Thursday, December 31, 2009

amateur night

new year's eve;
another holiday where many folks
feel almost compelled to drink.

similar to st patrick's day, when
even people who hardly imbibe,
find themselves tying one on.

at least drivers are more aware
than ever, the risks of driving
under the influence in the time
of the .08 blood alcohol level.

staying home or going to a
nearby house party has been
our practice for many years.

tonight will be a quiet(somewhat)
evening with Aden & Logan,
enjoying spongebob, scooby doo
and charlie brown.

happy new year!

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

the pecking order

had a chat with a friend in the rooms
after my relapse.
told her how people act differently
toward me, since my fall from the 5+
year club

I compared it to a certain "pecking order",
that exists in most recovery rooms.

sure we still hear," all we have is today",
but it sure was comforting to have a few
thousand today's piled up.

here's an experiment;
listen closely to every person with more
than 3 years clean, and you will be reminded
of how much time they have every time they

I've been to thousands of meetings, in four
states, and this is all too common.

It's those with that peaceful, calmness that
I really admire; they never remind us of
their accumulated years, it shows in their actions.

my quote for the day;
"you can take the rum out of a fruitcake,
but it's still a fruitcake"

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

out of touch

well I never got the chance to sign on
due to an outage of cable, internet and
even our vonage phone service, since around
noon today.

we were relegated to dvd's;
even found the classic "Ladder 49".

on the lighter side was, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall".

still patiently waiting for service to be restored,
we watched "Boiler Room".

oh well, tomorrow is a new day

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more news


Actor Charlie Sheen Arrested After Drunken Brawl... Cardinals Third Baseman Registers .232 Blood Alcohol Level... Mexican Security Forces Kill 'Boss of Bosses'... Man Sold Crack With 2-Year-Old In Tow... Drunk Driver Who Killed Cop Gets Another DUI... Man Jailed for Driving Forklift Drunk... More... Read more...

wow the malady surely spans the entire spectrum!

not sure that most Americans realize the chaos and calamity
caused by imbibing.

from motor vehicle accidents to hospital emergency visits,
to domestic violence, unprotected sex, senseless fights
and a myriad of social problems, booze is underestimated
as a major cause of many problems in society.

part of the problem, of course, is the legality and social
acceptance of drinking.

in this age of awareness, we are exposed to the
daily consequences of the effects of drinking to excess.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Monday quotes

The highest form of wisdom is kindness.
- The Talmud

If you want something you've never had, you've got to do something you've never done!
- Tangela

We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.
- Stacia Tauscher

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.
- Shirley Temple

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't.
- Margaret Thatcher

Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It's what you do for others.
- Danny Thomas

I hate women because they always know where things are.
- James Thurber

If you do nothing else this year...Evolve.
- Lily Tomlin

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.
- Brian Tracy

Once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words.
- Chuang Tzu

I'm an idealist: I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way.
- Carl Sandburg

A holiday gives one a chance to look backward and forward to reset oneself by an inner compass.
- May Sarton

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

sunday photo fun...

kudos to for the best posters on the web!!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

over the holiday hump...

well it was quite the Christmas

watching Steph, Keith, Erin, Dan, Deb,
Bob, Aden & Logan, unwrapping gifts.
even China was included in the festivities!
I had the essential task of getting it all
on video.

Deb put out a fantastic meal as always;
we were all asked to share what our
high & low points were, for the day.

later in the evening, our manager, Roger
(also Santa for Christmas eve), and our
friend Megan, had a blast discussing the
day's events.

with national lampoon's Christmas Vacation
in the background, we all some great laughs!

all in all a fantastic holiday experience;
hope yours was also memorable!

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Aden & Logan with the elves
The house in full regalia
China, all dressed for her to escort the reindeer...

Santa arriving at Prospect House...
now we find out who's been
naughty or nice!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

'twas the night before Christmas...

...and all through the house
the guys next door were
startled by a little mouse.

we have no chimney, yet
stockings galore, filled to
the brim almost ceiling
to floor

the guys all home with family
for the night,
sharing the holiday
in a recovery light

Deb in her holiday best
and I in my Santa hat
off to watch the young
ones unwrap,
with Blue the dog
and Nixon the cat.

"Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a good night"

Remember all our public
safety workers and also
the brave men and women
in our Military, home and abroad.

God Bless America!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

augmenting the 12

just wanted to share steps 8 and 11,
from The 16 Steps;

8) We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.

11) We promptly admit to mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done and we do not cover up, analyze, or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others.

These are essential for anyone seeking
progressive wellness, especially women.

Many females have been victims of abuse
in numerous forms; verbal, emotional,
physical and sexual.

sadly we are not encouraged ANYWHERE
in the big book or 12 steps, to safely
address those who have wronged US.

part of the healing process begins with
admitting wrongs, but it remains incomplete
until we are able to share our feelings with
those who have harmed us.

I am reminded of this by the verse
from the Skylark
song from the '70's-"Wildflower"...

"Be careful how you touch her,
for she'll awaken
and sleep's the only freedom that she knows
and when you walk into her eyes,
you won't believe

the way she's always paying
for a debt she never owes
and a silent wind still blows
that only she can hear and so she goes"

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

'tis the season... be jolly;
or perhaps, anxious, stressed,
sad, hopeful or just normal.

there is a flood of emotions
associated with the holidays.

they always remind me of
getting ready for the prom;
lots of preparation, shopping,
anticipation and excitement.

through the decades of my
life, Christmas has been ever

remembering what it was like
as a child and teen.
the large family gatherings,
great food and loads of presents.

I recall the joy of all the Christmas
mornings with my son, watching
him open gifts.

to the last decade of sharing the
holidays with Deb and her daughters.

the last four years enjoying the
addition of Steph's two boys.

there have been many changes
to my Christmas experience;
at this stage of my life, I understand
the joy of giving like never before.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

interesting new site

Look at your,
based in England, they offer online

what I like about layd is displayed
in the opening description;

"If you sign up for therapy, there is an option to cut down or quit altogether and your therapist works with you to find out the right solution. You may start off by wishing to cut down and end up quitting. Similarly, you may feel you want to quit but then wish to try to moderate your drinking. Each person is different and you and your therapist arrive at a solution that’s best for you."

in addition they offer personally tailored
help, including cognitive behavioral therapy
and motivational interviewing.

this online approach is ideal for any adult
who has neither the time or financial means
to go to inpatient rehab.

I will be signing up soon, and let my readers
know if this is a viable alternative or
addition to AA.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Monday quotes

A half truth is a whole lie.
- Yiddish proverb

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. I sense much fear in you.
- Yoda

The greatness of a man can nearly always be measured by his willingness to be kind.
- G. Young

Such is human psychology that if we don't express our joy, we soon cease to feel it.
- Lin YĆ¼-tang

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.
- Denis Waitley

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
- William Arthur Ward

The further one grows spiritually, the more and more people one loves and the fewer and fewer people one likes.
- Gale Webbe

To live with fear and not be afraid is the final test of maturity.
- Edward Weeks

The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.
- H. G. Wells

When women go wrong, men go right after them.
- Mae West

None are so empty as those who are full of themselves.
- Benjamin Whichcote

I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.
- William Allen White

The only time a woman really succeeds in changing a man is when he's a baby.
- Natalie Wood
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

had to repost this

this is my all-time favorite list of what you did not and will
not learn in school It was written by Charles J. Sykes, best known as the author of "Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good about Themselves, but Can’t Read, Write, or Add."

the emphasis has shifted from teaching the basics,

to sappy, feel good coddling and political correctness.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2
: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect
you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You
won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had
a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, so don’t whine about your mistakes, ‘learn from them’..

7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are
now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes
and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So
before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s
generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS
NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll
give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This
doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off
and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do
that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

all good advice for gen-x, gen-rx, and the mtv generation.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm back !

sorry for my absence;
I got home this morning from
3 weeks of treatment.

somewhere along my recovery
path, I lost the ability to "think
it through".

that feeling that I could somehow
control or moderate returned
after 6 years of sobriety.

just when I was finally able to
play the tape to the end, complacency
took over.

there were no reasons for me to drink.

