Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lightening it up.

I don't know the exact time , but it was early. I quit letting my family know what brought me joy because it was an effort to protect my heart. Somewhere, denying things interested me, made me happy, brought me joy in an act of self preservation, I stopped having things that interested me, made me happy or brought me joy. Those things were roped up with the red velvet curtains and I stood behind the ropes and forgot they once meant something to me. I have assumed it was a great quality that I wasn't burdened down with chasing things to own or possess, today the curtain has been held back and part of the reason my life is so flat and empty is because I gave up and having things, because I thought it made me vulnerable to pain. You have something to hurt me with when you know I love something.

This stuff is so deep and so tangled that I honestly don't see how it is possible to salvage anytime I have left and possibly "get a life I would fight death for , for just one day more".

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's been a lovely tearful night

I have a great deal of shame in the fact that I don't have a burning desire for "one more day".  I think about the people I know that have died that fought for one more breath, one more look at their loved ones, one more sunrise or sunset. I don't feel that. I think it would be nice to feel that burning desire for one more day of life but it could be a curse. I'm not depressed or courting death, I just haven't tasted anything in 43 years worth fighting for another 24 hours for.

I haven't lived very much I admit it, I haven't experienced shock and awe. What if I asked to have a leave I would actually hate to leave? What if i focused on creating a life I would actually fight not to leave.

I listened and watched to some great music on PBS tonight and I don't know what it is about the group numbers , but when they all join in with full voice, it makes me weep a weep that could seriously go into full sob. lol

Saturday, March 26, 2011

(insert witty ass title HERE)

by Clinton Rolen Gandy on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 10:22am
I was thinking about something I heard a friend say, If you don't have a sponsor and aren't working steps you can't really say you have relapsed- you just used. So for the unlucky bastards that keep picking up white key tags, I wonder if they realize there is more to recovery than coming to meetings, being their own sponsor and smoking on the porch. The reason I even was thinking it is there is a very sweet natured , older than me that re-tags periodically and I got the sense he may have never "heard" the part about the actual program in the time that it was right for him to "hear it". I'm kind of compelled just to talk with him a little because he is one of those people I run into time and time again that I am not real sure they aren't some sort of undercover spiritual creature sent just to see if I am paying attention and provides us all with the opportunity to love without judgement. lol You know that song "What If God Were One of US", "just a stranger on a bus". What if I was wrong and this guy was God, and he was "secret shopping"

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recycled Material Inside

Breakdown or break-through. It's so curious that in life we aren't given a crystal ball to see how things will play out in the long run. What seems to be a disaster today can ultimately be the thing that brings us to whole new level of living and loving. I've seen lotto winners run head on into their own demise with the freedom money can give. I've seen a 7th runner up in a big TV talent contest get tossed way to soon and end up winning an Oscar and Grammy, while the winner of her contest season crumbled with having to much too soon. Cancer survivors who fight the illness, come out on the other side and never see life the same again. A complete perspective shift is possible at anytime for any reason and suddenly life as we understand is gone forever. It is like exiting one world and being birthed into another.  Sometimes I get a prompt on the computer that Windows has another, ANOTHER patch or upgrade I need to take. I look at it and read it like i actually know anything I am looking at and hit update. Everything that I pull into my life has the capacity to be an upgrade, there isn't a problem in my life today that can't serve as a catalyst to make me more loving, more understanding more aware of the human condition. Only by making contact with a power, a loving power bigger than me every morning and keeping in contact with it through various ways through the day and night are real changes made possible. In our GREEN conversion, it makes me kind of tickled, that I am being recycled. A power and a program are taking my strengths , flaws, and weaknesses and putting me through the process of being wholly made useful. "No part left behind".  "Renewable Resources". What looks like a disaster to me at first glance isn't quite the big deal it was a year ago, because I know, that when i am willing, I can ask to see things in a different way. I am willing to see this from a different perspective and that is when the REAL Recycling begins on me. A perspective I might add a perspective not distorted through the bottom of a margarita (yes, I drank the girlie drinks) or  the amber haze of a plastic pill bottle.
If I had a Tee Shirt machine I would make us all Tee Shirts with the NA logo and a stamp of  RECYCLED MATERIAL on the chest of the shirt.  Gregg County Recycle Center. lol

Monday, March 21, 2011

Portion of an online conversation that i had with a cool chick i know that i wanted to go back over and read again for myself before I forget everything

You know, it's just right for me right now. I fell in love one time when I was 18 and it was spectacular, it burned out within 2 years but I have never seen or heard anyone that made me feel that way again, 25 years later. It was magic and I'm not sure if you get to have that more than once. I don't really no anything about your spirituality but mine is entirely based on the creative loving spirit. when i am creating or loving I am doing what i was brought into existence to do and I think I am most like the creative force/flow that breathed me into possibility. When I create, whether it be a laugh or a document on computer, I create real energy, an energy that is needed to absorb the negative shit so many others crank out. Energy created through the ACT of creating is like stem cells to earth and world of spirit. I hit the thrift stores and try to match up cool things I can afford with cool people. Creating is way easier than most think. I love my life. I love the interaction I get to have with people when both parties come with honesty. No extraneous bullshit, I just can't be around it long. It's corrosive.

The first notice is usually always cordial.

One of the best things I have learned to do in order to align myself with my "power greater than myself", is listen to the tiniest of directives. Things like, "let's go home a different way" "Pick up the phone and call So and So", "Go to the meeting hall a little early" These are just a small collection of the things I learned to listen for but the outcome has been my internal directive system(IDS) is soo much stronger now and I can clearly hear the difference between my IDS and the voice of disease. So this is a quick little story of how my "HP" is quite gentle with me when I don't listen to the voice that has been provided.
Yesterday on the way to the meeting hall I stopped at Sonic to get a cold sweet coffee. I had like 2 dollar bills and my bank card. I paid for it with my bank card but did not have 2 quarters to give the gal who was gonna bring it out.  I thought about asking for 4 quarters but I thought that made me look like a cheap bastard. Then I heard my IDS say, just give her the whole dollar. For some reason I did not want to give her the dollar and was too embarrassed to ask for change so I left nothing.
 I pulled out and zipped down highway 80 with the sun roof open and the front windows down sippin' on my frozen coffee drink when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. The dollar bill that I had laid in the passenger seat was lifted up by the all the wind of the open windows and did 2 graceful loops, hung suspended for a split second and was sucked right out the window.
I knew as it was happening that was going to be the outcome and by the time it actually  flew out the passenger window I was already laughing. I was laughing that the power that loves me knows exactly how to get my attention when I am to into myself, too into myself to follow the internal directives. That was a reminder-lesson worth a dollar to me. It simply wasn't my dollar to keep and I wish the girl at Sonic could gotten it instead of the road side cleanup people. But following directives saves me the burden of worrying about results. I am only responsible to the universe for the actions it dictates and I choose to follow. I have nothing to do with outcome and even my perspective of the result is subject to being dead wrong. lol
I just thought it was a special little recovery tale from yesterday I would pass along. My listening skills are fine evidently, I just break down in follow through now and then. lol

Another Weekend Marked off the Calendar

When Monday comes, even if the weekend was a great one as far as an adult male living with his adult sister and mother goes, I am always glad to see Monday. 3 grownups in a smallish house at home at the same time is always uncomfortable. To many big personalities, don't you know. This weekend the ladies were spring cleaning and I was sick with a sinus infection that had been slow brewing all week long.

