Sunday, December 31, 2006

My friend Merle

Died last night. I went to the meeting this morning to see who I would see and they were all crying. What a wonderful meeting though. There was so much sadness, but what a tribute to a life well-lived. A sober life. He touched a lot of people in his many years of sobriety. I think he was sober 30 + years, but I am not absolutely certain. I do know he had a lot more time than I do.

He had just come home from a trip to the east coast with his girlfriend - another long term member of AA. He went to the bathroom at the airport and simply died there. She was at the meeting this morning and is surrounded by the fellowship. We went to breakfast and filled up an entire section of the restaurant... and sat there all morning.

I am sad but full of hope. A sober life is a good life. We touch so many people as long as we are active in AA. It is a wonderful thing. I am so grateful I got to that meeting this morning.

I decided to post this today because I just need to write about this now.

"In this Fellowship we begin to learn right relations with people who understand us; we don't have to be alone any more." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 117 (as quoted in As Bill Sees It)

Day for an Annual Tenth Step?

This is a picture from the park where I took a very slow 3 mile run yesterday. It was such a beautiful day - the sun came out and melted a little bit of snow. It was so good to see the sun again.

Today I will do some reflection on where I have been in 2006. Both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It has been a good year, although a bit challenging. I feel very grateful to be in a very different place spiritually than I was a year ago. I still have a long way to go, but with the grace and help of a loving God, I am sure I will get exactly where I am supposed to be.

I think it is probably telling that the only goal for 2007 that immediately comes to mind is that I want to run a half-marathon. This latest injury is going to have to heal before that happens. I will spend some time today considering what else I would like to strive towards.

Thank you sober bloggers. You have added immensely to my sobriety. I am grateful for each and every one of you. And now I shall head out to the 7:30 a.m. meeting across town, and see who I run into there! It is always fun.

"Must AAs spend most of their waking hours drearily rehashing their sins of omission or commission? Well, hardly. The emphasis on inventory is heavy only because a great many of us have never really acquired the habit of accurate self-appraisal. Once this healthy practice has become grooved, it will be so interesting and profitable that the time it takes won't be missed." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 89

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Plowing out

Two plows came through my little neighborhood last night at about 8:00. We all emerged from our garages with shovels in hand, happy to shovel out the five foot bank of snow and ice from the ends of our driveways. It was a lot harder than we thought it would be. But I am so so so excited to be heading out of here to a meeting this morning.

I am going to an AA meeting!!!! I am so freaking excited!!! I will see a bunch of people I love and hear about how they have weathered the storm. I talked to a few of them on the phone yesterday, but that just doesn't take the place of a real AA meeting.

Have a happy Saturday everyone.

"Such is the paradox of AA regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old life as a condition for finding a new one." -- AA Comes of Age, p. 46

Friday, December 29, 2006


This may be the best $30. I have spent in years. These things strap on the bottoms of your shoes and are like tire chains for your feet. Yesterday I was able to walk around on snow and ice - just like it was dry pavement! Thank God! I purchased them yesterday when the snow started falling and I got the last pair in the store.

This is a picture I took through my window last night. The amount of snow we have is just ridiculous. I could post picture after picture, but frankly, they get a little boring after a while. It is not supposed to stop snowing until Sunday. I don't have to work, by decree of the Governor, again today.

I am so grateful that I have a nice warm house to stay in. I was able to get enough food to get me through. I might run out of milk, but for a middle-aged woman who lives alone, that is not exactly a tragedy. I have wonderful neighbors and we really help each other. I spent 3 hours shoveling snow last night - and I am waiting for the Motrin to kick in now before I get back out there and shovel what has fallen over night. Last night when I wasn't shoveling, I was on the phone. My phone kept ringing and ringing. I love that! Well, I should clarify - I love it when it is friends and family (and former boyfriends) calling.

This is a storm unlike anything I have ever seen. And please keep in mind that I have lived in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Chicago, and the last 25 years in Colorado. Not exactly the sunbelt! I don't expect to get my car out of here for days. Thank GOD I can walk with my little YakTrax strapped to my boots! If I go completely stir crazy, I can walk around the neighborhood or to the nearby gas station (if they are open.)

"Service, gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted or solved with God's help, the knowledge that at home or in the world outside we are partners in a common effort, the well-understood fact that in God's sight all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given surely brings a full return, the certainty that we are no longer isolated and alone in self-constructed prisons, the surety that we need no longer be square pegs in round holes but can fit and belong in God's scheme of things -- these are the permanent and legitimate satisfactions of right living for which no amount of pomp and circumstances, no heap of material possessions, could possible be substitutes. True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 124- 125

Thursday, December 28, 2006

God grant me the serenity...

to accept the snow I cannot change.
Blogger is retarded today, so I am not even going to post the picture I have for today. We are expecting 2 more snowstorms in the next 2 days here in lovely Denver. We still have streets that are virtually impassable from the last storm - including the one on which I live.

Last night I went to the grocery store to get some much needed food in my house. I got one of the last cartons of eggs, there were a couple of gallons of milk, but no half gallons, no potatoes, they had none of my brand of soda, and the whole place was mobbed. And as I write this, the reporter on the television playing in the background is telling folks to get to the grocery store to lay in supplies to get through the weekend. This could get ugly. It got real ugly before Christmas when there was no meat, no vegetables, etc. on the shelves anywhere in town. I managed to find a grocery store at 5:00 a.m. on Saturday that still had meat. Looking at empty shelves reminded me of how spoiled we are here in the good old US of A. We don't even understand not being able to get what we want when we want it.

I am heading in to work now. I am packing a bag in case I get stuck there. I really plan on beating it the hell out of there if it starts to look threatening though.

I have a party to attend tonight. My friend Robert has enough food for 60 people, and if it snows like it is supposed to, it is likely that very few will even come to his party. I feel so bad for him, because when Robert throws a party, he doesn't kid around.

"When I am feeling depressed, I repeat to myself statements such as these: 'Pain is the touchstone of progress.' ... 'Fear no evil.'... 'This, too, will pass.' ... 'This experience can be turned to benefit.' These fragments of prayer bring far more than mere comfort. They keep me on the track of right acceptance; they break up my compulsive themes of guilt, depression, rebellion, and pride; and sometimes they endow me withthe courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 148

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


My favorite President died yesterday. I loved him because he never aspired to be President of the United States. It was a strange fluke of history that landed him in that office, and I think his humility was something to indeed aspire to. And that is as close as I will ever get to spouting politics on this blog.

Last Wednesday, a week ago today, on December 20, while shoveling snow, I fell in my driveway. I fell directly on my butt (and as my former boyfriend said when I told him this "That is a small target"). Which is not good because it feels like I fell directly onto my tailbone. I have been assured by folks who HAVE broken their tailbone that mine is not broken - but it hurts like hell. Yesterday someone laughed at me when I said I was worried I broke my tailbone because it hurt when I ran 3 miles on Monday and 2 miles yesterday. And, for the record, I think it was the Pride of posting the picture of my puffed up bosom and three triathlon medals on December 14 that came before this Fall.

I am madly trying to get all my CEs (continuing education) for one of my professional credentials that is due for renewal on 12/31/06. Thank God for the electronic age - I can do all this online. It is just ungodly expensive and time consuming. I am also grateful that I have time to do it this week. But I wonder why on earth I wait until the last week to do most of it when I had two years to get it done.

Lately I feel like I just need to shut my mouth in meetings - I look at others with over 20 years of sobriety and they have their little rehearsed speeches - and never share anything about themselves. Maybe I should do that? I know it is wrong, but it would be nice to "look good" for a while. Wouldn't it be nice to just focus on YOU and what YOU should be doing - and fail to mention the log in my own eye? I won't do this, but I have just been thinking about it lately and since I am confessing...

This blog had its 15,000th visitor last night. It is someone from Chicago, and I don't know who they are or how they got here. I spend WAY too much time looking at my site meter. I think it is infinitely interesting.

I love you sober bloggers. I love you sober readers. Willa is a sober reader who has over 300 days now. I wish she would get a blog so that I could visit it! She makes my day every time she leaves a comment and lets me know how many days she has.

This is a wonderful program of hours and days. I thank God for each and every one of them, and every one of you!

