God is bigger than Aliens

I have come to believe that the worst parts of me are incognito.  Some of the worst parts of who I am convince myself that they are indeed myself.

I do not want to get into the Ed Id and Ego.  That is so technical.

Let me just call them demons or monkeys on my back.  Whatever you want to call the things that keep you from living in the full light of life?

Lol, I am actually not quite a hipster anymore.  Or a hippie for that matter.  I am Christian but I do not go around telling everyone what God says!

Hey if anyone tells you what God says….  They are probably selling something!

I’ll put it like this.  My Roommate always is curious about alien life.  He watches these stupid documentaries about white trash on NetFlix.   Sometimes he asks, “what about life on other worlds, what do you think bro?”

aliens

I think that this is really stupid to ask.  The aliens probably fly by and say, “look at that planet, we call it the fishbowl!”  The question of alien life shows a genuine lack of fulfillment.  Like this planet is not big enough for me or you….

People feel apart from…   Folks want something bigger..  This charade that we call life…  You ever notice the types of folks that get find alien contact.  They are usually from Arizona or New Mexico.

Hey I am from Michigan, the land of 1000 red necks!  I consider Arizona to be the red neck capital of the west!  These people are so board, that they become self-important.  This is just stupid.  I guess what I am getting at is.

I believe in a higher power.

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I did not mean to upset several groups of people.  I am in recovery.  I am going through a dramatic change.  At age 34, I want to live up to my own expectations of myself.  I mean realistic expectations of myself.

What I am saying is that, I do not believe that I have it all together!  Maybe it was the years of drugs.  Or the self-pity in early recovery.  Maybe the military showed me how to be angry for all the right reasons.

 

I know one thing.  The mess is so crazy inside my head that, I require God to sort it out.  I need my higher power to define me.  If that were to come true, well that would be nothing short of God saving a soul.

I need to be a better person.  Not for my family.  Not so I can make lots of money.  Not so I can die with pride.  I need to be a better person so I can be closer to my higher power.  Call it whatever you want!

Whatever I became in life today.  It was never what I imagined.  I am somewhere in-between my version of honesty, and, the man that God wants me to be.

No matter what.  I am not on here trying to convince you that alien’s fucked up my head!  I actually own that.  Every bit of this craziness in my head, its my doing.

Soon I am going to be Sad.  Soon I start the 12 steps of GA.  Soon I stop my meds.  Soon my son goes back to his mothers house.  Soon I will be alone.  Soon I will feel sad about that.

I think that if I somehow manage that..  Well..  God is bigger than my problems.  God is sure as hell bigger than aliens.

And no, God did not tell me this.  I am not selling anything.  Not today anyways…

I almost called this God VS. The Aliens.  Just for attention.  Then I realized..  If Aliens are, God made them, so he is not against them.

Wondering what this is about.  Check out my introduction video on my about page!  Just click on that link, video should be at the bottom of the page.    Want to follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Link to cover photo credit.   Alien photo credit.  Faith rock photo credit.

Welcome to Step 0

Step 1. We admitted that we were powerless over gambling – that our lives had become unmanageable.

I am at step 0 in GA.  It does not matter what I have done in AA or what I have learned through any other means.  If I am taking my life seriously, and I am.  I need a fresh go at the steps of a much needed recovery program.

I remember the feelings that I had waking up in Jail about four years ago.  My life has changed dramatically sense that night on June 11th 2013.  I look back at those feelings and now, I feel the same at this moment.  Confused, ashamed, powerless, and praying that this is the worst of it.  This scenario in my life was played out 4 years ago, it is being played out again with my other serious addiction.

I have a sponsor in mind, I have a meeting in mind.  I just have got to get started with the footwork.  What is it that changed?  It is like this version of who I am is at the top of his game.  I am the best me that I know how to be.  I am also emotionally bankrupt.

The best me that I know how to be is not good enough anymore.  I have to grow beyond what I am supposed to be.  I know and believe that the steps produce inside a spiritual experience.  I know that spiritual change will happen once I begin to turn over my will to a power that I call God.

Knowing is not doing is it?  God in my life has gotten so big.  Larger than I ever thought possible.  I still require God to work in my life.  I need a power greater then myself to do what I cannot do.

When I first considered this process a possibility I was hitting bottom with Alcohol.  It was amazing how I acted while going through the 12 steps.  I was not the same person on the other end.  I did not have the same character as when I first started AA.  People noticed the change in my life.  I noticed the change in my life.

