Thursday, January 05, 2023

Wishes, Resolutions, and Pleas


I posted the following on Facebook on December 31st, 2022: 
2023, huh? Well, may the forces of stupid become self-aware, the forces of the power hungry find self-worth, and all those offended by words, dress, occupation, faith, skin tone, merit, and belief become themselves Awakened.
Happy New Year, and for those who use words to inform, entertain, educate, or manipulate others please note an ancient plea known as "The Three Gates of Speech." For your own peace of mind and in aid of the peace of the world, before what you say or write is made available, the words must pass through three tests or "gates."
The tests are:
1. Is it true?
2. Is it necessary? and
3. Is it kind?
In the event your communication fails to make it through all three gates, employ the wisdom of Will Rogers: "Never miss a good chance to shut up."
In my early years I was a great one for turning pages. Each time I would be sent to a new school, or a new school year would begin, or New Years would come, and I would take the old page crowded with my failures, wreckage, crimes, and shortcomings, turn it, call it "the past," put it behind me, and set forth upon my fresh new page ready to record upon it the new me and my shining new future of accomplishment. Then would come the next New Year's Eve, my page littered with the same or worse failures, wreckage, crimes, and shortcomings as the previous year. It was the same with the endings of school years and new school stays.
The disease of addiction loves such moments. How small can I make myself feel? How worthless? How Evil? By the time I reached the weeks before January in 1981, I attempted suicide for the second time. I had given up page turning and resolutions. I had given up hope. The payback, of course, was using. Facing the darkness of the endlessly deep hole I was in, I gave up.

Friends and family pulled an intervention on me, I spent that New Years in rehab in Minneapolis, got out at the end of January confused, frightened, angry, and convinced that I was in big trouble and not at all convinced that staying clean was an answer nor that Twelve Step programs were an effective way to stay clean should I wish to do so.

I stayed clean and continued going to meetings until what I should do became clear for me. It eventually did become clear: Stay clean and continue going to meetings. One more thing: Learn all I could about the program of Narcotics Anonymous and put what I learn into practice. At the end of December, 2023 I celebrated forty-one years clean. 

I once asked my sponsor about "special" days: birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and the beginning of a new year. He said they are just like any other day: twenty-four hours long and filled with miracles, hope, promise, love, and growth. After all this time, it still works and so does my life.

My prayers and best wishes to any and every one taking this moment, this beginning year, to begin taking that first step out of the nightmare.


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