Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Story ~ My experience, strength and hope

Hello friends... I have been thinking I should share some things, with people from my past as well as people I am now meeting... to share my experience, my strength and my hope. (for those of you who now what I am doing, I will, to the best of my ability, try to adhere to the principles and traditions, but I hope this share will help others as well as myself. If I offend, you have my apologies.) In high school, I knew lots of people, I liked (almost) everyone, I had "fun", though I was miserably lonely, I was uncomfortable in my own skin, always felt like I was on the outside looking in, never felt "a part of". I imagined that everyone was constantly judging me, my looks, my behavior, my life, questioning my every action. Many of you who knew me may remember my behavior, my out of control drinking. One day, my Junior year I think, I was changing in the locker room one afternoon, coming in from P.E., and a classmate (Jamie Long) approached me, with a look on his face of... worry, disgust, care and pity, and he said to me, if I remember correctly something to the effect of, "you've gotta change" shaking his head,... I will always remember that moment, and I am eternally grateful for that truth, though I did nothing about it. As odd as it sounds, I cherish those times, that carefree life... it was carefree, I did not care about myself or anyone else. College was a disaster, a drop out, another failure to add to the growing list. My twenties were a blur, fuzzy, disjointed memories of actions I dare not repeat and hold no honor in, self-centered behaviors allowed me to become close to nobody, though I persisted in attempting relationships. There was a girl... You know, that one girl in high school that was the "one", I was so in love... I had no idea of what that was, or meant. That carried on in my heart for a long time, because I thought if I could only be with her, than everything would be great! This led to each following relationship as a recipe for disaster, my drinking increased, my esteem dwindled, and I hurt the women I was with, arguments, drunken fights, verbal abuse, you name it. My picker was "broken", the blind leading the blind, I did not have the tools to behave, live, trust or be honest with myself or the world. Three relationships that lasted 2 1/2 years each, after the end of the first year, I knew it was ending, and I would spend the next year and a half sabotaging the relationship to the extent that the woman, whoever it was at the time, would leave, so that I did not need to be the bad guy, so I would not need to be responsible or be held accountable. They were great, beautiful women, and I owe them... hopefully someday I will find them, tell them I was lost, I had a part in their torture with me. Drinking everyday was common place and had been for a long, long time, but now it had led to drinking a shot in the morning, just a little "hair of the dog" to shake off that horrid feeling deep in the core of my body. I knew what I was, a drunk and an alcoholic, and I did not care, I wanted to die, just go away from the loneliness, THAT was the plan! I was hurting my family, could not behave well as a friend, but "functioned" well at my job.. my job, my one escape, my one passion. At the ripe old age of 29, after the last in a string of unsuccessful relationships, I decided that I would simply be alone! No more women! No more trust, or sharing, or commitments... though I was not practicing any of those behaviors to begin with. That is when... out of the blue, a woman... no... an angel, who at first meeting I thought was a bi*#@! For some unforeseen reason apparent to me, she liked me. As bitter as I was, and turning her advances down, her requests to participate in fun and life, I tried to say no, but she persisted. Oddly, we had both lived in Santa Barbara in the eighties, over a span of 2 years, and never met, then in San Diego, me in P.B. and she in O.B. for 4 years and never met, and then the universe, God, higher power, whatever you want to call it brought us together in a teeny tiny town in East County S.D.. She had just lost the love of her life, a man who passed from breast cancer. Her name was Mary-Cynthia Hendrickson... My beautiful Cindi, that was 1993. We married July 7Th, 1996, and in the beginning I thought that it would work out well for me, because I would not be alone. I was not "in love" with her when we wed, I thought I was at the time, but in "my drunk", I was really just in love with the idea of being in love. We were married for 10 years... Now dear friends, please allow me to share this beauty with you, this awakening, this amazing gift that was bestowed upon me, like a gift sent from God almighty, I learned what love meant, real, real, unconditional, non-judgmental, never ending, love, beautiful, pure, honest, love... I wish I had realized it better at the time. After we had been married