Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
My smoking career began when I was in the 6th grade or so. One of my friends had taken a cigarette or 2 from an anti smoking poster at her school. She and another friend smoked it in the woods and then came to my house because my mother smoked. We took some and tried it. I didn't like it but we did it more. Didn't really smoke in earnest though until high school. All the cool kids smoked...and I did too. I finally quit after my grandfather died in 1984 and picked it up again after my son was born in 1991. I was waitressing and it went with the alcohol we drank after our shifts. Smoked off and on after that. Tried to quit many times...finally did about 4 years ago...my drinking increased in earnest then. And I picked it up again in sobriety. Around February or March of this year...been smoking on and off since. A month on, a month off. I thought this time was for good...I'll keep trying. And praying about it.
Of course, my brother saw the butt pot on my porch...leftover from over a month ago that i had forgotten..and had to make a comment. Didn't really bother me..but I felt sad when the wine drinking began last night while making dinner....and then the uncontrollable laughing while we watched Love and Death by Woody Allen. Funny movie...but I could tell his laughter was induced by the wine....I can't lie to say that when I came home from my meeting to my kitchen where my brother was making his famous fish stew and everyone was gathered in the kitchen...sipping and I had to pour myself a diet coke...I longed for the wine...a little. Just a little. More like I longed to drink like other people...but I know that I can't. So gratefuly, I was able let that feeling pass.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I know that I must not let up on my program especially now. I did not go to my morning meeting yesteday..I wanted to get the MIL's gifts packed to mail..and do a few other things before I went to work...then I went shopping after work. A few last minute gifts at Marshall's. I swear to God, everyone smelled like alcohol in there. Then grocery shopping. By the time I got home I was starving..so called my husband who was also shopping....and said if we are eating together we have to do it NOW. So we met for dinner....but I had the whole H & T thing going of the H.A.L.T. hence the intolerable comment due to the resulting A. So I knew that even though I had planned not to go to a meeting last night so I could finish the tree....I had to go. And I am glad I did. Not only for myself..which I definately needed a meeting but because my fellows need to see me...we need each other. Now more than ever. And I could go home...and apologize....and thank my husband who hooked up all the candles in the window with extension cords so we could light them which made me very happy to pull into my street and see my house lit up.
And I can't wait to go to church and to my AA meetings tommorrow and Christmas morning. I'll have to go by myself...but that's okay. Sunday was so inspiring and moving as we celebrated the Joy of Advent. And my friend who sang moved me to tears. And the snow was falling..we've got about 2 feet now...and it is there that I can continue to recognize and aspire to find the divinity within. And isnt' that what Christmas is all about...
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
NOT MINE!! Actually I celebrated 18 months on the 11th and I celebrated. I announced it at my morning meeting and how I thought there should be a chip for it because I know we're not supposed to count, its a day at a time and all that but a year and half...whoop! It's just hard to believe. One of my friends at the meeting tapped me on the shoulder after my turn passed and presented me with a bottle cap with an orange sticky with 18 months written on it, awesome!...and the chairperson at the end of the meeting called me up and gave me a year medallion and a 6 month chip...proving once again that the squeeky wheel gets the oil.
Anyway...yesterday at the meeting I was chairing and this one guy asked to start...I heard him say "one year ago today..." and I realized I had forgotten to look in the anniversary book...so I scrambled around looking for a card which we didn't have. We are fortunate in that the church we meet in has a gift shop and we can buy cards from them when we run out, so I went next door and picked out a card...came back, wrote a message from the group, wrote my own personal message and then started to pass the card around. Meanwhile he's sharing..and I am hearing about his last drunk, jail, etc. But not really listening. Then the Secretary comes and whispers in my ear...his anniversary is on the 17th...and I'm like...are you sure? Anyway I asked the person...and he confirmed that it was the 17th so I sheepishly put the card away and apologized for jumping the gun. Today he asked to start again and finished his story...his last drink was in the wee hours..he's really doing a countdown of the last debacle....his wife picked him up from jail..the guilt and remorse, the drunk driving..we all know the story. This time I listened. But noone else in the meeting did. Well, the old guys. They were all congratulating him on his year when he made clear it was tomorrow. Whatever. It's confusing I guess. Today he was going to spend at his 5 yr olds Christmas Concert...what a difference a year makes. I am looking forward to the third installment of his story....a year...it's a big deal.