I can’t keeping looking back at what has been done already.  I cannot look at all the times that I failed to take action with this current addiction.  I have to put one foot in front of the other and take proper action.  One step at a time.  In truth, doing the steps a 2nd time around feels just as hard as doing the steps the 1st time.

I will not get into all the reasons for my doubts.  Read my some of my blogs on Gambling Addiction.  This Addiction has taken up such a huge part of my identity!  The feelings are so much “who I am”, I feel like part of me is dying.  The jail this time around is inside my own crazy mind.

The truth is life has never been better on the outside than this point now.  I encourage anyone thinking about it to take the 12 steps.  I only worked them once.  After 4 years I finally have an overwhelming urge to work the steps again.  Gambling has landed me in my own mental jail.  Like four years ago, I need help to get out.

Let me redirect..  Initially this blog was meant to talk about what recovery is like for me in Reno.  I was planning on going over my own experience strength and hope as it relates to AA.  Other topics I intended to cover included self-help, consoling resources and Veterans programs for various addictions.  I am familiar with all of those things, and I feel totally capable expanding on any of those topics as they relate to my recovery.

I think the whole purpose of this blog has changed dramatically.  Despite what I know, I must grow.  I started this blog for a social media class.  I will keep blogging, as I am doing the steps in the GA program.

This will be a fresh start for me.  I never knew that I actually had the courage to give it everything.  But I do have the courage.  I mean, It hurts now.  I have two sides on this issue.  But I will go forward to win or lose at GA this is my step 0.

Follow me on twitter.  Find my about me page.  I will link a personal video soon.
Thanks all.

photo credit

I Proud Monkey, I More than I believe!

My mind is in the same state as my house.

Well right now, having my 10 year old here, my house is trashed.

Psychologically it’s called the monkey mind.  Always grabbing the next branch or thought.  Lately, I have had a hard time keeping track of my thoughts.  I have had my dad hat on this summer, I enjoy being a father.  But, parenting kind of makes you lose your mind.

My girlfriend took a job in California, central coast area.  Actually, I am about to go on a road trip to the central coast for a visit.  I just needed to blog before the trip because I know I won’t have the time after the 8 hour drive with my boy.

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Family times

I did live in Paso Robles when I was in the military and married.  Great place near the ocean, lots of vineyards.  I can say that, I had fun in spite of myself.

I look back at my life and I know all the problems I created are self-made.  I am a dramatic person, you may not know it by how I act in public.  😉  But if you know me, I create drama, sometimes out of nothing.  I get so wrapped up in myself that I lose track of my feelings and thoughts.  When that happens I also lose track of my actions.

I recently have done a blog on my problems with gambling.  This is by far the most pure example of addiction in my life.  Looking back at drinking and drugs, I had a few fun times.  Gambling, yeah maybe a few moments of great conquest.  I feel more ashamed about my gambling addiction then about drugs or alcohol.

This is just me and where I am at, you may or may not relate.  My counselor recently told me, “You do not have any problem with drugs or alcohol today”.  I was all like ;).  I know the deal, I am kind of cocky, but I am always going to be alcoholic.

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Brandon 19 in ARMY

Yeah, I still struggle with gambling, struggling is all I have ever known.  It’s one of those things where I can be okay for a while.  All of a sudden, I will be in some serious shit of my own making.

There is so little recovery work on this subject.  Reno has only one place to go to GA.  This is in the biggest little city in the world (do anything you want).  Plenty of problem gamblers here, I guess its hard admitting it.  For myself, in 13 years I know I spent over 200K.

My life now is at a crossroads.  I keep asking myself, who am I really?  Today I am taking my son to the place where he grew up as a baby.  The place I was once married as a young soldier.  Lol..

Down one path is the life that I let go of once upon a time.  The family man in California with kids.  Down the other path is Reno, the biggest little city of degenerate gamblers in the world.

I know moving location will not change the problem.  I told Alex (my son), your dad knows all the places to gamble in California too!  I say sometimes at meetings, “having four years clean in Reno…  Where else would I want to drink myself to death?”  I feel I will be okay anywhere else in the world with my other addictions.  But right now, not so much the gambling issue…

Here is a bit of resolve that I am getting at..  For the sake of who I will become.   The dreams I have above all the goals, of who I want to be.  I will do the Gamblers Anonymous deal here in Reno!  The same way I did AA when I got 3 DUI’s.  The difference is, no one ever wrote me a ticket for gambling too fast!  I have to do this one all on my own (well with a sponsor).  I mean I have no Judge or courts on my ass.