There have been some times I think about the money and energy I have wasted on reading books and articles aimed at better understanding yourself or to change parts of me and I wished I had my money back. lol I realized yesterday that all that practice for 20 years has made me very very good at spotting in recovery literature things that apply directly to me. It is sort of a muscle that even during times of relapse for me I never let die. I would drink beers at home two at a time from a glass and have my nose buried in books of spirituality and growth while I was doing it. I'd eat xanax like candy and muscle relaxer like sweets while I devoured books on changing my life and outlook.

The fact is, I have never , NOT looked for answers. I remember being 12 and deciding that there was no way you could realize you were happy while it was happening. Only in retrospect could you see, "boy , I was happy".

Of course I was dead wrong but  you have to admit that is some heady stuff for a 12 year old be be thinking up. I came to earth and into my being with a touch of sadness about my spirit. It to me is the quarter teaspoon of salt in the Toll House Cookie recipe. You think why would anything sweet need salt? The answer is you don't taste the salt directly but it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. It's like a super booster for the sweet. So the part of my soul that is always keenly away of the sadness , just behind the laughter, just sweetens the moments that life brings to me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My response to a sweet article about no one wanting to be Miss Ice-o-Rama anymore

Thank you for your piece on Miss Ice-O-Rama. It made me a little sad for myself and a little sad for the young girls of the day and age. My name is Clinton Gandy and I grew up in rural East Texas. I grew up going to our annual Miss Hughes Springs. One of my earliest memories of all comes from getting to play on the bleachers in the hot high school auditorium as the annual pageantry took place. It wasn't just a big deal for the girl that charmed the judges, it was a HUGE deal.  They used the same crown for 20 years and by the time a family friend"s daughter had won the crown, it was mostly balls of soldering holding up some very persistent rhinestones that looked alot like a dirty faced hobo who clung to he last two teeth. She and the winners before her in 1976 were ribbon cutters, pancake servers, parade riders, local fashion models and visiting court duchess to other larger celebrations like "The Gilmer Yamboree" (a big deal in East Texas)lol. In 1985, when my closest friend was the winner, there were no prizes to speak of, just the goal of representing her home town where her granddad had a Chevrolet dealer ship for 40 years and he mother taught school for 30. There wasn't a girl before 1986 that didn't picture themselves riding on a Dewey Moore Ford or McMillan Chevrolet glistening in the sun during the Christmas Parade. There were years when there was more girls trying out for the title but there was always plenty for a good show and a contest right to the end.

In 1987 the decline began in earnest.  Less and less girls were interested in old fashioned things. They understood nothing about the history of the town coming together , bringing the best girls possible to the stage and let them show everyone what they could do. It was a venue for them to express themselves and surprise everyone. Including themselves.  The slick auditorium long replaced the sweaty summer nights in the basket ball gymnasium  and somewhere slick modern distractions have taken away a few beautifully simple ones. I am 43 and can still remember the names of some of the winners and they went on to be great ladies and great moms and great members of their communities. I guess the unspoken part of nostalgia is the sadness that things have changed and not necessarily for the better. They quit having our little home town pageant and then someone will try to save it, but I have resigned myself to the fact the old saying is true, you cannot UN-RING a bell. The hometown pageant is DEAD in Texas.  Those girls, those "it"  girls who planned , practiced, set goals, polished up on current events, road in a dozen parades, waved when they felt like shivering, borrowed gowns to save money, pulled a talent out of a an empty bag that could charm a roomful of people and smile widely  to let you see they freaking loved every minute of it. It was such a great little piece of Americana, pretty girls smiling and waving from a spiffed up sports car in between the marching band and the Shriners in their spooky tiny cars every year at Christmas Time..

I knew for sure the death of the home town pageant hit Texas, a state that loves it's big haired beauties like no other, pulled the plug on airing the Miss Texas Pageant on TV. I'm sad for the loss  of interest in all things simple and American but very happy the Nicole Rezza is getting to carry on the Tradition in the parade for South Boston as the reigning Miss Ice-O-rama.  I hope she savors every camel spin and sequin. I hope she wins it until she is too old to be in the competition.

I love my WiFi and cell phones but there was something to be said about a girl with a dream, a crown and a crowd and a panel of judges looking for a girl, -THAT GIRL.

Thank you for giving me stuff to think about and miss today.
Clinton R. Gandy
Gladewater, Texas

Just skating by

Being Miss Ice-O-Rama isn’t what it used to be

Nicole Rezza, the current Miss Ice-O-Rama, tries on an outfit she may wear in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Nicole Rezza, the current Miss Ice-O-Rama, tries on an outfit she may wear in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. (John Tlumacki/ Globe Staff)
Technically, Miss Ice-O-Rama is the winner of a figure skating competition. But in South Boston, she is more — a symbol of yesteryear whose existence owes more to nostalgia than demand. This is because that big title and all its attendant glories — riding in a convertible! in the parade! — go to the best figure skater in a neighborhood that has almost none of them.
Last Sunday at the Murphy Rink, as a 12-year-old named Nicole Rezza prepared to take the ice to defend her title, she had only one concern.
“I just hope someone else shows up,’’ she said as she scanned the other girls in the rink, all of whom were wearing hockey skates as competitors in the Ice-O- Rama speed skating and puck shooting competitions.
Those hockey skates tell part of the story, said Tommy McGrath, president of the South Boston Citizens’ Association, which has been hosting the competition as part of its Evacuation Day events for at least four decades. The community has become a hotbed for women’s hockey, which has all but eclipsed figure skating. McGrath has his own evidence. He missed the Ice-O-Rama because he was in Michigan watching his daughter play for the UMass-Amherst women’s team.
“Miss Ice-O-Rama used to be huge, huge,’’ said Michelle White, a two-time winner of the competition in the 1970s who went on to train many future winners at a time when several dozen girls often competed for the title. “I remember getting my trophy, and it was almost as big as I was, and then riding in the parade. I felt like a movie star. Everywhere I went, everyone knew who I was,’’ said White, who is 46 and now lives in Florida.
Jennifer Jackson, Miss Ice-O-Rama 1983, is now 39 and chief of staff for state Senator Jack Hart. She remembers preparing for the competition like it was the Olympics.
“We lived and breathed it,’’ she said. “We skated whenever we could, and every one of us took private lessons so we could have a routine for Miss Ice-O-Rama. The whole year prior to the competition, that was your focus.’’
Now, Jackson, said, “it’s different, and it has been for a while.’’ And for that, she and many others blame pure numbers: In the era after the three-deckers went condo, there just aren’t nearly as many kids in South Boston.
As this year’s competition began, Rezza walked toward the ice still unsure if she was skating a solo.
“I have a plan in case anybody who figure-skates does come,’’ she said of the two-minute routine she’d prepared to the Katy Perry song, “Firework.’’Continued...

