Saturday, May 31, 2008


I read an article in the New York Times yesterday about blogging.  It was sort of a confessions of an attention whore kind of thing.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately.  Disclosure.  Too much.  Not enough.  What is right?

First disclosure is:  I am in pain.  I am not running. I am very upset that I am likely not going to be able to even do a half-marathon in 3 weeks when I am in Alaska and registered to run.  I have taken some prescribed vicodin for pain (a lot less than prescribed).  All of these things are adding up to me being somewhat wacky this morning I am afraid.  

I went to my usual 6:30 a.m. Saturday meeting this morning.  It was a good meeting.  Someone actually opened up and talked about something that was really upsetting to him.  I had just been sitting there looking around the room and wondering what we were all doing there.  I looked around the room and thought "how much do I know about any of these people?"  Do we just sit around and repeat the same things over and over?  People are pretty good at talking about "what it was like, and what happened."  But I think people aren't so good about talking about "what it is like now."  Other than in broad generalities... like I got sober and now everything is great.  Oh really, how does that work?  

So, I talked.  I talked about the lady who is new to our group who last week put her hand on my shoulder and told me in a loud and over-annunciated voice that she was glad I was still coming... that a month ago I looked really bad... but I look better now.  I was dumbfounded - to realize that she thought I was new, and that this must be how she treats new people.  Wow.  So condescending and insulting!  

I guess because I don't preface every share of mine with my sobriety date (because I think that is just arrogant) and because I don't pretend I am the picture of serenity every second of every day, I don't look that great.  Too bad.  So I shared about this today.   And got quite a bit of shit for it.

I have an attitude this morning I guess.  

Tonight I am going to visit my daughter in rehab.  It is probably an hour and a half drive each way.  It will be good for me to hit the road and see my girl.  

Friday, May 30, 2008


I love Fridays.  I slept in until 6 o'clock this morning, and then I stayed in bed another half hour after that!  I have lots to do today, but I am trying not to let it feel like pressure.  Two things that I have to do are things that I am greatly looking forward to.  Why don't I focus on that?  Why, I think I will!

  • My sponsor and her husband are going to be coming through town this evening.  I will get to have dinner with them.  There will likely be a group of us, and it should be great.  I haven't seen her since they were in town last July for my 23rd AA birthday.  
  • I am going to have my first physical therapy appointment at 11:15 today.  I hope, I pray, I hope it helps.  If it doesn't, I will not be able to run even a half-marathon in Anchorage.  If it helps, I should be able to pull 13.1 miles out of this old body in 3 weeks.
  • At work today I have no meetings to attend.  I might have one at 11, but I have to miss it because of my PT appointment.  Work has been so stressful for so long that I really appreciate days when I don't have so much to do, and when I don't have major stressful meetings or deadlines.
That's it!   I should have written last night.  I had many thoughts about chasing people around who don't want to be sober.  Or who want to play the "isolating" game.  Let me just say, if I want to isolate, no one will know about it.  Folks who go around telling everyone they are "isolating" definitely need some lessons on how to isolate.  Just sayin'....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday Morning

And I am off to my very quiet church for a very quiet hour of I hope very earnest prayer.   I will probably stop doing this in June.  My prayer partners are going away on vacation in June, so I will need to be there when they are gone.  Then, I will be off on my vacation and perhaps I will make that my end.  I started attending another church in February.  I found a priest who is helping me with something and that made me want to attend his church.  At first I didn't like it because I liked my other church so much, but I have come to love it.  And it is now hard to be at the old church once a week... like my heart is divided.... but it really isn't.

At the meeting yesterday, one of my friends brought me four rainbow trout that he had just caught the night before.  I put them in the fridge of the club while I met with a sponsee after the meeting.  As the door locked behind us as we left, I realized that I had left the fish inside.  So, I had to go back later and get them.  It sure was fun to be there for the end of the noon meeting.  I got to see people file out of the meeting, and I got big hugs and hellos from a few I have not seen for a while. 

I grilled two fish (and gave two away) and had a nice dinner with my daughter.  

Can this get any more boring?
Have a great day everyone.  

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another Fear Faced.

Today I got into my car and noticed right away that it wasn't running right. Then the check engine light came on. I really doubted the wisdom of even driving it to work - so I took the side roads and did it anyway. I called the VW dealer when I got to work - even that took guts for me. At lunch, I got my daughter to follow me to the dealer and we left my car there. 2 hours later they called me and told me my car was fixed. And it was all covered under warranty (well, except for the oil change which I told them to do since I was already there.) It was a burnt out coil in my ignition - whatever that is.

I have a morbid fear of car trouble. That is why I keep buying new cars every 18 months to 2 years. I have had this car for a little over 3 years. It is foolhardy to buy a car that often and I am trying to knock it off. But, oh, how I hate car trouble. But my registration this year is under $200. - when the car was new it was over $500.

I wondered to myself today if back in the day I would have just kept driving the car with the check engine light on. I bet I would have. Facing fears isn't the most fun thing in the world to do, but it sure is worth it. Especially when you find that you are afraid of nothing.

