Listen to a podcast, please open Podcast Republic app. Available on Google Play Store.
Get up and brush my teeth
Content published: Jun 25, 2019 at 1:12 am CST
I struggle in life more than I’d like to admit. I get frustrated when I need to tie my shoes. I’m restless just living.
I do better when I’m around people but am prone to isolate. I never think about drinking anymore but will make myself sick on licorice.
If I don’t have a big art project in the works I don’t feel complete. I’ll often burn through months building and then burn myself out with the pens and the paints. Then I’ll only want to play video games for weeks on end.
I brush my teeth two to three times a day and then rinse with peroxide. And then use my water pick with three fingers of alcoholic mouthwash in the reservoir. I’m interested in thoroughness.
I don’t like that I can never get the fan oscillation just right and will often wonder what I’m supposed to be doing in life. Because so far I feel like I get really close but the finish line is for those other guys.
It’s like practicing for a play, memorizing all the lines, rehearsing every morning, afternoon, and night. And then when the curtains open only a few people have shown up.
But I think anyway. I write notes like these in my phone. Sometimes they’re spiritual and fruity. Other times they’re not. The fan blows so loud I can’t hear the music.
And then the cat jumps on me and I get up and brush my teeth again.
I’m not even kidding.
· Jun 25, 2019 at 1:24 am
· Jun 25, 2019 at 6:00 am
Yes yes yes yes. I hear you.
· Jun 25, 2019 at 6:37 am
If only I could put how I feel into words like you do.
· Jun 25, 2019 at 9:35 am
Seems crazy at first, but then thought provoking, my head can relate.
· Jun 25, 2019 at 4:39 pm
In follow-up news, I woke up with this. Apparently I offended the cat sometime in middle of the night.
· Jun 25, 2019 at 4:55 pm
No wonder we’re in the same tribe! 🤣
· Jun 26, 2019 at 7:34 am
|Jan 26, 2020|
Space drift sunshine
Content published: Jan 23, 2020 at 10:45 pm CST
I don't know why but it's important that I make things like this.
· 4 days ago
Disco party in the basement? Matrix remake? Alien incursion?
· 4 days ago
|Jan 24, 2020|
So back to me in my barn
Content published: Jul 15, 2017 at 10:39 am CST
Subtitled: how to becoming willing
I'm gonna jump right in. Because that's what you do when you're me.
Writing my Eighth Step list was easy enough to do and so was becoming willing to make the amends on that list.
Except to one of my brothers.
I've always felt like what I did to him paled in comparison to what he did to me, my friends, and the rest of our family. I've prayed for the willingness like you're supposed to do but afterward I'm just like “Nah, I'm not ready to do that.”
Flashback to 2013 and the family and I were in St. Louis for the weekend. This particular brother lived not far from where we were staying and I thought about calling him. Went back and forth, debated, wasn't even 100% sure I wanted to see him. But I did because he's my brother and even though he can be an asshole I still love him.
Being realistic about he and I, there's more good than bad in our relationship overall but in the here-and-now the last few times I’ve talked with him have tried my patience and hurt my feelings. He can be mean.
Anyways, back to the 2013 St. Louis visit. I called him, we hooked up, and ended up hanging out at a park. Maggie playing on the swings and it was good, low-key, no drama.
At one time in life I looked up to him as younger brothers do and it was nice to see an older, gentler side of him bubble through. But he can blab on and on. He always does. I mean he talks a lot, like nonstop talking. About himself. I know he’s lonely and misses everyone so I just listened.
While he was yammering my mind wandered to... this would be a great chance to make my amends to him. If I could get a word in.
But then something unexpectedly amazing happened. Something that made me start listening with both ears. He made amends to me. In broad daylight. Right after talking about something else. No build up, no “I got something on my mind and need talk with you about it.“
And it was really cool. He was sincere with the things he said and I believed his motives to be pure, filled with authentic remorse. Still gives me warm fuzzies when I think on it.
Then my conscious nudged me again that "this would be a great time," bring mutual closure to our past lives.
