Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Here

I came across this amazing performance of this song and it brought me to tears, I think the lyrics that struck me the most are:
THANKFUL FOR EVERYDAY THAT I'M GIVEN,
BOTH THE EASY AND HARD ONES I'M LIVIN'.
BUT MOST OF ALL
I'M THANKFUL FOR
LOVING WHO I REALLY AM.
I'M BEAUTIFUL.
YES, I'M BEAUTIFUL,
AND I'M HERE.


Well this holiday season has been a roller coaster....no a sleigh ride... no a BLIZZARD of emotions and feelings. That's more appropriate a BLIZZARD.

It's strange... I'm not sure I've ever had a holiday season like this before.  Huge highs, Low Lows, Shame, Joy, Happiness, Depression, Angst, Anger, Elation.  All I've really wanted to do is hide. I've also can't recall a time yet in my sobriety where I've spent so much time thinking about drinking. Fantasizing.  Thinking I'll get away with it. No one is around, no one would know.

My schedule has been way off whack thanks to holiday travel, blizzards etc. I know I know excuses excuses.

What it says to me is: ACCEPTANCE.   Thoughts are not actions, but I have to be aware of them, accept them, avoid if I can labeling them as good or bad and deciding the next right action that will lead me away from a drink.

I'm off to a meetin!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Feelings nothing more than feelings

Merry Christmas Eve!!

I'm back in New York and back on the internet! Woo hoo.  Had a great time in Colorado visiting family, have great plans to enjoy Christmas here in the city with my local 'family' as it were.

I'll be posting more but wanted to say hi and best wishes to you all

I'm off to heat up some cocoa and watch 'Meet Me In St. Louis'

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Wonderful Life

I am not quite sure how it is I made it 31 years on this having never seen Frank Capra's holiday classic:
"It's a Wonderful Life",  but somehow I did.

My lovely fiancee is shall we say a Christmas movie addict and they've been on a constant loop in our house since December 1st perhaps earlier. We spent most of yesterday finishing up our shopping here in the city and I left in the evening to hit my meeting.  My explicit instructions were that the only requirement for watching this movie (at his insistence) was a cup of cocoa.

We had a great meeting, the subject of which was gratitude. It occurred to me that when I first came in I would always hear the phrase: "You will have a life beyond your wildest dreams", I translated that of course as: "I'm gonna be the biggest thing on Broadway, then Hollywood and conquer the universe!!! (grandiose much?)
Reflecting in that meeting I realized what is beyond my wildest dreams today almost 4 years later:
The realization and acceptance that I am a work in progress.  To keep it that simple is truly a gift, and having the knowledge and faith that everything is fine and how it should be. The simple fact that I can even go an entire day without drinking is a gift.  I could go on and on about the amazing things in my life today from the simplest and beyond, I won't though I am extremely grateful for all of it.

We never know the effect we have on people we encounter. We have been given a light and should let it shine. I'm lucky because I feel like I got a second chance to do that.

I am grateful to Mr. Capra, who silently instructed me while I was basking in the glow of our Christmas tree,  cuddled with my honey sipping DELICIOUS hot cocoa with marshmallows & a candy cane - that this life is a precious precious gift and thanks to this program, I more often know what to do with it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Authenticity

I love when the world gives me messages in bright - flashing - NEON.

I've read a bunch of posts, listened randomly to a few songs all with the message: BE YOU.

No one else on this earth is made like you.  Each of us bring something to this world around us, something that is uniquely given but meant to be shared.  How often I hold myself back thinking - this isn't for me, or someone has already done this - who am I to deny the gifts I have been given?

My FAVORITE (or one of) show is 'Sunday in the Park with George' by Stephen Sondheim. It is in fact one of my dreams to play George one day.  The show explores the art of possibility and the art of art, the art of creating, and at it's core - the art of honoring yourself.

The line that has been echoing through my head today and welling me up slightly with tears as it always does is from the song 'Move On' and the lyric is: "Anything you do, let it come from YOU, then it will be new, give us more to see"

Go OUT. Be YOU.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh this blank box.  It's stared me in the face for DAYS!

Seriously,  I've been very lazy lately not exactly sure why. Sometimes I find it difficult to find the line between taking it easy and LAZY.

I'm back at work today and feeling sluggish. One of the things I find fascinating about this city is that there is a constant pace.  I both love and hate it.  I always find when I've dropped out of the stream (as I did this weekend) it's sometimes twice as difficult to jump back in and start swimming at that pace again.

I did have a good weekend it was just full of a lot of things I 'was gonna' do and then didn't.  I did get to have a wonderful dinner both Saturday & Sunday nights and catch up with some good friends.

Here's hoping I get my motor runnin!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Season of Sunshine

OMG!  We put our tree up last night!!!!!!

It looks so pretty!  I find it interesting that I am in the full throes of Christmas Spirit - ALREADY!  Last year I couldn't have cared less.

I'm excited for Christmas this year! I am going to try and keep the focus on GIVING this season, really looking for the lights in other people, practicing compassion and carrying the warmth I feel out in the cold. I know it sounds cheesy, but I'm really feeling it this year.  I am also excited to travel to Colorado to visit Mom, Sis and a WHOLE bunch of other relatives - Chris is coming too and will be meeting many of them for the first time.

I am grateful that on the whole I have a very loving and accepting family.   I'll post pics later - in the meantime - what's your favorite thing about this season?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I just wanna effin Dance!

As with most things, it's never as bad as I imagine.

Last night was a lesson in expectations, conquering fear and letting GO!

Expectation:  A class of about 20, Basic level, Judgement, that I could fake it & not go full out (contrary to my blog title even!)

What happened:
A class of about 60! A bit more advanced than I had thought though not terribly difficult. I spent the first 20 minutes to half hour in my head so I couldn't really focus on the warm up & across the floor times. I percieved judegments from every corner of the room. 
I took a few deep breaths, said a prayer to help me stay in the moment & enjoy it.
Slowly relaxed and jumped into the routine. Was I perfect?  no.  Did I have fun?  Yes! Am I going back next week - ABSOLUTELY!
I leave you with this gem:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Do Not Delay out of Fear

I went to an amazing Ninth Step meeting last night full of wisdom, humor & the reassurance that no matter what, it really is all good (even if we don't belive it at the time)

I was struck by a passage from the reading that said (and I'm paraphrasing) above all we must be sure that we are not delaying out of fear.   That sentence struck me more in a broader sense but I can certainly relate it to the 9th step! .....as well as pretty much every other aspect of my life.

That being said, I've got some fear.  I have a friend who has been not only an enormous inspiration in my sobriety but in my acting pursuits as well.  A few weeks ago we had coffee and he grilled me about what actions I was taking to further my career, and we discussed taking a dance class together.

Me, one who finds dance classes INCREDIBLY intimidating, and he who is currently in his fifth Broadway show... dancing...together.   We've been planning it for the past three Mondays but have re-scheduled for various reasons, until tonight.  It's here.  I'm excited for sure but I want to go and be the best one in the room, which isn't realistic.  What I will do is show up, do my best & trust that my friend only wants what is best for me & that through this experience, I can improve my technique.  Now having written this all out I feel much better about tonight but had to acknowledge it so I can move past it!  Prayers!  I will not delay out of fear!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving, though a beautiful reminder of keeping gratitude in the forefront of my life is usually the toughest holiday for me to get through.  There is a moment during each of the last 4 Thanksgivings that I remember my last DRUNK Thanksgiving. Certainly all around not a shining moment in my life and one of those times I wish I could forget.
Luckily through this program I have learned that I can look at the past but I don't have to stare, and I can choose not to beat myself up over it.

