Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry

Pammie asked me a bunch of questions yesterday - I am in a hurry this morning, so I will answer her questions:
1.  Come to Houston tonight:  Oh, how I wish I could!
2.  Can you wear skates or something in the marathon?  Nope.
3.  Can you jog and not run this damn marathon?  You should see me "run", it is not exactly blinding speed.
4.  Can you just run until you're tired and then stop?  Then I would never start!
5.  Can you go and watch?  Yep.
6.  Can you wear your skirt to anything else besides the marathon?  Yep.  I now wear it almost every night after work - it is so comfy - and cute!

I am assured by the folks who actually DO run marathons that being discouraged is part of the process.  I am not so sure that my discouragement is not reality based.  I will have some decisions to make and I find the prospect daunting.

I will still go to Anchorage.  I have my tickets already and I am really looking forward to going to Alaska.  I have a train trip booked to go to Denali National Park and stay there for a couple of days.  I have already paid for that and I am definitely going.  

I can run a half-marathon if I cannot run a full marathon.  It will be OK.  It is just hard when you are this age - if I do not run a marathon this year, I will never do it.  I am old as it is, and I am getting older every year.  This is not self-pity - this is reality.  

Now I am off to a meeting and to meet a sponsee.  Thank God for AA and the people in it.  Whenever I start thinking all of this is a 'problem', I find that on the scale of 'problems,' this is pretty low on the list!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last Year

On this date,  I drove up to Houston from Galveston and met Daave, Scott W., Pammie, and Zane.  It was a revelation to me that these people were pretty much who I expected them to be.  I had never met Daave before, but based on reading his blog for over a year, knowing that he posted early in the morning every single day , without exception,  I gratefully accepted his generous offer to pick me up at the airport as I turned in my rental car.   He very kindly drove me around for a day or two.  I trusted him to be there and to do what he said.  And he did!  I had such a delightful time meeting these folks - I really would like to come back to Houston some time - soon.  

Yesterday I realized some stuff.  It wasn't very much fun.  And to top that off, I had my annual evaluation at work.  For the first time since my boss has been my boss (7 years), he was almost critical of my performance.  He told me that I need to do some stuff I have been reluctant to do.  Probably most people would have thought it was a good eval, because he is pushing for me to get the highest rating, which requires a bunch of work on his part, but I felt terrible because I know what he told me is true, and frankly, I am not real sure I can do what he wants me to do.  

I am also not sure I can run a marathon.  Right now I am pretty sure I cannot run a marathon.  This is a tough realization.  I am taking this week off running.  My left hip is killing me, I have open wounds from chafing from my heart rate monitor strap, and I am beyond tired.  I will see how I feel after a few days off.  I appreciate the concern expressed by some readers yesterday, but I am sure I am not ill - just a 56 year old woman with a full time job, a family, an AA life and responsibilities, a church life and responsibilities, finishing up my first year of Biblical School, and training for my first marathon.  The marathon training pushes everything right over the top!

Today I am riding my bike to work.  This is something I have loved in the past.  I am hoping it will bring me the joy it always has.  

Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday Morning

Do you want to hear a news flash?  I had a terrible 10 mile run yesterday - at the slowest pace I have ever run.  I think perhaps my discouragement about this may be way out of proportion.  I am extremely discouraged, at this point I have no idea how I can run a marathon in 7 weeks.   I think I am just extremely tired.  I think I am MUCH too old for this kind of torture.  

I talked with a friend yesterday and she told me she has begun going to a meeting I used to attend.  I think I am going to add this one to my meeting schedule.  I was there on the first day they met - in fact, I named the group!  If I had woken earlier this morning, I would have gone this morning... but as I said in the first paragraph, I am really tired.  

I also talked with my sponsor yesterday.  I am so grateful for this woman.  I have two sponsees in crisis right now and it was good to talk with my sponsor about it.  It doesn't hurt that usually we (my sponsor and I) are on the same page about just about everything.  

"...I can give thanks for present pain nevertheless.  I find the willingness to do this by contemplating the lessons learned from past suffering -- lessons which have led to the blessings I now enjoy.  I can remember how the agonies of alcoholism, the pain of rebellion and thwarted pride, have often led me to God's grace, and so to a new freedom."  -- As Bill Sees It, p. 266

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Blogging from the sofa

A rare Sunday morning, I am not running off to a meeting or to church or to running itself.  I sat down at my desk to write this post and thought about the fact that I could sit on my sofa and write.  I recently bought a laptop, but often forget that I can take it out of my office and put it wherever I want to sit!  So, here I sit in my jammies, cross-legged on the sofa, drinking coffee, watching my favorite Sunday morning news show, "This Week," and writing my 951st blog entry on this thing!

