For now, this blog is not something I can continue. I will not close the door on it, because I may be back. If you have a drinking problem and need help, please call the number listed in your local phone book for Alcoholics Anonymous. There are also some helpful links on my sidebar.
God bless you.
Friday, May 18, 2012
He has been sick, I can tell he is trying to get out his last words. He does this from time to time. My father was very sickly and did this too. They both have/had very serious illnesses that they keep/kept recovering from, which leads people to tire of their "dying" wishes. But my father did die one day, and Larry will too. Maybe it really is this time, I do not know.
Larry said "I want you to know that I have loved you all these years Mary. I wanted to be with you, but loved you enough to back away from you so that you could have a whole man, not a half a man like me. I have sat across the room all these years, all these years, and loved you. I stopped everything so that you could have a whole man, not some old sumbitch like me who is falling apart all over the place. So, thank you Father, for making Mary, and making her so useful, even when she doesn't know what is going on. I love you Mary in a place where there's no space and time. Hold your head up high and smile Mary because you are one of God's special angels."
This caused me to cry, and I am still crying. It has been so long since I have heard a proclamation of love from a man. I have known that Larry loves me, but it is nice to hear it. I will hold this in my heart all day today. I will call him back tonight or tomorrow. But there is not a call back required. He wanted to tell me this, not to get a reaction, but to tell me his heart.
If you are new to AA, you may think those people in meetings are just scenery, or annoying, but if you stick around and talk to people, you will form friendships that are unique and priceless.
Thank you God that I have had a friend like Larry.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
|I am in a whole new demo for junk mail. Awesome|
|Don Juan comes to full bloom|
Yesterday I was in a small meeting with my boss and another woman, we were strategizing how to get unduplicated survey data for a population that is fluid and anonymous. My boss said "I wonder what AA does, they must survey to find out if their program is effective." And without hesitation, I said "They survey every three years, and use a random sample." My boss is pretty cool, but she did look at me for a split second like "What???"
I am now running 20 minutes late, so I better get.
I hope you all stay sober today if that is your heart's desire. It is mine. I have prayed every day for this, and so far my prayers have been answered. I'm grateful for that!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Yesterday was another day. It reminded me of a day long ago. I was sober about 9 years I think.
I was working as a temporary for Kelly. They had sent me to a Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC) company for a week long assignment. During the week I was there, I was told to dodge bill collectors, who were coming to the door - people would scramble like cock-roaches in the light when they showed up. And I was to lie and say no one was there. When I opened the mail I was shocked to see the long past due bills and the threats of legal action. The people were not nice either. At the end of the week, they called Kelly and asked if they could keep me for another couple of weeks. Kelly called me to see if I was OK with that. I told them I would call them back during my lunch break, which I did. I told them I did not want to spend another week there and I had doubts they were going to pay Kelly for my time there.
My liaison at Kelly got straight on the phone with the person at the HVAC company and told them what I said. Holy Crap. When I got back from lunch, I heard whispering all over the place. (I hate whispering in the workplace, I think it signifies that something has gone terribly wrong, or that it is a very sick environment.) Then someone called me on speaker phone to tell me that I was not working out and I needed to finish the day, but my services were no longer needed. As they were telling me this, someone in the room (and I heard on the speaker phone) said - "She was horrible!" I spent a couple more hours there, some of the most poisoned hours I have ever spent. The next day I had a long chat with my person at Kelly, telling her the predicament she had placed me in - and asked her if I was just supposed to stay somewhere I didn't like and fail to mention that they might never get paid. "NO!" was what she said, but I feel her actions told me another story. And just for giggles, I just googled the company and they are still alive and well, almost 20 years later - amazing!
So, back to 2012. Yesterday I had to tell some people something they did not want to hear. And I spent the day in their building. There were closed doors and whispering. I was not a popular girl. Luckily, I had a lunch date with someone there who I have known for almost 18 years. I told her they had complained that I was "difficult." She said "Mary G." and "difficult" were two things she would NEVER put together. I asked her to share that with some of her colleagues.
Through the day, I remembered my experience at the HVAC company back in the day. I remembered that I got through that day and would get through yesterday. And I did.
When I got home, I got on my bike for some miles, got off it and immediately took off running. If you have never done this, you ought to try it. Running on rubber band legs. Fun. That's part of the story of the triathlon.
And now I need to go "suit up and show up" for another day. Without God, I would have to hide under the covers of my bed. But instead I will step out wearing the armor of God.
Let's all get to it, OK?
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Tonight I MUST get on my bike, ride many miles, and then get off it and run more miles. I have a triathlon in less than four weeks and my training has been virtually non-existent. It will be painful. I tried to get out of it, but was reminded that I talked my friend into registering with me and she will not let me off the hook. OK. I will do my best and live with the results - which may involve me being told I have not met the timeframes for the course and not being allowed to finish. I have finished races last - and have come to accept that - but I have never been told I can't finish. Some people think I am just being dramatic (such as my friend I talked into doing this race), but I have been in races with someone on a bicycle behind me, making sure I am going to finish by the deadline. It is not pleasant.
In January 2012, I left my job of many years and set out on a new adventure. I had no idea it was going to change every single aspect of my life. But it has. I think it is good to shake it up as you age because living by habit is not good for an old brain. My poor brain is tired now, but it is getting plenty of exercise (unlike my body) and I think it is good for me.
I have a sponsee who has just started a new job and when she whines to me now, I tell her MY similar stories. Oh what fun!
Going out into the world again today with nothing but faith. If I had no faith, I could not leave this house. It is terrifying out there!
Monday, May 14, 2012
I am going back into the dragon's den this morning (funny - that's the name of a local AA club). I have a presentation to make this afternoon. I have not yet even planned it. I thought I would do that this weekend, but this weekend I enjoyed my days off instead. I'll figure it out today.
That's all. I am just going to work. Just riding on the bus. Just living.
Another blessed sober day. I will endeavor to show my gratitude to God by making the best of it.
I hope you all do too.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
I was up all night, just could not sleep. Listened to John Irving's Last Night in Twisted River. Amazed to find a description of a car accident on Berthoud Pass that was nearly identical to the one I was in. Only thankfully, when the car in which I rode veered totally out of control at a great speed, it miraculously did not hit another car. In the book, the jackass car hits another car, causing two fatalities.
