Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Boarding...New York Bound

Going to New York for a week with my mom and sister to be my new niece's Godmother.  Hate flying and haven't done it sober in a long, long time...wish me luck.  Feeling a little like throwing up right now.

Sent from my T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide

Monday, December 27, 2010

My little, big, family

It has come to my attention that my speaking in generalities and I am sure, my lack of daily posts, has caused some confusion.  

So here goes, my amazing life and some of its developments from the past few months.

I have met and completely fallen in love with the most amazing, beautiful woman, who also happens to be in recovery.  It is a love unlike anything I have ever know.   In part, I know, because I have never been in a place to actually love someone before, unselfishly and unafraid, to love them for just who they are and to allow myself to be loved in the same way.  Love, love, love her.  She added the fourth to our little family.

Numbers five, six, and seven, arrived in time for Christmas.  They are her three daughters, who oddly enough are exactly the same age as my own.  They too, are amazing and beautiful!

So there we are, five kids between the ages of 8 and 10, four girls and my darling boy, who is absolutely loving being the protective big brother, at least for now.  We'll see when he is completely over run with barbies, zhu zhu pets, iCarly, and Justin Bieber.

I am absolutely loving this amazing journey of life.

Sent from my T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Long, long, beautiful day!!

Our little family of 4 has double in size in the last 24 hours.  In one word...WOW!!  In a few more, fantastic, amazing, frightening, BUSY.  

The build up to this event, in my mind over the past month, has included a lot of excitement and a lot of fear.  What I know about fear, is that most of the time, I make it out to be much, much bigger than it really is, the imagined outcome is rarely anything close to reality, and it can completely take me out of the present.  When I am in fear, I am not in faith.  My higher power has yet to let me down, surrendering it always works, and the outcome, although not always how I would have planned it, I am always taken care of.

Today was a long, long day, with the now, 6 loves of my life.  I wouldn't have changed one minute of it!!

Sent from my T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I am absolutely filled with it today. What an amazingly fantastic life this is!! Not always perfect for sure, but absolutely filled with more peace and joy than I thought was ever possible.

My weekend was spent with the three loves of my life...filled with lots of happy times, pancake breakfast at their school, first basketball game of the season, dance off's, ZooZoo pets extravaganza, best Christmas movie ever (Polar express) and lots of laughs...some stressful and tearful moments including, fights over the wii, Christmas present peeking, heart to hearts about honesty and kindness, and a very emotional last night. Every single moment, I am grateful for. What a great gift of sobriety!! Being a present mom, friend and partner to the people in my life is not always easy, quite uncomfortable sometimes, but always, always most fantastic!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Just stay...

I am well aware of the fact that everyone doesn't get it or they just aren't ready or need to do some more research. I know that I am powerless over my sponsees and their choices and their level of willingness to choose this life over that one. I know the power of the 'fuck its'. I understand not having faith in the fact that a higher power won't drop me ass.

Knowing all of this does not make it any easier when someone close to me relapses. It doesn't stop the feelings of thinking I could have done something different or more. It doesn't stop me from wanting to hold on to them so tight and so close that they can't go anywhere. I know that I don't have that much power. I know that all I can do is share my experience, strength, and hope, trust that they have their own journey, their own higher power, and surrender.

I am reminded tonight that the way to peace is through willingness, acceptance and surrender. I am grateful for my life, my recovery, and for the amazing people in it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Long Weekend...

Love, love, love these kids, but...4 four cold, rainy days and my patience is starting to dwindle. From experience, I will not be praying for patience. I think instead, I will be doing a lot of pausing and asking for the right thought or action. In this moment, regrouping as we sit in the car with a dead battery. Gotta love opportunities to practice being my best self. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

good reminder

I was reminded today that I take that first drink in my mind long before I actually relapse. I have had 4 people in my life in the past two weeks 'go out' and the similarities in their story are no coincidence...stop going to meetings, stop talking honestly to others about what's going on, stop working with general a loss of willingness to do the things necessary to have a daily reprieve. Complacency in my recovery, thinking I don't need to do this stuff on the regular, will get me to that dangerous place that when shit does hit the fan, I have absolutely no defense against it. My recovery and my peace are directly proportional to the amount of my effort and my willingness. My fit spiritual conditional is not based on my yesterday's efforts, but rather, what I have done today. With that, coffee and reading, prayer, and meditation here I come.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I am so filled with gratitude today. I absolutely love my life. It's not because I have money, a great house, my dream job, but because of the peace and love that have become such a daily presence in it.

When I came into recovery I never imagined how completely different my life could be. I really expected nothing more than to learn how to stop drinking. Actually, let's be honest. I hope you people would show me how to do it successfully. I didn't know that I had a living problem. What I have learned in Alcoholics Anonymous is how to do my life differently, how to walk through it, instead of checking out. I have gained the ability to find peace amongst the chaos. I have learned that suffering is optional, as is finding happiness. Today I choose to be willing to find my joy, despite my circumstances. It is a fantastic place to be and I am loving this journey!

Friday, November 5, 2010

missing this

My internet has been out for a week and blogging on this phone drives me crazy! I am feeling the difference in my peace and serenity not getting my thoughts out this way! I talked to my sponsor last night and she was like, your journal's not broken is it...actually that's not exactly what she said. She is much more tactful, but that's what I heard. So, I journaled. I felt better. I am so stubborn sometimes. I am still missing blogland though!

Monday, November 1, 2010


"Finding the right balance between our duties and our intersts takes daily attention. It is perhaps our greatest struggle." Daily Meditation for Women.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


VENTING...In this moment, I hate CPS for doing nothing to help these kids,my lawyer for dragging his feet for the past eight months to get us into mediation to adjust custody, and my ex husband for the damage he is doing to these beautiful, loving,kind children. I am sad for my children that they spoke up, telling the truth about what is going on, and still have to go back there tomorrow. I feel inadequate and ineffective because nothing I am doing seems to be having any positive results.

SOLUTION...Surrender is not throwing your hands in the air, it is doing your part and trusting a power greater than yourself to take care of the outcome. This business with the kids is almost too much to bare at times. These are the moments that I know that I am slipping out of faith and into fear and self will, expecting results on my timeframe, the way I have envisioned them to be. What I know from experience is, when I do what is right in front of me and leave the outcome to the universe to handle, I am always left with a deep sense of peace and am surprised at how I come out on the other side. Rarely is it how I would have planned it, but I am always carried, with results exceeding anything I would have mapped out for myself. I have seen it work with everything from where I would live, my career, money, love, and heartbreak. I know my higher power can be trusted with my children. So, for tonight, surrender it is.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

An evening outside myself

After taking care of business this morning, I determined that my head would not be the best place for me this evening.  What I have learned is, the easiest way for me to get out of that spinning mess is to be of service to another suffering alcoholic.  Tonight's executed plan worked, just as it always does...MAGIC!! 

I met with one of my sponsees, picked up some newcomers for my favorite meeting, went to coffee, chaired a meeting, and got a new sponsee in the process.  Gotta love the simplicity of this god, clean house, work with others.  Result...peace, quiet contentment, and gratitude.  It always works and I am always amazed. 

Thanks to all those in my life that make it so frickin fantastic!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Peace within the Hula Hoop

The overwhelming emotions of last night have subsided, transforming into a peaceful sadness that I have done the next right thing.  Now, my next course of action is to wait, pray and surrender.  As my sponsor would say, once I've done my part, wrap them all up in a blanket and give them to my HP to take care of (and yes the ex is included in there, wrapped up much, much tighter than the others :). 

