Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's not hard to say good-bye....

It's not hard to say good-bye unless it's something you love. Which in yesterday's case it really wasn't! My sponsor and I have been working through the sixth step for a few weeks and she had given me an assignment last week. I was to find 12 or more sizeable rocks, with some weight and I was to write a character defect on each one. So I went rock hunting at a local park and picked out fifteen medium size stones that were quite weighty. I wrote what character defects I wanted to get rid of on each one. She arrived at six and handed me a tote and said, "Put those defects in here and let's walk to the lake." So I did and off we headed. It was a cool heavy misty evening. The kind that feels refreshing and makes your cheeks glow with dew. We enjoyed the walk for a while until I realized that my shoulder was getting numb by the weight of the bad. My sponsor said, "Good, you picked your burdens well, and now you can feel what the 800 lb. gorilla feels like, remember this is the junk you've been carrying for years. We took the steps that lead into the park and saw a perfect lone park bench right by the lake, with a little clearing between the bushes. Granite peek was in plain site and looked so cool with a foggy veil hovering over her top. We opened the tote and she said, "It's time to say good-bye, to all these defects, I want you to pull out a stone at a time, read it to me and we'll discuss it a little and then you can throw them into the water". I began to pull out a stone and the first one was "ego". That's a biggy. Bye bye self centeredness! And I didn't just throw the stone in I hurlded it in. I loved the feeling of release when they left my hand, how it soared in the air, and then landed with a big splash. We talked, we laughed, we got serious and then it was time for the last stone. And what do I pull out? Pride! I think I threw that one the farthest. We sat on the parkbench a while enjoying the stillness of the evening, and then we headed home. We were talking about a great many things when my sponsor said, "how does it feel to carry that tote now?" I hadn't even noticed but I was swinging it up and down almost our whole walk home. "It feels good, light and free." We got home, had a cup of coffee and finished the sixth step. It was awesome, because I saw steps, 4,5, and 6 come together. After she left my oldest (who my 55 was written for) and I went out for some Chinese food. Then we went to the grocery store. I like shopping later at night, you don't get to many crowds. We came home in time to talk to my two youngest whom my husband had taken to Shrek Four. It was so amazing to let those things go. Oh I know they won't all disappear over night, and I will always be working on that but just the act, looking at each one, realizing that what I thought was so important to me, wasn't...that's freedom, that's growth, and that's the beauty of AA.......

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flash 55 Friday

Ninth Grade

Long fingers drumming
eyes darting, a beep of a horn
the screen door slams. I remember
your first day, the smile of relief
talking with your friends. Juggling classes,
and social mazes. Homecoming dance,
Curling club, Driver's Ed. First report
card, smiles and satisfaction.
Freshman year gone in a flash.
No longer the underdog.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

To my bestie.......

The following poem is dedicated to my best friend. Not only did she shoot one of my favorite insects (the bee) she has an incredible knack for photographing nature. Not to mention that she means the world to me. So if the weather permits, go outside and enjoy the brillance of nature.....

The Bee
by: Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flowers goes,
Their velvet masonry

Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.

His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
With chrysoprase, inlaid.

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Waking up to reality.......