"I don't think happiness or unhappiness is the point. How do we meet the problems we face? How do we best learn from them and transmit what we have learned to others, if they would receive the knowledge?" -- As Bill Sees It, p. 306

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

I am super happy to be heading back to the gym this morning, then back to work. I hope to have a salad for lunch. I hope to get back to some austerity. I have had it with the wretched excess that Christmas ends up being - if you socialize at all.... which, thank God, I do today.

I took the picture above at the park where I "ran" yesterday. I put the "run" in "quotes" because you can see what I was "running" on, it was hazardous! I went 10 days without running and yesterday afternoon, I just couldn't take it anymore. I went to the park and managed to log 3 very slow miles. While trying to get around someone on the trail, we both looked up and realized we knew each other! I ran into an AA friend on the trail! We talked for a minute, and when I walked away I thought about our conversation and realized he is drinking. That is so sad because he is such a neat young man. I talked to his sponsor last night and he confirmed that this wonderful young man IS drinking again. I will pray that he finds his way back to the rooms.

I had a very nice Christmas. It is wonderful to have small children around on Christmas. It is wonderful to have a church to go to on Christmas. It is wonderful to be able to hit a 6:30 a.m. meeting on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Morning - and a 5:30 p.m. meeting on Christmas Day. It is wonderful to have the phone ring so many times, because there are people who care enough to call me.

Well, I am heading out of here now to the gym... I will enjoy it now because I have to avoid that place for the first 6 weeks of the year - with all the "resolutioners". I always wish them the best and I am glad they are there, but they sure do crowd up the place and then they vanish after the middle of February.

"We did not always come closer to wisdom by reason of our virtues; our better understanding is often rooted in the pains of our former follies. Because this has been the essence of our individual experience, itis also the essence of our experience as a fellowship." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 31

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas Everybody. I am enjoying a day full of family - thank God. My daughter called yesterday and asked if she and the little one could spend the night with me. It was nice to hide the presents and see the lights of the Christmas tree reflected in the eyes of a three year old. The rest of the family will be over at about noon. Madeline was asking me, person by person, is Auntie coming? yes. Is Sister coming? yes. Will mama be here? yes. I nearly cried when she asked if Uncle is coming. No, he is far away in a war. But he did call yesterday and he sounds good.

Yesterday the phone rang so many times. So many people in AA were calling, just to check in, just to say hello, just to talk. It was really heart-warming. The old b.f. called too and that was nice.

God Bless all my sober blogging buddies. I hope you all have just the kind of Christmas you want - even if it is that you don't want one at all.

"When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that: I am responsible." -- Declaration of the 30th Anniversary International Convention, 1965

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Out a here...

It is approximately 5 a.m., and I am heading out the door to the grocery store. I hope to purchase my a nice roast for our roast beef and yorkshire pudding dinner tomorrow.

It is wacked to be in the Denver area right now in the aftermath of that massive blizzard. Last night at the 5:30 meeting there were so many stories of people who hadn't been to a meeting for a week (like me) and who had lost their peace of mind on the roads yesterday (like me) and who didn't have their Christmas shopping done (like me), but were grateful to be sitting in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (like me.) I could detail the fiascos of yesterday, but what is the point?

So I am heading to the grocery store now, hopefully before the herds show up, and then I am heading to a 6:30 meeting. Thank God for Alcoholics Anonymous.

"This is the how and the why of it. First of all, we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the Principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62

Friday, December 22, 2006

Getting on with life, I hope..

I hope to get out of here today. I hope to get to work. I would like to kiss my desk when I get there. I hope to get to an AA meeting tonight. I have not driven my car since Monday morning. I have not worked since last Thursday. I have not run since last Friday. I have not been to an AA meeting since Saturday.

All of this time away from everything has given me some perspective on my life. I really like my life. I really like my job, I really like my AA meetings, I really love running and I am so grateful that I am able to do all of this. Running may still have to wait a day or two because I am still not 100% physically.

When I told my story last week, my new friend Gemma was there, and we talked on Sunday. She had no idea the kind of wreckage I had come from. She was so amazed that I was able to go from total destitution and homelessness (at 9 years of sobriety) to getting an entry level job, starting college at 43, and having a masters degree by the time I was 50. I now have a management job, a nice home, etc. Of course, she said what so many say to me - "you don't give yourself enough credit." It is all wonderful, and I am so grateful that I was able to do that. But no matter what, the most important thing today is that I am sober, and have a relationship with God.

I am grateful, grateful, grateful.

"Today there is absolutely nothing in the world more important to me than keeping this alcoholic sober; not taking a drink is by far the most important thing I do each day." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 415

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Digging out

I shoveled last night - and still there was an additional 18 inches that fell over night.
My neighbor, God bless her, came over and helped me dig out.
Look at my trash cans - buried under feet of snow.
I never saw such a pile of snow!
Finally got it done.
Front Porch now.

So much snow.

It's almost spooky out there. It is totally silent and everything is shrouded with several feet of snow. I got an e-mail from the Governor asking me not to go to work. Well, I guess I can comply with a request like that! It has been a week since I have been to work now, and I am really anxious to get back though. Really.

I almost finished the last pair of socks for Christmas presents (see HNT) but ran out of yarn. It will be days before I will be able to get more yarn. I have not run for 6 days now. I don't even know if I will be able to get out of here tomorrow. Thank God I did that little bit of Christmas shopping on Tuesday night, because the little ones have their pressies under the tree, and that is the important thing.

I have not been to a meeting since Saturday and I really would dearly love to go to a meeting. I have been on the phone a lot with my AA friends. We are all homebound. When I was new in AA, I would spend hours each day on the phone with my AA buddies. I think about ten years ago this really changed when I got my first computer and internet access. Suddenly we were e-mailing. I think I prefer the phone or face to face. Maybe it is just because that is how it was when I was new. I don't know.

I am so grateful to have a warm home, plenty of food, all that I need. Especially that I have friends and family who care about me and my welfare. I am grateful to be part of this wonderful sober blogging community, thank you all.

"The lone member at sea, the AA at war in a far land - all these members know that they belong to AA's world-wide community, that theirs is only a physical separation, that their fellows may be as near as the next port of call. Every so importantly, they are certain that God's grace is just as much with them on the high seas or the lonely outpost as it is with them at home." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 9

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

@ noon...

My little street, and a couple of neighbors shoveling snow.

This poor little tree - so overburdened with snow. (I knocked it off, after I took the picture.)

Thank God for the telephone and my friends in Alcoholics Anonymous.

My bedroom window... at about 2:30 p.m.

The "view".

at 5:00 p.m.

It's nice and cozy inside...

Blizzard! and oh, and I think I am going to live...

View from the front porch this morning. The snow is really coming down. It is technically a blizzard since the wind is blowing. We are supposed to get up to 20 inches of snow today. As you can see, there are a couple of inches now, but it is blowing around, so there are the beginnings of drifts around. Expect more pictures...

I am still not well. I am still not going to work today because I would not appreciate me coming to work if I were someone else. I am totally socially unacceptable with dripping snot and sickeningly "productive" coughing. But I feel so much better! Yesterday I really thought for a couple of hours that I might have pneumonia and might be dying. Yes, I am an alcoholic, and yes, I have quite the natural flair for drama, but MAN, I was SICK.

Yesterday afternoon my daughter came over and brought me some herbal cold remedy. I talked her into taking me to Target to do some quick Christmas shopping for my granddaughters. In less than an hour, I got enough stuff to put under my tree so it looks like a certain jolly old elf (from the North Pole, or Montana, or wherever) took note of my beautiful Olivia and Madeline.

I am so grateful to be among the living again. I am still sitting in my jammies, I am still sick and disgusting, leaving trails of kleenex, etc., I haven't washed my hair since Saturday, I haven't run since Friday - BUT! I am having a cup of coffee for the first time in days, I am looking forward to being myself again, I have a Christmas tree with gifts for the children underneath, I have friends in AA who have called me to check on me and offered their help, it is a real, honest to goodness blizzard out there, and I don't have to go out in it.

"Regardless of worldy success or failure, regardless of pain or joy, regardless of sickness or health or even of death itself, a new life of endless possibilities can be lived if we are willing to continue our awakening, through the practice of AA's Twelve Steps." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 8

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Too Sick

I am only posting because I don't want anyone to worry needlessly about me. I am still sick as sh**.

