Sober since April 6, 2006


Friday, June 30, 2006

Saw a movie about a bird ... no, a plane ... no --

SUPERMAN! I got to see Superman today :)

The movie was great. The music brought back some happy memories.

Hearing the music reminded me of when I was a kid -- maybe four or five years old. My dad would play the Superman theme song, pick me up, and hold me as I stretched out and "flew" like Superman. He'd run all over the house, holding me up so that I could "fly". I loved it ...

I'm so blessed to have that happy memory. So many people don't have happy childhood experiences with their parents. But I have so many of them. Sometimes I feel guilty that I had a magical, wonderful childhood while so many others did not.

"But by the grace of God go I."

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 85 days sober
  • having happy memories
  • my wonderful family
  • my precious boyfriend
  • AA friends, online and off
  • the uber awesome people who read my blog
  • my functioning (and reliable) car
  • the "slowpoke" who cut me off on the interstate right before a hidden speed trap. It made me mad at first, but I probably would have gotten a speeding ticket (I was going 74 in a 65mph zone) if he had not cut me off
  • God, who lets me experience his grace, one day at a time

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

First Step Officially Taken

Believe it or not, I haven't actually "officially" worked any steps with a sponsor yet ... until tonight. Why so late? Well if it were up to me, I'd be on step 12 already. But it's a good thing that the timing is not up to me ... it's up to God and my sponsor.

So my sponsor and I went through Step 1 tonight: "We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable."

I'm glad to have finally finished something "officially" -- although I realize I will need to take this step repeatedly. It's the most dangerous step to forget. It's why so many people with various years of sobriety end up drinking again. They forget that they are powerless over alcohol, and they believe they can control themselves. But they never can ...

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 83 days sober
  • completing Step 1 "officially"
  • my gracious sponsor
  • the program of AA
  • my sweet boyfriend
  • my precious family
  • my adorable puppy
  • the beautiful weather
  • air conditioning
  • the awesome people who read my blog
  • God, who won't leave me alone (even if I want him to)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

82 daze and counting :)

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 82 days sober
  • my sponsor, the most patient person on earth
  • my boyfriend, the most wonderful person on earth :D
  • the beautiful weather
  • going shopping with my dad
  • hanging out with my mom and sister
  • having everything around me CLEAN
  • getting to work some more on a tee shirt design. Maybe I can improve it ...
  • my loving family
  • my adorable puppy, whose innocent curiosity knows no bounds
  • God, who shepherds me back when I step astray.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Clean and Sober, Sober and CLEAN!

I'm so incredibly grateful. After two years of living in a room stacked wall to wall with clutter, it is now CLEAN!

During this process, I found many artifacts of my drinking. Although I feel ashamed to have ever fallen into that severe state of alcoholic living, I'm grateful to be free from it now.

I also found some useful things too! I found an old cell phone that I couldn't use -- but my brother could use it. His old phone broke. I found an extended warranty that I had purchased for a camcorder, which broke last Christmas. I also found many nice things to donate to chairity.

I found some "Before" pics that I took in July 2005 -- a time when I was drinking heavily. I think at the time I was having a friendly argument with an online friend over which one of us had the messiest room ... or something like that. Maybe I was just drunk.

Disgusting, eh?

And here is the same room today, now that I'm sober:

(Yes, I kind of over-decorate) :P

I think my state of mind has improved just as much as the room has!

In addition to getting everything nice and clean, yesterday was my parents' 34th wedding anniversary. For the first time in my life, I prepared ahead of time and got them a nice gift. I've simply never had the presence of mind to do that before. I'm grateful to finally be able celebrate with them :)

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 80 days sober
  • finally getting everything clean
  • finally being able to give my parents something for their anniversary
  • my sweet boyfriend, who got to meet my whole family yesterday
  • my awesome family and darling puppy
  • God, who led me through the Valley of the Shadow of Filth ...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Still trudging along today :)

Did some cleaning, and hung out with my boyfriend all day. Went to a meeting, went to a movie, learned about Aikido and Steven Seagal (he's a pretty cool dude!).

Still have more cleaning to do. But it feels so nice just to have a little bit done. Seeing progress is always nice!

