Search this blog and those of some of my friends in recovery.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm Back!... I Hope.

Certain life events distracted me from writing for a very long time. Well, I allowed myself to get distracted.

Going to try to get back into the habit of  posting regularly. Here's the daily thought from Today's Gift...


Sometimes we trade possessions with our friends. Maybe we want to add to our collection, or perhaps we just do it to get someone to like us. But if we try to buy friendship, we'll be sad later when we realize we've lost a prized possession and not gained a friend.

Our friendships come when we least expect them, often with people who have something in common with us. They will not be friendships we have to buy, but relationships to treasure and have for years. These friendships will teach us to respect ourselves and our friends.

Am I making good friends, or bad trades?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sticks and Bricks


We had a really good speaker at homegroup tonight. Something he said jumped out at me. He talked about what our recovery is built on. The house that stands for a hundred years is built on a strong foundation.

I immediately thought of a children's story that I'm sure we're all familiar with... My recovery is only as strong as what I put into it. If I build straw or stick houses, the wolf (my own pride and complacency) is going to keep coming back to blow them down. Hard work, diligence, and faith are the things bricks are made of.

Our Higher Power, however, is the strongest part of that foundation. My previous meeting today was another speaker meeting. She brought up the meditation from 24 Hours A Day. I think it relates pretty well to that aspect of what we all discussed tonight...

"Hallowed be Thy Name." What does that mean to us? Here "name" is used in the sense of "spirit." The words mean praise to God for His spirit in the world, making us better. We should be especially grateful for God's spirit, which gives us the strength to overcome all that is base in our lives. His spirit is powerful. It can help us to live a conquering, abundant life. So we praise and thank Him for His spirit in our lives and in the lives of others.

Well. It's getting late and I'm pretty pooped. Today was a great day in recovery. Good night, all, and God Bless.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Life's Happenin'


I'm finding that as time goes on and life gets happenin', it's easier and easier to fall out of the habit of posting. Life's been good, though. Work is going well, been keeping up with my folks pretty regularly, and Cupcake and I are getting on better than we ever have. She and I are actually spending more quality, enjoyable time together. Whether it be at home watching a movie, hiking through a swamp, or having a spectacular dinner at historic Pascal's Manale. We even talk more. ...And she made me cheesy mashed potatoes tonight.

Haven't heard from my old sponsor in forever. Not making assumptions, but I know the fact is that I'll need to get another ASAP. Been courting someone I've known for a while to fill that role. We just need to find a good time to meet that matches our schedules.

So there ya have it... Still alive and still truckin'. And about to stretch out in bed. I'll leave ya with the passage from Today's Gift. Goodnight and God bless!

A crow dying of thirst came upon a pitcher that had once been full of water. He shoved his beak into the pitcher and discovered that there was very little water left. But he was determined to get it.

Time and again he thrust his beak into the pitcher, but could not reach the water. He was about to drop dead from both thirst and despair when he spotted a pile of pebbles nearby.

The crow picked up one in his beak, and dropped it into the pitcher. He took another and did the same. Each time he dropped a pebble into the pitcher, he noticed that the water level rose slightly. Energized by this discovery, he continued his efforts until the water level rose to where he could reach it.

Then the crow drank the water, which saved his life.

The moral of the story: Small actions can have big results.

Recovery is a process that involves taking small steps, but sometimes progress is hard to see. At such time, take heart. Resist the temptation to give up. Instead, trust that your steady and dedicated effort is taking you ever closer to your goal.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Prodigal Son (Cornerstone Church Service from 7-1-12)

Here it is! The Cornerstone sermon from Sunday. Sorry I was a bit late posting....


Was at my homegroup tonight. It was a great meeting. Had a really good speaker. It was hard for me to pay attention, however, due to the over-powering smell of alcohol coming from my neighbor's breath. I don't mean the smell of alcohol that was consumed during the day today, I mean the smell of alcohol that has been consumed for the past few days straight. I finally had to get up and walk outside because I was starting to gag.

I'm not trying to imply that the guy shouldn't have been there. Actually, I can't think of a better place for him to have been. He's a regular too. Every Thursday night. Really nice guy, but not quite right in the head. I don't judge him and I didn't say anything to my fellow members. I'm sure that after all this time they know.

I wish him well, and I hope I see him again next Thursday (just not going to sit by him).

Afterwards I found out that we aren't hosting meetings at the men's shelter anymore. Very sad to hear it, but none of the guys staying there attended.

All-in-all it was a good day though. Of course, as they say, anyday above ground is a good day. ;)

Good night and God Bless!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

11 Things You Should Start Doing For Yourself Today (Reposted)


Reposted from my good friend Riversurfer... She found this at "R" Hub Blog .... Thanks RS! It's a spectacular post so I thought I'd share. Enjoy!