I have a fever, so I probably don't make sense, but the one thing I have to say is "I miss myself." I want to be the me I see the evidence of all over this place. The me who leaves coffee cups with lipstick on the rims, the me who has running shoes by the bed - with the cutest little socks you ever saw, the me who runs through this place like a tornado - always in a hurry, always running late. This is now my fourth day without running. I wouldn't even consider going outside and walking right now. In fact, I think I might should go to the doctor, but I have not got the strength to do that. I feel BAD.

I am going back to bed. Thanks for all of your well-wishes. You guys and gals are wonderful.

When we became alcoholics, crushed by a self-imposed crisis we could not postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. God either is, or He isn't. What was our choice to be?" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p.53

Monday, December 18, 2006

Still Sick

I just woke up. The wheezing was so bad last night, at one point I was wondering how the birds were singing in the middle of the night in the middle of the winter - but it was me. This is my third day without running. I hope it is not many more days, I miss it terribly and will lose fitness.

Last night, instead of going to the meeting and spreading germs, I got on the phone with AA friends. It was remarkable to me that the people who are sober a few years are busy complaining about traffic, prices, other people's behavior - while my friends who have been sober 30 years or so, just wanted to talk about how wonderful life is. I would have to say that I am somewhere in the middle of this equation, but hoping to get closer to the 30 year behavior some day. I guess I can make a conscious effort towards this by just trying to focus on what's good instead of what's bad!

"If we examine every disturbance we have, great or small, we will find at the root of it some unhealthy dependency and its consequent unhealthy demand. Let us, with God's help, continually surrender these hobbling liabilities. Then we can be set free to live and love; we may then be able to twelfth-step ourselves, as well as others, into emotional sobriety." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 288

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Sick Sunday Morning

Oh my goodness. It seems like a very very long time since I have been this sick. My brain doesn't even feel engaged. I feel foggy and weird and I want to be myself again! I am not even THINKING of running today, and didn't yesterday either.

I felt pretty sick last night when I was trying to talk, I felt pretty spacey and discombobulated. It was so special that Motorcycle Mike and his lovely wife were there. They are such neat people, I am so glad that I have gotten to meet them through this blog.

I am going to meet my friend Gemma at church this morning and then we are having a pancake breakfast at the church. After that, I shall come home and plant my sick butt on the sofa and watch football. Can the Broncos really lose 5 games in a row after such a stellar start to the season?

"The foundation stone of freedom from fear is that of faith: a faith that, despite all worldly appearances to the contrary, causes me to believe that I live in a universe that makes sense. To me, this means a belief in a Creator who is all power, justice, and love; a God who intends for me a purpose, a meaning, and a destiny to grow, however little and haltingly, toward His own likeness and image. Before the coming of faith I had lived as an alien in a cosmos that too often seemed both hostile and cruel. In it there could be no inner security for me." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 51

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday Morning

I am sick. I have bronchitis. I could not get up to get to the meeting this morning. It is after 8 a.m., and I am sitting here in my flannel jammies, drinking some coffee, trying to get ready to get out of here. I still have Christmas shopping to do, to mail a package to New York in time for Christmas - I think I have to do that today!

My birthday was wonderful yesterday. It was good to tell my story - although I found 20 minutes a very short amount of time. (Tonight I will have an hour to tell it.) Even though I was sick, I did go to the lake and run 5.5 miles - that was so important to me. I am glad I did it. I went and got a manicure for a little birthday treat, and came home and made cheesecake for dessert for the family. The family came over and it was great fun. We ordered pizza because I was too sick to do anything else last night. My son was able to call me on my birthday which meant a lot to me. All three of my brothers called and so did my sister. So I heard from really all of my close relatives. The former boyfriend called last night too - I am not sure why he has called me 2X in the last week.

I am so grateful for the life I have today. It may not be perfect, but it is so incredibly wonderful - not for opulence or worldly success or even a studly man by my side - but for peace of mind, and the feeling that I am on the right path. I looked at the people in that room yesterday as I was speaking and was overwhelmed with love for them. I looked over at C., who drove me home from the hospital after my surgery in 1999, and helped me move in 1995, and 1998, at H., who wrapped a little birthday present for me yesterday, at L., who with C. and I tried to climb a 14er back in 1998 - I was the one who couldn't make it past 13,000 feet, but they all headed back down with me because that was the deal. I saw M. who spent a day in my crawl space back in the day, fixing a pipe that had exploded. I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. And this is the group I started attending when I had 10 years of sobriety, so I have always thought of it as recent history. I think I realized yesterday that I have a deep history with this group as well as my old home group.

That is the stuff that makes my life worthwhile.

Thank you Alcoholics Anonymous.

"Still you may say ' But I will not have the benefit of contact with you who write this book.' We cannot be sure. God will determine that, so you must remember that your real reliance is always upon Him. He will show you how to create the fellowship you crave." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164

Friday, December 15, 2006


Fifty-five years ago today, a little girl was born, the youngest of five children. She was a cute little thing, but she didn't know it. She was a bright little girl, but she didn't know that either. Because of a disease that she didn't even know she had (alcoholism), she suffered from never feeling like she was good enough, never felt that she fit in, never felt she belonged - anywhere.

Thank God I drank enough to get desperate enough to get to Alcoholics Anonymous - where I knew immediately that I belonged. I realized I was good enough for AA, I fit right in, and I had found my home. Through finding my home in AA, I was able to venture out in the world, knowing that those former beliefs were just self-centered nonsense. When that crap tries to start back up, which it does, I just remind myself that it is ego driven bullshit and ask God to help me - which he never fails to do.

This morning, I realize that I have been sober for 40% of my entire life. I intend, with the help of God, to increase that ratio every year until they plant my sober old remains in the ground.

Today I join another age group in many ways. I can get a cheap breakfast at Perkins (which I may do once or twice a decade.) I am 5 years into eligibility for AARP (which I refuse to join.) BUT the important thing is that I am in a different age group for races! I hope that I may actually start placing in races since my belief is that the competition will thin out. We shall see.

This morning, after speaking at an AA meeting at 6:30 a.m., I am going to go to a nearby lake and run 5.5 miles. One mile for each decade of my life. I did the same when I was 30, I ran 3 miles, and I thought it was huge. I am thrilled to be able to do this.

God has so abundantly blessed me. And one of those blessings is you sober bloggers. Thank you so much for what you add to my sobriety - it is considerable.

"We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves. We are in the world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Some things...

Of which I am a bit too proud. I don't feel well this morning and I have no creativity at all. Could not think of one single creative / cute/ clever photo idea this morning, so I resorted to showing off.

I did go to the gym this morning and run 3.1 miles. I just can't not run right now even though my chest is on fire and I probably have a bit of a fever - but those freaking cookies yesterday MUST be burned off. Once I started eating sugar again, it was all over. That shit is evil.

Today I am going out for a Thai lunch which will be good. Then I need to leave work early for a Physical Therapy appointment, I will race from there to my 5:30 meeting. And I am off tomorrrow for my 55th birthday. Yikes.

"We have been talking about problems because we are problem people who have found a way up and out, and who wish to share our knowledge of that way with all who can use it. For it is only by accepting and solving our problems that we can begin to get right with ourselves and with the world about us, and with Him who presides over us all." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 125

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Slept Late

Wow. I didn't wake up until nearly 6:30 this morning. Which means I am not running today, which is OK since I have run 25 miles in the last week and have run 4 days in a row now. I had planned on taking tomorrow off, but I will let tomorrow tell me whether I will or not. I am taking a day of vacation on Friday so that I can run my 5.5 miles on my 55th birthday. When I agreed to speak at the 6:30 a.m. meeting I forgot about that plan to run - and it is so important to me that I decided to take the whole day off to run and enjoy my birthday.

How well I remember the first year I was sober. It was about this time of the year and I was telling someone that I was going to be 34. And then I thought about that and actually did the subtraction:
1984 - 1951 = 33
I had spent that entire year thinking I was 33 years old when I was only 32. I missed being 32 years old entirely. But I have to say that the second year of being 33 was infinitely better than the first because I was sober!

And I thought when I got to Alcoholics Anonymous that I was "nipping it in the bud," I was so delusional that it never occurred to me that drinking every day for 18 years was well beyond a "little" problem.

"When first challenged to admit defeat, most of us revolted. We had approached AA expectivng to be taught self-confidence. Then we had been told that so far as alcohol is concerned, self-confidence was no good whatever; in fact, it was a total liability." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 22

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dark Morning

It sure is dark out there! I will have to wait nearly an hour before it is light enough to run outside. I don't want to run on a treadmill this morning, I want to be outdoors. I don't know why I write about my running every day, but I do. JJ says I am killing her with all this running. I sure don't want to do that!

