March 10, 2018 Leave a comment

Friendly-reminderI was watching the live video by Saxon the other day, and their drummer was wearing a NASA shirt, saying “Failure is not an option.”

And since I am a guy who mostly thinks in the dimensions of metal/AA/sci-fi/protein, I couldn’t help but apply thinking of it here as well.

In NASA terms, failure is certainly not an option. Neither would it be an option when sending people to war. Thus, mostly things that are no exactly very natural or very healthy for people. We’re pushing ourselves (or others) into new territories, strain each other, bash into our heads ideologies we often don’t benefit from, and we tell each other (ourselves?) that we must win at any price. The history of humankind is one large story of pushing the envelope along with messing with people’ minds, bodies, and spirits, in all ways possible. And, granted, if we haven’t be exploring, inventing, and defending to the point of exhaustion, we wouldn’t be where we are now, all nations.

And what would that be like? If we weren’t here. Now. What would our lives be like?

Maybe simpler? More down to earth? Less greedy? Less stressed? Having more time to pay attention to ourselves, our personal and familial needs that work 24/7? More open-minded to the needs and interests of others, – personal, social, and global?

Why I’m inquiring about that is because human body and mind don’t operate in “failure is not an option” terms. The body is fragile, even before, during and after your training it to build a mountain of muscles, or running marathons every day. While you’re breaking muscles to build new ones, there is no guarantee whatsoever your heart will let you push forward ad infinitum. Everything in the body is interconnected. You pull A somewhere, you may rapture F. You push T, you may break G. You know?

So when it comes to substance issues and addictions (or process addictions, like gambling), the mind will not tolerate being pushed during abuse, just like it will not tolerate being pushed during recovery. You have to be careful with your own and others’ minds. Be thorough, but also gentle. Keep going forward, but in steps smaller than you may want to, trying to get rid of all the bad stuff right away. Take breaks. Have a breather. See some nature, smell the air. Eat good food and drink water. Whatever your story is, you deserve rest, just like each of us.

And relapse is not a failure either. It took me forever to understand that, in regards to me and others. If you fell, get up fast, and get going forward, in small steps, yes. Life is not all about winning. It is also about breathing and taking breaks. Oh, yeah, and enjoying the process. If someone thinks it is all about fighting everything and everyone because somebody told them that’s the only way to go, maybe new priorities and attitudes need to be set. Otherwise, it may come to your fighting, and conquering, and then it’s time to die, and you realize you didn’t really live. Screw that.

the image was copied from thanks.


I DID it

February 24, 2018 Leave a comment

nope_620_REFORMATTED_BojdPefThat I did… and there is nothing to be proud of, considering that DID is an acronym I made up for her majesty Drug Induced Depression.

I wrote about it before, so repeating myself probably wouldn’t make sense… but actually, no, it would. It makes sense to look back at things of the past and remind yourself about being lucky or strong enough, or smart, or determined, or all of these together to keep you going forward. It is kind of like that diary effect when you look at the history, the memories written black on white, reminding you of accomplishments of the recent past to make your current bad day improve. It works well to remind yourself to look at the brighter side of things and hope for the good to come again.

I drank for ten years, and that was enough to get all kinds of problems, including depression. It would get worse with each year, and I thought drinking would help it go away, because I’d get giddy and let the dreamtime come into the day time. Nope. That didn’t work. I’d be sad, avoid contact, lack desire and/or motivation to do anything, and only alcohol would help… until it’s out and the fun is over and reality crawls in back with its ugly head sticking in my face. 

I also studied psych for a while, enough to learn something about brain and behavior, and that alcohol was a depressant. But did I? Did I learn? Or maybe I not so much excelled in the intro psych as much as I did in ignorance? Or maybe I’ve got the highly contagious Selective Attention Disorder? One person actually told me about the depressant qualities of alcohol, and told me to watch out. The warning from the person I barely knew worked for maybe a couple days, but the desire to drink and get the bad ol’ intoxication going was stronger than all warnings put together.