Since the facility I entered has a medical
staff, I was able to make an important
med change.

In addition, they offer a strong spiritual
component to recovery.

I don't feel I lost anything other than
a sobriety date.

I'm proud of the time I was able to achieve;
as a former long-term 90 day wonder,
it was a major accomplishment.

Just like I tell people in the rooms;
what matters is what you do after
a slip.

get back on the horse and hold on
even tighter.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

happy thanksgiving

hope it's a good start of the holiday

enjoy being present for family & friends

try to be tolerant of those who drink

and remember it's not turkey that
makes you sleepy;
it's the other 3,000 calories we consume

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

from Stanton Peele

there seems to be much contradiction
about the disease concept of alcoholism...

The Stanton Peele Addiction Website, November 20, 2009. This blog post also appeared on Stanton's Addiction in Society blog at

United States Changes Its Mind on Addiction - It's Not a Chronic Brain Disease After All

Nora Volkow and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) insist, based on peering at MRIs, that addiction is a chronic brain disease. You know - you saw it on HBO, and your kids learn this in school.

But, as I point out to Nora, she's looking in the wrong place. If you examine actual human lives, addiction is an interaction between people and their worlds that changes with time.

Now the NIDA's sister organization - the NIAAA or National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (remember, Joe Biden wants to change the names of both organizations because he knows addiction is a disease) - agrees with me.

According to Dr. Mark Willenbring, director of treatment and recovery research at NIAAA, "We're on the cusp of some major advances in how we conceptualize alcoholism."

This discovery, which I have described for decades , is based on the most sophisticated study yet conducted of Americans' drinking histories. Called NESARC (National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions), the study questioned a random national sample of over 43,000 Americans about their lifetime and current drinking.

Of this group, almost 4,500 had been alcohol dependent (read alcoholic) at one point in their lives. And, although 70% had never been treated or gone to Alcoholics Anonymous, most had ceased their alcoholism - even though most had not stopped drinking!

NESARC Past-Year Status of Alcoholics (columns percentaged)
Past Year Status Treated (n=1,205) Untreated (n=3,217)
Dependent 28 24
Abstinent 35 12
Drinking w/o dependence 36 64
Source: Dawson et al. (2005).

About 30% of Americans had experienced some kind of alcohol disorder, including abuse along with dependence, but about 70% of those quit drinking or cut back to safe consumption patterns without treatment after four years or less.

Only a tiny minority (1%) fit the stereotypical image of someone with severe, recurring alcohol addiction that Alcoholics Anonymous, addiction disease proponents like Volkow, and American mythology consider typical. According to Willenbring, "It can be a chronic, relapsing disease. But it isn't usually that."

Take that, Nora!

According to the lead researcher on the project, Deborah Dawson, NESARC data show that alcohol use disorders are "less a mental disorder than a maladaptive pattern of behavior."

In a three-year follow-up of initial respondents, Dawson and her colleagues found that alcohol dependence was "strongly associated with changes in mental/psychological functioning." Alcohol dependence causes significant decreases in mental health and coping, but social functioning and mental health underwent "significant increases among those who achieved full and partial remission from dependence" (meaning alcoholics who continued drinking with either no, or reduced, problems).

Now comes the most amazing part. The increases in social functioning and mental health "were equally great for abstinent and nonabstinent remission from dependence, but improvements in bodily pain and general health were associated with nonabstinent remission only" (that means the alcoholics who reduced their drinking).

My Life Process Program is exclusively abstinence based - although we recognize the reality that lifetime abstinence rarely occurs. But government researchers - based on the best epidemiological research yet conducted - now inform us that people who recover without quitting drinking are healthier than those who quit altogether.

