Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sad start to a New Year

It's 3:30am January 1st 2013, I can't sleep so maybe writing will help. Tonight we had a speaker event with snack food at the club house. My sponsor called me this afternoon to ask if I was going, one of the woman she sponsors was the key speaker but my sponsor wasn't going to the event due to the cold and snowy weather, sponsor is on oxygen, she ask if I would take her place and introduce the speaker. The speaker is a friend who is coming up on 7 years, we have done service work together, she is a big on working/living the steps and we both share a passion for The Doctor's Opinion; it was an honor to introduce her.

My group of friends had planned on road tripping to the annual New Years Eve bash in a town 45 miles east, something we do every year. We had light snow all day today and were leery of the roads so at 9:00 tonight we were still not positive we would be driving, after receiving a couple of text it was decide to skip the trip because we had heard there were cars in the ditch. We hung around one couples house of about 45 minutes then everyone decide to go to some other people in recovery house. By this time I was starting to burn down so decided to pick of some munchies and a movie and go home. When I got home Mich and her friend were sitting on the couch watching TV while the two 4 year old's played. Mich looked rather sick and she told my why.

 Mich told me she was pregnant again, her friend stepped outside expecting me to blow my top I guess. I didn't blow my top, I just told her that it really messed up her moving forward and no reason to get angry over it what was done was done. Mich was sick, had a fever and was also having contractions, she called her doctor who advised her going to the ER. Her friend took her to the ER while I stayed with the girls, Carter was already sleeping in his room. I got a phone call around midnight saying she was dilating and she was going into labor. I was also told the doctor said the baby was too preemie to try and save. The father to the baby and Mich's friend are with her at the hospital and I will not know much more until morning.

It was too late to call anyone other than my oldest sister so I called her and talked for a bit. It is sad about the baby yet I feel this is for the best. My sister told me she knew last Friday about Mich being pregnant and Mich told her she was probably going to put the baby up for adoption. Mich is in no position to have another baby; she lives with me because she can't get her own place due to finances, she is just starting a very promising job work with the disabled, it is only part time but could lead into a career, and she doesn't have stable relationships.

I asked her tonight right after she told me she was pregnant why she wasn't on birth control, she said something about how it wasn't free in this county, her friend piped up and said it wasn't free but income based so still cheap. Getting her on birth control is one of the next steps she will have to take, at one point she told my niece birth control made her gain weight. Well gained weight be damned, she needs to either go on the pill, the shot or Norplant. She needs to take every precaution to make sure the next time she gets pregnant it is with a partner she plans on being with long term and they are financially able to have another child. Right now she needs to focus on being a good mother to the 2 she has, getting a career established and working on becoming self supporting.

I thank my Higher Power for the bad weather which kept me in town tonight and had me come home early so I could stay with the little ones while Mich went to the hospital. The late term miscarriage isn't a bad thing even though it is sad and the baby was developing, it just isn't the right time to bring a baby into our lives. I say our lives because everything Mich does right now has a direct effect on me.

Mich seems to be one of those emotionally and maturely developing young people that when things are starting to go well somehow manages to trip up. She has been doing really well the last couple of months, rarely goes out with friends. She hasn't had a boyfriend since she broke up with the abusive guy, the father of this baby is an on again off again fuck buddy for lack of a better term. I like him more than any of the others but he is a young male who likes to drink and have fun. She has shown a real interest and aptitude for working with the disabled, physically and mentally disabled. Her employer likes her and held her job while she was in limbo waiting for the courts to finish abuse case which was dropped. Looks like I need sit down with her and reiterate again how she needs to be mindful of her actions and really think hard about the choices she makes.

I am grateful the obsession to drink and use has been removed. I am grateful I can be a good grandpa to the little ones. I am grateful Mich is starting to pay her way. I am grateful can support her with tough love. If it wasn't for AA, the steps, sponsorship and my recovery friends tonight would have been totally messed up. I can see it for what it is, a sad day and sad days come and go, such is life. 