“Enjoy everything that happens in your life, but never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to any person, place or thing.” Wayne Dyer

You deserve to live a more balanced, harmonious and happier life, starting today and starting now. Today, not tomorrow, nor the day after tomorrow is where your life is, where your life starts. Take good care of yourself, “begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake…” Francis Bacon

Focus more of your attention on yourself and pay close attention to all of these things for they are meant to help you create a more balanced and happier life, because you deserve the best life has to offer.

1. START BREATHING PROPERLY, SOFTLY AND DEEPLY

When was the last time you paid attention to your breathe? Whether you believe it or not, we forgot how to breathe, and what we call breathing is nothing more than shallow breathing. Take deep breaths throughout the day, pay attention to your breathing and know that by doing so, not only will you improve your health, but you will also train yourself into becoming more present and engaged in the present moment, more present and engaged in your own life and the life of others.

“Shallow breathing is the root of all evil but conscious deep breathing restores and secures our souls.”Desmond Green

2. LET GO OF YOUR PERSONAL HISTORY – ENJOY THE PRESENT MOMENT

Let go of your past. Have a clear image of where you want to go, know how you want your future to look like but live in the present moment, for the present moment is all you ever had, all that you have and all you’ll ever have. Know that every time you identify with your past, you deny yourself the right to grow and evolve, the right to advance in life.

By referring to previous struggles and using them as reasons for not getting on with your life today, you’re assigning responsibility to the past for why you can’t be successful or happy in the present.” Dr. Wayne Dyer

3. LET GO OF ALL THOSE THINGS THAT NO LONGER SERVE YOU

Find the inner strength and courage to let go of all those things that no longer serve you, of all those things that no longer bring joy and happiness into your life. You and I know that There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”

4. FORGIVE YOURSELF FOR PAST MISTAKES

It’s okay to make mistakes. If we don’t make mistakes we don’t move, we don’t grow, we are stagnating. Forgive yourself for past mistakes and know that forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself, forgiveness “is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” Robert Muller

5. FORGIVE ALL THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE HURT YOU

Start forgiving those who have hurt you, because you see, “When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” Catherine Ponder

6. RELEASE ALL JUDGMENTS YOU HAVE PLACED UPON YOURSELF AND OTHERS

Whenever you catch yourself being judgmental towards yourself and others, repeating these words to yourself will help a lot: “Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances.” Wayne Dyer. I use these words whenever I feel like my mind is getting ready to become judgmental, and I have to admit that they do help me be more open minded and tolerant both toward myself and others.

7. EXPECT THE BEST FROM LIFE

Expect the best and you will receive the best. Open your eyes and see the beauty that is present all around you, open your eyes and see yourself as the beautiful being you really are. Expect the best from yourself, from those around you and from life, because you see, “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” Paulo Coelho

8. NURTURE THE RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE WITH YOURSELF AND OTHERS

Love yourself, accept who you are and work on pleasing yourself before pleasing others, nurture yourself first before nurturing others. It is very important to start with yourself and I will give you one example to understand why that is.

You know how when you are on the airplane the flight attendant is giving all the passengers the instructions as to what to do it an emergency and they tell you to put your oxygen mask on first? Well, the same goes here. You will not be able to help others if you don’t help and take care of yourself first. Nurture the relationship you have with yourself so that you can be able to nurture your relationships with others.

9. START TREATING YOURSELF AS YOU WOULD WANT OTHERS TO TREAT YOU

Because if you yourself are not being kind and loving towards your own person, you can’t expect others to do so, right?. You can’t expect others to do something for you that you yourself are not capable of doing. Start treating yourself in the exact way you would like others to treat you.

“Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?” Fanny Brice

10. START TO NURTURE YOUR MIND, BODY, HEART AND SPIRIT

Work on nurturing your mind, your body, your heart and your soul, because “If you nurture your mind, body, and spirit, your time will expand. You will gain a new perspective that will allow you to accomplish much more.” Brian Koslow

11. DEVELOP AN ATITUDE OF GRATITUDE

Start developing “an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy

Know that who you are right now, where you are and what you have is more than enough and appreciate it all.



Monday, July 2, 2012

June-Cation! 2012

Here it is! Finally finished our vacation vid. Sorry... May not play on some mobile devices or in some countries.

June-Cation! 2012 from Cybertrousers on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Stay Tuned


Sorry I've been MIA... Still working on the vacation movie. Will post again soon!


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cornerstone Church Service 06-24-12

From the service this past Sunday.... Continuing the series, Stories Jesus Told. This week's installment is The Cost of Discipleship.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Best Singer in the World

Self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. —Maxwell Maltz

The way we think about ourselves determines how we behave and who we become. If Eileen believes she is good at baseball, she will swing the bat more confidently and catch fly balls more easily. And her extra effort will generally pay off. At math, Steve thinks he's a whiz and it makes him proud. He studies so he'll continue to be a whiz.

The image we have of ourselves is like the blueprint the contractor follows when building a house. When we see ourselves sad or angry, our behavior and personality will match it. When we see ourselves withdrawn and afraid, we seem to avoid activities that involve others. How wonderful that we can change our behavior and thus ourselves by changing the picture we carry in our minds.