But I didn't.
There are a couple reasons why. The first and foremost being I'm not that spiritually fit to do something when put on the spot. I don’t ad-lib when under pressure. Talking out loud has never been my strong suit.
The other reason was because I kinda felt like this was his time to shine, make his amends. I wanted him to have his moment and not jump in and follow with my own. It almost felt like I’d be piggy-backing.
I don’t know.
Should I have owned up to my stuff? Probably. Do I regret not saying something? Yes. Do I hate myself? Of course not. I can live with it. We don’t always get to do the “right” thing at the “right” time. That’s how life goes.
Whenever Step Eight comes up in meetings my brother and me making my amends to him is always front and center. It’s one of those things where “how free do you want to be” walks in the room and then I roll my eyes. It’ll be something left undone until I do it. Another dangling string of responsibility. And I hate responsibility.
So today do I feel willing to make those amends? Not really. I'm still sore from he and I's last exchange over text message in 2015. The one where I ended up blocking his number.
Really, it’s not about having willingness on my part. It’s about having forgiveness. He can be a self-centered, self-absorbed asshole. It's like you can make your amends but if you keep being an asshole, then piss off.
Yeah, I know… Recovery is all about me doing the things that I need to do and not focusing on other people and what they need to do.
But I have too many mixed feelings about it. I shut the door on our relationship and am hesitant to re-open it. I haven’t missed him the last few years and am not interested in resuming where we left off. Life's too short and I got other shit I'd rather being doing than listening to drivel.
Okay, so my point. Spoiler: it’s nothing new.
How I feel is based on what I do. If I act like a good person then I'll feel like a good person. If I take a higher road in life I'll feel better about me. And then feel better about you.
Sometimes I can get stuck on praying for the willingness because “I’m not there yet.” But more often than not I just have to do it, quit floundering, quit getting ready, and get the shit done. Regardless of anything that's happened in the past or where I’m at in the present.
Did I really want to go to the DMV a couple of days ago and renew my driver’s license? No, but I did it anyway. I’ll never be "ready" to do something that I don’t wanna do.
Do I have something that I need to say to my brother? Yes. I mean he went and got the shit done and here I’ve been floundering with it. For years. I do admire him for that.
So next steps? I’ll let the cosmos be my guide. And I'll be ready when the stars align.
|Jan 22, 2020|
I gradually lost sight of her
Content published: Oct 30, 2018 at 1:39 pm CST
I was driving to work this morning as I do. A black Honda Civic sports car pulled up alongside me, a lady about 10 years older than me behind the wheel. When we got to the next stop light she continued to inch her Honda closer and closer toward the intersection.
I said to myself, “You wanna race? I’ll give you a race. I’ve got a 1999 V6 that runs good on regular gas.”
I didn’t have my racing gloves with me but that didn’t matter. And then I couldn’t go full balls when the Christmas lights lit up anyway. With the other cars in front of us and all.
So then as we barreled north, she in her black car and me in my black truck, she continued to apply horsepower. As did I. As the traffic would allow.
But then I had thought that wasn’t my own. Here’s this little older in a sports car, probably having the time of her life. Roaring around like Thelma and Louise and then here I am wanting to take that away from her, not even attempting to be my best self.
And then I slowed down.
Let other people win, peeps.
|Jan 20, 2020|
No horse blankets
Content published: Apr 10, 2019 at 9:53 am CST
When I got to the place where I couldn’t stand myself anymore, where I didn’t want to be the person I’d always been. And not do the same things I’d always done, I can see now that’s when I had reached the breaking point.
The pain of being me had broken my very soul. Fuck.
It wasn’t the drinking, it wasn’t ever the drugs. It was me. It wasn’t the traffic or the other drivers. It wasn’t other people at all. Well, it was some of those people...but when that blanket of denial was pulled back just far enough I could see, when a light came on that cast a clarity almost too bright on what I’d been doing to myself nothing ever looked the same again in the days after.
