Saturday, April 21, 2012


When I cranked up the mower both kids had to see what I was doing. Angel helped from time to time but Carter stayed in this position the whole time. He would get mad when I had to lift him out out of the way to do some closer work, sometimes I just picked him up, put his hand on the bar and maneuvered the mower with him attached. I will have to buy a plastic mower for him to push along side papa, so we can mow together. My grand babies are a gift and I am grateful I can really enjoy being in the present with them. It is a gift to not get upset when they try to help me and slow me down in the process, to be patient with their curious minds. I let them play with hammers, small gardening tools and other things from the shed, it isn't an inconvenience to make sure they are safe or not messing something up. They are a gift to be cherished each moment they are around, even though they to tend to smother me with attention. I am finding ways to get some me time, there is a nice small lake park a couple of miles away, I can go there take a walk, mediate or just sit and read. We only have the here and now and I do my best to live in the moment at hand.

Prayer Girl, a blogger I really miss, once wrote and I am paraphrasing, " sometimes when one door closes and we just have to sit in the hallway and wait for another to open". I have returned to her words often since I read them, they are a reminder to me to not let situations I dislike get me down because in time a new door will open, we don't know when but one will always open in time. This is what happen with my job situation.

Monday I walked into one of the employment agencies, they had posted a custodial/general maintenance job, listed as part time but not specific as to whether part time meant less than 40 hours or not long time employment. The lady told me it was only 25 hours a week. I told her I was looking for something seasonal with 40 hours, something to pay the bills and keep me busy until school starts in August. She said the grain elevator in a town 10 miles away was looking for someone to mow, weed, trim and do general ground maintenance, pay was more per hour than I make now, she called the guy and I was scheduled to meet him in an hour. Her data base was on the fritz so she couldn't send him my resume but told me to just go and she would send him my information later.

I told him my work history and also my personal knowledge of maintenance. Told him I like to say busy and find stuff to do when things get slow. He asked about my understanding of safety, company has been almost 7 years without a reportable accident, meaning an accident which required medical attention. I told him you have to be aware of possible hazards all the time and good housekeeping is important. Between the Air Force and manufacturing work, I have learned you have to keep your eyes always open to things which may harm you or others, gave examples of forklift driving, using proper lifting procedures and utilizing all tools available to make the job safer. I was honest about going to college in August and wanting a job for the summer, wanting a normal day time job with weekends off so I can spend time with family and friends. He said if I was hired and things worked out maybe he could work around my classes and have work for me in the fall as well.

O.k. side note for those who don't know. Grain elevators are tall storage units for corn and soybeans, Midwest skyscrapers. They also have concrete bunkers or large piles of corn. The grain is purchased from the farmers at market rate, the grain is the loaded on trains and transported to manufacturers. Field corn is different from the corn you buy in the stores, it doesn't have very much nature sweetening content, the corn you eat is a hybrid actually, originally corn was not sweet. The corn produced by farmers in dried on the stock prior to harvesting and then dried some more, the corn is checked at the elevator for moisture content, if it is too wet it will spoil in storage. Grain bins and elevators have large dryers to assist in the drying process. The elevator areas including offices, maintenance shop and bunkers covering about 10 city blocks.

So anyway by the time I got back to town I was hired. Evidently the guy liked my answers and trusted my experience. I will start a week from Monday, not sure what all I am suppose to do other than mow, clean up around the grounds, trim and pull weeds. I may have to clean out bunkers and also do some vehicle maintenance and general cleaning. I don't really care what I am going to be doing, it has be easier on my body than lifting and bending steel, less repetitive motion. I get work outside, I will be working 7am to 4:30pm mainly Monday thru Friday, maybe the odd weekend all depends on what needs to be done and if the weather during the week keeps me from getting my work done during the week.

