Saturday, January 31, 2009

Visiting Nurse

I am going to visit a sick friend today. He is a member of my online group whose absence has been sorely missed. He lives about 2 1/2 hours away but I am closest..and I can offer my group an opportunity to offer encouragment and support to him in person. I am a mere emmissary. He is one of the people whose posts I read, who was consistant and kind, in the years before I got sober and lurked around the group...just to see...He helped me to see. So now I want to help him. That's how it works.

So off I go today, armed with Carolyn Myss' Entering the Castle, Joe and Charlie and Coldplay to listen to for the ride....I won't get to spend much time with him but I will deliver a poster made by another member of all our prayers and get well wishes...and then I will head home hopefully in time for my meditation meeting.

My husband doesn't quite get this....he thinks its odd...and risky. But I know I am being led here..and where You lead..I will follow.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Kinda Grumpy

Not really, I'm content but I'm accepting that I'm grumpy too. Acceptance breeds contentment I guess. So even though....

....I am so sick of winter and the ice and dirty snow and bad parking and narrow roads and cars that park on narrow roads that you can't get around them and the cold so that your toes are never warm....

....I get jealous feelings over someone I should not have jealous feelings about although I want to have a reason to have these jealous feelings but I am working through the jealous feelings like a good AA girl....and better yet not acting on them...

....My boss likes to think of himself as a spiritually enlightened person but in reality he is clueless and somehow it has become my job to gently direct him and I would more like to scream out hypocrite...

....I get frustrated when someone professes to want my help and gets me all geared up but can't seem to even keep a commitment to call at a certain time...

.... I am continually asked what is going on when I have no idea what is going on and wonder how the heck did I become the person that is supposed to know and how can I stop doing that...and other people from expecting it...and how I can stop the mere question from compelling me to try to find out what is going on...

....I am constantly worried about saying or doing the wrong thing or assuming that I have...

....people can be mean and self absorbed...

....household chores are overwhelming me... can be hard... can be tight...

....and I don't always get what I want...

I can experience all of these things and be content..happy even. And I can do it sober. And this is a miracle.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

We were playing this game at another venue..thought I'd share here...

1. I have a hard time thinking about just one thing about me let alone 25:) and I don't particularly like thinking about myself at all so I'm counting this thought as one.

2. I grew up in the projects of Pittsburgh...hill district to be exact...while my father attended Carnegie Tech for his Phd. During the riots after MLK was shot..I was scared. We moved shortly thereafter.

3. I was born in Boston and my first marriage home and where I got pregnant, was 2 blocks from where my parents had lived..full circle.

4. My parents "had" to get married but never discussed it with me..I found out while looking for my birth certificate for a school project and finding their marriage certificate at the same time. I never asked them about it.

5. I was on the swim team when I was in sixth grade...and got a first place ribbon for backstroke and a third place ribbon for butterfly. But I wasn't very good comparatively speaking so never pursued it. Plus I used to have to get allergy shots just before swim practice and my arm used to hurt like the dickens.

6. I always wanted to be a teacher but went to school to become a social worker, ended up in retail management..until I became a mother which led to waitressing and now I am a paralegal. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

7. I played the clarinet until band practice interfered with recess.

8. My favorite childhood memories come from my summer visits at my Grandmother's house in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. The best one...eating grilled cheese sandwiches, drinking ginger ale and watching Hollywood Squares while Grandma ironed. She talked on the phone to her sisters, my Tetis, in Serbian the whole time so I wouldn't overhear the gossip. The only Serbian word I really remember is chechi (and that's not the spelling) which means wait.

9. Mike Ditka is my Godfather. He and my dad were best friends in high school. I haven't seen him since I was a baby. He did not come to my father's funeral...but his mother did. Pete Maravich, Pistol Pete, was my cousins cousin, his father Press Maravich was my father's gym teacher.

10. After I graduated from high school I played softball on a town women's team and had never played before. I loved it..we went from being the joke of the league to making it into the top 3. Best of all..we were sponsered by Tester's Tavern..our motto.."Winning isn't everything but losing sucks" drinks after the game..need I say more?

11. I met my husband in a bar called Malone's in New Haven where the bartender was a mutual friend. He likes to tell people that I patted the barstool next to me and said "sit next to me". That did not happen.

12. I like to do random acts of kindness...I'd tell you about them but that would defeat the purpose.

13. There is a care package in my mudroom for a soldier I have adopted. I have had it there since last May. For some reason I can't get myself to ship it out.

14. I think I would love the monastic life.

15. I really do enjoy reality tv...American Idol, Survivor, Top Chef, Project Runway and yes, even Big Brother. Chewing gum for the eyes.

16. I like to be near bodies of water...ocean, lake, river...I don't think I could ever live landlocked.

17. I write a blog but I like to keep it private. oops! (an obvious cut paste from the other venue:)

18. I have struggled with smoking for decades. I started as a teenager and finally quit in 1985, picked it up again in 1991 and quit again"for good" in 2004. I picked it up again in 2008 and have smoked about every other month. I'm going to quit again on Feb 1st.

19. I am an avid reader...since childhood....and would rather be reading something by a fire, a beach, under a tree..than doing anything else.

20. In my senior year of high school my best friend and I went to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break. I fell madly in love with a boy from Kentucky and came home and broke up with my boyfirend and as a result did not attend my senior prom. I never heard from the boy from Kentucky again.

21. I hit a carful of nuns from Albertus Magnus college while taking an improper left hand turn from the wrong lane and then drove away and got lost. I was getting high at the time. By the time I found my way back to the scene of the accident they were already gone. I did not know they were nuns. I was scared. When I got home I lied told my father I hit a pole in a local take out joint's parking lot. I was not supposed to be driving in New Haven. Then the cops called in the middle of the night and in describing the accident to my father stated..."well, the nuns said....." The nuns called a few weeks later to make sure I was okay and was not scared to ever drive again.

22. I am a loyal and trustworthy friend.

23. My favorite movie is Sound of Music and my friend Nancy will tell you about walking around the streets of New Haven singing the lyrics on the top of my lungs. I love to sing and was in a children's chorus with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. As I grew up I was too self conscious.

24. Moving to another state at the age of 13 was probably the most traumatic, life changing event in my life.

25. I have been know not to finish things so finishing this list is quite an accomplishment.

I'm not going to do the tag/link thing but would love it if you would share your randomness, too.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sermon on The Mount...The Reality Show

I got this little flyer from a member of an online group that there was to be a seminar on the book Sermon on the Mount at The Wilson House in March. This was Bill W.'s childhood home in Vermont and serves as a retreat center's about 3 hours from my home. So I asked a few other women if they were interested. Passed out the flyer..and now we have 8 going. And when someone hears about it they want to go. The seminar is booked up and just taking waiting we do have a ninth on that. And so far it looks like we're all staying in one small cabin across the street. 8 women of a certain age trying to get ready at the same time and out the door by 8:30 am every morning. The cabin sleeps 4...and we figured a few air mattresses on the floor. Of course the proprietors may not be so accomodating. Most of the women don't care and are more concerned about the cost than they feel the more the merrier or should I say, cheaper. And then a few women are getting uncomfortable with the idea...of being jammed in and having their morning rituals of putting themselves together disturbed...but they don't want to be the ones to raise the price for everyone else by getting another room. Some have not paid for their registration yet...and when push comes to it will be interesting to see how it unfolds....And all of us in a room together should be interesting. You should be there when we go for tea...sometimes everyone is speaking at the same time...its amazing...

