Friday, July 31, 2009

A Sign?

In my hometown, I was jogging and I came across this sign. I stopped in mid tracks, startled. And then I looked up laughing and said, "I got it. Okay, I got it!"

This was the day after I was affirming the same words in a notebook, in a three day management meeting. The VERY same words.

I just had to take this picture . . .

(The labels for this are interesting)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Everything will be OK

I am going to be Ok. New signage to follow. I am taking a break - but I shall return in August.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good Thoughts

I have not posted in about 2 weeks. I took a mini-vacation. Today I am realizing how most everything I think about reverberates throughout the universe.

My life is what my thoughts have been.

Or said another way, "My life is due to what I think about."

If I change my thinking - remove any negative thinking - I can become happier, more positive and acheive serenity.

Today I am thinking good thoughts.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


From the same book - by Ari Kiev

A quote from Richard L Evans;

"May we never let the things we can't have, or don't have, or shouldn't have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have."

I would like to provide a different - modified version;

"May we never let the things we have done or haven't done, spoil our enjoyment of the things we are are doing. As we value our happiness let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to happy with what we are doing." [not what we have done wrong or done badly]

I would also add - ". . . don't allow the things we have done, keep us from doing what we could be doing."

My brain is so crazy - I beat myself up for stupid things I have done. I flog myself. I use self-perpetuated guilt. I am doing that now - I did some dumb things in the past few weeks.

I am catching myself - and I need to be gentle with myself - something I don't do very well.

I looked up this person - Evans. And this is what I found:

Richard L. Evans is best known for his inspirational messages given in the long-running weekly radio program "Music and the Spoken Word" with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As a General Authority of the Mormon Church, he was one of their most senior leaders.

Evans became employed at KSL Radio in Salt Lake City as a staff announcer in 1930. This began his long association with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, for he announced the titles of compositions and gave station identification for the broadcast of programs that included hymns and choral works backed by The Tabernacle Organ. In time he began to include some short thoughts associated with the musical selections. These were well received and soon evolved into non-denominational inspirational "sermonettes" usually less than two minutes, about moral principles, the inter-relationships of people, and the proper approach to life. His messages were ecumenical in nature, pointing out that the differences between people are not as great as what they have in common. [emphasis added - mine]

Other quotes:

  • The undertaking of a new action brings new strength.
  • I don't think anything is unrealistic if you believe you can do it.
  • Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.
  • Children will not remember you for the material things you provided but for the feeling that you cherished them.
PS - I am not endorsing nor opposing Mormons or any other religion, sect or nationality.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Surrendering to the Now

Great read from a person/therapist/counsellor Ari Kiev:

"Surrendering to the now turns off the incessant mental activity that projects negative images onto events. This reduces misinterpretation, distraction, and anxiety about future events and guilt over past events and creates a sense of calm. Surrender leads to an expansion of consciousness and increased control over you automatic nervous system, which enables you to stretch your performance in any activity beyond conventional limits. This leads to a state of "active passivity" whereby increased awareness, understanding, and tolerance allow you to control psychological processes."

This reading/passage is very comforting to me. I surrender is a powerful concept that allows me to be in the moment and helps me refrain from labeling and judging things and people and events.

Peace today is all I want and desire.

Thank you Ari Kiev

Sunday, June 7, 2009


A great reading the other day. It came from a free Al-Anon pamphlet. The discussion leader read the 16 things behind maturity.

The next week, different meeting, and I swear, I don't recall seeing this person at the previous meeting, held the same exact discussion. He copied the pamphlet and left it in the center of the room. Which of course is the Al-Anon way of saying, "You don't have to pick it up and read it." Of course this another way of not trying to exert ones behavior or opinion on another.

And of course we all jumped up and grabbed a copy.

But this morning I am writing about "maturity" too.

I read a "non conference approved book" this morning. But there are many things I now read that relates to Al-Anon.

Here is the quote:

"Maturity lies in accepting reality, not in demanding perfection. You are not perfect. Your life is not perfect. No day is perfect."

There is solace in knowing this. Whatever the hell "solace" means. Who says "solace" by the way? A blogger without a large vocabulary. Ahhhhh, sarcasm, used against the self - a false modesty and humbleness.

In the past couple of days, I realized I am getting hooked again. My immaturity and seeking certain outcomes - sometimes by forcing solutions and attaching my self-worth to the outcome is getting me into a little trouble. I am "fighting" by arguing. I love a good debate. I seek it out in many ways. I can cut through a person's words and sentences and even the sentence structure (even though I suck at English grammar) just to "win." But it only occurs when someone "attacks me."

What are people doing when people attack me?

I am renting a nice 4 or depending who you ask - a 5 bedroom house. My "other" house is paid off and that is where my Whenever to be ex lives. It is expensive and well -worth a lot of money - AND paid off. I am a saver of money. Spend thrift. Well, I got trigger because my landlord - to whom I pay A LOT of mullah to (that's money in English slang), stated in a friggin' email that I was not "allowing Realtors to 'show' the house. and that I should Section 3 of the contract."

Well, dear Joseph, my ugly side, read Section 3. I am not an attorney, but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once, shot back reread Section 3 and pointed out certain words and phrases like "appropriate times" and "consideration" and etc. And I shoved that across the Internet cable like a grenade going up their you know what.

I was triggered. I felt "how dare they?" I have more money that them. I busted my ass all my life and now I am stuck in a rented home having them tell me that realtors can come anytime they want to (some want to come at 6PM at night while I am eating dinner or changing clothes and I said "No." I would have said, Okay before and sacrificed myself and well-being and my needs for people I don't even know. But now, with Al-Anon programming, I am a worthwhile person and I COME FIRST so don't fuck with me. Okay Al-Anon does not say "don't fuck with me." But I am worthy. And I do come first. So now I say "No" without much guilt. Whereas before, guilt would leap around for several hours in my brain on a trampoline.

So, they are pissed I am making the realtor work around my schedule. Well, tough. I read Section 3. And .....

Isn't life grand? Life gives me all sorts of tests. Major and minor to test my maturity. Life equals reality. Al-Anon teaches me to experience reality and be mature. Also to act mature. And realize I am not perfect and that's okay.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Control, Offering Opinions and Dependency

I am often amazed how members of Al-Anon will come up to me or some one else after a meeting and provide either advice or in the discussion - comment on what some one said or is saying. What I hear is - "That is not true it is this or that." Or what else I hear is "You should do this." And then there is a more indirect route, "Have you thought about . . . "

No matter how we slice it - it is about control. Control is a path to dependency, by you who is controlling or by you, accepting the opinion.

  1. No one elses opinion matters. Period. End of statement. Finis.
  2. No one is right or wrong. Period. End of statement. Finis.
  3. Very little matters. Which means; "Very little matters in the world. Period. End of statement. Finis.

Hmmmmm . . .

That last statement "Very little matters." Did it get you? Do you disagree? Are you thinking "what does matter then?" And, the thought of "Very little matters in the world." - are you labeling this? Are you labeling this as;

1. Wrong?
2. Yes things do matter!! Everything matters!
3. You are giving up! You cannot give up! We must fight to the death. Is that what this translates to for you?


Very little matters.

Even what I am typing - it doesn't matter.

But our "attachments" - what we have "decided" as "right" is what is getting me (us/you) hooked. "Right" and righteousness" - is an opposite opinion and is therefore "wrong" is a form of judgment. Being wrong makes us - "Less than" or "Unworthy." Is it the judgment that starts getting me hooked? What if it just is?

What if being wrong was accepted in our society as "Good?" What if we rejoiced in another's opinion - especially - if it was DEEPLY counter to ours?

What if we celebrated wrong and difference of opinion?

I am not talking about diversity - however - this discussion MAY BE the root of the diversity topic . . . not that my opinion matters -

And this is not to say I am not a worthy and worthwhile person.

Because here it is:

I am a worthy and worthwhile person. AND of course - so are YOU!

Your opinion of me or my blog or my hair or my underwear does not really affect me.

Well isn't that SPECIAL . . . Apologies to Church Lady (aka Dana Garvey).

I wish the sentence "Your opinion of me does not matter." what really true for me. I am hooked. I am attached to your opinion. I don't even know you and I am attached to your opinion.

How about you? Are you attached to another person's opinion? Of you? Of the world?

This is the control and dependency issue.

Go back to the statements about - all three. Can you read them and REALLY FEEL them and accept these in the deepest part of your ego/soul/brain/conscious/subconscious?

GOD - there is so much to learn.

The closest I get to GOD is serenity. I achieve serenity - by being present. Feeling my feelings. And working on not being attached to what happens, what I am thinking, the future, what I "want" or "need" and what others think (what I THINK others think).

I am aiming for peace and serenity.

Again - as my sponsor says - When you have a choice (for thoughts and actions) aim for serenity.

