Tag Archives: day count

Eff you, Haribo.

The best part about today was receiving this text:

January 27, 2014 8:35pm

“Today in awkward moments in sobriety…walking around A&P I found it cathartic to flip the bird to different bad things for me (donuts, beer, etc) somewhat discretely.  This inevitably led to a very confused woman, who came out of no where, seeing me giving a less than discrete bird and saying “not today” to a wall or haribo gummy bears.  Her face was priceless and I have no regrets.”

 

Two for you, none for me.

Two for you, none for me.

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Fiiiiiine

Yes, I’m back on the AA bandwagon, albeit somewhat reluctantly.  The slow truth is: life is better without poison.  The relationships I have now have blossomed and/or been created because of sober living.  Prior to Alcoholics Anonymous the most important and dedicated alliance I had was with drugs and alcohol—bottom line. 

You know…actually…. as I write this reluctance lessens; my will is turning back over a little more with each sentence.  

Yesterday alone:  The girl I nanny taught me how to play a Coldplay song on the piano, and taught me about patience as she placed my fingers on the keys.  We shared the Steinway bench after waffles for breakfast and before I took her to school for the day.

 Afterwards I went to the cold sunny beach with my dog, and took pictures of the frozen broken ice that looked like shards of glass on the sand.  I had conversations with strangers…real conversation! My dog ran up and down the shoreline with other pups, and naturally my Mommy heart swelled at the sight of my “child” so happy.  (I’m a firm believer that dogs are people, too.) 

My Dad came over with some food since I have not yet mastered the culinary arts, and began teaching me the basics of cooking.  I didn’t truly know my Dad before I got sober. 

Later in the afternoon I went to my office, which feels like family. My boss gave me a promotion, and he and my coworker offered loving life advice because they care.

At 6:00 I went to the rock climbing gym where I took a three-hour course for certification to become an instructor. For a couple nights of the week I’ll be working at the facility to support my newest healthy hobby. 

Throughout the day I was in contact with 4 or 5 amazing alcoholics (not an oxymoron) from my home group, and when I got home at 9:30 after acing my course in climbing, I got to have a 30 minute conversation with my other half.  Ate dinner, did a crossword, went to bed, woke up fresh, and drank tea infused with antioxidants as I blogged a turnaround thought process.

 

FINE…. life is awesome.  

 

 

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Eureka!

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Day 350

I’ve come to the conclusion that as an alcoholic, I should get paid hourly; I work 24 hours a day, and spend seven days a week sifting through garbage in my brain.  It’s tough work, dammit. 

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Yuck the Fankees…And the Red Sux

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Day 346

I used to be a baseball fan; now I’m more of a crestfallen, half-assed spectator.  By half-assed spectator I mean if I happen to turn on the nonexistent TV in my house, or walk into a bar I no longer go to, and a game is on, I’ll root-root for the home team.

That said – I’ve never been a fan of the Yankees, which according to my geographic is the home team.  Erroneous.  I don’t like the Yankees for the same reason I don’t like the Red Sox anymore (or any major leagues) : lots of sports, no real teams.

The first time I fell for baseball was 2004.  My mom’s boyfriend at the time was a Red Sox fan; he gave me the lowdown of the players, the history behind their curse, and the unconformity of the Soxs’ raggedy scraggly ways.  As a 16-year-old pothead-wannabe-anything-chameleon-outcast, I could relate to their rebellious “we don’t wear pinstripe” ways.  Pinstripes to me were the equivalent of Vineyard Vines, and since I really needed things to hate besides myself, the Yankees and popped collars seemed like good places to start.

The year 2004 was the beginning of my dedicated relationship with drugs, alcohol, and a balanced diet of Beerio’s and bong rips for breakfast; “Beerios” being Cheerios with beers in the place of milk…ok I never did that (in high school) but you get the idea.

Anyway.  I came to know the players that season. I came to love the game.  And then…THEY WON!  The curse was broken! Red Sox for life, bitches!  Yuck the Fankees! Johnny Damon was my hero!  Beers and bongs for everyone! And then!!!……He joined the Yankees.

Seriously?

What kills passion quicker than a paycheck?

