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Posts Tagged ‘Recovery

Teeth Mother 3 – Early, Early Draft

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Mother, whisper on the wind that blows between my ears

Blinded by my darkness, stumbling frantic, here I am again

knowing you must be near, but losing faith and less sure

with each moment that I cannot feel you, lashing out

I am not myself the moment I feel that you have left me

Mother, touch your hand to my chest, rest your head there

let me feel your warmth washing away the pain and fear

Whisper sweetly to me until I find the light, hope and peace

Free me to be happy and useful again and in that light

guide me to be all that you would have of me, I am ill 

and slow of mind and your signs must be loud and bright

lest I am lost and imprisoned by my own darkness again 

I am a fool and a mongrel 

but a prophet, husband, lover and father 

all the same

Mother, where are you? Touch me, whisper wisdom and courage

fill up my empty mind with truth and joy and hope, enough to share

 

 

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Written by jamesjanus

March 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Step Two: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to Sanity

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“Remember that we deal with alcohol-cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-That One is God. May you find Him now!”  Big Book of AA, How it Works

 Step Two, I am realizing today presents a problem for me, one that is perhaps unique to someone who has had more than a few days sober.  I know, deep in my heart that God helped me to get and sober and continues to help me stay that way. I do not have to believe anymore.  

That said, for most of my sobriety God has been a formless, secret and invisible benefactor. In spite of trying them on and professing to worship a variety of higher powers, I have taken no name for God and not set of rituals and associated beliefs into my heart and for the last year I have found myself wondering if that is not blocking me off from God in some ways, either small or vast. 

There are times at which I feel like I know God better than any human has the right or ability to, and other times where I feel that I was a fool for ever thinking or believing anything about God at all. 

God can restore me to sanity, but only if I am ready and willing, only if I can come to God. But If I believe in a God, then why do I lay awake at night now, pondering and agonizing over my own mortality, why don’t I have the certainty in my heart that there is an after life? 

There are so many times I find myself wishing I had the certain and absolute beliefs that Christian’s and other followers of organized religion have. I wish often that I could be Christian actually, maybe non-denominational or Catholic, but they are too distant from my personality and my understanding of God and much of what I see of their God, I cannot condone. 

I could go on and on about this, the point is, I am in existential crisis and Step Two is not a matter for of wondering if God can restore me to Sanity, but rather a question of whether or not I am going to allow God to restore me to sanity.

Chances are, I will have to transform myself or be prepared to transform myself even further and mold myself to fit God, rather than find a God that fits into the mold that I have made and that is a very uncomfortable thought. 

I know that for me, finding the answer will start with consulting Walt Whitman, a dreaming of a cave I used to fly to to talk with my vocational ancestors, unchaining my mystical, spiritual self and embracing it without being embarrassed, self conscious or afraid. 

Written by jamesjanus

March 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm

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

My mother

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has been in the hospital for a week, she went in because she had been feeling weak and on Sunday last week she laid down, she stayed in bed until Thursday and didn’t eat or drink much. She has always been very able and independent, so no one checked on her and didn’t think much of it when she didn’t return calls. It was quickly determined that she had a large tumor in her colon and maybe something in her Liver. She has cancer. Yesterday, it was determined that it has in fact spread to her liver where it is ‘inoperable”  She is 77 years old and some of the opinions so far are bleak. The truth is that the biopsies are not back yet and we have not heard from the Oncologist (Cancer Dr.).  So, we wait.

The emotion of it all seems lodged deep inside of me and apparently, no ready to deal with it yet, I am yet to get it out. I can say a few things from a perspective of gratitude however, I am grateful that, unlike in the past, I am present and capable of being there for my Mom, for my oldest sister, whom along with myself have taken the bulk of the load in dealing with this. I am dealing with it properly at this point, feeling it, but not reacting like an alcoholic and just doing my best to be helpful and be there for my family.  My sister said today “I know I can rely on you (and Kim) and you will be there”.  This is new. That I have taken time off work and have been doting on my mother and making it to the hospital often, all of it new and I am so filled with gratitude to God(s) and AA and my wife, which is another story.

My, wife, my Mo Anam Cara, my sun, my moon and the stars in my sky. Kim has been there for me and my mother and sister every step of the way, staying home, leaving work early and when she is at the hospital, doing what she can to keep us all engaged and look after Mom. Alone, at home, she is supportive and attentive and loving. This is hard for her too, she has just really started getting close to my mother, she sees it hurting me and it also opens relatively fresh wounds about the loss of her own father.

Facing the potential loss of my mother to Cancer is hard, it brings into laser focus the reality of our mortality and I look at myself and around me, wondering “when”, when does it happen to the rest of us. Also, those things I am grateful for are another source of pain. I want lots more time with her, I am just beginning to be a real human being, to be a decent son and I want her to get to see more of that, to be a part of it.

