Grateful

Attitudes


"We can also use the steps to improve our attitudes."
Basic Text, p. 53

Ever have a day when everything seems to be working against you? Do you go through periods when you are so busy taking people's inventories you can barely stand yourself? What about when you find yourself snapping at your coworker or loved one for no reason? When we find ourselves in this bleak frame of mind, we need to take action.

At any point in the day, we can set a few moments and take a "spot inventory." We examine how we are reacting to out-side situations and other people. When we do, we may find that we are suffering from a plain old "bad attitude."

A negative out-look can hurt our relationship with our Higher Power and the people in our lives. When we are honest with ourselves, we frequently find that the problem lies with us and our attitude.

We have no control over the challenges life gives us. What we can control is how we react to those challenges. At any point in time, we can change our attitude. The only thing that really changes in Narcotic Anonymous is us. The Twelve Steps give us the tools to move out of the problem and into the solution.

Just for today: Throughout the day, I shall check my attitude. I shall apply the steps to improve it.

------------------------------------------------

I was about to type a new post but the subject seems to elude me somehow. It has been like that for several days now. I told Ahmad Cendana about it during our earlier conversations via the SMS.

In fact it was the first of many text messages between us after giving him my phone no. and street address. It could has been earlier had I not mistyped my own phone number. Yeah, it's true! I guess I must be sleepy or something. Or maybe I should cook-up some excuses like I used to do when I was still using. It was always the easiest way out, pointing the finger to others.

In his message that took place on October 25th, 2008 at 03:02:01am (hehehe, I've saved it) he said, "Just write what you feel and think, about ANYTHING. It should not be on any set topic, like a karangan (composition). At least that's how I try to do at the Recovery site...anything that comes from *the heart*".

Thank you, my friend. I shall always bear that in mind. Anyway, I read a quote somewhere (still can't figure it out where did I read it?) that aptly say, "if you can write one sentence, then you're already a writer" or something to that effect. I know I can never be as good as the English folk does, but people like Ahmad Cendana, Mat Salo (incidentally a very distant relative from Langiang), Elviza (of Write Away's fame) and Puteri Kamaliah (another distant neighbour in Kuale Kangsor) just to name a few, can still appreciate and understand what I've written. Thank you guys. More will be written about them in the near future as my way to say I am grateful.After almost a year of living on the road (I thought I was doing a favour to my family - don't want them to be ashamed and dragged them into the mess), in and out of jail, in and out of rehabilitation centers, I returned to my hometown, broke, sick, and beaten. Of course, my old friends from secondary school were still around, so I figured that I'd be taken care of. They didn't respond to me the way I'd anticipated. Frankly, they didn't seem to want to have anything to do with me, so I switched crowds. Humiliated, I ended up moving in with my family, because they were the only people that would claim me.

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Right, that's over with! Where were we? Ah yes! I want to share with you another Ahmad Cendana's clear and deep perception of writing better. His advise to me, "No, you can be better. Read and read, especially BOOKS and printed matter. Anyone can be better than another . And I would be happy for that. Anyway,I might be better than [and be] this year's Booker Prize winner, who knows? Just read, and write...repeat, repeat..."

And I'm sure you will be Booker Prize winner in the near future, if you didn't win it this year. I shall always pray for your success. Your success will be mine too especially among the addicts. I'm positive that you will be the much needed role model to our mutual friends who are still on the street. They can also be successful and be whatever they want as long as they are free from drug addiction (or whatever addiction it may be).

I received an anonymous email today. It was kinda scary after reading it especially so whatever was said rings true. It reminded what my elders in TC (Therapeutic Community) when I was in Penjara Khas Seremban (special penitentiary for drug related crimes) who used to say, "There's no graduation in drug addiction." It means to show that as long as I shall live, I've to be extra careful. In short, I can relapse and turn to drug addiction any time without me even realizing it. It's scary, huh? Especially so when I realized the sender of the email was...

Your addiction.........................

I hate your meetings. I hate your 12 steps. In fact, I hate anybody who has anything to do with a recovery program. Allow me to introduce myself…

I am your addiction.

I am know to many in your program as “cunning, baffling and powerful.” And yet, I did not come uninvited. You chose me. In fact, you welcomed me with open arms.

