Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just Read This

From book Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr:
Prayer is being loved at a deep, sweet level. I hope you have felt such intimacy alone with God. I promise you it is available to you. Maybe a lot of us just need to be told that it is what we should expect and seek. We're afraid to ask for it; we're afraid to seek. It feels presumptuous. We can't trust that such a love exists. But it does.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Rough week...time for gratitude....

I am grateful for...

a roof over my head

that the financial aid forms are done....thankfully....I think

for my daughter who still calls to check in

for my son who thinks I used to sew and "do all that stuff"...I have absolutely no memory

for my husband who does the dishes (sorry that's all I got this morning)

for our president..who sets big, hairy audacious goals....and gives me hope for the future

for my boss who allows flexibility

for all the creative people, artists, musicians, writers that have come into my life in sobriety and are teaching me so much....about expression and soul searching

for Scott who is going to send me something someday even though I was fifth, which is really really nice

for my stepsisters giving me more opportunities for service and friendship

for Unity on the River giving me more opportunities to increase my conscious contact

for Bonnie who said I always looked put together..(What!..that's what I always think of everyone else!)

for Tim and Richard who told me my marriage is normal (of course they don't know the whole story)

for the double mocchacinos at Cafe Di

that the new coffee shop finally opened up in my town

for Allyson's baby shower tomorrow

for my therapist who thinks a letter is pretty much the answer to everything..and is right

for the sun that is going to rise soon and give me a beautiful show to view from my kitchen window

for Mitch who always gives me something lasting to chuckle about

and finally for the program of Alcoholics Annonymous...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Practice these Principles

"Now comes the biggest question yet. What about the practice of these principles in all our affairs? Can we love the whole pattern of living as eagerly as we do the small segment of it we discover when we try to help other alcoholics achieve sobriety? Can we bring the same spirit of love and tolerance into our sometimes deranged family lives that we bring to our A.A. group? Can we have the same kind of confidence and faith in these people who have been infected and sometimes crippled by our own illness that we have in our sponsors? Can we actually carry the A.A. spirit into our daily work? Can we meet our newly recognized responsibilities to the world at large? And can we bring new purpose and devotion to the religion of our choice? Can we find a new joy of living in trying to do something about all these things?"

I wrote about the difficulties with my husband yesterday. And guess what we read last night in our step meeting? ...the above from the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book. I had a chance to talk to my sponser as well as my therapist and then the meeting. Not to mention the suggestions I have received here. Can I answer yes to these questions? Not really.

So here's the thing. I have rocked my husband's world. I've flipped it on him. I am no longer the same woman he's been with for 27 years...22 of it married. We met in a bar, we dated in bars, I worked in a bar for half our marriage and finally I turned our home into a bar. He has certain expectations of that woman he was with, certain patterns...but she's no longer there. She's not overcompensating for drinking anymore. She doesn't react the same way. She doesn't have the same priorities. Her focus has changed. Not only that, she is trusting and relying upon God..not him. And he's still stuck in the old system. And to be fair, I haven't really talked to him about any of this. He's not interested in sharing any of it yet and that's okay. He doesn't have to participate...just by giving him an idea of where I am may help. He's grateful I am sober..I think. We had a brief discussion when I made amends to him. That helped a little. But it wasn't enough and it's time. Now is the time. I cannot expect him to change...but I can let him know what is changed in me. He's seen it behaviorally to some extent..and he doesn't necessarily like it, but he doesn't really know what I'm feeling. Hard to talk about feelings when the conversation is staying on the surface. My therapist suggested a letter and I'll probably go with get a vacant look will be distracting. And I must remember this quote from Step 7 of the 12 x 12.. Living upon a basis of unsatisfied demands, we were in a state of continual disturbance and frustration. I cannot have any expectations that things will change.....but I can "try to do something about these things" and then accept it and move on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Bad Place

I was exhausted yesterday so I cancelled a meeting (not AA) that I was supposed to go to, made dinner and chilled out. Watched Academy Award rehash stuff which was fun and touching. Rewatching Kate Winslet's response to her Dad's whistle was just so endearing. Anyway, my husband usually calls around 5 ish to check in to see what's up for the night. He had called my son around 4 and I was when I changed my plans for the night I didn't think anything of it. I just made dinner and settled in. He didn't call me and I didn't call him. I figured our contact during my son's call was enough. He got home just before 8....all is well...I told him I was exhausted so didn't go...dinner's in the you want to watch a movie? I'm not sure where in the conversation he went to the bad place but he blew. Really upset that I hadn't called him to let him know. He likes to get an "itinerary" of the evening. He had thought of stopping for dinner on the way home..(he didn't.) I changed it up and didn't tell him. Didn't help to tell him I was exhausted. (I didn't call anyone or go online after I called to cancel my appearance at the meeting). That just made it worse really.

