- Now?

Now?




Expect the unexpected... or discovered the unsuspected?

Now?

Postby garden variety » Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:01 pm

I was helping my girlfriend move this weekend. Of course, I was trying to be "Superman" as most alcoholics do, so I pushed a little too hard. Today I have a pretty sizable boot-cast, 6-8 weeks of physical re-hab, and a prescription for a fitted knee brace. I knew I was pushing myself beyond the limit. I stood there at 2AM on Friday near collapsing.

Why do alcoholics do this? I knew I was whipped 2 hours before I stopped. Sometimes I wonder how or why I draw out this attitude of self-punishment.

Little did I know what I did over the weekend would usher in one of those "forever" changes in the landscape of my life. I've been struggling with this - scratching my head and saying out loud "Now? You mean right now?" It wasn't that bad 3 months ago!

I have bone problems in my knee and ankle, coupled with arthritis. I set an appointment for a second opnion with a orthopedic surgeon yesterday. Her opinion was not what I wanted to hear. She was thorough and detailed. She put a time limit on it. The first guy didn't - I was OK with the first guy's opinion.

It's not about "if", but about "when". I have no more than two years left on my knee, and if my knee doesn't get repaired/replaced, my ankle will disintegrate. She was pretty harsh. She didn't like my sandals. She said every time I put them on , I'm ripping cartelidge and tendons that can't be replaced - then she immediately sent the prostheitic guy in to fit my "boot".

What the hell just happened? Last week I was OK, walking around making plans for early arrival and departure at work, lining up extra jobs, planning out home improvements. In the twinkling of an eye, everything changed. I'm really struggling with this. All at once, I'm walking around with the need to get a handicapped parking permit, and I'm facing total knee joint replacement and ankle fusion. I could be rehabilitating for 6 months to a year.

What I did over the weekend just got the ball rolling. I'll only need to wear the cast for maybe 2-3 weeks. But 6-8 weeks of physical therapy at 2-3 times per week. Now? But ... But NOW? See the knee surgeon ASAP? Now?

I had a meltdown yesterday. I started crying and couldn't stop. Everything changed right now! Call it a very rude awakening.

I see that I'm not exempt from the unexpected happening to me.

I'm just posting to let you know that although this is one of the things I must accept and find peace with, it hasn't happened yet. I'm fighting...I'm rationalizing...I'm trying to run away...I'm in denial...I'm upset...and I'm struggling.

There are no AA platitudes at work yet - I'm just a plain "garden variety" trainwreck of a man facing sudden unexpected physical limitations. I'm not a pleasant sight or the happiest guy to be around right now. I'm emotionally raw, and nothing anyone says makes a difference. I'm angry, but I don't know why or at whom.

The reality is, life is happening and my spiritual program of action hasn't kicked into gear yet. In other words I'm spinning my wheels.

I know that it will. I know peace is approaching. I'm calmer today than yesterday. Funny how most days I can post things and read about another person's experience and absorb it, but when life's circumstances sometimes erupt suddenly and forcefully, it takes a little while for serenity to actually start simmering.

Well - just thought I'd say hello to you all, and to let you know I'm at the AA station waiting for the serenity "express" to hopefully drop by soon... :?

By the way - the best part of it is the need to drink about this never even crossed my mind. So certain parts of the program are alive and well and at work right now, thankfully.
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:05 pm

Hey Paul, sorry to hear that you banged yourself up so badly. I understand. :wink:

I want to throw some of that Serenety Express Steak at you... but, you may only be in the mood for some Serenity Chicken.... or Serenity Cheesecake. So, I'll wait... for an invitation to the party. :lol:

Can I share about me? Something that may not be related to you at all? I can't hear you? Huhhhh??? T'wat say???? :wink:

A while back, I was coming down on myself pretty hard. No one hits me over the head with a bigger hammer than I do! Not allowed! :lol:

I pondered the "Why am I punishing me? Why am I doing this to myself?"

