ISOFaithfulandTrue: a book report of Wanting to Be Free–A Spiritual Approach to Addiction and Recovery by Neroli Duffy

In Wanting to Be Free, author Neroli Duffy writes of her encounter on an airplane with a man named Daniel, who was recovering from an addiction to pornography. Both a retired medical doctor and a minister, she was planning to write about addiction but did not yet have a clear direction. Enter Daniel, sharing his recovery story.

Daniel had written a poem about his addiction which she printed in her book, but the crucial aspect of how he did it were what caught my attention. Recovery from porn addiction is not easy. I know of many firsthand who have tried to break free in recovery groups from sex and lust addiction. I myself was in those groups not for pornography but for lusting after men and making them my gods. I did learn how tough this disease of addiction is and I already knew it for myself because it is not easy to walk in those doors of such a group when you are the only female present.

It was another kind of assignment for me from a Power greater than myself. I needed to find recovery because I was mentally obsessing myself into insane states of mind even when I was not actually involved with any men. It had been years since I had indulged in promiscuity outwardly, but my mental obsession remained.

I was assigned to cover addictions somewhat before, but from an objective distance. When I was a freelance health reporter briefly for the Billings Outpost, I used to buy and read a book I was interested in on health and then ask a health professional to comment on it for my reporting. As reporting is traditionally from the area local to the paper, I would find local experts in the field of the subject at hand. I would also cover conferences, including on meth addiction.

If I were still in Billings, I had in mind someone I would interview regarding this book, but honestly, I do not know if he himself has recovery in this area. He is an addictions specialist but this addiction is not an easy one. I know.

So I will just review the book itself and report on it, as I really do have lived experience and recovery, by the grace of God. Rev. Duffy does present many avenues for recovery from addictions of any kind, not just pornography. Her expertise is in the use of prayer and affirmation for healing.

She describes other modalities that are used in the addictions recovery field, including one I’d not encountered. The Phoenix Multisport is a “support community for those who are recovering from substance abuse. They focus on sports and fitness pursuits such as climbing, hiking, skiing, running, strength training, yoga and road or mountain biking, along with social events and other activities.”

Jenny Hunter, who worked in addictions treatment centers, and is in recovery from alcoholism, wrote the forward to Wanting to Be Free and is quoted throughout the book. She offers much valuable firsthand insight into the use of the spiritual techniques advocated.

The unseen spiritual forces behind addiction are covered extensively and in fact Daniel himself recounts his encounter “when he felt something grip the back of his neck–a firm and icy grip, tangible and chilling, yet not of this world. And then he heard the most awful sound—a growling, guttural moan that seemed to be from the pits of hell itself…and although he did not know the name of this being–was it Satan himself?–he knew he was no match for whatever it was.”

How did he break free? “He got down on his knees beside his bed and prayed earnestly, asking Jesus to deliver him from the ‘beast’ that was gripping him. Instantly the hand was withdrawn. A calm presence flowed through him and he felt peace.”

The author writes about Daniel telling this tale to her, “I looked into Daniel’s eyes, and I knew that what he was describing was not a hallucination or an illusion.”

“We talked about angels, forces of light and darkness and what this malevolent presence might have been. I reminded him that Jesus had spoken of dark forces that are beyond our physical sight. He had told the apostles that some come out only ‘by prayer and fasting.'”

It turned out that Daniel had been fasting when he prayed to have the “thing” removed. The ancient formula worked for him. He is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and they advocate regular fasting.

I, too, am grateful to have the Lord Jesus to have delivered me and that is why I call Him my sponsor and pledged my life to Him and will not date. I am striving to be a lay Dominican nun as I believe He has called me, or perhaps an ecumenical Franciscan nun, if the Catholic Church is not interested in me. They may not be. Just because He calls me, it does not mean that the Church always does His will. I know that for a fact. They can prove me wrong and I hope they do. The Vatican can fast and pray on bread and water on Wednesdays and Fridays as Our Lady, Queen of Peace at Medjugorje recommends and the issue of sexual abuse by priests will go away. I do not doubt it. I would love to report on that miracle. Truly, I would.

