Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My Deepest Fear

My deepest fear is that I would ever pick up another drink and resume the existence of living death. This may sound like hyperbole to one who has recently had a drink. But to one who was saved from an alcoholic existence, and brought into a real life, and has gotten to live a couple of decades this way - that old "life" is the worst thing I can think of.

I am grateful today:
  • For modern antibiotics that kicked the crap out of the bronchitis I had
  • For sleeping until the phone rang at 6:30 this morning!
  • For a job where I don't have to set my alarm
  • For snow on the ground this morning
  • For the ability to "dress up" for Halloween at work today (I'm going as a runner.)
  • That my children and grandchildren are coming over tonight
  • That I am getting ready for an AA event here on Saturday night - woo hoo!
  • That I have a nice comfortable home and it isn't too much work to get it in shape for "company"
  • For Living a Sober Life for these Last 23 years, 3 months, and 8 days! Thank You God!
Have a Happy Halloween Everyone.

"As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did - then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen - Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand!" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 151

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday Back to Work

Thank God! I get to go back to work today! I feel somewhat better!

I have bronchitis, and got a prescription for antibiotics yesterday. I think it will knock the infection out of me and get me back on my feet.

So here is what I have learned from this bout of illness:
1. I thought I had gained seven pounds - I have only gained 4.
2. I have a really nice life normally.
3. I am a runner - I may not look like one, but I AM one.
4. I have been blessed with good health and that is a good thing, because
5. I really, really don't like being sick.

I am going to go to the 6:30 a.m. meeting and then to work. I am very excited about this. It is the day before Halloween, and I haven't even thought about a costume. But the important thing is that my daughter HAS thought about costumes for her daughters. Now, all I have to do is convince her that my house is a must-stop for Halloween.

"Every day, somewhere in the world, recovery begins when one alcoholic talks with another alcoholic, sharing experience, strength, and hope." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. xxii

Monday, October 29, 2007


I have actually resorted to phoning my physician and making an appointment for later today. I am at home sick again because there is no way on God's Green Earth I can go to work today. I have been getting sicker every day since last Weds.

I feel so awful and I am so sick of being at home. I want to be ME! I look around here and see the evidence of the woman I am happy to be... the runner, the AA member, the church member, the neighbor, the friend, the mother, the grandmother. I feel like I am a hundred years old, I can't believe I ran a half-marathon just 15 days ago!

Would you say a prayer if you have a minute? Thanks.

"God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such persons." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 133

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I am probably too ill to be writing about a serious subject this morning, but I will try anyway. I have bronchitis and I am not feeling too good. I will likely go back to bed after writing this - and then my son is coming over for dinner this afternoon. How normal does that sound?! And how wonderful! I don't think I will ever take his presence for granted again after that long 13 months of absence. By the way, he is doing well, he moved about a month ago to a lovely apartment just 2 miles away.

I called Daave yesterday to talk about some nonsense I needed to share with someone who doesn't know the person it was about... and then promptly realized how silly it was. Anyway, he was saying there were ONLY 23 birthdays at his home group last night. I was talking about the distribution of birthdays at the various groups I attend - and it solidified something that has been wandering around in my brain about one of my groups.

At my homegroup, we virtually adopt and take home and feed and bathe someone in their first year because the group is so established - anyone with under 10 years is considered a newcomer. I am exaggerating slightly, but you get the point.

At another group I attend, there are plenty of birthdays. There is a distribution of people between 35 years and one year. And then there are those who are in their first year, earnestly trying to stay sober. Sometimes they slip, mostly they stay sober.

However, the group I am concerned about has mostly newcomers. At first I loved the group because, well, it has mostly newcomers. It is exhilarating to attend meetings there - they remind me of my homegroup when I got sober... we were all new together. The difference is, most of us stayed sober . After attending the mostly newcomers group for a little over a year, I realize that it is the same group of people who are perennial newcomers. They just "keep comin' back," which is better than dying. However, maybe someone could stress to them that they might try coming back and not drinking!

There are a couple of people who are the self-appointed "old-timers" of this group - they have between ten and fifteen years of sobriety. They sponsor a lot of the slippers. They sit back with beneficent smiles on their faces as they watch the suffering of the masses at the meetings. When someone (like me) comes in and suggests that the newcomers try something like "take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth," and listen and try to learn something - the nice old-timers get annoyed with me. They don't believe in being confrontational and non-supportive to the newcomers.

Well, how nice is it to let someone kill themselves before your eyes? How responsible is it to sit there with a simple life-saving answer, and not fully share it with someone who is dying?

