Thursday, December 31, 2009


I had lunch with a friend near the local marina looking out over the water there were a number of different size boats docked there. It was cold and not much activity except there was one sailboat that they were replacing the sail. It was fresh and white and flapping pretty wildly because only one end was secured. It was beautiful and reminded me of clean sheets on a clothes line.

I have always loved the look of sailboats and have been on a few. My first experience was when I was about 10 we during a visit to my aunt’s house. We made this trip to Michigan every year; she lived on a lake and owned several motor boats. Everyone but me loved take rides across the lake every day. It was too noisy and smelly for me and I couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. One day their pastor brought over his sailboat and offered to take me across the lake. I thought it was the most amazing thing quiet and powered only by the wind. Every visit after that I would try to get him to take me back out. I am a land lover at heart and don’t like to get wet but the appeal of those sails and the beauty of the wind has made at least dream about it.

During this mornings meditations it occurred to me that God is in charge of our lives and our individual sailboats. Sometimes we sail past the people we love and sometimes our own journey is slow because our sail becomes worn and tattered and needs to be replaced. Accepting that it is time to make a change can be painful but if we want to get a fresh new sail we have to let go and let God.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


After writing yesterdays post I wanted to look at something else. I spent my day off watching TV and one of my two favorite movies. I tried not to judge myself about it my house needs cleaning blah, blah and more blah. So I was reflecting on my lost day and this is what came to mind. Spaces, when you hang art in a gallery the vacant spaces are just as important as the art displayed. Without a place for the eye to rest there is too much distraction to appreciate the art displayed.

So this is what I am going to consider Monday as space, space for me to rest a moment and step back so I can see the other parts of my life more clearly.

Steps of Love

When I was four we lived in small house in downtown Atlanta. The house sat on top of a hill and my parents parked their cars at the bottom of the hill on the street. There were 22 steps from the bottom of the hill to the house I know this because I loved to count them. When I would fall asleep on the drive home my dad would carry me up all those stairs and I have to admit that sometimes I would just pretend to be asleep when I wanted to be carried. Looking back I realize that he did this out of love especially when he knew I was playing possum. (this is what he would say)

He is gone now and our relationship changed after my mother died. I would describe him as a kind patient man and a loyal partner. He loved to share the message of god's love to anyone willing to listen and sometimes even when they were not. He had the mind of an engineer and loved to talk. He never met a stranger and was there for anyone that asked.

All that being said he wasn’t able to connect emotionally with me and I interpreted that as something wrong with me. I have repeated my relationship with my dad in my personal life more than once seeking out people that were unable to connect emotionally. I can see now is that those relationships felt like home to me.

With time I have also realized that the same man that was willing to carry me up 22 steps when I was four was there all along. He didn’t know how to show his emotions and I needed that after my mother died. Now I feel I can let that go and be in a place of acceptance. He loved me and I loved him and remembering this has helped to heal the final traces of resentment I have had.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Refrigerator Art

I am dog sitting for my next door neighbor this holiday. It is pretty easy and for the most part I don’t mind going over there and hanging out while they eat. Today I was running late and they were pretend fighting and not eating and I became frustrated. I decided to sit in one of three Lazy Boy chairs. The chairs face three different directions (not sure why) so I plopped myself down in the one opposite of the dogs fighting outside. I tried to meditate for a moment to figure out why I felt annoyed this morning.

I looked straight ahead and on the refrigerator there was a giant A with an angel next to it. In past week I have thought a lot about angels and even bought a book about angel sightings. I have heard the word angel in songs that I have been listening to for years and never noticed.

Does it mean anything, it does to me and that is what is what is important. I do believe that we are being watched over by a power greater than ourselves and if we pay attention we can receive comfort from that power. When we are lost in our own thoughts or busy with everyday life we dismiss the very things that would comfort us it we noticed them.

