Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Shooting For The Moon

I received one of those emails that goes around the internet that shows a smiling farmer giving sage advice. One of the bits of wisdom he offers is “If you find yourself in a deep hole, stop digging.” So I did. Sorry to say that included blogging for the last two weeks. I really appreciate the emails and “hellos” I received while I have been away. It’s great to know that people read my little piece of the cyber sphere; and I want you to know that my affection for fellow bloggers is mutual.

I have officially started school, fast tracking 17 units in advanced addiction studies. I’m also still working since I never remember to buy a lotto ticket. My Higher Power has blessed me with a few newcomers who seem to think I can help, and I’ve been giving them whatever time I can spare. I am keeping my meeting schedule regular, because for ME that is critical. All in all this means I’ve turned off the computer and the TV and put aside anything that might distract me from what I’ve decided is my primary purpose for now.

It’s great to have goals today, and to know a little bit about how to prioritize time, follow through, and go after what I want in life. When I think back on the scared overwhelmed girl I used to be I am filled with gratitude. There was a time in my life when I was going nowhere…now I truly believe anything is possible.

If you are a regular reader, thank you for your patience while I shoot for the moon. I will post when I can. Meanwhile, I’m here….I’m sober…and I’m just bursting with gratitude.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Cradle

I was launched into the fourth dimension this morning and got to spend some time with my father. He has been dead for twenty four years now, but I felt him with me as surely as I feel these keys under my fingers. You can say its hooey but it happened.

The year of my dad’s death was the year of my daughter Jolie’s birth. She was eight months old when he passed away. When I was pregnant with Jolie Dad made her a cradle. He loved to work with wood and I believe he wanted to give Jolie something “of himself”. He built her something peaceful and lovely, a place for rocking and dreaming and feeling the cocoon of love.

One of my sponsees and dearest friends is expecting a baby soon and I will be a God Mother. I’ve offered her the use of the cradle. I dragged it out of storage to clean and oil the wood and polish the hardware. I was approaching it as a chore, "get it done and move on to the next thing on my agenda." I took a rag and started oiling the wood, and as I did I started seeing the cradle with my heart instead of my eyes. I saw every bit of love and detail that my dad poured into that gift in his final days. As I rubbed the wood I let my hand follow the same strokes as the stain he had applied; I let my eyes see what he saw when he built it. I felt him with me. As I was getting lost in all of this I realized that the song playing in the backround was Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill.

I did not believe the information
Just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom, boom
"Son," he said, "Grab your things, I've come to take you home."

Without a doubt my father knew I would be doing this someday…….oiling the wood on this cradle for my grand children or god children. See, the cradle was for Jolie, but THIS was his gift for me……24 years later.

We never know when our gifts will come. It is with great humility that I accept this one. I was not sober when my Dad passed away. I am now, and it is because of sobriety that I even recognize the gift. I wonder how many of life’s gifts might pass us by if we don’t pause and open our hearts and minds to the infinite possibilities that our Higher Powers have in store for us.

I hope my Dad knows that we have “broken the chain”. I am living a life beyond my wildest dreams and a generation of babies of sober parents can rock and dream away the night in the cradle he so lovingly built.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A Remote Spot

My sweet friend is living the first part of A Vision For You. She's trying to find her way to the Jumping off Place. I looked up the definition of "Jumping off Place". It can mean either "a remote spot"...or a "spot where you begin a journey or new venture". I'm afraid she is in a remote spot.

She has known the conviviality, companionship and release from care, boredom and worry. But now she is down to the seeking out sordid places...... yearning to capture something that is just not there. I pray she will not be hurt. Our elevator does not have to go all the way to the bottom before we get off.

I love how A Vision For You Ends...how we all can trudge the road to a happy destiny. This is my prayer for her. Well, that is my prayer for all of us.

jumping-off place definition
1. A beginning point for a journey or venture.
2. A very remote spot.

FOR MOST normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colorful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good. But not so with us in those last days of heavy drinking. The old pleasures were gone. They were but memories. Never could we recapture the great moments of the past. There was an insistent yearning to enjoy life as we once did and a heartbreaking obsession that some new miracle of control would enable us to do it. There was always one more attempt-and one more failure.
The less people tolerated us, the more we withdrew from society, from life itself. As we became subjects of King Alcohol, shivering denizens of his mad realm, the chilling vapor that is loneliness settled down. It thickened, ever becoming blacker. Some of us sought out sordid places, hoping to find understanding companionship and approval. Momentarily we did-then would come oblivion and the awful awakening to face the hideous Four Horsemen-Terror, Bewilderment, Frustration, Despair. Unhappy drinkers who read this page will understand!
He will presently try the old game again, for he isn’t happy about his sobriety. He cannot picture life without alcohol. Some day he will be unable to imagine life either with alcohol or without it. Then he will know loneliness such as few do. He will be at the jumping-off place. He will wish for the end. From A Vision For You pg 151 BB

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Reach Out

The title of Clarity Case's current post is Agony. Can you reach out and offer support?

Near you, alcoholics are dying helplessly like people in a sinking ship. If you live in a large place, there are hundreds. High and low, rich and poor, these are future fellows of Alcoholics Anonymous. Among them you will make lifelong friends. You will be bound to them with new and wonderful ties, for you will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey. Then you will know what it means to give of yourself that others may survive and rediscover life. You will learn the full meaning of "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
Page 152 A VISION FOR YOU from The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Phases & Changes

I posted not long ago about going off my hormone replacement medication. Well, sure enough, now there’s a hair growing out of my chin. I’m fairly certain I’ll grow a penis soon. I hope it’s a big one so I can win friends and influence people. I’ve heard there is a connection somehow.

You may laugh, but that’s how my mind operates. I hit a little bump in the road and assume I’m going right off the cliff. This kind of thinking sends me spinning and costs me my serenity. I used to like the “spinning”…in fact I think I might have been just as addicted to the drama in my life as I was to drugs or alcohol. Not any more. Now I treasure my serenity and have learned that I need to protect it at any cost.

My husband and I are facing some personal and professional challenges right now that are causing us to reevaluate some areas of our life. Nothing earth shattering, just life on life’s terms….but nonetheless it looks like we have some hard choices to make. I don’t like hard choices. When I have to make a hard choice it feels like the sky is falling. The truth is that the sky is NOT falling; I’m just getting closer to the sky because I’m growing.

Whatever we decide, I know it will be okay. I don’t need to know what “okay” looks like right now. I was talking to my sponsor tonight about the subject of change and willingness and God’s will for us. He pointed me towards the end of our 3rd step in the 12 and 12 where it talks about the misuse of will power. Our whole trouble had been the misuse of willpower. We had tried to bombard our problems with it instead of attempting to bring it into agreement with God's intention for us. That helped me a lot. The answer is always the same: surrender and trust, more will be revealed. I may be a little low on courage, but I’m high on faith.