I am meeting one of my sponsees at the meeting in the morning - so maybe if I post this tonight I will get to the meeting on time. Well, it COULD happen.

Back to Work

I wouldn't mind staying home for another day or two.  But I can go back to work today feeling refreshed.  It was good that I took 4 days off.  It took until about 6 o'clock last night to get around to doing the things that were on my list of things to do all weekend.  And I got them done.  

Yesterday I ran 6 miles.  They didn't feel great.  I didn't get the joy I used to get from running.  And when I got home, I spent the afternoon in bed.  I could barely walk.  This sciatica is really messing with me.  It is extremely painful.  I don't have physical therapy until this Friday.  

I have a race to run in 24 days.  I still have hope that I can get a half-marathon out of this body, but it is not a sure thing - at all.  I still have a trip to Alaska to look forward to - whether I can run the race or not.  But I sure wanted to run that marathon.  then half-marathon.  

My daughter called last night from rehab.  She sounds like the woman I know and love.  Happy.  Cheerful.  Funny.  Intelligent.  A far cry from where she was just a week or so ago.  I wish they could keep her for a year.  

Well, I think I will get out there amongst 'em and do the best I can with what I have got today.   You do the same, OK?

Monday, May 26, 2008

Decoration Day

It is a day set aside to honor those who have died protecting our country and our freedoms.  It was called Decoration Day because it was intended that we would go decorate the graves of those who had died in wars.  Now it is called Memorial Day and most people use it as a day off to kick off the summer season.

It is only 55 º today and it is cloudy and rainy (see above photo of my front porch today).  I am not feeling the motivation to get out there and run or do anything else I normally would want to do on a day off.  I went to a meeting this morning and then out for breakfast with the women from my group.  It was nice.

Now I am talking on the phone with the guy I used to call "Mr. Sweetie Man" and typing this at the same time.  Since all he talks about is himself, he doesn't even notice that I am not really paying 100% attention.  Alcoholism is a wonderful disease, isn't it?

Glad that I am a sober alcoholic today.  Glad I got to spend the day with my granddaughters and my son yesterday.  Glad no one is worried about me getting drunk today.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Morning

Yesterday I went to a different meeting.  Then I went to a different priest for confession!  It was a radical day.  Going to the different meeting was OK.  I got treated like a visiting dignitary which is very creepy.  A few people there knew me, so they knew about my *eons* of sobriety, which was just goonie.  I think there is value in long-term sobriety - don't get me wrong.  But to think someone with a length of sobriety has all the answers is just ridiculous.  I have accumulated a pretty big collection of sober experiences and that is valuable, but I could have a drink tomorrow just like anyone else.  I am pretty sure I am not going to drink today though!  

Then I went to a different priest to go to confession.  I get self-conscious about confessing the same things over and over again.  Maybe this time will be different?  I know that I like my parish priest a lot better, so I will just suck it up and go back there the next time.

I went shopping for stuff to wear to a party last night.  This shopping has got to end.   I have spent a lot of money in the last week.  A new bag for my trip.  Binoculars for my trip.  A pair of yoga pants for my trip.  A new cute top to go with the yoga pants.  A new metal water bottle, so I don't get poisoned from plastic ones.  A new purse.  A new wallet.  A new pair of high heeled sandals (yay!)  A new blouse.  A new lipstick.  And probably other things I have forgotten. 

And now, to church.  Then the granddaughters are coming over while all of their relatives who are not in rehab or on a backpacking trip will be on the golf course.  Then my son is coming over for Sunday Dinner.  

Who could even imagine this would be my life today?  It is wonderful.   

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Going to a different meeting

I woke up this morning and decided to go to a different meeting than I usually attend on Saturday mornings.  It is at 6:30, just like my other one.  I haven't been to this one in years... probably 5 years.  It doesn't hurt to "shake things up" every now and then.

Yesterday I ran for the first time in 11 days.  I spent the rest of the day in pain.  Oh dear.  Maybe the pain had more to do with the fact that I spent several hours in my garden, pulling weeds, and trimming, and edging, etc.  Yes.  I think I shall chose to believe that!   

I looked at my hands after the garden work and decided to get a manicure.  A friend gave me a gift certificate for a manicure months ago.  She wanted me to give a local shop another try.  I got mad at them in December when I showed up for an appointment and they had let a walk-in take my appointment and no others were available.  So, yesterday, I went in for another appointment.  I got a woman who spoke English so poorly I couldn't understand what she was saying when she asked me "you want me to file?"  WHAT?  "you want me to file?" (this time with filing motions)  Probably this is more than a language problem, because why would you get a manicure and not have your nails filed!  She finally told me that "your nails so short."  So, she filed my fingertips for a while before she chopped away at my cuticles.  I told her it hurt, but she continued.  She continued to hurt me and I continued to complain.  When it came time to massage my hands, she bent my fingers backwards, looked up at me with a smile and said "That hurt?" and I told her "YES."  I was about to walk out, but decided that she had probably already done most of her painful damage, and she was unlikely to hurt me while painting my nails.  I was correct.  It is probably the worst looking manicure I have ever had.  I sincerely doubt that I shall ever return to New York Hair and Nails in Lakewood, Colorado.  

