Thursday, September 30, 2010

Excitement

video
This morning I went out for my run. Only five miles. I am tapering, which is heaven after the last couple of weeks of high milage. I ran 91.34 miles in September... and that is only because I got sidelined by sickness for a few days and injury for a few more days. I would have had over 100 miles if I had kept to my training plan.

At one point in my run this morning, I heard meadowlarks - my favorite bird. Since the morning was 47º, I know that the birds will soon be leaving, and I wanted a recording of the birds for posterity. You guys probably don't care, but I do. I can look and listen to this video on the dead of winter and it will give me hope.

Tomorrow I will meet the texting sponsee at the 6:30 meeting and then we will sit for a half hour or so after that and talk. It is good.

So, what am I excited about? I have a half marathon to run on Sunday, and then my full marathon is on the 17th. The half marathon is local. The full marathon requires a flight of several hours, and then a cab ride to the hotel. Two nights in a tony downtown hotel, within walking distance to the expo, start, and finish of the race. I am excited. I get updates several times a day via Facebook - and it all sounds glorious. I love the pictures of the ocean and palm trees. There was one picture of a "hill" and I couldn't believe it. It is a slight, barely noticable, grade. I am used to gaining hundreds of feet in elevation per mile. It makes me slow, but it does make me strong. I feel optimistic.

I watched an interview of Michael J. Fox on CNN tonight. He said something so wonderful. I don't know if I can quote it exactly, but I will try....

"If you worry about 'worst case scenario' and it doesn't happen, you have just wasted a lot of time. If you worry about 'worst case scenario' and it does happen, you have lived it twice."

I think I will just plan on the best outcome - and even if it doesn't turn out that way, I can have the pleasantness of thinking about it until I need to think of it a different way.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Phone Calls

The phone call used to be the currency of Alcoholics Anonymous. We lived on the phone with one another. I used to spend literally hours on the phone every single day.

Tonight I am wanting desperately to go to bed. I just realized I have two phone calls to return, and I have to return them. I really don't want to, but I have to. One is a sponsee and another is the woman who tried to kill herself a month or so ago. These are important calls. If there was ONE thing I needed to do today, it would be this.

I have a sponsee who texts me when she wants to communicate with me. I find it frustrating in some ways because it seems to be a sort of "cheap" way of interacting. It is passive communication - she doesn't really know if I got her message if I don't answer her. I have tried to explain to her that if I don't answer it is because I didn't read the message. She assumes that if she sent it, I read it. It has led to problems in the past.

My daughter, who is sober 20 months, texts. That is her primary mode of communication. She and her sober friends text each other all day long. They forward messages to one another. They communicate on Facebook.

The sponsee who has been with me for the longest will call - but it is always to plan to meet over dinner. That is how we communicate. It is a much deeper communication - eyeball to eyeball. But we have known each other for a long time and we are quite comfortable with each other.

I guess we all find the way that works best for us.

While I was writing this post, I returned the call to the sponsee, she didn't answer, so I left a message. I called my friend who is still confined (for 35 days now) in detox. She is about to be transfered to a real treatment center. We had a nice conversation. I pray (every single day) she can get sober and stay sober. She is a wonderful woman and I would love to see her get some sobriety and some real life.

"While our literature has preserved the integrity of the AA message, sweeping changes in society as a whole are reflected in new customs and practices within the Fellowship. Taking advantage of technological advances, for example, AA members with computers can participate in meetings online, sharing with fellow alcoholics across the country or around the world. In any meeting, anywhere, AAs share experience, strength, and hope with each other, in order to stay sober and help other alcoholics. Modem-to-modem or face-to-face, AAs speak the language of the heart in all its power and simplicity." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. xxiv

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sober Grandmother

Tonight I finished knitting the baby blanket for my soon-to-be-born granddaughter! I think this might be my most favorite thing I have ever knit. But then I feel that way about nearly every project I finish. I love to knit and I love the way hand-knit things look. This little blanket is so sweet, with all those little hearts all over it. It is a good size, and it is a good quality wool, machine washable. I think it will be a nice little comfort for a tiny baby.

I get to be a sober grandmother. I have two grandchildren now, 10 and 6. Neither of them have ever seen their grandmother drunk.

They don't look at me with those leery eyes that children get for people they cannot trust. They do not have to spend a minute or two figuring out what kind of state I am in when they see me. They just run to me and hug me.

I remember as a child, knowing which people you needed to approach carefully. I have an incredibly keen sense of smell, so that was the sense that tipped me off. Alcohol breath was something that struck fear into my heart - and you know what? It still does.

I like living in a sober world. I am grateful that my grandchildren don't need to worry about me. They can trust me to be the same person every time they see me.

God has been so good to me. And he would be happy to be good to you too, just ask him!

Santa's in my Rear View Mirror

That's not an allegory for anything, that's actually a photo of my rear view mirror. Imagine my surprise when I looked at my mirror and saw a white bearded, long white haired gentleman in the pick up truck behind me - at a red light on my way to work yesterday. I would have liked to have turned around and taken a photo directly, but thought it might be rude. He actually had a red velvet suit with a fur collar on!

One of my very dear friends in sobriety is now an RBS - which stands for Real Bearded Santa. I would probably not have noticed this man had I not known about this large collective of men who grow their white beards and white hair just to "play" Santa for 6 weeks or so a year. He was a blogger for a while, and I really enjoyed being able to interact with him.

He has long since moved away from this area, and I do miss him. He was my sponsor for a while, and we went through the big book word by word - and did what it said to do. That was one of the most valuable experiences of my sobriety. It is how I now sponsor women - but have found that most don't have the patience for it. They want some kind of magical answer in a workbook or DVD - someone else's interpretation of what is clearly outlined in the big book. He would always stress that we read "the black on the white, between the capital letter and the period."

I do hear from him about once a year now. He is happily married and living in another state. He is still sober! It will be thirty-three (33) years in November.

Yesterday I had lunch with my former boss and mentor. It was wonderful to see her. I had written yesterday about her and made the unfortunate statement that I "would not seek her career advice." That sounded a bit harsher than I intended. She has an unfortunate habit of getting angry and quitting jobs, and that is not something I would care to emulate - I have enough of those tendencies on my own. I reflected on that statement as she DID give me career advice and it was GOOD. I expressed my frustration at my dead-ended career that once seemed so bright - she said it was good to hit that glass ceiling , that way I do not have the target painted on my back that I would have at any level higher in the organization. I think she is right. There is enough of a target on me now, I wouldn't care for it to be bigger or brighter.