I also don't know why I feel compelled to write about Lindsay Lohan. And no, I am not even looking for a cheap way to get some blog hits. She is a beautiful, talented, train-wreck. I think she stands apart from those other shallow young women she has been hanging around with. If she is an alcoholic, which it looks like she is, and she gets to Alcoholics Anonymous, which apparently she has, she might have a hope of a brilliant life. BUT! Someone needs to tell her that she has not got a prayer if she is not anonymous about it. Anonymity is not just about protecting the person from other people knowing of their AA membership - it is about protecting the person from their own ego driven need to promote themselves. Look at ME! ME! ME! I am a member of AA! Listen to ME! Look at ME!

Alcoholics Anonymous is all about letting go of that self-centeredness. It is about becoming just one of the choir of hopeless drunks who have found a solution in AA. We cannot get well until we stop standing apart from and become a part of.

There are many famous people in AA who have kept their anonymity. And then there are those who haven't - we all know who they are - and they generally end up crashing and burning in very public ways. Years ago, I met a man at a meeting I was in awe of as a rock and roll legend. In an AA meeting, he was just an AA member. I talked to him after the meeting, just like I would anyone else. It was the neatest thing to just experience him as a fellow AA member. It is possible for a public figure to be anonymous, and I believe it is the only way they have any hope at all.

It is still dark outside and now it is windy too! I will get out and run anyway. So there!

"Anonymity is real humility at work. It is an all-pervading spiritual quality which today keynotes AA life everywhere. Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we try to give up our natural desires for personal distinction as AA members both among fellow alcoholics and before the general public. As we lay aside these very human aspirations, we believe that each of us takes part in the weaving of a protective mantle which covers our whole Society and under which we may grow and work in unity" -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 187

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday a.m.

Imagine killing time waiting for the gym to open at 5:00 a.m.! That is just crazy! But it is what I am doing right now. I went to sleep at 9 p.m., so I guess sleeping until 3:30 a.m. is really OK.

I ran 10 kilometers yesterday morning (6.2 miles). I am running probably too much, but I signed up for a couple of challenges on the Nike + iPod thing, and I am so incredibly competitive. I will try to cut back a little this week so that I can run my 5.5 miles on Friday, my 55th birthday, without too much pain.

The man of my summer romance called me last night. We talked for close to 2 hours. It was nice to hear from him, but sad too, to remember the wonderful times we had and how it ended. I do truly like this man. I confronted him about a few things last night and his response was what you frequently get from an alcoholic - "that's just the way I am."

"We had a new employer. He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Yesterday all of my plans changed. And that was a good thing. Last week someone posted a comment about me planning my days. It is easy to plan your days when there is no one else involved in them. When you have people in your life, your plans are apt to change, and that is a good thing.

So at the meeting yesterday morning, one of my friends was having a problem, so I asked her if she wanted to have breakfast with me. Yikes. Breakfast out is something I virtually NEVER do. It is my idea of a bad start to a day, but I had a friend in need, so I went. After a while, a bunch of other drunks showed up and we sat and laughed and had a great time. I told them that I didn't feel like putting up my Christmas tree, but felt I had to because of the granddaughters. Well, two of my old friends said they would come over and help me with it.

Last night, three of us decorated my Christmas tree. Oh, it was such fun. I have never done this with someone other than family, so it was so different, but just so much fun. I wanted a picture of all three of us in front of the tree, but I got a picture of two of them, and they took the above picture of me.

I got asked to speak at the Friday morning meeting this week. I tried to say no because I am also speaking on Saturday night... and this sounds like an overdose of Mary Christine. The friend who asked me to speak on Friday morning convinced me that they are two entirely separate groups, and therefore mostly different people. And I am only supposed to talk for 20 mins. on Friday - Saturday night I get the whole hour. hmmm.

"I may attain 'humility for today' only to the extent that I am able to avoid the bog of guilt and rebellion on one hand and, on the other hand, that fair but deceiving land which is strewn with the fool's-gold coins of pride. This is how I can find and stay on the highroad to humility, which lies between these extremes. Therefore, a constant inventory which can reveal when I am off the road is always in order." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 12

6 Weird Things About Me

I was tagged by Designer Girl and Lash to do this 6 Weird Thing thing. Where do I begin?

1. I love statistics and my mind works in ways that no matter what I do, I find a way to quantify it.

2. I have given birth to triplets (fertilization totally unaided) (see #1 above, the chances of this happening are 1/8,000).

3. I once killed a bear with a Buick.

4. Having been a flighty individual early in life (pre-sobriety), now I tend to stick to things long after anyone else would have stopped - sometimes I remind myself of a cock roach - the creature that will be left on earth long after everything else is extinct.

5. I won a bubble-gum blowing contest in my childhood.

6. I need "foot-freedom" - would rather be barefoot than anything. My feet have to stick outside of the blankets at night...

I tagged dAAve, JJ, Trudge, Scott W., Motorcycle Mike, and Diego. Only one of these hasn't been tagged before.... so I guess only one of them will be mad at me. 1/6 - not bad.
The Rules - Each player of this game starts with the 6 Weird Things About You. People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own 6 Weird Things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog!

I will post something else later....

Saturday, December 09, 2006


These seven socks represent seven weeks of me sitting in meetings knitting. I still have three socks yet to make for Christmas. The little ones are quick though. Yeah, I know they look kinda funky, but when you put them on, it is like a hug for your feet. I don't know why hand-knit socks are so special, so loving, but they are. Last year I gave a sponsee a pair for her birthday. She looked at me like I was nuts - but this year she is asking for another pair. I gave her a gift certificate for a pair in her choice of colors - she was happy about that.

I sure wish I could have slept last night, but I couldn't. I am glad it is Saturday and I can try to get all my work done this morning after the 6:30 a.m. meeting, and then take a nap this afternoon. I will head out to church tonight and tomorrow kick back and watch football. Maybe I will just skip watching the Broncos play though. It is upsetting - I care FAR too much about a silly game with a bunch of millionaires running around a field.

Yesterday morning I ran 5 miles and was late to work. The day before I ran 4 miles and was late to work. Today is Saturday and I am too physically tired to run. What is wrong with this picture?

I would rather not write this, but I am going to because I think it is important. Over the summer, I was paying my daughter's bills, buying them groceries, etc. Although I make plenty of money, I got behind on one of my bills. I have not been able to get it caught up. Last night, I got a nasty-gram from them. It was an awful feeling. It has been many years since I have faced anything like this. But instead of tucking that away and trying to forget about it, I said a prayer and dialed the phone and called them - having learned how to do this in the process of many 9th step amends. It is indeed miraculous what happens when I honestly face my problems. I am so relieved today, and once again, I am reassured that this program works in every single circumstance. (and I am reminded that it doesn't matter how long I have been sober, I still can fall into the same traps.)

"We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 78

Friday, December 08, 2006

Friday Morning

It's still dark outside. I have all my running stuff on and I am ready to go, but I like to have at least a teensy bit of light when I am running - particularly on ice.

My sponsee celebrated her birthday last night at her regular meeting. It was nice to see her be grateful for her eleven years. We went out for dinner after the meeting and although it was good, the food was Wretched Excess. I think I could run 24 hours a day for the next 2.5 weeks and not work off the calories that are going to be consumed. It is just crazy that we celebrate everything with massive caloric content. Okay, I will stop bitching about it, just enjoy it, and try not to go overboard either way.

Daave already asked this, but I am asking too... what about the new blogger format? Has anyone switched? What do you think of it? I am nervous about switching.

Have a Happy Friday everyone.

"See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Running hAAt

Can anyone guess what my favorite color is? (hint: it is almost every picture I have ever posted here.)

I am heading out of here for a run. I accidentally slept until nearly 6:00 a.m., which is like sleeping till noon for most people. Shannon asked me yesterday how I can do all this stuff in the morning. I usually get up around 4:00 a.m. I make a cup of coffee, sit down and do my reading and prayer. Then I hit my computer and look at blogs and that can take an hour or more. About 6 or so, I start thinking about heading out for a run. I either post on my blog at this time or decide to wait until after I run. About 7 or so, I start thinking about getting to work... etc., etc. I just get up too early. I don't ever set my alarm, and would dearly love to sleep in (like I did this morning), but I normally wake up extremely early. Early morning waking is a feature of depression, which I have. But, praise God, it is not really rearing its ugly head right now. Exercise, diet, meetings, working with others - these are the things that are keeping it at bay. What a wonderful thing.

