Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween, everyone. And, no, that wasn't a misspelling above. That's how I feel about this holiday without my kids. And every other holiday. And, well, every day. Now don't misunderstand me, I fully admit that I've been a horrible parent. I own my part in everything today. But having said that, it needs to be put out there, for some in my audience, and you know who you are, that their mom is on speed to this very day. It's prescribed, sure, but guess where she goes for the script? T.J. of course. It's called Adipex-P or Phentermine. Really good pharmaceutical speed, actually. Before you go berating me, or stop reading altogether, realize that speed is what I'm in trouble for. I fully realize that ad hominum attacks are fallacious by their very nature, but I'm not attempting to attack. Maybe just make me look like not such a heinous monster. I don't know. I just thought it was worth bringing to the table, since the issue at the very heart of my child custody case is drug abuse. But, hey, I'm a felon. Don't take my word for it.
Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lessons In Humility, Part I

You know, growing up, I always heard about humility, and how desirable a trait it is. At church, in Sunday school, there were lessons on it. In recovery they make a pretty big deal out of it as well. Well, I'm here to tell you folks, did I ever get a dose today. It shouldn't be that big of a deal, and I suppose that it really isn't, but it's on my mind enough to mention it here. Jessi and I have applied for Food Stamps, and there has been some administrative errors on the behalf of the county office. So, today I had to go down there and stand in the huge line snaking around the enormous lobby and out the front door. That in and of itself isn't that bad. Well, that's actually part of it. After about an hour, not too bad, I get to the front. I had to wait for an English speaking representative to help me. No problem. She asks what I wanted, I tried to explain it to her, over her constant interruptions. I won't bore you with all the gory details, but the end result was that I was then told to take a seat and my name would be called. All I needed were replacement forms to fill out (to replace the ones they lost). So, after negotiating my way around screaming infants, dozens of unattended toddlers playing WWF off the chairs, and by the signs informing me that they are fresh out of H1N1 vaccine, I found a seat. There I sat, minding my own business for the next, oh, three hours. I made good use of the time, writing part of my second step while I waited. But, unfortunately for us, I had to be at the South County Center for Change, AKA Drug Court, at 11:30. So, those 3 hours were just a practice run. I would go back in the morning, but I have court at 9:00, then group at 12:00. So Monday it is. I know that in the past I have been very smug and thought I knew it all a lot. My intelligence coupled with constant abuse of a vast cornucopia of pharmaceuticals convinced me that I knew everything, and I shared that belief with many many people, usually customer service representatives or the like. But today, oh today, I'm getting a crash course in advanced humility. And you know what? I'm going to walk through it with grace and dignity, knowing that I am growing with each event that embarrasses me, every time I let something slide that I used to call people on. So that's my lesson for today. Zoe and I are here at home, we went to Shakey's and ate some pizza and played some games, and she's in the tub trying her level best to water the entire bathroom floor. I asked her if she thought maybe some soap would be a good idea, only to be informed that she took a comprehensive bath at her Daddy's house last night, and that tonight's event is strictly for play. And that's ok, cause she's going to get clean anyways. God, thank you for today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paul, reconsidered

So I was walking on the beach with Brindy a while ago, and was reflecting on how strange life is, if you think about it. For me, at least. I was just trying to walk the dog, but I kept thinking about Drug Court, and how they have a hold on me for the next year. Then I started thinking about my back, which hurts all the time, and how nice it would be to smoke a bowl of marijuana and stop the back pain for a while. I mean, they told me now that I can take Vicodin as long as I have a prescription, which I do. So, I think to myself, in the forward thinking Peoples Republic of California, I can obtain a valid prescription for marijuana as well. It's safer than opiates, not nearly as addictive, the benefits go on and on. But, I then remind myself that I do not have that option because of choices that I have made in my life, and that I had better just walk doggie-poo back home and go to an NA meeting. Which is where I'm going right now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Construction Inspection Technology

Actually, it's Structural Concrete Inspection tonight. One component of the Construction Inspection Technology certificate. But, it's tonight. Actually, in about an hour  and a half. I'm really excited about this, I've always wanted to be a Special Inspector, and now I'm going to get the chance. Had something I wanted to write about earlier, but forgot before I got online. Oh well, gotta go get ready for class. More later, I promise.

