Saturday, June 5, 2010

A familiar face......

I woke up this morning, stretched out lazily in the bed (which due to my husband being up north was all mine) and thought I would get up, have a light breakfast, get some coffee, and then I saw the clock! 10:00 am! It has been years since I slept this late! and my favorite AA meeting is at 11:00 am so I had to fly. I was doing ok until I remembered that I forgot to pick up a prescription that I need and the drug store I go to closes at noon, so needless to say I was a few minutes late to the meeting. I do not like coming in late, this is a big meeting, and I had to sit along the wall. But it did give me time to take inventory of who was there. One of my favorite AA peeps celebrated his five year anniversary today. I've heard his story and by all means he should have been dead, but fortunately for us he isn't and he's awesome to talk to. He never sugar coates, just gives it to you straight and with love. He was the first person in AA to hand me some truth and boy did it open my eyes. He and my sponsor are good friends, so I always have the truth handed to me :) As I was looking around the room I noticed a new girl. Young, pretty and I was sure I had never seen her at a meeting yet. But then the meeting started and it was awesome! I just soaked up all the conversation like a sponge and wished it could have gone on longer. Before I knew it, it was time for the Lord's prayer. As we were spreading out to accomodate all the people, this girl came right over to me, took my hand, and said my name! I was dumbfounded. Then she told me was a girl I went to grade school with. We rode the same bus and we were good buddies. The second she said her name we were throwing our arms around each other and as soon as we finished the prayer we sat down and did what girls do best TALKED! She's been coming here for two weeks, just went through a messy divorce, is out of a job, and the story went on...she hasn't really changed a bit since I last saw her some twenty odd years ago. We exchanged cell numbers and hugged many times. Right before she left, she said, "I saw you come in late, and I knew it was you, I would know those eyes anywhere. I couldn't wait for the meeting to end so I could be with a familiar face".....God in action. I love those "bling, bling" moments. To see that the disease of alcoholism doesn't discriminate, that it can get anybody, to see the similarities and not the differences can make that decision of coming to AA feel like it was the best decision you will ever make.......

Friday, June 4, 2010


You are cunning
Spilling your orange
and yellow locks lavishly
At times you bob and
weave between the
wooden walls.
In your warmth lies
the attraction, a promise
of satisfaction and happiness.
Come closer little moth,
into the glowing embers
and let me mark your demise
by shooting a glistening
spark into the night sky.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Working the steps of AA yields many new tools that we can use in life. This was the topic of discussion at last nights women's meeting. One woman talked about how she's using the steps to help her achieve some goals like loosing weight and getting off her high blood pressure medication. Another lady said she was able to apply the tools to deal with her troubled grandaughter, another said it saved her marriage and she uses the skills she has learned to help other people at work. And the list goes on and on. For me one of the tools I am most grateful for is the gift of listening. When you are drinking and in the world of "self" you rarely listen, you can appear to be listening but you're not and you are busy planning what you are going to say next to turn the attention back to you. Since I've sat at a lot of meetings, I've learned to listen. I always get much more out of meetings when I don't speak than when I do. Treasures abound when you keep your ears open. The skills of listening came in handy this morning when I stopped by my coworker's office to get an update on her son. When I spoke with her last Thursday she was so happy, he hadn't been drinking, was sticking close to home, and she was full of hope. Tuesday and Wednesday had been busy so I wasn't able to see her until today. One look into her face and I knew what was coming. The eyes filled with tears, the voice choked as she relayed what I suspected. Her son had been drinking, had drank all weekend long with his buddies, was drunk, drove again, and as the disappointment and heartache flowed from her, I just sat and nodded once in a while and listened. She knows there is nothing she can do to convince him, he has to come on his own accord. And of course when he's sober he knows he has a problem, he says he's so sorry, and the line we've all heard or used "it won't happen again". What do you say? I stuck with my gut feeling and said the truth, "He will drink again, and again, until he decides to do something about his disease". This won't disapper, this may get worse." I now know what people mean when they say "it's like standing and watching a train wreck happen". I wish I had all the magic answers, the ability to get her son to see what was happening to him and those who loved him. But I no longer disallusion myself with the hope that I can save other people. I can plant the seed but I can't make that seed grow and blossom unless they are willing. I listened to her for a while more, offered her the advice once more about going to Al-Anon and taking care of herself, and as I walked out her office door I reminded her that I was only a few doors away. I didn't have all the answers but I could give her someone to talk to, someone who knows a little about the disease, and someone who knows that sometimes the greatest advice is given just by listening.......

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Facing the truth.....

by Chris Stallings
"Living A Lie"

Walking around forcing a smile
wishing someone could walk a mile in my shoes,
talking about
every things alright,and appear to someone else to be living the life
Trying to fit in, want to be me
scared of the possibility
that they won't except me for who i am
now i lost my identity
and don't know who i am anymore

Because I've been living a lie
trying to survive losing most of myself
saying goodbye to it sounds so right
but it's not easy as it seems
because living a lie is a sacrifice
but no more
I've gotta be my self now

Talking things over in my head
how do i find the part of me that's dead
because this mask that others see
finally i want to shed
Trying to fit in
want to be me, but afraid of the possibilities
that they want except me for who i am
but no longer am i afraid
gonna show the world
let it be heard that I've been

I've been living a lie
trying to survive losing most of myself
saying goodbye to it sounds so right
but it's not easy as it seems
because living a lie is a sacrifice
but no more
I've gotta be my self now

