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fascinated

It has been 5 years. 5 years since I consented to leave my house and wife. 5 years since I have had a thriving relationship with my daughters. 5 years of seeing the faces of former friends and heard the clicks of tongues. 5 years since the goal to humiliate and decimate me was paramount. 5 years since I heard the thud of hitting rock bottom.

It has been 5 years since I planted a new seed. It has been 5 years since I had to be an adult and learn to take care of myself. 5 years since I began to learn how to like myself. 5 years of learning to get back up after being knocked down. 5 years since I was given the gift of seeing who around me was really a friend. 5 years since I hit my rock bottom and bounced.

I cant believe it has been that long. It seems like such a short time ago that I was desperate to be liked. It was a short time ago that I craved intimacy on any level. It was a short time ago that I needed someone else to state my worth before I could see it.

I cant believe it has been so long. It seems like the pain should be over by now. It seems like my journey since then has been a million miles. It feels as though I have been in a sprint for the entire time. I scramble and collect. I trudge. I regroup. I stand firm and I waiver. I still hear the echoes of the clucking tongues. I feel the angst from my estranged children. I feel the thud of rock bottom.

I will trudge another day.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2017 in journey, life

 

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I.P. Freely

I have made mistakes in my life. Its true. I also have learned to accept the consequences and take responsibility. It sounds easier than it is, but it seemed necessary and important. I have been on a growth journey learning to be completely honest. IT has been rewarding, albeit painful. I was about 7 years sober when I moved to Idaho. I had applied for a medical license here after having trouble in Colorado. It is a long story that can be gleened from my other posts. I met with the board here and they offered me a stipulated license. I commented that if that was going to be, please just dont give me one as it is pretty useless when stipulated. I had applied for 500 jobs and couldnt get one because of the stipulation. The board understood and awarded me an unrestricted license if I would voluntarily submit to random urinalysis tests. I agreed.

The way it works is every morning you call into the screener. I have an image of the banks of computers like in the 70’s evil genius movies. The computer then identifies you and whirls its wheels to determine if you should submit your liquid gold that day. In an even tone, the computer voice then tells you that you have not been chosen or you are chosen.  I was never chosen for teams in grade school, so this confuses me a little. I want to be chosen, to vindicate my 8 year old chubby self. But I dont want to be chosen because of the hassle that will follow. This day I was chosen. I am elated and bummed.pee

The preparations for leaving liquid gold is complex. There are rules of no caffeine three hours before testing, no more than 100cc of water 30 minutes prior. It has to meet criteria on having at least some color.  I generally would drink my morning coffee and water. I would hold it until about 10 am. Then I would pee and chase it with a glass of water. This way I would have the required amount of concentrated urine at noon. Generally, things go much better if you are proactive enough to fill out the paperwork ahead of time. The machine alerted you to the secret test that was to be done. You have checked the box and filled out the paper. You approach the building. I know it is sanitary and well cleaned, but for some reason whenever I remember it, it smells like urine in my head. You hand over the triplicate form that says, “This person has urine and we need it.”pee3

After they know you, they will get you in quickly. This is good, because generally you present needing to pee badly. The program changed after I started and all the urine collections had to be observed. This never really bothered me, but many people talked about having a shy bladder. I cant imagine exposing yourself to some stranger and then not being able to pee. It would prolong the discomfort. What do you say at that point? “Sorry, it was working earlier”?

One of the guys who watched us pee was a very large guy. He had the shape of the guy in Green Mile. His teeth were not as straight nor his voice as deep. His fingers were at least 2 feet long. If I stand up very straight, I can be 5 foot 7. My fingers are average and my voice is also not as deep as the Green Mile guy. There is no guy I have ever met that doesn’t wonder if he is long enough below the waist. The average size has decreased from 6.3 inches to 5.5, reportidly. A popular wives tale about the size of hands reflecting the size of genitalia has never been proven clinically. As the Green Mile stand in leads me to the bathroom, these are not the facts that cross my mind. I can feel my testicles hiding in my abdominal cavity. I wonder if I will ever be able to pee.  I have a thought that as I prepare, this massive guy is going to giggle and pat me on the head and say, “Good for you, little fella.” I was able to pee and two days later my testicles emerged. pee2

