Saturday, June 30, 2007

No Day Like Today

Just finished watching Rent for the umpteenth time. My daughter was watching and I came in midway with a basket of laundry to fold and got sucked in so now the last song is stuck in my head. "There's only us...There's only this ...Forget regret or life is yours to miss....No other road...No other way...No day but today..."

It's been a busy week. We attended my daughter's college orientation for a few days and today I spent with my 16 yr old son at an advanced driving class. Did manage to get a meeting in last night but I'm not going to make it today but tomorrow there is 2. I will then have a full week of meetings! Last night was a woman's group. There were several women that I have seen at different meetings and there were quite a few young girls who seemed to have been transported there. My takeaway from this meeting was the concept of "Thy Will Be Done." In the past I have prayed this in regards to my father's death, my mother's illness, essentially when there have been life and death decisions to be made. I never really applied them to my life until now. I know I have to get a sponser and its been weighing on me. I don't really know anyone yet and wasn't sure what it was all about. I'm working on learning about it through AA and here in the blogosphere as has been suggested. At the beginning of the meeting they asked if anyone was willing to be a temporary sponser and a woman raised her hand so I approached her at the end of the meeting. We exchanged numbers and then I asked her now what? She said you just call me when you need me. It's up to you to lift the 1000 lb phone. So I said, you mean when I am craving a drink or anxious and she said hopefully before that. So I'm not sure what to do with this. When is before that? Right now? I told her a little about what I've been doing so far and she didn't like the online stuff. She said her first suggestion was to get offline and I'm not comfortable with that either. Not sure she really understands it. I'm sure she thinks I'm isolating but I'm not. I'm sure of that. So.. do I call her and explain the supplemental role of this internet support. She suggested I start reading and I know I need to do that. I have tended to rely on quotes, etc. and have put down the book itself so I can read other stuff which relaxes me.

So read the BB, figure out this sponser thing and go to the 10 am tomorrow. Okey Dokey!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Weeds & Flowers

I really like this line from Kelly Clarkson's song "Sober".. "Picked all my weeds and kept my flowers." I guess that is what I am doing, picking my weeds. At 16 days, I'm still looking for my flowers. I think that's what I am getting from meetings. You find your weeds and for me I'm seeing other people's flowers that I hope I either can unbury or can grow.

Did another meeting today. That's five now. Soon, I'll have to stop counting. They say 90 meetings in 90 days and I'm just 5 for 16 so it's good if I double up right? I am getting something from each one. Tonight's speaker was wonderful. I got the message of patience and tolerance from him which I very much needed to hear today. It's wierd that I can have patience and tolerance for strangers and not for the people closest to me. He also talked about presentation. He made a lovely romantic dinner for his wife but then was upset when she wasn't appreciative. LOOK WHAT I HAVE DONE FOR YOU! I think I have that problem. My life is doing for my family. Dinner, laundry, nice stuff, fun stuff, preparations, etc. I often feel unappreciated but what I learned tonight is that I'm expecting gratitude and that is not how I should be presenting what I do for my family. If I can do these things for the joy of doing them, not only will I be happier but hopefully my family will feel the joy as well. And that is a much better gift than their gratitude. I must work on this. My lesson for the day. Felt very weepy but garnered the courage to speak and tell him that I really needed to hear what he said today.


Mother Daughters and Meetings

Well, I had a better day yesterday with the boss but my 18 year old daughter is another story. Preface it all by saying, she just graduated high school and is going to college in the fall. I do believe she is experiencing as well as the whole family is experiencing some developmental phases typical of this age, middleschoolers even toddlers in the push pull of dependence and independence. I understand that intellectually but emotionally, oh boy. And we battled it out yesterday afternoon, and she is calling me names and generally behaving inappropriately. And I am trying to hold on, but ended up crying my eyes out as she said some very hurtful things. We got over it, she apologized and we moved on but I know that part of the problem is one that I have created over the years with my drinking. She can't seem to take responsiblity, everything is someone else's fault, and she can be a complete "rhymes with witch." She can be so like me it is scary and I am scared because I don't want her to make my mistakes. Don't get me wrong she is a good kid. People often tell me how proud I should be (and I am) and what a delightful person she is. My response is usually, yes I hear she's a great kid, wish I could meet her. I know we are her safety net. A place to let it all hang out but it can be alot and sometimes its just mean. And again, I am no longer running away with endless glasses of wine which seemed to make things oh so much more tolerable.

