Just Another Recovering Person

Archive for December, 2009

NYE 2009-A Year’s Worth of Thoughts


Well, another year has come and will soon be gone. I am sure there will be a million blogs about important things like “The Year in Review”, “Dead Celebrities”, and “Most Shocking Moments”. I have already seen posts about “Foods of the Year” and “2009 Top Fail List”. I’m sure there will be plenty on Tiger, Michael Jackson, Terrorism, Obama, and Health Care to name a few. But what about in your day-to-day living? What stands out to you about 2009?

2009 has been a mixed year. It has been the most challenging year in recovery so far. By challenging I don’t mean the feeling or desire to use, that has been lifted. Although, there is the desire to change the way I feel about myself. In the 3rd Tradition, it talks about the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using……Today I have a desire to stop using:

1) Anger
2) Fear
3) Self-Pity
4) Justification
5) Excessive Spending
6) Lust
7) Manipulation
8) Ego
9) Guilt
10) Self-Centeredness

During this year I have been able to travel, be around others and not feel as lonely or isolated. I have been able to push past feelings that I am not doing enough in recovery. That I have self-worth that I don’t need to measure or compare to others. That I have positive contributions to make.
I have dealt with my daughter being diagnosed as being BiPolar, and am learning to deal with all of the family issues that surround that. I have come to understand that the disease of addiction is centered in my thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. I have been able to make some amends and continue with what I have started and then finish what I start.

I have met wonderful people here, and in other places who let me know that despite what I may be going through or what I may be feeling that I am not alone. That together we can face any adversity and not have to use over that challenge. That the things that happen or will happen to me are not personal, that it is just this thing called life.

The greatest gift I have received, and I believe that I will ever receive is the gift to feel like a human being again. Our literature talks about how our living skills were reduced to the animal level. Note it says Living Skills not Living Situations. Too often we confuse this in an effort to portray how “Bad” we were by being homeless or destitute. It’s not that some of us didn’t go to this extreme, but I need to remember the downward spiral began inside well before it affected the outside.

I’m not nervous anymore about speaking tonight. I know that my HP will lead the talk in the direction it needs to go. If I try to add my own spin on it I usually end up sounding like an idiot.

After the talk tonight I will go home and watch Dick Clark, Ryan, and Fergie do their thing. It wouldn’t be NYE without that.

I woke up this morning to a blanket of fresh snow that clung to the tree’s. I thought to myself, how the snow makes everything seem fresh and new again. That is my hope for you, that at some point today, you will feel renewed. That the sense of comfort, that today, just today, things are the way they should be versus what they could have been.

Happy New Year
Bob D.

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One Voice in a Society


I got home last night at 7:30 after an 11 hour day. Tired and cold, my wife is farming on Farmville and my son is in a firefight on CODMW2. I smell something cooking but couldn’t tell you what it is…My mind is someplace else.

I have been obsessing over this talk tomorrow night for the NYE event. To the point of distraction. My friend Bela who has a blog on here made a valid point in a conversation with a friend who told him, “I want to be famous”. Bela’s translation of this, and it is fitting, is that this person meant they would rather be immortal. Makes sense. What I want is to say something so profound people will remember it. I am placing my ego ahead of the primary purpose of why someone is asked to speak at an NA event. No one person speaks on behalf of NA, rather I am asked to speak about me. I am asked to tell a little about what it was like, what happened, and what it is like today in no certain order.

All of the times I have spoken I have not dwelled on past events. I have not spoken about using for 45 minutes and then saved the last 10 minutes for, “How great my life is today”. I have never believed in that. I have tried to focus more on our literature and what it means or how it applies to my recovery today. I needed to remind myself of this here, even if it only makes me accountable to myself. In writing, when I put thoughts down in front of myself to re-read, I can sort them out better.

Here is a thought…If no one person speaks on behalf of NA, how is it one person feels they can speak on the ills of NA and it have any weight?
I am told we are a fellowship, or society of men and women. One person’s voice against the noise of society is just that…more noise. I am glad I belong to a group whose voice is carried by the productive, drug free lives of 10’s of thousands.

Short week this week. One more day and a 3 day weekend. Our area’s convention is this weekend as well. I may stop by on Saturday and see what is going on. I’ve been to a few convention’s but it’s really just not my thing. I think we spend a lot of time, money and effort to put these things on to celebrate recovery, when everyday is a celebration in itself. I mean, Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.