The formula from the Great Physician worked for a Mormon man, it worked for this Messianic Jew, and a medical doctor and minister prescribes it. I am very grateful that I read Wanting to Be Free and had followed the time-tested prescription.

Wanting to Be Free is a gift to those seeking recovery. It includes other spiritual paths as well, other than Christianity. I am donating a copy to the bookshelf of the apartment building where I now live. It is my way of “paying it forward” because the need is great.

I honor the author because I knew her personally and I have not been able to admit she is no longer on Planet Earth. When she passed on last year, I was scheduled to take a peer support specialist training, which included training in helping other addicts, but I was too overcome by her passing to function. She is still very much present in her books, though, and her compassionate spirit will never die. May the donated book find a home in another addict’s life in this building where I reside. I will always be grateful to Neroli Duffy and hope others who were not so fortunate to have known her personally may be illumined by her literary legacy–and find deliverance.

 

 

 

 

 

House of Cards: Blown Away–Now Built on a Rock 8-22-18

The Spirit of Truth is my Rock and my Teacher, truly, today and if I just suit up and show up, I can prosper. The trustee did end up paying the USAA health insurance after I wrote that last blog. He must have had the Spirit move him or something and 4 days before it was due to be cancelled entirely because it was past due, he paid on August 14th. So I am grateful he paid.

Now it is paid until January and because I made that payment and the other to AmEx, I am way short for rent which is due on the first and my disability comes on the third. I have $199.00 in the bank and my rent is $551.00 which is subsidized because of my disability, which I am desperately trying to overcome. I am trying to be retrained in order to be gainfully employed.

Vocational Rehabilitation will not now pay for more retraining until I get my situation with the trustee in order because every time I make some progress on the vocational front, he pulls some sort of thing and I have to spend countless hours and energy to try to figure out how to jump through that particular hoop. So, now this blog is going to be my journey to financial recovery and I am using the 12 steps and this is a way to do a fearless and searching moral inventory of this money madness.

This will be a log of just how much of a Saviour the Lord Christ is even at the financial level. I am on a journey to a divine economy built upon the Rock and not the shifting sands of a shifty character who wants to destroy my recovery and my credit rating because it is in his best interests, he thinks.

Now I have to show some proof that I paid the USAA myself which I did on August 7th from my bank account. The last thing I want is for him to have access to my bank account, so I will have to somehow figure a way to prove it to his royal untrustworthiness, a Prince who is a Mark-avellian overlord.

By their fruits ye shall know them and his fruits are so riddled with lies to my authorized representative that he is now a lord of the lies, too. So we shall see.

It may just be that he has absinthe poisoning and is hallucinating and in need of treatment. Before he unfriended me on Facebook years ago, I saw he is fond of absinthe, the toxic liquor once outlawed because it can cause mania and madness. So, perhaps he has been afflicted by the Green Fairy and I need to pray, “This is a sick man. How can I best be helpful to him? God save me from being angry.” (from Bill W.’s tome of recovery)

Indeed I can best be helpful by pointing out that even if I am so incapacitated that I need hospitalization as he might like, it would be helpful for him to know that that would concentrate my efforts in an even greater manner. The one time I was in a State psychiatric hospital, I badgered the staff and made enough of a fuss that they had a staff member take me to a private room to pay my credit card payments. Yes, I was in a manic psychosis but I still made my payments from there. Even more to the point, however, is that I become much, much more litigious when locked up. I sit for hours making endless calls to every governmental agency and complain. In Warm Springs I got it so that patients had the right to whatever diet was necessary for them because I wrote out so many complaint forms and the Board of Governors, I believe, came to visit and check things out. I filled out so many of the formal complaint forms and cited the Constitution in writing those complaints, some of the details escape me now.

I am not exactly a passive patient. And I have more access to attorneys, too, in there. God bless his heart, the attorney there was the best therapist for me although I had to make amends for being irate with him at times. At the time, I did not realize that I challenged him because of serious ethical violations by another attorney, which is why I ended up in Warm Springs in the first place.