Well, on that charming note, I think I will get dressed and go to a different meeting!


Friday, May 23, 2008

Finally! A Friday Off!!

I have been threatening to take a Friday off forever.  This week it finally became possible.  And now I have a four (4) day weekend to look forward to!  Yipeeee!  And this year, Memorial Day is back to being a long weekend or a nice holiday.  Last year it was extremely painful with my son in Iraq.  Oh, how it hurt to think of all the young men and women who have died in wars.  I will fly my flag this weekend and remember the dead in a much more comfortable abstract way.  

I had a glorious day yesterday.  I got to spend the day with a couple of women I really respect and enjoy.  The fact that I have tons to learn professionally from them both didn't hurt either!  And on the way back, I got my colleague to stop at the Coach store at the outlet mall and I purchased a new purse and wallet.  Woo Hoo!  

When I got home, in the mail was the last piece of official documentation I sent for back in March.  Now I can proceed with the rest of the paperwork for the annulment in the Catholic Church of my first marriage.  I wrote for three hours last night and finished maybe one third (1/3) of the questionnaire.  It was hard, but it was good.  I was crying and had to stop because it was too draining. I actually wrote a post about it last night and then woke up at 3 a.m., and deleted it.  

I am going to call work in a little while and see if I can come in and meet with my boss for about 15 minutes to discuss something with him.  This one falls into the category of "Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once?" (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 86)

Have a Great Sober Friday Everyone!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

First Rosebud of the Season

When I came home from church this morning, this little rosebud was looking at me.  I love roses.  I am thrilled that this rose bush, which I planted last year, is doing so well.  I love these deep red Don Juan flowers - and they smell heavenly.

I am heading out of town for the day today.  A colleague and I will be visiting another hospital to confer with another healthcare professional and get some input on things we needed input on - last week.  This week, we are actually the experts - after the experiences of this week... but give and take, it is all good.  I am happy to not have to spend the day in my office today.  I am happy to have several hours with my colleague because she is someone I really enjoy.  It is a beautiful day, and I live in a beautiful state, and it is a nice day for a drive.

I am also happy that last night I had an adult conversation with someone I deeply care about, and although we made some decisions that I don't really like, I can be loving and calm about it.  I do not have to be unhappy.  I really don't.  So - I think I will chose to be happy today.

Maybe it was Abe Lincoln who said:  Most people are about as happy as they decide to be... I am too lazy to look it up.  But I will take it to heart anyway.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Is anyone else old enough to remember when they used to say someone was on "relief" - when they meant "welfare".  I wonder if they even call it "welfare" anymore....  but I SO digress.

Yesterday the big deal I have been waiting for and dreading for six months ended.  And it ended with an outstanding outcome.  I got a lot of praise - which I tried to deflect, pass on to others, or otherwise try to be humble - but I still heard every word.  I soaked it in.  And I enjoyed it immensely.  This has been the hardest year of my career.  I have wanted to quit.  I have been profoundly discouraged.  And now, for at least a moment, I am vindicated.  

I actually went out for "cocktails" with the management group after work.  We NEVER do that!  And those freaks each ordered one drink and then left!  WTF is wrong with them?  I had one diet pepsi and didn't insist on staying and getting others to drink more - which is what I used to do on the rare occasions when I would go to a bar - sober.  I still know I don't belong in a bar, but yesterday was a very special day.  

I would have dearly loved to sleep in this morning, but that was not in the cards for me.  So, I will head off to the 6:30 meeting and be very happy to be there.

I feel like a new woman.  A new and very happy woman.  A sober woman.  And I thank God.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Waiting for dark...

So I can go to bed without feeling like a total freak. I am tired.  This morning I went to a great meeting and to work.  When I got to work, lo and behold! the people we have been waiting for, and preparing for, and dreading their visit were there.  Oh thank God!  This is going to be over on Friday.  It will be hard between now and then, but there is an end in sight.  What a relief.

When I got home from work, after a 10 hour work day, my new neighbor was standing on my sidewalk with her two dogs.  A pit bull and a bulldog.  I don't much care for dogs I don't know.  It doesn't take much for me to get to know them - but first I have to feel that they are not dangerous - or that their owner has them under control.  I felt neither of these things.  Instead of getting my mail and visiting with my neighbors as I would have normally - I went inside my house.  And fumed.  Since she is the daughter of the woman who owns the house - who could not find a buyer when she put it on the market and now is renting to her daughter - I know that the daughter has been ticketed for the pit bull before.  Because she does not have it under control.    

I found out from my other neighbor, who I called on the phone instead of stepping outside to visit, that while the dogs were on the sidewalk in front of my house, their owner was talking about the problems she has had with the dogs.  

Oh, if only everyone could be as perfect as I.  It would be a perfectly charming world.

We kind of talked about this subject this morning at the meeting. How different people who are practicing the principles of AA are than other folks - and especially other drunk folks.  It is a good deal.

