Accidental Drink

I am coming up on 5 years of continuous sobriety … to be exact, I have 4.94 years, 59.37 months or 1,807 days clean and sober and I got served an alcoholic drink Saturday night at a restaurant.

I was out with my husband and some friends and ordered my usual club soda and cranberry, but ….. it came with vodka (a lot of vodka)  Not knowing this, I took a really big sip of my drink and OMG.  I immediately felt that warm and fuzzy feeling.   That feeling that makes us want to drink more.    It would have been easy to continue to drink it, but my immediate reflex was to recoil from it as if it were a hot flame, like it says in the AA big book.  (Wow is that me, sort of quoting the big book!)

I will not lie, after just taking that one gulp … I have had some obsessive thoughts about drinking.  It is amazing how fast your head can get crazy with just one taste of alcohol.  You see I liked the taste of alcohol,   I liked the way it made me feel. With that one drink, I remembered all the wonderful things about why I liked alcohol and the way it made me feel invincible.    But all I have to do is play that tape all the way through and remember in the end how it really made me feel along with the pills and how it could have destroyed me.   The thing is, a few days later, I can still remember that taste of vodka in my drink with just that one big sip.    But I am in recovery and I have to remember I am in recovery and how good my life is today; mentally, physically and spiritually.  I am grateful that the urge to drink didn’t take over and that I have my tools to get through this.   It is not totally over yet, but I will get through this and in 20 days I will, by the grace of God,  have made it to 5 years!

Control Freak

It is that time of year when the weather starts getting cooler and the leaves are changing color ….. the best part of fall though is Halloween!

Being on the board at our local recovery club, my position is all things social. Last night was our annual Halloween Party …. The Monster Mash Chili Bash.  I am proud of the parties and activities that have taken place in the last 18 months since I have been planning social activities.   Before our club didn’t do much, but now we support many fun activities.   I have planned parties, a picnic, and a night watching our local baseball team among other things.

I can not take all the credit, I have a great committee that is ever evolving.    I have never been a leader, but this is now all under my direction.  I have taken control, doing most of the planning, foot work and gathering of supplies.   I am a control freak by nature ….. I want things to be a certain way, and I certainly want to control outcomes.   The definition of control: The power to influence or direct peoples behavior or the course of events.  Not having control causes me a good amount of anxiety (and not just with party planning).

This last party, I let go of some of the control and let other members take the reins.  While some things might not have been done the way I would have done them, it was all ok.   I had less work to do and more help and those other members felt valued.   That is a win all around.    It was a growth opportunity for me to let go of some of that control.    I still had anxiety, worried that everything wouldn’t be perfect and that people would not have a good time.   You know what … people really don’t expect perfect.  I have to know that I can not control whether or not they have fun or not.   I have to remember that I can not control the outcome, that I can only do the footwork.

No one really has control, we have to Let Go and Let God!

 

Freedom to Choose

I was at a twelve step meeting the other day …. I forget the topic, but we were reading from “As Bill Sees It, The AA way of Life” and we read a passage on the Freedom to Choose and it really got me to thinking more about the choices we have in life.

When I talked with my sponsor (in the past) about really wanting to drink or other things with a possible negative outcome, she would always tell me in part that the choice was mine.    I didn’t like that or understand it, but now I do.   In the past while in active addiction, I really didn’t have a choice.  Sober,  I always have the choice to do what is right or to do what is wrong.   My journey, my choice.

In the “As Bill Sees It” reading it says:   “Looking back, we see that our freedom to choose badly was not, after all, a very real freedom.    When we chose because we must this was not a free choice either, But it got us started in the right direction.   When we chose because we ought to , we were really doing better.  This time we were earning some freedom, making ourselves ready for more.   But when, now and then, we could gladly make right choices without rebellion, hold-out, or conflict, then we had our first view of what perfect freedom under God’s will could be like.”

For awhile I felt trapped into being sober, like I had no choice because of my commitment to my sponsees and my position on the board at our local meeting club.   In reality I chose to do things to help keep me in line and to keep me sober and doing the next right thing.    I always have the choice to give up those things and return to a life a despair.     My journey, my choice.

Today, I like the choices I have made in staying sober and my commitment to helping others.   My life, my family, my friends are all better because of the choices I have made in the past several years.

Today I choose to be sober …. Happy, Joyous and Free!

And the Point Is …..?

Does anyone ever really think ….. What is the point?

I often ponder why I was put on this earth and what I am supposed to accomplish.   It is a heavy question and a burden.

I know I am supposed to be a good person of faith, love and compassion.   But is there more?    Was I put on this earth to suffer with my disease of Ulcerative Colitis, addiction, depression and anxiety so I could help and be of service to others?   Surely I didn’t go through those things for no reason …. the outcome of those issues is that I am a stronger more compassionate understanding individual.  Maybe it is all to help me grow into the person that I am supposed to be.   I don’t know.

For awhile I thought my purpose was to be a Mom and it was, but my children are grown and on their own now.   Yes, I am still their Mother, but in a different capacity.

Maybe there is no point after all and it is just life and then we die.

But I have to believe there has to be a purpose to this journey here on earth or there wouldn’t be a point to be here and to participate in this life.

I often pray to know God’s will for me and the only thing that I know for sure is that He wants me to be Sober and of Service …. maybe that is the point and the only point and I  have to let that be enough, but is it enough?

 

Resentment

I have a resentment.   A resentment against a family member and it is eating me alive.   I am not sure if the situation is real or perceived, nonetheless I have these feelings of anger and resentment toward this person … well, actually persons.

It doesn’t matter the situation or the particulars.

I don’t like conflict and I am more of a passive – aggressive type and we know this doesn’t do anybody any good.

What do they say about the alcoholic and resentments…. The big book states on page 66,  “It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.  If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.”