The good thing is..I did not engage. Once I could see nothing I would say would change how he felt....without hurting myself in the process....I just got quiet. Let him go on and on. And then I went to bed. I woke up this morning fully rested which was great. We did not talk about it. But I also did not bang around or give him the "silent" treatment. Just went on as usual. I'm not sure this is a good thing. I know I feel unsettled but I also know that talking to him about it is not going to help. Me or him.

And now I am fighting going to the bad place myself. The anger and self pity at being treated unfairly. And was it unfair? I just don't know, he certainly doesn't think so. Is he being unreasonable? I think maybe. But then it goes to that Serenity Prayer....I cannot change him..I can only change myself. I have the wisdom of that today. And that is not necessarily a good thing. Well, its a good thing, just not necessarily an easy thing. I'm not sure what to do with it. It's tough to change when the world around you doesn't. And then how to work and be within that world without being held back. Without causing pain or discomfort.

It's like the line in the John Mayer song Why Georgia...."don't believe me if I say I've got it all down"..and "so I've got a smile on me but it's hiding the quiet superstitions in my head". What superstitions? Well one would be what 22 years of marriage is.

It's all good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

We Beg of You

That's what I heard this morning as How it Works was read as usual. "With all the earnestness at our command, we beg of you to fearless and thorough from the very start." pg 58. Lots of people put the emphasis on "suggestions"....or .."everyone does it their own way, in their own time." And these things are an extent. But it seems to me that Bill W., Dr. Bob and the first 100 who were involved in the writing of our text...which has not changed....were begging the alcoholic reader to do it. I heard Thich Nhat Hahn say this morning as well...The Buddha says you have to do it (mindfulness, meditation, etc.) to find happiness. (or something like that..I stayed up to watch the Academy Awards last night so my brain is kind of scrambled even from what I just listened to an hour ago:).
For me, I was so desperate when I got to ready...that I wanted to follow directions. I was looking for someone, Anyone to tell me what I needed to do. Please. In fact...suggestions...were not what I was looking for. I wanted clear directions. Precise directions. Just tell me what to do and I'll do it. No questions asked. And I got them. I can't say that I didn't ask questions but I will say that I listened to the answers. I hear about suggestions now...and I hear people sharing that they don't have to do this, that or the other thing in the Big Book or what they hear in meetings because it is only a suggestion....and they don't have to I suppose. I wonder why on page 164 it says "this book is meant to be suggestive only..."? I wonder if they had written today..after all these years...they would say something more like...this book is meant to save your life.
And when your life is saved....when you have found peace, happiness, joy even in the face of a not so perfect life, when the obsession to drink alcohol is gone...when life is is really difficult to see others dying, hurting, obsessing, struggling, suffering, early in sobriety and 20 years sober and I want to say..I beg of you....