 When Rezza stepped to the ice, she looked relieved to see that she was not alone. There was another girl, wearing a yellow sweater with a green scarf and gloves and . . . hockey skates.
As Rezza warmed up, she took off her coat to reveal a proper figure skating costume — Spandex, sequins, tights — which surprised one of the mothers in the crowd.
“Oh, she’s real!’’ the woman gasped.
Yes she is, and the reason Rezza became a real figure skater — she practices four days a week in Allston — was not to win the Miss Ice-O-Rama crown but to defend it. A few years ago, simply because she was there, she was named Miss Junior Ice-O-Rama, got “a really huge trophy,’’ and wanted more.
As her mother hit play on the boombox, Rezza began her routine — with lots of spins and jumps — while her competitor dutifully skated around the boards, occasionally kicking a leg into the air. The winner was evident, though Rezza had a slight moment of confusion afterward when she was handed the runner-up trophy. The trophy company forgot to send a winner’s trophy.
Following the win, Rezza sat in the lobby eating a mid-morning slice of pizza from the snack bar, assessing her performance. “I didn’t skate as well as I wanted to, and I fell a few times,’’ she said.
But it was over, and now she had to turn her attention to what is becoming a regular role for her, being the tween face of Southie in the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
In a neighborhood that holds tight to tradition, there have always been two reserved spots for local girls in the parade that is its biggest event: one for Miss Ice-O-Rama, and one for Miss South Boston. But the Miss South Boston pageant ended last year; so now it’s just the girl with the funny title.
Winning the competition may create nary a ripple nowadays — Rezza said it would mean almost nothing to her sixth-grade classmates at the Murphy School in Dorchester — but riding in the parade remains a big deal.
“It was always so exciting,’’ said Lauree Maiullari, who won the competition six or seven times (she can’t remember). “I would see everyone in my class. I had friends run out and give me flowers. People I didn’t even know were cheering for me,’’ said the third-year student at Northeastern University.
Yesterday, at her home on Farragut Road just behind the rink, Rezza prepared for her big moment in the parade by sorting through a pile of green accessories that her mother was piling on the couch. Her choices included a sash that read “Irish Girl at Heart,’’ mardi gras beads, a shamrock lei, and a neon green hair piece. Rezza tried each on, then hung them around the neck of her riding companion in today’s parade, a puggle named Angel, who sat patiently while Rezza’s twin brother, John, put flashing green sunglasses on her face.
Rezza couldn’t commit to a getup. A lot would depend on the weather, and she and her brother were having a hard time calming down because they’d received the news that morning that they had both won something that is still highly competitive in this city: acceptance into Boston Latin School.
Winning Miss Ice-O-Rama has become an annual thing for Rezza, so it’s not a huge deal anymore. And there doesn’t appear to be anyone stepping up to challenge her reign in the near future. But Doris Rezza thinks there’s some hope for the future of the competition, one that she whispers when her daughter is out of earshot.
“I want to give a pair of figure skates to some of these hockey players and see what they can do,’’ she said. “Those girls are good.’’

Saturday, March 19, 2011

identification not assimilation.

Who the hell are you? I was getting out of the car at Walmart and the really nice SUV was covered in bumper stickers "GETTING HIS POINT ACROSS"on every topic. It just struck me as odd the things we choose to provide us with an identity and then be able to not grow, change or take on any new ideas because, "NOpe", "already know who I am"- see my tee shirt and bumper stickers tell me everyday who I am and what things matter". I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago that it is so common for our brains to believe they are our spirits or essences. The spirit directs and dictates who we are not the reverse.
So after I got through keying the shit out of his dumb ass Rick Perry stickers, I signed it love, 2.0 . That part is a joke but look around at what people claim for identities for themselves.

Next time you are at a stoplight look around and see, "Aggies Mom, Honor students grandma, Democrat, republican , Libertarian, Cowboy fan, etc. .......

Today because of years of therapy and lot's of 12 step times, halls and a variety of types, I know a few things about who I am today and it is information that is spirit based. I'm doing much better in not letting you tell me who I am, or my mom or one really pushy friend I have. It's a cheesy saying but, this isn't a dress rehearsal, I don't want to spend one more moment being someone that isn't me and frankly I don't like.

So my question to you, once again is "who the hell do you think YOU are.lol The hope the program offered me first was the fact, the understand that I was not the sum of all my fuck ups . I was more than an unfortunate score card of addiction and blinding failures in attempts to live a life on the planet earth.

I also have the privilege of sharing who i am with you not trying to conform to what I think you need me to be in order to like me. There is a huge difference in being in my life and being a part of my life. I hope for the same reciprocity with people that don't care for me in the hall but live along side me in the 12 step hall.

I'm not a mood ring from the 70's waiting to be told how I feel and what color I should be at any given moment and it makes me so look forward to more. More will be revealed and WE DO RECOVER.

NA is a process of identification not assimilation.

Saturday a.m.

I can't believe I am awake at nearly 4 in the morning. It's been 11 months or since my last "hospitalization" that I was up at this time. Mostly what got me out of bed was the stinging and burning of my sinus's and painful eyes form allergies. But I figured why freak out just get up and do something for myself. I got to listen to a fellow NA member sort of unload on his frustration with the people in the meeting hall. It made me think once again that whatever I give attention to is fed by it and it gets larger. If I focus on the ugly, it is I am going to see. My attention makes things grow.

Another thing I was remember today, about 4 years ago, actually I have no for sure way of know the time frame, I began working with someone reading the Eckert Tolle book called "A new earth". It talks in great detail about what he terms our "Pain Body" and it is like a black clouded filter, in which our current moment passes through and tells our brain that since it ended badly last time, this is what I have to look forward to this time. This energy body of suffering and pain acts like a veil in which, through which I see a warped and distorted version of my now.

It's wasn't a quick easy read but I was glad I read it. I then went back and read his first book, "The power of NOW". Much easier to read and much more the message I needed to hear. It got me noticing how much exposure I had to negative people, places and things. I purposely started protecting myself from "bad mojo". I blocked all the cable news nets, no murder profiles on Dateline and NO TRUE crime stories on the court house channel.

Our wireless service was interupted and I called the 800 number. The lady had me unscrew the coaxil cable where the cable attached to the modem and she had me touch the copper wire with my finger for 45 seconds. I did that, screwed it back in and Boom, we were back in business. She told me that extraneous sound bits and basically particles of noise would collect at the point where the coax joined the modem and it needed to be grounded to clear the floating bits away. She was talking about the wireless modem, but I was hearing her say, "You collect bits of energy like lent on a sweater, so when I have the ability to choice what I am exposed to, I try very hard to choose stuff that if buts of it linger and attaches to me, it won't be bits that bring me down, cause me pain or keep me from my own wireless connection with the universe.

