Sunday, 27 June 2010

Step 4: Cut the Crap

Remember what I said about living joyfully? That it was like jumping off a cliff and building your parachute on the way down? Well, as always, I have been taking things to extreme.

Having come to the realisation that “God’s Will” is what’s in front of me at any given moment, and that it is the acceptance or non-acceptance of it that makes life either effortlessly smooth or an uphill struggle, I have been experimenting with self-will.

When I say “experimenting”, I mean allowing my defects to run rampant; I mean riding roughshod over people’s feelings; I mean indulging myself in lust, selfishness and dishonesty, and justifying it by telling myself that no matter what my actions, the result must be “God’s Will”, because things are as they are, therefore they are as they should be.

Amazing, huh?

At some point in my excursions into non-dualism I abdicated responsibility. My thinking went something like this:
“If you and I and the whole manifested Universe is God experiencing Himself then God – by the very nature of God – is in not just the flower but the rotting cadaver; is in not just the murdered but the murderer; is in not just the guy who’s getting hit across the head with a bat, but the guy who’s doing the batting. In fact, all of these things and every single possible scenario must necessarily be played out to allow God to experience Himself in His totality. Therefore, is it even feasible that “self –will” is at odds with the Will of God? For sure, any actions I take are going to throw up a bunch of consequences: but if I am prepared to take responsibility for these consequences, and accept them as being what is (God’s Will), then everything should be ok, right? There is no good, there is no evil; there is no right or wrong; there only is, right?”

Shortly afterwards I cheated on my girlfriend. I deeply hurt her, and the girl with whom I had done the cheating. My life became – almost instantly – unbearable.  I started to suffer. I couldn’t make a decision. I was in fear of people’s judgement. I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. I didn’t want to wake up in the morning. I couldn’t find my arse with both hands. I became useless. I regressed to the emotional level of a baby. I was physically and mentally ill. I was full of guilt and shame.

There was a clue in this.

My sponsor tells me that the Tibetans don’t have a concept of guilt. They simply learn from the outcome of their actions and either do the same thing again, or not, as is appropriate.

It must be a great thing to have no concept of guilt, but rightly or wrongly, I do. So I must settle for the next best thing, which is to be free of it.

Unpleasant as it is, guilt – for me - can act as a signpost.

I may or I may not have done something wrong, but if I am feeling guilt then deep down I believe I have done something wrong. It is not the actions I take or the people I harm that are going to drive me back to drink – God is not our Punisher - but how those things sit with me.

And I have to say: these things weren’t sitting with me very well. In fact, I was at the point where I was in fear of saying or doing anything, lest I should cause even more harm by doing so; I had ceased to trust myself; I felt like a liability; a danger to society. Walking through Bournemouth one afternoon I was suddenly struck by a thought, and it was this: “How the fuck am I still sober?”

The answer can only be: by God’s Grace. By wilful rebellion and disobedience I have commenced to estrange myself from Him. As my selfishness, dishonesty and fear have become monsters, little by little have I lost contact with God and slipped backwards into powerlessness. Thank God that He has given me the time and space to come to my senses and repent.

At times like this my concept of God adapts. I knew I’d done wrong, ergo I needed forgiveness. It is hard to ask forgiveness of a God to whom everything is acceptable. Therefore I prayed to the God of my childhood. You know Him. God the Father. The One with the Beard. I went to Him like the prodigal son (or as Emilie would have it, the prodigal boyfriend). I admitted my faults as I saw them, and humbly asked His forgiveness. Perhaps unsurprisingly, His answer was this:

“Go, and sin no more.”

Repentance is not about being sorry. It is about positive action. It means to turn from sin* and amend your life, and I know of only one way to do that: to revisit steps 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

It was time to get the inventory sheets out.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a great one for written inventory. In fact I hate it. I will put it off as long as I possibly can, and to be fair, most of the time I am aware enough of my own thought processes and motives that I can do it in my head as I go along. But I’m sure I could prevent myself a lot of pain and discomfort by doing written inventory a little more regularly: like when I first start feeling agitation or irritability, rather than leaving it till I’m practically sucking up piss from discarded cans of Omega cider and sleeping in a hedgerow.

