Whoops I Did It Again

Well, I Did It again. Which proves to me a few things. First, I am still human, I’m still progress not perfection, my “isms” are working on me and probably the most important – I am an alcoholic, albeit, recovered, my disease is the one and only real constant in my life. It sits there, sometimes does some pushups, but it grows stronger daily. So I must remain vigilant and stay stronger.

Thank goodness I can recognize my defects of character when they poo up. Sometimes that are subtle but lately not so much. Today was an example of that. My partner has been out of work for months. First hospital, then broken wrist, then needed to update her med card. She is a professional driver, needs a med card. Well ok, went for the required sleep study (uses a Cpap machine) and got results today. So now she has to go to Sleep Dr for consult and as to whether or not she will receive a med card for the year. She only has a couple years until retirement. It’s one thing after another….mind you I have my own personal issue I’m dealing with too….

To make the rest of the long story short, I lost it….my temper. Said some things. I reacted poorly. I wasn’t angry at her, but frustrated. I caught myself and removed myself from the situation. I was taught to always have a way out. So I went out of the house, still streaming,taking to myself (out loud) and grabbed my weeding tool and weeded my Amaryllis garden. Been talking about doing it for days but was also procrastinating. Well the garden for weeded, I prayed off and on through our the process and holy cow….it works. I knew it would!! Always has!! Finished the garden, went in chatted with partner, made my amends, went to the pool, came home, have my honey a card…got it yesterday and felt much better. Moving on…

It is truly amazing what tools AA has given me. Have to remember though, if I don’t pick them up and use them, then my I have to remember there are consequences…and more importantly…MISERY IS OPTIONAL!!!

Extremely blessed

AA Anniversaries

Some might say that AA Anniversaries, celebrations run contrary, are contradictory to the AA philosophy, especially the 24 hour a day idea, that we only have today.  And I agree to some extent.  However, I was taught that the Anniversary isn’t about me at all. It is for the newcomer giving them HOPE that they can not drink one day at a time and someday have the happiness and fulfilled lives that we have. So the intent of the AA anniversaries are extremely important. It doesn’t take away from the living a day at a time or sometimes the minute at a time…it’s main purpose is HOPE!!

I actually had to ask a friend the other day how long I had been sober. I live my life a day at a time so each day becomes just another day added on to the day before. I will tell you I will be sober 27 years either October or November. I say either October or November because I have no memory of which month I started. Probably those around me remember better than I do. Days, months, years have no meaning to me in my sobriety other than – “if you do what I did/do, you can have what I have”  I have said it over and over but it shows each day as I grow. I know that some of you that have been following have seen I am far from perfect, but I am sober and I have done it By the Grace of God, “the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it” God had never left me, He was always there, through the good and bad and sometimes I forget that today. Then I need to jump back into my program, and do some more of the footwork.  It isn’t that I don’t do the things I need to do on a daily basis, but in all honesty and fairness I do tend to get lazy and slack off. And what happens? I pay a price, sometimes dearly.  I essentially get “squirrely” and I know when this is happening because I start to get full of fear, resentments and any other emotion you can think of. Thank goodness I can recognize it today and even more important thank God I know what to do about it to get back on the “beam.”

So, yes AA anniversaries do contradict the AA philosophy, but the are a valuable resource as well. They show the newcomer it is possible to not drink one day at a time, and recover from that hopelessness that we all come into the program with. IF and it is a big IF, if we do what is suggested to us to do!! In the beginning it is – Don’t Drink, Go to Meetings, Talk to another Alcoholic and get a Sponser.  If these things are done, that is a fantastic start to a new life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!!

Good night ALL and REMEMBER
onemonth

This Too Shall Pass

Well that frustrating day I was going to write about today passed…imagine that!  I said my prayers last night.  Not only did I pray I took an honest inventory of myself (10th Step) and found out why I had been feeling the way I had been feeling…A few things popped into my head. First I was tired, I had been hanging out with my friends from New York at Disney World having a wonderful time. But I was tired and every little thing that was happening around was starting to ‘bother’ me. That is not supposed to happen at the ‘Most Happiest Place On Earth.”  I am here to tell you, it does.  Another thing was that finances were improving but, dang, not fast enough to suit me…well, again this is something as long as I am doing what I need to be doing will improve with time, not necessarily my time. And, there were a couple other little character defects I had finally recognized. So I did what I was taught to do…pray that the resentments be removed, and prayed to have those character defects removed, knowing full well that they will certainly rear their ugly heads again. I also prayed to have more patience. But I did what I was taught to do and this morning I woke up feeling much better.

