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Fantabulous Secular Connections Check-in Part VII

Old 11-25-2009, 08:40 PM
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Bam, those pies look fabulous. Crispy in places, sure, but FABULOUS. Today I'm thankful someone else is doing the cooking. Well... let's face it: with my stunning lack of culinary skills, everyone is thankful I'm not cooking
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Old 11-27-2009, 01:41 PM
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Made it through Turkey Day in one piece. One holiday down and two to go.
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Old 11-27-2009, 06:20 PM
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I'm sick. Not uber, just a cold. One of those sore-throat-headache kind of colds. I'm pretty miserable, about to try some migraine medication just to see if that will make my headache go away.

Then I'm curling up in a ball and ignoring the world tonight. Good night, everyone. Hope you're all doing well!!
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:27 PM
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Hope you don't have what I have, gneiss. It started out mild enough, but it's been raging now the past three days. I can't sleep for long periods because all the goop wakes me up. That's why I'm up now....I'd like to get some more sleep before I have to go to work.
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:34 AM
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Sounds like a ton of fun, Bam. I can't really sleep. My head still hurts and my throat itches like crazy. And this is only day 1. Tuesday I have 2 presentations and it's also the day I'm most likely to lose my voice given how my colds normally run.

Geez I'm really tired and sleep's just not coming for a while. Movie time, I guess.
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Old 11-28-2009, 08:19 PM
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It’s been a long time since I checked in, but I thought I’d say hello. I’m in a fragile place right now, money has still been bad with state wage reductions and then those wage garnishments. But now it has been 60 days off from meds, namely Klonopin. I am feeling a bit more normal now after withdrawal symptoms that were among the strangest I have ever felt. I have not seen a Dr. since I quit, have not had the funds to do anything along medical lines, therapy, all that…and I am rather afraid of doctors anymore, and what they can do, and what they can’t do. They have always frightened me, especially so now.

Money has been tight, not much luck on a second job, have been trying to pick up catering gigs, but not much demand. Most days I struggle to buy gas, get food. Thus, have not gone out and got drunk much, but have a few times when friends have ‘treated’, but with ugly results: bruises, blackouts, black-eyes, pain. In ways, I like this. It’s like stepping into a boxing ring, kind of thrilling. Makes one feel rough, alive, even if in pain. Or perhaps the pain distracts from other more serious, ongoing pain, is a veil of sorts. I think it is related to a sort of death-wish: I am 41, with no house, car, retirement, questionable skills, no clear ambition, and see no future. My hopes have seemed to die in the past few years. It’s like a clock is ticking loudly, and I can see old age and death near, life half over, rushing past.

I wish I could manage to relax a bit about all this, I am not sure anyone here has been so dangerously broke, to the point where it almost does not seem to ‘matter’, like you are living on borrowed time, waiting for the time you will jump in front of the express train, and have it done with. The holidays do not help, this will be the second with no gifts, and the third I have not been able to go home to see my family. I am sad over this, they are getting older, I feel like such a failure, the eldest son, without even the means to visit once a year.

…So I try to talk myself out of this negative mind-set, and divert my attention to reading, I have read a great deal, I do work at a library, there is that. I have discovered a great fondness for the short stories of W. Somerset Maugham, an author I had always overlooked, and have spent many an hour variously chuckling or enthralled over his works. And I like to play online, interactive word games, mainly on my ‘furry’ social group site, all things that cost little, pass the time, and ward off the demons that call to me.

And yet, all the while, in the background, are the pains, the fears, breaking through: the sharp pain of the teeth going bad and knowing I lack the money for a dentist, or even the dental school, which wanted hundreds up front. And on and on….such a backlog of things to fix, everything from clothes to the car to my body falling apart, and me without he means to fix them, reduced to the occasional night of blacking out to forget it all when all else has failed. Life during war-time, this certain nonchalance about living, not pity, but rough survival.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

