Friday, February 19, 2010

More questions!!

Here are the second "set" of questions.  I did enjoy this.  Thanks again for asking and making my neurons fire. 

Here are the next questions with a link to who asked what::

10. GabiWhy did you stop reading and commenting on my blog?
This is a mea culpa because I had not meant to stop reading and commenting.  I use Google Reader and for some reason I thought that by following your blog, it would show up on my Reader. I have it checked to look at only the updates so when yours didn't show up, I thought erroneously that you weren't updating. Gabi,  I have since corrected that so that I am again reading and commenting on your blog.  I wish that I had more time to get around to all the blogs that I follow each day, but I just don't so I try to make it through them each week.  If I have overlooked someone's recovery blog by not reading or commenting, please let me know.  When I retire, I hope to have more time to read and absorb.   

11. Susan: Ok, as a writer do you have a routine?  No, I just write when I have time or feel motivated.

And as someone in AA= do you drink you coffee black or white ( with milk or half and half).
Well, I'm not in AA.  I'm  "pure" Al-Anon.  I do drink decaf  coffee with half and half. 

12, Judy: I have always wanted to visit Charleston and Savannah because I am a an art historian/history buff and like historic houses. Can you do this is one 2 week trip or is there too much to do in Charleston and environs to combine both. Would you advise doing Savannah and Beaufort as one trip and Charleston as another?
I think that you could cover Charleston and Savannah in two weeks.  Both are fascinating towns.  In Charleston, I would devote a day to the museums and a day for the plantations and a couple of days for the historic homes.  It would probably take another day to tour the churches and graveyards. And then if you visit a beach go to Sullivan's Island where you can tour Fort Moultrie.  Also a tour of Ft. Sumter would be recommended. All of that is about a week unless you have more stamina than I do and could do it in less time.

13. Marcia Do you think it's possible to live with an active alcoholic and live happily?  Al-Anon says that I can live happily whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.  However, my recovery is not at the point where I believe that I could live with a real alcoholic who is actively drinking.  It is a very tough road.  I could probably live with active drinking, but I know that I would not be happy and ultimately I would want to be away from the person.  I do believe that there is a mild form of PTSD that can occur after years of living with untreated alcoholism. I have been told that I have PTSD related to alcoholism.  

14. Kim A.: I was going to also ask what plans do you have for the next 50 years! Travel? Your own consulting business? Sail the world? All the above?
In 50 years, dear Kim, I think that I will be a little heap of ashes stuck in the ground of the family plot in Virginia.  I do have some dreams for the future which I wrote about in no. 4 on the previous post. 

15. Prayer Girl: Are you a speed reader?  Yes, it's something that I learned from so much reading in my work and in school.    

 16. Dave: On your retirement, how will "practicing these principles in all your affairs" take on a new meaning?  
It will mean that I have more time to devote to service work.  With working at my job, meetings and sponsees, there is little time for much else during the week.  I think that I will be better able to balance things out a bit and perhaps be of greater service when I retire.  What will be important though is for me to have balance in my life so that I don't take on too much when I retire.  If I do that, then I am not of much use to myself or others.

17. Erica: I want and need to go to an Al-Anon meeting (my boyfriend of over a year is a recovering alcoholic/addict) but I am having the hardest time making myself go to a meeting. What is your advice on overcoming my angst and going to my first one?
I like the old Nike ad of "just do it".  I was so sick and tired of feeling miserable that I trusted what a friend told me when he said that I needed to go to Al-Anon so that I would learn to feel peace and joy.  I believed him.  So I walked into the room and was met with greetings and made to feel special.  As a newcomer, you too will be made to feel special.  I can assure you that there will be others who will greet you and help guide you. If there is a beginner's meeting on the schedule, go to that.  They help explain the meeting format and give you a chance to share why you are there.  I heard my story many times when I first started in Al-Anon.  No one is unique when it comes to the effects of alcoholism. 