Finally fell asleep at 4, and slept until 8. What a luxury to wake to sunlight! My daughter called and surprised me with good news. We will all be together today. She will be with her children. I will be with my children and grandchildren. There were years that were not like this. I am grateful for this blessing but mindful of what a painful day this can be for many.
This is my 41st Mothers Day without my mother. That is over two times the number of Mothers Days I spent with her.
I do wish I could see her and tell her I love her.
But I do get to spend the day with my kids and I will focus on that instead.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
It was just so nice to be doing something that wasn't work, housekeeping, lawn care, or any other kind of work related.
I am now going to take a little nap before I need to get ready for mass. On the way home I will stop at the store and choose some fruit for a pie for tomorrow.
My son has invited me to his house for Mothers Day. I think this will be the first Mothers Day that I haven't hosted. I am very excited about that. And grateful.
I am just a sober woman today, just going about her business, appreciating a good day, and thanking God for it.
Friday, May 11, 2012
Today I have another contentious meeting at 10:00 a.m. I will just put one foot in front of the other and get through it. And then I have a weekend.
I wanted to say something about yesterday's post. I regret if I gave the impression that you need to have a prescribed horrible bottom to get to AA and successfully stay sober. When I got sober, I considered myself a "high bottom," but after a few years, I came to believe that term was meaningless for myself. On the day I got sober, I woke up in a nice house, with my husband and three kids. I was a stay-at-home-mom, and had pretty much everything I wanted. Except peace of mind, except the will to live, except the ability to go through a day without a drink. I was so full of self-loathing that I couldn't bear to go through one more day. This is what I call a bottom. Not the amount I drank, or the circumstances of my life - but the inner despair.
The world feels like a dangerous place to me today. I am sick of being sought out for discussions about current affairs. I am a religious person. That does not make me narrow minded, bigoted, or stupid. It does not mean I have never thought about things. It does not mean that I don't love people or that I refuse to understand their feelings.
As I said, I will put one foot in front of the other and get through the day. By the grace of God I woke up sober today and plan to go to bed that way tonight. And that, my friends, is nothing short of miraculous.
Wednesday, May 09, 2012
|Chicago Peace Rose|
He was 51 years old when he got sober. A neighbor suggested to him that his drinking would ruin his relationship with his son, and he went immediately into treatment. And has been sober since. He still had a great career, great home, etc., etc.....
When I drank I never knew what would happen. I might have a great time, but more likely I would get "too" drunk and make an ass of myself. I would make passes at my friends' husbands, or the friends, co-workers or boss of my husband. I would fall down and ruin my clothes, rip my stockings, and embarrass others (myself? not so much). When I was 20 years old, I got drunk at a Christmas party at my boss' house in very elegant Winnetka, Illinois. The evening ended with me making snow angels on his lawn, and being unable to get up. The next morning I got up and found my shoes all tangled up inside my panty hose, which were all in front of the refrigerator. I went to work the next day having no idea that I had just pissed off nearly everyone I worked with. I would spend days in bed after days of heavy drinking. I could not get up to take care of my children. I drank every day as well as the occasional binge.
My life continued to spin out of control. Years of drunken stupidity. Being ashamed. Wanting to quit, being unable to. When I was 32 years old, I was absolutely at the end of my rope. I was a dying alcoholic. I didn't know what was really wrong with me, I just knew I was suicidally depressed, and I drank too much. Thank God I got to AA and was able to get sober and stay that way. I wasn't looking a gift horse in the mouth because I was desperate. I followed directions and did exactly what you all told me to do. And I stayed sober.
He got sober in a treatment center and followed the aftercare plan to go to AA. He goes every now and then. His sponsor died last year and he never ever mentioned getting another one. He does not sponsor anyone and refuses to. I honestly think that might be working for him. I am not sure because I saw some crappy behavior, but it isn't like I never display crappy behavior. I am not one to call someone a dry drunk, I think it is a silly pejorative term that is ridiculous if you are the kind of drunk I am. Any kind of sober is good. A miracle really.
I have thought a lot about how different our AA experiences might be. I was desperate. I don't know what he was. I don't know how you stay sober if you have such pleasant memories of drinking. Why would you quit? If I thought I could drink like a normal person, I would probably drink - like a pig - oh, and then I guess I wouldn't be a normal person.
I have done just a teense of research on "types of alcoholism." Of course, there are articles about this. One I found particularly interesting is on Web MD and describes 5 types of alcoholics:
- Young adult subtype - 32% of alcoholics, they don't seek help (I wonder what happens to them, do they all die and never become older adults who still drink?)
- Young antisocial subtype - 21%. Many of them have Antisocial Personality Disorder, they also smoke cigarettes and pot. (again - what happens to them?)
- Functional subtype - 10% They drink approximately every other day and suffer no real effects of the "alcoholism" in their lives.
- Intermediate familial subtype 19% - 1/2 have close relatives who are alcoholic. (What about the other half?)
- Chronic severe subtype 9% - mostly men, highest divorce rate, frequently include illicit drugs (did they just wake up one day and decide to be middle aged men who drink like fish?)
There are other articles that suggest that alcoholism is a continuum starting with having a few drinks, which, if you are not careful, can turn into full blown alcoholism.
I don't know where I would be in any of these descriptions. I drank alcoholically from the first sip of booze at the age of 14. I found my answer to life! It was magical! Almost every alcoholic I know has just about the same experience. They never really drank normally, although they may have been able to hide it for years. From the first drop of alcohol I drank, I found my solution, and that was a problem!
Our culture doesn't want anyone to drink (law enforcement and medical professionals). And then it wants to push booze down your throat at every moment (social norms and advertising). It is very confusing.
But what I am wondering about specifically - the AA critics, are they people who can't buy the "desperation" feature of AA? If you enjoyed drinking, how desperate would you be? AA stresses reaching a bottom, although no one would ever endeavor to define someone else's bottom. They're all different. They type of bottom I have learned to be particularly suspicious of (after working with alcoholics for over 27 years) is the external bottom. A DUI, an angry wife, sad eyed kids, whatever. The kind of bottom I have learned to listen to is the waking up in the middle of night - or even morning, with a self-disgust so deep it is unbearable. And that causes desperation and willingness.
I believe those two things are absolutely essential to recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous. That is not really appealing to someone who still has some of what I call "other ideas." And that is fine, I think they should do all they can to drink normally or quit on their own. But if you are desperate enough to submit to the ego deflation, confession, restitution, helpfulness to others, and necessity of belief in and dependence upon God that is the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, you will find recovery and a new life.