The shit we subject ourselves to has consequences. It's this something that will make me better or is this something that will make me bitter.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

So cute I want to cry and laugh simutaneously.

F E A R L I E S!

I woke up thinking about when I took figure skating lessons in 1994. The Olympics had just ended and 4 or 5 guys on my softball team in Dallas decided it would be fun if we paid for a private class for 6 weeks and learn how to do what we had seen the skaters doing. We all had the same level of experience with ice skating which was NONE. We had our class in the Downtown Dallas Plaza of The Americas.  I've watched the stuff on tv my whole life and it never once entered my mind wouldn't be able to skate.
We all laced up for our first class and everyone got on the ice. Frankie, Gill and the rest of the guys were holding on to the railing and I just skated right past them. In ten minutes childhood roller skating muscle memories came back and I started skating backwards. My friends were telling me that I was lying about my skill level and I assured them that I wasn't. I wanted to try one of those cool jumps. I did, and I landed flat out knocking the wind out of my lungs and barely missing coming down flat on my chin, It was the hardest fall I ever had without breaking something.

The next lesson, I was back with everyone else, learning how to stand up right and move holding on to the rails. The fall had introduce fear into me and it completely convinced my that i couldn't do this. I could barely stand up and the ice looked hard.

We hear a bunch about being perfections. Martha Stewart is called a perfectionist. To me, my fear on not doing something perfect keeps me from participating in many many things. Fear lies to me, it says things like there is no room for mediocrity and this if it isn't pretty than it's not perfect.

I saw some 10 year old do something incredible on TV and a friend with me said "How did that kid do that" and my response was, he didn't have anyone he believed in, tell him he couldn't do that. He didn't know how to listen to the voices of doubt in his own mind. It's so crazy that the more experience we get on earth the harder it is to do and try things because we are afraid, (I am afraid) to fail or look foolish. Think about all the stuff we had to learn as children.

I'm not sure I would have ever learned to tie my shoes, to read, learn to swim or to go to the bathroom on my own if I had to deal with the idea that failure had been a possibility.

Every major religion tells its followers/studiers to "be like children" and frankly for me a lot of the times means- to do it now, fear it later.

There is really a beautiful thing that happens when I face a fear, live through it and come out the other side. First, it gives me usable experience to share with others and second, it makes me a little big stronger when I need to pull from my own courage reserves to get through the next big horrible monster of a  thing I think will kill me.

Just for today I will show up and "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain". I may have to hold someones hand but I can get through whatever fearful stuff comes my way.

To paraphrase someone elses idea "We spend our lives running for monsters that didn't exist and never really chased us."


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'd love to feel that safe and loved

I woke up in the same place I went to sleep. Cool. lol

by Clinton Rolen Gandy on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 6:20am
I got to speak with a great man with several months clean a few days ago and I have been pestering the him to find a sponsor. He said that he was working the steps and that he had several people that he spoke with but hasn't found someone to sponsor him yet. My concern for him is that I just like him so much and he has this great big spirit of kindness about him I worry that what has happened with other people I have seen who refuses to work the core CORE suggestions of the program is going to happen to him. Sponsoring yourself makes spotting areas of self=deception fucking impossible.
He mentioned he new someone who was a decade clean and had never been to NA.
All I need to know, is there is a Grand Canyon size gap in being abstinent and recovering. Maybe on a bad day, clinging to abstinence may be all I have, but I come to NARCOTICS ANNONYMOUS damn nearly daily and pay my dollar (most days) because I want to live a recovered life. I want my life and spirit to be remade from the inside out like dozens of other people I have seen. I'm not there by any means to win a fancy car or go back to school and see my lifelong dream of being a doctor or a lawyer finally happen.(some do and we use them for the brochure cover. lol)
My recovery goal and my recovery dream is really simple. I want to not use on a daily basis and wake up with the knowing I have something awesome to offer the world and I want to be as gentle and kind with my shortcomings as I am with yours.
I just want to thoroughly enjoy the experience of being a "spiritual being having a human experience", and I want to bring anyone that's interesting in that too, along with me.
Plus, it's nice to be at the party and not worry about being made fun of. lol

From the Basic Text of NA

We learn to become flexible and to admit when others are right and we are wrong. As new things are revealed, we feel renewed. We need to stay open-minded and willing to do that one extra thing; go to that one extra meeting; stay on the phone that one extra minute; and help that newcomer stay clean that one extra day. This extra effort is vital to our recovery. We come to know ourselves as never before. We experience new sensations, such as finding out what it is to love, to be loved, to know that people care about us, and to have concern and compassion for others. We find ourselves doing things that we never thought we would be doing, and enjoying them. We make mistakes and we accept and learn from them. We experience failure and we learn how to succeed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My simple simple needs for my new 2.0 life

Just for a while I don't want to worry about keeping my car running. I want to live on a bus route, I want only enough space for my bed, tv and computer with ice access and a piece of a kitchen. I want it close to wherever I find work and I don't want to be in such a neighborhood I am frightened to be outside at night. I don't care one whip about have a large space with great furniture and a car with a payment of 5 hundred dollars. I just want to start from scratch and learn to be fully self supporting and I want the life I life to be mine.

Even as simple as those things are above, it completely confuses me on where to start.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Time for change but what first?

It's been a long long day. I'm really not used to feeling this much angst. My mother said something in the car that was not only an attempt of making me feel like a child, is sort of emasculated me too. I almost responded it to it and then i just knew it would only start an argument. No my sister has taken too many ambien and she is flitting about the house like she is on major speed. My ability to meet calamity with serenity is gone. I know there is a way out of this but I can't seem to find the first step toward my adult life. I'm not using over it but I also don't plan on feeling like crap because someone's insanity-not my own. I'm sick to shit of my sister being fucked up , the trip she took was so relaxing for me. lol

I love to get an idea across

My mother has never understand the principle of my using drugs even though it's never gone well. She has a  digestive system that can't tolerate milk or ice cream, but once in a blue moon she's eat/drink some and then is really quite ill. Perhaps once in the last 365 days she has used a dairy product and gotten away with it. 95 percent of the time it will make her sick, she knows it, it isn't new but she does it anyway because the taste is good. Sickness follows and she says never again.

Now I know, lactose intolerance is a stretch comparing it to drug abuse, but the insanity is just the same and I have been looking for a way to help her understand the insanity of thinking she can get by with just a little ice cream is the same way I hope I can use a little dope and get away with it even though history says I won't. Just looking for a bridge to help understand each other. When you speak different languages of understanding ANY bridge that covers some of the gap is a good thing.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More thoughts of working without the net of one of my meds.

