Tag: alcohol

Pity Party Closed Down

wp-1484928101125.jpgSo, I’ve recovered from my pity party of last week, see I’m Still Sober, Barely.  And now I am finally back to vigilant about the principles that have kept me in Recovery for nearly a year: Acceptance, Gratitude, Now, Spirituality, Mindfulness.

I was transferred from the kitchen to babysitting the gym, but I also have a half-time position working with retired Vets in the retirement facility, which is great!

I also bought a mountain bike, which was one of my goals.  Let me tell you, riding it from the store just about a mile and a half was killer!  Those guys cruising all around here make it look easy, lol.  I am definitely going to have to build up my stamina before I go and ride to work 4 miles each way.

I went to my first local NA meeting with another member who lives in one of the apartments in the building.  He seems like a nice guy.  We went out to dinner after the meeting with a bunch of folks; some of whom were quite, uhm, colorful.  I will be attending another meeting this evening.

I also applied for a full-time position at the VA.  It is in the kitchen doing prep work. While it is certainly not my dream job, It would at least get my foot in the door and allow me to transfer to any VA in the country.  Because folks, I am so ready to leave the state of Massachusetts; you’ve no idea!

I probably will never like the shitty view from my front porch, but overall the house is fine, my room is large and quiet.  So am more than satisfied with my living conditions as they stand.

For once in my life I have some goals I want to achieve.  I am proud of the fact that is has taken me less than two weeks to achieve some of the goals I set.  Some of my larger, more long term goals, will obviously take more time and determination.

And finally I have been blessed with the best friend anyone could ever hope for.  She has been with me through thick and thin.  I have developed incredibly powerful feelings for this woman.  I feel quite sure that we will end up living a life of true happiness together!  She has taught me how to be a very good friend.

That may sound silly to some of you, but those of you who have been with me since last October, know that this is a very big step in my Recovery.

So, back on track.  Living life.  Doing the right things.  Walking hand in hand with the best human I’ve ever known.  Ya, life isn’t so shabby today.

My Ruminations: Goodbye WordPress

leavingWell dear readers, it’s time for me to once again simplify my life.  I will not be posting anything on my blog until further notice.  I’m exhausted from the reading and writing.  I have lost some of my purpose.  The purpose that led me to this place.  I am exhausted and I am disillusioned.

Before I lose my way completely, I have to step back.  I am going to work ardently on my Inexhaustible Life of Chaos, my life story.  I will be posting only sections of this work as I finish each section.  I hope that you will still be around for this.  I have not penned one single word yet, and I don’t know when that will be.

I will probably lose some of what is here.  I guess some of us–if not all to some degree–are used to internet “likes.”  Likes on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and WordPress.  Have we gone outside ourselves for the love we all so desperately need?  Have we become a culture of instant “feel good?”  Have we come to the idea that we are okay based upon how many “likes” we amass?

I know perhaps I have.  Perhaps you have not.  If you haven’t, congratulations on your incredible intestinal fortitude.  But this writer has cared too much about how many readers have read his work.  This writer wants to change the world, save everyone.  I can’t do that.  I am only on Instagram and WordPress.  I feel let down when something I have created doesn’t receive the audience I thought it would.  For me, that is not how I intend to live my life.

I have tried to do too much, I think, with my blog.  My expectations–symptomatic of my Ego–have been unrealistic and disappointing.  I’m not saying I have a big Ego.  I am saying this stems from Ego (and ID as well).  I have learned that I am not that important.  I can thank my Borderline Personality Disorder for trying to be more important than I am.

I am not saying I am not of value.  But I have been humbled by this experience.  I realize that, once again, I have fallen in the trap of looking without for what I can find within.  My validation is not to be found in a world of “likes.”  It is to be found in my personal introspections and meditations.

That being said, I welcome you to peruse my other 900+ posts.  However, I am not under any delusion about that:  most folks read through the reader.  And, since I will not be posting what I have always called “fresh cuts,” my readership will plummet.  Oh well, I no longer care about that–as I shouldn’t.  At first my Ego was disheartened at this, which only further cemented the fact that I need to press pause on this world.

