Wednesday, August 26, 2009

No Regret a useful tool

It's 11:00 am, I sitting here in my sleep pants, cup of coffee and smokes within short reach, I have finished reading my favorite blogs or checking to see if anyone has posted a new one. For the most part it is peaceful outside the library window, I call the spare room a library instead of office because my bookcases are in here, my bills go on the kitchen table until I need to review and pay them, a chore for today, my desk is a place for the laptop to sit and for storage, plus a couple of junk drawers filled with nails, wall hooks, batteries, small tools, misc repair stuff, so office just sounds to stuffy for me, library on the other hand is a place of peace, a place to read and a place to reflect which is what I do when I am in this room, I also have art work by Mich and N's youngest on the walls. So now you know about the room from which I write this blog and comment you yours.

I was awaken around 9:15 by a heavy rain, something we need since the air last night was heavy with moisture so hopefully the humidity will be less today, doesn't bother me but I get tired of hearing others complain about it. I save what little weather complaining I do for bitter north winds and temps in the teens and below, anytime the temp is above 40 I am happy. I don't like the cold at all but live in a cold state and will probably spend most of my life living in a cold state, I accept this because I love this cold state, it's people, it's culture, it's fairly laid back nature, it's friendliness plus my family and love ones are here. When I lived in the central part of the state it was a work of acceptance, I am liberal they are conservative, I think Limbaugh is an intolerant moron with an ugly soul they think he is a God, I love blues, folk, bluegrass and jazz influenced music with the exception of a small town radio station run by 2 old hippies my music isn't played west of Lincoln, I love ethnic foods and culture sorry folks but Mexican and bland Chinese just don't cut it for me, I like seeing and talking to freaks on the street in the coffee shop and at meetings out west they are a rarity and people laugh and point at them, I am not a Christian and people out west have a hard time understanding this, but I spent 17 years living in that part of the state I am a better person for it. Once I got sober and stopped using my differences as a "poor me I am so damn unique I have to drink all the time" BS, my differences gave me a chance for growth, a chance to practice love and tolerance even when I felt like I was being shunned or looked down on for my beliefs. There is no way I can truly understand raw prejudice felt my people of color or homosexuals but I have empathy because I have had small doses of it. Jesus talked about turning the other cheek and loving our enemies as well as our friends, the Buddha taught the same, I was given a chance to live these words and apply them in my life so I hold no ill feelings towards those with different views or ideals. Now that I am in Lincoln, I feel right at home. I am still living in my wonderful Nebraska but I am in the one city that I feel I fit in completely, God had a time planned for this and it materialized when things were right for me. I think about the drunken years, the alcohol fuel hatred, hatred of others and self, the poor Me's and it seems like such a waste but it wasn't, it was a part of the past I can't shut the door on because one can of beer takes me back there, no matter how good things are now the alcohol will turn everything black and ugly, that is how the demon works in me, it blankets out the sunlight of the Spirit. I am grateful for my past and my present life.

My new job is allowing me to use the tools of understanding and right speech, not to mention awareness. There are some clients who are suffering greatly from shame and guilt, well all of them are but there are only a few who are open enough to talk about it with the techs. I have been given an opportunity to explain the promise "we will not regret the past nor which to shut the door on it" from my own experience, the above thing with living in a small town is trivial for the most part. The shame I can share about is the shame that those of us who had children during our active alcoholism feel about the damage and suffering we created. I am not proud of how I treated my daughter or my parents, I am allowed to share this with the clients and explain to them I no longer feel regret for what I did, it was part of being a selfish slave to King Alcohol, I share that for me remembering how I treated my daughter and parents has become a tool for staying sober, it is part of thinking the drink through to the very end when the "wouldn't a beer taste good right now" thought crosses my mind, it is part of a mental collage which also includes jails and homelessness. One drink, a thimble full of alcohol has the power to ruin my relationship with my daughter, granddaughter, mother and the rest of the people I love and love me, that's some powerful stuff and I can never forget it. Another thing I am learning is to work with people who are very mentally ill. I have spent a lot of time with chronic alcoholics, both in and out of meetings, those sad cases that just don't seem to get "it", some have died and some are still existing. The people I work with are the ones Bill wrote about in Chapter 5 " constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves" they are unfortunate indeed. When I did service work at the mental health hospital I was in brief contact with some like this but now I am spending hours with a few people like this and let me tell you campers it is very sad. It is sad when the director tells us that these people are severely mentally ill and to please show tolerance and kindness towards them, it is sad to talk to or listen to someone with whom reality is sometimes an illusion, it is sad to know these people aren't even 40 years old and the future is very uncertain for them. There is one kid who really knows how to work you, he is mentally ill, in denial and gets verbally aggressive when confronted, this posed a challenge to me last night, I let him rant and rave, tried to explain or show him how this thinking was a wrong, I was granted the ability to be assertive without being aggressive, in the end I told him to go outside and cool down, later when I checked on him he was doing alright. We can't change these people a great deal but we still have to give them feedback in hopes the a small kernel of what we say may sink in, to help in anyway we can and I also feel that what loving kindness and compassion we show them in some ways is healthy for them also. My prayer and mediation time prior to work consist partially of asking for compassion, loving kindness and freedom from the bondage of self, yesterday I was given the honor of practicing what I pray and mediate for, it seems like a big order sometimes for this ex drunk, it seems almost overwhelming and scary. When I asked to be of service to God and my fellows I wasn't aware of of how much God would ask of me but God has faith in me and my coworkers who give me assistance and work with the clients also, just like it recovery it is all about "WE", I must not count myself short or the gifts I have been given, the old insecure Scott wants to do this at times. I take refuge in the 3rd and 11Th steps, I take refuge in the teachings of recovery, I take refuge in the Living Buddha and Living Christ, without these I am a dangerous man in a job that requires applying these principles every second I am there. I have said this before and will probably continue to say this, I love this job and I am grateful to my God for allowing me to have it, for the spiritual growth it gives me and with spiritual growth comes personal and emotional growth, tools I can use outside of the treatment center when I am in contact with my family, loved ones, friends and society in general. Must add I make mistakes, I am not perfect but I do the best that I can do. I use to beat the shit out of myself for making mistakes, you people in recovery told me I didn't need to do this anymore, that God forgives me and I need to forgive myself, thanks to God and you I have stayed sober enough 24 hours to practice this most of the time.

On a lighter note, looking out my window this morning I get the joy of watching the birds dig around in the wet grass for bugs. I get to watch the tree rats (squirrels) run and play. My bird feeder is a hit with all kinds of birds, even the black birds and blue jays are being nice to the smaller birds, I don't see the cardinals as much as I would like but every once in a while I catch a glimpse of them eating out of the feeder. I also have 3 rabbits who visit my yard, I take the bird seed and broadcast it around for them also. Life is peaceful and serene for the most part, I did have a bit uneasiness yesterday but did the footwork to correct it, once again my mind was telling me a story that was untrue but the only way to find out the truth was to trust God and ask the person I was worrying about the question that was on my mind, anyone who read this blog probably knows who I am talking about, all is well like I said it was just my mind telling me stories and my own insecurities feeding the story.

