Sober since April 6, 2006


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Well, it's better than being set on fire ...

Yesterday was a great day, and everything went well. I was happy. But for some reason yesterday afternoon, The Craving hit like a ton of bricks.

The wheels started turning in my head, "Go on, you need a drink. Nobody has to know. It will be fun! Just a few sips won't hurt." I even started thinking about the closest liquor store, and how I could drive there so easily. I felt guilty for just thinking such thoughts. Then the guilt made me feel like I needed to drink. (I didn't "need" to drink until the guilt crept in)

Nothing brought it on. I was HAPPY. There was no reason to even think about it. It just hit from out of nowhere.

So I called another alcoholic with many years of sobriety, and she said it was normal and that it still happens to her even after all these years.

In a way, that's comforting. But in another way, it's kind of depressing. I don't want to have these experiences for the rest of my life. "Normal" people don't have to deal with it. I don't want to deal with it either. It's upsetting ...

I should just be grateful that the problem is with craving alcohol -- and not with enduring chemo or skin grafts. "Normal" people don't have to deal with that either. But on the grand scheme of putting up with shitty deals, my problem isn't really that bad.

Today, I am grateful for:

  • not drinking yesterday
  • being 55 days sober
  • being able to call other alcoholics
  • having an amazing and wonderful guy in my life who mysteriously cares for me in spite of myself
  • my awesomely cool family
  • my sweet puppy, who has no idea what's going on, and just wants to play :)
  • the cool people who read my blog
  • God, who I will never understand. But I like it that way.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Never too Late

Vroom, VROOM! Go grandma!

Today, I'm grateful for:
  • being 54 days sober!
  • humor. What would the world be like without humor? (Scary thought!)
  • this quote from the Big Book: "No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others."
  • the exciting new guy in my life
  • my patient family
  • my unbelievably adorable puppy
  • AA friends, online and off
  • the incredibly patient people who keep coming back to read my blog
  • God, whose ways are so far above my own, I'm left befuddled

Monday, May 29, 2006

Today is Memorial Day (USA)

This is the US holiday where we're supposed to remember the men and women who have died while fighting for our country.

CNN has a nice tribute to the troops serving in Iraq "coming home" [here].

Or for something really sobering, take a look at the current US/Coalition casualty list [here]. You'll see the picture, name, age, unit, hometown, and other details of each soldier killed in Iraq. Scroll down that first page, and it seems to go on forever. But keep in mind it's only listing last names beginning with A and B. Use the menu at the top to see the others. As of now, 2,684 US and coalition soldiers have lost their lives for this cause.

To put it in perspective, here are the US casualties from various wars (for more numbers, [click here]):

Current Iraq War: 2,684
Afghanistan: 282
Gulf War: 293
Vietnam: 58,168
Korea: 54,246
WWII: 407,316
WWI: 116,708

These were not strangers -- they were our sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, neighbors, and friends. They had lives full of happiness and potential. But they lost it all to serve a cause greater than themselves. One measly holiday is insufficient to adequately recognize their sacrifices.

Today, I'm grateful for:
  • The sacrifices of my neighbors and friends so that I can live in a safe place, where my rights are protected
  • Being a US citizen
  • Being 53 days sober
  • Not having to drink today
  • My caring family and adorable puppy
  • My sweet new friend, who makes me feel special
  • My AA friends, online and off
  • God, whose plans encompass more than I can ever imagine

Sunday, May 28, 2006

My "Puppy" :D

I'm always listing my beloved puppy in my "Gratitude List" every day, and people keep asking more about him! So here he is:

This is Knightley. He's a collie, and he's almost 2 years old. He was named after the fictional character "Mr. Knightley" in Jane Austen's book, "Emma".

Knightley enjoys sniffing things, sleeping, going for long walks (well, more like he "pulls" me down the street -- that's "walking" for us), being petted, sleeping, playing tug-of-war, sleeping, fetching his squeaky toys, and umm ... sleeping :)

And yes, he almost always crosses his legs "like a gentleman" when he lays down, lol :P

Really, he's just a 80-pound baby. He's never been vicious toward any person or dog. He's extremely friendly, loving, and playful.

And he's scared of EVERYTHING. One of the things he fears most is when we put a new trash bag in the trash can. Innocently whipping the bag in the air (to open it) scares Knightley to death. He's also afraid of balloons, thunder, large trucks with loud motors, the vacuum cleaner, the water hose, the lawn mower, the leaf-blower, the weed-eater, and any sudden or unfamiliar noise.

He's also very sensitive to order. If we re-arrange the furniture in the living room, he freaks out and won't go in.

Collies are bred to be hearding dogs. And Knightly definitely seems to have that "herding instinct". If I'm walking out of the room, but he wants me to stay -- he will run around in front of me and turn sideways to cut me off. Now he's about four feet long from nose to tail and two-and-a-half feet high. So when he turns sideways to cut me off, I'm really cut off!

He's soft and cuddly, and must be LEANING against me at all times -- especially when he's scared. His fur around his ears and head is still very soft, like puppy fuzz. When he's sleepy, he will just lay there and stretch while I pet him, and after a while he will yawn and nibble on my fingers to show affection. So cute!

During the summer, we have to keep a fan running for him 24/7. His fur is so thick, he gets hot -- even when he's in the house. We can only let him outside for a few minutes at a time on really hot days.

