Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Ramblings

I don't know if I am getting more prude or more spiritual awake as I get older or both but I have an increasing dislike for the acceptability of violence and vulgarity in our society. I go to the video store to rent a movie, at least half of them are brain dead, no pun intended, violent slasher movies, there seems to be no end to this genre because more keep popping up all the time and I can't figure out where the ideas come from. I don't mind a good scary movie, I like the good mind trippers like Silence of the Lamb, Seven, 8mm and the like and even the Exorcist for it's ground breaking subject, plus Hitchcock movies where brilliant. I don't mind some of the vampire stuff if there is a good plot behind it, True Blood series is really great. The old horror flicks are a treat too. But it seems we are bombarded with violence for the sake of violence and it just isn't horror movies. I have had a beef with a lot of actions movies as well because they lack substance and it is all about killing for no reason other than some person or group is bad, the bad are killed in mass volume with as much blood, gore and graphic violence as possible. Vulgarity is another form of violence in my opinion, I am not going all PC here campers but the lack common decencies is becoming appalling, when women are looked upon and nothing more than play things to be used and thrown away, when is common fair to trash peoples religion, sexual orientation, culture and values for the sake of a good laugh, I have to disagree with the status quo. Alright jokes about bodily functions gone array and sexual innuendos are funny but not every 10 minutes of a 2 hour movie It is violent in the sense that we have dumbed down our society. I am not saying that the works of Plato, Voltaire, or other philosophers and idealist need to be made for the big screen, I am just saying it is disturbing to me that it is getting harder and harder to find a good movie that is funny or thrilling without an over abundance of violence or vulgarity in them. I won't even write about popular video games, most of those make me sick.

When society becomes dumbed down the reality of the real violence in the world lacks the concern it deserves. When the reality of a real wars seem as harmless as video games, movies or music, or even the talking heads of the media, it is disturbing. When young kids and people in general are so desensitized to violence that they kill, harm and rape without any real conscience thought to the ugly nature of what they are doing something is wrong. When people in the workplace glorify such entertainment, I feel we have lost our moral compass. I don't have any answers towards fixing this problem. Some would say we need more religion and need to elect politicians with more values, some would say more censorship, I honestly can't agree completely with either of these because when a government dictates choices to a the people we no longer have a democracy we have a Totalitarian state. My humble view is that those of us that disagree with this social norm whether we be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Pagan, Agnostic, Atheists, or what ever, need to humbly voice our displeasure. With compassion we teach our children, grandchildren about why this is wrong. When we are with others we can address this in a non-aggressive way be saying we don't agree and state the reason why without getting into an argument. We have the power of the purse, we don't rent, buy or put money in the pockets of those who profit from things we don't agree with. When the young people want music, games or movies that have context we feel that is offensive we simple say no and explain to them our reason and we give them an example by the way we act and behave. Alright maybe I do I an answer but it is the answer for Scott and not for you. I am not naive campers, I don't believe we can change society over night and maybe not even in the time I have left on mother earth but I do feel my actions have an effect on my daughter and granddaughter which in turn has an effect on their friends. The examples of Gandhi, Jesus, Buddha, Dr. King, Nelson Mandela, John Lennon, Bob Marley, Mother Teresa, the Diary of Anne Frank and others are very much alive and well today because people still believe in a civil and peaceful world, negative entertainment hasn't killed them which is a good sign. I pray they continue to live on and will do my part to keep their flames burning.

All this violence and vulgarity is reflected at Halloween. Yes I like the macabre in and fun and healthy way but I take it as a joke. I forget that a lot of people are really fascinated and obsessed with the macabre in unhealthy ways. When look at all the costumes that reflect characters from slasher movies that are available for kids, when I see raw sex on display for adult costumes I have to scratch my head in wonder. Yes adults have the right to wear as much or as little clothing as they choice at Halloween or any other day of the year for that matter but are all these adults responsible enough to say to the young people it is not appropriate for them to wear such provocative clothing. I saw some very skimpy costumes aimed preteen and teenager girls which makes me sick. These children are not mature enough to understand the implications nor the consequences of overtly sexual costumes, crap I don't think some adults are mature enough their. I saw horribly realistic costumes for very young children depicting the worst of the mass murders from movies. Jason, Michael Meyers, Freddie Kruger and the rest are replacing Superman, Batman, pirates, knights and the like as the costumes of choice, o.k. Harry Potter is still a biggie kudos for that. Pirates, cowboys, indians, knights and the super heroes are not non-violent but there was a since of civility about the way they behaved at least or maybe I am just blowing smoke up my nostalgic butt. Honestly I love Halloween, I love seeing the little princesses, football players, walking cartoon characters and even the monsters from days of old walking the streets. I just have this disagreement with other aspects of the holiday and I am taking the liberty to voice it on my blog.

Yeah maybe I am getting old. Maybe I need to park my butt on the shelf next to Twain, Steinbeck, To Kill a Mockingbird, Casablanca, the Wizard of Oz, the Princess Bride, and any number of movies, books, or recordings that reflect my values and ethics. But I have think would Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, King Arthur and the rest given up, the answer is no, not that I can make a change like they did, but I can make a small change maybe in the microcosm that is my universe. In the end it is about trusting the God of my understanding and doing a bit of footwork to change the things I can't accept and yes to know the difference.

Sorry campers if this has been a boring and strange post, a subject that many may think is much to do about nothing. It has been on my mind for a while now and this morning I read a great post by Jamie Lee Curtis voicing much of the same, yes the same actress who made a living starting in a couple of slasher movies, she has some regrets about them now, anyway her post fired up my muse.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Halloween and weekend!!! I will be sober tonight and I hope everyone else is also.

Peace Love and Light and a special Namaste for those that understand.
May the sunlight of the Spirit shine upon each of us.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My dog went to jail

Just posting some odds and sods.

My little client P is leaving tomorrow. She got a call Wednesday and the women's halfway house has an open bed for her. She thought it was going to take 4-6 weeks for a bed to open up but God is working in her life so she is going straight from treatment to the half way house.

P also committed to a service work at a Wednesday night meeting, she is going to be doing set up for the month of November. I gave her a lot of praise for this and told her that if she keeps doing the actions she is doing now she should be alright. She is working with a sponsor, going to meetings, starting the steps and now doing service work.

I have worked 3 overnight shifts in a row this week. Tomorrow and Saturday I work the 3pm to 11pm, Sunday is 7am-3pm and then Monday an overnight. My body clock is getting all weirded out, but at least I can function on 6 hours of sleep or so.

