Thursday, March 17, 2011

Flash 55 Friday


Raising the sash and
lifting the glass I
quietly let spring in
The soft breeze slips
through the screen and
lazily spreads across the
room spilling freshness as
it collides with the furniture
and walls, dragging sunshine
behind on the floor while
a red breasted robin sings
a melody to an audience
of leafless trees.........

The temps are in the 50's and the snow is melting. Was able to have the window cracked a bit and love to hear the birds sing. Busy weekend planned with projects, school carnival and car repairs. Enjoy the earth as it stretches it arms to awaken......

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In need of a change...

Ever since I hit my first year of sobriety anniversary I have felt like a snake trying to shed my old skin. I don't know what it is but I feel this urge to change things from my surroundings (hence the total bedroom makeover which by the way I love) to Weight Watchers (I've lost my first five pounds) to now meetings. Which of course can be an issue when you chair one of those meetings. I spoke with the president of our Alano club after the Saturday morning meeting. He's a good friend of mine and we both have concerns about the meeting I chair. It's a Thursday night big book meeting that deals with the first 164 pages of AA. It was designed by an old timer that loved structure but had to move back to Racine WI and needed someone to take the meeting over back in July. I thought it would be a good experience so I stepped up to the plate. It's always been a small meeting, very private, not published so you need to hear about it by word of mouth. It grew for a while but now it's stopped growing for some time. There's never enough money to cover the monthly rent so I take care of that out of pocket (and I don't mind) and once I asked if we could perhaps expand into other areas of the book rather than just the first 164 pages but that was given a quick "no!". So what to do? Hang up a flyer, give it more publicity, move it to the back room and pay half the rent? I told the president I would talk it over with the group this Thursday and let him know. He agreed and I went on my way. Now you know us alcoholics we have to take a bite, then chew on something, then chew some more, and stew about it, and on and on. As I was giving my sponsor a ride home from the Monday night meeting she asked what was on my mind. I told her and she was quiet for a moment then asked, "Are you really getting what you need from that meeting? Are you just continuing it because you took it over?" these are things I hadn't thought about. And we sat and talked for the next 45 minutes and I had to be truthful. I had outgrown this meeting a long time ago. It felt like an obligation rather than something I looked forward to. She asked me if I really wanted to lead it anymore, and I finally fessed up and said "no". So at this Thursday's meeting I'm going to tell everyone that it is time for me to move on and that my last meeting that I'm going to chair will be March 31. Perhaps someone else will take the meeting over and if not then it will disban and who knows maybe another different meeting will happen. What I didn't realize is that I was denying myself growth. I was so focused on being committed that I didn't even realize that I wasn't getting what I needed for my own sobriety. I do like familiarity but that's not what I always need. I need to get out of the comfort zone, shake it up, go to new meetings, meet new people, and challenge myself. Maybe I've just outgrown my old "self". When I drank I hung out with different people, I did different things. Now I'm much more comfortable with myself and I want to celebrate my new found identity. Before, this idea would have terrified me but now it excites me. So it's time to reevaluate my meeting schedule and mix it up a bit, and maybe take a look at a few other areas in my life that could use a little shaking up. After all if we're not changing or evolving we're not living, and I have already spent enough time not doing that. So it's time to put on my big girl panties and head out the door......

Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness....

I'm not talking about the college basketball kind, just madness in general. This past week I heard nothing but tragedy and sadness. A young 28 year old taking their life, a schoolmate dying of cancer, the earthquake and sunami in Japan, people experiencing health and life altering circumstances, and finally at two of the AA meetings I attended people came in very drunk. What's going on? I there a full moon, a shift in the cosmic atmosphere that everything seems amiss? Or is it just March. Of all the months to me this is the longest and at times the crulest month. It's a transition between winter and spring, giving you the smallest bit of gratification that it can. People are depressed, moody, sullen, sick of winter, sick of life, tired, and drained. We need some hope. So yesterday I finally gave myself a peck talk and took my sorry butt out the door for a walk with my dog. A pure white dog+melting snow = a very dirty dog. However due to the fact the sun was out longer it was still very enjoyable. And apparently I'm not the only because many dogs and their owners were out walking. Trying to salvage some scrap of hope that winter will soon pass. And I did find such a sign. A small bare patch of grass. Although not green it was absolutely beautiful to my eyes. It's amazing how just a walk can change your attitude. Thank you HP. I guess I'm a little niave when it comes to AA. For me, I never would have thought going to a meeting drunk. The woman who came in last Monday night, and sat crying, and stewing in her pity pot, has been coming for ages. But she has a few things against her. One she feels she's better and unique (didn't we all at one time?) that she can do this on her own (so did I and look where that got me) and her ears are closed (we tend to not listen because we know everything already. So after we all listened to how bad her problems were my sponsor spoke. Now my sponsor had just lost a very dear friend to this disease so she was in no mood for a pity party. She laid it out very clearly. If you want to keep on drinking, go ahead. Go drink because you have it so bad, no one else has it as tough as you. This disease will kill you but you obviously don't care because people have reached out to you, but you know it all, you're a step above the rest of us...but wait the rest of us are sitting here sober, and you're drunk...could you be missing something? Then it was my turn to speak. And I'm a people pleaser, so I rarely come on strong, but I was tired after a long day and I wasn't going to let someone feel that their problems were any more heavy than the rest of the people around that table. I told her this was a program for grown ups, for people that want to take responsibility for their actions and that if she was serious, then it was time to put on the big girl panties and get to it. We freely give, but it you have no intentions of working the program, keep going out, and maybe someday when you've had enough you will begin to really want what we have. Another friend of mine wasn't so nice and laid it all on the line. It sucks to say things to someone like that. I hate hurting people but if this is a program of truth than we better grow thicker hides because the truth isn't pretty honey! At my Thursday night meeting a woman came in drunk. She had seven years of sobriety and thought she could handle a little controled drinking. That was over a year ago and now she was coming back through the door. She was humble and could barely talk. She didn't know where to go. As I was sitting down for the Saturday morning meeting I saw this woman standing quietly off by herself. I called her name, gave her a big smile and motioned for her to come sit by me. She was so glad to recognize someone. We talked about which meetings were good, and I recommended what I could. I hope she keeps coming back, and I also hope the first lady does too. But this is a program of work, there is no easier, softer, way...oh wait, yes
there is it's called drinking. It takes very little talent to be a drunk, just a williness to throw your life away so you don't have to live it or feel it. So by the end of the week all this March Madness was getting to me until I realized that these are times that will test me the most. Not when life is a bed of roses, but when it's filled with thorns. For when you feel that first spiney prick on your finger, and the pain sensor reaches your brain, its' called hope. Hope that you don't have to be a drunk, numb from your feelings and the world. That deep down inside there
s a fountain of emotions waiting to errupt as long as you have the courage to surrender.......