Friday, January 28, 2011

Walkin in a Winter Wonderland

Well, if you haven't heard we had our umpteenth blizzard here in New York which dropped about 19 inches overnight.  They seem to have become an almost weekly occurrence here.

I was leaving a friends performance on Wednesday night as the blizzard was in full swing.  I literally just missed my bus so had some time to wait.  I was on the east side in the 20's which isn't really a hoppin neighborhood and given the current conditions looked more abandoned than anything else. I was slightly cursing my snowbound fate when I got caught up in a moment of Blizzard Bliss.

I was standing om the street corner with no one in sight, the snow was swirling all around me and I watched it above me under the orange hue of the street lights.  I realized that I was surrounded by snow, and quiet - which was a rather odd experience in a city of 7 or 8 million people.  It lasted only a moment but it's stayed with me.

I am often awed by the power of nature. It fascinates and inspires me and reminds me that there is a higher power in this world,  and that I am in this world. I like feelings like that.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Only in my Dreams

I had a relapse dream last night.

I dreamt that I was out partying and doing coke (not my drug of choice, though after some drinks my choices were gone so anything that was there - I did).  I don't recall all the details of the dream but what woke me up was that in the dream I started to panic and have what I thought was a heart attack because in the midst of all that partying, I thought - oh my god! what have I done?  I'm not sober anymore....and I woke with a start.

It took me a few minutes to realize it had been just a dream because I woke with ALL those feelings, shame, remorse, guilt, fear - such proof to me that feelings are not facts.

I think drinking & using dreams are normal, though thankfully few & far between for me. My sponsor once told me that all they are is a reminder that I have a disease, a disease called alcohoism that is cunning, baffling & powerful and will use any means to have me pick up again.  I'm grateful I know this.

I will also NOT watch Weeds before bed any longer!  :)    Have a great Wednesday

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Path to Prayer

I attended a great meeting last night where the topic was prayer.

Prayer is a word I used to cringe at. I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition and I always felt like a robot reciting the prayers we learned as kids. To me, it was just another text to spout out to show that I belonged somewhere (that place being a church who rejected who I was), but it was all I knew so I did my best.
It wasn't until my teens when I became heavily involved in youth group that I started to grasp that there can be meaning behind prayer, it was a lesson I learned right at the cusp of when I decided chruch as I knew it wasn't for the me I was beginning to know.
SO - I did what any good alcoholic/addict knew to do & threw the baby out with the bathwater.

It wasn't until I completed my second step that I realized that religion & spirituality are different and that I had been spiritually bankrupt for a little over a decade.

I started praying in drips & drabs , testing the waters, dipping a toe in.  Then I'd say for no reason at all I had the thought, well what if I tried this every morning, just a start, a moment, a gesture, and action.

What I thought about in that meeting last night is my sponsor's voice ringing in my ear: "It's a program of ACTION".   It wasn't until I sat there last night that I realized that prayer too is an action.

My latest prayer:  "Help me to listen and help me to stay in love & service"

What prayers help you?

Monday, January 17, 2011

An Old Friend

It's been a long time since I've woken up this way.

I opened my eyes yesterday morning and felt something huge sitting on my chest.  It was my old friend fear, and worse than that it was completely illogical fear!  Overriding all is a callback I have this week and the work that needed to be done for it but rather than WORK, I decided to move, thinking hey, I'll go do my daily duties, hit a meeting and then I'm bound to feel better, bound to work but all I did was avoid even in light of doing some good things.  I got home after mid-afternoon and that cinder block was still there where I left it at the door to greet me and say - we're not done yet!

I tried half-hearted to work.  It seemed to help but my heart wasn't in it because my heart liked fear more.  It gives me something to whine about. I had made tentative plans with a friend for dinner which I sadly cancelled, I worked more and then went to a concert where I was smacked in the face with the answer.

HAVE FAITH

You see every time I fall down the rabbit hole of fear I forget, that in my world fear and faith cannot coexist. SO, you see I have a choice.  Faith! Faith! Faith!    Then I remembered the wonderful words of our founder Mr. Bill W.  - "Faith without WORKS is dead"

Back home - more work, the fear eased and sleep came easily last night and another lesson that hopefully I'll learn.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Next To Normal

We discussed one of my FAVORITE stories tonight.

4th Edition of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous - pg 37 - 38.......The Jaywalker.

I've heard & read this story a few times over the last few years, I always get a chuckle out of it, and of course it away flashes in my mind whenever I do actually jaywalk!  I was struck by this sentence tonight:
"You would expect him, if he were normal, to cut it out"

The thing is in fact my drinking was never normal, not once.   I used to tell myself it was, especially after having just one glass of wine with dinner, or that extremely rare occasion when I was able to go out for cocktails and have just two.  I hung on to these 'normalcies' for years which only deepened the cold hard truth underneath my skin that no matter what glass I look at it through, I am an true alcoholic.  The truth was, alone, there was no way I could cut it out

I then started thinking about the other things in my life that don't fall into the 'normal' category....the standard list of finances, eating etc. I also started to reflect on how growing up ALL I ever wanted to be was 'normal'.  It was a quiet desperation that pervaded every action I took or fear I indulged. Unspoken words that simply stated please please PLEASE let me blend in so no one will know or see that I haven't the foggiest idea what I'm doing.

The truth is today, most of the time I still don't know what I'm doing.  The gift for me is acceptance.  The acceptance that I don't have to be some twisted perception of normal.  That if I honor myself and accept myself, I can move from there which is a point of power.....and to quote one of my favorite musicals:
"I don't need a life that's normal, that's way too far away, but something next to normal would be okay"

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Power of Powerlessness

The beauty of surrender

I've been pondering this last few days & by no mistake have been at two meetings that last two days whose topics were: Step 1.  and  The Serenity Prayer.

Such basics, and such beautiful reminders to me that when I let GO and let GOD.   Life is much easier to take a day at a time.

One of the great paradoxes for me is that idea that when I stop fighting and surrender, that therein lies my strength a las it is not just mine but my creators and together we face this life. I heard someone refer to God as their partner today and I thought - YES.  My partner my co-creator.....only I have to give him, her, it my control, my will in order for us to work together.

There are so many things I am powerless over and the more I admit that the more I can focus on what needs to be changed IN me rather than around me.  It's a New Year and I really feel that something has shifted.  I love that.  Here's to the 2011 I envision, a year of beauty, growth, love, deep understanding, patience and faith.