I have made these phone calls before with no results.  What I know is, I have no control over the results, only my part in doing the next right thing.  As much as I would love to control, manipulate, and change the actions and behaviors of others, there is such a freedom in realizing I have no control over them, just me and what's inside this hula hoop.  That powerless feeling slips away and is replaced with peace.  It's so exhausting trying to arrange all the players anyway, especially when I have so much on my plate just trying to keep all of my own craziness in check.  It's a gift to understand that they have their path and I have mine.  


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sitting with it...feelings suck!!!

I am having some very uncomfortable emotions tonight surrounding what is best for my children.  I am feeling completely powerless to make any changes for them.  I am tremendously angry with my ex husband and am having to use every bit of me to not do something I will regret.  I am sad for what they have to go through when they are not here.  I am feeling guilty that things are not perfect here either, that my patience is not always what I want it to be and that I sometimes fall short in being the mother I want to be.

I have talked it to death today.  I am now writing about it, trying to get myself into the solution and out of this gigantic, swirling pit of ugly emotions and self pity.   Right now, in this moment, the only next right thing for me to do is pause and ask for the right thought or action, feel it, and not run or try to escape it. 

So, here I am sitting with it, hating it!!!   

Tonight I can do nothing but surrender and have faith, that is if I want to have some peace.  I could definitely spin on it and freak out.  I like this option better. 

I will not be calling him and causing wreckage.  I will not be driving to his house.  I will not be threatening him.   I will not be acting on any of these other crazy ideas I have spinning out of control in this colorful mind of Crazy Melissa.  All of these nots are very contrary to my nature, but I know pausing, praying, and surrendering are the ways to peace for me. 

Tomorrow, however, the next right thing will be to get into action and do what's best for these beautiful children.  I am so grateful tonight that I am a sober, present mother, able and willing to take this step for them.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wise words from Pink...

I love her new song, Raise Your Glass.  I know it's a party it up song, but the message to me is live your life, live it out loud, and have fun. 

I have so learned how to do that in this program.  I think a lot of it can be attributed to becoming honest and finding out who I truly am, allowing myself to have my own dream about what is right for me in my life, and realizing that I really don't have to spend time worrying about other people's judgements of me because I can let them have their dream.  (Four Agreement stuff...outside literature, but one of the most life changing books I have read, outside of the Big Book, of course).

So, the line from the song that inspired this post for me is..You can choose to let it goThe fear, other people's behavior and judgements, the past, the future, resentments...none of it has to occupy space my mind.  I can surrender it to the universe and get back to my favorite place to be...that space of peace and serenity, where I am happy, joyous, and free!!

Dancing my way into surrender

Handling business,
heading out
to rock this day!!
doing what I can do,
letting my HP handle the rest.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Surrendering to the will of the Universe...

This day has been exhausting.  First, my car would not start and then I found out that checks I have been expecting to come for weeks will not be coming...FANTASTIC!!  I am so tired of struggling financially.  Really??  Does it have to be this hard?? 

I can let go of the fear.  I can trust that it will all work out.  I know that I won't be dropped on my ass.  But, I would love it if it didn't feel like such a daily battle.  It seems like just as I put one fire out another starts.  I need to remind myself that it was never promised that life would stop happening, just that I would be able to deal with it with some semblance of grace and have serenity through it.  This promise is based on my willingness to do what's in my control, the next right thing, and surrender the outcome...trusting that everything is not going to be alright, it already is.

Okay...panic attack over.  This God box is getting full!!  What I have found out by looking back through old deposits is that all that stuff that felt like such a big deal in the moment, has since passed.  I survived it, walked through it without a drink or a drug and came out on the other side with a stronger sense of faith that things might not always go the way I have them envisioned, but I am always taken care of.


Topic of tonight's meeting and as always, exactly what I needed to hear.  My sponsor and I laughed out loud when the chair announced it, but so did half the room.  I think it's a topic a lot of us needed to ponder tonight.  The most obvious thing that people talked about tonight was continuing to have discipline in their recovery...continuing to go to meetings, work the steps, call their sponsor, work with others, pray and meditate.

I know for myself, when things start to go good, I think, oh I don't need to pray and mediate today, that meeting really isn't necessary tonight, I'll work on my fourth stop tomorrow.  What I need to remind myself is that things are only on an even keel for me because of all that spiritual ground work I have laid.  It all starts to fall apart pretty fast when I sit back and rest on my laurels. When I don't make that deposit into my spiritual account.  My life is awesome today, not because I run it so great, but because I am doing the things I know I need to do to keep myself in fit spiritual condition. When I stop doing that stuff and start to run on self will it gets all bad in a hot minute.

So, yes, being diligent about my recovery is something I definitely have to stay disciplined about, but my current struggle has been with knowing what the right thing to do is in my situation with my new girl.  I really am in love this one. We are having some issues surrounding other people's opinions, which I would like to say I could care less about, but come on...this alcoholic could have every person in the room like her but one and lose my mind trying to get that person to change their mind. 

Honestly though, I do have some concerns of my own. We are moving at rocket speed, but it feels right.  I am trying very hard not to question it because after carefully and exhaustively checking of my motives, I know I am in it and acting with integrity.  My biggest concern right now is, she has considerably less sobriety than I do.  I do not want to feel like I am responsible for someone else's recovery.  I am worried that I could become a distraction from what's most important, which is recovery.   Or, if it doesn't work out, it would result in her going out.  I am feeling very codependent right now.  I am trying desperately to find the balance between being loving, supportive, and caring and feeling like her success is dependant on me  As I say it I know that I am giving myself way too much power.

As my sponsor tells me almost daily, a job for prayer...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

yet another addiction

I got home today and my hard drive was fried...aaaaahhhhhhh!  I really don't know when I am going to be able to get it fixed.  I didn't realize how frickin addicted I had become to facebook and blogging.  I feel pretty good about the blog thing, but my facebook addiction has definitely become a problem. (OMG!  I really suck at typing on this new phone!)

Sorry, back to the topic at stupid computer addiction.  I was in such a panic about not being able to get online. First, I called a friend to see how hard it would be to fix my computer because  I am an idiot when it comes to that stuff.  She said not hard, but she couldn't do it until Friday...oh, no no.  That won't do!  I felt a panic.  The thought of not being able to get on the computer for that long felt erriely familiar. That obsession.  That compulsion.  Those racing thoughts about trying to figure out some way.  The thought came to me...go get a new phone.  I went to the sprint store completely driven, with no regard for the fact that I really can't afford a new phone, but I didn't care.  This had to be fixed. Long story short, I got a new phone, that I don't really need, with a new 2 year agreement with a company I really know nothing about.

It totally felt like that old behavior.  Making decisions with only my selfwill and perceived needs in focus. At no point in this story did I pause or pray, asking for the right thought or action.  No praying happened that my thinking be cleared of wrong motives.  Maybe this was the 'right' course of action, but it felt very much like the old, crazy impulsive Melissa and I didn't like it one bit!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Trying very hard to be patient, but... Still waiting for this baby. I just left for an hour to hit a meeting. I love going to meetings out of town. I am always amazed at the feelings of welcome, love and support...instant family anywhere. So grateful for alcoholics anonymous and the beautiful fellowship of people that I couldn't do this without.

Back to the room...praying for patience for us all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Baby...

My sister is having a baby today!!!  This last few weeks have been especially stressful for our entire family.  Her first son had some scary complications during the birth and has a shoulder disability as a result.  That day was easily one of the scariest days of my life. 

So, we have all been more than a little nervous about how today would go and are all handling it in our own ways.   Cesarean or not, has been the question from the beginning.   Well, today is the day.  Now more than a week overdue, she is being induced to see how labor progresses, but a baby is guaranteed before days end.  I thought I would be freaking out this morning, but having this relationship with my HP, surrendering the outcome, and trusting that all will work out just as it should is very comforting right now...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Are you kidding??

The time...5 am. 

The call...