Sometimes I think my writing might be a bit too subtle. I trust people to read what I have written and draw their own conclusions. Many don't actually read, but do actually comment. And sometimes I just don't put my POINT out there clearly. I trust that people will "get it."

I have been writing about people who have been in my life. Some of them are no longer in my life. Some of them remain. I am grateful for all of them. I love all of them.

My point is - not to judge people. Not to throw people away when they don't live up to your expectations. Not to label people, but to love them instead. We are all fellow travelers here, especially those of us who are alcoholics - whether sober or not.

A utilitarian approach to human relationships is not good. I must not look at people for what I can USE them for. I must see each of them as one of God's children. Sometimes it is more difficult than others, but that is probably because of me, not them.

God bless us all, each one of us.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Morning

Last night I opted not to post anything, I was just so well-rested and peaceful after my 20 mile run, I just blissfully floated around the house until it was time for bed. I sat knitting almost all day. It was wonderful. But this morning, I have slept a little bit too late (I only set an alarm for special occasions) and I have only a short time to get ready for my day, which includes a 6:30 AA meeting. So I need to be out of here shortly.

I am having lunch today with my former mentor. She was my first boss where I currently work. Sixteen years ago, she took me under her wing and helped me to decide to go back to college. By the time I had my bachelors degree, she had quit her job in a bit of a huff and decided to let her professional credentials go... she went to work at a deli! I still called on her to share my professional and educational concerns, but after a while, I realized it was like being sponsored by someone who had gotten drunk (and I have tried that too) - it just doesn't work. She is still my friend though.

Today she starts at an entry level position and will have her orientation, we will have lunch. I do believe it is her birthday too, so I will stop at the hospital gift shop and get her some small trinket.

No matter what later happened, I will always value the immense role she played in my life. I will always value her friendship. (but I certainly wouldn't seek her career advice.)

I have former sponsors I feel the same way about. I value every one of them for who they are and appreciate what help they provided, no matter what later happened.

God is able to put the right people into my life at the right time for the right purpose. Sometimes I wish he would let the same people stay in my life, but that never seems to be my lot. I am still incredibly grateful.

And now I must get into the bathtub!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

20 Miles!!!

I did my twenty-miler. I cannot begin to describe the joy this brings. It is something I never thought I could do. My training for the marathon is essentially over. I will spend the next three weeks tapering before my marathon. I have a half marathon next weekend, which I am really looking forward to.

I have wanted to run a marathon since I was 29 years old. But there was always the fear that I couldn't do it. There was always the lack of commitment - because this is a massive commitment. But now, at the age of 58, I am really going to do it.

When I drank I always was "gonna" do a race, but somehow I never got around to registering and running one. I was ready to do one - fitness wise, I just never put all the pieces together to actually do one. When I was three years sober, I finally registered for a race, I trained for it, I showed up for it, and I ran it. When I finished, I felt like an olympic champion, because I FINALLY did something I said I was going to do.

And now it looks like I will be able to fulfill a lifetime dream. This has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but I feel like God has been with me every inch of the way. I think it is good for a me to really stretch myself and do something so outside of my comfort zone.

Tomorrow I will go to church and then meet a sponsee. That's about it. Well, and I get to watch a football game. Oh, that sounds like heaven to me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Things Past

The above scene was something that struck me as incredibly sad. Abandoned balls. From abandoned children. An abandoned courtyard on an abandoned unit in a decimated hospital. Where I work. We did rounds of all the hospital courtyards today to assess risk. This one was just terribly sad. It closed one day last December, and yet, there are still balls out in the courtyard, as if the patients are still there, just waiting to come out and enjoy a game of ball.

After writing the sad story of my best friend last night, I thought about writing about more of my lost relationships. Lost to alcoholism. But I have to get up in the morning at 2:45 and drive across town to meet my running club by 5:00 a.m. and run 20 miles. 20 miles. Yes, that is right, twenty miles. I will give you a full report, and I hope it won't include any details of injuries or illness. The weather is supposed to be fine... we will start under the harvest moon. And end under the blazing sun, but it is only supposed to be in the high 70s tomorrow, so it will be fine. I have had two trips to the chiropractor this week and hope that my left foot, leg, and whole back will hold out. (I have, for the most part, stopped writing about my injuries, they are SO boring.)

I guess I want to make a point. I have seen some mighty fine people lose their way and get drunk. I have seen them become people I didn't know - even though we had been close when they were sober. Once alcohol enters the picture, no matter what you think, the relationship is over. That is my experience.

I am too tired to write about specific examples now, but I think I will in the next days.

We need to remember that our recovery is for this day. I cannot stay sober on yesterday's spirituality. It has to be today's. And we need to never let down our vigilance.

And now I must get some beauty (and strength) rest. I won't ask for your prayers for my run since I have discovered most of you think I am nuts. That's OK. You don't have to understand what I am doing.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Day I called AA...

A woman spoke with me for over an hour. I have written about this a thousand times here. She cajoled me into agreeing to attend a meeting with her that night - and that was what kept me sober that first miraculous day. She was so sweet and lovely, I asked her to be my sponsor. She was sober a year and a half. We were nearly inseparable. We just became the best of friends. In a little while, I realized she hadn't actually worked the steps, so I needed to find a new sponsor. I did find a new sponsor but she and I remained fast friends.

My kids call her "Aunt," actually her nick name was "Aunt Witch." I don't even remember why. But it was funny. We talked on the phone for at least an hour every day. And I mean every single solitary day. We also spent a lot of time sitting at dining room tables, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.

We lived through her daughter having her first psychotic break and ending up in a psychiatric hospital (I work there now and from time to time I remember coming as a visitor so many years ago). We lived through four divorces between us. Three marriages. More relationships than I would care to recall. She helped me raise my kids. We knew each other's families. Her family kind of adopted me because I didn't have family in town.

The photo above (I hope it is blurry enough to be anonymous) was taken at her birthday party in July of 1987. I was three years sober and 35 years old. We had a huge party at her house. Her husband (the multi-gazillionaire) was out of town, and we acted like adolescents. We even set the roof on fire with fireworks... but were able to put it out. I don't know who took the photo of us standing together. But I do know that years later when I was in the hospital after my hysterectomy, she brought the photo to me, in a frame. It meant the world to me. It still does, it is still on my bulletin board - I don't know what became of the frame.