I was your courage, your strength and your hope. I took away your feelings of being shy, angry, lonely, tired, hungry and happy. Eventually, I took away any feeling you ever had until you were nothing but an empty shell- void of any feelings at all.

When we first met, you said that you didn’t deserve all the good things you had in life. I was the only one who agreed with you and was more then happy to take it all away from you. But now you claim to have found a better way? You say that you have found a Higher Power? HA! I thought I was your higher power.

Wasn’t it me you used to turn to every morning and pray that I would stay down in your guts?

Wasn’t it me that you used to ask to steady your nerves and give you courage to face the world again?

I thought it would be you and me forever - friends to the end. And damn it, I almost had you until the end. But I let you slip away from me. I had you wrapped around my finger. I could make you beg, borrow and steal just to have me. I had you at the point of believing that suicide was the only way out…

…until your so-called Higher Power came to the rescue.

But that’s OK. I’m Patient- I can wait. You can’t see me, but you’ll always remember me. And every once in a while, I’ll remind you that I’m still here- waiting for you to return. So until we meet again… (If we meet again), I wish you a long painful, suffering death like you could have had with me.

From The Narcotics Anonymous Program

Well, it's nearly 4am. I'm about to join my enraged beloved wife (for not given her the usual night-night kisses and hugs)

That's it, folk - ta ta, ti ti, tu tu...!

[... am tiptoeing to bed lest she knows I'm way pass my sleeping hour. Well, it's just one of those nights you only have your pillow (bantal peluk, bantal bucuk - take your pick) for company! Or should I say the standard, "Not tonight, Hon. I've a headache."...]





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19 Comments thus far...

Mat Cendana said...

I had seen notice of your post rather early, thank to one feature of Wordpress - its "Ping" to related blogs. Since you've been into blogs a lot longer than I have, you probably already know about this. But I'm going to mention it anyway just to share with the other readers here.

Whenever something new about my blog at Recovery from Drug Addiction appears in other blogs, a sentence of it will appear as a Comment there. And an e-mail will also be sent to me.

Anyway, I have to say here that your post has made my day - and it's still Subuh as I write this (will have to stop and continue later). There are many things that I'd like to say; the first being "Thanks" for writing such good things about me. They are meaningful in their own special way for they come from "a fellow traveller on the same journey as me" ... someone who has been through and seen what I had, and who shares the same hopes and fears as I do.

There's also that "extra special" factor of you also being in Malaysia. It's true that drug addicts experience and suffer basically the same things regardless of the country they are in, their races or religions. However, I'd tend to emphatise more with someone who has the same images (generally) in mind when things like "urine test", "AADK", "Drug Dependants Act", "Pusat Serenti/Rehab Centres" etc are mentioned.

I have the feeling that, if I fail to control myself, this will be a VERY LONG comment - longer than the post even. Yes, I know you won't complain or worry about your "blog quota limit at Blogspot being reduced:-) However, I'm more worried about myself - I'll be mentally exhausted should I write EVERYTHING that I really want to write right now about this post, which will threaten a piece that I have to complete today. And that would not be fair to me, and especially the people who depend on me to fulfill my part of the bargain in this "day job" of mine (just a term - I'm not on anyone's payroll).

I'll make a deal with ArahMan7 here: I'll write a post at my "Recovery" blog as continuation and inclusion of what I leave here.

The other thing that I'd like to mention here and now is, you have "a certain sense of humour":-) I guess this is "your way", as I have "mine" where I often come across as rather sober, dry and straightforward (I think). No, there is no "right" or "wrong" here in whatever way one chooses as approach to his writing.

I'd also like to mention about those SMS messages from me that you've mentioned here. Firstly, I feel so honoured that someone would keep them; and even more so when they are quoted! It's like I am a famous person or something! I have to mention here that I don't keep 99% of the messages I had received for this one pesky thing - my cheapo handphone doesn't have enough memory.

(It's the second cheapest Nokia model - the 1208, which my elder sister bought for me during the last General Election period. And this laptop I'm typing on is from her too. Without the latter expecially, I wouldn't know you and the other great people I've `met' through the blog and vice versa. And to think that she is the same person whom I had chosen to be hard-headed and "angkuh" (arrogant) with by "memutus hubungan" (breaking off contact) for almost 10 YEARS due to my addiction. Oh, God...)

