Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wednesday Morning

The sunrise is red/orange this morning. I hope that means what I have been taught it means... Red Sky in the Morning, Sailor take Warning. I would love to see some snow. There has been snow all around Denver, but not IN Denver.

I have back to back meetings all day today at work. I might have a long enough break at lunch time to get to the pool - swim laps, and then shower, dress, and re-do my hair. Maybe not.

Maybe I will quickly run to Target to get my granddaughters the Cabbage Patch Kids I am dying to buy for Christmas. Why am I DYING to buy a couple of ugly ass dolls? Because my daughters wanted them so bad when they were little, and I couldn't afford to buy them then. It brings me great joy to purchase things for my little grandbabies.

Incredibly grateful that I have two granddaughters who have never seen their grandmother drunk. They have never had to gingerly walk up and try to smell the breath for that gasoline odor that predicts big trouble ahead. Oh Thank GOD!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Feeling Good, Feeling Fine, How are you?

I guess if I keep saying how thrilled and grateful I am to have readers I will become boring and the readers will go away....

I feel I have to update my post on HALT. I said that I had seriously considered smoking cigarettes. I did not smoke any cigarettes. I didn't buy any, I didn't mooch any, I am not planning to. I don't really want to smoke. I was having a bad week and feeling a bit sorry for myself and the lying part of my mind that is out to get me started telling me "what difference would it make? You can't work out anyway. Maybe you would lose some weight. Maybe you would actually take breaks at work.... etc., etc." All pure crap, and I knew it. It was amazing to me that I would even consider such a thing. But I can be grateful for that today because I didn't need to act on it. I could just say "Wow.... this is stupid." And be grateful that I wasn't romancing a drink the way I was romancing a cigarette. But I took it as a warning sign.

In the last 2 years, I have trained for and finished two triathlons. I just can't even believe this is me saying that. I am going to be 54 years old on December 15. I smoked 2 packs a day for 25 years. I drank like a fish until I was 32 years old. I sat in bars and drank and smoked and for a very long time I thought that was the only way to live.

In 1999, at 15 years of sobriety, I had surgery on my neck. In technical terms, an anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion of C3-4 and C4-5. After that, I never thought I would do much of anything athletic again.

In 2003, I had a horrible break up with the man I wanted to marry. He was a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous when we met. After a year together, he started to drink again. For almost a year, he would get sober for a while and then drink again. I had hope every time that he would really get sober. When he showed up at my house drunk and I couldn't get him to leave for 2 days, it was truly over. That weekend I started running. I thought if I didn't do something drastic, I would just die. By August 2004, I actually completed a triathlon. It was so wonderful. In July 2005, I completed another triathlon and got my 26 year old daughter to do it with me!

On August 19, 2005 (two years to the day that the man showed up at my house drunk), I had a pretty bad bike accident and broke a rib. That rib has not wanted to heal and I haven't been able to do much of anything. It has been really hard for me to just sit still and not DO something, but I think I had something to learn.

Just in the last week, I have started swimming and running again. I am so grateful for this. In my first 7 years of sobriety, I drank coffee and smoked cigarettes all day long. I think it was important for me to do that. But now I feel it is important for me to do something else. I am so very grateful that I can.

Thanks for listening to this rambling old thing...


I am so pleased by having readers and comments! I guess it is like the couple of times I have sat in the meeting place - me and the big book - and no other drunks. It is not all that fun. But when the other drunks show up it is magic. The fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous is unlike any other I have ever known. It is wonderful. Thank you to all of you who have been so kind to leave comments.

It is 5:00 a.m. in Denver. It is 21 degrees outside. I am not going to go out and run because I just can't deal with that kind of cold right now. It has been so warm here I am not used to the cold yet. I am going to go to the gym and run on the treadmill... and then go to work. I better get going!

Monday, November 28, 2005

What Excitement!