My dog slipped out the door Tuesday night when I stepped out to throw some apple cores in the yard for wildlife, she rarely does this and once she is gone I can't get her back until she is ready to come home. This happened when I was getting ready to leave for work, so I just had to go to work hoping she would be alright being outside over night, she only weighs 5lbs. When I got home Wednesday morning she wasn't home, kind made me sick to my stomach. I called the Humane Society and sure enough she was caught wondering around. It cost me $85.00 to bail her out. The good thing is this happened close enough to paid day that I floated a check and also at least she was caught by them instead of someone taking her or her being run over. I will be really careful now about where she is when I open the door. She is my little companion and I would miss her dearly if she wasn't here.

Ya tomorrow is payday!!! I am managing on only getting paid once a month but it is really different. I have to get stamps so that I can pay my bills and then figure out how much I have to live off of for the rest of the month. Still wouldn't go back to my old job though.

Tomorrow we are having a potluck at work for Halloween, so I am making a pot of chili to take, since I am working second shift I will make enough for us to eat on that shift as well.

My daughter and grand baby are doing well, so far neither have got the flu that is going around.

I feel really sorry for the farmers!! It has been a really wet fall so they haven't been able to get into the fields to harvest corn and soy beans very much. The western part of the state is getting hit with heavy wet snow, so those farmers are in a bind for a while. The beans and corn can be dried in large grain bins but that is expensive plus and most don't have that kind of storage, the rain and snow make it hard for them to get their combines in the fields due to the mud also. Hopefully it will dry up soon.

I have to work on lesson plans for anger management and spirituality groups today. I think for anger management I am going to use the passages on selfishness and self centeredness out of the Big Book, I did this a couple of months ago, started out by talking about suffering and the cause of suffering being unhealthy desires and how our anger stems for these desires not being met, thus selfishness being the root of all our troubles. For spirituality I have this hair brained idea, we will read Acceptance is the Answer from the Big Book, then I an am going to have them take out 3 sheets of paper, on the first write down 5 or more things they like about themselves, on the next 5 or more things they want to change about themselves and on the last 5 or more things they can't accept. Next we will go outside, say a prayer to the God of their understanding surrendering the dislikes and non-acceptable's and also asking for help with acceptance and change, them we will burn those 2 list. I want this to be a God box with fire. I will tell them they still have to continue to work on their problems but also to remember that they turned their problems over to God in a fire ceremony. Like I said this is hair brained but using symbolism may create a special effect with them. Humans tend to love symbolism in spiritual practices so it is worth a try. Any feedback from my Campers would be appreciated.

Well I suppose it is time to get in the shower and start doing some things around the house and get the chili started.

Peace Love and Light to all of you!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This could have been Me

Below is a link to a story about a drunk woman who wrecked her car with her daughter and some other girls in it, one girl was killed. This is a sad reminder of my past behavior, of what could happen if I step off the road of happy destiny. Once again I am grateful that I never killed or hurt anyone. Every Wednesday night during the school year I use to drive 15 miles to get my daughter from a church group, this would be around 9:30 at night, I imagine I had probably drank a 12 pack by them, who knows because I started drinking at 5:00 everyday, I would take at least 6 cans with me for the drive and even drink beer while waiting for my daughter to get out of group, sometimes I would take her friends home as well, never caring about how much I had drank or about the beer between my legs. This is only one of many examples of doing this kind of behavior, I never went anywhere without at least a 6 pack, I even carried a soft side cooler with me.

Once again "But for the Grace of God, there go I"

I hope this woman gets the help she needs, I am sure the mental agony is huge at this point.

I guess you will have to copy and paste since this didn't show up as a link.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Thank God for cheap frozen breakfast burritos, woke up and didn't know what I wanted to eat, didn't feel like toast which is pretty much a stable food in the mornings, didn't feel like frying eggs or hash browns, didn't feel like chocolate cake and ice cream, then I remembered I had a couple of burritos in the freezer, not overly satisfying but they worked.

The Big Book discussion went really well, good feedback on the difference between how we drink and how non-alcoholics drink. We also talked quite a bit about our countless vain attempts to drink like others and control drinking. I talked a little about pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization but didn't dig, figure it was a private matter that was better left for the clients to mill over in their own minds.

We have a young client P who turned 20 while in treatment. She is really a great kid, very friendly, helpful, has no problems talking about herself and is willing to do what she needs to do to get better. P is facing her 3rd DUI and has a couple of minor in possession charges to go along with driving under the influence, so her history indicates she has qualified to join the club. P was having a tough day yesterday, the day in and of itself was good, her sponsor came and visited with her and there were no external problems. P has been in treatment for 45 days and yesterday when she opened up to me and a couple of her peers she said she was just tried of hearing about alcoholism and addiction all the time and that her mind wouldn't shut off and also she was tired of not having any personal time alone, which is completely understandable. We have a small field behind the center and I told P she could go and walk in the field by herself to get some alone time and quiet her mind which she did. The clients had a meeting last night at 8pm, sometimes we have outside people come in but last night we didn't, I asked the clients if they minded me sitting in, meetings are usually just for clients and most staff don't sit in but since I am one of them they said I could, when I do this what is said in the meeting is off the record and can not be documented, so my role isn't so much that of a tech but of a recovering alcoholic with a few more 24's. My motive for sitting in was more for keeping structure than anything else. P chaired the meeting, she opened with talking about her feelings and then passed it around the room for the rest of the clients to express their feelings. She then started to get honest and talked about being angry with herself and also wanting to use and was mad at herself for wanting to use. P received great feedback from her peers. I talked to her and them about fighting the feelings, how we don't like to be mad, sad or afraid and we will fight the emotion and thus are keeping the agitation going. What it really came down to was talking about acceptance and surrender. If a I am fighting something, if I am fighting allowing myself to feel what is happening then the turmoil continues, which is what P was doing. P wants to get and stay sober so bad, she puts too much pressure on herself, she feels she shouldn't get cravings or be mad and when she does she gets mad at herself and amplifies the suffering. I told them if they keep working on their recovery they will start to feel balance more often. I shared about my own roller coaster ride in recovery, about going really high and then really low but eventually things start to even out. P said she didn't feel spiritually connected and said she didn't pray this morning and I asked her how that worked out for her, her grin told me it didn't. I told her I understood about not having time alone in treatment and that when I was in treatment I made a point of getting up earlier than the rest so I could have some quiet time to myself for prayer and mediation before the noise of the day started and that I have to do this when I am camping as well and it is part of my daily routine for the same reason.

After the meeting I was outside with P and a couple of others smoking. I talked to them about surrender. We not only have to surrender to our addictions and the force it has on us but also to our feelings especially when they are powerful. I don't think about surrender must anymore. Surrender has just become a part of my natural thinking along with acceptance. Don't get me wrong, if I get in a emotional bind I do have to go and remember to surrender or accept things in order to regain serenity. What I am saying is that over time by living the steps, staying in fit spiritual condition, going to meetings and a few other things, is that surrender is just a natural response to the bumps in life, the thought process is automatic just like thinking the drink through. Now if I was to stop doing these things, if I was to get complacent then this wouldn't happen. I am sure that down the road this will happen a time or few, but God willing I will get a hot poker in the butt and get back on the middle path before I drink or use.