I thank God for the nasty mean people who were around when I got sober. They told me "shut the f*** up, you don't know anything." I am not kidding. When I went to one and whined that I felt like drinking, he handed me a dollar bill - when I asked him what it was for, he said "for your first drink." They used to say such charming things as "Sympathy is in the dictionary - between shit and syphilis." Did I fall in love with these people? Heck no! Did I listen to them? Yes! They were sober and I was not! I wanted to be sober! No one had to convince me of that.
Somehow I never got the idea that it would be OK for me to have a little drink and then just come on back to a meeting. It was stressed to me that if I am alcoholic (which I am) I might never make it back to a meeting. I might not live through my next drunk. And once I take a drink, I am not able to stop drinking on my own! They used to say things like "I know I have another drunk in me, but I don't know if I have another sobering up."

I don't think being endlessly kind to slippers is that good for them. I think we might just be killing them with kindness.

If you alcoholic and you are done drinking, please, please stick around. It gets better. You get better, if you are willing to do a few simple things.

"Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 98

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday Mid-Afternoon

This post will probably be read by less readers than any other, due to my late posting and the weekend. So, should I go ape-s**t and post something crazy? hmmmm. probably not.

I went to a glorious AA meeting this morning.

And then to a knitting workshop. The teacher was a severely overweight insecure woman who was extremely unpleasant just under a paper-thin veneer of seeming hilarity (and seemed to be hungover). I didn't like most of the hilarity, so I ended up being her victim a couple of times.

Sorry, when I pay perfectly good money to attend a class, I would like to learn something - without racial, religious, political, or sexual orientation jokes. I'm sure that's just me though - because everyone else was laughing uproariously. And it seems when you are veiling those kind of remarks as being "liberal" and "broad-minded", I guess folks will find it funny. But not me. Once again, Sorry! I say, what's good for the goose is good for the gander and if those kinds of jokes are out of line for anyone, they are out of line for all.

That said - I did learn an extremely cool knitting technique and I got to spend some time with a woman from work I would like to know better.

Now I am home and getting ready to go back to bed. I spent most of yesterday in bed. I really felt awful. Today I have a cough (a fairly cool sounding barking croupy thing) and I feel slightly ill, but not comprehensively awful like yesterday. I have cleaned the house a bit because I volunteered to host an AA event here next weekend. I have a lot more work to go and it will be great because I am going to be on vacation the week of November 5 - so I will have a clean house to hang out in.

I hope everyone is having a great sober weekend. Sorry for my tirade about the knitting woman. It seems I rubbed her the wrong way from the moment I hit the door which is not how things generally work for me - it was unusual! And Thank God for that!

"We saw that we needn't always be bludgeoned and beaten into humility. It could come quite as much from our voluntary reaching for it as it could from unremitting suffering." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 75

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fried day morning

Again! I am sick! I am heading out of here for a 6:30 meeting and then I am going to come back home and go to bed. I am not going to work. I shouldn't even go to the meeting, but I haven't been to one for a few days and I don't like to go too long without a meeting.

I have a headache, a fever, a cough, and my whole body hurts. I am sorry, I don't seem to be able to think past this.

Hope you all have a great sober day.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Purple Shoes

I bought these shoes 5 or 6 years ago - because they were on sale - super cheap!!! (I wonder why?) Yesterday, it occurred to me that I have virtually no purple clothing. I have a lavender twin set and these shoes. That is it. So, today, since the feds have gone from my place of business, I will wear these shoes and the lavender cardigan - well, and black pants and a black shirt.

I am off now to church... I think I will skip wearing the purple heels to church. The formal hour of silent prayer each week is such a blessing in my life. It has helped me to bring more prayer and meditation into my routine. And that can't help but be good!

My life is so busy, busy, busy, it sometimes can get overwhelming. I used to sit down to pray and after 15 minutes or a half hour, start thinking of everything I had to get done. Since I have made this commitment to be at my church from 5 to 6 a.m. each Thursday morning - there is no negotiation about it. I just go. I stay until the next person comes at 6 (or sometimes later). This has taught me how to stay still for an hour, and I am actually able to do that at home now.

"...we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 60

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I have not run since last Friday. I was going to run this morning, but it is late, it is dark, and I need to get ready for work. Conventional wisdom is to take one day off for each mile you run in a race... in that case, I have a few more days to make it 13. I might just take it.

I have had a couple of really excellent days at work. I really love the challenging days. It's interesting to watch the people who don't thrive on crisis and challenges... they are looking a little bit ill. Me? I feel like I have come alive in the last couple of days. I don't do well with boring routine - and that is a problem. But it doesn't seem like a problem at the moment - right now I remember why I love my job.

