November 8, 2011

It's Been a Long Time

Yes it's been a long time. Just haven't been able to put things down on "paper." My mom is really close to the end and it has been unbelievably hard to manage it all in my head. So I'd rather not talk, write or think about it.

Yes I am still sober and even though I want an escape everyday, I haven't really had the urge to drink, but eating candy is another story...

Maybe this is a strange analogy but I feel like going thru my mom dying is sort of like getting sober. No one really understands what I am going thru unless they have too gone thru it. And I can't quite picture life without mom, yet it's so hard to see her suffering right now. And I have to just live one day at a time, sometimes one hour and find something positive.

This is a huge change which, not even I expected. I mean everybody's parents die at some point, that means everyone has to go thru this, yet I didn't not think it was gonna be this difficult.

So some positives in all this: I get to be of service, I get to spend time with my family, I get to help and support them, and I get to make a living amends.

August 17, 2011

My Drunk Log

I usually start my story about the time I got my DUI in 2001, but looking back now, I can see that even before then I didn't drink like other people. But I just believed that I was just a party girl, I was the life of the party, I was just having fun! And lots of it!

So I got a DUI in 2001, I blew .25, over 3x legal limit, the judge gave me 5 days in jail, no license for a year and an order to attend ASAP (Alcohol Safety Awareness Program) and ADS (Alcohol and Drug Service) classes and AA meetings  Hefty right? But I didn't think much of it, though I just got busted cause those f-n FFX co cops are A-holes and...well damn it, those were my consequences. I took vacation from work and went to jail, I sold my car and learned how to use public transit. Then I attended all the classes and few AA meetings and I was done. But I kept drinking, even though I had to take numerous breathalyzers - I actually learned in ASAP how long it took for all the alcohol to get out of your system - whoot whoot! Ingenious I was! So I would drink around the times I had to take a breathalyzer, I mean really I was tooo smart for that shit. Lol! And I never though for a minute that my drinking maybe out of control, that this was not normal, I mean I got a DUI! It's a badge of honor! Everyone had a DUI, didn't they?

Yes I was to smart for this shit, I had firm convictions! You know where those convictions got me right? Jail!

I earned my seat in AA! And that was just the beginning cause I did not get sober till 2008, so there is more of the story to come! Lol!

For today, I am grateful to be sober and I am continuously reminded what life was like and how empty and alone I felt when I was drinking. Today I don't have to live or feel that way anymore.

August 5, 2011

It's All in the Perspective

Feeling sorry for myself yesterday...ugh trying to snap out of it.

So I pick a the newspaper for the ride on the metro this morning. I usually don't but this morning I am having a hard time not dwelling on everything that's going on and last night I really felt like drinking.

So I open the paper, hoping for something lite to read, and there it is on second page a Somalian woman with her hands on her face and the look of pain and disappear ...she just lost four of her 5 kids from starvation and all in the last 24hs. Is this crazy! OMG! I can't even fit that in my head.
I live in such a little world sometimes, it feels like I am all alone in this world and things only happen to me. This is why I drank, if you had my horrible life, you would drink like me too! But as soon as I look outside I can see that stuff happens to others too. It gives me some comfort to know this, cause being a self centered ego driven drunk, I truly sometimes think that this all is only happening to me. Truth is that so many people go through hard ache way worst than what I am dealing with, I am not alone and I don't have to drink over it...

August 3, 2011

Doing the Next Right Thing

Taking some charge of things, cause no one will, or wants to, I don't want to either, but my controlling side is fine with being in control...something to get myself into right? Except this is no fun! So I did my moms will, waiting for the documents to come back from the attorney, so she can sign them and I also did the power of attorney for dad, I called around funeral homes, going to see one on Thur. I still need to somehow convince mom to sign the hospice paperwork - she's to proud I think.

And so to top all of this, with stressing out about everything, I got in a fight with my brothers ex-gfriend on! No worries everything is erased. But somehow I just blew up! I apologized to my brother, but I still feel stupid.

Ugh...this would be so much easier with few glasses of wine I think. Yes I can feel it, with the first glass, the calm washing me over, the ache in my heart disappearing and slight euphoria emerging. Then I would pour another or two, trying to get that same feeling again, that would never come. Then I would reach the plateau, feeling like my buzz was gone, so I would drink more, if I didn't have more I would get more, probably thinking just one more bottle but I would get 2, maybe 3 or a box, cause 3 bottles seems weird(?). Probably would drink into a blackout, maybe called some old ex bfriends before I pass out somewhere in the house. Next morning I would probably find the house a wreck, I would be a bit puzzled cause I wouldn't remember anything I did. Hangover and filled with guilt I would probably keep drinking....and my world would slowly start to fall apart, job, family and friends would become unimportant, and totally replaced by the bottle...

Or...I can keep doing what I am doing, supporting my family the best I know how. And staying in touch with my sponsor and AA family, surrounded by their love and support. And being present!

Yes I think this is the path...This is the softer easier way!

