Achilles, Heal


You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out, you put your left foot in and you shake it all about...
You put your left foot in, you put your left foot out, you put your left foot in and you shake it all about…

It started slowly.

An pang here, a twitch there.  A subtle twist around the bend, a tightening up on the turn, a soft throbbing down the hill. Aches and pains are part and parcel of any physical activity. Running especially, considering the pounding the body gets as forces push and pull and bounce around like a physics lab demonstration…or a frat party.  So as I have been dialling up the mileage on my body, there seems to have been a mutiny going on at sock level.

My worst fear – an Achilles tendon injury – was confirmed when I went to the physiotherapy clinic nearby.  I have read horror stories about these kinds of injuries – people laid up for months, unable to run.  Listen, I get grumpy when I don’t run for a few days, so not running for a while would certainly put my serenity to the test.  And probably annoy the people around me as I huffed and puffed because I couldn’t huff and puff up and down streets and trails.

So I am to do the thing that often gets me out of my comfort zone – nothing.  What do you mean do nothing!?  I need to do something can’t I?  Of course, I have a few stretches I need to do, a few physio appointments to attend to, and I can rest and ice and compress and elevate (RICE), but other than that, it’s out of my control.  If I were able to, I’d perform surgery on myself or something.  Even to my own detriment, because it would at least give myself the impression that I am doing something about it.  Because for a guy like me, trying to control things still seems appealing at times, even at the molecular and muscular level.

Talk about controlling and taking things to a muscular level.  Yes ladies, he IS single...hubba hubba
Talk about controlling and taking things to a muscular level…hubba hubba.  And yes ladies, he IS single.

For an alcoholic running nut (I have to get my official diploma for that to post on my wall), there is nothing that makes me grumpier than when I can’t run.  Maybe it’s because I miss the endorphins rush, or the solitude, or the communion with nature and the Maker, or the feeling of accomplishment and soul-body nourishment.  Or all of them combined.  A sense of purpose and being that floods me when I lace up and head out the door (especially when I have a race coming up – like the full marathon in October). Most runners feel like that – I know I am not alone in this.  Ask any semi- or full-enthusiast / hardcore runner and they will tell you about the dick-ish nature that comes with not being able to get out there and get that fix.  Or for anyone that enjoys something that gives them a shot of that mojo – whether it be yoga, long walks or tennis.

And sometimes it reminds me of the times of what it felt like before getting my old booze fix.  You know that feeling when you know that you’re going to get your “medicine”? Remember when you would just loosen up and cheer up and get all warm and fuzzy because you knew that you were going to get that first sip soon?  The anticipation of it just threw a blanket of immaculate temporary serenity on the brain and spirit, awaiting the wash of C2H5OH to hit the back of the throat and hit that sweet spot.  And when that didn’t happen, we’d get out of sorts.  Annoyed.  Bitchy. Unnerved at anything and everything.  Frustrated and easily angered.  At least that was my experience – grumpy old man ratcheted up a notch this side past “Walter Matthau”. And not getting my shoes on is like keeping the cork in the bottle sometimes.  Baby wants his candy, damned the consequences.

Aww...that ain't nice.
Awwww…aren’t they cute when they get old and wrinkly??

Sort of reminds me of how things were in those tenuous early days of sobriety.  I couldn’t hold onto any feelings as they slipped between my fingers.  Or they clung to me like saran wrap.  Unable to capture or shake what was really going on with me, I had no choice to seek the serene. Search for the things that brought me to a place of safety and protection. It was a leap of faith.  What’s that Monty, what doors did you say were available?  Oh yeah, Life or Death.  (And of course, for an alcoholic like me, I would wonder for a while about how painful death might be…I mean, it can’t hurt that much, right?)  Except that this time, instead of the blatant drama of perhaps being buried six feet under, I am just mildly annoyed.   I can’t afford anything beyond that, emotional wise, lest it disrupt my centeredness.

So while I can’t go as hard and and as long as I want to go (get your mind out of the gutter), I am grateful that I can run through this.  My physiotherapist suggested I do short runs and avoid the long ones.  Dang.  It’s the long ones I look forward to – the ones that keep me pushing forward, that max me out, that get me pumped and broken and beat up and glowing.  The ones that my ego just adores, strictly for bragging rights.  So I have to play it smaller – keep ego in check.  Am I willing to actually listen to my body, ignore the magnanimous and boastful nature of my ego, and heed the advice of someone who knows better?  Again, what are the doors, Monty?  So when the physiotherapist says I can hurt myself further if I push it too quickly, what does that really  mean?  Oh dear, same mindset.  Damn those consequences.

