As promised… a political “rant” if you will… shared this on Facebook:
To be honest.. I’m tired of both Republicans and Democrats… Republicans want it all… (so do the Democrats) and the Democrats don’t want to talk… I guess no one in Washington D.C. actually took an American History class or an American Government class… I agree, the United States government has become tyrannical – both “for the people” and on the other side “we know best.” Sad thing is, it will never change, no longer can we vote for people who actually do care about the people, but only about their own political future… THEIR ideas… what THEY think is right… my opinion doesn’t matter… if you don’t believe me, then look at the electoral college (for one example). We all know the Healthcare bill is not perfect – never will be (constructed mostly by politicians), but we also know that the Republicans do not have the answer either… neither side does… so, I guess, why are we so shocked… why are we so appalled? If you want to blame the Republicans, go ahead, you are as ignorant as they are, if you want to blame the Democrats, again, go ahead, you are just as pigheaded as they are… what is to blame is the system… not just the President, not just Congress… but the system. The system that no longer is for the people (not even by the people) but a system that is full of greed, a false sense of equality, imperialism, over educated men/women with hardly any true experience (or if they had it, are now blinded by the religion that is politics and partisanship)… Grow up… it isn’t really their fault… nor is it really ours… though we crave checking CNN/Foxnews/MSNBC to see who misstepped, who misspoke, who sent pictures of their nether regions to some hooker… or whatever… okay, so maybe it is our fault, we have come to see politics as a drama TV show… like the Sopranos, or “24″ or Breaking Bad (though I think The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and Sons of Anarchy or more apt)… so I guess, in truth, I am not really tired of Republicans or Democrats, I am tired of Americans who continue to feed the monster… I am tired of “Christians” who even more so feed the monster… on both sides – who continue to blame this or that when they can’t get their heads out their ass to realize that both sides are the same body, just two heads, and they continue to feed both sides. Stop feeding.
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On March 20, 1980, I was born to John William Holloway and (Fay) Elaine Holloway. I was not supposed to be born, my mother was not physically capable of having children (yet, she had two more). I was christened/baptized as an infant into the United Methodist Church – my dad being a pastor in the South Georgia Conference. Later, he would start his own independent charismatic church – he was heavily involved in the early charismatic movement in the Methodist church, and eventually merge with another independent charismatic church – New Life (Now Eagle’s Way) in Griffin, GA. That church, under the prophetic direction of then Pastor Randy Adler, began to dabble in the sacramental – particularly with communion and the liturgy of the Eucharist. Naturally, the liturgy was more Episcopal/Anglican in nature, but it was a start.
On June 26, 1992, the Charismatic Episcopal Church (Now the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church) was officially begun with Randy Adler becoming the first bishop to be consecrated. My dad would be ordained a priest the very next year, and he founded St. Michael and All Angel’s Church in Thomaston, GA. I loved the liturgy – yeah, the worship was nice, but what I fell in love with was the liturgy, the symbolism, and the Sacraments – in essence, the true historical nature of the Church. Yes, the Church is Charismatic and Evangelical – but I had been raised that way, now I had been brought into the Sacramental – the missing piece of the puzzle.
I served as the first acolyte in the state of Georgia in the CEC at St. Michael’s – thanks to Fr. David Monroe, I actually had a clue of what I was doing and actually how to do it. I had the privilege to attend, when my father taught the classes, seminary classes for the “area” – not yet a diocese, and I loved it. I was surrounded by great men of God – both in spirit and in knowledge, who I could listen to for hours. As many of us do, over the next decade or so – while going through the Marine Corps, college, etc – as well as trials and a myriad of other things, I “fell” away. Not that I didn’t love the church and the Church, but I had come to feel that my views… and not just my views, but my beliefs, were going in a different direction then that of the CEC.
Five years ago I met my wife, four years (and just over a week) ago, I married her, and since have had three beautiful children. I have had my share of arguments – some constructive, many destructive – and along with other things going on in my life (The Struggle), I struggled (no pun intended) to truly find a home. Thankfully, my wife was not so disillusioned with insanity, and led our family, with my great reluctance, into Roman Catholicism. Today, I am so very happy that she did just that, and I am blessed to attend and be a part of a parish that embodies, not just the Sacramental, but also the Charismatic and the Evangelical.
