The Long Winter is Over

Currently it’s 65°F. We haven’t seen temperatures in this range in a long, long, long time. I’ve decided to simply call the past winter, “The Long Winter of 2018” because it felt like it would never end; we had accumulating snow just the other day. It was an especially rough Winter for me too physically, mentally and spiritually.  I’m just glad its over. Now to look toward the future.

After I let a friend take my car to take care of some business it was returned in a horrible state.  The “friend” is no longer around nor do I care to see him in the future. There is my part in the whole affair I take responsibility for, however forgiveness in this matter is NOT going to come soon. Ever day I PRAY I simply get to work and home. I simply don’t have the money to get the necessary repairs (the whole brake system is messed up).

In addition, I’ve been in a financial mess for a couple of months.  Finally, after some hard work I’ve started to get my finances back in order. I’m not out of the woods yet but I “can see the light at the end of the tunnel” as long as I stick to the plan I set for with.

With my recent relapses, my life has spun out of control.  I knew this was going to happen but I simply “let [my] will run riot”. I just gave up having no hope there was any relief in the future. After sitting on the pity pot I finally picked myself up, brushed off the dust and concentrated on me.  I’ve made a commitment to myself to get myself back to where I was. It’s going to be a hard road to walk. Just in the last couple of months, there is a lot of garbage I’ve collected, yet again. I’m looking forward to getting back involved in the recovery community and clearing it all away.

Another promise I made to myself was to ONLY work a double (16 hours) once per week.  Last week I fell into my own trap, “I need the money, I’ll be okay.” While the extra money has helped, I have taken hard hits physically, mentally and spiritually. As I come closer to half a century in my life, I have to remember I’m not able to do what seems so easy for these young people I work with.  My body just can’t take the lack of sleep, the physical demand of standing 16 hours going from the end of one hallway, then another and yet another all evening and night.  Lastly, it’s mentally exhausting and I just give up doing stupid things. Money wasn’t important to me during the ten years I was sober. It shouldn’t be now either.

I actually got out of the house for the first time all Winter.  It was just on my porch but it was a start.  While I have a few things around the house, basically Spring Cleaning which should have been done a long time ago, I’m going to make the time to take a walk later. Just down the end of the road and back. I just want to begin to fill my lungs with the the nice spring fresh air. Next weekend I have off from work, so I’m going to plan a trip to one of the State parks to see the waterfalls.

I’m not going to beat myself up about my past. What is done is done. I’m moving forward and making every future moment of it count.

Time for some Spring Cleaning . . .

Spring is Here; Change is in the Air

Last weeks events were discouraging.  One thing after another after another, my life was taking a spiral dive down to dark places. I know the road ahead of me is going to be rough.  However, this morning when I woke up I felt refreshed, alive again. Spring is finally here; change is in the air.

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March 26 2018 – A picture outside in the backyard. The last remnants of Winter are slowing melting away. With the temperatures starting to climb I need to enjoy the scenery of Spring.

I strongly believe in astrological influences, hence the horoscope at the end of the Daily Reading each day. Mercury went retrograde on March 23 and won’t go direct until April 15, 2018. The Farmer’s Almanac has a very good basic interpretation.  Everything is in disarray in my life, so I just need to buckle up and hold on tight.

But now that Spring is here, it is also a time for change and it gives me hope. I know my current situation is only temporary. Therefore, instead of “sitting on a pity pot”, I need to open my eyes to help influence needed change in my own life. I’m actually doing right now.

There isn’t anything I can do, for now, about my finances or getting my car fixed. On the other hand, I have been neglecting my health.  For instance, a couple times last week my blood pressure was over 170/100.  I’ve already experienced a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) or “mini-stroke” in May 2011. This isn’t something I can ignore.

I stepped on the scale this morning curious to see my current weight.  I’ve been struggling in the last couple of months with a weight of 180 pounds.  Again, insignificant to many, but to me I know its all “bad” fat. The only activity I do all day is 10,000 steps or more at work. I don’t really exercise as I should. I have always said I’m going to get into a exercise routine to build muscle and I don’t. That is changing right now. Just something small, perhaps a couple push ups and a couple sets of weight training. Just like my recovery, I have to start somewhere and small at first. I don’t want to over do it.

With that in mind, I’m also going to physically get outside more.  All Winter I’ve basically been cooped up in this bedroom.  Now its time to get out, breath the fresh air and enjoy what Spring has to offer.  I’m going to start with just taking a walk to and from the gas station. Afterward, I might talk a walk the other direction. In the nine months I have lived here, I have never gone down the other side of my street. Change is good; change can be an adventure!

