True North


Thank You to everyone who followed my journey while I was Trudging Destiny!!! When I first started writing I never thought anyone would ever read these things and it wants really the point. I felt I had a story to tell. What it brings to me today is clarity, solution, and an outlet of expression.

I have moved from Trudging Destiny to

TrueNorth1218

Same blogger different name. It’s a new journey for me since my new sobriety date of 5/18/16. A lot has happened and life is very different for me. I hope you that have followed me here will consider following me as I try to seek My True North. 😎

TC✌🏻

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God help me!


Do you ever wonder “Where is God in this?” or “Why is God letting this happen?” or “How could this possibly be God’s will?”  Well I do! There’s just some things in life that are hard to reconcile. Like why my 24 year old dear friend had a massive stroke when she was sober and doing the best to live spiritually and serve God. Thank God for good sponsorship! I still remember vividly the phone call I got that morning. I was at work in a meeting when my phone rang. I excused myself from the meeting for a minute to take the call and proceeded to begin wailing. Really sucking snot hard! That kind of crying that you can’t contain the noise or the almost hyperventilating breathing. I was devastated!

My boss pulled me aside and told me to go for a drive. I got in my car and promptly called my sponsor. She made me take 10 deep breaths in and out and made me count them out loud to her. Then she said, ” Are you listening?”  I said, “Yes.” She said, “You need to be. Are you ready?” I again said, “Yes.” She then exclaimed in a very stern and definite tone, ” This is NOT ABOUT YOU!”

Bam! Snapped back to reality from my self-pity, self-centered, self-absorbed feelings. Was it devastating, YES! But her family needed me, but not like that! They needed strength and assurance. They needed a shoulder or an ear. They needed help with their children. What they did not need was some self-centered, wailing, defeated mess!

This all happened about 14 months ago. She made it out alive, it was very touch and go for over a month. But her, her husband and her children’s lives are forever changed. I wouldn’t have been human if I hadn’t wondered those questions I formerly mentioned about God. I was able, through the grace of God and an awesome sponsor, to live to His purpose.

“Service, gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted or solved with God’s help, the knowledge that at home or in the world we are partners in a common effort, the well understood fact that in God’s light all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given surely brings a full return … These are permanent and legitimate satisfactions of right living for which no amount of pomp and circumstance, no heap of material possessions, could possibly be substitutes. True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is deep desire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God.” 12 and 12 -page 124

I am so forever grateful for the experiences God gives me, good or bad. Well, lets say I am grateful for them later down the road, because I am not always grateful for the bad ones at the time. I walked through that situation without it shaking my faith. Not everyone involved had the same experience as me. Some lost faith and questioned the existence of God and I completely understand why they did. That just wasn’t my experience.

So I rock along, 14 months later and I’ll be damned if I don’t have another situation arise that I have to ask God those same questions I did at the beginning of this blog. Another very dear friend of mine was blessed with a pregnancy after 38 years of a barren womb. We are 22 weeks in and she went into labor Monday night. She delivered the twin girls, Emery and Aylin, just before noon on Tuesday. Both the girls are angels in heaven now. I mean OMG! Are you freaking serious? Why? I am devastated yet again! I hurt so much for my friend! I feel just as helpless and lost as I did 14 months ago!

The first thing I heard in my head when I heard the new was my sponsor’s words, “This is NOT ABOUT YOU!”

“Henry Ford once made a wise remark to the effect that experience is the thing of supreme value in life.  That is true only if one is willing to turn the past to good account.  We grow by our willingness to face and rectify errors and convert them into assets.  The alcoholic’s past thus becomes the principal asset of the family and frequently it is almost the only one!” Big Book -page 124

I know without a shadow of a doubt that there is a plan. I know that the only thing, just like last time, that will get me through this is true dependence on God. I know how to not make this about me and I know my purpose!

“Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.” Big Book- page 77

So I am leaning HEAVILY on God! I am focused on how I can serve! And my bags are packed to go do what AA has taught me so very well! WOW! How do you get from where I was 8 years ago……a me me me, what can I get from you, show up in the middle of the night unannounced and brake the tank on your toilet, self-serving, angry, psychopath…..to a woman who desperately longs to be of service in any way possible to my dear friend in her time of need? I’ll tell you how…… a total psychic change, a spiritual experience from actively working the 12 steps, in order as written and practicing the principles to the best of my ability and willingness on a daily consistent basis.

Man, I am so stinking grateful to God and AA right now I don’t even know how to act!

Birthday Night


“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

I had no idea what this meant 9 years ago when I really tried to get sober for the first time! I didn’t get the “giving of yourself” part of the program. I couldn’t understand why these people, that I barely knew me, wanted to bring me in their circle. I kept thinking, “they must want something from me” or “if they really knew me, there is no way they would let me hang around much less include me in this group”. I’ve said this before, I was just so angry. I hated me and kinda hated them for not seeing how they should hate me too.

My sponsors have always spent tons of time with me. I just knew I was getting on their nerves. Hell, I was getting on my own nerves! But these people kept answering my phone calls, taking time out of their lives to sit down with me and the Big Book, and inviting me to “get in the truck”. I didn’t know that I had the option to say “No”. I thought they would kick me out if they did. I didn’t understand that by spending time with sick-ass me was helping them, too. They would tell me, “thank you”, and I was so confused! I would say, “Why are you thanking me? What did I do?” It was totally lost on me why they would do any of this for me.

Well, I can tell you I fully understand it now! About a year ago, God must have known how very very sick I was! He sent me 3 sponsees in a very short time frame. At the end of last year, when they were all on their 4th step at the same time, I was shocked! It had been a long time since I had gotten a sponsee past Bill’s Story, much less all 3 to start clearing the bogged down channel between them and their Higher Power!

Last Saturday, I had the honor and privilege of giving all 3 of these women their 1 year chips at Birthday Night! Before Birthday Night (BN), I felt weird having to do this 3 times, like a braggart or something. I hate speaking anyway, don’t like that type of attention. But I spent some time in the afternoon in meditation and prayer about BN and when the time came I was ready. None of these ladies getting a year sober was my accomplishment, responsibility or my fault. HAHA God used me for His purpose in these womens’ lives and with their willingness and surrender to the process on a daily basis.

“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 am bound to these women with new and wonderful ties! BN was freaking awesome! I have fully experienced this paragraph in the book in my life and I am forever grateful!

Aside

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!

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!

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