Sober since April 6, 2006


Sunday, September 30, 2007

... and another door opens

Every time a door closes, another one opens.

A door closed for me, and I don't like what's behind the newly-opened door. I knew beforehand that this was going to happen, and I thought I could handle it. But now that it has actually taken place, I can't handle it. I absolutely hate the way things changed. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

Because I can't control anything but my own actions, I have to decide what to do next.

I'm torn between two extremes:

  1. mourn the loss excessively, as if my entire life is ruined forever; or
  2. cut my losses and decide that what I lost was stupid and never mattered anyway.

Neither extreme is really truthful. My life isn't "ruined forever", although it feels that way. And what I lost wasn't "stupid" -- it did matter, and it still matters, otherwise I wouldn't feel hurt.

There's an honest middle-ground somewhere. I've never been one for finding it. It's easier just to give up and take an extreme than to fight for balance over that complicated middle ground.

I'd love to go to a meeting, but I'm sick with some sort of cold/flu/plague thing that was graciously shared with me by a coworker last week. Being physically sick doesn't make this any easier.

In the end, it's all about acceptance and honesty. It's not about how I see it or how I want it to be, it's about how it is ... and I don't like it.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can; and
Wisdom to know the difference;
Living one day at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He would make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

of colds and biohazard suits

I'm so sick this weekend, I need one of these hats:

And I have a resentment.

I caught some sort of cold/flu/plague thing from a coworker. Many people consider it rude to come to work when you're sick. But not where I work!

Because our cheap company does not provide adequate sick time, sick employees are always crawling into work sneezing and coughing all over the place. It's not an office -- it's a germ factory.

This pisses me off.

Sure, my coworker could have taken a sick day. But she would have to work ten 40-hour weeks to earn another sick day. 400 hours for one 8-hour sick day! What a ridiculous policy! I can't fault her for coming to work sick.

All of the employees are reluctant to use their sick time. They want to save it for a real emergency (such as hospitalization).

In my hiney whiney crybaby little opinion, companies providing lousy/nonexistent sick time policies should at least provide the following:

(1) Spray cans of disinfectant:

(2) Hand sanitizer:
(3) SARS masks:

(4) Biohazard suits:

Okay, so the biohazard suit may be a bit overboard.

At least the SARS masks are moderately fashionable. The style would catch on in no time. I guess I could start a fashion trend at work and start wearing one myself.

Overall, I'm just feeling disappointed. I missed out on alot of special things this weekend, and I'm frustrated.

My homegroup had a special "eating meeting" and speaker, I really wanted to go. My boyfriend moved away today, and I didn't even get to say goodbye. I had to use half a sick day on Friday -- it will take 5 weeks to earn it back.

Geez I feel like throwing a tantrum. It sucks to be sick. It sucks even more when it stops me from doing what I want to do.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

a beautiful ride

This weekend, I went on my first-ever camping trip. I went with my boyfriend and several friends from his clean & sober motorcycle club. It's very fun to ride with a group of people -- especially people who are also sober and in the program.

The ride was terrific. When you turn your back on today's worries, say a prayer with the group, mount the motorcycle, enter the wind, watch the countryside pass by, see the sights, smell the smells, feel the heat and cold, bear the stinging rain -- you have an experience unrivaled by anything else.

We wear earplugs to drown out the loud engines. And when you can't hear anything or talk to anybody for long stretches of time -- you're forced to navigate your own thoughts. I used to be afraid of that, but now I look forward to these opportunities of quiet introspection, as they are also opportunities to pray and let go.

When I let go, problems and difficulties don't seem so powerful anymore. Yesterday doesn't matter, and tomorrow doesn't matter. It's all about living in the moment and enjoying the moment. And on a motorcycle in a beautiful country on a beautiful day, there's alot to enjoy in the present moment.

Well, not only was the ride beautiful, but so was the campground. There was a rocky stream at the bottom of the hill. I enjoyed the watching the water flow through the rocks. The constant whisper of the water could be heard through the whole camp. It was absolutely beautiful.

Before bedtime, we built a fire and had an AA meeting. The topic was resentment.

The Big Book says on p. 66:

"It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.

If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison."

In our meeting, we wrote down our resentments on paper, shared them with the group, then symbolically turned them over to God by tossing the paper into the fire. We ended our "share" by expressing gratitude.

And I have alot to be grateful for.

Overall, this whole trip was a very meaningful experience. For me, it really meant alot to be included in something like this. After all, I'm not a member of this motorcycle club. I'm just somebody's girlfriend. But they didn't just tolerate me, they welcomed me ... and it means alot to be accepted like that.

Today, I'm especially grateful ...
  • for being 535 days sober
  • having a safe trip
  • going camping for the first time (it was fun!)
  • having some quality time at the stream to watch, listen, and pray
  • being welcome
  • for the wonderful guy in my life who invited me in
  • for my family and my job
  • God, because I don't need to understand Him, since He understands me

And now, I will leave you with the stream I loved to watch at the campground. I could sit there for hours:

(Video taken with cell phone - sorry for the lousy quality!)

Monday, September 17, 2007

overlooked blessings

I was sitting through heavy rush hour traffic this morning on my way to work.

