Thursday, August 31, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Today is the 3rd anniversary of my last real drunk.
It's not my sobriety date. That's next week.

visit some more drunks by CLICKING HERE

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to hear at a speaker meeting yesterday, a guy's story that made me wonder how some of us remain living

to actually see some huge improvement in my thought processes

that my nervousness about Hayden's reappearance into my life was unnecessary; I was being very cautious, which was necessary

that he told me that our bond is too strong to ever tear us apart, no matter where we are or who we are with (he didn't actually use those words, but it's what I heard)

that I am a relatively patient person as long as things go according to my schedule

that we're visiting my bedridden Mom today at the nursing home; she'll be excited to see him and vice versa

that I've included an extra HNT pic (below)

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.

-St. Francis of Assisi


My all-time bestest friend Hayden at the 2006 Carnival held in Trinidad & Tobago.

Their Carnival ranks second only to Rio de Janiero in size, although the holiday originated in Trinidad.

HNT website

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


House Cat

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that we read Chapter 5 of The Big Book yesterday at the 6:30am Eyes Wide Shut group and the powerful messages that are in that chapter regarding Steps 3 & 4

that Hayden joined me in attending the 12:15pm AA meeting; a really fine hour of sharing about vulnerability and taking risks

for his insights about that meeting - he told me that what we were talking about is living life on life's terms, something that comes natural to him, a non-alcoholic

that tomorrow is the 3rd anniversary of my last drunk (not my sobriety date, however) and the day that Hayden saved my life (for the 2nd time)

that Friday is the 3rd birthday of 2 of my cats; their mother doesn't care to remember that night

that Hayden and I went to 2 bars and I didn't have any temptation whatsoever to "join in"; it was my first time inside a bar in 2 1/2 years and it's all the same to me if I never go into another one again (that, my friends, is a miracle)

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

-William Faulkner

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Stoner Cat

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the concept of sponsorship in A.A.

for the amazing and unexpected gifts I get, just by staying sober

that Sonny (of Lambda Center) seems to be improving rapidly;

he's making lots of phone calls now

that I'm one of several people who are able to help out running the coffee bar at Lambda

that Hayden made it here safely - his plane actually flew over Hurricane Ernesto rather than fly around it

Hayden - what can I say? I had forgotten (maybe never really realized) that he is so funny and humorous since almost all of our previous life together was during my downward spiral into alcoholism

There are no more hours in a bad day than in a good one!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Growth continues ...

Stevie Wonder Cat
todAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I was present to watch 39 people in recovery celebrate their AA birthdays Saturday Night; they had a combined total of 484 years of sobriety

that I woke up sober, happy and excited today

that Hayden arrives this afternoon for a 25-day visit

that I could create some small paintings for the Roundup Auction;

for Saturday morning breakfast with the ghurls

thta I had the pleasure of chairing a small meeting (3 guys) who had less than a month of sobriety between them; their eagerness was infectious

for a phone call from a Bronco fan (bless her heart)

that lex-sunshine posted a few days ago; this is great!

Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.

-Richard L Evans

"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding."

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Service work

I am retired.
My entire social life revolves around gay, recovering alcoholics. It's all about ...

It keeps me happy.
It keeps me busy.
It keeps me sober.

It happens to all of us ...

So I was driving into work
the other morning, and this dick in a truck
pulls out in front of me........

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Tagged again

1. YOUR FULL NAME? - Dave (I don't put the rest on the internet)
2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? - yes, apparently, everybody already had names
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? - yesterday
6. KIDS? do you realize who you're asking?
8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? - only this blog
10. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? - I think the hospital threw them away
11. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? - now that I don't drink? hell, no!
14. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I use Right Guard
16. SHOE SIZE? 9
21. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING - I'm doing this in the shower
22. LAST THING YOU ATE? - chicken fried steak
23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? - Houston Astros game
25. FAVORITE SMELL? baking bread
28. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO TAGGED YOU?- was I safe or out?
29. FAVORITE DRINKS? - coffee, water
30. FAVORITE SPORT? - baseball
31. EYE COLOR? blue
32. HAT SIZE? - 6 3/4
33. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? - I keep them in my phone book
34. FAVORITE FOOD? - the last thing I ate
38. SUMMER OR WINTER? - every year
39. FAVORITE DESSERT? - as often as possible
40.WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? people who don't see this
41. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? - another sucker
42. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? - I told you, I'm watching the Astros!
45. FAVORITE SOUNDS? - laughter
48. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? - it's not filling these things out, that's for sure
49. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? - March 1954 in Ft. Worth, Texas
50. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? - Gwen (twelvebeads) & Kenny (recovery road)

