Monday, October 31, 2005


This post may be somewhat disjointed. I will be up and down answering the door and doling out candy - the little children of the neighborhood keep tap, tap, tapping at my door. It is fun to go see their little costumes and know how very scary they find their little witch and darth vader costumes, etc.

Normally on Monday night a sponsee comes over and we read the big book together (of course, we are following directions as we go). She is an artist and is currently at an art show, so she won't be here tonight. I miss having her here. I really look forward to Monday nights when she comes over. She is sober almost 10 years and just a remarkable woman and a good AA member. I am humbled by sponsoring her.

When I told my sponsor that I was humbled by sponsoring this woman, she told me that she understands. That is how she feels about me. Aw, Gee. That is so nice. I talked with her for a long time late this afternoon. My sponsor, that is. She is also a wonderful woman. She has been sober for 34 years and is so real and so wise. She has been my sponsor for 11 years. I am so grateful to have a sponsor for that long. Prior to finding her, I had many sponsors. I think it is important to have a sponsor, otherwise, I am out there "rowing my own boat," which is never a good idea.

Just writing that reminds me of a guy I knew when I lived in Washington. He used to say (and probably still does) that "if you don't have a sponsor and you don't have a home group, you might be in something, but it probably isn't AA." I just loved that guy! I think he was right.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturday Morning

It is Saturday Morning. The sun has not yet risen. Today my daughter (26 years old) is joining me on my hike. I have had my prayer and meditation, am currently drinking my coffee, and am about to jump in the tub. Life is good.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Grateful this isn't a hangover

Yesterday morning I woke up with a migraine. I get them occassionally. I have also had nausea with this one, which I don't usually get. I came home from work early yesterday and took to the sofa. I tried to watch Monday Night Football, but didn't even have the ability to focus on a football game. My head was pounding, I was fighting the urge to vomit, and I was shivering because I was so cold.

This reminded me of so many days I spent while I was still out there "having fun" and "enjoying life" - in other words, drinking alcoholically (sp?) I cannot even fathom the idea of getting this sick voluntarily!

When I think of the young woman I once was it makes me so sad. To think of a beautiful young woman (I can say that now about myself - past tense) spending entire days in bed, shaking, vomiting, waking up in a pool of urine, with a head hurting so bad I wished I could die. And then going and doing the same thing the next night. It is amazing. And so sad.

While I was suffering so terribly with this disease called alcoholism, I felt so much guilt, remorse, and shame. I didn't realize that I had no more control over the course of my illness than I have over gravity, or whether the sun will come up in the morning.

I just thank God that I found Alcoholics Anonymous and admitted I was powerless over alcohol and have not had to be that sick for over 21 years now. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Sunday, October 23, 2005


I am a grateful member of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I went to meeting of my old home group yesterday morning. It was so glorious to be sitting there amongst the new and the old. It was my friend Fred's 34th AA anniversary (I call them birthdays). I was so glad I got to be there for that.

He said something that echoed something I haven't been able to articulate. He said it like a 75 year old truck driver, and I am not that, so I am sure I won't paraphrase exactly right.

He said "If you don't like our war stories, don't worry, just keep doing what your doing, and you will end up with war stories of your own."

As I sat there, I realized how safe I felt sitting in an AA meeting room full of sober alcholics. I looked around and there was Eddie. Eddie is from Philly and he was the hippest, slickest, and coolest back in the 80s when I met him. He needed to do a little more research, so he hasn't been sober that long, but he has got about 15 years now. Roland was sitting next to him. Roland has been sober 28 years and I have known him for about 15 years. Next to him was Elmer - who sobered up a few months before me, so I have known him for my entire sobriety. Terry was across the room. Terry got sober in October of 1983 - 9 months before I did. I have known her the entire time I have been sober in AA. And then there was Denny... he took me to my first meeting. He has stayed sober all this time too. He is sober about a year and a half more than me, so about 23.5 years now.

I used to wonder why guys with lots of sobriety would want to be with others with lots of sobriety. I thought it was snobbery. Gee Whiz, it is so far from snobbery. I just want to be one of the crowd. I don't want to stand out as someone who has been sober "a long time." I just want to be one of the group. I hate to be the one in the room who has been sober the longest.