Every night, he sleeps in front of a fan with a soft red blanket spread out on the floor. He's had that blanket since he was a tiny puppy. He's managed to nibble a few holes in it over the past couple of years, but that doesn't bother him. He will still bring the blanket to me to show it off. He'll grab it and toss it in the air as if to say, "See my blanket? Isn't it cool? Wanna play?"

Did I mention that he's very playful? Whenever he's not sleeping, he WANTS TO PLAY. Nonstop, play until he's tired (or overheated). He's so much fun!

I love him! He's my boy :)


It's another beautiful day. A bit warm -- but I like it that way.

I'm truly happy today. The past week has been incredible. For the first time in a long time, I'm grateful to be stuck on this third rock from the sun.

AA has many sayings. One of them is often used in reference to hard times: "And this too shall pass." All of the bad feelings and emotions will eventually pass ... but the good ones will pass too :P I'm ready to deal with that now. I wasn't able to handle it before.

Today, I'm grateful for:

  • being 52 days sober
  • being alive
  • being able to handle emotional discomfort
  • a new, wonderful friend
  • my loving family
  • my cute puppy, who thought enough of me this morning to proudly fetch his blanket and show it to me :P
  • AA friends, online and off
  • the patient saints who read my blog
  • the love and mercy of God

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Still not awake yet ...

Aye ... went to my favorite women's meeting this morning. Have no idea how I drove there and got back without falling asleep. Uber sleepy today! But I'm grateful for the meeting and for all of the cool ladies there. Perhaps I can ingest enough caffeine today to maintain a steady stream of consciousness ...

Today, I'm grateful for:

  • being 51 days sober!
  • AA, and ladies meetings
  • an awesome new friend, who I can't wait to get to know better :D
  • my supportive and loving family, who lets me stay out late :D
  • my adorable puppy, who loves me for reasons unknown
  • my reliable car. stuff is falling off of it, but it works and it's fun to drive!
  • the great people who read my blog
  • God, who loves sharing His sense of humor with me

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Possible

It's so awesome to have the chance to start over again. I'm no longer a slave to a controlled substance. I can make choices today that I could not make before.

I can choose whether to drink or not. That's still flabbergasting to me. In the past, I felt no more control over drinking than I felt over breathing. I couldn't just "not breathe". I couldn't just "not drink". I had to drink in order to function. I'm so grateful that I no longer need to do that!

I desperately wanted this freedom a year ago, but I never believed it was possible. I sank into inconsolable distress. If someone told me that this freedom was possible and that I would soon experience it -- I would have not believed.

But it IS possible, and it CAN happen. If you're suffering, you don't have to anymore. When you're ready, check out some resources -- or if you're confused, post a comment:

Today, I am grateful for:

  • Being 50 days sober! Woohoo!
  • God's patience. I'm so glad He let this miracle wait for me.
  • My supportive and loving family -- little puppy "brother" included :)
  • My supportive and loving AA family, online and offline
  • The program of AA
  • A new great friend :)
  • The wonderful people who read my blog
  • The saints who send supportive comments and emails
  • The power of this day

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Toolbox Additions

I used to work for a hardware company. They sold all kinds of tools and gadgets that people needed in order to complete their handiwork.

It was always surprising to me how many different kinds and varieties of tools there were. Looking at a shelf-full of drill bits, they all looked the same to me. But come to find out, each bit had a different purpose for a different type of job -- and they were generally not interchangeable. Each job seems to require a different set of tools.

In my attempt to "look on the bright side" the other day, I thought of these tools and their varying purposes. It seems that when I experience some sort of trauma in my life, I acquire something useful from that experience -- much like acquiring a new "tool".

From every painful situation, I gain two things: compassion and experience. Compassion is the motivator that leads me to help others. Experience is the tool I have to complete my work.

Without compassion, I would have no desire to help others. Without experience, I would have no ability to help others. Both are required to live a meaningful life.

I often find myself wishing I could help someone, but having no idea how. My life experience up to this point has been quite sheltered. I usually have the compassion to help others, but not necessarily the experience. It makes me feel so aggravatingly useless.

So one way to view my present difficulties is this: I'm gaining experience so that I can be USEFUL. At the end of this situation, I will have a new "tool" for my toolbox -- and one day, I will have the ability to help someone.

So today, I am thankful for:

  • being an alcoholic
  • being cheated on and abandoned in a relationship
  • being overwhelmed with depression
  • feeling worthless
  • hating myself
  • being unemployed
  • feeling out of place
  • worrying about the future
... because I will someday be useful to others in those situations.

But I'm also thankful for:

  • being 49 days sober
  • my loving, supportive family and adorable puppy
  • my awesome AA friends, online and offline
  • the program of AA
  • the beautiful day, full of possibility and potential
  • the loving grace of God, which will see me through to the end
... because without these wonderful gifts, I would not make it through this day.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Woke up early today. Dunno why, but it's nice to be up early! I feel like I have more time in the day.

I'd placed an order at Think Geek a few days ago, and it should be arriving today. Ordered a few funny tee shirts. There's nothing more fun than wearing something that makes people laugh or ask you, "What's that supposed to mean?" Not that I'm a touble-maker or anything ... nooooo! Nothing of the sort! :D

Feeling a bit sore today after yesterday's run. It was so much fun though, I'm kind of in the mood to run again today.

My "fun" AA group meets tonight! I'm so excited -- I can't wait! It is one group that brings new meaning to these words in the Big Book:

We have been dealing with alcohol in its worst aspect. But we aren't a glum lot. If newcomers could see no joy or fun in our existence, they wouldn't want it. We absolutely insist on enjoying life.

