Just Another Recovering Person

Archive for February, 2010

Can I Play with Madness….

Can I play with madness
The Prophet stared into his crystal ball
Can I play with madness
There’s no vision here at all
Can I play with madness
The Prophet smiled and he laughed at me
Can I play with madness
He said, Your blind, too blind to see…….

I was talking to a guy I sponsor last night who was at the meeting I shared at the other night…

I feel bad.
Sometimes I forget your in recovery too, I call you with this small bullshit and forget your going through things as well.
It’s no big deal, someday you will do the same thing for someone else.

In essence that is really it. Sponsorship being a 2 way street. It helps both the new person and it helps me. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes when the phone rings with certain folks I can only imagine what “Troubles” someone is having. Most of the time they are minimal, it is our perception that distorts them to the point of becoming unreasonable. There are other times events occur that are life changing, painful. There are some events such as the death of a loved one or divorce that there is no amount of Spiritual Awareness that can ease that pain. It seems we can be on the brink of madness or playing with it in the very least. That is when I need the fellowship the most.

It is snowing here again. I am worn out with winter. Living in this snowglobe. Also I haven’t seen the sun it seems like in 2 months, except for a fleeting glimpse here or there.

I saw where Team Canada celebrated the women’s hockey team in grand fashion, with beer and cigars on the ice. More power to them, eh?
I’ll have to tell you about my first trip to Canada when I discovered Molson XXX, too funny.

David has his basketball playoff this weekend. He is looking forward to it as well as the family.

More laundry, Olympics, and MW2 on tap for the weekend. A meeting and some reading. I read last night and have made the decision to go back to some early basics I have been overlooking.

Hopefully we will get pictures of this house from our Aunt this weekend. I kid of dropped a hint around my daughter this morning to feel her out. One of her friends recently moved and she made friends with some girl who just moved here. I told her people move all the time for different reasons…
She looked at me and said, “We aren’t moving to Louisiana, don’t even try it”.
I told her if her Mom and I felt it was best for everyone it is something we would consider. She looked at me and said, “Oh, ok.”
I was shocked.
The last appointment we were at this week, it was suggested for Lorna and I to go to weekly therapy…..to resolve our “Issues”.

I’ll let you know what happens.
Take Care….Bob D.


Chapter 8…We Do Recover

This is my favorite chapter from the NA Textbook. Early on it was suggested to me to read chapters 1,2, and 3. When I came across this chapter and it’s title my first reaction was….”Finally an out, there is a graduation looming in the distant future”!
I would find out later in reading that we can never fully recover no matter how long we stay clean…..damn.

I was asked to speak at a literature study group last night. The addict picks a piece of NA literature for the group to read then shares their experience on it. I picked this chapter. This chapter has saved my life on more than one occasion. The preamble was written by Jimmy K. whom many feel was the founder of the NA fellowship, although he never referred to himself as that. He said he was a co-founder because we all have a stake in NA.
The definitions of obsession and compulsion, the statement that at some point the addict himself will no longer tolerate the old saying of “Once an addict, always an addict”, the understanding of finding it essential to accept reality and life exactly the way they are, all of this I find compelling, hopeful, and most of all life changing.

It talks about lost dreams awakened, the capacity to feel human again, and how a simple loving hug can make all the difference to someone on any given day. All of these things combine in an explosion of emotion for me. A majority of the chapter was written before I was born but is timeless as is all of our literature. To stop and think that someone felt and acted the same as I did before I was even born is surreal and humbling.

A lot of times I want to try to read between the lines for something extra. Some spin I can put on something to make it sound original or unique based in ego. I reminded myself out loud and to the group last night that it all comes back to the basics. It all comes back really to the same things I was taught early on. The addition I can add to things can only be based out of experience. I shared about loneliness, anger, and fear. I spoke of how my perceptions have changed slowly over time and I am now able to make better decisions. I talked about having received the greatest lost dream awakened of all…..The gift of feeling like a human being again.

After the meeting I spoke to my sponsor who sat there with that stupid grin on his face. We talked about some of the things I have been telling you. The events of Monday, my daughter, and thinking of changing our lives. I talked, he listened as it always goes. He told me that it is all a big deal, that it is a major change. I told him I felt like I had the ability to make an informed decision about things….He looked at me and smiled, and said I believe you do to.