However, once I’ve made up my mind to do it, there’s only one course of action left, and that’s to put my head down and get on with it. In my experience inventory is tedious at best, but if left hanging around for days or weeks it becomes a nightmare. I’ve heard people justifying taking months over a step 4 by saying that they want it to be “fearless and thorough”.  Of course it must be fearless and thorough, but it won’t be any more fearless and thorough if you take a year over it than if you just crash it out in a few hours.  The truth is the truth, whether you write it now or later.

Well of course, before I was even halfway through the truth was glaring. I’d have had to be blind or stupid to miss it. And by this time I was no longer blind or stupid. The scales had fallen from my eyes.  I knew where I’d gone wrong and what I needed to do.

I had fear of what other people thought. Why? Because I had been acting in ways that I myself find unacceptable.

My self-esteem had suffered. Why? Because I had failed to act in an estimable way.

My resentments were out of control. Why? Because I had been trying to play God, to arrange people and things to suit myself, and had – to put it bluntly – fucked up.

There’s nothing quite like the bloody obvious when it’s staring you in the face. Once again I could see that my problems were all of my own making. Everything that had happened was as a direct result of my own selfishness, dishonesty and fear. I was amazed at how insane I’d been; how unable to see the truth. But I could see it now.

It was time to phone a friend.

*The word "sin", incidentally, implies "a state in which a person has chosen to separate himself from God. Since breaking moral or religious rules is believed to be a sign of such separation, sin has come to refer more generally to the action rather than the spiritual state." - Dr Mel Thompson

Friday, 18 June 2010

Abe and Bunny

My grandfather, Abe, had worked most of his life for British American Tobacco, in such far flung places as Timbuktu, Singapore, and Morocco. He came from a hard-drinking colonial background and was quite comfortable having wallahs drive him around and clean up his messes. He loved to go out in the jungle after a few G and Ts to try and bag a tiger or two, a procession of brown skinned minions following along with his necessaries. In the late twenties he married a girl called Bunny, a socialite and flapper who looked like Louise Brooks and was as fond of gin and tonic and wild Indian adventure as he was. By the onset of the war between England and Germany in 1940 they had settled in Tanzania, where she gave birth to my father, and his twin brother, Alfonse.

Abe and Bunny weren’t really the parenting type, it has to be said: after all, it’s not easy to stalk big game when you’ve got a couple of squawking children in tow, and it doesn’t do a great deal for your social life, either. As soon as was feasibly possible (which was pretty much straight away) the brothers were packed off to England, where they received a traditional boarding school education and spent the holidays being brought up by Abe’s maiden sister, Eardley, in Sevenoaks.

Eardley lived in a timber house at 50a, Pilgrim’s Way, that had an extremely long rutted driveway and a wildly overgrown back garden stretching all the way down the hill and halfway to the next village. She was not at all like Abe or their elder sister Prudence in her outlook upon life. She refused to pick flowers; she’d say that they were far more beautiful in the places where God had put them, and in the summer, when her kitchen was full of flies, it would never even cross her mind to swat them. “Just because you find something irritating,” she would say to the boys, “doesn’t mean you have to kill it.” Margarine meant nothing to her. Although not conventionally beautiful, she had plenty of suitors. The twins loved her far more than their father, or their Aunt Prudence. When, eventually, my father had sons of his own, he would bring us over to Auntie Eardley’s, and we too would spend the endless weeks of summer in the long grass of 50a.


In 1975, my father decided to move his bulging family into a four storey Victorian house in Maidstone. The house, which stood on the corner of Milton Street, had room upon endless room, a series of attics, an underground kitchen, and an outside toilet. It was bigger than some small countries. It was more than large enough for the seven of us; large enough in fact, that it would be quite possible to peacefully cohabit without the necessity of ever seeing one another again, should that be our desire.

To help with the cost of running such a large house, my parents decided that they’d better get a couple of Saudi Arabians who could live in the attic. Nasser and Mohammed, they were called, and they were both studying to be doctors. My brother and I loved Mohammed, who always seemed to find time to play with us, but were wary of Nasser, who rarely came down from his attic. My mother’s attitude towards him probably didn’t help, either. “Mohammed,” she’d tell the neighbours, “well, he’s a perfect gentleman, and very clean,” before adding, in that sideways way of hers, “but as for Nasser, you couldn’t scrape his pants off with a palate knife, the filthy little urchin.”