I want to say that the folks threatened by fire in California are in my prayers. Lash has evacuated, and Aawoken (who is no longer blogging - I miss him!) did not need to evacuate as of yesterday, but that was likely to change at any moment.

"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." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 31

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Morning

Another photo from my retreat weekend...

The "feds" showed up where I work yesterday. They will be there for 2 more days. This is what I live for at work. They were "expected" for an unannounced visit earlier in the year, and this is why I never took a summer vacation this year. So now they are here, and after 2 more days of intense work and pressure, I will be able to take a vacation. I will probably wait until early November - and maybe I will drive over to the western slope and visit my sponsor.

Most people find the pressure of these things almost unbearable. But I think most alcoholics have had such a lifetime of thriving on self-created crisis and pressure that we can get through these situations - we almost thrive on them. In my first one, my boss asked me how I was doing, and I told him I felt like I was "in the zone" and that I was really having fun! He was happy to hear that.

I better get ready for work and get out of here.

"When pain comes, we are expected to learn from it willingly, and help others to learn. When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 306

Monday, October 22, 2007


I was hoping to gain some perspective (among other things) over this retreat weekend. After 48 hours with no phone (cellular or otherwise), radio, television, or internet, I feel I got some. There were many revelations I won't bore you with, just let me say that I feel more peaceful than I have for a long time. I made some decisions about some things in my life (was it really a typo when I just typed "thing sin my life"?) and taken some action already.

However, the blog was one of the things I was praying about and I did get an answer.

I will continue with this blog. It appears it does help some people. It means a lot to me. I decided to stop my slavish devotion to the blog. I am not going to be spending 2 to 3 hours a day cruising all your blogs anymore. I will check the people I know blog daily. I will likely check the people who leave comments (thank you!) on my blog. The rest, well, I am spending too much time on this and I need to stop.

I was stunned by several things when I got home. First, just as I got on my first highway after spending 2 days with lovely kind gentle people, I got flipped off! I did not respond - thank God. Then when I checked my blog, I had a comment telling me that I am not a Christian. I won't go into the specifics of this, but for all of you who get these comments, let me tell you that he must not read the blogs at all if he is leaving me this comment! Then I had a comment from a relapsed drunk that stuff like me stopping blogging was why this person hated AA. Here is a quote: "So sure tuck tail and run. I'm used to that. Because for Higher Power's sake... don't let someone with 20 some odd years of sobriety witness to the masses. god this pisses me off."

I guess if you read my blog, maybe you think you know me? But really, read my blog and you will know that "tuck tail and run" is the last thing on earth that I do in my life. I stay with things long past any point of reason. I consider this one of my character defects! Often I feel like a cock roach - which is predicted to be the last creature left on earth, long after the rest of us are extinct.

So, I am sober 23 years and 3 months. I am more grateful for this than words can ever convey. I do not take the credit for this. I am a grateful recipient of a gift from God. I try to care and feed the gift, but I am clear that it is NOT by my grand and glorious WORK that I am sober. I am sober by the Grace of a Loving God.

I care deeply about AA and the traditions of AA. I am not going to get into another discussion of them today because it seems I don't communicate well when talking about them. I think I gave many of you the wrong impression about what I was worried about last week. So let me not dig this hole any deeper. Let me just say that I am now satisfied that my blog doesn't break the 11th tradition (the 12th is still in question though.)

I try to be an example of living a sober life. One of my sponsees says "I can either be an example or a hideous warning." I TRY to be an example - and I am not always successful. I believe the way I live my life screams so loudly, you can barely hear what I say. I am not big on trying to convince people they ought to be sober, but I am big on being there when they decide they want to be sober.

I will likely put something in the header of my blog that says something like "I am a sober drunk, I share MY experience, strength, and hope - because that is all I have to share - no one speaks for AA as a whole." I also think of a group I attend occasionally - in their meeting format, they suggest that if what you hear from someone there cannot be reconciled with the first 164 pages of the big book, you disregard it!

For anyone who has been kind enough to leave a comment - THANK YOU. I am incredibly grateful for the people who read my blog. I really consider it an honor to be listened to... and a blessing. And for those of us who remain and continue to blog, Thank you! I love you - and you know who you are!

"After all, our problems were of our own making. Bottles were only a symbol. Besides, we have stopped fighting anybody or anything. We have to!" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 103

Friday, October 19, 2007

Off to a retreat

I am going to my first religious retreat today. I will be gone all weekend. I have been to plenty of AA retreats, but never a religious retreat. I am really looking forward to it.

