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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

on this day


Though they knew they must help other alcoholics if they would
remain sober, that motive became secondary. It was transcended
by the happiness they found in giving themselves to others.
Alcoholics Anonymous, p.159

Those words, for me, refer to a transference of power, through which
God, as I understand Him, enters my life. Through prayer and
meditation, I open channels, then I establish and improve my
conscious contact with God. Through action I then receive the power
I need to maintain my sobriety each day. By maintaining my spiritual
condition, by giving away what has been freely given to me, I am
granted a daily reprieve.

funny how life circles. i supposed that the yearly calendar gives support to that concept. every 365 days we have a reason to reflect and decipher if any of our experiences, patterns, or observations have circled around to revisit. and birthdays fit neatly into that process.

5 years ago today-well tonight actually- i started my very last binge with tina. it was completely unintended as far as i could see. my roommate was on a cruise up in canada for a week, and i went to drag queen bingo at serengeti to celebrate-or at least not be alone. i had a couple of drinks and then the memory gets kinda hazy. i am sure i went to the baths, but i couldn't tell you whether i copped first or if i made my purchase while i was there. i was using my roommate's car, as i had abandoned mine before i left california- or maybe it was impounded for non-registration- yes that's it.

anyway, i headed to the bathhouse and spend a couple of days binging. i couldn't tell you if there were any momentous encounters or happenings, because i don't remember. i do remember that i decided not to go back to my "fucked up" job that i'd had for 3 weeks, and that i got a ticket on my roommate's car. industrious as i am, i additionally cashed in about $150 in foreign currency at a travel agency so the binge could continue. and i can also tell you that i was so tweaked when that ran out that i spent 24 hours trying to figure out how to break into a friends' bank account so the party wouldn't have to end. i can also tell you i was successful and lifted about a thousand dollars and made a very large purchase.

by this time i hadn't slept in 3 or 4 days, and the hallucinations that ensued are part of the reason i stopped. i went back to the bathhouses, actually 2 because i couldn't relax at one of them, and i began my visits with the ghosts of my past and present. it was excruciating and i can still wrap myself in that horror, it was so palpable. i finally fell asleep on the 5th or 6th day at the tubs. when i awoke, i realized what deep shit i was in.

i was too chicken to drive home, because i knew the bullshit i had caused. the cruise was finished and my roommate had arrived back home. i needed to move quickly and i moved into my mothers place. she was not at all pleased about the arrangement. she would let me sleep there, but would not allow me to have a key or be there during the day. i remember still having about a teener left unused from the binge, and sitting up in the bedroom at her house in the dark, lighting a pipe repeatedly, and not even being able to tell if i was getting high. it was desperate, it was despicable, and i had to find a way to be done.

i haven't recanted this story for a while now. it feels better resting inside, rather than waving like a banner. but the real gift in all this is that it led me to a place where i became desperate for change. although this tale recants some awful aspects to myself, i needed to drown in those traits before i would even consider seriously asking for help or doing some work to make that happen.

i am in the beginning stages of my own recovery. i had been self medicating since i was 12 or 13 and didn't really stop. i may have rested for shorter periods, but my chemical imbalance (probably) usually got the best of me. i had been impulsive most of my life, which i think was part of my charm, and it flowed from me with little or no reserve.

i can't change who i was(and won't) because it connects directly to who i am. i have lots of work ahead of me. but i'm truly grateful for that. i need work to do in order to keep me focused. so today, on my 51st belly button birthday, i remember the path the led me to crumble and the spirit that led me to seek a different kind of peace. and i'm thankful.

today's sound choice is hilary duff with "someone's watching over me"



Java said...

Happy Birthday, Rod. It's been a busy life so far. I'm glad you're around to recount it.

Jeremiah Andrews said...

Happy Birthday. It is good to remember so that we never forget. You lived. God has forgiven you and granted you serenity.


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