Birthday Night

click on the picture to enlarge
Tonight is Birthday Night @ Lambda Center. It's always a special occassion because it's the biggest gathering of the month. Also because I get to hear so much gratitude from people whose lives have changed so dramatically from what they had before recovery. Tonight we will see 39 people celebrate (1 year to 33 years of sobriety) the month of August as another milestone in their lives.
I can't wait!

Friday, August 25, 2006

We're all in this together

... and you thought Earth was a BIG round ball!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I began my leg workouts yesterday, beginning very slowly, methodically and cautiously

thta my resting BP is 120/80 and heartrate is 74; not bad for a guy who smokes 2+ packs/day for 35 years

that my gym opens at 5am -- I was there at 5:02 this morning (these initial workouts are very short)

for a nice meeting with my sponsor; we both agree that I am a very very sick person

for a meeting that reminded me that we are all emotionally ill and should be tolerant of everyone, including ourselves OR, as a friend puts it ...
"We're all here because we're not all here."

to meet a interesting visitor at Lambda Center from Atlanta who gets his exercise by square dancing across America

that my home gets cleaned professionally today

that I never contracted malaria when I lived all over Africa; many of my friends did

that Pluto is no longer a planet; this has been bothering me a lot since I got sober

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

looking both ways
look at the rest of the HNT posters

todAAy i AAm graAAtful & thAAnkful

to hear some good sharing about resentment, anger and fear

that I joined a gym yesterday although I don't seem to have lost any weight yet; maybe I'm doing something wrong?
(actually I joined to get treatment on my legs for the peripheral artery disease; I hope to become an expert on the different treadmills)

that I have a Step 1 meeting with my sponsor shortly after I post this - we meet at 6:30am

for the time to do all the little errands that require my time

that next week when Hayden arrives to visit for a month, I don't need to make amends again; it's done, over with, history

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.

-Maya Angelou

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The more things change ...

ice cream man

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can still make my Mom laugh although no sound comes out

that it's all about action

that I know, without a doubt, that drinking and spirituality do not mix, for me they are incompatible

that today, I choose to remain in conscious contact with my HP

for another powerful meeting yesterday about relapsing -- at meetings like this, I really hear a lot of experience that I don't care to go through myself

for solutions, responsibility and accountability

for all of the opportunities I have had to see the other side of life

that my life is in for some changes beginning next week and I'm as prepared for those changes as I can be
-- mostly by remembering Step 3

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy,
join us if you can, visit us if you can't

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.
-Lou Holtz

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

STEPping out

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I enjoy working the coffee bar at Lambda and get to talk to a lot of different people

that I'm beginning to do step work (Step One) again with my sponsor at just the right time as Hayden comes for a visit. hint: it ain't just about alcohol!

for awareness of concepts I never knew about when I drank

that today is APRIL'S 2nd sober birthday, drop by and give her a cyberhug

that I discovered a new recovery blogger on the Sobriety Society website;
say HI ! to the Cake Lady over at Happy Destiny Day

that I have the time (and desire) to sit and read most of the blogs listed on my sidebar

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Note: it was a strange afternoon around my townhouse. My next door neighbor's 15 year-old cat died. Not unexpectedly, of liver failure. Not an hour later, another neighbor was found dead in his bed. He was in his late 30's, a flight attendant, and a cocaine/crack/crystal meth addict. He was in total denial that he had a drug problem. He had learned how to fool the system and never have a "bad" urine test and was proud of that. He won't have to worry about that again because he has now failed the BIG test.

