March 29, 2013

Life is Good Sober!

I got up in a great mood. Kids all listened this morning, and there was no yelling or arguing. I looked out the window and the sun was shining and the birds were chirping. LOL!

On the way to school I turned up the radio and we bopped to the music. I dropped the kids off and headed towards the commuter train station. Music still blaring...

And then, there it was, that thought: wouldn't it be nice.... sit in the sun, with a little umbrella drink... to relax and let the calm flow of the alcohol take over me... to feel as if nothing mattered... ahhh...

Yes, I still have those thoughts here and there; this is how I know that IT is still out there, waiting for me to let my guard down. Enticing my with its promises of "pomp and glory."

But I know better. I have been here before.

I have been swayed, I have taken the bait. AND, I know the truth... I have never drank little umbrella drinks! LOL! It was always barrels of wine or jugs of vodka! And it was not pretty at all, it was fast and furious!

Yes, it's a beautiful morning, I have a smile on my face.

                          Life if good!
                                                   TGIF! TGIF!

March 26, 2013

My Illusion of Control

Control is a strange thing.

When I control things and things go my way, I tend to feel good, secure and well... in control. But when things don't go my way I tend to try to control them even more! Now that I am sober it seems that the amount of control that I try to impose seems to also be proportional to my level of fear! Fear of... Well, that's the thing, sometimes I don't know what. Maybe a fear of being out of control. I have a lot things going on right now that I have no control over. And I can feel it, I want to have control over those things.

But control is an illusion for me. It's masks itself as care, commitment, and security. Yet, most of the time it causes me resentments, frustration, and exclusion. And at the same time I am very aware that I have no control over  people, places or things, yet I still try. So, releasing control for me is extremely important and also extremely difficult.

The times when I am able to give it up and let go, I certainly feel better, more relaxed and happier. I feel freed! I feel lighter. I am relaxed and clear headed. Of course that seems easy when nothing is going on. But during stressful times I just want to hold on to everything. Ugh. So... I want to be able to give up control more! But I am not sure how exactly to let go of things, it's not like I can put them all in a bag or something and just drop the bag out of the window! Lol!

When I was drinking and was able not to get slobbery drunk, I felt in control, and I was happy. It gave me the sense of accomplishment and I though it proved that I was not an alcoholic. But when I got slobbery drunk, with no intentions to do so, I immediately though of a new way to control my drinking, or tell myself that I needed to try harder and that I can definitely figure out how to make it work. So sometimes, I went to extremes by actually counting, measuring and timing my drinking! (yep, did that!) But it always ended up that, the controlling game consumed me and the more I tried to control my drinking the more things went hay wire and I ended up getting even drunker.

I also think that for some reason, I miss that controlling drinking game I played, it sort of occupied me and made me feel like I was accomplishing something, I was in CONTROL when I was able to control it. Now sober, I think I miss it sometimes, in a very strange way, maybe I want to control something, just so I can have that feeling again, like - I did that! It worked! Yey for me! I am in control! But the feeling is very temporary because really, I am not in control!

 How do you let go of that controlling turmoil?

March 24, 2013

AA Meetings - Feels Like Home

I went to my very favorite AA meeting the other day. It was great to see so many people that I now call friends! The topic was going to any lengths and the speaker seemed to have been telling my story. I love meetings, no where else I feel more at home, no where else I can laugh and cry at the same time, no where else I hear someone who has felt like me, no where else I know people aren't judging me and no where else people will call me out on my own bullshit! And there is no better cure for me than an hour in an AA meeting.

In the beginning I definitely had the same stigma about AA as most people. I thought it was a religious cult that made you believe and follow their special god. I thought that they brain wash you there and make you follow their 12 steps, and they probably want your money, and the secretly laugh at all your stories. I thought that you must be completely desperate to be in AA. And all those boring, sober people in one place, what could they be talking about? They must have no lives to be a part of that! Well, I had no life either! So, I kept going...

