Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Where in the book...

A.A.s Tradition 3:  "The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking."

Al-Anons Tradition 3: "The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend."

John 3:16 "... That whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all..."


As soon as I find the exceptions, I'll get back to you.

  

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It Ain't Easy Being Green...

I haven't covered up my "greenness" in nearly forty years!  I have always had a sense about me.  I didn't flaunt my "greenness".  I certainly didn't go where "green" people are not welcome.  Until I moved to the south... Greens are not welcome here under any circumstance, anywhere.  Not in church, not at AA, not at Al-Anon and not even outside of the their house.

When these southerners asked me how I got here, I lied.  I lied about who I am, my core being.  I started to hate who I was and how I live.  I endured jokes about green, black and brown people.  I laughed along trying to fit in.  But then it happened. Some of the men started asking me out on dates.  I was confused.  I couldn't even figure out how to respond.  I haven't been asked out on a date in over twenty years.  So I lied again and my lies didn't add up.  Lies never do add up, you know.

Now I feel unwelcome everywhere.  One person told me not to let these people run me off but she is young and from the north.  I fought my way in the door in the 1980's, I haven't the energy to do that again.  I am very afraid for the first time in many years.  I am even having an alarm installed on my house.  What I want to know and understand is... If you are so much better then me, why do I scare you so much?  I am just an old girl with children, grandchildren and dreams of my own, a child of God.  I don't want to hurt you, why do you want to hurt me?
       

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yesterday ...

Yesterday was a fun, hard, confusing, and an emotional day!  I have an old box of film negatives.  I decided to sort through them with a film to digital scanner thing.  What treasures I found!  Pictures of my babies, my (ex) husband, old friends, old enemies.  The sane days, the insane days and alcohol filled days, my life caught on film. It was a roller coaster day.

The sane days, the days of normalcy were courtesy of my ex, Jim.  Looking at those pictures reminded me of love I tossed aside.  The pictures of my young kids and their "daddy".  He liked being a daddy.  That was plain to see looking back.  Jim loved me no matter what but that wasn't enough for me.  I wanted everything and I didn't even know what everything was.  I looked "in all the wrong places" for it and I had it all the time. Regretfully, I threw it away.

I will always love Jim.  It is a distinction he doesn't even know he holds... The only man I was ever "in" love with.  And no one knows this... I wrote him after I moved to California and asked him if there was anyway we could get back together.  I never heard back from him.  I don't even know if he got that letter.  I heard, after I sent the letter, he remarried as soon as our divorce was final.  Maybe he threw the letter away out of respect for her or maybe he never got the letter.

I made amends to Jim a few weeks back.  It wasn't the best time or place (his mother's funeral) but we may never see each other again.  I told Jim that I have always loved him and I will love him until the day I die.  I told him I am so sorry I couldn't be the wife he needed.  I even told him I am grateful he has Laurie (his current wife).  He deserves to be happy and he deserves a good wife.  Jim is the father of my children, the "bestest" kisser ever, a wonderful dancer, a compassionate friend and a gentle lover... Jim is a good man.  Laurie is very lucky and I hope she knows that.

More to follow...
      

Thursday, May 20, 2010

You Get What I am...

I was told I should delete yesterdays blog... No way!  You get what you get and I am who I am.  Today is a new day!


I never could figure out the statement, "Don't quit before the miracle happens".  In my acute depression the last couple days it came to me.  The miracle is another day of sobriety.  Easy!  Why the heck haven't I seen that before?  Clear as day and looking too hard.  Looking for a burning bush.  A bright light or for Bill W himself to visit and proclaim, "a spiritual experience has happened here".  A miracle has happened and I was was looking in the wrong direction!

You know, when I am depressed all I think about is drinking.  Some of that is wanting to escape reality and the terrible feelings I am experiencing.  I have gone out twice... It is much like moving to get away from your problems.  There you are... Hello! You are the problem!  The reward for drinking is simple... Prison.  Drinking removes my right of choice.  So, it is my choice today to stay out of prison!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Belonging and longing

Some days I still feel like a square peg in a round hole.  I wished things were different but I cannot change some of the things about me.  This isn't your business, so leave me alone.  No, please don't leave me alone.  My head is such a mess.  Yet people praise me and thank me and want to hear my story.  I got nothing to give you.  I am all used up.  I'm tired.