By the time we find the perfect time to pray or meditate it is too late and we have spent hours or days in an anxious state. Paying attention to our needs first and just taking a moment wherever we are is all that is needed to bring us back to a place of peace.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Dream Book

I was reluctant to write about Christmas in light of yesterday’s post but I have recovered from the mood I was in and would like to share a little gratitude.

As a child Christmas always started for me with the Sears dream book. I spent hours and hours looking through it and circling my deepest desires. I knew there wasn’t a Santa at a pretty early age and my only hope was that my mom and I were on the same page. This was rarely the case. When I woke up on Christmas morning I usually received nothing I had circled. The gifts I got were even better than I imagined and they always required imagination or creativity.

You see my mom knew me better than I knew myself. She knew that the toys I picked out would never keep my attention for very long. That holds true for me today sometimes what I want isn’t really what I need. I have to trust God to know what will really make me happy. Just like my mom he knows what is right for me even if I don’t know myself.

Once you get what you need the catalogue is a distant memory.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

If Wishes Were Horses....

We would all go for a ride. This was my Grandmother Bryant’s version of the rhyme. That is how I feel today. Wishing things were different today and not in a place of acceptance really. People move in an out of our live for various reasons and at the holidays it seems especially noticeable who is missing.

I always have new people in my life and for that I am grateful. Someone recently told me that you don’t make real friends after college. I didn’t go to college until I was 40 so that would really leave some lonely times. I enjoy my friendships old and new but I am feeling a little melancholy today.

Staying in the moment can be difficult this time of year and even if you don’t buy off on the Christmas marketing the wishing can still sneak up on you.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Man in a Sea of Words

I met a man a couple of days ago that owns a huge used book store. I went there a year ago before the election and he was full of venom and made the assumption that I agreed with him. I didn’t go back until yesterday because I like to stay away from any kind of negativity when I am feeling down myself. Now that my own depression has passed I felt I was up to it. I went with a friend, who is walking sunshine; to do some Christmas shopping I knew this would infuse some positive energy into the visit.

When we started to pay he started the same negative talk. I said I think that is same monologue you had this time last year and my friend said maybe you need some new material. That was it really. I went back yesterday to spend more money and he was like another person. He even gave me a book, one of his favorite as a Christmas present.

Sometimes we get stuck and don’t realize it. It is easy to do when we spend so much time in our heads. We are all susceptible to getting lost in our thoughts and those thoughts can be negative or positive our choice really. Should I have said something? I don’t know but I didn’t plan it. His negativity has kept me away from his store for a year. I love used books and he obviously loves them too. I felt like I really met the man yesterday behind the negativity and unfortunately for my pocket book I will be back.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Bewitching problem

Character defects or assets this decision can depend on your point of view. I have realized that I like problems and I like solving them. In the business world this can be an asset of the best kind. I am willing to take on problems that no one would go near. It was about the challenge the before and after effect. This goes way back to early childhood I remember watching Bewitched and how I loved watch Samantha turn her messy house into perfection in an instant. I definitely can do the before in my own house and wait until it get pretty bad so I can enjoy the dramatic after effect. There is no drama in clean as you go.

With work I could always be counted on to get the job done and without complaint, well maybe sometimes. This asset served me well and I have excelled in anything to do with earning a living. The defect comes in when I try to apply this to people. In the arena of love I chose more complicated and sometimes wounded people. After the program I didn’t try to change them but I would always be optimistic about the possibilities. I was never really could see how their problems could effect me.

Outside of love I have do have a number of friends like myself who have overcome many obstacles in their own lives and don’t back away from anything really. With their help I can sometimes acknowledge that some situations and people aren’t good for me. It is hard for me to watch someone in pain. I can step back now and know that I am not always the solution and God has his own plan for the lives of others. This is not to say if someone I care about is drowning I won’t pull them out if I can. Sometime without them asking but if they decide to go back in they are on their own. Maybe...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Intentions

I have been focused on the negative lately and the fear of future. All the things I fear are real possibilities but so are all the potentially great things that could happen. I don’t spend much time dwelling on what wonderful things are in store for me in the months and years ahead. So why do I expect the worse it is the same odds right. Why do I spend so much time preparing mentally for the worst?