Today I am focusing on detachment.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting Unstuck

One of the things I have to get back to doing is "to risk."

I have been under enormous (enormous? probably the right word, but my ego or voice inside my head, I cannot tell which one it is talking to me) pressure over the past year and a half. Separation, loss of job, looking for job, stock market, economy, new job, divorce proceedings, custody proceedings, money going out the door for lawyers, wife attacking, my brain working overtime, child going thru puberty, etc. all adding to the pressure.

So, in order to "control" the pressure I have not been "risking" or "being out there on the high wire" at work as I probably could be. Or is it "should be." I know about the "should thing." But maybe there is a "should" every now and then. Maybe I am working just enough. And maybe working "just enough" is perfectly fine.

I am not sure.

This is the dilemma. Am I stuck? Am I afraid to reconnect with old business acquaintances because of the fear of rejection?


As I am writing this the thought comes to mind: What if they don't return my call? The ANSWER: So what? What will happen if they don't? Nothing. Except an ego bruise. AND the possibility of the ego taking control and making me feel "less than." Hmmmm.

Am I really "risking?"

Bite sized chunks.
I know to get around the "stuck" thing is to make a list. Break down the thing I need or should or must do, into smaller, bite sized chunks, on a piece of paper. Then schedule time on my calendar to do them. And then, . . . , JUST DO IT (them).

OK. Got it.

This is where I am this morning.

Also. I "attached" to something at work yesterday. And then when I "confronted" another manager, he started Bullshitting me, about how it's going to be better in the future. I told him I cannot wait and that the future is now. I told him, and I did it in the old way, that he cannot give me this crap about how good it's going to be. I don't think he ever was confronted before.

Why did I have to go and attack his bullshit? Why couldn't I have just adjusted and worked it out more indirectly? Which is the right way to go? I am never sure. I know; say what you mean, but don't say it meanly.

I said what I meant. I think it could have been interpreted as being mean. Now I fret, that he will tell others I am "explosive." I was not mind you - but I did tell him - not that he was full of shit, but he knew he could no longer ever bullshit me, just by my taking his words and tossing them into the garbage heap as "unmeaningful."

OK. How do I recover from this one? Apologize? Let it go? Or is it my head again that is causing me to worry about this? I am having difficulty with the balance.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fear - Mastery of,

This morning I am reminded that fear resides not outside me, but inside me. Fear is my reaction to my thoughts. Or my thinking about my thoughts of what "could be happening" or "could happen," but not necessarily what is happening.

The solution, I read, is not eliminating fear, but transcending fear.

Trying to eliminate fear is a trap. Trying to suppress my responses is also a trap. I need to become detached as an on-looker is; unbiased, non-judgmental, non-emotional, as if I were floating above the event watching it unfold.

Can I do this? How can I remember to do this?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Another NEW Day

So. I was bummed out yesterday. Surprise? Nope. I went to bed, couldn't sleep and then woke up around 4AM.

Yes. I did it. I vacuumed the house around 5AM!

OKAY. Went to noon-day meeting. It was around slogans. "This too shall pass" seemed to be getting a lot of talking about.

I spoke of it and said my version is; "This too shall pass. But I want it to pass now." I went on to say; "I am very fortunate. I am doing well. I am in good health. It is only my thinking that is doing 'it' to me."

Yes. My thinking. Exacerbated by lack of sleep and a small cold I picked up Wednesday that I thought I knocked out Friday. Still have it apparently this morning.

Went running yesterday AM before work. Good 3 miles. But need to do every morning/day. It makes a HUGE difference.

Also need to get back into reading every morning.

Called my sponsor yesterday as I was pissed. He pulled over to a parking lot to focus on what I was saying. We all have this obsessive thinking disease. We think way too much. We. I mean I. I don't know what we have. I know what I have. That is the "advisor" coming out in me. Focus on yourself dear Joseph.

You can only control yourself. And damn that is hard enough.

Focus on yourself and what is reality. No one is doing anything to you (me). They are too busy worried about their own things. Think about what you can control and shut up and shut off.

Peace this morning.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Book I Picked Up

Not an Al-Anon book for sure. And before I tell you who the author is, I want to tell you what he writes.

He writes what I could not write - but I feel it, and I have the same problem. My wife is an alcoholic, and she is, well, crazy. Yes. I said it. And she is feeding my child reasons as to why I am seeking a divorce. Ranging from I have/had a girlfriend (untrue) to I am a mean person.

It pisses me off. And today, I am bummed out. My wife heads to the beach with our child and does not work, does not seek work, nor does she have to. She is feeding our child untruths.

I prayed to God this morning and last night, asking for him to show me what it is I am not seeing, what I am not getting. I got on my knees asking for help this morning in the middle of the master bathroom.

Yes. I am bummed out.

I took my child to dinner last night. She did not want to eat. She wanted to buy a notebook pad from this upscale store for $29. I thought that was ridiculous. Of course, I have learned to not say that. But I did tell her "No, not now."

Her mother bought a calendar from there. My child showed me. It was $25.

I, of course, Googled calendars and printed off a free one.

How is it I work, she doesn't and I save and she spends.
I filed for divorce because of the safety of this child. I am not despised/disdained by the same child I sought to protect.

We went to Barnes and Noble last night. I picked up a book .....

On page 49;
"If your spouse is not open and cooperative regarding divorced co-parenting, every day you spend disconnected from your child is another day that child adjusts to life without you. Although you may call regularly, or visit on alternating weekends, your influence in a child's day-to-day life wanes. It is as though the child takes her love for you and places it on a shelf."

Sad. It is true. I could not explain it . . . but this does.

The book is by someone I NEVER liked.

He, in fact, screamed at his daughter and left it on a phone answering machine. You know who I am talking about now.

When I heard this recording all over the news channels, I thought "How could anyone EVER talk to his daughter this way? He is absolutely an ASSHOLE."

But now I know the frustration. I know how a child can be their parent's avenger. I see it first hand.

Of course the book is by Alec Baldwin. It has so much truth about the legal system and divorce that it is absolutely uncanny how accurate it is and how it expresses the problems of co-parenting. And how judges don't give a shit. Lawyers are damn bastards. And how parents wage a war through the child.

It is a war I am going to sit on the sidelines for.

I remember my wife talking about Larry Byrd years ago, and how he never saw his daughter and what an asshole he was for doing that. I thought so too. But now I know. I know how a child you love turns against you and starts calling you names and does not want to be there because of the mother and how she has started to cast a pall over the father.

I am bummed this morning. I need to get out of this funk by getting outside my head.

I went to a meeting last night. I saw my sponsor. But I was so bummed, I left immediately after the closing prayer.

I have got to get outside my head this morning.

PS - Don't think I am okaying what Baldwin said to his daughter. But I now know he was hurt and torn and felt unappreciated. He lashed out. I now know that. I know how bitter he might have been. You not being in the same place may have the same initial impression I did of him.

PPS - I will get out of this okay and of course, alive.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Attempts Controlling My Attempts to Control

Absolutely amazing. My attempts to control the uncontrollable. I even attempt to control my controlling. Think about that one for a minute.

Writers Comment: This is a long post today folks . . . but you have to read all it. I reveal some aspects of control that I have not always recognized.

This morning I thought about all the things I could and should do to "Stop a certain person" from spamming my little blog site. I thought about looking for a way to block this person from commenting.

I remember this morning getting a little pissed off and figuring out a way to threaten this person.

Retaliating against him. "Getting even." Hmmmm . . .

Then I read a little passage. It was a small one sentence that stuck out in this book. It is a sentence that we all know - I mean - we heard it a million times. It wasn't even in an Al-Anon book. The sentence was just there -staring at me - and in the back of my head I was figuring out what I could do to get back at this person.

Yep. I was "planning" and "scheming." I even had these hurtful words starting to enter my head as to how best to wound him so he would go away. Yes. I will admit this.

Then the words; "The only thing you can control is yourself." showed up in the middle of the paragragh.

I laughed - or smiled is more like it. Yes. My attempt to control was going on in my head. I had "get back at you" strategies going on.

What a laugh.

So what someone is spamming my little blog site. He is really causing no harm. Does he really know me? Does he know any of us?

He was on my "little site" before. I looked him up. He's from some where in Australia. Actually I know the city and just about everything about him. Yes. I was attempting to control. I wasted a lot of time looking him up. His own blogspot had a lot about him. He revealed a lot about his family, where he lived, how he grew up and how he found his beliefs.

Yes. I was "going to get back." Retaliate. Why? Anger. But it was fear based. What was I afraid of? His opinion? Of me. Of you? I was going to defend you. That's what I did as the oldest one. I defended my brothers and sister. I helped them through school. Now I was going to defend me and you. From what? His opinion? His cutting and pasting of long stuff?