HER:  have you been drinking?? 

ME:  What??  Are you kidding??
I could hear in her voice that everything was not okay.  She was calling for a ride to the hospital, as a result of getting her ass kicked last night while drunk.  She called me because she knows I don't drink.  I spent some time on the phone with her, but I had kids in bed sleeping.  I called some of our friends, but of course no one answered...5 am!  I told her to take a cab and I would pick her up after I dropped kids off at school this morning.

She is definitely one of us.  It sucks, but I pray daily that she hits her bottom soon.

Being back in the restaurant business has changed the face of some of my friends.  I love these girls I work with, but it feels scarily familiar to the old days.  Nights at the club, picking up drunk friends, crazy calls and texts at all hours...straight drama.  I am finding myself questioning how healthy this is and if this is what I want my life to look like today.  Where is the line between being a good friend and being codependent??  Am I being example that you don't have to drink to have fun or just putting myself into situations, that one day, when I'm not feeling spiritually fit, will give me the perfect opportunity to say FUCK IT?!  Is this what the hand of AA looks like or is it me trying to cling onto my past??

Just trying to figure out my motives here...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Too Happy...scary!!

Just woke from my peaceful slumber to feelings of PANIC

I am way too happy! 

My life has shown me that it never lasts, so prepare yourself.  My head still can tell me you don't deserve it, you are a fraud.  Run, run, run before you get hurt.  Don't let anyone too close, you can't trust them.

I don't want to do this today.  I don't.  I want to stay present to experience the joy in my life without the question of, how long will it last this time?   Questioning it keeps me from giving myself fully to it.  Staying in this moment, right here, allows me to silence my scared, misdirected Crazy Melissa and find serenity.  So, hanging up my future tripping crown for the night and attempting to find my peaceful slumber again.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hangover by Association?

It is now almost 4 am and I cannot sleep...aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!  Tonight bothered me more than I thought.  In the moment of sitting with my drunk friend, I was able to find peace by praying every few minutes.  I was able to find words to say to her.  I was able to stay calm.  I felt like I the right thought or action was given to me in the moment.  When she left I felt grateful for my life, how it is today and hopeful for her.

Now however, I can't get the thought of her breathe out of my mind.  I actually feel like I can still smell it, taste it in my mouth.  The stench like having taken a bath in alcohol, cigarettes and vomit, it oozing from every pore.  Funny how a smell can trigger a memory.  It reminds me of all those morning I woke up so hung over I did not feel alive and didn't want to be.  It is bringing back all those mornings of incomprehensible demoralization...what in the hell did I do last night, who did hurt, steal from, lie to, sleep with?  I am not feeling right at all right now.  My stomach is doing flip flops and my head won't stop spinning.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The hand of AA

I was on my way to my regular Tuesday night of sponsor, step work and meeting when I got the call.  One of my friends with about 30 days went out.  She called me from the bar. 

FUCK!!  Pick up the stupid phone before you drink!!

She asked me to come pick her up, so I did.  What a reminder of exactly what I look like and more importantly, what I feel like when I am drinking.  In a few words...miserable, hopeless, and bankrupt. 

I am so grateful tonight to know that there is a solution.  I am grateful that I am willing to use the tools to get and keep me in a place of peace and serenity, despite life happening.  I am grateful for a higher power working in my life, even if I don't always understand the plan.   I am grateful to an awesome sponsor, my supportive friends and family.  I am grateful  for my life today and everything in it, the seemingly good and the seemingly bad.

Not to leave the story unfinished, we are going to a meeting tomorrow.  What an honor to be in a place to be the hand of AA tonight!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What a wonderful, fantastic, beautiful weekend

Life really is rockin right now!  I really can't imagine being happier.  Well I could, but that's just crazy talk!  It is definitely not because life has stopped sucked Friday, 'lost' more than half of what I made, got in a fight with one of my favorite co-workers, came home to a bathroom flooded in two inches of water, and our kitten ran away this morning (yes, the same one I called an asshole a week ago...feeling kinda crappy about that now). 

The perfectly fantastic part, to me, was not letting any of that outside stuff steal my serenity.  The kids and I have had so much fun this weekend...slumber party with my son's best friend, baked cookies, did not burn dinner for a change, two trips to the pool, loads of fun at the park, where I shot hoops for the first time in years, and of course lots of singing, dancing and playing of the guitar.

It could have been so much different had I chose to sit in the seemingly bad.  A quick call to my sponsor, reaching out to other suffering alcoholics, and getting into gratitude helped to change my perspective and allowed me to not miss being present for the two loves of my life.  It really does!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010 of my favorite tools.

I have been struggling with finding a topic to write about the past few nights.  I think it's because everything is going so well right now.  SCARY... 

This blog has become such a great tool for me to get out of the problem, into the solution and to the point of surrender.  The act of sitting here and writing gets the crazy thoughts out of my head, into my arm and out onto paper (well the paper of the 21st century).  It helps me straighten out the fact from the fiction I produce.  This alcoholic mind certainly spins small pieces of information, half of the story, into blockbuster drama, with me as the star. 

I have found that writing helps me get clear.  To see my motivation behind my actions.  Helps me to get honest.   Shows me that I am sitting in self pity.   Gets me into my now.   Convinces me that I am really okay in this moment.   Changes my perspective and moves me to a place of gratitude.  And, forces me to see my part in all the situations that make me crazy.  I am so grateful tonight for the simple tools I have learned that have given me a life worth living.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The BIG Picture

It is so easy forget, to get caught up in the everyday events of my life and in my self will to try to run it all, try to force what I want to happen.  It is easy for me to forget that my best ideas are the ones that had me drinking at 7 in the morning and thinking that my life was just fine.  I still can't believe how insane my thinking can be at times when I take back my willingness.

The difference today is, when I get quiet and sit with my HP, instead of crazy Melissa, I can get out of my will and feel the will the universe has for me.  I don't always know what the 'right' course of action is, I am still extremely impatient to see what my life has in store for me, and my self will still rears its ugly head...but, today...I can listen to that quiet voice inside me, I can surrender the outcome, and I can trust that my will is not always in line with what is best for me.

Today I got a glimpse of what my path may be, why I have been doing the things I have been doing, why things have worked out just as they have and what the universe has been preparing me for.  It is not what I expected it to look like, but it is amazing none the less.  I am grateful today for all the practice my HP has been giving me, preparing me for what's next, helping me to become the woman I was meant to be.  Grateful to see evidence that doing the next right thing and surrendering the outcome works.  Let go and let G.O.D.

Monday, October 4, 2010

No Matter What

Not having to pick up no matter what, has felt like the theme of the last few meetings I have been to. 

Yesterday in a meeting, the chair shared how he has walked through so much in recovery, including the death of his 29 year old son at 13 years sober.  He said that, although it was one of the most painful experiences of his life and the urge to escape was overwhelming, he was at a meeting 500 miles from home, six hours later.  And what do you know, he heard exactly what he needed to hear.  He ran into a man that had lost his daughter at 9 years sober.  He was celebrating 9 months that day.  What he shared was simple but profound, 'When I came to, my daughter was still dead.  It changed nothing.'.  All the feelings were still there waiting for him, but were now compounded by guilt and shame and all the wreckage to clean up.

I felt compelled to share this story at the meeting I went to tonight after someone shared the pain she was experiencing as a result of a friend's suicide over the weekend.  Today she was celebrating 13 years clean and as much as she wanted to run, she had not. 

What I know from my own experience is life is going to continue to happen.  For me...divorce, loss of my job and my home, loss of love, severe depression, difficult people, places and things.  Nowhere is it promised to be perfect.  What is promised is that I will have a new way to get through it, sometimes gracefully, sometimes not, but through it none the less.  I don't have to pick up NO MATTER WHAT!!  And the great thing is, if I use the tools I have been blessed to learn in this program, I can have peace amongst the storm.  What a gift!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

More practice...thanks??

