The Inactive Activist

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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Beginning The Steps

Posted by Jimi Cutting on March 18, 2013

AA Big Book

AA Big Book (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello, my name is Jim and I am an alcoholic.  I have been battling this disease for a long time now, longer than I care to admit to at times, and it is only recently I was able to fully admit I had no control over it and needed help to overcome it.  For many years I thought I could just drink socially, and for a while I could, but boy what a fool I was.  All those benders I had along the way and the instances of drinking recently have proven to me I cannot control, I never will be able to control it and I need help to stay sober.

 

I have admitted I am powerless over alcohol–that my life has become unmanageable.

 

Step 1 has been completed for me, I have admitted to myself and to others that I am powerless over alcohol, that I cannot control it–it in fact controls me, and because of this my life is unmanageable.  With everything else going on in my life:  divorce, physical and mental health problems, a new relationship, etc.  I do not need or desire the influence of alcohol.

So, what now?  Well, while I have a “recovery buddy”, which is a friend I can talk to about recovery and helping to keep each other sober, what I really need to do is get a sponsor and start going to more meetings.  The problem with getting a sponsor is finding someone that I can trust and have faith in–never an easy task.  I thought I had found one, however it turned out he was involved in a lot of drama (some with my recovery buddy) and that was something I did not want to get involved in, especially considering a sponsor is someone I am supposed to be able to get along with and that would not be easy if I was angry at him and wanted to kick his ass.

I currently volunteer at a social club for people in recovery and it is a good, safe environment for me to be in.  It gives me people to talk with who know what I am going through and are able to talk to me with their own experience in recovering from alcoholism.  The people I have met through the club are important to me and I cherish the impact each of them makes in my life.  Without this network of friends I would most likely be buried in a bottle somewhere at best and still hospitalized at worst.

No need to worry, I won’t be turning all preachy or “booze is bad”, I just wanted to post a disclaimer so everyone would be aware of the tonal changes that are bound to show up in any posts and comments I make in the future.

 

Happy blogging all!

Posted in alcohol use, alcoholics anonymous, Personal | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

New Year, New Life

Posted by Jimi Cutting on March 1, 2013

Hey folks,

Been a lot of changes in my life in recent months and the reason I have not been able to blog is my laptop suffered some water damage and was bricked.  So, what has been going on, hmm?  Well I am getting divorced, was hospitalized for a while (the mental side) and am learning how to be me again.

I am hoping to become active here again, as recent events have put forth a lot of stuff I want to discuss.  However, I just wanted to drop a quick note to let everyone know that I am indeed still alive and kicking.  Looking forward to arguing, discussing and sharing with you all again!

Posted in Personal | 1 Comment »

My Birthday Wish

Posted by Jimi Cutting on June 22, 2012

As anyone who reads my blog will know I am a big supporter of marriage equality. I normally do not do the “Cause Wishes” that get sent out around my birthday but with the ballot issue coming up in Maine this November and all the other states dealing with the issue I figured this would be a good time. So, the link below is to my wish, donate if you can, share either way. It would be nice to raise some money for this very important issue.

 

My Birthday Wish

Posted in birthday, Equality, LGBT, Maine, Marriage Equality, Personal | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I Had A Sleep Study

Posted by Jimi Cutting on April 24, 2012

Every now and then I will do a personal post and this is such one.  Last night I had to do a sleep study and my wife linked me this blog post, and it gave me enough of a chuckle that I wanted to take my own spin on it.

To start the night off right I had Statistics class before my sleep study, nothing quite like Statistics to get you in the proper frame of mind for sleeping.  The sleep center for the hospital I go through used to be right in the hospital itself, but they recently moved it to its own building, one where the doors lock after hours.  We were at the doors that appeared to be the main doors and of course at 8:30pm they were not opening for us, now there was nothing there marking an obvious doorbell and I was not about to start pressing buttons and wind up surrounded by some SWAT team.  So, dug out the cell phone and called them to let them know we were there.  This is where the humorous part starts.