My “academic” goal is the same as one of my “spiritual” goals – and that is to continue to explore the Historical Church. I am going to continue to write about addiction, and I am sure I will continue to write about politics and world events, but as my blog is called, “often we think nothing.” My goal is to explore such items as the Roman Catholic Catechism, Tradition (Catholic, Anglican & Orthodox – maybe even a little Protestant in there ) and Liturgy, Church History, the Church Fathers, important saints and writers, etc, etc… Yeah, a tall order, but you have to begin somewhere. In all of these things, I want to welcome discussion, for only in discussion to we truly gain a total perspective, and like anything else in life, Christianity – maybe most importantly – needs to be seen and grasped with a total perspective.
First, I want to share my journal entry from “day 1″ – this is the day after, once I got released from jail. My purpose is not to try and garner any sympathy, nor is it to condemn myself, but to show what does go through someones mind, at least in a very edited sense, when they reach a place of no return. This, I suppose, is mostly for those who are going through what I have gone through – simply, addiction. Addiction can come in many forms, alcohol, drugs, sex, smoking, eating, gambling, and even worse, things that we would never assume to be bad in the first place – but in truth, we are addicted to self. When we are addicted to something, whatever it is, we are totally relying on ourselves to fix the problem – whether it is stress, depression, fear, loneliness or what have you, we are trusting in our own human nature. Ironically, because the addict has to, yes HAS to turn to what ever he or she is addicted to, the addict knows it doesn’t really solve the issue, it is a band-aid. The addict knows that he or she will have to have their fix again. Whether it be a couple of hours, or a couple of days, the need will come.
Day One – September 6, 2013
Today was probably the toughest day of my life, as it should have been. I screwed up bigger then I have ever done before. Last night, in anger and drunkenness, I threw a beer bottle at my wife from my bar as she was going to the basement stairs. What possessed me to do it was stupidity. Of course, my wife called her father, as she should have. They called my brother and he told them to call the police, as he should have, and they did, as they should have. I was arrested and taken to the Providence Police Department holding cells, where my cell was sparse, with a toilet/drink fountain combo and a metal rack for a bed. Sleep was impossible, even though I was exhausted. Not just because I was scared and humiliated. Not just because I felt so bad that I had done what I did, but also because the bed just simply was extremely uncomfortable. Eventually the sun rose and my picture was taken and so were my finger prints – both digitally and with ink. Finally I was handcuffed to two other inmates and we were taken to the courthouse to be arraigned. I had never been arraigned before, and I pray I am never again. Thankfully – it had to have been God – the Sherriff Deputy who took charge of us was a good friend of mine. Eventually we were taken into the court room and I saw my wife sitting in the back and I almost started to cry. With here was Jaime’s wife, who had just happened to procure his lawyer to help me. I was released without bail, which is wonderful, with a court date on September 19 at 9am. The blow was that I was ordered by the judge to not communicate or go near my wife until I go to court. Finally, around 12pm I was released and Jaime’s wife Alice took me to Ruth Anne’s parent’s house where I will be staying until either the court date, or if my wife decides to drop charges, until then. When I got here my kids were here and it was such a wonderful feeling to get to see them and hug and kiss them. I took a nap from around 1pm to 3:30 pm. When I got up, Noel and I had a talk, which was very good. I helped Noel out at 82 Chapin a little bit, then he went over and picked up my kids and brought them over. We played outside and then got ice cream. Of course, they then had to leave. I miss them so much, but I miss my wife even more. I just wish I could tell her I love her, tell her I am so sorry, and ask her to forgive me. I am so tempted to just text her, but I am so afraid to not follow the judge’s order – it kills me inside. I know it is all my fault. I know I have to stop drinking right now entirely, and I am fine with that, in fact I am looking forward to total sobriety so I can finally be a true husband and dad. So I can finally spend all of my free time with my family, not zoned out or passed out or pissed off. I just wish I could tell Ruth Anne these things. I cried all night in my cell, I just want to go home, I just want to be with my family – they are all that matter to me now. I just wish I could have seen and understood that before and not been a selfish asshole. I don’t like it when I am that way, and I do not want to be that way ever again. I want to be like I am now, sober, humble, loving, caring, weak but strong… and I want to be that way for my wife and kids, and I just want to be that way at home. It was so great to spend time with my kids, I told Johnny to tell his mommy that I love her and I am so sorry… I hope he remembers and does it. Ruth Anne, I love you – you and our kids truly are my world, I don’t want to ever hurt you again, I am so sorry… please forgive me.