At the end of the night P was feeling better. She said that talking about what was going on helped her. That she is just afraid that her thinking is wrong, that she shouldn't feel this way and that it helps when others tell her that her thinking is normal and that the main thing is to nor give in and drink or use. P has connected with some other young people in recovery here in Lincoln, people outside of treatment, I talked to one young woman Friday night at the coffee shop. These young people are willing to take P under their wings and show her how to be young and have fun in recovery and will help her as long as she is willing. P is one of my special people, I have a special affection for some of the younger ones, probably a dad instinct, she has the willingness and determination my only fear is that she is really hard on herself and wants to isolate when she isn't living up to her expectations of herself, does that sound familiar to anyone besides me. She is in God's hand just as the rest are, she leaves in a couple of weeks and is going to a half way house in Lincoln, I hope to see her around and continue to watch her grow. I did give her a suggestion that when she looks in the mirror she says to herself "I surrender" God gave me this idea, it is a spin on the looking at yourself in the mirror and saying "I love you".

I am grateful for the opportunity God has given me to be apart of the lives of some really wonderful people who are just starting out on this journey of recovery.

I am grateful that I can watch them grow, watch them face their struggles and watch their face start to come life when the answers start to come

I am grateful that I am giving a chance to remember where I was once at and where I can go back if I stop growing

I am grateful I don't have a nasty hangover today or that I am waking up in jail because Nebraska lost to Iowa State of all teams yesterday, that my serenity doesn't depend on whether Nebraska wins or loses in football, a win would have been nice but oh well it is only a game.

Oh yeah I am grateful for fozen breakfast burritos!!

Have a great one campers, my prayers and love go out to all of you!!!
Peace Love and Light

Thursday, October 22, 2009

God gives me a Purpose in Life

O.K first off, the reason I would just as soon not have 4 days off in a row is unlike all of you out there with normal jobs, I generally only work 3 or 4 days a week so I do have plenty of time off. God willing I will get hired on full time in January when my probation period is up. I have worked 5 to 6 days a week my whole working life so having too much time off is a change and I know I should be greatful and I am because I have a job that I love and I am surviving on the pay decrease I took when I changed careers. I am just not use to keeping myself busy 4 days in a row without blowing money, so God is teaching me how to be frugal with my limited income. I cleaned house today, started reading an new book then went to a meeting per normal. I did get a call this afternoon from my boss asking me if I wanted to work tomorrow 7am to 3pm and of course I said yes, so my Y front twisting was over nothing. The boss told my I was approved to drive the treatment center van and shuttle clients around which surprised the crap out of me. It has only been 3 years since my last DUI and I still have this condition with the DMV for the state of Nebraska that I have to show monthly proof of insurance, oh yah not only was I busted twice for driving under the influence both times I also didn't have insurance; and still the disease was telling me my life wasn't unmanagable. I assumed that I would have to wait until it had been 5 years since the last offense before they would allow me to drive a company vehicle, not that I am complaining mind you, it gives me another up at work, add another one to the graditude list.

The title for this post comes from a girl at tonights meeting. I sat in with the beginners group, this is a meeting that breaks out into 4 different topic groups. Tonight we read passages from We Agnostics. The discussion was on finding a Higher Power or God, what our background with God was and what it is like today, anyway that is what most of the people talked about. The girl next to me stated, that having God in her life gave her a purpose. She said the purpose was to serve others, to be a better human being, to be kind, considerate and loving. I thought this was brilliant. I often share about being a servant for my God but have never put it into simple terms like it is through God that I have a purpose in life even though this is so true. As a drunk even when I was trying to be of service I sucked because I was caught up in self and very unreliable, what purpose in life I had was half ass to say the least. Today I have a purpose, to be the best me that I can be, to carry the message of recovery and spirituality, to be a good citizen, father, son, grandpa, friend, sibling, custodian of high values and ethics and much more. Anyway I thought that was cool and so I wanted to pass it on.

Saturday I am doing Big Book study group with the clients. This week I am going to have us read More About Alcoholism. There are a couple of things on the first page of the chapter I want to go over with them and have them think about and give feedback on if they are willing to. The first is, " The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker", non alcoholic don't worry about controling their drinking because there isn't a control issue with them, they can stop when they have want to for what ever reasons, plus this obsession is the reason people relapse, they think they can control it this time, also normal drinkers don't obsess over alcohol for any reasons. I want to pick their brains on the difference between an abnormal drinker and a normal drinker. The second thing is the phase "pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization" I love the rawness of this phase. I will ask the clients to reflect back on the things they did which they felt where unethical or immoral. I know for me it is important to understand just how unethical and immoral I can behave under the influence of alcohol, one of those things I am not proud about and never want to go back doing again, I will share some of this with them in a general way.

Well I better get my butt to bed, say my prayers, a couple of you are in them and hopefully crash without too much trouble.

Peace Love and Light

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Something on Tuesday

Went to my home group tonight and we had a great meeting on ego and humility. Humility reminds me that everything I have comes from the God of my understanding and that my first priority is to service God and my second is to serve others, I am just a vessel and need to remember this even when I get nice kudos's.

We had a newcomer at the meeting, like first meeting new and when we closed he was confused about the holding of hands for the Serenity prayer, the old timer beside him told him "we hold hands so it doesn't leak out" cracked me up, I have never heard this before and LOVE it.

Worked the 11pm to 7am shift last night, one of the day shift replacements didn't show so I stayed until 9am to cover handing out meds and other stuff until my supervisor got in. I hope she is alright because she didn't call in and wouldn't answer her phone. She is in recovery but her boyfriend recently relapsed so I am a bit worried about her, something to pray for.

I went to bed at 10:30am and was woken up the the neighbors woofer going boom boom boom at 2pm. I politely went next door and asked them to turn it down which they did. There was a time when I wouldn't have been so nice about it. There was a time when I was the one playing the stereo loud in a dorm room not caring who I bother also.

In the Spiritual group Sunday morning, I read from the Grapevine book called Beginners Book which is a bunch of Grapevine stories about early recovery. I read a story about gratitude and then had the clients list 5 or more things they were grateful for. There lists were good and they understood the meaning but I didn't get the feedback I thought I would, so much for expectations. This may be one of those things that will sink in later, who knows. I ended the group my playing Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, it was a joy to see people smiling when the song started playing, playing the song was an inspiration from God and I am glad I heeded it.

From my library window I can view my neighbors big old maple tree, it is painted orange, yellow and green. What a lovely sight to see while I set at my desk, online or reading.

