Thursday, January 31, 2008

Anchorage

San Diego... Anchorage... San Diego... Anchorage... San Diego... Anchorage

I have been back and forth, and back and forth. I almost registered for the San Diego Marathon yesterday, but thought I should wait just one more day. Last night my nephew called and told me that he and his wife are really excited about me coming to Anchorage to stay with them and run the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon on the Summer Solstice. I said 'well, I think I might have decided not to come.' And then we talked some more... and I told him I would make a decision in the next 24 hours.

I talked with my sponsor (yes, I still do this) and she said this is a "no-brainer". Well, sometimes I just don't see the obvious. So, today I will register for the race in Anchorage. And I will call my nephew and let him know.

I am so excited! I have always wanted to go to Alaska. I have always wanted to run a marathon. I love my nephew and his wife and kids, and will love to see them.

And now I am off to church and then to the gym - and will come back home and get dressed for work, work all day, then go to a dinner for faculty of the University tonight! Me! Faculty!

And what does this have to do with being sober? Everything. I get to do stuff. The stuff of my dreams. What a deal!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

None of our business?

I had a long conversation last night with a woman who shares a concern with me. We are watching a man in our group doing something that appears to be tearing him apart. She did try to talk with some people about it and was told very sharply "it is none of our business."

A few years ago we buried someone - what he had been doing was "none of our business" we had decided. After he was dead, we scratched our heads and thought that perhaps we might have said something, done something, showed our concern some way - before he was dead.

I count on my friends in AA to tell me the truth. Please, dear God, they never decide that I am none of their business. My friend and I agreed to tell each other unpleasant truths if necessary. I know my sponsor will always tell me the truth. It is ultimately the most loving thing to do.

"We do talk about each other a great deal, but we almost invariably temper such talk by a spirit of love and tolerance." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 125

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I'm Late! I'm Late!

For a very important date!

I had no internet access this morning at home. I didn't wake until 5:30 and needed to be at a meeting at 6:30 - to celebrate the 1st birthday of a sponsee. One year ago today, she was in detox in Alabama. Today she was sitting, nice and clean and shining, in an AA meeting in Colorado. Very happy she is sober.

I am too busy to post anything. But wanted to let you all know I am alive, and well, and sober, and happy, and very very busy.

So glad I have friends out there, some of whom are unknown to me, who actually read this blog on a daily basis!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy Monday

It is Monday, January 28, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Eight. Today some people will be born, some people will die, some people will meet the loves of their lives, some will lose the loves of their lives, some will get into car accidents, some will get DUIs, some will come to AA and get sober!

I am speculating that I will go to work, talk to a few people, go to a few meetings, get some work done, leave work, go to Biblical School tonight (and have my midterm exam!), come home, get into bed and thank God for another day. That is all subject to change without notice though.

I have a huge week this week, I think I have something to do every night. And next week, I am going to try to go to my first Caucus - on Super Tuesday! I am very excited about the prospect of this.

Something I really enjoy about being sober is being part of the process. I used to just complain about everything. But when you start to try to be part of the solution, you complain a lot less!

Have a great sober day everyone.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sunday Morning

It is a Sunday Morning. It is cloudy, but warm. I have already been to a meeting and then to breakfast with the ladies from the group. It is a nice little group of about 10 of us. I used to decline their invitation almost every Sunday because restaurant breakfasts make me sick - they would say 'just have a cup of coffee,' but that is no fun! Luckily, I have a wonderful sponsee with an eating disorder who a couple of weeks ago suggested I have a bran muffin - and that is working for me!

At the meeting this morning, I just threw in a little tidbit that happened on Friday. I hadn't thought much about it, but as I told it, it made me cry! On Friday, my daughter and I had lunch at Bennigan's. Now, normally I do not go to bars. I don't think of Bennigan's as a bar. But they did seat us at the bar. As we ate, I became intrigued by the action at the bar, particularly 2 martini glasses full of a light brown fluid. The barkeep was squirting chocolate around the edges of the glasses! I asked my daughter "what the hell is THAT?" She asked me, with humor in her voice, "are we going to have to change tables so you aren't looking at the bar?" I laughed and told her I felt like the Angel Clarence in "It's a Wonderful Life" when he goes to a bar for the first time in a couple hundred years and wants a mulled cider.

But then I thought about it, and asked her if she or her brother or sister ever worry that I am going to drink again. My beautiful 28 year old daughter just said "No, we don't even remember you drinking." Imagine that! My father was sober for 10 years and I never lost the fear that he would drink again, and he did.

