Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Friday Morning

Blogger wouldn't let me type in a title, I only had a drop down box of all the titles I have ever used, and I thought this one was apt. I have a three day weekend ahead of me. The State AA Convention is this weekend, but I decided not to go. I had planned to go and stay with my sponsor and her husband. I was also planning to see a man I was dating (but not talking about) who moved to the western slope in June.

I decided that there is a man here in my house (my son) who I have missed for over a year (while he was in Iraq). My heart is happy every time I see him. I do not care to miss many opportunities to spend time with him. He will be back in his own apartment soon enough. I will get over to visit my sponsor and the man later on in the year when the time is right. But this weekend, I just want to be at home.

I also think there should be people sitting in the regular old boring meetings - without the super star circuit speakers - for the drunks who stumble in, unaware that everyone has gone to the State Convention!!! I will gladly be the regular old sober alcoholic, sitting in the regular old meeting, waiting for the regular old drunks. Let the rest of them go off and get shiney and dressed up and give standing ovations for an alcoholic telling their story (can you tell I have a big problem with that? I do!)

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

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Shoes

I love to purchase new shoes. I love to purchase too many shoes. I spend entirely too much money on shoes. I used to buy lots of nice new high heeled shoes to wear to work. Lately I wear my old high heeled shoes to work and save my money for the important shoes - like sandals, running shoes, hiking boots, and other recreational footwear.

I am off to church now. One hour of silent prayer has great restorative powers.

"(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 60

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday, Trash Day

I get to take the trash cans out to the curb this morning. I get to take the chinese cartons out of the refrigerator and put them in the trash - I didn't want to throw lots of chicken and spare ribs into a trash can and let them sit for days in my very hot garage. There are at least three pizza cartons too. And pop cans. Weird. I can definitely tell that my life is very different today. Having a family around is wonderful and very different.

Last night we went out for dinner at a wonderful restaurant. We laughed and had the best time. My kids were bemused that when our entrees were served, I pulled my camera out of my purse and took a picture of mine. I never saw anything like it.

I am starting to feel like myself again. But I am dealing with the fallout of a year where I didn't want to make any major changes or deal with anything that wasn't life threatening. So now that my son is home, safe and sound, I am faced with a job that has turned into a nightmare. And the emotional fallout of that - I am broken hearted because I fully intended to retire from this job. Today I will put the finishing touches on a job application and a written essay that went with it, and I will drop it off and get it out of my hands.

"We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My nature vs. what is good

First let me tell you: I don't even want to write this blog entry today. For reasons I won't go into - I just did and then deleted it because I sound like Wendy Whiner. But I will write because I made a commitment to do this, and I try with all my might to honor my commitments.

Now I just deleted 3 paragraphs of what is going on in my life. I don't feel like sharing that today.

Here is what I will say: yesterday I discovered that somehow in the excitement of having my son here and all that goes with that, I had forgotten to pick up my estrogen refill at the pharmacy - 2 weeks ago. I was having mood stuff going on, and I was having hot flashes and night sweats, and somehow it didn't register that I hadn't been taking my estrogen? It will take a couple days to get back to some semblance of normalcy (for me.)

I will go out for a run at first light. I am training for a half-marathon. I love to run and it frequently straightens out my thinking. I think there is something so therapeutic about the rhythm of breathing and foot strikes, being out in the morning air and sunshine, and working up a sweat.

Mainly what I will do is know that the way I "feel" is not an accurate gauge of my spiritual condition. Being "happy" does not mean I am doing what is right or good. I will trust God and know that all is well. All is just as it should be.

"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, August 27, 2007

Monday Morning

I love Monday Morning. The whole week is ahead of me. Sometimes the work week seems like a place to rest up from the weekend. I had hoped for some rest over the weekend, but that never happened. I am not used to having a life so full of people. It is good, but it does wear me out.

I am heading out of here this morning to my 6:30 meeting. It is a great way to start a week. When I get to work, I have a meeting with my boss. I have got some real problems with this man. I will pray about what to say to him.

I am so grateful to be sober this morning. I am so grateful I didn't drink yesterday and didn't wake up wanting a drink today. It's just as simple as that. "Ask Him in the morning, and thank Him at night."

"As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day 'Thy will be done.'"-- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 87, 88

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Men and Women in AA

My friend Larry was recently told by a woman he helped to get sober that she couldn't talk to him anymore. Her sponsor said so. Because he is a man. She is a woman and he is a man. And her sponsor says she can't talk to him.

What a wonderful way to cut your chances at recovery in half. What a fabulous way to spit in the face of God's Grace - and tell God who he ought to put in your life. What an efficient way to narrow your world down by 50%. And probably there are more rules in there that whittle it right down to far less than 50%.

