The Story of Goodbye Letters

Today I decided to scroll through and delete notes from my notepad on my iPhone. I wanted to create more space as I tend to use this feature for everything under the sun. I write things to remember, addresses, books and documentaries I want to read and watch eventually, test run emails to send, write out blog posts and many other things.

When I went back to the earliest of notes, which were written before I got clean and sober this time, I found some things I would’ve liked to forget.

Actually, I HAD forgotten but this journey through my notepad was a jarring reminder of the life I had led, the things I had done and said and the space I was in mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Among the documentation of dates and events for my child custody lawyer, the pleading email drafts to my children’s father, the accusatory text drafts to his on again/off again girlfriend and the delusional words of a lost little girl with no hope, I found a draft of a suicide letter I had wrote to my then 14 year old son.

In the last few weeks before my intervention, I had reached the point of making it my mission to leave this earth. There was nothing in me that believed there was any hope of a way out. My fate was to die at an early age with a tragic ending to a tragic story.

I had given up. I had tried in multiple ways to end my life but something or someone always intervened.

While in my car on one of my three day disappearing acts, I decided I better write a goodbye letter to my boys. I guess I decided to intend that these letters get to them on their eighteenth birthdays.

In these letters I explain to my boys that I just didn’t know how to live anymore, that I loved them with all my heart and I would be watching over them in spirit always. I was deeply saddened for leaving them but there was no other way.

I knew I had left them in my car where they would be easily found. I don’t know what ever happened to those letters.

What I hadn’t remembered was that I wrote them first on my iPhone notepad, which is where for the first time sober, I got to read them today.

It was like reading an excerpt of a book written about a fictional character or taking a peek into the life of someone else. I felt sadness for this girl.

She was so scared, alone and hopeless that she felt the best she could do is take her own life and leave behind her two beautiful sons because she felt they would have a better life without her.

She felt she had nothing left to offer the world or anyone in it.

It’s been over seven months now and how she, or I, have changed can only be described as a miracle.

Today my life is full of purpose and joy.

I have a full life of family, friends, loved ones and a fellowship that has risen up around me through simply being kind, loving and of service to others. Most of my days are happy, joyous and free. I strive to live life as fully as I can with new experiences every day. I am always learning new things about myself and others which bring me closer to who God intends me to be.

This miracle has happened only through working the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous which brought me to know my creator.

 

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The Change Must Come From Within

My soul aches for the lesson of you.

 

Ego seeks to control and manage against what is.

 

Glimpses of perfection hang in the air like the scent of you after your gone.

 

Brief moments of freedom when nothing mattered in the world but the two of us.

 

No clamour of the past or noise of the future.

 

My reality based on perception instead perception creating what I see.

 

Was any of it really what I believed?

 

Or was the story mine alone?

 

Wanting to make something what it will not be.

 

Sending light across time and space in hopes to heal a heart that is not mine to heal.

 

Wishing the switch to turn on the fuel to ignite your flame to burn as bright as it’s meant to be.

 

Waiting for your words and actions to mirror back at me what I feel for you.

 

Exhausted by indecision.

 

Needing to just be truly seen by you.

 

Tears fall on my pillow.

 

Wishing, wanting and needing cannot free a heart from the bondage of it’s past.

 

The change must come from within.

 

 

 

 

A Single Match

Today I stand in the light

My light

A single match lit with it’s flame burning brightly

Navigating through winds and rain

Storms though dramatically breathtaking

Eventually extinguish even roaring fires

Shielding from the elements to keep my glow

Small and unimportant

Yet resting on such responsibility

Leaning against other matches to ignite the torch of awareness

Brightening the path upward and onward for more to find their way

When dark is only the vacancy of hope

Cold the absence of love

Emptiness the lacking of God

Knowing that place very well

This tiny match pushes on from the repeating the past

And finds it’s home in the warm embrace of truth

 

 

 

 

Fireside Sermon

Fireside Sermon

This is a story told by my dear friend Jay. I’m going to try my best to tell the story as close to how he told it as possible.

I love you Jay.

 

There was a girl who lived in Vermont who had stayed sober for a year in Alcoholics Anonymous. She had just taken her 1 year anniversary, as they call it in the north east.

After she completed a year she stopped participating in AA. She stopped going to meetings and drifted away.

One night she as she was sitting in front on the fire, she heard a knock at the door.

She hesitantly peered out to see who it was. There at the door stood her sponsor.

