The Verdict


Scales of justice

Word finally came down from Her Honour yesterday.   It has been over two years of legal jumping jacks and deciding what tie to wear with my suit.  It’s been over two years of having the Sword of Damocles hanging over me.  It’s been over two years of delays, listening to sad case after sad case while I sit in turn in court for my case, and a whole ton of just waiting.

Guilty.  On both counts.

I played this scenario in my head countless times, so this was no surprise.  This was a Hail Mary pass attempt, even though the odds were apparently 60 / 40 or something like that.  An uphill battle, jumping through hoops, dipsy doodling through the law books, drawing from the cauldron of case studies.  All for nought.

See, I expected to pay the lawyer, pay my fine, give up my driver’s license and walk out of there, medicine taken and swallowed.  But then the word “jail” started to get bandied about.  Jail.  For serious?  My already fragile state was dealt a crushing blow.  It felt like I got cut down at the knees.  Jail?  Me?  Yes, you, dummy.  The Crown is seeking jail time because of certain circumstances.  I was told by counsel that just because the Crown asks for it, doesn’t mean that I will get it.  My lawyer is looking to get it discharged on the merits that this is a first offence for me, and because of my treatment history and standing in the recovery community.   In other provinces, this would be an almost automatic thing.  In this province, it’s not done.  Lucky me. In the meantime, I have to report to a PO for an interview of some kind for a pre-sentencing report.  I get sentenced on December 12th.

getoutofjail

I might need this.

I will admit that this has been crushing, this unexpected turn of events.  Do you know what they do to guys like me in jail?  I don’t, but I don’t want to find out.  I can’t tell you how many scenarios have bum rushed my brain, flooding it with horrific and negative thoughts.  Depressing thoughts.  Would I lose my job?  How would my family survive?  Would we become destitute?  Would I be that jailbird?  How would I explain this to the boys? Would I drink again?  You know, as I left the courtroom and on my way back down to the food court, in my mind was a muzzle flash – this sucks, get a bottle.  Before I could even respond to that one, I had a greater flash – get a doughnut.  That was better.  A doughnut I can handle.  Not the booze.  But I got a coffee instead and continued to mull things over, envisioning the tasks and jobs of being the new jail bitch.  Kamikaze also entered my mind, but I don’t fly – curse that afraid of heights thing.

So guilty is the verdict, and that’s also how I am feeling.  Guilt of having my wife bearing the brunt of certain things now, guilt of squandering thousands and thousands of dollars we don’t have into trying to settle this, guilt of putting my family through this.  And I know guilt is a wasted feeling.  I know that in my head.  Sometimes it’s hard to process that in the heart. Like now.  While I’m at it, part of me wants to throw self-pity into the pot and really make it a real consuming, chunky stew. Real gristle to chew on and gnaw on as I go through the day.  I feel heavier today.  I don’t like this feeling – it’s new and yet old for me.  This is how I used to feel all the time.  Like a McDonald’s drive through window, I was available for misery 24 hours a day.  Just pay the piper and down that grime and grease.  Repeat until sick and sicker.

My pound of flesh cometh.

My pound of flesh cometh.

I haven’t sat down with this and really processed it, to be honest.  I haven’t written anything, haven’t done inventory on it, haven’t fully talked to anyone about this other than my immediate family.  I have questioned the Creator why this is all coming down like this, and haven’t heard back.  The mind has been too maxed out to pay heed at the moment.  A hornet’s nest of activity and neuron exchanges that won’t allow Him in.  Like the bad ol’ days.  That will change, I know.  I will sit with this soon and start to unravel the emotional and spiritual sailor’s knots that sit within me.  I hope to reach out to others, gain from their wisdom and experience, and more importantly, draw strength from the Creator.  This all sounds lovely and spiritual and all, and I hope that I can come back here and read this when I am less than spiritual. Like today.

You see, spirituality, the state of it, doesn’t prevent life from happening, but it helps me to respond to it in a different way.  It buffers me from myself and my instinctual and somewhat hard-wired nature.  Anger, shame, ego, blame.   Life may suck, and it does at times, but my job is to not let it disturb me.  To not get attached to suffering.  Realize that suffering is of my own making – it’s all upstairs.  It’s an inside job.  If I am locked up, I still want to feel free inside.  My aim has been, and will remain, to be untethered to the slings and arrows of what surrounds me and comes at me.  Like mist through a mountain, I need other people’s words and actions to pass through and move on.  Same thing with my thoughts – have a drink, have a doughnut.  Just thoughts, and not reality.  Move on, lad, nothing to see here.

