Sober since April 6, 2006


Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I almost fell asleep several times at the meeting tonight, so I'll make this entry short.

Another thing that really hit me yesterday is the meditation for October 30, from "Twenty Four Hours A Day":

"There is a time for everything. We should learn to wait patiently until the right time comes. Easy does it. We waste our energies in trying to get things before we are ready to have them, before we have earned the right to receive them. A great lesson we have to learn is how to wait with patience. We can believe that all our life is a preparation for something better to come when we have earned the right to it. We can believe that God has a plan for our lives and that this plan will work out in the fullness of time."

I want things I don't have, can't have, and shouldn't have. Don't we all? Whenever I acquire something I'm not supposed to have, I always lose it because I'm not yet able to handle it.

So instead of wishing things were different, I need to embrace my situations as they are. If I don't have something, it's because 1) I'm not ready for it yet, or 2) I haven't done the footwork to earn it.

I need to focus on today and stay in the moment. I must learn how to embrace each moment, even when they defy my desires.

Today, I'm especially thankful for ...
  • being 208 days sober
  • AA buddies online and off
  • my loving family
  • my very patient boss
  • meeting with my sponsor at the meeting tonight
  • giving out candy to the trick-or-treaters
  • my fully functioning car. It's a miracle that everything still works!
  • God, who occasionally allows me to have things I shouldn't have, so that the end result will teach me to stop wanting things I shouldn't have

Monday, October 30, 2006

openly and freely

From "Twenty Four Hours a Day", entry for October 30:

"My idea of friendship has changed. Friends are no longer people whom I can use for my own pleasure of profit. Friends are now people who understand me and I them, whom I can help and who can help me to live a better life. I have learned not to hold back and wait for friends to come to me, but to go half way and to be met half way, openly and freely."

When I read that passage this morning, I nearly flipped out. I have ALWAYS waited for "friends" to come to me! I have never made a wholehearted attempt to meet anyone halfway. Whenever I try to meet people halfway, I hold up my guard out of fear of getting hurt, and I retreat far before reaching the halfway point. That is anything BUT "openly and freely" as described above.

Lately, however, I have been letting my guard down while taking steps toward that threatening halfway point. It is as scary as hell every time. It amazes me how much of my social interaction is governed by fear.

A few months ago, if you had asked me why I did not mingle and socialize, I would have said "I'm too busy," "I don't need friends," "I'm socially defective," "I'm not worth knowing anyway," or "I just want to be alone." All of those excuses are lies. But countless times I have found it preferable to convince myself into believing those lies rather than to face my fear.

In recovery, I have been engaging in these old behaviors resulting from my old ideas. I need to get rid of my old ideas. They are holding me back.

"Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

"Remember that we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power that One is God. May you find Him now!

"Half measures availed us nothing. We stood at the turning point. We asked His protection and care with complete abandon."

I leave no room for God's protection and care when I insist on protecting and caring for myself. This is why I am supposed to let go absolutely, and relinquish jurisdiction of my life to God with complete abandon. Until I let go of everything -- my old ideas, old behaviors, pride, and fears -- I will never be the person that God wants me to be.

Today, I am especially grateful for ...
  • being 207 days sober
  • experiencing some clarity today
  • my family
  • my dog
  • AA buddies online and off
  • my car
  • my job
  • God, because His patience is stronger than my hardheadedness

Saturday, October 28, 2006

"grapevine what's-her-name"

This week has been odd. My emotions are becoming volatile again. There were many highs and lows. I thank God for the period of relative emotional stability that I experienced over the past month. That was nice.

Today started out volatile but ended well. I was invited to attend my sponsor's homegroup "eating meeting" tonight, which they only have four times a year. I don't recall her telling me beforehand that SHE was going to be the speaker! I would have been much more excited to attend if I had known that. It was awesome to hear her story. I'm so glad that I went!

