Basement Shiners

GettyImages_542408898Beyond the main floors,

Under the over,

Away from eyes happy and ignorant

Are the ones

That used to embrace the liquid illusion

And kingdom of denial

Until it drank them near dry.

Now they’re dedicated to

Working the fight

Shaping their own new life

Pushing from day to day, like all else

But with a different shine to their eyes,

Taking in the light

Unseen to those taking sanity for granted.

Each sunrise is now a blessing

So many have given up on

Until words were exchanged,

Hands of understanding shaken,

And hope was forged yet again,

With strength renewed

To walk another hour

One day at a time.

 

Thank you for 13 years of sobriety! I couldn’t do it without you all.


image was copied from https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/1/2/16181734/12-steps-aa-na-studies thank you.

 

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Categories: Uncategorized

Playing God…

hitmkLast week I’ve watched Hitman’s Bodyguard movie. That was a fun one. There were moments when I was almost sliding off the couch, that’s how hard I was laughing. There were moments when I was shaking my head, thinking “It’ must’ve taken them weeks to shoot that scene.” And there were also moments when I was thinking, “I am this guy. No, I think I am that guy.” And I wasn’t looking for self-identification. It’s just that both of the protagonists were very different, yet very human, and because of that very identifiable with. Well, at least for me.

The bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) was the “we go by the book because it works since it worked for me 1000 times” kind of a guy. The hitman (Samuel L. Jackson) was the “I go with the flow because it often works even though sometimes it doesn’t and yes, it did cause me broken limbs and time lost” kind of a guy. If you haven’t seen the movie, but you’ve seen these actors previous work, and you know what they are capable of in terms of playing, you’ve probably started laughing already. These men do an excellent job at making you take movies in, as the magic of the good story and a good show keeps working on you.

The bodyguard believes he is so good at what he does (and he is) that he may believe he is a god. He’s got so detailed and particular about his job that one may think he is highly functional OCD person, but hey, it works for him, and for his pocket books, and for his safety. It was hitman’s “go with the flow” motto that shattered the bodyguard’s “being god” motto though, which the first scene of the movie shows and then develops through the whole thing until the end.

And again, so often throughout the movie I was thinking “oh yeah, I do this all the time, while I probably should’ve been doing that because that would be easier and way more effective.” No, not when the hitman jumps off the balcony and hit several large and heavy objects on the way down, and not when he’s breaking the car window to get in. Still though, going with the flow gets him what he wants plenty of times and keeps him charming too, be it with his wife, or with a bus full of nuns. Comparing him to the bodyguard, you can’t help but think that going in with a system is much harder (mostly on the mind) than accepting a wild opportunity. Sometimes.

And then there is a moment here and there when you thought you got it all figured out and planned out and then BAM! – things go completely the other way, out of the bathtub and into the stratosphere. That’s when in the middle of the night and middle of nowhere protagonists have just stopped fighting for their lives after being shot at with automatic rifles and they are planning to take the attacker’s truck twenty meters away and the rounds that are exploding in their car manage to blow and send bullets away and blow up the aforementioned truck and their eyes are boggling, as they lie on the ground. And then the hitman starts laughing hysterically and I laughed with him. That was the perfect “you could do nothing to prevent or fix that!” scene, and as we laughed together, he and I, the bodyguard’s face expression “how could I not control THAT?!” made me laugh even harder, because I knew exactly how he felt as well. I’ve been there, and done that, in a sense. Without shooting and explosions.

As per Big Book of AA, we tried to control our lives to the point we tried to control others with us, only to have them fight back, and cause us more suffering than we already had going, so in the end while trying to play all knowing and all powerful god, we made even a larger mess. All because we didn’t want to look for a way to do things more naturally, without causing grief to others. We were that selfish and self-centered.

I am guilty of that. Still. I get so lost in thinking “I know how to do this” that even though I am really good at doing things, I only have a focus on me instead of seeing a bigger picture and allowing other factors to step in, because when they do occasionally step in, I am short of a heart attack witnessing them, screaming in my head “This is not how you do it!”

