Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 10

Top 10 Sobriety Highlights of 2010
     (in no particular order)

*Picking up my 2 year chip on 12/16/10
*Finishing my steps
*Leading a Newcomer's Session
*Giving my testimony
*Befriending Glenda and singing and praying with her days before she died
*Struggling well with my husband as he navigates his own drinking
*Owning up to my slip with xanax last week
*Sharing my story with T and having her celebrate my successes and endure my tears
*Clear eyes and sound mind every morning, sans the morning after the 21st
*Being sober from alcohol for another 365 days

What has been one ore more of your highlights?
Happy New Year!
there IS hope~

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Off the wagon-

I woke up with a hangover this morning. The first hangover in over 2 years. My head hurt, I thought I was going to throw up, I couldn't drink my coffee.

I didn't drink alcohol last night. I did take 2 anxiety pills. And I wasn't feeling anxious. I took one before the party, in anticipation of the anxiety I was afraid I might feel. During the party I was feeling pretty good, so I went ahead and popped the second one.

Yep, sure did.

Felt loopy, like a tiny buzz.

Then felt guilty, full of remorse and regret.

I sent my sponsor a text as  I was leaving the party and she and I proceeded to have a conversation where I admitted everything. Which is actually progress, 2 years ago I would have admitted nothing. At least not at first. I knew what I was doing when I took the pill. I wanted to feel loopy. I wanted to feel some escape. I wanted to.

While I have been sober for 2 years there have been many times I have fantasized about a buzz. Spent too much mental energy imagining what it would feel like. Last night I was weak and I felt that desire again. I have tools to get my head out of those situations, I just chose not to employ them. I didn't pray or text for help or walk away and come back. I purposely put a second pill in my pocket, after taking the first.

And I regret it. Before bed I flushed the rest of the prescription down the toilet. The prescription I really didn't need to get in the first place. I have learned from this that my brain is still sick. When I get a little, I want more. I am still an alcoholic. Last night I just changed my substance. Last night was the biggest mess up of my sobriety. However, it was a huge wake up call and for that I am grateful.

Don't be so naive and self-confident. You're not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it's useless. Cultivate God-confidence. 1 Corinthians 10:12
I am sorry.
I'm still believing that there IS hope~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

more or less

Actual text I sent today:

Does anyone do it right? Does anyone have positive, healthy coping mechanisms?

I went to two stores with my 3 children this morning. My babes are 7.5, 6.5 and 3.5. They are good kids. And they are normal. They talk a lot, run off, ask ask ask for things. I was feeling a bit crazed by the end of the trip.

We finally made it home. And I rewarded myself with 2 pieces of cold pizza and some fudge. Seriously.

Good grief. Instead of feeling less stressed or less anxious or less irritated I felt more bloated and less in control.

Why is that? Why didn't I take a few minutes, walk into my bedroom, count to 10, breath deep, pray? Why did I stuff my mouth f.u.l.l.?

I guess admitting there is a problem is the first step, right?! What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? I did go for a run when my mister came home for his lunch break.

Yep, there IS hope~
Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Denial

a (1) : refusal to admit the truth or reality (as of a statement or charge) (2) : assertion that an allegation is false b : refusal to acknowledge a person or a thing 

That about sums it up. I tried two different times to tell my parents I recently celebrated 2 years of sobriety. Both ways seemed very nonthreatening to me. Both times were met with silence. 


Nothing. Not a thing.


The entire day of my anniversary I felt celebrated. From the cake with two candles with my sponsor and another friend at 515 am to the numerous texts and phone calls, the card in the mail, the dinner my best friend took me to, the cheers and whoops when I went up to get my chip. It seems that people know this is a big deal. That it takes an incredible amount of work to make it 730 days without a drop of alcohol. 

Especially when that was your coping mechanism of choice.


I'm not getting that message from my parents. When I first started on this journey I hid it from my family. Then as time went on there would be subtle comments I'd try to make that fell fast and flat. My sponsor explained that in order for my parents to acknowledge my drinking problem they'd have to face their own.


I see. I get it.


I guess all I wanted today was an atta' girl, a pat on the back.


For them to be proud of me.


It is dangerous for me to get my worth from how others view me. From how my parents view me. I am worthy simply because God created me. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139-13-15) And it doesn't matter if I get a standing ovation at my meeting. or if my parents totally ignore my remarks. God knows my heart. He knows the hard work I have put into my sobriety, the close calls, the late night texts. 


He knows I am an alcoholic and He knows I am sober. 

I'm not denying that.


There IS hope~

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2 years

730 days ago I took my last drink. Gin poured into a sobe bottle. I took the bottles into the living room, away from the lights of the kitchen and poured at least an inch worth of gin into the bottle. I don't like gin. It tastes like Christmas trees. But it was all I had and I drank it anyway.

I drank it, knowing full well it would be my last drink for awhile. Possibly forever. I drank enough that night to have a buzz, but not get drunk.

I haven't had a buzz since. I've wanted one. I have desired the escape of a few glasses of wine. The softening of my shoulders, the slowing of my breath, the fogging up of my brain. I have fantasized about it even.

But I haven't experienced it.

A few weeks ago the topic of my meeting was Relapse. I almost didn't go, flippantly thought, Oh, I'm all past that now. Wrong. As I listened to the speaker I became a little angry. I became a little wistful. I again wanted that imagined freedom of a buzz. I left my meeting and went to a friend's house. She is a new friend, we have become close this fall. But sometimes things just click and you know when folks are legit. She is that friend.

I sat on her couch and slowly my feelings came to the surface, came bubbling out. I was feeling sorry for myself. Feeling like life was unfair, that I had the 'right' to drink. Now T doesn't know my whole story, or the instances of the very worst drinking. But she knows enough to know that I go to meetings and I collect chips and I can say with certainty "I am an alcoholic."

She asked my why would I want to go back there? Why would I want to go back to the pit I had been rescued from? Why would I want to lay awake at night in a panic, wondering what I had said and to whom? Wondering if I had flirted too heavily, laughed too loud, shown too much? Trying to remember how I had gotten home, if anyone from work had seen me, or if I had kissed my kids good night.

Yeah, NO, I don't want to go back there. I do not miss those types of feelings. Of inadequacy and shame and fear and sadness. Such sadness.

So here I sit, 2 years sober. My shame is gone. My smile is genuine. As are my tears. I still struggle and I still seek out help. I'm not even going to tell you how many text messages I send and receive in a given month. I have surrounded myself with strong friends, some of whom have walked this road ahead of me, many who walk alongside of me and a few that I hope to lead into the light. Things are easier with my extended family and my friend that has been praying for ripple effects might be seeing some fruit from her labors.

I told my sponsor this morning- my recovery doesn't define me anymore. It is a part of who I am, not all that I am. There are even days I forget what I have been through.

But today is not one of those days. Today is December 16, 2010 and I have been alcohol free for 2 years. 24 months. 104 weeks. 730 days.

My friend T sent me a note of encouragement this morning. Part of it reads:
My prayer for you today is that you hold steadfast in your journey to serve God through your family, friends, work and church. I pray that you remember only enough of your PAST to keep you focused on your PRESENT ministry, knowing full well that your FUTURE is secure in the grace and love of your Lord, Jesus Christ!

