Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mid-Summer Heat

Sitting on a rock along this creek yesterday was a little slice of heaven. The water was so cold. It has been so hot. But I dare not complain because the rest of the country is hotter - or at least more humid. It has been over 90º every day for nearly three weeks here. But our humidity is usually under 20% - and that makes a difference. What do I dislike about this the most? Having the central air running - I hate it! I hate having the windows closed in the summer. But I can't bear a house that gets up into the high 80s every afternoon, so I am running the AC.

Last night was a glittering evening. One that will live in my memory. I swore I would never write about a relationship here again. It is so hard to avoid it. But I need to. Let me just say that a man who insists that I have a lobster tail in addition to my steak is my kind of guy. And having valets running around to open the car door for me is my kind of fun. I had no idea how I was going to be able to go out last night after doing 19 painful hot miles yesterday. By the time he came to pick me up, I was happy and ready to go. To stand outside in the hot summer evening, with the downtown lights glittering, and his big arm around me... oh, I need to stop.

This morning I got up in time to get to the 6:30 a.m. meeting.... I saw myself in the mirror and was shocked. I am very sleep deprived and it shows. Then I went to church and heard one of my AA buds' name on the list of the sick to pray for. Amazing that I don't hear that from my AA friends, but from the priest at church. Sad, it didn't used to be like that.

And then I met a friend for a 10:30 a.m. movie. "Crazy Stupid Love" is a surprisingly good movie. We both really liked it.

Tomorrow I will go back to work. And I hate to say that I need to go back to work to get some rest, but I do. Not that I don't have plenty of work to do, but it is in a nice, quiet, air conditioned office. It is mentally, but not physically, taxing.

I thank God for the life I have today. I have a couple of sponsees in crisis, I am worried about both of them. But it does make me realize that I really have no problems today. God has been so good to me.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday Evening

Those are my aching feet, soaking in the ice cold Boulder Creek - after my 19 miles this morning. I miscalculated my out-and-back and ended up doing a mile more than I intended. And about 5 miles more than I wanted. And it made my mind up for me. Hell no, I am not doing any stinking marathon. I did one, that was enough. (At one point today, I noticed a person in front of me turning around to see what the hell was going on - it was me MOANING. I thought inaudibly. ha!)

I came home and took a cold bath and ate some lunch and then hit the sack. But I couldn't sleep because I am too excited about my plans for tonight. A dinner at a nice restaurant downtown. Do you think my date would mind picking up a rental wheelchair for me on the way? Honestly, I can barely walk. I am drinking coffee and I took some tylenol and I pray between them and my excitement, I will be able to act like a human being tonight. This dinner is to celebrate my AA birthday last week. How sweet!

I had a long chat with my daughter this afternoon. She apologized for inviting my former beau to her graduation yesterday. I told her she had no idea he was going to behave that way. She said she wouldn't invite him to anything I am going to be at. I appreciate that.

It took me many years of sobriety to realize that I don't have to tolerate bad behavior. I can write inventory until I am blue in the face, but the fact remains, he was rude and I have no reason to tolerate it. There are lots and lots of nice people in my life today, there is no need to try to figure out why I don't like being treated badly. Now, if I find that I have a problem with everyone I run into, I better have a look in the mirror. But writing inventory to figure out why I don't accept unacceptable behavior? I have tried it, with very bad results.

Exciting evening ahead, I better get these curlers out of my hair and get ready!

I plan on staying sober for the rest of today, and I hope you do too.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Upset

This is a photo of my two daughters - well, their backs anyway. One, as you can see, has a tattoo of a gun, among other things, on her back, as well as tattoos all over the rest of her body. The other wears her hair in a bun and wears tasteful cardigans, even on the hottest summer day.

The tattoo'd one just graduated from a program at a community college. We went to her graduation. That's nice. Right?

She also invited an old boyfriend of mine who has been particularly kind to her over the last few months. Unfortunately, he opted to not be so kind to me tonight. ick. He made some really inappropriate remarks to me - in front of my daughters. I was just flabbergasted and wanted to go home. He would not leave me alone. It was dreadful.

I hate it when my sordid (sober) past reaches up and slaps me in the face. I just could not imagine that this man would be anything less than nice to me! Just shows you how much I know.

The last time I saw him was about 15 years ago. He thanked me for saving his life - back in the day. I was 35. He was 24. He was homeless, just out of jail. I was sober 3 years, he was sober 15 minutes. I took him into my home, which was insane. He stayed with me for about 2 years.

And now he be nasty with me and brag about his house in the mountains and his cabin. His sons and their expensive education. His lovely wife. Whatever.

Who cares?

OK, I have to go to bed. I am getting up at 2:30 a.m. to go and do my 18 miles tomorrow. I hope I can calm down.

I need to remember that it is all in God's hands. He knows who I am and loves me. He knows that I have repented of many of my behaviors and He has forgiven me. It has been so long since it has been in my face, it was just shocking tonight.

Decisions

I wonder how many drops of sweat I have taken photos of and then posted here on this blog. More than this one, I can tell you that. I find something impressive about dripping sweat. Maybe that is part of why I do what I do.

Yesterday I was working on training for how to write a patient's treatment plan. When I looked at how we look at a person's treatment goals, considering their assets and their desires, and then their abilities, and what is attainable... I thought about myself (of course I did - I am an alcoholic!) and my decision to bag my marathon training.

I have the desire to run the marathon in October.
One of my assets (questionable as it may be) is my tenacity, which serves me well in training.
I know I have the ability to complete a marathon.

I wrote an e-mail to my coach. We e-mailed back and forth and back and forth and finally she suggested we talk on the phone. She called in the afternoon, after I had completed my half mile swim lunch, and we talked for a half hour.

I hadn't realized that I am almost there. I only have seven weeks of training left. Only three of those weeks is going to be really difficult - I have an 18 miler this weekend and then two 20 milers. I am going to give it a shot. My best shot. If I can't, then I can live with that. But if I can, then I think I should at least try. So, I will.

I talked to my fella last night and asked him if he could hang in there with me for the next couple of months, and without hesitation, he said he could. I told him I realize this makes me incredibly self-centered and takes my time and energy away from the people who care about me. He asked for assurance that there is an end-date on it, and I told her there most assuredly is. That date is October 16, 2011.

So, I ordered a new running dress because I swear I don't ever want to run in anything else.

