A journey to embrace, explore, and honor the Freedom and Power inherent in active recovery.

No more shame...

No more shackles....

No more secrets.

The path--and the Power--are within. Be Free.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

LEST Old Acquaintance Be Forgot...

Remember this night, should temptation and distance of
past embarrassments cloud your judgements...
that there is nothing that can be bettered by
imbibing of the booze.

In fact, your impaired judgement can make you
duly susceptible to tons more problems, difficulties,
worries, and headaches come the cold hard light
of day.

All the work of reputation, standing, effort, progress,
and pride done away in just the flick of a wrist.
So be fore-warned and fore-armed.
It's just another night; it isn't made or broken
by drinking. You can do this; you're not susceptible to
peer pressure any more.

And remember that it isn't all fun and games.
There are real life consequences, to you,
your friends, and people who deserve better than what
they get for simply being on the road next to a drunk.

Do the right thing.
Care for yourself and others.
Surround yourself with the right people and things.
Don't give in to pressure;
be true to you.

Have a safe and happy one.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Skin Deep

"I feel Fine...My Special Friend wiping it all clean, honey!"

excerpted from a Final Project paper
(Inner Vision and Synchronicity)
by Russell D. Heiland, Jr.

In August 1915, Unity magazine reprinted an article entitle
“Exploring the Soul and Healing the Body,” written by philosopher
Max Eastman that was originally published in Everybody’s
Magazine.  The article discussed the new field of healing
called “Psycho-analysis,” which, in Eastman’s words:

…means analysis of the soul, or mind.  And the theory of it is
that countless numbers of diseases that we call nervous, or
mental, and countless others that we do not name at all, are
caused by desires which dwell in our minds without our
knowing they are there; and that if we can be made clearly
aware of these desires, their morbid effects will disappear

(Eastman, 1915).  N.B. italics in text
((end excerpt))


We can call any number of problems disease, but that does not
make the addressing of them any more effective by having done so.

Nor does isolating and emphasizing a particular element of trauma
erase other elements that cause due pain.

Life is a fully-connected experience.
One aspect of self cannot be dissected independent of another.
We are emotional, sexual, physical, spiritual, intellectual human
Each plays a part, and each must be addressed.

To suppress or segregate not only avoids detection and treatment
of initial difficulties, it creates further difficulties which will have to
be dealt with at a later date.

Caring for our inner dilemmas is not done by wishing and thinking
and hoping it will be done--if some fairy tale deems it suitable.
No, it's active, aggressive, specific dealing with reality as it is;
warts and all.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Here's Your Sign"

There was a tool in Programming who carried a smug condescension
around like it was a bag of gold. He was never at a loss for advice-giving
(requested or otherwise) and really was oblivious to how the rest of the
world lives.

He had this 'thing' he said, incessantly, mantra-like, annoyingly predictable;

"I wish for anyone that they would hit their bottom and be devastated,
like I was, so that they can be made ready to understand what I did and
become teachable to use this Program."

Lot's of problems there, but for starters, this douche was embedded in a
duplicitous existence where his fanatical Jesus-fest ramblings only served
to cover his dual life's continuous wrong-doing. (Not an abnormal event
in 12 Step, where compliance at any cost leads to people feigning trans-
formation for the sake of social acceptance and authoritarian reward.)

But the audacity of wishing for others to have desperation and trouble
is what always absolutely floored me. This doof didn't have any emotional
connection to anyone else's pain and suffering for love or money; he just
wanted to witness what he saw as a prime opportunity to get his hooks in
somebody new (particularly if they were a hot young man.) It was an
offensive and ridiculous statement, and he was clueless as to how bad it
looked for him to be 'wishing' suicidal thoughts, dissolution of marriage,
homelessness, and other tragedies on strangers.

There's also an insidiously smug presumptuousness that, following said
desired tragedies, HIS way would be the way that people chose to go.
Funny how he saw (and continues to see) his choices as the only viable ones.
Ego McEgoish egoically egoes on egoing ego-ego.

There is also the question of how much of a bottom, if any, was
actually ever discovered by Super Freak, since he's known to be a
pathological liar. The chances of his 'jailhouse conversion' story being
truthful in any degree (including the question of incarceration)
are spectacularly low. And, considering that he continues to operate
in such an outlandishly inappropriate fashion shows he still has a
boatload to learn. What bottom was that again? What exactly was

Finally, the fact that his 'recovery' was a sham and a manipulation to
convince others to have something to do with him is not the least of the
infractions. You can promote a falsehood with enough fanaticism to make
the whole world believe and follow you, but if nothing true exists behind it,
it's still a falsehood.

