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 🍁

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!

Sadie ❤️

I really don’t know how to write this ….. tonight will be the last night my sadie girls sleeps on this earth, in her bed, in our room. The last night we will hear her loud snores as she sleeps. We have the appointment with the vet to put her down tomorrow.

It gives me comfort to know that she has had a good life. She has been a wonderful pet and part of our family for the last 13 years. She is feeling her age and her arthritis is getting worse. We had a quality of life appointment with the vet last week. He told us winter would be unbearable for her and this move would take its toll on her as well. It was a hard decision to make. She still has some good days and a happy face, but we know she is in pain and her quality of life is diminishing fast.

So in the midst of moving (the movers will be her in 3 days), we find ourselves loving on our Sadie Belle a little more. I wonder what she is thinking with all this packing going on and the attention she is getting. Does she know? I have stocked up on McDonald’s cheeseburgers and am feeding her what she likes, whenever she wants it.

My Murphy and Pepper dogs died on their own. I have never had an appointment to put one of my dogs down. It seems so odd to me to have an appointment for death. It is very sad to think that tomorrow at this time she will no longer be with us.

Sadie my sweet girl, with tears in my eyes I write this …. I love you, you have been a wonderful pup.

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!

Moving Along

My life is in disarray!

The house sold in 3 days. We had the condo we put money down on, but got freaked out that it might be too small for the duration. We looked at a house and put an offer in but we could not come to terms. Found another condo and its perfect for what we need … and that is where we will be resting out heads for the time being. It is a main level with a walk out lower level with a lot more space than the original condo. Only down side is we lost our money that we put down on the first condo – breach of contract. We are closing on the condo next Friday 10/30. It has been a whirlwind. Lots of anxiety and uncertainty.

My house is half packed up and half livable. We are doing a little bit every day – seems like we are always going for more boxes. We certainly have a lot of stuff and a lot to do! Movers are scheduled for 11/12 so we can get the condo ready and move some things ourselves.

In the midst of all we have going on, tonight we (Steve and I) are having dinner with my long lost friend. The one that I recently reconnected with over lunch and her husband. I am feeling a little anxious about this. We were a fun foursome and we loved to drink. They have no idea about my addiction problem and I don’t plan on telling them. The drinking situation could be tricky and I am not sure how I am going to react … I am sure there will be questions . A drink would help me relax in this situation – we all know though how that would end, so I am not even going there! I have been craving a drink lately, maybe it is all the anxiety, I am not sure. Better than a drink though, I think would be some Xanax. But that is not going to happen either. I still think I have that one Valium in my purse.

Best news is that Allie is coming home next week to see her childhood home one more time, to help us pack and just visit. I am really happy she is coming. It will be nice to have a full house for a few days.

And those who are wondering about the Whole30 Diet. I am totally off that bandwagon, but need to get back on some type of diet and exercise program – I have gone to the other extreme since the Whole30 thing. The key I know is moderation and food choices. With all the moving stress, I haven’t been doing it. But I gotta get my head in the game and just do it!

That is it ….. The Life and Times of Me.

House on the Market

Yes our house officially for sale. It is a crazy time for the housing market. It has been very stressful getting everything cleaned up and ready pre market and now we have to keep it that, which is not always easy. God love our relators who have helped us clean up in a pinch.

Our house was listed Wednesday night for Thursday showings. On Thursday we had 9 showings, on Friday: 8. Saturday only 1 and Sunday 3. We have a pending offer and waiting for a couple more that are supposed to be coming later today (Sunday). We are still showing until we have a concrete offer.

The pain is having to take our old overweight dog and our hyper puppy who gets car sick out of the house for hours on end. We have hung out with my Mom and Tom for a few hours on Thursday and Friday. Went to a friends house with a fenced in backyard, took a trip to the dog park, went on a hike and even hung out with the dogs at the AA club after a meeting while decorating for fall. The poor dogs are so confused.

So when this house sells we will be moving into a condo for 18-24 months while waiting to build. We are going from 5500 to 1700 square feet and 1.5 acres to nothing. It is going to be a big adjustment for everyone including Ollie Pup. There should be lots to write about as we all adjust.

My anxiety has been very high during this process. I have needed a little boost in my anxiety meds. I do still have that 1 Valium hanging out in my purse. But that is a controlled substance and to even take that 1 pill would be a relapse. Not really sure why I am still hanging on to it, sometimes I even forget about it.