I am taking this coming week off, one for some R&R and second try to get my mind and body use to going to bed at a normal time and getting up in the morning. I am use to going to bed around 5am and now I will be getting up at 6am. I have also made plans to meet up with a couple of friends for supper during the week and hit a couple of meetings I haven't been to in over a year.

I will now be able to attend meetings during the week, not sure which meetings I will pick up for sure. I started a Living Sober meeting on Friday night a couple of years ago and will probably start going to it. I will start doing jail meetings again for sure, we really lack in people willing to chair or participate in jail meetings. I will have my summer free for camping or just doing something on the spur of the moment with friends. I will be able to see my friends on a more regular bases and also connect with some new people. Basically I get my social life back and have a less stressful job to boot.

So I sat in the hallway for a year with a job I didn't really like. I was up and down with acceptance and taught about patience and tolerance. I found out I could do manual labor after sitting at a desk for 16 years. I had to make the best of meetings and really talk to my sponsor and friends, be open and honest about my feelings. I had blind faith in the impermanence of everything and trusting that the God of my understanding would see me through this and I would come out the other side better for it. I did and lot of footwork and didn't like the results I wanted but this lead me to seeking the path of going to college and finding a temporary job and not worrying about full time employment for now.

The promises in the Big Book have come true once again and I have been given another gift.

Well campers, I need to take a shower and get ready for the day. Tonight we are having a potluck and speaker meeting, need to make a pasta salad. The guy who is speaking was 1 grade ahead of me in school, we were not friends back then, in fact he use to bully me. He has been sober for just over a year and we are building a friendship based on who we are today and not who we were 30 years ago.

Love and Blessings to all. Enjoy your gifts!!

Peace Love Light

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thank you Psychic Change

"On the other hand—and strange as this may seem to those who do not understand—once a psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules."
The Doctor's Opinion page xxix

For me the last couple of weeks have been nuts; frustration, overly busy, added drama, lack of me-time. Each night when I lay in bed and say my prayers I also give thanks for the not having the obsess to drink, I give thanks to God, whatever It is, that I not drinking has become as normal as breathing in and out.

I am a garden variety drunk but this plant in the universal garden of life at one time could not function without a drink. I always drank after work, which meant I had a cooler of beer in my car for the 1/2 hour drive home and if I didn't feel like going right home I would drive around country roads drinking until I did. When I worked a part job at a convenience store and I had a few hours prior to going to work I would drink and once it got really slow in the store I would keep an open beverage in the cooler to sip on. On weekends I would get up, drink a pot of coffee and then start drinking; starting around 11am and stoping sometime around midnight. I couldn't go anywhere in the car without a cooler of beer nor could I attend any function without drinking before hand and reaching my hand into the cooler when it was over.

Here is what is going on with me.

Mich never had her own checking account. Her bf controlled all her money. When they split due to the eviction I found out she was flat broke and bf would not give her any money, saying she blow all her tax refund. They were and he still is involved in a multi level marketing thing, one of the those programs were you get people under you so you can advance. The program is about discount hotels, airfare, trips and online purchases. They do presentations to friends and anyone interested in hopes they will sign up under you and you make a profit from them signing up and there purchases plus anyone they recruit. Another added expense is going to motivational conferences. Neither one works a regular job and both, especially him believe they will make a bunch of money off of this. I told Mich these types of programs are kind of alright if you use them for a side income but are not a living income. She agrees with me but still believes they can make a bunch of money in the long run.

Mich and bf split of over money and him not supporting her or the kids. He is not willing to watch the kids while she job hunts and will not even give her gas or basic needs money. Of course this doesn't sit well with me but I am powerless. I have also kindly pointed out to Mich her roll in all her current troubles, she isn't white as snow in all this.

The kids are smothering me. Angel is still awake at 3am when I get home. She talks to papa until we go to bed, she sleeps with me. When I get up both Angel and Carter are by my side a great deal. Via a conversation with my sponsor, we figured out that not only I am I papa but I am a calm person in their lives and give both positive attention and love. Yes I get after them when they do something wrong but not with loud anger. Mich shows them love too and is good about positive construction discipline. Mich is having depression troubles though all this so she isn't 100%, so they gravitate to papa.