Trying to be grateful tonight.  Grateful that I am sober and have tools to deal with this ever-exciting rollercoaster ride of my life. 

It really just keeping coming doesn't it?

I told my sponsor I was tired of practicing last week.  Thinking my HP might agree and pull back some of the life lessons for a couple of days, I also directed that comment upward.  I told her that I'm pretty sure that the universe is taking advantage of my willingness and giving me as much as possible because who knows how long it will last.

My main challenge as of late is to continue to live by spirtual principles, to act responsibly and with integrity, in situations where I want to say, FUCK IT!  Instead, I continue to try desparately to get my heart in line with my head and get out of this self will and in line with want the universe wants. 

Doncha know that this alcoholic wants what she wants, when she wants it dammit!  I want to scream, I've got patience down...can we please move on already.  I guess that is just proof that I don't.  So gratitude it is.  Yay!!! More practice!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's not me, it's you...oh wait.

I got to work today and hated my first table.  Then the next, then the next.  Everyone at work was pissing me off.  Douche Bags...I want to punch you all in your faces!!

The thought started to come to me that it must be me, but I quickly pushed that away.  No!  They really are!

I acted like a baby all day.  Finally got off, way later than I thought I would, rushing very excited to pick up the kids.   That will snap me out of it.  After about 5 minutes, they got added to the list of poeple that were driving me crazy.  It was one of those nights where I had zero patience and couldn't wait to put them into bed.  Now that they are in bed, I will find peace I thought. 

Nope!  Now my cat is acting like an asshole (can't take credit for that line...came from a cool girl I know ♥ ).  Getting in the trash.  Knocking shit over.   

The thought has come back to me that maybe it is me.  After rethinking my day, I am positive that it was my perspective and my unwillingmess to choose to be happy.  My bad attitude was the cause of all those crappy interactions. 

That table that hated me.  The coworker I ignored all day.  The people I snapped at.  My ego driven tantrum.  The children that were driving me crazy.   All could have been so much different.  I got stuck in my head today and made sure that I stayed miserable.   I would say what a wasted day, but it was a good reminder that I am in control of my behavior, my reactions and what I put out into the world.

Self dark dishonesty

Characters defects?  Yep!!  This trip through the steps has felt so much more thorough and rigorously honest.  Probably why it has been so much more uncomfortable.  Staring that crazy girl in the face and not running away has been intensely unpleasant and humbling, but equally rewarding.

Some of what have I discovered...

Such an intense need for you to like me.  Refuse to tell my truth if I think it will disturb that delicate balancing act I do, thinking I can control you and your emotions and reactions.  Master of manipulation.  Not direct.  Passively aggressively go after what I want.  Never make waves.  Stay under the radar.  Keep up the image that I have it all together.  Dark places stay in check.  Definitely never want you to think you have hurt me or affected me.  Reject before rejection.  A thousand rules, you must follow, that I will never tell you about.  Fear driven. 

Oh this ever peeling onion.  This incredible journey of self discovery.   Each time through the steps, I have come to know myself better, know the motives behind the actions of the girl I lovingly refer to as crazy Melissa.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moment of reflection...

With my birthday month coming to a close, tonight was the last meeting I got to say, hi I'm Melissa and I am an alcoholic and I had 6 years on the 15th.  It has been a great month of reflection.  Remembering what it used to be like and what it is like today.  A sharp contrast to say the least.

There was a woman at tonight's meeting with 6 days, crying out to be done, speaking of powerlessness and unmanageablity.  It took me back to that first meeting.  Sobbing.  Miserable.  Hopeless.  In disbelief that this is what my life had become.  I was an alcoholic.  I had become what I said I never father. 

I hear people talk about how it quit working for them at the end and how unmanageable their lives had become.  In it, I had no idea that this was my truth.  It had stopped working to just drink on the weekends.  Then it stopped working to drink only after I got home from work.  It eventually quit working to try to control it at all.  All of my nevers had become reality.  I needed to be drunk 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  There were only about 4-5 hours during the day that I wasn't putting in and somehow this didn't register as a problem to me.  The denial was so powerful.

It didn't seem wrong to have no recollection of teaching 5th and 6th period, driving from there to pick up my 2 and 4 year old.  It seemed normal to stop at the liquor store every morning, not being able to wait until that first drink began to quiet the storm ravaging my mind and body.  The twenty empty vodka bottles in my car went unnoticed by me, that is until my husband lined them all up on the kitchen counter.  Even then I was like...and?  I never had any desire or saw a point in doing it any differently than how I was doing it, completely and utterly wasted.  Each day needing to drink more than the last, in the end it still not being enough to escape the hopeless existence my life had become.

The hopeless existence I speak of was a complete spiritual bankruptcy.  I thought there were no real consequences for my drinking.  I still had my job, my house, and my family for the moment.  No Dui's.  No jail.  No CPS.  Not because I shouldn't have had those things happen.  I was just never caught.  All my yets...still waiting for me.

My bottom consisted of me caring of nothing but my next drink, being completely resentful of my children and husband for being a distraction from that oblivion, absent and unavailable, and having not one clear moment for last six months.  My consequences were there.  I was just unable to register them because from the outside it all still looked presentable.

I never want to forget that hopelessness.  I never want to forget getting caught by my husband driving drunk with the kids that last night.  Him saying, this is it!  Get help or get out!  I never want to forget that I am powerless over alcohol and all that unamanageability that waits for me, so patiently.  That last drunk, that hopeless state, and all those yets are the tape I play for myself when that crazy thought occurs to me that maybe I could control it this time, maybe I am not really an alcoholic, maybe I am cured.

When I remember to be grateful, I recognize how awesome my life is today.   I have hope.  I feel like a woman of worth.  I am present for my children, family and friends.  Life stills happens.  There is no denying that.  I don't do it perfectly.  I can still make it unmanageable, but if I am willing, the solution is there to do it differently.  I can walk through anything, with grace and integrity.  Today, I am filled with gratitude to have that choice.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

What's my motivation? Fuck...nevermind.

Nothing stops me in my tracks faster than when I tell my sponsor my next big plan and she asks me that question...What's your motivation Melissa?  If I'm honest with her and more importantly with myself, my answer usually turns out to be that I am trying to somehow manipulate the person or situation to get my way, to make someone see my point of view, or seething in my resentment and self righteous anger, feel the need punish someone for some perceived wrong doing.

Today I don't want to have to manipulate to get love and acceptance.  Honestly, I am finding that I really don't have to.  Not every relationship looks the way I want them to for sure, but I have faith in the universe's plan for me.  If it's really meant to be, no tricks are required on my part.  If it's not, something just as beautiful will cross my path, that I have to be open and willing to receive.  Side's not gonna kill me to be alone!  I want my happiness to radiate from within, not need someone to justify my worth and existence.

Today I know that everyone does not have to see or understand my vision.  My reality is just reality.  I can allow others to experience their dream.  One of my favorite sayings, do I want to be right or do I want to be happy?  Is arguing here worth losing my serenity?  My ex and I will not always agree on what is best for our kids.  Rude people that cross my path do not need to be convinced of their error in social graces.  My tables do not require my judgement.  None of these thoughts have need to occupy my mind.   I can listen to other's points of view, taking what I like and leaving the rest.

The beautiful thing to me about resentments is that I always have a part in their creation.  In some way, my pride and ego have been smashed, I'm not getting what I think I deserve, I am holding on to something that was never mine in the first place, I am not getting my way.  When I see my part, accept the situation just as it is and let go of the resentment, I let go of the need I think I have to get even or make someone know just how much they hurt me.

