Reports from the Bunker

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Posts Tagged ‘happiness

Sobriety Re-Boot (Step One)

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Since around the time that my mother’s cancer got bad, perhaps even longer, I have not been the same, haven’t been myself and have been way off center. I haven’t felt right or been acting right and suddenly that awful trajectory has slipped into overdrive. When you are a recovered alcoholic and you find yourself lost or in a tailspin there is just one thing to do, start over at Step One and walk all the way through, this time do it better, if you think you did it with a willingness to go to any lengths, go farther. Go to more meetings and get a new sponsor.

It is my intention to do all of that starting right now, before I am lost and hopefully better with greater abandon and willingness to surrender than any time before so I don’t have find myself back this far again. As part of my meditation and conscious contact, I will try to write something, hopefully with Gratitude every day. When I am focused on a step, I will write about it. I won’t publish my (next) fourth step here, but I will talk about it.

Step One

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol— that our lives had become unmanageable

4.6 years or 1684 days ago, I was without exaggeration dying.  Having one fat bloated foot in the grave and the other in pool of whiskey. I was an alcoholic of the hopeless variety and at 34 I had an illustrious drinking career spanning almost two decades.  I had tried to moderate, tried to quit and tried to deny my problem, sometimes I even acknowledged I was an alcoholic, but didn’t think that was a problem.  I couldn’t see how it was destroying my relationships, my mental or emotional state, or care about how it was killing me.  So, yeah by the letter of it, I know Step One for a fact everyday.

That said, if you aren’t paying attention the fine print between the lines of Step One can be overlooked, forgotten or ignored.  At nearly five years sober, I alternate between understanding and forgetting that my powerlessness over alcohol is almost the least of my problems (because I have no desire to drink today), because there is a list over things, which stacked end to end could reach to the moon and back, that I am also powerless over and unable to do shit about. Just like continuing to drink or trying to conquer it without God’s help, continuing to try to have power over any item on this list will make my life unmanageable.

What am I powerless over? In short form it is:

People:  Examples, My stepsons Autism, his attitude and his choices (when I’m not around). I cannot make my friends sober, or make them do things that are good for them, I cannot make my wife work out, take medicine or go to the doctor, I don’t get to choose for other people and I CAN judge them, but it will only make me unhappy and less useful to them.

Places: Examples,  Can’t change systems or my very much about my place in them. Schools, Courts, Work, Police, Creditors all operate and have the authority they do and I will not be able to overcome that

Things: Stuff breaks, cars die, houses are in their state, money is never abundant enough, traffic goes however it goes, rain, sleet, snow, heat. I have power and authority over absolutely none of these things and that is just how it is, no amount of fear or worry, or rage or pleading or pleasing is going to make that change.

and my life has become unmanageable

Because for nearly five years I have been prone to distraction and dropping out and holding back, my life, while so much better than it was before, is not managed like it should be today.  I have multiple lawyers pursuing me financially and have met suddenly with around between 12 and 17 thousand dollars that absolutely must be paid out to creditors and taxes in the next 8 months or so and I am sure that my ex wife will be following suite since she isn’t getting payments. Almost comically I am in jeopardy of losing a fucked up mess of a house that I don’t even have a mortgage on because I have neglected to pay the taxes! Holy shit, who does that?

Someone, who is seriously ill, who has a program of recovery that works miracles, has worked miracles for him, but who has held back and hasn’t been paying attention in class because he is a terminal fool.

My life is no longer unmanageable because of alcohol, but because God talks and I don’t listen, or I am too afraid to do what is right, or speak up or take charge. Fear, Fear, Fear, Fear, Fear until I am tired of being afraid and lash out with anger, upsetting everyone and thinking I can control everything. I am it seems at times a  farce, a comical exaggeration of a man.

With a powerful need to escape all of this, I will drop to my knees today and say unto the Teeth Mother, the other Sacred Muses and the Word,  my own Step One

I admit that I am powerless over alcohol, other things, people and places and having forgotten that, have made my life entirely unmanageable; I am lost and adrift and will not find my way alone.