And no, you cannot be prepared for everything. Surprises, pleasant, nasty, and super nasty, and down right lethal still do happen. So what am I to do? Instead of telling myself that I’ve got it all figured out, and thinking that I am going to get my goal accomplished no matter what, because hey, it always worked this way, I’d probably to take time and look around before crossing the street, so I wouldn’t cause trouble for myself being hit, and for another person to hit me, dealing with all that crap afterwards. And for my partner to deal with me while I’m at the hospital. And for my coworkers to cover my shifts. And… you know, the list actually goes on, because every person is so interconnected with everything in life.

And I will keep laughing too. Probably not when something nasty happens, but some time after that I probably will as well. Laughter would take the stress away. And it does help laughing at yourself a little bit. To take the ego down. Because playing god doesn’t help. Unless you are watching movies. Like “Turner and Hooch” for example, where OCD’s glory is the funniest, just as it is illusory.


the image was copied from https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/film/the-hitman-s-bodyguard-review-can-reynolds-and-jackson-sink-much-lower-1.3187407 thanks.

Silver Linings to Continuous Abhorrence

suilIt is not all that bad, they say.

You just can’t control your anger, right?

Maybe your parents had issues with that as well.

Maybe you were raised in a rough neighborhood.

Perhaps you were not shown the right way,

And weren’t told the wrong was actually wrong,

Just like on some days you couldn’t tell

Your ass from your head,

After you got shitfaced on things you couldn’t understand,

How they work,

How they kill,

How they make you enslaved.

But it’s not so bad, is it? they say.

You can still walk,

And talk, and maybe work.

And then life gets better,

You’re just going to take a break, right?

‘Cause now you’ve seen the light,

And nobody died.

Then it gets worse.

You get the law after your aching head

And it all becomes more real, more painful,

Anxiety eats your eyes out,

As your stomach cramps on a regular basis,

And maybe you’ve lost someone in the process,

A friend,

A lover,

A significant other.

Maybe it was your fault,

Maybe not,

And you cry, and say it was the last time,

For good, and for sure.

You maybe start searching for answers,

But you never search in yourself.

You never were good at asking questions,

Anyway, you’ve scared off those who could answer

So all you find is justifications

And possible positive things about what has happened,

Considering some bad things haven’t happened.

You keep running.

Keep bleeding,

Hurting yourself and those that happened to stand in your way.

Mumbling, you say it’s their own fault.

Soon you assure yourself you know that for a fact.

Things keep popping up.

Life keeps happening.

It happens on its terms,

But you are never at fault, are you?

You keep on justifying everything

For as long and as often as you can,

And you persistently look

For the silver linings to all the terrible things that happen

But as they say,

In the end of the day,

At the end of the line,

Sooner or later,

It is your own bucket of shit to eat.

Each time it gets worse.

And what they say doesn’t matter anymore,

Because this is your own hell to suffer in

Of which you don’t want anyone to know.

Your body’s eaten from inside,

Spirit defeated,

Mind running in the loop

Yet shame keeps you from speaking.

All you can do is scream

Eternally.


image was copied from https://www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/observer/obsonline/science-reveals-silver-lining-to-dark-behaviors.html and edited by me. thank you.

 

 

Word of Maintenance pt.2

This one person shared and the rest of us laughed our asses off. Not at him, but at what he said. Sometimes sharing can be funny, sometimes wise, and often the two are combined. This man perfected the combining of the two. I’m going to put some bits of his wisdom in the following. I’m sorry I can’t put the name to the words.

The sharing part of the meeting that morning was about resentments. The wise man/the free giver of fun talked of a fellow he knew that he had issues with. “This person was so annoying and repeating things over and over, he would give a woodpecker a headache.” Nevertheless the wise man (not so wise at the times his story was taking place at) managed to give in to the frustration and was eager to join in on the shit flying. It took him a long time to realize that he ended up caring the bucket of unnecessary worry and anger for many years. And then it took him some more time to realize that “if someone throws shit at you, you don’t have to catch it and throw it back.”

