Fishing, Acceptance, Happiness

Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy.

A.A. World Services Inc (2013-12-02). Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition (Kindle Location 4976). A.A. World Services, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Volumes can and have been written on one of my most favorite activities in the world, fishing.  Tales full of hyperbole.  Stories about the one that got away.  Articles and books on gear and technique.  And of course stories that seem to tell tales of life lessons, patience, acceptance, allegories about death and dying.  What could I possibly add to this tome of information on the subject of fishing?

Probably not much.

The idea for this post came during a meeting the other day.  A few of the gentlemen in the room were talking about acceptance. Continue reading

Conversations and Connections

As I drive down Maryland Route 140 from Westminster toward I795, the sun sets in the rear-view mirror.  For years I tried to let the sun set on my youth.  I felt out of step with the world growing up in rural Maryland.  And in a lot of ways, I was out of step with the world.  But now, I’m finding that venturing back to where I grew up is not as painful as I might have imagined it.

I’ve just had an amazing reunion with a very special teacher, one who saw something in me and helped me set my life on a better path in high school.  Through the miracles of technology, we have been reunited and have kept up with each other over the past 8 years or so.  We met one other time, before I went off the rails. Continue reading

Questions from a Brother: Vol I, Issue 1

As I mentioned yesterday, earlier this year I got a number of questions from a concerned fraternity brother about my journey in sobriety that I’d like to address on this blog.  I felt the need to paint the picture of my college experience as background for this series of posts.  I’m writing my responses to these questions, in hopes that others may learn from my experience, strength, and hope.

What should the Psi Chapter Alumni Association (hereafter referred to as we) be doing to help known alcoholics, those living with alcoholics, and those that will one day discover that they have the disease?

Well, this isn’t going to be easy. Continue reading

College: where it all started…

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.

39216_458599814953_4267907_nA few months ago, a fraternity brother of mine sent me a list of questions related to my recovery.  I’ve been mulling over answering them directly or on the blog and after discussing them with my fraternity brother decided to answer them on the blog.  Before I start that series, I think a little background on my college experience might be in order.

University Park is located at the exact center of Pennsylvania and is mostly surrounded by the borough of State College, PA.  The town is a total of 4.5 square miles and is surrounded by farmland and mountains.  In the 1990s, the town boasted a total of 42,000 residents and the student population was approximately 40,000 undergraduates.  The entire area is peaceful and relaxed and goes by the moniker “Happy Valley.”  To say that it is an idyllic location is an understatement of perhaps the greatest magnitude.

When I was in school, there were 56 fraternities registered with the Intra-Fraternity Council and 23 sororities registered with the Panhellenic Council. Within the confines of the 4.5 square miles, there were approximately 25 bars.  There were at least 10 beer distributors within ten miles of the town.  Due to Pennsylvania’s insane liquor laws, you can only buy beer in cases or kegs at beer distributors – if you want a six pack, you have to go to a “six pack shop” where you pay significantly more than at a distributor.  And if you want wine or liquor, you have to go to a state store.  There were two state stores in the town.

Penn State University Park is officially a dry campus.  Continue reading