I create my own pain even before the potential disaster happens. I think that I do this because I want to be prepared, not get my hopes up in case things don’t go my way. So on top of the disaster, if it comes, I also spend some additional time being unhappy before it gets here and if it never comes at all then I wasted time in fear of nothing. That sounds crazy just writing it but this is how I manage the fear of the unknown.

I have decided to start a policy of writing down the best case scenario instead of thinking the worst. When I focus on all the possibilities, it helps me to imagine what I want not what I don’t want. It is a gratitude list for the future and it makes me realize just what is possible.

Miracles-Step Two

This is the season for miracles and the celebration of the ultimate gift. It is hard to relate to that kind of gift in this day and time but there are miracles that happen every day in Alanon. I went to a meeting today that was chaired by someone with only 18 months in the program and he said he lost his wife to alcoholism 8 months ago.

He went on to talk about how much he had grown and what the program had done for him. Without bitterness or defeat just open honesty. I had seen him at other meetings and would have never imagined he was going through such a difficult time. He stayed after the meeting and talked with some newcomers.

The program gives us support and courage when despair is all we can see for ourselves. Came to believe a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Who is narrating my Life?

When I am stuck in a low place I like to watch one particular movie over and over again. I like to do this because there is no real commitment. I can fall asleep and wake up just in time for my favorite parts or I can sleep through the whole thing.

I was trying to figure out what it was about this movie that gives me comfort when nothing else can. It came to me that the movie “Stranger Than Fiction” combines all the things I love in life love, food, writing and dry ironic humor. He is an IRS agent hopelessly lost in a mundane life. He starts hearing a voice narrating the monotony of his life an then she states that something he has done will lead to his ultimate death. Until then his life was enough.

It is the perfect story the idea of dying throws him in a panic and he starts to change. He meets the unlikely love of his life, a baker he is auditing and decides to do something about it. He has nothing to lose so he starts changing. Breaking out of the sameness of his existence and deciding what he really wants to do each day.

I can relate to this story because I feel I have been asleep for a lot of my life. I never thought I chose that for myself but it has slipped up on me more than once. First with I make small concessions and then before I know it I don’t recognize the person I have become. This is my own doing, no one ask me I volunteer. I know this now and with this awareness I realize I have to look for what gives me joy in my life. Sometimes I forget that I am choosing to accept less and that I have to consciously pursue joy.

The character in the movie gets a reprieve in the end and the narrator doesn’t kill him. Every time I realize that I am the narrator in my own life I get a reprieve I can make a choice to do something different to not accept things as are but as they can be.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Memories and Music

With the holiday season upon us it is hard for me not to think about the people that are not with me this year some by choice and some because their time here on earth is over. My thoughts were there this afternoon while I listen to the one Christmas cd that I own.

The ones that are not with me by choice, how do I reflect on that without seeing it as a negative? I always want to blame myself in some way instead of accepting that nothing stays the same good or bad. People make choices for themselves and sometimes their choices can change the course of your life. Looking back now I can see for the most part I am better off. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel sad sometimes but mostly because I miss the feeling of being part of their lives. I struggle with the loss of the safety I thought I had in those relationships.

The loss of those people in my life that left not by choice. This really is about mostly my parents. Mainly my mother she died when I was 11 and this was a loss that also changed the course of my life forever. It is also why I have spent most of my life trying to create a safe relationship where I thought I belonged. Trying to be a part of someone else’s family doesn’t work and when they leave they take their family with them. I have realized, over the past year that my family consist of the people that have been there for me during a time when I thought I wasn’t going to survive.