yet nothing seems to be.
Alone and forgotten,
I feel, even when sunshine lights up my face.
My love is left alone,
all because of me.
I long to hold her once more,
to kiss her face,
to make her laugh,
but for now,
to hear her voice
would mean the world to me.
Yes, it is full of self reliance in many ways, and it is full of a lot of other things – understand, I had just gotten out of jail, and every fear that I had ever had came rushing at me. Sadly, the first thing I thought of once I stopped feeling sorry for myself was that I hoped Ruth Anne hadn’t poured my vodka out. She did, and later on while sitting in jail, after praying, I wanted her to anyways. But that is how the addict thinks… if I can only have ________ fill in the blank, it will be okay, at least for a little while. It is insanity at its finest.
I’ve had two people ask me why in the hell I would share these things. It is simple, this isn’t just about me, or about my family and I, it is about every single person who struggles with addiction and self dependence. Though we think we are alone, and we usually make sure we “are,” we are not. It is not something to be ashamed of, God has made us intense individuals. Biblically, King David was an addict… he had to have Bathsheba… he ended up on the run with his enemies surrounding him – it almost makes you wonder how many of those enemies were spiritual and in his head versus the physical ones with swords. David was not just running from Saul, he was running from himself, his carnal and earthly desires. Until he found the one thing most beautiful – which he eventually proclaims his only desire is to be in the presence of that – God, he ran. To “prove” this with modern genetic science – since scientist believe addiction is hereditary… just look at Solomon. Paul, had a thorn in his side that God would not remove… was it addiction, possibly. As believers in Christ, we are not immune, I would even argue that we are more vulnerable because the enemy hates us more then the unbelievers. We can not be as Adam and Eve and trust in our own intelligence, we must trust and put our faith in God.
I had seven people ask me was I was judging or condemning myself. I am not, I am simply stating the truth and what is in my heart. In a way, it is a confession – a confession that if it simply went to a priest, yes, would get absolved, but would not get healed. A confession that I could simply lay in bed and pray to God and confess, and I am forgiven, but I would not change. How do I know this? Because I have done it all before. As my wife wrote in her latest post, the chains had to be broken – I didn’t need forgiveness, I already had that, but the chains were still there. That, and honestly, I as tired of hiding, and I was tired of being hidden from, that, and I believe God told me to, again, not just for me, not just for me and my family, but the person who might stumble upon these silly rants, as he smokes a joint or as she turns back her whiskey and realizes, I am not alone.
I also wanted to clarify some things: My fear – no longer consumes me. Does it rear its head… yes, will it arise at some point in the future, I am sure. If you know me, I would not have been able to post the last post if I was afraid. Anxiety – When I say anxiety, I mean normal nervousness that gets compounded by fear, no, I will not take medication. I am not saying medication is wrong, but I believe personally that more times then not it is not necessary and in the end could do more harm then good – it makes someone addicted to something else – this is especially true with drug related addiction.
I don’t want anyone’s pity, I’ve had enough of that over the years. All I want is prayer and support, and I thank those very much who have, either today or in the past week. I am not saying I have all the answers – I don’t know if I have any answers, honestly, I don’t care, it is not me who is in control, it is God. This journey, the true struggle, has just begun. Lastly, I’d like to thank Ruth Anne – though we can’t communicate yet, and no, I am still not home, her love and support has been evident, not only in her Facebook and blog posts, but in my children’s eyes when I see them, and in their hugs and kisses. I can see my wife so clear in them, and it is such a blessing, and I can feel her love in every smile. Goodnight all.
