January 29, 2013

AA Step Five - We admitted

AA Step Five - We admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

This surely sounds like a tall order! But much needed. For this is the way we get rid of all the shame and the guilt, so we are able to forgive ourselves and others.

Doing this step for the first time, when I was just newly sober, was quite scary! I had no problem putting down on paper all my wrongs in step 4, or even telling "god" as I understood him! But telling another human being? OMG. How am I supposed to tell someone of all my wrongs? ALL MY WRONGS? Wouldn't that lead to more guilt and shame? And what is the person listening going to think of me? Oh my goodness, this just seemed like way too much. But at the same time all the guilt and shame that I already had piled on, was just eating me up. I didn't know how I was going to be able to live with it all hanging over me, let alone stay sober. And saying sober is the most important thing in my life today.

My first 5th step was the hardest. I was in so much pain and so scared. I remember talking to my sponsor before we met to do the 5th step. She said, that most importantly I have to feel that I am ready to do it. She also assured me that I didn't have to disclose all of my wrongs that one time, I could do another 4th and 5th step later. She also explained that saying it all out loud will free me from the burden that I have been caring, so it's all up to me of how much I want to get rid off.

Finally we met. I reluctantly started reading my list which I made in step 4. Tears started rolling down my face. As I was reading, everything become real, and even I couldn't believe the things I have done. My sponsor gently reminded me that it was ok to have these feelings and it was ok to hurt. She understood as only another alcoholic would; we all have done horrible things under the lash of alcoholism. So I continued...I started to feel a bit of relief...slowly...it was all coming out and leaving me.

I recently did another 5th step, as AA suggests to continue doing steps thru sobriety. It was so much different than my first few. There are still some things on my list, but good grief nothing like when I was drinking! And that is a true gift of sobriety!  I live a pretty normal life now, and I do pretty normal things, though there is always room for improvement! What an amazing journey this has been so far!

Happy, Joyous and Free! and Sober!

Click HERE to read AA Step Five.

January 25, 2013

How Do You Survive Friday's Sober?

Friday! Best day of the week! Right? There is something in the air, can't quite explain it; Friday just has a certain vibe of excitement! I used to live for Fridays and always went out or went to a party or ...well, definitely drunk! Because Fridays always seemed OK to get drunk and be obnoxious! There we no limits!

And my drinking had no limits either! I think drinking on Friday made me feel like I was OK, like I did not have a drinking problem cause everybody else got drunk too! (Hmmm...did they?) BUT I relapse on a Friday, I got my DUI on a Friday, I wrecked my car on a Friday. I am not sure if everyone else did too~!

So when I was getting sober, Friday was the hardest day of the week for me. While everyone was buzzing about their Friday endeavors and setting up happy hour and making plans for weekend fun,  I would have to go to a meeting, and then I would have to sit on my hands for the rest of the night just to make it thru without drinking. Seriously, I was counting down the minutes to the end of the day; till midnight when stores stopped selling alcohol and 2 am when bars closed! My cravings for drinking were just so crazy strong!

Now that I am sober, I still have this excitement feeling about Friday! It's still TGIF! But now, I have learned to deal with it in a different way. Now we have family night on Fridays! Whoo hoo! We play Wii or watch movies or bake cookies or paint or whatever. Having fun on Friday, and sober!

I have also found this awesome page with a list of

100 Fun Things To Do Sober

Check it out HERE.

January 23, 2013

My Journey to the Rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous

My first introduction to AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)  was after I was charged with a DUI (Driving Under Influence.) As a hope for a lesser sentence my lawyer suggested that I attend a few AA meetings, so I did. I showed up, I sat in the chair and I left. Unfortunately, this didn't help and my hefty sentence included no license for a year, 5 days in jail, ASAP, ADS, and... you guessed it, more AA meetings. UGH! - for more on my DUI see My Drunk Log. So, I kept going to meetings, cause I am no lier and I will get my paper signed as ordered, and ....then I will drink after the meeting! Ha! I had it all figured out!