Monday, December 15, 2008
We lost our cable over the weekend. Not complaining, we got a pretty bad ice storm here and many of my friends are still without power and heat...all we lost was our internet for awhile and cable. Lost electricity for about 10 minutes..long enough to find all our stuff and get a fire going. Anyway my son has these DVDs of Penn & Teller's Showtime show Bullsh*t and I started watching them. They have this one on 12 stepping and it was.... well...a bunch of BullSh@#t.
They preface the whole thing by saying they don't know anything about alcoholism or addiction and then proceed to trash AA and the like. Their biggest misconception to me was equating an admission of powerlessness with a lack of self esteem. Heck my self esteem was what got me in trouble in the first place. And admitting powerlessness certainly didn't require that I become a weakling or that I was helpless. Quite the contrary, I became empowered. The bottom line is that they are atheists and can't wrap their heads around the higher power thing. They buy into the whole cult mentality which is annoying. Cannot understand that AA is NOT an organization and so therefore does not have records..heck its Annonymous. And on and on...I guess it bothered me because that was the mentality that I was coming from for so long that perhaps inhibited me from getting help sooner rather than later. Preconceived notions, misconceptions, contempt...and its what I think my Dad would be saying if he were still here and what my brother is probably thinking as well. But what they think is none of my concern. I can only concern myself with staying sober in whatever manner works for me...and after trying so many other ways...AA was the only way...Thank You God! Its just another example of why AA works when other treatments fail...because if you don't have this disease...and by the way.why didnt' they interview someone from the AMA....there is no possible way you can understand it..what it is and how to treat it.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
"We had to ask ourselves why we shouldn't apply to our human problems this same readiness to change our point of view. We were having trouble with personal relationships, we couldn't control our emotional natures, we were a prey to misery and depression, we couldn't make a living, we had a feeling of uselessness, we were full of fear, we were unhappy, we couldn't seem to be of real help to other people - was not a basic solution of these bedevilments more important than whether we should see newsreels of lunar flight? Of course it was."
Did these questions apply to me in sobriety? Am I having trouble with personal relationships? Honestly, the relationship with my husband is not what I would like it to be, I am not happy with my mother or brother, I'd like more from my son, so I guess the answer is yes. Can I control my emotional nature? Certainly more than I could while drinking but not always. Am I a prey to misery and depression? Sometimes. Can I make a living? Yes but perhaps not the living I want. Do I have a feeling of uselessness? Occasionally, more often that I would like. Am I full of fear? I don't think so but the little I have learned makes me think I don't understand the question. Am I unhappy? Not usually but I don't think about it. Can I be of real help to other people? Maybe but I am not confident in my competence.
So we went ahead with the reading. Take turns reading a page at a time. Discussing certain points. I told her a bit about my mother who did suffer permanent brain damage unlike one of the men the Doctor talks about with the gastric stuff. I told her how that led to my sobriety today. My first attempt...my first day...my first meeting...the first time I said I was an alcoholic. When we were done, she said she had no doubt now that I was being led to this process and so she said that she now had no doubt that I should do it. That something was waiting though she didn't know what. I have been feeling led and I guess I needed to hear it from someone else. Kinda freaks me out a little but not enough to stop me, Thank You God.
Nothing changes if nothing changes and the only change can me within me.
What's up with that? And why did it happen to my blog list? I have a headache.
On the bright side..I'm supposed to be working so maybe this is a sign....xo
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
ON THE FLIP SIDE
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Most of you have already seen or done this so....
Here's the rules:
List 10 honest things about myself
Pass the award on to 7 bloggers
10 random honest things about ME and it is all about ME:
1. While all my life I "prided" myself on honesty and spouted it all the time....held myself up as a tell it like it is person....this last year of sobriety it the ONLY time I have been truly honest. When I can't be...I shut up.
2. One of the things about honesty that really troubles me....if I haven't been honest with myself all of my life....how do I know I'm being honest with myself now?
3. I have periods of doubt aboout this Higher Power thing.
4. I talk about how busy I am but what I am most busy at is procrastination.
5. I don't like my mother.
6. I've seen my daughter stretch the truth in the same way that I did and I haven't talked to her about it.
7. I know money isn't everything but I wish I had it.
8. When I first started to drive, I used to hit lots of cars in parking lots, not on purpose and leave fake notes so people thought I was doing the "right" thing.
9. I'm a flirt and use my marriage as a shield.
10. I felt bad because I didn't make the list of many bloggers who passed this on.
So now I'm supposed to pass this on to 7 bloggers.....so here goes..