Don't be a big baby, Pauly.

Don’t be a big baby, Pauly.

So now what?  I have a meeting with my lawyer next week.  I have some work to do.  Rally the troops.  Get some letters of support.  Think about what I am going to say in court before they sentence me.  Build a battle plan with the counsel.  Ten weeks is a long time to fret and drown in ill emotions.  One day is too long, frankly, and I have burned up the past 24 hours already exhausting the roads of doom and gloom in my mind.  Although I jump and wallow in the “what if”s of the situation, I know deep down it’s pointless.  I know the right thing to do is to shift perspective, work with others and get out of self.  I know I will get there.  I had a sponsee bail on me the other day, but I found and spoke to a newcomer for a while, and we plan to meet soon.  I have a meeting with the treatment center next week for my new editing gig.  I still have two boys who need taking care of and rough housing.  I have people to talk to about recovery.  I have a wife who still needs a husband and parents who need a son and nieces who need an uncle.  In the Here…not over there in imagined pain.

I don’t know what is coming around the corner.  I am not privy to that plan of His, but I do know something – that I am surrounded by those who believe in me.  It’s still hard, after these few years on this spiritual sober path, to believe that people like and love me, but I’ll take it.  It’s getting easier to digest that idea as I move through this new world order of mine, and I am also seeing it.  I know that the Creator has put people and things in my path for a reason, if I don’t like it or understand.  Even if I land in jail, I know it’s for a reason.  Obviously I broke the law and taking responsibility is there.  I understand that, and have not once blamed anyone or anything for my predicament.  Alcoholism was the driving force behind many of my poor actions, but I take responsibility for them nonetheless.  But I still know that I have people with me along this particular time.

Yesterday, I was waiting for the bus to take me to the subway station so I can get to court.   It was raining, so I couldn’t ride my bike.  The bus was taking a while, and I was texting some people telling them about what was going on.  I texted my sponsor and a few people I know in the program.  I was about to text my wife, when she suddenly appeared at the bus stop. She was on her way to yoga and happened to see me there.  So she drove me to the subway.  As soon as I stepped into the subway station doors, I saw a man riding up the escalator towards me.  It was my sponsor.  He was on his way to a local mall to pick up a phone his girlfriend lost there – he lives on the other side of town and rarely hits my ‘hood.  I hadn’t seen him in a few weeks, so we spoke.  These two  “is it odd or is it God” moments really did illuminate to me that I am not alone.  I have people carrying me through, that there is someone with me at some point in my journey, and they are still here with me now – no judgement, all love.  I wish I could be so lucky to give that back to others.  The Creator showed me this in these simple “coincidences” and I cannot deny that there is a guiding force in my life.

And for that, I am grateful.

The verdict is in, indeed.  Guilty, yes.  Bound, no.

Freedom

74 responses to “The Verdict

  1. Hi Paul, As I read through this I could feel the panic. And who wouldn’t with a threat of jail? But then I read your comment ‘Even if I land in jail, it’s for a reason. That’s a faith-filled statement that can conquer panic for sure. It’s also a statement that says I have learned to trust God and He will turn this into something good.
    And He will.
    I know that it is all very well in theory to hand over the fear and the concerns not only for yourself but for those who may be affected, but you can do it. You have faced so many other challenges and emerged wiser and stronger. This will be no different.
    It goes without saying that you and yours will be in my prayers for a resolution on the 12th Dec that leaves you free in both body and spirit.
    Take care,
    Carolyn

    • Thanks Carolyn. I love what you say here, about being free in body and spirit. And if I can just soak in all of this outpouring of support and love, and add that to what I know what the Creator has for me, I will be fine. It’s about marrying the overall knowing of this and the sordid details that life tosses at you, if you know what I mean.

      Blessings, and thank you for the uplifting words.