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being 77 days sober!
  • the uber awesome people who read my blog
  • ridding my life of extra junk
  • my sweet boyfriend
  • my precious family
  • my adorable puppy
  • God, who kept me safe today :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Great Clean-Up of 2006

Over the past few years of drinking, I've accumulated a mass of garbage. Literally. I have more STUFF than I know what to do with! It's overwhelming. I've been fearing the "clean-up" for years.

But I've been feeling brave lately, so I've started "The Great Clean-Up of 2006".

I thought it would just take one afternoon. WRONG! The more I clean, the more stuff I keep finding. It's like going through a never-ending pile of STUFF. It never ends. Where on earth is it coming from? It must be generating out of thin air! (Maybe it is?)

My room was definitely a reflection of the state of my mind over the past few years: Messy, cluttered, and dusty. Books I'll never read, CD's I'll never listen to, games I'll never play, old credit card statements/offers that need to be shredded, and clothes. OMG the clothes!

I have fat clothes, skinny clothes, and clothes for in between. Old clothes, new clothes, and clothes I've never seen O_o

I DON'T NEED ALL OF THIS! I swear I'm going to dream about getting strangled by an angry mob of various wardobe rejects ...

But I'm so grateful to finally be doing this. It's kind of like "starting over". I'm excited to get finished!

Today, I'm thankful for ...

  • being 76 days sober!
  • getting to attend two AA meetings today -- one with my boyfriend, and one with my sponsor
  • finally starting to clean up this mess!
  • my cute little car :)
  • my loving family, sweet boyfriend, and adorable puppy
  • God, who lets me experience a miracle each sober day

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

75 Damn Days ...

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 75 days sober! Woohoo!
  • not having "the obsession" to drink today
  • attending AA with my boyfriend. It's awesome to go to meetings together.
  • finally getting my oil changed in my car (it's been 6500 miles O_o)
  • not getting ripped off at the oil change place
  • the beautiful weather
  • time out shopping with my mom
  • new flip-flops :)
  • my sweet boyfriend, who makes me feel like I'm not the terrible person I think I am
  • my loving family, who are so patient and accepting of me
  • my adorable puppy, who makes me grateful that I don't have to wear fur during this hot summer (he's currently sleeping on the floor between two floor fans blowing at full blast)
  • air conditioning! OMG -- air conditioning!
  • the awesome people who read my blog
  • God, who someway, somehow, made this an amazing day

The Ultimate Cola+Mentos Experiment

Okay, so hundreds of videos have been posted all over the internet showing the "fizz rockets" that can be created from the violent reaction of adding mentos candy into a bottle of cola.

But this chick has decided to show how it's really not so impressive after all -- by mixing the two ingredients in her stomach.

[Click Here] to see the Google Video. (1 min, 3 sec)

Note: The end might surprise you! ;)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Obsession is not a perfume!

It's the constant, sanity-stealing impulse to do something -- even if you know it's bad for you.

It might hide, but it never goes away.

It stalks you. And at your weakest moment, it strikes.

What little sanity you had is gone.

You lose the "will" to fight it.

And it defeats you ... again.

Today, I'm thankful for ...

  • not giving in
  • being 74 days sober
  • long walks in the forest
  • AA buddies
  • loving family and boyfriend
  • precious puppy
  • God, who helped me to stay sober today

Nature's "Welcome"

I just got back home from a walk on a park nature trail. There is something about nature trails that really attracts me like nothing else does. The Bible says that God made Adam (the first human) out of dirt, "breathed" life into him, and then placed him into a garden. Maybe that's why I feel a sense of refreshment from nature.

Walking into the woods, I'm greeted by the most gentle of all living things: towering trees, exquisite plantlife, and the fluting tunes of songbirds. A gentle breeze strokes the trees, rustling the leaves in a quiet chorus. Sunshine and shadow dance on the forest floor in a play of wind and leaves. The calm scents of soil and fresh rain mingle as the breeze wraps me in a sweet embrace.

Looking up at the towering trees, I am reminded of how little I am. Yet, I am welcome here. Trekking along the forest trail, I realize that it does not matter "who I am" or "what I've done". I simply AM. And that's all that matters here.

The tall trees sway in the wind. The sun moves behind a cloud, casting the trail into darkness. The thought of a storm comes to mind, and I wonder how the trees survive them. Some trees are twisted. Some are missing limbs. Some are infested with insects. Some have been knocked over. And some are completely hollow -- retaining only an outer shell of a trunk -- yet still live.