So that may be the very most helpful thing I can do for the trustee, is to let him know that if he is trying to gaslight me so badly I get committed, I do not just sit in a corner and drool. So, game on, in this, my epic trek to the pit of fiscal Hell where the overlord is a Mark-avelian Prince of Darkness controlled by the Father of Lies. I have my Guide and He has the Son-light of the Spirit of Truth to show me what my part is in this ungodly mess.

I have been codependent and not demanded what I am due by law and that is what I have to face and overcome in myself. I was passive and capitulated in the possible squandering of my inheritance by never demanding an accurate accounting. For this I am making an amends and I will learn to muckrake by “following the money” in this infernal mess I allowed to fester by kowtowing to the overlord/ego and not to my True Lord who is my conscience.

I confess my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. I confess Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that is the true Reality and from there, I will find how He can help me sell all I have and give to the poor and follow Him completely. Today is the celebration of the Queenship of Holy Mary and I have consecrated all I have and am to Her Immaculate Heart and so am Her slave now and must act accordingly. She helped me through college for a reason and continues now with the lifeline to which I cling for dear life of the most holy rosary, binding me to Her Son and my G-d the I AM THAT I AM.

I am tied as well, by the law of the tithe which is about the only thing I have done right in my fiscal disaster. I confess my soul is powerless over this my mess of financial impotence and my life is unmanageable. I can return to sanity through a power greater than myself and I commit myself to the only One who can help through the intercession of the Queen, who entreated Him to perform His first public miracle of changing the water to wine at Cana. “O Jesus, I surrender myself to You, take care of everything….” O Jesus, I trust in You!

ISOFaithfulandTrue: House of Cards 8-5-18

The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, it is written and somehow He has shown up, first in my being able to make rent. I thank Jess for that–yes, Jess with whom I spent Christmas and whose gift of himself from beyond, I am grateful for, as well as his new Master.

I’d hidden away the last $30 I was paid to feed Jess for the month, feeling I may need the cash someday. Cash is a rare commodity for me, as I live in a House of Cards. By law, Special Needs trust recipients cannot have direct access the the trust monies at all, ever. I now see it as my unique ability to navigate through a maze of landmines the trustee has strewn in my path.

I did make rent this month and I have paid the two bills he was supposed to pay but did not. I still have the American Express Gold card and made the payment of $777.77 which I put on that card because the trustee was late paying my Chase Visa and so I put this month’s charges on the AmEx Gold, forgetting it has a high minimum payment. Because he was late with the Chase payment I had to pay the minimum myself and that made me short for the rent due on the first which I need to save from the previous month’s disability money which comes on the third. So, here we go in Splendid High finance!

I also made the payment for my USAA Health Insurance which the trustee decided not to pay. Of course, this is not so necessary because after all, I do have a legal disability and why O  why would I need health insurance? It was a coup to begin with because for a limited time those of us with Medicare because of disability were offered insurance in the private market and I jumped at he chance because it was my path out of public assistance entirely. The trustee is not in favor of that, evidently.

He also wants to ruin my credit rating so I have to default on my credit cards and declare bankruptcy. This would be a double win for him: I would be beholden to him and have to bow and scrape to him and it would show me up because I dared to say that I did not go into bankruptcy when my mother said I should, but his wife had and I made the mistake of pointing that out. My ex-finance had me give him cash advances on my credit cards and then stopped paying. I know, it was insane of me to trust a man with felonies including armed robbery, whatsoever. Live and learn. I do not have much trust left and I wonder why? I am not in the slightest bit interested in being involved with a man ever again (nor a woman, for that matter). It takes the Lord Himself and true saints to put up with me and give me real help and learn to trust in what is real.

It is a comedy for me now, actually. It makes me smile that Jess showed up to help me in spirit.

Yes, I live in a House of Cards of my own making and I take responsibility for that, as I did when the ex stopped paying. I learned to negotiate with the card companies and slowly built back my credit over time.