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Alex Newborn, Paso Robles, CA

This Blog, clears my mind.  I mean, it cleans the clutter upstairs.  I know I have to be honest first, when I started this blog, I thought I was.  Now I realize, I am sicker than initially I thought.  Don’t get me wrong, I know a lot about myself.  But through bogging, I feel more right sized.  I know now that I am actually more crazy then initially realized.

I have to continue to self-discover and grow.  Or else, I will never freaking grow..  I will die just another random piece of trash in Reno.  As romantically tragic as that sounds..  I think, I do not want to die alone in Reno.

I have some foolish ambition to be more than a sober judgmental asshole in Reno.  I want to be a sober judgmental asshole with a family and pride that is worth a damn.

Link to my home page.  Find me on Twitter.  Share and comment, thanks.

Photo Credit

Boldly considering not gambling EVER! 

Considering being “willing to try and have the willingness”.  Thinking about, what it would be like thinking about it.  It is the precursor in sobriety to “let’s get real and take shit serious”.

One of my biggest demons is the Casino.  If you’re interested in degenerate gambler actions see (Major Todd Adderall and gambling).

The fact is, I never honestly put everything into breaking my gambling addiction.  At times I still flirt with the beast.  I’m sober so I know addiction: with gambling, It is not what I want for my life.  I have no sense of control.

Anyway, AA works, Sobriety is great!  I can tell you how I stay sober till I am blue in the face.  Gambling, I can not tell you how not to gamble.  I do not know that.

My gambling though….  Sometimes, I think of steps 6 and 7.

  1. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  2. Humbly asked him to remove our short comings.

When I got to these steps in my recovery I was like.  Yeah OKAY!  Sure!  Fake it till I make it right?

In gambling we call that hedging the bet..  Keeping your fingers crossed behind your back while shaking hands with your sponsor.

Eventually I did ask my sponsor.  “I don’t drink no more and that is great.  What about the fact that I am addicted to gambling?”  He said, “Let’s focus on one problem at a time”.  It was a good answer at the time.  Drinking was going to end me up in Jail or dead.  But now (4 years later) I feel different.

Sickest part of gambling, I did it to run away from feelings/people/life.  Today, I do not have any excuses.  I like my feelings people and life!  I think so..

(Indulge my ego a minute!)  I am a disabled vet, (college and rent paid).  I just bought a 2011 mustang.  I am privileged to be a father.  Sober 4 years.  Oh, I started dating a doctor last year.  Awesome!

What Triggered (Recently)?:  I got this ultimate card in the mail, (it is a 4th tier Casio card) I get my own parking spot near the door, free pizza, $40 bucks in free play and discount rooms.  You know, free bullshit!  I had to go and check it out.  Hours later, bad story..

With things today, I have my son over the summer.  I drove across the US and went to a bunch of AA meetings in different states.  I expose him to “the deal”, it is great for my sobriety.  Yesterday I took my son to a GA meeting with me.  Why not, he has been to every other kind of meeting?  Going to GA with my 10 year old was impact-full!

Dent

 

With GA I always had my foot half in the door.  Honestly I can say, “I do not want to be a gambler.”  But sometimes, even when I am sober I am not myself, I am someone else.  I think of the character Two Face from Bat-Man!  And when I gamble, it gets pretty fucking sick.  You would think I am trying to lose money.

I take issue with my actions when I act like I don’t want to act.  People in casinos are not living life, they are like animals being brought to slaughter.  Sometimes I don’t gamble, a month maybe two.  When I go back, it may even be a good experience.  Eventually, days later, bad story.   (I got 9 months on my own one time, living in Reno.)

(Honestly) I never put EVERYTHING into not gambling.  I have not been totally willing until I took my boy with me.  I went to a GA newcomers meeting yesterday.  I got my welcome key-chain.  When I spoke, “I need a sponsor, I need to be here, I will shut the fuck up and listen”!  That is where I am at.  I know, “Keep coming back, even with 4 years sober!”  lol

What about you, thoughts concerns questions.  Follow me on my WordPress blog here.  Thanks for reading.  Ill continue to post some good stuff mixed with some piles of monkey crap.

Stay sober, B

Picture Credit.

Sober Chick Dad

One of the best things about being sober today, all the extra things I get to do with loved ones.  This year is my 4th year sobriety and I am grateful that I am able to spend so much time with my 10 year old boy (Alex).