Swaying softly in the wind, the gentle giants have seen their fair share of tribulation. Yet they continue to sway, to rustle their leaves, forever reaching upwards in a hopeful bid to caress the sky.

And they welcome me.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

It's Father's Day

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 73 days sober
  • my dad. I'm grateful that we have a positive relationship. It's rare to find these days.
  • my family and cute puppy
  • my laptop
  • sleep
  • God, who loves me for reasons I'll never understand

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Is it really all about alcohol?

Sometimes there seems to be a change in "battle". There are a few times when I really want to drink, so I battle against the obsession with alcohol. But most of the time, I'm battling against my emotions.

My emotions can only be as healthy as my spiritual condition. When I let my guard down spiritually, my emotions bounce around wildly like hyperactive kids on caffeine pills.

In the ladies meeting this morning, someone quoted a part from this section in the Big Book (page 85):

It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God's will into all of our activities. "How can I best serve Thee, Thy will (not mine) be done." These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.

This section really seems to unite the first three steps for me:
  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

I find it curious that the only way to experience this "daily reprieve" is by improving our spiritual health. "Fixing" the alcoholic in me has nothing to do with the alcoholic in me -- it's all about my relationship with God.

Just an interesting thought ...

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 72 days sober (every day from here on out is a new record!)
  • the AA ladies meeting
  • my very sweet boyfriend
  • my great family
  • my precious puppy
  • God, who I want to know more

Friday, June 16, 2006

Sober ... and Alive

I found out earlier today that a guy in the local AA community committed suicide Wednesday. I didn't recognize him from just hearing his name (we have several thousand members in our community here), but I recognized his face in the newspaper obituary.

He went to an AA meeting Tuesday night, then killed himself the next day.

It makes me wonder, looking around at AA meetings -- who is under the same distress? How can I know if the person sitting next to me needs help but won't ask for it?

Many people ask "the group" for advice or encouragement. But most of the time, I'm speechless and have NO IDEA what to say or how to help. I care about how they feel, but I don't know how to help. It's aggrivating being stuck as a "newcomer" and knowing that I'll continue to be useless for a long time.

I wonder if he asked for help and hit the same barrier with other people like me -- people who wanted to help, but didn't know how?

I feel sorry for this guy -- especially for his loved ones that he left behind. I well know the feeling of wanting to die. But it's so selfish. It may bring "relief" from coping with life, but it inflicts the worst pain possible on loved ones. That's the only reason I'm alive today.

Today, I'm thankful for ...

  • being 71 days sober
  • no longer wanting to die

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please have a read of this: [Click Here]

Has anyone ever noticed that when you Google search "suicide help", you get advertisements: "We'll pay you $75 right now to complete a simple survey! (" How crude! It's no wonder that nobody takes suicide seriously.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Just Gratitude

I don't really have anything insightful to share tonight ... I'm just so grateful to be sober right now.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 70 days sober
  • having a car that works :)
  • my sweet and loving boyfriend
  • spending a week with my boyfriend and a couple of Danish guys. They went back home today. Now I can say that I have friends in Denmark :)
  • having strong, happy relationships with my family members
  • endless possibilities (a blessing that can be viewed as a curse ... but it's most likely a blessing)
  • the beautiful weather today
  • God's gentle way of bringing my attention back to Him

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

69 ;)

I'm 69 days sober today.

The longest time I've ever been sober was 71 days. Then I stupidly relapsed.

Hopefully I'll never relapse again. But one of my goals has been to make it through 71 days, WITHOUT relapsing on the 72nd day. I'm getting closer now :)

"But by the grace of God" we live each day.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 69 days sober
  • my fun boyfriend and the cool Danish guys that let me hang out with them
  • the awesome people who read my blog
  • my sweet and patient family
  • my darling puppy
  • God, who never gives up

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bad Management

Went to a meeting today. I needed it! The discussion topic was unmanageability. The first step of AA:

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

So the discussion revolved around how our lives had become unmanageable.

My life as an active alcoholic was definitely unmanageable, although at times I did not want to admit it. I had a job and was paying my bills. I had a boyfriend and was functioning through life.

But that little bit of control was soon lost as I continued to drink. I started having relationship problems and quit my job. I started drinking so much that doing simple things -- like writing out a grocery list or filling out a job application -- were almost impossible. My head was too foggy to think straight and my hands couldn't stop shaking.

