practice what your retch

It wouldn’t be true to say I care all the time.

It wouldn’t be true to say I say just truth all the time.

And the best part about it, sometimes I don’t even realize I don’t care or not saying the truth until it happens and I see and hear it, and then I wonder: “What has just happened and what is happening within me that I do that?”

Sumtymes I’d say I will be there in your darkest. But I woke up and the night has taken you away and you were not coming back. Sum timez I say smart things that I see may be of help to you, but I know I don’t always follow them or haven’t for a long time. I try to practice what I preach even if Yoda said there is no try. Am I full of crap? There are days I feel like what’s coming out is just retching.

Who am I besides the imperfect person who deserves a break? There are days nobody seems to care who we are, how we are, how well we could be. So, I just do what I can do. And then I feel like giving up.

And then I get up and try and try.

may be

It’s hard…

… no, it’s more impossibly difficult….

…to believe that you’ve been gone

For a year

And you are not coming back.

At least not the way I knew and loved you.

Maybe you are here

As a bird, hovering over me

Watching what I do

Observing my struggles

And chuckle at my attempts

To make a meaningful living

While as a bird you just focus on survival.

Or maybe you are a spurt of grass

Breaking through the crack

In the concrete path

That I walk on every day,

Your perseverance

Besides my often-times despair.

Or maybe you are a star,

Tirelessly shining on my city

And only very rarely and briefly

I look up and stare into your beautiful eyes.

openings

when one door closes,

another door opens,

and air of another world floats in

like a river of light

with stars and shadows of leaves

that once trembled on the trees

in the valley you’ve never visited;

spirits of fire sparkles

illuminating the space

between portals

making hallways seem

not as lonely dim light tunnels,

but pathways to opportunities.

[the Dagaz rune image was copied from somewhere my memory no longer holds where. thank you.]

nothing straight

I, for a long time, thought

Life moves in a line,

-perhaps majorly crooked-

Like the legendary Taoist river.

However, I’ve been taught

By great master Existence

That just like recovery is no linear process,

Life is a river with scattered pits of maelstroms

And streams branching off.

I could and should learn from it,

Yet I always tend to forget.

Denial is sweet.

(the images was copied from pinterest.ca. thank you.)

timeful death

how hard was your journey

I never fully knew

how your sanity suffered

you kept to yourself.

one can never

get used to dying.

ever so violent

are its blows.

one human demise

is just a start,

for sorrow lingers.

your departure

so unexpected

and for the rest of us

long time paralyzing.

your life was

full of events,

you gave care and love

in the ways only you

have mastered.

you believed your time has come.

you believed you could bear

pain in life no longer.

you may have seen your time was full

complete yet broken.

now you have entered other realm

on the new level of your journey.

as for us,

we’re left to mourn

grieving life,

understanding death

rejoicing in our woes

to cherish existence

in the sacred parlor

of death

in this world.

broken against earth

Breathing promise of life

While plunging toward demise

In the cold air of new day

For no more pain to be taken in

Until last one, near shattering blow.

Years of wants and tears,

Past and future,

Submitted to a closure and exit

As world of another kind

Is opening before you

As you have broken against frozen earth,

Resisting chances of hope and miracle,

Carrying in embrace all the memories

Of beauty spread through the years,

Of warm light

That kept us alive.

(the image was copied from https://www.deviantart.com/skyfiredragon/art/Shattered-Ice-856058871 thank you.)


Half Empty World

Without you in it

This land appears bare.

I feel like in the absence of your laughter

I will no longer care for things

Underappreciated.

In just this one month

All the questions came up

But you can answer them no longer.

Connection you and I had

Had been so strong

It’s a shock it could be severed

Ever so violently.

Something within me is lost

And sometimes I fear

I will never find it again.

______

the image was copied from https://emptyeasel.com/2007/06/01/the-color-black-morbid-powerful-and-timeless/ and enhanced by me. thank you.

[patient denies discomfort]

I didn’t believe

I didn’t want to know

I failed to see

When they told me something was off

When they’ve put the mirror to my face so I’d take a look at how fucked up I was.

I still said I was fine.

I still said there was no reason to worry and why wouldn’t the just leave me be

There was no fight I needed

There was no change I wanted

…there was a scream deep inside of me, for help, for love, for something new…

I kept not hearing it.

I kept wanting the same liquid solution

They, they, they… what else did they do

Besides trying to pry open my eyes to my insanity

Besides slamming with words and actions?

Well, all i saw was intrusion.

