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The Holidays… Sober; Take a Deep Breath, It’s Going to Be Okay. Here’s How to Handle the Holidays

The Holidays are a time when our once drunken selves used to party, hard, because it was somewhat acceptable. It’s also a time when the normal drinkers even drink a little more than normal so it’ll seem like everyone is drinking. For those new to sobriety, this can be a time of fear and angst until we get through it a few times. Eventually, we develop a little rhythm that’ll see us through without any trouble whatsoever. Till then…

The first tip I can give, is “take a deep breath”. After a few months of sobriety, that desire to drink you feel is literally “just in your head”. It’s an idea, a notion; you do NOT have to entertain it. It will pass. I used to like to, in a pinch, simply repeat, “God help me”, till focus on that thought passed and I could point my melon at something else.

Second, don’t fight with family. Look at me, now; don’t f***in’ do it. Don’t fight with your spouse, don’t fight with your kids, don’t fight with your parents. This is a good time to practice being a doormat for a few days. You wanna be right, or happy? Pick happy, just for a few days. Fighting takes us off our center and fills us full of adrenaline and bad ideas. If you know anything about yourself at this point, you know that’s bad. Practice this, “You know what, I’m not going to fight this out. It’s Christmas, and we don’t have to do this now.” If you’re so selfish that you just can’t let a fight go, because you’re not a doormat, dammit, think of letting it go as a gift you’re giving the person trying to egg you into the fight. With that last sentence, before you get all huffy-puffy about the “selfish” part, think about how it might be I know about this problem in the first place. Light bulb? Right, I used to be that selfish.

Third, you will be around drinking unless you’ve got a big network “in the program”. Always leave an easy, fast way out so you can get your butt to a meeting if need be. At the very least, have a sponsor or sober friend on speed-dial. Don’t ever park your vehicle where it can be “parked in”. I ran into dozens of times, especially early on, where I simply had to leave to break the thought loop spinning in my head about getting drunk. Don’t get drunk, get out.

Fourth, even if you don’t like meetings, go to a few during the holidays. Get out of yourself and help someone else. You’ll be amazed at how good helping someone else makes you feel. There is nothing better in recovery than helping another person for your own sobriety. Nothing. Meetings, meetings, meetings. Hey, while you’re at it, read a few chapters out of the Big Book, maybe check out the Daily Reflections app in your App Store.

Fifth, get some exercise! Nothing brings me back and centers my melon like some good old-fashioned sweat equity. Take a run or go for a walk, go for a ride, go to the gym… heck, do some push-ups or something.

Finally, get some sleep. Sure, it’s a busy time of year, but take some time to enjoy your sleep. When we’re rundown, we’re susceptible.

Friends, the Holidays are meant to be a happy time. Do what it takes to be happy. Give yourself a break. Give others around you a break. And good luck. Just don’t f***in’ drink. Even if your ass falls off. And in the unlikely event it does, put it in a bag and take it to a meeting. Someone there will be able to show you how they put their ass back on.


The Biggest Political Miscalculation Since Ted Kennedy Asked Yuri Andropov to Help Defeat Ronald Reagan Happened Just Yesterday

Trigger (heh) warning: If you didn’t catch it from the title, this post will be political in nature. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. You have been trigger (heh) warned.

Happy day after Impeachment Day, my friends. I’m so excited to see what comes next I can hardly contain myself.

Nancy Pelosi, in what has the potential to become known as the biggest political miscalculation in more than 30 years (possibly since Nixon raised two fingers on each hand), actually withheld sending the House’s Articles of Impeachment to the Senate until she could get a sense of the trial landscape, though her explanation was a touch less coherent. I left all the bat$#!+ crazy out.

So, the gist is, Madam Speaker Pelosi held up assigning managers to transmit Democrat Articles of Impeachment to the Senate until she could get a sense that the resulting trial would be fair.

FAIR. Got that? Okay, hold onto that for a minute, I’ll come back to it.  Try not to laugh.  Yet.

Apparently, Mrs. Pelosi is trying to dictate rules on how the Senate will move forward with its trial, going so far as to suggest the Senate should call witnesses she was too lazy or rushed to call through proper channels, herself.

Let’s head over to the Senate, where Cocaine Mitch McConnell, to his credit, kept his composure yesterday. Something I couldn’t possibly have done. I’d be willing to bet you he had an enjoyable supper last night.  See, I knew three days ago that Speaker Pelosi wouldn’t be sending the Articles over to the Senate, but the holdup isn’t “fairness”, it’s that the Articles themselves are so wishy-washy, voting against conviction for Republicans will be simple and painless.  At the same time, any Republican who votes for removal from office will face a fury from their voters not seen in modern political history.

She’s trying to game the system, plain and simple.

So, here’s where this gets fun. First, Congresswoman Pelosi [D-Mars] doesn’t get to be the arbiter of what “fair” is in the Senate. That’s, get this now, Senator McConnell’s job.  Sure, Senator Chuck Schumer can act like he’s got a part in this, but eventually he’ll be treated exactly as Nadler and Schiff treated Republicans in the House.  I can actually envision The Turtle (McConnell) saying to Mrs. Pelosi, “Madam Speaker, I think it’s best you stay in your lane.  Send them, or don’t.  I’ll acquit the President either way.” (Oh yes, he can).

