Sunday, October 12, 2008



Off to do my Amends to mom... Tried to do one with JVJ Friday, but she blocked me... Maybe she doesn't want to bring up the past... Maybe I just need to talk with my mom first... Dunno...

Nervous- So Thought I'd read, reflect and pray befoe I go...
  • Amend: change for the better, to become free from faults; imlies action (different from apology in that I am not just saying I'm sorry for past actions, but am working to change to prevent from repeating mistakes.)
  • Promised at the beginning of all this to go to any lengths to work my program and stay sober... Putting this off is playing on my sobriety, I can see...
  • Specific to my amends to my mom (and probably as true for all of them), it seems to make sense to me that anxiety and fear were there for the behavior I'm working to fix, and thus it makes sense that they would be present as I clean it up... I cannot free myself from the fault without freeing myslef from the causes of the fault... to a degree...
  • "Relieve me of the bondage of self." If could do this my way, I'd choose to make all of my amends living amends... That's not a choice... I need to step aside and let God step in... My best thinking got me here...
  • "Faith without works is dead."
  • Remain calm, frank and open and I will be gratified with the result...
  • I ask God, "that I be given strength and direction to do the right thing, no matter what the personal consequences may be." I must not shrink at anything...
  • If we are painstaking about this phase of our development we will be amazed before we are half way through. Painstaking.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


9 Months!

Heard something today, which I've probably heard a thousand times before, but... Seems like my head's in the right place now to take it in- The Serenity Prayer- Is about you, me and God...

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things which I cannot change..." That's you.
"... The courage to change the things I can..." All I can change is me.
"...and the wisdom to know the difference..." depends on my connection with God.

That's brilliant!!! Jimmy B.- Ya gotta love him-

In addition, I picked up my 9 month chip at Lunch With Bill this afternoon and was amazed with JJ's performance... This man grates me... badly... I've only had to call my sponsor after two meetings, but he's been at the root both times. Today, maybe it was me, maybe it was him... I don't know... But he gave the most honest and heartfelt share I've ever heard from him. He spoke about self-deception and how in played out when his son died... And when a newcomer forgot to introduce herself, HE DID NOT REPRIMAND HER!!!! Amen... ;) Today has been a 'Pink Cloud Revisited" kind of a day...

Good stuff... ;)

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Just wanted to get this down before I forgot-

"It's been said many times about 'recovered' and 'recovering... and many people get confused about the two words... I used 'recovered' as it states in the BB... I have recovered... from a hopeless state of mind and body... But... I am not recovered from alcoholism... I am still and always will be recovering from this illness..." -GR @

Thursday, August 21, 2008


hmmm... not a lot to report, and that's.... okay...

Helped again with the Monday meeting at the treatment/ detox/ mental health center... I love doing that. Was admittedly tough dragging my tired rear over there, but feels like good service and also good practice in telling and reflecting on my 'story.' Moight not be every Monday, but I want to continue with that. Also talked with F a bit afterwards- I've noticed him at a lot of meetings, he always has some good stuff to share, and was astounded to hear how similar our stories are- Although he's got the 'crash and burn' factor that my story is (thankfully) missing...

Have not been to a meeting since Monday night, so men's meeting may be a good thing this evening... 233 days you say?! no way....

Friday, August 15, 2008


I ran into this quote from George Fox which was emailed to me early in sobriety by a F/friend:

"X. (10) To Friends, to stand still in trouble, and see the strength of the Lord

Friends,Whatever ye are addicted to, the tempter will come in that thing; and when he can trouble you, then he gets advantage over you, and then ye are gone. Stand still in that which is pure, after ye see yourselves; and then mercy comes in. After thou seest thy thoughts, and the temptations, do not think, but submit; and then power comes. Stand still in that which shows and discovers; and there doth strength immediately come. And stand still in the light, and submit
to it, and the other will be hushed and gone; and then content comes. And when temptations and troubles appear, sink down in that which is pure, and all will be hushed, and fly away. Your strength is to stand still, after ye see yourselves; whatsoever ye see yourselves addicted to, temptations, corruption, uncleanness, etc., then ye think ye shall never overcome. And earthly reason will tell you, what ye shall lose; hearken not to that, but stand still in the light that shows them to you, and then strength comes from the Lord, and help contrary to your expectation. Then ye grow up in peace, and no trouble shall move you. David fretted himself, when he looked out; but when he was still, no trouble could move him. When your thoughts are out, abroad, then troubles move you. But come to stay your minds upon that spirit which was before the letter;
here ye learn to read the scriptures aright. If ye do any thing in your own wills, then ye tempt God; but stand still in that power which brings peace."

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Doing my fifth step tomorrow- Nervous, but not nearly as bad as I was a month or so ago... Seems a lot of people have been discussing the 5th lately (funny how that happens- Once you have something on your mind, it shows up everywhere!) Looking forward to getting some of this "take it to the grave," stuff off my mind... It's poison... literally and figuratively... Anyway- I foresee a day of tears, laughter, Oreos and exhaustion... I have faith- In my program... in my sponsor... and with that, I have [less] fear...

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Lots going on around here right now, so I'm exhausted and heading of for a nap- Before I go I want to get some stuff off my mind/ chest... whatever...

  • Last night traveled east to see my favorite band play- Started off with some self-imposed stress: I'd bought too many tickets and had to get rid of one pair- Anyway- After some struggle, practically gave them away to some folks- Happy with the way I handled that: I played it forard a bit and knew that I would have a tougher time enjoying the concert, and enjoying it sober, if I had those tickets in my pocket. I knew that I was going to have those tickets in my pocket if I insisted on doing it my way: keeping them together, and charging full price- I took $20 each from two different people and, miraculously, felt great about it- I probably lost, I don't want to think about how much- but I retained my serenity... (WILCO tickets- $37.50 each- resale- $20 each - serenity- PRICELESS...) The concert was, of course, well infused with alcohol and drugs... as any good rock should will be... But I was so grateful to be there on life's terms: stone cold sober- There is NOTHING like 3 hours of pure goosepimpled bliss to inspire some serious gratitude.... All around- An awesome experience...