What helped me this year: staying close to meetings, staying in gratitude & being of service by working on the round up show.  We opened last night to a crowd of adoring fans.  The love emanating from that audience was palpable.  I felt, truly felt what is was like to have done the work & let the results go.  It was amazing to feel that and watch it in action.  Together we navigated our individual and group fears by keeping service in the forefront of our minds and remembering that all we were doing with this show was presenting a message of hope. Hope that can inspire a day counter or an old timer to remember that it is truly one day at a time. It truly is amazing to realize how center this program has become in my life when I choose it.  THANK YOU

I hope you all had an amazing holiday!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

I am grateful today for:
sleeping in a bit
that little one eyed pug Buddy, he's all heart
a nice day at home with my man, watching TV, laughing & enjoying each other
Steven Steven Steven
for the magic that is theatre
for an amazing cast that is all heart
for the round up
for reminding myself of my primary purpose, to stay sober & help another alcoholic

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gratitude

I am grateful today for:
my morning affirmation practice
the opportunity to practice listening, compassion and putting others first
a beautiful email from my fiance
texts from my AA friends
Being off for the next two days
a great meeting about anger & acceptance
remembering that acceptance is the answer
A little one-eyed pug named Buddy
Getting to talk to my sponsor tonight
Coming home to a delicious home cooked meal
Getting some sleep!

xo - J

It Gets Better

In All Our Affairs

Tradition #12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us

to place principles before personalities.

What I really love about my higher power is that he has a sense of humor much like mine.  In late September I was asked & gratefully accepted the job of directing our Round Up show.  For an actor such as myself, being used to being on stage and in the lights is where I'm comfortable - this was a shift.  I had to confront & move through a lot of feelings of fear, self-consciousness and inadequacy.  I got the a place where  I saw this as an opportunity to be of service in a different way, an opportunity to grow spiritually and give back what was given me having performed in two of the round up shows since coming into the rooms.  What's funny about it is he gave me a cast full of 15 Me's! I look at that group of amazingly talented people from all walks of life and I see aspects of myself in everyone of them - it is the ultimate meeting, every rehearsal

What a gift and what an opportunity to really apply the principles of this program to real life, real time.  The cast & crew has poured their hearts into it and I sit back awed at what I see.  People pushing through fear.
I have learned to be a better listener of the heart. I have practiced compassion, patience and understanding.  I wouldn't have ANY of these values were it not for this amazing program and the people I have watched exhibiting the very same thing before me.

I'm sure I'll be posting more about the progress as we work through our tech rehearsal, dress rehearsal and two shows this weekend! I need to take a moment and reflect on the lessons I've learned & gifts I've been given. I am grateful

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gratitudes!

Good evening!!!

I am grateful today for:
getting to work and showing up - sometimes that 's all I can do
for Mucinex
for Whole Foods
for having the ability to buy myself healthy wholesome food & making the choice to do so
for taking a trip to NJ for the NOH8 Campaign
for getting an outside view at the city I so adore
for calling my sponsor
for work tomorrow
for the good nights sleep I have in front of me

Much Love,  J

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Greetings!!

I am grateful today:

That I am home & in an apt with heat after working all day mostly in the cold
for having work today & showing up
for being a part of someone's 100th Bday celebration - can you imagine living to 100?
for coffee
for working with other sober people even if they are a bit crazy, it keeps me in my place
for texts from various AA Michaels
for an early bed time that is coming soon
for sobriety & being willing to grow along spiritual lines

Friday, November 19, 2010

TGIF

Happy Friday to you all!!!

I thought I'd share some gratitude before I'm outta here for the weekend.

I am grateful today for:
getting to work with my sponsee tonight
attending a meeting of AA
that I've only 40 minutes left in this office until Monday
that I was able to take a coffee break & meet my fiance quickly for my first Caramel Brule Latte of the season
acknowledging the feeling that it's time to dig a little deeper spiritually, I've been a restin on my laurels
being willing
recovery, unity & service
having solutions in my life instead of problems

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gratitudes

I am grateful today for the following:
showing up at work despite wanting to stay in bed until this cold goes away
doing the best I can in any given moment
being responsible & communicative with one of my boss's who I don't always see eye to eye with
a little bit of self care



epsom eucalytpus baths by candlelight with a good book - out of a movie right?.....and substitute the beer for a hot ginger tea with honey & cayenne pepper



getting to bed early
being sober
living a life that I love

Light & Dark

I've read a lot of posts lately with similar themes. Light. Dark.

One of my favorite lyrics of all time is: "If I show you the darkness I hold inside, will you bring me to light?"
It is from a song called 'Bring Me to Light' from the musical 'Violet' by Jeannine Tesori & Brian Crawley.

I was in the middle of a run of this show when I hit bottom and started to get sober. I was always touched by that lyric. I was convinced that no one had ever been to the dark places I had been physically, mentally or spiritually. I started this program and very slowly began to trust not only people but my higher power too. Then I started to slowly peel away the layers & layers of coverage around my own little light, letting it eek out in small ways and the subsquently trusting a bit more.

What's amazing to me is still today I can relate to that quote. I find it easy to hide myself from this world and the people in it, easy because it's what I've done for years. When I feel myself go there I try to remember Marianne Williamson's quote about light:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Late Night Gratitude

Today I am grateful for:
sleeping in
getting a lot of house work done
a gorgeous day to throw open all the windows
a fun night at work & getting a tip - YAY Abundance!!
constant reminders of what it was like
knowing that I'm getting up & going to a meeting tomorrow

Friday, November 12, 2010

TGIF

well - thank God it's any day really

I am grateful today for the following blessings in my life:
A job that helps me pay my bills & the ability to show up for it
Maintaining a positive attitude even when it feels like I'm the only one
an AMAZING meeting with my sponsor & plans to get back on a weekly face to face check in
following that with a great 3 speaker meeting each with little nuggets of wisdom
having the faith that everything will work out & be as it is meant to
my good friend John who celebrates 2 years today - i took him to his first meeting, he called to thank me today & I cried
getting to play house in the West Village for the weekend
some quiet time

Much Love, Jeremy

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gratitudes

Hello!!

I am grateful today for:
having the next 2 days off
a co-worker apologizing to me for some 'tude she threw my direction, it was a pleasant surprise
getting to see a lot of good friend this evening at the clubhouse, it lightens my soul
Ginger.Honey.Cayenne - this sore throat is on it's way OUT
a great meeting with new & old faces and a whole lotta wisdom
calling my sponsor & being more accountable about my meeting schedule
Sugarbaker Interior Design

Much Love to you all!!
Jeremy

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Gratitude

I am grateful today for the following:
exercising my right to vote
a relatively easy day at work with a few indicators that it'd been too long since I'd been to a meeting
getting to a meeting!
getting hugs from a lot of people from my home group - it warms my soul when I see you all
shuffles from Adam
a beautiful meeting about self care.
reminders that little actions make big differences
trying to live a sober life one day at a time
day counters and their bravery
my sobriety & yours.

Much L

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gratitudes

I am grateful today for:
getting back to gratitude
a beautiful reading in Daily Reflections today
an easy day at work
for attending a beautiful goodbye/well wishing party
for Michael's Shake Shack custard updates
for getting to a meeting tomorrow
for documentaries - I really love learning
for gratitude lists & the people on them

much love, Jeremy

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gratitudes!!

I am grateful today for:
sleeping in a bit
a fun trip to the Zoo!
Calls from Michael who keeps me on target
Getting an afternoon nap
a fun night at work, and also an easy night at work
texts from my sponsee
reminders why I dont drink today
my sobriety & yours

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Alone No More

I led a meeting last night after reading from 'Living Sober'.  Chapter 14 about Fending Off Loneliness

It was an intense meeting with almost everyone sharing how much they abhorred the topic because it hits so close to home.

I sat there listening to everyone recount the loneliness that they often still feel in sobriety, the apart from the different than.  I was struck but the overwhelming WE of this program. Not only could everyone in that room relate, but that common bond of not wanting to feel that & the knowing and  taking actions or trusting that it will pass was pervading the room.

Whenever I feel lonely in the future, I will remember last night. It was very powerful

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gratitude!

