Thursday, November 14, 2013

So how long does a "slip" last?

     To answer the question posed in the title of this piece, one would have to do some defining of terms I think.

      "Slip"; have no idea what this really means.  The common definition is; the accidental returning to drinking/addiction by a person who has been abstinent from their addiction.  I am not sure how one could accidentally fall (slip) back. It seems to me it is a premeditated act.  I never once in my life drank a drink and looked at the drink and said; "Oh gosh I slipped and drank!".  If I ever drank it would be on purpose and with a vengeance.

      "Drink"; while most would interpret this word as a container of some form of liquid which contained ETOH or ethyl alcohol, I would rather use the definition set up in "The Little Red Book".  That definition characterizes a drink as a negative emotion such as; anger, jealousy, sloth, etc.  I think this is the genesis of a physical "slip", I think.  The thought precedes the deed.

     So, now to the question posed.  How long does a slip last?  Hmmm.  How long does a thought last?  If the "slip" is in fact began by a thought, then I guess the "slip" lasts as long as the thought.  So maybe when the thought is held in mind for any period of time from now to infinity, that defines the period of the "slip".

     By now many readers are asking themselves; "who cares?", "what is he writing about?", or any other neurotic questions we all ask ourselves.  Here is the reason I have for writing this.

     Over the decades of recovery I have seen myself grow into a person who still in fact has aberrations of the mind, aka. "stinkin thinkin".  I also have moments of brilliant negative thinking.  Yet today the amount of time spent in that negative thinking has been reduced dramatically.  I don't seem to hold these thoughts as long as I did in the past.  I try to do whatever I have been taught to negate these thoughts and move along in life.

     The whatever procedures to break these thought patterns could be; telephoning someone and sharing my thoughts with them, meditating, writing, abandoning myself to God...".  It appears that I have the free will choice to hold negative thoughts just about as long as I want to.

     The answer to the question seems to come out as; as long as I want it (slip) to last, that is how long it will be.  Being conscious and having free will can  make me become very responsible, even when I don't want to be.

     In the recent past  I awoke with some very confusing dark thinking.  It did not feel good and I did not like it.  I also had no idea how to rid myself of if.  I tried all of my "tricks" and became even more confused and disturbed.  I then remembered the sage advice of a friend and immediately shared my thinking with the person the thoughts were of.  In no time flat, "lickety split" my thinking was repaired by the Truth and that Truth set me free.  End of slip.  Elapsed time: 1.2 hours.  Could have been quicker had I had easy access to my friend.

     In the future I must remember this process if I wish to live life; "Happy, joyous and free".  It all comes down to; "a slip is a thought which originates in my mind and I choose to keep it there and act upon it".  Of course this leads to another discussion of; "am I responsible for my actions".  oh oh time to end this writing, I think.

Love and light,

Sunday, October 20, 2013

40 Years of not drinking, so what?

   Well now, after so many years of not drinking and going to meetings, etc. etc. etc., one would think most of life would have been figured out.  Ahhhhh yeah, sure.

   So in the last 60 days my life has been turned upside down by circumstances beyond my control, at least I think they are.  I am back in therapy, read psych here and I find out I have issues that I don't even know what they are.

   I assure you I have not been loafing for these past 4 decades, I been doing the work, well at least to the best of my "conscious" ability, and that word "conscious" may be the biggest word I use today.

   I find out I have terrible long term deep seeded abandonment issues, who would have guessed.  I also find out I have totally no idea what-so-ever what a "boundary" is in my life.  I don' even know what a boundary is.  Am I in trouble here?  Oh yeah.  For a few weeks and days I was melting down pretty regular.  Big tough guy...hmmmm.  

   Thanks to a greatttttttttttttt psych and a dear dear friend who had been reborn of "critical health and resulting suffering", I got some ideas for re-birthing myself.  Isn't that what the second step says?  "Reborn"?  More like retooling my entire operating system inside.  It is kinda like getting one of those computer messages; "an update is available, would you like to install it now?".  No matter what you say, the Divine is gonna do the right thing.  Better buckle up for what may be similar to "Mr Toads Wild Ride"!

   What happened to start this mess is not important.  What I had to do is not important.   What I am doing in this present moment is absolutely essential to a "happy, joyous, free" life.

   My dear dear friend suggested that my moral values, oh yeah I gottem' today, could be viewed as a set of simple boundaries.  Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, I got boundaries.  

    So in this and every present moment these days I make every attempt to "Think, Think, Think" using my moral compass as a filter for thinking right thinking.  Check it out!  It works.  My life is on the mend, my thinking is less critical, I feel like a person who has survived to live another 70 years.

   I am being mindful to keep that "first drink" in front of my mind.  I do not mean ETOH or ethyl alcohol, I mean the drunken thoughts of fear, doubt, worry, jealousy, anger, et al 7 deadly sins.  Should I ever take another drink of alcohol in my life it will be while thinking one of these insidious paralyzing thoughts.  I have been reminded that every good and well thing I want in life stands on the other side of a fear of some form.

