Dealing with Loneliness

While I enjoy the peace and serenity my sobriety gives me, there are times I’m uncomfortable. I battle with the overwhelming feeling I’m alone in the world. Yet, I know I’m not. There are two things which bring me back to reality – my Higher Power and the fellowship.

As I sit here listening to music and playing my game on the computer, the walls started to close in. The room suddenly got dark and closed in all around me. For a few seconds I couldn’t shake it off and fear started to creep in saying to myself, “We’ve been here before.”

Indeed I have, on several occasions in the past. I worked as a Program Aide at a detox center and the other when I was a CNA. The difference between the two was I enjoyed one job, was going to meetings and was living sobriety. The other job, I had the complete opposite experience. I just had me, myself and I. Those three in the same room was disastrous which lead to me where I am today.

Part of this recent experience may be because of my complete lack of meetings because I was sick. But I was reminded at the meeting, people do miss me and care about me. I was asked by several about my recent changes in life and how I was handling them. A good reminder I’m not alone – ever.

In addition, I know there is a Higher Power in my life. But at times, it becomes such a daily routine, I forget It’s presence in my life. I truly believe without a belief in a Higher Power, I would not be here today. There are so many miracles in my life, things I couldn’t do on my own, there just is no other explanation. A belief in a Higher Power, an incomprehensible concept for a struggling addict, is something one can only experience once someone has a willingness to accept One does exist.

Shortly, it also goes a little deeper. It’s the lack of human contact at times. As human beings we tend to be social beings. While I would be able to call anyone at anytime if I had a alcoholic problem to talk about, what about those times I don’t? I thought at one time, I would be able to interact with people through playing my game. But since I switched to another game, there isn’t much of any interaction at this time despite people playing all over the world. I may have to revert back to my old game as its active playing membership is usually consistent at all hours of the day and night. But this isn’t a solution to the need to talk to someone right next to me.

Lastly, I have learned when I have things going on in my life with no one to talk to its always good to write them down. It gets them out of my system so they aren’t rolling around in my head. It helps to acknowledge and really “see” what’s going on, then simply letting it go.

Loneliness is sometimes a hard experience to get through at times. “But It Too Shall Pass!” Another reminder it’s only temporary if I let it. Meanwhile, don’t I have a new life to live? It’s time to live it.

Gratitude for a Second Chance

At fifteen months of sobriety, I didn’t imagine I would be still living in a chemical dependency residential program. One would think by now, I would have moved on. But this just isn’t the case. Matter for fact, I will be here for a couple more months as I continue to take care of some dental issues.

Living one day at a time and practicing patience with the process can be difficult at times. Yet, I continue to believe I am here for a reason. Therefore I’m grateful for the continued support I receive while I go through this process, as frustrating and difficult as it may be at times.

Back in August, I finally stepped in a dental office to take care of some plaguing dental issues. I went through two surgeries, ten teeth extractions to remove “problem” teeth. I thought I was in the clear to move on with a partial denture and the rest of my life. Again, this wasn’t so. After going back to my regular dentist, they decided it would be best just to have the rest of my upper teeth all removed and a full denture placed. Back to the oral surgeon I went to schedule two more surgeries.

Monday, the first surgery was completed. Yesterday, I went for a follow up. I was surprised I was in no pain and cleared for the last surgery to be scheduled on November 20th or sooner (I’m on the cancellation list). Immediately after my appointment I got a call from the dentist to schedule the impression for my full upper denture in early January. There is a four to six week healing period after the last surgery. It’s my understanding after the impression is taken, again there is another lengthy period of time before the actual placement of the upper full denture. So, reality sets in as I may not be moving on until February or March of 2020. Despite this, I’m okay with it.

During this whole time I have seen a lot of people come and go for various reasons. Many leave on their own accord, only to relapse because they thought they were ready. They did what they wanted to do and they failed. I don’t want to be that person – again. As someone reminds me in meetings, “[this program] is the last house on the block for me. Either I stick with this time around or I may not be back and probably end up dead”.

