Tomorrow, December 2nd, I will celebrate 8 years of continuous sobriety. Each year, month, day, hour and minute is a miracle. It has been hard fought at times to get to this point. I am ever so blessed to where I am and the life I have today. Is it perfect …. hell no, but I am grateful. I plan to be with my sponsor on Sunday to receive my official 8 year token. I always reflect this time of year with Thanksgiving, My sober anniversary and the Christmas Season. I have been given a second chance that many do not have and I have so many friends in the fellowship, Doctors, therapists and of course my family to thank for it.
Now that December is officially here the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season is ever apparent. I love the holidays, but at the same time it overly stresses me out. So many parties and gatherings and I usually feel like I have to go to them all. Nope! Not doing it all this year. I have declined several sober dinners and get togethers (and those are my people). I have a couple of work parties with the business and a neighborhood party I will show up at for as long as I feel comfortable. A friend of mine that I was discussing all this with said she has noticed that I have pulled away from a lot of these things since my sponsee, Kerry, committed suicide. It is probably true. She also said it was good that I do what I feel I need to do or not to do for me. I appreciated that and it sort of made it ok to say no.
Allie and Patrick will be home for Christmas on 12/17. We will make our traditional Christmas dinner on 12/22, Pat’s family will be joining us in our home 12/23-12/25. We will do my family’s Christmas celebration later on the 25th. Allie and Pat leave the 27th or 28th and then Kirsten’s 5 college friends come on the 28th to stay with us for a couple of days before moving on to Cincinnati for NYE. It is going to be a couple of weeks of chaos! It will be fun, but chaotic. Home is my safe haven and there will be no escaping.
I have done a lot of shopping, probably over shopping to control my anxiety. It could be another addiction. I swore it was going to be a small Christmas, I am not sure who I was fooling.
So stress is the name of the game for December. I am though proud of my sober accomplishments.
The house is quiet and it gives me time to reflect. I have had some ups and downs, but I have so much to be Thankful for. We will gather tomorrow with family at my brother’s house ….. 14 of us. Allie and Pat will be home for a couple of weeks at Christmas time, so I will be missing them. This time of year I like to tell the people who have made a difference in my life how much they mean and how they have helped me overcome. Mostly my recovery sisters, but also some special friends received a I am Thankful for You letter in the mail.
I have been thinking a lot about where I have been and where I am at now. I am scheduled to give my lead at the AA meeting on Sunday. It has been about 1.5 years since I have done this. The more I try to organize my thoughts, the more anxious and flustered I get. I am just going to have to “let go and let God” speak through me. In the past I would write everything down, sometimes I would use the notes, sometimes just a glance at them. It was more a control issue …. being in control and knowing what I am going to say. Last time, it was short notice and I did not have time to prepare. I just told my story and it worked out beautifully. I am going to try it again this way, but right now my thoughts are all jumbled. I was hoping since it was Thanksgiving weekend, the crowd would be smaller, but I have a feeling the opposite will be true. I am nervous. My mom wanted to come, since I don’t always share with her all the gorey details, but I am not ready for that yet.
I am also about 8 days away from my 7 year sobriety anniversary, which is also cause for reflection. 7 years is a big deal. I first went to treatment in 2007 and it took me 7 years to finally surrender and admit to my innermost self that I had a problem. My sober day is 12/2/14. I will get my token on the following Sunday from my sponsor.
Sometimes life does suck, but as one of my AA friends says …. “You sometimes have to embrace the suck”. But really despite the crappy days, life is good. I love life sober. I love the fellowship I belong to. I am grateful for all I have and my wonderful family and friends.
By the grace of my God and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous I have 6 years of continuous sobriety today. I am grateful I did not quit before the miracle happened, because yes …. it is a miracle.
I started this journey in a treatment center in 2007. For years I felt I was defined by all my relapses and inability to stay sober. That is one reason each additional year is a miracle ….. each day is a miracle.
It took a long time for the drink and pill obsession to leave me. I spent a lot of time white knuckling this sobriety thing. I believe all the difficulties and relapses taught me what I needed to know to become the person I am grateful to be today. Is life perfect? Definitely not! I do know today how to handle the things that used to baffle me. I have tools to help me navigate this life and all its challenges.
2020 has been a particularly challenging year with Covid, quarantine, all the political crap and social unrest along with my personal anxieties and issues. AA meetings are different. The world is different. My tribe in the AA fellowship have remained tried and true. I may not get to see them as often or give hugs, but there is still something special and unwavering about the fellowship.
I am happy and blessed regardless of the adversity and difficulties of this year.
December 2nd is just another sober day. It may be 6 years today, but it is just one day at a time …. 24 hours at a time.
Breast biopsy can back normal ….. what a great relief that was!!! My family Dr. was awesome and got the news to me bright and early via MyChart so it was great news to wake up to after a somewhat sleepless night.
I have to admit the procedure was not as bad as my imagination let me to believe it would be. The Dr and the tech who took the biopsy etc, were very kind and wonderful. I was a little sore, but really had no side effects. I am thinking that the procedure was more tolerable because of the drugs – I didn’t get my favorite (Xanax), but did get a prescription for Valium. 10 mg before the procedure and all was well. I still have one 5 mg tablet riding around in purse. What I will do with it, not sure. I am an addict – it is very difficult for me to just throw it out. But one pill will do nothing for me except ignite my craving. I am too far along in my sobriety journey to do something stupid.