Then I went to the Saturday 10pm meeting and made it a second home group (however, I'm reserving my voting rights for my primary home group). After the meeting, they held a group conscience meeting and elected new people to fill various roles. They elected me to maintain the supply of Grapevine issues. I've never even seen a Grapevine issue before! (Err, what's the Grapevine? Find out [here].) My new nickname there is "Grapevine What's-Her-Name". Surely there must be something better than that ...

The term lasts for one year. I hope I can stay sober for a year! I never thought I could last six months, but here I am. By the grace of God go I.

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being 206 DAMN days sober
  • AA buddies online and off
  • having a service committment
  • my supportive family
  • my functioning car, which gets me to meetings
  • being tired enough to sleep tonight (I hope)
  • God, who knows the future but STILL isn't freaked out about it

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

three surprises

Today was full of surprises, but three of them stood out the most.

This morning, rush hour decided not to be so difficult, so I got to work 30 minutes early. I sat in my car and read some devotionals.

When I felt "ready" to go on into work, I got out of the car and was immediately greeted by my bosses' bosses' bosses' boss ... a company VP. I had no idea who she was at first.

As we stood there in the parking lot, she introduced herself and shook my hand. Not only did she already know my name, but she complimented me over how I handled a situation during my first week there. I was shocked! That's surprise #1.

At the end of the work day, my coworker (mentioned in this other post) who had refused to speak to me for three weeks -- actually spoke to me! As she got up to leave today, I turned my head to say "Have a good night" -- but she beat me to it! She said it first. I was shocked again! That's surprise #2.

I'm grateful to be sober, because if I had been drinking, I: 1) wouldn't have this job anyway; 2) wouldn't have handled the VP-mentioned situation properly; and 3) would not have responded appropriately to my coworker's silence.

Those were just little things, but sometimes little things carry unexpected significance.

Then I went to a Step Study meeting tonight. It was on Step 3: "We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him."

We read a part out of the Twelve Steps & Twelve Traditions that hit me hard:

" ... Step Three calls for affirmative action, for it is only by action that we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God -- or if you like, a Higher Power -- into our lives. Faith, to be sure, is necessary, but faith alone can avail nothing. We can have faith, yet keep God out of our lives" (p.34).

I have felt for a long time that I had already taken steps 1-3 "in my heart". But tonight I saw that my thinking has been full of self-will.

For example, I haven't been working with a sponsor. Why? I blamed it on several things. They're too hard to find. I don't have time. I asked about a dozen people in the past two months and they all turned me down or referred me to someone else because they don't have time for another sponsee. I was scared of being rejected again. But all of those reasons could be summed up with one word: "pride". If I had been more humble, I would not have let excuses stand in the way, and I would have asked many more people instead of my selective few.

It is only by taking action that I can cut away self-will ... hrmm ...

So after the Step Study meeting -- which was a HUGE meeting with about 100 people -- I stuck around and asked someone what I needed to do to get a sponsor. I had never asked about getting sponsor at this particular meeting before. I was shocked when the actual lady I asked was willing to give me a shot! That's surprise #3.

Surprise #4 will be if she decides to keep me! Or perhaps that would be a blessing of God's grace instead.

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...
  • being 201 days sober
  • realizing that my ideas have been wrong
  • finding someone who was willing to sponsor me
  • experiencing a day of surprises
  • God, who somehow has this all planned out

Monday, October 23, 2006

Lyrics: "The Glass Prison", by Dream Theater


Cunning, Baffling, Powerful
Been beaten to a pulp
Vigorous, Irresistable
Sick and tired and laid low
Dominating, Invincible
Black-out, loss of control
Overwhelming, Unquenchable
I'm powerless, have to let go

I can't escape it
It leaves me frail and worn
Can no longer take it
Senses tattered and torn

Hopeless surrender
Obsession's got me beat
Losing the will to live
Admitting complete defeat

Fatal Descent
Spinning around
I've gone too far
To turn back round

Desperate attempt
Stop the progression
At any length
Lift this obsession

Crawling to my glass prison
A place where no one knows
My secret lonely world begins

So much safer here
A place where I can go
To forget about my daily sins

Life here in my glass prison
A place I once called home
Fall in nocturnal bliss again

