Saturday, March 31, 2007
Well, Scott W. tagged me a few days ago, so I guess I'll fulfill my obligations now! I am supposed to write about jobs I've had, hope you have a coffee, my list is not very long and not nearly as exciting as Scott's or MC's....
The very first job I had was a hand-me-down from a gurl friend. She was a home cleaner and one of her clients was an older couple. The wife was very not well and unable to care for herself, let alone take care of a home, the husband was quite aged also, and that was where I came in. I was about 16, I think, and I got paid $20.00 every Sunday to clean their home from top to bottom. Mostly the job was not bad, but one of the things that took forever was the dusting. They had lots of old wood pieces, and all were very ornate, all of the nooks and cranny's used to drive me crazy! Oh and let's not forget all the knick knacks!!! The worst part of the job was definitely cleaning the bathroom *shivers* I almost get sick just thinking about it, it was DISGUSTING! and I had to clean all the mold and mildew in the bath area. It was a tiny little bathroom with no windows... the smell... ewwwww!
I only worked at that job for a few months, then I moved from home. I had to go on welfare from February to June of '78 so that I could finish high school. My next job was at a seedy motel in the outskirts of Ottawa, where I lived. I was a chambermaid and worked both weekend days, it was a pay raise for me - I now made 44 dollars a weekend! Again the work was not really difficult, but it was not a high end establishment, each girl had from five to eight rooms to clean each day. The part of the motel where I worked was reserved more for people who didn't stay too long like sports teams, the bands that played in the disco lounge and other minor celebrities who were in town. A lot of these patrons had parties, and it was pretty brutal to clean- old booze bottles, left over food stuffs, and other stinky stuff! One band that stayed there was "The Ink Spots", when I went to do their rooms, one of the guys made a pass at me, it was not nice!
Another time, I was cleaning a room where the guests had left already, they had LEFT behind a 26 oz. bottle of rye, which I drank!!! I think I was fired after that!
When high school ended I shared an apartment with two other girls, by then I was working in a clothing store. It was supposed to be full time but was only given weekends with an occasional shift during the week. We were only paid $2.22 an hour, and it was not enough to live on! I spent a lot of time driving around with the pizza guys who worked next door- they had dope! I also got fired from that job!
Job number four was for an up and coming tech firm, something I was totally not into, but it was full time so that was good! We had to put these little bitty parts together, you know, the insides of computer boards! It required much attention to detail and if each component was not perfect, the whole thing would not work! I was definitely NOT the top producer on my team LOL. After being there for about a week, my boss took me aside and suggested I try out at a printing company that he knew was hiring, he felt it would be a better fit for me! So I applied at the new place, was hired, and gave my two weeks notice at the tech firm. I had only worked there a total of three weeks!!
My biggest and longest lasting job was working at a security printing company, I was hired in September of '78 and worked there until July of '90. The starting pay was $5.55 an hour, and it was unionized, so if we made it through the probationary period, we were pretty much set. After two years of working there our salary had more than doubled! I started working the evening shift after about six or nine months, hated getting up in the mornings and with all this money I had really started to 'party hardy'! A bonus was that shift work paid an extra fifteen percent, and I got to work lots of overtime! Remember back in the eighties? Money practically grew on trees! I was young, had no dependants, and kind of thought I'd never make it to twenty five, so I spent everything I earned! I did manage to buy a brand new car though, an '84 Mustang, I loved her sooo much. In January of '86, I was in one of my first attempt at sobriety, I had not drank for three whole weeks- it was a miracle! Living on the border between Ontario and Quebec came in handy back then because after the bars closed at one AM here , we would drive five minutes and party til three there! On one of these sober nights I had decided I deserved to celebrate, heading over to Quebec, I was involved in a head on collision. I was hit by a drunk driver going the wrong way on a one way parkway! He thought he was going to Quebec- he was wrong!! RIP to my sweet Mustang, I however never made it out to party that night!
I sort of digressed there, sorry! I did manage to work at the Security Printing company for eleven years, I ended up quitting after my disease of addictions ( including alcohol, drugs and anorexia almost killed me). Within months of leaving a treatment centre I was pregnant with Angel, I worked a couple of part time jobs , one in clothing sales, the other at a frozen yogurt place where I gained ten pounds in two weeks from Taste Testing the product!!! The next eight years I stayed at home and (attempted) to raise my daughter.
When Angel was seven. I went to college full time for a child and youth worker course. I barely made it through the first term, and ended up with three incompletes, two B's and an A!!! I tried the work thing again, another part time job in clothing retail. I loved this job and found myself to be quite good at it, my sales exceeded those of employees who had been there for a lot longer than I had! I was fired after only a month because I was frequently late. I had started doing sewing repairs and alterations from my home in '93 I think , so that money tied me over while I stayed home with Angel. After I left college, my family doctor advised me to go on disability. I was having a really tough time with depression, and trying to stay clean and sober. So that started in '96 or '97, and I didn't work again until the summer of 2003.