Pity pot?  Maybe but I am different from you.  When people find out who I really am, they run away.  I have seen it happen time and time again.  You want to know why I don't get close to anyone?  It is because I am scared of pain and rejection.  Most reject me because of who I am.  Some reject me because people tease them for being my friend.  It is the truth in my world.  It is my reality.  I am getting too old to play these junior high school games.

So, I sit here alone.  People ask me to lunch, dinner, meetings where ever but I always smile and say, no thanks not today.  Because I know we would get close.  Then you would find out about me and leave.  I am one of God's kids, too you know.  And I do have feelings.  One of my nieces' has on her profile, "I yam what I yam."  Hell yeah, so am I.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Music

Music was always my very best friend.  It was there in my growing-up days, darkest days, drunk times, and sober fun.  I have songs always and forever embedded in the footprints of my mind.  My love of music was a gift awaken in me by Mom.  Mom listened to every genre, sang great songs, and played piano.  I wasn't allowed very many "extra's" as a kid but she bought me a trumpet.  Long before I knew what it was I knew I wanted to play "that horn".  I played my horn for hours every day whether I was happy or sad.

I have an Elvis license plate on my car.  So, I suspect one may wonder why today I mourn Ronnie Dio.  I loved him and I loved his music from the beginning to the end.  Dio was also a trumpeter making him an automatic favorite of mine. I also mourn Lena Horne who passed May 9th.  Mom used to sing One More For My Baby and Stormy Weather all the time.  Since January 1st so many have gone.  Johnny Maestro, Malcolm McLaren, Mark Linkous, Carl Smith and Teddy Pendergrass to name only a few.

In a few weeks I am going to New Orleans.  This trip will allow me to check many of the remaining things off my "bucket" list.  When I was a kid I wanted to play my horn in New Orleans.  I probably won't play a horn there but I will listen to the music.  One of the greatest gifts from my HP is I can feel the music deep in my soul.  I could never explain that statement, I just feel the music.  I love every note every musician plays.  If there is a band in heaven I hope when my time comes they will be playing "When the Saints Go Marching In" and I hope Louis Armstrong is leading the parade.  Let Elvis sing "How Great Thou Art" and Mahalia Jackson sing "Amazing Grace" and I will be there... For I am music.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Where in the World is Adam?

I follow several other blogs.  One in particular I really enjoy is, An Addict in Our Sons Bedroom.  They wrote a piece on the blame game to which I replied:


Over twenty years ago and after 3 or 4 treatment centers I kicked my oldest son out. I have only seen him 2 or 3 times. He stopped calling me years ago when I told him no more money. I miss him terribly everyday. I do not know if he is even alive. Sometimes it seems like it would be easier if he were dead. Coulda, woulda, shoulda were my constant companions. I sometimes would wonder if I quit before the miracle happened. In all my meetings, in both fellowships, I have never heard anyone give thanks to their Higher Power, whom they choose to call "Mom & Dad". I know it is out of my hands but every once in awhile I wonder, "If only I (fill in the blank)". Those are the days I help a friend, go to a meeting or call my sponsor. Sometimes all three! It has gotten easier but the pain is still deep.


Yes the pain is still there like a sore that won't go away.  A cancer in my soul. I really do hate alcoholism (and all addictions).  My family is riddled with alcoholics and drug addicts.  For my children (and my grandchildren) that meant/means just add alcohol and find out if you are or not.  It is a very dangerous, life threatening game I would suggest they not play.  Alcohol and drugs will rape, rob and beat you to near death.   Like the song goes, "Everything you love starts to disappear, the devil takes your hand and says, no fear have another shot just one more beer"- Kenny Chesney.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sometimes I Learn

Sometimes I still have trouble putting a label on my feelings.  Sometimes I don't like being sad so I search inside for something else.  To be honest, sometimes I still search outside.  Sometimes there is nothing but sadness.  And sometimes, just maybe, that is alright.  The little dog and I didn't work out so good.  She was terribly sick.  I had over $200.00 in vet bills in the first two days and the doctor told me if she was still sick tomorrow, she would have to do "very costly" tests.  The next day she was worst. I took the little dog back to the dog pound.