We laughed together, we cried together, we got angry together, we prayed together, and we stayed sober together. We mainly laughed a lot. She always saw me as being better than I know I am. She thought I saw her as being better than she was, but I disagreed.

We loved each other. We thought we would be friends forever. We speculated about what it would be like to be old ladies, still best of friends.

But things change, don't they?

She met a man, and he lived far away. In the UK. She gave away a lot of her possessions, she packed a few, and moved away from everything she knew and loved to live with him. That was when I got my first computer - so I could e-mail her. We e-mailed each other every day.

At one point, I planned a trip to visit her. But circumstances intervened and the trip was cancelled.

When her mother died, she came and stayed with me. When she left, I had no idea I would never see her again. That was in 1998.

A few years later, her e-mails started getting weird. She had always been a good writer, but suddenly her writing became almost incomprehensible. In the wee hours of the morning, she would write long and rambling e-mails complaining bitterly of her husband and in the morning it would all be forgotten - for her. It took me a while to realize she was drinking again.

I tried to remain her friend, but it became increasingly difficult. I began to dread her phone calls, and depending on the time of day, I would sometimes let them go straight to voice mail. Our e-mails became more sporadic.

She started sending me junk e-mail. I wrote to her and asked her not to do that, please. And I never heard from her again.

I got a Christmas card from her last year. I sent her one too.

I guess that is what our relationship is reduced to.

I can't begin to describe how sad this all is.

It all boils down to one person drinking and the other person being sober. That just doesn't work (in my experience). Particularly when our relationship started by her telling me about AA and how by her helping me, she would be helping herself.

I am the only twelve step she ever did.

I will be forever grateful that God put her in my life. I hope someday it will change. But for now, I can be grateful for a wonderful friendship I got to enjoy for 16 years before she moved away.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I've been hacked

But I have green toenails - and the toenails do make me happy. My feet on the other hand (foot?) are not making me happy right now... but that is an entirely different subject.

My e-mail address associated with this blog account sent out a bunch of spam the other night. Advertising Canadian Pharmaceuticals. Someone else said they were unable to access my blog the same day as this happened. It is creepy to think of someone hijacking my e-mail account and maybe my blog.

I did a little bit of research about this and one of the biggest warnings is about all these "fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd: fwd:" e-mails. I have a "junk" e-mail address that I give to commercial endeavors because I know they will flood my inbox with junk - and they do. This account is personal. Unfortunately, some of my personal friends send me forwarded crap every single day. Some of the forwarded crap I get just because my e-mail address is on the phone list for my AA group.

I have had the experience of telling someone not to send me that stuff - and that was the last time I talked to her. She won't talk to me anymore, she was so offended by that.

So, what do you do about someone jeopardizing your electronic security by sending you cute or clever or political or sentimental e-mail that they are also sending to every other person whose address they have?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

But Now am Found...

I got my cup back today! There are advantages to losing things at a church, it is unlikely that someone will make off with your things. I called this morning and they said they found it. I drove over there at lunch time and got it. While I was there I got to go spend a half hour in silent prayer, which was a wonderful thing to do in the middle of a stressful day at work.

I am just very tired at the end of a long day.

Nothing notable happened today other than getting my cup back.

Do you know it took me some time to learn how to live "ordinary" days with no "excitement" when I was newly sober? I thought something had to "happen" every day. Sometimes I created the excitement myself just so it would be there.

Today I can gratefully accept - even embrace - an ordinary day where nothing "happens."

Monday, September 20, 2010

Verklempt

This is a photo I took while on my 3 miler tonight. It was a walk. A very slow walk. I am still hurting from Saturday. But happy.

So, why am I verklempt? Tonight I left my constant companion - the Starbucks clear tumbler that is always full of ice water - at the church. I was already verklempt when the instructor at Biblical school told the story of Father Maximilian Kolbe. Actually I was trying to hide the fact that I was crying. So when class ended, I quickly packed up my books and left the church. And 10 minutes later realized I didn't have my water with me. I drove back to the church, but it was locked. I will attempt to locate it tomorrow, but I am sadder than a person should be to lose an inanimate object. I have tried to replace it already, but Starbucks is no longer selling this particular cup.

Two people have made amends to me in the last 36 hours. I accept their amends, but sadly, my heart hasn't changed. I still think less of them for what they did. I need to pray about that. One of them is in serious trouble and needs all the friends he can get. Why, when we need all the friends we can get, do we tend to alienate them instead?

But I know what my job is... it is to be his friend no matter how much he disappointed my by his really crappy behavior. I can do that, but it might take a little time.

Only God can change my heart, I am not able, try as I might. But I know he can - if I let him. I think I will.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Perseverance

Today I got to go to a meeting to celebrate a friend's 25th AA anniversary. It was very nice. I just love the guy. We have known each other for 25 years, and have been through a lot in that time. And we love each other. Did I say that already?

When we got mad at each other, we didn't just write the other off and say "he's toxic" or "she's a hag," but we did something called "working the program" and worked our way through these things. We ended up with a deep relationship of friendship and love as a result.

Sometimes things are not pleasant and nice. We don't feel great every day. But we plug through these things, having faith that we will get to the other side.

If I thought I had to feel good every day, I would have despaired years ago, because that is not my lot in life. I am plagued by a negative mind and major depression (unmedicated). But by the Grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I get to live a good life in spite of these things... sometimes because of those things.

I knew a man in AA who was considered an AA saint by many. I was a little more reserved in my judgment. However, he said something that I have never forgotten, and that is:
The way I feel is not an accurate gauge of my spiritual condition.
Feeling good does not mean I am doing good. When I drank, I lived by my feelings. I wanted and needed to feel good all of the time. I did some of my worst damage when I was convinced that I was right because whatever I was doing felt good.

Getting sober and growing up means that I live through the times that are not so much fun, with as much grace as I can accept from God (he will give it, I just have to accept it).

Oh, maybe it sounds grim, but it is really a wonderful way to live. In reality. Real reality. Unaltered by chemicals.

I am so grateful for Alcoholics Anonymous and a loving God who put such wonderful teachers in my life. My way of figuring things out didn't work, but your way did. And I am grateful.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Happy Girl :-)

That's the Coors Brewery - I guess it is the way it would look if you had a few Coors.... or if you were running by and didn't want to stop.