Upon seeing me, the tech did a double take due to my height; yes I am 6’8″ and come to find out they only have one bed for someone my height or taller, so they had to do some juggling with the bed assignments, not a major deal as no one else was there yet.  Now I am in the room, get into my comfy grey sweat pants, man I love these things and my wife wants to see me lay in the bed, which has a foot board.  I lay down and wonder of wonders, I can stretch out fully without being on a diagonal, booyah!  Score one for the home team!.  After some brief paperwork they ask me my usual bedtime and say they will be in about 45 minutes before that to get me hooked up.  Not bad I think as most places tend to tell you when it is time to go to bed–seems better to me to allow the patient to maintain their normal schedule so they are not under additional stress.

Oh, forgot to mention the room.  A nice private room, minus the cameras of course, with its own huge bathroom and TV.  Not that I watch a lot of TV but it is nice for background noise.  About the only downside was that I had to balance my laptop on my lap as they had no standing trays like a traditional hospital room does.  So long story short they get all the wires and belts on me, quite the process I must say and I settled in for the night.  Well, not right away, was still a little early and did some homework and what not.

The worst part of the experience was having to pee during the night.  A lot of it depended on the technician I got when I said I needed to pee, the guy had me use a urinal so I could stay connected (nice enough to aim the cameras at the ceiling tho), however the woman unhooked me and let me use the bathroom, not that it is any easier to pee with all those wires around you.  Not to mention the wires are only around six feet in length so I had to hobble around like a little old man.

Rolling over in bed to get comfortable was a challenge, having to readjust how the wires lay throughout the night.  However, it is over now and hopefully they got all the information they needed so I do not have to repeat it.  I did find it humorous that I had to come home and get some sleep as I was exhausted from my sleep study.

Posted in free thought, Humor, Personal, random thoughts | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

The Perils of Not Being a Christian

Posted by Jimi Cutting on February 19, 2012

I am still rather new to this whole blogging thing and one of the blogs that I have happened to trip across is Amanda the atheist.  Her blogs has provided me with some interesting insights, links and has given me new fuel for my own personal thoughts on belief and religion.  Like any blog she discusses a wide variety of things, however it is her posts on religion/atheism that have provided me with some interesting critical thinking.

For the last few years I have been stuck on the decision as to whether I am a Deist or an Atheist.  While a quick review of their definitions can show one that they are very different in meaning and thought actually having to debate the two internally shows they have a lot of similarities.  I am 37 years old and I am still unsure of my religious leanings.  I was not raised in a religious family at all.  Weddings and what not at a church, some time at a Baptist Summer camp, but no real exploration into Christianity and when I would ask questions I was always shot down with the old stand by of, “take it on faith.”  Well, that does not fit in with my personality, I am the type that requires proof for what I am expected to accept as fact.

People do amuse me though, take for instance something that happened in my Intro. to Lit. class the other night.  We were discussing the short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been” and I was pointing out all the religious (Christian) connotations in the story.  I do not know how it came about, but it was soon revealed that I do not accept the Bible as fact and then came the questions:

  • How can you not believe in the Bible but make all these claims about the story? (Bible can be read by anyone, hello)
  • Don’t you know Jesus died for you?  (Honestly, in the current age we are in I could sue him for infringing on my right to sin.)
  • You talk about the Bible as if you know it but don’t believe in it? (Well yes, how can you debate something without knowing it?)
  • And many more…

I’ve read various versions of the Christian bible and of course different translations.  How is anyone supposed to base a belief system off of something that is so self-contradictory?  One of the topics I’ve researched is homosexuality, specifically the verses that are most commonly used to argue against it.  The interesting thing is, the Bible does not in fact say what people think it does about homosexuality.  Here is one of my favorite articles written about the subject, particularly considering the author himself is a reverend.

I do not understand how it is that a religion that is supposed to be built on love and forgiveness can have some of the most hateful people as followers?  People wonder why I am so against any religious involvement in government and all I need to do is reflect on the hate that is shown by “honest christian” people towards those they deem unworthy.  Why is it so hard to live and let live, to let others have their own lives?

When Christ compelled his followers to spread his message, he did not intend for you to throw us all on the ground and shove it down our throats.

Posted in atheism, Bigotry, Deism, discrimination, Personal, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Equality — What Does It Mean?

Posted by Jimi Cutting on February 11, 2012

Strangely enough, people have many different meanings and ideas of what equality entails.  Now, I am not talking about “marriage equality”, at least not this time, I am talking about equality in general and how we, as a species, have a long way to go towards realizing this very simple concept.