Thinking back to that moment and all the desperate, frantic pain, tortured to tears, completely sober and sick of being myself, that’s when I turned a corner and walked down a path I’d only heard other people talk about.
And that’s when the spiritual revolution began.
No horse blankets.
· Apr 10, 2019 at 1:46 pm
· Apr 10, 2019 at 4:47 pm
· Apr 11, 2019 at 12:59 pm
I had never heard it put that way, but well said.
· Apr 11, 2019 at 6:59 pm
|Jan 18, 2020|
A backlog of taxes
Content published: Nov 12, 2018 at 7:11 pm CST
I spent the majority of my adult life either toiling around to get my head on straight or hiding in the shadows from the truth.
A backlog of taxes and overdue books.
Pull up a little bit farther at the red light because I don’t want to look at the dude next to me. It’s not that I didn’t wanna go to college. It’s just that my ship was listing and the captain was drunk in his cabin.
You hurt my feelings. I didn’t hurt your feelings. I’m just not gonna do what you want. If a crime involves another person, the real offense is hurting the person on the other end.
Saying I’m sorry often does not let me off the hook. And that’s all fine and good but what’s not fine is not doing something because we’re afraid. That’s bullshit.
An ass full of laxatives and tangled fishing hooks.
Half of what goes on in my head I don’t want. And when ill behaviors no longer feel comfortable that’s a sign that we’ve grown.
Read as much into all of that as you want.
· Nov 12, 2018 at 10:54 pm
· Nov 13, 2018 at 7:49 am
About 2” since you last saw me.
|Jan 12, 2020|
Inwardly summiting a spiritual Mt Everest
Content published: Dec 29, 2019 at 5:04 pm CST
Seeking equality, fairness, the greater good...that does something remarkable for me. It breaks my selfish bubble. It makes me a whole human being. It gives me freedom.
But wait, there’s more. So much more. Seeking balance and harmony for all...brings me out of my despair. It brings light to my darkness. It brings healing to my pain. It lifts me up and out of feeling down and blue, up to the level of okay I was looking for much of my life. And being okay inside and out is the remarkable place I was talking about earlier.
When I make life not all about my pleasure or my suffering, oh wow is it good. It’s elevation.
Like inwardly summiting a spiritual Mt Everest and bringing everyone else up top to share the view.
You probably already knew all of that but it took me almost a lifetime to figure out.
· Dec 29, 2019 at 5:56 pm
I’m glad you got there!
· Dec 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm
As am I!
jimi hindrance experience
· Dec 29, 2019 at 7:14 pm
jimi hindrance experience
· Dec 29, 2019 at 7:15 pm
I wanted to put the praying hands thing people use but my standard issue is better/closer to how I feel.
· Dec 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm
It’s a good standard issue
· Dec 30, 2019 at 4:39 pm
Words I needed to read today. Ty 💖
· Dec 30, 2019 at 5:18 pm
You are most welcome!
· Dec 31, 2019 at 5:51 am
· Jan 4, 2020 at 10:02 am
· Jan 4, 2020 at 10:08 am
Dont ever stop writing your thoughts.
· Jan 4, 2020 at 10:15 am
Thanks man! I haven’t felt much like writing these past few months but positive words like yours pump up my motivation.
|Jan 11, 2020|
Ice cream anxiety
Content published: Nov 1, 2018 at 10:06 am CST
If we’re at a social gathering and it feels like I snub you that’s because I’m not a social butterfly. I’m more like a social moth. My wings are dusty. I check the doors to be sure they lock. I have debates with myself about what I'm supposed to do next. I have the social skills of a turtle. Just give me some lettuce.
Large groups of people don’t necessarily make me nervous, just uncomfortable. I don’t like people sitting or standing behind me. I don’t like it to the point where I’ll change seats. If I can’t see everything I feel somewhat flustered. I like to keep an eye on things.
That might sound cliche or overused or whatever but it’s because it’s a real thing that affects more people than it should.
Talking one-on-one and sometimes one-on-two is fine. I've researched effective communication skills and social graces. One of the best things I learned was to ask other people specific questions about what's going on in their lives. People like to talk about themselves and then I don’t have to talk about me. High-five.
