Sunday, February 21, 2010

Loving and Loveable

Coming out of the noon meeting yesterday an old friend (MF) in the program asked me to lunch. along with several others. I declined their invite since they had selected a eatery across town and I had an appointment at two. No way to go back and forth.

I was surprised when he turned to them and said. "I'm not going with y'all, I'm going across the street with Jim for a hamburger."

MF is a much decorated Vietnam veteran (helicopter gunner) who came by his sobriety the hard way. Besides fighting his way out of the jungles in Asia, the web of addiction to heroin and alcohol he has also had to fight through a post traumatic mental jungle as a result of those wars.

As we sat down with our sandwiches I noticed his eyes beginning to well up with tears. Not touching his hamburger he began to pour out his grief. "The bastard killed her. She was beautiful, a golden retriever. The bastard didn't have the guts to confront me let alone kill my girl himself. No he knew how he could really hurt me. We've been together eleven years. She knew me. But most important, she really loved me. She put up with me through good and bad."

"Yah, even though we both were sometimes a pain in the ass to each other, we loved and trusted each other. We were always there for each other."

The tears, his grief, his depth of love, I hugged him. This "hard ass real dope addict/alcoholic" was/is what this new way of life is all about. It's not just taking the booze and the dope addiction away its about "Changing someone unlovable and unloving into someone lovable and loving."

P.S. You've probably already guessed, MF is one of those special people who would and does go to any lenght to help another alcoholic/addict.

MF's dog was killed in a senseless drive-by shooting paid for by a resentful doper/alcoholic.


Friday, February 19, 2010

New Pair of Eyes

Went to team-tennis practice this am. We're practicing for the Southeast Regional Tournament, Birmingham in March. We enter the tourney as the Tennessee State champs in the 75 y/o class.
Sounds great, it is but at our age it quite literally means that we were the last team standing.

Other than "hitting" Monday this was the first time playing for two hours. The eyes are taking some getting use to. I had cataract surgery during January. It takes a month to heal. I can now see the ball again. It appears to be smaller with a distinct form, no halo around it.

I'm afraid my best shots are gone. By that I mean the lucky ones I put back. My best shots were those I couldn't see with my old eyes; the ball in the sun or it clearing the net. Have to rely mostly on skill now and won't have any excuses.

Reminds me of when I began this new life. I no longer could cover my "shots" with bulls**t and lame excuses. Had to belly up to the bar and admit I was responsible for my mistakes, poor judgement or poor execution.

It also made me note how I had become "comfortable" and had made so many adjustments for my lack of vision. I was willing to go on squinting and missing so much in life forever. Kept denying I needed the operation. Wouldn't admit it but fear entered and I dug in my heels. I blamed it on "I'm not that bad, I don't have the time, or...and " Must admit I needed to be and was intervened on.

Now that I've put the new lids to the test I'm reminded that I'll never be too young/old to take the leap of faith or go to any length to improve my (in)sight.
No, no matter how much I fear the operation.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Willingness to Take Action

"If one thing changes every thing changes..."

That a cue for me. To be willing to get off my butt and do.... Knowing full well from experience that obstacles have become manageable, mountains have been reduced to mole hills, calls have been made and old destructive behavior can be changed.

In a group I'm in, one of the men shared that he added another line to the Serenity Prayer, not that it needed improving but he needed to consciously pray for the willingness to take action. To be willing to take the risk, willing to put in the time, willing to forgive, to be compassionate or to make that amend.

So now he has all of us tacking on the the phrase.

"God grant me the serenity...the courage...the wisdom
...and the willingness to take action.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Hero's Journey"

Cold, when is it going to end? Can't wait for Spring to to poke its green sprouts up through the earth. Its crazy that its colder in Atlanta than here. Still doesn't make any difference I pray for the sun to return.

I know I should be grateful, instead of praying for the sun I should be praying that I will "accept the things I can not change." I am, but I'm still cold.

Went to the monthly meeting of the Joseph Campbell Roundtable last night. Always interesting, new faces and new ideas every time. Campbell, now dead lives on in all his writings about myth and the "hero's journey." He sticks to the hero who faces his fears head on, slays dragons, fights his way through adversity, rescues damsels and in the end find his true self.

The speaker last night took us on his journey. A journey that took him through self imposed homelessness on the island of Hawaii (excellent choice), , books on philosophy, psychology, self help etc, etc. for several years until he found his bliss.

Before returning home in Chattanooga he found his bliss by finding the Higher Power and letting go of his ego. He went on about praying and meditating to get a clearer awareness of the will of his HP and then getting out of himself and giving of himself to others. By putting all of what he had prayed for and learned into action.

Sound familiar, why not, that's what recovery is all about, following our bliss. However if I don't put what I've learned into action it don't count. I've got to walk the walk.

P.S. As I listened to him I must confess I was a bit envious of his gaining all that experience in Hawaii. Then I realized before coming to the program what a waste Hawaii would have been since I carried my own personal hell with me wherever I went.


Monday, February 15, 2010

True Self

Did some Proprioceptive Writing this morning, candle and all. I say a little prayer before I start, as I always do. Liked the one phrase.

"Give me freedom to grow so that I may become my true self.
...the fulfillment of the seed which you planted in me at my making."

It hit home, it got me reflecting and writing upon where my focus should be in order to cooperate with His plan.

I wrote that what ever it was, I needed to hone my skills. I needed to practice, practice. practice. To be ready for the master craftsman to pick me up and use me. But most importantly to embrace and accept my skills. To look inside, to suck it up, not let my pride shame me into being afraid of failure or inadequacy. Even worse to believe myself to being so unique that I had to hold back.

Whatever I have today is the accumulation of all the steps we have taken together in my journey to date. I am the product of all my yesterdays. I can be of help. Mine is a unique help regardless of how long I have been on the journey. If I have been faithful to living one day at a time and praying for His will, not mine then I can not deny nor can I be a coward nor too proud and hold back.

The new comer as well as the old timer has his/her role to play. Our Master Craftsman has a purpose for each one of His/Her's unique tools.

I have to remember I may be the only Big Book someone can read.

Love ya