I could wound him now. I could say "Can't you write? Do you know ha, ha, ha etc is really not so intelligent? And cutting and pasting someone elses words is another form of stupidity and non-original thinking? And . . . " But I know he's been asked these types of questions before you see. I can sense it. That is where I can wound. I used my sensing ability to defend through my words.

My controlling power is well honed. It's sharp. It pops up in the most little things in life. I cannot control it because it is so hard to recognize.

Even my deleting of his comments are an attempt to control.

I even thought about using humor. Here was going to be my post;
Dear Mickey,

I have someone I would like you to meet. Obviously you are a lonely soul. Mickey meet my ex-wife. Ex-wife, meet Mickey.

Please torture each other.

Yes. That would be funny I thought. But again, my humor is another attempt to control.

All these things were going on inside my head - very, very fast. Quickly processing. In seconds I had formulated several strategies to wound, attack, control, get even, be funny, be smart etc. Seconds.

Controlling the uncontrollabe. How pervasive is this in my life?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just In: Live Your Vision

I am rerere-reading A Strategy for Daily Living by Ari Kiev. Great books have to be read many times. And in this little obscure book lies great secrets of living life AND being successful.

First chapter: A Worthy Purpose.

This sentence struck me this morning;

When you focus too heavily on the attainment of your goals instead of on the process of living your vision, you will find yourself living too much in the future instead of the present.


As soon as you accomplish something or get what you want, you will become attached to it and then begin to pursue the objective, not as an expression of the larger vision of yourself and the world, but because you are caught up in wanting more of what you have a achieved.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Tomorrow in Al-Anon is non-existent in the sense that I have my head in the future and what "will" happen or what "might" happen.

In today's reading from Courage to Change it talks of tomorrow. The opening line is;

"When we talk of tomorrow," says a Chinese proverb, "the gods laugh." They laugh not because they find us ridiculous, but because they know the future is not predictable. Thus, we have no choice but to live "One day at a time."

I can make plans, but I cannot determine the results.

This is me. It was me in a big way. I spent all my hours - and I am not exaggerating here - living in the future. When I was on vacation, I would work, worrying about next week when I got back. When I was in the water at the beach very rarely did I just enjoy it - except when body surfing - where I had to be conscious - but I can look back and still remember thinking about "later" or "what I need to do" and "how I need to make sure everyone was in the car ready to go for dinner."

Is this true? Or is my brain just saying this?

I can remember - telling a colleague - that when driving from a client's office I would often - always - visualize myself coming into my building - literally opening the door of the building by pulling it open and then walking down the hall - thinking about who I might run into - people who worked for me and anticipating what issues they may bring to me and then getting into my office and working down my "to do" list.

I was proud of that fact of my ability to visualize.

Here in Al-Anon it really is a program of focusing on the NOW. I never would have heard this - if it wasn't for Eckard Tolle's books on the subject. As soon as I read (no studied it) I started hearing about the "Now" in Al-Anon. It was all over the place. What a rip-off! You can join Al-Anon and get this information for free and make it part of your being instead of going to these self-help seminars on the "Power of Now." Not really a rip-off. Just making a point about this program and how deep and rich it can be if you work it and it will work you.

You get just what you need . . . and I (you) can leave the rest.

Oh yes. One more - important thing.

Al-Anon seems to be somewhat of a contradiction. I will say it is Not - because I am defending it. But to the "untrained eye" - it may be. As we don't bring in religions you will find quotes from various religious beliefs.

Today's quote for example is a good one. But it is from the Bible.

"Do not be anxious about tomorrow; tomorrow will look after itself."

Interesting. And, I wonder if they had semi-colons back in the day.

There is tomorrow. I just need to do the footwork today. Cannot make the future occur the way I wish it would.

Peace this Sunday.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Everytime - I Get What I Need

One of the miracles in Al-Anon is, I seem to always get what I need at a meeting.

I read the daily reading in our meeting at the noon group meeting this past Wednesday, May 13. It's part of the format of this group to read the Steps, Traditions, Concepts and Warranties as well as the daily reading from any of the 3 daily readers.

So, as I read this passage, I was saying, "Damn. Just what I need. A - friggin' - gain." To myself mind you, as I don't let random thoughts pop out of my head and disrupt the flow of the meeting!

Recently - over the past few years - I have been - God I hate to admit this - reluctant to make decisions and reluctant to confront people. This is very recent, as I was a confronter. I am now afraid to open certain emails - as I "just know" they are going to be zingers (usually from my wife and the people I am renting this house I am now in).

The reading struck me. It was just what I needed, as I am touched or haunted with "dread" on certain aspects of my life. I have been burned before and therefore a little indecisive. Here is the passage from Courage to Change May 13 that struck me and was just what I needed;

For a time I avoided making decisions because I was sure that there was some "magical" right choice that would get me what I wanted, yet I never seemed to know what that choice was. I waited until the last minute to decide and never felt good about my choices. Today I know that choosing not to decide is to decide.

It can be very liberating to make a decision. Once the decision is made, I can trust that the consequences will unfold as they should. With a slight change in attitude, perhaps I can await them with excitement and hope rather than fear and dread.

This is where I am today. When I make a decision or I am waiting for a response or I get the response (the email or call from my soon-to-be-ex or maybe someday-ex), I have this fear and dread feeling come over me.

I have not been to as many meetings as I would like. I am so busy at work and was so busy preparing for divorce. And so busy trying to regain my personal life. And so busy trying to stay in shape. And so busy . . .

I am forgetting being centered. My centering is the most important thing in this list. It affects everything else.

The meeting was just what I needed. This passage hit me in head. It had the two words "fear" and "dread" -

Also - by the way - the word "consequences" above has typically a negative connotation to some. But it is not the true definition of the word. Consequences are just results of actions -neither positive or negative. I know, I looked the word up many years ago, and unless they changed the definition this is correct. Why are you typing this by the way Joseph? Well in your need to help (read control) others, you want them to understand the word in the passage. Also, are you trying to help (control)? And show (control) you are smart? Man, I read control all the way through this.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just In: What I Don't Do

Just In: In Al-Anon I learn to give up control of others, events and other things "outside my circle."

This morning I am reading an interesting thought that I want to share. Here it is:

In time you may realize that your impact on the world often derives not from what you do but from what you don't do.

I like this thought. I am going to sit with it. I do a sort of "inventory" when I have something I must do or when I am reacting to something. I ask; "Will this help - that is - if I do something, will this make matters better? Or is my ego trying to make me react because I fear losing something or feeling 'less than'?"

What I don't do may make more of a positive difference in my personal and professional life. Strike "may" and replace with "probably."


For the past week, I scurried late at night and in the early morning, to prepare for trial. We were to go to trial Monday - tomorrow - but Friday the deal was delayed once more. My wife's attorney was not ready.

So here I am again, relieved in one sense, and disappointed not to get on with it in another sense.

In justice, there is little truth. I can tell you that first hand. Lawyers are good sales people. If I offend, well, I am not sure I can truthfully say "I am sorry." But, the truth is, all lawyers present not the facts, the a skewed version of the facts that are in the interests of their client.

If everything was just the truth, well, I believe we would see a different world. I can see it on Wall Street. I can see it politics. Are there no people who just want the truth. Even if it sheds bad light on them?

Anyway, I hear myself. My ego is sounding self-righteous. Yep. I can catch it now, thanks to Al-Anon.

I believe I am up before court June 9. We'll see.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Just In: What If . . . ?

In Al-Anon I learn NOT to ask "What if?"

But "what if?"

What if I didn't judge? What if I didn't judge myself? What if I didn't judge others?

What if I could eliminate my judgment of myself and others? What would that look like?


It is a thought that cannot just be read. I really have to feel it. When I do this, I am "released."

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Two Posts Today - How Lucky Can One Get

Two Posts for the Price of One

Yep. Two. Both are for free.

As I sit here - just finished my first post - I am thinking - I am very grateful. I really have no problems. Yes. I am going through a terrible divorce. I never thought I would be part of such a thing. It is one you would read about or hear about how ugly it has gotten.

I share the ugly part with - well - hardly anyone. First my lawyer charges me too much. Second, don't want to worry my mom - and although I am waaaay too old to talk to mom - [I AM NOT one of those guys] - mom is still mom no matter how old you are. My brothers - waay too busy for the drama. And frankly - I hate reliving it.

But - I am grateful. I am so grateful and I woke up counting the amount of stress issues I have;

Economy - yes, my stock portfolio is down. Waaay down. But compared to others, not even close to them.

Job. I am new. Big position -sort of. Need to make a mark. Fortunate. Good things happening here.