Friday, February 20, 2009


Whoever said life was supposed to be comfortable...that we needed to feel comfortable? I think I've always been avoiding uncomfortable feelings. When I was a child I do not recall receiving comfort except perhaps from my grandmother. Then as a teenager, being moved to another state..I was definately uncomfortable in my new environment and sought refuge in the comfort of drugs and alcohol. I felt more comfortable with myself and with situations. And that grew into a lifetime of comfort seeking and relief seeking behavior. And alcoholism. And my alcoholism made me the most uncomfortable of all....not necessarily while drinking it....but in the moments when I didn't have it and needed it...the moments when I was recovering from the hangover....the guilt, anger and remorse. These were not comfortable things..which of course led to seeking more comfort.
And getting sober is very uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable to have and admit to an unmanageable life. It is uncomfortable to believe in Something you have no knowledge of. It is uncomfortable to let go and turn it over to that Something. It is uncomfortable to confront your past and be honest. It's uncomfortable to share that honesty with someone else. It is uncomfortable seeking out others in order to make amends. It was uncomfortable to walk into a room of strangers and tell them your deepest darkest secret. It was uncomfortable to pick up the phone and call someone out of the blue and ask for help. It was uncomfortable to approach someone and ask them if they would consider sponsering a wretch. It was uncomfortable to raise my hand. It was uncomfortable to pour a cup of coffee. It was extremely uncomfortable trying to appear comfortable without the usual comfort assistance.
But I did it. And in doing so I found the most comfort I have ever known. All around me. In me. Through me. In others. Too bad I couldn't have found that as a child. But I didn't know what I didn't know. Didn't learn what I wasn't taught. And the journey was mine to follow and I did. I am grateful for that. And today I am very comfortable. And when I'm not I seek refuge in His Presence. And I am more comfortable than ever.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Obsession

"Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks-drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery. " (The Doctor's Opinion)

Why was the obsession lifted for me? How did that happen? What makes me different from my friend who died? What makes me different from the chronic relapsers I see so much of in the rooms? What makes me different from that new person who no longer wants to suffer the consequences of their drinking?

In the 9 years before I got sober, I watched as my mother drank herself into oblivian. She did not die a physical death but she is lost to me. I watched my uncle die on his bathroom floor where he lay for weeks before being found. And I struggled with my own drinking. "The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death." (pg 30) I did not, no way, no how want to be like them but I was becoming more and more. I could not think of a life without alcohol. I could not get through the day without alcohol. I tried over and over again to stop. I will not drink today. I will not drink ever again. I am done. This is it. Over and in and day out..week in and week out...month in and month out..year in and year out. And once I took that drink I had no power over how much I drank. I'll just have one. I only want one. Let me have a just a sip. Okay two then.......till it was the morning and I had no idea how this happened...again. "they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving. This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated. The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence." (The Doctor's Opinion).

I cannot even articulate how grateful I am that I did not have to come to the gates of insanity or death as my uncle and mother did. That even though I came to Alcoholics Annonymous with perhaps the hopes that I would find out that I was not an alcoholic, not like them..I was not dead or dying.., that instead I found out that I had a physical and mental disease (not something caused by my own weakness and moral choices) and that there was a solution, a way to recover and that it was outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Annonymous and it wasn't as simple as my willpower..I will not drink. When I heard this, read this I felt relief almost immediately. Or should I say when I understood this. The things I heard in meetings definately helped me not to drink....calling people, go to meetings, H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired), one day at a time, listen (take the cotton out of your ears and put into your mouth), etc. But none of those things removed the obsession to drink and the resulting craving once I started to drink. They are all really good things..really helpful things...and I have seen those things help people not to drink for years. I cannot say however that I have seen those things remove the obsession for anyone. And they certainly were not enough for me. The most helpful thing I heard in meetings was that I needed to work the 12 steps in order to recover. All that other stuff would help me not to drink for a day..but to recover....I had to do the work..the steps.

I did not want to take any chances. And mind you this was not a conscious decision on my part. I could not, not drink. Like I said..those suggestions helped...but I still wanted to drink. I wanted a drink...please. So when I heard the word ears perked up. I listened. And I began to understand with the help of my sponser and others in the rooms who answered my questions, sometimes before they were even asked. When I got to AA, I knew my life was unmanageable...and that I was powerless over life had proven that....I just needed confirmation and I got it. Identification I think they call it. Then I heard I had to come to believe. In what? So I listened yet again. I read the book..Came to Believe along with the Big Book. And I heard God of my understanding. And I understood that I did not understand. And it happened. I came to some point here..I had a moment...ironing...when a sudden overwhelming feeling came over me that it was going to be okay. Why? I have no idea..but I accepted the feeling. I did not have to define it was just there.