I am not squandering this second change of changing my life, as this may be the last chance. I am grateful I developed “a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty”. I have learned, “Living on Life’s Terms” can be difficult at times. I don’t want to be here, I want to move on. Yet, I have to remember I’m here for a reason. Perhaps there are life lessons I’m getting a chance to refine before moving on. So, every day as I review my day I ask, “What lesson(s) did I learn today?”

The point I am trying to make is, no matter what life may throw at me, I have the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, a Higher Power, a Sponsor and a network of sober people to help me stay sober every day. Without these things in place, I know I would be dead or living a miserable existence. Instead, today I’m grateful to be alive and sober.

No Butts

For many addicts we have one vice we have a hard time just letting go. For many in recovery it is smoking. As non-smokers can understand, you arrive or leave an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting only to be overwhelmed by all the smokers who tend to hang out at the front door. I was one of them. But I, just like alcohol, made a decision to stop for the rest of my life. It’s not easy saying goodbye to your best friend you’ve had for 37 years. But I can relate. It’s just like any other addiction. For me, it’s “One Day At a Time”.

To my surprise, the first day without a cigarette was relatively easy. Honestly, I had three strong cravings all day. The first walking to my first AA meeting of the day. The next after I ate dinner at night. Finally the last, when I was done with my day and heading off to bed.

I did not go cold turkey, as I immediately have put a NRT patch upon waking up. Based on my own experience of trying to stop smoking in my past, the patches helped me “stay stopped” successfully. The challenge right now is filling my hands with something to do when the cravings start.

As I shared at a meeting yesterday, I am applying the same principles of AA to quit smoking. While I’m looking for some positive reinforcement in my decision to do so, many dismiss me. Doing so just makes my determination stronger. An old timer, who’s been smoke free for many years now, pointed to the toothpick he always chews when at an AA meeting. I responded with, “I’ll try that…I’m being honest, open-minded and willing, just as I am in AA”

Just like when I quit alcohol, the first few hurdles are the physical craving and mental obsession. The cravings come when my body says, “Hey, we’re missing something here.” My body is expelling those toxic chemicals, just like alcohol, that in the end want to kill me. For those who quit cold turkey, I applaud you because without the NRT, I highly doubt I would have gotten through the first 24 hours. The mental obsession as we know from our addiction takes time. Dammit, I want it all to go away, NOW! **great laughter** . I’ve been down this road before haven’t I?

Right now, it’s all about Step 1 to Step 3. I know I’m powerless – if I smoke one, I’m off to the races again and I can’t stop. Step 2, I “believe in a Power greater than myself WILL restore me to sanity” – I trust this will happen, giving it time. Lastly, Step 3, I “turn my will and my life over to the the care of God (or Higher Power) as I understand Him”. I’m not alone, my Higher Power is there to help me, if I let Him.

I say this as another craving sets in because I’m about to walk to outpatient treatment. Typical routine – smoke a cigarette. But just writing those three Steps, the obsession is NOT there, the physical craving has already lessened and I’m not even out the door. I know the program works, I just have to trust the process.

Is This a Bad Day?

I woke up this morning, tired as hell. Typically Thursdays are a relaxing day with just treatment group in the morning, a coffee commitment and meeting at noon, then the rest of the day is for me. But added to my day today, I have meetings with two people I sponsor, as well as meeting with my own sponsor. I have a sense of being overwhelmed. My thoughts, “Have I gotten to involved in my recovery. Do I need to take a step back. Is there a thing of “to much recovery”?

My roommate, the one having his own issues, was up late last night inconsiderate of me and our other roommate. He just was. I’ll leave it there. I called my sponsor earlier in the evening. The message was I have to worry about myself. Damn it, that is so hard sometimes especially when you live with someone who you are concerned about – I feel helpless.

One person I sponsor comes over every morning so I can help set his day straight. On the other hand, he is always asking for a cigarette. This is going to stop when I speak to him later in the day. I understand where he’s at and I’m willing to help him. However, there is a point where I must set a boundary – this is his recovery, he has to do the work and not become dependent on me.

