Saturday, January 28, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017

DEAD, DRUNK, AND STUPID

     The sage once said that when you are dead, you don't know you are dead. The distress is only for others, not for you.
     It is the same when you are stupid.
     It is the same when you are intoxicated.
     Of the three, death perhaps has more dignity because comments, assertions, lectures, edicts, ultimatums, and bullshit from corpses are exceedingly rare.
    There is a route out of stupidity: education, experience, and caring for oneself and others. The key is listening. No one learns anything new while talking, bellowing, or screaming.
     There is a route out of intoxication. Don't pick up.
     The route out of addiction is the route out of stupidity added to the route out of intoxication.
     At present there is no route out of death, only in how long, productive, and pleasant your route to death will be, and how many laughs, tears, pleasant memories, and nightmares you leave behind.
    
 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

TESTING LOVE AND FAITH


Tania and Tom were invited to a swanky masquerade ball. They each went to different stores, got beautiful 18th century costumes and masks, but on the night of the ball, Tania got a terrible headache. She told Tom to go to the ball alone. He protested, but she argued and said she was going to take some aspirin and go to bed. The costumes were terribly expensive and there was no need for his good time being spoiled by her not going. So Tom reluctantly agreed, put on his costume, showed it to Tania, then left for the masquerade ball.

Tania, after taking a short nap, awakened and her headache had completely passed. It was still early and she decided to go the ball. Since her husband did not know what her costume looked like, she thought she would have some fun by watching her husband to see how he acted when she was not with him.
She arrived at the ball and soon spotted Tom cavorting around on the dance floor, dancing with every pretty woman he could, and even extending a grope here and taking a little kiss there. Just a little angry, Tania sidled up to him and he left his partner high  and dry and devoted his time to the new masked beauty that had just arrived.
More gropes, more kisses, and Tania let him go as far  as he wished. The dance ended and he whispered a little proposition in her ear and she agreed. He guided her into one of the dressing rooms, and they did the nasty.
Just before the unmasking at midnight, Tania slipped away, went home, put her costume away and got into bed. She was sitting up reading when Tom came in. "Tom," she began, "how was the ball?"
"Oh, the music was pretty good and a lot of fancy costumes," said Tom, "but you know I never have a good time when you're not there."
"Did you dance  much?" asked Tania.
Tom shook his head and put down the box containing his costume. "I never even danced one dance. When I got there, I met Pete, Bill Brown, and some other guys, so we went into the den and played poker all evening. But you're not going to believe what happened to Harry Grubbs after I loaned my costume to him."

Monday, January 09, 2017

BLOKES

     I'd like to share with you a few things about the Blokes, a skiing fellowship made up of men who met each other in Narcotics Anonymous and are still in recovery. Our short-timer has (I think) six or seven years clean, and our old-timer has thirty-five years clean. Three times a season we rent a house, move in for five days, and proceed to ski at Sunday River Ski Resort until our knees cry for mercy.
     Two of our members are chef-grade cooks, and the remainder are competent eaters and dishwashers. When we aren't skiing or eating, we talk as friends talk: New toys, relationships, recipes, sponsee issues, cars, movies, work, and so on. Every night we have a very special unofficial NA meeting.
     I love these men, and have learned a lot from them. I learned I have real value, that other men can love me for who I am, and that I can return that love. One of my friends in particular has taken on the task of keeping me on the slopes. As the years have passed and getting around has gotten a little more difficult for me, my friend Bob carries my skis, helps me on with my Boot Gloves (which he calls "boot condoms"), and he skis with me, which is something of a sacrifice on his part. Bob is an expert skier, and I might do a black diamond trail on a good day and a double on a really good day, but mostly all I'm fit for are the greens and blues (easy and intermediate trails for those of you who do not partake).
     My other friends also haul skis, my boot bag, and this last time actually pushed me up a slope I was having trouble getting up.
     If I hadn't gotten clean in Narcotics Anonymous, kept going to meetings, took up skiing, and grown in the program into a responsible, almost sane, human being, I never would have met Bob nor any of the other Blokes who I value so much.
     We share good humor, and Bob laughs when in a crowded ski lodge I'm ready to have him help me put on my boot gloves, I loudly yell, "Condom valet!"
     And when any of the Blokes and I share this love we have of carving those turns on good snow, the rush of the wind on our faces and gravity tugging at us as we dance with the mountain, I am in a present-moment wonderland that literally fills my heart.
     Last Saturday night at our meeting, we talked about a few years ago when a loving valued friend and fellow Bloke died of liver cancer, and how we almost doubted the continued existence of the Blokes. It did seem, just for a moment, that going on with the organization would be a hollow experience, that without Uncle Jimmy, it would simply be too painful.
     We still mourn Uncle Jimmy's passing, but the Blokes continue. In a very real sense Uncle Jimmy is still alive in our hearts for those who knew him, and for the newcomers, they will hear the stories. Like the Viking sagas, we tell the legends of the heroes past and present in the long house, emulate the qualities that made them heroes, and identify with and chuckle at the foibles that made them human.
     The Blokes is a friendship and fellowship society more than a skiing club. It is more than any one of us could dream of as active addicts. The Blokes and my friends in the Blokes are but a few of my gifts from recovery.
     The gifts and possibilities are endless. What can you do with your recovery? What will you do?

THINKING ABOUT REHAB?

I just had occasion to reformat my novel Saint Mary Blue and make it available again as both Kindle and trade paperback. To do that I had...