Sunday, December 31, 2006

A New Beginning

Happy New Year is such a large wish. I like to take things in smaller increments. So I am wishing you all a Happy New Day, and hoping we all will be blessed with 364 more.

Tonight we will be sharing our home with friends and loved ones from the fellowship. What a blessing. I read A Vision For You this morning. I love the line "He will show you how to create the fellowship you crave." Another promise has come true...........

Remember in the coming year, More Will Be Revealed.

God Bless and Grace you All


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Today my gratitude is for my daughter Jolie's homecoming. She arrives Christmas Day!

Top Ten Things We'll Do While She Is Here:

1. Cuddle
2. Yak Yak Yak
3. Reindeer Prance Dance
4. Go to Starbucks
5. Shop the Sales
6. Go to Some Meetings
7. Run around in our jammies
8. Get a pedicure in a spa chair
9. Sing to the dogs
10. Cuddle more

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

People sure get into some strange behavior around the holidays. I don’t know, maybe it’s just another “expectation” I shouldn’t be romancing, but I keep waiting for that “comfort and joy” feeling to hit me up the side of the head.

Public places are vibrating with desperate energy and traffic is a test of patience and tolerance for even the best of us. Seems like a frenzy, not a holiday.

I keep trying to ignore it all. I made a decision to do my best to focus on spirituality this year, but it’s testing my will. Someone shared in my Friday night home group about how many people we will lose over the next two weeks not from drinking and using to celebrate, but from the stress of the holidays. It’s important that we hold tight to each other right now. Keep an open mind, an open heart, and if necessary an open door.

I need to be mindful of how I am feeling and how I am acting. I need to stay in gratitude and conscious contact with my Higher Power and my fellowship. I feel the best this time of year when I’m with the people who know and love me; the people who are there for me no matter what. They give me comfort. They give me joy.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Not Crazy After All These Years

I saw this postcard on this morning and had to smile. This was me 15 years ago (except I can’t play the guitar). When I was active in my addiction I had a sneaking suspicion that I was crazy. In fact when I went into rehab, I insisted that the diagnosis for my admission be “depression”, not “chemical addiction”. So there I sat, in a lock down unit with a group of severely depressed souls, staring at each other in group sessions, dabbing our eyes with Kleenex, and shuffling back to our rooms. Meanwhile down the hall, the substance abuse people were having their groups…..I’d hear laughter, tears, spirited participation and see little friendships forming. (We are not a glum lot). That was my first “attraction” to a program of recovery, and I hadn’t even made it into the rooms yet.

I asked to be moved to the substance abuse unit. I figured if I was gonna be there for 30 days I might as well hang out with the fun folks instead of the zombies. I was relieved to be out of the whack job unit, but still a little worried about my “crazy” problem. I mean, I had been living a life that was unimaginable (even to ME…and I was the one living it!)

A couple times a week they would load us up in a van and take us to 12 step meetings; and other times program panels would come in and tell their stories. It was in those meetings and listening to those panels that I got my first glimmer of hope. I began to learn that “in our addiction we courted fatal disease, degradation, exploitation, impoverishment, and death by violence, even death by sheer stupidity.” Insanity? Yes. But did that mean I was crazy? No. That meant I was a practicing addict.

It was such a relief to identify with other alcoholics and addicts and learn that I wasn’t crazy. More importantly, I learned that there is a solution. It is a solution for “clearing away the wreckage of the past” (and there was plenty) and starting to build a new life based on this “Fellowship of the Spirit”.

Today I still have crazy thoughts and impulses. They keep life interesting. I just trudge along …… is so complex. I don’t think I’d want it any other way.

He had found God -- and in finding God had found himself. Pg 158 Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous

Saturday, December 09, 2006

6 Weird Things About Me

1. Sometimes I hold my dogs mouth closed and blow air up his nose till it comes out his mouth and his lips make a farty noise.

2. I am an ice cream snob - will only eat the most expensive brands , and then throw it away when its more than a week old.

3. I've been told I sleep with a smile on my face

4. I play with my ear lobes when I’m nervous

5. My life has a soundtrack. I have a song in my head at all times. When imagining events, I imagine the song that will be playing behind them.

