Friday, December 31, 2010

Flash 55 Friday...

Bonne Annee

Watching the raindrops
trickle down the glass
Over the hum of
private conversations,
silverware clatter, and
muffled laughter...
You lean in and quietly
ask me the question:
"Sitting where you are
in December 2010, is it
better than where you were in
December 2009"?
I ponder this momentarily then
smile and say without reservation

What an awesome feeling. I have hated the coming of New Year's Eve in the past. I always felt unaccomplished, let down, five steps backwards than the year before. For the first time in my life I feel good. I am pleased with the year. It hasn't been easy, I've faced a lot, have a lot to still face and work on, but I am content with the progress I have made. We will be staying in New Year's Eve, having my parents over for dinner, watching the ball drop and toasting the New Year with sparkling Cider, and looking forward to whatever may lie ahead in 2011. May your New Year's Eve be merry and may your lives be showered with blessings.....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

One Shot Wednesday...

The ride of "your" life...

Not again, I've been here before
I keep trying to unbuckle the
belt, but it doesn't unlatch
I give up and stare at the
faces around me

Looks of excitement,anticipation,
people leaning forward, ready to go
Are these people nuts? I grab the
bars around me and prepare to hang
on for dear life

A lurch and then we slowly start
to move, we begin to climb and
I close my eyes, I hate this dream
I keep having the sensation of falling
backwards as my body feels vertical

We whip around a corner and plunge
to the bottom at record speed
Screaming and laughter and my stomach
flip flopping, arms in the air,
hands waving except for my white
knuckles clutched in a death grip

How long will this last, I hate
roller coasters, I think I can open
one eye, oh no we're falling, then
back up, then around the corner, and
It's not so bad, I'm surviving, it
actually might be a little fun

We seem to be slowing down
My heart has stopped racing
I smile at the people around me
I want to yell "I made it" but
before I can the ride starts
to move again, and this time
I throw my arms into the air....

When I was ten I rode my first and only rollercoaster at Great America. I was so shook up that to this day I will not go on amusement rides. A friend asked me last week to describe my year (11 months so far) of AA and after pondering it for a minute I gave him my reply: I used to stand on the side and watch everyone on the rollercoaster, I was too scared to be on it myself. AA gave me a front row seat on the rollercoaster, and at first I was terrified, by after working the steps, trusting in my HP, and letting go, I've been able to ride it everyday, no longer gripping on tight but screaming, and waving my hands in the's so much more fun to participate rather than watch......

Monday, December 27, 2010

Winding down.......

Survived the Christmas holiday. Actually it was relaxing and very enjoyable once we had everything ready. Thursday was a bit crazy but one awesome thing that happened was that Alex went for his first check up and dressing change. The Dr. did x-rays and his toe is now beautifully aligned with the rest of his toes. He is able to put a little more pressure on the foot now and has actually gone out of the house for a few short trips here and there. So that was good news. Thursday night when I arrived at my meeting after an insane trip through Wal-Mart I was surpised to see so many people there. It's a closed meeting but so many people had the next day off, and were in town that they came. It was an awesome meeting. So many great stories shared, so much insight. I love the "rush" that comes when you get to experience an AA meeting at it's best. It just set my mood for Christmas. I was able to see an old friend of mine at Church the next day, and Christmas Eve and Christmas day were spent with my parents. Everyone was happy with their gifts and now it's a matter of eating leftovers and enjoying their (the kids) weeks off of school. So while most people go out in search of bargains the day after, I headed to the library. For once I actually got a parking spot. I'm currently reading "Dry" by Augusten Burroughs. I love to read addiction memoirs. I think because we are all so different yet all so the same. Augusten has lived a life so insane and terrible at times that it's truly amazing that he has carved out his own sobriety. He talks about his first AA meeting. How incredible it was so be in a place where you feel safe for the first time in your life. I remember that feeling, I still love that feeling. I am careful with whom I share things with, and I stick true to my convictions and avoid the gossip pit. He talks about how good those first few weeks are but little by little you watch life creeping up on him. To me this is when you really have to roll up your sleeves and get to work. It's like the maintenance part of a diet. It's make or break. My twelve steps were easy compared to daily living. As alcoholics we spend so much time not living that for us the normal functions of day to day can be overwhelming. It takes about two seconds for me to slip into an old pattern and yet my HP is so good about teaching me daily. Last week I went into a bar for the first time since I've been sober, and I had a "diet coke" with my co-workers and you know I realized I don't miss the atmosphere nor do I want it in my life. How nice is that?! We could be going out to dinner with friends on New Year's Eve but we've chosen to stay home with our kids instead. I'm ok with the ordinary, I've missed out on it for so long, that at times it seems all new to me. No one can imagine unless they've been there what a precious commodity living a normal, simple life is. It's boundless in what it gives back if you let it. A few weeks ago I was with some friends, and as we stepped from the restaurant out into the day, I said, 'Oh look the sun is coming out, doesn't that just change your outlook on the day?" It was quiet for a few moments until one of my friends said "you know you're right the sun does make things feel better!" I can't always carry the pink cloud feeling of AA with me. I've tried, and there is too much of life that gets in the way. But I can choose my attitude, even if it's a bad one, and I can choose how long I'm going to stay in that attitude, and I make a difference not only in my life but in someone else's as well. That is one awesome gift that keeps on giving......smiles.....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Flash 55 Friday


When I was a child
Christmas meant:
Waking up early,
diving under the tree
playing for hours
No school for a week,
dad on vacation and
pancakes on Tuesday.
Ice skating with neighbors,
tobogganing, the old Polaris sled
Wearing funny hats and blowing
noise makers while staying
up late to welcome in
the new year....

We had the best time growing up. Between our house and our neighbors was a big field that we drove the old snowmobile around, then flooded for an ice rink. Our families did everything together, sledding, and parties, to New Years Eve. Our friend's parents are both gone, way too soon, and so is the field, replaced by houses. But these were precious times and Christmas was special right through New Years Eve every year as a child. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with Happiness.....

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Thank you so much for all your prayers. Surgery went fine, a little longer than they expected but we did make it home right before the snow started. He was droggy so I had to help him get dressed, and he sat on the bed just like he did when he was a little boy and I put his left shoe on and tied it. Lots of flashes from the past. He didn't sleep the first night due to all the meds coming out of his system, and yesterday went pretty well too, however today is a different story. A lot of swelling, so much that the Dr. had me cut the bandage down the back to relieve some of the tightness. He's icing constantly and hopefully the ibuprofen and Vicoden will kick in soon. I know he's in a lot of pain because his face is an aweful gray color. Friends have been popping in, texting, and he's been on his lap top and
xbox-360. But we've also been dealing with a lower GI flu at our house, so I'm trying to keep people quarantined away from him. Getting to the bathroom isn't the easiest for him right now. Last night Grace and Sam had their Christmas program. It's the first time my husband has been able to attend one of these at night. So they performed it again at 10:00 this morning and I went. For once I got a decent seat and didn't almost pass out from the heat do to overcrowding. Mother nature has dumped a few inches of extra snow and Alex was glad to get out of shoveling. Am anxious to get to a meeting. I can tell when I go too long inbetween I feel a bit off course. It doesn't seem possible that Christmas Day is only three days away. Grace and Sam finish their last of day of school today before Christmas break. They have two more days left on the advent calendar. Well I need to run, my desk is heaped with work I don't feel like doing, and I'm
hoping to catch up on all your blogs today! Peace.....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

If you can....

If you can say a prayer around 3:15 Monday December 20th. My son Alex will be in surgery at that time. It's his first time going "under" and I pray that nothing goes wrong and that we make it home and have him settled before the snow and freezing rain start. It's been a wild weekend. Many awesome things happened. I ran into one of my old high school friends in the store the other night. We had so many great times together and have children in similar age brackets. It was so great to see her, and her what's been happening in her life, to exchange phone numbers and to give her my blog address. She called a little while later to tell me she had started reading my blog from the beginning and was really enjoying it. That means a lot to me and we will get together soon! Spent a great dinner with my oldest Friday night, talking, sharing, laughing, and then we finished Christmas shopping. Needless to say we also grocery shopped since it was getting pretty bare in the cupboards! Saturday had coffee with two of my girlfriends and then stayed and talked with a good friend of mine for hours. We had lunch and then it was off to home to make an appetizer and get ready for the Christmas Cantata. It was superb! It dealt with the birth, the death, the resurrection, and the coming of Christ again. The music was fabulous and I always leaving feeling truly ready for Christmas. After we always go to our friend's house for fellowship and good food. Lot's of laughter and hugs. We are lucky to know such awesome people. This morning Grace, Sam, and myself went to the AA club for breakfast with Santa. What a fun time we had. Then it was off to my parent's house for Christmas with my middle brother and his family. The kids are all growing up too fast! Now I'm just reading over the literature for Alex's surgery and getting ready to start another busy week. All this is possible thanks to my HP, AA, my program and awesome people in my life such as you fellow bloggers. Take care, and good night.....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Flash 55 Friday

Stoplight Master Piece

The light turns red,
and I wait in a haze
of exhaust fumes
My eyes wander into
the park and discover
your pine needles have
been flocked white with
nature's paint brush,
a veritable fairyland Utopia
I gaze a bit longer before
the light turns green and
the tangerine sun bursts through your tree trunks....

Every morning it never fails I get stuck at the same stop light. Since there are many more stop lights at this intersection it takes a while. The other day I glanced into the park and saw that all the tops of the pine trees were frosted the most beautiful white. Since the weather has been below zero everything is looking like a winter wonderland. Now I have something to look forward to at the stop light. Have a very busy weekend planned. Hope you are all ready for the upcoming holidays and that you are surrounded by family and friends who love you. Have an awesome weekend....

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Take me out of myself......