Hi Y'all

I am grateful for:
kicking my own ass a bit
an easy day at work
a sponsee that is exactly the way I was
two great meetings
being asked to speak
getting the chair a meeting after speaking, realizing that in a room full of 20 people all talking about lonliness, that they all FELT the same way and sharing that with them made me feel a lot less lonely on some deeper level
SPINNING
Shake Shack
the pumpkin custard in my freezer - Michael & Laura - it's happening!
that i can lay my head down tonight sober
feeling a connection to God

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gratitudes




I am grateful today:
that I got through work doing my best & restraining pen & tongue
for taking some me time for chores around the house tonight
for Nip/Tuck
for being asked to speak at a meeting at my home group  tomorrow
for music in all it's forms especially Beethoven's 8th Symphony
for knowing that no matter what is going on in this world and how crazy it may seem - it truly is ALL good
for a woman who smiled at me on my way home tonight it was exactly what I needed
for a program and the ability to use it 

Questions & Answers

I got an email from a dear friend asking me what the opposite of the following things were.

1.) Demanding to be right?
 - being willing & open to consider other possibilities

2.) Demanding to be a victim?
- the knowledge, trust & faith that everything in this world is happening FOR me not against me

3.) Refusing to Forgive?
 - Acceptance

While I normally don't take a victim mentality,  I am certainly guilty of the others. What struck me as I was considering these things was how more and more I find myself living in the answers instead of the questions. Night & Day difference from 3 years and some months ago

Willingness. Openness. Faith. Acceptance.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekend Gratitudes!

Today I am grateful:

That job #1 is almost over, it's been a bit harrowing
That when things get harrowing, I have tools to use
For job #2
That my good friend Michael stopped by, brought lunch, coffee & then we went & got cupcakes - it was a lovely break!
For the 'Trevor Project'
For being asked to qualify next week - it's been a while
A great meeting last night full of all the things I love - tragedy, laughter and recovery

Friday, October 22, 2010

TGIF

I mean I'm glad it's Friday for sure but I'm working through the weekend so for different reasons:
Why I'm glad it's TODAY - Friday:

I woke up in a warm bed next to my fiance in a warm apartment that is ours
Hot coffee was ready & waiting - woo hoo coffee maker timer man!
Being present at work today
Not jumping with the flow of negativity here but swimming against stream keeping a positive attitude
Not adding to the drama :)
Getting to my home group tonight & hitting some fellowship afterwards
God doing for me what I cannot do for myself
Not feeling a need to drink today
Knowing that I have a solution
More coffee - free at that  - YES!
Wishing you all a beautiful weekend!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Who knows?

Truthfully, I've been starting & re-starting this draft all day.

First I wanted to write on humility, then about service but today I haven't been FEELING it.  I've been feeling mostly blah & unmotivated. I don't like when I get this way but I think really it's the natural way of things.  Yesterday was an all around amazing day! Today was different, I've noticed that I want a lot of things to go 'my' way today - i'll have to check that.

I will leave some gratitudes:
I am grateful for our apartment and that I call it home
I am grateful for my many jobs
I am grateful for my ability to show up (& sometimes shut up)
I am grateful for that I don't reach for alcohol, drug or cigarettes when I'm feeling discontent
I am grateful for coffee & chocolate cookies

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mid-Week Gratitude

I am grateful today for:
praying every morning, it connects me
getting called back at an audition today
bringing the best of me into that room today
my co-workers who cover me so I can go to auditions
my fiance bringing me lunch at work (YUMMY Shake Shack to boot!)
getting to a meeting tonight
being able to see my sponsee face to face & do some work
a life beyond my wildest.
the practice of principles before personalities.

Have a great Wednesday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Progression

I used to be an expert in the art of facade.  I had or rather have the uncanny ability of reading exactly what YOU want ME to be, and then I spend huge amount of energy creating that person, not my authentic true self but a projection of what I think YOU want that sometimes included bit of realness but more often than not it didn't.

Alcohol was HUGE in helping accomplish these feats of identity denial. Alcohol helped me become like Sydney Bristow on Alias, morphing into whatever was necessary to accomplish any mission. Missions that included getting things: money, drinks, sex, love, adoration, jobs, my way and the list goes on and on and on...

Coming into Alcoholics Anonymous I realized much to my surprise no one wanted anything from me.  The walls & facades I had built had no power here except for keeping me behind them and unable to connect. I quickly realized that wouldn't work and slowly started taking them down brick by painful brick.

Bare. Exposed. Raw

I felt loved which was a strange sensation. I was allowed to explore who I was, try some things on that didn't fit, tried some things on that did. Grow. Learn. Explore.  

Then like a bird ready to leave the nest, I started somehow being myself in the rooms outside of AA, out in the real world. Sometimes successful, sometimes not I knew I could always return home if I needed to feel safe & secure.  I learned how to not only relate to other people but to let that grow and to be a friend.

I'm reflecting on this recently because I remember a time in the not too distant past where I was resolved that I would never have a loving intimate relationship followed by a stretch of time where I poured that pain into people & trysts that wouldn't last (and I knew it).  A journey I didn't know I'd embarked upon, a process, again slowly learning how to make progress.  Step by step. Loving more & allowing it to happen.

This week was another milestone. I'M ENGAGED!  A fact that astounds me, but at the same time is perfectly right, natural and completely due to me being a sober man and practicing the principles of this program in all my affairs. I am so grateful

Remember it's the journey and if I don't drink, I get to enjoy it in all it's glory.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A message from our founder

A read 'Bill's Story' last night from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (pg 1 - 16).  I can't recall the last time I read that story, but it was a wonderful experience last night and I related to SO many things:
pg 8- No words can tell of the loneliness and despair I found in that bitter morass of self-pity. Quicksand stretched around me in all directions. I had met my match. I had been overwhelmed. Alcohol was my master.
 - Boy was it, alcohol colored every part of my exisistence before I found this program. It surrounded every thought I had. Every joy, every sadness, every fear, every success.  Alcohol was the best friend I ever had, it understood me when no one else would - that's right, I thought something completely inanimate understood my inner workings better than any human on earth could.
pg 10 - Certainly I was interested. I had to be, for I was hopeless.
-  I'm reminded of my 'eskimo'. The friend who by example months before had planted a seed simply by talking about his own experience with AA. This was important to me because when I finally stopped digging, I realized I was not out of options. I called him and he took to my first meeting

pg 14-15 Faith without works was dead, he said. And how appallingly true for the alcoholic! For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die. Then faith would be dead indeed. With us it is just like that.
- I had OODLES of faith before entering AA. That foxhole kinda cocksure faith that told me I was unique, special and of course things would work out in my favor- I'm JEREMY. Well, needless to say when I started gaining a little humility & gratitude things shifted.  Today I have faith. I have a faith that sometimes falters or feels scary but it's the one thing I can rely on when things get rough. I trust in a higher power and a higher plan, most of which I don't even feel the need to know.

pg 16 - Most of us feel we need look no further for Utopia. We have it with us right here and now.
 - Simply put, when I take a moment to look at my life today I'm overjoyed! I still strive towards goals & dreams but not out of an unhappy place but from a place over trying to be the best me I can  & honor the dreams that were written in my heart the day I was born. Dreams I couldn't feel or see when they were doused with alcohol.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

There's something more

Well, I didn't get the call. I was disappointed last night naturally but then I told myself that this is all part of the process. I am exactly where I need to be and the right gig will come along when it is supposed to be there.

I went to a great meeting last night about sponsorship and when it all comes down to it, we're really just helping eachother sponsor or not. I learn things inside the rooms of AA that help me live life outside of the AA room.  What a gift.  I am so lucky to have the opportunity and that today more than anything I still want it.  I still want sobriety. I still want to live life to it's fullest.  I still want to feel.   That means to quote a favorite TV show:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

C'mon Ride the Train!

I've been ridiculously busy (and grateful for it) lately with work.  I've prevented myself from making meetings since Wednesday or Thursday of last week (not a good choice) Yesterday was my first day off from both jobs since I don't even know when.  It was nice to relax, I seriously didn't leave the apartment all day.
I got a call mid afternoon asking me to come in for an audition today for an 'immediate replacement'
I said yes
and then I panicked...what if I get it? How will I survive financially? Will my various jobs be angry if I leave? Should I care? Do I want THIS job? If I get it I'll have to give up on the round up show. I'll have to leave my other jobs.  Will they be here when I get back?  ...and on and on and on.... so much so that I had a lot of trouble focusing on my audition piece, which yes, I've done countless times but I still like to bring 'me in the moment' to it when it happens...I jumped on the cuckoo train when it pulled into the station & rode it for longer than I should have.