And I came home from work and ran 3 miles on the treadmill. So, combined with my swim at lunch, that put me back on track for yesterday.

Then a sponsee came over and we talked for an hour or so. While I stopped sweating and iced my foot. I told her that right now her only salvation may be a crazy-ass newcomer. That sitting around thinking about how she is feeling is not going to help her. But helping someone else will. And that is what makes the world of recovery go 'round.

One alcoholic helping another alcoholic, which helps the other alcoholic. 'Round and round it goes. And where it stops, nobody knows!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'll go to the pool.

I overslept again this morning. I am extremely tired.

I think last week's decision to not train for a marathon is having a negative impact on me. I haven't put in one single mile this week. I wrote my coach yesterday and she encouraged me to hit the pool and do other cardio "equivalents." I will pack my swimming bag today and make every effort to go to the pool at lunch. Which is kind of difficult because after I swim, I have to wash my hair and then do something with it so I look at least presentable this afternoon. But the hair is so long now, that should be relatively easy.

The root beer float thing at work yesterday was really fun. It is nice to see people enjoying themselves. People who usually just look like they are working hard.

Sorry, I don't have one interesting thing to say today. I am tired and pressed for time.

So, I will make every effort to have a wonderfully sober day today, and I hope you do too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Mittwoch

Mr. Potato Head takes a break to eat an icy Otter Pop on a hot afternoon. I took the photo to send to a friend who had given me Mr. PH as a gift... it is a long story.... but I love the photo, even without any context.

I overslept this morning. No morning run this morning. I have to be out of here and to work - pronto! I have a huge day today. And somehow I am getting a new work computer in the middle of this. I am getting another laptop, but I don't have a docking station, keyboard, mouse, and monitor to go with it for now, so I will just have to use the laptop unaided until I can order those things. I have all that paraphernalia now, but it fits a notebook, not a laptop. I told the IT guy yesterday that if the laptop has one of those tiny nubs for a tracker thing, he could just keep the new computer... but it doesn't. It has a mousepad. I have found getting a new computer at work stressful, so I hope I can just chill about this, especially on such a day.

This morning, I am ironing an apron to go with my clothes, because this afternoon I am serving root beer floats. Hospital management will stand outside, serving up these taste sensations, as a fund-raiser. It should be fun. (and yes, I do have more than one apron, several more than one...)

OK, I am pressed for time, and a bit whelmed. But I am grateful to be sober. I am grateful to be gainfully employed. I am grateful to a loving God who has been so so so so good to me.

I hope you all have wonderful sober days today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Relationship v. Transaction

Somewhere, early in my sobriety, I got the idea that sponsorship is a relationship. Not a transaction. These relationships may start out with "I need your help." And that is what the relationship is, the sponsee asks for help, and the sponsor provides it.

But in time, these relationships blossom and grow - or change, or end.

I don't see it as a one-way street. In my relationship with my sponsor, we talk as old friends. There are times when I ask her for help or her opinion. Other times, she has asked me for mine. She has been my sponsor since I was sober 10 years, so it is now 17 years. She is now aging - as if I'm not! She is not quite the person she used to be. But she is my beloved sponsor, and always will be.

I sponsor women with whom I have these kinds of relationships. They are priceless.

And then there are others... the relationship never moves beyond the take and take. Or the give and give. The phone calls never move beyond" "hello?" "Hi, I'm miserable, he kicked me out, I don't have a job, my kids hate me, I hate my kids, someone looked at me funny at the meeting yesterday, so and so was chairing and he irritates me, the weather sucks, etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum." And I hate to admit, I want to say "I'm fine thanks, I've had a wonderful day, thanks for asking!"

I can tolerate that for a while, but truly, it gets so old.

This is on my mind because I have a sponsee who is writing me long e-mails every day about how miserable she is. We will have to have a serious talk - as soon as I can nail her down to a time to meet. And I might just quote my old friend Ed, who once said to me "Do you want to know why you are so unhappy?" Of course, I wanted to know, so I said YES! He said, "it is because you think about yourself 25 hours a day." And of course, I could argue with that, because we all know there are only 24 hours in a day. But I knew he had me.

And it is a bad sign when you don't even pretend to ask how your sponsor is doing. Even if you don't care how the other person is, you can do lip-service and ask and maybe there will be divine intervention and you will find you DO care. Once you do care about someone else, your problems have just been decreased. Exponentially.

I know I have been blessed with some wonderful people in AA, but some of that has been work. These relationships don't grow themselves. You actually have to invest time and energy into them.

God has blessed us abundantly, but sometimes we just need to say "Thank you."


Monday, July 25, 2011

Into my 28th Year...

Someone special brought me flowers for my birthday. Knowing that I love the color green, he actually found flowers that were green! How awesome is that!

The best thing about my birthday yesterday? My daughter was in the room. She presented me with a chip. She talked about how much my example has meant to her. She doesn't even remember me before I was sober. Now THAT is sobering!

I got to watch my nine month old granddaughter for the rest of the day. What a blessing it is.

I think if you have ever lost custody of your children, if there was ever a restraining order so that you could not see them, it leaves an indelible scar. So, to be a trusted grandmother is something I never take for granted. The joy of having my tiny granddaughter reach for my hand as she takes her first tentative steps is something I can't really describe. She absolutely trusts me. My son and daughter-in-law trust me to take good care of their precious baby daughter.

The best thing is that I know the trust is well-placed. I am a sober mother and grandmother, and I can be trusted.

I am a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous and my friends and family can trust that. My employer can trust that I will be at work today and will actually work for my wage. My new fella will, in time - if that time becomes ours - realize he can trust me to be the person I present as.

Life is so different and beautiful today. Imagine starting a Saturday night date by going to church together! And then thinking that watching a baby all day is a wonderful way to celebrate a sober birthday. It is all so good.

So, I think I will stay sober today and I hope you all do too. God will help us do that, if we ask him.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

By the Grace of God...

I went to my first meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous 27 years ago today, and have not had a drink since.

When I came home from the meeting, I wrote in my journal:
"I have a feeling this is a new life for me. A real life."

That might have been one of the most prophetic things I have ever written!

This morning I am heading out early to pick up my daughter so that she can come to the meeting where I celebrate my birthday. I am thrilled that I get to sit in an AA meeting with my daughter - we do this 2 times a year - her birthday and mine. And it is good.