Today, I'm especially grateful for:
  • Being 48 days sober!
  • Advil
  • Caffeine
  • Funny tee shirts
  • My adorable puppy, who greeted me this morning with a sense of excitement generally afforded only to celebrities
  • My loving family
  • My AA friends, online & off
  • God, who is sharing His sense of humor with me today

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Personality Test Results

Okay, so I gave in and took a personality test [here]. It was short and fun ... and accurate :) These were the results:

INFP - "Questor". High capacity for caring. Emotional face to the world. High sense of honor derived from internal values. 4.4% of total population.

These descriptions seem to be very, very accurate (for me anyway):

Running on Empty

The fresh air, crowned with a beautiful sapphire sky, beckoned my presence at the park today. I had not been running for a long time.

I did a run/walk on the park's .5-mile track, then on the .75-mile trail. Boy, I am exhausted! I feel like I got hit by a bus! To top it off, the whole run was a bit frustrating.

Years ago, I ran every day. I even ran a 10K (6.2 miles) as part of a black belt exam, and a 5K (3.1 miles) for fun with an old boyfriend for his church. Now I struggle with 1.25 miles as if it were a full marathon.

So the meager run today was frustrating. All I could think about was "how easy this used to be". But now that I'm home and refreshed, I see where I went wrong!

When I ran years ago, I would pray while I ran. When my legs hurt, I would thank God that my legs could carry me for a run, because there are people in this world who can't stand up, let alone run. When I could hardly breathe, I would thank God that I could breathe without the aid of machines, because there are people in this world who can't breathe without machines. I never felt frustrated during those runs, but instead grateful.

And this is where I went wrong today: I forgot to be grateful! I was so preoccupied with "poor me" that I didn't acknowledge the gifts that God had already given. If I had focused on God's gifts rather than on my shortcomings, the run would have been so much more enjoyable.

My lesson today: God's gifts are everywhere and come in all forms. I need to learn to thank God for those gifts ... even when I don't "feel" them yet.

Things are good today

Thought this picture was cute :) It's good to remember that regardless of our situation, there's someone else out there who has it so much worse.

I'm happy today. Looking forward to what today brings.

Today, I'm especially grateful for:

  • Being 47 days sober!
  • Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine
  • A new book I'm reading, called "Gifts of Sobriety" by Barbara S. Cole [Click Here for Amazon Link]
  • My loving family
  • My puppy, who thinks I'm wonderful or something
  • My AA buddies
  • The awesome people who read my blog
  • God, who has somehow placed order into the chaos of my life

Monday, May 22, 2006

Ultimate "Parking" Car

... because it's time to post something cool :)

[Click Here to See Google Video] or play below (11 seconds):

The Sprinkles are Coming :)

Actually, they're already here. After a lovely week of mostly sunny skies, it is overcast and drizzling today. Which is good -- it keeps the grass green and the flowers healthy. Don't you know the plants are loving it?

Today, I am thankful for:

  • Being 46 days sober!
  • Being healthy and able-bodied. (I've recently noticed an improvement in my balance!)
  • Acquiring the ability to drink BLACK, UNSWEETENED coffee (big step for me, lol)
  • The soft rain
  • My old faithful car
  • My loving family and ever-cheerful puppy
  • My AA buddies (online and offline)
  • The patient people who read my blog
  • God, whose grace readily extends to where I am in this very second

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Unexplained

An interesting thing happened yesterday that I can't explain:

I woke up happy. I was a bit bummed out because I missed my favorite AA women's meeting, but I was happy all day. Then I went to an AA speaker meeting at 5:30. The speaker was interesting and inspirational, but for some reason, my emotions went downhill. During the meeting, I got more and more sad. When I left, I was entirely depressed.

On the way home, the skies were darkening for a storm. (It's naturally stormy in the evenings here at this time of year.) I was driving down a happy, twisty road that I like. But from out of nowhere, I heard the most disturbing sound I've ever heard in my life.

At first, I thought it was a siren for an emergency vehicle, so I looked around for flashing lights. But then the sound took an unearthly, surreal tone and sounded like hundreds of people screaming. Mind you, I was driving in my car down a street where there were no people. It only lasted for a few seconds. But the sound was so loud, it shook me to the core. I think several other drivers heard it too -- because everyone stepped on their brakes at that same time and veered in their lanes. It helps to know that others heard something too -- otherwise I'd question my sanity.

It freaked me out, and I drove home like a bat out of hell. A storm was moving in. The scary kind. But I managed to get home before it hit, and even then, the worst of the storm missed our house.

But as I was driving home, I pondered what that sound was. I wondered if it was a premonition that something terrible had happened at home. So I drove faster. Then my mind wandered off in depressive mode. I started missing my ex, and hating -- absolutely HATING myself for the mistakes I'd made in our relationship. I was absolutely seething in anger toward myself. If I could have torn into my chest and ripped my heart out, I would have.

The feelings followed me all the way home. But once home, the intense anger left. I was just sad. I'm still sad today even though I know I shouldn't be.

Don't really know why I shared this ... I guess it just bothers me.

Nowhere to go, nothing to do

This will be a truly boring day.

The area near my favorite mall is jam-packed with NASCAR fans because of an event at the nearby speedway. So there will be no going to the mall today. I've never been into NASCAR. It's one of the few things that I have no desire to get "into" either. (Sorry, I don't mean to come off cruel or judgemental ... I just have a long-standing dislike of NASCAR. Maybe one of these days, I'll learn to appreciate it.)

