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.
Happy Thanksgiving ….. Be Grateful!
The halloween party was fantastic. We had such a great turn out and a lot of creative costumes and yummy chili. Of course some things weren’t as I would have them, but it was okay. I am still learning to let go of control. I would love to post pictures, but it is an anonymous program.
So many things in life our out of our control. I want control, I want to be able to take care of those I love and i want to fix things and make life better. I have to remember that serenity prayer for acceptance, courage and wisdom.
I have a sponsee, my very first. We started working together about 6 years ago. I was just over 1 year sober myself. She reminded me of myself in terms of having a hard time staying sober. We had a lot of friends in common and just clicked. She moved, we tried to stay in touch some, but we all know how that goes. She has always though held a special place in my heart. She is a lovely person.
She recently came home to live with her parents. She had to leave everything behind. Even her 11 year old twins. She was in a domestic violence situation. Her story is like so many others that we hear of, one of control, manipulation and violence . The kids are okay and she sees them a couple of times a week and talks to them daily, but they are 2 hours away in another state and they want their mother.
Her (husband) has been planning, controlling and running the show for years. He has documented her alcoholism and the psychotic break she had when she could no longer take the abuse. He is trying to paint the picture of an unfit mother. She is anything but. His actions have destroyed this lovely lady.
My friend is broken. She is void of happiness and life. She has no self worth, she is depressed, she is isolating, she is scared. She is currently sober despite everything. We met the other day at my house. I just needed her to get out and she needed reassurance that she was okay. We talked, we cried. My heart is broken for her and her kids. I want to control the outcome of this, I want to fix this for her, but there is nothing I can do except, I can be a friend, I can love her, I can pray for her and I can listen. I want to be able to do more. But this has to just play out. She only has supervised visitation with her children at this point because of the ugly picture her (husband) has painted. They meet at the end of the month in court for unsupervised visits and the custody hearing is not until next June. A year after she fled the abuse. She doesn’t think she can last that long in the current climate of things.
I needed to write this. I am trying to process. I can’t imagine how she is trying to process. I am afraid for her. Her children are her life and without them she has no will. It is hard for me to imagine someone that is supposed to love you to do the things he has done to her. I can see her desperation and despair. Her eyes show it. The thing I did tell her is that I still see a spark and we have to use that spark to fight. I will be with her every step of the way. I am grateful she has a loving parents who are helping her and taking care of her. She is getting outside help, but nothing seems like enough.
I have no control in this situation. My friend doesn’t have much control at this time either. The (husband) holds the cards and I can only pray that that will change in time. The children have seen some of the abuse and are witnesses to the truth. God please help this woman and her kids and help me to have the right words to comfort and support her.
My heart is shattered.
Day 3 of life in our new home. It is utter chaos at the moment. It really is a daunting task to find a place for everything in a new space. I am sure we will arrange and rearrange several more times before we are satisfied. We are finding things we forgot we had as a lot was packed away in storage the past 6 months.
I do love this new house and the neighborhood. The neighbors met so far have been over the top nice and welcoming. It is odd though being further away from all my places and people. I am sure it will take some getting used to and all will be fine.
Unpacking is interesting. Wondering why some things were kept in the first place and so many boxes to still open. Each one a surprise (even with the labeling). I did have an interesting find ….. old narcotic prescriptions. One for Steve and one that was mine. Like from 2017 and 2019, but that doesn’t matter. It sure did make this addict’s brain go there. It makes me wonder if there will ever be a time that I won’t be tempted by such find. They probably aren’t even good anymore since they are so old. But I did tell I found them …. to my sponsor and therapist. But I did keep them in the basket I found them in and then found a home for it. Maybe I will get rid of them and maybe I won’t. I don’t know why I feel the need to keep things like that. I still have that 1 left over Valium from my breast biopsy last September in my purse. Not that one will do me any good. It is weird. I guess I like knowing I have the choice and that I am in charge of what I do. Or maybe I just like white knuckling my recovery. Either way I know it is crazy thinking.
One of my friends from the AA program, who lives 2 doors down, is making the family dinner tonight and another neighbor brought us over a welcome to the neighborhood homemade coffee cake. There is still so much to do and so many new things to get used to. But I think I am going to like it here!
It’s Friday, Day #25 of my Noom change in eating adventure. I think I have lost 5 lbs so far. The damn scale keeps fluctuating and I get discourage very easily. I am eating so much better and less calories. Am I doing perfectly, uh that is a big NO! I like food and don’t love vegetables, but I am eating them and more of them then ever before. You could say that I am making good choices …. most of the time.
I do save a lot of calories since I do not drink alcohol, so happy hour isn’t an issue. I have gotten somewhat complacent in my recovery program. It ebbs and flows like everything else. I am still doing meetings, but I haven’t been all in. So I have restarted a morning program and I am trying to get back in the big book. I think I need to also switch up some of my meetings. I need to try something new and freshen up my program. I don’t want to drink, but I am just grumpy. So again, making good choices.