Yeeeeaaahhhh.... Well.... I may have to not totally agree on some of that. I grew up thinking I was a really good singer. Never practiced... Didn't need to. Never improved as a result. Thing is, though, all the practice in the world wouldn't have helped. I'm a terrible singer (except in the shower).

I get what the message is trying to convey, however. Kinda difficult becoming that stable, honest, family man an alcoholic may endeavor to be when his head is stuck in a bottle.

Just watching Longmire on the idiot's lantern then headed to bed. Cupcake made an awesome dump cake earlier... nothing much new. Except for my brilliant shower rendition of Hey Jude I treated my neighbors to after work.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Bright Day That Follows

We can never assume that, because things are not going the way we want, they are not following a better plan. God is a better manager than we can hope to be. If things aren't shaping up the way we like, let's wait with curiosity to see that better things are in store for us. Let's look for lights in the darkness and follow them to the bright day that always will follow. We will remember our lessons of misfortune with gratitude.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Creative Forces

Being alive is being creative. You need do nothing but affirm your aliveness. —Gay Bonner


What does it mean to be alive? Does it mean merely breathing, eating, and moving around, or is there more to it? Being alive can mean different things to different people. To some, it's sewing a baby quilt for a new life about to be born. To others, it's singing, or walking, or running. Still others find it in the exhilaration of skiing, or the tropical splendor they find when scuba diving.

Each of us has our own favorite activity that lets us feel our creativity and vitality, that lets us feel a part of the larger world. Two gifts these activities leave us with are joy and energy. Joy is one of the most creative forces we can call on, and energy gives us the power to do it well.

I so love the message from Today's Gift! It resonates so loudly for me because I consider myself a creative person and find great joy in those pursuits. Whether I'm sketching, doing photography, outdoor activities, or cooking (among other things)... I find myself centered and serene.


Self-worth and healthy pride flow from doing something that you do well and truly enjoy. As far I'm concerned, walking around the French Quarter with a camera or painting a basement with your dad is some of the best therapy you can get. And it's free.


Goodnight!






Burial mound outside Helen, GA

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Other Shoe

Bad moments, like good ones, tend to be grouped together. —Edna O'Brien

Once in a while, we have days when we think the whole world is against us. A parent has reprimanded us, a brother broke our new game, or the teacher at school disciplined the whole class. We sometimes let our thoughts center on a cluster of bad moments and forget the good moments of the day.

We shouldn't forget about the two ducks we fed part of our sandwich to, the friend who made us laugh, or the gym teacher who praised the whole class. Deciding to think about these good moments can allow our spirits to rise and make the bad moments fade away.

After all, if life were all good moments, we would take them for granted. Let us accept the bad ones gratefully, then, as opportunities to appreciate the good.

It's pretty hard to have a day full of good feelings come crashing down because of one bad thing. It could be from a piece of bad news, an unexpected change in the schedule, or just that rude person you had to deal with at work.

Some of us too easily fixate on the negative because it seems to have the most impact on us. It sticks with us longer. Things are going well so we wait for the other shoe to drop.

Fixation on the negative is the destroyer of serenity. For so long that low was the norm, and we weren't sure how to function when things were going well. Some of us even resort to sabotage in a sick attempt to prevent disappointment.

Kinda went off in a slightly different direction there... It's where my thoughts took me tho.

Goodnight!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Little Help and Guidance

It is not your circumstances that need altering so much as yourself. After you have changed, conditions will naturally change. Spare no effort to become all that God would have you become. Follow every good leading of your conscience. Take each day with no backward look. Face the day's problems with God, and seek God's help and guidance as to what you should do in every situation that may arise. Never look back. Never leave until tomorrow the thing that you are guided to do today.






Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hello Again...

Whoa! Has it really been that long since my last post?! I have no excuses. Sure, we had a wonderful, whirlwind vacation. It took a few days to settle back in. The Greek economy is in crisis....

In reality, I've had plenty of opportunities to catch up on the blog. Unfortunately, I allowed my old acquaintance, Procrastination, to have a say in the scheduling.

Once again, the vacation was awesome. I got to spend some time bonding with the ones I love, made some new friends, and got to catch up with some old ones. I got to make a couple of those mountain meetings I love so much. I even got to share my favorite meeting in the world with Cupcake (it was open).

One of the things I miss from being back home is attending the Cornerstone Church services. I suppose YouTube is the next best thing.... Here's this week's sermon.


And here's the thought from Today's Gift...

Let the gentle bush dig its root deep and spread upward to split one boulder. —Carl Sandburg

There is a fable about the sun and wind having a contest to see who can get the old man to take his coat off first. The wind blows fiercely, but the old man just pulls his coat tighter around him. Finally, the wind gives up and the sun comes out. The sun shines a steady warm light down on the old man, who soon takes his coat off.