Anyway, it got me, or I got it, and it really DID me, rather than I did it. That, occasionally coupled with Springtime Depression (thank Gods, Spring is only once a year, hey), created a rather bleak picture of the future. I was ashamed of things I did in the past, scared of what will come.

Miraculously, as soon as I stopped drinking for good, the depression left me. Not the same day, but very soon after. Quitting intoxicating myself, I’ve also joined support group, and with the help of others. (recently I read about the Rat Pack experiment and relation to Vietnam War Vets quitting heroin. Socializing therapeutic effect makes a lot of sense in that light) Attending, listening, sharing, chatting after meeting helped gain positive perspective on things, more positive than I had in a long time (and that attitude was getting stronger with each year) Hope in things getting better soon was becoming solid. Daily tasks I used to dread didn’t seem unmanageable anymore. Fear in the future started to dissipate. I felt I had the forces to change things for the better.

Do I still get depressed? Sometimes. Especially in Spring (haha). The way I see it, no matter what recovery you join and how much clean/sober time you’ve got, nobody’s cancelled the life outside of the recovery meeting place. Everyone’s life got issues, ups and downs, stress, cheer, frustration, and phobias. No one and nothing is perfect. But it gets better if we use different approaches. We can adopt a new system of life skills (my MO is Twelve Steps), follow on tested advices, and that way we can get through with less pains and scars. Waking up in the morning, I say a little prayer before I do anything else and as I go through it, I recognize myself being sober in the beginning of the day which is a tremendous boost to get on with the day, no matter how many things I have to do.

I understand that my DID is not clinical depression or the bi-polar disorder (and thank Gods for that as well). So this little post is only about my experiences. But I hope that it could still break through to someone whose battles are similar to what mine used to be (and hey, some days still are.)

Have an excellent day today!

the image was copied from ‘ere  thank you.




February 17, 2018 Leave a comment

10-gNo word of a lie, but there were less than “nine” words

That I could find, with a yawn and a nod.

I was trying to keep focus, you see

And the coffee wasn’t yet working on me,

So I was pulling out what made sense,

My sleepy memory still too dense

To dissect these seven letters,

Locked in certain order to matter.

Although I found a “name”,

It wasn’t “mine”, but it could stay

And I kept playing that “game”,

And gladly saw there was some “gain”,

For I went from being half-awake

To almost alert, for morning’s sake,

Kinda hungry, no eggs scramble,

Shooting up this amateur Scrabble.

People around me shared good news,

Staying sober, trashing the noose,

And thanks to them I saw a fuller “meaning”

Of being content, as the sun kept on beaming,

Every minute it was getting brighter,

Just as simple smiles of us, the true fighters.

the image was copied from  thanks.



Categories: Uncategorized

Top 5 moodz’n’ tunez

February 10, 2018 Leave a comment

(my influential addiction/recovery music)

Music always was and still is the major passion of mine. It even eclipses the long time love for reading and writing which started way before I put on a music record on for the first time. Music plays in my head even when I am not listening to anything, as I either recall the tunes, or make up my own. Just recently I started working on a guitar piece that I came up with 16 years ago!

Here I am going to write about a list of songs that were in/on my mind the most through the time I was active in insobriety, recovery, and early sober times. Why did I do the list? First, because I like doing lists. Second, because these tracks are important: either the lyrical message, or the musical, or both somehow influenced me to be who I am, how I behaved, things I did and shouldn’t have done, since these were coming to mind way more often than my actually listening to them playing.

  1. Gods Tower “Twilight Sun”/”Blood”

godzThis Belarusian band was probably the first metal band I heard that incorporated elements of folk music and pagan beliefs in their music that I heard (I didn’t listen to Skyclad then, in 1999). These two songs are so different from each other, musically and lyrically, that even now it’s hard to believe they are off the same album, “The Turns.” I brought up the memories of them both and “played” them in my head so many times when I felt down or stuck in class, or at work, particularly in States. Great “i dont care”/”mosh head dance” tunes to stay sane. /

2. Annihilator “Don’t bother me”

Here’s another example of how one can ignore the lesson about substance abuse and addiction. This time, though, I read the lyrics of this fun song, and recognized what they were about. I said “this will not happen to me; I will not lose my job again because of drinking.” I was wrong about that, just like I was wrong about the depth of my substance abuse issues. That lesson still keeps me on guard, all these years on, being aware of things and behaviors that I may turn to and that I can not even notice that partaking in them may and will drop me on my face, possibly taking away everything that I’ve accomplished since I got better.

