Monday, January 28, 2013

Show time for Clinton

Video of me on the Gladewater Opry , Jan 20th. This was the second time i sang in 10 years. You can tell that I am no where near where I left off a decade ago, but it was so much better than my first time back 8 months ago, plus I am 80 pounds lighter and mentally a whole lot more free in the head.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm thinking often of Whitney Houston again.  Her death was a year ago in Feb. Her death has sort of stuck with me more than any famous drug deaths. Every day I hear people say if I had enough money, if I was more beautiful , if I had the single best voice ever heard on earth, then I would be happy. The fact that she was riddled with self doubt and created her own prison by setting the mark so high even she couldn't be Whitney HOuston is horrible. In the end the former most beautiful talented women on earth, died in a rented bathtub in scalding water, face down. Insult to injury, the Grammy Party a few floors away in the same hotel went on with out her . As her scalded body was rolled out into the meat wagon, "friends" at the party went right on without her. I saw a clip of Whitney singing before she died  in Germany getting booed off stage. She had made her worst nightmare come true, all by herself. Can you imagine standing curtain side as the announce you to come to the stage and you know that you, yourself are a bad Whitney Houston Imposter and it will only be moments before the audience finds you out.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I"m not sure if it was depression last week or if it was just a few bad days. I'm still positive I don't want to go back on medication for it, if it is depression. I'm happy to say that I caught a several days long break from it. I don't talk about medication much because I am so afraid for someone to hear me say I stopped depression meds nearly two years ago, mainly because I have a support system and I know if it pops up that I have a plan to try and get it under control with counseling, NA and friends. If I get to the point I feel those aren't enough I have a 6 week supply of Paxil, in a cabinet in the kitchen that are ready when I am.

With my particular depression and medication, it puts me in a mild state of apathy. I feel nothing terribly bad, but I don't feel the great highs either. I'm willing to put up with the some lows in order to feel the natural highs of life. I certainly don't want to deny myself the fun part of living because I am wording about surviving the lows. Like I said though, if the time comes and hope it long lost, I am only a handful of steps away for the little pink pills that boost the Serotonin or slow the absorption down.''

Still take the lithium 2x a day though. I'm Ok with some melancholy days but I don't like the goofy shit I do when I'm an unmedicated Bipolar Dumb ass. While unmedicated years ago. I left work and by the time I got home I had decided I was selling everything that I had, erasing my footprints and was moving to a new town where nobody knew me and I could be whoever I wanted to be. The mania ended and I was in an empty garage apt me and the auction barn in town, sold all my stuff for 35 dollars. hahahahah
I know that it's called "RECOVERY" but it still surprises me when I get back something I was a hundred percent certain I had given away for keeps in the never ending pursuit of a chemically induced way of life. You know that horrible pins and needles feeling when your foot has fallen asleep and your trying to wake it up again? Sometimes, you just wake up. You just wake up  singing and your spared the pins and needles sensations of coming back to life all together. Thanks Kay, Jo, Hillie, Tarisha, Don and son of Don for making the trip to "Little Nashville" downtown Gladewater. I'm glad I have witnesses. lol It was crazy standing up there 7.5 months later, 77 pounds lighter and unafraid, in my 10 dollar bargain hunter jeans , participating in my own recovery. As my friend Frank T. used to say 20 years ago, "I'm glad to be anywhere fully clothed and in my right mind." lol "Freedom's just another word for nothing less to lose" I'm back on the show on February 19th.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Show time.

7 months ago I sang for the first time in over 10 years. I saw the video saw how fat I was and how awful I sounded. Tonight is a little redemption attempt. I've lost just under 80bls and much less vocally ambition songs. Rehearsal went way better this time and I"m hoping just to have a good time with some old musician friends.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Into the second week of what I assume (assume) is long awaited return of some depression.  It's been close to three years since I had any depression and the thing I noticed today is what a hideous uphill battle to even get to the fridge for a coke. The gym was hard but I finished my little routine. I went to the store and that glass wall was back  between me other the other land dwellers. I don't plan on surrendering to it any time soon, but to experience it with a clean and present mind is a real trip. I felt like this for years and didn't know any different. I often think of the scene where Robin Williams goes to hell to bring his wife back, and the caveat is, the longer he stays there the more he will forget there is any thing different to feel.  I think there are a bunch of things I could surrender to that in no time, I would forget there was any other way be. I know lots of lost folks. I guessing permanently lost.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I use to live this way, it's familiar. Hope this is a random rolling drepression and not the staying kind.

