Saturday, January 31, 2009
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
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...
....life can be hard...
....money 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
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"....free 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
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 now...it'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 lists...so 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 comfort..so 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 shove....so 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 then..my 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 Nyquil...so I'd take a dose in the morning...so 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 Nyquil..to 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 relationships...is 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
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 Bill...my 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 years...so while I don't quite jump his bones anymore..sitting by a fire reading is just as good.
B is for Bill W...an 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 all..now 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 Beauty...it 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 Baptist...my 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 goes....it 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.
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 visit...it 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
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
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.
Night..you dear people.
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 night..one 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 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.
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 asked..is 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 meeting..as 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
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
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 him.....my 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.....
• 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
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"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 go...it will..in 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 that..in 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
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 going..it 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
Sunday was an awesome day as well. I declared a day of rest..it had snowed all night and it snowed all morning. Everything was pretty outside again. I was up early to go to church which was cancelled...so 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
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
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
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
Monday, January 5, 2009
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 about...in 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 movie....so much to think about and to appreciate and Wayne Dyer is one of them.
Friday, January 2, 2009
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....