When I pause today, I get to the point that I remember my motivation is to bring peace and happiness to those around me and find peace and happiness within myself.  If what I want to do in the moment doesn't achieve those goals, I have to say, thanks for sharing crazy Melissa, but we won't be doing that today.

Becoming present

In the midst of it all, no one could have convinced me that I was not a present mother.  I was there everyday.  I made breakfast, lunch and dinner.  I took them to school.  I picked them up.  They got bathed every night, teeth brushed, clean clothes.  There are plenty of pictures to prove my existence. 

What those pictures won't show is that I was at least a bottle deep at any given moment.  My body was there.  I performed my duties, filled with resentment.  I sat there outside every night in that vacant drunk cloud, in that blue chair, watching them play, glass in hand.  I was there, but I wasn't, not really.

My day today...I took them to school.  I picked them up.  I made dinner.  They got baths, teeth brushed, clean clothes.  Pictures to prove my existence.  The difference...we had fun together.  We played.  We talked.  I listened to their day and shared mine.  The stupid TV was off.  Engaged in an intense Mamma Mia dance off.  Made beautiful memories.   I was here and I really was, loving every minute of it!

Extreme Hot Wheels race, leaving massive toy explosion in the dust.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My happy song choice of the night!!!!

Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten (US Version)

Everything passes

On the other side of the tantrum today, quicker than in the past, thanks to the willingness to choose this way of life over the other.  Having plenty of experience with being happy, joyous and free sure makes it uncomfortable to sit in my shit.  My old best friend misery definitely is not as much fun as I remember it to be.  I have a strong belief today that my suffering is a choice, as is my happiness.

Pretty simple stuff about it, write about it, pray about it, work with others.  I think I might get it tattooed on my arm forearm for those special occasions of willfulness and self pity. 

Nothing is really different today, except my perspective.  Everything is okay in this moment.  Getting there was as easy as starting my day with prayer and meditation, putting on the happy tunes, talking to a newcomer, calling my sponsor, reading a new book, dinner/dance off with the kids.  All resulted in me finding my gratitude...getting me into the solution and out of the problem that centers in my mind. 

I was reminded tonight that everyday is a victory if I don't pick up.  I may not do it perfectly, but I'm not expected to.  As long as I'm not drinking, things will always improve and there is a hope.  When I do drink, all bets are off.  I have the chance to do it differently at any point.  Just because I take my willingness back doesn't mean I can't turn it over again and again if necessary.  Today, I am willing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Feeling very lost tonight

Serious case of the fuck its today.  Feeling totally overwhelmed and alone.  My path does not seem clear in the least.  I don't feel like I am getting any insight by doing that next right thing at all.  I am struggling with finding peace and gratitude in my now.  Today I read, prayed and mediated and still willfully chose path B to escape my discomfort, which of course leaves me with all those feelings of guilt and shame.

My options now...continue to act out my self destruction and sit in my self pity or make a conscious choice to do it different.    Turning off this sad sack music will be choice one...Mamma Mia soundtrack, work your magic!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reason, Season, And A Lifetime

People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you will know exactly what to do.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go..
Some people become friends and stay awhile...
leaving beautiful footprints on our hearts...
and we are never quite the same because we have made a good friend!!!
I stumbled across this tonight while screwing around online.  (I can't find an author name so my apologies for not giving proper credit. ) It still amazes me how when I am willing, I hear, or read in this case, exactly what I need to.   

I have always struggled with letting people pass from my life. Friends, family, sponsors, sponsees, lovers.   It has never been a graceful or peaceful process to watch.  My tantrums have been especially magnificent with love.   I am making progress in that department.  My outside reactions are improving, but the agonizing feelings of abandonment still persist when I insist on sitting in my suffering.

Tonight I am practicing feeling gratitude for the people in my life, past and present.  Thank you for allowing me opportunities to practice.  Thank you for teaching me what I needed to know.  Thank you for helping me to grow.  Thank you for inspiring me,  Thank you for loving me.

Needed the serenity prayer tonight for sure

The whole story is not important.  A rotten banana, an ex, and me with two paths to choose from.  The end result was feeling like I intuitively knew how to handle a situation that would have baffle the crap out of me in the past and would have resulted in me acting like a complete asshole. I still feel like I have been hit by the sad train, but also feel like the big girl panties are firmly in place.

As always, the only thing I have control over is me and my reactions to other people's behavior.    What I wanted to do and what actually happened turned out to be two completely different things. 

Hello first instinct.  Nice to hear from you and thanks for sharing. 

I can't say enough for that trusty tool of pausing.  After pausing for what felt like an eternity, probably only 5 seconds in reality, I was hit with words that did not feel like my own and actions that were contrary to my nature. 

After a 911 call to my sponsor, prayer, writing a post that I have since edited, more prayer and more writing, my anger has transformed into disbelief, shock to sadness, hurt to acceptance, acceptance to serenity, with no misbehavior in between on my part to clean up.  This looks so much different then a list of actions I would have taken in the past and certainly has prodigious results for this alcoholic.

In this moment, I am sad. It hurts, but I can sit with it. The whole body tornado feeling is gone. I am not feeling the need to run or go out and cause wreckage. I am feeling grateful for the opportunity to practice acting like my best self and staying on my side of the street. I definitely would have acted differently in the past, but today after pausing, I acted in a way that was in accordance with the person I want to be.  On this night, I am grateful for living the promise of intuitively knowing how to deal with situations that used to baffle me.

Thanks HP...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Finding the willingness to be willing

This nicotine addiction has me by the balls, well the metaphoric balls at least.  I am now chewing more than I ever have.  I know that it is tremendously unhealthy and has become a pretty expensive habit, not to mention it is totally disgusting!  More than that though, is that I have recognized over the past year what a slave I am to it...I hate that most of all

I am to the point that I realize it is a problem and it is totally unmanageable.  What I have learned from past experience is that until I realize there is a problem I can not get into the solution.  The solution is the same as it is with everything else in my life...take it to the steps. 

Step one...check.  It's gonna kill me.  I can't afford it.  The ladies don't dig it!

Step two...coming to believe that a power greater than me can restore me to sanity in this situation.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this can happen.  I have plenty of experience seeing it in many other places in my life.  It doesn't change the fact that I am scared.  I have been holding on so tightly to this security blanket, the negative coping skill I feel okay participating in to take me out of myself. 

Will I completely fall apart?  Will I punch everyone I meet in their faces?  Will I have any friends left after the process?

My answer is that I may have moments of insanity, I may want to punch everyone in their faces, and I may be bitchy to my friends and family, but...I will be able to find relief from it whenever I choose to by surrendering and asking for help.

Step three...made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of this power.  Here is where it gets sticky for me.  I don't know why the decision feels so final right now.  I know that the store is right down the road if I change my mind.  As my sponsor has said, "I'm not going to forget how to..."  I know that just like anything else it is one day at a time, one hour at a time, or even one moment at a time.

In this moment I am not entirely willing, but I have seen great miracles happen by just praying for the willingness to be willing.  So here I am, doing that for now.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My morning theme song...Don't judge me. It works.

So here's my deep...dark..secret.    Wait for it.    I love teen pop. 

Being a mother of an 8 and a 10 year old, I watch a lot of Nickelodeon.  Not to mention having every episode of spongebob memorized, I also own and rock out to every Miranda Cosgrove (iCarly) and Victoria Cast (Victorious) song.  This song snaps me out of anything.  The message to me...
you are strong.  you are beautiful.  everything is possible.  Now go out and rock this day!

Self Pity...what a beast!!

