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
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
Friday, October 30, 2009
Posted by Fireman John at 9:00 AM
Thursday, October 29, 2009
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
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.
Posted by Fireman John at 8:41 AM
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
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
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
Posted by Fireman John at 8:48 AM
Sunday, October 25, 2009
"Happiness is not by chance, but by choice."
"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.
Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting.
"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."
"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."
"If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results."
"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
Posted by Fireman John at 9:24 PM
Friday, October 23, 2009
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
Posted by Fireman John at 9:36 AM
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
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.
Posted by Fireman John at 10:24 AM
Monday, October 19, 2009
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.
Posted by Fireman John at 8:59 AM
Thursday, October 15, 2009
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
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 seat...you earned it"
Posted by Fireman John at 2:54 PM
Sunday, October 11, 2009
To make mistakes is human; to stumble is commonplace; to be able to laugh at yourself is maturity.
Don't go through life, grow through life
There are two lasting bequests we can give our
children : one is roots. The other is wings.
-Hodding Carter, J.R.
If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything.
People who are wrapped up in themselves make very small packages
It's nice to be important, but more important to be nice.
Happiness isn't getting what you want, it's wanting what you got. -
Yesterday is a canceled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is ready cash. Spend it wisely.
The future comes one day at a time. -
Dean Acheson (1893-1971) --American lawyer
Posted by Fireman John at 10:05 PM
Friday, October 9, 2009
...mentioned in the promises as what
we will attain from sobriety.
certainly the opportunity to be free
from the compulsion and chaos of
active addiction makes it possible
to attain happiness.
ultimately it is a choice.
today i have that choice;
while my personality does
not always allow me to be
happy, i am contented and
satisfied with my life.
do i still miss the buzz at times?
unfortunately yes; but thankfully
not enough to test the waters.
once bitten, twice shy...
Posted by Fireman John at 10:19 AM
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
does anyone else feel tempted by a
drink at times?
though not a compulsion, the thought
of a cold beer or glass of wine still persists
sure, the bottom line is not acting on
the thought, but I often envy the
folks who share that the desire has
completely left them.
I continue to pray on it and share
my feelings with my sponsor and
acceptance is key for me today;
my outlook and experiences are
somewhat unique and I deal with
there is no mystery concerning the
outcome should I choose to pick up;
and it always ended badly.
thankfully my thoughts don't have
to become my actions.
Posted by Fireman John at 9:55 AM
Monday, October 5, 2009
All people smile in the same language.
Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.
The difference between a hypocrite and a wise man is that one states his beliefs while the other lives them.
To ask is a moments shame, not to ask, and remain ignorant, is a lifelong shame.
Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.
Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely.
A closed mouth gathers no feet."If you can't tie good knots... tie many."
If you think the parade of life is passing you by, perhaps you're not listening to the music.
The most pleasant and useful persons are those who leave some of the problems of the universe for God to worry about.
Anyone can enjoy good days; those who find ways to enjoy bad days have something going for them!
Posted by Fireman John at 1:31 PM