The Hate To Go Back

My life’s ever changing.

With that occurring I am having to change along with it.

My wife has starting drinking again.

I have not.

I am not used to being around alcohol anymore. I am having to get used to it.

To prevent myself from the possibility of ditching sobriety I have made a decision to go back to recovery meetings.

I dont want to go back.


I need to.

I hate to go back for all the reasons I left years ago….

The main one being it’s a God based program.

I’m not a believer in gods.


I need to.

I know the program works.

I need to remain sober.

My needs outweigh my wants.

Like I always tell myself-

“Either roll with the changes in life….or get rolled over by them.”

Cant post a picture…shhhhh they’re anonymous

Paint It Black

I don’t do death well.

I can make up stories with it as a main topic, watch stuff on the dummy box that is engulfed in it, read the news every day where it is a mainstay of virility.

But in reality, it’s not that easy.

It is the end result of life.

Once the first cry out of the womb is bellowed, the clock to the end…..begins.

As expected as it is…….whenever it happens it is almost never expected.

When it does happen…and it is someone that at one time or another I ran around with, it becomes hard for me to deal with.

You know…..I’ve been clean and sober for quite a few years now.

The actual length of that time really doesn’t matter to me anymore. I don’t and haven’t been in AA or any other support group for a considerable length of time either.

I love being sober.

I just don’t feel I need to talk about it to be able to maintain it.

I just do.

I also hated seeing people coming in and out, in and out, in and out……until some just quit coming back in.

“Someone may have to die for me to say sober” I would hear in meetings.

Which I think is crap, by the way.


There’s this guy I used to sponsor when I was in AA.

Every time I saw him I would say,

“Dude….you’ve got tattoos….ON YOUR FACE!”

I would say that, because he did.

He would come over and have dinner with my family almost every night. We would talk about what was going on and my wife and I would give him suggestions.

Always to the point….never beating around the proverbial bush.

Before I sponsored him, he had like 12 other sponsors.

After me, probably many others.

Regardless of the state of his sobriety and my exit from AA, we remained friendly and in contact.

He would come around.

Then be gone.


We got word yesterday that he got killed by getting run over by a car shortly after getting kicked out of a sober living house.

I hadn’t seen or spoke to him in a few months but he will be on my mind every day.

I drive a beat up truck that was green when it rolled of the factory floor decades ago.

When I got it, it had been completely spray painted black….with individual spray paint cans and recently repossessed by the owner for lack of payment. 

The guy who it was repossessed from was the same one who spray painted it.

And was the same guy I used to sponsor that had tattoos on his face.

I’m just kind of numb.

Emotions aren’t my thing either.

I just hope he is now at peace.

As for me…

I will keep on truckin’

About Last Night

This is not about the movie first made in 1986….nor is it about the remake of the same movie that came out recently.

My life is not done in black or white…nor is it scripted or always end happily or is played in under 113 minutes.

My life is full of color, unpredictable and is constantly ongoing.


Last night, I went back to the place I walked away from almost a year ago.

An AA meeting.

Was I loaded?

On the verge of getting loaded?

Fighting back temptation the only way I knew how?


I was asked to go, by my wife, and I said yes.


If it were only that simple, this post would be done.

She has asked me to go with her to AA functions repeatedly over the last year and my answer to the question was always the same…quick and concise.


So why now?

I have made a few recent discoveries…that’s why…and here they are-

1- I am a stubborn ass.

2- I am missing out on an important part of my wife’s life by being a stubborn ass.

3- Choosing to stay at home alone and staring at the popcorn ceiling for hours wondering if it would actually taste like popcorn, instead of spending time with the woman I love in whatever capacity, further proves than I am a stubborn ass.

Ok…so I really just discovered 1 thing that encompasses a few more.

It is what it is.

Here is how it went down.

It was a speaker meeting where a topic would be picked and various members of the visiting group would share on the topic from behind the podium.

The visiting group was my old home group. We traveled about 50 miles to take the meeting to the other group.

We arrive early. My wife tells me,

“I didn’t tell anyone you were coming with me.”

My reply,

“Cool. No problem.”


Inside my head the voices were carrying on a meeting of their own….

“DUDE!! you know she told everyone….they are probably planning to rope you back in!”

“Watch your back….bro.”

“Remember last time you ran into your first sponsor at the Christmas dealio? This will be worse….and you will be outnumbered….”

The voices are always sooo positive.

The Christmas fiasco was a doozy. My first sponsor was outside talking with a new comer. I went out to sit with them to avoid playing board games inside. He made the comment that I was in AA but quit for some reason.