My blog has been found by another recovering alcoholic,
Trudging, who referred to me in her blog - and I have had some visitors and commenters. This is incredibly exciting to me.

Tonight my sponsee came over as she does on Monday nights. We went through the 6th and 7th steps. What a wonderful way to spend an evening after a long day at work. I am so grateful that this woman is in my life. She came over for Thanksgiving dinner with another AA member. We had a lovely time.

My sponsor is stuck in Nebraska due to weather. I hope she and her husband will be able to get home tomorrow. It is so windy and cold outside, but hard to think about the snow on the plains when it is dry here in Denver.

Thanks to all the commenters. It really has made my day!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Saturday Morning

This is the third time I have titled a post "Saturday Morning." I love Saturday Morning. I went to a 6:30 a.m. meeting this morning. It was nice. There was a man who was celebrating 6 months of sobriety. There were also two men who were celebrating 15 years of sobriety. It was cool to listen to their stories. They were so similar even though they wouldn't meet each other until they were sober.

There they both were, the day before Thanksgiving, 1990. They both got drunk. Nothing unusual about that for either of them. One got back to work and found a note from a co-worker that brought him to tears and got him to check into a treatment center. The other one woke up the next morning not knowing how he got home, but knowing that he drove. Nothing unusual about that either, but for some reason, that was the last time he did that.

They both ended up in the same home group. It is a good group. 6:30 a.m. is a great time for an AA meeting. Most everyone has just woken up, showered, dressed and hopped in their car to drive to the meeting. Most everyone still smells good. Most everyone has not yet gotten into any problems with anyone. The day is ahead. Nothing but possibilities. A blank slate. A good thing. Saturday particularly so.

I have been awake since 3:30 a.m., so it is about time for my nap. And I gotta love a day when I can take a nap!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Another Alcoholic Legacy

This man is George Best. He died this morning. He was a stellar footballer... aka soccer player. He was unfortunately also an alcoholic. How sad that this awful disease claims another beautiful person.

Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

These are things a recovering alcoholic should avoid. Never get too
You see? It spells HALT. And when I get too much of any of these things, I need to halt and back up and take care of myself.

Tonight? I am not hungry - quite the opposite. I am not angry. I am a bit lonely - being single sometimes seems like an impossible thing for a woman married most of her adult life. I am extremely tired and I think therein lies the problem.

I didn't go out tonight because I am tired. I would have liked to go to a meeting and get out amoungst 'em. Be with other alcoholics and get out of myself. However, I came home because I am extremely tired and have vowed to take it easy this weekend.

I often jokingly refer to myself as "high maintenance." It is a joke because that doesn't mean I need bling or manolos or jaguars or expensive nights on the town. It means I need a lot of sleep. Regular meals - of a nutritious nature - not too much white stuff (flour, sugar, etc.) I need to exercise regularly. I need to have at least an hour a day alone to get centered. I need to have conversations with people. I need contact with other alcoholics. I need regular AA meetings. I need to spend time each morning in quiet meditation. This is a lot to need. But the price to pay if I am not getting these things could be my very life.

This week I have actually considered smoking cigarettes. It has been 14 years since I have smoked. I smoked 2 packs a day for 25 years. The fact that I haven't smoked for 14 years is incredible. But, intellectually, this week it has seemed like it might be a viable option. I am stressed out. I am gaining a bit of weight (since I can't run due to injuries), my work is crazy. Wouldn't a ciggie break every now and then be nice?

Probably not!

Perhaps by the end of the weekend, I will have regrouped to the point where I see the insanity of what I have just written. Intellectually, I know it is insane. But somehow it makes sense.

Monday, November 21, 2005

What is an alcoholic?

This is from Alcoholics Anonymous, p. xxvi, 'The Doctor's Opinion':

"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."

Sunday, November 20, 2005


I asked this before. Comments PLEASE! And a couple of you obliged. And I was encouraged to keep going. It was nice.

I see that people visit and that makes me happy. I keep posting for them. However, I would sure like to hear from someone.