In a way, all for good though, for me. I was so upset that I did not go to a meeting last night. I know, that is precisely why I should have gone but we needed to resolve what was happening and I didn't want to take myself out of the equation. So instead I got myself out the door for a 7 am meeting this morning and I am so glad I did. A nice larger group, but not too large. A few familiar faces from the other meetings. The name is "What is Good About Today". I spoke for the first time as they went around the room. For the first time said out loud, I am Kathy and I am an alcoholic. Okay, gotta stop now, I'm tearing up. Thanks for the courage I have received here. xo

I thought you might need this one-day.

Where do I order this?

I guess I really needed this the other day:)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Tough Day

I had a really hard time with my boss today. He is a brilliant attorney and I have learned a great deal from him. But I am sure he is also obsessive compulsive or maybe bipolar (his sister is) . At the very least he has ADD. So he is a very hard individual to work for and it is just the 2 of us. He is a sole practioner. Nooone else he has hired has ever lasted. I've been there for 7 1/2 years now. I love the work and most of the time I can deal with him, actually I should say manage him or just yes him. We even have a relationship where I can make fun of his idiosyncracies or give him a hard time right back.

But today, it was just getting to me. I just didn't feel like accepting or managing his behavio. I just wanted to tell him he was crazy and judgemental. He goes on and on about other people, full of judgement or resentment. I usually try to get him to see the other side or I'll yes him just to get him to stop but boy oh boy, I just wanted to say SHUT UP. DO YOU HEAR YOURSELF?? But I can't really do that. He signs my paycheck. He goes on and on about authentic communication but he never listens to a word anyone ever says. He formulates his opinions and no matter what someone says he spins it to fit his view. And he's good at it, he's an attorney.

He noticed that I wasn't myself today. He just kept jumping around from one thing to another and I guess I was getting visibly pissed. He asked me if I had been out "partying" over the weekend. I had to laugh. I told him far from it, but I just wanted to finish something. Once he passes something on to me he forgets and moves on to the next thing. I wouldn't mind but then he wants to know if I finished the first thing. ARGHHH.

Anyway, don't mean to dump though it does feel great to let this all out here. Noone else really gets it except for the few folks who have worked for him in the past that I occasionally run into. But I don't want to badmouth him either so we just knowingly shake our heads. His brother is also an attorney in another part of the state and from what I gather from his paralegal, he is the same way except he is not a workaholic which my boss is so there is never any getting away.

But I was thinking that perhaps this is all me. In the past I was probably too focused on my hangover to really deal with him so I just didn't care. Now, perhaps I am just a bit more sensitive?? Lost some of the defenses. I don't know but I hope I get over it. I've got a couple of days off this week to attend my daughters college orientation so maybe the time off will help.

Didn't drink though and went to a meeting in my neighborhood on the river. It was nice. Well, nice isn't actually accurate but it felt right. Night.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Second Meeting

I went to another meeting this afternoon. There was one in town where my friend's party was so I decided to go after the party. First of all the cookout was fun. Had a few twinges as everyone was drinking beer and wine but lo and behold they weren't DRINKING, they were simply having a drink. I showed up with my large DD iced coffee and noone asked me why I wasn't drinking. So that whole thing was a relief.

The hurdle for me to go to this meeting was it was in the town where I know everyone and where my kids go to school. That had always held me back... what if I see someone I know. Well, I did and it was true what every AA person's response was to that question. They are there for the same reason so, so what. In fact, it was another enlightening moment for me to see a face I didn't expect to see. I didn't speak to anyone though. Not quite there yet.

Again, it was a speaker meeting and again my life story was very different from the gentleman who spoke with the exception of the drinking part of course. But even his drinking was different than mine. I felt very empathetic to him but couldn't really relate. But then, he said that many people come to the meetings and wait for something to happen. He said that was like sitting in your garage and waiting to become a car.

AGAIN WITH THE CARS!!!! I do believe Someone is trying to tell me something.

