I made a mistake today at the AA nooner by actually expressing my feelings.  I guess I embarrassed myself and did quite a decent job at it.  God forbid if I’m a 41 year old, divorced, insane single white male on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  I thought AA was a place to feel safe and discuss how you feel?

A friend told me to read the big book and to come back and (if I decide to come back) discuss AA related topics.  I guess feeling insecure, miserable, not safe, and totally delusional does not meet the standards of the good ole’ Big Book.  To top that off, I get some smart ass sharing after me, pointing me out, saying “I had no idea I would be sitting next to a paranoid 41 year old.”   F*$K YOU!  I thought AA was suppose to be welcoming, warm, and non-judgmental? That man makes me want to drink myself to Space Mountain.  But, I know better.  I guess I drove into the wrong parking lot and walked into the wrong room this afternoon.  I should of drove a bit further, pass the courthouse, take a right, and save how I feel for my therapist.

This was the first time (well, like ever) where I walked out of a meeting feeling worse than when walking in.  Should it be this way?  Maybe I was thinking too much of what to say to hopefully get a few laughs when I was called upon. I definitely failed at that and made an asshole of myself.  Some times the fellowship and AA have a reverse effect.  Oh well, I just have to say “f@#k it, and shake it off” like my baseball coach would tell me after throwing a wild pitch at some kids head.  I’m struggling right now, but I’m going to give sobriety a chance and not let my fellow AAer’s bring me down.  Move forward I guess.  I think I need to meet a “drugstore cowgirl that is so afraid of getting bored.”  Well, I leave myself open because I’m a beautiful disaster.  Take it or leave it.

These lyrics are dedicated to the old gentlemen who does not care I am a human being with actual feelings.  “The one with old wood creaking that would burn away right on cue, I try to be not like that but some people really suck….”


Maybe that’s why I’m Jaded?

I’d like to point out something here that I really never realized while I was married.  Watch this opening scene from the movie “Closer” to the Seether video.  Now, this was a typical conversation I would have from time to time with my ex-wife.  Bing, Zoom, Bam, light bulb just went off in my demented brain.  No wonder I am jaded when it comes to falling in another relationship; although it would be nice to go to movies with someone besides myself once in a while.

I’m definitely not saying this was my ex-wife’s fault.  I had quite the role to play in this twisted behavior.  By no means was I a saintly altar boy in my failed marriage. Relationships are hard enough; top it off with drugs and alcohol (call out Bingo) and you and your partner are on a one way slide that isn’t headed towards Candyland.   I surely don’t regret my marriage and still love my ex-wife very much.  But, I have to ask myself why I did it?  Was it the thing to do at 32?  Was turning my childhood crush into a reality a smart, well thought out decision?  Or was I looking for something to fill the deep dark void that drugs and alcohol could not fill?  The third one sounds about right.

I firmly advocate if you are struggling with a major addiction, you should maybe take a backseat to that ideal life of love and romance.  They don’t suggest in AA to get sober the first year before diving into the “cat and mouse game” for no apparent reason.  There are solid reasons behind that valuable advice.  Give it time, get to know and understand yourself before deciding to make another person’s life wonderful or miserable. 

As for myself, I’ll continue to dance with “these guilty feet that got no rhythm.”


Doing New Things

I wake up in a different city.  The smells and noises are unfamiliar.  The bed feels awkward.  I did something completely out of the ordinary today.  I just attended my first out-of-state AA meeting. I walk through the foreign land of folding metal chairs with steam rising from the freshly brewed coffee without fear.  This was by no means a simple task for me.  I am a new-comer with low self-esteem. This was a lot harder than stumbling on some Mexican booze cruise.

Since I missed the nooner due to lack of GPS, I made it to the happy hour meeting.  Tell me I would be seeking out an AA meeting while on vacation  a year ago and I would of told you to get your head examined.  There was a flick of the switch inside of me. Some call it physic change or shift.  It had to come from somewhere to get my ass in this AA seat.  Being sober and waltzing into some scary room of loving strangers has spiritual cleansing qualities in itself.

For once, I walked into a meeting excited.  I was actually not nervous.  The thing about AA meetings is that you may not know a single soul in the room, yet you feel very at home.  Even though I did not speak in the meeting, I hung around after and talked to some people.  Talking to others is no longer a scary chore for me.  I’m starting to embrace this mysterious program with an open mind.  I can finally say “I am doing new things!”  I think I like this feeling. As Christina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil points out “I like it, like it….”



Dogs Set The Bar For Loyalty

2:46am in the morning.  I am doing the “toss and turn groove” all night listening to my thousand year old heater produce mysterious noises.  It almost sounds like Freddy Kruger needs to break out of it.  On top of that nonsense, Cali and Patches are snoring away.  They both sound like I’m sleeping next to Chicago’s O’Hare airport with 747’s landing in both directions.  If snoring is the most annoying thing my dogs do besides wanting to crash through the front window to rip the mailman apart, I’m perfectly fine with it.