Another thing that has been festering in the back of my mind is that in a week or so the snowbirds and northerners will be returning to our park. I am a Board of Director for our Homeowners Association, the President in fact.  I can not wait until February (I don’t like thinking like that, it is kind of wishing my life away), but, that is when my two-year term is up.  I got involved because I thought it would be a great way of helping, being useful, getting out of myself.  It is but it is also a thankless task.  People have been mean and less than grateful for my time and effort. Some have actually made my life miserable (I know, misery is optional). ShipsDontSinkPic

I have used the serenity prayer and just about every other prayer I could possibly think of in the past twenty months or so.  Thank goodness for AA and my Higher Power this year. 2018 has been a BEAR!! But as the saying goes…”This Too Shall Pass…”  I have lately trying to live in the day, that way I don’t get so crazy and forget my purpose…Just For Today!!

So I went to my Daily Reflections book and instead of reading todays passages I went and looked for something to help me with “Just For Today” Found it on June 6th page, it reads….

ALL WE DO IS TRY
Can He now take them all — every one?
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 76

“In doing Step Six it helped me a lot to remember that I am striving for “spiritual progress.” Some of my character defects may be with me for the rest of my life, but most have been toned down or eliminated. All that Step Six asks of me is to become willing to name my defects, claim them as my own, and be willing to discard the ones I can, just for today. As I grow in the program, many of my defects become more objectionable to me than previously and, therefore, I need to repeat Step Six so that I can become happier with myself and maintain my serenity.”
From the book Daily Reflections
Copyright © 1990 by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc.

And so, it occurred to me the struggle was not with the OUTSIDE World it was with me… I had been doing the prayers and meditations and helping people BUT I had forgotten to take my own inventory as I mentioned above…Step 10
Step10Personal InventoryLike I say I am working day-to-day on Progress Not Perfection!

Thank God and AA for being able to have a way to take care of my daily life….

There-but-for-grace-quote

Quote – Dull Life

Some men like a dull life – they like the routine of eating breakfast, going to work, coming home, petting the dog, watching TV, kissing the kids, and going to bed. Stay clear of it – it’s often catching.  Hedy Lamarr
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/hedy_lamarr_271503?src=t_routine

routine                                       Routines can be fun and don’t need to be boring.

Today was another good day.  Water aerobics first thing this morning. Always feel better after them.  Aside from the exercise benefit, I get to socialize with friends at the pool. Then I came home and had lunch, ran some errands with my partner and came home had dinner, feed the pup (Chico) and kitty (Mr. Toes) watched some tv while doing a jigsaw puzzle and now here I am.20180806_1705041

20180729_100617Aren’t they beautiful??

Back to the routine….writing my blog everyday has become a routine and I am totally enjoying it. As I have said in the past, I am far from being a “writer” but I sure am having fun with it and it makes me feel 100% better.  I had learned in AA that it is healthier to clear things out of my head, then the good stuff came come in. There is much truth to that.  I have to remain vigilant to keep the committee in my head to a minimum. I remember hearing in AA about “the committee”, or the different thoughts and voices swirling around in our heads, often giving us conflicting messages or bad advice. In my sobriety, I have benefitted tremendously by taking the time to identify those voices. I had no clue who I was when I got sober.  I borrowed a section from Agnostics in AA

What I am getting at is that through my daily routines I become inspired to continue moving forward and do the things I have been taught and if I do then I will remain sober and happy.  I try to think of how it was when I first came into AA, and I remember that all I was looking for was HAPPINESS. Well, I found it and then some….I Caught It – the DULL LIFE. I read this recently “Life is just the way it is supposed to be: unpredictable, good, bad, ugly, and great, all rolled up into one incredibly short experience.”  “What’s really important is that life just is—and that we should stop worrying and get on with living it!”   Bob Miglanihappydrama

 

 

 

Thanks for reading tonight….now to get on with my boring, dull life….

Quote of the Day – Commitment

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
Vince Lombardi

As I have alluded to in some of my past posts, all the GOOD in my life is in direct proportion to the activity I have been taught to ‘do’ in AA.  To me that means that my life is good so long as I am following the principles in AA and living my life as outlined to me from the members of AA that went before me. They taught me to do what they did and make AA a part of my life until it was my life. Well, because I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired, I did that. And my life today, in spite of the occasional blah days, my life is full and I feel I have purpose in my life.