Yesterday morning I realized that it was snowing outside, so I opted not to run.  So today I will run.  I will wait an hour or two until it warms up though.  It is only 27º right now.  Yesterday was a nice restful day, and today I feel ready to get out there and run 10 miles.  Imagine 10 miles being a "short" run!  

After the meeting yesterday, I had coffee with a dear friend.  It is such a blessing to have this woman in my life.  Her birthday is the day after mine, so we are virtually the same age.  She has been sober for 14 + years, I have been sober for 23 + years - so we can talk about the challenges of long term sobriety.  Let me quickly say - they are not the same kinds of challenges that we face in those early, drama filled years of sobriety.  They are the challenges of growing up - of not being part of the gang, of being set apart.  

Once again, I sat back and realized that my life is actually very good.  It is actually very stable.   We talked about some other folks with long term sobriety whose lives are still pretty insane.  Not to judge, but just to think about.   I think maybe at a certain point, we have a choice.    

By the Grace of a Loving God.  Thank You!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Tulips!

These are the tulips in my little flower bed in my back yard.  I planted these just after I had moved here, six and a half years ago.  They bring me joy when they come back every spring.  I have written about this repeatedly - so I won't bore you all... but I love tulips.  

Today I shall go to the 6:30 meeting and then take a short long run.  I will run only 10 miles this morning.  Next week I will bump up to 17 miles.  I really don't know how this is happening or how much more mileage I can eek out of this old body.  But I will keep trying and hopefully I will be successful at my marathon on June 21... in Anchorage... what fun.

Being sober is a wonderful thing.  I can plan on doing things on a Saturday morning - and then actually do them!  I can plant tulips in the fall, and then be there to see them in the spring - year after year.  I can be counted on by my friends and family to be, as my friend Larry says, "the same person every day."  He says that is how he knows he can trust me.... I am the same person every day.  That certainly did not used to be the case.

Blessings to you all.  Have a Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday Morning

I woke up with a migraine this morning. This is the first I have had since I got the medication that got rid of the last one I had. But I am worried about taking it without anything on my stomach... and I don't want to eat because I feel sick. Hmmm. I think I just better take one.

This morning a few of us are taking my boss out for breakfast. It should be nice.

Yesterday I was on the phone a lot. Some friends and sponsees were having really difficult days. I am grateful that I am someone that someone else would want to talk to when they need to talk to someone.

Today a new blogger, Sober Alcoholic Soldier, is going to his first meeting. Go over and welcome him! He found my blog because the names of our blogs are so similar. And I was worried about changing the name of my blog! Isn't that a classic example of something that you might have thought was "bad" turning into something that is definitely good. So, Sober Alcoholic Soldier, I will tell you what I tell people I see at their first meeting:

I hope you hear something that makes you want to Keep Coming Back.
Don't drink. Go to meetings. Read the big book.
And Keep Coming Back!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Yesterday at the meeting, I was struck by how many people are sitting around wanting to have a drink. To me, that is just wacky. When I got sober, I was done drinking. I want to be sober - more than anything in the world. Or as my old friend Big Ed used to say "ya gotta wannabe sober more than ya wannabe drunk." I think that is the one and only thing we cannot provide in AA - that desire.

At lunch, I saw R. sitting on the corner, with his sign "anything helps, God bless." R. is a young, good looking, reasonably intelligent man, who thinks that living under a bridge is a clever way of life. The cars wake him up in the morning, and he can tell when he is likely to make enough money for his daily supply of booze. Last winter he got frostbite, then gangrene. He is now sitting in a wheelchair - minus the two legs that were amputated - at the corner. He got sober for 30 days after he got out of the hospital, but now he is back under the bridge.

I really don't understand what it takes sometimes.

I am just grateful that I had a bottom. My bottom was low enough for me, thank you very much. I now want to be sober. I do not want to drink. I am grateful for every day I do not drink. All of them. And to think I found a wonderful new way of life as a result of my sobriety is almost more than a person could believe, but it is true.

Anything helps. God Bless.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

One Fine Day

I had a wonderful day yesterday. I gave my presentation at governing body yesterday. I have seen this group turnover many times, but this is the most talkative group they have ever had. Each item got discussed ad nauseum. By the time it was my turn, I had been sitting there for over 2 hours - and I had to pee desperately. But I knew if I suggested we take a break the meeting would go for hours longer. I knew at least half of the room had to go as bad as I did, and this might truncate discussion - or so I hoped. After I had been talking for about 45 minutes, I finally looked at the clock and said " I need to leave at noon, so I need to wrap this up." I thought that was reasonable since the meeting was supposed to end at noon. When I left the room, I sighed and whispered "holy f***" and then I saw that another person from the meeting was sitting outside the room talking on his cell phone. Impressive, huh?

