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

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tired and Uninspired

I don't know why. I just am. Tired and Uninspired. I did run 3 miles this morning, and that didn't even bring a smile to my face.

I watched a great football game (if you are a Broncos fan, which I am) yesterday. I actually left my house in the last 2 minutes of the game to get to my 5:30 meeting. When I got there, there was one woman sitting in the room. I made a joke and said "I wonder where everyone is?" But she didn't even know there was a game on. Eventually about 20 folks wandered in.

Tomorrow I will be an election judge and I guess I need to make an extra effort to stay in today because I am dreading tomorrow.

"but I soon found that when all other measures failed, work with another alcoholic would save the day." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 15

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday Rest

Last night one of my groups had night watch (which is where you answer the phone for the Denver Central Office of AA.) It was great fun to go to H.'s house and eat and hang out with fellow AA members. I don't believe the phone rang once while I was there. Someone said it was because the moon was full last night, but I don't know about that. Sometimes you get lots of calls, sometimes you don't.

I got another chance to talk more with a woman I have been acquainted with for 17 years. I hate to say that I didn't like her when I met her because my boyfriend at that time was very interested in her - he said it was because she was new and needed his help - I thought it was because she was 25 years old and pretty. Anyway - cut to 2006 - she is married to someone from my morning group and she attends the 5:30 meeting I like so much. The other night at the 5:30, a visitor introduced herself and said she was from Pittsburgh. I whispered to J. "I was born in Pittsburgh." To which she replied, "I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio." To which I replied, "Oh My God, I grew up in _______," (which is a small town just outside of Youngstown), To which she replied "I went to _____"(Catholic School in this town), To which I replied "SO DID I!" I could not believe that we went to the same grade school! That was so cool! Sorry to be so mysterious, but I don't want to come up on searches for that little town and that little catholic grade school. I am really grateful that I have learned to not keep my first impression of people, because I would successfully eliminate about 99% of my friends if I did.

"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 suffereing and great love are AA's disciplinarians; we need no others." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 174

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I'm in love with Alcoholics Anonymous

It is a beautiful November Saturday Morning. I just got done running 6.2 miles - yes a real 10 kilometers - at a trail around a nearby lake. It was awesome. When I got done, I broke down in tears. Luckily no one was around to see me sobbing. I was thanking God from the depths of my soul for the life I have today. Thanks to the Grace of a Loving God, I have been given Grace and Perfect Mercy, and not justice. If I got what I deserved, it would not be pretty.

I went to a meeting last night and another this morning. I said the same thing in both of them. I am so grateful for Alcoholics Anonymous. Last night an old friend from school called me to tell me about his really huge new job. He talked to me about a job in Northern California. I could not believe what came out of my mouth - I said I am not interested in a high power job right now.

All I want right now is to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, going to tons of meetings and doing what I am doing. I want to be around the people I love - in AA and my family. I want to be a member of my church. I want to continue to be able to run 5 times a week. I don't want to go off to a strange land for a high powered job with all the pressure that goes along with that.

So, although I have some pretty upsetting life circumstances right now, I feel freaking fantastic because these challenges have forced me to do what I am supposed to be doing. I am so grateful to be sober and to have a wonderful way of life and a wonderful fellowship to be part of.

"Our entire AA program rests upon the principle of mutual trust. We trust God, we trust AA, and we trust each other." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 310

Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Morning

Lance Armstrong talked to me again on my iPod. I recorded my personal best for the mile this morning. Woo Hoo. 8:41. On the treadmill. In case you are wondering what the heck I am talking about, it is called Nike Plus - plugs into your iPod, you put a sensor in your shoe, and it records your running data. And occassionally, after your run - if you have done something special - Lance or some other jock congratulates you on it. I don't think I have met another soul who thinks this sounds great, but I sure do. The folks at the gym must wonder what I am getting so freaking excited about.

Last night I got to share a meal with another alcoholic after a wonderful AA meeting. Does it get any better than this? I don't think so. I just realized how strange this probably sounds to someone who is still drinking or who has just gotten sober. But I have had enough days in my life of high excitement and drama. It is so good to enjoy quiet moments and simple but wonderful fellowship.

"When ready, we say something like this: 'My creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character that stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.' We have now completed Step Seven." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 76

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I get to be a knitting granny

The newcomer asks his sponsor "Why are the people in AA so OLD?" to which the wise sponsor replies, "Because they LIVED."

"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." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 288

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

All Hallows

I am off to church this morning because indeed this is the day of which Halloween is the Eve. Then to Election Judge training all morning. WHY did I volunteer to be an election judge? This is the last thing I want to do right now.

Some of you asked about how my candy plan worked. I bought only candy I didn't like in an attempt to avoid eating candy all day as I usually do on Halloween. I am pleased to report that it worked! I ate one piece of candy all day. Mid-afternoon, I decided to have one tootsie roll pop. One. 60 calories. 10 grams of sugar. Yay!

My family is in big turmoil right now. Meth daughter is withdrawing and not being a very nice person. Her twin sister took the girls from her last night. We were at Target last night as it was closing, buying the girls enough clothes to last a day or two. What a sight we must have been - Wonder Woman, a Purple Fairy, a tired Grandmother, and a very sweet Aunt. I must remember that God loves each of us and is actively caring for each of us. I can only do what I can do - and it helps no one to become a nut case trying to control outcomes and other people's behavior. Please say a prayer if you can.

"We want to leave you with the feeling that no situation is too difficult and no unhappiness too great to be overcome." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 104