Tag Archives: Daily Prompt

My Kids Make Me Smile… Sometimes

Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile

It’s safe to say there have been times when I couldn’t really deal with my kids, times when I was drinking that I was happy to have them around and times when I was drinking because I couldn’t deal with being around them.  I guess it depended what mood I was drinking in, the happy mood just embracing the habit or the mood where I was mad with the world and drinking to escape everything and everyone, drinking to ease that anger.

These days though, it’s rare that I can’t deal with my kids, they are typical kids, they can mess up and they can be unbearable, the throw paddies (I used to) and they get a monk on every now and then (monk on: our Newark work for being mardy or being in a mood), but I can deal with it now, not run away or lose my rag or walk around the house mutter and scratching at my arms, not any more.

Last night though I had a great conversation with both of them, which certainly put a big smile on my face.  My daughter Eve came home and said she had asked her mum if she could get Baptised at our next Baptism service, she’s only eight, but she had watched the Baptisms at Church earlier in the day and decided she wanted to do that too.

She told me that Jesus had been Baptised and as she wanted to be like Jesus, then she wanted to be Baptised too.  She was already planning her testimony speech for the service.  She was deadly serious, plus even though Ben isn’t as into going to Church as Eve, he showed an interest too, so you never know.

Then I mentioned my Baptism, neither my kids or Victoria were present at my Baptism, they were at their Cousin’s birthday party and seeing as I hadn’t planned to be Baptised, it was one of those on the day callings, they weren’t really missing it, but what I hadn’t realised is that I had never discussed this with them and they weren’t actually aware of the fact I had been Baptised.

So we had a great conversation about being Baptised, what it meant to me on the day and that feeling of being called by God, we also had a laugh at the fact I didn’t have a change of clothes (no planning) but although I had been found a set of clothes, I didn’t have a change of underwear, so the water eventually soaked through into the trousers and it looked very much like I had wet myself, but at the moment, on that day, nothing was going to steel the elation from me, what’s a little water after all!

I can’t wait to see my kids Baptised, that day the will make me smile, the biggest smile ever.

CHILDREN OF GOD by THIRD DAY
Praise to the Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Our God and our King, to Him we will sing
In His great mercy, He has given us life
Now we can be called the children of God

Great is the Love that the Father has given us
He has delivered us
He has delivered us

Children of God, sing your song and rejoice
For the love that He has given us all
Children of God, by the blood of His Son
We have been redeemed and we can be called
Children of God
Children of God

A mystery is revealed to the universe
The Father above has proven His love
Now we are free from the judgment that we deserve
And so we are called the children of God

Great is the Love that the Father has given us
He has delivered us
He has delivered us

Children of God, sing your song and rejoice
For the love that He has given us all
Children of God, by the blood of His Son
We have been redeemed and we can be called
Children of God
Children of God

We are the saints
We are the children
We’ve been redeemed
We’ve been forgiven
We are the sons and the daughters of our God

The Golden Hour

Daily Prompt : The Golden Hour
Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

Usually I would say 6am in the morning is one of the best hours, over the last twelve months I’ve seen so many 6 o’clocks, mainly as I’ve been walking, capturing some fantastic sunrises, it can be so peaceful, hardly any traffic on the roads and even less people about, apart from the familiar people I meet who are out walking their dogs.  It’s a great time to think things through and indeed talk with God.

Although this morning I have to say I wasn’t keen on 6am at all.  I haven’t walked for a few weeks, I’ve been so busy with extra work, karate and everything else, that something had to give, unfortunately the walking has been put on the back burner, so to speak.

This morning the clocks went back, but that didn’t stop me waking at 4am this morning (my alarm usually goes off at 5am), I was wide awake, I just couldn’t get back to sleep, somewhere around 7am I dropped back off to sleep, only for my alarm to go off again at 7.30, so much for catching up on my sleep!

Despite the lack of walking, I have managed to catch a few sunrises over the last couple of weeks, even though most mornings have been cloudy or overcast.