That was my first and last affair with “pro” sports.  Doesn’t sound very “pro”fessional to me, nor inspiring.  I could probably trace my rock bottom nearly 365 days ago to Johnny Damon’s soul selling contract in 2005.

…..Clearly I forgot to put some people on my 4th step.

There’s a point to all this, and that is, Johnny Damon is just as bad as A-Rod.  The End.

Ok just kidding. This was intended to be a post on the similarities between A Rod and alcoholics.  (Now that I’m an alcoholic I get to point the fingers at everyone else) but my emotional wounds of MLB are still open.  (Insert crying emoji here.)

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A Word to the Wise:

“If you have one foot on yesterday, and one foot on tomorrow, then you’re pissing on today.”

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It’ll ruin your day….

 

 Day 312

This quote seems to be an AA favorite.  I interpret it in two ways:

  1. Stay present.
  2. Both feet need to be in the program. 

For the first five months of sobriety my feet were ungrounded.  It was impossible to stay present; all I could think about was my directionless future, and the security of going back to where I came from.  Having no idea whom the eff I was, why I was always so depressed, and whether or not I was actually an alcoholic, my thoughts were constantly neurotically ricocheting off the walls in my brain.  To make things easier, (aka 1,000 times more complicated), I told lies.

 

I told lies to my friends in California, and said that I was in AA because it was that or a DUI; I told them I thought it was stupid and that I would be back.  I told lies to my friends in Connecticut, saying I wouldn’t go to California because I knew I needed AA. Everything was a contradicting clusterf*ck. I guess the trouble was I believed all of my own bullshit, because I truly couldn’t stay put long enough to make a decision.

Indecision was killing the “today’s.”   It wasn’t until I finally went with my gut, surrendered to the program, and jumped with both feet, that I began enjoying the present. 

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HP’s Don’t “Do” Punishment

Recieved this email today and thought I’d share.  The wonderful thing about spirituality, for me, is that he/she/it doesn’t have to be defined, (which is why I disfavor organized religion).  I can try to describe how my Higher Power lives in and around me, but in my opinioin it does’t matter.  I think the message is the same, and my understanding is something along these lines:

Today’s thought from Hazelden is:

How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?
–Woody Allen

If our introduction to religion and God was filled with threats of punishment and hell it would make perfect sense for us not to want to believe in something so scary. Even though we may have been taught that God is love, we may not have witnessed a lot of God’s love in action.

All we are asked to do in recovery is to believe in a Higher Power. That could mean God, or it could simply mean the sober people who are helping us to recover. Our Higher Power is there, watching over us, ready to be seen in any way we are willing and able to see.

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Spiritual Vacuum

I’ve learned a boat load since arriving in Argentina; new words, new foods (blood sausage is disgusting), school systems and kids’ education, settlements in the 1500’s, religion, the President, and all about inflation.  I have also obtained a new “system” to work on myself every single day.  Sounds exhausting, but it’s actually easier than the alternative.

New behavior (actively trying to be a better person) creates dissidence in my mind.  It would be effortless to behave however I wanted, i.e. being selfish, impatient, introverted.  I used to make decisions based upon what would make MY life easier. Now, I am trying to change. Change is hard.

Sometimes I try to focus on everything all at once that I want to fix about myself; respect others, respect yourself, don’t be selfish, be humble, reach out to another alcoholic, lend a hand when needed, connect with your HP, breathe deep, have faith, don’t act out of anger, pray for those you hold resentments against…I could go on forever. That’s why it’s important for me to read different excerpts daily, and focus on just one.

Every morning I chose a quote, phrase, word, etc., to call on throughout the day.  If I read an entire chapter of the big book before breakfast I retain nothing; a result of trying to process too much advice too fast.   Short simple antidotes are uncomplicated, and accessible.

Today my catch phrase was “spiritual vacuum.”   The vacuum refers to how we remove our defects.  As I understand it, we can’t simply remove what we don’t like, and *poof* be gone.  We have to replace the hole with love.  Sounds soo corny.  I don’t care.

This afternoon I had big plans to sit by the pool and read a book, in the sanctuary of the backyard.  It turned out, there was an itinerary I didn’t know about; I was to go to the site of the wedding where my best friend is getting married next week, and help plan where the tables, flowers, and chairs will go.  We had to make decisions on how many candles we envisioned, and what petals would be in the pathways. I didn’t want to go.  Why?  Because I was being selfish.

