Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I have decided to start posting at night again because I have too much to do in the mornings. And I simply cannot be late for work every single day. But sometimes at night I am much too tired to write anything coherent. Last night I was too tired to even keep my eyes open. I slept for nine and a half uninterrupted hours and this morning I feel like myself.

I went out into the garden in my pajamas again to take photos of tulips. The tulips I planted in the first weeks I lived in this house have bloomed. Again. Reliably. Faithfully. I have taken photos of them every year since then. This is the ninth year I have watched in wonder as they have bloomed.

But I notice that this year there are weeds in the photos. And dead leaves from last fall. And other things that would not have been in the photos from the past.

It is easy to conclude that I am now older and don't quite enjoy the labor of gardening like I once did. But I think the truth is slightly more complex than that.

When I moved into this house I made fast friends with the woman across the street. We became really good friends. It was a revelation to me because I have pretty much stuck with alcoholics since getting sober. My new friend was a gardener and a compulsive home improver. We spent hours talking about our gardens, and we spent hours in our gardens. Even when we were working separately in our gardens, we would call out to one another. We weren't really working alone. It was really great fun.

Several years ago, Mr. Right (number 4) came into her life and she married and moved away. And as women frequently do, she forgot our friendship completely. She will not even say hello when she comes back to the neighborhood - which she does frequently since she couldn't sell her house, but rented it to her daughter. I think I remind her of something she would rather forget. It is sad to me because I thought we were real friends.

Anyway, the gardening thing... I think I am not much of a gardener. But when I had a friend who was gardening, I had the encouragement I needed to actually want to garden, and like to garden. It wasn't a chore, but a pleasure.

And thus it is in Alcoholics Anonymous. When I have surrounded myself with people who have the same problem (alcoholism) and the same goal (sobriety), I have found that I love to be sober, and I love to do what it takes to get and stay that way.

Trying to stay sober on my own would be like trying to motivate myself to go out and pull those ugly weeds. I can hire someone to pull the weeds (which I think I will do), but I cannot hire someone to stay sober for me.

Thank God I have an entire fellowship I can avail myself of. I cannot do this by myself.

"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 59.


AnyEdge said...

I'm a friendly sober alcoholic. Hi! Let's be friends.

And I LOVE the idea of hiring someone to stay sober for me. I mean, you know, that concept is funny. I'd have done it at one time, if I could have. Now, I'm happy doing it myself. Sort of like mowing the lawn.

shadowlands said...

"I cannot hire someone to stay sober for me."

That sentence, for some reason, shot through me.

Gonna go find my big book, it's upstairs, on a shelf. I will pray, and then open it.

I like you, and I like it that weeds have begun to appear in your photos of your tulips. My Grandad tried to teach me to grow stuff. I have never yet, got anything, to bloom.

Your post has given me a little bit of hope, idea whatever. Maybe I can get a tulip to bloom, next year. Something to work towards. I only need one. It would be a start, and the fact that the weeds thrive in my garden sort of reassures me, life and growth are still possible.

Getting a bit fearful, as evening approaching here Mary, and for me, withdrawing, that means dreams, vivid and noises that I don't know if they are real or not. Also, if the family ring and ask me about stuff, my memory can't remember and it terrifies me. The paranoia. Maybe, I will get through one more time? Sorry for such a long comment. Your blog gives me that little bit of safety. Managed to keep a bit of food down today.

Your new friend, hopefully,

Sober Move said...

I too have dealt with friends forgetting about me when they find mister right. But I guess we can look at those people that were in our lives for a short period of time and realize that they were there for a reason, to teach us a life lesson of some sort :) Maybe she was there to teach you that you can find connection and friendship with people living outside of addiction.?

Syd said...

I like to see the tulips. Interesting how people just move on. I am glad that you have your sober friends. I relate much more to those in recovery.

PJ said...

One sentence in this otherwise serious and touching post made me laugh out loud:
Several years ago, Mr. Right (number 4) came into her life -
I'm sorry about the loss of your friendship, or rather, the discovery that someone you thought was a true friend turned out be be so fickle. It hurts to be deceived and to find out that we were only being used until "something better" came along, and unfortunately, it often results in a resolution to not open our hearts in this way again in the future. I hope you will remain open, and generous of heart and allow the love and kindness of true friendship to enter when it does come along. And it will come along. Again and again. Blessings on you, MC!

Ed G. said...

Great insight. Thanx for the reflections and observations.

Blessings and aloha...