Naturally... for this alcoholic mind... sometimes nothing so much insures or immunes me against my next bout of sanity... than "thinking about myself"!! :lol:

Keeping an open-mind, I reminded myself that I didn't have all the answers -- so, obviously, I wasn't aware of ALL my options. :wink:

I discovered there was another reason for me getting injured...other than me just unconciously "doing me in".

Here's what I discovered:
a. I was acting childishly.
b. I was acting -- at the same time as being thought-less about what I was doing.
c. I still got some growing up to do.
d. If I didn't screw up some of the time -- someone would buy nails and stretch me out across some plywood and throw me in the river! "No saints around here, bud!" :lol:

Anyway... So what? So what if I do figure it all out? So what if I'm right? So what if I'm wrong? Why do I care about what I think about it... if my thinking about it is causing additional harm to myself?

So, here's my all-time-never-fails solution, that works for me everytime! (You mentioned it above!... It's what made me think about it!)

Paul wrote:Everything changed right now!


Everything? Was there "anything" that didn't change... right now?

And, "what actually changed"? Other than... "Right now!"

Right now, man! That's all I've got is Right Now! And, everything is okay Right Now... in this moment.

Then, I discovered... just about everything for me is always okay "right now"... when I'm in the moment.

When I'm beyond or behind the moment... it get's all screwy and nothing is totally okay!

But, when I maneuver to stay in the moment... suddenly, right now, "it changes"... and it's okay. I can get through Right Now. When I'm thinking about Left Now, Up Now, or Down now... I'm out of Right Now... and suddenly everything changes right now... for the worse!

Anyhoot. Perhaps this is just one of my sanity relapses... so try not to read with understanding and common sense what I wrote about.

For me, acceptance is not the answer to all my problems! My solution is change. Even acceptance is change. :wink: But, nearly always... my solution is something that I can change.

The one thing that I can always change is... my mind. :wink:

I have a tendency to relapse into "All or Nothing" thinking.
Rigidity. "Black or White" No gray. No blues or pinks or reds.
"Right or wrong" thinking. "No more options than this option" way of thinking. And, that's what does me in.

It's when if forget how big the world is... that I start limiting myself with one or two options... Instead of having an "option tree"... or an "option orchard."

Like I said. None of that has anything to do with you. I just needed to watch myself think and talk outloud. Thanks for letting me bug you.

We need to fix you up a "Get well" card!

We've missed you Paul.

And... I'm convinced... that just like your last surgery... when all was predicted to be doom... you sailed right through it! You'll fly through this also!

Dallas
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Postby ccs » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:48 am

(((((((((PAUL)))))))))))

theres a big bear hug for ya I`m praying that you catch the serenity express soon !!!

LUV Ya keep us posted please
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Postby garden variety » Thu Jun 25, 2009 12:08 pm

Heya Dallas?

I think there's a point in what you said.

I'll have to pass on the serenity cheesecake. The doctor said every 1-pound I lose equals 5-pounds less on my knee and ankle. I think she was making some kind of point there too.

I'm having trouble with finding the points lately.

OK. There is something peculiar with these circumstances. I keep wanting to say "I didn't sign up for this", but somewhere I'm betting I prayed for the very things that are taking place. But its not the things that are taking place that I prayed for. I probably threw a sincere prayer God's way that required I make changes. The circumstances which happen will probably bring about the change (or changes) within me I was praying for.

I got to thinking about how would certain things be different if certain changes hadn't taken place. So I kinda do one of those "It's a Wonderful Life" George Baily scenarios. Around AA, they call that the "Think Think Think" exercise. That's when it gets spooky.

I "think" I prayed for this circumstance. I "think" I can legitimately say this is "God's fault" - but not really a "fault". It was either His "doing" or His "allowing" - apparetly an answer to one of my prayers. Maybe it's better that I don't know how an answer to prayer happens when I pray. So I have to reflect a little more about this. Oh did I say "reflect"? Wonder what tool I'll be using? I see an inventory needs to be taken.

In what little reflecting I've done, I can see that a bunch of things that are bringing about physical changes and improvements in my health that wouldn't have happened if I weren't taking constructive actions to help other alcoholics. My destiny changed because I started out helping someone else to achieve sobriety.