I worked at an outdoor fruit and vegetable market. We started at six AM and went to six PM, and we got paid in cash, so I didn't declare my earnings. I got paid $88.00 a day and would cross the street after work and spend my earnings in the bar! That was the summer I really started to get out of control with my drinking, after about seven years of sobriety! The money was great to keep me in drugs and booze and I managed to hang on to the job until they closed for the year at the end of September.
In October of 2003 I started working at a small Deli, I have shared a bit about this job before. My boss was also my pot dealer! I worked there part time for about a year, when the other employee (the bosses son) was injured, then I went to full time as well as running the whole place by myself! I was actually very good at the job and I really loved it too, I could go out back (the deli was in a bar) and I could smoke my doobs with a ciggie chaser! I was allowed to smoke dope at this job- just NO DRINKING! Good thing too as I had to cut all of the meats, smoked meat , roast beef brisket and salami! In March of 2005, Angel was taken from me by children's aid, they wanted me to quit my job so I could go to treatment, but I refused because I was the only employee at the time and I thought the deli would close without me. Besides with Angel gone I had begun to drink daily and I needed the money to pay for my habit! I managed to hang on there until March of 2006 at which point I knew I could not continue to live the way I was living. So I quit the Deli with only three days notice. The Deli did end up closing after another month! I have not worked since then, putting all of my energy into my recovery!
So there you have it, once again I am kind of surprised at how much my addictions had a place in my work history! I think I am ready to start a new job but I don't know if my former boss will give a good recommendation or not and I think I am kind of afraid of going back out into the world!!! On a positive note though, I have managed to put together a resume and am at least looking for work again!
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Our membership ought to include all who suffer from Alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliations. Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 563
Prior to AA, I often felt that I didn't "fit in" with the people around me. Usually "they" had more/less money than I did, and my points of view didn't jibe with "theirs". The amount of prejudice I had experienced in society had only proved to me just how phony some self-righteous people were. After joining AA. I found the way of life I had been searching for. In AA, no member is better than any other member; we're just alcoholics trying to recover from alcoholism.
On reflection of this reading I realize just how different I really felt in the outside world. I had always known that somehow I WAS different, but in my mind I translated this to mean that there was something inherently wrong with me, as in broken, unfixable. I know for me a lot of those feelings come from the messages I received as a child, the discounting of my feelings, perceptions, the very negation of the reality in which I lived. I was told that I made up stories, that I plain out lied or didn't know what I was talking about. If I was sad or crying I was told that I had no reason to cry , or I should be grateful for what I had (you know, the millions of starving kids story). So growing up, I learned to not trust myself, my own feelings, to check with someone else to tell me if I was good or bad, right or wrong, smart or dumb. valuable or worthless...
Today this has all come to a head for me once again. I guess it started on the weekend when Angel had a fight with me! I say it this way because I didn't really 'fight' back, I just let her vent , and then called for back-up. I have been told that I dealt with all this appropriately, I did a good job, I took care of me etc. But still, in my mind I had bailed on my child by 'sending her away' when things got too intense for me to deal with it. Of course running out of my meds on Sunday and having it rain all day Monday, was just enough of an opening to allow my sh*tty committee into my head again! I am after all my own worst enemy, when it comes to perception of self...So I went to the place where any (good?) self-loathing alcoholic goes. I told myself I was a BAD mommy. I told myself I had FAILED my child yet again. I told myself that maybe Angel was better off where she was because, CLEARLY I was not prepared or able to deal with her!
Yesterday I went to see my counsellor. I talked a lot 'around' the issues I have been facing. I got the praise I so crave "You took care of you, you did the right thing..." and then the tears came
*hangs head in shame* She had asked me if I was sharing this with anyone, or writing about it on my blog, "well, no" I replied, "then everyone "out there" would know that I am a bad person, but not just a regular bad person, a FAT bad person"...I had not actually been feeling the stuff that was going on in my life. Why , you ask? because I had been eating my feelings! In true addictive form I had found yet another 'old friend' to comfort me and to make sure all those icky feelings didn't come out so they could be dealt with and sent back to their rightful place as thoughts, not feelings! My counsellor gave me some activities to do to examine these feeling, put them in proper perspective and change my attitude toward myself. On the way home I picked up my meds, and a HUGE chocolate bar then proceeded to sleep for the rest of the afternoon and EAT my way through the evening...
This morning I woke up feeling a little better. At least now I have an awareness of what I have been doing, and that is a step toward change, right? In my daily blog-stalking, I usually come across many words of wisdom, sometimes I even come up with ones' of my own to leave as comments! So today was to be no different! I came across this http://todaysdailyblog.blogspot.com/">Link . It would seem that I actually am NOT all that different after all!!! I may have to change my name to "Super freak" though... and todays' reading about equality, has brought me back to the place where I know that I belong and (kinda) fit in! The rooms of AA have helped me to get clean and sober, and I know that when I'm ready they will also help me to deal with the feelings that are causing me to fall back on food. That to me, is what recovery is all about, learning to live better for me, not better than you. Learning how to take better care of me so I can be of more service to you and others. And today I am truly grateful to have this all-purpose program of recovering my life.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I think I am having another DAY !!! It's not MY fault! I seem to have been born this way!
