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Saturday, May 26, 2012

10 Year's of Soberiety

2002.  The first half of that year was quite hazy, the rest is pretty clear because on May 26th, 2002 God granted so many people prayers by leading me to sobriety.  I was in the end stage of alcoholism.  I remember the first time I went to rehab and I was in stage 1 and I thought, I'm not that bad.  Other people are worse than me.  I can still drink.  Now, in 2002, I had severe alcoholism.  I could not live without a drink I thought.  And nobody, absolutely nobody would I listen to if it came to getting me to quit.  I was prideful, arrogant, selfish. My body was shutting down.   But I'll never forget that conversation with the one person that could lead me to sobriety, Jesus.  The ultimate healer.  I remember that day, I remember His voice in my heart and for once in a long, long time I followed His voice, I followed the path that He would have for me.

I was not instantly healed.  God set me aside, with nothing but a Bible, and I started with nothing.  Or what I thought was nothing.  Funny, God stripped away everything but what mattered.  Like family.  And I went back to the teachings of my childhood and started with the basics in the Bible, like I was six again.  I began to learn to hear the voice of God in my heart.  I began to learn to choose his way instead of my way.  I'd ask my dad questions and if there was pride, arrogance, he'd call me on it.  Don't get me wrong, that was not a bad thing.  Years of alcohol abuse had instilled some pretty bad habits.  In love Dad would give me advice and answer my questions of the Bible.  It was not a day process, it tooks months and years.  My Mom, she was the encourager.  How could she not be?  God had delivered her son from the pits of a hellish disease and he was safe.  God had His hand on me and she knew that.  There is no safer place to be in my opinion.  Through the storms that raged in those early years of sobriety, God would calm the wind and the waves.   And then there was my brother.  He probably doesn't know this, but he helped me immensely.  I'm getting choked up writing this.  I realized what I'd lost in my brother when I got sober.  And getting that relationship back would drive me at times when I wanted to give up.  It took patience, it took waiting, and yet I remember that drive to meet him halfway from where we both lived to talk to him.  I was, and am, so proud of him and for what he's done.  He also helped me with my codependency.  Those early days of seeing him I had to talk about me and how good I was doing.  And I remember when the light bulb went off and I realized I was trying to seek his and my parents approval.   I realized that I could just be me.  I didn't have to prove anything, my life and actions do that.  He helped me to realize that brothers just love each other because they are brothers.

So now 10 years later.  2012.  I went through a test two weeks ago being alone for a week with Ginger in Florida.  Almost 10 years of learning, teaching, encouragement, prayer had come to a big test, could I live a week alone sober.  Forgive me, but I looked at it like a semester exam.  Could I utilize the tools I'd been given.  I aced the exam.  One of the tools I used was driving straight home from work and not leaving once I got home, except for one night that I went to Ginger's Mom and Dad's house.  Sure, I was tempted on that drive home, you know the biggest night of temptation?  When I was going over to the padre's house that night!  I say tempted, the thought came into my head and I just kept on driving.  See there is wisdom in that, if you don't stop into the store, you won't get the beer.  Just sayin.  There were other tools, getting gas in the morning (so you don't stop at the store at night to "get gas").  There was the devotions in the morning.  There was Final Fantasy X!!!!!!  (to occupy my mind).  I talked with my parents, I'd talk to Ginger, and in the end I ate lots of junk food, stayed up way too late playing my game, and couldn't wait for Ginger to get back.   But it was God who carried me through that week.  I may have executed a plan, but that plan was God's, and that is where I give the credit to.

I look at my life now and I'm happy.  Truly happy.  I have a loving, loyal, God loving wife.  As far as a wife goes, she is a precious, priceless jewel.   My family, well, I have the most wonderful family too.  Mom, Dad, Phillip and his family, I couldn't be happier.  From love to encouragement to advice and wisdom, they have helped me to this point immensely.   So as you see it was not all just me.  I've had an immense support group, my family, Ginger's family, my beautiful wife, and God.  My job in sobriety is to execute the plan God gives me and through their prayers and support I'm able to execute that plan.

Even though today is special, and it is, there was a time I couldn't go 10 hours without a drink, it still takes the mentality of one day at a time.  3650 days of sobriety is still counted one day at a time.  Tomorrow will begin year 11 and Mom I know I said I was thinking about stopping to count, I'm going with your plan and continuing to count because this day, May 26th, a miracle happened and it is too precious to not remember.

