Cold weather brings on the onset of things lurking in the shadows. And of course as the days draw in and dark manifests more than light, the inner being is challenged. Winter depressions for humans are like those in the weather. We donít seem so good at coping as the cold grips. True for all humans in the temperate climate I feel. We donít do "weather" too well.
For me though I have been busy trying to get up to date and realise maybe as the year ends I need look to simplify what I do in relation to my website and how it may be.
I do get a few hits now and then, not big numbers like commercial sites. I am not too surprised. Recovery and being in recovery from addiction does not get a wide audience in general. And really this site has been about me and recovery, it has been cathartic. As to what next and how much more there is to do in the current form? I am uncertain.
Whether and weathering. I am worn smooth some of the time and wonder how this may be roughened to have a better edge. Or is it as life becomes more understood and the recovery path has become established I am running out of material? Not really as human doings and life continues.
Always good for me as the people who go are a real mixture of years sober to days sober, and we all seem to know intuitively this meeting and any meeting is good for us. How many should a person attend? As many as a person needs to feel ok and comfortable in the day.
Shy Sharing and Truth Sharing most likely tomorrows topic for me..
We might expect better results for our efforts and attendance at meetings. Yet it seems we humans can forget what is good for us on a daily basis.
If we were diligent and mindful people in this world, we would learn once and then respond to life appropriate to conditions and good sense. Or common sense, yet to me it seems as much as we have common sense we lose it as fast as we learn it. The World Evolves as each epoch moves along. Human kind have not been around for long on this planet, and our demise may be sooner than later as a race. And we race to consume our world as fast as we may.
So bent out of shape, can we ever put it right? Actually our world of humans has a finite time on this planet. We may have accelerated the demise of many by selfish national endeavours these industrialised years. The world however will go on with or without us.
As we live, so we the custodians for our lifetime, and we may find there is little more to it than that. We do however have a duty of care to future generations? I wonder how we care for those starving today, do we care or is it just too hard to contemplate and bring our human selves together and work to make less suffering and more improved living for us all.
So many conflicts, so many great causes we cannot often see beyond this element of self. Self interest.
Acceptance of how life is today.. I am uncertain what we may do to make good life as we have come to know it. As we have, so others have not. Never ending.
When dealing with an alcoholic, there may be a natural annoyance that a man could be so weak, stupid and irresponsible. Even when you understand the malady better, you may feel this feeling rising.
AA p. 139
Having suffered from alcoholism, I should understand the illness, but sometimes I feel annoyance, even contempt, toward a person who cannot make it in A.A. When I feel that way, I am satisfying my false sense of superiority and I must remember, but for the grace of God, there go I.
A.A. Thought For The Day
The sceptic and the agnostic say it is impossible for us to find the answer to life. Many have tried and failed. But many have put aside intellectual pride and have said to themselves: Who am I to say there is no God? Who am I to say there is no purpose in life? The atheist makes a declaration: "The world originated in a cipher and aimlessly rushes nowhere." Others live for the moment and do not even think about why they are here or where they are going. They might as well be clams on the bottom of the ocean, protected by their hard shells of indifference. They do not care. Do I care where I am going?
We may consider the material world as the clay which the artist works with, to make of it something beautiful or ugly. We need not fear material things, which are neither good nor bad in the moral sense. There seems to be no active force for evil--outside of human beings themselves. Humans alone can have either evil intentions--resentments, malevolence, hate and revenge--or good intentions--love and good will. They can make something ugly or something beautiful out of the clay of their lives.
19th December 2006
Faith blah blah blah..
Its been a good day overall, some serenity, some contacts from the past and much to do. With a few limitís the day has worked out pretty well. And more than good in the desire to spend money department. I donít know what it is, but sometimes I feel the need to spend. Fortunately on a limited budget the feeling goes away as quickly as it comes these days. I am not attracted by big sign which suggests massive savings these days. The way to save money is not to spend it or consider a few quid spent now will somehow miraculously become available again.
I saw my mother this morning, always a delight and always interesting. At 75 years old, with what seems like a thousand years of knowledge readily available to her, she provides a lot of wisdom, and for me its an essential part of the family connection. A wiser and often overlooked wisdom in many families, simply because people are just too busy with their own solutions to living, and not necessarily thoughtful to find wisdom where it resides, in wise old heads.
It struck me today, that although I have made it past my sell by date, in the scheme of things being alive now is quite a minor miracle. With type 1 diabetes and other incurable maladies like clinical depression and alcoholism, well it is good to reflect today I am alive by virtue of modern science and modern understanding of courage and faith. Actually my understanding of courage and faith is as old as time and part of the story of nature and providence.
We are all living longer
Yes we are indeed as life expectancy has been pushed ever higher, the accumulated wisdoms of this world grow a little deeper with each day. Old ideas of other millennia, still haunt us as we try make sense of this present day, our history, the myths and legends of other times, and what living is all about..
Simply we are best able to make our lives work in the present moment. And as far as history goes, its full of lessons and consequences, in our own world and the real world of now.
Older wiser, more daft, and dafter?
