run and hide in a meeting and bring up a self-centered topic about how I don’t know how to deal with this, but I don’t feel like that’s what I’m supposed to do.
I think the events are supposed to unfold. I have to let her be 15 and deal with the consequences of this mess.
Hell I’ve egged someones house before.

Too bad I waited till Halloween to do it.
I didn’t realize it could be done anytime.

I’ll keep you posted.

Take Care…….