Surprised she opened the door and let her in. Her sponsor entered the house saying nothing. She just went at sat in front of the fireplace quietly and watched it burn.

Then her sponsor went over to the fire and with the tongs picked up a brightly burning, red hot log. This log was full of orange glowing color and was full of heat.

With the tongs she placed the log away from the center of the flames by itself over in the corner of the fireplace.

Quickly the log lost it’s color and heat. It turned gray and dark and lost it’s beautiful orange glow.

The girl watched her sponsor and the cooling log on the side of the fire.

They sat in silence.

Then her sponsor took the tongs and picked up the gray, darkened log and placed it back in the center of the roaring fire.

Almost immediately, the log light up again, glowing hot, just as bright as before.

The girl sat and watched.

Without a word, the girl’s sponsor put her hat and scarf on and headed for the door.

As the sponsor opened the door to leave, the girl stopped her and said, “Thank you for the fireside sermon.”

 

Wingless Angels

Universe of all things created

Is it time for truth so soon

When this fragile soul has been lifted up

Must it sink into lost memories unwanted, undeserved

An innocent child unprotected

Senseless occurrences leaving angel’s wingless

Youth stolen by faceless beings

Safety stolen

It must be time

Truth will cannot be hidden for eternity

There is no backwards but only pushing on

Trust is paramount

Embraced in warmth of the all knowing light

Safe in your presence my spirit rests

Hidden from dark shadows grasping from below

Out of self, more God

The disease of alcoholism is alive and well inside me even when abstaining from mind altering substances.

It took me many relapses to finally see what that meant for myself and to have enough willingness to treat it.

The day can be perfect. I can wake up with a beautiful day before me, read spiritual literature, be grateful to God for my life and my sobriety and hold tremendous hope for the day ahead.

All it takes is a second and a thought and I’m in my alcoholism. I’m consumed with the past, the pain, the “mistakes”, the darkness, the fear, the things that “happened to me”. My ego, self and thinking have taken over and all of a sudden I am overwhelmed with the perception that things are not okay.

Thoughts happen, a lot of thoughts at a rapid rate, and they circulate around and around in my mind.

I’m for a time, convinced that I should be in guilt, shame and unhappiness for the life I’ve lived. Hope disappears and I feel like I can’t participate in the day.

These thoughts override everything, when in reality, nothing has changed.

I doubt myself, my choices, my path and I just want to crawl deep inside myself, alone and sink into thinking my way out of it, or perhaps not anything like that but just staying there.

It’s a miserable place to be. I want to retreat from life.

It never fails that when I am focused on self, how I am possibly going to get what I want and need, I get miserable and fearful very quickly.

So what do I do?

Thank God I have the answers laid out before me. Thank God I am now aware of when this is my alcoholism because when I am coming from a place of my spirit, witnessing this occurring, I can take action to release myself from this needless suffering.

I can bring my body and my spirit and my mind has no choice but to follow.

I can move towards God away from self and selfishness. I can reach out to others with light and love.

Between the fight of ego and spirit, the one that wins is the one I feed.

So all I have to do is choose to feed the light within me.

The light burns brighter and the darkness fades.

The only thing I know that cuts through darkness is to shine a light where it lives.

Perception

Because part of a whole is darkness do I define the whole as dark?

If pain exists in the space of a heart can joy find no room?

If choices are made can new ones travel back in time and erase what’s been?

Do I define myself by the sum of my past without considering the potential of my future?

Am I doomed to live in a world where labels, definitions, ideas, judgements, words, good, bad, right, wrong, enslave us all and I am only one of few in the lonely place with vision to see yet is not believed in?

Can there exist too much vision for one insignificant speck on the planet to handle?

Is insanity waiting to return to a mind and soul that naively perceived to have found peace or was it the cruel joke of perception that sanity never existed to begin with?

Can a path be changed that may be already written, predetermined, and must be fulfilled?

 

Return of the darkness

It’s easy to forget, the further I get away from the time I lived in complete darkness, that I am blessed to still be alive on this planet. It’s easy to forget everything I should be grateful for when I have the disease of alcoholism. The odds of surviving alcoholism aren’t good. It doesn’t mean it’s not possible to live a life that’s free and joyous, it’s just that people like me have to constantly work at it, constantly connect with a higher power.

This weekend reminded me of how fragile I am.

