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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"How'd ya do it?"

So last Saturday, I was picking up a celebratory cake for
another matter and all of a sudden, standing there looking at
the 'Congratulations' and the cake and having the date
dawn on me, I realized that I have been clean and sober
just over two years!

(No, I didn't forget that I was sober! But with everything
going on of late, and the speed with which each day
processes and plays out, I have not been keeping track of
'important dates' like I used to. Which can be kind of a
good thing, since I used to be morbidly obsessed with all
of the anniversary dates of deaths and losses and so forth.
Now I seem able to keep such things in perspective.)

Of course, my sobriety is long in question with some,
but that's neither here nor there.

My Auntie is still a 'hoot' about it all; she continues as she
has done all along to PUSH alcohol on me every time I go in
her home. (Actually, she's become such a crazy bitch that I
don't spend time with her any longer, but I do still show up to
see the kids...those poor, trapped, victimized kids.)

She'll swagger over with her perma-thermos clutched tight
and say "How about a little drink, won't hurt
you!" and I have taken to saying "No thanks; As you well know,
I don't drink any longer, period." Some times I even say "Fuck
off" since I know it's not her 'crazy' but rather her passive-aggressive
downer negativity that seeks to run me down so we can be
miserable together.

No thanks, Auntie. You and Moms can reminisce about the
old days and have those higher can drink your
cares away every day and twice on Sunday.....and you can talk
whatever smack you want about me with condescending tones
and dismissive intonations.

I'm gonna do my thing and run my run, and handle my business
when it's all said and done. Staying away from unsupportive and
disinterested people has been a boon for me. Cutting the ties
as much as possible to Nay-Sayers and non-believers and instead
tuning into the voice in my own head that says "Why, of course you
can do it, were capable all along!" is a vast improvement.

It's all a matter of what you're willing to believe, and sometimes the
herd of people trumpeting your doom can drown out that lone
voice of hope and reason that says "I can do anything!"

I finally chose to bet on the underdog. You can, too.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Constant 'Want' that Never Fills

There's no escaping the pull of the consumer-based society we
live in, and consumerism is geared towards to things; cultivating
a sense of immediacy, and a sense of need.

In order for us to want things--to feel as if our want is desperate
enough to be need--the marketing campaigns for everything are
geared towards our emotions. Tempting us to 'live for the moment'
(although not in the good or healthy sense of 'grab all that life has to
offer and say what needs to be said, but rather a self-destructive
brand of doing what feels good with no thought towards tomorrow
or repercussions or side-effects.)

Most products being sold are not things we need, and most are not
even things we would want without an artificial desire or demand
being crafted. Certainly, most are unhealthy for our bodies, minds,
and emotions.
"Ooh, shiny! Want!"
These products are concerned with a bottom line, a profit for their
company, not the health or happiness of their purchasing public.

Colas and beer and sugar-laced treats and fat-filled fast food are all
promoted and marketed as a means of living life to the fullest, of being
'truly alive' in the here and now, of finding happiness, of being connected
to the public as a whole and similar friends in particular, and so much more.

The irony, of course, is that these live-fast promotions are sold with a
happy upswing attached, when in fact the ingesting of such products
is likely to lessen life expectancy as well as the quality of life being lived.

All the false promises (implied of otherwise) will not only not bring
about the desired coolness, happiness, sexiness, fitting in, or improved
outings that are associated with the companies' beer, cigarettes, food,
vacation, candidate, etc ad nauseum--but the sense of lacking that comes
from trying and failing to receive that high from consumption can be

There is intrinsically a sense of the notion that there must be something
wrong with the buyer (or the subscriber, or the participant) because there
is a definite sense of others having received the promise...of being happier
with their sex life, of being loved harder by people they desire, of
being made content, or having been satisfied by a meal/trip/purchase.

So often, we try again. And again. And always it's the idea...the false
promise of the 'next time' delivering what we thought would be included
this time around, that drives us in our quest.
An end to our disappointment. A sating of our lusts.
A quelling of our desire/needs, first intangible, now embedded.