Chasing a long lost friend
I no longer can control
Just waiting for this hopelessness to end


Run - fast from the wreckage of the past
A shattered glass prison wall behind me
Fight - past walking through the ashes
A distant oasis before me

Cry - desperate crawling on my knees
Begging God to please stop the insanity
Help me - I'm trying to believe
Stop wallowing in my self pity

"We've been waiting for you my friend
The writing's been on the wall
All it takes is a little faith
You know you're the same as us all"

Help me - I can't break out this prison all alone
Save me - I'm drowning and I'm hopeless on my own
Heal me - I can't restore my sanity alone

Enter the door
Fighting no more
Help me restore
To my sanity
At this temple of hope

I need to learn
Teach me how
Sorrow to burn
Help me return
To humanity
I'll be fearless and thorough
To enter this temple of hope

Transcend the pain
Living the life
Opened my eyes
This new odyssey
Of rigorous honesty

That I never knew
Soundness of mind
Helped me to find
Courage to change
All the things that I can

"We'll help you perform this miracle
But you must set your past free
You dug the hole, but you can't bury your soul
Open your mind and you'll see"

Help me - I can't break out this prison all alone
Save me - I'm drowning and I'm hopeless on my own
Heal me - I can't restore my sanity alone


Way off in the distance I saw a door
I tried to open
I tried forcing with all of my will but still
The door wouldn't open

Unable to trust in my faith
I turned and walked away
I looked around, felt a chill in the air
Took my will and turned it over

The glass prison which once held me is gone
A long lost fortress
Armed only with liberty
And the key of my willingness

Fell down on my knees and prayed
"Thy will be done"
I turned around, saw a light shining through
The door was wide open


Today, I'm especially grateful for ...
  • being 200 days sober
  • my cool brother, for introducing me to awesome music that I otherwise would not have found
  • my supportive family
  • the nice people who stop by this blog
  • nice warm AA meetings on cold nights
  • seeing a guy pick up a white chip tonight
  • seeing familiar faces at the meeting tonight
  • God, because He speaks to us in so many different ways. We can hear when we listen ...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

wow, i'm such a newbie

I had the good fortune of attending three meetings today. The first two were speaker meetings. I got to hear two awesome speakers share their unique stories. I have no idea how people do that. I would be scared to death!

The third meeting tonight was open discussion. Just when I was starting to feel comfortable with the idea of sharing, the topics ventured outside my realm of experience. I was so grateful to be able to sit, listen, and learn.

I used to know someone (outside of AA) who responded to everybody's problems with a standard universally applicable response: "Well, at least you're not on fire." His reasoning was that if you didn't get set on fire today, then whatever shitty things that happened to you couldn't have been that bad in comparison.

It sounds like a rude and demented response, but its sadistic humor got me through some tough times in the past and still gets me through them today. However, sharing that with someone in an AA meeting wouldn't exactly help them! (You see, this is why I sit and listen through meetings ... I need to learn more so that I will eventually have something useful to share.)

So I am once again left in awe of the wisdom and generosity of the people in this program. The old-timers / long-timers knew exactly what to say. They always do. I'm so grateful that they keep coming back to these meetings and sharing their experience, strength, and hope. There are reasonable answers to every life issue, even though they are often not what we want to hear. Usually the answer we like the least is the best one for us.

Tonight was a learning experience. If only I could sit and listen to a thousand meetings, maybe I'd get a tiny bit smarter and more helpful. Or more likely, I just need to live sober and work the program for a few decades. (Of course that's the right answer -- it's the more difficult one!)

Today, I'm especially thankful for ...

  • being 198 "DAMN days" sober!
  • the awesome and patient folks in AA who keep coming back and the brave souls who share their experience, strength, and hope
  • "butt trusted?!" (joke at my homegroup ... see tradition #2)
  • fellow bloggers who keep posting
  • my reliable car, which gets me to meetings
  • my nice family and adorable dog
  • God, because today I have witnessed Him using alcoholics to help each other

Friday, October 20, 2006

just for today

Some words of wisdom, from AlAnon:

Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my "luck" as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don't want to do - just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won't find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.

Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful, and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

I'm looking forward to this weekend. I think I can fit alot of meetings in! Maybe I can get some sleep too. I'm so tired!

For the most part I'm just grateful to be sober, and to have experienced peace today.

I sense that a coworker of mine hates me. She mistrained me a few times over the past week, the most recent time being blatantly intentional. She won't look at me or talk to me -- even when I say, "Good morning". At first, I was tempted to get upset and offended. But now, all I can see is the pain and fear inside of her. I can't feel angry or hurt when I see that someone is suffering. I need to grow and become helpful.

At the same time, I am responsible for my own serenity. I cannot allow the actions of other people to affect my serenity, whether for better or for worse. My serenity must be based on something immovable and timeless -- something that never changes. From that point, life can crash or fly ... but serenity would always remain balanced.

And now I'm just typing because I'm exhausted and can't think of anything else to say. It's time for bed ...

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...
  • being 197 days sober (in dedication to an AA buddy, those would be "197 DAMN days" sober!)
  • Alcoholics Anonymous and AlAnon
  • going to my favorite AA meeting tonight: "If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it." This group makes people want it!
  • the wisdom and generosity of other recovering alcoholics
  • prayer
  • finding a way to accept a few initially unwanted circumstances and find gratitude in them
  • my loving and supportive family
  • my adorable dog
  • my coworkers ... even the troubled ones
  • God, because He makes serenity and peace possible

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Went to my favorite meeting tonight ... and I finally shared in a meeting.

Geez. By the way I dragged my heels about this, you would have thought it was skydiving or Xtreme nude swimming with sharks. (And poisonous stingrays too, crikey!)

The topic revolved around some life issues that reminded me of a few passages in the Big Book that I've been trying to memorize:

"Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt." (p. 62)

"We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, 'This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.'

"We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one." (p. 66-67)

"At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us." (p. 77)

I'm too tired to type more tonight. I must be getting OLD! Either that, or I haven't been getting enough sleep lately ... go figure :)

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...
  • being 195 days sober
  • going to my favorite meeting today! Woohoo!
  • my supportive and wonderful family
  • the nice people who read my blog
  • my nice warm bed ... which is looking more comfortable by the second ...
  • God, because He has blessed me with desperation to stay sober, and I hope it never leaves

Monday, October 16, 2006

monday gratitude

Work went well today. It flashed by quickly. I'm so grateful to be learning the spiritual principles in AA -- they make work so much easier. The drama isn't so overwhelming.

I went to another new meeting tonight, and got to meet new people and see familiar faces. It's cool to be able to go to a new meeting but not feel so alone once you get there. I also got to see the lady I spoke with after Saturday night's meeting. It was good to see her, and to see that she's still working through her problem sober.

Today, I'm especially grAAteful for ...

  • being 193 days sober
  • not having to hide anything (WOW! Nothing to hide!)
  • being allowed to be me. I don't have to be anyone else anymore. I can be myself.
  • the awesome people at AA meetings. They treat me with more kindness than I generally return. Providing appropriate reciprocity has always been difficult. I'm trying to improve, but I'm still afraid to open up. Just taking baby steps ...
  • the nice people who read my blog
  • the patient people at work who are training me
  • my supportive and loving family
  • realizing (again) that happiness is a result of my spiritual condition, not my circumstances
  • the ability to stop ... stop thinking ... stop moving ... just STOP
  • God, because He is there when I can stop long enough to pay attention to Him

Sunday, October 15, 2006

humbling experience

Something happened tonight that I have never seen before, and I hope I never forget.

I went to a discussion meeting. A nice lady apologetically arrived a few minutes late. She appeared to be in her mid-30's. When the discussion opened, she introduced herself as "Jen" and said she took her last drink eleven hours ago. She was from out of town and was temporarily staying with her parents in town. They were planning on seeing a doctor on Tuesday to consider her options for treatment.