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SF

Lol, sometimes I feel like that stereotype everyone sees.  The girl who gets her shit together and says stuff like, “My kids are my world!”  I used to always make fun of that girl.  But I am totally that girl (in guy form).  Haha

Alex and I got to travel all across the US this summer.  We were able to tour Washington DC, New York and then the Midwest.  The Midwest I lump together because, well, you ought to lump it together.  It is all the same stuff for miles and miles.  For example I seen the best thing in Wyoming, The Lincoln memorial rest stop!

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Lincoln Memorial rest stop

I live in Reno, and Reno does totally suck.  But one of the best things about Reno is everything around it.  All the camping I get to do with Alex here!  I recently bought a couple bikes and I have kept them on the back of my car for the last 3 weeks.  Everywhere I go I bring them.  Besides just camp ground biking, my son and I were able to bike the city’s San Francisco and Reno.

One of the fun things is consistently yelling at him to keep going.  I get flashbacks to my military side, and with that I get to push my boy harder.  For example, we biked 18 miles in San Francisco together, and he is only 10 years old.

I know, some people would say that this is too much.  Now that his dad has checked back into life and decided to become accountable.  For better or worse, this is how I parent.  If you ask me my Son has it better than almost anyone his age.

Thank you for reading, Friend me on Facebook.  Follow me on twitter.  Check out my blog homepage!  Got anything you want to share about life with your kids now that you’re sober.  Feel free to comment.

I’m about to go camping this weekend in Yosemite.  Catch ya later, B.

Sober, what now? (about bias)

Yesterday I was in a sour mood, I took about 45 minutes to type a blog on how I feel out of place at young people’s meetings (Probably because I am older).  Unfortunately I got 107 views, my most popular blog to date.  Shame shame shame!

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I was about proving a point to myself last blog.  As a side note I also wrote about self-compassion (see link) on July 30th it got 9 views.  I thought it was super positive, all about accepting yourself as you change in recovery.

This got me thinking.  Something that was really good for my recovery gets overlooked.  However, something that stirs the pot is a rage?  The facts trouble me!  But however distasteful they do have truth.

When you’re drinking or using, we do something that sorts for whatever we want out of life.  Whatever we wanted (Drugs) we found.  This is what is known as bias.  For me in my 20’s that was mushroom’s (see pic).

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The same is true when you’re sober.  Whatever you want out of your sobriety you find.

I have dug around and found some great bloggers on the internet.  People expressing struggles with all kinds of addictions.  I have linked and commented on blogs that talk about real recovery.  This is great for my sobriety!

Good material about what works is on the Web if you give a shit…  Just saying.

What I said before about sober people age’s 20-30 was totally distasteful (as one person put it).  Someday, I will do some bashing of old timers, if it makes anyone feel better.

I have no bad blood or grudge toward anyone.  On the flip side, I am not at all sorry about anything I said.  Sometimes, I can really feel the way I expressed myself.  Hence, I’m a real alcoholic!

I am not the most spiritual person.  I never was.  But with the help of the 12 steps.  My higher power as I understand it.  A hell of a lot of personal counseling.  I now am more like the man my God wants me to be.

I am nothing (at 4 years) if not honest to a fault.  Yesterday I needed a topic to crank out about sobriety before midnight.  I thought, lets give this a try.

You have got to have thick skin in sobriety or some asshole with a WIFI connection will hurt you.  Really, someone is going to hurt your feelings in sobriety eventually.  It is bound to happen sooner or later.

Your sober, now what?  Or a better question is; what are you now responsible for?

3 people, yourself, your sponsor and your sponcee (if you got one).  I emphasize, yourself, yourself and YOURSELF!  ME, first and always.  I am selfish, the most important person in my recovery is ME!

All that crap I said (and it was a crappy blog), it was for myself.  If your new and reading this, my advice is, “treat anything that comes out of your mouth, as for you.”  Whatever you say, WHATEVER is for you (no one else).  With that said, that is me helping you.

Really that is me helping you the only way I know how.  That is just how I work (my character defects).

Whatever works for you has got to actually work for you.  No one, myself included should be capable of hurting what you have in sobriety!  If I can hurt you, please, DO NOT pay attention to me.

Develop a bias that sorts for the shit that helps you out!  Not one that sorts for crap like what was in my last blog.  And if I hurt you, talk to someone who cares for you.

Going forward in blogs, I will talk about war stories (they are most popular).  I will also talk about what works and does not work for me.

