Friday, June 30, 2006

Freedom & Flight Limited By Nothing

My grand daughter was wide awake and all smiles when I left for work today which makes for a nice beginning.

Made a couple of amends today.It went well and I am happy about that. Some very specific requests were made which I agreed to. I am glad to have an opportunity to "do" something for this person.

Going to my Friday outdoor, mountainside meeting. Sometimes we bring guitars and make noise before the meeting ... on this day however I am hoping to go early and get a short hike instead. In any case I think I will bring my camera.

I don't know what to say about the Jonathan Livingston theme except I was feeling kind of enlightened in a retro 70's sort of way lol.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

1/2 nAAked - Waiting 2 B Discovered :-)

Off to my meeting ...

I am leaving for my Mens Stag meeting. The following sign hangs on the podium at the meeting:
After the meeting ... Starbucks. There is a liberal whining policy at Starbucks.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Beginning of the End ... Again

"Whenever our pencil falters, we can cheer ourself by remembering what AA experience has meant to others. It is the begining of the end of isolation from our fellows and from God." - 12 & 12 p. 82

Oh cheer... My 8th Step list is now neatly arranged on index cards. I considered typing them and maybe re-typing them ... anything to put off actually making the damned amends. Although I did go to an institution yesterday to begin a certain amend ... It is a bit embarrasing to admit that I did the same wrong 12 years sober that I did when drinking. And found myself going through the same amends process. There is one group of amends that I am having particular difficulty becoming willing. There is this little voice too ... you know the one. It says I could probably skip some of them. It's the same one that says I can go to one meeting a week and keep the important shit to myself.

Semi-related ... I am really enjoying the sober blogs here. A few of the bloggers I visited have been kind enough to visit here and make me feel very welcome. I read an awesome post at coffe bitch today about challange and fear. I related it to something else I heard on the radio today. I think it was some financial guy who said it, but I am pretty sure it was God sending me a message ;p he said "fear can often carry you further than courage ... just in the wrong direction".

Some stuff I'm grateful for:
  • My grand daughter is awesome.
  • My daughter is being pretty responsible these days and doing a wonderful job as a mom, I am proud of her.
  • My mens stag meeting is tomorrow ... I made a committment 6 weeks ago to attend every week ... so far so good.
  • I have off for the holiday from Friday until Wednesday.

Hump Day Alky-Track - "However Much I Booze"

In my teenage years I was a huge fan of The Who. For whatever reason I did not listen to them as much as an adult until I was sober a few years. By then CD's were the standard and I had no way to play the old LP's. It was several more years before I got around to replacing "By Numbers" with a CD. This deep cut could have been my theme song when I was racing to my bottom and hearing it sober for the first time gave me chills. This weeks Alky Cut ... (insert fanfare music - Ta Daaaaa) However Much I Booze by the Who!

I see myself on T.V., I'm a faker, a paper clown
It's clear to all my friends that I habitually lie; I just bring them down
I claim proneness to exaggeration
But the truth lies in my frustration
The children of the night, they all pass me by
Have to drench myself in brandy
In sleep I'll hide
But however much I booze
There ain't no way out
I don't care what you say, boy
There ain't no way out

I lose so many nights of sleep worrying about my responsibilities
Are the problems that screw me up really down to him or me
My ego will just confuse me
Some day it's going to up and use me
Dish me out another tailor-made compliment
Tell me about some destiny I can't prevent
And however much I squirm
There ain't no way out
I don't care what you say, boy
There ain't no way out

Won't somebody tell me how to get out of this place?!

Then the night comes down like a cell door closing
Suddenly I realize that I'm right now, I'm on the scene
While sitting here all alone with a bottle and my head a-floating
Far away from the phone and the conscience going on at me
And on at me, and I don't care what you say
There ain't no way out

Now the walls are all clawed and scratched
Like by some soul insane
In the morning I humbly detach myself
I take no blame
I just can't face my failure
I'm nothing but a well fucked sailor
You at home can easily decide what's right
By glancing very briefly at the songs I write
But it don't help me that you know
This ain't no way out
Won't somebody tell me?
I don't care what you say, boy
There ain't no way out

Give me the key, lock it away

There ain't no way out

There is a way out

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Broke Step Mountain - why won't this %&!$ing thing work !!?