So as I am bandaged up and doing my drills and all that stuff, I think of that old adage – that it’s the doctor who puts on the cast, but God does the healing.  And so very much in my both kinds of my recovery.  You will remember that last time I posted, I wasn’t in too good a spot.  Not a full on depressive state, but like my body, there was something that wasn’t right.  And like my injury, it started slowly.  A missed meeting here, a skipped prayer there, a tightness in my heart.  But I persevered, ignoring the signs that my spirit were giving me.  Like my injury, I didn’t know it was there until it was there.

That sort of summed up last week...thanks Monty.
That sort of summed up last week…thanks Monty.

So I look at both of these things in the same light – in one case, I am giving myself to someone who knows better – my physiotherapist.  I take counsel with others who have been there (other runners).  I do my reading up and take the necessary steps (no pun intended all around) to encourage and hasten my recovery, and yet listen to my body.  I run, and take measure of where I am at.  I stop and take in the scene around me, rather than try to break some pace my ego has created to determine whether I am “good” at this or not.

And in my bouncing back from a wounded spirit, I too have give myself (back) to someone / something that knows better – the very One who made me, the Maker.  I have taken counsel with other who have been there before me (my sponsor, other members of the fellowship, my fellow bloggers / readers).  I do my reading up (meditation books, Big Book) and take the necessary steps (har har) to encourage and hasten my recovery, and yet listen to my spirit.  I take actions, and take measure of where I am at.  I stop and take in the scene around me, rather than try to live up to some image of myself my ego has created to determine whether I am “good” at life or not.

In both regards, I am slowly coming around.  I take advantage of the tools given to me – whether they be exercises, or spiritual guides, or just plain rest.  Because rest is part of recovery.  On both counts.  What I have to remember (and re-learn over and over and over again) is that self-care includes rest of some kind.  Even when I am not doing something, I am doing something.  In the case of my injury, I am allowing the healing to occur to all the micro tears and scar tissue.  In the case of my alcoholism recovery, doing nothing sometimes is just the A535 that my soul needs.  Sitting and taking in a good novel can be just as nourishing as a day of spring cleaning or taking a newcomer to a meeting.  All in balance, all towards the goal of continued serenity and inner peace and healing.


All hail bleach.
All hail bleach…and stereotypes.

Sure, I’d love to jump outside tomorrow morning and run to my heart’s desire but I have to stick to what will work for me, not what I think will work for me in the short term.  My daily reprieve is contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition.  So I do the daily things.  As with healing my leg, I have to do what is needed to maintain my physical condition so that in the long run, I can have that long run.  And continue to grow and stretch and be where I am expected to be.

Because the fact for this alcoholic is that I didn’t fix myself one iota.  I tried to fix my alcoholism by either drinking more alcohol (a good-at-first, but increasingly ruinous cure) or trying to self-will my sobriety.  Both failed spectacularly.  In the end, I just surrendered and got bandaged up and let the Maker heal me.  And I have to remember that, because when I stop and tell Him “Hey – I’ve got this one”, then that’s when things go pear shaped.  That is what I was doing the last few weeks.  I was trying to play nurse to myself and trying to will myself to heal, when all I needed to do was what I always did – surrender and let Him run the show.

And you know what?  Crazy and wonderful things happen when I do that.  Just last week, as I decided to open myself up to others and reach out (I like what Mike said in his comments to the last post about the internet being “bullshit” – ouch, but right in some ways.) I spoke to my sponsor, then I spoke to a guy I know who has been struggling for some time, and I also went to a meeting where I spoke to a newcomer and gave him my number.  These actions really helped me get out of me.  And even better was that I was able to write a letter of character for a fellow blogger for when she goes to court…how awesome is that?  A nice way of giving back to the Universe, especially for all the groovy folks who wrote me letters not too long ago for my court saga.  I never would have been open to that even last week.

So I’m in a holding patter on all accounts and feeling better daily.  One foot in front of the other and just taking it as it needs to be.  Neither rushing nor judging.  Just being and taking it in and taking in the view along the way.

Along the board walk on my last run.
Along the board walk on my last run.

Thanks to everyone who put in a good word or more in the comment box last week.  I am grateful.



