I drove back down to the Santa Cruz Mountains last night where Myles is still housesitting. Needless to say, the animals (12 chickens, 4 cats, 1 big droopy dog) have gotten very comfortable with Myles and are now total barking and meowing and crowing hellions. The big daddy cat is in total heat and howled-meowed all night, the dog barked at the massive raccoon trying to get into the chicken coop most of the night which therein caused the rooster to crow most of the night. Amazing. Amazingly little sleep. I finally dug some ear plugs out at around 5:00 in the morning but by then the damage was done and with my meds, I don't fall back to sleep so easy. Oh well. It was nice to go for a walk this morning and I wasn't hardly as cranky as I am most mornings when I get enough sleep. Happy for a weekend. Feel myself relaxing slowly. Two days rarely being enough time but it's beautiful today.
I won't be driving 30 miles to a meeting though I still wish one were closer since I'm not doing my 90 in 90 which seems like a silly reason but this place is really far from ANYTHING. I had a great meeting with my sponsor last night just talking about my week and where I was at and where she was at. We hadn't done that in a while. The last few meetings she's been pushing me to do my 4th Step and they've been tough going through the resentments I had done but last night we just checked in. We checked in about remembering to turn it over and the misery I begin to feel usually stems from my need to control. I'm so conditioned to want to know how all is going and how all is going to happen and work out, I barely even notice. The time up in the mtns last week helped me remember my Higher Power and reconnect spiritually which amazingly helps me relax. Who knew?!
While I feel the results of 90 in 90, there is something somewhat anti-climatic about it. I am finding that I'm feeling some of the feelings I felt when I went into this. Drifting, bummed that people with 20 yrs or more are still having to constantly maintain their program to stay sober. A guy with 26 yrs sobriety said that he doesn't so much as want to drink as that he is frightened of alcohol. I have to say, I feel the same way about alcohol. Like a true alcoholic now that I've done my 90 in 90, I'm looking for the next best thing. Shiny objects, quick solutions with fast results.
I've really enjoyed writing this blog so I think I'll continue to maintain it. It's indulging and well, I've heard from one person that it helps them feel closer to me and that I love. And there's just been oodles of support from many of my friends not in the program and that I love too. It's helped me join my worlds a little bit after I pulled away to build the foundation of my program and friends in my program, I feel stronger to spend time and interact with my "normie" friends. I only hope that a silly blog or this process will strengthen and support that bond.
I read in the Big Book last night that as much as you want to go out and do this program with other people, AA is a program about you and Spirit and your relation to God. I took a lot of solace in that because even on Thursday at a meeting, I had gotten so outside of myself, so self-conscious at my lack of tattoos and lack of hipster hair (I did just get a new haircut, cleverly quipped, the Steve Perry. I soon noticed half the boys in Oakland have this haircut. haha so maybe I do have hipster boy hair at least), my lack of fixy riding and skinny black jeans that after hating on myself, I started to hate on everyone in the room and then I just felt like poo and didn't want to be there. And the recurring theme with many people's shares (some without tattoos even and some with) at this meeting was "focus on the similarities, not the differences". This is what I was not doing. And it's true. And it's also true that my comfort in meetings is only a portion of this program, that really this is about my connection to God (which makes me so uncomfortable to write but it doesn't read the way that it feels). My sponsor continues to be concerned at my criticism of meetings. I told her I'm just really critical and I'm just telling her how I really feel (is that so bad?). And the Bay Area is my home I love to hate. With people I equally love to hate.
I am lucky to have a naturally strong connection to God, Spirit, whatever when I put the work into it. I don't write or talk about it as it doesn't necessarily fit into the ways of my Christian upbringing but unfortunately, I only have those terms to really describe my spiritual connection so it doesn't seem like the same God that I was forced to go to church every Sunday to be close to. Ugh. I hated Sunday school. I never even understood the basic shit they were trying to present, all the archaic stuff of disciples, walking in the desert, Jesus and last suppers just got me confused with what the importance of connection to spirit was.
I suppose I first experienced this connection as a dope smoking, acid tripping hippie going to Steve Miller shows at Great Woods trading Oreos for beer at 15. Probably around 16, I discovered my hippiness as well as my connection and comfort in nature and being outside. I also became a semi-vegetarian when I was 14 (I've really only had a bite of hamburger or any red meat since then). I felt an extraordinary connection to animals from a very young age beginning with finding turtles in our backyard, to dressing up my cat Oliver, my love for the Muppets and my first animal welfare campaign to keep the boys in the neighborhood from throwing stones at this couple of ducks that were trying to nest in the creek by our house in the burbs. But that all seems pretty normal kid stuff (I'm somewhat embarrassed at my bland suburban upbringing, needless to say, my childhood was pretty easy and blessed). I also loved sports, bikes, boys and art and normal kid shit too. Thinking back though of where I connected spiritually first, I believe it was through animals. I used to spend hours in elementary school drawing animals. My mother encouraged me to always draw instead of watch TV. I loved TV but my parents were sometimes strict about it. MTV was just blowing up with Adam Curry, Michael Jackon's Thriller, Cyndi Lauper, Prince (one summer, I had a babysitter that only wore purple and used to lip sync Purple Rain songs into the iron) and Madonna. I loved doing art projects and I was blessed to have some very creative babysitters each summer. I also had swim lessons every summer and I hated swimming, I'm still a crummy swimmer. In school, I would hide in the stacks by the dewey decimal system for whatever the Animals section was and just draw cats, tigers, ducks, squirrels, turtles, horses, giraffes anything I wanted to draw. While studying art in high school and before college, I would also do this in museums and libraries, copying the masterpieces of Van Gogh, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Gauguin, Chagall (my favorite), Frida etc for hours. Art and animals and nature was how I connected to Spirit and thankfully these were concepts that were readily available to me. As I've gotten older, their lessons have continued to be simple but have a deeper impact (even the Muppets). I realized that my cat, Bella, had taught me how to love unconditionally when she ultimately passed. Bella was a terrible cat, skittish and temperamental and always pooping on my bed. But she slept every night on my back or my chest. The minute I sat down she was purring and smiling and blissful. I loved that cat so much. That was truly one of the greatest gifts ever I could have received from anyone or any animal or anything.
Okay, I think I'm just babbling now. I wish I had the skill like some of my amazing writer friends to truly craft my feelings about Spirit in a less simple more coherent, more impactful way. I so love the skill of being able to write and create but it's a blog. You get what you get. And I can't be spending all hours of the day crafting a silly blog then it wouldn't be a blog I guess. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. Thank you for reading (and thank you to JB for watching my cat, Disco in a pinch)....xo