   Life is resembling a quadratic equation.  As I get healthier in my thinking and live out the idea that I AM not in control on this side of the equation, the opposite side of the equation gets more and more open, loving and supportive.  Life is supporting me in all ways.  As I let others live as they will,  I gain so very much freedom from self.  

   So now that I just have inhaled a 1 1/2 lb steak writing this, I am growing at least around the waist.....oyyyyy.  Letting Go and letting God is just not as easy as it sounds.  It is possible though.  It is possible.  Hmmm, maybe it was the twice baked potato that is gonna get me.

Love and light



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Are they just trite sayings"?

      How many times have I heard one of the platitudes or sayings which are an intricate part of 12 step recovery programs and thought to myself; “yeah….sure, maybe others but not me”.  Many, is the answer, that is until that particular saying came true.  Then my thought was something similar to; “why not me?” What a wishy-washy set of thinking it seems in retrospect.  The following situation or circumstance from my past should show precisely what I mean.

     In the fall of 1988 which would be the 14th year of sobriety or as I like to characterize it; “not drinking time at best”, my former wife had open heart surgery in Orlando, Fl.  At this time I was retired from the U.S. Navy for 3 years and was employed as a City Letter Carrier by the U.S. Postal Service…from one uniform to another.  From one guaranteed paycheck to another.  “…fear of economic security” will be the subject of another post later.

     As I visited my wife on a Sunday afternoon in the cardiac surgery center one afternoon, in her weakened state she asked me; “does this mean you will quit smoking now?”  I thought that was an interesting question since she still was a nearly pack a day smoker herself.  My response was in retrospect just a little callous possibly.  I stated; “No, this seems to be your life problem not mine, I know that “things” I give up or quit for another never works, I need to do things like that for myself”.  While this did not seem to sit well with her, what could she say?  It really was her problem.  I totally did not have any ideas or thoughts of quitting smoking.  It was my right!  I was allowed!  It is my lungs!  As you can see I was steeped in fear of trying to stop yet another addiction which I had failed at miserably before in my life.

      My cigarette addiction had become a pack and one-half a day habit.  Smoking preceded or superseded everything in my life it seemed.  When I arose on Monday morning something deep within me signaled that the time was near for me to stop smoking.  I tried to beat this voice back and or ignore it.  Yet I told my oldest daughter that when this pack of cigarettes I was working on was empty that she would wash the ashtrays in our home and put them away.  I sincerely thought I was possessed.  That could not be “ME” saying this.  Then the good conscious mind kicked in and said; “uh, yeah”. 

     Well that pack of cigarettes which should have been done and gone by noon time lasted until Friday morning around 10:00AM.  Wait.  Did I just say Friday morning?  Yuppp.  It had to be some form of spiritual witchcraft.  A not nearly full pack of cigarettes lasting nearly 5 days?  Yes.  It would seem without me knowing it or “requesting it” consciously, God was doing for me that which I had never ever be able to do, quit smoking on my own.  Being a good daughter, she washed and put away all the ashtrays.  I have not had a cigarette since then.  Of course this is just to easy right?  Again,yupppp.

     While I never again smoked I did devour a lot and I mean a lot of Lifesavers.  I would have been smart to buy stock in the company.  I gained nearly 10 pounds in the next six months.  I had not gained weight in over 30 years.  Smoking it seems was a good weight control program.  It seems I was to accept that I could lose some weight or go to a dentist to repair my physical maladies.  I could not repair death from cigarette usage.  So it seems that the little ditty; “God is doing for us that which we could not do for ourselves” was true and correct.  When taken in conjunction with another cutie “…more will be revealed”, it can be a moving Divine experience.  So, “…more was revealed”.

      As I said at this time I was employed by the U.S. Postal Service which still allowed smoking under certain conditions in their facilities.  I had been off for 10 days taking care of children while my wife had her open heart surgery.  I had followed God’s direction and quit smoking at the end of the 10 days just prior to returning to work.  As I walked back into the U.S Postal Service facility where I worked all my friends and well wishers seemed very quiet and subdued.  I was not sure what was going on, with the Postal Service, one never knew what was happening.  As I returned to my assigned work area I noticed that all of my smoking buddies were not smoking and all the metal clip-on ashtrays had been removed.

      It seemed to me that “more really was about to be revealed”.  It seems that the Friday that The Divine enabled me to stop smoking of my own volition, the U.S. Postal Service in a surprise, swift and final move declared all of their facilities a NON SMOKING area.  Nowhere on Postal grounds was it now allowed.  Many of my contemporaries were hostile, were belligerent and downright hostile at this decision.  I was in fact watching myself if I had not stopped smoking.  I was a “take not hostages nor prisoners and kill all” type of guy when it came to smoking.  I know for a fact in my heart and mind, had I walked into work that morning and still been a smoker I would have turned around and left and quit.  That was my typical attitude.  It is my right!  I am allowed!  It is my lungs!  Indeed more had been revealed.

     Today when these two and other sayings pop into my head I simply smile that smile of knowing and try to sit back in life and wait for the next Divine Occurrence which is coming.  I have found out for me that The Source of Life does not bluff.  When “IT” makes an announcement or statement in my Mind, I know it is a done deal.  I just need to hang around and “let it happen”.  Why fight it?  It will happen in spite of me.  This it turns out is indeed; “The easier softer way”.