Me, I loved the book and am looking forward to a directed reading of it. I am the sort that would be happy in a room alone or amongst many. Each would be a different experience. All I know is my "retreat" calender is filling. And I've got to watch myself..because I'd go to them all if I could.

And ephiphany yesterday...and not related to Sermon on the Mount at all...we were talking about the show Intervention and discussing the use of hand sanitizer, mouthwash etc. Somehow we got on the topic of cold medications...I talked about how Alka Seltzer Cold Plus used to be my secret elixar. I could take that and Aala!, the hangover was gone and I could tolerate the day..until I drank again. Then they took it off the shelves and replaced the secret ingredient and it stopped working. Then the only thing that seemed to work for me was I'd take a dose in the I could put myself together for the day...and as I was sharing this with my friends I stopped. Because I always thought I was not a morning drinker...but if I was downing a dose or 2 of get myself going in the morning, what exactly is that? I NEVER made the connection before. And my sponser sat across from me nodding her head knowingly.

Speaking of which...I posted a few back about All My Sponsers...and I talked a little about this to my "real" sponser. How I'm having trouble reconciling this. How I can't really talk to by BBSS sponser as I can to her..and is it okay?...and all this stuff. And of course she says, why do we have to define these the BBSS working for you? Yes...then everything is as it should be. Cherish each relationship for what it is..and what it brings..and what you bring to it....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Letter B

Remember these??

I told Prayer Girl I would play this letter game....and woke up this morning thinking of the letter B so I better get it out of my system here. The rules of the game are simple. You are assigned a random letter and you should then post 10 things that you love that begin with that letter. If you read this and want to play, leave a comment that says so, and I'll assign you a random letter. And on and on it goes.

B is for husband. A good guy. He has put up with a lot over the years and still sticks around. Why? I have no idea. What I do know is that I love him. In sobriety, I am learning to accept that love changes over the while I don't quite jump his bones anymore..sitting by a fire reading is just as good.

B is for Bill icon. So grateful that this individual along with the help of his fellows created this program of recovery and shared it with the world and then me.

B is for BIG...everything is so Big to me now. In early sobriety..I used to get overwhelmed with the bigness of it I am simply grateful to play a small, miniscule part in the bigness of life.

B is for Babies...I love babies. Truth be told, I cannot wait to be a Grandma. But don't tell..I don't want to rush my children and will be satisfied with glimpses of children on the street or in a mother's arms. Always make me smile.

B is for is all around us and i am so grateful that my eyes are open.

B is for Beatitudes...another simple program for living. In March I will be going to a seminar up in Vermont at The Wilson House on Emmett Fox's Sermon on the Mount. That was one of the first..religious...books I've read and his explanations made sense to me.

B is for Bikini....I will never get in one again...actually the last time I wore a bikini I was in 6th grade...and I don't long for those days.

B is for Bungee Jumping..I have not done this but I would like to...yes I would.

B is for Big Book....a book that has changed my life..a book that is different every time you read it..a book that never grows tiring..a book to share.

B is for daughter will be doing an alternative spring break and will be staying in Kentucky in a Baptist church. She told me yesterday they are going to have to go to services! She's appalled. (smile) I told her to just remain open and respectful...she'll be fine. God works in mysterious ways.

I'm sorry for the bikini one. It's lame. I'm been thinking and thinking of what to replace it with and can't come up with anything so I guess its supposed to be there.

Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


What a morning! I attend church where we do our centering prayer sits. The woman who facilitates the sits knew something was going on with me through messages I was receiving on facebook so she asked if I was okay on Thursday during our sit. I told her what had happened and she asked what color I thought of when thinking of my friend. I said blue and told her about the yellow rose for friendship I had placed on her chair during our meeting. (We broke our annonymity with her awhile ago when we requested to use the church for our 11th Step meeting). She said she was charged with doing the flowers for the altar that Sunday and she would use those colors and that she and I would know who they were for. Lovely. So I went to the service and they were there. Blue Hydrangeas with yellow roses. She also had inserted Terry's name in the intentional prayers. Lovely again. And they ended the service with Amazing Grace. My cup runneth over in gratitude.

When I left I realized I had time to attend the second service at the church I have been attending on a more regular basis and where many of my friends go. I thought...maybe this is a little over the top, but I went anyway. It was a good service, its a nontraditional church so there's singing, clapping and a few souls choose to dance...that will not be me:) They also do meditation and I enjoyed the silence in appreciation of the morning. At the end a woman approached me and began to say...I don't even remember, because I suddenly realized she was an old friend I have not seen in at least 15 years or so. We worked together as waitresses back in the day and she had moved to Georgia to attend school. We corresponded for awhile but you know how that tapered off and I lost track. Well, she's up here now and attended this church for the first time..and boom! We caught up and agreed to have tea together..I invited her to my book group which is primarily comprised of friendships from this same resteraunt we all worked at. We are going to suprise the other girls. I happend to go the place we worked last night for dessert after dinner with friends and I had been reflecting on what it had been like and people we had worked with. Not her in particular just in general. It had been a war zone when we worked there and maybe that's why the friendships have been so lasting. She said she had driven by my old home not three days ago and wondered where I was these days. Can you imagine? You probably can.

I just feel incredibly blessed right now. I have lost a friend but have been renewed with another. Amazing Grace.

For Terry

Do you ever do this? Durning the course of the day, write posts in your head? Great posts...comtemplative posts. I had one yesterday..something about the nature of our existance...but the day got away. Never had an opportunity to put fingers to keyboard. It was a full day..our anniversary meeting at my home group, a funeral for a friend's mother, telephone call from a friend needing help filling in the FAFSA, tracking down a member of our group that unexpectedly didn't show up at our anniversary meeting (we've gotten very tight in that regard), coffee with a friend, meditation meeting, dinner with husband and friends. At one point, I thought to myself...this is what it means to be fully engaged. With people, places, and things. This is it. And it is good. I am safe.

Anyway, this morning I was thinking about my doctor. I am due for a physical, overdue actually, and I tried to schedule an appointment. Couldn't get one until April but that's okay. I won't see anyone but her and I hope she sticks around. She had a baby last year so has cut back. I'm happy for her. She's the first doctor I've ever been honest with. I remember our first was right after my mom's, I don't know what to call it, collapse, disintegration, deterioration, jackpot, illness, no words seem right. Well, she came in, introduced herself, went through a few obligatory questions from the "chart" and then asked me how I was. I burst into tears. I explained a bit about what was going on and she asked if she thought I might be depressed. And asked me questions. She suggested a therapist which I was resistant to and prescribed an antidepressant. It worked. Didn't change anything but I was able to keep it together to function and speak in complete sentences without falliing apart. She was very nurturing and kind. We talked a little about my drinking..of course I was not totally honest with her at that time...but I was more honest. Through the course of the years...she encouraged therapy....which I did not partake...continued to ask me about my drinking....which "we" watched, and did the rest of the phsical stuff. When I finally had a physical after going sober, I was able to tell her...the first time I'd ever been honest with a doctor, I think it had only been a month or so. I told her I was going to AA...she was encouraging and supportive. I am looking forward to April when I can tell her I'm still sober, I have used her suggestion of therapy and have gone off the antidepressants...finally.