      Paul

  2. Awe, Paul. I’m so sorry. My heart hurts for you. You have good recovery, good perspective, people that love you and your higher power – all of which will get you through this. Stay strong, work your program. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers. Hugs!

    • Thanks Chenoa…it’s wonderful to have your support. This all does matter to me, and I appreciate your words. I will continue to work the program yes…this is important that I do and not recede into self-pity.

      Hugs back,
      Paul

  3. Oh Paul….

    I am so sorry.
    I wonder if a long. printed out message of support from all of us who read you on-line an who are helped, uplifted, find solace in some of your writing and ESH would help with the sentencing?
    Just know a lot of people got your back in prayer, good thoughts and juju.
    I’m one of them.

    • I second this! Paul, if you want us to write letters or offer support in some other, more tangible (eg. ‘paper-like’) way, all you have to do is ask.

    • Thank you, mished. I almost guy cried when I read this suggestion of yours. Ok, maybe a little. But you know what, I may just take you up on that. I think I have to try and rally the troops a bit, and any support like this would help. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Let me speak to my lawyer this week and ask what kind of letter would be appropriate.

      Hugs,
      Paul

  4. It is God working in his uncanny way.
    Right before I hit the blogs this morning I had a phone conversation with my nephew. He inherited the same unfortunate gene that his father and I did, the alcoholic gene, and he is playing the ping-pong game with sobriety that we all did, taking those chances and hoping that giant ping-pong paddle of fate doesn’t smack him upside the head. He’s back in AA and committed. I hung up and then read your blog and had to send him the link, Here is what I said to him,
    “Hey guy, right after I finished talking to you I went to read some blogs and hit on this one that my friend Paul writes. I didn’t even know he was going through this but in light of our discussion about impending DUI’s, I thought you might like to read it. Here’s the link. I think everyone that drinks should read it, it’s not one of those horror stories about smashed cars and dead bodies, just about the hell the legal system puts you through and having your life held by the balls for years because of your own stupidity and addictions.”

    Love you, man. And I’ll be praying with a new fervor.

    • My nephew called me right back after he read your blog, it is his nightmare written out in words. As he said he can hear God saying, “Don’t make me do this.”

      I’ll write a letter if you need me to.

      • I love this, KM. I shuddered when I read all this, and wondered again…is this odd or is this God? I hope that if anything, this story will help your nephew, or anyone out there who thinks things can’t get into the shitter with their drinking. It does. And it can get much worse. I could have killed someone, including my darling son. So it does get worse.

        I am so happy that you sent this to your nephew, and that he heard the Creator speak to him. Ah man…this is powerful stuff. Thank you so very much for sharing this. This is why we do this, and this is how we support one another.

        Love,
        Paul

  5. >>You said@…”The Creator showed me this in these simple “coincidences” and I cannot deny that there is a guiding force in my life….<<

    **Those words right there are the MAIN words I am so praying! that you focus ON during this time of your life journey…And yep, I am praying and praying for you(as I have from first words of yours I read months ago….) This part of your journey is known to many who may or not not speak UP right about now..I don't believe things happen by accident..Just like when standing at the bus stop? Your wife suddenly appeared & so did your sponsor..It IS during times of turmoil(or what we perceive as such..) that one's faith & spiritual being are call upon..In my opinion? It is such times when one finds out just how much they do or don't stand on faith. (its so easy to do so during good times, isn't it? ) When faced with the punishment of one's own doing; one can be hard on oneself..Been there; done that & thanks be to GOD I learned and moved past it..In my hearts of hearts I feel you will also..Try NOT to think of anything negative at this time..It will only drive you batty! Just work on moving forward with positive thoughts..Surround yourself with positive people..Stay ON the straight and narrow path..Falling off the wagon would only be harder to work out of..As you journey further & further from the bottle; the easier it will get. Pat yourself on the back for NOT falling into the bottle in such times of turmoil..And just know? Many of us out here reading your "his-story"? Are praying and praying for you and keeping you UPlifted in positive thought & prayer. Trust me; that is worth its weight in gold. YOU are going to make it through this & it will pass. And you'll be all the more stronger for having survived it. There IS a lesson you're learning (or not learning) at this time of your life journey. Or so I believe…May God bless you & your family..And I do so thank you for sharing. I love reading living testimony(and that is what I think this is) Sincerely, Berna

