Monday, April 30, 2007

at dAAve's

Here I am, at dAAve's computer... I needed to post something here because I miss my blog.

What a freaking miracle to meet all these wonderful bloggers. To sit, outdoors in the Houston Humidity, and feel so comfortable with these folks I have never "met" before. I feel that I know them because of our beautiful fellowship. And, as I always say - "to these people I am truly related." I got to meet dAAve, Scott W., Pam, Ricky!!! and a whole bunch of wonderful folks at Lambda. I wish I felt as comfortable with my own blood family.

I will post more when I get home.. I am leaving this afternoon.

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

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sunrise Run on the Beach!

Yes, I found a computer here at the hotel, so the world doesn't have to forego a day of MC... aren't you all glad?

It is still dark out, and I am here in the lobby with this very slow computer... waiting for first light to get out and run. Should be fun. The beach is wonderful - the rest of my family doesn't think so, but I do. For a person who lives in Colorado, this feels like heaven. Oh, blessed humidity! I know it is a pain, but oh, it feels so so so good on my skin and in my lungs.

It is wonderful to sit and talk with my nephews. To look at these grown men and see the baby boys they were. I still see that when I look at them. And they are such fine young men. I just wish my son was here. All of my siblings are here. All Five of Us in one place. It is good.

The bartender was so sweet to me last night. I kept asking him what other non-alcoholic drink he could think of. I started with a Roy Rogers - he didn't even know what that was! I had to tell him! Then I had a club soda, then a cup of coffee, and finally some juice. It was fun. I think I was the only person not drinking. The amazing thing when you get sober and attend functions is that not everyone is drunk. Only one or two people had two much to drink (on our side of the family, of course), the rest had one or two drinks (weirdos!) When I was drinking, I assumed that everyone else was drinking like a pig like me.

Today is the wedding. Tomorrow I am heading up to Houston to meet some of my favorite people!

I have no big book quote today.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm outa here!

I am going to Texas today! I will get to go to my nephew's wedding in Galveston, and on Sunday I will get to meet some of my favorite bloggers! I am very excited about this trip.

Yesterday I attended my very first (and probably last) NA meeting. My daughter asked me to come because she picked up her 30 day token. I was thrilled to see this. She has a home group and a sponsor, I think these are the things that separate those who stay from those who go... generally speaking.

I better get ready and get out of here. See some of you later!

"For, to these people, I am truly related. First, through mutual pain and despair, and later through mutual objectives and new-found faith and hope. And, as the years go by, working together, sharing our experiences with one another, and also sharing a mutual trust, understanding and love-without strings, without obligation-we acquire relationships that are unique and priceless." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 312"

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fully Clothed Thursday

I have not one idea for a photo for today. Maybe it is because I am trying to wrap everything up at work so that I can take 6 days of vacation. Maybe it is because I am packing and trying to get ready for a trip (woo hoo! can't wait!). I suspect it is more likely due to the fact that I am trying to get out of here to get to church by 5:00 a.m., as I do every Thursday. There is a limit to how creative one can be in such a short time. So, I humbly apologize for having no picture today.

My daughter has 30 days today. Is there no limit to God's love? (that is a rhetorical question, I do know the answer.) She asked me to come to her NA meeting at noon, which I may or may not be able to do.

Life seems shining and bright this morning. I thank God for the fact that I admitted defeat, surrendered to God, and kept putting one foot in front of the other, doing the things asked of me - cleaning house and trusting God - and haven't had to take a drink since then. Thank you God.

"When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 57

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

April Showers

Here are my favorite pink tulips. They are in full bloom right now and it appears they survived yesterday's snow.

I am heading out of here for a 6:30 a.m. meeting, so I need to kick it in gear. I cannot find the motivation to get out on this 35 degree morning to run, I will run after work tonight - since I am no longer waiting for the Weds. night sponsee to show up. (I told her I would not do this anymore last week - there is no point in me sitting here waiting for someone who seldom shows up and when she does show up, is late.)