Do we ever really know who will be in our lives this time next year we only have this season. I can choose to spend my time in regret or I can enjoy the day and the people that are with me now. For me and my family every day seems like a holiday. We make time for each other and I think this is what every one tries to do at this time of year. It is important but almost impossible to squeeze between Thanksgiving and New Years without a lot of stress

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Content to Stand on my Head

When I was eight my mother signed me up for gymnastics it wasn’t the gymnastics of today. Back then our parents were just trying to keep us from wrecking the house in the afternoons. They didn’t think any of us were headed to Olympics just to the dance recital at the end of the year. The problem was that I had or have a short attention span and the only thing I had learned during all those classes was to stand on my head. Just like today the recitals were serious and held downtown in a big theater and I was terrified.

Participation is the key to harmony so the dance teacher, as suggested by my mother I am sure, choreographed a routine where I basically stood on my head in front of the stage while everyone performed the routine behind me. I was relieved they had found the perfect place for me.

I remember the day of the big recital I was so excited to wear my lime green glow in the dark body suite and my mother had given me Princess Leah hair. This was before Star Wars, I looked stunning. I stood on my head for the entire five minute routine even while the 99 bobby pins my mother used fell out. I wasn’t about to let that stop me.

I was watching a dance show tonight and this memory came to me. Recently I have felt like I have been standing on my head while everyone else is performing the routine behind me. Oddly enough I can still stand on my head for real. So just for today I will be content to stand on my head.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Serenity is ultimately the place I find when I am not distracted from the reality of life. It is in spite of what is happening and being in the present moment. Do I have everything I need right now? I have found when I start looking to the future with all its uncertainty that I can imagine all the perils lurking around every corner. I have to consciously decide not to go there to the dark side. If I stay in the moment it keeps the focus on the now. One of the readings in Courage to Change says that it is just as likely that something good will happen as something bad. If I can remember that simple phrase I can keep the fear a bay.

Today’s picture was taken at my favorite hiking trail. I like this photo because there is no sign of human existence except of course I am taking the picture. The beauty here fills my heart with hope and I feel closest to all things spiritual there.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Looking for a Christmas Wreath

Making the decision to actually put out Christmas decorations is a hurdle I face every year. Last year I was depressed and distracted and the thought never crossed my mind but this year after my recent awakening I have been toying with the thought. This doesn’t mean that I will do anything about it but the fact that I am considering it is a big step.

The holidays are a time of reflection for me I don’t have the chaos in my life that most have. I work for myself so unless I throw myself a party I don’t have the company party to worry about. I am grateful for that I can remember the time and energy spent on deciding what to buy the people at work. I think gifts should show that you really know someone and not some mindless selection. If you don’t know someone very well why are you buying them a gift? I guess this is where gift cards come in to save the day. This all seems very impersonal to me.

So what to do about decorations I did make a special wreath for my old house but that really brings up a lot of thoughts even as I write. So I think I will have to meditate on how I would like to celebrate this year. It was intended that this time of year be about love and Gods ultimate gift to us. So in that spirit I will look for a way to express that kind of love this season.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stop and Smell the Roses

“…restore me to my capacity to wonder.”

This is the last sentence for the January 12th reading in One Day at a Time (aka ODAT). It was used for today meeting on joy and wonder. Most people focused on joy but for me wonder is really what makes me feel joy.

The beautiful rose in the picture was plucked at the peak of perfection by a friend of mine on Thanksgiving. It was even more beautiful this morning but I over slept and didn't have time to take a picture.

Today it is easier for me to see beauty and find joy. Before the program I was too busy fighting the committee in my head to pay attention to anything around me. I had a list of things that needed to be accomplished and nothing got in my way. I am not that person today. Today it is important for me to take time to see what is really in front of me whether that is a person or the beauty in nature. I am actually in the moment most of the time. For me this is the biggest gift of the program, being present.

When I see newcomers start to get better. It is like they are seeing things for the first time and for me this is joy and wonder all wrapped up together.