I came home and took a quick 3 mile run... then I got to visit with someone... then I got to sit around... then I got to take a nap... then I got to sit outside... Life is Good.

I need to get out of here and meet my sponsee at the 6:30 meeting.

And let this be a placemarker for telling you all what my former son-in-law did. People really really do change when they get clean and sober - I am so impressed with this man and how he is taking serious action to stay clean and sober.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday Morning

I am having a hard time getting started today. I have to give my quarterly report to governing body this morning and I need to look sharp and be sharp. I feel like I would rather stay home in bed and watch movies that I have downloaded onto my new computer. I may see if I can take the afternoon off. Someone is going to be in town this afternoon, and I would dearly love to spend a few hours with him.

Thank you for your comments about my new blog name. It really was hard to let go of my old name. But I feel much better about the new one.

I talked with my daughter yesterday. Since she hadn't called all weekend, I thought it was reasonable to ask if she was still clean. Well, yes, but not for as long as she was last week. She had found a "nice big baggie" in her makeup and decided it would be appropriate to use the contents. She is feeling pretty bad about that. She asked me what she should do - she said she is 100% committed to being clean until she hits the slightest bump in the road, and she always throws in the towel. She asked how she can get strong enough to get through these times. I told her she would never be strong enough. She is powerless. The power must come from God. I could hear her saying "yeah, yeah, yeah..." Maybe this is why a mother is not the one who should be talking to her daughter about her addiction.

I better get my day in gear. Wish me good luck with my quarterly report!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

One Sober Alcoholic

After 2 years and 8 months, and nearly 1000 posts, I have decided to change the name of my blog. My heart skipped a beat or two as I did it. I think it will be OK. I am way more attached to my blog than I probably should be.

Someone else has taken the name "Anonymous Alcoholic." That is OK. But it has caused a bit of confusion. So, being a person who has "ceased fighting anything or anyone..." I am going to give up my name.

Lest you think I am entirely virtuous about this - I am not. I have had mixed feelings from the very beginning about using the name "Anonymous Alcoholic." It sounded arrogant to me, like I was THE one and only. My blog came up on searches for real AA stuff and I never felt comfortable with that.

Perhaps the name "One Sober Alcoholic" will more accurately describe the contents and context of my blog. My blog is simply me, as a recovering alcoholic, writing about my life, day in and day out. And in case you haven't been here before, or haven't been here for long, let me recap:

I drank nearly every day for 18 years of my life. From the time I was 14 until I was 32. From 20 to 32 it was definitely every single day of my life - with the exception of my pregnancies - thank you God! And I guess I was in such a hurry to get back to drinking, that in my pregnancies, I was 3 for 2, having one son and twin daughters. I wanted desperately to quit drinking for the last 3 years of my drinking. Prior to then I knew I had a problem, in fact, I knew I was an alcoholic, but I thought I could manage it or quit if I ever needed to. When I needed to I was absolutely unable to do so. And I thank God for that experience.

In the course of my drinking years, there are many stories. Some are funny. Some are adventurous. Some are dreadful. Some caused me terrible shame. Mostly I hurt other people by being a tornado ripping through their lives, and I didn't even know it. When I got sober, I did what so many of us do - I thought I mainly hurt myself and that my biggest amends would be to myself! ha! The big book says that we cannot tell the true from the false, and that is a shining example right there.

By the Grace of God, I found my way to Alcoholics Anonymous on July 24, 1984 and have not had a drink since then. In those years I have done nearly everything you are not supposed to do. I didn't listen to sponsors. I listened to boyfriends. I had every higher power but the One I have now. I dated a man who drank - for my first year and a half of sobriety. The list is far too long to detail here, but I am sure you get the idea. I am also grateful for these experiences, because they show me that it is not through my great WORK that I have stayed sober. I am sober by the Grace of a Loving God, and I know it.

That said, I did do work. I never stopped going to meetings. I got active in AA service. I worked and continue to work steps. I helped and continue to help others work steps. This to me is merely cooperation with God's plan for me to stay sober. If I could produce sobriety, I would have done it years before I created the wreckage I left in my wake!

My early sobriety was a mess. I swear, it took me 10 years just to detox. At 10 years of sobriety, I felt like Dorothy when the tornado finally let go of her house and she was dropped into Oz, a land that was in technicolor. I was able to get a job at a facility where I still work today. I was able to go to school and get my bachelor's and master's degrees. I got many promotions at work. I bought a little house where I planted little flowers and get to watch them come up every spring. My children grew up and I have two granddaughters. I am part of my neighborhood, my church, my AA group, my workplace, my community, my world. I belong here and I am responsible for that!

