Taking a Spiritual Dump

My introduction to step 4 the first time went something like this….. My sponsor asked me, “Are you powerless over alcohol?” I said, “Yes!” (I know now I didn’t even really know what she was asking nor what my answer meant). She then asked, “Do you believe in a Power greater than your self?” I said, “Yes!” The we prayed the 3rd step prayer and I started writing a 4th step. I was less than a month sober at the time. I went to the library and defined every possible word I could on those worksheets that she gave me. Selfish, Self-esteem, Pride, Ambition, etc. I wanted it to be perfect. I thought it had to be or I would get drunk!

It really didn’t take me to terribly long to do the 4th step in this way, the check off form worksheet method. I got it all completed and prepared to do my 5th step and was nervous as hell. I had never said a lot of these things out loud nor admitted them to myself much less to another person. But I was willing to do whatever it took to get over this life threatening disease that I had figured out that I had. It was on a Sunday and I will never forget it! I told her all that garbage that I had been carrying for 27 years. We laughed, cried, and I realized that I was a very petty person.

She gave me the instructions for my hour of meditation & prayer and I went to do 6&7. I don’t know what the hell happened! I can’t even write well enough to explain it! I was free! I have never felt that light in all my life and I am not sure I have felt that way since that day! I think I could have floated away on a cloud if the just the right wind had blown by. I was lighter than air. I wanted to sing and I AM NOT a good singer. I am a car/shower type singer and I couldn’t have cared less if the whole world could hear me sing. I might have auditioned for American Idol had they been in town. It gives me chills to even think about it!

Knowing what I do now about the information that I didn’t know about the book or my disease, I missed a lot doing the steps in this manner. But I got the effect promised to me in our literature anyways!

“Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.” Big Book page 75

See, I was willing, honest, and open-minded! These, it tells me are indispensable. I have since, been through the book many times; line by line, word for word, with a sponsor. I have never done another 4th step in this manner. They have all been fully written out with all the columns not a check off form My sponsors have made me write not just what was affected but how. They have also made me look at not if I was selfish but how I was selfish. A lot more in depth, but that’s ok because……

“We have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with our Creator, and to discover the obstacles in our path.” Big Book page 72

If that is the point, then if I want more, I must look deeper and I must do more. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like every time I get to my 4th step again I jump for joy and do back flips! But I do know that God always has something in store for me on the other side! My Sponsor tells me the greater the doubt, the greater the awakening! I believe her.

I get the privilege of listening to my sponsee 5th step tonight. When I was telling my sponsor I was nervous about messing up she reminded me that I am just there to listen to her take a spiritual dump so that she can walk a way a little lighter because all that baggage is gonna be gone. I laughed! So here’s to my sponsee and her spiritual dump! I am so grateful I get to be a part of her walk into the Sunlight of the Spirit!


Jose Quervo

When I was growing up, we cleaned house every Saturday morning while listening to country music either on the radio or on our vinyl records. I have fond memories of singing The Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, Kenny Rodgers, Neil Diamond and many others with my mom on Saturdays while cleaning. One song I particularly liked as a child was Jose Quervo by Shelly West. Of course when it topped the charts in 1983 when I was 6, I had no idea that it would 21 years later it would almost be the story of my daily life.

It came out 30 years ago and I heard it on the radio today. I cannot tell you the last time I actually heard it….. probably years ago, but when it came on today I sang every word!!!

Well its Sunday morning
And the sun is shining in my
Eye that is open
And my head is spinning
Was the life of the party
I can’t stop grinning
I had too much tequila last night

Jose Quervo
You are a friend of mine
I like to drink you with
A little salt and lime
Did I kiss all the cowboys
Did I shoot out the lights
Did I dance on the bar
Did I start any fights

Now wait a minute
Things don’t look to familiar
Who is the cowboy who’s sleeping beside me
Well he’s awful cute
But how’d I get his shirt on
I had too much tequila last night

Jose Quervo
You are a friend of mine
I like to drink you with
A little salt and lime
Did I kiss all the cowboys
Did I shoot out the lights
Did I dance on the bar
Did I start any fights

All those little shooters
How I love to drink them down
Come on bartender lets have another round
Well the music is playing
And my spirits are high
Tomorrow might be painful
But tonight we’re going to fly

Jose Quervo
You are a friend of mine….. You get the picture!

It also strikes me as funny that I remember liking that song so much as a child. I was 6 and I know I had NO clue what it was about. It was just a fun song that pretty much could have been my anthem, now that I read the lyrics in black and white. Its not like I think it predestined me to be an alcoholic anymore than my potty training did, I just find it funny.

I’m a song lyric girl. I like beats too, but I love lyrics. I always have! Just asked my husband! He makes fun of me all the time for what he says is terrible taste in music but it is mine!!! It’s not hip, it’s not really cool, but most of the time it does have meaning to me. That being said I like the lyrics to Aerosmith’s Amazing

It’s Amazing
With the blink of an eye you finally see the light
It’s Amazing
When the moment arrives that you know you’ll be alright
It’s Amazing
And I’m sayin’ a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight

Today, I can’t imagine living my life like the lyrics of Jose Quervo! Not that I think it could never happen again for I am not cured of alcoholism. But I do know what to do to keep my disease in an arrested state. To keep “the beast” on lock down it does take work. The Big Book says, “Simple, but not easy, a price had to be paid.” So I will keep paying the price because it is far cheaper than what I would pay for “blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation.” This sober life is the greatest gift I have ever been given, thanks to Gods grace, willingness, honesty and open-mindedness. I am truly blessed!

