Sober since April 6, 2006


Monday, December 25, 2006

charlie brown's little tree

(Or click here to watch at You Tube)

In the video clip above, Charlie Brown thinks he killed his Christmas tree and exclaims, "Oh, everything I touch gets ruined!" Then he walks away sad.

When I saw that today, it reminded me that I often have the same reaction when things don't work out the way I want them to. If one little thing goes wrong, I'm suddenly a complete and total failure of a human being.

At least, that's my instinctive reaction. That doesn't mean I have to think or act that way. I'm glad to be learning a better way to handle life. When put into perspective, my life's worst problems really aren't that bad.

Serenity isn't when everything in my life is wonderful. It's when everything sucks, but I find the willingness to accept it as it is and move on to do the next right thing. Sounds simple. But usually the most simple things in life are the most difficult to perform consistently, if at all.

I'm grateful to be sober this Christmas. And I'm beyond grateful for the people in this program ...

Happy Holidays, everyone.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

small reflection

Today, I heard a song that I haven't heard since my last drunk days and earliest sober days. It has caused me to reflect a bit on how things have changed over the past year.

A year ago at this time, I was limited to copying and pasting song lyrics in my blog -- usually because I was too drunk to type. Well with the exception of [this other post], which was written at the beginning of a drunk that I REALLY didn't want to start. I didn't want to drink again. I desperately wanted to stop. But I still drank even before that post was finished.

A year ago, the lights were on but nobody was home. I was emotionally unavailable to the people most important to me. The only thing that mattered was my own pain and NEED to numb it with alcohol. The only thing that kept me alive was my victim mentality and my insistence on blaming everything but myself for my own misery.

The song I heard today was one that I played repeatedly on loop during the last week of December 2005 and the entire months of January through March 2006. (Umm, yeah ... I was really screwed up ... )

By adding my own interpretation to the lyrics, they inspired me to change. I needed to keep hearing the words over and over:

To live and not to breathe
Is to die in tragedy
To run, to run away
To find what you believe

And I leave behind
This hurricane of f*cking lies

I lost my faith to please
This town that don't exist
So I run, I run away
To the light of masochist

And I leave behind
This hurricane of f*cking lies

And I've walked this line
A million and one f*cking tries

But not this time

- Green Day, "Jesus of Suburbia"

I can't say how many times I tearfully white-knuckled it through cravings while hearing those words. It was good to hear them again today.

Today, I'm especially grateful because ...
  • I'm 255 days sober.
  • The mental and emotional hurricane that alcohol created in my life has stopped.
  • I'm no longer walking the line between drunkenness and sanity.
  • I lost my faith to incomprehensible demoralization as a result of repeatedly failing to control my drinking, but now I've found something to believe that keeps me sober.
  • I'm not afraid to have hope.
  • I'm not afraid to fail.
  • I no longer need things to go my way, or to go according to my plans.
  • I no longer need people to behave in a certain way to make me happy.
  • I don't walk alone anymore.
  • God made this happen.

Friday, December 15, 2006

"the right kind of world"

A.A. Thought For The Day, from "Twenty-Four Hours A Day":

Service to others makes the world a good place. Civilization would cease if all of us were always and only for ourselves. We alcoholics have a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the well-being of the world. We have a common problem. We find a common answer. We are uniquely equipped to help others with the same problem. What a wonderful world it would be if everybody took their own greatest problem and found the answer to it and spent the rest of their lives helping others with the same problem, in their spare time. Soon we would have the right kind of a world. Do I appreciate my unique opportunity to be of service?

Meditation For The Day

Today can be lived in the consciousness of God's contact, upholding you in all good thoughts, words and deeds. If sometimes there seems to be a shadow on your life and you feel out of sorts, remember that this is not the withdrawal of God's presence, but only your own temporary unwillingness to realize it. The quiet gray days are the days for doing what you must do, but know that the consciousness of God's nearness will return and be with you again, when the gray days are past.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may face the dull days with courage. I pray that I may have faith that the bright days will return.

It's been a while since I've made an entry. I've been so busy lately -- even too busy to blog! But when I read this devotional this morning, I couldn't help but want to share it.

"What a wonderful world it would be if everybody took their own greatest problem and found the answer to it and spent the rest of their lives helping others with the same problem, in their spare time. Soon we would have the right kind of a world."

Many hugs and much love to all :)

Monday, December 11, 2006

gratitude exists on mondays too

Today, I am especially grateful for ...

  • being 249 days sober
  • having an awesome weekend
  • getting to a meeting tonight ... even though I kind of didn't want to go (that means I NEED to go)
  • hearing again that I never have to take another drink. There was a time when that was not an option for me. How quickly I forget the agonizing desperation of those hopeless days and nights ...
  • the awesome people in AA who share their experience, strength, and hope
  • hearing heartfelt stories from people in the program that I don't know very well
  • getting to talk with my sponsor this evening
  • eating dinner with my family tonight
  • getting to say "goodbye" to a special someone who's going out of town
  • having a nice warm place to sleep tonight
  • buying a Christmas present for someone today
  • having a job to get up for in the morning ... early in the morning
  • being very tired tonight -- probably tired enough to sleep!
  • God, because He keeps the world spinning without needing my "help"

Thursday, December 07, 2006

this post is brought to you by the number 2

Today, I'm very grateful for ...