Have a GREAT day, y'all.

Let's go shopping ...

I am reminded of my early days of flipping through a Sears catalog.
I think that Target is very gay-friendly.

Target ad

Monday, August 21, 2006

More proof ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that my Mom has finally agreed to have some necessary dental work done

that I am sober today; no hangover, no black-outs

for Sonny's will to survive after major surgery and complications

for those who have sat at his bedside, gently comforting him and offering him the hope and prayers from all of us

for a powerful meeting about Fear;

I have new ones every day, it seems

for the 8 performances at the annual Lambda Talent Show, including that of one of our fellow bloggers and the $1300 they raised for the center

for all of the people who give their time and effort to help others

to see this video of someone carrying the message,thanks to Lee @ Eau de Humanity

Until you're ready to look foolish, you'll never have the possibility of being great.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

me, mySELF and i

Selfishness -- self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.
So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible.

When I first came into the rooms of AA, I did not believe any of this applied to me.
It was not so much that I had not been honest with myself all those years, I had chosen to be blissfully unaware. I had never looked at myself and my behaviour as others might see me, especially as God (as I understand Him today) sees me.
As I mentally prepare myself for the most significant event of my 3 years of sobriety (the visit of Hayden, my former boyfriend), I must pay special attention to my character defects. My tendencies to be needy and jealous. Overly possessive. My constant desire to be his center of attention.
He'll be here for a month, plenty of time for all of these defects and more to activate themselves. The Twelve Steps of AA will help to prevent my previous behaviour, but only if I take the proper action(s).

"God, I offer myself to Thee -- to build with me and to do with me as thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, so that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Pipe Dream

I was thnking, what if every human being on this planet treated every other human being the way he himself would want to be treated, what a different world we would live in.

Let's do a ----- What If ...

Offer a comment and add an insight as to how you think the world would be different.
I'll get it started.

There would be no wars.

your turn ...

Stress Management

Just in case you've had a rough day, here's an eight-step stress management technique recommended in the latest psychological texts.
The funny thing is that it really works.

1. Picture yourself near a stream.
2. Birds are softly chirping in the cool mountain air.
3. No one but you knows your secret place.
4. You are in total seclusion from the hectic world.
5. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity.
6. The water is crystal clear.
7. You can easily make out the face of the person you're holding underwater.

8. See? You're smiling already.

(submitted by Bunny W.)

Friday, August 18, 2006

As I Sit Here ...

I've been on a motorcycle one time in my life. I was about 12 years old.
I don't like 'em.
I would not trust myself on one.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

to have heard the most gay lead-in to an AA topic yesterday -- principles behind The Wizard of Oz

that it's becoming easier to ask for help these days -- for 3+ decades, I prided myself on being entirely self-sufficient and totally independent

that my life seems to be progressing in a good way, especially when I just let it flow

for all the quotes and mantras I hear about living life

that last night we decorated The Big Room @ Lambda in preparation for The Talent Show on Saturday night

that we had our best day ever (most entries, most hits) yesterday at hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.
-Yiddish proverb

Thursday, August 17, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

My Mr. Coffee bit the dust.
... felt hAAlf nAAked

Got this other brand now.
... covered my ass
and was nAAked no more

drop by to visit the other HNT freaks

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a great AA meeting about relationships at the 6:30am get-together

for the topic of ANGER on Sobriety Society this week; drop by and comment if you wish

for further insight into the power of this disease

that almost all of my friends are in AA and recovery; that's a 180 degree turn from 3 years ago

that I'm gonna be on a tight schedule tomorrow morning -- 6:30am AA meeting, 8:30am appointment with Mom's dentist (35 miles away), 10:00am AA meeting*, 11:00am work the coffee bar @ Lambda Center
* I don't believe I can make this

that I'm going to join a gym next week (did I say that?)

that I'm willing to believe that in the not-too-distant-future I may have a desire to be willing to have a desire to stop smoking

I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.
-John Stuart Mill

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

do yourself a favor ...

to read one of the finest posts about Step 12 that I have read in these here parts.