The trustee knows I am happy with the fact that I have the kind of credit I do while having disability from bipolar disorder, which is known for giving people poor impulse control and “manic spending.” So, he must destroy this small victory any way he can, just for spite.

I am okay with that and he can try all he wants. I already know I can negotiate with the credit card companies because I have done it before. They all know what I am going through with the trustee because I have kept them informed over the years.

For today, I do have a conscience and that means I am a happy camper. He may have ripped off my inheritance, but I have my true worth in my Father who loves me and who has not abandoned me and sent His Son to save me and teach me what I did not learn from the Ritter family: the golden rule.

If I were the trustee, I would want to be shown and warned that this will not work out well for him in the end. He may get away with stealing on Earth forever, but in the end, it will not work out well. It just won’t. I didn’t make the rules. I did not learn the Big 10 in the Ritter household and the one thing I was given that my parents left and that is it–nothing else they left me of tangible objects, if anything whatsoever because I have not seen a will nor have I been given the amount I was left– is the family Bible, which was hardly opened. Note to trustee, there is one of those 10 Rules in there: Thou shalt not steal. It is what is called a mortal sin.

You may be the Bernie Madoff of Special Needs Trusts, O trustee, but at least Bernie is fortunate to get some time to repent. You may not be that fortunate because you may just get away scot-free and no one will ever stop you.

Some day you will have to meet the Judge, though. Hope you are ready…Have fun until then because I cannot stop you and no one can and no one cares enough to try. Have a great rest of your life, bro…I love you forever because I totally forgive you and I am free because of it and my love is expressed by letting you be who you are completely, free of me. I tried to make you accountable but I failed, it is way beyond me…

You told me on Christmas a few years ago what burden I am and so now you get to be free of me…go celebrate with your family because they get to see what a great family man you are and such a fantastic provider…

As for me and my house (and horse), we will serve the LORD…

 

ISOFaithfulandTrue: as precious as a Ruby

It is written that wisdom is as precious as rubies and I found a gleaming gem today. I remembered Ruby and how I noticed him because he had the best topline I had ever personally seen on a horse. I did not know a thing about him or his owner, but I wanted to find out.

I was like a new gym-goer starting to lift weights who noticed an Olympic lifter and wanting to know how he trained to get there. So, I hung out at the gym/ring and watched.

His rider would spend most of their time walking Ruby and doing various moves while walking and her father was her ground person, and gave her feedback. I gradually found out bits about them but I was not there to insert myself into their training, but to learn by watching and observing.

Well, it was no accident that Ruby had that dancer’s physique. He was an upper level dressage horse and his rider had been on her way to the Pan American Games in the past, I believe, when tragedy struck. She was a Grand Prix level dressage rider and was clearly an artist.

Eventually, I would ride during when she rode. She came out in the evening when others were gone. I purposely stayed late to watch. I really treasure those times now.

A Ruby dropped into my world tonight as I was thrilled with Mel and our ride. He reached down for the bit and walked out, but with true relaxation. It was the first time in a long time riding outside because he had had issues with his feet and the rocks outside and anywhere but the indoor ring. The gem appeared after I had watched some of a dressage show today. I enjoyed it most when the horses had a stretchy trot and walk, where they reach down for the bit with a very long rein stretching to meet the bit and make contact. Then, I wondered if Mel would be up to the task today.

When he had his last saddle fit, our instructor asked if Mel could ever be on a long rein. I said, some days, if he is in the space to handle it. Not that day, though, because he was barely holding it together and was filled with tension, as all kinds of things were going on and he’d been laid up for two months. She just had me get on him and we were the picture of tension–both of us, but we got the job done. He picked his saddle and did not act out at all. BALANCE saddles are chosen by the horse as to which he or she likes best and Mel made his choice very clearly known. I could feel it without a doubt. He moved completely differently. Mission accomplished–his time off had been in part because his saddle no longer fit him properly and it turned out that a used one with just the specifications that he preferred was available in Florida.

Life is quite interesting with Melness, whose registered name is Splendid High. Following what I need to do to take care of him has brought me to some great places and people.