I remember after my first few meetings realizing that if I opened my mouth people would try to talk to me, and give me advice; it was so overwhelming and quite frustrating, so I stopped opening my mouth. I didn't need any advice anyway! I was just fine by myself - you know what fine stands for right? - F-up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional! Lol! And, yes I was all of the above! 

This was also my huge denial stage, I thought I had a problem but I wasn't quite convinced. So for a while everything about the meetings irritated me; the sayings - Keep coming back! One day at a time! Easy does it! (Say what?) and Going to any lengths- drove me nuts! The prayers that everyone seemed to know, the happy stories of finding sobriety, the gratitude lists and the holding hands! (yes holding hands!) ugh. People celebrating long lengths of sobriety even irritated me, I mean how the hell and why the hell would you want to be sober for like 10 years or 20 or 30! That's insane, I thought. Oh and the literature, good grief, people were quoting things out of the books like they had them memorized! Nuts! (p.s if you regularly visit my blog, I always try to reference the literature! Lol!) 

But, I kept coming back... I don't know when things changed, I don't remember how long it took. But my sponsor eventually become my best friend; a real friend, I never had a real friend, they were all bar flies... She was kind and gentle and funny, and made me do the steps! Ha ha. And I need it all, I had no clue how to go about getting sober, or living a life. I needed daily guidance and support. I needed to hear that someone understood, I needed to know that someone has been there. I realized that without them I could not stay sober. Slowly the people in the AA have become my network, my support and my family.
At the end of the meetings in my area, we hold hands in a circle to remind us that we are not alone.
Note: I realize that AA may not be for everyone, but if you are struggling with alcohol and are looking for more information about AA - Alcoholic Anonymous, or you are looking for a meeting in your area, please go to the AA website at

March 20, 2013

We Will Intuitively Know

My daughter is still having issues with some girls at school, so her dad and I had a meeting with the school counselor yesterday to come up with a solution. I sat there next him in the counselors office while he pounded the table with his fist as he proclaimed his disapproval of the way the school was handling the situation. He talked about the other girls involved as if they were the absolute evil and questioned their parents abilities. Then he talked about our daughter's complete innocence, and then he even brought out the tears. Yes, he cried.

I just sat there.

Listening, for a moment I thought, oh god, what is this counselor gonna think of me? Me. Wait a minute, me? This isn't about me or him. I suddenly felt my heart filling with strength. For the first time that I can remember I didn't feel like less than him. I didn't feel embarrassed and I didn't interrupt and make excuses for his behavior. I did nothing. I stayed me. And when it was my turn I spoke.
This is huge! In the past, I always felt like I had to defend him, make excuses for him and calm him down. He always embarrassed me with his over the top antics, and the tears. But I have learned that other people's behavior is not a reflection of me, and I have no control over other people's behavior. He is him and I am me and we are separate. I no longer have to explain to people his behavior so I don't feel embarrassed. People can clearly make their own opinion. In the past I would have left feeling like a complete ass, mad at myself for defending him because I was afraid of what people might think about me. Crazy! But I didn't this time.

This is the part of the promises that has been coming true for me lately, i have intuitively known how to handle situations which used to baffle me. I don't know how this happens but it happens and it is totally amazing. 

The AA promises can be found on at the bottom of page 83 of the Big Book.
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.

March 17, 2013

Another St. Patty's Day Sober!

So, of course I have to reminisce about the good old days!

I remember once, I went with few friends to an Irish pub in old town, it was 8 am - yes in the morning - and the bar was opening at 9 am for St. Patrick's day. There was a long line outside holding the promise of this being the place to be! When we finally got in, the bar was packed and loud and I thought it was awesome! It was hard to get to the bar and even harder to get drinks. So after the first round of Guinness, of course, and some shots of Jameson, we were ordering doubles of everything, you know just in case it took to long to get another drink!

And... that's about all I remember.... I woke up in the back seat of our empty car! Apparently I got really sloshed, so my "friends" took me out to the car and left me there while they continued the festivities! I remember thinking, that it was only early afternoon, there was much more time to party! So I went back to the bar and they were still there! They made fun of me for a bit, saying that I was a light weight! Ha! So I showed them! And there went some more Guinness and Jameson! And I don't remember the rest.
That was that and I am sure the next day was spent hangover, full of shame, trying to piece the day/night together, figuring out how, who and when, and swearing not to drink starting at 9 am ever again, which I of course did happen again...