A rose is beautiful no matter where it came from or if it is past it’s prime. It is important for me to ask God to help me find joy and wonder every day.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Today when I opened my computer journal I noticed that it has been exactly one year today since I started that journal. My feelings were so raw and I was facing the uncertainty of my life with fear. Strangely the circumstances of my life haven’t really changed that much but with the passing of time I have reached a place of acceptance.

The Serenity Prayer talks about accepting the things I cannot change. That encompasses a lot of things including sometimes my own thoughts. If a thought takes hold sometimes I am powerless, on my own, to get unstuck and sometimes only time can make a difference. Accepting my powerlessness over even my thoughts can be freeing. Sometimes just riding things out and recognizing that even though I can’t see it my Higher Power is working on me from the inside.

Today I am not the same person I was a year ago or even yesterday. I can look back to both without judgment. I can’t always be where I want or like where I am but with the program I can be in a place of acceptance.

Too Much Mail

While eating lunch one day recently I saw a station wagon being pulled on a trailer. It was packed with mail and all of the windows were covered. I wondered what the story was behind the car and how long it took to accumulate that much mail and at what point did the owner ultimately abandon the car. They could be buried beneath all that mail.

I could see that happening to me. The amount of mail that got piled up during my depression and grief could have filled a car or it seemed like that at the time. Looking at that car I guess it could have been worse. I have talked to others about this issue and it seems the mail is the last thing anyone wants to deal with during grief and depression.

I remember someone saying that she would avoid the mailbox all together for weeks. For me paperwork takes stamina and when I was at my lowest I reserved my energy for getting out of bed.

I only have a few small piles now and will get around to them soon. Progress not perfection is the key to my sanity. As for the car of mail hopefully the car really was abandoned and the owner doesn’t have to face that mail again.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pilgrims and Thanksgiving

This day has meant a lot of things to me over the years. The early years while living with the effects of alcoholism I tried to use the holidays to make up for the pain I felt in the rest of my life. I wanted everything to be perfect one time I talked everyone into dressing up like pilgrims. My controlling of others had no limit. Amazingly they did it and it was pretty funny.

Later on I did recreate the Thanksgiving of the Martha Stewart kind and I did this out of love and genially enjoyed the process. That time in my life is over and most of the people that were there for that are no longer in my life. Today I can accept that and my journey has moved forward. It has taken me two years to get to this point and to realize that life goes one. Like it or not.

Today I am having an unconventional Thanksgiving with the people I love and that love me. That is all you can really ask for in life and I am grateful to be able to see that now. The program has given me a life I never even knew existed. I can be who I am and know that I am loved and accepted. This is what I consider a spiritual awakening.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sometimes I don’t like where I am so I have to go some place else.

I took a break from writing for a couple of weeks because I was heavily involved in some on-line games. It started out pretty innocent and then morphed into a compulsive obsession pretty quick. I have since reached the peak of saturation and I have started to come down from the high and I now am bored with the whole thing.

Today I took a little break from my day and ate lunch in my car. I started thinking about where I am right now emotionally. The obsessive compulsive part of my personality has brought me to where I am today. This is something I have accused various people of through out my life after I was ignored and ditched for more interesting things.

This is hard for me to admit and part of my own Fourth Step. I have ignored the people I love from time to time while I was engrossed in the latest obsession. Usually the relationship is the obsession and just as I described the path of my latest obsession the relationships ended up the same way.

If my sponsor was here she would tell me not to be so hard on myself and she would be right. In ever relationship there are two people and both have to work together to maintain the relationship. I did my best and nothing can change to past.

Obsessions aren’t always bad and at times can give my psyche a well deserved break. It has been fun and I have returned refreshed and willing to move forward with some other more deserving obsessions in my life.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Squirrels in the Attic

I have squirrels in the attic and I can hear them during the day. They sound like they are stuck but I know in time they will go back out the way they came in.