Touching The Clouds

Touching The Clouds

Distant Rising

Distant Rising

Morning Storms

Morning Storms

Across The Pond

Across The Pond

Calm Before The Storms

Calm Before The Storms

LIFT UP YOUR FACE by THIRD DAY
Lift up your face, lift up your face
Salvation is calling, salvation is calling

You have fallen so far now
You don’t even know how, you are going to survive
(But) Just above the horizon
A new light is shining, breaking through the darkest night
Love is coming and it’s calling out your name

Lift up your face, lift up your face
Salvation is calling, salvation is calling

Lift up your face, lift up your face
Salvation is calling, salvation is calling your name

You feel like your life is fading
You’re tired of waiting, for your moment to arrive
But tomorrow will bring a song that you can sing
And your hope is gonna rise
Love is coming and it’s calling out your name

Lift up your face, lift up your face
salvation is calling, salvation is calling

Lift up your face, lift up your face
Salvation is calling, salvation is calling your name

Oh yeah…
Do you hear Him calling?
Can you hear Him calling?
He’s calling out your name
He’s calling out your name

Lift up your face, lift up your face
Salvation is calling, salvation is calling

Lift up your face, lift up your face
Salvation is calling, salvation is calling your name

Can you hear Him calling?
Can you hear Him calling now?
Oh, can you hear Him calling you
He is calling you now
He is calling out your name

Just above the horizon
A new light is shining
Salvation’s on its way

Breaking Down Old Habits

Daily Prompt: Breakdown

This morning one of my more niggling habits resurfaced…

…SELF DOUBT

It get’s to me quite often, it brings me down every now and again, just like last Sunday, when Crying In The Dark was where I found myself.  This morning was a little different, it wasn’t as deep as Sunday, just that simple doubt, that call out to above…

“Why Me?”
“What makes me worth all the effort?”

It was that simple feeling, why bother with me, why save me when I’m not worth  saving.

The thing was I got me answer there and then, if you’ve read the poem “Rejoice” that I posted earlier today, you will see the questions I was asking, my self doubt was rising, but then I instantly received an answer, no sooner as I had asked the question were the lines of the response running through my head, I desperately tried to remember each line, until I got to work and could write them down.

This isn’t an isolated incident, quite a lot of my poetry is born from those moments of self doubt, they always seem to come when I’m questioning myself or my faith.  I’m glad they do, they rebuild my faith, maybe that’s why many follow the same theme of questions or answers or are just simple declarations of faith.

When I first started to write and post poetry at the end of last year, I was very insecure about posting it, never sure how it would be received or indeed how I felt about it, some I really do like, some I wrote and somehow never really connected with, some grew on me, some I still really don’t like.  There is still an element of insecurity about it, but I’m far more comfortable with it now that I was before, in fact some I am very proud of, there are a number that I return to from time to time to inspire myself, recalling the words and the feelings that surround them.

I guess if it helps to fight a niggling habit, then I will keep writing and keep posting.

SPIRIT SPEAKS by KNOW HOPE COLLECTIVE
Your Spirit speaks 
It moves in me 
And I’m awakened to Your love 
You’re drawing me 
On to my knees 
And I’m astounded by Your love 

You spoke life into my lungs 
You are the air I breathe 
You are the air I breathe 
Still You move inside of me 
You are the song I sing 
You are the song I sing Jesus 
You cover me 
With arms that reach 
And I’m amazed by Your sweet grace 
You set me free 
And You washed me clean 
And I’m forgiven by Your grace 

With every breath I breathe 
With every song I sing 
I want to shout it out 
Lord I am listening 
To every word You speak 
I’ll go where You will lead 
To love the least of these 
My greatest offering

Smashing Bottles

Daily Prompt: Michelangelo’s YOU
(Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing, or event from the last month of your life into the glistening marble of immortality. What’s the statue and what makes it so significant?)