This morning's run was absolutely glorious. We started at 5:15, in the pitch black morning - each of us with head lamps on. That is really my favorite part of the group runs. The trail was great, the scenery was nice, the weather was perfect. Cool, in the 50s, and cloudy. By the time I was done it was sunny and warm, but for most of it, I had the wonderful coolness to experience.

Then to my daughter-in-law's baby shower. It was fun. Two of her girlfriends hosted it - at she and my son's house. It was nice to see her interact with her friends. She is so shy and gets so nervous around me and the rest of the family, I don't feel that I know her at all. It was nice to see her relaxed and having a fun time with her friends. It was also cute to see all the gifts of little shirts, bibs, etc. that said "Daddy's Little Girl." I am so thrilled about my son becoming a father. The husbands came back later (they all went fishing during the shower) and it was great to see that house crawling with young couples with little tiny children. It is nice to see your children having good lives with good friends. Four years ago, he was in Iraq and I was so frightened about his future....

And now, it is the Sabbath. I am doing nothing, nada, zip. I will go to a meeting tomorrow morning and then to breakfast. And that is it. One of my friends is celebrating 25 years of sobriety. Imagine that! I have known him for a quarter of a century. He and I have loved each other and hated each other over the years. I once got so angry with him in a meeting, I stood up and threw my cup of coffee at him. Then I stormed out. He led a vote of the group conscience to have me banned from the meeting - that was long before the coffee throwing incident. And yet, we love each other. We were both "sicker than others." But we both wanted to stay sober and live by these principles, so we have long ago made amends for all the bad behavior (and there was a lot more than I have just described).

It reminds me of another old friend who used to always say "Everything works out if you live long enough." I only know one way to live long enough - and that is to stay sober. I intend to do that for another day, and I hope you all join me.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Excused Absence

That's a photo of a trail I frequently run on. I like it a lot.

I am utterly exhausted - more so than I think I have ever been in my life. I am working a lot of hours and also running every waking moment (maybe I exaggerate, but not by much).

I sat down to write earlier and just couldn't do it. So, I thought I would just post to explain my basic absence. Hopefully I can post something thoughtful this weekend. I need some serious rest.

Tomorrow - 18 miles, followed by baby shower for tiny unborn granddaughter. Then I am free for a couple of hours. I am looking forward to that.

The local Catholic newspaper had an article about running a marathon (of all things!) this week - which I just read tonight. Apparently Pope John Paul II believed that sports provided an ideal training ground for faithfulness by building good habits. A local runner added "faithfulness in small things like running can lead to faithfulness in larger things..."

I know that as a sober woman it is important for me to honor my commitments, even if they were "only" to myself.

This might be the most ambitious one I have come up with thus far - and it has lots of competition.

Thank you for your indulgence. And say a prayer for me if you are so inclined.
xoxox, mc

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Real Alcoholic

I just got off the phone with my sponsor. When I talk with her, it is like no other conversations I have. We understand each other. We are cut from the same bolt of cloth. She is an alcoholic. So am I.

I talked for a minute about visiting the website of the marathon (now in 30 days) and how that fills my heart with excitement (until I think about getting out and running another 23 miles in the next two days).

She told me she was the third woman in the jail there when it was new. She doesn't remember how many years ago that was - but it had to be more than 37, because she has been sober that long.

I thank God I have the example of a beautiful, kind, intelligent woman who is a drunk like me. If I had to talk with someone who had a few too many sherries until she thought one fine day she might try AA, I would have been dead years ago. I know her and she knows me. We are the same.

Which is what makes AA different from therapy. Some perfectly kind, wonderful, and intelligent paid professional can talk to me until they are blue in the face, but without that identification, I am never really going to really listen.

That is what Bill W. and Dr. Bob discovered worked when nothing else would or could. One drunk talking to another drunk.

Thank God.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just in from my workout

This morning I woke up and realized that there was no possible way I could run 7 miles and get to work before 10 o'clock (an hour which is totally unacceptable), so I put off my run until tonight. I drove to a nearby park and headed out, not counting up how long my run would take and how much sunlight there was left.

The sun started heading behind the mountains when I was about 2 miles out, so I headed back to my car. I got in another mile after I got back to my car... and then I did two on the treadmill at home.

I guess I would be extremely repetitive if I told you that I am no longer enjoying this. At all. People have asked me why I am continuing with my training if I am hating it. I ask myself that about 50 times a day. I have a goal - it is to run a marathon. I have 31 more days to train for it. I think I can do this for 30 more days. I will do whatever I can to persevere - knowing that this old body may not tolerate it. I will make every effort.

That's all any of us can do, isn't it? Make every effort. Give it our best shot. Don't give up until it is truly over.

When I got my master's degree my adviser gave me a gift. It is a book mark, but I have it sitting in a prominent place in my home. It is a thin piece of brass that says:
"never, never, never quit." Winston Churchill.

Sometimes I wonder how I reconcile that with living a program where it is necessary to "surrender to win." I did have to surrender my battle with the bottle. But my efforts to live a good, sober, healthy life? That I never intend to quit.

And I think that is a good thing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm really tired...

Oh, who knows why I am taking pictures of my leg... I just did that this morning after my run. My marathon is in 32 days. My local marathon this weekend was postponed indefinitely due to the Four Mile Fire in Boulder.

Training for a marathon isn't that much fun. I am sick of being outside pounding the pavement. I am really really tired. There is no respite in sight. I am still somewhat sick. But I did 3 miles last night, 5 miles this morning, and will do 7 miles tomorrow morning before work.

When I get done with this marathon (if I get that far), I am going to quit running for at least a while. I want to sleep in the morning. I want to not change my clothes more than once a day. I want to stop doing laundry all the time. I am just weary of all of this.

OK, I will stop.

Last night on my run I saw a beautiful young woman standing in her driveway, on her one remaining leg and her crutches. Then I thought - gee, that puts my moaning about running into perspective. This morning I read an article by a woman with MS who says she has phantom running sensations. She is now in a wheel chair and says she can't really remember walking, but she can remember every single thing about running and it is the thing she misses worst in the world.