A Sober Woman of God
One Prayer Girl
It's a Brain Disease
In God's Hands
Stop, Drop and Recover
Hand in Hand with the Spirit of the Universe
Another Sober Alcoholic
I know there's more than seven...see number 10. And if you aren't on the list its cause my finger hurts so consider yourself awarded...xo
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
i can't really type too well. I chopped off a corner of my finger today. got 2 stiches and a tetnus shot...so...i'll be remiss in my posts for awhile this time for a real reason. if you could see all my backspaces just to get this out you'd understand. no comments either...but i'll be reading. xo
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
For my boss, who closed the office for Thanksgiving beginning today and through the weekend...paid!
That I get to pick up my daughter today.
That my husband vacumed yesterday.
All the shopping for Thanksgiving dinner is done and I can start cooking today....without wine.
That my son is enjoying and participating in his senior year of high school, something I never did.
For our President-Elect who has already begun and I already feel more secure.
For the fellowship of AA that rightsizes me when I make a mistake and teaches me valuable lessons on how to work my program and humility.
For the woman mentioned in the previous post....
For the ability to assist someone to recover from this disease and watch them emerge from the paralzying fear and remorse to hope and faith.
For the ability to tell someone in the midst of this disease that I did understand her drama...just wasn't going to participate in it....that it was the insanity of the disease whether she was drinking or not and that there was a solution should she choose to accept.
For the ability to pray for acceptance for myself and for others.
For my Tuesday Step Sisters....and the friendships beyond fellowship that I have been blessed to be a part of.
That because of AA I can practice my principles and can count among my friends for the first time, people of color, of different sexual orientation, and of different economic status.
That my husband is accepting of my desire to open our home to other alcoholics without one for Thanksgiving dinner...as long as it isn't Gary Busey.
That I shared that with my spiritual sponser and she is now grateful for Celebrity Rehab.
That because of this program I can work on being thankful that my mother will be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner.
That my step study sponser and I will begin our work on Friday.
That by the time I came to believe, my sanity had already begun to be restored.
For the understanding that doubt can be a part of faith. Thank you T. , Mother Teresa, and Jesus.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I'm not sure exactly why I feel this way. I feel compassion for most people but I don't really for her. She's just a grump. Dour. I used it before and that is the word that perfectly describes her. Definition: 1 : stern , harsh 2 : obstinate , unyielding 3 : gloomy , sullen. That's it exactly. If I try to look at my part in this, I suppose its because she doesn't like me. I want people to like me. So I guess it affects my emotional security. And I think she makes me feel guilty for feeling joyful. Like I'm doing something wrong. And I am sure that my impatience and feelings are all over my face. I don't think there was any eyerolling, I do try to restrain myself but I'll betcha she caught me at the coffee shop. I'll betcha I did it. I was really annoyed. It probably happend unconsciously. She was really spoiling the atmosphere and basically ruining a very nice evening with a very nice group of women. Of course she was sitting right next to me. I don't think I owe her an amends or anything. And in my share I did say I was insecure about how people felt about me and looked right at her. And I thanked her for her service to the group...in finding a place for us even if she doesn't really want it. But I do need to pray for her. And to try to exhibit kindness, not eye rolling and impatience.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
So I guess my question is....what if you know a person outside of the meetings, who exhibits alcoholic behavior, whose lost their job because of it, who is not someone in your family or circle but happens to be an acquaintance. One is a gentleman who the people he works with claim he is an alcoholic whether by his own admission or not I don't know. Whether he has ever sought recovery or not I don't know. I don't really know him at all, just of him. The other was an aide at my mother's facility. She was my mother's favorite, had been there 6 years, the longest of any of the aides and was arrested on site for apparently stealing meds from another resident. She denies it. Is this the kind of person to reach out to in a 12th step call? I know back in the day that is how Dr. Bob and Bill found their prospects. These people have not asked for help but their lives have fallen apart. During meditation this morning it came to me that I could approach them with another alcoholic. Explain my story and offer to help if they so desired. Is that overstepping boundries? I just really am not sure. And if I'm not sure I do nothing until I talk it over with my sponser and in this case seek opinion from those with more experience.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I attend meetings to stay sober and to carry the message—not the mess—to other alcoholics. An old Chinese proverb says, "Fellowship for the sake of friendship is chaos." I do not go to AA meetings to make friends… When this does happen, I count my blessings. But I go to meetings to remember what it was like, what happened and what it is like now. The chaos begins, when I/we forget "principles before personalities," or when I am letting my ego talk/share (Easing God Out). I/we can be getting ourselves, or others, caught up in the drama trauma, and not recovery. The A.A. prog ram has taught me that when I am in a meeting my sharing needs also to benefit the group. Is what I am conveying necessary for the "unity" of the group? Am I sharing my experience, strength and hope? We are to share in a general way—not every detail concerning the drama. For example: I am having a problem with a situation in my life that is causing me (name the feeling), and I am not reacting the way I use to (drinking). Too often, I hear, "Yesterday my boss got me so mad. He/she said blah, blah, blah. And I said blah, blah, blah back. Then, blah blah blah. I left there and drove home in my blah blah blah car. I am so blah, blah blah, and blah blah. 5 minutes or more later… blah, blah blah."