My Governing Body report went splendidly yesterday. I get so worked up about this part of my job. I have one more hurdle to get over before my vacation begins on Thursday afternoon. I am so excited about getting out of town, going to my nephew's wedding, and going to Sober Blogging Mecca (Houston).

"Believe more deeply. Hold your face up to the Light, even though for the moment you do not see." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 3

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Rainy Tuesday

It is pouring rain outside. But it could be pouring snow, which it is just a few miles to the west. I hope it stays over there.

This morning I give my quarterly report to Governing Body. I will be so happy when this is over. I got my request to take next week off approved yesterday. AND yesterday I had my performance evaluation, and got the highest rating level, which pleases me. I am so glad I sat down and wrote up what I needed to - even though it was torture when I did it.

Last night after the meeting, a woman asked me to be her sponsor. I did something I have never done before... I told her I had too many people already, and I couldn't take one more. I still want to call her and tell her I will sponsor her. It goes against my grain to say no to someone who is asking for help, but I have been absolutely overwhelmed with the number of women I am sponsoring right now.

I had an e-mail yesterday from Houston. I am so excited about my upcoming trip. I went and bought some clothes yesterday - and I think I am going to return them today! I have no idea what to wear in Texas - I think it isn't likely to snow there? But a flannel shirt still may be in order?

"Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. If you persist, remarkable things will happen." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday, Monday, Can't Trust that Day...

Just kidding. I trust Monday implicitly. I am just singing more of "Monday, Monday" with dAAve.

I woke up to the sound of birds singing this morning! I feel fairly fabulous. I am going to head out for a short 4 mile run. It is 27 days until my half-marathon. I had the most glorious 10 mile run on Saturday, I wrote about it on my training blog if you are interested...

I only need to work 3 and a half days this week! They will be hard days, but then I am heading out of here for my nephew's wedding and to meet some bloggers!!! When I get back home, I do believe I am taking the entire next week off work. Just to putter around the house and chill. I am so tired I am hoping some time off will help. (It would probably help NOT to be training for a half marathon too.)

My daughter is still clean and sober. 28 days. My prayers have changed so much in these last 28 days. I am so grateful to see the power of God in my daughter's life. It is incredible.

"We have been speaking to you of serious, sometimes tragic things. We have been dealing with alcohol in its worst aspect. But we aren't a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 132

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Sunday Morning

Christine asked me if I have moved - because I refer to old meetings and new meetings, old people and new people. I guess I have never really explained that, so I will this morning!

I got sober in July 1984, having just moved to the northern suburbs of Denver. I moved a lot for a lot of years in my early sobriety, but aside from my time in British Columbia and Washington in 1990 and 1991, I always stayed on the north side of Denver and could go to the same groups I always had. That continuity meant the world to me, and still does.

In 1994, I got a job on the south side of Denver. I started attending an AA meeting at 6:30 a.m. on my way to work and really fell in love with that group. I stayed up north for my first couple of years there, and kept going to meetings there, but in 1998, I bought a townhouse on the south side of Denver. It is amazing how traumatic it was to move just 20 miles away. It was like moving to an entirely new city, except that I could still drive across town to get to meetings up north when I felt the need. In 2001, I bought the house that I am still living in - on the south-west side of town.

I essentially have three different groups of AA fellowship. 1. The people I knew in my first 10 years, who are more dear to me with each passing day. 2. The people from the 6:30 a.m. meeting I have been attending since 1994. 3. A whole new batch of people from the 5:30 p.m. meeting I just started attending last July. I really love all of these people. I say I get annoyed from time to time with the people from the "new" groups. I am seeing a man, I have deliberately tried to avoid talking about him here, but I will usually refer to him without referring to him - when I am annoyed with him. Hence Friday's post about people who criticize me... that would be him. Now, today, I think he is swell, so I won't be complaining. But I digress....

What I find difficult about the people who haven't known me for a long time is that they see me as someone I *am* today, but someone I truly *wasn't* before. So, to them, I am an educated, successful, church-goin' woman, which is fine, because that IS who I am today. However, I got here from being an angry, unemployable, promiscuous, very difficult person - and I am talking sobriety years here. When one of these "new" people chastises me for cussing in meetings, I can't even believe it! If he only knew! But I can continue to grow, I don't need to limit my growth because of some warped sense of proportion with my past.

