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