Some of us do learn that as we make use of longevity, provided by providence and nature, we are more able to enjoy a few years more. We can learn more, understand more, or get more dogmatic and forget the plot more. It seems we have every opportunity to ossify, and fall on our faith, if faith is the answer. Yet faith is not that.
After making the trip to see my Mum, and a necessary trip to check out what I cannot afford, I was out of walking distance. Neuropathy courtesy of the progression in my diabetes disease, it means only walking so far, and I am done for. Walking through pain is not recommended in my opinion, it means the after effects of pain are much worse and much harder in time to get over.
Tonight was ok, I got down to the Boltonís for the step meeting I attend with AA. And being Tea Boy, got the necessaries like milk. No rain tonight so able to get there on the bike. Riding a bike is not as painful as walking so I can get there reasonably ok, and now from standing the pain is pretty severe for me.
Tonightís subject step two:" Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity"
Now here is a subject for the contentious like me and others who have faith and courage. Many people who have faith, are able to understand their faith in humanity and for some this extends to there being a God, a higher power if you will, or wonít.
The nature of powers greater than us is to knock some sense into the addled alcoholic brain, that we are not the centre of the universe and we have taken little or no advice and ended up in the crap of being alcoholics. And actually by the time we realise we are in it, and others realise it is truly too late to reverse time, put back the clock and find a way to drink alcohol again. We are parched when we donít, and thirsty when we do. And the idea of a higher power, itís the opportunity to realise we donít know what is good for us, as in our insanity we have no will to stop our self harm through drink.
Now for me along the way by some years, in consideration of God, Nature and Providence. And having learned that there is more wisdom in this world than just me, I take advice from those I can trust, and from those who can help me stay safe and sober a day at a time. The idea that God chooses to help me, now I have utilised my addictive nature and got hooked, well itís a bit of a stretch for me. I am actually an addict, and as addicts do, they go back to self harm to seek oblivion from this world which hurts so much. Indeed addiction is only a self maintenance task after all the pleasure is done and over. We cannot function without it, without being detoxed and sorted with sobriety. As to God and the role of a deity. Well I can accept there is more to this world than I know and can see. Yet to suggest God removes defects and drinking habits, actually I look to good conscience and people who with faith in themselves and unity provide a basis for recovery. God is best left to get with whatever God does. We know beyond a shadow of doubt anyone can be an addict. And for that matter anyone can be bad to themselves and others. And through providence and wisdom, maybe, just maybe they and I get over it, and I get over doing self harming things to me too.
So a rather interesting share and then more connections made.
Alcoholism, Depression and other Maladies
So it seems there are many associated conditions besides the self medication to oblivion to let go the world of hurts. As I have three and complications, I see my part in my downfall if you like. And I donít need to understand that Providence or a God made this possible, I did. And like most who get hooked we have no will to stop and seek our needs as we may. It has little to do with a God. It has everything to do with making good on wisdom and behaviour learned and adjusted to good conscience and living. That is our way back to living.
And in all this much denial, much to do with faith, much to do with fear. And if we really get down to it, the way out and back to ordinary living whatever we feel that is, is through hard work, putting ourselves back together and utilising wisdom learned. No sane person can ever understand the insanity of self harm, it makes no sense at all.
Yet for the bewildered like me, its easy to see, that a new path, a set of principles, and some higher power than me can activate the good and good conscience of me.
Some in the fellowship
Now some in the fellowship do relate all their life and maladies to being in remission simply through the power of faith in God. And for me it is truly their opinion and their outlook. Many have made their way to the AA fellowship and left because they donít get this notion of higher power.
For me it is quite simple, lots of people have combined wisdom, lots of people have found a way back to modern living. Lots of people believe in God, and lots of people just donít know. We do know that two heads are better than one. And when it comes to experts who are in recovery, and what to do, I defer to the combined wisdoms learned over decades in the fellowship.
As to other higher powers
Depression is something I have had all my life. A distortion from ordinary caused by a lack of chemicals which my brain needs to function to ordinary. And I need help to get to ordinary. When I donít get the help, I slip back into the blackness where nothing ever feels right. And thatís a certainty. No power of another world or spirit of faith has ever lifted this condition. And it is not lack of belief in God which makes me ill. It is a chemistry set broken or in my case lacking some ingredients and manufacturing base inside me.
Health and diet can help. And to a degree cognitive behavioural therapy. Not unlike AA to make the best of what I have
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I then got diabetes, which in fact was acquired long after I was given a clean bill of health after I got into recovery. So there is no guilt or shame or wondering about being punished for my living. It was not of GodĎs handiwork, it was a virus or shock to the system, from a tooth extraction most likely. And whatever the reason it matters not. I donít mind if it was me, it matters not, just that I need treat it.
Some people believe that its all part of a deities plan to make us sick so we learn some humility and turn to faith will makes us better again. I donít believe that for a moment. To be punished in some way. Actually I do believe in consequences. We live and get chances based on location, and time. This means we are subject to natural laws and Providence and Nature. We know some of us have long or short lives, and some get better starts and some get crap starts. Some never stand a chance and some never know what living is at all. Its all a bit hit and miss, happenstance and serendipity.