I have not had to pee for points in a few weeks, having completed the requirement. I still get up, drink my coffee and water and about 10 am need to pee. I consider holding it at noon every day and have often wondered if I will ever be able to spontaneously urinate without Green Mile watching me.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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dark passenger and the stranger

It rides me like a dark passenger.passenger

I was unencumbered. I strode with cocky assurance. I was unaware and feeling on top of the world. IT happened in a flash. I almost didn’t recognize it. Actually, I didn’t recognize it. I didn’t feel my shoulders slump with the weight. I was unaware of his voice in my ear. It was familiar and strangely comfortable. He whispered posing questions of my deserving to feel happy. He tormented me with thoughts of arguments lost, disappointments gained, and opportunities unattained. He reminded me of history, blotting out successes and highlighting failures. I stooped. I buckled under the weight of the stories and the pain. The sky darkened and my mood followed.

I could barely move one foot in front of the other. I lumbered on like Charlie Brown, full of hope but eyes to the ground. I tried to keep going. I tried to put on a brave face. It was a lie. The voice rumbled, echoing in my subconscious. It reminded my of hopes dashed in the past. It reminded me of love lost and pain present. The voice urged me to stop moving, to turn and flee. It beckoned me to return to the past, the known, the familiar. It cautioned against risk. It pointed to the scars on my heart and soul. It giggled as I cried. fear

My eyes rose and rested on a stranger. I cant even recall if it was man or female. It seemed unimportant at the time and even less important now. The clothing was casual and nondescript. The face seemed to glow. It radiated. IT was blinding and yet I could see clearly. It was magnetic. The eyes, the smile seemed to pull me in. It would not let me go. It would not let my eyes sink again. The stranger said, “Ask.” I knew exactly what the stranger meant. I couldnt form the words. The stranger waited patiently, stood there lovingly. The eye, the wonderful star on the strangers face, winked. wink

“Take away my Fear, take away the Dark Passenger,” I blubbered. At once, I commenced to outgrow Fear.

 
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Posted by on January 27, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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Wonder Wheel

It starts like any other day. The first alarm goes off and I swipe my phone to silence it. I am not sure why I have this alarm set anymore. I started with it thinking I could get up early and go to the gym on the way to work. It sounded like a great idea when the light started at 430 am. I am in North Idaho and, in the summer, the days are very long.  It has become painfully obvious, it is not like that in the winter. However, the alarm taunts me. I must enjoy the teasing because I don’t cancel it. However, there is something very rewarding about getting to go back to sleep and feeling like you stole an hour. I struggle out of bed. I have fleece sheets and this miracle blanket from Bed, Bath and Beyond. It is fantastic, but glues me to the bed every morning. There is a cost: benefit ratio I have to accept every time I go to bed. I have chosen wisely. Once out of the vortex of comfort, I spin the mood wheel. My mood wheel is somewhat like the wheel of fortune wheel. It clicks away with various moods and attitudes on it. The mood spins and I imagine the crowd going crazy. I stand there and think about trying to accept Drew Carey as a substitute for Bob Barker and how unlikely a succession that was.  wheel

Drew then says, ” ok you have landed on 25% sour. Do you want to stay with that or spin again?  If you go over a dollar, you will feel totally overwhelmed all day long, an emotional basket case.  I feel a need to remind you of last Tuesday.” I am eager to not feel sour today, even 30% sour. I am looking for an attitude adjustment, a mood lift. I spin again. The crowd groans as they were rooting for a sour day. “Misery loves company, ” Drew murmurs. anguish

The wheel clicks ferociously and slows to a crawl. It is maddening to hear. The anticipation is thrilling and torturous. The crowd noise swells and dims as various emotions and attitudes flit by. It reaches a fever pitch as vengeful crests the top of the wheel. I gulp, 100% vengeful and 30% sour, I will be pissed and overwhelmed. I begin to worry as worry appears on the wheel. It is a worn out square, grooved from the frequency of the wheel stopping there. I let out an exasperated sigh as I thought I had finished with worry. Close behind worry was resentful. The crushing reality that my sour mood could lead to resentment and consume me into vengence and disquieted plagued my thoughts. I could feel the emotions as they clicked by. They choked me and overwhelm me. Each one I lamented and reflected. It was as if each square illuminated on my soul. It clawed at me. The wheel slowed to a stop. I couldn’t bring myself to look up. I feared the results. I shuddered to think I was doomed to boring and glum at best, and engulfed in anger at its worst. Drew said I should see this. He stammered. I looked up. Slowly. I read the square and read it again. I blinked away the tears. My breath quickened as my heart pounded.