If all I got out of my sobriety is the fact that my kids never had that fear, it would be quite enough - more than enough. But that is not all I got. I got a life beyond my wildest dreams, too many friends to count, and happiness I never imagined. And my kids don't live in fear - at least not on my behalf!

It really is a Wonderful Life!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Wind


video
This is a silly video of me complaining about the wind. I didn't get much sleep last night due to howling wind all night. I am not at my best when I am suffering from lack of sleep. Fortunately, today is Saturday, and although I would have preferred the day to be productive, I can take a long nap... all afternoon... after the 6:30 meeting and my six mile run this morning.

Last night I spent over an hour on the phone with the man who is having such a hard time. I am glad I can be his friend, but it does take a toll to listen to problems that intense for such a long time. I am sure grateful it is not me.

And I surely remember the times when people would not listen to me because I was too draining. I remember a friend who told me she just couldn't be around me or "people like me." I remember what that felt like and I will not do that to another human being. We are all God's kids - we ought to treat each other as such.

There used to be cute little posters and plaques (sp? afraid I am using a medical term, not an artistic one) with "cute" pictures of kids with huge eyes, saying something like "We need love the most when we deserve it the least."

I am going to try to be a loving child of God today.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Life's full

I could complain about how busy I am. But I think I will instead be grateful for all that is in my life, because it is all a gift from God. Last night I went out for dinner with my long-time sponsee. We enjoy each other so very much. We went to a Chicago-style Italian Beef Sandwich restaurant, which we both absolutely love. Oh, the decadent pleasure of fattening food!

On the way home, my cell phone rang. It was my friend who has just returned from several days in jail. God bless him. What a shocking experience for one who spent his career in law enforcement. I was glad he could call me to talk about it.

The phone rang several more times and I talked with several more people. Including a man I don't talk about much here, on purpose.

I wish we could capture moods and feelings in a jar and save them for when we need them. I feel very loved and very full and satisfied this morning. There is nothing substantially different today from the days when I don't feel that way. But some days the world doesn't look quite as friendly as it does today.

I am so grateful for this sober, full, happy life.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thursday - no time


I need to be out of here in 10 minutes. I usually spend at least a half hour on my posts each morning. Obviously, I won't be doing that.

On Sunday I signed up for another year of my 5 to 6 a.m. time slot on Thursday mornings. I share this time with a couple and they re-upped for the time too. We were all so excited, you would have thought we signed up for ANOTHER million dollars. It feels like more than that to us. I have, so far, made it for 48 weeks straight. I have not yet missed one Thursday morning at church. It is a good deal.

I better get going. Have a great sober day everyone.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday Morning

I am going to the 6:30 meeting this morning because my friend B. is celebrating his birthday today. 22 years of continuous sobriety. I am grateful for friends such as this.

Our friend Banana Girl is celebrating 2 years of sobriety today, go over and wish her a happy birthday!

What a great life we are given. We get to live in freedom, we get to earn our own trust and the trust of others. I think maybe one of the worst things about active alcoholism is not knowing with certainty what we would do. I would wake up in the morning and just thank God I hadn't killed anyone. It was the only thing I could think of that was worse than what I HAD done, or what I speculated I MIGHT have done.

I am still thinking about my former boyfriend, now sitting in jail. More than a couple of my friends called me yesterday to see if I was OK. He is in jail for "stalking" a woman, violating a restraining order. My friends wanted to make sure that woman wasn't me. No, it wasn't me. Thank God. But my heart breaks for this man and his family.

"we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life - the one that did not work - for a new life that can and does work under any conditions whatever." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 8

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday Back to Work

It is 1 degree fahrenheit outside. Will it be twice as warm if it gets up to 2 degrees? I am a slow moving woman this morning. I had a hard time getting to sleep last night.

Yesterday I tried to call my former beau to check on him. He has not been doing well at all. Active alcoholism somehow doesn't lead to a productive, happy life. When a woman answered the phone, I thought of Pam, and just went right ahead and asked if he was home. It was his ex-wife and we had a little conversation. It seems this man is now in jail, she was there feeding his dog and cat. Oh my Goodness. His name and mug shot were all over the news last night and all over the papers. He looks BAD. I feel so sad for him and his family. To watch a talented, intelligent, charming person disintegrate is not something I enjoy.

