Everyday A Chance To Change My Story

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Good Morning Everyone,

I am a day behind and it’s okay. I will hopefully get caught up with a second posting this afternoon.

This morning I am sitting here drinking my coffee and listening to hymns by Selah and thinking about my morning gathering around the tables. How grateful and wonderfully awesome is the chance for change.

Everyday is the chance to change my story. I am thinking about the strength and hope others have given me, as well as them sharing their experience.

I know I am not sharing much about the book right now. Maybe my experience is just what’s important to share right now.

I have been considering the past few months, how far away I am from the God of my understanding and as I don’t understand Him. Please don’t try to correct me on this because, the God of my understanding tells me there is a mystery I don’t understand.

After all a power greater than me and an all-knowing presence …There has to be more than I understand or can ever comprehend. It’s the God connection that changes my story.

You can get as angry as you want, I am finally surrendering to the fact I can’t ever know all there is to this. I am not shoving it down your throat, this is my experience.

I am not sure I can ever go back to the child understanding of God. Each hymn takes me back to childhood part of me and it also raises inside of me, a belief stronger than I have had in maybe, years.

What? Am I supposed to leave this out of my experience, because it might make others uncomfortable? It’s part of my journey! Whether you realize it or not, all of you are part of my journey and so is every experience.

It’s all still piece-meal for me, accepting truths a little bit at a time.

What I do know is the simple part. Striving to wake up each morning and asking God to direct my thinking that I would not be sucked into self-pity or false pride. Asking for God for protection and care to keep me away from a drink.

I need help doing the next right thing, as well as what I can do for someone else.

Throughout the day asking God to help me pause in difficult times or when I am tempted to be angry saying the prayer to save me from being angry. Yes, there’s a lot I need saved from and it always seems to be, being broken down enough to ask for help.

I cannot do it on my own. By the same token though, no one can do the steps or the foot work for me.

It also means pausing before I speak or do anything. The three questions always to consider is it kind, is it necessary, and is it helpful.

At night remembering to go over my day would be key as well. Making sure I have corrected any wrong along the way. I am a slow learner at this. Then finally saying a prayer of thanks for one more day. The bottom line, if I do my part God can’t help but do His part.

We are now back at the beginning, where we started with the first 100 people. They each woke up each day, having the chance to change their story. Just for today I can do this with God and everyone else.

Thank you for reading! This here’s Boxcar Mike over and out!

God Bless Y’all!

My Journey is About Progress Rather Than Perfection

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Hi Everyone!

I just have to keep writing. I couldn’t get what I wanted to write about into words. Instead, I am sharing my experience today. I want to be intentional and do better. I also want to be better.

I guess I am amazed because every time I think I am going to write on a subject, or use it to chair a meeting, it gets switched. Today I am not sure if it’s God or if I just let myself run out of time.

Maybe a bit of both happened. I am thinking God can use our weaknesses and make something beautiful out of it.

It was a really long day I was trying forever to get caught up on a few things. I also wanted to help someone else. I found myself being helped a lot too. What an amazing day, even though I could feel my energy just being drained.

It was time for my ride, and I felt so unprepared, but I grabbed my stuff and went out the door. I am very grateful for rides today. They help me stay connected. We also get time to share before and after each gathering.

Tonight, someone made me realize it was important to share my anniversary/birthday, even though it felt repetitious.

I also learned what I share matters. It can mean so much to someone relatively new, to know others have stayed clean and sober longer than twenty-four hours.

In spite of everything I have still grown, and someone’s been trying to get me to see that. Sure, maybe I have a lot of work still but compared to how I once was. I can put some words together and possibly say a prayer, and every once in a while, even pause.

I am not quitting on myself today. I want to keep going forward even when I get tired.

A long time ago a friend handed me a card with his phone number on it. On the back of the card, it read me, and my friends don’t hurt each other or ourselves today. We still learn today that we do sometimes hurt others and ourselves today.

We just try not to hurt ourselves or others today. I am guilty of both. I keep searching for the next right thing to do.

Sometimes the next right thing to do seems like a tall order this is why we need to stay connected. I can’t do it alone. I do have to do the work and the piper will come, if I ignore my behavior.

Part of what I can do is carry this part of the message and share my journey along the way as living amends. I cannot change without mending my ways. Finally, I just realized as I am writing this, it takes a lot of grace!

I do want to share with you there is a way out of our self-destructive, messed up ways. There is hope and we have to hang on to it and be willing to take the steps out of the insanity.