It is in the mountains, and it should be very nice. My flannel jammies are freshly washed and folded. I have done some shopping for some casual clothes to wear. I will load up my hiking boots, my wool socks, and a hat or two.

I am so grateful that through being sober in Alcoholics Anonymous, I have gotten to discover who I am - and it is NOT who I thought I was. I can walk into a church today and not worry about the structural integrity of the roof!

"AA led me gently from this fantasizing to embrace reality with open arms. And I found it beautiful! For, at last, I was at peace with myself. And with others. And with God." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 559

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday Morning

This is my beautiful granddaughter laying in the leaves. Last year (she had loose baby teeth in the pic, and now she has her big girl teeth). I tried to take a picture last night but I don't like any of them.

I realized last night that I have some post-race depression going on. It hits like a ton of bricks - from out of nowhere. I have lost all proportion. This is an awful feeling. But I know it will pass and that it is "normal" for people who have just completed a huge race that took months of training. I have been training for one thing or another since January. I am now done. Physically, I can use the rest - but mentally, this is difficult.

Today I hope to keep to myself as much as I can to avoid trouble with people at work. Then tomorrow I leave for a 3 day retreat. It is sponsored by my Biblical School. The theme of the weekend is the Lord's Prayer. That is what all the lectures will be about. I am really looking forward to it and I desperately need it.

I will pray about this blogging thing while I am gone.

"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. We are sure that humility, expressed by anonymity, is the greatest safeguard that Alcoholics Anonymous can ever have." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 187

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I am not even sure I can say "I meant well." I did try to make this blog anonymous. I remember how surprised I was when I was able to name it "anonymous alcoholic" - I thought sure someone else would have taken this obvious, obvious name for an AA member.

"Publicly accessible aspects of the Internet such as Web sites featuring text, graphics, audio and video ought to be considered another form of “public media.” Thus, they need to be treated in the same manner as press, radio, TV and films. This means that full names and faces should not be used." -- Alcoholics Anonymous website - Q&A about anonymity

I really am not trying to be manipulative when I say that I am thinking of shutting this blog down. I am just sharing this process with my friends. Some of you bloggers truly are my friends - just as much as my friends from face-to-face meetings - so I don't want to just disappear. But I need to pay attention to the traditions. When this was just a little blog with a couple of posts, it didn't seem like such a big deal. Now it is over 2 years old. I post every single day, I am nearing a thousand posts. My readership every day mostly consists of people who get here from google searches for things either related or not related to alcoholism. To me, a blog is all about the interactivity of it all, the comments and the give and take of it. There is not much of that going on lately, so it really isn't even much fun any more.

So I think I have two options...
  1. Clean up my blog so that it is within the "letter of the law" - get rid of any pictures of my face or any other identifying information.
  2. Stop blogging.
I will pray about this, and I would ask for your prayers. My blog and my blogging friends have meant so much to me and have really enriched my sobriety... but as Bill Wilson said:

"sometimes the good is the enemy of the best" -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 138

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday after the race

I will try not to think too much about the overwhelming wave of depression that normally happens about noon on the Tuesday after a Sunday race. For this moment, I am fine... sitting in my little home office, with a nice cup of coffee, and the ash tree outside my window is the most stunningly gorgeous shade of orange/yellow. It lights up this whole room.

I took this morning off work, I have a doctor's appointment at 8:30 and then I am going to get new tires on my car. I have never in my life kept a car long enough to buy new tires! Is this progress? I don't know. I know that I have never seen "buy a new car every 18 months to 2 years" on a list of smart financial moves.

Snow is coming tonight... so I better take a picture of this tree, by tomorrow it may be naked. Isn't that a wonderful analogy of life!

"May God bless you and keep you..." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

I thought I would actually participate in this today. Blog Action Day, all bloggers uniting to write about one topic - the environment. Now, for regular readers, you know I will not be getting on a political soap box to tell you what you and others ought to be doing.

What I will do is talk about my own experience. In 1990, I was just married to a crop duster. Earth Day came around and I realized that I was married to a person who judged to be doing terrible things to the environment. As a former flower child, I found this extremely disconcerting. I decided to take a different approach so I wouldn't feel so guilty about this. I decided to do whatever I could do to impact my own environment.