Homegroup is tonight. I did not make it there last week due to a stomach virus, and the Holiday. It will be nice to see everyone and check in.
I hope you enjoy your Wednesday.

Take Care…..Bob D.

Something Funny Happened between Amanda Bynes and Me


I’ve been writing a blog for almost 4 years now. I think it’s like 3 and a half. I first started on MySpace then dropped it and came here. I’ve written about a lot of different subjects. Some are very serious, others lighthearted, some just down right slanted on a topic or politics. Never in my wildest dreams would my post in jest about Amanda Bynes received so many hits my graph is off the chart. I came up with it in 2 minutes as a joke and it has been my most viewed blog to date. Maybe I should write comedy? Maybe Amanda Bynes will want to meet me or worse yet sue me? Ahhh…I don’t have anything anyway.

Phone calls from guys I sponsor are always interesting. If you are looking for me to divulge someone’s deep, dark secrets on here, you are in the wrong place. There is a thing that a few of us on here still possess…..Integrity.
Guys I sponsor don’t work for me, wash my car, walk my dog, babysit my kids, or any of that other bullshit I have heard that some choose to do. They act as if sponsorship is a way to pimp lives, it’s more along the lines of helping someone find their life, because I can’t save anyone.

The first guy I sponsored relapsed and hasn’t been seen in over 2 years. It was difficult to deal with the emotion involved because I truly wanted to help, I wanted to help too much. I forgot that I am powerless over someone else’s choices. It’s like posts on here. I see a lot of posts about what doesn’t seem to work and why, but no viable solutions. It’s always easy to bash something that has been invented, I would like to see the same energy used to invent something else that works.

In talking with guys I am reminded of the same thoughts and feelings that I had early on. Hell, I still have them. This is what leads me to believe that despite what the naysayers would have me believe about “All the evidence to the contrary” the voices of those I hear whom I sponsor, people who are close to me, posts I read here, let me know that there is something more to this than just “Simple Abstinence”.

 Work is work, and home is home. I came home last night to find my wife and son, both in pajama’s, playing video games and being supremely lazy. I felt jealous. I’m back a t work freezing my ass off while they are at home goofing off all day. I did watch “District 9” last night. Excellent movie. Might watch “The Soloist” tonight.

Anyway…Thanks Amanda for showing me that humor, laughter, is the best medicine afterall. Now I can say something funny happened between Amanda Bynes and me and not be  lying.

Peace.
Bob D.

Butterflies, Andy Williams, and Diseased Thinking=Me


For some reason I can’t get the song, “Happy Holidays” by Andy Williams out of my head. It’s probably because there is a local radio station here that plays Christmas music 24hrs a day from Thanksgiving until the day after Christmas and my wife seems to believe that the radio dial is stuck there during this time……

Back to work after a week of vacation and NYE is approaching. I told you I have been asked to speak at our area’s NYE event this year and I am already nervous. It’s a big event. I guess I keep going over things in my mind that some “Special” message is required because of the day or the event and I am reminded that a simple, honest message of recovery is what works. It doesn’t need to be themed or full of ideas gathered around a Holiday in particular, it just needs to be honest.

My thoughts don’t control or determine outcomes. In the past I would sit and think. “I bet this person thinks this or that about me” when in reality it’s really what I thought about myself. When we talk about “The Disease of Addiction” I have come to understand what we are really talking about is my diseased thinking. Our literature tells us that honesty is the antidote to our diseased thinking. At some point, after the drugs are removed, the physical crave or addiction is removed…We are left to deal with the thinking common place to most addicted people.

Obsession

The countless stream of the same thoughts occurring over and over again. This is what I hope to be prepared against during my daily routine. Am I crazy? Maybe. Is there something wrong with me? Probably. But the idea is that the Spiritual Awakening we hear about is not a parting of the heavens and divinity in the form of lightning, it is the transformation of a person as they recover. This is my understanding.

We talk a lot about wanting to be understood. That we feel that if people only understood us that we could make our way through life at a much easier rate…”If she only understood what I was going through”…This is the example of self-centeredness that runs to our very core. In the end, who really gives a shit….unless I understand my place in the world and the lives of those around me?