Go figure.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monday quotes

Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do.
- Don Galer

The first step toward change is acceptance. Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do. Change is not something you do, it's something you allow.
- Will Garcia

I am learning to be patient and compassionate with myself as I gain the courage to be true to myself.
- Shakti Gawain

Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts.
- Nikki Giovanni

We all know a fool when we see one -- but not when we are one.
- Arnold H. Glasgow

It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.
- Robert H. Goddard

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
- Goldsmith

Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go and you learn at once how big and precious it is.
- Maxim Gorky

You miss 100% of the shots you don't take...
- Wayne Gretzky

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
- Tenzin Gyatso

If a small thing has the power to make you angry, does that not indicate something about your size?
- Sydney J. Harris

Vision is not enough, it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps, we must step up the stairs.
Vaclav Havel

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Saturday, November 21, 2009


interesting article;

Drunk Drivers with Kids in Car Could Face Felonies in N.Y.
November 19, 2009

The New York state Assembly has passed a bill that would make it a felony offense to drive while intoxicated if children under age 16 are in the vehicle, the New York Times reported Nov. 18.

The bill also would require first-time convicted drunk drivers to install ignition-interlock devices on their cars to prevent repeat offenses.

Currently, only Arizona makes it a felony offense to drive drunk with children; about a dozen states require the ignition-interlock devices, which prevent the engine from starting if a breath sample reveals the presence of alcohol. New Yorkers convicted of felony drunk driving would face up to four years in prison under the bill.

The legislation follows a pair of impaired-driving cases in New York that caused the deaths of young children, including a crash on the Taconic Parkway that killed eight people and an incident where a drunk woman flipped her car on the Henry Hudson Parkway, killing Leandra Rosado, an 11-year-old friend of her daughter.

"Everyone who takes a drink and gets behind the wheel is going to think twice about driving whether there are children in the car," said Lenny Rosado, the victim's father. "My daughter's name and her death will make a difference."

New York Gov. David Patterson supports the bill.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009


am I grateful today?

looking at the most important facets
of life regarding health; not only physical,
but mental, emotional and spiritual.

these were all gifts that I squandered for
many years. overweight, hypertensive,
depressed and morally bankrupt became
the norm.

even though it hasn't always been a smooth
continuous journey, I have to be grateful
for the ability and opportunity to get back
on the path.

so many friends have not survived the trip
after going back out.

life still hands me lemons;
but it's ok, as long as I don't add vodka!

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Monday quotes

Your children will see what you're all about by what you live rather than what you say.

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that's my religion.

It is prosperity that gives us friends, adversity that proves them

If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.

Self-trust is the first secret to success.

There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”

“If you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours.”

"Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”

“Little by little one walks far”

“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”

“For every dark night, there's a brighter day”

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

“Look at life through the windshield, not the rear-view mirror”

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

the 16 steps

thanks to

1) We affirm we have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

Alternative: We admit/acknowledge we are out of control with/powerless over ________ yet have the power to take charge of our lives and stop being dependent on substances or other people for our self-esteem and security.

2) We come to believe that God/Goddess/Universe/Great Spirit/Higher Power awakens the healing wisdom within us when we open ourselves to the power.

3) We make a decision to become our authentic selves and trust in the healing power of the truth.

4) We examine our beliefs, addictions and dependent behavior in the context of living in a hierarchical, patriarchal culture.

5) We share with another person and the Universe all those things inside of us for which we feel shame and guilt.

6) We affirm and enjoy our intelligence, strengths and creativity, remembering not to hide these qualities from ourselves and others.

7) We become willing to let go of shame, guilt, and any behavior that keeps us from loving ourselves and others.

8) We make a list of people we have harmed and people who have harmed us, and take steps to clear out negative energy by making amends and sharing our grievances in a respectful way.

9) We express love and gratitude to others and increasingly appreciate the wonder of life and the blessings we do have.

10) We learn to trust our reality and daily affirm that we see what we see, we know what we know and we feel what we feel.

11) We promptly admit to mistakes and make amends when appropriate, but we do not say we are sorry for things we have not done and we do not cover up, analyze, or take responsibility for the shortcomings of others.

12) We seek out situations, jobs, and people who affirm our intelligence, perceptions and self-worth and avoid situations or people who are hurtful, harmful, or demeaning to us.

13) We take steps to heal our physical bodies, organize our lives, reduce stress, and have fun.

14) We seek to find our inward calling, and develop the will and wisdom to follow it.

15) We accept the ups and downs of life as natural events that can be used as lessons for our growth.