Oh, when I finally got the mail, I got a letter from the county jail.  Addressed to "Ms. Mary".  From my daughter's latest "true love".  He wanted to explain that he really isn't a bad guy.  hmmm.  Maybe that would be more convincing if he had a different return address.  Maybe.

Monday Morning

And I am happily getting ready to go to an AA meeting.  Then to work.  The birds are singing, it is almost light outside.  I love the springtime.  

Probably if I waited until AFTER the meeting to write this I would have something to say.  AA meetings are good for that.  But since is before the meeting, and I just woke up, and I just wrote 11 hours ago, I don't have much to say... except:

Let's stay sober today, OK?

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I had another fabuloso day.   It is so great to be sober.  It is so great to have sober friends.  It is so great to experience another sober spring - I love it when the windows get open until it is too hot - then the AC gets turned on.  I painted my toenails bright red this morning before I went to church.  It makes me feel festive each time I look down at them.

I talked with my sponsor on the phone for a long time today.  I wanted to tell her about the binoculars I just bought.  I traded in a Mother's Day present the kids got me for a pair of binoculars - for my trip to Alaska.  Then I had to take a walk down the street to where I can see to Red Rocks Amphitheater and beyond.  It is neat to see what is there that you usually cannot see.  I did see a runner off in the distance - on the road I used to run my 10 mile route - and I felt a pang of wanting to be out there.  Running.  

I'll be posting again in about 12 hours, so there is no use droning on now, is there?  

Saturday, May 17, 2008

8:30 Saturday Night...

And I am in bed.  Happily in bed.  The window is open.  The lace curtains are floating on the breezes.  My ceiling fan is quietly humming as it spins around.  I love this computer and being able to be on the internet from anywhere in or around my house.  

My day was both insanely busy and incredibly wonderful.  I woke to my phone ringing at 5:45 a.m., and not a moment too soon.  A man I don't really talk about was stuck on the Vail Pass on his way to Denver and didn't think he would make it to the meeting.  Well drat.  But because he called, I was able to make it to the meeting on time.  It was a meeting where no one had a topic, so I actually brought up a topic... which I do about every 10 years or so... whether I need to or not.  

After the meeting, he made it to the meeting room.  From there, we went to a park to let his dog take a romp around.  You know, there is something incredibly wonderful about being at a park, very early on a warm spring morning, when the trees have just turned green and everything is fresh and wonderful, and you are standing dangerously close to someone you just, well, you just don't talk about.  Nice.  Very, very nice.  

In the afternoon, I went to volunteer at the late registration table for the Marathon tomorrow.  I cannot run in it, so I decided to volunteer.  It was fun and enlightening.  I realized I look like a runner about as much as most runners do.  I always tend to think runners are reed thin, wiry, and very very athletic looking people.  Not necessarily so.  Nice to know that.  You would think I would know that from the number of races I have been in, but while running in a race, I am not really thinking about much of anything other than just running - which is why I love running.  (yes, I again love running and can't wait to get back out there... soon... soon.)

When I got home from there, having only consumed two shredded wheat biscuits all day long, I frantically cooked dinner.  Daughter and granddaughters showed up in time for dinner.  It was just so ideal.  So normal.  So nice.  

They are camped out on the living room floor. I am camped out in my bedroom.  I will get to sleep soon. I am very tired.  Very happy and tired.  

Thank God I am a sober woman living the life of a sober suburban woman tonight.  Life is so incredibly good.  

Friday, May 16, 2008


It is Friday.  I like Fridays.  I am not running today.  I have not run since last Saturday.  You know what?  I am not even missing it yet.  I am still hurting pretty bad.  It is really hard to sit through meetings at work.  I start squirming after about 15 minutes... and after an hour and a half, I am just dying.  Today I have several meetings, but I am leaving one early.

My daughter wakes up at 6:30, and gets out of here by 7:00.  I don't even understand that.  I got up at 6:00, and an hour and 15 minutes later, I am still sitting here in my pajamas, only 1/4 way through my first cup of coffee.  I wonder if my life would be better if I kicked it in the butt and stopped wasting so much time.  

Speaking of which.... I think I will get going now.  Have a great sober day everyone...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thursday Post on Wednesday Night

I have church tomorrow morning at 5, which means I need to be up at 4.  And here it is, after 9 p.m., and I am still awake.  I will regret this.  So I thought I will post tonight instead of tomorrow and save a few minutes.

I did something today I have never done before.  As I do each Wednesday morning, I sat with this young woman I sponsor.  She is working on the 4th column of her 4th step.  She is not getting it.  She has been in and around AA for the last 8 or 9 years.  She has been sober this time for about a year and a half.  She has done the steps more than once.  She is profoundly discouraged.  I don't blame her.  I told her that we would sit down together and get her fourth column done.   