This is 2 weeks into my process and feelings are connecting to my head and my spirit. I usually just got the head connection. I honestly think that original the disconnect was a psych  response. My brain new my spirit couldn't take anymore pain, but as my recovery program healed some of that , my multi-year use of Paxil had me in the pharm-apathy that still stopped me from feeling the spirit-mind-feeling process that is one of the best parts of being a human being. Just today I was telling a friend how happy I was that after 17 years of jail and home confinement his freedom is  just days away and I felt my spirit flutter and my eyes get warm. It made me feel connected and alive.
I'm still a big advocate of medicines, I just had done enough healing to take the  safety ropes off . Like I said I have 5 or 6 refills on file and if the darkness returns, I'll be at CVS by lunch time. lol

Intellect over Emotion

I caught a piece of a health documentary and it reminded me of the first real, usual-able, relate-able piece of information I learned at the (first) treatment center I was in. Humans operate, Intelligence over emotions I/E. Addicts operate emotion over intelligence(E/I) and to make things even worse for us, it is DISTORTED emotion. Part of the recovery process is to slowly begin to make decisions of life using not our emotion but our intellect. We strengthen and sharpen our intellect through meetings, literature and for me a lot of independent study that might not appear on the surface to be related to recovery but I manage to find a common thread and re-educate myself with reality and all that is.
The irony of the addict running on distorted emotion is that emotions of all kind freak me ass out because they feel uncontrollable to me, so basically fear and other mutant emotions have driven me to the edge of disaster for 30 years. I wouldn't begin to even say that out loud if I didn't believe one hundred percent that Narcotics Anonymous, it's members who share their experience strength and hope, and my tiny understanding of things spiritual were gonna get me through what ever comes up. Today, I am going to focus on I over E. (I/E) I will make better decisions for my recover that aren't based of self and steeped in fear.
Klinger still makes me laugh and laugh on those old reruns of MASH. I heard this dress was in the Smithsonian.

When at the end of the road......

If you know me at all you have heard that that two sentence section for Chapter 8 in the Basic Text is the single thing that gave me the power to connect my ass to Narcotics Anonymous and I reach to read it at the beginning of meetings when it is still available to be read. I never knew what I was supposed to be doing as a human being so I pretended and when I couldn't bear pretending I used. When the using didn't give me a break from the hideous understanding that I was an imposter, I imploded on a regular basis, with many hurt in the collateral damage. At the big ass NA meeting they made me go to while at the "Hospital" when I heard "We do Recover" read for the first time, it transformed me from a frightened mess to a determined member of Narcotics Anonymous. The humor in that story more me is I had to wreck my life and take a 128 dollar cab ride to the nuthouse in Shreveport Louisiana to here the same message I could have heard 8 miles from my house. But, IT TAKES WHAT IT GOD DAMN TAKES! I would have taken a cab ride to Libya if I believed a solution could have been found there. I could NOT function "With or Without Drugs" and it told me in detail what to do.3 mi

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New things happen when they happen and I'm not that crazy

I've been slowly adding a 2.O designation to things I sign my name to. Clinton 2.0, Clinton Gandy 2.0 because in every single way I have been upgraded from the dismal operating system that i use to run. Instead of saying the new recovery voice inside my head directed me to do something different, I'm trying out just saying 2.0 said to do this or do that.
I just commented to Katy that 2.0 said I had options when a clerk went off on me and I thought I probably should put down in text form the whole meaning of the 2.O thing. It's the me that I refer to after recovery, and after 10 years of therapy, it is the better version of the same of the same deserving person on the planet I have always been, but I've just taken the upgrade that was made available but hard ass work and ego crushing blows that got me to a point of being teachable.
It is an millennial take on the old good twin/ evil twin. In my case it's recovery Clinton or dark and ill clinton. lol
It' won't mean anything to anyone but me. I want to see I have been remade when I see my signature. At least, Just for today.


Clinton 2.0

Check the damn INTENTION.

My intention behind the things I do is really important. What did I hope to accomplish. Sometimes I just don't look good even to myself. That is we are all about, the progress, sista. I'm learning relationships 101 and I have a pretty patient group of instructors in the hall. I guess some addicts come in with more social polish than others , but I've been away from people for 10 years because I was afraid to leave the house, and skills you don't use for that long, atrophy. My issue that has me be by the nads is letting people make their own mistakes without me trying to tell them that I think they are a bit of course. There are even areas in my sponsors life that I just have to bite my tongue and not be my mother by giving him these little "Tips" on how to live a learn more productively/happily. lol

I just keep my focus on my intention and try to let you learn the way you learn. My NA hall is just a giant study hall, where it is ok to make mistakes and know that you can't be run up and out of it while the process in in motion.

There was a lady I bump heads with, and I used a photograph to make a phony pharmaceutical advertisement using her picture. My plan was for one person, who would get a kick out of it to see it. Instead one of her sponsees saw it and went running to her sponsor that I put her in a Herpes Treatment advertisement.

My intention, was to knock down a person I considered a bully, privately. It set a lot of emotion IN motion and it taught me two lessons. One, the first is, leave no paper trail, and the other was to remember there is a person behind the mask of ego and bully.

I'd still love to take her inventory but recovery isn't about what I think of her program, it's putting together my own program that will save my ass. There are no saints in NA and we are all part horns and halos.

With my friends I usually say dirt whores with halos, but i don't know you guys well enough to call you loving pet names. lol

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

fun for me.

Growth Spruts.

What a lovely day and how grateful I am to have been a part of it. One thing that recovery allows me or empowers me to do is to be able to be truly emotionally invested in another person and to feel their success as they happen and of course the mishaps. My friend Frankie is closing in on her first year after many years of trying to get the "One day at a time" thing down. Jamie and her Daughter celebrated Mardi Gras and wore these hats that were so colorful my eyes tickled. There are so many people, people I know by name that are trying so hard to live and love differently that I am inspired to try another day.
The more I talk and get to know addicts the more I am leveled by the facts that we are all terrified to make mistakes and "failing", and we are so hard on ourselves when it comes to accepting love.

My sponsor was the first person who told me "We love you just the way you are" in a way that I really heard it and believed him. I was complaining about someone sharing at a meeting that came off to me like a low low end televangelist earlier tonight. The fact is a lot of people vibe to him. Regardless of what I think of him I would never say he wasn't welcome in a meeting and I wouldn't try to get my little group to run him out. Besides the miracle of addicts living without using, the other miracle is the program was set up in a way the "principles before personality" saves us from ourselves. No one person can be so "right" that we run someone else out.

And what that really means to me is , I can go in and be myself and they can't make me leave if they don't like me. lol  For someone with social anxiety like mine, that social cushion of having a spot regardless regardless of group opinion of me makes me feel safe. I have to feel safe in order to grow. I wasn't safe growing up and I shut down to protect myself.  I try my hardest to make new people feel safe when they come in. I try to do for them what I needed and need today.
  All my life I just wanted to feel F E E L cared for. I get it today for a dollar a meeting and a little service on the side.lol

Highlight from behind this door of Facebook this week so far.