Did that the wrong way. I'm such a bad pill taker. When I was in therapy, we talked about going off. I wasn't having any problems concerning the medication and if it wasn't broke, why fix it especially in early sobriety. My therapist referred me to a psychopharmacologist for an evaluation and she actually put me on another medication. And we discovered a B12 deficiency. That was about 4 months ago and as the pills ran out and I kept procrastinating my call to get an appointment for the refill...I stopped taking them. I guess its supposed to be a gradual process. But I really didnt' feel much different. Maybe a little more emotional but heck some really emotional things have happened around me lately. I'm crying a bit more but appropriately. So I don't know...I have an appointment next week finally...

Bottom line...I'm grateful that I can be honest with my doctors and not have the hidden secret that I'm pounding away at 1-2 bottles of wine a night. A

Thursday, January 22, 2009

When Life Hands You Lemons.....

Thank You Fireman John @ Stop, Drop and Recover.

The concept of the Lemonade Award is quite simple. It is all about finding people that display a great attitude and/or gratitude. In this day and time, that is very important to have.Once nominated, all you need to do is add the Lemonade Award logo to your blog and find 10 more bloggers to nominate. All of the rules are listed below.

Congratulations to all the winners. Please share this opportunity with your favorite bloggers by doing the following:
1) Put the logo on your blog or post. check
2) Nominate at least 10 blogs, which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post
4) Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5) Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

So here are 10 but I'd really like you all...and Fireman John...this was a perfect solution to my wandering mind...lemonade:)

Judith at Vicarious Rising

Molly at Recovering Wino

Bannana Girl at Sober Woman of God

Syd at I'm Just F.I.N.E.

Jessie at Journey of the Spirit of Hope


Gabriella Moonlight

Okay, I'm officially tired so the rest..Steve a Roni and his lovely wife Prayer Girl and one more....oh dear..I want you all.....see this is how an alcoholic thinks... Why couldn't I just follow our friend Pammie's example. dear people.

After the Fact

I write. That is how I process. Writing this blog had been pivotal to my sobriety. Not sure I would be without this outlet. When I started it I had no idea the level of fellowship I would find here and reading others blogs and getting their comments on mine has also been huge. I honestly thought this would simply be a private journal, had no idea how this worked and it has blossomed into so much more or should I say...torpedoed? In writing about the loss of my friend and how it has affected me, I am concerned that I broke the prinicple of annonymity. I have gone back through my posts and changed names to initials...after the fact. I don't know how to do it on comments. And of course people who know the individuals involved are going to know who I am writing about with or without initials, fake names I could use such as Miss Indespairpants and the like. So does that mean I don't write about it at all? Where is the line when you write about how the actions, behaviors and words of others has affected you? Can you tell my head is whirling?

One of the members of our morning group found out about this incident through my blog. She emailed me and another member privately to express her shock and say she had "read" about it. I hadn't seen it in any papers so I asked where hoping that maybe there were arrangements that we didn't know about and she said YOUR BLOG. I asked her to keep that to herself in that while I think I am okay with people finding my blog as she did, I don't want to direct people here. It's not a secret that a part of my recovery has been this forum...its part of my story...but I don't broadcast that I write myself.

At church last of my friends, had a neighbor who had a babysitter who knew the woman who is taking care of T's daughter, literally. I gave my friend my number to pass along if this woman was looking for support. I spoke with her this morning. She filled me in on what little there is to fill in. She is the mother of the daughter's best friend so this is probably a good place for her to be. As we talked I asked about arrangements and she said there is noone and she was overwhelmed just dealing with the legalities of the situation. I told her I could take that burden. And when I say I, I don't mean me, I mean the fellowship, my role would merely be a conduit. She was relieved to the point of crying saying that this was something that she felt the daughter really needed and she just couldn't do it. After the fact, I called G. to let him know of this conversation. His reaction was, let me just say, not good. He's not there yet and maybe won't be. Understandably so..her body has not even been released. Of course there is noone to release her to. I don't think he has a problem with me taking care of a service, I think he has a problem with there even being a thought of a service right now. After the fact, I told him that I am just there to do if requested. By whomever. He reacted as though I was doing it when I was just saying I would. I just worry that I have added another worry to his already overwhelmed frame of mind. That I have crossed boundries.

My therapist says people react to trauma in three ways...fight, flight or freeze. I'm a fighter. I have to do something. Even when I drank, it was first and foremost AT situations, people, things. I think perhaps that is why I managed to finish school, work, maintain a marriage, raise children and the like. I drank not to escape those things but AT them just to get through them. And in the process I can behave impulsively. That has not gone away with sobriety. I am still a fighter...its been tempered but its there.

I'm just going to continue with St. Francis, I will continue to talk to my people, I will continue to be present. And now I think its time to call my sponser. Thank you for being here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I have choices today that I never had before. Choices I did not have when I was drinking. Choices because of the program of Alcoholics Annonymous. G came to the meeting today. A huge relief..he has choices today too. And he chose life. We are blessed. And our prayers were answered.

I have been praying FOR T. I was reminded to pray TO T. I have been praying for her to find peace and by praying to her, telling her I love her, telling her there is peace, telling her it is okay will help her to continue on her journey.

What a man thinks of himself, that is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate.
--Henry David Thoreau
Let us think of ourselves as made of dust, and allow us to be as proud of it as if it were true. For dust is everywhere. We see it in solemn rooms streaked by sun, dancing like fine angels in a cathedral light. It is the stuff of life. And it drifts down on fancy tables where the richest people eat. It cannot be denied a place. And it returns time and time again like the seasons. It is one of the wonders of the world. And when no one sees or cares, it finds a secret corner in which to keep a solitary peace. It intends no harm. We find it at home on old leather books, the ones that preserve our noblest thoughts. And from where we stand, it seems that even the stars are made of it.

When we feel low, unworthy, or useless, let's remember that these feelings are only a small but important part of us, that even great things are made of small parts and that we, as whole beings, are always greater than the sum of these parts.

Today's Gift. Copyright 1985, 1991 by Hazelden Foundation.

It's A New Day - -

Today...I choose joy;
Today I choose, peace;
Today I choose love;
Today I choose pardon;
Today I choose faith;
Today I choose hope;
Today I choose light;
Today I choose joy;
Today I choose to console;
Today I choose to understand;
Today I choose to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thank you all for your kind and comforting words. As you can imagine, our morning meeting was very sad. I was worried I wouldn't get through the chairing responsibilities but I did what I've been taught and I prayed and while I cried throughout much of the meeting I did manage to chair in a calm peaceful manner. I made sure to let our newcomers (of which we had 3) know that this would not be a normal AA meeting, that our group was grieving. And I have to say, they are what it was all about. We gave out a 24 hour chip. People who were not on our member list added their name. People who did not have a phone list took one. A member of our meeting who has been struggling for the last 2 years came and got her 90 day chip. She also brought her son..their first unsupervised visit together. It was incredibly healing to see her there with him. Powerful. The woman who I went to see last night came. She wanted to comfort me..she with 3 days of sobriety. She was there when I was told last night. As I was letting her know about the meetings for today..I told her that this morning's meeting would be a tough one. She came anyway. That is how it works. She joined a group for breakfast afterwards. Powerful.