18. Shadow: I have often wondered why, even as a child, i would naturally keep quiet, hide what's wrong, not ask questions. and I still don't have an answer for that. do you? I believe that it was my early co-dependency which probably developed when I was very young.  There were "inferred" rules that I learned and these were my means of survival in a dysfunctional family situation.  I learned that it wasn't okay to talk about problems; to keep my feelings to myself; to be strong; to try to achieve perfection with my grades; to not think of myself; to do what I was told.  These things constrained the child in me and made me into a little adult.  But they also wreaked havoc on my self esteem. 

19. Pam : Are you and your wife coming to the International Convention and if so, are you going to find me and hug my neck? We aren't planning on coming. I guess we'll have to do that hug another time.

20. Kristen H.: As a child growing up in an alcoholic home, did you use to daydream/imagine what your adult life would be like? And now that you are an adult, does your life reflect those dreams at this point in time?
I would day dream some but mostly I just did my dreaming through reading books. They would take me where I wanted to go. I would have lots of adventures through books.  They were a refuge for me.  I knew as a child that I wanted to read and study.  I also said that I would never get married or have children.  I thought that marriage was boring and that having children would tie me down.  At this point, I would say that I have found refuge in books all of my life. I have excelled at things beyond what I imagined when it came to my career.  I have had hobbies at which I have excelled. I have had many adventures and done things that most people never get to do.  I still have dreams so I'm not done with dreaming by a long shot.  There is still much to be done. 

21. Scott W.: In an episode of Seinfeld George Costanza told a lady friend he was a marine biologist. Kramer had hit golf balls into the ocean earlier in the episode. As they were walking along the beach they came upon a crowd. Someone yelled "Is there a marine biologist in the crowd?  The question is, 'Was George Costanza acting as a Al Anon when he removed the golf ball from the whale's blow hole?'
No, he was acting as a horny male trying to score with the lady he was trying to impress. He wasn't acting out of compassion but was ruled by self will, selfishness and ego.  Besides any self-respecting Al-Anon marine mammologist would know that blowholes are covered by muscular flaps that provide a water tight seal that prevents water (and golf balls) from entering the blow holes when the whale surfaces to breathe. When whales come to the surface to breathe, air is expelled from the blowhole as condensation and appears like a cloud of mist.  Whales' blowholes differ according to the species. The larger the species, the larger the blowholes. Humpbacks have blowholes that are about 8-10 inches in diameter (they have two blowholes).

22. Jenn: Do you think you are the person you came here to be?  I think that I have always been the person that I came here to be.  It is all in my genes, encoded in my brain.  I simply had to learn how human I am and accept that.  And I had to learn a new awareness, the spiritual awareness, that has helped to awaken what was already within.  I had kept so much of myself hidden.  And yet it was there all along. 

 23.Susan: If you could talk to your father today, what would you tell him or ask him? I would tell him that I love him and that I am grateful for all the things that he taught me.  I would tell him that I am sorry for the times that I was filled with resentment and anger.  And I would ask if he would like to go out on the sailboat for the weekend--just the two of us.

24. Cheryl: How did you learn to recognize when your character defects are affecting your choices? I have learned to be aware of the feeling within that tells me to be aware and wary. I never used to listen to it. Instead I would barge ahead and ignore what the "gestalt" was telling me.  I know now the intuitive feeling is right most all the time.  I have so much more awareness now.  And when I feel that, I have learned to pause and assess.  It is like the Big Book says, "...we pause when agitated...".

25. Madison: If you have the boundary in your life of not living with an active alcoholic, what would you do the day you came home to find your wife drinking? I could feel some anxiety on this question.  I would first call her sponsor and ask that she and another AA member come to the house and talk to my wife. I would ask them to get her to a meeting or if she was bad off to detox or rehab.  I would request that she not return home until she picked up a white chip and resumed meetings.

26. Mary LA: As a recovery blogger could you name some of your guidelines for setting ethical and personal boundaries? 
My guidelines include honesty, fairness, respect and integrity. I like to treat people as I would want them to treat me.  I also strongly believe in my intuitive instincts and am aware of those intuitive "voices" within.  Some of the best guidelines that have helped me in my setting of ethical and personal boundaries come from the Al-Anon Traditions--mutual respect, humility, focusing on myself, accountability, compassion, equality, self-sufficiency, clarity, acceptance, selflessness.