    • Thank you Berna – so much love and inspiration in your thoughts there. What you say about faith being simple when things are going well and easy is correct – it’s now that I see this is a time for really staying in that faith. Frankly I don’t see any other way. Not because it’s my last chance, but because I have been starting to think that way for some time now, and I have the “practice” of it, so to speak. I have tried doing things my way my entire life (and this is one of the consequences of doing so), so I just know it’s better when I put my faith in the Creator. There is no reason why not…but it’s still difficult. No doubt about it. But I *am* keeping positive thoughts, and today I felt it nowhere near as bad as it was a day or two ago. I would be lying if I said I don’t have pockets of time I think of this, but they are getting smaller.

      Thank you for your wise words.

      Love and light,
      Paul

      • Paul..I think I said before I really, really dig your honesty..I’m honest to a fault also..Takes me much, much effort when I either omit or lie..So of course I totally understand & can relate to your comment @I’d be lying if I said I don’t have pockets of time…Just confirms you’re human! And even as positive as I profess, confess to be & AM; there are brief moments of doubt or worry or fear over things in my life as well..The good news? Those moments are very brief..where as before? Before I began to put my faith in God & my life in HIS hands? I’d worry for days & days and/or end up in such a funk I could hardly shake it off without doing something I loved like shopping..lol! Real talk for real..

        Part of my living testimony, which I’m so happy to be able to share, is I’ve been in some deep valleys Paul..which is why I can speak to you so freely from my heart..I can’t admit to doing any jail time or prison time(other than I’ve worked in the California Prison System for a while..) but I can readily say I’ve been in a couple places I never thought I’d be nor did anyone who knows or loves me think I’d be..BUT it was the very BEST thing for me to get to where I am now. Matter of fact the first spiritual awakening I had? Happened in the most unlikeliest of places..And I’m of the opinion that is how God works..I’ve had my MAJOR spiritual awakenings outside of the church walls..I say all of this Paul to say you’re going to move through this..Plus you’re blessed! You’ve got a loving wife/family and you’re cognizant that you’re “going through” something; as you’re going through it..I didn’t realize it until after I’d made it through..One day those words will make sense to you. Anyways keep telling yourself what I’m going “through” is making me stronger & better..It really is Paul. Mad regard/respect and sisterly love, 4ever sincere, Bernadette

  6. Bloody hell, I am pretty shocked at the verdict and somewhat gobsmacked…fortunately your other followers have more words than me right now.

    I read this on the very wonderful Soberistas site. I hope it has some resonance for you at some point over the coming weeks: http://soberistas.com/page/an-unexpected-spiritual-sanctuary-by-matt-sockolov

    My father – not a recovered alcoholic yet I’m afraid – was in jail for a year when my three sisters and I were all under six. A high profile case that was all over the papers and I know (now) it wasn’t easy for my mum. But people helped her through it and forgave my dad because most people are amazing and really do understand that everyone of us can f**k up.

    I love Mishedup’s idea. If there is anything we can do, ask us.

    • Replying to myself on someone else’s blog – the first sign of megalomania and second sign of madness. I just want to clarify that I hope Matt Sockolov’s post resonates because of what you’re going through now and NOT because I am hoping you’ll serve time too.

    • Thanks…I am going to read that post / article you attached (I am not signed to Soberistas, but I am sure I can find it otherwise). I am sorry to hear about your dad and what your family went through. I hope that I don’t have to put my family through something as trying. Your mother’s forgiveness is touching, and I know that my family does support me, even if the act is something they don’t particularly care for (understatement).

      Thanks for the offer of help…I may just take you up on it.

      Blessings,
      Paul

  7. I am sending you positive thoughts and prayers, Paul. Being entangled in the legal system- with a threat of jail- is scary. I have been there before. Once you are done with this situation you won’t have to worry anymore about this happening again because you are totally in control of your actions. I wish you the best and hope that you find more answers as to how this situation is really meant to help you. Big hugs! ~Jen

    • I will take those positive thought Jen. I take your word on what you say about not having to worry about this kind of stuff again. This is the BIG thing that needs resolving regarding my past life and way of living. Once I get past this, I know the freedom will be wonderful. So this is the tight part. I will get through this, and having friends like you here makes it easier. Thank you again.