And as I progressed through the steps somewhere along the line the obsession to drink was lifted and removed. I don't think about it anymore...yes, if it's in my face..I may romance it..wish it were different..must be nice.....but it passes and its gone. It just doesn't bother me anymore. I am at peace about alchohol. Now... lots of other things do bother me and that's why I have to keep moving forward. And I have to be vigilant about this because these are the underlying causes and conditions that fed my disease. Resentments, fears, selfcenteredness and the like...these things did not cause me to become an alcoholic....lots of people have these same charachter defects and are not my husband for instance:)...but what they did was feed my alcoholism...drove me to seek that effect I found from alcohol and then the resulting obsession and craving. Crazy isn't it? Something has clicked.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Calling All Angels

A woman in my morning meeting celebrated 19 years of sobriety on Saturday. She shared her moment..her spiritual experience..when things, life changed for her. I wouldn't possibly be able to do it justice and its not my story..but what is my story is that because of her spiritual experience...the light shining down on you kind..I was given a spirtual awakening. I was not blessed to have one of those fall on your knees moments...but because she has so freely shared hers and because others have..I have been able to open my eyes and my heart. I didn't know what I believed when I came to AA. I wasn't even sure I thought I was really an alcoholic and I certainly didn't know what a Higher Power was. I think maybe I was looking for a way out. But what I found was a way in. To sobriety and to the divinity within. And many candles lit my way. And many angels...and they are..

My mother...her low bottom became my high bottom. when her candle blew out mine was lit.

AABC...the yahoo group who was always there...dispensing the message.

Red headed Gal and all the other bloggers...who seemed so much, too much like me.

Scout...who you even go to meetings.

Archie...who posted a simple explanation of the 12 steps that I could wrap my head around.

Kathy...who welcomed me to AA and directed me to the next meeting.

Chickie...who helped me acknowledge out loud that I was an alcoholic.

Ruth...who told me she cried during the Lord's Prayer too.

Joan...who was quietly present at all those first meetings, knitting and telling me it was okay.

Lynne...who smiled wide when I showed up, agreed to sponser me and took me to tea.

Dorothy....who showed me what a divine presence means.

Dennis...who told me to keep smiling.

Sonia...who needed me.

Terry...who kept it real and made me laugh.

So many more....too many to name...all these candles lit the way..keep it lit so that I can stay sober and help another alcoholic achieve sobriety.

so grateful...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Belated Happy Valentines Day

We were invited to a dinner party last night. I had a bit of angst about it during the week. The hosts were parents of one of my son's teammates. They've played sports together since middle school whether it was on the same team or opposing teams. Most recently as co-captains of the soccer team. So we've been sideline friends. Not really friends but you build a certain comraderie with the parents...kibbitzing the coach, cheering on the team, ride sharing and the like. And now our kids are graduating and then you don't see these people again. So I believe that was her motivation because the invitation came out of the blue and I was very flattered to be included but then again I was also I want to be hanging out with these people? And I wasn't really given an opportunity to decline gracefully...the question was..what day don't you have I couldn't very well say...every day...which I was inclined to do.

Anyway...I know these people are big wine drinkers and enjoyed a Christmas party there a few years back..drinking away and getting flush. They have this huge wine collection that we sampled..(of course I did a lot of sampling) and by the end of the evening explained that they served this two buck chuck to this other couple because they were big drinkers and didn't know difference.....and we talked about how it wasn't exclaiming of course. Next morning when I thanked her...I also told her two buck chuck gave me a headache...and then realized...she brought out the two buck chuck for ME.

But it was a nice time...we arrived and they were perusing a photo album of a trip to Italy with one of the other couples...and the hostess said just wanted to show you the area where we got the wines we'll be drinking tonight. I we go.....but it wasn't a big deal at all.
We brought a bottle of wine and 2 bottles of San Pelligrino. From previous experience I knew that no non alcoholic beverage would be offered. I had it all planned when say that drinking didn't do anything for me anymore and then pray it didn't go any further than that and if it did..I figured I would either fake it...or just tell them I was an alcoholic. But guess what...big suprise...nobody asked. When the host got us drinks after we arrived...he got my husband a beer and then just poured me a glass of San Pelligrino and that was the end of it. We had a nice dinner and the conversation was pretty good...another woman also was not really drinking..she had to cover her glass when the hostess kept refilling and quietly asked me to share the San Pelligrino...