If someone invites me to come sit with their group I’m ready to get up before I even sit down. This doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of people at the table as much as that my fingernails are too long or my shoes are too tight or my eyebrows are messed up.
And it’s not that I’m stressing about those things but I’m acutely aware when I touch things of just how long my nails are. Or if my feet are hot because my shoes don’t have enough circulation. I feel it when there’s an eyebrow guy out of place and usually my whole world comes to a grinding halt until I deal with him.
I don’t write these things because I need a hug. I write them because I feel bad when thinking about the people left sitting at the table after I’ve abruptly left. You didn’t say anything offensive nor did you smell bad. Well, maybe you did but I’m not going to get that close to know.
Because guess how many homecomings I went to in high school? None. How many school dances did I go to? One. And then I left after 15 minutes. Those aren't “poor me” stories, just evidence of a long standing reservation with public suspicion. Well, it’s not suspicion. It’s ice cream anxiety.
Shit happens when we’re kids and it shapes who we become, who we are. Regardless of how much we heal you can’t unbreak bones. We can burn our diaries but our DNA is infused with what we wrote. Our history doesn’t have to dictate our lives but it will cast a doubt moving forward.
Anyways, I do better at standing than sitting. Sitting is a commitment. Plus, what if there’s a fire and I need to leave immediately? That’s never happened to me but it’s a sound excuse. I don’t have panic attacks when I’m out but my thoughts wander, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. If I had boobs I would be unstoppable.
I check for my keys fairly often when I’m not at home. Doesn’t matter the situation or circumstances. Sara and I could just be having dinner and I’ll still want to know where my keys are. It’s not a nervous habit because I don’t feel nervous. My heart does skip a beat, though, if I don’t immediately feel them in my pocket.
So there’s a dude in my neighborhood, moved in when I was drinking. Liked comic books and superheroes. I met him at a neighborhood party and I thought “oh, we could be friends!”
But we never did. I see the same antisocial behaviors in him that I know and love in myself. So I don’t take it personal when I see him in the alley and he only waves.
In related news one of the things I loved about drinking was that at those parties, the lights would dim after I got a few drinks in me and the sounds weren't so loud. Really in reality, everything was the same but drinking made…everything not so much.
Do you guys remember that one New Year’s Eve party where I was recounting a riveting tail of wonder and amazement to a fascinated and captivated crowd of more than twenty? And then after my grand finale where I saved the day everyone cheered and clapped? That one time when I was the public speaking hero?
Yeah, I don’t remember that either. Because it didn’t happen. Most likely it never will. I’m not the life of the party but I will cheer you on to be. After I floss.
I don’t have low self-esteem. I’m fairly confident that I can hold my own talking individually with you about Jame Gumb or Bill Wilson or Bobby Flay. Just don’t ask me to play Cards Against Humanity. That’s too much pressure.
· Nov 1, 2018 at 10:33 am
I can relate to so much of what you described. I suppose for me it’s social anxiety. I don’t like going to parties, I don’t like large groups of people that I don’t know and it’s even worse if everyone knows each other and I’m the new person. We have an invitation to a Thanksgiving party we haven’t replied to b/c of my anxiety….I’ve only met the couple once. John knows the husband well but I don’t want to go to someone’s house with a bunch of people I’ve never met. Then I wonder why I don’t have friends…this type of thing right here. :(
· Nov 1, 2018 at 10:50 am
I set time limits for how long I’m willing stay somewhere. With a group of people I don’t know, that limit would most likely be 15 minutes. Then I can leave everybody murmuring amongst themselves.. “who was that dashing man in the golden hockey mask?”
· Nov 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm
If you’re at least making a 15 minute appearance, you’re a better person than me. I’ll be replying “can’t go” to that invite. 😬
· Nov 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm
How about you guys go for 10 minutes? Drop off a can of that cranberry sauce that makes people swoon? And then announce boldly to crowd, “we’re taking turkey pot pies to the homeless shelter on 5th Avenue.” Nobody would blink as you slammed the door on your way out.