I was going to physical therapy 5 days a week and I now down to 3 times a week, 1 hour a day. This was really messing with my free time also, session are in the middle of the afternoon. Therapy is helping and the exercises they have taught me help me out at work when the shoulder/neck pain starts. It isn't all bad just an added something to adjust to. Ever hear the saying "alcoholics hate change".

I applied for vocational rehab assistance, since alcoholism is considered a disability. Friend of my was able to get some tuition assistance from them. I was turned down because I am recovering successfully. Not a big deal, it was just a footwork avenue to explore to make college a bit cheaper.

Took my Compass test to see what basic classes I will need for college, mandatory requirement prior to enrolling. I scored a 95 in reading comprehension, 67 in writing and a 49 in math. Knew the math would be low, I don't have a mathematical mind, if i can see a practical use for math then I understand it but if a fraction isn't on a tape measure then it is useless to me, 13/25 is not a useful or understandable fraction to me. My advisor told me to hold off on math until my 2nd semester, to first take classes which I am interested in, then tackle the harder subjects. I haven't been in school since 1981, so I had already made up my mind my first semester would be classes of interest which would make studying and homework easier. I will take a writing class, business class or 2 and a psychology class. If I decide to move on after 2 years and get a bachelors degree I will have to take an algebra class but by the time this rolls around hopefully I will be in the groove and the class will not be too hard plus there are free tutors available.

Work sucks! Part of the problem is me. Being on light duty I feel I am not pulling my weight and worry about my coworkers and supervisors. The other part is having a supervisor who is not familiar with the machines we operate. I have been running an old machine which has a really crappy computer program, it takes a 1/2 at least to program it from scratch. The boss whats his production numbers and is pushing us hard, understandable but also it is frustrating when he doesn't understand the challenges of the machines we run. O.k I am grateful for having a job and mental tools which allow me to calm down to a certain extent when I get frustrated at the machine and the boss. I have decided since I am going to quit in August anyway to start looking for a summer job now. I can hopefully find a seasonal job doing mowing or grounds maintenance which will hold me over until classes start in August. Starting around August depending on where I am working, I will try and find a couple of part time jobs to keep me afloat. I also want my weekends relatively free this summer, my current job doesn't allow for this, we have already started working 10 hours on Saturdays.

The way I am looking at the whole work deal is like this; this job has been stressful and too physically demanding from the get go, I now have a clear plan of action for better employment also. I feel I might as well bit the bullet, take a bit of a pay decrease and enjoy my summer, have my weekends and evening pretty much free. Footwork, footwork, footwork is what it will take.

So am going though what for me is a slightly stressful time. I make my Sunday morning home group meeting but that is about all. I meet with my sponsor once a week, actually met a couple of times last week just to download on her. She has been a God sent, she is not my God but is It's voice and ears at times. By finding a God of my understanding and working the steps daily, 1, 3, 10 and 11 plus awareness of defects and willingness to work on them, I have not had a desire to drink. I am still in awe of this fact, this goes against my whole previous behaviors, it is amazing and a miracle. The program of recovery outlined in the books Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 and 12 really works for me/us if we work it.

I am not skipping down the yellow brick road but I am reasonably sane, serene and accepting of the challenges in my life. I have the mental ability to understand what footwork I need to do to change those things I don't current like in my life and to accept the powerlessness over other things. I love my daughter and grand babies and am glad I am here for them, I am adjusting to their presence but having to search out ways to have some alone time. It is wonderful to be able to find solutions via my God and others in recovery. I really can't say enough about how good it is to not be a total mess right now.

I am not saying my challenges are worse than anyone else, just saying how grateful I am for the tools to get through my challenges. I continue to pray and send positive energy to all my friends facing much harder challenges than me!!

Peace Love Light