When I got home I talked to my wife. I told her we needed to do something, I just wasn’t sure how big or drastic the something was. I told her I knew she was unhappy, that some of our problems with Lorna are where we live, and I was not happy with course that our lives are going.

She then asked me what I wanted………

It’s the first time in a long time I felt like I could give a proper response not based in self-centeredness. I told her I wanted what was best for everyone. In my heart, I feel like anything is possible, that I have the ability to do whatever is necessary. I haven’t felt like that in a long time. Don’t get me wrong, it is a big deal. It is a life changing deal and I have some fear, but I am not paralyzed by it.
I want what is best for everyone, I know it will be difficult, but not impossible.

My wife’s aunt is going into a house this weekend to take some pictures of it for us and email them. I have no definitive time line for things, and am taking it a step at a time. I will keep you posted.

Take Care….Bob D.

Moments in Life

I am sending this post out Tuesday night because I have meetings to attend tomorrow. I was supposed to be off work, but I at least have to be at 2 of them.
I sat in a meeting today, and many more are planned as a result of what happened on Monday. I did speak with our CEO and received the generic, politically correct responses to questions.
I am not happy with that.

I received a phone call from my wife this afternoon. She was calling me to inform me that her friend was calling to let her know that our daughter had sex at her house with a boy a couple of months back. She was not home and found out through her daughter. Remember the email I told you I saw? Well, it appears all to be true.

I guess I am left with several feelings about this. I am angry, disappointed, and concerned. It is unrealistic for me to believe that she wouldn’t have sex. I really wish she would have waited, until she was a little more mature, but she did it. I’m angry with her choices, and disappointed in the parent whose house she was at. I am concerned with her choice of boys, about the type of boy. She is caught up in the hip-hop culture and seems to settle for any boy who pays her attention. My daughter is not ugly, but seemingly has low self-esteem.

I know she is not pregnant because she has announced to the house the arrival of her last 3 periods. I am more concerned about std’s and reputations at this point. I sit here with a lot of feelings and questions. I am wondering more and more if this move might not be that bad of an idea after all.

I look at things that are going on with my kids, my job, our lives. I am not attached to this town or state at all. My family all live here but our relationships are at a distance. I have come to accept that. I am sure I could find work. I am sure I could find a new support group. I am sure that all of the outward things would fall into place. But what about the inward stuff? As I wrote earlier I have some reservations but not fear. I know things will work out.

I know this is one of those moments in life that I need to make the best informed decisions with my wife as to what is best for everyone. I can’t just look at it as an opportunity to run away from life. I need to talk to some folks, get some experience.
Of course your comments are always welcome….

Take Care….Bob D.

Tense and Crazy

Thanks for all of the input yesterday.
One of my friends asked me to write a little more about the incident from yesterday so I will.
The client that brought the gun into our facility yesterday was not med compliant. In laymen terms they weren’t taking their medication. The gun was loaded, 9 rounds and with one in the chamber. Everything happened so quickly. The main person involved was a guy who works at our reception desk. The client pulled the gun out of her purse and slammed it don on the counter demanding to see someone. He hollered out, “Gun”, and 2 of our staff members were able to grab ahold of her as she picked the gun up and was trying to put it back in her purse.

I guess what is more important was the talk we had after it all happened. He sat and cried in my office, saying the names of his 2 children and girlfriend over and over.
I like what I do, but it isn’t worth risking my life over, he said.
I agree with him 100%.
The entire day after that was tense and just as crazy. We had client after client get loud and obnoxious. Sometimes it’s part of the territory, other days like yesterday were just completely fucked up. There is no other way to express it.

 I just received a call from my wife in regards to our personal situation. It seems as if our relatives have been dropping more and more hints about moving to Louisiana. She was crying on the phone. My wife is not happy here, it is more than obvious. I think the change we have been talking about is looking at us in the face. I have some reservations, not fears. I need to take it all in.

 I wanted to write more today but my heart really isn’t in it right now.
I will give you a better update tomorrow.