What is the point? If you cannot say what you need to say in 3-5 minutes get together with your sponsor or someone else before or after the meeting and discuss all the details—until you can get to the "underlying cause" of your problem. Another tool in recovery is writing about it until you can "uncover, discover and discard." If you think "the group" will get a lesson or kick out of your longer version of the story…sign up for the speakers list! We need speakers to carry the message. Thank you for letting me share!
Concerned member of AA Mission Viejo, CA
Ps. AA is not group therapy…group therapy is not AA… And DUI classes are neither…they are group detention!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I think its time for a gratitude list:
1. For my daughter who calls me just because....
2. That her boyfriend is not coming for Thanksgiving after all taking the pressure off...
3. For my stepsisters group that I can return to tonight......
4. For early mornings....
5. For my husband who is just letting me be..most of the time..
6. For my son...who I pray will someday see me as a person, not just as a parent
7. For facebook...its fun
8. For recognizing H.A.L.T. and how doing something about it can change everything
9. That my sponsee agreed to begin the Big Book Step Study with another sponser.
10. That when my other sponsee called to tell me of the chaos in her life, I brought it back to Step 1 and told her that if she won't even read the Big Book there is not much I can do for her.
Okay, I'm ready to start the day now...have a good one!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
A Sermon by Saint Anthony of Padua First Sunday after Pentecost Love
"God is love," we read today at the beginning of the Epistle. (I John
iv, 8) As love is the chief of all the virtues, we shall treat of it here at
some length in a special way . . . .
If God loved us to the point that he gave us his well-beloved Son, by
whom he made all things, we too should ourselves love one another. "I give you," he says, "a new commandment, that ye love one another (John xiii, 34)." . . .
We have, says St. Augustine, four objects to love. The first is above us:
it is God. The second is ourselves. The third is round about us: it is our
neighbor. The fourth is beneath us: it is our body. The rich man loved his body first and above everything. Of God, of his neighbor, of his soul, he had not a thought; that was why he was damned.
Our Body, says St. Bernard, should be to us like a sick person
entrusted to our care. We must refuse it many of the worthless things it wants; on the other hand, we must forcefully compel it to take the helpful remedies repugnant to it. We should treat it not as something belonging to us but as belonging to Him who bought it at so high a price, and whom we must glorify in our body (I Corinthians vi, 20).
We should love our body in the fourth and last place, not as the goal of
our life but as an indispensable instrument of it.
(Les Sermons de St. Antoine de Padoue pour L’année Liturgique.
Translated by Abbe Paul Bayart, Paris, n.d.)
— From Lives of Saints, John J. Crawley & Co., 1954
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
If you haven't seen this movie go see it RIGHT NOW! Just beautiful, funny, heartwarming, poignant and inspirational.
Just came from the ER where my sponsee lies detoxing, again. I won't share what has happened except to say, she has gone to a lower floor on the elevator. I practiced my detachment yesterday...I brought her to the meeting and then said that she could call me when she was placed and someone else took her to the hospital. Her placement didn't work out and so she is back in the ER waiting....for help...I went and I comforted her, I prayed with her, I read her Step 1. Then I left. That was huge for me because I didn't want to really but I had to. For me and for her. She's in God's hands, she just has to realize that. I can do no more to help her with that.