Two down...a lifetime to go. Continue on, taking one step at a time, allowing Him to carry you on the days your weakness seems too great.
Here we go..................

Monday, December 13, 2010

looking back-

This past week or so I have been reflecting on the last 727 days. Much has changed. Much has been clarified. I have been re-reading journal entries from the last two years and reveling in the grace of the Father....

Here is a prayer I wrote in July of this year-

Dear Heavenly Father- I thank you for the grace you have shown me, for the love you have given me and for the safe place you have brought me. I am Your creation and I desire to live a life that is a pure reflection of your spirit. When I am wrong, please let me promptly admit it and help me to be a strength to others, a beacon to them, drawing them near to you. Thank you for the wise people you have placed in my life who love You and love me and that are able to be a guiding force in my life. Allow me to pass that on to others. Lord, please protect me from the enemy, allow me to quickly see his schemes and to cling to You and flee from him. Lord I ask you to provide an outlet for this amazing grace I have been given and that you would also protect my heart from the sin of pride. I am anxious to share all I have been given, boldly and without shame. Thank you thank you thank you for your provision and abundance. Please cover my family and keep us in your arms. In Your Most Holy and Precious name I give you all things- Amen.

2 years is a long time and it is also a blip on the radar of eternity. And for that I am grateful.

There IS hope~

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pray for me-

 I recieved this text message the other morning:

     "I forgot to tell you today that on my way to work this morning I prayed that you would see yourself as God sees you;  completely scar free!"

Wow! How neat to read that first thing in the morning as I stumbled out of bed to get ready for boot camp at 4:55a. My friend had sent it at 11:13 pm the night before, long after I was asleep. The buzz of my phone didn't wake me up, like it sometimes does. And I don't always check my phone before boot camp (Though I was glad I did the morning Kel decided to stay in and I decided to go back to bed, too).That is the beauty of text messaging. Unintrusive and direct.

The message prompted a prayer of thanksgiving in response. I thanked God for this woman He has so purposely placed in my life and for her obedience in following the cue of the Holy Spirit to pray for me. Because we've all felt it, the little nudge or flash of memory of someone or some situation we know about. Often times I bet we even say a quick prayer. How often do we let the person know we have done so?

I think the logical next step is to do just that. Not for praise or reward. But to encourage and fortify those who have been prayed for. This message let me know that others are sincerely praying for me. That message gave me wise counsel 'that I would see myself as God sees me, scar free'. That message prompted me to also pray.

I encourage you to follow through on your prayers. When you feel led to pray for someone, by all means, do it. Then let that person know you prayed for them. It will make a difference. It will touch a heart.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tried and True

Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

This song has been running through my mind for weeks. And a week or so ago a line just struck me.....

'Tried and true'

I started thinking about different instances when I'd been tried. Quite honestly my life hasn't been too tough. There haven't been many chances for me to have to stick to something, even when it got tough. But there have been times this year when I have had to consciously make the decision to stick it out. To be tried and remain true.

I'm in the midst of such a struggle right now. I am studying Revelation in my Community Bible Study group. It is a hard study. I am learning brand new things. New charatcteristics of God. Granted, God is the same today as He was yesterday and as He'll be tomorrow, however these characteristics are new to me.

And I'm choosing to believe. To believe what I know to be true and to ask for help in believing what is new to me. There is a verse in Mark that says "I believe, help my unbelief." I am realizing that this is what it means to be tried and true. Satan would like nothing better than for me to get frustrated or mad or upset and question the very existence of God. Ive got to struggle thru this, struggle well and come out on the other side, stronger and surer than ever of my God.


Here are the rest of the words to the song. I'm not familiar with them, but I like 'em!

It is you, Lord
Who came to save
The heart and soul
Of every man
It is you Lord who knows my weakness
Who gives me strength,
With thine own hand.

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and Holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving I'll be a living
Sanctuary for you

Lead Me on Lord
From temptation
Purify me
From within
Fill my heart with You holy spirit
Take away all my sin

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary
Pure and holy, tried and true
With thanksgiving, I'll be a living
Sanctuary for You

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Read this-

You are not your past
You are not your failures
You are not your parents
You are not your sister
You are not your regrets
You are not your sin
You are not your weight
You are not your divorce
You are not your unemployment
You are not the choices someone else made for you
You are not your brokenness
You are not your bitterness
You are not your abuse
You are not your loneliness
You are not your marital status
You are not your tax bracket
You are not your crisis
This is who YOU are:
You are loved
You are forgiven
You are redeemed
You are destined
You are set apart
You are a new creation
You are valued
You are gifted
You are chosen
You are prized
You are reconciled
You are called
You are noticed
You are pursued
You are a child of The King
You are a co-heir with Christ
You are a royal priesthood
You are adored, cherished and treasured by the God of this universe.
When you choose to stop living out who you are not  and you start to live in who you are...
It changes everything

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Offline

My husband and I had a good talk tonight as we walked the babes to the park. Yea!!

We came to the same conclusion - I am dangerously close to addicted to email and FB. Therefore I am unplugging my computer and taking it to the garage in the morning.

Drastic? Yes. But so is the harm that could come to my face to face relationships.

I'll be back. I just don't know when.

Yet, there IS hope!

Friday, July 16, 2010

19 months

Today marks the 19th month of my sobriety. I am closer to two years than I was yesterday. This is a point to which I have never made it before. Yesterday a friend sent me a message, congratulating me on my 19 months and I had actually forgot. I am not working right now, so I am not always exactly aware of the date.

These last 19 months have been intense. I have been pruned, torn, rebuilt, watered. I have had hours and hours of wisdom poured into my life. I've given encouraging texts late at night. I've cried, yelled, laughed, whispered. Sometimes I forgot for a few days, even, about my sobriety. Moments didn't arise where I was faced with the decision of saying no. Other times I was painfully aware of this new reality.

In this process I have grown much closer to the Lord and have discovered a chasm between me and my parents. I don't know if it will ever be crossed, but I do know I have a friend that prays daily that my sobriety will have a ripple effect in my family. Honestly, I don't often think that is possible.

This past week has been tough. I am facing another hurdle and seeking advice, prayers, laughter from others. I am grateful for my program, I know that this week would have been immeasurably harder had I still been drinking or stuck at step 1. After my meeting last night a woman stayed after and talked with me for 20 minutes. She has walked in shoes that are similar to mine. She could feel my unrest, my sadness, though it was not her own. She offered her thoughts, clarifying that they were just HER thoughts, based on HER life experience. I am taking to heart what she had to say. I am trying to organize the chaos in my brain and take it to God.

Because I have been sober for 19 months I know that this is just a bump in the road, just a dip on my roller coaster. Things will improve, nothing is permanent. And I'm not drinking as I process.

because there IS hope~
Happy Friday!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

so remember that part in that prayer i posted yesterday, that part about recognizing the schemes of the enemy and fleeing? oh, he's scheming alright. and i am fighting back. i just need to focus on who the enemy is. and it isn't my mister.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Faith on a Friday

Last night I helped run the Newcomer's Meeting. This is the second time I've done this. I was excited, anxious and honestly not at all nervous. In the last month I have really felt like it is time to share my story. I am a changed person, given another shot at doing things right, redeemed by grace.

