November 25, 2013

I Am Not Alone

In my last post The Little Miracles I talked about sharing - or whining more like it - at a meeting about some of my family members going on a skiing trip and me not being invited. The other part if that story was that they will all be gone over the Thanksgiving holiday and this will be the first year EVER that I will not be spending the holiday with my family of origin. I have known this for about a month now and of course the closer the holiday is, the more upset I have become. Ugh. I feel like my family just doesn't care about me and I am all alone.

I also feel extra emotional about this because since my mom passed two years ago, we have seen each other even less; it seems that she was the glue that held us together. Thanksgiving was also the last holiday we spent with her - it was quite difficult as she was no longer able speak or move on her own. It was a very hard day to get thru and last year it was a very hard day to get thru without her.
But now that I have been sober for a while, I often feel that since I am sober we should be a “real” family! I feel like maybe I could be the glue that keeps us together, especially being the only woman left. maybe my house could be the house everyone gathers at! Unfortunately, I just keep forgetting that I can't just change my relationship with my family because I have changed! I spent many years avoiding them because I was too busy drinking. I was never there for them at all, and I do still feel somewhat guilty about that. So I really think that I am having unreasonable expectations about our relationship, that's for sure.

So all this has been swirling in my head for the last month, and since it appears that I have misplaced my gratitude, the Month of Gratitude has certainly helped! You see, nothing has actually changed in my family dynamic, we have always been sort of aloof. But once again I am looking for something out there instead of focusing on things right here in front of me! And I have seemed to have forgotten that I have a family of my own - husband and three kids and really awesome in-laws. These are the important relationships that need to be nurtured and appreciated! And my family of origins is still there, and they do support me and are proud of me, I do know that. But they have their lives and that's ok. I am not alone, not in the least bit!

The world doesn't change because I got sober.
But I change the way I view the world!

November is the month of gratitude!

As I mentioned in the Month of Gratitude post, here is my list for the past week:

Day 19: I am grateful for my awesome husband.
Day 20: I am grateful for my dear friend Mary who has been keeping me sane this week! 
Day 21: I am grateful for coworkers who make my work day less stressful.
Day 22: I am grateful for Facebook - it's an amazing way to stay connected with my sober network.
Day 23: I am grateful for a reminder of how my life used to be, it sure brings things in perspective.
Day 24: I am grateful for yummy dinner at the in-laws.

What are you grateful for?

November 24, 2013

The Little Miracles

Yesterday was one of those amazing days...

I went to, my now favorite, meeting at the shelter. A little old lady with many bags, pushed herself through the door about half way through the meeting. She asked if she was too late and could she come in. We welcomed her in! She sat down and asked if she could pray for us. The chairperson went to her and explained the rules of the meeting and told her that she could pray at the closing of the meeting. This all happened during my share, in which I was talking (whining more like it) about feeling left out from a family event because I don't drink and how I was jealous of that grand fun time that they were having skiing and partying in the low the Alps of Europe. - Blah blah blah, right? Not that I could have gone anyway!

So, the little lady prayed for us at the end. I couldn't hear her voice well, but what caught my ear was, "He looks after us and provides exactly what we need, exactly when we need it." Them as I was walking out, a friend stopped me and said, don't you see, he is looking out for you? You didn't get invited so you wouldn't be tempted to go and maybe end up drinking! - and wow... A light bulb moment! That's it! I mean even if financially I could, or I didn't have a family to take care of, that would have been the worst place to be for me - around all that drinking! Sheesh. I have no business being there at all!

I felt really amazed, because when I was drinking I was so blind. Blind to everything except for booze. I couldn't fathom this kid of a situation or see the beauty of it or feel the connections. I am not a strong believer in coincidences. I do believe that things happen for a reason. Today, my eyes and heart are clear and open and I can see things around me that I would have never imagined before, and which now fill my heart with joy and gratitude.

November is the month of gratitude!

As I mentioned in the Month of Gratitude post, here is my list for the past week:
Day 11: I am grateful for a fun filled, sober day spent with my 3 kids.
Day 12: I am grateful for the basic necessities of food, water and shelter. My heart goes out to the people of the Philippines.
Day 13: I am grateful to for this joke my 4 year old told me today: What does an elephant take on a vacation? His trunk! LOL!
Day 14: I am grateful for all the sober tools I have collected over the years.
Day 15: I am grateful for the awesome sober women in my life.
Day 16: I am grateful for Nana's help and love!
Day 17: I am grateful for meetings; it feels like being home!
Day 18: I am grateful for being able to see things as blessings and not as problems.