OK, I know, I am a little more than my usual amount of 'freakishness' today HUH? I ran out of my anti-depressants on Saturday, but Angel and I were having A DAY, so I never got out to pick up the refill. Yesterday it was pouring rain, so I slept most of the afternoon and, no, didn't get the meds either. Today I am not doing so well, it probably isn't 'cause I'm out of meds, but I hafta find a reason for my other than normal mood, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Alright. so here is my list of seven songs that I USED to dig, before I tried, to no avail, to post one of the videos on my blog...
1) Don't Stop Believing......... by Journey
2) Keep the Faith ..................by Bon Jovi
3) Life is a Highway...............by Tom Cochrane
4) Still the One ......................by Shania Twain
5) Amazing .............................by Aerosmith
6) Sweet Escape.....................by Gwen Stephani
7) Lay Your Hands on ME....by Bon Jovi
Of course after finding seven songs I liked I was tagged again (this time by Scott W) and I am SO not in the mood to search through the cobwebs of my mind to come up with seven more, so I will leave that for another day!!! And as for MY tags...I realize that some of these may also be 'double tagged', so I'm throwing in a few extra's... Tabster, Kenny, Shannon, Chocolateer, Cori. Scott W, Lex Sunshine, Sharon and Grace!! Have fun!!!!
...I think I need to do my reading now, and you? This one is from "As Bill Sees it", I just randomly open the book to see what message He has for me, and THIS is what showed up, try not to laugh too hard, you might miss the message LOL
For myself, I try to seek out the truest definition of humility that I can. This will not be the perfect definition, because I shall always be imperfect.
At this writing, I would choose one like this : Absolute Humility would consist of a state of complete freedom from myself, freedom from all the claims that my defects of character now lay so heavily upon me. Perfect humility would be a full willingness, in all times and places,to find and to do the will of God.
When I meditate upon such a vision, I need not be dismayed because I shall never attain it, nor need I swell with presumption that one of these days its virtues shall be mine.
I only need to dwell on the vision itself, letting it grow and ever more fill my heart. This done, I can compare it with my last taken personal inventory. Then I get a sane and healthy idea of where I stand on the highway to humility. I see that my journey toward God has scarce begun.
As I thus get down to my right size and station, my self concern and importance become amusing.
Grapevine, June 1961
Once again the humour of my Higher Power is not lost on me... two short months after Bill wrote this, I was born into this world.... OK, you may laugh now!!! But don't forget to "Have a Day". Oh and before you get all huffy about the fact that I apparently lied about the video thing...I tried once again after returning to my rightful place here on earth...
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I coined the phrase when devilchild was younger, about seven or eight, I think. I remember once she was getting ready for school and was in quite a mood! There was lots of yelling that morning accompanied by "I don't want to's " and various other behaviors that I don't feel the need to revisit today! Whenever devilchild left to go to school I always said " bye, I love you, have a great day!", but on this particular morning, my patience had thinned out considerably so I said "bye, I love you, have a day!". Apparently, the child did not appreciate the humour of this statement, and refused to leave until I told her to have a GREAT day!!! It was totally lost on her that only SHE could CHOOSE the kind of day that she would have!
So yesterday started off just fine- thank-you-very-much for me, but then I woke up Angel... and we were off... Maybe she didn't have a good sleep, maybe she didn't appreciate me waking her at the unGodly hour of twelve noon! I'm not sure, but suffice it to say, that all of my AA tools would be utilized in short order. For example- is my serenity linked to persons or events in my day? (No). Do I react with anger to someone else's verbal abuse? (No). Will I act on my immediate impulse to throttle the child for being disrespectful? (ummm, I mean No!). For another point of view to this story go here http://aangeldevilteen.blogspot.com/
What I did do however was pick up the phone (after a lengthy conversation with Angel of WHY I needed to use MY phone) and made several phone calls...all of which went unanswered. First I called the 'house where she lives' and asked them to come pick her up, I had had enough, thankfully they heard what it was that I had had enough of, as I was assaulted by various angry teenager words while I was making this phone call! After that I called my sponsor, but her phone had not been hooked up yet ( due to the red tape of changing phone services) and even though I had lent her my cell for the weekend, I was unable to ge through to her! The third call I made was to a friend, there was nobody home, but I left a message through gritted teeth and a tightened larynx, to please call 'cause I really need to talk to someone!!!
After that I called the house back and spoke to one of the staff who reminded me that , yes, someone was on the way to pick up the child. They suggested that I just leave her alon in her room until my saviour arrived- Hey, I gots NO problem wit dat YO! I have learned through working my program that I do indeed want to retain my sanity! I value myself enough to NOT wave a red flag before a bull! I kinda like the look of my body without angry red welts on it... avoid the child until she has calmed down or until Hell freezes over, whichever comes first! Even I could do that!