I feel like it would be good to get some real-life support in all of this, people to talk to, yet I can’t bring myself to go to AA, and they seem to be the only game in town. I must say I have a certain resentment of this fact, that there are so few other options, and so many of their members belittle other programs, and badger those seeking alternatives. It has happened all too often here and elsewhere, and I have come to fear AA and the steps as rigid, moralizing, and judgmental. It is nothing that could be with even the greatest difficulty integrated into my worldview. I recall once I tried ‘working’ the steps, and posted a version of them called, ‘the spiral steps’, in the secular steps section here. All I proposed was a different way to state the steps, but right away, a war started. I thought I was being humble and making an effort to meet others half way, and I was attacked. It opened my eyes. I recall this one lady got so upset, she acted like I had poked a sharp stick up her but, and twisted it. All for posting a different version of the steps on a ‘secular’ page where it appeared different versions might be welcome.

Thus I don’t think I would do well with the danger of the huffing, puffing, ‘it worked for me as is’ zealots. I don’t want to anger anyone, but so often the AA attitude rings so angry, strident, pompous, adversarial and bitter…it does not stick me as something helpful, or healing. I will leave it at that.


What do folks think of starting your own recovery group, open to different approaches, not based on any particular dogma? Has anyone tried this?

I feel so alone. Many times, days pass, and I have spoken almost no words, except a few to my partner, and a few to co-workers. I keep so much inside, I feel I need an outlet, especially in all of this. I will try to post more often here, and be a better friend, respond to other’s posts, offer what advice and support I can, not be so self-absorbed.

I will read back over the posts, and try to get more involved. I am sorry to discuss AA in a thread not intended for it, but is only by way of seeking a physical alternative, rather like finding a mom and pop store in a town where nowadays, there is only Wal-Mart.


I got a horrible black eye on Thanksgiving, I am not at all sure how. I go back to work tomorrow, how to exp[lain this/ Ug. I think, maybe I was trying to put my eye out…I have one good eye, and one that is only about 20/400, just a blur. Yet I saw on this insurance policy I have at work, I would get $100,000 for the loss of an eye; I have this vague recollection of thinking I could live without it, and put it out, make it look like an accident. But I am not sure. And yet, the idea is there. It is a lot of money, and the eye is next to blind anyway.

Well, I will stop. Hope all are well,


H. Pup

Last edited by HuskyPup; 11-28-2009 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:03 PM
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HuskyP - My heart goes out to you. My annoyances were shrinking as I read your post. I wish I could say something that would help, but I got nuthin. Just know that I care about what happens to you, and please do not even think about putting out your eye. Money comes and goes -- its only money. Your eye -- probably not ever. Staying sober will help you make rational choices. Losing an eye for cash is NOT rational. Please post again soon. Please read about others troubles -- it may make yours seem more manageable and you might even be able to provide some insight to someone. :ghug3
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:34 PM
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Asta, thanks. I think I needed just to get things out, and it was comforting to get your response. It does seem bleak these days...I have thought that people could cheer themselves up, reading about my life, such as it is these days. The black-eye happened Weds, I have no idea how. But I have had the thought of 'losing' that eye, as a way to get medical care, have my teeth fixed...yet who could bring themselves to put out an eye? I could never bring myself to even put in a contact lens, let alone poke an eye out, the whole idea is absurd. Yet I worry, maybe in a drunken state, the idea had come to me. Certainly a good reason not to drink. A glass eye and $100,00 might be livable enough, but so much could go wrong, too. What crazy notions go through my mind these days.

Day three here, not drinking, had a few weeks in before that, and hope to not drink again, it is too unpredictable, I get scared. And the holidays are a real powder keg. I miss giving and getting presents. I feel very much alone, and not a part of much of anything. I tend to cry a lot around Christmas. I had wanted by this time to be somewhat ‘successful’ in something, to have maybe adopted children…not to be a few steps away from homelessness. And yet I have not had practical, marketable interests, and have always had such fear and terror of life, and here I am, all this time has passed. It’s like a dream.

I wish I could wake up, and be 12 again. I would suffer middle school all over again, sell my soul to the devil, kiss Sarah Palin on TV…well, maybe not that, but almost anything.

