repost: another 9 months

Anne at ainsobriety has a wonderful accounting of last evening.

ainsobriety

I have a better story to tell today. One of pride and joy and unity.

My husband got his 9 month chip last night. We almost didn’t even go to the meeting. Monday night football was on. We wanted to see KC clobber the Patriots. But we did.
At the last second he asked me to give it to him. Me.
I was overwhelmed and flustered, but I got up and told the group just how proud I am of him. That our life has improved a million percent in the past 9 months. About a renewed sense of family and togetherness that we have found that we never even realized we were missing.
This was a huge thing. Over the past 9 months he has questioned why he ever started this. The unfairness of not being able to drink when everyone else does. The oddness of the meetings some…

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repost: worthy

Kindly remove your shoes before reading the following from Message in a Bottle. You’re on hallowed ground.

. . . I have lots of those things which are slowly making their way down to my spirit, nestled among the other things that have come to me in my short journey.  In the meantime, then, I wrestle with them.  Because they are in my mind, and because I have a thinking problem above all else, that is just what I do.  I over-think.  I sweat the small stuff.  I get caught up in my own filth when there is greater work to be done.  I am human, a work-in-progress.

Wonderfully honest writing from one of the best.

.

Message in a Bottle

positive-self-esteem

I am always hesitant when I write something here on the blog.  When I write, I am usually focusing in on something that is ruminating in my mind, or perhaps touching on something that I am going through.  Usually, what I am going through isn’t all-consuming as I may make it seem to be.  Usually, I am just shining the spot light on a small or not-so-small (sometimes) part of me that I like to talk myself through.  And share with others. What I’d like to let y’all know is that these things are usually just passing thoughts. What I say today, right now, might change tomorrow.  And often does. The pain I might be going through usually dissipates. What I write doesn’t define me, either way, good or bad.  I think sometimes people read too much into what I write and perhaps see me in constant crisis.

It’s far…

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repost: haters gonna hate; my haters motivate

Nuts. Now I have to wipe the Starbucks off my keyboard. But Is this, like, the perfect way to start a Tuesday? Not to mention the last day in September?

GoddessRebirth

People, amirite?  Where do they get off?

On my way to the office this morning, I received a notification from Instagram that I had received a direct message/picture from someone who I rarely, if that, communicate with.  She was married to my cousin, who lives out of state, and with whom I don’t really have that close of a relationship with either.  I kinda got happy, thinking she must be sending me some supportive or encouraging quote, since that’s all I really post on Instagram.

But instead I received this:

IMG_7085 (1)

I was pretty floored.  I mean, I never talk to her.  I have never personally discussed with her me wanting to get sober and remain sober, I don’t have regular conversations with her, I don’t know what her daily routine is like, I don’t know what she’s going through in her life, I don’t know if her job is stressful or…

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going it alone

Bill at What…Me Sober? on going it alone and why it’s such a bad strategy.

It’s hard for us addicts to believe that others sincerely care about us. We have already proven that we can’t be successful on our own; that’s what brought us to the rooms of recovery. Yet opening up to others and admitting to ourselves that we do need help is the first big stumbling block to getting clean and sober. It’s hard for us to realize the power of the group, and of a program based on hope and the compassion and understanding of other folks who know where we’re coming from because they have been there too. We expect to be judged, and instead they offer us hugs – how weird is that?

Good stuff from one of the best. Read it all.

What...Me Sober?

by Bill

My wife and I picked up medallions at a meeting last night. We’ve been celebrating with that group since we got out of treatment 25 years ago, with the exception of a couple of years a few years back. My anniversary was the 14th, and hers is today. Although we don’t get to that meeting very often, the group is special to us because it was the first 12-step meeting we attended outside of a treatment facility.

It was great to see old friends and listen to the things the other celebrants and attendees had to say. I couldn’t help but think, as I often do, about the incredible importance of those folks’ support, and the support of many who are no longer with us. There is no question in my mind but that I would have relapsed without it, because my arrogance had me convinced…

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repost: another day

Debbie at Dangling on the Edge flat out rocks with this awesome post about another day sober.

You understand that voice in your head (wolfie) is NOT you. It is that voice which tries to convince you one drink is okay. That you deserve it, that you need it, that you MUST have it to get through whatever. Knowing it’s there, knowing that you are not a bad person, knowing it can be controlled is more than half the battle. Sure, it’s hard but remember, it’s the alcohol talking. You are not weak nor are you stupid. You know what’s going on. It’s just a matter of being ready to deal with it and conquer it.

This is good stuff. Go read the whole thing. Now.

dangling on the edge

Another day, another . . . . day sober 🙂 I have no news to report. I just felt I needed to write. I get new followers all the time and feel that they are looking for answers, for help, for an “aha”, or just plain want confirmation that they are not alone. I want to be there for everyone. I want all to know that booze really sucks the life out of you and it’s bad news. You know this, right? And until you can get to the point where you just can’t take it any longer, you can talk yourself blue in the face with what you know but are unable to act upon. That is okay. Most all of us begin our sober journey many times over until it finally sticks. Until you finally read a sober blog that just resonates with you. Until you finally know…

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repost: how big of a deal is an alcoholic slip?

