Monday, February 21, 2011

Anniversary, The New D and The Edge of America

I just got back from my home group meeting.  It was my sponsor's anniversary of 19 years.  We had some refreshments at the meeting, signed a card, and lit a candle to remember just how special these anniversaries are.  His XIX medallion was given to him by his sponsor who was given it by my sponsor.  Literally, what goes around, comes around in Al-Anon. 

After the meeting, we headed to the local Chinese restaurant for some fellowship after the meeting.  This is the country so the restaurants are not too varied.  The Chinese one is sporting a sign that reads New D in neon red.  It is supposed to say New Dragon, but I like New D better.  It sounds a bit sportier to me. 

Next door to the New D is Po Boys which is the local pool/beer hall.  We heard Jethro Tull's Aqualung coming through the cracked door as we were going into the New D and then heard Sympathy for the Devil when we were coming out. Midway through the General Tso's chicken and the steamed dumplings, someone at our table said, "Do you smell marijuana?".  I just about snorted the hot mustard due to laughing.  This is back country SC where more than tomatoes are grown.  And that reminds me of Steve Earle's song Copperhead Road.  Sure enough, there is an actual Copperhead Road on the island where I live.  Maybe they are referring to snakes, maybe not.

I got a call from a sponsee today who is fed up and anxiety ridden over having altercations with neighbors who have late night parties and barking dogs that go on and on all day.  He and his wife are at wit's end.  This seems like an outside issue to me, but I suspect that there is a tradition or step that will help even in this situation.  After all, I am reminded most days to "practice these principles in all our affairs". 

I didn't tell my sponsee that buying a town home in a town that is nicknamed "The Edge of America" was probably not the best thing to do if a person is looking for peace and quiet.  When he explained that the duplex he bought is shared with a duo next door who are yelling and screaming at all hours and who have yelled and screamed at him for complaining about barking dogs,  I was reminded of why I am glad that I live on enough land where I can't even see my neighbors. 

We discussed appropriate boundaries such as calling the police and possibly the need for him to buy some ear plugs or make an appointment with a therapist who could help with his great anxiety and pent up anger about the neighbors.  I think that there are choices to be made: call the police, put the unit up for sale or talk to a therapist and get some medication to help with the anxiety.  I have the most trouble with these outside issues that appear to be related to recovery.  I have learned that ignoring a problem until it grows to a huge resentment is not going to make the situation any better.  Life is too short to spend in agony over unruly neighbors and barking dogs. 

Well, I am tired and have had another full day.  Not too much drama.  Just enough to be grateful that I can sleep with the sound of the spring peepers going crazy in the wetland near the house, and that I don't have neighbors or a bar and grill next door.  Good night from the country. 


  1. Good stuff, country boy.
    Cool picture too.

  2. I am grateful I have quiet neighbors and trees...glad you had a day without much drama.

  3. yeah ignoring a problem most certainly will not make it go away...ugh. i like the new D as well, it lets th mind wander, though i love chinese food...

  4. I'm grateful that the barking dog next door happens to be a light in my life. I've been providing her biscuits since we moved in because she seems awfully lonely in her back yard all by herself most of the time. Her "parents" aren't like me, she's not a house dog with all the love and warmth and attention that can be provided.

    So when she barks in the middle of the night, I'm reminded to pray for her and her 'parents' too, and I find that, as my dogs get let out to roam for a few minutes, she settles and goes back to her small hollow resting spot or to her shed. I'm blessed.

    YAY god for your wonderful sponsor's 19 years of recovery. :)

    What a gift!

  5. To learn about the blog I just keep going to the help button at the top of my dashboard page. It's a lifesaver.

    I can't even remember how I do stuff after I've utilized the help really. I'm a do it as I go girl.

    I used to take stuff apart and put it together again just to see how it works (not very good at step by step instructions.. lol .. bet you could guess that of an alcoholic)

  6. I love this post for the slice of life feeling it evokes. I felt like I could see, hear and, yes, smell everything at the restaurant. 19 years. Wow! I feel fortunate that there are such longtimers in this program. So much accumulated wisdom!

    As for outside issues, personally I don't believe their are any. I feel my disease has affected every area of my life, and nothing is out of bounds.

    Also, I've been taught that while I'm powerless over others, I don't have to accept unacceptable behavior, whether from my alcoholics or others.

    My sponsees often bring problems to me that leave me stumped. When they do, I call my sponsor. I love that I don't have to do this alone.

    I've been just catching up after being away. I could really relate to your last post. I also feel an affinity for solitude. I also have a tendency to isolate. It's a difficult balance for me to know how much is healthy.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. You are indeed fortunate to live with distance between you and your neighbors. We have lived in noisy situations like your sponsee and it was necessary to move. Trying to stuff anger and frustration does not help so facing things and making choices that are best for each person is what we have done.

  8. Are you sure we don't live in the same county and the same state? I swear....

  9. Syd, So glad I stopped by. I no longer have AlAnon in my life, but I did love the program. I married an alcoholic 28 years ago. Recovery has been on and off and on. I'm looking forward to reading your archive. Thanks for being here.

  10. I have bastardly neighbors FROM HELL. You are a lucky man to live where you do, but I know you know that.

  11. I love your insight. Never quit posting please.

  12. I used to like Aqualung my friend....
    Brings back memories. I smell pot throughout our city.
    It's legal if you need it for medical reasons.( Like a hang nail or eye lashes that break off for no reason things like this). No really M helps some people I am told.
    I have a troublesome neighbor myself it has been challenging. They run a cabinet company out of thier home and I smell toxic fumes and banging all day. Praying for them has helped...some
    I also did some footwork around the issue with City Hall and it seems to have lessened the noise and smells a little. How important is it?
    What lessons can be learned?

  13. far out, thanks...always good to read your blog

  14. You are so right, stop the problem from growing. Seize the moment to do something while a person still can. We live in the city but have been blessed with great neighbors all around us, but I know that isn't the case for everyone. Glad you had a fun time at the New D. Enjoy those spring peepers, we just dug out from a foot of snow, and more is on the way....

  15. So funny, I always write before I read other blogs and ours kind of correspond. I found more to be grateful about after reading yours. Love your pics. SC is the "edge of America". Po-boys, Aqualung, and copperheads (roads and snakes). Ahhhh, I love the South! Got any more of those boiled peanuts?

  16. After 10 months with the guy upstairs from hell I feel for the guy who's suffering stress and anxiety from his bad neighbors with barking dogs & will keep him in my thoughts.

  17. I don't know how it works at lands end but here in the slums we go more for the reactive resistance. You be a nuisance to me, I will be a bigger nuisance to you. That way we have all learned to not be much of a bother to each other.


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