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!

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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!

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

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!

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.

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