28 May 2022

THE COP'S BULLET HIT THE HAND OF THE THIEF WHOSE GUN WAS AIMED AT HIM

 


(stahlysoundwaves.weekly.com)

This is not about the cop. This is not about the thief.

This is about an E.M.T., that moment and you.

Listen to the screaming pitch of the ambulance as it approaches the scene. Think back to the softening, lower sound when an ambulance moves past you and fades into the distance.

Now think about that moment when the cops bullet hits right below the knuckle on the thief's right hand between the index and middle finger. Think about three sausage-like fingers encased in human flesh, bones shattered, blood splattering, fingers dangling.

Skip ahead mere moments when the scene has been contained, the E.M. T.'s have arrived and the thief has been handcuffed to a stretcher. [to be continued]

24 May 2022

WE'VE ALL LOST OUR MARBLES (Now the Question is... )

 


The missing Caption to this drawing (pictured) goes something like this: "We've discovered the problem. There was a loose marble in the ashtray."
We all tend, at times, to make a mountain out of a molehill. Now, when it comes to marbles, where we lost them, where we might find them and how we might learn to use them again, the waters become murky.
On one hand, we may complicate things in our search, much as the mechanics in this cartoon illustrate, and on the other hand, we must strive to make everything "as simple as possible, but not simpler" as Albert Einstein has been noted for saying. 
Between the extremes of Over-Complicated & Over-Simplified, I have come to believe (after around 8 years of relapses and 5 years of continuous sobriety) that The Middle Way usually works best for me. 
I lived my life for 30 years of daily intoxication at both extremes of the spectrum and to continue to search for my marbles at these depths and heights in my recovery would be closer to the wanderings of a drunken sailor than a stalwart searcher for a sober life of meaning and substance.
All of which leads me, finally, to comment that your marbles may be closer at hand than you may first suspect in searching distant horizons. Start your search in the daylight, in the moment, inside of yourself. 
Now the Question is "What to do with them?"
For me, the Answer has turned out to be "Help Others."
For in Helping Others, I have often found myself closer to finding myself.
*****
Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 
(Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 

(Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)

20 May 2022

SO LITTLE DO I OWN, BUT SPARINGLY, I SHARE.

 

(medium.com)

"Everything you own, owns a part of you." - Gracie Allen

Air. Fire. Water. 

These are everyone's and no one's.

Two days ago, I fasted for 38 hours. I caught myself a dozen and more times thinking of food. The bowl of gumdrops on my desk had to be removed. It surprised me that I really didn't get very hungry. Perhaps knowing I would not starve, that food would be had when my fasting ended sustained me.

 "Everything you own, owns a part of you." 

Addiction took most everything away from me. In Recovery, I have learned to live a very simple life, possession-wise. 

I breathe. I eat. A book or two. A few close friends. No fancy clothes or car, not even a bike. Someone gave me a much-needed new pair of sneakers last week. That was kind. And good.

My life seems to suit me fine these days. Change comes my way when I look for it and sometimes most when I'm looking least of all.

Accumulating a ton of possessions was not my way in my addiction and it surely is not my way in Recovery. I don't prescribe or even suggest how others might or should live. 

Live and let live suits me best.

My simple life is all I own, and Recovery is my everything.

*****

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery 

(Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 

(Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)


14 May 2022

EVERY DECISION INCLUDED A DRINK (Until I Could No Longer Think)

 

(behance.net)

"If you don't like a thing, change it. If you can't change it, then change the way you think about it." - Maya Angelou

"I can remember standing on the front porch of our house with my father when I was maybe ten years old. We lived in a small valley and a few miles away to the west was the rim of the valley. This was called South Mountain. We could watch storms approaching from the other side of the mountain. My father taught me how to predict when the storm would reach us by counting the seconds between when we saw the lightning and when we would hear the thunder. The closer the storm, the less time it takes between seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder. 
It takes a long time, too, when you first get clean and sober to get a clear picture of reality. 
Relapse now and you may never hear the thunder and feel the rain wash clean the debris of your disease.
My father and I stood on the porch. We saw the storm get nearer, saw the lightning, heard the thunder, the dog and cat beneath the couch because they were frightened and did not understand. 
And then the rain would come down in buckets, the street still hot, giant puddles of water, the steam rising and sometimes, just sometimes, after the storm, we would see a rainbow."
*****
The Storm of My Addiction has Ended.
I have found Recovery & Recovery has found me.
"Relapse now and you may never hear the thunder and feel the rain wash clean the debris of your disease."
Clean and Sober, a Rainbow is inside of us.
"If you don't like a thing, change it. If you can't change it, then change the way you think about it." - Maya Angelou
"A Rainbow is inside of us."
*****
Much of this post is excerpted from my first book, ALL DRINKING ASIDE, P. 201.