With that "Booker Prize" SMS, maybe I should enlighten the readers here how it could have come about. During that series of exchanges, ArahMan7 had sent in something, from my memory, that was like this (correct me if I'm too wrong): He had praised my writings, and had added that he "could never write as well as I do".

Before my Gambang days from end of 2005 (aka "addicted to morphine/heroin and methamphetamine"), I would have been full of pride and joy; what with someone saying "I'll ALWAYS be better in writing no matter how hard he were to try".

But I'm happy (with myself) that I'm no longer with this mentality. I KNEW what ArahMan7 had said was wrong when it comes to the principle of it. If it were true, then I, too, should not strive to improve my own writing "since I can never be like those published authors". That's a scary and discouraging thought, for I do have dreams of writing a few books (whether they will be realised is another matter, but having the "cita-cita"(ambition) is something important for all of us).

And I'm also happy that I could honestly and sincerely tell him that, plus what I'd feel should/when he becomes better than I am right now. During my "pre-Gambang days" I might say the same thing "just to keep up appearances".

But inside, I might feel something else - I might actually harbour hopes for this NOT to happen ... it'll mean "I'll become inferior to him", or something like that. And take note that this kind of feeling is not limited to "the drug types" only - there are MANY so-called `normal' people who harbour this insecurity, jealousy and internal worry of someone else exceeding them in something. NO, I wouldn't really call this "being competitive" - it's the "resources are limited" mentality.

My thinking is like this: What do I lose when ArahMan7 becomes a better writer than I am? The answer is ... NOTHING! It's not like he saps something from me, just like Count Dracula the vampire does. Here, it's "parasitical" where someone/thing gains at the expense of another. But in our situation here, at the very least, I'll still be the same ... only ArahMan7 ADDING to himself from an infinte supply!

And I will be happy and pleased with you success, as I KNOW that you would be with mine; this I can honestly and sincerely say! Remember, never ever dengki (be jealous of) another's rezeki and potentials. From life's experiences (the best teacher), I've come to know that when I'm in this negative state, I actually lose! And paradoxically (to our `logical' mind maybe), when we hope for and are genuinely happy for others' success and rezeki, and help with what we could, we get "something" too! This is the amazing thing about "Life" and "Universal Laws".

I'm gonna stop right here before I write a book's chapter - and neglect the work that I'm doing now. When I have the time, I'll use this post as a "Link" to my own. When? I can't promise here yet. Insyaallah.

ArahMan7 said...

Hola Fellow Traveler, Thanks for your insight and meaningful comments. Really appreciate it very much.

But alas, we don't have that kind of feature on BlogSpot and you're right though, I won't complain or worry about my "blog quota limit" at Blogspot being reduced.

Thank you again. I've still a lot to learn.

Greetings and lots of love from Kuale Kangsor.

elviza said...

Dearest New Friend,

You are too kind with compliments. I am deeply touched.

If I may write something about this post:

1) When I was a child (Growing Up in Kuala Krai), I came across a quote from an educator, Horace Mann, "a house without books is like a room without windows."

Since then, it dawned on me, how awful it is to be without books - that is like to be in jail! Jail kan tak ada tingkap. *shudder*

My love affair with book continues until today, sometimes, to the annoyance of those closest to me.

2) As I grew older, I found another quote from a Nobel Laureate, Saul Bellow, "a writer is a reader moved to emulation."

Hah! That explains my itchy fingers to scribe all the time! Never mind that is never good enough in my eyes.

And I dream of writing a master piece in both language of English and Bahasa.

3) So my friend, we must move to emulation. In order to do that,we have to first dream of getting it.

Dreams keep us alive, dreams give us vitality and a reason to move on. Without one, we are reduced to nothing but a human machine.

You, of all persons I read on blogsphere, do have that possible pot of gold to find at the end of the rainbow. Cendana287 included.

4) To put it simply, while it is important to keep reading in order to improve your writing, reading is indeed much more than that: it is your window to the world.

At least that what I have been trying to drill in my son's head. The fact that his father thinks that I am an idealist, notwithstanding.

Good luck, my friend. And no, you will not have a relapse. I know so.

*signing off now, clients screaming on the phone. Sigh*

ArahMan7 said...

My dear new friend,

I'm touched by your presence and lovely comments. Thank you for dropping by and for making an old man standing on the top of the world. I cannot thank you enough.