      Hugs back,
      Paul

  8. Oh Paul…I am so sorry to hear this. You are and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. God and all of us are here for you…you are never alone…no matter where you are. Stay strong and be good to yourself. Hugs

  9. Paul, I am so sorry to hear this. I would like you to know that you have provided me comments that are of great strength and depth. I cannot offer you anything that will change your position, but I can let you know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I love the way your post ended. The wonderful moments we experience in life that seem to be divine intervention are a blessing. It is truly wonderful to know that in life there are people around us that will help carry us through the difficult times. I wish you the best possible outcome, and I thank you for the inspiration and strength you share with others! You are an awesome dude!!!

    • Thanks for the positive and warm comments. Today I am in a much better place, thanks to you and everyone here. Yes, there are some fantastic people in my life, and you are all a part of the puzzle and of my recovery. Thank *you* for your inspiration that you share with me here.

      Hugs,
      Paul

  10. shitty shitty shit shit. the idea of trying to focus on the present – if at all possible – is the only thing i can think to say. and it’s not even moderately helpful. this sucks rocks. really. especially when you’ve come so far to get to here, to get to today. but you know that all the work you HAVE done to get you here to today has been worthwhile. and you couldn’t deal with this shit if you were drinking, that’s for certain. so sober you are. and shit this is. sorry. hugs.

    • Thanks Belle! It does suck, but now it’s just about moving forward and working on how to get into the solution and not worry about the problem any more. No choice, yeah? Sobriety does indeed rock, and this won’t disturb it, no matter what. Thank you for being here and being in my recovery 🙂

      Love and light,
      Paul

  11. I like this line, because it’s perfect:
    “Life may suck, and it does at times, but my job is to not let it disturb me.”

    I would venture to say that even this might be a LOT less painful to sort through–sit through, if it comes to prison–than some of your drunken nights, right? I’m sorry, though… One day at a time, one second…

    • Thanks DDG – I think you are right – this is something that I can handle a lot better than any of those horrid days and nights before. THAT was prison for me, so I have done my time, thank you very much – as we all have 🙂

      Thanks for the comments – helps me a lot.

      Blessings,
      Paul

      • That’s exactly how it felt to me, sometimes. Per that, if it comes to it, your mind will adapt…as it always does. Looking on the bright side, you are very, very strong, and I KNOW this is going to work out, one way or another. And, all you can do now is what you’re doing–living and building.

  12. You are in my prayers and the prayers of many. I have dealt with many in your situation and I won’t lie it is never easy. The one thing that I do know is that it ain’t as bad as you may imagine, and you know this. Keep you head up and remember the only thing to really fear is the the displeasure of God, He will be with you, comfort you and protect you, even from your self. I see you doing the right thing and keeping your priorities straight. Again my prayers are with you+++

    • Thank you for this. Reality checks are good for me. I spoke to my sponsor last night (who has done time) and he said similar things to what you did. I was able last night to fully concede that God will be there and will take care of the whole enchilada, regardless of the outcome. That is all I can be sure of, and that works for this dude 🙂

      Thank you for your comments and prayers…both very much appreciated.

      Blessings,
      Paul

  13. So sorry to read this, Paul. All I can think about is how there are always consequences to our actions–some seen, some unseen; some desired, some not; some understood, some not; some deserved, some not. We can’t always change the circumstances, but we can change our attitude about the circumstances.

    I know there’s a lot at play and you probably have a zillion feelings right now. I won’t tell you everything will be fine, but I’m pretty confident that *you* will be okay. Even if you have to go to jail–it won’t be the end of the world. You can carry the message to others in need there. You can do your god’s work. The signs you received today were beautiful. You’re *not* alone.

    Be still. Remember to breathe.
    May it be well in your soul.

    • Christy! Yes – these are the consequences that we always talk about. Some seen, some unseen, etc…love those lines. And absolutely we can change our attitudes, and that is what I have done and plan to keep on doing. Carrying the message (hey, I like that term) is what we do, and yeah, wherever I go that is what I plan to do.

      Breathing, being, sitting, letting go.