I think it is interesting that I consider a group I have been attending since 1994 a new group. Indeed, most of the people there have gotten sober after 1994, so to them I am just one of the old people.

So this morning, I will take my newly blonde (I love it!!) self to church and then try to lounge today. Sorry for writing such a long-ass post. I sometimes do that on the weekends, I feel more free to write a lot because the readership is usually pretty low.

"Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday Morning

I love Saturday mornings. I am going to head out of here to a 6:30 a.m. meeting, and then take a 10 mile run. I will spend the afternoon getting my red hair turned back to blonde. Hopefully something fun will come up for tonight.

I went to my friend Denny's 24th AA Birthday meeting last night. It was so nice. Denny took me to my first meeting and over the years has become someone very dear to me. I got to see some other people I very seldom see . It is a nice feeling of belonging.

"There can be no absolute humility for us humans. At best, we can merely glimpse the meaning and splendor of such a perfect ideal. Only God himself can minifest in the absolute; we human beings must needs live and grow in the domain of the relative. So we seek progress in humility for today." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 236

Friday, April 20, 2007

Today is

30 days until the half-marathon. Yikes.
7 days before I leave for Texas.
4 days before my quarterly report to Governing Body.
1 day before I go back to blonde hair (from red).
The day I get to go to the dentist.
8 years from the day that the word "Columbine" changed forever from meaning a nice high school or a pretty flower.

And tonight I get to go to the 24th AA birthday of the man who took me to my first AA meeting. I talked to him on the phone for a while last night. It is amazing how free a conversation is with a person I have known for that long. We REALLY talk. It will be nice to be at his birthday tonight.

I really need to be around my old peeps. I love the new meetings I am attending, but miss the old people who really know me, and who I really know. I also miss the maturity of people who have been sober for a long time. I have a dear "new" friend who frequently critiques what I say in meetings. I listen to him because he is sober 7 years, knows the big book inside out and is probably "right". However, he lacks the love and acceptance that come from living a couple of decades in this beautiful program.

I guess it is just the way of the world right now. We have serious problems all over the place and instead of responding in a meaningful way to them, we decide to enforce rigid lack of sense of proportion, sense of humor, sense of common. We are becoming senseless automatons, enforcing rules, memorizing books, and becoming very familiar with the structures but not the hearts and needs of our brothers and sisters. One would think some humble drunks could be a little bit different... oh but get us sober for a day or two and we can be the worst of the lot! And I understand because I have been there.

Okay, I will shut up now and get ready for work.

"We AA's find we need something much better in order to keep our balance. We can't stand it if we hate deeply. The idea that we can be possessively loving of a few, can ignore the many, and can continue to fear or hate anybody at all, has to be abandoned, if only a little at a time." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 93

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Evidence of a Life

As I look at the evidence of a life - so far - I am overwhelmed with gratitude that so much of it has been sober. What a gift. Thank you all you sober people for all that you give to me each day.

"Now there is a sense of belonging, of being wanted and needed and loved. In return for a bottle and a hangover, we have been given the Keys of the Kingdom." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 276

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Surrogate Drunk Dream

Last night I had a drunk dream for my daughter! I dreamed she got high and drunk and it was very ugly. It woke me up. And then, much like my own drunk dreams, I wondered if it was real and it took a few minutes to reorient myself. Strange...

I overslept again today! I never do this, and now I have done it two days in a row. I can't run again this morning because there is not time. I need to be at work on time today because I have a presentation to give at 9:30 that I just put the finishing touches on last night before I left work. I still need to look at it with fresh eyes this morning, make any needed changes, and print it.