Living by principles isn’t easy, nor was it intended to be. There are times (more than I care to admit) that I have the Fuck-It’s. I just don’t care, want to be left alone to my own devices, don’t want to be in recovery, don’t want to say I’m an addict and all that jazz. I want to run, hide, and be lazy. I want to be dishonest and hurt people on purpose. I want to spend money I don’t have, have sex with people at will, and be a general fuck-up. But, I know where it all ends. I’ve been there. I just don’t like the way I feel after it’s all done.

Transformation is odd, isn’t little butterfly?
Funny, I see Pee-Wee Herman’s face photoshopped on a Monarch Butterfly………………Still Sick.

Have a Great Day.

Thoughts on Christmas 2009


Well it has come and went, Christmas, that is. Another Holiday down and the New Year fast approaching…….

Our house has been a buzz of activity (No pun intended) and I sit here the day after with toys, parts of toys, gravy stains, and a sense that in the 41 years I have been alive that I can say I truly enjoyed this Christmas most of all. It’s not because of some gadget I got or what we were able to do or not do this year for our kids, it was the sense of peace I had in that I survived Christmas Eve with my wife’s crazy family and the cat hadn’t ate the artificial tree to the point of hurling.

Really, it was more the idea that I was able to sit still and take it all in. I thought this year might have been a bust. 2 of us were sick 2 days before Christmas with some stomach virus that had us in the bathrooms for a large portion of the day. The present’s got wrapped in record time, and the company wasn’t that bad. There was one bad drug joke that I thought was inappropriate made by someone I see once a year, but quite frankly I’ve gotten use to it by now.

I’m not going to bore you with a long post of each present being unwrapped. You have your own memories of loved one’s for that, rather I will talk about 2 things:

1) A Christmas Story is still the funniest movie even though I have seen it 10,000 times.
2) Don’t be too quick to hurry out Aunt’s and Uncle’s that you don’t see, especially when they offer to take your 15-year-old daughter to Florida for a week so that Christmas Break is actually that.

Yes my daughter left for Florida yesterday courtesy of one of our family members. Tell her to pack for a week. You don’t mind, do you? Uhhhh…No, be my guest.

Last but not least there is always a reminder of the season. I am not a religious person, and won’t start now, but if Christmas is intended to remind us that we should live by “Peace on Earth, and Good Will to Men” then it can’t be all that bad.

 I hope you and your families enjoyed themselves…
Merry Christmas…..Bob D.

4 Years Clean


Yesterday I was going to write a nasty post. I don’t know why, I had just read enough bullshit on here to want to say hurtful things. Instead I thought about what was right. What is right in this case is, Misery loves company.
With that being said the following is true, but loaded with sarcasm….

I remember folks like you. I remember sitting beside you in a bar, a club, a dopehouse on this very day 4 years ago. I remember you trying to talk to me, telling me your woes and how it is everyone elses fault that life is not working out for you. I nodded my head in agreement to a giant chorus of “Fuck You” to life and the world. I remember you telling me how this or that didn’t work and why. How we’re smarter than the rest. We could talk in slang or scholarly terms. We could quote famous people who did great things, or sing along to a favorite song that was about nothing more than booze and broads, drugs and guns.

Something happened though…
Your voice became silent. It became non-existent because I could no longer listen to your ramblings, because mine became more important. So I sat with myself, in a car at 5am on December 19th and looked at the thing starring back at me.
Funny, I had no company for this misery then.

I went to rehab, joined a cult called NA and had my brainwashed…..

Actually I cried beside a detox bed first at the shambles I had made of my life. The people who loved me my whole life, flashed before my eyes as the self-pity told me it could not be done. That it was only a matter of time before I used again, preferably sooner than later.
I went to a meeting in desperation. I had not time to question if David Koresh or Harry Potter was the President of NA, I wanted help.
I do not know of one person who has went to a 12 Step meeting of any kind because their life was what they wanted it to be in one form or another.
I didn’t roll out of the club at 2am saying, “I am having such a good time in life I will drop by an NA meeting to see what I am missing”.

At my second meeting I met a guy who took an interest in a confused addict on the brink of death. I asked him to sponsor me. In New Age Recovery terms this sponsor would be called an “Abstinence Coach”, but I don’t have to pay him for ongoing relapse prevention services or DVD’s.

I questioned a lot of things. I questioned the program, God, Steps, service work…all of it. There are 2 things that stood out that I will share with you that I haven’t before that made me stop doubting the NA Program of recovery.