3. Metallica “Master of Puppets”

puppI was a fan of ‘tallica for the longest time, and this was the second metal album I ever listened to in 1995, I think. I loved the music, but I had no idea the song’s lyrics had to do with drug addiction. Several years after starting to have issues in life thanks to alcohol, I happened to read what the song was about, but just like I missed the helmet on one of the crosses on the cover art for the longest time, same way I missed/dismissed the lyrical message.  It seemed to me that alcohol was not as bad of a dependence as “needle work the way” that band’s primary lyricist James Hetfield wrote about. All the other factors and images were there for me to acknowledge that I was dealing with a true addiction, but I failed to pay attention. These days, considering how well the lyrical message was written, it makes me shrug when I listen to the song .

Interesting fact: Hetfield dealt with alcohol addiction in the early 2000s as well, a serious issue he has developed through the 1980s. One of the most popular songs of the band, it is played at every show, as far as I know. And Hetfield, as the writer and singer, either missed that it refers to him, like me, or preferred to miss… I am glad he’s all good now.

Similar story happened to my listening to Saint Vitus album “Born Too Late” – there are several songs on it, like “Dying Inside” talking about alcoholism, Black Flag’s cover “Six Pack” about drinking and missing the dosage, and “The Lost Feeling”, about depression. I listened to those so many times, and yet I never cared to read the lyrics. If I did, would I pay attention?

4. Morbid Angel “Desolate Ways”

blessedNice short tune. It is strange to hear such melodies from a death metal band, but these guys were always great with melodies and different turns and twists, as well as the ideas about musical progress. First time I heard this one was actually a MIDI file. I was still crazy then and drinking my brains out, so this short instrumental track worked well for somber times when I had no music player by my side. I still remember the sounding of the MIDI though, and it is funny to compare it to the original!

5. Rollins Band “Out there”

Sober time song. Probably one of the absolutely best Henry and Co. song musically and deep lyrically (isolation, serenity, and quiet rage). In times when the world doesn’t make sense, but I refuse to give in, I recall this tune. Bass solo in the middle absolutely slays.

all images were copied from “Puppets” image was altered by me. thank you.



February 3, 2018 Leave a comment

SMOKING-KILLS-2Hugh was rolling the coffee cup in his hands, as he sat by the fire pit, wrapped in a blanket, looking at the field rolling up the hill.

The sun was very lazily getting up, so there weren’t much to see, just silhouettes of the barn and the tractor on the horizon.

He wanted a cigarette. He couldn’t have one, because he told himself he’s quit. That was several months back, and he was feeling way better than years prior.

He sipped more coffee. He wanted a smoke, but it was no craving. Rather, an old memory, weak and whiny. It bugged him for years that he would ever have a morning coffee without a cigarette. How could he disrupt that tradition? It felt like the whole day was based on that tandem, for years. Until one morning he coughed, and coughed, and couldn’t stop for two minutes. When he stopped, he made coffee and drank it, to get rid of the rigid taste of bile in his mouth, but he lit no cigarette. Not for the whole day. So lighting one next day made no sense.

He was lucky. He told himself so and the village doctor told him so too. He read of million people try so hard to quit, and the desire to have one so often would beat the reasoning to abstain.

Jeremy was no help. You’d think the best friend would understand. He was nice just to the point he didn’t offer him a cigarette, but he still smoked around Hugh, in the field or at the bar. And he yapped, as always. As he always will, probably.

“A smoke and a beer before supper, how do you say ‘no’ to that?” Jeremy would say, holding a bottle by the neck, cigarette in his mouth. Hugh never understood how he did that, talk with a smoke in his mouth. The bloody thing always fell out when he tried.

