Friday, August 31, 2012

going there

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that today marks the 9th anniversary of my last drunk.  Not to be confused with my last drink.  That came a few days later.  But 9 years ago, my behavior had deteriorated to the point of hanging out (daily) in sordid places.  I cared for no one besides myself, even though I was ostensibly in a relationship.  My selfishness told me it was OK to cheat on him all I wanted or needed to.  I thought that I was suffering from a mental breakdown for the past 3 months and it seemed to be getting worse.  I was crying uncontrollably every day, often with tears flowing into a pint of beer or into my rum & coke.  I rarely wanted to eat and often when I did eat, I would vomit soon after.  My only friends were those I knew at "my" bar and they probably didn't want to interact with me any more than necessary.  I usually isolated when there, which averaged 10-12 hours per day.  
Yes, 9 years ago today, I had reached something I can now look at and call -- incomprehensible demoralization.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
- The Buddha

Thursday, August 30, 2012

nothing unique here

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I am just a drunk.  I could have been a drug addict but I stopped using narcotics as a teenager because I actually realized how dangerous they were and that I liked them too much.  I tried cocaine a few times as an adult but never even got a buzz.  I have yet to try any of the new, designer drugs.  

that I'm just an ordinary drunk.  I don't have to point out when sharing in a meeting that I'm a real alcoholic.  

that I don't need to be popular.  But I'll admit that I like to be liked.

Inner peace can be reached only when we practice forgiveness ... letting go of the past, and correcting our misperceptions.
- Gerald Jampolsky

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The leak


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm changing (again) and I have no idea why.  I'm 58 years old, why do I have to keep changing?  Of course, in some ways, I'm probably about 25 years old emotionally.  This may be the biggest negative consequence of my 33 years of drinking.  When I started drinking, I stopped developing emotionally.

that there are a few issues about which I'm very passionate, but I don't write about them here.  One of those is presently happening in my life and it's quite disturbing.  I'm in a position to make a difference and fully intend to do so.  Uncomfortable?  Yes.  Necessary for me to do?  Yes.

I'm also grateful for the people in my life who have fallen by the wayside.  I'm talking about those who have just disappeared (not by dying).  They are some of my greatest teachers.

for the advanced technology that allows weather forecasters to give us ample warning (usually) about hurricanes.  It will get better as time marches on.

Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
- George S. Patton

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Step 4

The path of Tropical Storm Isaac a few days ago.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a meeting discussion about the fourth step.  So important in recovery.  I am of the opinion that a thorough fourth step should only be necessary once.  After that, it seems like step ten should be sufficient to handle life as it occurs.  If some things were left off, fine, go back and do another fourth step, but that just means the first one wasn't complete, for whatever reason.  I know there's a lot of different feelings on this.  Care to comment?

that I'm sober today and doing pretty well.  Thank you.

Since you are the one who has to live with your choices, be sure they are your own.
- Alan Cohen

Monday, August 27, 2012

Today, I am choosing to ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I have so many good choices to make today; nine years ago my choices were pretty much limited to when to stop drinking coffee in the morning and switch to beer.  That point generally occurred about 7am - 9am.
Then, I had to decide when to switch to rum/coke.

that I choose every day to ask my Higher Power for the guidance to be the person I am supposed to be -- just for today.  I often stray from this goal, but I have the knowledge and practice of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to guide me through my imperfections.

that this Friday night is the anniversary of my last full-fledged drunk.  My sobriety date won't be until 5 days later.
I'm stubborn.  LOL

One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes... and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Eleven Hints for Life

1. It hurts to love someone and not be loved in return.
But what is more painful is to love someone and never
find the courage to let that person know how you feel.

2. A sad thing in life is when you meet someone who
means a lot to you, only to find out in the end that it was
never meant to be and you just have to let go.

3. The best kind of friend is the kind you can sit on a
porch swing with, never say a word, and then walk away
feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had.

4. It's true that we don't know what we've got until we lose
it, but it's also true that we don't know what we've been
missing until it arrives.

5. It takes only a minute to get a crush on someone, an
hour to like someone, and a day to love someone-but it
takes a lifetime to forget someone.

6. Don't go for looks, they can deceive. Don't go for wealth,
even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you
smile because it takes only a smile to make a dark day
seem bright.

7. Dream what you want to dream, go where you want to go,
be what you want to be. Because you have only one life and
one chance to do all the things you want to do.

8. Always put yourself in the other's shoes. If you feel that it
hurts you, it probably hurts the person too.

9. A careless word may kindle strife. A cruel word may wreck
a life. A timely word may level stress. But a loving word may
heal and bless.

10. The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best
of everything they just make the most of everything that comes
along their way.

11. Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, ends with
a tear. When you were born, you were crying and everyone
around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die,
you're the one smiling and everyone around you is crying.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Have a lovely day. If you so choose ........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the chances I will be offered today and that it's my choice as to how to react to them

that I will celebrate another sobriety birthday in about 12 days.  I'm thinking back on what it was like 9 years ago.  Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.......

that I intend to write a bit here about those last days of drinking.  I don't regret them because they were just part of my life journey that has brought me to this point.