The difference is as night and day. If I hadn't chosen this path, I would be growing older and nearer to death. The path which gives me more life and better quality of it seems to be more painful. But that's probably also an illusion. It would probably be more painful to die with ailments I have if I choose to ignore them. But NOW, it seems totally foolish to ignore something like replacing my knee even though the process of becoming convinced it needs to happen is painful.

I think I have it!

It's another "paradox" in life. Of course!

I wouldn't appreciate how refreshing and satisfying an ice-cold glass of water can truly be, UNLESS I was walking in the desert for a couple days without it. I might turn my nose at that glass of water, if I wasn't thirsty. That is to say, if my FEELINGS weren't aroused by dryness that was surrounding and engulfing, I wouldn't appreciate the joy, beauty, and serenity surrounding something as simple as a glass of water stacked with ice cubes. Just two simple elements of hydrogen and oxegen - and God can arrange circumstances in such a way that the sense of satisfaction and pleasure will literally take my breath away when I behold that glass of water on that blazing hot and arrid summer day in the middle of the desert.

I love it. The train has arrived. The question in my inventory I'm beginning to see that I need to ask first is "What is the byproduct of this action or circumstance?"

I should have known! I need to always consider the BYPRODUCT.

"Appreciation results from contrary experience."

"Lord...Help me to appreciate your blessings."

(better watch what you pray for!)

'Nuff said!

Train Roll On!
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Postby Dallas » Thu Jun 25, 2009 9:11 pm

Paul wrote:There is something peculiar with these circumstances. I keep wanting to say "I didn't sign up for this", but somewhere I'm betting I prayed for the very things that are taking place. But its not the things that are taking place that I prayed for. I probably threw a sincere prayer God's way that required I make changes. The circumstances which happen will probably bring about the change (or changes) within me I was praying for.


I recognize those as words of wisdom, from my bud, that's a wise man! :wink:

I used to yell at God "God!!! What the F****! Why do you hate me so much? You answer everybody elses prayer... and when I pray I get nothing but crap in my life!" :evil: :mrgreen: :twisted:

He was answering my prayers... He just wasn't answering the way that "I thought He should!" :cry: :cry: :cry:

He knew what was best for me... and I was too short-sighted to see it.

Here I was trying to figure out "the big picture" and there was no big picture for me! It was just a tiny photograph... that was all washed out and wrinked up... and as I pouted... He asked me... "Why are you pouting?" And, I said "Well! You got big pictures and big screen TVs for all your other kids... and you don't have one for me... you gave me some dumb worthess winkled up and washed out photograph!"

He said "I don't know who's trash you stole that photograph out of... but, I can assure you that it wasn't my trash... And, by the way... I said STOLE because I sure didn't give it to you!"

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Then, I pouted some more and cried and whaled and knashed my teeth and dumped the bar-be-que ashes on my head!"

And, He said "What the hell are you doing that for?"

:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

I'm not talking to you! I can't talk. My feelings are hurt!

And He says: "You little crap head! Get your head out of your butt so that I can hear you! You sound just like a wet f*rt! Maybe, if you'd stop playing God... you're feelings wouldn't be hurt! Didn't you read that Big Blue book that I got for you? Or... did you just wipe with it? Go see if you can find it and read from page 61 to 64... Then, come back and talk to me!"

:cry: :cry: :cry: Yes. God.

After I read it... I could see what He was talking about.

That was several years ago... and He hasn't been back since! :lol: :lol: :lol:

(Just joking God!)

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Postby garden variety » Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:53 am

A good friend gave me an expression that took me several weeks to "memorize". It was more than memorization, but it seems when I started to remember it, I was applying it to my life. It is a simple and beautiful expression that I always seem to appreciate after I apply the principle. Perhaps its no coincedence that I don't recognize it until I apply it.

"If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

Indeed, the "Serenity Express" has arrived and picked up this wayward passenger. There was a story in the book about a fellow who was fearful of everything. He went on in his story where "Suddenly the scales fell from my eyes. Nothing changed, yet everything changed." He was talking about how he suddenly learned how to overcome fear.

