Just Another Recovering Person

Posts tagged ‘Columbus’

An Update


I took a break in packing this morning for 2 reasons. One I am tired of it and two I pulled a muscle in my back. I thought I would take a few moments to let you know what has been going on. I thought I wouldn’t post again until after we had arrived in Louisiana, but I have discovered how much I miss writing each day.

This has been an emotional time for me. My last day at work was the 23rd of April. It was very difficult saying farewell to work colleagues. I had been in that position almost 4 years and didn’t realize how many people I knew not just there but in downtown and through work related contacts. I know that I will miss them and they will miss me. It is a gift on one hand to know this but it doesn’t change the way it feels. It is still painfull too say good-bye or farewell to folks.

We have been busy packing, and making arrangements for the truck, which is now set at May 10th. I expect to be in Louisiana by the 12th. The kids, especially David have been helpful in getting things squared away. I will be going to their schools this week to do their paperwork for release. I have been on the phone with schools, utilities, and any assortment of individuals.

We had dinner with my father on this past Friday. It was very difficult for me. We have had a strained relationship over the years and my father has made a choice not to be actively involved in my life or his grandchildren’s lives. He is still my father and looked older and tired. Not in the best of condition. As we were driving away I felt a sense of closure with him. I also felt that my HP was letting me know that this would be the last time I would see my father alive. I told my wife this. She looked at me and smiled and said, ‘I believe you are right, are you ok?’
I said yes, and I glanced at him one more time…..For whatever happened or didn’t happen…He is still my Dad.

I went to my home group and told everyone my date for leaving. I spoke at a meeting in Deleware, Ohio last night and said goodbye to some folks there. Tonight will be tough because I am going to a meeting that I helped start a year or so ago. I say that not out of ego, or that it will hurt more because I started it. It’s because of these facts I have met everyone who has walked through that door for the past year. We have had good success at that meeting with people staying clean so I know a number of them. My sponsor will be there and I keep putting off what I need to say to him because it will hurt too much.

Well I wanted to let you know what was going on and get some of this out. I hope all of you are well, and I will let you know as soon as we arrive.

Take Care….
Bob D.

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Signing Off for A While……


Today is my last day at work and the emotions are already high. I’m taken back to the point that I really don’t know how to handle it with all the good-bye’s and such. It’s dawned on me again and again how many people here I know, I Love, and I will miss. This is more difficult than I imagined simply for the fact that I have the ability to feel. This is a Spiritual Awakening of a different level.

We take that for granted, you know? That ability to feel, to love, to communicate. I once wrote that it was our ability to talk, to express in language both spoken and unspoken that separates us from the animal world. Animals do communicate, but the human animal communicates with a different type of emotion, a different capacity of emotion I believe. The capacity to feel today is a great gift.

I am signing off for a while. I simply won’t have time to get all that needs done before the move if I am here constantly writing. I am putting some things on hold, like this blog, to concentrate on getting the family moved so I will see you all in a few weeks. For those of you whom have been dedicated readers…Thanks.

My next post will be from Louisiana, and a new chapter will have begun.

All of you are in my thoughts.

Take Care….Bob D.

Book Excerpt #4 Chapter 4-Untitled


“O God of Earth and Altar,
Bow down and hear our cry,
Our earthly rulers falter,
Our people drift and die,
The walls of gold entomb us,
The swords of scorn divide,
Take not thy thunder from us,
But take away our pride.”
(G. K. Chesterton; English Hymnal)

Just a babe in the black abyss,
No reason for a place like this,
The walls are cold and souls cry out in pain,
An easy way for the blind to go,
A clever path for the fools who know
the Secret of the Hangman – the smile on his lips.
The light of the Blind – you’ll see,
The venom tears my spine,
The Eyes of the Nile are opening – you’ll see.

Revelations

Iron Maiden

 

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‘Fuck you; I’m tired of your bullshit. I wish you were dead!’
‘If your man enough, pull the trigger.’

 

          My hands didn’t shake like I thought they would. I was on something…drugs, anger, both. My step dad sat on the stairs of the run down farmhouse in the middle of fucking nowhere Ohio in which we called ‘home’. I had the barrel of a 410 shotgun to his face. I was mad, pissed at him, my life, and the whole fucking show. There was no way out of this town, this life, except to kill him and go to jail.
          He slowly lifted his hands and grabbed the barrel. ‘Here I’ll help you.’ He stuck the barrel in his mouth and I could only hear my mother wailing in the background. Everything else sounded like my ear was to a seashell, that drone of a noise we are told is the sea by people with nothing better to do than fool children. Time stood still as my finger sat on the trigger. There was a funny taste in the back of my throat and time stopped. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t blow his head off the way I wanted to see it done like in the movies. I was a lot of things, but I wasn’t a killer.