The last thing I want to say in this entry is that one day is just as important as someone who has 5, 10, or even 15 years. It works. We can start for hope’s door anytime we choose to.

Thank you for reading! As I’ve mentioned I have Facebook Page Boxcar Mike search for me on Facebook and if you want to be friends let me know on that page or drop a comment here and let me know your name. If you just add me without me knowing you, then I will suspect more spam.

This here Boxcar Mike, over and out! God bless y’all everybody!

 

 

Willing To Be a Ripple Brings Change About

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Good Morning Everyone!

I am finally getting a post in again! Its so great to be able to share with you all my journey.

I have taken break from my regular reading but that will start again today. The past week I have been celebrating my 15 years of being clean and sober. I have been to all my regular gatherings around the tables.

I am just overwhelmed still by the natural structure the meetings have placed in my life.

I have so much to be thankful for.

The gatherings as I refer to them, are about being apart of and doing the deal. One of the gifts in sobriety today is being included. I also get to experience that fellowship time. Another is sharing with people in a general way and still a few, at gut level. I still tend to be guarded and at least I can recognize that today.

One important lesson I have learned in the past few weeks, but it did not hit home until tonight. That is when my willingness stops all the teachers disappear. They may show up as friends and all but man I learned I am heavy with the judgment. The doors slam with a clang when I start that crap.

The world is not all about me today. I often act like it is though. I even mentioned I was not a good example of sobriety and I do mean that. I am hoping restarting the willingness and really doing this deal, changes that.

I am also hoping for the people who aren’t good for me I continue the distance thing and start including more who are good for me. I need to get out of the driver’s seat and listen to some direction though.

The biggest thing for me and I think all people is letting go of the crap that doesn’t serve us. I’ve held on to a lot out of sentimental reasons. Wanting my fantasy back and not accepting people moved on and some have died. I have no control over that crap.

There’s been a lot of hurt I know I am in denial of, that I even created. It doesn’t matter if its unintentional. Trust me when I say, probably on some level it was intentional. That’s the truth.

Sometimes the truth hurts. That’s why in all honesty it has to be dealt with. We have to be hard on ourselves, but down the hammer. Beating ourselves up will never make it right and in fact its just false pride thinking we don’t have to face the real music as long as we continue beating ourselves up.

In California we’d have camp meetings around a fire. Someone would yell “get off the cross, we need the wood for the fire!” when one would start blubbering about all the crap they did. I used to think that was harsh. I thought it was harsh because, I was one of the ones blubbering.

Today I get to be a ripple if I am willing.

I have a page on my personal Facebook and my page is Boxcar Mike check me out on there https://www.facebook.com/BoxcarMike-1589704404503496 If you try to friend me on my personal time leave me a note in Boxcar Mike  otherwise I will consider it spam. If I don’t know you, I don’t know you. Also just give it a minute and like me.

I am doing a 30-day challenge of rewiring my brain of 3 things I am grateful for each day. I got the Grateful Dead playing “Ripple”.

Thank you all for reading! This is Boxcar Mike over and out!

God bless Y’all !

Alcoholism Two-fold A Physical Craving and A Mental Obsession

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Photography: WordPress Wallpaper

I haven’t stopped reading. I have not posted in a bit though. I apologize for that.

Chapter four of the book, “A Program for You” has been hard for me to put into my own words. I think its is extremely important to always go back to the source. The truth is a lot of stuff is repetitive. It is important to repeat because so much gets said that another person said.

This is why going back to the source is necessary, at least for me. I don’t feel I can fully comprehend things without having that source.

I think for me for years I saw the disease of alcoholism as an allergy and that would be my excuse once more for saying things are not my fault. This is only a half truth. I am responsible for my own actions. Once I am armed with the truth of the disease, I am even more so, responsible.

The disease described as an allergy is twofold. The first part is the physical craving brought on by the first drink. The second part of it being an obsession. This can be arrested by following a simple program.

As I read this with understanding now, it is clicking in how it works. I have to keep going back to the doctor’s words. I have never been able to just trust that someone said something, that someone else said. I think the bottom line to this has always been, since I don’t trust myself, I sure can’t trust others either. Not on their words alone.

You’ll hear it said over and over, it is one of the diseases that will tell you, you don’t have the disease.

Let me just state, I have deep distrust and dislike for doctors in general. I will also say some are miracle workers that go above and beyond their calling. That said, there is something to this Dr William D. Silkworth.