Believe me, those compliments were sincerely given. It came from the bottom of my heart.

Say, I dig your point no. three, but if emulation (according to WordWeb it mean, ambition to equal or excel/surpass another)would involved jealousy (dan apa jua yg sewaktu dgnnya) then I'm not interested.

Nowadays, I'm content just to sit tight and give my support to others. I'm grateful with my life and happy with what I have. Unlike before, (during my first, second, third [ahh, I lost count] relapsed) there's nothing for me to play catch-up and prove to others that I can be 'somebody'.

Please remind me, my new friend to tell you more about it one of these days.

See you around.

Greetings and lots of love from Kuale Kangsor.

Mat Salo said...

Greetings from one wareh den to another. Apo kabar?

Whoa.. Mat Cendana's comments is worthy of its own separate post!

To add, I learned quite a few things coming here - what with you and Mat C double-heading the tag team - and that's the point. One lives and learn. I used to be an asshole with a capital A and stayed an 'angry young man' until I started blogging. Now I'm not so young anymore. It humbled me because I now know a lot of things about myself than I ever did... and that's by going to other peoples blogs. Believe me, you guys can change people's perceptions merely by the power of your words. And that's important. The key word is connect. And you're doin' mighty fine doin' the connectin'...

As for addictions (I think Galadriel has brought this up before) - there are many shapes, sizes and forms. One extreme example is that guy -apakenama - the lead in the X Files who had to be treated for sex addiction. Hmm. Parah tu. If in Malsia where does one go for this type? It's questions like these that keep me up nights.. So I'm addicted to knowing things outside my realm. Can be dangerous, I know... heh..

Writing to express yourself, in my view, is the best therapy known to man. Be true and honest, and walla - stuff you write can be more profound that 10 Bookers put together.

I like the idea of you calling yourselves Travelers (teringat pulak Traveling Wilbury's). Boleh join tak?

My chosen price of admission is me belting at a private audition for you 'minus-1' for any of the following tracks. How's that?

(you get to pick only one)

1.They Call Me The Breeze
2. Gimme Three Steps
3. Tuesday's Gone
4. Travellin' Man

(note: L for Langgiang pun ok gak, tapi Sweet Home Kuale Kangsor and Burung Bebas bolun practise gi)

P.S.

As to November 29, Chegu Nazir nak turun Kumpo. Den tongah arrange gathering (organize amo ngan Shah Talkonly and Tokasid) kek KL lunchtime for lepak sembang. Mudah-mudahan ramai datang bro' including you and Mat Cendana. Venue likely kek The Curve.

ArahMan7 said...

Wow, another Leonard Skinner's fan. I'm impressed, Sir. Too bad, Burung Bebas is not in your list, yet. If given a choice, I'd choose Dio Orang panggil Den Bayu would be appropriate.

Seriously, am I being proposed again? Gee, that's great. I'm not pulling rank on you, am I? And I get to know those high profile friends of yours?

If I ain't asking too much, can I take a friend along? (Nak kono wareh den ni, boi botis nak poho plak!) You see Sir, I can't bear to be away from her, not even a minute if you care to believe, hehehe! (Cewah! Tu bolom den melutut laie)

Just kidding, Bro. Just kidding. It's just that I'm too happy getting to know you. And you grace my humble blog just by your presence. Wait till I tell my Pa and Ma who has been coming to my blog lately?

Come on over anytime, Bro. You're always welcome here. To the others too, Ahmad Cendana, Kak Elviza, Abg Salo and the rest. Still waiting for our princess, to complete The Four Musketeers.

See you around, Bro.

Greetings and lots of love from one Langiang living in Kuale Kangsor.

Mat Cendana said...

@elviza
This might look trivial but I somehow feel called upon to add in something to this sentence in Elviza's comment:
"Since then, it dawned on me, how awful it is to be without books - that is like to be in jail! Jail kan tak ada tingkap. *shudder*"

Actually, there are "windows"; or at least close enough to them ... mostly. Except perhaps at the solitary confinement cells (They don't call these "bilik gelap" for nothing).

Anyway, the ones that do have them include the airholes with bars that are often too high to function as "regular windows" (your sentence is valid with this one).