I extended the meeting until everyone who wanted and needed to share did. These were not decisions I made, these were thoughts that came to me. I think it helped. I know it did me. I put a single yellow rose tied in ribbon on her chair. The other thing that was pretty traumatic for me was that a potrait of her is hanging on the wall where we meet. We meet in a church meeting room and they also use it as an art gallery. G is an artist, brilliant I might add and has a perspective of the back of her head...So that was very tough for me to see this morning. But we got through it...and will continue to go through it as long as we hold each other close.

I am all those feelings that come with suicide. From what I understand from the oldtimers, this is not uncommon...I knew that ...but had not experienced this yet. That's one of the things that has struck me. I am being this your first? Yes it is. It is devastating. But as devastating as it is..I will choose to remember the things about T that made me love her. Her sense of humor, her loyalty, her honesty, her smile, her laugh, her concern, her fierceness as a mother, and yes her strength. She endured alot in her lifetime. And she kept coming. She kept struggling, she knew IT was there somewhere and she kept looking. I am sorry she did not find IT here. I hope she will find IT where she is. I will choose to remember T in a positive light. But I will take the lessons. And I will keep myself wrapped in the comfort and guidance of fellowship and continue my long distance conditioning by running up and down those steps (Thank you RipGurl).

That said, I cannot get the image of her doing this out of my head and if I find out my image is how it was done...I will be freaked out. As you might imagine, rumors are flying around. The how, why, when, where, and what of it. I wrote last night that it was a gun...I don't even know about that anymore. When the dust settles it doesn't really matter does it? She's gone. We are still very concerned about her boyfriend...he was not in hiding yesterday..his cell phone is broken...he didn't know. He found out like I did. Someone assumed he knew and asked if there was anything they could do. This morning..on the way to the they were brushing snow of their cars. Probably on his way to pick her up. And he was told. We don't know anything about her daugther, where she is, who she is with. It's too soon...I will continue to pray the St. Francis Prayer. That is what is getting me through this.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

painting by Regina LafayMy friend T killed herself yesterday.
While I was pissing and moaning about my husband being a big baby and what a hardship it was to take care of him, T killed herself. She leaves behind a 15 year old daughter. T was my friend and as close as she would allow me to be. She struggled with this disease of alcoholism as well as depression. I met T when I was just a few months in. She had relapsed after a long period of sobriety. Another friend who I gave rides to asked if we could bring her with us to meetings. I did and she was drunk. She kept saying..."God bless ya!" to me over and over again. She ended up being hospitalized and then came back and got sober. She didn't remember the rides but we ended up sitting next to each other at our morning meeting..6 days a week and she became a friend. Someone to joke with, someone to share stories with, someone to identify with. Someone to try to help. As we do in the halls. She had trouble reaching out to women but she tried. It was hard for her to pick up the phone but she did on rare occasions and it was a blessing to talk to her. She had a sponser this time. A good one. I gave her my "little red book". She wouldn't come to night meetings and did alot of sheet therapy. But she stayed sober. And then she relapsed. And then she stayed sober. She kept coming is my point. But she couldnt' get beyond the depression to work a program. Could not pray, could not do steps..but she kept trying. Our morning meeting is a round robin and the topic is What's Good About Today. T did not share personal stories at the meeting. But she shared how she felt.
What's Good About Today? I'm on automatic pilot and the one hour I am here I feel safe.
What's Good About Today? I feel homocidal and suicidal so I will pass.
What's Good About Today? Nothing.
What's Good About Today? I'm grateful I'm not the only one who feels this way.
But she would talk one on one and I was privelged and blessed to listen.
I don't know how we are going to do this meeting tomorrow. I have to chair. I am devastated. I think I am going to get flowers and put them on her chair. Is that weird? Her boyfriend is also a member of our morning meeting. They both know they should not be relationships in the first year you know. Nothing good is going to come out of this for him. He is exactly like her. They were two peas in a pod. Noone can find him or reach him. I went to a meeting tonight that I have never gone to. I had told a newcomer I would take her there and when she didn't call thought I should show up, just in case. She did show up. We gave her a Big Book. At the end of a meeting another member of the morning group who happend to be there asked me if anyone had seen or heard from G. I thought he meant he's gone back out...and then this poor fellow looked devastated. "you don't know", he said. So he had to be the one to tell me. A call had come in just as the meeting started reminding me to turn off my phone so I didn't take it. It was the call. I'm glad I got the news in person. I called the woman back and she gave me what little details there were. We agreed to meet at another meeting and there were a few of us there. It was good to share our sorrow. But then the speakers started and I couldn't hear them. And I couldn't sit there. I stayed as long as I could but then I got up and left. I never leave meetings early. I think its rude. (unless its an emergency of course or work or whatever). And we're all worried about G.
T was a wonderful, funny, sweet (oh how she would hate to hear me say that), caring woman. She was a good mother. She told the truth. She was earnest. Please pray that she has found peace. And for her daughter and G, that they survive.

Florence Nighingale I'm Not

No really, I don't deserve this.
My husband just had knee surgery on Friday afternoon. A torn miniscus. Not to mention, arthritis. Now, I don't want to say this but my husband is a scaredy cat. Full of fear. He did not trust his doctor....who does a million of these...but went in search of ways to disprove him in the month leading up to the surgery. Okay, we all do research....its good to be educated. But too much knowledge can be a problem. Then it was the anesthesia....he had to be sedated just to get it. And now post op...he didn't want to leave the hospital...for fear of "something" happening...he was literally grasping at straws....and now home...I'm not concerned enough, I'm not paying attention, I don't hover enough, I don't coddle, I'm not "doing it" right.
I want him to be a grown up. I want him to toughen up. I want him to shake it off. I want him to stop being a big baby. And even more, I want him to stop expecting so much from me. Irregardless of his expecations, or because of them, no matter what I do is not right and not what he thinks I should be doing. And when I ask him specifically what he wants its either impossible or he's upset because I didn't think of it on my own.
So maybe I'm going to far into the other extreme.....I don't know. I just know that I am not taking care of him in the way that he wants and there is possibly no way possible to do it. An example..last night...I couldn't stay up so I said...
I'm going to bed...are you coming up tonight?
I don't know if I can do the stairs.
Okay, well maybe sleep on the couch again tonight...I said as I was going up the stairs.
You just want the bed to yourself.
This is his response. Geesh. Now, I do like to have the bed to myself....I always tell him this when he goes away for the weekend....bliss....but that was not in my mind. My mind was logical...if you are not ready for the stairs....then sleep on the couch. That simple. I'm trying to tell him that's okay. But that's not how he's taking it. (BTW, he did come up at about 1 am)
There's more but it was like that all day yesterday. I am not looking forward to today.
My own part in this....I'm trying but I am also expressing my frustration, either by expression or by words. Trying to gently ease him into thinking that its not a big deal. But it is to him so I need to just shut up. Just shut up! He expresses a fear...a doubt...I don't need to talk him out of it..I should just nod my head....I'll work harder at caring for him today. And hopefully on Day 2 he won't need as much...the physical needs I can take care of...its his emotional needs that I'm having a problem with. I wish he had a program.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good Night Bush

My daughter gave me this wonderful funny book along with an Obama action figure for Christmas. Thought I would share in honor of this week end's inauguration events. Such a momentous occassion...its hard to believe that even the rightest of the right....or the wrongest of the wrong cannot feel the power in this moment. The power of change..the power of the people...the power of history..the march of history. Obama was asked recently if he did not think it remarkable that he would soon be taking the oath of office and living in buildings built on the backs of slaves...he said he found it remarkable that considering our climate just 50 years ago he would be taking the oath of office. I am proud of our country. If nothing else, I hope his presidency can bring some healing to our country and set an example for the world.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Interview

good Golly Miss Molly! Great Questions.

