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. ūüėé

TC‚úĆūüŹĽ

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Unshakable Foundation, Part 2


Better late than never Part 2…….after the Inventory, then what? Well that is the other part of the unshakable foundation I have been working on for the last 2 years and a month. Thank you to AA for showing me how to be a woman of my word and giving me an ego that won’t let me be the ONLY one in my accountability circle that answers a consistent “no” to meditation on my nightly check-ins.

“There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an UNSHAKABLE foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God’s Kingdom. And we will be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to find and do the Will of our own Creator.” 12 & 12 page 98

I was told to pray beginning on day one when I landed in AA by accident (God knew what He was doing and it’s a good thing He didn’t ask my for my opinion because I was already trying to run). My thoughts on the praying thing were all completely negative due to the fact I thought I had “neatly evaded and entirely ignored” the whole “GOD” thing for a while. But I was no FOOL! I saw the G-O-D in red on the wall in those cute little steps of theirs and I was not real happy about it!!!. The problem was that alcoholism had done its due diligence with me and had completely crushed me from the inside out. I was utterly hopeless and I had been granted what I know today as the “gift of desperation”!

They told me to Pray and I did. I was out of options and good ideas…. or bad ideas for that matter. Over time, God and I grew to be on better speaking terms, mainly because my perception of Him Changed. But that is a longer story for another day. But the whole meditation idea I completely ignored for almost 8 years of my sobriety. I just figured that was for more balanced folks. You know the ones that can turn their brains off for more than 10 seconds, and I was not that girl! Not by a long shot! I ignored the directions on page 86-88 of the Big Book and would hit and miss Prayer in the morning and at night. I prayed in times of trouble, not so much when things were good. I leaned on the fellowship for strength and on conferences for spiritually filling my cup instead of really trying to enlarge my spiritual life through truly seeking God.

Then came the day I wanted more, I needed more! I listened to a Mark Houston CD on steps 10, 11 and 12. He basically said if you aren’t doing 10, 11, and 12 then you aren’t doing AA!!! Talk about a stake in the heart, because I knew he was talking about me. I was doing step 12. I was working with newcomer women and I had service commitments. But If I was really honest with myself, I wasn’t great at step 10 because my ego was justifying a lot of behavior and I was very unapproachable. Just ask anyone in my homegroup, LOL!!! My 7 year chip Birthday night “roast” was brutal! I’ve never been called a Bitch in so many Politically Correct terms in my whole life and from the podium. Prayer, some…. Meditation, NOPE! I needed some serious work!

But thank God we are a work in Progress!!!!! Spiritual Progress not Spiritual Perfection!!! I was finally ready to acknowledge that I was ignoring these vital steps!!! I was ready to address them head on! I found some women that were ready like I was, not without some misgivings. I knew I needed accountability to help me remain motivated and stay the course. I am so grateful for these women that have been with me on this!

Texting nightly inventories and committing to what at first was morning meditation. Which has become daily meditation. I’ve learned that I can meditate whenever I want to! If I miss it in the morning, I can do it at lunch or before bed, because there is never a wrong time to quiet my crazy head and listen for God. I listened to guided meditations on youtube, I still do. I’ve read spiritual books. I read 86-88 most mornings….. It really is a WONDERFUL way to start the day!!!! I pray my way through it! I’ve done 21 day meditation challenges from Deepak Choprah. I don’t get upset with myself if I can’t keep my head quiet for 3 minutes or 5 minutes or 7 minutes. However long it is quiet is however long I meditate. Somedays longer and some days shorter. It’s not about the length it’s about the effort! I believe God is honoring my effort.

The Unshakable foundation is this…… Emotional balance!!!! What the hell!!! If you would have told me that when I started this process, I would have said BS!!! No Way!!! Crazy-ass girls with heads that run like mine don’t ever get to a point where they obtain emotional balance……But it is true! Higher Highs and Not low lows…..Does that make sense? Less anger! The ability to keep my Big ‘ol mouth shut! The ability to appreciate the sunset in Puerta Vallarta for 30 minutes. To be able to pause my day for that long to watch it! I highly recommend it, if you haven’t tried it! God continues to reveal more and more to me and more about me! I’m so so grateful God gave me the willingness to give this a shot! I only wish I would have tried it sooner!