I am sad but, in reality, it is not because I was so attached and "in love" with the dog.  I was "in love" with the plans and dreams I had for us.  First off I didn't want a puppy, too much work.  I wanted a small dog, easy to train and friendly.  I was going to go on walks with her.  We would fish, shop, talk and laugh.  She would be my therapist and I would train her to be a therapy dog.  We would be loved and respected by all.

My head just doesn't work right, we talked about that before.  My friend, Kenneth, said he told his wife he hates their new house.  He hates living on the east side and wishes they lived on the west side.  She told him he wants the to live on the west side because he lives on the east side.  Yes, I understood that comment.  Kenneth, told me that as long as I am not in jail, it is a good day.  And so it is...  
  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yikes

I am not without problems today and most are of my own making.

I need to find my gratitude journal.  Where the heck did I put the darn thing.

Oh oh oh Hey!  I am grateful I can take my language out of the bar and make it user friendly

Dog thing didn't work out.  She was terribly ill and neither of us slept last night.  More to follow...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Two Days Off and a New Friend!

I skipped two days of blogging but... What an awesome Mother's Day weekend! My daughter and her husband, Trisha and Gary, came to visit me.  They got me a very cool "Zelda" t-shirt.  My son Jim called me twice from Iraq, I was gone both times. He left messages and it was great to hear his voice!  He sent me chocolate and tulips. How blessed am I.

For awhile now I have been thinking of getting another dog.  After much research I decided the cocker spaniel is the perfect breed for me.  My ambivalence was the puppy years until two years old.  Do I really want that?  I also wanted to find my new helper at the Humane Society.  Would all those things collide together in my world?  Trisha, Gary and I went to the flea market.  We walked a ton and I wearing down.  As we were leaving we walked by the Humane Society display and lo and behold there was a two year old cocker spaniel! We took her out of the cage and amid the chaos around us, she laid down at my feet!

I pick her up this afternoon.  I will probably name her Keeper.  She is already spoiled to death with everything a girl could possibly want!  PetSmart shelves are empty this morning!  Plus, she is signed up for training through expert.  I would like her to not only become my helper but a help to others.  Keeper and I will train together to eventually become a therapy team.  I am very excited to have Keeper in my life.

A few years ago I was a dog in a cage, denial was my jailer.  My program, the steps and my Higher Power have set me free.  None of this would be possible without those things in my life.  I was also given a bonus this weekend.  My daughter has asked me to accompany her to New Orleans for a couple weeks.  She is going for work.  What an honor to have my beautiful Trisha ask to spend time with this old girl.  None of this is my doing, I just got out of the way and allowed my life to happen.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Shelter From the Storm

The men are here putting in a below ground tornado shelter.  I was looking online for shelter supplies and I thought of my mom.  When I was younger I lived in Oklahoma.  My brother, Mark and his wife moved in with my family.  He went for a general physical for employment and they found a tumor in his abdomen. My parents came down to see him when he had surgery.  While they were there we had a tornado come through.  We took shelter in the hallway and put a mattress over our heads.  My son said, "Wow Grandpa, that is a big train!"  Yes, it was!

We lost a corner of the roof over our living room.  (We were unaware of the damage until days later when I mowed the backyard.)  After the storm passed there was no power for many hours.  I did not have a flashlight, portable radio, candle or anything even remotely similar.  My dad pulled the radio and battery from their car so we could "stay up to date on the weather".   My mom had a fit with me, "If I lived in the south I would have several flashlights, a radio, extra batteries and a storm shelter, for God sakes, Linda"

So, I am in the south once again.  I am building a shelter and getting the necessary supplies.  I spent a good part of my life waiting for Mom's approval and that never happened.  Through the years, with help of my twelve step programs I am able to find shelter from all of life's storms.  I have quit looking for approval from the outside.  With the help of my Higher Power and the steps, I have learned to find approval from within.  Accepting  my Higher Powers perfection, love and grace everyday, has filled my heart with all the love and all the approval I need, just for today!
        