When I was new in AA, there were certainly sponsors who advised their "pigeons" to stick to the women - hang out only with women. Stay away from the men. I looked at these sponsors and thought, in my newcomer's supreme judgment, that these women were old and unattractive and had no chance of being with a man and so they didn't want anyone else to either. (And furthermore, I have never had a sponsor who called me anything other than a "sponsee" or even a "friend". I am not a pigeon. I am not a baby. I am an adult human being. A female alcoholic human being. )

I was far more comfortable with men than women. That is a trait common to probably most alcoholic women. I found sober men to hang out with. Most of the time it was a healthy thing. Sometimes it wasn't. I didn't get to AA with a surplus of virtue, most people don't. Part of what I found so appealing about AA when I got here was the number of men - and they all seemed to like me pretty well. I loved the attention. I also hung out with sober women. I had a sober woman sponsor. But I really loved the men. I spent hours each day on the phone with them. I slept with some of them! (Shock! Horror!) At one point, I had a male sponsor and I slept with him! (Shock! Horror!) And by the Grace of God, not my fabulous WORK, I stayed sober.

By the time I was sober about 5 years, I stopped carrying on like this. I had created a lot of wreckage in my sobriety. God had made me ready to change. And he gave me the ability to stop doing things I thought I would never stop doing. And I was grateful. But like my drinking, I wasn't ready to change this behavior until I was ready to change.

By the time I was sober about 10 years, I realized that some of the myths I believed about AA were simply not true. I had believed there was a shortage of sober women. I started looking around the rooms at meetings and when I opened my eyes, I saw that there were women, usually quiet and unassuming, who were sober for decades. In almost every room, there were these women. I started talking to these women. I found that most of them were pretty much like me. They had hung out with the men. They were not all as promiscuous as I had been, but they had hung out with men. Some of them had men for sponsors.

I started watching the women who cluck around each other, like a little herd of hens. They get fragile, their world view gets very narrow. They have one faith or another that they share and don't much approve of people who don't. In my experience, in my observations, they do not stay sober.

We drunks make up a great mosaic in AA. Each piece separately might seem to have very limited value, but the picture would not be complete without it. Each person brings something to AA, something we need. I don't tell God that this mosaic would be OK if only the red pieces were removed. I only want the blue pieces. Maybe green, but definitely not red or purple. I believe that God puts just the right people into my life each and every day. I would not dare to tell God who He ought to put into my life.

In my sobriety, I believe I have made every mistake a person can make. The only things I have done consistently right are going to meetings and not picking up a drink. I don't believe that I keep me sober by works. I believe that I am sober by the Grace of a Loving God. I would not advocate doing a lot of the things I have done, but I know that each day I can only do things to the best of my ability, and as a newly sober woman, I didn't have much ability. We aren't meant to get to AA and get perfect overnight. We will improve with time if we just don't drink.

"Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 565 (the third tradition)

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Today I am going to an all day Prayer Day. It is the first day of the Biblical School I am attending. I am excited like a little kid on the first day of school. I have my new notebook and pen. I have a shiny new Bible. I have my clothes picked out. I Google-Earthed the church, so I know exactly where it is. When I tell people I have enrolled in a four year formal Bible School, they look at my sideways and ask "why?" It is not easy to explain, but I sure am happy about it!

Yesterday I had the brilliant idea to hop over to a noon meeting on my lunch so that I wouldn't have to worry about getting to the 5:30. When I walked into the club, I saw someone I knew and loved in early sobriety. I squealed like a little girl to see him. He is now a lot older and is on oxygen, but looks good anyway and has stayed sober all these years - probably close to 35 years. We talked and talked and talked. He said he comes to that meeting every Friday. I think I will too!

As we talked, I told him that I quoted something all the time and I thought I got it from him, but wasn't sure anymore. When I told him that I recently told a sponsee struggling with her 4th step that "whatever is bothering you, and could get you drunk, when written would probably fit on a matchbook." His face lit up, he said that I was indeed quoting him, and then he told me who told him that. It was just so delightful to see him. (and let this be a little place-marker about friendships between men and women in AA.... I would like to write about that one of these days.)

My son requested home made pizza last night, so I was really glad I went to the noon meeting. Of course, I made pizza... and that is a project. I actually roast the tomatoes, onion, and garlic and puree it for the sauce. The dough I actually made with yeast, salt, flour, and olive oil. Etc., Etc., Etc., It is great fun and yummalicious. And what a treat to stand in the kitchen with an apron on, cooking for my family.

I better get ready to go pray all day. Wow. Who knew that sobriety could be such a wonderful thing?