Free (at last)

I drank alcoholically for 3+ decades. I didn't do drugs, though.
Well, I've smoked cigarettes for 35 years.
And marijuana for 33 years.

I guess I did poppers occcasionally. For about 25 years.
I suppose I also did cocaine and acid a few times.
And mushrooms and speed.
Oh yeah, I huffed for a while.
But really, I just drank.
Yeah, right.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a fantastic AA meeting @ noon yesterday, chaired by Boston

for lunch @ Barnaby's with 7 others and eating something different than my normal fare

that I actively participate in my recovery every day and reap the rewards

for Steps 6 & 7 and the freedom I receive by practicing them

that I was able to say NO! to my nephew's request for another monetary hand-out and not feel guilty for very long (thanks Scott)

that my former bf Hayden now has concrete travel dates set. He'll be staying with me for almost a month, arriving 12 days from now. There is still a lot of love and deep feelings, but I know and accept that we'll never be together again. This is HUGE for me and I have a lot of contemplation and praying to do and I told him this. (step 7 step 7 step 7 step 7)

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

Nothing lowers the level on conversation more than raising the voice.
-Stanley Horowitz

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Movin' on up ...

Since becoming sober, I now know that I've always been obsessive-compulsive.

I'm also anal-retentive.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for friends in recovery (new & old) who show me how to stay sober AND the reasons I should stay sober

for awareness, which leads to change, which leads to humility

that action, negative and positive, either gets me drunk or keeps me sober

for the email I received from a sponsee -- I neglected to give him a written assignment for our next meeting so he asked me what homework he should do. My reply - stay sober! (I have other discussion planned for that meeting, just nothing in writing)

that I dropped by Lambda Center at a time I am rarely, if ever there, and know almost everyone present (30+ people)

that I have yet to discover the return of insanity caused by a spiritual emptiness

for emergency instant coffee (ugh); my 10 year-old Mr Coffee coffeemaker bit the dust, so it's time for a new one

for the cease-fire in Lebanon, albeit a temporary one

To admit you were wrong is to declare you are wiser now than before.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Before my hair turned gray, I was a blond. The more time I spent in the sun, the blond-er my hair became.

We rarely get snow down in Houston.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thaAnkful

that my Mom was OK after choking on some oral gauze

that I get to work the coffee bar at Lambda for a few shifts while Sonny is recuperating from by-pass surgery

that I got to listen to the AA story of a good friend; told well with a lot of honesty

that my sponsor has me doing something very uncomfortable (for me) for a reason (I'll expand on this soon)

for a great time at The Astros game with Don K.

that my former boyfriend and Angel who coerced me into the rooms of AA -- Hayden, who lives in Trinidad -- may be coming for a visit in a few weeks; stay tuned

to welcome Jonathan -- My Life in Tampa. Drop by and say howdy!

that I have come up with the appropriate punishment for Mel Gibson -- he will spend 6 months in Tel Aviv teaching teenagers the ills and wrongs of driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs

Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.
-Chinese Proverb

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Rock and Roll Forever

"Things are not always what they seem"

Unfaithful Dad

A guy goes to the supermarket and notices a beautiful blond woman wave at him and say hello.
He's rather taken aback, because he can't place where he knows her from.
So he says, "Do you know me?"
To which she replies, "I think you're the father of one of my kids."
Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and he says, "My God, are you the stripper from my bachelor party that I laid on the pool table with all my buddies watching, while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery?"
"No," she calmly says, "I'm your son's math teacher."

Saturday, August 12, 2006


from da hills ...