That's what I am thinking about. What do you all think?
If you don't need a new life, I would imagine it would be pretty difficult to submit to the program.
Yesterday I was feeling ambitious about writing about my ponderings and observations about alcoholism. I didn't have to be anywhere until 8:30 yesterday. Today is another thing entirely. I have to be out of here in just over an hour, so I have no time to write this thing I intend to write. I will try to do it tonight.
I will likely change my header and maybe my blog name - again. I intend to express some opinions and with the header "I am a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous," I probably shouldn't do that. I had a blog name I really liked at one time - "One Sober Alcoholic" but someone came along and called himself something so similar that it confused me and everyone else so I changed the name to "Being Sober." Well, all I ever wanted this blog to be is a daily writing by someone who is just One Sober Alcoholic. Just one. Not speaking for Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole. But writing as one who has been blessed to be able to come to AA and get sober and stay that way.
But it's going to be a 12 hour work day, so I might not get to it tonight. I have yet more problems at work. I am telling you, this is hard on a person.
Yesterday I went to visit someone at my former workplace. He is facing an unwelcome retirement. He is my age and is dreading retirement. I talked about how good it is for people of "our age" to step out of our comfort zones and do something different. I told him how I left my comfort there and stepped out and am now mostly uncomfortable. He laughed, but he knew what I meant. I am so grateful I got the guts up to go visit him. We had a love/hate relationship over the years - but the truth is, we HAD a relationship for over 17 years and I need to honor that.
OK, gots to go! Say a quick prayer for your friend Mary Christine if you can. Whatever is going on today, I have a new green jacket to wear and that can make a day pretty good!
Thanks to God.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
This morning I am heading over to a meeting with my biggest challenge people. I am going to go in there knowing that I am the expert on our discussion - because I am. They have intimidated me in the past and I am not going to allow that to happen today. I can be kinder when I acknowledge my strength. When I am feeling picked-upon, I feel not so kind. They will likely pick on me because that is their nature. That is their nature, not mine, and I do not have to respond in kind. I can come from my own place of strength - and kindness.
I have been thinking a lot about alcoholism lately. I think we in AA view it is one monolithic disease. It seems the "professionals" don't even call it alcoholism (they call it alcohol dependence), and see in it degrees and shades of grey. They also have an abysmal record of bringing about even basic abstinence. AA supposedly has a pretty low rate of recovery too, but I don't believe that. We are anonymous which makes it terribly difficult to track us. AA does a periodic survey (I think it is every four years), I know that I have not been surveyed since 1989. I think their sample is flawed. I could certainly be wrong about that. But I do KNOW that I have not been included in any AA statistics since 1989, when I was five years sober.
Anyway, my point is, I would like to explore the topic of alcoholism in the next little while. The reason this has come to mind is the fact that I am now tracking statistics for this (not being more clear because I do not want this blog to come up in any search), and also because of my former boyfriend. When we talked, it was clear that we were two different kinds of alcoholics.
But I don't have time right now. I am going to go "suit up and show up." And pray for God's grace to get me through another day.
Monday, May 07, 2012
Yesterday I failed to get excited about the flowers at the nursery. I walked around and walked around. Everything seemed unexciting and too expensive. I usually get tons of petunias because I love the way they smell. But I usually find vibrant colors. No such thing yesterday. Only anemic looking pinks and whites. A few dark purples. No neon pinks or bright bright red. Nothing that I was willing to pay for. On the way there I had told my neighbor that I was not buying geraniums this year because they tend to be pricey. The ONLY thing I bought yesterday was $60. worth of geraniums. They are the bright orange red that I love. I filled up my planters on the back deck and the front porch with them. I think they will be pretty. If they lived through the cold night - I haven't checked yet.
I had a moment at the nursery. My neighbor and I each walked around independently, and in the end, I could not find her. I am so melancholy that the sight of couples coming straight from church, holding hands, while they looked for flowers for their houses. made me feel so sad. I was in this state when I found my neighbor. There she was, smiling to see me. And I thought - why on earth do I NOT appreciate what I DO have instead of longing for what I DON'T have? I have wonderful friends and family. I need to focus on that.
And today I will focus on the fact that I have a job. It is a good job. I have probably the best boss I have ever had in my life. I enjoy my co-workers. I like the people on my floor. I am working in a new process and people are very resistant to change. I cannot take this personally, but I have. Basically I have a job where I am dependent upon people who are not invested in the process to provide me the data to create a meaningful work product. As Syd reminded me last week, GIGO, the old acronym for "Garbage in, garbage out." Unfortunately, the garbage out is MY Product. And these people do not know me! I do not have 17 years of history here to fall back on. Thankfully, thus far, they trust me. I hope I can maintain that trust while I am acting the fool, crying in offices, and having a melt-down.
Today I will endeavor to give it my best shot. My goal for today is not to cry. I will put my nose to the grindstone and not be needy.
I will do my level best to turn my thoughts to others. Because when I focus on myself, it gets real ugly, real quick. God can help me to do this if I ask. I will ask.
And I will thank Him for another blessed day of sobriety.
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Yesterday was awesome. Family fun. My son has a large back yard, and the kids were able to run around and enjoy themselves. We played lawn darts, barbecued, ate, talked, laughed and enjoyed each other. My three children and three grandchildren were all together. It was delightful. My nephew is soon to leave for Japan. I will miss having another family member in the state.
I cried through mass this morning and didn't have a handkerchief or kleenex with me. I better start carrying them with me because I think this sudden tearfulness is not going away any time soon. I cried in my boss' office three times last week - which for a woman of my age is something so verboten, I can't even imagine that I have done this.
Another neighbor loaned me her $4000. bicycle for my race. Heartbreakingly, I cannot ride it. It is too big for me. I can barely clear the bar and when seated my feet do not reach the pedals. I could adjust the seat, but the frame height is permanent, and my own height is going nowhere but down. So sad. But so nice to witness first hand such generosity. I will return it to her today and start getting used to the idea that I have a triathlon in a month that I have not and likely will not train for.
I had planned a big bike ride today, but it is cold and windy and I am so tired. I think I will call it a day to spend with my plants and my laundry. And maybe a dreamy little nap this afternoon.
I am trusting God that I am going to get through this depression. But I must say that for now, it really sucks.
