21 January 2018

To Be is here and there

Thoughts for "To Be" is Here and There" came about after receiving an honour from the Clean And Sober Not Dead website. With everything I have tried to accomplish with my sobriety, this award means the most because I got it for just being plain old me.

To Be” is here and there

racing through the day
obligations and commitments
doing things to achieve
a success which can never be reached
reaching for the moon
once reached… it isn’t good enough
now the stars are the goal
but… what happens when
that destiny is found

can’t being “here” be OK
do we really need to get over “there”
more we do… more we achieve
that “there” becomes “here”
and we chase a new “there”
a new level of success
only to be found by doing
somewhere along the way
we lose who we are

no longer can we exist
with just being at ease
we forgotten the innocence
of just… being
there is a reason why
we’re called human beings
and not human doings
maybe its time to quit doing
and just start… being

20 January 2018

Dreams of Yesterday

Oh the Dreams Of Yesterday, for me they will forever stay.  Great job or should I say career? A wonderful home, with fancy cars.  Everything that was preached to me as a child... so many dreams, but like the end of this poem wonders...
... or is life just one... continuing nightmare... where the true evil... is part of the dream

Dreams of Yesterday

remembering the dreams of yesterday
seen in a peaceful sleep
dreams with no worries
stress free… wonderful sleep
it seems so long ago
a war in a mind
that never is at rest
a mind occupied with thoughts
beyond… control

sheets thrown around
pillows sprawled across the floor
wake up in a cold sweat
wondering if another day
can be survived
spent so long being down
forgot how to feel…
happiness… love…

remembering the dreams of yesterday
at least… maybe they’re memories
of innocence and…
euphoric comfort
will those dreams ever return
or is life just one
continuing nightmare
where the true evil
is part of the dream

19 January 2018

Living Within Our Means

For years the start of a new year, for me, was the start of stressful times. The joy of celebrating Christmas was over and now the reality was setting in. How was I going to pay for all of this? I gave the kids some amazing gifts… everyone of them was paid for with a credit card. Not one card, not even two cards… at least three cards, maybe four.

The time was coming that payments would be due. Of course, there was no way I could pay them off in full. Not all four anyway. Hell, I couldn’t pay one of them off, why even think about four? So began the minimum payment cycle on all of them. Months would pass and it seemed like I hadn’t paid anything on them. My checking account was getting smaller but the balance on those cards didn’t seem to be shrinking at all.

I look back at those days and see how insane they were. I was trying to buy love. What was really amazing was how much control children had over me. They were great manipulators and knew how to fill my head with shame for broken promises throughout the year. I can’t blame them. They were kids, I was suppose to be the one in charge. And certainly, I was the one supposedly in charge of the money.

I was the one who knew how much money I had for gifts, not including credit cards, yet it never seemed to be enough. I can still catch myself in that trap of thinking that the gifts I gave were not enough. The other part of it is when do I quit giving gifts to the ungrateful?

For years I have given money to my kids, so their families and their kids can have a nice Christmas without falling into the traps I fell into. Yet, not once in over a dozen years did I ever get a thank you note, heck I rarely even got a Christmas card. Don’t mean to sound like I’m whining, my question is when do we stop trying to buy love and just move on?

This past holiday season I saw in myself how much of an addiction the holidays can be. I purchased a beautiful gift for my wife. One gift. Then my mind started wondering. Is that enough? Surely, I can find something else! I searched and looked and in the end I stayed with that one gift. I did also get a Christmas card for her and that was it.

When we opened our gifts she loved her card and two days later was still looking at it with love. The expression she had when she held her gift wrapped present was priceless. It is a photo that I will have in my mind forever.

It was perfect. One gift. Perfection. She didn’t want more… nor ask for more. One gift. And the ultimate gift? It is paid for and the books on this Christmas are closed – paid in full.

My life has been always trying to please others. The best way I knew how to do that was by buying their acceptance. The messages of my childhood that I was “less than” has stayed with me my whole life. Getting rid of those messages is a daily struggle. I don’t need to buy love. I don’t need to do anything special to earn acceptance. I don’t need to lose my own identity to please others because in the end, by doing so, I’ll never please myself.