I am leaving the AWOL. It just isn't what I was looking for but what helped me in that decision was attending a Big Book Step Study meeting yesterday morning. Now THAT, was it. In order to participate (speak) in the group you must have gone through the steps with a sponser from that meeting. The read a step from BB, yesterday was just a few paragraphs from Step 4 regarding FEAR. Then they have a speaker. Then they share. Otherwise you listen and let them know where you are in the process. What I was looking for was a deeper understanding of the steps. I've done them as outlined in the Big Book with the guidance of my sponser. I'm in the middle of Step 9 and try to do 10, 11 and 12 every day as well as Step 3 and 7. And my relationship with my sponser is step based and I respect and honor her guidance. This will only make me stronger. I talked to my sponser..she knows my new step study sponser..and endorses my decision. So there you go..I do not feel bad about leaving the AWOL and I am grateful that I can return to my Stepsisters group. What I feel bad about is abandoning my carpool buddy. She's not in my group in the AWOL but we drive back and forth together. I'll go this week to let her know and the faciltators...that will be hard but I think this is the right path for me. And I think I will better be able to guide someone else through the steps by doing it this way.
When I started this blog, I honestly wasn't looking for feedback. I thought of it as an online journal like a diary. The diary I had never been able to write. And then I got a few comments and was helped tremendously. People here directed to me to AA both in their own writings and their suggestions to me. And once in AA I was able to stay sober and discover a new way of looking at and living my life. Almost 17 months now...whew! One thing about having a public journal is that it does temper some of what I write about. Not so much from the other bloggers because I would love to get those comments on issues I have having personnally but more because I don't know who else is reading. And its wierd to have people reading that I know in person. (but don't go away...okay?) But that helps me too because I realize that if I am uncomfortable in any way making something "public" then perhaps that is better information shared with my sponser, as much as I'd like to write about it. Maybe after I discuss it with her is a better time to write about it anyway. Even here in blogland, as much as I am helped by it, it is no replacement for face to face contact with other alcoholics. No replacement for meetings or the relationship that you get from sponsership both ways. And when I started this blog that was my intention. To do it on my own...work out my problems in writing so that I would never have to speak about them, god forbid, to another person. Now, because my AA life is so active, I sometimes fall behind here and don't get to post or read every day. And I am reminded of the blogging with obligation tag on my sidebar. When it becomes an obligation it no longer becomes helpful to me.
That following thingy has also had me thinking...mainly because a few other bloggers wrote about it. I didn't put it up there and I didn't sign up to follow except for a couple when it first came out. I didn't put it up because it's just another complicated thingy to figure out, I didn't want to stroke my already big ego and I know who follows by their comments. And if they don't comment, that's okay too. My primary purpose is to stay sober and help another alcoholic achieve sobriety. I don't necessarily have to hear about it. Maybe they don't want to announce themselves. I didn't sign up because all you have to do is read my sidebar to see who I follow and I try to comment when moved so they know I'm around. It's a give and take community and when I started I know it was more about take but now its more about give to me. I think that's a nice switch.
So I'd like to award this lovely acknowledgement to a few blogs too...
because he makes me laugh, makes me think (too hard sometimes) and though I can't follow all of his stories and escapades, he has a wonderful heart.
because he challenges and takes no prisoners, and because years ago when I first started thinking i had a problem he was a contributor to one of the yahoo groups I lurked on...and now thanks to Molly I found him in blogland.
because she is the sponser of all sponsers. Her blog is a wonderful resource when I can't find my sponser and she's helped me to stay sober.
because I know in "real" life, we'd hang out and drink tea.
because although I don't always agree with him, I learn from him.
because I find her inspiring and I aspire to become a Sober Woman of God.
The rest of you already got one so don't think you're being left out...xo
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
We danced to this Monday night in a Sacred Circle and I had to listen to it this morning and tears are running down my face as they did last night as I watched the crowd in Grant's Park. I am proud to be an American and I wouldn't know that were I not a grateful, recovering, alcoholic. I cannot even imagine what it must feel like to be an African American today. But I think I have a taste of it. Today, we are Americans, not white, not black, not straight, not gay, not male, not female, not red nor blue, we are Americans.
postscript: Actually, maybe I can imagine. One of my friends from the morning meeting is African American and attended with her daughter today. Tears streaming down her face and speechless. Overwhelmed with emotion. I can identify and fills me with gratitude. My aunt in Georgia just sent this to me...
Rosa sat so Martin could walk
Martin walked so Obama could run
Obama ran so our children could fly
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Very, very heartened to see the line wrapped around the block this morning as I went to vote. Actually had a tear in my eye as I colored in the circle. Very exciting, so grateful that my children get to participate in their first election where there is so much at stake and so much citizen participation. Rock on!
