You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.
It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.
And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.
Hard Wired to Drink - DonInLondon ĎA Day In The Lifeí
Its been a Hard days Night
I reckon that Nature and Providence adapt us and our human condition. And there really is truth connected to nature and nurture. Some of us, not all of us have big capacities to devour large amounts of drink, seemingly without any impact on our outlook and activities. For a while at least.
What a delusional state that is! The refuge of any heavy drinker is their capacity to get up the next day after a hard might of spangling our senses and do a days work without any semblance of trouble or distress.
For years and years I can recollect the best of times with drink in me and not in me. It did not matter what I drank the next day there was some order and much capacity for more living.
Not so difficult, not so easy, to develop a high tolerance to effects of drink. it was thought manly to be able to hold your drink. Holding on to this rapacious attitude meant a long decline into a place of oblivion for me.
My Dad did to excess. He had his fears of life having been in one war and another war all his life, to be found out for something he was never able to pin down. It weakened him terribly over the years and because it was slow we did not see it draining his life away long before his death.. Or if ihad would I have stopped? Probably not.
Hard Wired we can become over generations
I have no doubt somewhere in the dark history of my lineage there is a lot of drink and the seeking of oblivion. Some people get their thirst for oblivion hard wired in from genetic messages. We know this is true. Look at animals we breed for their temperament and their usefulness to us humans and we know we can hardwire speed and efficiency, and for eating as well.
Hard wired from early age to drink as I was taught
I was taught to drink well and enjoy its effects. Happy and sad, strong and virile I drank large chunks of time away. And then drink got me and held me in oblivion for a long, long time.
Why Drink at All?
I wonder looking back why I got the taste. It made my Dad stupid and he needed the release I realise now to make up for his own feelings of fear and inadequacy. And he gave me these fears too, never quite good enough in my eyes let alone yours as you read these words!
Drinking for England
Yes he could drink for England a good old phrase for me and my dad and how we drank our liquor of choice. And more and more and more.
Why this subject Tonight?
All day I have been in contact with a friend of mine making up their mind whether to stop drinking again or keep on going. And they admit freely their drinking is alcoholic and once they start it does not stop.
We met locally and fully intended to go to a meeting of AA, alcoholics anonymous. They know the format and in the end, although the purpose behind our meeting up was to go to a "meeting of AA," we had dinner instead and just talked as friends can.
And this was probably better than hearing what they know and feeling as one can, like crap and just another set of words said and another feeling of failure. So dinner we better and we had much to share.
Is this a turning point? I have no idea. And the best I can do is support and help and be there and share what is working for me. Its simply a change in attitude, behaviour and giving up what has always been a friend of resort and at the moment of last resort, that friend in the bottle.
Giving up the drink, itís the hardest and most frustrating battle of life. As life is at stake, ones own life and the knowledge of an early death is a given when addiction has come back full blown. How soon? While the frenzy and the fear of giving up causes ill feeling and self loathing, so too the urge to drink is paramount as some relief is sought.
Our best and most trusted friend, the one that always made life possible even after the worst of calamity, its killing us slowly or quickly and we play this double jeopardy for all our worth.
I cannot do anything to turn off the pain, and merely can be there and suggest as I may. And at all times respect and treat with dignity, a friend in need and a friend in pain.
I cannot judge or be judgmental, I cannot be anything but supportive. And still like the footballer George Best, drink always makes its entrance as it will and willpower is used to overcome this dreadful disease.
A disease of the mind and body, I know full well. And utilising our fellowship a day at a time. Thatís my choice and sobriety follows, but not yet for my friend.
Was always keep coming back till the attitude changes, that we see a different behaviour and then find we relax into sobriety as drink is left behind, but when we are tormented as we all are along the way by live struggles and hard events, the resort to a drink often seems apt. Until we see like I have done and faced another malady or two, no amount of drink will stop life from happening. Especially the harder parts where we get other diseases and conditions.
I feel powerless over alcohol for myself and can merely suggest ways of getting sober to my friend and know its their choices always and theirs to the end. I am empowered in my choices today.
AA a cult?
Seeing the good of my friend, their potential, their ability frustrated and tormented with drink which does nothing to make life work as it may in the past. I wish AA was a cult and we could brainwash him to be sober. But sadly AA ainít a cult and cannot restore my friend to sobriety. Why? Because itís a programme of suggestions, it has no leaders, it has no hierarchy and is merely made up of humans a day at a time with every strength and weakness known to mankind.
You want to know what makes it work? Fellowship, friendship and all that entails. The misery for anyone is leaving their best friend behind and having to work at making some new ones, who donít do drink a day at a time.
Sobriety the hardest fight for life anyone can endeavour, which is why most die of the disease or another related ailment. No wonder people view it the way that they do. A cult which tells you your disease will kill you, your best friend is your assassin, that you must desert your best friend forever on a daily basis and be reminded you have. No wonder people want it to be a cult, because then they can deny everything and keep on drinking.
One mans cult is another mans poison, AA will kill your best friend. And then you can find some proper ones, true friends if you are inclined.