I remembered two things whilst in this muck: One which was taught to me through my practice of Intensati:
I CAN change a thought
Two:  It doesn't matter what I WANT, because all of my needs will be provided for. I am divinely guided and if I am meant to have this job I will have it.  Everything else will follow. I am exactly where I am supposed to be.  These are all idea I owe to this program of AA.  I show up, shut up & do the work then let go of the results.   Practice makes better!

xo - J
ps - I'll be hitting a meeting tonight,  maybe two

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Believe In Miracles

I've believed in miracles since I was a little boy, that word though over time has changed it's meaning to me.
I look around now and see them everywhere.
MIRACLES

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Drunk Dialing

I dunno about you but I was pretty famous for this 'past time'.

Get nice & liquored up, start thinking about who was missing from the party, then I'd think well hey - I should call them & bring them in so inevitably regardless of the time of day I would dial whomever scream, yell, hoot & holler in the phone and then laugh about it the next day while recovering from my hangover with a #2 meal from McDonalds.

Later on and toward the end of my drinking on those nights or rather early mornings before the sunrise I would look around and see myself usually in a bar full of strangers, desperate, lonely, and sad I would again pick up the phone & call one of my two good friends.  I would cry & bemoan that they just don't understand me, no one does, no one ever will. I would wander around my old neighborhood lost, drunk and very alone.  I remember a quote from a musical I was in at the time:
"If I show you the darkness I hold inside, will you bring me to light?" - Violet
Only I couldn't bring myself to open up in that way or rather I didn't know how.

I somehow found the willingness (by the grace of my higher power) to check out AA. Drunk dialing took on a whole new meaning. I found I was 'dialing a drunk to avoid getting drunk' instead of being a 'drunk off my ass dialer'.  Using the phone even now after some time in the program is still difficult, but when I was counting days it was such a relief.  Many times I would call people and say: Um Hi, it's Jeremy, I don't know what to say but I'm doing what my sponsor told me to do. It always led to a conversation about anything, what I was doing for the day, how I was feeling, what they were doing, sometimes even about wanting a drink....then as time went on a fellowship grew up around me, friendships were formed and now I call those people and rarely ever do I feel truly alone.

The beauty is we shared a darkness so we can now share a light.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I am SO excited!

I got a call last night from my friend who's show was selected to be part of the entertainment at this year's round up.  She asked ME to direct it!  I'm going to be A LOT of fun.  I've never directed anything before so it'll be a new venture & an amazing way to be of service.  I've done a few of the round up shows since getting sober & it's always a wonderful time.  It's called 'Oliver!...with a twist'
Auditions are Sunday @ Pearl Studios here in NY from 3-5pm


I was reminded today about a passage from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous pg 60:
"Each person is like an actor who wants to run the show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery & the rest of the players in his own way"
It reminds me that I have a job to do & that is be of service. I don't need to do anything but that, the other things like lights, scenery, music, actors - it'll all come.

I'm looking forward to having an awesome experience.

I also stumbled across a great quote today:
"True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It's the the urge to surpass all other at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost". - Arthur Ashe

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Dedication to my Dad

It's amazing when you lose someone and slowly realize that everything you do after that point is influenced by that loss.
I lost my Dad 6 years ago today. A fact that certainly influenced my using. There was always a part of me that believed that next drink would reach down & finally quell that untreated pain. It never did, it scratched at me, clawing & gnawing. How does someone move on with thier life after that?

Strangely enough, he had more of an influence on my recovery. He himself was not a drinker, was not in a program, but had an unshakeable faith, an amazing outlook on life and truly sought to let his light shine to those around him.  It's those attributes I focus on today, those are the things I strive for today.

One of his favorite movies was 'The Lion King',

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Things We Carry

It's a VERY slow day here at work today.

I like days like this mostly but sometimes I find it's days like this one that I tend to take a trip upstairs and start THINKING, and well know how much fun that is.

I had to smile because, for some reason the muzak is blaring here today & only a few moments ago played a song that caught my ear. The first lyrics are: "I used to carry the weight of the world and now all I wanna do is spread my wings & fly"
"Weight of the World" by Chantal Kreviazuk

It was a gentle reminder of my own freedom through sobriety. What a gift. The sky truly is the limit and I get to open my wings, leap, and trust in the wind that is carrying me.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

is LOST

It's offical - I'm obsessed with the series 'LOST'

I started watching the first season as it aired loooong ago but never stuck with it. Now in lieu having cable, we've been catching up on old shows via Netflix and our own DVD collection one of which is 'LOST'

I was watching an episode the other day and without giving too much away. Jack gets about 4 or 5 people to do a certain task/action every two hours or so. There's a huge discussion about 'well what if we don't' and the uncertainty of what COULD happen was enough to convince everyone that they should keep taking the action without knowing what the end result may be.

It was a good reminder to me. ACTION = FAITH. Remembering that when I can trust in a higher power's will for me & truly listen to it. It's all good and I ain't so LOST. In fact, I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

PS - Please don't comment anything about the show - I like the surprises!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A little humor

Thanks to Tabitha for reminding me that we're in the same boat...
which then reminded me of a song by the same name from the musical 'Curtains'
which led me to find this gem:

Trust in the Stars

From 'Doubt' by John Patrick Shanely

"I want to tell you a story. A cargo ship sank one night. It caught fire and went down. And only this one sailor survived. He found a lifeboat, rigged a sail…and being of a nautical discipline…turned his eyes to the Heavens and read the stars. He set a course for his home, and exhausted, fell asleep. Clouds rolled in. And for the next twenty nights, he could no longer see the stars. He thought he was on course, but there was no way to be certain. And as the days rolled on, and the sailor wasted away, he began to have doubts. Had he set his course right? Was he still going on towards his home? Or was he horribly lost… and doomed to a terrible death? No way to know. The message of the constellations - had he imagined it because of his desperate circumstance? Or had he seen truth once… and now had to hold on to it without further reassurance? There are those of you in church today who know exactly the crisis of faith I describe. And I want to say to you: DOUBT can be a bond as powerful and sustaining as certainty. When you are lost, you are not alone"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Primary Purpose

I've been wallowing in a lot of self doubt & self pity lately.

I walked into my Monday night meeting last night and the person speaking was someone I'd met early on. We tried to help each other and a lot of emotions & craziness got in the way of that help. He sounded great & reminded me that I don't have to fight everything, sometimes there is immense power in being powerless.

I left that meeting and had a lot of those souls on my mind. The ones I wanted to help but couldn't, I realize that I can keep no one sober but myself, but it's hard to watch & I always think 'what more could I have done' which I realized is quite a self centered statement....I fell asleep with some of these people on my mind.

I awoke this morning, late but still made time to practice a new (to me) ritual. Getting on my knees, thankful to be sober & praying for guidance. I said a prayer for each one of those lives who have touched mine. I showered, drank my coffee, kissed Chris & walked out the door.

I got all the way to the subway and realized I'd left my Metrocard in my pants from the night before. I tried to buy (twice) a new card but the machine wasn't reading my credit card so I schlepped back.  I am filled with frustration, anger & annoyance with myself.  I'm searching through my phone hoping that there is not a problem with my bank account (there wasn't).  A block from my house, I look up and into the eyes of  a fellow from my home group who has struggled but is putting days together. He just moved to my neighborhood a few weeks ago. We exchange numbers and head back into our days.

