My Name is Tom B and I am alcoholic, drug addict. I'm addicted to anything that takes me out of myself, masks my self hatred & fear & allows me to shut down the shopping mall that's in my head. I'm a little over 3 years sober & I've been through the 12 steps, practice them on a daily basis & have taken guys through the steps. Thank God for that.
But lately I've been off my spiritual path, due to work, the death of my girl's best friend & (insert more excuses here).
KEEP YOUR GUARD UP!
This past Christmas season I was involved in preparation for
a Santa Claus church breakfast
for kids + their families! Saturday night we did a lot of
prep work, ie: chopping potatoes, slicing, and dicing ham, onions and such for
the Sunday 8-12 o'clock event!
I was the first one to arrive in the parish center kitchen,
started looking around for things like potatoes, chopping
Knives, etc.. Low and behold
Out of the corner of my eye what do I spy! A Styrofoam
First of all, I DO NOT claim to be any kind of Big Book
guru. I only share my experience, strength and hope. I want to give a big
thanks to God, my sponsor Terry M. from Hendersonville TN, Bj B.
I was going to get on here and complain about MORE RAIN and
MORE WATER in my basement... Blah, BlaH, BLAH... But then, a good friend of
mine came to mind, who is homeless. This man is clean and sober, travels around
the United States
helping other addicts, and is always positive. I slept in a warm bed last
night, with a roof over my head, and I have food in my belly today. I woke up
clean and sober this morning... God has given me another day!!! Life is never
as bad as I sometimes want to think it is. Thank you Bobby Ray for being such
an inspiration to me and others... God Bless You Brother!! ~Peace, Love and
Light To All!!! ♥ — Darlene T.
To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about it, or ignore.
It doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret. Letting go isn’t about
winning or losing. It’s not about pride, and its not about how you appear, and
it’s not about obsessing or dwelling on the past. Letting go isn't blocking
memories or thinking sad thoughts, and doesn’t leave emptiness, hurt, or
sadness. It’s not about giving in or giving up. Letting go isn’t about loss and
it’s not about defeat. To LET GO is to cherish memories, to overcome, move
on... AND LET GOD!! It is having an open mind in confidence for the future...
Having FAITH in your Higher Power. Letting go is learning, experiencing, and
growing. To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh,
made you cry, and made you grow. It’s about all that you have, all that you
had, and all that you will soon gain. Letting go is having the courage to
accept change, and the strength to keep moving. Letting go is growing up and
realizing that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy. Letting go is
knowing everything happens for a reason and its God's plan, not yours! To let
go is to open a door, to clear a path and let yourself free to the future... ♥
Negativity is a very nasty and contagious disease. Remove
yourself from all negative people, situations, and things. Choosing to be
positive will help you maintain a better attitude, better health, and mind set.
I feel there is good in just about everyone.. I prefer to
find & focus on that part of them. Sure I've seen unkindness.. egotistical..
Judgmental.. thoughtlessness.. etc. Sometimes I have to dig through the
murkiness of their masks to find the real person.. It's often through painful
lessons I learn. I find my place in their life.. sometimes that place is to be
walked on & trampled.. to be invisible until they need or want something..
but I wouldn't have it any other way. It keeps me humble.
Your job is not to worry, your job is simply to do the next
right thing! Let God do his job, and you do yours. The universe provides...
there is always enough. Things are just as they should be. ~STAY SOBER ~STAY
STRONG ~STAY IN THE SOLUTION .... ONE DAY AT A TIME!! ♥
Sometimes we do things.. say things.. think things.. that we
wish we hadn't.. They are all in the past.. we can't change them.. not ever. If
we realize our mistakes we can make amends.. we can learn how not to do them
again. We only have the moment that we are in now. It's us who have to make it
count & make it be the best it can be. Being grateful for the lesson's and
improving our integrity.. we give ourselves & the ones around us moments
worth remembering.. that were filled with better things.
12 Step Poem:
I took one step, began to moan
I can't do this on my own
I took two steps, began to pray
restore me God, today
I took three steps, gave up my will
maybe God loves me still
I took a fourth, I looked inside
Nothing more would I hide
And on the fifth, I said aloud
I've done some wrong, and I'm not proud
I took six steps, and got prepared
To lose the defects,
I was scared
Now I'm at seven, take them away
God for this
And on eight, the list was long
Amends to make for all the wrong
No Motherly Instinct
Family members used to tell me that I lacked the instinct of
a mother. I have a bunch of kids so that hurt. Being lost in the powerlessness
of addiction, I was on my own for ten years. I missed doctor’s appointments,
first days of school; other people cooked them hundreds of dinners that I
should have cooked. Something happened to me in those years that I seemingly
could not get back. My instinct was to chase the crack pipe or a bag of dope.
It was a part of me. It’s what I did, every day, day in and day out. Devotion
to their well- being was a job I lost to someone else.
Drugs cripple the mind so badly that while in addiction, I
actually told people I had no kids. My mind blocked it out. Rendered powerless
to a drug also rendered me powerless to every other broken aspect of my life.