I'll have to plan something fun today ... I'm just not sure what to plan yet. All I can think about right now is my next blog entry. Need to get something off my shoulders.

But today, I am grateful for:

  • Being 45 days sober today!
  • Having this blog as an outlet for self-expression
  • The wonderful, patient saints who read my blog
  • My loving family (my brother bought doughnuts for us this morning!)
  • My sweet puppy, who worships the ground I walk on ("God, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am.")
  • God, whose love and patience hold me up today

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The Anger/Happiness Exchange

"For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thunder Storms

I mentioned in the previous entry that I enjoy thunder storms. So I thought I would explain why :)

Gentle storms are wonderful. Rain softly drums against the window with each tender gust of wind. The distant flashes of lightning illuminate the sky in some far off place, as a gentle reminder that all is not dark. I love the long, rumbling kind of thunder. It sometimes gently rattles the picture frames on my walls in a big, deep sound. That soft kind of thunder is not scary, but somehow comforting.

The more violent storms are a bit scary. The rain and the hail assault the window in a constant barrage of bullets, testing the strength of the thin glass. The lightning is NOT distant, but instead striking a few inches away from my window and jump-starting my heart into fright. The deafening explosion of thunder seems to fall from the sky and crash down on top of me ... making me want to hide. I feel so little!

But every violent storm eventually passes. The calm aftermath fills the air like a healing bandage, and all is well once again.

There is nothing quite like the calm after the storm. The calm before the storm merely generates anxiety. The wind picks up, the sky darkens, and insecurity fills the air. The animals find shelter and brace themselves to withstand something terrifying. But the calm after the storm is truly peaceful. All of the damage has been done and is now left to heal in tranquility. The animals leave their shelters in relief. Fear is replaced with gratitude.

I enjoy experiencing the calm after the storm in my life. That kind of peace is well worth enduring any terrifying storm. I think that is what I am experiencing now, and I am grateful today -- grateful for the peace, and for the storm I had to endure to experience that peace.


I missed my favorite women's meeting this morning. I swear I set my alarm clock -- I swear I did. I don't know how or why I must have slept through it!

Ahwell, they say "We're always in the right place." Apparently I was just supposed to stay home this morning.

It was stormy last night. Lots of lightning and thunder all night long. Sometimes thunder storms scare me, but these didn't -- they just kept me awake. Although I would have rather been SLEEPING, the storms were beautiful to listen to :)

Today, I am grateful for:

  • Being 44 days sober today
  • Being in the right place
  • The beauty of gentle thunder storms
  • The 5:30 speaker meeting I plan to attend this evening
  • My loving family & sweet puppy
  • My AA friends -- both offline and online :)
  • The people who read my blogs -- thank you for being so patient with me!
  • God, who kept me in the right place today, and will keep me safe

Friday, May 19, 2006

Whew! Alcoholism is Dirty!

An abandoned Utah townhome was found to have been literally FILLED with beer cans -- an estimated 70,000 of them.

The owner drank 24 cans of beer each day for eight years. Beer boxes were stacked to the ceiling. All of the furniture was buried under a sea of empty cans.

[Read the complete story here]

Headaches and Gratitude :)

It's another beautiful, perfect day today. I wish I could have internet access outside in the back yard, but the signal fades too weak. Ah well!

Have a bit of a headache and neckache this morning. But that's okay. I feel happy today! I have no idea why, but I've learned that it's generally stupid to question such fortunate circumstances, as that often results in their reversal.

I've been having fun with learning more about websites while working on this and my other blog. (I read somewhere that it's a violation of Blogger TOS to link your blogs together, so I won't link them. But you can see the other blog listed in my Blogger profile.) It's becoming a fun hobby. Learned a bit of java and added a code at the top of this page that says how many days sober I am -- that was fun :) I'd like to learn how to make other things too -- though I admit ... I'm easily intimidated ... CSS and java are a tad bit frightening for me O_O

Today, I am thankful for:

  • Being 43 days sober!
  • Coffee
  • Caffeine
  • Ice packs
  • Excedrin
  • Sun glasses
  • Water bottles
  • My adorable puppy, whose kindness and cuteness knows no bounds
  • My loving family
  • The noon meeting of AA, which helps me to keep my day on track
  • The Wednesday/Friday 8pm meeting of AA, which teaches me how to have fun with this disease
  • The beautiful weather
  • My blogs
  • The people who read my blogs. If you didn't read them, I'd stop posting, lol
  • And last but most, I'm thankful for the love of God, which I don't deserve but receive anyway

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Live in the Spirit of Love

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.
--Henry Drummond

One Drink Away

I recently came across an old journal entry that I made October 2, 2005 (when I was drinking):

i stop and wonder about my purpose in life, and why my mind is filled with haze ... i've never felt so lost before. it's like i'm watching life happen as if it were a bad dream, too scared to act out. i watch situations unfold before me and feel powerless to influence them. i look down at my hands and remember their ability to build or destroy, and realize that my life itself has that same power. my very existance can build good things, or it can destroy good things. right now, i'm destroying good things, and wondering why i can't stop. it's like being in an airplane engaged in a nosedive -- i've got to pull out of that dive -- but every time i try, i fail.

i've been drinking alot. i've tried to stop numerous times, but have been unsuccessful. although i was able to stop drinking for 12 days -- that's the best i've done so far.

i don't know what to do ... i don't know who to turn to ... but i can't bear to see everything continuing to crumble before me ... my hands can't fix it, and my heart is becoming more and more crushed, and that bottle is looking more and more like a savior ... if i drink enough, it will end everything ... if i can't fix it, oh please let it end ...

