Archive for the ‘Recovery’ Category

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Be The Light….

November 16, 2012

… which serves to illuminate for others.

Time rushes by with little time for self reflection. Lynda and I have a couple of hours a day through the week when she has done her workday, and prior to me leaving the house for mine. We cook together or alternate and enjoy the meal and catch-up time. Weekends I work days so I’m back for dinner and the evening. Tomorrow night we’re planning an evening around the firepit, possibly with our next door neighbours. Chillin’ on a chilly evening bundled up next to a nice blaze.

I think I’m up around 35 days without a day off…. some days I’m exhausted and don’t know how I’ll cope with our clients. (They can be a pretty demanding bunch.) But then the energy reserve kicks in and cope I do. It really is all about them while they are in our care. Five months in and we’re pleased with how things are going… good success rate; a few slips or relapses. I’m assured by my manager that I will be working a straight day shift gig within a couple of weeks.¬†Just checked the sobriety calculator and this alky is 3,407 consecutive days clean and sober. Working with new people seeking recovery helps keep me that way.

Lynda’s youngest son has closed his chip truck for the season and moved back in with us a couple of months ago so that is a bit of a blessing. Less running around getting his supplies and other errands. He has just hooked up with a g’friend for the first time in years so that ought to keep him occupied. ūüėČ

I plan to revamp this page soon and get rid of some dead links; get back into the swing and renew contact with some folks. I’ve been occupied on Facebook and once in a while post on Twitter. Making a few new & cool friends there. Will try to spend more time here soon. Ciao for now.

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29/07/2011

July 29, 2011

How’s that for a catchy title, huh?? A real eye-grabber.

What’s new…. hmmm…

Well, my grand-daughter Madison turned 3 the other day. If you didn’t catch this post on FaceBook here is the link to a photo session that her parents arranged: http://video214.com/play/O‚Äč5eCA4jJ7Y394cYFdiecSw/s/da‚Äčrk¬†. Such a sweetie. I sent a message to my daughter-in-law Melissa¬†saying I wish I could visit way more often so I could see the changes in Madison as she is growing. It is also less than a month before Melissa is due to deliver baby #2, ‘C’ section scheduled for Aug 25. They had some prego pics done as well, here: http://video214.com/play/DMyKs0m4wzgJVdj2360mUA/s/dark

Oh, glory-be!

Last week I marked off another successful year of ongoing sobriety through working the miracle which is the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. I know I have thought this previously in this my¬†twisted life’s journey but….. if I can stay sober through this past year I can survive anything. One day at a time and all that good stuff.

straight around

I’m glad I keep book review columns that I see in the newspaper otherwise I likely would have missed out on reading Rodney Crowell’s ‘Chinaberry Sidewalks’. I finished reading it last night and it was a terrific piece of memoir. He had me hooked from the first page and didn’t let up till it was all done. Highly recommended –¬†5 stars.

rush

Lynda and I enjoyed having g’son¬†Owen with us for all of last week – he’s quite a character. We’ve also been getting out doing a few social things due to the fact that I have my weekends off (PTL). Tomorrow night we’re heading into Toronto for an evening with some of the folks I went through my Addiction Studies course with…. probably be a dozen or so of us. We haven’t done one of these get-togethers for a few years so it ought to be interesting.

 

lazing around at the flea market

Have a good weekend, folks. Time to get cleaned up for work tonight.

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‘Spring Has Sprung,

April 13, 2011

the grass has riz,

I wonder where,

the birdies is?’

A little ditty my Dad used to recite each year. We don’t really have to wonder where the birdies are because we’re woken by all manner of birdsong each morning. About the only one I’m used to hearing and haven’t as yet is the Baltimore Oriole. I’ve seen robins, finches, grackles, sparrows, cranes, ducks, geese, buzzards, hawks, an eagle, a falcon (which almost nabbed a mourning dove from our yard; narrow miss) We’ve had a few warm spells that last a few hours before the north wind swoops back in and takes us back near zero. Saturday Lynda and I spent a good portion of the afternoon and early evening raking up the yards, spelling one another and soaking up the rays.