45 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh Paul, I feel for you. My husband is a weight lifting fanatic and he’s had a series of injuries lately. At first, he drove me crazy with his grumpiness and whining but then he read something that suggested using the downtime as a form of meditation and as a way to see things he wouldn’t normally see during the time he’d usually be working out. I don’t know if he actually took the advice but he stopped annoying me and seems more peaceful and patient. It’s sounds like you’re already finding your spiritual connection. I wish you a speedy recovery!

    1. I feel for your hubby (and you!) with the injuries….and the grumpiness. I like the idea of the time off as a way to reconnect. Sounds like a plan. I actually picked up a book last night because you had me thinking about this – it’s about running and spirituality. So thank you for directing me into a new place 🙂

      Thanks for the wonderful comments 🙂


  2. Lisa Neumann says:

    This read for me is all about trust. For me, taking away the running (exercise) is the equivalent of taking away one of my main solutions for coping. It all comes down to trusting the expert: Do I have to do it my way because I am so brilliant—NOT. Do I do it the suggested way because I don’t know what’s best for me (in this moment, regarding this situation)—YES.

    On Friday, my main trusted source, gave me the title of a book to read. I hated the title. When I got to the book store I was hoping they would be sold out—they weren’t. I skimmed the Contents page—more stupid words. I said, “Don’t get it, it’s not what you need.” My TS (trusted source) said, “Get it, read it.” I’m irritated AND I buy the book, despite my thinking/bargaining/bad attitude.

    Sometimes when I am growing, I don’t know what is best for me, so I find a source I can trust who will help me navigate.

    Always a thought provoker.

    ps. regarding “hubba hubba” I was so busy looking at his abs that it took me 10 seconds to notice the truck in the tree

    1. Trust – what a fantastic thing to read into, as I never really thought about that! The Yes / No thing there resonated with me when I first read it, and had to rethink a bit of where I am coming from. Is it that the candy is being taken away from the baby? ha ha…probably.

      I think what you say about others navigating…well, that’s just part of what we do for one another. And people will guide me, and like you, going kicking and screaming all the way until later I realize, wow – that was helpful. I certainly don’t know what is best for me at the best (and worst) of times.

      Thank you for this additional insight, Lisa…you are one of my navigators 🙂


      P.S I too want to know that book title…ha ha

  3. furtheron says:

    Good luck with the rehab on the ankle.

    Just reading Lisa comment about “hubba hubba” … all I noticed was his wood… I’ll leave that there now before this descends any further.

    Glad to hear you are picking up in other ways, I’ve found these depressive states are like a bumpy trough and you think you’re out but you’re not and then you bump back down… stay with it pal you will get through the other side I’m sure

    1. Thanks Graham!

      Yeah, I’ll leave that wood comment alone too…

      I will do my best to stick it through. Went to another meeting last night (even though I didn’t feel like going) and it was a great pick me up. Even the old timer beside me felt the same – didn’t feel like going, and then when the meeting was over, I turned to him and said “I’m glad I came tonight” and he said “likewise”. Awesome 🙂

      Thanks again Graham!


  4. jrj1701 says:

    Good post Paul, it is amazing what will happen with some investment in patience, trusting and helping others and always being open to doing His will instead of our own, it just gets confusing sometimes because I will get in the way of Him, so I have to revisit the basics til I learn to trust Him in ALL things. He calls me to a higher standard, yet I have to unlearn my broken ideals of perfection to be what He calls me to be.

    1. Thanks JR. I like what you said about getting in the way of Him. I do that often. Play chicken with His will, throwing mine in there instead and then wondering why things have gone pear shaped.

      “I have to revisit the basics til I learn to trust Him in ALL things. He calls me to a higher standard, yet I have to unlearn my broken ideals of perfection to be what He calls me to be.” <—this. I need to tattoo this to my forehead. Or at least write it down somewhere. Thank you, JR. . You just added to my recovery…again.


  5. Hope the injury heals soon and you can get back to running. I’ve never felt that about running (still something I kind of make myself do!) but my sister was telling me lately how she’s had to stop running with a back injury, and how hard it was to find something that gave her the same “intensity” as running. There’s obviously something about it I’m not getting! I like the parallels you draw with your need for spiritual healing too, and it made me think how it can sometimes be harder to spot those “spiritual injuries” that make recovery difficult – how sometimes we don’t even notice they’re there and plough on regardless making everything a lot worse, when what we really need to do is slow down, pause, take a look at the big picture and treat ourselves with some care. Thanks for the post 🙂 xx

    1. I totally get what your sister says. Runners, as I am finding, are a bit of an odd bunch (like goalies in hockey) and they too will say what your sis says – there is nothing that can mimic that intensity and feeling of hitting those miles. I enjoy biking daily (to and from work – about 30 min each way) and do miss it if I don’t do it for a few days, but it’s nothing like missing running. Not sure why. They are both solo, they are both exercise, they are both beneficial in some ways…but yeah, the running gets deeper, I suppose.