Day 14

I did it. I went to my first meeting last night. I drove by at first because I missed the driveway and there were people hanging out in front smoking and I was very self conscious but I sucked it up, turned around and went in. I was about 5 minutes early. Didn't really like the way it was set up. It was a huge room with about 20 tables a few couches and people were very scattered. I didn't know where to sit, so I grabbed a chair at the first empty table from the back. I was shaking but remained calm. I should have gotten there just a bit later, so no waiting time.

It was a speaker meeting and the gentleman who spoke has had a real rough time and has been sober since April this time. He has been drinking since the early 70's (like me). His teenage years sounded just like mine. The rest of it not so much though I found myself nodding and smiling a few times in recognition of a feeling or a moment. Except for one moment he said at the end that when his sister died (from alcoholism) he was more concerned with all the alcohol she had in her fridge than her death. I remember when my Mom was in the hospital that's what I did when I got back to her place, I drank the liquor despite the fact that it was the alcohol that put her in the hospital. I was suffering from NOT ME syndrome.

As I was leaving a woman walked out with me. We were just headed to our cars, said a few small talk things and then she said that she remembered when this particular meeting used to be packed (there were only a dozen or so people there) so I told her that, well it was my first meeting so I wouldn't know. She asked if it was my very first and I said yes and she welcomed me. She asked me if I had a list of meetings and where I was from. It turns out we live in the same town and even wierder we are both Kathys (although she could be a Cathy, a huge distinction:). Anyway she suggested a meeting this morning which happens to be within walking distance of my house. I didn't go this Sunday because I've got to get out the door this morning by 12 and I've got to make peas and get ready for a party and I wanted to post this. There's a meeting tonight elsewhere that I will go to. She also told me about a meeting for Monday that is not posted on the schedules so that was a good tip and I will go that. I got in my car to go home and got overwhelmed by tears. I think they were tears of relief, but also of fear, gratitude, and release all rolled together. I just let them flow.

So here's to 14 days. I'm going to a cookout to celebrate a friends 50th. I am totally prepared to leave if the urge to drink gets to me as this would normally be a drinking event for me. I'll make up my excuses while I make my peas.

Thanks to all of you who have read my posts and offered me your thoughts. It has truly helped me so far.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Taking the Plunge

Okay, big step. Using the clunker analogy, I think I finally decided that I can't fix it myself. I think I was deluding myself that lurking on the AABC group, blogging and reading up and doing the exercises on the Smart Recovery Website was enough, but that is like researching how a car works and then trying to follow the directions on how to get it started. This makes no sense to me because it is always easier to follow directions when you have seen someone do it.

So having that revelation late this morning, I looked up all the meetings and found one within an hour away. I need a mechanic. So I hopped in the car and drove away but got lost. I probably could have found it but I would have been late and I don't have enough confidence to walk in at the middle. So I turned around and came home. The drive helped me to clear my head and there is a meeting close by that I can go to at 8 tonite. So, I guess I'm gonna do it. Shit, it makes me nervous thinking about it which is why I wanted to jump in that minute without waiting. It makes me hopeful at the same time. So I'll keep busy until 8. 3 hours to go.

An Easier Softer Way for the Newcomer

I saw this posted elsewhere and I loved it. It has hit a chord with me.

Step 1: I had an old clunker parked in the driveway. I hadjust about given up on it, but decided to make a wholehearted attempt to restore it

Step 2: I couldn't fix it, but I came to believe someone could.

Step 3: I turned the car over to a mechanic.

Step 4: I took an inventory of all that was wrong with the old clunker.

Step 5: I shared the inventory with the mechanic.

Step 6: I helped take off the old parts.

Step 7: I let the mechanic handle the rest.

Step 8: We made a list of all the parts that were needed,and got together and went over them.

Step 9: I admitted I hadn't checked the oil and fluidsproperly, or fixed the other things that were going wrong. It was my responsibility to take care of the car,and I had not. I wanted to help, but being unfamiliarwith the process, I allowed the mechanic to fix things The car turned out beautifully!

Step 10: I checked the oil, fluids, tires etc. more regularly, and when I didn't the engine didn't hummmmm.