Well campers, I need to get my butt off this chair, take a shower, do some work around the house, look at a pay a couple of bills and then head to work.

Peace Love and Light to everyone!! and if anyone hasn't told you they Love you today then I will, I love you all.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Unity and a special meeting

I had a cool experience yesterday that I just had to share with you all. I had to work the 3pm to 11pm shift, the itenary for the clients was to take them to an NA event, speakers and pot luck followed by a regular meeting. Prior to loading them all up in the vans, one of the women who just can't seem to follow the rules got in trouble again, her peers caught her using a cell phone and also saw her doing some serious lip locking with her boyfriend, both big time wrongs, so the techs had to confront her on her behavior and make her decide what her punishment was to be which would start after the outing since all the clients and tech were going on the outing, she choice no privileges for 24 hours, no phone, no tv, no visits, pretty much just assigned stuff and smoke breaks, (honestly this comes into play later).

I have never been a heavy attender at NA meetings or functions, have gone mainly because of friends so I really didn't know what to expect. The function was small, much smaller than I thought it would be, but I was reminded that the huge Nebraska AA function was in Omaha this weekend, hour roadtrip, so a lot of people where there. They didn't have a scheduled time for the potluck like AA events I have attended, the food was laid out on a table for help yourself, good food and desserts. Oh yeah prior to getting in the van one of the clients asked me if I would go to court with him Monday, we had attended an AA meeting together Thursday night and he felt a bond with me and wants me to go with him to court for support, what an honor, tears of graditude are rolling just writing about this. The one and only speaker we got to hear was really good, he wasn't the most dynamic speaker but his message was strong, talked about sponsorship, steps, solution, and service, talked about being newly clean and seeing his brother die from alcohol and drugs, he has 18 years clean and sober, he also kept the profanity to a minumum, something that has been lacking in a lot of the NA meetings I have attended. After he spoke I walked around and talked to the clients, their response varied most thought he was alright, they tried to listen for the message, a couple where really inspired. Next up was the regular NA meeting, the topic was Unity because it was National Recovery Unity day, the meeting was started with a unity circle followed by the Serenity Prayer. The choosing of who was going to speak was done in a totally differant way than I had experience but loved the idea, when it was time to pass to the next speaker the person speaking walked over and gave that person a hug and then that person would share and pass the hug on to the person they choose to share after them. To some of the clients this was a bit weird, many had never been around NA before and NA is very much a hugging fellowship where AA is more handshakes and hugs are reserved for people we are close to. Some of the clients were chosen to share, most passed but a couple did share, saying unity to them was the unity they found in treatment being with people who had problems with alcohol and drugs just like them and how it made it easier for them to accept their own problem, they also liked the unity they were experiencing in the room during the meeting. The guy I bonded with picked me to share, I wasn't sure what I was suppose to do since part of me was Scott the Tech but the other part was Scott the recovering alcoholic addict, it took all of probably 30 seconds for Scott the recovering alcoholic addict to speak up and say "Hi everyone, my name is Scott and I am an addict" when I am in an NA meeting I am an addict and when I am in an AA meeting I am an alcoholic in respect to the fellowships. I spoke from my heart without concern for what the clients needed to hear. For me one of the greatest things about unit was finding I wasn't alone in having the feelings inside that were eating me up, the ones that the booze could no long quiet, walking into a recovery room and knowing it was alright to be afraid, to be angry to have problems, unity is the common solution shared that allows us to work on these problems together either as a group or one alcoholic talking to another like it was with Bill and Bob, unity is the love we have for one another during times of great distress; deaths, serious illness, divorces, and other life changing event the events when a fellowship rally arounds the member loves them and helps carry them through so that the member safely comes out the other side without drinking or using. That type of unity wasn't out there for me when I was drinking and using, with the except of a few friends. Unity is the sense of belonging, belonging that I tried to find those 10 years back out there doing research, belonging that I didn't find until I walked back inside a AA room and reconnected with people just like me. I wanted to talk about unity being part of the 3 legacies but thought better of it since it wasn't an AA meeting, I kept my sharing pretty much on using and drinking in general and recovery as a whole, even though my drug of choice is alcohol and with the except of downers it will be alcohol that I turn to if I ever start destroying myself again. Steve wrote about being introverted and full of fear when he drank and how he is the complete opposite today and I really relate to that, last night I was in a meeting of people I didn't know with the exception of one or 2 plus our clients, yet I felt completely at home, no fear, no insecurities about sharing my experience, strength and hope, truly a gift from God. Once again I talked to the clients afterwards and most of them really enjoyed the meeting, more so than the speaker, because of the sharing of other members, really good positive recovery sharing. One client said he was feeling really down prior to the outing but the speaker and meeting lifted him up, the lifting up was echoed by other clients, oh the power of God speaking through others in unity of a common problem with a common solution. I also won a NA candle stick holder that I will give to N, she is more NA than I am, some of the other clients won stuff as well and we had the person with the least amount of clean and sober time and she was given a copy of the NA basic text signed by all present, God willing she reads and applies it to her life.

You know once in a while are allowed to have trully wonderful spiritual experiences and witness obvisious miracles and last night was one of those oppurtunities for me. In my way of thinking we have spiritual experience and witness miracles all the time but we are not always open to them. Last night I was open and aware and you all know why and if you don't ask me in the comments and I will visit with you.

Oh yeah about the women who got in trouble with her peers. The meeting was a pay off because at the end of day group session she was confronted by the whole group and Techs on her behavior. The peers that confronted her did so in a loving and caring manner, saying they were concerned about her recovery and where not confronting her to try and hurt her but where doing so out of love and concern, she did not take it this way but really how many of us new in recovery would have. So once again the message of unity paid off, the clients were in a better spiritual state to confront their peer because of just having attended a meeting, most of them probably didn't know it but they were witness to how God works through other alcoholics and addicts. I am fully aware that most of my clients will not say sober for any great length of time, some will relapse repeatedly and finally find recovery when the time is right and the pain is finally great enough to completely surrender to the disease and a God of their understanding. Others will die from this disease, causing destruction along the way. But last night was a beautiful thing for them to experience and be a part of and whether they know it or not it was a powerful learning tool that will hopefully stay with them for as long as they trudge the road of happy destiny and it may help them return if they step off the path.

