And the best of this endeavour, its just the right size! The blogs of the last few years have tumbled out of me as if there were years of suppressed stories and times to tell myself as I write. I wonder how much of my recollections over those years favours the story teller or those involved. Probably evenly. And there is so much more stuck inside to share.
I wrote some lines on ego last night, and still reckon I have plenty to understand about ego and esteem, and why we have all these emotions in us.
A feature we all have, we suppress those things which hurt and we don’t understand. We keep dark corners full with secrets which often burn us to recollect. I am grateful that most of my life is lived openly these days, and its always been like that since my teens. Better out of me than in me and pestering at my wonderings about the world.
We do suppress for very good reason when we are hurting and need no more hurt. The hurts come as rejections, disbeliefs about our living, disbelief about how things turned out.
And when I mentioned ego yesterday, it was because it was mentioned in a chair at an AA meeting.
Feels like a slow and unsettled time, and yet now feels like the week has flown by. With the death of Christopher last Sunday, my Sisters partner, it has been unusual and different. And still I have been to meetings every day but one, that being Thursday, and of course in good company for a couple of hours with a friend in the fellowship who suggested I better come out for coffee. It was just right and am grateful for their support.
I went to see my sister and share an hour or so. We chatted about Chris and arrangements for the funeral. And the hard moments of last Sunday still play real time as I wake these last few mornings. It is not easy to recollect just a short time back that nothing was known about what was really wrong with Chris. His condition so like the onset of type 2 diabetes, it was not until near the end that further tests revealed the truth. And this nobody could have predicted.
And after seeing my Sister, on to Picadilly mainly to get a dark shirt for Wednesday. As it happens I have been helped with the attire, my Brother is the same size just about as me, so he is ensuring I am suited and booted for the occasion and he and his wife are coming too. Fortunately my nephews are spared this occasion. It was my intent to be smart sombre and appropriate in dark without committing to too much expense, and beyond my means to go to for one outfit for one purpose. So a gift and loan of an outfit to suit the occasion is appreciated, and right either way. Chris would not have approved in expense even on this occasion, knowing him as I did. And now I need not worry either way, which is very gratifying. In my fellowship the more pragmatic suggest we all by a sombre suit for such occasions. And they were sadly right as there have been many funerals over the last few years, far too many and so often its hard sometimes to make sense of any of these times.
It has been a peaceful day and even cycling home before the rains started, I was hailed by another fellow who stop me just outside Harrods, or just a way along from it. And he offered his understanding and kind words, which was appreciated. He mentioned and I smile wryly about me and my cycling. It is a definite thing I do for health and to keep circulation going in my legs and feet. And cycling is hugely less painful than walking and I feel makes me keep as fit as one can. Explaining the madness of cycling in London, every day as dangerous as can be, and still I must I feel, or the walking will become impossible and then circulation a real issue, as it is for diabetics. And being type one diabetic, I am already aware that sometimes there is no pulse in my extremities, in particular my feet, and I know where this leads all too often..
Yes it has been a peaceful day. With a good chair listened to tonight and a good sense of proportion and balance. In contact with all family and all family pulling together. We are not good in these conditions, we are not used to being in each others company as much. Not for any reason other than we just live different lives. And living generally is busy and to our interests, needs and wants. We were never designed to have the same needs and wants as a unit. And its rather good there is unity and understanding in these difficult moments.
Yes there is more from last year on this day, and I have not edited or made it any different. In the Raw I guess. Till tomorrow.
July 16th 2006
DonInLondon Learning is Forever - Human Doings
We need be careful of a death sentence..
Yes we are forever learners, we keep learning from new experiences, novel and unique, and we keep learning the same things over and over as we continue to move through this life. We learn the unique and fundamental parts of life, the nature of ourselves and others. We learn to expose ourselves to the world in all our experience, or we learn to cover up and hide. For there is either confidence or shame in our actions and activity. There are few places in between where there is any safety from scrutiny by us or others. We have opinions on ourselves and certainly others have opinions on our learning and conduct.