July 27, 2011

I am OK

Well I think I am ok. Mom is getting worse, my poor brother had to see my dad - the Rock - crying on Sunday. I've had the fuck-its on and off but haven't want to drink, well that's not entirely true, I've been wanting something to make this all go away! But then Amy Winehouse died and bam! There it is again, this shit kills! So I am sober, not quite happy about it at times...but the alternative is so much worse!

July 25, 2011

Amy Whinehouse

I have to write something about the death of Amy Whinehouse! Why? Because I know she was one of us! She didn't choose to be an alcoholic and an addict!

My heart hurts so bad when I browsed through the internet looking for details of her death and seeing so many horrible responses to her death. People are so fucken mean, she was someone's daughter, someone's wife and someone's friend! She was a human being, one of us! So much judgment; who the fuck are you all to judge this way?? It's pathetic.

There are thousands of Amys out there and I am one of them!

My heart goes out to her family, friends and fans. This is such an insidious disease! It robs us of all will to have any say about anything. Getting sober was the hardest thing that I have done in my entire life! And I had four years of trial and error and I should have died many times over! Why not me??? I don't know. But I know I had no control over it, I didn't choose this route, that's why it's called addiction!

“No kind of bankruptcy is like this on. Alcohol (drugs, NA 12&12), now become the rapacious creditor, bleeds us of all self-sufficiency and all will to resist its demands.”
AA Twelve and Twelve, Step One, Page 21
“The tyrant alcohol wielded a double-edge sword over us: first we were smitten by an insane urge that condemned us to go on drinking (using, NA 12&12), and then by the allergy of the body that insured we would ultimately destroy ourselves in the process.”
AA Twelve and Twelve, Step One, Page 22

But I am here and grateful to be sober. And I hurt so much for each one of us that do not make it. Rest in peace Ms Amy, may you never have to hurt like this again! And may your legacy stand as another reminder to all of us that this disease KILLS!

July 19, 2011

Acceptance Is the Answer

More and more I realize that the key to my happiness is acceptance. But the realization that I have no control over many things in life, is quite difficult. Of course the hardest was accepting that I was an alcoholic; I still I would give a million $ not to be one. But as I live my life sober I am also learning that there are many other things that I have absolutely no control over.

Lately I am struggling with my mom being sick. It's hard to accept that she may die at any minute. It's hard to accept that I can't make her better, it's hard to accept that at times she doesn't want to see me. I have no control over any of that. Feeling powerless is very uncomfortable, because I should be able to fix this, I should be able to fix it all!

How do I accept all this?? That's when my sponsor would say: read page 449!

This may be one of the most quoted passages in literature. It's from Page 449 (first 3 editions, pg. 417 in the 4th edition) of Alcoholics Anonymous or The Big Book as it is widely known:

-And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation -- some fact of my life -- unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.
For me, serenity began when I learned to distinguish between those things that I could change and those I could not. When I admitted that there were people, places, things, and situations over which I was totally powerless, those things began to lose their power over me. I learned that everyone has the right to make their own mistakes, and learn from them, without my interference, judgment, or assistance!

The key to my serenity is acceptance. But "acceptance" does not mean that I have to like it, condone it, or even ignore it. What it does mean is I am powerless to do anything about it... and I have to accept that fact.
Nor does it mean that I have to accept "unacceptable behavior." Today I have choices. I no longer have to accept abuse in any form. I can choose to walk away, even if it means stepping out into the unknown. I no longer have to fear "change" or the unknown. I can merely accept it as part of the journey.

I spent years trying to change things in my life over which I was powerless, but did not know it. I threatened, scolded, manipulated, coerced, pleaded, begged, pouted, bribed and generally tried everything I could to make the situation better -- only watch as things always got progressively worse.

I spent so much time trying to change the things I could not change, it never once occurred to me to simply accept them as they were.

Now when things in my life are not going the way I planned them, or downright bad things happen, I can remind myself that whatever is going on is not happening by accident. There's a reason for it and it is not always meant for me to know what that reason is.

That change in attitude has been the key to happiness for me.-

July 11, 2011

Welcome to the Newcomer

I was in a meeting yesterday, a woman with 3 days spoke up, she sobbed as she told her story of utter despair. I could so relate to her feelings, tears started running down my face! I never want to feel that way again!

And through all that has been going on in my life in the last few months, I still would rather go through this sober than be where that woman is now. This is why the new comer IS the most important person in the room, they don't know it at the time, but they help us stay sober. Cause things get better, promises start coming true, life gets good and we can forget how it used to be...I was a shell of a person, I had no one, just my bottle.

I remember how hard it was to face my malady, on one hand life was out of whack, I was just merely surviving, and on the other hand, giving up my best friend, for the rest of my life seemed totally impossible! And so I was stuck, for a long time, I didn't want to drink, but I didn't know how to live without it.

Of course I didn't come to AA willingly, I mean really who does, who just wakes up and says oh yeah, I want to be in AA! No one, just like no one wants to be an alcoholic. But I have a disease and this is the cure that works. I come to meetings and I learn, I watch others go through life sober; getting married, having babies, buying homes, and also dealing with break ups and deaths and taxes(lol!).

And to the Newcomer: We are glad you're here! You don't ever have to feel this way again. This is the softer, easier way!