The summary lesson here I suppose is, whenever I start taking people and relationships for granted, I need to remember that our existence here is fragile and we never have as much time with people as we think we do. If there is someone or someones out there that you love, don’t neglect that and don’t put off engaging with them because you might run the clock out long before you think.

Written by jamesjanus

June 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Thank you god

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For my life, the boys and the lovely, wonderful wife that I have. I am blessed and grateful. Nothing more to say for now.

Written by jamesjanus

June 11, 2012 at 1:17 pm

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Don’t let go, don’t give up

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Whatever you do, do not let them make you lose hope or faith, do not let go of your newfound humanity and decency. Be good, not evil. She needs and deserves that from you and so do you. Let go of the anger and resentmet..swallow it or spit it out..but do not let it crowd your heart or mind.

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Written by jamesjanus

October 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm

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Return to Recovery – Step One

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Starting over at step one, I have been gone for over year and while I did not drink, my self and my life has become unamageable.
Step one says: Admitted that we are powerless over alcohol and our lives had become unmanageable.
Not only am I powerless over alcohol, I am powerless over alcoholic thinking and alcoholic action. I am powerless over alcoholic pride, alcoholic resentment and anger, aloholic fear and lashing out. I am powerless over a great many things, some of which some more stringent AAs might call outside issues, but I scarcely believe in those, all of it is related in some way to the core disease of alcoholism. I thought I knew this before, but if I didn’t I know it now. It may sound counter-intuitive to some, but that single admission, that you are powerless is relieving and like having a great burden lifted off my shoulders. Admitting that there is something more powerful than you, that you cannot handle alone is hard, but worth it and really the first step toward believing there is something more powerfull than you, that can help you too.
I have just begun, I am not well or right yet, but already I am becoming more conscious of my thinking and action. Admonishing myself in my head when my thoughts are not what they should be and looking outside of myself for help, being as grateful and accepting as I can. I will get there, AA, the steps, a higher power and Kim’s love and support will help me.
Here is in summary, what I said in a meeting recently. I stopped going to meetings, decided I could do it on my own and for a time it seemed to be okay. I realize that during that time there was nothing to test me, there was stress of course, but I had nothing, nothing of value that I could risk or lose. I was living in my friends’ basement and had nothing in my life to cherish. Then, I fell in love with this woman (Kim) and her two kids, for the first time in my life I have a family and so when things got tough again, I had something of value to lose and because I wasn’t working the steps, going to meetings and doing what i needed to, I reacted like a monster, I screwed things up, making bad things worse and I almost lost what I had gained. My life is unmanageable and though I never drank, I might as well have.
I am glad to be back in meetings and working the steps. I know I have just completed step one, step two promises to be more difficult, but I will get there and this time I will not stop working the steps, I will be restored to sanity and do my best to have my defects removed.

Not only am I powerless over alcohol, I am powerless over alcoholic thinking and alcoholic action. I am powerless over alcoholic pride, alcoholic resentment and anger, aloholic fear and lashing out. I am powerless over a great many things, some of which some more stringent AAs might call outside issues, but I scarcely believe in those, all of it is related in some way to the core disease of alcoholism. I thought I knew this before, but if I didn’t I know it now. It may sound counter-intuitive to some, but that single admission, that you are powerless is relieving and like having a great burden lifted off my shoulders. Admitting that there is something more powerful than you, that you cannot handle alone is hard, but worth it and really the first step toward believing there is something more powerfull than you, that can help you too.
I have just begun, I am not well or right yet, but already I am becoming more conscious of my thinking and action. Admonishing myself in my head when my thoughts are not what they should be and looking outside of myself for help, being as grateful and accepting as I can. I will get there, AA, the steps, a higher power and Kim’s love and support will help me.
Here is in summary, what I said in a meeting recently. I stopped going to meetings, decided I could do it on my own and for a time it seemed to be okay. I realize that during that time there was nothing to test me, there was stress of course, but I had nothing, nothing of value that I could risk or lose. I was living in my friends’ basement and had nothing in my life to cherish. Then, I fell in love with this woman (Kim) and her two kids, for the first time in my life I have a family and so when things got tough again, I had something of value to lose and because I wasn’t working the steps, going to meetings and doing what i needed to, I reacted like a monster, I screwed things up, making bad things worse and I almost lost what I had gained. My life is unmanageable and though I never drank, I might as well have.
I am glad to be back in meetings and working the steps. I know I have just completed step one, step two promises to be more difficult, but I will get there and this time I will not stop working the steps, I will be restored to sanity and do my best to have my defects removed.

Written by jamesjanus

July 13, 2010 at 4:22 pm