One time in particular, the only way I could fill out a job application was by taking a few drinks first. But then because I filled out the application while drunk, I couldn't remember what I'd written on the application during the job interview.

My behavior is unmanageable when I drink. Once I take a drink, I will keep drinking until I get sick and pass out. I can't control it. I don't want to control it. At this point, I just want to stay away from it. I can't control what happens once I take a drink. But I CAN control what happens leading up to that point.

All of this time so far in my sobriety, I have been believing that I'm powerless over alcohol, but only once it hits my lips.

But recently I've been wondering if my life is still unmanageable. Even though I'm no longer drinking, I still feel powerless in my life. I feel that I am mis-managing my life. I don't know how to do this correctly.

A minor annoyance, I still have difficulty with the physical task of writing. Gripping a pen and forming legible scrawl takes so much more concentration than it used to before I started drinking. It's difficult to simply sign my own name. I hope it gets better eventually.

More upsetting, I'm starting to see how my drinking has affected my dog. I was drinking alot during his first year -- his most formative year. As a result, he did not receive the attention and training he needed from me.

Now he's two years old, weighs over 80 pounds (a healthy weight for his breed), and doesn't know how to behave. He dragged mom down the street today and tore her knee up on the hot asphalt.

That wouldn't have happened if I had been sober when he was younger. I feel terrible that he did not receive the training and discipline that he needed from me. We never really think about how our drinking affects our pets, but it does.

Today, I'm thankful for ...

  • being 68 days sober
  • AA
  • carpal tunnel wrist braces
  • my beloved William
  • my patient family
  • my sweet puppy, who loves me for some unknown reason
  • God, who has a plan for all of this craziness

Ad Spoof

Monday, June 12, 2006

Missing AA meetings is bad. BAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11one

When everything is going well in your life, you start to think, "I don't need to go to the AA meeting today. I'll go tomorrow." But because your life is going so well, you miss AA meetings more often. "Tomorrow" becomes postponed. Then you suffer.

I need a meeting.

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 67 days sober
  • AA friends, online & off
  • the local abundance of AA meetings
  • the ability to GET to AA meetings
  • my loving family & puppy :)
  • my sweet boyfriend
  • God, the one constant among the chaos

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Empty Canvas

An empty canvas waits for me. The brushes and paint are ready. But for some reason, it takes courage to pick up a brush and paint.

A million ideas run through my mind, but they are all dismissed as "silly" or "stupid". I'm afraid of making mistakes. I'm afraid of ruining the painting.

This hesitation extends to my own life. I'm afraid to really live.

A million plans run through my mind, but they are all dismissed as "impossible" or "stupid". I'm afraid of making mistakes. I'm afraid of ruining everything.

And as I wait for courage to come, time passes. By the time I know what to paint with my life, it will all be over.

Today, I'm thankful ...

  • for being 66 days sober
  • for being loved
  • for being alive
  • for having a chance

Saturday, June 10, 2006

It's Stormy!

In the middle of a lightening storm here, so I'll make this quick tonight!

Today, I'm grateful for ...

  • being 65 days sober
  • the love and encouragement of so many wonderful people in my life
  • the opportunity to paint an actual PAINTING on a real CANVAS! I've never painted on an actual canvas before. It's cool.
  • the opportunity to bake brownies and cook dinner for my boyfriend and his guests
  • the fun and laughter today
  • my wonderful family and adorable puppy
  • God, for keeping me safe during the stormy drive home tonight

The Unexpected

God, grant me
the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can't accept ...

... and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those I had to kill because they pissed me off.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Sleepy and jobless

It's been a long, happy, and fun day. I'm so tired right now!

Been having lots of anxiety dreams lately (dreaming about running away from someone or something while navigating complex buildings that I get lost in). I think it's because I'm worrying about finding another job.

The whole process is so overwhelming somehow. The simple question "What kind of job do I want?" is too difficult to answer. I don't feel qualified to do anything. Then that becomes my excuse for not reworking my résumé -- I don't know what jobs to gear the résumé toward because nobody wants to hire an unemployed loser who graduated from college 1.5 years ago and has no relevant work experience.

It was a bad idea to be drinking when I should have been WORKING. *hits self over the head

So what kind of worker am I? Whether working crappy retail jobs or just playing around with various hobbies, I ...