Peace Love and Light

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Time of anwsered Prayers

It has been a couple of months worth of answered prayers!!! First was the selling of my home in Kearney which allowed me to move to Lincoln. Next it was finding a duplex to live in instead having to move into an apartment, this allowed me to have a washer and dryer so I didn't have to start doing the laundromat thing, it allow me to put up a storage shed instead of rent a storage unit for all my stuff, it provides me with the privacy I am use to and a nice lawn to take care and enjoy, a place for my dog to be comfortable in, the yard provides for my new found bird and rabbit friends also that I am feeding. Then came the job, a job the was given to me by God so that I can use the talents God has given me to serve other's, those new to recovery and those starting over and now I am coming to find out my experience as a practicing alcoholic/addict and a recovering alcoholic/addict is helping the techs who aren't alcoholic/addict understand the disease better via my sharing my story with them. It is rewarding to come home from work knowing you have done something positive, something that was of service to God and society. Some people cringe when I tell them I took a $3.00 an hour pay cut for this job but sometimes the rewards we reap are not monetary. Last week my companion N got a dream job being of service to God and society also, for her it was also an increase in pay and benefits but with 3 kids she needed this. My bond with N has grown stronger in small steps and so has the bond with her kids, see my last post.

Yesterday was a head banger though. My daughter and granddaughter have been living with N on a temporary bases, N's oldest son has been gone so it hasn't been too much of a problem but N is also not suppose to have anyone live with her for over a couple of weeks due to the regulations of assisted housing, so she was getting a bit nervous someone would find out and she would get in big trouble, also her son is back home because school has started, so N's stress level and mine were starting to max out since my daughter hadn't found a place to live. Part of the problem with my daughter is she can't sign a lease since she isn't 19, another is just pure laziness and wanting to live in too nice of a place instead of getting what she needs for her and the baby (1 year old) and having me sign the lease for her. Also she has this on again off again boyfriend who is 19 and suppose to be helping her find something but is worse at procrastinating than she is. Boyfriend is also lazy and has a poor job history which isn't helping him find work. When I saw them Sunday at N's house I stated it clearly as possible that she had to find a place by the end of the week, she has had 2 months to find a place to live, boyfriend was also there and I asked him if he had a job and he said yeah 2 jobs, stupid me didn't ask him what they were though. Tuesday I get a call from my daughter saying she has found a "nice" 3 bedroom house for $650.00 a month and needs a deposit of $650.00, she says that her boyfriend and another guy were going to split the rent, the other guy I know doesn't have a job and my daughter is just starting a job for minimum wage and only 20-30 hours a week, I told her she needed to get a guarantee that the friend would stick to his end of the bargain before I would do anything which also gave me time to think more about it, I also told her she needed to look for something cheaper. Yesterday she called asking about the deposit money, I question her on the friend, he hasn't returned her phone call, I ask her about her boyfriends contribution and she tells me he is waiting to get paid, then she tells me what the 2 jobs that I forgot to ask about are, he is babysitting for his sister and another friend, I was dumbfounded to say the least, not sure what I said to my daughter but I ended the conversation basically by saying a $650.00 a month apartment was out of the question considering the circumstances, no solid incomes. Alright I set myself up for this serenity deflation, I assumed that boyfriend's 2 jobs where construction related under the table jobs, oddball stuff like concrete work, roofing, oddball stuff which isn't uncommon in the summer time around here anyway, some how I expected deadbeat boyfriend to have changed. Somehow I expected my daughter to finally wise to this guy if he hadn't changed and assumed he had since they were together again, so my text to N saying "God grant me serenity PLEASE" was in reaction to my own messed up thinking, my expectations cause me to lose my serenity. So I had a very upset daughter because I won't go for this $650.00 house, I tell her to start checking out other for rent places and see if anyone will let her and Angel stay with them for a brief time until she finds something affordable. Part of the problem has also been that I have tried to stay out of this for the most part, making my daughter take responsibility and do the footwork herself, she is out on her own with a baby and needs to figure this stuff out without me doing the work for her all the time, when we have talked over the last few weeks I have asked her about finding a place to live and a job, so I have been reminding her so it is not like I haven't taken interest. I hit the panic button yesterday after talking to her, got on the local newspapers website and started making calls for housing that is in our price range, in the mean time the response I got back from N wasn't the loving one I expected, there goes that expect word again, it was a panic back from her in large type about her concerns over getting in trouble, one of the numbers I dialed showed up as a listed contact, one of my friends in recovery was renting out his basement apartment for $400.00 utilities paid, PRAYER ANSWERED thank you GOD. My daughter isn't overly happy about this, it isn't as nice as she would liked but I told her point blank it isn't about what you want it is about what you need and you need an affordable place to live for you and the baby, plus the guy is a friend and will work with you, no deposit needed, he will bend a bit on when the rent is due, it is safe and secure. I have never in my life lived by high standards, I am not into trashy living conditions although my old house wasn't in great condition while I was drinking, so I don't know where this idea of my daughters that she has to have a really nice place to live comes from, unless she just feels she needs to raise above the normal working class living conditions she was raised with. I told her that when she and her boyfriend save the money they can move into any place they want but for now just be grateful to have a place to live and it is not with someone else. I talked to N last night and she had calmed down and was normal over the phone, she understood my concern and I told her part of my fear was that this problem with my daughter would put a strain on our relationship, she just giggled and said it was alright. So once again God answered a prayer, although It did inject a bit of pain into my butt to get the footwork started for the prayer to be answered.

I have come a long way in on this path to recovery, I walked in an Agnostic not really certain about the power of prayer and to be honest I am still not 100% sure. What I do know is that it doesn't hurt anything to ask that our needs and those of ours be met if it be Thy will, to believe in the positive power in the universe, to believe that when we live our lives in a Godly way we receive the rewards for it. That our belief in a God of our understanding will see us through, that if we do the footwork that good things will happen not all the time but if it is to be it will be. I feel that God gave N and me our jobs because we worked hard at our recovery, that we are sincere about our devotion to helping others and using our dark past as a means to hopefully shed some light on another life, that it has taken this long for both of to have the awareness and strength to serve constructively. The promises are coming true for us because we have worked and are working the 12 steps, because we live by spiritual principles, not just because she is a Christian and I am Buddhist, we have both changed are way of living, she has become grounded in her family life and stopped having meaningless relationships in order to give herself some since of self worth by pleasing another. I have given myself to the practice of awareness and unselfishness as hard as it may be, I do my best to watch my words, awareness of how powerful words can be whether it be profanity/vulgarity or negative words, I try to be aware of my actions and how they effect others. I try every day to practice loving kindness and compassion towards others and so does N. I try to be Christ like and Buddha like in all that I do. I fail quite often but it is in the failing that I become away of where the work needs to take place. None of this is a direct result of just me or N, it is a gift from God, a gift I humbly acknowledge and give thanks for every morning and every night, it is the grace that is bestowed upon us. I know there are some of my blogger friends that are going through some really hard times and it seems that God is acting against them and my post here may seem like BS from where they are sitting all I can say is that as long as we stay sober something positive will come out of your pain in the end, as Prayer Girl said sometimes we have to stand in the hallway and wait for the next door to open. I hope I have given a bit of hope that the door will open for all when the time is right, it has been over 2 years waiting for these doors to open for me, well the big doors anyway, I have had a bunch of small ones open every once in a while. I should always try and be grateful for the doors, the ones that shut and the ones that open, for they give me an opportunity not dreamed of. The stuff with my daughter will be an on going process of ups and downs, this I will say is pure Karma for how I was with my parents, God is repaying my parents love and frustrations over my life via that of my daughter, the difference being for now is I have a fellowship to help me along that they didn't have, I have teachers who can guide me through the tough times when I really want to enable her even when it goes against my better judgement, who will step on my toes with tough love, my parents did the best they could with what they had and we both came out safely in the end once again thanks to God.