Saturday, May 05, 2012
I have been so overwhelmed lately, my son very very kindly suggested that we have our get-together at his house today. He has a big back yard, toys, a couple of big TVs with Wiis (sp?) There will be seven adults, one teenage boy, two pre-teen girls, one eight year old girl, a six year old boy, and one tiny baby (well, she is 18 months old now). This is awesome.
So, while my butter is chilling for the pie crust, I thought I would take a second to post something here. I went to my old homegroup this morning - it was good to see everyone. I haven't been there since I started my new job. I was very relieved that my old friends think my new hairdo is awesome. Doubt has set in after a couple of days - it is so high maintenance - but if it looks good I don't care.
I get to go be with family today. That might sound ordinary to you, but I never take this for granted. It is a blessing beyond measure.
Thank God I am sober, or my day would be extremely different than this "domestic bliss."
Friday, May 04, 2012
It is such a shame that kids don't get to play anymore. They are shuttered indoors, participating in activities designed by their mothers, fathers, and caretakers. They frequently have their noses glued to an electronic device. They are not allowed to get out in the sunshine without sunscreen. Can't ride bikes without helmets. Their adults manage the schedules of "play dates" and other commitments.
My kids grew up during the first phase of this new paradigm of raising kids. They grew up in the era of the first "milk carton kids." Yes, I was terrified by this. But no, I did not allow it to change our behavior. My daughters always had roller skates and entertained themselves for hours roller skating outdoors. We moved around a lot and wherever we went, after a few months all the kids had roller skates. It was delightful. My son played army with his friends, and was always dressed in camo. I think it is so hilarious that he has dressed exactly the same way for his entire life.
My alcoholic daughter went a little bit nuts when she was a teenager. In fact, she went so nuts that she might be considered every parent's nightmare. She spent most of her teens in hospitals, treatment centers, rehabs, and residential facilities for teenagers. She would thrive under the structure imposed by these treatments. However, the minute she was set free, she would go nuts again. She learned nothing about making decisions. I think now with 3.5 years of sobriety and at the age of 33, she is just beginning to learn to self-regulate.
Her twin sister apparently thrived in this dangerous environment I provided for them. She is a successful young woman.
Somehow we all survived all the hazards we have faced. I am so so so so so grateful to have grown up in the 50s and 60s and that I have the scars to prove it!
So, I shall step out into the dangerous world today. I have a battle to face this morning. I am so fortunate to have a boss who supports me. I will need her support today. After next Wednesday I will have approximately two weeks of relative peace. I will get to go out and about and meet with people and work on real things. I will get to sit down and actually think about my work instead of rushing to meet deadlines. And then it will begin again....
I am grateful to be sober. I am grateful for a loving God who always has my back. I am grateful to be listening to birds singing this morning. I am grateful that in a few minutes I will be walking the downtown streets that I love so. This is my city. The city where I got sober, and that will always make it HOME in my heart.
Thursday, May 03, 2012
But I will just ride the bus to work and sit at my computer and make the corrections. And sometime before tomorrow at 5:00, I will be done.
One little Excel cell at a time. One graph at a time. One Powerpoint slide at a time.
So, I shall get to it!
Imagine if I was drunk. I would show up (maybe) at work this morning with booze on my breath and a hangover so bad I wouldn't be able to think. Maybe I would think up some brilliant retaliation on these people. Maybe I would just say "f--- it" and not do it. But I don't have to behave that way today. I get to choose what attitude I bring to work with me. And when that is difficult (like every other day), I get to ask God to help me. And he never lets me down.
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
Yesterday all of the buses were delayed by protests blocking city streets. There was a large contingent of a union marching down the street. And then the occupiers are staring to occupy a different park since they have been thrown out of the park they occupied last summer. They were having a sleep-in on the street last night, so it should be an interesting commute today.
Today will be an 11 hour work day. Yikes. I think I am actually getting used to the pace and the intensity of the job. I did my monthly product without wanting to kill myself this month. Believe me, this is a huge leap forward. I guess I shouldn't speak so soon, because it goes out for corrections today, and I will start on the corrections tomorrow. Hopefully there will not be many.
I have an update on the woman I have been sponsoring and having such difficulty with. She is normally hysterical, upset, and a little bit paranoid. Last night she called from her mother's hospital room. She told me her brother is going to prison. She needs to repo a car from her sister-in-law, etc., etc., etc. But after a minute or so, I realized that she sounded calm and composed. I understand. I wonder if it is an alcoholic trait to handle the bad times better than the good times. I used to be this way. I don't think I am anymore. But I was always grateful that I didn't fall apart when I REALLY needed to be together. I think she shares this trait. And I am so grateful she can be there for her mother. I am also grateful that I didn't fire her when I wanted to. I prayed about it and every time, I felt I was being led to hang in there with her.
So, that's it from me.
I am planning on staying sober today, with God's help, and I hope you do too!
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Then I went to the meeting with four people I complained about to their bosses last week. Needless to say, they were not exactly delighted to see me! I prayed up a storm on my way in. The meeting was uncomfortable - maybe one of the most uncomfortable hours I have ever endured - aside from being in labor, or getting a root canal. But I lived through it and at the end, two women who have been rather hostile to me invited me to lunch with them! We had a nice time, just eating and chatting like human beings instead of worker bees.
I left the restaurant feeling very relieved and happy. I called my sponsor as I was driving home from work. We somehow got on the subject of early sobriety and having overwhelming problems that our sponsors helped us deal with. She talked about a $50. utility bill she couldn't pay. She called her sponsor thinking she would loan her the money. Instead, her sponsor told her to call the utility company and tell them she couldn't pay, and make an effort to work something out. She was surprised and delighted when they were willing to take a smaller payment. I had a similar experience in my first year of sobriety. I couldn't make my car payment. My sponsor told me to call them. I thought "yeah, great, Bill W. could call his creditors back in the 1930s, but this is 1984, and I owe money to GMAC, they are not going to want to hear my tale of woe." But I called them and imagine my surprise when they made payment arrangements with me! GMAC!
Baby steps lead to great strides. I had to walk into that meeting that terrified me yesterday - and I got to the other side of it. I feel like I moved forward about 1,000 miles yesterday.
And going to my old workplace was extremely good for me. I walked into the CEO's conference room and just sort of shuddered. I had spent so many hours of my life in that room. In the last few years, they just were not pleasant. It was good to remember that.
So, I am stepping out in faith again today. I know God will hold me in the palm of his hand as I trudge forward. I am grateful.