      Lather, rinse, repeat 🙂

      Thanks for your wise words, Christy.

      hugs,
      Paul

  14. So sorry to read this Paul. You are still doing all you can to put things right, that won’t change. just keep doing what you are doing, we only have today and we have prayers…you are in mine. Hugs Carrie

  15. Paul, I’m very sorry to read of this news – the only thing that I can think to say is to stay in the present – you are right, 10 weeks is a hellishly long time to have to dwell upon. I do believe that God’s will shall be done as He sees fit. I will hold you in my prayers. Take care.

    • Hi Jessie – you are right that God’s will shall be done, and I have no need to worry about it. Regardless of the outcome, it’s His will, not mine. My will got me into a lot of trouble (see post..lol) so I give it up and let go. Thank you for the wonderful comments…I really appreciate them 🙂

      Paul

  16. Dear Paul! I am sorry to hear. That’s a lot to deal with! You have been such a rock in the sobriety journey of so many of us! Being sober is the best you could have done and I am sure that will help your case. I wasn’t so fortunate…. But I know you can get thru this and you will! And it sure looks like HP is looking out for you for sure and we are all rooting for you too. We all love you and wishing you all the best. Keep the faith! {{hugs}}

    • Aw, thank you Maggie. Your comments brighten my day! I know that the support I have from you and the others is very important to me, and I am in a place in my life and sobriety where I can actually appreciate it and feel it. One of the many wonders of being sober and living life in a new way. Thank you for your wonderful words…they mean a lot to me 🙂

      Hugs,

      Paul

  17. You are amazing. I love sober you, so calm in a crisis even when it’s your own. This is the big stuff, for sure , love with you from me xxx

    • Thanks Mrs. D. I wasn’t feeling so calm on the inside the last two days, but it’s starting to happen now 🙂 Thank you, the *amazing* Mrs. D. You are an inspiration to us all. Don’t you have a student loan to pay off now 😉

      Love and light and hugs,
      Paul

  18. Paul,

    I am so, so sorry to hear this news.

    You haven’t gone in to specifics of the offence here, and I will totally respect your choice to disclose as much or as little as you want, but you did tell me about it over coffee, and so I can speak from a place of a bit more knowledge.

    When you told me about what happened, I could see your pain and guilt – but I also saw your willingness to accept whatever consequences will come around as a result of your actions. I liked you before we met and talked, but it was at that moment of full accountability that I came to deeply admire you too. You are a man who knows he did wrong, and you know that sometimes in life when we do wrong, the bill comes due.

    Your bill may come with a monstrously high cost attached – financial, personal, professional. And that sucks for you, your family, your friends, your work. But I knew when I met you and I know it again after reading this post that you see that if this is the price you must pay, you will. That is admirable in a way that I hope you can see.

    Every fiber of my being is praying that you not get jail-time. But if you do, it will be for a reason, as you said. And if you do not, that is for a reason too.

    For now, you need to stay on top of your sobriety and supporting others. Turn to your family and friends and AA community more than ever. And when it comes time to face the music, know that we are all with you, too, in spirit.

    • Thank you so much, Michelle. Not sure how much I can say how much this means to me what say here. So much gratitude for you and you being a part of my recovery and friendship life. We as a family, and I as an individual, have decided that the guilt thing is not a good thing for me, and I know that intuitively. Been there way too long and it serves me no purpose. Sure, I had a good two days there where I thought the worst, did a whack of “what if”s, skinny dipped into the pool of self-pity a bit and went in circles. But throughout that little muck and mire match, I knew deep down, and still feel it now, that things will be fine. Things will work out the way they need to. And you’re right – the bill comes with a high price. And I have paid quite a bit already. We all do when we’re in this recovery game – at some point we have paid. Some keep paying. But out of this desperation comes the willingness to change, and we’ve all been there. You’ve shared your story, and it’s happened there, very clearly. Circumstances aren’t always wonderful in our lives, but it’s how we respond…and also knowing who is in our corner. And I am blessed to have you in my corner, and please know I am in yours.

      Thanks again, Michelle.