I have 4 days off in a row this week which bites but that is just how things go. I am thankful I found a mom and pops video story close to my house where I can rent older movies for $1, newer movies for $2 and complete series for $5. They have a good select of TV series to rent, I rented Dark Shadows series to watch. They also have a lot of off the wall movies, which is right up my alley. I am grateful for this little story because it provides cheap entertainment for the days I am off.

Life is good as always. I hope every one is basking in the Sunlight of the Spirit.

Peace Love and Light

Friday, October 16, 2009

100 Things about this ex-drunk

Gabi wrote out the 100 things about her because she has written 100 post, out of curiosity I checked and I have written just over 100 post myself. So like Gabi did I am going to share a bit of me with you. Gabi's is far better than this but her life is a bit more interesting than mine. What follows if pretty much in chronological order and mostly revolves around my alcoholism which is what my life has revolved around either active or in recovery. There is some downer stuff but it isn't there out of self pity but was part of my emotional turmoil at that time in my life. I also forgot to mention that I am the youngest of 4 kids, my brother is 14 years old then me, I have a sister 13 years old and my youngest sister is 9 years old, I am the only one with dark hair, my dad's side, my siblings all have red or reddish blond hair, my mom's whole family, the milkman's son jokes aren't true because I am so much my father's son. I was raised pretty much as an only child because my siblings had left home by the time I was 9. I was also raised with physical and emotional abuse but I didn't think about when writing since I have forgiven my parents they didn't know what they were doing at the time and later in life regretted most of it.


1. I was born in Nampa Idaho

2. Moved to Tacoma Washington when I was 4, lived there until I was 9

3. My parents moved my city butt to a farm in central Nebraska when I was 9; the closest town was 6 miles away and had a population of 225 . We spent that summer living with my 2 bachelor uncles and paternal grandpa while my dad remodeled a house a mile away that would become my our home

4. I was a frail and very anxious kid so farm life didn’t work for me nor my uncle’s dream of having a little farm hand, in my teens I would end of helping though.

5. I found a momma mouse and a bunch of young ones in a drawer of the old house my dad was remodeling , I screamed and my uncle grab the drawer and proceed to kill the mice with his pliers, to this day I don’t like mice or rats

6. I would ride a bus 6 miles to the main town then transfer and ride for another 12 miles to another town where grades 4-6 where schooled.

7. I was not accept by most of my male peers and only a handful of female peers so in the 4Th grade I turned inward

8. At 9 years old I would find my grandpa’s discarded whiskey bottles and suck down that last little bit

9. I experience suicidal feelings for the first time when I was 10

10. I made my first suicidal jester at 17

11. I made my last and most serious at 24

12. I started developed a facade around my knowledge of booze, drugs and rock and roll in the 6Th grade something that would serve me well, it gave me an identity, party boy and rock and roll animal

13. I was forced by school protocol to take shop classes my 7Th and 8Th grade years and hated it as much as the teacher hated me

14. I started hanging out with the “bad” kids in the 7Th grade, we would smoke cigarettes in an outhouse at the town park during lunch period

15. We must have smelled awful, average of 10 kids crammed in a 2 hole outhouse smoking with little ventilation
16. As we got older we would smoke at the local tavern over our lunch period, play pool, pinball and listen to the juke box

17. I started getting a few beers now and then from my older sister and a cousin when I was 14

18. My best friend moved to a town 20 miles away when we were in the 9Th grade but as fate would have it my aunt lived there so my mom would drop me off at his house

19. My first car was a 64 Rambler American but it didn’t last long because my sister owned it before me and she ruined the engine from not keeping the oil filled

20. My next car was a 74 Pinto wagon, I mounted a Kraco under dash cassette player in it and thought I was cool shit, cranking AC/DC, Cheap Trick, Nazareth and the like

21. The summer of my 16th year I started working in that town 20 miles away and my drinking career took off.

22. The first time I drank as much as I possibly could I puke but it never stopped me from drinking every Friday and Saturday night after that or any other chance I had

23. I worked in a real gas station with full service pumps and minor repairs

24. I would have friends bring beer to me at work, hide it in the ice machine, pour the beer into a Mountain Dew can and drink it at work

25. Over 20 years later I would being doing the same thing at a convenience store I worked at part time, later in the evenings I would drink beer while stocking the cooler, I would eat Corn Nuts to cover the smell, so I thought

26. Drinking and drive around on country roads became a way
of life for me and my friends, so did partying in cornfields, and seclude county ponds, I use to drive home in blackouts or drunk off my ass on gravel roads a lot also

27. I joined the Army National Guard when I was 17 because my best friend did

28.Between my junior and senior years of high school I was at Fort Knox, KY learning to be a tanker

29. I was a terrible soldier, I was too weak and too anxious but I did make it though basic training some how

30. Alcohol and pot use where an acceptable part of weekend warrior life but I came close to getting kick out for abusing both

31. The most common comment on the back of pictures giving to me by school mates is; really sweet and kind guy who likes to party a lot

32. I tried going to community college after high school but dropped out after a couple of months because I spent more time drinking and working than I did studying, this was also the beginning of isolation drinking

33. I joined the Air Force when I was 19 because I had no direction in life

34. I spent 10 years in the Air Force and finished my career in the Iowa Air Guard, total time serviced in all branches of the military 21 years

35. My first duty station was in Korea, I started drinking daily there but never got in trouble for it

36. I have been to the Philippines and experienced things I rarely tell anyone about

37. My next stop was in Utah for 4 years, loaded bombs on F-16 fighter jets

38. I spent a month outside of Bergen Norway once and to this day it is my favorite place in the world

39. I spent a few weeks in Ecuador, witnessed a Marxist riot at a college there, ate a lot of horse steaks and drink a lot of cheap beer and sangria

40. I was also in Jordan for a couple of weeks, walked around the ancient city of Petra, which is an amazing place

41. My last few months in Utah where accompanied by heavy depression due to alcoholism and lack of solid female relationships, who wants to date a depressed drunk

42. I left Utah and returned to Korea, by then I was drinking prior to going to work to steady my shakes

43. Within 3 months I was in the hospital with stitches in my wrist

44. God put a wise psychologist in my path who told me my troubles weren’t due mental health issues but from alcoholism, I was actually fairly honest with him about how much I drank

45. My last drink of alcohol for over 9 year on was November 4th 1987

46. My first AA meeting was in a little tin hut adjacent to the base chapel

47. My first service position was to show up early and light the oil stove that provided heat for the meeting and start the coffee

48. I was taken under the wings of my fellow alcoholics, nurtured back to emotional, spiritual and physical health

49. Every Friday we would go out to eat and then watch a movie at someone’s dorm room, it was in Korea that I really learned what Fellowship was all about, it was survival for us since life on a military base in Korea revolves around drinking and messing with prostitutes