Monday night was tough at our house. Tough because I let a few old habits sneak into my behavior. The nice thing about my family is that they didn't let it last too long. I came home bitchy. The dishes were piled in the sink, the kids had dumped their snow clothes in the middle of the floor, and my husband was lounging on the heating pad saying his back hurt. I felt like walking out the door, getting in the car and driving. This time of year has that effect on me. It carries an underlying adrenaline that I hate. Instead I made a sandwich, kissed my kids, and dashed off to the Monday night meeting. Guess what we read in the big book? The chapter about the housewife who drank at home. I'm pretty sure I wrote that testimony. All the feelings of lies, and shame, and covering up resurfaced. I was letting my emotions dictate my actions. One person whom I just want to take home and take care of because he's such a sweet person who is struggling so hard gave me a lesson that I soooooo needed. He works at the steel factory and he was talking about people bringing in their metals for cash. How his heart goes out to mothers who drive up in an old beater, with a child in a car seat, and stare at the scale hopeing it will be enough money to get what they need. He said he often helps them out as much as he can because their look is so desperate. Right then and there I was ashamed of my behavior. This person took me out of myself and had me look at someone else's worries for a change. So I thought about this for the rest of the evening,and when I went to bed I asked my HP to let me do his will. I asked him to once again take the reigns of my life, since I was doing my usual bang up job trying to control things. I asked him to open my eyes, my heart, to comfort my worries, and to let trust be my
guide. When I was finished, I felt a sense of calm, and lighteness. I also realized I am human and that I will have days like this. I do have a lot going on but I need to just do it, not build resentments,not feel sorry for myself. I'm worried about my son's surgery on Monday. That's a normal emotion. I've got a super busy weekend to get through but instead of letting it unfold I'm alreay trying to get past it. I am always amazed that just when I need a reminder the most my HP gives it to me, and this time it couldn't have come a moment too soon......

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One Shot Wednesday....


My Grown Up Christmas List

Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies

Well, I'm all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I'm not a child
But my heart still can dream

So here's my lifelong wish
My grown up christmas list
Not for myself
But for a world in need

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree

Well heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown up christmas list

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
(there'd be)

No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, oh
This is my grown up christmas list

This is my grown up christmas list......

This is my offering for One Shot Wednesday. Not my own making, but a song that is very beautiful and touches my heart every time I hear it. This truly is my Christmas list......

Monday, December 13, 2010

Holidays without ice....

The holiday season. I love Christmas trees, and christmas music, time spent with friends, cards, etc. Oh and I love giving gifts. I love to surprise people. What I hate are the crowds. Yesterday was a nuthouse. I had no intentions of going out but since something I had just purchased at Target was big time on sale I wanted to get the price difference honored. Which enabled me to finish some other shopping. What a mistake. Lots of rude people in this world. However thanks to my program this didn't get me down, in fact I think I become even nicer when I'm faced with crabby people, sort of like an over the top nice pain in your a-- person! I smile, talk sweetly, and lay it on pretty thick, and you know what? it really drives crabby people nuts! Now I know this isn't right, but before I would be bitchy back and then no one was happy so at least now I get the satisfaction of killing them with kindness! So yes, I'm being rather evil but hey besides smoking an occasional cigar with my hubby I lead a pretty clean life these days! I mean when everyone at work is talking about what movies they saw, or what restaurant they ate at over the weekend, and I chime in "Hey my husband and I found a bag of extra crispy tator tots in the back of the freezer and ate them while we watched "Shrek the Final Chapter" and "How to Train your Dragon" , it's no wonder my co-workers stare at me extra long. But seriously how awesome is it to eat an unhealthy food, and laugh with your kids over a movie they want to watch. It's extra sweet. When AA talks about material wants disappearing I know what they are talking about. Things that I thought were important, things I thought that I had to make my life complete were really just things. So my outlook has changed for the season. The holidays for me used to mean lots of parties, lots of wine, lots of times I couldn't remember. How so much has changed in a year. For once I didn't go overboard Christmas shopping, for once I'm not planning a million things at once that I can't handle, and for once I'm letting our Christmas cards wait until I have time to do them. I'm too busy living this unglamorous, full time working, mother of three, wife, daughter, friend life of mine. I found myself in the toy section of Target humming "Let it Snow" yesterday. And speaking of snow we got over a foot of snow in less than 24 hours on Saturday. This would have driven me nuts, yes even mother nature at one time was against me or so I thought. Now it's beautiful. Deep piles of snow snuggle around our house. They make the outside lights festive, and only add to our ambiance. We have an anual party that we attend every year coming up. This is my first holidays without ice. No Manhattans, martinis, wine, old fashions, and its OK because minus the "ice" means minus the hangover, the black outs, the fights with my husband. The bloated, over exhausted me that was every December. The day after the party I have plans. I'm taking the kids to Breakfast with Santa, and then we have Christmas with my brother and his family at my parents Sunday afternoon. I won't be lying in my bed, afraid to open my eyes and evaluate the hangover headache I normally would have had. Today I'm planning on a nice weekend ahead, and then getting through Alex's surgery, and then we'll let Christmas unfold as it should. Thank you AA, not only did I throw out the ice in my glass, I also got rid of the ice around my heart........

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Program first?!

At yesterday's meeting one of my fellow alcoholics made this statement. My "program comes first even before my family". Now dropping this statement in a room full of alcoholics caused not one person to blink an eye. However he went on to say that when he tells people this they think him rude, selfish, and totally out of touch. I have watched this person grow so much in the last few months, it's amazing. He is filled with gratitude, humility, and yet he knows he's one sip away from destruction. We all are. We were sitting opposite of each other so I gave him a smile and said "My name is Liz, I'm an alcoholic and I totally agree". However I put my higher power first, He does for me what I can't do for myself, then program, then family. You see if I remove program, or HP then I am right where I was 10 months ago. And that is no place I want to revisit. I truly believe my HP designed and timed my walk through those doors. I had no plan, just me trying to control the show, with drinking as my guide, and all I did was continue to make a disaster of things. So the difference that has changed my life completely is that HP is in control, and my program keeps me on the straight and narrow. With these two things in place, my family reaps the benefits. I am a sober partner who can be counted on, I'm a sober mother, who can multi-task like a super hero. I am fixer of all things broken, counselor to all things of the heart, and maker of the nightly dinner. These are awesome titles. Ones I am proud to live up to each and every day. This week was typical. With many highs and lows (in other words life). Our oldest son Alex got his driver's license on Wednesday. I must say those were 20 very long and nerve wracking minutes, and when he came in he had no expression on his face so it wasn't until they asked me to sign that I knew he had passed! I can't believe I have a child who is driving, and that the next day is snowed and rained so he was blessed with dry roads for his test. Thursday morning I spent three hours at the podiatrist with this same child who two weeks ago had complained of his right foot hurting. I figured this was nothing, they would probably tell him not to wear the Chuck Converse shoes he loves and we would be on our way. Nope, abnormal growth something, something. In easier terms, he has four beautifully straight toes and a pinky toe that is almost sideways. All I had to do was glance at the x-rays and I knew it was serious. So on December 20th. he goes in for surgery. They will remove some of the extra bone, manipulate the toe straight, place permanent metal pins in the toe and then he will have two weeks of almost no movement, and then another 6 to 8 weeks of recovery. So no driving, no curling season and right now he is in Madison Wisconsin playing at a varsity level curling Bonspeil, because he's doing so well. Bummer, but that's life. But then when we got home, we found a letter in the mailbox stating that this same child will be receiving a medal for his academic excellence freshman year! So up, and down. Friday our middle child Sam fainted while singing carols at the nursing home with his class. The best part was he wasn't even embarrassed because the fainting gave him notoriety for the day. Grace had a little friend sleep over, and for the first time I got to see just how much girls are different than boys. With boys you just need video games, and lots of food. These girls made a gingerbread house, painted nails, played with Barbies, and giggled most of the night. How sweet all these happenings are. Where they happening before? Sure but I was too self medicated to notice, to care. So for me my program has to come before family. I wouldn't have a family without my program. AA is a program for grown ups. Believe me I know, I went from 17 to 41 in a matter of months. This program is for people who want to live a rich, full life. To be in the moment, whether that moment is laughter, happiness, sadness or grief, I now live in the moment. And these are precious times.........

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flash 55 Friday.....

"Trouble in Paradise"

Jack Frost called in sick,
Mr. Fahrenheit wouldn't cooperate
And to make matters worse
Mr. Snowman noticed a "yellow"
spot near his bottom.
Suddenly he realized his nose
was gone! It wasn't in the
freezer, he asked Mrs. Snowman
if she had seen it.
"Ummmm no"....and she quickly
finished chopping the carrots for dinner....

See even snowman have bad days! Three inches of snow yesterday with freezing rain and 6-10 inches of snow coming tomorrow! Stay safe, stay warm, and have a rock'n weekend!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

One Shot Wednesday.....


Opening the blinds
I pause to reflect
on that picture taken
so long ago.
Look how blue those
eyes were, how smooth
that skin.

Remember all the dreams
that filled that head?
Some came true, many did
not. The road we travel
isn't always smooth, and
life deals us hands we had
no intention of playing

But we survived. A little
worse for the wear, but still
intact, still growing, still
smiling, still full of hope.

I walk accross the room and my
eyes fall on another picture.
This one taken many years ago.
I never knew this picture existed
until grandpa showed me where
he kept you hidden. "When I die, it's
in my wallet, and it's yours"...I
remember when I held it in my hands

Look how blue those eyes were,
how smooth that skin. What were
your dreams? I know life dealt you
hands you didn't plan on playing.
But there you are, a little worse
for the wear, still intact, still smiling,
inspiring hope.