It does, however, reinforce my gratitude for the Grace of God which has allowed me to remain sober for 23 years, 5 months, and 29 days. Not by my works. By the Grace of God.

Let's try to be kind to each other today, OK?

Monday, January 21, 2008

How interesting! It's snowing! And Cold!

It is also Martin Luther King Day, so I don't have to go to work. I was so tired last night I went to bed at 8:30, so I am wide awake and ready to go this morning! I will go to the 6:30 meeting and figure out what to do from there. I have Biblical School tonight, which is always wonderful.

I love having these kinds of holidays off. Most people are still working, so it is especially nice. The Monday meeting at 6:30 is usually pretty packed and good.

I don't seem to have anything to say this morning. I hope we all have a nice, cold, snowy, sober day. (well, some of you will skip the snow and cold, but don't skip the sober, OK?)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gratitude goes forward...

Here is a picture of "my" classroom. I had a wonderful day yesterday. I think I actually like teaching. I have always known that I enjoy teaching one on one. What I haven't liked is standing in front of a group and talking - unless it is an AA meeting. Yesterday I actually liked 'lecturing'. I had stressed over an article I was supposed to lecture on. It was so difficult to read, I read it over and over and over. I finally took extensive notes on it. But what I didn't think about was that if I was having such difficulty with it, imagine how much more difficult it was for the students to read! So I got to give a 'lecture' and then answer questions. If I had not agonized over it as I had, I would not have been able to offer the explanations as I did. It was a banner day for MC.

Then I got home and found my blog had been defiled again. I left a nasty comment for the man and then I retaliated on his blog by cutting and pasting whole chapters out of the big book into his comments. Amazingly enough, his blog was gone within an hour. Apparently he doesn't like stuff he doesn't want on his blog. And I imagine it is a pain in the ass to delete comments that are a chapter long.

Should I have done that? Probably not. Do I have one ounce of regret or remorse? Nope.

So, back to a positive note: this morning in my prayer and meditation, I thanked God and actually started crying - with gratitude. The last few months have been so very difficult. There is still a bunch of difficulty at work, but some of the hurdles are now behind me. I feel much better than I did a week or a month ago. And today I get to go to an AA meeting first thing. I get to take a run after the meeting. Then I get to watch football and knit. My kids may or may not be coming over (they might be going snow-shoeing instead).

So today I will try to take that gratitude and express it forward. My ex husband used to say that gratitude isn't a feeling it is an action.

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

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Blackboard Jungle

I have as much anxiety this morning as I would if I were stepping into a real jungle! I am not teaching the whole class today, just two portions of it. I don't particularly like standing in front of a group and talking (unless it is an AA meeting), and I don't feel like I truly understand one of the topics of discussion. I am happy that at the end of this day, this first day of teaching will be over. And at the beginning of March, this whole class will be over. Then I can decide if I truly want to do this. If you gave me an escape clause right now, I think I would jump on it!

A former sponsee called me last night. As we talked, she got snokkered. At first I asked her if she was drinking, and she said no. After we talked for about an hour, she finally admitted it - of course by then I could barely understand a word she was saying. She was sober for 11 months and got drunk, and has not been able to put any time together since then. She does not want to be sober. I don't know how to help someone who doesn't want it. It is my belief that I cannot do anything for someone who doesn't want "what I have" except live as well as I can and be an attraction. I suggested she try going into treatment, they are good at pushing recovery on the unwilling and undesiring, but I am not.

And the really unfortunate thing is, people think they have forever to change their minds and get sober, but many of them do not have the luxury of time. They will not live long if they continue to drink. I believe this woman is one of those. It is so sad to see a person throwing her life away. And she is the only one who can change that. We can go to the ends of the earth to help a person who wants help, but I don't care to be the one a person calls to cry to while she is drunk.

I better get myself bathed, dressed, and prepare to head out the door to the blackboard that awaits me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Morning


I am looking forward to this day, not for any special reason, but just because it is an ordinary Friday. I should be able to get a lot of work done. I should be able to finish up my work for the lectures I am to give at school tomorrow. I have had more than one moment of panic over this. And Pam, yes, I do intend to write on the black board. The classroom is in a circa 1950 building - with a black board. Not green, not white... but BLACK. It is also wired for computers, but I LOVE that black board.