More and better things are accomplished in this world by kindness and gentleness than by force. When we find ourselves most frustrated, it is often because we are trying to force certain things to happen. Our own patient and steady desire to grow, fed by the love and kindness of others, will not be stopped by anything or anyone. Our own gentleness is a powerful force in our lives. It is like the gentle bush that grows through granite.

Time for bed and then another long day at work. Hope you have a great night and a blessed day tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cornerstone Church Sermon 06-03-12: Stories Jesus Told


I'm so excited about this new series from Cornerstone. It centers around the biblical parables that Jesus told and how they apply to us today. Spiritually and in everyday life. Doubly excited that Cupcake and I were actually there to see it live for a change!

Still on vacation and having an absolute blast. It's not often that we get to see my family so I'm making sure to make the most out of every second.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

That Time of Year!

I've posted this quite a bit, but since a lot of new people pass through... Here's a vid from last year's June-Cation. Starting tomorrow, our next week and a half is going look quite like this! See y'all in Bama...



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Forgiving the Plow

The cut worm forgives the plow. —William Blake


Would anyone believe that rain abuses grass, or accuse roots, hungry for a better hold on life, of digging too far into earth's flesh? And if the earth should have to quake, would anyone blame it for cracking here and there? Look closely at the small world of busy life overturned in the garden each spring. No ant there curses another bug, and no worm curses itself. Though they can neither speak nor think, even small creatures know enough to accept their pain as a natural part of life. Why, then, should we waste time blaming others, or ourselves, for the natural sensations of life?


Getting ready for bed.... One more day before we begin our journey! Still lots to do, too. I can say that I finally got my hair cut for the trip and it feels great.


It really is going to be awesome getting out of NOLA for a while and being in the country!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cornerstone Church Podcast, Norman Vaughan, and Today's Gift

Couldn't find the YouTube posting for Sunday's Cornerstone service, but I did find the podcast. What's really awesome is that I'll get to see it live this Sunday! I've only been to one service and that was the first in the "Old Habits Die Hard" series. Very excited to go again with my bro and his fam. And it'll be Sarah's first time going.



The motto of the late, great adventurer Colonel Norman Vaughan was, "Dream big and dare to fail." He's a personal hero and I thought of him immediately when I read the entry in Today's Gift...

The only people who never fail are those who never try. —Ilka Chase


A boy once asked his grandfather how he had become so happy and successful in his life. "Right decisions," replied his grandfather. The boy thought for a while and then asked a second question, "But how do you learn to make right decisions?" The grandfather answered quickly with a twinkle in his eye, "Wrong decisions!" We, too, will learn from our "wrong decisions," our mistakes. Whenever we try anything, there is always the possibility of failure. We must learn to not let this keep us from trying. When we are willing to try, we have already conquered our fear. We can grow no matter what the outcome is.


Here's an interview with the Colonel from a documentary that came out a good while back. Very inspiring stuff.




Well. I have to say that I am very happy with what I've read and seen tonight. Today was great too. Got alot accomplished with Cupcake in preparation for our trip. Still have to get through two more days of work, however. No worries... Goodnight!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not. —Ralph Waldo Emerson


The little rabbit stood alone, watching her family and friends hop and skip about her in the forest, playing her favorite rabbit game. Try as she might, each time she attempted to join in, she tripped about awkwardly. When this happened, the other rabbits laughed uproariously at her and called her "Grace." Soon even she forgot her real name. But in the moments when Grace was alone, she danced around the trees with ease. She was as smooth and graceful as any ballerina. An old owl sat high above her one night, watching her intently. The moonlight streamed through the treetops like a soft spotlight and he sat and watched as little Grace moved in and out of the moonbeams. Finally he said, "Grace, you are more graceful than any creature I've ever seen." Grace was startled that someone had been watching her, but listened carefully to the wise owl's words as he continued. "You have carried this beauty within you all the time, but locked it inside when you tried too hard." If we remember to relax and trust in ourselves, we, too, will discover that we are able.


What a lovely message from Today's Gift! (Pretty sure that owl would"ve eaten the rabbit, tho...)


We had a great Memorial Day. Some of us hung out by a friend's pool. It was a really good time and I'm glad I was off to make it out. We must remember, however, that this day was set aside to honor our country's fallen heroes.


Click the link to go to the PBS Memorial Day Concert page.


Given the nature of this blog,
I wasn't sure how appropriate
it would be to add a pic of everyone.
Just picture alot of people doing this... ;)













Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Caterpillar and the Tunnel

If your life is ever going to get better, you'll have to take risks. There is simply no way you can grow without taking chances. —David Viscott


One sunny day a caterpillar who was afraid of the dark came to a tunnel, which lay squarely in its path. It had a choice of going back where it started, or summoning the courage to crawl into the darkness. "What shall I do?" wondered the caterpillar. "If I go back home, I won't get where I want to go, but I'm so afraid!"