"We discover that we 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

Friday, August 24, 2007

Best and Worst

Yesterday was a best and a worst day. I will focus on the "best" part, but I had to write about the "worst" part last night. I do a written 10th step every night and usually there aren't too many problems. Yesterday was a bad day at work and I got very angry. I closed my office door, slammed my water bottle on my desk, called someone (who wasn't there) a name, and generally was awful. Today I will put in my application for another job. I have had the same employer for 13 years, and it was my intention to retire from there, but it doesn't feel very good right now. So I will do my best on my resume and application, and the rest is out of my hands. Today I will put a smile on my face and be as pleasant as I can and ask God to help me. I certainly cannot do this on my own.

The "best" part? After work, I took my oldest granddaughter shopping for school clothes. She put her hand in mine as we walked around the mall. She confided in me, "girls like going to the mall." She also told me confidently that shopping was exercise. I could not resist purchasing her the above pink Puma shoes. They are so freaking cute. I took the picture while we were eating at the food court at the mall -- something I have not done in probably 15 years? It is something I would normally consider pretty disgusting, but with this beautiful child with me, I found it to be wonderful! Maybe I can pretend she is with me at work today!

Tonight I will get to go to the 5:30 meeting after work. My meeting schedule has been all messed up with all the excitement of my son's homecoming.

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

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thursday Morning

And I need to be out of here in a few minutes to get to church by 5:00 a.m. I made a commitment in March to go there every Thursday morning from 5 to 6 a.m. - for a year - and sit in quiet prayer. It is almost 6 months now. I really enjoy this hour. Sometimes getting up at 3:15 feels like a chore, but that is good too.

I run 5 days a week - but Thursday is now a rest day. The photo was from my after run stretch yesterday. I get the biggest kick out of these shoes, to me they look like space ships with all the gleaming metallic surfaces! They feel good though.

"A clear light seems to fall upon us all - when we open our eyes. Since our blindness is caused by our own defects, we must first deeply realize what they are. Constructive meditation is the first requirement for each new step in our spiritual growth." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 10

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Eight Random Facts About Me.

Syd tagged me to do this... I feel like you guys know all the random facts about me, so I am really digging here...
1. I am an adult-onset athlete
2. I finished my first triathlon at the age of 52
3. I finished my first half-marathon at the age of 55
4. Running works the kinks out of my thinking
5. I didn't go to college until I was 43 years old (and ten and a half years sober)
6. I had a master's degree by the time I was 50
7. I have worked for the same employer for 13 years (on Sept. 6) and hope that is about to change
8. I believe that sobriety enables us to do just about anything - because we realize we don't have to "win" the race, just run it. I don't have to be the best or the worst, I just have to do my level best... which sometimes is pretty OK.

If anyone feels like doing this, please consider yourself tagged.

Last night I attended my first board meeting of my home owners' association. Yes, I finally volunteered to be on it. Yikes. The funny thing was, after I left the meeting, I had a different feeling about my little neighborhood - I felt a little bit more like I belong here. My friend says this is the "practice these principles in all our affairs" part. I don't know.

Now I am going to go out and run. I was so afraid that the garage door opening and closing would disturb my son's sleep. He explained to me that he is used to sleeping with jets taking off, helicopters coming in and going out, and mortar attacks! I don't guess my garage door is going to bother him much!

Have a great sober day everyone.

"We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 63

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesday Stuff

I woke up late this morning and I still need to get out and run. I will try to make my post brief so that I can get out, run, come back and get ready for work and not be too late. I had some sleeplessness due to family "issues" last night. I need to trust God and know that God has no grandchildren - or great grandchildren. We all have our own primary relationship with him, and he does not need me to be an intermediary for my children or grandchildren.

I went to the 6:30 meeting yesterday. I looked around and saw so many people I love. I was thinking about this yesterday before I went to the meeting - how the anticipation of who I will see at the meeting will add to my desire to go to the meeting. To me, it is absolutely essential that I get to know the people who are in my AA sphere. I don't generally love (or even like for the most part) the people I see in meetings unless I take the time to get to know them. When I get to know them outside of the meetings, I come to understand why they act the way they do, I come to appreciate the people they are, and I come to love them. Then I actually look forward to seeing them. Which actually motivates me to attend a lot of AA meetings. And over the years I have found that attending a lot of AA meetings is very good for me. I am happier when I go to meetings. I am less happy when I don't attend meetings. Another thing I have learned from getting to know people is that most of the people I have known over the years who have stopped attending meetings, have eventually drank again and many of them are dead.

So instead I can sit at a meeting on a Monday morning and look over at C., who came in and out for 5 years, always raising her hand... I never thought she would get sober - she chaired the meeting yesterday and recently celebrated 8 years of continuous sobriety - and I am now her sponsor. I sat next to Larry, who I love. As someone I just know from meetings, he isn't the coolest guy on earth - but I have gotten to know Larry and I love him... and he loves me. What better way to bond than ambulance rides together? I looked across the room at Holly. She came over to my house last year at Christmas time and helped me put up my Christmas tree - I was too sad about my son's absence and didn't think I could do it. But I didn't have to do it alone, Holly and Connie helped me. Holly also came out to support me at the half-marathon and I feel like she saved my life. I love Holly. On the other side of the room was L., she and I aren't the best of friends, but I do love her. We used to hike together and indeed, we attempted to climb a 14'er about 10 years ago. I have a picture of us together in one of my AA books, and I look at it every day... she is a part of my life whether we like each other or not.

I could go on ad infinitum. But I don't have time and you probably don't have patience for it. My point is - I am so grateful that I have gotten to know the people I come in contact with in AA. When I take an AA member at face value, I really cheat myself. We are some of the most incredibly interesting and fascinating people on earth. And we really do things like help each other put up the Christmas tree.

-oh sorry to keep writing like this (so much for the "brief post" I intended to write), but yesterday I noticed that my son had a golf shirt with "Walter Hagen" stitched on the sleeve. I asked him if Walter Hagen was a golfer in the 1920s and he said yes. I told my son that Walter Hagen is in the Big Book!!! I so excitedly went to Bill's Story and read the part about Bill Wilson getting involved in golfing. Silly, huh?

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

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ever Changing Prodigals

I went with my son down to a ceremony in Colorado Springs yesterday. It was very nice. Of course, I wasn't the one who had to stand in a hot stadium in a uniform for over an hour. My heart broke for my son and our family because his father chose not to attend this event. My son has gotten to be quite a truth-teller and it seems he doesn't really care for his dad's drunkenness... they had some words over this. We just can't see what we do to our families, can we?

My daughter who is not a drinker or drug user left on a backpacking trip for the weekend. By herself. Hiking and staying out in the mountains for 2 nights - by herself. Did I mention she went alone? Please dear God she will call me today and tell me she is home.

The daughter who was clean and sober for over 90 days has not been seen nor heard from for nearly a week and that cannot be good news.

I have decided to focus on my son. He has been gone for over a year. He has been fighting a war. He has been in danger every day. He has served his country and protected our rights to be jackasses whenever the hell we feel like it. All of my children are adults. I want the best for each of them because I am their mother and I love them. But I REFUSE to let this shining moment in our family's history (my son's return from Iraq) be overshadowed by these other events.

I am heading out of here to my 6:30 a.m. meeting. I hope to sit next to my dear friend Larry. I have been thinking an awful lot lately about the friendships we make in AA and I need to write a post about that - very soon. But I have already written enough to test your attention span for today. Thanks for reading.

"We have come to believe He would like us to keep our heads in the clouds with Him, but that our feet ought to be firmly planted on earth. That is where our fellow travelers are, and that is where our work must be done." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 130

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Sunday Morning

It's beautiful and quiet and my son is downstairs sleeping. I just took a nice 5 mile run in the cool morning air. It is good. I woke up feeling energetic this morning which was wonderful. It is the way I am used to feeling.

Life feels like a wonderful thing this morning. I think I am going to enjoy it.

Have a great sober day everyone.

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

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Blue Star Flag

Is now out of my window. My son came HOME last night. I cooked him a meal! We sat around the table and ate bratwurst and sauerkraut (it's what he asked for) and a key lime pie. We watched football on TV, and he is a man, so we watched everything that was on TV last night - from channel to channel to channel. It was great, great, great.

I had noticed on our previous two visits that he had a chain on his neck, and I figured it was something military - what do I know? Anyway, last night, he pulled it out and it is the St. Michael the Archangel medal I bought him before he left for Iraq last year. He said he put it on when he left and has never taken it off. I can't put into words what that means to me.

I seem to be at a loss for words most of the time lately. This homecoming is incredibly more than I ever dreamed. I was so worried about what kind of shape my son might be in. He seems to be totally himself - only with a lot more appreciation for the simple things in life that he may not have noticed before. I am just thrilled to have him home - I am so proud of the man he has grown into.

I slept too late this morning... I got to the meeting late even. Then I went and ran 6 miles. I am now 8 weeks out from my next half marathon, so the mileage has to increase. It was good to get out there. I am feeling less tired, thankGod. That was awful.

"So let each family play together or separately, as much as their circumstances warrant. We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 133

Friday, August 17, 2007


Today may (or may not be) homecoming day for my son. My daughter and I drove down to Colorado Springs to have dinner with him last night. He talked a lot about what it was like to be in Iraq. I was so relieved to hear him talk of his experiences because I think that is very very healthy.

So last night I got 5 hours of sleep. I got up this morning and made up the beds and straighted up a bit. I am going to go out for a run. I haven't run since Tuesday. I haven't been to a meeting since Tuesday. I feel like I am about to drop dead I am so tired. I actually resorted to drinking caffeinated beverages yesterday.

If you have read this blog for a while, you know that I call myself high-maintenance. Not because of the need for fast cars or jewels, but for the need for good food, lots of rest, lots of quiet, lots of prayer, lots of meetings, lots of exercise, and a bit of social time. I am so off-track with this stuff right now, and I am really feeling it. I took Tuesday off and laid about in bed and slept a lot and got 10 hours of sleep that night! But I was still dead on my feet on Wednesday. Which tells me that I need to just push through and keep doing what I know I am supposed to be doing. Like going to work, etc.

So I will get out and take a nice run now and then go to work. Have a great sober Friday everyone.

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

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I don't want to get out of bed! But I will.

I am still suffering from incredible fatigue and lethargy. I decided yesterday that I have to go back to some old basics from early recovery: fake it till you make it. Act as if. Suit up and show up. I need to just put one foot in front of the other and go forward with each day because I can't stop living just because I am exhausted. I am taking care of my body and my mind, and I am sure they will both catch up eventually and I will be my old energetic self.

My sponsor said the nervous strain is out of my voice for the first time in over a year. That nervous strain must have worn me totally out! I don't recall ever being this tired.

"AA is not a plan for recovery that can be finished and done with. It is a way of life, and the challenge contained in its principles is great enough to keep any human being striving for as long as he lives. We do not, cannot, out-grow this plan." -- Alcoholics Anonymous (3rd ed.), p. 311

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This is a photo from a walk around the Garden of the Gods - my daughter and I decided to take a hike when we learned that the homecoming ceremony on Sunday would be delayed and we had 5 hours to kill. It was really quite beautiful. I had only been there once before, and I had been so angry that day I failed to admire the scenery.

Yesterday I went to the 6:30 meeting which was really a great meeting. I try not to rate meetings because then some of them would have to suck, but this one was really stellar. Then I took a 4 mile run in the heat and came home and did nothing for the rest of the day. I even unplugged my phone - which I never do. I was tired. I continue to be tired. It is 7 a.m. now, I am still sitting in my jammies, it was a work-out day and I didn't even do that! I will get to work, but I wish I could take the rest of the week off. I am just wiped out.

I feel like over the last year, it has taken every ounce of energy I had to not let my mind go to bad places. I would wake up in the night in a panic that my son was flying a helicopter over Iraq on a daily basis. I would have a feeling that I had to get over there and MAKE him come home! Then I would pray and try to relax enough to go back to sleep. When people would call and ask me "how's your son", my stomach would drop and I would ask "WHY?" - because I would instantly assume that they knew something I didn't. I would hear another helicopter was shot down, and I would be expecting two uniformed men at any moment, walking up to my front door to tell me "the news." I would start planning a funeral. For all of these thoughts, I would have to STOP as soon as it started and pray and let go and turn my thoughts to someone else. Thanks to the Grace of a Loving God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have learned how to do this. My sponsor and my friends have assured me that I have done a good job.

But I feel like it took every molecule of energy I had and now I am just left depleted. Very happy, very relieved, but tired as can be. Maybe I will see if I can take Thursday and Friday off. I am grateful I have a lot of annual leave and never did take a summer vacation this year.

"Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!" -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 100

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Three Words

Christine tagged me to do this a week ago. What a week it has been! I am taking a day of vacation today, because as Pam would say, Sobriety is Exhausting! I am totally worn out. I will go to a meeting and then take a run, and then my fondest hope is that I can lay in bed all day and read a book.
You have to use 3 words to answer each question. No more, no less - well, I had to use a few more in some cases.

1. Where is your cell phone?
by my bed

2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend?
cast of thousands

3. Your hair?
red, blonde, and gray

4. Where is your father?
with Heavenly Father

5. Cheesecake?
oh baby, yes!

6. Your favorite thing to do?
God's Will, please

7. Your dream last night?
have no idea

8. Your favorite drink?
frosty grape powerade

9. Car You Want?:
mine, paid-off

10. The room you're in?:
office at home

11. George Bush:
I pray (for him) daily

12. Your fears?:
My own will

13. Nipple rings?
On baby bottle?

14. Who will/did you hang out with tonight?
I hope nobody

16. Go check and give your opinion?:
not right now

17. One of your wish list items?:
stop wanting things

18. Where did you grow up?:
rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous

19. The last thing you did?:
morning prayer and meditation

20. What are you wearing?
pink boxers & camisole (my jammies)

Tagging - I think everyone who wanted to do this has... but if not, consider yourself tagged! And thanks Christine!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Happy Monday

This is really a terrible picture of my son. But I love it. Because he has been awake at that point for 50 hours, but he is home. He is in the United States of America. In Colorado. And although WE were complaining about the heat in the auditorium, HE has been in 150 degree temperatures for the last year and he thought it was downright pleasant! I not only saw my son last night (Praise God!!!!) but I saw him "in his element." I would never suggest to him now that he leave the military. I saw the way he interacted with the men with whom he has lived and worked for the last year and I could see that something very special is there.

I cannot even begin to describe the moments of waiting for him, it was much like being in labor again. The ceremony was delayed 2 hours, the auditorium was oppressively hot and crowded with other expectant humans. But when they finally marched in, it was unbelievable. The crowd roared. I did too. I thought I would cry, but I was just so happy and so proud. In fact, I have a sore throat this morning... I think I might have roared a bit too much!

We got to visit a bit. He was extremely tired and it was WAY past my bedtime. There will be another ceremony next Sunday. I told him that I would stay home so his dad and step-mom wouldn't be uncomfortable (she won't go anywhere near me.) My wonderful son said "She can get over it, it is not her event, it is mine, and I have just invited you." So I will be there. Damn straight I will be there.

I think I could write a book about what it was like to be there last night. But then I would be really, really late for work! I am thrilled that my son looks healthy and happy. I am incredibly proud of him. I am intensely relieved that he is home. I am grateful I live in a country with an all volunteer military, and they are some pretty impressive people! I am grateful that I am a sober mother, and my son actually wants to see me and introduce me to his friends and wants me to be present at the important events of his life. Thanks be to God.

"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 (3rd ed.) p. 312

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Today is the day...

I get to see my son for the first time in 1 year, 1 month, and two days. I am very excited and happy about this.

I went to the 6:30 meeting yesterday morning and that room erupted in applause when I shared that my son was on his way home - just like the group on Friday night. I am so grateful for the people who have kept my son and I close to their hearts in the last year - including you bloggers. THANK YOU.

I spent yesterday sprucing up the house. I rearranged the furniture on my deck and bought some new flowers. I put Christmas lights on some trees outside for a more festive touch for my son's homecoming. It felt so wonderful to be getting ready for this long awaited occasion.

Now I have to clean out my trunk. They search your car on the way into the Army base, and I might as well make it easy for them...

"We know that God lovingly watches over us. We know that when we turn to Him, all will be well with us, here and hereafter." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 105

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday Morning

I love Saturday Mornings. It is not even light out yet and I am sitting here contemplating my day. I have already had my prayer and meditation, and now I am sipping the first cup of coffee of the day. I am going to go to the 6:30 a.m. meeting and see my pals.

Last night at the 5:30 meeting, the room erupted in applause when I shared that my son is on his way home. It is so special that these men and women have taken my son, who they have never met, into their hearts. After the meeting a few people talked to me and expected that I would be so excited that I wouldn't be able to sleep. Well, the exact opposite is happening. I am so RELIEVED that all I want to do is sleep. I feel like I have been on the edge of a very sharp place for the last 13 months, and I feel so relieved and relaxed now that I know my son is out of Iraq that I am suddenly very very tired.

I have so much wonderful stuff to do today. I will drive down to Colorado Springs tomorrow to see him. I got the oil changed last night and I will wash the car today. I think he will be home in a week or less, so I need to get everything ready for my son. My son. Oh my God, that has a beautiful sound to it.

"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 healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 116

Friday, August 10, 2007

Good News on Friday Morning

My son called yesterday and is no longer in Iraq! He is on his way home! I will get to see him on Sunday! There is a homecoming celebration at a nearby Army base, we will drive there to see him on Sunday. He will debrief for a few days and then be home. I feel like I can breathe for the first time since July 10, 2006. Praise God. I am just giddy about this.

I am so grateful for the program and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have watched women be utterly destroyed by this interminable year when their sons are gone to war. My first sponsor (who stopped going to meetings) started drinking again and had a heart attack when her son was in Iraq. I have a co-worker whose hair has gone totally white while her son was in Iraq. I am blessed to have a fellowship and a program that works in good times and bad. I have been given a way to live, one day a time, dealing with life in small increments, having trust and faith in a loving God who will always take care of me, no matter what happens. And I have thrown myself into the loving arms of the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Individual people may disappoint or not come through, but the fellowship as a whole is always there, I can trust the fellowship and trust that there is always someone there "for me" even if it is a person just coming off a drunk - and I need to be reminded of how good sober life is.

I am going to go out and run now. And what a glorious morning for it!

"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 helpful." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 101

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Now THAT'S a heel!

I was wearing these shoes on Tuesday morning when I accompanied my friend to the ER. One of the nurses came and leaned way over Larry to ask him how he was doing... he was very weak, laying flat on his back, with oxygen, IVs, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter, monitors of every sort, etc. In response, he whispered, "did you look at Mary's shoes?" A man who can appreciate a fine pair of brown patent leather open toed 3 1/2 inch heels is a good man... especially if he is nearly dying at the time! He obviously knows what is important!

I hope you all know I am being way OVER the TOP here.

Have a great sober day, whether you are in your bare feet, in hush puppies, converse all stars, a pair of flats, some simple loafers, walkin' shoes, running shoes, hiking boots, work boots, flip flops, or a fine pair of high heeled shoes! Just put one foot in front of the other and trudge the road....

"We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny. May God bless you and keep you until then." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 164

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A ride in an ambulance

Makes you forget about your headache.

Yesterday at the 6:30 meeting, my friend Larry (who I love) looked like he was having a heart attack. He had gone to the bathroom, and when he came out, my friend Holly (who I love) was sitting by the door of the meeting room and saw him about to pass out. She left the meeting and called him an ambulance. She then came back in the meeting room and announced "Can someone come and sit with Larry while I wait for the ambulance?" The ENTIRE ROOM stood up and started heading for the door. She then said "NOT EVERYONE... Mary, please come." So I went and sat with Larry. The EMTs were so cute. They asked us if we knew his last name, and then thought about where they were (an AA club) and said "you probably don't know his last name." But I did, and I could even spell it, which is a big deal if you knew what it was! Then I rode in the ambulance to the hospital with him. I thought it was also cute that they asked him if he had been drinking this morning, or last night, or if he had used any "recreational drugs." I can't believe how tacky I am to take a picture with my cell phone while riding in an ambulance, with my friend fading in and out of consciousness in the back.

Larry got to the hospital and got an EKG (which tells you nothing when you have a pacemaker), a chest X-ray, blood work, etc. The bottom line is that they don't know what happened. They wanted to admit him, but he, the alcoholic that he is, said he wanted to go home, and they let him because he looked perfectly fine, after having oxygen and IV fluids for a couple of hours.

I met his son, and fell in love with him. This young man walked into the ER, in his Army uniform - just like my son's - with Larry's last name emblazoned across his chest, a 30 year old handsome Italian-American man. My daughter Laura needs to meet him, because I NEED for him to be my son-in-law... if only so I can look at him more often!

I am so grateful to have friends like Larry and that I get to meet their handsome sons, that I have friends like Holly who deeply care about us, that I go to an AA group where the ENTIRE ROOM stands up when someone needs help, and that I get to be a part of it all. I am so blessed. There was a time when someone like Holly would have announced "Someone come and help - anyone BUT Mary." Because every single thing was about ME!

From being in AA these years, I have learned that there are very few things that are about ME. And when I know that, I get to just be a part of God's Creation, and I get to just love people without worrying whether I am getting back in equal proportion. Life is so much better this way. Thanks to a loving God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sufferin' Succotash

Some cartoon character used to say that, I don't have a clue which one. I was such a serious child, I never liked cartoons and still don't. But there are things I heard in my youth that still bounce around my brain... like "sufferin' succotash."

After my race on Sunday, I took a nap. When I woke up, I had an excruciating migraine headache. I managed to live through Sunday, got some sleep and woke up yesterday still suffering from the migraine. I went to work anyway. I didn't post yesterday because I was hurting too bad. I came straight home from work and tried to be very quiet. I slept last night and again this morning, I woke up with the damn migraine. I used to get three day migraines about once a month. I know I can survive this and odds are, tomorrow I will wake up without a headache.

Yesterday was a hard day at work. I got several doses of news that were hard to take. Maybe it would have been easier without the headache. I wish I were less invested in my career. I wish I didn't care that others seem to be getting the promotions that I thought would surely be mine some day.

I am off to a meeting this morning. I haven't been to one since Saturday morning and that is too long for me. Perhaps I will gain some perspective there - I usually do.

"Above all, take it one day at a time." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 11

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Another Triathlon Finished

There's my medal that I got as I crossed the finish line. It was a good race. I really hit the wall in the bike portion, which has traditionally been my best part. I don't have my times yet, but I am quite certain I did not beat my last year's time. I know that I gave it absolutely every thing I had today though and that is a good feeling.

When I crossed the finish line, I was utterly done - breathing like a locomotive, needing a drink of water, needing to fall over basically. The first tent I saw had some food, as I reached for some, I was told that it was for "survivors". I am glad that the breast cancer survivors have first choice, but it took me a while to find some freaking water. In that time I was thinking - (not to minimize the trials that breast cancer survivors have been though - honest) - you people have no idea what I have survived to be here participating in a triathlon today.

I am a 55 year old female alcoholic. Believe me, this is terminal old age for a female drunk. The fact that I am alive and sober and able to go out and do crazy ass stuff like half-marathons and triathlons is nothing short of miraculous. No one else has to understand that, but I know it deep in my heart, and I have a feeling most of you do too.

I am grateful to be a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

"We who have recovered from serious drinking, are miracles of mental health. But we have seen remarkable transformations in our bodies. Hardly one of our crowd now shows any mark of dissipation." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 133

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Here's the dealio yo

I didn't wake up until 5:45 this morning! And since I missed the 5:30 meeting last night, I definitely wanted to go to the 6:30 this morning. So I brushed my teeth, made a cup of coffee in my travel press, threw on some clothes, and beat it the heck out of here. I sat through a meeting, wondering what the hell people were talking about. I don't think I was awake enough to be there.

And then sometimes it is just good for me to sit and wonder what they are talking about. And it is also good for me to see the clusters of people talking and feel left out. Because it reminds me of what a new person must feel when they listen to us and our AA jargon. And to feel left out of the group is a great reminder that I must always be more aware of people needing help in an AA meeting than being aware of which of my friends are there - and what we are going to do after the meeting.

So it is all good!

I am going to leave here in a minute to go to the race expo for tomorrow's triathlon. I will pick up my race packet and probably buy some stuff I can't live without!

"I came to AA solely for the purpose of sobriety, but it has been through AA that I have found God." -- Alcoholics Anonymous (3rd ed.), p. 192

Friday, August 03, 2007

2 Days

Till my Triathlon. Yikes. I need to get out for a quick 3 mile run this morning and I am still sitting here trying to wake up. I think Scott gave me the answer to why I was up half the night - one stupid Diet Coke at noon with lunch yesterday. I used to drink Diet Pepsi all day long, but I gave it up for lent and decided not to start that bad habit again after Easter... so now I have no tolerance whatsoever for caffeine. I don't drink, don't smoke, or drink diet soda, but I do drink 1 or 2 cups of coffee in the morning. I have turned into some kind of wholesome person!

Yesterday I had an awful meeting and felt picked on for an hour and a half. Afterwards, I went into my boss' office and told him how I felt. I usually will sit on it for 24 hours so I don't say anything I regret or have to make amends for. But yesterday I decided not to wait. And I am glad. He is a psychiatrist, and I started out by saying that I was upset - but I kept it all to "I" messages. I didn't talk about what he did, I talked about how "I" felt. At the end of a half hour, we were both laughing, and he thanked me for coming and talking with him.

So, I get to go out and run. And I will get home, get ready for work, go to work, go to visit my friend Larry at lunch, and go to an AA meeting tonight. I am very blessed, even when I am tired.

"We never apologize for God. Instead we let Him demonstrate, through us, what He can do. We ask Him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what He would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 68

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Riding a bike is one of my favorite things in the world. During a beautiful sunrise ride in the fleeting coolness of a summer morning, I feel the nearness of my Creator.

And now I am off to church for an hour of silent prayer. Then a full day of work. Then an AA meeting. Then I get to come home and go to bed and thank God for another sober day.

"We finally saw that faith in some kind of God was part of our make-up. Sometimes we had to search persistently, but He was there. He was as much a fact as we were. We found the Great Reality deep down within us." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 55

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


It seems that if you keep a blog long enough, and post every single day, your blog will come up in a search for just about anything. I checked my site meter to see what searches have brought people to my blog and was amazed by just looking at the last 10 or so. They are:
  • slutty granddaughters
  • alcoholic
  • HALT hungry angry lonely tired
  • steppism
  • alcoholics anonymous cliques
  • HALT hungry angry tired
  • I don't love mondays
  • hungry angry lonely tired
  • anonymous alcoholic
  • pedicure statistics from the big book 2006
Holy cow. On some of these I really wonder what the hell someone is looking for. I hope to God they were disappointed by my blog. The other thing that I find disconcerting is that comments also go into searches, so I may change my policy about leaving offensive comments as is. Steppism was mentioned by a lunatic AA hater a few months ago who visited most of our blogs - and so my blog comes up for this thing.

I am tired this morning. I should be out running and I just don't feel like it. My race is on Sunday. I will try to go to the pool after work and take a swim. I can do that.

"As a group we do not enter into public controversy, because we are sure that our Society will perish if we do." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 262