Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gone with the Wind

From yesterday's post: "Got to balance my checkbook, do the bills, fill out financial aid forms and put away these dang Christmas decorations." I've done none of that. But I did nap and watch the Patriots. Read my book. Made chicken soup. That's productive, right? Whatever, tomorrow is another day. Today, I went to my meeting and had breakfast afterwards with a group. So now its 1:30 and I don't want to spend the rest of the day doing bills and stuff. So as Scarlett said, Fiddle Dee Dee....I'll think about that tomorrow. Now where is my book????

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Been reflecting on the difference between self caring and being selfish lately. When I was drinking I was completely and totally selfish. It was all about me and how I felt. Even though on the outside I looked like the loving wife, involved parent, concientious worker, devoted daughter.. on the inside I was seething and all I cared about was changing my consciousness. And I did. Now all I care about is staying sober. And while putting my sobriety first can seem selfish, I'll choose a meeting over making dinner for the family, I'll call my sponser instead of my mother, etc, it is only by doing these things that I can be fully present to my family, my friends, and another alcoholic. Last night, after the meeting, I came home and watched Season 2 of The Office with my daughter and my husband on my bed. My son had his friends over which is a huge step for him. He NEVER wants to have his friends over. That evening never could have happened if I were drinking. I cannot tell you how fulfilled I felt this morning. Anyway, in a good place today. Got to balance my checkbook, do the bills, fill out financial aid forms and put away these dang Christmas decorations because I'm sick of them and they make my house look and feel messy. And in between that I am going to get a nap in and watch the Patriots go undefeated for the regular season.

Oh yeah, visit my new friend in soberville She has helped me to reflect back to 6 months ago... I needed a Mechanic. I think she may as well.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Day After Christmas!

Ho Ho Ho! Santa did indeed leave some gifts under our tree and I was up at 5 am to prepare the house, turned on the lights, had the croissants and scones ready to pop in the oven, the coffee ready to be brewed.. set the stage. I am so very grateful that our biggest controversy this Christmas was that I changed the location of the tree this year, (well, that and the fire created by the candle too close to the silk poinsetta, LOL.) Bad idea. You just don't mess with tradition. But we are blessed to just be concerned with that and not whether or not there are gifts and loved ones wherever the tree may be.

I did not go to the morning meeting yesterday as planned. I was just too too tired to put it together and the day promised to be a long one. I know I could have shown up in my pjs but I really just needed another hour or so of sleep and I have learned to take care of me and my sobriety. Ended up sleeping until 9:30!! Thank God for teenagers. Was on my feet all day Christmas eve making goodies for what you would think an army but really just the four of us. My meetings are going to enjoy these leftovers today! I must admit as the days, both Christmas eve and day progressed, twinges of how comfortable a drink would make me passed through my brain. Mostly when I was cooking. But it did just that, passed. Grateful to have learned that.

I did alot of dealing with the wreckage of the past on Christmas eve. And a lot of praying to let go and to trust it will be fine. Don't get me wrong, we had a nice evening but my children are still learning to trust me and have not let go of their resentments quite yet. It will take time and as I progress through the steps I feel hopeful that we can repair our relationships. Until then, I just have to trust God. Well, even then, but I am hopeful that the work I do and will continue to do can only bring better things because even though there is lingering bad feelings they are merely lingering, not being created.

Last night after dinner we went to see Sweeney Todd. Not your typical Christmas fare but it was a great movie and very well done by all involved. Fun to go to the movies as a family. Not so much in the car but the movie, cool.

So Merry Christmas everyone and lots of day after Christmas {{{hugs}}}. I get so much from each and every one of you and if I can share just one ounce of what I have received here I will be blessed.

Have a wonderful, sober and love filled day!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

These Are My People

I just came from an awesome Big Book meeting where we listen to a chapter and then discuss it. We were on Chapter 11: A Vision for You. One of the lines in the chapter we talked about is on Page 161: "life among AA is more that attending gatherings and visiting hospitals..." and here is the part that really resonated with me this morning: "being restored and united under one God, with hearts and minds attuned the welfare of others....." That to me is what this program is all about. Now. After you get past the physical aspects of sobriety. For me AA has brought me to God who has been there whether I knew it or not. Some people who are not alcoholics find their own way but AA has been the vessel for me. And there are many different religions, practices, ways of expressing faith but the fact remains we are "restored and united" under One God.