It sounds pretty bad, but it was actually written long before I hit the bottom. I obviously knew that I had a problem with alcohol, and that my life was out of control. But I didn't admit to being an alcoholic.

I don't remember much from that time in my life. But I remember that my entire life revolved around when I'd be able to drink again.

I remember being stuck at work and constantly craving a drink. I remember drinking when I got home from work, and on weekends. I remember leaving work EARLY so I could come home and drink. I was constantly sick and hung over. I remember sneaking drinks in and lying to my boyfriend about not drinking.

I also remember my relationship with my boyfriend crumbling at this time, but I felt powerless to do anything about it. As far as I was concerned, everything was completely hopeless. Another drunk entry conveys that same sense of hopelessness [here].

I am so glad that those days are over. I'm no longer stuck in that haze. But I bitterly regret being unable to make better decisions during that terrible time, because they negatively affected those around me. At least today, I can do the right thing -- things that were once impossible for me to even HOPE of doing. I'm so grateful for that.

Those are days I don't want to relive. Ever.

But they're only one drink away.

It's Beautiful Today!

It's a beautiful day today. I can't get over the perfect breeze and sunshine! It's just like something from out of a movie.

It would be a great day to go to the park and take pictures :) Maybe I could go for a run too. I've just gotten over the soreness from the last run two weeks ago, lol. (yeah, I'm a wimp!)

Spring is an amazing season. You get to witness nature coming alive again. It's quite inspirational to me -- because I'd like to come alive again myself :)

Today, I am grateful ...

  • to be 42 days, 10 hours, 53 minutes, and 3668035 heartbeats sober!
  • for the beautiful breeze and sunshine
  • for the new life of spring
  • for the opportunity to seize the day today
  • for my loving family and adorable puppy
  • for all of the wonderful people who read my blog, and who provide encouragement (you're the best!)
  • for the grace and love of God, who lets me start over

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Importance of Gratitude

It's so easy to get caught up in bad feelings and bad memories. It's easy to get depressed and angry. Most people can get depressed and angry all they want. But if I get depressed and angry, I'll lose control and drink. I desperately don't want to drink -- anything but that!!!

Probably one of the best ways to prevent slipping into that mess is to be thankful. So what if the shame of my past brings me to tears? I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO THINGS RIGHT TODAY! So what if I feel tired all the time? I HAVE A BODY THAT CAN BREATHE, EAT, AND WALK ON ITS OWN! So what if my car got a new dent on it? I HAVE A CAR -- AND IT WORKS! To every annoyance, there's a reason to be thankful.

It just seems that my wayward tendency to lose perspective is fueled by taking things for granted.

I rarely see the value of what I have ... until it's gone. So, I must train myself to think differently. I need to see the value of things BEFORE I lose them :)

So, I'm going to follow the leads of some other alcoholic bloggers, and start making a "Gratitude List" every day. Might as well start today.

Today, I am Thankful for ...

  • Being sober!
  • My loving family and adorable puppy that make me feel needed and valued
  • My car didn't get a flat tire today -- like William's truck did ... @_o;
  • My PC and laptop are working great
  • OMG I HAVE a laptop!
  • The weather was absolutely beautiful today -- like a gift from God
  • A certain group of AA that meets to HAVE FUN as well as grow
  • the birds
  • and the bees
  • and the flowers
  • and the trees
  • and ... etc
Okay well I guess that wasn't too bad for a first try ... will do better tomorrow.

O Appetite, where art thou?

Starting to wonder if I'll ever have an appetite again. I've lost 33 pounds since I stopped drinking in January. The weight loss would have been wonderful if I had lost the weight due to exercise and diet, but that just isn't the case. I simply stopped eating.

I've had nothing but a carrot and a banana today, and I'm FULL. Had to force myself to eat half of a roast beef sandwich yesterday. I just don't want to eat anymore. The thought of food makes me feel sick.

I've talked with other alcoholics about it, but everyone else has experienced the opposite effect -- increased appetite. I guess I'm just weird or something. In the mean time, I'm grateful that my problem isn't in reverse. It's nice to be able to wear my old "thin" clothes again :)

Study: Women More Easily Addicted

A recent study has found that that the addiction gender-gap is closing: more females are suffering from various types of addiction, and it takes less time and exposure for females to become addicted than males.

Other interesting info:

  • Most recovery programs were developed for males.
  • Only 38% of addiction treatment centers offer services that address the specific needs of females.
  • Only 8% of females who need help actually get it.
  • Physicians are less likely to consider and diagnose addiction in females, and are 48% more likely to prescribe narcotics or other mood-altering medications to females, even though females are twice as likely as males to develop secondary addictions to those types of medications.
It's a scary, scary world out there.

See the original article here.

I find it interesting that this study has verified what the Big Book states:
To be gravely affected, one does not necessarily have to drink a long time nor take the quantities some of us have. This is particularly true of women. Potential female alcoholics often turn into the real thing and are gone beyond recall in a few years (33).