This will be the last time I personally back link to another forum other than my own personal media (My FB, Twitter, Linkedin, ect).  Although I did make some cool new friends who seemed to like the traffic! 😉  Thanks for the support buds.

I realized, I want my blog to get hits based on its own popularity.  Even if I did get people from 5 countries looking at what I type (Shout out to Germany, United Kingdom and Netherlands).

I learned I do not want National Enquirer attention.  I gotta be 2 legit 2 quit.  Going forward, I will be less sensational.  Keeping it real, not being dramatic, a tool, or  sensational is hard….  Just saying.

You’re sober now, so what? Or rather, who cares.  You should care, about whatever works for you.  But if you like what I say, feel free to back link and share across your own media.  Friend me on Facebook, also follow me on twitter @kingpausa.  Thanks all.

If your sober and interested in blogging set up account at wordpress.com.  Want to comment directly on my blog do so at my WordPress Link.

Pic Cred 1.  Pic Cred 2.

Young People’s Meetings upset me!

I know love and tolerance are something something something…  Right!

But this is my blog and….   Young people in sobriety upset me.  They have all this LOVE, They are soo HAPPY about life..  They are so annoying!

They are all saying..  I got like 2 months sober and life is soooooooo.  I am 20-something and I am never going back to make mistakes because LIFE is SOOOO BLAHH.  People around me are so supportive!  I love Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah..

SS weed

Why is sobriety supposed to be fun You Sesame Street Gangsta’s?  Who gave these young kids all these crazy ideas?  And why do they vape so much?
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I blame young sponsors first.  2nd I blame the young people themselves for buying the hype.  And it really is the sponsors fault for encouraging this BS behavior.  They are encouraging a behavior of (Step 1 2 3 and out)

The old 3 step!

You know what me sponsor tells me??

“I do not base life on my thoughts or feelings because I am not judged on my thoughts or feelings.  We are all judged on our actions.”

If you look at young people in recovery, at least in Reno.  They act like they are all being judged on their feelings.

They will be all happy and having a good time talking about some bullshit that no one cares about.  Laughing at how foolish they themselves act.  Making clubs and clicks ect ect…

Sure that is great, FEELINGS!  I want to know where is the substance in all this?

It is like there is some unspoken agreement.   Young drunk assholes and AA agreed along time ago.  (If we can keep the new comer laughing then maybe they will not pay attention to all the work that goes into staying sober!)  They will last one more day.  Yay sobriety!

Sure, on the opposite end of things is the old timer with 50 years who thinks he knows about everything in recovery.  I also think that this guy is a asshole.  But I do have more patience for this person then the young person.

I tolerate and actually love the old timer more then the young newcomer.

At least you know the old timer just wants to be right about something!

Just listen to a old timer for 5 mins and say the words “your right!”  They will smile and be happy.

Young people, you don’t have a clue what they want?  Do they want to take you out to lunch?  Do they want a free meal out of you, or do they want to fuck you??

Maybe its all the same to them as long as they do not drink…..  And that’s the deal?

I know I am middle aged at 34.  I can just stay out of young peoples meetings…  Sure, I do.

I stay out for all the reasons above.  I generally get upset at myself for being judgmental about things so small.  I get worked up about these things.  Quite foolish really.

I know, this is a lack of love and tolerance.  Lots and Lots….

I think it is time for me to change my home group to another group.

So if you like this please share via twitter remember to use @Kingpausa.  Check out my most popular blog about my 3 DUI’s .  Also feel free to comment below.  Thanks for taking time for my rant and raving!

Oh, Photo Cred 1, photo cred 2, photo cred 3.

Thanks B

Major Todd (Part 1) Adderall and Gambling

When I was in the Army I was always referred to as a “training aid.”  A training aid helps you perfect your craft.  And if you’re an E-5 (sergeant) or above then you’re referred to as a (NCO) a non-commissioned officer.  Those are the guys I helped train.  I made my bosses pay attention to me because well I just tended to draw attention to myself.  I did not mean it, honest…

I feel during my time in the military I played every role there was to play.  I was the “high-speed soldier” who maxed his PT test.  Other times I was “In the spot light”, we call this “being a dirt-bag.”  This is when you do lots of push-ups, I did lots of push-ups.

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Digging holes in Iraq

I always thought it was fun to hang out with the bad soldiers.  In fact, I often slid through the cracks in my 7.5 year military carrier.  I think I got away with more crap then any soldier.  I had about 6 or 7 friend’s who lost rank.  They would get demoted or kicked out of the ARMY.  Now most times I was doing the exact same things as my friends (I just never got caught).