Peace Love and Light

Monday, December 24, 2012

Greetings from the snow cover Heartland

Hey all!! This is the design for the t-shirts for next years 30th Nebraska NA convention to be held here. Because of my background in purchasing I am the merchandising chairperson, I found a local company which will make us 250 shirts for $5.50 each, nice deal for us and we get to support and local business, win win deal.

So it is Christmas eve, Mich is working 8-4 and I am watching my little buddies; Angel is watching Sponge Bob and Carter is running around being Carter, wanting to eat everything in the house and only staying focused on one thing for a couple of minutes before moving on to something else.

After Mich gets home I need to go over to my mom's and get their presents; I stashed and wrapped them at her apartment for obvious reasons with a 4 and 2 year old in the house. I found Angel a dollhouse at for $20.00, not the Dora house she wanted but it has little people and furniture, plus I bought a Dora and friend just the right size to go with; my sister gave the kids a small farm set with farmer and animals which will go nicely with the dollhouse too; also bought her some small odds and ends. I bought Carter a workbench and tools, so he can have his own tools to fix stuff instead of stealing Papa's, managed to find a battery operated drill with bits also. Carter is my little apprentice fixer, when ever I get my tools out to work on something he is right by my side helping me; I keep some tools in the house and when he gets a chance he takes them pretending to "fix it".

Wednesday we received 6 inches of snow, the wind was kicking about 35mph also, they had to shut down the interstate due to visibility. I was working at the hotel and there were times when I couldn't see 50 yards. I found out my little Cavalier does really well in snow, good tires helped. Saturday Angel and I made her first snowman. Yes Virginia we are having a white Christmas in Nebraska.

I am taking advantage of my break from classes to read non-thinking books. The hotel is very dead this time of year so I have plenty of time to read at work. Like anyone else who is around talkative little kids or people most of the day it is a pleasure to sit in perfect quiet and read; after I get my work done or in-between task.

J and I sat down Saturday night at a coffee shop. Part of our talk turned to camping. The guy who was our on again off again cook at camp-out's committed suicide Thanksgiving, he had Schizophrenia and stopped taking his medicine. P was a good guy but the double whammy of mental health problems and addiction kept him at a distance from the steps, he attended meetings periodically, stayed clean and sober but was never able to get rigorously honest enough to work the steps. We would suggest working the steps to him, on camping weekends give him a bit of tough love when he was pity potting it but his mental illness just held him back I guess. It is sad when someone takes their own life, it is sad that we can't help someone who for whatever reasons can't find the solution. We will leave a chair empty for P at our camp-outs this summer.

I am looking forward to the challenges of the new semester. Really interested to find out more about the change in degree. This new direction has boosted my enthusiasm; I want to work in medical management but it is just different enough to really kick my need for new learning in gear.

All in all life is good, recovery is great, would be doing any of this stuff is I was drunk and stoned. Merry Christmas everyone and have a blessed new year!!

Peace Love Light

Saturday, November 24, 2012

6 Years

On Thursday, Nov 29th, if I don't drink or use and I have no plans to do either, I will have been sober and clean 6 years. Like a guy in a meeting I go to says "I didn't get here on a winning streak". I got here finally due to bad checks, of course those checks were alcohol related. I was arrest on a Sunday night at home, this was the second time I was arrested at home for a bad check. We lived in a small town, pop 700 people, this was very embarrassing to my 15 year old daughter, oh yeah we lived on a busy street too. Sidebar; here is the insanity of alcoholism, I had received a letter from the county attorney saying if they received a money order by a certain date the matter would be taken care of otherwise there would be a warrant issued for my arrest; so what do I do, I wait until the day the money is due to the county attorney to mail the check, I did this not once but twice and both times I was arrested. I procrastinated to the last moment because I needed my alcohol money, in my sick mind I must have thought they wouldn't arrest a nice guy like me even though they had done it before. So anyway, I had a couple of phone conversation while I was assigned to the holding cell with my sister and daughter who were both very pissed off at me and to my surprise were not going to bail me out. I had to spend the night in the holding cell, they said I would be release the next morning if the money order was in the incoming mail. That night in jail I thought about all the heat which was on my ass, family upset about my drinking, work upset about my drinking, probation officer I was making excuses to for not going to outpatient treatment who was going to nail me sooner or later. I decided to go to treatment, to cool the heat and hopefully get my drinking control-able again, see even with 9 years in AA the disease was telling me I wasn't an alcoholic but that I just needed to be able to control my drinking. I made some calls and about two weeks after my night in jail I walked through the doors of a treatment center.