It is not about blaming yourself for things you didn't do.  It is not about saying you were selfish when you didn't want your mother to abuse you.  It is not about claiming responsibility for world events when you are a receptionist.  It is about reality.  It is about finding out what your role is in your life and then realizing you can change that.  It isn't about "accepting" crappy behavior, and it is especially not about "forgiving" other people.  It is about cleaning up your own side of the street and keeping it squeaky clean.  So that YOU can stay sober.  Not anyone else.... Just YOU!  And if you are keeping your own side of the street clean, you haven't got much time or energy left over to figure out what is wrong with the other side of the street.  

That's my soap box for tonight.  Now I must go to sleep!  

Wednesday Morning

It is Wednesday Morning.  I have lived through Monday and Tuesday of this week.  There is nothing big at work so far this week.  I wish this something big would get over with.  We, as an organization, have been living with this constant dread since November of last year.   Government being involved in healthcare might sound like a good thing, but I don't think it is.... at all.

I am meeting my sponsee at our 6:30 meeting.  Then I will sit with her and hold her hand while she writes the fourth column of her fourth step.  This is something I would normally not do, so I am not real clear on why I am doing it now.  And actually, I will not be holding her hand, I will be knitting...

I better get on with it.  Take Care Everyone and Stay Sober Today.  

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Three News Flashes

1. My daughter moved in (for 6 months) and spent the first night here last night.
2. It is snowing outside.
3. I went to the doc yesterday and was told to stop running for at least 10 days.

It is nice to have someone here.  It was great yesterday to have both of my daughters pop in.  They have not hung out for a very long time.  It was so good to hear them laughing and goofing - even though I am frequently the subject of their humor - and that is OK.  My daughter is a solitary kind of person like I am, so her living with me could either be great or horrible, but in either event it will be just fine.  

Snowing.  Big Fluffy Snow Flakes.  All over my lilacs, roses, honeysuckle, lavender, tulips, lilies, etc.  I covered a few things last night, but finally decided to let nature take her course.  She has not been in a good mood in the last month, has she?  I thought about the folks in Myanmar, China, and the tornado stricken parts of our own country - and realized a few frozen buds is not a big tragedy.  

When I realized that the 'big deal' was not happening at work yesterday, I made a doctor's appointment.  I have sciatica.  The big honkin' nerve that runs from your lower spine all the way down your leg is inflamed.  It hurts like hell, and has for a long time.  Thanks to two blogs, I was able to determine that I have been complaining about this since February.  I have Physical Therapy schedule for the first available appointment - May 21.  And was instructed not to run until then... and then wait to hear what the PTist says.  I am going to volunteer at the local marathon this weekend... just to keep excited about running.  

My first year of Biblical School ended last night.  I really enjoyed it, learned a lot, and met some great people.  Now I have Monday nights free, and don't have to study during the weekend.  

I will get to a meeting tomorrow morning.  My meeting schedule has really suffered for my lately busy-ness.  I will meet a sponsee at the meeting tomorrow.  That is food for my soul.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Winter Storm Warning

Yep.  On May 12.  Winter Storm Warning.  It snowed on me on Saturday during my run.  But that was a little flurry, this is expected to be a big old snow.  Oh, what will become of my rose bushes and lilacs?  The little rose bush I planted last spring has eleven (11) buds on it.  

I had the best Mother's Day yesterday.  All three of my children were here.  We hung out almost all day - even though two of them got their dad quite angry by not being at his house.  I got to hear my two daughters giggle together until it got on my nerves.  But it was a wonderful thing - I don't think they have laughed together for several years.  

I am going to head out of here and get a quick run in.  Then I will quickly get ready for work.  Today could be a big day and I want to be ready for it.  

Life sure is good, if you just hang on when it isn't.  Just hang on.  

Saturday, May 10, 2008

An Alcoholic Mother

I am one. I had one. I have given birth to one. or two.

I had my first drink in July of 1966. I was pregnant by November of that year. I was 14 years old at the time, so you know this isn't going to have a really happy ending... I went away to a home for unwed mothers, they had them back then because it was scandalous for a child to get pregnant and have a child in the mid 60's. At the age of 15, I gave birth to a child I called Mary Catherine. She was named after a nun at the St. Vincent's home in Chicago where I was residing. I never got to touch her. She was whisked away from me the moment she was born. She was adopted immediately to a "good" family.

A lot happened between 1967 and 1976 when I gave birth to the first child I got to keep. On an August morning in 1976 I gave birth to a beautiful and perfect little boy. His father, my husband, was at my side. He loved me and he loved his child. We came home and I got to nurse this boy, and bathe his little body, and sit in a rocking chair with him all night long because he did not sleep. He was beautiful. He is now 31 years old and I still see that baby when I look at the man he is today.

In June 1978, my husband and I decided that we wanted another child. I desperately wanted a girl. By July 1978, I was pregnant again. This pregnancy was different. I was sick. I felt terrible. My belly was getting huge, but the rest of me was getting smaller. By December 1978, when the doc was suggesting that I might be due a month or two earlier than we thought - I insisted on an ultrasound - which was amazing new technology in 1978 - and got to see two little babies inside me! I was pregnant with twins! Were there twins in the family? no. In March 1979, I gave birth to two beautiful and perfect little girls. (5 lbs. 7 ounces, and 6 lbs. 6 ounces) But there was still a surprise... there was another baby. Stillborn. This sounds ridiculous, but that still makes me sad. The other thing that makes me sad is that my husband felt betrayed by this pregnancy. He always suspected that somehow I tricked him into having two children for one pregnancy. It put a huge strain on our marriage. So, I was the mother of three small children and had a husband who would not even LOOK at me. Obviously, he was not helping me with the children. And how do you defend yourself against such insanity?