You can change careers tomorrow and are guaranteed it will give you the right amount of money to keep you at your current lifestyle. It can be any job you want – what do you choose? Well, I've gone through several career change thoughts in sobriety this last year and a half. First, like all good recovering alcoholics on the pink cloud, I wanted to go into substance abuse counseling. Then, I've been toying around with the idea of graphic design. The newsletters and now a print ad that I've worked on in my current job are actually more interesting and fun to me than the legal part of my job. I've always wanted to work with children. I'd love to work in a daycare.

But I think if I could really do anything, I'd want to open a sober living facility.

Three people who have affected you the most are: My Dad who in his death I have realized how much his opinion mattered to me and how much I learned from him. In life, I'm afraid I wasn't too appreciative..but then I was also affected negatively by him, beatings, sarcasm, cynicism. His coming to believe on his deathbed however, was probably one of the most significant moments of my life. As was that entire last week. Father Thomas Keating, whose writings and videos on Centering Prayer has affected my spiritual journey deeply. Meeting him in person and hearing him speak has been a highlight of my sobriety. Looking forward to doing it again. My husband...we share a life that changes all the time from 1982 when we started dating to today. He's trying to figure out what to make of me right now. But I will always hold close to my heart the moments our children were born. And his patience and acceptance and support has allowed me to grow.

Choose one existing book or movie title that defines your life: Open Mind, Open Heart

If you could magically change one thing about your physical appearance, it would be: I'd weigh 120 lbs and have Linda Hamilton arms

If you were stranded on a desert island, you would want these three people with you: Oh God! Well, yes, God. No...seriously.....probably my husband and 2 children but then, would I want them to be stranded too? So leaving them out.....Dr. Wayne Dyer...I'd love to learn more from friend Marianne...we call her mountain woman..she'd know what to do and I'd have a girlfriend...and then..a little eye candy...Sawyer from Lost.....

The Rules
• leave me a comment saying: interview me
• comments with e-mail addresses will not be published to preserve privacy
• i will e-mail you five questions. i get to pick the questions
• you can then answer the questions on your blog
• you should also post these rules along with an offer to interview anyone else who e-mails you wanting to be interviewed
• anyone who asks to be interviewed should be sent 5 questions to answer on their blog
• it would be nice if the questions were individualized for each blogger

Happy to send you questions if you haven't done this yet. Let me know.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

All My Sponsers

Thankfully I have a sponser that says....if I stayed sober today then I'm doing "the program" right. I was always very concerned about whether or not I was doing the program right. I'm getting over that... a little at a time. Part of MY program is that I now officially have 3 sponsers.
My "real" sponser is who I started with. She had me call her every day at the same time at the beginning and then we started to meeting once a week and I called her as needed. She did not LEAD me through the steps. I was a good pupil. I brought the steps to her. I'd say, I think this is where I am. I would talk about what I was doing, what I was thinking, what was bothering me...and she would gently guide me in the right direction. She's not a Big Book thumper but she lives the prinicples of AA. All I need to do is here what she says and I know she is right. She heard my fifth step and yes, I had a spiritual experience. She is the one I trust...she is the one whose opinion matters to me. She is the one who really knows me. She is also very busy.
I asked another woman to sponser me last summer at one point when my "real" sponser wasn't available. I consulted both of them and I NEVER played one against the other. My "backup" sponser is a woman who has 42 years of sobriety. In fact my real sponser had thought of asking her when her sponser passed away. I thought when I asked her she would invite me to her home and we would do the steps....and I'd have her undivided attention. Guess what? Didn't happen. What did happen was that I called her sporadically...and she would call me and read quotes from the Big Book or a daily reading. She holds a Step meeting in her home and I go to that. And mostly, she tells me either God is everything or He is nothing. She is my backup sponser...but she is more of a spiritual advisor. I know people who use her God as their Higher Power until they find one of their own.

Recently I started a Big Book Step Study. They require that you use one of "them"..someone they say has been through the process, as a sponser in order to participate in their meeting. My "real" sponser had suggested one of these meetings to me at the beginning which I turned down because I didn't want another sponser. But then I wanted a bit more from the steps. I was worried I hadn't done them "right". Now I understand that I did, but honestly had really just skimmed the surface. When I introduced myself at the first meeting I attended..I said..I have done the steps as outlined in the Big Book, with the help of a sponser, I am making amends and I try to practice Steps 10, 11, and 12 on a daily basis but I did not do it according to the tenets of this group so I will pass according to group conscious. When they introduce themselves they all say this except instead of passing they say they have been through the "process". If you haven't you say where you are in the process..I'm so and so and I'm reading. I'm so and so and I'm writing. Or you just pass. The tenet is that you have done so with a "Step Study" sponser. I don't know why I felt the need to let them know I had done the steps but I did. Maybe that will be revealed. I have a "Step Study" sponser. She is one of my Stepsisters. And I discussed it with my "real" sponser first.

I'm not completely comfortable with my Step Study sponser. I guess because I am just getting to know her and her me. Though we've been in the same meeting and I have always loved what she shares. I am writing out my fourth step..listing the people, places and prinicples that have brought up resentment, anger, fear, sadness, etc. It is MUCH more thorough. I don't know if the kid whose name I don't remember who pinched me in kindergarten and caused me to have to sit in the green chair because I retaliated in some way I don't remember is going to help me stay sober but she says if I think of it, write it down. So I did. Do I still have a "resentment" towards him. Not really, which is why I didn't put it down the first time, but it bothered me when I was 5. As I do this I do what I should not do and think about my fifth step. I'd rather do this with my "real" sponser. But I know I probably should do it with my "step study" sponser. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I talk to my step study sponser about the process but not really about my life. I talk to my real sponser about my life and I talk to my backup sponser about what I learned today because that is the question she always asks me. Of course this all overlaps....and it is working for me. Except for maybe when I get to my fifth step.

I do not play one sponser against the other. I do not keep asking until I hear the answer I want. I use each sponser for the strengths that they have...I hate that I USE them. Doesn't sound right but that is what it is.

Sounds like something I need to talk to my sponser about.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

An Epiphany

"The whole emphasis of Step Seven is on humility. It is really saying to us that we now ought to be willing to try humility in seeking the removal of our other shortcomings just as we did when we admitted that we were powerless over alcohol, and came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."
Last night this passage struck out at me as we read it in my Stepsisters meeting. I don' t think I had the correlation between Step 1 and Step 7 before. I think I've discovered my shortcomings...I think there are more that remain undiscovered which is why I am continuing to do a fourth step. I have been willing to have them removed...and humbly asked. Or so I thought. First of all...I said at the beginning and I think if I'm honest I still feel...Hey, God..just remove them Okay? Don't even have to know what they are. In fact don't care to, really. Just take 'em, okay? I understand this is not how it works. I got over it..I think. But as I read that line I realized that the same "innermost defeat" that I felt with alcohol, that brought me to Alcoholics Annonymous, will be required to take this Step. If I desire sloth, gluttony, lust, greed, wrath, envy and pride to be removed from me..then I must be utterly convinced that there is nothing within my power to take them away. That I upon my own will I am not going to be able to "control" myself. The fact that I recognize them is enough...I am no longer in complete denial...just like I am no longer in complete denial that I am an alcoholic. That it is not "normal" to drink the way I did. Once I know they are there, once I see them pop up..once I can put a label on an undesirable behavior...the only thing that will remove this shortcoming, defect, sin, fault..whatever you want to call it is to pray and believe that when it is time for it to God's time.