My life today, although not perfect, is beyond the wildest expectations I may have had when I got sober. I could not have even imagined this life. I am certainly glad I am not the architect of my own life, I would be living in a shack! Instead, I did what you all told me to do, and turned my will and life over to the care of God, and today I get to live a life that I could have never designed. As far as lives go, I think it is a "mansion."

Thanks be to God, and to the program and fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 23, 1984

Can you see the rainbow out there? It was so pretty, I just had to stop while on my trail run to fish my phone out of my pocket and take a photo.

Here's some snippets from my journal posted on the last day I drank:
"Mary is smoking and here sits a bottle of Bud, and here lies my flaccid belly on my legs. Life's a bitch. What about me? I've fallen apart. All my dreams and good intentions left in the mountains. I'm really angry that I am left holding the bag for all the shit in our lives.... It doesn't appear I have any options. We are becoming low-life scums. Life's a bitch."
I edited out a lot of complaining about my husband. I was pretty focused on him. I blamed him for the fact that I was living in Denver, Colorado - which I thought was the worst place on earth. I thought I was drinking because I was in Denver. As if I hadn't been drinking every single day for eighteen years prior! I had no idea that the next day I would make the call to AA and find a home in AA and in Denver, Colorado. A home unlike any I had never known before.

When I was sober five years, a friend and I left an AA dance and drove to Lookout Mountain. I looked out over this city and realized for the first time that it was Home, with a capital H. Because I got sober here. I had never felt that anyplace was home prior to this. I moved around a lot and always felt like a transplant. But because I got sober in Denver, this was my Real Home. I learned my way around this city by carrying a folding city map and going to AA meetings all over town.

My daughter said it better than I can right now. She posted this on facebook the other day: "Life is filled w/ choices, I am so grateful for all those bad choices I've made in the past bcuz TODAY I walk strong & carry a powerful message of REAL hope & courage to people crying where I once cried."

That's my girl.

I am so grateful for every bad choice I have ever made because God used them to bring me to this place. And I like it here A LOT!

xoxoxox, MC


Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21, 1984

A photo from my trail run tonight. I think I had an art teacher who told me there always needs to be something in the foreground of a landscape. I usually have something, and I love this time of year because it can be a flower!

I have been doing some reflecting on my last days of drinking since my anniversary is coming up. Last year I found my old journal from my last days of drinking and first days of sobriety. I had put it in a box for "safekeeping" away from all my other journals, so after I forgot where it was, I was sure it was gone forever. But it wasn't.

So, in those last days, I sat at my dining room table and wrote about my misery. Here are some snippets from those last moments of drunken desperation:

"Neil and Anne came over for dinner last night. It's getting bad with the booze and the cigarettes. I just have to stop. Depression has hit. This is damn lonely and boring. I bought a pack of cigarettes yesterday and smoked them.

I don't know. I'm sick of being dragged around the country like luggage. I guess I could probably like it here if I ever got out of the house and motivated myself to do something. So, here I am, stuck here in a house with three lunatic kids, a lunatic dog and 2 lunatic kittens. Talk about things that suck. I've had it.

I looked at my high school yearbooks today. I used to be someone. My life is totally f****d up. I'm on the lam in Denver where I said I'd never live. I'd rather live in Chicago than here. I've given up every one of my values.

I'm really angry. I feel uprooted, insecure, unloved. So, more bitching from Mary. I really don't know why I've ended up with a life that sucks so entirely."

That was 27 years ago today. To quote Bob Dylan, "Oh, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." Thank God. It is amazing that I was 32 years old, young and healthy, with a young healthy family, and was so miserable. Drinking around the clock will do that to a person. I used to worry that my bottom wasn't dramatic enough because that was what my bottom was like. Sitting at the dining room table, drinking beer and feeling sorry for myself.

Let me never forget what that felt like, please dear God. Because I never want to forget that I was absolutely DONE drinking when I got to the doors of AA. I had the willingness of the desperate. I wasn't nit-picking what you all were doing, I was grateful you'd have me. And I am grateful for that.


Thursday

It's Thursday morning. I am heading out of here to a 6:30 meeting. I am going to wear a dress to work today that I haven't worn for at least 8 years. I wonder if someone will think I have a new dress on. I usually won't wear clothes that are dated, but I have decided I really don't care today.

I feel pretty "blank" this morning. There is nothing going on. But I have the TV running and sometimes I just scratch my head at this world. It seems like things that shouldn't be problems are huge problems. The first lady needs have an initiative about childhood obesity, apparently we need someone to tell us to eat fruit and vegetables. Can someone tell kids to "go outside and play?" No, there might be "registered sex offenders" outside. So, children sit indoors and "play" with adults and get obese. I read another blog this morning about someone who doesn't feel "comfortable" with someone at an AA meeting. Honestly, what happened to writing some inventory and then trying to get along with someone or telling them to bugger off if you can't get along.

Do we have to live our entire lives in fear that someone might act "inappropriately" or make us "uncomfortable?" Can we just get on with life? Can we stop being victims?

I am grateful I grew up in the world I did. I might have been what we now call "abused," but I learned to stand on my own two feet and not let other people's behavior, or even worse, vague FEAR of maybe someone doing something creepy or vile, control my life.

I hate to think of people who are being encouraged to not go to AA because someone might make them "uncomfortable." Where did these people drink? Have the bars become places where no one will leer at a woman or a man? Are they not capable of telling someone to f*** off? Oh, I know there are bad actors, and I know we get here vulnerable, but should we accept a death sentence (because that is what alcoholism is) instead of dealing with possibly creepy people?

hmmmm, I think I shall go to the meeting in my old dress now. And hopefully I won't be so curmudgeonly there.

Have a nice sober day, God can help us do that!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

La Cucaracha

Sometimes I have said that I feel like a cockroach. They seem to be able to survive anything and thrive. It might sound like a good character trait, but I am not so sure. I sometimes do things well past the point of reason. That has been good in sobriety, because I am still sober, and there were years when being an AA member didn't seem like such a good idea - but I persevered - and I am glad I did.

Last night I wrote my coach an e-mail which was titled "13.1 v. 26.2." I am very tired of this training for a marathon thing. I am tired of my injuries. I am tired of the time it takes. I am tired of what it takes out of my life. I am tired of the way it interferes with my social and family life. So, I am pondering bagging the marathon and just going forward with the half marathons I have planned for this year. Halves are great. You still feel like you are doing something, but it doesn't kill you.