We all have our struggles. From the outside, some seem harder than others, but for each of us, our own struggles are just as hard as anyone else. Some struggle with money, some struggle with drugs, others with alcohol, others with anger, and the list can go on and on. Beneath each outward sign of struggle, there is always an underlying issue. For myself, it is fear, for others, it might be something else. I have, as long as I can remember, always had a fear of rejection – along with others, but my “root” fear has always been that no matter what I do, say or how I act, I will never be good enough. Now, my mother says it comes from circumstances in the womb, and that is probably true, but what started as a small seed, grew into a tree so massive that cast shadows over my entire life. What began as something that could be trampled, became something that needed to be cut down. Not only cut down but processed – the trunk needed to be cut into smaller pieces, the branches and leaves needed to be chipped into wood chips, and then after all of that it still needed to be burned. The miracle of that is that the ashes could be used to re-cultivate the garden bed of my soul – turning something that Satan intended for death into something God could use to bring forth life.
Fear, in and of itself, is evil. It is a “base” sin – seen throughout the creation story. Adam needed a companion, not just because he’d be bored – he had all the animals and the plant life – he even had God – but so he would not be alone. Loneliness breeds fear. God knew Adam would be lonely, knowing this He also knew Adam would be exposed, naked, therefore vulnerable to fear. The irony is that with the new creation brought along pride and the eventual Fall of man, but that is another post. However, through the Fall of man, through pride and eventual fear and nakedness, God brought forth His plan of a new creation through His Son Jesus. Through a battle that Satan had won – bringing death to man, God brought forth life through our need for salvation through His Son.
Throughout my life I have been blessed. My parents have loved me, prayed for me, taken care of me, been there for me, etc. There have always been people in my life who were there for me, to listen, to hold me, to cry with me, to laugh with me, etc. However, I found myself throwing them away – taking them for granted – pushing them farther and farther away. Why? Simple, fear. For whatever reason, I allowed fear to grow. Now, many people would say this was influenced bo so and so or such and such, and that may be so, but I am the one who would not truly call for help. Why? Again, fear. I know, seems like a paradox, how then you might ask can you deal with fear if you are afraid to deal with it – or afraid to allow it to be dealt with. Well then, here is my story.
I served my country, the United States of America, honorably in the United States of the Marine Corps for five years. We were taught our fear was good, we were taught to harness it and take control of it. We were taught to use our fear to stay aware and to us it as an advantage over the enemy. For our purposes, it worked. However, the fear still remained. How to cope… well, no offense against military chaplains (especially Padre Steve), but most chaplains I ran into had no clue what to say or what was even going on. Psycologist don’t help – they just want to put you on medication – well, I already had a medication, it was alcohol. At first, drank only on the weekends, weekends became Wednesday too, then Monday, then every night. I didn’t drink to function, i drank so I wouldn’t be afraid anymore. When I drank, I was fearless… hell, I could even evangelize, which is ironic. I could handle all the thoughts running through my head with ease. Whether it was military stuff, or fiancee problems (or girl friend problems), family issues, religious issues, you name it, I could both process it and handle it. Along the way, I lost friends, my fiancee, etc… and at first it brought fear, so I drank – I no longer feared rejection, I expected it. Well, eventually came college once I was out, then my dad has his stroke. I saw my dad’s stroke as God rejecting me… and not just me, but my family. Sure, my mother has always kept the faith, me, I lost it. I didn’t care anymore… I didn’t expect to make it to 25, much less 27, so I drank. In the Spring of 2008 I moved to Athens, GA to attend the University of Georgia. My class size got bigger – I “hate” people (fear of rejection) and I had sever anxiety… so I drank, smoked some marijuana on occasion, and my anxiety left me. I was doing great… then I met my future wife, Ruth Anne.