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tried and Tired



It has been an exhausting few days since the "great credit card theft".  I am very sure I now know the who and how.  A couple months ago I purchased a spyware program.  After I paid for it, I found that it was in fact a dangerous program itself.  My grandson had a program to completely eradicate  it from my system.  He did that for me.  I fought back and forth with the company to get my credit card credited.  They finally did that.  And I think they have now helped themselves to stuff at my expense.


Trust no one but yourself.  In my case I sometimes cannot even trust me!  I need to be present at my meetings or my head get screwed up.  I just don't think right.  I over-react and spend time spinning my wheels.  Take evasive action?  Yes!  But for gosh sake don't leave the human race!  I tend to want to isolate and monitor my life from behind this keyboard.  That is not good for this kid.  bbl



  

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What Goes Around?

I wrote yesterday of my sadness at being defriended on Facebook by my (former) minister.  As fate would have it, I ended the day by deleting a lot of my friends.  I am retired and on disability.  I have nothing of my own and not much income.  What income I have helps pay my medical expenses.  Gratefully my basic needs and some wants are taken care of by a very dear friend.

I went online to pay my bills and bam, numerous charges here and there, that are not mine.  My one credit card was slammed hard.  I use this card for online purchases only out of fear of theft.  However, I bought something locally recently.  I did not feel comfortable giving up my checking account information.  So, I used my online card in that store.  I trusted the salesman in the store but there were numerous people sitting at his desk going through stuff, on the days I was in the store.  In my mind I have narrowed my breach down to that store or one online source.  In reality, it is probably "Bigger then the Beatles", there are bogus telephone numbers associated with the charges.

I will probably never know for sure what, where, why, when, or how.  I do know it sure is a mess.  I am changing passwords, cancelling accounts, and credit cards.  I feel violated.  As a person with huge trust issues to start with, this was a severe blow.  I don't know who or what to trust.  I have deleted people on Facebook I really don't know.  I want to check for a key-logger on my computer but which program is safe and not a spy itself.  And, I am searching for the lesson in it all.  
    

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Old Church Old Feelings

The minister from my home church back in Michigan sent me an email.  In part she cited her policy of  "not friending on Facebook people who are former members of my church once they've become members somewhere else."  She ended the email with, "So I am sorry to tell you this but I am defriending you on Facebook."  With a click of a button we were no longer friends.  Like a dutiful child not wanting to make waves I wrote her back, "I do understand and thank you for sending me this note."  Well, I am not fine, I don't understand and I am very hurt.  I feel like a lost little girl looking for Mommies love, once again.
  
First off, I was never an official member of her church.  We had never got our Sundays to line up to make it official.  Secondly, I have not become a member of any other church.  Her church was where my heart was and I am feeling excommunicated.  Even the Catholic church didn't "defriend" me.  I was as generous as I could be with her church, to a fault. I even tithed after our schedule changed and we could no longer attend. Furthermore, I finished our pledge after we moved to Mississippi.  And just maybe that is where friendships and memberships really end... When the tithe ends.

Years ago a ministers wife was trying to recruit me as a member of her husbands church.  I told her that given my background and belief system, I am not welcome in most churches.  She told me this story.  A young man was on the front church steps crying when Jesus approached him, "What is the matter, my son", Jesus asked.  The man told Jesus that he was not welcome in this church.  Jesus responded, "Don't worry son, neither am I!"

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sigh

I skipped the meeting today.  Some days I just don't want to play and I think that is alright.  What I am struggling with is, I resigned as GSR.  I have done a ton of service work in the last years and I wish to step down.  I feel a bit guilty as there is no one that will do the job.  I could blame a ton of stuff, like we haven't had a business meeting since before the last quarterly assembly.  It is time for another Area Assembly.

The real reason is hard for me to admit.  I am scared.  I am not young and dumb any more.  Where the hotels are, is huge and very busy.  The people on the corners are not passing out church literature.  It is a very scary area.  Besides my overnight bag, I have a huge oxygen concentrator to haul around.  And I am on my own, alone.

Accepting my limitations and disabilities has been very hard on me.  I was always the strong one.  I raised the kids alone, worked, cleaned house, cooked the meals, mowed the yard, PTA and Scouts.  When I came into the twelve step world I jumped into service work with both feet.  Now I can no longer make promises my body and mind cannot keep.