After issuing one of his many dictates for me to "GET THE FUCK OUT
OF AA AND NEVER COME BACK!", the foaming at the mouth Super

Christian added that "AA is all I have to offer." No, my dear friend, you
have Fraudulence, Manipulation, Lies, and Illusion...not to mention Hurt.
Those are your gifts, and if there were truly a God out there, it would strike
you down before you could cause any more harm.

But alas.....

Nonetheless, you have been caught, revealed, and exposed. What others
choose to believe or do with it is up to them. I won't wish them being
vivisected by you as a means to coming to terms with reality. Knowing you
is already hitting a bottom.


Overdue Thanks

So it is with no sense of irony that I set out to
give a proper and public "Thank You" to the
esteemed members of AA and NA (most notably
of the Donalsonville, Georgia area specifically.)

When I entered your rooms, I was still
impishly naive and fence-sitting on the whole
matter of cosmic relevance and destiny and deities...
oh, my! Yes, I was a wishy-washy agnostic from
way back.

And I did as I was told to find that (fictional) bliss
that you showcased and touted. I followed the
route to purported purpose which was, as you
told me repetitively, only available through your

And as I caught you in continuous lie after lie,
and discovered the sham of Programming for
what it is, I also discovered (finally) another
fundamental Truth, although not the one hoped

I am now utterly and unabashedly aware that
there is nothing more to life than that which is
in front of us. The physical plane, the real deal,
the bittersweet rhapsody of painful existence.
Atheism is a blessing of awareness and awakening
to the reality that persists despite dreamy protestations.

There is no God or higher power or 'something
greater than I.' There are no angels. There is no
higher purpose. There are no happy coincidences.
There are no conversions or answered prayers or
blessings or any other fairy tales come to  life.

The mythology of 'God' and 'Jesus' and whatever
other contrivances for avoiding reality and responsibility
are as rich and textured as the best TV show, but
no more accurate or legitimate than, say, The Simpsons
are a real family.

No more pretending.
No more holding my tongue to respect others' fragility.
No more allowing others' delusions to dominate.
No more deferring to others and accepting their fantasy.
No more vagueness or uncertainty.

Thank You, truly, for shedding light on my dilemma,
and erasing all doubt which once held me captive.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Don't Let Them Tell You What You Have

"A weak heart don't mean Shit, Haterz!
Fear, get thee behind me...chicken plucker!"

So, apparently heartbeats are supposed to be a pretty
standard number of beats per minute, or things get
dicey. Not a lot of room for individuality and 'coloring
outside the lines' with the particulars of a beating heart.

I first knew I had heart issues almost 2 years ago now,
but had been unable to find any heart specialists in the
area who would treat me. A trip to the E.R. on Monday
evening solved that prob. I started having a jack-
hammer pounding of my heart (followed by a lack of
beats!) and dizziness and nausea and trouble with
breathing. I did a lot of focused and concentrated
breaths and meditation to keep my alarm from
worsening the sitch, and got myself ready to go
downtown, where I then asked for an ambulance.

It took about 24 hours to get my heart 'shocked'
back into rhythm (as they called it)--getting it
recalibrated to a normal heart rate.

It was a really good feeling to be able to tell people
when they asked that I was not on any drugs or
alcohol (which, by the way, seemed to cause
much doubt, since PCP or cocaine were the # 1
guesses for what could get a rate so elevated, it
seems!) When the nurse reported the next day
that EVERYthing had come back clean, she
seemed more shocked than my poor weak heart!

It felt good to proudly state that I was clean, and
not have to worry or fudge or question. It was a
tremendously pure flush to know that I had not
done anything to cause my difficulty. ('course, that
just means the cause is now not clear cut...
but I digress!)

In the hospital room, I had moments where the
severity of the situation--the scariness of your
own heart and lungs not doing their most basic
functions--was frightening and verged on whelming.
I caught myself, refused to give in to drama or
franticness or speculation. It was happening, it was
reality, there was no point in hand-wringing or
imagination or hyperbole. It was as legit
and as simple as any other thing on the planet.

I dried my own tears, I made my own plans, I
resigned myself to what it was, and I worked on
keeping what emotions and feelings I had clear,
understood, and focused. What I needed was there,
and what was there I didn't need.

I also had some of my faith in humanity restored,
as these strangers treated me like royalty, knowing
up front that I had no insurance nor income. The
staff at Southeast Alabama Medical Center were
phenomenal; much Love, y'all.