50. I attended a joint American and Korean AA convention in Seoul in 1988, really interesting experience

51. My next move was to England, about 30 miles north of Cambridge

52. We only had 1 meeting on base but would travel to Cambridge or other towns for meetings

53. I developed close friendships with my local AA’s, some were English, some were Irish and a few were Scot’s

54. My home group was in an old insane asylum, how appropriate is that

55. I have been to Stonehenge 3 times and each time it has been over cast which really creates a mystical effect

56. I have stood and read the very same tombstone Bill W writes about on the first page of his story

57. My ex-wife was English

58. My ex moved in with me really soon after we met and by the time I was vaguely aware that I didn’t love her it was too late to call off the wedding

59. I tried to love my ex as one should love a spouse but I couldn’t so I lived in a lie for 6 years

60. My ex was a pharmaceutical junkie and I couldn’t fix her

61. My ex had to have a complete hysterectomy when she 30 for medical reasons

62. My daughter is adopted

63. My daughter’s biological mother was one of my trainees and couldn’t keep and raise her

64. My daughter was a preemie, she weighed in at 3lb 10oz and spent the first 6 weeks of her life in the hospital, my ex and I were there every day

65. I was station in the high desert of California when my daughter was born

66. I got out of the Air Force in 1992 and moved back to Nebraska

67. My parents and family never really liked my ex much, mainly because of her drug problem

68. My ex made 3 suicide attempts in 1996 and after the 3rd one I told her the marriage was over with for the stake of my daughter and myself

69. I moved from the comfort of my home AA community to the city I actually worked in, 30 miles away

70. Living in Nebraska has taught me to think nothing of living in a small town and driving 20 to 30 miles one way each day to work or meeting

71. The people at the meetings in the city I move to where not overly friendly and I wasn’t allow to take my daughter to meetings like I was use to, so I stopped going to meetings, I had 9 years of sobriety, my problem not theirs

72. Sometime in the late winter of 1997 I bought a 6 pack of NA beer, non-alcoholic, which really has .01% alcohol in it, “a thimble full”

73. That 6 pack lead to buying cases of NA beer because it was cheaper that way and I was drinking at least 6 a night, denial sets in

74. I started drinking real beer within a few months after drinking the NA beer, it would be 10 years before I drew a sober breathe for longer than a week

75. My parents enabled me greatly during those 10 years, something they did for my daughter more than me and something I am not proud of

76. My ex committed suicide in February of 2000, her death has caused me more mental anguish than it has my daughter

77. I use to drive drunk with my daughter and her friends in the car a lot, something else that makes me sick to think about today, Thank God I never hurt or killed anyone

78. My old habit of driving around on country roads while drinking became a major part of my life again

79. I received 2 DUI’s within an 11 month period, prior to that I never had so much as a speeding ticket

80. I have went to jail twice for bad check charges, it was on my last trip to jail for bad checks that I decided I needed help for my drinking, the image of my daughter watching me being taken away in a cop car kept going over and over in my head as I lay on that hard bench

81. I voluntarily entered treatment on November 29th 2006 and haven’t had a drink since thanks to God, AA and the people in recovery

82. My collection of CD’s is at around 500,

83. The main artist are Dylan, Allman Brothers, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Waylon, Kris Kristofferson, Indigo Girls, Nanci Griffith, Steve Earle, Rush, Buddy Guy, Heart, Blackmore’s Night, Grateful Dead, Alison Krauss, Little Feat, Bob Marley, Johnny and Rosanne Cash, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and a splattering of alt country, punk, jazz, jazz fusion, progressive rock, blues, blues fusion, folk/Americana, contemporary pop, rock and country

84. I do most of my own cooking and I don’t use prepackage foods very often with the exception of cake mixes and bread, this winter I plan on making my own bread from scratch without a bread machine

85. I would rather eat Asian food than any other type

86. I am afraid of heights unless I am enclosed like on an airplane or building, climbing on roof's is someone else's gig not mine

87. I won’t kill a spider if I can help it and if someone is bothered by a spider I just pick the spider up and move it

88. I love all animals and have a natural connection to them

89. I hate wearing a lot of clothes in the privacy of my own home, of course I live a one so this is possible

90. God willing I will retire to the country, a nice small acreage where I can have a garden, orchard, lots of dogs, a few cats, ducks, chickens for egg’s and a few horses for riding, a place to live out my days, reading, writing and being at peace with my God and nature

91. I am usually reading at least one book, my coffee table has 3 on it right now

92. I don’t have any form of television broadcasts coming in to my home, my TV is for watching DVD’s

93. I love science fantasy, stuff with magical creatures and magical people

94. I believe in the values of King Arthur as much as those of Jesus and Buddha

95. I wear a small silver loop earring because I am a bit alternative and a bit bohemian

96. When I am working in the earth I feel my ancient Celtic blood in my veins and wonder if there wasn’t a Druid or 2 in my linage

97. I am not overly materialistic but do take pride in what I have and proudly display the stuff I have bought from other countries

98. I wear mostly earth tones, black being the norm with burgundy, gray and deep purple coming in after that

99. I once broke my nose power puking in the toilet, I was in a blackout and didn’t know it happened until the next morning

100. I only have one tattoo and it is of a vulture clutching a bone and is located on my right bicep, the old patience my ass vulture

Well campers now you know a portion of my drunkalog and history. I don't like everything about the life I have lived so far but I don't regret it either, it can be my greatest asset in staying sober when I run the "wouldn't a" tape all the way through. God willing I never have to repeat the past and neither do you!!!!!!!

Peace Love and Light

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The meeting with my supervisor went well, I talked to him on Monday. I shared my views and concerns as objectively as I could, which was pretty good, thanks to God. I didn't do this to get my co-worker in any trouble, I did this to make him aware of my concerns and my personal feelings. He appreciated my honesty. He also asked me if I would have any problems confronting my co-worker about my concerns if I noticed her behaving in a manner I didn't like. I told him that being human it is always hard to confront another but I honestly think I can do this if I feel the need. I do believe I can confront her in a positive way, through the power of pray and mediation God enters my heart and gives me the right words at the right time, via the practice written about on pages 86 and 87 of the Big Book. I had to work with her for a short time yesterday, I put my differences aside and treated her with compassion and kindness. The Dalia Lama says the hardest person to practice compassion on is those we don't really like, he actually says our enemies but I wouldn't go so far as to call her an enemy. Here is a man who has to show compassion towards world leaders he really disagrees with and he is able to do that with compassion, he is a living teacher of the way of loving kindness and compassion. My supervisor used this time to give me a performance review also and he praised my interaction with clients and said I was a valuable part of the team, Thanks again God.