          I pulled the gun back and set it in the corner. He looked at me and said, ‘I knew you was a pussy all along, now get the fuck upstairs’. I went up the steps and walked past the room my 3 sisters slept in and into the room I shared with my half brother. Decorated in 1980’s heavy metal posters I learned the art of fantasy and expectations.  So I went and endured the embarrassment of living in a below poverty level home with a mom who had lost her mind, a man who couldn’t read and had no job, and a house full of kids who weren’t my brothers or sisters. I listened to Iron Maiden albums and dreamed of Los Angeles. I would be a rock and roll star someday and shake the dust of this god-forsaken town off my shoes. I would be somebody.

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          I had been through treatment and somehow survived early recovery. I was back at work and trying not to let my mouth overload my ass. I had found a sponsor which is someone who helps mentor new people in recovery, and was going to 12 Step Meetings on a regular basis. My children slowly began to talk to me again and my wife after her initial vent of rage seemingly allowed recovery to work its ‘magic’.  Life seemed like it could be approachable, but I had no idea of how to live.

          For some, the idea of abstinence is recovery. For those who aren’t addicted it is merely a matter of stopping the use. I have learned it was much more than stopping the use as it was why I used to begin with. Change doesn’t occur overnight and neither have I. Life seems to show up when we least expect it. There was a series of events that occurred in early recovery that paved the way for my thought process to see that life is so much bigger than me.

          I was called into my boss’s office on a Friday and was told my services were no longer required. I sat across from him and thought to myself, ‘After all I have done for this motherfucker and this is what I get?’ Nevermind I had virtually blown off the entire last year I had ‘worked’ for him by showing up to collect a check. I was stunned but not suprised. I thought it was a joke, just like he had thought I was the joke costing him revenue. I soon realized as I was packing my desk that I would have to go home and tell my wife of another failure. I had worked for him for 11 years. I was considered at one time to be prominent in my position. As I left the thought came to me that this was the first job I had lost as a direct result of my use.

 Granted I wasn’t fired immediately at the request of treatment during my tenure. It was made known that I was ‘Damaged Goods’. My prominence had quickly turned to ‘Liability’. I soon found myself as some of us have; tying my self-worth onto what I did for a living and it was evident that depression was soon to set in. It would come to me later that a job is simply what I do to make money, it isn’t who I am. I received many pieces of advice from friends. That I should take that summer off, or that I should go to school. I did neither; instead I went to the pool and got a tan. Life was good and soon thoughts of grandeur began to invade my life again.

 I thought that I could hang out. I thought maybe I could go back to old places, maybe see some old faces. It has been my experience that association on any level with old people, places, and things will certainly lead to difficulty in recovery if not relapse. I have watched far too many addicts manipulate themselves through thinking that they can cling to these patterns only to find themselves in the same horrible set of circumstances as when they arrive to recovery.

Copyright 2010 RLD Holdings, Ltd.

Packing and Thinking


Packing has given me time to think. It’s funny going thru things. I come across items that I don’t give much thought to. Like the A&W Root Beer bottle cap I found on a shelf last night. My son loves root beer. He always has. His favorite of course is A&W but will even drink the cheap stuff found at Wallgreens or CVS. My funny little man.

I found a ring. It was a Mac Tools ring like a salesman would receive for selling a lot of tools. Now I don’t work there, never have. So I ask my wife. She tells me she found it and kept it which I believe. It only solidifies what I have known all along, my wife keeps too much junk.

I found pictures of my daughter from when she was a baby. I wonder where all the time has went? She still acts like a baby but is taller than me. It was a picture of her sleeping on my chest on the couch. How I long for those days at times. When all seemed right in the world. Time has a funny way of catching up to me during moments like this.

I packed for 2 hours last night while our nosy neighbor stood and gossiped with my wife. She means well but is just a busy-body. She has OCD when it comes to dust which I have plenty of. She talked about everyone and I am sure she will talk about us when we are gone.

I have 3 days left at work. People keep telling me they don’t want me to go, or what will the agency do without me. It would be easy to fall into a pit of self-centered ego over this but I have remained humble. I am grateful for the opportunities I have been afforded here. It has given me a chance to grow both professionally and personally. I am very fortunate to have found this company when I did. I believe working here has given me the confidence to work in any environment.

There are some letters I need to write to some co-workers to leave for after I am gone. Just a few. There are some really special people here whom I will miss dearly. I told myself I wouldn’t get caught up emotionally over it but I am. That’s ok.