Yesterday I spoke with a former boyfriend over the phone for an hour or so. For my long time readers, he was my brief, intense fling from the summer of 2006. I am so glad that after a while I realized that the man was slightly unhinged, I believe he started drinking about a month into our 'relationship'. He has come totally unhinged now. God bless him. He, a man who once held a high-profile elected office, is now facing jail time - for violating a restraining order! I feel so bad for him and his sons. What a terrible toll this disease takes. All judgment flies out the window. I am thankful that I can be his friend. I hope that this is his bottom and he needs to go no farther down into the horrible abyss that is alcoholism.

I better get myself rolling today. Oh, what a wonderful feeling it is to look forward to a day and have no dread.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday Morning

Off to church this morning, then to the gym, and then to work.

I am so psyched, excited, happy, motivated, and wonderfully surprised. God's provisions never seem to fail to amaze me.

Remember I said I wanted to run the Anchorage Marathon in June, but I didn't know how I could afford the hotel? (hotels in June in Anchorage run about $300. a night.) But I said I would just move forward on this and see how it works.

Last night I called my nephew who lives in Anchorage. My brother told me he is moving back to Colorado in May. When I asked him where to stay in Anchorage - he said "With us!" He is not moving until July. I would normally not stay with someone, relative or not, but I just LOVE this nephew, and he loves me too! AND, he said he had been wanting to run that race since he moved to Anchorage and now he has an excuse!!!

So, I not only will have a place to stay, but a buddy with whom to run the race. (I would have said 'race with' if Daave wasn't a reader... see how we improve each other?)

So, I get to go pray for an hour now. I love this. I really do. Even on sub-zero temperature mornings such as this.

"Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 3

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Snowy Wednesday Morning

It is COLD outside and snowing. I don't feel particularly well (headache & sore throat). I am going to stay home from work today since for once in my life, I have no meetings or anything else scheduled for today.

I am so looking forward to being home all day. I can't imagine anything better right now.

It reminds me of an early gratitude list: I was sober about a year, my brand new car wouldn't start, someone had stolen the radio out of it, and I had a host of other problems. My sponsor told me to write a gratitude list (which really pissed me off.) So, I sat down, unpracticed at being grateful in all circumstances, and slowly started a list. I was grateful for my cup of coffee and my cigarettes. I was grateful for my apartment. I was grateful for my bathtub. I was grateful that no one could steal my bathtub! Then, the most amazing thing of all, I was grateful that I was so easily entertained! And I still am!

I have to take out the trash. - which means I have to get dressed. But I am grateful about trash too. I even wrote a post about it back in 2006.

Have a great sober day everyone.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Running in the Dark

Is what I am about to do. Yesterday I printed out a 16 week Marathon Training Calendar. Marathon. 26.2 miles. Training for this will require a few sacrifices, like running on cold dark mornings in winter. So- let it begin!

I am going to move forward towards running the Anchorage Marathon on June 21. My daughter said she doesn't want to do it, so I shall do it alone. I am not sure where I am getting the money for this. I am also not sure that this old body can run 26.2 miles. But I will never know unless I try.

Yesterday at the meeting I said it out loud. I want to run a marathon. I want the marathon to be in Alaska. I told someone at work later and said "isn't that the coolest thing ever?" - and he said "Yes, literally - couldn't you find a marathon in Siberia?" Anchorage is at 113 feet altitude. I am training at approximately 6,000 ft. June 21st is the longest day of the year.

I have been to all 48 contiguous states, and want to get to Alaska. I will also need to go to Hawaii some day, but have no great desire to go there. But Alaska! I have always wanted to go to Alaska.

So this morning I am dreaming. And I have hope in my heart. After last week, I am doing everything in my power to not go back to that dark place.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Back on the Hamster Wheel...

hmmmm, that's a rather negative way of looking at it, isn't it? Last week I got a real taste of how wonderful my life usually is, by contrast with the kind of hellish way it was last week. I don't know what this week will bring. I hope it is boring and dull and ordinary... but I doubt that will be the case.

I want to write about this startling revelation I had, but I am so limited in time. I want to be at the 6:30 meeting, it is now 5:51, and I am sitting here in my jammies. I will give it a shot:

When I got sober, there were a bunch of old men who I now call "those old sages." They are all dead now. There was Dick S., who smoked a pipe (back when you could smoke inside a building!) and his eyes twinkled, and he could cut you to the quick, and you would still be smiling because you didn't even know you had been injured! And on and on. There were a bunch of them. I loved them.