I look up at the crystal clear blue fall sky, wink & smile and say thanks.  A perfect reminder of my primary purpose: To stay sober & help another alcoholic.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I am grateful today:
for the knowlegde that I am an alcoholic which means I have a disease that affects me physically, mentally & spiritually.
for a solution and a tool box
for an amazing partner who I can trust to take care of me in difficult times
for a home group that surrounds me with love
for a daily affirmation practice

Monday, August 23, 2010

Love the Way you Lie



I've often felt that alcohol was my first & longest relationship. Much like a new love, it made me feel happy & whole. It pushed me to new heights, boosted my ego made me dare things I never would.  Gave me confidence a sense of pride....it gave me all these things and I slowly lost myself, but I didn't mind because being ME was not something I liked...
things got worse...
for years I tried to break up with it. We'd have glorious fights & struggles, go days perhaps without talking but eventually I'd go running back, to weak to face life without my love by my side.

I look back on those times now in awe. In my darkest thoughts I never believed I could live a life without alcohol, but living a life with it was no life at all, or beginning to be no life at all.  Things had gotten so dark, so small, so empty.
That is not the case today.

I am grateful today:
That someone planted the seed of AA in me about a year before I came in
That I was accepted lovingly into what is now my home group
For a life today that is mine and that is SO full it's beyond my wildest dreams
for the chance to be of service
for trust in this program now that I can see & feel how it works
for dancing

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I am grateful today:

To have a program and a tool kit to help me navigate sober living.
To have a conception of a higher power who I can bring with me wherever I go
A great meeting last night & the amazing fellowship beforehand - what a gift
Forming & Maintaining relationships
Not feeling alone
A great talk with my sponsor
The opportunities to practice these principles in all my affairs
*****
A fellow shared a story where after being dry for a time was out with friends and had been staring at a glass of beer for almost two hours when the thought occurred to him: 'Alcohol will always win'.

I thought about that & realized that it might, but every day I don't pick up a drink, I have better chance of winning myself.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Swimming Upstream

It's 11:37am and already it's been QUITE a morning.

Work. Family. Life - a lot of little things started my mind spinning this morning and now I'm entertaining a bunch of impractical ideas just to 'show em'! Figure this was a good a time as any to reflect on what I am grateful for

I am grateful today that:

I can start my day over at any time
That I can take a deep breath, listen to my heart beating and know that it's all gonna be fine
for restraint of pen & tongue
for the amazing love & support I feel
my morning affirmation practice
for being a partner - legally :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I am grateful today for the following things:

-Suspenders,  they are a fun & fashionable choice
-CHOICE, and the fact that I have it, not only when it comes to wardrobe but in every aspect of my life. -What a gift
-A fabulous meeting last night where the topic was 'Fending off Lonlieness'  - again it's my choice.
-For knowing the difference between what I want, and what is best for me.  Sometimes they align, sometimes they don't
- For really great conversations with both of my siblings yesterday, I am so lucky to be in the middle of those two
- For getting up & getting to work on time every day this week, sometimes it's such a struggle but I did it
- For smiles, hugs & chats with the fellows from my home group last night - invigorating!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Loving Me and Loving You

I sat in a great meeting last night where the topis was: Self-worth.

One comment was: "I don't believe any of us came in here with much of that".

For me that was definitely true. I think it's why my sponsor told me early on to do things each day like brush my teeth and make my bed.  Small little actions that made me show myself a little love. I can't even tell you how hard these things were early on either, not so much the actions but the consistency and the doing it everyday.  I've never been one for much a routine but it's grown on me.

From there my self love grew to things like exercise, eating right, meetings, helping others, taking the next right action and so on and so on.

The amazing thing about it is when we start to gain a little self-love or self-respect, we can then show that to others which grows our own exponentially.

I am grateful today:
That my homegroup loved me until I learned to love myself
for new (to me) meeting by my house that I really enjoyed
the movie 'Inception' and that being based in reality for me is a much better place to be
for the opportunity to be of service
for the work I have this week.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Welcome to the World

I attended a beautiful ceremony yesterday as a blessing & welcoming of my friends new baby: Carolena.

I was blessed to be a part of it and even more excited that I got to sing with Laura Berman. Her song 'Through Me' I first heard as I was embarking on my 3rd Step and trying to conceptualize, intellectualize & embody that. Definitely worth a listen.

Today I woke in fear and immediately wanted to cancel my plans for a run (6 mi) with my friend. Last time I ran two weeks ago I suffered SEVERE shin splints. I've taken it easy since the, taken suggestions on how to heal them by doing simple things, but mostly taking it easy, which ironically never comes easy to me.

I didn't cancel. I met him and said hey, I've been having some fear about this. He looked at me and said, if we need to stop we stop. Then putting one foot in front of the other we started, no pain, then we started talking and 40 minutes later we completed the 6 mile run around Central Park - catching up & gabbing the whole time. it was a perfect morning.

I am grateful today for:
taking action regardless of fear
knowing how to listen to my body
friends that support me without expectation
a wonderful meeting & fellowship last night
making sure I get a meeting today
listening to a wonderful speaker on Step 6.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Knowing my place

I sat in a great meeting yesterday & really listened.

The topic was are you an alcoholic, and the chair read the queations from the pamphlet Is AA for you. It was great for me to take it back to that simplicity & remember the time I took that test & how when I think about it, there's no other place I should be than in a meeting and doing my best to help another.

I am grateful today
for keeping it simple
the reminders of why I am here
a great time at fellowship
some quiet time at home
that later today I'll be surrounded by friends & their newborns!
that I love babies (not always the case)
that I'll get to a meeting today

Friday, August 6, 2010

Doing for the sake of Doing. Action regardless of outcome.

not much to report, just trying to stay in the habit of writing.
I've got a meeting and fellowship planned after work which I am looking forward to for sure!

Today I am grateful for:
My automatic coffee maker set 10 minutes before my alarm, it helps me on these early mornings.
Plans with program people
The ability to show up
A fun night in last night
Remembering to be of service

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Some Gratitude

I've not wanted to blog a lot lately, and so I haven't

I keep telling myself I've nothing of value to share, and that is then followed by I don't want to be in self-pity by sharing that I think of full of it..

Truth is, I'm learning to take it a bit easier on myself. My meetings have not been daily and therefore I feel a bit off the beam. I spoke with one of my fellows who simply stated: 'You're doing fine'.

Funny how my mind & disease won't let me believe that. More and more I begin to understand how this is a TODAY thing. All I have is today and if I don't drink TODAY, then I'm doing good. The rest will come with patience, willingness and work.

I am grateful today for getting some extra sleep
I am grateful today that I set up a budget (EEK)
I am grateful that daily I can do little things that make a difference
I am grateful that I have friends who are VERY good listeners
I am grateful that I am willing to be inspired
I am grateful that I am willing to take action
I am grateful for the opportunity to audition yesterday & bring myself in that room and not who I thought I should be
I am grateful too for the practice in letting go of those results

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hide and Seek

I heard once that addiction is a hiding place.  I've been thinking about it a lot lately.

When I first read in the Big Book I remember being astonished at this passage: "Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions".(pg 64 - Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous)
I couldn't BELIEVE it for the longest time you see because in my mind liquor was the problem and if I could just learn how to treat that right, or do it right then I could succeed in this world as a normal human.

I've learned over time that I am an alcoholic, which means I'm never going to be 'normal' as it were.  Which I now embrace, cause really who want to be normal? 

Getting back on topic though, that being the subject of hiding. I can think way back to before I even picked up a drink and how I used other things to hide in.
Playing piano - I would do this for hours, I would get lost in it. It was so comfortable, so comforting.  I'm reminded of it every time I hear the song 'Everything Else' from Next to Normal.
I relish getting lost, I still do at times - there are days when I'm amazed how easy it can be.

The beauty for me today is those moments don't last long, I don't get lost to escape anymore. I can deal with what's in front of me that is a gift.  I no longer have to find places to hide myself out fear. I am a fully realized being in this world and the days I step into that and live it are SO worth it and can only be achieved having put down that drink & started this journey

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's the First Drink

I was in a great meeting last night where the topic was staying away from the first drink.

I'll admit when I first heard things like "It's the first drink that gets you drunk" my immediate thought was 'Wow, I either really had it bad, or everyone here is a lightweight' I was never really drunk til at LEAST 3 or 4.  One or two were just appetizers.  I was so oblivious to the simplest of ideas.  If I don't drink the first drink, then I won't start the engines on my disease of more moRE MORE.  I constantly marvel and how this program really is SO simple, and yet my complicated mind really likes to make it more than it is.