In every situation, no matter the obstacle or
the fear, we can find a strength and a calm that
alleviate it. Know yourself, see through to what's
real, and persevere.

Peace, Rob


Monday, December 5, 2011

At Peace With Alone

In the vastness of this Universe,
from cradle's empty security to
deathbed's icy grip,
we are all of us alone.
Inextricably, undeniably,
irrefutably alone.

There is but one thing,
one energy,
one person
in all the expanse of life
upon which we can rely;

To distract one's self with
temporary forays or beautiful illusions
is to lie to your best friend.

To imagine that anyone will do for you,
or support your vision,
or reach out to your pain,
is to commit to fantasy
rather than reality.

We are complete unto self.
Our aloneness is a gift.
We can revel in all we have to offer
and all we have to accomplish
and all we have to experience;
no assistance, no permission,
no acceptance, no tolerance
is required.

If you aren't strong, don't worry.
None of us are born that way.
This world indoctrinates and
beats us into submission
from the moment we sprang forth.
Strength is in us,
but it must be cultivated,
discovered, excavated.

You better see fit to find that strength
sooner rather than later.
Depending on a faulty outside source
(which is about the best thing you can say
regarding fallible, weak, deceptive,
wishy-washy humans)
is a set-up for failure.

Cut to the chase;
depend entirely upon self.
You'll never have to worry,
regret, second-guess, or be
blind-sided by where your faith
has been placed.

There's only one True Friend
that stands by you to the end;
look in the mirror,
dig inside,
and discover them today.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Not All Habits Are Great

I've started to pick up more on the patterns in life,
the similarities and synchronicities of pattern that
occur, despite the aesthetic 'differences.'

If you live long enough, experience enough,
read enough, hear enough, or pay attention to
what's shaking, sometimes you pick up a thing or two.

Group dynamics are a bitch. Especially as relates
to anyone who doesn't 'fit in' or make the decision
to jump on board with what everyone else is pushing.

Doesn't matter if the emperor has no clothes;
if the majority says he does, then you either fall in line
or face their wrath for being an independent.

It's the way of the world. Togetherness and
connection to people is a great concept, were it
based on inclusion and acceptance. But that ain't it.
This is a whole other ball game.

Whoever is dominant or majority starts to get
a wide head from being unchallenged and from continuous
adoration of like-minded (or pretense of like-minded)

From this haughty position, even a
previously positive or well-intentioned message or
premise takes on a devilish air as it's tainted and

Instead of being the recipients of good measure
or charity, these stalwarts establish themselves
as the esteemed ambassadors-- determining
and designating who among the unwashed masses
will be privy to their divine allowances.

You see it in all manner of authoritative
structure; families, churches, businesses...
cliques of more wealthy or more popular folks...
particular races, particular names, particular pedigrees....
anything can be used as a basis for discrimination.

It's not personal; it's just the way of the world.

But predominance and prolonged status does
not a good habit make.
Sometimes a 'cigar' really is a big stiff one being
forced on you, all Freud-y Krueger like... and it's a
you must wake up from.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Beware Magic Beans

Beware any Promise of an 'Ultimate Truth.'
Or 'The' Answer.
If folks claim they have these and you must do
what they say in order to experience their greatness....
if these folks condemn you for being Lost
without their same sacred 'Insights'....
you might wanna run like Hell!

These folks have replaced one addictive and
compulsive disorder with another.
Spirituality is not paint-by-numbers,
and it can't be burrowed into someone's brain
by rote or influence.
It also, incidentally, is not requisite
to being recovered from active addiction.

Recovery and sobriety isn't reserved
for one group of ideals.

Healing isn't exclusive to one path.

The rigid notion that only one's own directive is
effective and acceptable is not only juvenile
and erroneous, it's dangerous.
It's a facet of addictive and compulsive sickness,
not Recovery.

And having one way of treating people who agree
with our methods, and a different way
of treating those who don't is,
at best, troublesome.
Little hypocritical, too.

So just remember to beware the stories of
magic beans.... avoid used car salesmen, snake oil
salesmen, and people who claim they have the answers for you.
That which seems too good to be true generally is.
And smiling faces only cover lies for a time.


'Kissy Poo' Time is Over

You can't be sedate, passive, and doe-eyed.

You have to jump in the Game,
cuz it'll for damned sure jump all over you.

Stand up,
stand tall,
speak up with a loud voice.

Walk on, even if fear slams against you.
Steady yourself; you can rely on no other support.