This gift is amazing to me and I want others to feel the same freedom from bondage  that I have experienced and continue to experience each day. On the way home from my meeting I called my sponsor to tell her how it went. I was bursting with emotion, so happy to be free of shame and grateful to be right where I was, sharing and hugging and encouraging.

I emailed a friend when I got home and she wrote back, celebrating with me, and she wrote a prayer that brought tears to my eyes. I also wrote a prayer that I hope to print out and repeat daily as I continue on my journey of sobriety.

I pray for you, too, as we struggle well together on this road.
there IS hope~

Dear Heavenly Father- I thank you for the grace you have shown me, for the love you have given me and for the safe place you have brought me. I am Your creation and I desire to live a life that is a pure reflection of your spirit.
When I am wrong, please let me promptly admit it and help me to be a strength to others, a beacon to them, drawing them near to you. Thank you for the wise people you have placed in my life who love You and love me and that are able to be a guiding force in my life. Allow me to pass that on to others.
Lord, please protect me from the enemy, allow me to quickly see his schemes and to cling to You and flee from him.
Lord I ask you to provide an outlet for this amazing grace I have been given and that you would also protect my heart from the sin of pride. I am anxious to share all I have been given, boldly and without shame. Thank you thank you thank you for your provision and abundance. Please cover my family and keep us in your arms. In Your Most Holy and Precious name I give you all things- Amen.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ten Things I FEEL Now

Like many of you, I drank when I wanted to feel numb. To feel nothing. These last 18 months have been full of feelings. Some good. Some bad.

Here are 10 things I have felt while sober

*Uncomfortable- especially in social situations when I know no one
*Relieved - when I wake up in the morning without guilt or remorse
*Sad- especially in the beginning, thinking I would never again feel a buzz
*Exhilarated- when I worked step 4 and 5!
*Aggravated - OFTEN as the mother of young children....a prime reason I drank daily!
*Surprised - This weekend when my mom acknowledged the fact I hadn't drank in over 18 months
*Proud- When I got my 1 yr chip
*Scared- when I stood before my home group and I said "I'm an alcoholic" for the first time
*Frustrated- as my mister and I figure out how his drinking will look in our lives
*Hopeful- as I venture into helping other women who struggle as I do. I hugged another alcoholic today and told her she would be fine. And I believe it!

How are YOU feeling today?
there IS hope~

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday Question of the Day~

When I 'took a break' from drinking in 2001 I allowed myself to drink whatever I wanted that didn't include alcohol. Besides drinking alcohol I tried to drink diet everything else. To get no calories from my beverages. Of course, getting a buzz was more important than cutting calories, so all bets were off when it came to alcoholic beverages.

But when I stopped drinking I let myself have real cokes, smoothies, fruit juice, things I normally 'sacrificed' in the name of watching my weight.

Another instance of brain damage.

While we were in Hawaii in June I drank fruit juice but I am basically back in the camp of few calories from beverages. I drink diet if I drink soda, but generally I drink unsweet iced tea and water with lime. My new favorite is a hard peppermint candy in my iced tea. Yum!

What is your favorite thing to drink right now?
Happy Monday!
there IS hope~

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

10 things I will tell my children about my drinking

1* Drinking made me sick. Almost every time I drank more than 3 or 4 I threw up. It didn't phase me. It is gross to throw up and not care.
2*I fell once while in college and hurt my hip. I had to limp to class and that hip is STILL ornery when I run.
3*Drunk dialing/emailing/texting cannot be fixed in the morning.
4*My dad's drinking scared me when I was growing up. There IS a family history of drinking problems on our family.
5*I tried to quit 3 times before December 16, 2008
6*I always thought I could handle more than I could.
7*I was part of a drinking organization in college and took part in hazing. It was very dangerous and I am grateful nothing happened.
8*I didn't know people could have fun and let loose without drinking. No one ever told me that and I didn't witness it at home.
9*Often internal controls told me what I was doing was wrong and I ignored them. I should have paid more attention.
10*My years of drinking bring me great sadness.

What will you tell your children?
Happy Tuesday~

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Question of the Day~

I'm going to follow the format of another friend's blog today......

As I grew up my family drank. Parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents. I have many memories of my dad having too much to drink, passing out, acting foolish.

It never made me think I wouldn't drink.

The first time I remember drinking was in 10th grade with my best friend at my house. Looking back, I don't think we drank enough to really even feel anything, but we thought we did. The first time I got drunk was 4th of July before my senior year in high school. Tequila. With my aunt and uncle.

When was the first time you got drunk?

Happy Monday~

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I feel sick-

I think I might throw up. I am watching the Dr. Phil show. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness.

I am not deleting this show. If I EVER EVER EVER think of maybe drinking again I am going to rewatch it.

Seriously.

There is nothing worth that. I thank God that I did not get in trouble with the law and that my children will not have a memory of me as a drinker.

So sad.

But....

there IS hope.
Happy Saturday~

Friday, June 25, 2010

Relapse, who me?

****Yesterday my friend Emily was on the Dr. Phil show. It was a rerun, it originally aired in Febuary. Because of the Olympics I wasn't able to watch it the first time. And I havent yet watched it this time. It is recorded and at some point when my 3 kids are not in orbit nearby I will sit down and watch it.****

While we were on vacation I drank a 6 pack of nonalcoholic beer over two days. And I liked it. And that scares me. We were sitting on the deck of a friend's house, looking out over the valley, over Pearl Harbor. And I said, "Well, if one were to fall off the wagon, this would be the place."

Yes, I said that.

Holy cow.

What was I thinking? I was thinking that it felt good to relax with friends, drink a cool beverage from a bottle. I was thinking that maybe I really COULD handle it. Maybe it wasn't that bad. I mean, its been 18 months, surely I have a good handle on how dangerous drinking could be for me, how much trouble it has gotten other people in. I could control it.

Thankfully my sister in law, who was drinking bourbon, said, "No." Her answer surprised me and also shook be back into reality. I have missed nothing over the last 18 months by not drinking. I have lost 20 lbs, I have gotten through my anxiety and depression. I have not had to lie at work or worry about who I saw and what I said. I have not put my children's lives in danger by driving with a good buzz. I haven't stolen alcohol from my inlaw's fridge or chugged sangria in a coffee mug.

Why would I want to go back to that? Or take one drink that always, ALWAYS, led to another and another and another?  Why would I even fantasize about red wine on the patio?

Because I am an alcoholic.

There IS hope~
Happy Friday-

Monday, June 21, 2010

Downtown

This past weekend was our local street festival. This is a relatively new event, this may have been the 4th annual.

In 2008 my husband and I met my sister, her fiance, her future in laws, and my parents to go downtown. As had been the case for the previous 3 years I was bound by my work contract not to drink in public. I fixed a big vodka and something in a sonic cup and went on. Before we left my sister's house I refilled my cup. I can't be sure but there is a fair chance we took the bottle with us in the truck.