Shortly after I had been freed from my misery, I received a teary phone call..."I love you mommy, I'm sorry mommy, can I please come back now mommy,,," In case you're wondering, my 'mommy guilt' got the better of me, and yes my Angel did come back at 8:00 last night and no, there was no blood shed! We had a long talk in which I said that one of the reasons I suggested counselling was that it would be a safe place for Angel to express and dump some of the anger that she has towards me ( albeit warranted). I also told her that to call names and become verbally abusive was NOT an opotion that I would accept today, because I DO NOT deserve that!
And now for our Daily Reflections reading`
I try to hold fast to the truth that a full and thankful heart cannot entertain any great conceits. When brimming with gratitude, one's heartbeat must surely result in outgoing love, the finest emotion that we can ever know. Alcoholics Anonymous pg.37
I believe that we in Alcoholics Anonymous are fortunate in that we are constantly reminded of the need to be grateful and of how important gratitude is to our sobriety. I am truly grateful for the sobriety God has given me through the AA program and am glad I can give back what was given to me so freely. I am grateful not only for sobriety, but for the quality of life my sobriety has brought. God has been gracious enough to give me sober days and a life blessed with peace and contentment, as well as the ability to give and receive love, and the opportunity to serve others- in our fellowship, my family and my community. For that I have "a full and thankful heart".
So I hope I have entertained you all for another day...stay tuned for the next post, in which I was tagged by Inmatez Wife! Peace and love to all today!
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 33
These words are underlined in my book. They are true for men and women alcoholics. On many occasions, I've turned to this page and reflected on this passage. I need never fool myself by recalling my sometimes differing drinking patterns, or by believing I am "cured". I like to think that, if sobriety is God's gift to me, then my sober life is my gift to God. I hope God is as happy with His gift as I am with mine.
To borrow a quote from my friend Pam "Sobriety is Exhausting!"... This week has been a little messed up, to say the least! Monday I had many naps, after spending five days with Angel. I was totally wiped out! We really didn't DO a whole lot, but just being around another human 24/7 is a little overwhelming for me! I am anxiously awaiting her return home, but with just a touch of fear. It's going to be different for me to once again share my life and home after being on my own for over two years....what if I can't do it? What if I mess her up AGAIN...What if, what if, what if....
Yes Pam- I hear you! KEEP IT IN TODAY!!!
On Tuesday I had cancelled an appointment that I was to find out wasn't until NEXT Tuesday!! I have just been SOOO tired! On Wednesday I actually did something productive- went to my 'Rainbow Group". It was very full and once again, I felt a little overwhelmed at being around people for that long. By yesterday, I was feeling exhausted! Maybe it's still the remnants of being sick a few weeks ago, maybe it's my allergies kicking in already, not quite sure, but I know that I am wiped out this week. Alas, though God had other plans for me yesterday, we had another court date. I didn't even post about it, I guess 'cause in my mind, I was thinking "no biggie, been there done that, this will not be any different". I had even called my lawyer early in the morning to try and not go! I thought that since our appearance was at 11:00, that it would not be before a judge. Good thing I got my sh*t together and showed up though... it was an appearance before Her Honour!
True to the 'old' me, I was running a little late- procrastination, the nectar of the evil ones'...I hadn't eaten or read my daily meditations. At least before I ran out the door, I grabbed a big bottle of water, my "Daily Reflections" book AND my "Twenty four Hours a Day" book, and went to catch the bus. Just as I was walking down the final, short road to the bus stop I saw the bus go whizzing by! I wasn't even within running distance (but I did briefly consider running MC, you too are in my 'daily' mind !) So bus being missed and lushgurl running late used to equal a really good excuse for the AW F**K IT'S to kick in, happily though He put someone in my path that kept me at the bus stop! I was trying to be patient when an 'old' acquaintance rode by on his bike. I had hoped he wouldn't stop to talk, but again, HE had other plans.
The guy was someone I had known from my using days. I never really liked him, found him a little creepy, and he was a coke-head. I think he was interested in me, but as he had nothing to offer me (broke, unemployed, always looking for drugs...) I never hooked up with him- thank God! Any way he did stop to talk and when he asked how I was I immediately launched into "I am clean and sober today, I am going to AA today, blah blah, blah" I was hoping he would get bored and leave, but you know, he had been wondering why I hadn't been around and decided to keep me company while I waited for the next bus! Finally it arrived, and I was feeling kinda icky, so I pulled out my books and read, and prayed, right on the bus. I didn't care if people were looking at me, and I started to feel calmer.
When I got to court there was my Angel and our CAS worker, and we hadn't been called to go in yet, did I EVER wonder if HE is working in my life? At last,we were called in, and the judge was there and was I ever glad that I hadn't blown it off. How bad would it have looked if the 'mother' didn't appear? I think that the judge was reading our applications which included my letter. And the end result was that Angel will be in care until July 19 th, which is EXACTLY one week before she turns 16! At that point we will attend our FINAL court appearance to decide where she will live. I am so relieved that I don't have to worry and fret about any of this again for a while.