Create your own fight.
It's not inborn; you manufacture it
every day
with choices and courage and confidence.

Be your own light.

Embody the best traits of your heroes
rather than waiting for one to descend
or admiring them from afar.

This life is a fight.
Face it.
It is in you.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Real Deal

Been a rough, rough couple of weeks;
lots of pressure from various points,
building to a point of....well, that's the
$64,000.00 question.

What comes next?

I'm at a frustration point where the
shit is hitting the fan. The point where
all the work and efforts seem to mean
nothing, and fate or reality (or whatever
you want to call Raw Life) are buffeting
me at every turn.

I would like to run away.
I would like to take a drink (for the first
  time in a long time.)
I would like an easy out.
I would like to do whatever it takes to stop
   feeling all this pain, angst, and confusion.

But I know that none of that will change
anything for the better. And so I stand firm.

None of those self-destructive courses of action
will do anything beneficial for me in the least.

This is the part of the story where I have to
pull up my boot straps and get loaded for bear,
because being conscious and ready and 'Doing
What I Can' are the only tools I have.

Like all of us, I have my test of fire to endure.

It's frightening, it's hard, it's confusing, but no
fantasies or false promises will alter that in any
way. It's just the way of the world, and there
are some times that are darker than others.

I wish there were someone listening to prayer.
I wish being good brought good back on you.
I wish things were clear and easy and discernible.
I wish people were reliable and true.
I wish distractions equalled solutions and peace.

But I am no longer a child, and such wishful
thinking is counter-productive and disabling.
We sink or swim on our own, and by our own
power. We either figure it out or suffer the
consequences for not knowing.

I know I'll be fine, despite not knowing
where the journey is heading. But seeing
things as they really are and trudging through
the raw emotions is tough.

That's not's not's not
worry. Just an acknowledgement that I'm
feeling the fear, and moving on anyway.

I choose not to go backwards, and I know
that I am capable of doing whatever I need to.

I am strong enough to endure whatever
comes my way.

I never knew that before.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Sharing Our True Selves

There's life inside, waiting to be set free....

Our happiness is proportionate to how true
we are, how genuine in expressing our selves.

If we have courage in looking, in seeing, in
expressing, we will find answers.

Life will start to happen in ways simple and

It doesn't have to be intricately dissected
and put in a box or labeled. It can just be
lived, wide open, by the seat of your pants.

"Courage is not the absence of fear.
It is acting in spite of it." - Mark Twain


Friday, November 11, 2011

Know Your Worth

It's always a losing game when you depend on
anyone outside of self to puff up your ego!

We all have to know our own worth, independent
of all others.

Don't give your power away!

Don't allow others to determine your value or
your limits.

Whenever anyone wants you to put your fate
in their hands (which is precisely what the sickies
in AA/NA try to convince you to do,) there's always
a catch, and it can never end well.

Don't fall victim to Intimidation tactics.

Don't let others catch you up in their Shame-based

Don't get tricked into doubting yourself.

Don't let others' Authoritative game-playing
manipulate you into listening to their spiel.
People who want control and influence over you
are NOT out for your good! No matter how pretty
they smile or how much they claim otherwise.

Don't be naive. Your well-being can't afford It.

People-pleasing and 'fitting in' is a losing proposition
for those with addiction and compulsivity issues.


"Of All the Crazy Horse Shit!"

In Programming, they say
"like, WOW! What better place to find comfort and
help with sickness than a bunch of other sickies?"

Pretty much anywhere!!!

Why on earth would other sick people
be the source for sanity and reason?
Of healing?
(some sicker by far; usually the sickest ones of all
stick with AA the longest, so deeply troubled and needy
and controlling and ego-ridden are they, ever-anxious to
sink their fangs in a new stray.)

You wouldn't ask a dying person how to get well from
a real disease.

You wouldn't ask another broken down car for a jump.

Even if some are actually doing what they say they are doing,
(and how would you actually know which sociopath to trust!)
all of those pronounced character defects
(lying, cheating, thieving, egotism, maniuplation,
sadism,  selfishness) are just under the surface ready
to pop up and sucker-punch you.

And since it's just like the Catholic Church up in there;
all they have to do is wax apologetic AFTER an infraction
and they're 'good to go.'
Nobody's worried one damned bit about your welfare.

So, as always, you better do it for yourself.
And that includes the foresight of
being cautious with whom you trust.

Why would you put faith or trust in a group of
folks that celebrate their brokenness,
promoting themselves as powerless and wretched and sick?

