Misunderstood


It is no secret that I have been an anger ball, especially before I got sober. Well….. for quite sometime after that and during certain periods of my sobriety too. I have never been one to back down from a fight, much less just start one for whatever reason I deemed necessary at the time. I genetically have a predisposition to frowning, I get that naturally from my dad. He looks stern and mad at the world but is a genuinely happy and content. I, on the other hand, look stern and mad at the world and sometimes I am.

Before I got sober, people used to approach me at the bar and asked why I didn’t smile. My response was usually, “Maybe your mere presence just pisses me off” or “what’s it to you?” or “get the #@(% away from me!” I was so warm and fuzzy…. NOT!

I can really relate to the Hulk in the Avengers movie.
Steve Rogers: Doctor Banner, now might be a good time for you to get angry.
Bruce Banner: That’s my secret, Captain: I’m always angry.
[Banner hulks out and punches the Leviathan]

This has gotten much better in sobriety. I don’t get asked about my smile anymore. However, my general facial expression apparently is not always welcoming either. “Betty” a good friend of mine in the Program, told me when I was about 1-2 years sober that I was going to have to accept the fact that I am unapproachable. She said, “I know you are because I am too.” At the time it hurt my feelings, but over time I saw it’s upside and that I was not the only one. People don’t come whine to me about menial things. People sucked up in self-pity don’t approach me for attention. Nor do they look to me to co-sign on their B.S.

More often than not, after I’ve known someone for a while…..then comes the confession. It usually sounds like one of the following…. “When I met you I thought you were a bitch but now I know better.” or “I thought you were stuck up and better than everyone when I first saw you.” or “I was afraid of you at first.” You get used to hearing these after a while and they don’t bother or surprise me anymore.

I am “armed with the fact about myself” thanks to the Program of Alcoholics Anonymous! The truth is this, I am a concrete-marshmallow! I carry around the tough outer exterior that exudes confidence and strong esteem of self but I am compassionate, caring, and vulnerable. I will do everything I possibly can for the still suffering alcoholic. And because of this internal vulnerability, when I do get my feelings hurt…. I go ANGER first and have the capability to cause immense damage. This makes me very grateful for the spiritual principle of Step 9 when I do make the mistake of letting my anger get the best of me!

“The chief activator of our defects has been self-centered fear” 12 & 12 page 76

Me knowing that this is a defect of my character is of no use unless I am willing to have God remove it because it is objectionable to me. My experience with this is that I have asked for God to remove “the bitch” on many, many
occasions. In fact, I have begged Him at times. But what I have come to realize and to accept to some degree is that maybe God needs that part of me. Maybe sometimes He needs someone that is blunt and straight forward. Maybe He has use for a “Marine 1st Sargent” which is my dear friend “Kit” calls me.

Check out the link below….. you may know someone like me too!

http://totalsororitymove.com/chronicles-of-a-girl-with-chronic-bitch-face/

I am flawed and will never be perfect but at least I have a fighting chance at happiness with AA, sponsorship, God, and constant practice of 10, 11, and 12!

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It’s a WE deal!


You ever get the feeling that you just aren’t helpful or effective? That no one hears what you are saying? That they just don’t get the point? Well I do! But I have had it beat into my head that feelings aren’t facts! I’ve been told that since I got to AA. None of my sponsors have coddled me or listened to me whine about my “so-called” problems! It always been “where did you start the ball rolling”, or “what is your part in this” or “Man you really are sicker than I thought!”. I’m just kidding about the last one! Although it has been said to me and it is a realization I have come to myself!

But I am not the first one in the program to feel useless or it wouldn’t have talked about it in the bedevilments on page 52 of the Big Book. But God has always provided what I needed, as long as I have been wiling enough to look for it and to give Him credit. There was a period of time that I sponsored no one, truly I didn’t have what anyone wanted or what I wanted either. But when I finally started doing the work again and quit isolating myself from the people that had the answer and from the program, fellowship and service…..I began to get better.

Well that period of time was a while ago and I am not devoid of sponsees anymore. I actually went from 2 to 4 in one day! My first thought was…. “Man, God must think I’m real sick right now!” Truth be told, I love these women I sponsor! It lights me on fire when I see the light bulb come on! It’s better than any high I ever got off dope and booze! The book even tells us about it!

“Life will take on new meaning. To watch people recover, to see them help others, to watch loneliness vanish, to see a fellowship grow up about you, to have a host of friends — this is an experience you must not miss. We know you will not want to miss it. Frequent contact with newcomers and with each other is the bright spot of our lives”.- Big Book page 89

Man has that been my truth! What a blessing and a promise! To go from a self-absorbed, self-centered, “me and mine” girl to wanting to help someone else…… I am amazed! Of course none of that would ever happen if I didn’t have God to reduce all the self, self, self! That was and is definitely a Big part of the equation!