I definitely believed that AA was not for me. I kept thinking that I had absolutely nothing in common with those sober AA people! And who the heck wants to be sober anyways! And the whole God thing they kept referring to was scary! And doing the 12 steps was even more frighting. Not for me, life sucked and I was miserable and there was no hope for me. That's what I thought!

From 12 and 12 - Step  One, pg 4.
But eventually my life was so miserable that I just didn't think I could take it anymore, I just wanted to die! I ended up losing few jobs, I spent few weekends in detox, and a week in the psyche ward too. AND 18 months in outpatient rehab. It was all too much!

I finally, actually reached out to AA, it just seemed like it was my only hope for anything better than the crazy life I lived. The first step was really difficult because admitting that I had a problem and that I needed help seemed to big of a task. My pride sure wouldn't let me admit that. I certainly did not want to be an alcoholic. But at the same time I couldn't continue living the way I was and I thought that maybe those sober AAs could help me live better. I though maybe I could stop drinking! Maybe I could be happy again. So I kept coming back and I found a sponsor, and I started doing the steps and getting to the bottom of all the crap that was really the cause of my drinking. And little by little, things started changing. Day by day I managed to stay sober! I worked on my self and my inner troubles. I found a Higher Power, it was a tree. I was finally learning how to live without alcohol. And before I knew it, not enough that I got sober and have been sober for the last (almost) 5 years, and my life is amazing! I got married (to one of those AAs,) I bought a house, I had two kids and and I found an awesome job. My life is not made out of riches, and it's not always peaches and cream, but it's full of true happiness which I thought I would never experience. I still have some work to do, but it is way better than the drunk existence I used to live.

And the God thing, well it's not a thing, it is just a suggestion, that you believe in something greater than yourself, a Higher Power that could help you stay sober; it could be a rabbit's foot if you want or AA or God - just something that you believe is stronger and greater than you.

So if you think you might have a problem with alcohol, and your life has become unmanageable  please contact your local AA office, you can find their number at http://www.aa.orgThere is a solution!

January 22, 2013

Gifts of The AA Program

I got to lead a meeting last night, it's always such a gift to be asked to start a meeting. Sharing my story of how it used to be, what happened and how it is now, is a true reminder of the miracle that sobriety is. It also gives me the hope that I may carry the message to another suffering alcoholic. This it how it works, by sharing our experiences, strengths and hopes!

When sharing, I was reminded of how long it was before I finally was able to admit that I had a problem. It reminded me how I just didn't believe that I was ever going to get sober, let alone be sober for almost 5 years (4/15/08)! I really thought that I just was "constitutionally incapable of being honest with myself." - Big Book - 5. How It Works. My life was totally unmanageable and I had many consequences from my drinking. But I just didn't see it as a problem, crazy right? DUI, jail, ASAP, ADS, detox, rehab and CPS, and I just though I had bad luck - and lots of it! But people in AA kept saying Keep Coming Back, and Don't Quit Before the Miracle Happens and It Get's Better. And they loved me when I hated everything about me and about my life! And they told me that they understand and they have been there! They gave me hope! They gave me a new life!

These are the amazing things about AA fellowship! And whether you have been sober 1 day or 10 years, the feelings are the same, the struggles are the same! The solution for me today is AA, 12 Steps and the Big Book, they saved my life!

Grateful to be sober another 24 hours!

January 18, 2013

Missing the Happy Hour

Ah, the happy hour, how I do miss thee.  Actually, maybe I don't.  As my coworkers once again were gathering to go to happy hour, my mind went down memory lane.

Happy hour in my later drinking used to be a daily event for me. I do actually  remember when it changed from 3 days a week to 5 days a week. I remember wondering if that was normal, I remember questioning if others did that too. And I remember wondering if you're just suppose to go to happy hour after a bad day, cause it didn't matter to me, good, bad, indifferent. I just went to drink!

But today, for me to go to a bar is like being on a diet and sitting in a cupcake shop! I just get all irritated and resentful that they can and I can't. Well I always can, and I have gone in the past and I ended up beating myself up that I went  and I was feeling miserable afterwards.  What's the point? And it's not safe either cause one of those times I might just decide to have one! And one is never enough. I don't drink like other people. Once it's in my body I am off to the races. And I just want more and more.