For today's entry ... A recent personal experience:

A sponsee once related to me a story in his early sobriety. In his first year sober he sat Christmas morning in a pile of parts and wrapping paper attempting to assemble his kids biggest Christmas Gift. Just as he was ready to take the whole mess outside and throw it in the trash he had this thought ... "maybe I should read the instructions!"

Opening the instructions he saw
"Step 1 - Insert tab A in slot B"
"Step 2 - Install Wheel as shown" ...

In short order the project was complete and everyone was happy. He later relayed the story to me and related it to his unwillingness to work "the" program as our book (and I ) had been suggesting.

Why must I continually learn this same lesson?

After noticing my 11th step wasn't what it used to be (this is roughly defined as the understatement of the year), I began to look around at my AA activity. There were more signs of a guy not in the program than a guy in the program. I am not proud of this but it is true. Minimal service, slacking meeting attendance, not actively sponsoring etc. Now I had plenty of excuses for this which I would have gladly offered to my sponsor except that he had moved and I was not in contact with him. So 6 months of sponsoring myself had left me an AA jelly fish baffled that I was "blocked" after 12 years of very active AA participation. What I had come to describe as "a little of the beam ... maybe", was actually further off the beam than I could have imagined.

I became convinced that if I just got back to praying more all would be well. I soon stood on a mountain top gazing at the sunset wondering why my meditation didn't seem to work anymore. Then Bill Wilson's words in the 12 & 12 hit me hard. In essence he wrote that self examination and prayer and meditation were each good in their own right, but when combined they create an unshakeable foundation for living.

When had I last honestly conducted my evening review as outlined on page 86 of the Big Book? I could not honestly say, but it had to have been months. As Bill W. suggests in the 12 & 12, the results of step 11 without self examination will not be nearly what they could be.

Fortunately for me I had already taken some action, and found myself committed (almost involuntarily) to completing steps 1 through 12 (again) in a workshop environment with my new sponsor. I am currently in Step 9 and prayer and meditation is becoming a real part of my life again rather than an easily forgotten mechanical routine.

I've heard it described as having a "built in forgetter" or as a "re-construction of the ego", whatever the phenomenon, I suppose I am an undisciplined person who would do best to let God discipline me in the simple way outlined in our Book. I remain grateful that I do not have to drink to be reminded that the program works best when we follow the instructions.

Additional note:

BTW, the picture is an actual picture from "Broke Step Mountain" (actually the Mogilon Rim in AZ) taken mere moments after my baffling 11th step experience ... The irony is that it was much later when I realized I did receive guidance and it was perfect ... it was rembering Bill W's comments that said to me in essence "follow instructions dummy". As a former sponsor told me "if you saw a burning bush you would probably piss on it."

Monday, June 26, 2006 is Baaaack !

Trudging the Road is back online and now in the blogosphere. In the coming weeks, this blog and the Main Site will be improved and expanded. In keeping with the original theme of the website, I am very excited about the potential to "surely meet some of you as we trudge the road of happy destiny"... may God keep you until then.

I have received several requests to re-start the site. I decided I would only do so if there was active participation by others. To facilitate this, I will be launching the trudging the road Blog.

The primary purpose of the blog is to create a forum where:
  1. Items of interest to others in recovery can be posted.
  2. Any cool, funny,not cool or not funny stuff related to recovery (or remotely related at times) can be posted for the enjoyment of the rest of the universe.
  3. General topics of recovery from trudgingtheroad & elsewhere can be discussed.
  4. Aniversaries / AA Birthdays can be posted.
  5. Individuals can suggest materials for the website.
  6. Whatever else our autonomous little minds come up with.
  7. Wednesday is Hump Day Alky-Track day.
New blog entries can be created by any member of the trudgingtheroad blogging team. ANYONE however can (and is encouraged to) comment on blog entries and other comments. The only requirement is a desire to stop drinking.

If you would like to become a trudgingtheroad Blog team member, email me with an introduction and a short note about yourself. All serious requests will be honored. You will receive a blogger invitation and brief general guidelines for blogging.