I replied plainly,

“If you want to know why I quit going…..all you have to do is ask.”

He asked. I replied.

“I stopped going because I lost faith in and any sort of belief in a higher power….or God, if you will. Without that, the program ceased to work for me. I chose to stop going to avoid resentment or bitterness toward the program that saved my life.”

He paused for a second, then went into AA savior mode.

He quoted several passages from the big book and threw in a cliche for good measure….

“You know….good2begone…the program works if you work it.” He said as he stared confidently at me with his arms crossed in front of him.

I leaned in from my chair and said in a calm quiet tone,

“I stopped “working it” quite a few months ago….and I am still sober….and more at peace than I have been in a long time. Save it for someone who hasn’t heard your tired racket.”

The conversation that followed made the new guy so uncomfortable he got up and walked away from us and said –

“Wow…this is uncomfortable.”

It was.

But, my first sponsor gets off on that. He is very knowledgeable on the book….not so much on practicing or experiencing it. He is basically a big book bully. It worked for me when I first came into sobriety..not so much over 7 years later.

Anyway…about last night…

My wife’s sponsor, cried and gave me a huge hug when she saw me.

My wife’s sponsors husband…who was my sponsor when I quit going a year ago saw me and..

Faked a heart attack.

I walked over to where he was sitting and he said, as he shifted his cigar to one side of his mouth,

“Don’t sit next to me…I don’t want to get hit by the lightning.”

I did what anyone else would have done…

I sat next to him, patted him on the arm and said,

“Suck it up old man, it will only jolt ya for a second.”

He chuckled, looked me in the eye and said,

“It really good to see you.” and shook my hand.

The meeting started. I stayed seated and listened to what everybody had to say on the topic.

I didn’t freak out.

No one tried to kidnap me and place me in the 12 step padded room.

We had dessert and conversation afterward.

Before my old sponsor left, he shook my hand and said,

“My number is still the same…why don’t you make sure it still works in you phone sometime….by the way…I wasn’t joking when I said it is great to see you. I hope to see you again.”

Last night,

I went back.

Will I keep going back?

I don’t know.

The scenes of the future acts of my life have yet to be written.

Whatever those future acts have in store, I know that if I need help to get through them, I still have a place I can go, where there are people who know me and are willing to lend a hand, whether it has been a day or a year since they have seen me.

And that is what last night was about.



A simple gesture is all it took.

One sentence.

Spoken along with a firm handshake and sincere smile.

From a man I have seen once a weekend for the last couple of months…..

And not before that for a few years.

His wife was a member of the AA group I used to attend. She had somewhere around 30 years of sobriety.

She would speak in meetings endlessly about the old times, get off topic, talk about her ailments and even forget what she was talking about sometimes mid sentence.

Sure, I would get annoyed.

But, she was a sweet woman who always had nice things to say about everyone.

Her birthday was celebrated in the same month as my sobriety date.

The group I used to attend celebrates sobriety birthdays by month. If your birthday is in June, then the 1st Saturday of July there will be meeting celebrating the birthdays in June.

Same goes for every other month.

Today is the first Saturday of November. Celebrants for October will be attending.

I am not attending. I do not attend AA anymore. I posted about it before-

The WalkAwAy

The woman with over 30 years sobriety and her husband were always there on birthday night.

She would receive her chip, and speak of how grateful she was for one more year and thank various members of the group for her sobriety.

Her husband would always shake my hand firmly and smile and congratulate me after I would get my chip.

She passed away a few years ago.

Which accounts for the lapse of time in which I have seen him.

A few months ago I went on my weekly trip to “the Walmart” and upon entering I saw him at the front of the store as a greeter.

Every week, we say hello and good to see you and go about our business.

Today, my wife and I went in to pick up a few things.

We saw him and said hello, good to see you and went about our business.

Upon leaving, he pulled me aside and said,


I said perplexingly,

“Thanks….for what.”

That’s when he took my hand firmly, looked me in the eye and said softly,

“On another year of sobriety.”

Staying sober leaves a lasting impression on more than I ever thought.

Be grateful for everything and everyone that crosses your path.

You never know who you might leave an impression on.

Reliving Decisions On The Run

I am realizing one of the great things about running is-

It is just me, the road ahead of me and my mind.

During these journeys, measured by miles, I have been reflecting on how I got to where I am.

My decision making abilities have greatly improved over the years since I first got sober.

I have wrote about some of them.