For other female alcoholics, I highly recommend "A Woman's Way Through The Twelve Steps" by Stephanie S. Covington. It addresses issues specific to females that the Big Book neglects to mention. It's been a great help for me, and I hope it can help you too.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Drunk New Priest

Came across this, thought it was hilarious ...

A new priest at his first mass was so nervous he could hardly speak. After mass he asked the monsignor how he had done.

The monsignor replied, "When I am worried about getting nervous on the pulpit, I put a glass of vodka next to the water glass. If I start to get nervous, I take a sip."

So the next Sunday, he took the monsignor's advice.

At the beginning of the sermon, he got nervous and took a drink. He proceeded to talk up a storm. Upon return to his office after mass he found the following note on his door:

Sip the vodka, don't gulp.

There are 10 commandments, not 12.

There are 12 disciples, not 10.

Jesus was consecrated, not constipated.

Jacob wagered his donkey, he did not bet his ass.

We do not refer to Jesus Christ as the late J.C.

The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are not referred to as Daddy, Junior, and Spook.

David slew Goliath, he did not kick the sh*t out of him.

When David was hit by a rock and knocked off his donkey, don't say he was stoned off his ass.

We do not refer to the cross as the big T!

When Jesus broke the bread at the Last Supper he said, "Take this and eat it, for it is my body", he did not say,"Eat me."

The Virgin Mary is not referred to as the "Mary with the cherry."

The recommended grace before a meal is not: "Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, yeah God."

Next Sunday there will be a taffy-pulling contest at St Peter's, not a peter-pulling contest at St. Taffy's.


Enlarge the Future

"Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."
--Paul Boese

How true that is ...

Whaddya know?

Just got back from an AA meeting. The topic was ... (drumroll please) ... Acceptance. That elusive yet necessary THING that I need.

It's easy to say I "accept" a situation. Sure -- I accept everything. I'm just pissed off about the things I don't like. But that's the problem!

True acceptance requires growing into a spiritual state from which to view the world. When some old resentment creeps in and upsets me, that's an indication that I'm not in a healthy spiritual state. If I am in a healthy spiritual state when a resentment creeps in, I would feel peace concerning that resentment, rather than sadness or anger. It wouldn't bother me. I could smile, feel grateful, and move on with my day. So acceptance requires spiritual health.

The Bible has a list of things called the "Fruit of the Spirit". Basically, it means that if your life is producing these things right now, then you are living in a healthy spiritual state:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness
  • Gentleness
  • Self-Control

I think it's a good guide to help me approximate my spiritual health. Lately, my life has NOT been producing those attributes. So I need to step back and change my focus to a more spiritual direction. I think that this mysterious element of "Acceptance" (and ultimately, peace and happiness) depends on it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

A Review

Moving this blog was a total pain. But I'm so glad that I did it!

You see, I had to copy and paste each blog entry and comment from the old blog over to this one -- reformatting the entries to fit the Blogger template and manually adjusting the dates and times on entries and comments to keep an accurate record. During the process, I actually READ my blog entries for the first time in a long time.

I must say, it's a miracle that anyone has ever been a "steady" reader of my blog. I grew so aggravated with the circular thinking. I'd spout some word of wisdom in one entry, then in the next entry, despair over something agonizingly stupid. I was tempted to delete all of those stupid entries, but I didn't.

I want to say a big "THANK YOU" to everyone who has provided a word of wisdom or encouragement -- because you have all been amazingly patient with me.

Over the past five months, I thought I had made spiritual progress. But I see now that I allowed my resentments to hijack my life.

I've assumed the roles of both "victim" AND "villain". I mourned the wrongs inflicted upon me, and I mourned the transgressions I inflicted upon others. But the victim/villain obsession grew so strong that my life manifested the conflicting misery of both.

I guess I need to work on Acceptance. It's easy to say, "I accept this situation". But it's difficult to remain unphased when the emotions boil over again later. That's where I get into trouble ...

The Lifeguard

This Google video shows how lifeguards take their breaks:

Hey -- it was time for another laugh!


Testing, 1-2-3!

Welcome to the new Blogger home for the former MSN Spaces blog, "I need a drink -- wait, no I don't!" I hope you like it!

I imported all of the entries and comments BY HAND, and it took FOREVER. I'm still fooling around with the skin/template. Given my limited experience with technical stuff, I'm suprised this page loaded for you :D

Here are some of the new features/benefits the blog will receive for moving to Blogger:

Most Google videos can now be seen from within the post, rather than having to click on an external link. Comments can be posted by anyone, without needing a special account to do so. The most recently-made comments are displayed in the right-hand menu.

As for subscription options, you can now subscribe to receive new entries via email -- instead of having to visit the blog. There is also an RSS option as well. I'm crossing my fingers that these actually work -- I've never set anything up like this before. Please let me know if something isn't working.

Thanks for following over. I hope you like the changes :)


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Drunk Monkeys?

This is an [interesting story] about the behavior of monkeys. Monkeys consume alcohol very similarly to humans, in that some drink in moderation while others drink until they pass out. Monkeys in isolation drink more than monkeys in social settings -- much like people.

Overall, it's an interesting article. Perhaps one of these days, doctors will have a better understanding of alcoholism.

Special thanks to "Aubrew" for sending in the story :)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Let the Flowers Bloom

When I was a little girl, I loved flowers -- especially big beautiful flowers with nice fragrances. I loved to walk up to the prettiest bloom, and smell of its soft petals.