Treatment group question – Why are you here? What is it going to take for your to complete? I was just honest. I don’t want to be there. I’m mandated in a sense because of my residential program. I’m not getting anything out of treatment groups. However, it is my hope my experience I share in groups about the topic helps someone else.

I’m walking home, talk to a few more people about recovery. I just want it all to stop just for a minute. I need to reset. Yet, as I’m walking home a thought occurs to me, “Perhaps this is not a bad day. Just maybe, if you let it, it will turn around.” I truly believe all the things I’m involved in are for a purpose, not only for myself but to help others. I just have to make the appropriate changes in my life and sometimes appropriate sacrifices (i.e. not getting enough sleep).

Before I started writing, I checked people who made comments or replied to a comment I made on their post. I replied to lackadaisicalwhimsy ‘s post about a recent relapse, getting back into recovery and not being motivated. lackadaisicalwhimsy replied to me saying how it helped and motivated them to take action. So thank YOU, lackadaisicalwhimsy for getting me motivated to do what I need to do when “I’m not having such a good day!”

That alone has just turned my whole day around. For me, that is how recovery works. I recognize my Higher Power wouldn’t have put all these people in my life is there was not a reason. I need all this because inside me I still have thoughts running through my head – in reality, I need to get out of myself!

Now, let’s get things done!

Problems in the Inner Circle

Trust for a recovering addict is one of those hurdles they must overcome if they are to remain sober. We don’t have to trust everyone. Doing that, based on my own experience, is a detriment to yourself; I learned doing so only hurt myself. However, there are three people I know who will help when I’m having a roller coaster of a day in sobriety. I was shaken to my core, didn’t know what to do, took the tools I was given and used them.

I trust the two other guys I live with and we’ve developed a good relationship with each other. Honestly, I couldn’t have asked for better roommates. Here it comes . . . BUT! When someone crosses the line or breaks that trust, it can get ugly if you let it.

One roommate has people coming in and out of our apartment. While I respect it, there are times when it does get annoying, especially some who just don’t bother to knock, walk right in straight to his room. However, that issue was settled so we lock our front door.

The other day a friend of my roommate made a visit. This person we all know from the recovery community also knowing they struggle with their sobriety, half the time not being sober at all. To make a long story short, they were visiting my roommate, produced a bottle of alcohol and were immediately asked to leave. On the way out they slammed our door. We all agreed this person or any other who is under the influence is no longer allowed.

Not my circus, not my monkeys - Polish Proverb
Polish Proverb

This same roommate burn incense in the bathroom. Honestly, three guys living together, we all have our “blow up” moments. I get it. However, my experience also tells me something isn’t right. Is he trying to mask something else, like marijuana? I put that thought on the back burner. Trust. However, the other day, I went to take a shower. The fan is running, incense burning and I’m floored with the smell of marijuana. Really? Seriously?

As I’m taking a shower my head is racing at a hundred miles per hour. Do I confront him? Do I just “let is slide”? Do I tell staff? I consumed by anger, frustration, fear, worry, etc. I simply didn’t know what to do. Addicts are reactionary; addicts tend to react to situations instead of thinking them through. I sent a text to the roommate basically saying, “Hey, I know what you did/are doing!” Before I did anything other drastic, I called my Sponsor.

We, who live in a residential recovery program live by a double edged sword. On one hand, everyone is ideally (never happens) suppose to be sober/clean. On the other hand, we have rules telling us if we suspect use of illicit drugs we are responsible for inform staff, otherwise we may suffer consequences. It’s a situation all of us struggle with and debate with staff all the time.

My Sponsor gives me suggestions. Still allowing this thing to have room in my head, I decided to take a walk. There is meeting in an hour, so I can eventually get to it. As I’m walking I’m in connection with my Higher Power asking for guidance. Suddenly I realize I am literally lost! I had made a turn here and there, walked across the main road and walked into unknown territory. It was 11:50 a.m., this even started at 11:00 a.m., there was a meeting at 12:00 p.m. I had to view Google Map on my phone to figure my way to the meeting.

