Week Two, Day Four: The Village & No.6

No. 6

I was supposed to be at the beach today, but I didn’t go. Some small part of my headspace was going a different direction. Alone all day at Crissy with the water and my food stamps card I felt that I might decide to finagle a bottle of wine into my diet. Instead, I planned to go to the AA meeting Jospek at Ritter Center hosts at 2 p.m. every Thursday afternoon.

Better choice. No good could come from the other even though I would easily “get away with it”. Fact is, at this point “I’d KNOW” so, that is not getting away with anything at all. Plus it is never just “one day”. That is simply a self-told lie.

Some of it is there are few things more enjoyable than working on free wifi at the café at Crissy, then having a simple lunch of wine, cheese and bread, a dip in the Bay, followed by some layng out. Then another dip.

If only life were that way. It isn’t for those of us with this disease.

The reality is after two weeks of complete sobriety my life has gotten much better even though there is a very long way to go.

Waking up as No.6

It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I regard the old The Prisoner series with Patrick McGhoohan as still one of the most subversive and fascinating series ever placed on television. I am a huge fan, so it was with no small bemusement that I arrived back yesterday to find they had re-numbered the beds and that I was now the new No.6. I protested “I am not a number, I am a free man!” No one in the office laughed. Most anyone in the Gang (Bob, Bill, Eric and Joshua) would have busted up.

Unfortunately, my first act as No.6 was a dipshit move. You don’t lock your locker so much to keep other guys out as you do staff from looking in. So when all the lockers where being swapped out (in a great whirl of confusion), my stash of important snacks and condiments were discovered (I have been a bit like Richard Dawson ‘s character “Newkirk” from the old Hogan’s Heroes)

The Diet

Last night I cut the fat off my ham, cut the rest into pieces and sprinkled it over salad and used the low cal dressing I bought. I skipped dessert entirely. For lunch I had salad. Today I had a turkey wrap and an apple for lunch. I have another apple if I need it later.

I am gonna try and ask a good friend to collect the bike and sell it for me so I can buy a simpler one here.

I was tired and fragged out last night when I got back from my many adventures. Eric noted that I almost seemed like I was in “a bad mood”. We shared a laugh because it is not like either of us to be so. In fact, the Gang are all highly intelligent men with wicked humor. Mornings are like a party of sorts. It’s fun and funny. Josh and I walked down to Peets this am and hung out for awhile. I enjoy his company as I do the others. In the evening at dinner Eric and I did James Bond trivia from both the books and the films. He is formidable.

Then, after dinner, came the Great Locker Debacle. It is not impressive on the surface. In fact Eric noted in the morning that Joshua the Younger had the “perfect response.”

“What was that?” we asked.

“None at all.” (laughter follows for awhile).

Not unlike No. 6 in The Prisoner, the captives are, in this case, smarter than the captors. Yet sometimes we make a mistake, like I did.

Family Dynamics

Apparently my parents attempted to drop some stuff of at Mill Street on their way to the family cabin. Of course this involves both reason and practicality, so they were refused and sent on their way.

I have mixed feelings. Admitting you have this disease is a double-edged sword. People who know what it really is, applaud your honesty and respect your actions; those who do not have an insane number of responses all like landmines which will blow your Recovery all to hell.

They mean well. Good intentions often lead to bad decisions. Personally, I have learned what so many know…only others in Recovery really understand. You don’t have groups of cancer survivors meeting with those who know nothing of the disease or have never had it.

Same basic deal.

So I do better alone when it comes to family because they often, despite their intentions, do far more harm than good. Then they blame you because you are an alcoholic despite your being more sober than they are in any given month.

Blame and shaming are huge family dynamics. My response is the same I have for enraged women. Total avoidance. “Go take crazy somewhere else”.

I am reminded of a defining bible verse from the aged Apostle John who said “My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring” (1 John 3:18)

Many will say many words and talk up a storm. Watch what they do. This includes me of course.

Thanks

The old saying is “it is not until you are grateful that you have truly received the gift”.

Jan has send both money for Mill Street (the Shelter) and also a Walgreen’s card for all the incidentals (of which there are many).

Leslie continues to pay for basic phone service on the “Family Plan” (which is why you can call me, but not text me) and also send camping equipment as a backup.

Two people who love in action because the want and choose to. I am deeply grateful both for the help at such a time, and also for the emotional support, advice and encouragements. Others have written notes.

I am not suffering. I am rather intrigued. Joseph (Ritter House) and I have talked about my donating time when I am on my feet doing what I do best…content creation and attracting an audience for this essential ministry to raise money. Without Ritter House and St. Vincent DePaul the situation for the homeless would be a living hell.

I look forward to that day.

Mac Out

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