Now that I am sober for 23 years, I suppose I could sit back and try to act the sage at every moment. But that is not my nature. So, I watch the guys who came up behind me... guys (sorry they are all guys, not gals) puffing up their chests and talking about the good old days, and the old clubs that are no longer in existence, and talking about how they started this meeting and that meeting and how many people they have sponsored, etc. And it makes me sick.

A week or so ago, I squirmed through one of these orations by one of these guys. He has been sober for almost 21 years and he can't ever talk without mentioning that. He can't talk without yelling it. He cannot talk without telling us all how long he has been sober. He can't talk without mentioning "the old club" and the old things. He will sprinkle his talks with name drops of dead members. I have no idea how he is doing today, because he never mentions it.

I, with the subtlety of a chainsaw I am sure, mentioned to a woman sitting next to me that this guy gets on my last nerve. She looked at me with shocked amazement and said "I LOVE him!" And I thought - gee, maybe for her, this guy and others like him are the old sages. Probably those old guys I thought were so great were just like this. I really couldn't say. I just remember what I remember and I don't remember them puffing themselves up with their length of sobriety.

So, I need to work on smiling. Sitting back and smiling. When I want to tell them to get real, I can realize that they are probably helping someone.

Gotta run...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Tolerate Ambiguity

Freud said that neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity. I have found that one of the most wonderful things about accumulating sober experience as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous is that my ability to tolerate ambiguity has increased (exponentially).

I wonder if it is a particularly alcoholic trait to have a tendency to draw lines in the sand. Alcoholic geniuses cannot resist trying to summarize the twelve steps into simple "rules." I wouldn't even speculate as to how many books have been written to "explain" the twelve steps. There are then the unwritten "rules" about what to do, or more importantly what NOT to do, in AA.

I am so grateful that I didn't have a perfect experience when I got to AA. I might then think that my sobriety was contingent upon the people of AA, the steps of AA, and the perfect combination of each. The big book says "the only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." (p.98)

When I came to AA, desperate to quit drinking, I came to a group that was full of con men, thieves, strippers, even prostitutes! There were men who hung around, looking for young vulnerable women like me. I remember one saying he was looking for a "blonde with lobotomy eyes." I had sponsors betray my trust, some of whom I have written about here. I had people steal from me. I slept with more than one of those "13th stepping" men. I went to terrible meetings, where having 30 days myself, I would be the longest sober person in the room.

I stayed sober. I wanted to stay sober and so I did. I relied upon God. I quickly learned that He was the only reliable one. I learned to reach out to other alcoholics - not FOR help, but TO help. I learned that when I was feeling bad, instead of "venting" or whining, I was better off trying to think of who I could help. I am so grateful for these experiences.

All that said, I do believe that there are good common sense suggestions about what to do in early sobriety. Go to 90 meetings in 90 days. Get a sponsor. Women stick with the women, and men stick with the men.

Is that my experience? Hell no. I did go to lots of meetings and still do. I went to at least 180 meetings in my first 90 days. Why was I so motivated to go to meetings in the early days? Well, I wanted to stay sober, but there were also MEN at those meetings. Men who paid attention to me! It had been years since anyone had paid attention to me. When I first slept with one of those men, definitely a 13th stepper, I realized that I could stay sober, that I WANTED to stay sober. Really. (I had an old friend, now sober 35 years, who used to say that more alcoholics were saved by the 13th step than all the other 12 put together.)

Was that the right thing to do? Hell no. Was I ready to do the right thing? Hell no. God speaks to us in our own vernacular, and I believe he got my attention in my own language. Was it awful? yes. Do I act like that now? NO SirEE!

In my own group I am now watching a man with "double-digit" sobriety having an affair with a woman who cannot stay sober. As I watch this, I see the harm that is done. I hate to be radical, but the woman is just doing what she does. The man, however, has grown a beard, keeps his eyes down, and doesn't talk to people like he used to. He used to smile and greet me when I walked into the room, now he looks down and mumbles. I usually only see him once a week, and he looks a little sicker every time I see him. He knows what he is doing is frowned upon. It looks like his guilt is eating him alive. I pray to God that he can stay sober. I think the woman either will or won't, but I don't think this affair will affect her much. But the "13th stepper"? I think grave harm is being done to him... by himself.

Here's more Sunday morning radical Mary Christine:
I don't believe there is a RIGHT way to work the steps.
I don't believe there is a RIGHT way to have a meeting.
I don't believe there is a RIGHT way to be or have a sponsor.
I think when we talk about the "work", we are taking credit for our own sobriety. I could not and cannot create a sober Mary Christine. Only God can do that. I need to care for the gift that God has given me, my sobriety, but I did not make it happen by all my "work." Only by the Grace of God.