It was around that time that Abe gassed himself. He and Bunny had settled down a few years previously, in a house by the harbour at Baltimore, County Cork. They’d dispensed with the hired help and they weren’t hunting so much big game anymore, but aside from this their lifestyle hadn’t changed much. It was still a whirlwind of gin, social engagements and photo shoots for Country Life and Hello! magazine. But after sixty years of smoking Senior Service, Bunny ended up with cancer of the throat, and following several strokes in quick succession, Abe was reduced to hobbling around on a Zimmer frame.

This was a dreadful blow to his pride. He, who had always been the number one man; he, who had caused the blood in the veins of the Hun to run cold; he, who had bagged a hundred tigers and sired as many illegitimate piccaninnies was, it seemed, down for the count. He grew quieter and more introspective, and began to let himself go. It was only small things at first, like neglecting to wax his moustache or farting in the company of ladies, but as his depression grew his behaviour became more erratic, and he’d do insane things such as leaving the house without his plus fours, or buying the Daily Mirror.

Finally it all became too much for him, and he decided to kill himself. In his suicide note he begged Bunny’s forgiveness for becoming such a burden, and suggested that she’d probably get along quite nicely without him, from now on. He waited until she was on a shopping trip to Skibbereen before he threw his seven.

He was found later that evening, stone dead, with his head in the oven and his plus fours halfway down the garden.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

It’s a Beautiful Day, and Your Swelling Has Gone

I've just been for coffee in Boscombe with Emilie and Claire. Bad enough, you might think, and on a good day you’d be right.

But this morning was an altogether different kettle of fish.

   “Come out with me, darling,” said Emilie, “it’s a beautiful day, and your swelling has gone.”

I knew she was lying.

Amazingly, Claire failed to notice it. This thing that has persecuted and oppressed me and driven me to the brink of madness and occasionally beyond over the last 48 hours. You might say: “hey, it’s just a swelling,” but your perception of reality would be so twisted as to be laughable.  It is so clearly not just a swelling. It’s an abortion; it is evil manifested; its sole purpose has been to undermine my life situation. It is a swelling with a purpose. It has its own Machiavellian agenda. It is My Swelling. It is the Monkey on my Chin.

Or perhaps Claire did notice the swelling - I mean, she’d have to be pretty fucking blind not to - and just chose not to say anything. Yes. That’d be her style, alright. She’s always played her cards pretty close to her chest, that one.

So here I am sitting in Boscombe with Emilie and Claire, both of whom copiously avoid making any reference to my growth, trying not to upset the table with it and make an exhibition of myself, avidly monitoring the people who pass by for signs of deformity and affliction with which to soothe my rampantly escalating self-obsession. There’s a guy with a huge boil sprouting from his forehead on one of the tables outside Cappuccino’s; the trouble is that he’s the kind of a bloke that a boil looks good on, the kind that suits a boil; in fact he looks like the kind of bloke who if he didn’t have a boil sprouting out of his forehead you’d think there was something terribly wrong.

There’s a morbidly obese woman in leggings, bawling and slapping her snot-ridden child.

There’s an ignorant looking white supremacist with no shirt on walking his retarded looking dog. Should white supremacists even have dogs? Should fat-headed white supremacists in leggings be allowed to breed? Dogs, I mean. Of course, I’m talking about dogs. Far be it for me to make judgements about anyone else’s unassailable and God-given right to have as many children as they conceivably can; or their inherent right to shame and abuse said children in the street.

Suddenly I can feel the people on the next table looking at me sideways. I’ve felt that look before. It’s the kind of look Muslims feel on the tube. It’s the look of suspicion; it’s the look of hatred and fear. It’s the look that accuses you of carrying a bomb.

Of harbouring a swelling.

Part of me knows I am not thinking right. This level of self-absorption can mean one thing and one thing only: 


It flashes redly in the mind like one of those signs on a train that tells the guard you’re hiding in the toilet:


It has nothing to do with my ludicrous carbuncle; with my Desperate Dan chin. It has nothing to do with the Islamophobes on the next table, with the hideously stuffed leggings of the fatty or the skinhead with veins in his teeth. It has everything to do with my own spiritual status, and my insidious backward slide into


My phone rings. It’s Al. Some guy has just phoned the helpline and needs taking to a meeting. Can I call him back?

I don’t even need to think about it. At some point this just became what I do. Because I honestly want to. Because I have recovered from a hopeless state of mind and body. Because I have been given not only freedom from alcohol but so, so much more. It’s only natural that I should want to share it. 