Some of you may ask, “What about meetings?” As mentioned, my car is in extreme disrepair right now.  The other night while coming home I was almost involved in a wreck. While I take precautions to ensure I have a couple car lengths ahead of me, a truck made a complete stop in front of me for a deer. My brakes didn’t hold, I slid to the left, almost in the ditch and into oncoming traffic. If it wasn’t 11:30 pm at night, I might have been involved in a head-on collision. Physical meetings will have to wait.  However, someone suggested to investigate online meetings, so I’m going to do that now.

Lastly, there is my Higher Power. I don’t talk about my beliefs here because to me its a personal relationship. However, I am taking steps to renew my connection and strengthen my bond with my Higher Power. I’m doing something I haven’t done in a long time, making the time to sit, speak and listen with my Higher Power.

I look forward to these changes in my life. Now let’s get started . . .

 

Father Winter Just Go To Sleep Already

Wasn’t it back on February 2, 2018, Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (and some sources saying seven other groundhogs) saw their shadow, thus six more weeks of Winter would be falling upon us?  Well, six weeks is longer over due.  Yet, Father Winter continues to spread that white, fluffy stuff consistently on the ground. Can’t Father Winter just go to sleep already?

Looking outside my window, it’s snowing pretty good.  Some reports say only one to three inches, others say more.  It makes road conditions not favorable for me.  It’s not an excuse when I drive my car up and down, right and left, through sharp turns wondering if I’m going to get home or get to work for that matter.

I’ve been reading a lot of recovery material in the last couple of days. Is there something I could have done differently to prevent what happened a couple weeks ago?  Yes and no.  First, I didn’t have to drink at all.  There was no reason. But I choose to act upon my stupidity and now I must accept the consequences of those decisions.  Second, I could have called my ex-Sponsor despite our difference of opinions and my own thoughts of his own actions. We all have flaws and I need to simply put my differences to the side and allow him to give me the messages I need to stay sober.  Three, despite the weather, I could have dragged my arse to a meeting despite the current weather situation.

But my past actions are neither here nor there.  What’s done is done.  I need only to look forward for right now.  I don’t have regrets; I feel disappointmt with myself. It comes and go in waves. The more days I have sober, the less I step backwards and the more I move forward.

Things will fall in place at the right time when they are suppose to . . .

Mind Dump

Today is one of those days I need to simply write what I’m thinking. Yet again, a thought about drinking crossed my mind last night.  I won’t lie to myself or others,  I’m not okay – at all.

Everytime I’m in this place I think of the following passage as if its a clock tower going off to sound a new hour of a day, “Gong….gong…..gong”:

“Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.” Spiritual Experience Page 568 of the AA Book

First, I must be honest with myself, as well as others.  I have always held firm to this belief. Later, we’re taught to put things down on paper so that we can deal with them instead of finding other outlets to escape. We look at ourselves, what we have going on, prioritize those things, then deal with them one by one.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1 Timothy 6:10 King James Version (KJV)

Wise words from men long ago . . .

It’s frustrating the hell out of me I’m in a financial mess.I’m not even sure right now if I’ll be able to pay rent from this month by the 15th. The landlord has already accepted this month’s rent late, so asking another “favor” isn’t in the playbook. Meanwhile, all the other bills I have to let go for this month. Right around the next corner is next months rent, if I’m able to stay here.

Now I’m in a comfortable situation at work, I can start working extra hours. At first, I didn’t want to put myself throught it just piling more stress on me. But the way I look at it now, its necessary. Not only because I need to pay my bills but my car just keeps getting worse by the day. There are two bald spots on the front tires, so there isn’t time to waste getting it in and serviced. Other services, alignment, brakes and an oil change are way past due too.  It’s the only transportation I available to me.  No transportation means a worse situation I am in now. As far as other options like carpooling isn’t an option either, nor is moving closer to work.  No one of my co-workers lives anywhere near me and living in Ithaca, NY is like living in NYC. To rent a one bedroom in many place is over $1000 a month. My car is the only thing I have, so it needs to get done sooner or later.

The biggest issue in my life is my friend. Yes, the one who screwed me over to many times to count.  I know – I simply need cut all ties. But I can’t. He’s an addict to a point if he’s on the street for any longer he is going to die.  Why should I care?  Because I do.  It has nothing to do with “feelings” towords him or fixing him because I have my own problems.  Because of his past, everyone has shut him out.  He hasn’t been given a chance. Yes, he’s screwed up. Didn’t we all – some of us over and over. But I truly believe there is a chance for him and I am not giving up hope.