I know that my Ego has gotten in the way.  It is not easy to confess that I have fallen prey to this world of illusion.  I need to work on controlling my ego and find a balance for myself.  I want to write my story because I still see the value of writing for my recovery.  But I have, as I do with everything, taken this blog to the extreme.

Therefore, thank you all for your loving support.  I have met some INCREDIBLE people here.  I have met some of the loveliest souls I have ever met, and I will see you all again.  I can’t tell you how very grateful I am for the kindness, the loving comments, the attention those of you who have truly been committed to me and my work.  YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

I do wish you all the joy and happiness that life can bring if you just give it a chance.  Give yourself the compassion you deserve.  Travel the road to yourself.  And, when I finish the first in my series of my Inexhaustible Life of Chaos, it will posted here I will be posting the 2nd winner of my Robust Ruminator Award soon as well.

And, as always, you may reach me at my email address should you ever just need a kind soul to hear you.  keatsj1964@gmail.com

May your Higher Power bless you all with infinite serenity.

My Sunny Side Up: You’re Doing Great!

sunnysideupIn the thesaurus the antonym of criticism is compliment:

Compliment:

noun
1. an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration:
A sincere compliment boosts one’s morale.
2.
a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard
3.
compliments, a courteous greeting; good wishes; regards:

As you can see, paying a compliment does wonders for the recipient. Not to mention it does wonders for the giver. And that is my point today: why don’t we all give more compliments, or more importantly, encouragement?compliment1

Lately, I have noticed compliments becoming a part of my normal day. And something amazing has been happening: I feel happier and the people around me feel happier.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when the Director of the program pulled me in his office. He then spent 10 minutes complimenting me! He said everyone here was amazed at how well I was doing.

That they recognized all the hard work I have been doing in recovery. Of course, I left the office feeling damn good! He made me feel that I was important. We all need recognition, and his recognition gave me more momentum to keep doing what I am doing.

Similarly, I have noticed that I have been offering up compliments without any thought at all! This is completely different than my old “inward thinking” that I used to do. I used to be focused on three people: me, myself, and I. Giving out a genuine compliment makes other people feel good. I feel good just seeing their face light up. Dare I say, lately I have been, well, happy!compliment3

People have been responding to me in a different way! I’m not suggesting all of a sudden you have to start spitting out compliments like your a machine gun kiss ass. ’m suggesting to incorporate maybe one or two a day. I smile a lot more. A lot more. This is completely off the charts for me. I was never one to overly criticize people, but I certainly wasn’t tossing around compliments either.

It’s easy to criticize, but it’s much more difficult to step out of our selves and offer up “an expression of praise.” So, dear readers, I challenge you: can you find the time today, and everyday, to tell someone you love how much you appreciate them? Not “I love you,” but a genuine compliment? Can you give the guy or gal who serves your coffee a genuine compliment? Can you take two minutes and pat an employee on the back?

I promise you this: start giving “a formal act or expression of civility, respect, or regard,” daily for 30 days, and see if your life isn’t transformed. Who would like to take a 30 day challenge for March, and see if you can compliment someone the entire month? I’m going to start today! Less disdain and criticism, more compliments and love!

compliment2

Big Book Musings: The God Issue

big book musings on justruminating men's blogSo onto the chapter that gives most addicts and alcoholics fits:  We Agnostics, chapter 4 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Maybe I am going to be in for a rude awakening when I finally do enter the “real world,” because this recovery business is fairly straightforward to me.  The following paragraph is CRITICAL in understanding how I remain sober, especially the “came to believe…”

Don’t drink, “came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity,” and “made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as we understood Him.  The rest of the Steps of A.A. are elementary to me.  That’s the Higher Power component for me.  Replace “me” with “our” for the Big Book wording.

higherpower on justruminating men's blogPeople are like “Omg, this A.A. business is so religious.”  “I don’t believe in God.”  “I don’t know what a Higher Power looks like.”  Well, good thing you have me, right?  LOL, I’m going to spell this out very plainly and simply for you–and, of course, these are just my opinionsThis is what works for me:  A Higher Power can be anything that is greater than yourself that will help keep you sober.  Period.