      So I will just have to let the healing continue…on all fronts.

      Thank you for the comments…so glad you’re here 🙂


  6. Great post as always, friend! And thank you for mentioning Mike’s comments…I had to go back and look and there was a lot of (hilarious) wisdom there. You’re so right about surrendering and letting Him run the show. After catching up on my meetings this weekend (My treatment counselors always told us “Plan your life around your meetings, not your meetings around your life!” – words of wisdom that I’d been ignoring lately), forcing myself to open up to others at a large discussion meeting…I am in a much better place than I was a week ago. Doing my best to let my situation go…it’s out of my hands. I’ll be okay, and and you’ll be okay. Sending lots of healing vibes your way!

    1. Yeah, Mikey has a way with words, and he is RIGHT dammit…lol.

      Thanks for the vibes. And yeah, it’s sometimes hard to open up in a larger discussion group, but usually I find that if the spirit moves me and I come from authenticity and love, not selfishness and trying to sound “good”, then I am fine. And when the spirit moves me to just shut up and listen…then that’s fine too 🙂

      Hope you’re hanging in there. Of course you aren’t…nothing to hang onto. You’re in His hands 🙂


  7. byebyebeer says:

    I white knuckled through your post until I read you are allowed to do shorter runs. Phew. Shorter runs to you probably sounds like the idea of no runs at all to me. So I get how scary that is. I depend on running to help with my mood and as an outlet for the excess energy that wreaks havoc in my brain. I remind myself there’s always walking or yoga or tennis, sure. I wish you a speedy recovery and hope you will be pleasantly surprised at how you feel in the interim.

    1. Ha ha…thanks Kristen! And yes, you are right. I am ashamed to say that short runs are nothing like the long ones, but I still know that they are necessary. More mileage in the legs never hurts. I can and do do them – sometimes they are good for the soul. I just have to learn to appreciate them more 🙂 But I am glad you feel the same.

      I was so happy to see you guys on that 5K – that looked like FUN. Especially with the wee ones…what joy! I needed those pics and story to remind me that this IS fun.

  8. “Most runners feel like that – I know I am not alone in this. Ask any semi- or full-enthusiast / hardcore runner and they will tell you about the dick-ish nature that comes with not being able to get out there and get that fix.”

    I am certainly one of those people! In fact, have had that very same face as the poor soccer player pictured, although my ankle didn’t that bad. It did however swell up immediately, spent 6 weeks in a walking cast and another 2 months in rehab. Those were some dark days without rock climbing (which caused it) and running. I am impressed with your resiliency and support that you have as you recover. That would have helped me a lot then (5 years ago). Another great post!

    1. Thanks Marcus! Nice to be part of this particular fellowship of runners 🙂 I cringed when I read how long you were out…ugh!! I don’t know how you pulled through without pulling out your hair. But you did, and you got stronger because of that. I think mental resilience is just as important and the physical (I am learning this as I go on those long, flat, dull and did I mention long? runs where there isn’t much scenery change…that’s mental toughness! Oh, and having an ipod doesn’t hurt)

      Hope you are well – thank you so much for being here!!


  9. mishedup says:

    I feel this way about yoga, which is strange because i never felt this way about any kind of exercise.
    Yoga helps me get into a meditative state that carries me through the day…maybe give that a shot? A very good friend of mine is a runner and yoga teacher…swears that yoga enhances her running, and you could probably do that now.

    That doesn’t help…
    how about my favorite new prayer…the set aside prayer…
    god, help me set aside everything i think i know so that i can have an open mind for a new experience.

    and, service. dammit!! lots of it, out of your head.

    probably pissing you off, sorry.
    short runs, service, set-aside and maybe some stretches….

    and I want to know what Lisa’s book is!