I cannot change other people, but I can change my own actions (with the help of God.) So instead of worrying about factories belching toxic fumes, I can worry about my own consumption of fossil fuels - yes, that means my very own car! In Denver, we have virtually no factories, but we have a terrible air pollution problem. It is caused almost entirely by automobiles. (and I bet if you asked the driver of the SUV who is commuting 50 miles each way to work if he/she cares about the environment, they would say YES! And I wish the Government would do something!) I can limit the number of trips I take. I can drive a car that doesn't use a lot of fuel. I can take public transportation. I can ride my bicycle!

How many plastic bottles am I drinking from and throwing away every day? Can I use my own bottle and fill it with water or stuff and then wash the bottle and reuse it? Yes, that is what I do.

Do I own a dorky grocery bags to use instead of plastic shopping bags? Yes. I use cloth napkins instead of paper. I actually use dish cloths to wash dishes. I clean with rags! And then I wash them all and use them again! They are so much nicer than paper towels and napkins.

My point is - that I do what I can. In AA, I have learned to sweep my own side of the street instead of standing in my own garbage complaining about yours.

Now, if you have read all of this, thank you. This is as close to political that I will ever get. And if you haven't read about my half-marathon, scroll down and read about it - it was fabulous!!!

"We are there to sweep off our side of the street, realizing that nothing worth while can be accomplished until we do so, never trying to tell him what he should do." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 77-78

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Being Sober Means You Can Do Stuff

I just finished my second half-marathon. I enjoyed it thoroughly - except for the fact that it was in the high 30s and pouring rain. I was soaked to the skin. By the time I got home, I was shaking and shivering. I also have some huge honkin' nasty looking blisters on my feet. I have never run with soaking wet socks in soaking wet shoes before. It's different than dry shoes and socks, let me tell you.

I somehow shut off my GPS, for about a half mile, so I don't know what my official time was. It is not posted yet. I think I did better than my last one - in any event, I feel very good about my performance today.

As I crossed the finish line, I started crying. I mean really crying. I am so grateful that I get to be part of life today. I get to do stuff.

When I was drinking - even though I was young, I could never have done this. I ran a lot, but somehow I never registered for a race. I ran my first race in 1987 when I was nearly 3 years sober. It was a miraculous revelation to actually do something I had talked about for so many years.

I am tired and I am going to go take a nap. But I wanted to post something about my race. Daave was kind enough to call me this morning, and some other folks have called to see how I am. I am glad that people care enough about me to think about me and then actually pick up the phone and call.

Most people don't want to run, but most people do have dreams. I just want to say: If you are sober, you can put one foot in front of the other and realize your dreams. It is possible!

Race Day!

I actually got a good night's sleep last night, which is rare on the night before a race. It must have been that steak and mashed potato I had for dinner last night! It is 42 degrees, which is warmer than I thought it would be. The high temp is supposed to be 45. I think I have figured out what to wear (with the help of the kind folks at the running store).

I am looking forward to this day and all it may bring!

I will probably post after my race today, so check back.

"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, it is also the essence of our experience as a fellowship." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 31

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Wardrobe Malfunction?

This is a great outfit for running in the 67 degrees that was predicted for tomorrow - earlier in the week. The latest projected high for tomorrow is 49 degrees - and rain. I am on my way to the running shop now to get some help to figure out what I am going to wear for tomorrow's half-marathon.

I am so psyched. I think that injury served me well. It forced me to rest for a week, and having the doctor tell me I couldn't do it made me realize how very much I wanted to! I thought I was ambivalent, but apparently I really am not. I really want to run this race.

I went out and ran a few slow miles this morning just to see if my foot was OK, and it is. I am just delighted.

Went to a meeting this morning. You know, alcoholics really agonize over every little thing some times... And when you are all wrapped up in a problem, you can't hear anything. I am glad I am where I am and not back there - today. Thank you Dear Lord!

"I once knew a woman who was crying before a meeting. She was approached by a five-year-old girl who told her, 'You don't have to cry here. This is a good place. They took my daddy and they made him better.' That is exactly what AA did for me; it took me and it made me better. For that I am eternally grateful." -- Alcoholics Anonymous (4th ed.) , p. 431

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Morning

This is a picture of my volunteer geranium. I noticed there were tiny leaves in this unused pot earlier in the year, so I started watering them. The tiny leaves turned into a tiny geranium. That small pink bloom is the only flower for the season. I think I will take this one indoors for the winter and let it grow. It had such determination to live - and somehow I can relate to this.

After work today, my daughter and I will go to the race expo and pick up our race packets. As of yesterday afternoon, I thought for sure I would be able to participate in the race... right now I am not so sure - my foot doesn't feel so great this morning. But when you pay $75. for a race, you at least want to go pick up the goodies they give you. I pray I will still be able to run or at least walk by Sunday morning.