My Sunday morning Spirituality group went really well!! I read a story from Came to Believe called " Back to the Fundamentals" the author talks about all the different religions he has explored, his trouble with the finding a Higher Power and his confusion. He talks about 3 basic concepts he gained while looking closely at the Sermon on the Mount, which are have tenants found in all spiritual principles. At last he posed this question to himself, " If you could pick the kind of God that you could believe in, what would He be like." I posed this question to the clients and asked them to write down what their God would be like at this moment, what was their understanding of a God personal to them. I told them it could be anything, it didn't have to be male or female, told them I personally don't believe in a gender specific God, told them about using meetings in the beginning, the Cosmic Muffin that a friend once used, that it was alright to not believe in God at all. I also told them that if they were to stay clean and sober using a 12 step program that sooner or later they would have to cross this bridge and that this was just an exercise in having them think about what a Higher Power was to them. I asked if anybody would like to share what they had written down, saying they didn't have to since this was something that is personal and I respect that. To my amazement 14 of the 17 clients shared what they had written down, to me this took a lot of trust to do. A few of the clients had a non-conventional view of God, after group I praised these client for sharing that in the face of possible criticism from those that believe in God the Father and Jesus. A couple talked about believing but also that they feel they had let God down by their behaviors while using. God was working through me that morning because I received a lot of thanks and praise for giving them one of the best group exercises they have had, I told them it came from God and not Scott. Oh yeah I think Jess posed this question in one of her post so the idea wasn't foreign to me, thanks Jess.

Our treatment center is looking at finding a new location, one that has more room for clients and staff. The one building we are looking at is an old nursing home that is next to a Catholic high school and houses a day care center in the basement, it is also located in a nice neighborhood. Last night we had a town hall meeting, the panel consisted of the clergy who run the school and 3 directors for the treatment center. The treatment center is a safe place, we do not have any issues of violence, when the clients do decide to leave on their own accord for what ever reason they take off for their homes or where ever they feel safe at and don't loiter around the center, they head for higher ground. The floor was open to the concerns of parents and citizens and boy did we get an earful. Some did express their appreciation for the work we do but most expressed fears born out of ignorance and too much CSI viewings. I have never in my life felt so much prejudice in one place, granted I am a white male. No matter how much we explained the screening process, the safety measures that are in place, the fact that most of our clients want help, the fact that we have never had an incident of violence, their fears could not be calmed. Their perceptions where of the raging drunk and junkie, not the beaten person looking for help, true we do have times when tempers flair but we are trained to calm these temper tantrums and also the other clients work as a team to keep the peace within the center, 99% of these temper flair ups occur inside the center and not out on the smoke deck. I am not angry with the people who posed their opposition to us, they where going off of their feelings for safety. I would have liked to mention that the chances of their children being harmed by someone on the streets was greater than being harmed by one of our clients, but it wouldn't have done any good. From the vibe I receive I feel we lost this opportunity but who knows, the crowd wasn't that big considering the number of students who attend the high school and the day care, so maybe board of directors will look a little closer at our record and safety measures in place. It is up to God as always. This was the first time I have heard in person the fears and hatred towards alcoholics and addicts. Society hears about us at our worse and these images are imprinted in the minds of citizens. It also shows the amount of denial because substance abuse and mental health issues effect a large portion of the population but people are leery of opening their own closets to take a closer look inside which is really sad. I am grateful for the Traditions and am a stickler for them but man last night I wish they could have been broken and members of AA and NA could have been present to speak in support of us, but our success is based on not entering public controversy..

Well that's my tale for now.
Peace Love and Light to all.
May your God shine It's light upon each and every one of you.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Conflict is just an 8 letter word

First let me say I am not happy about waking up at 8:00am, I should have been able to sleep until 10am or so since I only had 4 hours sleep the night before. My body clock is all screwed up from working different shifts, 7am-3pm last couple of times, 3pm-11pm more times than not. Having said that I love what I do and understand I am the go to guy for working what ever shift needs covered. Also even though I am not happy about something doesn't mean I don't accept it, I am just expressing something that is in my head and irritating. The positive light on getting up a couple of hours before I wanted to is that I am rereading a book I want to introduce to one of the counselors, so my God is giving me more time to read it before I pass it on to her, I want to make sure my motive for loaning her the book is correct.

This first paragraph is really a good lead in to what I want to write about, accepting the thing I cannot change, changing the thing I can and the wisdom to know the difference. I have a coworker who's personality grates on me. She is snobbish, a bit of a diva which she owns, judgemental on the negative side and a gossip. Most of you know I come from a working class hero background, my parents both come from poor farmer linage, there were periods in my life when we had very little money but my dad busted his butt to pay the bills and feed us, social styles where something we couldn't afford to waste money on. The other thing is like a few others out there, I was a oddball as a kid, I never fit into boyish boy role that society portrays young boy's to be, sports didn't interest me but they didn't my dad either so I feel this disinterest comes from him, the same can be said for killing things, hot cars or pickups, wood shop, welding, power tools, violence and a few other things that are common among boys as they mature, does anyone really know what mature means. I do have a strong attraction to women but I was raise with a very modest almost Puritanical view on the human body and sex, which is a curse and a blessing, so I did have this in common but was reserved in how I talked about it. I was shunned by the pretty/popular people in my formative years, they were the materialistic status loving vain and I was intellectually and eccentrically vain. My refuge came from my interest in arts and philosophy, from music, books and nature. I have been blessed that via my travels as a member of the Air Force. I have experienced many cultures, lifestyles, I have known people from all over the US and the world, my mind is open I have accepted and absorbed all their differences with interest and awareness in the fact that we may be different but we are all a part of the big ONE. My alcoholism and addiction both in and out of recovery has allowed me to experience and associate with the lowest of the low and even some of the highest of the high. These are all things that form my views and prejudices/ignorance's. I tend to champion the underdogs, the misunderstood, the eccentrics, those who march to the beat of their own drummer, I am Atticus Finch with Dylan's aloofness and Waylon's attitude. Yes I pride myself on being tolerant, it is alright to laugh out loud about what you just read!! So this coworker and I sit at different ends of the proverbial lunchroom of life.