27. Sarah: What is the single most important thing in al-anon that got you to serenity?  Understanding that I am truly powerless over other people and believing it. 

28. Tall Kay: If you could change one significant thing in your life right now, what would it be? And why? I would go back in time and have started going to Al-Anon meetings at a much younger age.  I believe that I would have understood myself much better, not been so hard on myself or on others had I gotten into recovery sooner.

29. Shuggr: Paper or plastic? Paper
White or wheat? Wheat
Mac or PC? Mac
Right or Left handed? Right
What kind/color is your car? BMW 330 ci in Monaco Blue metallic; Ford F150 pick up in red

Whew! You really had some great questions.  I enjoyed this a lot.  You made me think hard.  But I have to say that the question which made me scratch my head and then laugh out loud was Scott W's.  You win, Scott.


  1. Damnit! Scott always wins everything.

  2. Dave texted me that I was the winner! HAHAHAHA!!! Thanks, Syd!

  3. I would have picked Scott as the winner, too. Good job, Syd. Again, a very interesting post. I like you even more now. You are clearly a good guy.



  4. Syd, I LOVED reading these questions and I particularly liked the one where you talked about reading as a child. I experienced the same thing and to this day I still find a lot of solace in books.

  5. Great double post!! I enjoyed reading all the questions and answers. You write in a different style when answering the questions. Maybe we all would, not writing for the reader, but to the reader. Great job!!

  6. This was delightful, both the questions and your fabulous answers. You really do write in a way that people can understand. You share a lot of wisdom.

    I loved your choice of the winner. What a question!! :)


  7. Hello Syd. I have not been around much, but have to say WOW! I am truly GREATLY impressed with the eruditeness of the questions (AND answers) in this posting. What a great idea!

    I tried to "sneak" back onto the blogs today, and it is exciting to write again.

    Your work has brought support and comfort to SO many on here. If one day there is an award for the BESTEST OF THE will receive my vote.

    Thank you.

  8. So enjoyed all your answers, Syd. What a wonderful wealth of wisdom you are imparting to so many seekers. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. This was a wonderful idea for a blog! I feel like I have just sat down and chatted with you for an hour. I also know why I love Scott. His memory is better than mine and so is his sense of humor. Oh, yeah, I snickered about the two blowholes. hehe


  10. hey have you heard of the island of garbage in the pacific ocean? it is a growing island of toxic plastic and some people believe it is an urban legend like global warming. i see this as a problem, being a scientist do you see a solution? what can we do now to fix this? i know the first thing is to stop using non biodegradable plastic but how do we get rid of what is there?

  11. Good for Scott W! I actually didn't understand his question, but he is someone who will appreciate the picture.

  12. Wow Syd! These two posts confirm what I (and apparently others) have thought of you - you are a good guy! Reading your blog the last couple years I feel I know you and just needed to meet you. Your answers to all these great questions actually felt like just sat for hours talking at the dinner table. Very cool!

    I also wanted to thank you for your recommends on sailing books. I bought some for my brother for Christmas and he loved them!

    Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

  13. Mac's rule!!!!
    I am so glad to see you and read these questions and answers...
    You are incredibly interesting!!!!


  14. Thanx so much for your sharing in this way. It's a form of intimacy that was fun and useful. I know it took some time and focus so I really appreciate your doing this.

    Blessings and aloha...

  15. Thanks,Syd, for the cultural tourism tips. The video clip that you posted awhile back on the lowlands made me even more committed to visiting Charleston. History and natural beauty!!

  16. These are marvelous answers! Thank you for sharing so openly.

  17. thank you. and now have yourself a great weekend after all those questions...

  18. "I do believe that there is a mild form of PTSD that can occur after years of living with untreated alcoholism. I have been told that I have PTSD related to alcoholism."

    Thank you for addressing this - I really find this to be true with a lot of people, including myself.

  19. Here's my late entry lol. Can I steal your idea and do the question game on my blog?? lol I like this little shinding!

    I realy enjoyed reading all the questions and answers!


Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.