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!!