Step 11: I called on the mechanic whenever there was trouble, asking him to fix the car.

Step 12: That mechanic and I had become such close friends we decided to take a trip across the country, and stoppedto help all that needed it along the way

Friday, June 22, 2007


Okay. Up to today I can honestly say the urges to drink have not been too profound and I've been feeling very postive. I've been able to divert my attention or avoid the urge in the first place by just avoiding certain situations or maintaining a level of calm. But here it is Friday afternoon. It was a long day at work and I'm exhausted. My house is a mess. My daughter is already reeking havoc and has not even been home for 24 hours. I've got a lot of stressful financial planning on my plate for the weekend. And that desire to wind down with a glass of wine is just slapping me in the face. I even thought okay, just a sip, not even a whole glass. Well actually, that wasn't me. That was Big Bastard. (I'd call him BB for short but I don't want to confuse people between him and the Big Book:) So this is the beginning of an Urge Log:

Date: 6/22/07
Time: Began at 4:00pm on the drive home from work.
Peak Intensity: on a 1-10 scale, I'd say a 7.5
Duration: Well, it's 5:40 pm right now so 2 hours at least
Rise to the Urge: Friday afternoon routine, tired, stress
Extent of engaging in the Urge: 0, so far
Reaction to engagment: Gritting my teeth but typing away even though I've got tired computer hands. Will feel great if I get through the night.

Can't really avoid this "high risk" situation. Friday's come once a week, my daughter is here to stay (and I love her), challenging work will always be exhausting and I like challenges. So, the only thing to do is change my thinking, take a nap, who cares about the house, tell my daughter I can't engage in a battle and leave tomorrow's chores to tomorrow. AND NOT DRINK!

Okay, maybe this will help?


One of my triggering events for a drink is feeling anger at my husband, my boss, my teenagers (oh God, they can sure do a number on you:)) a situation, etc. Got this from the ABC's at Smart Recovery...

"A common example is the issue of someone else's behavior "making us angry".... A more accurate description of "someone making me angry" is to say that I feel angry about their behavior.... The responsibility for the anger is mine, not theirs. ....... it is generally irrational and self-defeating to get all worked up about someone else's behavior. ........ This is a very important element of the equation- reality. ......... It's like walking around with a big pushbutton on your forehead that says "Push here to aggravate". "

I'm going to think of that push button from now on. My goal is to make it smaller and smaller until it disappears and use these ABC's to help deal.

A. (Activating situation)
B. (Irrational Belief I have about A)
C. (Consequences of believing B)

D. (Dispute the Irrational Belief in B)
E. (Effective new thinking to replace B) I would prefer .........
realistic- that isn't very likely, is it- so when ............I don't need to ...........

Of course, not for nothing, I do believe the Serenity Prayer accomplishes the same thing and I have used that many times. So these are some tools to help me to distinguish between what I can change and what I can't. So now, whenever my husband annoys me I'm going to run to my blog and fill out my ABC's. Aren't you lucky????????

BTW: Today is Day 12. My son's leg is getting better though we came very close to a hospital admittance yesterday. My daughter is home from her trip to Germany. And its Friday. TGIF! All is good.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Day 9

Something pretty amazing happened last night. I had to take my 16 yr old son to the emergency room due to what looked like a really bad infection of an injury he received when getting cleated at a soccer game on Wednesday. Stressful enough, worried about gangrene and staph and all the big bad infections you hear about. He had a immense swelling around the wound in his ankle, fever, a headache and just generally didn't feel well. When we first got there all went well. We were seen immediately by the triage nurse and she put him in the fast track waiting room, which implies FAST, actually no implication it clearly states FAST. 1 hour goes by, to be expected. 2 hours, upon request they give himTylenol for his headache (can't do ibuprophen unless seen by a doctor..) 2 1/2 hours he is kindly given a pillow and blanket, not looking good. 3 1/2 hours, I finally asked if they had any idea when we would be seen. The triage nurse glumly shook her head and said in fact at least 2 people were ahead of us and then informed me that there was only one doctor. Unbelievable. I know we're not Boston or anything but our local hospital serves quite a few surrounding communities. Spent another half hour struggling with the decision whether to wait it out or leave and see his regular doctor in the AM. 4 hours later, we left.