    1. My wife feels the same about her hot yoga too. She gets out of sorts a bit when she doesn’t get her “fix”. So we understand each other in that regards. (I told her one day – “I finally understand your need for yoga”). And as for the yoga-running thing, I too know many folks who augment their running with yoga. I tried yoga, and it’s probably good for me, but I am terrible at it. I am as flexible as a hydro pole in winter. (Which, I KNOW, means there is more reason for me to do it…I just feel very self-conscious about it).

      Yes, I know and love the set aside prayer. I heard it a few years back on a tape, then printed up a copy to keep with my others. I do enjoy it.

      And nah, you’re not pissing me off. I do my prayers, meditation, etc.

      The only problem is service – my schedule changes every single week. My days off change every week. My hours change every week. Every. Single. Week. Planning anything outside of a week or two is near impossible, unless I book specific days off. So getting a commitment is impossible right now, or at least while I have this particular job. Which has always been a bone of contention for me – hell, I haven’t been to my homegroup in nearly a year. Not really a homegroup, is it? lol. So I don’t have any service in AA. There goes that part of the triangle, yes? ugh. But I try to make it up in other ways – my son and I are going to be making sandwiches for the homeless and handing them out, along with socks, next month. Try to do some other volunteering or just helping my neighbours, etc.

      Not sure if I am trying to convince you or myself. But there is no work around right now unless I quit my job and get a 9-5 one.

      File this under “it is what it is”. Blech.

      And yes, let’s hope Lisa spills!

      Thanks for the wonderful comments 🙂


      1. mishedup says:

        i got some clear direction from my sponsor last night…
        make some phone calls!
        I HATE talking on the phone, but today i have to.
        maybe that can work with your schedule?
        I count service work i do outside of AA…i think it’s’s all just about getting out of our heads and feeling sorry for ourselves, right? so whatever we do is a win. this blog is a big win!
        you are gonna be ok, how could you not?

        1. I’ll try to gather some numbers 🙂

  10. Twindaddy says:

    Don’t overdo it, you wouldn’t want to make things any worse.

    Oh, and my mind never leaves the gutter, just so you know. I like it here.

    1. You have your fiefdom down in the gutter, don’t you? lol

      Thanks for the concern, TD. I’ve been taking it easy. Hope you do too 🙂

      1. Twindaddy says:

        I have a nice little niche carved out down here. It’s comfortable.

  11. fern says:

    I hear you have found a place of acceptance for circumstances beyond your control and I needed that reminder, too. Spiritual condition is most important.

    Too bad about the Achilles. One bit of unsolicited advice: be careful because one injury can cause more when the body compensates.

    Rest up, Dear Paul, and soon enough you will back to pounding the pavement full tilt. You are in good shape otherwise so it shouldn’t take long (we hope!).


    1. You are right about the compensating – I have noticed that my right quads and hip is starting to get sore…I certainly am making it up on the one side…which as you wisely stated, can cause further injury. So I have chosen not to run for a few days. Hard as hell, but I am trying to do what is best and hope this goes away (my neighbour told me she had it for 6 months! Yikes!)

      Thanks for being here, Fern. You always make my day 🙂


  12. Hi Paul, hope this comment finds you feeling better than when you wrote this. I am so sorry to hear about this fitness setback, I can relate to the frustration very, very much. What I will carry with me today, however, is the idea of opening yourself up to new possibilities… what an uplifting way to end the post!

    Thanks for the ray of sunshine, even as you are ailing!

    1. Thanks Josie! I know that you understand – I meant to ask on your blog regarding your 5K – are you still injured? Did you have to walk-run or walk it? If you are still hurt, I too wish you a speedy (and proper) healing! I guess for the opening myself up – I sometimes have no choice or I get all pissy and ugly and don’t like how that makes me feel 😦

      Anyway, have a wonderful day, Josie – thank you for being here. 🙂

  13. Tracy says:

    Thinking of you Paul and hoping it’s speedy:-) exercise is very good for the serenity!! But do what you are supposed to…ok?? Been working on a bit of that willingness to let HP run the show too!!

    1. Thank you Tracy – you are bang on right about exercise being good for serenity. I will have to try to think of something else to do in the meantime while this heals…maybe intense biking or go to a gym. And yes – willingness. Thy will, not mine 🙂

      Have a wonderful day 🙂


  14. Paul,
    Bummer about the ole heel. Isn’t it funny (really not laughing here) how the saying of something being an Achilles heel can relate to so many of our alcoholic ways? Whether it be resentments, pride, stubbornness or sloth, they all produce the same results.
    the beauty of it is we get to step back, smile at ourselves, and realize as always something better is around the corner. Who knows? Maybe the time you were spending running is going to open up an opportunity your HP has been waiting to open up to you?
    IDK. But, I have found the more I loosen my grip the more control I have. Freaks me out a bit, but I am learning acceptance..slowly.
    Hope you are well.

