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December 7 2007

DonInLondon - ‘Day In the Life’

Excerpts from emails sent:

About recovery for me

No worries about the diabetes its just something I got along the way in recovery. The explanation as to why I got diabetes is maybe just a bit of a story to me now, true or not it fits with "just my luck at the time" smiles here. I had tooth extraction, the first in all my adult years, a wisdom tooth. "Wisdom" I have to smile at that. And as a consequence I got an infection, then a virus and then the shock to my system caused the type one diabetic condition. Its just a part of life.. I feel presently. My consultant said I could have missed this shock had I been a drinker, as alcohol would have made it less likely to have a general infection following the extraction. So a smile at the irony. I had ‘perfect health’ prior to the tooth extraction and know so from tests taken in years of sobriety prior to the incident and then onset of type 1 diabetes.

About God - Ghandi said "God Is Truth"

Smiles here too on the God question, its really an unanswered conundrum for us all. I do respect those who have their beliefs and need remind myself about that. I am happy with Ghandi and his definition of God, "God is Truth" which works well for me. Six and a half billion people alive today everyone with a view on God. So we can follow our path on that, we need keep safe with what works for us on a day to day basis. I like Ghandi's version, it is non denominational, practical, includes everyone from science to faith, and is something we can understand. Truth we might accept is a working higher power in the here and now, present and available when we stop trying to make truth up...

About Depression

These are my views on depression and not substantiated by anything I know other than experience and what people share, so it is the truth I know presently… not an informed view in the science sense, a view from me.

On the depression front: Again a smile here as its just my luck to have clinical depression, which is a chemical imbalance and has been a factor all my life. My only way to deal with clinical depression is follow professional advice. In the past drink afforded oblivion from the pain of depression then the alcohol overwhelmed me more.

There is a huge difference in causes of clinical depression and what are called reactive depressions. The difference? A clinical depression is based on our body chemistry and an on going permanent condition. Reactive depressions are what we all get, reactions to life events and a glitch in our chemistry which can be treated with varying therapeutic processes or medication.

Clinical and Reactive Depressions

The feelings are most likely the same, so there is no real difference in impact as the depression happens, it is as bad as it gets. reactive depressions can pass with due care. Clinical is persistent and prolonged and often just as nature can forget a leg or some other malady physical, so too our chemistry can be missing some necessary ingredients from birth and heritage in a genetic way.

I guess there is sometimes an emphasis from me on the depth of depression we can expect in our recovery from obsession or addiction.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Does AA keep me sober? Do I keep me sober? Do my similar outlook friends keep me sober? I guess there are combinations which help as each day unfolds. Each day is different, people are different and in all this life experience is changing us or we are stuck for a while somewhere. The question as to why a person with a killer disease goes back for another go at self harm is the key question with say a 15 year sober person as you ask.

The good news and the bad news....

The AA programme is just good for one day. any accrual of time in sobriety is just a product of living the steps, with due care and tailoring by each person to their needs.

Two people I know of, have relapsed in the last month, one with 20 years sobriety, and another at 24 years sobriety. Sad and true.

People are human, and don't forget people in AA are fighting a daily deadly disease which kills more often than not. You know this I guess from where things ended with your partner. At least and I am glad you did not join in with his behaviour.

Humans are human

AA cannot stop a person drinking, it can provide tools and framework to live an ordinary extraordinary life, full of life experience lived in the here and now, and with less delusions or filters.

And the truth of AA, typically it's a case of what you see today is what you get. And its just ordinary recovering humans trying to make life work one day at a time. Any old timer will share, the fellowship is no better or worse than its fellows as they deal with life as other humans do.

AA has no substance beyond the day people are in. It has no leaders, no organisation and no way to guarantee anything other than life happens, so simple and yet so complicated.

I have not got to the video yet , will have a look, just wondered where I may find it? [ I found the video and loved it!]

The Problem with AA?

It cannot fix humans or guarantee anything to anyone. It has some simple steps and some traditions. And it is "rough and ready" like recovery from anything major. Sometimes good and sometimes a complete failure.

Am I ok Today? [ thank you for asking ]

About my videos yesterday, was I a bit different in how I felt, actually yes I was. So in truth I guess my more acerbic delivery could have been a reaction to a long day and a lot of effort putting my web sites back to normal. And a reaction to fluctuating blood sugars and fatigue generally. I have had some problems with routine of late and much forgetfulness which puts me in harms way a lot of the time. There are a number of allied problems associated with all three chronic conditions..

Family and Fellowship are integral to well being, isolation and deep solitary feeling and thinking can do nothing to improve a head full of depression. Hence my happiness with my programme, family, fellowship as close to community and boundaries I never had. As I lost my material wealth I have found a new set of values are about love and tolerance and being just me, as much myself as each day lived enables.

Like any walk of life, we meet like minded people and others we walk on by and leave to their own outlook. So too with AA

Take Care [xxxxxxx] seeking answers, from Don without many answers except keep it in the day,

one of my old aliases on the web was "Don Tavaclue" [ don‘t have a clue ]

And hope the day and connections help you see you are not to blame for how things are today, and also maybe forgiveness might be a key?