  • Today got up for a local conference for a treatment center- Grateful not to be hungover- But feling like hell none the less- Guess it was sleep deprived and (second hand) smoke in the lungs... anyway- Quick round-up I'm really crashing here...)
    • Speaker 1: AA- Amazing- As I shared with sponsor- The thing I really related to was that she did not have any prison, deaths or institutions in her story- 'Just' a steady diet of misery... And THAT I can relate to... (Somewhere in here I realized I may have issues with maintining friendships in a non-codependent way... I don't think I know how to do it- When I am someone's friend- I expect a LOT... Something to look into...)
    • Speaker 2: Al-Anon"ic" Also wonderful- Staretd rough, and I started taking inventory but was on the verge of tears, again, in no time- Powerful to hear from the spouse- Also powerful to hear my codependent tendencies coming out of someone else's mouth... minor- found a few people who looked familiar and made brief conversation... no big deal, but nice to commune a bit- I don;t do it a lot... I wait for them to talk to me- No one told me off, laughed at me, or asked me why I was talking to them... I even got a "thanks for the nice comments..." I'll assume that was not sarcasm... :)
  • Picnic- Of late, my theme has been stretching the boundaries of getting out of my comfort zone- This includes not depending so much on select few AAers I've known for a bit, but getting beyond myself and meeting new folks- Finding new meetings, etc... Anyway- Powerful thing was that, in my fear of being alone, I realized since I came to the picnic alone, I'd likely end up sitting alone. I prayed for someone to sit with me and for God to also be with me during that time. So I found an empty seat at a random table, ignored the look from the person I sat near (I perceived it to be "seat's taken" I said "Hi" he said "Hi" he tilted up next seat to more clearly communicate "seat's taken." I thought, "tell it to our sponsor," and dove into my food. Along came Bill, a wonderful local oldtimer I'd never met... We had a very nice talk... He andered off, leaving me to talk to the two women across the table from me- Turns out they are partnered women from near Asheville... We talked for about 1/2 an hour about nothing... I loved it!!! I talked about my parnter, books, their stories, etc... Really wonderful- My prayers, clearly, had easily been answered... Finally- Here is what I wanted to get 'written' down- The thing that got me through that picnic, and more- got me to ENJOY that picnic- Was that I was in a room full of people who all have somethig in common- Even though I did not talk to either party about sobriety, just have the knowledge that there was a guaranteed topic gave me the confidence to socialize- SOBER!!! Too cool.... Too cool indeed... naptime- oh wait, one more thing- I noticed today that when things are going well- I notice butterflies- I don't recall, since seeing them fly out of my grandmother's grave in (?) 96, seeing them when I'm not doing the right thing... Grateful for that hat-tip from God....

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Interesting topic online this morning- Giving vs. Getting (or something like that...)

This is an area I struggle with- I feel like I do my part as far as service- I help out with online meetings, have chaired some f2f meetings... etc. and I love it- I really do- It brings me a sense of belonging, a sense of helping out, and some much neded humililty-

The problem is when I leave- When I get back in my head and the pride starts to build, and the feelings of not belonging, and being alone in a crowd, etc... Part of this, I think, is that I'm more aware of when it's occurring, and what it is, because of chipping away at my 4th step... So this is good, this is tough, but will lead to growth (when I start dealing with it appropriately... Part of it is also the underlying patterns that are becoming apparent: I spent my childhood largely outcast- I still make that connection.

Giving away my pride (telling on it, hiding it under a rock...) and retaining my humility maintains my serenity, connection with my hp, and increases my chances of sobriety- These are directly correlated and worth keeping an eye on...

Today- Feeling grateful, aware and connected- Residual bitterness about not being invited to an AA gathering last night (although I go to an amazing speaker meeting, hung with some great friends and had an overall great time....) but working towards getting beyond that- Humility- It's all about the humility... I'll get there...

Saturday, August 2, 2008


"We surrender to win; we give away to keep;
we suffer to get well; we die to live."

Love the paradoxes in AA- Give to Get... From powerlessness to turning over will... etc...

How am I surrendering? Moment to moment I practice acceptance- 'Life on life's terms'... I don't rage when the font stays blue and bold, despite me changing it five times... I practice staying in the moment- I try to take the high road in conflict- I try (try!) to retain humility throughout my day... And In refuse to think too much about how/ why this works... Truth is- These things help me retain my serenity, which drastically minimizes my desire to drink today... It took me a long time to see and feel that connection-

Acceptance does not equal Agreement. (I accept that this font is blue and bold- I don't like it, and it's not what i want, but... I chose to live with it... )

NOW- No Other Way

Revving up for my 5th- Just a bit more to do on 4th, then heading to sponsor's house to "get cathartic with it..." Not excited about it right now, but have moments of trully looking forward to it- which tells me I'm letting go- Riding on faith- Faith in God, Sponsor, Program and myself.... I've been keeping some of this stuff to myself for a very long time- It will be nice to get rid of it... I deserve that.

8pm meeting tonight, followed by heading down to see ETI play- B's first show sober- Want to support that....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Whew- A rough few days. Really lost it Saturday, but thankfully had sponsor at the ready to help me walk through it all... 'This too shall pass...' works for a while, but after two weeks of riding the 'bipolar roller coaster' I was beginning to wonder... The fact that I had to hang at a bar all night didn't help, but was not the trigger... The triggers were a series of events that made me feel very very angry, lonely and tired... sister, boif, friends.... felt very isolated and, in the end, fed up... (Focus on the solution:) Helped to talk with sponsor, change the scenery, get out of head for a while (talked to a recent relapser on the way home who is struggling much more than I realized...) got away from my ego and prayed...