Songs sell us on sweet and silly codependent love, glamorizing and
schmaltzing up something that is toxic and embarrassing. They also sell
us on the idea of easy sex being appealing, avoiding the emotional mine
field of that endeavor as well as the lifelong traumas of STDs, unwanted
pregnancies, and so on.

We live in a world that has 24 hour a day promotion of Big Portion/ High
Calorie/Greasy Mess/Low Nutrition/Easy Food with no qualms about
the other side of greedy profiteering; the epidemic of obesity, diabetes,
cancers, isolation, sedentary living,

We chase away our fear, our pain, our worry, our past, our selves with
any and every concoction that can alter the way we feel, rather than making
peace with what is. We are a nation of avoiders and runners and addicts
and consumers who are not at ease with our own thoughts and feelings.

And somewhere along the line, there has got to be a conscious decision
to stop joking about 'retail therapy' and 'eating our sorrow' and instead
a movement begin where we can sit and be loving and supportive to the
person we are and the life we live.

And question how long we want to keep engaging in the same actions with
no variation.

But hey...if you get too upset about all this, you can always go 'treat'
yourself to an ice cream; I hear they chase away the blues like nobody's

A false promise of satisfaction that never results in such--the false hopes
we pursue are but momentary distraction, with long term consequences.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, or Same Old Shit?

All the researchers and social scientists have talked
to death the important focuses for changing a life
for the better, what with the imposed importance of
a New Year being bandied about.

The results, as you might expect, are pretty much
consistent; five factors lead the list.

1) Your Physical health
2) Your Emotional health
3) Your Spiritual health
4) Your Social health
5) Your Mental health

What order their importance lies in is as individual as
what areas people decide to work on in their lives, if any.

1. The physical is obvious; eat better, move more, don't
allow stress and resentments a home, etc.

2. Emotional has to do not only with your insides, but who
and what you surround yourself with outside. Do you like
or trust or care for the kinds of people you're surrounded
by on a daily basis? And are their attitudes and interests
that which promote a healthy lifestyle?

3. Spiritual is not religion or anything pertaining to, although
for most it is limited to that. It's any belief system, values,
purpose, cause, or the like that gives meaning. A way of
being connected to something larger, outside yourself. Nature,
meditation, reading, hobbies, or whatever makes you happy.

4. Social can be tricky, since it is dependent on what is made
available to you either geographically, financially, etc.
You can meet and greet strangers, find like folks online,
visit nursing homes, or whatever brings you in touch with people.
The days of having a confidante or best bud to talk with at any
time about any subject seem to have fallen by the wayside...
so we manufacture replacements as best we can.

5. Keeping our minds sharp with puzzles, word games, new classes,
reading... testing ourselves with games (TV game shows, cross
word puzzles, Soduku, etc--not video games!) are all means
of keeping the tool sharpened. Dedicating yourself to learning--
and retaining even one small new thing each day--is a useful task.

But the significant factor is that it's all of these things in unison
that brings fulfillment and balance. Balance is an ever-sought,
imperfect goal, but it's worthwhile to seek it in some form.

We are the result of what we see, hear, think, do, and feel.
So what are you filling your mind with?
Who are you surrounding yourself with?

What is your time measured by?

Are you accomplishing what you want to, or catering to others?

Are your friends those who support you no matter what, or are
there strings attached?
Do you get unadulterated belief in your abilities, or are the people
in your life tearing you down and expecting little of you?

There's more than one kind of poison you can be filling your
body with; think long and hard about what you have in your
life this new year.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I Know...
that Strength of Will
is the single-most
and reliable
energy and asset
that we have.

It's ever-present,
waiting for us to discover it,
believe in it,
and fully embrace it.

Within each of us
exists the capability
to do what is needed...
if only we will See it,
Accept it,
and Choose it.

Make yourself proud, today!