Of course if you read this and are not alcoholic you most likely wonder what I am on about. And that I am mad. Maybe I am, and frankly I would rather be sober and be in company of sober people. If this is mad then I am happier insane than drinking and surely on my path to an early graveÖ
Secret talks to get airline bomb suspect back to UK March 28 2007
Pakistan seeks swap deal to extradite dissidents living in Britain
Sandra Laville and Declan Walsh in Islamabad
Britain is engaged in secret negotiations with Pakistan to swap a terrorist suspect who is wanted for questioning over the alleged plot to blow up transatlantic airlines last summer, the Guardian has learned.
In increasingly tense discussions, the British government is demanding the return of Rashid Rauf, a 26-year-old who is held in a high security prison in Pakistan. But ministers in Pakistan have responded by asking for something in return. In a proposed swap, they are calling for the extradition of up to eight people living in the UK who they claim are involved in an uprising in the western oil-rich province of Baluchistan.
Lawyers from the Crown Prosecution Service flew to Islamabad last month to try to speed up the process and help the authorities prepare extradition papers for the eight, according to sources in the Pakistani capital. But human rights groups have condemned any attempt to "barter" individuals, and warned both governments that the due process of the law must be followed.
Mr Rauf, originally from Birmingham, was arrested by Pakistani police last August. He has been charged in Pakistan with possession of 29 bottles of hydrogen peroxide - a key ingredient used in the past by al-Qaida in the manufacture of bombs - and the possession of fake South African identity papers.
Labour faces meltdown as SNP heads for power March 28 2007
Angus Macleod and Philip Webster
The SNP is heading for victory in the Scottish parliamentary elections on May 3, in what would be a severe blow to Gordon Brown shortly before he becomes Prime Minister, an opinion poll for The Times suggests today.
Mr Brown could go into the next general election with the Nationalists the largest single party in his own backyard, and facing the prospect of an SNP-led minority executive in Edinburgh seeking to challenge him at every turn.
The Populus poll puts the Nationalists ahead of Labour in both the first-past-the-post and proportional-representation sections. They are on track to win 50 seats in the 129-seat Scottish Parliament, seven more than Labour. The Liberal Democrats would have 18 MSPs, the Conservatives 17 and the Greens one.
If the SNP leader Alex Salmond becomes First Minister, Mr Brown would face taunts that he would be a Scot in power in England whose writ did not run on issues such as health, education and transport in Scotland. And Mr Brown, if he becomes Prime Minister, would also be swiftly reminded that the Conservatives secured narrowly more votes in England than Labour at the last general election Ė leaving him open to claims that he has a mandate in neither country.
In her own words: the female sailor held captive in Iran March 28 2007
An exclusive interview with Faye Turney, hours before she was seized
By Terri Judd in Bahrain
The woman who was captured by Iran's Revolutionary Guards while serving with the Royal Navy in Iraq spoke of her devotion to both her family and her job just hours before she was seized.
In an interview with The Independent, leading Seaman Specialist Faye Turney described how the crew of HMS Cornwall were well aware of the perils of operating in an area that had been targeted by suicide bombers. The 25-year-old mother, one of 15 sailors and Marines captured on Friday off the coast of Iraq, said: "I know by doing this job I can give [my daughter] everything she wants in life and hopefully by seeing me doing what I do, she'll grow up knowing that a woman can have a family and have a career at the same time."
Diplomatic pressure to free the 15 captives is to be stepped up today as defence officials produce evidence to prove the British servicemen and women were in Iraqi waters.
As Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary, cut short a visit to Turkey to fly back to Britain for a statement today to the Commons, defence chiefs were planning to produce the global positioning system (GPS) co- ordinates as proof that they were not on Iran's side of the disputed waterway.
On the day before the British crew was captured Leading Seaman Turney had described how morale on HMS Cornwall had been buoyant since its arrival in the northern Arabian Gulf weeks earlier. She said: "The atmosphere on the boat is really good. We were made aware that some things can be really dodgy. [But] we've not really had anything that bad at the moment - that's always a good sign.
There come to us moments in life when about some things we need no proof from without. A little voice within us tells us, 'You are on the right track, move neither to your left nor right, but keep to the straight and narrow way.
A person falsely claiming to act under divine inspiration or the promptings of the inner voice without having any such, will fare worse than the one falsely claiming to act under the authority of an earthly sovereign. Whereas the latter on being exposed will escape with injury to his body, the former may perish body and soul together.
You have to believe no one but yourselves. You must try to listen to the inner voice, but if you will not have the expression"inner voice", you may use the expression "dictates of reason", which you should obey, and if you will not parade God, I have no doubt you will parade something else which in the end will prove to be God, for, fortunately, there is no one and nothing else but God in this universe.
For me truth is the sovereign principle, which includes numerous other principles. This truth is not only truthfulness in word, but truthfulness in thought also, and not only the relative truth of our conception, but the Absolute Truth, the Eternal Principle, that is God. There are innumerable definitions of God, because His manifestations are innumerable. They overwhelm me with wonder and awe and for a moment stun me.
Don In London Progress Not PerfectionDonInLondon London Times Don Oddy DonInChelsea London Times
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