This morning I was reminded again of the 'morning prayer' from page 86 of the BB:
God direct my thinking today so that it be divorced of self pity, dishonesty, self-will, self-seeking and fear. God inspire my thinking, decisions and intuitions. Help me to relax and take it easy. Free me from doubt and indecision. Guide me through this day and show me my next step. God give me what I need to take care of any problems. I ask all these things that I may be of maximum service to you and my fellow man in the name of the Steps I pray. AMEN

I like that- All step prayers laid out here.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Welp.... Guess I needed a little break there :)

Had a friend come back into the rooms- He was on for about 18 months, then out for 6, in for less than a week, and, apparently, has proudly left the rooms... It has zero impact on me, really, but just amazes me... He didn't even fight to stay sober, as far as I can tell, but who knows... Maybe it's just not his time... Can't help but hold myself up to him in comparison... sometimes feel like I don't belong, even now... I continue to fall back on the fact that I feel tons better now than I did before coming into the rooms, and I have very little REAL desire to drink (... romanticizing aside...) When I do feel like throwing it in, I just don't... I mean, I would have to make a conscious and deliberate decision to have a drink... They don;t give them out for free... And my arm has to get it to my mouth... I just don't get it, and I guess I don't have to, except to understand it enough to avoid it occurring.... This is a spiritual situation, in that my connection to God determines how serene I am- How far I am from that drink... When I lose that connection and serenity, as sometimes happens, I just can;t drink... That's all... That's what white knuckling it means... I white knuckle it until I can gain back even the smallest glimmer of God....

I truly am not putting myself up, or him down... I feel bad for the guy, but it's his business alone.... For ME, and only me: If I don't have a drink, I cannot lose my sobriety. Period. (He blamed his relapse on Ego- Reminder: EGO = Easing God Out)

Anyway- Things going well... Somehow mowing the lawn at the Quaker meetinghouse yesterday was exactly what I needed in terms of serenity, service and humility... I loved it- It kicked my ass, it was a beautiful day to ride in circles.... I look forward to doing this again-While not of service to AA directly, it was, no doubt, of service, and felt as such... I feel like I really helped someone out, did a good job, did it without a reminder or prompting, and feel absolutely no need for praise. Good day.

(sorry bout the pic, couldn't resist... specially since I stole it from a church's website... hehe... da-rool...))

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Got an online message from a facilitator (R) in the site asking if I'd show him a meeting in Greensboro someday, and today ended up being that day. We met at FC and shared coffee afterwards... What a cool opportunity- this guy has helped do a lot in terms of bringing this website to the attn. of AA and, as it turns out, getting it approved and linked from the site. That only took 8 years... Anyway, the real miracle was that a guy I used to drink with (D), and whom hit an awful bottom 1.5 to 2 years ago, showed up in the meeting. After his 'incident' he wasn't heard from much, and no one really reached out either. On one hand I felt bad about that, on the other he was more a frined of the folks I was hanging with than myself, and on the third hand (?) he maybe was our vision of an alcoholic/ problem drinker and made us feel okay.

Anyway- I'm grateful that I got to meet this new friend, and to have reconnected with an older friend. The boif and I had dinner out tonight (after the gym... pojnt?) and had a nice discussion which briefly touched on my sobriety- He asked if it would bother me if he had a drink sometime, and I said probably not. I asked if he thought he'd seen changes in me, and he had not... Oh well... I have... But I'm not sure he was too effected by my drinking before... As he pointed out- A lot of it happened with other people, and a lot happened while he was in bed or up at his computer (speaking of addiction! cough cough...) I simply said that he may have seen it more than he realized, gave some examples, told a few drunken stories he wasn't aware of, and then proceeded to join him in taking some of my active friends' inventories. Good times....

Today's topic was tolerance, and heard some good E,S & H around maintaining our serenity and spiritual connection in dealing with difficult people.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Phrase I'd not heard before: Toxic Shame

I've long held in thoughts/ regrets that cause me shame... I'm grateful that I am now on a path to b able to (hopefully) let go of those....

Chaired a meeting for the first time Tuesday night- Good feeling to b of assistance, a bit nerve wracking to chair for one's peers, but I will certainly have opportunities to practice...

Have been feeling "alone in a crowd" a lot lately... Leading me to be grumpy and kinda miserable to be around... I hate it, but not sure what to do about it... Thought I had it kicked but it showed itself again last night... Old habits die hard I guess....

Quaker yearly meeting his week.. slept for shit last night, so I let myself sleep in to try to catch up... Missed one session I kind of wanted to attend this morning, but no biggy... Will get over there later...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Sunday, July 6, 2008


What a day. Still in the heat of it, I guess, but here's the rundown-
  • last night- two birthdays at my home-group meeting: 5 yrs. and 23 yrs. Appreciated my sponsor mentioning his sponsees... Dinner afterwards at one of my favorite restaurants... It kept occuering to me- This is not how I pictured AA... Amazing- Really 'felt a part of' and for me, that's key...
  • this morning Quaker meeting- Made my fist share- "Set fear aside and rejoice, for God is with you forever... I am grateful for the awareness today..."
    • also signed up to do some service work at the meeting house later in the month- looking forward to the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way.
  • Lunch with good friends afterwards. Hard to talk so much about recovery while not getting/ feeling reprimanded for 'preaching the program.'
  • Off to see parents for an impromptu afternoon visit- To be hoest, wanted to see mom, and wanted to take advantage of sister being out of town... Had them to myself all afternoon and really loved it.
  • Made it to an 8pm meeting at unity club near their house... My first visit in their town, and at this club... Good meeting- topic was self-will... Some very good ES&H... smokey...
  • Was going over good day on the drive home, even called a drunk on the way home, who's share I particularly appreciated on Saturday, and whom I do not talk with enough...
  • Got home, walked in to find partner on his hands and knees behind the couch, presumably hiding... when I said hi, he jumped up, furious, said he didn't want to talk about it, that we have ants (?!) and stormed upstairs. Somehow I'm to blame (or, more likely, my dog)...
    • First thought: shots
    • Second thought: next right thing- Take dog for walk around the block.
    • Third: Acceptance, not agreement. I accept that he blames me for his frustration over the ants. When the time is right I can ask how I can help in getting rid of them. I will not take on his anger. I will not.
  • Anyway- Serenity precariously in place. Right now, typing it out, waiting to see if there will be a second wave- Doing the next right thing, in baby steps.... Never ceases no amaze me how quickly things can change... How quickly my serenity can be challenged and how quickly my disease/ desire to drink can be triggered... Maybe I'll drink about it, but not today.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Doing well with summer schedule... Enjoying my coffee shop tour throughly, although the caff's got me WIRED....