It’s not my favorite thing to admit that, but it’s true.  I had to access the quote of the day to remind myself why I am here, and why I had to be there.  I had to remove the negative narcissist and replace the absence with my HP. Simply saying in my head “think spiritual vacuum,” I was able to reset with complete clarity.  I love this friend with all my heart!  She’s been my best for 19 years, she’s about to marry the man of her dreams, on a beautiful farm in Argentina, under a tree over 150 years old, and I’ve been asked to help make the special day even more special.  DUH.

I’m so grateful that I didn’t trudge through the day absorbed in my self-centered sphere.  After remembering how to be  the person I want to be, my attitude was reformed.  I wanted to (and want to) help in any way possible – directions, flowers, plot plans, candle lighting, whatever!

It’s going to be beautiful.  🙂

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Huston, We Have a Problemo.

So I’m in Argentina for my best friend’s wedding. I’ve known this girl for 19 years, and have been just as close with her family as with her; they are family, and they know how hard it’s been to get where I am.

Everything about getting here was a disaster. It was the usual airport obsticals; running late, missing mandatory papers for international travel, mistaking my seat number as my gate number, you all know the drill. The best part about the disasters was that I laughed them off! Pre-sobriety, I would have been reduced to a fit of tragic fury. This time, I marched forward with a confident “no problemo,” attitude.
A fellow alcoholic drove me to the airport and it was the best possible departure for my sobriety. We covered everything from downfalls to revival, inspiration, and Winston Churchill. When I got dropped off at the gate I was elated! Filled with love, and pure happiness radiating. You know that feeling? The one that no material possession can duplicate? That one.

The flight was hunky dory, too. I fell asleep for 9 hours, woke up, had a questionable airplane breakfast, and bam! We were landing in Buenos Aires. The air was warm, a car service with a man named Rocco was waiting at luggage claim, and with my broken Spanish and his enthusiasm we chit chatted all the way “home.” Although the driving was intense.  I couldn’t tell if Rocco was a retired race car driver, or he just didn’t care if we died.  Anyway, we got lost for an hour, and even that was a hoot. He started teaching me about Argentina, about the Provences, the President, and how much amazing steak I had to look forward to. I felt carefree and fearless for the first 24 hours.
Today things started to change. (Mom, Dad, don’t freak out.) There’s been lots of talk about the wedding, and rightfully so! That’s why I’m here! What scares me is that I’m started to feel like alcoholism is a punishment again, like I’m missing out on the fun. I’m already resentful of my disease. Why can’t I drink like a normal person…? I guess that’s the obsession of every alcoholic. It’s not that I want to be “that girl,” falling all over the dance floor; I just want to feel the weight of a filled wine glass in my hand. Is that weird? I can almost taste a cool crisp Pino.

I’ve been playing the tape in my head.  It’s no secret from my mind that a) I can’t have access to an open bar and not blackout, and b) after just two drinks, all attention would be diverted to finding blow, killing the real reason of being present and happy for my best friend. A and B are as certain as death and taxes,  yet my alcoholic Gollum inside wants to cover-up the facts.

Parts of my attitude areregressing and my defects are gaining steam, but slow enough for me to catch them.    I’m feeling more insecure and a little less humble.  However, just by saying these thoughts “outloud,” make me feel better.  A good friend of mine said at a meeting last week, “it’s not that I’m going to pick up, but that I’m even thinking about it, just for 30 seconds, scares me.”  That’s where I’m at.  I don’t feel anywhere near to a drink, but the thought of these thoughts  are still scary. Thanks for listening yo.

 

** Don’t mind the typos.  This computer speaks Spanish.

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For the love of…..

My writing attempts this week have been less successful than the rollout of ObamaCare.

I’ve tried sitting at the keyboard, writing outside with my clipboard, writing from the heart, writing with my head…Somewhere about five words in everything goes to shit.  Kind of like today.

Started out bright and early by backing my truck into the neighbors BMW.  Good morning, mam!  Got to work job 1 where my dog puked not once, but twice, on the carpet of the owner’s house.