I wonder what her picture will be like?
Her eyes so blue, and skin so smooth..
Will her dreams come true? will life be kind,
let's hope like us, she will be intact, still
smiling, and still full of hope.....

I wrote this for myself, my grandmother, and my daughter. A single picture of me on our wedding day hangs smiling in our bedroom. It's funny, you never think you are getting old until you see yourself back when. As I pass by my desk a picture of my grandmother sits in a frame, circa 1934. It's soft sepia tones, and rosy cheeks make this picture priceless. My grandfather showed me this secret picture hidden in his wallet all those years shortly before he died. I was lucky enough to receive it. She has a sly, shy smile, which in turn makes me smile every time I look at it. Then before I reach the stairs is a picture of my daughter. It's summer, her hair is half wet, half dry from swimming at the lake. The colors are beautiful and she wears the same smile as her great-grandmother. Although she never knew her great grandmother she carries many of her personality traits and physical features. I feel blessed that they both are able to touch my life each and every day.....

Monday, December 6, 2010


My sponsor and I spent some extra time in the AA Big Book last Thursday evening after our meeting. We focused on what I think to be one of mankind's biggest flaws: self-centeredness. Taking our part in things, looking at the past and figuring out what part we played. Of course before I came to AA I was a great martyr, and it was everyone else who was at fault not me. I was just the innocent bystander. I remember when one of my fellow members was listening to me talk a whole two weeks into the program. He kept nodding his head and finally he leaned towards me and said, "Yep you did a lot, but I bet you were the first person to bitch about it". I sat with my mouth opened speechless and finally I shut it. I didn't have a reply, because he was right. Like a DVD on rewind my mind flashed back to all my complaining and it was appalling. Bitch, bitch, bitch. Wow was I good at feeling sorry for myself. A twelve step program really helps you to take a walk away from your ego. To stand back and see yourself and your motives for what they really are. Do you do things for acollades? do you do them to make yourself look good? do you do things to please others? for approval? or do you do things because you want to and you don't need recognition, praise, or a thank you. You do it for all the right reasons. This is an area I need to work on. My sponsor pointed out that one of the ways to get out of yourself is to work with other. Sponsor another alcoholic. Getting involved, caring about people, feeling good with what you are doing, is an incredible way to bring you out of you. What's funny is this is an excellent way for all people to get rid of their self-centeredness. Addicts aren't the only people that could benefit from a 12 step program. But for now I need only worry about myself. To own up to my side of the street. I have grown in many ways but I also have a long way to go......

Friday, December 3, 2010

Flash 55 Friday

Bubo Virginianus

Trudging through the newly fallen snow
trying to not make a sound
The dawn barely awake
the morning washed in grey
Lost in my thoughts I fail
to hear your call
"Hoo H'hoos"
"Hoo H'hoos"
I glance up in time to see
the expanse of your wings
and fell the breeze of feathers
"Hoo H'hoos"....

While hunting the last few weeks my husband happened upon a Great Horned Owl. I love owls! Such beautful creatures. He said the morning was dark and the owl swooped close to his head, calling his lonely call. He was surpised and delighted at the same time. What a great way to start the day! Hoping you all have a warm and cozy weekend.....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Soul Searching....

This past weekend while my mother was staying with us we watched three movies. This is big, because I can barely sit through an hour of TV before I have to get up and do something. The first was "Eat, Pray, Love". I finished reading this book back in September. I liked both the book and the movie. I have heard people criticize Elizabeth Gilbert's journey. Some say it was self centered, she only cared about herself. But I disagree. I set out to find myself this past year. I get the journey. Yes, it is self centered by the healthier I become the better off those around me seem to be getting. I can give of myself without fear, without hesitation. If that is being self centered then I am guilty. The second movie was "Julie & Julia". I've watched this movie before but once again I love the journey. My husband gave me Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" for Christmas last year and I must say it is a trip and I can make an awesome Beef Bourguignon. Like Julie the blogger, blogging has helped save me. It gave me another channel for my thoughts and feelings. I also read Julia Child's book about her adventures in Paris with her husband. This is when she first starts cooking, and she finds her true passion. Cooking is one of the best ways for my oldest son (who loves good food) to spend time together. In fact we will be "french cooking" on Christmas Eve. So thank you Julie and Julia, you gave me cooking and blogging. The last movie we watched was "Grey Gardens" with Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore. This story has always intrigued me. What really struck me was the fact that these two women shared such a strange, strong, bond, that their whole world was able to fall apart and away from them and yet they really only needed each other. The human spirit is amazing in what it can endure, what it can survive. Once again in search of "soul". I am so grateful that I started my own journey one cold, dark February night. It has been painful, it has been enlightening. It has been filled with despair, laughter, tears, and contentment. Someone asked me not so long ago if I felt lucky to be an alcoholic and I said Yes! Being an alcoholic has opened my eyes to what is important, it has made me accountable, it keeps me in the moment. I laugh more, love deeper, smile a lot, but most importantly I have a soul. A soul filled with happiness, sadness, hope, love, joy, etc... and ten months ago that soul was empty. True happiness lies within my Higher Power who lives and dwells within me. I need no presents this year because I've been given the best present of all, another chance to really live......Peace

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

One Shot Wednesday.....Counting Days

As I was digging
through the box
my hand pulled out
a piece of our past

I studied it for
a while and then
slowly unrolled my

Mother had made it
so long ago. Some
of the numbers are
squished together to fit

We always hung it
on the pantry door,
eagerly awaiting
December first

I would start
anxiously pulling out
the first day
a snowman, and
hanging it on the tree

Taking turns
we never fought
and we had our favorites

The candy cane
flying santa and reindeer
glistening angel and
shimmering tree

On Christmas Eve we
hung the last day together
Baby Jesus crowned
the top

Such sweet memories
and time to make
some more
I call to the kids
and head for the
pantry door.......

This past weekend I uncovered the advent calendar of my childhood. My brother David and I loved that calendar. We did even in high school. It was always neat to watch it fill up, and finally be able to hang the baby Jesus at the top. I brought it down for my children and they can't wait for Wednesday to hang the first item. My mother made this back in 1969. It is indeed a treasure....

Monday, November 29, 2010

The unbearable heaviness of being overwhelmed.....

Sunday afternoon and my oldest and I head for Barnes and Noble. He goes one way I go another, grab a coffee, and we meet by the comfy chairs. He with an armful of contemporary art books and me with a copy of Melissa Gilbert's "Prairie Tales" - I knew from various magazine articles that Melissa is a recovering alcoholic. So I read the last five chapters of her book. I grew up watching her on "Little House on the Prairie, envied her when she dated Rob Lowe, and always liked her. I like her even more. As I read her spiral downward into final surrender there was a piece that really struck home with me: she talks about her husband being gone, her marriage hanging by a thread, being president of the Screen Actors Guild, being a mother to a pile of children, and being an alcoholic. She tells the tale of walking into her bedpost in the middle of the night. She knew she had done some damage so she heads to the bathroom to check it out. A large flap of skin is haning on her nose, but rather than wake her son to go to the hospital she slaps a bandage on it, sufferes through the night, and has her dermatologist stitch it up in the morning. She confesses that even at that point, when everything was flying out of control she would not admit that she was overwhelmed, she would not ask for help, and she would not surrender. What is it about us alcoholics that we can be so broken and yet refuse a helping hand? So many times people tried to help me, offer a hand, and I would smile and say "I've got it under control" but "thanks anyway". I never wanted anyone to know that I had a vein of weakness. I didn't want to confess that I wasn't superwoman. In other words I couldn't admit to myself that I was a flawed human being. So like Melissa I just kept plowing along. Denial has to be of the toughest laws of the universe. But then she went on to share her moment of clarity. She was up to three bottles of wine a night. She always kept her glass full so she could convince people she was still on her first glass. She had gone to the frig. was filling up her glass, and was caught by her son Michael. He confronted her about her drinking. She said she dumped the glass out, ran upstairs, and sobbed her soul out. She was so ashamed that her child knew she had a problem and she couldn't admit to it. Alex was my moment of clarity. After Grace and Sam would go to bed, I would grab the Vodka bottle and head for my glass. I would dig in the freezer for my ice,. clink, clink in the glass and start my nightly ritual. One night Alex had come upstairs to grab his books, as he was picking them up he looked at me, looked at the Vodka bottle, grabbed his books and left. At that moment a thought crossed my mind ,"whenever he hears ice clinking into a glass he will think of me and my drinking". That was it. I called AA then next day. I no longer wanted to be that souless person. I was in so deep that there wasn't any shred of light or hope visible. I was broken and I surrendered. This Thanksgiving Alex and I went and helped at the AA club, to help cook, and set up for a Thanksgiving dinner. He also attended a meeting with me, met many of the people I sit with a lot, and he heard me speak. I wasn't embarassed, or nervous, just myself. I hope he realizes what a huge part of my recovery he is. Now I recognize when I'm getting overwhelmed. I ask for help. I love my flawed and very human self and I hope you do too......

Friday, November 26, 2010

Flash 55 Friday

Fateful Dinner

We were never quite
sure who started it.
You with your funny
faces, or me with my
voice impressions but
either way no good would
come. One giggle, then
two, a scolding from mom.
A glance across the table
and peels of laughter
would erupt. And then .....
I spit my milk all over grandma's face....

Once again, true story. When all the men would go up deer hunting my grandma would came stay with us for 10 days. My middle brother and I often got the giggles at the dinner table and one night it went too far. I had just taken a drink of milk when I looked at my brother, started laughing and spit the milk all over my grandmother's face. She just sat there, face splattered in milk, eye glasses dripping, and calmly asked my mother for a towel. Mollie was her name, and she was always such a good sport in life, she wasn't mad but boy my mother sure was! Have a great weekend

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I was driving home after work tonight, crossing one of the bridges that connects the two parts of our city. It was after four, nearing dusk, the snow was falling and the lights of the city twinkling. Michael Buble was crooning "I'll Be Home for Christmas" on the radio and I realized in that instant how different my life had become than it was a year before. Fear no longer seizes me, I know how to deal with difficult situations as they come, I appreciate the little things in life, and I no longer walk alone. To each and everyone of you awesome bloggers who touch my life every day in one way or another may your Thanksgiving be filled with blessings that never cease.......