Living in a rented house. Expensive. Next to our child's school. Wife has told our child somethings and has overheard mom. Cannot control this. I have to be patient. (Thanks to someone who wrote long comment about who cares what kind of food my child eats right now. Have fun with and let them remember the fun part. These comments resonate and help me)

Divorce. Jeeez. Enuf said.

Strange - my wife's drinking will not make this list.

House. Would like to buy house. Where? Once down and in, hard to change or resell.You'd better like it.

Exercise. Not able to exercise like I was. Stress is slowing me down a bit. Had to keep off running for about a month. Now better. GRATEFUL!!!

I am not ill. I am okay. Things could be a lot worse. I am comparing me to me, by the way.

I have a program. I have a sponsor. Use it, but you'll never lose it.

I can exercise.

I am blessed. Remember this today. How am I remembering my gratitude? It is clear at this second - I recognize I am ........PRESENT!!

Try Six Meetings To See If Al-Anon Is Right For You

Try Six (6) Meetings - Al-Anon - Is Right For You

This morning it is early. I am not sure what I am going to write. I have not been to my meetings like I need to.

In my city I am blessed. There are several meetings a day. I have to drive 20 or 45 minutes - but there are meetings.

I went yesterday and the night before. These meetings vary - widely. One meeting is filled with straights, singles, marrieds and gays. A lot more of the latter. It is strange that I can write this and I am not sure why I am sharing this - but it is this meeting that I like the most.

I think it is the sheer honesty - without masking - that I feel I can reveal what I feel. In other meetings, I still feel compelled to "sound smart" and also, there is this "woman thing," - I want to not be or sound too "goofy" [definitely not the right word] in front of them.

The good news is - I found which meetings work best. The meeting I referred to earlier - and it is because I believe there are more gays there, is my favorite. I think it is also because we sit in a circle - with nothing in between us all. It feels like we have "nothing between us that separates us."

I go to other meetings and we sit around the table. I sit in meetings all day around tables - a conference room table, discussing accounts strategies, and client solutions, with my team at work. So, I guess I am tired of tables.

The meeting with "gays" - gets filled up with straights - and there are newcomers meetings. Funny, [the strange type of funny], I like these meetings a lot because we focus on Steps 1, 2, and 3. And we are always Newcomers. Not just the Newcomers, but I feel we ARE ALWAYS starting over - with a fresh perspective - relearning these Steps 1, 2 and 3, at a deeper level.

In the Newcomers meetings I used to be VERY sensitive to those who were really raw - so new it was there first meeting. I can remember - almost two years ago - crying - yes - really - crying trying to get my wife to stop drinking and driving with children in the car.

OKAY - remember this? You who are new - are you asking; "Why didn't he hide the keys?" - and "Why didn't he force her to stay home?" - And - "How come he could not tell she was drinking?"

Answers -

I did. I did. Really strange - but - I couldn't.

The last part - was - I couldn't tell when she had been drinking. Yes there were signs. I looked too. Looked for the signs; the lips - they were moist and were - well - stiff and yet wobbly?. The walk - a slight stagger - so slight - if you knew her - you thought maybe she was "just off" that day. Her speech - slightly more talk and rapid.

Ooooops. I drifted. I was focusing on her!

The Newcomer - how in the world can you not focus on her????? Are you selfish?

I used to be SOOOO focused on her, that I lost where I stopped and she began. Hard to explain to a Newcomer. Easy now to see it thankfully.

Back to the meetings . . .

It's Saturday this morning, as I write this. There are several Men's Meetings. I like these meetings - SOMETIMES. There is too much testosterone in one. I feel we are all competing. I realize it is ALL probably me competing. I would say I am not very competitive. Others would probably say I am very competitive [not at meetings - probably - mostly at work].

The "shares" at the Men's Meetings are honest. But I feel a sense of "not going to sound smart" and we are all competing to talk. There is never enough time because the meeting is SOOO large.

Plus - I am going to write this - there are no women there. I feel women DO add to the meeting. But it is my ego that "stops" me from revealing my feelings. I feel like they may talk about this guy named "Joe" amongst themselves. But at the same time the women offer a very similar story from a different perspective.

One last thing I will share this morning.

I went back to my "regular" Saturday morning meeting a few weeks ago.

The meeting had changed!!!!

After the speaker story, people shared but commented on the speaker and how much the person had changed, gotten better, AND - offered advice!

I was - well - APPALLED. I shared at this meeting and spoke from the "I" and of course I slightly commented on HOW it was all about me - no matter what happened to the alcoholic - I had to focus on me and my shares had to be from the "I" perspective - not on "Us" or "We" or "you."

In truth - the meeting I loved and that I first went to every Saturday with men and women, had not changed - I was the one that changed. The one that gave me turbo growth was the meeting filled with people who were REALLY following the rules and principles of Al-Anon. Keep the focus on yourself - speak only Al-Anon literature - no commenting etc. The meeting was and is reallllly "tough" on these guidelines. To the point - to where they turned some people off. Certain members have gotten better about stating right out loud "Can you use the word 'I' when sharing please?" and "We try to stick to Al-Anon literature here."

Even in my egoic disease and the progress I have made - these comments would have and still will - send me flying . . . in embarrassment and replaying the event in my head.

Progress, not Perfection
I am blessed. Good things have happened to me - and they are - well - frankly, miracles. I quickly forget where I came from and where I am.

Six meetings. If you are in a large city - try six meetings.

Where I suck is this - I saw my sponsor Thursday night. We sat next to each other. BUT WE HAVE NOT TALKED. I suck. I need to really work my program. I need his help and guidance, because I am living in my head.

Six meetings. Try to do them ALL in a week. But do this for a month. That is my recommendation.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Tell Me Not To Send This

Anger. Yes. I was angry. Today, I am not. How can I be angry and pissed off - and the next day I am not?

What was I angry about? I was angry at being controlled.

But in reality, I was angry at the THOUGHT of being controlled.

Interesting today that I can see that clearly. No one actually controls me. I was in my head. I needed to come out. I needed to vent and release.

The letter/email I wrote to my spouse - was first sent to my lawyer. The email subject line;

"Tell me not to send this."

His 300 dollar response;

"Don't send this."

Wow. Amazing. Thank you for the 300 dollars. Well, all good lawyers will say something more to justify their costs.

So he also said this; "It's too emotional."

Well, that's the third time he has said that to me over the course of my hiring him. So, I didn't send this "emotional email."

Anyway, I began "dwelling" on this reply from my lawyer. A little levity here, please. "Too emotional." Well, that is a pretty stupid response now that I think about it. If you are going through a divorce, is there any "logic" to what people do and say? Especially those of us on both sides of the glass who have been affected by alcohol?

Too emotional. That's pretty stupid from a divorce lawyer.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Today I Am Pissed

Yesterday my child came to stay at my house. My child went to bed the night before, at 9:30PM. My child was dead tired when I called yesterday morning. My child has exams all week - and it was/is an on-going problem where my wife is undisciplined and cannot get herself to put our child to bed at a decent hour.

On-going. We used to fight like hell about this. Our child's eating habits and what time our child would go to bed.

My controlling the uncontrollable. The drug of alcohol is powerful. No one but you dear reader understands how we get swept up in the vortex of emotion and deceit. We are lied to so well, that we believe we are the problem.

The alcoholic can be a crazy nut. Now that I am out of the relationship I am doing much better. But I am still hooked. I am hooked still - but less than I was before because I am not living in the midst of the alcoholic's crazy life. But my child is.

A Guardian (a person appointed by the court to see if the child is protected or abused) cannot understand the vortex of hell in living with an active alcoholic. No one can. It is a bitch. And I (us/you) get sucked in to the contribution of hell. We make it worse to be sure. Al-Anon is a way to get out of the friggin' contributing to the hell.

Except - I still get hooked.

My wife has purposely - I am positive now - forgets to pack our child's "favorite" sleeping pj's. I offer to buy some for my house - but our child wants her "special" clothes.....

So, at 8:50PM after a nice dinner my child gets ready for bed. No PJs.

The little child is tired from the night before. He/she cries. He/She screams. The child calls Mom - and mom of course, is righteous.

She - the mom - is out with AA friends. She says I have to get home by 4PM to pick up our child's pet and clothes and stuffed animals. I work you see - in a bad economy. I switched jobs to not travel. I am new in my role - a high paying role to be sure, but she is forcing me to leave the office - BECAUSE she has a meeting to go to - at 4:30PM and will not be home until 9:30PM.

The alcoholic is manipulative because the disease is so cunning. And I am sucked into the middle of it. I am afraid I will be stuck in it the rest of my life.

I pray this morning for myself. This is seemingly selfish as I write this - but it is true. My anger is high. But I have learned to not trust my anger. It is a reflection of alcoholism - the disease - and what it wants me to do so it can rejoice and justify itself in it's host. It is hiding, lurking, looking for the moment to hook me and make me rage against it. I make it powerful and strong by my rage.