So, today: I am about to plant myself on my sofa and watch football games on TV. I went to a meeting this morning. It was wonderful. It was a meeting of my old homegroup, so I got to see some folks who just make my heart happy.

I wasn't always so sappy. I used to have problems all the time. I used to be mad at people almost all the time. I am very grateful that my life is not like that today. Not that it is perfect, it is far from that, but I am not in a state of agitation and anger most of the time.

Comments? (please?)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blind Alcoholics Appropriately Leading the Blind Alcoholics

I am still on the same topic I wrote about earlier today. I am disturbed by my friend's approach to getting sober. He is sober 90 days - which is wonderful - but instead of hanging around with others who are sober 90 days, 60 days, 30 days, 1 year, etc.... he is hanging around with folks with 20+ years of sobriety.

I am so so so so fortunate that when I got sober, my homegroup was based at a club. It was a club with a terrible reputation. The people with one or two years of sobriety were the senior statesmen. We were all new and we were all crazy. We were all in the same boat. On the occassion when someone with more than a couple of years came to a meeting there, we listened with all the earnestness we could muster, but we still hung out with each other.

This group had a terrible reputation because there was no "good" sobriety there. There was no "long term" sobriety there. We were all newcomers and our behavior was not always (always? ha! it was virtually NEVER) exemplary!

But I must say, that these days when I get across town to the current incarnation of my old home group, those same people are sitting there. They have gray hair and wrinkles, they are talking about their grandchildren and their retirement accounts. Most of them have stayed sober since those crazy days in the 80s when we were all getting sober together. In the same boat. The Blind Leading the Blind... appropriately.

Those oldsters I later came to know and love are now mostly all dead. Thank God I have some peers to still hang out with.


A friend in AA called me this morning. We had a lovely conversation - each of us on our way to work - on our cell phones. This young man is sober 90 days.

He was expressing dismay at the failings of several AA members who are sober for a long time. I tried to talk to him about "the sin of hating sinners," but I don't think he heard what I was saying.

Gosh, as a person (fully human, fully fallible) who is sober 21+ years, it is scary to hear this kind of talk. As AA members, we are alcoholics. As alcoholics, we are ALL one drink away from a drunk. None of us is sober on yesterday's sobriety. None of us.

Some days are good and some days not so good. I may not look like a person who has anything someone else wants some days. And then some days are stellar!

The good news is that even on bad days, I don't have to pick up a drink. My friend said he wanted more than that - he wants full recovery. I agree... that is wonderful. However, the most important component of recovery is to not drink.

In order to not drink, I need to not get too caught up in others failings... no matter who they are. It sounds kind of circular, doesn't it? But it isn't.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gratitude Month

November tends to be Gratitude Month in AA. The Thanksgiving holiday is just a natural for AA members who always try to be cognizant of the gifts of each day. Now, living one day at a time, I am aware that it is not Thanksgiving today, but I am greatly looking forward to it.

My friend is coming through town tomorrow and I am so sad that I can't get away from work to see him. I think it has been about 10 years since I have seen him. We were very close at one time. He took me through the big book at a time when I needed help desperately. I now share that with others. What we give in AA never stops giving to untold others. It is a chain that is wonderful.

I like to think of it as a rope. I am just one little fiber among 2 million fibers, and together we make a strong, unbreakable rope. Each of us alone is just a tiny and weak piece.

Thanks and love to all those current and future fibers of Alcoholics Anonymous!

Friday, November 04, 2005

My Big Book

Isn't that beautiful?
That is the big book given to me on July 24, 1984, after my first meeting. It has been well-used, well-worn, and well-loved. It has made me quite a bit weller than I was in 1984. And I thank God and the fellowhip of Alcoholics Anonymous that I have not had a drink since that July day in 1984.

My dear old friend who took me through the big book for the first time has been in touch. I gave him the address of this blog, I hope he visits. I really hope he leaves a comment...