"Job or no job - wife or no wife- we simply do not stop drinking so long as we place dependence upon other people ahead of dependence on God." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 98

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The problem with other people is that they are there.

According to Mike P. at the 6:30 meeting today. I loved that.

I lived through the week! woo hoo! It was a rough one. I am going to endeavor to enjoy this weekend with every fiber of my being. I got up early and went to a meeting - which is a good start. I went to the grocery store for some weekend food on my way home from the meeting... which is good. I now have a pot roast simmering on the stove, which is good and even smells so.
I am going to go out and run in a minute and that is super good! I haven't been able to run since January 3. That messes with my mental health, but it is good that I know that.

So, here's a question for y'all. I sponsor a woman with 8 or 9 years sobriety. We had arranged to meet every Tuesday night, she comes to my house and we are going through the big book together. However, she has canceled every single Tuesday for at least a month. Probably closer to 2 or even 3 months. I don't keep track... So, the thing that irritates me about this is:

1. I am really busy, I carve this time out of my schedule - I could easily schedule something else, or just take a night off!
2. She always asks if we can meet on Thursday night, or the weekend. I always say "no." I always tell her that I am never going to be available on Thursday night or the weekend, and yet she asks me this every single week.

I tell you how long she has been sober because I think if she were new, I could cut her some slack. It seems to me that she doesn't want to meet with me, so she cancels, but somehow she rationalizes that it is OK because she 'tries' to arrange to meet me at another time (knowing that I can't).

MY sponsor says: "fire her." Period. I don't really want to, I hate ending relationships. But it might be in her best interest to find that irresponsible actions like this have consequences.... I really don't know.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thank you.

Thank you so very much for all of the lovely comments yesterday. I am always surprised by the reactions of people. And you bloggers seldom let me down. By the way, did you notice that God's gift from down under is gone?

I was up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night - and when I did get back to sleep, I slept until after 6:00 - which is WAY too late for me to get up. So I've got to skedaddle off to work.

I have one day left of this whirlwind I have been in all week. One day. I can do ANYTHING for one day - even stay sober!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday Morning Way Pre-Dawn

Someone left a nasty-gram comment yesterday. "Are you attention seeking about the blog again. If you want to carry on do so, if not make your mind up."

I say to that: thank you for sharing.

Amazingly enough, my life is not 100% about this blog. I spend probably a half hour a day on it. The remaining 23.5 hours I am living my life. Right now my life is overwhelming.

In 2005, one of my first posts was called "Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired." In it, I explained that I call myself "high-maintenance," not because I like expensive shit but because my list of self-care musts is pretty big. They really are musts. I really must exercise, eat right, sleep a lot, have quiet time for prayer and meditation, go to meetings, talk to friends, etc., etc., etc. if I am to be even remotely sane.

I am in a temporary work situation this week. I am working many hours a day without break, and it is very intense. It is my job. My job is not the same every day, and thank God it isn't usually the way it is now. Right now I am, of necessity, doing none of my self-care things and my mental health is definitely feeling it. So I am discouraged. I am tired. I am hungry most of the day because I haven't got time for any breaks. I am angry sporadically, like when I read a nasty fucking comment. I could be lonely, I don't know, I haven't time to figure it out. I talked with my sponsor this evening, she suggested I just get through this week - it may not be pretty, just get through it. Just make at least one AA contact a day on the phone. I have been doing that.

And in case you are confused, let me tell you: I am an alcoholic in recovery. This does not make me a saint. I am a person who has suffered from Major Depression throughout my life, thankfully it is in remission, but that isn't necessarily a permanent situation.

If you are looking for some person who got sober and turned into a perfectly adjusted person with no faults, keep looking, this is not the place. If you are looking for some phony who tries to make everything sound nice every day, keep right on looking, that is not me. If, however, I am telling you that my life is wonderful (which is what I do most of the time) you can trust that it is the truth.

I am a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am a real live human being. I do not always feel great. Life doesn't always go my way. I don't even want it to, for crying out loud! I have plenty of faults. Most of the time, they are not too terribly evident. Right now they are, I guess. So, if you can't handle it, don't read my blog. OK?

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wednesday Morning

I am not running.

I am not going to a meeting.

