Saturday, November 17, 2007

Harkening Back to Gentler Times...

I sat in the A.A. meeting hall at lunch as Mrs. Mary chatted nervously.

"My neighbors have a dog in a four foot by four foot pen, and it is starving," she said, always the animal activist.

"Call animal control," Sandy replied, brusquely.

I agreed. "Call animal control," I replied as well, ever the dog lover.

The meeting started as Mrs. Mary sat and looked indecisive. We talked of letting go and letting God.

God is such a contentious subject for me. I always feel so lax in my sobriety turning over all my problems to a higher power. I take a certain pride and independence in staying sober, by my will, that will probably lead to another drunk some day. "Some days" tend to happen sooner than later.

"God has worked wonders in my life," Mrs. Mary said with a look of awe upon her face. "When I lived in that terrible, rundown neighborhood in Chicago, he was my strength and solace."

I wish I could find God. I grew up in a family were being religious meant you were mentally ill. In the throes of her schizophrenia, my mother joined the Catholic church and went to mass religiously. My father and siblings didn't talk to her for months, ashamed. They put her on new, mind-numbing medications and she never went again.

There have been times in my life were I thought God was speaking to me. My ex-wife would tell me I was crazy. God spoke through the Internet and the television. Journals were kept of these new parables of God's word. Crazily, I would watch the nightly newscasts for revelations. Dan Rather was a prophet in my mixed up mind.

"I wish you would take your medications," my wife would tell me, exasperated, turning off the TV to my great protests. She didn't understand my infatuation. No one did, except me.

Today's meeting harkened back to simpler and gentler times -- times spent in A.A. where I would grow to feel so grounded. They say often in Alcoholics Anonymous that "meeting makers make it!" Maybe I need to get involved in A.A. again. Maybe I need to find God. It is always maybe, though -- waiting for life to find me and not vice versa.

31 comments:

Joules *Dances with Haddock* Taylor said...

What a beautiful, inspirational blog.

Ryan said...

I'm growing up in the same type of family as you, Andrew. Although to be fairly honest I love it and most of the people I know who believe in God actually ARE mentally ill. (literally)

Summer said...

The whole time I was growing up my mother beat it into my head to NEVER marry a catholic. It would be totally unacceptable to do so. Guess who married a catholic.

That's sad that your family wouldn't speak to your mom. Does she ever talk about it?

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Irishcoda said...

Hi, I'm glad I found your blog again, Andrew. I used to have a blog on diary-x and now I'm on blogger. Anyway, about God, one thing I have found is that He is right there with you whether or not you go to an AA meeting. I can feel Him most when I clear my mind as best as I can and open my heart to Him. Best wishes to you always

mapiprincesa! said...

I am finding God more and more in my garden, in those with whom I interact, my children, and less and less corresponding to an institution, although a cradle Catholic. You bring God to me through your stories, your photos, and the responses that your posts elicit from God (or whatever one chooses to call this Factor X) acting within others. God is everywhere...it looks to me like you've found God...you just have yet to recognize His variety of masks!

Ellie said...

Another wonderful post, as always. I believe that He is going to be with you whenever you need him. Have you ever heard of the Footprints Psalm? It is my favorite ever.

Ellie said...

Hi...me again. You can go here with this link to read it.

http://www.ftmagic.com/footprints.html

Anonymous said...

Too bad you stopped corresponding with FP. HE was one of your few male commenters. Guess you can't tolerate stark honesty and robust gruffness. The rest of your regular commenters constitute a veritable gaggle of overprotective mommies, most of whom seem to be in steady relationships. Any possible " princesses charmings" among them? Women tend to use cute in 2 senses; first there is the romantically cute or what they look for in a partner ; then there is the harmlessly , vulnerably cute , such as puppies and baby ducks. You are a contradiction in terms, a long-term bachelor enamored with domesticity.

Kelly Jene said...

I grew up in a family like that too. Actually most of my family thinks I am in a cult even now because I go to church and love God. If you look for Him, you'll find Him. He's always there waiting for us.