Furthermore, I had my actions reinforced and validated by looking around me and seeing everyone fuck up, but not me.  I even knew a guy who fell through a whore house in South Korea.  He fell right through the roof!  One day this same guy set his face on fire with Bacardi 151.  He showed up to accountability formation on Monday with half a face!  Guys like him got chaptered out of the military while I just fell asleep in a puddle of puke in my barracks room.  Haha.  But not really funny.

And I felt that way too!  I thought I was so clever.  If I was an animal I would be a chameleon.  Doctors often refer to this type of behavior as deviation.  I am deviant, or a deviant…  Haha.  No matter what you call me, the goal was to get away with shit that you did not know about.  This meant that I was better or something??

Really I do not want to get too much more into the why.  When we (or I) look back what I once felt or thought, I remind myself “this really does not matter.”  The only thing that matters in life is what we do, our actions!  I ought to always ask myself, what did I do?

This brings me to my thought when I started tonight.  (TRANSPARENCY)  You may notice, I try to be transparent.  See, I am lucky to have learned the lesson “Lies will ruin your life.”  Or at least they took me down a path to the next bad thing.  And I really do like to peak over the edge in life.

See I am a “hard charger!”  If I do anything I will do the shit out of it.  If I am getting over, I will generally take it too far, until it hurts.  Here is a story, it kind of hurts after years.  In 2009 I was getting a divorce and transitioning out of the army.  I was going through one of my Sergeant TURD phases.  I will never forget my commander, let’s call him Major Todd.  😉

I had just got my monthly (NCOER), it’s like a sergeant progress report.  One of the sections labeled INTEGRITY was marked poor.  I have been very deep in gambling addiction during my transition to civilian life.  One of the biggest addictions in my life is gambling.  Doctors say, the uncertainty of the outcome produces effects in the mind that mirror cocaine.

Don’t ask me all the medical details…  Over the years I spent Hundreds of Thousands of dollars.  I used to get off work on Friday at 5 pm drive two hours to the Indian casino in California.  I would stay up for 3 days and gamble all weekend.  Sometimes I would be so sleep deprived while driving back on Sunday, I would see things that were not really there!  Then by some act of God, after about a hour sleep, I would make it too PT formation on Monday and maybe run 7 miles.

Most times I was unshaven during formation.  One time I recall, I did not shave or even wear my class A’s for a formal inspection on Monday (I totally forgot).  I told my 1st Sergeant that I sold my class A’s (It was true).  I had balls, but no brains.  I also did not have a shit to give about anything, my life was falling apart.  During this time I was also on med’s for ADD.  The Adderall did help me stay up all weekend and gamble.

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Eventually, I had this formal meeting with Major Todd in his office.  He told me “Sergeant Pausa!  Have you ever read my mission statement?”  I said, “You gave us a copy when you took over the unit sir.”  He says, “yes but did you read it?”  I say, “I believe so sir”.  (Maj Todd) “Well have another copy there are a lot of good things in my mission statement.”  He slid one off his desk and gave it to me.

(Maj Todd)  “I am looking at the last drug test results, you know what’s interesting?” I say, “I have no idea sir?”  (Maj Todd)  “Well, I know that you’re allowed to take this medication for ADD.  It is prescribed by a doctor and you’re allowed it.  Soldier!  That is perfectly fine!”  I say, “Right, sir! I don’t see a problem?”  (Major Todd)  “Well sergeant, it is an amphetamine, doctors test the healthy level of this drug you’re supposed to have in your blood.  Here it says..  Your levels are about 50 TIMES that of a normal dose!  What have you got to say?”  At this time, I am sure I had a dumb look on my face.  I said, “The results must be wrong sir.  Or mistaken.”  The air in the room was very uncomfortable.

You get the idea.  It’s painfully obvious, I did not give a shit about my carrier because my life is falling apart.  And oh. By the way, POOR ME!  If this is apparent to the reader?  Then you can see this is just the excuse in my story.  And the excuse gave me a reason to get fucked up.  And the drama in my life brought me back to more excuses.  At the time I called bullshit like this “justifiable reasons.”