It gets better. With House Democrats overwhelmingly overreaching, with their willingness to scorch the earth without thinking, to get a laughably baseless impeachment through on a party-line vote (the vote against impeachment was technically more bipartisan… heh) in an attempt to effect the 2020 election, and in a time Republicans actually win these battles, I see something much more fun on the horizon.

Imagine Cocaine Mitch agreeing to the Speaker’s requests, only to turn around and send the managers and Articles of Impeachment back to the House to be entirely redone because he needed to see a fairer process in bringing forth charges in the first place.  Because unless you’re an idiot, a Democrat hack, or you work at CNN, MSNBC, the NY Times, Washington Post, or LA Times (and most often, even then), you know the House process was the furthest thing from fair there is in politics.

Folks, Speaker Pelosi gave Republicans the best Christmas present they could have hoped for. I still can’t believe she tried it.

Somebody pass the popcorn.

12 Photos of Christmas: Day 7

For my seventh photo of Christmas, it had to be the one taken by a friend on a Tuesday night club ride.  What you can’t see in that photo is the speed.  We’re typically between 22 & 25-mph on that corner and we pick it up going down a little hill, just outside the frame.

This was a fantastic year for our average pace, especially toward the end of the year.  We started out the season (May) between 21 & 22-mph for the 28-ish mile loop.  Getting into July, though, we started cracking the 22-mph mark.  August was horrible for Tuesday nights, with only one completed dry.  September, after DALMAC, saw the pace tick up considerably until, in October, we started smashing through the 23-mph mark.  We had two club bests last year – breaking the 23-mph barrier for the first time, B Group only, and a new fastest Tuesday night with the A Group helping us.  It was a strange year for Tuesday nights, but we really did well to hammer out a great group pace this year.

Good times and noodle salad, as I like to say.


Back in the Saddle Again; Finally Feeling Like Me Again… With One Most Excellent and Welcome Change

I rode my Trek on the trainer last night for the first time since Saturday’s 27-mile dirt road ride on my gravel bike.  That stomach bug, or whatever the heck it was (48 hours of hell?), really took a toll.  I probably could have skipped last night but I was tired of sitting around, so I suited up and rode.  The sweat definitely did me some good, too.  I’ll be indoors tonight and tomorrow, but this weekend is looking spectacular.  Mostly sunny and temps 10° above normal (around 4 C).  I’m looking forward to some time on two wheels this weekend.

After riding and a fast shower, I sat down to dinner with the family.  Wednesday is pizza night.  Now, before my bug, my normal would be four slices of pizza and either water or Gatorade (usually the latter).  Something has changed, though.  Last night, after two and one half slices, I was full.  I couldn’t have shoved another bite in if I’d wanted to… and I didn’t want to.  For lunch yesterday, pad Thai chicken, I can normally polish off a full serving, I ate half and was perfectly satisfied.  I put the rest in the fridge for today or tomorrow.

Friends, I don’t know what happened, but my appetite shrank by half, and I couldn’t be more stoked about it.  Half should be perfect through the winter months.  I lost five pounds being sick, but I only put two more back on (water weight, no doubt)… I managed to keep three of those pounds off… which means I managed to lose five total pounds since the day after Thanksgiving.  I’d made a significant cut in my eating habits before I got sick, but I never expected what happened after – and I’m going to ride that horse as long as I can!

Good news indeed.

12 Photos of Christmas: Day 6


My photo for the sixth day is from a camping road trip with two of my friends.  The first decent “short sleeves and shorts” three-day stretch of the season, we pack up the campers and head up north.  Last year was my second year and it’s quickly become one of my favorite trips.

This year’s trip was excellent because April and May were pretty dismal.  The weather was so bad the trip usually happens at the end of May.  We had to put it off till July.  Still, it was a great time, my friends and I doing some cruising around the Traverse City area.

Being able to take time for a road trip to ride bikes with friends is why I sobered up in the first place.  Without recovery, that photo is impossible.  And for that, I am grateful.

12 Photos of Christmas: Days 4 & 5

Still catching up for lost time due to an epic stomach bug, today brings us Days Four and Five.

I’m joining Sheree, at View from the Back, who was the inspiration.

Days 4 & 5 have to be from our family cruise in June, the best vacation I’ve ever been on by a lo-o-o-o-o-o-ong shot.

I could have chosen any of another 137 photos from the trip, but I’m running short of space on my account!  My daughter and her cousin snorkeling in the West Bay of Isla Roatan will do.

The Politics of Recovery… And Why I Despise the Use of “Stigma” as a Red Herring in Recovery

Getting rid of the “stigma” in recovery is one of the buzzphrases of the last half-decade in recovery circles.