Today I did not get to drop off the piece of tack that I planned to at that show, but I came back to Mel after being a spectator. Ruby trained extensively at the walk and I only recalled it after reflecting on my ride on Mel tonight.

Some say that watching dressage is like watching paint dry, but that does not ring true for me at all. I like watching horses move. I just do. Ruby was like watching Nijinsky.

As I have said before, getting an ex-racehorse to really relax with a rider on him is one of the biggest thrills of my life. Today Mel nailed it completely as he lifted his back and still remained at ease because I did not have to use leg to get him to lift his back and carry himself (and me) because of using the TTouch Balance Rein. It still is strange for me to ride with that Balance Rein. I do not have complete trust of it but I keep using it because I can see how well it works. Mel seems to really enjoy it as well.

That is a gem for me, to accept the things I cannot change and change the things I can. Wisdom is knowing the difference and truly feeling the difference.  When I get off of him and can see literally that his back remains lifted more than it ever was before, I know. I understand and am grateful that the Great Spirit gave his Splendid High-ness some serenity today in answer to prayer–and, I was granted some wisdom to know the difference. I truly knew how much it meant for him to find peace with a rider because that did not happen with his jockeys. He raced for ten years and excelled but he would have rather raced without a jockey, I am quite sure.

Now a Power greater than ourselves teaches us both to release tension through a perpetual prayer, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still” repeated over and over and over again…” That is our practice–I say it and we both live it, by the grace of God, and I knew that He answered my prayer and goal that I one day be able to ride with the Faithful and True. He has to be in my heart in order for that to ever manifest; and He said, the kingdom of heaven is within you. I ride with Him when He reigns in my heart, and my ego is dethroned. I pray that He takes the reins always because He is truly the Prince of Peace and it takes His intercession for us to have serenity at all…Thank You, Lord!

 

 

ISOFaithfulandTrue: On a Splendid High 7-15-18

In “Saddle Solace,” a great article on equines helping combat veterans, the Marine Matt Littrell, who rode across American on his Mustang Crow, gave his take on why horses help rehabilitate veterans. “Combat is the world’s greatest high,” he says in the Western Horseman article. “You’ll never feel more alive that when you’re about to die. You hear and see everything. When guys get back, they chase that level of high. They drive fast cars, party hard and do drugs. But horses give you a different kind of lasting high. The reward doesn’t come from going fast and crazy. It’s from getting a horse to soften and relax.”

That was the Splendid High moment I had tonight, thanks be to a Power greater than ourselves. I have said before that one of the greatest thrills in life for me is to get an ex-racehorse to relax with a rider on him. I am very grateful Linda Tellington-Jones for her invention of the TTouch Balance Rein, which helps equines relax and lift their backs. Tonight we had what for me is an ultimate reward: after liberty work on the ground beforehand where he trotted next to me as I ran beside him with no coercion, he then relaxed with me astride as he lifted his back and stretched his neck down.

As the song says, I was “16 hands closer to Heaven”–on a horse appropriately named Splendid High, who is the best medicine ever for post-traumatic stress disorder. I am grateful to the Creator of this force of nature, in whom the Great Spirit resides and teaches me what the real prize in life is. To us, riding for the Prince of Peace and striving to be centered in His Peace is all…and He helps us as I ride praying the holy rosary recorded on my phone.

I had a midsummer night’s dream-come-true of becoming a “stable nun” who finds Him in the manger of our hearts at peace with Him. Thank You, O Holy Ghost, for teaching us tonight and bringing all things to our remembrance whatsoever He taught us. You are indeed the Great Spirit in Nature who can train us and is…Thank You, and thank you St. Kateri, whom I believe has interceded for us, as well, as the patron saint of horsewomen and a devotee of the holy rosary also. We are grateful! May we ride to glorify Him always…

 

 

ISOFaithfulandTrue: 50 Shades of Rage Redirected

A man of God brought me a new direction and I knew it was of the Holy Spirit. I have learned how to bridle my tongue in this matter, but now the power of the wordpress is unleashed here.

I have been praying to be able to work and now I have an assignment but it is not a paid one and may never be of benefit to me personally, financially. Why would I do it, then?