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One Shot Wednesday - Ghost tails.....

It seems so harmless sitting in the warmth of the fire,
That quiet summer eve so long ago.
You were getting married in the fall
and were home for the summer,
I was entering my junior year in high school....
We decided to go for a walk, having just finished dinner
You grabbed your camera "just in case"
We meandered down the highway
and turned right on the over grown road.

Many times as children we came down here with adults
to swim on the rocky shores of Lake Superior.
We even gave the place our own name "Max Beach".
The legend was this land was owned by DuPont. It was
a place for guests to stay and the only building that was
left still held a broken player piano. As children we
never ventured inside, but now we were older and decided
to take an overdue look.

I crept over the broken glass into
the deserted kitchen while
you stayed in the main room.
I was imagining all the parties
when this place was in full swing.
The fabulous 40's and 50's
must have seen a lot of action.
Now just broken furniture, dirt, and
animal nests provided the only form of movement around.

You asked me a question
and since I didn't hear it, I went to
where you were standing.
The summer sun had sunk to dusk and our light
was quickly fading.
I opened my mouth to ask you what you had said
when we both felt it.
A presence, a shadow, a movement, piano keys.

Neither of us said a word as we tore out of there as fast as we could.
Running all the way down the highway.
We fell to the grass in grandma's
backyard. Panting and out of breath.
Eyes wide at what had happened or
did it really happen?
Was the dusk of day playing tricks on us? Either
way we never spoke of it until now.
Funny, it was probably some animal
just spooked from their hiding place...
and yet why do I
have goose bumps on my arms.........

This really happened to my oldest brother and I. The spot sits on rocky cliffs overlooking Lake Superior. The land has been sold and now a beautiful home sits on it. We never brought this story up for years, and then one summer night while sitting around the fire at the cottage we remembered, and both of us still had goose bumps....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rainy day Monday...

This is our second day of rain. Everything is dark, gray, and depressing. You can sense the mood of most people in the office. Low patience tolerance even though it's only a three day work week people are already crabby. It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is here upon us. Alex and I will be helping at the AA Alano club to prepare and serve a Thanksgiving meal to those who have no where to go. Then we'll come home and have a Thanksgiving meal with Grace, Sam and my mom. Hubby is away hunting. I've noticed a lot of impatience with people lately. It seems the closer we get to the holiday season the worse that impatience gets. When I hosted the "We are Not Saints Group" meeting Thursday evening a man whom I've seen in other meetings showed up. He was full of talk of himself, critical of others, and in general made me rather uneasy. As I was cleaning up I over heard him talking to another meeting goer about his manic depression and how he feels so good that he took himself of all his medication. This
other man kept telling him that he shouldn't take himself off his meds and that he needs to see his dr. Nope the first man said he was sick of Dr.'s
and that he didn't need any stinkin medication. Well Saturday came and this mad showed up at the 11:00 meeting with a list in hand. Which he proceeded to read off, and basically took everyone's inventory and then told everyone to f--- themselves before storming out. Obviously this person is in pain, is seriously mentally ill and needs his doctor. The mood was somber and quiet and then an old timer began to speak. He said he was shocked at how rude the man was, but he also knew where he was coming from. Ten years before this mad had done the same thing. He was so angry with himself, and the program and the people that he came in and unloaded one Saturday morning. Yelling and screaming and leaving in a rage he swore he would never come back. But after a while he realized that he was just angry and bitter with himself. He hadn't worked the program of AA honestly. He had tried to do things an easier softer way, and it didn't work. So he put his tail between his legs and apologized and came back to the club. From that point on he never looked back. He knew what the man was going through. So much pain, disappointment and disgust with himself that he wanted to blame the whole world. I was glad that this gentleman had spoken up. He made me stand in the other person's shoes for a while. So instead of leaving hurt I went home and put the man's name in my God box. It's so easy to dismiss someone who "unloads" as nuts or crazy but we never really take the time to see the pain they are in. I lack patience a lot but since Saturday I've been taking a deep breath and trying to look at things from the other side. It can be confusing, and humbling, and revealing all in one, but it definatley opens your heart up as well as your mind. And that's always a good thing, rainy day or not......

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Flash 55 Friday.....

Silent Interlude

Coming back from the bathroom
at a quarter to three
I pause at the top of
the stairs to admire the night's stillness.
One, then two, now three....
No two the same, some simple,other's complex.
My feet now frozen to the wooden floor, I
watch mesmerized as you silently change
the world to white.....

One of my favorite things to anticipate is the first snowfall. I love when it snows all night. I could sit for hours and watch the flakes fall, softly, quietly, without a sound.....wishing you a great Friday and the sweetest of dreams......

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

One Shot Wednesday

Red Kettle Symphony

Walking down the gray wet sidewalk
my ears are attracted to the familiar
sound: ring, ring, ring, ring
My eyes search for your direction
and my feet keep walking forward...

I turn the corner and there you are.
Lone soul on a mission.
Nose red and purple from the cold,
but your smile is warm and your spirit bright.....

I approach you without a sound
my fingers releasing the silver coins.
"Thank you! God Bless" you say
"You too" I answer as I start
down the gray wet sidewalk.....

It's that time of year again. The Salvation Army Bell ringers are out in full force. My father taught me at a young age to always have extra change in the car, or my purse or pockets so I could give when this season arrived. It was exciting as a child to run up to the bucket and deliver a handfull of change, and it still is exciting to do this as an adult. I have taught my children this lesson as well and as soon as we see a bell ringer they are getting their money ready. My oldest and I have rung the bell as well. They are a terrific reminder of the spirit of the season: to give to others, to lend a helping hand, to be Jesus with skin on....

Monday, November 15, 2010

The all important 24 hrs. at a time

When I first called the AA hotline I spoke with someone who told me "we never think in terms of forever we deal with 24 hours at a time." This was a pretty new concept for me, I was always cringing from something that had happened in the past or was planning months ahead in the future. I had no idea how to exist in the present.It's funny but now when I look back I think I spent a great deal of my life waiting for something to happen. When you are a teenager you are waiting to grow up, waiting to "get a life". At 24 I owned a house, was married and having our first child. I was always waiting for the next big thing. Then as life progressed and I finished my college degree, had two more children, went out into the working world, I was still waiting for the next big thing to happen. What I didn't realize was all the big things I was waiting for had happened but I was to busy looking over my shoulder or craning my neck to see in the future to even notice what was going on in my life. So staying in these 24 hours has taken a lot of time and energy on my part. I have to monitor my thinking a lot and catch myself many times a day to keep me in the here and now. It's a control thing. My alcoholic mind doesn't want to accept the past which I can't change and it somehow wants to control the future before it becomes the past. Well this week I found out not only how to live in this 24 hours I found out how to live minute by minute. I was having a crazy week. Every night this past week I had somewhere to be. Teacher conferences, meeting with Alex and his guidance counselor, bible study, meetings, etc. and then it happened right in the middle of my week. I found something out about someone whom I've known for a long time that completely took me be surprise and rocked my world. I was numb, stunned to say the least. Of course I didn't sleep a wink that night. I lay wide awake and began to converse with my higher power. It no longer became 24 hours a time it became minute by minute. I felt like my mind had been shattered into a million pieces, and I was frantically trying to find all the shards of glass. Finally I asked my HP for the peace that passes all understanding and I felt my soul get quiet. I was able to speak with my sponsor and some friends in the program. They were wonderful. I realized that my HP had put these people in my life to help me get through 24 hours at a time. God is good. I am dealing with what I need to deal with and I'm staying in the present. I celebrated nine months on the day I found this news out and whether that is symbolic or not I never would have handled this without the program of AA in my life, my higher power and staying in the here and now. For the first time in nine months I had a complete awakening to what 24 hours means. I will never take that for granted. It is one of the best "tools for living" that I have in my toolbox. Step by step, minute by minute, hour by hour, 24 and no more......peace!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flash 55 Friday

You Called...

You called the other day
to tell me there
was a strange man sitting on my porch.
You asked if you should tell him to
leave as he wasn't very clean and
might be menacing.
Couldn't you see that he was just waiting
for the bus? cold and tired?
Maybe I need new friends.....

At the end of our driveway is a city bus stop. Seriously. So many people often wait on the sidewalk. A lot of elderly use the bus and when it's hot I let them sit on the front steps of our house because it faces north. They get some reprieve. Sometimes someone is just tired and they sit on the steps. It doesn't bother me. I'm glad I can offer something. But I did have a friend call one day to ask if they should "shoo" a man away just because he wasn't dressed/bathed a certain way. I always think that "there are angels that walk among us" and you never know what they look like so treat them with dignity. I hope you are all having a nice end to the work week. Have a great weekend and stay dry and warm.......

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oneshot: Epiphany

Waiting at the stop lights
we discussed the mundane
work, school, schedules, dinner
until I noticed you weren't listening
So my eyes followed yours and then
we both saw him

Shaggy beard, torn clothes
ungloved fingers holding the sign
"Homeless will work for food or cash"
His defeated stature was reflected
in the glow of red

You turned to me, eyes pleading
a thousand questions running through
your young mind
I reached for my purse and watched
you hand the cash to this man
His grateful smile illuminated by the
glow of green

As we drove in silence
I wished I had the answers
but I don't
I can only show you
that by giving to your fellow man
there doesn't have to be any
orphans of God..........