My coach is such a wonderful woman - she is so sane, it almost always astounds me. She herself is only doing halves this year, so she can recommend this strategy very highly. But she had a great idea... why don't I switch to mileage for halves for the next two weeks. What a fabulous idea. Not a major commitment to switch, I will just try it out and see how it feels. But I can tell you, I already feel a major load off my back.

This morning I read Lou write about sleeping with her keys under the pillow when her son was in the depths of his addiction. I paused and thought about doing that when I was married to my sober husband. What on earth do you do with that? I mean, you can't pray that he gets sober, he already was. But he liked to take things out of my car's engine so that it wouldn't start and therefore I couldn't leave. He stole things. He did very bad things to me. And we were both sober, and members of Alcoholics Anonymous.

It was very difficult to walk away from him because he was my husband and I did love him. But it was clear this was a situation that was not going to get better and it was untenable. So walk away I did. Funny, I got an e-mail from him yesterday. Somehow we ended up on good terms and if we saw each other today, we would hug like long lost friends. The day we divorced, we stood at the courthouse, holding each other - I am sure it looked like we just got married, not divorced. We held hands while we were in court - the judge even commented on our seeming affection. But I could not live like that. And so I left the man I loved.

So I know I am capable of changing my plans. And I am going to try that out right now with respect to my training schedule. YIPPEEEE!

But I won't change my plans to stay sober today. By God's Grace, I pray I will.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Birthday Musings

I remember when I had thirty days of sobriety. No one was offended if I talked about that. I was awestruck that God had done this thing for me that I could never have done for myself. I had never been sober that long in all the years since I started drinking at the age of 14. Eighteen years of drunkenness was over! I knew it, and I was thrilled.

When I had one year, I got a beautiful bronze coin with a roman numeral "I" on it. It was beautiful. I spoke at a meeting with other friends who were also celebrating their birthdays. No one was offended if I expressed my utter and complete joy at having such a gift given to me.
But now I am creeping up on my 27th AA anniversary. And I find that I can't talk about that without raising the hackles of people. I mentioned it at the meeting on Sunday and was quickly rebutted by some young man who carried on about "not caring about how long he has been sober, but caring about the quality of his sobriety, we only have today, etc." I seem to get that a lot lately, so mainly I just keep my trap shut. Unfortunately, a sponsee called me last night, devastated that this young man got drunk - again - and he may be one of those people whose funeral we all attend and mourn.

About a year ago, in a friend's last conversation with me, he said that I never failed to tell people how long I have been sober. He said it was in my blog every single day. I went back and looked at my blog and it wasn't there. Why would he think it was? And why would that offend him so?

I talked with my sponsor about this. I got no sympathy from her. She is sober 38 years and says she faces misunderstanding every day. People seem to take joy in taking pot shots at her. I have seen it happen. It is just ridiculous. She told me to not expect that people would understand me, and just go from there.

I have the same "by golly, gosh, gee whiz!!!" feeling about 27 years as I had about thirty days or one year. I want to jump for joy and shout - "Do you see what God did for me? I have gotten to live most of my adult life as a sober person!!! Can you believe it? Me? Sober? It is a miracle on par with the parting of the Red Sea!"

Do I think that my years always make me right? Nope. And I think most of the people I have interactions with know that. Do I think they guarantee I will never have a drink again? Nope. I still rely on the Grace of God and cooperate with that in every way I can. Do the years mean I can "rest on my laurels?" No siree. (what do you get when you rest on your laurels? wrinkled laurels.)

Thank God I have close friends who do understand me. I have a sponsor I love. I have sponsees who seem to "get" me. I am grateful for all of these.

And the totally undeserved gifts that God has given me. Incredible!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Alcoholic Harm

Can you tell the roses are between blooms? I have no roses in bloom right now... but I have buds. There will be more roses within a week or so. Anyway, I went through the photos from the last 12 months, and came up with this photo from our trip to Moab last September. That's a good memory.

I've got a sort of half-formed thought about something that has been on my mind. I am not sure where I am going with this, but it has stuck with me.

About a year ago, I was at a Friday morning speaker meeting. Sometimes a person will chair the meeting with a democratic idea about who ought to speak at a speaker meeting and they ask someone who is barely sober. That happened at this meeting. There was a young man who was not sober 30 days. Obviously hadn't done any of the steps or thought much about life as a sober person. So, he did what someone would do when asked to tell their story. He had a hell of a story, but it ended when he stopped drinking. He told of many years of drunken debacles. Only, he still sort of glorified them, as if it was great "fun." He had been to detox many, many times, and some expensive treatment centers too. He was only 25 years old. (He is now 26 years old and newly sober again.) Please don't get the idea I am somehow "blaming" him, because I am not. I think he did the best job he could at speaking at an AA meeting... I just don't think it was fair of the chairperson to ask him to speak.

He told of one of his drunken escapades. He had gotten drunk at a high school friend's house. He had fallen and injured himself. He had to be taken from the home in an ambulance.

After the meeting, one of my friends came over and asked me if he had ever told me about the time he came home from an evening out with his wife... he got home and the house was covered with blood. There was no one home and he had no idea what had happened. He later found out that his son had a party and someone fell and hurt himself and had to be taken from his home in an ambulance. He said the bill was quite extensive for the lad's medical care. And that his homeowner's insurance was canceled as a result.

I exclaimed "Oh, no! Does he have any idea that was your house he was in?" And my friend said "no."

Earlier this summer, I went to an AA event at my friend's house. I met his son, who is now sober. I saw the scene of this event. I thought about it. I don't know WHY this has planted itself so firmly in my mind.

Maybe it is because I have sat in meetings where the speaker talked about screwing someone over (to loud laughter and approval) when the someone screwed over was me. It was a horrible feeling of betrayal.

We alcoholics have a bad habit of hurting people. Sometimes we let this habit follow us into sobriety. Some of us seem to have no concept of the wreckage we have caused. The steps should show us this, but if we don't do them, or rationalize when we are doing them, we still won't know. We can't make amends for harm we don't even realize we have caused.

A person who is really doing the deal of Alcoholics Anonymous will never tell a story of hurting someone for laughs or for entertainment purposes. We do tell stories of hurting people, because most of us have really done some harm. But they are a lot easier to listen to when they are accompanied by remorse.