Now that I am not 'Anonymous Alcoholic', I will tell you that my spiritual journey through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous brought me back to the Church of my youth. When I got to AA, I called myself a "recovering Catholic." ha ha. Maybe I didn't realize how true that was. Because now being a Roman Catholic woman is who I am. The restoration of that is one of the hugest things that has happened in my life.

So right now.. I sit at my little desk, with my little computer, being grateful for where God and Alcoholics Anonymous have brought me. I am training to run a marathon in June. I am completing my first year of a 4 year Biblical School. I have just finished teaching my first semester at my Alma Mater University.

I am 56 years old and I don't know if I have ever been happier in my life. I may have thought I have been from time to time when I have been "in love," but today I have true contentment that comes from a deep and abiding faith in and relationship with God.

I so appreciate the people who have read my blog over the years. You have touched my heart in so many ways. I hope that we will continue in this relationship. It is just another leap of faith for me to change my name... and I am sure it will be exactly the way it is supposed to be. Thank you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday Afternoon

I did run 15 miles today. It nearly killed me, but I did it. When I was hobbling to my car to go home I couldn't help but wonder how I could possibly run another 11.2 miles after 15. I really don't know. But I didn't think I could run 15 either.

I thought the above photo was funny. There is a cafe just for people on the trail. So, all these yuppies in their spandex get a cup of latte and get a little bit more aggressive than they had been earlier - and believe me, they are quite aggressive. Sharing a trail with bike riders on a Saturday afternoon is something I don't think I want to do again.

The meeting was quite good this morning. I was happy to be chairing. Especially since I had a running skirt on and the desk at the front of the room where the chairperson sits hides a person's legs. ha ha.

I talked with someone after the meeting who agreed that chairing meetings is so very good for people newer in sobriety. You may say that I need to chair meetings, but I say that I know I can chair a meeting and every time I do I take away that opportunity from someone who doesn't know they can chair a meeting. The principle of rotation has been one of the finer lessons I have learned in Alcoholics Anonymous. As a person with long term sobriety, there are plenty of things that I am responsible for, but I don't think chairing a lot of meetings is one of them.

Now I am looking for someone who will go to dinner with me. I will buy if they will fly. I need a ride. There is no way right now that I could even drive a car! What a jock, huh?

P.S., my son just called and we are going to have spaghetti from my favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant!!!! YAY!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Night Post

Tomorrow morning I am chairing the 6:30 meeting, so I actually have to get there on time! I am leaving directly from the meeting to do my planned 15 mile run. I have a lot of getting ready to do before I can leave here tomorrow morning and I will not have time to post anything. So I thought I would post tonight.

I had a very productive day at work today. I am doing some creative stuff and it feels really good. I left work and went to the running store to get a new visor. Well, they know me in there, so they showed me a new running skirt and top. It is so dang cute, I just had to buy it. So now I have a new outfit to wear while running. And I will wear it for the marathon, I do believe.

When I got home, although I had planned to clean my house tonight, I decided it was too beautiful outside to be stuck indoors. I did something that makes my heart sing! I pruned trees, and rose bushes and cut back my lavender bushes. My neighbor came over and helped me with the big limbs I was cutting off an aspen tree. Oh, what a wonderful thing spring is. I love to be outdoors. And I love tending to living things.

I am so grateful to be a sober woman living where I live and how I live. What a miracle it is! So tomorrow I will perform my annual duty of chairing a meeting. I HATE chairing meetings. When I was new, I did it all the time, and it was good for me. Now I feel that when I chair meetings I am taking away that opportunity from a new person. So now I will go take a bath and put on my jammies and maybe watch a few minutes of TV before I slip between the sheets and sleep like a baby.

Nighty-Night everyone. I will let you know how my 15 miles goes tomorrow.

Friday Morning

Today is my boss' birthday. I have a really pretty card for him. His birthday is usually a secret, but yesterday I told someone who decided it really needed to be a big deal. So, we are having a little birthday celebration this morning at 8:30.... which means I need to be at work by 8:30.

I have spent most of the last couple of years not really liking my boss. Now he has a new boss who is interfering in the way we do things. I don't like his boss coming directly to me... so I feel I have to run to my boss to tell him what is going on. All this (and a few more things) has made me feel much more loyal to my boss. It calls to mind what someone said after 9/11 when all Americans loved one another for a day or two: that all it would take for world peace is for us to be attacked by aliens. When we have a common threat, enemy, or peril, we can suddenly be united. I would like to think there was something more high-minded going on in my little brain, but I think it is the common threat thing.

I am just working all day. Then I am going to come home and clean house. I cannot imagine that once I have run 15 miles tomorrow I am going to be able to do much else (if I am even able to run 15 miles!)

Have a good sober day everyone.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

April Snows

This is a picture of my church as I left it this morning. It is a very beautiful morning, everything is coated with snow. I know that the snow will melt before the day is over and we can get on with the rebirth that is spring.

My daughter came over to see me last night. She was clean for 9 days yesterday. But she is drinking. Which won't work very well for her. I pray she can get sober as well as clean because the girl is definitely an alcoholic and drinking is disastrous to her. I am however grateful that she has not shot meth for 9 days.

I think I will get in the bathtub and warm up - and then spend another half hour to hour hurriedly running around my house trying to get ready for work - that I should already be on the way to now.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This too shall pass

A Winter Storm Warning. Yep. On April 16. That's OK. I put fertilizer on my lawn last week because we were expecting a lot of snow then, but didn't get it. We could use a nice big snow now. Yesterday it got up in the 80s, today we are expecting snow. (The picture of the tulips is from last year, they still haven't bloomed this year, but expect pictures when they do.)

I am feeling vaguely dissatisfied this morning. Not real sure what is going on. Several things feel slightly off kilter.
  • I am not overwhelmed with love for my AA group right now (this too shall pass... been through this too many times not to know that.)
  • I have an opportunity at work to really shine, but I will probably have to put in lots of extra hours to do it, and I am not feeling particularly energetic right now
  • I have an opportunity to do something on Saturday that I would really like to do, but it would mean putting off my 15 mile run until Sunday and I don't want to do that
  • As the mileage increases in my training, so does the time - 4 hours on a weekend is 12% of the weekend's waking hours
  • I need to send out the fundraising letters for my marathon - I enthusiastically volunteered to join a group of women raising money for some nuns providing free in-home care to the indigent elderly... but I have to get my butt in gear and actually start begging!
So I think I can see from that bare beginning of a list (or inventory, if you will) that I just have too much to do and too little energy with which to do it.

At the end of each little sentence, I could have written "this too shall pass" because it will. I will likely wake up tomorrow with joy in my heart and excitement about the day. But for today, I will live in the knowledge that all is well and Feelings aren't Facts.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Can't put off my taxes for another day

But that is OK. I have the ability to pay what I owe, and for that I am truly grateful. I just wish we lived in a more just society. One where I payed less taxes because there was a hell of a lot less government to pay for, but that's just me!

Yesterday I got in a car accident on my way to work. Isn't it funny how time slows down when you are watching your rear view window and seeing a great big pick-up truck about to plow into you? He had a look of horror on his face. I was able to turn my car slightly so that I didn't plow into the car ahead of me. So the truck only clipped the corner of my bumper. We pulled over, stopped, got out of our vehicles, and I told him to forget about it. Judging by the amount of damage to his car (extensive) and the amount of damage to mine (minimal) and his extreme relief and gratitude to me, I would guess the man has some reason(s) he didn't want to deal with Law Enforcement yesterday morning.

I might now be "even" with my karma on the car accident thing. I think I have had two car accidents where I was clearly at fault and had no insurance. And for some reason, totally unknown to me, both of the men I ran into just told me to forget about it.

I just didn't used to like to pay for insurance. The last day I drove without insurance, I was 10 years sober, and I prayed before I left the house that day for "just one more day," because I was selling my car that day and going without a car for a while. And wouldn't you know it, I got pulled over by the police and got a ticket for not having insurance. And that was the last day I drove without it.

So, I better get on with my day. It should be a "jim dandy," whatever that means!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday, day before taxes due...

I guess I better put that on my list of things to do. I always send off my taxes on April 15. I don't know what difference it would make to send them on March 15 or February 15 - but somehow I don't send money until I have to. So that will be tomorrow.

Today I want to skedaddle to get to at least part of the 6:30 meeting. Then I hope a calm day at work. Then Biblical School. Then I get to see someone I haven't seen for a month and a day.

My ten mile run kicked my butt yesterday. This weekend I will attempt my longest run ever - 15 miles. I am going to keep training to run a marathon on June 21. I really am beginning to doubt that I can do it though. I know I can run a half-marathon... so if I have to, I will run a half. I am so looking forward to my trip to Alaska... the marathon, seeing my nephew and his family, my brother and sister-in-law, maybe my sister, getting on the train to Denali National Park, staying at a lodge there for two days, a fishing charter, then coming back home and having a couple more days off of work.

I talked with my boss about my tardiness recently. I am a salaried employee, so it isn't like I have to punch a timeclock at 8 a.m., but really, I should be responsible enough to get to work at a reasonable time most days. I told him I can't seem to get to work on time at all. He just said "you just need a vacation." Isn't that sweet? I really DO need a vacation. Hopefully my behavior will improve.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday Morning

I spent the day with my granddaughters yesterday. This is a picture of them at the little lake I took them to. There is also a playground there, where they got to play like children - without anyone directing their every move or telling them to be quiet. I feel bad for kids now, they are always on adult time...there is so little allowance for the need for mischief and mayhem that all children possess.