My oldest son Alex and I experienced this last night. Our town has a growing number of homeless and it's maddening to think of them in the cold, hungry and tired. I really wish I had all the answers....

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pasta and tears....

This past Sunday my sponsor and I held a "Pasta and Tears" party for women at the AA club. As you can imagine there was a lot of good pasta, garlic bread, cookies, and m&m's. There are a few women's groups in the club but we wanted a Sunday afternoon where ladies could come together, eat, share, laugh and cry. And boy did we eat, laugh, and cry. We centralized our discussion around the five stages of grieving. How there is almost a bliss in denial, or at least a distance that keeps you at arms length. One woman shared how denial kept her from drinking after her husband's sudden death. Another lady talked about denying she had issues with her mother, thus drink became the escape. I just denied everything and kept denying it with one drink after another. Next comes anger. So many women had anger at God. I had anger at life. Anger has only one place to go and that is out. For so many of us who haven't felt anything in so long, this can be scary. It just comes bubbling up and it's got to come out, so watch out. The first few weeks of my sobriety I was a nutball. Laughing one minute, crying the next, confused, angry, hurt, ect. Then bargaining. "God I just need to drink today because everything went so wrong, but I will stop tomorrow I promise". Or "I'll never drink again, just give me one more chance...." and then depression. I wanted to sleep all the time. Which to me is like another form of denial. I was so tired, brain tired, I just needed a good night's sleep. Or like the woman who was dealing with her mother said, "I was feeling helpless, overwhelmed! This was a huge piece of wreckage from my past and I wasn't sure I could make it" but then comes acceptance. Getting to that plateau where you've just made it through the hard stuff, the loss, the anger, the tears, the helplessness and now you are over the hump. The sun is beginning to peek over the edge of the horizon. It's like holding your breath and finally releasing it. You made it, you're not done but you've made it. We've all been there. Lived through something we didn't think we'd make it through. We are better for it. Growth is never a waste. Alex shared with me one of the exercises they had to do at leadership camp. They had to climb a 35ft. telephone pole. (they were harnassed and had on helmets) but when they got to the top they had to stand up on the very top and then ring the bell. Alex was the second person up the pole. He said it was scary at first, trying to get yourself balanced, and when your legs shook so did the pole. But after a while you stopped shaking he said, and you just stood in awe that you were there, on top of this pole, in the wind. He said it was so cool that he did it twice! Life is like climbing that pole. Are we ready? do we have the strength? can we make it to the top? can we stop are legs from shaking? Will we be able to appreciate the view once we get there? I don't know about you but I sure would like to try.........

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Taking the holidays off?! and other revelations....

I just picked Alex up from camp. He had such an awesome time. Came home with tons of new friends, all in his phone already, and talked 90 miles a minute all the way home. He had such an awesome time, all the food was healthy, they are huge on the environment, everyone had so much fun, and the best comment of all, "I wish it would have lasted a whole week!" Now that is priceless! Watching your child get opportunities and being able to let them go and grow is awesome!
Now back to my strange title. The other night as I was leaving a meeting, I asked my sponsor and another lady if they had seen this girl (we'll call her A) Everyone stopped and my sponsor said, "You know come to think of it I haven't seen her in quite a while". This person we were talking about is a really neat gal. She is funny, outgoing, and so much fun to be with. At my first month anniversary she passed along her first month coin to me. Then in the spring she went back out. And then at the beginning of summer she came back through those doors. She seemed to really want the program this time but I have a sinking feeling she's back out there. That's when my friend turned to me and said, "well it is that time of year. Many people take the holiday off". I looked at her and said, "what do you mean take the holidays off?" She answered, "they quit coming, go back out drinking to celelbrate the season and they will show up in January ready to start their program all over again." My sponsor shook her head "yes". We gals have been here over 21 years and we see it every holiday season. Now I maybe a little niave but this never crossed my mind. Why bother coming in at all. Do so few people really take their programs seriously? I mean if you do the steps, you get your "tools for living" and you work through the stress, anxiety, problems, and yes the holidays! You don't take them off because it's too much work to get through them! The more I thought about it the more absurd it became to me. When I think back to my life nine months ago and what a confused, screwed up mess I was I can't imagine throwing all the work, pain, tears, frustration and growth that I've done in that short amount of time away! You might as well go throw a few thousand dollars in the trash can. I'm living life. I'm in turmoil, job instability (hubby), bills to pay, kids to guide, obligations to fulfill but I can't in my wildest dreams imagine "taking the holidays off". I am so grateful to this program, to the people who have spent hours working with me. To the millions of stories I have listened to, to the hands I have held, or who have held mine while I cried. My sponsor could tell last night when we met last night that this was still bother me so she gave me some insight. "Not everyone makes it. It's not your job to make them make it. A lot of people talk the talk but few get to walk the walk. This is a selfish program. Guard your program, give to others through sponsorship but remember not everyone will make it. You have to accept that and pray for them." I laid it down. I'm not to judge. I need to just be grateful for my HP, my sponsor, my wonderful family, friends, bloggers and my program. As I've been told before, "just take care of your side of the street". I hope you are all having a wonderful Saturday, I'm cooking Alex's favorite "garlic chicken" and my parents are coming for dinner. Stay safe, stay sober, and stay happy......

Friday, November 5, 2010

Flash 55 Friday

Words, words, words......

A attitude, anxious, abapical, anxiety, appalling, abandonment

L loud, labile, longing, lackadaisical, leary, lost

C coy, crafty, crude, careless, cautious, crushed

O opposite, opinionated, obstenant, ornery, obnoxious

H hurt, hardihood, hate, habromania, hamate, humiliation

O obganiate, objurgate, obtuncent, oblectation oblivescence

L labrose, lacicaday, lacuna, languescent, lachrymose

I ichneumous, iconoclasm, iconolatry, idomania, icteritious, ignescent

C control, cachinnate, cacogen, cafard, cagamosis, captation, cacogen and
finally cacotopia.....

I was playing around with a rather unusual dictionary and started finding cool words. Many alcoholics and those who love them suffer through these words or phases. Sad but true, alcohol is a bad master, so I made up this little reminder of words to show me just what fun alcoholism really is NOT!!!! Youngest is sick with a yucky flu. I had just arrived at the office yesterday when the school secretary called and said Gracie had thrown up all over the hallway, and to come get her. This went on all day long, and I spent most of the day washing sheets, towels, clothing, etc. Today she is very pale, but able to keep crackers and 7UP down. Alex is finally at the leadership retreat camp until tomorrow. I dropped him off and watched him walk confidently to the bus, no looking back. I'm taking that as a good sign. Now my husband and I are just waiting to see who gets the flu first! Hope you are all warm, well, and have a great weekend......

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The all important first step.....

"We admitted we were powerless over Alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable" -AA Big Book

At the "We are not Saints Group" meeting that I lead this was the topic of our discussion last Thursday night. It was interesting to hear everyone's point of view or interpretation on this step. To a lot of people it meant just getting in the doors of AA. To other's even when they were in AA they didn't realize they were powerless. For me it was resolved before I ever walked through those doors. I really had no concept of AA. I knew what I saw on TV or in movies, but had no real understanding of the program. I knew that or I should say I assumed that when you went to AA you never drank again. With this knowledge it took me years to get there. I really could not imagine my life without drinking. I knew what was happening to me. I knew I didn't drink like other people but I would see people enjoying glasses of wine and laughing and I just wasn't going to give that up. Not until my life became unmanageable. Not until I couldn't stand to be in the escape that I used to avoid my own life. I had to get that low in order to do something. This baffles a lot of people but another alcoholic will smile and nod their head. They know it takes a lot to finally surrender. So I knew AA was there but I wasn't there yet. Then one day like a ray of sun shooting in through the blinds a thought came to me, "would it really be so bad to never drink again?" Would my life really be so bad without alcohol?" And for the first time ever I said no, it wouldn't be so bad. As I began to digest this thought my higher power began to fill my mind with the possibilities that I might actually be able to do this. So that was it. I was done. I knew I was going to be done. I walked through the doors of AA knowing I was powerless, that my life was unmanageable and that I would never drink again. I never entertained the idea of a relapse because I had come to the conclusion that I am not capable of ever drinking responsibly. However I see people who have not reconciled this decision. They relapse constantly. They come back ashamed and angry but go right back out there. To me it's hanging on to some shred of hope that tells you you just my be able to drink like everyone else. But because alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful you can't. You need to lay this :Isaac" down. To drop it, to settle the fact that you never had, nor never will have, any type of control over alcohol. I truly believe that this needs to be a done deal before you move on to step two. It breaks my heart to see people relapse but it's the fight for control that keeps them falling. I considered myself very niave when I first came to AA. But I am grateful for the childlike understanding I had. If I went to AA I couldn't drink anymore. For myself it's not an option. I have worked very hard in this program. I guard my sobriety like a priceless piece of art. I walk side by side with my HP to make this happen. I have spent numerous hours with my sponsor to work through the twelve steps. It's not an easy deal. But I do know that admitting I was powerless over alcohol and that my life had become unmanageable was a day that changed my life forever......and for that I will be eternally grateful.....

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Lean on Me"

A friend is like a flower,
a rose to be exact,
Or maybe like a brand new gate
that never comes unlatched.
A friend is like an owl,
both beautiful and wise.
Or perhaps a friend is like a ghost,
whose spirit never dies.
A friend is like a heart that goes
strong until the end.
Where would we be in this world
if we didn't have a friend. - By Adrianne S

My best friend took this picture of our daughters last night. We were coming to the end of "trick or treating", all were cold and tired. The girls wrapped their arms around each other for warmth and support. "Lean on me" are three of the sweetest words in friendship.....Happy Monday!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Flash 55 Friday


I catch your eye across the room
You arch your left brow - I smile
and nod-like two thieves in the
night we wordlessly creep into
the kitchen. Fingers travel
lightly as we sort through the loot.
Candy bars, Tootsie rolls, Sweet Tarts,
and gumballs galore! Then...simultaneously
we reach for it: the Almond Joy......