One time when I was very little, my mother planted some pretty flowering plants. But they were not ready to bloom yet. All of the stalks were crowned with little green buds. I asked why the flowers had not come out, and mom said it would take some time for the buds to bloom into flowers.

I waited for a few minutes, assuming that I could watch the buds bloom. But they never bloomed. They never grew or even moved! This was quite disconcerting for a child of my age. I soon grew restless and went away for a bit to play with some toys.

When I came back to the flowers later, the buds still had not bloomed. Letting out a frustrated sigh, my fingers impatiently caressed one of the soft green buds. I examined it closely. I could see the gentle creases where the green bud would separate for the flower to bloom.

Then another bud nearby caught my attention. A thin slice of pink peeked out from the bud. These flowers were going to be pink! My entire soul danced with giddiness -- I simply could not wait for the flowers to bloom!

Carefully stroking the peeking pink petal, the thought came to me: Perhaps I could help the flower to bloom. The poor flower wants to come out. Maybe it just needs some help getting out of that green bud. Yes! That is it!

I held my breath and carefully pulled apart the green bud so that the flower could come out. To my consternation, the flower inside was ugly and pitiful! I did not understand what was wrong with it.

I asked mom what was wrong with the flower. She explained that we have to wait for the flowers to open by themselves.

I did not like that answer. From my perspective, I had waited long enough for that flower to bloom. I thought I was helping it when I pulled the bud apart.

But being so young, it did not take long for me to find other distractions to fill my thoughts. I soon forgot about the flowers.

Many naptimes and playtimes later, I was delighted to see big beautiful pink flowers. When I smelled of their soft, fragrant petals, I noticed the dead bud that my tiny fingers had pried open long ago.

I felt silly for trying to force that flower to bloom. The other flowers had managed to bloom much better by themselves! It took time, yes -- but it was well worth it. I never pried apart another bud again.

Sometimes today, I look at situations in my life in the same way. I see many "buds" that I would like to hurry along. And sometimes I try to force them to open.

By nature, I am incredulous to the notion that my "assistance" can ruin a budding opportunity. But all of my unwanted circumstances today are the result of my "assistance" in past situations.

Just as flowers must blossom in their own time, God's work in my life must blossom in its own time. If I force it, good opportunities are reduced to nothing more than destroyed buds.

I need to step back ... and allow the buds to blossom on their own.

"God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
and the Wisdom to know the difference. Amen."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Story of the Nonconformist Sparrow

Once upon a time, there was a nonconformist sparrow who decided to not fly south for the winter. However, soon the weather had turned so cold that he reluctantly decided to fly south. In a short time, ice began to form on his wings, and he fell to earth nearly frozen solid, landing in a barnyard.

A cow passed by where the sparrow had fallen and crapped on the little bird. The sparrow thought it was the end, but the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings! Warm and happy and able to breath, the sparrow started to sing. Just then, a large cat came by and heard the chirping. The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird, and promptly ate him.

The moral of the story: Everyone who craps on you is not necessarily your enemy; everyone who gets you out of crap is not necessarily your friend; and if you're warm and happy in a pile of crap, you might just want to keep your mouth shut.


Monday, May 08, 2006

Being Thankful

I am taking too much for granted. There are so many things to be thankful for. Sure, my off-the-wall emotions are tearing me up like a bulldog destroying a newspaper. But that's okay. I've got a roof over my head, a loving family, financial stability, and a broadband connection It doesn't get much better than that! :D

Really though. Just got to thinking earlier about how wonderful it is to finally be able to sleep through the night -- without "coming to" at 3am to gasp for air because my body forgot to breathe. It's great to wake up in the morning without needing a drink to calm my trembling hands, pounding head, and churning stomach.

The amazing thing is, I no longer need to take a drink to function through a day ... and that is a priceless miracle in itself. I never thought I would be able to function for any length of time without a drink. It's great to see that it's possible now.

Update: Doughboy Survives!

In a previous blog entry, I explained that someone had kidnapped the Pillsbury Doughboy and was holding him hostage under threat of being baked.

[Click Here to See the Original CNN Video]

CNN now reports that the chubby, giggly fellow has been released from his captors, much to the relief of hard core Pillsbury fanatics everywhere.

[Click Here to See the Conclusive CNN Video]

That kind of puts me in the mood to do some baking ... mwooo hahahaha ...

Emotional Rollarcoaster

I haven't felt proper emotions for over a year. Now I'm starting to feel everything all at once in some kind of delayed reaction, and it's very overwhelming. I have no idea how to cope with it all.

I'm either:
1) completely apathetic
2) feeling emotions of love and devotion that I should have felt a year ago but was too numb to feel them at the time
3) feeling incredibly hurt, sad, angry, lonely and confused all at the same time

The opposite ends of the emotional spectrum alternate every five minutes. My brain is misfiring or something ... and I feel like I'm going crazy. It CAN'T be possible to live like this!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Be Done With It

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Some days ...

Feeling restless, irritable, and discontent today. So tempted to throw my hands up and walk away from everything. I don't want to drink. I just want to get away.

Been sober for 30 days straight. Again. Everybody congratulated me when I picked up my 30-day medallion at AA this morning. But it feels so unsettling for some reason. If I hadn't relapsed, I'd be celebrating four months of sobriety instead of one. I hate these stupid "anniversaries".

Just feel angry at myself for relapsing over something so trivial and stupid. "OMG my boyfriend left me and I wanna dieeee!" "I've lost my best friends booo hoooooo!" "I feel so lonely ONOZ!" Whatever. Emotions are stupid. Feelings are stupid. Life is stupid.