I'll try not to soap box here, but as children in America we are filled with a big line of BullShit where it comes to succeed succeed, win win , we're number one, we're number one. It sat up a fear in me so that I would rather avoid and not try than be labeled failure or looser. In the scheme of spirits on the planet there isn't such thing as failure. One way gives you this circumstance and lessons to learn and the other way gives you another set.

Failure isn't fatal. In fact I'm not even sure it is failure. Only time will tell. Post it notes were developed from a highly anticipated epoxy that "failed" technically.-

It was a momentous (not being a jerk here) day when I figured out I could learn from someone elses experience. I remember the folding chair I was sitting in at a Lambda AA meeting in Dallas. I believe someone growing up that told me "You just have to learn everything the hard way for yourself , Clinton). It was a big moment in my life when I saw that blond highlights really wouldn't work on someone with my coloring. Thank God, that tired queen showed me the way to learning from your mistakes.
I really did have that revelation in a Lambda meeting but it wasn't hair related.

It's hard for me to conceptualize how drawn I was to pills before I even new what they did or could . It wasn't like I had seen someone take one and trip out in front of me. It was just something that adults had that I wanted to be a part of. Maybe I didn't put two and two together like the antibiotic and earache eraser, but my genes are filled with old school drugs, maybe that was activated for me by DNA.

When Britney Spears was buzzing her head and melting down, a hayseed friend of hers from Louisiana was interviewed about what she thought of Brits behavior and she came up with the "I think she has to fall apart a little so she can come back stronger". I honestly think she made that up on the spot. and new I had heard a universal law of spirit when she said it. She was right, Britney Spears did come back stronger and she came back a woman with life experience. I live in an unofficial "Antiques Capital of East TEXAS" and the thing that makes those pieces valuable to people that like antiques, is that they have withstood the test of time. Our experience, strength and hope are the only things that make up valuable as members of planet. I can compliment your on your shirt all day, but that isn't going to help you get through the day when all you want to do is medicate the fact your feel like dying... It's really the first time I feel like I have something of worth to offer anyone.. I love having a sense of purpose.

My love affair with pharmaceuticals.

It really IS that big.

by Clinton Rolen Gandy on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 7:27am
Someone in the house was going through a junk drawer and found an old pill bottle of mine. It originally held a couple months of lithium I think. The bottle got moved from the draw to the counter top, in it's eventual trip to the garbage can. When I saw this GIANT pill bottle , to be truthful I felt an initial jolt of excitement. Kind of like when you see a good looking naked person for the first time. Just a tiny jolt of tititlation. It was a little like Pill Porn.
In my head I was suddenly back to being really little and I would carry sweet tarts in pill bottles and take "medicine" when I ate candy. I also love to carry coins/change in old pill bottles. Flintstones vitamins tasted like a slightly fucked up Sweet Tarts and I wanted to eat the whole bottle. If one a day was good then two or three--even better. At 4 or 5 I learned I was old enough for a headache and that meant asprin and attention. I don't think they make it but there was this Aspergum that was the best come I ever chewed.

Alice in Wonderland, the cartoon film, had the beautiful glowing liquid that said "Drink Me" and then the magic started.
I made the connection super super early (by 5) that pills were magic and they could do something for me that I couldn't do on my own. I had constant ear infections and I knew as day after I started taking the grey and purple antibiotic my ear ache would magically go away while I slept.
I was and am the product of the pill generation. They can save you from depression, relax you to the point you don't care if your own hair is on fire and it can make an 80 year old penis do tricks like it was a teenager.
But mostly what pills do for me is they treat symptoms without addressing the root causes. Pills mask the illness while they entertain the symptom.
I know today, just for today, there isn't a pill coming down the turn pike that will make me happy, pretty, thin or intellengent. Bradly Cooper has a new film coming out about a pill that makes you perfect and I laughed when I saw the trailer for it because the pill is very small and completely clear and it looks like something I would take ten of , because the dose was based on a normal person's size with the weight of 165lbs, and I'm nearly double that.lol (see what deal with daily)

So , this big ass amber/brown pill bottle has caused quite a little theatrical production in my head since I spotted it on the counter.. Is it wrong I want to fill it with skittles. LOL
I bought into my pill fascination long before I took what I would consider a "real Pill", like a pharmaceutical clairvoyant at 4 years old.....

I was a weird kid. I toted candy like pills and when no one was around I played "Alcoholic", "Mommy Needs a Drink". But that is another story for another day.

Keep passing the open windows!

Monday, March 7, 2011

You ready for this? Bump bump bump bump, Pure Energy Bump Bump Bump.

Frankly, I woke up at 4:30, and my brain was in the mood for generating thoughts. I'm pretty sure that is why I woke up early. I'm going to have to work extra hard today to focus. When I am bombarded my thoughts it is easy for me to focus on our differences and separate myself from the herd. Just like the animals on the Nature Show, once I get to far away from my herd I become way more vulnerable.

What is going on with me is I have a big desire to become more a part of the world again. I'd like my autonomy in my life and I would love to be in Longview to really make the most out of being around and close to the people in recovery. I'm really at the end of my rope with my sister's using and her constant stupor and when I had no choice but to move into my mother's home because of finances and my inability to cope with life and my all consuming fear, it made me feel safe to be here.

Now I don't need or want the constant caretaking, and I am of course starting a resentment, even though I know mom is part of the reason I lived through active addiction. Do you remember the pinching when you out grew shoes as a kid?

One dramatic difference in my life and my thinking that being clean for just under 11 months, is I now know there is a life out there fore me that will be satisfying and purposeful. It's up to me to do the footwork and I'm fine with that but I honestly just don't know how to start. I guess talking about it with men that have done it themselves last night was a good start. Going to a meeting is always a good start.

I'm ready for more. More recovery, more connection , more love, more understanding, more hope and more joy. I want to be fully self supporting through my own contributions.

You live in a house with people you have traumatized with your addiction and crazy addict ways and you find yourself tiptoeing and trying not to make noise because you might frighten them. I'd love to drop a fork on a hard wood floor and not have to fearful voices yell out from the back of the house "WHAT WAS THAT".

I think that I am gifted by the universe for my lack of desire of "things".. I have no drive to own or collect the trappings that an American is suppose to desire. I don't care about have "The Car", "The Clothes", "BIG TV". I'm not terrorized by the same demons that have always haunted my dad. Nothing ever was good enough for long and he has always looked for the next big thing to give him some sort of sense of fulfillment. Even when he switched lives and wives, he found out that it was a mistake.

I'm simple as far as needs and wants go. I've never been driven for things. I thought for along time is was related to having no self esteem and not feeling worthy of having things but I found out this year that is not the case. I'm just not interesting in excess. I've never NEVER met a generic I could grow to love. I was telling someone the other day that I keep a minimum of things and like clockwork I cull everything and through stuff away that I don't want or need. My philosophy has been never own more than I could get in the hatchback of a Chevy Chevette if I had to leave in a hurry.

