24 September 2019

Out of control inner child

Posted this on a forum I belong too.  Wanted to save it because of the "wholly trinity."


Seriously? Come on Bill, you just avoided going bankrupt for the second time. You pushed your student debt back onto the taxpayer and now you’re ready to spend again? SMH. You’ve mentioned in the past that you have a problem with spending, yet you’re ready to make a major purchase less then a month after acquiring a windfall? Why not try something more productive for your own future growth? The reality is that this is your last chance with having any form of savings… any form of financial security.

Why not leave the money in a financial institution for a year and learn to live on just what you earn? It will teach you the value of a dollar and help separate wants from needs and if you truly need something you will work for it. It is also very freeing to know that money is there but that you can live without it. If you can do that for a year, then do what you want with it. I bet if you did that for a year you’d realize that having it in savings is relaxing and it didn’t disappear or burn a hole in your wallet. You’ll gain some self-respect and see that the things you want can be gotten with patience and a plan.

I’ll let you in on my major plan. I want to buy a house boat. I want to live on the English canals on a boat. It is a very relaxing laid back lifestyle. I’ve been researching it for over a year and right now I could get a pretty nice one with cash. Then I’d need a simple source of income for mooring fees and insurance as well as upkeep. I can easily do it right now. Instead my plan is to wait a couple more years. During that time, I’ll still be researching it and saving more money. If I do it right, I can live on the water for ten years with no worries about any fees or insurance premiums.

It will be more rewarding to me when everything happens because I worked for it and earned it and so can fully enjoy it. The rest is just pscyho-babble which has helped me, hopefully you will read it, if not, no problem, I need to see it myself every now and then…

Every person has three “beings” within them. In me, I call it my “wholly trinity.” These three characters are my inner-child, my inner-parent, and my inner-adult. Now imagine all three are on a bus riding across the country. In a healthy person, the inner-adult is riding the bus. He is managing every curve, watching uncoming traffic, and obeying the speed limit. Behind him, sharing a seat is the inner-parent and the inner-child. The parent has his arm around the child’s shoulder, and pointing out everything on their journey. He pointing to the beautiful mountains and the lovely lakes. The child, with eyes wide open is enjoying it all, realizing he is safe and free. This is a wholesome and healthy inner-family.

Now imagine the opposite – an unhealthy inner-family. The child is riding the bus, the parent is in the rear of the bus ignoring the child, reading the newspaper, while the adult is yelling at the parent to take charge. The child doesn’t care about curves or sped limits or anything else… everything he wants, he wants RIGHT NOW, no matter the consequences. When “stuff hits the fan” the child cries and whines that it isn’t his fault. The parent hides behind the seat, and the adult tries to protect the other two by pointing fingers at everybody else, instead of accepting any responsibility for the child’s actions.

The conclusion is that the child is never wrong. We all need to have dreams, yet it is the responsibility of the parent to say no to the child and to be a parent and not a friend. If the parent can do that then the adult can ride the bus knowing that everyone has a place and everyone is responsible within their place.

I spent the majority of my life with my inner-child riding the bus, going from one disaster to another. Form unemployment, to homelessness, to addiction and alcoholism, to finally finding financial security and peace.

06 July 2019

A Decade Of Change

Ten years! Seemingly a long time, yet in hindsight a very short time. Ten years ago, I was deep in debt, going through a divorce, contemplating bankruptcy and very much ashamed of how my life turned out.

At 52 years old and besides having a small 401K I had nothing to my name. I was cash broke and asset poor. While I owned a home, the two mortgages against it made it virtually worthless.

As a recovering alcoholic I only have one thing in my life that I guard as much as my sobriety and that is my word. My debts were the mortgages, medical bills, and credit cards. Everyone of these debts I gave my word that they would be paid back. It was only this word of mine that stopped me from bankruptcy. So somehow I had to find a plan to get out of debt.

The first step was getting rid of the biggest debt I had – the house. I wrote a letter to the mortgage company and told them that I was walking away from it. That the house was theirs – to do with what they wanted. I did this to actually save a little money on court proceedings and eviction.

Within a year the house was sold and I owed a now manageable $9,000 on the shortfall from the house. Over the following year I paid that off as well as the penalties owed on taxes.

By leaving the house, I left behind a $564 a month house payment and found a $250 a month small apartment. I got rid of cable TV and lived with rabbit ears on the TV and watched other shows via the Internet. Instead of a 40 mile round trip car ride to work, I now had a two block walk to work, saving more money.

Being 52, it was time to start some kind of a savings account. My first one was with my checking account. I rounded up the checks I wrote and rounded down the deposits I made. It was a very small way to save money but it served another purpose. It stopped me from bouncing checks. At $35 a shot, the savings added up quickly. I haven’t balanced my checkbook in over ten years and haven’t bounced a check in that same time. While my account may say I only $10, the truth is I have over $500 in it, but just seeing that $10 in my ledger stops me from going overboard on spending.