What was amazing was that normally I would have gotten really upset, tense, angry, frustrated, mean, etc. But on this evening, while I did feel angry, I was calm. There just really was nothing I could do to change the situation but leave and that we finally did. I didn't swill down glasses of wine to calm down when I got home. I didn't rant and rave. I simply dealt with the situation at hand. I like being calm and I like that I didn't drink the problem away.

ps: My son was diagnosed by his primary care with cellulitis which could be potentially life threatening. Massive dose of antibotics should help.

pps: I actually wrote this last night but the computer crapped out. So Day 9 post on the beginning of Day 10.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Smart Recovery Change Plan

Today is Day 8.

What I have problems with the AA program is the powerlessness and I think this is why I have never been able to follow through with AA. I don't have a problem with surrender, I think I've done that. I don't have a problem admitting that life has become unmanageable, I have in the sense that I could not manage my drinking. I don't even have a problem with God, I believe. But I want to be empowered and I feel powerful for getting past 8 days. By giving us freedom of choice I believe that God wants us to be empowered. Smart recovery seems to give me that power. AA definately has given me tools that I intend to use but I just don't feel powerless and that is the roadblock.

1. The changes I want to make are to stop drinking and live a healthier lifestyle.

2. The most important resons why I want to make these changes are my health, self respect and the respect of my children.

3. The steps I plan to take in changing are to not drink, follow the program at smart recovery online, journal through my blog, change my routines, kayak, organize my life and surroundings and continue seeking inspiration through others' journies.

4. The ways people can help me are: but I think it is mostly up to me.

Person Possible Ways
Husband Help to eliminate stress, pick up some of the slack
Friends Acceptance
Children Encouragement

5. I will know that my plan is working if I don't drink and don't have the desire to drink.

6. Some things that could interfere with my plans are temptations, stress, boredom, frustration and anger.

7. On a scale of 1-10, it is a 10-most important that I make this change.

8. On a scale of 1-10, my confidence that I can make this change is about a 6.

Guess I need to boost that confidence.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I Miss my Father

Today is Day 7. I miss my Dad. He died in 1998 and was not even 59. Non-Hodgins Lymphoma. It took him nine months after his diagnosis and just hit us like a ton of bricks. He was brilliant and strong. Maybe too smart for his own good but he cared about his family and I loved him. When he died life for my Mom just stopped. At first she completely renovated the house. Then she took a few trips, but alone. Not good. She refused to spend too much time with each of her children's families. Didn't want to be a burden. And what ended up happening was that she got lonlier and lonlier, more and more depressed and ended up drinking herself almost to death. She had refused to "do" the holidays that year (we all live in different states). Finally after getting a busy signal repeatedly I drove the three hours to her place (took me 2) and found her in an alcoholic stuper. Without further detail, she also apparantly was not eating which resulted in a thiamine deficiency. This all ended with her in the ICU for over a month with a final diagnosis of Wernicke's Korsakoff Syndrome. It took until this year for her to fully recover and when I say fully I just mean that she is engaged in life and happy. She is left with about 5 minute short term memory which means she must live with assistance for the rest of her life.

You would think with what we went through the past 5 years would have been enough of a lesson and but it just led to me progressively drinking more and more. Almost a compulsion. bit I did not drink today!

Nor in the last seven days. Had a wonderful weekend taking the kayak out on its maiden voyage. So I am feeling joy.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Day 6

Thank you Irish Friend of Bill and Scout for your comments and welcome. I really didn't know what would happen with this blog just knew I needed to get my feelings and experience out of myself. Scout, to answer your question, while I have committed to sobriety, I have not yet committed to AA. So no, I have not been to a meeting. I guess I'm taking baby steps. I've got a Big Book and as you can see from my blog am doing a 25 day study of it as posted by Dave on the Yahoo Group AA Beginners Group. I guess right now I counting on the online sipport. I've got a schedule of meetings in my pocketbook so that I am ready if I feel that is the way for me. For today, I feel armed and its empowering to know there is a meeting, a blog, a friend just waiting for me to reach out. I am so grateful that I found this blogosphere.