I guess if there is one significant event from the last month that I would have immortalised in sculpture, it would have to be the events recounted in my post Verses In A Bottle, it’s not just a significant moment from this last month, but a significant moment from my journey which started back in March last year, joining a long list of events that I believe has seen me grow, from a guy who had lost control of his life in a world of alcohol addiction, to someone fighting hard to get his life back and day by day gradually getting there.

Starting with the evening at Connect Group the night before, where a simple bottle of fruit juice had me freaked out.  It’s hard to explain exactly why, unless you’ve been in my shoes, but this bottle looked almost exactly like the wine bottles which brought me to my knees in desperation. I know there was no wine or alcohol in view and that my friends wouldn’t have brought in anything like that without consulting me first, it was after all just fruit juice, but the design of the bottle, the label and even the colour, resembled my drink of choice, the one that brought out the worst in me, the one drink I craved when everything around me was going wrong, the one I would find myself scratching at my arms and pacing the house mumbling to myself until I satisfied the urge. Even though I hadn’t tasted any wine or brought any into the house since the day before I met with Gareth, this bottle seemed to be calling out to me. I just wanted to remove it from view, but the idea of that sounded so stupid in my head, I just tried to get on with the evening, granted in an extremely distracted way, I have spoken about this with the others at the group and they fully understand my reaction, even though they didn’t actually realise what was going on and how it should affect me like that, but to be honest I guess I really knew they would be okay with it, but at the time I couldn’t get my head straight and it just didn’t seem to be a very logical reaction.

But this actually wasn’t the first time a bottle of juice like this had brought back bad memories of my addiction. Back in November last year I purchased two bottles of juice, two exactly like this one, they were innocent enough, just fruit juice nothing else, but when I got them home and to my door, the two bottles banged together in the bottle of the bag, okay glass bottles do that kind of thing, but when your past has seen you sneak your alcohol into the house, in a vain attempt to hide how much and what you were drinking, when a noise like this put you on the defensive and had you rushing to get into the house quietly to hide the bottles as quickly as possible, well that’s what happened, I went into a panic, rushed into the house and found myself hiding the two bottles of fruit juice down the side of the settee, just like the old me who sought to hide his wine!

So this bottle invoked bad memories of the worst of me, it sat there haunting me. So the next morning inspired by a tweet from Lynwen, I decided to do something proactive.

Knowing there were still empty wine bottles in my cellar, I ventured down there and fetched them from amongst all the other forgotten rubbish, I then picked out 12 bibles verses about addiction, carefully wrote each one of them out and put one in each bottle, then took the bottles into town for recycling.

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Over the last couple of weeks since that day, I have revisited my post about that event on numerous occasions, specifically to read the twelve verses, I read them all, but I do have a favourite:

“But those who wait for the Lord’s help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eagles’ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired.”
(Isaiah 40:31)

So my personal sculptor, what would I want him to create, simply a sculpture of shards of smashed bottles, with each piece of glass, big or small, etched or embossed with one of those twelve verses.

So when look at another bottle of wine or anything that resembles one, I can visualise it as a piece of smashed glass with a bible verse written upon it, then I be comfortable knowing I have victory over it, by the freedom I have in Christ.

HE IS FAITHFUL by JESUS CULTURE
I have heard a sound coming on the wind
Changing hearts and mind, healing brokenness
I feel a generation breaking through despair
I hear a generation full of faith, declare

And our song it will be 
Out of the darkness we will rise and sing

He is faithful, He is glorious
He is Jesus, all my hope is in Him
He is freedom, He is healing right now
He is hope and joy, love and peace and life

I have seen a light like the break of dawn
Giving blind men sight and letting lame men walk
I see a generation with resurrection life
We are a generation filled with the power of Christ

He has paid the highest price
He has proven His great love for us
We will praise Him with our lives
And proclaim our love for Him

Time For Post 300

So now I reach my 300th post and what do you talk about on your 300th post, well, as it seems so long ago I’ll talk about this Blog and that first post, “The Precipice”, even if it is just 233 days ago since the bottle was opened.