I was given a plan of action…my life became more than just words…it became and continues to be a commitment on a daily basis. I also learned that by making a commitment it meant that I would be carrying “it” through, from start to finish.  So, before I say YES to anything, I make sure I have the time and desire to really follow through. I have said NO to many things because I am not afraid to any more, but more than that, if it isn’t something I don’t want to or can’t do then I no longer say yes just to be a People Pleaser.

I will go to any length to stay clean and sober. It was overwhelming to make a lifelong commitment to sobriety, so I followed “One Day at a Time.” Using this day-by-day pace, I was able to string together time and a new life. I afraid, as I was of EVERYTHING, of making a long-term commitment, but I knew I had to. It was a difficult place to be, seemingly stuck between two tremendous fears; fear of going back to using and facing certain catastrophe, and the fear of failure.  So, I decided to take a chance on the risk of recovery because at least I knew my odds of succeeding and living a worthwhile life were better than if I went back to using. How? By the POWER OF EXAMPLES right in front of me. These AA members had made a commitment to get WELL and it was working for them. No matter what was going on in their lives, they did not pick up a drink and the seemed to be happy most times with smiles on their faces. I WANTED THAT!!

In my experience, it is my continual commitment on a daily basis that provides the true and enduring path to happiness, joy and serenity!

progressnotperfection

 

Quote of the Day

DefineNormalPic

This is how I feel about normal.  What is the true definition of normal today? Normal can be used to describe an individual’s behavior that conforms to the most common behavior in society or known as conformity.

But I have had conflicting ideas of normal.  I was told in AA,  “We” (my AA group I joined) don’t conform to you, you conform to us”.  That old thing of If you want what we have, you do what we did….and yeah, ok that worked.

However I was also taught to “Go against the Grain” and do the things I needed to do to live life on a daily basis….

A little conflict going on there in my head… but I learned as time goes on that there are many paradoxes in the world today.

The 4 I know the most are in AA – 1. We surrender to win. 2. We must give away to keep. 3. We have to suffer to get well. 4. We have to die to live

So for me rather that asking what is ‘Normal” I look at it as abnormal is anything or anyone that seems different to us and what we are used to. And usually follow it up with the question from above “Define Normal?”

FREEZE the PICTURE

Freeze the picture of my kids growing up.  Two of the most proudest moments in my life were when I became a mom. These were the best years of my life. Had I not gotten well, I would not have any of these moments to cherish. I can remember both times the boys were born like it was yesterday, no, not the pain (although I can remember that too) but more of my mental state. After all, it was a life changing experience….and overwhelming, especially after my first son was born. Lucky for me, I had both sets of parents and his Dad to be there and help raise him. In fact I was a fortunate Mom, the boys have the same dad and he was there and still is for them.

I loved being a Mom. But somewhere along the way it got overwhelming again even though all those people were around. My little guy was growing up and I started to be afraid of him and his friends. In reality I was afraid of everything, and everybody. I don’t remember when I crossed the line and started to drink every day but I do remember my mother and father in law both start to hang around more. I thank God today but man they sure were cramping my style back then. Drinking made me smarter, taller, prettier, super Mom..it was my Liquid Gold! God was really watching out for me and the little guy.  Became worse as he got older…when he started kindergarten I was a mess. What was my purpose now, what will I do with all my free time? I had the answer, drink what else. I really didn’t need a reason to drink, I drank  when I was happy, sad, home, not home, with people around, without people around (which was my preference). I was literally a closet drinker. I went AA and did what I was told for 3 years, 3 years. But I was not finished drinking and until I was finished it would not work. I surrendered once again, and started all over. Just prior to the surrender I had my second son, I had stopped drinking enough while I ws pregnant with him, but shortly after I started again and it was off to the races. I remember my last drink, it was cough medicine, Robitussin. Easier to hide, but just as effective for an alcoholic. Was very scared this time when I stopped, I could not even fake my way through anything. Could not put a complete sentence together. I knew from having had the seed planted from going to AA I was licked. In all honesty I can not remember too much detail from this time period, I was very sick and as they say I destroyed many of my brain cells from drinking. It is also funny I start writing about a memory or event and I start writing about AA and my getting ‘weller.’ I guess I have been a fortunate soul and have made AA my way of life. I don’t know any other way. AA and God have given the ability to be a MOM and still have my kids in my life…very proud moments as they have grown into fine young men.

If anyone is familiar with the Big Book, the Book we use in ALcoholics Anonymous I was the chapter on “The Housewife Who Drank” … She hid her bottles in clothes hampers and dresser drawers. She realized what she was becoming. In A.A., she discovered she had lost nothing and had found everything.  p 335 Yup that’s my story.