I did an AA meeting waaaaaay back when I was in college and I think that is when I decided I wasn't an alcoholic. And it has really taken until now to surrender to the fact that I am and to move forward knowing that I cannot control this and need to stop trying. I know that as much as I like the idea of say cracking the champagne today to christen my kayak and that normal people could do that, have a sip and not finish the bottle and enjoy the day, for me, I would drink the whole bottle. In fact, I would probably bring 2 because I would have to share. And if I didn't bring that extra bottle once I started I would do my thing and go home and drink until I passed out.

Anyway, thank you both again. Today is Day 6. No hangover, rested, encouraged, but yes still worried. TRUST. Gotta go, Husband has to teach me how to load the kayak and he has to do it RIGHT NOW:) so he can head on up to Laconia for the biker stuff this weekend.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Day 5

Wow! Woke up at 5 am today. That's my old schedule before the heavy drinking started, (when did I get totally out of hand? and why? I'll have to ponder that at a later time.) I liked getting up an hour ahead of everyone to get a head start on the day and accomplish a few things before going to work. It felt good to do it again. It's been awhile.

But here it is Friday and the weekend is looming. I've got a lot to keep me busy but thoughts of relaxing with the vino (not to mention dinners out on restaurant decks with vodka martinis, margeritas and the summer favorite Bombay Safire & Tonic aka the Devil's Juice) keeps creeping in. I keep pushing it out though. It's not quite white knuckle. We'll see what happens when we go kayaking. We are bringing food and stuff as we will be at the lake around dinnertime. Normally, I'd add cocktails to that list. Yes, a bottle in the kayak sipping in the middle of the lake. Boy, that sounds real smart doesn't it. Not sure where my friend is on that issue. I hope she doesn't bring any alcohol. But if she does, she will be suprised when I don't have something. I may email her ahead of time to coordinate food but I don't want to make alcohol an issue at this point. We'll see what happens.

The craving wasn't so bad last night and it hasn't hit me so much this afternoon. Maybe my worries about needing rehab were for naught. That's a good thing. Please God, don't let me slip. I am a smart girl and can rationalize myself into anything, so please don't let me fall for it. Keep the Big Bastard out of my head. Thanks.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Okay. I've given myself these tools and now I need to use them. The surrender quote and the Big Book study guide courtesy of AA Beginners Club on Yahoo where I have been lurking for several years. It's just that I am not sure AA is the way for me. So for now I am picking and choosing. I've got the Big Bastard voice from Rational Recovery. I've got red headed girl although she doesn't know it yet. There were just so many similarities. I followed her journey from her first post on Monday, Day 1 and between the repeated day 1's and the secular viewpoints, I seem to have got it. So thank you again to her on my Day 4. Signed up on Sober Blogs so maybe I'll get some feedback. Not sure I want it yet but maybe I need it. Next step, do the study guide and maybe after that, post of AABC and Journey to Recovery. It's only fair to acknowledge their influence but maybe I should wait until I feel a bit more successful. Then again if I wait, there is no accountability now is there. Am I trying to leave a door open for Big Bastard?? Food for thought or should I say Drink for thought:)

At least this afternoon I feel better than yesterday afternoon. Back to work for me. Later.

A 25 Day Big Book Study Guide - Day 1 (Page XI - XXII)

A 25 Day Big Book Study Guide - Day 1 (Page XI - XXII)
A 25 Day Big Book Study Guide - 4th Edition Referenced.One way to study the Big Book is to do it in small portions at a timefollowing the suggestions below without missing a day to get the fullbenefit of it.DAY 1(The history)
1) The A.A. recovery program is described where? pg xi
2) The main purpose of the Big Book is_______. pg xiii
3) Many do not comprehend that we are_______ pg xiii
4) How did the broker (Bill W.) keep sober prior to his journey to Akron? pgxvi
5) Bill suddenly realised he must________ to save himself? pg xvi
6) Dr. Bob began to pursue the_________ pg xvi
7) _________ is vital to permanent recovery. pg xvii
8) It was found out that if AA's did not what together, what would happen?pg xix
9) The hope for the ones who have not found an answer is________ pg xxi
10) The Twelve Steps summarize___--______. pg xxii
11) Recovery begins______--__. pg xxii
God BlessDave
1) Read the section designated through without stopping to get the generalidea.
2) Read again, study it this time, highlighting, taking notes, marking orunderlining whatever in it you find of interest, and/or what you don'tunderstand. Write down the words you don't know the meaning of and look themup in a dictionary. Or post to the group.
3) Read the section again without stopping.
4) Answer the questions below and fill in the blanks in the statements. Theanswers may be found on the page noted at the end of the question orstatement.
5) An example answer is; 'The main purpose of the Big Book is _______'pg xiii. Answer; 'The main purpose of the Big Book is to show otheralcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of thisbook'.
6) When you read the book make it personal to you, make it about you.Such as; 'If I fail to perfect and enlarge my spiritual life through workand self-sacrifice for others I will not survive the certain trials and lowspots ahead'.7) Feel free to share your answers with the group.