As Chapter 4 points out:

If a mere code of morals or a better philosophy of life were sufficient to overcome alcoholism, many of us would have recovered long ago.”

So, we can’t do it alone!  The cornerstone of any 12 Step Program is this concept of a Higher Power.  Without a spiritual awakening, in whatever form you choose it to be, we will continue to relapse and be lost.  The Big Book goes on to say:

spiritual awakening on justruminating men's blog

Lack of power, that was our dilemma.  We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves.  Obviously.  But where and how were we to find this Power?

Yes, in the Big Book it walks about a “Supreme Being.”  It talks about a “Creative Intelligence.”  It talks about a “Spirit of the Universe.”  I would argue that we are all from the same spirit.  What keeps me alive–exclusive of physical anatomy–is what keeps you alive.

Do you honestly believe that when you die that’s the end of the show?  People who believe in God believe they are going to heaven.  People who believe in Buddhism believe that

buddhism on justruminating men's blog

death is not the end of life, it is merely the end of the body we inhabit in this life, but our spirit will still remain and seek out through the need of attachment, attachment to a new body and new life. Where they will be born is a result of the past and the accumulation of positive and negative action, and the resultant karma (cause and effect) is a result of ones past actions.”  (source).

I believe that spirit does not die.  I believe spirit is remade in some higher form or another.  We cannot possibly have all this commonality, only to end up as worm food.  My point is that this is some of my Higher Power.  This belief that we are all connected.  This belief that there is this awesome force controlling us; therefore, I rely on this wellspring to give me strength when I am weak.  There is an awesome power that connects us folks, “they ain’t no de-ni-in dat.”

Chapter 4 suggests:

Do not let any prejudice you may have against spiritual terms deter you from honestly asking yourself what they mean to you.

frog on justruminating men's blogThere is much more to cover from Chapter 4.  We will surely be covering more down the road.  Contemplate your beliefs and contemplate what the Highest possible Power is that you can imagine controlling the universe.  I don’t care if you think that it is a frog that lives in the Rain Forest.  Then, simply tap into that power for your strength.  Voila, Higher Power.

There are those that say anything can be your Higher Power until you can tap into one that is greatest–God, Buddha, Allah, whatever.  Your Higher Power could be your children.  It could be, like me, a combination of things:  The Great Oneness, Writing, Nature Contemplations.  Some have suggested that A.A. (or any 12 Step Program) can be your Higher Power.

It doesn’t have to be this gigantic gorilla you have to wrestle down and kill.  Simplify it to the highest force possible.  Then, hang on for dear life until you have your legs under you.  YOU CAN DO THIS!!

Signs of A Spiritual Awakening
Click To Enlarge

Big Book Musings: Not So Smart

big book musings on justruminating men's blogChapter 3 of Alcoholics Anonymous, titled “More About Alcoholism,” talks more about the power of booze over the individual.  It is a powerful testament to those who are still convinced that they can either control their drinking, or put it down for a while to return to it just fine at a later date.

There are many intelligent alcoholics.  None of those people ever got up one day and said “Today I think I’ll be an alcoholic.”  Alcoholism is a disease.  Alcoholism has an effect on those predisposed to it that does not otherwise effect the normal drinker.

In the Big Book, Chapter 3 it says:

To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have.  This is particularly true of women.  Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years.

No matter how smart you are, how much you think you can control your drinking, how much you can quit then start back up again, in the end alcohol will possess the alcoholic.

alcoholismAnd the thing is, no matter how intelligent you think you are, no matter how much you think you’ll be able to inflict your will power on it and resume it later, the worse your condition becomes:

This is the baffling feature of alcoholism as we know it–this utter inability to leave it alone, no matter how great the necessity or the wish

recover on justruminating men's blogUltimately, you must (Step 1) admit you are powerless over alcohol (Step 2) come to believe that a Power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity and (Step 3) make a decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of God as you understand Him.

Then you are really ready to do the work that is suggested in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.