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Saturday, March 17, 2001

     You're heartless man. Hee-hee.

     "The United States Postal Service appears to have a collective sense of humor, and might in fact display the rudiments of organic bureaucratic intelligence." (via MeFi)

     Wedding today. Lots of wife's family in town. Beds all full here. Whooey.

     NIT update: Richmond 79, West Virginia 56. No contest. Pleh.


     The third evening in the treatment center, I attended my first meeting. They told stories of giving up babies, living on the streets, physical abuse, broken homes, selling possessions, selling themselves, losing jobs, losing lives. Gee, I thought, is this what recovery is all about? Sitting around talking about all the horrible things alcoholism does to you? I was a high-bottom drunk. Few of those inevitabilities found their way into my cocoon, yet.

     Eight years later, with a thousand meetings under my belt, I now know that first one was atypical. But, in hindsight, it was probably just what I needed to hear. Yeah, I hadn't hit rock bottom yet, but I sure got a taste of what was waiting if I continued to drink. Alcoholism is a progressive disease, in fact, it doesn't stop just because it's in remission. Were I to begin drinking again today, within a matter of weeks I would be right back where I was, only eight years more advanced.

     Bottom line, all those meetings with their shared experience, strength and hope saved me. They taught me how to realize a spiritually full existence and how to live life on life's terms. So y'all can rest easy now. Rehab lasted another four weeks, but I'll leave it alone for awhile. At sobriety anniversary time I like to reflect on what might have been. It keeps me on the proper path. That very first meeting provided a glimpse into MY future, a future I didn't want to see. I still don't. I much prefer being happy, joyous and free.

Friday, March 16, 2001

National Invitation Tournament      A tough choice for rooting interest. My home state WVU Mountaineers battle my alma mater Richmond Spiders tonight in the National Invitation Tournament. Basketball in the Robins Center was one of few fond memories of college life in Richmond during the early seventies. Not knowing what you want to be when you grow up makes it difficult to determine a desirable curriculum. So instead, I partied and went to university sporting events. All in all, a wasted three years. Yes, only three. Eventually, I wasn't invited back. Guess I'll root for the Mountaineers.

     Reaching another sobriety anniversary usually makes me think back to the beginning. Waking after my first night in the treatment center was worse than a hangover. Through the night, the nursing staff fed me 15 tabs of Serax, an anti-withdrawal medication. When morning arrived, I was toast. My wildest drunk couldn't touch the level of inebriation from mass dose Oxazepam. After two days, I finally had to tell the psych doc, "Listen, I came here to get straight, not turned into Jello." With that, my recovery began.

     Some of you may tire of the seemingly incessant fixation I have with alcoholism and recovery. If it bothers or bores you, my apologies, but it's very important to me. After a decade of trying and simply not knowing how, getting that monkey called alcohol off my back was the defining moment of adulthood. I'm no great martyr, probably just the opposite. What I am, finally, is normal. It truly sucked being terminally unique.

Web Art by Kitty Mead

Thursday, March 15, 2001

     Perhaps a baby step, but a powerful step. It's the end of going it alone. Not much can happen until full commitment. It's a cry for help and the beginning of relief. "We admitted we were powerless over (whatever), that our lives had become unmanageable."  Eight years ago today, I took that step. The Ides of March. In my case, (whatever) is alcohol.

     On this day in 1993 I entered a rehabilitation center. I was at wits end — destroying my life and the lives of loved ones with a dreadfully slow, but ever insidious torture. Failed attempts at smashing the addiction with willpower and guts littered the jagged path like land mines. The wake of destruction was everywhere. The ones yet to be found awaited the next victim, patiently, with life and limbs in the balance.

     False pride finally departed that day as the door rattled shut behind me. I left my wife and kids on the other side, but so too did I leave my past. I conceded to my innermost self that I was alcoholic. I discovered a spiritual faith that holds me in good stead to this day. I sought a new focus and earned a just reward. I have not had another drink since and it all began with that first step.