“The Chronicles Of The Frame” is a five part dealio about getting into sobriety and eventually getting out of the halfway house and into life.

Please read it, if you are so inclined to do so.

I mentioned one of my better life decisions, in brief passing, during the fifth installment.

During one of my runs it came back to me and has stuck there.

I return to my latter part of my first year in sobriety to revisit a bad decision.

At 10 months of sobriety, I was ready to get out of the halfway house and into the real world where I wasn’t required to sign in and out, ask permission to stay out past curfew, and could have a room without another person in it.

A guy I worked with had a room for rent. $100 a month.

I jumped at it.

I had my own room in a house with 3 roommates instead of 10.


Since I didn’t own a vehicle, it didn’t matter. I worked with one of my roommates, who had a vehicle, and the AA hall, where I attended meetings was a short 2 blocks away.

All my bases were covered. I sat back in my recliner…in my room and thought life begins NOW!

Too bad there was a “crack” in my crystal ball.


It took me less than 24 hours to realize I had moved into a crack house.

Beer cans littered the areas outside my sheltered room.

The smell of stale smoke, sweat, burning baking soda, and various visitors shuffling in and out of the front door at all hours, each with the stench of $20 anticipation emanating from their scratched and scarred pores, was what I was faced with for $100 a month.

2 months away from picking up a year in sobriety, still on felony drug probation for over 3 more years.

I stayed there for 3 months.

I don’t recommend this decision making to anyone.

Great deals ALWAYS have small print that are ignored.

Small print or not, I stayed sober. My new life started with 3 months of locking myself in “my” room while I was at the house.

I was like I chose to pay for solitary confinement rather than move someplace where I felt safe.

I had already spent a month in the psyche ward of county jail in solitary confinement, less than 2 years earlier.

The only difference was the lock was now on my side of the door.

Still….I stayed.

Staying sober during the first months of sobriety are hard and they suck.

Each day, away from the booze, confidence is built.

The mind gets stronger and let’s you know that you will be ok.

One. Bad. Decision.

Is all it takes to test that theory.

By sheer white knuckling it and stubbornness I stayed sober. My sponsor and friends in sobriety talked to me often and begged me to get out of there while I had a chance to.

My response,

“If you can find me a place for $100 a month…that is better than where I am at, then I will move.”

Stubborn. Arrogant. Stupid.

Me…in a nutshell at around a year in sobriety.

I finally did get my own place, where I felt safe and could work on the sober life without having to lock myself in a room to keep the elephants in the other.

The whole point of this post comes down to something simple.

Sobriety does not guarantee a mistake proof life.

All it offers is a chance.

Good decisions. Bad decisions.

It is still the best chance I ever took.

On a side note, I shaved 30 seconds off my 2 mile run time .


Still sober
Still running
Still good2begone

The WalkAwAy

When the pain of something becomes greater than the fear of that something, action must be taken.

A change needs to be made.

I had been in this predicament for a while.

I waited…or better yet “expected” the pain to stop.

It did not.

The fear of the after effects of my pending decision weighed heavily on my mind as well-

Can I do it?
Will I do it?
What will people say?
How will I maintain?

Roughly, about a month ago, the pain became greater than the fear.

I made a life change that no one expected or saw coming.

Not my wife
Not my AA sponsor
Not my sponsee
Not my bosses

I stopped attending AA.

The pain of continuing to go became greater than the fear of leaving it behind.

My bosses believe that it’s a social experiment.

It’s not.

The sponsor I had believes that I am making a grave decision.

I’m not.

My sponsee asked if he needed to get another sponsor the night before I put action to my decision. He knew I I had been “off” for a while.

I said yes because I knew I was done.

My wife backs my decision but has her own fears that go along with it.

And I get that.

I can’t keep doing something that I have lost a desire to do.

What keeps going through my head is-

AA is not for people that need it…it is for people that want it.

I just don’t want it anymore.

My focus, since then, has been on 2 things-


Those are the things I want.

And coincidentally, those are the 2 things I need.

I have learned volumes from the people in the rooms of AA, the Big Book of AA, and the fellowship that holds it together.

That knowledge has not vanished or been banished from my memory.

I am not “anti AA” now….not will I ever be. It is the program that did for me what I would never have done on my own.

I have made the decision to continue my journey in sobriety and life without it.

That is all.

It was better for me to walk away,
Then it wAs to stAy.

I’m still sober.

It’s still good2begone.


The Pickpocket Putback Principle

The pickpocket pilfers the pockets of the plenty,
placing packages onto his person to please his perverted pleasure.

Podering perhaps that his pathway to pain is predestined,
He proceeds to place packages pointlessly INTO the pockets of pedesrtrians and passersby.

Thereby pouncing the predicament of prison….

Say all that 10 times fast…but just watch the video once.

I know I am not much of a poetry person, but please be polite….

For some reason I gotta go “P”.

The 3


I have 3 characters that I have chummed up with for most of my life. Our relationship came to fruition during our high school years.

One of them disappeared for quite a few years but we eventually met up again.

They all read this blog, so for purposes of anonymity I will use alias’s for them.

Their names are-


I am sure we have always been around each other in some

Shape or

But we really got to know each other during our sophomore year of high school in 1985.

It was at a bar in Mexico called “The Tequila Derby”.

My older brother took us there as a rite of passage.

About midway through the evening and 6 Coronas later, my 3 friends, started gabbing endlessly to me.

EGO- “Now that we have relaxed, let’s go hit on some chicks we have no shot with….look…there’s that cheerleader who gives you the dreamy eyes….SHE’S DANCING ON THE TABLE!! She is ours for the taking!”

PRIDE-“Finally…we made it. No more feeling left out. We can just sit here and drink a beer just like everyone else and not be judged. Finally.”

He would say with his chest puffed out and sitting tall.

EXPERIENCE- “You know….this is fun and all…..but remember you saying you were NEVER gonna drink alcohol because of your Dad?”

Experience was always the party pooper.

I would look at him with a smirk and reply,

“Can’t we just have a good time without thinking about consequences? I mean look at pride and ego….they are in Utopia! I’m gonna go talk to the cheerleader, you just sit here and enjoy your club soda if you want. The 3 of us are gonna get down and party.”

And so it began.

Experience went home early. And we would not see him for many years.

Ego, pride and I stayed until 4 a.m.

And we were attached at the hip for the next ten years.

Doing whatever we wanted, when we wanted, how we wanted.

Of course, we eventually had to get jobs to support our drinking and partying habits.

PRIDE and EGO came to the rescue again.

EGO-“Dudes…..I have a plan. In order to keep up this awesome lifestyle, we need cash…..we would make great…..BARTENDERS!!”

PRIDE-“Nice, Ego. Not only would that supplement our “no” income status….but with our superb listening skills we will be able to help our customers with their problems…..and maintain our stays as party pros. We ARE good at what we do.”

ME-“Maybe we should go back to school and get some higher education… I really wish Experience was still around….”

EGO & Pride (in unison)-“Bah…he’s a blowhard…no fun…how about….BARTENDER SCHOOL!!”

A few years later, Experience showed back up and hung around a while.

EXPERIENCE-“Glad to see you are all able to hold down a job for a while…and married. Wow! Thought I would see if I was needed for anything….and word on the streets is you are thinking about trying cocaine….”

EGO-“We can handle it. Word has it we could drink more…and longer with it!”

PRIDE- ” Plus….we can’t let everyone else have all the fun. We need to keep up with the crowd.”

Me-“sure a lot of people are using it but does that mean we have to?”

EXPERIENCE-“Didn’t I hear you say once that you would never try cocaine because you heard people died from it?”

EGO-“We said that about booze too…and LOOK AT US NOW!”

ME-“You are right, Ego…just a little couldn’t hurt…….”

EXPERIENCE-“I gotta go…”

The drug years began.

It was fun until it wasn’t.

I never wanted to NEED a substance. Now I needed 2.

That need carried me into




And finally to AA and living quarters at a halfway house.

I had been sober for 3 months…and 45 days of rehab time. I don’t count that time….my choice. When there was a knock on my bedroom door.

ME-“Who is it?”

EXPERIENCE-“Just open the door.”

I did, and I saw my old friend. Only he looked different. He was standing tall and was in great shape.

Me-“Holy Crap! Look at you! Where and how have you been?”

EXPERIENCE- “I’ve been good and I have been gone. It’s good2begone. I have been in the stands of your life for years. It’s time I took over the field. Aren’t you tired of those 2 buffoons, Ego and Pride running stuff for you?…I mean look at them….They treat you like a blip in that video game “Pong”. Back and forth, back and forth. You have been doing the same thing over and over for years and expecting something different each time. You are insane!”

Me-“I’m trying.”

EXPERIENCE-“You aren’t trying. All you are doing is blowing smoke up the bunghole of the world. Ask someone for help to stay sober and I can become your best friend in life….Don’t worry, Ping and Pong over there will always be there for you, just in a different capacity.”

Me-“Well, what do I do?”