Peace Love and Light

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Post for Sarah

Someone in Michigan brought it to my attention I haven't written in 5 days and they were checking up on me, it is nice to know even though you all may not comment, you check on me!! So to my dear friend in Michigan, things are going well, please read on.

The campout was alright but rainy. Friday night we received rain around midnight, N slept with her 9 year old and they had a small leak, her 14 year old and his friend slept in the big tent with me and we were fine, her 12 year old slept in another tent and was dry, the other 14 year her daughter pulled a bad one and went and slept on the floor of the cabin with our other friends, N was mad about this and I explained to daughter why mom was made, that we were camping as a family and mom wanted us to be together at the campsite, that we hadn't paid for her to sleep in the cabin and that it made mom look bad in the sense that mom felt the others might think she was taking advantage of them, of course they didn't but we all know that we feel this way when our kids do stuff like this. Saturday we just hung out, pretty much relaxing then most of us took a road trip, N stayed at the cabin to rest and the kids went swimming. All of us went into South Dakota, let me tell you something about South Dakota sign postings, you better buy a map if you go, the Nebraska map covers SD but not enough, we never got that far way from the border but signs telling us the names of towns south into NE were not to be found, finally after a few errors and one stop for directions we made it back. The late afternoon yielded more rain as did the evening, the firewood got soaked, next time no matter how sunny we have to cover the firewood in case of down pours. N's tent got more rain, her pillows and blanket were soaked, so N and her 2 kids and I slept in my station wagon, folded the back seat down so the kids could lay out, used my extra blankets and pillow, oh yeah it was pouring and windy come bedtime and also fairly chilly, N slept on the passenger side and I on the drivers side, managed to sleep but not the greatest. Of course Sunday was a nice day but we had to leave by noon for the 4-1/2 drive home. This is the chance you take when you camp, if N and I are together next spring we are going to buy a pop-up camper, we all had a good time, we were in nature, I did do some walking mediation, a couple of times to just clear my mind because there were a couple of people with us who irritate me, I love them and didn't want to let their personalities interfere with my serenity so I put the solution into action walked off and mediated. It was also a weekend where I bonded more with the 9 and 12 year olds, the 12 year old doesn't live with N but we see her every few weeks. I am becoming a positive male role model in the 9 year olds life, he respects and loves me even when I correct him, just the same way he does his mother, N is alright with what I do and backs me up, I correct him in a strong loving way, explaining to him the best I can why his mom and I don't like what he is doing or won't let him have his way.

More about N then will move on. When we got back I stayed around N's house until 8:30pm, it wasn't my intention but just happened because after unpacking N took a shower without telling me, she assumed I would just be staying around for awhile, which is cool in one way because she expects me to just be there but in another she needs to communicate with me in case I have other plans, something I will talk to her about Friday. By N taking a shower it opened the door for the 14 year old daughter (K) to have a heart to heart with me, like her brother she is bonding with me and sees me as someone she can trust. We talked about her problems with her mom and what she feels is wrong at home. Communication seems to be the biggest problem, they both need to learn to communicate better, both of them seem shocked when I told each of them in private that they were a lot alike, both need to know the complete details, neither likes shades of gray, N needs to explain her expectations better or if the chore doesn't get done to her expectations explain the expectation at that time so K understands for the next time then if K still doesn't do it right then K has a consequence for her action, both N and K were fine with this. N needs to let the kids know when things seem overwhelming to her, instead of snaping at them because she is frustrated. Another area they have in common is both of them have a lot of fear, fear of being hurt, fear of letting others in, fear of feeling the feelings, stuffing and hiding their emotions instead of taking an honest look at them and sharing them with another. My feedback comes from my experiences, I was drinking when Mich was in her early teens, I understand my mistakes and don't want N to repeat them, I explained this to K as well. I am honored that N and K both trust me enough to let me inside them as much as they do, N respects my feedback and so does K. I am honored that N has let me be a part of her kids lives, I am not trying to be a father to her kids even though with the exception of the daughter who doesn't live with N the kids father is pretty much absent, other than to stir stuff up on occasion but he lives 1000 miles away thankfully so this doesn't happen very often, I am their mom's best friend, her companion, I am someone who mom trust and respects so in turn the kids via spending a lot of time with me have gained the same trust and respect, mom and I both live by the spiritual principles of recovery and it shows, we both watch our profanity, we leave sexual comments out of our vocabulary, we both agree on what is proper and what is improper for the kids to watch and listen to, N is really starting to take a strong stance against violence, whether it be toys or movies, we openly talk about God, we involve the kids on our recovery. The one thing that is missing is between N and me and that is we aren't as open about this relationship as we should be, I feel both of us fear hurting the other or losing the other. Speaking for myself, I am just riding this out for now. I am trying my best to walk in her moccasin's, she has 4 kids to think about, she has been hurt way too many times in the past, we live 140 miles away from each other, she has enough going on in her life without commiting to a relationship, on the other side is she knows she can trust me, she respects me, she knows I love her and the kids, we are very much a part of each others lives down to her having a friendship with and looking in on my mom on occasion and being a part of Mich and Angel's lives, what we have with each other is safe for her in it's present state, she accepts my affection and returns it the best she can, when we are together she can be herself, she knows she can fall asleep in the car and I don't care, in fact it is a joke with us, she let another guy driver her car part of the way back just so she could ride with me in comfort and get a nap. We have plans to spend time together over the next few weeks so nothing has changed as of right now. I do get frustrated because I want a bit of intimacy but I have to let go and let God, thanks again Steve E, God is stearing this relationship and I want to see it through to the very end. If the end amounts to not, which I hope it doesn't but that is a real possiblity, then I have learn a great deal about being in a relationship. I want the intimacy to come naturally from her and not have her do something because she feels she owes it to me, I want the deep love to be mutual and lasting if it is to be, I want what is best for N and her kids and not what is best for just Scott, all this takes time and I need to remember this, I need to remember that the relationships I rushed into ended in ruin, how many times have I said I want to really get to know someone before I rush into to something, boy are those words really sinking in now because at the times I have said them I meant them but hadn't experienced the true meaning of them and now I am and it isn't as easy to live them as say them. I thank my blogger friends who are going through the break ups of relationships, I feel for you, love you all and hope the best for you but also you are teaching me something, you are teaching what might have been if N wasn't so careful, your blogs could easily be mine or N's in the future if we were to rush into this, you have helped me understand her a great deal and respect her decisions, I am such a babe to relationships that I don't understand the full implications but you have shown me how my own selfish desires could damage another although unintentional because the last thing I want to do is hurt N or the kids, you have given me the strength to look at things from her perspective since she has been hurt too many times in the past and wants to make sure our relationship is right before she takes it to the next level. I have been granted acceptance when I choice to sit long enough to see it, when I sit and see the suffering for the desire it really is and know the desire is cutting off my serenity and the sunlight of the Spirit. Wow I really didn't plan to write all this about what is going on but I must have needed to. I have talked to my sponsor and others about this and it all comes back to trust God and things will work out the way they are suppose to, learn from this whether it turns out the way you want it to or not.