I remained alone, telling myself and others nothing was going wrong

I remained intoxicated, believing the fairy tales it was telling me.

…change is a scary thing if it seems like there is no one by your side and that’s how I felt…

One day the years caught up with me

One day it was one of those days

I looked at myself in the mirror that I denied existed

And realized if I keep doing it, I will keep doing it until there will be no more “it.”

…meaningfulness of life was running through my fingers into the sands of the desert I’ve created for myself as I watched, realizing that very fact, scared shitless to do anything about it…

Then I made a step forward and admitted to complete strangers how bad I was.

Then they nodded and welcomed me to the club.

…somewhere deep inside the fucked up me was whispering words of caution but I ignored them…

I was on the way out of denial and toward responsibility that came entwined with freedom

I was me who I knew and the one I didn’t, and that was OK

The change was no longer as scary as before,

For I was no longer alone,

And I saw that as much as I believed it.

 

 

 

honesty w/self

IMG_6548-300x200Three months sober, I went hiking in Jasper. Well, honestly, I rented a cabin in Jasper. Hiking was an addition to that. I had a crazy summer with jobs coming and going, relationships up and down, plus there was plenty of stress of not drinking while temptations were everywhere I looked. I needed a break from that insanity before it was time to get back to school. So, I booked a cabin and in August I went for a somewhat controlled environment adventure in the mountains.

Several days in, me and the small group of guests had a hot day hike. On the way back to the cabins one of them offered me to share some beers with him and his wife. First thought that came to my mind was “Crap, I should have stayed at home in the city, in the environment I could certainly control and have a better way to handle temptations.”

The second thought was less fearful, yet much more dangerous: “Hell, no one will know I had a beer or two! Plus, it would just give me a buzz. No big deal!” I knew though that I would obviously know. And I will remember. And I will suffer, because of the guilt that I broke down so easily. Also, I would suffer due to the more than likely serious mental maelstrom that will follow after the fun of intoxication subsided. I could hide even that, from others, but not from myself. I was new in the program and I didn’t know how you come back to AA meetings after a relapse. I didn’t want to find out.

All these thoughts went through my mind with a lightning speed, like in a Stephen King book, where there is an odyssey seems to pass through in the character’s head, and yet in reality only several seconds have gone through. I was about to look up to the fellow hiker and give him my answer when I thought of something else – how will he take my answer? Will he laugh? Will he say I better have some self-control? Will he do something that will make my isolate in my cabin for the rest of the week? I didn’t want to deal with any of that. And yet the good time of sobriety that I have enjoyed so far, no matter how difficult the time was, prompted me to speak my mind. All that thinking took another couple of seconds, I guess, and I finally made up my mind not to waste more of my companion’s time.

“Um… actually… I’m in recovery. So… um…” I tried to speak like nothing in the world could bother me, although I don’t know if it was working, “I am not going to join you… but… umm… have a good time!”

His reaction was not something that I expected.

He produced the biggest smile that a person could without wrecking their face into parts. In an instant his eyes shone brighter than the sun did all day. He shook my hand, saying: “Good for you! Keep it up” or something in that vein. It was quite a while ago, I can’t remember it quite well. Yet what I do remember is that conversation gave me a tremendous boost to keep it up with sobriety.

I was even happier with not taking a beer farther on that day, because the owners served wine with supper, which is something I’ve forgotten about. Refusing a wine at the table was easy. Refusing a beer when it felt like it was begging for you to accept it after a long hike in the sun, that wasn’t as easy. And a couple of beers followed by some wine… shit, it would do me in physically after ninety days of not drinking and then mentally, with all the thoughts I’d have to deal with. So, I was near ecstatic about the fine job that I was doing, keeping it sober.

That episode keeps coming to my mind in the summer. It’s the season I’ve sobered up, it’s the hiking and camping time. It keeps reminding me of the right choices that I’ve made, and how it keeps paying up for the life of sobriety, and because of that, of freedom. Freedom from hurting myself, freedom to be comfortable in my skin, freedom to speak my mind and to ease my mind from thoughts of however others choose to live their lives.


the image was copied from http://www.ecolodge.com/where-you-play/, the website of Rocky Mountains Escape where the above mentioned adventure has taken place. I went back there many times.

Amends in Eights

handsTwelve years ago, I went to visit my family for a little reunion. I was three years sober, and right before the trip I realized that when I met them two years prior, I hadn’t even thought of making amends to them. Which may have been a good thing, because at the start of my recovery I knew very little of what making amends was.