 

 

Not only did I have all those people around me, I had AA and God. Or so I thought. No, they were there I was half there. I had been going to meetings, sharing and going through the motions. After all, I was a great lier. Most alcholics are.

…TO BE OF SERVICE

August 3
Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us.
Alcoholics Anonymous, p.77

It is clear that God’s plan for me is expressed through love. God loved me enough to take me from alleys and jails so that I could be made a useful participant in His world. My response is to love all of His children through service and by example. I ask God to help me imitate His love for me through my love for others.

Daily Reflections, p. 1561

 

I knew by now, having been told over and over and hearing it many meetings I attended, what my purpose was and is…be of service to God by becoming useful and carrying the message I had been taught. Give it freely to others. What is the message? In the beginning it was don’t drink and go to meetings. As time went on it was still don’t drink and go to meetings and get a sponsor, go through the steps in AA , one at a time, in order with the direction/guidance of a sponsor and a home group. This was hard for awhile and sometimes still. I don’t attend as many meetings any more but I was given an awesome foundation in the basics of AA. So in my daily life I still try to carry the message, and now I am useful in so many other ways – to all the people around me. Or shall I say I try to be…some days are better than others.

 

24 Hours A Day

August 3 – A.A. Thought for the Day

We in A.A. Must remember that we are offering something intangible. We are offering a psychological and spiritual programme. We are not offering a medical programme. If a man needs medical treatment, we call in a doctor. If a man needs a medical prescription, we let the doctor prescribe for him. If a man needs hospital treatment, we let the hospital take care of him. Our vital A.A. work begins when a man is physically able to receive it.
Am I willing to leave medical care to doctors?

I know nothing about medicine, as I knew nothing about being sober. I saw many sick, physically sick people come to AA and get well. I was taught that if a person needs medication and they need to take it, take it. But remember, take it as prescribed. I know me, if I was told to take one pill, I’d take at least two or more. Why? Because that is the way an alcoholic mind works, mine anyway. Just like a drink, one? Nah, two would be better…was never just one or two though. So yes, I leave any medical diagnosis to the doctors. I am not a doctor, lawyer, marriage counselor, etc. My purpose is to be useful. That means, from day one, my only qualifications were to help someone not drink one day at a time. That remains my purpose today. However, as I have grown, I have learned to try to be useful to everyone today. My usefulness comes in many different ways today.

Meditation for the Day

Each moment of your day which you devote to this new way of life is a gift to God. The gift of the moments. Even when you desire to serve God is sincere, it is not an easy thing to give Him many of these moments. The daily things that you had planned to do, given up gladly so that you can perform a good service or say a kind word. If you see God’s purpose in man situations, it will be easier to give Him many moments of your day. Every situation has two interpretations – your own and God’s. Try to handle each situation in the way you believe God would have handled it.

Everyday I have is a gift from God. I had to change my whole way of life. Get rid of the way I thought of things and some instances the way I did things. Not always easy. Not at all! I took back my will many times and actually still do today. But the difference between my early sobriety and now is that I do not wish to be miserable as often or as long. It does not take me nearly as long to get out my misery. I try not to think my way is always the best or right way. In fact I’d venture to say that nine times out of ten, my way is the wrong way. I mostly live the AA way today, it has worked for me for a long time. And, I believe that the AA way of life is the way that God intends me to live my life on a daily basis.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may make my day count somewhat for God. I pray that I may not spend it all selfishly.
24 Hours a Day, p 88

I do pray daily that I am useful to everyone around me at any given moment. This helps me to get out of myself and try not to be selfish. I don’t think my way is the only way any more.

Another Leap of Faith

I was a bit apprehensive about starting a blog about my recovery as an alcoholic. Scared that some friends, family and acquaintances may not accept me for who and what I am. Then I got thinking about the fear again. That is how I was and I do not want to be there ever again. So once again, as in many years, I have decided to go for it and take that “Leap of Faith” I am not ashamed of my past I have made amends for my past and continue to make amends as needed. Knowing that I am not a perfect person and sometimes I fall off the beam and have to get back on it. AA and the people that helped me get sober have saved my life. Not only when I was getting sober but everyday since. They taught me how to live One Day At A Time every single day from the day I finally gave in and admitted defeat. My life is filled with purpose. Because of this overwhelming feeling I have decided to right about my experience, strength and hope. I want to share with
anyone and everyone that wants to willingly listen. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.