Sober since April 6, 2006


Monday, July 31, 2006

A lightbulb turned on

Thanks to everyone for their encouragement and support. It's been a rough three weeks, and I think I know why.

In a meeting today, someone said that when we feel "restless, irritable, and discontent", it's usually because we're trying to run the show instead of turning our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understand Him.

I've always felt that terrible feeling of restlessness, irritability, and discontent. Growing up, I always felt like the odd kid out. I was never (and I'm still not) comfortable with myself. I've always wished I could be someone else.

Alcohol was the first thing that ever brought me a sense of ease and comfort. After a few drinks, that bad feeling would be gone. Life was great! I could be myself and have fun. But then I'd always lose control and drink too much. I wouldn't remember alot of what I did or said after that point, but I'd find out later that I made a mess of things and hurt alot of people. So what started out as a "solution" became a symptom of a bigger problem.

What's the bigger problem? Shoot, I don't know. With alcoholism, they say "alcohol is but a symptom" -- it's not the problem in and of itself. The problem is something bigger and is deeply rooted in personality. I believe the problem is a mental illness that is directly affected by one's spiritual condition.

So now, without alcohol, I still feel "restless, irritable, and discontent". But I see now that the only way to find ease and comfort is by seeking spiritual progress.

Acquiring money, relationships, status, etc won't help me to grow spiritually, although my instinct tells me that if I have those things, I will be happy. That's a false instinct.

Spiritual progress, not perfection. That's something I can handle. I'm ready to make progress now. I need to work the 12 Steps in order to do that.

Today, I'm grateful for:

  • realizing that I've been "dry" for 116 days, but "sober" for very few of them
  • the nice people who read my blog
  • my family, puppy, & boyfriend
  • my car, which is an American make and somehow still works after 90,000 miles. It gets me to meetings :D
  • God, who lets me find things out the hard way

Saturday, July 29, 2006

bedtime unrest

I'm trying to go to sleep, but feelings of inadequacy are FLOODING.

Why do these feelings always come when trying to fall asleep?

but i'm still grateful for...

  • being 114 days sober
  • the nice people who read my blog
  • my sweet boyfriend, who visited with my family today
  • my great family, who visited with my boyfriend today
  • my little "revelation" today about being powerless over the past
  • God, who sees my inadequacy as potential

Revelation of "Duh"

Went to a meeting this morning, and the topic was ... (drumroll please) ... unmanageability.

The first step of AA says:

"We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, and that our lives had become unmanageable."

So I sat there with my little notebook and made a list of things I'm powerless over. There's the obvious crap like alcohol, feelings, emotions, and people.

Then I had a profound revelation:
"I'm powerless over the past."

Well, it was profound to me anyway. It's obvious to everyone else in the world. I'm "special" in the sense that I grasp the obvious much later than everyone else. Hence I'm an alcoholic, and one of the dumbest ones at that.

But the concept of being powerless over the past ... it feels like something that's going to help me straighten out the mess in my head.

"Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly ..." And sometimes at a complete death crawl. But it's better than nothing.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Little Flashback

This morning, I experienced a little flashback to the old "drinking days".

I was drinking out of a bottle of water. When I pulled the bottle from my lips, the suction created a "thooom" sound that echoed through the bottle.

I heard that sound alot when I was drinking. That sound meant that I had just taken a burning swig of vodka. It always burned my throat, sometimes so badly that it made me gag. And with each swig came the shame of knowing that I was losing myself and unable to stop.

I'm so grateful to be sober today. I don't have to take those burning swigs of vodka anymore. I no longer need to run, or hide, or lose myself.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Art of Falling Down

It's called "Aikido" :)

I've never done a martial art like this one. It's so different!

I'm accustomed to striking targets with my hands, feet, elbows, and knees. There's a sense of satisfaction that comes with that. You see how hard you hit your target, and you can judge if you're getting stronger or better.

But with Aikido, you learn how to defend against an attack by using your opponents' energy against them, usually deflecting their attack so that it results in their body slamming into the ground. That sounds just as cool, but there's a catch: Half the time, YOU'RE the one getting slammed to the ground. (You take turns with your partner, attacking and defending)

Repeatedly getting hit is so much easier than repeatedly getting thrown and having your joints nearly twisted off.

But I'm so glad for this experience. It's awesome to learn something new and to be tossed into uncomfortable positions.