Josie at themiracleisaroundthecorner posted a very thoughtful piece on Dr. Silkworth’s discussion of an alcoholic “slip” that appeared in the January 1947 AA Grapevine. I strongly encourage you to read on, particularly if you’re not planning to “slip” or anything.

themiracleisaroundthecorner

Polarized would be the word I choose to describe this morning’s meeting, and never before have I had a chance to do that!

This being the fifth Monday in the month of September, I did a little research and came up with an unusual article to use as this morning’s reading selection.  Originally published in 1947 in the AA magazine Grapevine, “Slips” was written by Dr. William D. Silkworth, an American medical doctor who was tremendously influential in the founding of the 12-step program Alcoholics Anonymous.  Silkworth’s position in this article is that a relapse, or “slip,” to an alcoholic can be compared to the cardiac patient who, after time spent abiding by the rules of his condition, slowly but surely reverts to his old lifestyle that caused the heart attack.  In other words:  alcoholics are human beings first and foremost, and the poor decisions made by an alcoholic are…

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respost: my past is holding me back

One of my favorite bloggers learned a pretty big lesson bootlegging a 4th Step. She did a great job untangling it all in this post:

I came up with a dozen ways the event effected me, such as a sense of feeling unworthy, dirty, and shameful, which eventually led to my actions that were promiscuous and unsafe. The exercise became a ticket to beat myself up for every part of the event from start to finish. Hindsight is 20/20. I should have NEVER started with the biggest issue without some forethought.

Read the whole thing for a lesson in healthy and insightful perseverance.

My Healing Recovery

I watched a video of a guy talking to a group about how to do a 4th step in AA.  The speaker obviously knew the members in the workshop so it seemed like a meeting that regularly meets and this time they recorded it.  I liked the speaker so I watched the full 60 minutes.

A thought went through my head that maybe I shouldn’t be doing this by myself. I kind of know that the point of a sponsor is to walk me through the steps yet here I am thinking I can do it all on my own.  I’ll just learn how to do it from this guy in the video, I thought.  So, that’s what I did.

I made 4 columns just like they do in the big book with a place to write resentments, the cause, how did it effect me, and what did I do wrong and/or why am…

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caramel apples are disgusting

I used to be able to do this stuff when I was drinking. Now that I’m sober, caramel apples are quite revolting. The harsh reality is they always have been. I could just never see the truth of the matter through my own alcoholic haze. I think this is what we call “counting the cost” when we give up drinking.

Correct me if I’m wrong.

It officially became fall earlier this week, which means it has officially become the time of year where we must all vociferously express our disdain for all the popular food items, flavors, and fragrances of autumn. We’ve all been exposed to our share of pumpkin spice screeds, but that’s so 2013. This year, we must turn our attention to a more hostile scourge that’s been wreaking havoc under the radar for decades: the caramel apple.

Pure evil. Pure evil.

Think it'll look like that when you peel the wrapper off? Think it’ll look like that when you peel the wrapper off?

The most common caramel apple – other than the ones ambitious Pinterest moms undertake in a moment of pure delusion during which they convince themselves that unwrapping 50 caramel candies and getting the molten proceeds to stick to a Granny Smith “won’t be that hard” – is the Affy Tapple (see what they did there?). According to Affy Tapple’s website,

The first…

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the difference between men & women

men_and_womenI’ve been around Club East long enough now to realize that, while alcoholism is not gender specific, there are certainly different ways the two genders have of expressing themselves as they go through recovery. And because it underscores the fact that men and women are somewhat different, I guess this might be considered secondary evidence women process alcohol quite differently than men, and therefore appear to be more vulnerable than men to many harmful consequences of alcohol abuse.

All that to say this: I stumbled across the following list in my files this morning and thought we really need to take a pretty tangible look at the gender differences as we go through recovery. I don’t have the wherewithal to take apart recovery terms and assign them genders. For me to take on that happy task would be akin to leaning into a left hook. But here are some safe, gender-neutral items from the Washington Post that take on a whole new meaning when put in a specific gender context.

ZIPLOC BAGS — male, because they hold everything in, but you can always see right through them.

SWISS ARMY KNIFE — male, because even though it appears useful for a wide variety of work, it spends most of its time just opening bottles.

KIDNEYS — female, because they always go to the bathroom in pairs.

SHOE — male, because it is usually unpolished, with its tongue hanging out.

COPIER — female, because once turned off, it takes a while to warm up. Because it is an effective reproductive device when the right buttons are pushed. Because it can wreak havoc when the wrong buttons are pushed.

TIRE — male, because it goes bald and often is over inflated.

HOT AIR BALLOON — male, because to get it to go anywhere you have to light a fire under it… and, of course, there’s the hot air part.

SPONGES — female, because they are soft and squeezable and retain water.

WEB PAGE — female, because it is always getting hit on.

SUBWAY — male, because it uses the same old lines to pick people up.

HOURGLASS — female, because over time the weight shifts to the bottom.

HAMMER — male, because it hasn’t evolved much over the last 5,000 years, but it’s handy to have around.

REMOTE CONTROL — female… Ha! You thought I’d say male. But consider: It gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying.