Sober since April 6, 2006


Sunday, November 25, 2007

in the cold

This turned out to be a weekend of gratitude.

I got to ride with my boyfriend on his motorcycle in the cold for the first time. The wind chill was about 25°F (-3°C) for the 150-mile (241 km) ride. That may not sound so bad, but man it was cold! I'm glad to have the experience. I've never been more grateful for a steaming cup of hot chocolate.

While we were out of town, we went to a meeting. They read Dr. Bob's story from the Big Book ("Dr. Bob's Nightmare"). The thing that really caught my attention was the prohibition part.

Around here, alcohol is prominently displayed in all gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, and markets. It's virtually everywhere. You can't avoid it. Newcomers have a really hard time with it and often share that they wish they weren't constantly bombarded with bottles every time they try to buy groceries or gas.

Well Dr. Bob was a guy who spent years trying to stop drinking, and then like a miracle, the government outlawed alcohol. Surely that would fix his problem. He was essentially given every AA newcomer's dream -- alcohol was removed from public view. But even so, Dr. Bob still found other ways to obtain alcohol and also started taking pills, which made things worse.

It illustrates that the problem isn't with alcohol, it's with the alcoholic. It's insanity. When alcohol is removed, our natural tendency is to find other ways to continue self-destructive behavior. I'm not sure if the alcoholic's obsession is really with alcohol ... I think the obsession is with self-destruction.

Tonight, I went on my first 12-step call. I didn't know what to expect, but I'm glad I went. She talked about her obsession with self-destruction. The alcohol was just a tool. I hope she will soon believe that she is worthy of treating herself well and living a good life. Learning to love yourself is the hardest part.

I'm grateful to be sober today, and that I don't want to self-destruct.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

thanksgiving 2007 finale

I cooked my first Thanksgiving meal today.

Whoever says that Thanksgiving is a relaxing holiday should be shot.

That is all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

happy thanksgiving

"Where's Big Bird?"

My favorite Thanksgiving picture.

Tonight's meeting turned into a gratitude meeting, which makes most people squirm in their seats and want to leave. I'm not sure why people are so aversive . I guess once you've heard one gratitude meeting, you've heard them all.

Sometimes it helps to hear someone else share about their gratitude. They point out things that I've taken for granted.

Like one of my friends can eat now. He had a tube in his stomach last Thanksgiving due to chemo. He couldn't eat for almost a whole year. I've never had that kind of medical problem, so that's something I take for granted.

Another friend is no longer having to coordinate getting her teenage son in and out of jail and into and out of treatment centers. I don't have any kids or family members in that situation, so that's something I take for granted.

And everyone really has something unique to say ... but I don't really feel like I have anything unique to contribute.

Looking back over the past year through this blog, I can see how I have changed. Some is positive and some is negative. I've learned what I need to do to grow and to be happy. But my thinking tends to be more cynical. (But I call it "realistic" ... the truth is, life is a mixture of good and bad things. In the end, it fulfills an ultimately good purpose. But the bad parts really suck.)

I'm thankful to be sober, to have my family, to have friends, to have a relationship with God, to have a job, to have a roof over my head, to have good health, and to occasionally have the clarity to find gratitude for things overlooked.

Monday, November 19, 2007

a dozen roses brighten any day

And today, I am grateful ...

  • to be sober
  • that I still have my family
  • that we all had a nice weekend
  • that I got to have lunch with my wonderful boyfriend
  • for the beautiful flowers my boyfriend gave me today. All of my coworkers' husbands got in trouble ... ("My husband hasn't given me flowers in years!")
  • to get a refresher course on cooking dressing
  • for my nice warm bed
  • that I can look back in this blog and see patterns and trends in my behavior ... I realize the blog has been more about work lately and less about AA. Part of that is because work has become more important. As a result, I'm not as happy overall as I used to be. Hrm ... pattern?
  • for God, because His plans cannot be derailed.

Friday, November 16, 2007

clocked out for the weekend

Okay, so I made it through another week at Dr. Evil's Corporate Office.