Every year my husband and I scour the kids Halloween candy for Almond Joys. Sometimes we share, others it's every man for himself. What's funny is we never eat that candy bar at any other time of year, only Halloween. If you and yours will be "trick or treating" please be safe. Have a wonderful weekend........

Thursday, October 28, 2010

And that is life.....

I received a phone call from my oldest at 11:00 that the leadership retreat had been cancelled because the camp was without power and water. The northwoods of Wisconsin was hit pretty hard and thousands are without power. So it's been rescheduled for next Thurs. through Sat. and due to obligations half the students can't go. He was bummed. When I picked him up from school I could tell by his attitude that he was disappointed and irritated at the weather. I've been there. Not too long ago everything conspired against me to make my life miserable. The weather was no exception. But I have learned that when you share your wisdom with teenagers they do not want to hear it. You can come off sounding condescending. So I just smiled and said, "Well, now you can help us with "Meals and More". So off we went to church. The free dinner was great, lots of people needing a hot meal still showed up despite the horrible winds and rain/snow showers. What was even more gratifying was seeing my three children helping out. Grace was helping with desserts and beverages, Sam with desserts, and Alex was dishing out applesauce. It's important in my mind that they know not everyone comes home to a hot meal, or has a warm bed, or really warm clothes. Even though we live in a small community the need is everywhere. A few years ago Alex and I served a meal at the Harmony House. He was helping me dish out potatoes when three young boys, thin, dirty faces, torn clothes, appeared for dinner. They were right around his age and later he told me that he never thought kids his age needed to go for a free hot meal. I also noticed he heaped their plates that night too. Be aware of your surroundings. Give what you have. In this dog eat dog world a kind gesture, or a kind word, can go a long way for someone. Before long Alex was laughing and having a good time at Meals and More. By the time he got home he had resolved the issue, it is what it is. We all realxed and I went to bed early for some much needed sleep. Lesson learned for all of us last night. When we get to feeling self-pity, or irritated with the world, it's important to step out of ourselves and think of others. What better way to sooth one's soul than to extend your hand to your fellow man.......

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ready, set, let go........

And he's off to camp. That sweet little boy who now has to lean down to hug his mother was up early and in the shower. He was excited and nervous, and probably getting annoyed with his mother who kept saying..."did you pack this? did you remember this?" Finally after one too many eye rolls I gave him a hug good-bye, shut my mouth, and turned him over to God. Letting go is not my strong-suit. I would prefer to hang on tightly. My own insecurities and fears were rising up all yesterday and so on my way to work I said a prayer and turned him over to God. I hope these next few days are just an awesome experience for him. The weather is not cooperating as wind gusts are up to 65 mph, cold, rainy and snow showers. Not that insane weather is uncommon in Wisconsin, I just have the typical mom syndrome of worrying that the bus will flip over on the way up to camp. I know, let go,let God, let go, let God......Grace and Sam had a great time at the pumpkin patch party. They looked so cute with their fake mustaches! This was the first time my husband had to take them, plus they took the three neighborhood kids too! This is open to the public as a community outreach, and free so it is heavily attended. My husband said it was crazy, and asked for an Excedrin when he came home :) Bible study was great, and tonight our group is sponsoring a free meal at our church. This is for anyone who wants/needs a hot meal with fellowship. We generally serve around 100 people. Despite the work it's a lot of fun. Then the week should slow down a bit. I would be lost without my higher power and AA. The tools for living have made it possible for me to live. I'm no longer a spectator but a major player. So let go, let God, and live life.......:)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Not fit for man nor beast......

That title fits the weather today. We are under a wind advisory this afternoon (55 MPH) or more and it's raining. Well I should say pelting due to the high winds. Not to mention snow showers for tomorrow night. This whole system is expected to run it's course over the next three days. Tomorrow Alex leaves for his leadership retreat at camp. They told us the weather doesn't matter. He's excited and nervous. I can always tell when he's not to sure about something. He tends to talk too fast and can't sit still. One of his classes is Narrative Description and as you can imagine it involves a lot of paper writing. I have offered on more than one occasion to give insight to his rough drafts but he usually says "no". Last night he approached me shyly and asked if I would give him some direction. We sat side by side and read, and reconstructed sentences, added and subtracted words etc. (in other words my BA in English came in handy). It was great to work together, and he accepted my suggestions and had many of his own ideas as well. Team work. In AA we always talk about how things go smoother when someone works with you. It's important to not feel that you are alone. I'm reading a book by Luci Swindoll entitled "I Married Adventure". She shares her journey of travel and adventure. At a very young age Luci discovered she never had to be alone. Even though she chose to not marry and follow her dreams of travel, singing, work etc. she knew the Lord was there to walk every step with her. She would never be alone. As I read further in the book I realized how she echoed the words of the AA program. Be true to yourself, live life as God would have you live it. For me that is sober. Right in the thick of things. Which I will be today as the house needs to be picked up, Grace and Sam have a Pumpkin Patch party to go to at their school tonight. They are dressing as Mario and Luigi. Thanks to Goodwill their costumes are adorable! I'm hosting bible study at my house, I have a spaghetti bake to make for "Meals and More" at our church tomorrow night, and Alex needs to pack and get ready for camp. I am amazed at how these full days no longer overwhelm me. How a drink isn't an option. Oh did I mention we are dog sitting for my girlfriend? Why not! The more the merrier :) I guess I would rather have a full house of chaos and laughter, than a neat, quiet, empty one. Live life to the fullest, that has become a reality thanks to my HP and the program of AA. Tuesday blessings.....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Flash 55 Friday

Cozy Afternoon

Reflections of bare bone branches
bowing and swaying in the drowsy
afternoon sky, Flocks of geese
lifted from the lake honk their
good-byes. Dry leaves rustle as
they are hurried down the sidewalks
by the breeze, you and I snuggle
and feel the warmth of our mugs,
and watch the rain begin to fall.....

The rain is predicted for this weekend. My husband and oldest son are up north at the hunting shack with all the cousins, uncles, grandpas etc. My mother and her dog are coming to spend the weekend which should be rainy and quiet. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend......

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dodge Ball........

Ironically that is what I feel like I'm doing this week. Playing dodge ball. Life is a tough opponent at times. Had my mammogram this week. Two years ago I had to have a suction biopsy to remove suspicious tissue so when I have this done there's always a little nagging in my mind. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so my risk is higher. But I bit the bullet and did the yearly test. I went to a new place so now I have to wait as they get the images from the clinic and compare. Wednesday morning saw me at a Safety Council Fleet Management breakfast meeting, back to work, stopping at my parents, home, dinner, then to the UW for Alex's leadership orientation. What an honor. 30 high school kids from all the surrounding schools. They have been hand picked by teachers. When the mc talked he said, "normally you think of the popular or athletic kids as leaders but that's not always the case. Each one of you was picked because a teacher felt you had something to offer. Something to bring to the table and it needed an opportunity to be brought out". All the kids were busy looking one another over. I knew Alex was nervous because when he would talk to me it came out in short, fast spurts. After a half hour the kids went off in another room to do the "color analysis". This placed them in groups based on their personality. Alex is in the blue. Compassionate, a true friend, hates conflict, loves his family, etc. this is also the smallest group. As is the green group the "thinkers". I watched as parents worried their child wasn't going to fit in. I have those same feelings. It is amazing how much you can work a program and in five seconds of walking into a room place yourself right back into high school and fill yourself up with inadequate feelings. On the drive home, my son who is light years ahead of his mother said, "I really like the group I'm in. The people are just like me and because it's smaller there won't be so many personalities to work with like in the big orange group". Ok who gave this kid the "DNA wisdom"? It wasn't me. At his age I would have felt there was something wrong with me because I wasn't in the big group. Where he embraces his individuality. Next week he is off to a leadership retreat at Camp Manito-Wish waters. Two days packed with problem solving and leadership building. He's excited. I would have thrown up. Then I realized it's not about me (I know you were wondering when that realization was going to hit). It's about him. I had to humble myself and thank God that he is as level headed as he is, and then I had to hand him back over to God. I'm just the instructor, God is the master planner. Sigh....Oh and when I got back to work yesterday my husband had left three messages for me to call him. His place of employment did another big lay off. They are down to almost nothing. So the writing is on the wall. He said he will be surprised if they make it to the new year. Dodge ball and this is a big one. But at least I carry the health insurance and we've made it on almost nothing before. Count your blessings not your troubles. So it's a week of ups and downs. The big "log game" is tonight. It's a football game that is played between East high school and West high school. Whoever wins gets to keep the log in their trophy case for a year. Last year West won, but this year East wants it back. It's our equivelant of a super bowl on a local scale. Alex is going with a bunch of friends. How time changes and moves, and at the end of the day I didn't have to drink. I crawled into bed with my husband and fell asleep saying my prayers. Prayers of "thank you" instead of "why"....and even though I don't have an athletic bone in my body I'm getting pretty good at playing "dodge ball" with life....thank you God, and AA, and you bloggers for listening........