So today, it's St. Patty's day and I feel as lucky as a jolly leprechaun to be sober! I will go to a meeting in the morning and see some of my favorite people and hear their crazy St. Patty's stories. Then we will celbrate my daughters 9.5 bday - yes, the half is very imortant she says! -  and we will laugh and play and enjoying being a family. Then I will go to bed sober and I will wake up sober, and there will be no shame, no guilt, no beating myself up, and no trying to piece together the previous day. Then I will go to work sober and deal with my grouchy hangover coworkers, who at times like these, are the perfect reminder of why I don't drink anymore!

March 15, 2013

The Sober Alcoholic

I had a light hearted conversation with a coworker yesterday about how times have changed... I know I totally aged myself since he is about 10 years younger than me! Lol! The gist of the conversation was -  remember when? As he replied to few things I mentioned by saying the he has heard of that, we laughed and carried on. At some point the conversation switched, and for the life of me I can't remember to what topic exactly, but what was said after that has stuck in my head. He said, - well you could always been one of those bottom of the barrel drunks, sitting under the bridge, drinking out of a paper bag warped jug of vodka! and I exclaimed, - OH, NO, not going back there again, been there done that!- and then we all laughed and went back to work.

I felt strange afterwards, like I just outed myself! And then I thought, is being the bottom of the barrel drunk, the worst thing in the world?! My coworkers all know that I don't drink, I told them all so they would not keep asking me to happy hour and such, and so they would not ask at company events why I am not drinking, I just like to get that out of the way. But I have never said why, though when asked, I have said that it makes me crazy. Lol!               And that's when I though, wow, I don't really feel offended! I feel grateful, I feel amazed that I am no longer one of those bottom of the barrel drunks! But I was one for sure. I might have never lived under the bridge or, drank out of paper bag, or drank vodka, well let me rephrase that, I drank vodka if it was there, but I usually didn't buy it, well, I bought it few times too...but, well, the point is that I was the bottom of the barrel drunk! I was hopeless. I thought I would never get sober. So when I did finally get sober, I tended to sort of feel ashamed that I didn't drink, and that I was sober. 

A sober alcoholic should be good, but I guess because if you are admitting to be sober, you are also admitting that you have been a drunk! Why is it cool to drink but not cool to be sober!? Why is it hard to tell people that you are sober, why aren't they instantaneously  happy for you? Why do they automatically judge you... it's bad to be sober and it's bad to be a drunk? -hmmmm. 

Oh well, it's ok, I don't have to understand everything or everyone. I don't have to argue, plead or convince anyone anymore. (especially not myself!) I know the truth. I know who I am, and I think am, finally, quite OK with that! I am proud to be the sober alcoholic!

Happy Friday!

March 13, 2013

The Growth Spurt

Good grief, sometimes I feel like nothing is wrong yet noting is right!  I manage to get obsessed about this and the other, and then I finally get over it and as soon as I do, I find something new to dwell on. And I am constantly in my head and I can't seem to be able to quiet it down. I think my thoughts are running a mile a minute! I don't know what's going on!
Except, I think I am going thru a  growth spurt of some sort. Usually, I seem to get crazy right before I am going to go thru a spiritual change, like an enlightenment about something, or maybe I will learn something new that will help me live a better life. I can feel it coming, and because the change is also scary, I am feeling all discombobulated. But then it happens and I feel an amazing relief and openness! Of course I don't know what this new thing maybe be. Oh well, just got to wait till it happens; let go and let God. (Ha ha, that is a repeating solution right?) It's ok. Everything is just OK! 

Then, I was thinking that my Anniversary is coming up next month, and I am feeling like I should have done much more in 5 years, I mean I should have had more growth spiritually I think. And at the same time I can't believe that it has been 5 years since I took a drink. WOW. Unbelievable. Crazy, unbelievable! How did that happen!?