The emotional squirrels in my attic ran my life before the program. There was always confusion mixed with denial and I was crazy most of the time. Everything so out of control moving fast in all directions kept me in a state of panic and ultimately depression.

When I came into the program I couldn't control the alcoholic or really anyone in my life. When I had exhausted every possible solution I could come up with I recognized how futile and exhausting this was and I was ready for help. It seemed like defeat to give up, but I can see now, I wasn't really giving up anything. The control I thought I once had was an illusion. When I finally recognized this I was free to focus on my own life and my own recovery.

Surrendering my will and life over to the care of a God of my understanding has helped me identify the things that hold me back. The kind of thinking that makes me crazy and keeps me crazy.

I still have squirrels in the attic and I know they will work their way out eventually the same goes for my emotional squirrels. I still have to go back to step one and work my way through but it does not take as long as it did the first time.

Monday, November 2, 2009

More on Denial

Yesterday’s meeting was very emotional. Two weeks in a row there have been a lot of tears. When people share that are living with active alcoholism or about the overall effects of alcoholism on their lives it brings out buried emotion in all of us. Compassion is felt for the person speaking and for ourselves. This is how healing begin and continues for everyone.

Denial was defended for the most part. I shared a little of my story and I do understand the purpose of denial as part of the grief process. Accepting my self and others where we are is part of why the program works.

I want stay more in touch with my feelings and not be in denial until a shock brings me out of it. I have to spend more time getting in touch with my higher powers will for my life and asking to gently guided in the right direction.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Denial-The path of least resistance.

I am chairing a meeting tomorrow and I am hoping to get insight from others on the topic of denial. I have had a lot of experience with denial and have realized that it can be useful at times and also lethal at times.

My first experience with denial was when I was a child. It was second hand through my father. When I was nine my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and my father refused to accept a fatal diagnosis and as a family we couldn’t talk about the possibility of cancer taking her life. At my age I believed that if my father said she would live, she would live. For 2 ½ years we spent our free time between the hospital and faith healing services. When my mother died I was in shock and so was my father. I realize now, as an adult, he was coping with the loss of the love of his life and he could not accept this reality. The denial protected him but ultimately we all suffered the loss.

The story above shaped the way I have used denial in my own life. If we could have faced the possibility of losing my mother before she died we could have been there together for support. But instead we all went along as though nothing was happening. After she died, my father pulled away from us and kept as busy as possible. We never talked about my mom and for many years it was as if she never existed.

My father has since passed and I don’t blame him for my problems now I just realized that this denial issue goes way back for me. I have time and time again denied my feelings and obvious problems in my life until something awful happens and then I feel like a victim.

I want to stay in touch with my feelings and the reality of my life good or bad. Staying so busy that I don’t have to think has ultimately let me ignore my feelings and avoid facing reality.

Relating the way I have used denial and how it was part of my childhood helps me to understand why it comes so naturally to me. I am looking forward to the meeting tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Working towards Gratitude

Yesterday I spent the day pulling carpet from my basement. This was no easy task given that it was glued down with industrial glue. This is when my character defect of stubbornness comes in handy. I dug in and now have a carpet free basement.

This was quite an accomplishment I realize now that I have been depressed and grieving for a long time. Before even the idea of emptying the dishwasher seemed like a monumental task.

While I was working I had my IPOD on with all my favorite songs past and present. Music has always been a part of my recovery and every song took me back to certain time in my life. Over the past year there have been times that I could not even listen to music. I had a chanting CD but even that would put me on edge.

Yesterday I was able to listen to a think about my past without emotion. I am grateful and feel like I have turned an emotional corner. In the past I always relied on chores to push down my emotions. This period of grief was different and there was no escaping the pain and I had to wait until it passed. Having the emotional and physical energy to accomplish yesterday’s task made me realize that God is restoring me to sanity.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pain and Shame

I was reading a home grown news letter last week. It was your typical events letter with time and place of local meetings and events. When I got to the end the author had put a personal note about someone in the group. Evidently they had left a long term relationship for someone else and had now been dumped. I guess the author thought that being publicly ridiculed was somehow justified.