It was June. It was hot. We walked up and down the streets, looking at booths and some of our party took part in the wine tastings. Actually, all in our party did, except me. Remember, I couldn't drink in public. Surely everyone thought I had a cherry limeade in my sonic cup.

We saw people we knew, talked to friends, had a fine time. I can't tell you who the musical performer was. At one point I saw a couple from my church. The husband said "I like you a lot more, seeing that beer in your hand".....um wait, wasn't I NOT supposed to be drinking in public? Whatever.

I drove home because apparently I was less drunk than my husband. Oh right, HE drank in public.

Fast forward two days. I was at my new morning Bible Study. We had only met two times. A gal in my group came up to me afterwards and mentioned a mutual friend. I asked her how on earth she knew I knew that friend. She looked at me, really confused. "Remember when we all were talking Saturday night?"

No, I didn't.

At that point I felt like crap. Like I needed to quit drinking. I told one friend, but no one else. Not even my husband. It worked for a little while. I didn't drink again until the end of August. Then came the season of  bridal showers and bachelorette parties. I started drinking. I tried to hide it for a bit. At the rehearsal dinner I told the only friend who knew I had quit drinking that indeed I WAS going to drink that night. She didn't try to stop me. While I didn't get drunk that night or the next at the reception, I did have a hangover the morning after. As did most of my family.

The next two months were filled with drinking. And drinking. And drinking.

I again had a bad night in December and have not had a drink since Decmber 16, 2008.

In 2009 I was not strong enough to handle the festival downtown. I didn't even try to go.

This year I wanted to go. I liked the headline performer and I had 18 months of sobriety under my belt. We dropped the kids at my in laws and met up with my parents and sister downtown. They were drinking beer, laughing, having fun. I started having fun too.

We went to dinner at a great dive and my mom announced that she really needed food. I just laughed along with everyone else and didn't get annoyed. Truly, a miracle. We went back to the other end of main street and heard the music. It was good. The crowd was fun and we saw some friends.

Other than a short few minutes when I got upset with my mister for a percieved slight due to intoxication, the night was great. It was hot, but bearable. I knew most of the songs he sang and I drove home, completely sober.

Then I woke up feeling fine. I thanked God for how far I have come and for my strength to withstand alcohol. Yes, there were moments when I wished I had a beer or a wine glass. But it did not bring the whole night down for me. I did not feel sorry for myself, nor irritated with all the drinking everyone else was doing.

Yea!
There IS hope!
Happy Monday~

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Al-Anon

I just finished watching the Lois Wilson story that was a Hallmark movie this week.

I am crying.

I was sobbing. The big ugly cry that distorts my face.

This is an amazing story. Lois Wilson stood by Bill through so much. I feel like I would have given up long before it got to that point, though we never know how we will react in any given situation. There were parts of the story that I completely identified with. Parts of Bill's desire to drink that rang true in my life. There were many situations that I am grateful my drinking never got me in. I never lost my job or ended up in the hospital.

But I could have. And many more years of drinking the way I was drinking would have gotten me there at some point.

I am grateful that Bill Wilson finally hit bottom and that his wife was by his side when he did. That she continued to support him when everything around her told her to leave. That she listened to her Higher Power and asked those women to come inside while their husbands met.

Just when I think being sober can't get any better or that maybe I'm done 'getting well'  I realize how very far I have yet to go. And I thank God for AA and Celebrate Recovery.

Happy Tuesday~

Friday, April 23, 2010

Making a choice-

I had a few hours of a funk this week. I felt crummy, not ill, just out of whack. As I drove to work on Wednesday I could feel the actual physical struggle, fighting between a good mood and a bad one. Good won out until about 3 pm.........then came the clouds.

I tried to shake it off, came really close, then became frustrated again by my first born. We ran the errands we had to run, I made dinner, visited with the grandparents, watered the yard, gave baths, yada yada yada. All evening I kept swiping frozen pb cups and popping them in my mouth. I had 10, easily.

I emailed a friend yesterday morning, proud of myself for choosing pb cups over sangria. Yes, that is progress, but still not a particular healthy coping mechanism. At my meeting last night I brought it up and we talked about what was healthy or ok to do in times of stress and agitation. Prayer, deep breaths, a walk. Why don't those things seem possible in the moment?

A wiser woman in my group reminded us that everything is a choice. Drinking is a choice. Being sober is a choice. And really, being grumpy or joyful is also a choice.

I read a quote yesterday morning that I need to print out and tape to my fridge:

"It does not have to be well with my circumstances to be well with my soul" Jennifer Rothschild.

Agree or Disagree?
Happy Friday~

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

10 on Tuesday

Ten things I did today-
-Bought a rose bush
-Planted flowers around my tree
-Applied sticky applique words to the bathroom wall
-Unpacked a box
-Grilled hamburgers
-Went for a bike ride with my oldest daughter
-Wrote a mission statement
-Ate an ice cream sandwich
-Kissed my husband
-Wrote in my journal

One thing I did not do today-
-drink

How bout you?
Happy Tuesday~

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Coming Clean-

Today I met with my pastor. I made an appointment two weeks ago to go in and tell him some of my story. I don't know where I got the idea to tell him, {The Holy Spirit} but I felt strongly that it was time. At the top of the chain, this man is also my boss. There was a slight possibility that the meeting today could in some way result in the loss of my job. That wasn't a real threat, but a possibility.

I just knew I had to tell him. The last time I was in his office I felt like I was being called to the principal's office. It was for a personel issue and thought it turned out fine, I thought I was going to throw up the entire time.

Today was different. I sat down, he asked how I was, then said, "Ok, tell me about your story."

And I said "I am an alcoholic."

I didn't say I struggled with misuse of alcohol. I didn't say I used to drink too much. I didn't say I abused alcohol. I said I was an alcoholic.

I would not have been able to say those 4 words a year ago. Even 6 months ago I was struggling to articulate that sentence.

The freedom I feel, with no more secrets is overwhelming at times. I am full of joy and peace. God's grace fills me, surrounds me. A friend told me tonight "You've climbed a mountain and you are enjoying the view."

How awesome is that metaphor? Where are you on the mountain?

There IS hope.
Happy Wednesday~

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Quiet

I know I've been rather quiet on here and other blogs lately. It has not been intentional. It isn't as if I have nothing to say. I am just using many, many words to live my every day life in person, leaving fewer words to get recorded here. Or maybe it isn't the words that are getting used up, but the time used to put down the words.

And I think in some ways, that is a good thing. My recovery does not solely define me now. I am an alcoholic, but I am also a teacher, a mother, a wife.

Yet, I still want to be a friend. And I want to be a voice of encouragement to others, starting or maintaining sobriety or struggling with alcohol abuse. So I will  be more intentional about being here, too.

It has been almost 16 months since I have had a drink. Some amazing things have happened in that time, things I never thought possible, let alone imagined.

There IS hope.