Last night I was looking through my huge box of photos. I am looking for photos of my nephew who is getting married at the end of this month. In the bottom of the box was the note I left for my husband on July 24, 1984, the night I went to my first meeting. I couldn't believe it! I must have found it at one point and decided to keep it for historical purposes - and in the meantime I forgot about it entirely. I also put my journal from that time period somewhere for historical purposes, and I haven't been able to find it for a couple of years now. I treasured that journal entry I wrote after my first meeting... I was so excited about the idea that I might possibly be able to quit drinking!

"We, in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men. What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, 'a design for living' that really works." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 28

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

April Madness

The club where I attend most of my meetings is about 2 miles from Columbine High School. Some of my friends had children at Columbine that day. One of my friends lost his niece that day. Everyone in this community has been touched in one way or another by the 1999 tragedy. The massacre at Virginia Tech has opened these wounds. I pray for all those affected by these tragedies.

I am so grateful to be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, where we need never be alone with our problems again. We never need to feel isolated and alone and unloved again. Of course, we still have the option of ignoring this wonderful miracle in our lives, but we don't have to.

- I got my taxes paid yesterday. Phew. Someday I hope not to have to write those checks in April.
- I got the project I have been whining about finished yesterday. I hope not to read or hear another word about adolescent suicide for a very long time.
- I talked with my daughter yesterday and told her that I felt that I was getting to spend time with someone I haven't seen for a long time. She said she told her boyfriend that she felt like she was seeing an old friend when we had dinner on Sunday.
- I am going to be so late for work today, and I didn't even run.... I slept late today.

"This brought me to the good healthy realization that there were plenty of situations left in the world over which I had no personal power - that if I was so ready to admit that to be the case with alcohol, so I must make the same admission with respect to much else. I would have to be still and know that He, not I, was God." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 114

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to Kenny!

Kenny is Three Years Sober Today! Go over and wish him a Happy Birthday!

My cold is miraculously gone. I thought I was going to die after that 10 mile run on Saturday, but yesterday morning, I woke up and felt great. I spent most of yesterday with my daughter. I got to meet some of her NA friends. My biggest job? Keeping my big mouth shut. We got to go out for a nice pasta dinner, which was lovely. She is so funny, she makes me laugh so much. I feel like I am getting to spend time with a person I have not seen for 3 or more years (the time she was deep into her addiction).

Now I shall go out for a quick 4 mile run and get to work. I get to start another week. I really like Mondays. I really like my Monday night meeting.

"When we developed still more, we discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself. We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was helathy, and that it would work where nothing else would." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 116

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Home Group

This is a cell-phone photo from my run yesterday. I headed off in a different direction because the day was so beautiful. I ended up a little past this photo, 4 miles from home, realizing that I had a cold, felt crappy, and still had at least 4 miles to go. It ended up being a 10.5 mile run, and it was NOT fun, but I am glad it is done.

This morning I went to my home group. I have been calling it my "old home group", but I realize again this morning why it IS and probably always will be My Home Group. It is 20 miles from my house, but it is where I belong. I can sit with people who I have known since I got sober and who have known me. Today was my friend Eileen's 20th AA Birthday. When she first got sober, she came to noon meetings, in her suits, heels, and pearls. We were definitely people who normally would not mix! But over the years, we have become much more similar and we absolutely love each other.

It was so comforting to be with the people who know me AND love me. I know them AND love them. It is good. I seldom hear people talk about a home group anymore, but I think it is so very important. We get into a group where we let people know us. We get to know them. We go to their homes. We get to meet their families. When we don't show up at a meeting, people wonder where we are. When we show up and are full of crap, they tell us that. When we show up with our celebrations, sadnesses, heartbreaks, challenges, and victories, they celebrate and mourn with us. There is no other feeling of belonging like this. It is such a huge part of staying sober.

Back to Eileen... her husband, son, and granddaughter came to the meeting. At the end of the hour, she called on her son to share. He is a man in his 30s, and he cried. He shared that when he was in high school his mom's drinking was so bad. He didn't want to come home. And before he got home each day, he would pray that his mom was asleep. He finished by saying it is no longer like that, and thanking all of us. It was so moving. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house.

