Third Step Help
"When I was in treatment getting sober I was in a city I hadn't lived in for 20 years. I had no car and was going to be living with my brother who lived on the outskirts of the city when I got out of treatment. I was scared that I wasn't going to be able to make it to meetings and went in to talk to my counselor about it. He said, "You ask for rides." "Oh no," I said. "You don't understand I never ask anybody for anything." "Well," he said, "that is what working the third step is all about." "Asking for rides?!?!" I said incredulously.
I thought he was crazy. How can asking for a ride be working the third step?
Well, it is. I needed to learn to ask not only a God I didn't trust for help - but also to ask other people to help me. That was horrible for me. It seemed like such a huge risk. If I asked people for help that would give them a chance to reject me - and I had had enough rejection in my life, thank you very much!
There was a story that I heard around that time. It was about 2 guys who were arguing about rather there was a God or not.
The first one said, "Of course, there is a God. How can you say there is no God."
The second said, "I not only can say it - I can prove it."
"You can prove it?"
"Yes. Years ago I was in a small plane crash in the wilds of Alaska. I was the only survivor and I had a broken leg. There was nothing around for hundreds of miles, so it was only a question of rather I would freeze to death before something ate me. I prayed to God and said 'If there is a God please save me.' And God didn't do anything."
"What do you mean," the first man exclaimed.
"You're here and alive aren't you."
"Oh, well some Eskimo came along and saved me. God didn't do anything."
The point: God works through people. We all have had Eskimos in our lives, angels disguised as people. We are not alone in this process - we can't do it alone.
So, I learned to ask for rides. What I know now is that the Universe always responds - just not very often in the way, or at the time I think it is necessary. I need to ask for help and then let go of rather the person I am asking can in fact help me. I need to take the risk and let go of the outcome. What I need will come from someplace. There is a verse in the bible that says: (paraphrased??)
Ask and ye shall receive.
Seek and ye shall find.
Knock and the door shall be opened.
ASK. By asking - either God or another person - I am setting energy in motion in the Universe. Once the energy is in motion it comes back to me at some time from some place. I have to put it out before it will come back. What I sow I reap. The Universes works on the principle of cause and effect. It is very important for me to get proactive in my own life by taking the risk of asking for help - and it is much easier when I can let go of my picture of how, and when, that help is going to manifest." - The Miracle of The Twelve Step Recovery Process: 1, 2, 3, and a 1, 2, 3 - The first three steps
"In twelve step recovery I learned that being willing to ask for help was necessary for me to learn and grow. And that by asking for help, I was giving another person an opportunity to be of service - so that by being open to receive help, I was actually giving them the opportunity to give to me. In recovery I learned that in giving - sharing my experience, strength, and hope - I received the gift of being able to stay sober one day at a time. It was working a twelve step program that taught me that by giving I was receiving - that giving worked to make my life better."
The last time I asked for help was 4 years ago when my car died. As I said at the end of the last update on my Working the Third Step page then:
"July 17, 2019 There is good news and good but sad news. My mother passed away on the morning of July 13th. It's good news because her suffering is over and she has gotten to escape from a body and mind that have been failing on her for the last few years. It is, of course, also sad news. I am going home to Nebraska for her funeral on Friday. Her passing means that my financial situation has been relieved in a considerable way for now and the foreseeable future. So, the request for the Universe to provide enough to get out of the hole I was in, was answered in a way that I didn't expect. Good news, but sad also."
- Working the Third Step
I was really in a deep financial hole at that time - all my credit cards almost full when I went back with Darien to visit her for the last time in early July. She didn't know me at that time and kept asking why she was still alive. My sister wrote me a check at that time with my share of some funds that were available. Then towards Thanksgiving I inherited $50,000 from an aunt. In June of 2020, I got my 6 figure share from the sale of our family farm.
I was so grateful that I didn't have to worry about finances during Covid. It was the first time in my life that I had some financial abundance, and I really enjoyed it. As I talk about in the history of this page below, it was asking for help and being willing to open up to receiving support that made it possible for me to publish my book and keep my website going over the years. I have never had money.