Just then, a voice called out from the tunnel. "I can hear you, Mr. Caterpillar. I am Mr. Beetle. I am here in the tunnel and I can see the other end. If you come through, you won't lose your fear of the dark, but you will get where you want to go."

We are all like the caterpillar once in a while. But if we let our fear stop us from doing things, which are necessary to our growth, we will never realize what courage we really have.

Wow. I am really starting to dig the daily passages from Today's Gift-Family Meditations! Some are like little fables. All apply to almost everyone. I think I'll start sharing these more often. They're a little more uplifting than the other daily thought books... in my opinion.


Well. I got two days off, two more work days, then vacation! I'm praying for a nice, laid back time with Cupcake and my family (who I rarely get to see). Very excited about that! Plus some good ole fashioned mountain meetings... Woot!

That caterpillar story reminded me of a Cure song. Not incredibly related to one another. Just made me think of it.


Good night and God Bless!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Reed and the Oak

An oak and a reed were arguing about their strength. When a strong wind came up, the reed avoided being uprooted by bending and leaning with the gusts of wind. But the oak stood firm and was torn up by the roots. —Aesop


Within each of us, as in the reed and the oak, is a single characteristic, which is both our strongest and weakest trait. The bending which keeps the reed alive makes it weak, we might think. Some of us see both sides of every argument and are good team players, fair judges, and compassionate friends. But like the reed - always bending to the needs of others - we may never know what we want or who we are.Some of us believe we are like the oak: strong and tough and successful in the face of most difficulty. But we may never learn to accept flaws in ourselves.We are wise to remember that no trait is strong or weak, but we make it so by how we use it. We can use our strength to stand straight in the face of hardship, and we can use our strength to bend.


We talked about this months ago in a Mustard Seed meeting, and I read about it years ago in The Tao of Pooh (highly recommended)... When we take a good, hard, and more importantly, honest look at ourselves, we discover our strengths and weaknesses. An even closer look can reveal how those weaknesses could be used to make us stronger. Like the reed that bends in the wind.


And supposed strengths that are misused eventually bring us down. I like how the thought describes a trait as neither strong nor weak... it's how we apply it.


Goodnight!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

My friend Riversurfer posted this from another website earlier. Most of it describes me only too well! I need to re-read this daily...

1. GIVE UP YOUR NEED TO ALWAYS BE RIGHT

There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. GIVE UP YOUR NEED FOR CONTROL

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, co-workers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu

3. GIVE UP ON BLAME

Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. GIVE UP YOUR SELF-DEFEATING SELF-TALK

Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle

5. GIVE UP YOUR LIMITING BELIEFS

About what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle

6. GIVE UP COMPLAINING

Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. GIVE UP THE LUXURY OF CRITICISM

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. GIVE UP YOUR NEED TO IMPRESS OTHERS

Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. GIVE UP YOUR RESISTANCE TO CHANGE

Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.
“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls”
Joseph Campbell

10. GIVE UP LABELS

Stop labelling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer

11. GIVE UP ON YOUR FEARS

Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. GIVE UP YOUR EXCUSES

Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. GIVE UP THE PAST

I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. GIVE UP ATTACHMENT

This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another, attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. GIVE UP LIVING YOUR LIFE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPECTATIONS

Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves. You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Round-Up 5-21-12

Hey peeps. Just going through my Monday rounds and found my Cornerstone sermon from yesterday... The Book of James- Week 6. Still in the process of viewing it, but I figured I'd go ahead and post it. Another early day tomorrow so I'll need to turn in soon.



I was looking at today's thought, Cupcake liked the meditation, so I'm posting both because I thought both were really good....


Thought for the Day-


One of the finest things about A.A. is the sharing. Sharing is a wonderful thing because the more you share the more you have. In our old drinking days, we didn't do much sharing. We used to keep things to ourselves, partly because we were ashamed, but mostly because we were selfish. And we were very lonely because we didn't share. When we came into A.A., the first thing we found was sharing. We heard other alcoholics frankly sharing their experiences with hospitals, jails, and all the usual mess that goes with drinking. Am I sharing?


Meditation-


Character is developed by the daily discipline of duties done. Be obedient to the heavenly vision and take the straight way. Do not fall into the error of calling "Lord, Lord," and doing not the things that should be done. You need a life of prayer and meditation, but you must still do your work in the busy ways of life. The busy person is wise to rest and wait patiently for God's guidance. If you are obedient to the heavenly vision, you can be at peace.


Years ago I learned about "the Triangle". It basically represents the balance between work, rest, and play. One is just as important as the other in life. Where is there progress without work? Where is there rejuvenation and healing without rest? Or where can someone experience the simplest and grandest joys in life without play?


Well. That's alot to chew on and I've certainly been enlightened! Sarah's flight got canceled today so we get to spend one more evening together for the week. Gonna sign off, but I hope you have a great night and a blessed tomorrow...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Cupcake, Seafood, and Barnabas Collins

Work went well, but the highlight of my day was definitely my date with Cupcake! I raced over to shower, we then went to Jaeger's Seafood for dinner. We sat and chatted over our salads, crabmeat au gratin, and gigantic freakin' seafood platter. I certainly wont have to worry about lunch tomorrow.