Maple-cicle

Here is something we had never seen before – taken a couple of Sundays ago. A small branch had broken off during the winter and once the sap began to run started to drip. It was still below freezing and the sap froze as it dripped. These icicles were as thin as parchment and, you know me, had to taste it to see how sweet it was. And it was, too.

A couple of months ago my work assignment changed from one of the local university buildings to a building on it’s associated college campus. having got to know some of the staff I approached one of the women in their career services department to critique my CV. (An ethical stretch to be sure but hey!, I’ve got boundary issues, don’t ya know?) Anyway she’s supposed to get back to me this week with her suggestions and it got me motivated to tackle the re-write once again. This work assignment is supposed to end in a couple of weeks and I haven’t any idea where I’ll be going. My supervisor is trying to hang onto me and has a spot in mind but the shift rotation is crazy awful…. can’t see it. I’ll take my chances and turn that one down.

Shadowy Man

The kitchen reno has turned into a marathon. Some special order porcellain back splash tile was picked and sent wrong resulting in another 2 week wait. It is supposed to be installed tomorrow and perhaps we’ll be able to sort the house out after that is done. Get the kitchen table back from the basement; arrange things to our liking, etc. Lynda’s youngest son has been here for the last couple of weeks and that is always a strain as he is quite a slob. She’s ready to pull her hair out. Thankfully he chose to go spend a night in his own bed last night so we all get a break from one another.

A Pennsylvania singer / songwriter by the name of Brett Detar had a post that I picked up on offering a free download of his first solo album. Here’s a link to a 30 second video containing a few of my photos¬†that uses a segment of one of his songs. His material is hard to pigeon-hole; sorta folky / roots but with an edge. I like his vocals and overall instrumentation and production.

http://animoto.com/play/aH1oBy3GH2V0mO7AonD2Lg 

Time to clean up and face another day of work. Just checked the sobriety calculator and today is 2,825 days. Who’da thunk it? See you sooner than later I hope.

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Dashing Off Notes

December 4, 2009

** We tied a 70 year old record for having a snowless November. Woo-Hoo! Colder weather is upon us and the white stuff could start any time now.

** Getting political Рjust sent a letter to several local and provincial politicians to protest planned cuts to funding for local mental health and addictions services. Per capita funding is way below average.

** My smoking quit is more a reduction for the time being – cut use by half. Not great but better. Yeah, yeah… I’ll get on it.

** I attended that meditation¬†session back on Tuesday and enjoyed it; found it to be beneficial. I’m getting details on whose recording we were listening to and will share them later. Prior to – they had a labyrinth¬†set up in an adjoining room and I walked it. It will be there once a month on the first Tuesday of the month. Similar design to ‘Chartres’ but a wee bit different. Walking palms down inward letting go; upward on the way back out receiving. A bit of self-care.

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A Quick Thanks

November 5, 2009

Your supportive messages mean a lot to me – Kel, Robin, Lea, SuzieQ, cousin BJ, ybonesy – and are much appreciated.

With Terry’s funeral over yesterday my focus shifts more completely to the job search. … and OH, I did the right thing back on Monday and saw my doctor – he prescribed a heavy-duty antibiotic. His major concern is that this illness has lasted for so long – it’s a month since it began as a minor cold. So far the antibiotic doesn’t appear to be doing anything so perhaps it’s viral not bacterial.

State of mind and time/opportunity will dictate when I’ll start back into regular posts once again. With some work and luck maybe I’ll have something more positive to report soon. I’m using my contacts to generate job leads and working overtime on the on-line posting sites. Truth be told I’m full of fear for the future and stressed to the max – sick and run-down. All in all not a good combination but I’m coping and working it ‘one day at a time’ – one thing at a time. Once again everyone – thanks for staying in touch. I feel the positive vibes radiating my way. Bless you all.

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Guidelines

October 28, 2009

In the comment section of the previous post I made¬†reference to¬†the Serenity Prayer. Routinely, the first 4 lines from this ‘long version’ are recited¬†to open¬†A.A. meetings in this area (and many others). For anyone who isn’t familiar with it…. it helps keep me from sitting on the fence. By using this I’m better able to let go of things beyond my control and get on with the work on things I can influence the outcome of.