So I phone the guy and there’s crying and talking and laughing, and he knows that I’m like him. I tell him I’ll meet him in an hour or so and take him to a meeting.

We pay for our coffee and leave. The sun shines down on Boscombe - playground of the mad and the roaringly insane – and my cup overrunneth with fullness and grace. Suddenly I become aware: it’s a beautiful day, and my swelling has gone.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Horse's Penis

I probably had my first alcoholic drink at one of my eldest sister’s parties. After she got married she would often throw these parties, inviting her friends, the family, members of her drama group and whatever. They used to have games like “Spot the Intro”, “Guess the Vegetable” and “Give the Dog an Erection”. The dog was Lucky, a yellow Labrador who spent most of his life trying to hump my little brother. On his hind legs he was bigger than my brother too, and rabidly amorous. How we laughed as he buggered Jimmy up and down the garden on a summer’s day. I think that was probably just one more thing – aside from the various head injuries – that contributed to my brother’s recurring nightmares and psychotic nature.

There was always a lot of booze at my sister’s soirees, and my older siblings and their friends would ply me with alcohol: let’s face it, there’s nothing quite as entertaining as a pissed eight year old. I never had a drink without getting drunk. I just kept pouring it down me, whatever it was; vile tasting bitter or foul old scotch. I liked gin. Then I’d race off to the toilet to throw up, and after twenty minutes I’d be drinking again. At the end of the night I’d throw up again, and spin out.

So I looked forward to family gatherings with much enthusiasm. Weddings, funerals, court appearances, duels: you name it. I’d invariably do something embarrassing like moon at the carpet or urinate on someone’s mother, but hey: it’s my culture.

I soon started to drink with my friends. One day after school my friend Desmond Radley called for me, his pendulous breasts clinking madly.

            “Have you considered Weightwatchers, Des?” I asked him.

            “No,” he replied, “I’ve been going through my dad’s cupboards. And look what I found.” He prised open his jacket to reveal three bottles of wine. “There’s a lot more where this came from. The Old Boy, he’s got loads of it.”

So off out into the village we went, stopping only to retrieve my fags from behind a loose brick in the wall; down to the paddock by Wally’s stables, where we proceeded to get good and drunk. After a while Desmond fell to his knees in the grass and started to vomit, and when he’d finished he looked up with an expression of rapt wonder and exclaimed: “Hey, look at that horse’s penis!”

I had to agree, it certainly was a huge, comical penis. More comical still was the way the horny beast thrust it through the sharp forks of an old tree stump, whinnying with delight.

            “The horse is having a wank!” I declared. “It’s wanking itself with the tree stump!”

            “What a huge knob.”


            “That’s amazing.”


Well, we never saw that horse – or any other - horse masturbating again, but we repeated our drunken escapades on a nightly basis. Every afternoon, without fail, Des would turn up at my front door, his coat stuffed with various alcoholic beverages, and we would guzzle them by the stables. Other kids would come and join us, and sometimes my mum was good for £1.20 to get some ciggies from the machine in the social club, or a packet of Number 6 off of Mr. Rossi, the ice-cream man.

It wasn’t long before it all came on top. One afternoon Des failed to show up, and in the evening I got a phone call.

            “My dad,” he said, “has found out. He went in his cupboard and there were only about three bottles of wine left. He’s not happy.”

            “Oh dear.”

            “Yes, indeed. Far from happy actually. It turns out that this wasn’t just any old wine. He’s been collecting it.”

            “Oh dear.”

            “For years.”

            “I see.”

“For thirty years.”

“I see.”

“And it was worth a lot of money.”


“A lot...”


“...of money.”


“Some of those bottles were over fifty years old.”


“Anyway, he wants to see us. Tomorrow night. To work out how we’re going to pay him back.”

Well, in the end, Mr Radley let us off lightly. We had to wash his car for nothing every Saturday for a year, but that was ok. He was old and decrepit and would probably forget about it in a fortnight; maybe even die. I hoped so. 

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Neville the Schizophrene

I used to live in a cold water flat in Grimsby. I say cold water: actually it was more like ice. I'd been living there for three or four months with my girlfriend and neither of us had been completely naked in all that time. You needed a St Bernard just to go to the bathroom. 