I woke up yesterday morning and chose to stay in bed. It is rare, if fact I can' remember the last time I just stayed in bed and restructured the things I had to do. This morning same thing, only I kept having the urge to take a pill to boost my energy. Going through the gym routine was up hill all the way. Then I got home and as uncomfortable as I have felt for a couple days, I realized it was more , way more than familiar. It's depression. I'm counting on it not staying around and the fact that I have a protocol of action just waiting to be activated. I guess it's almost 2 years since I stopped medication. I don't get in my gut this is actually Clinical Depression starting up, rather I think it is some over do "ebb". Just strange feeling and uncomfortable to feel so disconnected with the things around me and life in general. I'll keep my eyes open and the troupes are in reserve. lol

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Letter to sponsee in Jail

I"m so sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you Jerry. I am happy to hear that your plans are moving along regarding you getting home.  I was sick for nearly three weeks with what I guess was the flu. I finally went to the doctor and got a steriod shot and an antibiotic otherwise I would still be sick.

You are doing such a great job on your step work. I can hear your heart beat in the words that you put on paper. You are also good at getting out the feeling stuff. We are only accountable for our recovery when we know better. I couldn't get clean before I knew I was an addict. We do better when we know better. We see when we see and hear when we hear. In other words you my friend a right on schedule.
When you get out and when you get to regular NA meetings, you will learn how to guard your recovery and your centered, recovery peace of mind . There is a life available to you, that you can't dream up on your own, that working a recovery program in NA will lead you to. No scheming or cleverness can get us where NA will take us. You will gain trust in yourself. It's indescrible to not worry about walking down an isle in Kroger than has beer on it, or go to the doctor without making up a story to get drugs. It's freedom YOu can risk to love someone whether or not they love you back. You know you are safe and fine.

You mention "I should or should have known better couple of of time in your step work. Do you think someone with brain cancer or breast cancer could beat themselves up because they should have seen the possibility? Addiction is a disease, it doesn't discrimate and almost none of us see it coming, EVEN IF we come from a family of addiciton. It's cunning dude. Navy Seal operations have nothing when compared to how addiction slides in on us.

YOu mentioned people saying "why don't you smile". I practiced a look that I thought made me look like I wasn't paying attention when people said mean things. I have seen pictures of that look on me and I look like I not only ride the short bus, but the TINY bus.  I tried to come off as stupid, like Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies  Isn't that crazy. If people thought I had no motive by the look on my face I was hoping they would leave me alone, no fight here.
YOu mention "Despair and Isolation", Jerry when you use those words, I instantly know that we have been in the same dark pit of death. Those words are much like words the only survivors of the titanic could use and instantly they all know what is meant.
YOu questioning whether you have hit rock bottom, is interesting. I was willing and planning to go lower that God/HigherPower/Great Spirit would let me know. I was prepared for the darkest existence possible in human form. I kept getting rescued. So I to could possibly argue the fact i never hit rock bottom. I never died, completely demoralized. My emotional bottom is pretty sufficient though. I've walked the planet for to long with love for no one. I trusted that know one could love me and I saw everythign from behind a thick glass wall. My bottom is being separate from humanity, from family. Friendless, hopeless, loveless was my bottom. The rest is just geography.
It's funny that you mention working without gloves. There is a disconnect that tells us it doesn't matter if it hurts us or it won't hurt us if we don't care. I  do that with condoms now. It's hard for me to matter to myself.  It's is something I hope to get better at. I hope hope we both get better and really mattering to ourselves.
It's Ok, for your answers and your recovery to look like your own. Your answers or thoughts don't have to be like anyone else s  You are free , even though the facility thinks your not. I can imprison myself faster, deeper and more grim than any Texas facility can. I'm just not locked up and bound by hurt today I don't knock myself out of the game so I can avoid the pain of you doing it to me. There is a life, a state of mind, a place that you can't get to anyway but through the Steps, a high power and the people you choose to let get to know you. You are doing such a good job on your step work. I think your answers are way more on point than mine were.
I just wanted to get this to you and I will write you next week. I"m sorry it took me this long to get back to you.
Much love and so proud- Clinton

