Miracles

52,624 hours, 2,193 days, 72.03 months …… 6 Years!

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.

Thanksgiving 2020 ūüćĀ

Thanksgiving looks a lot different this year due to Covid. Our Thanksgiving table will have 3 chairs instead of 14. We have zoomed with family members and have spent most of the day relaxing, watching TV and hopefully we will get a walk in.

I am happy to be with Steve and Kirsten. Allie is in Texas this year, but looking forward to her and Patrick coming home for a couple of weeks over the Christmas holiday.

We are all moved into our condo. A lot of our stuff is in the storage room and in the storage unit. It has been difficult to stuff everything from our big house into this smaller space. We have settled in the best we can amongst the clutter.

Our Thanksgiving dinner has been ordered from the neighborhood grocer. Turkey and all the trimmings. A lot of people I know are doing the same …. carry-out instead of cooking. It is just a weird and different kind of Thanksgiving.

I still have so much gratitude for what I have and the people I love. I am a blessed woman, I hope I will never take for granted all I have been giving. By the grace of God, I have my health, family, friends, home and sobriety in the midst of this crazy pandemic.

So even though Thanksgiving looks very different this year. I will count my blessings and I pray that you can find the gratitude I have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Crazy Days

Life is crazy and is getting crazier by the minute.

Moving is totally stressing me out. There just isn’t enough room or cabinet space for all our mountains of stuff. Sometimes I wonder why in the world we are doing this. I have to remember in the long run it will be good. I also wonder why do we have so much stuff still, when we got rid of so much. My whole body hurts, but we still have a lot to do before the movers come next week.

On a national level …. this election for President of the United States is a mess. So many different opinions and hatefulness for the other side. It is very disheartening. To have to board up your home and business because of the outcome of the election is so wrong. I really just don’t understand some people. I just hope that whoever ends up winning that there will be acceptance. You don’t have to agree, but we need to accept without going crazy mad. I have my opinion and a strong belief in that opinion and of course I hope my guy wins. Both of my girls are for the opposite and I have to let them have their own opinions. I am not going to hate or disown them as I have seen some do. I have heard it said if you vote for X, I don’t want anything to do with you …. what is that? I feel that this country is at a breaking point. Personally I hate confrontation, I just want everyone to be happy, joyous and free as we like to say in AA. All this violence and discord scares me.

Through all this my sobriety remains good. My sponsor just celebrated 30 years of being sober, which I can not fathom. A month from now I will have my 6 years. As far as my sponsees go, I am actively working with 3 women as of now. They all actually contact me and are working on the steps. So many have fallen by the wayside.

Well, I have to get back to the packing thing – the Tylenol has finally kicked in.

God Bless the USA!

To Be of Service

I have had a number of sponsees in recovery over the years. Some stay, some go back out, some move on to other sponsors. I am actively working with 4 ladies and sort of another and 2 are MIA. Regardless, I remain available to each and every one of them.

I recently got a new sponsee. Someone who has been in the program for a few years, wanted a change and really wants to put more effort in her recovery program. I am super excited to work with her. She did have 15 years before a relapse. We are on the same page about a lot of things. I think we can help and guide each other.

The same week I got a text from a sponsee that has been out “working on her lead”, who I had not heard from for at least a year +. She had had some consequences and was ready to give sobriety another try. We have just started working back on step 1. She is touching base every day and is definitely on that pink cloud of recovery. She seems ready, able and willing. I just need to get her to see the benefit of more meetings.

I have a coffee date planned with another sponsee later this week. This one does not go to meetings at all, but seems to be able to stay sober in spite of herself. I don’t her from her too often. Hopefully she will show up and I can catch up with how she is doing.

I have also had lunch and coffee dates recently with some program friends who needed an ear. I am happy to oblige.

Today I got to go to a friends house with a group of women in recovery to just sit outside and fellowship …. cookies and lemonade included. It was a wonderful afternoon with some ladies I don’t hang out with too often.

My husband asked me what I really wanted to do in this next chapter of our lives and I told him that I thought I was doing it …. at least part of it. I love my friends in recovery. And I really love being a sponsor and of service to others.

I am grateful that today friends can count on me. It feels good to be needed and helpful. This past week I have seen, helped, listened to someone in recovery each day. These women and men too are my life line. I have my tribe and I love each of them dearly.

Thank you God for using me to help others.

It’s a God thing

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.

5 Years Sober

I made it!!!!  A few days ago I got to celebrate 5 years of continuous sobriety.   It is by no small miracle that I can make this claim.   I came into recovery in 2007, with a lot of unwillingness to take the actions required to remain sober.   By the Grace of God, I kept coming back to the program of AA after each relapse.    I had to continue to pray for the willingness to be willing.   After 7 years of half measures, the willingness finally came.

One of the things that changed for me was finally getting honest with myself about my addiction issues, getting my side of the street cleaned up, following direction as well as being of service.¬† ¬†After my last relapse …. my sponsor told me to stop the “keep coming back” and just “stay!”¬† ¬† Just staying in the program, WOW, what a concept.¬† ¬†That one word had a great impact on my current progress in recovery.

I am truly blessed and grateful for the life I have to today and the people in it.    The fellowship of AA is my lifeline.    I have a wonderful group of women who are my biggest cheerleaders and best friends along with my loving husband.

I got my token last night at my favorite women’s meeting with a lot of my special friends in attendance.¬† ¬†That support, friendship and love is what it is all about.¬† ¬† The kind words from my sponsor were inspiring, the congratulations from friends, gifts and cards all made me feel good and like I am finally embracing this thing called sober living.¬† There were a few tears from those who have been with me since the beginning.¬† Everyone was truly happy for me and in my corner.¬† ¬†I was overwhelmed and humbled by all the celebration for sober me.¬† ¬† ¬†I do not necessarily like being the center of attention, but it was a wonderful evening with the meeting and a celebratory dinner with 12 close friends from my tribe.

On this day I am happy and grateful to be able to say I am in recovery.     Life is good, I hope and pray I can continue on this path.

 

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!

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!