Step One: The Prodigal son comes home, having made a mess on his own.

 

Written by jamesjanus

March 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm

Next right thing

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My wife Kim, myself and our youngest boy have all been very ill with this horrible flu that has been going around. This weekend I chose to push through it (being the least affected, though trust me that is cold comfort) and be as productive as I could.

It may not seem like it in the moment, but when I do the right things, when I am productive and useful to others, I always feel happier and more centered. There is still much to be done, but I spent my time trying to order the house and get giant piles of laundry done. It is staggering how easily I give into my laziness and excuses when all I get out of it are negative feelings of ineptitude, guilt and shame. Instead, when I am productive I feel happy, more confident and more fulfilled.

I think upon entering AA four years ago, that was best advice given to me, “just take it one day at a time, and always ask yourself and your higher power what next right thing is, then go do it.” I want to get better at following that consistently.

Written by jamesjanus

October 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm

When you are weird

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you look for someone whose weirdness matches your own. Kim tries to pretend that in comparison to me she is bland and boring, but she is goofy and sexy and smart and has her own wonderful oddities, like a wild phobia like aversion to certain types of foam material.

We are opposites in many ways, she doesn’t like my music and most the television and books that I love etc..She does not fit what you would expect from most of the persona’s that I have worn through my life, the tough anti-social guy or the academic minded intellectual, or any of it and that is precious, in part because those were just masks. She is human, heartfelt, genuine and she is smart, but not stuck in some academic box. She saw that in reality, somewhere inside of me, I was these things too.  I like that she is different and we are not always in agreement, that she challenges me and helps broaden my horizons and I think I do the same for her, at least I hope so.  What makes her my Mo Anam Cara? My soulmate and best friend?  I don’t really know how to communicate that, there is something there, some connection and something familiar deep inside her that from the start felt like coming home, like finding that thing my heart has been searching for forever.

I am not good at life, at daily living and it will be some time before I am, yet she is patient with me and is there for me and I don’t feel judged or resented. She is hard pressed to admit it, but she is mystical like me too, her ring, which we just finally got after almost two years is entirely symbolic. With two sets of Sapphire’s representing the boys and a diamond representing us. It made her so happy to finally have it and that makes me very pleased.

Kim's Wedding Ring

The ring it took me two years to get her

I don’t know how much of it comes across in this blog, but I can be strange, odd and have some proclivities when it comes to sex and really life in general that could be seen as difficult to accommodate and accept, but it is no problem for my wife, my love and so any time I can do anything to express my joy at being with her and my gratitude for all that she is, all that she does and all that she puts up with I am happy to do it!

Written by jamesjanus

June 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm

On Love

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Love, in my darkest hours I was never really able to bring myself to give up on it. To some people’s great confusion, there I would be, a cynical, venomous and bitter drunk, telling people to hold onto love, to seek love, to allow themselves if necessary to be burned by it. Of course, I seldom truly followed that advice and always protected my own heart, but that is another matter.

Many people, perhaps even most, would tell you that nothing is more potent, more powerful or more important than love and they would be correct. Love, beyond anything else, benefits childhood and helps us grow into positive, strong adults. Love can make hard times easier and keep kindness, compassion and hope alive in our hearts.  Love can give us courage and transform us from shrinking, wilting shadows, into fearless, dreaming, living angels, soaring toward our best potential. Love binds families made of otherwise incompatibly different people together.

The love of children can relight the flames of imagination, determination and innocence in your soul and move it to become more of a guardian and protector that you ever thought possible.  The love of the right woman or man can bring you to know that while you may have learned to love your own solitude, you were incomplete in it before there was that other soul, across the chasm to reach out to. My solitude was a nightmare and a prison because there was nothing to reach out to that made me feel safe, until the right woman came along.

