<span>As a younger boy, I was surrounded by not only the beauty of LIFE but its' characters as well. As years evaporated by so did this beauty.</span></p><p>Many times when I’ve shared my story, live, and in person, a fresh spring of tears had swelled up within me.<br /><br />Not tears of sorrow or self-pity, mind you, but tears of joy and gratefulness for the gift of SOBRIETY in which I, so freely, received from my CREATOR, whom I choose to call GOD.</p><p>This isn't the case scenario today in current moments that I get to share my story. Today I get to thrive on those tears that swell up inside of me to muster a courage behind the tears, and weave them into a marvelous creation of the reality I am able to envision for myself.</p><p>Because, as LIFE IS according to LIFE'S TERMS I am innately sown inside THE INFINITE ENERGY, AND OR THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF GOD to visualize that reality for myself and my surrounding environment that this LIFE can truly be as the CREATOR'S innate desires ARE abundantly bound by HIS PROMISES which are also so freely given, while I surrender my will and my life to HIS WILL and DESIRE if only I stay SOBER. Which today I affirm to testify that SOBRIETY IS A WAY OF LIFE.</p><p>Sometimes I feel with those who are in some kind of public function of activity, to hear their story, that it might just help others as well, because we think an ability to ventilate emotions could picturesque the story in a tangible gift for those who still suffer from whatever malady an individual is engaged to experience while treading this Earth, and the value from why we've gained our Sobriety as a gift from our CREATOR makes it readily available to all who will receive the story in an easily believable recognition.</p><p>I began using marijuana, alcohol and or narcotics at the ages that are unmanageable, even to those who seem to believe they know what I may be sharing.</p><p>But TRUTH be told that this is not a case of consideration to grasp because as GOD IS, so too are we all just as unique and keenly wrapped around our carcass of bones and blood and yes, speaking of HIS INFINITE AND DIVINE ENERGY, that GOD IS a BEING of an individual who is a uniqueness filled with an all-knowing intelligence that only HE has and is capable to share with us in a value of measurement to all of us as HE WILLS it.
</p><p>Thus as it is said by someone (namely Albert W.): "I do what I can then allow GOD to do as HE WILLS it".</p><p>REVISION PENDING...:</p><p>We began using marijuana or alcohol or narcotics at the ages unmanageable. </p><p>We didn't like cigarettes (it made your stomach sick), but, eventually, we did go from smoking that as well to drinking even distilled spirit as a substance of choice. </p><p>This was because we realized whenever we did smoke a cigarette, or any of that shit any longer, our mental faculties weren't functioning as well as we thought it could. </p><p>Thus, I asked my boss (a friend of my dad) what drink besides a beer was easy to indulge in without, as I told him, the effects of what a joint did to me. </p><p>Right away he said: "I only drink Jack Daniels - after a night out drinking it I wake up and don't even have a headache or a feeling of nauseousness". </p><p>From the age of 19 until I was 30 years old I was then a full consumer of Jack Daniels. </p><p>I loved the affect it made me feel, and I too didn't experience much of those headaches and or nauseousness so often attributed to over drinking.</p><p>If a lie be spilled I did manage to manipulate my quantities consumed from my initial awareness of this enlightenment, but this isn't even a good course of action, as I often became too far inebriated to concentrate on my own terms.</p><p><br />In between marijuana and Jack Daniels I had experienced PCP (commonly known as angel dust), acid, snorted some cocaine and popped speed. </p><p>Wherewith, some doctor had told me the effect from doing PCP would stay with me for years to come, and being I am a very religious person, I, eventually, realized that combining a spiritual being with any likes of an unnatural substance, simply, do not work. </p><p>I'd go to a party, succumb to the offer of a substance of choice, and before you know it I’d end up in treatment somewhere drying out. </p><p>Incidentally, my friends or family hated me anyway anywhere I was at their parties. </p><p>They'd pass a joint to me to drag on, and I'd inhale as much of the joint (cigarette) possible, because I was so much anticipating that feeling it gave that first time I did it.</p><p>That eventually it brought me to a bottomless pit of conditions I call "Leaning unto thy own understandings". </p><p>In 1991 I went to a town in Iowa (Chelsea) to visit family I hadn't seen in a while. </p><p>One of my cousins asked me to go out partying. I thought to myself, great! Now I can prove to myself and others that I'm not an alcoholic or drug addict. (I think at this time my family is believing me to be crazy psychotic and just plain weird though) Elements of paranoia I know well too often.</p><p>Anyway we went out and had a wonderful time of drinking. I had my usual JD, plus some rum, tequila and I was able to score smoking some weed as well. </p><p>At this point in my life it became a wonderful opportunity for myself to prove what it was I was thinking.</p><p><br />The next morning proved the opposite, though. </p><p>On visiting with my cousins for the day all of us gathered around the kitchen table reminiscing of our lives for the past 10 years. </p><p>During this time my mind felt like it was hovering over our conversation, while my mind's eye was looking down upon us. </p><p>Now, I'm not saying I had had an out of body experience, but I am saying that this is exactly what it felt like. </p><p>This next scene was the picturesque moment of the circumstances that changed my whole way of thinking, and thus my life was reborn and set free of the dependency I had upon any kind of mind altering substances. (course I experienced cigarettes the first time @ age 4, so you level of sickness may never reach this far). </p><p>Since then I have not even stepped into a bar for purpose and never had planned to. Until I geographically was located to Salt Lake City on September 9th, 2001.