Friday, June 18, 2010

Fun in the garden......

Tonight I hosted a garden party for my sponsor, the ladies she sponsors, and the ladies they sponsor. I had really spent a lot of time sprucing up the gardens, spread small white lights throughout, set a pretty feminine table with gorgeous oriental lilies, used the gold flatware, and went all out to treat these women to a special night. As I was setting the table outdoors I had to have a serious plea with my higher power. They had been predicting severe weather all day and 10 minutes before the ladies got there it looked like the heavens were going to open up. I pleaded to just make it through dinner. The ladies came, all brought something, and the wind picked up and the sky started to clear, and we had a gorgeous evening. My kids were excited to meet everyone and were on good behavior, the food was excellent and the conversation lively. I had the best time. All these ladies have lived through some incredible experiences. The stories they can tell, the strength they can share, and the laughter, the laughter was well hilarious. I never dreamed you could have such a fabulous time, and all alcohol free. I was riding a high when everyone left. Once again it just confirmed to me what an awesome program this is. I have been remembering things that happened when I was drinking at my worst, and when my life was starting to really spiral out of control. Our oldest child was confirmed last year and for his capstone project he made this large mosaic cross. We had gone to Goodwill and picked out all these colored and patterned plates, and cups, and he broke them into pieces and created an absolute treasure. This cross hangs in our living room and tonight one of the ladies said, "what a gorgeous cross, a great reminder of how powerful God is". When she said those words my mind just clicked! That cross was created during my darkest days, God wanted me to know that he was there, and that he would be ready to take my hand and begin my journey into recovery when I was ready. My heart just skipped a beat. I turned and said, "yes, it's an amazing reminder of just how awesome God is!" So tonight I will go to bed and say thank you to God, for an amazing evening (weather and all) and for an amazing opportunity to wake up from the dead, to belong to the society of second chances, to live my life as it was meant to live.....full of love, laughter and ups, and downs, but mostly happiness......(big contented sigh)

Flash 55 Friday


Limbs intertwined
amongst cotton sheets,
I rest my head on your chest
and visually count your breaths.
A soft snore escapes your lips
as you spiral into repose.
Eyes closed I can still feel
your weightless kisses at the
base of my throat.
Precious stolen moments, I omit a sigh,
then join you in slumber.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

An obession with alcohol....

A co-worker and I were sitting in her office and the topic of alcohol came up. I remarked that since I've stopped drinking I've started to notice how many people make plans around alcohol. (I did too, and you don't notice that aspect about yourself while you are doing it). She said she knew what I was talking about. She and her husband often attend get togethers in their neighborhood. These are usually cookouts with a lot of alcohol in attendance. By the end of the evening she said, people are drunk, some are sleeping etc... a real rowdy bunch and she went on to say that rarely do they plan if ever an event that doesn't include alcohol. If someone says they are going to a wedding the standard reply is "hope they have open bar all night", or if they are getting together for movies it's "bring the alcohol". She wonders if they can ever plan anything that doesn't have alcohol involved. I too have noticed that all weekend plans seem to include drinking, stopping after work and drinking is quite common and I know one lady at work who thinks a balanced meal is a bottle of wine and cheese and crackers. Now I know I did all these crazy things too but I have a hunch that social drinking has taken a turn for the worse. I mean if you are suppose to have no more than one to two glasses of do you explain people drinking during the week and on the weekends, bottles of wine. As an alcoholic whose whole system began to crave and need the effects of alcohol to get her during the day I'm beginning to wonder about what is acceptable for social drinking? I think at one time alcoholics were more easily recognizable, but now people drink quite heavily and feel that there's no problem as long as they take a day or two off in between. To me that blurs the lines a bit. I bet if people wrote done exactly what they consumed in a one week period they would be shocked. Sort of like recording calories, you never think you are having too much until you actually look at the exact amount, and it can be shocking. I used to panic at certain situations if I knew there wasn't alcohol being served. I was always ready for a good time but in the last few months of my drinking it was self medicating and the fun had long ended. I'm worried as a nation that people are using the "highly functional" part to negate the amount of drinking they actually do. And TV shows and movies send us messages that it's young and trendy to drink all the time. This could be me just unraveling a thread, but I think there's more to it than that....what do you think?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An old Favorite

Lord Byron

"She walks in beauty, like the night"

SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress
Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek and o'er that brow
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,—
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent.

I always picture a garden bathed in moonlite and this woman walking through it, although you can interpret it in many ways. I admire the flow, the step it has, an easy grace. I just wanted to share a piece of beauty, I hope you enjoy it........