I have heard from several people in the program who are just coming back to meetings in person after getting the covid vaccine. Some have relapsed others just feel lost. All feel the need to get back in and start from the beginning of the steps and refresh their program. I have been going to in person meetings, but I understand the need for a refresh. It has just all been a little different.
At our club mask wearing is hit or miss. Some are crazy for the mask (and they mostly stay away) while others are very confident in not wearing them. It has been a constant battle that is hopefully coming to an end soon. Things are getting less restrictive again and covid numbers seem to be dropping.
I look forward to the day when all my scale quits fluctuating and stays down and I look forward to the day we go maskless and not have to worry so much about covid. I miss the parties and the large group functions. Especially the sober ones we used to plan at the Club. I miss my tribe. Until then, I and hopefully others will continue to make good choices,
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.
I love being sober. I love the life I have created, the friends that I have made and the people I may help by being sober. The gifts of sobriety are too numerous to count.
The disease of addiction though, is cunning, baffling and powerful. It wants to see me use, it wants to see me dead. My diseases recently reared its ugly head that made me questions everything I know and love.
It started about 10 days ago, with a medical procedure. I had my no colon version of the colonoscopy, a pouchoscopy. A test to take a look at my Jpouch that is sort of the same monster of the colonoscopy. In the past when I had my check ups at the Cleveland Clinic with my surgeon no anesthesia was used. New hospital and new surgeon, a lot closer to home and the use of anesthesia. Yay!!! because the other way in my opinion was barbaric. I am an addict. I like anesthesia. My drug of choice was a sedative. The all day sleep I got after the procedure and that kinda groggy feeling was all too familiar. Ok, so it really was no big deal.
That was a Friday, fast forward to the following Monday and I had my hand surgery for carpal tunnel. I just had a local for that one – numb hand and fully aware and awake. But that one came with pain pills, though it is not my drug of choice it is still a good drug! I took one as soon as I could with the still numb hand as directed by the doctor and took a nice nap. Took another one for the next 3 nights. Good sleep. Ok, so no problem, I am taking them as directed. It is when the pain isn’t enough to warrant the pain meds that the problems begin.
When do you stop, how do you know the pain is really over? I believe you know, I knew. But those damn pills where still there and they wanted me to take them. They never stopped singing that sweet song as my sponsor said. Spoiler alert: I did not take the pills. I struggled, I fought with myself, I obsessed, I stressed. I held the pills, I counted the pills, I even tried to smell the pills. All this and I was just a little bit stronger than the disease …. this time. I talked to my therapist and I emailed with my sponsor. They both told me to do what I knew to do – hand over the pills to Steve to get rid of for me. God knows I could not throw them out. But I did not want to. Why I felt the need to hang on to them and torture myself with their presence is beyond me. I finally caved and slightly mentioned it and before I knew it they were gone. I had so many mixed emotions, relief and anger both.
Later I come home to an empty house and searched high and low for those meds. I have had a moment of the fuck-its. Steve is good at hiding things … too good and I am angry and grateful. This disease plays you …. the you that is sober and the you that is still an addict. It can be very confusing and all consuming. It is exhausting.
I know the pitfalls of addiction. I know the benefits of being sober. The disease of addiction will rear its ugly head whenever and however it can. I know I could easily fall for it. It is cunning, baffling and powerful as it showed it self to be this past week.
I am still not sure if I am over it yet. Yikes!!!
Some people can drink alcohol and others can not. Those who have crossed that invisible line will never be able to drink like a normal person. We have an allergy. A disease of the mind, body and soul. The obsession that only an addict / alcoholic knows. We were once spiritually empty and now we are full. Recovery is a beautiful thing.
I have a dear friend in my 12 step program who lost his son this week to an overdose. He lost his daughter 10 years ago to a motorcycle accident. Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. Why do some of us make it to recovery while others do not? There are so many people out in the world who do not know how great a sober and clean life can be.
My friend is not the first one I know to loose a child in this program. A few I know have lost children to this disease and another to murder. Brothers, Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Friends have all been lost,. Despite these heartbreaks losing a child has to be the toughest (though I can not be the judge of that). Amazingly, these friends of mine have been able to remain sober and lean on the fellowship, their higher power and the 12 steps to see them through. I have the upmost respect and awe for those who can remain sober and steady in the face of tragedy. I don’t know if I would have as much grace, I can only pray that I would.
We feel the pain of the death of another addict / alcoholic. We know the struggle, the pull, the obsession. We think of ourselves and but for the grace of God it could have been us, it could have been me.
We went over Step one and powerlessness at the meeting today. The deceased young mans best family friend was there (along with my friend, the Dad) She realizes now how close death can actually be if she does not get clean. It was heart wrenching. We or I must never forget how close death actually was and can be if I choose to go back to pills and alcohol. We, the alcoholic / addict are powerless over people, places and things. We must change everything in order to survive.