Acting as if they didn’t exist was easier for my brain to accept I guess.
People say that “their kids helped them get clean” but I can say that knowing
that I ruined my kids’ lives kept me using drugs some days. I once went to take
a hit of crack and looked down at a picture of my son. I could not take the hit
before I turned his picture away from me. I couldn’t stand seeing a picture of
them, let alone live and in person anymore.
My grandfather grows a huge garden and cans vegetables the
old fashioned way every year. I remember watching the process. He said it
preserved the veggies for a long period of time and kept them from going to
waste. Just like my grandfather preserves food God preserved the good in me as
well. We burn brain cells and destroy our bodies in addiction but the
resilience I have seen in my life and other addicts is amazing. We are reminded
of our defects of character in the 12 steps but our assets are what help us
DEAL with the defects. I believe God vacuum seals our assets. Coming into
recovery, we break the seal open again.
The memory is long. I believe I chose to forget about my
kids as a defense mechanism. Forgetting does not erase the memory though. New
in recovery I would cry as I started remembering things about them. I
remembered my son dancing in the yard as a baby, with a sunhat on. I remembered
that he started talking before he was a year old and I called him “the smartest
boy alive.” I remembered being proud of him and being very protective. Vivid memories of all the kids rolled through
my mind. Some good, most were bad. The ones of my oldest son are the most
prevalent because he was with me for much longer than the others. My younger
son and daughters were only with me for short periods of time so I lacked the
same connection with them. I kept having kids and addiction placed them with my
family. Coming into recovery, I still lacked a connection with the younger
When I had 2 years clean and sober I started visiting the
kids on a weekly basis. All were happy to see me except for the oldest. He
would ignore me during the visits and play computer games. One day I handed him
my two year NA key tag. I thought he would be proud that I was clean. Instead,
he shrugged at it and tossed it on the table.
At three years clean a judge gave me back full custody. My
son was in the court room and he smiled when the judge said it. That year, I
gave my son my 3 year AA coin. He put it in his pocket. I was glad he didn’t
just toss it down. He was beginning to talk to me. He was starting to feel at
At five years clean and sober, I realized that my son was
addicted to drugs. Drastic action on my part had to be taken. Recovery had
taught me boundaries. Going to any length for my own recovery taught me to go
to any length for my son’s recovery. This meant I had to get out of the way. He
moved in with his father and decided to admit he is an addict and start a
recovery program. I see him frequently. He looks good and sounds good.
When he got a month clean, I gave him my five year AA coin
that said, “To thine own self be true.”
He looked at me like he finally understood the significance of the coin.
He smiled and placed it on his dresser.
How does the song go? Cat’s in the Cradle with the silver
spoon…I don’t even know what happened to the cradle I had for my son. If I saw
it I’d probably cry anyway. I can’t go back and do it again. This makes me want
to make today count though. Today is all we have. I know I didn’t lose my motherly instinct.
The fact that I worry about each and every one, tells me so. The fact that I
will go to any length to keep them from traveling the death road I traveled,
tells me so. Addiction can only take so much. It couldn’t get my soul. My soul
belongs to an even higher power. Thanks to that Higher Power, what was good in
me is STILL good and what is good in my son is STILL good, and recovery makes the
“Good” even BETTER!
I refuse to believe that on anyone's dying day that they will pride themselves on not leaving a written archive of how they found a power greater than themselves. A written archive that their family and friends can fondly refer to and remember. An archive that a new person or someone still searching can identify to and perhaps help bring a moment of clarity.
People worry of what others might think about them. But Heaven forbid they share what they are about!?!?
I refuse to believe that on anyone's dying day that they will pride themselves on not leaving a written archive behind.
There was a guy who was fed up with his hometown, so he
takes off to find another place to live. In a small town he sees an old man
raking leaves and ask him, "Hey, what's everybody like in this town?"
The old man asked, "What was everyone like in the last town you lived
in?" The guy said, "Ah, they were a bunch of assholes." The old
man said, "Well, there's a bunch of assholes here, too. " So the guy
goes on. Soon another guy asked the old man the same thing, "What's
everybody like here?
Emotions....................... Being sorry for myself is a
luxury I can't afford. We have surrounded ourselves with many luxuries to
enhance our lives: microwave ovens, big screen televisions, clothes, jewelry,
and so on. We may have purchased these items even if we couldn't really afford
them- just as long as we could have them and use them.
Some of the things that are important to us are our negative
emotions: depression, self-pity, selfishness, ungratefulness, or anger. But
what if we had to pay for the luxury of feeling each of these feelings?
It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the
journey that matters, in the end. Your goals lend direction to your life.
Without them you might flounder, uncertain of who you are and where you're
going. Goals can provide you with a source of confidence, motivate you, and give
you something to look forward to. Yet at some point, you need to sit back and
simply enjoy what you've accomplished. After all, what's the good of losing
weight if you can't buy new clothes and show your new body off?