That's all I have right now. I still haven't quite made a point out of this story. I am just thinking about it. And now you can too if you want.

Sunday Morning

That's me, sitting in the back of my car, getting ready to stretch after my 16 miles yesterday. My entire legs were crusted with little flecks of dirt and gravel. But I did my 16 miles!!! And on one of our harder routes. (Total climb: 888 feet, total elevation change: 1615 feet)

I came home and ordered a pizza and chilled out. I went to church last night so that I could get to the meeting this morning. There is a sponsee who counts on me to be there on Sunday mornings.

My man friend is in California for the memorial service of his sponsor. He will speak at it. He is a bit terrified and grief stricken. We talked for a while yesterday. I can only offer support. I don't even know what that would feel like. He loved his sponsor the way I love my sponsor. OK, I am crying just writing this.

I got a long e-mail last night from another sponsee who is on a cruise in Norway. It's funny how sometimes "getting away from it all" only makes us think more of what we are trying to escape. I hope she can listen to her sponsor and concentrate on her vacation and not what she left behind. She will deal with that when she needs to, but can't do it from Norway!

My daughters, daughter-in-law and granddaughter are coming over for lunch today. I am grilling hamburgers, doesn't that sound wonderful? OK, I have got to wash my face and brush my hair and get out of here.

I hope you have a beautiful sober Sunday. By the grace of God.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Too much to do...

Have you ever tasted Root Beer Milk? Oh my goodness! I drank a glass after my 5 miles last night and I intend to drink the rest after my 16 miles tomorrow. It is good. And if chocolate milk is supposed to be good for after a run, I don't see why this wouldn't be just as good.

I have too much to do. It is after 9 p.m., and I have to be up at 3 a.m. I just got home from seeing Harry Potter with my daughters and my son's friend. It was a good movie and I enjoyed myself immensely. Tomorrow after my mileage, I intend to do some serious chilling out.

I saw the friend I cooked for the other night at the meeting this morning. She said she and her family enjoyed the chowder with heavy cream and real butter, and amazingly enough, she has gained weight this week! Oh, that is one thing I am good at!

I think I shall lay my sober head down and get a few hours of shut-eye before I get up and drive across town for a 5 a.m. start. I will thank God for another sober day.

Mistaken Identity

The photo is from my trail run last night. It was awesome.

Yesterday morning, I was fooling around on facebook, as I frequently do. I checked my profile and found that I had just posted some kind of pornographic video - I didn't open it, but I assume it was pornographic from the still photo posted. I was horrified and deleted it at once. Thinking of my friends from Biblical School, and my nieces and nephews. Oh goodness. I changed my passwords and my privacy settings, but felt a little bit sick about that.

When I got to work, I had a message from my trash removal company. They asked me to please not dispose of needles in my trash. And urged me to please put them into a gallon jug, tightly sealed, if I did dispose of needles in the trash. Holy Crap! I called my daughter, because that is what I do when the topic of needles comes up. She first told me that she had been clean and sober for 2 and a half years. To which I replied "I know that!" But I asked her if she had found needles in her storage boxes she had removed from my house last weekend - and then thrown them in my trash.

She was horrified! She said she would NEVER throw loose needles in the trash, not even when she was in the depths of her addiction! And she went on to say that she would be happy to talk to the kid next door about how to properly dispose of needles. Funny how we both jumped to THAT conclusion - that it was the kid next door. She urged me to first call the trash removal company and verify that it was truly my address they were calling about.

I did that. I talked to someone. She was mystified because there was no note on my account - which there should have been. She said she would ask the person who had called me to check it out and call me back. She never did. I will call back today because this is horrifying to me and I want to find out what the deal is.

In both of these cases, I wanted to scream "Don't you know who I AM??" I am a sober, Christian woman. I don't look at pornography, and I certainly don't inject drugs or anything else into my veins.

I have thought a lot about this in the last 24 or so hours. Why so upset? And the conclusion I have come to is that living clean and right is very very important to me. I don't even want any appearance otherwise. And I don't think there is anything wrong with that. As long as I don't go crazy and get a resentment...

Tonight I am going to see Harry Potter with my daughters and a 35 year old man who is my son's best friend. This will be the second in the series that my son will miss because he is in Iraq. But we have gone to see all the rest of them together. This will be the last. :-( I love H.P. And I am grateful for this little tradition. So grateful to be included in my children's lives. Without porn or shooting drugs.

Thanks be to God.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

60%

video
This work week is 60% over. It will be 80% over at 5 o'clock today. I am tired. We have had terrible storms for the last two nights. The kind you absolutely cannot sleep through. I decided to take a video of some of the hail last night. The video doesn't do justice to the terrific noise of hail hitting my house, my skylights, my windows. But I think you can sort of tell that it is hitting me - because I keep making "ooh!" sounds.

Yesterday I took a meal over to a friend with cancer. I have been complaining all week about how tired I am and how much my foot, leg, and back hurt. I have been limping around with a pained expression. Imagine my surprise when I knocked on the door of a young woman who is undergoing a tough round of chemo and she hopped off the sofa and came to the door with a great big smile on her face. We chatted pleasantly, she never once complained. She acted as if the meal I brought her was from a five star restaurant. (It was just a simple meal of homemade new england clam chowdah, a loaf of nice bread, and a lemon curd and strawberry tart.)

I wasn't born with that kind of disposition - but I can work on faking it. I believe people have somewhat of a genetic disposition after watching my kids from birth. As Lady Gaga says, "I was born this way." But I think we can work with what we have been given and make the best of it. It doesn't hurt me to smile and not complain, so I shall try to do that today.

With the help of God. I can do this.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

KT Tape

I am much too old to be training for a marathon. This is killer. I have so much pain. My foot has been trashed since my last marathon in October. I have been to my PCP for x-rays (suspected stress fracture, ruled out), and have been issued a boot to wear at night. I have been to physical therapy. She says I have tarsal flexor tendonitis and gave me a bunch of exercises to do (that don't help). I have been to two chiropractors, one suspects I have a stress fracture of one or two of my metatarsals in conjunction with plantar fasciitis, the other thinks pain in my back is causing me to compensate for that and cause other injuries. She also thinks I have tarsal tunnel syndrome. Who the hell knows? I don't. Yesterday I did a simple six miles and died for the rest of the day. On Saturday I did 12 and was fine.