In that time I’ve made so many great friends over this Blog and hopefully I’ll make so many more.  What is amazing is that in that time and after over 1200 comments received on various posts, I have still yet to receive any feedback I would consider negative or derogatory, I have received nothing but kindness, support, inspiration and love, all of this from people I have never met and from people I probably will never meet, but I want you all to know how much your support, your comments and your likes mean to me.

This Blog has been a great source of release for me, it’s been therapy for me, to really delve into my feelings, it’s helped to find out some of the reasons why I found myself where I was, honest was what I have set out to be, to tell my story with complete honesty, I believed from the day I met with Gareth and Alex that it was the only way forward, the only way to truly deal with a problem is to admit you have it in the first place, not hide it or hide the key facts of it, I had been doing that for years, not anymore.

When I feel I can’t talk to people face to face about my feelings, I find I can write them, just let them flow through the keyboard and post on here, sometimes reluctantly, I know that I can say it with honesty without having to look anyone in the eye with embarrassment, but I receive the support and inspiration I need.

I didn’t expect that when I started this, I didn’t expect the level of support I have received, actually I’m not sure what I expected, but it certainly wasn’t what I’ve found.

I set out with a lot of ideas for posts and preparation for my posts, some of those posts were within the first few weeks, although a lot of the preparation was never completed, some of that work is still going on behind the scenes.  Only a few of the post I had written in the early days haven’t been posted, they are still stuck in my drafts folder, when I returned to them sometime later I realised they were rants and put others in a bad light, when really I was the bad light in my life, no-one else, I am responsible for where I found myself and how things turned out, I made the wrong choices and I must learn to live with them, not seek to blame others.  Other ideas are still to be written, most of these are just a little about me, my work, my karate and family, background information really, I will get around to these at some point.

It was while walking that I started thinking about doing this blog, over a few weeks I had ideas for posts in my mind, then I actually started typing up a number of them, but they sat there a little longer, I just couldn’t make that step to actually starting this, I liked the idea of sharing my story and hopefully inspiring others, but was a little apprehensive about taking such a huge step about being so open.

So on the 6th October 2012 as I returned from a walk a song came on my iPod that broke me down, it was like a slap in the face.  I took a look at my journal entry for that day, I pointed out to myself that I had actually taken a walk up that hill that morning, thinking about what I could do with a blog, seemingly already celebrating what I hadn’t achieved, but the lyrics of the song said:

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

It was true, what were my accomplishments, at that point I couldn’t seem to find them either, maybe it was time to take that leap.

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you with my heart

Then these lyrics changed everything, on hearing this I knew it was time to stop deliberating and go for it, whatever the cost, just go for it, it was a message I couldn’t ignore.  I returned home to start creating this site, I didn’t really have a clue what I was doing, I wrote a post called “The Precipice” named after the song which had inspired me that morning and took that leap.  Sometimes when I listen back to this song, it still moves me to tears, a song of both beauty and power, it still provokes a reaction in me every time.

Again, I’m so glad I did, I set out to inspire and give hope to others, I hope I’ve done that over the months, but more importantly, I’ve been inspired and been given hope in my low times, thank you all.

And would I want to be to be any other blogger, as today’s Daily Prompt asks, the answer is quite simply NO!!!

So there is only one way to finish a post here on the Bottom of a Bottle, that’s with a song to inspire, a song that generally but not always compliments the post, well this time I return to the beginning and the song that inspired me, enjoy.

THE PRECIPICE by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ‘til tears rolled down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

Sometimes I indulge my every whim
And piece-by-piece I build the cell I’m in
But I only stay here long enough
To write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill that I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that make your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song 

Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost
Whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you with my heart

This Is Who I Am – Daily Prompt: Personal Space

This Is Who I Am – Daily Prompt: Personal Space

I haven’t connected with a Daily Prompt for sometime, not since my rant about Facebook, which to be honest  seems to be a popular past time these days, but this one gave me a chance to explore my blog a little, what is my message and what do I wish to achieve from my blog, in other words, what does the Bottom of a Bottle really stand for.

Well quite simply it is all about MY journey from the Bottom of a Bottle!