On the other hand, I know what I’ve been through and I will not under any circumstances go through that again.  I haven’t made a decision. When I do it’ll be mine to accept the consequences, if any.  People may hate me, I get it, so be it.

I honestly don’t think I will continue to be a CNA. My application to a college for my bachelor’s was accepted.  I just need to follow up to talk about funding.  Right now, it’s not even the time to start classes. I may never start anything the rate I’m going.  I have other priorities, then I’ll follow the lead down this road.

Lastly, another friend from long ago may be less than a year from getting released from prison.  He’s another one, same situation, I helped and got screwed.  But after all these years we have talked and I’m on the side he wants to put his past behind him. But part of me says, “Hold on, wait until he gets out. You don’t have to make any decisions right now.”

Monday is my day off, so I’m starting a new routine. At least I have a plan to start something new but this time I’m going to make every effort to make it happen. I’m still in the working a total committment stage. It would the self-doubt I can actually do it.  It’s been started over and over again, always fails, so what’s going to be different about this time?  That is the question I’m trying to answer.

Two Weeks Sober

When I was ten years sober, days flew by without a thought. Again, only two weeks sober, I can’t believe only ONE thought of drinking crossed my mind. As with my past, I made a committment to myself to stay sober at whatever cost.  But as life throws fast balls, curve balls and the such, at times it can be difficult. Yet, if I use the tools of the AA program, I will see the light at the end of the tunnel in dark times like now.

Back in February when I quit my job, I knew I would have financial difficulties.  Then the bomb dropped after making a bad decision. So here I am. While it doesn’t have me down the anxiety I feel can be overwhelming at times, almost stopping me in my feet.

Perhaps its not anxiety at all but fear?  Fear I won’t be able to keep the promise to the landlord. While I should be able to meet my financial obligations, I have other financial obligations which can’t be ignored.  I just don’t know how I’m going to do it all.  I trust my Higher Power will take care of me. For now that is all I got.

I know damn well I need to get to meetings. I don’t like excuses but I’m babying the use of my car at present.  It’s the middle of Winter. I have bald tires on the front (and its front wheel drive), an alignment needs to be done, oil change and it appears I may have broken a weld which was a short fix to a muffler problem. But I keep trying to remind myself – I can get through this.

For my first weekend off I pretty much stayed at home.  With the Winter storm that came through, there was no immediate need to go anywhere.  So I ended up binging on Blood Bloods on Netflix.  I also got back into playing an old MUD (Multi-player User Dungoen) text-character based game which doesn’t cost money, for now.  Between the two my two days went by quickly. I’m glad because I rather work to keep myself busy so I don’t worry about my personal life for now.

I do have faith I will get through this but the selfish part of me wants all said and done to be NOW.  Yet, the sober part of me knows better than travel down that path.

A Fleeting Thought . . .

After working four days, Thursday through Sunday, it was nice to get a day off from work. After adopting an attitutde of “no expectations” when I walk into work has helped, thus far. Everyone does things different, everyday and though my bones want every part to control it, I simply can’t.

I went back to work on Tuesday working through Friday, as this will be my first weekend off.  There is an impending snow storm, which turned from “watch” to “warning” overnight. Snowfall details are still sketchy.  Last I looked they forecast less than an inch to up to 10 inches in some places.  This all starts this evening into tomorrow.  Obviously, I was hoping it would hit this weekend.

While the enviornment at work is different, it many ways it is not. Last night I had to hold my tongue. One resident reported to another CNA I was rude. Another resident had a wound I didn’t report to the nurse. Lastly, the attitude of my co-workers doesn’t help the situation at all.

So with all that said, there was a time on break last night where I thought about drinking. It’s been eleven days since my last drink. No thoughts, cravings or evening a wandering thought. However, last night while on break, with everything going on I had a fleeting thought.

It just lasted a couple of minutes. Then I remembered the taste of Budwiser (which I can’t stand anymore) and the way I felt afterward.  I just can’t and won’t go down that road. I’m already in a pit I’m trying to dig myself out, mostly financial. I have unresolved issues I have to deal with later but just right now.  Right now my concentration is not to pick up the drink. What I am going through is simply temporary, if I take it “One Day at a Time”.

I slept good last night despite the last week which was helpful.  This morning I feel refreshed to take whatever comes to me, especially at work. However, I’m not going to let things get out of control. Simplicity – that is my goal for today.