Thursday, 31 March 2011

Wot no tec?

It's been an odd couple of days. Together with the Mrs and the boy I've spent some time living in one of those static caravans in Devon. Apparently you get your rewards in Devon, or was it heaven? Either way it's been a great few days, possibly due in some small part to the lack of wifi and a 3G connection.

I've got to admit the idea of no useable Internet connection filled me with more then a little dread as we set of down here, but it's been ok. Only just about ok mind. I need to make it clear, in no way do intend to chop in all my tec for half a potato and a wooly hat, but it was nice for a couple of days.

Tomorrow we head back home. Home with it's laptop, ipad and pc. Home with it's wonderful fullspeed broadband and big flat screen telly. It's been nice being away, but I love going home.

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Monday, 28 March 2011

PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED

We, of Alcoholics Anonymous, are many thousands of men and women who have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. To show other alcoholics PRECISELY HOW WE HAVE RECOVERED is the main purpose of this book. For them, we hope these pages will prove so convincing that no furthur aunthentication will be necessary. We think this account of our experiences will help everyone to better understand the alcoholic. Many do not comprehend that the alcoholic is a very sick person. And besides, we are sure that our way of living has its advantages for all.

Above is taken from the forward of the first edition Big Book. I wonder to myself yet again why some folk insist on taking issue with the whole Recovered thing. If you feel you haven't recovered then why not work the twelve steps as laid out in the Big Book, then you can recover. If you don't want to, that's up to you. Enjoy your recovering and please, please stop pissing and moaning about the people who have recovered.

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Saturday, 26 March 2011

I've won bugger all

I guess it must have been over ten years ago when I heard my Dad had won some money on the lottery. I hadn't seen him for quite a few years by then and had been flat out drinking and using for a long time with all the joys that come with that shit. The news of this win inspired me to track down my dear old Dad and rekindle our relationship, after all what else would a good son do?

Finding my dear old Dad wasn't that hard and soon I found myself chatting away and cunningly slipping in the lottery win enquiry. Turns out he pulled in quarter of a million pounds. My heart sang a happy tune as I envisioned a future filled with all I could drink, and all I could use. Sadly however, this was not to be the case.

You see my Dad had been paying more attention then  I realised. He gave me a oner and sent me on my way. He knew feeding me with a substantial cash flow would have more then likely killed me. It's a funny thing, at the time I didn't quite see it that way. In fact I didn't see it that way for quite a while. But now I do. A few years into my sobriety I got to make amends to my dear old Dad and this I can assure you is a wonderful thing. Now I do the lottery myself almost every week, I've won bugger all yet my life is mostly great.

Self Will

"The philosophy of self-sufficiency doesn't pay off.
Plainly enough, it is a bone-crushing juggernaut
whose final achievement is ruin.
Therefore, we can consider ourselves
fortunate indeed.
Each of us has had his own near-fatal encounter
with the juggernaut of self-will,
and has suffered enough under its weight to
look for something better."
Bill W., Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, pp. 37-8

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Great Obsession



"Most of us have been unwilling to admit we were real alcoholics. No person likes to think he is bodily and mentally different from his fellows. Therefore, it is not surprising that our drinking careers have been characterized by countless vain attempts to prove we could drink like other people. The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death."

Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 30

Really?

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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Twelve Steps of Sponsorship

1. I will not help you to stay and wallow in limbo.

2. I will help you to grow, to become more productive, by your definition.

3. I will help you become more autonomous, more loving of yourself, more
excited, less sensitive, more free to become the authority for your own
living.

4. I can not give you dreams or “fix you up” simply because I can not.

5. I can not give you growth, or grow for you. You must grow for yourself by
facing reality, grim as it may be at times.

6. I can not take away your loneliness or your pain.

7. I can not sense your world for you, evaluate your goals for you, tell you
what is best for your world; because you have your own world in which you
must live.

8. I can not convince you of the necessity to make the vital decision of
choosing the frightening uncertainty of growing over the safe misery of
remaining static.