One morning, 4 weeks after they were born, I was hurriedly trying to carry my youngest baby into a restaurant while husband, son, and other twin were sitting inside. I went to close the car door, and the little bundle, swaddled in a yellow blanket, fell out of her car seat and onto the ground. The little bundle did not cry or move once she hit the pavement. I picked her up and unwrapped her, and she started crying. I went into the restaurant, and her head started swelling. We took her to the hospital and she had a fractured skull. Oh my God. Her twin and I stayed at the hospital with her because I was breast feeding both of them. They didn't know if she would live through the day. Then they didn't know if she would live through the week. When they discharged her from the hospital, they said that she could die any time in the next six months. Thank God she lived. Do I sometimes wonder if she would be "OK" if I hadn't dropped her? Yep. Logically, I know that this makes no sense though. And another nail went into the coffin of our marriage.

When I got home from the hospital after giving birth to the girls, I drank margaritas all night long. This started a bender that really didn't end until I got sober in July, 1984. Thank God that I did not drink through my pregnancies. That is how I knew I was pregnant, the taste of a beer and a cigarette was suddenly disgusting and I knew something was VERY VERY wrong! I am so grateful for this blessing.

So much has happened since those little babies were born. Now they are adults. All of them. I found my adopted daughter when I was sober 2 years. I met her when she was 20. It was the most peculiar experience of my life. She was a budding drunk at that time. She was already the mother of a 3 year old boy. I have not been able to find them since 1990. I keep thinking that somehow I will find her again, but I have so far been unsuccessful.

When I was sober 6 years, my by-then ex-husband got custody of my three children. I was married to someone else, who decided to retaliate on my behalf - and then there was a restraining order. When your ex is married to a lawyer, these things happen.

When my youngest child started her own career with meth at the age of 15, my ex and his wife were more than happy to let me assume custody of her... We lived through those years. They were hard. Through all of this, we have never ever stopped loving each other. No matter what, we always love each other. She is the heart of my heart.

So, this year... My son is 31 years old. Recently returned from Iraq. He is buying his first house. The "good twin", L. has a budding career, is planing to move in with me for 6 months so that she can save money to go to Europe for a month in September. M is awaiting her admission to a very good rehab on May 21. MY ex, her father, has taken custody of HER two daughters. She made some threats when this happened, so there is a restraining order. She cannot see her daughters at all. She has not seen them since Easter.

Yesterday I got on the phone and called M. I asked her what she is doing for Mother's Day. Her voice changed from happy to sad and she said she would probably just feel sorry for herself all day. I told her we could hang out. She lit up and said "really?" I told her "You know, I do understand what this is like for you." She told me she has thought about that a lot lately.

I called the other two and told them that I was hanging with M. That they could join us, but the little ones couldn't be here because of the restraining order. I told them they really need to honor their step mother this year because she has taken on those two little ones. I may not agree with her 99.9% of the time, but I do respect that she has raised a bunch of kids who were not hers.

So I am having dinner for my kids at noon tomorrow. The two "good" ones will then go on to their dad's. I will hang out with my daughter - the one who is like me.

I do understand her. And I love her. And she loves me.

And you know what? The other two love me and I love them too. What a freaking miracle that this could come from what has happened to this family. If you were to walk in on us tomorrow, you would have no CLUE what the history is. You would just see a loving family.

Thank you God. Thank you program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Thank you fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.... that means you!
December 2009
I have edited this post since it gets a lot of traffic from searches for "alcoholic mother" and there was FAR too much personal information here. There is still probably too much. But I took out names and dates of birth, etc.

The good news is, I am still sober as I sit here today on my 58th birthday. I have been sober since July 24, 1984. My daughter got sober on January 14, 2009 and celebrated 11 months of continuous sobriety yesterday. One day at a time....We are all doing very well. My adopted daughter was able to find me and contacted me in February of this year. We have tentatively stepped back into a relationship... it is very strange to start a relationship with a 42 year old daughter when you have only met her once.

But my real news is that there is hope for alcoholics. We can and do get sober every single day in Alcoholics Anonymous.

Friday, May 09, 2008

There was no way I could take today off work.  So I tried to go to bed at 7:00 last night.... but the phone rang.   For over an hour I talked to my friend, the man I was so in love with 2 years ago, I called him "Mr. Sweetie Man" here in my blog.  His life has gone to hell in  hand basket in the intervening 2 years and I am so grateful that it didn't work out for us.  I think I would have married him if he had asked.   When we hung up, he called me "sweetie".  That makes twice in one week I have been called "sweetie" by a man.  It is kind of nice.  