“Works just fine with a toothpick. Much harmless, as well,” he’d respond with a grin, but Jeremy wouldn’t give in. Hugh hated that, but Jeremy wasn’t ready. His money and lungs must have not suffered much. Hugh told himself that as long as the lungs worked fine, they will be running the farm well, and then… Gods only know. Enjoy what you have while it lasts.

A month ago he found an empty cigarette pack on the road. It must have been thrown out of a car coming from some far town. For the longest he could remember he smoked cigarettes Jeremy brought from the nearest reserve. There were no warnings of any kind on those. The pack he found on the road had pictures and writings on the top. It had a man with a hole in his throat, breathing through a tube. Hugh felt bile coming up, just for a second maybe, but he felt it for sure. He threw the pack in the trash and walked straight to the barrel full of water and washed his hands for a minute or two. Later that day Jeremy and him were having supper and Hugh mentioned it to him. His friend laughed. Hugh didn’t.

The sun was slowly rising, but he couldn’t see that, because he looked straight at it, and couldn’t notice the difference. Each morning he’d make a coffee, he remembered that cough months ago. The memory would last at least until he’d pour himself another cup. He watched the sun, loving the fact he didn’t have to have a tube in his throat to breathe and to keep living. He didn’t hold the whole world by the horns, but in his own world, small that it was, he was content and the cough almost didn’t bother him. There probably will be all kinds of old age nasty surprises, falls and strains, and maybe even memory loss that doc once talked about. And there may be heart problems, because cowboys eat steak and enjoy an occasional beer. Yet still, he chuckled as he thought of that, no one profited from him poisoning himself, because he did none of that. And that was a good thought to get going with another day.

I sat down to write this three days ago and after completing four or five lines recalled it was my anniversary in a day. thank you Gods, and thank you people. it was and is a great time tobacco-free nine years. and thanks to me, too.

image was copied from great image, great message. thank you, too.





January 27, 2018 Leave a comment

ridley-hamill-last-jedi-trailer-ht-jef-171121_12x5_992This week I finally watched the latest Star Wars movie, “The Last Jedi” and I must say I am pleased, for it touched and probed on the topics I enjoy the series for: the Force and the creatures. There is plenty given on each subject. The Force ideas made me think quite a bit…

(If you haven’t watched the movie yet, but care to do so, there are no real spoilers in the following. )

There is an episode where Rey sits down on the edge of the cliff to be trained by Luke about the ways of the Force. Luke says “Reach out” and Rey, eyes closed, stretches out her hands. What follows is a comical episode, tiny, but funny. Then it gets more serious again.

The “reaching out” part struck me as very important, regarding to how I used to react to the world.

I used to be rather ego-centric individual and I wouldn’t (or wouldn’t want to) learn about how people are and how the world is and was. What I did for a very long time is investigate the world with the body that ached from harm being done by myself, unhealthy, misguided, not guided at all. At the same time I’d be employing the mind that created lots of erroneous understandings and judgments, resentments and maxims in the vein of “now or never” and ”do or die” statements. Those helped to create character, but the predominant characteristics were anger and mistrust.

“Reaching out” that Luke and all my teachers of recovery and spirituality did was not through hands, but more with your mind. Even more than that, with heart more than mind. And I still often don’t know how to do that.

Meditation is probably the right way to do that, and the way I meditate is writing. That’s where I feel things, let out things on paper/screen and see what I know, how I feel, and what is wrong, and what makes sense, and what I sense about it all.

That is not to say thinking is no good. Thinking things out is very important. Analyzing is profound when we make judgments on what to do and what not to do, say or not say. But that alone, even in recovery, and post recovery, when we are less hurt and misguided, could lead to a wrong place. I admit, I often get righteous. I know how things need to be done and how not, and often go with the correct answer, not feeling what could be done instead. Correct way of doing things is not always a right way. I can do the correct thing, but in the process hurt a person I care for, while it could be avoided.