Monday, October 18, 2010


It's a word I've come to know quite intimately this past year. Change has allowed me to work this program. I'm getting ready to take my 12th. step, and yes, I have had a spiritual awakening. An awakening of the body, mind, and soul. But I'm not the only one experiencing changes. Our oldest son is seeing a change in friendships. This has come of his own choosing. I knew this day would happen. The day when I would go to knowing all his friends, to barely knowing any of them. He has friends from grade school that attend other high schools and I think they will always remain friends. He has one friend that he has known since the third grade and enjoys seeing every few weeks. But since school started I've seen a change in him. The one friend he hung out the most with has become judgemental, social climbing, critical of everyone and this has sent my son on a new journey. I raise my children to be nice to everyone. You never know what someone else has going on. Not to be niave, but don't snap judge. Like Atticus says, "You never get to know someone until you walk around in their skin a while" (it could be shoes but I think it's skin) Alex has pulled away from this friend and is settling in with the kids he likes. He's not much for social climbing as he could care less, so now he seems more happy and settled with following his heart. Saturday night he was invitied to a friend's 16th. birthday party. It was at the VFW (lol) but they all had so much fun. Karaoke, dancing, food, non alcoholic drinks. At 11:00 pm they poured out of the building. Faces shining, laughing, wearing glow sticks. The girls were dressed up, and the boys sweaty from dancing. I sat and watched the kids as they were picked up by their parents. All nice looking clean cut kids, and I thanked God that my son has much better sense than I did at his age. I was trying to social climb, and creating a world of pain and chaos for myself. "Being myself" wasn't an option to me. He jumped in the car all smiles and full of stories. We sat up and talked a while when we got home. Sigh..... changes. Other changes are happening as well. Last night while we sat down for a quick bite, I noticed my husband reading the Homebound. This is a weekly informative that comes from the parochial school that our two youngest attend. In 10 years I have never seen him read one of these. I always read them and then posted them on the bulletin board. He also worked with Alex and Sam on Sam's school project. Making a headdress to represent historical Wisconsin background. It turned out great, and it was one project I didn't have to get involved in. It was neat to come into the kitchen and see my three guys working together. I am so grateful for times like these. My HP works wonders. I remember a few months back when my sponsor said to me, "the healthier you get the easier it will be for others to change and grow". How awesome to see the change, and to be able to accept it and grow with it. Monday blesssings to all.....

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Friday Flash 55

Soups On

Ajiaco, Borscht, Bouillabaisse, Cock-a-leekie, Consomme
Clam Chowder, Dashi, Egg Drop, Fruktsuppe, Goulash
Gumbo, Hot'n Sour, Islensk Kjotsupa, Kimchi jjigae
Leek, Minestrone, Mulligan Stew, Nang men
Oxtail, Pozole, Pumpkin, Ramen, Split Pea
Taco, Tomato, Ukha, Vichyssoise
Winter Melon, Zurek. All
wonderful I'm sure,
but please give me a
bowl of grandma's
homemade chicken
noodle soup!

The weather is cool, most of the leaves are gone. Soup is on the stove along with wool socks on
the feet. I miss my grandparent's chicken soup. My grandfather made the noodles from scratch cutting each noodle by hand. I can see the pot simmering on the stove, the windows in the kitchen fogged from the steam. It was a cozy wonderful time in my childhood. May you all have a
safe, warm, autumn weekend!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Looking deep into the eyes of pain......

Last night I tried a different 7:00 meeting. The one I was attending was great but its a distance from my house and I don't always make it, so I thought I would try one that is only a few minutes from my house. I really liked it. Smaller and more intimate. After reading a chapter from the big book, we went around and discussed various topics related to the disease of alcoholism. When we approached the last person in the room, he leaned forward and poured out his soul. Tears were flowing, and you could literally feel his pain. He's been sober a few months, just started a new job, thinks he should be on top of the world, but he just feels terrible. He is so hurt and confused by this pain. Yet, watching him you know he needs to open that faucet up to full blast and let all that yuky, black tar hurt just run out till there is no more. Four of us stayed after and talked with him. Three old timers with lots of wisdom talked first, and then everyone looked at me. Why is it when you are the "new kid" you feel like what you have to share is just fluff?! So I shared when my feelings came back. How it was in the middle of church and it was like a fountain exploding! How my 16 yr. old was standing next to me probably praying to God to have the floor open up and swallow him. One of my good friends was in front of me so she helped clean up my face after the service so I didn't go to Alex's curling banquet looking like "Tammy Faye Baker"! At this point he started to smile, and even laugh a little. I told him I cried off and on for the next week and at one point I laid on my bed and cried for about four hours straight. To get it all out. Years of pain, shame, hurt, hiding etc. I just let it all pour out. And I'm not talking a few tears, I'm talking buckets! Without the pain it's almost impossible to really enjoy the good times. Pain makes joy evident, obvious, and enjoyable. I also told him one thing I have learned is that when I stop pushing my program, when I do just what I'm suppose to and let go and let God my program runs the smoothest. Prayers, and hugs later we all went our seperate ways. I used to avoid sad movies, books, news, etc. I thought I was just too chicken hearted to deal with them. Now I can sit in a room and feel someone's pain and see it as a gift. A gift to remind me of where I was, where I could be if I don't work my program, a place where I don't want to return to. He also reminded me that it's so important to walk through the pain, to appreciate all that is good in life. So I say "thank you" to this person, for he will probably never know just how important he was to my recovery........

Monday, October 11, 2010

Eight is great!

10/10/10 marked eight months sobriety for me. I didn't even realize it until yesterday afternoon. It was a gorgeous weekend weather wise. Hung out all the laundry Sat., we started cleaning the garage(monumental task)went to a great AA meeting, had my mom over for roast, baked squash with pecans, homemade mac n chz. and buttermilk biscuits. Then last night my husband and I attended a concert at the Grand Theatre of Peder Eide. What a celebration of God. We were on our hands, clapping, and shouting to the Lord. I love to worship like this. My husband grew up Catholic and converted to Lutheran when we were married. At first he was a little hesitant to loosen up and join in but after a while he couldn't help it. We were laughing and jumping and it was an awesome two hours. Our marriage is a work in progress. I no longer push it, I've given it to God. Let go and let God. I've accepted that this will be a slow journey. I trust my HP to do it at his will. But last night went a long way for us. It let me see a part of my husband that I had never seen before. It was a great way to celebrate 8 months, and a great way to end a great weekend. Today Sam gets to visit a farm, and it's picture day at school. Life begins it's weekly tredmill run on Monday. However instead of dreading the weeks like I used to I now have the choice to deal with the unexpected, and having those choices is an awesome thing. Peder Eide lives by a simple rule:" God is good, all the time. All the time God is good........

Friday, October 8, 2010

Flash 55 Friday

No time for "55"

I sat pondering, on just what should i write,
but my thoughts were all jumbled and a fright,
for early in the morning, my two youngest sang,
a tune so chilling it stuck in my brain! Over and
over till I wanted to scream :"Who let the dogs out?

Ever get a tune in your head that you just can't shake? Sam and Grace were singing this song with Sam saying "who let the dogs out? and Grace answers in a low voice that sounds like a woof "who,who,who"'s enough to drive me bonkers since I can't shake it! Hope you all have a rockin' Friday!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Catching up on life.......

"I can only imagine what it will be like, when I walk by Your side...
I can only imagine, what my eyes will see, when Your Face is before me!
I can only imagine. I can only imagine.
Surrounded by Your Glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of You, be still?
Will I stand in Your presence, or to my knees will I fall?
Will I sing 'Hallelujah!'? Will I be able to speak at all?
I can only imagine! I can only imagine!

I Can Only Imagine - by Mercy Me

Last night at bible study this was the topic of our discussion. We are studying revelations and going over the bible's testimony on those that were privledged to get a glimps of heaven. God is described twice in jewel tones ( reflected rainbow colors) or like a prism. This is a very interesting study and as I went through the chapter all I could think about was the song by Mercy Me "I can Only Imagine". To this day when I hear that song, I get very emotional. Tears are often spilling down my cheeks, and I'm awe struck, and humbled at the thought of being in my HP's presence. I had stepped away from bible study when I entered AA. I was attending meetings every day of the week and was getting overwhelmed by too many things on my plate. What a different perspective I have now. I see and notice things I never would have before. It's like a veil has been lifted from my eyes and God's word is no longer a foreign language but a guide. I love the change. Another area of growth. I'm taking the afternoon off from work. My house is in desperate need of cleaning. I want to open all the windows on this gorgeous day, and let the sun pour in on the hardwood floors. In our bedroom which is the whole second floor of our home the windows face south and the light pours in and you can actually smell the wood of the hardwood floors. Our kitty is often found sunning himself up in our room. So I will clean, run errands, make a nice dinner, maybe bike with the kids....and celebrate a simple awesome life....I hope you are doing the same....:)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another turn in the road....

I grew up reading. I seriously can't remember a time when I couldn't read. It was my world. I was Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Anne of Green Gables, Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown etc....books that kept my imagination going and filled in what was probably a pretty ordinary suburbia life as a child. A perfect day to me is curling up and reading for hours upon hours. This is not so for two of my children. Both my oldest and our youngest are dyslexic. Both have high IQ's but ask them to spell words or read a novel and it can be pure torture. Alex has gone through years of tutoring. He developed early survival skills and still uses them to this day. He is doing great in school and even likes English now. Our middle child Sam, just needed reading help for one year and he loves to read books. He's a solid B student and manages to keep up and organized where his school work is concerned. Our youngest Gracie is a whole different ball game. Not only is she dyslexic she's also ADD. Now we are going to have her diagnosed on November 9th., but I, her teachers, and her tutor are pretty certain she has both. They often go hand in hand. Sweet, loving, and precocious child, she resembles trying to keep a bird from flying when you work with her. The focus is short, tasks are often unfinished and if they are completed often messy. She is frustrated with her own attemps at learning, and as a mother your heart breaks. How do you let them know how smart, and special, and wonderfully made they are when they can't keep up with most of the kids in the class. Alex was almost 13 when he was diagnosed so the term Dyslexic was a relief to him because then he knew he wasn't stupid, he just needed to learn differently than others. He shows strong skills in both math and foreign language, two areas that can really be tough for dyslexic people. Grace is a bit all over the place. So today I sigh. As a parent I want to give her every opportunity to succeed. She is being tutored twice a week, and has been since she was in kindergarten. I had my suspicions that ADD was lurking around the corner but today as I spoke with her tutor those suspicions became a reality. Now what? How do you give them the best shot that you can? I checked out two books on ADD at the library and the tutor will send items home for us to work on so we can enforce what she is learning at school. Her road will be long, every grade will have to be earned. While friends of hers will sail on buy she will paddle against the current most of her life. This realization would have set me back, back to denial with another drink. The beauty of my program is that I have choices today. I chose to not have my daughter labeled. I chose to raise her strong and confident. To work beside and with her to overcome learning disabilities in order to make her realize that you do not need to be a victim to your circumstances. She will be strong, she will appreciate, and according to God's plan she will grow into the exact person that he has planned her to be....and that makes me happy.....