It all makes me very sad.  The damage I have done to my body with cigarettes and booze is catastrophic.  I always joked about my addictions.  'It takes the years off my life I don't want to be here for anyhow." I would quip. But oh yes, I want to live many more years.  I want to laugh, love and listen to the music.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Day of Rest

My Higher Power a so awesome!  He has given me so many blessings I cry sometimes.  He took the seventh day off and as I strive towards His perfection, so shall I!

Peace, Love and Light!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Doin' the Deal

Most of my friends and family members know that I attend twelve step meetings.  If you did not know, you do now.  

Down here in the south they refer to working or living the twelve steps as "doin' the deal".  I never know for sure if "it" is working in my life.  And sometimes I think I just don't get "it".

Today after a very spiritual Saturday morning meeting, a gentleman came up to me.  He has forty plus years of continuous sobriety.  I very much respect him and his program. He said to me, "I love listening to you talk.  You remind me of my first sponsor."

He has said that to me before.  I have always thought he meant my northern accent or the tone of my voice.  He continued, "He was one of the most spiritual people I had ever met, too."

Whoa... I am just trudging down the road doin' the deal.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Well Shoot

Mother's Day, it will be here before we know it.  I miss my Mom and I suspect I will the rest of the days of my life.  She didn't like me or so it seemed to me and my sister-in-law confirmed that and further told to stay away from Mom.  I didn't stay away and Mom and I became best of friends.  The last 20 years of her life we went to breakfast and shopping nearly every Saturday.  I am glad I didn't let my ego come between us because I am so blessed to have been friends with Mother.

The flip side of Mother's Day is Adam, my oldest son and middle child.  I don't recall the last time he spoke to me on Mother's Day.  I would guess 20 to 25 years ago. He chose to go the route of drugs and alcohol.  After numerous hospitalizations I was advise to kick him out.  He had quit school and was 18 so out he went.  It killed me to do that but I was told it was the only way to send Adam a "wake up call".  I have only seen him a few times since that day.  He used to call once in awhile homeless and needing money.  The last time he called for money I told him that I am broke and have nothing left to give.  He has never called me again.

And so on Mother's Day I wish and I wait.  I wish I could call my Mom.  I wait for calls from my children.  Trisha usually calls me first.  Jim almost always calls in the afternoon, if he is able.  And I wait for my beautiful son Adam to call me.  And I cry because the phone doesn't ring.  But once again, this year, I will wait and I will hope.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tonight Will Be Dark

And tomorrow will light.  That is about the only thing I am sure of today!  I said I am writing everyday... Well, what the heck was I thinking?  I have nothing.  So, gratitude will have to do!

Today I am grateful for:

1.  The new woman at my noon meeting.  She is my age, had oxygen tubing marks on her face like mine and just for today she wanted to go to bed without drinking!  It was her second meeting and she drank in between that one and today.  "Oh well", I told her, "That was yesterday and today is today.  That is all we've got."  I am glad I know that and could pass it on.

2.  I am so happy I do not have to be the leader of the pack today.  I love sitting back and letting the other egos do all the heavy lifting.  I'll make coffee, it keeps "Ole Slick" off my back.

3.  Finding an old friend on Facebook from the beginning in 1984.  We were at the same meetings and same tables until he moved from Adrian.  I love the things we shared back then.  When our friend Bullet was hospitalized many years ago, he drove down to Adrian to get me.  He took me to Ypsi to visit Bullet.  To me it is no wonder he is still sober today.  He is one of the miracles that was there so I could be here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Kids and the Legend of Zelda

I have two kids that are part of my life, my daughter Trisha and my son, James.  They both have showered me with love, gifts and tears.  I love them both very deeply.  This story is about old gifts from my daughter and new lessons learned.

I first became addicted to games when the Atari came out.  Then a few years later, I found my true love RPG's.  The Legend of Zelda was released for play on the original Nintendo.  Jim and I spent hours playing that game.  I could figure things out and he could kill stuff.  We found ground to share when he was a young preteen and teenager.  I couldn't afford to buy the game so we rented it on the weekend.  I was horribly angry when someone erased my game and I was inconsolable if it wasn't available.

