a dream

So, I started this group at work that seems to be going in the direction of group therapy and I have been anxious that the powers that be may not like that since I don’t think they have had someone do a group like that before.  Even though my title is Counselor and others that lead groups are counselors.

I had this dream just then that I was sharing with someone this intervention I have used, a healing of memories intervention,  that in my view,  has been powerful and helped a number of people heal in a powerful and fast way.   And the people I was talking to were sort of half-way listening.   Then my brother shows up and this one guy says, Paul Armstrong,  and starts talking to him.

So my interpretation is that I am afraid that the powers that be are not going to like what I am doing because it is not like what other people have been doing.   And the day before yesterday one of the powers that be,  called me in and asked how I was doing and said she was concerned that I was stressed and told me a couple situations where others have complained.   Of course, that scared me but my responses to her were, what were their concerns and I explained each situation and I think she understood why I responded the way that I did.   And I have been obsessing about that.  I also shared some things that I have been dealing with like the death of my mother.

I think my fear is now I have a job that I really like and can sink my teeth into,  and have been doing very very well, I think,  and others have affirmed me sometimes publicly, something is going to mess it up.   Really,  I think that some amazingly good things are about to start happening and I am going to mess that up somehow.   The last 5 years have been one bad thing after the other and that is not all that easy to recover from.   Although, I think I can look back and see why it all happened.   He had to suffer to be perfected, to get some benefits that he got, and so did/do I.   I now have the benefit of his company in a way that I have never had before, what I really have been wanting deep down my whole life.   And as a result of that,  and the gifts he has given me,  I think my workplace is benefiting from it all and will continue to in an amazingly good way.

That may be the case and it may not.   I don’t know 100% like nobody doesn’t but I feel that it will and I am not in control of the future and I have not quite let go of that yet.   That worry is loosening its grip.  Worry has been bigger than me like alcohol and has taken me out to drink more than once and was part of the reason why I drink, even though being drunk could not stop it.  Although, it took the edge off.    But I know that its back is broken and it will be gone probably in the not so distant future.  That is the assurance I get from him, it seems, and I need to trust that.   This new closeness with him is given me power over things like that in a way I have never had before.   The thought, “it doesn’t matter” has more power than it ever has and I think that about most things now.   Over the years I have wondered how is god actually helping me.   I can see how I have benefited from the way psychology is so practical and geared toward the place where the rubber meats the road, but not so much with knowing him.   I have thought, I just felt his presence why doesn’t anything change in my life.   I have always wanted his felt presence not for any change but because knowing him that way is the end, not the means to an end of getting anything.   The greatest gift he gives is himself for sure!  But starting with the change with realizing I was an alcoholic and being able to stop, this god thing has gotten more practical and I think the reality is he has been talking to me in my thoughts and been guiding me and giving me help all along.   I just couldn’t see it and it was not the kind of help that I wanted at the time and for good reason.    The shit I was going through was hard, very hard.  Anyway, thanks for letting me share.




Sometimes we are tested not to show our weaknesses but to discover our strengths. Author unknown

Trouble is always a faith test for me that I loose a lot it seems.   Here is more trouble just like I expected.  See why trust a higher power that has brought so much of this?   Because just more of the same is on the way….  Talked to my sponsor today about steps 1-3.

My sponsor read this from chapter 5 in the Big Book:

(a)That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b)That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c)That God could and would if He were sought.


A, B and C cooresponding ?sp to steps one, two and three.

What stuck out to me is the positive nature of C.  Higher power person wants to relieve me of this burden and actually did since part of me believes that and it is past tense right now.  That flies on the face of my false belief that says, more shit is in store, don’t even bother because more shit is in store.   See I am not really sure what my understanding of a higher power is because I quit trying to understand.  So putting my life in the care of the god of my understanding doesn’t really help a whole lot.  But BW seems to talk about a higher power who wants good for us not bad.  I like that.

Also, I consider that that belief does not just come from going through hell, but was instilled and supported by parents and a spouse who were narcissistic.  No matter what happened in the past that may support that belief, I was the narcs supply meaning all of their negative shit about themselves was projected onto me.  That is really where that belief comes from I think even more than the past.  And if it is a false belief a lie that was told to me reflecting another person’s view of themselves, then it really is not about me at all.  So if I think shit is in store, that is the narcissistic lie I am believing even more than the bad shit that has happened.  Make sense?  Well it does to me 🙂

The truth is I deserve a shot at a good life, one that is meaningful to me and my own form of happiness just like that next person and should expect it just like the next person.  All the clients who ever came to see me wanted to be happier in some form or another, and I said in so many words, of course you do.  What is keeping you from that?  Ok, lets go to work…  that is natural for us humans to want and maybe it was put there by a higher power who wants us to be happy and maybe even is him/herself happy, despite all the pain that fills the world, there is more than pain, there is joy even and especially for the poorest of the poor it comes to my mind.