9. I want to be with you and know you as a rich and growing friend; yet I
can not get close to you when you choose not to grow.

10. When I begin to care for you out of pity or when I begin to lose faith
in you, then I am inhibiting both for you and for me.

11. You must know and understand my help is conditional. I will be with you
and “hang in there” with you so long as I continue to get even the slightest
hint that you are still trying to grow.

12. If you can accept this, then perhaps we can help each other to become
what God meant us to be, mature adults, leaving childishness forever to the
little children of the world.

Tolerance

Tolerance

"
H
onesty with ourselves and others gets us sober,
but it is tolerance that keeps us that way.
In other words, once an alcoholic fully realizes
that he can't get well alone,
he will somehow find a way to get well and stay well
in the company of others.
It has been that way from the beginning of AA
and probably always will be so."

Bill W., Letter, 1943
As Bill Sees It, p. 312

Saturday, 19 March 2011

The first step

I'm a married man, a happily married man. It's true, it's also something I never thought I'd say. So what you may well ask is the key to this happy marriage I lay claim to? The answer my dear friends is quite simple. I have over the course of time developed the skills needed to admit freely that not only do I know very little, but also I'm wrong. Even when I know for an absolute certain fact I'm right, I happily tell the Mrs I'm wrong and in fact dispute damming evidence she is right, always. The result is I'm a happily married man. Simple eh?

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Friday, 18 March 2011

Pushing trains

On a day like today. One of those days when I can be a little over sensitive I find it oddly reassuring that pushing trains helps. Yep, pushing trains. One of the many, many benefits of having a three year old son, is an abundance of trains to push. I like pushing trains.

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Just a thought, soulution

~*~Thought For The Day~*~

Solution
^*^*^
"The tremendous fact for every one of us
Is that we have discovered a common solution.  
We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree,
and upon which we can join in brotherly and
harmonious action."
Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 17

^*^*^*^*^

Whats all that clicking?


Change

"Let us never fear needed change. Certainly we have to discriminate between changes for worse and changes for better. But once a need becomes clearly apparent in an individual, in a group, or in AA as a whole, it has long since been found out that we cannot stand still and look the other way.
"Bill W., Box 1980: The AA Grapevine, July 1965 As Bill Sees It, p. 115

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Thursday, 17 March 2011

The gentle onset of rage

I'm in the position where I'm not only a car driver but also a motor cyclist. I've driven cars and rode bikes since I was a teenager and over the years have seen some blinding examples of what I like to call "twats" on the road. Without a doubt I see more of them when I'm on the bike then I do in the car.

A couple of days ago riding home from work I came across an absolute blinder. Often the aforementioned twats will be driving big expensive motors (although not always). On this day the twat drove a nice new merc.

One of the best bits of advice I've ever had is to expect everyone on the road to do something stupid. I stand on this guidance and I've got to say I'm seldom let down. This was the case with the merc. Obviously the twat in the car was pre occupied with his phone call, as was I when he sliced in front of me changing lanes like some demented bastard.

Horn a tooting I hoped for at least some sort of recognition, but no, the phone call continued. What a little fucker this man surely was and I suspect still is. As I began to feel the gentle onset of road rage I eased off and watched the twat swerving down the road, over taking, undertaking and generally doing what he wanted.

I Iet it, and him go. Now two days on I find myself wondering if I should have in fact quietly followed him. Found out where he lived and burned his fucking house to the ground.

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sometimes happy

And then again some days are happy days. As with my post yesterday, being happy or being sad is absolutely no refection or for that matter indication of me level of gratitude.



For so long I believed the lie that emotional sobriety was indicated by a steady almost lifeless state, flat lining if you will. I thought that this was a direct result of a soul filled with gratitude. I now know this to be a pile of proverbial shit.