I would rather "live life" than watch it pass me by - take care Don x




7th December 2006

Where am I?

I sent a text to a friend or may I say a fellow of the fellowship? I guess an awkward fellow at the moment as they are out having one or two tipples I guess. We are not really friends as such just acquainted in a fellowship, we are equals in all respects except for their desire to keep on drinking and my desire never to drink again. And I feel I challenge myself because I know with this particular malady, any consideration beyond a day is not helpful to robust sobriety. So a desire to keep sober is as good as it gets. A disease like mine and my fellows who also have it, can catch us when we least expect. Even after years and years. So there is never a complacent moment for me.

Tonight and texts

Actually I sent a couple of texts I guess may yield pain more than friendship, as truly I feel I have clobbered them with unacceptable truths and this is not really helpful. Yet not to say anything is as dishonest as going along with things I find totally repulsive, falseness and denial makes me shudder. I shudder at my own denials most of the time and have no idea how others deal with theirs, except maybe take on board what they may be and work on them.

Desist from pen and tongue

It is impossible it seems to desist, that we may let others find their way. And that is the truth of me, for indeed if I am caught up in others denials of irrefutable bad deeds I need not condone and say nothing. I need make my feelings apparent and move on, let go and let them get what they may from it. This enabling and colluding malarkey goes on all the time as when learn life all over again and again and again. It never lets up.

The whole programme of AA as it states is so simple we might wonder why some people feel it is the greatest legacy of the twentieth century, and others feel it’s a load of bollox. The bollox contingent feel so as the AA programme requires a person to examine their living and make good on some elements of life we are forever in denial about. That is mainly our part in life completely and our undeniable responsibility to live it as it were, in control of the real facts and not some version we concoct to satisfy our outlook. And AA is a load of bollox for the "deniables" people who deny their part in their life. Deniability helps people smooth over rough edges to live they prefer are not there, that they can behave as they will and self will is allowed to run riot. AA mends people who have broken themselves if they desire it strongly enough, that they may try be honest enough to be a work in progress and to learn life all over again!

Drop outs

We experience more drop outs from drop outs probably than any other community or fellowship, as our cause is to let go addictions and get back to living in the modern world, it is hardly surprising many opt for the oblivion afforded as life on life’s terms is quite horrible some of the time and only joyous now and again… No wonder so many cannot or will not join in. And I don’t blame them one bit, because I was like them too. A drop out of life person who would prefer oblivion and death before I got to a place called rock bottom. And then experienced some more rocks and hard places.

Tonight though

In my heart I accept every bit of what I have done, good, bad, indifferent and the consequences faced so far and others to follow. I am an imperfect study, perfectly able to take on the chin all that life will mete out. And I must or I am done for. And the same applies in all my doings hereon. I need to find honesty when I prefer dishonesty and white lies. I don’t feel smoothing over cracks and making simpering platitudes helps ever. Indeed before I went completely mad I know I was very good in the honesty department in many respects, but an abject duffer in some other areas of living.

And its no good blaming anything or anyone

Tonight was one of those meetings where everyone was somehow grateful for every rock and hard place, every desire to give up and die, so they knew truly in their own hearts how bad life can be. Some say it’s the point where we get to our last gasp, our desperate understanding to get out of this malady or die. Indeed we all felt tonight that death would have been preferable overall, and then we are back, some days, weeks, months and years sober, knowing that even death and oblivion is never the answer. Seems odd really that last gaspers and no hopers would find a way back

It cannot get any worse?

Yes it can, we find all to frequently that life can be worse than imagined, yet for this very reason we live again in a perverse sense of acceptance of who and what we really are, equal and open to life as life is.

Spiritual Nonsense

Yes its there if you view a clear head, which feels pain, sorrow, hardship, abject despair, and then joy, hard work, study, application and renovation. All that is spiritual nonsense some find so wicked a truth. The truth is spiritual is living life as is, not some God fearing bollox dreamed up by some romantic notions of heaven and hell. Life is spiritual when your experience is joy, heaven, its hell, desolation and something in between. Its all the hell and all that we feel heaven may be, just as it is right now. No filters, no denials and no fucking about, its as it is right now. And that’s the nonsense we learn if we are lucky.

What do I know though

With two texts I may set the record right and let go, and then I might capitulate, and let all go back? I doubt the opportunity for indeed I don’t want things back the way they were. The falseness was depressing me beyond measure.

All emotions are felt

Yes we get the full repertoire of emotions back, and particularly unhelpful is judgment along the way, judgment is born out of emotion and not intellect, although it might not sit well in people‘s minds that way. So important we let go and do no harm to others, and yet do no harm to ourselves too. Is it right to be honest, to point out the folly, when another is not working to good conscience? The answer is truly yes, and in fellowship when and if it is appropriate we may say it. Truth is immutable and not negotiable, we need be true in all our dealings in this world, or we live with denials making this world worse. And that is undeniable!