The real point is that I sure as hell qualify as an addict.  I want more of everything, my addiction is MORE!  This is why it is absolutely necessary that I am totally accountable from now on.  If I get lazy and I am not accountable all the time.  I must at least be transparent as much as I can be.  I must let people like you see through me, for the sake of my Integrity.  (And for the sake of Major Todd)

My military experience was great, bullshit always caught up to me eventually.  I had to make more excuses in the ARMY.  It made me a bull-shit inventor (I would create shit)! And eventually the experience made me an honest man.  A funny thing, I sorted through the love me box everyone has in the Army.  I found it!  “Major Todd’s Mission Statement”

Please comment on this blog if you found it interesting.  Do you have any crazy addictions in your past?  What have you overcome?  Or perhaps, what are you still struggling with that you need to get off your chest?  Id be happy to listen.

Follow me here on Twitter.  Feel free to Re-Tweet.  Also here is a link to my WordPress home page.  If you visit, you will find 4 other blogs.  Still kind of new, but its coming together.  Thanks for reading.  B

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Breaking the mold with CBT

I was not fully aware at how difficult some of my own family would make the process of forgiving them.  Lets call this person family member Z.  Oh by the way, Family member Z is a self-proclaimed alcoholic.  I did in fact do the work with family member Z (9th step).  I was over the past, or so I thought.  Family member Z did say the words “I forgive you”.

We had one of those AA moments you only get doing 12 steps.  However Z would bring up all kinds of past events at the past at random times.  I always felt so sad around this person.  I would eventually make some judgement about them and try not to show it.  Overall, what I am saying is that the relationship was unhealthy.

Boundaries were needed for this person in my life.  Good thing I was court ordered to therapy 3 times a week for 3 years.  I knew what boundaries were and how to communicate them, that was for sure.  I clearly told family member Z.  However, they did not understand what I was doing.

They would tell me exactly how I felt.  I was being a bad person by putting up a wall of communication.  Eventually I just stopped talking to Z (I had to stay sober).  At times I was sad about it, so eventually (6 months) I did talk to them again.  But, it took everything I learned, Ill tell you why.

I did some CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy).  Really this is just mindfulness over every single thing that has ever happened to you in your entire life!  It all gets worked out in counseling something like this.  The counselor asks you over and over, “So what happened to you?”  Eventually you talk about your parents.

Here is the thing, my past is really not that interesting.  I grew up in Detroit.  Mom and Dad both drank alcoholically.  I fell in with the wrong group and learned some bad habits.  Now I am 34 years old so big deal.  I try to own my own shit.

Brandon on vacation in Portland, OR.

Understanding yourself is not at all judging.  CBT is like a microscope on how you really feel.  In life we have problems, Shock!  Some of my examples are women or gambling issues.  Oh, sometimes I am a dramatic dude!  If you relate then ask yourself, why am I drinking or using drugs?  If you’re drinking or using drugs to excess because that’s just what your parents did.  Okay get real, why do that?

I am asking, what is the real reason?  You may say something like, “umm, dad worked hard and he felt like he deserved beer”.  “Mom was stressed from life so she needed pills to escape.”  Those things may be true.  But why do you personally drink or use?

Whatever those reasons are for you, there are feelings behind that event or person.  I arrived at some kind of realization.  If you know therapy, then you have heard this first part before.  I learned and accepted, “my parents did the best with what they had.”  Okay great, acceptance.

Later on I added to that, “I do not have to be anything like my parents, as an adult I get to choose.”  No big deal, I am a adult, wow!  Look again, what are the values behind this thought?  Freedom or courage, or both?  Once I started doing this second part, I more clearly understood the reward center of my brain.

The bottom line for me was; I never had to do one thing with the expectation of another again unless I choose too.  So I do not owe my family anything.  And that is not being selfish if your family is full of unhealthy alcoholics.  Rocky said “People do cause they want to!”  I eventually want to count myself as a person who gives back to others what was freely given to me.

I do not know how to be unselfish if I am trying to live up to my parents expectation of me.  I have to live up to my expectation of me.  So who the hell am I?  I wrote down some values that I want in my life and I try to think about them in prayer or meditation.  Some of mine are self-compassion, discipline and faith.

Do you know how to get any sanctification out of life at all?  This alcoholic does.  I need to have, Discipline and dedication.  Whenever my mind wants to take the path of least resistance that I learned as a youth.  I start to ask myself, “What must happen?”  Then I get a laundry list of goals that leads to my vision for my life.  Values, goals and vision!

I did all this stuff in my life to find freedom.  I never knew what freedom was until I got sober.  I always had someone telling me what to do in life until I was middle aged.  Have you changed any values in your life?  If so comment below some values that have helped in your sobriety.