I am grateful to be reminded of how simple it really is.

In my efforts of trying to see the beauty around me I took a pic this morning of something I always enjoy. When I get up early enough, I get to see the sun rising into this great city.  It usually casts a beautiful orange glow and contrasts with shadows of other buildings.  I tried my best to capture in on my phone - so here ya go:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Seeing the Beauty

First and foremost - THANK YOU. The love & support I feel from this community is awesome.

My meeting last night was exactly what I needed, (as it usually is). There was a lot of talk of God, and beauty. A fellow was saying how amazing it is to watch a sunset, or see the Rocky Mountains for the first time, or for me when I stand and stare out at the ocean...in those moments it's impossible to not believe that something created this all.

The same thing that created you, the same thing that created me. Call it God. Buddha. Allah. Higher Power. It doesn't matter.

What hit me is how often I have surveyed the beauty in nature, but forget so easily that the same beauty lies in every human around me. I will try to focus on that more.

And of course, in the beauty of synchronicity, I received and e-mail from 'The Universe' this morning that said:

See their good, Jeremy.
See nothing else.
Do it for you.
Tallyho,
The Universe

I can shift my thinking, my views, my ideas. I can do that today because I am not hiding behind alcohol & drugs. When I see clearly the possibilities are endless.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finding Solid Ground

It's interesting to me, I started this post a few days ago with just the title.

I was feeling more settled in to our new place. Finding new meetings and some new ground on which to plant my feet.

Today, I feel like Trina in 'Falsettoland' when she sings 'Holding to the Ground' specifically the lyric: Holding to the ground as the ground keeps shifting.

Not sure why I feel this way. I think lately I've been in a pattern of a few good days: schedule, routine, that includes gym, a meeting, a 10th Step. Then I fall out of sync or perhaps back on my laurels. What's frustrating is I can see it, I even say to myself, go to a meeting, do your 10th step but just as quickly talk myself out of it.

The days I work this program are better than those I don't but I'm a willful little guy lately. sidebar: I've also been willful about writing her (or not more to the point). It's interesting to observe.

I am going to a meeting right after work. I will do my 10th Step tonight. I will write again tomorrow.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Freedom and Independence

One of my favorite lines from the promises is:
"We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness"

Fitting that I read these today in celebration of our Independence as a nation. I LOVE early American History and what I find amazing about the revolution is that a group of people decided something had to change.
They'd endured years and years of misery & unfairness. Some saw a glimmer of something else, something different. Something frightening, something unknown, something huge. something completely different from the lifestyle they'd know and become comfortable with knowing. The known had become oppressive and unbearable.
Without knowing the end result, they took a risk, they jumped into the spirit of revolution, they fought hard, they held fast to their dreams and knew that work, fighting and a constant vision would get them somewhere other than the misery in which they'd lived.

234 years later, did what they create in those moments become perfect? Far from.  It's better than what they knew and it's been moments of greatness mixed with moments of despair - but it was THEIRS and it is OURS.

Much like the revolution of 1776, coming in this program was a revolution in and of itself for me. Is my life perfect? Far from.  But it's moments of greatness come more and more and the ups & downs of LIFE are mine to participate in fully and love.
New Freedom.  New Happiness. Indeed....Unlike any I've known.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Meaning Of Pride

Pg 117 - Big Book of Alcholics Anonymous:
"Seed has started to sprout in new soil, but growth has only begun"

I sat in a great meeting Friday night that revolved around this quote.  I has in my head all those little seedling projects we did in elementary school.  We'd plant a seed in new soil, in a small styrofoam cup, then give it time and the things they needed: sunlight, water, care.

Time & Care.  Growth happens with these things.

Interesting how I can take the time to care for an outward seed, yet find it difficult to care for my own inner seed, planted 3 years and some change ago, in new sober soil.  Also, letting things take the time they need to blossom and grow is an awareness I'm developing. 

Yesterday we celebrated Gay Pride here in New York. My boy and I walked with a group called Broadway Impact.  I couldn't help but reflect as I walked we walked down Fifth Avenue hand in hand on the first time I'd ever heard of Pride.
I was 15 or 16 and had picked up an XY Magazine in my hometown (remember that one?).  There where photos in the back and I thought: Wow, how amazing, these people are living out & proud, unafraid and happy. I WANT THAT
I've lived in NYC for over 11 years now been to many Pride parades, worked a few, drank through most but yesterday was so different.  I felt proud because I have something I've not had before: Pride in myself, love in myself which I can easily share with anyone but especially the man I held hands with the entire parade.
There we were living out & proud, unafraid and happy.





I felt the true meaning of that word yesterday thanks to this program and the fresh soil it gives me to grow in a new different and amazing direction.


Friday, June 18, 2010

For GIve Ness

Talk about baffling

After reading a wonderful post on Lindspiration,  I was inspired to look up the meaning of & try to delve into the word: FORGIVENESS
The definition I got was:

1. act of forgiving; state of being forgiven.
2. disposition or willingness to forgive.

Well that's as clear as a normal day in London.
I've been thinking a lot about the HOW's for forgiveness, cause truth is I'm not sure how to begin it. I can say it, I can believe it but what about the action? What do I do? How do I start the healing?

The past has crept up in a lot of ways lately, both recent and distant. I keep thinking when this happens 'Gosh! I thought I was done with this'.  I guess the truth is we're never really done, it's in how we shift perspective, how do we move forward, the past is never truly forgotten. Much like clearing the wreckage of out past we do it in hopes of moving forward.  I for one, like forward motion, but find myself frustrated when things snag me back for a bit. 

Really frustrated.  I realized something though, I need to work harder, delve deeper and get those roots up and out.
So being that I tend toward the artsy side of things - I leave you with a quote & a song about Forgiveness:

"Forgiveness is a rebirth of hope, a reorganization of thought, and a reconstruction of dreams. Once forgiving begins, dreams can be rebuilt. When forgiving is complete, meaning has been extracted from the worst of experiences and used to create a new set of moral rules and a new interpretation of life's events." - Beverly Flanigan

The other one I can't find a good youtube clip of but here are the lyrics to 'Forgiveness' from the musical "Jane Eyre"
You mustn't be revengeful


You have to be strong

To offer good for evil

Return right for wrong

We must not hold a grudge

And we must learn to endure

Then as God is your judge

At least your heart will be pure

Forgiveness

Is the mightiest sword

Forgiveness of those you hate

Will be your highest reward

When they bruise you with words

When they make you feel small

When it's hardest to bear

You must do nothing at all

Forgiveness

Is the simplest vow

Forgiveness

Of all their crimes

Is your deliverance now

Bless those souls

Who would curse your name

When the last bell tolls

You'll be free of blame

You can continue to grieve

But know the Gospel is true

You must forgive those who lie

And bless them that curse you

Forgiveness

Is the mightiest sword

Forgiveness of those you hate

Will be your highest reward

The time will come when we will leave this world,

and then the injustice and the pain and the sin will fall away from us,

and only the spark of the spirit will remain - returning to God who created it

You must never lose faith

You must never lose heart

God will restore your trust

And I know you're afraid

I'm as scared as you are

But willing to be brave

Brave enough for love

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Words of my Father

My Dad used to always say: "well, you know the answer if you don't try"

Usually this would come about when I'd been hemming and hawing about some ridiculous decision, not moving because I was so afraid to take a risk. What happened if I failed? or worse succeeded?

The words of my Dad echo through my head a lot lately, more so since getting sober. I can hear his voice again. It's a great benefit of being sober and a gift I didn't expect.

This one I hear a lot from him though. I still have those moments where I think: 'Eh, I don't NEED to take that risk' but oh how life grows when I do.

I've been thinking about what shifted for me and I really think it has to do with Steps 2 & 3. Coming to believe that no matter what I do success or failure that I am still loved, supported and growing. That my failures (if I choose to see them that way) are all part of this wonderful and amazing journey of life...or maybe they are just stepping stones to the next success.