Recently I noticed a change in a coworker of mine. This person and I are friends and she's normally bubbly, talkative and outgoing. The last few weeks she has been quiet, withdrawn and looks tired. At the end of the work day yesterday she stopped in my office and I finally asked her if something was bothering her. Her eyes filled with tears and she said, "No life just sucks". I asked if it was marriage problems and she said no. I would have left this alone but I could tell she really needed to talk to someone. Very few people know that I am a recovering alcoholic at work. So I looked at her and said, "I'll share something private with you if you'll share with me". She seemed to brighten a bit so I told her about AA and my recovery. She said "let's go in my office, I need to know how you knew you were an alcoholic and what made you decide to go to AA". So I told her my story and then she shared with me: Her 23 year old son has a terrible drinking problem. He has struggled for years and his girlfriend of six years has left him (they just bought a house together) and last Saturday night he and a friend got so drunk that his friend didn't know he had left the house, got in his truck and attempted to drive home. He blacked out while making a sharp curve, flew off the road, rolled and totaled the truck and was ejected from the vehicle. He was treated at the hospital for minor injuries but is suffering much pain, was thrown in jail for the night and will loose his license. I sat very quietly listening to her talk, sob, and blame herself, and be frustrated, and most of all heartbroken. For a split second I caught a look at what it is to be sober watching the alcoholic. I told her that unfortunately she may have to watch this train wreck. That he needs AA but he has to decide that. I also told her to get to an Al-Anon meeting. To talk to other people going through the same thing. I was also able to help her better understand
the disease. We talked for a bit more and as we were getting ready to leave she said, "It's crazy of all the days to tell me about yourself, it was today when I just needed so badly to talk to someone else". I looked her in the eye and said, "God knows when you're reaching the end of your rope and he sent me to tell you that you don't have to travel this journey alone". We hugged and went our separate ways. I thought about the situation a lot. How the effects of our drinking are like ripples in a pond touching everyone we know. Cunning, Baffling, Powerful.
As I came in the door my two youngest met me and wanted to go for a bike ride, so I changed my clothes and off we headed. We are so fortunate to live in our lovely little neighborhood. The homes were built after WWII and they are very sweet. It's also the only neighborhood that I know of in our town that has boulevards and massive oaks and maple trees. When I was little I always wanted to live in that neighborhood and eleven years ago my husband and I purchased a story and a half cape cod. All hardwood floors, built-ins, big back yard with flower gardens, a charming place to live. About half a mile from the house is a paved walking/biking path that wraps around the lake. We biked the big circle three times and as we came upon the lake the sun was shining it's brillance on the water and I realized that none of this would be happening if I was still drinking. This precious time with my children, laughing, biking, enjoying the gorgeous evening was only possible because of my HP and AA. It was a humbling moment for sure. I am grateful to my higher power, AA, and getting another chance. Life is precious.........

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finding my funny bone.....

When I first thought of not drinking every again a horrible thought occured to me, "I will never have fun again". Pathetic isn't it?! Yet I worried about social functions, being able to relax, striking up conversations and most of all having fun. Alcohol was such a big part of my life that I couldn't imagine doing these things without it. I was always the crazy one who would try anything. I remember being in a martini bar with some girlfriends sitting at a table in front of the bar, and I said, "Let's card all the young looking people as they come in"! So sure enough we did. And then I said "if they are organ donor, make sure the back of their license is signed" and we did get five people who had organ donor stickers on their licenses to sign the back. Plus it was hilarious the number of young people that turned around and left when we asked to see some ID. The place was packed so I don't know if the owner's knew what we were doing or if they just didn't care. So now I attend events, dinners, etc. clean and sober. I was nervous. The first dinner party I went to three weeks into recovery worked out well because my son was in a curling tournament so I left to go watch him, they were late getting on the ice because the tournament was not running on time, so I arrived back at the party just in time to leave. But being without my crutch made me feel I wasn't going to have a good time at these things. I would probably have a so so time and that would be it for the rest of my life. Well I was proven wrong. Last night our best friend's came to dinner at our house with their sweet daughter. And I found myself laughing out loud most of the night, in fact we had a lot of conversation and laughter around the dinner table, and I was sober. It then dawned on me that there is fun without alcohol. Good clean fun. You see I always wanted a party. To step things up. I always looked down on the kids in high school that didn't drink. They weren't cool enough to know how to have real fun. Well I wasn't cool enough to just have fun. Our society has glamorized drinking so much that it's as normal as brushing your teeth. It was so nice to sit and laugh, and clean up the kitchen and go to bed and not worry about waking up with a hangover. I'm finally realizing that the alcohol didn't make me, that I'm still the same funny, silly, fun person I always was and the best part about enjoying an evening with friends sober, is being able to remember it the next day.......

Sunday, May 16, 2010

One of Gracie's favorites....

My daughter Grace and I laid in bed Saturday morning reading poetry. The book is well worn as it's one of my favorites too. She read me one of her favorite poems. She is seven and very wise. Enjoy........

HUG O' War

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

"Shel Silverstein"

Good advice for us all! Happy Sunday and may your blessings be many.....