So back to the title of this post... AND NO MORE RESERVATIONS...No, I have none. I am today, and always will be, an alcoholic. I do not have any left over thoughts that maybe I can drink or use again. My God is in my life and HE knows what I need even when I don't. If I keep doing the next right thing, then all will be well in my world. And I don't have to fret or worry about tomorrow, for it will be OK too! Now I am going to do my readings and feed my body, my Angel is coming back today! I have some laundry and housework to do and Then I will do my daily blog-stalking! So, yes, I will see you all later! and no, that is NOT a threat, it is a promise!!! Until later... chill baby and peace out y'all- see Angel Yomomma Can Be SICK sometimes!!!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
to close my eyes
would you shed a tear for me?
I'm tired of living
so many lies
I want for sleep to set me free
I always dreamt
of so much more
but happiness I never found
I'm tired of trying
to break these chains
that ever seem to hold me down
where is the hope
that I once knew
the dark of night brings peace you see
when I lay down
to close my eyes
do not shed a tear for me...
written by me on October 4, 2003
I hardly even remember the gurl who wrote this poem and was in so much pain. I know from the date that I had just begun to smoke pot again that spring. I also know that by the summer I was drinking again, and in the fall (no pun intended) I was seduced once again by my nemesis, cocaine. Things were pretty tough back then. Angel and I were fighting (for control?) all of the time. I had started to hang with people who didn't care about me, only what I could give them. I started to sink deeper into despair and self loathing, I couldn't even see the way out. But one thing I did know was that I was not being true to myself, and with every passing day that I used, I fell deeper into the hole that I had dug for myself. I was out of control, my child was out of control, my LIFE was out of control. I wanted out...of all the pain.
I am happy to report that as of today, I have been free of the chains of cocaine addiction for 17 months. Holy cow! Look how far I have come! It was not always an easy road back to recovery, there were many days that I felt I just couldn't go on, the pain was ever present. I just didn't know how I could possibly survive another day (like that). Slowly, and by just putting one foot in front of the other, I started to get well again. I came back to AA, and soon realized that this road was, for me, the easier softer way! Not all of my days have been great and I'm sure that I will have many more difficult days ahead. The difference is that today I have hope and faith and I know with absolutely no reservations, that if I continue to stay clean and sober my worst day today will never be as bad as my best day back then. With the help of my Higher Power and the fellowship of AA, being able to post on my blog and dump the crap and with all of your feedback, My life is so beautiful and I am very grateful for that today.
...and now for our reading from Daily Reflections...
Fear... of economic insecurity will leave us.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg.84
Having fear reduced or eliminated and having economic cicumstances improve, are two different things. When I was new in AA, I had those two ideas confused. I thought fear would leave me only when I started making money. However another line from the Big Book jumped off the page one day when I was chewing on my financial difficulties : " For us, material well-being always followed spiritual progress, never preceeded." ( pg 127). I suddenly understood that this promise was a guarantee. I saw that it put priorities in the correct order, that spiritual progress would diminish that terrible fear of being destitute, just as it diminished many other fears.
Today I try to use the gifts God gave me to benefit others. I've found that it is what others valued all along. I try to remember that I no longer work for myself. I only get the use of the wealth God created, I never "owned" it. My life's purpose is much clearer when I just work to help, not to possess.
So with that my friends, I wish you all a peaceful, loving and sober day.... Enjoy!
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Love and tolerance of others is our code.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg.84
I have found that I have to forgive others in all situations to maintain any real spiritual progress. The vital importance of forgiving may not be obvious to me at first sight, but my studies tell me that every good spiritual teacher has insisted strongly upon it.
I must forgive injuries, not just in words, but in my heart. I do this not for the other persons' sake, but for my own sake. Resentment, anger or a desire to see someone punished, are things that rot my soul. Such things fasten my troubles to me with chains. They tie me to other troubles that have nothing to do with my original problem.
How true is this reading for me? I can remember back when Angel was first born, her father and I struggled so much and eventually broke up. I had so liitle respect for him and the choices he would make, I used to get SO angry with him (for being late to pick up his daughter for a visit, for drinking, for dating yet another woman) and my sponsor would simply say "Pray for him!"... What d'ya mean PRAY FOR HIM? I want to rip his head off and feed it to him with an apple in the mouth!!! I just did not GET IT. How times have changed for me, and truth be told, I never would have believed that I would ever get to the point of being grateful to have met this man. Indeed, if we had not been together, I never would have had my Angel in my life!
I had a friend not so long ago who was so full of anger and resentment that it actually scared me at times. WHY? I think because I recognized in her, how toxic that anger was, it actually helped me to want to let go of my anger. I would listen to the rants "so and so did this and whathisname did that and girl is a tramp" and on and on... AND yes, on more than one occasion I would find myself as a target of all this hate. When we had a falling out and she no longer wanted to be my friend (about the time I rediscovered the program), it broke my heart. She was not always a supportive and loving friend, but still, who would be my friend if she wasn't?
