Latest Event Updates
13 years ago I definitely hit my bottom. I became too weary of putting things back together that a new direction was the only option. It has certainly been a journey. I have had so much help along the way. Never could I have done this alone. Sober date 9/28/2004. Some of the chapters of my recovery story include….
I have studied Alcoholics Anonymous and experienced a spiritual experience, attended my sponsor’s memorial service, been the subject of a Westword cover story about recovery in 2006, studied A Course in Miracles, Buddha, Pema Chodron, William White, Marianne Williams, Louise Hay, Duane Dyer, become an addictions counselor, a recovery coach, a peer mentor, a recovery coach trainer, developed several programs. I have left wreckage in my sobriety and discovered a better way to manage my trauma.
I bought a house, 2 cars, leased another, had 3 full time jobs with a part time job going the whole 13 years. I remember losing a job while trying to live through PTSD for the first time sober. I gave up friendships and support along that road. I couldn’t trust anyone to ask for help because I had never trusted anyone. I’ve learned a little more about this since then.
The cost of sanity is definitely balanced out by the gifts of recovery. Learning to cope has been challenging, but coping without doping is its own reward. I love my life today. I am happy joyous and free. I am not a body. I am still as God created me. Here’s a little Pema for the road. oh yeah, I’m still working on eating only 1 piece of cake.
…nothing ever really attacks us except our own confusion. perhaps there is no solid obstacle except our own need to protect ourselves from being touched. maybe the only enemy is that we don’t like the way reality is now and therefore wish it would go away fast. but what we find as practitioners is that nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. if we run a hundred miles an hour to the other end of the continent in order to get away from the obstacle, we find the very same problem waiting for us when we arrive. it just keeps returning with new names, forms, manifestations until we learn whatever it has to teach us about where we are separating ourselves from reality, how we are pulling back instead of opening up, closing down instead of allowing ourselves to experience fully whatever we encounter, without hesitating or retreating into ourselves.”
― Pema Chödrön,
Firstly let me express deep sympathy and concern over the souls in Southern Texas and the trauma that my fellow citizens are going through. I am sending prayers and support in my daily meditations. There is little doubt in my mind that a new era is already in motion. Weather changes, icebergs breaking, overdose epidemic, conservative mafia, the new Russian bank virus that seems to affect so many, money laundering, hacked elections, white supremacists, border walls, reversing EPA guidelines, ice agents, alternative facts, all add up to creepy science fiction to me.
My interior life feels as if it is mirroring the dissonance I see in the world and it’s a bitch to maneuver gracefully. My pride is being revealed as a real sense of power drain. This is a source of regret for me. I know that my tough makeup has been my companion for almost 50 years. It has sadly come time to retire it though. Heaven knows how I will operate without my scout always checking out the territory before I settle in.
I approach 13 years of recovery with no alcohol or drug use and I have found ease and comfort certainly. But the challenge now is to have my exterior life match my interior views. I would rather let go of the dancing I do when I am challenged by circumstances in life. I continue to shut down emotionally as I always have. I notice it now and change the course, but it’s all draining and takes time. Although it is better than just shutting down.
I am obviously wrestling with emotional sobriety on some level. It will work itself out no doubt. I leave you with an excerpt from a William White blog.
I have been closely observing the addiction recovery process for half a century. I have been struck by two extremes: people whose fragile recovery is forever frozen at a primitive stage of development, and people who go through metamorphic changes that transform their character, values, and the quality of their interpersonal relationships. In the former, drug use has ceased or radically decelerated in frequency, intensity, and consequences, but this change remains nested within the same self-centeredness, resentfulness, dishonesty, and intolerance that often characterizes active addiction. This former pattern has been referred to as the “dry drunk” syndrome. In the latter style, the radically altered person-drug relationship is accompanied by dramatic enhancements in global health and functioning, as well as changes in character and identity—changes AA co-founder Bill Wilson characterized as “emotional sobriety.”
It is easy to cast these widely varying styles of recovery into the boxes of bad and good, but time and experience have softened that view for many of us as we have come to see how each style can exist within the same persons (and within ourselves) at different stages of the long-term recovery process. Also of note is that the executive brain functions of some people may have been severely and even permanently damaged from addiction, precluding tolerance of the ambiguity and more complex decision-making of the transformative style of recovery.
Today’s guiding mantra is “whatever it takes—recovery by any means necessary under any circumstances.” While we can deeply admire those in recovery who have used the recovery experience as a catalyst for personal transformation (via humility, gratitude, tolerance, service, etc.), we can also admire those who must tenaciously cling to those crude early defenses as a way to “keep the plug in the jug.” Both are deserving of respect and admiration…. William White blog
I know its a little late for the National Day of Awareness but since we have a Recovery Month Event 2 weeks later, we are taking liberties with the day and building an Overdose Memorial at the Recovery Music Fest on Saturday September 16, 2017 at the Colorado State Capitol. We will use old shoes tied to balloons to represent the 914 Coloradans who lost their lives to overdose in our state in 2016. That number rose from 872 in 2015. Our purpose in this is to create a community intention that reverses this trend while sending a visual picture to our lawmakers. The event information can be found at www.pcasurrounded.com
All these Souls passing on and so little attention is given them. Our airwaves and newsreels are rife with happenings on other continents but so little focus on stopping this steady bleeding of love between our own shores. And with that 914 lost souls are an average of 3 other Americans left with grief and stigma and little else to speak of. Addressing this glaring criminal hypocrisy is another agenda of the September Awareness effort. We want family members to feel welcome, to feel seen and heard, and to feel loved by our communities who have personal and lived experience with feeling outcast and unloved. Let us love you up.