As we read later on in Bill’s Story, it all began with Ebbie T. from the Oxford Groups, a friend of Bill’s. He was hopeless and would be committed to an asylum for the rest of his life if not, for the doctor. Because of his story and getting to share that with Bill. The proof that came from doctor’s opinion resulted in over 100 people recovering from a seemingly hopeless state of mind.

Alcoholics are those that have an abnormal reaction to alcohol. I have an abnormal reaction to alcohol. Its not that I have this abnormal reaction that makes me a victim, sinful, bad, weak, or wrong. It just is.

I have shared with a couple people and gathered with several people this week.

For most of my childhood I lived in the country. I suppose that’s in fact drawn me to the country and that way of life. Most of my drinking was done in the country, after coming of age and few years before. I have always loved country songs and been to many dances etc.

There’s one country song that came out since I have been sober. It makes me think back to when I drank. It talks about the genie in the bottle and how she lies to you. I bought a bunch of lies and have told several myself. Today I want the truth and need to really be recovered.

I am powerless over alcohol my life is unmanageable. But again, alcohol is but a symptom too. More on that later.

Day 8 3 things grateful for  21 days to rewiring my brain to be happy

  1. I am grateful for the Doctor’s Opinion
  2. I am grateful for fellowship
  3. I am grateful to write.

I will probably start the 21-day challenge over next month in hopes to stay on tract. However, in order to write. I am still going to post 3 things I am grateful for. I find it motivating.

Thanks for reading another blog post entry of Boxcar Mike over and out!

God Bless Everybody!

 

 

A Recipe Study Thinking I Was Ready

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Welcome Back! This is a Day 7 Blogpost entry. I am far behind.

I thought I was ready to start in on The Big Book. I got drawn back to read another chapter in the book “A Program for You.”  I really thought Id even get done reading the big book and be ready to do chapter by chapter and step by step this week.

I even shared that fact with my therapist. His recommendation was to take it slow and not rush things.

Now that I have read this third chapter, I am seeing why its important not to rush things. The important things brought out in this third chapter are finding out and understanding our problem, to begin with.

The first step shows us our problem is being powerless, and we need power to overcome our powerlessness. Third thing we have to find is that power which is what was recalled by Bill W. Dr Bob and Bill D.

The three basic questions are as follows:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. What is the solution?
  3. What is the program of action necessary for me to find and to use or implement that solution?

This is where we can finally see The Big Book as a text and study guide or recipe. I am glad that I can see where I was rushing and yet also, I can see where I have now procrastinated and used tiredness as an excuse to fall behind.

I do believe in the Book Alcoholics Anonymous and I do believe in a power greater than myself; Whom I choose to call God as I understand Him and Don’t Understand Him. I don’t expect everyone or maybe anyone, to believe the way I believe.

No matter what we believe I do know that there are no two people on this earth who believe exactly the same.

What I do believe is that the first one hundred people, recovered and they used a simple text or recipe if you will, that is a program of action. I am certainly not saying I wouldn’t love to rush through this. However, if taking my time gets the best results and following these simple directions help me do that, then I want all I can get from it.

I have to keep pressing ahead and do the best I can. I cannot afford for my recovery and well-being to take any days off of blogging.

The blogging happens because I read and learn. I take time to pray and meditate in the middle of it. That’s where the excitement for growth happens but sometimes it is so hard to want to pry the book open to learn. I also have to do better with communication with my closed mouth friend.

I have literally gone to sleep early and taken naps, blowing off our time. I really do care and want more for myself I just have to prove it through action.

I have come to understand a couple of things in recovery time is a great reminder and good to have for milestones to capture those moments in. Quality is what I want to today. Some days I just have to want it more than I want it sometimes. Especially when I let days go by.

21 day Challenge of 3 things to be grateful about for rewiring my brain to happiness:

  1. The opportunity to admit when I am wrong.
  2. The chance to write and share my experience with others.
  3. I am never alone even if I feel like it.

Thanks for reading another blogpost entry by Boxcar Mike. Over and out!

God Bless Everybody!

I Cant Get it Through Osmosis

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Good Morning Everyone,

Welcome to another thought on my journey. I wanted to get back to the book I am now reading “A Program for You.”  In my last post about this book we learned that the first 100 People of AA wrote The Big Book.

The main starting of the Fellowship began out from the Oxford Groups with Ebbie T. Bill W and Dr Bob were the co-founders of AA and much help from Dr William D Silkworth. Bill D. was AA number three. It would take two years to write the book and have it published in 1939.