“You are going to meet these new friends in your own community. Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey. Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Big Book page 152-153

I have found them! I have made lifelong friends! I am bound to them, for they are my people! I have escaped disaster because they showed me the way out! I journey with them! I have experienced giving of myself, my time, my experience so that WE can not only survive but live! I have learned the meaning of “Love thy neighbor as thyself”! And I have been shown how to do this by some of the most wonderful people that were once hopeless just like me! It’s a WE deal! I get it!

It is freaking AMAZING!!!

AA haters


I’ve been pretty open and honest that I am an alcoholic and that Alcoholics Anonymous has been the avenue that I have used to achieve 8 years sober. I am sober by God’s grace, that is my belief. I have put a lot of effort, action, and change in my life for that to be a reality. I am in no way the poster child for AA. I have found something that works for me and it works quite well.

I have enjoyed reading blogs about AA, sobriety, alcoholism, addiction, recovery, and a few other topics. Some from people that are sober, some not, and some trying to figure out if they should be or not. I relate to some people a lot and some not so much. I have also found some that have, apparently, made it their life’s work to discredit Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole due to their bad experience, someone who they know who had a bad experience, or because they think they know what we AA is about. Those probably amuse me the most.

They say AA is a cult or that they brain wash people. To be honest, my brain needed some washing! They mention that we are a hoax and that we force people do to this or that. They state we have a less that 5% success rate (if that is the case than I am one lucky girl! HAHA!). They believe that we shove God down people’s throats and or our own religion on them. I could go on but all of this is such a load of crap that I will stop there.

“Prejudice is a great timesaver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” – Bertrand Russel

Funny thing about people these days and the internet….. they believe everything they read good or bad, true or false. If you believe everything you see on Facebook or on chain letter emails…. you are an idiot! Check out Snopes.com next time you forward some crap you believe to be true. When people have made up their mind about something, whether it is true or false, their minds are closed like Fort Knox. It’s like “don’t confuse me with the facts, I’ve already made up my mind.”

“Of alcoholics who came to AA and REALLY TRIED, 50% got sober at once and remained that way; 25% sobered up after some relapses, and among the remainder, those who stayed on with AA showed improvement.” Big Book page xx

This statement was written in 1955. Lots has changed in the world since then but I think the kicker in that quote is REALLY TRIED. I’ve seen a whole lot of people come in and out of AA over the last 9 years and I see a lot who don’t do anything but come to a few meetings. In my experience that approach with AA does not work. Truth is if AA can help one person not die from alcoholism or addiction then that is SUCCESS! In 2010, I went to the 75th International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous in San Antonio, TX. I personally said the Serenity Prayer with 50,000 plus other alcoholics in the Astrodome, so i know it’s helped more than just me!

AA has taught me to be a woman of consideration. Meaning, when I hear or read something, instead of shutting myself off, I consider if it is truth for ME. This whole journey has helped me learn truth about myself. What are your truths? I have no clue! But I know what mine are!

What do I have to say to these AA haters? Get a damn life! I have one that works for me and it doesn’t include forcing others to believe what I believe. There are plenty of other avenues to go through to get sober. My hope is that all those that are trying to get sober find what works for them, AA or not! Living in the endless spiral of self-destruction, unhappiness, hatred for self and others, depression, anxiety, guilt, embarrassment, etc. that drug addiction and alcoholism bring in its wake…… Is NOT living! I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy or on those who hate AA with a passion!

Why can’t we all just get along? HAHA!

God said “YES!”


“‘I know I must get along without liquor, but how can I? Have you a sufficient substitute?’
“Yes, there is a substitute and it is vastly more than that. It is fellowship in Alcoholics Anonymous. There you will find release from care, boredom and worry. Your imagination will be fired. Life will mean something at last. The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead. Thus we find the fellowship, and so will you.”
Big Book, page 152

I had absolutely no faith in this statement the first time I heard or read it. How can this be? Life without alcohol is bound to be not only impossible, but also incredibly lame! Well, I was wrong! Admitting I am wrong still isn’t easy for me but about this…..I’m ok with!