First test

In Concrete Inspection tonight. I'm kinda nervous, but I know the material so I really shouldn't be. Couldn't lay down anymore, hurts my back, so here I am! Playing FB games until time for the AA meeting. Have a great day, everyone.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Is a good thing on a Sunday afternoon, just me and the dog at home, so I've been thinking. I took a scalding hot bath just now, I have been in severe pain since last Sunday, when I had a skateboarding accident. Unfortunately the bath didn't help the back, but I lay in that steamy water and thought back over the years on my meager attempts at rehabilitation. I suppose my very first effort was at the ripe old age of 16, when I successfully attained my first DUI. I had to undergo an evaluation by an alcohol and drug professional. I thought absolutely nothing of it. It didn't bother me, I never for one instant thought, "Gee, a DUI right after I get my license? Hmmm.... maybe I should slow down". I did, however learn some things. I was very naive at the time, and answered the questions truthfully. I drank about a six pack a day during the week, 12 to 18 beers a night on the weekend. At that point he told me I didn't have to lie to impress him. Little did he know, I was telling the truth. So that didn't go very well. After that incident, I never told a person in a position of authority the truth about my alcohol and drug use until this year. I also thought about people I knew that are no longer with us or that ruined their lives early on. My cousin Kim, killed in an automobile accident attributable to drugs.  Charles, a friend I was in a faith based sober living home with, who had two bachelors degrees from Tulane University, then came out here to California and died in a crack house. Will, another friend I worked in the Bahamas with. Went to the islands to get away from heroin, and traded it for cocaine. One night we were at a casino on Grand Bahama Island, and Will met a girl from a cruise ship that had some heroin. Next day, he's dead. The list goes on, but I don't think I'll list them all. And I think about how easily it could have been me. Almost was, a few times. My wife tells me that God has something planned for me, that's why I'm still here. Mom, much the same. Mary Linda, a woman at a sober living home, told me that God loved me more than most, that's why I have so much trouble in life, to bring me back closer to him. Who can tell? I do know one thing, there is a God, and He is at work in my family's lives today. So, until next time......

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Brake Pads, etc.

There's a friend of mine who I foolishly lent a large sum of money to a while back, and he's attempting to pay me back now, albeit a little at a time. So, when he gave me one hundred dollars today, I put twenty in the gas tank, then went to Auto Zone and purchased front brake pads, which cost 46.99.  So, since we don't have a bank account (my fault, totally), I had to cash the money order at Money Tree, which cost 3.98. That's a grand total of 70.97, if my math is not too bad. I only go into detail to say this: life is expensive. I normally wouldn't have thought twice about what to do with that hundred bucks: 1/16th of an ounce of methamphetamine. Hundred bucks is actually a pretty good price in today's black market economy! But that's not where I'm at today. I'm trying to do the right thing, which is put brakes on the truck, pay rent, pay bills. Not my forte, you could say. But you know what? I'm trying. We're trying, I should say. My poor wife is working two jobs now, and I'm sitting around doing nothing most of the time. Never mind the fact that I am in a great deal of pain most of the time, I still feel guilty about it. Hopefully I'll be able to contribute before too long. But for now, I'll just keep doing the best I can in school, so I can support my family in the near future. I've got to go do some homework right now with a guy from class, as a matter of fact. TTFN!