I am at a place in my life where I can be around alcohol and people who drink moderately. When friends and family get drunk and silly and stupid, well that is where my tolerance ends. I know for me what I can and can not handle with others and the drinking …. its all about the people, place and things. Some we can handle others we can not.
For my friend, I am really sad. His son had been to meetings at out club. My friend tried tirelessly to save his son from those demons. In the end though he had to save himself …. both my friend and his son.
Well, we are going on close to a month of this stay at home order. I have been keeping fairly busy with various tasks around the house. I still have not really been anywhere. Going out each morning to the little coffee shop in town to get my chai tea latte and coffee for Steve and Kirsten is usually the highlight of my day. I have met up with a couple of friends as we sit in our cars at a distance to chat. Face to face interaction with friends is very much needed. I especially miss my in person sober tribe.
I have been doing the zoom AA meetings quite regularly, but it is starting to get old. I have not been able to totally pay attention in the zoom meetings. I have been very easily distracted in those meetings. I desperately need to get back to the in person meetings. Though our club is still open and operating, I am just not comfortable at this time in light of the virus and the stay at home orders. I miss the fellowship of the meetings. I have had drinking dreams and using thoughts and desire, by the grace of God I have not acted on those thoughts. I do know that nothing good would come from it. But too much idle time is not good for this addict and there is a lot of time with not much to do!
I have been trying to stay in contact with friends from the program and staying in touch with my sponsees. I did a 3rd step with one of my girls via Facetime and I have another step meeting scheduled. Working with others and getting out of self for bit is very helpful during this time of quarantine. But still it is not face to face so it is a very different kind of step work.
I am trying to do some little task from home from where I volunteer. We had a volunteer zoom meeting the the other day and it was nice to see some of the ladies I have been working with. I have also done some virtual get togethers with my sober peeps, just to chat. We are all trying to do the best we can to stay connected.
There are a lot of zoom meetings in the recovery community from all over the country and the world that one could join. I have been sticking with my clubs meetings, but maybe need to try some others for something a little different. I love how everyone in recovery is trying to help those in program stay the course.
I am still trying to find the gratitude. I have everything I need. We still have money coming in, we have food, we have a nice home to be isolated in and we are healthy. I am trying to choose to find the good. I am not going to say it is not difficult, because it is. There is still fear, fear of getting the Covid19, the fear of the economic impact and just fear about what is happening in the world. So many things that I can not control.
Life especially right now is so unpredictable and I have to stick with taking it one day at a time to try to keep my sanity while I am staying home.
With the whole world in an uproar with the coronavirus – everyone is trying to find their new normal while staying home in quarantine and/or social distancing. It hasn’t been easy for anyone and everyone has had to sacrifice something.
I think this is a good lesson in common human decency. Some people have it and many don’t. Who are those people who are hoarding all the goods, being rude to store employees doing their best and selfishly going about life possibly spreading the virus? I can’t say I have totally stayed home. I have gone to the grocery, AA meetings, restaurants for carry-out and of course I have been out to get my daily chai tea latte from the local coffee shop. I don’t think those activities are too hateful and we are being mindful of others and ourselves while doing these activities.
My girls both are at a pivotal time in their lives. Both are in limbo. Graduation is postponed until August. Jobs will be hard to find and moving may be impossible. We are all having to sacrifice, this is just how it is affecting my family. It is a small inconvenience when you look at the rest of the world and what people are going through. We are lucky that we have what we need and that we have the means to help our children through this should they need it, for that I am truly grateful.
I know it is going to get worse before it gets better. We all have to be prepared and be willing to hunker down at home as much as possible.
AA has been a challenge. Our club is still currently open. I am sure it is only a matter of time before we are mandated to close. Recovery fellowship and meetings are so important to the recovering addict / alcoholic. It is amazing how this recovery community from across the country and the world have come together putting meetings online in different forms. We have set up virtual meetings at our club. I think we finally have it set up and ready to go. Some people are still going to meetings in person while others are opting for the virtual type. I feel it is a personal decision. I somehow got “elected” to put together the virtual meetings for our club. With the help of a couple others, we did it! It was a lot of trial and error. But I am proud that I figured it out as I am the least technical person I know. I think I am ready to go to virtual meetings, but being one of the point people for the virtual, I also feel I have an obligation to be at the meetings in person to “broadcast” via my computer to those at home. The state has asked that no more than 10 people gather, our meetings have had more lately. We have a board meeting tomorrow and I believe we are going to need to set some parameters to limit numbers of people in the meetings in the midst of this virus outbreak. We too need to be careful of not spreading the coronavirus among us and to others.
Our family restaurant and manufacturing business is still open – we are mainly delivery and carry-out so we are allowed to still operate. I pray for the wellbeing of our employees and am grateful that our doors are still open and that we can provide jobs to many. As a company we are doing what we need to to keep everyone safe.
These are very scary and uncertain times for everyone across the world. I mostly anxious about the economy and what is going to happen. My mental state has been surprising better, but the anxiety is real.
All we can currently do is take one day at a time and practice love and tolerance … and Pray!