We don't really do dinner parties...just not in our realm..but this was really nice. As my husband we sat around the table...I feel like a grown up.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Sherif of Sobertown

One of the guys at a meeting said he didn't want to be the sheriff of sobertown..It's been making me chuckle ever's tough especially in early sobriety to take direction..and figure out who to take direction from..I think that's where he's at...The thing with AA is there is no sheriff but there are alot of folks who think they are..and it can rub ya the wrong way...

Anyway..I know I'll never be the Sherriff...I'm more like Aunt Bee.....

have a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


A member of our morning group celebrated 29 years today. 29 years! I will be 79 if and when I hit that amount of sobriety. I cannot absolutely cannot look at it like that. But what I can remember is that today, this day, marks 20 months for me. Really? I didn't even realize and at the meeting said I had 19 months. Then later I was counting on my fingers...yes I need them..and realized its 20! Months. Of continuous sobriety. Of not having a drink. Of living a new life. I reflected on my answer the other day as to what you could not live without. In the past I might have said happiness, my children, the beach....and I now answer, truthfully, in spite of my own disbelief..I cannot live without the grace of God in my life. That is where AA has lead me. To a Higher Power and an ever increasing desire to improve my conscious contact..and THAT is what keeps me sober.

I am very very grateful to those like the gentleman with 29 years who stick around to tell those of us who are willing how it is done. And it is about willingness isn't it? Open, Honest and Willing. If I can maintain those three principles in my life..I'm gonna be okay.

Home stretch to 2 years...there's gonna be a par..tay.....!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My daughter

I had a nice conversation with my daughter yesterday. She is so busy. She is a sophomore in college. I still have a hard time believing that this is the child I raised. As much as she is like me she is so unlike me. The poor thing had to suffer me as a mother in high school when I completely did not trust her and was like a terrorist in my attempts to block/protect her from wasting her high school years as I did. Her favorite story is our phone call when she called to tell me she was skipping soccer practice so she could look for costumes for the school play. I told her she was "going down the wrong path." I was so worried about her not living up to her responsibilities and commitments one of which was soccer I didn't even hear that she was doing the same thing for theater and had simply made a choice. All I heard was I'm blowing off soccer...and that leads to drinking, drugs and prostitution. Such an idiot. I can see now that I was simply projecting my own feelings about my choices onto her. I am so grateful that she seems to have survived me.

She is my role model. She is so involved. She's thinking about joining a German discussion group (German is her minor), I just think that's crazy..I never would have had the gumption. And she's an alternative spring break coordinator and will be going to Kentucky to work in some Horse Cave instead of to Cancun to wear a wet tshirt. She's a chairperson of a dance marathon that raises money for pediatric aids, she's met people from all over the world and visits them, she's getting decent grades...she's very focused, she's working as a waitress to help pay for school and lifestyle choices. She's going to school with all these rich kids yet works her butt off to be able to do the same things and easily says no when she can't. She takes the iniative in her life and doesn't wait for it to happen. I check myself now when she shares about her extracurricular activities..parties, concerts, kareoke, etc. the normal fun stuff of college life. My instinct is to wag my finger and warn...beware of the bongs..and keg parties. But I don't have to. Because she's doing it. She's living life in all its fullness. I know drinking is involved to some extent...and I can only pray that my life has been a warning to her. A signpost.

I can't help but compare myself to her when I was her age..I spent high school on the path (literally, there was a path between the 2 campuses of my school and that's where we got high), I didn't go away to college because I didn't want anything to change so I lived at home and commuted, I did not participate in any extracurricular activities besides going to the local bars, well yes I played softball for awhile but let's be real, I did that for the drinking afterwards, I did not socialize with anyone I went to school with opting instead for the drinking buddies I met on my job, I did nothing essentially but spiral down the path of drinking and addiction. Making wrong choices at every turn. My school life was literally for the piece of paper I thought would open doors for me..when what I really did was shut those doors.

It's just amazing to me the stark differences between us. Yet we are so much alike tempermentally. That's what scares the heck out of me as her mother. But that's where faith comes in. Faith, and Trust, and Acceptance, and all these things that we learn in AA. She has her own journey, her own Higher Power..though sadly she doesn't think so, her own life...and I am a bystander. But I am a grateful bystander. Just so grateful...and my son is about to begin his journey and I hope I can take these lessons as well for him. I am finding that remaining a bystander to your child's life is infinately more rewarding than trying to control and direct it. They do a heck of lot better. Thank you God.