I am about to go off on a ten mile run. I feel happy about this because the day is just about perfect for it. It is sunny and nearing 50 degrees - which will feel downright tropical after a mile or two. I probably actually enjoy cloudy days more, but what the heck! It is not cloudy today, so I think I shall enjoy a sunny day!

I couldn't be happier this morning. I have just gotten home from church, I am about to take a run. My new computer works on my back porch, my grandchildren and safe and well-cared for, I am sober.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Morning

My favorite time of the week.  I love looking forward to the weekend.   This morning I will go to my favorite AA meeting of the week.  While I am there, I will knit... the finishing rows on a silk shawl I have been working on for several months.  I love knitting that thing, it feels just heavenly.

Later this morning, my granddaughters are coming over to spend the day.  I am very excited about this, but also a little bit nervous.  I am not a great "little kid" person.   We get along famously, but after a few hours, I get really tired of all the attention these little people require.  I hope to serve them waffles with strawberries and whipped cream this morning... then take them shopping for new clothes (who doesn't like that?!?)...then take them to the park to play at a playground.  Then I am hoping that they will be coerced into taking a nap, realizing of course, that the nap may never happen.  

Thank God I am sober and able to be a nice Grandmother.  I cannot imagine what kind of drunken old lady I would have made.  Eeeesh.  The thought just kind of makes me shiver.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Can I make a motion to have 30 hours in a day?

Then maybe I would have time to do all I want to do in a day or a week.  I am playing with my new super cool computer right now.  But alas! I do not have time. I am making  a super cool movie with music and everything.  But I should be getting ready for work.  

I would also like to be at the end of the 6:30 meeting about right now.  We would be just about ready to stand up, join hands, and say the Lord's Prayer together - easily my favorite part of any meeting!  

I would also like to be outside finishing up a 5 mile run, feeling like Wonder Woman.  

But I am sitting here, playing around with movies and music and fun stuff with my computer.  It is fun, fun, fun.

Yesterday my phone rang while I was meeting with the Medical Director (one of my favorite people on this earth!) in my office.  I looked at the number and knew it was an "old school" real land line number on the north side of Denver.  He asked if I needed to get it, and I said NO.  I thought it was my daughter and I thought I could certainly wait til later to find out the latest thing in her life.  Later, curiosity got the better of me and I called the number.  A man answered the phone, and I said "Someone just called me from this number?"  And he said "Yep, someone sure did."  Oh My Goodness.  It was my former boyfriend.  The drunken cowboy I adored.  The one who still adores me.  If you are interested, you can read this little post about the history.

Unfortunately, he is still drunk.  We had a nice little chat.  I told him to call sometime when he is sober.  How sad.  He asked how many boyfriends I have... I told him it was a cast of thousands, certainly too many to count (ha ha ha).  He asked how many of them I am going to marry, and I had to tell him "none."  

What a heartbreaker that one was.  

Let's have a good sober day today, OK?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

7:45 a.m., I'm in jammies

Seems like a reasonable decision would be to stay home from work again, but I am not going to. So I need to "kick it in the ass" and get myself ready to get out of here.

I called my "prayer partner" from church last night and told her that I would likely not be there this morning. This is the first time since March last year that I have missed my Thursday morning prayer. And this morning as I slept until 7 o'clock, I was really glad I allowed myself that time for sleep. Now, I did miss the time praying, and I will try to make up for it somehow this weekend.

I had a very quiet day yesterday and I needed that. I think I needed a quiet day more than a sick day. That was probably why I was sick. I am also extremely tired. Even now, with all the sleep that I got yesterday, I still wish I could go back to bed.

But I won't. I will go do what I am supposed to be doing. Because I have learned in AA that no matter what is going on, and no matter how much doubt or lack of motivation I may have, just doing the next right thing is usually the right thing to do.

I will be grateful that I have a place to go and things to do.  Meaningful things to do and people who actually care about me.  What could be better?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Yesterday I had the best day at work I have had for a very long time. The consultant and I were kindred souls, and we had a great time. She was able to go tell people several layers above me in the organizational structure things I have been telling them - and they were not believing. She also told them I was a "gem." Yahoo! Someone came to me late in the day and wanted to talk about how I was "vindicated." Well, I am not going there. Vindication is generally short lived in my experience. I will just be happy that I had a nice day yesterday and maybe I have gained some credibility that I should have had in the first place.

Late yesterday I developed a stomach ache, and I still have it, so I am not going to work today. This is the first time in a very long time that I have had the ability to take a day off and be sick. My bed is heating up for me right now (I have a heated mattress pad which is heavenly). I hope to sleep most of the day away. I am very very tired.

