Sunday, December 31, 2006
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)
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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...
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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