This chapter also brings about an amazement at how far we have come from 2 fellows in Akron, Ohio. A friend of mine who is not an alcoholic asked me if I was making new friends in AA. It is so much more than friendship, the connections I am making with the people from my meetings, the people in my online group, the people in this sober blogging community I've become a part of. It is beyond friendship. It reaches to Ohio, California, the South, the North, the UK, South Africa, Australia and beyond I am sure. It is deep and profound how I feel about these people. How much they mean to me and I will probably never meet them. And then the people I do meet and see every day or week in my meetings. That I talk to on the phone now, that I have tea with. Or just a brief hug in the parking lot. That I care about. It is just so much more than friendship. These are my people.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Early Saturday Morning

This is what it looks like around my town though this picture is from Sunday and we've had at least 6 more inches since then. It's actually very pretty and now that the roads are clear not so scary to drive. Just a pain putting the boots on and off and bundling up.

I just have the fun stuff left to do. Decorate the tree, stocking stuffers, menu planning (my daughter thinks we should do Chinese takeout, LOL) and grocery shopping. The only bad thing left is going to WalMart to pick up the photo calenders which aren't ready yet. My biggest problem is how to incorporate AA meetings into my holiday. Since its just us, I don't want to infringe on our traditions. But I also want to be there not so much for myself but for my AA friends and any suffering alcoholic that happens to find the meeting. My Monday meeting is the biggest problem on Christmas eve from 7:30- 9, but I have decided to no longer dwell on it and when the meeting time arises I will let it happen as it is supposed to. I just have a sense of obligation to that meeting since I am the Secretary and I know the Treasurer is not going to be there. Usually at this point I am completely frantic and do not settle down until late on Christmas day. So grateful that I don't have to do that now.

I am grateful for:
-Snow covered trees
-My daughter and her friends who are fast asleep in the living room after a slumber party. They've been friends since kindergarten and it is so good to have them all home for the holiday.
-The old Websters dictionary that was still in the antique store from the summer and half of what it cost at that time that I am going to suprise my husband with.
-Naps because I'm planning one for the afternoon!
-A grateful heart and a peaceful brain

Thursday, December 20, 2007


And when you're finished check this out

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I had a rough morning. I pick up a few women for the morning meeting and I drop off one of the women's daughter at school on the way. This morning, she got out of the car, and I assumed she was walking behind the car and began to proceed but she was in front of me and I hit her. Nudged would be a better word for it but it scared the living daylights out of me and of course the daughter. I just wasn't paying attention. We were late for the meeting, I was talking away and boom. Talk about getting ahead of yourself. She was not hurt but was scared. Me too. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I could not stop crying. Her mother was telling me it was allright and I know it was but I just could not stop. I thought I'd stay in the car to compose myself but I went inside because I thought I pulled it together. Of course we were late so we missed the moment of silence and I just weeped through the whole meeting. I passed because I couldn't speak. I got up several times to try to pull it together. Every time I got a compassionate look it made me cry harder. I ended up outside with the smokers where I was able to share which really helped. Brought me down to earth and outside of myself. That helped. Thanking God it wasn't worse helped too. Probably there is more going on inside for the floodgates to open like that. Just when I thought it was safe.......
On a better note, two women who have been struggling called me this afternoon. Which again, gave me an opportunity to get outside of myself. One was checking in on me from this morning and the other I'd been calling because she hadn't been to meetings in a few days so she finally returned my call. Things aren't great but she hasn't had a drink. This is a beautiful program.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Merry Christmas

Between the support here, online and at meetings I cannot tell you how much better my outlook is today. The fellowship in AA really does work as does prayer and the program. Yesterday I managed to get my house decorated without drinking and by the end of the day I was actually humming a Christmas carol. Managed to handle my husband's irritable mood after he shoveled the foot of snow we got this weekend. Managed to get a hug from my 17 year old son who claims he doesn't care whether we have a tree or not (caught him whistling a Christmas carol too!) Is it all visions of suger plums and fairies? Absolutely not. And tomorrow may suck. As someone in my morning meeting said today, Santa can take a flying F*CK. But yesterday I was humming and today I am grateful and that is all I can ask for. I was given permission to share this from one of my online groups. It very articulately describes how I've been feeling and how I don't have to anymore. Merry Christmas!