      Hugs,
      Paul

  19. Ach Pauly, what a serious drag. I feel for you. The guilt/fear cocktail is a potent brew alright. But you’ve probably suffered more already than you will serving out any time. So not to worry. You will be fine. The “chance” encounters with your wife and sponsor were to show you everything is orchestrated. You’re always watched over. Even in jail. I’ve had some AMAZING experiences while locked-up, showing me exactly this.
    Oh, and don’t worry about what the P.O. decides. All of mine recommended the judge throw the book at me, and I got much more lenient terms from the man himself.
    Let me know if you do have to do some days inside, I’ll e-mail you some practical tips to make your stay as safe and comfortable as possible. Help you cruise through this bad boy rite of passage.
    For now, don’t let your imagination get the best of you. Remember, you’re in Canada. I seriously doubt you’ll have to go gladiator, It’s not like you’re looking at time in L.A. County. Or Rikers.
    I just don’t know enough about sentencing in Canada, but here in the U.S. we have things like work furlough and ankle bracelet home arrest. And we are barbaric compared to you guys. Just turn it all over. And be prepared to carry the message where ever you may wind up. Because the message will carry you, too.
    That’s the deal you made with The Big Guy, and unlike the District Attorney, He never reneges.
    Okay, Bugsy, time to rack up and get some shut-eye. So stop sharpening your toothbrush shank. The scraping keeps me up.
    Love you, Pauly pal.
    Marius

    • I was speaking to the sponsor late into the morning last night and mentioned the word you used here – orchestrated. Love it, Meister G. I do believe in that stuff, clearly, and the more I open myself up to it, the more I see it. My sponsor also has done some time as a guest of the province, and he alleviated any concerns I may have had, as you have. I thank you for that, kind sir.

      I plan to get a barn burning plan to rally as many troops as possible on this. Stare Fritz square in the monocle and say “nein”. Bash the half-orcs with tree trunk clubs. Eat some spinach Popeye style. Save my Olive Oyl.

      Thanks for the offer of the tips and tricks of the trade. I would have needed it, as you see, it wasn’t my toothbrush, I was trying to sharpen my tooth*paste*. No wonder it wasn’t working…couldn’t get “stabby” with anyone, except in a gleaming, minty-fresh kind of way. Kill ’em with kindness and the odd smooch.

      Love and hugs, chico.

      Paul

  20. Dearest Paul,
    You inspire me – every day. As stated over and over, if there is a letter of support we can send..just give us the address. My letter would be simple. Dear judge, please click on this link to learn more about Paul. You will quickly learn how he changes lives. Sincerely,…..

    • Thank you…so very kind of you, and heck, I may take you up on it. So be ready… 🙂

      We are in this together, and I thank you so much for your support – you’re a wonderful soul and I am so glad that you’re here. And there 🙂

      Blessings,
      Paul

  21. Hey, brother. i’m so sorry to hear that your sobriety is being put to the test this way. It sounds like you’re approaching it just right, but i understand it’s not a place you want to be, or we your readers would like you to be. i don’t have any magic words, but i would just like to add something i have to keep reminding myself: ‘Why’ is not a spiritual question.

    But sounds like you already got that figured out, so i’ll leave you with strong thoughts and the assurances that you will get through this, and that we’ll all help you do that any way we can.

    • Thanks Al – you’re a great friend and comrade-in-arms. There are no real magic words, but your words here have done a hocus pocus on my perspective and I thank you for that. I don’t fear my sobriety, but I did fear that I would lose that sense of being centered…and I did for a short span, but not as much as I thought it would be. It’s all my HP’s doing here.

      Thanks again,

      Paul

    • Yes! Hang onto the love. Groovy expression…a nifty mantra for the day, nay every day, isn’t it? thank you for that – love it. And thanks for the support 🙂

      Blesings,
      Paul

  22. Have you heard of tiny Melinda Mae,
    Who ate a monstrous whale?
    She thought she could,
    She said she would,
    So she started in right at the tail.
    And everyone said,”You’re much too small,”
    But that didn’t bother Melinda at all,
    She took little bites and she chewed very slow,Just like a good girl should…
    …and in eighty-nine years she ate that whale
    Because she said she would!

    Shel Silverstein

    One bite at a time. 🙂

    amy

    • I LOVE this, Amy. I can’t even say muchmore…so wonderful and simple and yet profound. Oh the joys we encounter in the words and thoughts of others and the release of happiness. Thank you. thank you for this.