Part of my daily routine is getting to the t-house to clean it out- with aug. 1 as a deadline. Yesterday was the first day I made it over there and when I arrived I found that my neighbor (we called her 'nosey neighbor', spouse of 'mean neighbor') had decided that my patio furniture was now hers, and was sitting at her house. Long story short- My first reaction was to hit the roof- Call the cops and raise hell... I took a step back, prayed, and called someone (the boif- my voice of reason...) I kept praying, looked at my watch and decided to wait an hour before making any decisions.

Anyway- I ended up leaving her a note (she wouldn't come to her door), worked on what I'd gone there for, and went home with a clear conscience.

As started typing this, she called. :) The wonders never cease. I'm going to pick the money up from her now- Amazing... Bit by bit we grow....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Picked up 6 month chip last night with T... Another member celebrated 4 yrs... Good night all around... Found out that a friend (chronic relapser) had found his way into a recovery center... Holding him firmly in the light.

Admittedly, my serenity was shaken a bit by the boif not only not attending, but seemingly forgetting about my 6th month all together. This is my own fault: I keep expecting things to miraculously change... Still practicing acceptance. I need to accept the fact that things may never change- and go from there...

Topic last night: How we define our HP- Reminded me of how I got to these rooms.... Grateful that friend I referenced in my share was present... Was good stuff for me and him both...

God got me to these rooms, these rooms bring me closer to God.
The coincidences stopped and God began.

I think my connection's about to give out... so...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


6 Months-

  • I do plan on picking up my 6th month chip tonight... Upon further reflection an discussion, 'the dessert incident' is about intent. I knew what I was ordering, but my intent was to eat dessert. When I realized that my intent was changing, and that this was a potentially dangerous situation, I stopped.

  • Am on summer break and have set up a schedule for myself to minimize down-time, which has been problematic in the past. I'm giving myself a lot of flexibility in parts... but looks something like:
    • 7-8 wake, walk dog, breakfast.
    • Depending on time, morning meeting then coffee shop, or off to coffee shop.
    • ?-11ish- coffee, blog, step-work, web surf (sans porn)...
    • bring lunch to townhouse, eat
    • 12:? -2- work on cleaning out townhouse
    • 2-4 free time (pool, T.V., more web surf... with porn...)
    • afternoon- gym, nap, band practice... day dependent..
  • Celebrated my 6th month with my first early bird meeting. Good stuff, and packed.
    • Topic: sponsors...
    • side bar: two old-timers brought up the damned last name thing again. Not sure why that's such an issue for them, but the more they talk about it, the less I want to bring my last name into things. Battle of the control freaks I guess....
    • My share: When I'm purposefully not doing what my sponsor suggests I'm doing a few things-
      • Trying to gain a sense of control.
      • Distancing myself from God.
      • Trying to pick up an excuse to get drunk.
Overall- Good day. Excited about helping to chair tonight.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Been out of town for a bit and fallen behind on stuff... Update:

Did not attend a meeting while gone- Should have... Will save you the excuses...

Came home still sober- although, after a comment from someone last night at a f2f, wondering if I can still pick up my 6 month chip tomorrow. I think I can, but want to do so with a clean conscience. So, here's what happened:
  • Went to dinner with friends- They were drinking, of course... Me and the boif were not- Trully, traveling dehydrates me so badly, I was savoring my water... Was feeling a bit isoltaed and craving a drink, but no biggy... Ordered a dessert "Rum baba" which I expected to be like the rum cakes of my youth- my mom would get them for me at Christmas. Rum taste, but nowhere near intoxicating or 'dangerous.' Well, this dessert came, looked to be a pastry/ cake with some type of syrup and whipped cream. I took a bite and realized this was simple sponge cake sitting in pure rum... I felt silly for having ordered it, and didn't want to make a stink (lose face) in front of my drinking friends- So I took a second bite, from the top- not soaking in rum... But this part was also soaked through. I felt guilty, and realized this dessert had taken a turn... I put my fork down and didn't have any more. So- slip or no? Relapse or no? I'm feeling n0- My intent was to have dessert... And once I realized that this had changed to something else, I promptly stopped. No intoxication- No intent of escape, etc... But maybe I'm just rationalizing, cause I deperately do not want to lose my 6 months over a lousy dessert... But... Will be running this by some folks before I get my chip tomorrow night...
Anyway- Got to a meeting last night and saw a friend pick up his first chip. Yay!!! Have been praying for him...

Friday, June 20, 2008


Love this picture... Think highly of themselves don't they?

Anyway- Heading to Paris tomorrow. Excited. Not allowing myself to worry... ODAAT, even overseas. Bringing the laptop, against the protests of the boif, to be able to check for meetings, do online meetings, etc... Have info. about a meeting, but since details vary depending on which night I go...

Anyway- Will be good times- Focusing on my serenity (packing for two turns out to be a bit stressful). Not only my first sober trip, but our first 'big' trip together. Progress...

au revoir!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The Serenity Prayer

GOD, grant me the serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change,
Courage to change the
things I can, and the
wisdom to know the difference.

Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardship as the
pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this
sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it.

Trusting that He will make
all things right if I
surrender to His Will;

That I may be reasonably happy
in this life, and supremely
happy with Him forever in
the next.

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Went with a friend to his NA meeting last night... Am grateful for the experience... And I'm sure AA is where I need to be.... One reminder for me, 'HALT':

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired
Some easy triggers to fall into.... Was grateful to have heard this again.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Boy, I suck at keeping up with this blog... and that's.... okay.... Having decided I need some interesting graphics I googled "sober paris france" and this is what I got... somehow, it says it all...)