I truly do believe in the concept that all people are created equally.  No, I will not refer to the quote from the Constitution as that would invalidate the point I am trying to get across here.  But, yes, I do believe that all people are created equal without limitation, clarification or elimination.  However, we are not there yet, not by a long shot and I am not merely referring to LGBT rights or minority rights, I am talking about everything in general.  Sadly, this post will generate some hate towards me, but all I ask of my readers is to take a moment and contemplate what I am saying and determine for yourself whether or not it all makes sense.

It is a sad state of affairs that we need to enact laws in order to ensure equality across the board, that is something I have always felt.  It speaks volumes for us as a species that we need words on paper telling us how to treat one another.  How can we honestly expect to handle any extraterrestrial event when we are not unified on our own world?

By now a lot of you are wondering what I am talking about, I mean after all we have established laws to ensure equality for women, minorities, LGBT, etc.  While this is true, we still live under inequality.  What am I talking about?  Well, let me just highlight some topics of interest here.

  • Different standards for men and women in the armed forces.  Now, the job description is for a soldier gender should not matter into it.  If the job description says you must be able to do ABC then whoever applies for and trains for the job should be able to do it without modification based on gender.  This also applies to law enforcement and firefighters as well.
  • Why is it all right for a woman to be the stay at home parent but when a couple decides for the father to be the stay at home he becomes a lazy bum?  This is a serious double standard, the father can do just as good of a job with the children and the housework as the mother can.
  • Why is it that men as elementary school teachers are frowned upon and it is considered creepy?  It was not that long ago in our nations history when it was considered perverse for women to be teachers.  I understand with the recent events in an LA school it is a concern, however women can be child molesters as well; Hello Pamela Smart!  With the proper background checks this is a non-issue.
  • Hate to break it to you, but yes, men can be raped too and not just by other men.  An erect penis does not imply consent any more than a woman having an orgasm during a rape.  Now this also applies to domestic abuse, there are men out there that are the victims of their wives.  The reason we do not hear about it more is our society scoffs at the idea of a man being the victim of a woman so men never report it for fear of humiliation.
  • Why is it that men are not allowed to have a say when it comes to abortion?  And please, spare me the “you don’t have a uterus” mantra, it does not fly with me.  It takes a male and a female to make a child, it should be both making the decisions.  Lord knows when it comes to child support whether or not the man wanted the child he has to pay.  Seriously, I am not trying to demean women here, but this should be a mutual decision, not something left up to just one person.  Imagine for a moment ladies if your man decided to have a vasectomy without discussing it with you…
Now, I am not all about the down-trodden male here, there is still plenty of inequality towards women as well and I think that needs to change as well.
  • Why can’t women serve in front line combat positions?  There are other countries in this world that allow their women to fight in the military and it only makes sense as it is their nation too that they are defending.
  • A clear look at the elected positions in this country shows that the voting people are still not open to the idea of women and minority representatives.  This is a sad state of affairs and needs to be rectified.  Now I am not saying elect them just for the sake of it, I was never a fan of affirmative action, but if they are just as qualified they should get the votes too.
  • As with elected positions, the same applies to higher up positions in corporations, police departments, law firms, et al.
  • Sports – now there is a big one.  Women’s sports should not be set aside as some side event.  Do I think women should get the chance to play on the same teams as men?  If they can compete, absolutely!  But, I do think the professional leagues need to do more to promote women’s sports than they currently do.
And now my final topic on the issue of equality for all and this one may catch some of you by surprise.  The worst example in the world on creating and allowing inequality comes to us from religion.  Religion, or the church, if you will attempts to keep its followers on a lower level than the “elect”, the enlightened ones.  Women do not get a fair representation in the church, in fact they are told their role is to keep quiet and obey their men.  The church imposes rules on all its follower, demanding they follow the rules of their god, while at the same time not living within those same rules.  Quite frankly religion is a blight on our society as a whole that needs to be removed quickly.  Set aside wars, nuclear, biological or chemical weapons and disease, religion if allowed to continue unchecked as it has been will be what kills off our species.  If the church had its way we would still be living in the Dark Ages, ignoring science and technology, forgoing most medications and vaccines, and living constantly under the rule of the church and the fear of their god.
I am thankful each day that these bold, brave people came forward and brought all these things to us.  As a whole we are healthier, more aware of our world and our universe .  We are able to think independently and freely and live without fear.  At a certain time the church may very well have been needed to maintain order and protect people from the mysteries of the world but that is not true any longer.  The world we currently live in is far from perfect, however that is not likely to change until we can all come together as one with respect and fairness for all.  These are changes that cannot happen over night nor do I expect them to happen in my own lifetime.  Greed and malice are to much a part of our makeup at the current time.  Sadly, I think it will take either the threat of, or the act of, some global event to push us in the direction of unity and I truly do hope for our species that it will not be to late.