As the plans start to be made for the April Camp out I'm more aware than ever that next month marks the end of my first year in recovery. I've worked a good chunk of steps, I am of service, my level of compassion has grown like crazy and I fear people much less. I'm grateful down to the cellular level of being and that tells the universe I am ready for more, now I am sharing with you that I am indeed ready for more.

I'm all in Mother Fucker , Still. And Mother Fuckers I want MORE>

Sunday, March 6, 2011

sunday 3/6

first do no harm.

by Clinton Rolen Gandy on Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 9:17am

Part of the physicians oath is "First do no harm". I know that for me, the things that I find I can no longer tolerate and have to be addressed in my recovery program of recovery must be tendered or carried out with the same cautiousness of a doctor who has taken the oath of doing no harm. As I grow and change there are dynamics of personalities that don't suit what I am trying to accomplish with my life and staying clean. My first instinct is to deliver an inventory of someone,"just in case" they have no clue they are doing it all wrong when it comes to being a part of my life. lol (hello ego). But when your spiritual progress runs smack into a person whose primary focus is F E A R and control, it's terribley uncomfortable and very hard to balance respect for where they are in their lives and your own growth and stability with matters of spirituality and sobriety. One of my all time favorite old sayings in the south is "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater". It's a favorite because I tend to through everything away when perhaps I just need to learn to upgrade somethings like relationships. It's easier to run than have awkward conversations where I state how I feel and you state how you feel and then we try to grow together (or not).

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Love hurts.....ohhhh ohhh Love hurts

Love Hurts....ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhoooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh Love hurts.

by Clinton Rolen Gandy on Saturday, March 5, 2011 at 9:38am

Day before yesterday was my dads 75th birthday. I've only seen him once in 15 months and I wouldn't have seen him then but I didn't see how I could possibly get out of going to my grandma's memorial thing. My relationship with my dad is painful for me. I felt like 75 was a big enough number of years on the planet so I called his cell phone. I called the cell first because it was in the middle of the and figured he wouldn't be in the house and I did NOT want to have to fake pleasantries with his wife. He answers the cell, I say happy birthday and he says thank you and to call on the home phone next time, because this one cost money. So 2 days later ,my head has decided to take issue with that request not to call on the cell phone. I have waves of flashing rage at myself for making the call, and just plain hurt feelings over being told he didn't want to pay a dime a minute for a 3 minute phone call. My motive was simply to have one of his kids say happy birthday and it has turned into a "Dammit, this is what happens when I let myself be vulnerable. I'm sort of caught between not saying anything and stuffing it and finding a buffet to hump this weekend, or telling him he is such a miserable mutha fucka that I hope he gets trampled to death my the farm animals that he managed to take better care of than his kids.

Is Charlie Brown the idiot for thinking perhaps Lucy won't jerk the football away just as he runs to kick it or is he practicing spiritual principle by hoping and believing anything is possible. I have pulled some shit in my day regarding he and his wife, I certainly am not intentionally living in a glass house, but I don't know of anyone who I know the first and last name of that I would mind spending a dollar worth of time on a cell phone. He drives a 50 thousand dollar Avalanche but has a problem with sell phone charges. I just needed to get that out because I won't share it with my mom or sister, they know he is fucked up and selfish. I just am unwilling to carry this spiritual mucous around all day. If this doesn't help, I will hit the cell phone list, which as I have established my father's is no long on.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Letter To John the nurse at Brentwood Hospital.

Dear John,

This is Clinton Gandy from Texas. I was at Brentwood in April of last year. I just wanted to reach out and let you know that I am still clean and the kindness you showed me while I was there is still paying off. After I got home and processed my time and my re-awakening there at Brentwood I figured out the most important thing that you did for me and I now do for other people. You pointed out to me or directed my attention to the special attributes that I bring to the table when I come for recovery.
It was a lot like gently being awakened for a deep sleep. I now point out things to people both old and new in my NA hall about themselves that they may have never noticed or forgotten. I’ve told more than a view people that Nurse John helped me remember who I was after I went “COMA”.
Brentwood and whatever AA group you go to are really lucky to have a spirit like yours in the mix.
I’m closing in on 11 months and the colored plastic keytags are great, their fine, but the quality of my life and my recovery on a day to day basis and how it impacts others favorably is what I am most concerned with.
There are some tired little cliché’s that get truer every day, and one is “Recovery is not a Sprint, it is a marathon”.
It’s very interesting to see a life, my life evolving to something important to both myself and everyone I love.
I took a big step in order for my recover to get a little bigger and go a little deeper.
My Pdoc had told me that if I wanted to stop taking the antidepressant Paxil he would be all for it. I had repeatedly mentioned I didn’t understand how I could be in such a good place but be so removed from a connection. I haven’t really laughed til it hurt in a long time or been moved to tears by something that I know is touching my heart.
My doctor explained to me that with this SSRI, it keeps me from feeling the low lows, and I lose the high notes of laughter and the great feelings. He also said that it creates an apathy for some people like me where I am just “unmoved”.
I have to be honest it was a frightening process. The electrical “zaps” in the head were very disconcerting and the withdrawal info online mentions “Paxil Flu” where your skins is warm and nearly sweat but the room is cold.

I feel to the marrow of my bones that my recovery and the steps plus the group will be able to support me if I have a problem with depression again, and I also have 5 refills on my account at CVS so I don’t even have to go see the doc if it looks like I need them.

Yesterday was my first day feeling like the detox was over and I really did feel free. I laughed a lot and my eyes misted up when I was retelling a story that moved me. I felt like a human who was hitting on all the levels.
I’m still on my two other mental meds and I have no thoughts of ever going off Lithium because Charlie Sheen reminds me of what happens with bipolar people get hung in mania and can’t get out.
Years ago, I decided I was leaving and took everything I owned to the little local auction barn and I was leaving my name and persona behind. I ended up in the hospital (again) and I made 35 dollars on the auctioning of my things. Lol I still miss my stainless art deco coffee table. Ha

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you again. All of this may have happened for me without your help, I don’t know. I do know that I am so much the better for spending a few hours a day with you, for a week in April last year.
You are very intuitive on how you approach the indivuals at Brentwood and I try very hard to model myself after you. I saw you at any given time speak 5 foreign languages of recovery to 10 different people at once, seamlessly weaving together a beginning our approach of a clean living program.

I had one a man who has many many years clean speak with me after the noon meeting yesterday for over 90 minutes. He and I sat on the air units in back of the building and just exchanged “experience, strength and Hope”. He told me that he gets a big kick and enjoys my particular perspective on things and that I always had a thoughtful take on all that is my life and my recovery
I told him thank you very much and I too adore the perspective that I have. For the first time, I really enjoy the fact that I don’t see what others see the way they see it, and I don’t hear necessarily what others hear. I just pick up on the off notes to make me go, hmmmm. That is big big growth me me.
My experience is what makes me valuable to people and I am luckily in a place I can share my experience. I’ve still got my training wheels on and one day they will cease to be necessary, but why make things harder for myself than they have to be right now.