I've been trying something new and I think it's paying off.  I don't hate or mind the work out in the gym. It's not confusing or difficult but I found myself making myself really miserable with thinking about going to the gym. The thinking was worse than the doing. When I was a teenager, I didn't sleep well. I would wake up super angry and I spoke to my family like a monster. Then one day I decided , that speaking to someone you love harshly just because you don't feel good is not acceptable. I never took my mood out on my family in the mornings again. So last week, I thought about that, and what power I have and seldom use is change the way I think. "Change your thoughts, change your life"...Dr. Dyer.  I made a deal with myself. I only think about working out, walking or lifting weights at the gym, when I am actually there. I haven't tortured myself with thoughts of going and doing all day long because, it is such a waste of energy to dread. Once I'm there I am completely fine. I'm only thinking about exercise when I am there and can actually do it. Why give away my energy and thoughts to something that technically could never happen again, if I were to get hit by the death bus that we have all heard about since we were kids, "You could get hit by a bus tomorrow" i would have wasted some of my finite time here. There are many areas of my life that I approach this way, but it just dawned on me about not focusing on dread of gym trips til last week. "What do I have to do right now"? Dread causes anxiety, anxiety causes inflammation. Inflammation causes illness. Illness includes my diseased thinking and  ill responses which I often turn to food to reduce. The only way I will keep this weight off and new approach to eating is to stay completely present in my life, aware! I"m in the bold new world of monitoring my mood and thoughts as they are happening and I'm not turning to food, alcohol or anxiety medicine.  I am working with out a net so to speak well, I have a great support team though.  Am I really willing to give up with is old and comforting for the chance at real freedom? Today I absolutely am willing to say yes. I've tasted freedom in areas of my life and I believe whole heartedly that freedom from my slavery to food is not only possible is currently unfolding around me.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Weird. I was talking with my therapist yesterday about how my perception of my physical self is messed up. I thought I was fat all the way through high school  until my senior year. I was doing a project that had me going through the annuals for the four years I was in school. I was kind of shocked because I was not fat at all in high school and I was even thinner my senior year when I stuck with my FIRST hideously dangerous starvation diet plan.  This weekend when I went for jeans and ended up two sizes smaller than what I grabbed , I realized I have no idea physically how much space I take up. I've been taking a lot of photos lately mostly so i can study myself in them and get a more accurate self image. I tried a side by side comparison wearing the same shirt in the same spot a couple days ago. Fat definitely fills the wrinkles in and I look now like a game show host a bit, but I am trying to develop or redevelop that imagine of self in my head and try to be fair, but accurate- less distorted. IN the photo I am a grown man, a 45 year old man and it flies in the face the idea that I am in in Kindergarten and just waiting for my mommy to pick me up. lol Funny thing about step work and living a life based on self discovery and behavior modification, it forces you to strip away the lies and misunderstands and makes you look at the truth about yourself. Am I suffering because I am in some delusion or allusion that can be exposed as fantasy or am judging reality with sound thinking and clear vision? Time will tell. I know for a fact this stuff doesn't heal or fix itself, so I have some fucking work to do to.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

