Sober Beard

3653 days ago today I came to on the floor of a Las Vegas hotel room bathroom. Thankfully, so far, that was the last time I came to in that condition. My gratitude for the sobriety I have and the people who have helped me along the way on my path cannot be fully expressed. However that deep gratitude is there and it sustains my soul.

Ten years…

Wow.

10 year Sober and Grateful Fearsome Beard

Reflections on 5 years

“Sobriety”

Interesting word. Clearheaded state of being. Has many interpretations. Isn’t for everyone. Is wonderful for me.

My 5 year token

My 5 year token

My sobriety date is 7 November 2011. That was my first day without drugs or alcohol.

I haven’t used recreational substances since that date. I’m one of those who cannot use any. I can’t stop once I start. I tried moderation. I tried different substance. I tried different drinks. I tried controlling. I tried limiting. I tried period. I’d try then I couldn’t stop until I was sick, passed out, blacked out, injured, embarrassed, in trouble, lost, confused, missed work, lapsed responsibility …I couldn’t stop. I’d lost me.

Not everyone is like me. I found others like me that were not drinking. They weren’t drugging either. Things were working for them. I decided to try what they were doing. It worked for me. Not drinking worked for me. Alcohol was my mind altering drug of choice, the others were auxiliary enhancements. I don’t need them and I not longer drink.

There are many ways for people to live their lives. I’ve found a way that works for me. I celebrate the anniversary of making that discovery today. I celebrate five years of living one day at a time unaltered and sober. I like being this way. I actually enjoy hanging with my friends who do drink and those who don’t. I keep booze in my house for those who do drink and they keep Juice and club soda in their house for me.

I live life in a world of diversity. This beautiful life in this beautiful world. I love my life.

Being of service to others

Some of you know I’m sober. Some may have picked up I follow a twelve step program. Others reading this may not have a clue about these personal detail but guess what, now you do.

The final step, the twelfth step, is about carrying the message and helping others who want or desire help. It’s about helping each other. It’s about helping the group. It’s about improving just the little part of the world that surrounds oneself. It’s simply being of service.

Earlier today while driving to the grocery I was contemplating what difference can I make? What difference in the vast world? How could I change the world? How can I, big bearded little me, make any difference?

Start. Start right here. Start with what I have. Start where I am. Do one thing that makes this little area right around me better. Clean the trash or of a shopping cart left out in the parking lot and bring it in to use. Then return that shopping cart clean and ready for use in the proper spot. Smile and share humor with the clerk adding “Thank You, I hope you have a great day” when walking away. Be courteous when driving home. Let someone ahead of me in traffic. Put my neighbors trash cans away  for them after I park my car before carrying my groceries in from the alley. Leave each place I encounter just a little better than I found it by doing just one simple gesture.

Little things have ripple effects. I feel good when I do good. Others feel good when I share good. Good interactions lead to more. More leads to even more.

Turns out being of service is simply doing little things that improve small situations. This little service returns big results. When each of us do simple little things to make each immediate area around us better than we found it, imagine. Imagine the possibilities.

Go ahead. It has to start somewhere. 😉👍😃

 

He was someone I looked up to

April 6,1954 was the day my mother gave birth to her first child. Born in Las Vegas Nevada the son of an Air Force Lieutenant, he was named David after our dad.

I am in Ft. Lauderdale. I have been very busy with renovations on a property here. I was supposed to fly home today. I have yet to leave. Travelous interupptus.

No not an airline mishap nor a renovation glitch. Family matters.

David has been sick for many years and is now in end stage liver disease. David is the oldest of us three boys. I am the youngest. David is only 62.

I got the call from my sister-in-law this morning before I was to head to the airport to fly home. David isn’t expected to live past the weekend. Internal bleeding.

Early in the morning I will now be flying to Newark, then Dulles and finally in the mid afternoon I arrive in my hometown to be with my mother.

I had to call her today with the news. It isn’t easy telling your 84 year old mother that it looks like her son will die this week. This week marks one year since her husband of 62 years left us.

My middle brother is in Italy on holiday. He’s due home the end of this week. Mom needs one of us now. I’m closer and don’t have to clear customs.

I’m tired. I’ve been on the phone all day. I’ve cried. I walked on the beach. I had a good dinner alone overlooking the ocean. I’ve planned and changed plans. I’ve gotten confused. I’ve consoled. I’ve communicated.

I write.

Writing helps.

He’s my big brother. We aren’t real close. As a boy I wanted to be like him in many ways. He was popular, athletic and handsome. Alcoholism took all of that away from him.

I now live as a sober younger brother. I am confused, frightened, angry, empathetic, and powerless. I’m grateful that I found a way out. I’m bitter that many who succumb to addictions don’t make it out. I understand the ones who don’t find a way out, as I was once there. I am one of the lucky ones.

Fearsome on Ft. Lauderdale Beach

Fearsome on Ft. Lauderdale Beach