We affect so many people with our drinking and then with our sobriety. A grown man, 20 years later, still crying because of the horror he lived through with an alcoholic mom. Oh, Lord, help us all.

"The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, 'Don't see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain't it grant the wind stopped blowin?" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 82

Saturday, April 14, 2007


I thought sensitivity was an asset until I got sober, and then I realized it was a crippling liability. This morning at my 6:30 a.m. meeting, I started to share, and looked across the table at two of my friends. They were talking amoungst themselves and laughing. I finished my sentence and shut up. I talked with them after the meeting about this - about my sensitivity and also how difficult it is to talk when there are side conversations going on. I do not ever want to be the person who starts sharing in a meeting and everyone gets up to go to the bathroom or get coffee.

I went out for breakfast with my friend H., who assured me that I am a long way from being the boring person in the meeting.

I came home from work early yesterday because no one wanted my snotty presence at work. I have a cold. I feel somewhat better today and I am about to get out and try to run 8 miles. We shall see if I feel THAT good.

"We alcoholics are sensitive people. It takes some of us a long time to outgrow that serious handicap. " -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 125

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Morning

It's 32 degrees, but the snowstorm we were expecting took a turn to the south, so at least we don't have the foot and a half of snow that we might have had. I ran last night after work (and before the 5:30 meeting) in anticipation of not being able to get out for a day or two.

I have got a cold and feel pretty miserable. I am hoping to have a quiet weekend at home. My two daughters and two granddaughters are going to spend the weekend together - but not here. I really need some serious down-time. I have so many major things going on at work, I still haven't done my taxes, my house is a disaster area, I am in the middle of a 4th step inventory, etc. But I would dearly love to spend Saturday in bed. We shall see what happens...

"Now that we're in AA and sober, and winning back the esteem of our friends and business associates, we find that we still need to exercise special vigilance. As an insurance against 'big-shot-ism' we can often check ourselves by remembering that we are today sober only by the grace of God and that any success we may be having is far more His success than ours." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 92

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

I said I wouldn't post more pictures of my feet, but I just couldn't help being barefoot for a moment. These are the tulips I planted when I first bought my house almost 6 years ago. In my adult life and even most of my pre-adult life, I have never lived anywhere very long. When I was married to the husband I am now writing inventory on, we moved so much, I never really knew where we would be the next day or month. At that time I longed to live somewhere long enough to plant bulbs in the fall and be there when the flowers came up in the spring. Now I have seen these tulips come up for six springs.

"As individuals and as a fellowship, we shall surely suffer if we cast the whole job of planning for tomorrow onto a fatuous idea of providence. God's real providence has endowed us human beings with a considerable capability for foresight, and He evidently expects us to use it. Of course, we shall often miscalculate the future in whole or in part, but that is better than to refuse to think at all." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 317

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Nothing Notable

It's Wednesday Morning. It is not a running day. It is not an anything notable day. I think I have only one meeting to attend at work today... but I have a massive project I have to complete today, which I didn't know until yesterday.

I met with my long term sponsee with long term sobriety last night. She came into my house, got on her knees, wrapped her arms around my waist and begged me to go out for pizza with her. It was actually quite cute, and we did go have pizza.

Tonight I will meet with the sponsee with 60 days who I was so harsh with last week. She has actually been going to meetings every day since then. And when she shares in the meetings, she talks a great deal about her sponsor, which I find embarrassing.

Update on my daughter: She is clean and sober 18 days today. She is going to meetings every day. She gets there by bus, which I respect so much. She is turning back into the wonderful young woman I not only love, but I really, really like.

"Once more: The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 43

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rainy Tuesday

I woke to the sound of the rain on my roof this morning. I layed in bed for about 15 minutes just listening to it. Spring is a glorious time of the year. I feel almost myself again this morning. I got out and ran yesterday and was glad I did. I went to work yesterday and was glad I did. I got to a meeting last night and was glad I did. I went to a friend's apartment for a visit after the meeting and I was glad I did. I could have more easily stayed home and hid under the covers, that is what I felt like doing, but I am glad I didn't.