Friday, October 23, 2009

It took a while

But my counselor at the DOR finally came through with the money for the ACI certification exam. If I had received the money by today, I would still be in November's class, but now it appears I'll be in Decembers. Oh well, I've wanted to take this test since 1996, one more month won't hurt anything! Now, at long last, I'll get to see if I know as much about concrete as I think I do!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Life on Life's terms

Is one of those sayings they have at AA/NA groups and in the literature. It's true. SO, I've been trying to get an answer as to how the California Dept. of Rehabilitation (DOR from here on out.) can pay for my ICC certification classes. So the ICC got back to me promptly the day after I emailed them. All well and good. Great, actually. The nice woman who responded informed me that a third party exam proctor was used, and the DOR would have to make payment to them, but here is their number, and I should contact them. Well, unfortunately, they have outsourced their phone based customer service. Apparently to East Timor. Or Nepal. Or somewhere on the Indian subcontinent. Somewhere that pronunciation of the English language takes a back seat to having a pulse as a prerequisite for employment. I cannot make the pleasant-if-highly-accented lady who answers the phone understand my question, nor can I speak to anyone else. So, I'm considering taking out an ad on craigslist for an interpreter. Now if only I could recognize the dialect that is spoken in that part of the world, I could get the ball rolling. But, it's not the end of the world. I have a few more months at least before I need to have any testing paid for. I shall endeavor to persevere, as the old Indian on The Outlaw Josie Wales said. So, until next time, goodnight.

Another Thursday

And I'm still here. I'm a little cranky today, I really really hurt my back skateboarding the other day. Then, on top of that, my wife gets mad at me, because she says I'm acting like a child. Well, DUH. But seriously, I do need to give it up. It sucks coming to the realization that I'm getting older. Actually, I came to the realization some time ago. It sucks having to admit it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life is frustrating!

And that's okay. I have to remember to tell myself that. I am starting to see some modicum of serenity in my life today, where before there was only anger and chaos. I am trying to better my life, and by extension my family life, by furthering my education. I have been blessed enough to have my courses paid for by the California Dept of Rehabilitation. I will require certification by the governing body for my chosen profession, construction inspection. The certification exams are administered by a company not affiliated with the above mentioned governing body, and I have had a very difficult time getting an answer as to how the DOR can pay for the classes, as they like to pay via purchase order (never mind that a P.O. from the state may or may not bounce like a hot check!!). But, I have to step away from the situation for a minute, take a deep breath, and relax. It's not the end of the world. Even if I can't make it happen, SDSU is still paid for. There will be a solution. And you know, I guess it's a good time to let go and let God. (Can you believe how much I've grown, Mom?) =^)

Monday, October 19, 2009

@ the IB health clinic. Trying to see a shrink down here instead of going all the way to the VA. Downside? VA is free. This isnt.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I busted my butt s8boarding. I might have broke my left foot. Gonna sleep on it, see how it is 2morrow.

Black Sheep

You know, I miss my family a lot of the time, but sometimes I think that I'm still the black sheep, and remember why I left home.

first cousin once removed? second cousin? I'm confused!

SO, I never really understood the once removed, twice removed thing. FB has a family application, and it has a button to "define relationship" after you have confirmed a family tie. I would really like to make a family tree. I would need some assistance from someone on either side of the fams, but I'd like to do it. Sure wish Grandma's had email. That would greatly help. I'd also like to know, to preserve it for posterity. I come from a long and colorful background, that I don't know as well as I should. Let's see how well I rectify that, shall we?

comfort zone

I have a comfort zone that is pretty much the little beach town that I live in. I never leave it, except for the one night a week I go to SDSU. Weird, for me. I am a world traveler. I have worked in a few countries. By a few, I mean more than 2 or 3. I'm not afraid to get on a plane and go with no set destination and no job awaiting me when I get there. But since I've been clean, I've pretty much stayed here. In fact, it's mostly in the apartment where I spend the majority of my time. Yes, a lot of it has to do with being so broke, but a lot of it is this crippling anxiety I suffer from. I think it's like social anxiety or something. I don't like to deal with things. Even things I know I should deal with or do, I won't. I don't return calls, I don't answer the phone a lot of the time. I can't explain it, it just happens. I'm not really happy about it. I want to ask my shrink, but I missed my last two appointments. You see my predicament. I have an appointment here in I.B. on Monday, hopefully that will alleviate at least one of my problems. We will see.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another Saturday