"As the holidays arrive it is easy to become distracted by our desire for perfection. It might be the need to craft a festive environment, always be in an upbeat mood, or simply the desire to find just the right gifts for everyone in our lives. Even though these things can be positive, if we start putting too much pressure on ourselves during this season, we are much more apt to forget what truly is important -- celebrating our lives with the people we care about. For many of us this time of year can stir up a host of mixed emotions. For example, we might feel a tinge of nostalgia for past holiday celebrations, when times were simpler, or a sense of being let down due to the unmet expectations we have for ourselves and others. No matter what our feelings are, they are likely to be caused by an unrealistic sense of what the holidays should mean for us. Rather than thinking of this season as a time for finding the perfect gift or hosting the best party, we can get so much more out of the holidays if we create a personal inventory of the things that matter most to us. With each item we add to our list, we can then set the intention to use this season as a time to consciously rejoice in and express our appreciation for the blessings we have and for our program. The more we are able to let go and let God/HP, of our traditional expectations for the holidays, the more open we will become to the bounteous spirit that lies within us. Our true enjoyment of this season will only come from looking within and reflecting on the deeper spiritual significance the holidays have for us. Infusing our holiday activities with a sense of gratitude will bring a greater level of enjoyment to our life and also help us extend loving and kind energy to all we encounter. It is this spirit that will allow us to truly celebrate by sharing our greatest gifts -- infinite love, peace, understanding, and joy -- with those around us. Three things will last forever -- faith, hope, and love -- and the greatest of these is love.= ( 1 Corinthians 13:13, NLT ). I want to wish each and everyone of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Sober New Year. And want you all to know how grateful I am for you all and our program/fellowship, and how important it is to be celebrating our lives with each other and the people we care about and around us."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Snow Drifts

Had a really great meeting this morning. I heard so much that my head was swimming. In memories, identification, gratitude, sadness, need I say more. Thankfully I didn't have to speak, we do a round robin and it didn't get to me. I don't think I would have known where to begin. The evil feeling when passive agressive behaviour gets under someone's skin which means success and they can't do anything about it. Bad but fun too especially if they are mean. To hear a 25 year old young man talk about how just reading the Big Book can turn a bad day into a good one. Wish I had been that smart. Does my heart good and he's easy on the eyes (I could be his mother, go away evil twin). How scary being 32 days sober is and how much we need each other. How fighting depression feels like drowning sometimes. How desparate hearing of someone's relapse makes us feel.
How snowstorms used to be an exuse to drink and how I didn't do that last night. I could not get the image of myself jumping off a deck into snow drifts after a blizzard with a bunch of kids (and by that I mean late teens, early 20's) when I had 2 small children and a husband at home out of my head this morning. It was a blast actually but what was I thinking? Who the hell was I? This was 15 or so years ago so I wasn't quite the old lady I am now but Jesus! I always worked in the restaurant on snow days because I could walk. It was awesome because I'd usually be the only waitress and I'd make big bucks running around slinging beers and chili by the fire. We'd close early and I should have been going home but instead I'd party with the boys in the back. And some of them were literally boys. As old as my son is today. Still in high school. If you've ever worked in a restaurant you know the mix. We ended up at my "soul mate's" house (he wasn't in high school, please!) and I impressed the hell out of the teenagers by jumping off the deck. How cool is that. Look at the drunk lady jumping off the deck. God! Definately a cringe moment for me now. Thank God that is over. I hate to think of what has happened to those kids. I don't know but I know they were not doing their homework. I regret any part I had in condoning this behaviour.
So grateful that I could share that here since I was bursting about it this morning. Now its off my plate. At least for now.
No reaction from the husband on my note. Just a thank you and it was very nice, when asked. He's not to good at the heart to hearts but I hope it helps him understand alittle. I knew that's what I'd get. It's not fair to expect more. Like I said expectations will kill me. But at least I shared and now it can go in the God Box. I tried and now its in His hands.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