Interestingly enough, I read this blog few nights ago called Lowering the Boom Box written by the wonderful Paul of the Message in the Bottle blog. It is about being comfortable in the silence instead of always tuning out with something else. He writes:
Silence is what my mind and soul craves these days. I seek solace in the silence and navigate my way through my own spirit without distractions. I let the low humming of passing cars be my mantra. I find comfort in the swishing of skate blades on ice as I sit in the park near the rink. Rain on the hood of my car is as soothing as anything else I can find on itunes. Silence is my music now.
I really have been thinking about this because I've been sooo in my head and frankly, I am getting really tired of it. And wether I am having a growth spurt or not, I don't like the way I am feeling, so I am going to try to change it. I suppose this is sort of like meditation, just using the sounds that you find around you; I think I can do that, well I am going to try it anyway! Hope that will quiet my head :)

March 8, 2013

Re-writing the Script

I am trying to let go of some of my old crappy thinking, you know that stuff that nags at you and keeps you awake at night. The stuff you have been believing or telling yourself for years, and now you know that it's just not true! Yeah, that damn crap! The script I always write is that I suck and that no one lovesa me and that life sucks.
More and more I see how this crap has no purpose in my life! I think I just used it as my security blanket, it felt safe, it was mine, it was just what I did. It gave me a reason to drink. But now I am really aware of it, I can see how distorted my thinking can get in a very short period of time and over very silly stuff. So, I know that it has to go, it’s time to re-write it. Yet, at the same time, it is so, so hard to let it go. I feel like, "What will become of me? I'll look like the hole in the doughnut!" - AA 12 and 12, pg 36. And then, right before I am ready to finally let it go, I hold on to it just a bit more, just for a little longer, just for the last time!

This is what happens....

I get on my pity-potty!! Last night I made myself a pitty party, because my dad left for Europe to visit some friends and he will not be home for Easter, and my mom has passed, and my one brother is away at school and the other is moving to CA. No family for Easter. Ugh. I suddenly felt alone and unloved…. and... I have no family...  I never had a family... How come I don’t have a family… I suck, my life sucks. And blah, blah, blah.  I even texted my friend and said that I was orphaned! Good grief! I am sooo dramatic! LOL!

BUT.... the truth is that I do have a family! I have a great family! I have a Hubby, three kids and a dog. And great in-laws! No really, they are amazing! And I have two bestest friends in the world and an amazing sponsor who has been sober for 30 years! (Say waht!? Yeah!) And not to mention my AA fellowship which spreads the entire county! Now that is some big family!

That is my new truth: I have a great, big, loving family!

March 5, 2013

AA Step Seven - Humbly asked Him

Humbly asked Him to remove our short comings.

This step focuses on humility and reliance on a Higher Power. We should not confuse humility with humiliation. When we are humiliated, we are ashamed; we feel worthless. Humility is almost the complete opposite of this feeling. Through working the steps, we've been stripping away layers of denial, ego and self-centeredness. We have also been building a more positive self-image and practicing spiritual principles. Before, we couldn't see our strengths because the good, healthy part of us was hidden behind our disease. Now we can. That is humility.

In this process, I must overcome the ego-protecting tendency to deny, distort, or minimize my failings - meaning I need to let my wall down - before I can acknowledge them and learn to accept myself exactly as I really am. Here are some parts of the step that really resonated with me.
This lack of anchorage to any permanent values, this blindness to the true purpose of our lives, produced another bad result. For just so long as we were convinced that we could live exclusively by our own individual strength and intelligence, for just that long was a working faith in a Higher Power impossible. This was true even when we believe that God existed. - AA 12 and 12, pg 72
A whole life time geared toward self-centeredness cannot be set in reverse all at once. Rebellion dogs our every step at first. - AA 12 and 12, pg 73
We now clearly see that we have been making unreasonable demands upon ourselves, upon others and upon God. - AA 12 and , pg 76
The Seventh Step is where we make the change in our attitude which permits us, with humility as our guide, to move out from ourselves toward others and toward God. The whole emphasis on Step Seven is on humility.  - AA 12  and 12, pg 76