I only stayed in treatment two weeks, because I had been in recovery before and was picking the tool kit back up fairly quickly, my counselor told the insurance company I could probably make it on the outside with just Intensive Outpatient counseling. A women I had known from years back when I was active in recovery gave me a ride home and her husband came by later that night and agreed to sponsor me, these 2 wonderful people would give me rides to meetings and other events, I did a lot of early step work riding in my sponsors pickup. Here is how divine providence worked for this drunk; I lived 30 miles from work, a guy in the town drove right past my work place on his way to work and would drop me off, oh yeah I didn't have a drivers license due to my 2nd DUI, after work I would get a ride to a friends house, then go to the 5:15 meeting, my sponsor and his wife were going to college full time in a town 40 miles on east of where I worked, they would meet me at a meeting and drop me off at my house on their/his way home, they lived 10 miles south of me. The stars lined up in my favor those early months, I was able to make 5 or more meetings a week in those early months even though I couldn't legally drive nor was there a meeting in the town I lived in.

The obsession to drink left me fairly early in recovery; I give credit to divine providence and also I felt hope again, were as when I was drinking I just wanted to die. The psychic change Dr. Silkworth talked about really happened to me and it happened within a few days of treatment. I re-connected with the God of my understand by rereading and studying We Agnostics; when I was in recovery before I lived in a small recovery world filled with Bible talking people, I kept my non-Christian spirituality to myself out of fear of being not accepted, people pleasing is one of my major character defects, one I continue to work on. In these 6 years I have continued to seek spiritual growth, I have my outs with some in the program, I still live in the Bible Belt, but I am very comfortable in my own skin and in my own understanding of a God, I stand up for the newcomers who have troubles with the God thing because I don't want them feeling the program will not work for them because they don't believe in the same God as a lot of the people in the rooms are talking about. I also have a sponsor who understands my spirituality and could careless what my Higher Power is or isn't.

Most of you know all about what I have gone through in this last year and what a year it was:-) To me this was the year of the 5th step, I actually did another 4th and 5th step. It was a year of learning to talk to people about what was going on inside. I connected with a wonderful woman who I call my sponsor, my original sponsor isn't easily accessible due to his work schedule, he has moved away too and goes to meetings in another town. I started seeing this woman weekly, it was nice to have some one on one face time with a sponsor again, it was also needed since I was only making 1 or 2 meetings a week; again divine providence stepped in to help me. I also started talking to a few others regularly. I am a pretty closed person, oh yeah I can write stuff here but doing a one on one opening up to another is a challenge, see I don't want to burden another with my struggles. I am learning to undo some of the conditioning of my upbringing, I was starting to get comfortable opening up a lot with my original sponsor and a couple of others, then my moving around and jobs kind of made me back slide, had to keep a good face don't you know, oh I would talk to Lady B sometimes and maybe a couple of others if the pain got bad but for the most part I clammed up again, I don't think it was intentional, it was just the old way of thinking taking over, a bad self survival instinct, haw see I just used the word "self". So yeah the 5th step is about opening up to another, it is easy to talk to my God and even mediate but I need other people in my life for guidance, to explain what God is probably saying and not what I think God is probably saying. With work and school I don't make it to my sponsors every week but I do check in every couple of weeks, see her at meetings and visit with her there. I also go to an average of 4 meetings a week and talk to a couple of other people, my circle of close friends is getting bigger.