Sobriety is an uncomfortable position too. Over the past week, I've felt mentally/emotionally/spiritually battered and bruised. But I'm glad for this experience. In Aikido, you get back up after each fall. I need to learn how to do that in other areas of my life.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being sober
  • Aikido
  • my sweet family and puppy
  • my precious boyfriend
  • my nice, warm, cozy bed ... i'm so tired right now ...
  • God, who never falls

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Day 111

The past few days have been very odd.

I've been "off" in an emotional/mental/spiritual sense, and feeling absolutely exhausted. Constant fatigue, headaches, body aches, physical weakness, mood swings, and overall irratability. Not fun to be around at all.

Then Knightley, my beloved collie, got food poisoning. He's been projectile vomiting and spewing diarrhea everywhere for the past two days. It's so hard to see him suffer. He's the most gentle and loving creature I've ever met, and he doesn't understand why he's sick. I feel so powerless.

Dad got sick. He's never sick. Ever. He's like the Superman of illness-free living. How on earth can he get sick? He doesn't deserve to be sick. Why couldn't I be sick instead? I'm not as important as he is and I deserve to be sick anyway.

I'm just glad that it's time for bed.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 111 days sober
  • not going completely insane yet
  • finally finishing my website (well, finishing a "presentable" version anyway)
  • my precious boyfriend, who helped me with my website
  • my loving family and adorable puppy
  • my nice, warm, soft bed
  • the soft pillows, sheets, and blankets on my bed
  • the gentle scent of fabric softener from the sheets
  • my soft teddy bear
  • my comfy pajamas
  • ... okay I just need to go to bed :P
  • God. I'm not exactly sure what I'm thankful of God for, but it's more than I can type.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Alcoholic PMS

It's been a strangely emotional past week -- seemingly for no reason at all. I've been irratible and restless even though I've had every reason to be happy. They say that Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) can make you very irratible, and you don't have to be a newcomer to experience it either.

After reading more about it [here], I've started calling it "Alcoholic PMS".

Often those 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 1 & 2-year sobriety dates seem to be "triggering" times for PAW symptoms to increase.

I think that alot of people relapse because they don't know how to handle these feelings. I haven't learned how to successfully handle them -- but I know how NOT to handle them. Picking up a drink will make everything worse.

Aside from the mental storm going on in my head, it's been a good week :)

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 108 days sober
  • the very sweet people who read my blog
  • my loving family
  • my sweet boyfriend
  • my adorable puppy
  • my reliable little car, which I received the title for yesterday!
  • patient people
  • God, because He knows where I'm headed

Friday, July 21, 2006

Study Finds Alcohol Increases Injury Risk

It must be a terribly slow news day in Australia, but nevertheless, this article is related to alcohol: [Click Here]

Just another reason to stay sober: Drinking makes me four times more likely to get hurt while doing something stupid :D

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Imaginary Warrior

My mind is a battlefield, worn and scathed
The battles seem so huge and important
And it comes as a surprise to realize
That it's all in my head

One part of me knows what's right and true
The other part mis-feels and mis-senses the world around me
The conflicting readings make me feel like I'm losing my mind
To an imaginary battle

Intellectual knowledge provides an accurate roadmap
But my emotional sensory intuition is inaccurate
I know what's supposed to be true at a given time
But every feeling in my body says the opposite is happening

That conflict between what is "known" and what is "felt" ...
It's hard sometimes.
I'm tired :)

Today, I'm grateful ...

  • to be sober
  • that my dad liked the gifts that I made for him
  • that my family loves me
  • that my boyfriend loves me
  • that my car works
  • that God hasn't left, and won't leave

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Still holding on ...

In the news today, a drunken Australian man fell 30 meters into a ravine while relieving himself. He held onto the beer all the way down, and was still nursing it when he was rescued. [Full Article]

I just need to hold on to my sobriety as tight as that dude held onto his beer.

Feeling like a complete social clutz today. Been to two meetings. I don't want to talk to anyone and I don't want to "share" in the discussion. I want to isolate. I REALLY want to isolate. I was asked to speak in a meeting tonight, but I shied away like an idiot.

I don't understand why they expect newcomers to have anything remotely intelligent to say in a discussion meeting. We have no friggin clue how to stay sober and they know it. Every newcomer either talks from their "fuzzy pink cloud" (rose-colored glasses) point of view, or their "my life sucks and none of you will EVER understand" point of view. If you've heard one, you've heard them all. No wonder "old school" AA meetings don't allow newcomers to speak until they've been sober for a year. We're damn annoying.