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery (Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Or immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal (Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)





11 May 2022

RELAPSE RUSSIAN ROULETTE: Trigger Warnings


(The Bottom Line UCSB)

1) He's So Hungry he could eat a Horse.

2) She's as Skinny as a Toothpick.

3) If I Relapse, I'm as Good as Dead.

Two out of the above Three are Definitely Hyperbole.

The third may or may not be. 

I want to state unequivocally that every time I relapsed, it always got worse. That doesn't mean it would for you or for me or for anybody again. But for me, the Gun Has Fired Blank Five Times. I refuse to stare down the barrel of that Relapse Gun another time.

FAVORITE (?) TRIGGERS (Admittedly, there are millions):

a. I can't do this.

b. I can't cope.

c. Drinking and Drugging are what I know best.

d. I'll show them.

e. I'm so lonely I could die.

f. The future holds nothing for me.

g. Knee-jerk reactions

h. I can't sleep.

i. Fuck A.A. Fuck N.A. Fuck everybody.

j. I may as well use.

k. I can lie my way out of anything.

l. Thoughts of I will be able to control my drinking and drugging this time.

m. The list is endless. Add as many as you wish. ANY EXCUSE WILL DO BUT THERE IS NOT A SINGLE SOLID REASON WHY I SHOULD PICK UP.

n. NONE

These Dozen or So TRIGGERS even have me, coming up on 18 years continuous, pause.

Whatever you do, Don't Pick Up.

There's nothing out there.

Never was.

"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."

"Recovery is Possible, Doable, Irreplaceable."

*****

Help me Celebrate my 18th Year of Continuous Recovery. Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery (Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Or immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal (Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)




09 May 2022

STILL THE EVER-IMPATIENT CHILD, My 18th Year of Continuous Recovery Looms Before Me (June 18, 2022)


Sometimes Choice Does Not Seem Possible. 
Sometimes I would Drink and Drug whether I wanted to or not. Promises in the morning became lies before nightfall. In Addiction one slowly and surely becomes the Victim of Addiction. "I am the Actor who Portrays me. Alcohol is the Thug Who Betrayed Me." Something like that. Mostly like that for 30+ Years of Daily Drinking & Drugging.
THOSE DAYS ARE GONE! 
Today, I choose Recovery at Every Turn. Addiction Constricted me like a Boa, Squeezing the Choices right out of me. Recovery is EXPANSIVE.
RECOVERY is POSSIBLE, DOABLE & IRREPLACEABLE. 

"NOTHING MATTERS MORE THAN THAT WE REMAIN SOBER BECAUSE WHEN WE REMAIN SOBER EVERYTHING MATTERS MORE." 

If you've read any of my posts before, likely you've noticed themes running through them. Basically, they can be condensed into: I REJOICE RECOVERY!
STILL THE EVER-IMPATIENT CHILD, My 18th Year of Continuous Recovery Looms Before Me (June 18th)
Life is Good and it Becomes Better as my Clean & Sober Days Accumulate.
Choose wisely. 
Watch your People, Places & Things. 
If you are Clean & Sober now, strive to remain so. 
My 8 years of fading in and out of Recovery taught me one thing: Using Never Got Better. Choice flew out the window like a MOTHER-EFFING MOTHER-EFFER! [Pardon my Poetry, lol]
Now that I'm ALMOST 18, I think I can almost get away with saying that!
RECOVERY: REJOICE!!!
*****
Help me Celebrate my 18th Year of Continuous Recovery. Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery (Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Or immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal (Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)


07 May 2022

THE WORLD BETWEEN FREEDOM AND A STORM

 

"Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace during a storm." - Anonymous

My Grandmother sits counting her rosary beads. I am ten years old. She whispers a prayer in Latin as each bead slowly moves on. She appears calm in my memory. The light appears to pour out of her as easily as it falls upon her. Her breath is quiet. Her voice is low and calm. There is a unison of sensations going on. Sight is sound is smell is touch. The pause between her inhaling and exhaling lies in some state of eternal evaporation.

Watching her calms me. She could not translate into English a single sound of Latin she had memorized. The sounds took her out of herself.