So I want to talk about photography for a minute.  My Dad and I had a conversation one time about drawing and even photography.  It is a hobby.  I've drawn for money but it becomes tedious then it loses it's appeal.  Yes, I feel I'm good, but I do it for fun.  Photography is much the same way.  I love to take pictures.  But I found with the Project 365 that I felt pressure (put on by myself and only myself) to post the picture each day.  And then I realized I was avoiding the blog.  It was becoming a job.  I take my pictures, but it had too many constructs, like, I've got to take this pic, any pic for my blog.  And so it became a matter of getting any picture for the blog, not looking around and taking it as inspiration came to me.  And my Dad's voice comes in my head about being a hobby.  Take pictures for the fun of taking them, not because you feel you have to take pictures to share with the masses.  Codependency?  Seeking Approval?  Maybe.  But I've found my artistic flair again and I'll post as I feel led to post.  And somehow that control being back into my hands, what I choose, makes all the difference in the world.  Will I post the pictures from the last week, maybe, I haven't decided, but it feels good that I feel I've given myself that choice.  The picture I took today is below:

There is a story behind this.  These are my keys.  They say the importance of someone can be told by how many keys they have.  Don't know much about that but in 2002 I had one key, and I even lost that.  Now, I have two sets of car keys, home keys, work keys.  This is a picture to show the growth.  Incidentally, there are ten individual keys on my key ring (I have three of the same kind of pad lock key for some strange reason....).  One for each year.

For those that read this and you may not believe in God, or Jesus, I'm not hear to try to convince you of that.  For me, no one but God could have delivered me from the pit I was in and for those who know me from before to now, realize the miracle that I am.  I am my Mom's walking miracle and today we celebrate what God has done.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sparky and I

Sparky and I are having dinner tonight and we were missing Mommy.   Sparky has taken to wearing a bandanna like Dad, since Mommy loves Daddy in his, he thought he'd be like me.  I realize this sounds totally crazy, a stuffed squirrel is our little son, but Ginger SWEARS he's real when I make him talk!  Actually Sparky has a long history with Ginger and I, the first of our critters that come to life when I speak for them.

Lest you think this is nuts, might I remind you that there is much more, in all seriousness.  With bipolar and anxiety, laughter is very good medicine.  Sometimes you have to get creative and Ginger just happen to pick the creative husband pick.  The fact is the sound of her laughter is like an angel singing to my ears.  That beautiful smile and there is a look in her eyes, meant just for me, that says oh baby, I love you so much.  Nobody gets that look but me.  And if it takes making a squirrel talk to get that look and smile, well, I'd be a fool not to.

Our love is a special love.  She is a crown jewel, priceless, beyond worth to me.  There is not a woman on earth to me who is more beautiful me both on the inside and out.  She completes me and I'll always be thankful to God that He sent an angel from heaven to be married to me.


Just wanted my baby to know I was thinking of her tonight.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pictures and such!

Wow, didn't realize I hadn't posted in a little over a week!  I've got the pictures, but it's been busy with Ginger going to Florida and all.  Of course busy is a relative term.  I spent over 12 hours over the weekend trying to get past a Chocobo race in Final Fantasy X.  Depending on who you talk to they say it is arguably the hardest side quest in the Final Fantasy games.  I'll let you know after the lightning dodge.  The funny thing is I was fully prepared to take the week getting past it.  When I talked to my Mom on Mother's Day we were laughing about Chocobo's!  It had a more serious application though, the Chocobo's that is.  It kept my mind occupied.  With Ginger gone for a week and an empty house, it kept me busy.  Did I think about drinking, nope, I kept thinking I have to get a race time of 0:00 which meant hitting 12 to 13 ballons, avoiding birds, and getting a perfect run.  About an hour after talking to Mom I did it, quite by sheer luck.  Anyway, you want some pics I bet, so here we go:

 Picture 1:  An Ant's View of our hallway
Picture 2:  The beautiful green after the wonderful rain we've had
Picture 3:  The ghost that haunts our studio, Spooky (He's a friendly ghost!)
Picture 4:  Challenging shot, blue light at left, bright light on right to meld together on Coke Can
Picture 5:  Ginger is packing for Florida and ready!
Picture 6:  What I get to eat while Ginger is away!
Picture 7:  My Ginger Pillow.  I pulled it out of my box of keepsakes.  I used this when we were engaged and I missed her.  A little perfume and it smells like her.  Not a good substitute for the real thing, mind you, but helps me get to sleep.
Picture 8:  Buddy Boy misses Ginger....
Picture 9:  The true reason I stay sober....Jesus