Now about the job. I am blessed with my job!!! Still not getting a full 40 hours but will be in a few weeks, the next 2 weeks I am working 4 days, up till now I have only worked 3 days but that is understandable because they need to make sure I am right for the job before they allow me to have that much impact on the treatment of the clients. I have received positive feedback from my supervisor and my peers, I interact with the clients really well and give my imput in the training sessions. There are only a small few of the Tech's who are in recovery. The other night I was talking to a Tech who isn't in recovery and he told me that the recovery Tech's can relate to the clients better on a lot of things and help the clients see things what the non recovery Tech's can't, he encouraged me to continue to give the clients the feedback and assistance that I have been doing. It was nice Monday to work with a Tech who is in recovery and see how she gives feedback, she did it in a way that the clients knew what she was talking about without bring too much of her own story into it. Did tell a few clients a bit of my story because it was pertinant to what they were discussing, I did this to help them understand the bigger picture of how this disease effects our lives. I have also talked to a few clients about meetings and suggested some meetings to them if they can get a ride. I am giving one woman the phone number of a friend of mine tonight who said she would take her to a Friday night meeting that is really good. A few clients have warmed up to me, I understand lack of trust so if someone is just cordial to me I respect that. I remember when I was in treatment there were certain Tech's I trusted more than other. My shifts are mainly the 3:00pm to 11:00pm shift which I really love, this gives me plenty of time to prepare for the day and do things that need to be done. I have never been a morning person even though I have had to be at work by 8:00am for the last 15 years I still hate getting up and usually rush around and take a couple of minutes for prayer, now I don't have to do this.

Well I hope this has fulfilled the needs of anyone wonder what has been going on with me and what is going on inside my head. Oh yeah still going to meetings, opened myself up to service work at the intergroup level last night. Building my relationship with people in recovery here in Lincoln. Stopped at the central office yesterday to get a Alateen book for K, no Alateen in Kearney nor recovery book store, she really likes AA meetings but N and I feel she needs to try and identify with Alateen if possible, so I bought her some reading material, if she likes it cool if not then it was still worth the try. I continue to live in the solution, to live the 12 steps, not to do this would mean ruin for me and those around me, one can of beer effects more than just Scott.

Peace Love and Light

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Something to write about.

I didn't get to bed until 2:30am and for some reason I woke up at 7:00am laid in bed until 8:00am and finally said the hell with it and got up. We are going camping this weekend so I cooked the sausage and bacon for breakfast burritos, I cook the meat, onions and peppers ahead of time, then scramble the eggs uncooked so all I have to do at the campsite is put the mixture in a frying pan to cook the eggs and within minutes the mixture is ready to put on a hot tortilla with salsa and cheese, camp out favorite and easier and quicker than tradition bacon, eggs and pancakes. We are head up to the northeast part of the state this time, along the same river that we tubed down, only no tubing this. The second largest lake in Nebraska is located in this area so we are going to check it out and do some swimming, there are bunch of nature trails for hiking and walking mediation, the Ponca tribe is having a Pow Wow so some of us if not all will check that out as well. It will be a good weekend, I don't have to work tomorrow so I am going to Kearney early, spend time with my mom, Mich and Angel then help N get her things and the kids ready, she is working most of the afternoon and it is a 4 hour drive to the campsite, so the sooner we can leave the better.

Today's daily reflection had this quote from the 12 and 12, " and third, having cleaned away the debris of the past, we consider how, with our new found knowledge of ourselves,we may develop the best possible relations with every human being we know." I found this very interesting considering what I have been doing the last few days. Thanks to God and working the 12 steps in my life on a consistent bases, I have been able start new relations with my fellow techs and the client's. God has given me the communication skills necessary to interact with new people, as a Buddhist I can also accredit this to my ancestor's mainly my dad and his dad. Of the 6 tech's O have worked with so far only one of them is in recovery and she is on day shift and I have been working evenings/nights, the others are also in their 20's, so my experience as a practicing drunk and a recovering drunk gives me insight that the others don't have. There have been a couple of times when I have been able to rephrase a question that has made the question easier for the to the client to relate to and their understand how their alcoholism and addiction has effected their lives. I also I talk to them about meetings, the Big Book, what they are going through and some of their feelings giving them a connection because I have walked in their shoes. I don't try and "one up" my fellow techs, I just use my talents to help as they use their talents to help. I speak from the heart which is the only way I really know how to do. I had a concerning going into this job about being able to share with the clients without revealing too much about my own past but God has seen fit to give me the awareness of my words, so I don't use "I" or "My" I just talk in general using suggestions from my knowledge, the exception being I have asked a few people how they liked a meeting and made a suggestion or 2 about other meetings I like. I have done alright on the paperwork, one of the techs gave me some helpful advice on how to do it until I become completely comfortable with documentation. I like all the techs, they are easy to get along with and very helpful. They possess a positive attitude that was greatly lacking in my manufacturing job. It is so awesome to go to work and work with people who are not constantly bitching about fellow employees or management. They are also more liberal in their ideals which is an added bonus. All this comes from the God of my understanding and I am grateful for that!!!!!!

God has been answering prayers again. N got hired yesterday for a job that involves assisting family who are under the Department of Health and Human Services care. The people she works with do so on a volunteer bases, she will be assisting them to meet DHHS and court order goals for family improvement and if the family is separated via foster care re-unification. This is a job she has experience in because she lived the life of most of her clients. Three years ago her kids where in foster care, she was just getting clean and sober. Two years ago she got her kids back because she did what was necessary and was willing to take the action needed, both in recovery and via DHHS requirements, she has seen many counselors and still has a family counselor come in weekly to assist with family issues, a good thing when you are raising 2 teenage kids on your own. So now N will have a job where she can put her experience, strength and hope to good use, serve God and community. I was honored to be the first person she called to tell the good news to, I told her how proud I am of her, she has come a long way. Another ironic twist of fate that we are both now doing jobs that involve working with others who were once like us, something that bonds us closer in our presuit for living a spiritual life.