Posted in Abortion, Equality, Family, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Personal, Political, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Patriotism Is Not A Disease

Posted by Jimi Cutting on February 11, 2012

I am very proud to be an American and I am not afraid to state that.  However, that being said, that does not mean that I fully subjugate myself fully to my government.  in fact, I disagree with the actions of my government quite a bit, but, that is what makes this nation great–we are allowed to do that without penalty!

This is not a concept that just applies to America either, people honestly do care about their nation and culture no matter where they live and completely independent of whatever government is currently ruling over them.  It is not for the USA to dictate to other nations what their beliefs should be, we should be willing to accept the fact that other nations have rich histories and cultures of their own.  The issue of ruling governments is something different entirely.

At this point I need to interject with some simple definitions.  To clarify on my word choices it is important to note any references to country are meant in a geographical sense while references to nation reference to a large body of people within a country.

There is somewhere in the neighborhood of 196 countries in this world, that is a huge number when you consider the fact that there tends to be many nations, or societies/cultures if you prefer, within one country.  We are not at the point as a species of having a collective belief system, this is something I have addressed before and most likely will again, and it is unfair for anyone, person, nation or *cough* religious institution, to attempt to force their belief system on another.  You would not go into someone’s home and tell them how to rearrange their furniture would you?  It is important to respect the belief systems of other nations, especially when you are a tourist.  People will most likely spot you as a tourist and have their own preconceived perceptions, however, if you act in a polite manner (as if you were in someone’s home, which you are) then chances are you will be treated politely yourself.

I have grown very tired of Americans disrespecting their own nation, it is uncalled for.  While you may disagree with the current powers in government, they are not a true reflection of this nation, yes they are the “representatives” however this nation is to culturally vast for that few people to be a reflection.  It would behoove you to realize as well that only a small number of the government people in Washington D.C. are elected, a fair amount of them are appointed for one reason or another.  The concept of a career politician was not something that the Founding Fathers intended, this nation was founded on the principal of being citizen led, with elected officials serving the needs of those citizens.  Speaking of the Founding Fathers, this is a great chance for a segue into the topic of The Constitution.  I want to start this part with a quotation from Thomas Jefferson:

I am certainly not an advocate for for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

Thomas Jefferson was fully for the idea of a “Living Constitution”, a constitution that could be revisited and revised on a regular basis to reflect the changes in society and technology.  Instead, what we have now is akin to a religious movement for a document that is over 200 years old and was written in a different time with a very different culture.  The original intention of our Constitution was to create a government that was more centered around the people than the British rule we had lived under.  Which, that was fine and good for that day and age, but as many events have shown it no longer applies to the here and now.  The Founding Fathers never envisioned the Internet, women’s rights, freedom of the slaves or open acceptance of homosexuality.  While yes, we have an amendment system for our Constitution it is not enough, not by far.  The core of the Constitution needs to be revisited and edited to reflect the age we currently find ourselves in.

To close this off, I want to touch once again on religion.  While I agree with the concept that everyone is entitled to their own belief system, religion should never be a part of any government, they two are not compatible.  The purpose of government is supposed to be to insure the welfare of the govern, also know as the citizens.  Religion seeks to control the masses with the “elect few”, the priest caste.  Religious doctrine is government does not allow for a free and healthy society, if one reflects on historical wars you will see that more than any other cause they have been started for religious reasons…  Just take all of the Crusades as a fine example.  Religious reasoning has been used far to often to oppress people and to deny them of their basic rights:  Women, minorities, & LGBT to name but a few.  Religion is fine in the home, the church and gatherings of like minded people, but please, leave it out of the schools, my government and off my front porch!

Posted in Personal, Political, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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