Here are The AA Promises
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
 Are these extravagant promises? We think not.
They are being fulfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
They will always materialize if we work for them.

Alcoholics Anonymous p83-84

July 8, 2011

Honesty and Sobriety

A recent email from a friend got me to thinking about honesty. I read this book once, the author claimed that we all lie in some form or another, that the truth is all in the perception, that you can have 2 people go through the same exact incident and tell 2 different stories and then tell them differently to other people. I didn't like reading this since that would mean I was a liar too. I think this may not really be lying...

I think lying is mostly based on a fear. I've told people for years that my bio mom died when I was little, no one really asks how, but I had a story for that too. Why? Cause it's easier than telling them that she was an alcoholic and lost custody of me and I haven't seen her since I was 4. Cause it brings less judgment, cause I was afraid of what people would think. I am not sure this really is lying either...

Honesty is a crucial part of sober life. I have to be honest with myself about my cunning and baffling alcohol addiction! This is why on the AA chips it says "To thine own self be true." Being honest about my alcoholism is easy around other AAers but is still very difficult around others.

I haven't been able to share much about my past - and my blog is anonymous because I still fear the judgment. It seems that I live 2 lives, I have this huge AA fellowship and a sober life and I have the other life, where I try to blend in with everyone else.

I'd like to think that the world is changing, that now people of all color, gender and sexual orientation are treated as equal. But do us alcoholics and drug addicts get equal treatment? Why do I hold so much shame with my alcoholism? Why am I not able to tell the world that I am an alcoholic? I think most people still think that addiction is a morality issue, that only losers are addicts, and that we have a choice in the addiction. But I didn't have a choice, trust me, if I did I would have never chosen this!

June 29, 2011

Sober Vacation

Our long awaited vacation! Wow! Really glad we got to go, though I am dragging my guilt with me, I feel like I should be home tending to my sick mom. But my dad said she was doing well and so we went...

Drove half on Friday and stayed in motel to get some sleep, come to find out our 2 year old would not we got no sleep. But we got up next day and kept driving.

Vaca has been good so far, lots of fun, lots of stuff to do, lots of junk to eat; lots of work with the kids, all good. But I have noticed that people are drinking all over the place. Can't help but notice when a mom sitting next to me with a 2 year old, is cracking a beer after beer. And those frozen drinks from the pool bar...with the enticing umbrellas and pretty glasses - Oh yeah, I could down a few of those too! But I can't drink safely, such is my life, I know if I started I would have 100 of them, not like the said mom who had 3, in about 4 hour time - in the end I thought what's the point, didn't like the taste of beer anyway.

But the craving is there in the back, hanging out, doing push-ups, waiting for me to say ok. I think this is how I know that I am an alcoholic, normal people don't watch others drink, don't count how many they had and certainly don't fantasize about drinking. I don't know but it's a crazy obsession that can't be willed away. The only way I stay sober is to talk about it. I already emailed my sponsor several times and my AA BFF. Knowing that they have felt the same at some point and stayed sober, helps me stay sober. One day at a time.

So sober I am! And having fun!

June 24, 2011

And Life Goes On

Well, my mom is still alive! And the 4 weeks have passed. So now I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Maybe it won't?!

Packed last night for our vacation, which is finally here, and was booked in December. I feel like I have to say that because I think people will judge me and say "How can you go on vaca while your mom is dying?" So I tell them I booked it long time ago, which I did, but it can be cancelled. I have some guilt there, like I shouldn't have fun when my mom is on her death bed. I did find flights back if I need to come back quick. But honestly mom seems ok, though she may die any minute, if the tumor just happens to cut off the part of the brain signal that directs her heart. But when this may happen no one knows. Feel pretty helpless.

And so this is my lesson in acceptance and living one day at a time. And since I have decided to focus on the moment I haven't felt like a drink. It has been a good week relatively speaking...well not friend's mom died on Tuesday and that threw me in a tail spin for a bit. But at the same time I felt like it was even more crucial for me to live in the moment.

My mind can take me from here now to dead and buried myself in a matter of seconds! It's scary and it includes all kinds of bad things in the middle. It's very exhausting and dangerous because then fear kicks up, ego gets inflated and I am a complete mess! Then I can't deal with anything. I have to rely on HP and that everything will work out the way it is suppose to work out!

So for today, for right now, I will do my best, I will enjoy every moment and when I get to that big scary bridge I will figure out how to cross it...sober!

June 15, 2011

Keeping It Sober

Time has slipped away, or maybe it's been standing still...waiting for death is quite overwhelming. My mom seems ok for now but according to the docs predictions she should pass sometime this week.

It's been somewhat of a struggle to stay sober; just for the sheer pleasure of not feeling this way I would drink, but I am finding ways to deal instead. Music has been huge help, going to meetings and staying connected with program friends too. My relationship with HP is bit off, I think it is easy to believe there is a god if things are going well, but when they are not I start questioning his mere existence. I don't want to judge him but I can't understand why? Oh well try not to ponder that one to much.