Monday, February 9, 2009

i have been tagged by Fireman John for a meme; What's a meme anyway? All about meme? Whatever. This helps because I have so much stuff swirling around that it would be hard to grasp it long enough to trap it to paper..or desktop...So here you are..if you've been reading you probably already know this stuff...

A. Attached or single?

B. Best friend?

C. Cake or pie?

D. Day of Choice?

E. Essential item?
book, any book

F. Favorite color?

G. Gummy bears or worms?

H. Hometown?
child, teenager, newlywed or as a parent....?

I. Favorite indulgence?

J. January or July?

K. Kids?
Yes, a daugher of 20 and a son of 18

L. Life isn’t complete without?
the grace of God

M. Marriage date?

N. Number of magazine subscriptions?

O. Orange or apple?

P. Phobias?
really big bridges...a little

Q. Quotes?
"patience is a virtue"

R. Reasons to smile?
empty nest soon

S. Season of choice?

T. Tag 5 people
the usual...

U. Unknown fact about me?
MIke Ditka's godchild

V. Vegetable?

W. Worst habit?

X. X-ray or ultrasound?

Y. Your favorite food(s)?
Lobster, prime rib, chocolate

Z. Zodiac sign

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sting - Brand New Day

So my discovery this thinking is screwed up. Big suprise. The way I think is part of why I am an alcoholic in the first place. A three fold disease they call it. Physical, mental, and spiritual. I got the physical down. The obsession to drink has been lifted for me and as long as I don't put a drink in my body the phenonmenon of craving will not begin. I'm working on the spiritual. I have had an awakening and work to increase my conscious contact with God, my Higher Power, the Source, the Creator everyday. It has given me a level of peace I have never known.

But my thinking, oh my thinking. Still screwed up. For instance...we are having a conversation. You say...I need xyz. I need to know xyz, I need to have xyz. I cannot do abc until I get xyz. I hear.. Can you give me xyz? Can you find out about xyz? Can you do xyz? Now, that is not what you said at all. We are just talking. You are sharing information but not calling for action. But my brain goes into action. Now sometimes in the conversation, I will say...I can give that to you, I can find out for you, I can do that for you, and if we're lucky maybe I'll ask if that is what you want, would you like me to do this, get this, find out this and you will say..please do or no thank you. And it's all good. But sometimes, I will just go into action. Why? I don't know. Because I think I've heard the question I suppose when really all that has been said is a statement. And when that happens...9 times out of 10 (and most likely that's an overestimation), you might be grateful, thanks you'll say or you might not say anything but it will help you and I will feel grateful. But the 10th time...I have crossed a boundry. One I didn't see, granted, but one that was there nonetheless..and then you feel violated. You shared information and it was taken and used. Against your wishes. You after all thought you were simply sharing information. To lighten the load. To explain. Whatever. It's not important. Self centered behavior. I think everything is about me. What I think. What I can do. How I can help. It's not. Big suprise. Motivations, intentions, good will..doesn't matter. It is not about me. The big I AM. Or more accurately I CAN. It's okay to listen for simply listening's sake. And to simply ask How can I help? instead of I will do this or even worse doing it and telling after the fact. When it's too late and the boundry has been crossed and reparations must be made, amends made..wreckage of the present cleared.

Oh what fun this recovery is..what a delight self discovery's effing painful. My knees are skinned and I think I need stitches on my forehead. But at least I didn't lose a limb. Or worse, a friend.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rebel Yell

My sponser is a musician and we went to see her perform with a new band she is in last night. They were great and reminded me how much I used to love this song. They didn't do it Billy Idol style...but a good song is a good song. And I loved their version. I really like when musicians mix up songs to match their style. Like Run DMC doing Walk this Way, or David Cook on American Idol last year..he won because he could take a song and completely convert it to his own....That's what this band did last night with a steel guitar, acoustic guitar, bass and cavone (i'm probably spelling that wrong but its a cool percussion instrument) and female lead singer. It was amazing. This is a newly formed band..when they make it big I'll post their video of Rebel Yell

The occasion was a birthday for the resteraunt owner. Very small little place and was packed to the gills with her friends. I don't think I would have gone if I did. We went to support my sponser. I know the lead singer as well because I'm a regular at her shop in town...she sells great stuff, perfect for gifts with a treat for myself now and then. Normally being in a room of strangers would have made me uncomfortable but I was strangely at home. There was a lot of drinking going on especially by the birthday girl...but it didn't bother me...I was really digging the music. Using words like digging is a new thing too. But it is seemingly coming naturally.