As usual, the slowpoke lolling drivers in front of me were all idiots, and the impatient tailgating drivers behind me were all maniacs.

Looking at the clock, I became fearful that I would be late to work. So I sat there and stewed. I HATE being late.

Toward the end of my drive, I looked out my window and noticed something I had forgotten.

The last time I said "goodbye" to my boyfriend, he kissed my window three times, leaving three "kissprints" on my window. I hadn't noticed them all morning until that moment.

Suddenly it didn't matter whether I was going to be a few minutes late to work. The idiots in front of me and the maniacs behind me could drive as they willed, and I didn't care.

Those kissprints didn't suddenly appear -- they were there for the whole drive. I looked straight through them without noticing them. But still they were there. How many other little blessings to I miss every day because I'm preoccupied with something else?

I sometimes tend to get bent out of shape over things I can't have or can't control, it was nice to be reminded this morning that there are reasons to smile -- all around me. They may be easy to overlook, but they are there.

Today, I'm grateful ...

  • to be 529 days sober
  • for my friends, loved ones, and family
  • for the three kisses left on my car window
  • for the unnoticed blessings yet to be discovered
  • for the people at the meeting tonight, discussing the 9th step
  • for the honesty of the people at these meetings
  • for the ladies in AA
  • to step outside and shiver from the cool breeze (it's been so HOT lately)
  • to have enough
  • to be sleepy at bedtime
  • that God's ideas are bigger than mine

Sunday, September 16, 2007

september sixteenth

Today, I am grateful ...

  • to be 528 days sober
  • for my family, loved ones, and friends
  • cooler weather
  • for a motorcycle ride on a beautiful day
  • to see two friends get married
  • for Italian food!
  • for going out of town to see my boyfriend's new house
  • to love and to be loved
  • to once again learn that just because a situation may seem too difficult to handle, I can get through it without the world ending
  • to God for His timing, because everything happens for an ultimately good reason, and WHEN it happens is also for an ultimately good reason. Of course it all seems wrong and impossible up front, but timing can be more easily appreciated in retrospect ...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

choose wisely: a) struggle to the top of the heap; b) hide underneath it; c) explode

"But it is from our twisted relations with family, friends, and society at large that many of us have suffered the most. We have been especially stupid and stubborn about them. The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability to form a true partnership with another human being. Our egomania digs two disastrous pitfalls. Either we insist upon dominating the people we know, or we depend upon them far too much. If we lean too heavily on people, they will sooner or later fail us, for they are human, too, and cannot possibly meet our incessant demands. In this way our insecurity grows and festers. When we habitually try to manipulate others to our own willful desires, they revolt, and resist us heavily. Then we develop hurt feelings, a sense of persecution, and a desire to retaliate. As we redouble our efforts at control, and continue to fail, our suffering becomes acute and constant. We have not once sought to be one in a family, to be a friend among friends, to be a worker among workers, to be a useful member of society, Always we tried to struggle to the top of the heap, or to hide underneath it. This self-centered behavior blocked a partnership relation with any one of those about us. Of true brotherhood we had small comprehension."
-- Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, p. 53

I thought I had this part worked out, but lately I'm finding myself either trying to be the fly on the wall or be the center of attention. (Sometimes I want to be both simultaneously, if that makes any sense ...)

When my expectations aren't met, I want to run away and revel in self-pity. I have ideas about how I think people should behave. When they don't behave that way, it throws me off. And when I get thrown off, I obsess over it until I'm too tired to obsess anymore.

Right now I feel cranky, tired, and stressed. And tired.


Sunday, September 09, 2007

keeping busy

Well it's been a LONG few weeks. But things are going well.

Right now, my life consists of two main time periods: Weekends and Workweeks.

Two weekends ago, I flew halfway across the country for my grandmother's funeral. Her service was beautiful. I'm very grateful that I got to go. It was nice to see my extended family (cousins, aunts, uncles) again. I had not seen some of them since I was a little kid.

Last weekend, I got to ride out of town with my boyfriend on his Harley to see his family. It was my first 1,000-mile ride on the bike. I loved it! I also went to my first "out of town" AA meeting. That was cool.

This weekend, we rode with some motorcycle club friends. There's just something unexplainably fun about tearing down the road in a pack of roaring Harleys. It is also my sister's birthday -- she is very happy and had a good time today.

But as for the workweek, well, they're torture. Work has become increasingly stressful. I'm grateful to have a job, but sometimes it feels more like the job has me. Unfortunately, I have done so well that they keep adding to my responsibilities. But it's better than job hunting ... anything is better than job hunting.

To make workweeks more unpleasant, my boyfriend got a new job in a city 2 hours away, so I only get to see him on the weekends. He's been commuting through the week. But he's getting ready to move away ... I'm trying not to feel sad about that.

I find myself dreading the future. The Big Book says that as we work through the end of Step 9, "We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it." But I feel that way about the future -- I regret the future and I wish to shut the door on it.

I don't want things to change. They aren't changing for the better for me. It will be better for someone else, but not for me. But it isn't fair to expect every situation to fall into my favor. I guess I should find consolation in knowing that someone I love will benefit from it.

Anyway, it's getting late ... I'm off to bed!