I miss my wife alot but I know that she is having a wonderful time!  Last night I was up too late fighting Masester Seymour, Defender X, and the fiends of Mt. Gazaget.  Good times.  Tonight, should I accept the challenge, it's the Sanctuary Keeper, Yunalesca,, and the Spectral Keeper.  Hey, it keeps my mind occupied!  In all seriousness, I'd mentioned it before that you always need a plan in recovery.  I'd planned for this week and things have gone well.  For the most part, because I have things that can occupy me at home, I go to work, come straight home and stay.  You'd be surprised at how much trouble you can stay out of by staying home.  Shower, talk to my lovely wife, eat, and then it's 7:30 or 8.  Play a mind numbing game for 3 hours and your exhausted.  Hey, it works, but you have to want it.  Just sayin.....


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Moonlit Scapes

Okay, first photo is of two gifts I've gotten from Ginger when we were engaged.  The bottom book is a devotion, the top is very special.  It is over a 100 ways that Ginger loves me.  Hand written, it is very, very special and sits in a very special place on my night stand.

Second photo is of the moon (obviously) and of the upcoming full moon that would be coming a few days later.

Third shot is a shot I envisioned, old technology vs. new technology.  The phone on left is mine, perfect for me because of my work.  It has gotten paint on it, been dropped, scratched, etc. and it still works like a charm.  Ginger on the other hand, my beautiful bride, get's alot of use out of her iphone!

The next two shots (the second of the two is my favorite) of the full moon last night.  I was out in the front yard with my equipment, in the backyard, trying to get the shots I wanted.  I'd already gotten a detail shot of the moon a couple of days ago, I was looking to get the moon and the trees around our home.  After about 100 shots I got the shots I wanted.  The first is out front, the second is out back.  I have more I may post later.

The last photo is of my command center (kinda looks that way with the blue light).  I've been having so much fun on my game, and Ginger has been in the room next to it playing her games.  I've been able to play in moderation, though the weekends are times I can play for some extended time.  However, when it comes to date night last night, the game didn't interfere!  Though I did step out to take some pictures with Ginger's blessing....

All in all, I had so much fun last night with the moon.  I wouldn't stop till I had the shot I wanted but I've learned persistence and thank goodness that I've studied how to use my camera! 

God is soooo good!



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Classic Games, a Cozy Home and Rocking at Work

So it has been a week since I've blogged, but I've been taking my pictures.  If you wonder why it has been a week, take a looksie at the first picture.  A friend of mine gave me a Playstation 2.  So I went online to look for my all time favorite game on it, Final Fantasy VII.  I was discouraged at first.  This is touted as the all time best RPG video game of all time.  New, it goes for $270 minimum.  I found, on of all things, a place selling like new, for $32.  I was shocked.  First time shopping on Amazon, so I tried my luck.  And Wednesday it arrived, and like new it was!  I was stoked.  I'd already started Final Fantasy X, but when Ginger goes on vacation, I'll be popping this in!

The second pic hit me because it has been spring type weather, maybe a little warm, but we opened up the shades in the kitchen.  Ginger and I both love how the light falls into the kitchen.

The third pic I took before work.  Funny thing about this shot (I took 5 different shots) was that the shot went away after about 10 minutes.  I learned that if I see a shot, don't hesitate!  I loved the shot.

The fourth shot is a shot of Ginger's book pile by our bed.  She looooves to read.

The fifth shot is of the old Scrabble board we got from Ginger's parents.  What is funny is Ginger plays Words with Friends with my Dad AND Mom on her phone.   So this is a shot of how we use to play Scrabble....and now Ginger and I can play!  (I do not have a fancy phone!)

The sixth shot is a beginning shot of my work week with the tools of the trade.  Little did I know that by the end of today I would have finished painting three apartments!  Which leads me to the last pic....

My radio for work, my flourescent green bandanna, which is like my "I'm feeling like an artist" bandanna and keeps my hair free from paint, and thankfully my mp3 player.  With songs like Def Lepard's "Rock rock till you drop", Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock", Ke$ha's "Blow", Black Eyed Pea's "Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Good Night", and one that really gets me moving fast, Disturb's "Indestrucible".  Yeah, I know, my Mom is looking at this and going, Yuck!  I don't listen to my Mp3 player all the time, only when I have a tremendous amount of work to do in a short amount of time, or I have a really bad one to do.

There you have it.  Below are the pics, so enjoy!  God is good!