Now to think of how to explain this black eye at work tomorrow, and again on Monday…I have to think of some story, it won’t do to say I can’t recall, that would no doubt invite suspicion. Maybe I can joke about it: say, “I took up boxing, but wasn’t very good”. Or I got it at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Any ideas? I hope not to put myself in such positions in the future, but what’s done is done. I suppose maybe it will make me, a small framed person, look a bit rugged or tough, maybe that is an asset of sorts, but not one I wish to have at hand often.
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:35 PM
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Hugs, Husky. I don't have much in the way of wisdom to share but feel free to talk it out. Ya know, in private messages I have traded phone numbers with a few people here. I'm pretty careful about who I choose for this and it's not for everyone; by all means I don't normally suggest handing out your phone number to perfect strangers on the Internet. But it has come in handy a couple times when I was on the edge and needed someone to talk to. I don't really have a face-to-face support system but just talking was what I needed at the time.

There was once a person here who briefly considered making her own program, because she couldn't find one that worked for her. She has since disappeared but I don't think it's a bad idea.Working together with a group to figure out new ways to stay sober is a great idea!

Truth be told, last week when I said I got in a fight with my roommate and it "almost" got physical.... we're both pretty bruised up. We both drank and started arguing and next thing we knew we were waking up with bruises. It was stupid, we don't even know what we were arguing about. And it's not like he just beat the hell out of me or something, he would never intentionally injure me. I pushed him back because he was yelling in my face and he grabbed me and shoved me out of his room, stepping on my foot, kicking me in the shins, and shutting the door on my arm in the process. And completely not on purpose, he was actually trying to get me out of the room so things didn't escalate further because we both know if we get in a fight I'm going to get hurt, not him. But while all that was going on I was sort of drunkenly flailing around and we both ended up with some nasty bruises. It's never been that bad, we never used to argue until we became roommates. And when we're sober we don't argue. Alcohol brings out the worst in both of us.

As for me, I had an extremely productive day. This is the sort of day when I really enjoy being sober. All those projects I have put off all semester are coming due and it's definitely crunch time here in Academia. So today I finalized a term paper, wrote a presentation based on that paper, wrote my part of a group presentation and report, and wrote summaries of 4 lectures that I missed when I fell off the wagon mid-way through the semester (I was too coked out to attend a conference. Luckily I mentioned to a classmate that I was sick and missed the conference and he provided the lecture summaries. So I summarized summaries. But at least I'll get a grade, even if it's not a good one. That prof is pretty tough, but I got the only A he gave out in 2 years and he's liked me ever since. I'm banking on that).

That leaves me with 2 more reports I wanted to get done today. I think I still have time before bed, but I had to take a break. I felt like my brain was about to self-destruct. Monday I have an exam so I'll spend all day tomorrow studying for it. And after that I have one more project and one more exam before my semester is over. The end of the semester is always a sprint to the finish.
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:50 PM
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Hi Gneiss, I think we posted at the same time, and nice to see you're coming to the end of the semester. I think we'll have a similarly busy time at the library, and will be relieved to see the semester over.

I have thought maybe the phone might be one idea...don't know many folks on a private message basis, maybe in time. I wonder if that one lady had any success getting something going...maybe if I post on craigs list, or elsehwere on the net...not sure exactly how to go about this, yet.

Hmmmmmmmmm......how to explain this glaring black eye tomorrow. I still need a story!
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup View Post
Now to think of how to explain this black eye at work tomorrow, and again on Monday…I have to think of some story, it won’t do to say I can’t recall, that would no doubt invite suspicion. Maybe I can joke about it: say, “I took up boxing, but wasn’t very good”. Or I got it at Wal-Mart on Black Friday. Any ideas? I hope not to put myself in such positions in the future, but what’s done is done. I suppose maybe it will make me, a small framed person, look a bit rugged or tough, maybe that is an asset of sorts, but not one I wish to have at hand often.
I had a friend tell people he was getting a face lift, one side at a time. Lying about it is probably not the way to go because people are nosy and giving them any info will invite more questions; then you'll have to invent a little more. So the best way is probably to joke a little bit. Once everyone's had a chuckle walk away, remove yourself from the situation. It's really no one else's business and if they're rude enough to pursue it and ask what really happened, tell them it's not their business.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:03 PM
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True, a joking approach might be best. I do live in Baltimore, a city with a 'bad reputation'...maybe I can also say a student punched me when I announced the amount of their library fines. I can be rather loquacios, so I know I'll survive despite the discomfort.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:12 PM
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Women are lucky. When I was doing dope I got the typical meth symptoms: acne, sores, ashy gray skin, and that sort of malnourished, sunken look of someone who just doesn't eat. But 99% of it could be covered with a little foundation, some powder, and blush.