What is the chief end of humanity says the confession?  To glorify god and ENJOY him forever.   Enjoyment, joy is the chief end of humanity our raison d’etre, according to the confession.  Not misery, not pain, not endless suffering.

So the quote I started with says to me, discovering my strength is discovering the truth about me, my higher power, and what is true about the vast majority or maybe even everyone.  We all want to be happy.  My trouble is an opportunity to see that good not bad can and should be what is expected.

I thought too about the postive nature of the third step prayer where it says remove our difficulties that by doing that others can see that this stuff really really works, my paraphrase.   Not even help me endure them but remove them.  Just like you took away the oppression of addiction take away these other things that are tying me down too.

Then there are the 9th step promises.  “If were are painstaking about this phase of our development we will be amazed before we are halfway through.  We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.  We will not regret that past nor wish to shut the door on it.  We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.  No matter how far down the scale we have gone we will see how our experience can benefit others.  That feeling of uselessness and self pity will dissappear…….Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.  Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. ”  Nothing negative about any of that and when this stuff starts happening, we realize that god is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.  God wants all that good stuff to happen in our lives.

Anyway, this was big for me to think about.  Grateful to have a good sponsor who helped get me thinking in the right direction.  That’s all I got for now.

Maybe one day I will edit before I post…maybe not….lolllllllll

Shalom ya’ll


not only….

not only did I get one counseling job but two!

holy makerel ?sp.

And there is some gratitude I must admit.

Hard to admit because I tried really hard and didn’t give up.

But when it happened I said, I can’t believe it and I have had that feeling before and it is not a, I can’t believe it, that I did that but something else if that makes sense.

Sort of like the I don’t know, I just don’t know thoughts I have had in the past, like I am just going along for the ride here kind of thoughts.

I thought I used to be grateful all the time but I don’t think so.  Maybe I am more honest now or know myself better.   More aware of that part of me that will say, I can get this done if I work hard enough because I am smart and talented and all that good shit.   But it is probably shit at least the part that thinks because of all those things I am good, I’ve got this.

BW talks about the improper use of will power, to bombard all our problems with it.  We’ll who doesn’t right?  Who the hell doesn’t !?  And maybe that is his point.  We are pretty self-sufficient mother fuckers.  So there is a little gratitude.  I have worked my ass off for four years trying to get a job and all the other ones did not stick for various reasons.  And yes I was criticized for leaving one or two.  But I had to trust myself that they were not good situations and I could see really fast that they were not in some cases and I am glad I did because it seems like these are two good situations.  Of course I worry that thesoe people are batshit crazy too, but at least I am not worried that I am batshit crazy and that is progress, really god dam progress.  I know I can do a damn good job and at least part of my does not take all the credit for that that that at least part of what I have has been given and probably all of what I have has been given but I had to keep going to choose to keep going in this world and to try to find something doing what I like to do and am good at.  And to not listen to the people who where money and convenience are the highest values.  Because they are not for me.  Where can I make the greatest impact for good.  That is my highest value I suppose and the question I want to keep answering the best I can and then doing those things until I am pushing daisies.

Sounds admirable but not sure it is so much and here is where the,  it is not all me part comes in,  because Salvador Edwards is a prejudice teenager who likes to drink and do drugs, any drugs, not too discriminate there, and bully people and smash mailboxes.  I could go on but you get the point.   All this other stuff, the one who grabbed me and said you are mine from now on, you’re going to do my bidding from now on whether you like it or not, gets the credit for all that other stuff.  There are other things to do besides bully people, take drugs and smash mailboxes although those things were really a lot of fun I thought at the time, but I got diverted from those things I guess you could say.   That’s all I got.  Thanks for letting me share.

Shalom ya’ll,


“accepting hardship as a pathway to peace”

That means more to me now than it did before.    There is less that I can control than I thought.  And I am more ok with that now.   Checking out of reality does not work any more.  I just doesn’t so welcome to reality and maybe reality is not the awful thing that I  like to think that it is.   So my catastrophyzer ?sp, needs to slow down and the only way I know to do that is to say come what may I have an inner resource that I can tap into. (see Appendix 2 in the big book about spiritual experience)   So I think my faith is growing.  I read about how others are able to transcend their pain and get to a place of calm.   Bill Wilson, Paul, Jonathan Edwards, John Calvin.   Those are the people I read and they all say it.   BW says that we have found a faith that works to where we are able to face impossible situations calmly.  wtf.   To me that is real spiritual power.   That is not the opiate of the masses as my doubter would like to think.   As that calm is a gift.   There are times for me when the worries go away and I have an unexplicable calm.    It does not come from drugs or anything I am trying to think positive or negative.   There is a peace and confidence that is not from me.   That to me is what it means to tap into the inner resource.