16) We grow in awareness that we are sacred beings, interrelated with all living things, and we contribute to restoring peace and balance on the planet.

while it may be sacrilege for some, to alter any facet of aa,
I find these steps to be absolutely on target for anyone
seeking continued recovery from drugs & alcohol.

sure many argue "it works if you work it";
I don't believe for a minute that many of the 90+ percent
of folks who never recover through aa, didn't do all
that was suggested to them.

it is the complex nature and power of addiction that
is resistant to treatment.

if only these 16 step meetings were more readily available...
perhaps many more could find the path to progressive wellness.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009


the 4 stages of rehab;

When you decide to enter a professional alcohol and drug treatment program, you will begin a journey through four distinct stages of rehab recovery as you learn to develop a clean and sober lifestyle.

The four stages of rehab described here - treatment initiation, early abstinence, maintaining abstinence and advanced recovery - were developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for its "Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide" resource for healthcare providers.

In this model, recovery is a lifelong process.


When you reach out for help from a professional alcohol and drug rehab program, you begin the first stage of your recovery, treatment initiation. Whether you seek help voluntarily or are forced by circumstances to enter rehab, your recovery process will begin with you initiating professional treatment.

Once you have made a commitment to continue treatment for your substance abuse problem, you will enter the second stage of rehab known as early abstinence. This can be the toughest stage to cope with because of many factors, including continued withdrawal symptoms, physical cravings, psychological dependence and a host of triggers that can tempt you into a relapse.

After approximately 90 days of continual abstinence, you will move from the early abstinence stage of recovery to the third stage, maintaining abstinence. If you started in a residential treatment program, you will now move to the continuing or follow-up counseling phase of your rehab program on an outpatient basis.

One focus of this stage of rehab is obviously to maintain abstinence by avoiding a relapse. You will learn the warning signs and the steps that can lead up to a relapse.

4)The fourth stage of alcohol and drug rehab is reaching advanced recovery in which you have achieved long-lasting abstinence and have made a commitment to continue to lead a lifelong sober lifestyle. Advanced recovery, sometimes called stable recovery, usually begins after five years of sustained abstinence.

Throughout your continuing care phase of your professional rehab program, you have not only learned to maintain abstinence, you have also learned to make more healthy and productive choices in all areas of your life. Advanced recovery is living that healthy lifestyle for the rest of your life.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday quotes

Don't let anyone steal your Dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.
- Jack Cainfield

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
- Joseph Campbell

Everything you want is out there waiting for you to ask. Everything you want also wants you. But you have to take action to get it.
- Jack Canfield

You really have to look inside and find your inner strength, and say, "I'm proud of what I am and who I am, and I'm just going to be myself."
- Mariah Carey

How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
- George Washington Carver

The capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest meaning and significance.
- Pablo Casals

Every winner has scars.
- Herbert N. Casson

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.
- Willa Cather

Star The most wasted of all days is that on which one has not laughed.
- Nicolas Chamfort

If you're still hanging onto a dead dream of yesterday, laying flowers on its grave by the hour, you cannot be planting the seeds for a new dream to grow today.
- Joyce Chapman

Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who'll never find out.
- Frank A. Clark

We are, each of us angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another.
- Luciano de Crescenzo

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.
- Marie Curie

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Friday, November 6, 2009



the state or quality of being serene, calm or tranquil.

This was the topic at last nights house meeting.
we are all familiar with the serenity prayer,
yet everyone has their own view of what
the feeling actually consists of.

In essence it is the exact opposite of the chaos,
insecurity and agitation of our former days.

What comes to mind for me is the Eagles song,
"peaceful easy feeling";

I like the way your sparkling earrings lay,
against your skin, it's so brown
and I wanna sleep with you
in the desert tonight
with a billion stars all around
'cause I gotta peaceful easy feeling
and I know you won't let me down
'cause I'm already standing on the
And I found out a long time ago
what a woman can do to your soul
Ah, but she can't take you anyway
You don't already know how to go
and I gotta peaceful, easy feeling
and I know you won't let me down
'cause I'm already standing on the ground
I get this feeling I may know you
as a lover and a friend
but this voice keeps whispering
in my other ear, tells me
I may never see you again
'cause I get a peaceful, easy feeling
and I know you won't let me down
'cause I'm already standing on the ground
'cause I'm already standing...
on the ground

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

asking for help

Not always the easiest task for many of us.