You made it possible for me to re-enter a recovery program, with your small but methodical approach to waking me up to the really good parts of my self.

Because having a program of recovery is more important that an extra 4 or 5 days added to my clean time, I count the meeting on campus there where I picked up my white key tag as my official “Clean Date” and I would really like to come back in April and pick up a year tag at the big ass NA meeting they bring to your site. When the reading of “We do Recover” mentions the part where “We could no longer function as a human, with or with out drugs”, was read, I went from being a patient in a hospital made to go to a meeting, to a member of Narcotics Anonymous. The revolution had started and the revitalization had begun.

John, I haven’t looked back. I walked across that giant circle in the NA meeting there with a mixture of surrender and steely determination. I haven’t had too many days where I haven’t maintained that resolve.

I just wanted to say thank you, thank you. I pass your compassionate treatment of me on to every new person that comes into my hall. I think the energy created from the sharing of kindness between us all, creates an energy a lot like stem cells. That energy can be plugged in , in a million places where hope is needed and kindness is called for.

Thank you for being a part of the foundation of my recovery and charter member of the club formed for my reclamation project to be a caring , vital part of humanity again.

Much Love,
Clinton R. Gandy

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A footnote to the Pharmacy

Maybe not the best day of my life, but pretty damn close and I don't recall a better one. After a week of detox and withdrawal from an antidepressant I have been on for over 4 years, I woke up this morning without the electric zaps in my head and I had real enthusiasm about getting out and living. I'm not saying I am cured by any means, depression is cyclical and it will roll around again at some point but, the big BUT, I think the 12 steps of NA and my support team of recovering addicts can get me through, if not, I still have refills at the pharmacy for a year. I didn't know until Monday talking with my pdoc that apathy is a product SSRI's. They keep you from going low or high. I didn't know how much I missed laughing until today. I thought I was laughing all this time, but today I clearly felt the difference, it was laughter with thought, and heart and the freedom from care like a child has. I also told a story that I personally find lovely and touch and my eyes responded by misting up. Oh my god, it's great to be a freaking human. lol

I'm very thankful that the worst part of withdrawal has passed or seems to. My body has been at a pleasurable non sticky temp all day, the sweaty sticky feeling is termed Paxil Flu on the list of symptoms.

The biggest lesson of the week for me is , balanced by the sanity the program of NA has restored me to thus far, it is perfectly fine for me to make decisions about my life, my health and my treatment of various issues. I am my own best advocate and if I don't speak my mind, whose fault is it I don't get fulfilled.

All over today I witness people who were once broken and drugged, make responsible choices for themselves and their families, and they are getting up and getting on with a life of endless possibilities. They are all so capable and it makes me hopeful that I am capable of way more than I could dream in my wildest dreams.

Let me put the disclaimer for your health on here, don't mess with your meds unless you have talked it through with your doctor. This time in my life it is right for me, and another big but to add, I still take Lithium and have no plans to stop. It keeps me from acting like CHARLIE SHEEN. I am sooo not kidding.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The last corn plant on the planet.

I sent a note to a friend regarding a picture I found that she commented on. She jokingly said it seems like I wanted to have a little girl baby. I responded that I am the last living male in my family with the Gandy last name. I know many many gay men who desire to be fathers but I wasn't one of them. I love the fact the Gandy lineage dies with me, when I do. I am either a period at the end of the lineage for a fabulous giant EXCLAMATION point. Either way I haven't set some poor kid up with genes and memes that repeat and make it hard for us to be good humans. My father is a very good steward of the land and the animals but completely lousy with his family and terribly disconnected with himself to the point that nothing ever made him happy for long, and he was indeed his fathers son because grandpa S.R. was impossible to have any closeness with either.
If it was divine or chance the line of love lost and disconnection ends with me. No more Gandy boys.
Several years ago i watched a documentary on corn. For well over one hundred years corn has been so genetically modified that if man disappeared, in one years time there would never be another corn stalk grown on the planet because there is no naturally occuring wild corn anymore, we have bred the ability to self seed out of the plant. I thought about how that related to me and the fact that there will be know more from my gene pool.

I'm the last corn plant.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 5 or six of the detoxification from 4 years of paxil

It was what I needed to stay alive from depression until I got it together enough to get back into a 12 step for my substance abuse. I would never tell anyone not to use meds if they have need for them.

A really surprising thing happened today during the withdrawal process. I had real energy and felt like doing something. Not manic energy I just felt like moving some boxes around and finally charging the battery up on my car that i haven't cranked since before Christmas.

My doctor told me yesterday that a deep since of apathy is one of the things that happens when you are on an SSRI. It chops off the highs as it balances the lows.

I have been having waves of being moved towards tears, which is scary but sort of nice because it is one of the good parts of being human with emotions.

I'm still willing to try for another day and see what it brings. I took a nap today and my new found human super powers of emotion were even activated in my dreams.

I'm ready for MORE>

I never thought I would be in the position to tell the universe that I was will to feel, MORE. I wouldn't dream taking the step towards more if I didn't have a group, a program a sponsor and a handful of people I know I can lean on when feeling human becomes too much. I had so much pain, fear and confusion really early in life that I shut down as much as possible then thankfully I discovered a "chemical" peace of mind which actually did help me survive, then that turned on me too. lol I mentioned over the weekend to some recovery folks that I landed with a deafening thud in a psych hospital then to a 12step group saying I don't want any MORE. Now several months later I am fortified by love and hope and I am saying I am ready for more. lol More love, more life and even more of those frightening things called feelings.
But you know, those early pioneers that took off out west full of hope and self assurance, well a lot of them were never heard from again. lol I hope in 10 years you don't stumble on a crudely made headstone that says, "Here lies Clinton Gandy, he unfortunately decided he didn't need an antidepressant after 4 years of taking it". Ha.
I just want to make one thing clear, that I absolutely believe in psych. meds. Some things cannot be addressed with steps, religion or "exercise". Chemical imbalances are 100% real and I have been to a lot of funerals due to the depression the steps couldn't touch for them. I just feel like by staying on a level where the bad stuff doesn't reach me emotionally, neither does the really high of the good stuff. I spoke with my doctor in depth about this yesterday and he said that medication produces an "apathy" in a lot of people and I feel like I fell into that category. I miss being deeply moved and I really miss getting so tickled that my stomach aches.
I know how John Travolta felt in the 70's TV Movie "The Boy In The Plastic Bubble", when he decides life inside that bubble may be safe but it isn't much of a life.
Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias says "I'd rather have 30 minutes of something wonderful that a life time of nothing special."
Now, I realized both those characters die, I totally relate to being willing to pay the price for the good things that come with being human. How much fun is it to laugh at a completely in appropriate time where the more you try to stop the more you laugh.
I'm in line and ready for more. I can't believe I am willingly asking for MORE feelings. Now that is cracking me up.
This is day six of withdrawal an detox, the electric head "zaps" were better yesterday and I look forward to day 9 when all the physical some subsides.