Challenges are challenges everybody has them alcoholics and non-alcoholics alike. By embracing the whole of AA; steps, meetings, sponsorship and service work, most of the time I can face the challenges with some semblance of inner-peace. I did freak out a few times this summer, I needed the freak outs to learn some stuff, sorry if I pissed anyone off with the freak outs. The challenges aren't over, not for me and probably not for you either, I am in a better place today to handle the challenges than I was 6 months ago because I walked though the storm and learned a couple of things, I also talked about lot about what was going on, even sometimes in my home group, ugh.

The new challenge is changing my major in college. When I was going through the catalog looking at classes for the next semester, I started really reading what Business Admin was all about and I also read the description for Health Care Information Systems Management and realized this is what I was really wanting to do with a degree. HCISM is learning management skills needed to work in any health care related business, whether it is a hospital, treatment center, Red Cross, American Cancer Society, etc. I don't know jack shit about the medical field really, biology, anatomy and all that type of stuff is foreign to me. I stopped and talked to my sponsor about my thoughts on changing majors, she was very supportive and strongly encouraged me to make the change, so next semester I am taking a different path towards a career. One of my fears is it will take me 3 years to get my degree, that is 3 years without a full time job, something else which is foreign to me, this is also a pride issue, but I think my dad would be cool with me not working as long as I was doing it for a good reason. I talked to my buddy about my fear of taking classes in which I have no practical knowledge of, we both agreed this may be a good thing since the business classes come easy so maybe the new challenge will do me some good. I also talked to the guidance counselor at the college and she told me I might be able to get financial aid to take 9 hours of classes this summer, knock some of the general educations out of the way. I really like were I work, so I don't want to quit for the summer, I would rather stay working there if at all possible until I get my degree; the job is going well and I am well liked by my manager and the big boss.

Well shower time, then to get a few needed groceries before the noon 12 and 12 meeting. Going to put up Christmas lights outside this afternoon since the weather is going to be decent, not sure what next weekend will bring so better get on it while the getting is good; I have an nice front porch and awning at this trailer so I have a place to hang lights, Angel is all excited about decorating for Christmas.

Hope everyone is well, I send a prayer of love and positive energy your way at night. Thanks for being a part of my recovery!

Peace Love Light

Monday, November 12, 2012

Freedom, Goodwill, Creative Action & Personal Growth

So I am was reading an NA, yes an Narcotics Anonymous, booklet and read this paragraph, " Any lifestyle seeking spiritual fulfillment seems to demand the very things missing in addiction; freedom, goodwill, creative action and personal growth." I thought what a profound and truthful statement.

In active alcoholism and addiction I was a prisoner to my disease. I couldn't go anywhere without making sure and had something in the car, I rarely went anywhere were alcohol wasn't served. I was big time paranoid, I was always on the lookout for the police, also paranoid my enablers would pull the plug. I was a prisoner to money, needing a certain amount for my alcohol, if it wasn't there I would write bad checks or steal booze from the store I worked at part time. I was a prisoner of my emotions, any clear thoughts I had about the trouble my drinking was causing were shut down as quick as possible with alcohol; reality sucked and I couldn't allow it to interfere with my obsession for alcohol. I couldn't change my job, couldn't go to college, couldn't move from the dump of a house I lived in. Sadly this prisoner couldn't be a good parent either, same goes for son, brother, employee and friend. Because I am free, I now can do anything I want and as long as I stay spiritually fit I never enter the prison of addiction again. BTW alcohol is my drug of choice but I will use any substance put in my path to get messed up, also I have a healthy fear of my addictive nature, so if I ever have to be put on narcotics for a medical reason, I need to keep the knowledge of being an addict as strong as the knowledge of being an alcoholic.