I'd rather stay quiet and avoid embarrassing myself with stupid insights that everyone else has heard a billion times. But if I don't share when asked to, that embarrasses me too. I dunno what to do ... it's aggrivating.

I think I'm just in a bad mood. Time to STFU.

Tonight I'm grateful for ...

  • being sober
  • being loved

Another reason to stay sober ...

Here's a funny image from

Stay sober, because nobody likes a drunk!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sleepy ... zzz ...

Man I'm sleepy. Been staying up really late and getting up early. I've been having so much fun putting a website together. It's slow-going ... I'm not very good at it yet, and I want it to be perfect.

Over the past few days, I've been blessed with a feeling of excitement and ambition -- feelings I haven't felt in a long time.

But at night, negative thoughts fill my mind with worry, guilt, and doubt. It only happens when I try to fall asleep. It's been going on for years. Because of the anxiety, it takes me over an hour every night just to fall asleep -- even when I'm genuinely exhausted. Besides it's aggrivating to be hopeful one minute, then hopeless the next.

I think that working through steps 4-11 will help -- when I eventually "reach" them.

Today, I'm thankful for ...

  • being 103 days sober
  • AA friends, online and off
  • my great little reliable car, which is all PAID for now :D
  • my adorable puppy, whose sweetness melted hearts today at the groomer
  • my family, who helps me to stay on top of things
  • my boyfriend, whose love and friendship is truely priceless
  • making cool stuff at CafePress
  • medicine ... oh the allergies ...
  • grapes. I've been eating them by the bowl-full for about a week now ...
  • God, the answer to every problem

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Day 100

Good things to report today:

I made my very last car payment on my car. It's officially mine now! I've never officially owned a car before :)

I'm very excited and having a great time designing a website. This blog will be a part of it, if I can make it all work ...

The past two evenings were spent hanging out with successful "professionals" -- and I never struggled with those feelings of inferiority that struck last week.

My boyfriend (also a recovering alcoholic) and I managed to sit at a bar and order iced tea while waiting for his friends to arrive at the restaurant this evening. It was a bit awkward for us both, but we were both so grateful to no longer be slaves to alcohol. Life is hell when your entire world revolves around a bottle.

I saw "A Scanner Darkly" today. Very interesting movie about addiction. Highly recommend this for alcoholics or addicts, but it's definitely NOT for the faint of heart or those who are easily offended by profanity.

Last, but not least, I finally saw "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" for the very first time :P Loved it.

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being 100 days sober
  • no longer being a slave to alcohol
  • overcoming feelings of inferiority
  • the opportunity to make fun websites
  • finally owning a car
  • my sweet and precious boyfriend
  • my loving family & adorable puppy
  • God, who lets me experience little miracles every day

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Aikido is hard! I think my wrist got twisted off a few times :P But it was all fun. It's cool to learn something different.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 98 days sober
  • the patient teachers at Aikido class
  • my sweet boyfriend, who takes me to Aikido class
  • my loving family and adorable puppy
  • God, whose plans are greater than I can know

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I don't really know what to write tonight. But I'm glad to be sober and alive.

Alot of things are going on, and overall, I've had fun today.

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being 97 days sober
  • my precious family
  • my uber amazing boyfriend, who loves me for some reason
  • the cool people who read my blog, even when it sucks
  • fun with creating web pages, even when CSS kicks my butt and laughs at me
  • safe travels down the interstate
  • caffeine ... oh, the caffeine ...
  • God, the method to the madness

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Caution: Thoughts in head are dumber than they appear

Things are improving. When I say "things", I mean my own emotions and perceptions regarding unchanged circumstances.

I love how circumstances don't need to change. Like every alcoholic, every molehill circumstance in my life is perceived as a mountainous obstacle. The circumstance doesn't need to change -- only my perception of it needs to change.

And thank God for that. It's easier to change an outlook than to tackle a seemingly impossible problem.

Isn't that all life is? Life never changes. Circumstances never change. But we change because we grow into new perceptions of it all. Maybe life is just a series of changes in perception ...

... Or maybe it's time for me to go to bed and stop trying to think thoughts that are too big for my brain.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Still sober :)

Just really, really tired and busy.

