MONEY $

I got a message the other day from a lady I used to sort of sponsor. She never really embraced the AA recovery route. She wanted to talk and had a question for me. Well, we know where this is going, right?

She had called a few weeks back just to check in and give me an update on her life. She seems to be doing well. She called at the perfect time as I was feeling low and like I had no purpose in life. She told me how much I have helped her and that I am always there for her and for that she is grateful ….. wow, wasn’t expecting that, but it made me feel good. We ended the call with the promise to get together to further the conversation. She is sober and taking another route to sobriety. I know everyone has their own journey, some can do it without a twelve step program, I am not one of those people.

We aren’t really friends, I think of us as more like acquaintances and maybe from her point of view I am a little bit like a mentor. But I rarely hear from her. We met from a mutual friend, and my goal was to help her get sober.

Fast forward to this week when I got the text ….. “I have a question, can you call me” As soon as she opened her mouth and started talking I knew where this conversation was going. It is always so awkward when some comes right out and asks for money. I have loaned money or I should say given money to an “acquaintance” friend in the program and got burned. I have also loaned money to a great friend in the program with no problems. The thing is, I feel guilty not helping out. I have money. But I don’t have the trust in this person and that there is the difference. She is not my friend and I feel a little used and angry.

I don’t know why I have so many mixed emotions about this. I can not be the bank for those in need this way. I do donate money and time to organizations that I believe in. We have worked hard to get to the place we are in life. I am grateful to have what I have and to be able to do the things we do. I won’t mention the fact that my husband would not be happy if I loaned money to another miscellaneous friend. He is okay with the loans I have given my real friend, as she is his friend too.

I have got to know I did the right thing, and move on. What are your thoughts?

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!

Letting Go

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!

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!

Now What ……

I am sitting here on my beautiful back patio enjoying a the warming weather of spring.  Just thinking and letting my mind wander.    My life is good … on the outside.  No seriously it is good and I feel guilty for not been happy and joyous.   It has been about a year since I have quit working and I am still trying to find myself.   I volunteer, work with my sponsees go to AA meetings, see my trainer and hang out with friends and family.  What is there not to love about this life.   I just don’t know, I need more purpose.   I am feeling what is the point of all this life stuff and know there has to be one.

My therapist suggests that maybe taking a class would help keep my mind busy so I am thinking about what I want to do.   I do enjoy learning and a class would give me something to focus on … but what?    I am researching online courses and it is overwhelming.   I did find an inexpensive site with a lot of options of work at your own pace classes which might be a good place to start, I could just dabble in something and see if it goes anywhere.    Steve and I are also contemplating a yoga class – which could be helpful with our anxiety and stress and overall lack of flexibility.   I am starting a bible study class this week so that is something too.   There is also a “class” of sorts I want to take about breaking the barriers to exercise, diet and health (since I have done very little in that arena as well).  I have got to do something more with myself.  I have  just got to get up and do it!

So obviously I am still in this funk.   I am not sure what it is about, but it is making me crazy.   I just don’t want to feel this way and it does make for some crappy days.  I don’t want to drink and/or drug, but it would sure take the edge off.   I just have so much to loose if I choose to go that route.   Like I said before, I have some great friends in recovery that I love with all my heart and I do not want to loose that.   I also (usually) enjoy working with others in the program.

I guess I just have to feel the feels and keep acting like life is as good as it is, because I am sure it will be again soon.   I just seem to cycle through these down and anxious periods.  I really am blessed and grateful, I know I have it good.    Lets just be Happy, Joyous and Free.