I have thought about this all week. I am sure the author thought she was being loyal and protecting her friend by lashing out and everyone probably felt better for about a minute. I have personally suffered the loss of two long term relationships in just this way and while reading this I remember the pain and betrayal that I felt at the time.

The first time I didn’t have the support of the program or really anyone. In my mind I was a victim in every sense of the word and would have gladly publicly humiliated him. This time it was different I had support and the program to work through the pain. I wasn’t a victim and even though I felt sorry for myself I couldn’t really produce the venom of the past.

We all change through the years and sometimes we grow together and sometimes apart. The level of shame the other person feels does not affect us one way or the other. With the program I can accept that we all doing the best we can with what we have. The other person’s pain does not help our recovery. In my heart I knew that something was missing and ultimately God did for me what I could not do for myself.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Letting Go-Just Sleep On It

The other day I saw a pickup truck transporting a mattress folded in half. I had to laugh because it reminded me of once in my 20's my husband and I were given a mattress and we folded it and put it in the hatch back of my car. We were excited about having something new, we were so broke at the time and sleeping on a mattress furnished by the landlord. What we didn't realize is that the fold was permanent. We were miserable we tried both sides one way we rolled towards each other and the other we had to hold on for dear life. We slept like a burrito for about a year when we finally bought a water bed (this was the 80's). We were young and didn't realize the importance of a good nights sleep. It was free and we were determined to make it work. I thought about how long we suffered before we decided we were ready to let it go.

Today's meeting at the beach was about letting go, this seems to be an on going theme for me right now. How long am I willing to suffer now before I let go? That depends on how bad I want things to go my way. Someone said at lunch today that they get trapped in the question of whether they have done all the necessary foot work before letting go. I could relate to that and how many times I think maybe I should do just one more thing before I give it to God. Does he really need my help? Today I am choosing to let it go and not to sleep on it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Step Two-Came to Believe

Step Two- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

What this means to me is that it is possible, it doesn't mean that it has happened yet. In my case this process is long and painful. I have to wallow in the mess admit that I have a problem and then believe that I can't fix it. As long as I think I can find a solution on my own I don't need help. When I am exhausted and I have come to a place of acceptance of my powerlessness I am ready to accept help. I just have to be ready and believe that I will some day be restored to sanity. What to do while I am waiting is the hardest part. I am an action person and I can quickly start thinking of possible solutions and I then have to go back to Step One. This is the insanity and why I have to believe that only a power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. All I have to do is believe this is possible.

I have been waiting to be restore to sanity for almost two years and it has been the most painful period of my life. Until recently I didn't believe that I would ever be restored to sanity. I have had more difficult times in the past but I would escape by burying the pain in my work and the rest of the time I would sleep. This time those solutions didn't work for me. I was left to face the pain wide awake. Most of the time I felt like I was an alien visiting from another planet. In the past month I have seen glimpses of sanity and that has helped me to believe that it is possible.

Today's reading in Courage to Change talks about growing at your own pace and this growth cannot be forced no matter how bad we want to move ahead. I have accepted this time of my life as part of God's plan for me. The pain will pass and with the help of the steps and my friends in the program I will emerge stronger than ever. I am only ask to believe.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Home alone today. I gave myself the day off today. This isn't an easy decision for me. Being alone with my thoughts can work against me but I am feeling stronger today. After last weeks dip it has taken me this long to have to courage to write. I haven't shared my blog with anyone I know yet. This is my own insecurity that I might not measure up so I have stayed anonymous. There is nothing that my friends from the program do not know about me. But somehow this seem different. Feeling safe to share my inner most thoughts and feeling with people I trust is part of my recovery. After being shut down emotionally for so many years having the courage to put myself out there is still an on going challenge. When I go to meetings and hear other people being so honest about where they are in their recovery it makes me realize that I am not alone. There is comfort in knowing that we are all on the same journey and looking for acceptance and comfort along the way.