I love the freedom of trial and error. It's in the trying that I learn, grow and become free.

I am grateful today for my Dad - he was a great man & left an amazing legacy
I am grateful that I try new things and fear less
I am grateful that I have a program & design for living
I am grateful that I can look at life & choose what helps me serve a greater good
I am grateful to get a service position at my home group
I am grateful for my friend Linda who turns the big 3-0 today!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Finally!

When it all comes through, just the way you planned....

Things are always different.

I've worked at my 'day job' for 11 years.  Most of that time I've worked with a designer and together we've run the gammut of friends to enemies, crazy to sane and on and on.  It got to a point with us as well as with some other outside things here that some reassginments were done. TODAY

I've been dreaming of this day, MOSTLY on the days when things were bad but on others too. So it happened, there was no heavenly hosts, not even a huge sigh of relief.  The truth is I'm still doing the same job just for someone different.

What matters is me and the work I do. I'm letting that statement echo through my head for a bit.

I'm grateful today for:
sleeping in & being late, and not getting worked up about it
things happening in God's time not mine
knowing that it's all good.
learning a lot about expectation over the weekend
trusting more and more
a beautiful apartment that is taking shape and will be ours officially June 23rd when we move in!
taking time to get it right and having the time to do so
a new project & blog I'm contributing to: WSNY

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's Just One of them Days

Ever have one of THOSE days.  The kind where you just can't seem to be present in your own skin even though with all your own might - that's what you want?  So then you try to force it, push it, will it to happen?

That's where I've been lately for the last week or so until today. Looking at it now though, I think it's purely a product of over-committing myself and stretching myself WAY too thin...and in the process losing myself within the insanity that is my schedule lately.  It's stressful - but I find I don't get the time to TRULY ENJOY the things I'm doing.

It's a lesson I'm learning. I don't have to please everybody - one of my PRIME character defects is being a people pleaser.  It's a hard one to let go of too. I struggle to find the balance between being of service to people and being a people pleaser.  Perhaps it all comes down to intention. 

Anyway - I'm looking forward to the next 4 days of being away from the city and out at the beach. A re-charge for my serenity I'm sure.

I'm grateful today for many things:
The opportunity to feel a part of in this life lately.
Looking forward to a beautiful weekend
That people depend on and trust me
For progress in areas of my life that were maybe lacking years ago: spirituality, relating to others, listening
For my friends Steven & John-Andrew - they inspire me
For the thought in my head today (via Marianne Williamson and others) that if I let my light shine it allows others to do the same
For the strangers on the NY streets today who returned my smiles

A reminder: (Thanks Tabitha)
Let it shine!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Let Me Out

I was at a meeting last night and enthralled by what I heard.

As I listened to a fellow's story and every single action he took prior to getting sober was escape. I started to think about that word and how my entire life I've always felt the need to run away.  When things get too serious, too happy, too sad, too whatever - I would feel unequipped and need to get OUT. To escape, to not feel, even if only for a few moments, to relieve the pressure.

I think I knew at a very young age, who & what I am supposed to be in this world.
I think I also knew the work that would be, the responsibility & discipline that would entail and I got scared.
I found it easier to run away from that person & hide.

The messages I got as a child and throughout growing up whether intended or not was that who I was meant to be, was not wanted. These messages did not come from my family & I am grateful for that every day, but my surroundings etc. I interpreted them as just WRONG in flashing red lights.

I think that once I got sober I was given the chance, to turn back to the person I am meant to be in this world - without guilt or shame. Embracing my true humanity is how I honor my maker, because he's the one the made me who I am.

Thinking more about escape though, I marvel at the little ways in this world that I can still check out still escape - it's so easy and I'm SO used to it. THAT becomes the trick of living sober, to keep present & moving in the rhythm of life instead of against it.  I love that I can recognize when I want to hide, when I do hide and know that it's all part of the process of changing the first instinct of mine from HIDE to SHINE.

I hope you all SHINE today. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

It's the little things we do TOGETHER

I was sitting in a meeting yesterday trying to keep my eyes open.  This sometimes happens after a long work day that was met with not quite enough sleep the night before. I also find sometimes this is a good state for my mind because I'm in that in between state of sleep & awake, where suddenly, I'm not the judge and I really let things in my head.

The speaker mentioned that if he just does one thing a day, one prayer, one meditation, one choice different than what he's always done, one shift of a thought it doesn't seem all that huge.  BUT if he does that one thing everyday for day after day after day - things change. 

I rolled that around in my head.

I'm signing a lease today!  Moving in with my boyfriend!  This is truly amazing to me. During this process I was consumed with fear that the wreckage of my financial past would surely come into play and that we wouldn't get the apartment we want and it would be all my fault (self-centered much?)
Two and a half years ago, I enrolled in a debt management program where weekly I get a deduction from my bank account that they then take care of paying all my outstanding credit card bills etc.
Without knowing it, and without out being conscious of it, slowly over the last two and half years, my credit has improved to the point that it's actually considered GOOD.  AND was an important part of us getting this lease.

It's the little things we do each and every day to feed our souls, better our lives and CHANGE that make the difference.

What are the little things you do?  Do you give yourself credit?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shifting

Thank you Kim.

I re-read yesterday's post and really feel like it came from a place of anger.  Justified anger is bad news for  an alcoholic such as myself, it easily can turn to righteousness and indignancy - these are things I need to be honest about and keep at bay.

I'm angry at this disease and what I see it do to those I love both in and out of these rooms. I need to shift I think from anger to compassion - it's much more useful, helpful and just plain healthy

I pray to be more compassionate, understanding and less judgemental.  The way people were with me when I was still out there and when I entered the rooms.  Service without judgement is where I'd like to be today.

I am grateful for Kim and the perspective shift she gave me
I am grateful that I got up and at it today
I am grateful that I completed a 6 mile run in Central Park, it's been months since I completed the loop - it felt great
I am grateful that doing so gave me some time to spend with my friend Martin
I am grateful for extra hours at work today
I am grateful that I'll go to my home group tonight

Much Love!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cunning. Baffling. Powerful

I've been pondering the word CHOICE.
You see, a dear friend of mine - went out, relapsed.
It hit very close to home for me and underlined exactly HOW Cunning, Baffling and Powerful this disease can be
I instantly thought of one of my favorite lines from the movie/play  'Closer':
"Oh, as if you had no choice? There's a moment, there's always a moment, "I can do this, I can give into this, or I can resist it", and I don't know when your moment was, but I bet you there was one."
I'm not sure why that popped in but it did. I like to think of it a bit gentler in that and more of a we version.

But I really started thinking about - THAT moment. The moment right before the disease takes over, where I imagine sitting on the cusp of despair, doubt, confusion.

I've been telling myself everyday that I'd CHOOSE Faith in that moment, and that I trust in a God that will protect from ever getting to that moment again, God knows I've had it before I got sober, many times.  Thinking: I don't want to do this!
and then tipping it back anyway, because I had no awareness of any other way to get through life.

Today I am grateful for that awareness
I am grateful for a God of my understanding who only wants what is best for me
I am grateful that I can learn from those around me
I am grateful that I can feel the emotions I've had this week: Anger, Sadness, Jealousy, Love, Pain, Compassion & Concern
I am grateful for work that keeps busy
I am grateful to have a sober network
I am grateful that when I ask for help, I receive help
I am grateful for smiles
xo - J

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Some gratitude

I am grateful the a little bit of willingness and honesty go a long way
I am grateful that bit by bit I have been able to feel
I am grateful for staying in the center of the pack
I am grateful that God does for me what I cannot do for myself
I am grateful for laughter
I am grateful that I don't seek comfort in a bottle, a bar, or other people
I am grateful that I OWN my life today in all it's imperfectness
I am grateful to embrace my journey and my progress

Much love to you all!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just a Taste

My first weekend on Fire Island is coming to a close.  It's been simply gorgeous during the days and a lot of fun at night.
I had an experience most of Friday & Saturday that I found interesting. All of my housemates were talking about/raving about a new drink. Normally these are the kinds of things I let bounce off my sober armor. This time however I kept almost obsessively thinking: I just want to taste it. 

