Sober since April 6, 2006


Thursday, March 29, 2007

my first wreck

Ya know what? Cars and fire hydrants don't get along too well.

One slashed a lovely yellow-paint-coated gash along the entire length of the passenger side of my car, ripping the doors crooked, and leaving the rear tire mangled. Well done! (Boy, I'm a first class dumbass!)

It's pretty funny ... I've never been in a wreck before, even back when I was drinking. I've always prided myself in having a perfect driving record. But now that I'm a week shy of one year sober, I wreck my new car ... which I've only had for two weeks.

But I'm glad that

  • nobody got hurt
  • the fire hydrant wasn't damaged
  • no other cars were involved
  • I have insurance to cover the damage to my car
  • my dad helped me change the tire so we could get the car home
  • I still have my OLD car, so I don't need to get a rental
  • the weather was nice, so I didn't get rained on or snowed on
  • it wasn't dark yet, so I could inspect everything in the sunlight
  • this happened at the perfect time of day to get to a meeting right after, so I could get out of my head and be with other people who had worse days than mine
  • my sponsor & another AA friend met up with me after the meeting and shared some of their experiences banging up cars ... I didn't feel quite so stupid after hearing some of their stories
  • I didn't drink, and I didn't want to
  • I didn't cry, though I kinda wanted to
  • God's probably sitting there laughing at me, but that's okay ... I can laugh at me too.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

all in time

There's a saying I really cling to: "Be profound, be funny, or be quiet." I can't be profound or funny right now, so I should be quiet ... but I feel the need to slap something up here.

I'm doing okay. I'm staying sober one day at a time and trying to avoid mourning over the past or worrying about the future.

Someone asked the other day about a future goal of mine. That set off an avalanche of thought.

I did some research and found that I can't achieve that goal with the small income from my current job. I'll need a higher-paying job. But my employment history is in such bad shape, I'm extremely lucky just to have my current job ... nobody else would want me right now.

So maybe I'm right where I should be. For now. That future goal will just have to wait. It isn't time yet.

It's tempting to sit here and fume about how stupid I was years ago, and how I "should have" done this or that, and "if only" I hadn't been so stupid, I would have more opportunities today ... so now I'm a loser and an idiot and all I can do is suck it up and bear the consequences of my past actions. Waaa. Pardon me while I cry a river.

But wallowing in misery wouldn't change anything. In the mean time, I can be grateful for what I have today and concentrate on what God wants me to do today.

I know people who have just lost loved ones, others who are watching loved ones destroy themselves, others who are struggling to make ends meet, and others who seem to have no problems at all. In the grand scheme of things, I have no problems at all ...

When I stop focusing on what I don't have, I see the miracles of the blessings in my life today. There are so many.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

off day

Sometimes I really want to talk to people, and other times, I wish I could disappear into the wall. Tonight was one of those nights where I was glad to be at a meeting but I would have given anything to be invisible.

There was no valid reason to feel like this.

Work has been uncomfortable for the past month. One of my coworkers pretends that I don't exist. It started on my first day on the job: every morning for the past six months, I'll smile and say "Good morning" to her and she completely ignores me -- for the entire day, regardless of what I do or say -- she pretends I'm not there. She does this to several other people too ... so whatever it is, it's her problem. And management keeps assigning mind-numbing projects to us ("Here, put these 7,000 dusty file folders in alphabetical order -- by Friday. Oh and don't fall behind on your regular work. No overtime is allowed.").

For the most part, I'm not having a hard time with work. Yeah, sometimes it gets under my skin when my coworker repeatedly ignores me. But whatever ... she has her issues, and if I feel offended by her issues, my that's my problem. And sometimes it gets under my skin when management imposes ridiculous deadlines for seemingly never-ending mundane tasks. But that's what management is for. Their job is to keep me busy.

Sometimes I worry about the future. All of these worries are self-centered fear. I'm afraid of losing something. But when I consider how a change of circumstance that causes me to lose something could possibly benefit someone I love, I become willing to let go ... and I stop worrying about it. It's difficult to let go and STAY that way. I keep taking it back. That annoys me. This stuff is so hard to let go of and so easy to take back.

But when I remember the hell my life was when I was drinking, and consider the miracles that have happened in sobriety ... these silly annoyances don't carry so much weight anymore. I have choices today that I didn't have before. I've found a new source of security that can't be shaken by anything or anyone -- unless I allow it.

Lately, my days have mostly consisted of repeatedly stepping away from the center of the universe. Because as the day goes on, I'll somehow float back to the center, and once again find myself expecting the universe to revolve around ME. Then I'll have to step aside again. "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him." I have to make that decision many times every day.