The Man in The Glass

Just got back from my favorite conference of the year! I will begin today waiting for it to get here again like a kid waits for Christmas every year. It fills up my spiritual soul, that’s not really even the truth! I am overwhelmed with gratitude and still trying to process the whole thing. You know kinda teary, a little mushy, perma-lump in my throat, distracted, stare off in the distance at the empty suitcase kinda thing? I’ve been blogging about what I was like when I got to AA almost 9 years ago, so I am skipping a lot for a” what I am like today” story but I feel it is in order!

I have always been an I want more kinda girl! When I was drinking I never once said, “I feel good enough tonight, I think I’ll go home and read a book.” or “Why don’t you drink tonight and I’ll just be the DD” or “No, I can’t have any ecstasy cuz I’m already drinking and shrooming.” I’m an ALL IN kinda girl! It’s GO time! So why would I do sobriety any different? Well, at times, I have tried! You know, to just do enough to get by and half measure it, but the truth is….. that brings me to an explosion of character defects and then the spiritual unrest that leads back to the bedevilments. You know, trouble with personal relationships, misery, depression, FEAR, worry, financial insecurities, etc.

Where I have always faltered is the disciplines of 10 and 11…. I do 12. Service has been ingrained in me from the get! I have been told from day one:  just like our disease is mental, physical, and spiritual so must our solution be. So, if you aren’t doing step 12, which is service, then your guts are falling out of your triangle. But my 10 and 11 have left A LOT to be desired. Been working towards bettering that here lately with actually doing a meditation in the morning and doing an evening review with a spot check inventory. I also have joined up with a few other women in my group that are wanting more of the spiritual pie. An accountability circle, if you will, to aid each other in growing along this spiritual path. To become the women that God has intended for us to be.

It’s never been the “BIG” stuff that has been the problem! When the shit has hit the fan in my life over the years, I have always known where to go. I hit my knees. I go to a meeting. I dial a number or numbers until someone answers. I KNOW what to do! It’s the small shit over time that seeps into the small cracks of my foundation until the cracks start to grow, then I look down under my feet and wonder why all the ground under me is broken. It is because of those little white lies, being short and unforgiving with my child, hanging out after a meeting when I knew my husband needed me to come home, silencing the phone when a sponsee is calling while I was watching tv, dodging the bill collector, avoiding that girl at work, gossiping or even more so character assassinating, avoiding making amends when I know I owe one, living beyond my means, punishing my husband with silence, etc. I could add to the list but I think you get the picture!

I don’t want to be that girl who “gets hers” in AA and goes home! I want it ALL! So, I’m gonna DO WORK because that’s how you get the blessings! I’m going to keep trudging the road of happy destiny and I am going to do it hand in hand with some amazing women because this is a WE deal! I’ll leave you with the poem that the last speaker closed with:

The Man in The Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what the man has to say.

For it isn’t your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please- never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.

Peter Dale Wimbrow Sr.

Two Alternatives

Hump DAY! I love that Camel Commercial but even more so, I love the one with Dirk Nowitzki “Game Day!” I’m always grateful on Wednesdays for several reasons…1. Some meetings I attend 2. Only 2 more days left in the work week 3. Get to spend time with “my girls” 4. I get to be reminded how powerful God really is 5. It is in my face how small my bullshit problems really are! I really need this reminder because I can really build up the size of my “issues”! My mother calls this making mountains out of molehills and I am a master at that.

So I was rocking along at The Faith and at a whopping 42 days sober, them crazy people made me a house manager. They were nuts in the decision but at the time I was so puffed up with pride there was no way I was gonna turn it down. The Faith housed about 30 men and 15 men at capacity and there were 2 women house managers and 4 men house managers. Lucky me! I was somewhat made for the job in that I don’t take much bullshit from anyone. While drinking I took sport in picking fights with men, preferably twice my size. My mouth has a tendency to get me into LOTS of trouble! I digress…

There was a girl, we’ll call her Winter, that was planning to go out on her first pass for the weekend and she wasn’t too sure about it all. She had been in quite a bit of trouble with the courts and was doing bi-weekly visits with the judge and was not sure she was strong enough to go on pass. I gave her my number, told her we would come get her if she got shaky and of course, that she didn’t even have to go if she felt that it wasn’t a good idea. You know she went despite her better judgment! She didn’t return for curfew Sunday night and came back sometime Tuesday to get her stuff. I hugged her and told her she knew where to find us and that she could call at any time. That was the last I heard of Winter. We had been sober about the same amount of time.

Fast forward 8 months….. I finally was going to court for my “full house”. My lawyer and I were discussing some thangs before I went to meet the judge on what ended up to be a slap on the wrist. My original probation was just extended and never revoked. I received 2 years probation and they dropped all my drug charges! I was amazed! Winter’s name came up while my lawyer and I were talking. This look of pain and concern came over him. He asked if I had heard what happened with her. I told him of the last time I saw her when she left The Faith. He told me they had found her body two days ago stuffed in a duffel bag at the dump. They thought she had OD’d and she was 5 months pregnant. I cry even typing this. Sorrow and Gratitude!

The Big Book states on page 25……. We were in a position where life was becoming impossible, and if we had passed into the region from which there is no return through human aid, we had but two alternatives: One was to go on to the bitter end, blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation as best we could; and the other, to accept spiritual help.

I know when Winter left that day she did not believe that a duffel bag would be her bitter end. The only way I know how to honor her memory is to share her story. I will never forget the look in her eyes that Tuesday morning when she picked up her belongings and drove away! It haunts me to some extent. But in other ways it makes me SO very grateful I have continued to choose spiritual help!


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