Love is the most powerful force in the Universe and perceived as the most elusive, we all spend our days pursuing it. It also happens that it is the most invisible when looked for and the most taken for granted when we have it.  A year ago, I married the most wonderful woman, when I indulge my solitude, she worries but remains and waits and when I reach out, her hand is there and the place she pulls me to is safe, with a hand to hold and ears to listen.  I have the love of two wonderful children and a one wonderful woman and I hope that I never take that love for granted, for I can think of no greater gift to waste and no worse sin than that.

If you listen, if you accept that it is ever present, always there. If you appreciate, really and truly appreciate it and do no take it for granted, you might understand and you might find peace, salvation and happiness. There is a power out there that is greater than us, maybe it is just love, maybe it is where love issues from, but it loves you. There are people out there that love you, more that want to love you, if you can learn to let them, if you can open up, disregard the fear.

This has been my experience, I am an alcoholic and love has saved me. The love of some strangers who brought me to the light started it. I will never know why perhaps, but the ease with which I let my guard down to Kim and let my real self be revealed and the continuing struggle to stay there, because the world is frightening to me, but Kim, she always draws me back to the light with her love.

I am resolved to be stronger this year, to do better allowing that love to fill me with courage and gratitude and hope and strength, because it can and it will if you let it.

Thanks you friends, thank you god and thank you so, so much Kim – you and the fellas are the light in my soul and the love in my heart!

 

 

Written by jamesjanus

December 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Kids, Kim, Love

Tagged with , , , ,

Dunno

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I do not even know where to start, what to say, the last week has been so eventful and exhausting both emotionally and physically. I know that I am tired and perhaps a little down today; I hate my job right now and it makes it hard to get up for and into on time. Kim’s father is in rought shape and came home recently from the hospital to enter in home hospice care. We have been supporting her mother and spending as much time as we can over there, to the neglect of many things at home that need done, which is fine and as it must and should be really. That said, the state of the house and my basic inability to do anything about it on my own is stressing me out, this is a huge flaw of mine and it is starting back at me everyday. I feel it is so unfair to require her direction and efforts in order to get through all but the most rudementary of domestic tasks, but I find myself unable to work out what must be done or how to go about doing it.

Kim’s discovery of some archive of old images from whatever the fuck I have been calling her, led to some discussion and her and I reading through too an old archive of IM’s with V, which if I am being honest made me nervous, but had a very wonderful effect for me. When we were done reading, I lay there and was just washed with this tsunami of feeling and a very present understanding of something. A year ago, I was happy, or thought I was happy and it was a brand new feeling. I think it is safe and accurate to say I was happier than I ever had been, but to my wonderful realization last night, this emotion has very definate degree’s of intensity and depth. So, sure while I was having my affair with whatsherface and fooling around or flirting with other women, I suppose I was happy, but there was too a certain misery to it, a lonliness and a tugging at my self worth and self esteem (being the other man etc..) and I was forced to read it, to remember it last night. As we lay there talking and I thought about 09 (which now seems so far away as to have been a lifetime) vs. this past year this tsunami hit me and it was joy, it was a happiness that came from really understanding not only that I happy, truly happy with Kim, but just how MUCH happier I am than I was a year ago, which in itself was an improvement over any preceeding.

Given the challenges that life has thrown at us recently and my newfound loathing for my job, it was this beautiful moment of reprieve to just lay there with her feeling the happiness and joy she puts in my heart and for no particular reason other than it is there to be felt. Of all of the good and bad of this week, that moment wins.

In other news, Halloween approaching, got the boys their costumes, next up apple picken and pumpkins, I was wonderful to see them try them on; we need more work and stuff for the Farmer, but he is still stoked. The Senator is super excited about being red ninja with twin swords. Who knew, in troubled times people’s joy used to bother me, watching the kids get excited though is yet another wonderful reprieve. Kim and I will dress up too, thinking I might be the grim reaper and her a witch, we will take them tricks or treating then to some friends of ours who are REALLY big fans of the holiday, should be shit tons of fun. I hope Kim and the boys both have a lot of fun that night, lord knows they deserve it.

Written by jamesjanus

October 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm