The Canvas

All great changes are preceded by chaos-Deepak Chopra

The chaos that preceded the change has nothing on the chaos since the change-Good2begone

My wife is still drinking. She doesnt get drunk every time she drinks but it’s up to every day.

I make sure she gets up for work… her 19 preset alarms…..don’t.

She tells me as long as I have alcohol and weed everything will be fine.


Yeah….its not fine.

But I’m in this for the long haul.

I’m doing my best.

I just hope that enough.


The Bar Tender

Nothing like coming across a journal I used to write in to put life in perspective.

20131005-193842.jpgThe date indicates it was written almost 9 years ago.

The time indicates that it was after the bars had closed.

Nothing like writing in a journal when you’re drunk.

Here is what the scribbles in the photo say-

10-14-04. 3:17 am

K- so here’s the deal. My mental state is trapped in a hall of mirrors, I have no job, I live with my Mom at age 35 and I’m a drunk. On the plus side I have Amanda in my life- the issue is not that I’m not doing anything productive it’s that I don’t want to fall into the emotional trap that I always do. Everything about her (& us) is different.

Before I honestly decipher that brilliant piece of literature, I must say, that even 9 years later I remember writing it and it was all true, at THAT time in my life.

Let the deciphering begin…..

My mental state was not trapped…it was clogged with alcohol, cocaine and enough bong resin to re animate Bob Marley.

The only real truth, written without attempts at grandeur and mystery, was sentence #2-

I had no job, lived with Mom and was 35, I was a drunk.

The rest was crap…..but I thought it was gold at the time.

The plus, to which I referred to, was naturally a female. They always make life better when it’s crappy.

I was 35…she was 18.

That should adequately explain the “emotional trap”….

Here is what was different-



A little over a year after writing this gem, I was arrested for drug possession and theft.

The rest of that story is archived somewhere in the blog…

I have now been sober for almost 7 years.

The past does not just go away…. It sticks around to prove a point.

When I wrote in that journal, I did not fully believe I was a drunk…..until I was drunk.

When I went out to start my drinking and I was well on my way to getting drunk….I wasn’t a drunk.

I was having a good time… often as possible.

Once I was out of whatever chemical was available for the night, reality set in.

I was a drunk.

But that feeling always past once I got a little sleep and was able to go out again.

I was just too hard on myself…..


I was unwilling to stop.

I was willing to die to maintain my addiction(s).

Luckily, for me, my willingness to not stop led to my arrest.

Which eventually led to a willingness to change.

Which gave me the ability to write about this almost 9 years after it was originally written and objectively look at my past and know that without a shadow of a doubt that for me-

A life spent IN bars
Led to time BEHIND bars
In order for me to RAISE the bar
I had to learn to PASS the bar.

Life is full of second chances. Sometimes that chance involves changing….


Life is worth the efforts of REAL change

Bar none.

A Call To Arms

Daily prompt- Viral

A country overtaken
By corruption and sin
It’s a game we all play
Although no chance for a win

A call to arms is needed
It has to take place
If any hope is to be had
To preserve the human race

Put down the guns and knives
Along with the sticks and stones
A bow must be the weapon
To stop the breaking of bones

It’s elegance is simple
But mastery is a chore
Patience and years of practice
Are what is in store

Start the training with the young
Creating snipers of change
Evolve into a revolution
Emotions will rearrange

Take it to the streets
It’s tone will strike the masses
Random acts of violins
Should be used on all classes

The orchestration of peace
Is music to the ears
A symphony must be assembled
And heard by all far….and near.



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 Frantic Man Gets Gone

We arrive at the Lake Murray Men’s Conference with only one mishap.

My sponsor received a speeding ticket.

Most people in sobriety would not badger their sponsor about something like this.

I am not most people in sobriety……besides I was in the back seat. What was he gonna do threaten to pull the car over and spank me.


I decided he needed a lecture on the importance of obeying the laws of the road.

“Excuse me, sponsor?” I ask

He looks in the rear view mirror with squinted eyes and replies,

“Yes, good2begone?”

“Do I need to remind you that having 26 years of sobriety does not give you the right to ignore the posted laws of the land? I would suggest that you be more mindful of your lead foot. The conference will still be there even if we get there 10 minutes later. I think you need to do some writing on patience.” I say with a smile and a smirk.

I notice the temperature in the vehicle got a bit chilly….or maybe it was just the icy stare I received from the rear view mirror before his reply.

“I suggest that you realize that regardless of my years in sobriety that I am not nor will I ever be perfect. Mistakes in judgement still occur with 26 years of sobriety… ass.”

“Touché, Mr. Miagi….touché.”

We get registered, check into our cabin and head out to meet and greet the other attendees of the conference.

I’ve been here before.

The Frantic Man hasn’t.

He needs a little encouragement.

As we walk to where the fellowship is happening I fill him in on what to expect.

“Ok…Frantic, I know this is way out of your element. Everyone here is here to aid in their….and your recovery from alcoholism. All you have to do is introduce yourself to people. The rest will happen on its own. You cool with that?”

He stops walking and rubs his forehead, and replies,

“I…I…I’m not g..g..good with people. Nervous…just nervous.”

I pat him on the back and say,

“Relax, Rain Man. No one here is good with people. But if we want to change….we have to alter our normal reactions to life. No more hiding behind the bottle. It’s time to stand on your own. I will introduce you to a few people who you will relate to. Then you take it from there.”

He inhales deeply exhaled nervously then nods his head in approval.

We return to the cabin at 11:30 pm. We heard a great speaker who has been sober for 32 years and then went out for ice cream.

The Frantic Man had a different look about him.

“You ok, Frantic?”

“I jjjust have a lot to ppprocess after today. I met some gggood people and am thththinking about tomorrow.”

“Okie dokie. Get some sleep, bud.”

I retire to my bunk and almost immediately fall into a deep sleep.

My alarm awakes me at 6:30am. I get up and head out to grab some coffee and try not to wake anyone else up.

The sun is starting to filter through the windows, shedding light into the cabin.

The space where the Frantic Man went to sleep is empty.

I sip on my coffee and think about the day ahead.

Wait a minute…….


I wake everyone up and tell them he is gone. Apparently I am the only one concerned.

My sponsor, in his infinite wisdom, says,

“Relax. He is the Frantic Man…,.not the I’m gonna get up in the middle of the night and walk back to Texas man. He just got up and went out. We will find him soon enough.”

So much for peace and serenity….I convince a guy to leave home for a few days and I lose him. What was I thinking?

The rest of my day is spent searching for the lost boy. I can’t focus. I can’t relax.

I walk around and ask the people I introduced him to the day before if they have seen him.

“Have you seen the Frantic Man?”

“Yeah, he was her about an hour ago. He walked off with the guys from cabin 12.”

Off to cabin 12

“Have you seen the Frantic Man?”

“He was here, but he’s not anymore.”


“Have you seen the Frantic Man?”

“The who?….”

“Uggghhhh…never mind.” I said frantically and moved on.

I was a wreck. What was I going to tell his Mother?….I don’t even know his Mother….I had no one to tell.

I couldn’t find him. I hate to say it but I gave up….and I’m not a giver upper.

The 8 pm speaker meeting was about to start. I slumped into my chair next to my sponsor.

He asks with a smirk, “Did you find him?”

I answered with a pout, “No”

He pats me on the shoulder and replies,

“He will turn up…..probably when you least expect it.”

I cross my arms and slump into the metal chair and say,


The meeting is opened up as usual with the serenity prayer. One of my buddies is chairing the meeting and he begins to talk,

“We are going to do something a little different tonight. We have a gentleman here who is at his first conference….ever. He has a whopping 2 months of sobriety. And we are going to have him read one of our readings.”

That peaked my interest. I look up from my pouty stance and to my surprise the Frantic Man is on stage behind the podium.

He steps up and begins to talk.

“Mmmmmy nnnnname is the Fffffffrantic Mmmman and I’m an alcccoholic.”

He pauses and steps back. He looks at the chairman and whispers to him.

The chairman looks at him with caring eyes and says,

“You can do this.”

He returns to the podium and hears


from the crowd along with cheers of encouragement.

He breathes in deeply says a quiet prayer for calm and patience and begins to read,

RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path. Those who do not recover are people who cannot or will not completely give themselves to this simple program, usually men and women who are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. There are such unfortunates. They are not at fault; they seem to have been born that way. They are naturally incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty. Their chances are less than average. There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it-then you are ready to take certain steps.

At some of these we balked. We thought we could find an easier, softer way. But we could not. With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to be fearless and thorough from the very start. Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

Remember that we deal with alcohol – cunning,

baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power-that One is God. May you find Him now!
Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

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

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us exclaimed, “What an order! I can’t go through with it.” Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventures before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.

(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.

(c) That God could and would if He were sought.

He read the entire reading…..and didn’t stutter once. He paused to let the words he just read sink in.

Then the tears in his eyes began to flow.

You could hear a pin drop in that conference room.

The chairman got up and walked over to him and gave him a big hug and said,

“You never have to be alone again, my friend.”

Before stepping back from the podium. He spoke once more.

“Thank you ffffor believing in me.”

The room erupted in applause….and tears.

My sponsor leans over to me and says,

“He was not your pet project in sobriety. He needed to find his way. I encouraged others to step in. One, because you were getting a big head over it….and 2 because you jabbed me with the speeding ticket I got. You need to realize that God is in charge of this deal….not you or I. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.”

That is why I am the sponsee and he is the sponsor.

Another day….another lesson on ego for me.

It is still good2begone.