I still haven't been to a meeting all week.  That is so unusual for me.  I like getting to lots of meetings.  I will go tomorrow morning - I may go today at noon if I have time, or tonight on my way home from work.  But for sure I will hit my Saturday morning meeting.  

Let's all stay sober today, OK?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Thursday Morning

I went to church early this morning and then came home and went back to sleep.  I am still tired.  I may try to see if I can take tomorrow off.  I need a day off - bad.

Last night my sprinkler guy came over.  He is a fellow AA member, has been sober 21 years, so we have lots to talk about.  After we got the sprinkler system up and running, we stood outside and talked for about an hour.  It was wonderful!  We talked about how much AA has changed in our tenures.  How much we miss the good old days when people did not tolerate so much.  When someone would be happy to tell you when you were full of shit.  

Now we like to be sweet to everyone.  No one seems to care that we may be killing them with kindness.  And in my opinion, being "kind" to newcomers is more about me looking good and being likable than it is about helping another suffering alcoholic.  Some of the kindest things that have been said or done to me have seemed cruel at the time.  

Got to get to work.  Have a sweet day everyone.  

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I woke up this morning to the sound of thunder - and the sight of my drapes reflecting the lightening.  But it is not raining.  That should change soon I think.

I can't make it to my normal Wednesday morning meeting and meeting afterward with a sponsee.  I have to be at work by 7:30.  Yet another big deal at work.  It is OK.  I just need to roll with the flow and not get upset.  

I sure love thunder and lightening.  I sure love the month of May.  I sure love the warmer weather.  I love my flowers hanging around everywhere.  I love that my daughter is moving in with me for 6 months so that she can save her money and go to Europe.  I love that my other daughter has somehow gotten herself an admission date at a very very nice treatment center - May 21.  

I love that I can take a hot bath this morning, put on nice clothes, and go to work.  Well, I might like the hot bath and nice clothes a LOT more than going to work, but that's OK.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Round #1

Today I have a huge thing to do at work. There was a time when this type of activity would cause me excitement mixed with a bit of anxiety. Lately, these types of things cause me no excitement, but a lot of anxiety. Which means that it is probably time for a change at work. Fortunately and unfortunately, I am imprisoned by the "golden handcuffs" of an extremely good retirement plan coupled with an investment of time - so I am not likely to leave my current employer. But! Someone may retire within the next year, someone who took a job I had years ago, and I may just go back to what I used to do. There are no high anxiety days like today on the agenda for that job. I believe I could negotiate in such a way that I would take no cut in pay... just a huge cut in stress.

I have my "dream" job now. But after 7 years, I am tired of it. It was not exactly what I thought it would be. Isn't that the way it usually works? I have given up on the big promotion I thought I would get some day. In the last year I have gotten comfortable with that. I am ready to move back downstairs, literally as well as figuratively, and humbly work through the remainder of my career.

Sorry, I am sure this isn't exactly thrilling reading. But it is something that has been hugely on my mind in the last year, and particularly the last 6 months.

I am a person who was always a "victim" when I was living with active alcoholism. When I got sober I realized that I had put myself into situations in which I played that role. I realized that I did not have to live that way, that I had choices in life. It is important for me to keep that realization. So many people where I work feel that they are victims of all sorts of things. They feel trapped because of the "golden handcuffs" - which is their choice. As it is mine. I realized after the weekend that this is the reason for my nightmares - I was feeling trapped in an extremely unpleasant situation.

I know that God is "large and in charge," and that if I will just keep doing "the next right thing" and be true to myself and my fellows, I will be OK. It just doesn't feel really great right now. And that is OK.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Happy Decision

Yesterday at 6 miles into my planned 17 mile run I had the following inner conversation:
  • Mary, you have run 6 miles, you have 11 miles to go.  Do you even want to do this?
  • If you run 17 miles, you will spend the remainder of this beautiful day on the sofa - no having the kids over, no baking a pie, nothing but trying to live through the day.
  • You want to run a marathon, but are you willing to sacrifice the next 40 days getting ready for it?
  • Do you want to run with grim determination?
  • Or do you want to run with joy?
I chose joy.  I ran 4 more miles.  10 miles is a good training run for a half marathon.  I am going to run a half marathon in Alaska and know that I will enjoy the rest of my vacation.  I will not have to be miserable about running anymore.  I can run the way I like to run.  And enjoy it!

So today I will head off to work.  I have a bunch of work I brought home on Friday night - and I better do it today because it never got off the back seat of my car this weekend.  I have a couple of things to do this week that I am dreading, but they will be over by 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.  I will try to spend my time preparing instead of dreading.   

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sunshine Superman

That's an old song by Donovan. Sunshine came softly through my window today... could have tripped out easy, but I've changed my ways... Love that song!

Sunshine did come softly through my window today. It is a sunny day. I am about to put my running skirt on and head out the door for my "make or break" 17 mile run. If I can do this, I will continue to train for a marathon. If I cannot do it, I will joyfully decide to run a half marathon in June. Which will mean that I can cut back drastically on my mileage. This makes it sound like the decision is already made - but it isn't.