Well that is what is going on. I need to jump in the shower, then take care of some house work and other things for the camp out. Thanks to all who read this and all who comment.

Peace Love and Light

Monday, August 10, 2009

Life is Good

Life is good fellow travelers, not great but good, I still have enough hiccups in life that keep it from being great but don't we all, if I use the tools in the spiritual tool box I usually maintain an attitude of graditude, not perfect on using the tools all the time but getting better.

I had my first full day at the treatment center today, Yee Haw!! I worked a split shift noon to 8:00pm, so I was able to see a bit of first shift and second shift. Mainly I observed the other tech's and they explained what they were doing and the documentation for each client and shift documentation. God must want me in this job because I wasn't shy or nervous about giving feedback or imput to the other tech's or clients. I didn't interact with all the clients but I got a general feel for most of them by observing them and also the other tech's shared their feelings about the clients. I took part in a couple of educational sessions, most of the sessions are done by the tech's and not the counselors. The treatment center I went to the counselors did all the educational training and the tech's were basically babysitters who provided support for the clients, lending an ear or helping them with basic things. The 2 sessions we had today were, relapse education and communication skills, I had a pretty good understanding of both. We had a couple of minor problems with a few clients and I was allowed to be part of the discussion about them and how to deal with them, it was really rewarding to be asked for feedback from the other tech's. We also had a major insodent, one of the clients went AWOL, the facility is not a lock down treatment so people can just leave if they want to, it is called eloping. The client is in treatment under a requirement from the mental health board, meaning he as mental health issues as well as drug and alcohol problems, so when we discovered he eloped we had to contact, the city police, state patrol and mental health board since he is considered a danger to himself and possibly his family. This insodent was a good example for me to see how the tech's handle an difficult situation. Thanks to God, the one of my understanding as always, I think I left a good impression on the other tech's my first day at work, it really came natural for me, again thanks to God who gave me my gifts.

N and her youngest son spent the weekend. Saturday I took them to a really good 10:00am meeting, then we went shoe shopping for her son, they both took a nap when we got back after a bit of late lunch, then we went to Omaha to hear a speaker and a dance, didn't stay too long at the dance, the 9 year old was very restless plus by the time we got some late supper it was making it another late night. Sunday N and I got up early, she forgot to turn off her early alarm, so we got up (she slept on the couch) had some coffee, went for a walk and then came back and had a meeting between us, talked about pages 86 and 87 in the Big Book which was mentioned by the speaker but N wasn't familiar with but I was. After breakfast we went to church, then did some shopping, I need some kind of divider between my kitchen and living room because the heat from the kitchen goes into the living room and keeps the window AC from doing it's job completely, N told a sales lady what the problem was in "our house" after shopping we came back here until it was time for N to head home. When N left she gave me the tightest longest hugs yet and thanked me for a great weekend, later she would text me and repeat the thanks for a great weekend. O.K. travelers if you don't believe god has a sense of humor dig this, I didn't think the weekend was all that special, it was average and enjoyable but not what I would consider great, yeah we did a couple of special things but not like the last weekend she was out, not in my book anyway, but N thought the weekend was very special and had a great time, so lesson to Wolfie once again don't project much and don't expect great things to make a great thing happen. This relationship is growing stronger because we are able to just be ourselves with each other, we behavior normally, I let her take a nap if she wants to take a nap, during the week she is always on the go so I understand that she needs rest on the weekends and feel honored that she can rest when we are together, this has been done at her house when I am there also, we are comfortable being together and neither feels the need to be constantly entertaining for looking after the others needs, o.k I pamper her but I also let her be her. Now this may not sound like a big deal to some but to me one who never learned how to have a health relationship it is a huge deal, my views on new relationships are all backwards, usually because we had sex first and then got to know each other later and didn't bond on other levels broke up when sex wasn't enough to keep the flame alive. The intimacy is on the horizon not sure how far away that horizon is but I am willing to wait, the things I am learning are far more important than entangled bodies and long kisses, not saying I don't crave that, just saying I understand the importance of the what is happening in the here and now.

So about this trip to church. My experience with churches is pretty much the Baptist and E Free churches I was raised in, with a brief trip into the Methodist during a period of searching during my relapse, so going to a church where you could buy coffee shop beverages and take them in with you was a shock, oh yeah the church service is in a theater downtown, one with couches, round bar tables bar stools and theater chairs, shock number 2. The pastor didn't give a sermon instead they showed a video tape of a sermon from the pastor of the Mars Hill Church in Seattle, the sermon was on how men act in marriages and relationships.In the video he talked about physically abuse men, emotionally abusive men, men who ignore the families, men who aren't responsible, it is available on line if you go to the Mars Hill Church website and search archives. Thankfully I didn't fit into any of the catagories he was describing. He talked about how men need to be respectfully to their wives and girlfriends and also kids, to show loving kindness and compassion, in other words be like Jesus. He told us we need to be the spiritual leader of the family and to set a good example, to share with our female half and kids, we need to be present in mind, body and spirit, we need to be supportive, to be a part of the spiritual community. This was all great and I agreed with him and attempt to live my life the way he was talking about with the one expection, I am not a Christian which caused some turmoil within me because was thinking about my relationship with the pretty lady sitting next to me and our future. We didn't talk that much about the sermon when we left other than I told her that the Eightfold Path of Buddhism is my way of doing what he was talking about. After N left, I went and bought the great book "Living Buddha, Living Christ" by Thich Nhat Hahn, I had tried reading it when I was drinking but that was a waste but I do know enough people who have read it that I was sure it would be of some assistance in my suffering. Another thing I did was call my spiritual advisor, ironically enough he is a Episcopalian priest and talked to him. He had heard the sermon about men also so he was familiar with it so we talked about that, oh yeah he is also 26 years sober, we related the sermon to the principles of recovery. I talked about N and my fears and he told me not to worry about it. She is more than well aware of my being a Buddhist and yet choices to spend long periods of time with me. He said that I live a spiritual life based on my own spiritual beliefs, that my spiritual community consist mainly of AA and that N and I are both a very active part of that community and we involve the kids in this community when we can and that I support her in involvement with the church and having her kids involved with the church when she can. He reminded it is better to be a good Buddhist than a bad Christian and that N probably recognized that also. He also told me that I cannot fulfill the one requirement for being a Christian and that is believing Jesus is the one true son of God, sorry folks stopped believing that when I was a teenager and try as I might for conventional reasons I still can't believe it. We talked about what happened was my old insurities reared their ugly heads again and I was worried N wouldn't be able to love me if I didn't believe as she did. So I go back to God having a sense of humor, because N's feedback about the weekend was stronger and more positive than the last time we were together. As the advisor told me, I was telling myself stories and just let the relationship take it's course the way God plans it to.