But as the meeting went on, her hands started to tremble. Then they started to shake. The people sitting on each side of her took her hands and held them in their own. Soon she was shaking so hard that even they couldn't keep her hands still.

The meeting leader (a 30-year sober old-timer) told her that her physical condition was becoming serious, and that she needed to get to a hospital or treatment center immediately. Everyone in the room agreed with him.

But she said she was afraid it would make her parents angry. Her parents did not believe her when she told them she was an alcoholic. They refused to allow her to even propose alcoholism as a potential condition, even though she told them about her drinking habits and withdrawal symptoms. But even as she spoke, her whole body started going into convulsions. Still she kept on speaking as if nothing was wrong. It took everyone in the entire meeting to convince her that she needed to get medical help.

A few people shared their experiences with needing medical help during withdrawal, one guy saying that when he was in similar shape, his blood pressure was high enough to suffer a stroke or heart attack. She finally agreed to get medical help. The meeting leader cut the meeting short and several members arranged to get her to a center.

She was still worried about making her parents angry.


I do not know what to say. I never experienced the withdrawal symptoms that she did, and I have never seen anyone in that condition. What really struck me was that she was so concerned about the possibility of angering her parents for seeking medical help. Most people do not understand that alcohol withdrawal can be medically endangering. Some people literally DIE when they stop drinking: The mortality rate for delerium tremens ("the DTs") is 35% for those who do not receive medical help, and 5% for those who receive early help.

I feel bad that her parents did not support her. I also feel bad for her parents, because although I am sure that they love her, they are facing the shock of social stigma. That is why they so vehemently denied her confession of being an alcoholic.

It is terribly unfortunate that society places such a negative stigma toward alcoholics. If she told her parents that she had developed a phobia or a type of depression, they would have accepted her condition and supported her with open arms. But alcoholism is simply dirty in the eyes of society. It throws unaware loved ones into denial over an alcoholic's condition, and it prevents many alcoholics from seeking help. Alcoholics do not want to have that negative stigma applied to them, and they do not want to disappoint, dishonor, or humiliate their families. So it is only out of true desperation that alcoholics finally come to their families for help. Being told, "No, you're not an alcoholic" or being otherwise shunned is scarring. They are ashamed of themselves enough already.

I did not want that stigma applied to me, and I did not want to dishonor my family, so I spent a year trying to stop drinking on my own. I repeatedly failed. The longest I could stay continuously sober was 12 days. I was too ashamed and did not want my parents to know that their beloved daughter -- an honors student in college and national champion Tae Kwon Do Master -- was an alcoholic. I strived to make them proud all my life, but I felt that my alcoholism would result in ultimate disappointment. I could not do that to them. I admitted my alcoholism to the few close friends who knew of my drinking, but I never accepted it. I did not want to be an alcoholic. It was not until I became desperate enough to stay sober that I became willing to be an alcoholic.

I am still willing to be an alcoholic. Because now that I am willing to embrace the truth about myself, I am empowered to recover and to spiritually grow. Recovery and growth are impossible for someone in denial or resentment of their condition. I do not deny my alcoholism, and I do not resent it either. I embrace it. I would not change it for the world. Now I can grow, rise out of the shame, and finally experience peace.

I am very fortunate that my parents accepted me with open arms when I told them about my alcoholism. I was more worried about dishonoring them than anything else. But at least now, the lie is over, so I can make my parents proud for who I really am, and not for who I pretended to be. I am also very fortunate that I did not experience extreme physical withdrawal symptoms. I do not understand why I was spared while others were not spared, but I am grateful.

Anyone who reads this, please, if you could, remember "Jen" and her parents in your prayers.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 192 days sober
  • meeting "Jen" tonight
  • being willing to be an alcoholic
  • having a supportive family
  • being reminded of the preciousness of sobriety, and the desperation of alcohol's influence
  • God, because He has provided a way to live

Saturday, October 14, 2006

this new meeting is cool :D

I tried a new meeting tonight, and I love it! It's every Saturday night at 10. Some of the folks there are members of my Wednesday/Friday night homegroup. It's awesome to go to a new meeting and see familiar faces. I love these people, although I don't show it well. That's another issue to work on.