I feel so much better today about my life, and about me. I still don't have a lot of friends, but the people who are in my life today are true friends. They love and support me unconditionally, they are healthy people leading healthy lives. I am making better choices for me and it seems to be attracting better people to me - how does that work? I never would have believed that I could be so accepting of others, even the ones who still rant and rave and spew hatred, I realize that God puts people in our path for a reason. Sometimes that reason might be to hold a mirror up to me to show me what I need to look at in myself. Today I can truly pray for those who have hurt me and I can pray for the willingness to forgive. I am so glad that when I do feel anger or resentment today I can look at myself to find out why I have such a strong reaction to people.
When I began my day today I felt good, followed my daily routine of coffee, blog-stalking, more coffee, more blog stalking! I wasn't seeing too many new posts and was starting to feel just a touch of resentment- don't these people realize that in my very unbusy life, I NEED my fix of new blogs to read? Then I started to read such beautiful and uplifting posts and *POOF*, resentment was gone, then I realized I had not yet eaten or read my Daily Reflections book. So I grabbed something to feed me with and opened up the book and the rest, as they say, is history!
Today I am going to do my best to live without the chains of anger and resentment. I think I'll have a great day, and how about YOU...
Sunday, March 18, 2007
The more we become willing to depend on a Higher Power, the more independant we actually are.
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions pg.36
I start with a little willingness to trust God and He causes that willingness to grow. The more willingness I have, the more trust I gain, the more willingness I have. My dependance on God grows as my trust in Him grows. Before I became willing , I depended on myself for all my needs and I was restricted by my incompleteness. Through my willingness to depend upon my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, all my needs are provided for by Someone Who knows me better than I know myself- even the needs I may not realize, as well as the ones yet to come. Only Someone Who knows me that well could bring me to be myself and to help me fill the need to somone else that only I am meant to fill. There never will be another exactly like me. And that is real independance.
TodAAy I am thAAnkful and grAAteful for the following...
* that He did break the mold after He made me!
* for all my (sober) blogging friends who share their experience, strength and hope with me .
* for all my (other) blogging friends who show me that 'earthlings' can be cool too .
* After FIVE WHOLE DAYS TOGETHER there was no blood shed between Angel and me !!!
* I am clean and sober todAAY.
* I am learning to put new stuff on my Blog without deleting the whole thing !
* Through learning to love myself more I am also learning to be more kind, respectful and loving to others.
* No matter where I go, there I am!
* I have willingness todAAY.
Keep coming back...TTFN
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
My friend suggested what then seemed a novel idea..... "Why don't you choose your own conception of God?" That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last. It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 12
Yesterday was a beautiful and sunny day in my world, and I'm not referring to the weather! Dispite the fact that the night before had been so difficult for me, I continued to do the right things and it all went well in the end! So I had made plans to meet my mom for lunch yesterday, she had recently returned from a trip to the Dominican Republic. My mom stiil needs to have a 'reason' to see me, and I am OK with that today! The 'reason' yesterday was that she had brought me back some American smokes...love those Marlboro's, and no I am not planning to quit smoking TODAY! I look forward to spending time with my mom today. I have grown to love and appreciate her more in these few months of sobriety than I ever did before! When we talk on the phone I always say "I love you mom", before we hang up, and she never used to say it back (ouch), but the last few times we've spoken she has said " I love you too Babe". I always knew my mom loved me, but it warms my heart to hear the words from her today. PS, mom forgot to bring the smokes with her LOL
I began my day in the usual way, blog-stalking, doing my readings, having something to eat, and I chose to let Angel sleep. She had asked me to wake her up, but I was a little afraid as we did not have the best night the night before. I figure that she would not be happy with me anyway, so I opted to take care of me and get ready to go meet my mom. So about twenty minutes before I was ready to leave, I woke Angel up and told her I was leaving in fifteen, I know it did not really give her enough time to get ready, but I was kind of in self-preservation mode! She was not happy with me (big surprise) and asked if I WANTED her to come to lunch or if I was going to make her day a 'living hell'! I told her that I did want her to come with, but it was up to her to have the kind of day she chose to have. I got ready, left Angel some bus tickets and the keys, told her I loved her, and left the house! While I was getting ready though, Angel sat on the stairs watching and baiting me, but I didn't bite! Change is good!
On the way to the bus stop, I picked up a couple of scratch tickets, I know, I have to be careful there, and I am, but it is a small indulgence that I enjoy today... Anyway I won $50.00...WOOHOO. I felt rich! I had also received a check that was in the mail and actually WAS in the mail and actually arrived!!! So I made a decision to spend some money ON ME... OOOHHH, don't know if I can do it, must remove the receipts so I can't return stuff later (when the guilt sets in!) When I got to the mall, I was early, so I had some time to look around, and saw a sale!!! They had winter coats on for 50% off, and I found one that I loved and it fit! It was marked down from $375.00 to $129.00 and another 50% off that! The last time I bought a winter coat was about four or five years ago at a second hand shop, it cost me $25.00!