I didn’t tell many, but didn’t really keep it a secret … I just don’t like people to worry about me (especially when it turns out to be nothing). But the prayers, care and concern by those who did know somewhat helped to calm my anxieties. Talking with my sponsor and my therapist were a tremendous help
It is crazy were your mind can go. Mine went to; I am not ready to die. This is interesting coming from someone who at one time wanted nothing more than to die. In my prayers, I found comfort and was ready for whatever the results of the test may be. I knew in my heart that I am not done here yet.
One the subject of addiction and death, one of the younger girls that has been attending our women’s meeting for the last month or so O’D on heroin. It is really sad. One of my dear friends was her sponsor and she is beside herself. Molly, was her name and she was supposed to get her 6 month token on the day she died. Addiction and alcoholism can be a fatal disease (as can breast cancer). It is cunning, baffling and powerful. I have been thinking of my own mortality with the biopsy and the death of Molly.
Life is fragile and I have learned we should not take it for granted and I hope that I never do.
Like I said in my last post, I was to give my lead (my addiction journey) at my Sunday AA meeting. Well ….. I am proud to say I did it!
I was surprisingly calm. I am usually a basket case before a lead. I didn’t have the time to worry about it with only 1 days notice. I usually would have not accepted a last minute offer or I would have spent the 4th of July at home practicing and writing instead of enjoying the holiday. I was not a bit nervous and had no anxiety. Very strange for someone like me who is an anxious person to begin with.
In the past, I would practice practice practice, make notes and write down word for word what I wanted to say. This time I decided it was time to let go of the control and give it over to God. Just letting go of the outcome had a peaceful affect on me. I like to be in control. Letting it go is not my usual way.
I have been doing much better of giving over control of other things as well. There is an upcoming picnic for our club, planned by my social committee. I have given over control and am letting others help. Things may not match perfectly, the cake not be decorated as I would have chosen and I am letting folks bring whatever they choose. I like things to be a certain way when I am planning something. Life as we know it will not end if things aren’t perfect, in fact I will probably be the only one to notice.
Back to my story or as we call call it my lead ….. it came off well. People in the rooms laughed with me when appropriate, they listened with open ears and the comments afterwords were encouraging. I talked for approximately 40 minutes with no notes, no practice and no idea of what I was going to say. I let God have control over my words and it worked. It took away the fear and anxiety and I just spoke from my heart. When it was over, I was not sure exactly what I said, but all the feedback was quite positive and it felt good. I felt relieved that I could get out of my comfort zone and do this. Who knows now what I will be able to do next.
It has taken me years to loosen the reigns of control especially in giving a lead. I have given several during my 13 years in the program, but not once I have let go until this last time. I know I am finally making progress, I am learning more about myself and I am trusting the process. All good stuff.
So instead of just saying the words; Let Go and Let Go, I have to practice what I preach!
Well I must admit, I have been a little gloomy lately and for no apparent reason or maybe a lot of reasons. My life is good and for some reason I was getting a bad case of the F-its and that is fuck everything including my recovery. I was just sick and tired of it all including my AA meetings and the club which I usually love and just bored with my life in general. So what does one do … I was starting to skimp on my meetings and reaching out. I preferred to just sit home on my pity pot. I cancelled my workout trainer, I did not go to volunteer and blew off friends. To begin to isolate is never a good sign, at least for me.
I spent a Saturday night last week with some (non alcoholic) friends. We sat at a bar at a wine restaurant for 3 hours, it seemed harmless at the time, but in reality it might have been a trigger for the desire to take a drink and a bout on that pity pot. Watching the bartender sling drink after drink especially lots of wines was difficult, but at this point in my sobriety should have been harmless as it usually does not bother me. My state of mind was not spiritually fit at the time and it probably was not a good choice.
Thank God, I have a strong recovery and that I am connected to the program and the club even when I don’t want to be. It saved me. It has been a difficult week. My God always has my back though and is consistently doing for me what I can not do for myself. I begrudgingly went to a meeting and lo and behold I got a new sponsee. Just the thing I needed to get out of myself. Service work always keeps me sober! Starting to the work the steps from the beginning with a newcomer and getting back into the big book will be good for me. My other sponsees ….. well lets see; One is currently out drinking, and one doesn’t go to many meetings, another has been procrastinating on step 3, and one is working a program. None call me. So getting a new girl to start fresh puts some life back into my program. I will be picking up my meetings again to see her, be accountable and to set a good example to my new sponsee and for my own sanity. I really do know what I need and what I need to do.
Saturday night this week, I had a group of sober girlfriends over for a game night while my husband was out of town. At first I was a little put out that I had planned this and just wasn’t feeling it, I just wanted to sit home alone. But again, it was just what I needed when I needed it. There were about 10 of us and we laughed until we peed our pants, ate, drank (no alcohol of course) and were merry. Hanging with my peeps was just what my soul needed.
I am going to shake this gloominess off and get on with my life and listen to my God’s will for me. I don’t always know what God’s will is, but I do know it is to be sober, be of service and to be happy, joyous and free!
I thank God for my sobriety and for doing for me what I sometimes can not do for myself.