I need to remember this. I make it stronger by my negative, angry reactions to it.

It is trying to win by making me look bad. I will look like the crazy loon. And it can say to its host, "See. I told you it's not me. Let's drink baby! Look everyone, it is true, he is the maniac. I am okay."

Son-of-a-bitch. Now I remember. That's what it is trying to do!!!!!!! Make me the lunatic.

I almost fell for it. You bastard. You will not win if I don't feed you.

PS - I edited this post. I do not edit often. I just write and blah - there it is.

PPS - note the new poll above FOLLOWERS. Yep. I aim to please. Because? I am a people pleaser.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Eckhart Tolle - The Power of Now - Surrender

Week before last I led a meeting on "Surrender." It was one of the meetings I go that meets every day .... so this time there was no speaker and I volunteered at the last moment.

I opened to the index and saw "Surrender" and read from the book "How Al-Anon Works."

Here's what I wish I would have said;

The ego believes that in your resistance lies strength, whereas in truth resistance cuts you off from Being, the place of true power. Resistance is weakness and fear masquerading as strength. What the ego sees as weakness is your Being in its purity, innocence, and power.

Until you surrender, unconscious role-playing constitutes a large part of human interaction. In surrender, you no longer need ego defenses and false masks. You become very simple, very real. "That's dangerous." says the ego. "You'll get hurt. You'll become vulnerable." What the ego doesn't know, of course, is that only through the letting go of resistance, through becoming vulnerable, can you discover your true and essential vulnerability.

I know this isn't from Al-Anon, but there are a lot of good books, that are so closely related, it is hard not to be impacted and bring fresh perspectives to what I learn in Al-Anon.

I am caught up in my ego. I hear it this morning: "You are weak. You are under attack. You will be diminished."

Do I hear "You will be laughed at?"

Somewhere, way back in the recesses of my mind, I think I truly do hear this. It comes from growing up in a tough neighborhood. Where kids were nasty and would criticize each other - by making fun of their clothes, their family, and their looks. They would gang up - and there would be a "victim." I forgot about this and the dread of walking down to the school bus stop. I was "ranked on" - until I became "cool" which really meant I was no longer "short." I was never cool, but kids eventually left me alone. But I never ranked on others until they ranked on me. I always to took up for the victim, and helped defend him. Interesting now that I recall these episodes when I was about 13 or 14 years old.

I am back to surrender. What peace can I bring forth by letting go?

I am looking for peace. I must let go of the "activity" of looking - and just "let go" to allow it to creep in, slip in, waft in.

I breath deeper now. I need to breath very deeply and feel the breath against my rib cage as I inhale. I feel my rib cage expand as I breath (I am doing this as I type). I notice it is a foreign feeling. I notice I must be holding my breath most of the day. Not good Joseph. Too tight. Stress. Tension. Let go, think not. Breath.

Nothing matters. Everything is going to be Okay. Everything is Okay. Everything is just as it was supposed to be.

It is either going to work out OR it is going to work out.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

E-Mails Suck

No matter what you write, someone will read your email negatively. The reverse is also true. So, emails suck.

I just got an email or series of emails from my "wife" - ex-wife, soon to be, (maybe at this rate , never).

I read them and they were - well, er, nasty, bitchy, accusing, derogatory.

I told my sister about the nastiness of the exchanges. I asked her to read them (of course probably because I needed "validation" and "verification" because my ego still says "be right or be small!").

So I sent them and I asked her a day later - "What did you think about the exchange?"

She said, "I don't see where they are negative?"

I said, "What??!!!? Are you insane (not quite what I said)."

She said, "No. Just see her stating her point." Then I explain why I say them as negative and she said, "Well you have more emotion and you are 'in this' deeper than I am."

I just sort of laughed. Maybe I am in so deep I refuse to see what I should see - reality. What is reality? And is there such a thing? But that is a deep question that is for another time. The point is; Emails suck.

So I got another email this AM. I read it and almost - ALMOST - responded - IMMEDIATELY. The little guys in my head and body suited up in full body armor and went to battle stations. I felt these soldiers of war running throughout my body and they were in full react mode. Retaliate!!! was the rallying cry. I almost did!

Thirty minutes later I responded in - well - not love - but out of - I think - understanding. I tried not to manipulate, although responding with "kindness or understanding" has a hint of manipulation, because in reality, I am trying to defend myself and get her to peaceful toward me and/or not to react in a violent manner.

So I am a little proud of myself this morning. I did not react. I waited. I made my points. I even used a smiley face - which was probably manipulative too. Anyway, it is sent and how someone reacts or retaliates, is none of my business.

Thank God for Al-Anon. Also, Eckard Tolle. I have him on my iPod and when I went running he kind of lulled me to sleep about the friggin' "pain-body" shit, that I keep forgetting about, that I keep feeding and forget to stay friggin' present. Damn. I need to reprogram myself every DAY.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Strange Thing I Do That Helps

Something that I do that REALLY helps me, is I take a great book (non-fiction, self-help, or Al-Anon) and read it with a Yellow Highlighter.

What is different that just normally highlighting the book, is I buy a spiral bound notebook and copy many of the sentences and passages into the notebook.

I started doing this every morning 20 years ago. I started with library books before Barnes and Nobles was on every corner and when Amazon was just a river.

I did this every morning for about an hour or two.

What happened is truly amazing. I started with business books. And what happened over the course of about 3 years was my life, my career took off. I knew more on the subject of business than my peers and my managers recognized I "had something." (maybe a little arrogance)

I did this with self help - from speaking to how your mind works to time management to leadership and management. All this helped me to be positive.

Every morning I would be walking on air. My head was swirling before I went into the office.

I would be so much better in my thinking and so much more control in my thinking about thinking.

My reactions to others would be so much more in check and balance.

But somewhere over the past few months I have gotten away from doing this every morning. I stopped going to bed at 9:30PM.

I started this again this morning. Just grabbing a spiral bound notebook and rewriting passages - and it is truly amazing . . . .

This cheap gift has helped me and my thinking once more. I feel - well - unburdened - enlightened. It is like - how can I explain - like I am light headed - in touch - happier, peaceful, aware, cognizant of my surroundings . . . It's like affirming, and meditating, at the same time as seeking the truth and knowledge of the universe. You become - well - One with your thinking and your HP.

When I travel I do/did the same - whether at Starbucks or McDonald's - again - early in the morning, concentrating, writing or rewriting these sentences, really grasping the meaning behind the words. Amazed that the author could capture the idea and concept so clearly in just a sentence or two.

I urge you to try this. Whether with Al-Anon books or self-help or your profession . . .

I think you will be amazed. By the way, and again - this might seem obsessive - the best notebooks are at Walmart during the time when school comes in. You can buy them for 15 cents a piece by Norcom - 70 pages. Weird that I would know this I know. But what would expect from a person affected by alcoholism? Or is it because I am just weird? Probably weird.

Try this - you will be amazed

Friday, April 10, 2009

Everything's Amazing - Nobody Is Happy

Perspective: Everything is amazing, nobody is happy . . .

True reality. I love it


On Tuesday afternoon I learned that my trial for divorce was postponed. The judge was not going to be in Monday.

Interesting. Relieved on Wednesday. Stressed out on Thursday.

Wait. Wait some more.

It's is a racket. My lawyer is so busy he cannot even recall telling me that he told me things before. I pushed him yesterday as to why I am on the defensive. I filed for divorce because of alcoholism, one of the 6 reasons to get divorced in my state. He said, "That's an interesting position." Then proceeded to get another lawyer on the phone to brainstorm.

I want to scream, "Jesus Christ!!"

What a racket. Both attorneys can make this thing go on forever. Milking it. Now wonder people go broke.

My wife lies. I reviewed her Financial Statement. All of a sudden her savings accounts have gone down. Oh, yes. She writes checks for cash in the amount of $500 every 3 or 4 days. She goes to the ATM, and pulls out $200, or $300. Oh yes, I pay all the bills still.

Okay, I ask God, I know this is to teach me something. You have a plan. And it will all work out.

Thank God - I have a program. I don't always follow it. But I have a program.

Last night I went to a meeting. It was on Stress. Everyone is stressed these days. The number of people out of work is amazing. I see them in meetings. I used to try to help them in the beginning, now it's just too many to help.

For my office, I am looking for a sales exec. But I cannot find one qualified enough. I just hired two in the past two months. We just hired another professional who starts next week. So there are jobs out there. I thought I would write this part for inspiration to those who may be impacted by the economy.

This is a time to work hard on the program. To learn patience. To not rush and push things. God's time. Patience dear Joseph - is my mantra.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Go To Court Next Monday

Next week I go to court. This week I prepare.

I have tried to mediate, I have prayed and prepared. I have done the "leg work."

