MAGIC MIRROR

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Looking into my magic mirror

A smooth unruffled lake

My pretense of restricting fear

No longer seen as fake

I see this well adjusted man

Intelligent, so wise

Why I’m my most devoted fan

To all at least first prize

In king’s new clothes, delusions dodge

Whole life behind a mask

Dressing up deceit in camoflage

My courage from a flask

This Janus-Faced so filled with fear

God bottoms out in May

Unruffled lake now filled with tears

Appearance in disarray

Disquieted waters for years remain

Reflection, rough, confused

Sobriety replaced with pain

Serenity when it’s used

My mirror creates its magic still

Soul’s light shine tells no lies

My life seeks the Spirits will

I’ll see it in my eyes

I AM NOT THE VICTIM

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“I am not the victim, I am empowered and trained; I will defend myself and family with what ever it takes. I am an American and we have The Constitution. America is not a Socialist Country we are a Capitalist Nation and as such will fight against Communism and not taste defeat.
If I am attacked I will respond with equal or greater force; I am not the victim”.

DIAMOND LIGHTS

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diamondAppearing before me is a sky of diamond lights
Fright causing me to look away
I could see footsteps leading back to previous darkness
Not wanting to return, forcing myself into the newly found fear
Good fear, hard to comprehend
Looking at the sky holding  the glare
Overwhelming numbers making me stare
This time relaxing inside
Visual welcome mat, missing this beauty so real so soft
Against my face, friendly place
Not deserving of this feeling the lights promise me and no one else, they are mine all the time
I’ll use them
The promise is unclear, something about fear
Time is my friend
Clarity fills my senses, understanding surrounds me
We meet rather often
Diamond lights cascade what is theirs to give
I’ll keep this knowledge
Selfish me
One light in particular shines more than the others, I see it at times but as sudden as it shows it flits away
Leaving warmth behind
The precious queen of sleep returning becoming my friend
None closer
Never loving before with heart, head and soul
Happiness wrapping its wings about me
The diamond lights making good their promise
Taking away my despair we lean on each other
Me and my star will go far staring at the glare
Connecting our lives

LOOK FOR BEAUTY WHEN ALONE

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Alcoholism is not a death sentence. Years of pain need not remain. The past is unchangeable, If you can not change the past then, a day at a time, build a new you. Being alone is a good thing, it allows you time to get in touch with your thoughts. Find a small flower and imbue its beauty into your thoughts. Do this completely alone. Each day replace unsupported thoughts with those of peace and serenity. Do not justify anger it is your disease lying to you. ACCEPTANCE is the answer; twenty-four hours at a time.

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HOW I GOT BETTER IN SPITE OF MYSELF

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New people in AA lack calluses on their emotions. “Good morning” translates into “what the hell do you mean by that”? Telling the truth, in private, to freshly sober people  is  sponsorship. It is not a pretty site. Due to anonymity, I will use the name of Carl as my sponsor’s name. Carl is a redneck, tobacco chewing dung remover (he cleans septic tanks for a living) a large man who never lost bar fights.

“Dave, you don’t need to talk constantly; ya got to shut up and learn how to listen”; the words hit me hard. He is driving me home after a meeting. “Carl, it’s the way I am”. “And that is crap Mr.”, he replied. He continued, “Your mouth runs like a physic woodpecker with little to no sense”. “Listen, I’m a smart man Carl”. “Oh your a smart man; really Dave”? “Yelling out of the window, “Hey everybody I’ve got the smartest man in the world riding with me”! “That was embarrassing”, I murmured. Turning toward me, speaking in a deep growling tone, “If you want to get sober boy then do as I say”. “OK, I’ll try” I answered.

Pulling into my driveway he shut off the truck and tossed a book at my feet; “Try to pick that up Dave”. Reaching for the book, he grabbed my wrist, “I did not say pick it up I said try to pick it up”. “In this program you DO not try. The choice is simple, get sober or die, and you are going to get sober in spite of yourself. Now, you talk to damn much so take the cotton out of your ears and stuff it in your mouth; have a nice evening, I’ll pick you up tomorrow at six-thirty”.

I did not stop hating that man for nine months. Picking up my nine-month chip at my home group, returning to my chair, another member said, “Congratulations David, you’re getting better; I can now get a word in edgewise”.

The paving on the road to sobriety is broken glass, but walking it beats the alternative. Do not stare at the spot you fell. Triggers from the past influence the way you react to the present. Talk with your thoughts. When you find a bad one, realize it is living rent free in your head. Removing it allows the supportive ones to come forward.