While drinking I had little desire ever to be a mom! Didn’t really think I would have what it takes. By the Grace of God I didn’t have a child while I was still writing my alcoholic biography. But after I got sober, it was a different story. I ended up with this desperate drive to be a mother. Problem was, I had very faulty plumbing. I won’t go into all the medical details of that, but I was told at the age of 20 I better have children young or I may not be able to. After extensive scar tissue from a few surgeries and minus one ovary, I didn’t have much to work with, nor did science…..but God had all he needed.

We tried fertility meds, treatments, charts, sonograms, weekly shots and lots of getting down to “business” for over a year without so much as one positive pregnancy test. I was FLPPING NUTS! Obsessed! Just flat insane about it. I remember clearly the day we stopped all of this insanity because I finally had this overwhelming peace in the pit of my soul that God was going to give me a child someday. I knew that I may not be able to conceive and carry this child but I would be a mom somehow. See, I believe in a God that will give you the desires of your hearts.

So I gave up! Surrendered! I knew I had been demanding, one more time, that God give me what I wanted when I wanted it, instead of letting God have control. Well 5 months later, while putting on a bridesmaids dress (that I was spilling out of) that had fit fine 4 weeks before, my husband pointed out some things to me. He had the nerve to suggest I might be pregnant. I ranted and went left on him about “how dare you even suggest that, you know everything I have been through. It never worked before and there was no way that could be possible blah, blah, blah!” He went to get a pregnancy test and lets just say he was right!

I met my little miracle baby 6 years ago yesterday! I was scared to death my whole pregnancy and the first year of his life. My blonde headed, blue-eyed little devil has brought me more joy, laughter, and life than I could have ever imagined. Thank God his parents are sober! I hope he will never see the people we used to be! By the Grace of a loving, forgiving God he wont!

So when I read, “The most satisfactory years of your existence lie ahead.” I know what that means because I have felt it, lived it and I know there is more to come. And for that I am as grateful as I know how to be!

Not NOW! Not TODAY!


Wish I could say that I have been a beaming angelic child of God lately but that would be entirely untrue. Life is just life! I am at least grateful that I know that no one is doing this or that to me. You know you have heard the sayings… Life on Life’s terms or Life on God’s terms or Life on my terms. I don’t know which is true or which reality I am actually living. That’s probably because my belief is that it is simply or complicatedly JUST LIFE.

My husband and I have said for years…..”When life slows down in a few months” or “When we have a weekend off from commitments”. You’d think we would have figured out by now, that is simply not gonna happen! There will always be something that comes up to plan into the mixing bowl which is our life. Even with all these gadgets and do-ma-hickies that make everything faster, none of them shorten my day. They do however allow me space to cram more stuff into the already over filled day. So, you start with this super crammed life that I have either created or participated in creating and then you throw in some anomaly like back taxes due to the IRS because I screwed up 3 years ago, my husband having the flu and me having a raging migraine simultaneously for 5 days, or our car was in the shop and then the car we borrowed breaks down while my husband is on the way to work. I could go on, but I’m not special! This kind of stuff happens to everyone.

“We are sure God wants us to be happy, joyous, and free. We cannot subscribe to the belief that this life is a vale of tears, though it once was just that for many of us. But it is clear that we made our own misery. God didn’t do it. Avoid then, the deliberate manufacture of misery, but if trouble comes, cheerfully capitalize it as an opportunity to demonstrate His omnipotence” Big Book page 133

WHAT AN ORDER!!!! Truth is, this is not always the easiest thing to do. When trouble comes my first reaction is not to go skipping through the tulips with full trust and dependence on God. My first reactions is to FLIP SMOOTH OUT! No spiritual giant here, for sure! I usually calm down pretty quick because I get this uneasy feeling in my stomach that this is not how to act, treat other people or react in any given situation. My sponsor says, “at any given time I am either moving toward a drink or moving toward God”. I have this sneaky suspicion that letting my head spin like I am having an exorcism is in no way moving toward God! So what I usually have to do is regroup which most of the time comes down to me talking to God with skin on.

“When we developed still more, we discovered the best possible source of emotional stability to be God Himself. We found that dependence upon His perfect justice, forgiveness, and love was healthy, and that it would work where nothing else would. If we really depended upon God, we couldn’t very well play God to our fellows nor would we feel the urge wholly to rely on human protection and care. These were the new attitudes that finally brought many of us an inner strength and peace that could not be deeply shaken by the shortcomings of others or by any calamity not of our own making.” 12 & 12 page 116

The coolest thing about this program, to me, is that we GET to practice it. Practice the principles. Practice turning our will over to His. Practice forgiveness. Practice reliance upon God. Practice! Practice! Practice! I think about all the years I spent playing basketball and the countless hours of practice I put in. I made tons of mistakes, air-balls, turnovers, bad passes etc. As long as I dusted myself off and tried again, I still improved and over time I made fewer mistakes. To practice is the repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it. So essentially I am trying to become proficient in a spiritual way of life.

