Where do I begin… perhaps ‘Greetings’ would be the most proper. My wife and I have been discussing her blog now for a while. Often times my curiosity about what she is writing is overwhelming. And, sometimes her writings are a result of our discussions prompting her to suggest that I start a blog. She claimed that people could relate and benefit from what I have to say, point of view, and my story. I liked her concept so much I proposed a joint collaboration as a guest writer. Perhaps one day I’ll explain the meaning behind ‘The Black Hawk & the Lonely Dove’.
My story is one that I hope others can identify with and I only hope and pray that I can find true strength and willingness to be open and honest. In the future, I look forward to sharing my trials and tribulations as well my joys and accomplishments as a sober recovering alcoholic and addict.
My darkest days are difficult. They’re difficult memories ones that I would drown in whiskey repeatedly because I hated recalling them and became haunted by them. I was tormented by my own behavior. Then I would relentlessly torment myself with my own self destruction—a vicious cycle that lacked any sense of hope. One of the main reasons I got sober was because I didn’t like the person I had become and I couldn’t stand to look at myself in the mirror.
Stopping is difficult. Getting sober and staying sober is even more difficult than I realized. I knew that all 12 Step programs were based on a faith based belief system. Understanding the concept was easier than believing in it. I was told early on by a body building, tattooed biker after a meeting where I broke down in an emotional share, ‘There are only 3 things that you have to do every day. Get up make your bed, call your sponsor, and get down on your knees and pray.’ When you’re desperate and broken you’ll try anything. Being in the program for more than 4 years I’ve come to learn that sometimes advice is easily dispensed and seemingly everyone has an opinion. There’s a saying in the program ‘Take what works and leave the rest’. To this day I make my bed every day, call my sponsor, and hit my knees and pray—every day. The first year I called my sponsor all but 6 times.
Hitting my knees and praying took me back to the days of my youth and growing up in the religious south with Church on Sunday’s, Sunday school and Sunday dinners and wearing Sunday clothes. I had trouble praying oftentimes feeling awkward and found my thoughts and prayers wondering. In a meeting at club house a woman in share that almost felt like a sermon said ‘Pray, pray out loud’. And, so I began to find a voice in prayer. My first sponsor use to say when you need a meeting down and dirty a club house is quick and easy, but the best meetings are in church basements. I certainly believe there is some truth in that, but if you’re open you can find true meaning in life regardless of the person or place.
Spirituality must be cultivated. Voltaire claimed, “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him”. I had a difficult time with the concept of God. But my willingness to go to any lengths was overwhelming. I grew to understand that the most important thing was not to find religion. The more important thing was cultivating spirituality filling a void left in my life from the years of self-destruction. I pray that the Lord helps me back to spiritual, mental and physical health.
I did not have a white light, burning bush experience. Countless times in my life I have made a searching journey in an attempt to find a spiritual awakening. I use to believe that God does not know me. I use to claim, ‘I know God is real but I don’t know if He knows I exist’. Such a negative outlook closed me off to all that is good in life. I have come to realize and learn over a long period of time that spirituality must be consistently fostered. There are times now in my life where I feel spiritually depleted. However, my constant focus on prayer and spirituality has opened my heart and eyes to the wonder in this world. I was told by my sponsor in AL-Anon that there is a living energy flowing through everything in this world. And if you perceive it—it is real. I believe that God is a living flowing energy within us all. If you can truly open your eyes and see with your heart—you will find Him. I opened up my eyes to a new life and a new found high. In this light it is all that I live for. It is all that I am and it is all that I have.
There is a time to love, a time to sing, a time to cry, a time to run, and time to shine.
May you find that spirit that lives inside us all. May you see with your heart that same energy in all living beings. May you adore the spiritual searching journey. Spread your arms and embrace all that is real. Peace be with you in the New Year.
“What we learn to do we learn by doing.” — Aristotle