PCA is proud to be holding a fund raiser that day for “Harm Reduction Action Center” which is an organization working at ground zero with the IV drug using population. Their impact saves lives on a daily basis. Join us in supporting their efforts.
if you have been affected by overdose, please join us at the Capitol on September 16, Join our effort to raise our voices for change. Bring your conscience and your heart, tie a balloon on a pair of shoes and place them on the Capitol steps. Make an effort to open your heart. This may be the only way change can happen.
‘This is an issue that all Coloradans can come together on. Let’s stop our neighbors and friends from bleeding love.
The train has left the station. It hasn’t been without stops and starts, but it has been steady. This creative part of my psychology remains a mystery somehow. The power of filling an empty space with ideas, concept, strategy, and implementing them is perhaps my favorite high. I have learned over time that this ability and this process is a strength for me.
I so love the process of putting it together. As Sondheim said ” piece by piece, bit by bit” . Never have I indulged myself to the point of considering this art. It seems so much more like business. But it’s really not business if it’s not commerce and it’s certainly not commerce to me.
The Surrounded Event will :
- Feature at least 5 live musical acts to perform and share some of their recovery.
- Recognize Community Beacons whose work has impacted Colorado culture.
- Celebrate Recovery Month in Colorado
- Bring more attention to the overdose epidemic in Colorado
- Celebrate the 5280 Recovery High School’s approval in 2017
- Spotlight 18th Judicial District Problem Solving Courts- ( DRG can network with Amanda Myers – PSC Coordinator) at the event.
- Raise awareness and funds for Harm Reduction Action Center using the shoes and balloons.
- Interface with the Reel Recovery Film Festival with CeDAR at SIE.
- Create and display a photography installation titled “Putting a Face on Recovery” which can be utilized to educate all year.
- Utilize an Event App to create real-time interaction and data collection from attendants.
- Enable sponsors to offer giveaways live during the fest to draw people to your booth.
- Enable participants to pre-register people for the Fair Chance Job Fair at DU the following week.
- Have a Dental organization to be present to offer screening and opportunity for care.
- Include outreach and resources for Families affected by Substance Use and Mental Health.
Last year we asked churches and methadone clinics to participate in a shoe drive for the event. It seemed to engage and ignite some empathy with the clients at the clinic-
We would like to ask more if they will participate this year.
Please let me know if I can be of any help or answer any questions.
My friend asked why I had slowed down on blogging and I had to admit that in many ways, I had been feeling what might be the effects of Mercury in Retrograde. I was working on a project that became enmeshed with efforts to control the process by others. It was exhausting really and drained some of the fun for me.
I then witnessed a friend in a relapse and I was literally dumbfounded and stunned to the point that I couldn’t move any direction to address it. It was close to me and it felt toxic and disappointing.
I have made some decisions in this process to let go of some things in my life and to create some change. I am not clear that it this will lead to higher ground, but it is a decision which feels like progress and opens the window to let some light in.
It seems there are two more retrograde periods to survive this year. Can’t say I’m anxiously awaiting these. Maybe if I just stay still and pretend I’m invisible, the effects will pass me by. Sad strategy really- hasn’t worked up to this point.
MEANING OF MERCURY RETROGRADE
We are all influenced when Mercury is in retrograde. But what does this mean? Let us explain …
Sometimes, the other planets appear to be traveling backward through the zodiac; this is an illusion. We call this illusion retrograde motion.
Several times a year, it appears as if Mercury is going backwards. This time was traditionally associated with confusions, delay, and frustration.
Perhaps Mercury’s retrograde periods can cause our plans to go awry. However, this is an excellent time to reflect on the past. Intuition is high during these periods, and coincidences can be extraordinary.
WHAT TO DO WHEN MERCURY IS RETROGRADE
The planet Mercury rules communication, travel, contracts, automobiles, and such. So,when Mercury is retrograde, remain flexible, allow time for extra travel, and avoid signing contracts. Review projects and plans at these times, but wait until Mercury is direct again to make any final decisions.
About a week or two before Mercury retrogrades, finish any tasks or projects at hand. You can’t stop your life, but plan ahead, have back-up plans, and be prepared for angrier people and miscommunication.
Some people blame Mercury retrograde for “bad” things that happen in their lives. Instead, take this time to sit back and review where you put your energy in your life. For example, if family and faith are important to you, are you putting your energies there or just overextended in other areas? Take a moment to reflect.