After that we went to Elmwood Theater to see Dark Shadows. A hilarious rethinking of the show that aired from 1966 to 1971 and the 70's theatrical versions. Johnny Depp certainly does the late Jonathan Frid justice as Barnabas Collins. His brilliant delivery of archaic jargon almost made the movie for me all by itself. No studio mikes hanging in camera view or wobbly sets either. Best of all though, Cupcake liked it and I got to hold her hand throughout!









Definitely wanna see it again. If for no other reason than to see which original cast cameos I missed.

Time to head to bed now, however. One more day of work and I'm free for a couple of days. And then a vacation right around the corner! :)

Goodnight....

Friday, May 18, 2012

It Takes a Village

We're in A.A. for two main reasons: to keep sober ourselves and to help others to keep sober. It's a well-known fact that helping others is a big part of keeping sober yourself. It's also been proved that it's very hard to keep sober all by yourself. A lot of people have tried it and failed. They come to a few A.A. meetings and then stay sober alone for a few months, but usually they eventually get drunk. Do I know that I can't stay sober successfully alone?


I know that for me, it's taken the help of a whole network of people to stay sober. From my sponsor, to my family and friends, my Higher Power, my fellow AA members, those that I do service work with and for... Heck. Sometimes just a stranger I talk to on the street. You may say it's taken a village to save a drunk.


Bad things tend to happen when I try to solve all of my problems on my own.


Well. It's pushing midnight and I have to be up early. Still haven't taken a shower either. Have a great night and a fantastic tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cornerstone Church- The Book of James Week 5


That's the latest sermon from my favorite church! On a different note....

A friend of mine at work asked me today if I couldn't just have a couple of drinks and then stop. Or if I realized that when I've had too much to drink, I can just call it a night. The best way I could answer that was by saying that he obviously had an "on/off" switch. I don't. I drink until I can't physically or financially do it anymore.

That's why I had to stop.

Gotta get up extra early tomorrow. Gonna watch the rest of Duck Dynasty then turn in. Y'all have yourselves a great night!

God Bless.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Friends and Family

Having gotten over drinking, we have only just begun to enjoy the benefits of A.A. We find new friends, so that we are no longer lonely. We find new relationships with our families, so that we are happy at home. We find release from our troubles and worries through a new way of looking at things. We find an outlet for our energies in helping other people. Am I enjoying these benefits of A.A.?


I have found many friends in the program! People from literally all walks of life that you would never normally find yourself stopping and shaking hands with on the street. Businessmen, doctors, celebrities... some are people who don't have a pot to piss in. But we are all united in the program and under a common goal. Saving ourselves... and each other.


My family life is so much better too. I talk to family members that I haven't talked to in years. Some family I never really talked to that I'm always glad to hear from now. Relationships with my close family are better than ever and Cupcake and I are earnestly working on things. :)


Gonna head to bed early so I can see Sarah off tomorrow. Have a great night!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

To Teresa... a wonderful mom, grandmom, nanny and friend! Debra for giving birth to me and showing me firsthand what a wild lifestyle can lead to. And certainly not least, Lacie for raising the two most beautiful girls in the world!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Everything Must Go

Just saw the Will Ferrell movie Everything Must Go and while at one time living outside with nothing but a recliner, a George Foreman grill, and a buttload of Pabst Blue Ribbon may have appealed to me, it makes finding a company with a good 401k plan rather more difficult than it is now.

Ferrell is an alcoholic who loses his high paying job after a series of drunken incidents. Upon his arrival home, he sees that all his stuff is on the lawn and all the locks are changed on the house. This triggers a 3 day binge while living in his front yard.

I could identify with the character. The desperation he felt when he couldn't buy alcohol... the relief he felt when he could. The unrealistic thinking. Disregard for consequences. Detoxing. Buying a little time and squandering it all on the pursuit for booze.

Didn't see much about AA except for the occasional reference to months or sponsor, but that may have been more out of respect for the program and its policy of non-promotion.

Been a great, rainy day. Work went well. Got to watch a relevant... and sometimes funny... movie with Cupcake.

Think I'll go ahead and get ready to turn in. Goodnight all!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Rainy Day

I love the rain and thunder. It's hell to walk through to get to work, but beautiful from the porch. Just sitting here at the apartment reading today's thought...

We can depend on those members of any group who have gone all out for the program. They come to meetings. They work with other alcoholics. We don't have to worry about their slipping. They're loyal members of the group. I'm trying to be a loyal member of the group. When I'm tempted to take a drink, I tell myself that if I did I'd be letting down the other members who are the best friends I have. Am I going to let them down, if I can help it?

Not only would I be letting them down, but myself and my loved ones. That's part of where I find my strength. Cupcake and I will be visiting them in less than a few weeks! Gonna see a LOT of family, and I can't wait. Can't wait to spend some quality time with her too. :)

Gotta get ready for work. Late night coming up...