But at a few of the blocks in Pengkalan Chepa, they are even wide!...like those of classrooms at government schools. Yes, with iron grills instead of "narco", of course. That's a relief - the air circulation is very good,and you could at least see things others than your walls.

And you'll shudder even more when you know of this extremely dumb policy of some prisons concerning books: I know for a fact that it's extremely tough to get reading materials at Pengkalan Chepa. The officers use the reason of "prisoners misusing them" to `explain' their action.

Yes, many prisoners had used the paper to `balut' whatever tobacco they managed to get. So that becomes a very convenient excuse for many prisons not to provide this facility.

I hope there will be "influential people" with enough heart and foresight who could do something about this. It is such a waste FOR EVERYONE that these prisoners are given reasonable opportunities to self-improve, gain knowledge and use their time in a more worthwhile manner through reading.

ArahMan7
There's an extremely glaring error in that "Kak Elviza"... Were you having Puteri Kamaliah on your mind instead when you wrote that?:-)

Mat Cendana said...

@mat salo
"Whoa.. Mat Cendana's comments is worthy of its own separate post!"

You have helped me a great deal during the past seven days. Besides your comments at both my blogs (which I had acknowledged and explained why they are extremely important), you have now added another one above. THAT shows why I'm not as prolific at my sites as I wish to be - it's because I've been making too many and too long comments at OTHER blogs.

Have to make a few adjustments to this habit. I will try to find the best "win-win" solution to this.

And there are a few other important things from your comment here that I'm giving a lot of thought to (actually I had already read this comment in my e-mail on Thursday). This one too is of note: "One lives and learn." ... of which I would like to add in: "And TRY to do the right thing when similar situations reappear in the future". Taking the right action in thoughts, words and physical actions ... We will surely improve our selves and our lots when we do this one consistently. Yes, it's easy for me to write this - DOING is way tougher.

Again, THANKS for your frank talk and encouragement, brader Mat. I'm putting this on record that with me, it's the honesty and sincerity of people like you whom I'm meeting through the blogs that have been the biggest factor in my life over the past couple of months.

One important thing that I've been convinced of is the truth in striving for "the basic HOW" as mentioned in Narcotics Anonymous to be the start and foundation towards the recovery process: Honesty, Open-Mindedness, Willingness. There are many more, of course. But from the experience of NA members over the decades, these should be done first...the others will follow.

Actually, it's helpful for EVERYONE and not just recovering addicts (doesn't matter whether it's drugs [illegal AND legal], alcohol, sex, gambling, over-eating...Internet, video games, music, movies... whatever that is "obsessive and compulsive")

Like what you had said earlier, "One lives and learn".

Mat Salo said...

Bro Freebird: (keponakan arwah Ronnie Van Zant ko?) La wareh, apo lak ko panggir er Kak... terakhir den 'faux pas' tu nasib tak kono amik full page ad dalam Mangga mintak ampun.

Bro, feel free to bring the kids too. Ini very informal bro. Object eh nak discuss camnor Artimus Pyle can walk away from the plane crash. I like the 'One More From (for?) The Road' live album. Classic.

Bro' Traveling Gambangi: Am in the process of composing appropriate congratulatory salutations to Mat T. My childhood friend pon at same investiture dapat lato. They deserve it bro.

Er, if I may, what you wrote..thanks. Means a lot to me too bro.

elviza said...

Excuse me ArahMan7,

You know, Mat Salo's greatest faux pas this year, is the fact that he forgot to tell me about the meeting he tells everyone about!

Huh!

Cendana 287: I stand corrected my friend :-)

This is awesome, can everybody come down to KL on Nov 29? I know I ll clear off my schedule just to hang out with the bloggers .

Mat Salo, maybe we should pick some other place lah, AsamPedas hari tuh tak memberangsangkan lah makanan dia.

Nite nite.

ArahMan7 said...

@ Elviza - a slipped and I was shown a yellow card (I can see Mat Salo in refeeree's black and white furiously blowing the whistle, hehehe). I thought he was going to sent me to detention class!

Sorry boys, didnn't mean to make your girl to feel/look too advanced in years.

Anyway, I envy you Elviza. I wish I have friends who are a bit possessive of me. Only then I would feel safe - Want to kacau my girl, aa? You sure kina one!

I stand corrected.

Night, night to you too, Hehehe...

