the Director

I’ve always wanted to run the show as far back as I can remember. Even farther back than when  Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams said, “just build it and they will come,” but we all know a  rudderless director is like a ship with no captain when the sails give way. It’s every man to himself looking to find the answers to questions like, “how do I move on from here?” I had to hit bottom before I sought help.  I had tried it for twenty five years my way, and found that even alcohol and drugs couldn’t fix me. It’s been a long hard row to hoe. I simply had to learn to stop trying to control and stop playing God. I am blessed today with a Father who still loves me and an earthly father, who at 85, still sets a good example of what love, faith, and hard work can do….and he credits God. At 35, a father and son of drinkers, he found God on his terms, and to my knowledge has never had a drink since. He has never left any doubt in my mind who the Director is in his life. I had to drink a lot more for a little longer and lose at the game to be convinced that I was no longer good at managing my own life. Coming to terms with that has taken a lifetime of lessons in humility. If I remain willing and stay humble, only then do I have a chance;however,  I am grateful for those lessons that I learned doing it my way. I could share all that I’ve lost and then some, but that is not my point. Let me share with you what I’ve gained…peace, serenity, and a happy soul. If I had not learned the lessons on what wasn’t working, I’d be stuck or dead, of that I am certain. God gave me my life back when I became willing to let Him direct the show. It’s hard for others to follow the leader when the one who thinks he runs the show doesn’t show up. What is attractive to me now is watching other’s lives change when they begin to follow the dictates of a Higher Power, God, in His infinite wisdom showing up to direct and lead when the student is ready.  Not a day before or a minute after, but always right on time to take away an obsession so powerful that it had warped me into believing that it wasn’t killing me. It’s much easier now learning to walk in harmony while I watch the show unfold without having to put all of the pieces together in a scene that would only seem to be just right…good day!…b 

Grasping for truth

imageNothing at this juncture is more pivotal in my recovery than the attempt to be as honest as I know how. I’ve never believed that I was a natural born lier, but let me drink enough, and I can’t tell truth from fiction. My world gets distorted, thinking gets skewed, and my perceptions get warped really fast. Thanks to willingness and open mindedness for helping me unravel the madness of my own alcoholism. It takes courage to get honest, do a self appraisal, work on character defects, make amends, and give freely to my brothers and sisters. In it all, is an honest search for truth………I found myself running from life. Today, sober, I face the truth and the truth hurts sometime. It’s hard being rigorously honest. It’s harder to accept that within me lies most of the creator of the problems that I’ve encountered. I also know that I am not alone. Who else would lie, manipulate, and con thru life but a drunk because at first glance, it’s the easier, softer way. But I had to get honest, first with God, then myself, and now with others. If something hurts me, I have to get it out whereas I used to hide the pain in a bottle. I don’t always get it right, but today I trust that God is working in my life on a far grander scale when I am honest with myself and others. He already knows the truth, so I trust Him with the process. Doing a personal inventory taught me that most of my troubles lie in three areas: childhood of origin, family of origin, and religion of origin. But none of those are reasons for me to pick up a drink. I have no excuses, and that’s the whole truth of the matter. I must carry a hope and vision to accept my past, learn from it, and move forward determined not to repeat those same mistakes. I simply cannot plow ahead when my focus is over my shoulder.  I’ve learned that one the hard way, and lying to cover up a lie is stress filled and hard work. It is my responsibility to walk with purpose when under duress, and that is a trudge that I am honestly trying to practice along my journey good day!….b

Never Ends Well

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I’ve been making meetings, check. I’ve been working with newcomers, check that one too. I read my AA big book and got up to go to church this morning, called a friend once I realized no one was there only to hear him tell me, “it’s Saturday, dude.” I do all of that sober stuff,  so just imagine how freaking effed up it got when I was drinking, doing pills, and lying. Today’s nightly topic was being true to oneself, the AA mantra, but throw me a squirrel and I’ll put him in a cage and watch while he dies frantically trying to escape. That is the mind of a chronic alcoholic, wheels always churning on a lost highway. I’ve missed the point most of my life, and when I felt my first drink I got a euphoric feeling. Most people take a drink, get a buzz, and go to bed. Nuh uh, not me. Then, I drink the euphoric feeling into complete bleakness. It’s a numb place there, living to drink and drinking to live. So, what happens when a man makes a decision to stop? My experience is that I had to get God into it quickly and surrender my will. Treating a 7 day a week drinking habit with no spiritual connectivity is like putting a band aid on a bullet hole; bleeding to death trying to get someone else to take the key and free my soul. I ran into myself today when after a meeting a guy drove up, got out of his truck, and frantically and honestly told me my relapse story. I knew his face but had forgotten his name. Today, I realize our stories are much the same, and our names could all be the same as well. More, more, more is what our brains tell us, so we reach for the pipes, stay gone for three days, and then wonder why our loved ones don’t want us back. So, we grab a shovel, dig our bottoms deeper, clench our teeth, and fight to the death trying to free our minds from the insanity of that first one. I know him well, I fought tooth and nail to prove I was different, only to find out that the first one never ends well. I simply have to pray for willingness and take action today  in order for my experiences to change….. good day!…b