Chapter three of “A Program for You”, is learning to use The Big Book correctly. I am so grateful for this chapter. It really brought a lot to light. Here’s the real deal of this book. The authors state that if you never read any part of The Big Book to put down this book and begin immediately.

That tells me a lot about the authors having integrity and their belief in using The Big Book. They are out to help jump start people into reading it and following the program of action.

They explain through out this chapter to which I can attest to over at least hanging out in AA how over the years the true message has been watered down. The fellowship of AA came out of the Program of AA not the other way around, as said exactly in this book. I know That I have just wanted to take what I want and leave the rest.

I realize this may sound like I am preaching AA. For me this is the message I needed to hear. You all are only getting to hear what I need. After reading this chapter, I now even realize how important it is for me to read the first 164 pages of The Big Book.

While we cannot do this thing alone it has been told proven to me time and again, no one can do the work for you. You cannot get this through osmosis. This is what I know for me. After all I am just writing this for me and if it helps someone else, then great.

They say the proof is in the pudding. Well I want to take these steps now, and really have a program working in me.

I can write and read all I want. Without change it is fruitless. This I know. I am not willing to let myself water down the experience or the actions in taking these steps. The thing is, I really want more spiritual experiences and to be able to trust and let go.

I also hope to share my journey with anyone else who has this in common. I am so blessed by any who have and are apart of my life. It’s time for me to read and take some direction so that change is a reality and not just a dream.

Day 6 3 things I am grateful for 21 days of rewiring my brain to be happy:

  1. Grateful to the Program of AA
  2. Grateful to God for waking me up for another day
  3. Grateful for the chance to change

Thanks for reading! This has been another blog post entry of BoxcarMike over and out!

God Bless Everybody!

 

Checking Your Foundation and Getting Real

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Hello Again, Everyone!

As I have stated in another post; I believe I did anyway. I am going through the 12 steps again and in preparation I am actually trying to do what is necessary.

It’s no secret I am an alcoholic and addict. The disease of alcoholism is a progressive one.

I think it’s important to take every suggestion that one has the ability to do. If you can’t I truly believe surrounding yourself with good, quality sobriety is the best way to make it possible. We cannot do this thing alone.

I also believe it all has to be done by design of The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and I am sure many may balk at this. I admit I am using Hazelden’s workbooks, but they are the ones guided by The Big Book and the Book written by two anonymous authors, “A Program for You.”

Today I just read the first chapter and it is jam packed full of facts of exactly how AA began and how the Big Book even came into print, by the first 100 people. Thank goodness for The Oxford Groups and Ebby T bringing the message of hope to Cofounder of AA Bill W.

In this first chapter we learn we learn that the disease is two-fold physical and mental illness. It is a disease that will tell us we don’t have a disease. Yet, we end up in the same situations because nothing changes.

This describes nothing less than insanity when we keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. There are so many things this applies to, or so I believe.

We cannot recover from a seemingly hopeless state of mind without a spiritual experience. Many experiences though I believe are more of the educational variety as opposed to the lightening bolts and flashes of light. In alcoholism it is the drink that takes the next drink because we get the craving for it and wanting that first euphoria.

While I am almost 15 years clean and sober, I feel that I have a had a break in my spiritual foundation caused by myself. I believe the only way top fix the said foundation is to go back to the beginning of recovery.

It starts even before the admission of defeat this round. Thank goodness, I didn’t need to go back out and drink or use more!

There is no shame in going back and fixing the foundation of your whole system. What would be shameful and sad, even heart breaking for many of my friends, loved ones and myself is to go back out and throw everything away.

I would die never knowing I could be happy, joyous, and free. Today, I know I want to fix the foundation.

It all starts with being honest with yourself, God, and others. Or if you prefer a power greater than yourself. Early on they told me when the pupil is ready the teacher will appear. The big motivator is pain.

Pain will drive you to your knees and make you start praying in ways, you haven’t ever thought about maybe ever, or in many years.

One of the things that really made me think was when I was sharing about my anger someone shared with me and others how they watched a person go backward before they died.

The rawness of this disease is you don’t have to take another drink to die from it. I don’t want that to be my legacy. Its time to let of the pain, anger, and even shame.

Day 4 of 3 things to be grateful for in 21 days

  1. My Friend Kassi
  2. Learning Solutions
  3. I am not alone today

This is me getting real! Thanks for reading!

This has been another blog entry post by BoxcarMike over and out God Bless Everybody!