Did I ever tell you that I never actually participated in a race until I was sober for 3 years? I was 35 years old. I ran the Bolder Boulder - all 10 K of it. With a cigarette and matches in the little pocket of my pink running shorts. Yes, I lit up as soon as I crossed the finish line. People have asked me what the point was of that. There was no point. I wanted to run, and I smoked 2 packs a day. I knew by the time I was finished running 6.2 miles I would need a cigarette. In 1987 that was not a radical idea.

Now I am a 58 year old woman who hasn't had a drink for over 26 years, nor a cigarette for almost 19 years. You know, that is why I am such a big believer in the Grace of God. Left to my own devices, I don't think I could have stayed sober for a day, and I know I could not have gone more than 2 hours without a smoke.

The grace of God and the program of Alcoholics Anonymous have enabled me to do all sorts of things I never thought I could.

Maybe like this marathon?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Didactic

Oh dear, now I have gone and shown you a picture of me! Just kidding, that's Doris Day.

Yesterday someone left a comment suggesting that my blog was "didactic" and someone else (Pammie) said she didn't know what that meant, but it sounded nasty.

At the risk of being accused of being didactic, I will use my own third grader language to give a basic definition of the word:
1. Teaching, instructing.
2. Preaching, moralizing.
Take your pick. I think the commenter meant to suggest the second meaning though. The commenter also asked if I thought AA was the only thing that worked or if I thought other things worked.

I have thought about the question. I don't know if other approaches to long term sobriety work, I can say from personal experience that I haven't seen much evidence that they do. But I may just not know. It really isn't any of my business.

I know that I agree with Dr. Carl Jung - that the only hope an alcoholic has is a spiritual experience. I know that there are places to get a spiritual experience other than AA, but I know that there is not a price tag attached at those other places. The idea that you can spend $10,000 or more to go somewhere and have a spiritual experience is something that I think is ludicrous. It really is none of my business though.

Unless one of those places steals my blog or wants me to advertise them. Then it becomes my right - yes, I said right - to put my foot down and say NO.

This is my blog. This is not a government agency. This blog is not a democracy. It is mine. I have a mission here. I talk about being a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. I am just one of many. I don't have it perfect, I just plug along, day after day, staying sober one day at a time. Some people want what I have, some don't. That is OK.

I don't feel the need to present a "balanced view" of other approaches. I write about what has worked for me and a couple million other alcoholics. That approach is AA.

There is bountiful other information out there. Feel free to find it.

But I won't be presenting it. And if that is didactic, so be it. I can definitely live with that. Especially if I get to look like Doris Day while I am doing it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Five Years - 1831 Posts

The fifth anniversary of my blog was on September 7. I was too tired and sick to acknowledge it at the time. So I didn't. I am still sick and tired, but have been at home for nearly 24 hours without speaking to anyone (other than on the phone), so I think I am ready to do this.

So, my blog - what do I think about it? I have wanted to quit doing this at least 365 times in the last year. But there has always been one or two reasons to continue. The biggest crisis for me was when Pammie left us. She was my comrade, we were together in this. I got through that crisis by thinking about a woman living far across the sea who was reading my blog. I really continued the blog just for her. And then I got personally insulted (which was a huge, huge, huge mistake) when she decided to try some other (than AA) treatment for her alcoholism. I really acted like a jackass about that... she and I are still friends, thank God for amends and forgiveness. She is a big woman to have forgiven me. Someone else got involved, someone who doesn't like me... I don't know why she reads my blog... I think she has stopped by now.

What a waste of time, huh? Getting upset about people I have never met and likely never will meet. But in these five years, I have been absolutely amazed at the relationships that can form out of this medium. I have met some of those people, and have found that I am seldom surprised. You really get a good idea of someone's character if you read what they write every day. I have been surprised by that. I have made a couple of journeys to Texas and spent time with some bloggers there - I have stayed in the home of another blogger (Daave) and he has stayed in my home. I have absolute trust that he is who he says he is. I know he is. He is a wonderful man.

Usually if someone spends their blog energy on insulting people or bitching about them, they are tipping you to who they are. I have no interest in those blogs or people. I particularly dislike the names bloggers tend to come up with for other people ostensibly to protect their "anonymity" - such as "drama queen" or "devil boy." I won't read blogs who insult others.

I also avoid blogs that spend any energy on politics. I usually don't agree with them. I make every attempt to avoid getting into politics, I think if I am identifying myself as a member of Alcoholics Anonymous, I need to do that. I would love to regale you all with my opinions - which of course are right - but I will spare you. Don't think that I am apolitical though - because I believe if I am a sober person, I need to be fully engaged in whatever world I find myself. I need to know what is going on. I know that not everyone agrees with this, but as someone who was "checked-out" for so long as a drinker, I think it is part of my recovery to know what is going on and to be a participant in my community.

One more thing about other bloggers - I won't link to people who have ads on their blogs. I don't want myself associated with whatever ads may show up - in any way shape or form. However, there is one blog that I decided to link to anyway. Just because I like the guy.

What about me? I have learned so much from being a part of this blogging community. It has shrunk to the point of almost non-existence in the last couple of years. But there is still some community.

Some of the things I KNEW were the truth a few years ago, I had to discard. When you learn about people living in distant lands and staying sober there - in AA, but in a very different AA, you learn that what is true here may not be true there. For instance, I used to just say "90 meetings in 90 days," I gave that up when Mary in Africa told me that as a woman living in rural Africa, she can go to few meetings. I really considered that advice for the first time in my life. Reading about her life as a sober woman is something I look forward to every day.

I met a man through blogging who lives very near to me and travels the same circles - and yet I had never really met him before. He has since stopped blogging, which is another terrible loss to our community. He is someone who is very dear to me, and I have learned tons from him. He has been a part of the service structure since he got sober - 27 years ago. I gave up on the structure after about 10 years, and decided to just work in my own community. I have tremendous respect for what he has done and what his wife has done.

I know that there is a wide community now. And that I am not a part of it. And that is OK. I am not at all interested in writing or reading bad poetry. I am not interested in writing posts that take only a certain number of words or any other kind of trickery. I am not here to try to become a poet, I am here writing about my experience, strength, and hope as a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

And then there is Al-anon. I used to think I knew something about it because they use the same steps. I had also been in Al-anon when I was married to another alcoholic and when my daughter was beginning her love affair with meth. But being a part of the blogging community has shown me that I don't know jack-s**t about al-anon. There are a LOT of al-anon bloggers. I have a link to one of them on my sidebar - that is Syd. He has been blogging for about as long as I have, I think. He is someone else who is very dear to me. But I have realized through his blog that I don't know anything about being the non-alcoholic spouse of an alcoholic. I seldom even comment on his blog anymore because I realize I rarely have anything to contribute to the conversation they are having. And I frequently get annoyed at the ignorant comments that know-it-all alcoholics make to al-anons. So, I have learned a lot from Syd and I continue to learn from him.