I waited for my mom to arrive (she had my youngest niece with her, yay, two for the price of one on hugs too!) and then went to show her the coat...of course my mom decided that she needed a new spring jacket, and are ya gettin' where I'm going here? She paid for my coat too! I no longer argue with my mom over such things, as it apparently is in the genes...my mom and HER mom used to argue over who paid for what ALL the time (in a loving way). Mom would give my grandma money for food or gas, whatever and grandma would put the money back in mom's purse then mom would find it and hide it in the cookie jar, then grandma would find it and put it under moms' pillow.... you see, it is no use telling my mom to NOT pay for stuff, better to just say thank you, I appreciate it!
With the money I didn't spend on the coat, I decided to get some new ruuning shoes, again, much needed as present running shoes have a hole in the bottom and are about four years old (and no MC, I will NOT be RUNNING in my running shoes!) So at the shoe store what do I see? Another sale!! Oh life is sweet today... I had a tough time deciding between two pairs, but opted for the more expensive ones, they were all leather and were marked down from $50. to $23. and who in their right mind could pass up a deal like that! So I go to put the other shoes back and when I went to pay for the first pair, a miracle happened...into one shoe was stuffed a twenty and a ten!!! So I ended up with TWO new pairs of runners! One of the pairs is black with turquoise stripes and black laces with turquoise ribbon laces , too cute, and my favorite colours. The other pair is white with pink striping on them, nice and summer-ry! I LOVE new shoes and (I think) I deserve them and I even wore the black ones last night so I can't return them!!! Last night Angel and I went to the woman's meeting, which was great, full of love and laughter, I think I'll probably attend it every week.
Today I woke up to another great day, funny how I seem to be having more and more of those lately! I really am so grateful to be able to choose the kind of days I have, life just keeps getting better. When I got up I discovered a message on the phone from a very busy friend who I had thought abandoned me, but no, it's not always about me! Friend actually and truly DOES have a very busy (and stressful) life and offered to kick my butt the next time I indulge in I-think-she's-mad-at-me-for-no-apparent-reason thinking, and what could possibly be better than a good old ass-kicking from someone you love and who loves you?
That's all for now friends, no, no, don't thank me (for ending this here) 'cause you all know I'll be back later! Have a great day ALL...
Thursday, March 15, 2007
A lack of more stable parenting on my part has created a child who, when she doesn't get her way will become very angry, sometimes even abusive to others. Where she lives now, they have aggression work if the child has been verbally abusive... Angel has done a lot of 'aggression work' ! When she is with me (for the most part anyway) we have been getting along quite well. When the horns start sprouting, I mostly have been able to bite my tongue and let it go. Like I said though, I think stuff has been going on lately, stuff that is causing Angel to be more angry, and I, as the mom, am now feeling the wrath.
Last week I found out that Angel had bought pot for one of the girls in the house, and she smoked some too. For this she got 'drug cons' which basically means she lost all her levels and had to start over. It also meant that she had no free time to leave the house on her own. By Tuesday Angel had regained a level- way to go, keep up the good work! On Wednesday there was a (party) sleepover at a 'friends' house... this was a friend that the staff in the house don't really know, but they allowed Angel to go and guess what happened? She drank! She had to tell me when she got to my house today. Of course this also means that she has once again lost her level and privileges. I tried to be supportive, but who am I kidding? I am her mother after all, and I truly want to throttle her for using last week and drinking this week, but I can't.
I went to my meeting tonight and it was good, it's an open discussion meeting that I have attended ever since I came back to the program. Angel had stayed home to work on homework, which was fine with me. At what point did things go horribly wrong? Probably about 11:00 when I told Angel it was time for bed (we had spoken earlier and agreed that eleven was late enough), but she puttered and stalled and at almost twelve came downstairs and announced she was hungry. I swear, I fed her supper, brought her some beef jerky and we had some almonds, so I didn't think she was starving and said " It's too bad you've waited until midnight, but it is bed time now"... and she was off... The attitude came out big time. She stomped up to her room and called me a bitch to which I replied "I love you!" I tried to go and talk to her, but she didn't want to speak to me. I said it was unfair of her to get angry just because she's not getting her way and I will not tolerate being called a bitch, because I don't deserve that. I seriously almost lost it. I also said that if she was not prepared to follow the rules then maybe she could go (home) tomorrow... WRONG THING TO SAY! Angel then told me she wanted to leave TONIGHT. She went out for a walk, yes, after midnight, then came back, took the phone and went straight to her room.
I'm hoping the worst is over for now, but I gotta tell you, for a moment there I almost panicked, I mean honestly this is not the same child who left me two years ago, she's almost sixteen now, and still knows how to bully me and push my buttons. I'm kind of scared, I guess, I want her to come home to me so badly that it hurts my heart, but I don't want to mess her up even more than I may have all ready. Why does parenting have to be so hard?