Goodwill, how can one be practicing goodwill when we are so caught up in self. I tried to practice goodwill, I helped people out, gave a bit to charity but under this was still my main concern of getting the next drink. I don't think there is anyway a person caught up in addiction can practice goodwill because we are so selfish and self-centered. In recovery getting out of self is a life long process for many of us, for me it is a daily awareness of my actions and thoughts which are based on self. Simple acts of goodwill start to come more naturally as we change our way of thinking, become more spiritually centered; holding doors open, giving a warm smile to the cashier, allowing someone to proceed ahead of us in traffic. I do what I can for the less fortunate when I can, make sure the stuff I am getting rid of goes to a charity which gives stuff away and not just sells it. Of course we try and practice goodwill in the recovery rooms, extending a welcoming hand and echoes of encouragement, we try and give back what was freely given to us. For me this is an ongoing thing, some days I am so caught up in I forget to say hi and introduce myself to the person in the room I have never seen before. Being spiritually fit means I am thinking less about me and more about others, and more about the planet. 

Creative action is an interesting term. I am I finding creative ways to reach out to those who still suffer? Am I finding creative ways to carry the message in my service work? I am I finding creative ways in sponsoring, finding ways to knock down the walls which keep someone from understanding the steps? Once in a while the answer is yes, I do know how to intuitively handle a situation which use to baffle me. My first thought on the word creative was, artistic, something I am not, but like everyone else, I have talents which others don't , we all do. We shouldn't beat ourselves up, we shouldn't compare ourselves to others, we are all very special. When I am in active addiction my creativity was as dead as my spirit, I couldn't touch my creative self no more than I could touch my spiritual self, in recovery both are possible.

In my psyche class we read a lot about how alcoholism and drug addiction delay and even stop growth, I have heard this in the rooms for years, but here is was in black and white in a psychology text book. The book had a table in it showing where we should be at in emerging adulthood, damn did I ever miss the boat. I lacked responsibility, had no goals in life, sucked at relationships, lacked motivation and any interest in bettering myself as a father, employee or member of society. Here at almost 50 I am basically in my early 20's but it is alright. For me the steps are were the growth comes from, I see the areas needed from improvement, I do my best to trust my God, I do the footwork. I want and need spiritual growth, emotional growth and personal growth, even if it comes with a bit of pain; I want to be busy being born and not busy dying.

Well I need to take a shower and get ready for my last English class, finishing this class will free me up for other classes. Hope everyone is doing well. We are having a warm fall so far, even had a thunderstorm Saturday night. Angel is all about Christmas, mainly because the t.v. is bombarding us with commercials about toys, she is constantly saying "look papa, I want that' to which papa replies, "we will just have to see what Santa can do" to which she replies "really papa" with a big smile on her face. Papa is really glad for layaway this year!

Peace Love and Light

Monday, November 5, 2012

For Love Cupboards and Other Things

Hey all, I am all moved into the new mobile home, AKA trailer house. It started at 1:30pm two Saturdays ago; I got the keys to the house and first thing which needed done was masking the living room so I could paint. Painting is one of those things I can do but I am not fond of doing. I had to put on a coat of primer to cover the green and by the evening I had the first coat of Farmer Apple Red on the walls, the living had to be painted before anything was moved into it. Mich boxed stuff up and used her car to move some stuff Saturday, while I painted. I got up early Sunday morning and put the second coat of paint on then hit a meeting because the place I need to be at 11am on Sunday morning is my home group. I borrowed a friends pickup Sunday, my Suburban is still in the shop, which allowed me to get a bunch more moved. Mich couldn't find anyone to watch Carter so with the exception of a buddy helping with the couch and the chair I moved everything I could that day myself. I continued to move the next two days, once again a buddy came over and helped with the rest of the big stuff. Cleaning the other house sucked but went does deep cleaning not suck. Anyway between working and one class I was able to get everything done at 2:15am Thursday morning. I have moved 5 times in 6 years and I hope like hell I am done moving for a few years.