Monday, October 4, 2010

Warning : Danger up ahead...

This is what I feel like. Like I'm in danger or to be more specific my program is in danger. September was an unusually busy month, and more than once I had to miss a meeting due to family or other obligations. The result is that my program is lacking, I've crossed back into some behaviors that I want to be done with, self doubt is creeping in, decisions are erradict, impulsiveness is present etc.......Danger lies ahead. I've heard so many people talk about this at meetings. That when they aren't actively working their programs and attending meetings they start to turn inward, to turn to their perseived power, walk away from their HP and try to do things on their own. This has happened to me lately. I feel flat. Like my shiny newness is gone. I was so confident that I was working my program to the best that I thought hitting one maybe two meetings a week was enough. I can tell I need more. Thursday evening a gal who I've gotten to know came to the meeting I lead, and confessed that she had relapsed. This lady since I've known her has just glowed. She's two years into the program and now her smile and her spirit are gone. She's frustrated, humiliated, confused, and her face is full of pain. It's at that moment that it hit me. Danger is just a second away. This gal brought this home to me very quickly the other night. Less I get to cocky in my program, because it would only take a second to wash it away. The people with the most sobriety in our club are the ones who regularly attend meetings many times a week. My own sponsor with 21 years of sobriety attends at minimum five meetings a week. I now know why. These keep reminding you where you came from and how little it would take to go back. I don't want to go back. If you have any advice or experience, hope, or wisdom that you can share in regards to the "danger zone" I would love to hear it. Hope you are all having a happy Monday.......

Friday, October 1, 2010

Flash 55 Friday...


I can't explain why,
towers of metal and glass
quicken my pulse
Most people are repulsed by crowds
but your hub of everyday bodies
and machines acts like blood
flowing through my veins.
Bright lights, restaurant smells,
and culture abound.
A million idiosyncrasies to discover
in a weekend's time,
only leaves me longing for more.......

My husband and I along with our besties are headed to the Twin Cities for the weekend. The last time we went any where without children I was six months pregnant with our second child so I guess we still had children along. I love cities and to me the Twin Cities holds the best of both worlds. Big city life with midwest charm. My husband and I will celebrate 17 years of marriage on Saturday October 2nd. and he will be humoring me in the city because he wants a log cabin on 40 acres in the middle of nowhere. Our road has not been a smooth one, a great deal of that do to my dealing, but for some reason he's still here. For that I am grateful. When we had Alex's birthday party last month, we were all sitting around having coffee and laughing when I looked up and caught my husband staring at me. He had a soft smile on his lips and I'm not sure what he was thinking, but we've made it this far, so I think we can both hang around to see what the next years will bring. Wishing you all a beautiful autumn weekend.....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Autumn color is peaking in central Wisconsin. (I didn't take this picture) but it is the view from Granite Peak, a state park in my hometown. I'm not sure what it is about this season that I love so much. I remember when my husband and I had been dating about 5 months, we would take long walks through the fall leaves in the neighborhood he lived in, and talk about the future. I love how blue the sky is, the smell of dry leaves, the breathtaking color against the dark green of the grass. The nights have been cool, and the moon holds a tint of yellow. This morning as I was backing down the driveway I stopped and looked down our street. Large maple and oak trees create a canopy type feel to the area and the leaves were literally pouring from the trees. It was so beautiful. The kids want to make a leaf pile after school. You know what happens when you do that children from all over the neighborhood start showing up :) There's almost a magical feel to it all. Hope you are all having an awesome week and I will leave you with this poem:

October's Bright Blue Weather
by Helen Hunt Jackson

O sun and skies and clouds of June
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October's bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fringes tight,
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks
In idle, golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunt
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers hour by hour
October's bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October's bright blue weather.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Being Selfish.....

A few weeks ago I did a post on helping a friend. I felt really good about helping this person. He seemed much more upbeat after we spoke but then....he started calling more, and because I wanted to be nice I would take his calls and patiently answer his questions. Now there's been no advancements or "suggestions" made by this person but I started to get that queasy feeling in my stomach. You know the one that sends the signal to the brain that something just isn't right. Now my sponsor and his sponsor knew that we had talked. My sponsor did not say much when I told her of our meeting. So when I called her last week to seek guidance she was not surprised. "Remember when I asked you not to sponsor anyone until you were through the twelve steps?" she said. I replied, "Yes, but I wasn't sponsoring, I was just helping, and I thought we were suppose to help other alcoholics". To which she replied, "We are, but the person who sought you out is male, and wanting to be codependent on someone else, you know the "easier softer way"?....Now I knew why I was having that queasy feeling. My gut was telling me this wasn't right. In my usual fashion, I rushed in to help, but didn't consider the consequences! Am I alcoholic or what! (lol) So my sponsor asked, "What are you going to do about it?" Darn I was hoping she would talk to his sponsor (me being the coward that I am) and since that wasn't going to happen I needed a solution. First I took the advice she gave: Be selfish, yes selfish in your recovery. You have worked very hard these past months, you have been open to change, you have grown, not without dealing with a lot of pain and you have a long way to go. He's stuck and he wants to ride on your coat tails and being alcoholic you think you can save him, and you will let him tag along because your mind will tell you you can carry both of you until finally he drags you down, and sooner or later alcohol will be right around the corner. I will not sit back and watch this happen." It had never crossed my mind that this could happen. I just thought I was helping, never realizing that I could put my own recovery in danger. My sponsor and I talked a while and decided that I should call him, be direct, explain that I needed to take care of myself, and that he needs to be working his own program with his sponsor. So of course I was chicken at first but then picked up the phone and took care of business so I thought. We had a nice talk and I spoke my peace. He said things were going better, that he had been meeting with his sponsor and thanked me for my time. So I go on my merry little way for a day and then on Friday find a message on my cell phone from him. He was giving me his email address asking that we stay in touch. Enough, I deleted his call. I had made myself clear so i thought. But then there's a side that still wants to help.......but then I got mad. Hey no one made it easy for me. I've done my work, now it's time for him to do his! I finally understood what "being selfish" in your recovery means. I will not jepordize all that I've worked for. I needed to set the boundaries, and do it now. So I went to my Saturday morning meeting and of course he was there. I said "hello" politely, asked him how things were going, and then went and sat by my sponsor. I know my body language was pretty stiff but I wanted my point accross. I did not answer his phone call, nor did I add in his email. This journey has been the hardest one I have walked. I will not risk it being undone. I can pray for this person, but I will not carry him. My HP walks beside me, to make this path possible. I guess there is a time to be selfish, and my time is now......

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My God......

The Thursday night "We are Not Saints Group" that I lead had a very interesting discussion the other night. We read on page 53 of the Big Book about believing in a power greater than ourselves. Which applies to steps two and three. There were only five of us who braved the pouring rain so this was a very open and frank discussion. Each of us shared our coming to believe in a power greater than ourselves. One lady talked about how she believes in a power greater than herself but it's not God. She struggles with believing a loving God would allow bad things to happen to people. Someone else pointed out that God gives us the choice of free will, and that's why bad things happen. But everyone's point of view had something to offer. When it came to me I suddenly had all these flashbacks of from when I was little to the present. Sort of a 10 second look at my life with God. I grew up with the word, went to a parochial school, attended a beautiful church (physically) but that church was cold. It was made of stone and the people were cool, distant, high church as I like to call it. I remember as a teenager being uncomfortable with God. It was like he didn't fit and I couldn't wait to be 18 so I could tell my parents I wasn't going to church anymore. It wasn't until I had children of my own that I started to slowly make my way back to God. It was a struggle, often painful and unfulfilling. I felt like I was being strangled at times singing the old dogma and hymns. I left feeling I was missing something. When I was 14 my eighth grade class took a trip to Milwaukee. We went shopping and took in a Bucks game. We stayed overnight at Cross Lutheran church and when we worshipped the next day I felt like I was home. We were singing, and praising, raising our arms and shouting to the Lord. I was excited and exhilarated by his presence and felt so moved. I kept thinking maybe I should be a baptist?......Now you have to realize that were I come from it's old German Lutheran. There's not much moving and shaking in the church. But still I kept searching. I would sit in bible studies and hear my voice talking about God and his works, and his will and it still felt false to me. Five years ago my bestie and I attended a Women of Faith in Minneapolis and once again I found myself at home. I was so free worshipping with 18,000.00 other women. Standing on my feet and shouting to the Lord. But my daily walk was so strained. I couldn't find my niche with God. It wasn't until God took my hand and led me through the doors of AA that I finally saw him. He was the God of my understanding. I had spent my whole life looking for a God that fit someone else's belief on who he was. I never took the time to understand him from my point of view. My God, the one that walks beside me every day is a loving God. He is there when I stumble, when I ask for forgiveness, when I don't learn the first time. He knows all my sins and problems and loves my unconditionally. I have seen miracles worked first hand in the program of AA. He can make me feel fearless, and yet comfort me like a parent to a child. My God finally fits, and for that I am eternally grateful......