Day 4 AM

The surrender post really hit me. Some of the themes I have always tried to live my life by ie no expectations, etc. But letting go of what I want people to be including myself struck me. Especially with Husband. If I let go maybe I won't get so frustrated and if I'm not frustrated maybe I won't want to drink.

Feeling good this AM. No 2am awakenings after passingout. Rested. Hangover free. Feeling positive. Feeling hopeful. Feeling scared. I hope Big Bastard doesn't come this afternoon. I've got to work on my list, bills, laundry, loan application for college, the usual stuff and the unusual. I can't wait for the day when the desire to "get away" goes away.

A day of new beginnings. A sober life. Wish me luck!


Surrender does not mean giving up or giving in. Surrender means accepting what is present and available in your life right now. If you want to grow as person, you must learn to accept what your life is and what it isn't, so you can continue to move forward. This process of surrender can propel us into new directions and make room for greater depth in our lives. It allows us to let go of false beliefs and give up our defensiveness in exchange for the freedom of being ourselves. Learning to accept ourselves and those we love for who they are rather than who we want them to be benefits everyone. As we let go of our expectations, it becomes easier to achieve what it is we truly desire. Only through releasing what isn't working for us can we begin to know what we truly need. It is through surrender that we can emerge victorious in our struggle for understanding and acceptance. We do not have to know exactly what it is that we want from life. Instead, we need to learn to trust that what's right for us will make itself known and available. Slowly, we will begin to understand the reason for this path, which is to grow. Over time, the lessons we must learn, along with the knowledge of what it is we truly want and need, will become clear.We can win the battle of understanding ourselves. The tactics lie within each of us. This is where a little self-introspection can help us develop a reasonable attitude about life, set attainable goals and keep the relationships we desire. We cannot win by fighting with each other or ourselves. One way to make it all work out is through surrender. People who surrender in their lives and relationships are more likely to feel joy from them. It's not an easy process but, given time, you will find that it can actually make your life a more balanced and safer place to be. To get this process started, look at an area where there is a power struggle and ask yourself, "If the struggle were over, what would I be left with?" You will also need to talk with the other person involved to find out what it is he or she really wants. Most of the time, we all just want to get along.Another tip: Just imagine how much easier your life would be if you used surrender to your advantage. You can actually pretend you have done it and examine how you would feel. Most people experience a moment of relief, and this is a sign that you would be better off if you surrendered. Remember that you are not giving up your own power. You are actually enhancing your humanness by creating a space to bring in more love, growth and creativity. Surrender will not weaken or trap you; it will heal you and set you free.BARTON GOLDSMITH

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Work, not bad. Home, not bad. Still taking it easy. Been home since 2:30. Son is home for a change and it is nice. Doing the housework etc. but slowly. It's tough because when I do things that aren't necessarily fun like dishes, sorting stuff, etc. my way to make it tolerable was to sip along. So whenever I do this normal home stuff it triggers a craving. Waiting for the sauce to finish and the water to boil for the ravioli. And Imma craving. It's like tightening in my throat and chest. A restless feeling. Shortness of breath. I know a glass (or 2 ) of wine will resolve. But unfortunately it won't stop there. It NEVER DOES. Redheaded Girl describes it as the little bastard. I'm gonna call mine Big Bastard. Because right now its big. They also use that technique in Rational Recovery which I have researched. Who knows maybe I'll follow that plan. NOt sure AA is for me. I am picking and choosing.