"The readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 145

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

December Morning

I am struggling to get going this morning. I was feeling tired and unmotivated. I opted to take a day off from running today. I even tried to post something here earlier and just sat here without any idea of what to write. And then went back to bed for a half hour!

As I was doing my hair and putting on my make up this morning I had a sudden glimpse of myself. You know, not the hair or the eyelashes, but ME. I had a moment of intense gratitude for what God has done with my life. Here I am, in a beautiful home that I own, getting ready for a job I never dreamed I could have, looking at this body in a suit that is way too big, (I can whine about that, or just be grateful that I have lost weight and that I actually own a few suits - and they are nice!) thinking about the shopping I need to do for Christmas gifts, etc., etc., etc.....

Life is good. I find these short winter days challenging though. I have always found Christmas challenging. I am missing my son. I am somewhat apprehensive about the arrival in 9 days of my 55th birthday. Oh, and my arch-rival at work got that promotion that I would have liked. But thanks to this way of life and a loving God who helps me if I ask him, I was able to immediately send her a congratulatory e-mail as soon as I heard the news, and I have been able to sincerely feel happy for her. Now, THAT is a miracle!

It's all about how I want to look at things. And I really do have a choice about that.

Thank you all for reading, and commenting, and sharing your lives in your blogs.

"We commenced to make many fast friends and a fellowship has grown up among us of which it is a wonderful thing to feel a part. The joy of living we really have, even under pressure and difficulty." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 15

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday Predawn

I decided yesterday, while running on the treadmill, that I really need to run outdoors today - so I am going to do that this morning, but first it needs to get a bit lighter, and hopefully a bit warmer. I am going to take my camera with me in case there should be a photo opportunity (I am still thinking about that moon I saw yesterday). UPDATE: The above photo was taken this morning, the moon wasn't as huge as yesterday, but still very very pretty.

Yesterday was one of my sponsees' 11th birthday. Eleven years without a drink, and I had to cajole her into going to a meeting. She said she didn't care if she is sober or not. I told her that she will drink again if she doesn't care about her sobriety. I don't get it. I really don't get it.

I am mailing my last Christmas box to Iraq this morning. And in it is the last of the candy. I hope to God that I don't need to make any more candy this year. It is EVIL. My son called yesterday afternoon, he sounded tired but good. I asked him if he ever got to wear normal clothes over there, and he said "NO". I think that alone would get really old, but I am a bit of a nut about clothes....

I thank God today for the gift of desperation to get and stay sober. I thank God for the willingness to do what I am supposed to do in order to keep this precious gift - the gift of sobriety and a good, decent, worthwhile life. I MAY be the one who has done the teeeeeny little bit of "work", but I know that the willingness to do it did not come from me. It is a gift from God and I thank Him for it every day.

"Job or no job - wife or no wife - we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of depedence upon God." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 98

Monday, December 04, 2006

Full Moon

I just saw a huge full moon set over the mountains - and I didn't have my camera with me! I tried to take a picture with my cell phone, but it lost a LOT in translation. Some things, I think, were just meant for us to enjoy in that moment, not to try to keep forever.

I went to the gym and ran my normal 3 miles this morning. I should have run 30 miles to counteract the caloric intake of the weekend. Holy Moly! I sure did eat some rich food. My friend last night chose the dessert for us to share and thankfully chose a disgustingly chocolate thing, so that didn't even tempt me! If he had picked cheesecake, I would have had to tell him to get his own, because I would have wanted the whole piece. Today I am so ready to eat some salad and vegetables - without dressing, sauce, or butter.

Last night I ran into a neighbor at an AA meeting! He has been sober for 4 months. He hasn't lived here long and I don't know him well, so I had no idea he was an alcoholic. It makes me happy to think there is a kindred soul across the street. I assured him that his anonymity is safe with me.

I better get rolling. I need to be at work on time this morning.

"We of AA obey spiritual principles, at first because we must, then because we ought to, and ultimately because we love the kind of life such obedience brings. Great suffering and great love are AA's disciplinarians; we need no others." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 174

Sunday, December 03, 2006

10 degrees

Baby, it's cold outside. Yesterday it snowed and snowed and snowed. It is pretty but this is unusual weather for Denver, and I am ready for it to be over.

I had a fabulous time with my friend last night. We went to a really wonderful restaurant and had a great meal. Here is what I had: an appetizer of a brie quesadilla with poached pears, followed by an entree of trout almondine, and then desert! bread pudding with caramel sauce! Oh yes! This was good. It was fun to reminisce with my old friend but weird to realize he remembers more about my life than I do!

Also strange to have that old feeling of admiring someone who kept the same basic trajectory all his life - he changed his major in college, but kept going - he liked booze and drugs and his student lifestyle, so he stayed in college until he got his doctorate. He liked one of his old colleges so when they offered him a teaching job, he went. He has advanced to the point that he is now a tenured professor at a prestigious university and a world renowned person of his profession who has had many papers published, etc. He had two glasses of wine with dinner and got a bit giddy - definitely NOT the kind of drinking I understand. Not the kind of life I understand either. I hope you can see that I mean this in no way as a criticism of him, or even of me... just observation on how different lives are when alcoholism is involved. We both got misty eyed when we said goodnight. I ran back in my house and cried. I wish the people in my life were not scattered to the four winds. I wish I could see him more often than every seventeen years or so.

So today I got up and went to church which was wonderful. I am now home and ready for a day of football viewing. I am taking another friend out for dinner tonight for his birthday. Thankfully he is an AA member, so we speak the "language of the heart" and understand one another perfectly. And I will miss the Broncos game tonight - now THAT is true devotion to a friend! (but I will have it on TiVo just in case I really, really need to see it)

Yesterday at the 7:30 a.m. meeting, three different people told me that I am their "hero". I always shake my head and smile and sort of roll my eyes when people say stuff like that. But I am so grateful that I have people in my life who care about me and really know me. Because none of those people think I am so stellar because of my perfect lady-like deportment or my eloquent language. They think I am something else because of some challenge in my life, like having my husband beat the shit out of me, and the fact that I just kept coming back... and didn't wallow in it. Or that with over 10 years of sobriety, I sold my car and went without a car for a year or so, so that I could pay off my child-support. Or just being there with a smile and a kind word (and sometimes a pretty rough word or two.) I guess I am trying to say that I will probably never be considered a great success by worldly values, but hopefully I have made a difference in the lives of a few alcoholics. And I couldn't ask for any more than that.

"Such is the paradox of AA regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old life as a condition for finding a new one." -- AA Comes of Age , p. 46

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saddy Mornin

I love Saturday Morning! I am heading out of here for a 7:30 a.m. meeting across town. Then I will hit the gym for a quick 3 mile run. And then get home and clean. The place must look sparkly when my friend comes to pick me up. The last time he was at my house, it was a townhouse full of little children. Now my home is the home of a soon-to-be 55 year old woman who lives alone. I am excited about seeing Chris.

We first met in 1968. Holy cow, that is a long time ago, most of you weren't even alive yet. It was a turbulent time, and we were kids in Chicago. It was also an incredibly wonderful time. There was a local club for teens - where I saw The Cream (with baby Eric Clapton) - among many other wonderful bands from the 60s. I just tried to do some research to see who all played there, and got so side-tracked, I need to just stop! Anyway, we were always there, every Friday and Saturday night. There was no booze served there, but we brought our own and plenty of other recreational substances as well.

As grateful and nostalgic as I can be for those times, I am even more grateful that I have a life that is still very exciting (at least to me) and current, and real. I don't need to long for the "good old days" because these truly are the good old days - because I am a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous and have a life I never dreamed was possible.

"Regardless of worldly success or failure, regardless of pain or joy, regardless of sickness or health or even of death itself, a new life of endless possibilities can be lived if we are willing to continue our awakening, through the practice of AAs Twelve Steps." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 8

Friday, December 01, 2006

Frigid Friday

It's Friday and that is a wonderful thing. I have a very big weekend ahead. I will be seeing my old high school friend tomorrow night. I am taking a friend out for dinner for his birthday on Sunday. And we shall see what else happens.