The obvious answer is "stop training for a marathon." But it doesn't stop hurting when I stop training. I gain weight and have more pain. And I have depression and a host of other problems. So, I will continue to train. And when I get to the 18 to 20 mile days, I may be forced to make a decision.

For now, I am icing regularly - even at my desk at work. I am sleeping with the boot, which does help. And when it gets really bad, I slap on the KT tape. I have no idea why that stuff works, but it does.

You know, the scars of someone calling me a "quitter" have never gone away. I know I do persevere to a fault. But I do also know I am capable of changing plans because I have done so.

But a healthy dose of perseverance does a person good in sobriety. I want to stay sober. So, I persevere in doing what I need to do to stay sober. And I persevere in my relationship with God, always striving for growth, because I am clear that is where my "ability" comes from. I persevere in AA even when I haven't wanted to.

And as a result, I get to live this life. And that is good.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Six Miles

The mileage is really increasing on my training plan. I am now 3 months and 4 days away from my marathon. This is going to be hard. But my cute new dress made getting out this morning somewhat easier. And the fact that I bought a new jacket on Saturday made it even better. My friend called it "white," but I call it "clear," because you can see right through it. The only drawback I can see so far is the fact that it sticks to my skin when I am sweaty. It was totally stuck to my arms by the time I was done with my six miles this morning.

I have too big of a day today. From right now until probably 8 o'clock tonight. I have two meetings at work where I have to give presentations. I have a meeting with my boss, which I have come to see as "show and tell," where I bring all the cool things I have done in the last week and show her. I have a doctor's appointment across town at 4 p.m. and then I need to go to the grocery store. I need to make a full meal tonight to bring to a friend (with cancer) tomorrow. She asked for a lemon curd tart, so I am thrilled to be making that as well as a meal consisting of I don't even know what yet!

Oh, it's a big day, but I am a big girl, and I can do it! With God's Grace.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Running Dress & Monday

Since a couple of you asked for a photo of my running dress, this is it. It is not really that long, but I opted to not show you much of my legs. The dress is so freaking cute. I got so many compliments on Saturday. I had to ask my coach if she thought I was being ridiculous - a 59 year old woman wearing a cute little dress - she said no. And I trust her.

Today I will wear something less cute than that, and head out to work. I have a problem at work that I am trying to stay above. Not to get into the trenches of.

I have a new boss. She started at the hospital about a year ago. She has lots of experience in other hospitals (you can get that when you change jobs every couple of years), and has done MY job in other hospitals. She had so many suggestions for how MY job might be done better that the director of the hospital said "why don't YOU supervise her?" Great. I had a boss I absolutely loved, and he loved me right back. Now I have a boss with great ideas for how I ought to do my job better. She will come to dread talking to me, because for every idea she has, I have been able to come back with files full of detailed information about what happened when I had that idea and we tried it (and it failed). I smile and say "We can sure try it again!" And I am doing some of that. It is difficult for me to make efforts to do what I think it is a waste of time in order to not offend someone. But I am clear that I am working for a wage, and this person is my boss. So, I will give it my best shot.

The first day we met as supervisor and supervisee, her first question to me was "Are you the adult child of an alcoholic?" And instead of saying "That is none of your business and you are being inappropriate" (as I should have), I said "yes, and I am also a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for nearly 27 years." She has confirmed for me why I very seldom tell anyone at work I am an alcoholic. I was beginning to think I might have been wrong about that, but now I know I wasn't. She brings up things in the big book during supervision, etc. It is not something I feel comfortable with at all. She is not an alcoholic, but her father was and her daughter is. And since she has many letters after her name, she mistakenly thinks she knows all about alcoholism and recovery from it.

So I smile and try to be as agreeable as I can. It matters not to me that she is misinformed about many things, so I shan't try to "educate" her.

But I am going to confession a lot more than I used to. Because I need help with this situation. And that help will only come from God.

I have been through situations at work that required tremendous amount of prayer. I have prayed and have watched miracles happen. Maybe the other person transferred out of the department, or maybe the truly miraculous - and I felt my heart change. God can do these things.

God can do these things.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Long and Winding...

Road.

Have you ever had such a beautiful evening that you cannot possibly sleep? That happened to me last night. A beautiful dinner in a nearby mountain town and then a beautiful drive (see above) and an ice cream cone. Oh, it was so nice. And regardless of what time I get to sleep at night, I still wake up long before dawn in the morning. So, I now I have two nights in a row with about 4 hours of sleep each. I will have to take a long nap this afternoon.

My daughter moved into her own apartment yesterday. She and a fellow I got to meet at the International Convention last year came over and picked up the trunks she had stacked to the ceiling in my guest bedroom. She also took a few boxes out of the garage. It was wonderful to watch her open a few to see what was in them. She gasped with joy to see baby pictures of her daughters - that she thought she had lost. And some little clay sculptures she thought were gone forever. And some books. Photo albums. She said she would have her friend go through these boxes with her because she was sure there had to be "paraphernalia" among the treasures. I went through my closets and loaded up bags with soap, towels, rugs, dishes, bedding, etc. and brought them to her.

As I drove away from my happy sober daughter's own apartment, I was so overwhelmed, I called my sponsor. Well, we both ended up weeping together on the phone. It is a wonderful thing to watch someone's life turn around. My sponsor has been a part of this family for 17 years, so she has known my daughter since she was a young kid. She's real clear on what kind of miracle this is.

And then the recollection that her own daughter is serving a life sentence for murder.

This disease takes away everything. Everything.

But recovery gives us the ability to live lives we never dreamed of. God just waits for us to ask him. And he is very very patient.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

This is early...

The alarm woke me at 3:25 this morning. That's kind of early. I usually wake long before the alarm sounds, but not this morning! I am meeting my running club this morning at 5 a.m. Thankfully, we are meeting close to my home this week... that is usually not the case.

I am wearing my new running dress! I got it in the mail on Thursday night. (Ordered from this great company - and made in the USA!) It is the cutest thing ever! It reminds me of mini-dresses I wore back in the 60s. Only then, there was no need for a pair of compression shorts underneath! But today there is. I still feel happily cute this morning.

Sobriety, oh, it is so much more than sitting in AA meetings! But without sitting in AA meetings, there would not be so much more.

Thank you God.