When I admitted my powerlessness over alcohol I felt like a loser. Why Me? But I have come to see that as a gift. You do not have to be an alcoholic to have a spiritual awakening. But you do need a spiritual awakening to have the obsession for alcohol removed. For me being an alcoholic was my path. When I think of my shortcomings I think I am a loser. Why do I continuously put off until tomorrow what I can do today? Why am I fat? Why do I dream about that guy from the meeting? Why can I be such a hateful beeyotch to my husband? Why does that tall, thin, self possessed woman tick me off for no apparant reason? Why does silent scorn continue to plague me at work? Well, I am merely human...and because I am an alcoholic, because I have done the work and had a spiritual awakening I can ask God to remove these problems. He may not do it right away...or he may have given me the tools and I just can't see them YET in all my humanness. But because I have had a spiritual awakening I KNOW, that as time marches on and if I continue to progress and to work, they will be. I see it happening before my eyes in others hence another purpose for meetings. And not only the KNOWING, comes FAITH. I have that now.

We talked in my morning meeting the other day about evil. I don't believe, or at least I don't think I believe (I try to remain open) that there is a tangible devil out there. What I do believe is there can be an absence of God. In the absence of God, our humanness allows us to create a false self full of all those defects that create war, hunger, disease on the large scale and personal defenses against the world. And without God we cannot dismantle that. I see the work of the 12 steps as dismantling the false self created by our humanness, and not by a Devil. Once we see God, know God...the "evil" begins to disappear.

Blah...I'm going on and on...but this has been rattling around in my head for a few days. Thanks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Leap

Fr. Thomas Keating will be facilitating a Centering Prayer Retreat in March in NY. None of my CP friends can go. There's one other person I could ask but I'm not. I am going to go alone. Big Step for me but one I am now relishing. According to Google maps its about a 4 hour and 22 minute drive from me. That means lots of good listening. I could save up the Entering the Castle CDs I'm listening to. (by Carolyn Myss) My husband thinks its weird. But I think its a wonderful opportunity. No more expensive than a month of eating out. I can skip that, easily. So I will be cooking this month and next...and gearing up for the experience. In fact shouldn't a retreat be just that a retreat from what you doesn't going going in a group sort of defeat the purpose? So, after much contemplation (pun totally intended), I am going to do this thing. I've filled out the forms and now I just have to send in my check.....can you tell I'm talking myself into this?

The kicker is that I had already made plans to do a seminar at The Wilson House 2 weekends ahead of this one...with a group....on Emmett Fox's, The Sermon on the Mount facilitated by an online group member. Should be interesting to put a face to an email address. We've rented a cabin across the street..and its getting interesting how its all playing out. We'll be flopping air mattresses on the floor but jamming into a 2 room cabin makes the whole thing affordable but potentially there will be 8 women sharing a bathroom which should be interesting...and some of us are more comfortable with that than others. As usual, I am trying to play the middle...keep everyone happy....that's my stuff...I'm glad everyone is will be fun. Pretty much the same group I had over the other night..but if it gets too complicated..I'm going to wish I was doing this one alone too.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Still Blessed....

I am a Pammie called me. Saturday night was wonderful. Really fun and a huge step for me. It was an honor to share my home with these women and the first time I have entertained a sober group. We had a lot of fun. And you know how I said..we'll probably get done early and I can hit the other party? In the back of my mind, I'm thinking, we're not drinking so everyone will want to leave shortly after the movie. Well, what I USED to alcohol, no late nights. WRONG! We just were hanging out enjoying each other's company until just before midnight (well, we are older now). So I didn't get to the other party but that was not because of anything other than my gathering was such a success. My husband went and he had a nice time. Saw who needed to be seen.

Sunday was an awesome day as well. I declared a day of had snowed all night and it snowed all morning. Everything was pretty outside again. I was up early to go to church which was I caught up on my email and facebook. Sorry bloggers..did not get to you. I got my prayer sit in. We made a fire and I snuggled into my chair to read a wonderful book..The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan. She's the woman whose video I posted last month. Or I think I did. Her book is great..she's got the family I always wanted. Anyway, I snuggled in and took a long winter's nap. Woke up at 2...watched some football with my husband, planned for a weekend in March..a group of us are going to the Bill Wilson House for a seminar on Sermon on the Mount. How awesome is that!, read some more and made dinner. Watched a little Golden Globes. I love to see what they are wearing. I loved Drew Barrymore's dress. And how about that Robert Downey, Jr. Judith??? That's about as far as I got. I was asleep by 9 pm.

My husband was great. He just let me be. He asked if I was going to rotate laundry. I said NOPE. It's a day of rest...I'd fold whatever he brought up but I wasn't going into the cold basement for nothing. He started to tick of the stuff he did....made breakfast, did the dishes, shoveled, took the ornaments of our tree, I'm pretty sure there's more but I was unaware of it. I was either sleeping or engrossed in my book. I'm grateful he let me be...he got his reading and football in and was in his jammies too for the day...well, except for the shoveling and he had our son to help with that...So...

The blessings of sobriety. A peaceful day. I better get back to work!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I am Blessed.

This could sound disgustingly positive particularly for people who are in pain. But...tonight I have invited a group of sober women to come over to view a movie called One. I've posted about it here before so I won't go into details but these are women who have become my friends in AA and this is my Christmas present to them. A gathering together and an intersting movie that I am sure will lead to an interesting discussion.

After I put this invitation together and sent it out, I received an invitation to a joint suprise party for 2 dear friends (not in the program). I knew I couldn't go and was a bit upset that I had not been included in the plans where I could have told them this date would not work FOR ME. I had to RSVP that I could not go....but that I would still contribute. This party will be about food and drink.

So today, I will take the wings from the crockpot that have been cooking all night and put them in the oven to crisp them up. I will clean my house which is a huge mess. I will make roasted nuts for my party. I will wrap presents. I will go to the sports bar where they are having this party (in the function room upstairs) to bring my contribution and presents and to help my friends decorate. Then I will come home again to make sure everything is ready for my gathering. I will go to my meditation meeting and then a Centering Prayer workshop afterwords. An hour before my guests arrive I will get home and hope I can pull it all together, but a few of the women will be with me so I'll just suck it up and say this is it.

For awhile I was stressing a bit over all this and procrasitnating about what I had to do to do everything. Lamenting that I was just a girl who couldn't say no. That i had taken on too much by offering to help with the suprise party that I was not going to attend. Acutally I can get there when the women leave my house. This party will go on until midnight or so. My gathering of sober women will probably end early enough that I can make an appearance. But did I want to? They will all have been drinking. How messy will it be? Maybe I won't go at all. I don't HAVE to be there. I did my part. But now, we'll just see how it unfolds. And if able I will WANT to go there. Not because I want to make an appearance but because these are women I love.

I am blessed because I have ALL of these friends. New friends in sobriety who GET me, understand my problem, are on the same spiritual path. And my old friends who have been through life with me, and accept me for who I am and have supported my journey.