I am the Queen of Rationalization. And the drink thing, I've spent the last few years rationalizing. I deserve it. I worked hard It won't hurt. Just for today. etc. etc. I just can't do it anymore. I just don't have anymore self respect and I know I have lost the respect of my children. I worry for them. So far so good, but who knows. I want to show them I can change and also how hard it is to change. I want to show myself. I did it finally with cigarettes so hopefully I can do this too.

I'll leave it at this for now. It is helping. I hope I don't need Rehab. I'm not feeling any bugs or anything. I'll look forward to kayaking on Saturday with my friend. That should be a helpful experience. Something new and different.

Day 3 AM

I'm not sure if anyone will ever read this but it seems to be helping me anyway. Day 3: No hangover yeay! I am tired though but last night really wasn't as bad as I though it might be. I went very slow. Did very little. Just trying to avoid stress and pressure and the usual triggers for me. It may mean some stuff doesn't get done or gets done late but that's okay. Told husband tonight that I was trying to stop and would appreciate it if he would lay off the pressure points. The usual, what's for dinner 1o times, poke, poke, prod, prod. He doesn't even realize it so I guess I am just going to have to tell him every time. I forget what he said, but I told him that's the kind of stuff I need to anesthesize myself against so please stop. He did. If I can just not get angry and use that sentence maybe it can work. I think we've just forgotten how to really talk to each other.

Not going to my book group tonight. The wine will be flowing. Not that anyone overdoes it and I don't either at this particular group because it is more of a study group but I am usually steeling myself wanting another glass but stopping myself at 2 knowing that in 1 1/2 hour I can go home and have as much as I want. Keeping up appearances you know. Anyway, I could probably do it but why put myself throught that now right?

Anyway, gotta go to work. Speaking of pressure!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Day 2

After calling in sick yesterday because I was too hungover to deal with my boss, I once again decided that I needed to stop drinking. This is of course not the first time but I spent my day cruising the web for aa sites, boards, groups, etc. I found a blog by redheaded girl called Journey to Recovery and boy did she sound like me except she lives on the South Shore and I live on the North Shore. So I thought I'd start with her method and create a blog of my journey. At some point, I'll need to thank her for the inspiration.

Anyway, Gospodi Pomiluj. What does that mean? It means "Lord Have Mercy" and is part of the Serbian Orthodox Liturgy. Last time I stayed sober for any length of time I used it as a moniker. Serbian Orthodox was the closest I came to religious training. I'm not religious but I am spiritual. My grandmother used to take me to her church and it has special meaning to me.

I drink too much. I drink too often. I am a poor role model for my 2 teenagers. My husband is constantly nagging me about drinking (though that usually just makes me want to drink more). I guess I could be called a high functioning alcoholic. I rarely miss work(yesterday was a rare exception and I didn't tough it out because I think I knew I had to do something) I'm involved in various activities, book groups, etc., manage my life and that of my children, my home, my mother, my husband, etc. But I bet I could do better.

I'm worried about the cravings. I go a day or 2 without a drink but I get antsy. I'd say I drink at least a bottle of wine a night about 5-6 nights a week. Sometimes more. I honestly don't remember for how long I've been doing this. It seemed to build up gradually. Not sure if I need medically supervised detox because I usually never get past 2 days. This Sunday I planned to stop but I just couldn't deal and went out a bought wine by the afternoon. Sat on the porch and read and sipped. Then made dinner and sipped. Ate dinner and sipped. Then watched TV and sipped. Managed not to forget the ending (or lack thereof:) of the Sopranos in the morning but I felt like shit. Thing was, I didn't want to drink. I was angry, frustrated and needed to get away.

I need other strategies. So I am starting here. The crazy thing is that my mother has a disease called Korsakoff's Syndrome because of her drinking. You would think I would have learned something. It's a long story but suffice it to say she is left with no short term memory due to a thiamine deficiency caused by malnutrition caused by drinking. I have been left with handling all her affairs and she now lives in assisted living. She is happy now but it was a long long road.

Okay, done for now. I hope this works. Not sure how the blogging goes but here we go!