Looking back on things I seem to have more clarity than when I’m “in it”. My ego was hard at work before I was even conscious to it. I was already in a downward spiral of lack of faith and heightened fear. I was forgetting everything that had become clear.

My connection was fading.

I felt like I needed to go back to see my boys. I went back to the town where everything “happened” thinking I would be alright.

So I went.

When I got there my thinking mind went to work to screw me. I was not in a good place. But I was there. Every place I went I had horrible memories flash before me. It had happened when I had made previous visits but this time was different. It was vivid and “real”.

I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I felt uneasy. I felt and underlying anxiousness that would not go away. I prayed “God help me” over and over.

It seemed too late for that.

When the second night finally came I was not prepared for what was to come. A situation came up that I was totally not in a place to deal with. Suddenly not only did I not trust myself but I didn’t trust God or anyone else. Thoughts of a drink or a drug seemed inevitable. I just wanted the terrible feeling to go away. The worst of it had gone on for hours. It seemed like an eternity.

I felt completely at the mercy of my circumstances and my alcoholism. My mind would not allow me to accept help. It was almost over.

My life flashed before my eyes, especially about the last 6 months I have spent sober. I thought to myself how sad it was going to be, to end this way. I mean end this way because I wouldn’t last long if I went back to alcohol and drugs. I know it. I lived in complete hell. I can’t even stand the memories of it. The disease has progressed too far for me to live like that anymore. I wouldn’t come back.

I don’t know how I asked for help when it felt like everything in me was fighting it. Maybe my previous praying did work. I know it was God.

It wasn’t me.

I made it back out of my old home town. I am back in my safe bubble, fragile, overwhelmed and a little lost still but I’m alive, sober and grateful. I’m focusing on building back my connection to the universe and everything in it. Life is happening around me. I’m saying yes to everything. I’m opening up to people, helping those around me, telling the truth and asking for help. I’m humbled once again.

I never can assume that I am guaranteed another day or that I can rest on the spirituality of yesterday.

I only have today.

And to the person who took a chance and answered my call for help, thank you. You have no idea how you changed the course of my life that night.

Protect Your Light

No human can save me from alcoholism.

No human can “fix” me.

No human can love me enough if I can’t love myself first.

No one can be good enough for me until I believe that I am good enough.

Untreated alcoholism looks like addiction to tragedy and suffering.

It looks like addiction to drama and running from everything that is good and full of light.

I was warned about a spiritual sickness where some people would suck the light and energy from me.

I have experienced this.

It’s something unconscious that happens. These people aren’t bad, just sick.

I was one of these people once.

There’s a lot to be said for protecting our space. For knowing our limits and not giving up our light for ANYONE. No matter how much we love them.

It’s frustrating to see what others cannot recognise about themselves. To see people struggle, to see people choose to live in sad stories and pain, is almost too much to watch sometimes.

We must let these people go and find their own way. Staying too long can drag us down.

I refuse to live trapped on this earth by ego, abstinent from mood altering substances. If I am to live, I must live free and find what I was seeking all along…

A spiritual experience.

A Look Into The Past

As I look back on the past and the life I have lived I can’t hold the sadness at bay. I am in the process of looking at the harm I have caused myself and others, as part of my spiritual journey. Immersed in the past, I can’t help but feel great sadness for all of the darkness and pain.

Loss of relationships, betrayal, selfishness and fear is all I can see of my past when stuck in self. I have participated in the darkness and never believed anything else existed. It was a sad life to live.

This new journey has many highs and lows. Thanks to my alcoholism, the lows can be full of suffering. My thinking constantly blurs the lines of reality and truth. When forgetting to rely upon God, I can’t see truth.

I need.

I am needy.

I seek validation, comfort and love and forget that I will never be whole while taking that approach. I am only okay when relying upon God and in a state of serving my fellow humans.

That means focusing on how I be the most loving to everyone.

When seeking to get “mine”, to get validation from others, to achieve in the material world, I hurt others. I forget about how I affect others entirely. I miss the present. I can’t connect with those around me. If it’s all up to me, I can’t handle it. I tire easily. I am spinning and everything goes to shit.

I am only okay when giving love and shining light on the dark. It’s a daily necessity. I must constantly focus on gaining power from the spirit within me. To find peace I must connect with God.

Making peace with my past can be a struggle with an ego that wants me to feel guilt and shame. The only way to stop ego is with spiritual growth.

The only way past the pain is through.