My madness is being redirected even as Hercules diverted a river to cleanse the Augean stables. I have been a poor steward of what I was left.

Part of me has avoided this confrontation for years in so many way. I would far rather not take up this fight, but the upright, righteous man delivered to me my marching orders. I know exactly where they came from, too: the Faithful and True.

He showed up in my life through this man’s wife first. She is truly a Godsend as well, and they are a powerfully anointed couple.

I have to pray that God raises up an advocate who will take up the cause that I have been totally powerless to advance myself. It may be of no benefit to me but would help those who have no ability to even try to do what I have attempted, but failed at miserably.

I have not been able to get the legally required accounting from my brother, the trustee of my Special Needs Trust. My mother passed on in 2008 and he has been trustee since then.

I have spent countless hours in recent days trying to go through and retrieve every single scrap of receipt in order to be reimbursed and it has not been easy at all. My brain injury makes the task very difficult indeed. That is my issue, but I am not legally required to submit these, as he is on his end. He has never submitted the receipts and he is a master at projecting what he is doing onto me.

I literally do not know what I was left in my inheritance. My parents’ house was in one of the most exclusive zip codes in the world. I know what it sold for only because I googled it. I have been shown a spreadsheet from the trustee but it is not third party verified and he has a lifelong history of prevarication and worse.

So my saga is not one that draws much response from anyone and I accept that. Who cares about trust funds babies when the State cannot pay for fighting fires? I completely understand that reality. It is now my mission to find someone who will advance legislation to give protections to trusts for disabled persons who have no recourse and may be moneychanged out of their temples by others with impunity and may even lose their lives through neglect or worse. I was classified as a gifted child and even with my now compromised brain, I still have retained a skill set for phoning and writing people. I worked as a health reporter and was successful at it with my injury but I lived in a real mess of my own making then and had sub par computer skills as well.

After calling countless agencies, politicians, attorneys, disability advocates of various types, I still have no ability to get done what my psychiatrist said I needed to do: hold my brother to account. I may never be able to do so. It may be impossible and even my excellent attorney has not been able to do so either. He has said that the laws need to be changed and my case is the worst of its kind he has seen and he is a gentleman with a long, storied career in this field.

I may well have the Bernie Madoff of Special Needs Trustees. I cannot say for sure because I do not know the facts, nor may I ever. What I do know is that there are developmentally disabled people out there who are being abused and neglected and they have not even the slightest ability to try doing what I have attempted and failed repeatedly to do.

So, since this is an election year, I have an advantage. It is not possible for me to do. I have tried. Now what I have to do is pray to have someone raised up by the Lord. I will make my case on my blog and it will be a public record and I am better able to make my case in writing than verbally. The truth is, I have little faith I can get this done. That is a sad fact of which I am not proud. I know that the Lord cares and I think He has tried to get many people to do this but they have not cared to do so. Why would they now? I cannot say, in truth, except I have this righteous man and his wife and they are prayer warriors and where two or more are gathered in His Name, He is in the midst of them.

My equine partner who is a  service animal legally, whose name is Splendid High aka Mel and I will pray for it, too. It matters greatly to him because he would be gone and sold long ago if my brother had had his way. He came into my life for a reason and one reason is to defeat my ego. In truth it is my ego that would rather be a long-suffering fake saint than an advocate who can be seen as a real bitch. I use that word advisedly.

I do not have a particularly glowing personality nor am I person people desire to spend time with on daily basis. I understand that is my own deficit and I accept that because it is my issue not the world’s. There is a reason for it. It may make this task impossible but I have to keep trying until the end of my life, no matter what. That is something I have to do.