Attorney: "May I help you?
Hillbilly: "Yea, I want to get one of them dayvorces".
Attorney: "Well do you have any grounds?"
Hillbilly: "Yea, I got about a hundred acres."
Attorney: "No, you don't understand, do you have a case?"
Hillbilly: "No, I don't have a Case, but I have a John Deere."
Attorney: "I mean, do you have a grudge?"
Hillbilly: "Yea, I got a grudge. That's where I park my John Deere."
Attorney: "No sir, I mean do you have a suit?"
Hillbilly: "Yes sir, I got a suit, I wear it to church on Sundays."
Attorney: "Well sir, does your wife beat you up or anything?"
Hillbilly: "No sir, we both get up about 4:30 in the morning."
Attorney: "Well, is she a nagger or anything?!?!?!?"
Hillbilly: "No she's a little white gal, but our last child wasn't."
Hillbilly: "That's why I want this here dayvorce."

Friday, August 11, 2006

On this day ...

I've always been pretty sure this place existed.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm now beginning my second round of working the steps with my sponsor

to know that the truth hurts sometimes, but awareness is better than ignorance

for a pleasant lunch with Scott W

for people in the program who show me how to grow, one day at a time

for a 3 meeting day today - Friday's are great!

to discover another recovery blogger (I'm slow some time); drop by and say hello to Alcoholic Brain

that Mr. Hell's Kitchen gave us a link to Mel Gibson's other website

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.-Kahlil Gibran


Dear Tide,

I am writing to say what an excellent product you have! I've used it all of my married life, as my Mom always told me it was the best. Now that I am in my fifties I find it even better! In fact, about a month ago, I spilled some red wine on my new white blouse. My inconsiderate and uncaring husband started to belittle me about how clumsy I was, and generally started becoming a pain in the neck.
One thing led to another and somehow I ended up with his blood on my new white blouse! I grabbed my bottle of Tide with bleach alternative, and to my surprise and satisfaction, all of the stains came out! In fact, the stains came out so well the detectives who came by yesterday told me that the DNA tests on my blouse were negative and then my attorney called and said that I was no longer considered a suspect in the disappearance of my husband. What a relief!
Going through menopause is bad enough without being a murder suspect!
I thank you, once again, for having a great product.
Well, gotta go, have to write to the Hefty bag people.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

dave the teacher
I taught middle school for one year, in 1977.
Damn, that was a long time ago!
This was my school photo as a teacher/coach.
(well, I have modified it just a little bit for todAAy)

CLICK to see the other HNT's

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I only taught school for one year

that Mom's dental problems are better than a few days ago

for an early morning meeting with my sponsor today

for near-perfect results from my physical exam blood work (I am shocked! I expected my cholesterol to be too high; it was almost too low!)

that I'm doing the best I can


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Breathing slowly

I live on a quiet residential street. My townhouse is between 2 intersections, about 300 yards apart, both of which have stop signs. Speed limit - 30mph.

This accident occurred yesterday afternoon. It is 50 feet from my front door, midway between the 2 intersections.

The 24 year-old girl driving was huffing (CLICK for more details). She had a spray can of "Dust Off" with her in the car. She ran a stop sign, went over a curb, sideswiped a tree and then went another 100 yards before losing further control and ramming the white pickup truck, which was parked along the curb on the other side of the street.

You may notice that the truck was pushed about 18 inches over the curb. It belonged to a guy visiting from Florida. (You can click on the picture to enlarge. In the pic on the right, you'll notice the spary can has been placed on the roof of her car.)

Daddy's 60K Jaguar is not worth 60K today. The girl (she was not injured) told the police officer to "go ahead and just arrest me. This isn't the first time this has happened."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it's been 30 years since I huffed and lived through it

that I don't have to solve my Mom's dental problems because I can ask for help

for breakfast yesterday with 2 peeps from the 6:30am meeting

for a timely meeting about self pity and isolation; something I'm quite familiar with

that my domestic cleaner "did her bi-monthly thing" yesterday, concentrating on my hardwood floors

that I have finally learned how to add others to the Blogger dashboard of hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy; if you want to join so you can post pictures, let me know so I can send you an email invitation

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
- Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Needs & Wants