Now I turn it over my HP. Where would I be without a program?

For this, I am grateful every day I can remember this.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just In - Decisions & Taking Action

On Decisions and Taking Action. "Just In" - Just in is a News Flash. A type of reminder. It is always helpful to me to be reminded of the "obvious."

From "A Strategy for Success" by Ari Kiev. From the Chapter "The Mastery of Stress." This is on "Goal Selection." But I think it is appropriate for just living. Here is the little passage;

"To reduce indecision, try concentrating on what you prefer to do rather than what you believe you should do. This will speed action. Maturity lies in accepting reality, not in demanding its perfection. You are not perfect. Your life is not perfect. No day is perfect."

Saturday, March 28, 2009


I went to an Al-Anon meeting last night where the discussion was on resentment.

I heard some neat tidbits. Here's one;

"When I begin to feel a resentment, that's the moment where I began to feel like a victim."

Here's a few more;

"My resentments usually are when I am trying to get someone to do something other than what they are doing."

"I am trying to control reasonable responses or reactions of others."

Note the key word here is "reasonable." These responses of others (or reactions or actions) may be and probably all are, reasonable. Ya know why? Just because they are not what I might do or say, doesn't make them unreasonable.

The key one I heard was . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . "To give up resentment, try forgiveness."

I am going court next month. It is a trial by jury. Yes. In my state we have the option of trial by jury in divorce cases. I made several (a bunch, probably too many) attempts to settle, to mediate, and offer a last settlement. No answer. No counter offer.

So, I pray.

I resent the legal system. I wanted to share that I resent divorce lawyers. The truth always get skewed. And when dealing with an alcoholic and attorney who want MONEY, this is like setting your money on fire and trying to douse the flames with gasoline.

My child has also been impacted. She listens to every conversation my wife has had about me and obviously what is said not positive. I resent that too.

I am trying to let go and let God. I run to relieve the stress, but I hit a wall at about 20 minutes into the run, and I have to stop. No energy. No ZEST.

So, now, I turn this over to God with this post (And probably a few more between now and then).

And now I am going to . . . . . . . Forgive.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Great Quote - That Says It All

Can't remember where I read it - but here it is. A great quote, that says it all:

"Don't make the common mistake of believing what you think."

One of my problems right now.

In fact, my only real problem.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Be Glad You're Not My 4 O'Clock

In Al-Anon the other day at a meeting - one guy shared. He said he was going through a divorce and was dating someone else and she and he had a problem that was fairly significant (I won't reveal for anonymity reasons).

But suffice it to say, the problem was pretty big and therefore stressful.

He went to his doctor and the doctor listened to his "I can't sleep" story. The doctor said, "You know, you are probably depressed. But this too shall pass. And, be glad you're not my 4 o'clock."

The man said, "How so, Doctor?"

The reply, "I have a 4PM appointment this afternoon with a man who is your age and I have to tell him he has Lou Gehrig's disease and he has two years to live. He would trade places with you in a heart beat. He would take all your problems and more, to know he has another 40 years or so to live."

Perspective. I needed that. I will always remember the; "Be glad you're not my 4 o'clock" as a title/reminder to my stressful situations.

Friday, March 13, 2009

What Am I Going To Do Differently?

OK. Meeting at noon. Someone says, "The question is; What am I going to do differently?"

Got it. Heard it. Went in one ear and out the other. The topic was fear. Got that too.

So, left meeting. Called spouse. Soon to be ex. Wanted to ask her a question. Reality: Wanted her to tell me what she wanted. I am tired of guessing. Want marriage over. Ended. Finis.

Couldn't get her on the phone. God works in strange ways, I told myself. I've tried calling before; she won't answer. In the past, I would keep on calling until I got her.

Except - I decided to call my sponsor. Did I mention I suck as a sponsoree? Haven't spoken to my sponsor in - well let's be honest - 2 weeks? No. He'd say "3 or 4." Maybe he'd add to the sentence "Asshole." He'd say it in jest of course, but he probably wouldn't say it at all, for that is sarcastic and manipulative and he is working his program pretty hard.

One meeting yesterday was not enough. Went to another last night. Saw same said sponsor. We talked after the meeting. Actually four of us guys did. We talked about food. We talked about our waste line. Are you kidding me? Nope. Talked about weight too.

But, in the call to my sponsor yesterday after I could not get hold of said spouse, he asked, "What are you going to do differently?"

In the meeting last night, someone said; "What am I going to do differently?"

Now that I have a program and I have the tools of Al-Anon, "What am I going to do differently?"

Here is a list so far that I wrote this morning;

  1. Use my God Box. I placed in there; Let everything work out for my divorce for the good of my wife, my child and me. I said to myself, "Why did I place myself last in that sentence?" Proper grammar? Or something deeper? Probably grammar. But I am wondering.
  2. Set boundaries. No longer am I going to be the nice guy and allow people to "get away" with things that are rightly mine, owed to me, or allow people to treat me with disrespect.
  3. I am going to continue to not engage and be pleasant with said spouse.
  4. I will follow attorney's advice
  5. I will state clearly what I want and avoid avoiding head-on discussions about what I want
  6. I will call my sponsor 2 times if not more a week. I really have got to set the time up to do this.
  7. I will look for more happiness. I am happy about 80 to 95% of the time. Yes - this is true. I am just worried about what might be.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Going to Trial

Well, yesterday we crossed the threshold. We are going to trial. It appears there is no turning back. Unfortunately the evidence I am introducing will probably have a negative effect on any future co-parenting and will probably place child custody or child time with my wife in jeopardy. In addition, I have all these checks that my spouse wrote to herself and turned around about bought stocks with. I have this evidence - that one day - just popped up.

It is strange this world of alcoholism. It is like curse and a gift. It has cursed me when I am in my own head. When I relax and let go - and get out side my head - there is this thing - that I cannot explain or put into words - that happens. I "find" things. Or things "find me."

Synchronicity may be a word. Or serendipity. Maybe not. But it's like, what I need is there. It does not happen when I want it. But like - it occurs a couple of days later or even weeks later. I just have to remember what it is I am needing and it appears.

I know. It sounds weird. But these checks -all of a sudden were there. This happened about a year ago. Checks that were 8 or 9 or 10 years old - were in a drawer in my old house. I am watching the Super Bowl and this "force" tells me to look in the drawer next to me in the table. I was too busy I told myself - I had to watch this football game. (I was alone, depressed, victimized, a little of Al-Anon kicking and breathing). But the voice said - "Look!! Go in that draw and open it and look!!"

I did. And there they were.

This happened again and . . . again.

I cannot force things. I cannot control things. I must just relax and let everything unfold.

Syd's comment was - well - accurate (I used to say "Right" but that got into a Right versus Wrong thing that I don't like anymore.)

Manipulation can be subtle or RIGHT OUT THERE.

I am going to trial. We cross the point of no return - today or early next week. So it is written.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More of the Same

Well, it's been awhile since I've reported on my situation. I have avoided the report - due to fear and apprehension of stating more of the same.

When dealing with an alcoholic and their problems - their problems become "untouchable" or "unspeakable." They only want to talk about YOUR problems and what YOU did. They have this miraculous gift of concealing that they do anything wrong and make you the victim and blame.

I know - the words "Make you . . . " are trigger words.

There is no make you. Unfortunately this is not reality in law cases such as divorce.

She (my wife) screams at me into the phone and says things that are manipulative. I press the little red button on the left side of my cell phone that says, "Off" when this happens. But she still gets enough words in edge wise to make a dent in my head and create a recurring voice that says, "Maybe she's right."

And then you have her attorney who is manipulating her for everything she is worth. I have offered and reoffered to mediate. She and her attorney walked out of mediation. I have sent several emails stating that this is ridiculous and that no one but the lawyers will win.

Unfortunately, I cannot get through. I am considering writing her parents to explain that truly I want to mediate and end this - but fairly - for all sides. I will not take a lessor position and equitable distribution of my marital possessions - which is what her attorney is pushing for.

I am wanting to end this so we can both get on with our lives.

Never marry someone who needs to be fixed. You cannot fix anyone. You can only recover yourself. And part of your (MY) recovery is knowing where I start and stop in terms of my life and my thinking and what I have control over. You - or me - cannot go looking for someone to teach, coach, counsel, advise or repair. It is frustrating. Because our childhood upbringing has taught us to look for these people. And I attract them like magnets. Or I look for things to fix. Or I don't really see what to fix when I meet them and I view reality through rose colored glasses until the glasses one day begin sliding off the nose.

I turn my question over to the Universe; "Do I write my in-laws a letter hoping to influence the alcoholic. Or do I continue to let the lawyers fill their pockets with our money?"