Yesterday my neighbor and I took our annual trip to the garden shop.  I bought the above mandevila for my front porch.  I don't know the first thing about mandevilas, but it sure is pretty.  Hopefully it will thrive.  

I spent a lot of time in fellowship with AA folks yesterday.  It was good.  I went out for breakfast after the meeting.  I went to an AA function at a fellow member's home - where I spent hours on a deck, looking at a spectacular view of the mountains, sitting with friends and laughing so much I got a headache.  I brought a strawberry pie, and people literally lined up for a piece, as I doled it out.  Those who didn't get a piece complained loudly.  My pies are getting a reputation!

I talked about my nightmares a lot yesterday.  And do you know what?  Last night I did not have one.  I slept like a baby all night long.  Some people are mighty uncomfortable with me, as a person with long-term sobriety, talking about problems like I was a newcomer or something!  Am I here for them?  No.   I am here for me.  Sorry.  I do not go to meetings for anyone but me.  If I should help someone while I am there, that is great.  But I have not reached the pinnacle, the mountain-top, where I no longer am in any danger of drinking - I am an alcoholic.  And if there is one thing I have learned from 23 and 3/4 years in Alcoholics Anonymous - it is that we are never cured.  We are never immune.  I am just as much a drunk as I was when I hit the doors.   By the Grace of a Loving God, I get to live a sober and most of the time happy life today.  And when I have a problem?  I am going to talk about it.  

Have a blessed sober day today.  XXXOOO!!!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Saturday Morning

Hi Everyone,

Even though you have shown me time after time that this isn't a safe or appropriate place to share my inner thoughts - I continue to do it.  I guess I am tough enough to pour my thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears out here and have you all critique them.  Not that you all do that, most of you are lovely people who share the back and forth, the give and take, of friendship - online or face to face.  But there are some who like to come by and call me names (I delete these) and tell me what I ought to do - based on their 30 days of experience with sobriety.

So, this morning I have been awake since 3:30.  I woke up with my heart pounding after another nightmare about my ex-husband.  I have been having these nearly every night for the last 3 weeks.  My ex-husband tried to kill me and indeed broke many of my bones, chipped two of my teeth, estranged me from my children, etc.....  But we have been divorced for 15 years!!!  15 Years.  Last night I dreamed that he took my ticket to Alaska - when I was at the airport. I was able to get a replacement ticket, but by the time I got back to the gate, the plane had left.  I think this dream might be symbolic of the way I feel about his impact on my life.  

I wrote inventory on this relationship and the other associated relationships affected by the marriage last summer.  I 5th stepped it with my sponsor.  I did the rest of the so-called "work"... several times on this.  I know that there have been other things in my life that I have just resolved to call "my cross to bear," maybe this is another.

I  think I am having these nightmares because I have a horrendous situation at work that has now gone on for 6 months... I have a couple of other situations... and add these all up and I have anxiety.  

I am out of time to write this now.  I must get to the 6:30 meeting. I am happy to have a place to go - where I really want to be.  Thank God.

And thank you, all my friends, for reading this and then not pouncing on me in my vulnerability.


Friday, May 02, 2008

44,444 visitors

This morning I am the 44,444th visitor to my blog.  And since I am feeling, well, shall we say what Pammie says, and call it "floopy", I thought I maybe could write about my blog.  This blog has been a revelation to me.  I love writing.  I love the fact that people read my blog.  I love the fact that people have told me that this blog has helped them.  I love the fact that my friend Robert found my blog (I very very seldom tell my "real" friends about my blog) and reads it and tells me that he feels he knows me better from reading my blog than he has ever known me from years of sitting in meetings with me.  I love the other bloggers I have met, Lash, Pammie, Daave, Scott W., Zane, Motorcycle Mike, etc.  That has been wonderful.

I don't like some asinine comments.  I don't like that people come and go so much that my links are all out of date.  I don't like that when a new person comes along, I don't bother with a link until they have been around for a while, because I don't trust that they will continue to blog.  I miss the group that was around a year or two ago.  

OK! Enough of that!  Last night I had dinner with a long-time sponsee.  What a wonderful thing these relationships are.   

Yesterday at work, I got a new super fancy notebook computer.  The screen flips around and you can write on it.  The cool thing was, I had men in and out of my office for several hours and will again today.  In healthcare, we are mostly women.  I love women, but I really love men and I miss them!  They will be back today because I have so many special programs on my computer, it takes a lot of work.... like SPSS for statistical analysis... I LOVE statistics.  

People wonder why I am always quantifying visitors, comments, searches, etc. on my blog... I cannot help but do that.  I love statistical analysis, and I will do it whenever I get the chance.  So, welcome to all the visitors >44,444!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Glad it is Thursday

And I am going to church.  The birds are singing outside. It will be a good day if I can get out of  the way.  

"Day by day, we try to move a little toward God's perfection.  So we need not be consumed by maudlin guilt for failure to achieve His likeness and image by Thursday next.  Progress is our aim, and His perfection is the beacon, light-years away, that draws us on."  As Bill Sees It, p. 15