No matter what my poorly planned, insane, inappropriate reaction to calamity, another persons behavior, or just simply &h!t Happens……… God can and WILL meet me right where I am! What an AWESOME gift that is! I don”t have to come to Him perfect! I just have to seek Him, not find……just continue to seek! And that folks is simply FANTABULOUS!

Aside

Change in the Making


Totally not my normal post but I heard this song today….. And this is me! I’m a change in the making, thank God and Alcoholics Anonymous for that! So I thought I’d share with y’all. I’ve heard it said before, I’m not who I was but I’m not yet who I’m meant to be. That is a truth in my life! Through continued work, sacrifice, surrender, service, faith and dependence in my Higher Power…. One day I will get there! Haha! But by then, I’m sure there will be more to change and more to learn. After all, it’s about the journey not the destination!

Here’s the lyrics

There’s a better version of me
That I can’t quite see
But things are gonna change
Right now I’m a total mess and
Right now I’m completely incomplete
But things are gonna change
‘Cause You’re not through with me yet

And this is redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
Every day You’re chipping away
What I don’t need
And this is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I am a change in the making

Wish I could live more patiently
Wish I would give a little more of me
Without stopping to think twice
Wish I had faith like a little child
Wish I could walk a single mile
Without tripping on my own feet
Oh, but You’re not through with me yet

And this is redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
And every day You’re chipping away
What I don’t need
And this is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be, oh

From the dawn of history
You make new and You redeem
From a broken world to a broken heart
You finish what you start in everything
Like a river rolls into the sea
We’re not who we’re gonna be
But things are going to change

I am living redemption’s story
With every step that I am taking
And everyday You’re chipping away
What I don’t need
And this is me under construction
This is my pride being broken
And every day I’m closer to who I’m meant to be
I am a change in the making
I am a change in the making

I’m not who I’m gonna be
I’m moving closer to Your Glory

Change in the Making
By: Addison Road

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2947 days sober


“It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.” Carl Jung

Have you ever heard of the 99 vs 1 philosophy? It’s not listed on the internet anywhere, I checked……however one of my mentors in AA told me about it years ago when I called to verbally vomit on how all was wrong with the world. It’s when I focus on that one situation, problem, resentment, obstacle, fear, etc. that is going on in my life despite the 99 things that are right. I will give my permission let that “one” thing ruin my attitude, mood, my whole stinking day instead of looking at how things really are.

My life is simply amazing!!! I’m not bragging, it’s just that I have an awesome family, friends, husband, child, job, sponsor, sponsees, etc. I have moments of complete peace and serenity. I am sober by God’s amazing grace! For the most part I am as grateful as I know how to be! But then, dun dun dun ……One thing doesn’t go to my liking, live up to my expectations, changes the direction that I told God to make the wind blow and I am stuck on that ONE thing and can see nothing else!

So what did I choose to focus on yesterday? The feeling that I have friends that have walked out of my life. Notice I said feeling not FACT! I HATE it when people leave and these people in particular haven’t really gone anywhere! People have come in and out of my life and AA throughout my whole sobriety, you’d think I would get used to it! Just accept it! Let go and let God and all that CRAP! But I am not letting it go, I have let set sadness, pain, disappointment, and resentment in, at times. Not all the time…..it just creeps in and out. See these people in particular were ones that I considered FAMILY! My husband’s best of friends! I just don’t get why they leave? Or why them deciding that AA is not for them anymore means that WE aren’t for them anymore. It’s not like I am going to dunk them in the AA baptistry and douse them in AA holy water! If you don’t want to come to AA anymore then don’t come, but why does that mean that our relationship has to change?

If that is the only thing that is bothering me, then I think I will tell myself what I tell my sponsees at times…..”Suck it up, buttercup!” Blogging this just now opened my eyes that I am just wrapping myself up in my little blanket of selfpity! I already know I don’t like change, this is not news to me! So I am going to trust in the FACT that God knows what is going on with me and He will give me what I need.

“Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well” BB page 63

So in the last analysis….I had a great holiday season. I spent many memorable moments around the people that I love the most. Christmas was fabulous! My son is one month shy of being 6 years old, so it gave me great joy to watch the wonder in his eyes, as well as the greed! HAHA!!! My husband and I both celebrated our sobriety birthdays in December. He has 9 years and I have 8. I have everything to be grateful for and should stay in that place of infinite gratitude however, I AM alcoholic!

 

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