6. I think men’s shoulders are sexy.

I tag... .... ,

The Rules - Each player of this game starts with the 6 Weird Things About You. People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own 6 Weird Things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

There was a man who worked for the Post Office whose job it was to
process all the mail that had illegible addresses.

One day, a letter came addressed in a shaky handwriting to God with no
actual address. He thought he should open it to see what it was about.

The letter read:
Dear God,
I am an 83-year-old widow, living on a very small pension. Yesterday
someone stole my purse. It had $100 in it, which was all the money I had
until my next pension check.

Next Sunday is Christmas, and I had invited two of my friends over for
dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food with. I have no
family to turn to, and you are my only hope.

Can you please help me?


The postal worker was touched. He showed the letter to all the other
workers. Each one dug into his or her wallet and came up with a few
dollars. By the time he made the rounds, he had collected $96, which
they put into an envelope and sent to the woman.

The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of Edna
and the dinner she would be able to share with her friends. Christmas
came and went.

A few days later, another letter came from the same old lady to God.
All the workers gathered around while the letter was opened. It read,

Dear God,
How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me? Because of
your gift of love, I was able to fix a glorious dinner for my friends.
We had a very nice day and I told my friends of your wonderful gift.
By the way, there was $4 missing.

I think it must have been those bastards at the Post Office

How often do I perform “good deeds” without expecting something in return? Not often enough I’m afraid. The “something” I usually expect is recognition. The Promises on pg.s 83 & 84 of the BB tell us that “self seeking will slip away”. This has been a slow process for me. It comes and goes.

There are countless opportunities for service work in our programs, our spiritual fellowships and our communities once we have been blessed with sobriety and returned to some semblance of sanity. It is important that I check my motives when investing my time and energy. Am I performing this service work out of gratitude? Or as it says in the third step prayer to bear witness to those I would help of God’s power, love and way of life?

This holiday season I know God will put people in my path that I can be of service to. I pray I can do it with humility, and when possible anonymously.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

When I tell my story from the podium I am fortunate to say that I was raised in a comfortable home by parents who didn’t drink, abuse or neglect me. I have posted about both of my parents having alcoholic fathers. They must have thought they dodged a bullet, if they gave it any thought at all. But the disease is cunning, baffling and powerful. It just waited, skipped a generation, and manifested in me. How amazing and fortunate I am that I have the Fellowship and the Twelve Steps. My grandfathers were the ones the wolves took down.

My parents met at Dennison University in Ohio. Mom was there on tuition, Dad as a member of Officers Candidate School with the US Navy. They met when the navy guys were doing morning calisthenics under the girl’s dormitory window. Mom stuck her head out to yell at them to take it somewhere else. Next thing she knew she was pregnant living in Springfield, Ohio. If you read my previous posts you know my mom’s family was affluent, and my dad’s family was dirt poor. Mom had some changes to get used to…….

There were many changes over the years. They had five children. When the first two were born they had to put the legs of the cribs in pans of water to prevent rats from crawling up and getting to the babies. When they found out they were expecting a third child (me), Dad had to drop out of pre-med courses so he could take another job. When the next two came along, I guess it was just a matter of making space for more. Families seemed normally larger then. We took care of each other.

My parents were married for forty years. They were not always perfect parents, and it was not always a blissful marriage. But I was there to witness more than thirty years of it. When it was good, it was very good. And when it was bad, looking back, it seems we made the best of it. The hard times were always a learning opportunity for us kids. I learned lessons of perseverance, faith, integrity and loyalty to the ones you love that sustain me in my recovery.

My father retired as a Vice President of Purex Corp in 1983. He struggled with heart disease, but had high hopes for retirement. They sold everything, bought a motor home and hit the highway. Unfortunately they didn’t even make it 20 miles before his final heart attack took him from us. Mom held him and promised to see him in another place.

Yes, this is very sad. It has taken me over twenty years to understand that life is about beginnings and endings. Ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows. Each of them is an opportunity to feel with all of the intensity you can bear, each with a gift to offer. I am grateful that I can feel today. I am grateful that I am willing.