  • being eight months & one day sober
  • working Step 2 with my sponsor tonight
  • being assigned work for Step 3
  • the amazing people in this program who continually show me how to be a better person
  • developing relationships and getting to know people better
  • not feeling so "lost" in AA anymore. Everybody's got a place, and it's helping someone else.
  • having a nice, warm bed to sleep in tonight (it's COLD outside!)
  • having an understanding and patient family
  • my dog, because he just wants to play. Always. PLAY!
  • my cell phone, because I dunno how I ever lived without one
  • God, because although I sometimes try to do His job, He never tries to do mine

Monday, December 04, 2006

embracing emotions

From Courage to Change - One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II, entry for December 4:

In the past, many of us learned to make choices strictly on the basis of our feelings, as if feelings were facts. If we were frightened about taking a certain action, for example, it was best avoided. There was no middle ground and no room for more than one feeling at a time.

Part of recovery involves learning that feelings aren't facts. I am a complex, fascinating human being with a wide range of emotions, experiences, and thoughts. There is more to my identity than one feeling or another, one problem or another. I am a wealth of contradictions. I can value all of my feelings without allowing them to dictate my actions.

Today I can feel anger toward someone and still love them. I can feel afraid of new experiences, yet move forward through them. I can survive being hurt without giving up on love. And I can experience sadness and still be confident that I will be happy again.


Today I am learning to embrace my complexities and contradictions and to be grateful for the rightness they bring.

"Life, for all its agonies ... is exciting and beautiful, amusing and artful and endearing ... and whatever is to come after it -- we shall not have this life again." -- Rose Macaulay

Physical discomfort has always been easy for me to handle. (Hey -- if it hurts, it's still attached! That's usually good!) But I've been a total wuss in regards to emotional discomfort. I've always avoided emotional discomfort at all costs.

The past couple of months have been damn scary. Being mostly isolated for so long, I've been afraid to open up to people. I've been afraid to call other alcoholics. I've been afraid to show up to every meeting 30 minutes early (as directed by my sponsor). The anxiety kills me. I hate it.

At the same time, I've been facing those fears. I have to decide that I'm willing to experience the discomfort that these situations generate. Sometimes I'm more willing than others.

As of now, I'm very grateful for the people I've met in the program. I wouldn't know them if I had stayed clammed up in the corner. I wouldn't know about someone's son being in trouble, about someone else having a hard time finding a job, or about someone else who needs a ride to a meeting. These people are just like me. Why am I afraid?

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...
  • being 243 days sober
  • going back to the meeting I wanted to avoid last week
  • hearing a fantastic speaker tonight
  • talking with other alcoholics today
  • AA buddies, online and off
  • getting to play with my dog
  • my family decorating the house
  • learning more stuff at work
  • having time to RTFM before work
  • the beautiful day
  • God, because He puts people in my life for a good reason

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Today, I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being 241 dayum days sober
  • the awesome ladies in this program who talked to me today
  • still having a sponsor who's willing to help me through the steps
  • AA buddies, online and off
  • going to a new meeting tonight, and being asked to do service work there
  • having an absolute blast of a weekend ... wow :)
  • having a job to get up for in the morning
  • having an understanding family
  • being absolutely exhausted and ready to collapse
  • the Cowboys won! :D
  • praying for willingness
  • God, because no matter what happens, He's there

definitions of "restore" and "sanity"

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

As part of working the second step, my sponsor told me to look up the definitions of "restore" and "sanity" in the dictionary. So here they are:


verb 1 return to a former condition, place, or owner. 2 repair or renovate (a building, work of art, etc.). 3 bring back (a previous practice, right, or situation); reinstate.

— DERIVATIVES restorable adjective restorer noun.

— ORIGIN Latin restaurare ‘rebuild, restore’.

noun 1 the condition of being sane. 2 reasonable and rational behaviour.

Ah, reasonable and rational behavior. When I was drinking, my behavior was never reasonable or rational. Sometimes my behavior is not reasonable or rational even now that I'm sober -- but I've learned that if I catch the behavior fast enough, I can give it to God and start over.

The trick is to stop the emotional avalanche before it gains too much momentum. Once that happens, LOOK OUT! Worlds collide, the sky falls, and geologists millions of years from now will discover a curiously anomolous layer in the earth's crust and know instantly, "Oh! This was when she got upset!" ("She" being myself, of course.) At least, that's how important my self-generated crises FEEL when my mind is consumed by them. I often forget that situations viewed through my distorted emotions are actually much less significant than they appear to be.

I found the derivatives of "restore" to be interesting. Am I "restorable"? I believe so. It would be quite egotistical to believe that MY problems are SO big and SO bad that even an omnipotent being (the "restorer") could be crushed by them. But that is what I sometimes want to believe. I have occasionally found a morbid sense of comfort in thinking myself to be hopeless. But as each day passes, I'm learning to find real comfort in knowing that there is no limit to God's ability and willingness to help me -- and finding out that my problems are not so special after all. I experience that help each day when I earnestly seek it and keep doing "the next right thing".

The Big Book of AA says:

"The alcoholic at certain times has no effective mental defense against the first drink. Except in a few rare cases, neither he nor any other human being can provide such a defense. His defense must come from a Higher Power," (p. 42).

"Our description of the alcoholic, the chapter to the agnostic, and our personal adventure before and after make clear three pertinent ideas:

(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives.
(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism.
(c) That God could and would if He were sought," (p.60)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

thx simpsons parody

You know the THX sound system advertisement often seen at the beginning of movies? I thought this was a pretty funny parody of it.

Click Play below or [Click Here] to view at Google Video.