     Trite sayings?  Platitudes?  No, not in my current thinking.  More like advance notices from the Creator of Life and Love.  I just need to be ready and willing to let Life occur in and around me and enjoy contented sobriety as opposed to neurotic dryness.  Oh oh, I just had an intuitive thought aka. message, something like; “…just do it !”.  I think my relaxation in life is over for the time being.  Hmmmm, just do what?  Living in the mystery still. 

Love and light
aka. ezduzit777 on twitter
richard curtis on FB


Monday, March 18, 2013

Sponsor vs Friend or "What was my fear"??

   Recently I was once again afforded the opportunity to get some first hand experience at yet another "old axiom".  "Familiarity breeds contempt".  This was a valuable yet tough one for me....probably once again exposed another very deeply seeded fear such as; "what if I say or do something and he won't like me".  You would think after nearly 4 decades of trying to rid myself of long ago self created fears that this would get easier.  Not so.  Just not so.

   One of the people that I have been so privileged and honored to try and mentor (sponsor) in our Fellowship recently began to appear to me to be regressing in his thoughts and actions.  I say appears for all I ever have to go on is visible and audible ques to go by.  I have never had the ability nor been privy to the minds of those we try and help.  We never really know what or why they are thinking, in fact they probably don't know either half the time.

   So.  What happened was this gentleman or gentle man if you prefer for he is, showed up at a meeting and thought nothing of asking the assembled a question about the typical; "how long do I?  How much do I?  Why do I? "ad infinitum"".  Of course someone in the group obliged him and zoweeeeeeeeee.  He id not get the response he probably would have liked.  At the end of the meeting he pretty much bolted and flounced out without even a hug or goodbye.  I take my hugs  seriously.  So.  There we are. Once again he is angry (fearful) and some notion such as pride would not let him move past the fearful flareup.

   I think get a communication from him which one could expect; "blah blah blah you, you, you, .etc).  Standard fair for neurotics who are on the edge again.  My first thought and action as as normal.  Patience, tolerance, time.  Then came the 2nd communique.  Harsh, angry, vengeful, again standard during a fearful aberration of mind.

   Well now.  Counsel with my sponsor, pray, meditate and so on.  Now comes the crunch.  Do I soft peddle the idea that he needed to move on in his thinking?  Do I ignore this diatribe?  Sheeesh.  Honesty in "...all my affairs" has always been the way.  I was prompted to take off my "friend hat" and don my "sponsor hat" and remind this beautiful man who was treating me like one of his old friends off the street, that it was not cool attack me for his inability to assimilate in life and it definitely was not cool to attack me, the one who had infinite friendly patience for his antics for the past "x: years.

   The sponsor in me said; "remember, when you started, your mentors always treated you as a student/sponsee and held you just a little bit at bay".  That is true.  After several years of a staunch sponsor - sponsee relationship I discovered they and I had become true friends.  Even after this discovery, there were those moments when they would slip directly into the mentor role and I would know inherently that I was being provided guidance in some form.

   I believe this past training was invaluable in this current situation.  As quickly as I could respond to him in a mentor capacity and stand in my "Truth", he responded in kind.  He knew that he had some spiritual and emotional work to do on himself, and quickly too.

   Now 2 weeks later this wonderful guy is back on his path, we have resumed a friendship, and most importantly had an open and honest conversation about "friendship vs sponsorship"  He seems truly happy with this and I know for sure I am.  He is putting in some time re-tooling his program life through the steps, prayer and meditation and attendance in all the right places.

   This was a great reminder from the Universe for me and I am just tickled pink that our relationship has not only been saved, it has been advanced.  I am a firm believer that God or "IT" as I call IT, represents all there is, has been and will be.  Of course this means that even my dear sponsee's behavior was Divine in nature and just an expression of IT for me to learn once again that friendships can be forged from sponsorship and yet maybe not always the other way around.

Love and Light
ezduzit777 on twitter 

Monday, February 18, 2013

"Be a receiver as well as a giver"

     This is a concept which I had a whole lot of trouble with. All my life I had been used to giving mostly things to people for the wrong reasons.  To mollify them or assuage some guilt in me.  Always the wrong reasons.

     My self worth, self esteem or lack of confidence most of my life led me to think that I did not deserve "things" from anyone.  I was not "worthy".  This is a hard place to be especially since I am not even catholic.  I just can't remember ever being encouraged to think highly of any part of me.  I just wasn't any big deal.  I am now thinking that it is also probably tied to my psyche thinking about me being born on Christmas Day and all the neurotic thinking that can and has went on with that.  Of course that is a whole 'nother writing for later.

     I just posted a long response on another blog (Bleeding Espresso by Michelle Fabio) on "start where you are"....admitting to procrastination and or "acedia".  This means this blog item is done...not perfect, not waiting for more inspiration or insight, just done.

     Thank you God/IT/He/She/Allah/Allaha, et al.

Love and light,