I am going to get out and run again this morning. It should be beautiful, the world waking up all freshly washed from a spring rain. It is 42 degrees, which is perfect for running.

I started writing my inventory yesterday. It felt good. Especially the first three columns! I really love the 4th step and the 10th step - of course, I love all the steps. It is incredible what this simple program can do. With a few simple steps, we are given the key to a new and wonderful life. We do not have to live with festering resentments and fear. We have a way out of these things that destroy our lives!

"The tremendous fact for every one of us is that we have discovered a common solution. We have a way out on which we can absolutely agree, and upon which we can join in brotherly and harmonious action. This is the great news this book carries to those who suffer from alcoholism." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 17

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Monday

Here's something I probably haven't written before: I don't feel like running today. It is a regular running day and I am really struggling to get my running gear on and get out the door. I would rather go back to bed. I am exhausted from the weekend. I am not used to having a house full of people, so having that all weekend just wore me out!

So I will head out and go running because it will probably improve my attitude.

"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

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Last year my pink tulips bloomed on Easter morning. This year, they are coated in ice. Maybe next weekend, or maybe next year they will bloom. It is Easter Sunday morning and I have been awake since 2:15 a.m. I was out late last night, so I didn't get even a fraction of the amount of sleep I need to be even moderately functional. I will get to church at 7:30 a.m., and then have Easter baskets hidden for the kiddos, and get on with cooking a leg of lamb and trying to get my long run of the week in. Oh dear. This all sounds way too difficult right now.

I had a long chat with my sponsor yesterday about the situation I wrote about in yesterday's post. It is interesting that she has been my sponsor for 12 years and never knew about my history with this other woman. She agreed that it was an incredibly painful thing to go through. And it is surfacing now for a reason. I will do some writing. And I will thank God that I have this program and a loving God to help me with this.

Last night my 6:30 a.m. group had night watch. It was just so much fun. I love that group. I love so many of the people and feel so much a part of the group. I made a lemon meringue pie, and everyone liked it. (especially the man who is the main reason I am willing to spend hours making something good!)

Happy Easter everyone.
"We, in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men. What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God. A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, 'a design for living' that really works." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 28

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Just when I thought...

I had no resentments... Really. I no longer resent anyone at work. I no longer resent anyone in my family. I no longer resent anyone in my AA circle. Then, I was at a meeting a few weeks ago and someone was talking about a conference later this year and said that "female alcoholic X" would be speaking, everyone should go, she is a GREAT speaker, a CIRCUIT speaker! I turned to the man, a dear old friend, next to me and said "she is a f***ing b****." How do you like that? Woops! At that time, I told my friend I probably have some work to do around this, he agreed (amazingly enough!) This morning, I was perusing blogs, and looked at an attachment someone had on their blog, and there she was again! A featured speaker at an AA event...

Another blogger has written a bit in the last year or so about people in AA who are "living dirty" and I smiled. It is my experience that when I am busy tending my own side of the street, I haven't time to worry about how others are living. But, then there are the people whose lives impact ours, and their "dirtiness" gets in our lives, and then we might end up with festering resentments. And then, guess what? It is OUR problem. Yep. When I am calling someone filthy names, it is MY problem, not hers.

Condensed version of this story: When I was married to my AA husband, he liked to travel around the country to round-ups and conferences and conventions, and I would go with him. He was sponsored by a series of "circuit speakers," who tend to have minions following them around, hanging on the hem of their garments. One day, sober about 8 years, in the throes of agony of a marriage that was falling apart, I was sitting in the back row at one of these events, listening to a speaker. She had every single thing I wanted. I asked her after the meeting if she would be my sponsor. She said she would. Over the next year or so, as we talked and she got to know me and my situation, she told me this - direct quote, I will never forget it.... She told me I MUST leave my husband... "there is a place for men like that, it is called the penitentiary." I left my husband, on foot, with nothing but a backpack. Really. No car, no furniture, no family pictures, nothing. I had my big book, some underwear, a toothbrush - whatever fit in that green back pack.