 

It’s A Spiritual Axiom Set Me Free!

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Hi Everyone,

Welcome back to another visit with Boxcar Mike and his thoughts on this journey.

It was a long day today. The weather was partly sunny and humid. I got home and knew I could not take a nap. I had things to do. I needed to pay a bill and deal with the cable company and delivery. I had lunch before I came home which was good. The day just seemed to drag out. It was finally time to go to a meeting and I was dragging big time.

My feet were tired, and I felt grumpy. I didn’t even want to go to a meeting, but I knew I needed to as it’s part of my commitment to myself and others now.

I got to the meeting place with my friend. I am thankful for the rides he gives me. He is very generous that way.

I could feel myself getting ready to express my grumpiness as another man showed up and made a negative remark and it just hit me wrong. I go inside as I say my feet are very tired and sore. I chat with another friend and she gives me some candy, for which I am grateful for. It helped me get through the meeting.

Another gentleman came in, one I might add that can get under my skin. I found myself closing my eyes and praying. This is a huge change for me. I have never stopped myself in the middle of a bad feeling, to just pray.

Later on, in the middle of this meeting this same gentleman starts in again and I start to feel mad. What I found was, I absolutely stopped again and closed my eyes just praying. I opened them again feeling really close to wanting to say something. Instead a grin comes across my face and I said, “Okay God, you have a great sense of humor!” I even write it down and show it to my friend.

Man, I am laughing on the inside because I finally feel this program of action alive in me again. I finally feel the release and that I did need that meeting!

Here’s the irony of this whole meeting, we read about taking a moral inventory. We read about repairing the damage we have done and harms we have caused and stopping it. The thing that I shared one before during and after the meeting is learning that we need the pauses in our life. Maybe it is time to just close our eyes and pray when we start feeling anger.

I also shared not originally by me, but that part of taking care is moving our cereal bowl, so other people don’t pee in it. I have a responsibility to take in taking care of myself.

Something finally rings true for me and it freeing to have the knowledge of it. It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. Page 90 Twelve Steps And Twelve Traditions Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

I can no longer handle anger like normal men. I never could. I don’t like how anger makes me feel today. I refuse to stay a prisoner in my own anger. I am taking walk to free myself. I want a true spiritual life where I let go of all the junk and free myself from such hatred. I don’t have to stay stuck today.

I have hope today. I said this to a friend this evening, “I finally feel hope!”  I pray you have hope today too, my friends.

Day 2 of our 21 days of being grateful for 3 things.

  1. I am grateful for a meeting
  2. I am grateful for God’s sense of humor.
  3. I am grateful for prayer.

Thanks for reading! I hope you join me in listing 3 things we are grateful for in 21 days each day.

This has been another blog entry by Boxcar Mike Over and Out! God Bless Everybody!

 

Happy Independence Day United States of America!

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Photo by Andre Benz @ unsplash.com

Hello Everyone and Happy Independence Day!

This is my Country’s Day of freedom. There have been many brave men and women who have fought and gave what they had for the freedoms here. Many have laid down their lives and died for our freedom.

That in itself deserves the gratitude from all of us, who are benefitting from what they gave. For what we do have, someone else has paid the price. May we never forget that!

Today I am just trying to concentrate on the fact we have freedom.

In my recovery and spiritual well-being freedom of choice is there as well. The freedom from bondage of self that often has the by-product of addiction and illness. We have the freedom to choose to be well today.

The choices we make affects us and those around us. I want to make the healthy choices for myself today. That doesn’t mean I choose what others may want for me. I have to decide for myself what is healthy today.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. We don’t have to stay stuck. It becomes a choice to be free or not. We don’t have to stay sick today.

It comes down to changing our behavior and unlearning the negative ways we have nurtured inside ourselves. This where real freedom is born. It’s not always easy and sometimes we have a real fight on our hands to give up that which we have learned.

Some things have been instilled in us all our life. We have taken lies for truth. This is where we really need to be connected so that hopefully the truth can prevail and break down the walls which we have carefully built brick by brick.

I think about a phrase I often hear and read a lot.  The following taken from page 164 of Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book “God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order.

But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.”

“Abandon yourself to God as you understand GodAdmit your faults to Him and your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join usWe shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you until then.”

While I have quoted this, I am not saying I have achieved it all. I am working towards it. I do want the freedom and happiness. I want to rightly relate myself to God as I understand Him and don’t understand Him. I choose freedom today!

Thanks for reading!