· Nov 1, 2018 at 10:39 am
· Nov 1, 2018 at 10:52 am
· Nov 1, 2018 at 11:24 am
Get out of my head. Haha.
· Nov 1, 2018 at 12:58 pm
I know, right??!! I think there are a lot of us out there, just “faking it till we make it”!
· Nov 1, 2018 at 1:49 pm
Story of my life.
· Nov 1, 2018 at 4:30 pm
One time when I was in college I went up to give a speech. In front of the whole class. 20 seconds in I said, “I can’t do this.” And then I went and sat down. 👍
· Nov 1, 2018 at 2:01 pm
Snazzy. That’s a technical term.
· Nov 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm
As is fancy!
· Nov 2, 2018 at 5:56 pm
· Nov 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm
Totally get it uncle Trav I am very much like you believe it or not I looked up/still look up to you for years
· Nov 1, 2018 at 8:03 pm
Love you man!
· Nov 2, 2018 at 6:45 pm
Love you too unc
· Nov 1, 2018 at 6:55 pm
Incredibly written as usual pal. Love this! ❤️
· Nov 2, 2018 at 7:10 am
Thanks man! 🍬
jimi hindrance experience
· Nov 1, 2018 at 10:55 pm
It happens to me out of the blue. Everything can be ok and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with panic. I’m never aware of “what happened” if anything.
· Nov 2, 2018 at 11:22 am
Might be a short circuit. Of course I’m not a doctor or biologist.
|Oct 27, 2019|
I've lit my life on fire
Content published: Jul 12, 2017 at 7:28 am CST
If you haven't heard this story, you're in luck.
The first week or so I was sober I was sitting in a meeting and said, “I’ve lit my life on fire.”
When I was drinking I wasn’t capable of caring because I was drunk and numb to my life burning. But being freshly sober I was like, “Oh my fucking god. My life is on fire.” I was freaking out, anxious all the time, having panic attacks... And I really, really didn't want my life to burn down.
As I was talking during that meeting, I was looking around the room and most people were nodding because they, too, had set their lives on fire at one time or another. Knowing that others could relate to what I’d done and how I was feeling gave me some hope. It made me feel accepted, that I was in the right place. My whole life I’d waited to belong somewhere and now I finally had. On more than a superficial level.
And that was all of Step Two’s “power greater than me” that I needed. My head was too full of tops spinning to think on grandiose spiritual terms. The meetings and what I found there were good enough.
All I really knew was that when I wasn't at a meeting I felt batshit crazy and when I sat down at one, I had a little sense that everything was somehow going to be okay. If only for the moment. Maybe. I wasn’t gushing at the seams with positivity but at least I was around people who understood what I was going through.
So then I was talking with my sponsor and I asked when I was going to be restored to sanity and he said “when you work the rest of the steps.”
I think about the beginning of How It Works often, especially the line where it says the steps are the suggested program of recovery.
Just not drinking isn’t enough. Just going to meetings isn’t enough. I won’t feel sane because I’ll keep being me.
After the Ninth Step the Big Book says, “We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness... We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.”
And ya know what? When I was well into my amends I started to feel more than somewhat sane. My sanity had been mostly been restored. Without me even knowing it.
And today my life isn’t on fire. I don't feel batshit crazy anymore. Mostly... 😉
· Jul 12, 2017 at 3:29 pm
I had no idea you were suffering like this. I know you had to do this yourself but I wish I could have helped!
· Jul 12, 2017 at 4:00 pm
It wasn’t that bad. A mere flesh wound.
· Jul 12, 2017 at 6:12 pm
My life has been in flames more times than I care to think about it. Fall down 7 times get up 8. ❤️
jimi hindrance experience
· Jul 13, 2017 at 10:59 am
Fat Charlie the Archangel
Fat Charlie’s life is on fire at approx 1:50.
· Jul 13, 2017 at 12:58 pm
Come on Travie!
|Oct 14, 2019|