Have a great day, everyone!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Not Losing Me


I don't like my interests being associated
with my past just because it was "pre-drinking".
The Cure is my favorite group.




And ya know what? Doctor Who is the best damned television show of all time.
Storage Wars is a close second. LOL.



This is my favorite book.
You like Douglas Adams?
Terry Pratchcett and Neil Gaiman
more than live up to the legacy.

And spicy ahi rolls are still my favorite food.

Sushi!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

10 Things I'm Powerless Over in Alcohol (Revisited, But very Important!)

This one is going to be a downer. It will sound like a pity party (and perhaps it will be). Any active users out there can take it as a cautionary piece, though. So I'll print it.

I met with my sponsor after work. Showed him my list of things I felt powerless over in active alcoholism. I decided to show it to him before posting it here. He liked it, and we discussed it in-depth, but he was looking for something a little different. I'll go into that in a minute.... And show you my list.

After we met, I called Teresa and dad. Talked to them for a few.

After I got off the phone and continued walking back to the place, an overwhelming feeling of loneliness came over me. It was a very palpable, almost physical feeling of pain. I say "was". I mean "is". These past few weeks have been horrendous in some ways. An emotional roller coaster. Not everything has been bad, though. I've had some really good times. I haven't let the bad effect my recovery. Actually recovery helps. I don't know what I'd do if I weren't active in the program. Well. I do know. I'd be drunk right now.

It's a beautiful day, it's Halloween weekend, and I have no one to share it with. Or that wants to share it with me. It's nobody's fault but my own. I know that. But it still hurts like hell. Words can't describe how horrible it feels to have friends and the person you love most turn their backs on you. To be an outsider and no one will allow you to even look in. Take that as a word of advice that I can give if you are out there currently suffering the disease. It may not happen, but usually it does. You lose people over your addiction.

When I was active, I was powerless over just about every aspect of my life. I showed my sponsor my list, and while he thought it was good stuff, he wanted something more specific. I think it's important to note that these are things I feel I was powerless over because I was too damn stubborn to work a real program and fix them. I'm not using "powerlessness" as an out or a justification. The list doesn't exactly match up with the subject, either, but I still got a lot out of writing it. Maybe you could consider them moresymptoms of a disease I was powerless over.

1) Lack of control over emotions. Anger, frustration, anxiety. When active or even sober and not recovering, I've found that I crumpled to these emotions very easily.

2) Finding solace and escape in trivial things. Facebook, Doctor Who, video games. My sponsor said they weren't bad things to enjoy. Just not as a crutch and not to get away from feelings and reality.

3) Inability to express emotion or love. This is something that has developed over many years and was compounded by alcoholism.

4) Taking things like hobbies, etc. to extremes. Example: Being on vacation and spending more quality time with the camera than the one I should be enjoying it with.

5) Compulsive and impulsive behavior. Regardless of the consequences.

6) Withdrawal and seclusion from social interaction and from those I love. Such as coming home from work and automatically going to hide in my own little world to avoid facing people or situations.

7) Doing things that hurt the ones I love. Whether intentionally or not, I still did some very hurtful things. Lying, manipulating.... You name it, I am accountable for it.

8) Complacency. Before I realize it, it's already been there for a while. This has seriously hurt any attempt at recovery I've made in the past.

9) Losing interest in things that seem too challenging.... or even scary. Facing my problems head-on being a big one.

10) Lack of patience. Desire for instant gratification.

I was told that these are problems almost every alcoholic faces, and was assured that it gets so much better as you work the steps. I'm on number one now. I was also told to keep the list and make a portfolio from all my written work. As I progress, I'll be able to look back and see just how far I've come.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

More of Jay's NOLA (In Recovery)

NOLA.... New Orleans Louisiana. Back in October I had posted a few long messages on my Facebook page. When I realized it may not be an appropriate place to write about being a former drunk, I started this blog. The first post was called "Sushi and Preachers". I couldn't have been more thankful for the outpouring of support from my family and friends. Here's the pic from my lunch on the Riverwalk... The day I started doing this.


I quickly fell into a routine of getting up everyday, going straight to a noon meeting, getting lunch, writing, and then going to work. Those days were nice in a bittersweet way, but life has a way of stacking other things upon you. Some of my favorite lunches were when I ate Subway in front of St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans says,
"Eat Fresh!"

New Year's Eve! I was so looking for something to bring in the New Year. I was quite lonely at the time and really wanted to do something on that special evening. What I found was one of my favorite hangouts in New Orleans. The Columns. It's a historic house made into a hotel. I listened to live jazz and drank cranberry and soda (with a twist of lime) all night.

Your's truly taking his own pic up against...
a column.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cornerstone Podcast- The Book of James Pt 4 of 7

Another late, super-chaotic evening and I have to be up early again. Not writing much because I still need to shower, but guess whaaaaat..... Yesterday's sermon from Cornerstone Church has been posted!