Monday, June 14, 2010

Progress not Perfection.....

You hear and say this phrase a lot, but oh how quickly we forget it when it comes to practicing it. When I first started my road of recovery I had all these grand ideas that my life would be rosy and happy and I would never be judgemental, crabby, cross, confused, pissed off, angry or just in an all around horse shit mood.....Hmmm.....then how come all that can still can happen in a split second? Because we are human! Our emotions are still our emotions. It would be great to be loving, kind, and accepting 24 hours a day but I can't. I still am judgemental, there are days I'm pissed off and angry, and confused and crabby, but I no longer need a drink to forget those emotions, there's the difference. I live through my emotions and if I act poorly I have to deal with those feelings of shame and guilt too. I remember how shocked my husband acted when two months in I got crabby with him...well at first I felt bad but then I realized "this is life baby" and I can't erase 41 years of habits. Too many times at meetings I hear people take out the "big stick" and start beating themselves in front of the group. We are sooooo good at that. But it does us no good. So put away the big stick. This is a program for life, not overnight. When someone asks me "how's it going in AA?" I give them my standard answer "it's a work in progress". After all perfection never gave me what I wanted so why repeat it over and over expecting different results?! I think I've had enough of that insanity to last me a lifetime...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

And more will be revealed.......

People have said this to me over and over. At first I would smile and nod (like what the hell are you talking about) and now I answer them with "I can't wait!" Friday before my sponsor came over I stopped at Barnes and Noble to pick up a CD and my music "hook up" was working. He's a young college kid that I struck up a conversation with and he's an incredible source for every genre you want to listen to. So he saw what I was buying a certain artist and recommended a live uncut version of this person on another CD and of course it's great!(John Mayer if you are wondering) I ignore the tabloids and appreciate his guitar talent. I had forgotten for quite a while how much I love music. Having a gift card to Target I bought myself an I-Pod shuffle and had my son and his friend start filling it up. Saturday on the way to the lake I began to notice how beautiful Wisconsin is. I know most people think of farms, cows, and cheese when they hear Wisconsin but with all the rain we are having the farmland looks like quilt squares in shades of green, and the foliage and forests, and trees are lush, rich and cool. And speaking of cool, so were the temps., but it didn't discourage my children from trying out the new island, raft. I think when you are young you don't notice how cool the water is, you just focus on the fun. My mother and I headed to Goodwill to do a book run.As I was finding books for the kids I came across a sweet small volume of "Jacki Kennedy Onasis's Favorite Poems". It's written by her daughter Caroline Kennedy. Well I know a good deal when I see one, and it was in excellent shape, so I nabbed it. Back at the cabin before the afternoon fire, I opened this little treasure up and spent at least two hours in poetry land. Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Langston Hughes, Lord Byron, William Carlos was like a family reunion. I have a bachelor of arts in English, and spent many a semester with these people. I had forgotten how much I missed them. The rain set it so we all retreated indoors to a comfortable evening of reading and games. My husband and I crawled in bed with the window open and were serenaded to the songs of frogs, and rain drops softly falling through the trees. I finally got it....more will be revealed. I had been reminded of two things from my past that I love, and that I do not plan on loosing track of anytime soon. I think one of the reasons I pushed these two interests to the back burner was because they happened at a painful time in my life. It was my fourth semester in college, I was ending a two and a half year relationship, I had just gotten over a terrible sickness, weighed 105 lbs. and my spirit was broken. Thank goodness my parents let me drop out of school and come home. I think I slept for a month and I will always be grateful for that reprieve. I returned to college when I was 27, married and with a three year old. My son was five and I still remember him clapping at my graduation. But then life got busy, and bad times happened, and many things I loved got pushed aside. Then the drinking got worse and in my darkest days I thought of nothing but numbing the pain away. By working this program I am learning to accept my past. I don't have to love it, but I can be objective about it. I do love music, all kinds, after all I grew up with two older brothers so I've been through Elton John, AC/DC, Neil Diamond, the 80's I love many types of music. And poetry, you dear old friend, how so much can be said with a small amount of words. My children and I read every night and tomorrow I think I will read them "The Midnight Run of Paul Revere" I've been to those beautiful places, stood in the old North church, and I want my children to know our American history. Yes, there have been times when more has been revealed that isn't so great, memories I didn't want to face, but walking through that pain makes me appreciate the times when good things are revealed. Today ended with my children and I taking our nightly bike ride and getting caught in the rain. Before this would have set me off but tonight I just laughed and we came home like drown rats.... life is good and it's been revealed to me that I have a pretty good sense of humor, rain and all.......