I so much appreciate that story TODAY, and I so much can identify with him. Nothing has changed, yet everything has changed. My world has essentially remained in the same position as it was 24 hours ago, which hadn't changed from the 24 hours prior to that. Nothing changed. I still have a leg cast and have difficulty getting around. I still face the probability that I'll need a new knee joint, along with all the other physical challenges in store "right now".

My lady companion hasn't changed, my home is still standing, my dogs like to hang out. Nothing has changed about those people, places, and things that I find comfort and love within. I'm realizing the fact that because they haven't changed, I'm given the incredible and miraculous opportunity to change, and still have unchanging love and security right in the palm of my hand. This is a gift from a God who understands me better than I understand myself.

My lady-friend has been in the midst of major changes, including moving from her home with a disability and very little financial and physical security. She has physical problems that make my problems look like a walk in the park. She called last night completely frazzled and exhausted from moving and reorganizing to try to find some peace at my home. She had the right idea. I volunteered to cook dinner for her because she needed to be taken care of.

My home hasn't changed. It's become a home that I made into my refuge, my "secret garden". I made the home beautiful one-day-at-a-time just by playing "monkey see - monkey do" and learning from the people I do work for, or help out. I just made it a habit to do at least one thing a day to make my surroundings beautiful - sometimes just a tiny little thing.

Last night, on my way home, a major storm hit and my power went down. When I got home, my lady had already lit about a half-dozen candles that were sending some very relaxing and sweet fragrances throughout the house. She was worried that we'd have to "fake" dinner because there was no power. I just went about preparing dinner like nothing happened. I used the candle-lighter to light my gas range burners. She just smiled and said "Oh!" (she had an electric range). Seeing that I had everything under control, she went into the living room and relaxed and played with my dogs while I cooked.

However the circumstances played out in the past, I put candles all over the place, and whatever other light I needed was met by flashlights I left hanging around over time. The candles and the flashlights never stood out - in fact on a normal day you can't even notice them. But last night - I NEEDED to use them. And they were right there at my fingertips right where they had been over the years. Nothing changed yet everything changed.

So I cooked up a couple thick and juicy New York strips along with all the fixings. I served dinner by candlelight in this fancy dinnerware with square plates. I remember buying those dishes about a year ago, one piece at a time with no plan in mind other than it would be nice to have something pretty to have dinner served in if I ever had company. You know - while I was shopping for deoderant and garbage bags at Walmart. The dishes didn't change. They were right where they'd been for a year - never having been used. Last night was their debut. The lady loved the way I served dinner - I told her I bought the dishes just for us. She smiled. I did buy them "just for us", except there wasn't any "us" when I bought them. Nothing changed, yet everything changed.

My lady went to shower in my bathroom that I finished remodelling a year ago. I remodelled that bathroom to ADA standards with heavy duty grab bars, and of course there were candles there, too. Funny how I didn't know that I'd need the grab bars last night and today. But there they were. Nothing changed, yet everything changed.

While she showered, I went around the rooms downstairs and lit every single candle in the house, and the fragrances continued to fill the house, and now there was quite a bit of candlelight. I knew this because I've lit all the candles in the house before, and every single room and hallway have candles. But on normal days, I just walk right past them. Last night, the candles were our hosts and what a sweet and romantic way did they entertain us during the power outage! Nothing changed, yet everything changed.

Never in a thousand tries could I have planned out last night. Last night "just happened RIGHT NOW". In the twinkling of an eye, we both shared undoubtedly the most romantic and relaxing evening we ever shared together. God executed an extraordinary set of circumstances that were perfectly co-ordinated with everything that was ordinary in our lives. Just like that cold glass of water with the ice cubes on a hot day in the desert sun, an ordinary evening we might have both taken for granted turned into a slice of Heaven RIGHT NOW. Nothing changed, yet everything changed.

Dallas wrote:Everything? Was there "anything" that didn't change... right now?

And, "what actually changed"? Other than... "Right now!"