Reading taken from Chapter 5 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The chapter is called

“How It Works”

My Drink of Choice

Wisdom comes from failure and experience. At least that is my belief. As I have grown older, my failures have taught me that my drinking habits has to change. I used to have the motto-

“Try everything once…..sometimes repeatedly just to be sure I don’t have a taste for it.”

How times have changed…..

With all the choices in drink that line the shelves I have limited myself to 1.

I have a bottle in my truck.

I have a bottle in my kitchen.

I keep one stashed in the back of the medicine cabinet.

I even have one next to my bed… In case I need a shot in the middle of the night.

“From there to here, from here to there, those funny things are everywhere.”

It’s not Black Velvet

It’s not Johnny Walker Red, Black or Blue

It’s not Grey Goose

The color is distinct and is surely a tell.
It comes with a shot glass to make me feel well.
It eases the heartburn and helps calm my nerves.
It keeps my stomach from throwing a curve.

I will reveal the name
Although I’m sure you must know
Pepto Bismol is my cure
For my daily woes.



No Frame (Time Frame Conclusion)

“So this is what square 1 looks like. What on Earth have I gotten myself into?”

The Time Frame Conclusion begins….

The proprietor of the halfway house arrived to pick me up. I was expecting a smiling, over zealous, get sober and be happy John Candy kind of guy driving a sports car or a Tahoe.

He was not what I expected…..

What I got was a grumpy, you got my up front rent money, non Hollywood guy driving a beat up Ford Ranger.

I had his rent money……only because my Mother was gracious enough to front it to me…Western Union…on the premise that I use it and get help or forget her number. My drinking and antics apparently affected more than just myself.

I gave him the rent. He then took me on a short tour of the town highlights.

-the Crack District
-Liquor stores
-the jail

Before I could protest on why I was being shown these areas, he told me.

“Listen city boy…..just because you are away from the bright lights and hustle n bustle of city life, it doesn’t mean that our country bumpkin redneck you don’t want to be here town doesn’t have the same party favors you are used to. If you want to change your life, you can. Follow the rules, do something different and you have a shot. But you have to abandon your reservations about living here and realize the reason you are here. You are out of life options at this point. I am offering you a life line. It is up to you what you do with it.”

With that, he pulled up to my new home. It was not new. Some would not call it a home. More like a shanty. I got my bag and went in.

The inside is clean. Everything has its place and is in order. I had 9 other housemates. I was able to get a room by myself. I dubbed it “The Mystery Machine Room”, because each wall had the colors of the Scooby Doo Van. I was still weary of the place, but no one said that at the end of the line there would be a Marriott.

The rules were basic.

-Attend a meeting every day AA or NA
-Check the calendar for your chore
-Sign in and out
-Curfew 11pm
-No females allowed on premises
-1meal a day would be provided Monday-Friday. Weekends I was in my own.

I was broke. It was Friday. It was going to be a long weekend. I had gone days without eating in my past, but, not without being mind blown.

Change happens quickly.

I chose to attend AA meetings. My reasons were simple. I did not have a vehicle. The meeting was 4 blocks away. There were 5 meetings a day. The biggest reason being that I had attended AA meetings in rehab and I already had their little meeting schpeel
down pat.

-go around of speaking

I went to my first meeting that night. I picked up a chip. I really didn’t want one….but if I wanted to fit in, it is what I had to do. October 13, 2006.

I went back the next day
And the next
And the next
And the next

I went to probation to visit my P.O. I was requested to pee into “The Chalice of Consequence.” I did so, with confidence and without hesitation.

I went back two weeks later
And two weeks after
And two weeks after

Same result each time. No alcohol or illegal substances found…..because there was none.

I had a job that paid the rent and left a little money for myself. The sober life was alright but it was not easy…..

The halfway house I lived at had a “revolving door” for clients. In the 10 months that I was a resident, I witnessed 26 different addicts/alcoholics come and go. The reasons for being ejected from paradise varied-

-non payment of rent
-shooting up
-selling drugs out of the house
-some just left
-some died
-some got arrested

I wondered if the term “halfway house” meant halfway to sane or halfway to crazy.

But I stayed.

I learned how to deal my addiction and how to live with it. I worked “the steps” and my life began to change.

After 10 months, I was ready to move out in my own. I made a choice…..a bad one.

A guy I worked with had a room to rent. It was 2 blocks away from AA. It was $100 a month. I jumped at it. Only to find out that I had moved into a crack house.

I lived there 3 months. I stayed clean. I stayed sober.

I picked up my 1 year sober chip while living at a crack house.

I upgraded to my own apartment next. Paid my bills. Bought my own food. Began to have a life.

At 38 years old.

A lot has changed since that first year in sobriety.

I no longer have to pee into a cup.
I no longer look over my shoulder
I no longer have the fear of prison
I no longer wonder what if?

I no longer place my life into a frame.