People rarely can tell my state of mind. Usually I get the, “Mike, why do you look so mad?” In reality, I”m happy as a clam. It’s facial expressions I haven’t been able to change since my disturbing childhood of neglect. People won’t know how I’m really feeling unless I specifically tell them.

An hour meeting, I sat in silence. Part of me wanted to shout what was going on but we all know, “..what is heard here….stays here” doesn’t always stay true in the rooms. Especially when half or more of us live in such close proximity of each other. I half paid attention to what was said, trying to hear a message. The other half was muddling what I was going to do about this situation. For a good twenty minutes or more, I felt like my body just wanted to get up and RUN. I was uncomfortable and I didn’t like it.

After the meeting, my other roommate and a friend walked to the store, so I tagged along. At one point my roommate asked, “How’s Mikey doing?” I responded, “I’ll talk to you later. I’m not good!” The part I left out is this roommate had no idea yet what I was going through because I wasn’t entirely sure to tell him because of things he is currently going through (depression and he was a “pot head”). He then recognized something was wrong, tried to use humor to brighten my mood but it didn’t work to well.

On the way back from the store I got to talk to my other roommate. He suspected the same thing. I asked him what we should do. We agreed in time, if our roommate is actually doing something, he will get caught and he’ll have to deal with the consequences. Once I got everything out in the open, I felt much better.

There was a lot I learned out of this situation. I will continue to learn as long as I’m “honest, open-minded and willing”. There are three people I have completely trust: 1) my Higher Power, 2) my Sponsor and 3) the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (talking to another alcoholic/addict). We’re given tools in this program to use to help better our lives. I choose to use them!

Came to Believe . . .

In the various 12-Step meetings, they all have adapted the same for Step 2: “Came to believe in a Power Greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” For many, we rejected the idea of God or a Higher Power because “what did He/She/They/Them do for me when I was drinking”? Many nights all those fox hole prayers were never answered. This Step is another stumbling block for many newcomers, even myself.

Throughout the early years of my life, I rejected the Christian God and Christianity in general. It just wasn’t doing anything for me. Specifically, getting me out of the hell hole I was living with an abusive (physical, mental and emotionally) mother and enabling, codependent father. However, I did acknowledge an existence of what I called “a presence” which I found through Nature, Herself. Eventually those beliefs brought me in believing in Those I choose to today, which out of respect for all religions, I simply call my Higher Power.

At the beginning of my sobriety, AA asked me to stop drinking – one day at a time. What? Me? Are you serious? My friend, my lover, my companion, the “thing” that kept me insane from all the insanity in my life? It happened.

As I grew in days and months of my sobriety, now AA asked me to “come to believe in a Power greater than myself to restore me to sanity.” Whoa..wait a minute…put the breaks on! I had my own beliefs and it didn’t include “God”. However, I was reminded of three things from my Sponsor, “If there is anything in this program I ask of you, it is to be honest with yourself and others, an open-mind to experience new ideas and a willingness to try new things.” With much reluctance my response was, “Fine.”

I heard in meetings and was reminded by my Sponsor, which I passed on to those I sponsored later, “Step 2 only says, ‘Came to believe'”. Therefore, with an open mind and my willingness I began to connect with my Higher Power as I knew Them. My trust in Them grew exponentially as time passed. Now, I explain two things to people about this Step to help them out. This didn’t happen over night, it took months, if not years to develop the relationship I have with my Higher Power I have today.

For me, if my gut tells me something is right or wrong; go left, not right; choose the blue box not the red box; I have a choice. Yet, in early sobriety I didn’t choose because I knew no better. However, later on after some experience, I did have a choice. It’s called taking responsibility for my actions and trusting in my Higher Power. For me, my gut is my Higher Power speaking through me. Therefore, if I choose against what my “guy” is telling me, I must accept those consequences.

At a men’s meeting I use to attend to years ago, I will never forget how a friend of mine explained how he practices this Step. “When I don’t know what to do, when I’m in a bad situation, when I think about using, I simply look up and say, ‘Can you help me out?'” Simple, yet revolutionary!