A few months later, I met with my then estranged husband for coffee, he was moving out of our home. He had a keychain with the letter "X" on it. I asked him what the "X" was for. He told me it was "female alcoholic X," it was her keychain - because he was moving into her house! Holy Shit! He was moving in with MY SPONSOR. Oh my goodness. I still get a sick feeling in my gut when I write this. After a few more months, he started telling me what was in my 5th step, because he said it had been discussed around her kitchen table... I told him I was free of all of that - the steps DO work, you know. She could put it on the front page of the Rocky Mountain News, I don't care. I told him that I would much rather be the aggreived party in this situation, because I can't imagine being sick enough to do what she did. sheesh.

But now, 14 years later, I realize that I am going to have to write some inventory on this. I simply cannot feel this way about another person. I will call my sponsor after church this morning and discuss this with her and make a plan. -- And thanks to anyone who has read this far in this long, long, grim post.

So, I am going to church for Morning Prayer. Then I will go buy a leg of lamb and all the rest of the stuff for Easter Dinner. A run later today if the ice clears off the sidewalks. Last night I put sheets on my lilacs and roses... we have got major ice and snow. I hope the pretty blooming things survive.

"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 66

Friday, April 06, 2007

Snowy Good Friday Morning

This is the snow and ice encrusted cord to my iPod after my run this morning. The entire front of me was coated with ice. Fun! I had a great run. I opted to take today off, I dislike working on Good Friday. I have already gone to a meeting and I will probably go to another and spend some time at church before the day is over.

Easter is really my favorite holiday. It has not been embraced by our popular culture to the extent that other religious holidays have. Adults really don't embrace the whole Easter bunny concept... it is intended for children. So, I get to enjoy a holiday mainly for its religious significance... not its manifestation in secular culture. That said, I will still be making Easter baskets for the little ones. And I even sent one to Iraq!

My daughter is supposed to spend the weekend here, and I think the kids will too. It should be a busy weekend. She is doing well, I pray she can continue in this way. The other twin has gone to Moab, UT for the weekend. I am jealous. I love Moab.

"When I was driven to my knees by alcohol, I was made ready to ask for the gift of faith. And all was changed. Never again, my pains and problems notwithstanding, would I experience my former desolation. I saw the universe to be lighted by God's love; I was alone no more." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 51

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Around a Table

Reading the big book, around a table, with another alcoholic. It is a very good thing.... Also note the felted bowl I knit last weekend (and yes, what else but yarn would you put into a knitted bowl?)

My sponsee showed up last night and I gave her an assignment. She wants to "work the steps," but I told her she was on the step before the first step. That is the willingness thing. I asked her to write about if she is willing to go to any length. God Bless Her. She had tears in her eyes, and asked me not to fire her. I told her it is not about me, it is about her and her higher power. Does she want to be sober or not and if she does, what is she willing to do?

I hate this.

I want to be the Nice Sponsor. The Nice Lady who serves tea and cookies while we read the big book and go through the work. Oh crap.

This morning I get to go sit in my church for an hour before I do anything else. On Holy Thursday. This is very good. I will get over this other stuff.
If you have a second, go over and visit Clarity, she is struggling to stay sober.

"In the late stages of our drinking, the will to resist has fled. Yet when we admit complete defeat and when we become entirely ready to try AA principles, our obsession leaves us and we enter a new dimension - freedom under God as we understand him." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 283

Moonlit Run

This is a little low-quality cell phone photo from my run yesterday. That moon was so beautiful as it set over the mountains. I had a wonderful 5 mile run yesterday. And today is a wonderful day off from any exercise!