Monday, November 3, 2008
I made my amends to my husband yesterday. Saturday was our 22nd wedding anniversary. We hadn't done anything special as we had to attend a funeral and then an auction for our son's senior class. After the auction we went out "for drinks" with another couple who we have known for sometime as our boys have been friends since nursery school. Of course I wasn't drinking and I just said I didn't drink anymore because it wasn't good for me. That led to a discussion of our youth and our various experiences with drugs and alcohol and how we reconciled that with our kids. My husband brought up how I had shared with our children the time when he was 17 and had driven his cadillac into a house. And he was upset that I had told them that. He said I believed in transparancy with our kids (I don't) and he didn't think we should share everything with them. I think I brought it up. and I'm sure I was drinking at the time, to retaliate for something he had said about my driving. You know like, " oh yeah, well let me tell you about the time...." On the way home, I told him that I shouldn't have shared that story with our children and we had a brief discussion about it. I apologized, told him that I didn't believe in transparancy and that I hadn't told the kids he was drunk at the time (though I would think it could be inferred). He was happy with that.
But yesterday morning, upon awakening, I thought, this seems like the time. So I took him to brunch for our belated anniversary celebration with the intention of making my amends. It was tough to start the conversation. But I did. I explained that this was part of my recovery and while I couldn't apologize for every instance I could share that because I was drinking I said and did things to him that were not fair, were mean-spirited, and were ill advised. I shared that because I was drinking I felt less than and in order to feel better I said and did things that knocked him down. Because I couldn't stop drinking I didn't come home when I should as a wife and mother and did things that were against my values. I came up with examples and said it would not be possible for me to identify everything because after 22 years of marriage and 4 years of dating, there were far too many. The examples I did put forward, he didn't even remember! But he got the point. I also took the responsibility for my part in our lack of intimacy. That it must not have been pleasant to come home to a sloppy, drunk wife. All in all I think it went well. We did not have the heart to heart I would have liked. He's one of those guys that has trouble expressing emotion or even identifying them. In fact he said, okay but now we will have menopause to deal with.. meaning, maybe its not going to get better in our relationship. But my side of the street in clean. Maybe now he will get the advantage of me practicing these principles in all my affairs. But I am not wearing rose colored glasses. His side of the street, not so clean, but that is none of my concern. I can't change that, or react to it. I have done my part and it feels infinitely better to have done so. Like maybe I'm not so bad after all.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
1. I will not help you to stay and wallow in limbo.
2. I will help you to grow, to become more productive, by your definition.
3. I will help you become more autonomous, more loving of yourself,more excited, less sensitive, more free to become the authority for your own living.
4. I cannot give you dreams or "fix you up" simply because I cannot.
5. I cannot give you growth, or grow for you. You must grow for yourself by facing reality, grim as it may be at times.
6. I cannot take away your loneliness or your pain.
7. I cannot sense your world for you, evaluate your goals for you, tell you what is best for your world; because you have your own world in which you must live.
8. I cannot convince you of the necessity to make the vital decision of choosing the frightening uncertainty of growing over the safe misery of remaining static.
9. I want to be with you and know you as a rich and growing friend; yet I cannot get close to you when you choose not to grow.
10. When I begin to care for you out of pity or when I begin to lose faith in you, then I am inhibiting both you and me.
11. You must know and understand my help is conditional. I will be with you and "hang in there" with you so long as I continue to get even the slightest hint that you are still trying to grow.
12. If you can accept this, then perhaps we can help each other to become what God meant us to be, mature adults, leaving childishness forever to the little children of the world.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I will say this, one thing that I did accomplish was come to the realization that I need to do more than just a living amends as they call it to my children. Up to now, it was enough to just not be drinking and to share my milestones with them. I thought about the amends, sort of like a drive by. In the car, maybe I'd tell them I was sorry for not being the mother they deserved and for the pain and embarrassment I am sure I caused them. But the time never seemed right. But out of the blue, after talking to another alcoholic about her family, it occurred to me that I need to take each one out to lunch and make my amends and give them the opportunity to share how my drinking made them feel. So that's the plan. I will do the same thing with my husband. I've been postponing that one because I'm not sure I can make amends for everything. Still deciding if one particular behavior of mine will cause him harm or if I'm just being self serving. But I can still move forward and begin the amends and let God decide.