I am not sitting here doing any damn thing I want.

I am going to work.

I am worn out.

I don't want to do this anymore.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Energized

Note to self: Sometimes the things that restore the body and soul are not necessarily rest.

I worked for over 10 hours yesterday, most of the time on my feet (which I am not at ALL used to), without lunch (just some string cheese and snow peas I had in my office refrig that I grabbed on the run), I ran all over that hospital, and had to be on my toes all day. And it was probably the best day at work I have had in a couple of years. Go figure!

I have another day like that in store today. I am looking forward to it.

As alcoholics, our reactions to many things are paradoxical. I think my reaction to work/rest is yet another example of this.

"We no longer strive to dominate or rule those about us in order to gain self-importance. We no longer seek fame and honor in order to be praised." -- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 124

Monday, January 07, 2008

Monday

Back to work today. I don't feel particularly well rested. The weekend was very eventful and I also have yet another cold. Today I get to wear a new outfit I got back in December and realized the first time I wore it that the pants needed to be hemmed. Now that they are hemmed, I have a new outfit to wear!

Yesterday morning, there was a tap, tap, tapping on my front door. It was a neighbor, who felt that because I am on the HOA board I was the appropriate person to talk to about her ugly dispute with another neighbor. She brought a stack of papers, they were the e-mail trail of ugliness. My first thought was "I do not have time for this!" Then I tried to be compassionate and listen to this woman who was really just very hurt that her former friend has stopped being her friend. People sure get ugly when they are hurt, don't they? So I listened, and managed (I hope) not to insert myself into this mess. I will serve out my term on the board, and then I need to get out. I do not want to be part of the disputes of people. I work very hard at keeping my neighborhood relationships friendly and would like to keep them all that way.

I really thought about how fortunate we in AA are. I listened to this poor woman who is hurt and angry and frightened, and tried to imagine what it would be like to need to knock on the door of a virtual stranger to talk about this. We, as AA members, have almost unlimited resources at our fingertips. I have a sponsor and a host of friends who I can call at any time. And they would all be quick to tell me that I can only take care of my own side of the street - which in this case would be literal as well as figurative! Thank God we have a program and a couple million people to help us apply it in our lives.

"If we are fooling ourselves, a competent adviser can see this quickly. And, as he skillfully guides us away from our fantasies, we are surprised to find that we have few of the usual urges to defend ourselves against unpleasant truths." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 248

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Off to Church

I am off to church this morning. I hate to bow to the man's insanity and talk about him, but this is what irritates me so much about Mickey. He and I supposedly belong to the same church. But according to him I am a rageaholic about to be plunged into the gates of hell and he imagines this and that about me. For those of you who are new to his comments, there are only about three of them, he recycles them. He cuts and pastes wacky articles into comments, that is why they are so long. I love you Mickey, do you love me? I think if you loved me, you would not be telling me I am going to hell - and I COULD quote you the bible verse that tells you NEVER to judge someone else, but what the heck, it's Sunday morning and I want to go to church. A church, by the way, that I can see nothing of in Mickey's rantings.

I had my first day of school yesterday. It was awesome. I walked into the classroom feeling like a student, and left at the end of the day feeling like a teacher. A novice teacher, but still a teacher. This is momentous to me.

Then I went to Night Watch at a friend's house. The place was absolutely packed with people. People I love. People I sit in AA meetings with and join for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. People who have helped me put up my Christmas tree, who have baked cookies with me, who have taken bike rides with me. People who are integral parts of my life. Thank God for AA.

Last night there was an event in Houston I dearly wish I could have attended. Scott W.'s showing his art. It sounds like it went wonderfully. Congrats Scott!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Night

Thanks Pam for this wonderful gift, I look at it every day and love it.
I thought I would post tonight because I don't think I will have time tomorrow to post anything meaningful. I have been posting nothing meaningful all week and I apologize to anyone who might have been disappointed!

So tomorrow I start my first day of teaching. Several commenters have said that they don't recall how this whole thing happened. It is a wonderful thing. Really.

In November I decided that I really wanted to go to nursing school. Well, that is not exactly true. I wanted some change in my life/career. I was tired of watching people with less education and qualifications get promoted around me - and it seemed the common denominator was the ",RN" after their names. So I checked into local nursing schools. The one I liked happened to be at the university I graduated from - so I called my old adviser.