Friday, July 08, 2011

More Progress

Yesterday morning I attended a meeting that was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of that group. Two of the men who started the group were there. They reminisced a bit. It was nice. I didn't start going to that group until 17 years ago when I started working on this side of town. I was delighted to find a meeting that was on my way to work - at 6:30 in the morning.
As I listened to them, I was reminded of two men I have known in AA. The first was a wonderful older man who smoked a pipe (yes, we could actually smoke in meetings then!) and had an amazing twinkle in his blue eyes. He was sober over 30 years. He was the most amazingly humble and wise man. And he could cut you to the quick so skillfully you wouldn't even know you had been nicked! One day, a young man and I were gushing over his 30 years. He absolutely astounded me when he said he would gladly be 30 years younger and have only 30 days of sobriety. But then I thought - why not? Why wouldn't he want to be young?

Another was a man who was also sober 30 years. I believe it was at his 30th birthday celebration. He astounded a young man there who picked up a 30 day chip by telling him "I envy your journey." Again, why not? He had enjoyed his 30 years of sobriety, why not look at a young man and think of all that is to come?

I spent my early sobriety wishing I had later sobriety. I consider that a waste. Why not enjoy the time for what it is? Early sobriety is a wonderful adventure. It is all a wonderful adventure. I try now to live and enjoy each day for what it is, not what I think it could be.

My favorite doctor at work is now making the rounds to tell people he has a particularly lethal form of cancer. He has not made it to my office yet. I am dreading it. I love him so. He is an older man (and there get to be less of those every day!) who I still call "Dr." He told me a few years ago that I really don't need to do that, I could call him by his first name. I told him there was no way I could call him his first name. He understood it as an age thing... and he was OK with that. All the rest of them are Bob or Lisa or David... but not him. He is a Doctor - with a capital "D." A few years ago we had a display for Veteran's Day... veterans were asked to bring a photo of themselves when they were in active duty. This doctor's photo looked just like Cary Grant. That is how I see him - Dr. Cary Grant. Oh dear, I am now sobbing. Must stop...

When I started this second career in healthcare I was in my 40s. I so envied those people who had 20 years of experience. Now I am nearing 20 years of experience, and I wish I hadn't wished for this! Why not enjoy being new and inexperienced if you are lucky enough to be?

Sorry, I am a bit morbid this morning. But beneath this morbidity is a point I really wish I could make every day:

Enjoy this day for what it is. If you are young, please enjoy that. If you are new in sobriety, revel in that! And if you love someone, really love them.

Enough out of me!

p.s., after I wrote this, I checked the blog of a young man (Jon) who was trying to get to his first meeting. He got there, and wrote this - it is a beautiful account of a first meeting. I think it fits with this post...

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Progress...

My daughter called me yesterday to tell me that she had gotten her apartment. This is unbelievably wonderful news. The girl has no visible means of support. She cannot get a job to save her life. When filling out applications for an apartment, she had to detail the foreclosure, evictions, horrible job record, etc. The wreckage.

And even though she has found a program that will pay her rent, she was still being denied. I guess I can't blame people. Her new apartment is within walking distance to three "AA Palaces" - that's what she calls them. One of those palaces is where I attend most of my meetings. I shan't worry, there is little danger of running into her at 6:30 a.m.

She wanted to get away from the AA groups she has been attending in her first 2.5 years of sobriety. Some people claim that is bad (like her old b.f.), but I think it is a great idea. I have had to do that myself.

This old b.f. of hers, the man who treated her worse than anyone ever did when she was a homeless meth addict, had the nerve to call me the other morning. With his phony "concerned" voice, he left me a message about how worried he is about my daughter. That she is heading down the "wrong road." Yeah, going to a battered women's shelter to get away from you probably doesn't seem like a "right road!" So he was calling me to get advice on how to "help" her. Thank God for restraint of tongue and pen - I did not call him back. But I would have loved to have called him and told him that she is doing just fine. Better than ever.

Doing the right thing and moving forward in your life doesn't always "look" really great. Sometimes you have to take four steps backward to make one leap forward. She had to do that when she left that guy to go to a battered women's shelter. That doesn't sound like progress in life, but believe me, it was.

My daughter is going to school full time. She has a 4.0 GPA. And that is for more than a couple of classes now. She will now have her first "living alone" apartment. She has been sober for two and a half years. It is all beyond anything I could have imagined a few short years ago.

It is beautiful what God can do if we will just give him a chance.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Mercy v. Justice

Woman stoned to death in Afghanistan
The world is a hard, hard place. Unforgiving. I have heard so many lamentations over failed "justice" in the last 18 hours. I wonder if people would be more comfortable living in a country such as Afghanistan - where people can be stoned to death, for perceived crimes, in public. I think there is a woman sitting in a jail cell in Florida today for whom a majority would gleefully watch her death by stoning.

For me? I would prefer to live in a country that lets a 100 murderers free rather than condemning one innocent person. But that's just me.

Five or six years ago I was on a jury for the trial of a heinous crime. It was difficult. I would not want to do it again. I have the utmost respect for people who are willing to give up their lives for days, weeks, or months to go and do this most grave civic duty. I am certain there has seldom been a jury who thought it was a lark, something fun, something not serious. I have tremendous respect for our justice system. Is it 100% perfect? No. Does it try? Yes.

I thank God every day for his mercy. Not his justice. If I got what I deserved, it would not look one iota like the life I have today. I was a hopeless, drooling drunk, and now I am not. I have been the recipient of great mercy and grace. The least I can do is extend that forward.

The most important thing for me to remember? I am not God. I am not judge, jury, and executioner of anyone, not even myself. And Thank God for that!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Back to the Real World



I am happy to be going back to work today. I only worked 12 hours last week, eight on Monday, and four on Friday. Then three days off. Now I am ready to get back to my "real life." First I have to log 5 miles this morning - because I am now into the season where I am seriously training for my marathon. Oh, Lord have mercy on my silly self!

I did have a good weekend though. I did something I have wanted to do for ten years yesterday! I installed a clothesline. And then promptly stuck the sheets in the washer and hung them on the line to dry in the sun. They were heavenly.

Yesterday was the annual picnic of the club where one of my meetings is held. One of my friends and his wife had a little tent there for shade, and a bunch of lawn chairs. I joined them, and before long we had a nice little group of people who attend the 6:30 a.m. meeting. Then I came home and tried to cool off before I went out for dinner to a lovely, dark, cool steakhouse! It was wonderful.

I got to get myself going if I don't want to get behind. Have a great first Tuesday in July, 2011 everyone. It is the only one we are ever going to have.