The other day, I was talking to a friend from high school. I asked her opinion of me back then and how she thinks of me today.  Her answer was no big surprise.  She told me back then she considered me a “burnout”.  I had to agree. Thinking of the days during in senior year waking up eating toast, drinking beer and smoking pot before class.  No argument there.  Today, she referred me to as a “lost soul”.  That threw a tiny wrench in the life equation.  After careful consideration, I could see that.  Divorced, no kids, do what I want, vagabond, I’ll take that.   The reason that statement is so true is the past four years (though my drinking and using) I lost a lot of respect and loyalty from my family and close friends.



 Yes, Loyalty.  My dogs have seen me at my personal best and worst.  I literally was living a real nightmare as they were living  it with me.  Alone, scared, depressed, crazy, I was not someone you exactly invited over to dinner.  I blamed life, isolated myself from everyone, and walked around with a constant rain cloud over my head labeled “poor me” on it.  If it wasn’t for my dogs, and their true love and loyalty to me,  I would not know where I would be without them today.  The bond between humans and dogs is so strong that dogs can see through the temporary lapses of momentary insanity.  If only we humans could to that. 

Next time you are down (but not out) and hate life, look in your dogs eyes.  They love you no matter what.  Every day I look into their eyes and am grateful.  And with that, those two four legged creatures makes life a whole lot easier.

Needs and Wants

“We don’t really have to look to far to realize we have everything we need.” 

I just have to say this to myself.  I need to drill this in my stubborn head head when things don’t exactly go my way.  What do we do actually need out of this strange thing called life?  First, the basics are essential: food, air, shelter, etc.  Those needs are a given.  Being a recovering addict; I always have something to complain about, am not grateful, think it’s what’s in for me, and take advantage of these everyday needs.



Dam right!  This life isn’t always a disco or a country club.  OK, I have to admit,  I’ve had a hell of a lot of fun up until I was around 32.  College, LSD, vacations, girlfriends, countless insane nights with the bands, early beer buzzes in the morning.  You get the idea.  Throw in all the alcohol and drugs; common ancient recipe for becoming one hot mess.   Everyone around me saw were I was headed, but I didn’t   A landslide came over me!


Fast forward eleven years later.  Hell and Demons came out (the fun was long gone as I became party for one) for the next decade.  Divorced, bad business decisions, death of some loyal dogs, and the lost of my precious grandfather.  His death effected me deeper than I thought.  I was his caretaker for three years; watching him slowly die in front of me was not an easy task.  That caused stress obviously.  I went into total isolation which I refer to as the “the dark years”.  My addiction reached an all-time high with the drudgery of chemicals.

Go For Whatever You Want


Being sober is priority; making me re-prioritize.  What do I want today?  Easy.  Sobriety of course.  Love or a healthy relationship (we can dream right?)  Travel to more exotic places and world peace.  And just to live that “Simple Kind of Life” as Gwen Stefani points out.  Oh, and a beach house in Todos Santos, Mexico; a plus!  But, first and foremost, SERENITY.  Is this too much to ask for?  We shall see, we shall see.




Sobriety isn’t all so bad.  Patches and I enjoying his final race after an amazing 10 year flyball career.

Boundaries (Make Them!)

Key word alert here! Boundary; learn it, memorize it.  In recovery, if we don’t make boundaries, we may as well put sobriety down the porcelain goddess. Here is the simple mathematical equation as I see it.
X = Sobriety Y = Serenity Z = Boundaries A = Unhappiness B = Not Sober

X + Y – Z + A = B

I am no Einstein, my college transcripts definitely prove that. But, I will firmly stick with this “super duper sobriety equation”.  Having testing this theory over time along with not saying the word “No” has always put my sobriety in real jeopardy. 

One recent example is that I starting losing control of my house.  Just today, I had another drunk wanting to crash on my couch.  In the past, saying yes would instantly make me lose my sanity and sobriety. If I do not firmly say “No, the Todd motel has no fresh towels or vacancies,” I am truly fucked.  It is ok to set a boundary and say no to people. I believe it is no longer my responsibility to take in the strays.  That may sound mean, but this is my life (upgraded to 5.0 with boundary software downloaded). From here out, this is my life equation:
Z + Y = X

Am I Really An Alcoholic?

Am I really an alcoholic? Now, that question is nothing new; it has been around since alcohol or AA was invented. You decide. Most of us don’t wind up in AA meetings for the free coffee or wild stories. We sit in those metal chairs because we are truly sick people.
Meetings or a lonely, depressing death? That is still in question.

1 :  continued excessive or compulsive use of alcoholic drinks 2 a :  poisoning by alcohol b :  a chronic disorder marked by excessive and usually compulsive drinking of alcohol leading to psychological and physical dependence or addiction.
By classic definition, I am certainly no more an alcoholic than the Pope. By modern day terms; I will take “I am definitely an alcoholic” for five hundred please. 

When I was in Chaing Mia last year at a posh rehab, I learned one thing that you hear all the time and it doesn’t have to be applied in some church basement at an AA meeting. Realize the similarities, not the differences. Ok, I get it.  That still doesn’t make me not want to have a beer or a glass of wine with “normal” drinkers. Now here is where things get dicey.  I know I can enjoy a cocktail without putting my car in a tree or neglecting my dogs.  The key hypothesis to this is what turn off ramp will that drink take me to? All my fellowship friends or sponsor would tell me, ” Will I wake up, is it a dream I made up?
No, I guess, it’s reality what will change us”.  More to be examined.