Emotional sobriety is a living moving thing. It involves good days and bad days alike. The gratitude comes from seeing this and rolling with it no matter what. Today I've mostly been happy.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Sometimes Sad

I wonder where this bullshit you must always be happy thing comes from. That some how gratitude has a direct link to a happy smiley face.

That my friend is simply not the truth. Sometimes I'm sad, sometimes I don't want to smile.

This is not an indication I no longer have gratitude in my life, I'm just sad, thats all.

Bedford Hills

BEDFORD HILLS — Anyone who has ever loved a drunk knows how much a pledge to quit drinking is worth. But these are not ordinary broken promises. The quit-drinking oaths that a certain Bill Wilson swore to his wife 80 years ago on the family Bible are now considered so valuable to the Alcoholics Anonymous story and to American history in general that they can no longer be entrusted merely to safe storage here at the couple's historic home and grounds.

"Those archives are a national treasure," said Manhattan writer Susan Cheever, who used the archives extensively for her 2004 biography of Wilson. "AA is one of the most extraordinary things that has ever happened in our world, and he was one of the three or four most important men of the 20th century." A $175,000 campaign is under way to permanently protect the famous broken oaths and some 120,000 other writings of Wilson, the co-founder of AA, and his wife, Lois, the co-founder of the Al-Anon movement for families of alcoholics.

"In the grand scheme of things, these are priceless," said Annah Perch, executive director of the Stepping Stones Foundation, the nonprofit that manages the Wilson legacy. "The sooner this stuff goes off-site and becomes microfilmed and digitized, the sooner we will be safe from a natural disaster." The idea is not only to make duplicates of the original documents as insurance against fire or flood, but to create a digital archive and put it online. That would make the archive much more widely available than it is now. As it is today, scholars and authors must apply for access to the documents.

For everyone else, getting close to the first couple of recovery is restricted to a few items that were recently made available at a new Welcome Center on the Stepping Stones grounds. The listing of their Dutch Colonial home on the National Register of Historic Places helped raise the profile of their mission in the middle part of the last decade. But the real impact of the 40 years the couple lived locally continues to play out in the lives of recovering alcoholics and their families.

Wilson proclaimed alcoholism a disease three decades before the American Medical Association did. The 12-step recovery solution that Wilson and co-founder Dr. Bob Smith created reversed the historically held belief that hard drunks could not stay sober, and it became the standard treatment in U.S. hospitals and clinics. "It is the only way we have to deal with addiction, and we live in an age of addiction," said Cheever, whose memoir of her father, John Cheever, documented the writer's battle with alcohol. "Bill Wilson truly changed the way we think about ourselves." All the more reason to protect the archives, said filmmaker Kevin Hanlon.

"I think it is impossible to understand Bill Wilson's life without these remarkable archives," said Hanlon, who recently finished shooting in Bedford Hills for a documentary about Wilson. "It is a story that resonates for an awful lot of people who don't suffer from alcoholism or know people who are alcoholics, although it strikes me how few people there are who don't know someone who has struggled with alcohol."

About one-third of the archive collection has already been sent to the company doing the preservation work with $25,000 that has already been raised for the effort. "We had so much faith in our donor community in how they have responded to our needs in the past that we started the project without all of the money in hand," Perch said.

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Monday, 14 March 2011

Sometimes things just make me smile

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I'll be there

Next year the Twelve Step fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous will be holding it's first ever world convention outside the United States. I've been privileged to be involved in this for a while now and it really is an amazing thing to be able to give to the fellowship I love.

However, the more service I give, the more I learn just how much unnecessary bureaucratic bullshit flows through our most wonderful service structure. I guess that's what you get for letting a bunch of junkies and piss heads run things.

Either way, the CA world convention is coming to the UK and providing I don't go absolutely in fucking sane serving on the committee that's setting it up, I'll be there. I may even smile.

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Sunday, 13 March 2011

one of those days

Once in a great while I have one of them days I simply wish would never end, today was one of those days.