Monday, July 04, 2011

Freedom does not come free

I bet you think I am going to go all patriotic on ya, huh? (I am very patriotic, but this isn't probably the proper venue for that.)

I sat in an AA meeting this morning and we talked about freedom as we usually do on the 4th of July. I reflected on the price I had paid for that freedom.
  • Years of drunken "pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization"
  • Utter surrender at the hands of those who seemed to have an answer - for themselves and me - thankfully they told me I had to surrender to a higher power than them
And then, voile! I got sober - and the rest has been gratis.

You may say whatever you like about the "work" you have done to stay sober. In my opinion, the "work" I did was when I was drinking. Spiraling towards an alcoholic bottom bad enough to make me willing to surrender. Now, THAT was work!

When I surrendered the work was over. God has done for me what I could not do for myself.

And all I have had to do is cooperate a little bit. Like, by getting a sponsor and doing the steps. Being a sponsor and helping others. Going to meetings. Thanking God every day for these blessings and asking him how He would like me to show that gratitude.

It's a wonderful Independence Day. I hope you all have a nice day.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Morning

I just walked outside to take a photo of my flag on the front porch, and got to witness (and photograph) a butterfly making the rounds of my flowers. What a glorious thing to experience on this early, silent (save for the birds singing) Sunday morning.

Last night I got to go to an AA social event at the home of a member of my group. I had no idea his residence was so palacial! Holy crap! I just love this guy. He was a little obnoxious when he first got sober and called me and one of my friends "Madame Defarge and the Wicked Witch of the West." I might have liked this a bit less if I were not the "Madame Defarge" in the equation - it is a reference to the fact that I knit in meetings. I have come to love this man. I got to meet his kids last night - and have a long conversation with his son who is early in recovery. 24 days. What a miracle.

Then after the meeting this morning, I stood outside with many of my friends and chatted. Just an ordinary Sunday morning. Standing with friends in the clear Colorado air and sunshine.

And now I am running late for an engagement later this morning. So, I better hop to it.

Sobriety is good. God has been so good to us sober alcoholics. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Moon Setting

I am meeting my running club at 5:15 this morning. We slow folk like to go out for an hour before the fasties come - so we aren't out in the mid-day heat when we are doing long miles. I am on schedule for 14 miles today - I will see how I feel in the first four and make a decision from there. But I am thrilled to be awake in the silent darkness, putting on my lotions, potions, contact lenses, generously lathering my feet with non-petroleum jelly before slipping those greasy feet into socks and shoes. And since it is now summer, I can no longer hide beneath layers of clothing... back into the skirts and singlets... regardless of how I feel about that.

When I was a young woman, and more physically suited to this active life, I was not interested. At 4:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings, I would still be sitting in the bar. I would drive home as the sun came up, after the bar closed. In Chicago, the bars didn't close until 5 a.m. on the weekends, and I made full use of that time! If I made some miscalculation of drink or food combinations and ended up vomiting, I would count that as a plus - I would lose weight!

It is amazing what God can do! It seems hardly possible that I am the same woman who sat in the bars until the sun rose, but oh, I do remember! God help me if I should forget.

I am an alcoholic, sober by the Grace of God - today.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Upright again

A year ago today, my daughter and I were in San Antonio, Texas - for the AA International Convention. What a thrill that was for both of us.

Today I am up again after three days in bed. If I woke up feeling the way I feel today on a normal day, I would call it "sick" and probably not go to work. But compared with the way I have felt for the last three days, I call this "healthy," and I am thanking God and getting ready to rejoin the living in my workplace, on the highways, and everywhere they are!

One of my best friends is a "normie" who has done everything right in her life. She would laugh if she saw that statement, but it is the way I see it. She started her job when she was 20 something, bought a townhouse, worked two jobs for years. With every raise she got, she put the "extra" money into savings. She lives very modestly. Except for her extravagant trips. She has traveled the world - paid for by her savings. She paid off her townhouse and has no mortgage. When she was in her late 30s, she went to nursing school, and when she graduated she moved into management and made a ton of money - again, it went into savings. In January of this year, on her 50th birthday she retired from her job. She worked enough years and invested enough money to make just as much money retired as she did working. I wondered how she would enjoy retirement, but I shouldn't have. She is just as happy as a clam.

I, on the other hand, have not much in common with the above story. I am 59 years old and my best hope is that I will be able to work until I am 70. Seriously. I cannot possibly retire. Financially or Emotionally.

I NEED to be out there working. I need to put on my dress up clothes and get in my car and go forth every day. I don't want to stop.

I always need to remember that I spent many years not working. I "wasted" many years... unless you count, as I do, the time reaching a true alcoholic bottom never wasted. I stayed home with my kids when they were little. I baked bread, I sewed clothes, I knitted little sweaters. My friend likes to remind me of this when I do that odious comparison thing.

Ten years ago, I sat down with a financial planner and plotted out my future. We had a plan. Based on the reality of 10 years ago, I would have been able to retire this year. Based on what reality really has been for these last ten years, I am lucky to still be solvent. Retirement is not even something I am looking for at this point.

So, I go into my AA birthday month... my life is not where I thought it would be. But it is still wonderful. And here's why:

  • I have come to know God, who we choose to call "higher power," more and more through His Word, and it is a wonderful, life-changing revelation.
  • My three children are healthy and happy, and I enjoy close relationships with them all.
  • I have three grandchildren who could not even imagine their nana drunk. They trust me!
  • I have a couple of sponsees who are really sober and we share close relationships.
  • As I have been sick the last couple of days, I have had so many phone calls and people who are really "there" for me.
  • I am gainfully employed in a job I actually like!
  • I am dating a man who is also gainfully employed and it is fun to go out on "dates," instead of diving straight into a "relationship."
  • My running club has introduced me to some really fun and healthy (physically and emotionally) people.
  • My roses are blooming all over the place! As is the honeysuckle, clinging to the back fence. The lavender along the side path is in full bloom. Olfactory heaven, I tell you!
  • It is Independence Day weekend - regardless of the mess we are in, I still believe we live in a blessed place.
OK, I am ready to get ready for work now. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Thank you for your prayers. It meant a lot to me as I could not get out of bed except to run to the bathroom. I still had my iPhone at my side and got your comments. It was like a lifeline. Thank you.

God bless you - and lets stay sober today, OK?