a short time ( 2 years?) we moved to Cripple Creek, Colorado (Burrr!) Our love, my trust, had grown, changed, I really cared about someone other than myself... or so I thought, the drinking continued. The world was more beautiful with her in it, the sky a more vibrant shade of blue, the music I heard rang with her name in it, it was like a dream, I was uncontrollably happy. We would dance by the fire at night, naked, laughing, we shared all our thoughts, our dreams, our hopes and aspirations. We hoped one day to open a Bed and Breakfast in Oregon, she was a Food and Beverage Director and I (working at the time at a high end resort) had almost every Hotel management position under my belt, it was a possibility! We would someday get a prospectus together, get a loan, a grant, some investors and we would live our dream... someday. We had often spoken of so many places we would go, so many things we would do, so many experiences we would share... someday. She drank with me, not as much as I did when we met, but in the end she drank, (I think) simply to keep up with me, trying not to see what I was doing to myself, to her, to us. After ten years of marriage, I began feeling sorry for myself, that I was not giving her as much as she deserved. I knew my drinking would lead to an end... the plan was for me to die, somehow, releasing her to carry on with her life and find another, better man... what a noble gesture I thought. In reality, I was being (at that point) the most selfish I had ever been in my entire life, but I did not see it, I was blind, blind to my own behavior, my own self, my own needs. In the early morning of January 5Th, 12:58 A.M., I awoke in bed (after passing out about 9:00 P.M. the night before), next to my beautiful wife, this amazing creature that loved me to no end. I felt her arm next to me, she was cold, I looked above the head of the bed and realized the window was open, so I reached up and closed it, leaned over to pull the covers up over her she had kicked off in her sleep and looked at her face, her face,... I gently shook her arm... "babe?'... Babe, BABE!?... SWEETHEART!!! BABE, WAKE UP! Her arm was ICE cold, she did not respond to my inquiries to wake up! Her color was gone, her beautiful lips a shade of blue, and she had no breath. The window was not the reason she was cold. The coroners report declared in a very simple, cold, callus way her cause of death as "complications due to acute alcoholism". My world ended that day. To this day I cannot remember any part of the rest of that January month, except for one flash, one memory, I do not know who I was with (people, family and friends kept close watch on me) but I was at a grocery store, walking down one of the isles and noticed tampons, and thought "oh, I should buy some, that's a good price and she will need..." and then I remembered, no, no she won't need them. I stood there, frozen in the market, sobbing. I remember her memorial, a beautiful Catholic Mass, her ashes sitting on the alter, that was February 2nd, 2006, it was ironically a day of birth for me, a continuance in my life from that point forward to cherish her, to honor her existence, to share the best of what she had taught me by becoming the man I should have been for her, making her proud by practicing good and honest principals in all of my affairs, or at least trying to preform these principals to the best of my ability. I continue on, one day at a time. I still at times think, "wait! I'm suppose to be with her still! Why did this happen? and the pain sets in. I am in a program of recovery, and this February will be the fourth year of sobriety, my 4th year of participating in the "experience" of life, contributing and being of service to my fellows. The story my friends continues, as does all of yours. I am now engaged to be married again, I am so thankful for each day, for all of you and for meeting her, to be given this opportunity twice in life amazes me, I am thankful just for the ability to SEE the gifts and opportunities placed in front of me. My beautiful friends, please stop for just a second to "be in the moment," to reflect and give thanks, to be grateful and aware of your place in life, your part in it, your actions and your own contributions, even if you may think you have none to offer, you are more valuable than you or I could possibly imagine. If you are in love, SHARE it, with her, or him, post it, shout it from the rooftops! If, at this moment in life you are single, than love yourself, be thankful for your experiences and try to see all of the gifts that are bestowed to you each day, great and small ones that we usually let pass us by, unnoticed. I am thankful for you all, all of you who are part of my past, those of you who may be part of my future and those of you who I will never meet, because we are all one community, sharing and contributing to this great experience we call life. Be well, all my love, faith, strength and hope.
Anthony Longoria.

