Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Along with the good, comes the bad

As the days come closer to Christmas, comes the insanity of making sure that everyone gets what they want, and that there is enough money in the kitty to make the trip home. Today we took care of loose ends and we started to tie up loose ends and prepare for our trip to Ottawa in a few days. I met Ms. Nikki for coffee and we exchanged gifts, and told stories from the week that is has been since our last coffee date. It wasn't till after the meeting that I opened her gift. It was a birthday card with a big huge number 4 on it, (my sober anniversary) and inside the card was a medallion marking my 4 years of sobriety! it's all about gratitude right.

If you want to feel good about yourself - do something good for someone else.

Our revelry and holiday cheer came to an abrupt end before the meeting started when one of my friends showed up early and told me that one of my friends that I have known since my move to Montreal 4 years ago, was dead. His name was Kevin. He was 41 and lived at home with his parents and all I can say tonight is that I hope he is not angry any longer. Kevin was a very miserable and troubled young man. He had nothing good to say about politics or the institution that helped him attain several degrees in Political Science and Business.

He was a slave to his addiction and he was a slave to his insanity and anger. He "had it" once, 6 years in fact, and then he fell, and never got up. For years I battled my demons of addiction and alcoholism and I went to many a meeting where Kevin was seething with anger and violence. It was with a heavy heart that everyone at the meeting had only one thing to say, he did not make it, and his anger and misery were his constant companions, and for that Kevin killed himself. They call is an overdose, but for us we call it an end to his misery at his own hand. Kevin, I wish you peace and I hope that wherever you are that your anger has been abated and that God has welcomed you into his heaven and that you are happy for once in your life.

We will miss you, I will miss you. You never had a bad word to say about me, at least those of which I heard, and you were always kind to me, even when I was having a bad day. We had many a great conversation and we were friends. I learned from you and I listened to you, and had you listened to some of us, and had you done what we suggested to you, you might still be alive instead of dead. But alas, the end came with misery, the demon took you into the pit, and even I could not coax you out of it, even though I tried countless times. I spent hours trying to talk you out of the pit you were in and I failed at trying to help you, and for that I am sorry. Addiction is patient and ruthless and sly, it waits on you and beckons you from the shadows. The demon took another friend - whom I will miss, But I am still here and I will remember you in my prayers.

Eternal rest grant you Kevin, and may perpetual light shine upon you.

Suicide is a cop out on life, it is not an end to ones misery, because of all the baggage, misery and questions it leaves behind for your friends and especially your family. No parent should ever have to bury a child no matter how old he or she is.

And I can see Kevin up there saying ...

"Merry Fucking Christmas to you too!!"

There is no peace in suicide, and most people who commit suicide - have no forethought of what they leave behind. It is selfish and self centered. Addiction causes some of us to use beyond our capabilities, but for some, like my friend, he knew how to get to the end, every addict knows what too much is, although we might feign that knowledge, for some, the thought is that it is a way out of suffering, for others an overdose is a big OOOPS, I did too much, some survive, most don't.

Kevin didn't. He's Dead.

Sad, with all the help available to him from so many people in this city and within the rooms of AA and CA, he is still dead. Some never make it out of the pit of hell we call addiction, and death, though the end it is, is better than spending another day in misery. For Kevin the last 4 years was a futile attempt at regaining sanity.

I failed - But at least I tried to help another soul.

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Heaven, where is it and how do we get there...

It is almost midnight as I write this piece, and I spent two hours watching the Barbara Walter's special about heaven. I have been considering just where I sit in my beleif system these days, I admit I haven't been inside a church to attend mass in many weeks. Since October - the Feast of Mere D'Youville.

I am sickened by the thought of church, religion (organized and institutionalized) has lost its charm and attraction. I was moved by the Dalai Lama and his take on heaven. I have been headed towards the Buddhist tradition for some time now. I find myself making time to meditate more than usual as of late. I have been thinking about what I would add to my manuscript to "lighten the load" since my conversation with Freddie. I think I know what I want to add, since I have spent some time seriously thinking about it and meditating on those areas.

Heaven - I've seen it - the garden at least. NDE's, Yes the happen and I've had one

"The Lady" in white - seen her, had a visitation - smelled the roses and have the cross

Spirit Visitations - happens quite frequently in my life - Saturday, last weekend in fact.

God, yes I think there is a God. Is there a heaven, yes I think there is, but I also think that heaven is also another dimension that exists in relation to our human dimension, because if spirits visit us, then that dimension must not be far off from our own, right.

I have my quams with the organized religious rendition of God and heaven and the requirements that one must meet in order to attain a heavenly inheritance. I live along the lines of a Buddhist, in that I try each day to live a good life, I try and be helpful to others and share my message of "do no harm" to my boys and my friends and husband. I am a non violent person, I do not agree with wars based on trying to impose ones beliefs on another culture. Do I believe in reincarnation, yes. Have I been here before, absolutely. Am I certain of this, yes I am.

In as many years I have been afforded the ability to think outside my "religious comfort zone."
I have been afforded the opportunity to learn about others and other traditions and religions, and I have spent the better part of my adult life, trying to figure out why I am still here and not dead. I have critiqued my past and those people in it. I have learned about my life as it happened and I have been able to see the good that came from my religious upbringing and why that was important to me in crucial times of my life. Faith was a necessary factor in my survival from a certain death from Aids. And it was that FAITH that saved me. I believe that intuitively.

But now, I have come to the realization that faith is something that I have cultivated by learning about other religions and traditions, in essence, my "buffet of belief" is full of possibility. Take what you like and incorporate it into your life, and leave what is useless to you by the wayside.

I need a focal point. I need to find a place to be me. God - My God is not the god of any one church or building or credo or institution. God is this person - this energy that sustains me, it is universal and all encompassing. God as I was taught, is not what I envision today. The fact that my vision of religion as a way of life is so broad, the farther "East" I move. I find meditation to be so fulfilling. To sit and get quiet, to sit and be at peace, to sit and repeat a mantra and find serenity is so helpful to me. With all that is going on in my head, and some days it is too much for even me to handle - the only way out is to shut it down. So tonight my mantra has been gratitude for what I have. I could screw up the best holiday, like any good alcoholic can.

So what am I telling you? There are as many ways to see and relate to religion or belief as there are people on the earth. What works for me, might not necessarily work for you. Do you or must you follow my path, NO, of course not. I am not God, or even better Jesus, not that I would ever want to be. Do I encourage you to seek truth for yourself - You betcha !! Do I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone and find your own faith, Yes definitely. Am I telling you to leave the faith of your father's or upbringing, NO of course not. But if there is the slightest "hint" that you ponder exploration of religious traditions or eastern practices other than your own, then by all means go for it. There is no rule in life that says you have to follow in the footsteps of your parents. Especially if you are Gay and or live outside the acceptible parameters of your organized religions rules or regulations.

I've had a headache for 5 days now.

This is a harbinger that the BIG MIGRAINE is on the way.

FUUUCK !! Not this week, please !!

Heaven - where is it? I have no idea!

How do we get there, again, I can't answer that question. But when I die, I only want one thing, to be reunited with my friends and family who loved me. And if it's in heaven or in some other dimension, then so be it.

Barbara Walter's asks the Dalia Lama, " In today's world, are we closer to heaven or are we closer to hell? The Dalai Lama responds, 'we are closer to heaven' I would like to think!"

Goodnight from Montreal.

And Do No Harm...

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