(Sotto): The world between dreaming and sleeping, waking and calm. There seem to be no borders between one state of mind and the next. The peace that Jim seems to have found is more than the absence of chaos; isn't it, Vatchi? A peace that is not an absence, but the thing itself.

*****

This short post is excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE, p. 261.

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery (Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Or immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal (Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)



05 May 2022

"JIM, WHAT IS IT WITH YOU? IS EVERY DAMNED THING ABOUT RECOVERY TO YOU?"

 

(sentencedict.com)

"Without music, life would be a mistake... I would only believe in a god who knew how to dance." - Friedrich Nietzsche 

I ask myself theoretical, theatrical and rhetorical questions such as those in this headline every day.

The answer, always, goes off into a tangent, a tangerine, the smell and touch of an easy peel. I dance around recovery every day as if around the May Pole. A Celebration of Spirit. 

Today, I saw a picture of a Leprechaun Drunk on Cinco de Mayo. 

I hated every Holiday. 

They brought out all the Amateur, Social Drinkers to the Bars. They were not welcomed by me. They got between me and my next drink.

Tangerine, Tambourine, Trampoline. I Dance them all, Sober and Serene.

Yes, EVERY DAMNED THING IS ABOUT RECOVERY to me.

Celebrate, thou Kings & Queens, but Humbly, my Friends, for Recovery is a Dream that must be held lightly, not too tightly. Addiction lacked meaningful frivolity. Addiction lacked everything.

And so, you see, Recovery is my Everything. 

So, yes, and yes and yes and yes. I dance.

*****

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery (Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Or immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal (Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)

02 May 2022

THE EYES OF A CHILD AND OF AN OLD MAN CONVERGE

 


"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

Every day, the child I was, the old man that I am and the person I wish to become walk hand-in-hand-in-hand. I wear glasses but my vision is clear. Sober. Recovery has given me new eyes and these eyes are being renewed each day. 
Addiction took away everything from me. Recovery has given me my life back. 
I haven't gotten to the point of being enthralled by watching the paint dry, but over the first three days in my new Sober House, I did notice that the grass was noticeably just a little longer each day. In my addiction, the curb at times was my stone pillow, passed out I knew not where, why (besides alcohol and drugs) or how. I would come to wanting more of what was slowly dissipating me.
It was me who was disappearing in the bottom of the glass.
Most certainly I'd not be noticing the growing of the grass.
The landscape is unquestionably outside of me.
Today, I can remember the days when a swimming pool filled with Visine couldn't "get the red out" of my bloodshot eyes.
My young, old and sober eyes are new again.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." 
*****

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery (Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Or immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal (Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)

01 May 2022

ADDICTION BOOKKEEPING: Recovery WINS by a LANDSLIDE!


(makeameme.org)

"In order to gain anything, we must first lose everything." - Buddhist saying

Recovery Beats Addiction by an Overwhelming Majority Every Time!

There were a few pluses in the early stages of my drug and alcohol use. CHOOSE TO USE did once apply but once Use became Addiction, it was a losing proposition. Midway through, I was already through. I just didn't know it yet. Drug and alcohol use had become an investment of sorts so no matter how out-of-sorts I became, I would learn to win the game (or so I thought). Wrong. So Wrong. It was in Recovery that I would learn to Surrender.

Upon Reflection, the Balance Sheets Read Zero. 50,000+ Doses of Drinks and Other Drugs lead me to one inevitable conclusion. The Drinking Life was Killing Me and I was left with nothing. Again, and again.

This Buddhist saying, "In order to gain anything, we must first lose everything" could not ring truer for me. I was reduced to nothing and less than nothing when I first hit bottom and with each relapse which followed over that first eight-year period of my recovery. 

RECOVERY IS MY EVERYTHING. There is simply no comparison.

Hands down, Addiction loses every time.

I sip my tea (coffee, if truth be told) with a sense of incomparable Solitude and Belonging.

"Who Could Ask for Anything More?"

*****

Check out my NEW Non-Fiction, BECOMING UNBROKEN: Reflections on Addiction and Recovery (Find it on Amazon, Book it here): https://lnkd.in/dkF767RT 

Or immerse yourself in my Descent into Addiction and eventual Recovery in my Autobiographical Fiction, ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal (Find it on Amazon. Book it here): http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO

#alcoholism #addiction #recovery #books

I hope you enjoy BOTH of my BOOKS on ADDICTION & RECOVERY! (Print & Kindle Versions of Both are Available!)