I will start my day by going to a meeting as soon as I finish this post. I am no longer stressed about the day and what it will bring. Geesh, compared to 2 years ago, this is gravy. I would have drank all night on Friday. Friday was my favorite night to drink. If anyone asked what's your favorite day of the week, I'd say Friday because I knew when I got home from work I could drink without worrying about the next day. Not that I drank any more than any other day but I could drink knowing I wouldn't have to put myself back together the next morning. I could sleep it off though I usually woke up because a drunk sleep is not restful and lay on the couch all day trying to alleviate symptoms and begin to drink as soon as I could to feel better. And I never would have been looking forward to these gatherings. I would have been dreading them. I liked to hibernate when I drink. I was antisocial. Oh, put me in a social situation I could become the life of the party, but I didn't want to be there and it would take a lot of "will power" to get me there. Lived my life with a lot of excuses as to why I couldn't do things. When it was really that I just wanted to drink in peace.

What a difference. I am blessed...all this and snow tonight too. Have a great and sober day everyone. xo

Thursday, January 8, 2009

You guys are AWESOME!

Thanks for all the supportive comments. It's in the agent's and adjuster's hands now and we all know it was always in God's. I warned them about her "stuff". They were supportive to me as well and appreciated the heads up. When I got home last night...and told my husband..his first reaction was to go into reprimand mode which triggered my FU mode. So anger did enter the picture..just sews you don't think I am this peaceful angelic person.....and as soon as I entered my kitchen I wanted to pour myself a...a....a....something. Thankfully there was a box of pepperoni pizza on the island and I grabbed 2 slices and a diet coke....and went to the computer. Corresponded with 2 friends in the program about the situation and dumped it all on my blog. My husband left reprimand mode and went into understanding mode and its all good. I shared at my morning meeting which happens to be at the same church. Not the gory details as I did here but the wanting a drink part and getting past it. About intentions...and accidents. And about how grateful I am that we have this program that helps us get through these situations and grow from them. About how annoying it is when those corny AA sayings that everyone throws at you to explain situations are so true like for me this morning...."you get what you need" and I did.

I put a prayer in the prayer box for that woman that she find peace and acceptance.

But frankly I hope I never see her again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No Accidents?

On Wednesday nights I sometimes attend a service at a Unity church. Its a meditation, healing service. So tonight despite the freezing rain, I went. It's not far from my house and I wanted to ask for prayers for a woman from my Tuesday group and get my silent prayer sit in. She was married this past August and became pregnant on her honeymoon. Storybook right? Well, she just found out that the baby has tested postive for spina bifida. Of course she is devastated and she came to the meeting last night and was just enveloped by the loving of the group. It was a blessing to be a part of it. I watched Oprah today and Michael Beckwith spoke about how circumstances such as these in your life are really "gifts of the unfoldment of the soul". We need these experiences to develop our soul. I pray that this woman and her husband have an opportunity to grieve for the baby they will not have so that they can experience the joy of the baby they will have. And I pray for the unborn child to develop to be all that he or she can be as intended. Please keep them in your prayers as well.

It's very icy here in New England. And sadly, after the service, I ripped off the grill of a woman's Volvo as I tried to skid out of my parking space in my husband's truck. I don't know how I backed into her car except that it was parked too far forward and I misjudged the space I had and the truck slid. The edge of the grill where it connects to the fender, was literally hooked into the corner of the truck bumper....I have no idea how that happened except that it was stuck and I didn't know it because it was dark and I couldn't see that we were stuck. So when I moved forward, which took much effort and spinning of tires, it ripped her puny plastic grill and bumper from the car all around the headlights. Probably should not done that but I don't know how else we would have gotten our cars apart. Once I realized that we were connected I stopped moving forward. If I had kept going I probably would have pulled the whole damn thing off. I could not believe how much damage there was. Not a scratch to the truck though. I went back into the church to see who owned the car. I kind of wish I had just left. Not that I could have, our cars were literally stuck together and had to be pryed apart. As I called out for the owner, she just stormed out of the church...not even allowing an explanation of what had happened.

Needless to say she was quite upset. It looked really bad. It was really bad. My apologies were not accepted though I did accept hers, she was really hard to deal with and I'm still shaking because there was no getting over it for her. I had to pry her personal information from her so that I can give it to my insurer. It took at least a half hour just to get her a phone number and she wouldn't even give me her name. She wouldn't provide me her registration. I had given her all mine and assured her I would call my agent first thing in the morning but there was not much I could do if she wouldn't do anything but stomp around me and yell about how terrible this was and it was going to devastate her life and refuse my offers of help and assurances that it would be taken care of. I told her I would leave, actually thinking this would be better as well. I was also tired of being abused and said so. Of course that created outrage and I probably shouldn't have said it....her guy friend said, Hey, you are the one that hit her and YOU'RE UPSET? I replied that yes I was. I had apolgized, I had given her all the information I could, took responsiblity and offered even more help but she was refusing to give me any information or accept help from me so there wasn't much more I could do but stand there and take it and I didn't think that was necessary.
I was trying to remain calm throughout all this but I must admit I was crying. It was just so frustrating to deal with this woman. I understood her anger but I couldn't fix it. I just had her phone number and her plate at that point. Figured that would be enough for the agent..but that last exchange got her more upset so she called the police. I said that would probably be a good idea and I'd be happy to stay for that. And I told her that she might as well get her registration now because the police would want it. That is when she finally gave me her name and address. She couldn't find her registration though her plate indicated that she was current. When the police finally came and in our small town, you don't get just one squad car, you get 2, plus a fire engine and an ambulance, she sent them away...I talked to them briefly..showed them my truck, her car. I said do you need to be here? And he said not if she didn't want them..and I don't think I needed them. So they all left.

She has a lot of stuff going on apparantly and she did finally speak to me and she apologized and said she undestood it was an accident but that she had kids at home, father slipped on the ice, she needs her car to work and she didn't know what to do, so I am trying not to take it personally except for the part that I DID devastate her vehicle. And I accepted her apology. Told her I understood. But between you and me, she really was horrible. Hard to believe we just came out of a healing service. Her car was drivable at least though after her friend and another man used the ties my husband has for his bikes to tie up her grill. I was practically throwing the ties at them I wanted to help so desparately. I made another mistake at that point as well, I suggested that perhaps her friend could drive her car home as she was so upset...I offered to follow and bring him back to the church and then the other gentleman offered to do the same. She really was in no condition to drive. We had actually hugged when she apologized...I may have smelled alcohol, I don't know. It was more her anger I think. Maybe I just wanted to smell alcohol to justify her behavior, we had just come out of church afer all. But that really pissed her off even more. She said....I don't need YOUR concern. So I backed off and turned it over. It seemed like that was all I could do was back off..she wouldn't let me leave..but I couldn't do anything either. Maybe if she accepted any help from me, I could no longer be the bad guy in her life. She ended up jumping in her car, speeding off, leaving her friend who was going to drive and the man who was to follow in the dust. I hope she made it home. That's all I need to hear, that she crashed into a tree on the way home or worse. I guess all I can do is pray for her but that is going to be difficult.