My theme for my twenties and early 30s, was "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose" - if I don't have anything then it couldn't be taken away from me. My conscious codependency recovery started on the day I realized how my childhood programming was preventing me from allowing myself to open up to abundance of any type." - Metaphysical Law: Giving and Receiving
“To make a point, about the levels of complexity of our issues, I want to note here, how the issues of money were connected for me to being male. I hated and rebelled against the inhumanity exhibited throughout the history of civilization by the patriarchal system. I also resented and rebelled against my father who was my role model of what a man was. And I was taught that god the father (who seemingly endorsed capitalism, genocide, the debasement of women, etc.) would send me to burn in hell forever for being human. In unraveling my issues about money, I also needed to unravel my issues with my own gender . . . I spent much of my life, saying that money and material things didn't mean anything to me (the rebel's valiant stand) while giving money great power because I didn't have enough of it (the sabotaging shame and self abuse cycle of the disease.)”
- Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Newsletter 10-20-00 Part 2
"In my codependency, I was terrified of asking for help because I was terrified of rejection - and also, because I thought it made me a loser. I thought I was supposed to have it all together and that it was shameful to appear needy - that it was "weak" to ask for help. The toxic shame at the core of my relationship with my self - the feeling that I was inherently unlovable and unworthy - caused me to have great difficulty in asking for, or accepting, help from others. I did not even know how to accept a simple compliment - let alone any substantial demonstration that another person believed that I did indeed have worth.
"My resistance to opening up to receive Love would cause me to minimize positive feedback by telling myself that the other person wanted something from me, or was just being kind, or whatever. I spent several years in recovery practicing saying just plain "Thank You." Instead of minimizing (oh it was nothing), joking it away, turning it back on them (oh you are really the one who ___), or dismissing it because I suspected the other persons motives or mental health. The feeling deep within was that if someone was loving and positive towards me, it was either a sinister plot or there must be something wrong with them." - Joy to You & Me and Joy2MeU Update10-20-2000
One of the biggest issues for all recovering codependents is learning how to open up to receive, to start owning on a gut / emotional level that we deserve to receive." - Metaphysical Law: Giving and Receiving
I had always thought that if I had money, I would be generous in sharing it with people I cared about - and I was. Maybe a bit too much in a few cases, but I was happy to help out. I also made a couple of investments that aren't looking too good right now, but could come through at some point. I really enjoyed having money. But basically the inheritance is almost gone now, and I am facing some financial challenges.
When I had to move from Cambria in July 2021, because of the new landlord and the outrageous prices of the few places available, I was very sad.
"I really have a great deal of grief about leaving this place, but I am so grateful for the time I have had here since August 2017. It was a miracle that I found this place then - and it was so reasonably priced. I felt so much Joy while living here. I wish the first landlord had never sold it. But as I said, I am sure the HP has a Loving reason for me to make this move. More will be revealed as usual." - Into The Forest - and out of Cambria
I can see now that the weird landlord and the goats and all that happened was my Higher Power's way of doing for me what I could not do for myself. I would never have left Cambria voluntarily had I not been "forced" to - but I really like where I am living now - and it has lots of advantage over the place I had been living in. Unfortunately it was over $600 more per month than I had been paying - which seemed like a bargain compared to a few of the places that I had looked at in Cambria which were over twice as much. And, at the time, I still had lots of money in the savings account so wasn't worried about how much it is. It actually went up another $80 after the end of the first years lease.
The reality of my financial situation now is that I rarely sell any books through my website. I put up an announcement on joy2meu.com awhile back about the reality of that site.
This website - Joy2meu.com - is designed in a program that is obsolete (Netscape) - which is why I started a new Mobile Friendly site a couple of years ago - Joy2MeU2.com. I keep an old computer to work on it, because it doesn’t work with any operating system from X on. It is probably not going to work one of these days, as it has been giving me more and more problems. I am putting this notice up here to let you know that very soon I may not be able to update this site, and it will be good to go to Joy2MeU2.com for the latest news.
