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

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!

 

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!

Staying Alive


A girl told me today that I am such a good person! If she only knew! The truth is I am not. The longer I stay in the program the sicker I realize that I am, not that I was. They told me in the beginning that I was going to act myself into “right thinking” not think myself into acting right. Well that has turned out to be true. The Big Book says “When the spiritual malady is overcome we straighten out mentally and physically.” page 64.

My brain still tells me all kinds of crazy things and I believe all kinds of delusional thoughts, fears, and ideas that can get me into all sorts of troubles. Nearly 8 years off what my friend calls “the sauce” and this mess in between my ears is still not a credible source. Thank God for friends who love me enough to tell me the truth, hurt my feelings and for strong Big Book sponsorship, I have learned it matters what I DO. So I DO A LOT. I move my feet A LOT in AA. I was taught that early on and that has been a saving grace for me.

Alcohol is a subtle foe and I am not exempt to what Earl Hightower calls “The Beast”. That sucker will tell me all sorts of craziness at any time. The funny thing about this spiritually fit thing is that I usually don’t know that I am spiritually fit in the moment…… I figure it out after the fact. So staying busy in action in AA is a very good thing for this girl!

I don’t keep my mouth shut because I shouldn’t say what has come to my brain, most of the time I do it because I DO NOT like making amends. I go places at all hours of the night because the book tells me I should act the Good Samaritan everyday. I answer the phone because our literature tells me that my life depends upon constant thoughts of others and how I may help meet their needs.

So NO, I AM NOT a good person but AA has taught me how to be a better person than I ever imagined I could be and believe me it has paid me more dividends than I ever could have imagined!

“Who wishes to be rigorously honest and tolerant? Who wants to confess his faults to another and make restitution for harm done? Who cares anything about a Higher Power, let alone meditation and prayer? Who wants to sacrifice time and energy in trying to carry A.A.’s message to the next sufferer? No, the average alcoholic, self-centered in the extreme, doesn’t care for this prospect — unless he has to do these things in order to stay alive himself.” – 12 and 12 page  24

I Hate This Disease!


“As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did—then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen—Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand!…….He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end.” excerpt from Big Book pages 151,152

I found out last night that this disease took yet another of my friends! Damnit!  I hear people say that sometimes others have to die so that we can stay sober and I just don’t subscribe to that. I believe that we all have a chance to live. Nobody else needs to die for me to stay sober. You can believe whatever you want…… If that is your truth then great! It simply is not mine.

It breaks my heart that this man is gone from this earth and the pain I know his family is going through! He was there in my early sobriety and you just don’t forget those people that make such an impact in your life when you are going through such an overhaul in the way you live. He was hilarious!!! Had a great sense of humor and could make anyone smile!

What a reminder of the seriousness of this disease I have! That it can take life at any moment! That I am truly on a life and death errand. That all this work that I do for my own sobriety that I bitch about and the service work that I do really does have a purpose if it helps just one person. The thing is, I don’t get to choose who that person is so I just have to keep saying “yes” just in case. Isn’t that what the responsibility statement asks of us? “I am responsible. When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of A.A. always to be there. And for that: I am responsible.”

My belief is that AA is not for people that need it because we’d have a 10% of the population as active members because that the estimated number of alcoholics there are (so I have heard…. I have never actually researched it myself). It’s not for people that want it either because I have been around scores of alcoholics that wanted to be sober and are not. The want what the program has to offer but wanting it alone is not sufficient to attain a spiritual experience. I believe AA is only successful for those who DO IT. I mean DO ALL OF IT! The steps, the meetings, sponsorship, service, the fellowship, inventory, prayer, meditation, sacrifice, love, tolerance, answer the phone, honesty, amends, etc. I fail! We all fail! But there is always a step and someone with experience with where we are at to help us get back on track and on the AA beam.

I pray everyday for the alcoholic who still suffers and sometimes the alcoholic who is suffering is sitting right next to me in my home group with a whole lot of days since their last drink.

Why We Were Chosen


“You are not selected because of exceptional talents and be careful always if success attends your efforts, not to ascribe to personal superiority, that to which you can lay claim only by virtue of My gift. If I had wanted learned men to accomplish this mission the power would have been entrusted to the physician and scientist. If I had wanted eloquent men there would have been many anxious for the assignment, for talk is the easiest used of all talents with which I have endowed mankind. If I had wanted scholarly men the  world is filled with better qualified than you who would have been available. You were selected because you have been the outcasts of the world and your long experience as a drunkard has made, or should make you humbly alert to the cries of distress that comes from the lonely hearts of alcoholics everywhere. Keep ever in mind the admission that you made on the day of your profession into  A.A., namely that you are powerless and that it was only with your willingness  to turn your life and will into My keeping, that relief came to you.”- Address by Judge John T. on the 4th Anniversary of the Chicago Group October 5, 1943

I have never have ascribed to the idea that my best thinking got me to AA. With a thinker like mine, this sucker nearly thought my way out of the Grace of God on many occasions. I have prided myself my whole life on just how smart I am. I built my whole self-esteem surrounding my intellectual abilities. Then I end up with a disease that “only a spiritual experience will conquer” and that “self knowledge will avail me nothing.” Not SOME but NOTHING! DAMNIT!!!!

