2018/04/14

Another Year

... and I'm still here! Somewhat healthy, partially sane, but thrilled and grateful to no end to be clean and in recovery!!

On April 14 of 1992, I came to the spiritual awakening... no, more of a spiritual change... that I couldn't keep on doing what I was doing (using drugs) and hope to live or even survive life. I had a wee bit over three years of clean time a few months before that date, but ignored all that I was taught by my recovery Fellowship and relapsed.

But, ah, yes BUT! On this date in '92, it was my wife, Bernie's, 30th birthday. Or would have been, if she hadn't gone on to the infinite recovery called death. My spiritual change came because I realized that my own recovery depended on me  staying alive, for my kids (the gods bless  all 3!) and for the memory of the woman who showed me this gift called Narcotics Anonymous!
--- and poo on you Tradition thumpers who may wail at my despoiling of Tradition 11!! ---

Today, I celebrate life. Today I celebrate another milestone in my journey in this recovery process. Today, I am 26 years Clean! My eldest daughter, Jenna texted me a few days ago to congratulate me on my Clean-iversary! I found that to be the most exquisite description of such an event. A Clean-iversary!! beautiful...

So, later on this evening, I'll be heading off to a meeting and pick up another black, multiple year keytag to add to my collection. And, next week on April 20, I will celebrate my accomplishment (may the gods be gentle & willing) with my friends who are also a part of this journey of Recovery with me!

Keep The Faith*
(oh, and Happy 56th Birthday, Bernie! You are missed!!)

2018/04/11

First Time

In almost 30 years being a part of this recovery process, not once have I had a speaking share recorded. I guess there's a first time for everything!

Spring Break Share - 31 March 2018

2018/02/27

I Wonder

...if my "work" here on the Internet is nothing more than an vain attempt at making myself into something I simply may not be.

Amazing as it is, I have seen enough memes about humankind's incessant need to publish this and that and (yes, of course!) the other thing about absolutely nothing at all. I look at the images & words that are placed on YouTube and that stew-pid Facebook and realize I am just trying to be something else. Which ain't me.

Have you looked at my Facebook feed?
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012693069979
Have you looked at my YouTube page?
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxf4XQInUl2ARkuSGXyfwDA


There is absolutely nothing there that shows who or what I am. Nada. Believe me, I looked. Then again, my "research" has brought absolutely nothing to mind as to what or who I truly am!

I am a father. I have three absolutely amazing children who have given me more pride and hope in life than I could ever desire.

I am an addict in recovery. That alone has taken me far beyond my self-imposed "Best Before Date" (which just happened to be the age of 30).

Just those two things should (in my imagination) just about put me in a spot of "Way to go, Robb!" Still, I question my accomplishments.

Just what did I do to have such great kids? That question rattles and addles my brain on a constant basis. Just what the fuck was my influence upon those three that made them as good and decent as they are today? And, oh yes, And, was there any influence upon them at all from the likes of me?

Recovery? Many times I think that it is more a matter of "clean time" than any sort of "recovery". I try to give back to my Fellowship, but it pales to utter insignificance when I see (& remember!) that I have not sponsored anyone for more than 8 years. So, wtf am I doing in this business?

The questions continue. Questions about me. Fuck what my kids tell me. Fuck what others in recovery tell me. I need to tell me! I need to learn my place here in life. I also need to just simply accept the fact that I am where I am because that is the way of life.

But, I am a cynical and snide person. Just look at my Google+ profile!
https://plus.google.com/u/0/106328986583670984993
Ha! And once again, I try that shit-hole attempt at self promotion to try and make me be something that I just may not be!


Ooooo, that reminds me! I am at that quarterly point of advertising Robb's Place on FB! Gotta go...

Keep The Faith*

2018/02/16

Amazing Recovery...

One of those things is what I hear at a meeting. At my Thursday night meeting, the "It's Possible" group on Caldwell (Come visit! It's a blast... and It's Possible!!) we read the JFT --Just For Today-- mediation for February 15. It was about "An Awakening of the Spirit."