Take Care.

God vs. The Devil, Loaded Guns, and Home

First and foremost….Today is the first day of the rest of your life, unless today is your day to die.

A client brought a loaded gun and a knife into where I work. I am fine, our staff is okay, and the client is in jail. As I sit here my part in things was small, so I won’t have you believe I am some Super Hero. I came in on the tail end of things, dealt with the police, handled speaking to our staff involved, and watched as the client was removed from my work area in handcuffs…with that look in their eyes. The look of someone who is not in their right mind, beyond all reasoning, and in the depths of madness.
I spoke with the main staff person involved, sat and listened as he cried, thinking of his family. I find myself thinking of mine, of home.
When I get home I will hug and kiss and tell all of them I love them. We talk often about not taking things for granted, today could have been much worse. Thank God it didn’t.

I was in a meeting last night and one of the newer members started talking about the Devil, God, and how they were being tested. Being new, the group always extends a little courtesy. Some would jump at the opportunity to use the Traditions as a Hammer of Justice. That is not what they were intended for. We become angry with newcomers because they don’t know how “To Talk”. How did you talk when you were new?
This person was referred to NA through their church. I know the pastor and he is a solid guy. He understands that church alone may not be enough for some people. I stopped quibbling about this long ago, why just going to church works for some and others not. I tried religion and it wasn’t sufficient enough for me. It doesn’t mean that church doesn’t work for what it was intended for or for others, so I just stopped worrying about it.
What I do worry about is how this talk can affect other newcomers. I know I didn’t and still don’t want to hear about God vs.The Devil in some spiritual warfare waged in NA Meetings. This is not our purpose. It’s not even up to me to talk about a Higher Power.
If I am in a meeting and say, “I’d like to give the credit to my HP, Jesus Christ, for all the good in my life” I am endorsing a particular religion that may send someone away from NA thinking it is a religious, not spiritual program when it is the opposite.
It is not up to me to describe, endorse, or push what my HP is onto anyone, at any meeting. If I did it would rob the newer member into finding what works for them. My understanding of a HP has changed, evolved, since getting clean and as I grow I am sure it will change again.

So there was a guy who simply told the group that we don’t play doctor and try to diagnose or fix other people’s problems. That we share experience not religious theories. This seemed to pass right over the group of 3 or 4 people whom were using the meeting as a potential bible study. One woman even got up and went and grabbed a bible off of a rack (We meet in a church). After several people sharing I am not sure the message fell on receptive ears.

My daughter wrote me a note while being grounded. Telling me we are too much alike. That she loves me as her dad but thinks I suck as a person. That’s odd, I seem to have written the same thing! I guess we have agreed that we aren’t always agreeable. She finished her grounding today and the rest of this past week has been quite. I don’t know about anything anymore. I guess I will just sit and wait. See if there really are any changes in her behavior. If the same things continue, I will know that there is more to come. I just need to be prepared and not let my anger take control of the situation. I need to be the adult.

Take Care.

Dumping Ground

Special Thanks to AJ for support.

I’ve seen many beautiful things. I’ve been a part of many ugly things. Life right now is beyond confusing, and beyond what I feel I am capable of handling, but I march on because I know nothing else….

I spent the day yesterday going over things in my mind. Not the normal movie projector of events, but rather of feelings. I heard early on in recovery that the toughest aspect was the ability to feel again. That has never been truer. I have mixed feelings about everything, every aspect of my being. A friend reminded me without love there really is nothing. I do and always will love my daughter, right now I don’t like her as a person.

I went to a meeting last night. I vented for about 5 minutes. I was in a meeting where there are people who know me, know a little about what is going on and were empathetic. One of the newer fellows told me that he was glad that I shared that I have problems and don’t find it necessary to use over them, that it gave him hope. Just when I am ready to throw that word out of my vocabulary, someone else puts it back in.
I talked about fear, guilt, and self-worth. I spoke from the heart, and told all who were listening that I am under no delusion of what would happen if I used again.

I spoke to my sponsor last night. He has a track record of me in recovery. I told him everything, especially how I felt. He had no magic words, in fact told me he wasn’t even sure what to say. I didn’t call him expecting the answer, I called him because part of my track record is telling no one how I really feel about things. I told him I would continue to march on in spite of how I felt. I really don’t see any other way because I can’t predict the future.