I don’t remember adding her on Facebook, I was probably drunk – no, I’m positive I was, I lived drunk. To me, to be drunk was to be sober… to be sober, well, I didn’t know what that meant anymore. Did I drink all the time? No, but I drank a lot – remember, it takes 72 hours at least for alcohol to process out of someones system… I probably had enough alcohol after drinking for seven years straight to take God knows how long to process out of my system. I digress, one day in September she messaged me, or I messaged her.. don’t remember, and we started talking… and we talked and talked and talked and… well, in the short of it, she flew from Providence, RI to Athens, GA to see me. I remember some of it, I remember picking her up, I remember our first kiss, I remember Pat giving me the thumbs up sign as he walked out my door. I remember watching Rome (or Sons of Anarchy – I think it was Rome, I think Sons was in January). That’s it… well, I remember a few other things… smoking a joint and other stuff that, well, its private. She came back in January, pretty much the same scenario. I got a call in February from her… she was pregnant. Part of me was thrilled, part of me feared my mother, and the rest of me feared reality – I was going to be a dad. I feared I wasn’t good enough, I even asked God why in the hell would he allow a beautiful and precious woman to get pregnant by a drunk, arrogant asshole like me. I picture God laughing. Her dad, Noel, called me one Wednesday morning right before I had a Latin test… basically asking me what I was going to do. I was so nervous, so full of fear – and he was in Rhode Island -that I drank almost an entire fifth of Evan Williams – btw, I aced my test. After that I had church people telling me to “do the right thing,” to “take responsibilty,” and, “God has a purpose for this.” My response, go fuck yourself. I was scared, so again, I turned to alcohol and other vices, mainly women and marijuana. Up to that point, I may have smoked a joint once or twice a month, now I was smoking one once or twice a week. I got a new girlfriend – a young girlfriend. I drank more then than I ever have in my entire life, until I almost got thrown out of a window. I woke up the next morning scared shitless. I had never been so scared in my life – I was alone, hungover… I prayed, and I made my choice. I was going to say yes… I was going to move to Rhode Island, marry Ruth Anne, and raise a family.
Well, I moved to Rhode Island, married Ruth Anne – then Katherine was born, then Johnny, then Karl. I was afraid. So I drank… smoked a little bit (maybe four joints over four years), but I drank. Not only did I drink, but I began at times to talk to other women. Not for any sexualy satisfaction, I would drink and my fear would be gone so I would feel like I could pour my soul out – and honestly, guys aren’t always the most fun people to talk to – and so, well… I wanted, I needed someone to talk to, and I felt like if I talked to my wife… who by this point wouldn’t talk to me anyways because I was drunk – I would be rejected, well, in a away, I felt like I was being rejected. I told myself that no one understood – and truth be told, my wife and her family didn’t and still don’t – but that is not their fault, in fact I think that is actually a blessing, but neither did the people I was talking to. Besides, I was so full of shit it wouldn’t have mattered anyways. I told myself, well, I’ll only drink on the weekends, and I would find myself waiting anxiously for it to turn Thursday – the day we get paid – so I could go buy my twelve pack and my liter and a half bottle of cheap vodka. Little by little, I kept crawling down the stairs into an abyss that I thought was actually a garden, until finally I free fell.
LAst Thursday night – September 5, 2013 – I hit bottom. I drank (it is a common thread throughout this piece) and I got into an argument with my wife. The reason for the argument is not important, the outcome is. Eventually, the argument reached its climax, Ruth Anne took my vodka glass and threw it against the wall and turned to walk away. First, she threw my glass… anger sets in… then she walked away… rejection sets in… anger + rejection * drunk = Jared goes from being a normal nice asshole to well… it isn’t pretty, it isn’t nice, it is beyond asshole or hardass or whatever you want to call it… its more like the bombs dropped on Japan to end WWII. So, in that rage, I threw a beer bottle in Ruth Anne’s direction. Thank God I didn’t physically hurt her… but that isn’t the point. I eventually calmed down, went upstairs and went to sleep on the couch. I woke up a few hours later to find five Providence Police officers in my living room, and we all know what happens next, I got arrested for domestic violence. Thank God Ruth Anne talked to my brother JAcob who told her to call the cops, thank God she listened – if she would have let me be, I would not be writing this right now. So, to make this long story short – I went to jail, got arraigned, released on my on recognizance, no contact order, etc, etc. I had finally hit a bottom that I could not get up from by myself. I realized that it no longer was just me that was affected by my fear and drinking, it was Ruth Anne, Katherine, John and Karl – it was my family and Ruth Anne’s family. It was my co-workers and friends (practically family) – but obviously the most important of those groups is my wife and children.