(Sorry this thing is so disjointed, I really don't feel well and yet I just keep on writing...)

Another thing is religion. I used to be very careful not to mention it. I would get so annoyed by all the references to "politically correct" religions of Buddhism, etc. And yet, I still kept my mouth shut about my religion because I thought I should - if I am blogging as a member of AA. Later, it started sneaking in. I really seldom say I am Roman Catholic. But I am. And that is all over me, my return to the church of my youth has been one of the greatest gifts of my sobriety. There is no way on God's green earth that I can write honestly about myself without including that. I am not trying to proselytize, but I cannot write about myself without the church I am so involved in and in love with being a part of what I write. I will mention "I went to church," or "I went to confession today," or "I went to church for an hour of silent prayer," and most Catholics will know exactly what I am talking about. Others won't. I don't know if I have crossed the line here, but frankly it is not negotiable for me.

You can see my concern about traditions woven through here. I am concerned about how we break them. I honestly believe this blog is a break in a few. I left the International Convention in San Antonio resolved to get rid of the blog. I attended a workshop there about "AA websites," and it caused me to think about two things of concern about my blog.

The Eleventh Tradition, Long Form (Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Ed., p. 567) "Our relations with the general public should be characterized by personal anonymity. We think AA ought to avoid sensational advertising. Our names and pictures as AA members ought not be broadcast, filmed, or publicly printed. Our public relations should be guided by the principle of attraction rather than promotion. There is never need to praise ourselves. We feel it better to let our friends recommend us."
The Twelfth Tradition, Long Form (Alcoholics Anonymous, 3rd Ed., p. 567-568) "And finally, we of Alcoholics Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has an immense spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; that we are actually to practice a genuine humility. This to the end that our great blessings may never spoil us that we shall forever live in thankful contemplation of Him who presides over us all. "

This blog may within the letter of the law by not having my full name or likeness on it. But I think the twelfth tradition really talks about spiritual anonymity. And this blog is all about me and my personality and not all that humble. The line that hits me right between the eyes? "We feel it better to let our friends recommend us." This blog is all about ME recommending Alcoholics Anonymous, and I should not be doing that.

However, (and I know I should never have a however about the traditions) there is so much horrible misinformation about AA all over the internet. There are people who have had bad experiences who have flooded the internet with the "facts" on what "really goes on" in AA - and it sounds horrible. Do a google search on "Does AA work?" for instance. I was shocked when I did that. So, I wrote about it, and hopefully that post is still there when people look up that simple question. My friend Ed G also wrote about it. As someone who always googles everything and carefully considers the criticism, I was dismayed to see virtually NO positive writing about AA experience. I hope my blog does that. That is my whole point.

But, boy, am I ever an alcoholic! I have screwed up on more than one occasion. But I hope. on the whole, my blog is a positive thing. It has been for me.

Thank you very much if you have read this whole thing. I have always been amazed that people would spend the time to read what I write every day. I am humbled and grateful.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Repost from 9/11/06

This morning I picked up the books I read every morning and it nearly took my breath away when I saw
"September 11"
at the top of the page.
I didn't wake up with that foremost in my mind.

I am grateful today that I got to experience that moment in history and many other moments of personal, national, and global history - sober. I am grateful that I know that no matter what is going on, I just have to be "where my feet are". I only have to live in this moment, at this time, in this place. I am grateful that I know that I only have to do the footwork, and the rest is out of my hands. I am grateful for a loving God.

"On the day that the calamity of Pearl Harbor fell upon our country, a great friend of AA was walking along a St. Louis street. Father Edward Dowling was not an alcoholic, but he had been one of the founders of the struggling AA group in his city. Because many of his usually sober friends had already taken to their bottles that they might blot out the implications of the Pearl Harbor disaster, Father Ed was anguished by the thought that his cherished AA group would probably do the same. Then a member, sober less than a year, stepped alongside and engaged Father Ed in a spirited conversation--mostly about AA. Father Ed saw, with relief, that his companion was perfectly sober. 'How is it that you have nothing to say about Pearl Harbor? How can you roll with a punch like that?' 'Well,' replied the yearling, 'each of us in AA has already had his own private Pearl Harbor. So why should we drunks crack up over this one?" -- As Bill Sees It, p. 71

Friday, September 10, 2010

Self-Care


I got home from work tonight and made a pot of chicken soup for my poor sick self. Pitiful, isn't it? I am using my x-mother-in-law's (God rest her soul) recipe. It is a satisfying feeling to be using a recipe that is many generations old - and came from the "old country."

I am not going out to run with my group tomorrow morning. I am just not well enough. I have hopes that I will be able to run on Sunday. But if not, I will find another way to get my 18 miles in.

I got an e-mail from the race director for my next race. It may be cancelled since it is in Boulder and the site of the race is currently the camping site of the non-local fire fighters. I guess we will know in the next few days whether it will need to be postponed/cancelled.

I may post something tomorrow morning - I hate that 9/11 has become a normal day - with a sprinkling of wing-nuts looking for a way to capitalize, publicize, and self-aggrandize.

I am tired and sick and don't have a lot to say. I am grateful to be sober that I have a comfortable home to be sick in. I would rather be sick in comfort than in squalor.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Sober Day

I am still sick. In fact, sicker than yesterday. I don't know how I am going to possibly go forward with my training - I was supposed to run 6 miles today - and Eighteen miles on Saturday. I have an e-mail out to my coachie to find out what the heck I am going to do.

I had a sober day in spite of my sickness. I had some free time at lunch time today and decided to go to a noon meeting. I haven't been to one of those for a couple of years. It was a great meeting and I am so glad I went. I think I shall try to get back to that meeting.

One of my sponsees, the one who has been with me for many years and is someone very very dear to me, called and wanted to have dinner tonight. Even though all I wanted in the world was to go home and go to bed after work, I went and had dinner with her. We both ate "adult macaroni and cheese" Jeez Louise. Gross. But tasty. She made me cry when she talked about being with her dad when he died.... which is now 5 years ago, I believe. I remember when that was going on and I told her she needed to be with him - she didn't want to go. She wasn't getting along with her sister, she was freaked out by her dad's sickness, etc. But she went. And she stayed. And now, that is one of the most meaningful experiences of her sobriety.