Anonymous said...

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Nikita said...

Hi Andrew...keep "looking" for God!! You are NOT mentally ill if you love God..then I'm mentally ill too! really SAD and SILLY people reason like that!! What a pity! ONE day, they will regret it...YOU will NOT! look at the site...www.dailybible.com....take it ONE verse per day...and God IS the answer to your problem...you will see...I believe in the existense of the Devil!! The Devil tries to tell people God doesn't exist!! the Devil tells people they are mentally ill if they pray to God...do NOT give any room in your heart to the Devil...the Devil doesn't deserve it at all..the problem today is, many people DENY the existense of the Devil! an excuse to not explain God...an excuse to get away with their poor lives, I do see people as poor when they don't have God in their lives...so keep searching for Him...you are on the RIGHT track! Stay positive, don't let negative bloggers change your mind and tell you that you are mentally ill if you know what is right, and you DO know what is right, I know you know that...sorry for what your mum went through! People don't care in today's life for other people's feelings...what a shame...have a wonderful day..of what's left and I hope your Sunday is great! so the rest of the week...Nikita!

Le Fleur said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Andrew

I think I'm getting a cold and feeling my seasonal depression creep up on me once again, but I think this year might be better simply because I feel at least someone's listening to me.

If AA helps you, I think you should definately go to listen if nothing else. Do you get together with your family during the holidays? I do and sometimes I want to scream at all the drama they bring with them. Its still good to have them around though. Have a good night, luv.

Summer said...

I think I'd like to be the duck. Lord Love A Duck!

Summer said...

P.S. I'm all for the BEAHCH BAYBEE!

Barb said...

Andrew,
Forgive my opinion, but the jealous commentor above can kiss my "over protective" ASS!!! Perhaps jealous, perhaps pussy whooped-- but either/or his or her opinion reaks of judgement~

That said, have a wonderful night, knowing you make a difference in my day!!

Cheers,
B~

SOUL: said...

wth is up with anon???
hmmm
mommies? steady relationships? ducks.
perhaps he/she needs a meeting???
take care my brotha!

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I happened upon your blog randomly and it is interesting, I think, mainly for what is, it seems, the honesty and some amount of grace with which you offer up your life and 'condition'. It seems a bit like a Tennessee Williams play explained by a narrator instead of by a cast of characters... I've had some friends who have had some struggles with themselves and while I used to think I could help them, I know enough now that probably the most one can offer is friendship. So it seems much of the comments while well intentioned are perhaps naive. That is not to suggest that they should not be offered or that they may not be of comfort. Having read just a few days of entries and comments I don't know the relationships or interworkings but I will agree in part with the comment above by saying that there does seem to be a good measure of estrogen induced saccharin stroking in the comments.... On religion; I've spent a good amount of time in the South though I'm a Yankee(actually a border state resident... "First came South Carolina, who nobley made the stand. Then came Alabama who took her by the hand..." but I say a bygone should be a bygone). But back to religion. Without meaning to divide or sound smug I would suggest that it's a bit easier (statistically speaking) to be neurotic about religion living in the South than in some other regions of the US. Large Louie

Cheryl said...

Interesting comments here. More so than usual.

You always seem happiest when you're going to A.A. I'm glad to hear you were there today. I'm sure you enjoy being around people. It takes your mind off yourself.

I loved the picture of Maggie you posted today. She looks so 'human', it's uncanny. Like she can see right through you.

It's been a long day. Almost time for it to be over. I'll see you tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Yeah "Andrew",

You really screwed up. Pipe is a good man and was trying to help you. You probably owe him an apology.

agent wife said...

I've appreciated you reading and commenting on my blog and I came to look at yours. I don't think your life is boring at all. You are a talented writer and everything I've read has been fascinating. The pictures are incredible. Thank you for being so open about your life- it is refreshing. I'll be reading along...

Anonymous said...