Whenever you're happy, sadness of equal intensity will follow. And vice versa. So if you just don't allow yourself to get happy over anything, then you'll never be disappointed when it all comes crashing down on you. Because in the end, it all comes crashing down. Always.

Nothing good ever lasts. So you can either enjoy it while you have it, then get devastated when it's over ... or you can refuse to acknowledge it, and never notice when it's over.

The choice is always the same: dare to be happy, or "play it safe". I'm tired of making that choice ... I want to run away and hide.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Listen to Your Whisper

"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Guys: Get a Lady Sitter!

Hey Guys,

Ever want to hang out with your buddies, but you get stuck having to keep your lady company?

Get a Lady Sitter! [See Commercial Here] or click Play below:

Do what you want without feeling guilty about it. After all, that's what love is all about!


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Postal Doughboy


CNN has reported that the Doughboy is missing, and is being held hostage under threat of being baked. [See CNN Video]

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Look Fear in the Face

"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

The Battle Against the First Drink

Alcoholism is a battle against taking "the first drink".

From the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous:

We alcoholics are men and women who have lost the ability to control our drinking. We know that no real alcoholic ever recovers control. All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals -- usually brief -- were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization. We are convinced to a man that alcoholics of our type are in the grip of a progressive illness. Over any considerable period we get worse, never better (30).

Despite all we can say, many who are real alcoholics are not going to believe they are in that class. By every form of self-deception and experimentation, they will try to prove themselves exceptions to the rule, therefore nonalcoholic. If anyone who is showing inability to control his drinking can do the right-about-face and drink like a gentleman, our hats are off to him. Heaven knows, we have tried hard enough and long enough to drink like other people! (31)

We do not like to pronounce any individual as alcoholic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to decide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowledge of your condition (31-32).

What sort of thinking dominates an alcoholic who repeats time after time the desperate experiment of the first drink? Friends who have reasoned with him after a spree which has brought him to the point of divorce or bankruptcy are mystified when he walks directly into a saloon. Why does he? Of what is he thinking? (35)

Whatever the precise definition of the word may be, we call this plain insanity. How can such a lack of proportion, of the ability to think straight, be called anything else? (37)

But the actual or potential alcoholic, with hardly an exception, will be absolutely unable to stop drinking on the basis of self-knowledge (39).

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 (43).

"Normal" people can take a first drink, and stop halfway through. They can walk away from a beer or a glass of wine that is only halfway consumed -- and think nothing of it. They can walk away and never give a second thought to the remaining contents of that glass. Normal people can do that. Alcoholics cannot. An alcoholic would AGONIZE over leaving anything behind -- it is the ultimate torture.

Once a tiny bit of alcohol reaches alcoholic blood, it unleashes a true "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" transformation. The alcoholic loses all control.

For an alcoholic, that first drink is symbolic of jumping off a cliff: once I jump, I will fall until I hit the ground. I cannot "control" my fall -- I am powerless over gravity. In the same way as an alcoholic, I am powerless over alcohol. And once I take that first drink, I will lose control over my alcohol consumption, and I will drink until physically incapacitated.

To make matters more complicated, the alcoholic mind is bent on denying the facts. Right now as I write this, I know that I can never take even a tiny sip of alcohol. If I do, I will lose control of my drinking and I will "fall" until I hit rock bottom. But in a few hours (or even minutes), vivid thoughts of enjoying a glass of wine will fill my thinking. I will smell it, taste it, and even feel the rush from the alcohol through my veins. I will begin to feel that I can control my drinking this time, and I will seriously consider drinking. I will devise plans and excuses to make that drink possible. My mind will obsess over it until I arrive at an emotional breaking point.

That's precisely why they say that alcoholism is a mental illness -- a type of insanity. Regardless of what I know to be true, I will convince myself otherwise. It's only by the grace of God that I abstain from alcohol. If left to my own devices, I will drink today.
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 (43).

I am unable to stay sober on my own power. Even with everything I know about alcoholism -- my mind will inevitably twist it, and I will fall again.

I hear in AA that we must begin and end every single day on our knees in prayer. We begin the day asking God to keep us sober, and we end the day by thanking Him for keeping us sober. And the more that I practice this, the more I see how vital it is.

Every sober day is a true miracle. It's a battle that has been won with God's help. I'm grateful to have that help available to me today.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Out of a Job?

If you're jobless (as I am), you may find Odd Todd's cartoons pretty funny. Like many Americans, he got laid off over a year ago, but still can't find a decent job. So he made a series of cartoons and games on his website, taking a hilarious view on this common plight.

[Click Here to Watch Flashtoon]

Find more Odd Todd creations [here].

Listen ... and smile

There's no better place to be than sitting on the swing during a warm and sunny day, the gentle breeze stirring soft whispers through the leaves in the towering trees, as sunshine and shadow dance in the grass below. Lightly rocking in the swing with my book, I stop to enjoy the chorus of nature swirling around me.

Some people imagine God's voice sounding loud and thunderous. I imagine it being soft and subtle, the gentlest sound in the world, one that we all hear every day but rarely notice. As the wind nestles the leaves in the trees, what faint whispers pass our ears and our hearts unnoticed?

Begin Where You Are

"Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was."
-Richard L. Evans

Monday, May 01, 2006

Maybe ...

Maybe he's born with it.
Maybe it's Maybelline.