This is a bar in Galveston, Texas.
While I've been to Galveston hundreds of times, I can't remember ever seeing this place.
But I've known many other ones, just with different names.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a fruitful talk with my sponsor last night -- I needed that

that it's his 6th AA birthday today

that I'm back to feeling normal again today, whatever the hell that is

for a great! Step 9 meeting yesterday -- after completing my initial 9th step with my sponsor and making all the necessary amends, my life changed dramatically as my recovery progressed to a higher level

that I had a physical exam yesterday with my new doctor; pending the blood work results, I'm healthy as an (aging) horse, although ... I am suffering from the initial phases of P.A.D. (click if you're interested).

that Sonny of Lambda Center had successful surgery yesterday and is now recuperating in ICU

that I can fill in for him and make coffee at 6:30am on weekdays until his return

Denial Is Not a River in Egypt

Monday, August 07, 2006

Action Points

This is not an uncommon sight in West Africa.
The best way to get from A to B.
I've seen many trucks overturned because of heavy and uneven loads. This truck still has some room on the roof for a few more passengers.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for quality time with my Mom

that the weekend is over; I've had worse, but those were before I quit drinking

that 3 years ago I found a Higher Power to guide me

for a reminder that I don't need to be a victim any more but I can always volunteer (lots of work to do on this one)

that recovery allows me to recognize my part in every situation that affects my life

for all of your wonderful comments on yesterday's post

for a couple of well-timed phone calls I received

that pause when agitated came in real handy for this guy yesterday and it seems to have happened without having to think about it

Two little words that can make the difference: START NOW.
-Mary C. Crowley

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Telling on myself

This is a tough post for me, but if I have learned anything in AA, it's that I have to not only be honest, but I also can't keep negative feelings to myself. I have to tell someone, even if it's just writing about them and exposing my defects on the internet.

I spent almost all day/night yesterday in isolation. It didn't begin that way. Actually, I felt just fine when I went to the 8:30am meeting.
The meeting topic was "those crazy thoughts inside our heads." How do we handle them?

As people shared their thoughts, something triggered my crazy thinking. My mind wandered to the fact that I rarely call people in recovery because I always feel that no one wants to talk to me. That led to my constant thinking that I have no friends to do stuff with outside the rooms of AA. That I'm getting older and will always be alone.
blah, blah, friggin' blah....

I know it's dangerous when I start thinking these thoughts. I tried to stop, but that committee inside my head is very persistent. After the meeting, I stood outside, wanting to go to breakfast with someone or any group that might be going. No one. I can't ever bring myself to ask anyone to go with me. If they wanted me to eat with them, they would have already asked. And of course, no one did. In three years of Saturday morning meetings, I've yet to go with a group that eats breakfast after that meeting. And it's all my own fault. So I start feeling sorry for myself for being so afraid of them. And on and on and on.....

I spent the entire day (a beautiful day to waste) by myself **. I fulfilled my one committment to a GSR meeting and then came directly home. I missed the Saturday Night Live Speaker meeting because I didn't want anyone to see me in this state. I am putting this out there in the hopes that if anyone else can identify with these feelings, that you find a way to help your own self by seeing my poor example. ( I have a sponsee who will read this; learn from this, please)
I also kept reminding myself that This Too Shall Pass ***.

Sometimes I think I may have been put on the Earth only as an example of how not to do things.

** I have to add here that I was fully aware of the tools I possess that I could have chosen to use to get myself out of this crap. I chose not to utilize them so I could stay in my shit.
*** On awakening this morning, all those feelings were gone.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

... for my Higher Power who listens
... that I didn't drink yesterday and woke up sober
... for Alcoholics Anonymous

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Have a seat, please

I purchased a 3rd (very soft) leather chair to complement the 2 new recliners I got a few days ago. The cats approve.

These 3 chairs replaced ones that were either worn out or dated back to the 80's.

A couple of you guys asked earlier this week what type of job I had that would enable me to travel and work in the places that I did. Well, it's a secret. LOL
I was in the oil exploration industry. surprise!! Houston?? More specifically, I was involved in logistics and re-supply of offshore boats that were contracted by oil companies to find the oil that eventually ends up in our vehicles and supplies energy to our homes. This work took me to many countries. Maybe I'll write more about that soon. Maybe not. In the meantime, for this weekend, remember these words ...