The new place is better, the add-on's to the living room and dining room give me more space in both areas. Instead of having 3 upper cupboards, 5 lower cupboards and 3 drawers in the kitchen, I now have 10 upper cupboards, 6 lower cupboards, 8 drawers and a pantry. I now have space for my kitchen gadgets, pots, pans, baking stuff and the dry goods are no longer crammed together and I actually know what I have and don't have.  My bedroom closet isn't as big but I gained a linen closet, I put clothes in storage bags and shoved them under the bed. the bathroom is twice as big, plus Mich and Angel have their 1/2 bath. The one shed is really nice and big, room to put stuff in without cramming, the other shed is perfect for tools and stuff I use more often. The front porch has a roof over it and a wall on the north side; when the snow hits it will be nice have this area fairly free of snow and ice, sure the dog will appreciate this also.

There are somethings I had to fix or will need to fix. I had to replace the internal workings on one of the toilets, it dribbled water. The thermostat was trashed so I replaced it, same with the shower head. The cupboards and drawers in the kitchen and main bath room all need painted, I will also paint the kitchen walls but this can wait for a bit. There is a big gap in the fence which I will fix mainly for appearance, since there is no way to keep Carter in if he really wants to get out. I hope by next summer Carter will be better at not running away from my house when he is outside, if not then he will be spending a lot of time in his room while Angel is playing outside. There are a few other odds and ends things which need to be fixed or fixed up for appearance but nothing major or expensive.

The kids are both enjoying having more space to run around in. Carter no longer shares a room with my books, good for both of us:-) Mich needs to find a way to get her stuff out of her ex-boyfriends parents garage, mainly we need to get Angels big bed, Mich's kitchen table which we can use for an island and her love seat.

Work is going well. School is going alright but need to play catchup in a couple of classes. I have 2 papers due Thursday in psyche but they shouldn't be too hard to get out since I don't work tomorrow and I have notes done on them. I will complete my writing class hopefully by next Monday, this will free my Monday's and Wednesday's up. Of course I keep going to meetings and staying in contact with my sponsor and recovery friends, both make sure I am staying sane and keeping everything in perspective.

Well I need to take a shower, do some business class work, then off to the writing class. Hope everyone is safe, is finding emotional balance in the storms of life, and in general doing well.

Peace Love Light

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Rope in a Deep Well

I am just going to start typing and let a title materialize out of what I type. I have done some footwork to lessen the financial burden, my time to myself has been shortened and I have had a bloody head cold for a week, not to mention a brewing resentment I need to get rid of.

I did some talking to my banker and was able to rework a loan I have, I had to extend the length which in the long run isn't good but in the right now it cuts my monthly payments down by 1/3, maybe in a couple of years I can increase the payments so I am not paying back so much in interest; this loan was taken out when I was making quite a bit more money. I bought a small car, so my fuel expense has dropped a lot, little Chevy Cavalier with a 5 speed manual transmission, God I love shifting gears again, the car isn't brilliant looking but runs well. I talked to my boss at the hotel and he was able to give me six extra hours a week of work, plus I work every other Sunday. Lastly I bought a trailer, my mom loaned me the money, this will save me $80.00 a month plus I can pay my mom back a couple of times a month instead of having everything come out of one paycheck.

The trailer belongs to I guy I use to work with; it is older but well insulated and has good windows, fenced in yard for the kids, 2 nice size shed for storage, 3 bedrooms and 1-1/2 baths. The kitchen is bigger with more cupboards, my trailer really lacks cupboards in the kitchen, they built on to the dining and living rooms, so they are bigger. Mich and Angel will take the bedroom with the 1/2 bath which is in the front off the living room, Carter will have the little bedroom and mine will be in the back. I need to paint the living room, it is lime green not my color, going to paint it a burgundy for warmth, plus the cupboard doors in the kitchen and bath need painted and a bit of wood putty. 

