Tag Archives: Self

I Don’t Know

What will 2018 bring? I don’t know.

Will it be better than 2017? I don’t know.

Will I be a better person in 2018? I don’t know. (Hopefully!)

Will I stay clean & sober in 2018? I don’t know. (I’m gonna take that “One day at a time.”)

Will I have an opportunity to make amends in 2018? I don’t know.

Will some of my friends “fall off the wagon”? I don’t know.

Apparently, I don’t know much, do I?

What DO I know?

I agree with the wise Davos Seaworth that “Nothing fucks you harder than time!”

I have entered that age group where I have begun to lose friends and relatives with greater frequency, some of whom are not terribly older than myself.

As each day passes, it becomes more and more difficult to suffer the ignorance and rudeness of people I must deal with.

Dementia, Alzheimers, and strokes scare the shit out of me. I figure that I will survive a heart attack, or I won’t. A stroke can minimally affect me, or more likely, disable me in one or many different ways, none of which are predictable. Dementia and Alzheimers are both slow deaths where my awareness, cognitive abilities, and knowledge of self and the world around me will disappear, one day at a time, until one day, I may as well be a lump of coal.

There is so much that I have not accomplished. Some of this is just the universe at work, and some are my own poor choices, misplaced efforts, stubbornness, or just stupidity.

There is the awareness that some amends will never be realized and affected.

There is a growing certainty that time is moving faster for me and there’s so much less of it for me to work with now.

Decisions made have a far more immediate and consequential impact on my life now than in the past.

I really must buckle down and begin to focus more on the things I want to accomplish even as I attempt to pay bills, maintain a home, and relationships.

These are the things I do know.

There is one more thing that I know, without question: Without being clean and sober, nothing is possible except decline and death.

The Winds of Change


Muhammad Ali once said “The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” This is especially relevant to anyone who is in recovery. Most “normal” people change and modify their viewpoints as they travel through the various experiences that life sends their way. On the face of it, this seems very natural. Why shouldn’t this so?

Think about it. As we grow from child to teenager, to young adult, to adulthood; then on into “middle age,” and finally old age, we find ourselves dealing with people, places, and circumstances we could have never imagined. As we progress, life becomes more and more an adventure. We are tested daily. Our threshold for ignorance, hate, stress, indifference, and apathy are pushed to the limit. More and more, we come face to face with our shortcomings and deficiencies. We also (hopefully) experience a deeper appreciation for the good things that come our way. Births, weddings, vacations, or even just a quiet day to ourselves.

So what has really changed? Certainly, the world has not changed. What has changed is us!

For those of us in recovery, this change is one of our saving graces! If we are in the midst of a strong recovery, we have grown spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. Fear no longer rules our lives. We are no longer running from our past and its demons (mostly). With every day, we become more and more at ease with who we are, and we strive to become who we have the potential of being. We put in the work. More and more, we believe we do deserve a better life than the one we were living in our addictions.

Being a non-addicted, thriving, giving, grateful, productive, content you – isn’t that what recovery is about?


Hidden Faces

So, you’ve been on the road to recovery, working your program diligently. Things are going well for you. Seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel. You are working the steps, going to meetings, and things have improved.

There is still a nagging feeling though, like you have forgotten something; something is still left undone, but you can’t quite put your finger on what it might be. It really should not be that hard to figure out, and it is the one thing that will bring you down even faster that guilt. What can this thing be, you ask? Baggage!!!

Baggage is the tattered remains of your past. It is the wreckage you left behind in your wake as you blew through people’s lives. It lives in you, rent free in your head, 24/7. It is all the aspects of your life from the past, waiting to be resolved. They speak to you when you wake and as you lay down to sleep each night. Sooner or later, they must be dealt with. This is where the 4th through 10th steps come into play. Taking inventory, making a list of persons we had harmed, trying to make amends to those we had harmed where possible, asking our higher power to remove our shortcomings. These things must be done in order for us to heal and move on.

There are going to be things we did that can not be undone for a variety of reasons. People die, they move, or, maybe they just do not want any part of us anymore. We must make every effort to make amends where possible, without causing harm when we do so! We will not absolve our souls at someone else’s expense. For those who do not want to accept our apology, or give us a chance to make things right, we have to respect that. We can not fixate on it; we accept it, move on, and hope one day for the opportunity to make that amend. Perhaps when the party we have wronged sees that we really are trying to live a life in an honest recovery, they will afford us the opportunity to set things right. However, we can not beat ourselves up over things we can not change. If a person we harmed has died, obviously we can not make an amend there, can we? In this case, the best thing we can do is live the best life we can, being the best we can be every day, clean and sober.

We can not let our baggage sit, tucked away, collecting dust, buried somewhere in our heads while we say we will deal with it “another day.” This will destroy us completely. Moving forward in our recovery means facing our fears, confronting our past, and setting things right as much as is possible. So, claim your baggage, unpack it, sort it, deal with it, and move on.

Take A Chance … On You!


Steps (St. Augustine, FL) Image ©Kerzner 2012

What am I gonna do now? Where am I gonna live? Are they gonna keep me at work? Is s/he gonna divorce me now? What then? What about the kids? What about insurance? How am I gonna show my face at work now? Jesus: playing this game straight? How the hell am I gonna do that? What the hell am I gonna do now? I’m done. Jeez …

We all remember those thoughts going through our heads when we hit bottom, no matter what the situation was; drinking, drugging, gambling, sex, abusive relationship … whatever. We were at Ground Zero. We were lost, scared, confused, and a hair’s breath from hopeless! Think about that: It’s probably as fresh and real now as when we went through it, however long ago. We had to start all over, with the very basics! We had to unlearn all the dysfunctional personal and social habits that were ensconced in our very psyche. In some cases we had to learn other basics that had been denied us due to circumstances: reading, writing, or balancing a checkbook (because we couldn’t, didn’t and/or were not permitted to handle the finances). We had to learn how to relate to people without our charades, crutches, and facades; you know, all the lies we told ourselves and everyone else. Oh, and by the way, we had to find new playmates and playgrounds too. Now, who wants to stand up and say that all of that was not a terrifying mess!

Guess what? We picked up the pieces of our shattered and damaged souls, and with the help of others, we traveled the road to rebuilding ourselves. That has been a lot of hard work and we did most of the heavy lifting. Hopefully, we are now at a point in our recovery where we are minding the basics and doing daily maintenance. Life isn’t roses every day, and some of us lost a lot (maybe even everything); but things are a lot better than they were. Best of all, we now have hope.

So friends, realizing all of this, why would you tell yourself you can’t go after the dreams you have for a better you? Having done all you have done (believing at the time that none of it was possible), why would you doubt yourself? Go ahead: Take a chance on you!