The square said, “Free to choose.” And the wheel vanished. free

 

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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rock on, serenity

He sat and stared at the light reflecting off the polished stone. The stone had the word serenity etched into it. He pondered the meaning and the significance of the word as the light danced off the stone. He became absorbed in the dance. The light did a tango as his mind did a retrogressive groove. He recalled past loves and hates, success and disappointments. It wasn’t morbid, but more as an outsider. He felt like Scrooge hanging with Christmas Past. He could watch. He could gain understanding. He could grieve or rejoice. But he couldn’t change it. He couldn’t tell the boy to not smoke the cigarettes, steal the money, or lie. He couldn’t stop the hurt of shame or rejection. He could stop the phone call. He couldn’t stop the escape and fear. He couldn’t explain the cost of choices he would make. He couldn’t feel the victories or the celebrations either. He was inert in his past, ineffectual and a bystander. The remorse wasn’t what had taken place, but that he couldn’t affect it.

The word, “Serenity” bent the light as it slid across the rock. He sat and mused as it seemed to slide off the edge as he rotated the rock. He felt the darkness the rock must feel. He imagines the coldness in the dark as the future began to appear as if real and certain. He knew it was a lie, but he was curious. In the dark and foggy picture, a pit appeared. In it were lanky and malformed creatures, reminiscent of the Lord of the Rings character. There were dozens, making horrendous noises. All clamoring for attention, begging to be chosen. He knew that anyone of the creatures could be his future. He could chose anyone of them. He felt sick that this was the pit of his choice. Not one seemed to be pleasing or satisfactory. He lamented the past anew. His choices had led to the despair he saw before him. The Future was silent and wouldn’t answer the questions he had. The rock slid from his fingers and clattered to the table. The light returned, but to the other side of the rock. The future again appeared. The rock is concave and the light is focused at the base. The future was bright and the glare obscured the faces. The noises were soft and pleasing. The warmth undeniable. He felt the welcoming smiles. He felt the soothing beckoning. He looked at the rock. There was a tiny word on the concave surface. He could almost make it out. “Calamity”.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2017 in journey, life, Uncategorized

 

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dig dug

He dug deeper.

He really didn’t know why, but felt a need to dig into the rich soil. He had a question about what made up the ground. He stared at the surface for a long time. He thought if he understood everything from the outside, the inside would also be clear. He admired the outside, and showed it to everyone else. He garnished praise and applause. He thought that made it more valuable. The surface was very well defined. It had absolutes and margins. It was clear what was and what wasn’t. There was no gray.dig

He dug deeper.

He asked the question, “What is under the surface?” The answer seemed obvious, but he hadnt thought of it. “Dig deeper and find out.” There was a sense of foreboding. Trepidation filled the air. Anticipation. He dug. He used his fingers and scratched the surface. There were no more answers, just more questions. The tiny crack was a window beyond and ,in it, he saw the much larger world. Fear and longing. He couldn’t ever be the guy who didn’t know there was more through that window. He was afraid and consigned. He dug around the crack. He climbed through into the vastness of the deeper world. The edges seemed to blur. There were hints of grays. The questions lined up. He tried to relate to them as he had on the other side of the crack. It failed and the answers laughed at him. The questions taunted him. He learned to handle some ambiguity. He learned he couldn’t learn it all. He became more open to less absolute.

He dug deeper.digging

He opened another crack, crawled through another window. The answers were more ambiguous. The margins less defined. He kept digging and the more he dug, the less the answers were clear. The questions mounted and became overwhelming. He felt lost and lonely. He screamed and cried. The pain was excruciating. He crumbled in uncertainty. He cried out, “What is the answer?”

There was a whisper, a wind, a sound. It spoke in breathy absence. There is no “the” answer. The answer you seek doesn’t exist. As you dig deeper into the foundation of yourself, of your world, it grows in wonder and amazement, but also in ambiguity and margin-less freedom. You are free to ask and answer and question again. The answers are accepting the lack of “the” answer.

