Friday, September 29, 2006

Work It, Baby

This post has been edited. I realized I probably should not use my sponsor's name, or the full name of the meeting, in order to preserve the anonymity of those concerned.

The very first time I walked into the D**** After Work Group, I slipped into a chair, and slid down, hiding, hoping that no one would notice me.

No such luck.

"Hi! I'm M****!"

I turned to see who had spoken these words, and my gaze was met by a pair of sparkling bluegreen eyes, set in an attractive, tanned face, framed by impossibly platinum blonde hair.

But, what I saw first was that grin. A grin that I couldn't help but return.

This past Tuesday, M**** became my sponsor. And she's taking the job seriously. She's already given me a Step 1 assignment, to make a list of 300 things over which I'm powerless (easier said than done, believe me). She also has me reading from the Big Book and from the 12&12. And, I'm going to meetings every day (still working on my 90 in 90!), and calling her every day. I'm trying to make sure I take time each morning to read and pray, at least for a few minutes.

She wants me to get this as much as I want to get it.

We had a celebration meeting tonight. Four people received medallions, including my sponsor, M****. It was a wonderful meeting, full of joy, laughter and applause. I was so happy to be a part of it, and to know that someday, a year from now, that will be me up there, as long as I keep doing what's suggested. As long as I keep doing those things each day. One day at a time.

I made a card for M****, in honor of her one-year anniversary celebration. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of it, but here's a re-creation of it:
M****'s CardThe words at the bottom are from The Promises, and read:

we will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace

Inside, I wrote:
I see in you such beauty, joy and serenity.
You truly have something I want for myself.
You are such an inspiration to me,
and to so many others, as well.
Congratulations on your first year of sobriety.
I know there are many more to come!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yo! I Need a Sponsor

Question: How do I get a sponsor??

I've spoken up in several group meetings and identified myself as a newcomer both to the program (okay, relatively new) and to Dania Beach, and people have given me phone numbers afterward.

At the women's meeting last Monday night, I went up to the facilitator afterwards and said "I need to get a sponsor."

What I meant was "I would really like YOU to be my sponsor. Or someone you suggest."

She introduced me to several women and had them give me their phone numbers.

So I'm a little frustrated.

Obviously, the onus is upon me to call me them, and I don't want to because:
  • I'm nervous calling people I don't know.

  • I'm really apprehensive about asking a favor from someone I don't know.

  • I fear rejection.

  • What if I ask the wrong person, and then I'm stuck with her?
Please advise me, my wise friends.

Please kick my butt and make me call someone.

Short Gratitude List:
  • 14 days of sobriety.

  • Another beautiful hangover-free morning.

  • You awesome blogging fellows and fellowettes (LOVE Carly's word!!).

  • Waffles on Saturday morning. With real butter and real maple syrup.

  • That since I cut out the alcohol, I can get away with waffles once a week without packing on the pounds (so far, anyway!).
Okay, gotta go and make waffles now!

P.S. Hey, please take a moment to stop by In My Alcoholic Mind and let her know we hear her and care. Thanks.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

half-nAAked wishful thinking

Wishful Thinking
Wishful Thinking

Hey, a girl can dream, can't she? Actually, I'm planning to go skiing in Snowmass, CO in February! How cool is THAT?

Psst... wanna see more HNT pics?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cunning, Baffling, Powerful

Three out of the last four meetings I've gone to have dealt with relapse prevention. What is frightening is how clueless everyone seems to be about HOW to prevent a relapse from happening, other than the standard litany of "Go to meetings, do and re-do the steps, pray... work the program... work the program..."

I'm talking women (and men) with years of sobriety behind them, folks.

Last night, at the awesome women's meeting I found that my HP took me to last week, we had a speaker with an amazing story. She'd been sober for 20 years, and then, after becoming irritated with some people in her home group, quit going to meetings at all (she'd already pared down to one meeting a week). Her girlhood best friend moved back to town and they started hanging out together again (the friend, of course, is a drinker), and she started thinking that maybe she could just have a Corona with a wedge of lime every now and then, and... well, you get the picture.

Long story.

Short version: She ended up in the hospital on August 5th, and has about 6 weeks of sobriety now.

I sat there, amazed at her courage in sharing this story, and so grateful that she realized her need to get back into fellowship with others who share her struggle against this cunning, baffling, powerful disease.

I had years of sobriety behind me before I started drinking again eight years ago. This time, it's been so much harder to get and stay sober. I'm only looking at 10 days right now since my last drink. I want to do this. I want to succeed. If it means staying in the program for the rest of my life... well, if that's what it takes, then that's what it takes, and that's what I need to do.

One day at a time.

One day at a time.
Remember that we deal with alcohol, cunning, baffling, powerful! Without help it is too much for us. But there is One who has all power. That One is God. May you find Him now!
Alcoholics Anonymus, pp. 58-59

Thursday, September 14, 2006

One Happy Chica

Been feeling a bit under the weather physically the last few days. Nothing serious, probably just allergies, as it seems to be responding to Claritin. The night before last, I woke up in the middle of the night completely drenched — my t-shirt and the sheet beneath me soaked. I haven't had night sweats like that since I had malaria, so it was a little disconcerting. I think I definitely need to get back on hormone replacement therapy.

Despite feeling slightly icky, this has been a good week so far. I've stopped completely hating south Florida, and am starting to think I can actually be happy here. :D

I went to a meeting Monday night that was absolutely awesome. There was such a sense of spirituality among the women there. It was an all women's meeting, and it's been going on for 34 years! In fact, they are celebrating their 34th anniversary as an AA group next Monday.

This was one of the most welcoming groups I've been to, but it was more than that. I felt that there were women there that I have more in common with socially and professionally than at most of the other (handful of) meetings I've been to since we moved here. I finally feel that I've met some women with whom I can connect, and more importantly from whom I can learn. I want what they have.