I also learned about a great women's meeting on Thursday evenings. I'll have to give that one a try too!

Again, I didn't "share" in this meeting, but I made a baby step forward in that area. There was a lady I wanted to share my thoughts with because (surprise!) she shared something I have experience with. Although I was too nervous to share in front of the group, I waited until after the meeting, then introduced myself to her and talked with her for a few minutes. So I shared that way. I guess it's better than not sharing at all. Plus I got to meet her and know her better. That was cool. Perhaps I can work my way up to sharing with the group.

Thanks to everyone who offered advice regarding my reluctance to share in discussion meetings. [in reference to this post] You folks are awesome :)

Regarding the breakup, I'm not as sad about it today as I was before. The hurt is still there. But whenever I think of him -- which I often do -- I pray for him and hope he is okay.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 191 days sober
  • the incredibly patient people who read my blog
  • finding a new awesome meeting
  • attending three meetings today
  • meeting new people
  • opening up ... a little bit
  • my wonderful family and adorable dog
  • God, because I can feel Him with me

Friday, October 13, 2006

fear of speaking in meetings

Went to an open discussion meeting tonight, and the topic was how upset we get when things don't meet our expectations.

I hate it when everyone else has shared except for me, and the meeting leader says, "There are still a few minutes left ... would you like to share?" I'm looking at the ground, hoping to dear GOD that they're not talking to me.

Ask me to read something, or to stack chairs, or even to greet people -- and I'll be fine. But ask me to share my opinion -- and I'm screwed. I can only make myself speak if I feel like what I have to say would really help someone. That has happened exactly TWICE during my last nine months of going to AA meetings.

I've lived such a sheltered and boring life that it's very difficult for me to identify with people's circumstances. All I can offer to most discussion is immature conjecture. But that's so damn annoying! I don't want to be annoying ...

There's nothing more disconcerting to an AA group than a period of more than ten seconds of silence during a discussion meeting. People squirm in their seats. The meeting leader glances at people to encourage them to speak. Everyone feels uncomfortable. In AA, nothing is more intolerable than silence.

But I don't understand why. I happen to LIKE silence. In many Asian countries, silence is considered good. It's peaceful, contemplative, and means that you care enough about the subject to pay it thoughtful consideration without forming premature judgements about it. I prefer this interpretation of silence.

I feel just as uncomfortable sharing as other people feel uncomfortable with silence.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 190 days sober
  • getting to a meeting tonight
  • talking with other alcoholics
  • my nice family and sweet dog
  • the cool people who read my blog
  • that in my understanding, God's motto is the same as AA's: "Keep Coming Back"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I went to a meeting! I went to a meeting! I went to a meeting! Woohoo!

I also picked up my 6 month chip at my other home group tonight. (They say around here to pick up a chip at all of your groups so that everyone can see you make progress.) And I got to see other people pick up chips too -- including one guy who got a 24-year chip, and another guy who picked up a white chip (a "I-want-to-stop-drinking-even-if-it's-just-for-today" chip).

It feels so good to know that I was right where I needed to be. Thank God for meetings with other recovering alcoholics.

Today, I'm especially thankful for ...

  • being 188 days sober
  • the awesome people who read my blog and share words of wisdom and encouragement
  • the nice people at work who have been helping me learn new things
  • my cool family and cute dog
  • God, because He helped me get to a meeting today, and I was desperate

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

alive, sober, exhausted

Day 2 of cubicle world is over. I spent my evening running errands for work. Didn't make a meeting. Haven't made it to a meeting in four days. Initializing self-destruct sequence in 3 - 2 - 1 .... kaboom!

Today, I'm thankful for ...

  • being dry
  • being too exhausted to feel brokenhearted
  • being too stressed out about work to give a damn about my own stupid emotional problems
  • feeling better from my cold/flu thing
  • my nice family and adorable dog
  • the nice people who read my blog
  • the nice people at work
  • my nice warm, soft bed
  • God, although He's making my life transition very uncomfortably, He's got a good reason

Monday, October 09, 2006

day one at planet cubicle

My career experience up until now has been running cash registers and stocking aisles with merchandise. This is my first job at a cubicle farm. It's so different.

