Friday, August 10, 2007

Step 8, became willing...

I was at home group Wed nite, we were doing the usual routine, reading/discussing a Step what with it being the 2nd Wed of the month of July, Step 8. As we're reading this one, and sharing on it it dawns on me that I am in the middle of making one of the larger amends I've ever had to make. About a yr and a half ago, I finally became willing to make this amends, here's how it goes.

For most of you who visit frequently, you know I play the trombone. I am a musician at heart, no denying that! Well, when I finished my undergrad degree, I moved to Houston, TX to work on my Master's Degree in Music Performance. As a part of my scholarship and degree program, I had to help with the trombone studio and teach 6 college students per semester, work with the trombone ensemble and then also work with the marching band, athletic band and concert band. This paid for my schooling, I was in heaven! I couldn't believe I got myself such an awesome gig on an audtion tape and a couple pone interviews...

I got down there in the summer of 1991 having just graduated with my Bachelor's in Music Education, and a good start on a serious drinking problem, typical binge drinking college party animal. Well, soon enough I found out how lonely it can get begin in a huge city away from home for the first time ever. I began hanging out at a local sports bar 3-5 nites a week and all weekend. My income came from teaching trombone lessons to junior high and high school kids, along with doing band camps and seminars at a few Houston area high schools. It all worked out fine for the first couple months.

I had this student who I got to be good friends with, one of the UH undergrads. It turns out that he is into drugs big time and so I was introduced to pot smoking on a daily basis and somehow my hair grew to the middle of my back, I had a huge goatee, the picture of college education, no doubt. Well, along with that came the drinking and partying on a pretty much daily basis, including a stint using cocaine & crack until I snorted and smoked up all my cash a few times. I guess I was mroe attached to haveing money and a place to live, so I kept the coke at a very recreational level somehow (again, thanks HP, oh man...) But the LSD and Ecstacy usage was insane.. I don't know how I didn't die...

It got to be where I was stoned 24/7, drunk on weekends, teaching lessons high, going to class and rehearsals/teaching high at UH, having drugs in my car for the drive home (parked on public school property, you know the potential ramifications there...) I was doing all these awful things to my beloved music career. Well, as the shit began to hit the fan, I dropped out o fgrad school on a resentment toward the band director, he obviously didn't know who the hell I was, and how dare he make demands of me. He must've been shocked witnessing the transformation fom clean cut ohio boy to long haired hippie burnout in a yr and a half. One by one I dumped all my music students or lost them and for the last several months of living there I worked in a large music store on the west side of Houston. I was nearly fired from there, I simply quit before I could be fired.

Upon moving home, I got back in a dance band I had played in before moving to TX, only to drink that job up and get fired one nite after a particularly not so good performance. So basically, I had managed in three yrs to throw my entire music career in the toilet. I had burned every bridge I had laid. It didn't really dawn on me what I had done until I got sober 4 yrs after moving home from TX. By that time I wasn't playing at all, was working various restaurant/fast food gigs and so on. Well, I was playing in a rock band, bas guitar and keyboard, but that was just fantasy land. My serious music career, my dream, all I ever wanted to do was long gone.

Well it has taken until oh, 1.5 to 2 yrs ago for me to become willing to make my amends to myself, my old career, to God, to all those students and college people I let down. It began with playing in church a couple times and I was hooked. Heck I wasn't even a member of the Church and they had me putting together the Christmas Brass music. The one guy I played in church with runs the dance band I am in now... the new HS band director joined the band 6 mos after I did and we got to know one anthoer really well. Well enough that she actually asked me to come teach her low brass/low woodwinds at her marching band camp all this past week.

Well, so here I am, making those amends, finally. I hadn't even intended to, it just happened. God did/is doing for me what I simply couldn't do for myself. For years in recovery, I couldn't play or didn't want to play. But. during the prep for our wedding, we were meeting with the organist, musical director and I "accidentally" mentioned that I played trombone in college and there I was,s tuck, he wanted me to come play at Mass... And from that, I am playing in the dance band and teaching again, making an oh so minor little name here in corn and beans land as a good trombone player and teacher. To further the amends, I earn very, very little money, I think $150.00 in two yrs. I don't do it for $$, I do it because I love to and frankly, I owe big time...

prayer for today...

HP, God, JC, thanks... help me keep going with this!

may the peace of Christ be with you all...

7 comments:

dAAve said...

More shall be revealed.
Thanks for sharing, Scott, and have a wonderful and serene weekend.

Shannon said...

I loooove seeing God working in people's lives and this is a great example! Scott this is sooo awesome!
Ps I got your email and address and sending it out today
Happy Friday, have a great weekend

Pam said...

That was just a wonderful wonderful read! God is paying awfully close attention to you my friend....enjoy it!

lash505 said...

2nd daaves comment it is truly wonderful to see.

arahman7 said...

Wow! I'm amazed. Thank you for sharing, Scott. Love to hear more. It became kinda inspirations for me.

Greetings and lotta love from Malaysia, trombone man!

Trudging said...

Yep, God is there

Shannon said...

Goooood Morning Scott! Happy Monday... LOL I guess its afternoon now, I just woke from a nap!