So it's ok that I don't go, because for today I choose not to drink!

January 13, 2013

Alcohol is All Over the Place

Seriously, alcohol is absolutely everywhere, or at least it just seems that way to an alcoholic. Lol!

So my husband and I went out to dinner, to the local Italian restaurant.  As we walked in, we got hit with the overwhelming sent of bread and wine. Go figure, two of my favorites!

Once we got seated I asked the waitress to take the wine glasses of the table and told her that we don't drink! Ha! I can't believe I actually said that. That was a new one for sure. Usually I would just not say or do anything! Then when the waitress came back with our drinks, she threw two coaster on the table, and guess what was on the coasters!??! Yes, a picture of a WINE bottle! Ugh. And of course the people next to us were drinking too!

These are the time that still make me feel uncomfortable. I wish I was normal, I wish I could sit in a restaurant and have a drink, I wish it didn't bother me that alcohol is everywhere.

But I can't sit on those feelings. I have to turn them around. I have to be grateful for the life I have now and remember how my life was when I drank. And sitting at a nice restaurant, having dinner, sober is way better than drunk on the floor of my kitchen!

After dinner, we decided to stop by the coffee house and we ran into some friends from AA. It was awesome, we shared our dinner story with them and laughed about it all!

January 11, 2013

The Odds Are Against Us

I am really grateful to be sober; as the saga of my friend unfolds it totally keeps the memories of my struggles up front. Not enough, that just a month after rehab, he is exactly where he was before but now he has been drinking and popping painkillers stating that at least he is not doing heroin. I guess that is better, somewhat, but we know a drug is a drug. It's so sad, just breaks my heart. And there is nothing we can do but wait and hopefully catch him before he falls. I swear I sometimes still cant believe that I was able to get sober; it seemed so hopeless. I tried to get sober for 3 years before I was able to stay sober for more than a few months, but now with the help and support of AA, I have been sober for almost 5 years! So I treasure my sobriety because we who get sober are true miracles.

If you really want a rough estimate that sort of gives a decent answer to the question, you can always say “about 5% stay sober.”  This is not far from the truth.  In all actuality, you can see a sort of drop off rate as people try to stay sober for longer and longer.  In other words, if 100 people try to get sober, about 5% of them will make it to 90 days sober.

Now take all of the people who made it to 90 days sober.  About 5% of THOSE people will make it to 2 years sober.

So there is sort of this drop off rate that slides, and it is a pretty scary slope.  Make it to 90 days and you are not out of the woods yet.  Make it to 2 years and you are STILL not out of the woods yet.
However, if you make it to 4 years sober, then your chances of achieving “permanent sobriety” jump significantly.  The statistics show at that point that if you make it to 4 years sober, you will probably stay sober forever.  Of course with addiction there are no certainties. - Spiritual River to Recovery

Statistics are very low. This is why I have to do what is necessary to stay sober and sobriety has to be my number one priority. That means staying close to AA, my sponsor, the fellowship and my Higher Power.

One Day At a Time!

January 3, 2013

The Fuck-Its

I had a bad day yesterday, I swear nothing went right; ran late in the morning, got into it with daughter, forgot the baby bottles for daycare, got a speeding ticket, did crappy on my certification exam (well I passed, so that's ok), got stuck on the metro train and then Hubby was in a crappy mood cause his boss was on a rampage. So I got really down. My thoughts ran wild like the old days: I suck, everything sucks, life sucks, and I hate it all! Why do I even bother trying to be a descent person and live a good life? It seems so pointless!

So today I was trying to pick myself up. But I still felt blah. Sometimes I am just tired of life! I want to check out and I feel like I have no way to do it. Or I just don't know how. But I don't  want to feel or think or do anything!

So I was looking through FB and saw a pic of my friends and it made me smile, then I read few posts and checked out my gratitude group and I felt a little better. Then I called my sponsor, which I definitely don't do enough off. And I felt even better.

It's so easy to slip into old behavior and get the fuck its. But it is also easy to use the tools of the program and pick yourself up!

Just passing on, cause I am so grateful that I am sober today.