We as alcoholics, addicts, codependents, etc., tend to complicate matters, hence the saying, “Keep it simple, stupid!” Whether you have a religious background or not, it doesn’t matter. Most 12-step programs are spiritual programs. I explain ‘spiritual’ as ‘finding your true Self’. Who do you want to be in recovery – the same piece of shit with two legs meandering through life aimlessly when drinking like I did?

If you haven’t recognized another important part of recovery, it is you can’t do it alone! We have all suffered enough so let others help you, especially in a Higher Power. With the help of a Higher Power, your life will change.

It may be difficult at first to digest this concept. We were all in your shoes. But try one of the two methods I describe above. Don’t think about it, just do it. My Sponsor use to say, “Don’t expect anything. If you expect something and it doesn’t happen, you are only going to disappoint yourself. If you think about it, our addiction will convince us to do otherwise.

Do it just once a day? Do it when you need some help, there is no meeting, you don’t have a Sponsor yet or you just want to practice it. Did it work for you? What happened? Keep working on it.

Eventually connecting with your Higher Power will become second nature. Sometimes in my own life, especially now in my own early sobriety, I use the methods described above. They work. You have to trust and “come to believe in a Higher Power greater than yourself. The second part of the step, “…could restore us to sanity” just comes with time with the practice of the rest of the 12 Steps.

Good luck and remember – Today, don’t drink!

We Just Have Today

What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent
on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.

~p.85, Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

We hear this quoted at meetings all the time.  But what does it really mean?  As an addict when I wanted something, I did anything to get it and I wanted it two weeks ago.  It didn’t matter who I manipulated to get it, who I hurt in the process and if it took long I went somewhere else to get it. In recovery, we learn to slow down, “One Day at a Time.” Therefore, what must I do on a daily basis to stay sober?

My daily routine can be lengthy but it works for me.  First, when I wake up I thank my Higher Power I’m alive and sober.  Second, I ask for my Higher Power to guide me throughout the day to stay sober.  Afterward, I immediately do Step Three:

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over
to the care of God as we understood Him.”

This is very important to me.  It’s been my experience when I try to control anything, it tends to always fall apart.  I give up control to my Higher Power, knowing whatever happens today, my Higher Power is there to help me through any situation. All I have to do is ask.  To stay in this positive influence I turn music on.  Something soothing, like meditation music on Pandora, Spotify or other various tracks I have on my external drive.  This sets me up for today.

Once the coffee is on my desk, headphones in, I start to post the Daily Reading on this blog.  It’s various readings which bring meaning to me.  For instance, today’s readings as a whole reminds me of tolerance and humility.  As I read and post them I make it a point to try to practice whatever actions they inspire me to do today.

My present circumstances allow me to attend usually two meetings per day. Typically I attend “the Nooner” and an evening meeting.  I have a few coffee commitments during the week.  Recently, I’ve been asked to chair meetings despite my early recovery.  I attend business meetings for two home groups and I recently attended a District Meeting for our area.

Lastly, I am currently working with a Sponsor through the Steps.  This Sponsor is giving me a new perspective on recovery.  Instead of just going through the Steps, as my last Sponsor did (which wasn’t a bad thing at all), my current Sponsor and I have read the Big Book for the very first page.  He also references Joe and Charlie’s Big Book Study , which is another resource I was never aware of in my previous sobriety.  Now knowing the totality of the program, its progression throughout the 80+ years, has strengthened my commitment.  If those people back then, with everything they experienced in their lives, can do it then there is absolutely NO reason I should EVER have to pick up a drink!  They bring me inspiration to stay sober one day at a time.

However & But . . .

I do have to remind myself on a daily basis of a few things.

First, I am grateful to be in a program where I’m able to have the support and the opportunity to strengthen the foundation of my sobriety.  I do not take this for granted!  There are those who are not able to get into such programs and they have to work much harder to keep sober one day at a time.  I’m not saying I don’t struggle some days.  But for those who are getting sober, working and who have families, my hats off to them.  Honestly, I don’t know if I could do it.