Fuelled as I was by amphetamine, Special Red cider, grass from the garden and a totally deluded sense of my own importance I was able to survive: sometimes by the seat of my pants; usually by the seat of someone else's.

There were three house rules: Sit down, chill out, and don't be playing any heavy metal.

The place was a lot like Picadilly Circus at rush hour. I played guitar in a rhythm and blues band at the time, so that lot were in and out like a fiddler's elbow. I had a drunk friend called Bill, too. Bill was an ageing blues guitar player who I'd found behind a hedge somewhere. He moved in. There were a few transient and desperate groupies. And there was the nutter who lived upstairs.

I'd first got talking to Neville after I'd heard a drum kit being beaten to within an inch of its life upstairs in the middle of the night. Turned out that somebody on the mental health team had suggested to Neville that he might like to take up drumming for the therapeutic opportunity it afforded. Never one to do things by halves, he was soon in possession of a Keith Moon style double drum kit complete with goldfish and explosives.

Neville thought that his new hobby might be contributing to the strained relations he was now experiencing with his flat mate. I thought that this might well be the case, but that his paranoid schizophrenia probably didn't help matters much, either. For Neville, God bless him, was barking mad. He'd once been in the merchant navy, but had had to be air-lifted off the ship in an Anderson stretcher after deffing out and half killing several of the crew.

I'd often be awoken at some god awful time in the morning by the violent rapping of Neville's cane as he paced up and down my living room in his Cuban heels, his poncho flung dramatically across his shoulders, reliving his latest delusions.

  "I have just returned," he would tell me, "on my rug, from the universe, where I have been to maintain the order of all things."

One of the manifestations of Neville's craziness was that at times he truly believed that he was the Author and Sustainer of all creation. This was something that we had in common.

  "Neville," I would groan, "please could you not be so outlandish before I've had a drink?" 

One day I was contentedly chopping up speed in the kitchen with the intention of taking it all myself and selling a few bags of crushed up Canderel to the students who lived down the road, when Neville appeared from nowhere, and before you could say "Good lord, you cunt, would you stay away from the Berwick", had filled his face with powder, stripped himself naked, and ran fully engorged into the street to batter the traffic with a large branch that he'd found in the garden.

Within an hour he'd been arrested and confined to a psychiatric unit, and was released into my care after 28 days on the condition that I would be responsible for administering his medication. I had no problem with that; I even encouraged him by taking it myself. I lost several days and ran the risk of major brain damage but hey, what are friends for? And I've never been able to resist an interesting looking pill.

After that, there were four house rules: Sit down, chill out, don't be playing any heavy metal and under no circumstances whatsoever let Neville go anywhere near the amphetamines.

Like alcoholism, Neville's illness was progressive, and I can hazard a guess at what happened to him. But whenever I think of him - like now - I like to imagine him standing proud, cane in hand, as he travels on his rug around the universe, maintaining the order of all things.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Fat Frank

Fat Frank, he was a fatty, Frank

built just like a Sherman tank

his eating habits caused a riot

Frank, you must go on a diet.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him, or: tell me what to do and I’ll do it.

There is awesome power and creation in making a decision and then following it up with action, and the more daring the decision, the more fantastic the results. This is how revolutions happen; this is how we change the world.

Jesus Christ, at the age of thirty, made a decision to quit carpentry and become an itinerant preacher. So that’s what he did. And look what happened.


I have a friend, Jamie. I first met him about fifteen years ago in a squat in Gloucester Street in Brighton. I’d heard about him long before that. The hippies hated him. They blamed him for everything. I mean, this boy really seemed to get their backs up. I knew I was going to like him, even then. One day, while all the bearded Nazis were sitting around listening to the Incredible String Band, smoking nutmeg and trying to have a spiritual experience, a brick came rocketing through the window of the front room, by the hand of a disgruntled homosexual who lived up the street. Amazingly, Jamie got the blame for it. And he wasn’t even there. The reasoning seemed to be this: If Jamie was more like the hippies and not so much like Jamie, the said homosexual would not have been angry and would not have thrown the brick. I mean, who could ever have anything against a bunch of right-on flower children, you dig? So when Jamie arrived back home to the squat, he was asked to leave again, forever.

Jamie, at that time, was a street junkie, and I would usually see him begging on street corners, or getting in to some aggravation with somebody somewhere. To be honest, much as I liked him, I thought he was a no-hoper, even then.