Here in lovely San Diego. I have been struggling with my identity of late. No, not like that. I have tons of ID. I mean about who I am, who people perceive me as. I like being in recovery, but still in the back of my head think of it as a stigma, somehow it makes me less than other people. A few problems with that. One, I know that I'm a way better person today, not having to worry about the authorities, or hiding it from the kids, or having to hustle to pay for that last front, any of that. Today, I can concentrate on being the best person I can be. And I can remember a time when I was a pretty good dude. I guess I don't want to be a "square", I don't know. I just know that I'm confused and maybe a little overwhelmed. I want to not want to get loaded anymore, but that just hasn't happened yet. Hopefully it will sooner or later. I want to be secure in myself image in recovery, but that hasn't quite happened yet, either. But, I was a doper for a lot of years, and I need to keep reminding myself that it won't happen overnight. Until next time, PEACE!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wonders never cease!

And I'm living proof! So, I go to group on Wednesday, and the program director, whom we all know isn't my bestest buddy, calls me in the office. Well, normally this means you're GOING TO JAIL. But, not today. Today, he's got some paperwork from the court. I had asked the treatment team to address some traffic infractions that I had received over the course of the last few years, and which had recently been the cause of my license suspension. The judge has the authority to make all that go away, if he so desires. It all pretty much depends on how you as an individual are doing in the program. Well, I'm happy to report that I am doing very well now, so much so that all fines, penalties and civil assessments have been stayed, pending successful completion of Drug Court. I didn't have to pay one cent to reinstate my driving privileges. ( I just spent 5 minutes spelling "privileges" about ten different ways because it didn't look right. I'm getting stupid in my old age. Or maybe I'm just burnt out.) So I have a drivers license again. If I only had 250 bucks to pay my registration, I could drive again. But, I'm going make something happen. Maybe even something that's not against the law!! 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Getting better

Now, I'm not going to say that life is getting better in a hurry, but finally, at long last, it's starting to move forward. I have a new counselor in Drug Court, the one I wanted, and it makes all the difference. She is very cool, and makes none of the unreasonable demands that the other person did. So I'm very happy about that. And yesterday when I went to group, they handed me some paperwork from the court, saying that all my outstanding traffic cases (of which there were a few) have been stayed pending completion of Drug Court. If I successfully complete the program, they will just go away, like they never happened. Awesome! So, things are starting to come together. There might be a light at the end of the tunnel, after all.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

4:28 am

Is when Brindy thought that we should go for our first walk this morning. We just went for another one, walked Jessi to the bus stop (it's across the street, it wasn't a very long walk). It's early, it's cool, the Pacific Ocean is crashing on the beach right behind me, things are okay today. So far. I haven't had much time to screw things up yet, but the day is young! I'm leaving for the 7:00 am AA meeting in a few minutes, so it's time to check my FB. See ya later!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Do you miss me when I'm gone?

 I hope so! Well, it's been a few days since my last entry, and some things have happened. My little brother was taken to the hospital with heart attack like symptoms, had quite a scare according to all accounts. Turns out he has a very long winded genetic condition known as  Supraventricular Tachycardia. Has to do with an irregular heart rate, I believe. Anyways, I found out the next day from my Mom via Facebook. Wonderful site, Facebook. I love it. Keeps me in touch with many many people that I otherwise wouldn't ever get a chance to talk to. I live quite a ways away from my family, by choice. However, now that I am sober, I find myself wanting to be closer to my family. At least to make a trip home to see everyone, and introduce my wife to her new family. I don't really know where that bit came from, I guess thinking about my brother and mortality. But, I'm cool here in San Diego, for now. I moved out here to be closer to my kids, and had a great couple of years with them until I, in my infinite wisdom, decided to contest custody, and lost all custody of them. I'm not okay talking about that, at all. I think that I would be a better parent than no parent, which is basically what they have now. But that's all I'll say on that. I'm really trying to just look at my part in situations, and leave the other person to their own devices. Clean up my side of the street, as it were. Update on a situation from last week: we still don't have a new counselor at Drug Court, and yes, the program manager has decided once again to become way too involved in the day to day affairs of our group, but I'm not having quite as hard a time with him as I envisioned. He even told me today that he could see the difference in me, and said that someone in court last week said the same thing. Like one of the bailiffs, or somebody. So, I'm going to remain cautiously optimistic about that. More as the story unfolds!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another one bites the dust!