But, luckily, every time I think a drink would be nice, I get flooded with memories...they don't seem to be as glamorous as I once envisioned them. They sort of make me squirm and feel pretty disgusted with myself - I suppose that's good. I remembered that I once passed out in a bathroom at a party, they had to break the door down, I had my panties around my ankles and my head on my lap; of course this I only heard about since I didn't wake up until the next morning in my boyfriends bed-though I do remember gong to the bathroom at the party...

That was the craziness, I woke up in different places than remembering where I started, many times. Then, every time, I drank more over it, continuing the viscous cycle. The several times I ended up in some guys bed, I actually tried to make them my boyfriend, but the morning hangover was not helping with the! After several of these unsuccessful boyfriend finds, I quit going out, I would lock myself in my apartment and drink by myself. Ah good times!! :( no definitely not!)

I used to hate these memories, I carried so much self pity with them, but today I want to thank them. I don't ever want to be living like that again, I don't ever want to feel like that again and I don't ever want to be that person again. I WILL stay sober no matter what, just to not ever, ever be in that crazy life again, and all those crazy situations that I have ever put myself in, while drunk! Thank you memories!

June 2, 2011

Hanging on to Sobriety

So last Friday after aunt Dawn died, my mom got a diagnosis of 2-4 weeks of life. Now we've gotten these before about mom but they were more like 6-9 months, and last one we know off was 1year, that was 4 years ago. After that diagnosis my mom requested that they don't tell her these time frames any more... But facing 2-4 weeks is the shortest ever.
I've been filled with anger and frustration and uncertainty; but I am determined to stay sober through all this. The waiting is horrible; though I grateful for each day that mom is still alive, I feel like this is some cruel joke too. This has been already the longest 2.5 weeks of my life! Or at least it feels that way...the bowling ball is back in my belly like when waiting for aunt Dawn to go. It's still hard to believe that she is gone; I guess that's the reality of life.
It's hard to write, it's hard to think, it's hard to function really... I keep thinking I need a little pill, maybe some valium or xanex would do the trick! Just to take the edge off...but I also know that I'll get thru this...and sober. I've had a great support network checking up on me and my sponsor has been amazing. She has gone through this with both of her parents and sober.
I am hanging on to my sobriety like a security blanket; I know that if I drink it will only make things worse. I sure don't like these feelings at all and they change every day too, some days they are more intense, some less. Sometimes I can't really identify them either, not sure if I am sad or mad or angry, maybe all of the above. And guilt has crept up, every time I am having a bit of fun I feel guilty. This must be an old idea - "old ideas availed us nothing..." So I have to re-write the script there too.
Evolution is inevitable, change is optional.
If nothing changes, nothing changes.
Nothing stays the same.

May 23, 2011

Life on Life's terms - continued

"My aunt in-law is going in to the hospital this morning too, to start her treatment for lung cancer." see Life on Life's terms
Last week was tough. My aunt in-law died unexpectedly, leaving 2 young children and a huge family. Crazy...still hard to words to describe...
I've been overwhelmed with all kinds of new emotions. I always wondered if I would be able to deal with someones death sober; and I am still sober. I don't like the feelings I am feeling at all and for a while I hoped that there was something that would make them all go away. But I heard it in a meeting once that if you do not let yourself feel and go through it, you will drink again. And I don't want to drink again!! The greatest part of AA is that I get to learn how to live life no matter what life throws me.

These are the tools of the program; call your sponsor, talk about it, go to meetings and don’t drink no matter what cause it won’t change the facts. And RELY on your Higher Power. This is the key to staying sober for me. Because drink is just in arms reach away at all times. And so is HP! So you reach for your HP first!
My aunt in-law went into the hospital on Monday and died early Thursday, this was probably the longest 4 days ever. I talked to my sponsor and stayed connected though I didn't want to cause every time I told of what was happening I felt like I was going through it again. But that going through it was actually releasing a little of my pain every time. I also decided to hold on to my sobriety for support because I knew that if I stay sober I will get through this.

The most amazing part of this was that the night that Dawn was taken off life support, and everyone gathered at the hospital to say good bye, every person in the waiting room was in the program and sober, supporting one another. This is how AA works! Sober and together we can conquer anything...

May 16, 2011

Life on Life's Terms

The scariest thing about getting sober was figuring out how to deal with life without drinking. Once I could admit that drinking was my problem and did not help me with dealing with life's issues, I had to find another way. This was and is hard and it's a constant work in progress. But while in AA I learned many ways to stay sober through tough days, and even great days, cause those can be a triggers too; how do you celebrate without alcohol, right? To me it is most important to stay connected to my network and share how I feel. This is the "To thine own self be true" part for me (this is on every AA chip.) And I don't isolate and I ask for help. But the best is to reach out to someone else that might need help or support.

Life sometimes deals you some unhappy things. I used to drink extra heavy over those things, cause I drank for all reasons but the bad things were always easier to get really drunk about! As a matter of fact when I found out that my mom had breast cancer I went out and on purpose got drunk, on top shelf Long Island iced teas. I remember that night vividly, it was a Friday.  I remember, I angrily started drinking at happy hour around 6pm, and I even remember leaving the bar somewhere around 2am. I remember the anger that was flowing through my body that whole night; I was going to drink till I couldn't drink anymore.