Tender Years

28 December 2017

Living with humility and gratitude

As the year heads towards the finish line, I can look back with grace, humility, and peace. I look back with gratitude for yet another chance to live this life. Three years ago, I head open heart surgery and had a near death experience. An experience that gave me a sense of peace realizing that if my life was over I could accept it, knowing that I was not alone.

Yes, at that time I was physically alone but I was in the minds and prayers of people close to that hospital as well as people from around the world… and that night I felt them all in my room. I also felt my Higher Power, cuddling me, comforting me, and making my pain more manageable.

I got through all of that and change my life. I left a comfortable job that I had for nearly twenty years and I moved away. Not across town or across the country. Oh no, I moved to a new continent. I grew up seeing the sun rise on the Atlantic Ocean, now I see the sunset on the ocean.

I left an America where the sea was at least an 18 hour drive away. I moved to England, a beautiful island where I am never more than 100 miles from the water.

I found a job where what you knew didn’t matter, if you could count and read a board and work really fast than you were a good employee. I left a job that was more like a family than co-workers, to a job where supervisors knew you by a number not a name. I hated every second of it but I still showed up and gave it my all for my new life.

Suddenly though things changed. I had a sore throat that just wouldn’t go away. After many home remedies failed and our local doctor couldn’t stop it, I saw an ENT specialist. I had numerous tests and found out I had cancer. It was year ago that I was in treatment. A treatment that was harder on me than I ever imagined.

Now a year later, I could have never imagined how far I have come. I got a new job. At times a very demanding job but I do enjoy it. I see a part of life that I was a part of for many years. I see the homeless. I see the addicted, as well as those who sell their bodies either for food or for drugs.

I see the look of death in their eyes and the feeling of hopelessness knowing there is little I can do. I do offer an ear to listen and to show them a little bit of respect, but besides that I am hopeless.

The decision to change is in their hands – not mine. Just as the decision to do chemo and radiation was my choice. I could have done other things or done nothing at all but I chose this path. There was a point during treatment that I wanted to quit and just surrender to it all. Then I realize how painful it would be for my wife and others that I knew.

I couldn’t do that. When I got sober my only goal was to never knowingly hurt another human being. By not doing treatment I would have hurt many people, who would have had to sit back and watch me die. I’m still going to die someday but these same people will be able to look back and see that I did everything in my power to live life to the fullest with this second chance that has been given to me…

23 December 2017

A Message Delivered

A Message Delivered

laying in a field of grass
in the darkness
I stare at the sky
away from man made lights
the heavens seem so close
I don’t have to reach out
the stars touch me

easily falling into a trance
only broken by the sounds of crickets
away from the roads
and the traffic of the cities
unexpectedly… I’ve stumbled
into my own paradise
surrounded… by Peace

in the stillness
comfort comes quickly
through a message of Hope… and Love
all through the night
like shooting stars
the messages keep flowing

a transformation takes place
where Peace, Hope, and Love
become One…
and I was graced to witness it
in the horizon… the sky turned red
as the sun filled the sky
I realized that darkness
began setting a half world away

and I wondered… who
would be the next to receive this message
of Peace, Hope, and Love
and as every day turned to night
and every night turned to day
the message spread…
until Love conquered hate

09 November 2017

I Am Enough

The Fifth Promise of Debtors Anonymous states that we will realize that we are enough; we will value ourselves and our contributions.

I Am Enough

I am enough
I am myself
I am free
free from material wealth
free from showmanship
free from debt

I am enough
I am myself
I am enjoying life
thankful for employment
thankful for a home
thankful for a partner

I am enough
I am myself
I am able to see
to see the sunrise and set
to see a lovers smile
to see a friends victory

I am enough
I am myself
I am able to feel
feeling the love from a cat
feeling accepted
feeling at peace

I… am… enough…
I… am… myself…
I… am… contributing…
contributing to life
contributing to others
contributing to God