Got a facial for my first time yesterday, let’s just say it didn’t “work.”  I’m now a walking cry for ProActive.  Did I mention that I’m going to Argentina tomorrow for my best friend’s wedding?

In preparation for the wedding I scheduled a hair appointment at a salon advertised on GroupOn.  DO NOT ATTEMPT.  Pulling up to the salon was the first sign of danger.  The establishment was along a string of worn down convenience stores, with plenty of parking spaces.  This was not a desired destination.

Not wanting to judge a building by its cover, I walked in anyway.  After all, how bad could it be?  Pretty bad.

One old lady was sitting at a chair in a room of empty stations.  Very hesitantly I said, ”I think I have a 1:00 appointment?”

Even though I wanted her to say “nope,” she said, “yup.”  And before I knew it I was sitting down with foils in my hair for highlights and a bucket of bleach next to crazy lady and me.  For the first ten minutes a man stood above me yelling in Greek at the lady mutilating my hair.  Finally she said in English, “I want no trouble.”  I’m not kidding; I thought this dude was about to pull out a gun.  I had already thought about dying in a salon with old crazy scissor hands.

Fortunately, the man left.  She finished my hair.  I cried, a lot.  This woman put streaks like a skunk on my head, seriously, the stripes were almost white.  The foil job she did was crap, too, so the solution ran and dripped throughout my hair leaving spots like a cheetah’s.

I got out of there before she could comb or blow-dry or kill me, and ran into my house when I got home to assess the damage by brushing through the disgustingness.  As I brushed, to my horror, I realized that my hair was coming out.  MY HAIR WAS FALLING OUT.  This woman over-processed my hair and used bleach to such extremes that my fucking hair started to fall out, aka breaking everywhere.

Did I mention I’m flying to Argentina tomorrow?

In a slight hysteria I got back into my truck, made sure I wouldn’t hit anyone (again) and drove one million miles per hour to the most expensive hair salon nearby.  I have to admit, it was worth every penny.  They told me not to cry, which didn’t really help because I was already pondering what color and style wig to buy.  Instead, the women and a man went to work using toner, and this and that, and yadda, and I look okay.  It actually came out pretty well.  My hair had to be dyed almost brown to cover the zebra/cheetah thing I had going on, and I lost half a head of hair, but I have a lot, so that’s okay.

At least I’m sober.  Sigh.

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Had to Write 377 Words To Come Up With Three: “Keep It Simple”

OH MY GOD THE PRESSURE TO BE BETTER

OH MY GOD THE PRESSURE TO BE BETTER

The Internet is FULL of prescriptions on how to live life.  There are one zillion articles, slogans, and suggestions, such as,“10 Ways to Make Yourself Happier,” “40 Ways to Live Your Life Without Regrets,” “30 Ways to Live Life to the Fullest,” or “11 Habits you MUST Give Up to be Happy.”  When these self-help-do-it-yourself posts pop up on Facebook or pervade my Gmail account, I read them.  Ugh.  It’s the worst.

It’s not that I don’t want to read them; that’s the problem.  I find myself thinking entirely too hard about what an unknown Internet author has written in regards to life management.

These “guides” are everywhere, and as a person who feels like she needs all the help she can get, it’s exhausting.  I somberly bookmark certain pages, or even write some tidbits down to reference later…except I never do.

Initially my intention was to finish this post with disdain for the columns, but I just realized I don’t hate them at all; they are the same principals of AA, and there’s no longer a need to swamp my consciousness with the lists because I’m practicing them everyday.

The suggestions for betterment are exactly what AA has been teaching me:

“Quit being ungrateful.” (I’ve been advised to write a gratitude list everyday, if not several times a day.)

“Quit running from your problems and fears.”  (“Keep Coming Back.”)

“Quit regretting the past.” (AA promise: We shall not regret the past nor wish to close the door on it.”)

“Quit talking down to yourself.” (AAism: “Put down the bat”)

“Quit criticizing others.” (Agreed.)

The Internet’s pointers were probably so overwhelming because I only had a vague idea of where my flaws were stemming from.  The difference now, is I’m taking it day by day.  My version of bookmarking a page is going to a meeting to be reminded.  And, there’s one AA suggestion that calms me down every time:  Keep it Simple.

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