I had a dream

I had a dream.  I was the vice admiral of a battle ship.   There was another battle ship and they were having problems and somehow I knew it was because they were being lazy, like sleeping in and stuff.   The people on my ship wanted to help theirs and I said no,  Iwe could go to war any minute.

So I told my sponsor and he said that you are not very compassionate towards yourself.   Dreams are all about you.   So I think he had a good point.

Also, I think it is about my ego.  I didn’t think I had a big ego but there is a lot of ego there right.   Lately I have been afraid because I am sick and my anxious thoughts are, its all up to me.  I can’t be sick, if I am sick then I won’t work and I will go broke and be homeless.  It is all up to me.  I have trouble believing that my higher power cares about me and that others do too.   Maybe the message here is it is ok to take care of myself because my higher power is in control, not me and as my sponsor says, his plan is not to shit on me.   He cares for me the way a good parent cares for their children.

I have had a hard time because I was homeless 5 times and may have some PTSD so something like this happens and I panic.   The truth is I am feeling better and should be able to go to work tomorrow.  And I want to believe that my higher power cares.   Circumstances are forcing me to believe that because if I don’t then the alternative is relying completely and totally on myself and that is not working.  I have to let my higher power in and let others in and I am starting to do that.   Even when they are not perfect.  I got mad at my sponsor because he said, if you don’t care for yourself then all you can do is care take other people.  I am not void of care for myself.  Otherwise the hell I have gone through would have killed me.   I stood up for myself when my ex wanted to take way legal custody of my daughter from me.  It was hard but I did it.  And I have certainly cared for others.  My love for others cannot be discounted as pathological care taking.

It seems to me that I have to trust my higher power’s love and care for me more.  I think that that is the issue.  Otherwise it is all up to me and to let others in and let them care for me as well as my higher power cares for me through other people as imperfect as it is he is still loving me in and through them.

I want to say the hell with AA sometimes but they are just regular people right!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I don’t need to judge them and I think I do sometimes.  Everyone in AA, I think anyway, wants me to stay sober and that needs to be good enough for me.

maybe there’s a loving god by Sara Groves

I’m trying to work things out
I’m trying to comprehend
Am I the chance result
Of some great accident
I hear a rhythm call me
The echo of a grand design
I spend each night in the backyard
Staring up at the stars in the sky
I have another meeting today
With my new counselor
My mom will cry and say
I don’t know what to do with her
She’s so unresponsive
I just cannot break through
She spends all night in the backyard
Staring up at the stars and the moon
They have a chart and a graph
Of my despondency
They want to chart a path
For self-recovery
And want to know what I’m thinking
What motivates my mood
To spend all night in the backyard
Staring up at the stars and the moon
Maybe this was made for me
For lying on my back
In the middle of a field
Maybe that’s a selfish thought
Or maybe there’s a loving God
Maybe I was made this way
To think and to reason
And to question and to pray
And I have never prayed a lot
But maybe there’s a loving God
Maybe this was made for me
For lying on my back
In the middle of a field
Maybe that’s a selfish thought
Or maybe there’s a loving God
Maybe I was mad this way
To think and to reason
And to question and to pray
And I have never prayed a lot
But maybe there’s a loving God
And that may be a foolish thought
Or maybe there is a God
And I have never prayed a lot
But maybe there’s a loving God
Every day someone walks into a meeting with this somewhere inside of them..

In honor of those who still struggle

In the Lord of the Rings a hobbit was entrusted with the destruction of the ring, as opposed to kings and all powerful wizards.   In his effort to destroy the ring he could not resist putting it on and in the end he succumbed to its power, only to have it bitten off and destroyed.   When Aragon was inaugurated as King he did not chastise Frodo for his weakness and constant relapsing but honored him for his courage and fortitude.   When it was time for him to take his throne he stopped and did not sit down.  Instead he summoned Frodo up and had Frodo take his throne and all who were there honored him for the hero that he was.    May we honor those who still struggle to destroy their rings in the same way.

Salvador Edwards

to concede in the innermost self

That is what BW says you have to do to stop drinking, to concede in the innermost self that you have a problem with alcohol.  I have heard people shout that in meetings with the message, you haven’t done this yet and this is what you have to do.   That was not very helpful to me.  But I have thought what that means to me and what it means to me is that my heart needed to know I had a problem because my head could not figure it out.