I’m not going to go into all of the particulars of that night in jail or the days afterwards until now. Some of you who read this will have the unfortunate opportunity to actually read the journal I have been keeping – up to 22 pages so far. I cried out to God, and for once, for whatever reason, I actually felt peace. I cried, and He whispered to me, “You are a Daniel,” something my mother told me a long time ago. I told God words my father told him six years ago, Father, whatever it takes… I was so afraid I had lost everything… I know people say that all the time, but it is not the same, I was so afraid my life was over – of course, if I hadn’t ended up there, I probably would not have seen 34, I don’t think I would have seen Christmas, maybe even Thanksgiving. My wife would have had to deal with losing a husband to fear and alcohol, my kids, losing their daddy, my mother, losing her oldest son, her son of promise (she wasn’t supposed to be able to have kids, but Jehovah Remembered His promise -hence my middle name Zachary – also my name saint for confirmation) before she lost her husband. I got released, and I am, for the time being, staying at my mother and father-in-law’s house – they have been wonderful. I see my kids at least once a day, but I can’t see my wife yet, and I know it is killing us both – probably her more than me. I know longer fear – do I still get anxious, yes, still worry, obsolutely, but instead of trying to deal with it or cope I hand it over to God. There was no way for me to conquer my fear, therefore there was no way for me to conquer my addiction – only God can, but I had to come to that place where I actually wanted Him to, I had to come to that place where I realized that I do want to live, that this life is worth living, that my life is worth living, and most importantly, that God and my family is worth living for and that I will not be rejected, I will not be pushed away, that I am loved.
I have been sober now for eight days, the longest period in a long time. I voluntarily decided to start going to AA, and I actually like it. Will I always go to AA, I don’t know, but it is refreshing to be around people who are just as afraid and messed up as I have ever been, and to hear their stories of both triumph and defeat, to hear their fears and to hear their stories, and to realize that I am not alone. It is refreshing to be able to open up my heart and share and not get advice… or have some priest or pastor who hasn’t drank in his life or had an addiction problem, or anyone, not just clergy – tell me how I should fix it. IF you have never been addicted to something like drugs or alcohol… something that is quite frankly death, then you have no idea. You may know drunks, your parents might have been drunks or addicts or both – so you know how to be the victim, but you don’t know what it is like to live within yourself and be able to see out of your eyes and yet have no control… and to fear it when you are in that state, but long for it when your not. I know it isn’t going to be easy… and I don’t take that for granted. I also know I can’t do it by myself, I can only be healed by the Grace and Mercy of God. I also know I have a wonderful pillar of support from my wife, she is the most amazing, beautiful and wonderful woman I have ever known… I am so blessed to have her and my children, and I can now honestly say I wouldn’t trade her or my children for anything else in the world.
To finish, I was not able to spend my fourth anniversary with my wife, it was Thursday, September 12. However, I know when I do return to my home and her arms, whether that is Monday or Tuesday – or Thursday, it will make up for that and then some. For everyone who has been praying, I thank you, you all are such a blessing.
Gosh so much craziness around here the last few weeks... Ok, well maybe it was just my perception of it.
In a nutshell, my sister-in-law was here, and basically life was normal, with a day trip to Boston thrown in... and some cold weather... and hot weather... and a tropical storm (gotta love New England)... and lots of stuff growing in the garden + more structures built (may just have to have a separate garden update, we'll see how long this gets).