Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life on Life's Terms

Wow... Talk about getting hit hard from out of the blue. I definitely am not feeling the full impact yet. I feel numb, and that's fine for now.

This afternoon, my 2 bosses called me into their office at about ten after 5:00 to tell me they had come to a decision to let me go. "Nothing personal... we're so happy with you and your work... you're a kind, caring person..." and so on. They say they're $60 grand in the hole with payrolls right now, and since the market has taken such a nosedive, they've had to look for ways to cut expenditures, and my job is the most expendable.

I know what they're saying is true. I work in a real estate business, and we're definitely being hit by the economy and the housing market in general. But part of me can't help but wonder, What if I'd just worked harder and been more positive and willing to do anything they asked with nary a complaint? What if I had just logged my 40 hours I was hired to do and never put in all the overtime necessary to actually do my job and do it well? What if I hadn't had to occasionally take time off to go to therapy during the week? Maybe I do bear some responsibility in their choosing my job as the one to cut.

But then, one of my bosses called as soon as I got home to make sure I was okay, and to offer a tangible lead and her personal help in finding another position for me. And, they both hugged me and cried before I left today, too, and asked me if they could help in any well, saying they'd write letters of recommendation, or whatever I needed. So maybe it's not me.

My first thought -- and I'm so grateful for this! -- was "When God closes a door, He opens a window." I kept repeating it to myself over and over, like a mantra. I did think about drinking, but only for a moment, and the thought immediately launched the "play it through" scenario.

Of course, that's still where my alcoholic mind wants to take me when faced with a crisis, or any situation in which I feel off balance or uncomfortable or just downright scared to death: the thought that a drink will help. But it stops there, usually, and I almost automatically start playing the thought through to its consequences and realize how ludicrous it is.

How cool, though, that it wasn't my first thought, or even my second, that instead, I began silently and consciously communicating with my Higher Power! What a gift it is to realize that He is with me and will see me through this. Even though mine is the only income coming in to our household right now, and even though we are at our lowest point financially in years, I really do know that with the help of my Higher Power, I will walk through this, and come out safely on the other side, and who knows what opportunities may be in store for me?

So, I'm still a little in shock, a little sad, and a little scared, but my overwhelming sense right now is that I'm right where I'm supposed to be, and I'm eager to see what God has planned.

I just hope this attitude lasts! I'll keep you keep you posted, but right now, I need to get to a meeting.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Tonight, I'm speaking at a small meeting I attended for the first time last week. I'm really not nerovus... yet!! I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to share my experience, strength and hope, to tell how it was, what happened, and what it's like now. I am very grateful to be almost a year and a half sober and recovering, and I need to tell my story, not only in the hope that it helps another alcoholic, but to keep me focused on my journey in recovery as well.

Besides, it will be good practice, because I'm sharing at another meeting this coming Saturday evening. When it rains, it pours, and I'm being deluged with blessings.

It hasn't been easy, particularly these last 8 to 9 months. I started working in January, and quickly became obsessed with work. Yes, I am an addict in all respects, and now that drinking is not an option, my addictive behavior and attitude still strives to prevail and take over, to take the control back from my Higher Power. Because, after all, I run my life so much better than my HP possibly can, right?

This addictive controlling nature is what will take me out if I let anything come between me and my Higher Power, if I let something else become my Higher Power. I become, irritable, restless and discontent, and quickly fall into my "victim" role, wondering why everyone is against me and why my life sucks, and why God has deserted me, and WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME???!!!!

The only thing that has happened is me. I've gotten in the way again. I've become disconnected from my Higher Power because I'm not making any effort to connect. My recovery and continued sobriety is but a daily reprieve, contingent upon my spiritual condition, and if I'm not pursuing my recovery, my relationship with my Higher Power, my relationships with others, and if I'm not using the tools I have learned to use in this program, I WILL fail. And, eventually, for me, that failure will result in drinking again.

This program works, but only if I work it. If I forget that, I will relapse, and the relapse is the shift in my thinking, attitudes, behaviors, and eventually, my beliefs. Picking up a drink is merely the final plunge off the cliff.

Telling my story, whether to a group or to a woman crying to me on the phone or after a meeting keeps ME sober. It is a powerful part of my recovery because it reminds me of where my drinking took me, it's consequences and impact on myself and those I love, and how amazing the life I have now is.

I don't want to lose what God and AA have so freely given me, and the only way to keep it is to give it away to other alcoholics.