I read my friend Peg’s blog today and it has stuck with me all day. She is having a rough time with her daughter Hayley. Keep them in your thoughts please.

Take Care,
Bob D.

Basements and Gravy


I think I mentioned that I made contact with NA in the new town I will be moving to. It is a small group and most seemed to be ordered there by the drug courts. The state of Louisiana doesn’t play with drug offenders.
If you are caught with an empty prescription bottle that doesn’t have your name on it is a Class 5 felony. Right before we left there was legislation pending that if you are convicted of a drug offense that your driver’s license is stamped “Drug Offender” and has to be kept that way for 8 years. Very interesting.

I am on another site that links recovering people from around the country and “met” a guy who lives in this town. Just my luck he is a person whom on one hand “Thanks the Fellowship that saved his life” but on the other “Bashes the structure and decisions of the Fellowship”. Basically he is a person whom has resentments about events and won’t let them go. He has been clean for 17 years and feels no one in the area can possibly understand his level of “Recovery”. This is just what I didn’t need, I’m just being honest.

In fact I can’t stand this type of person. How in the fuck are you going to say you love NA and then complain about every part of it? I’m not saying that I conform or agree with every aspect of recovery but I am not going to sit and name names, quote figures, run down literature, and basically trash a fellowship who welcomed me with open arms and only wanted to help me. It seems armed with clean time, a resentment, and some information that this person has been able to drive people away from the very group that kept its doors open for him. I came to NA in desperation and all the wanted to do was help.

Whew….That’s off my chest.

I spent the evening helping my wife re-inventory her ‘Barbie’ collection. She is trying to sell it before we leave. I don’t think it is going to happen. She has over 200 dolls that have been in storage and I think they are worth maybe $2,500-$5,000. We need to sell them because I found out her car needs repaired which is $1,300 and truck rental will be about $1,000 as well as finishing my dental work before we go is $500. This is more money than I can lay out all at once. I know we are going to have a yards sale but I don’t think anything we have to sell will get this kind of money together.

A friend of mine got her 5 year coin last night. I texted her and told her congrats. We ended up going out to dinner for my daughter’s birthday. My son acted like a punk due to the attention she was getting. He was pissed because she already had a party and now he feels he should get 3 or 4 parties himself.

Ahh so much to do!! I need to start packing this weekend. I am going to start in the worse area first, the basement!!! Uhh…I figure if I tackle it first everything else will be gravy.

Until Monday….Have a great weekend!

Good-Bye’s are Catching Up with Me and a Leap of Faith to Keep Me Moving


I’ve been thanking people, calling people, and saying good-bye for the last 2 days and I haven’t even left! People keep coming up to me, asking me why I am leaving, where we are going, what I will be doing and I keep saying the same things over and over. It’s starting to catch up with me.
I had breakfast this morning with a business contact whom I respect very much. He is an older gentleman and a Vietnam Veteran. He listened to my schtick and i asked him how he was….

He told me, ‘Bob I’m dealing with skin cancer’.
You never said anything about this before Jim.
It’s been going on for a year now.
Why didn’t you say anything?
He just smiled and nodded his head at me. He told me he has a claim in with the VA over Agent Orange, that he was a point man in Nam’. He says he doesn’t blame the government, that he shouldn’t have been walking around in the shit in the first place.

We talked about life and how sometimes you just have to make a leap of faith. I saw that same phrase on a billboard today and I have said it a 100 times myself over the last week.

We are taught from an early age to ‘make plans for the future’. When does the future become the present? What about today? What about my life in the here and now? Don’t I deserve to take a risk? Some folks are calling me crazy or stupid. Why would you want to give up all you have built up here?

Jim told me that God puts us where we are supposed to be. I don’t know about all that but it sounded good, it comforted me. That’s what it’s really about isn’t it? A little comfort?
I believe I deserve to take a chance if the reasons are right, maybe I am crazy, but at least i will have given it a try.

After I said good-bye to Jim I was riding down Broad Street into downtown and it hit me. I have made a lot of friends here, both personal and professional friends. I am respected in my community. I am trustworthy and my employer thinks I am great. I thought about Jim and Nick. I thought about my sponsor and my neighbor and the reality of saying good-bye to these folks started to make me emotional.
It dawned on me the reason it stings is that I care today. In the past people came and went in my life and it never really bothered me, it didn’t bother me because I didn’t care. This has been one of those spiritual awakenings we talk about in recovery.
I haven’t been feeling connected lately, due to my part in things, and this feeling let me know I’m still connected, I’m just not putting in the work I should. I need this program, this faith to keep me moving before the good-bye’s of life catch up with me.

Take Care….Bob D.

