Thursday, November 29, 2007

Close Call

Yesterday, I scared the crap out of myself. I had a few moments in which I seriously thought about drinking, and if there had been anything available, I am really afraid I might have gone ahead and drunk it.

It was over something so stupid, such a product of my diseased thinking and wild imagination, my need for attention, approval and validation from others, and my own manipulative behavior and ego run riot.

R and I went up to Raleigh for Thanksgiving, and we had a wonderful visit with my parents, sisters, and their families. It was my first time back since I'd gotten drunk while staying there in April (my last drunk, actually). We were able to talk comfortably about my alcoholism and the alcoholic history in my mother's family. I learned so much more about my grandmother's addiction, and realized how much her drinking had impacted my mother.

We got back to Florida late Monday evening, and then Tuesday, I went up to West Palm for my outpatient therapy activities (meeting with my spiritual counselor, my therapist, and my outpatient group), which was also wonderful. Life was wonderful, sobrity was wonderful, and recovery was wonderful. I was on a spiritual and emotional high.

Ever since I was little, I've made up silly little songs and gone around the house, singing them. The week before last, as I was doing this one day, an actual song began formulating, and I wrote it down. Over the next few days, another one came, and another. I picked out the melodies on my mother's piano, and have just had this amazing sense of awe and gratitude that God is allowing me to release and express myself through a medium so new to me, and I've shared this with R.

Yesterday, I was again in one of my little silly moods, but also feeling joyful and grateful, as I had just finished another song, this one for my grandfather. R was rushing around, getting ready to leave for a meeting at school. I was in the bathroom putting on my makeup. I called out to R, "Do you like my raps or my songs better?" (I also make up silly raps frequently.) Silence. Then, "About the same."

I was devastated. How could he equate my silly jingles with my serious expressions of creativity and healing? How could he hurt me like this? I played the scenario in my head again and again. It was an intentional insult. He knew how my Dad had always set the bar so high that I was never able to succeed, never able to be good enough. He had MEANT to hurt me. Why? Was he angry at me for spending time doing something he considers frivolous, instead of cleaning or getting a job?

I just wanted the pain, the hurt to stop. And that's when the solution popped into my head. A shot of vodka would help. I was getting ready to go to the nail salon. I could just go to the restaurant beside the salon first and get a shot of Stoli. Just one and just this once.

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?!????!!!!!! Suddenly, my rational, sober voice screamed in my head. HE can't make you unhappy. You're CHOOSING not to be happy. In the course of time, only God's opinion of you counts, and HE thinks you're wonderful, just as you are. Why does it matter what R thinks of your songs? You're doing them not for recognition, but in release and gratitude to your Creator, your Higher Power.

"You are looking at the face of the only one responsible for your happiness today." I repeated the mantra over and over, and finally, it began to sink in. But I was still depressed, angry and hurt. I couldn't call my sponsor, because I knew I was blowing things out of proportion, and she would laugh at me and tell me I was in my victim mentality again.

I went and got my nails done, ran a few errands, and came home without visiting the restaurant.

It was now three hours since the incident had occurred, and it finally hit me. R thought I was just being silly when I'd thrown the question out. He thought it was one of those questions with which we women frequently bombard our husbands to which there is no safe answer (Which of these dresses makes me look fatter? Oh so you DO think I'm fat!). The "About the same." was the safest answer he could think of at the moment.

R came home and I confessed to him what had been going on in my mind. I called my sponsor, who told me NEVER to wait again to call her when I was in danger of drinking, no matter how stupid I felt, and to talk about it at that night's meeting, which I did.

The real solution is so much better. Why the heck did it take me three hours to figure that out? Thank God, I did, and thank God for this way of life that gives me that real solution.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not So Random

I've been meaning to post for days now. I keep having those little "aha moments" and think at the time "I have to journal this so I don't forget," but then I get busy or get distracted by something else, and I never get around to it.

I'm not recalling any specific moments right now, but just want to get this down on paper, or at least in a format that I can look back upon and remind myself, that the promises do begin to come true before we are halfway through the steps and that the gifts of the program and of my Higher Power whom I call God, are truly infinite.

I've been so scattered lately (the past few days) and I'm not sure why. I have a lot of energy, but it seems to be frenetic and I can't keep myself focused upon a given task without really consciously striving to do so. Yesterday, I found making myself a "to do" list and checking off each task as I accomplished it really helped me, not only to stay focused upon what I was doing, but in having a sense of purposeful consciousness.

At the end of the day, I hadn't completed everything, and in the past, I would have told myself how I sucked for not being perfect and getting everything done I'd intended. Instead, I was able to look at what I HAD completed, and the fact that the items ticked off far exceeded the items still to be done, and I felt really good about it, and about myself.

I have to remind myself again and again that I am not defined by what I do, that I am enough, just as I am, and I deserve to be and AM accepted and loved by God, just as I am today.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Saturday Serenity

I have so much to be grateful for today (and every day, really). A lot of the time, I forget to count my blessings, and I let my focus shift to the negative, rather than the positive, and that's when my thinkin' becomes quite stinkin'. I can quickly spiral into an entirely self-induced depression.

That's what's been going on with me for the past couple of weeks, off and on, but a lot more on than off. I've had some sporadic, but too brief breakthroughs of ration and reason, but until I became really aware of what I was allowing to happen by the manner in which I was choosing to perceive everything and everyone around me, I couldn't shake myself out of my "blue funk" (an appropriate term for my dark moods my mother used when I was going through the turbulent teenage years).

I finally realized that I was choosing to be miserable and that I could choose NOT to be miserable, and that doing so required honesty, awareness and action.

Yesterday, I woke up full of energy, and with a positive outlook that is still with me today. I went to a fantastic meeting last night, and a great one this morning, and then had breakfast and a long talk with my amazing sponsor.

It's almost incomprehensible that I can go from being utterly depressed and miserable, wanting to hide and isolate to being -- yes! -- happy, joyous and free, simply by choosing to view things positively and remembering to thank God for all His blessings and gifts.

Today, I am grateful for:
  • A loving, supportive husband who encourages me in my sobriety, and in working an active program.
  • A sponsor who is amazingly honest and authentic, and who by example encourages me to be honest and authentic, and who also is truly a friend (you really do want one who'll call you on your shit, but also tells you when she sees progress and growth!).
  • The gifts of the program I'm seeing increase every day.
  • The growing ability to identify my fears and face them and to know that I CAN walk through them and come out on the other side without dying or picking up a drink.
  • My sweet and funny kit-kat-kitten, Boots, who sleeps with me every night and makes me laugh every day.
  • A closer and more honest relationship with my mother than I think we've ever shared before now.
  • My Higher Power, the God of my understanding, who is with me 24/7, rain or shine, good or bad, happy or sad -- I can get through anything with His help, and with the support of...
  • ...My friends in the Program, in real life, and in cyber space.

I love you all, and I wish each of you a super, serene Saturday!


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Well, it's actually All Saints Day now, but I hope all you boys and ghouls had a GHASTLY Halloween!