I am also grateful for your kind comments yesterday. I felt kind of bad when I got them because writing that I am going to stop blogging is not a thing to do unless I am really going to stop. Yesterday I thought I would. Today I feel like myself again.
Monday, April 30, 2012
I frequently warn her against comparing her insides to others' outsides. She thinks she is the only sober person who has difficulty. She goes to a meeting where people tend to be financially very stable and affluent, well-educated, mostly happily married, and don't seem to be dealing with the wreckage she is. I tell her that first of all, we don't know if that is really the truth about these folks - and it isn't our business to figure out if it is. Secondly, it is not a good idea to compare. Third, we all start on our recovery journey in a different place. She is making her kind of progress, it just doesn't look like other people's progress.
I remember a time when someone told me that if I was an example of five years of sobriety, he would rather be drunk. Well, he died drunk. I didn't wish it on him though. I have told people that maybe sometimes I am a good bad example. There is a use for those too, you know.
Later I had a friend who would say "Sobriety for sobriety's sake sucks." I would argue heartily with him on this point. He thinks it is ironic because he thinks I am one of the finest examples of making the most of your sobriety. Well, I didn't do that overnight. And if I thought I had to have great accomplishments, money, happy relationships, and great healing all the way around to have my sobriety mean something, I couldn't have thought I was successfully sober in my first ten years. Thank God I hung in there and worked a program and stayed sober.
I have often said that if I could have made a list of what I wanted from my sobriety when I was newly sober, I would have gravely short-changed myself. But some of the things I cherish the most are completely intangible. Being with my father as he was dying. Being present at the birth of two of my grandchildren. Being a trustworthy grandmother. Going back to church, painting icons, graduating from Biblical School.... I could go on, but you get the drift.
Some of the accomplishments others value a lot are: going back to college when I was 43, and having a master's degree by the time I was 50. Getting a "good job" and keeping it for a long dang time. Buying a house. Buying new cars. Etc.
But I still have the same brain. By the grace of God most days today you would never know that I used to respond hysterically to nearly everything. But I do still suffer from depression. I take meticulous care of myself to try to keep that serpent at bay. If I vary much from my life style I seem to open the door for it. Changing jobs earlier this year seems to have done that.
The thing I would like to say is: I am going through a depression. I know that I will get to the other side. I have many tools in my toolbox. I have faith that I am where I am supposed to be. And I have remained sober.
That, to me, is a hopeful message.
And I am not sure I can continue to blog through this - I can't imagine why anyone would continue to read when I am a broken record every day. I will pray about this.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Yesterday I got my hair cut. My stylist has known me for a very long time - she used to cut it very short when I asked her to, but she doesn't any more. It is short - but it is not VERY short. I have long bangs, and enough hair over my ears to "tuck" it. The back is very short. It is super cute and I am so happy I did this. I feel like I look about 10 years younger. That long hair drags down my face - and gravity is doing a good enough job, it doesn't need any help! I also dragged out my old horn rimmed glasses and feel like I have a whole new look.
Yesterday I decided to quit my running club. I will continue to exercise, I know that. But I don't want to pay so much money and have my weekends be so centered around my Saturday morning run. I have too many priorities right now, I can easily eliminate this one. I will serve out the time I have already paid for and then I will have Saturdays to myself again. In truth, that will probably be July. But that's OK.
I have my little baby here with me today. She got upset earlier and held her arms out to me - the way she does her Mom and Dad. I held her and began to cry myself. Such a primordial thing. Since the beginning of time babies have clung to their mamas, daddys, and grandmothers! It is a beautiful thing to be part of that equation! Now, THIS feeds my soul.
I have been chronicling these past few months my "little bit of a breakdown." (That phrase comes from a song I can't remember right now.) It is risky to put it on the internet, but I was taught to share my real experience, strength, and hope. Not my delusional system about how great I am - like if I convince you I may convince myself.
So this is it. I am still moving forward. And amazingly enough, I have not had a drink. If you are the type of alcoholic I am, you understand what a big deal that is. And if you are looking for someone who is the picture of serenity and happiness every day - you will probably be terribly disappointed by my blog.
Here's another one of my quirks - I cannot stand the sound of cartoons. I thought I could turn on a cartoon for my granddaughter while I wrote this, but it is making my so anxious I can't stand it. I remember a scene from the movie "The Days of Wine and Roses," where the alcoholic woman is sitting in a chair, by herself, in the middle of the day - with a cigarette and a glass of booze - watching cartoons. ugh! I can't think of anything worse!
But that is NOT my story today. I am sober. My little baby holds her arms out to me and wraps them around my neck when I pick her up. I will turn off these cartoons and play with baby girl.
God has been so good to me.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
I have a couple of races coming up in June that I have essentially not trained for. I will likely do them anyway. I have an olympic distance triathlon on June 10 and a half marathon on June 23. I could easily do a sprint distance tri, but I am registered for an olympic. Crap.
Yesterday I popped into my hair stylist's salon at 6:30 a.m. on my way to work. She was there, and I begged her to fit me in this weekend. She was frowning, but she did it. She has proms all day today, but will squeeze me in at 1:00. I think by my forcing the issue, I have forced the issue of getting my hair cut short, since that is what I told her the emergency was. I need to do it I think. We'll see if I can.
I am meeting my running club in a matter of minutes. I have totally lost my enthusiasm for this group. I still love my coach, but I have a problem with one of the other members of our small group and it is affecting the whole experience for me. She is the one who made the snarky comment to me earlier this year: "Do you think I need to go to AA Mary?" Having never told anyone in that group that I am in AA, I wonder why she concluded that I am in AA, and why that is an issue for her. Well, I don't really wonder why it is an issue for her. She also makes very profane remarks constantly, and although I have never said anything to her, I am certain that my facial expression does not hide my horror. Everyone in the group DOES know I am Catholic. I talk about it, and I also wear a gold cross and miraculous medal at all times, which pretty much SCREAMS "Catholic!!!" I end up running alone and I don't know why I would pay $450. a year to do that. So, I likely will not at the end of this session (in June).
Yesterday I ended up in my boss' office - crying. Oh, horror of horrors! When she responded by telling me how much they value me, she started crying too. I just love this woman, and I think she feels the same way about me. She talked to her boss about what is going on, and he went right up to the top of the org chart to address it. I think things will be changing. It will not help my relationships with my problem people, but I think having good relationships wasn't helping with the work. I cannot be dishonest in order to "get along."