"The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet."
~~ Mark Twain

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I know it's not spelled right. Jeeeeez!

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for a reminder yesterday that although I no longer think about drinking, my thinking can often be unmanageable.  Say that 5 times.

that I'm still willing to write this little list 5 days/week.  It really challenges me sometimes as I rarely have a clue what I'm going to write until I type it.

that I shall now go forth unto the day, doing the best I can do and being the best I can be.  Hopefully.

"Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
~~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

happy hump day

Cadillac fins from 1956, 1954 and 1955

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for unity and fellowship in recovery

that there's a lot of things I can't do alone (see above)

that I actually like hearing the little stories of my friends who come back after a relapse; there is wisdom in their words

that I have never lost my passion for baseball, even this season which is the worst in the 51-year history of the Houston Astros

"To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with."
~~ Mark Twain

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

off to a good start

mid-50's Buick and a Super Constellation

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it felt good to be back on a job that actually pays some $$$$; I got laid off in November 2002 and have not had a money-paying job since.  I'm not making much and this gig won't last very long, but it's a start.  I was apprehensive about my ability to multi-task, since I think that by the time I hit my alcoholic bottom (incomprehensible demoralization) in 2003, it seems like I can only focus on one thing at a time.  However, my partner reminded me over the weekend that he watched me last year as I co-chaired the Houston Roundup, a 3-day convention for 300 people.

that I still attended my 2 regualar AA meetings yesterday and met with a sponsee

for the relief I get when practicing Step 3

"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen."
~~ Mark Twain

Monday, August 20, 2012

back to (part-time) work

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I enjoy being a sober man, especially at my age

that my expectations are generally pretty low.  However, my home life seems to be a different story frequently.  My home life is pretty much the only part of my life where it's difficult to practice spiritual principles.  I'm certainly better than I used to be, but I have a lifetime of progress (hopefully) in front of me.

for step 10 and the inclusion of the word "promptly"

that we got some much needed rain over the weekend

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years."
~~ Mark Twain

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Whey we (alcoholics) drank ........

We drank for happiness and became unhappy.
We drank for joy and became miserable.
We drank for sociability and became argumentative.
We drank for sophistication and became obnoxious.
We drank for friendship and made enemies.
We drank for sleep and awakened without rest.
We drank for strength and felt weak.
We drank “medicinally” and acquired health problems.
We drank for relaxation and got the shakes.
We drank for bravery and became afraid.
We drank for confidence and became doubtful.
We drank to make conversation easier and slurred our speech.
We drank to feel heavenly and ended up feeling like hell.
We drank to forget and were forever haunted.
We drank for freedom and became slaves.
We drank to erase problems and saw them multiply.
We drank to cope with life and invited death.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


A family of bears drunk more than 100 cans of lager after breaking into a holiday cabin in Norway.
Even Borthen Nilsen returned to the cabin with his family to discover dozens of empty beer cans and the place trashed.
"They had a hell of a party in there," he told Finnmarken newspaper. "The entire cabin was destroyed.  The beds and all kitchen appliances, stove, oven and cupboards and shelves were all smashed to pieces.  They have bitten into the cans and drunk the beer. It's almost like taken out of Goldilocks and the three bears."

The bears had got into the cabin through a window, before drinking all the family's beer, eating all the food and smashing up the furniture.

Mr Borthen Nilsen said he was now concerned that the bear family might return to the scene of their party.
"The mother has taken her young there, thus there is no guarantee that it won't happen to other cabins, or to our hut again," he said.

Friday, August 17, 2012

the day ahead

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

I take this thing seriously and do my best to be a good example of recovery instead of a horrible warning

for the opportunities that will undoubtedly present themselves today

that I have multiple choices how I will react to those opportunities

that I'm willing to accept the consequences of my choices

There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.
~ Winston Churchill

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Journey Continues

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that people actually approach me in search of my sponsorship.  Yesterday, a young man asked me to be his temporary sponsor.  I asked him if he will be staying sober just temporarily.  
So, now I'm his sponsor.  LOL

that I have a dentist appointment this morning (just a regular cleaning) and I will be there on time with a smile on my face.

that I have taken a part-time job.  I have not worked since 2002 when I got laid off from the oil business and then declared myself retired.  I will be writing and documenting policies and procedures for a small business owned by a friend in recovery.  We'll see what happens when that is done.  I'll get to work on my schedule, so I shouldn't miss many of my regular meetings.  The journey continues.

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
~ Winston Churchill

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

just passing it along to you

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for my commitments in recovery; they not only help me to remain sober,but they pretty much keep me a happy guy

that we read Dr Bob's story yesterday in a meeting; I think he's a more interesting character than Bill W.
He said that the reason he passes on the things he's learned are ........
1) Sense of duty.
2) It is a pleasure.
3) Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.
4) Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.

that I have no plans on drinking alcohol today

for doo wop music; I just love it when PBS airs those reunions with the groups of the 50's and 60's

The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes.
~ Winston Churchill

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The way I see it ...