At first when my heart or innermost self or whatever you want to call it knew. It scared me.   I did some reading in a book that helped me with this where the author was saying there is a lot we don’t understand that we have to take in faith.  It got me thinking that my heart believes things that my mind does not understand or that does not make sense to my mind and I usually think that if it is not reasonable or can’t be explained or argued reasonably than it can’t be true.   Me being the good product of post-enlightenment reason worship.

So it really scared me that my reason is defenseless against the first drink and I think it still is.  I wonder of the above guy thinks that reason has to be satisfied.  Maybe his does but my won’t be and that has scared me a lot but less so now that I did the reading I did today.  Probably the most important things I believe right now are not reasonable and I resisted believing them for a long time because they were not reasonable.  I actually think the most important things in life to me I take by faith.  I write that and I think, that just can’t be true but maybe it is.  So in that sense faith is not a crutch to me but what I need to stay alive and live in a world that for me much of it makes no sense.

I guess I could be reasonably hopeful about things but circumstances do not always lend themselves to a reasonable hope.   So I am ok now with something inside of me knows that I have this problem.  I think that was what BW was saying about himself as well.   Read his story, he could make the greatest argument for why he shouldn’t drink sitting at a bar and then take a drink.  One guy said to him I cannot believe you just told me all that and you are about to take a drink.  I bet he could not either.   Alcohol was bigger than his reason and if it is bigger than mine than that’s ok.  Not to be feared as long as I keep listening to my inner most self and not my reason.

shalom ya’ll


Is it a problem?

This is how I define an addiction as a problem.  Some people are quick to say that such and such is not a problem without asking what does it mean if a substance or behavior to be a problem.  Here is how I now know looking back that it was a problem.

A health care professional can warn you of the dangers but that is easily rationalized away.    Anything anyone tells you or you tell yourself can be rationalized away.

It is a problem that says it’s not a problem.

So that makes it hard to figure out if it is really a problem.

Although I had a feeling it was a problem.  I just didn’t want it to be as I wanted

to keep doing it.

For me I went from doing it with others to by myself.

And then to doing it most every day.

Some people build a tolerance and need more of it.   But that was not the case so much for me.  I even had an addiction counselor tell me it was not a problem for that reason.   I know, stupid, right.

I could not see that I had a problem although I suspected that I did.

I did not want to be a gd alcoholic.

It is a narcissistic problem.   Besides the above things.  It is selfish.   It seems to want all my money and and attention and does not care if I loose jobs and pretty much wants me dead as I would be suicidal sometimes at the end when I did it.  But sometimes not, so I would say maybe that was a fluke.

Not matter what the consequences I had a hard time connecting the dots, realizing that the bad things were happening because of the problem.   I had a lot of other reasons that made sense to me as to why those things were happening.  I could not get in my head and figure out if it was a problem so that was probably the first problem my brain could not assist me with.

It is progressive:  frequency progresses, problems progress, inner and outer unmanageability progress , relationships deteriorate.    The kinds of problems are hard or impossible to recover from like loosing your family, your job and your life.

It will creep up on you.   Like boiling a frog in water by turning up the heat slowly.   The frog does not know it is too hot until it is too late.

You can have all the reasons in the world for not doing it and then just do it like its nothing.

You and only you can decide if it is a problem.  If someone else tells you you have a problem it won’t work if you are still telling yourself that you don’t.  You have to see it for yourself.

I would think some things like dope and crack cocaine would be harder to deny that it is a problem although I do not speak from experience on that.

You can ask yourself, is this recreational use or something else.

If other people think you have a problem that is a big red flag as usually other people can see it before you do.

At some point you will decide that you are done.   That point is different for everybody and some people die before they get to that point.

If you quit and go back to it later, even years later you will pick up where you left off. The severity of the problems will return quickly.

Because it is such a liar and deceiver I consider myself fortunate to be in recovery from it period.

Instead of not doing it to reach your goals.  You will change your goals.

At this point  I am doing better than ever in my life and would not trade this life of recovery for anything!


Things are starting to go good.  I don’t always know what to do with good.  If you are an addict you probably understand.  I know what to do with trouble and struggle and life shitting on me.   But good.   People respecting and valuing what I have to offer.   That is good.   Being able to pay the rent and my other bills.   Maybe the shoe won’t drop this time.    That would be good…On a good day I think life is good and people are beautiful, just flat out gorgeous in one way or another.  And most people don’t know it, can’t see it or if they do they see a facade instead of their real beauty.  It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.  Mr Blue Skies is out today and its not too hot.  And I have a little peace of mind to be able to appreciate the day.  That’s a good thing.

Shalom yall