But what I don't remember was driving in a blackout and running over someone's front yard and their trashcans and being picked up by the cops. As I come to it at the police station, while they were trying to give me a breathalyzer, I opened my eyes and couldn't figure out where I was; I blew .25, and got thrown in jail. That was my attempt to deal with things.
So today my mom is going in to start her cyberlknife treatment for the cancer tumor in her brain and my aunt in-law is going in to the hospital this morning too, to start her treatment for lung cancer. Having a bit hard morning, because I don't want to - well no one really wants to - deal with this, at all! And in the past I would have binged drank the whole weekend and called bunch of people to try to get some sympathy! But this weekend I spent sober, I went to a meeting, talked about it and I spent time with my family Enjoying my family and supporting each other, talking and laughing! I feel blessed and grateful to be sober and walking through this step by step, feeling the feelings, with my family and my AA toolbox by my side. 

May 13, 2011

Feeling Hungover

Had few tough days coming up on Mother's day and few days after. Mother's day is so bitter sweet for me; my bio mom was an alcoholic and disappeared, and my step mom has cancer. And this year I got really depressed and angry and just had a hard time functioning. I cried most of mother’s day... and developed some craving, for something that would make me feel better: too much tv, too much soda, sweets, coffee or just being all helped for like a second... But there was  really nothing I could do, but just go through these feelings.

The weirdest thing was that after few days of this I woke up with a hangover! Like a full blown hangover, like I use to have after a weekend of binge drinking. Oh I felt just awful! I've heard of emotional hangovers but I didn't know they would feel just like a drinking hangover. I also kept thinking that maybe I never had drinking hangovers, maybe they were all emotional! Right? Lol! And the only way not to have a hangover is to not stop drinking! Right! I remember when I was introduced to the Hair of a Dog...the morning after drink...within drinking just half of it I felt better, wow I got a cure for hangovers!! I was soo excited, why didn't anyone tell me about this earlier!
But this Hair of a Dog was also the beginning of my downward spiral, because I had hangovers every day! The cure was so simple...just have a drink in the morning...but I could not have a drink, once I had one I wanted 100 more! 

The vicious cycle started, I would take swigs before I left for work in the morning, then couldn't wait to have more by lunch. I started smuggling it, using sippy cups and coffee mugs, and yes I did mix it with milk once. I certainly was amazed when I saw this "smuggling" of alcohol mentioned in the Big Book. I mean this book was written in 1938, what did they know, I though I was just brilliantly smart... It was hard to believe that someone has done this before! But that's what alcoholics do we work circles around alcohol just to drink and we get pretty inventive! It is a true miracle that after years of trying to drink 24/7 and trying to appear "normal," today I spend 24/7 not drinking, through anything that life throws my way. This is the easier softer way!! Trust me!

April 28, 2011

AA Step Three - Made a Decision

AA Step Three - Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.

AA 12 and 12, Step Three, pg 34.
I missed the step 3 meeting because I was in the ER, fantasizing about a great high! See Prescription for Crazy. But this is definitely one of my favorite steps that I probably use every day! No really! The 3rd step prayer and the serenity prayer have literally saved my ass on many occasions. Whenever my ego wants to navigated and the control becomes unbearable, I turn to this step!

But how do you exactly relay on a power greater than yourselves??! How do you give up control? This seemed totally impossible to me! I AM self-reliant, I can do everything by myself, and don’t need any help from anybody, ever! Right?? But in reality I couldn't handle it by myself at all, that's why I drank...I couldn't manage it, I couldn’t deal with it, I couldn’t live it! So step 3 was a great relief. It was like taking step 2 a bit further for me; I already believe that HP can help me and restore me to sanity, now I need to rely on him to guide me and help me through the journey. And all I needed, as it says in the AA 12 and 12, is willingness!! Actually, the key of willingness!

The 3rd step prayer has really helped me to let go of my control. I started saying them ever morning and little by little my days had become more manageable! 
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!
Yes, it was time to give up the power! Let someone else drive this life bus! That's what I usually say; " I am not in charge here!" Though some days this is easy to do some days not it says, your self-will might take the willingness right back!! But you can always come back and try again. It is very freeing to give up control, especially since I seem to have a death grip on everything!

So little by little I gave up few things, like getting upset about how my husband loads the dishwasher, or the crazy drivers on the road, or my boss being grumpy. In each one of these events, there was some part of me that wanted and tried to control, even though I didn't have too or I really couldn't - I would reorganize the dishwasher after my husband, I would yell out obscenities at other drivers, and I would walk around angry at work, cursing my boss under my breath. This all left me quite discontent! But by realizing that I could just try to accept these things, because really, they were not that big of a deal, I realized that everything was still ok, and in the end I was not miserable!
Once we have come into agreement with these ideas, it is really easy to begin the practice of Step Three. In all times of emotional disturbance or indecision, we can pause, ask for quiet, and in the stillness simply say: “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. Thy will, not mine, be done.” - AA 12 and 12, Step Three, pg 41.