When I talked with her, she said she was just going to call me, and she offered me a job TEACHING. Teaching about my own field. About what I do. In the field I studied and in which I work. Well, this was such a radical departure from what I was thinking, I told her I had to think about it for a day or two. But it was really quite obvious that this was meant to be.

So, tomorrow I start. I am a little nervous, but mostly very excited. I get to go out for lunch with the teachers! I get to talk to students! I get to be a grown up, really. And I have to pinch myself - Me? A teacher? I dropped out of high school Twice! I didn't go back to college until I was 43 years old and 10 1/2 years sober.

It is amazing to me the things that God has in store for us, when we let go of our old ideas and our self-will, and let Him take the reins. Say a little prayer for me if you will, OK? (oh, and a prayer for Britney, really. That poor woman really needs some serious help.) Thanks.

"Such is the paradox of AA regeneration: strength arising out of complete defeat and weakness, the loss of one's old life as a condition for finding a new one." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 49

Running SO late

I opted not to post this morning before the meeting. I wanted to get to the 6:30 a.m. meeting because I won't be able to get to it tomorrow. Because I will be at my first day of my new job! Teaching! At a University! How exciting!

But now I am at work and I don't have time to post.

So let me just say, let's all stay sober today, OK?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Trying Something New

Okay. Today I am going to church in my running clothes (EEEEEK!) Then I am going to go to the gym, on January Third, with all the resolutioners (EEEEEEEK!) I will run on the treadmill for however long it takes to run 3 miles... head home... bathe... eat breakfast....get dressed... go to work. I wonder how late I will be.

There is a lot about this plan that I don't like. But I really have to get back to my regular running schedule. I only ran 21 miles in December! In December 2006, I ran over 50 miles. Running is essential to my mental health.

Oh, and I got a call yesterday that I start my new job as a teacher on Saturday. Holy Schmoley. I don't have to teach a class on Saturday, but I get to sit in on one. I hope I get to sit at the front of the class!

Have a great sober day everyone.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Back to Work

This weather is kicking my ass. I am tired all of the time. It is 7 (seven) degrees this morning and I am NOT going to go out and run. I am also NOT going to the gym on January 2. I would dearly love to go back to bed. I would dearly love to have some time off. I have not even taken a whole weekend off since some time in November. I am WAY tired and there is no end in sight to this onslaught of work.

That said, I did have a wonderful one day off yesterday. I had such a fabulous time on New Year's Eve that it really stuck with me all day yesterday. I got lots of e-mail with pictures of us at dinner.

One of my newer friends gave me a Christmas present on NYEve. It is a framed photo of seven of us taken on Dec. 10 - the day we made cookies. I put the picture up on the bar between the kitchen and dining room and I have looked at it over and over again.

I am so grateful that I am in this picture. That I love the other women in the picture. That we all have true smiles on our faces. That I am seated on the sofa - with the other "older" women. That I am seated next to my friend H., whose birthday is one day after mine - same year and everything! That we are all sober, and I pray that we will all be at this time next year.

Being a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous is such a good deal.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

One . One

It's the first of the year. I just woke up. Too late to go to a meeting or church. I stayed up late last night and had a great time, but I think I prefer the way I usually ring in the new year - fast asleep!

Every year on New Year's Eve, a group of sober people go to a chinese restaurant. I have been invited for I don't know how many years, but I never went until last night. The restaurant was unprepared for how many of us there were, so there were two long tables, and then we were scattered about at tables and booths. We nearly took over the place. Actually, I feel kind of sorry for the few people who were not part of us, because they must have wondered what the heck just happened. We had so much fun! It was wonderful to walk around to different tables and talk to people. And our little booth had more fun than anyone, we laughed until we were nearly sick. We all had tiaras on, and had party horns and noise makers. It was so much fun to be with these people to whom I share a bond more powerful than anything else I have ever known.

Then I actually went to a dance! At the dance, I looked over and saw a man who got sober right after me, we traveled in the same circles for a long time. I haven't seen him in about ten years! It was great to see him. He had decided to 'graduate' from AA and go to church. After about ten years of that, he has decided that he really belongs in AA and will stay here. Thank God he didn't drink in that time. He will continue to go to church, but has realized where it is that people really 'get' him. Anyway, at the dance, we all just danced, and danced, and danced. I love to dance, so it was great.

I love the sober life. I love the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. I love my friends. And I love waking up on New Year's day, not hungover, not craving a drink, with only hope in my heart... no regrets, no fear.

Let's have a Happy, Healthy, Sober 2008 everyone.