THE COON HUNT

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    At the age of six, I took my first drink. Father, Mother, Aunts, Uncles and Grand Parents all drank heavily on a daily basis. What separates a daily drinker from being an alcoholic? This is clearly defined in step one of the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. ”We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. Avoiding the gory details, my family could not manage boiling water.
    I took my last drink on May 14 1978, and have been sober since. I did not want to but had to drink.  At two quarts of vodka a day the pain, physical and mental became unbearable. It will also cause you to return items you did not steal. On that morning, lying on a cold floor, I asked for help. A call to AA brought a man to our home who would later become my AA sponsor. I began attending meetings.
    Alcohol became my life, its absence convincing me that I would never laugh again; “my life is over” this cyclic thought like and old song playing repeatedly. The following is an event that occurred after ninety days dry. Living in a bottle creates an imposter like identity. I see myself as a sophisticated city kitty, lover of blues, overwhelmingly brilliant, and never wrong. Of course, none of this is real but inventing and wearing it everyday soon assimilates reality, answering the unasked question “Am I OK“ with a resounding yes. AA slowly erasing the false you to be drawn as God intended. It literally takes years.
    Around nine PM the phone rings, it is my sponsor (let us call him Frank). “Throw some cloths on, grab the wife and come over to the farm; a bunch of us are going coon hunting”. “Coon hunting“, I ask, “I don’t think so” and I
hung up. “Was that Frank“, my wife asks? “Yeah it was him, wants me to go coon hunting, I can’t take that redneck, tobacco chewing, dung pumping cowboy“. Frank pumps septic tanks for a living. “You should go“, she says, “It might be fun”. “I doubt the fun part but OK I’ll do it”. Calling him back, I told him we are on our way.
    Carl, Frank and I are the threesome. Carl has a young Blue-Tick, named Smoky that he is raving about. Frank has a Great Dane, born without a brain that has no idea of raccoons and is just going along for the walk. We will be hunting near The Devils Backbone which is a high ridge paralleling Elk Creek. There are sheer drops of sixty feet straight down to the creek. In the fall, the water can reach seven feet deep.
    I am the carry person, lantern, dog tethers and Ruger .22 revolver. Frank gives me a headlight, which I have never owned or used. I become completely intrigued when I realize, no matter where I turn my head I can see! “Dave what are you doing”; asks Frank? “The headlight, I have to buy one of these”. “How easy it is to entertain a recovering drunk” he replies and off we go.
    Hours pass without Smoky making a sound. “Carl”, I ask, “how much did Smoky cost”? “Twelve hundred”, he answers, then spits chew into his beard. I find that worth a chuckle and think how many used cars I could have bought. I realize I am laughing but at someone else’s expense. “Either there is no coon here or Carl got stuck”, I mumble.
    Suddenly Smoky lets out with “A-WOO-WOO”; “he’s on one” screams Carl. We all take off in a run. Do you recall the sixty-foot drop I mentioned earlier? Well, Smoky just ran off the edge. “The dog went over the cliff” yells Carl. We all peer over the edge and see that Smoky is walking out of the water, seemingly no worse for wear. Now I am stifling a laugh. “Take it easy Carl, says Frank, we will walk down to the creeks edge then back upstream and get Smoky”. We all make a left except the Great Dane who steps forward, “A-WOO-WOO-WOO” then the sound of the Dane hitting the water, which resembles a watermelon exploding.
    “Gosh dang it”, shouts Frank, “Both dogs are in the creek”. I have to step back because tears are running down my cheeks and I do not want them to know I am laughing my butt off. I envision two Cocker Spaniels holding cards over their heads with the number one on them; “neither dog knows how to dive,” says one Cocker.
    As we reach the edge of the creek, Frank tells me, “Stay here until we come back with the dogs”. “OK”, I reply, “take your time I’m having fun”. It is three AM; I am standing on the bank of Elk Creek with a .22 pistol on my hip and a headlamp on. “How on earth did I end up here”, I ask myself, it sure is beautiful“. Looking down into the water I am shocked at the number of very large Lake Run Rainbow, Coho and Chinook salmon, so I shot one and pulled it out of the water. A thirty-eight inch Rainbow, and by far the largest fish I ever shot! I turned out my headlamp.
    Thirty minutes later Frank is shouting; “Dave where are you”? Turning on my headlamp, I answer, “Over here”. “What is that you’re holding”? “Frank, I shot a fish; how are the dogs‘? “Oh fine…just fine, let’s head to the house”.
    As we walk into the kitchen Frank’s wife asks, “How did you guys do”? He replies, in a rather moody manner; “Dave got a fish”.
    I will never forget this evening, so etched in my mind. A ripple of laughter instilling hope that there is life in sobriety would soon become a tsunami. They never asked me to coon hunt again.
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