Thought I'd share! God Bless and goodnight.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

No Rest for the Weary

The way sometimes seems long and weary. So many people today are weary. The weariness of others must often be shared by me. The weary and the heavy laden, when they come to me, should be helped to find the rest that I have found. There is only one sure cure for world-weariness and that is turning to spiritual things. In order to help bring about the turning of the weary world to God, I must dare to suffer, dare to conquer selfishness in myself, and dare to be filled with spiritual peace in the face of all the weariness of the world.


Sometimes the road forward seems endless and overwhelming. I used to feel so weary and hopeless. I was really getting tired of listening to myself and putting up with my own attitude. The big difference between me and other people was that they could get away from me when my behavior became too selfish, boastful, or judgemental.


Finding some serenity with my Higher Power and the program has made me somewhat more comfortable with myself and others. It's easier to deal with other people and things that life throws everyday.


I've met so many sad, down-trodden folks in the program and on the streets. Today I feel better centered and self-aware enough to help those who come along much more effectively.


Got back late and have an early day tomorrow so I am anxious to get some rest.


Have a great night and a blessed day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sneaky Flaws of Character

I had to show off and boast so that people would think I amounted to something, when, of course, both they and I knew that I really didn't amount to anything. I didn't fool anybody. Although I've been sober for quite a while, the old habit of building my self up is still with me. I still have a tendency to think too well of myself and to pretend to be more than I really am. Am I always in danger of becoming conceited just because I'm sober?


I've always had a problem with boastfulness and building myself up to look better in front of my friends, family, heck even people I didn't like. Sure that behavior may make you more interesting to some for a while, but people grow weary of that habit very quickly... And it is a habit. For me that behavior was almost compulsive.


I've gotten alot better about it in recovery. Still find that character flaw try to resurface sometimes... When I don't even realize it. Those old habits can be very sneaky and sometimes right under the surface. That's why vigilance can never be overtstated in AA.


Well. Time to call it a night! Hope you have a good one and God Bless!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Sigh.

I'm at a crossroads and may have to make some seriously difficult decisions. Pray for me folks...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Never Enough


My favorite group of all time.... And one of my favorite songs. Seems to sum my life up perfectly.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jay's New Orleans

Best foodstand ever! Great crawfish pies and meatpies.
The BBQ shrimp nachos rule too.
Whether you want a sno-ball or delicious
carnival type food... This is the place.
And VERY affordable.

Riverview Park. A source of great serenity
for me. I've been here many times with my
Big Book in hand. It's very relaxing to watch the
ships go by down the Mississippi or just biking along
the levee.

And now it is festival season... My favorite time of year
in my favorite city! When I was a lonely drunk, I couldn't
enjoy stuff like this. I just isolated myself.

More New Orleans to come! Have a good night and God Bless...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cupcake Revisited

Given my new lease on life, and endeavoring to reconnect with my beloved Sarah, I thought I'd repost this classic.

My sponsor said it might not be a good idea to talk too much about relationship stuff on my blog. This is something that has been weighing very heavily on me lately, so I feel that it would help to write about it. I'll try to make this the only full post I devote to what's going on.

About a month and a half ago I made a serious mistake. I let something that I had no business touching come between me and someone I love very very much. And it wasn't the first time. We were already sleeping apart with the understanding that I would be looking for another place. This came from another misadventure of mine not too long previously. Why I kept doing it, I don't know. I was a slave to alcohol, a dry drunk when sober, and too damn hard-headed to get real help. I did good things too. Don't get me wrong. Not all times were bad, but the person that I had turned into was not the real Jay. I was self-absorbed and only concerned with me. I had become miserable and it was no one's fault but my own, even though I tried to blame her. I said alot of things that I certainly didn't mean (and would certainly never say again).

We've been apart since then. She hasn't talked to me and I don't blame her.

Since I jumped headfirst into recovery, and have made real progress, I've regained my senses. Haven't had those in a while. With a clear head, it all started coming back. Why I love her. What I should've been doing all along and what I can be doing for her now. I'm sorry, Sweety, but I can't erase the past. I can, however, be the person you need right now and for as long as you'll let me. If it isn't too late.

I made her very sad for a very long time, and I would be honored if she would give me the opportunity to spend my life making it up to her.

What makes it even worse is that she's having a very difficult time. Several things have happened almost all at once (including me). All I want to do is hold her and try to get us through things together. Even from a distance, when she's hurting, I'm hurting. Trust me, there's no more helpless feeling in the world when someone you love is in a crisis and wont even let you in. I should be her rock through this, the one she turns to. But I effed it all up.

Like I said. I can be now. I'm getting myself back and I want to give it all to her. I don't think she reads this, but if she does...

I'm offering you a healthier, better me, Cupcake. And I swear to you that Jay is never going anywhere again unless it's by your side. I promised you something earlier tonight, and, whether you are talking to me or not, I'm going to keep that promise.