Good luck with work tomorrow and Monday. You'll get through it, in a few days the bruise will be gone and soon enough your coworkers will have some other drama to talk about. People are easily distracted.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by HuskyPup
What do folks think of starting your own recovery group, open to different approaches, not based on any particular dogma? Has anyone tried this?
The closest I've come to that is being a DRA member where one is free to personalize the DRA steps or even choose whatever work's for them as far as a program goes. I'm informed very well on the DRA philosophy and do express the freedom DRA offers especially when someone in that other mainstream 12 step program starts to get dogmatic about DRA. Usually its someone that thinks because DRA has 12 steps its like that other program.

Trying to put out your eye for money HP...or so you may have thought that would explain the black eye...Oh man that saddened me so. Please be oh so careful with yourself. Reading your posts and the depressive descriptions about state of being sadden me too. I know hard times as I lived in poverty for most of my life and understand wanting to have a 'chemical vacation' from time to time. Yet that vacation, as brief it is is deadening to the spirit. Anywho I just to say I care and hope a for better outlook on life to come to you.

Hmmmmmmmmm......how to explain this glaring black eye tomorrow. I still need a story!
How about telling those that ask it was a bowling accident. That should keep them guessing.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:09 PM
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PLEASE REMEMBER:
12 Step Programs are off topic for this forum and posts discussing 12 Step Programs will be removed. Please use the Secular 12 Step Forum for positive topics on Secular 12 Step Recovery.
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Old 11-29-2009, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by gneiss View Post
A friend's mom works at Wal-Mart here in town. No kidding, the last 2 Black Fridays she's come home with black eyes. It's ridiculous. Merry Christmas, eh? It makes me despair of the species.
HuskyP -- Talking about black eyes and Black Friday, thought I would repeat gneiss's post from last week!! It's not so outrageous when it really happens!

RE: giving holiday gifts, etc. I read in the paper a little while back about an organization that distributes packages of goodies and stuff to soldiers that don't get much from home. It's called AnySoldier. Google it to get the website and more info. I do a lot of holiday baking of cookies and stuff for friends and neighbors (buy cookie tins at Dollar Tree). I thought this year I would pack up a big box to send overseas. Doesn't cost much and you would make the day of some very deserving folks. If you or anyone thinks its a good idea, pass the word.
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Old 11-29-2009, 01:54 PM
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Asta, that's a great thing to do for the holidays. I have several friends and family members in Iraq and Afghanistan right now, and they're all obsessed with home. Christmas cookies or whatever would be perfect.

While we're on the subject of holiday giving, my pet charity is Heifer International. You can Google it. They help families start sustainable food and income sources. Basically, they provide a small amount of livestock to a family: cattle, goats, chickens, honeybees, whatever. The family can keep all proceeds from whatever they sell, but they agree to help other needy families by passing some of the offspring on to someone else in need. They operate in 53 countries including the U.S.

Any other pet projects out there?
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Old 11-29-2009, 02:18 PM
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Hey, (((Husky))).

I had to look up 'loquacious'...that's the first time I've seen that.

I have such a bad memory...do you write? Could you do some freelance? Or even just write for you and see how/where it goes?


And keep your eye...please.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:56 PM
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Come on Bam. I think the eye patch thing is cool. Pirates are trendy!

:P

Husky, hope you made it through work ok today. Let us know how it went.
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Old 11-30-2009, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Bam
I had to look up 'loquacious'...that's the first time I've seen that.
I thought of 'Locutus' of the Borg when I seen that word.

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