Let me know how you are and I will do the same-
Happy Tuesday~

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wise Proverb

A few weeks ago I was having a rough evening. Not necessarily wanting to drink, but just having a hard time controlling my emotions. I stopped by my sponsor's house and she happened to be reading in the book of Proverbs {I don't believe in coincidences...}
Here are the words she read aloud to me:

Don't drink too much wine and get drunk; don't eat too much food and get fat. Drunks and gluttons will end up on skid row, in a stupor and dressed in rags.Who are the people who are always crying the blues? Who do you know who reeks of self-pity? Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all? Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot? It's those who spend the night with a bottle, for whom drinking is serious business. Don't judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor. Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with - the splitting headache, the queasy stomach. Do you really prefer seeing double, with your speech all slurred, Reeling and seasick, drunk as a sailor? "They hit me," you'll say, "but it didn't hurt; they beat on me, but I didn't feel a thing. When I'm sober enough to manage it, bring me another drink!" 

Proverbs 23:20, 29-35, The Message
The program I am in is faith based. I know without a doubt that I would not be able to remain sober without the help of Jesus Christ. He is my portion, my strength, my only hope.

And there IS hope-
Happy Tuesday~

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Yesterday was a green holiday. It was a beer holiday. It was an excuse to start drinking at 9 am and go on and on and on.

That isn't what I did.

And I didn't miss it. Honestly, since having children my days of patio sitting, beer swilling, relaxing buzz catching had dwindled to near nothingness. My drinking became huge gulps when no one was looking, refilling my wine glass as I rushed thru dinner preparations, and drinking from a coffee cup as I watched afternoon cartoons on pbs.

Not exactly fun or fashionable.

I am grateful I no longer have to attempt to drink like a grown up or set boundaries for myself that I couldn't keep or promise myself that next time would be different. My brain is damaged. My body is was addicted to alcohol.

I've been sober for 15 months.

And for that I am thankful.
Happy Thursday~

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Looking back-

This is an entry from my prayer journal, March 13, 2009:

O my God- You have done great things. In me. For me. In spite of me. Thank you for continuing after me, for not giving up. For thinking I am worth more than being a 31 yr old alcoholic. Thank you for the good time with Dr. Q on Weds. It is going to be a tough journey and I will need so much help, but I really want to break through some of this.

That was one year ago. I have made progress, and I am still on a tough journey. But many things have gotten easier. And I have needed so much help, but many have been willing to stand beside me.

I am blessed.

Happy Saturday~

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

This is what I posted on my other blog today----

So, then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6&7

That last part describes me right now... overflowing with thankfulness. I have had a really great week and today in Bible study, as the teacher lectured, I was blown away by my place in this world. I have made some pretty major life changes over the last year or so and things just keep getting better and better.

I became a Christian in the summer of 1991. I have loved Jesus with all of my heart ever since. There were moments that I was head over heels in love with Him, and my actions reflected that. There were other times that He was on the back burner, always there, but sometimes I turned Him down to low heat.

I am reading in Genesis about Jacob and his sons and their choices. I feel a little like Jacob. Sometimes I looked to God, asked His opinions, sought wisdom from the Word. Many decisions I made were made relying only on my own knowledge.

While I have remained safe and healthy all these years, I wonder about the blessings I missed out on when my life was not in line with the Lord's plan for me. I grieve for the choices that were unhealthy, unsafe and just plain wrong. There are earthly consequences I will face on this earth, though I am forgiven in Heaven. I thank the Lord over and over again for His mercy and grace.

I am looking to Him these days. I am listening more, reading more, asking more, kneeling more. And I am hearing more. This week there have been two instances when I had a physical reaction while praying. I felt the Holy Spirit in my bones. It felt good.

And I am overflowing with thankfulness.


Happy Thursday~

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bouncy Ball

That is totally how I felt today.

Yesterday I woke up in a funk. Happens occasionally. Had some nagging doubts about the day before and they didn't leave overnight. Went to church. On the way I saw the runners in the local half marathon. I started crying. Really crying. I honked my horn, knowing that the particular part of the course I was driving was really really hard, having run it last year.

Went into church. Kinda kept to myself. Which is not like me. Felt teary eyed for no particular reason. After church I brought the babes home and the husband went into the office for a few hours. I changed into pjs and crawled back into bed, wishing I could stay there all afternoon.

Instead an hour later I changed back into church clothes and went to the visitation of a friend from high school's grandmother. Cried the whole way there. Really, what was with me yesterday? After the visitation we went as a family to a team party. It was fun and I got to hold warm sweet puppies.

After the party I went to the grocery store and started crying AGAIN. I texted my sponsor and she told me to come over. With my trunk full of groceries, I did. We talked for a few minutes, then knelt over her ottoman and she prayed. I listened and dripped snot.

Takes a true friend to let you drip snot on her ottoman!

Came home, went to bed and when I woke up this morning all was new. I was happy, joyful even. Singing with my kids, not yelling at all. And the good mood lasted all day and I am still feeling it right now as I make dinner. Nothing else is different. My kids are still fighting. I am still running late. But I am happy.

I enjoy the highs of my mood swings, but wish they were not preceded by such funky lows.

How are you today?
Happy Monday~

Friday, March 5, 2010

TGIF!

This was a super long week. On Tuesday my mother in law was not elected to the office she was campaigning for. My most favoritest cousin came to visit for 5 days. And last night I gave my testimony at my meeting.

It was such a freeing time. It feels so good to finally be honest. At the end of my drinking I was leading such a double life that the deception was eating me alive. And it happens no more. I really thought I'd be more nervous. I had read it aloud to my sponsor on Weds and she thought it was good as it was. I made it bigger font, printed out another copy and headed up to the meeting.

My name was big on the program. People wished me luck. My armpits started to sweat. But I bowed my head and prayed with the group before I started and the Lord blessed my time. My words were generally easy off my tongue and I didn't get too choked up. And when I finished I looked to my sponsor and she was crying. Oh how I love her!

And then it was over!

I am tired from all that has transpired this week and am planning on hitting the hay rather soon. The husband is playing poker {blecht} and he is getting a ride home, so I may just move the clean laundry off the bed and crawl in.

Thank goodness for Saturdays!
Happy Friday~

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful Thursday

The sun is beautiful here today. We have had a crazy week of weather, mild 60s to snow to mild to rain. What a wild ride!

I have been working on my story, my testimony, what the Lord has done in my life. It has been hard and it has been healing. I will be sharing it at my meeting next week. Yikes!

Here is a paragraph I wrote this afternoon:

I am grateful for the Lord and for the people he has blessed my life with. I have made deep relationships with people over the last months that would not have come about had I never struggled with my drinking. And though I wish I was not an alcoholic, I do NOT wish I didn't have these friendships.

Today I am grateful for those friendships. AND I am grateful I am not drinking today.

What are YOU thankful for?
Happy Thursday~ 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Triggers

I started drinking in high school because it seemed like a pretty cool thing to do. I remember being at a party one of the first times I was out drinking. We were sitting around a table playing a drinking game. I got up to go to the bathroom and was instantly aware I was drunk. I liked that feeling. I liked feeling woozy, a little off balance. As I made my way back from the bathroom to the keg a guy named George kissed me. I didn't know Geroge, but I didn't care that he kissed me.