  • show up on time consistently
  • work well alone or in groups
  • can get along with anyone
  • work obsessively until everything is perfect
  • find useful information quickly
  • think on theoretical, conceptual, and strategic levels
  • maximize efficiency and constantly find ways to improve processes
  • can do anything. If I don't know how to do it, I'll find out.
In other words, I have just as much to offer as anyone else -- I just lack experience. Of course, nobody cares about what you can offer them when your entire employment history revolves around operating cash registers and selling electronics. Damn.

Meh, maybe I'm just looking for more excuses to put off this damned job hunt a bit longer ...

Anyway, today I'm grateful ...
  • for being 64 days sober
  • for being financially pinched, but not desperate
  • that my car started and works well
  • for the program of AA, and for AA friends online and off
  • for the awesome people who read my blog
  • that I got to spend time with my sweet boyfriend today
  • for my loving family and adorable puppy
  • that God has a sense of humor :)

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Pretty Dresses & Hangin with the Guys

Dressing like a tomboy is fun. I enjoy wearing baggy khaki pants and tee shirts. But I also like dressing up a bit every now and then. So today, I wore a dress. It's fun wearing a pretty, summery dress while out on the town with a group of guys.

The tomboy-lady transformation is fun. There's nothing like throwing everyone off a bit. The guys were like, "WTF? She can be a lady too?" Well of course!

We went to an IMAX theater, and the elderly usher asked me, "What's this beautiful young lady doing here with these guys?" They seemed to like that for some reason. But the usher would have never made that comment if I had worn my usual baggy khakis and tee shirt. It was kind of fun :)

Had a splitting headache all day that got worse as the day went on. But I had so much fun anyway.

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being 63 days sober
  • resisting the bar at Jillian's and settling for a diet coke
  • pretty dresses
  • old-fashioned chivalry
  • my precious boyfriend, who lovingly nursed my headache and helped me feel better
  • my patient family, who supports me
  • my beloved puppy, who single-handedly crews my personal greeting committee
  • the sweet people who read my blog
  • God, who kept us all safe today

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


A video on CNN's website details how a recovering alcoholic, through following the steps of AA, has once again shattered the life of a woman he raped over 20 years ago. His attempt to make amends only made things worse for her, and has subjected him to legal discipline from which he had escaped for many years. To see the video, [click here] (12 minutes long).

The first thing that came through my mind was gratitude. I'm so grateful that I have not been subjected to the hells of either person. I just think my life is bad sometimes. There are so many others who are experiencing indescribable trauma. Compared to them, I have NO problems.

Second, the part of the steps about making amends specifies to make "direct amends wherever possible, except for when to do so would injure others". That seems like such a fine line to me. I wonder how you're supposed to know if your amends would make things worse?

I haven't yet reached that point in the twelve steps. But I hope that I don't make things worse when I reach that point.

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being 62 days sober
  • being able to have lunch and go shopping with mom today
  • being able to relax
  • hearing from my old high-school buddy, who's getting married soon. I'm going to be a bride's maid :) I'm so glad to be sober for that!
  • my loving family, who supports and loves me
  • my adorable puppy, who shows me how to play
  • my sweet boyfriend, who makes me feel loved
  • God, who blesses me every minute of the day

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Theme Parks: With Guys

Just spent the entire day riding roller coasters at a popular nearby theme park. And wow. It was awesome!

This was the first time I've gone to a theme park with a group of guys. It's quite a different experience than going with a group of girls.

With guys, you get to ride more coasters. They look at the map, come up with a battle plan for tackling the coolest rides, then they execute the plan. Bam! All the rides ridden within a few hours. The entire park has been conquered!

But us ladies just waste the whole day sitting around "deciding" what to do. Sample conversation:

"Do you want to ride this one?"

"I don't know. It looks okay."

"Well wait there's that one over there. It looks fun too."

(Both rides are designed for toddlers!)

"Sure, whichever ride looks cool."

"Okay which ride should we do first?"

"Well that one is the closest ... "

"Oh this reminds me of the time I came here with my cousins when I was a kid! [Insert long, sappy, boring story here]"

"Wow, that really happened? That's cool. So which ride do you want again?"

"Ooooh! An ice cream booth! Let's get ice cream!"

"Okay ..."

By the end of the day, you've been on one moderately cool coaster, ridden a bunch of stupid rides for toddlers, and you've consumed enough softdrinks and ice cream to reverse global warming. You spent the entire day having conversations that you could have had at home or at the mall. You leave the park with a mental list of which coasters to ride "next time".