MERCURY RETROGRADE DATES 2017
In 2017, Mercury will be retrograde during:
- January 1 to 9
- April 9 to May 3
- August 13 to September 5
- December 3 to 23
it’s so absurd to be making myself as comfortable as i can be while i sit back passively and expect the rest of our planet to grow. yet as stubbornly as a Scotsman can be, i dig my heels in and hold a broken expectation like an antique timepiece trying to tell time.
It’s hard to beat the system
When we’re standing at a distance
So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
Now if we had the power
To bring our neighbors home from war
They would have never missed a Christmas
No more ribbons on their door
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want
That’s why we’re waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
It’s not that we don’t care
We just know that the fight ain’t fair
So we keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
And we’re still waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
100% pure sewage ice! by Hong Yichen, Guo Yifei, Zheng Yidi
reposted from saddayfordemocracy @tumblr.com
The ‘Polluted Water Popsicles’ project was created by three students of the National Taiwan University of Arts to raise awareness on the problem of pollution in Taiwan.
They crafted more than 100 ice cream popsicles made from the polluted waters of Taiwan’s lakes, rivers, beaches and ports.
The Polluted Water Popsicles project reveals the dramatic state of the waters of our planet with these delicate flavors of waste, heavy metals, plastic, arsenic, mercury, nitrates or lead
Photography by Hung I-chen
It dawns on me that i may be on the threshold of a major both in my own life and in the larger culture that i live within. so many policy changes have been quietly implemented under the guise of negative social drama and it is next to impossible to gauge where we will find ourselves after the orange tinted dust settles. Polluted waterways, rising ocean levels, increased gases in the air, national parks decimated and walmart-ized. I don’t even want to mention the healthcare issue as its such a powder-keg right now. And then our Secretary of State is quoted as saying “we don’t need to be throwing money at the opioid crisis”. Blood boils at hearing this. The crisis is with people, not with opioids. The family that created oxy has had enough help from our government. Enough to be inducted into the billionaires club with Forbes. No it’s the people who got pooped on by crappy prescribing policies that we should be helping. But the vultures are having a heyday.
With all this scavenging going on, it is honestly a challenge to remain calm. All this uproar is beyond my comprehension. I feel overwhelmed most of the time and what I can control is my own reaction and frankly, that’s a tall order at this stage of the game.
My own orbit is in flux. As I craft this perspective though, I realize how connected these two dissonances may actually be. 7 on the Richter scale is what I would guesstimate. When i don’t feel my faith, somehow there’s a reminder that I’m not in charge and the panic that wants to rush in is dammed up again. It’s incumbent upon me to be okay even when I don’t see “okay” anywhere in my midst.
I am convinced that a revolution is unavoidable. I cannot say when or where it will start, but I do believe things must change and I also believe that it is not going to be a simple transition. The current situation feels like a coup and I don’t believe the perpetrators will go away without strong convincing. This is the new state of independence in america for me.
Here’s a little something I ran across at http://www.lovethetruth.com. I wonder if it sounds a little familiar….
In order to understand how men who obtained control of the Bank of England, and the British National Debt, also obtained control of the trade and commerce, and the monetary system of Britain’s American colonies, it will be sufficient if we pick up the threads of the story at the time Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) went over to England to represent the interests of the men who had been associated with him in building up the prosperity of the American Colonies.
Robert L. Owen, former chairman, Committee on Banking and Currency, United States Senate, explains the matter on page 98 of Senate Document No. 23. He states that when associates of the Rothschild’s asked Franklin how he accounted for the prosperous conditions prevailing in the colonies, he replied : “That is simple — In the Colonies we issue our own money. It is called Colonial Script — We issue it in proper proportion to the demands of trade and industry.”
Robert L. Owen remarked that not very long after the Rothschilds heard of this they realized the opportunity to exploit the situation with considerable profit to themselves. The obvious thing to do was to have a law passed prohibiting the Colonial officials from issuing their own money and make it compulsory for them to obtain the money they required through the medium of the Banks. Amschel Mayer Rothschild was still in Germany but he was supplying the British Government with Mercenary Troops at £8 per man. Such was his influence that in 1764 he succeeded, through the Directors of the Bank of England, in having laws passed in accordance with his dictates.
The authorities in the Colonies had to discard their Script money. They had to mortgage the Colonial assets and securities to the Bank of England in order to borrow the money they needed to carry on business. Referring to those facts Benjamin Franklin stated. “In one year the conditions were so reversed that the era of prosperity ended, and a depression set in, to such an extent that the streets of the Colonies were filled with unemployed.” Franklin stated : “The Bank of England refused to give more than 50 per cent of the face value of the Script when turned over as required by law. The circulating medium of exchange was thus reduced by half”.
Mr. Franklin disclosed the primary cause of the Revolution when he said: “The Colonies would gladly have borne the little tax on tea and other matters had it not been that England took away from the Colonies their money, which created unemployment and dissatisfaction.”