Now - c'mon - really?  When have I ever just TASTED anything?!?

I got to a meeting last night and one of the shares talked about feeling feelings, and that rather that feel them all he's wanted to do is fantasize about drinking.  It clicked with me. That's why I wanted the taste, cause truth is I didn't want the taste - I wanted the whole damn bottle but my disease tells me it'd be ok to just have a taste.

I left the meeting with a huge understanding of myself and NO desire to taste anything.  I joined my housemates and we all danced our butts off all night! 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Thank you Dave for posting this excellent quote that I felt I must re-post, and look at daily.


Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.



- Frank Outlaw

FEAR

My God, I put SO much power into that word. It's astounding. 

I was part of a great meeting last night where this was the topic from a reading out of 'As Bill Sees It'.  I'm paraphrasing but the passage said something about 'the gripping consuming self centered fear of losing something we have or not getting something we strongly desire'

I also heard this acronym of fear which I will carry with me because I think it's pretty awesome:
Face
Everything
And
Recover

I've always been one of those people that likes to highlight the hilariousness that lies in my craziness, because well - why not make light of it, or rather shed light on it, that way it doesn't seem so scary. I find so often that anything I fear is always SO much bigger in my head leading up to the event than the actual event ends up being.  I like that I have that awareness, I just need to remember it when my fear cycle hits the hyper drive pedal!
I share with you to ludicrous stories from my brain to yours:
This morning, I'm at work answering the phones. A call comes through from our corporate office contact who is usually nice & pleasant. This morning she is short & quip. She asks to speak with the manger, and only the manager. He was on another call and she asked to hold which resulted in me putting her on hold a few times. The entire time I'm thinking....'here it is, I'm finally getting the boot. They all know I'm a fraud and on and on and on.
TRUTH: I work here 3 days a week. I need to be sure I address my work and do what's in front of me. If I do MY job & take care of what is on MY plate, I can let go of everything else.
#2 - Last night after leaving the meeting, I get on the subway
I quickly find a seat and between me and the man next to me is room for someone else to sit, but there's an empty can of Red Bull occupying the seat. I think it's his, but he makes no move to move it. I take out my journal & start writing. We arrive at the next stop & people get on, look at the empty seat & move on.  I start to feel judged, embarrassed & say things in my head like: OMG. they all think it's mine, I'm rude. if you reach down and put it on the floor, they're gonna think you're a litterer and on and on and on...(SELF CENTERED MUCH)
TRUTH: I care too much about other people's opinions of me.  It's something I'm working on.

I share these because fear can be such a crippling part of life for me, and if I'm able to look at times when it's completely LUDICROUS, INSANE and downright LAUGHABLE. I can remember that there's something much bigger at work in my life than me and my brain and that is God. If I strive to live in faith than fear cannot exist.  Sometimes I have to re-make that decision moment to moment and that is OK.

Hope if anything you're smiling.  I'm grateful today for smiling. For laughing at myself. For taking life less seriously. For having fun. For progress. For a program that has taught me to feel again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

LOOK UP

"If I treat my alcoholism first, all my other problems take care of themselves"

I heard a speaker share this bit of wisdom yesterday at a meeting. It smacked me across the face as if it was an angel descending from on high yelling LOOK UP LOOK UP.

I sat there an realized that I have for quite sometime been focusing on all the small little minute details, petty problems, glancing downward instead of looking forward or daring to dream upwards and focused WAY too much energy on my smallness instead of embracing my own GREATNESS...

I need to reiterate that the key to that for me is to stay rooted in sobriety, maintain my spiritual growth, get my ass to meetings and help another alcoholic. I do these things and everything else works.

I am grateful today for a beautiful serene looking day
I am grateful for my Mother and all the lessons & life she has given me
I am grateful for a 5 Mile run yesterday
I am grateful for an amazing IntenSati class that kicked my butt mentally, physically & spiritually
I am grateful that I'll be at my home group tonight
I am grateful for my sober group of friends
I am grateful for having found the one
I am grateful for a weekend away coming up
I am grateful for work that affords me the ability to live life & have fun

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Service Keeps Me Sober

Being of service is one of the cornerstones of my program.

I took a 'semseter' off from having a service commitment because I got burnt OUT on them the end of last year. I hadn't really noticed a difference until I was knee deep in service last night and realized how great it felt. I was asked to go to a detox ward here in the city & bring a meeting to the patients there.

I cannot begin to describe the pieces that clicked into place for me last night sitting there, listenting to the heart break, the desire, the insanity and the hope. It was inspiring. A tragically beautiful reminder that this disease is progressive and fatal. A fact that through recovery I sometimes don't keep as close as I should. My favorite part was when we got to speak about what we did to stay sober. It kept things very green, practical and simple. My heart smiled when one of the guys really took to our message and yearned for more, a real life reminder of my sole purpose: To stay sober and help other alcoholics to acheieve sobriety.

I am grateful for SO much today
I am grateful to remember last night that I was thinking about drinking LONG before I started drinking
I am grateful to know that my bad was bad enough for me
I am grateful that I could be a light to someone
I am grateful for the humilty, patience and listening I can do now a days
I am grateful that personally I feel a corner coming and I'm ready to turn it - head up
I am grateful for life and every detail that entails

Monday, May 3, 2010

Life: A Game of Inches

My brother made a CD for my family shortly after my Father passed away four and a half years ago. On it he featured a sound clip from the movie 'Any Given Sunday' a speech given by Al Pacino as a coach to his team. I've never seen the movie but I understand the stakes are high.

I don't know what to say really.Three minutes to the biggest battle of our professional lives all comes down to today. Either we heal as a team
or we are going to crumble.
Inch by inch
play by play
till we're finished.
We are in hell right now, gentlemen believe me and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can fight our way back into the light.
We can climb out of hell.
One inch, at a time....
On this team, we fight for that inch, On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch.
Cause we know
when we add up all those inches
that's going to make the fucking difference
between WINNING and LOSING
between LIVING and DYING....



I've been thinking a lot about time taking time and how I can get so frustrated that progress is SLOW, and inches are so small, but it's the small improvements we make every day that count. Each day I breathe a sober breath is one better in my life. In fact if I only moved an inch a day over the last 1162 days - I'd have scaled a 9 story building! Nice perspective huh? Something to remember.. especially when I start to feel overwhelmed. To PAUSE. Look back, reflect on progress made. Face forward and step - inch by inch even when it's hard to see where one is headed.

I am grateful today for perspective
I am grateful today for faith

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ever After

My friend Bill created this for which I am eternally grateful - it brought tears to my eyes -
It's the story of how I met the love of my life

Let Your Light Shine

After a delicious dinner last night, Christopher and I decided to walk back to the apartment I'm staying in for the week cat sitting.  We had dinner on West 47th St and Ninth Ave and walked along to West 92nd St and West End Ave.  It was a glorious night and I was so enraptured that I didn't notice if it was chilly, which perhaps it was.

Colorful conversation. Lots of Laughter. Holding hands the entire way.

Around 75th st. we hear a female voice from behind us "Excuse Me" (simultaneously) we did a slow burn turn around.
"Yes"
We take in the vision of a woman. Light tan rain coat over a black suit with a white blouse. At first guess I'd say early-mid 50's. Brown hair pulled back behind her head
"Well, I'm sorry to stop you, I'm probably old enough to be your Mother, but I thought I'd tell you what a joy it is to see two happy men, unafraid to walk down the street and hold hands, it touches me"
I could see tears in her eyes as she passed us and walked on ahead.

It took us both a moment to catch our breath. The words of Marianne Williamson came rushing back to me in segments: Letting your light shine allows others to do the same.
I was honored and touched by what that woman said. A little angel on 75th St & Broadway to remind me that I am indeed on the right path. Not only with this man. But in this life.
Sobriety has allowed me more and more to let my true self out and what a gift.  I am grateful for that today.
LIGHT - Marianne Williamson
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others