Non-race-runners will say to me "Don't worry, you can always do another race." They have no idea what goes into training for a half-marathon or a marathon. The amount of time I have spent running is nearly obscene - when you consider that I have a family I haven't spent much time with, a job I should probably spend more time doing, AA meetings I have missed, AA sponsees who have to deal with me and my palm pilot when trying to figure out when we are going to meet. As of this moment, I don't want to do the training again. It takes too much out of a person and away from the rest of my life.

Last night I talked on the phone (while I iced my foot, and watched the Rockies game - with the sound muted) with my friend Larry for maybe a couple of hours. He told me about his late wife. We both cried. He told me about the last 30 years that he has been in AA and what that has been like. I told him about my 23 year years in AA. For some reason, we both cried. It is gratitude and also sadness. Yes, sadness.

If you are new in AA, please enjoy this time. I know that sounds like heresy... we in AA focus so much on getting LONG TERM sobriety. But really, the longer you stay sober, the older you get! I remember so fondly the early years - I was totally insane, but everything was new and I had so many friends in the same boat. It was a grand time - the best of times, the worst of times. I see so many newer people waiting for some magic number - "X" number of years - and THEN it will be good.

It is good RIGHT NOW if you are sober. Please enjoy this moment. They really are numbered. We only get so many. Don't wait for life - it is now!

"...his recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his relationship with God." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, pp. 99-100

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Knitting at the Work Comp Doc's Office

This is one bare-bones operation. Not pretty like my normal doctor's office. Oh well. I was glad I brought my knitting, because I had plenty of time to knit while waiting.

He told me I can't run the half-marathon on Sunday. He was shocked when I started crying.

If God wants me to run that race I guess I will. And if he doesn't, I guess I won't. I don't think one little sprained foot is too big of a job for my Higher Power!

"Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 44

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Staying in the Day

Maybe. I need to.

I fell down the stairs at work yesterday. I couldn't believe that I could fall down and injure myself 5 days before the half-marathon for which I have trained for months, and months, and months. So I chose not to believe that I hurt myself. But I think I can't persist in this belief since I am in pain. Today I will go to work and complete the "injury on the job" form and go get my foot looked at.

I want to cry.

But if I stay in today, it is all OK. My race is NOT today. It is on Sunday. All I have to do today is go to work and take care of what is in front of me. Not my entire life. Just today.

"On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 86

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Back to Reality

My son moved out yesterday. He found a really nice apartment only 2 miles away. As he was leaving, I started crying! I wanted to just throw myself on the floor and wail. It was the oddest feeling to have such an intense emotional reaction, and rationally know that it is wacked! This young man left home at 17 - to go into the Army. It is not like I am used to having him around. But in the last 6 weeks or so it has been so nice to share my home with him. And I think I am emotionally fatigued from a year of trying so hard not to go mental over him being at war.

I go back to work this morning after 4 days off. My Tuesday night sponsee is sick and canceled her time to come over tonight. Tomorrow I am meeting with a new sponsee, I am looking forward to that.

I hope to get rid of the headache I woke up with, and have a fabulous sober Tuesday. I hope you all do too!

"We discover that we do receive guidance for our lives to just about the extent that we stop making demands upon God to give it to us on order and on our terms." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 104

Monday, October 08, 2007

I saw the light...

Of my new dining room chandelier, living room ceiling fan, kitchen track lighting, and foyer pendant!!! YAY! Those young men did a great job - even though they didn't get started until late in the day... it was a good distraction from the Broncos game.

So I am off this morning to the 6:30 meeting. There I will meet my friend B., and he will come back and blow out my sprinkler system. YAY! I have today off because it is Columbus Day. Don't ask my why that is a paid holiday, it makes no sense to me, but somehow I do not complain about meaningless "holidays".

Today my son is moving out of my house and into his own apartment. I will miss him terribly. I have enjoyed having him here. But somehow I don't think it is good for a 31 year old man to live at his mother's house for more than a teeny little bit of time. I am really glad that his apartment is right down the road... he used to live on the other side of town. I am so grateful that this wonderful young man is back from Iraq. What a long year that was.

"True leadership, we find, depends upon able example and not upon vain displays of power or glory." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 124

Sunday, October 07, 2007

41 Degrees

I could actually wear a sweater or a jacket to church this morning! Last night I walked into the monthly nightwatch gathering at C.'s house, carrying my apple pie, it was in the 80's. When I left, it was in the 60's and the wind was blowing the leaves around. It was glorious. It is also glorious that C. is back. The last time I was at nightwatch at his house, his kids were little boys... now one is at college and the other is a junior in high school. C. stopped going to meetings, but didn't get drunk - thank God, but now he is back and we're all really grateful.