April 25, 2011

Prescription for Crazy

I had a crazy experience with pain meds last week that just again proves that I have an addiction to anything that might make me feel different than normal. I have not ever considered myself a drug addict, drugs are not part of my story, I am a straight alcoholic. LOL!

But there I was in the ER, on morphine and fantasizing about a great high... that never come. I was quite surprised at how my brain took me to the fantasy land! LOL! I wanted the drunk high... so bad. But between the Valium, Percocet and Morphine nothing was doing the "trick" and my mind kept thinking I just need more, more, I need more! It was so strong that I forgot about the pain and why I was in the hospital to begin with.

All I could think about is when was the high gonna hit me. It never did, thank God. I did get worried after a while, and I told the nurse I was in recovery, though she didn't seem to care at all. Later I ended up tearing up the prescription since I wasn't in a horrible pain anymore, and I just couldn't trust myself! I know that pain meds should be taken when needed, but I really felt like they over-prescribed, and if Motrin was going to take the pain away why did I need Valium and Percocet? Nope, I'd rather be sober! REALLY? Did I say that? I remember when I did not want to be sober for even a minute! WOW! That's right, I'd rather be sober!

This whole experience has been a real awaking, I am an addict, no matter what it is. And btw, I am doing ok but dag what a scare and a real eye opener about the pain killers. Drug is a drug is a least for me...

April 15, 2011

AA Step Two - Came to Believe

AA Step Two - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

This weeks step meeting was powerful. This is pretty tough step for most. Power greater than ourselves and sanity or rather lack of sanity, in one sentence just seem a bit to large. For me this Power greater than myself was instantly assumed that I had to believe in GOD and that just wasn't going to happen! God was mean and had strict rules and I was already going to burn in hell, in fact there was a place being saved for me in hell since I was 9 years old! I never prayed, or said the Lords prayer at meetings, I thought I could do this without GOD, really!!!

But I kept relapsing and things were getting worse. Then my sponsor gave me a Sandy Beach CD. On the CD Sandy talks about how his sponsor helped him with the god idea, he kept calling it HP. He said he tried to get sober on his own but couldn't, his sponsor said since he has already conducted the "no god" experiment and it wasn't quite working, maybe he should try the "god" experiment and see how it works. Then he said, from today on just decide that everything is god and god is everything, and you can call it your Higher Power. For some reason that really made sense to me. Another thing that really helped was when my sponsor told me that if you take out the god idea from the Lords Prayer and just look at the words, it is really beautiful. "Thy will be done", "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us", "lead us not to temptation but deliver us from evil"; those are really nice things to hope for she said, and I agreed I started saying it everyday!

Now the sanity thing seemed even harder! I am not insane! Not at all! And I certainly do not need to be "restored to sanity," I thought everything I did when I was drinking was very normal and thoroughly thought out! It was normal to drink large amounts of wine before going out, so I  wouldn't get too drunk once out; it was normal to smuggle wine in sippy cups to work, actually that was ingenious! It was quite normal to drink early in the morning when I got off the night shift, that was my relax time! It was very normal to go to a bar by myself, or hide keys from myself at home so I wouldn't go out in a blackout, or hide my alcohol all over the house! Yes, yes all normal and quite sane, right?!?! It all made sense to me! Then one day I met a friend for lunch who I have not seen in 15 years! As I started telling her a bit about what was been going on I could see her face get more of the look of disbelief. She finally said, "OMG, I am so sorry, that's horrible, you've been through a great ordeal!" I remember sitting there and thinking, really? That was horrible? Ordeal? I honesty thought it was FINE, just fine. Now I can laugh about it all, my thinking was so skewed, I still some times have to say, "Normal people don't do that!" The alcohol is cunning and baffling!

I think step 2 is great, it gives you hope, that if you just try to believe, it will happen and your life will change for the better. And I love the idea of a higher power, she's my protector!

I pray for an open mind
so I may come to believe
in a Power greater than myself.

I pray for humility
and the continued opportunity
to increase my faith.

Click here to read AA Step Two.

April 11, 2011

The AA Promises

Sobriety doesn't guarantee anything, not even that you won't ever get drunk again. Just like with anything in life, there are no guarantees with sobriety. And if we don't continue growing and developing ourselves, our issues, often caused by ourselves, will continue to hurt us. To begin to be able to reach the promises we must work on ourselves. The AA 12 steps help us do that. Sobriety is just a daily reprieve from the drunkenness, and we must do the work to keep it.

I have to remember this whenever I am in a hard place, and dealing with a difficult issues. Because my first instinct is to run! Run away from it all, and find a way to numb it! But I know now that if I stay and deal with the issues, I will learn and grow...And the issues will get smaller... And then the issues I used to think were problems, will dissipate! These are the AA promises!

The AA promises:
Page 83-84, of the Big Book

Here are The AA Promises
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.
We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not.
They are being fulfilled among us - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly.
They will always materialize if we work for them.