Monday, February 23, 2009

Concentrate on the Effort - My Affirmations

So, my affirmations are starting again. I used to focus on the goal - ALL the time. That made me future oriented. I never lived in the present. I spent my time thinking and planning for the future. I would even be on the beach thinking about when I got back from vacation - about work - or thinking about what we would do later that night.


Concentrate on the Effort

  1. I concentrate on the effort in order to change my present circumstances.
  2. I focus on efforts rather than results (don't cringe here corporate America).
  3. I know our culture focuses on the results.
  4. I know only true freedom comes from me calling the shots.
  5. I know success is fleeting and success is never guaranteed.
  6. I can count on my ability - however - to withstand things, no matter what the outcome.
  7. I have developed the ability to roll with the punches, to laugh at myself, to approach winning and losing philosophically rather than as life and death.

Take care and see you soon


Okay this might be weird sounding. But in the midst of my divorce and battling my wife's alcoholism, I shut down my brain at night so I could go to sleep.

Shut down? Well maybe not exactly shut down. But what happened was I very - and I mean very rarely dreamed for the past several - 9 or 10 - months. I know - I dream - you say, I just don't remember the dreams.


The past several weeks has brought me to a clearer frame of mind. I am seeing things more clearly - more defined - sharper. I recognized this the other night. I was not in a funk - I was present.

Last night I dreamed - now get this - of my lawyer. Yep. Lawyer.

I woke up on the edge of the dream - reviewing something my wife had or something - and he was very interested in it. It was - I think - her not working or not wanting to work.

Damn. I wonder if the bastard is going to bill me.

PS - for those of you who have not had a messy divorce, you have no idea how long it takes to divorce and what a crappy, unfair (for both sides) process this is. The lawyers DO milk it. It is like a funeral home. Everyone is emotional, and you can sell just about anything.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Comparision - My Affirmations

In Al-Anon I get to sit and hear and think for an hour about the things I have read over and over again for years . . .

Prior to Al-Anon, I learned from Dr Robert Anthony that comparison is not a good thing. Competing with others, while it is the "American way," can be harmful if you (I) are continually looking at what others have or do compared to what you have or do.

"You will never be as good or bad on any given day or at any given moment as another person." That's my quote. It just came from me. From somewhere just now. But it makes sense. At least to me. Some days, I will suck. Other days, another person will suck. That's pretty basic.

Oh yeah. I read this somewhere. "Some days the dragon wins." Okay, I got it. Here's my affirmations regarding comparison.


  1. I know it's easy to think that one can be happy only if you are right and someone else is wrong.
  2. I know for me to find my way, I must set myself beyond comparing myself to others.
  3. I know comparing myself to others and what they have, or do, makes me miserable.
  4. I know like the quote says; "The medals are always shinier on someone else's chest."
  5. I strive and achieve for situations where I can use my own assets to the fullest measure possible.
  6. I strive and achieve for situations in which my view of myself is not contingent on anybody else's view of me.
  7. I know I don't have to prove myself to anybody and this makes me feel great.
  8. I know comparison is a trap. Comparison feeds my ego as I am either better than or less than someone else.
  9. If I compare, I compare myself today and where I was yesterday. I look to see how much progress I have made over the past several days, weeks, and months.
  10. I replace comparing with gratitude - gratitude for what I have, what I have become, and what I can do from here. I am very fortunate. I am lucky and I am grateful.
  11. Today brings me another chance to call a "do over."
  12. No one holds me back. I replace a negative thought with a positive thought, knowing my mind can only carry one thought at a time. I dwell on that positive thought until the negative thought is diminished or has evaporated.

Hoping you are well.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taking Action - My Affirmations

Al-Anon says; "Figuring it out, is not an Al-Anon slogan." However, doing nothing is not an Al-Anon slogan either. In Al-Anon we can confuse "turning it over to our HP" or "letting go" or "Live and Let Live" with "just sit there."

But this is not the case. You and I have to do the leg work. In our disease - and battling alcoholism - we become caught up in the fight which gives the alcoholism more power. To me it was like fighting the devil. It sounds weird, but in the middle of this craziness I became - well - friggin' crazy.

I thought about the disease and the craziness in my house and I cannot ever explain to anyone just how insane it was. I remembered this morning the insanity of worry, dread, hurt, aloneness, and suppressed anger.

When I started going to meetings and seeking help, I tried detaching. I in effect, tried to do nothing.

I have this thing now, where I am not working but perhaps 50% of what I used to work, because I have tried to "do nothing" more often. In fact, in many cases I do nothing more than I take action. It's almost like I am paralyzed. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Because I was usually doing something in the NOW - for something in the future. I therefore was not enjoying the NOW.

Now, I need to do more for the future. In fact I just built this PowerPoint presentation for a meeting next week. I had a few good ideas and I needed to capture them. I started to feel this rush that I need to obsess with doing more for the future. It is an old behavior that I am not sure I am ready to engage with again.

However, I know I need to take action on many things. I was never a procrastinator, but now I feel in some way I am procrastinating more. I feel lethargic more often than I used to. I feel too detached in some ways.

So here is a list of affirmations to help me focus on what to take action on, and what I should just leave alone. I hope this helps you.

Taking Action

  1. I act rather than not act on the things I know I have to do
  2. I write down what I need to do and then I review the list and I prioritize the list based upon: What is important to do right now. What is urgent but not important; What can be delegated or can wait until tomorrow. (Actually I have a much more defined system but this is enough for you right now)
  3. I work on only the important items right away.
  4. I review my list mid-day and at the end of the day to see progress and feel good about what was done.
  5. I focus all my energies on the task before me and waste no time thinking about the outcome. (this one was very new and foreign to me! I always thought about the outcome)
  6. When I focus on the task, I am achieve gratifying results.
  7. I know often spectacular results come only after I have pushed myself beyond where I thought I could go.
  8. I know like the marathon runner gets a "Second wind," I may find success is simply a matter of a little extra try.
  9. I know fear of failure is usually out of defensiveness, since we don't want people to laugh at us.
  10. I know I may avoid embarrassment by refusing to put myself into situations where failure might be a possible outcome.
  11. By depriving myself of a chance to fail, I deprive myself of a chance to succeed. I end up risking and doing nothing rather than risk anything at all.
  12. I know this puts me in perpetual limbo.
  13. I can gain valuable perspective on myself if I control my defensiveness.
  14. I know this means I make a habit of getting into uncomfortable situations and feelings and refuse to blame others for these.
  15. I know I am not the project, I am not a failure if the project fails.
  16. I always strive to do, and enjoy the doing, by staying focused on the action, like a mountain climber stays focused on each step he takes.

The next post will be about my favorite; "comparison."

Take care.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Controlling My Thoughts - My Affirmations

More affirmations gained through my reading and Al-Anon. Here is a section on "Thinking." Thinking can be my best friend or my worst enemy. Gaining control over my thoughts is probably the most important thing I can do. All these affirmations are designed for me to focus on the positive and put the negative into perspective. Notice I said "put the negative into perspective." It's not about eliminating the negative, which I would have placed a bet on two years ago. I have learned that the more I try to eliminate negative thoughts the more power I give my negative thoughts.

Controlling My Thoughts;

  1. I decide what my brain is going to think about just as I decide how my arm is under my control.
  2. I decide what I am going to think about.
  3. I learn to choose what to think about so I can control my responses and this gives me real self-confidence.
  4. I know the only person I can change is me.
  5. I control the smallest and insignificant actions of my daily life.
  6. I use self-observation: Do I feel tense?; Do I feel scared?
  7. I then go into self-control. I calm myself in the midst of misfortune and nervousness. I am able to gain calm.
  8. I know the calm person has far better chances of success in all areas of life than someone who is prey to a thousand tricks and turns of emotion.
  9. I know this is exemplified when faced with a threatening situation; I should strive for balance and poise;
  10. - I hold off a moment before talking or responding to someone who offends.
  11. - I think before responding in anger or retreating in sullenness.
  12. - I should have enough confidence to temper my anxieties with reason.
  13. - I know only this brings clarity and patience into my view of the situation.
  14. I know the tragedy and the beauty of human consciousness is; "We live in the mind."
  15. I influence the kinds of experiences I have in the world by learning to program and select my thoughts.
  16. I know approaching things from a negative viewpoint is giving me two strikes before I even step up to the plate.
  17. I know the person who habitually predicts success has a far greater chance of achieving it.

That's it for today.

Thanks for the kind words everyone has given me. It has meant a lot to me as I go through - what is for me - uncharted territories - and an emotional drain.

My brain manufactures a lot of my hostility and negativity however. And I need to get my thinking under my control.

And the words expressed here have helped me believe I have a lot of friends I have yet to meet.

Thank you all and best wishes.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Life Is A Journey To Be Lived Forward - My Affirmations

This is the 3rd part of a lot of parts of "My Affirmations." I wrote these down in one of my many zillion notebooks. But unlike my other notebooks, these are written in the "Anything" notebook - the 4 by 6 inch version - something I can carry around and reread.

