Saturday, August 30, 2008

Barack The Vote

HELLO!!!! My apologies to those of you who have continued to see a blanket when you visited my blog in the last month. It just got busy as I posted about and then I went on vacation and then I got out of the routine. I took the blogging without obligation to heart. But one of the members of my morning group who reads me gave me a poke this morning so I promised I would get back to it. Thanks Carol! Not to mention my friend Molly who checked in on me now and again. I really appreciated that. To be honest, I did drop some meetings and my online group and my blog and even my prayer and meditation to some extent. Not my sobriety though. But if I'm honest, I think I was backing away, albeit slowly, from my recovery program. You know, I had my big year, maybe I didn't have to work so hard after all. And then I missed it and I was able to see a difference in my quality of life. So gradually I picked up most of my meetings, went back to my online group and now I'm back here. Writing and soon to catch up with the bloggers who have so influenced my sobriety because you have shared yours with me. Can't do it alone. Not that I was trying to. But I think I may have forgotten the part about giving it away to keep it. And that's what my presence at meetings, my posts at AABC, my blog does for me. Helps me to give it away. And helps me to keep it. way I'll be able to post everything I've written in my head in the last 3 weeks so I guess I'll just tell you about today. And I'm not going to beat myself up because it wasn't all that long of a departure but it was enough to know that I will need AA and my recovery program, all of it, for the rest of my life. It will ebb and flow, but I will need to work it every day.

After the morning meeting, I was one of those people you see on corners holding a sign for a candidate and waving. I have never done that before and if I wasn't sober I wouldn't be doing it now. I'm one of those people who believes that my vote means something yet I've never really done anything beyond that. But I feel passionately about this election and the need for change. And I think Barack Obama can do it for us. Or at least, if nothing else, be something beyond what we've had for the last 8 years and even before that. Look at it this way, anything will be better than what we've got now. I'm sick of the old boy political machine bullshit. The last time I felt this way was when John Anderson ran as an independent. I think that may have been my first election and my brother and I went to see him speak at Yale. And I've never seen anything off the beaten path since be somewhat viable. Have a shot. And that has always made me feel powerless politically.

I bring this experience up not because I'm trying to swing voters or anything like that although that would be a plus but to say that this is something I would have wanted to do when I was drinking yet I never would have been able to bring myself. I went to the square in my town, by myself and stood with a large group of people,none of whom I knew. This would have daunted me to no end. First of all, I would have been so hungover on a Saturday morning at 8:00. I would never have pulled myself together or had the confidence to approach such a group on my own. I would have been to anxious about how less than I was. Yet in sobriety this is something I can do. And it felt great and it was really fun. Mostly positive..lots of beeps and waves. A few thumbs down but as Obama said, they just don't get it. And yes, one finger. What's up with that?

If you didn't see the speech the other night check it out. I think this is only a portion. But this guy is for real. Read his book, Dreams from my Father and then listen to him. After I heard his speech I understood what Michelle Obama meant when she said that for the first time she was proud to be an American. She didn't mean that she hadn't been before but she meant that for the first time maybe she was full. Full of Hope.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back by Popular Demand

Well, not really. Not really back and not by popular demand but I did want to check in before I leave on vacation on Saturday. Its been a busy couple of weeks and I am so grateful that I have a program in my pocket so that when I miss meetings or my routine is disrupted I've got a fall back. I've been able to enjoy the fruits of what I've worked on this last year, time with family as a full participant and that I can remember. I am consistant and reliable. Not perfect by any means as my children are quick to point out but I continue to pray that my defects be removed so that they appear less and less. Went to my morning meeting this morning and it felt like a warm blanket on a chilly morning.

Some vignettes from the week:

Played Risk with my nephew and my kids until 2:00 am Monday night. I won, world domination! Though I truly did not want to play. Its too long and tiring. But I made it through the game and I was not drinking. I played the game because I was not drinking. It was fun. The family dynamics were in full force. I woke up the next morning and skipped work not because I was hungover but because I was simply tired and wanted to spend the last day with my family.

I had to clean out my Mom's cabinets and fridge. She loves to shop. It makes her happy and it makes her feel normal. However she has no short term memory so she keeps buying the same things over and over. She also has no insight and truly lives in the now so she doesn't realize she's got stuff from 2005 hanging out in her fridge and on her shelves. She buys the cooked lobster (not from 2005!!) but we know she will never eat it. She doesn't need the food, meals are provided. I had my niece and nephew with me to divert her attention with rousing games of Go Fish while I emptied everything salvaging what I could. My AA group got 4 lbs of coffee. My mom was disgruntled and disturbed. But I cannot allow this to go on anymore. Its potentially dangerous. And I can no longer avoid the confrontation taking charge may bring. She's like a child and I must treat her as such with love and compassion but with firmness as well. So yes, she was ticked. Every time I went to the barrel to dispose of the food, I'd return to find her at the counter trying to regain control. She was furiously writing notes to herself while I was clearing out the fridge. She left for lunch while I was still there and I checked out what she wrote...."Kathy ransacked my cupboards. Go to barrel and get bags." Smart Lady! I took the note but just for security purposes took the barrel to the dumpster.

At Monday nights meeting a fellow that I hadn't seen in awhile showed up. He approached me at the break to show me his 1 year medallion. I had given him a Big Book at that same meeting and introduced him to some men in another group to connect with. He was one of the very first people I "helped". I remember the feeling very well of how much it had helped me in my brand new 30 or 60 days of sobriety to guide someone newer. And I let him know how much it had helped me to help him. It was a joy to see him succeed and humbling that he came back to the meeting to show me. I know that feeling very well. I remember with deep gratitude everyone who reached their hand out to me to guide me along this road of happy destiny. Its not easy. Many of the people I started out with are no longer walking beside me. I just pray they are on the road at all. But boy is it cool when we get to see the program work!!

Anyway gotta get back to work. I hope to catch up with all of you when I'm on vacation with some time on my hands....I plan to read, write and meditate in between kayaking and sleeping. Happy summer! xo