April 8, 2011

Feelings Aren't Facts

But aren't they? I always thought that feelings were facts, because they felt real. I mean isn't love a fact? Or anger? Or happiness or joy? I think so! But I soon discovered that I had a flew of feelings that were really negative and I believed in those too.
Thoughts are not feelings and feelings are not facts; they only have the power we give them.
Although feelings feel real, most feelings are based on fear, fear based on our old ideas, fear based on things we believed for years and carried them in from childhood. I believed that I was a lousy human being because I was often told so. Because I believed this, I felt like a lousy human being. The feeling was very real but it was not a fact at all! The fact was that the person saying this to me was trying to hurt me and the fact was that I was not a lousy human being.
But how do you get out of this negative thinking if you are the person that has brought these negative feelings in?? My destructive drinking not only made my life unmanageable but also my feelings! Feeling that I though were based on facts! I was a bad daughter, I was a bad friend, I was a bad worker, I was a bad human because I could not control my drinking and my drinking hurt many people. I felt so much guilt and shame; I once again believed that I was a lousy human being!
But here is the truth! Alcoholism is a disease, it’s not a morality issue, I did not get up one morning and though “I want to be an alcoholic when I grow up!” NO, that was not my dream! EVER!
My dream was to be “normal,” just like everyone else! My dream was to be happy and live a good life. My dream has come true because I am sober today.

“The tyrant alcohol wielded a double-edge sword over us: first we were smitten by an insane urge that condemned us to go on drinking, and then by the allergy of the body that insured we would ultimately destroy ourselves in the process.” – Step One, 12 &12.

April 5, 2011

AA Step One - We admitted

AA Step One - We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Today I went to a new meeting that my sponsor recommended. It is a step meeting and today was the beginning of the series. I decided that I was just going to listen and absorb and as people spoke I was flooded with many emotions and memory bubbles. 

Step 1! The very first sentence of step one had me scared shitless when I first read it, "Who cares to admit complete defeat?" oh that definitely was not me! Nope, NEVER! I would do anything else I had to do but stop drinking. I've been coming around the rooms of AA for 7 years and I am going to have 3 years in two weeks, do the math, it took me a while...many relapses and 6 detoxes and 3 hospital stays, 2 alcohol awareness classes, 6 months at the county rehab then 20 months at an out patient county rehab, 5 days in jail, 2 weeks in physic ward, 2 jobs lost, 3 relationships wrecked, and loosing custody of my daughter for a year.


It wasn’t always that way; I drank for fun and had fun for many years before it all started to get crazy. And I maintained good jobs, and I got 2 degrees, and finished summa cum laude, and had lots of friends, and a nice condo, and new car, and everything right?! But then it just stop being fun…and become a crazy obsession.

While in the last rehab I was told I had to go to meetings and since I wanted to get my daughter back I started going...but I just kept looking for a way to drink normal not to actually stop drinking! One morning I woke up flat on my kitchen floor, I opened my eyes and thought wtf, I laid there for a while trying to figure out what happened...blank...could not remember a thing...what day is it? What time is it? OMG what happened? I tried to get up but I was actually still drunk and my body was in pain. I reached over to the cupboard to get another drink, go figure, but that was my turning point really, what the hell was I doing? Insane! Yes! I had no control and I was completely defeated! I thought that I only had two choices, keep drinking and hopefully die, or give up this fight and get sober... I was powerless over alcohol—my life has become unmanageable… I decided to get sober.

I remember a huge weight lifted that second, I felt certain comfort and clarity for the first time ever! That was my beginning...
Click here to read AA Step One.

April 4, 2011

My New Sober Family

Good weekend is great! Good sober weekend even better! When I have a really great time with my family, I either have a hard time believing that this is actually possible or I can't believe that I was missing out on all this!

I spent years drinking, and hating my family and everything about them. I lived blaming them for screwing me up, and everything in my life, from the very beginning of my existence. I drank at them many times because they did this to me. I lived in total victim mentally and I created a prison in my own head; a viscous and lonely prison. But miracles do happen... and one day, I was given a recovery CD, told to really pay attention to the beginning. 

The AA speaker with 26 years, started by saying, and I am paraphrasing, "What if, starting today, you forgive every single person that has ever, ever done you wrong? What if, today you accept that your parents did the best they could? What if, starting today you admit that your old ideas availed you nothing?" These were amazing words, I actually felt strange, calming feeling of freedom filling me up. I felt the hate slowly dissipate and new view of my whole life emerging. I found this so amazing I kept listening to the CD over and over, and slowly I was able to forgive, admit that I was wrong and let go…

Today I know that my parents did the best they could, at the time, and I am so grateful to have them back in my life. This is the true miracle of sobriety. These are our promises!

March 31, 2011

Sober Bits & Pieces

"Lololol! Really!! When I look back it all seems silly, life is good right now! Living in the memories of the past has absolutely no purpose but to sit on my pity pot! Yes, I fucked up, big time, and I might fuck up big time again! But I and you are not the same people anymore, and we never have to be those people again!!!"

"And the old fox learns much more from the young fool, than the young fool can ever hope to learn from the old fox"!

"I am so helpless, there is just absolutely nothing I can do! Acceptance, that's all I got, pg 449, "acceptance is the key...accept things are exactly the way they are suppose to be..." Ugh so hard, I almost feel like I want to jump out of my skin and fix this whole thing! Right now!"

"Where are your feet at?? ok stay there!"