Just like it was for me. I got to be with my dad as he was dying too. It was definitely one of the best things I have been able to do as a sober woman. Some of you will understand and some of you will think that is just nutty, that's OK.

I am now going to bed. Even though my across-the-street neighbor is getting a new roof and they are not done yet. That is a noisy endeavor. It is dark - they really need to stop all that pounding.

Enough of this stream of consciousness out of me!

I hope I feel better tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Not well.

I woke up this morning with a migraine and a fatigue so profound, I knew I needed to stay home from work. So I did. I have been in bed most of the day. I am now getting ready to go back to bed. I am hopeful that I will feel better tomorrow because staying home for two days is not an option.

I spoke on the phone with my friend who tried to commit suicide a few weeks ago. She is still in detox - even though that is usually only a temporary placement. They are holding her there for a while. She is tormented by the memories of her overdose. She had thought that if she took a lot of pills she would just close her eyes and die peacefully. Instead she was violently ill and covered an entire hotel room with blood. Now when she closes her eyes, she sees that blood.

When I was newly sober I ran across this tiny little poem somewhere - I have no idea where, but I am reminded of it tonight.

Alcohol gave me wings to fly
And then it took away the sky.

The sky comes back to us when we stop trying to fly above it with booze. But no one is ready to see that until they are ready to see it. Unfortunately some of us die before they ever get to the point of willingness.

It is a heartbreaking thing.

Gratefully sober tonight. Grateful you all are too. Let's stay that way today, OK?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

12 & 39 (and maybe 25)

This is a petroglyph off the beaten path... out of the National Park... just along the road. Pretty amazing. This is a very primitive drawing, and is likely a couple of thousand years old. My little granddaughter found the petroglyphs to be her favorite part of the whole trip.

So, the numbers. What are they? It is 12 days until my next half marathon. It is 39 days until my full marathon (yes, 26.2 miles). And there is another half marathon in 25 days that I might do - it is a semi-ultra - complete with three river crossings. Right through the river. Not on a bridge... but actually in the water. That's what I am nervous about - getting my feet wet and then getting blisters. The blisters I got in my last race, over three weeks ago, which got infected and I took an entire course of antibiotics to heal, are still not healed. I do not need more blisters. I was assured that if I took the proper measures I would not get blisters. I will see.

I was supposed to run 8 miles today. I am still absolutely whipped from all the hiking I did over the weekend, so I am going to have to defer till tomorrow. Eight miles is pretty hard to do in the morning before work. It takes a lot of time. And now it doesn't even get light until 6:30.
When I was a young drinking woman, I saw a movie on television - it was probably in 1979. I probably downed a six pack of beer while watching it. It starred Joanne Woodward, as a woman who determined that she would run the Boston Marathon. She had no idea how to train and people laughed at her for even trying. But she ran and ran and ran. The worst piece of advice she got (see? I still remember this 31 years later...) was that if she could do half of the distance in training, she would be able to do the whole race. She suffered terribly, but she did finish. I was so inspired by that movie, I started running. Not much. A mile and then two and then three. I wanted to be in a race. But I was a drunk. I never got around to actually registering for a race.

In 1981, I was 29 years old, and was up to 5 miles a day. I would get a babysitter in the morning to watch the kids while I went out in my grey sweats and ran. I was quite fit. In December, I woke up one morning in pain. It got worse and worse. My husband had lost his job a month or so prior, so we didn't have insurance - or any money. After a couple of days of pain, I was delirious and ready to die. My husband insisted that I see a doctor. The doctor thought I had pelvic inflammatory disease and prescribed me painkillers. I went home and took painkillers and slept and was still ready to die. After another day or two, my husband insisted that I go back to the doctor. I was barely able to walk at this point. After forever in this medical building, they finally told me to go to the hospital. At the hospital they had no clue what to do with me. Finally a surgeon decided to open me up from two inches above my navel to the pubic bone. He discovered a ruptured appendix. I was left with a very large scar and a huge medical bill (which I paid in full, every cent). It took ten days to get the infection to clear up and get me out of the hospital.

My point? After the surgery, I told the surgeon I was a runner. "That may have been the reason you are still alive." He told me I was likely within an hour of death. Imagine that.

So, today I am still running. I have taken years off, but I always seem to return to it. I really love it. Right now it feels like a bit of a burden. Marathon training is really difficult - who knew? But I am thrilled, in a very grateful way.

  • I am 58 years old and able to register to run a half-marathon on the spur of the moment if I feel like it
  • I am a sober woman which makes it possible to do just about anything
  • Because I know I am sober and healthy by the Grace of God, I don't take my running and these races too personally - the credit for things well done, or the blame for disasters.
  • Living is way better than the slow process of dying that drinking alcoholically is.
Thanks for caring enough to read this long thing...
love,
mc

Monday, September 06, 2010

Grateful to be Home.

I am gratefully sitting at my own little desk writing this on a real computer. While I was gone, I was posting from the tent, hiding my iPhone in my sleeping bag so that the light wouldn't wake my sweet seven year old granddaughter who was sharing the tent with me.

Marie left a comment this morning, reminiscing about what it is like to camp in tent when you are drinking. I always remember back to my drunken days when I am camping. Those horrible mornings, coming to, sick as a dog, in a tent. ugh. A hot tent makes any sickness worse, but a hangover has to be the worst. I sure did like to drink while sitting around a campfire at night. I sure didn't like to wake up with the consequences of those drinks though.

Today I am the grandmother. My little granddaughters fought over who would share my tent. My daughter had a larger tent, so she took the 10 year old both nights. My tent barely held me and my tiny beloved M - now with both front teeth gone. No one would have wanted to share a tent with me in the old days. You know, alcoholism comes with some pretty gruesome smells. I can't imagine being cooped up in a small place with a drunk.

OK - enough of that! I am feeling kind of queasy just thinking about it!

We drove all day, stuck in some horrendous traffic for hours, moving inch by inch towards home. Now I have had a long bath, I have lathered my poor feet with Un-petroleum Jelly and have socks on them. I have clean jammies, clean hair, clean teeth and freshly ironed pillow cases on the bed. I will enjoy it, and hope to sleep all night.

