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.