Change is good.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

You Get What You Need

Well, I know I'm not alone but sometimes the path, especially the spiritual path, can be lonely. It occurred to me last night that I was no longer feeling good about the morning meeting (my home group) that I attend on a daily basis. Looking around at the people thinking, my assumptions that this was my "family" was all wrong. The friends I have made and hang out with in AA are not in this group. The people who are sharing their spiritual journey with me are not in this group. So maybe now its time to leave it. I have a vigerous meeting schedule anyway, maybe its time for a break. It made me feel sad but I'm feeling stretched. Something may have to give.

But I bring someone to the meeting every mornng and that's what got me there this morning..thank Goodness. And I told her so and thanked her. Another woman who is struggling and whom I called yesterday showed up and was there...after not going for the last week so that was good. Another woman who has been in her words "dabbling" in AA for the last year or two got a chip for her 9 days after finally making the decision to jump in and get a sponser. She had asked me and I told her I'm not sponsering yet but I'd be her phone person until she got one...suggested meetings where she might find a good one. Another woman who also has been close to this whole funeral thing came over and whispered thanks for being her friend and if nothing else it had brought the two of us closer. She made me cry and I had to leave the meeting and sit in the bathroom for a few minutes to compose myself. When people are nice to me when I'm down or feeling makes me cry. Another guy made an announcement that it was 30 months for him and he wanted to share because it was the longest he had ever been sober. I took a quarter and a sharpie and made a medallion for him. That was fun.

I did not sit in the circle and haven't this week except when I chaired. I'm kind of liking the distance it has given me and a bit of the camraderie back there. They joke and call it denial aisle. Sitting there doesn't mean you don't share...we go round robin and sometimes it starts there. Anyway at the end of the meeting as we were putting our chairs of the woman came up to me and said.."where were you?!". I said I was here all the time. She said.."i took my seat and you were not sitting over there. I need to see you...I didn't know what was happening without you are my rock. Dont' do that again!" I promised that I would make sure to tap her on the shoulder when I change my seat...How did she know? I know I feel the same way about certain people. But I had no idea ANYONE felt that way about me. We don't even usually talk that much.

In spite of myself, I think that perhaps indeed this is my family and just like family there are ups and downs, ebbs and flows..good times and bad..but they are the people you count on being there, even when you aren't. That you are stuck with whether you like them or not.

One man new to the meeting shared how he didn't know he was an alcoholic till he came to AA. And now, he didn't really have to have the meetings and such to keep him sober..his Higher Power does that. Meetings are nice..but not necessary. My experience is a bit different. When I came to AA, I KNEW I was an alcoholic but I was looking for a way out. I didn't want to be one..and thought if I went to a meeting I would find out I wasn't and maybe get to continue drinking...and what I found was that I was an alcoholic and there was a solution to my problem. Better yet, it works and the obsession to drink has been lifted for me today. I agree with him that it is because of my Higher Power...but I found That in AA, through AA. I needed the meetings to do that. And I need the meetings so that I can continue to work with others to ensure my own sobriety and to stay in service to my Higher Power. And that means more than just sharing at meetings. It means sitting in denial aisle next to the woman who can't stop drinking, it means giving my number to the woman who finally made a decsion, it means acknowledging another members milestone, it means talking to each other through hard means being present and accounted for. It means being the signpost for others.

I'm still conflicted. But that's life. Carolyn Myss says God is order and God is disorder. God is both. I am so grateful for Kelly right sister spiritual warrior. She has absolutely no idea that I was getting ready to put down the sword. I guess the message is if you are feeling something..say it..that one little insignificant thing that you push off, may mean the world to someone and completely turn their thinking around.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


This works on so many levels for me today...