When we relate our human doings, the doing of living and our best moments and our worst, we have opinions and judgments. And as with all our doings we seek approval and also run risks of rejection of our actions and activities. And we share our doings and activities to find support or rejection, we need to sound out what we are about and find acceptance, not only inside but from outside, in the form of some approval of us.
These last few days I have been sharing my doings with care, for there is another human close to me, we are close and happy where we are, and share moments of truth. And that’s pretty damn good, to be able to be honest and not feel the eyes of judgment. I mention this because we are at a place of emotional intimacy which we reserve for our partners or our counsellors or our higher powers. The higher powers are often our peer groups, in as much they provide context and feedback, some things intimate though, we are better placed to share with our good conscience and our Gods. For human doings are the stuff of gossip and interest. In my fellowship, gossip and interest in human things especially relationships is really in the realm of most confidential. Yet confidentiality is one of our most obvious failings. Humans gossip and we feel the effects, are as hard and powerful as judgment from a higher being and good conscience.
In my good conscience, it is fair to be honest and open and share as I may. And with discretion, for in many respects I accept there will be gossip. And today, just a few hours ago I was sharing openly about closeness and truth and feelings. I detected that stir of interest in one who has a penchant for gossip, he does not see it that way and has every defence to rely upon to make it about my ego when I reminded him of our fellowship and its attitude to gossip. I don’t fear my openness and honesty, or that I compromise another in my sharing. At the same time I felt his interest and attitude to my situation.
And what is my situation? I have an emotionally loving and intimate friend, we are happy where we are in our relationship and we are both hesitant in taking more intimate steps. We may or may not become closer. And there are good reasons why we might and equally good reasons why we might not. It does no harm where we are and we both have fully discussed the implications and left things parked where they are. Happy with who and where we are, not in any rush to make a move to undo or make more woven a good and harmonious bond. The for and against of our relationship moving from where it is are clear and quite defined. I shared this stationary moment in a fellowship meeting. And not unsurprisingly one was more interested and looking to more information, the nature of their interest and nature of potential gossip.
A casual reminder of our gossip cautions to my fellow brought forth argument of ego in me. And I actually accept the argument, yet the reaction in my fellow was so quick and powerful that I know the defence was there and prepared as easy as a practised reaction to anything common in their world. And without doubt I struck a nerve. And I got to know what I needed. That in truth there was room for concern about confidentiality and gossip beginning. Time will tell. And thankfully it makes no difference in my world of now or tomorrow, for I am consistent and happy with my relationship and where it is, as my confidant and intimate friend and people are already clued in around our fellowship anyway. Emotionally a good place, potentially a place to be gossiped about. Well it would happen sometime and I knew even in this low risk fellowship meeting where few know me that well, that gossip might be a result. It is good to be reminded that our complete lives while we are sorting them out do require airing and indulgence from others to listen will inevitably be the subject of debate with some who are still learning the craft of living. Those more advanced in the craft of living will take it all in their stride and be as forgetful and helpful as they can be. So life is, and the better for sharing and understanding where people are and how they will react. Accepted.
And its always good to do a number of meetings back to back, and see what comes out. In the morning a few hours before this meeting, I saw an old acquaintance from another place. And as usual from this other place the news is always sad. That more of the people I knew from there are dead.
This other place, a rehab centre in London, one I attended for the required three months and one week, the 90 days to start my recovery from alcohol addiction. And the news from that rehab always has a taint to it. For that rehab surely was a death sentence for some who could not hack it. I stayed and was to stay longer as I had nowhere to go, I left preferring the streets than stay in it, it was so horrid and set up to break spirit and impose a will of some other force on its attendees like me. I used to escape to fellowship meetings rather than stay in it all the time, and thank goodness I did, for the fellowship saved me, and the rehab near killed me. I know I checked and got assessed after my stint in rehab and got a psychiatric opinion on my time there and its impact on me. I do not lie the rehab was killing people as surely as if they took us out and shot us. My view and others view of that rehab, although anecdotal is that they offered nothing but pain and humiliation and surely were intent on one way to live, their way or none. They remain deluded and stupid in their ignorance and denial to this day and more days. As a charity they get away with their failures and additions to the dead from addiction and deny their part in it, as statistically they can argue people would die anyway. Ignorant and arrogant fools, People die needlessly because of their ignorance. Cunts. And I remind myself that forgiveness is actually an inside job, judgment is ours and that of society. Consequences as sharp as death itself.