The main reason for buying the trailer is Mich and the kids moved back in with me and will probably be living with me for quite a while. When the landlord said she wasn't approved to live with me, she moved in with a guy who turned out to be a control freak with a violent background, recently he has been stalking her via FB and driving by the house or finding out from mutual friends what she is up to. It is better for her to live with me, I feel more secure with her and the kids here, instead of her hooking up with some guy just so she has a place to stay, she has been good about not going out at night since she quit dating, she is partying less and is home every night of the week. I have been nervous about the landlady finding out Mich and the kids were here, afraid of being evicted for breaking the lease agreement.

The new trailer is just down the street from the one I currently rent. When I told the landlord I was buying it, she told me Mich was still not allowed to live with me. I contacted a lawyer and he said she cannot tell me who can and cannot live with me, unless the person has a serious criminal record, prejudice doesn't count. Mich copped an attitude when she did the interview with the landlady to get approval to live in this trailer, landlady was talking down to her and Mich being a proud 21 year old who doesn't know anything about having a poker face and keeping her mouth shut, rubbed the landlady the wrong way. Mich can be an arrogant, know it all snot, who doesn't own her mistakes as much as she needs to, she is immature for sure, especially when it comes to putting her wants above the needs of the kids, she sees nothing wrong with going out drinking a couple of nights a week and leaving the kids with someone. Mich hasn't been charged with child neglect from the incident with Carter climbing out the window in July, in fact Child Protective Services were never called. She has a court date later this month and has a Public Defender, so hopefully the charges will be dropped. She has been put on suspense from her job working with the mentally handicap because she can't have anything dealing with neglect or abuse on her record, if the charges are dropped she gets her job back. So Mich isn't a perfect kid, but she isn't a really bad kid either, she does better living under my roof with boundaries than on her own.

My conversation with the landlady has been eating my lunch, she was rude towards me and made accusations about Mich I didn't like. She doesn't know anything about Mich, where she has come from; mother committing suicide when she was 8 years old, dad climbing inside a bottle for 10 years, going into foster care and group homes, completing high school as a teen mother and trying her best to be a mom at a young age. We live a quiet life, the house is alcohol and drug free, since it was reported the girl watching the kids wasn't keeping a close eye on them, she hasn't watched them and will not watch them, when the kids are outside they are closely supervised. Another thing is; I live in the biggest mobile home park in town, I know of a lot of kids who run around unsupervised and you have to drive slow and watch out for them, also I know of homes where people live without approval from the manager. The landlady is one of those know-it-all people who will not listen to what you have to say, she is very prejudice; this was brought to my attention when I talked to her about buying the trailer because the guy I am buying it from is Hispanic and she didn't have anything nice to say about Hispanics even though 50% of the residents here are Hispanic. If I didn't pay my rent, if I had the cops coming around every so often, if my lot was a junk pit, if the kids where running wild in the streets I could understand her being concerned about renting me a lot. I can't explain to her that Mich and the kids are better off and safer living with me, that Mich is at a crossroads and needs to be able to save up to move out. I want to say "listen bitch, I am doing what is best for my daughter and grand kids so butt the fuck out and mind your own business and until we do something illegal leave us alone."

I own and understand her not allowing Mich to live in a home I rent from her, it is her choice on who lives in her property, and I signed a lease saying I would get approval for anyone, be it my kid or girlfriend or roommate, if they moved in with me. Looking at this from a 4th step point of view, the landlady has hurt my pride and since of security. Oh yeah, rental property here blows if you have a pet, only a few mobile home owners allow pets, none of the apartments or houses do, so I am stuck, I looked around and couldn't find a trailer to buy in another park in my price range. Yesterday I realized I had a dozy of a resentment building towards the landlady, I was driving around town with a conversation with her going through my head, wanting to set the record straight with her and tell her I talked to a lawyer and was calling her bluff. Last night when I went to bed I did the only thing I know how to do, I prayer for her and for acceptance.