There is so much to complain about ... but there is so much to be grateful for:

  • I'm sober
  • I get to go to my homegroup meeting tonight
  • I get to spend the weekend with people I love
  • Hopefully my parents will get to meet my boyfriend's mom this weekend
  • I have a job to go back to Monday morning. It sucks, but it's better than nothing.
  • God sees the big picture, and He's not freaking out

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the lost Dr. Seuss poem

I love my job, I love the pay!
I love it more and more each day.
I love my boss, she is the best!
I love her boss and all the rest.

I love my office and its location,
I hate to have to go on vacation.
I love my furniture, drab and gray,
And piles of paper that grow each day!

I think my job is really swell,
There's nothing else I love so well.
I love to work among my peers,
I love their leers, and jeers, and sneers.

I love my computer and its software;
I hug it often though it won't care.
I love each program and every file.
I'd love them more if they worked a while.

I'm happy to be here. I am. I am.
I'm the happiest slave of the Firm, I am.
I love this work, I love these chores.
I love the meetings with deadly bores.

I love my job - I'll say it again -
I even love those friendly men.
Those friendly men who've come today,
In clean white coats to take me away!!!

Thank God for meetings ... I'm about to snap.

Actually, my boss is great. And her bosses are great. It's just the rest of the company (and the mean, cruel policies) that I can't stand.

I have one of those Human Resources positions where I constantly witness extreme disparity.

One minute, a clerk making $6/hour calls to ask why she wasn't issued any vacation for the year, because she hurt her back and our company doesn't provide Sick time to clerks. I have to explain that she didn't work enough hours to earn the vacation ... she missed it by a few hours. She complains, asks me how she's going to pay her bills, and hangs up scared.

The next minute, a millionaire executive calls to complain that he was only issued 4 weeks of vacation instead of 6 -- and how is that $250,000 bonus going to affect his 401-k? I want to beat the bloody hell out of him, and let the clerk throw a few punches too.

The disparity pisses me off. The policies are bullshit. They're designed to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. I simply can't put up with it anymore. It's wrong. It isn't fair.

I understand that every company operates like this, but I wish I worked in a position where I didn't have to see it. Because when I see it, I want to do something to fix it ... but I can't. Nobody listens, nobody cares.

And that sucks.

I'm not cut out for this type of job. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I can't wait to leave.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

eleven eleven o'seven

"A person starts to live when he can live outside himself."
--Albert Einstein

When I read that quote today, it reminded me of the third step prayer:

"God, I offer myself to Thee - to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"
--Big Book, p. 63

Living outside of self ... It's been difficult to do that lately, because I haven't been getting my way.

People don't treat me the way I think they should. Things don't go according to plan. I fall short of my own expectations. I'm afraid to be honest with my feelings. Uncertainty is stressful. The environment at work is demoralizing.

Yeah, other people are experiencing problems too. But what about me? That attitude is selfish and conceited ... but honest. It's the "bondage of self".

And I'm told that when I feel this way, I need to pray and get outside of self ... that is when a person starts to live.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

murphy's law

It's just been one of those weeks.

The repeating theme of every day is that no matter how hard I try or how good I do -- something always blows up in the end.

The stress is getting to me. I went to work shaking this morning. Had a headache all day.

When I came home, I started a project to make some curtains. I'm no seamstress by any stretch of the imagination. It took 45 minutes to figure out how to properly thread the sewing machine. And I had the instruction manual. Heh. So I'm no Einstein by any stretch of the imagination either.

After two hours of measuring, pinning, and sewing, I was done. Finally. I did something right after a whole week filled with failure.

The curtains just needed to be ironed to get the wrinkles out.

I recently bought a new iron, but I wasn't familiar with the dial yet. As I lowered the iron to the edge of the curtains, the nylon fabric floated up and melted instantly on the iron's surface. The fabric was ruined. I wanted to cry. Not again!

And that cycle of frustration has been repeating on loop all week. One thing after another, and it all adds up. I've never had so many things go wrong before.

They say "Life isn't about what happens to you, it's about how you react to it."

I didn't drink. I didn't beat anyone up. I didn't walk out on the job. I didn't insult or swear at anyone (out loud), though I really wanted to.

Nothing this week was ruined beyond repair. I turned right around and made things right. Sometimes it took some help from other people, which hurts my pride, but that's okay. Maybe that's why so many things went wrong ...

As for now, I have a headache again. It's time for bed.