I found a way out of all the despair and darkness that the bottom of a bottle holds, the hopelessness, the pain, the depression, the suicide moments and complete loss of ones self.

I found that way out only through Grace, the beautiful Grace that only God can offer, only through letting go of all my beliefs and reaching out for help, could I accept God and Jesus Christ as my saviour and find A NEW LIFE.

So I don’t care about talking about what’s popular or drawing in readers in their thousands, I really don’t give a monkeys, because if it is not a part of my story, then it really has no place on these pages.

This is all about my journey with God through recovery, since I started with this Blog back in October, I’ve found through browsing other blogs two new passions which I now share on here, as they have become part of me, my poetry and my photography.

But both form part of this journey, the poetry offers a different commentary on my journey, a different way to use words and visualisation, sometimes I can just write quite easily, others are harder to form, some I like, some I don’t, but I share them here, as they are part of this journey.

As for the photography, to be quite honest, it is all symbolistic, the majority is taken on my morning walks, where I spend time with my thoughts and God.  I take images of every sun rise I see, why? Because in my dark years I missed so many, locked in a dirty prison of my own seclusion behind the curtains to my own window, locked in by addiction, shut off from the outside world, fading.  So I started a journey out of that darkness of addiction, into the light that God provides, that’s what I do each morning, awake in darkness and walk into the light, it’s my journey each day, keep walking towards that light, away from the darkness.

Do I really want to chase the popularity of everyday social commentary, no thanks, that’s not me, I have opinions, they’re mine and each and everybody has their own opinion, I’m not interested in starting debate, I’m happy for us all to hold our own opinions, I’ll keep mine and not force them on another, so please do not force your opinions on me, that’s not the company I want to keep!

I don’t want confrontation, I want mutual inspiration.

I write my testimony and my thoughts and feelings, in complete honesty, about where I found myself when my world started to fall apart, how I fell to the bottom of the bottle, through to recovery by faith, in hope that just maybe one person will find some inspiration in their life, that maybe one person will find a way out of their own darkness because of my writing,  just one will do, any more will be a bonus.

You can keep the everyday popular and polite posting, you can stuff your provocative argument chasing, I’ll just be me, if you like me follow, if not thanks for dropping by anyway.

This is who I am
Oh, this is who I am
So take me and make me
Something  so much more
This is who I am
Oh, this is who I am
So change me  and make me
Someone better than before
(This Is Who I Am by Third Day)

Facebook For Alcoholics & The Lost

Facebook For Alcoholics & The Lost

Daily Prompt: The Social Network

My blog is full of stories of how my life disappeared down into a massive hole beginning in October/November 2009 and coming to an absolute breakdown in March 2012, when the reality and the severity of my drinking problem left me on the brink of suicide and lost for direction, my relationship of fifteen years had come to end and I wanted to die!  Then from that lowest point of my life recovery and sobriety through faith!

But where does social media fit into this mess, what part did Facebook take in this sorry episode of shattered life?

Well a quick recap for those reading this that aren’t as familiar to my story. as some of my regular followers are, back in 2009 I was a self employed CAD Technician sub contracting to a firm of Architects and life was pretty good, living a little beyond my means and drinking maybe a little too much, but life was good, my family was doing well and Victoria and myself were still in love.  Then the Credit Crunch and work dried up over night, I went from working five days a week to not having any work for weeks on end, then just a day or two here and there, maybe a week every now and again, but more days with nothing to do than days at work.

With reduced work came reduce cash flow, but with reduced cash flow came increasing stress and with increasing stress came INCREASED DRINKING.

My reliance on drinking took control, I couldn’t face my responsibilities, I hid behind the drink which took me away from my emotions and the need to face the ever growing problems it was all causing.

By night an alcoholic, by day a worthless recluse.  I had resisted Facebook until early 2009, when I finally joined up, as most people I know where on it and it seemed like fun.

I was never one for posting, but I had a great Farm, my Café cooked some fantastic food, I was almost at the top of every game I played and if I was beaten I would be on it until I had regained my top spot.