If you feel you may be having difficulty with drinking, if you feel scared, angry, or lost, if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you're not alone. You may choose to get help, or you may choose only to get information. It is your choice.
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
244 East 58th Street 4th Floor New York, NY 10022
phone: 212/269-7797 fax: 212/269-7510
email: national@ncadd.org http://www.ncadd.org
HOPE LINE: 800/NCA-CALL (24-hour Affiliate referral)
A.A. World Services, Inc., 11th Floor
475 Riverside Drive at West 120th St.
New York, NY 10115
(212) 870-3400
You may contact me at sb.concierge@yahoo.com or on Twitter @AnthonyLongoria or online at http://aasponsor.ning.com/

Cradle Song, Lyrics (Shriekback)

Lyrics to Cradle Song :
Sing a cradle-song now, as the light fades around us
And you breathe like the ocean, lying small in my arms
See it all in a moment - you so young and unclouded
Shining bright as a lion - feel the motion of time
As the world rolls away from the sun.
I can feel your life burning - unlived moments within you
Further than I can see...

May the fire be your friend and the sea rock you gently,
May the moon light your way - till the wind sets you free

I remember your face as you cried for the first time
The cold air of the world and the fierce light of day
And the cruel separation in a world washed with tears;
Numbed with pain to unfeeling - May you hold to your truth
As you walk the dark night of unreason
The stone walls which surround us - may your spirit fly round them
Like the wind from the sea...

May the fire be your friend and the sea rock you gently,
May the moon light your way - till the wind sets you free

May you never know hunger: may you love with a full heart -
The light stay in your eyes...

May the fire be your friend and the sea rock you gently,
May the moon light your way - till the wind sets you free
May the fire be your friend and the sea rock you gently,
May the moon light your way - till the wind sets you free

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Words of wisdom

Success is not to be measured by the position someone has reached in life, but the obstacles he has overcome while trying to succeed.
Booker T. Washington

When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard, ' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?'
Sydney Harris

Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was.
Richard L. Evans

Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
Joshua J. Marine

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

The World is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.
Albert Einstein

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face.
Eleanor Roosevelt

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.
Helen Keller

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.
Helen Keller

The real test of character is whether you will do the right thing even when it costs more than you want to pay.
Michael Josephson

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
John Wooden

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Most great men and women are not perfectly rounded in their personalities, but are instead people whose one driving enthusiasm is so great it makes their faults seem insignificant.
Charles A. Cerami

There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: Those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.
Ray Goforth

To succeed it is necessary to accept the world as it is and rise above it.
Michael Korda

Men succeed when they realize that their failures are the preparation for their victories.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?
Robert H. Schuller

There are no great people in this world, only great challenges which ordinary people rise to meet.
William Frederick Halsy, Jr

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.
Norman Vincent Peale

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Walter Bagehet

Far better it is to dare mighty things to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered with failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that know not victory or defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.
Sam Walton

A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.
Rosalynn Carter

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the quality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.

The greatest motivational act one person can do for another is to listen.
Robert E. Moody

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.
John Maxwell

Leaders aren't born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.
Vince Lombardi

There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
Mark Twain

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Never let yesterday's disappointments overshadow tomorrow's dreams.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Walt Disney

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
Albert Einstein

When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe one of two things: There will be earth upon which to stand, or you will be given wings to fly.

One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves.
L. Tom Perry

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.
Arthur Golden

I have learned to use the word 'impossible' with the greatest caution.
Wernher von Braun

The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
Walter Bagehot

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
Eleanor Roosevelt

The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don't define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.
Denis Watley

To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act.
Anatole France

You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"
George Bernard Shaw

We need men who can dream of things that never were.
John F. Kennedy

I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.
Oprah Winfrey

The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but significance - and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.
Oprah Winfrey

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Dwelling on the negative simply contributes to its power.
Shirley MacLaine

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.
Anna Quindlen

The time is now, the place is here. Stay in the present. You can do nothing to change the past, and the future will never come exactly as you plan or hope for.
Dan Millman

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain

Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity To seize everything you ever wanted…One moment Would you capture it or just let it slip? -Eminem