Trisha and her family knew my addiction to games from Zelda all the way through the years to World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI.  She and her family bought me these great t-shirts as gifts.  One has a picture of Zelda sword raised and inscribed "Legend in Progress".  Another has a picture of the original Nintendo inscribed "Classically Trained".  There are many more.  I wear these shirts only once in a great while as I don't want them to wear out.

I was searching through the closet I keep them in and thought, Heck I'm going to wear out before these shirts do.  Ah-Ha!  They went straight to the laundry and I am wearing a different one every day.  I have now taken all the good  stuff out and I am using everything I have been saving.  I am even taking my beautiful Mother's ring they bought me to be re-sized.  I have had it locked in a safe for many years.  It is way past time for me to enjoy all the things in my life.  After all, all I have here is today.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Worms in my Refrigerator

I like to fish or maybe I like thought of being able to fish, I don't know.  Anyhow, I went and bought a new rod, reel, tackle box and worms.  I put all my new fishing gear in my room and the worms in the frig.  Worms are always kept in the refrigerator, according to my Dad.  That action brought about a memory of my Grandma D.

Grandma D. had a cabin in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan.  We vacationed there every July.  By we I mean my parents and my brothers and sister.  I loved "the cabin".  It was back 45 years ago and we were one of the very few cabins on the lake.  There was literally a one lane path leading back through the woods to the cabin.  I loved it there and many of my fondest memories are from our times there.

Anyhow, Dad would take Don (my brother) and I fishing.  We went everyday, twice a day some days.  And when I didn't get to go in the boat I fished off the dock.  It was really cool because at the end of the dock the lake had drop off and it was very deep and dark.  You could catch as many or more fish from the dock as you could from the boat.  When not fishing, we went digging for worms.  We kept the worms in an old Crisco can in the refrigerator.

My Grandma was a lady.  She always reminded me of the Queen of England, a proper lady.  You can see where this is going... She went to fix popcorn for us one night.  Got out the "Crisco" and, you guessed it, worms went flying all over the cabin.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Step Back in Time into Love

My children's paternal grandmother, Leona, passed away in December.  Her family decided to have her funeral in February.  My daughter wanted to go and I agreed to go with her this past weekend.  I have always loved my ex-husband, Jim, and I was so very "in" love with his family.  Walking into Leona's home the other night was a step back in time.  Seeing everyone was nearly overwhelming for me.  After all theses decades, they made me feel at home. Welcome.  It was as if years of separation had never happened.

Jim was a wonderful man, a very caring and compassionate husband and an awesome father.  It was me, my secrets and my mental illness.  I think I was mentally ill long before my marriage but the birth of my daughter and the depression that followed was my first glimpse into hell.  I thought my husband was my dad and I was my mother and Trisha was me.  I couldn't make sense of the world or anything in it.  My husband went to our doctor and the doctor ordered a prescription of Valium for me (my start into the world of addiction).

I somehow felt I had to hide who I really was from everyone.  My husband was the oldest of 10 and hiding in his large family was easy.  I loved them and for the first time I understood the meaning of family.  I never had a real family.  Jim's family made me feel loved,  protected and secure.  The large stately home they lived in was my sanctuary.  I went there all the time and I couldn't have been happier and I was never again saner.

Jim went into the Army, his family moved to Florida and I had two more children, my sons.  During my third pregnancy Jim had to leave for his third tour in Viet Nam.  I was in horrible shape mentally.  Jim did everything he could do to stay home with me.  He took me to Army doctors and they said I would be fine just have a couple drinks before bed to help me sleep.  (My first steps into alcoholism.)  He left and just before our second son was born Viet Nam ended.  My husband came home and we bundled up our new baby boy and headed off to Fort Sill, OK.

The third kid was overwhelming for me.  I couldn't figure out how to take care of three of them. I only had two arms.  Who would I save in a fire?  What would I do?  Big Jim worked nights and I was so terrified.  He brought a hand gun home but that made me more fearful and so he had to take it away.  My third kid was very ill and would stop breathing often.  He wasn't gaining weight, couldn't hold up his head and was not connected to the world.  The doctors thought he had mental issues because the cord was wrapped around his neck at birth.  It turned out to be allergies but the damage to my mental health was swift and severe.  The solution for me was more Valium or Librium and booze.