Got some plans to work out and some worries to shrug off. Stuck in an emotional slump, but that's okay.

Thanks to anyone who still stops by. You're very nice ...

Friday, July 07, 2006


I'm unemployed right now. I have a college degree, but I've never had a corresponding college-level job before. I've been stuck in the hell-hole of retail all my life (thus permanently branded as "unhirable" for any level of professional job).

Job-hunting has always been a significant trigger for my drinking, and even to this day, working on my résumé makes me physically sick and very emotionally upset.

While in the company of a few successful professionals today, feelings of inferiority crept in. The seemingly innocuous question, "So what do you do?" felt like a swift kick in the gut.

These people make more money in a week than I made last year. They have great jobs and massive amounts of money. Although I have the same level of education as they do, I have failed professionally and economically. Therefore, I'm a complete and utter loser.

I managed to reply with, "I'm between jobs right now," with a forced smile that could have been interpreted as a painful and humiliated grimace.

At first, I tried to arrest those feelings with the knowledge that "we're all just people, after all". And then I wondered why I was feeling inferior, and I felt spiritually defective for feeling inferior in the first place. Then I felt even MORE inferior. Panic tried to set in several times.

I wanted to melt away into thin air.

But I didn't melt. And I didn't drink.

The minutes and hours passed by. Through prayer, I managed to enjoy the rest of the evening and gracefully mask my exuberance when it was finally time to leave.

I'm grateful to be 92 days sober today.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

brain overloaded ... beep beep beep ...

Today, I went to my first Aikido class with my boyfriend. It's very different from the Taekwondo and Muay Thai that I've done before (Taekwondo: 14 years, Muay Thai: about 1 year). Aikido is very gentle with very few striking techniques, while Taekwondo and Muay Thai are polar opposite -- very rough and made entirely of striking techniques.

The Aikido instructors at this school are very good and very patient. I'm a slow learner AND I have alot of habits from my previous training that don't fit in well with Aikido, so I need to re-train my brain. Thank God for their patience!

I learned many things that I will most likely forget overnight. But it was so much fun to learn something new -- and to have the chance to "start over". I haven't worn a white belt since 1993. (A white belt is worn by new students).

Starting over is tough, especially when you have tons of old habits to break (like I do). But I'm so happy to have this opportunity.

Today, I'm grateful for:

  • being 91 days sober
  • ibuprofen. Aikido class made me sore!
  • my sweet boyfriend, who let me throw him around in Aikido class :P
  • my family. I'm so fortunate to have such a loving family.
  • my adorable puppy, who was so happy to see me today that he literally hopped up and down like a bunny. I've never seen him do that before ...
  • the awesome people who stop by and read my blog
  • God, who kept me alive and in one piece today.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It's Independence Day (US)

When I was little, I always referred to Independence Day as the "4th of July". I remember wondering, "Do they have the 4th of July in other countries?" Of course they do. It's sandwiched between the 3rd of July and the 5th of July :)

But I'm glad that today is Independence Day for my country. And I'm glad that I can be independent from alcohol today. The once all-mighty king has been dethroned.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being independent from alcohol for 89 days
  • the ability to live the rest of my life independent from alcohol's oppression
  • the sacrifices of the earliest Americans, who gave their lives for the founding ideals of this country
  • my sweet boyfriend, who inspires me
  • my wonderful family and adorable puppy
  • God, who blesses me everyday with everything I need to stay sober

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Is it really a good idea to fake it?

We had a discussion in a women's AA meeting yesterday about how important it is to simply "fake it" sometimes. Suit up and show up. Smile when it hurts. Do the next right thing, no matter how you feel.

Why? They say that your emotions follow your behavior. If you feel like you want to isolate, behave as if you didn't want to isolate: go to a meeting and call other alcoholics.

If you want to be happy, act happy. "Fake it until you make it!" That makes sense ...

BUT ...

It seems that over the past year, the tight-knit local AA community here has lost many people to relapse and suicide. And of these people, none of them showed any sign that they were having problems. They were so busy "faking it".

So I wonder if it's really the best advice to toss out there in a discussion meeting with newcomers? Or maybe I've just been thinking about it too much.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 87 days sober
  • the program of AA
  • AA friends, online and off
  • the uber cool people who read my blog
  • my awesome boyfriend
  • my wonderful and loving family
  • my sweet puppydog
  • being loved
  • God, who never runs out of things for me to learn