So as you can see the last couple of days have been days of learning and I am greatful for them, even if there was a bit of confusion involved. I am reminded of trust, recovery for me tends to be about learning to trust, trusting God and trusting others, sometimes this is really easy like when I need to call my spiritual advisor or sponsor for advise, other times it is hard like trusting God and N with this relationship, but none of them have let me down and I have done my footwork also because learning to trust includes taking action on my part.

Peace Love and Light

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Misc pictures of N, her kids, Angel, Mich and of course yours truly!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Musings

Waiting for the cable company to show up and install the phone jack in the library so I can move the laptop to my desk where it is easier for my to use. While the Grateful Dead's American Beauty plays in the background, coffee and smokes close at hand, thought I might as well type out some musings for your amusement and my sanity. Have I mentioned this not working everyday stuff is getting old, my house is clean but it is getting old, hopefully within a couple of weeks I will have the right balance of work and non-work, hey at least I have a job, think positive Wolfie.

So I am going through some boxes of stuff left over from the last move that where stored in the closet for keeping, stuff not ready to throw away yet. I came across my old note books of poetry. Most of the notebooks contain poems from a time prior to the last dark years of drinking, during those years I lost interest in writing and reading, well I didn't lose interest really I had no consentration left for focusing on writing and reading. One of the things I noticed in the poems that I had forgot about was that for a period in the relapse I expressed a strong love of God and faith, the Big Book talks about those with religious and philosophical convictions glore not being able to conquering or arrest this disease, pharaphrase folks, so I guess there was a period when I was there. I really don't remember much about this time, I know I was drinking daily but not as heavy as I would end up doing, not to say I had a lot of control just the progression hadn't got to the point it would eventually get to. There are poems to a woman I fell infatuated with, the poems express deep love but I know differant today, today this woman and I are close friends, she wasn't interested in me and as the friendship grew I understood we had less in common than I thought, this woman lived 200 miles away so I never got to spend time with her, our conversations were all over the phone and on the few business trips out west she would make but via my lonely desparation I fell hard for her. Another theme in the poems was anti-war and anti Bush administration, some of these were quite vile and violent, this stuff I do remember. I hated the war in Iraq and still do, I spent 21 years in the Armed Forces and understand war and feel a bunch of non-serving politicians and media talking heads have no right to take our men and women in uniform into grave danger unless it is absolutely necessary, I support bring Bin Laden to justice but not attacking Iraq. Alcohol fueled my rage at the war and those that were responsible for starting it and also the attempts at stopping freedom of speech, attempts at retracting the 1st amendment. I still have strong feelings about the war and polictics in general but the differance is I am no longer obsessed about them, I vote, I state my opinion but I don't get angry and depressed over something I can't change, I have learned to not listen to or read stuff that I know will make me lose my serenity because I strongly disagree with the context, this includes right and left wing material. For the most part I feel the media, some blogs included are a haven of intolerance, today my spiritual goals is to practice love and tolerance, so if I take in intolerance chances are I will spew it out. There is a lot of depression flowing through these poems, alcohol induced. Not all the poems where depressing, angry or about my achy breaky heart, There were some really good ones too, reflections on nature, historical places, the ones about Dachau concentration camp express the fresh emotions from just visiting it, something I couldn't recreate today, there are a couple of poems to Mich expressing my pain at being a single parent and one I wrote to my ex-wife after her funeral giving her the credit she deserved not the sick bullshit the preacher said at the funeral, alright so there is one resentment I rarely think about but yes I still have a big resentment toward the preacher at my ex-wife's funeral, someday I may write about it but not today.

Talking about my ex, in reflecting on the poems and how the Muse gradually died, it was her death via addiction influenced suicide for those that don't know, that accelerated my drinking not that it wouldn't have progress on it's own eventually but the death caused a lot of hurt and shame. The poems were a relfection of a man who was lonely, scared and desparately needing help, who eventually turned his back on God. A man who was in heavy denile about his alcoholism even after having 9 years of sobriety, I was proud of my partying in some and hated myself in others. I cried to be forgiven by my ex and daughter. The notebooks end about 3 years before I got sober, I am sure there were more poems in those years but the notebooks must have been thrown away, maybe for the best. Te poems reflect the start of a living Hell, if I sit still I can still remember the darkness of the last few years, the dependency on alcohol, the pain and heartbreak I created. I know longer feel shame about my ex-wife's death, God has forgiven me of any wrong doing, I have forgiven myself and I hope the spirit my ex forgives me, she wasn't a vengeful person so I am sure it has. What I received from the notebooks and writing about them is that I don't want to go back to being the sick person I was when I wrote them. If I am to stay sober and on this wonderful path I am on I need to continue to do the footwork I do, meetings, sponsor people and be an active sponcee, work with others, do service work, live the steps just not work them and of course prayer and mediation. I have changed, I haven't felt compelled to write a poem for N, some how the time isn't right, there is more to this relationship than simple words can convey, oh there are words I think about when I think of my feelings toward her but somehow if I forced them out on paper they wouldn't be from the heart and if I do write her something I want it to come from the muse and not me. The best words for now about our relationship are in the song "When You Say Nothing at All" sung by Alison Krauss

On to ligher things, and no the cable guy hasn't shown up yet thus the long ass post. I got a bird feeder and seed yesterday, I noticed a cardinal and some young rabbit's the other day so I bought them some food, I haven't seen the cardinal again but some sparrow's and dove's have found the food, oh the simple things in life that bring us joy. N and her youngest son are coming down tonight to spend the weekend. Tomorrow during the day we are going to go shopping for school clothes and shoe's. N sent me a text yesterday about going to a speaker meeting and street dance in Omaha put on by the treatment center sponsor's kids are in, her sponsor wants N to meet her kids, so tomorrow night we will be going to that, N was nice enough to ask me if I wanted to go, I smiled to myself thinking she knows I wouldn't say no but thanks for asking and respecting me. Sunday this Buddhist is stepping inside a Christian church for the first time in probably 7 years, with the expection of funerals and weddings. The last time N was in town a friend of mine told N about her church and N wants to attend a service so I am going with her. I have nothing against Jesus in fact I love his teachings and what the man represents, I no longer hate Christians either, a theme in some of my poems, I just dislike some of the un-Christ like followers of Jesus. So without getting my expectations too high I think it will be a great weekend. Well the cable dude is finally here. Until next time.