Book Excerpt: Chapter 3-Pink Clouds and Death


It’s better to beg for forgiveness, than to ask permission. Living my life on default had given me this outlook. I would fuck something, anything up and beg for forgiveness. It was my calling card. You know the old saying of telling someone, “I’m sorry” only to have them reply, “Your right, you are sorry.”

There is a phenomenon in early recovery called a ‘Pink Cloud’. It is where the addict is on fire to change the world with their recovery. This is usually where the addict makes plans to become a counselor, social worker, or a general do-gooder is born. If I had a dollar for every addict who wanted to be a counselor in my pocket, well, I could afford to go to school myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire good intentions. I also know this, the cemeteries are full of people who had no intention of dying, and died with good intentions. I also know I had a ton of intentions in my life and none of them meant shit until I did something about them. Riding on the ‘Pink Cloud’ the first 30 days or so isn’t necessarily a bad thing, until the cloud begins to break apart. It thins out as the daily routine of life slowly sets back in.

The world turns as it does. Life and living move forward. Reality continues on. As I mentioned earlier anger is usually my reaction to the present reality because things aren’t going the way I think they should. This in essence is a stumbling block to early recovery. Resentments are born out of things said and unsaid in an attempt to deal with a reality that I had little understanding of.

What makes up this reality that makes it so difficult for the addict to deal with? It is my experience that it lies in feelings, lack of proper responses to those feelings and emotions, and the thought patterns that have been developed during drug use. I am not a doctor and can give no real medical explanation to neurotransmitters or endorphins, what I can tell you is, that my thoughts seem to drive my feelings and my feelings in turn drive my thoughts. This obsession and compulsion of thoughts and feelings, minus the drugs for the recovering person, is what makes up true addiction.

Pink clouds don’t seem to do much for the loved ones in a recovering person’s life. I don’t blame them. There is nothing more depressing than a giddy addict! Really though, it’s a complete demoralization of the spirit to the family member or loved one to watch a giddy addict parade themselves around while they are emotionally raw and hurt by our actions.

I found this out firsthand after coming home from a meeting. I was in a ‘pink cloud’ when my wife snapped. I had been parading around the house telling her of this and that when suddenly it came from left field. “Well that may be all fine and fucking well for you, but have you thought about what you have done? What you did? Nothing has changed Bob, it all still hurts. Do you even remember anything? You called me horrible names, threatened to take my children away, for God’s sakes, you said you would take the kids and I would never find them. None of this is ‘over’ in my eyes, I’m not sure how it is you sleep at night with the things you said and did, but I haven’t slept well in 2 years. You screamed obscenities at the kids, you made us all feel responsible for your stupid fucking choices. It will be a long, long time before anyone here is ready to forgive you”.

I sat and listened for 45 minutes to a wife who had 16 years of hurt built up inside her. 16 years worth of disappointment, anger, frustration, and sadness. As I sat there the reality of what we put others through became painfully obvious. I told her at that time there was nothing I could say. Trying to make amends to loved ones with only a few weeks clean never works. The pain is too much. There is a formula that I was taught. It is only when our words and our actions equal out that things will change.

I had talked a good game for a number of years, but my actions seldom equaled what came out of my mouth. My wife kept our bankcard from me the first 45 days I was clean. She would follow me to the gas station to put gas in my car, and would give me a dollar to put in the meeting basket. I was that untrustworthy, and I still convey that to newer members when I get the chance to, that shame became a platform for change. I knew after that talk I had to do something more than just not use drugs, or nothing would change.

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I had been out with friends all night getting loaded, telling anyone who would listen that my father had left, and my parents were getting a divorce. It had been at least 4 months since he had gone. I heard he was in Columbus but wasn’t sure. My friends felt bad for me and put up with my antics. I stumbled home as I did that entire summer and came in the side door.

I am going up the steps when my mom stops me halfway up the staircase. ‘What are you doing home, she inquired?’ “I came to change, and eat, I said”. I heard a noise behind her and moved past her up the steps. I saw the silhouette of a man in her room, pulling up his pants. He came to the doorway as my mother quickly came behind me. “Bob, this is Roy”, she said. He stuck out his hand and said, ‘Nice to meet you’.

I looked at him and her and the only words that would come out were, “I don’t fucking think so”. I bolted down the steps and out the door. I didn’t come back for 2 days as I recall. It felt like another one of life’s swift kicks to the balls had struck again. My mother had decided to move on with her life, while I was left to deal with feelings of abandonment. Again, I don’t understand why the events happened the way they did, they just did. Roy would become my step-father within a year.

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Copyright 2010  RLD Holdings, LTd.