No offense to the ladies, but it's simply much more fun to go to theme parks with guys :P

Thanks for making things fun, guys! (And thanks for letting me tag along)

Today, I'm especially grateful for ...
  • being 61 days sober
  • staying sober today (I really wanted to drink)
  • sunscreen. I would be burnt to a crisp without it!
  • my precious and generous boyfriend
  • my loving and understanding family
  • my adorable and excited puppy
  • God, who kept us all safe today as we hurtled through the air at top speed on rickety tracks

Monday, June 05, 2006

60 Days & Hanging Out

I've been enjoying this time over the past few days. My new boyfriend is taking a vacation from work and has a couple of friends visiting from Denmark. It's awesome to hang out with such interesting people.

By the grace of God, I earned my 60-day token in AA today. They accidentally gave me a 25-year token by mistake. But I didn't realize the mistake until after the meeting had proceeded! So I exchanged it after the meeting for the correct chip.

I hope that one day, I will earn that 25-year chip :)

I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being 60 days sober
  • having new experiences
  • learning that love is worth the pain of heartbreak
  • learning how to participate in a loving relationship
  • learning how to cook :P
  • the patience and flexibility of my family
  • the friendship of my boyfriend
  • the awesome people who read my blog
  • the grace and love of God

Sunday, June 04, 2006


It's been a busy weekend! But it's been great. Best of all, I'm still sober and not letting this disease kick my butt.

The odd cravings are occurring more frequently. But they're getting much easier to deal with. It really helps to be hanging out with someone who is also in the program and also trying to stay sober. The additional accountability is awesome. I know that I can't get away with pretending the disease isn't there and "accidentally" ordering a margarita ...

I'm grateful for this experience in my life.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Progress, not Perfection

Yesterday, a young lady shared in the AA meeting that she drank again, and that she needed to start over. Boy, could I identify. I've done that twice.

I'm a perfectionist. When I was in school, I made straight A's and a few B's. For those of you who are familiar with "Harry Potter", I was very much like Hermione Granger. Getting a 99% grade on an assignment was disappointing for me. So screwing up this sobriety thing was a huge slap in the face.

First of all, it was upsetting. Damn upsetting. I said things that deeply hurt my friends and fulfilled the role of the alcoholic "tornado" mentioned in the Big Book. I hated that. I didn't want to cause other people pain.

Second, I failed. Failure is hard for everyone. It's especially difficult for people who obsess about doing things perfectly. I felt like a complete hopeless failure.

Probably the biggest thing that helped me was a passage in chapter 5 of the Big Book (thanks for the chapter correction, Anonymous!):

Do not be discouraged. No one among us has achieved anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.

The "perfection" of this program is based on making progress. Notice the word "mistake" is not mentioned. "Failure" is not criticized. It's not about "not screwing up" -- it's about growing spiritually even if you DO screw up.

One of the great promises of working the twelve steps is:
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.

And thank God for that. Otherwise I'd be too discouraged to keep trying.

Today, I'm grateful for:
  • being 57 days sober
  • my dad -- it's his birthday today!
  • my family and sweet puppy
  • my AA friends, online and off
  • the people who read my blog
  • coffee ... and chocolate :D
  • the beautiful weather
  • God's unconditional love
  • and today, I'm most grateful for being in a relationship with someone who makes me finally understand why Tom Cruise jumps on couches :)
  • couch repair shops :D

PS -- If you like your couch, don't let me near it :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Gratitude can be caffeinated :D

Ya know, the morning coffee is a wonderful thing. The late-morning espresso and afternoon cappuccino are even better :D

I shared my experience yesterday at a meeting, and told it in a funny way that resulted in laughter, playful jeering, a chorus of "keep coming back", and a new phone number from a nice lady. I love the people in that AA group. They are awesome!

Today, I'm grateful for:

  • being 56 days sober
  • Starbucks :)
  • this amazing guy, who takes great lengths to make me feel appreciated
  • my sweet family -- which wants to meet this "amazing guy"
  • my adorable puppy, who lets me cuddle him and play with the puppy fuzz on his ears
  • the program of AA
  • AA friends online & off
  • God, the most patient of all beings

Just had to share this pic that mom took -- Knightley smelling a rose:

I adore that sense of wonder and gentleness ...