To my Husband and To my God Box

I'm sorry I blew up last night. I'm sure it is very hard for you to understand because you are not an alcoholic. I am doing everything in my power not to drink anymore. My MO is to drink through stuff I don't particularly want to do. When I say I can't talk about something or I can't do something, it is not to disrespect you or does not imply that you are doing something wrong even if I say you are. I just need to take it easy on myself especially now. I cannot let myself get overwhelmed and if I do I have to stop. I was getting more and more frustrated last night because it seemed like you couldn't hear me. And maybe you couldn't because you truly don't understand. And then I want you to understand so I get frustrated that you don't. Of course it wouldn't make sense to you if I said well, if we keep talking about this its going to make me want a bottle of wine, because you don't experience that. You don't have this disease. Maybe you don't understand that it is a disease. It is not a moral issue. I can't just stop because I want to be a good girl. And because I can't say that or because you don't understand that I get more and more frustrated and then blow up. You have been very supportive and not too reproachful about giving me the time to go to meetings and I need to do that. I may need to go to more because I am getting very stressed out. It helps to be with other people who have had the same feelings and problems that I have. Who understand. That could be helpful to you too. Maybe helpful to our marriage. Maybe even the kids. They have alanon meetings for familys of alcoholics on Monday nights. They have alateen meetings too I believe. For me holidays are triple the work and obviously I already have a hard enough time keeping up with the regular stuff like laundry, picking up, etc. They also bring back bad feelings like the stuff with my mom. Add to that gift shopping, decorating, cooking and the rest and I'm on system overload. How do I usually deal with stress? Drink. I don't want to do that anymore. I don't think you want me to. So I hope you understand and maybe can go just a little bit easier on me. Expectations will kill me. My own and other peoples. Sometimes it feels deliberate. I'm sure it isn't. That's the alcoholism trying to give me an excuse to drink.I hope you understand and I hope this explains it a little better so that you can. Thanks and I love you.

God Box

This post in my online AA group came at a perfect time for me last night. I thought I'd share it here.
"I was sorting through a box of papers and treasures, deciding what to toss and what to store in safe-keeping. Lo and behold, the box I chose to sort through was the one that contained all my stuff from my first year of sobriety. All kinds of treasures... like, when I would hear profound things in AA meetings, I'd scribble notes on scraps of paper. I kept all those notes! Plus I found notes and cards and phone numbers from people who were there during those early years -- people who extended their hands to me and showed me the way. I found AA pamphlets, letters of encouragement from family members, and I even found some early 12-step work stuff I had written.But the thing that really struck me the most was a small cardboard box wrapped up in brittle rubber bands that crumbled the moment I touched them. Stuffed inside the small box were many, many pieces of paper, folded up into little wads. This was my very first "God Box." For those of you who haven't heard, a "God Box" is a tool some of us use to get into the habit of physically turning things over to God, so we can learn to stop trying to manage our own lives. We chose a box of any size, shape, color, it doesn't matter. When we find ourselves worried or concerned or stressed out over something in life, we write it all out in a letter to God. Then we fold up the letter and we put it in the God Box. Once it goes into that box, and the lid goes back on the box, then the problem belongs to God. It's no longer our problem. We don't own it anymore -- God does. And whenever the problem seeps back into our minds and we find ourselves stewing about it, we quickly remind ourselves that we are no longer in charge of that problem. It belongs to God, and we can't take it back. We never take those things out of the God Box. They stay there permanently. And little by little, day by day, problem by problem, we learn to "LET GO AND LET GOD." We learn in a practical way that we are no longer in the business of managing outcomes. We have a new Manager, and there isn't a problem in that box that God isn't capable of handling on our behalf. Now, almost 15 years later, I can pull out all those problems that were so serious and so difficult. I can read through them and smile. My heart fills with gratitude, because I know for CERTAIN that I have a Higher Power in my life today that absolutely worked out all those problems 100% without any assistance from me. I love passing on this tool to my sponsees. They all have God Boxes -- in fact, I often give them new beautifully decorated boxes for Christmas or birthday presents. My sponsees treasure those gifts. They fill them with all their worries and their concerns and their problems, and we both get to watch God at work in their lives. It's a precious experience. I encourage everyone here today to select your biggest, most pressing problem. Write it all out in a letter to God. Then fold up the paper and tuck it inside your own God Box. Then LEAVE IT THERE! And if the issue starts nagging at your brain, just remember that it doesn't belong to you anymore. You've given it to God. It's in good, capable hands. Watch as God becomes the new Manager of your life. "