Now back to the coworker. Saturday night the treatment center took our clients to a recovery event called Soberoke, sober karaoke, this coworker was part of the staff that went along. The clients for the most part really enjoy doing this and some of the staff get up and sing as well. I worked Sunday morning and a few of the clients told me about the event, which former clients where there, one girl said she saw her boyfriend there who is going through treatment at a different facility. My only comments to these breeches of anonymity were that I was glad to hear that the former clients where there especially a couple of them who's recovery I had concern for. I did not pass on this information to the person I was working with because I figured she would find out on her own if the clients wished to tell her. At shift change the coworker who I have a conflict with showed up for the following shift and she starts telling all about who was at Soberoke, about the one girl seeing her boyfriend and that she was surprised he didn't seem that bad, she mentioned that she saw a former client and that the former client seemed to have a thing going with a guy that comes to the treatment center to speak, she also made a comment about the girlfriend of another former client a guy that is pretty alternative in appearance, lots of piercings and tattoo's, saying she was surprise how nice his girlfriend was, implying that since he was an alt she expected him to be with some freaky girl. The way she said things was done in a very gossipy manner and very judgemental and this rubbed me the wrong way, I finally said something about anonymity even though when I said it, what she was talking about wasn't a breech of anonymity but my tired brain just wanted her to stop talking, so I didn't engage God conscienceness and just made a comment to change the subject with an attempt to move on.

I thought about this whole conversation on the drive home and my personality conflict with my coworker and realized I do need to talk to my supervisor about it. Besides the personality conflict I feel this is very unprofessional behavior on her part. When I got home I talked to my sponsor, who is a drug and alcohol counselor. I told him about the gossip about how she has an ignorance and her dislike for low bottoms and social alternatives and how here comments to other staff members about the more eccentric clients is said with disgust and lack of compassion. I told him about my perceptions about what she said. He told me my personal problems with the coworker where not important as far as work goes unless I start saying inappropriate things to her out of dislike, hopefully I won't, when I have worked with her in the past and she starts belittling clients or others I just get up and walk away. My sponsor advised that when I talk to my supervisor that I should tell him that my concern is that the coworker is acting in a non-professional manner and not being objective, he told me if I really wanted to I could state that from a recovery and spiritual side that I find this offensive but that I shouldn't go any further than that. I will make an appointment to visit with my supervisor because I need to air my views. I need to do this for my own recovery and out of concern for the clients. I don't know what this coworker writes down in her notes about the clients but if she has such strong opinions about them in private then I am afraid this is reflecting on her notes about them. I am also concern about what may is being said outside of the staff break room, this coworker and some others hang out and have drinks together, I could care less about the drinking, I am the alcoholic not them but I do know the effect alcohol has on ones ability to speak objectively especially if you already have a tendency to trash talk about people.

I may not like this coworker as a person but I have to respect and accept her as a coworker. I am grateful I am aware of my feelings today and can do the footwork needed to address the problem. I am grateful I have a 12 step program and a spiritual path that allows me to work on my character defects. That I try a little every day to be a better person even towards those I am prejudice against. I am grateful I understand that all of us are sick in our own way and we aren't perfect which mainly reflects back on me. I am grateful my sponsor is in the same career field I am in and can share his experience, strength and hope on more levels than just being another drunk trying to live life on life's terms. I am grateful today that when I have a conflict in my life I don't have to mill it over in my head for hours, that I can talk to someone about it, that I can pray on it, that I can be honest enough to share it with my blogger peeps, because there was a time when my pride wouldn't have allowed me to do any of this. I can't say enough about the gift of awareness, the gift of having the God of my understanding entering into my life and for the changes that has brought about, for the promises being a reality today.

Thanks for listening campers. I just wanted you all to know that I have conflicts too and I need to air them out with you with in a healthy manner.

Peace Love and Light to all!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Master uses Different Paint

I woke this morning and found out the Master artist had changed the color of It's paints, It was using to color this part of the world. There is a lot of white covering things. My lawn is covered in white, the tree's have felt the stroke of the brush in fact every thing but the warm pavement is at least partially covered in white. I must admit I am not a winter person, I love being outdoors but not when the temperature drops below 40 degrees. I don't mind snow though, I see the beauty in it, the touch of the Master Painter giving me a different view outside my windows, giving me another chance to be truly aware of this gift we call life. Some of my Facebook friends are bitching about the snow and I feel sad for them, sad because their eyes are closed, sad because they still haven't grasped steps 11 and 12, someday I hope they do because I love these people.

I am grateful I have a warm house to live in. That I have the money to keep the electricity on so I can keep the coffee flowing, make some soup for late lunch or early supper. I am grateful that I can sit here in thin sleep pants, t-shirt and barefoot and write about stuff on my laptop in comfort. I am grateful for the little white dog at my feet, the one that lays on top of me while I sleep. I am grateful I had a Friday night off and was able to go to meeting I really like with people I am close to but have missed because of my work schedule. I am grateful that today people who I haven't seen in a while welcome with smiles and hugs, unspoken "I missed you". I am grateful for the new people in my life, that I can tease them and they can tease me in return. I am grateful, and this may sound egotistical or weird, but when I speak I speak from the heart and no longer bullshit people in an attempt to impress or feel superior, God gives me the words and I am It's messenger. I never felt or feel comfortable bullshitting anyway, it just seems ugly to me, oh I still slip every once in a while but I get this nasty gut feeling when I do it. Even though I haven't heard from my daughter all week I am grateful that I know she is safe and that God is taking care of her, my granddaughter and the baby inside my daughter.

A little snow is just a part of life where I live, hell a lot of snow and ice is a part of life also. Snow will come and snow will go and each day begins anew. Today I didn't come to from drinking too much last night. I haven't opened my frig to check out how much beer I have nor I am I on my 6Th one by noon, I don't have to leave the house to get more beer to make it through the weekend.

Tomorrow I am working my first early Sunday shift, 7am to 3pm. We have a 10:30am group discussion on Spirituality and Mediation. My young coworker, the same one who I do the anger management group with is working with me. I bought a copy of Came To Believe yesterday and read part of it last night, today I plan on reading the rest, it has been a couple of years since I last read it and I gave my copy to a friend in jail. I am hoping that I can find a story or 2 in the book that will be appropriate for the beginners at the treatment center, if nothing else there is always the 11Th step chapter in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions to read, followed by listening to a mediation CD. Since tomorrow morning will be slow my coworker and I can go over the material and I will listen to her input and we should be able to come up with a plan for the group. God will give us the answer to our question and deliver the message the way it is intended to be heard, as long as I do a bit of footwork and keep the big "ME" out of it.

Well campers it is time to take a hot shower, then do some house work, plus I have some dry bread for the birds and tree rats to eat, I need to move the bird seed from the shed to the house so it is easier to get to now that God has announced that winter is on the way. Oh yeah a bit of Tran-Siberian Orchestra is in order to mark the coming of the celibration for a carpenter's son who was born to teach people about love, kindness and compassion, TSO really understands the meaning of Christmas without being over the top either commercially or preachy, if you have never listened to Old City Bar by them please check it out it is a beautiful song and talks about how wonderful humans can really be.

Peace Love and Light to all

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Going to try and do this bullet point thing since there are no big stories to tell.