I did go meet my sponsee at the 6:30 meeting. We talked after the meeting. She is diligently working on her 4th step. God bless her.

My daughter is at the nice boyfriend's house for now. Her ex-husband calls me every day to check in. Her boyfriend calls me most days. She calls me most days. Her bad boyfriend got arrested the other night - while "visiting" another woman. My daughter is mad and hurt, and everyone is delighted that the bad boyfriend is out of the picture for now - and should be away for a very long time. Daughter is planning on attending an NA meeting with her ex-husband today. All I can do is pray and answer the phone when it rings.

And go to bed now. Woo Hoo!!!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Man, I am just tired. I had a bit of a meltdown at work yesterday. The nearly intolerable level of stress at work has gone on since November, and I am just really, really tired of it. The stress of the decimation of my daughter's life is an ever present sadness and worry. I am physically tired from running a race on Sunday for which I was not fully trained.

I went to a meeting yesterday on my way to work and the topic was taking psychotropic meds. Things sure have changed since 1984 when I got sober. Back then, the general consensus in AA was that you should avoid any medication that was "mood altering". Well, that was probably a bit rigid. I think about that when I take my estrogen tablet daily - that is one of the most mood altering chemicals I have ever used, but I am not likely to stop. But I digress.... In 2008, at a meeting on April 6, the consensus was "take 'em if you need 'em." Generally, I agree. BUT, if you are newly sober, how do you know you really need them? Isn't the process of hitting an alcoholic bottom and then making the gigantic leap into sobriety enough to make anyone a little bit nuts?

Can we not tolerate even a few moments of feeling bad? Isn't it kind of necessary for growth?

This is coming from a woman who has suffered from Major Depression. I have taken medications for this. I do not take any currently, thank God. I waited until I was sober 10 years before taking medication, and although that may sound extreme, I am glad I did.

I better get ready for work. If there was any way to get away with it, I would call in sick... but I can't. There is a consultant coming in today and I have to spend the day with her. I really, really, really don't want to do this.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday April 7

Yesterday I faced a fear and lived through it. I finished the half-marathon dead last. Last. The last one across the finish line. By several minutes. I felt so great I ran too fast for the first 9 miles. At nine miles, the pain started. It got worse and worse. I was barely able to walk in the last 2 miles. I finished too sick to even eat the burgers and brats that were provided at the post-race party! I was so sick to my stomach I purchased some saltines on my way home and that is what I had for lunch before I took a long bath and a short nap. And do you know what? I feel great about that race. I am glad I was last because I have always feared that... it was fine. The pain was not fine, but the finishing last was fine.

Today I am looking forward to the day. I am also looking forward to continuing to run and to train for a marathon. I learned some important things yesterday.

Isn't this what we alcoholics do? We plunder through life, making horrible mistakes and messes - and we learn from them and turn them to good use... helping countless others with lessons learned.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday Morning

There was a bombing at the start of a Marathon in Sri Lanka this morning. I hope there won't be one at the start of my half-marathon this morning. Although I could get out of running 13.1 miles if there was some sort of catastrophe. But I don't WANT to get out of running 13.1 miles, do I? No. I don't.

I went to a social event of my AA group last night. It was very nice. I probably ate too much and not too nutritiously for a night before a race. I have been feeling sort of alienated from a large part of that group lately. It was nice to sit next to my friend H., and talk to my friend R. (who reads my blog!) and share stories, jokes, and food.

I hope I get some energy before this race. Right now it is 25º and I cannot imagine that I am going to be sweating in a few hours. It is so hard to dress appropriately for a race.

Let's all stay sober today, OK?

p.s. Scott, on a Mac, "alt0" makes a degree sign. "Alt0186" makes this: º¡•§

Saturday, April 05, 2008

What a difference a week makes

Yesterday afternoon I decided to go buy the new computer I have wanted for years.  I plugged it in - but could not get internet access.  Thankfully, I decided to not worry about it and just let it be.  This morning I woke up with an intuitive thought - and it worked.  I now have internet access on this little baby.  On Monday I will get a wireless router (whatever!) and will have wireless internet access at home.  How fun!

After the 6:30 meeting this morning, I will drive across town to register for a half marathon tomorrow.  A friend and I will run this 13.1 miles.  I am really looking forward to it.  

I spoke with my daughter yesterday.  She sounds clean and sober - which means for the moment that she sounds devastated and sad.  She is incredibly sorrowful, which is entirely appropriate.  She has now lost nearly everything.  She has lost custody of her children, and there is even a restraining order so that she cannot see them.  Her car is impounded.  She lost her house a couple of years ago...  but she still has places to go.  She is staying with her nice former boyfriend and waiting to get into rehab (again).  I have hope for her, but I don't think a loving mother ever loses hope for her children.  Especially not my beloved Meggie.   