You mean I can’t think my way out of this thing? What the heck? My only shot is to be beat into a state of reasonableness and to have my ego “right-sized” like only the process of the steps can do. My old sponsor told me a long time ago that I am a “slow learner and a quick forgetter.” Man that pissed me off the first time she told me that! Talk about an ego bruiser! However, the longer I have stayed sober the more true that statement has become for me.

The only easier softer way for a pseudo-intellectual type like myself is “the work”! So surrender to the process……I will!

Which pair of shoes


“What’s your drug of choice?” One of the many questions I have been asked that didn’t make a lick of sense to me! I had no idea I ever had to choose! My answer was  this, “Whatcha got?” I always did whatever I or you had or could get access to. At the tender age of 16, I told my mother I was never going to drink, do drugs or have sex out of wedlock and I broke all 3 within a year. I never went out to become an addict, alcoholic or a slut but that IS what happened.

I took my first drink at 17 at the County Fair. So VERY TEXAN of me!!! I had just broke up with my first boyfriend and I was drinking at him (I was a late bloomer). I don’t remember getting slobbering drunk but I do remember dancing a lot, which I was always too afraid to do before Talking to people I never had the nerve to before and I kissed my recent ex-boyfriend’s best friend! . Alcohol (Boone’s Farm) shut down all the noise in my head. Noise that I can always remember having that said, “they are looking at you, you don’t have on the right clothes, the right shoes, you aren’t funny, that’s last weeks hairstyle, everyone knows(what they know I have no clue) you aren’t enough, you are too short, tall, fat, skinny, white, freckled, etc.” All  I knew was that from that night forward is that I was going to drink again! I had to! It made being sober tolerable for me.  

I had drank every single day since my last geographical change which was the last 18 months before I got sober and almost everyday for the 2 years prior to that. I was only hooked on meth for the last 3 months but when I got to the half-way house (rom here forward I will refer to as The Faith) all I could see was that I was an addict. Thank God those people let me figure out that I was an alcoholic and thank God I was ope enough to look at that. I was required to go to a book study meeting. For those of you who aren’t in recovery, the book we study is the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. That book saved my life because it introduced me to a God that I could rely on to keep me sober. We were reading a story called “Crossing the River of Denial”

She finally realized that when she enjoyed her drinking, she couldn’t control it, and when she controlled it, she couldn’t  enjoy it.”

That story was so very much like my own personal story!, It opened my eyes to that cold hard truth that I was, am and to my understanding will always be an alcoholic!!! My old sponsor would say, “Once a pickle, always a pickle! You can never be a cucumber again!” I thank God I was open-minded enough to see the truth that day! The acknowledgement and acceptance of that truth in my life has paved the way for me to be free from the bounds of Alcoholism provided I continue to practice the principle that AA has taught me to live by.

My husband is an analogy guy… When choosing a “drug of choice” he uses a shoe analogy. Say you have a pair of red shoes and a pair of blue shoes. Your family falls on really hard times and you must sell one pair of shoes to be able to survive. So I decide to sell the blue shoes. For me that would say that my red shoes are most certainly my favorite shoes, the ones that I don’t want to live without. It I use that same analogy with my alcohol and drugs. I was ready to give up the drugs but I had every intention of doing my 4 month commitment at The Faith and then drinking when I got out. Meaning that Alcohol was my red shoes. Not only was it my favorite but the root of my problem.

Next Newer Entries

Uncle Pete's DFW Sports Ring

When sports imitates life, and vice versa.

Recoverywise

Live Recovery Wisely

I Haven't Shaved In 6 Weeks

All The Truths About Eating Disorders, Rehab and Recovery

Infactorium

Sober Science.

My journey, from wine lover to sober and happy...

There are thousands of people over at Soberistas.com supporting one another in achieving a happy and healthy alcohol-free life. You can find out more about joining our online community at soberistas.com

Rebirth:

A woman's journey of rediscovering life after alcohol

Drunky Drunk Girl

A blog about getting sober

trudgingdestiny

It's about the journey not the destination

Soberman

"What makes Soberman a hero is not that he has power, but that he has the wisdom and the maturity to use the power wisely"

little life experiments.

a humble attempt to change on purpose.

A Spiritual Evolution

Alcoholism recovery in light of a Near Death Experience

Bridging Hope for Recovery

Official Blog of Bridges of Hope Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Center

Daily Reprieve

A Shared Exploration of Sober Living

Day by Day

Rewriting the heart and letting go.

beingblonde70

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Climbing Out Of The Well

Life of a Recovering Alcoholic, Food Addict, Schizoaffective, Child Abuse Survivor, Christian