We are a hard group of addicts to handle. I'm talking about my classmates and I at the South County Center for Change, otherwise known as Drug Court. We got a new counselor August 3rd, and he's gone already. Said he couldn't handle the pressure of dealing with 30 dopeheads of this high caliber. As I often say about many facets of (my) life: It's not for the faint of heart, nor the weak of constitution. Eddie couldn't step up to the big leagues. However, that presents problems for those of us left behind. Or at least for me. I'll just speak in I statements, since I can't really speak to how it affects anyone else. When the last counselor left, it took about 3 weeks to get a new one in place, during which time the director of the center filled in. Good idea, you say? Wrong. Horrible idea. A good idea gone horribly wrong, mutated into a nightmare of enormous proportions. Hiroshima-like aftershocks still rock the center. The man is an anal-retentive, petty, vindictive, power mad control freak on his best day, and he doesn't have too many of them. He is most effective when he's in a staff infection, oops meeting, at the corporate office, or better yet, at a seminar, preferably on another continent. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the man. It's just that he has absolutely no business handling clients on a daily basis. If there ever was a time when he was competent as a counselor, that day has long since faded into dusk. So, I sincerely hope that the search for a new counselor is conducted expediently, and initiated post-haste. That's all for this post. Stay tuned for a happy post later tonight.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


SUCKS!! I have to ride public transportation now, and it is f*cking ridiculous. But it's my fault so I can't bitch too much about it. But I'm going to anyways!!

You may say I'm a Dreamer.....

But I'm the only one who has dreams like these! I have very vivid dreams. Very weird, Van Gogh-like dreams. I mean, I've always said that I dream in Technicolor. Take last night, for example. We've been watching the complete seasons of Weeds on dvd lately. So last night I dreamed that I was hanging out with the lead character, the pot dealing widowed mom from the 'burbs. Seems that she was branching out into dealing cocaine as well, and she was doing a terrible job of it, getting ripped off by all these black guys (from the show). So, this is where I enter the scene. With my copious knowledge of all things illicit, especially those having to do with the importation and distribution of Schedule I narcotics, I decided to straighten out her organization. The police were constantly trying to spy on the house, looking through windows, etc. She buys some dope from someone, and it looks terrible so I try it. It's as bad as it looks. Then all of a sudden I realize that I'm in Drug Court and I'll have to test today! Cut to a convenience store on a dead end road that looks like it's in the Sand Hills or Blountstown or somewhere rural like that. The drugs are in a file cabinet and we're sitting at the store on a bus. The cops come running onto the bus, I'm trying to file all the dope in the right envelopes, and slam the file cabinet shut. The cops search me, and then find the drugs. I convince them they're not mine, but they take me in anyways because I'm in Drug Court. At this point I woke up freaking out thinking the cops were going to come and get me any minute. There was a lot more surreal stuff to it, but I won't go into detail here. So, analyze that, it you will.

