Robert B

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In the Darkness, a Bottle of Vodka

In the Darkness, a Bottle of Vodka

I remember the panic I would often feel when I reached for the bottle of vodka in the middle of the night only to realize that it was empty. The liquor store would not open for hours yet. Such dark times those nights were…

Trapped: Afraid to Live, Afraid to Die

Trapped: Afraid to Live, Afraid to Die

Many January reflections align with various versions of Step 1 of 12. Most speak of ‘acceptance’, ‘surrender’, ‘letting go’, and for me the most troubling of all ‘admitting complete defeat’. T…

No Longer Hiding in the Dark

No Longer Hiding in the Dark

No Longer Hiding in the Dark began as three separate poems written over consecutive days. One was biographical and two were autobiographical. After a conversation with a friend (he was reflected in the biographical poem), I realized that the three poems were part of the same story and that they were biographically autobiographical…

Taking Stock (Made a Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory)

Taking Stock (Made a Searching and Fearless Moral Inventory)

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are a time of reflection for me. My morning meditation often invites personal introspection in quiet moments throughout my day. My dreams too, vivid, windows and mirrors where past, present and future meet in my subconscious and greet me with the light of day…

Finding Peace, Joy, and Hope in the Mundane

Finding Peace, Joy, and Hope in the Mundane

When I was ‘told – sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly’ that I needed to find a higher power to stay sober, I bristled to put it mildly. My first thought was ‘I’m a scientist’. And in my head in my best Bill Murray, Ghostbusters voice, ‘back off, I’m a scientist…

Burdens and Blessings of Living and Dying

Burdens and Blessings of Living and Dying

Sober, I’ve felt the pain of dying and death of those I love. Before I got sober, I avoided much of the pain associated with loved ones dying by numbing my feelings as much as I possibly could…

Be Here, Be Here Now

Be Here, Be Here Now

Alcoholics Anonymous’s “live one day at a time” is a seemingly sacrosanct slogan. The interpretation that I hear from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous is more along the lines of ‘a daily reprieve’ connotation. Yet when I put it into context of meditation and mindfulness, it’s a life saver for me. A foundation, a touchstone for my…

It’s a Generational Thing

It’s a Generational Thing

Sometimes my thoughts are a jumble. But sober, at least I’m aware that they are a jumble. I recently was excited to discover distant ancestors from 1600’s Scotland. Dunkahn Bewhanon migrated from Scotland to the British West Indies about 1650…

Sacred Stories

Sacred Stories

Our stories are sacred and healing is part of our intro for We Agnostics: Freethinkers in AA meetings in Madison, WI. Six to seven times each week, I sit on a chair in a room with others sitting on mismatched chairs around mismatched tables. For a few minutes each meeting, I tell a story of a moment in my life…

I Wanted To Believe

I Wanted To Believe

Times it was/is hard to be an agnostic in Alcoholics Anonymous. Between all of the ‘let go and let gods’, ‘ask god to remove all of these defects of character’ and ‘came to believes’ I tried to find a place where I could be true to me, only to hear ‘fake it till you make it…