And being a sponser or I should say trying to be a sponser is a tough job but it is true, it has its rewards. And I do want to be that person that walks the talk so I will stick with it. I've given both my sponsees a set of Joe and Charlie CDs I made. I listened to them constantly early on and they helped me to understand and take the steps. I'm listening to them again. Found a speaker set on sponsership itself from Chris & Myer. Listened to the first one and it sounds like I should download the rest. They talked alot about old time sponsership and how it is getting away from the fellowship now.
Right now I'm just trying to be available to them, getting them to meetings and encouraging them to make other contacts in AA so that they have someone to talk to when I am not available. I have seen both of them do that which was exciting to see someone actually listen to you. And I listen and try to point out the step where they seem to be and how they can get to the next step. But to formally sit down and do them, is not how I did them with my sponser with the exception of Step 5 and I dont' want to shortchange them. I was a very motivated student. I kind of did the step myself and then after the fact would talk to my sponser about it and she'd point out what I might be missing or encourage me further. I'm not sure that would be enough for these girls.
Miss AddictedtoLove seems to be too wrapped up in her relationship to focus on sobriety though she's progressing. And MissKeepsComingBack is still trying to figure out if she's doing this for herself or to get past the next Court hurdle. I'm torn between trying to help them with life 101 and just simply getting through the steps. One of my defects is to become too empathetic to the point of losing myself. So I guess its all about balance. Work in progress.
Anyway, the 2 big things ahead of me is a pasta party on Wednesday for the varsity soccer team. Last game of the regular season. They made it to the playoffs and the parents gave my son, the keeper, a standing ovation when he came off the field last night. Very nice but he didn't even see it. He's a focused boy. This party would have been an occasion for huge quantities of alcohol for me. I would have popped a few while prepping with the thought that the boys would never notice. Maybe have a glass tucked away somewhere, worrying all the time whether another parent would show up. Then once they leave, which is pretty quick, the swoop the food, play a video game and go home, I would have downed quite a bit to recover from the "stress" of putting it all together. I am not that person anymore.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I gave up buying the coffee supplies for my morning meeting. I realized that the reason I jump in to do EVERYTHING is because of my EGO. If I don't do it noone will. If someone else does it they won't do it right. I am expected to do it. This is all stuff in my own head. So I raised my hand yesterday and offered the job up...I already chair Fridays and update the members list for that group not to mention the other groups I'm involve in. I had a few people in mind that I thought could use the job..but lo and behold...this one guy (kind of a whack job, but no judgement) offered and my first reaction was "anyone but you!". And I said it out loud! Geeesh! Talk about putting your defects out on the carpet for everyone to see. But I'll let it go..its going to be tough. And I think I'll stop at Dunkin Donuts before the meeting from now on.
And I took on another sponsee. I can't say no when someone is looking for help. But as my sponser reminded me, I don't have to sponser her in the same way I sponser the other girl. And I really need to set my boundries with both of them. I have trouble with that. It is easy for me to put someone else before myself and my husband wishes it were him. I'm a work in progress. I'll get there. And it is amazing how sponsering another alcoholic really comes back to you. I am getting more and more grounded. It is becoming more clear to me what Steps 1, 2 and 3 mean. All that stuff you hear in meetings is really true...freaky.
The AWOL, well, its not bad but I'm not sure its going to be right for me. Last night we had to go around the room and share what we hoped to get out of the AWOL. Since I dont' even really know what an AWOL is, that was hard to do. I shared that I felt like I was at my first AA meeting. Everyone seems to know everyone else and I don't know anyone. I don't know what I'm in for. But that I'm looking for confirmation that I'm on the right path as far as the steps go and that I thought I could use more structure and I thought I might find it here. I also think it will help me as I begin to sponser others. A lot of people there had done this before, the facilitator had done 13....they all talked about how wonderful it was...how close they became to the people in the group...it was magical. I don't really want that experience. I have become very close to the people in my AA groups and I don't think I have room for more. I'm not looking for magic, just clarity. Anyway, I will remain open, honest and willing.
One of the reasons I think my head is swirling around with this stuff is that I haven't taken the time to write here recently. Yes I tried to post the other day and that got wiped out and it has made me feel disconnected. I am very grateful for this forum that allows me to share and work out my feelings in a way that we can't always do in the time we have to share at a meeting. And when I work it out here I can better share at a meeting because I've organized my thoughts. Anyway...
Let Go and Let God is my mantra for the day. xo