I do not read the daily meditations at all. The only time I hear them is at a meeting I attend that uses them as a part of the opening readings. My Thursday night meeting has been opening with the JFT for the past while. Tonight, I am grateful for that!

The reading went as follows:

๐™๐™š๐™ฌ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™›๐™ž๐™ง๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™‰๐™–๐™ง๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜๐™จ ๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฎ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ช๐™จ ๐™ข๐™š๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™–๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ ๐™š ๐™– ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ก ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™—๐™š๐™ก๐™ž๐™š๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™– ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™–๐™ก ๐™ซ๐™ค๐™ž๐™™ ๐™š๐™ญ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™จ. ๐™’๐™š ๐™๐™–๐™™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™š๐™ข๐™—๐™–๐™ง๐™  ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™Ÿ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฃ๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ž๐™˜๐™ ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™™ ๐™–๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ ๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ก๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™จ. 

๐™‡๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™– ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ช๐™™ ๐™–๐™ก๐™–๐™ง๐™ข ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ค๐™˜๐™ , ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™ž๐™ง๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฅ ๐™—๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™จ ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™š๐™ข๐™ž-๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™˜๐™ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™จ๐™จ-๐™–๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™ช๐™œ๐™ ๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ, ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™˜๐™ก๐™ž๐™ข๐™— ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™—๐™š๐™™ ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฎ๐™—๐™š ๐™จ๐™ก๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™Ÿ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ง๐™š ๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™š๐™จ. ๐™๐™๐™š ๐™œ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™š ๐™๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™๐™–๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™จ๐™๐™ค๐™ช๐™ก๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™Ž๐™š๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™๐™๐™ž๐™ง๐™™ ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฅ๐™จ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ช๐™จ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ช๐™ฅ, ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™š๐™ฉ๐™˜๐™, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฎ๐™–๐™ฌ๐™ฃ. ๐™’๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ก๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ ๐™›๐™ง๐™ค๐™ข ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™š๐™ฎ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฅ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™๐™ž๐™›๐™ฉ๐™. ๐˜ฝ๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™  ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ž๐™ญ๐™ฉ๐™, ๐™Ž๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™, ๐™€๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ๐™, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™‰๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฅ๐™จ, ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™—๐™š๐™œ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™– ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฅ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™– ๐™จ๐™ข๐™ž๐™ก๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™จ. ๐™Š๐™ช๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™€๐™ก๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฅ๐™จ. ๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ก๐™›๐™ฉ๐™, ๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™ค๐™ช๐™จ๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™จ๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™˜๐™ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™–๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ ๐™š๐™ฃ. 

๐™’๐™š ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฃ'๐™ฉ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™– ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™–๐™ก ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™–. ๐™’๐™š ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™œ๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™ช๐™ฅ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™—๐™ช๐™ฉ, ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™—๐™š๐™™, ๐™ฌ๐™š'๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ก๐™ข๐™ค๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™ก๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฎ๐™จ ๐™œ๐™ก๐™–๐™™ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™™๐™ž๐™™.

๐™…๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™๐™ค๐™™๐™–๐™ฎ: ๐™๐™ค ๐™–๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ ๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™จ๐™ก๐™š๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ฎ ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ, ๐™„ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ช๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ก๐™ซ๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฅs.

What amazed me was the way this reading made understanding the 12 Steps of NA so utterly simple.

From Step 1 where we learn to just wake up from our addiction, Steps 2 & 3 where we get up and stretch, to Steps 4 & 5 when we wipe the sleep from our eyes, Steps 6, 7, 8 and 9 as we discover a spring in our steps plus a little smile, then we sing as we work Steps 10 & 11, and then get ourselves out into that wonderful world to maybe help someone else to awaken from the insanity of addiction and introduce them to the wonder of Recovery in Step 12!
Amazing Recovery!

Keep The Faith*

2018/02/09

Without A Country

Well.