I've not been able to check in with everyone but I appreciate your comments. They have helped me tremendously. I am grateful for my circle....of fellow spiritual warriors...for protecting me and guiding me...I am grateful for God's Grace that allows me to be willing to hold someone's anger and frustration in my soul in order that they may grieve. It seems my soul can take it...if I remain spiritually fit and in conscious contact. You help me do this. Thank you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Smack Down

So here's the thing...someone is very upset with me...personally. I have prayed. I have talked to my sponser and another trusted friend. I have prayed. I went through those 10th step questions ad nauseum. I have prayed. And I am comfortable with my actions that were upsetting. I don't have to continue...but I am being pushed and pulled. And I must now stand firm and not sway in any direction. Be a rock, solid. Even if I feel all liquid and mush inside. And I also cannot go running around looking for comfort and validation..he said this, she did that...aren't I right? Please pat me on the back. Tell me its okay. And I keep looking at I behaving in a selfish, self seeking manner and the answer is no aboslutely not. Am I trying to control outcomes and situations and the answer is no absolutely not. Am I disrespectful and insensitive and the answer is no absolutely not. Can anything I say or do change anything and the answer is no absolutely not. Can I affect what others think of me and does it even matter and the answer is no absolutely not. Do I care? Well, sadly the answer is yes..and I must change that. What others think of me is none of my business.

I can't get into specifics here...I'm feeling gun shy. I could go into a long litany of she said this, he said this, they asked that, so I did this, the situation is that...and it really doesn't matter. But let me say that I've got this Internal Struggle going on right now. That music? exactly what it feels like inside. Carolyn Myss talks about it in her book Entering the Castle. Cannot believe how much what I listened to this weekend pertains to what I am going through right now and I'm not very good at articulating what she has said but I have internalized it. One of the things is that if you cannot handle the work required in your mansions (her book discusses St Teresa's The Interior Castle), then you should go back to the kitchen and peel potatoes. "make no mistake", she says. I think I'm at the door. Hand on the doorknob. I can hear her now...are you in or are you out? I'm not sure which mansion I'm in..possibly Chaos or Reason. I know for sure I'm not in the mansion of Illumination. Maybe I'm running between the 2 of them when I should just settle into one and finish. But what I do know is that I hate peeling potatoes. Spent my life there and don't want to go back.

In my mind, one old self, my false self, my drinking saying...F*ck him. Loser. And then the next minute I am where I should be...I am praying...for compassion, understanding, peace, acceptance, not for me for him, for them. I think I've got those things..well maybe not quite peace right now:) That's what the Big Book tells us to do on page 552. And that's what I've done. And I guess that's what I must keep doing. My old self would like to think about this tomorrow, like Scarlett. My old self would like to say..frankly I don't give a damn. My old self would like a cocktail. My old self would like to skip the morning meeting this morning and not deal with what may happen. How I may appear. What may be said. My old self wants to dwell on what will occur in an hour. But me..the awakened Me, the emerging Me, knows that I must continue forward and as my friend told me this weekend and as I've heard before in these rooms...if you are going to stay you are going to have to learn to step over the bodies. The old me wants to pick them up and carry them. And would keep trying until beaten and bloodied and worn. I am going to survive...I know this. I want everyone to survive but that is not going to happen.

So that's what's going on with me. How's your day been?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Discernment is a B*tch

Steve said its a gift from God...but I guess not all gifts come in shiny packages with a nice bow...and we don't always get the gifts we ask for or expect or even want...and I try not to ask, expect or want anything though I am not always successful most assuredly....I'm just trying to figure it out..doing the best I can..which most of the time feels inadequate...but I know that's me..and not God's I have to sit with God and wait...patient waiting...that's the contemplative outreach symbol on my sidebar..its the monogram of Job and symbolizes patient waiting..I wear a medallion around my neck too. And I know that others will not understand this...and may react in negative ways..and I must accept is not about them or me...noone said it would be easy...

I got nothing...the video has nothing to do with this had to do with yesterday's post which I lost..but I'm keeping was meant to be. I just wish I could think about it tomorrow. Would make today easier.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I hate it when I lose a post