Anyway, after the house was settled the rest of my bills fell into place. So many people worry about their credit scores. Let’s face facts, your score is already shot or you wouldn’t be in this predicament. I used this to my advantage. Instead of paying 10 different bills every month, I just paid one and I put every cent that was available for the other bills into paying just on that one bill.

I always paid on the smallest bill first. I didn’t care about penalties or late fees. I just remained focused on one bill at a time. Within three months, I was down to eight, five months I was down to six. The bills were disappearing and I began to see that I still had money in my wallet a day before payday.

I started a real savings account and kept paying on my bills and after two years I applied for a new credit card, since all my old ones were closed down. It was now time to start repairing the damage created by my reckless behaviour with money.

Ten years ago my credit score was 385 – can’t get much worse. By 2016, it was 725 – can’t get much better! I went from losing two credit cards with a line of $4,000 and both maxed out, to having five cards and a line of $16,000 and not one dime in interest ever paid on any of them. A nice savings account was built and an emergency fund that would take care of me for 28 months, instead of the suggested six months.

In 2016, I left America and moved to England, only to realize that the credit systems are entirely different. So once again, I was starting over. But the time in America taught me how to live on money alone and to not rely on credit. For three years, I lived with only cash and survived quite well. In January of 2019, I applied for a credit card and got approved as a very high risk customer. Which was fine with me. I learned how to pay of these cards in full and on time so the high interest rate meant nothing to me. Now in July, I applied for a second card, with better rates and now rated as a lower risk. I got approved for that as well. Now with two credit cards, a nice savings account, and a stable job, I’m feeling a sense of accomplishment that I wished I learned years ago.

At the age of 62, life is comfortable. I know I’ll never live the high life in retirement but that’s OK because I have learned how to live a comfortable life with a lot less. All of this happened because I wanted to keep my word with my creditors. All of this was possible because I tuned out the outside world with their thoughts on money and made a plan that worked for me.

That plan didn’t involved credit scores or penalty fees. It involved a program similar to my sobriety. Instead of staying sober a day at a time, I worked to get out of debt a day at a time...

28 June 2019

Swallowed Alive

I've been doing some reflections on my past and it just amazes me how much fun I thought I was having.  It was carefree and at times pretty harmless... but everyday I played these harmless games a little bit more of me was swallowed alive.

The path of recovery is littered with folks that lost their battles to alcoholism and addiction.  From high school car crashes to overdosing rock and roll stars... we all know someone who lost the battle.

Which makes me grateful for a second chance... as well as humbled wondering why I'm not in the ground...

I was helpless... I was powerless
I was sad... I was alone
I was out on my own

Alcohol and drugs
relieved the pain
thought I was at peace
really quite insane

Homeless... sleeping under bridges
eating from dumpsters...
stealing to stay alive
sometimes wondered
if it'd be easier just to die

 A line of coke
and a can of beer
for awhile it made the pain disappear
No will to fight... no end in sight
might as well held a gun to my head
this ain't life... better off dead

Everyday... the same story replayed
but the finale always stayed
story lines and people may have changed
drunk every night... with suicidal thoughts
an end to the nightmare is all I sought

That was the past
the memories though... I hope last
that's right... I don't want to forget
stay in my mind... firmly set
no way I want history to repeat
can't feel comfortable relaxing in a seat

The Burning Bush - The Poem

sneaking into a dumpster
looking for yesterdays scraps
it's a matter of survival
food not found
but... a treasure awaits
beer for this alcoholic

pop the lid... raised the bottle
withdrawals... cold sweats
hell will shortly disappear
the aroma fills the air
approaching the lips
then... then time froze

behind the dumpster
a white... light... warm figure
palm's facing out
tears flowing from it
words flowed into the mind
"please no more"

bottle falling from hands
recovery started... glass smashing

More thoughts to ponder

"Oh Lord, I ain't what I want to be... Oh Lord, I ain't what I oughta be... Oh Lord, I ain't what I'm gonna be... But thanks, dear Lord, I ain't what I use to be..." - Heard at an AA meeting many years ago and  told it was
The Slaves Prayer

A busy mind, is a sick mind... A slow mind, is a healthy mind... A still mind, is a divine mind
- Native American Spiritual Centerness

A long timer once told me...
"If you don’t remember the consequences of your last drunk... then... maybe you haven’t had it yet."

23 June 2019

Who's Eyeing Me?

Early in my recovery, I began a journey of looking at all the religions as well as the ancient mythologies.

As you can see, I have a very strong bond with the Native American beliefs, but before
that, I found a strong fascination with the Gods of Olympus.

The video is called Who's Eyeing Me? and it's a story of those gods and how they have
entered my life.

22 June 2019

East vs West

There is so much joy to be found in learning the different ways the western world functions compared to the eastern world.

The images below are from the book
Peeling The Sweet Onion by Martin Segal and gives the western view.  

Then below is another image with thoughts by Vietnamese Reverend Tran Binh Trong.