Perhaps it is time for me to find a small piece of Crown land, annex it and claim it as my own independent country. Disallow the vaunted and admired Canada entrance or recognition. Impose a levy upon all who would want to venture into my domain. Bar any incursion into my dominion, with force as required.

Now, why would I even consider such a drastic move? Let me tell you a story.

Eight years ago, I was asked by my father to drive him and my aunt to Minnesota to visit family there. I was willing, but I needed to obtain a Canadian passport to make the crossing into the USofA.

No problem. I got all the required documentation together -- applications, birth certificate, driver's licence, photo and a wondrous piece of paper issued by the ruling Canadian government of the time called "Registration of Birth Abroad". It was created because I was born in that same USofA in 1957 and it proclaimed me as a citizen of Canada.

But, Passport Canada (a Canadian government agency) did not recognize the paper I had as being valid. It was a copy. Never mind that this thing had taken me to the States many times and even helped to land me a contract with the Canada Revenue Agency. Sorry, bub...

OK. I heard about an enhanced driver's licence issued by the Ontario government that would allow a person to cross the border sans passport. I went to a Service Ontario office to apply. The clerk behind the desk didn't know wtf this Registration of Birth Abroad was and began to ask co-workers about it. One said, " I've seen that before. It's good." and I got my EDL.

Fast forward to the present. I tried to get myself placed as a signing authority on a bank account for a group I am a member of. None of my pieces of ID were satisfactory. I had lost my EDL because the ON government said my eyesight wasn't good enough to continue driving. I didn't have a Social Insurance card showing my SI number, it having fallen apart after 40 years and me not willing to spend the $10 or so to get a piece of paper... well, yeah. The ID I had used satisfactorily for over 50 years was now worth fire kindling.

Skip a couple of months, and I again tried to become a signature on another account for a group that I was elected treasurer of. Guess what? SSDD.

Hm. I decided to budget my pennies (which we no longer have in Canuckistan) and get an official Ontario Photo Card. I went to the same Service Ontario office where I got my EDL. Hello? The Registration of Birth Abroad isn't on their list of "official" documents. Plus, I had the original document in my hands, not the copy which previously stymied Passport Canada.

I mean, really. Just a few short years ago, this office gave me an enhanced driver's licence based on lesser docs. But, now... sorry, No Soup For YOU!!

Sigh. Anyway, I found that I had an opportunity to go to a convention in Minnesota that just happened to be on my clean date. -[don't ask]- But, I need a passport. Instead of going through the hoops & hurdles of paperwork and photo, I went to the Passport Canada today just to see if the improved Registration of blahblah was sufficient, based on recent roadblocks.

Nope. That document is not listed as a valid form of identification. I didn't want to point out my last visit there and that I had the thing they said they needed and that they were being absolute fucking dickheads about... well, yeah.

My next step is to fashion two letters of concern. One to the Ontario government (ie. Kathleen Wynne), the Minister of Identification Fuckery, and my local Member of Provincial Parliament. That is, one letter to three separate Provincial offices.

The second letter would be the same but directed to three branches of the federal government. One to the PM, one to the Minister in charge of Passport Fuckery and the last to my local Member of Parliament. And each and every one of those six people are all fucking Liberals! I am screwed.

At this rate, I doubt the USofA would even grant me entrance. Thus, I might just have to take a page from les maudit Quรฉbรฉcois playbook and actually declare independence. Look out, world, here comes the Royal Republic of Greybeard!! (population:1)

Keep The Faith*

2018/01/25

Unfinished

Unfinished. Not done. Not yet over. 

I have come to realize that I can be, and am, judgmental. Holier than thou. The great know-it-all. All it took was one person to point that out to me. Someone who I have the greatest respect and admiration for. A person who has recently faced personal tragedy in his life. And I had the absolute audacity to think that I could offer insight to what or how he is feeling.

All based on a simple comment that there was (my words) some unfinished business that needed doing. Now, I am also of the realization that I, too, have unfinished business. Business that can actually be achieved, if not resolved.