Last night during a meeting someone said that they realized that however they were feeling wouldn't last forever. Good or bad this too shall pass. My life has radically changed over the past two years and I have had to face a lot of uncertainty and the fear that goes along with that. These feelings have overwhelmed sometimes to a point that I felt paralyzed with depression. In the past few months I have felt like I have just awakened from a coma. I am still trying to figure what happened in my absence and accepting that this is my new life. I wouldn't go back if I could but a clean slate can be daunting. Hearing that this too shall pass gave me the comfort I needed to face another day. Life is always changing and we never stay in the same place for long.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dumpster Diving

I seems no matter how much time has passed that the mind can always bring up old feelings of loss. After yesterdays posting I was feeling down and couldn’t really figure out why. After talking it over with a friend and telling him about my blog entry I started to get a little overwhelmed. It was a painful time in my life giving up that marriage and the dream of happily ever after. I have moved on in many ways since that time but I can look back and have compassion for the person I was then. I can look at how far I have come and accept that I did the best I could. Just like today I am doing the best that I can. I have to admit even now sometimes I think that it would easier to be emotionally shut down. But today I have support of my friends in the program and deal with my emotions as they surface. I know shutting down isn't option for me anymore. Back then it helped me cope with the pain of my life. Now I can put up with an occasional dumpster dive it is better than living in one.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Step One-The first time

Step One- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives have become unmanageable.

I came to my first Al-Anon meeting through the recommendation of my counselor I didn’t really even know that I was fighting the disease of alcoholism. All I knew was my husband had left me after 9 years of marriage and I had to do something about it. When she brought up the possibility that alcohol played a part in my situation I didn’t really believe her. The alcoholics of my childhood didn’t have jobs. Sure he drank but so did all his friends and they were happily married. At this point I thought I was not powerless and if I could figure out what it was that he needed I could fix it. So I started scheming I tried everything you can imagine and to my surprise nothing worked. He would reach out to me sometimes and this would give me hope but when I reached out to him he wasn’t interested. This made me crazy and I would like to say I gave up and ran to Al-Anon and embraced the 12 steps, but I wasn’t powerless yet. Alcoholism was so final and I wanted proof so I tested the theory. I would have him meet me at restaurants that didn’t serve alcohol and study him. He was noticeably agitated and would say this place would be great if they served beer. The last of these meetings he said I know you’re mad, why don’t you just punch me. You heard right. I have never punched anyone before or since but took him up on it. I knocked the wind out of him and I am a small women and he was a big man. My life had become unmanageable and I knew it.

I did eventually attend that first meeting. As you can tell from the story above it is clear that by the time I got there I couldn’t deny that I was powerless and that my life had become unmanageable. I was spiritually bankrupt and the ups and downs of dealing with the effects of alcoholism had taken its toll on me. I don’t really know if whether my ex-husband was or is an alcoholic but, I do know he was an adult child of an alcoholic and that alcohol had affected our lives. This was my first experience with the Step One but not my last.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Getting Started

Waiting for perfection, that is what I have always done. This does nothing but give me time to let doubt seep in and then the inevitable critical voice in my head starts talking. This is a blog about letting go and I am starting with letting go of this blog and whether I have anything to share worth reading. I am willing and I am letting go of the outcome.

Since I came to Al-Anon I have had to let go of a lot of thoughts, behaviors and people that weren’t good for me anymore. Some were by choice and some with HP prying my fingers away one by. In this blog I will share parts of my story of how the steps of Al-Anon have transformed me and my life forever. Some of what I share will be from conference approved (sanctioned officially by Al-Anon) literature and some will be from other literature sanctioned by me. Take what you like and leave the rest. I will of course share my own experience, strength and hope. It is my intention that this blog will keep me focused on the program and let others know that through the steps there is hope for those living with the effects of alcoholism.