I would love to sit here and tell you i have pushed through all of this but I haven’t. I would love to tell you my smile is back, missing tooth and all, but it’s not. I don’t know when it will be. I can tell you I remain firm in the understanding that getting high is not an option. That all I can do is continue to do the basics.

It still amazes me how my emotions and feelings will send my thinking back to a dark place. A place where getting high and running from life, from myself, still lurk. I have a picture in my office my wife took. It is of me walking and holding hands with my 2 kids at the zoo last year. It is one of the days of peace, joy, and happiness that stay in my mind. As I sit here crying wondering when those days will return all I am left with is the feeling like my life is a dumping ground of emotions.

Some may say, you are wallowing in self-pity. To you I say Fuck You. I understand life is not a Utopia. I understand there are ups and downs. We have been dealing with this for over a year. I am worn out with it, but will find a way to deal with it with my HP, the support of NA, and people who are concerned with more than pointing out how to take another’s personal inventory.

 Take Care…Bob D.

Life on Hold…

I knew it was only a matter of time. When hope is smashed into a thousand broken bits there is no where for it to go but on the ground. That’s where I am at again. Laying on the ground in a broken mess. My daughter had another one of her “Behavioral Rage Moments” as I now am calling them, or in laymen terms “Unruly Child”.
She felt it necessary to throw shoes, slam doors, and call her mother a “Fucking Whore” among other things.
My daughter, after I had to physically restrain her because she tried to hit me, told me I wasn’t her Dad. That she no longer had any love for me in her heart and would no longer be calling me her Dad.

The psychiatrist told us on the phone last night during an emergency call that we should call the police. I looked at my wife and said we should probably call and my wife said no. My heart sank because it was at that moment I knew that she would never call, not that night or any other night. So I am resigning myself to the fact that we are to put our lives on hold for the next 2 years when my daughter turns 18 or until graduation. This will be the day I will tell her she is no longer welcome to stay in our house.

I suppose I am still angry. I suppose I am being harsh. No one here or anywhere has the right to judge me until they have been in my world. It’s always objective when sitting on the outside and looking in.
I can’t even take my wife out to dinner because our daughter can’t be trusted to watch the house for an hour.
Our relationship is crumbling…..My family is crumbling in front of my eyes.

Someone told me to leave it all at the feet of God. I would if I could find them. I know God is somewhere but I just don’t feel it.
I try to find the positive in all of this but can’t.
As my wife cried in my arms last night, worried about me, us, our relationship, and my resolve I told her….

I am not leaving you.
I am not going anywhere, not going to the bar. Not going to Broad and Oakley to find a hit. Not taking a pill. I’m not going to watch my daughter try to drive a wedge between my wife and I.

I feel like the stereotypical step-parent. My daughter still wants others to believe that somehow I am to blame for all of this. Elizabeth you were right, it’s not my fault. I assumed to much guilt over all of this. That somehow I am to blame for everything today. Having been clean for over 4 years and have done everything in my power to make the right decisions I can with a clear conscious look at myself in the mirror and say that.
My daughter said last night that I provided nothing, nothing in the house, nothing in the home, nothing in general. “I still don’t know why you are even here”, she said.
As my son stood screaming at the steps, my daughter out of control, and my wife crying….I wondered that very thing myself.

It’s because NA and the 12 Step Program has taught me to face my problems and not run from them (even though secretly I want to). The ability to face problems is necessary to stay clean.
I don’t believe that my situation is unique. I do believe that something is going to change, I don’t know what it is but something will.

I have no idea where to go from here. I truly feel like shit. I feel like we shouldn’t have to put our lives on hold for her.
We were at the doctor’s office this morning. The doctor told her….

Lorna….This just isn’t going to keep working for you. You need to find a different way to handle your life, express yourself, your feelings. In 2 years you are going to be in the real world. I see you hitting walls there and there will be no one to pick you up because of what you have done…….

For me this was ominous…For Lorna it was just words.
I have the feeling it’s all going to come true.

Bob D.