Its not easy to listen to someone suggest we are all Godís children and we are here to be thankful for all we receive. And actually it does not help me when its said by someone in rude health either. So the notion has some smack of piety for me.
Simply because it is plain and obvious to me that some people need more help than others to keep well. And anyone who suggests that addicts with other ailments are better to give up and not follow medical advice, well its plain madness. As if God wanted us to suffer. Nope not for me, we have a life, we are a growing civilisation, we make science work and we understand how to keep people alive with help and understanding and faith in humanity. The notion of purity, coming out of the insanity of alcoholism, that its down to God? Well I cannot rule it out, yet wisdom learned leads me other ways.
God - Good orderly direction - Good Conscience
If you believe in God, its none of my business. If you believe in God and suggest I am better in pure states without medical assistance you can get lost and shove it up your arse.
As to people in the know regarding spiritual progress. Its right here and now, where we learn to see reality without filters, without denials and without bunkum generated from piety.
We donít need piety we need reality, good conscience a recognition of the perfectly imperfect moment of now. We donít need half baked oracles stuck up their own backsides full of twaddle and bull. We need some science, some faith, and an understanding of the Nature of this world and what Providence truly is. Some are shackled to their belief, some use their faith to be free.
The choice and belief, to good conscience, and faith to be courageous comes from humanity, fellowship and understanding the world as it is, not as we are led to defer, so we are never scared of the bogey man imagined in those nightmares and dreams. How is it that we are able to debate this at all? Because we are all growing in wisdom if we choose this path, and faith finds its place in our repertoire of living, just one day at a time..
Actually I do believe in God, just not the one in your head. And that is acceptance for me. May your god be with youÖ
December 19th 2005
God & Good are one in the same
The mind that rests only on the surface of things will be tossed about in every storm. Let me dive deep to where peace can always be found.
Sometimes we wonder why we seem to be tossed here and there, out of control, or running from one event to another. Along the way we pick up all sorts of ideas about what makes us happy, what we want from the world, what makes the difference.
We have some things inside us, our confidence and ego have a lot to do with how we feel and think. Sometimes I wonder if we make it all too complicated. That we make our lives worse by trying to make them better.
For a long time I have had problems with any form of organised approach to the meaning of life. Things like organised religion make me feel awkward, suspicious and rebellious before I have even opened a book or start a conversation with a 'believer'. I don't know why I should feel awkward or do I? The answer is I don't want to put a spanner in someone else's works, I donít want to play down what works for others, for I have no monopoly on right. Yet anything, which has certain elements, makes me want to challenge and question.
When it comes to the spiritual, we enter this world alone and leave it alone. At least that is what I feel is true. A collective, a heaven and a place where we all become more enlightened or receive rewards for our life here on earth brings doubt into my mind. Yet there is no doubt in my mind that we do experience more than we might imagine, more than the five senses at our ready disposal, and we can feel connections where there is no solid evidence.
And the notion that one humans experience is either a template or a body of wisdom to idolise, well that makes me very wary. And when someone suggests God told them something, or God wrote a book, or God is watching me, I really do get very suspicious. God as far as I am aware has never uttered a single word. And as far as I know God has never put pen to paper. And as far as I know God, good is probably short for good!
We all have good in us. We all have conscience and instinctively we know good from bad. Our feelings make most of this abundantly clear. Where we get into a lot of heartache is around our interpretation, our distortion of most good we encounter. When we our out of balance with our good side, we use our thinking and intellect to bend our will and others to a point of view, usually our own view and our own self interest. So nature in my opinion provided a template of good, that is nature provides for the good.
Our nurture has moved us along many strands of thought, society and culture developed on top of what we got from Nature.
Sounds plausible to me. So when others try to persuade me to a view, a way of living, it most certainly is well received when it is to the common good.
When others would suggest, after great thought and self interest to join their belief system, not to the good of all, I tend to go my own way. Most religions turn me off. Most people I meet with good in their hearts are welcome, even if they are inside a group, because despite everything good comes to the fore eventually. Good is from nature. Good comes from our conscience. And so good conscience is usually consistent with my belief about God, and God is just a convenient abbreviation for everything we hold to the good. So when people say that God is love, I am very happy. You may have noticed that one emotion above all else is number one. Love. And from love
every other emotion is derived. We have love, we have every emotion ever felt and ever described in each of us. Love certainly does conquer all, well eventually, its where we start and where we end.
December 19th 2004
When I inspire enthusiasm and confidence in those around me, my own self-esteem flourishes.
Our world can bring us much self confidence, providing we are aware of those small doubts which undermine us. The gift of confidence may need to be the equal of doubt. It is that which enables us to change with positive feelings and the doubt is just a challenge to our feelings and thoughts.
There are many who will support us as we move with our lives, and others less certain, each with a voice.
Listen with care to the inner voice of your conscience, the voice of wonder and fulfilment. The voice of bewilderment too. Let go the negative as we move to the positive, keep clear your channel to the inner voice of enquiry, the voice of accepting the world as it is, and the changes we can make, if so inclined.
Wisdom rests on experience. Experience is our teacher, for good and lifeís lessons. Let go the bad, and embrace the good, using experience as your compass and your inner voice for guidance. Embrace your life...