A bloody good evening in my meeting tonight

It was and made me realise I am extremely grateful to have opportunity to try make amends for all the crap I have lived and shared inadvertently with family and friends. My conduct as a man has been exemplary sometimes and the worst it could in my deniable past, no so obvious denials might make me cringe but its not possible to deny and amends are due. When time and opportunity, without harm to others afford, they can be made.

As to now, open honest and willing to learn my dishonesties as I get real with life. I am not as bad as all that? Yet even small deviations make me cringe inside and I cannot function in a dishonest way. Yet life throws dishonest at me all day long. And you know, I wonder at our lives, but carry on to the best I can, this work in progress. After all we are learning if we are open all our lives till death comes often too quickly I feel.

Forgive

We need forgive everything and everybody, know there are consequences and we are unable ever to deny our part in living. We need make good as we may, we need have forgiveness for everyone, and this is really the truth. No matter how bad and awful we may feel things have been, we can forgive everybody everything. We need only look to their living and how they evolved, as life dealt all the blows which makes someone who they are. And all we need do, as we forgive and understand, is ensure safety is there as all we learn helps us decide. And for the unrepentant who don’t really have a clue, retribution, revenge and resentments have no value once we understand our humanity and their predicament. Some are incapable and need care and separate ways to make anything of their life. And we may judge them safer elsewhere.

I did not like to mention that last part, because we always believe there may be some redemption for everyone, I guess acceptance also makes me realise there may be some way somewhere, and yet in the process out of harming others and our lives today.

Tonight

It was an exceptional meeting of extra ordinary survivors of a killer disease. And as we all felt the better for it and can live another day sober? Let us hope just one day at a time. With a bit of emotional, physical and spiritual learning, just enough to make some sense of nonsense. And to make our way to ordinary living in the moment of now, accepting our part and how we may be a part of this world all over again! Just for this day, with a little help from my friends… and a fellowship of men and women with a desire to stop drinking, no how hard is simple? As hard as any living may be in this real world.

December 7th 2005

Lightening Up and Experiencing life's Murk

Light Some days start a bit heavy and lighten up as they go. Other days go the other way. So why depend on the day for the pattern? Why not set the pattern ourselves? Why not decide tomorrow is going to be light and easy, right and breezy? And then when we awaken, make sure our first thoughts are filled with..."YES"! If we are not accustomed to creating the atmosphere of our day in this way, it may sound strange, it may feel false or difficult to start with. But if we persist, and determine to be light, it will become the norm and not the exception. Say YES now! The gift the alchemists drift takes us into visionary deceptions.

Experience is our Chalice

And of course, when we cannot shape our day with the power of will, when our internal rain can come cascading fast even on the brightest days in our minds eye. Our self will, to determine our day is as good as we feel. There may be positive shaping to our day. We can use a mantra, a prayer, all sorts of devices. And still we can fall down in the dumps. No amount of self delusion pulls us back from 'black dog'. When nothing else works, when the will is broken and the world is seen with eyes of acceptance, we learn a lesson of great value. The value of this lesson is beyond measure and

can only be experienced. On another day where reality bites. Where life is experienced without our brush with denial, and the world takes on its true gravitas, grit and pithy redolent, frisson as senses are awash with life's murk... Acceptance! Nature's gift, is one of many a keys to a Kingdom where elemental relish feeds our soul, and fills our inner Grail, common to all of us...

December 7th 2004

Nobody's Perfect

It is an almost automatic reaction to see the differences we have to others. Often we see that difference in the blink of an eye. When we see difference we embark on a journey so easy to fall into, prejudice, and we might never know our prejudice exists.

Lifetimes are spent in happy equations with our world. We make assumptions and calculated risks in a never ending trail of events. We make prejudice our beacon, our handle with care, our automatic default to situations and events. We make inevitable an irritability in life if we take note our prejudices and make them our masters.

Similarities we take for granted. We don't judge the familiar, and we don't necessarily put a value on similarity as we do prejudices and differences. Without doubt we have similar characteristics as people, and notions about the world and our desires for ourselves. Happiness and love, tolerance and care, less to worry about, so we harness our imagination to our contentment.

When we experience similarities, we should value them far above differences. Difference is about diversity, about challenge to our stable condition, and worthy of opportunity to understand and enable change.

As we come to understand our similarities, and realise their value, so too diversity and difference can be viewed as a rich treasure unfolding. Difference without prejudice.

We are gifted with similarity, so diversity is our challenge and our salvation, for without diversity we would for evermore be unmoved and dormant in our human growth.

In these times we may embrace diversity and challenge for without them, we are hapless and lost as dinosaurs, too close to extinction and a page of discovery in a book of dust.

In God's Eye and Nature, everything is perfectly as can be, imperfectly perfect...

-/-




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Be Tolerant

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.






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Ghandi

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.




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The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.




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Ghandi

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
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Progress Not Perfection



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