What are you grateful for?

November 10, 2013

AA Gratitude Breakfast

Today I had a great pleasure to be able to attend the yearly Gratitude Breakfast sponsored by the district area group of Alcoholics Anonymous. I have never gone before and let me tell you, it was astounding! I mean what else can be said about 600+ sober drunks in one room - laughing and hugging like we had no worries in the world? Breathe taking! Empowering, fulfilling, gratifying? I don't even have enough words to describe this accurately at all!

The most wonderful part of this huge meeting, was the sober countdown, starting with an elderly man with 46 years of sobriety all the way to a man on his day 1! Tears were flowing out of me like crazy... Tears of joy! It's truly amazing to see that we can stay sober for 46 years! But of course the most heartwarming was to see the newcomer on his day 1 - the most important day and the most important person in the room. You see, it's not the time that is the most difficult and most amazing, it is that very first step when one makes a decision to get sober. Making that first step can open doors to a whole new life! Yes, it may be a bit scary and overwhelming but if you are struggling with alcohol you already know that story, that life is quite predictable - taking a chance at sobriety can't possibly make it any worse! Wonderful; things happen in sobriety and with time you won't even believe how amazing YOUR life can truly be! 

So, I am filled with joy and gratitude. This breakfast with 600+ sober people really made me feel safe and at home; nowhere else I feel this way. I am so very grateful for all the people in the AA fellowship, they have saved my life!

November is the month of gratitude!

As I mentioned in my last post Month of Gratitude, here is my list for the past week:

Day 2: I am grateful for not sleeping this beautiful Saturday away because I am hungover.

Day: 3 - I am grateful to be able to spend fun time with my family instead of avoiding them.

Day 4: I am grateful for all the people in my sober network who help me along on my sober journey every single day.

Day 5: I am grateful for being able to cuddle on the couch with my son tonight.

Day 6: I am grateful for the awesome people in the sober blogosphere.

Day 7: I am grateful for having the courage today to speak up for myself.

Day 8: I am grateful for my day off, by myself, for myself and sober.

Day 9: I am grateful for my family and friends who made date night possible.

Day 10: I am grateful for an amazing sober birthday spent with some amazing sober people.

What are you grateful for?

November 1, 2013

Month of Gratitude

I have been going thru some shtuff and I am grasping at things out there to make me happy; I am looking for more, for better, for greater! Spinning my wheels and going nowhere!

Sometimes I wonder where that comes from, I have everything I need! I have a great family and a good job and a car and a house, all things that I never had until I got sober! How amazing is that! But I go through these times when I feel like me and all that, is just not enough. Others are better and have more! All I can figure is that this is ego driven. My ego thinks I should be more and have more and strive for more! And that same ego, I know, will lead me to a drink.

So I have been talking and listening to my amazing AA family and I have been going to a meeting held at the local shelter. It's a sobering reminder of where I was before I got sober, well I didn't live in a shelter but I sure was close to being homeless. But the people there are always friendly. I tend to try to do some small talk with them, which I am not good at, but in hopes to give some support and show care and hope, I make myself do it anyways. And guess what? It fills my heart with joy, because I am learning way more from them than they are probably learning from me.

And here is the key I have figured out: it really is all in the perspective and it is all within us. I found that people at the shelter can still be hopeful and joyous. They still keep their heads up and look to the future with positive eyes. And here I am whining about things I don't have! Blah blah blah...

I am truly learning. Life has become good in sobriety and sometimes I forget where I came from. I start taking things for granted and forget the gratitudes. So my friend told me that November is the month of gratitude, which is something people do on Facebook; once a day they post what they are grateful for. This is some perfect timing for me and I am going to do it!

I'd like to also post here. Once a week I will post my list for the past seven days. I would love to hear from you too, we can keep inspiring each other! I am going to start today with what no doubt, I am the most grateful for:

November 1: I am grateful for my sobriety!

What are you grateful for today?