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that most of my life I've been pretty good with sorting out priorities.  I can't imagine what happened concerning my alcoholism.  LOL

that things happen when they happen, usually for a very good reason.  I could draw a rough timeline of my life and see how everything has pretty much fallen into place, just the way it should have.  

that my rate of embellishment has magically been reduced over the past few years (since I got sober).

for self-will.  What a great teacher in recovery.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
~ Dr. Seuss

Monday, August 13, 2012

It's already the middle of August

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I don't need to understand why it works as long as I remember how it works
(If you don't understand what I'm talking about, you're probably not in recovery.  LOL)

that one of the best things I can do as I go into today is to Keep It Simple

that just about everything I heard in the first few months of AA meetings turns out to be true

for the greatest show on Earth, the Olympics.  Congratulations to London for the fine job they did this year.  It's an incredible undertaking, getting more difficult every 4 years.

You are you. Now, isn't that pleasant?
~~ Dr. Seuss

Sunday, August 12, 2012


A very important person is watching your every action, listening to your every word, and knows your every thought. That person is you.
Imagine yourself a year from now, looking back on today. Imagine your future self being exceedingly thankful for the way you lived this day.
Then step forward and live today with that in mind. Think, speak and act in such a way that the person you will become inherits many positive benefits from the person you are right now.
Confidence, integrity, strength and effectiveness do not simply appear out of nowhere. They are built by the way you live your life.
And now is your opportunity to live in a powerful, positive way that will benefit your life for a long time to come. Now is your chance to make your future self thankful for the empowering paths you choose to take.

 -- Ralph Marston

Saturday, August 11, 2012

They are all gone now, but boy could they perform!

I don't know how old you have to be to enjoy this, but I sure enjoyed it.

click here

If you have time, click on any of the links at the end of the video.  Some really great stuff.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Damn. I need to remember Rule 62.

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for the roller coaster of sobriety; it's better than the merry-go-round of active addiction

that I'm in a valley of that roller coaster, but it's OK

for the recuperative powers of Step 4.  I have a few unfulfilled expectations to eliminate.

that it's Friday and I will attend 3 AA meetings today @ 6:30am, 10am and 12:15pm.  I have done this every Friday for the past 7+ years.

There is no distance on this earth as far away as yesterday.
~ Robert Nathan

Thursday, August 09, 2012

being aware

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm a sober person

that I'm an alcoholic in recovery

that I'm aware of many deficiencies in my character

that I'm aware of many positive assets in my character

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
~ Paul Valery

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Right in the middle ........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that it's hump day.  Right in the middle of the week.

that I heard early in sobriety on that I needed to stay in the middle of the herd so I wouldn't get lost.  Or that I needed to stay in the middle of the roof so I wouldn't fall off.  
You got any other analogies like this?

that I get inspiration from all around me.  Often.

Silence. All human unhappiness comes from not knowing how to stay quietly in a room.
~ Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'd rather be on the roller coaster of recovery than the merry-go-round of active addiction

as I read Chapter One in the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions with a sponsee, I was reminded of my bottom.  I know that it was my bottom.  I could not go lower than that without dying.  Hitting that bottom ensures me that I was/am willing to do whatever it takes to stay sober.  I can only wish the same for others.  Only time will tell.

that I'm not comfortable with little white lies.  I know many people who use these often.  When I hear them, I don't like it.  But another program has taught me to let those feelings go.  I don't need to tell other people how to run their lives.  Whew!

Happiness is a choice. Your circumstance can affect it, but you're still the one who decides your happiness.
~ unknown

Monday, August 06, 2012

August 5 + 1

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I thrive on having a sober, social life, but I need time alone every day to recharge

that as I learn more about my friends, I learn more about myself

that I'm happy as can be to just be me

that I've really enjoyed watching most of the Olympics; there have been years that I didn't care to pay attention

Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
~~ unknown

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Friday, August 03, 2012

progress ........

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that I'm not  ..........

such a martyr as I used to be
as defiant as I used to be
as impatient nor as intolerant as I used to be
as stubborn as I used to be
as unteachable as I used to be as pushy as I used to be

Need I go on?

I may no be there yet, but Im closer than yesterday.
~ Will Smith

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Some udder stuff

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

that some of my addictions are in check.  The others, well ...............

that I have plenty of good examples from which to draw.  That's not an accident.  I choose to pay attention to those people.

to be able to see progress in friends who are new in sobriety.  

My life is a constant battle between my love of food and not wanting to be fat.
~~ unknown

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Short & Sweet

todAAy i AAm grAAteful & thAAnkful

for friends

for a good breakfast

for exercise

for health

for sobriety

for experience

Sometimes, the only reason why you won't let go of what's making you sad is because it was the only thing that made you happy.
~~ unknown