As I went through the rest of high school and college I drank often, just to have a good time. I don't really remember drinking to relieve stress or because I was in a bad mood. And I don't know when that switch happened. I am trying to think back to when that became more the norm.

At one point in 2007 I got into a disagreement with my father {a high functioning alcoholic} and it turned pretty ugly. My family was going with my inlaws to a local rodeo and while they waited in the car I came back in to the kitchen and drank vodka straight from the bottle. I remember I was SO MAD at my dad and my response was to drink. The very ironic part was that the fight with my dad was about his drinking.

I had two, then three young children and my daily frustration level was getting higher. Drinking in the afternoon seemed to calm my nerves. I sometimes got irritated when I felt someone was criticizing my parenting. Drinking made me care a little bit less.Once I was going to a social at a Bible study group where I knew very few people. I drank before I went and felt more comfortable mingling with the ladies.

Those instances are clear times I was drinking to cope with my feelings. I have had to learn to deal with my feelings without alcohol. I can't say it has been easy. I can't say I do it right. I can say I haven't had a drink, but I have yelled, cried, gone silent, left the room.

I have also had successful moments. I have gotten through the tough times and felt better afterwards. Those carry me through. I still have trigger moments. I am still learning.

This is a bit rambly....what triggers you?
Happy Wednesday~

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ten things I haven't done-

Ten things I haven't done since I quit drinking

*Lied at work
*Laid awake at night, hating myself
*Made a roadie in a sonic cup
*Taken alcohol from my inlaws
*Driven with my kids in the car, risking their lives and many others
*Had a conversation about a conversation I didn't remember
*Ingested hundreds of empty calories
*Passed out on the couch
*Drank enough before a social event that by the time I got there I was already quite toasted
*Thrown up

What haven't you done?
What will you do today?
Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sobriety Sunday-

How I knew it was time-

Once, in 2002 I quit drinking. I felt very clearly that I was not being a good example and that I needed to quit for awhile and really get control of things. I stopped in February, got pregnant in August and didn't drink again until the following June.

In June of 2008 I was very drunk at a local street festival. The following week I was talking to a relatively new aquaintence and she brought up a mutual friend. I asked her how she knew I knew Roxanne. She looked at me, completely baffled. Apparently the three of us had a conversation that I recalled none of. I quit drinking at that point for two months.

My sister was getting married and there were showers and parties and I started drinking again. It was slow for a few weeks, but by November I was drinking daily. In December I woke up after passing out on the living room floor at a game night with some of my husband's work friends. Some of whom I didn't even know. As I laid awake in bed that night, totally hating myself, making deals with God and unable to sleep, I knew I needed help.

I had tried it on my own and failed. I come from a long line of alcoholics, so it wasn't a huge surprise. However, no one I had ever known had gotten sober.

This was a whole new ballgame. I finally realized that it didn't matter if I was embarrassed, I still needed help. And while I hyperventilated the first 3 or 4 times someone I knew walked into a meeting, crying and shaking, my sponsor literally held my hand and helped me through it, whispering, they are here too.......

It has gotten easier but I know, KNOW, K.N.O.W. I would be drinking again if I hadn't gotten help. Do you want help?

Happy Sunday~
Sobriety Sunday

I've been trying to post since last night about how I knew it was time to get help, but it seems I have three little beings near me at all times, ha!

I will keep trying to write.....

There IS hope!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Splash de limon`

I am sitting in my dining room listening to Julie Andrews sing "Just a Spoonful of Sugar" and drinking lemon water. And I am content.

A little frazzled, maybe.

But not agitated. Or goofy. Or slipping further and further into a buzz that would lead to sleep whether I wanted it to or not.

At the end of my drinking I was into sangria. My husband would buy big jugs from the grocery store and I poured it into mason jars to sip. Mmmmm.......still sounds good. But after two glasses, er, jars of my sauce I didn't much care about anything else.

My kids could eat whatever they wanted. The dishes could sit until tomorrow. Things I'd said I'd do could definitely wait til later. The stress of the week seemingly slid away as the cool juice slid down my throat.

I must remember how it used to be.

Because it must never happen again.

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sober in the Capitol

I went to a state school for college, one of the largest in the nation. I partied like what I thought a 'normal' college girl did. There were serious incidents that happened purely because I made poor choices and put myself in dangerous situations, but I must say, for the most part, I made it through safely. By the grace of God.

And He continued to protect me, mainly from myself, for 10 years of drinking after college.

This past weekend I returned to the town of my college days to run in a half marathon. We stopped at the grocery store on the way to where we were spending the night so that my husband could buy a 6 pack of beer. {We have been adjusting and compromising and figuring out what works for us regarding his drinking.....} We walked into the beer and wine section of the store and my head started spinning.

I realized two things. One- I equate this town to margaritas and a good buzz. Two- Any type of mini get-away from my kids and my job meant I could buy and drink alcohol with freedom not usually enjoyed in my hometown.

That was true until 14 months ago when I quit drinking. When I sobered up. When I realized that indeed, I was an alcoholic.

I sent a text to my sponsor and to Em asking their opinion of nonalcoholic beer. Both said no. {Props to me- I had already decided it wasn't a good idea before they texted back}

I discovered that this town was going to have to come to mean something new to me. That mini vacations were going to have to trigger something else in me. That I had the opportunity to redefine who I was in that city. In any city.

After I ran the half marathon on Sunday, I said to my husband, "I now have a healthy connotation with this place. I have done something good for me here, instead of my usual self destructive behavior."

And for that I am so thankful. What are you thankful for?
Happy Thursday!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ashes

I got drunk for the first time when I was 16. I got drunk for the last time when I was 31. For 15 years in between there I had more black outs than I can count, puked in more places than I remember and did things I am completely ashamed of.

There were two instances in particular that weighed heavy on my heart. Black scuff marks on my soul. Deep pits of ugliness that could consume me on any given day if I let my mind go there.

Long before I got sober I knew I would have to deal with those things at some point. I knew I'd have to eventually tell someone, or go crazy trying to hide it. When I asked BW to be my sponsor in June she said she'd only agree if I agreed to work the steps. I told her I was a scared scared chicken, but I would give it my very best shot.

7 months later I finally worked step 4 and 5. I wrote down in my own words the things I was hiding. I put onto paper the ugliest ugliest part of me. It was the absolute hardest thing I have ever done. Harder than not drinking at Thanksgiving. More difficult than going into my first meeting.

I wanted to quit. I cried. I texted a friend who asked if I really had to do this. But I knew I did. I trusted BW and I trusted the program.

So I wrote the words.

The next morning, early in the dark, I read the words out loud. I had to sit on the floor, my back to BW. I read quietly. I paused several times. I honestly thought about just giving her the paper to read. But I finished what I started.

I read the words.

And funny thing is, lightening didn't strike me. I was assured that I was not the only person to have done what I did and experience what I experienced. And I was also reminded that if I needed any more proof that indeed I had a problem with alcohol, those two incidents confirmed it.

BW found some matches, we moved over to the fireplace and she struck a match. I held the paper and it lit on fire. I silently watched the paper burn, tears streaming down my face.

I burned the words.