And it all comes back to the meeting tonight. Even at the "meeting before the meeting" ... I wanted to disappear. I wanted to be there with everyone because I love them and deeply care about them ... but I felt so uncomfortable that I only wanted to watch from a distance, and I was absolutely miserable the entire time. This feeling comes and goes at random. I really didn't want to feel this way tonight. I hated every second of it. I still don't understand what this feeling is or why it keeps coming back.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

my workdays aren't so bad after all

Over the past few weeks, work hasn't been all that great. I was tempted to feel sorry for myself.

Then I came across this video.

The poor weather man is truly, truly, TRULY having a much worse workday than I've ever had!

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

Okay, I don't feel sorry for myself anymore! I love my job and I'm not so bad at it!

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Today, I'm especially grateful for ...

  • being sober ... coming up on a year
  • having a sponsor that I can really talk to
  • the awesome people in my life
  • the kind words of encouragement left behind here
  • my family ... they love me
  • being able to "be there" when someone I care about experienced a death in his family
  • completing the process of acquiring a loan to buy a car. I would have never been able to do anything this complicated back when I was drinking. If it involved anything more complicated than unscrewing a bottle cap, I was pretty much screwed. (Or unscrewed?)
  • knowing that I don't need to "live to impress" people
  • I don't need to "change" myself to make people happy
  • I don't need anyone else to change to make me happy
  • when I turn my will and my life over to God, I cease fighting anything and anyone ... that makes me happy
  • God, because He has a plan for my life, and He included Himself in it

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

pride in reverse

Well I managed to write a few positive things in my fourth step last night. I didn't go off on tangents to turn positive things into negative things, though I was REALLY tempted to do so.

Reminds me of something from the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (p. 45):

"If tempermentally we are on the depressive side, we are apt to be swamped with guilt and self-loathing. We wallow in this messy bog, often getting a misshapen and painful pleasure out of it. As we morbidly pursue this melancholy activity, we may sink to such a point of despair that nothing but oblivion looks possible as a solution. Here, of course, we have lost all perspective, and therefore all genuine humility. For this is pride in reverse. This is not a moral inventory at all; it is the very process by which the depressive has so often been led to the bottle and extinction."

I identify with that ... especially the "swamped with guilt and self-loathing" part.

For a long time, prayer has been difficult because I can't get past asking for forgiveness. "God, please forgive me. I screwed up there ... and I was impatient over there ... and my motives were wrong over there ..." and eventually I get depressed. So I'll thank God for everything and everyone He's blessed me with, but then I'll feel guilty for receiving those blessings because I don't deserve them. At that point, I don't want to pray anymore -- I'm too angry at myself to pray, so I'll go on with the rest of my day pissed off.

But that's just another manifestation of selfish "pride in reverse". Apparently I get miserable because I want to be miserable ... otherwise I wouldn't indulge in it. It's always "all about me". Nobody else makes me feel that way.

Anyway I'm tired ... feeling better today ... just very tired.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

this attitude needs some gratitude

So here it is:

Today, I'm especially thankful for ...

  • being sober
  • having amazingly awesome AA friends
  • having a loving family that loves me and supports me
  • gliding through the wind on a beautiful day with my special guy on his motorcycle
  • watching a movie with friends
  • hanging out at the coffee shop with friends
  • having friends (they're all in AA -- AA's are the best friends in the world!)
  • knowing that one of my homegroup chicas faced something very challenging this week, and she has been willing to share what's going on, and she's stayed sober through it
  • having a job to get up for in the morning
  • the possibility of buying my dad's car (if the bank will help a bit)
  • having a nice warm, soft bed to sleep in
  • being tired enough to want to sleep
  • having the opportunity to embrace a coworker tomorrow who is returning to work from bereavement leave
  • shopping at the mall with mom today ... found a beautiful dress!
  • going to church this morning (for the second time since last summer). I felt a bit out of place, but the feeling got better as the service proceeded.
  • the "ice pack burn" on the back of my neck is almost completely healed (man, that really hurt!)
  • God, because He's there when nobody else is

positively challenged

Step 4: "Took a fearless and searching moral inventory of ourselves."

It's really easy to see where I went wrong. It's more difficult to see what I've done right.

"So-and-so hurt me because I behaved this way ... I hurt this guy, I hurt that lady" -- it goes down a list a mile long. Eventually I start thinking "Yeah, I'm a bad person and I deserve to die in a fire." It's easy to fall into that mindset, and I have.

My sponsor told me to write good things about myself -- good things I did, good attributes I have. But it seems wrong to say anything good about myself. I've done good things, but so what? That's what people are supposed to do. They don't make up for the bad things I did or make me a better person.

I just don't feel comfortable trying to come up with anything positive. Some people can do that relatively easily ... but I'm not one of them.