I know for this alcoholic coming in holding
on to ego, false pride, arrogance and a
"know it all" attitude, it was nearly impossible.

After all, I was a functioning alcoholic, or so I thought.
I had been holding onto the illusion of control.

As time went on it gradually became easier
to ask for help and guidance.
My way and only gotten me back to old
habits and eventually failure.

Today I seek knowledge from those who are
willing to share their experience.
In recent years I have become a student
of addiction and recovery.

Not only is it about knowledge, but how to
apply what I learn to my daily life.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

upcoming holidays

Soon a common topic in the rooms will
be the upcoming terror trilogy of holidays

Thanksgiving is commonly the easiest
to handle for most alcoholics
Not known for raucous celebration and ceremonial
toasts, the day we give thanks centers mainly around food
Though I do admit I did look forward to a good
wine with dinner , the main focus was usually on the next course.

Next up is Christmas, complete with work parties,
stressful shopping, decorating and for some,
dread of certain family members.
Many of us remember the constant availability of
spiked eggnog, aperitifs, and jazzy coffees,
along with the usual beer, wine and cocktails.

Having never been a fan of New Year's Eve;
which I always considered an amateur night,
it has been the easiest to handle in sobriety.

The best advice is to stay vigilant, talk about it,
and maybe hit a meeting.
accept that others can still drink safely.
It is comforting to know that we can be present
enjoy holiday festivities.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday quotes

Where is home? Home is where the heart can laugh without shyness. Home is where the heart's tears can dry at their own pace.
- Vernon Baker

Luck? I don't know anything about luck. I've never banked on it, and I'm not afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work - and realizing what is opportunity and what isn't.
- Lucille Ball

Solitude is fine, but you need someone to tell you that solitude is fine.
- Honore De Balzac

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.
- Basil

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
- Melody Beattie

We all are born mad. Some remain so.
- Samuel Beckett

The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose.
- Hada Bejar

Listening to your heart is not simple. Finding out who you are is not simple. It takes a lot of hard work and courage to get to know who you are and what you want.
- Sue Bender

Each morning the day lies like a fresh shirt on our bed; this incomparably fine, incomparably tightly woven tissue of pure prediction fits us perfectly. The happiness of the next twenty-four hours depends on our ability, on waking, to pick it up.
- Walter Benjamin

You stand outside the circle and wonder why you feel left out, unaware that you need your own permission to join the others - not theirs.
- Rusty Berkus

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.
- Elizabeth Bibesco

There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude... a quiet joy.
- Ralph H. Blum

We are co-creators with God, not puppets on a string waiting for something to happen.
- Father Leo Booth

I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep going forward.
- Charlotte Bronte

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Friday, October 30, 2009

show up, own up, grow up

our simple, basic formula for recovery.

becoming and remaining available and
accepting responsibilities, performing
service and doing the footwork required
to become a better family member, friend
and employee.

admitting past wrongs and striving to
correct present transgressions.
getting honest with self, acknowledging
personality flaws and trying to improve
them. continuing to be honest with
others, remaining patient and tolerant.

finally the most elusive facet of recovery;

it's not always easy to let go of selfish,
immature and ego-driven behaviors.
stunted emotional growth is common
among alcoholics and addicts.

growing up has it's share of pains;
but it is essential to the path of
progressive wellnes.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

thanks for asking!