It is a time of great change for me. I feel like my whole life has been shaken up and left to resettle, like one of the old snow globes I used to love. I think these changes needed to happen. Change isn't always pleasant, it can be difficult.
The few weeks just before I got sober was a period of great change just like this. The changes made me realize that I couldn't go on as I was. I knew I had to stop drinking. And believe me, this was a HUGE change! Just thinking I needed to quit was an entirely new thought for me.
We will see where I end up as a result of all this stuff. But I know it has made me realize that some things just have to change.
"There is God, our Father, who very simply says, 'I am waiting for you to do my will.' The other authority is named John Barleycorn, and he says, 'You had better do God's will or I will kill you." -- As Bill Sees It, p. 319
Friday, April 27, 2012
Then I met a friend for dinner at a fabulous vegetarian restaurant just a 20 minute walk away from my office. We sat outside and watched a thunderstorm roll in. The lightening was so close! The restaurant lost its power and we had to wait for our check because their computer was not working. It was lovely to see my friend. It was lovely to sit outside and feel the first tentative drops of rain turn into a whirling, crackling storm.
Today I am hoping to wade through a bunch of data that is so disorganized and un-labeled, looks like they just took tables out of SPSS and plopped them into Excel - and somehow I will turn this into something meaningful. At first, I thought this division was just having a harder time getting to where they needed to be. Now I am wondering if they are being passive aggressive with their data - sending me what they know is shit because they don't like the process. I went to a meeting of theirs last week where they spent 30 minutes out of an hour talking about how they don't have time to do this. Really? How 'bout you stop talking about it and just start doing it?
Yesterday when I opened the files they sent me I panicked. My hands started perspiring and I felt like I was going to cry. Today I will just plod through it.
I have learned to just take it one step, one second, one byte at a time in AA. When I got to AA and heard the "one day at a time," I thought that was just a cheesy cliche. And then I had that sweaty hands response to the idea of "never" drinking again. Just then, the phrase "one day at a time" appeared like a thought balloon above my head and made perfectly good sense to me.
That is how I am getting through these days. Sometimes I am doing behavior mod with myself and forcing myself to sit for an hour to work on a graph - and then I will go get a nice glass of ice water - after the allotted increment of work. I like to think I pray a lot, but I think I am in closer touch with God in the last few months. I pray a LOT!
One Day at a Time - I think I shall stay sober today and I hope you all do too.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Google Images can certainly be instructive. When searching for "old women" you get a selection of gross images. "Funny" pictures. Like the iconic old woman smoking a cigar... ha ha, very funny. Women with no teeth - again, fricking hilarious. After scrolling for pages, I finally got to Helen Mirren. Who is gorgeous (and has admittedly had some "work" done). And a couple of other real women. But mostly, "old woman" seems to be a joke. Nice.
When googling "old men," you are treated to a selection of photos of Don Johnson, Christopher Plummer, Tommy Lee Jones (who is so sexy), Pope Benedict, Clint Eastwood, a generic distinguished gentleman with a pipe... and then some old toothless men.
I have really never had an age crisis before. I was thrilled to turn 30. I was thrilled to turn 50. I didn't really mind turning 60. And then I started working with women who are all younger than my youngest children. One of them was born the year I got sober.
I have never thought about my age so much. It is a weird form of self-centeredness. And it is not fun.
Yesterday I decided this long hair has got to go. I might even stop coloring it. I have decided that worse than being "old" is trying to look "young." I hadn't thought of my hair that way, but I think I would be better with short hair.
I have had two good days at work in a row. I have grown friendly with one of these young women. She is a delightful young mother whose husband stays at home with baby. He sends her pictures of him all day long (the baby). She coos with delight. It is very sweet. She invited me to lunch yesterday and we talked about our new jobs. It is good to hear someone else's perspective, especially when it aligns with mine!
Being on a 180º learning curve is probably good for me, but really challenging. I am learning not only about my job, but about people, and myself.
Every day I start my day with a prayer that God gives me the strength to do his will. I ask him to show me how I can be the person he would like me to be. Every now and then, I get a glimpse of that. I have had several days in a row that feel like I am finally getting to the other side.
And the two "terrible" weeks start today, so I better get out of here!
Let's all stay sober today, OK?
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
When I saw the tenderness between them, my heart melted. When he called her "Angel," my heart nearly burst. That is what I always called my kids. When I saw the joy in that household, I thought this is all I need. I honestly don't know where my son learned to be so sweet to a little girl, but he did learn it, learn it well, and I am so pleased. I am so glad this little girl will have the occasional opportunity to run around in a diaper, sparkly boots, and a cowboy hat. ( I would have NEVER let my kids do that - they had to look neat at all times - probably to cover up their mother's chaos and insecurity.)
I was on the phone for much too long last night. The world is buzzing about our friend who has gotten drunk. I absolutely hate that this beautiful young woman who seemed to be so safely sober (as if!) has suffered such a fate. But I also believe what Bill W. said in As Bill Sees It - "There is no waste in God's economy." I believe this tragedy is a big wake-up call to a lot of people who probably needed a wake-up call and reality check.
Yesterday was actually a good day at work. The bosses were gone, and my co-workers and I were talking and laughing. None of us are used to working in cubicles, so we normally sit quietly and work. I guess we all felt free to open our mouths yesterday. I have prayed for God's grace to allow me to like these women, and I believe he has answered my prayers.
Today at 5:00 starts my two hellish weeks at work. Every month, there are two weeks of unrelenting work and deadlines, followed by two weeks of catching up on all the other stuff you couldn't even look at during the pressure weeks. This has been an exercise in humility for me. I don't much like exercises in humility. But the rewards are always worth it.
I will pray to keep my thoughts on others today. Because if I think about myself for more than 2 minutes, it turns into something pathological. But God never lets me down, if I just seek him.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Today at work I had some time, so I decided to walk to the downtown noon meeting. I am so thrilled to report that it was a good meeting. I liked the feel of the room. I liked that I met a woman there, and we walked back to our offices together. She is also named Mary and has been sober for 20 years. She said there are a lot of people in that group sober between 20 and 30 years. How wonderful to not feel like an old, freakish relic.
While I was watching the baby, one of my sponsees called 3 times within 10 minutes. I had opted not to answer because I wanted to just be with the baby. After the 3rd call, I listened to the voice mail. She is out of her mind with upset because a member of our group has gone out. I believe she was sober 6 years. And if I had to bet money on who would drink again, I wouldn't have bet on her. My heart is broken. I hope she can come back and just get sober and stay that way. I called my sponsee and we talked about it. Bless her heart. Both of them.