I am happy to report that there is no danger of that happening at the Morning After group any time soon.

Thank you God!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Attraction rather than Promotion

For those of you who have followed this blog from its inception, you know that I have not been at all committed to the entire concept of an AA blog. I initially started it so that I could discuss AA matters without anonymity concerns with a fellow blogger who is also in AA. I thought it would be nice to post stories, etc. Or not. I don't know. I am on the fence about this whole thing.

Recently I have had comments from people who don't want to be in AA. I guess I am supposed to have hurt feelings and try to chase them down and convince them that AA is the only way for their salvation. I am reminded of what I heard when I was new... "AA isn't for those who need it, it is for those who want it."

I can only share my experience, strength, and hope. My story is that AA saved my life and indeed gave me everything that is worthwhile in my life. Period. That's my story. There is not anything to argue with there.

Our literature (specifically, the big book, Alcoholics Anonymous) says:

"If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right-about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard enough and long enough to drink like other people!" (p. 31)

Further in the book, it admonishes members:
"We find it a waste of time to keep chasing a man who cannot or will not work with you. If you leave such a person alone, he may soon become convinced that he cannot recover by himself. To spend too much time on any one situation is to deny some other alcoholic an opportunity to live and be happy." (p. 96)

Yes, an opportunity to live and be happy. Not to earn anyone a merit badge for getting someone sober. Not to earn someone a bonus for bringin' 'em in the door.

AA has never claimed to be the only answer to alcoholism. Of course, I haven't seen any others that are very successful, but anyone can feel free to find another way.

I realize that our beloved big book was written in 1939. It offends many today. I would suggest that if it offends, perhaps the offendee isn't very desperate to recover from alcoholism. Maybe the person has a drinking problem that they can solve on their own. There really are people like that.

When I got to AA, I really didn't care if the book was written by men. They were alcoholics and understood my problem and that was all I cared about. I didn't care that the language was archaic, I found it charming. I didn't care that it wasn't written in "gender neutral" language, I know that when I read "he" and I am thinking about "me", it works. It works just fine.

It works just fine for people who want it. That's it. If you are still trying to poke holes in it, go ahead. If you are seriously alcoholic, the day may come when you embrace AA because it is a program that works. Sadly, that day may never come. Most alcoholics, I believe, die an alcoholic death. Some of us are so fortunate to be sober alcoholics. It is the most amazing thing on earth.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tuesday Evening

I was on my way home from work tonight and stopped into a local meeting - 45 minutes late. A new lady was sharing... she is having difficulty. She has been in and out of AA for a number of years and says that it gets harder to get sober each time. I believe her and I hope that I never have to learn that lesson first hand. Please God.

At 10 minutes till 7:00 - they all looked at me and asked me to share. It seems everyone else had already talked (it was a small meeting). I started talking and realized that I was going to take the entire 10 minutes - which I considered to be quite rude... show up 45 minutes late, stay for 15 minutes, and talk for 10 of them! And to top it all off, I basically whined for 10 minutes.

I had a hard day at work. But I also had a victorious day at work. I had to give a presentation to Governing Body and it went well. I have been giving those presentations quarterly for 4 years now and it never gets easier, they are sometimes downright gruesome.

But what I mainly talked about was how sad I sometimes feel. My first sponsor recently called me on the phone and as we talked, I realized that she was getting drunk. Drunk during the course of a telephone conversation with her former sponsee. How sad. I felt profoundly sad. She has been my friend for over 21 years. And now she is drunk and it just makes me sad.

I have a former boyfriend who is drinking and calls occassionally. If it is after 9 p.m., I don't answer the phone if the caller ID says it is him. If it is before 9 p.m., I will sometimes answer the phone and talk to him. And for some reason, I get surprised as he gets drunk while we are talking on the phone. I profoundly miss the sober man I used to know, but he is gone.

After the meeting, I spoke with a woman and apologized for whining like that at a meeting where there were new people. She told me how much I mean to her. It was really amazing to me. She said that I am one of her heroes. Amazing. Me? A hero?