I completed phase 1 of the medical training, I can now give medication to the clients, it is all about precise documentation and following the directions thoroughly

Not sure when I will go to CPR and first aid but that isn't a problem since first aid is well ingrained in my mind

I thanked God for waking me up in just enough time to make it to the training class plus giving me those green traffic lights,

One of my dad's sister's pasted on, but it was a blessing, she has been gone mentally for about 5 years and was only exsisting as a person, she is at peace now, sad thing is there are only 2 of the 8 kids from my dad's side alive, a generation is coming to an end.

My daughter has moved to a nice income based apartment, she is on her own, no boyfriend, now she has the chance to experience the responsiblities of paying bills and make ends meet.

My daughter and granddaughter are coming down to visit next weekend, it will be their first visit at my house, going to buy Angel some winter clothes, plus need to get some toys for the house, did I ever tell you I love being a Grandpa!!

My daughter is also getting things together to start winter college classes at a community college and I am so greateful

Just because someone has 12 years sober doesn't always mean they act that way, a misunderstanding has erupted into name calling and I am not participating

Thank you God for a good sponsor

Greatful also for having the God conscience it talks about in the 10th step because today I don't react to others behaviors out of spite or one upmanship

I have had to put my sandals in the closet for the most part, cold weather has come to Nebraska so out come the Doc's, not happy about having to wear shoes but such is life in the midwest and the cycle of seasons, not ready for the cold north winds but I would move from here either, well not at this point in my life anyway, give me another 20 years and San Jose or Austin might be more tempting

The leaves are starting to change and fall from the trees, haven't had a frost yet but will before too long, over night temps in the 40's

New avenues opening up, next week I will work a few day shifts, which gives me a chance to sit in on sessions between counselors and clients, I find this very interesting and challenging, it will give me a better understanding of the counselors and the reasons they have clients work on certain projects plus the counselors will get to know me better

I am greatful that I am respected by my peers and the counselors, God has done for this old grease monkey what he couldn't have done for himself

Made a new friend on Sunday, a young woman in her late 20's who's taste in things are older, might ask her if she wants to check out a Greek restarant that we both know about but have never eaten at, she likes ethinic food as much as I do plus the simplier things in life, turning it over to God

I have official made the Tuesday night meeting my home group, I will now tell my supervisor I am not available on Tuesday evenings, I am greatful for finding a home group and also greatful that I am secure enough with the job to ask for one evening a week off without fear of being called a slacker

Life is good in all ways, thanks to being sober, thanks to the God of my understanding, thanks to good meetings, thanks to a good sponsor, thanks to living the 12 steps to the best of my abliity on a daily bases, thanks to having you wonderful bloggers who give such great meetings between meetings.

I would have never dreamed that I would be able to handle lifes little bouts of anxiety so easlily and quickly, I feel the anxiety for what it is, share a cup of coffee with it, give it to to God and move on, some times we share a few cups of coffee but the anxiety doesn't last for days on in like it use to.

Well campers once again I have proven that I am long winded when I put my fingers to the keyboard, the insecure me would call this a character defect but the awaken me knows it is just who I am and I can dig that.

Peace Love and Light to all, may the sunlight of the Spirit shine upon you!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Did I Shave my legs for this!!

No I don't shave my legs, but Deana Carter has been playing on the sound system in my brain, not a bad thing because I love her music. Sad truth folks, I like me some simple country music right along with my Dylan, Jackson Browne, Joni, Neil, Clash, Allman Bros, Little Feat, Woody and Muddy etc. Really though think about it, how often have we done something wanting special results only have to have them be mediocre or disappointing. I may not shave my legs, but I have put on nice clothes, a bit of cologne only to walk away saying "shit that didn't work out the way I wanted and I put so much thought and effort into it". So goes life, we do the footwork and yet things still don't turn out the way we want them to. But we don't give up, we will shave our legs, we will press our nicest clothes, trim the eyebrow, nose and ear hair and try again because we can't give up, because we trust our God that somewhere along the path called life what we want may become a reality if we work for it. This isn't just about relationships, it is about anything in life, replacing that beater car, finding a job that is fulfilling, hell finding a job in general for some, making lasting and healthy friendships with others on this path, helping others in recovery, the list could go on and on. The outside appearance is laughably what we feel is important to us but it is really the inside, the emotional and spiritual that is important to our God and fellows. So thanks Deana for helping me look at life from a humorous angle.

We have 7 clients at the treatment center leaving this coming week. Most of these people entered treatment about the same time I started working there on a regular bases, meaning 3 to 4 days a week. These are my kids, these are the women and men myself and others have done all we can to help them not return to the life they were living prior to coming to us. I know some of them won't make it, I won't even guess which ones they will be because in the past I have thought someone just wasn't willing enough and then they would have a spiritual experience of some kind and start to grow in leaps and bounds. It is hard to not get attached to the clients after spending anywhere from 35-50 days with them a few times a week, I now understand how people in the medical field have to guard themselves from becoming too emotionally attached to their patients. I don't place high expectations on any of them but as a recovering alcoholic and addict myself I have a special love for them, a love born out of having walked in their moccasins, the love one alcoholic/addict has for another. My parting words to each one will be "go to meetings, get a sponsor and work the steps" I have shared my experience, strength and hope with them the best that I can but the bottom line is they have to be willing to do the footwork and people who stay sober, go to meetings, have a good sponsor and work the steps, later they will hopefully find service work, spend time in prayer and mediation, read and understand the literature but for now the basics will serve them well if they do the footwork.

Quick bit of humor, Friday night was movie night and they were watching a stupid horror movie, some of the clients don't like horror movies and neither do I so we broke out a deck of cards and after throwing around different card games to play we settled on Spades, one young girl had never played Spades before but was willing to learn. Well she learned and we created a monster. It was really fun watching her learn to read the other players and figure what cards to play by thinking about what had already been played. When she finished she said she was now addicted to playing Spades and it was cool because now she knows she can have a lot of fun playing cards sober with sober people. It was a simple gift of recovery and I was grateful that I was there to watch it happen.

Monday I have an all day class to get my medical certification for work. It is basic first aid and also learning how to check blood pressure, learning about giving our medications and minor things like that. This is a whole new world for me. I have had first aid training while I was in the military so that isn't anything new but the rest is. I have spent my whole working career up to this point being involve in one form or another with mechanical related jobs. I am a bit nervous about this training, the medical world seems scary because so much is at stake even if it is only minor, the self doubt kind of creeps in, the self talk says "your hands are those of a working man". But on the other hand I am excited, this is part of the new path I have taken in my life, the path to be of service to God and others. Tomorrow I will wake up with a clear head because I didn't drink the night before, it will do a bit of prayer and mediation so my mind is focused on the task at hand and I will trust my God to help me along the way.

Well my friends I need to get in the shower and get ready for work, my kids await.

Peace Love and Light to all!!