Let's see- Not an easy week.... Friday started some bullshit that I just couldn't shake all weekend... Basically, my friend let his resentments take control and we all suffered for it... Even though we talked it through and it even led to some positive action for him and his partenr, my serenity was severly shaken... I was depressed, battered.... And all but ready to throw in the towel... Thankfully someone in the program, who I have the utmost respect for, texted me bright and early. "You okay?" Syncronicity... "Nope. Going to a meeting." Went to said meeting- shared, really just to say I had, and admitted that I recognized that I was doing everything I'd heard them say they did before a relapse: isolating, depressed, tired, no calls, avoiding sponsor, less meetings... etc... I was even fantasizing about my relapse- If I relapsed now, I'd be able to drink in France next week... Anyway... The meeting embraced me. After arguing about which topic to use, I got some amazing ES&H... The burden was lifted. I was not feeling perfect, but through our discussion of acceptance, I felt sane again. A couple things came from this that I need to remember:

Acceptance is not agreement. Just because I accept that something is occuring, or that someone is acting or reacting a certain way, does not mean that I need to agree with it. This simple statement has given me growth in the area of handing over vs. door mat.

Further, another guy I've seen in quite a few meetings, and who I'd just met the week before at both of our first visits to a men's meeting, (Holy Run-on!!!)... shared a reading from page 417 of the big book:
  • "And acceptance is the answer to all my problems. today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation---some fact of my life---unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake..." A fucking men
Anyway- Friend leaving for Scotland tomorrow. I'm praying for him. I leave for Paris a week from Saturday, and sponsor has already headed to Asia... Seeing a trend here? Praying for us all... I feel strong in my program- Have been around some drinkers lately and grateful for my sobriety. Th fear comes from how quickly things can change. From moment to moment... But, that's how life works and I can accept that... That said, I did add international calling and texting to my phone for the week away. Can never be too careful!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Am beginning my 4th step (printed out the forms today) and all I can list right now, under fears, is my fear of sharing these facts with someone else. Fear of hearing some things that have lived only in my head for many many years. I move forward in faith....

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Last Drunk

January 31st, 2007

The boif and I met a couple friends at their house. I had a couple glasses of wine and we headed to another friend's New Year's Eve party. This party is an annual event: beautiful house, amazing decor, full bar, buffet... Very "A" list and one I've enjoyed, and looked forward to, very much.

Much of the night was spent around the buffet and in the kitchen... Socializing, gossiping about the other guests, as they gossiped about us... The four of us spent most of he time talking to each other, and two of us drank... and drank... and drank... The night gets hazier as it goes on... I do recall being accused of pouring liquor in my friend's wine glass... Which I didn't think I did... I now wonder if I was doing this to both of our glasses. I also remember getting irritated that someone was drinking my wine (surely I hadn't drank it all myself) and had to steal others'. I then remember someone starting the countdown to midnight... I won't get into this in detail, but the boif and I have been through an awful lot to get to the point where we could kiss in front of others, and it only happens on New Year's... So it was something I was looking forward to, very much... I remember counting down to thirteen... Then I was waking up on the couch with the boif asking me if I'd thrown up in the bathroom sink upstairs... I had, and vaguely remember it... I'd been drinking red wine all night... and apparently eating red food... I know because I was finding fragments of it around the sink for days...

I spent the next day laying on the couch, taking vicodin tabs to take the edge off my amazing headache. I felt humiliated, out of control, anxious, ill and thoroughly emotionally sick. I texted my two friends to find that they were having a similar conversation at their home. I remember feeling that something was different... That I was done... That my only point of comfort was that I would stop. There was no question and no second guessing this decision. There was remorse, and sadness, like deciding to break-up with someone.. but that small still voice telling me it would be okay, if I made this decision. I white knuckled it past the thirty day point, then found myself in an AA room. I've been there for about 120 days.


My third step prayer:

"Please God remove these difficulties, that I may humbly do Thy will always."

Sunday, June 1, 2008


This may be a dangerous statement, but I swear being around active drunks is exactly what I need. Have been fighting off some craves lately, nothing major, but I've had wine on the brain... so to speak... Went to a show tonight with a friend- She had 3/4 of a beer with dinner and nothing else. Bitch... I had a Sprite (with lemon... ) Went to the club to see groups of musicians who don't normally play together cover popular bands. Some familiar faces, either from past shows, or past AA meetings, but mostly just familiar expressions... Squinty eyed, bravado driven ugliness.... Of course there were the folks having a decent time, having a drink or two, but I barely noticed them (bitches)... It was the folks like me I saw... The ones that really, really don't need to have a drink. I'm grateful that they were there for me, as much as my sober drunk friends. It helps me to remember where I was... And where I could be tonight, but for the grace of God....

We only stayed an hour-My friend started feeling sick from the heat- That place was packed!!! We're simply not as young as we were... and that's okay. ;)

Asides- Formally chose a home group tonight. Got a lot of the homework I've fallen behind on done. Made some phone calls (caught some grief from the boif for one... Guess we'll get to resentments soon enough...) Hope to get some more done tomorrow, but between gym, 'church' and Sex and the City (woo-hoo!!!) it may not happen... and that, too, is okay....

Friday, May 30, 2008


Well, guess a little break from blogging was in order... Lots of time with mom lately (last weekend in hospital with a fall and spinal fracture... bah). Missed a bunch of meetings there as well, and actually have gotten pretty lousy at calling folks... Actually, didn't realize all that until I typed it out... Dangerous pattern there.

Since getting back in the swing have made three meetings (maybe two, I think three...). Today's topic was honesty... Much of this program is a contract between myself and God... And that honesty is imperative. So many dichotomies in this program: The desire for more integrity in my life brought me here, and my honesty in communication and action keeps me here.

Monday, May 19, 2008


Got to chair an online meeting last night, finally... Was fun, and left the meeting feeling very good about my program. My topic was "Step One: Complete Defeat." My biggest fear was that there would be no response to the topic, but, again, I was wrong. Seems like a lot of folks related to the "not yets".

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Follow-up to my side comment the other day arose at yesterday's lunch meeting:

"There is being sorry, and there is not doing it again. No doing it again is the repentance."
"The difference between thankfulness and gratitude is what you do with it."

This is a program of action.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Here is the text of my part of this morning's online meeting. What a way to start the day!

Hi- I'm *** I'm an alcoholic

ty for a wonderful topic. one that has been surfacing quite a bi in meetings lately. I'm grateful for that.

I'm onna list some stuff I'm hearing here, please don't think I'm crosstalking, or talking directly at anyone. here's my experience.

"Humble yourself in sight of God..."

"forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass againat us..."

I found myself in my abusers...

"humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings..."