Yesterday I left work early, per doctor's orders, but instead of going home, I went to the gym. I got on the treadmill and ran 6.2 miles. So, I did get my 70 miles logged in November after all. After about 2 miles, I realized my back didn't hurt any more. (It hurts like hell right now though.) You may say that running is terrible for a back, but I don't think it is as terrible as laying on the sofa, taking vicodin, and watching Dr. Phil. I have an appointment for physical therapy scheduled, hopefully that will help. Tonight after work I will go swimming before my regular Friday night meeting.

It is all good. You know why? Because I am sober, I am not angry with anyone this morning, I don't have to remember any lies today, and I can walk out of this house this morning and face the world without fear. Thanks to a loving God and Alcoholics Anonymous.

"For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his sprititual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 14-15

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Watchin' Dr. Phil

Taking care of my back. I have never watched Dr. Phil before. I actually watched Oprah for the last two days too. I haven't watched her since the 80s. Working half days is kind of fun. But not running is not fun. I am jonesing for a good workout. And I didn't hit my 70 miles this month as I had planned. I had 65 miles as of Monday morning and it looks like that is all I am getting this month. Lets see what I can do in December!

"How many of us would presume to declare, 'Well, I'm sober and I'm happy. What more can I want or do? I'm fine the way I am.' We know thst the price of such self-satisfaction is an inevitable back-slide, punctuated at some point by a very rude awakening. We have to grow or else deterioriate. For us, the status quo can only be for today, never for tomorrow. Change we must; we cannot stand still." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 25

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

18 degrees

A lot of that white stuff fell last night and is still falling this morning. I need to go out and shovel it now. It seems kind of funny to do that since I am on doctor ordered work restrictions due to my back injury. I am working only half days until Friday. Yes, I finally went to the doctor on Monday afternoon as a result of too much peer pressure at work. I wouldn't recommend coming to work at a hospital in obvious pain - you do not get sympathy - you get a lot of "what the hell are you doing?" and "did you see your physician?" etc. It is OK, it is good.

I better get out there and shovel. Have a good day everyone.

"Never talk down to an alcoholic from any moral or spiritual hilltop; simply lay out the kit of spiritual tools for his inspection. Show him how they worked with you. Offer him friendship and fellowship. Tell him that if he wants to get well you will do anything to help." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 95

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thank You!

It was one year ago today that Trudging found my blog and put a link on her blog and I was embraced into this wonderful sober blogging community. I remember looking at my blog that day and seeing there were more than a couple of comments and I couldn't believe it! I had started this blog in September '05 and didn't see much point in continuing it, until you so graciously allowed me into your community. This blog has really been a life-saver for me. It has hooked me into another sober community, it has forced me to re-examine my thoughts about being a person with long-term sobriety, and it has gotten my nose back into our beloved AA literature.

I thank you all for taking the risk to share your lives on your blogs. And I thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I consider it an honor.

"In any meeting, anywhere, A.A.'s share experience, strength, and hope with each other, in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics. Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, A.A.'s speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity." Alcoholics Anonymous, Forward to the Fourth Edition, p. xxiv

Monday, November 27, 2006


I am so relieved this morning to know that my granddaughters are being well cared for. That the first grader will show up, on time, to school and she will be clean, fed, dressed well, and ready to go.

I will be a little late for work today (because I went to the gym and ran 3 miles), but I always stay a little late on Monday, hanging out waiting to go to the AA meeting. Monday is the best night at the 5:30 meeting. I am so happy to be writing about being excited about going to a meeting.

Thanks to Scott W. for reminding me of where this passage is, it is one of my favorites:

"Personally, I take the attitude that I intend never to drink again. This is somewhat different from saying, 'I will never drink again.' The latter attitude sometimes gets people in trouble because it is undertaking on a personal basis to do what we alcoholics never could do. It is too much an act of will and leaves too little room for the idea that God will release us from the drink obsession provided we follow the AA program." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 16

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday Morning

I had the most amazing experience yesterday! My precious granddaughters were with me all day, and I agreed to bring them back to their grandfather's (my ex-husband's) at 7:00 p.m. We had a delightful day, we made almond toffee and peanut brittle, which is now all packaged up and ready to go to Iraq. We went to Target where I got them each a coloring book and myself the above puzzle (what the hell was I thinking when I bought a 1,000 piece puzzle???)

But the amazing part was when I took the girls back - I got to talk with my ex-husband for the first time since 1997. I was so happy to see him, I wanted to hug him. It was so nice to talk with him. And when I took the sleeping baby out of the car seat and handed her to him, it almost made me cry. Her Biological Grandmother to her Biological Grandfather, she was passed, with loving care. We are going to have a meeting some time soon to discuss the care of the girls and what on earth we are going to do about OUR daughter. For anyone who has been divorced, you know what a wonderful thing it is to use the word "our" instead of "my", "ours" instead of "mine", and "we" instead of "I".

When I got back home, I got a phone call from a high school friend. Coincidentally, he also was friends with my ex-husband, all of us being from the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The friend is coming to town next weekend and I am going to get to see him for dinner next Saturday. He is someone I have kept in touch with all these years. I found him after I got sober in order to make amends to him, and we have kept in touch ever since. We probably talk on the phone twice a year. I haven't seen him since 1989. I am so looking forward to seeing him, and he feels the same way.

It was such a warm feeling to connect with these two men from my past - all within an hour. There is something so comforting about being with people who were in your childhood home and knew your parents. Who knew you when you were a girl and really quite lovely. Who knew you before you were a mother or a grandmother. Who mention yesterday's Notre Dame game because they remember your brother who graduated from there and is NUTS about the Fightin' Irish. (If I keep writing this I am going to start crying, so I am going to stop now.)

"The readiness to take the full consequences of our past acts, and to take responsibility for the well-being of others at the same time, is the very spirit of Step Nine." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 87

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The "Season"

I am writing real quick (I hope) before I begin a huge day. It is the season for huge days. So, I am heading out for a 6:30 a.m. AA meeting. Followed by a quick 3 mile run. Then I will head to the grocery store and purchase the ingredients for candy making later today. I will head home, get bathed, dressed, and my granddaughters are coming over. Well, they are not exactly "coming over". My ex-husband is bringing them over. (The ex-husband who hasn't spoken to me since 1997.) We will spend the morning and afternoon making candy to send to my son. Once the candy is made, I swear to you, it is leaving this house - I cannot, indeed, I will not eat a shit load of candy this year.

My ex has taken custody of my granddaughters. I am very relieved, but also incredibly sad and very concerned. My daughter is physically not able to care for them after her car accident, but frankly, she was not capable of caring for them before her accident. It was only a matter of time before someone had to take them. And I thank God it is their grandfather and his wife. I hope I will get a chance to talk with either of them today, but that may not come to pass.

This was one of those relationships that the amends process did not magically make "right". I know that I cannot undo the damage I have done, I can only take responsibility for it and do the best I can not to do any more damage. I also cannot control the way they feel about me, and if they hate me until they die, I will just live with it.

So I get to spend the day with my precious granddaughters. We will make candy to send to Iraq to their precious uncle. (I missed another of his calls while sitting in an AA meeting last night - you should have heard the language that came out of my mouth when I realized that - and I was at my church - hope no church people heard me!)

"We ask simply that throughout the day God place in us the best understanding of His will that we can have for that day, and that we be given the grace by which we may carry it out." Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 102

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday

I wish I had my camera at the gym this morning. There were like 3 people there. There was not one other person on all the treadmills. It was actually kind of creepy. I guess I could feel pretty smug about being so devoted as to actually show up at 5:30 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving. Once again, I am greatly blessed by my weaknesses. Were it not for my running, I would not only be overweight and out of shape, but I would have a world class case of depression.

As I left the gym, I drove by the mall. Oh my goodness. What are all those people thinking? At the mall before it is even light outside? Yikes.

I am glad I am an outlier today. I will gladly be at the gym instead of the mall. I will gladly be at the AA club instead of drinking my Thanksgiving dinner. I will even gladly sit at a 5:30 p.m. AA meeting on Thanksgiving when it is not only a holiday, but my beloved Broncos are playing (and I can be the only Broncos fan who is not calling for Jake Plummer's head on a platter, cut that man some slack, please!) I will gladly go to work today when most people are off, because I need to keep my mind occupied. And all of this is not because of virtue but because of weakness. I need to do all I can just to keep my head above water right now.