Peace Love and Light

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Job

Well the day finally arived and I went to work at the treatment center!! For the most part yesterday morning was spent doing paperwork and going over policies. I met some people who's names I have forgotten already. I met with the director also and she went over the job, we both agreed it seems overwhelming at first. There is lots of documentation, documenting clients behaviors, verbal and non-verbal, documenting any problems with the fascility in general. talked about what is the proper way to interact and correct clients, she emphasized that the Tech's are to be role models for the clients. I have a healthy manual I have to read and understand, did I say it seems a bit overwhelming? I am not concerned though, the one thing about being sober is I understand it takes time to get comfortable with change and not to let the fears and concerns control me, things will come with practice and understanding and I am not expected to know every thing overnight. The famous line from "How it Works" comes up, "spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection" I have used this line a lot in my life, not just for spiritual matters but personal as well. When my impatiences and prefectionism rears it's ugly head I have to understand it is progress and sometimes progress is slow, main thing is I have to do the footwork, one of my favorite sayings is "faith without works is dead" I am not privileged to the Higher Power doing quick fixes in my life, the Higher Power and I are a team so It needs my assistance for my progress and also your assistance, flying solo is dangerous for this ex-drunk. The longer I stay sober the more I enlist others help and advise with living situations even the personal ones, my pain level has grown smaller so I do the footwork to ease the pain, if nothing else by sharing the pain I am getting it out of my head, I may still be in pain but it is a pain shared and I have the support I need, the reassurance that God will take care of things maybe not the way I want and I will be alright in the end.
So this brings it around to the one weak point in the whole job. I only get paid once a month and that is at the end of the month. I have never had a job that only paid once and month and was completely caught off guard when I was told this. My expectation was that I would be paid at least every 2 weeks, so I did some really poor planning in the money department, no one to blame but me, I blew money I should have been saving. It will be a tough few months while I am learning a new budget scheme. I talked to my mom and she will help out, basically I will borrow money from her as need be and then pay it back. I am blessed that I have my mom to fall back on and that our relationship is strong, thanks to being sober. Also I am grateful my relationship with N isn't based on material things, going out to eat or out on the town for entertainment, she is comfortable having me cook the meals and going for a walk in the park, we also are alright with just sitting around watching a movie, it is nice to be able to go out and we will when we can afford to but she knows as well as I do that if we get ourselves in financial trouble from spending money unwisely that might create a riff in the relationship, her kids and Mich understand this too, there are plenty of things we can do that don't cost a lot.
Went a differant meeting last night, really good and much better than the one I went to last Tuesday. Tonight I am going to check out and differant meeting also, I don't mind the Wednesday night meeting I have attended in the past,but it hasn't really gelled with me so I am going to check out a differant one that was recommended to me.
Well that's all for now, I have a staff meeting this afternoon, I work tomorrow and again Monday mid day shift, my boss is going to see if he can get me some more hours next week, mostly shadowing the other tech's.

Peace Love and Light

Monday, August 3, 2009


Well God via my phone decided I didn't need 8 hours sleep on my last non working day, so I have a full pot of coffee and a relatively clear head so here is an update on what has been happening in my corner of bloggersville.

For the most part I have just been messing around during the days, bought some odds and ends for the house, including a home theater system, oh yeah a little Neil Young cranked up sounds so much better than the baby boom box I have been using for years. I use to be really big into sound systems but with age and debt I have adapted to boom boxes, the sytem wasn't expensive and sounds really nice with cd's and dvd's, N's kids will love it. My surplus of money is pretty much gone but that's alright, it was fun while it lasted and I was able to treat myself, N, her kids and some others plus expense where covered comfortably. Now it is back to being frugal and saving as I go, I have to figure trips to Kearney in my budget or money for N to come this way, plus my expenses are a bit higher here and my pay is less, but the dog and I don't need much to live on, need to stop the damn smoking, that would save a lot.

I got a nice card from my Kearney home group Wednesday night, some of the comments really touched me. You know there are those certain people whose live you touch but you never know how many until you receive a "miss you" card, I received some nice comments from some unexpected people, and a couple of comments about touching people I didn't realize I had. This goes to show that when we carry the message and the solution it has far reaching arms and we need to make sure how we carry it so that we serve AA and our God to the best of our ability. I have gone to a meeting every day, getting to know AA people in Lincoln, checking out the meetings, then going to the coffee shop after the meetings to get to know people better. Along with the men's stag meeting on Monday night's, I have found a 10:00am Saturday morning meeting that I like, going to try a differant Tuesday night meeting and probably a differant Wednesday night meeting, Friday night is the group I first got introduced to a year ago and will stick with it, I have a couple of special friends that from out of town who go to it, so it is a chance to visit with them and have coffee afterwards. I will give Lincoln AA credit, someone has always walked up to me, introduced themselves, shook my hand and gave me a welcome. Fellow travelers this is so important, 13 years ago I moved to a new town, I had 9 years in recovery, I went to a few meetings and no one took the time to introduce themselves to me or shake my hand, nor was there a welcome and please introduce yourself for newcomers or visitors read at the opening of the meeting, I felt unwelcome and eventually stopped going to meetings, grant it I should have sought out other meetings and tried to be more friendly with those outside smoking but I was emotionally sick, the relapse that followed was my own fault but I know first hand how important that friendly hand shake and welcome can be. I have met a couple of guys who are patients at the treatment center I will be working at, my first thought was not to introduce myself but figured they would see me soon enough so might as well say hi and chat for a bit. Recovery has become such a part of my life that I really don't have to think about going to meetings, fumbling with idle chit chat, without recovery I have nothing, I will loss everything and right now that everything is huge. Having said that I still stay sober because I am a better person sober, I am able to give unselfishly for the most part, I am a good dad, grandpa, son, boyfriend, friend, employee and productive member of society when I am sober, I am happy, joyous and free and that reflects outwardly. I know that if the job falls through, the relationship goes down like the Titanic, I still need to carry on with my recovery, by going to meetings, having a network of recovery friends, prayer and mediation I can handle anything with out picking up that first 6 pack, there ain't no first drink for this ole drunk, one is a waste.

Mich is staying at N's house until she can get a place via special services, hopefully by next week, she also may have a job. N has been great support for her since she has been down Mich's path, just like I am able to do things with N's kid that she can't, N is able to work with Mich where I can't, full circle really. The relationship with N continues to grow stronger, I was in Kearney yesterday for the last bit of stuff and to store some of Mich's stuff, spent the evening with N and her kids, Mich was off doing something with her friends, N thanked me for coming down, so my fear of one sided relationship is fading, N and the kids will be here all weekend, we are going to go shopping for school clothes. One of my friends here who has got to know N told her about her church, from what I gather it is a very open church, well the friend is going to be gone this weekend but I told N if she wants to go to that church on Sunday I would to with her. As Gandhi said, " I love your Jesus, it is just some of his followers I don't like" so I will go to church with N and tap into the message of Jesus and try and keep the human stuff out, who knows I may end up liking this church and go with her when she is in town.

Well I need to get myself in the shower and start the day. I need to run a couple of errands, then back to finish the shed, the doors and flooring are all that is left, my out of work neighbor helped Saturday and I gave him some money because it was really worth it, no way in hell I could have done it alone. I also have those last yucky boxes of odds and ends to put away, I start work tomorrow, hopefully I will be able to write a post but no gurantees since I will have a bunch of phone calls to make also. So until next time.

Peace Love and Light