Pretty soon as I had nothing to do each day, I sat with my laptop all day, with the curtains close, the outside world hidden behind them even in the brightest of days, it was the darkness of seclusion I craved, the constant hangover had nothing to do it, I was sinking in to a world of darkness and Facebook gave me a window to the outside world, I could see what every one was doing, but I didn’t have to let them see what I was doing, it was a one way mirror to the world.

I would scan every post, add people I vaguely knew, but the Friend count was the important thing, wasn’t it?  People from school, who to be quite honest I didn’t really get on with or particularly like, but they invited me and I accepted and vice versa, why? So I could say I had more friends than anyone else, it didn’t matter if they were friends, the numbers were the important thing, counting acquaintances not friends.

Sometimes I had work to do at home, so I had two laptops side by side, one to work on and the other had Facebook on it at all times, I would get distracted easily, end up on MindJolt games trying to beat the latest high scores, checking my farm, couldn’t let the crops die, this was life or death, there were deadlines to keep and the work ones gave way to the cyber ones, priorities became screwed, I became screwed.

Of course a simple computer program spreading like wildfire over the internet isn’t really to blame here, no it simply became part of a bigger problem, me!

Through drinking I was losing the ability to cope with life and distractions like Facebook were easy to find, between Facebook, trashy daytime TV and free internet porn, my days were catered for when I wasn’t able to just grab a bottle and jump in it.  These things were there as I watched the clock, as I watched those hands travel around the face until they got somewhere close to tea time, to 6pm when I could grab that first drink with my tea without any guilt, eventually I stopped waiting for 6pm, I grabbed a few cans during dinner or the afternoon, while nobody else was in the house, I was alone in my own prison cell, with one window to the outside world, FACEBOOK and I loved it.

Then last March the reality that I couldn’t keep doing this hit when my relationship came to and end I finally realised I HAD A PROBLEM!!!

First the drink went, then slowly I moved away from Facebook, I still stay on Facebook, but I use it sparingly to keep in touch with some friends, but no longer use it day to day, I just check for messages and that’s it.

What do I see now when I look at most people statues?

I just see most people complaining about their lives, how crap their lives actually are!  We see people comment on everything they do in their lives, even if it’s going to the toilet and they’ll be back soon!

Do I really give a monkeys, is your life that bad it almost comes to an end when someone removes you as a friend or puts an unpleasant comment to one of your never ending complaints about your tiny lives, well no I don’t!

Get a life, ditch the keyboard and taste the air outside, open the curtains to your life, not by logging in but by going out!

Don’t complain about your life when you do nothing with it!

Don’t just post something so out there just to provoke a reaction, then complain bitterly when you get a reaction you don’t want, but one which your comment deserves!

I must admit when I started this Blog I started a twitter profile to go with it, because of the limitation of Twitter and the fact I only keep my follows to Friends from Church and Friends of this Blog, rather than anyone who brushed past me on the street one day, or the bloke on the bus who knows the guy that knows a guy, who knows a kid that sat next to the guy who sat next to me on the same bus yesterday!

When I joined Facebook my first status was this,

“… has finally joined the Evil that is Facebook.”

In time I came to realise there maybe some truth to that!

Don’t get me wrong, Facebook isn’t all bad, it has it’s good points, you can keep in touch with friends who live far away, my Karate club uses it to pass on information at short notice, but for me I stay away from it because it’s just full of people who love to complain about they own tiny lives.

Deep inside, I hide the words I want to say
Kept far from light, I’m tryin not to speak my mind
Why do I tell everyone I know
That this just feels wrong
Its time to make amends
And I’m feeling for my answers
And I’m trying to find my way
The truth is that I don’t know what to say
And I’m fighting for my reasons
And I’ll take this all the way
The fact is that I don’t care what you say
So where do we go when
The doors keep on closing
You’re wasting your time don’t stand in our way
So now we have chosen
To just kick them open
Take this as a sign don’t throw it away
(Finest Hour by BulletProof Messenger)