I am grateful it is this Saturday morning and not last Saturday morning. 

Thank God for hope, because sometimes it is all we have to get us through.  

I am full of hope this morning.  And gratitude.  

Friday, April 04, 2008

40 Years Ago

Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis. Most of you were not alive, or if alive, so young that you don't remember this. I was 16 years old. I had just dropped out of high school on April 1. My life was utter and complete chaos. And the United States was utter and complete chaos.

Last night I watched a CNN show about MLK's death. There was a shock of recognition and memory when they showed the cities burning after his death. I flew to Ohio from Chicago in that time. From the air you could see the smoke that signaled a city on fire, and there were many of them. It was horrifying. And then only a few weeks later Robert Kennedy was killed. I thought the world was ending. The fact that I was drinking every day and using whatever drug crossed my path probably had something to do with that.

At work yesterday I attended a pandemic tabletop exercise. It was sobering. The possibility of a pandemic flu is apparently not a question of "if," but of "when." The facilitator of the exercise talked about the Hong Kong Flu of 1968 - and I remembered it - because I had it. I remember how very sick I was. It was weird to realize then that I am older than most everybody with whom I work.

OK! Enough of that morbidity!

I am considering registering for a half-marathon on Sunday. A friend asked me if I want to do it. I just might.

My daughter finally made it to a safe place last night. I pray she can stay there.

Have a nice sober Friday everyone.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Rainy Thursday Morning

The picture is from my run on Saturday. Right before I got the migraine.

I went to the doc yesterday and we reviewed my medical record. The last time I was treated for a migraine was in 1999. Well, I didn't realize that. I thought there was nothing that would help my migraines because there wasn't in 1999. I failed to realize that 9 years is a long time in medical science. Yesterday I was prescribed a medication (a vasoconstrictor) that you put on your tongue, it dissolves, and so does your migraine. After 5 days of misery, I was rid of the pain in about 20 minutes. Thank you Maxalt. And then I got a little bit mad about the $30. copay and the $30. prescription. But that's life, isn't it? Thank God I am rid of that headache and I have a little container in my purse with an emergency dosage of this drug. So, the days of my 3, 4, and 5 day migraines should be history.

It's snowing and raining this morning. The drive to church at 4:45 a.m. was beautiful. My church was beautiful in the rain/snow mix. It was beautiful to sit for an hour in perfect silence, and pray. I lit a candle for my daughter and prayed.

I am still feeling a bit fragile as a result of the headache. I am going to go back to bed now for an hour, and then I will go to work. I am so grateful to be able to do these things.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Damn Headache

It went away for a few hours yesterday, but is back with a vengeance this morning. I will go to the doctor today, I cannot live like this.

I am meeting a sponsee at a 6:30 meeting and then we will review what she has written so far on her 4th step. God bless her. I think the 4th step is really where a person can have live altering perceptions... but it doesn't always happen. I pray it does for her as it has for me.

I went and looked at a Mac Book last night. When it came time to say "yes," I just couldn't do it. This is so unlike me. To walk away from a store, empty-handed, when I came there to buy something is not something I have done very often. I just didn't feel right about spending $1,600. for a computer last night. I think I will go look at a regular laptop and see how I feel about that. I know I want a laptop, because I want to take it to Alaska with me.

OK, that just makes my head hurt worse, and it is already so bad that I think I may vomit. This is definitely not fun.

Daughter update: She called both her exes yesterday and sounded like she was serious about getting to an NA meeting and detox, but then she disappeared again. I will get an update this morning I am sure. She is standing right on the edge, and I know that not all who lean this way or that end up in that direction. We don't all survive. And that doesn't mean God doesn't love us and care for us. I pray, I pray, I pray.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

First Day of April '08

It seems my thermometer is playing a joke on me - it says it is only 15º outside. Well, I am not likely to run in 15º weather - even in the dead of winter, much less on April 1st.

What's that you say? A thermometer is incapable of humor? A thermometer is unable to play a joke? That it is really and truly 15º?

I am not running this morning in this kind of cold weather. I still don't feel really well anyway, so it doesn't exactly break my heart. My head has little remnants of migraine running around, but not the bone crushing pain I was in yesterday, thank God. I woke up at 3:30 and thought I would take some exedrin and go back to bed. I still hope to get back to bed by 5 and get back up by 6. I have a full day at work and I hope to feel pretty good.

My daughter has not returned my phone calls, but I got reports all day long from her ex-husband and her ex-boyfriend. She did go to a funeral of another young lady from NA who used and died. Then she vanished again.

I will just pray and try to live MY life to the best of my ability today. I would prefer to be happy, so I think I just will be today.