These days, the wise man/free giver of fun tries to live in the way of avoiding stepping on the spade that would never fail to hit him in the face. He said that each time he deal with annoyance, injustice, or frustration of other people, he makes himself think in the lines of “doing amends to this person would be a major pain in the neck and it doesn’t worth doing it, so I won’t be developing a resentment and get frustrated at them and take personally what they said to me in the first place.” Good plan, but it is not always easy to think along those lines. Often anger is a first emotion we feel in reaction to something we don’t want to or don’t deserve to hear. Making ourselves to think wisely will require training. Bit by bit, we can get there, if we keep trying, making sure the healthy choices were to be made. We can have all support we need, but when it comes to original perceptions and reactions, our mind balance is only ours to maintain.

[all the words in the quotes and paraphrased quotes belong to the genius of the wiseman/free giver and must not be meddled with, or used in print without permission, otherwise beware of the wrath of the man himself in bright light and The Tall Man in the shadows]

 

Not Losing Focus

April 28, 2018 Leave a comment

questionsiaskmyselfwhenistartlosingfocusIt so happens at times that life doesn’t go the way you want it, doesn’t it? Some good, some bad, and some worse. Tragedies, misfortunes, frustrations, and tiny nuisances. Small piles of crap you step on, and large seas of piss you fall in here and there.

Something happened last month which certainly cannot be called a tragedy, but a “tiny nuisance” wouldn’t exactly describe it either. No, nobody died, nobody lost a leg, or even 1 quarter of sanity. No, I just lost whole bunch of data.

I’m sure it happened to all of us, in larger and smaller degree. It’s annoying, especially if there are images you cannot get back, or it is written project you were in the middle of. I was working on two stories, 50 pages on one, and over 100 pages on the other. Ouch.

Well, the data recovery techs couldn’t explain what exactly happened to my USBs after they worked on them for two months. Well, I was told they cannot get it back either. Well, I was recommended to get better data storing devices.

I was walking home from the shop, thinking of how I am going to get it all back. After all, giving up on either of the stories was not an option. The smaller story, I edited the whole thing two months prior, so most of it was still fresh in memory. I could recreate it fast, and then go to recreate the bigger one. No surrender.

And here’s another important thing. OK, I lost the entire story (except for, ironically, latest written chapters). OK, I was about to finish it and move to another one, another big story I was working on while the techs were working on recovering the other two. OK, I am going to leave that one alone, and get to working on this one. And it’s gonna be good and fun.

Yes, good and fun, because my passion is not finishing stories. My passion is writing and developing stories. Recreating this story will be exactly that.

I then realized I saved most of the bigger story in the email versions, sending it for feedback to a friend. That meant I only had to worry about a couple of chapters for that one. And worrying doesn’t work anyway, so I just went to work bringing stories back to life and organizing things.

Couple days after, that situation made me think of my living sober.

What’s the connection? The thing is, I originally quit drinking to do exactly that, stop drinking. But then the focus changed.

I saw how much my life has become better, how much there was to it, besides the grumbling and pushing forward. There was more enjoyment. There was more to see of what was to accomplish besides just proving others wrong. And there was excitement of going and doing that. There turned out to be more full-hearted laughter than sneering. There was even more love and nice surprises than I experienced prior. There were way more books to read, and more music to listen to, and more shows to attend. There were more wonderful quiet times to appreciate and more conversations to engage in.

And so I stopped focusing on simply staying sober. Instead, I focused on having sober living the means and the good, fun, passionate life being the end, as well as all of the process. Without being sober I wouldn’t have all the good that I have. But just thinking of being sober all the time would probably give me a rather tunnel-vision of a perspective on life, people, attitudes, and dreams to make true.

So I’m not losing focus on writing stories for the fun of creating them, and when one is finished, I go to write another one. And as I walk through life, having fun (and some shit too, and occasionally a sea of piss to swim through), I do what I did for the last twelve years (sober, yes, because I do not want to welcome back any, even the small bits of insanity of the old times.) Yet my focus is not just sobriety, but a good life that sobriety and fellowship allowed me to enjoy.


the image was copied from

https://www.success.com/blog/5-questions-i-ask-myself-when-i-start-losing-focus

thanks.

 

Ruin Your Drinking

April 14, 2018 Leave a comment

wnd_1a8dc9fbd0560e744ea0b962b9308510Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead once very infamously said “we are the kind of band that if moved next to you, your lawn would die.” A gang of speed-freaks, alcoholics, and loud and fast rock-n-roll headbangers would do that. Now, funny enough of a comparison, but it is very possible that if you’ve got a problem with alcohol, and you’d come to hang out at Alcoholics Anonymous, and then decide it wasn’t for you, your attitude to drinking would change. AA have a curious tendency to ruin people’s drinking once they expose themselves to it, for shorter or longer period of time.