I met a woman during that madness and she would take my hand and walk with me into the very pits of addiction, alcoholism and insanity.  She helped me find the false courage I needed to get divorced.  Many years before, in the late 1960's, I had left Jim.  My parents with my daughters Godparents told me if I divorced him they would go to court and have Trisha (my only child at the time) taken away from me.  So, I felt like I had go as far away from family as I could.  Besides, why would they want to hear from me anyhow?  I moved to California and stayed low.  I would never give up my babies.  Never.  By now deep paranoia had set in.  I self medicated and drank more and more.  I stayed in the pits of hell for nearly ten years until 1984.  That is when I found Dr Jacob and my 12 step program.

No one will ever know how much I still mourn the loss of my husband and his family.  How much I wish my children could have known the normalcy and love this family would have freely given them.  I often wonder how things would have been different for me and my children if and if.  This weekend I was able to tell Jim's wife of 20 plus years how much I appreciate her. Jim deserves happiness and a good wife who can take care of him.  I was able to tell Jim I will love him until my last breath and I am so sorry I couldn't be the wife he needed and deserved.  I was able to embrace and be embraced by the people that taught me to love and to be loved, for the first time in my life, all those years ago.

Thank you to my Higher Power for the gift of one of the most beautiful, bitter-sweet weekends of my life.  I only pray today for forgiveness from this family and my children.  Your will Father not mine.
     

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

All these years...


I got my 3rd four year token yesterday.  I got to choose the speaker at a meeting that is not typically a speaker meeting.  The guys even bought me a birthday cake! Rob gave me my token in front of everyone.  He patted my back about the quality of my sobriety, starting a new meeting, and becoming our GSR.  Ron was choked up.  Many of the people that came up and gave me a hug after the meeting were near tears.  This was very important to these people - four years!

I stood there for a long time watching people talk about the journey sobriety takes us on while we ate cake.  I was amazed at the tears of happiness and the laughter.  I was standing there ashamed.  Ashamed because I should have picked up my 25 year token in December.  As soon as that thought crossed my mind it dissolved and I felt overwhelmed.  In an instant I felt new, whole, perfect. I saw through the eyes of a person who had lost it all and in 4 years had more then they ever could imagine.  I really could not have imagined the life I live today!  I have never before felt this level of gratitude and peace.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of these four years.  Some are AA, some are Al-Anon, some are still drunks, some are near, some are afar, some are friends, and some are family.  Some know the peace true serenity brings and some are still learning.  I can see the promises through your eyes for the first time and I am so deeply grateful.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Who's Inventory Are You Taking? Mine or Yours

I haven't written in a bit because I was out of the country, then I got sick, and then my family went crazy.  For one, I was called dysfunctional. No way, me?  Well, I wasn't just called dysfunctional it was put in writing on a social network for all the world to see.  It hurt my feelings.  The truth is generally painful.  The person involved in the name calling might want to look at themselves.  You know what "they" say, "You spot it, you got it." or "You name it, you claim it."

My children haven't lived with me in over 20 years, my siblings haven't lived with me in over 40 years. The way I see it, the basic problem here is, I have changed so much in the last years I don't even look like the same person.  I don't sound like her, I don't dress like her and I don't talk like her.  They don't know that, they still see the old person.  I have spent a lifetime in therapy, 25 years in AA and 23 years in Al-Anon.  Have I "slipped" over the years?  Yep.  Am I perfect? Nope.

As painful as it is for me, there are things about me I can never change.  I cannot change the Mommy that was not perfect but, oh my gosh, I was so much better then my role models.  Other things I cannot change are, I am an alcoholic.  I am an adult child of alcoholic parents.  I was abused, neglected and unloved.  I am the mother of a drug addict.  I am bi-polar.  I am short and I am getting old.  

Do I get mad when I allow you to suck me in?  You bet I do.  I turn into the raging idiot that was living in my body before I found a program.  However, my anger is not aimed at you today.  It is aimed at me for allowing myself to play very hurtful games with you.  Today I recover quicker. Today I have sponsors, friends, meetings and my Big Book.  Today I can be swift in forgiving and more importantly, I can forgive myself.  Today I know love and I am loved.