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2015 in journey, life

 

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up, up, and away

I was a pissy guy yesterday.  I had no idea why. I tried all kinds of remedies to shake myself loose from the torment to no avail. I treated myself to a dirty chai, I lit the firepit and sat outside, I went to a 12 step meeting. I talked to people, I prayed and meditated. Nothing. I woke up this morning with the answer and a hot air balloon analogy and two applications for it. So, instead of choosing, you have to read both.

It was three years ago yesterday that I committed my mistake. IT lead to the dismantling of everything I knew to be. IT would be today that I would be asked to leave my home and kids. I would live in the basement at my brothers’ house for several months. The job would end, the business fail, the marriage erode, and my kids would turn their backs on me all together. I would lose everything I had know to be true. Well, most things. I would lose my family, but I would grow very close to my Dad and younger brother. I would lose my business and career, but gain humility and the understanding I am more than what I do. I would lose many friends, but discover what true friends are. I would lose my identity, but gain an understanding of my perseverance and character.

The first analogy is thinking of the past as a hot air balloon ride. I have been stuck in the past the last few days and forgetting to admire the beauty of the ride. I started the day of the past very early. I unloaded my gear and began the process of checking out the contents. I opened my hot air balloon and spread it out on the grassy field. I put in air and then added life to it with a firey passion. The sand bags of remorse hung over the side of the gondola as the balloon stood up in the air. I strained against the remorse and used more heat, hoping to overcome it. I had left the ropes attached, fearful of letting go. I wanted to be aloft and I feared it at the same time. I held onto the past, making it fit the present. I strained to reduce the passing of time to make it more 2 dimensional. I was holding on and wanting to let go at same time.  I stopped fighting it. I eased on the heat and addressed the fear. The fear was attached to my insecurity, my poor self esteem, my false pride, my ego. I addressed it and thanked each anchor for having kept me safe at some point in my life. I acknowledged its usefulness at that time, and then unhooked the ropes. I lifted each bag of remorsefulness. I looked for the messages of shame and rejected them. I saw in the bags the growth edges and the bags I had already dealt with. Again, I dropped the bags of shame. I kept the bags of stumblings that I could work on.  The balloon soared into the sky. The bright balloon against the blue sky. The dark cranes flew by. The remnant of the moon sinking in the west. It was beautiful for what it was. I let the past drift away, grateful for all of it.

The second analogy that came to me was the balloon as relationship. I have been trying to heal up from a relationship that I messed up. I was afraid, but deeply in love. Truth be known, I will always love her as a memory and person. The balloon of the past has left and I doubt we will cross paths again. It was beautiful for what it was, and I am grateful.

Early in the morning of the relationship, you begin to unfold all the equipment you both have brought. There is excitement and anticipation and some hidden expectations. The anticipation is palpable and electric. You fill the balloon with hot air. The hot air can be the result of the lies issued from the masks we wear or it can be the heat from the passion of true intimacy. It boils down to communication versus contact. I have had relationships of both kinds. I have faked it more often then communicated. I feel relief to be out of the contact variety, I feel regret from the loss of the communication one. I was afraid and misguided in my fear. Either way, as you board the gondola in the relationship, you can either handle the weighty issues and the self imposed limitation ropes with discretion and discernment, or you can throw them overboard and cut the ties with careless abandon. I have tried to discern and deal with them. I did better than I ever had before with the recent relationship, but still tried to ignore some issues without really dealing with them. It lead to a shortened flight and some resentments. The relationship is aloft and it is thrilling . Being present in the moment is the importance at this point. Enjoy it for what it is. Rejoice. As you land, don’t think of the end of the thrill, remember it for the memory of the adventure, the joy. You are still in the relationship even when the balloon is packed away, you are building on the closeness and thrill everyday, even when you don’t float on the clouds. The relationship is the ups and down, the sand bags and ropes, the packing and unpacking. The storing with care, the attention to the beauty in all of it. I will miss that balloon, it was beautiful , thrilling, scary, sometimes painful. The experience and time together was beautiful for all of it.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2015 in divorce, journey, life

 

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