Not getting what I want and what I think I need, in the time frame I think I want and need it, which is RIGHT NOW!!.  (sigh...and a big fat poor me)

The first place I go to is the ginormous, black cave of my self pity.  Fuck it's lonely in there, even when I'm not alone.   Luckily today, that cave feels so uncomfortable that I don't like to set up camp there for long.  Instead, if I am willing to be willing, I reluctantly pick up the new tools in my belt to dig myself out and find the sunlight of the spirit.  Go to a meeting.  Work with others.  Talk about it.  Write about it.  Surrender it.   Get into acceptance and let go.   Trust.

The result is not a jump up and down kind of happiness, but a quiet peace and serenity.  I can be useful to my fellows in this place, out of that ridiculous place where it is all about me. 

The feeling of uselessness and self pity slipping away...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Promises

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could do for ourselves. Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, the Big Book)
Amazed I am!  I remember hearing them read and talked about in meetings when I first came in, thinking I might get that one, but never those other ones.  It did not seem possible to not fear, know how to handle my life and the situations in it, trust that a higher power had my back or even gave a shit about me, or get over the past and all the guilt and shame I had associated with it. 

This last year, however, has brought with it the fulfillment of each and every one of these promises to my life.  It has felt like magic, but I know it can be attributed to my willingness to be willing, to do what it takes, and to try to do things differently. 

I would like my goal for the next several days to be to write about how each one of these promises has manifested itself,.  What it has looked like to me.  We'll see.  I might get distracted with other stuff, like life happening.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Big girl panties

Fear tends to paralyze me and usually turns out to be totally irrational.  I make things out to be so much bigger in my head.  I think the worst will happen in most situation.  As a result, I do not take care of business and procrastinate until it is so uncomfortable or the consequences arrive that force me to take action. 

Can't pay a bill, ignore it.  Afraid of what's in the mail, don't get it or get it and leave it unopened.  Feels too big to tackle, back burner it until I forget about it.  A truth that needs to be talked about, convince myself that it's not really that important or the right time.  Big amends to make, rationalize again that it is not the right time.  If I pretend there is no problem it will go away.

What I have found is, I can get them out of my mind for the moment, but they are lurking out there, waiting for me, feeding on my serenity.  I remember all that stuff as I am trying to fall asleep.  Answering the question as to why I am blogging and facebooking into the night, sleeping on the couch with the tv on, and waking up throughout the night, not being able to go back to sleep.  Well, that and the stupid scary movies I watch...Drag Me to Hell has kept me up more than one night in the last week and has made me want to be super nice to strangers.  That old lady was scary.

Sorry, back to the topic at hand.  By pretending there is no problem, I can never get into the solution.  Everything is not out of my control and my only job is taking care of stuff in that department.  Everything does not need to be surrendered

So here it is, I have a problem with fear keeping me from doing what's in front of me, the next right thing. 

The solution...get my big girl panties on and face those fears, real or fancied.  I got the mail tonight and opened it all.  Made a couple of phone calls to take care of some business.  Made a list of everything I need to get done.  Set aside a day this week to run all over town to get shit done.  Practiced telling a little bit of my truth.
I know all of this sounds like really basic stuff, but for this alcoholic, who had no life skills, it feels big.  A little scary and a bit overwhelming, but manageable.  How could it not?  I've got the big girl panties on and my HP by my side.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I have been contemplating my attitude problem from the weekend and have come up with a few things. 
Too much of anything does not serve me well. 
I have a strong tendency to do everything to excess. 
Filling every waking moment does not leave me time to reconnect with myself or take care of my responsibilities with the care and attention to detail that they sometimes require. 
I wish I could say that for today I am going to sit here the rest of the evening, relax and not run off to the next event, but alas band hero is calling my name.  I think I will try to fit myself in tomorrow and schedule some quiet home and couch time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

My cave sounds really, really good right now

I am struggling more tonight than I have in a very long time.  I have been lying in bed for the past hour trying to process my day and shut this head up.  I was almost successful when I was sent spinning all over again.  It is all definitely over nothing I can do anything about right in this moment and knowing that usually helps.  I can usually put it in a pot on the back burner of the imaginary stove in my mind, but after the craziness of this!!!

The solution that I have come up with...
Hide away and never come out.  Lock the door.  Close the blinds.  Turn off the lights.  Don't talk to anyone because I can't get hurt that way.  Don't ever put myself out there because if no one knows me, I am safe.  Give up trying because right now in this moment it doesn't feel like it, whatever it is, is working at all.

What I know from past experience, as a result of my insistence to do all of these things over and over again, is that place is miserable.  It's miserable because I am still there, alone with my miserable self.  No one can hurt me, but no one is there to share any joy with either.  I really do hate that place.  So as great as my cave sounds right now, it does not sound like the solution I am looking for today. 

I will stay present in the world.  Keep trying what has worked it the past.  Trust that this too shall pass.  Surrender this nonsense.  And most of all, remember that I am okay right here, right now, in this moment. 

Things that made me happy today...

I have discovered that so often, my happiness is about perspective, about choosing to be that way.   Living in the get to, instead of have to.  Remembering that there is so much in my life that makes me happy.  Being grateful for all the things that make my life so full and worth living.

My Day...

Before school walk with my awesome kids
Fun with my friends at work
Very nice tables
When my son handed me and my daughter our hamburgers and said, "Your hamburger my lady.  Your hamburger my second lady."
Great drive with my babies with some terrific singing and dancing
Fantastic homemade apple crisp courtesy of my sister, Chef J
Making silly videos with my family
Figuring out genealogy with the best mom ever

I could definitely make a list of my day that made it look terrible, find all the negative. What's the point in that?!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

In all my affairs

So what's the point and how can it make a difference in my life if I I'm not trying my best to practice living by the spiritual principles of honesty, openmindedness, willingness and kindness, on a daily basis, in all that I do.

Today's opportunities to practice and results...

1.  Cut off in traffic dropping the kids off at school...did not react.  My kids did not hear me call them an idiot.  I did not have to flip them off.  I did not have to chase after them.
2.  Confrontation with a coworker...Told my truth, didn't yell or get offensive.  Ignored him unfairly the rest of the day.

3.  Friend hurt my feelings...pretended it didn't happen, fake friendly for the next 20 minutes.  Stupid pride and ego!

4.  My 85 year old regular at work broke up with me...graciously let him do it and didn't have to say WTF...first of all I hung out with you to keep you company and second, I had no interest in you like that weirdo.  You're old and I'm gay!

5.  My son told me on the drive home today that kids were picking on him at school and calling him gay...wanted to turn the car around and make a big scene at school.  Came home, talked about his feelings, and hopefully gave him some positive coping skills.
6.  Kids got up 5 times after I put them in bed...1st time patient.  2nd time patient.  3rd, 4th, 5th time not so patient and kinda mean.
7.  Made contact with someone and practiced not worrying about rejection or expecting a certain outcome
My assessment of the day is that I definitely did not do it perfectly.  The guy at work didn't deserve to be ignored.  My friend could have handled knowing that my feelings were hurt.  I still operate out of reject before rejection.  What I know today is that I will never do it perfect.  The gift is in being aware of my part and trying to do it better next time.  I can usually recognize when I'm not, by the uncomfortable feeling I get.  I never let myself feel that feeling before because I was always trying to escape it.  Today though, I can see my part and I try make any necessary amends, with the promise that I will try to do it better in the future.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What keeps me coming back??

I talked to a sponsee tonight and she shared with me the topic of the meeting she went to tonight...what keeps me coming back?

What does keep me coming back? 

For the longest time, fear was my major motivator.  I was so terrified I was going to drink, which would mean losing my babies.  I did it for them and only them for a long, long time.  So, going to meetings gave me the support to believe I could do it one more day, one more miserable day.  If I planned on going to a meeting, I probably wouldn't drink before hand and I usually heard something that kept me driving down the freeway and straight home, holding my breath as I passed all my favorite places.