When I was an intern at Classroom Computer Learning Magazine in college, my editor said that when she gave me an assignment I was like a dog with a bone that would not let go until I completed it. Yes, a female dog with dogged determination. I was never rude there, I was just professionally  polite and I had a phone presence that got things done. So, that is my task and I have no idea how it will turn out, except I will be humbled by seeing that what I could not do, another can easily do for others. It won’t be for me. I was ready to throw in the towel and just let him slide to get rid of having to deal with him and have him out of my life completely forever. No such luck! I still have the wretched task of complying with every single perverse demand in order to have some of the bills paid. Sobeit. It will just be a running tab showing how bad it can get for someone who was in graduate school at Stanford. I had a full fellowship to Stanford Graduate School in Communications (print journalism) but had to withdraw from that program due to my psychiatric hospitalization, but I did complete the Mass Media Institute at Stanford for what it’s worth. So I have much more ability to call someone to account than most disabled people, as that is what I am trained to do.

I know I am supposed to love my brother and I confess I really do not anymore. I just don’t. That is my problem, I know and I will be judged for it. The best I can do is just accept that he is the way he is and there is nothing I can do about it. He is free to do whatever he wants with his life because I cannot make him do anything and never will be able to either. He gets to try to completely destroy my life and my recovery. He has tried everything but I am sure he has more tricks up his sleeve to try yet. Now the best I can do is just accept his maliciousness and move on. I do forgive him completely.  I do.

I can honestly say that, and I love this about him: his opposition to my recovery has been like a swimming against a riptide every day, and because I did not drown, I have now become a stronger swimmer. So, that I do love about him. It has given me a mission, too. His opposition has strengthened me. I want to learn never to be like him. Ever. He is free to be himself and I get to be different–or try.

Most developmentally disabled people I have met have really big hearts and far better work ethics than I do. They really are better human beings than I. They love most everyone unconditionally. So, I will learn to have to humble myself and beg on behalf of others more deserving and hopefully it will build character I do not have.

So, help me, God!

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Happy Birthday Angel Jack–River Island!

Today River Island, known as Jack, would be 16 years old, and I am so grateful he came into my life! He was the being on earth who brought the greatest healing to me and he took his job of facilitating my recovery very seriously indeed.

He is not done with me yet, for sure. I have not been able to do what I thought would bring justice to him and his friends and their memory, yet evidently my ideas were insufficient (of course!). Getting money or apologies does not guarantee recovery at all. Indeed, I have had it drilled into my consciousness over and over and over again that it is resentment that brings me back to my addictions. If I really care about Jack and what he did for me, then I will strive for complete and total recovery and nothing less. That means complete and total forgiveness for anyone and everyone who caused him harm whether intentional or not. If I were to pass away tonight, could I know that I accomplished that mission? Yes, by His Grace, I can.

If my time was up tonight could I face my Maker and be free of trying to get some kind of justice myself? Yes, I can, thank goodness.

I lost my recovery that terrible day and others did what they thought they had to do to cope also. They needed a scapegoat and that is that. Some hit the bottle hard and did not let up. That example may have led to one dying in the disease of addiction later on. I do not know for sure and it is not for me to judge, in truth. All I know is that I have had a chance to take many personal inventories and given many confessions, and though I still cannot say I am at all at peace with what transpired that awful day, I have diligently sought to get my side of the street clean, so to speak.

I wish that instead of trying to convince others to stop the premonitions I had, I had instead turned to a Power greater than myself to avert the catastrophe by the power of the most holy rosary, as Out Lady of Good Help did in the Peshtigo fire disaster. That would have required my being able to be on site to pray though, and I was forbidden to be there.

April 23 is St. George’s Day and he slays the dragon who demands sacrifice of the innocent to gain access to water. I like to visualize St. George riding River Island now and doing away with the enemy within me of my ego and its desire to get even. The only way to truly win is say adios to the ego permanently and it is the addiction to the human ego which I have been taught is the ultimate addiction. My ego is not my amigo as the recovery saying goes, and my true conscience is my truest friend, as the guardian angel of my recovery.

Thank God today for you River Island, as you helped Splendid High settle down and be at peace as we rode in honor of your birthday, repeating over and over again “In the Name of Jesus Christ, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still; in the Name of Jesus Christ, peace be still…” The nearby Stillwater River flows and moves swiftly yet there is still a calming purpose to it. Finding poetry in mellifluous motion was our tribute to you today River Island…Thank you!