I am so grateful tonight to be part of a family. And a fellowship.
I will go to bed sober tonight and wake up that way tomorrow. Thanks to the Grace of God.
|Brand new aspen leaves|
My new job is a challenge on many fronts. First, because of the hours. Second, because of the grueling boringness and incredible number of hard deadlines. Third, the work is not even what I am good at. Fourth, and maybe the most bothersome thing, is that I am working in a department with four other people - ranging in age from 28 to 33. This is my first ever age crisis. I am older than their parents!
The thing I find so bothersome about this is that I have noticed that my communication is full of references that mean nothing to them. One day I said something and my boss gave me a blank look and said "I don't understand the reference." Another time I told a co-worker that I don't like the appearance of a report because to me it looks like "green bar," none of them even know what "green bar" is. Why would they? While I was getting reports on green bar, they were in pre-school. Please understand, I don't want to be young - I just want to be able to communicate with my co-workers.
Here is what I need to focus on: * I have a job. *Some parts of it are very good. *I love my boss, and she likes me. *I have been assured that it will evolve and not be so grueling and boring. *I love where I am in the organization - I think I can truly affect how we do things and deliver services to "needy" people.
I just need to focus on the positive. And move forward.
And mostly ask God to show me how I can be helpful.
"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen." -- Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 76
Sunday, April 22, 2012
So I woke up on my own - at 5! Boiled some water, poured it over some coffee in my little french press in a travel mug. Got to the pool in time to have a mile done by 7 a.m. Came home and ate some steel cut oats with some wonderful Krema peanut butter - Thank you Lou - I did not know about Krema and had virtually eliminated p.b. out of my life due to the sugar content. Now I can have p.b. & oatmeal on days when I have big workouts. I am waiting until it warms up a little and then I am going on a bike ride. I want it to be warm because I want to wear a sleeveless bike shirt (or maybe even one of my running dresses which have big pockets in the back, just like a bike shirt). At this point in the spring, I do not want to deal with a farmer's tan.
The sun is shining, the trees have leaves on them, my lawn looks like someone actually takes care of it (the someone is actually my neighbor and not me!), it will be warm enough for a nice bike ride, and then this afternoon, I am going to do some power-chilling. I am going to sit outside and read a book. Really. I am. I have promised myself this.
For lunch, I will have cold salmon and a simple salad.
For dinner, I will make chicken in paper with rosemary and greek olives.
Did I ever mention (she asks rhetorically because she knows she didn't!) that last weekend I told my fella I didn't want to see him anymore? That was hard to do - I really did like him and he allegedly liked me. But he didn't really treat me like he liked me and it was increasingly hurting my feelings. I always say that when the picture doesn't add up based on the info I have, I probably don't have all the information. I don't know what was up with him, but his verbals did not match his non-verbals and I don't want to experience hurt feelings all the time. I think he is just someone who is either dishonest or is not really in touch with how he feels. If you get to be 62 years old like that, odds are, you are not changing any time soon.
I am sad about this, but not broken hearted. Maybe neither one of us liked each other a whole lot, but "on paper" we really looked good! Both: recovering alcoholics, practicing Roman Catholics, in huge agreement on social and political issues. I thought we could have love of an "educational variety." But I think I might have just learned that wonderful "love at first sight" and being unable to keep your hands off each other, and deciding to get married in the first week of dating - maybe that is healthier than I thought it was. At least it is real - for a while. I think I am meant to be alone. I have certainly prayed about this and sought counsel about it. And I am alone. And really, I am OK with that.
I am SO looking forward to this day and all that it may bring. Another day to ask God to help me do his will. I think he always comes through.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
I didn't wake up until it was light outside this morning! It was fabulous. And now I am slowly getting going. I refuse to hurry to do anything today. I am going to sit in on an icon class all day today. It hurts me to go sit in a church basement when it is so glorious outside, but I will be glad once I am there.
Last night I got to see my old friend celebrate 29 years of sobriety. He is someone so dear to me, first of all because he took me to my first meeting. He was instrumental in my early sobriety as my first sponsor's boyfriend. He was a hard-core tough-love (big on tough, and short on love) kind of guy back in the day. I thought of that last night as he stood at the podium. A grey haired, gentle voiced, still very handsome man - in his uniform - a blue Brooks Brothers oxford shirt, with heavy starch, a beautiful pair of tailored pants, shiny shoes, etc. He has much the same story as I do with respect to our faith. We cherish each other for that reason (and others). Can you tell I have always been a little bit in love with him? Well, I have and still am.
I ordered a book this week about introversion, and how this is a serious handicap in our society. I have sat through meetings for the last three months and listened to people babble without answering questions. I could see that they were "processing" the question and their answer while talking, and talking, and talking. And I have come to the conclusion that this temperament is highly valued in our culture. To me, it is a painful waste of time. But these are very successful people and no one else seems to mind.
I am an introvert who feels comfortable sitting at my computer writing. I have notebooks everywhere with my notes about everything. This is how I "process." I cannot sit in a huge meeting and come up with solutions. I need to withdraw and work on it myself. I can come back then with great solutions, but I cannot do it on the spot. I believe that introverts have created much of what we value today - but we do not value this personality trait. Blabbing endlessly and seemingly mindlessly is the way to go if you want to be seen as competent! Look at US presidents and presidential candidates - glibly speaking, speaking, speaking and sounding good is apparently what we vote for. - I only write about this here because I believe most bloggers are introverts and I think some of you will understand what I am talking of.
This is going to be a power weekend. I am doing to do things to restore me. I am utterly done-in by my job. I almost brought my computer home this weekend but decided that would be foolhardy.
And that reminds me: yesterday I arrived for a tour of a huge facility with a blister on my foot and no water. I drink water constantly, so I was a bit panicked. I told my boss that my failure to bring water was "foolhardy." She looked at me and said "Who says that? Foolhardy?" I do. I use strange and wonderful words all of the time - and the generational gap between us only exacerbates the weirdness of it all. She finds me endlessly fascinating, in a good way. And that is good. She asked me the other day when I started being so "funny." I told her I had always had a different way of looking at things and that has caused other people to see me as humorous - since early childhood.
Just like every good AA speaker says: "I never felt like I fit in." I know I am going to hear the story of my kind of alcoholic when the story starts like that. I heard it last night.
