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!