I don't dig having my lifeboat rocked, I want everything in life to go along smooth. Things have smoothed out again for the most part, money, Mich and kids. The landlady bit will smooth out too once we move, we will live our quiet life, just be another tenant among and few hundred others. I am going to visit my sponsor this afternoon after work, puke on her table for a bit and I will continue to pray for the landlady, it always seems to help accepting someone I dislike, know we will never see eye to eye and move on, might not happen soon but with practice and time it will.

On the lighter side, Angel is really excited for Halloween, she wants to be a tiger princess, not sure where she got this idea but she is adamant this is what she is going to be. I found an orange tutu, plus orange tights, will buy an orange t-shirt, use electrical tape for strips, get her some cat ears and tail, paint her face orange with stripes. I found Carter the cutest gnome costume, little white beard, pointed hat, shirt/shorts with suspenders. I will take pictures and post them. I bought Angel some plastic fangs and she has been in hog heaven wearing them around the house.

Life is still good, even with battling challenges, classes are going well, I will start writing my next two papers for psyche next week. If I wasn't sober I wouldn't have these wonderful challenges. If I didn't go to meetings, talk to my sponsor and others in recovery, work the steps daily the best I can, I would be sitting in a deep well of shit with no direction out.

Peace Love Light

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Every Step on the Path is Required

I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I have ended up where I need to be.
Douglas Adams

Last night three of us gave our annual panel presentation to the local nursing students. The presentation is an informal discussion on alcoholism and addiction, we talk openly and honestly about the effects of alcoholism and also share about AA and how it works, drug addiction and NA are also touched on. Two of the people on the panel have medical backgrounds, one has done everything from basic nursing to respirator therapy, the other is a retired nurse. These two ladies were practicing alcoholics in their professions; one how has 6 years sobriety and the other 37 years. Our intent is to help the students who as nurse may possibly see a lot of sick alcoholics and addicts up close and personal both as patients and peers, also the family members effected. We try and break the stigma of what an alcoholic is, the three of us have all lead professional lives as practicing alcoholics but were also living very destructive lives. We talk about the obsessive nature of alcoholism, how the obsession is more powerful than our concern for family, friends and our own well being. We also share how we have found a solution, how the obsession has been removed or to put it in a better way, is in remission.

All of us enjoy doing this discussion. Some of the students are really interested in what we have to say. We hit a few nerves too when we talk, it is interesting to watch the expression on the faces, to see someone relate from their own experience. We do what we do because it is just another aspect of service without any expectations attached.

When I read the above quote this morning, it brought back what we shared last night. None of us set out in life to be chronic alcoholics. We didn't say as teenagers, I want to be physically, mentally and spiritually sick person by my 20's. Part of the importance of sharing our story with others, whether it be 40 students or just one on one, is we see where we have gone and where that life lead us both the bad and the good.

Every step I have taken and every step I take on the path is required. I step up to my ass in self pity shit, I wade through the muck of challenges I really do not like because they take me where I need to be. Where I thought I would be 30 years ago and where life took me are two different things. When I was about 8 years old I wanted to be an Oceanographer, 41 years later I am a full time student and part time desk clerk at a hotel, making just enough to survive and it is where I need to be today.

If my life would have been one filled with ease, would I have the gratitude I have for life today? I think the path of struggles both in and out of recovery have made me a better person. When I go through struggles and put them into perspective, I can see I am where I need to be. Struggle as always show me what I need to be doing or sometimes not doing, whatever the case may be. This was the indirect message we shared last night, three ex-drunks who had been to Hell and back, saying life was good today because we stumbled upon a path for living we hadn't intended upon taking.

Hope all are enjoying changing of the seasons, wonderful crisp evenings and mornings. The coffee always smells better when the house is naturally cool.

Peace Love Light