It involves a few people, a few less than from years back due to the wonders of death. Still, all of the people who are gathered up in this conspiracy of denial and blame shifting are known to me. I have all their names. I know all of their past actions, their in-actions and their self-preserving subterfuge.

A simple and effective means of possible closure is to just put names out there and associate each and every one with an event or events. I could also list the numerable consequences, but the far & away easiest is to just say Suicide.

So. Name names. Put an act to each and every name. Who. What. Be as descriptive as those very acts were described to me. I would need to ensure that each is held accountable for their parts in the whole sordid mess, be the means of their destruction. Or, if anything, be the source of their discomfiture and invitation to litigation.

All of that, just because I am presumptuous. A self-centered, intellectual, smart ass. And all I needed to be reminded of my fallibility was to be told of my judging way. For that, I am grateful. I am also grateful for being reminded of my own unfinished business. Something that has been avoided for too long now. Something that needs remedying. And it shall be done. Not with malice, but with intent.

Keep The Faith*

2018/01/18

It's Possible

I went to my Thursday meeting tonight. My usual service... opening the facility, getting the literature out, setting up the coffee and readying the tables & chairs. Same old, same old for the past few months.

However, last week 4 (Four!) other members showed up! And tonight's meeting had 6 (SIX!). And that doesn't include yours truly. After several weeks of maybe one other person making an appearance -- which made for some amazing Recovery talk! -- I think I was feeling, what? Resentful?? about showing up and hoping for a turnout greater than two.

Well, last week, I was feeling quite giddy at the meeting. Like a kid in a candy store with dad's platinum credit card! I repeated myself ad nauseum about my Gratitude for those who showed up. I Was Truly Grateful!!

When I got home last week, I felt this tug, a twinge, in my gut. I wasn't hungry. I wasn't angry. I wasn't lonely. I was tired, so I thought to look at that as the cause for my... hehe... dis-ease.

It turned out, after rummaging thru my ever-stocked larder of emotions, I was actually feeling disappointed that so many people had made an appearance.

A couple of months ago, I had a thought that if members don't show up and it comes around to the end of June (which would be the group's 2 year anniversary), I was thinking of doing the unthinkable and shutting the meeting down.

Yup, that "twinge" in my gut was the kernel of a resentment. Today's JFT mediation reading was about daily inventory. I realized that was precisely what I did one week ago. An inventory. And it took me a whole week, plus getting the meeting ready, plus having seven members in attendance (me too!) and feeling giddy all over again to realize that I am still Living my recovery instead of just Working it!

My, my. It's Possible!!

Keep The Faith*

2018/01/06

Ha

Just that... Ha. Guess what?! Ayup, Peripheral neuropathy (PN) pains and an over-active hamster wheel. So I came here to whine. When I sat down, it was a kind of dรฉjร  vu. I thought, "Hm. I've been here before." I decided to not repeat myself and went on to read many many entries I've made here in this blog of mine.

I went as far back as the end of February, but stopped well short of my ARGH entries. Didn't need that kinda stimulation! As it is, I actually enjoyed reading all that crazy wonderful stuff I wrote. Yep, I repeated myself ad nauseum about my brain going a mile a minute and the screaming insanity of my PN.

I actually could have done a good rant on my essential tremors, since they have been exploding in my face recently. And my hands. And my arms. Yadda yadda.

Right! Shut up Robb. Even tho' my physical bs is doing wondrous push-ups and thriving, I got just a wee bit o' peace by reading and wasting an acceptable 2+ hours here. I got to my HG last night. Heard some great words... and some terribly painful ones. Went out for fellowship afterwards. Got a ride home in -36degC (windchill) weather.

So I gots the cramps & pains in my shins and feet. So my brain wanted to go over and over and over and over and... yeah, shit that happened decades and longer ago. So what?

Life, even with the frigid temps and wind out there, is kinda sorta good!  I am alive! I had an amazing surprise 60th birthday party a week ago! I still have my family and more friends than I deserve! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yay ME!!!

Keep The Faith*