Second, old timers consistently remind us (those who are in a halfway house/supportive living program) the real test in our sobriety is when we get out into the real world.  It does scare me simply because I’m not there yet.  I’m working with someone to make sure I make the right decisions and go down the right path consistent with my sobriety goals.  However, today I’m right where I’m suppose to be.

Lastly, to be aware.  This is something new to me.  I’m more aware of my own actions:  how I talk to people, how I react, what I do in certain situations, etc.  I don’t want pride and ego to resurface like it has in the past.  Yes, I did have ten years of sobriety; the knowledge is still there.  But I relapsed.  I need to concentrate on myself (keep pride and ego at bay) and work on my codependency issues because those two reasons help led me to my relapse.

I believe in the 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I know that it works, if you put the required effort to work the steps and follow the suggestions.  I’ve seen it in myself and others.  However, I only have today.  Yesterday is already written, it can’t be changed.  Tomorrow isn’t here yet, so who knows what will happen.  Today, I embrace my sobriety and do those things required of me to keep me sober.

Just for Today!


Depression – Coming Out on the Other Side

It’s been a rough week for me with the death of my cat, Heart. For the last week, I’ve been a miserable human being. Previous experiences taught me I would be going through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

The two most prominent stages were anger and depression. The cauldron of anger was already stirred with my misery at work. My anger was misdirected to those I work with and the situations unfolding at work. Almost every day I thought about walking away from my job. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was dealing with enough pain, I refused to deal with more. Instead, I bitched and complained about everything and everyone around me. As I look back, I look like the fool (again).

As a Star Wars fan, I have to imbed this video in my discussion:

The path of anger led me down to the pit of depression. I had no motivation to do a damn thing. For most nights, I just watched episodes of NCIS on Netflix, fell asleep and repeated the same thing the next day. I didn’t even fight to get out: I didn’t care; I had no motivation to do anything; I could care less about the world around me. I did the only thing I could attach myself to – my computer and Netflix. There were periods of time where I thought I may be coming out of it. Then I would sink back in. I was tired of looking at Facebook. I wasn’t interested in playing Achaea, which I typically do in the morning.

There were periods of time where I thought I may be coming out of it. Then I would sink back in. I was tired of looking at Facebook. I wasn’t interested in playing Achaea, which I typically do in the morning. I didn’t have any motivation to cook nor go to the store, so I bought roast beef subs from the local gas station a few nights. I knew it was getting really bad.

Yesterday I convinced myself to talk to my Gods. For some reason (I just noticed yesterday) I lost power the other night, so my other computers were all off. I turned the one on I use for my spiritual practices to find 500+ messages waiting in my email box. So I made myself read them and make use of them. I guess it helped because some motivation has returned today.

I don’t know where this is going to lead me right now. However, I do know “there is a light at the end of the tunnel.” So, right now I’m opening the windows to my home, pulling back the shades and letting the autumn sounds and smells permeate my surroundings. It’s the beginning of coming out the other side.

Someone is Talking to You

Last week a co-worker confided in me he got a DUI.  He took an opportunity to pull me aside, knowing I am open with my recovery, stating, “Mike, I don’t believe in the 12-Step program but I can’t continue to live like this . . .” We had a good conversation of where he is now and, if he chooses to, what can be done to stop the insanity currently controlling his life. A couple days later, he contacted me asking if we could go to a meeting. Last night, I took him to a meeting where he lives (about an hour drive from me). The experience showed him how the program works.

We arrived at a small church in this small town proceeding downstairs to the basement. Immediately, as in AA fashion, people greeted us knowing we were “out of towners”.  Before the meeting, we chatted with others for a bit and between ourselves about the program. My intuition (my HP) was telling me this was going to be a good meeting.

After the typical Preamble, 12 Steps, 12 Traditions and Promises readings, a topic was decided – the importance of meetings. It couldn’t have been a better topic for the both of us! My friend didn’t know it at the time but I hadn’t been to a meeting myself in a couple of months.