OK, I did know a bit, and I did them to those who I thought I’ve really hurt. Yet with my family, we’ve been having a good relationship around the time I’ve quit drinking and from then on as well, so I’ve figured I didn’t need to talk to them about these things. Until someone in a meeting talked about making amends, and that was just several days before my trip, and it hit me between the eyes. I realized that whether I thought I needed to do that or not, that was irrelevant. Admitting my wrongs was part of the program I was trying to live. It was a part that if I didn’t do it then, it would come back later and serve me a mighty kick in the butt.

I’ve spent time with my family and at the end of my visit I made my amends to my Mom, Dad, and my brother. It felt good to talk about these things, but the more I was releasing the pent up confusions, fears, shame, and worry that I carried in me in my addiction, with me hiding it, I was realizing that my family members were getting upset. There was so much they haven’t known that the more that I’ve shared with them made them amazed and depressed. I was leaving them after that visit with a feeling that I’ve messed it up while I was trying to do more good than harm. As I’ve learned later, there is no right way to do amends. I’ve heard people sharing at meetings that they were not even heard and they had doors slammed in their faces. Some people on the receiving end are not ready to hear those things. I had a feeling my parents were just happy to have me back without knowing what has happened to me, just being content with me doing better. Conversations I’ve had with them through the years after confirmed that thought.

Two months ago, I went to see my parents again, although this time the reunion was not to reconnect. My mother was dying. She was diagnosed with cancer two years prior. The treatment failed to help her. My trip was to say goodbye to her. Two days after I have arrived and have spent time with her and my Dad and brother, her conditioned has worsened and she has lost consciousness which she hasn’t regained. I’ve had an opportunity to spend time with her for two days before her passing to speak the things to her that were my amends, the ones that by then I didn’t realize I needed to make.

Necessity to make amends is not one of those things that I’m fully aware. Yet, they are the things that never cease to come up. Making amends is a perpetual process that has to happen, because resentments never fail to plague me. I’ve had conversations with my Mom that didn’t go as they were planned, ending with negatives more than positives. Some of that we hadn’t talk much about afterwards. There were things happening even when I was a kid, and that we didn’t go over either. And I still remembered of those. I wasn’t sure if it even mattered to bring those to the fore. It was a long time ago, right? Yet I had a conversation with my partner who argued that I needed to say what I had to say, because that was the last chance I could do that with my mother. That’s when I’ve reminded myself that those resentments may come back and serve me a mighty kick in the butt, and I would never have an opportunity to resolve those, therefore I’d be doomed to carry the guilt forever.

Speaking to a person who is unconscious is just that – speaking. I didn’t know my mother could hear me (my partner begs to differ), and I did it anyway. I sat by her bed, held her by the hand, and I spoke of things that bothered me about our relationship with her. I spoke about how I felt I was born, raised. I said my thanks. I said my worry. I admitted my wrongs. I’ve expressed my remorse. I spoke of things I could’ve done better and what I could improve in the new phase of my life without her. I spoke of things she could do when she moved to the other side, and that is watch out for my father and brother. It happened to be a monologue of proportions I never knew I carried in me. And although she hasn’t answered to any of it, by the time I said those things, I knew I had to do say them, and that I had to do that for a while.

Interesting thing is, some of those frustrations and guilts that I’ve given a voice to those two evenings, I wouldn’t be able to speak them to my mother’s comprehending face. I wouldn’t discuss it with her. I didn’t even know how I would start that both-side conversation with her. In a sense, I’ve done those amends on my terms without her looking me in the eye and answering me. Even now that I’m thinking of it, preferring that I’d rather talk to her about it face to face, with her being very much alive and full of vigor, rather than lying on the bed, her eyes closed, life draining out of her, I know that I’m satisfied with the way it did happen… because otherwise I wouldn’t do it for a long time, out of inability to speak my mind without hurting her, even if in her eyes I wouldn’t.

It’s been sixty days since she is not in my life anymore, and it feels so strange not being able to hear her voice. Yet thinking of her, how she was alive, that is satisfying. Because that is the only way I can connect with her, the way she was – healthy, smiling, talking about things she loved. Her touch. Clothes she wore. I feel that I deserve not carrying dark clouds over my head recalling those scenes from memory. Is it because I’ve admitted myself to be imperfect in front of her and silence was the comforting answer? I choose to think so.


the image was copied from https://poesypluspolemics.com/2017/04/18/silent-hands/ and blurred and faded and twisted by me. thank you. a wonderful poem you’ve got there.