I am incredibly grateful to be sober, but I have this unrealistic wish that everyone else I come to know and love in Alcoholics Anonymous will stay sober. That is very unrealistic.

I just looked up at the bulletin board above my computer and noticed the picture of me and my first sponsor (now drunk) taken in 1986 or 1987. It was at a 4th of July party where we managed to set her roof on fire with fireworks. At that time, she was married to a millionaire, so this was quite the house. We managed to get the fire out and I don't believe he ever found out about it. In the picture, we have our arms around each others' shoulders, we are both sunburned, wearing sundresses, smiling for the camera. We laughingly called this photo "the geek sisters". I don't really remember why. It makes me want to cry to think about how much I miss my friend.

OK. I will stop now. I am tired and haven't eaten dinner... It is 8:00 p.m., and way too late for me to not have eaten. My blood sugar is probably dangerouly low which is not a good thing for this body.

Thanks to anyone who has stopped by and read this.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Sunday Morning Hike

View of the front range of the Rocky Mountains from Green Mountain

View of Red Rocks Amphitheater from Green Mountain, Colorado
What the heck has this got to do with being sober? Everything. Today, on a Sunday morning, I woke up with energy and happiness enough to head outdoors and take a beautiful hike. It is a nice hike - only 2 minutes from my driveway to the mountain - and it doesn't feel intimidating on a Sunday morning. I have gone up there on week days when I have been alone and that is not the best feeling. I came around a bend once and came face to face with a big deer. Now, I know that deer aren't dangerous, but that rack looked very impressive when I was alone with this creature on a mountain.
I am a 53 year year old woman who likes to hike, bike, run, and swim for fun. For a really great time each summer I participate in a triathlon! When I was 32 years old I was a dying alcoholic. What a miracle that I get to live a healthy life today. Of course, when I came to AA, living a healthy life was not really high on my list of priorities. I just wanted to stop feeling the horrible way I felt.
But what I have gotten from Alcoholics Anonymous has been beyond my wildest expectations.
All I did was follow a few simple instructions:
Don't drink
Don't think
Go to meetings
Read the big book
Get a sponsor.
And most of all: Keep Coming Back.
As always, I welcome your comments....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Thank you

I want to thank the couple of people who posted comments and encouraged me to keep going with this. One of them is already sober (thank God!) and one is trying to get sober and doesn't want to go to AA. I tried that route for nearly 3 years before I got sober. It was so incredibly painful. Every day I would swear that it was my last day of drinking and the next day I would be drunk again.

I knew I had plenty of will power. I could do just about anything I set my mind to. I could run 5 miles at 7,000 feet altitude with a hangover most mornings for God's sake! But for some reason (which I know a little bit more about now), I could absolutely not stop drinking. Or I could stop for a day or two and then be so elated with my success, I would need a drink to celebrate because surely I had this thing conquered! And then the cycle started all over again.

I finally called AA on the morning of July 24, 1984. I am humbled to say that I have not had a drink since that day. What a miracle. I don't say that I am a miracle... the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is the miracle. I am the blessed recipient of the miracle.

If you are new, keep coming back. If you don't know what to do, try it out. Give AA a call, or go to a meeting. There are no pledges to take, no papers to sign, no money to pay (other than throwing a dollar in the basket - if you want), there is no one in charge, it is a true democracy.

I just wish everyone could find what I have found in this program. My sobriety hasn't always been pretty, but it has always been real.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Feedback, please.

I am posting on this thing... the count of people who have viewed my profile continues to increase. And yet, I know of only one person who reads this. I don't know what the point is.

I would like to think that someone with a problem with alcohol would stumble across this and discover that there is Alcoholics Anonymous and that there is recovery from alcoholism. And that recovery from alcoholism is a wonderful thing. It is exciting, joyous, peaceful... really you could describe it with just about any adjective. When I was new, they told me that you could find anything you wanted in AA and I do believe that.

Someone sober as long as I am probably isn't the best person to have a blog about sobriety. A person newer in sobriety would probably be a lot more motivated to write a lot more and really do something with this.

Anyway, I am pleading for feedback. If you have read this and have any thoughts, please post them. Thank you in advance for that!