The motivation has changed today however.  I like the peace I have found in my life, I enjoy being happy, and I try like hell to keep it.  I go to meetings, work with others, talk to newcomers, give rides because it reminds me of that old place I used to live in and the place I do not want to revisit.  My crazy me is kept in check.  I go because I always hear what I need to hear.  I hear how someone else has walked through exactly what I am attempting to walk through and they didn't have to pick up or act a fool.  I am not terminally unique.  I go because that is where I am reminded that it really is simple, if I am willing.  I go to give back what has been given to me.

When I first came in, I thought I would learn a few tricks to stay sober and that would be that.  I couldn't understand why people with 30 years were still going to meetings...they must be slow learners.  Today I know that I have learned a different way to live, happy and peaceful.  I have a daily reprieve, contingent on my spiritual maintenance.  I can't wait to be that 60 year old woman sitting there with 30 years, still willing and still teachable.

Monday, September 6, 2010

August 11, 2009...the decision

I have been doing a lot of reflecting over the past month, with my sobriety birthday looming on the horizon and all.  I have been thinking about where I was last year in comparison to this year and it stills amazes me how much of a night and day contrast they are. 

The following journal entry was made after the famous meeting with my sponsor, in which I told her I was miserable and done, but I was willing to give it one more real shot.  If it didn't work, which I was convinced it would not, I was done old friend alcohol and I were reuniting.  What I didn't realize at the time was that I had never really been willing to give my recovery 100%.  Now that I read it however, it sounds a lot more positive than I remember feeling.  Anyway, blah, blah, blah, here's the journal entry... 


Coming up on five years sober, I expected thing to be quite a bit different. In sobriety, I have gotten a divorce, lost my job, been very close to killing myself, spent about 3 months in the psych ward, and lost what I thought was the love of my life. Through it all I have not had to pick up a drink and have had many times of peace and serenity, but for the last year I have had no emotional sobriety at all. It is a miserable place to be.

The thing is, I know the right things to do in order to get there. I have know them from probably the first six months of sobriety, but the weird thing is, on a regular basis, I choose not do them. I choose not to do this simple program which will bring me to a place where I can be happy, joyous, and free.

With 33 days until my fifth year that all changes. I have decided to give this program my all and prove to myself that I can be in the best place in my life by doing these few simple things, praying and writing daily, going to a meeting every day that I don’t have my children, calling my sponsor for a daily check in and starting over with the steps. This is my challenge for myself and hopefully my gift to myself for my fifth year of sobriety.
Well, I have to report that none of the outside stuff has changed...still not working in my field, still struggling with relationships, money sucks, kids are challenging.  The difference comes in my attitude towards it all.  Gratitude for practice.  Doing what's in front of me.  Surrendering what's out of my control.  I am definitely not happy all the time, but I can find peace anytime I make the conscious choice.  I'll take that for today.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

If I'm not the problem, there is no solution.

So.  This fourth step is definitely doing it's job and kicking my ass.  Hello character defects and self awareness...nice to meet you.  I am not finding it comfortable looking the ugliest parts of me in the face, not one bit...same recurring themes over and over and over.  But, seeing them on paper and talking about them with another person has sure given me some motivation to try practicing something different, hopefully with different results.  It's letting me let go of all those old resentments and see that I had a huge part in most of them..  Today, I don't want to repeat the patterns that have kept me trapped in my cycle of anger and self-pity (NA Step Working Guide p 34),.  Instead, I will be asking the Great and Powerful Oz for courage,  courage to change me, because as I heard once, "if I'm not the problem, there is no solution".

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fun? In Sobriety?

I'm pretty sure I thought I would never have fun again.  Not sober!!  I needed at least 3 drinks of the liquid courage to be able to talk to people and at least 10 to do anything as crazy as karaoke or dancing.  Bowling?  Boring.  Lunch with friends?  Boring.  First dates?  Relationships?  Sober sex?  Scary!!  Get some drinks in me though and I was the life of any party.  I thought that Me was dead forever the minute I walked through the doors.

What a crazy thought that turned out to be.  Today, I can sing my ass off to band hero, dance my ass off at the club, even just hang out with friends and have a fantastic time, all sober.  Dating, relationships, sex...check, check, and check

I have found that this inside job has lead me to self love, resulting in self confidence.  Not better than, but right sized.  I can definitely still  feel less than.  I still hate rejection.  Most of the time though, I can be okay with being just me, being enough.  Wow, how this has let me not care so much what other people think about me.  There is such a huge freedom in that.  Today, I love my life and I am so grateful for the friends that help to make it that way!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I feel a tantrum coming on...aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!

Whenever I feel like this, the source is almost always fear and the tantrum almost always consists of me behaving badly, making choices that do not have my best interests at heart,.  So, for a few minutes of escape and relief, I pay the price.  It never leaves me feeling any better and almost always results in the 'big stupid mess' to clean up, including all the guilt and shame. 

For the first 5 years of sobriety, I beat myself up that this was still my go to place.  Still my first thoughts.  I felt like I must be doing something wrong in my recovery if I my first instinct was to still drink, die, or run and reek havoc.  The resolution I have come to today is that my old thinking and that dark place inside me may never go away.  As uncomfortable as that is, there is hope in knowing that if I pause, I can usually find the healthy me.  The one that can write about it, talk about it, pray about it.   The one that has learned positive ways to deal with my feelings.  The relief is usually not as immediate, but the effect definitely more lasting.

So tonight, I will be writing about these fears and letting them go.  I will be doing what's in front of me.  I will take control over what I can, which is my behavior and my actions.  And, have faith that peace and serenity will soon follow.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I LOVE Wednesdays!!

I had been out of the official service commitment arena for probably the last 2 years.    No committed sponsees.  No secretary positions.  Not a greeter.  Not pouring coffee.  Not really even talking at meetings.  Go figure, I felt pretty disconnected and definitely not in the center.  When I decided to pick up my recover last August, the thought of service really didn't enter my mind.  I committed to write every day, call my sponsor more regularly, work the steps again, and go to meetings when I didn't have children (2 one week and 5 the next), but not service.  I think that shows how in my head I was.  Not a good place for this alcoholic to be!!

So, back to why I love Wednesdays.  About four months ago, there was an announcement about teleservice at a meeting that I wasn't even suppose to be at. 

Quick story...I was crying my eyes out that day. I wanted to pack it in. I was in full self destruction mode. I paused, thankfully, and remembered that a meeting might take me out of it and if it didn't I could always self destruct after that. I went to the was canceled. FUCK!! Alright, self destruct time.
                              Pause. Prayer.

I decided to go home and look for another meeting. Cool, another meeting very close. I drove over there. It was in some apartment complex. Couldn't find it. FUCK!!
Pause. Prayer.
I called my sponsor in tears as I continued to look. She patiently talked me down, like she always does and told me about another meeting across town that I could make if I left right then. I made that meeting. It was not canceled and it was right where it was suppose to be. I was so pissed though. First, I had been driving around and looking for 2 hours and second, when I got there it was a podium meeting and I had signed that stupid list (I haven't shared this yet, but I hate, hate, hate to talk in meetings and standing up at a podium...screw that. But, I committed to be willing to do anything for my recovering, so...) . Of course I got called on and I talked. And I felt better. 
I knew in that moment, the reason I was suppose to be at that meeting...I needed to get into service.  I gave the girl my number and started like a month later.