My sober date was Jan. 1 2008

so I'm admittedly new to this... and have not yet worked my 4th step....

that said- I've not yet heard/ read anywhere that I need to forgive myself...

Thbis is my understanding thus far-

My job is to receive God's grace....

that is, the forgoveness and love of The God of my understanding....

In doing this, I can better forgive those who trespass, or misstep, against me....

and see God in them....

I don;t factor into this....

It's just not my job, or my place to forgive myself....

If I can find myself, my trespasses, in my 'abusers'..... I am practicing all parts of this principle....

and cannot help but ot feel better about who I am ... today....

My past has passed...

and there it goes again....

All I can do is let go of resentments, let God in, in all aspects of my life, and no drink. That's all I know to do.

God has forgiven me.... Hek, God forgave me before it happened!

If I trully acceot that grace, there is no need to forgive myself... am I above God?!

God has done for me hat which I could not do myself....

God has forgiven me where I could never begin to forogive myself....

God has done for me that which I could not do myself.....

I am immensly grateful for this program.... It took AA ....

ty GA

Add-on comment: "There is being sorry, and there is not doing it again. No doing it again is the repentance."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


No Tuesday night meeting last night, lunch at summit instead... The facilitator was a nazi- don't stand up, closed meeting, etc.... anyway.... Is good o have those examples of how old-timers still struggle with practicing the principles on a daily basis...

Morning online meeting today- "Okay to be me..." or something... Good message- More and more I am comfortable in this skin... Well, could lose a few pounds, but... :) I have noticed I'm laughing more easily these days, enjoying being around me ...

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Have been led more lately to find some service opportunities. This morning I signed up to help chair meetings at AAonline. I'm really looking forward to this opportunity as this was the first place I found myself. Maybe I'll see you there!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


RAGE = Real Angry Gut-level Ego

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Yesterday's lunch meeting topic was service. Here' s an area I could use some growth in. I've been gaining some confidence in reaching out to others on a limited basis, but I think it's a reasonable expectation that I pick a home group and work towards actively supporting it. Cleaning up after meetings, setting up coffee, facilitating... These all seem reasonable... Not interested in sitting on boards, etc... This quickly takes the charge out of the experience for me... Little too close I guess...

Sunday, May 4, 2008


Couple things today, and just a sec to get them down:

  1. H O W = Honesty, Open-mindedness, Willingness
  2. Got a phone call Friday from a chonic relapser who is strugglin g with a lot of stuff, and seems to be making this program more complicated than it is. I supported the best I know how, and this came from a follow-up discussion with the sponsor:
    • Hi A,
      My name is G and I'm an alcoholic. I've been exactly where you are
      today, and I want you to know that there IS a solution! Problem is, a
      lot of people are going to tell you to "just don't drink and go to more
      meetings." Problem is, if we could "just not drink", we wouldn't need to
      go to meetings. If we could "just not drink" we wouldn't be alcoholics!
      I was exactly where you are, but I've been sober and happy for a long
      time now, and I didn't get to where I am by just not drinking and going
      to meetings.

      I'm going to tell you a couple of things that you might not be hearing
      much, but they are SO important, I hope that you will read all of this

      You said, in your post, that you are in the midst of this crazy
      insanity, and you really hit the nail on the head there. It IS insanity.
      An alcoholic is in the grips of a disease that robs us of our will,
      leaving us utterly defenseless against the first drink. Without the
      PROGRAM of Alcoholics Anonymous, we're basically doomed. You notice I
      capitalized the word program. The reason I did this, is because there is
      a distinct difference between the program of A.A., and the "fellowship"
      of A.A. The fellowship is the meetings, the potlucks, the B.S. sessions
      with other alcoholics. The PROGRAM is in the book. The problem is,
      people genuinely think that all we do in A.A. to stay sober is go to
      meetings. If you really want to get sober and stay that way, then you
      need something FAR more important than just going to meetings!

      You said you're reading your Big Book and drinking at the same time.
      Crazy, huh? But guess what? Just reading the book isn't going to keep
      you sober any more than going to a bunch of meetings.

      Here's why. The Big Book is a set of instructions. In the forward to the
      first edition it says, " show other alcoholics precisely how we
      have recovered is the main purpose of this book." OK. Got that? But
      here's the trick. In order to get precisely what they got, which is
      recovery from alcoholism, you can't just sit there and read about have to DO precisely what they did!

      On the page with the twelve steps, it doesn't say, "These are the steps
      we read about", or "These are the steps we met and talked about". It
      says, These are the steps we TOOK. If you want recovery from alcohol,
      follow the directions in the book. Take the steps! Don't just read about
      them, or meet about them. Take them!

      OK. So here's the first question. Are you ready to quit for good and
      all, and are you willing to go to any length to recover? If the answer
      is yes, I'm going to tell you some things you might not be hearing in a
      lot of meetings. The reason you're not hearing a lot of what you need to
      do, is because many of these alcoholics don't fully comprehend the
      program as it was designed. They don't study the book, and they don't
      understand that this is a program of action, not a program of words.

      The next question is, how soon do you want to recover? The answer is, as
      fast as you can take the steps. You may hear things like, "take your
      time on the steps", or "Only take a step a month" or other nonsense like
      that. Read Bill's story and see if you can follow the timeline. He took
      the steps in about a week. Stayed sober his entire life after that. Dr.
      Bob...took the steps in a matter of days. So, I'm going to put some
      confusion to rest here. Be SOLID on the steps, but don't take your time.
      These steps are designed to be a sweeping event that results in an
      entire psychic change. These steps are the vessel which brings you in to
      conscious contact with your higher power and enables you recover.

      In the Doctor's Opinion, Dr. Silkworth states that this pattern of
      drinking, swearing off forever, and then drinking again "will be
      repeated over and over. And unless this person can experience an entire
      psychic change, there is very little hope of his recovery." So, he's
      saying, that unless we can experience an ENTIRE shift in our psyche, our
      fundamental way of thinking and behaving, we are going to continue this
      ugly cycle again, and again, and again. Unless we take the steps,
      designed specifically to bring about that psychic change, we are,
      essentially, doomed. We will keep going back out, over and over until
      we're locked up or dead.