I am still learning. That’s what the life is about, I think, I feel.

image was copied from thank you.

Categories: Uncategorized


January 20, 2018 Leave a comment


Fifteen years ago I came to Canada from the US and immediately started having problems. No, not with the government or immigration services. Not even with other people. Just with me. I started developing a serious drinking problem about 8 years prior and I carried it for all that time, feeding the fire that ate at me.

I was attending a college then, and the authorities, looking at my struggles, made me see the school counselor on a weekly basis. I attended, it went OK, but I lacked contentment and eventually the counselor asked me: “If everything could work the way you wanted it, like magic, what would you wish for yourself?”

It took me about five seconds to come up with an answer: “I’d live in a forest, lost in the mountains somewhere, away from everybody for hundreds of miles, in a house packed with food and a large storage full of alcohol. That’s what I want.”

It is not a complete surprise that within a week the counselor set me up to attend provincial addiction counseling sessions twice a month, besides the already existing school counseling meetings. And although that meant I’ve welcomed more crap for myself to do, I actually welcomed it. Maybe not right away, but I was glad it turned that way, because I had a lot to share.

I lived a lone life, even surrounded by people. I had a good childhood and teenage years, and my family cared for me, so there was no complaints on been raised or lack of socializing, per se, but I kept everything inside: fears, doubts, passions, creative ideas, etc. Metaphorically speaking, I already lived in that forest I was talking about to the counselor, and lived there for a long time.

I only started drinking on a more or less regular basis at the age of 16, but for several years prior to that I was already experimenting with how alcohol would affect me, stealing tiny amounts of booze from the parents’ liquor cabinet. When I shared that with someone I thought I knew, they said they will tell my parents. They never did, but I knew I couldn’t trust them anymore anyway, and with that I figured I couldn’t trust anyone. I kept on drinking. It was not out of mistrust, but that factor certainly contributed to seeing alcohol as the only appealing escape: easy, cheap, usually tasting good, always bringing solace in the way I felt about myself, about others, and about the problems I had to deal with.

Counseling helped big time. I started speaking out on many things that I kept unshared and hidden. I started to loosen up the pressure and discontent. A year later I joined AA and stopped drinking for good. I joined the group of people, who, although complete strangers, I could talk to about things that just several year back I wouldn’t share with anyone, even close friends, which I had very few. My recovery, physical, mental, and spiritual, started progressing, and I talked, and shared, and discussed and was willing to do all that more than I ever remembered in the past.

And yet, the idea of living in the forest hundreds of miles away from everyone still visits me. I no longer dream of a storage full of alcohol, but the escape is what I dream of. Living in the city full of people who are so good at inventing problems rather than solutions, multiplying negative opinions, and showing lack of care and respect for each other, awash in hypocrisy and denial, – that is something that I witnessed for all my life, and it is becoming progressively annoying. Some days are better than others, but living in the world of people is something that I often dream of an escape from.

And when I do, I remind myself that in the forest there are no AA meetings (because you need at least two people to call it a meeting, otherwise it’s yourself talking to yourself, running in the same rusty circle that I know of very well). There are no music concerts and no Asian food joints. There is no Internet to find possible publishers and no stores to buy new music. To get to any of these I’d need to take a hike or a drive to the human world. With every day spent in voluntary forest isolation it would be harder to make myself reach out. So…

…the more I’d think of that, the more I thought how not so bad my life is. I’ve got people in my life that support me, I’ve got a job and therefore can pay for the home, food, and music. I am sober thanks to connecting with other people and because of being sober I am alive, and healthy, and free. Do I really need to escape to the woods to feel free?

As I said, ideas of retreating to the areas forlorn and unexplored do visit me often, and every time I have to hold myself by the hand, and remind myself of the benefits of connecting, even if I really, really want to disconnect and sever the bonds with humanity. It was the same way in the first year of sobriety when I thought of drinking. It worked then, and it still works now. So I’m going to keep trying and stay connected: to others, to myself, and to the things that are right, and meaningful, and true.

the image was copied from thanks.