While I had given those things to the Lord time and time again in my head there was something so cathartic about actually writing, reading and burning the words. As my sponsor said, I acknowledged my past, owned it and moved on.

I am forgiven, washed white as snow. {Isaiah 1:18} And while there will always be earthly consequences for my sinful actions, my Jesus remembers none of it. I am a new creation to him {2 Cor 5:17}.

I am not that same person. I am sober. I am forgiven.

Are you?
Happy Thursday~

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Spoons

Last night I went to a friend's house to play Spoons. There were about 12 of us and it was a hilarious time!

Earlier in the day I had confessed to this friend that it was often before such get togethers that I would drink. Just one or two, before I had to face a room full of people. I like to be the life of the party. I like to be funny. Entertaining. Well liked.

And in my head that was only possible if I had a buzz.

Over the past year I have learned that indeed, it IS possible to do while sober. And in fact, I am more in tune to the moment my funny self becomes my obnoxious self. I imagine I was quite immune to that internal control while drinking.

Before getting sober I had drank before staff socials.
Before dinner parties.
Before Bible study fellowship {of all things}
Before kid birthday parties.
Before work.
Before taking the kids to the dentist.
Before my sister's bridal shower.

Yep, I am an alcoholic.

And I'm staying sober today. You?
Happy Tuesday~

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Just Saturday!

Today has been good. Not super. Nothing too exciting. But good.

We had a basketball game for my 6 year old. I matched up about 15 pairs of socks. Ate roast from the crock pot. Watched some tv.

Normal stuff.

I also wiped noses. Butts. Did some dishes.

Normal stuff.

And I did it all sober. Without the lightness that used to come with a glass or two of wine.

And I'll do it again tomorrow.

Happy Saturday~

Thursday, January 28, 2010

So, a weird thing.

My ex boyfriend started working at the same place I work. I only dated two guys EVER. Married one. Thought I was going to marry the other. At one point dated them both at the same time. {They knew, don't worry}. 16 years ago.

Anyway, I am really dealing with some mixed up head emotions this week. And that is simply ticking me off. I am trying to stay in today. I have talked with my sponsor. I know that telling someone else my struggle will keep me from isolating myself.

Will not allow the enemy to get a stronghold in my brain {anymore than he already has}.

I have been married 10 years. I have 3 children. I am generally in a happy place. I am getting healthy. Just the fact that I am writing this or having to deal with this in my crazy head is insane. I must remain sane.

Unhealthy thoughts, begone.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dance Hall Bathrooms

I live in Texas and I like to two step. In college and early on in my marriage we went dancing quite a bit. We also just plain went out a lot. Drinking. In bars. Sports bars. Dive bars. Mexican restaurants. Thinking back, I cannot imagine how many dollars we spent on beer. Don't even want to calculate!

When I drink I also have to pee. I think my bladder must be the size of a kiwi fruit. Have you ever heard of 'breaking the seal'? Like hold off on peeing as long as possible because once you go you have to keep going? I have another story about that, but will post later in the week.

Anyway, back to the bathrooms. I am not a germaphobe by any stretch. But gas station bathrooms do gross me out. However, once I was drinking apparently little things escaped my attention. Bar bathrooms must have been one of those things.

One time I was at a complete dive and drinking whiskey I believe. At some point I must have realized I was going to throw up. I did this often when I drank. Never phased me and made the hangovers a little easier to deal with the next morning.

This particular night I stumbled my way into the tiny, two stall bathroom and puked in the sink. Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice. A girl looked at me and asked "Did you just throw up in the sink?" I made some smart aleck remark and headed back out into the bar.

Puke and rally.

That is just disgusting. Ugh.

Last night I went to a charity event at a local dance hall. I was really looking forward to two steppin' with my husband. All my diet coke made it to my bladder and I went to the bathroom. I flushed with my boot and as soon as I washed my hands I texted my sponsor and another friend: {Um, bar bathrooms are gross when you're sober.}

Yeah, I've come a long way, baby.

happy Sunday~

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Workin' the Steps

So I have been sober over a year. I have a fabulous sponsor and I go to my meeting once a week. I have missed a few, but not more than 6 or 7 over the course of the last year. It is my priority. My husband knows this. My children know this. My in laws know this.

In my program there are 4 books to work through. Step 4 is in the second book. Months ago I finished step 3. Was dreading step 4 a little bit. Went to find my second workbook and couldn't. Thought, "Ah, maybe I can just skip these steps."

My sponsor gave me the second book.

The holidays began, my sponsor's daughter was getting married and we kinda slowed down. We still met to talk and she definitely kept me accountable. I made it through the holidays without taking a drink. At times that was quite a challenge. Actually, I don't think I ever came close to taking a drink, but my mental state sometimes took a beating.

Back to the steps.

Monday night I sat down, by myself, and struggled through. Struggle is exactly what I did. {That is another post} We met yesterday and talked through step 4 and 5. We did it! I did it!

And I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I was making it way worse in my head. Too much drama in my brain.

I realized that indeed, I am *still* an alcoholic. There are *still* issues to deal with. And I am *still* a work in progress. However, with God's help I am *still* sober.

Steppin' up!

Happy Thursday~

Monday, January 18, 2010

Red red wine
Makes me feel so fine
Makes me feel happy
All of the time......

Dang, I wanted some red wine tonight! We were at my in laws, to take a picture for her campaign. It was an easy process this time and the photographers were done with a good shot in 30 minutes.

Then dinner preparations began. Steak. Potatoes. Mushrooms. Salad. Red wine. As I saw the glasses being poured around me I wanted one. I wanted to sip from the glass. I wanted to taste the Shiraz with the meat. I wanted it.

I sent my sponsor and my bbf a text. Both responded quickly, both with the right words.

As we sat down to eat my thoughtful father in law offered me some sparkling grape juice.

Um, no thanks.

We bowed our heads to give thanks and I started crying. Seriously? What is wrong with me? I haven't had a drink in over 13 months. I KNOW my life is 100% better now. I am no longer out of control. I am proud of how far I have come and for the recovery I have made so far.

I was mad. I was sad. Sad for all the drinks I will never get to have. These feelings came over me a bit on Saturday afternoon, too, when the woman who taught me to drink chardonnay invited me over for wine.

Its ridiculous, really. I am working the steps and though I haven't made it through step 4 yet {Oh man, I am really dragging my feet} I have enough distance to realize the mess I was in and the path of destruction I was heading down.

So why do I still want a glass of wine? Why do I still wish I could drink normally?

Why?

Sorry for the downer post - just keepin' it real folks.....

Happy Monday~

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Checkin' In-

I don't have much to say today. I have a sick 2 yr old, a nose that just won't quit running. I often wonder where all that snot comes from when we get sick. I mean, seriously. She isn't running fever and is sleeping well at night, so it hasn't been too bad. The mister stayed home with her this morning so I could work and we have tomorrow off, so that is good.

The wedding was fabulous. The bride was gorgeous and the dancing was just what I wanted! Lots of my friends were there and it was just good, clean fun. Who needs beer?

Ha.