Is that weird? I know it happened to me.

I was drinking for about ten years in a way that was very worrying to all that knew me, but not to me. I only went to AA because I wanted to get my girlfriend back. She was certain I was overdoing it with booze. So I’ve attended AA for about three weeks, and I stayed sober through the whole time. Then I decided it was too much for me and left it alone. Within at least two weeks I was drinking again. Yet the interesting thing is I kept recalling AA quite often during the drinking time. The more depression would get on my back, the more I lacked money to buy booze, the more I felt sorry for myself and thought that maybe I needed to slow down a bit, – each of these times some recollection of sober and strangely happy AA people would come to mind. The seeds of awareness of something important were sown, whether I knew what it was or not, whether I liked it or not.

Smart and healthy choices AA members would talk about in the meetings made no sense to me in the beginning the way they do now. But there was something else too – the desire to stay sober was almost infectious. And there also was a promise that if you work hard enough at it, you can achieve long lasting sobriety. I was not sure at that time if I wanted to sober for the rest of my life, but I was certain there was a problem after all. Each time I drank, I’d get more bitter, probably because I knew there was potential for change, because I saw people who once were hopeless (or so they said, anyway). Also I was drinking more by then, because with time I needed more alcohol to become drunk to avoid reality. So there was more damage by then.

Procrastination is an amazing thing. I was doing everything possible to avoid the path of liberation! Simply trying hard not to do what I was supposed to be doing was hard on both my mind and soul, and eventually on the body. It took half a year since I left AA for me to make up my mind to make the change that certainly changed my life.

AA ruined my drinking. There is no other way to say it. And big “thank you” to them for doing that.


the image was copied from https://www.weirdnutdaily.com/8vu and shrunk by me. thanks.

 

Voluntary Sisyphus

March 31, 2018 Leave a comment

customLogoEver heard of Sisyphus? He was (is?) popular for being the sole character of the Greek myth. He messed up somehow, made Gods real unhappy and after he died, he was doomed to push a massive stone up the top of a steep mountain in the afterlife. So each time he was just about to get to the top, he’d run out of forces, weakened up just a bit, and the stone would roll down. And poor Sisyphus was to push it up the slope, over and over again. Since this was afterlife, even if the stone rolled down and over Sisyphus, he wouldn’t die, and so he had to do this forever. Terrible. I wonder if he could walk away, take a vacation… nevermind.

I use to be a Sisyphus. I’m not going to even try to pretend my life was that bad. It wasn’t. I was a volunteer Sisyphus, which, considering the terrors described in the first paragraph, is completely nuts. But I was. I used to keep going and doing things alone, rejecting help, until I found myself (or so I thought) completely alone.

I was never very well with asking for help, in the first place. So asking for help when it looked like I was alone felt rather counterproductive to me, so didn’t even try. I was forced by the school to get a tutor. I was made by the system to have a roommate. But I lived alone in my head and denied having any problems. Even a girlfriend wasn’t allowed to crawl into my mind to see what was up.

With time certain social skills fell out of practice. I looked more grumpy, growled like an animal, and escaped from social events, unless lots of alcohol was promised to be present. And although by then I was starting to get tired of being alone, I kept being a loner. Just couldn’t help it.

When I joined AA, that’s when Sisyphus started fading away from my mind. I was getting very tired of being drunk and alone. Both of those were killing me. It was the help of complete strangers that became the game changer. I could relate to them. I could speak to them about what troubled me most. The secrets even my loved ones couldn’t know, I lay those in front of the people I knew so little of. The trust was there that I didn’t know of. And the desire to get better.

Am I still a Sisyphus? You know it. I often am. It must be pride. But I also know that I have people I can call up for help when I’m really in need of it. That is a great achievement in my life. More shall come with time, I suppose, but at least I am climbing in the right direction, I hope.


the image was copied from https://sites.google.com/site/sisyphusa/the-myth-of-Sisyphus thanks.