First of all, a giant room filled with a maze of cubicles creates an unnatural feeling. It's like walking into a rat maze. There must be a bit of cheese to find somewhere. Then there are the meetings -- the senseless waste of time meetings. "We're having a small meeting to prepare for the BIG meeting later this afternoon about the office Halloween party." Eh? I'm accustomed to being bullwhipped into working FASTER and getting stuff DONE. This slow-pace environment is so different.

Something interesting: When I worked in retail, I used to HATE the people at the corporate office. They got paid holidays off while my friends and I had to work. I grumbled and groaned and absolutely hated those spoiled-rotten-retail-corporate-office-jerks.

And now, I have BECOME one of those spoiled-rotten-retail-corporate-office-jerks! It's an odd feeling, because I vividly remember the animosity I had toward people who "had it better than me". I think I still harbor that same kind of animosity in different ways. I need to cut that out.

I wrote up a schedule for AA meetings that I can attend around my job schedule. There's a good meeting I can attend every day of the week -- except for Mondays. There's only one group I can attend on Mondays, and I've been there several times before. But it has always given me the creeps! I don't know if it's the strange church or the odd layout of the meeting, but something about it doesn't feel right. Maybe I just need to get over it and make myself go anyway.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 186 days sober
  • my nice family
  • the nice people who read my blog
  • viewing something I once hated from the other side
  • experiencing a new situation that requires me to place trust in God
  • not falling down dead on my first day at work (I've got a cold/flu/thing)
  • going to bed early tonight
  • God, who must be laughing at me (but that's okay) :P

hrm ... what would you do?

Well, my first day of work went okay. I was sick as a dog though. This was terrible timing to catch a cold!

I really don't like the idea of spreading germs, but staying home sick on one's very first day at work might make a worse impression.

What would you do? Would you call in sick on your first day at a new job, or show up anyway?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

changes are coming

The leaves are starting to change color for autumn. If you look closely, you can see some leaves have started to turn yellow. But soon, the tree will be FILLED with beautiful yellow, orange, and red leaves:

And I'm changing too -- hopefully for the better. I feel like I've made an enormous amount of emotional/spiritual growth over the past few months. But after getting dumped for not making the amount of progress my boyfriend expected, I feel trivialized, diminished, and emotionally violated. I don't know if that's how I'm supposed to feel or not, but that's how I feel.

And tomorrow, I start the job that I got for the soul purpose of making him happy. I'm struggling not to go into this with a bitter attitude. Jobs are hard to get, so I'm supposed to be grateful to get one.

Maybe I'm just sad because my motives were thwarted. Much like the well-intentioned blog entry that bizarrely resulted in our ultimate breakup, this job was supposed to make him happy. Every time I tried to make him happy, "KABOOM!" Just the opposite happened, and he got mad at me for reasons he refused to explain -- but he made certain I knew that it was all my fault. I really don't understand his reasoning, and he was never willing to explain it.

This constant analysis is all too confusing. How does one make sense of irrationality? It can't be done. But I keep banging my head against the wall trying to make sense of it anyway. I feel like I can't come to peace until I understand WHY he reacted like he did. It's so bizarre ...

Maybe it's just one of the many mysteries that I need to accept by faith, such as "Why does God let bad things happen to good people? Why does God let babies die?" Those kinds of questions can't be answered ... we can only decide to come to peace with not really knowing. I suppose I need to come to peace with never knowing why he behaved like he did.

As far as AA meetings go, I'm a fanatic about not spreading germs (I have a cold), so I didn't go to any meetings this weekend. I think that's why I'm so sad and stuck in my head. I really don't understand how some people can go to meetings only once a week. I need a meeting every day -- sometimes twice a day. Otherwise I feel like absolute crap. How can anyone survive without going to a meeting every day?