I realize that I have had the benefit of thousands of self ideas, scores of friends who share intimate details of the stories of relationships and countless 12 step meetings , but I heard in a meeting in 1992, "Damaged People Damage OTHER people, Dammit" and I believed it. I believed the second it landed in my ears and hit my brain. I don't have specials or amulets that will protect if I decide to befriend (or more) seriously fucked people. It's universal truth of spirit. It's either ego or stupidity the women fall in love with the bad boy, or men who think that "do something with" a gal. If you leave the glove box open in your, and the tiny light comes, it will burn and burn and finally even though it is a tiny light, it will drain every bit of the juice out of your battery and then the whole car won't start. I"m kind to most everyone but the people I choose or feel led by spirit to get close to are people who have an independent source of light for themselves they come pre-lit. The most they need from me is a spark for the pilot light if it has gone out. I had a job around a treatment center and I let all the clients into my center, in the name of service work and misguided kindness, I was swallowed up by fearful, desperate people and suddenly, I realized , I had left my glove box open,WEEKS Ago. lol All my life I was told "Clinton, you just have to find every thing out for yourself, the hard way". I didn't know any better than to believe them. I lived long enough to find out that, that is not true at all. I hear story and I believe your experience and know if this is how it played out for you, I see know reason my experience would be different. I am FUCKING TEACHABLE today and from the center of the core of my being, I am so thankful. "If a man hits you once, he will hit you again." "Some people are hooked the moment they do coke for the first time" "It's easier to tell the truth the first time". and "Damaged people damage other people, dammit". The only ass I am capable of saving is my own, and that requires me to stay in reality and out of the world of fantasy that my recovery is so grand I can save someone who doesn't want to be save. It is not uncommon for drowning people to drown their rescuers.

One of my favorite quotes is "

There is really nothing you must be and there is nothing you must do. There is really nothing you must have and there is nothing you must know. There is really nothing you must become. However, it helps to understand that fire burns, and when it rains, the earth gets wet.
-Zen saying

Today I am certain the water is wet and fire burns. I have learned how to learn from the tale that the others tell. End of story. ( PUFF PUFF) as my friend Alfred would type

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I don't think I"ve grasp that the fact that my choices of food and exercise have change my physical being. I took  my dog on a long walk that was my exercise walk until I joined the gym.   In one leg of of it is three city blogs straight up hill  I would make my self walk without stopping and  months ago but my thighs would burn like fire and when I would reach the top I always had to stop for a second.  Yesterday i walked the hill without burning thighs without breathing heavy and I didn't stop.  This surprises me. ON paper I know  I get that we get stronger but to experience it as real is sort of confusing. None of my clothes fit , In fact I am donating some polo shirts the the mission tomorrow. I went to buy a pair of jeans that fit and that  I wasn't in constant fear of them dropping to the ground like clown pants. I had got some 40 waist 8 weeks ago and was planning on trying on 38 waist knowing they would be tight.  I ended up in a 36. I was so stunned at my waist size i went and got other cuts from Levi's and Wrangler and I wear a 36 in all of them. It was really really shocking. My goal was to be 40 waist so  could buy clothes in regular stores. I have not  been  36 in the waist  since before I was 30 I think. Amazing how terribly out of sync I am with my psychical self. When I gathered the strength and hope to try this again,  I knew I couldn't hate the weight off. I couldn't use disgust as fuel to deny food like my history has been. It's been pretty constant that when I eat something it is with concern for myself. I'm not a breakfast eater but almost everyday I eat something to get the metabolism started and because I know I need fuel, I eat, whether I want to or not. I had a run of 5 days where I punished myself by not eating well or enough. It was as if I could lose enough that somehow I was more valuable as a human. Lucky for me, I talk to friends in recovery and to my long suffering Psychologist and the reminded me that hate or disgust aren't valid forms of motivation.   I sort of feel like I woke up today and I was put in a new body while I slept. Which sounds absurd, but I really have just come out of being absent in my own awareness. This sort of snuck up on me even though I was doing the work. One other thing about the 3 block hill i will mention. I could only look at my feet when I used to walk it because I was afraid if I saw how far I had to go, I would quit or it would hurt more. Yesterday with my dog, I never looked down even once. I only looked ahead and straight forward.