I am actually feeling pretty good this week. I was reading some in my little Big Book about how the desire to drink just gets removed from us. That would have caused me much to doubt earlier in my recovery, but I am living proof today. I know, KNOW, that there will be moments, but the peace and serenity and hope that I feel while sober will always outweigh the short term effects of a buzz.

Or so I pray.

My friend has been posting her evening prayer each night and I have been answering with a prayer of my own. Honestly I enjoy praying for others. I like to pray out loud, in groups, over meals, etc. Been like that since I was a kid. I am grateful that the Lord sees fit to have me kept me safe all these years and I pray my life is a living testament to His grace.


In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see
your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16


I desire to live that daily, {not just during the moments when I was not drinking, like before}, but every moment.

Happy Wednesday~

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Weddings

Tonight I am going to my sponsor's daughter's wedding. I spent part of the day Thursday decorating the dance hall, it is going to be gorgeous. There will be a band and my husband and I are going to get to dance. I haven't been dancing in longer than I can remember.

I {love} to two step with my husband. I used to really enjoy dancing to fast music, too. After a few drinks. This goes back to the how do I do this sober? Why do I do this sober?

Weddings were always a lot of fun for me. I got to dress up. And generally there was free alcohol. What could be better?

So the first wedding I went to last year while sober was a little awkward. Even when I wasn't supposed to be drinking in public [because of my job] I always managed to drink in the car before hand or sneak [so I thought] glasses of wine.

Last December I went to a wedding sober. I went to the reception sober. Then, horror of horrors, I danced sober. Honestly, I didn't like it. I felt very self conscious and awkward. I wish I could say it got better, that I felt more comfortable, but I really didn't. I enjoyed the slow songs, dancing with my husband. And while there was a group of my friends dancing to the fast music, all sober, I tried and failed to have a good time.

The next sober wedding was better. The only problem this time was the copious amount of diet coke I drank. I was up all night!

But compared to the nights after receptions that I came to around 3 or 4, totally unaware of my surroundings or unsure of how my dress came off, I'd take caffeine insomnia any time.

So tonight will be another sober wedding. There will be no alcohol served at all. We'll all be dancing sans social lubricant. I'll let you know how it goes.

What are you doing tonight?
Happy Saturday~

Friday, January 8, 2010

10th Anniversary-

I married my husband ten years ago today. I am so grateful for him! This has always been our song!


It was no accident me finding you
Someone had a hand in it
Long before we ever knew
Now I just can't believe you're in my life
Heaven's smilin' down on me
As I look at you tonight

I tip my hat to the keeper of the stars
He sure knew what he was doin'
When he joined these two hearts
I hold everything
When I hold you in my arms
I've got all I'll ever need
Thanks to the keeper of the stars

Soft moonlight on your face oh how you shine
It takes my breath away
Just to look into your eyes
I know I don't deserve a treasure like you
There really are no words
To show my gratitude

So I tip my hat to the keeper of the stars
He sure knew what he was doin'
When he joined these two hearts
I hold everything
When I hold you in my arms
I've got all I'll ever need
Thanks to the keeper of the stars

It was no accident me finding you
Someone had a hand in it
Long before we ever knew

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

On my own----

I like people.

I am an extrovert.

I heard once that some people gain energy while around other people and some feel their energy sucked away. I definitely fall into the first category.

I like to text. To email. Be on FB. On the phone. Talk for 30 minutes in the parking lot after meetings are over.

I seriously love being around people.

I have said a couple of times lately that it is too crazy to be alone with my thoughts, I have to share them, that is why I talk so much.

Today I had a thought. I think I need to be alone more. Intentionally not listening to music, not reading a book, not reading status updates.

Alone.

With my thoughts.

Listening to God.

That scares me.

I tried it tonight on my run. And it wasn't too dreadful. I don't know yet what I heard, but I still think I am being called to hang out by myself a little more in 2010. Ask for other's opinions less. Share my mundane thoughts less. Ramble in my blog less.

What do you need to do?
Happy Tuesday~

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fun times-

Tonight I went to a surprise lingerie shower for my sponsor's daughter. I nearly had an anxiety attack in the pajama dept at Target. I settled on some tiny boxer shorts with a long sleeve t.

I started thinking about previous lingerie showers. Bachelorette parties. Party buses. Dancers who like $1 bills. Shots. Penis balloons.

Totally started freaking out. How does one do this sober? Why does one do this sober?

I arrived with two friends and the bride to be was only mildly surprised. She seemed genuinely glad we were there. The hostess had us play a little game where we made the bride a wedding dress out of tissue paper and scotch tape. We all laughed a lot and it was fun.

Then we ate some snacks, drank decaf coffee and laughed at the dog's silly hair cut while hanging out in the kitchen.

We moved into the living room to open the gifts. There were a few racy ones, {mine was very tame} and the last gift she opened was cheetah thong underwear from her aunt. More laughter and fun.

The married women made veiled innuendos and it was really laid back and easy to be there.

The thing that sticks out the most was the laughter.

Another sober event done! Another successful fun time sans alcohol, when previously I couldn't of imagined such a time. Oh, the Lord is good!

What did you do while sober today?
Happy Monday~

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sobriety Sunday

Emily asked what I was doing today to stay sober.

Today I am home with my family. My husband is watching football, my older two kiddos are cleaning {so they say} my son's room and my baby is sleeping. I need to unload the dishwasher and fold some laundry. I hope to talk to a friend on the phone in a bit. I am running at 430.

Basically I am going to be doing regular stuff today. There don't appear to be any triggers on the horizon and for that I am grateful. Right now, it doesn't seem like it is going to be hard to stay sober today.

But I must remember it only takes one drink. Without one drink there can't be 5 drinks.

So today I am going to remember that I am indeed an alcoholic and though I am sober, I am not healed. I still have the disease.

And I won't drink today.

What are you doing to stay sober?

Happy Sunday~

Saturday, January 2, 2010

HapPy NEw YeAr~

Today was a really low key day. We took down the Christmas decorations, I browned a bunch of hamburger meat for when school starts back and the kids went down early.

I haven't really taken any quiet moments to look toward 2010. To think about what I want this year to look like. At this point in 2009 I simply wanted to survive. I wanted to live one day at a time, not drinking.

And I succeeded!

Now I want more. I don't want to simply get by. I want to do more than is required. I want to finish things before the last minute. I want to make an impact.

I realize that I am impacting three sweet lives, whether for the good or not, each day. The Lord has blessed me with a 1st grader, a kindergartner and a 2.5 year old. Whew! I want to be intentional in my relationships with them. I want to create a home that is their safe place to rest, a comfort for all times.

I want to be sober to do all these things. I will be sober to do all these things.

I have a sponsor. I have meetings. I have steps to work.

As I was running yesterday I thought about the fact that a year into this sobriety thing and I am only on step 4. I am feeling ok. I am pretty strong most of the time. Maybe I don't need to finish the steps. Maybe I can do without the amends or the inventory or the journaling.

Maybe not.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13


After next week my sponsor and I are getting back on track. Her daughter is about to get married and we took a break over the last few weeks. I know she'll ask the tough questions. And I want to find the answers.

Even when its hard. When when it hurts.

Because I want more.

What do you want in 2010?
Happy Saturday~