Unshakable Foundation, Part 1


Hey there blog-peeps! Long time – no type! Just living the dream or trying to…. I guess. Not even gonna attempt to catch you up on all that madness!!! I will just jump right in with something that I have been working on, towards and putting in to practice in my trudge over the last 17 months.

“There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an UNSHAKABLE foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God’s Kingdom. And we will be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to find and do the Will of our own Creator.” 12 & 12 page 98

So first off, If you have done more than just the 1, 2, 3, waltz around the rooms of AA, then you have had an introduction to the self-examination that this piece of literature is referring to. We learn to inventory our behavior at step four, confess to another in five, identify character defects and become willing to have or HP remove those in 6, ask our HP to remove those objectionable to us in 7, decide who was harmed in 8 and make restitution to those harmed in 9. We begin to continuously monitor our thoughts and actions with the practice of step 10, while we our cleaning up the wreckage of our past. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am not the greatest at telling you that I am full of fear while I am in the middle of a knock-down drag-out fight with my husband. It looks like rage on the outside but is truly more like insecurity and self-centeredness. Which is why I have become extremely grateful for step 11 for several reasons.

See, I miss stuff during the day that I am supposed to catch in step 10 when I ¬†“continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.- Big Book(BB) page 84” I will still lie to myself in the moment. So, our literature gives us a backup plan of sorts on page 86, “when retire at night…” under step 11. Just in case I miss it in the moment, because, lets face it, I will miss it!!!!

I have been going through and answering those questions on page 86 in the BB in writing form and sending my invertory to an accountability circle of women for 17 months. Much different than just reading over them and answering them in my head. Or what I did for the first 7 years of my sobriety, which was not look at those inventory questions at all. I can look back at my written inventory and see what I need to bring to my Higher Power for corrective action in prayer. I can see where I have been intolerant of others or unkind and unloving. I can see which character defects have been activated once more due to my selfish, self-centered behavior.

It is not to something I use to make me feel terrible about myself but to see what I can do better tomorrow. I want to grow in understanding and effectiveness like the BB says at step 10. To understand where I have been wrong and what I have done good so that tomorrow I will be able to a better instrument for my HP. After all, He did grant me this gift of GRACE in sobriety. I do try, however falteringly, to do His will daily…

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!

After Birthday Night


My husband was out of town at a Men’s conference, so he missed out on Birthday Night (BN). When BN was over I checked my phone and I had a text from¬†my awesome husband, it said……”you and I have been asked to speak at ______ Roundup May 10th”

My response, ” No No No No”

Him- ????, since when did you get allowed to say no?

Me- Answer your phone

Him- In meeting

Me- Was this your suggestion or idea? I will KILL you Mr Husband!

He called me after¬†his meeting and SWORE he didn’t throw me under the bus! I gave him the 5th degree of how this conversation went down. I am still not totally sure I believe him!

Like I said I don’t like speaking! He, on the other hand, is completely comfortable behind the podium or anywhere else that he has everyone’s full attention. He speaks very well and I don’t just say that because he is my husband! See he has a nice sized ego, so you have to be careful with compliments HAHA! Love you hubs!

I can already see how this will go down….. they will love him and they will listen to me and wonder why I was chosen. I am no way near his caliber of speaker. But, regardless, he was right when he asked me in the text…….”When did you get allowed to say no?” The truth is I don’t! I dang sure wouldn’t call my sponsor and tell her that I refused to speak! I am not that stupid!

But o do still have the compulsion to confess, so I did call my sponsor. I told her my response and she laughed and said, “I think that is wonderful! It ain’t about you anyway!” ¬†Then she gave me the same advice I have been given since I got sober , “Tell the truth and don’t say the “F” word.” ¬†After all, it has always worked in the past!

Instead of fretting over this for the next 2 months, I will add this to my prayer and meditation, trust that God knows what He is doing and just get mySELF out of the way! I will keep y’all up on the craziness that goes through my head over the next 2 months. Peace!

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!

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