I was terrified that first night, but it was fantastic.  I got 12 calls!!  Most just looking for a meeting, hopefully that they all found without 2 hours of searching, and a few that needed more than that.  Some with two days, others with years.  Some probably drunk.  Some fresh off a relapse.  Some from out of town.  Some just wanting to talk.  All, however, took me out of myself from 5-9 and have every week since.  Magic!!  I love Wednesdays!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Start of the Journey

Six years ago today, I took my last drink.  One last willful swig and a full bottle of vanilla Absolut fell reluctantly into the trash between the pumps of that am/pm.  I thought my life was over.  And it was.  That life.  That state of hopeless mind and body.  I had no idea the journey that was to begin that day.

Today, however, is not my sobriety birthday.  For about two weeks after that I was still stealing my husband's codeine to sleep, which I found out later was...let's just say...'frowned upon'.  So, after about six months, I picked a safe date, a date I knew that I was really clean.  Not knowing what the real date was, I flipped through the Daily Reflections and found a reading that spoke to me.

September 15
A New Life

Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that.  It is a fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous.  Life will mean something at last.  AA Big Book p 152
Yes!!  That's what I found.  A way to do things differently.  A way to change my life.  A way to make it mean something and become present for the ones in it, instead of being the checked out mother, wife, sister, daughter, teacher I had become.  The hopeless, broken, 'Crazy Me' found a place where other people told the same stories and had the same feelings.  They welcomed me, told me to keep coming back.  I saw that they were happy and I wanted that too.  I believed them.  I just kept believing, even when I didn't.  The only thing that I had to do perfectly was just not to pick up, no matter how badly I wanted to.  I finally got it.  It took me five long, long years, but I finally got it.  

Is my life always well and wonderful??  Hell no!!  Life still happens.  My stuff is still unmanageable sometimes.  I still struggle with money, my ex's, relationships, my kids, work.  My glaring character defects still jump up and slap me and others in the face.  There are still days that I want to close the blinds, lock the door and not talk to anyone.  The difference today is that I don't have to hide from any of it.  I don't have to use something to escape it.  I can feel it.  I can face it head on.  I can have peace and serenity through it all.  The disclaimer here is...if I choose to.   Today, I do. 

Thank you to my family and my ex husband.  Thank you Never on Tuesdays.  Thank you B, S, K, J, J, M, M, L, C.  Thank you to my two fantastic sponsers.  Thank you CDRP.  And thank you 'Crazy Me' for finally having some willingness. 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Standing up inside myself...

I went to a retreat last weekend and heard some awesome stuff, but the thing that stuck with me the most was the phrase..."I am standing up inside of myself."  What a cool mental picture of finding out who I truly want to be, living and going after what I want with this integrity, and having the courage of my convictions.

I have thought about it when I have told my truth.  I have thought about it when I have been the mother I want to be.  I have thought about it in dealings with my ex and every other relationship in my life.  I have thought about it when I am doing just what is in front of me.  And I have thought about when I have fallen short of these ideals.

I know I can't control a lot of things...other people's behavior makes the top of that list.  I can, however, control my behavior and my reactions.  I can realize that they are acting out of their own values and beliefs.  Their place of integrity.  I can give them that and I can have mine.

Today, I will be 'standing up inside myself' and in there, I am the only one that can knock me down!!  ♥

Friday, August 27, 2010

Service...what a gift

When I started sponsoring other women, I was so excited to give back what was so freely given to me.  To somehow put a dent in the debt I thought I owed.  To share my experience, strength and hope with someone else.  To share with someone how I have gone from the point of feeling like I could never quit drinking, being completely broken, knowing I was a total piece of shit and thinking that I would never be able to do things any differently, to the place I am at today...truly believing that I am a woman of worth, doing my best to be the woman I was meant to be (most days...progress, not perfection).  What a gift!

What I didn't expect was how much this act would help me.  There is nothing like working with another addict to get me out of myself.  My sick head shuts up, my racing and obsessive thinking stops, and my self pity slips away.  Suddenly, I am not in my head.  I am in the solution, my recovery gets stronger, and I stay clean another day.  I would say that these women will never know the gift they have given to me, but I believe they will someday, when they share their experience, strength and hope with someone else and they give and get that gift back.

Shout out to my girls...Thank you for being a part of my recovery.  Thank you for allowing me the honor and privilege to be your sponsor.  I love you.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I want to see the top!!!

I totally feel like my life is this giant, million piece puzzle right now. I've got a bunch of the background stuff done.  The corners are coming together nicely, but I can't quite figure out what it's suppose to look like and fuck if I haven't lost the top, so I can't cheat and look at the finished masterpiece to help me see what part I should be putting together next.  Is it a beautiful river scene, with a full moon reflecting off the water or something totally different?

What's the right thing to do with my kids?  What should I be doing about my career?  And relationships?...UUGGHH

I know I can't sit by and do nothing, expecting everything to fall into me, but I also can't sit in this spinning mind of mine and force my will in every situation.

What I have been told is...Surrender the outcome.  Do the next right thing.  Stay open to paths in front of me.  Be willing.  Leave the rest to my higher power. 

I sure would like to see the top, but for today I will trust that whatever the scene, it's going be better than I ever would have imagined for myself.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Not feeling it

Right now, in this moment, I am not feeling it.  I am not feeling connected...not at all, not one bit.  Kids are fighting.  Money SUCKS!  Love hurts.  And, I am stuck in this gigantic pity pot!!

What I do know from experience is that I can sit in this shit and spin out of control and ultimately cause some sort of wreckage that I will have to clean up...or, I can do something to get myself out of it.  I am always afraid to try to do the things that I know have worked in the past because I am so scared that they won't work this time and I won't find peace.  I am terrified that if they don't work, it will destroy my faith in the process.  I don't know why I still cling to the belief that I am that fragile.  Things that I am talking about are writing about it, talking about it and praying about it.  I know in the past, it gets me to a point to turn it, whatever it is, over to the care of God as I understand God, but I am always afraid to do it. 

What if it doesn't work this time, then what?  I will have to drink, that's what!  If I just hold on to it, I won't be disappointed and I, and all of my self will, will figure a way out of it.  Or, this is too big, even for my God to handle!!  (All my stupid self talk)

When I first started trying this I did it with urges to drink.  Wanting to drink so bad.  Deciding to drink.  Driving up to the liquor store..  I would sit out front with every intention of doing it, saying, "fuck this and fuck AA!"  For some reason, every time, I paused to say a little dare prayer to my God..."I'm gonna do it!!  But, if you want to help, be my guest." 

Once I went into the store, went up to the guy behind the counter and said I wanted cigarettes.  The next thing out of my mouth was going to be, "and some vanilla Absolute".  Before I could say that next part he said, "I quit smoking 20 years ago.  I quit drinking 30 years ago"  In my mind, I was like, "FUCK!!  Why, why, why, are you telling me this??"  I was able to say however, "Wow, I have like 6 months" and walk out with just the smokes.  Another time, same dare prayer, I walked in and there was an AM radio show playing in the store about AA.  Another time, again, dare prayer, one of my students was in line behind me. 

Coincidences?  Maybe.  I like to believe that by pausing and uttering those words, I was having the smallest amount of willingness and surrender, even if they were irreverent and contemptuous.  I think had I not uttered those words outside the store, it wouldn't have matter if there was an entire marching band, with 'don't do it banners' and horns singing the praises of AA, carrying Bill W. himself on their shoulders...I would not have seen anything but exactly what I wanted to see, which was a big bottle of relief with the label vodka on the side.

Every time it has worked.  I find peace and serenity every time I am willing.  Each time my faith has grown.  I am not quite as irreverent and contempuous as I used to be.  I have gotten to the point that I trust that it might work with every area of my life.  I have tried it with the big insecurity, my divorce, love, my children, losing jobs, finding a new place to live and yes, even on Crazy Me.  I have seen it work time and time again.

So, here I am, writing about it, trying to talk myself into the fact that everything is just fine, in this moment.  For today I will trust that my HP has my back!!

What do ya know...I feel better!!