Monday, October 5, 2009


So it's Monday. Mondays aren't that bad for me, I don't have to go to Drug Court, so that's cool. Had kind of a crummy weekend, fought a lot. I've been super depressed lately. And I've been in a whole lot of pain, which certainly doesn't help matters. I have been worried about finances a lot. Thinking a lot about all the money I wasted. Yeah, I know it doesn't do any good, and it won't bring back the scrilla, but hey, I'm only human. It will be over a year until I get me certificate from SDSU in Construction Inspection Technology, December of 2010 actually, and it seems like that's SOOOOO long from now! It's not really, but right now it's so hard to make ends meet. Jessi is trying so hard, she just got a second job. She's worn out I know. I take a lot of work, I'm very high maintenance. Not like you think, I just have a hard time doing some stuff because of my myriad of health issues. And I am so down so much of the time. It pisses me off. I'm not stupid, I'm not lazy. I know what I should be doing, but lots of the time, I cannot make myself leave the house. I can't explain it. It's like if I ignore problems they'll go away. I KNOW they won't. I think maybe it's like social anxiety or something. Of course, I don't like going to appointments, so I missed my psychiatric appoint last week. On top of everything else I have to take the bus now, and it's really hard for me to get on it knowing I have to go to Mission Valley. I don't know what I'm going to do, but I gotta do something. Well, here's hoping that things get better!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday afternoon, crazy thoughts

So it's Sunday, I'm just cleaning house a little bit. It's hard when you have way too much stuff for the tiny ass apartment you live in, but hey, at least we've got a place to stay, right? All day I've been thinking about things I cannot do anything about. Like all that money I spent last year. $160,000.00. I hate to even write it out, because it looks like so much, and it's gone. I could have a nice place, a house with a big chunk of mortgage paid off, my beautiful little GTi paid off and not repo'ed, oh, the list goes on and on, ad infinitum. But, that was yesterday, and yesterday's gone, right? Right! Soooooo.....on with life. It's just taking so long to accomplish anything! I've barely got my first class towards my Special Inspector certification finished, long way to go there, then there's always Drug Court, got over a year left on that, then, after all that, I have another year of Domestic Violence classes for something I didn't even do almost three years ago!! I just have to not think about all that, because it all starts running around in my head and it's like it's too much for me to handle. So, for today, I'll just think about cleaning the apartment.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dual Diagnosis

So I started going to a dual diagnosis group today. What, you ask, is dual diagnosis? Well, of course it's co-occurring conditions! What that means in regular people talk is that I am being treated for more than one disorder, usually one being a chemical dependency issue, and the other some sort of mental defect or disorder. The group, besides being on Friday, the one day of the work week I don't have to go to drug court, was highly dysfunctional. It's to be expected; it's full of thwacked out crazies. The counselor is very good, and really cares about helping everyone in the group, but there were a few disgruntled customers, to put it mildly. As I sat there, listening to first one then another of my peers bitch about having to go to the group, I thought to myself, That's what I used to sound like! And still do at times, I'm sure. I mean, one girl was making such a big deal about it being half an hour longer than the "regular" Friday afternoon process group. She couldn't talk about anything except that. When asked anything, her response was to stick out her bottom lip as far as she could and say "I'm pissed off about this sh*t and I'm not participating". Now how in the heck is that helping her program? Or any of the people around her? But, I'm not here to condemn anyone else's actions today. I cooperated, kept my mouth shut if I didn't have anything constructive, and assured the facilitator afterward that it would get better, it was the first class. I can honestly say today that I am actively participating in my recovery, and that makes me feel okay. It's a step in  the right direction. I'm still not to a place where I can say that I'm happy with all this, but I'm not automatically dismissing it anymore, either. So stay tuned, it starts to get interesting from here on out.

Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

I have a toothache. A really really bad one. It's been hurting at this pain level off and on since the filling came out about two weeks ago. Today, I'm going to call Western Dental and see if I can work out some sort of payment plan with them to get it fixed, because I don't do pain very well. I'm already in a lot of chronic pain everyday without having this to deal with. Okay, now that I'm done bitching, let's see.....court at nine this morning, then I have my very first Dual Diagnosis class at drug court at noon. Dual Diagnosis is for addicts who also suffer from mental disorders or defects. So, that ought to be very interesting. I'll let ya know how it went. Now, I'm off in search of a pair of Vise Grips, to remove this tooth with!!