</p><p><br />One of my cousins, in the beginning, wasn't present. But he eventually did show up. </p><p>This cousin is with Down syndrome. He was 25, @ the time while I was 30. </p><p>He was working in a place of employment since he had graduated from high school. I had never held a job longer than 6 months, prior to this episode. </p><p>And, I still find it difficult to hold a job today.</p><p>I have never finished high school, though I did finish a G. E. D.. </p><p>And the stages of learning, to this day, January 22, 2017 are still an elevation to our spirits; Elevation revelation and creation are all the conspiring theories for a story etched in the composts, concretes & enabling mechanics of faith. (Hebrews 11:6) </p><p>Faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of the things that are unseen, (especially of our naked eye). (Hebrews 11:1).</p><p>
</p><p>I'm not sure, I've always thought there was someone else present at this time, but when this other cousin came in, he sat at the seat right across from me. </p><p>My other cousins stood up from around the table and slowly left the room. (seemingly so surreal) (This is what was strange). </p><p>It seemed like there was someone else in the room, but here is where I'm not sure. </p><p>The experience was so surreal. </p><p>I know all my cousins aside from Sammy we’re out of the room, but there seemed to be another presence about, yet, I cannot explain it.</p><p><br />Anyway, Sammy sat down, and while looking straight in the eyes he blurted out: "I'm not a retard, Albert! You are! You're a retard, man! You do drugs, you drink, smoke, you can't even hold a job, man. You didn't finish high school. You're a retard, Albert!" </p><p>Then Sammy got up and left the house.</p><p>I was never to be the same after that. </p><p>For one thing, I felt it an injustice for me to ever use, or drink again, when I consider the consequences of the injustices brought upon an individual who has this 'common' abnormality (as we call it) with them in their life, but still, without any help from alcohol or drugs, or cigarettes Sam still endeavors his daily tasks, and completes them. </p><p>I think of the selfishness I must have had to deny my God given talents and abilities over to the abuse of drugs and alcohol and or cigarettes. </p><p>I then beging to consider imagin and wonder of all the possibilies: </p><p>If I did have an out of body experience, how fortunate it was for me to return, without harm back to my body, and if I do ever use substances again; would I return to my body if ever I had another out of body experience?</p><p><br />Today, I love life! I love being sober. I love God's mercy and His grace - especially how He exhibited it to me within my life.</p><p>And even though I still struggle with certain functions of my life, every day...I am thankful to be alive. </p><p>I am thankful for the courage my cousin must of had in order to confront me in the manner and matter he did. (Even if my Aunt and Uncle put him up to it, I consider the fact of Sammy’s abilities as of an Angel in disguise). </p><p>I am thankful for not dying in times when I had jumped a train in order to get from point A to point B, then looking back on the situation, wondering; how in the world did I ever accomplish that? </p><p>There were times I was so high; How and why did God keep me alive? </p><p>I am thankful for my trials. (Today anyway), as this was a very difficult accomplishment to achieve; FOR HOW MANY OF US CAN TRULY TELL ONE ANOTHER THEY ARE THANKFUL FOR THE TRIALS OF THEIR ERRORS? </p><p>(Epistle of <span>James, (PUT YOUR NAME THERE) a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: "Greeting. 2</span><b> </b><span>My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (errors of our lives); 3</span><b> </b><span>Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience").</span></p><p>And, I am learning even more to be thankful for my errors along my journey with my trials, in order that God and others may teach me, so that I may progress. (though I'm not going to say take pleasure in them brothers and sister and friend). </p><p><br />There is SO much to be thankful for in this world - and, now, because I truly do believe, the afterlife for which Jesus promises, that to me is why I have such A Great Life!</p><p><br />I thank you for the time you may have taken from your daily life to read this, and with pleasure share with you the following poem I've written in dedication to my cousin - first, then I also dedicate it to those who suffer such maladies, diseases, or sicknesses, and, yet still give us the courage to see beyond what we ourselves thought we could not. </p><p>And it is also dedicated to those in the fields of medicine, sciences, & mathematics who aspire to working, with the impossible, or in the fields of discovery, to helping us all to (un)mantle those imagining constructions that makes it more livable to the still suffering:<br /> <br />===============================================<br />A Great Life:</p><p>It must be nice to have such a great life<br />Care free, worry free<br />Nothing to distract the mind<br />But I have brothers and sisters<br />All over this land<br />Whose life could use a hand<br />And I'd rather not say they are helping hands<br />At least not ours to lend to them<br />For you see these brothers and sisters<br />Are our angels in disguise<br />Who lend their hands on our behalf<br />To mend our eyes though we think we see<br />To mend our ears though we think we hear<br />To mend our legs though we think we carry<br />To mend our soul though we think we're saint<br />To mend our lives, to love without worry<br />Because without the blind, without the lame<br />Without the deaf, without the mute,<br />Without the sick, without the diseased<br />Ours is not a great life - without them.</p><p>===============================================</p>
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