      Grim opinion, but it's true.

      But in the very next sentence he says, "On the other hand—and
      strange as this may seem to those who do not understand—once a
      psychic change has occurred, the very same person who seemed doomed, who
      had so many problems he despaired of ever solving them, suddenly finds
      himself easily able to control his desire for alcohol, the only effort
      necessary being that required to follow a few simple rules."

      OK. Steps one through nine are designed to bring about that psychic
      change. Steps 10, 11 and 12 are the "few simple rules" we use as daily
      steps to maintain and grow our spiritual condition.

      I'm going to run through these for you so you see how simple this is.
      Step one is the recognition of the problem. The stone cold knowledge
      that alcohol has literally kicked your ass. Powerless means we have a
      disease. We don't process alcohol properly. Unmanageable means that we
      can't manage our most sincere decision to not pick up that next drink.

      Step two is the solution to our problem. Plain and simple, On page 47
      you'll find the instructions for step two. Second paragraph: "We needed
      to ask ourselves but one short question. 'Do I now believe, or am I even
      willing to believe, that there is a power greater than myself?'"

      Steps one and two are nothing more than deep, internal realizations.
      There isn't a sponsor on this planet that can look at you and tell you
      that you have now taken those two steps. You have to KNOW those things,
      deep down inside. Steps one and two are described under the A., B, and
      C. following the 12 steps on page 60. OK? Read (a), (b) and (c). Are you
      ABSOLUTELY clear on those three pertinent ideas? Yes? Well, if so, read
      what it says next.

      "Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to
      turn our will and our life over to the care of God as we understood

      So, what step do you think you're on? If you're convinced of a, b and c,
      the book tells me you are on step three already! Did that take a couple
      of months? Probably not.

      OK, Step three sounds hard, but it isn't. It tells us just what they
      mean by that, and just what we're supposed to do. Read and understand
      page 60 up to the middle of 63. A couple of short pages describe exactly
      what that step is all about, and how to take it.

      Step one: the problem. Step two: realization of the solution to our
      problem. Step three: the decision to begin working toward that solution.

      OK. Well, if you're convinced of steps 1 and 2, and have made your step
      3 decision, you're already ready for step 4!

      Have you read anything in the book telling you to take your sweet time
      yet? Not likely.

      It says, on 64, "Though our decision (Step 3) was a vital and crucial
      step, it could have little permanent effect unless at once followed by a
      strenuous effort to face and be rid of the things in ourselves which had
      been blocking us."

      So we start on our inventory at once. Why? Because, in order to start
      fixing ourselves, we first have to learn what's broken, what can be
      repaired, and what needs to be cast out.

      So in Step 4, we go on a journey of discovery. We learn much about what
      has been holding us back. What needs to change. In Step 5, we go about
      the task of casting out the baggage that's been holding us back,
      starting out on fresh territory. Once we do our 5th step, if you follow
      the directions in the book precisely, we notice that we do steps 6 and 7
      the same night we do our 5th step! Don't believe me? Read page 75 and
      the top two paragraphs on 76. Believe me now?

      Then guess what it says...we already have Step 8 done! That's right.
      Read the third paragraph on 76. Tells us we already made the list when
      we listed our harms back in Step 4!

      So let's look at this again. One and 2: realizations. Three: Decision
      time. Step 4: Learn what's holding us back. Step 5: Cast that stuff out.
      Step 6: take an hour after step 5 to get ready to ask for step 7. Step
      7: ask. Step 8: Did it already. Step 9: begin to clear the wreckage
      from our past. 10, 11, and 12: Spiritual growth for a lifetime.

      OK, this was a long letter, but you are hurting, and it tears my heart
      out to see you getting advice that isn't designed to solve your problem.
      PLEASE, just do exactly what the book tells you to do. Get a sponsor who
      works out of the book. If he doesn't, get a new one who does. It's your are in control of your program. Demand a sponsor who
      guarantees he works strictly from the book. If you do that, you WILL

      "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our

      Do the work. Get through the steps and recover! If you hear any advice
      you can't reconcile somewhere in the book, well, that's just some
      alcoholic's opinion. Might be good, might be bad. But an opinion,
      nonetheless. The program of recovery is clearly outlined. The
      instructions to recover span about 22 pages. If your sponsor doesn't
      know that, find one who does, because that's where the instructions he's
      supposed to be helping you follow are located. He'd better know where
      they are!

      And don't let the gay thing hamper your sponsor search. I live in one of
      the most redneck of the red states (north Idaho) and I've experienced
      nothing but kindness, tolerance and love from everyone in this program.
      Gay is irrelevant to them. They just want to help a fellow alcoholic end
      his suffering, Just like what I want for you.

      I hope you're still reading this. If you want to know what it's like to
      recover, read starting on the last paragraph on page 85 through the
      first two paragraphs on 86. Sound like something you want to experience?
      You will, if you do exactly what this book says, without reservation. It
      always happens to those who do.

      Take care, my friend. And remember, it's not the meetings we make, it's
      the steps we take!


Thursday, May 1, 2008


Topic today at summit: Resentments

Lots of discussion around the 4th step, which I've not yet started (and not looking forward to that one a bit>>>) but here's what I heard: our resentments easily manifest as frustration, rage, grouchiness... These are the trademarkls of an alky... These will deprive us of our happiness and eventually, our sobriety.

As I'm still working through step 3, I'll not get into my resentments here... But I will admit, the first one that popped to mind was Queef... That motherfucker's hurt a lot of people, and his name's just resurfaced after a nice, long break without him. The guidance I hear is to pray for him for two weeks... grrr.... For now, I pray that he gets nothing short of what he's due... Whatever that may be... At least this keep me from speculating on his intentions. Maybe he didn't mean to cause pain. I believe he did, but...

Sidenote: A guy in the meeting was driving me nuts... arrogant asshole, joking his way through, side talk, the whole bit... Sponsor told me, "if you spot it, you got it." I could stand to minimize my deflection through humor bit...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


So my blogging has sucked, and I think one reason is that I used to write with a glass of wine close at hand. Divine inspiration for crap. Anyway- I'm blogging now and that's a step... And no wine, and that's something too!