@ Mat Salo - How could you, man? You better invite her or it gonna cause you a full page of apology in Mangga? Hehehe, you know about the saying, the kuman that you can see from afar but you failed to notice a beautiful lass right in front of you? tsk! tsk! tsk!

Hola Bro, I was wondering about that too. About that wonder boy, Artimus Pyle tu la. So, I sent my intelligence guy to dig out any info about him. This has not been confirmed yet (very hush hush too). It seemed that Ghadzali Shafie was in Fox Theater during the three days concert (and the making of One More From The Road). After the concert, he was allowed to go backstage and met Artimus Pyle (legend has it that he wanted to be a drummer after learning the basic from Carmine Appice). Their friendship was bonded since then.

Following the recording of Street Survivors, Van Zant and Collins was heard saying something about "Pyle berbau kemayan" thus inspired the ominous That Smell.

Sorry Bro, that's all I have so far. I guess that's what Urban Legend are make of, huh? Hehehe...

@ Mat Cendana - Nothing you wrote are trivial. They're full of gem, insight and understanding. Love your style of writing, I could feel I was inside my cell twelve foot by eight, looking out through the tiny barred window to the exercise yard below (I was on the third floor).

Yeah, I'm with you Mat. Praying there will be "influential people" with enough heart and foresight who could do something about that.

lauran said...

Very nice and interesting blog. I have gained lot of useful information from it.
--------------------
lauran
Drug Rehab

ArahMan7 said...

Hola Lauran,

Thanks.

Greeting and lots of love from Malaysia.

elviza said...

Che Man oiiii! Apsal lambat sangat nak update blog nih?

*trap trap trap*

Hah, Cendana287 tuh pun dah lama tak menulis. Nak kena dia tuh...

p/s: since I have no idea what to write so I ll cruise around my blog links urging people to write. LOL. How typical.

camtheraphy said...

Drug addiction is considered a pathological state. The disorder of addiction involves the progression of acute drug use to the development of drug-seeking behavior, the vulnerability to relapse, and the decreased, slowed ability to respond to naturally rewarding stimuli. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) has categorized three stages of addiction: preoccupation/anticipation, binge/intoxication, and withdrawal/negative affect. These stages are characterized, respectively, by constant cravings and preoccupation with obtaining the substance; using more of the substance than necessary to experience the intoxicating effects; and experiencing tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and decreased motivation for normal life activities. By definition, drug addiction differs from drug dependence and drug tolerance.


Drugs such as codeine or alcohol, for instance, typically require many more exposures to addict their users than drugs such as heroin or cocaine. Likewise, a person who is psychologically or genetically predisposed to addiction is much more likely to suffer from it.


In the USA, the goal of treatment for drug dependence is generally total abstinence from all drugs, which while theoretically the ideal outcome, is in practice often very difficult to achieve. Other countries particularly in Europe view the aims of treatment for drug dependence to be more complex, with treatment aims including reduction in use to the point that drug use no longer interferes with normal activities such as work and family commitments.
-----------------------------------
Dakshina
Drug Rehab

James said...

i myself have some problems with my attitude and i realize that i sometimes hurt people that i care about... the thing is that we have a choice... to choose to act in a way or not... but sometimes it is easier said than done...

ArahMan7 said...

Hola James,

Thanks for coming over and comments.

Greetings and lots of love from Malaysia.

pmp practice exam questions said...

Now this is the perfect one and thanks much for the help.

kitchen table island said...

Hi
I am very glad to look at your post , Too many compliments too little space ,Very great post
With Best Wishes
bedroom | sofa | kitchen | bathroom | living room

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I loves to receive comments from everybody and I tried to make everything easier for my readers to comments. So please, be nice even though you totally disagree with me. No comment moderation and whatnot here. Please respect the privileges given.

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~ ArahMan7

PS - Word verification has been enable. Sorry about that [Sept 3rd, 2013].





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Hi! This is a personal recovery blog. Everything I posts here are from my twisted addicted mind and/or just plain poorly written. If something around here belongs to you and you're one of those people who hates free PR, drop me a line and I'll pull it down or credit you in large bold letters with every "T" crossed and every "i" dotted with a heart - Honest! And also I have very, very few assets, so it's probably not worth your time to go the lawyer route. Thanks.

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