My Joy2MeU site has over 250 pages of free original content with millions of words, which I have been thinking about updating for years - but never really got around to because it is such a huge task. I don't know how much traffic it is getting, and it is not really producing any revenue. Amazon is only sell a couple of hundred dollars of my books, eBooks, and audio books a month - so my main source of income is phone/Zoom/Skype counseling. And as Susan - who does my taxes - pointed out to me, my rent is way too much for my income, like over 60% of it.
When I met her to pick up Darien for a visit over Spring Break, she was talking about me needing to get into some low income assisted living place. Not something I had on my bucket list for this time in my life.
Of course, the reason she was talking about that was not just financial. I am having some real challenges medically these days. They say that getting old isn't for sissies, and that is really true. I could really use some help now with making sure I can pay my rent and bills for the next few months, but it is the medical issues that I would really love to have some ability to explore some alternative healing approaches with.
The medical stuff got intense a week after my 72 birthday in July 2020 when I had a stroke. It wasn't something that I was aware of at the time it happened. I came back from a walk on the Ranch on Monday afternoon and felt some numbness on the left side of my body. It was still there on Wednesday morning, including the left side of my face, so I decided I need to go to the ER.
I was really lucky that it was only a minor stroke and didn't cause any cognitive problems or like that. What it did do however was to damage nerves in my feet and left calf. To say they feel numb would not be accurate. Sometimes my feet feel like they are burning up, sometimes like they are freezing. Sometimes it feel like I have a club foot - just a dead block of flesh at the end of my leg. The neuropathy causes my feet to alway feel like they are swollen twice the size of my shoe - and as if I am walking on some kind of padding. I can't wait to get my shoes off when I get home - even though the shoes are not actually the problem.
On the day that I was in the ER for 7 hours, Susan and Darien drove down from Tracy to pick me up. They wanted to treat me like an invalid, and I wanted to act like nothing ever happened. In the next few days after I got out of the hospital, the numbness on my left side subsided, but the neuropathy set in - in both of my feet and in my left calf. Susan bought me a cane, and I started to use it on my walks - even though I didn't really need it. I decided that someplace between an invalid and nothing happened would be the wise path - so I use the cane to remind me that something did happen. That I don't have the balance that I used to have, and I am much more fear of falling - and often stumble a bit. So, I walk places where the path is mostly flat. I try to walk two miles a day even though my feet feel weird - because I am afraid if I don't, I may not be able to walk at all one of these days.
I had become alarmed lately because it seem like it might be getting worse. Twice in recent weeks, both feet have gone to sleep at the same time and I almost fell when I tried to stand up. I had gotten the impression from the doctors in the ER, and my own doctors, that there was nothing that could be done about it and that it could get worse.
So, I was surprised a couple of weeks ago to see an ad on Facebook for a place in San Luis Obispo that was offering a free consultation for neuropathy treatment. I went to the consultation and was quite intrigued by it. They use M6 Laser therapy - a deep laser therapy - to stimulate the growth of the casing around the nerves that can help to reverse some of the damage. But it turned out to be really expensive, You need to do a series of 12 treatments at over $400 a treatnent.
So basically, this is something I would like to try if I had an extra $5000 at my disposal. Which, a year ago, would have been available. Sigh.
They also use a shallower kind of laser to treat pain, including arthritis pain - which is the thing that is really kicking my butt right now. It is hurting me to write this as my wrists - especially my left wrist - and hands are affected.
Arthritis first showed up in my life when I was still in San Diego area sometime in 2016. I went to physical therapy for it, and was put on Naproxen morning and evening. When I had my stroke, they put me on a blood thinner - so now I can't take naproxen or ibuprofen or aspirin. Only Tylenol, and it doesn't seem to do much good.