I love this poem. This was me a year ago. I was living a lie. I kept it going until one day in August I cracked. But it was only a small fracture and I just let a little tiny bit of truth seep out. But my alcoholic instincts took over and I immediatly tried to seal that crack. Try to make it look like everything was going to be fine while all the while hemoraging inside. I was still blaming everything and everyone. It wasn't until I came into AA that I realized I had the problem. I remember after my second meeting I kept thinking :"Are they sure it's me, I mean I do everything for everybody?!" "How can it be me?" It's that moment of truth that has to be one of the scariest things you will ever face. It's like the universe sucked right back into me and I had to take responsibility for all my actions. But it's so much easier to blame everyone else. Once in a while at meetings you can catch a glimpse of yourself through someone else. There is a particular woman whom I met at my second meeting. Pretty little lady but she is exactly in the same spot as the day I met her, in fact she may have progressed even further back. She spoke at Saturday's meeting and she talked about all the anger she has inside. That she just wants to scream it all out and really give it to people. She kept blaming one person after another and yet I never heard her say she wanted to yell at herself. The ownership wasn't there. After I took ownership that the disease was mine, that the caos was of my making, that the avoidance of life was became easier to face. I remember how mad I was at myself! All that time wasted avoiding living life because I was so busy trying to escape it, and guess what? It was still there, the whole mess, and it was mine. It's still mine, but little by little as I take the ownership, some of the baggage is disappearing. If I'm angry because I have this disease, because I can't drink like a normal person, I haven't surrendered nor have I taken on the fact of ownership. I remind myself of this every day. It's always so easy to whip the blame out at my husband, job, friends, God, etc. but I need to remember wherein all the bullshit lies and that is within me. If I don't take ownership of myself then I miss out on all the little riches in life. Like the two new baby doves we have in the window box (the picture is not them just used for an example). These little survivors are being doted on by their mum who protects them fiercely. Or how I wouldn't have enjoyed the bike ride with Gracie last night who said to me while we were riding, "it's fun just you and me mom, riding alone and talking girl stuff". Yes, I have the disease of alcoholism. It's cunning, baffling, and powerful. But it has also opened my eyes to understanding why I do things the way I do, to look at the perspective of someone else, to make sure my house is in order, to make sure the past doesn't repeat itself. Having this disease, even with all the horrible things it brings has given me a much deeper appreciation for life. It's a part of who I am, in every minute of the day, even when I'm just being a "girl" with my daughter...talking "girl stuff".........

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Did you ever have those moments that you just want to freeze in time? Just for an extra second or two? I had a few this weekend. One in particular happened Sunday night around twilight. My husband and I ventured out in the kayaks. This was new experience for me going so late in the evening. It takes your eyes a while to adjust, and you have to trust your instincts and navigate by the shorline. It was a beautiful quiet time to be on the lake. A small bat was dodging back and forth dining on the "insect buffet" that the lake was providing, and the loons were calling. As we paddled on back to the cottage I was taking it all in. The fishing boat off to my left, the quiet casts into the water, the shadow images the clouds were making against the night sky and as we came upone the cottage itself: large windows, basked in the warm glow of lights, the kids at the kitchen table playing games, the fire dancing in the fire pit, talking and laughter, it was such a perfect moment that I wanted to hang on to it forever. But alas reality is always lurking in the corners. All in all it was a great weekend. The weather was gorgeous, my children loved being with their cousins, there was lots of swimming, kayaking, tubing etc. and not a computer, a game station, a TV, or a cell phone in use all weekend long! We all came home full of sun, water, and happy exhaustion. Later on in the evening last night my oldest son told me something his cousin had said to him. She told him her mother hates me. Now of course you know there has to be a bit of history here, and there is, too long to go into, but this didn't come as a shock to me. Ever since the day she married my brother she has worked very hard at isolating our family from him. Our relationship has been very estranged at times, but in the last few years he has slowly made his way back. She of course never comes with him to the cottage if the family is there, and a few years ago she hit a big mid life crisis. Lost weight, started exercising, bought a new car, dresses like an 18 year old and has pretty much relinquished the raising of the children to my brother as well as taking care of the house and everything else. The worst crime of course is my niece and nephew. Their older sister is 20, in college and living on her own, but the two left at home are suffering the most. They are attention starved and my brother is trying to do the best he can in raising them. Now before if I would have been told this I would have gone bonkers. I would have had a million scenarios playing in my head of how I was going to tell her a thing or two. I would have verbally ripped her apart. But thanks to my program I was able to have a different perspective on the whole ordeal. She has a lot of issues. They are her issues. The most help I can give my brother is to pray for him. Support him in any way I can. When I worked with my sponsor last Friday she gave me a little homework assignment for the week. I am to create a "God Box" or if you want a "HP box". This can be shoebox, a trinket box, whatever you choose and in this box you put small pieces of paper with resentments, or defects, or areas of your life that you want to give up to your HP. I asked my sponser if you can take something back out once you put it in. She said you could, but most of the time you will end up putting it back in. Once you put it in, you trust your HP to take care of it. I'm going to put my sister-in-law in my God box. She has some good qualities, even if they are not shining through right now. This is her journey, not mine, plus I have no control over how she feels about me, and I have issues of how I feel about her that I need to deal with. Sometimes when I feel that my growth in this program is slowing down, my higher power sends a situation my way and gives me just what I need: a reminder that growth never stops as long as you are open to change.....