For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination.
It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But no so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt -- and one more failure.

Friday, August 04, 2006

It's Friday!!

It was the middle of winter and the snow was beginning to drift outside.
Joe and Sarah were not only newlyweds, but also new in recovery. They were both alcoholics. They had attended AA meetings together and separately; small discussion meetings, prayer & meditation meetings and large speaker meetings.

This morning, they were going to a small meditation meeting only a few blocks away. The temperature was barely above freezing. Joe wanted to walk but Sarah thought it was too cold and wanted to take the car. They argued. The arguments turned nasty and Joe pushed Sarah. She fell and hit her head on the coffee table. Sarah lay motionless; Joe called 911.

Paramedics arrived and pronouned Sarah dead. The police were on the scene and arrested Joe. They handcuffed him and put him in the squad car.

Although Joe maintained that it was an accident, he was charged with ...

1st degree pre-meditation murder.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that most of you will realize I am a very very sick person after that feeble attempt at a joke

that I awoke sober again this morning - for 35 straight consecutive months

for mini-4th steps -- my resentment prevention

for those who have shown me the right path, usually without ever knowing it

that we have escaped the massive heat wave that many of you are experiencing

To be able to look back upon one's past life with satisfaction is to live twice.
-Marcus Valerius Martial

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Feeding on Gratitude

A holy man was having a conversation with the Lord one day and said, "Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."
The Lord led the holy man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the holy man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the holy man's mouth water. The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The holy man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering. The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."
They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the holy man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. The holy man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple" said the Lord, "it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other."

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I could give my Mom some good financial news yesterday and see her reaction (she's not able to speak, but she can still smile)

that I get to know my recovery friends better through speaker meetings, but only if I'm there to listen

for my health and beauty (well, one out of 2 ain't bad)

for Tradition 7 of A.A., the topic of our 6:30am meeting today and that I was able to impart some knowledge to a few newcomers to the program

that I was able to sit through a 2-hour homeowner's meeting last night without just getting up and stomping out --- FYI - due to last year's hurricanes and the greed of ALL insurance companies, our property insurance has seen an increase of 270% this year over last year and it must be paid to satisfy the mortgage companies

that I can pay my part of this huge increase in insurance

that the last 3 words above all began with "in"

Denial Is Not a River in Egypt

hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy

hand portrait twisted
When I got sober, I restarted my life with a new canvas.

the other artists? CLICK

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Feeling Real

One of my favorite places to have the pleasure of working was the island nation of Malta. Situated in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea southwest of Sicily, it has a long history of political neutrality. The people are amongst the friendliest I've ever met. Anywhere.
The movie "Popeye" was filmed there and this picture is the village constructed for the movie set. It remains standing as a tourist attraction.

DID YOU REALIZE... all the cartoon characters in POPEYE had eating disorders?

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I finally remembered to use one of the tools in my recovery tool box yesterday -- that I can start my day over at any time -- and I had to use that tool twice!

that it's easy to see my own faults as I look at those of others

for a life that has become pretty much drama-free -- until others import it

that enforcing my own personal boundaries requires integrity

to watch my friend Boston become a different person right before my very eyes

to live in such a changing world

that tomorrow is hAAlf nAAked thursdAAy and many of you will participate

Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin.
-John Lubbock

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

It's the little things

I lived and worked in Cork, Ireland for about 4 months back in 1990. My job had taken me out of the USA a year earlier and the only way my Mom could see me was to come and visit me wherever I was. So she and my sister (pictured) came to Ireland for a week. The pic is a highway near the west coast.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I can be present for my Mom and my sister whenever they need me OR want me around

that I can handle the BIG things in life, it's the little things I must watch out for

for reminders that I need to get out of my comfort zone more often

that I no longer depend on others to keep me happy, but they do sometimes make me sad

for an ample supply of red flags

for recognition of additional fears to be removed

that I made a doctor appointment and will begin using my new health insurance

that I got a lot of little things accomplished yesterday, including booking flights and a hotel room in NYC in September

We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.
-Bern Williams