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Stupid Christmas

I don't know. I haven't felt much like writing lately. Nursed a cold all week. To be perfectly honest I think I milked it for all it was worth. I know its tis the season and all that and I do like the meaning of the season and the good cheer but I really do not enjoy the frenetic pace, the commercialism, the extra work, etc. I was feeling good about my new outlook on life, one day at a time, living in the moment, letting go...but maybe because I took some time to rest this week, I really started to feel the pressure because now I'm behind on everything. The bills, the decorating, the shopping, the socializing on top of the usual requirements of life, work, bills, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc. It's just too much. Did I mention the bills?? So yeah, I took some time to rest, to take care of myself. But now I feel as though I'm paying for it and I'm getting that knot in my stomach. And I''m getting less and less done. I'm trying to pray. And it does indeed help. Something new and different. The St. Francis Prayer especially. And I really like my meetings. Especially if I make myself go. And if I look around, within my home, my family, my friends, I realize just how much I have to be grateful for and so what if my neighbor has their lights up and I never get mine done. And my town can wait another month for the water bill. And I don't have to go to every party. And we can wear our jeans an extra day or two or three. Whatever.
Thankfully I am not looking for a drink but I am looking for relief. I'm looking for my pink cloud and all I see are boxes of Christmas stuff to unpack, catalogs to shop from, bills to pay, etc. Just a week ago I was commenting on how calm I was feeling when usually I was so frenetic at this time of year. I'm not frenetic and that is progress, but I do have this knot in my stomach that is making me clench my fists and jaw. Meeting makers do not make it but they do get help. I need to call my sponsers. And I need to finish that fourth step. And keep praying. Those are my priorities.
I know that I will get it all done. I always do. But I always drank to get through it. Drank while shopping, drank while baking, drank while decorating, drank while wrapping, etc. I am looking forward to getting it done sober and peaceful. I think that what I will find, if I Let Go and Let God, if I take it One Day at a Time, if I Bless them and Change me, and if I Let it Begin with Me is the true meaning of the season and that I can do it sober.

Peace on Earth
Good Will Toward Men

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chapter 8: To the Wives

I haven't relasped mainly because I avoided AA to begin with so I had nothing to relapse from. Plenty, countless really, of times I "quit" drinking on my own only to last a day, a week, a few months. It's different for me this time because I am following the steps as outlined in the book and as a result I have had a spiritual awakening. There was no sudden light. No AHA moment. I'm still rubbing my eyes, groggy as hell but I no longer have the compulsion to drink. Pretty amazing. I know it takes each of us our own time to have the compulsion removed and I am very grateful that it has happened for me.

It struck me when we were reading Chapter 8 "To the Wives" yesterday in our Big Book group, that the solution to a relapser is right there. On page 120, second paragraph it says: "though it is infinately better that he have no relapse at all, it is by no means a bad thing in some cases. Your husband will see at once that he must REDOUBLE his SPIRITUAL ACTIVITIES if he expects to survive." Now maybe I am naive or maybe I'm missing something but when you are asked what are you going to differently this time, I would think that is where your focus must be. A Power Greater than Yourself. I guess this concerns me because I see many relapsers return to the meetings and I'm never sure what to say. What will you do differently this time? I want to know what to avoid. I want to be prepared so I don't relapse.

I found this to be a good chapter for me even though it is directed to the wives (spouses, partners, whatever, gotta love our sexist roots) I could relate to their description of their spouses. I did the same thing. Called my husband a killjoy when he didn't drink with me or admonished me for my drinking. While I didn't drink us into financial ruin, when I was waitressing I often spent half or all of my tips on drinking after my shift. Then lied and said it was a slow night. I didn't do this but one of my coworkers once went to an ATM to withdraw money so she would have cash to show her husband when she got home. I just lied and since I handled the finances I didn't have to. I thought the idea brilliant though and would have used it if I had to. And that is not to mention the money I have spent since on alcohol on a daily basis. It's disgusting really.

I identified with the description of the 4 types of alcoholics. Could find myself, easily. I believe I am of the second type. Lack of control, out of hand, attempts to moderate and quit, loss of friends, job suffers, drinking earlier and earlier, awareness that I did not drink like other people, worried, remorseful. I did not ruin everything. I was still functioning but I was well on my way.

And though I think males are not as long suffering as the females described in the book and perhaps show more anger, I could see my husband in some of the descriptions of the wives. Although I would say he avoided the situation and confrontation about it. As long as I was functioning he let things pass. We had a joke in our family, "you know your mother's not well". It was meant to be funny and we all laughed but how true it was.

Anyway, today I am grateful to know that I am being taken care of. That I can recognize my faulty thinking. That I have a group of people who understand me. That I can be of service to those same people.

Still snowing here in New England.

Saturday, December 1, 2007