Anyway as mentioned the news was sad from there, and like before when I saw this person I could not remember their name. After the meeting they did find me and , they too could not remember my name either. I smiled inside at this and felt that was fair. And we were reacquainted. Both of us have survived a regime that made many stupid and lost to recovery, and others angry enough to get into fellowships and survive and get well. Or as well as we might. We seem now to have let go the times in rehab although their affiliation is strong enough to go back for reunions, as if membership can be valued and honoured. I have no honour, although I stayed the initial course, the rehab view me as a failure as I wilfully left, and I was right to, for me. The good of our meeting is our forgetfulness since and more importantly getting on with the present day, and not drifting back to tortured times and recklessness.
So in two meetings in a day, the fundamentals of recovery became quite profound for me, about gossip and old times. Old times will kill us and gossip can do the same, when we are unsure where we are and what we are about. The puerile can dig into and keep hold of past actions, the strong and accepting get on with life as it is. And what is others business stays that way.
The themes these last 48 hours have been about feelings and past and all that can make us want to change our situation. How we deal with our feelings and the dangers others pose in helping us along. Only as we encounter honesty and truth do we get to see what kills us is our isolation, dishonesty and our fears of being found out. Where gossip differs is the spin and luridness of human attitudes and their predisposition to turn good things into secrecy and badness. Something rehabs do all the time and push people into corners and complaint so great they would rather self harm and die.
Powerful learning’s and understanding from me, thank you universe for reminders like these as if I needed them. I think I do, for rehab days and human doings can kill us and our relative safety is thin when we steer away from honesty and truth. And when we indulge in harmful behaviour we might wonder at our insides being turfed out and exposed, where we need help and support most, inside our fellowship.
It makes me careful with my words and who I keep close to me. I am lucky as in my family, there are few things unknown and my attitude is its safer to tell all and not let speculations rise. I prefer open and sharing and am lucky this way. I may delay a day or two before sharing, yet that is simply me and my internal workings and seeing where I am. And of course my friend and me, will discuss this some more and share it and absorb it. And who knows, may laugh about what can made humorous and be saddened by matters deathly and serious.
And it is the deathly and serious which hurts me still, to know of others endings at the hands of the ignorant. Should it be happening in my world and my country? Should they be allowed to get away with this abuse and neglect?
I recognise my powerlessness and need be aware of this rule. For indeed I made my choices and felt the pull to wilful intervention as I walked the streets back then. And today, has my position and view changed towards my rehabilitation? Not from those times in rehab, but I do realise that my attitude and memories are now slipping away. Although the death rate is high and the argument inside that rehab will be strong. I still see my powerlessness as an inmate albeit an ex, one to influence or modify and share what I know. After all they all know already. And they use their powerlessness to advocate no change in regime, even when the regime kills more often than it gets its inhabitants in to some sort of shape to find a path to recovery. What can be done? I have no clue, no power, no influence and no way at all to put forward my views.
Just here on my website I guess, for all to see and argue and share in what I have experienced. More on this I feel as time will show. I leave it here for I accept my powerlessness today. It may be so now, and forever. Or there may come a day like others where I am given a voice in other recognised venues, more public and profoundly powerful than me, where the record can be made, the people involved named and the outcomes more officially scrutinised. As I know that Lambeth Palace read this from time to time, who knows what else might occur? Its beyond me, and I am powerless over higher powers than me, who might take exception to poor care, poor administration, wilful neglect of the infirm and inflicting abuse on their patients, or as they suggest "clients".
And as another day dawns and to accept in real terms, what my life is like and the things to keep safe. Working to steps and recovery are right, being as honest can be and checking this out, well that’s just what I do every day. A day at a time and that will do me, I’ll leave the rest to higher powers than me, most of all the world it seems, and that is just fine, but lest they forget, its not quite that simple, we are all equal I might remind you of that. And when we are equal and equal to choices, then who knows what follows? That is not my concern, today and for the rest of this day…
Copyright © Don Oddy