The good part of all of this, except for her and her male friend (and he really wasn't that bad, just trying to support his friend and busy with making the car drivable), the other people hanging around to help were all quite nice. Very empathetic to me and my dilemma. Of course that just made me cry more. But the other gentleman who was helping her friend tie on the grill, the women in his car who were waiting (one of whom had just shared at the service that today was her 22nd anniversary of sobriety and the day of her first chemo treatment), the minister and his wife, just very nice, kind and thoughtful. And they all seemed to know her yet they were very kind to me. I was the stranger of the group. So I guess I'll try to focus on that instead of the additional burden I accidentally placed upon this woman. And I know that is what it was. I was just the straw that broke the camel's back. Been there myself. Done that. But you know, I like to think that had I been in her circumstance I would have handled myself with more compassion and understanding. Yes, it would have been a pain in the butt, but I would have accepted it. I don't think I would have treated another person like that. I hope not. And that is all because of Alcoholics Annonymous. And because of AA I will try to let this experience go..not harbor any resentment for the treatment, take responsibility for my actions...and learn how not to be a punching bag. And for this I am grateful.
Anyway, I think I'll walk to Unity from now on...and I probably won't go alone anymore... I'll make sure my friends are there too. I need someone to defend me when I can't defend myself. Thanks for "listening". Maybe I can sleep now.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Thank you God.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Goodbye to Grace

Part of the method of Centering Prayer, which I try to practice twice a day, is to utilize a sacred word to signify your intention to be open to the presence of God. The word itself has no meaning, but merely something you return to (ever so gently) when you become aware of the inevitable thoughts and feelings that you become engaged in during the silent prayer.
The purpose of Centering Prayer is not to empty your head of thought but merely to allow them to pass by...Thomas Keating says they are like the boats on the river...we want to focus on the river. So anyway, as you may guess, my sacred word for the last year has been Grace. Again, the word in relation to the prayer has no meaning but I liked the word and what it means and I have been comfortable with it.
Suddenly as I was praying (meditating) yesterday morning or maybe it was the day before, the word Arise came to me. You cannot change your sacred word in the middle of your that would signify engaging in I went back to my sacred word, Grace, and continued on. Then throughout the day yesterday and then again this morning the word Arise kept appearing to me. In a reading, in a song, in a thought. So, after a year, I can only assume that I was meant to change my sacred word to Arise. I remember when we were at the retreat back in March and this woman asked the faciltators..what if your sacred word wants you to dance? To be honest, I thought it was a ridiculous question and mocked her throughout the year. Not very graceful. But I suppose it could be and if that is what is speaking to her then why not? Not sure if we are to share our sacred word. I don't think it is secret or anything but I felt the need to write about it because it just seemed so apparent that I was being spoken to. Which can be a bit disconcerting. It's amazing the things that are appearing in my life these days and I am so very grateful for it all.
So Arise...ever so gently.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Ambition to Meaning

I saw this movie yesterday and it was wonderful...I highly recommend this to all, no matter where you are in your journey. Not a documentary..a real film...I was very blessed to participate in a discussion afterwards which brought up a lot of issues for me to think my own spiritual journey and how I share or not share that with my husband and children.

I was not a Wayne Dyer fan...did not know too much about him..just his real early stuff as a motivational speaker, Your Erroneous Zones, etc. so I suppose I practiced the contempt prior to investigation and approached this movie with a grain of salt but I am glad that the program of AA has taught me to remain open, honest and willing because otherwise I would have missed a wonderful experience and an opportunity to learn more. Even better, he's one of us and discusses his experience with putting down the drink 21 years ago...he doesn't mention AA and of course that would break annonymity but if you listen you certainly can hear the principles at work. Just a very thought provoking much to think about and to appreciate and Wayne Dyer is one of them.

Friday, January 2, 2009

How cool is this!
I am sitting home alone tonight and its awesome. Woke up late this morning...rolled out of bed, brushed my teeth and washed my face and went to the morning meeting...WITHOUT COFFEE. Thankfully we had some there waiting for me, along with Dennis, the gentleman who has told me to keep smiling since I walked in the door. He helped me so much...because even when I didn't feel like smiling I did just so he would think I was okay. Of course he knew I wasn't but he kept that message to me as he stood by the entrance with his cigarette and coffee. This morning, there he was again, all smiling and cheerful at 6:45 am. I wasn't so cheerful this morning and I wasn't quite smiling. I need that first cup of coffee first...but I could tell him that I was smiling on the inside....didn't need to fake the outside smile anymore. Came home after the meeting and launched into the financial aid forms I need to fill out so that my kids can go to college. Since my son will be a freshman, we need to fill these out early and estimate our tax returns, which takes some doing. I finished that up...took a nice nap...and then puttered around my kitchen.
I have sent my husband to Mohegan Sun to see Cheech & Chong as a Christmas gift. I told him I was ambivalent about going with him and suggested he call a buddy which he did. They will spend the night..and I am grateful to have given my husband this gift. He doesn't get out as much as I do. He just doesn't have the network that I have now in sobriety. He doesn't have meetings and not that many friends so I am glad he gets a night out with a friend...My son is out as usual and here I am.
This is a night I would have relished to drink alone. Instead, I am cozy in my house, surrounded by books, watching a c-span program on the history of the white house. My notebook is next to me as I am about to embark on Step 4 again, this time in more detail. I have to list the people, institutions and principles I have had resentment towards to begin with. I didn't go to a meeting tonight though I had planned to. I was just too cozy and warm and its just too cold out. I really like being comfortable and this is only possible because of my sobriety through the program of Alcoholics Annonymous.
I made calls yesterday to some women I have not seen in the halls in awhile. Didn't reach any of them but I hope they hear my voice and know we are waiting for them when they are ready. That is the only way I will stay sober, to continue to reach out...not to rest on my laurels...and though I stayed home tonight I am by no means on my laurels...Thank You God.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


"There exists a mystic Power that is able to transform your life so thoroughly, so radically, so completely, that when the
process is completed your own friends would hardly recognize you, and , in fact, you would scarcely be able to recognize yourself.

It can lift you out of an invalid's bed, and free you to go out into the world to shape your life as you will. It can throw open the prison door and liberate the captive.

The Power can do for you that which is probably the most important thing of all in your present stage: it can find your true place in life for you, and put you into it.

This Power is really no less than the primal Power of Being, and to discover that Power is the divine birthright of all men."

....the kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21)

from Around the Year with Emmet Fox...January 1

I am so grateful that AA has allowed me to find that Power and to begin my spiritual journey. Without AA none of this would be possible. My New Year's Eve was very nice. I began my day with a meeting. Went to work and got out early.....due to ANOTHER snow storm here in New England. Watched An Officer and a Gentleman...and contemplated how I am still waiting to be carried out of my paper bag factory. Took a long winter's nap. Spent some time online with blogdom, facebook and my online group. Went to a lovely dinner with my husband..early bird special, around the corner and no waiting or chaos. Came home, spent more time with my online buddies and then watched Tropic Thunder with my husband. Good movie....hysterical actually. Then prayer and meditation as we welcomed in 2009. A kiss for husband, called and texted my children and happily off to bed. Started today with a meeting, then prayer and meditation, checking in with you all and soon brunch with my husband and son. Then off to an open house with my stepsisters. Maybe hit a meeting tonight at a group looking for support. I can't think of anything better than this. It's freezing here...hope to have a fire going most of the day. I am blessed to have tomorrow off as well so I can enjoy a peaceful day today and then launch into the financial aid applications for colleges for now BOTH of my children, Life 101 stuff.

I wish you all the blessings and peace of the New Year....