Today my son and his friend (the electrician) will install my new light fixtures! I am so excited to ditch the old stuff, and a little nervous about how the new ones will look. Some of you understood my excitement over a chicken chandelier - I am glad I am not alone.

I am going to have to have a refresher course in baseball. I used to watch it, but that has been a l-o-n-g time ago. But suddenly everyone in Denver is a baseball fan. Go Rockies!

I better get ready for church. It is a beautiful Sunday morning and I am looking forward to a beautiful sober day... and wish the same for you all.

"When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 306

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Autumn Leaves

I absolutely love this time of the year. And I absolutely love Saturday mornings. What could be better? I am sitting here in my green running skirt (yes, really) drinking my first cup of coffee of the morning - at nearly 8:00 AM! Getting ready for a quick run because my training is essentially over - the race is next Sunday, whatever fitness I have accomplished is done, I can't get any more fit now, I can just tire myself out before the race.

Yesterday I got to spend the afternoon with my beloved sponsee J. We were able to find four lighting fixtures, and I even came in under budget! She would not let me purchase the chandelier I wanted for the dining room... it had chickens on it and little lampshades of red and white gingham! I LOVED that thing! We laughed and laughed and laughed. But I am not kidding - I really would have bought it had she not forbidden it! I have the fixtures, still within their boxes, all over my living and dining areas. They will be installed tomorrow! woo hooo! I have wanted to ditch the crap in here since I moved here 6 years ago!

This morning Pam reminded me of something that happened probably 22 or 23 years ago. I hope you don't mind that I piggyback on this Pammie. My daughters and I had just moved into a new apartment. They, as 5 year old children, went about meeting the neighbors. One night they came home and with all of the assurance of a 5 year old child, told me that their friend's parents weren't alcoholics! I was so interested to find out how they determined this... so I asked. They knew they weren't alcoholics because they were drinking beer!

I hope everyone has a great Saturday.

"God helps those who don't try to take over His work." -- One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, p. 196

Friday, October 05, 2007

October Morning-

I love, love, love October. Late yesterday afternoon, I decided to take today off. Combined with the Monday holiday of Columbus Day, I will have a 4 day weekend. Suddenly, in my office, I was whistling and singing and one of my co-workers noticed that my entire being had changed. I need a vacation desperately. I will have this 4 day weekend and then I have the half-marathon next weekend and then the weekend after that I have a retreat to go to.

I went to the 6:30 meeting this morning. I found it discouraging to hear a man who is nearly 20 years sober and still hates his mother. That's what the steps are for! Jeeez Louise, we have to get over this stuff. Sorry to be judgmental, but it was so striking to me. It is so hideously ugly to hear a 60 year old man whining about his mother. Yuck. I should strike this paragraph, but probably won't.

So this morning, I took my last kind of long run before my race. I ran 5 miles around a lake, through the golden cottonwood trees, in the crisp autumn air. It was glorious. I took a picture of a tree, but blogger won't let me post a photo this morning for some reason.

I had a revelation of sorts in the past couple of days: I decided that treating my son as a guest is probably not the best thing for either of us. I asked him if he would please install new lighting fixtures in my living room, dining room, kitchen and foyer. He said YES! And then I called my beloved sponsee J., and asked her (since she remodels homes for a living) if she would go with me and help me pick out the fixtures. She asked when I could, I originally said Friday night (not having yet decided to take today off) and she said that was practically "date night" for lesbians at Lowe's and Home Depot. I told her I would wear a flannel shirt. She said that a short skirt and heels would probably be better!

Anyway, I probably should not spend this money, but I am going to. I HATE the 80s crap in my house and I am going to get rid of it, piece by piece.

This is a long and rambling post. It is so wonderful to have the luxury of time. My house is such a pleasant place in the daytime... I feel like I never get to experience it.

"Let's remember that alcoholics are not the only ones bedeviled by sick emotions. In many instances we are really dealing with fellow sufferers, people whose woes we have increased. If we are to ask forgiveness for ourselves, why shouldn't we start out by forgiving them, one and all." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 78

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tending to my knitting

I am on a hat-knitting kick. They are easy, the people I have knit them for love them. Knitting calms me down. It forces me to just do the next right stitch. There is something so soothing about beautiful yarn and well-crafted needles.