A sponsee is supposed to come over at 5:30 tonight. She has cancelled the last 5 or 6 weeks. I talked with MY sponsor about this last night and we agreed that I will fire her if she cancels tonight. Last week she was "stuck in traffic," the week before she was "too tired," the week before that she "needed to go to a meeting." I have no patience for this stuff. There are other women who would like me to work with them and I have really struggled to find time for them.... and yet, I set aside 5:30 on Weds. evening for a woman who never shows up. This has got to change.
"Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helfpul. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such an errand. Keep on the firing line of life with these motives and God will keep you unharmed." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 102

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

20,000 visits

Yesterday this blog had its 20,000th visit. I don't know who the visitor was. I am grateful that people actually read this blog. I think it is quite an honor that we alcoholics listen to each other... and read each other. At one of the first AA meetings I attended, a man talked about how bizarre it is that in a room full of alcoholics, one person talks at a time, and we all listen! I really thought about that, I still consider it one of the most remarkable things about AA.

As a person who grew up in an alcoholic home, I was always told to be quiet, shhhhhh, don't be so dramatic, don't tell, don't talk about this outside of this house, etc. This seems to be some of the last baggage from childhood to leave. When someone criticizes something I have said - as in telling me I shouldn't have said that, or criticizes something I didn't say - as in telling me what urgent AA message I didn't share - I think I totally overreact. It is old stuff for me.

I consider it an honor that people listen to me in a meeting. I consider it an honor that people read my blog. Thank you.

I am going to get out and run 5 miles this morning as soon as it is dawn-ish outside. Once again, I had early morning waking... wide awake at 3:00 a.m., even though I didn't get to sleep until almost 11:00 last night. This is not enough sleep for me, but hopefully I will get some good sleep tonight.

Yesterday I was able to write up a list of my acccomplishments for my performance evaluation. Now it is out of my hands. Phew.

And an update on my daughter: She is now clean and sober one week. She is getting herself to a meeting every day, most of the time on the bus. I have tremendous respect for anyone who takes public transportation to meetings. Somehow I think they are more meaningful when you really have to work to get there.

"Dr. Bob did not need me for his spiritual instruction. He had already had more of that than I. What he did need, when we first met, was the deflation at depth and the understanding that only one drunk can give to another. What I needed was the humility of self-forgetfulness and the kinship with another human being of my own kind." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 212

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday Morning

When I woke up this morning, I was actually looking forward to the day. This is good. This is how I usually feel. This is how I like to feel. I will get out and run a quick 3 miles, then get ready for work, and go and do what I am supposed to do at work, and then I will go to a 5:30 meeting on my way home from work. It all sounds good to me.

Today I think I will be able to do something I could not do on Friday. Each year at Performance Evaluation time, I need to write up a list of accomplishments and rationale for why I deserve the highest rating. I tried on Friday and could not do it. I have never been unable to articulate why I am so great at my job and why I am deserving of the ultimate rating, salary, and esteem! When I tried to write this on Friday and no words would come, it was very disturbing to me. I had told my boss in our verbal evaluation meeting, that although I am not normally a person with an abundance of self-confidence, when it comes to my job, I think I am "fabulous" and I feel I do a great job for which I am uniquely qualified. But I could not write it up. Today I think I can.

I really appreciate the kind comments over the last couple of days. I have really felt rotton. I really appreciate that right now I have no regular readers who feel that they need to write paragraphs and paragraphs of unsolicited advice. Anyway, thanks, I really appreciate you all.

"Gratitude should go forward, rather than backward. In other words, if you carry the message to still others, you will be making the best possible repayment for th help given to you." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 29

Sunday, April 01, 2007

In tent

My daughter and granddaughter in a tent in my back yard. I was sitting in there with Olivia for a while, when the phone rang and it was dAAve! He said I was intense. I love a good pun and a bad joke. Love, Love, Love. I also love the thought of meeting some Houstonians at the end of this month.

I slept for 10 hours last night. It helped a great deal. I feel that I am getting sick, I have a sore throat and headache. Between that and no sleep, no wonder I felt "mental" yesterday.

And right now, I have my daughter and granddaughter sitting right behind me, bouncing on my balance ball, screaming and listening to Bob Marley (Redemption Songs) blasting out of my computer. God help me, please!!!!!!!

"I cannot change another person, and I have no right to try. What I can do is change my own outlook on life, so I can see other people's good and pleasant qualities. I can do this by living the Al-Anon way." -- One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, p. 92, thought for the day April 1.