    1. It’s funny that it’s not the heel that hurts, but the joint and the tendon along the back. Strange. And you are right – those resentments, etc. really hone in on us. Make us squirrelly. Our kryptonite. You may be right about something opening up – I will have to stay open to that – never thought of that…so thank you for that insight 🙂

      Great wisdom, Linda…thank you for sharing that.


  15. Sorry to hear about your Achille’s heel!!! 😀 I hate to say it but sometimes the body doesn’t let you forget you are getting old. Take care and hope it gets better soon! Oh, and be a good patient 😛

    1. I know! The creaks and squeaks remind me daily that I’m no longer that 20 yr-old who could rebound from any injury (or hangover)! I am doing my best to be a good patient – I will actually listen to my phsyio’s advice and not push it (it goes against the grain for me!). Actually, she told me yesterday that I can’t run until I see her next. So that will be the tough part, but she did give me some killer exercises – so that will keep me busy. I *am* grateful though that it’s not a rupture or tear or anything big and ugly like that (thank you Google Images for showing me what those things look like):)

      Thanks for being here 🙂

  16. stacilys says:

    Hey Paul. Oh my goodness. No running. As a fitness buff, that would just kill me. I sympathize, my friend. I’ve heard it said before that those who regularly exercise and are hooked on it, they are considered to have a healthy addiction. And really, it is an addiction. It is such a huge part of my life, I don’t what I’d do if I couldn’t. The physical activity is so good for the not just the body, but the mind, spirit and overall well-being. Thank you very much endorphines.

    I really like how you mentioned balance. That is something I think most humans struggle with. Finding balance. Not being an extremist in one thing or another. I know that for me it is very difficult. Although I love for this equilibrium.

    “because when I stop and tell Him “Hey – I’ve got this one”, then that’s when things go pear shaped.”
    –Oh no! not pear shaped. As a woman (that focuses too much on her body shape and size) I can truly understand the whole pear shaped thing. You know, in the Bible there’s a verse that says, “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” Pride is our worst enemy.

    Paul, you’ve outdone yourself with these pictures this time. They are so funny, not to mention your captions below. I especially appreciated the corny strong dude with the truck in the tree. I’m taken though so I won’t be going after that stud, even though he’s single.

    Hugs and blessings always fellow canuck (i’ll be going there in a week – YEAH!)

    1. I agree with you on the healthy addiction – someone was mentioning that recently on a blog. Was it yours? Can’t recall. But I am truly in full belief that the body-mind-spirit connection is nothing to dismiss. It’s strong and forceful.

      Balance is something that I certainly have struggled with. I am a bit better these days, but I certainly try my best to make sure that I am making a proper effort and having attention in all my areas of life. Lately it’s been tough not taking work stuff home with me (mentally). But I am sure I will manage.

      Glad you like the pics…I have no clue where I get them, frankly. They just pop up and I steal them 😉 This planet and the people on it are rather foolish, so there will never be a shortage of goofy pics…lol.

      Hope you have a wonderful day and thanks for your comments – I always look forward to them 🙂