At the tail end of the meeting, the chairperson asked, “Would the person from Binghamton like to speak?” I obliged by recounting how people who already spoke brought a message to me. Several people spoke about how they missed meetings and relapsed. They all had their own excuses, as I recounted mine saying, “I’m too busy and don’t have time.” I explained how a person with 10 years of sobriety, lost it in a minute due to lack of meetings. Another had seven days of sobriety after a recent relapse, again because of a lack of meetings. I too could be both those people – all because I didn’t go to meetings. “Someone is talking to me, my HP and I need to listen and do the right thing!”

Afterward, my friend and I went to Denny’s for dinner. I answered several questions but felt I was bombarding him with program information perhaps he wasn’t ready for right now. Instead, he was thankful for me driving all the way, taking him to a meeting and showing him how the program really works. I guess WE gave him a first good impression.

We have already talked about going to another meeting here in the next couple of days. We both have to find out what our schedules are at work and try to coordinate a good date and time. Meanwhile, he got a recent meeting list and I “suggested” he try to get to at least a meeting a day. However, if he couldn’t, for whatever reason, to call me or pull me aside at work. I would be more than willing to talk to him about events going on in his life.

So the ball is in his court. I have done my part. It is my hope he continues his journey.



Asking for a Push

Since the beginning of my sobriety in December 2007, I have lived in Binghamton, New York.  I have grown to dislike living in a town/city even more than when I lived in Southern California in active addiction. Now, with my employer fifty six miles, an hour and a half drive on back roads, in Ithaca, New York, it’s time I look for a new place closer to work.  Lately, I have asked my Higher Power/The Universe for a financial push to help assist me in finding a new home closer to where I work and a little more.

Living in Binghamton while working in Ithaca has its benefits. My rent is really low compared to other places in Binghamton.  Both Binghamton and Ithaca cater to college students, so rent is astronomical in both places.  Many of the amenities I need are also right around the corner. It’s quiet on my side of town with an occasional incident here and there.  The landlord isn’t the best (getting things fixed is always a pain) but is more than understanding when times get rough and I can’t pay rent on time (only a few times in the last six years I’ve lived here).

The are some major issues living so far away.  As mentioned, it takes me an hour and a half to get to work.  There are no shortcuts.  I have to travel backroads (either North than West or East, then North). This can be a challenge when the weather doesn’t cooperate, especially in Winter. Therefore, at least three hours of my day is sitting in a car dealing with stupid drivers, scared wildlife, bad weather and unmaintained roads.  This is taking a toll on my car in maintenance, as well as the cost for gas.

Yet moving close to work has its benefits and issues.  The standard of living is much higher.  For instance, my salary is higher than any place in Binghamton, much higher.  Obviously, with the higher standard of living, all my expenses are going to increase.  Thus, I have vowed not to move to Ithaca proper but to one of the outlying areas where rent and expenses are not as expensive.Its hard when you have expenses like a car payment, student loans and other debt.

Perhaps this is selfish but I’ve asked my Higher Power for a very large financial push. I have dreams like anyone else.

For instance, here are a few things in life I would like:


This house is “calls” to me every day as I drive by going to work. It’s a vacant house in Willseyville, NY. It’s under $100K but needs a lot of work. Recent taxes around $500/yr.  Off the road, in a nice nook, on Route 96B. Neighbors are not encroaching, the side of the mountain as a backyard, the front of the home is off the road. It just needs a wood fence from prying eyes surrounding the backyard. This house is perfect!


Got to have a decent truck for those rough Winters. A 2016 / 2017 Toyota Tacoma 4 X 4, paid in full.  Insurance would be an issue but I’ve accounted for it.

Just those two things and enough money to live comfortably for the rest of my life. Enough money to wipe the slate clean of outstanding debt (that I’m paying from my addiction days) instead to put in a retirement fund. An emergency fund for the home, car repairs, insurance costs, etc. I’m a few years from fifty with no savings what so ever. Of course, a little vacation money if the need arises too. Is that asking for to much?

I’m patient. It’s selfish to ask for it all at once and now.  I know that my HP, Universe and/or the Gods will provide for me when I can handle it.