I know I need to put my big girl panties on and confront the situation, no matter how difficult that may be for me. For my sake and the sake of my sanity as well as the foundation of my family this must be dealt with…. maybe tomorrow.

 

Amends

I have been around recovery for many years …. I first got sober in 2007, with many relapses under my belt I have 4.5 years of continuous sobriety.   Working the steps is important when you first get sober and continuing to not only work them but live them as you stay sober is just as important.  When I first attempted to get sober living the steps, I did not do.

I recently made an amends that crept up in my mind a couple months ago.   They say more will be reveled as you go through recovery and it is true.   This was something I had not thought of in many years.   It came to me while working steps 8 and 9 with a sponsee and then again as I helped a friend through a difficult situation at home.    After a couple of months of struggling with this thought I knew I had to follow my heart and talk to my friend who I needed to make amends to.   It was quick and easy as it was not a broken relationship as we were and are still friends.   We talked and I realized even more how much this friend helped me through my dark times and I am forever grateful for her.  She remembered clearly some of my craziness that I had no recollection of.    I am sorry that I took her too far into my wrong doings.

It felt good to make this amends, even though like I said, it was something that eluded me for many years.   I think Gods timing is good and things are reveled as they need to or are able to be dealt with.

Making amends is good for the soul!

No Hangover

We went to a concert the other night at a small outside venue.   It was a great show.  what I noticed though was the very long lines at every beer / wine stand.   The world drinks and I don’t and sometimes that is a lonely place.

On the way out an older lady needed help out to the car, flanked on both sides by friends…. she was wasted.   My thoughts went to several places.  I felt pity for her, sad actually.  I also felt a tinge of jealousy.   She obviously had a lot more fun than I did at the show.   While I enjoyed myself, it is hard for me to let loose under any circumstance.

When I was drinking I was fun, the life of the party.   Sober, I don’t think I am as fun.  I still get social anxiety with no drink or pill to calm it.  But I didn’t always drink like other people drank and normal drinkers don’t obsess about the drink and where and when the next one is coming.   Normals can sip the wine and make 1 glass last awhile, I couldn’t.

The more I thought about it, especially the next day, I was grateful to be sober.   That drunk lady was probably pretty sick.   I felt great and got to enjoy a wonderful day with my AA sponsorship family at the park.

No hangover for me.

Podcast

I have been getting a little out of  my comfort zone lately.   The biggest thing that I did was today, I was interviewed about my recovery story and my thoughts on addiction for a podcast.    I have decided being totally anonymous really isn’t helping anyone.  I do have this blog where I discuss my issues with addictions, but doing this podcast takes it to a whole new level.   I was really nervous about doing this and sounding like a dork, but luckily I get to hear the final edit before it posts.  I really hope it turned out well and that it will resinate with someone who listens.  Being uncomfortable for a minute is worth it if it helps someone.

Turns out it wasn’t so bad doing it after we got started.   It was just like talking to a friend.  I did stumble some but hopefully that will be taken care of in editing.  I am anxious to hear how it turned out and totally trusting my interviewer, Nick.

Nick has a great website called Open Discussion Movement and I think you should check it out at https://ODMovement.com.   A lot of great stuff on addiction issues and he has a wide range of guests on his podcast with different experiences with addiction.

Getting out of your comfort zone every now and then feels good.   It is definitely a growth experience.    My sponsor told me just the other day how much I was growing and changing … and that  my friend is a good thing.

Reunion

I graduated from college in 1989 …. 30 years ago.    It seems like a life time ago.   I went to Ohio University in Athens Ohio and have very found memories of my time there.   I was in a sorority and thanks to Facebook, they are planning a reunion in Chicago in September.

I would like to see some of the girls from the sorority and I am sure I could have some fun, but I am an alcoholic / addict and it looks like it is going to be a party time weekend.  Why wouldn’t it be?   Your average person doesn’t have a substance abuse problem.   I don’t really want to disclose my personal business to this group of people, I am really not close to any of them at this time in my life.  I think all I need to know about these “friends” I learn from Facebook.

One of the events is a mini pub crawl …. the Court Street Shuffle (going to all the bars for a drink in one night and there were many) is a staple OU activity.  It doesn’t really sound like a fun way to spend an evening to this addict.  I am pretty sure if I go I will either be miserable or I will drink, neither of which sound fun.   So why am I so conflicted about this?   I think I am feeling left out because I know I can’t do certain things.   If this event were in Athens I could go up for a day, but going to Chicago is a commitment and I would be stuck.   I know it is a choice … I can go or I can not go, up to me.   I just know it is not in my best interest to put myself in that situation, but I don’t want to miss out – conflicted!

College and the sorority were some great times, I would love to be able to relive some of that with the girls I shared my life with for 3 – 4 years.  But if I want to stay sober the answer is obvious and I don’t like it!

Meet Ollie

IMG_6111So this happened this weekend …. my husband and I were bored and took a trip to the local animal shelter, the next day we brought our new 8 week old little boy puppy home.  Crazy?, yes!  But we couldn’t resist.   We think his name will be Ollie.   We have tried out several names and this is the one that seems to fit the best, at least so far.

Our current dog is getting on in years and we have been toying with the idea for awhile, but not seriously and we were wanting an older dog, not a puppy.   Funny how things work out.   Our older dog, Sadie, is not overly thrilled with this new addition.  Hopefully in time she will grow to love him as we do.   Right now she is totally trying to avoid him.

Spring/Summer will be the perfect time to get this puppy trained.   I am not working and Steve is in between jobs and taking the summer off to really explore different opportunities and what he wants to do with the rest of his life.    We are blessed that we have the means to let him do this and the chance to spend some fun time together.

It is a crazy world we live in …. you never know what is going to happen when you wake up in the morning.