  17. Oh I see how it is. Instead of getting pissed-off at your body–for it’s weakness–for it’s traitorous abandonment of your dreams of fitness glory– and punishing it by pounding even harder when you run, you’re going to heed what it’s trying to tell you. Slow down. Rest. Heal.
    I don’t know, man. Ever since you got sober. You’re different.
    And bravo for that. I know that doesn’t come easy.
    As you might know by now, I take great pride in my chiseled, penitentiary physique. I have powerful pecs and a wide lat spread. And although nobody has ever pointed it out or even mentioned it, I think I have good tricep definition.
    But I also have a blown-glass back that gives out when I pick up a Scrabble tile the wrong way. Which is not something I’m especially proud of.
    Anyway, now and then, it forces me to abandon my Greek God-doing-hard-time resistance regimen. Because I can’t even pull my pajamas down to make pee-pee without screaming. Oh it’s humbling alright. Having to use Lori as a crutch just to make it to the bathroom. It can be tough to swallow.
    Because it’s so OPPOSITE of how I want to be.
    But somehow that doesn’t seem to matter or change anything. The fact remains I have to be crippled for a few days. So now what? What do I do in the meantime?
    That’s why I liked this- ” I stop and take in the scene around me, rather than try to break some pace my ego has created to determine whether I am “good” at this or not.”
    That’s the crux of it. That’s where this whole thing pivots, eh?
    Stopping and looking around. Taking stock of what is. Then recognizing some ego-created phantom ideal for what it is. And not judging what actually is against it. Accepting what is. As is.
    Ironic too, that the impossible-to-reach ideal version is something we conjured up, in the hope that obtaining it someday, will allow us to finally accept what is.
    I tell you it’s madness.
    No wonder we got so thirsty.
    Well screw that, I’ll just short-circuit that whole trap, and start accepting things as is A.S.A.P.
    These days, when I do become bed-ridden because I picked up a piece of string, I make the best of it. Catch up on some sleep. Reading. I’ve actually come to enjoy the break–the break from my otherwise success-driven life.
    (audience howls with laughter)
    Okay, that’s all I have tonight. I’m still dragging, Pauly. So tired these days. Forgive me.
    I just wanted to check in, since I’ve missed a few. Read and enjoyed them all, just couldn’t bring quill to parchment to comment. Until now. For this one here which I loved, of course.
    Especially the Let’s Make a Deal refs. Since, you know, the Speed Freak Julie story.

    Your friend always,

    1. Always glad to see you, Gladiator Man. I’ve taken the liberty to permanently leave an Obusforme support backing for the comfy chair in the corner here at Message. There are some holisitic pain killers just in case, and always a registered massage therapist on call. Just give me a heads up and I will summon Lurch with the Velveteen Hands to give ya a what for on that Faberge Back of yours.

      Anyway, you’re right as usual. This ain’t the story that *I* created, and we all know it’s vitally important to live according to OUR plan. You know, that one that brought us to hospitals, cop cars, alley ways and detoxex. We’re magnificent authors, aren’t we Marius? Oh, except for the middle part. And the ending. Um, the beginning ain’t so hot either. Ok, so we SUCK as authors. Might as well leave it to the Big Guy deal with the plot and window dressing. Easier that way. I just play the part. Make sure I hit the marks He lays down for me. So if that means you go owie when you wee-wee or I wince when I try to do something strenuous like get out of bed, then that’s the part right now. Pulp Fiction had the Gimp, remember? is that us? Perhaps for now until we get Travolta’s part, minus the bad hair piece.

      Happy that you made it here – I know that it’s been a challenging ride as of late – being heralded by WP can do that, but I know you’re going to be alright. you always have been. I know because you’re here and when I cross paths with a superdude like you, it’s going to be alright. I have no idea why, but my gut tells me so. We’ll both be alright.

      Hope you feel better. I hope to take in the sights of this so-called-life of mine and forge them into something greater than the sum.

      Groovy stuff, this sober life eh?


  18. mike says:


    Why is it so many don’t have the time to go to a meeting, yet almost never miss an episode of Dancing with the Stars?

    1. I got you Mike. Complacency, laziness, ego. I know because that is what stops me at times. It’s when I don’t want to go is when I need the meeting most…and I always feel great after. Been hitting two a week now and it’s made a difference.

      1. mike says:

        Lol. Sometimes I cant wait for a meeting to end. Some old guys told me, it aint what you take out of the meeting -or life. Its what you put into it. This is a good read,

        1. Thanks for this Mike – printed it up here at work and will read it.

          I also like what they say – it’s not so much if I need a meeting, but it’s if the meeting needs me 🙂

  19. I walk a ridiculous amount on my treadmill and my feet have started bothering me lately. I think it sucks that you do what makes you healthy and suffer other health consequences as a result–but if we don’t work out, we’ll gain weight and have much worse health consequences.

  20. Laurie Works says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your injury 😦 That’s rough. Would be like if I couldn’t go hiking, which would be so hard for me!
    I’m glad to hear though that you are trying to take the time to rest in more ways than one. I relate to what you said about not going at the pace your ego determines makes you “good enough.” I have the biggest tendency to do that.
    Sending peace and rest to you my friend…

  21. Oh Paul, I feel for you. i get really bummed when I get injured and I am not what you would call a hard-core athletic anything…but I get it. Hang in there. i’ll be saying prayers for a speedy recovery and for you to learn whatever lesson the Universe has in store for you from this. From reading this, it sounds like that is already happening. HUGS!

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