Right now, man! That's all I've got is Right Now! And, everything is okay Right Now... in this moment.

Then, I discovered... just about everything for me is always okay "right now"... when I'm in the moment.

When I'm beyond or behind the moment... it get's all screwy and nothing is totally okay!

But, when I maneuver to stay in the moment... suddenly, right now, "it changes"... and it's okay. I can get through Right Now. When I'm thinking about Left Now, Up Now, or Down now... I'm out of Right Now... and suddenly everything changes right now... for the worse!

Anyhoot. Perhaps this is just one of my sanity relapses... so try not to read with understanding and common sense what I wrote about.

For me, acceptance is not the answer to all my problems! My solution is change. Even acceptance is change. But, nearly always... my solution is something that I can change.


Dallas, you are 100% right. Yesterday, I couldn't find your point. I said I knew it was there somewhere, but I didn't get it. Today it makes complete and absolute sense to me! Nothing changed, yet everything changed! Pretty neat stuff, huh! :lol: :lol: :lol:

I already know there are probably a couple thousand men that would have traded their world for my single "right now" last night. What kind of crazy AA math is this?

I just say to my Higher Power, "OK God, I don't know what any of this means, but whatever it is, I'll bet it's an answer to my prayers. I'm just going to trust that I will appreciate this circumstance whenever the time comes."

Then God stops whatever he's doing in His busy day, and takes a minute to come into my world to say "By the way, Paul, here's a picture of what Heaven looks like RIGHT NOW - I hope you enjoy it!"

Nothing changed, yet everything changed.

Wow!

Somehow, my injury seems like something that happened years ago in a distant world.

Buddy let me tell you what! I have just been treated to an unquestionable Truth. I now know where this "Serenity Express" travels - its on page 25.

"We have found much of heaven and we have been rocketed into a fourth dimension of existence of which we had not even dreamed."

AMEN!
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Postby tim-one » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:14 am

Paul wrote:

Nothing changed, yet everything changed! Pretty neat stuff, huh!


YOU BETCHA, BRO ! God is GOOOOOD TODAY !

Nuthin's changed but my point of view.

It’s all good

The sun is glowing
Birds are tweeping
Grass is growing
The devil’s sleeping
Traffic’s flowing
Time is creeping
A smile is showing
No children weeping
A cool breeze blowing
Trouble’s keeping
Age is slowing
No pager beeping
Good will sowing
No evil reaping
Joy is crowing
A giggle peeping

God remade the whole sad world
When my new life He willed unfurled
Or is it that it’s always been
My eyes were blind by self and sin?
I don’t much care which way it is
So it won’t stop, I will what’s His !

TimS
5/09
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:11 am

I wrote a little note to Cessie last night... about the wonderful time I've been having here on the site... and how Trusting Tim has caused me to be crying some of those tears of gratitude and joy...

And, along comes Paul! Got me crying those tears of gratitude and joy in Spades! "Royal Flush!" "This too shall pass" -- "But, hang on Lord... not too quickly!!" :lol:

You guys are doubling up on me to turn me into some mushy marshmellow with giant tears that look like they came out of crocodile eyes! :lol:

You guys are my buds!!! And, "These buds are for me!" :lol:

Paul, yesterday... I was wondering... "I wonder if his HP just wants him to spend some time off his feet... slow him down a little... so he can enjoy a little bit of heaven!"

Of course, I know HP wouldn't harm you or your leg... so maybe he just held that storm back until you prepared the right environment for a nice romantic candle-lit evening! (I know when my HP wants me to make Him Happy... it's Rib-eyes and T-bones! And, He sure enjoys romantic evenings with a sweet lady, too! ) :lol: :lol:

I love you guys -- thanks for keeping me sober!

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Postby angel143 » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:19 am

Ok...so....steaks and romantic evenings (well, for me with a guy, not a gal)...I can really get into this HP thing! :lol: :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:23 am

Yep!!! He really likes chicks!!! That's why he made them so much more beautiful than anything else on the planet! Chicks and dogs!!! And, steaks (rare, btw)... Those are His favs!!!

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