Even in hardcore drug addiction. We’re talking about people who will steal everything their retired parents have, just so they can stay high. We’re talking about drunks who are so self-absorbed, they plan time with the kids around watering holes so they can get a little loaded up while they’re driving the kids around. Personally, while there may have been a good kid buried way down deep inside, I was a complete and entire loser until I started fixing who I was by beginning a program of recovery. I didn’t care who I used up when I was drinking, as long as I could keep the game going one more day.

My problem with the way “stigma” is it is treated as what others are doing to the addict, somehow society is casting this so-called stigma on the addicted community. The addicted are being portrayed as victims when its the addict that victimizes everyone they come into contact with to stay high. Where this becomes a problem is when we take to finally stop digging our own grave and attempt recovery.

Everyone with a pony in the recovery show should know that in order for recovery to work, no matter which form of recovery one chooses to follow, the focus has to be, and forever remain, on self. It has to be this way because the rest of the world won’t quit drinking and doing drugs just because we do. The second recovery ceases being about self and begins being about what others do, we trudge the path to relapse.

I can only focus on myself in my recovery; it’s not how the world treats me, but how I view how the world treats me that matters. My reaction to how the world treats me is the only thing I can control. And this is exactly why “society’s stigma” against the addicts has no bearing on me personally.

  1. It is absolutely none of my business what anyone else thinks of me.
  2. It is entirely my business what I think of me.
  3. If what I think of me is bad, then I best get to work on changing how I’m living so I can flip that “bad” to “good”.

Trying to change everyone in “society”, especially trying to convince society that we’re victims after we victimize “society” with our behavior, is like trying to stop a freight train with a squirt gun. Conversely, understanding what we think society thinks of us might be useless and concentrating on our own recovery takes a decision and a little bit of practice.

The choice is yours, Don Quixote.

Oh, and one last thing about that squirt gun vs. the freight train – that’s exactly why people take on “society’s stigma” as having anything to do with one’s recovery in the first place. It’s ego-driven drivel. It’s only so they can, at some point in the future, say they were on the bandwagon that changed how society looks at addicts. They were on the cutting edge of societal evolution, after all!

That and a Buck will get you a cup of coffee.

At a 7-11.

12 Photos of Christmas

My blog friend, Sheree is doing a 12 Days of Christmas, a photo each day from the year (see the link above).

I loved the idea so I figured I’d jump in, too. Sadly, after spending the weekend sick, I forgot… so now I have to make up some time.

So here’s 12, 11, and 10

Photo from the 11th Floor of the Element Hotel in Detroit – January 2019

Stryker Instruments 2nd Day on the job for us…

One of the first nice days of the year for a ride.  Finally being able to ditch the arm warmers is one of the best days of the year...

Finally, A Ride Outside and Fit Recovery’s Eighth Anniversary

Conditions were finally reasonable for a dirt road ride Saturday. It was cold, right at freezing, but some decent winter clothing and a windproof jacket kept the cold at bay. We had a small group of three so the pace was pretty reasonable. We were out for 1h:45m and covered a little more than 27 miles.

I was a little chilly coming home, but it was really great to be outside.

Saturday night was our company end of year celebration, so I didn’t eat much after the ride, knowing I’d likely eat a lot for dinner.

I was not mistaken, dinner was good and was capped off with tres leche cake, a cake saturated with condensed, evaporated and regular milks. Oh. My. God, it was fantastic.

Unfortunately, by the time we got home, I was freezing to the point of shivering uncontrollably. I knew exactly what was happening. Some of our guys had been hammered with a bug of some sort the week earlier. I thought I’d stayed far enough away. I was mistaken.

I tried fall asleep on the couch with four layers of blankets over flannel PJ’s and my bath robe. My fever broke early Sunday morning but I was a wreck. Over the next 36 hours I ate no solid food. I even threw up for the first time since I quit drinking (it’s a thing, I used to throw up due to overindulgence regularly). I’ve been through three bouts of food poisoning and never got sick. I was in bad shape.

The bug broke Monday morning. I was hungry for the first time since Saturday and started with a bit of chicken noodle soup. Not exactly BRAT (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast), but close enough for government work.

Enough of that! Speaking of work, I’m back today, thank goodness. It was a rough couple of days.

Finally, for this post, I received notice yesterday that this is the 8th anniversary of my blog. Pretty cool.

Motorcyclist Who Identifies As Bicyclist Sets Cycling World Record | The Babylon Bee

Man, I knew it was only a matter of time before a motorcyclist figured out the new rules… all one must do is identify as a cyclist and all advantages, like having a motor are out the proverbial window.

This is a good thing, though, because I actually am a cyclist, and I have a friend with a drag racing motorcycle… so I’m going to smash the current record and call anyone who claims I cheated a racist and a bigot. And I’ll take Rachel McKinnon’s sprint record next year, too, and nobody will be able to say anything about it… after all, just because my bike dresses different from other bikes…

🤔…. 😁😂🤣

Stupid is as stupid does, Forrest.

By the way, the Babylon Bee is a parody site, and this is a parody post. Even more of a parody than Adam Schiff. If you took any of this seriously, Bill Engvall has a sign for you.