It hadn't bothered me for years until it cropped up in December. It was in my right shoulder first and very, very painful. It was almost impossible to sleep with it - it made me realize how much I used my shoulder to turn over or sit up while sleeping. Then it went into my hands and wrists where it has been most of the time since then. It was in my knee for a few days and very, very painful - I could hardly walk. Then later, it was in the back of my knee - and though not that painful, it made me feel very wobbly. Like my leg was going to collapse when I tried to stand up.
Mostly it has been in my wrist, which makes it painful to write - to open a bottle, to button my buttons, to turn a door knob. One day I couldn't open my front door - I had to use a pair of pliers to get out of my apartment.
I would love to try the laser treatments for the arthritis pain. That would probably be a couple thousand dollars at the place I did the consultation. A client in England has sent me information about red light therapy - which I think also involves lasers. So I am going to check that out. And another client on the East Coast, works for a doctor that prescribes testosterone for inflammation - which is what causes arthritis.
I also have diabetes. When I quit smoking in December 2013, I gave myself permission to be indulgent with food because it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. And I didn't take back that permission for a couple of years - resulting in gaining about 30 lbs. So, I went from pre-diabetic to diabetic and they put me on insulin, which caused me to gain another 20 lbs.
I have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) from 45 years of smoking. It doesn't bother me very much, as long as I don't try to run or climb.
And I have an enlarged prostrate which causes me to have to go to the bathroom every hour or hour and a half during the night. It wasn't bothering me that much as long as I could get back to sleep pretty quickly, but the arthritis now makes every trip very painful and it is much harder to get back to sleep.
As I was writing this - and listing my ailments - an old movie came to mind, They Shoot Horses Don't They. It was an amusing thought not a serious consideration. I am not ready to check out yet. I want to stay around long enough so that I can see Darien into his 20s. Hopefully mid twenties, since he is 18 now.
I am handling all of this quite well. One day at a time, one hour at a time, I can get through to whatever comes next. I have always had great empathy for people who have to deal with chronic pain, partially because I wasn't sure how I would handle it. I am doing a good job of not letting it define my life, but I am really not fond of the idea of an assisted living place.
So anyway, it would be really great if I could raise some money now. For the rent and bills, and maybe for some of the medical options. So, I am putting this out there. Going to post on Facebook and Linkedin - and send out announcements to my email list. Below is a history of my asking for help for anyone who isn't familiar - a history of how Eskimos and Angels helped me to keep my book in print and my website going.
If you could make a donation to the cause or buy some books or something, that would be great.Clicking on this link will take you to a page with PayPal links to send some green energy my way: Donations to the Cause / Love Offerings / Spiritual Tithes - and it is possible to use a debit or credit card through PayPal from those links without having a PayPal account. After you click on the link it will take you to a page where you can log into PayPal - but below that it says: Pay with Debit or Credit Card.
On that page you will see the following quote from the article Metaphysical Law: Giving and Receiving:
Donations to the Cause / Love Offerings / Spiritual Tithes
I freely share so much information on my site because - as I say in the article above - I believe it is my Karmic Mission in this lifetime. I want to share the Joyous message and the precious information that I have discovered - and it is what I need to do for my Recovery and Spiritual Path. It is not such a great strategy when it comes to finances however.;-) So Donations to the Cause / Love Offerings / Spiritual Tithes are always appreciated if you feel my sharing has helped you in your Healing / Recovery process and on your Spiritual Path. If my writing has helped you remember Truth that brings you some Joy and inner peace, and your Spirit moves you to send some Love back my way - there are donation links here.
Anyone who is familiar with me and my writing will not be surprised to hear that the third part of this web article got really long. It is the History of my work/book and ASKing for help. So I made it into a separate page for those of you who don't like reading anything too long.
Special offers for my books are here and here (the mobile version of the second page is all messed up and I haven't been able to fix it - but the regular web page is fine) - signed by Robert
Purchase my books, eBooks or audio books through Amazon or Amazon.UK
Empowering and Life-Changing Workshop on Zoom
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Special Offers for former phone clients to do check in session or four (or for someone new who wants to check it out.)
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