I am grateful to be sober. I am particularly grateful that it is "not an issue" with my family. I don't need to talk about my sobriety with them. They just get to experience a sober mother and grandmother. I can thank God for that. But I don't need to remind my family of it. They just think it is "normal," I know it is anything but. Part of living amends to my family is to let them think it is "normal" - they don't need to think about it or worry about me.

I know it is the grace of God. Without which I would be a drunken mess - if I were unfortunate to still be alive.

Heading Home




We're heading home this morning. For all the goodness of the trip, I am still anxious for my own bed & bathtub. Sleeping in a tent was a lot more enjoyable when I was a bit younger. But we have had a wonderful family time in God's beautiful creation.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Beauty




- blogging from a tent- now that is true devotion. There is a little granddaughter at my side and we both need to shut our eyes. God is so good.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 03, 2010

Going to Moab

I am packed and ready to go. Tomorrow morning, my daughter, granddaughters and I will drive west to Moab where we will camp and hike and sightsee for 2 days. I haven't slept in a tent for at least 20 years... this should be interesting. I am happy to be doing this.

My last drunken camping trip was in May 1984. My husband, three children and I hopped in the car and drove to Moab for a camping trip. We had no reservation for a campsite and ended up staying somewhere that was not intended for camping. In the middle of the night a herd of cattle came through. That was one of the most frightening things I have experienced. When you are sleeping on the ground, you can feel the cattle coming - not to mention the noise.

This time I am sober. I am welcome to join my daughter (who doesn't drink and doesn't much tolerate that sort of behavior) and my granddaughters. We have campsites reserved. We have paid for them in advance. We know where we are going and when we are likely to get there. I know there are always surprises, but I am glad to be going with a plan. (Plan the plan, but don't plan the outcome.)

I'm tired and must go to bed now. I will likely post from my iPhone while I'm gone. But who knows? Maybe I will just relax and stay "off the grid" for a few days. There is also the possibility that I will not have phone service where we are staying.

In any event, I wish you all a lovely weekend.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Progress?

I was so shocked to see this swath of ugliness (progress?) when I took my run tonight. I have photographed the above scene hundreds of times - it is one of my favorites, always different. Now look at it. It will be another suburban street - I guess there will be huge ass pop-up mansions lining it. No more sunflowers on the old barbed wire fence, in their place will be asphalt, curbs, well-manicured lawns and 3 car garages and all the rest that goes with that. I know I have no room to talk. I am certain that twenty years ago someone was horrified by my street getting carved into the prairie.

I did walk to work today! I decided that if I walked instead of running I would have less of a chance of getting to work a frazzled mess. I just got to work very late... and then needed to take a shower and get dressed. It was very pleasant, except for the being late for work part. And it was only 9 miles, so I still had to run 3 miles after I got home tonight... which was also very pleasant. (I took the bus home from work - and I thought that was pleasant too.)

Someone today told me he has stopped going to AA because "it is not a safe place" for him. Who ever started this "safe place" stuff? How could AA possibly be a "safe place" when it is full of crazy alcoholics in various stages of recovery - and some of them not in recovery at all. It is miraculous that most of the time it is a place where good things happen and very few bad things happen. I think that is truly the hand of God. However, I am grateful for people who told me to watch myself when I was new. Not to trust everyone just because they are sitting in an AA meeting. I met people who were not even sober - just attending meetings for whatever manipulative reason they might have had. I have met a few truly bad intentioned people in AA - one of whom I married.

For me, the bottom line is this: I want to stay sober. I know that I could probably leave AA and stay sober for a week, a month, maybe even a year or two. I have seen people do that. And then, I have seen people forget who they are and return to insanity and then drinking. Why would I want to do that?

Oh, this disease is cunning, baffling, and powerful. It will use anything it can to get to us. And it has lots of material to work with.

I am grateful that I never had a false sense of "safeness" in AA and its fully fallible people. AA as a whole has never let me down, but the individuals in it sure have. I have to have faith in the whole, but I don't expect people to be other than who they are.

I know I want to be sober. I know that I need AA. I am grateful it is there. I am grateful I am there. I am more grateful than words can say for my sobriety and the life it has given me. I can "put up" with some BS if necessary - in exchange for the gifts of sobriety. I am also grateful I was done drinking when I got sober so I wasn't looking for an escape clause.

It is good to be sober. It is worth a lot. A lot.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Computer + Internet = Good

I grew an entire pepper plant and only got these two peppers to grow. They are too pretty to eat. So, I took photos instead. I have eaten real live fresh-picked tomatoes from my plant though. They were mighty good and I expect they will continue for a while.

Tomorrow I am doing something I have never done before. Running to work. I left a set of clothes and a backpack with my toiletries hanging behind my office door. I intend to leave the house very early, pre-dawn (which is the only part of this thing that really frightens me), and run the 9 miles to work. I will likely walk and run. I don't want to get to work too tired to do anything. I will take a shower at work, and put on my make-up and do my hair and get dressed and have a full day. I have yet to find a ride home, so I may take the bus, which doesn't bother me in the least.

I am very excited about the prospect of doing this. I hope it goes OK. I think it will, obviously, or I wouldn't try it.

Another obvious? My internet access was restored this morning. That was good. I sure have issues with my internet provider. I would need to have a lot more issues before I would want to change providers though.

I am very tired and probably not making the utmost sense. I have been awake since 2:30 a.m. when I sensed something was amiss in my house. It just didn't "feel right" and it didn't sound right either. I don't know why I didn't sense these things BEFORE I went to sleep. I walked around and tried to figure out what it was, but couldn't. Until I was leaving for work and realized that I had left the downstairs screen door open all night. Jeez. Getting up at 2:30 a.m. makes for a long day. I hope to get a good night's sleep tonight, and have already locked all the doors.

Now I shall go to bed and read the rest of Anna Karenina. I read this book many years ago, but wanted to re-read it. Next is the Brothers Karamazov, which I have never managed to read more than a quarter of. The teachers at Biblical School are always referencing it and I must be in the know when they do. I sure would like to read some frivolous Oprah pick instead.

But before bed, I must call my sponsor and let her know of the death of a sober friend. He was someone I didn't know well, but I did like him. He will be missed.

As sober people, we get to be missed when we pass. Drunkards seldom are.

I hope to be missed when I go and know only one way to do that. Let's all do it together, OK?