celebrating 8 years

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“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”

september 28 2004 was the day my heart gave out. i found myself in a position in my life in which i no longer recognized myself and i felt trapped by my behaviors. 
opportunity seemed to have vanished, and i was living in a life that i felt no love or compassion for. i had blasted all the meaning and intention from life with disregard and irreverence, and had been running for so many years i no longer was clear on what i was running from nor what i might be running to. i guess it had been endless running.
september 28 2004 was the day i surrendered. that was 8 years ago today. i went back to the treatment program and started participating in 12 step meetings. of course, those meetings were the last place i wanted to be. they seemed so lame. people i never would have partied with were talking about issues in their lives i had no concern nor care for. it came to unnerve me often, but i continued because i had no where else to really go and because here were the only sober people i could find. 
i really have to say here that i do feel honestly blessed. in that 1st year, there is no way i could have comprehended the path i now follow. i probably would not have been interested in it to be truthful. but this is the biggest blessing in surrender for me- the promises as laid out in that famous book “the big book”

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”

i never knew until this recovery journey began, that my compassionate side had a birthplace and a reason. i didn’t believe that the agonizing experiences i had growing up gay in small town middle america would be transformed into stockpiles of strength and understanding that i could offer to others in similar predicaments in their lives. and more importantly, i had no clue that i didn’t have to run away whenever situations became so difficult-which they occasionally still do. but these are just a few insights i have gained over the last 8 years.
although today is a milestone, it is thoroughly bittersweet. my mentor of 7 years passed away 7 days ago and this would have been my 7th celebration with him by my side. certainly he resides in my heart and my mind. i have merely lost the luxury of hearing the words-“happy birthday cosmo” in the reassuring voice that has helped tame my heart and mold my intention. i really want to resent (but can’t) the words i share often about the work in this life being really about “letting go”. i have had so many wonderful things in my life, but i haven’t been able to keep any of them. i have always had to let go. and it’s the acceptance of that which causes me the most pain. letting go of my friend paul 27 years ago and letting go of my sponsor paul now are some of the most heart wrenching treks i have endured. 
i have made  great friends and reconnected with family, but these relationships have a very different rhythm without the partying. they seem quieter and they seem to run deeper. i have to say “thank you” to all my friends including my online life- without you and your support, my life would be so much smaller.   however, the most changed relationship is the one i have developed with the world in which i live. i used to take for granted the people, places, and things. i was always taking what i wanted or snatching what i needed, almost feeling like a visitor or even a trespasser. but now i do feel a bit more like a citizen. today i will work (2 jobs) and go to a meeting this evening. i already feel peace and gratitude. i hope to grow those feelings. i’m definitely glad i have something to work on.
i am sharing a vid that opens my heart for some reason. i have become enthralled with the xfactor uk this year. the auditions were amazing and this young girl’s audition was no exception. but there was something even more compelling about her boot camp solo which is here. i hope you agree.
Do you believe in life after love 
I can feel something inside me say 
I really don’t think you’re strong enough, 
Do you believe in life after love 
I can feel something inside me say 
I really don’t think you’re strong enough, 
What am I supposed to do 
Sit around and wait for you 
And I can’t do that 
There’s no turning back 
I need time to move on 
I need love to feel strong 
‘Cause I’ve had time to think it through 
And maybe I’m too good for you Ohh Oh 

3 thoughts on “celebrating 8 years

    Jeremiah Andrews said:
    September 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Another year under your belt. Through trials and tribulations, you survived. I think we can thank the men who worked with you and participated in your sobriety. You have shined and I am proud of you. ten years is just around the corner. I celebrate and honor your milestone.



    rod rushing said:
    September 28, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    i am thanking all the support this week. was at a gratitude meeting tonight that i used to attend with my sponsor. i shared about gratitude, especially the opportunity to feel loss and sorrow along with accomplishment and joy (as well as others) all at the same time- and still have a sense that i will be okay.
    i never had that before getting sober.
    i shared about my “friend” who passed last saturday- but i was not able to talk about him as my “sponsor”. i would not have made it through the share without tears.

    thank you jeremy for you ongoing and continued support. so often i flail in the wind…


    Billy O. said:
    October 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I really enjoy this blog, thank you for this post as well. I relate on a lot of levels. I have a little over three years sober but my life is a complete 180 degree turn from what it was. When I came into the rooms and the sober living, it wasn't where I wanted to be either. I daydream as a child fantasizing about going to AA or treatment! The only thing I knew though was I didn't want what I had. I noticed people with time sober who reached out to me were happy people and that's what I wanted. So I opened my mind and took suggestion and I am still here. I was able to get help from New Life House three years ago. If you or a loved one is suffering they may be able to help, check out their website at http://www.newlifehouse.com


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