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!!!

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Not NOW! Not TODAY!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aside

Change in the Making


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

Here’s the lyrics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Change in the Making
By: Addison Road

Video

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!

Jose Quervo


When I was growing up, we cleaned house every Saturday morning while listening to country music either on the radio or on our vinyl records. I have fond memories of singing The Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, Kenny Rodgers, Neil Diamond and many others with my mom on Saturdays while cleaning. One song I particularly liked as a child was Jose Quervo by Shelly West. Of course when it topped the charts in 1983 when I was 6, I had no idea that it would 21 years later it would almost be the story of my daily life.

It came out 30 years ago and I heard it on the radio today. I cannot tell you the last time I actually heard it….. probably years ago, but when it came on today I sang every word!!!

Well its Sunday morning
And the sun is shining in my
Eye that is open
And my head is spinning
Was the life of the party
I can’t stop grinning
I had too much tequila last night

Jose Quervo
You are a friend of mine
I like to drink you with
A little salt and lime
Did I kiss all the cowboys
Did I shoot out the lights
Did I dance on the bar
Did I start any fights

Now wait a minute
Things don’t look to familiar
Who is the cowboy who’s sleeping beside me
Well he’s awful cute
But how’d I get his shirt on
I had too much tequila last night

Jose Quervo
You are a friend of mine
I like to drink you with
A little salt and lime
Did I kiss all the cowboys
Did I shoot out the lights
Did I dance on the bar
Did I start any fights

All those little shooters
How I love to drink them down
Come on bartender lets have another round
Well the music is playing
And my spirits are high
Tomorrow might be painful
But tonight we’re going to fly

Jose Quervo
You are a friend of mine….. You get the picture!

It also strikes me as funny that I remember liking that song so much as a child. I was 6 and I know I had NO clue what it was about. It was just a fun song that pretty much could have been my anthem, now that I read the lyrics in black and white. Its not like I think it predestined me to be an alcoholic anymore than my potty training did, I just find it funny.

I’m a song lyric girl. I like beats too, but I love lyrics. I always have! Just asked my husband! He makes fun of me all the time for what he says is terrible taste in music but it is mine!!! It’s not hip, it’s not really cool, but most of the time it does have meaning to me. That being said I like the lyrics to Aerosmith’s Amazing

It’s Amazing
With the blink of an eye you finally see the light
It’s Amazing
When the moment arrives that you know you’ll be alright
It’s Amazing
And I’m sayin’ a prayer for the desperate hearts tonight

Today, I can’t imagine living my life like the lyrics of Jose Quervo! Not that I think it could never happen again for I am not cured of alcoholism. But I do know what to do to keep my disease in an arrested state. To keep “the beast” on lock down it does take work. The Big Book says, “Simple, but not easy, a price had to be paid.” So I will keep paying the price because it is far cheaper than what I would pay for “blotting out the consciousness of our intolerable situation.” This sober life is the greatest gift I have ever been given, thanks to Gods grace, willingness, honesty and open-mindedness. I am truly blessed!

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

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!

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