"I just can't leave it alone, I want my control! It feels good! I feel smart and in charge and like I am capable of anything. And when it goes according to my plan it is very satisfying! BUT, I am trying to let him take care of this, really, I don't think that I don't trust him to do the job right, I know he can, I think it's more like I want the satisfaction- I want the glory!!! Yes that's it, I want the glory!!! I want that feeling of accomplishment! Lolol! So self-centered still, huh? Well, I'll just keep coming back!"

"And everything else, hell, you sounds like me! Trust in God, that's all I got for that! In the past few months, we've had to deal with many issues and somehow they all worked out... weird but true!"

"Really, truly, a miracle. It's out there all the time and (this is funny) I thought it's like not brushing your teeth, they may look ok but someday they will start rottening. So we got to take care of ourselves and do all the things that we know will help us stay sober. And I need to definitely take better care of myself, cause I was taking sudafedrine + advil cold pills when I was sick and I tell ya, I though many times of just crushing up a pill and snorting it - and - I've never snorted anything! UGH. So, I have to relax more, let go of things more, slow down more and enjoy the moments more!"

March 28, 2011

There Is No Self-Control in Drinking!

My coworker often refers to this, self-control idea; he claims that you can self-control anything in your life. Of course he is not one of us and I always ignore him about this, because self-control is an idea that does not work when it comes to alcoholism or addiction. I suppose if it did, then it would not be called addiction after all, right?! LOL!
I wish I could have self-controlled my alcoholism, and I really tried in so many ways; I told myself I will just have one, many, many times! I also switched the type of alcohol I drank, I used more mixers in my drinks, I ate more food, I drank slower, I drank every other day, and on and on, you name it, I tried it. But even if it worked once or twice and I did not get belligerent, eventually it just did not work at all. My ex would say that he did not want me to stop, just to curb it a little! But I just couldn’t. The minute I put alcohol in my body all bets were off! No clue what would happen, no clue when it would start and when it would stop if at all! The night I got my DUI, I remember walking out of the bar and saying goodbye to my friends. I later asked them why they did not stop me, didn’t I seem drunk? They said no, I walked OK and sounded OK. But not even an hour later the cops found me on the side of the road, with my car running. An hour later when they got me to the station and awake, I blew .25! Yes, three times the legal limit and almost at a coma stage (which you hit approximately around .30)!
Yes, it’s sort of like getting struck drunk, it is quite possible, believe me. I have on several occasion walked into a store with all intentions to just get something to eat and found myself walking out with a box of wine!

This is what they call this a disease, the absolute in-ability to “self-control” the addiction, in any way, shape or form. The only way to control it, is not to use at all. And even then, you do not have control really, you’re thoughts are always floating around, trying to entice you towards your drug, in some manner. I have to work on this every day and I am assuming, probably for the rest of my life!

But that's ok, I am way better off sober than I was ever drunk. Sobriety ROCKS!

March 27, 2011

Celebrating 3 Years Sober

I will be celebrating 3 years in 3 weeks! 

Three years of living sober and free from the crazy life I used to live. AA has changed my life in so many ways it would take pages and pages to list them all.

Alcoholism is a daily part of my life even though I do not drink anymore. Many days, are quite normal, I blend into the vast majority of people around me who have no clue that I am an alcoholic. Because after all aren't they the people under the bridge drinking out of a paper bag wrapped bottle? Well, yes there are some of those too, but many of us are just normal folk. We hold jobs and have families.

Anyone can speculate or analyze alcoholism or any addiction really, and make all kinds of judgments, but until you are an alcoholic or addict, you just have no clue. I don't know why I could never drink "normal," believe me I tried for many years, with many methods, but nothing worked. (BTW if your are practicing this you maybe one of us.) I literally had no idea what would happen when I started drinking. Sometimes I would be fine, seemed like just a social drinker, but most of the time I was just falling down drunk! It got so bad that I just would stay home and hide; me and my bottle, or 10! And I had many consequences due to drinking,  DUIs, jails, detoxes and rehabs become a norm, not to mention that I lost custody of my child for over a year. Yes, I definitely qualify. LOL!

Today I am trying to fully integrate myself in the world around me. Because I feel that alcoholism and addiction is still looked down on as a morality issue, it is very hard for me to "out" myself as an alcoholic to people outside the AA circle. Drinking is such a social pass time, it's hard to live without it, it's hard not be involved in anything and anywhere without the presence of alcohol. I tell most people "Thank you, but I do not drink," to which of course I get many questions of disbelief, and persuasions that this is the "special occasion!" Trust me; no occasion was ever needed for me to get drunk! LOL! I used to be that un-cool girl that was talked about because I drank way too much, now I am the un-cool girl that's talked about because I doesn’t drink! Hmmmm….

So, I choose to stay sober, I choose to have a life; and I have an addiction that governs my entire life on daily basis! It takes a lot of hard work, determination and belief to stay sober. And WE don't do this alone; countless numbers of people have gotten sober with the help of AA, and all the amazing men and women who you meet in the rooms. I struggled for years to get sober; it took me countless relapses, but I kept coming back.

My life today is truly amazing!