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 185 days sober
  • the desperation of needing (not just wanting, but NEEDING) to go to a meeting
  • my nice family
  • the extremely patient people who read my blog without smacking me upside the head
  • kleenex with lotion and vitamin E. My nose is raw!
  • God, because has a purpose in everything that happens

Saturday, October 07, 2006

sad day today

Sorry but I had to change the entry initially written here ... this blog is my primary therapeutic tool, but I need to be more careful with what I say. Maybe I'll be able to bring up the old post in a more appropriate way after I've had more time to heal.

For now, I'll just say that I'm sad for a loved one who left. I'm hurt and angry too, but for the most part, I'm just sad for him. The whole situation is sad.

I'm grateful to be sober, and I hope he's still sober too.

I'm physically sick, and physically and emotionally exhausted.

Friday, October 06, 2006

can someone please toss a box of tissues this way?

Today, I'm especially thankful for ...

  • being 183 days sober
  • picking up my 6 month chip today
  • my nice family
  • the beautiful autumn weather
  • getting slapped with a head cold and sore throat the weekend before my job starts (at least the worst will be over by Monday)
  • tissues ... "achoo!"
  • ibuprofen
  • coldpacks/heatpacks
  • hot chocolate (mmmm ... chocolate!)
  • reading more books about relationships and learning more about why some of them become so dysfunctional
  • learning that my emotions are valid, and that my sanity is intact
  • understanding why things got so damn confusing over the past month
  • a private blog, where I can work these feelings out until they start making sense
  • God, because unlike boyfriends, He listens, He understands, He cares, He accepts me as I am, He reaches out to me, and He allows me to feel loved and appreciated -- all without judging whether I "deserve it" or not. I don't feel like I have to earn His love, play mind games, or be manipulated into being worthy of His love. I accept Him, He accepts me, and WOW, it's a healthy relationship. No games, no tricks, no hidden motives or agendas ... just acceptance. That's a fricken miracle in itself. Whaddya know? Go figure.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Darth Vader Calls the Emperor

Haha -- this video is hilarious! Star Wars lovers everywhere will get a kick out of this one.

Click Play on the video below, or [click here] to watch it at Google Video.

Hope you like it :)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

and so it goes

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 181 days sober
  • a really good book that has helped me to make sense of the past month's illogical happenings
  • getting to listen in on two AA meetings today
  • discovering the awesome guitar playing of John Petrucci (see the two previous posts)
  • finding a music player plugin for my blog, and learning how to embed it
  • getting a job offer today. I'm not sure that I want it, but I will start Monday morning anyway
  • my supportive family, which gave me a standing ovation for getting a job
  • taking my dog for a nice walk in the cool air of the beautiful evening
  • God, who doesn't shield me from life's pain. I choose to believe that He does this is so that I will learn how to find new sources of joy that I have not recognized yet.

Awesome music by John Petrucci

For all of the guitar lovers out there:

John Petrucci has got to be one of the most amazing guitar players in the world. His painstaking attention to detail and the complexity of his music is simply amazing. Everybody should be able to hear this guy play.

Click Play on the player below to hear "Tunnel Vision" from his "Suspended Animation" solo album:

(I thought the coolest part was 2:42-4:35)

[Visit his website]     [See his Wikipedia article]

Thanks to my big brother for getting me hooked into some awesome music :)

"The Answer Lies Within", Lyrics by John Petrucci of Dream Theater

Look around
Where do you belong
Don't be afraid
You're not the only one

Don't let the day go by
Don't let it end
Don't let a day go by in doubt
The answer lies within

Life is short
So learn from your mistakes
And stand behind
The choices that you make

Face each day
With both eyes open wide
And try to give
Don't keep it all inside

Don't let the day go by
Don't let it end
Don't let a day go by in doubt
The answer lies within

You've got the future on your side
You're gonna be fine now
I know whatever you decide
You're gonna shine

Don't let the day go by
Don't let it end
Don't let a day go by in doubt
You're ready to begin
Don't let a day go by in doubt
The answer lies within