God grant me the SERENITY to
accept the things I cannot change;
COURAGE to change the things I can;
and WISDOM to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it:

Trusting that He will make all things
right if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next. Amen

This journey in recovery from alcoholism brought about¬†¬†the process of redefining my identity and attaching once again to ethics, values and ‘humanness’. This prayer has played an important part in my attitudes to others; in being of service to others. The Prayer of St Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

 
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

 
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

What jumps out at you in this? What do you use for your personal guides? Care to share?

SSPX0420

autumn rushes

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Things Fall Apart

October 27, 2009

through a glass, lightly

Where to begin? First off; If you’re looking for good news you had best move on.

Back on Friday morning I came to work for a staff meeting expecting a ‘state of the union’ address by both our CEO and Director of Operations updating the lot of us on how bad the numbers are on paper and according to budget. Instead of getting into the numbers they went straight to the bottom line….. they are closing this¬†centre for a minimum of 6 months and all staff here are laid off come this Friday, Oct 30. Head office and both treatment centres in Toronto remain intact and operational. We are the sacrificial lambs….. 8 counsellors, 2 night staff, 2 cooks, our maintenance guy and oh, our manager got blindsided, too.

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to the dump, dump, dump

I’ve been through this before when I was caught in a major restructuring back in 2003 which ended a 30 year career in pre-press in commercial print. On this¬†occasion I was no less surprised, shocked, outraged, or disappointed. According to Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in ‘On Death and Dying’ there are 5 stages in the grief process when you lose someone close to you. Those same 5 stages have been found in those losing their vocation. I can confirm that I’ve experienced stages 1 and 2 – Disbelief/Denial and Anger; moved right past the Bargaining stage and into stage 4, Grief and Depression. Having had a few days to process this I’m working on #5 Acceptance but with little success so far. I’ve been pretty occupied being angry and depressed. Angry at¬†what I perceive as mismanagement and disregard; depressed as new job prospects are slim and I’ll miss my coworkers and our clients.

‘On Becoming a National Statistic’: the current national unemployment rate is 8.4%. Locally it is 9.6%. Those stats are built of straw as they don’t recognize the many who have given up looking for work. Job listings in local papers have shrunk in the last year from multiple pages to a single page. Most on-line ads are for call centres, McJobs, personal attendants for the elderly and disabled, and factory line work. Last week I saw an ad for the first time in over a year in the addictions field. Within an hour of arriving home Friday my CV and cover letter had been sent.

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my cranium - internal view

Lots of credit to Lynda; these last 5 or 6 years haven’t been a lot of fun for her. Beginning with my job loss and a long term of unemployment; supporting me while I went back to college for a year; backing me in this new career direction. She surprised me with how well she took the layoff news. ‘What can go wrong, will go wrong’; shrug, *hug*. When I asked if she minded if I carried through with my plan to attend the weekend conference she simply said, ‘No sense hanging around here stewing about something you can’t change. Go hang with your A.A.. buddies.’ I finished packing and waited for my ride to pick me up.

I was thankful to get away and have a full weekend of workshops and meetings to keep me occupied. My home group’s new¬†GSR ( General Service Rep) Francis did the driving and we shared a room. We attended a couple of workshops together but mainly split up so we could cover a greater variety of topics. There were quite a number of people I knew there either from having attended the same meetings locally or because they had been through treatment¬†here. This was my first opportunity to attend one of these regional Assemblies and I’m really glad I went. Interesting to see how the service structure operates above the group and district levels, right on up to world headquarters in New York city. Alcoholics Anonymous home page.

(In case anyone is curious…. no, I didn’t experience any cravings for a drink.)

There won’t be any sitting around collecting unemployment benefits and waiting to be recalled to work. So far as I’m concerned I’m done here…. plus I don’t trust the powers-that-be. I think the 6 month layoff is a way for them to get out of paying severance – most of us would look for other work and if employed elsewhere they aren’t obliged to pay anything.