I have been asked by Lucy,
"what is it about drinking that you most
enjoyed or that you found most tempting? "

growing up shy and insecure, drinking
provided relief from inhibitions and fear
of rejection.

since I had an extended "honeymoon"
period with boozing, it was a reward
and a welcome complement to socializing
with relatives and friends.

in addition, drinking was common after
playing sports. whether it was co-ed
softball, or my extended volleyball

being able to say and do things that i
wouldn't without a buzz, was also
a huge part of the attraction.

looking back i realize that drinking
always preceded any amorous
events in my life, to relieve shyness
and inhibition with the opposite sex.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

spiritual awakening

at last nights meeting I shared that
I feel like rip van winkle concerning
any spiritual awakening.

since getting serious about recovery
in 2001, the thought of a drink has
never left me.

while the urge has lessened, the constant
reminders seen and heard in daily life
continue to tempt me.

initially there was a nagging envy of
folks who could drink safely.
this began to wane and I started to
become more comfortable around
social drinkers.

gradually I would even enjoy observing
the various stages of inebriation.
still, the memories of the many years
of the "good old days" would crop up.

while I came to accept my condition,
continue to pray, ask for help,
attend daily meetings and remain
honest and willing, the thought remains.

today I fully accept the cards dealt to me.
what is paramount is my ability to
think it through, and remember there
is nothing that a drink will remove or

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monday quotes

"Happiness is not by chance, but by choice."
Jim Rohn

"Decision and determination are the engineer and fireman of our train to opportunity and success."Burt Lawlor

"Choice, not circumstances, determines your success."

You cannot solve a problem until you acknowledge that you have one and accept responsibility for solving it.
Zig Ziglar

Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.
Brian Tracy

"You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, 'I release the need for this in my life'." Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
Helen Keller

"You have to find happiness in yourself before you can find it with someone."

"There is nothing so strong as gentleness, and nothing so gentle as strength."
Leo Muir

"If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results."
Jack Dixon

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly."
Siddartha Guatama Buddha

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Friday, October 23, 2009

women & alcoholism

from an article in psychology today titled
"women alcoholics; masters of deception"
by Deborah King.

"The inner voice of the alcoholic is a running monologue of excuses, a compendium of denial, a master of deception. I just have to get through this rough patch in my marriage. It's a tough time at work, with all these deadlines approaching. My kids are driving me crazy. Oh, I'll just have a little sip...wouldn't get a fly high."

it is explained in the post how women are

expected to perform a myriad of roles.

due to the various responsibilities many

women have to put on a good front, and

always seem in control.

this leads to hiding and minimizing bouts

of drinking. these behaviors tend to fuel

denial and prevent some women from

seeking help. i have witnessed the struggles

women face from my experience in our

sober house and empathize with the

unique difficulties of seeking an maintaining


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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

step 12

still hoping and praying for a spiritual
the thought of a drink has never left me.

sure it has diminished from the former
compulsion, receded to a moderate desire,
and has settled down to a passing thought.

carrying the message has been done by
sharing my experiences at meetings, 12
step calls and of course by providing
housing and guidance for alkys and
addicts in our sober home.

practicing the principles begins with gaining
patience, tolerance and acceptance.
honesty, humility and helping others
allows me to truly be unselfish.

it's not always the easier, softer way,
but it is a means to a serene life.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday quotes

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

Knowledge is realizing that the street is one-way, wisdom is looking both directions anyway

Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens

Politicians, like diapers, have to be changed frequently - and for the very same reason.

When I hear somebody sigh "Life is hard" I'm always tempted to ask "Compared to what?"

The way some people find fault, you'd think there was some kind of reward.

Those who drink to drown their sorrows should be told that sorrows know how to swim

In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.

People who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those of us who are doing it.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

giving back

recently at a local meeting where
the speaker failed to show, i was
asked to share my story.

it's been suggested that we should
always be willing to be of service,
so i naturally agreed.

it was a fairly large crowd, complete
with a group from the local rehab.

my journey started differently from
most; no alcoholism in the family,
i didn't start at a very young age
and was basically a social imbiber
for many years.

i shared my slow transitions from
social, to moderate, on to heavy,
then eventually compulsive.

friends and family found it hard
to believe i had a problem after
so many years of "normal" drinking.

this slow, insidious progression made
it very difficult for me to admit i had
a problem.

the result was my starting a pattern
of rehab, a few months of sobriety,
and eventual return to drinking.

i hoped sharing my vain attempts at
"recapturing the magic", might sway
some of the newcomers away from
that deluded thinking.

my experience has proven that there
is nothing that a drink or drug will
improve; sure it can be a bumpy
ride, but my advice was to "hold
on to your earned it"

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