1) My first year clean I had a fight with my wife and I drove to a Walgreen’s and sat in the parking lot with a feeling in my stomach that I had felt before. What it was is that I realized that even though the drugs had been removed, I had not changed as a person, that all the behaviors were still there, I was still hurting the one’s I loved and was hurting them clean. That drug use was really just a symptom of a much deeper issue…….Me.

2) When I went over my 4th Step with my sponsor and felt like someone had been put into my life that cared whether I lived or died on a different level. Being spiritually dead and having an awaking of the spirit in the sense that of all the things I had done in my life, that moment, the earth didn’t open up and swallow me whole. This person did not judge, nor laugh at me. He made me see what I couldn’t see in myself…..A Human Being was underneath all of this junk.

Tomorrow I will celebrate 4 years clean. For some that doesn’t seem like a lot, but for me, it is everything. I owe NA a huge debt of gratitude, and in that same breath I am realistic enough about my recovery to know that I can hide in NA or disappear from it for good. There is a lot of talk about how to find balance in recovery. I know I cannot go to meetings 7 days a week, nor do I want to. I would suggest (The word that really means DO) to read the front of our text about the NA Symbol (Hieroglyphic of Satan) that talks about: God, Self, Service, and Society.

I don’t know a lot but here are a few things I know, in no certain order:
I am not trying to get clean, I am clean.
The desire to use drugs has been lifted.
I have found a new way to live, some days I don’t like it.
I have been given the priviledge of thinking again, and because this is dangerous, I try not to tackle subjects like: How recovery doesn’t work.
I still like Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
Most days I am still stuck somewhere between hope and fear.
I realize the ‘disease of addiction’ is my thinking.
I am responsible for what I did to myself and others.
I know what Love is and isn’t.
I am grateful for all of the people who have supported me in recovery, some of which are no longer here or in my life.
Murder, Sex, Art
Gotcha….Slayer Fan

Most of all I realize I am a human being. I am grateful to NA, Jimmy K, Mickey Mouse, and Jenna Jameson….

Seriously……
As I look back over the last 4 years I am overwhelmed with emotion. I am baffled still by life and all it involves. Relationships have been made anew and there are some I have had to say good-bye to. I have lost family and friends, dealt with mental illness in my family, and have cried many nights.
Each day the sun has risen and set on a life that seems, at times, as crazy as when I was using, but something has happened. I laughed today. I laughed as I wrote this and smiled at thoughts and memories yet to be made. My journey is far from over, and although we may never see eye to eye on a subject or topic, I respect you as a human being.
I wish you all of the best misery….your stay here is done, I no longer have room for you in my life today or any other day. I know you will find a replacement for me somewhere, and when you are done with them I will still be here………..

“When at the end of the road we find that we can no longer function as a human being, either with or without drugs, we all face the same dilemma. What is there left to do? There seems to be this alternative: either go on as best we can to the bitter ends-jails, institutions, or death-or find a new way to live”.

Take Care…..Bob D.

  

From Bad to Worse


My daughter had another one of her ‘Maniac Rages” yesterday that lasted from 2:30 until 9:00. The whole house was in turmoil and chaos. I have come to the conclusion that if another one of these episodes occurs we will be forced to call the police and have her sent to juvenile detention or get children’s services involved. Having said that I understand that once it starts, it probably won’t stop. I believe we are out of options.

I don’t know what else to do. We have followed everyone’s suggestions and the episode yesterday was the worst yet. We are using everything at our disposal. Medicine, psychology, affirmative statements, limited conversations, all of the jargon we have been told by the professionals and it isn’t working.

She says she wants to leave, live somewhere else. She told us she would live with her Uncle but on the phone last night he told us in no uncertain terms, “That shit ain’t happening”.
Yesterday she jumped out of the car twice, and left out of the house saying she was leaving.
There is a lot of uncertainty in my mind, confusion in my heart, and my judgement is clouded. I love her, but as a person, right now I am having a hard time finding the love.

It is hard to watch her 11-year-old brother sit and scream and shake and cry after one of these episodes, saying he hates her….she should just leave.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe she should.
I know that this is not working. I know that she is driving a wedge so deep between my wife and I that our relationship feels like it is teetering on the brink of collapse. I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to go to a house that is in total disruption.
This is beyond me. I feel lost and confused. I want to know why this happening and how we are supposed to live our lives……..