EGO & PRIDE tried to chime in. Before they could utter a complete sentence, EXPERIENCE had picked up an old encyclopedia off the desk and ripped it in half. Throwing each a piece of it and said,

“Zip it. We need change here not the riff raff of you two idiots.”

They skunked back into the corner with pouty faces.

He looked back at me and spoke,

“Let’s go the next meeting and find a sponsor and ask him to help us. Then we do as he suggests and nothing else.”

We went to the next meeting.

As we walked into the room Experience nudged me and whispered into my ear,

“There’s your sponsor. All you have to do is ask.”

After the meeting I did ask him to be my sponsor, with tears in my eyes.

He looked me up and down and said,

“I knew you were gonna ask. I tried to leave early but obviously didn’t make it. Yeah, I will be your sponsor. My first suggestion is to shut up in meetings for 30 days. Don’t talk. Just listen. I will tell you when you are ready to speak. Suggestion 2-start praying every morning asking God to keep you sober, and at night thanking him for keeping you sober.”

Me-“But I have so much to say…I know a lot of stuff! And I don’t pray…God hates me.”

Sponsor-“That is just your ego and pride talking and i don’t care if you think God hates you, just do it. You know nothing about staying Or being sober. Just call me every day, until further notice, and listen in meetings…got it? Pretty soon you will realize that your past experience can and will become your bigger asset and not a hindrance as it has been. I look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.”

I went back to my room at the halfway house.

For the first time, in a long time, I felt real change coming.

It’s been a little over 6 years since PRIDE & EGO took a back seat in my life. They still flare up, every now and then, but EXPERIENCE keeps a firm hold on the future.


I feel nostalgic.

I’m going to take a trip into the “Chamber Of Early Sobriety” and spin a yarn about one of my debacles….I mean learning experiences as I was just a monthling in the life without booze and mind altering substances.

Won’t you join me?

When I lived at the halfway house I was like the Messiah of Misfit Soberlings.

That even SOUNDS awesome doesn’t it?

The easiest way to explain that moniker is-

I was one of the few who remained sober while living at this particular sober living home. So I was the go 2 guy to the newbies at the house. The general idea was if you wanted to stay sober, then just hang around me and my aura of soberness would somehow transfer to you by osmosis or something.

I lived there 10 months. In that time I had 26 different house members who moved out to beat the sober out of themselves by drinking or using again.

Being the Messiah held great responsibility.

My mind continually told me how great I was.

It only took one incident to change me from Messiah to just another guy trying to stay sober.

My first 12 Step Call……..



“Is this good2begone? I really need to talk to him…”

“Why yes it is. You just caught me. I was about to leave to see if the local church needed me to baptize anyone. What can I do for you, lost one.”

I was actually watching reruns of-

But I had an image to uphold.

“I need to talk to someone about trying to stop using again. I used to live at the house with you….I trust you. Can you help me?”

“Why don’t you just meet me at the meeting….it like an hour away.”

“I can’t wait that long. I NEED to see you. Can’t you just come to the hotel I’m staying at.”

I saw the red flag go up. But I saw it as my cape being handed to me from above.


“Look, Robin! It’s the sober signal. It’s time to save someone! To the batmobile!”

Only there was no Robin…..and I lived at a halfway house. There was no Batmobile………I didn’t even have a bike to pedal.

I had to beat the pavement with my Chuck Taylor’s.

“Yeah. I will be there. Give me :30 minutes.”

And I hung up and hit the streets.

Something in the back of my head kept telling me,


But hey…I’m the Messiah. I got this.

I show up at the hotel door, Big Book in hand, and knock.

I sensed something was amuck with my plan.

I heard furniture being moved around.

The door opened and my old roomie stood there in his boxers….bottle ‘o vodka in one hand…..crack pipe in the other.

I went in and he shut the door behind me and then jumped in the bed.

I sat on the chair on the opposite side of the room.

Then he spoke….as he took a drag off his glass pipe.

“So, how long have you been sober?”

“About 8 months….why am I here again?”

“I needed to talk to you.”

“Well….your not talking…you are getting trashed and I’m getting uncomfortable. I think I better go…”

“No wait wait wait. I have to ask you something….”


“Have you ever been with a man, before?”

I chuckled.

“You asked me here to see if you get your rocks off?….Dude, I’m out.”

And before things got way out of hand I got up and left.

There is reason why going on 12 step calls is more than a 1 person deal.

Once again,

I chose to find out the hard way.

It’s still good2begone.

Still sober. Still learning.