It has been an interesting process and I am looking forward to getting an offer so we can move on to the next phase ….. packing it all up. My current closet is 12 X 14 and we will be moving into something way smaller. What will I leave behind? My current closet is almost the same size as the condo master bedroom. Yes, it will be big adjustment!

Life and Death

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.

Living Life on Life’s Terms

Life sure has gotten busy and interesting.

Most pressing in this thing called life is that I have to have a breast biopsy. I had a diagnostic mammogram that showed changes in a small area that they want a closer look at. It is so small I am amazed they detected it. Not looking forward to this procedure to say the least, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I go on Tuesday next week. What I am most concerned with is laying on my stomach for an hour + with my left breast hanging out. The nurse that scheduled this said I might need to talk to my Dr. about something for stress and anxiety for the procedure. My ears sure did perk up. Here is the possible chance for my favorite drug …. Xanax! You can be sure that I will call the Dr. tomorrow to see what they can do. As a side note I have taken Xanax as prescribed for procedures since my addiction issues. I am not going to lie, the idea of the possibility of getting to take Xanax excites me. I am a pill addict after all. Of course I will talk to my sponsor and do what I am supposed to do if the situation arises. My sponsor, Ann, has been through this and breast cancer so I know she is someone I can count on. She has already sweetly offered to go with me for the biopsy. I really don’t know what to think about this whole thing. I do think about the what ifs, but I also try to remember that it could be nothing. I also know that I can handle just about anything with my support system.

We have decided to put our current house on the market to sell. We have found some land nearby to build on, but it is going to be a long process. The development has not been started yet. We decided to strike while the housing market was hot and go ahead and list the house now. We have lived in this house for 19 years. Saying we have a lot of stuff is an understatement. Each day we have been busy getting this house in order. I think we have everything just about scheduled that needs to be done. We hope to be market ready in the next two weeks. Now if we could just get the painter to call us back we will be in good shape. It feels good to go through everything and purge. It has also been heartwarming to go down memory lane as we box things up. We have taken many trips to Goodwill and have ordered a dumpster to dispose of a lot of things. We are looking at buying a condo for the interim. It will be at least a year if not longer. I can’t believe we are actually doing this, we have been talking about it for a long while.

My writing course has started off well. I have gotten some great feedback. I feel like I am getting a little bit behind with all this house and health stuff. I really want to make sure I do this course right and get something out of it.

Last but not least the sponsees are keeping me busy. One went out on a drinking binge, but is now back at wanting to be sober. Thing is she doesn’t have “time” for meetings. Two of my girls are really working the program and I see them often. The other has been having some health issues so our step work was put on hold, but I think she is ready to get back to it. Then there is the lady who only reaches out every once in a blue moon, I have not idea how she is doing at the moment.

I definitely can’t say I am bored. Health, house, writing and recovery seems to be all I have time for. Sometimes I don’t know whether I am coming or going. All I can do is just take a deep breath and live the best life I can live ….. one day at a time.

Writing

I decided to take my writing to the next level. I enrolled in an online writing course ….. Getting Started in Writing. It starts tomorrow and I hope I know what I am doing. I enjoy writing, but sometimes I believe I have gotten in over my head, even with this blog. I thought with this online course it was best to start at the beginning, and that is what I am doing.

I have recently sent some personal essays and poetry in to various writing contests where I know I am in over my head. I have no expectations, but was encouraged to do so, so why not? I figured you gotta start somewhere. I am looking to extend myself as I continue looking for purpose.

I always have enjoyed writing and as a child I dreamed of writing a book. I always kept journals when I was a kid and through adulthood. I remember as I kid I snatached a book from the library on how to be a published writer. What was I thinking? Today, as an adult, I am very self-conscious about my writing. I never think I am good enough and I have no experience. I do have volumes of journals about growing up in the 80’s and my struggles with addiction as an adult. I have saved notes written between friends in middle school and high school. I have a lot of material to work with. I just need some advanced writing skills.

This writing class I am about to embark on will tell me what my next step will be in this writing adventure. If nothing else it will maybe help me with writing this blog (but that is its own course and one I may take later).

So as I take this writing thing hopefully to the next level …. keep reading and wish me luck!

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.