"We never apologize to anyone for depending upon our Creator. We can laugh at those who think spirituality the way of weakness. Paradoxically, it is the way of strength. The verdict of the ages is that faith means courage." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I'm missing someone...

But I haven't cried yet today. Last night I went to mass with my new friend and cried through it. Thank God she just held my hand and told me it was OK. Some friends don't do that.

I have a pumpkin pie in the oven. I will take it out in 6 minutes and head down to the 6:30 a.m. meeting, then I will take a quick 3 mile run and get home and make the apple pie. Then my daughters and granddaughters will come over and I will make them eggs benedict before they go to their dad's and I go back down to the club.

Thank You God for your perfect mercy and all that you have given me. Thank God that one man paced the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel in Akron, Ohio on a May Saturday afternoon in 1935 and a kind woman was able to direct him to another drunk. And hence we began our collective journey.

"Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you - until then." Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Sunrise Shopping

I went grocery shopping this morning because the thought of doing it tonight does not appeal. I am sad that there is no turkey in the above picture, but that is life.

I woke up maladjusted to life this morning. I cried before I even got out of bed. And then I cried when I prayed. And then I cried when I checked my e-mail. A friend sent me a Thanksgiving e-card expressing his gratitude for my friendship and I sobbed like a small child. Last night I sat at an AA meeting and my phone buzzed (I silenced it of course, like a good AA member). When I left the meeting, I checked my voice mail and it was my son, calling from Iraq and sounding more tired and older than I have ever heard him. I think he might sound older than me. I can't believe I didn't just get up and leave that meeting. I didn't realize it was him....

Today I have to give a presentation to the Medical Executive Committee - a death review. Sounds like fun, huh? Yeah. I think so too. I hope I can stop crying by then.

My back still hurts and I did not go to the doctor. I have a really really bad back, so this is nothing new. Thank God for ibuprofen.

I really better work on some gratitude this morning:
- I am not flying anywhere this weekend
- I am not driving more than 15 miles to anywhere this weekend
- I am sober and will not be drinking my thanksgiving dinner
- I most likely will not piss anyone off tomorrow
- I will most likely not break any hearts tomorrow
- I am an AA member, so I always have a fellowship
- I have very good friends in Alcoholics Anonymous
- People are looking forward to my pies tomorrow at the club
- My daughters are looking forward to eggs benedict for T'day breakfast
- I am meeting a new friend at church tonight, she is an AA member as well as a member of my church.
- A sponsee I recently fired has asked me to sponsor her again and said she would actually be compliant this time
- She also said that she knew I loved her even as I was firing her
- I actually am capable of loving other human beings today
- My daughter and granddaughter were not seriously hurt in the car accident last Friday
- I can sit here and know I will be late for work and know that as an exempt employee, I can do this
- I can show up and give a presentation this morning that scares the shit out of me
- I live in Colorado and it is so beautiful here
- People actually read this blog and care about me
- I actually care about my fellow sober bloggers

THANK YOU and HAPPY THANKSGIVING. See you and your half naaked selves tomorrow.

"Carry this message to other alcoholics! You can help when no one else can." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 89

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tuesday before Thanksgiving

Yesterday while getting in my car to leave for work, I realized I didn't have my coffee. So, I got out of the car - and my foot went sliding across the garage floor and my arm and knee hit the car. I thought my arm and knee hurt until I got to work and then I realized that my BACK is killing me! All day long I did the postponement trick - I'll go to the doctor after I take this motrin. I will go to the doctor after lunch, because after all, a girl needs her lunch. I will go to the doctor after 3:00. Then, I will skip the doctor because I want to go to the 5:30 meeting. And this morning I am doing the same thing - my back still hurts, but get this - I am going to the gym and I am going to try to run 3 miles and see how that goes. If it goes well, I obviously don't need to go to the doctor, I just need to go to work.

My daughter is supposed to get out of jail today and her father is doing some sort of "intervention". I am praying, something has to change here. Those baby girls cannot live with a mother such as her. Today is the little one's third birthday. Thank God she is too young to really "get" that it is her birthday. We are going to celebrate it on Thanksgiving.

My ex has changed his mind about Thanksgiving. He had said he wasn't going to have it at his house and so I would have the kids and grandkids here. However, he has changed his mind. I am not going to argue with him because he has really stepped up to the plate with the grandkids and he needs all the help he can get.

So I will do something I haven't done in probably 15 years. I am going to go to the AA club for Thanksgiving. The kids will come over here for a brunch of eggs benedict, and then when they leave, I will go to the club. Someone requested that I make an apple and a pumpkin pie, so I will do that.

"Those of us who have come to make regular use of prayer would no more do without it than we would refuse air, food, or sunshine. And for the same reason." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 97

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday Morning

You were right Lash. The Chargers did beat the Broncos last night. I am grateful that I decided to go to bed and Tivo the second half of the game. Somehow, I don't think that is a game I am going to get around to watching.

I am going to head out of here in a minute to take a sunrise run. I would rather go to the gym this morning and hit the treadmill, but I am just running too late to do that.

I am looking forward to getting back to work this morning. I will work three days, get off one (for Thanksgiving) and then come in on Friday. I usually take the Friday after Thanksgiving off, but I decided not to this year. In fact, I quit one job back in my youth because they wanted me to work the Friday after Thanksgiving - I showed them!

"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 AA 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?" -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 112

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sunday in Football Season

And I am grateful for ESPN and NFL network, and regular networks with football too. I can easily watch 3 football games today, the Broncos don't play until 6:00 p.m. I watched two college football games yesterday - which I don't think I have ever done in my life.

The "good" twin daughter is going to the Broncos game tonight, after she gets done with her all day class, preparing to take the LSAT. The "bad" twin is in the hospital part of jail. She called this morning, and unfortunately, sounds just like herself. I didn't have all the facts when I reported that she was uninjured in the car accident. She has a broken rib and a closed head injury, and therefore is in a jail hospital bed, on vicodin. She sounds like she is maybe on vacation. Shit. I lit a candle for her this morning at church, as well as my other two children and my grandchildren.

I went to a speakers meeting last night and as God would have it, the speaker is a veteran of 20 + drunken car accidents. It was good for me to listen to him. He ended with tears (and I mean REAL tears), talking about how he got to babysit his 3 year old niece the night before and how she told him she loved him. Thank God for AA and the wonderful collective experience we get to share. It was weird though to realize that he had his first drink in 1986 - when I was sober for 2 years!

A friend came over for dinner after the meeting and we ate, talked, and watched a college football game. It was fun to watch this normally peaceful and serene man start telling people on to shut up and calling them "dorks". Football seems to do that to people... no wonder I like it so much!

I am feeling the seven miles I ran yesterday - ouch! I am about to grab my wonderful handknit (by me) mohair afghan and plant myself on the sofa for the day. And back to sentence one... I am grateful for dish network. Among too many other things to mention.

"God willing, we members of AA may never again have to deal with drinking, but we have to deal with sobriety every day. How do we do it? By learning - through practicing the Twelve Steps and trhough sharing at meetings - how to cope with the problems that we looked to booze to solve, back in our drinking days." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 559

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday Morning

First of all, let me say Happy Birthday Scott W. Three years without a drink is a big deal, and I am so glad I have gotten to witness a little bit of that in the last year. Go over and wish Scott a Happy Birthday .

Yesterday evening my daughter totalled her car. She was arrested on the spot for outstanding warrants. My 6 year old granddaughter was with her, unrestrained, in the front seat, and Praise God, is uninjured. My ex-husband went and picked up my granddaughter and got to see our daughter sitting in the back of a police car. The three year old, Praise God again, was with her dad and was not in that car. So my daughter is in jail. And I can't think of a better place for her to be.

After I got the call last night, I got on my knees and prayed. I got in my car and picked up my cell phone and called my sponsor and talked to her all the way to the meeting. At the meeting I sat next to my new friend and we went out for dinner afterwards.

THANK GOD for this way of life and this fellowship. I would be sunk without it and I think most of you would be too.

I am on my way to a 6:30 a.m. meeting now, and then will go to the lake and run as far as I can. (update: that was 7.1 miles which is the farthest I have EVER run)

"we had to quit playing God. It didn't work. Next, we decided that hereafter, in this drama of life, God was going to be our Director. He is the principal; we are His agents. He is the Father, and we are His children. Most good ideas are simple, and this concept was the keystone of the new and triumphant arch through which we passed to freedom." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 62

Friday, November 17, 2006

If you're reading this...

my blog has returned. I will post this in hopes that it will shock my blog into resucitation.