Dig out from under that rock.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

A (Not-So) new idea

If you put good thoughts in,
you get good thoughts out.
Simple enough, right?
But where do your good thoughts come from?

Do you supply them yourself, or
do you depend on others or places
or circumstance to receive them?
Are your good thoughts contingent upon
the approval or acceptance of outside forces?

You are intrinsically good and deserving.
Let no one convince you otherwise.
Love is not something to be doled out only
when behavior is deemed 'appropriate.'

Be your own best source of comfort and joy.
All others are fickle souls who will
use your looking to them for support as means of
manipulation and control.

No one can love you like you can yourself.
Learn how today.


Fitting In Vs. Being Fit

You know, lots of folks thought the world was flat.
  But some folks were smart enough to know it was round.
  (And brave enough to stand up and say so.)

Some folks think religion is a great idea.
  But some folks see it for the cancer it is, causing far
  more harm than good.

Lots of folks are hooked into believing the disease model
of alcohol and drug addiction.

They want you to Believe that "Being and Alcoholic"
(or an "Addict")  is not just A part of you, but that it IS
you, on a cellular, spiritual, unavoidable level.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, alcohol has a physical addiction component.
But it is not Your Identity. It is not a demon that has
control over you. You are not powerless.

All of that outdated fairy tale hogwash is the most
unscientific, dangerously voodoo crap that the modern
world has ever heard...and yet people have fallen for it.

And now it is such a Monster of a Culture, that those
who know better are afraid to speak up, for fear of
being squashed by the bullying majority with their
intimidation and spin control.

Don't be intimidated.

If you know the truth, don't let the Monolith that is
12 Step force feed you a glass of fear and loathing.

Love yourself and Reason enough to stand against
the lies. Your well being--and others'--depends on it.

What you put IN is Destined to come OUT

Some places say they don't like expectations
because they set us up for failure. I agree.

So let's address just some of the expectations
of 12 Step groups; that you must subscribe to
their 'philosophy' of not being worth much, of
having addict/alcoholic be Your Identity, of
being Needy of others (and a Great Big Sky-
Daddy) in order to muddle through life happy
or sober.

Those are some pretty crazy, pretty stringent,
pretty debilitating expectations, and they don't
seem all that designed to foster personal strength. Hmmnnn...imagine that!

A group that must make you dependent on it
in order to survive;
*  using shame to manipulate and control
*  beating down your self worth
*  promoting self-doubt
*  promoting dependence on them and them alone
*  deriding all other answers as false
*  tricking you into thinking you are without power

Don't buy the hype!
Know your worth!

Be free of self-defeating thoughts and the people
who would like you to subscribe to them.

Shame-based 'Recovery' is just another addiction
to something 'forever and ever.' Be free.


'RECOVERY' is NOT a Group Activity

(they're green with envy!)

Looking to other people for salvation
or recovery is like getting a surrogate
to receive a blow job for you;
There's no point because it has
nothing to do with you!

It's all about promoting their
needs and agendas, under
the illusion of 'selflessness' and

Only YOU can determine
what's best for you.

Only YOU can DO what
needs doing.

Only YOU can respect
and appreciate your own
self and the unique path
you have to follow.

Being led around by the hand
is what little children need.

Be your own person;
cut the chord from
Group Think.
It never ends well!

YOU can do anything
you put your mind to.
It has always been so;
you simply never knew it.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

If This World Were Mine....oh, wait! It is!

It all springs forth from within.
Everything begins with a thought.

I can determine the kind of life I live
by the very thoughts I tend to (and respond to,)
by the words I use, the people I associate with, and
the way I act.

Reality is almost a moot point.
Any manner of discomfort or difficulty
can be overcome by Deciding to do so.
By toughening up and Becoming Strong.

I can Choose that no sideways comment is going
to derail my Decision to have a great day (No Matter What.)

I can Choose that I am the most important person
in My World, the center of My Universe,
and only me and My Path is worthy of my time.
I will not allow disrespect or disregard
to influence me.

I Determine what sort of day I want to have,
and everything else unfurls from that Choice.

I am not prey or victim to any person, place, or thing.
I am a Survivor.
I am Determined to be at Peace.
I Choose Empowerment.
I am Connected to My Needs
and I act in accordance with them.
If not me, then who?

My world is a byproduct of my level of Love for Self.

The disaster of the past was a reflection of this
in a negative context.

Now, my Esteem and Confidence and Love
Determines a new reality,
from a new directive.

While the world might fall around me,
I will be at Peace.
I will be Whole.
I will be Strong.

And thus, it is so.