     It was half-a-lifetime coming, but I was blessed with another richer, fuller opportunity. As the hospital door shut, every other portal opened wide with arms extended. If you are powerless to cope with your own personal fears, whatever they may be — don't give up before the miracle happens — there is hope for everyone. You are not alone.

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

     View thousands of the most famous and historic pictures ever taken at the grand opening of Presidents of the United States, Early Flight, Baseball, Football, Boxing, Golf Legends, Car Racing, and so much more. From the 1st 50 years of the Miss America Pageant to Disasters and Achievements from the last 100 years captured on film.

     Andy King of interviews Dave Winer, founder of UserLand Software, about his newest creation, Radio UserLand. Thirteen years in the making, Radio UserLand puts an industrial strength Web server on your desktop. Designed to be extended by developers, Radio will also appeal to the masses with its news aggregator and weblog features.

     Have you noticed how Kottke has been better without Kottke? 'Course, I'm sure this would be better too if Nick Sweeney wrote for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

     Time saving tip of the day: Don't try to buy $2.51 worth of lunch with only 68 cents in your pocket. Stop at the money printing machine BEFORE lunch.

     Internet Law, Section 102-c: Asking for email guarantees a quintupling of spam the next day.

     You're getting old when: No matter how slow you are driving down the neighborhood street — even 3mph — the basketball will always bounce two feet in front of your car followed immmediately by the kid hiding in the bushes laughing all the way at the expression of panic on your face.

     Pet peeves department: In order to get Lynn to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom, I had to promise to close the kitchen drawers. She's becoming a tough negotiator.

     And here's a link: just for yucks.

Monday, March 12, 2001

     My inbox is actually empty for the first time in ages. Better send me something quick before I begin to panic. This doesn't happen very often, so get with it.

     The feeling is mutual Mark. It's been a great relationship. And Shadowboxer is looking fabulous these days. Hard to believe that interview was two years ago.

     Being there.

     Happy Birthday Meg.

Sunday, March 11, 2001

Bluzz of the Week      Sunday means Bluzz of the Week. Through this feature, I'm searching for the brightest, funniest, most controversial or otherwise intriguing comments from the previous week's forums, journals and blogs. I am very late to the Kaycee Nicole story, but I've been trying to review her experiences a little each day. Many are the friends who have urged Kaycee's recovery since the beginning through their kindness, generosity and support. If you find a true treasure you'd like to nominate for future Bluzz of the Week, even if you wrote it yourself, please let me know.

     Kaycee Nicole is 19. She has leukemia. Following a seven month hospitalization and a bone marrow transplant, her cancer is in remission. She kept an online journal throughout the ordeal titled Living Colours. Last week she was discharged from the hospital and had the opportunity to feel the sun on her face for the first time since summer. The day before her release, Kaycee pondered her journey, and her future, calling it Coming Out of the Dark. The weblogging community rejoiced. Somewhere in Kansas a very brave young lady is doing the happy dance.

     "I stood by the window this morning. My little piece of sunlight inched its way into the room. Just a sliver of promise touching my cheek. I stood there but didn't feel alone. It was like a million smiles were shining on me, and I wasn't afraid. I wasn't ever alone..."

     "Through the gleaming whiteness I peered into the crystal pathways of time, and the journey that brought me to this place. I didn't try to stop the tears that slowly made their way out of the corners of my eyes. They held so many stories of trials, triumph, happiness, frustration, agony, elation, fear, sadness, and most of all... love..."

     "I know what a miracle is. I know love carried me all the way. As I look out into the morning light I know how totally blessed I've been. I shouldn't be here, gazing at the awesomeness of it. But I am because love carried me on its wings to this moment..."

     "Pretty soon I get the chance to walk out the doors that closed behind me all those months ago. Locked in a world where the future looked grim and gray. No type of guarantees. Just a hope. Just a dream to push me into the unknown..."

     "It will be tougher than you think to leave here. So many wonderful people who have laughed and cried with me. Encouraged me, pushed me over the mountain, and celebrated each small step. They have come out of the darkness with me. We see the light together. I see the sliver of light and it's shining on me." — Kaycee Nicole

Kaycee Is the Warrior Sun







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