      Blessings,
      Paul

  23. Paul,

    Sometimes being late to the reading game is a good thing; this time, not so much. Sorry seems inadequate, but it’s all I’ve got right now. I want to head up to Canada and protest the injustice of it all, but I guess that thought isn’t helping much either.

    I am going to email you offline in more detail, but, when in a vaguely similar situation, I was given the following advice: there’s a reason. You may not know the reason now, you may never know the reason, but you need to trust there is one. I did, and that particular situation did work itself out. I have a much more minor one in the works right now, and I keep reminding myself of the aforementioned advice. Because I’m in the middle of it, I am reminding myself through gritted teeth, but still it’s progress.

    I see quite a few magical things happening in your life, and I am sure that He is going to bring you peace. The vehicle of delivery and the time frame are in question, but the end result is certain.

    In the meantime, you are being named in my morning prayers.

    Josie

    • Oh Lordy…speaking of being late…I just saw that I accidentally skipped Josie here! Ugh. My apologies.

      Thank you for your supportive and positive comments. I know there is a reason as well, and part of me realllly wants to know it, but you’re right – it’s there for a purpose, even if I never get it or understand it. I can only operate out of faith right now, and it’s served me well up until now, so why bother changing things up?

      I hope that what is going on with you works out too.

      Thank you so much Josie for this…means a lot 🙂

      Love and light,
      Paul

  24. Well shit Paul.

    There isn’t anything I can say to this that hasn’t been said except to tell you that I’ll be praying and that I know, in the deepest part of my being that December 12th will be yet another birthday for you. A good one because you are NOT going to jail my friend.

    Sherry

  25. Well, shoot, I am really sorry to hear you’re going through all of this. Yours is the second story of a similar nature I’ve heard in as many days about suffering for pre-recovery sins and it breaks my heart. I will be thinking of you and hope you find peace of mind and hope in between now and that date in December. You are not alone and you will get through this.

    • Thank you K – we don’t completely get away from everything, so we. I hope your friend does well too in this regard. As I told someone yesterday, the court failed to forgive my trespasses…lol. Oh well, I am not going to let this drag me down. Too much living to do 🙂

      Love and light,
      Paul

  26. Paul,
    I’m so sorry to hear about this. I, like Lisa, am beyond words… but I am holding space for you and praying, and will continue to do so. Grateful that I found you in the wide world of recovery blogs; you’ve definitely become a part of my recovery support system. Peace, my friend.

  27. Paul, I didn’t know this was going on. It’s so damned scary. I know you can do nothing but endure. I feel for you, I do.

    I have drunk and have driven, & it truly is a crime. I don’t know what this is here – your circumstances etc, but I am deeply sorry in myself that I have done such. I suspect that’s what’s happened here, & believe me, I feel for you. Your wife appearing at the bus stop is wonderful, & then your sponsor. 🙂

    • Thanks Noelle for you comments.

      It has been a bit frightening, but those fears have passed (for now!) I still have yet to speak to my lawyer, but I am sure that things will work out the way they need to. But this is a consequence of my actions, unfortunately (or fortunately, however way you like to look at things).

      Thanks for being here…I am very grateful 🙂

      Blessings,
      Paul

  28. Paul, I love what you say about how spirituality doesn’t prevent life from happening, but it helps you to respond to it in a different way. And those nudges from God and your support system are beautiful. I’m going through something at the moment and I keep imagining a negative outcome. We’re always tied to an outcome but when I find myself being tied to a negative outcome, I pray for God to tie me to Him instead. To tie me to my children, my family, my friends – to tie me to the positive. Your positive out look is inspirational! I’m going to have a donut now. 😉

    • “We’re always tied to an outcome but when I find myself being tied to a negative outcome, I pray for God to tie me to Him instead” I love this. I found myself drifting over to the negative outcome as well. I did that for one or two days, then shifted to what you spoke about there. Still have to remind myself at times to stay there…the mind likes to wander 😉

      I hope that whatever it is that is going on with you works out in a positive way too. I will keep you in my prayers 🙂

      Have an extra donut for me, will ya?

      Blessings,
      Paul

  29. Pingback: Rallying The Troops – I Ask For Your Help, Fellow Bloggers And Friends | Message in a Bottle·

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