The lesson in this for me is that I love my blog, I am heartbroken to type in my blog address and have nothing come up. I love the sober blogging community and I wish to continue in this journey with y'all. I had a bit of a spiritual jolt over the weekend, and I have been questioning absolutely everything this week. You have been subject to some of my processing this.

Please come back little sheba blog!

"Even the newest of newcomers finds undreamed rewards as he tries to help his brother alcoholic, the one who is even blinder than he. This is indeed the kind of giving that actually demands nothing. He does not expect his brother sufferer to pay him, or even to love him." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 109

Thursday, November 16, 2006

tAAke me to the water

Taking a bath is one of the finest things on earth. And I get to take one every single morning (and sometimes in the evening too). I love my bathtub.

"I try to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one's heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 37

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Front Porch in November

There's my front porch on Veteran's Day. Not so glorious in the winter, but I still like it.

Last week, I was visiting my old department at work. I was in the director's office (my old office) and when I came out, Gloria was walking in the department. We both were shocked. Gloria worked in that department with me for 6 years. She hated me. I am not kidding - she told me she hated me. She quit as soon as I became the department director, and I was happy to see her go. She came back to the hospital a year or so later in another department, and has been there ever since. To put it mildly, it was a shock last week for us to find ourselves both standing on the battleground of our old war.

We said 'hello'. I asked her how her son is. He has been in Iraq. I told her I have been praying for him, and I am grateful that is actually the truth. He has left Iraq, is now in Germany, and will soon be on his way home. She talked about what this year has been like for her. She told me she is praying for my son, and I am grateful that I actually believe this is the truth. As we talked, she started to cry. I started to cry. We hugged. We connected on a very deep level. The sheer terror of being the mother of a soldier in a war, the faith it necessitates, and the gratitude for the prayers and caring of another soul. It is a beautiful thing to watch the power of God change hearts.

"Finally, we begin to see that all people, including ourselves, are to some extent emotionally ill as well as frequently wrong, and then we approach true tolerance and see what real love for our fellows actually means. It will become more and more evident as we go forward that it is pointless to become angry, or to get hurt by people who, like us, are suffering from the pains of growing up." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 92

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday Morning

I am going to try to get out of here to the gym, get my 3 miles in on the treadmill, hit the locker room, get dressed, blown dry, made up, and get to an AA meeting by 6:30.

I recently changed my profile - I took out the city where I live. The longer I write this thing every day, the more likely I am to come up on a search for nearly anything - and for someone looking for anything in my city, my blog comes up. If someone specifies a city in a search, it is likely they are looking for something specific and my blog is unlikely to contain the info they are seeking. Unrelated to the city issue, my blog was found the other day by a person searching "why doesn't my lasagna cut nice?" And then I have realized that I am found frequently by people whose primary language probably isn't English. There are many searches for "alcoholic anonymous," which when I look at the search page, I will see google in Russian, or Swedish, or some other language I don't understand.

But I do understand and can almost feel the pain involved in many of the searches. I feel bad that sometimes this blog is about my morning routine, or my iPod, or some other frivolity of my life. I do have a responsibility to carry the message of Alcoholics Anonymous, but I can only do that as myself - me, Mary Christine. I absolutely REFUSE to set myself up as the expert on AA, the steps, happiness, or any other thing. I MUST be an expert in my profession on other things, but here, I am an alcoholic, recovering, one day at a time, by the Grace of a Loving God.

"True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 124-125

Monday, November 13, 2006

I deleted what I posted earlier today. I need to be more direct if I have a problem with someone. I feel terrible that I have offended someone.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Retreat was wonderful. It was made more so by a fellow AA member who was in attendance. We spent a bit of time together and it was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend. She has recently moved here from the east coast, is sober a year more than me (23 years) and we have so many things in common, I am really looking forward to getting to be friends with her.

I am grateful that I can sit with a bunch of "church" people and be OK and be myself today. There was a point on Saturday morning when I just wanted to run away, but I walked through the fear and ended up having a very profound spiritual experience.

This morning I went to an AA meeting, then ran 3.5 miles in blizzard-like conditions, and finally came home to watch football. My fondest hope for today was to crash on the sofa and doze in and out with a steady stream of football games as a backdrop. But, as with many things I plan, it may not come to pass as I may have an invasion of my daughter's family, so now I am off to the grocery store to get stuff to make soup. It is a good day for a pot of vegetable soup.

"Such is the paradox of AA regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old life as a condition for finding a new one." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 49

Saturday, November 11, 2006

On Retreat

I am on retreat this weekend. I'll be back on Sunday.

"We who have traveled a path through agnosticism or atheism beg you to lay aside prejudice, even against organized religion. We have learned that, whatever the human frailties of various faiths may be, those faiths have given purpose and direction to millions. People of faith have a rational idea of what life is all about." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 300

Friday, November 10, 2006

Veteran's Day

I get today off for Veteran's Day. I will fly my flag from my front porch. I will pray for my son, as I always do. I will pray for my brother, the Vietnam vet - one I thought wasn't as screwed up as most seemed, but as he ages, the scars (physical and psychic) seem to show more.

I am going to a meeting this morning and then I will run. I have two different shirts on, a tank (for if I go to the gym) under a long sleeved shirt (if I go to the lake and run outdoors) under a vest. I will see what kind of day it looks like after the meeting. Tonight I am going to an AA meeting at 6:00 p.m., and then I will run over to the retreat I am attending at my church tonight and all day tomorrow.

I have been thinking a lot lately about disclosure of my alcoholism. I used to tell everybody that I was an AA member. When I examined my motivation for doing so, I found it was for self-aggrandizement, so I stopped it. I would tell someone if I felt there was a reason to - and try never to boast about how great I am. Now I seem to be rethinking my stance. Yesterday I told a co-worker that I am a sober alcoholic. I have worked with this woman for 10 years. We have been friendly enough to go to lunch, and do some minor socializing outside of work, so she isn't strictly a co-worker, but not a close friend either. I was shocked that she was shocked when I told her. She was blown away. She said she knew I didn't drink, but she thought it was because I am very conservative and religious! I am amazed that this is the way I am perceived by a person with whom I spend a lot of time. In my mind, everyone can see that I am just a hair's breadth away from the slutty drunken nut case I was.

"The age of miracles is still with us. Our own recovery proves that!" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 153

Thursday, November 09, 2006


In this small space are many of my lifelines. But not another human being. I need the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I am not feeling well again today, but I am going to work anyway. I stayed at home yesterday and by last night I was a little stir crazy. This morning when I prayed, I cried like a small child to my Heavenly Father. I need to get out of here and be with other people.

"Mental and emotional difficulties are sometimes very hard to take while we are trying to maintain sobriety. Yet we do see, in the long run, that transcendence over such problems is the real test of the AA way of living. Adversity gives us more opportunity to grow than does comfort or success." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 234

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Morning After

I had a fabulous time being an election judge yesterday. I was on my feet for 14 hours and just had a great time. It was so humbling to be a part of the process, and to realize that I am a part of my community. It was nice to realize I am on first name basis with so many people in my neighborhood. I only saw one person I know from AA and she felt compelled to tell me why she isn't getting to any meetings. Sheesh. So glad the sight of me nudges the guilty conscience!

This morning I woke up with a migraine. I thought I would try going to an AA meeting to see how that went, and although the meeting was good, it convinced me that I can truly call in sick today legitimately. I am going to go back to bed now.

"In every AA story, pain has been the price of admission into a new life. But this admission price purchased more than we expected. It led us to a measure of humility, which we soon discovered to be a healer of pain. We began to fear pain less, and desire humility more than ever." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 75

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Living Life

I'm off to be an election judge today. I am actually excited about it right now. I am grateful that I get to be part of the world I once rejected.

And because of the 10th tradition (Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy), I will not subject you to my political views. Many people arrive at this blog and others looking for help for the lethal disease of alcoholism. It would be tragic for them to get here and feel that they couldn't get help because they would need to conform to a particular political leaning, or if they got here and got offended by something I posted. I can share my experience, strength, and hope - there is nothing to argue with there. But when I start on my opinions, there we open a can of ugly, squirmy, worms.

"Can we actually carry the AA 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?" -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 112