Thank God we have each other, because no matter how well I am "blending" in the world, I still feel somewhat set apart. It means the world to me to be with kindred souls in Alcoholics Anonymous.
Thank You God.
(P.S. I am going out with a pony tail and no make up today! Woot! - I still have bright red fingernails though)
Thursday, April 19, 2012
|That's a photo of a car accident I was in a few years ago.|
So, for tonight, I can tell you for sure:
- I am grateful to be sober
- I am grateful my son is home
- I am grateful I got to have lunch with my daughter today
- I am grateful I have a soft bed and nice pillows
- I am grateful I get to go to a meeting tomorrow to celebrate the 29th birthday of the man who took me to my first meeting. I <3 him.
- I am grateful my boss thinks I am funny and smart
- I am also grateful she told me she realizes I have a whole "other" skill set than the girl geniuses I am working with. And that her boss knows that too.
- I am grateful that hair can put in a clip or in a pony tail to get it out of my face and off my neck.
- And for a treadmill when it is just too cold to go outside.
- I am grateful that my manicure still looks pretty good after 2 weeks!
I'm going to bed.
I will wake up that way too. And if you are a drunk like I am a drunk, no matter how I "feel," this is a good deal. A miraculous deal. Only by the Grace of God.
I am slogging through the week. At a meeting at work yesterday a person I am coming to really admire said something like this: "We are exactly where we should be in this process. We are slogging through." Since this new process is what my new job is, it felt good to hear it described this way. We are not skipping through it, we are slogging, and it is a tough slog. Even the girl geniuses I work with are starting to have a tough time with it. I am not happy that they are suffering, but I am glad I am not alone.
That phrase reminded me of the line in the big book that says we "trudge the road of happy destiny." Not skip, not leap, not run. We trudge. Some days are happy, skippy, jumpy, and some days are a slow slog.
The real reward lies in trudging, slogging, through the tougher times. We exercise our sobriety muscles.
There is something in "As Bill Sees It" about depression that I love. I am three minutes past my time limit to write this, so I am not going to look it up right now. But I will paraphrase. We hold our face to the light, even though for the moment we do not see.
I am holding my face to the light. Because I know that God is with me.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I took 5 hours of vacation time today - the first time I have had off since staring my new job 3 months ago. It felt wonderful to, first of all, sleep until it was light outside. And then I sat outside this afternoon and smelled lilac blossoms. I don't know if there is any smell I like better!
My back yard tulips are stunning this year. The orange is so crazy bright - and I love bright orange!
I will survive.
God is in his heaven and he loves me - just like he loves you.
Today it feels like razor blades and broken glass. It feels much too difficult to get along with anyone.
I am a person with two (2) axis I diagnoses. Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent - I am not going to include the longitudinal course specifier because I am not going to diagnose myself this morning. However, I would tell you that I wouldn't call it "in remission." I am going through a bout.
The other I write about every day. And I hate the DSM-IV language for it, so I won't include it. I am an alcoholic. Who doesn't drink. Thank you God!
Depression used to frighten me more than anything in the world. Over the years, I have learned how to live with it for the most part. I have written about it a million times here on the blog. Exercise, good food, lots of sleep, alone time every day, social time every day.... etc., etc. My new job and the endless hours working with people I don't know or feel comfortable with - yet - has thrown my self care totally off. It will be three months in a few days and I am feeling the effects.
Yesterday I went to a spin class in the morning and got to work at 9:00 instead of the self-imposed 7 a.m. start I have adhered to for the last 3 months. (It has more to do with bus schedules than a need to torture myself though). Today I have a meeting I need to go to at 8:30 and the rest of the day I have scheduled as a vacation day.
I didn't realize I was digging myself into a dark hole of depression. Now I do, and I will dig out again - please God. I think this is very much what a relapse into active alcoholism would probably be like. You just stop doing the things you need to do to stay sober and cruise along fine for weeks or months or even years, but suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, you realize you are drunk. Thank God that has not happened to me. I really do give God the credit for this because when I got sober I did not have the ability to keep up with anything for more than a couple of weeks. Where did that ability come from? Not from me.
I apologize to my true intended audience who might be wondering if they are alcoholic, thinking about going to AA, and looking for a blog written by a sober alcoholic. I love the anonymous comments you leave. I am, however, turning off the ability to leave anonymous comments. I have a troll who is leaving stupid anonymous comments. I am not in the mood to deal with them. I really want to respond with a happy "fuck you." But that wouldn't be nice, would it? So I will do the next best thing and just avoid the whole thing.
If you really want to leave a comment, it is easy enough to set up a blogger account without an associated blog. And then you can leave a comment.
Thanks and love to you all.
Monday, April 16, 2012
|Going out in my pajamas to take photos of flowers in the snow|
A couple of weeks ago I saw a psychiatrist for the first time in many years - well, except for those who are my friends and former co-workers. I had never seen him before and he asked me a bit about my story. When he asked me if I drank, I told him I had been sober for 27 and a half years. (I don't know why he asked me that because in my chart the first diagnosis is "Alcohol Dependence - Sustained Full Remission.") I got to talk to him about that silly diagnosis too. I am certainly NOT dependent upon alcohol - but I am certainly an alcoholic. That is the problem with ..... oh, never mind....
He asked me about my sobriety. He was thrilled that I have been sober for so long. And I started crying. Because I have gotten to be almost defensive about my length of sobriety. As if you can't say how long you have been sober without it turning into a pissing contest with someone who is sober for a year or two and wants to judge the quality of your sobriety or thinks it is some kind of well, contest. I truly don't get it. I don't preface every sentence with it. I don't boast about it. But it is a grateful fact of my life. I could weep each time I really truly think about it. Like I did on Dave's post today - he said he hadn't had a beer in the middle of the night for eight and a half years. If you drank like I did, and I believe Dave did, eight and a half years is freaking incredible! A miracle! More miraculous than a lunar landing!
I always encourage people to "be where they are" especially with respect to their sobriety. I loved my first couple of years of sobriety and I am glad I had people around who told me to enjoy it and not waste my life away wishing for more years of sober time, and therefore wishing to be older!
I am grateful that at my home group, I can actually feel free and not apologetic about my time sober. It is a revelation to me after years in a group where I felt defensive about it!
As one of my old buddies says, "it gets greater later." I believe that, but I also believe that any day of sobriety is a miracle and each day is to be relished. I also know on a cellular level that I could be drunk tomorrow.
But not today. By the Grace of God.