The woman who led the meeting said something that really resonated and has stuck with me. She said she has this quote on an index card, taped to her mirror:
You are looking at the face of the only person responsible for your happiness today.

So simple, yet so profound.

And I'm finding happiness, or joy, in other, seemingly small things, too:
  • The serenity on my husband's face as he sleeps.

  • Boots's renewed contentment and confidence since the installation of his kitty door.

  • Sunshine, palm trees, and butterflies.

  • Really good coffee.

  • My husband's telling me in a moment of self-doubt, "I love you very much." (Okay — that one's really huge!)
Yeah, today I'd have to say, I'm one pretty happy and grateful gal!

First HNT

Before Pedi: Kinda Gnarly

After Pedi: Shiny and New

This is my very first post to HNT. I decided to treat myself to a pedicure (and a manicure, as well) as a reward for being good to me and staying sober this week. I figure that I'll come out ahead in the end, as together the mani and pedi were $30.00, plus a $5.00 tip (I know, I know — I way over-tip!), since the most I'll have it done is every 3 weeks, and I was spending MINIMALLY $15.00 a week on booze (and that would be a "light" week).

I'm going to try to think up some other little rewards and treats for myself, too. I think it will make the initial part of this gig a little easier. This way, I'll know that since I'm choosing to give up alcohol, I'm choosing something else that is good for me, not just in an abstract sense, but an actual object or activity I can look forward to each week. Please give me any ideas you have for rewards, treats, etc. They can be material rewards (not exceeding $15.00 a week), or something more along the lines of reading a good book, a walk on the beach, etc.

Hey, I think I'm on to something! This sobriety thing could actually be kinda fun!! ;)

Sunday, September 10, 2006


There are a handful of moments in life that are preserved with crystalline clarity in the minds of most people. Some are deeply personal. Some are joyous. Some are tragic. Some are just so overwhelming that they can never be fully comprehended.

Other than those deeply personal moments, there are only two occasions that I remember with that astounding clarity, as if they happened only yesterday. And actually, what is preserved is NOT the memories of those moments, but the emotions that accompanied them. The emotions are still there, strong and raw, even though the details of the days have grown cloudy.

One was the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated (I was in first grade). The other is September 11, 2001.

We were living in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. We didn't have email or a connection to the Internet. We didn't have cable TV or a satellite dish. I don't remember if we had cell phones yet. We didn't have a phone line in our house (couldn't get one, unless you knew someone in the government, or were willing to pay bribes and do it illegally).

The way we found out was that my husband had taken our outgoing mail to the dropoff point (it was flown out and in by cargo plane twice a week), and while there, he'd been told that a plane had apparently flown into one of the World Trade buildings.

At that point, we didn't know anything. Was it an accident? What was happening??

I remember looking into my husband's eyes, and him staring back into mine, and neither of us knowing what to say or do... neither of us knowing anything. Helpless. Powerless. Even to know what was going on. What was happening to the world? Our world. All we had to rely on was what other people were reporting to us, in bits and pieces throughout the morning.

After we heard that the second plane had hit, and it was obvious that this was some kind of planned attack, I went to bed and went to sleep. I did the same thing when I got the news that my maternal grandfather had died. I think my mind just shut down, and refused to deal at all with what was happening.

My husband came in later and woke me up to tell me that he'd turned on the TV, and on the news (in French) they were playing footage showing people jumping from what remained of the buildings, rather than choosing to die in the fires. I just looked at him, hating him for telling me this somehow even more horrible news, not quite believing its veracity. Then, I put the pillow over my head and tried to go back to sleep.

But I couldn't. I couldn't shut out the world and the truth and pretend that what was happening wasn't real, and I couldn't do a damn thing to change it or make a difference in any way whatsoever.

I'm grateful that the world, that life, doesn't get stuck in one moment in time. That it goes on. That it can and usually does get better. I'm grateful that our country not only survived nine-eleven, but has shown incredible strength and determination in the wake of that day's events, and that we as a people have emerged with a new awareness of how precious life and love are.

I'm grateful that I don't have to be stuck in time, in circumstances, in life as it is. That I can make choices to make my life better. I'm grateful that God is there and that he cares, and that I can ask him for help to grow. To become stronger. To rebuild. To recover.

I'm grateful for today.

Friday, September 01, 2006

A Slippery Path

My last several "slips" have been just that, not lasting more than a day, and with at least a week in between. I'm not proud that I'm still slipping, but being at a beginners meeting tonight helped me to see that this behavior is not that unusual. I'm just really frustrated with myself, because I know what I need to do (90 in 90, get a sponsor, work the steps, etc., etc.). I know it in my head, and I want to do it... eventually.

What's really worrying me now, though, is that I seem to have lost the DESIRE to stop drinking. Even in the meeting tonight, I was thinking about how much I'd like to have a glass of wine, and then when I went to the grocery store afterward to pick up cold medicine for my poor, sick hubby, I wandered down the wine aisle. I didn't buy any alcohol, but I could have. And I did last night, and a week before that.

What the hell's wrong with me? Oh, that's right: I'm an alcoholic, but I like pretending I'm NOT one. And when I try pretending I'm not an alcoholic, I start drinking, to prove to myself that I can control it, that I'm normal. Only I'm not, and I never will be. Why can't I accept that truth once and for all?

On the bright side, I think I've found the meeting that will be my new home meeting. It's about 5 blocks from my house, it meets EVERY day, most meetings are geared toward beginners, and the people are freakin' AWESOME!! At least 6 people introduced themselves to me before the meeting, and more afterward. I'm excited about going back. And as long as I'm going to meetings, I don't drink.

Now, if I could only stop the 3-step shuffle...