Another reason I've not been blogging is that I've built up these mighty expectations for myself; my posts must be the most profound literary works, etc... For now- My goal is limited to writing about my meetings. Each meeting tends to lend me a pricelss tidbit of information, and with my emmory these tidbits really need to be recoded. I'll also write some of my sponsor assigned homework here, but primarily just little bits of sobriety speak:
  • 4-29 First Speaker meeting w/ Jan. Started questioning why I was here again- Her story was so much heavier than mine, maybe that's what a REAL alchoholic looks like. But, I can see myself getting into any of those situation myself- Reckless driving, avoidance, etc... It's all variations on the same themes. Simply stated: alcohol was impeding my life- I was well on my way down the slippery slope. I was stifled physically and emotionally. I am living once again.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Gardener

I know stress is tied to my sobriety and as such try my best to avoid it... One of the biggest stressors for me is my job... without going into too much detail, I teach teachers to work with difficult kids... In some ways, I am paid to be a control freak... I have to supervise assistants, supervise suggestions I've given to teachers, and look closely at how to change behaviors of the kids they work with.... I am trying my damndest to back off of being a controlling bastard, and feel that I've made some progress in this area... I also know, though, that I cannot back off too much in my profession, hence the stress...

Anyway, here is something that someone in the mentioned to me...

" a people business it's so much like gardening; we cultivate and give room for roots to grow... we prop them up so they don't fall over as they experience root expansion..."

So, maybe I need to look at my role more as a gardener than a dictator...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

High bottom...

As a gay man... this makes me giggle...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Why I don't drink...

The sponsor gave me some homework- Make a list of reasons I don't drink anymore. I did it, and now I have to redo it:
  • one DUI = no job
  • the night I told J I was in love with her...
  • blackouts (new years was the last drunk... I don't remember it.)
  • At the beach, and other times, I had meaningful conversations with close friends and I don't remember a thing I said.
  • I was going to work, but only physically. Too many days I just made it through, hungover and miserable.
  • I was stunted... emotionally and spiritually...
  • lots of "not yets" that I cannot hit- jail, loss of job, etc...
  • my memory was sucking, even when I wasn't drinking...
  • drinking is not a hobby- there are better ways to spend my time.
  • I was powerless- sometimes one rink was plenty, more often ten was not enough...
  • the last time I played live drunk sucked... I screwed up, sounded like shit... blew it...
  • I lied and cheated.... I don't remember stealing, but... anything's possible. I did not have the integrity I thought I had.
  • Drinking had expanded into drugs as well, and I hadn't even realized it...
  • there's got o be more to do on saturdays then laying on the couch taking vicodin...
  • I want to experience and remember life...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This has been an amazing roller coaster of emotions, this sobriety bag...

Last night started out sucking, big time... Mom's sick... Partner's being a dick... Work is stressing me the fuck out... And all this leads me to question my sobriety and wonder why the fuck I'm bothering... Was I really that bad? Was life 'unmanageable'?

Anyway... Went to beginner's meeting at 6:30... Very small group... Some beginners, some old hats... Met a cool (and attractive, I might mention) guy who kind of cornered me a bit before and after the meeting, ending with getting my number... The rest of the meeting pissed me off... Folks did not know how to stay on topic and could not resist cross-talking.. grrrr.... my anxiety built over the span of an hour... This is the first meeting I did not share in, and I really just white knucled it to the end... I left feeling like I did not belong... These folks had DUI's, jail time, rehab to detox them of gallons and gallons of liquor... this is not me... Shit, I rarely drank liquor at all... They pissed me off, and I was pissed off that I had come... I left wanting a drink more than I did when I'd gotten there... The guy leading this mess encouraged me to stay for the 8 o'clock, as the 'inmates' would be coming in shortly... I got the fuck out of there...

My Tuesday night meetig is a gay group downtown... I could not get to the church as the road had been closed for utility work... anxiety growing... Irony #1: The only place to park? Yes, of course, the bar across the busy street...

Anyway, after the misery of tolerating these fucked up people making a mess of the first meeting I ran into the second irony: The topic at the second meeting was letting go... We shared about being control freaks.... too funny... I shared, and vented, and had diarrhea of the mouth for about ten minutes....

After I left I called mom to talk... She knows I'm comingto meetings, I think I did an okay job explaining why I was going ( she was surprised, not realizing it had become a problem...)

I had a brilliant day today.... Felling very good... The partner's still disconnected and all but my roomate (and I still love him, goddammit) .. work's still as stressful as yesterday.... those beginners still don't know how to meet... But right now I feel like I'm on the right path... I'm handing it over and not worrying any more than I need to.....

Eating brilliant chocolate, drinking some killer tea, and got a live WILCO stream playing (9:30 club in DC...) Live's okay... :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

That small still voice...

'God' is but a name
you've given me-
Concern yourself less with
how you address me
and more with how I call thee...

Less about what you say
or how you pray-
The steps you take
lead you on your way...

Friday, February 15, 2008


Are you too locked into
what you know to be true-
Are you unable to see all the strange and
fascinating that surrounds you?

Time for a mental road trip-
Take time out from easy answers.
Just for the sake of living-
put aside yourself for a bit.

It's so easy to feel important
when you're the only one around.
It's so easy to listen
when you're the only sound.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Day 14

In the past 14 days, I've decided to pass on drinking, have done quite a bit of chatting in, and have battled between whether or not I have a problem with drinking (step 1).

In short- Here is my score from (They suggest taking a closer look at one's drinking if fou or more answers are yes.)

Your Results

Did you answer YES four or more times? If so, you are probably in trouble with alcohol. Why do we say this? Because thousands of people in A.A. have said so for many years. They found out the truth about themselves ? the hard way.

But again, only you can decide whether you think A.A. is for you. Try to keep an open mind on the subject. If the answer is YES, we will be glad to show you how we stopped drinking ourselves. Just call.

A.A. does not promise to solve your life's problems. But we can show you how we are learning to live without drinking "one day at a time." We stay away from that "first drink." If there is no first one, there cannot be a tenth one. And when we got rid of alcohol, we found that life became much more manageable.

I suppose this says a lot... So here we go...