Well, he went his way and I went mine, and we met up again about ten years later, in a street in Winchester. Jamie had just got out of a treatment centre, where he’d been for the best part of a year. It was one of those “concept houses”, where they make you dress up in a nappy and get all your peers to beat you with a big stick and put signs on your back saying “I am a worthless bastard”. He’d gone there to address his long-term heroin addiction (which he had), but they’d overlooked the root cause of his problem, which is that he’s a raging alcoholic.

As luck would have it, I was in the grip of extreme alcoholism myself, so we were perfect best friends for each other from that moment on.

We spent the next couple of years in his house drinking ourselves into a state of near death. Sometimes I used to look at him and think: thank God I’m not as so far gone as you, mate. Towards the end Jamie couldn’t get himself out of bed. We’d even have to carry him to the toilet. He slept with his bottle clutched tightly to him. Finally somebody came along and carted him off to a treatment centre in Portsmouth, and that was that. I didn’t see him for months, and in that time I was given a council flat and proceeded to drink myself into a state of terminal hopelessness.

It was paranoid and suicidal drinking. It was closed curtains and darkness. It was blunt knives and blood in the bathroom. It was futile drug overdoses and the overpowering stench of fear. It was fucking grim.

Then one day Jamie turned up, at my front door. He was sober. It was years since I could remember him coming to my house in that condition. Not really. In all the years I’d known him, I’d never seen him sober. In fact I’d rarely seen him standing up. I was amazed.

This is what he said to me:

            “Have you had enough of all this shit yet? Because if you have you can come with me and get sober and never have to drink again.”

I looked at the council flat that I’d got after six years of homelessness and sofa-surfing; I looked at the black hole that I’d fallen into and couldn’t escape; I looked at the desecrated ruins of my life, and I looked at him. If it had been anyone else things might have turned out differently, but it was Jamie that I was looking at, and I knew just how hopeless he’d been. Something unbelievable had happened to him. I’d had enough of the way I was living a long time before. But I’d never really known what my problem was, or that there was anything I could do about it. It was a no-brainer. Right there and then I made a decision to go with him and do whatever it was that he’d done. I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of my friend and the unknown. He got me a detox, and we left two days later. It was as a direct result of that decision and the subsequent action I took that my obsession to drink was removed.

I never went back.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Joy is jumping off a cliff and building your parachute on the way down

40 years old, and I still can’t bear the monotony of working.

For seven months I’ve been working as a cleaner in Pizza Hut: mopping, scrubbing, rubbing shoulders with acne-ridden cretins and rehearsing my grievances.

I thought at first that it might do something for my humility.

It didn’t.

It did do something for my awareness though, I have to admit. It was just me, God, the hoover and the incessantly chattering nonsense of my thinking.

I got quite used to stepping off the thought train at will, and observing it clatter ludicrously past from the platform.

There were even a couple of days when my thinking ceased completely, and those were days of joy.

joy is the absence of thought

I sat amongst the people on the bus joyfully; I took out the rubbish joyfully; I scrubbed toilets joyfully; I watched the traffic joyfully (although I didn’t label it as traffic because there was no thought and I was in joy, and everything was  God experiencing Himself on the white screen of my awareness).

Moments like that are just experiences though, and it is the nature of experiences to pass.

The problem with the human experience is that we’re consumed with terminal wanting, and forever chasing something that can only ever be temporary.

nirvana is temporary

enlightenment is an illusion

More recently I have noticed resentment and dissatisfaction creeping back in.



No longer am I thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to work, when by rights I should be dead: no.

I am thinking about how this is a job for a retard, which I am so clearly not.

Anyway, so I quit my job. It’s only the last in a line of decisions which to an outsider might seem ill-advised. But the fact is this: I am feeling rebellious. Is it God’s will that I suffer a situation intolerable to me, and just take endless inventory around it looking for “my part” in my discontentedness, for fear that an impulsive act might eventually lead to my downfall, or is it God’s will that I say a loud “fuck it”, throw down my broom (so to speak) and rely upon Him to help me weather the consequences, whatever they may be? And anyway, sometimes I want what I want.

I mean, am I still living in fear here, or what?

Or do I believe that whatever my actions, everything will be as it should be?

So just for today I will be practicing Step 3 like this:

joy is jumping off a cliff and building your parachute on the way down