I hate to say how much alike we are..I recognize so many similarities between your life and mine...but we separate ways when it comes to God..There is no God...We are on our own..We are responsible for all our choices..One shot at life..No dress rehearsals..People get mad when they hear that..but its O.K....Keep pushing forward..I'm with you

Jameson Bach said...

I know the feeling. My parents weren't very religious at all.

In a way, I'm thankful for that. It allowed me to make the decision on my own.

Nice blog! :)

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Jerry said...

Maybe your Dad needed "another" loan because he is supporting his grown son. Or maybe because he just refilled "another thousand dollars of medication whisked away in a turbulent flush of toilet water" for free.

After years of taking care of my bi-polar sister I know that may times people who struggle with these issues don't see the big picture. Sadly that makes me upset sometimes because when so many people help you all you can do is see the bad in them. You never connect the dots to see all the good they do.

I think you are a talented writer and I really empathize with your moment to moment, minute to minute struggles, but even if it's jut for a moment, think about the people in your life and how much they love and care for you. How much they have sacrificed for you.

simonsays said...

I know everyone has all the advice in the world for you, so I try not to tell you what to do. Just one thing tho...God is not just found in the church...God is found in your heart. You have such a kind, gentle heart, I know that you must already know that.

Perhaps you should read about God Andrew. There are many, many good books other than the bible, which I know you have tried to read in the past, but is very difficult to stick with....I am not telling you to believe one way or the other, only to learn more and make your own decision.

I am happy that you went to the meeting...I know it's hard to do some days.

I hope your Sunday is awesome!

crazycomputerlady said...

I stumbled across your blog and am compelled to visit. I am sorry that there are anon. jerks who are to afraid to say mean things and not expose who they really are (big chickens).
I am not sure what to say about church. I believe in God, but the church, I find to be a bit self rightous. My son is studying to be a youth minister, and last year when we asked him to start paying for his car insurance, he had a falling out with my hubby.He disappeared for about 3 days, so we called the church to find out if they would sit with us so that we could talk to our son(because everything we said elicited some scripture that was not appropriate). Upon speaking with the pastor, we found that he had informed them that we had kicked him out of the house (a fact we knew nothing about). The pastor informed us that we would need to speak with the youth pastor. After that we never received a call or anything. I believe the church should be all about the "Family", not just making money. God does exist. Sorry about carrying on, You can praise God at home just as well as at church.
Oh, by the way. There has to be a God, because the Devil would not exist without him.

CRUSTYBEEF said...

This post has given me tears...so beautiful and raw..thank you!!
Happy Sunday!
Faith takes different forms..whatever form suits you..
when you were a child, was Santa a big deal in your family? And if so, how did it make you feel when you found out that he doesn't actually do the chimney dance?
Just curious...
not to relate Santa to religion, but more because it's the element of just "knowing that you'll wake to presents under the tree even though you'd never actually see him doing the act of giving" when I find myself losing touch with my faith, I always think back to my days looking for boot prints in the hearth of my parents chimney...the excitement and thrill of not being able to see him was so powerful..
Always,
Crusty~
You do what you feel is good for your Soul.I have such a religious diversity in my family....and I think it's absolutely amazing..unfortunately not everyone thinks the same, so it does make the effort to have faith in something much more exhausting...when you already have other hurdles you want to overcome..I know...even in religion you can still grow restless..happens to me all the time!

CRUSTYBEEF said...

Sorry for the long ramble!!
always,
Crusty~

Anonymous said...

PipeTobacco is a rambling idiot. I can't stay on his blog for more than 5 minutes because it's so cluttered. He may be a professor but he needs some teaching in the cleaning department. He also gives un-needed advice.

- "R"

Tee said...

Andrew, we have a promise that if we seek to find God we will find Him. Seek after Him with all your heart and you will find Him. He will make Himself real to you. Nikita had a good comment. I have to ditto that one. You are NOT crazy if you believe in God. In Proverbs it says, "...only a fool says there is no God." My paraphrase. Seek after the true and living God with all your heart, my friend.