I reread these - all the parts which are not yet posted - out loud this morning. I can tell you it DID make me feel more in control. More in control of my mind and my emotions - or - attitude is probably the better word.

Here is part 3;

Life Is A Journey To Be Lived Forward

  1. I live life in the present moment.
  2. I remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint.
  3. I know the journey of life is in front of me, not behind me.
  4. I know yesterday's results are history.
  5. I am not in control of yesterday and therefore cannot change yesterday.
  6. I do not rest on my laurels. I move forward. I do something everyday - even if it is just one little thing - that is positive and aimed at achieving a goal I have set for myself.
  7. I know over time, one thing a day, adds up to a lot of actions over the course of a year, and much more over the course of 5 years and 10 years.
  8. I know people who rest on their laurels or past successes are in far worse shape than those who have tried something and failed, for they are no longer growing and learning.
  9. I know the real key to success is resilience, the ability to bounce back from defeat, from failure, from adversity and trials.
  10. I know successful Olympic athletes - champions - common mark of success was their lack of a fear of failure.
  11. I know - in fact - that champions are stimulated by their failures.
  12. I know these champions go on with the race.
  13. I also know that true champions are not distracted by their successes.
  14. I am stimulated by my failures, mistakes and adversities.
  15. I learn to laugh at these and look forward to today and tomorrow, and dwell on yesterday.
  16. I see every failure and mistake as a test.
  17. I detach myself from the event - for I am not the event - the event is the event and I am me.
  18. I bounce back fast, using it as immediate feedback without dwelling on it as an embarrassment.
  19. I am prepared for discouragements.
  20. I visualize my life as a long distance run.
  21. I visualize the run whereby I am continually revising my strategy based on feedback.
  22. I do not keep score. I do not tally up victories or defeats.
  23. I write m own script for my future and what I want to be.
  24. The day I pick a goal and start working toward achieving it, I begin to control my own life.
  25. I know the goal is not important, but marshaling my energies to choose one is important is, well as the effort and energies expended to achieve it.
  26. When I begin, I keep moving. I don't second guess. I don't look back. I do it. I advance - I go forward.
  27. I try to cover as much territory toward my goal as possible.

I know, that's a lot of affirmations today. Plus you have the 2 from the past 2 days. Yes, use them all. Print them out and read them. Out loud. In Starbucks if you have to. Hell, they will give you a free coffee if you are "crazy" enough to attempt it probably.

By the way, I bought one of these Starbucks cards - where you keep "recharging" the card with dollars. Anyway, the tightwad in me thinks I make/save money because I get free refills on my coffee when I go there (which is not often unless traveling). Yes, I save 50 cents on the 1 refill they give you. With the card, I get as many refills as I want - for free. I am single-handedly driving Starbucks' stock price into the ground. And, I am wired for sound when I leave there.

Peace to you today. And tomorrow. Yesterday is gone. Only today, this moment is what life is about.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Turning Point - My Affirmations

Here is a second set of affirmations. Combine this with yesterday's . . .

Turning Point

  1. I know I can begin to change things by looking at my present situation as a turning point in my life.
  2. I know this is the moment when I take the first steps toward leading a life in accord with my own unique desires.
  3. I learn to solve my problems in accord with how I want to live my life.
  4. I solve my problems based on what I want and not what others want.
  5. I learn to trust what I want.
  6. What I want is important.
  7. I don't need anyone else's permission to seek what I want.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Using Difficult Times - My Affirmations

Over the next few days and perhaps weeks, I am going to record some of my affirmations. They are a mixture of what I have read or heard in Al-Anon, Al-Anon related books and books I consider as great and have a lot of similarities to Al-Anon related material.

I read the affirmations below and was so inspired I raced back to the hotel to type them up. They are broken into sections. Here is section 1.

Using Difficult Times

  1. I know efforts to eliminate tension can actually create more of it
  2. I have learned to flow with anxiety rather than try to eliminate it.
  3. I know my distress will not last forever.
  4. Since my distress will not last forever I am better able to cope with pressure.
  5. I remind myself that negative thoughts come from bottled up feelings which I may be reluctant to express, except toward myself (a great reason to go to Al-Anon meetings)
  6. I set single minded goals, realizing there is no guarantee for success.
  7. I know if I keep at it - and continue working on my goals, I will achieve a goal.
  8. I use my present situation or suffering as preparation to achieve my goals.
  9. I use suffering or a negative situation as a way to stimulate me toward positive action aimed at achieving my goals.
  10. I know Lord Byron said; "Sorrows are our best educators. A man can see further through a tear than a telescope."
  11. I know suffering can have its own virtue which usually leads to growth.
  12. I know E.H. Chapin said; "Out of suffering emerge the strongest of souls."
  13. I realize that by going through these difficult times now, I will gain greater self-awareness and develop a firmer sense of my own identity.

I hope these inspire you today and tomorrow. I am saving these affirmations under a new label called; My Affirmations. You can click on the right hand side labels to get all "My Affirmations" for you to read.

It is best to read these first thing in the morning and last thing before bed.

Read them alone. If you can, read them out loud. If you are in Starbucks, and you read them out loud, be prepared for strange looks. So, how do you avoid strange looks? Don't look.

Friday, February 6, 2009

So Real Quick, Here's Where I Am

OKAY. I have so been so busy with work, I have not been able to go to any Al-Anon meetings, until this week and last weekend.

I am - well - I am not sure. My wife has been stirred up by her lawyer to go to court and not mediate. I want this to end.

We are fighting about house price, splitting of money, and wait 'til you hear this; who has to pay for the dog's baths and haircuts! Yep. Apparently the $80 a month haircuts I was screaming about when I was living in the house are now an issue for my soon-to-be ex-spouse. I used to say that our dog doesn't need an $80 haircut every month. But my wife, in her disease liked to spend the money.

My haircut, for the record is $16. Somehow I feel gypped (robbed, second class). And I would stretch that haircut to 5 weeks if I could brush the hair back around my ears.

I have in the past 5 months decided a haircut every 3 weeks is what I need.

Haircuts. What?!
Yep. Haircuts. Listen to what I was doing. I certainly had/have enough money for them. But I would not treat myself well. Interesting. Even as I write this, a haircut every 3 weeks sounds like pampering.

Speaking of pampering . . .
I met someone who asked me if I ever had a facial. "A what?!" was my reply. I found out through my scientific investigation that a lot of men get facials. And, get this, massages.

Yep. Never have. Maybe I should consider this. It's hard to allow other people to touch me. It feels. sounds, well, awkward.

Back to the meetings this week . . .
I am resentful. I want - well - peace. I saw this in my mind sitting there in the meetings yesterday and day before. My thinking is, without the meetings; "My wife is selfish and that is the disease. I cannot get untangled from this crazy person. She is pissed at times accusing me of abandoning her. Maybe I have. Maybe I freed myself from her so I could get well. I started off with the intention of protecting my/our child."

In the meetings, I see that I wound up seeing more clearly how I am the person I wound up protecting or saving. I am clearly better than I was living in the crazy zone.

I am - this is going to sound weird - more in touch with my feelings. This too comes from the meetings and sitting there, feeling myself and allowing the feelings come through and not cover them up. I know I am afraid of shit now. And that my anger or sharpness is based on fear. Fear seems to be at the root of my bad reactions and negative thoughts.

Don't get me wrong. I am a pretty happy person. I am positive - most of the time. But until this stuff is settled, I feel like I have an iron ball and chain around my leg.

Hmmmmm . . . .
"What if, this is meant to teach me something?" I now think this about question more often when something happens. "What if God, my Higher Power, has a plan for me. One I cannot see yet?" is the other question I get in my brain because of meetings.

That is what Al-Anon reminded me of this week. That I cannot see the plan - yet. Be patient. It all works out. Remember?

Last Night - at 3AM
Last night, no that's not true, this morning, I awoke. Yep, 3AM again. I asked God for help again. Guide me through this I asked. Help my wife and heal her anger. Heal her disease. Make her a happy person.

This thought stayed with me longer than I care to admit.

I am back to praying she is well. And, she finds a boy-friend. Yep. Maybe that would help her take her attention away from shoot arrows at me. The boy-friend thing is better than thinking of her being dead. You have to at least give me that.

Well, this morning I am praying for her to get well.

There was a reading yesterday in Al-Anon, about thinking. Someone shared "My best thinking got me into this mess. Now I don't go into that bad neighborhood alone anymore. I call my sponsor." I heard the " best thinking" thing before as well as the "neighborhood" thing. At least we are consistent at Al-Anon. Maybe not fresh in the new-idea department, but consistent.

Peace this day to you.

And this is where I am today.