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Never called myself alcoholic until DUI #3

I may as well start at the beginning.  My 91 days in jail recovery plan.  The title of this blog is not totally true.  I used to go into bars back in early 2013 near the end of my drinking carrier.  I would tell anyone who would listen, “I am a alcoholic, I need to cut back on drinking”.  One bartender said, “you say the same thing every time I see you buddy!”

I am not proud of my bottom or my drinking.  I simply tell the story.  It is what we do if we are one of the lucky few to have a story.  Over the last few years I told it a number of times.  At first I was excited to tell everyone about how I got “Saved by God!”  I told everyone what works, exactly how it works, specifically why it works.  Alcoholics call this the pink cloud.

After a while my story became more polished.  I could tell you all the reasons why I am a drunk.  I could tell you how I got my faith in AA.  I learned a great deal about myself.  The more I learned the less I liked myself.  My program became difficult around year 2-3.  These days I have learned not think about it so much.  My best shares and my best meetings are when I do not think about what I have to say.

Let me explain how it was in the end.  As people in AA say, the experience.  I was living in Lake Tahoe (Nevada side) going to Sierra Nevada college.  I had a 1.6 GPA overall.  Over the summer I got a place to stay with a friend of mine at the Cal-Neva casino.  I started working down the street at the Crystal bay club (Security work).  The time line for this is June 2013.  I had already got DUI’s 1 and 2 starting at the end of 2012.

I had this crappy 2001 Hondai Accent, the cops must have known me.  I also had been driving for about 3 years without license, registration or insurance.  Okay, things were just crazy.  I told my roommate (lets call him Jim) “Isn’t this great, we live in a casino. We have a jar full of weed and booze right downstairs at the bar if we need it!”  Jim says, “No dude, this sucks.”  Jim ended up going home and joined recovery.  I ended up staying at the casino because I thought I had it made (as long as I was not sober).

Fast forward, to June 11th 2013 the night I took my last drink (or any illegal drug).  I happened to be on my way out to the local bars because my birthday was on the 12th of June (I was turning 30).  The joke was always, “lets have a couple of beers”.  Really I wanted to get good and drunk.

The irony is in this one detail.  The guy I was hanging with that night (lets call him Rod), he had just done 9 years in prison.  This was for a hit and run DUI which caused manslaughter.  He got out early on exceptional behavior.  We had met earlier through some good friends we both knew.  He had remained sober for years and worked hard on his life.  I think in spiritual way, our paths were combined and then split apart again on a different path.

Before the DUI Rod said, “take this street it is safer”.  It was a way I usually would not take.  I promptly got pulled over.  I pulled into the bowling ally because I did not want to get a tow by the cops for being parked in the street.  When the cops asked me “Why do you think we pulled you over.”  I just blurted out, “because I am drunk.”  I always learned it is best to tell the truth in the military.

One part of this I laugh about is what I said to the police while I was getting cuffed and arrested.  They said, “well you failed the sobriety test so we have to arrest you!”  I said, “listen, I am a Army vet so if we just all forget about this whole thing, I will not tell anybody!”  The self-entitlement I had.  I looked at Rod that day as I pulled away in the police car headed to Reno jail.  This would not be the last time I would see Rod.

About 2 years into my sobriety I got a call that Rod was in the hospital here in Reno.  I went and seen him, he had been drinking himself to death.  Just a detox, guys at the bars I used to frequent were coming to visit him.  I prayed for him and gave him my phone number.  But I could see it, he was not done.

I was never planning on quitting drinking 1 day before I turned 30.  But I happen to spend 91 days in Washoe county jail.  Here I quickly became lead chef, serving the worst food to the worst people.  You want to feel like a smart guy, just end up in jail.  It is here that I believe I personally took step 1.  After I got out I got right into treatment.  I got a sponsor and took all the the steps as described in the Big Book of AA.  This was my introduction to the program of recovery.

I have only a little time with 4 years sober.  I also know only a little.  However, this is such a good bottom story that I pray to what I call God that I never change it.  The desire to drink or use drugs has left me thanks to a spiritual power beyond my understanding.

Hey, thanks for reading this blog.  Want to know more about me?  Read my first blog at:  https://bpausa.wordpress.com/2017/07/20/first-blog-post/.  If you like this blog or however you felt about it, just say so in the comments below.  If you have other blogs about recovery that you think I would like or that you like, feel free to paste links in the comments.  Also I would like to connect with you, follow me on Twitter please https://twitter.com/Kingpausa .  Thanks all.