"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? ... When pain comes, we are expected to learn from it willingly, and help others to learn. When happiness comes, we accept it as a gift, and thank God for it." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 306

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

11 Days

Until my half-marathon. I went to the gym this morning to put some miles on the treadmill. I really enjoyed it. I saw a couple of ladies from AA and one friend from work- that was nice.

Yesterday I talked with my sponsor for a long time. Thank God for cellular phones. She is in Washington DC, and back in the day that would have meant that she was unavailable to me. But with cell phones, we are all available all the time! (but is that really a good thing?) I also talked with another friend about what is going on with me. I am having a hard time.

I went to a meeting last night and saw a bunch of people who are shaky and scared and trying to get sober. I could really feel their pain and I was grateful that I am not there.

So now I will get dressed - I will wear a suit with a skirt and pantyhose and heels and look as good as I possibly can and I will go into my office and do the best job I possibly can - today. I will make some phone calls to some people I think could use a phone call and maybe I can be relieved of the bondage of self for a minute or two.

"We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are enabled to get over drinking and find the grace to go on living to better effect. Each man's theology has to be his own quest, his own affair." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 95

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tuesday Morning

This is a cell phone photo from my run this morning. It was dark... and cold... and windy. And most importantly, wonderful. I am 12 days out from my half-marathon. I am getting very nervous about it. I have a fitness blog and there is a great community of bloggers who run marathons and do triathlons - they encourage me every day. Being nervous is normal. Really, they tell me it is.

I am feeling rather discouraged this morning. That is just the truth. I am tired from all this running. I am working hard but not feeling excited about it. I found out over the weekend that I didn't get the job I had wanted.

Although I am late to the party, because I delayed my maturity for all those years of active alcoholism, I think I am having a bit of a mid-life crisis. For a long time, it seemed that the sky was the limit for me - career wise, and life wise. But now I think I am realizing that I have gotten to where I am going. Now I have to just sit here or figure out what I can change.

This, to me, is the tough stuff. I have years of experience at how to handle crisis - I am quite good at it. I can handle elation, I can even handle dismal failure. How do I learn to live with a 'normal' life? I own a nice home - it is not a mansion, it is a middle-class home in suburbia. I drive a nice car, and I likely won't trade it for anything new and shiney and distracting for quite a while. I have a good job, but I have had it for a long time and don't find it exciting any more. I have a nice family, nice friends, even nice neighbors. I have good relationships with all of these. I have several good AA groups where I feel at home. I have a sponsor I love with all of my heart and she loves me too. I sponsor three women for whom I have endless love and gratitude. I am increasingly involved in my church and have come to know and love people there. I have begun a 4 year Biblical school - which I love.

Yesterday my friend Larry told me to write down the names of five people who are really glad I am alive and part of their lives. He told me to write his name first. He said that when I pondered the list, I should realize that in reality, the list is probably at least 10 times that. And that I don't even know how many people care deeply about me.

I just better get dressed and get out of here and go give it my best effort today. Suit up and show up. Fake it till you make it. Act as if. I know that God is caring for me, even when it is hard to feel that closeness. I must remember that the way I FEEL is not an accurate gauge of my spiritual condition.

"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

Monday, October 01, 2007

It finally happened...

I have lived in the same town as my ex-husband (the father of my children) for many, many years. We have been divorced since 1986 - and lived within 10 miles of each other since then - except for my brief stays in British Columbia and Washington. I have always marveled at the fact that we have never in all that time run into each other. Not in a restaurant, not in a grocery store, not at the gas station. No where.

Yesterday I was driving to the yarn store so that I buy supplies to start knitting another hat or two. I missed my turn, so took the next westbound street - which also happens to be the street on which his corner lot abuts. As I passed his house, he and his wife were pulling out of the driveway. As I got to the next red light (damn! why wasn't it green?) they pulled up next to me. So I did what any mature reasonable person would do, I stared straight ahead and pretended not to notice that my ex-husband was sitting next to me at a red light! Then I quickly went to the yarn shop, somehow feeling like I had done something sneaky, and got ready for some big time knitting.

It was a day for hearing from and seeing people from my distant and near past. The man I was dating and not talking about came by to see me... I don't really understand that... then my other ex-husband called from Thailand. He said he needed to talk to a 'real' AA person - and somehow that's me. hmmmm. It was good to talk with both of these men.

I wonder how it is that I end up with better relationships with former boyfriends, husbands (with the exception of the first husband mentioned above), and lovers?

I better stop pondering these things and get ready for work. I have a meeting with my boss at 10:00 and I am dreading it.

"First things First
Live and Let Live
Easy Does It." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 135