Loading the Dobbo clam into our trusty Almera we set off out this afternoon not really knowing where we were going, we were just going. As it happens we do that quite a lot and usually end up wondering round the woods.

Today we ended up at the Sammy Miller Bike Museum http://www.sammymiller.co.uk/ and came face to face with a real life space goat! Turns out space goats are quite friendly creatures and gave no sign or attack mode at any point.

I do believe I like space goats.

Shortly after the space goat introduction we headed in for a cuppa where Mrs Dobbo and the Boy jumped aboard an old Fordson Major and the photo shoot started.

I remember driving a tractor much like the one pictured in my often miss spent youth and I can report if you can drive one of those things, and survive, you can drive anything. I'm thankful this one was not running. With it's lack of everything elf and safety related it would have probably killed my family in a split second flip.

So with my Fordson Major surviving family we set down with a nice cuppa while Jack bounced around the play park running round like a complete nut nut and loving every minute of it. Twas good stuff and no mistake.


The day had been a good one and as It drew towards an end I jumped on the trusty old CB and took her out for a gentle run in the afternoon sun.

It's not often I get to ride the bike just for the sake of it, and it's not exactly a sports bike, but nevertheless enjoyment was to be had, and I had it.

I finished off having a lovely bath and tucking Jack up in bed. It really has been one of those days to remember.  





 

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Looking for what?

From time to time I hear folk talking about this whole spiritual way of life thing and how it's a journey, a search for enlightenment. But what's enlightenment? What exactly is it these people are looking for. I've asked and no one seems to be able to give me a straight answer. Maybe it's down to me to find my own version of enlightenment and discover what I'm searching for, maybe I've already found it. Kind of makes sense, seeing as I never knew what I was looking for in the first place, how would I know if I'd found it?

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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

I'm not tempted to try at all

On May 18th, 2009 I hooked into a micro blogging site that goes by the name of Twitter. I'd been a bit of a Facebook plodder for a little while but some how it lacked the freedom I was to latter discover on Twitter, mostly because facebook people were friends of mine, or at least they had been at some time, or might be. Either way, chances were they knew who I was.

But Twitter was different, so very very different. In many ways it's like really good sex. The people who don't get it, don't get it. Nevertheless, I'm tempted to try and explain. Actually, I'm not tempted to try at all, so I won't.

Truth is I still hook into both these mighty social networks every day. On one I get to see what some of my friends are up to and take advantage of what has become one of the worlds greatest amend finding machines. On the other I get to see what some of my friends are up to and ramble on as if no one is listening. I like that and hopefully I'll continue to like it for years to come, God forbid I need to start talking to people face to face again.   

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The overwhelming smell of oxtail soup

I well remember the last time I used. I sat in a prison cell in Camp Hill and watched my cell mate spread butter over his kit kat wrapper (to help the gear run better they say) and drop the smallest bag of heroin know to man on the foil. Three of four lines latter and he was finished, yep it really was that small. Then in what can only be described as a fit of pure kindness and generosity, he gave me the tube to smoke.

What followed kind of summed up just about all of my using. I unfolded the tube and tried as hard as I could to spot a trace of the drug I craved. I hovered above the foil and put a flame under it, then in a flash of  butter and burning nasal hair it was all over. That was on the 3/3/03, eight years ago tomorrow and I haven't used since.

I have absolutely no desire to go back to the life I lived then, it really was shit for so very many reasons, but I can forget that from time to time, I can forget the truth. The overwhelming smell of oxtail soup as I cooked up yet another snide bag of gear, all those half pints of back wash I would fling down my neck just to get a drink into me, the pot that had been soaked in and or pushed up God knows what on its way to my sticky paws. I was never much good at it yet I tried for so many years.

So as I trudge towards the eight year mark I think it's important for me to remember, important for me to make sure I never get to the point where I delude myself that my using was good, fun or even slightly enjoyable. It wasn't, it was a disaster from day one and it's a sure certain fact it would be a disaster if I ever did it again, thank God I don't have to.