OK, rant is over (for now)...Get some perspective Lushgurl...Tonight I am grateful for...
-being clean and sober today
-my AA meetings that remind me how to stay clean and sober
-my blog, a place where I can vent if I need to
-all of the people in my life who believe in me and support me in my recovery
-the food I have eaten, a safe place to live, and a warm bed to sleep in
-that I have a Higher Power to hold me when I need a hug
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
I arrived at court early, Angel was there too, so I got and gave a great big hug AND she brought me a Timmy's coffee, I just knew I was going to have a good day! When I saw my lawyer I gave her the letter I had written to the Judge and she said it would be included in our formal papers, so that went well. It seems at this point all of the parties are in agreement! How did that happen? We are now asking for four months of society ward ship and then re-integration for Angel to move back home. Of course I know that the Judge will still have the final say to approve or not approve this, but I really think I will be OK no matter what the outcome is! Hmmmm, could it be that I have begun to change? I just am really feeling different these days (different is good right?) although I do have a small confession to make... I had a slip! NO not THAT kind of slip, I missed a day reading my 12 X 12 so now I hafta start at day one again! I figure if that is the worst thing that could happen to me today then all is good in my world!
All right, so here is my list of six weird things about me ( oh and THANKS a lot for all the suggestions that poured in to make MY JOB easier LOL)...
1) I am anal about the toilet tissue hanging thing... it HAS to wind down from the top, I have even changed it at friends' houses or public washroom's... good thing not everyone is as anal as I am!
2) I am afraid (terrified) to fly but have a goal of taking Angel on a vacation to um, Hawaii or the Carribean or Europe...maybe teleporters will be invented by the time I have enough money to go anywhere!
3) One of my favorite things to do in the world is gardening, but I am terribly allergic to pollen and grass and ragweed!!!
4) I absoluetly cannot sleep without a light on, even if it is just a night light. The curtains in my bedroom are sheer to let the outside light in!
5) For most of my adult life no one any where ever saw me without my make up on, not even my mother! I am much more accepting of me today though...just don't show up at my house unannounced!
6) Last (for this list anyways) but not least...I think I might have been a cat in a previous life! Yeah you heard right LOL my nails are very curved almost like cat-claws and I have been known to 'speak' to cats and have them 'speak' to me!!!
Are y'all happy now? Just when I was starting to get some credibility back into my life! But that was kinda fun really ( note to self- don't do that again!!!)
And here is one of the things I read this morning...
A World of the Spirit
We have entered into a world of the Spirit. Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. That is not an overnight matter. It should continue for our lifetime.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 84
The word "entered"... and the phrase "entered into the world of the Spirit" are very significant. They imply action, a beginning, getting into, a prerequisite to maintaining my spiritual growth, the "Spirit" being the immaterial part of me. Barriers to my spiritual growth are self-centeredness and a material focus on worldly things. Spirituality means devotion to spiritual instead of worldly things, it means obedience to God's will for me. I understand spiritual things to be : unconditional love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control and humility. Any time I allow selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear to be a part of me, I block out spiritual things. As I maintain my sobriety, growing spiritually becomes a life long process. My goal is spiritual growth, accepting that I'll never have spiritual perfection.
On that note thank you again for all the love and support you have shown to me and my Angel and if there is such a thing as Karma, I hope all of you get all of this back in triplicate! HUGS and Love to all of you today!
Monday, March 12, 2007
A Day's Plan
On awakening, let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 86
Every day I ask God to kindle within me the fire of His love, so that love, burning bright and clear, will illuminate my thinking and permit me to better do His will. Throughout the day, as I allow outside circumstances to dampen my spirits, I ask God to sear my consciousness with the awareness that I can start my day over any time I choose, a hundred times if necessary.
Tomorrow I will need to remember this, as I am going back to court once again. This may be the last time we are to appear before the Judge. I called my lawyer today and left her a message about the letter I wrote to the Judge. I plan to give it to him/her, I don't know whether my lawyer will be on board with this decision or not, but she has to do what I want, right? As I mentioned, this just might be the final hearing, a number of things could take place...
A) The Judge could make Angel a Crown Ward, meaning she will not be coming home at all
B) He could award a further 3 - 6 months society ward ship as requested
C) A judgement could be made to send Angel back home today
I will pray tonight for the acceptance to deal with whatever the outcome may be. Tomorrow all of you will be there with me in my heart, as you all have shown such love and support to me. I am so grateful for this. It's funny that my reading today tells me to look at my motives and if I need to, I can start my 24 hour day over at any time! It is a good life I live today, a life that I am no longer ashamed of, a life in which I do my best to live honestly. I also have a life that is filled with supportive people, even though we are cyber-friends (mostly) I feel we are all on the same path (to recovery), and ya never know, one day I might wake up rich instead of just beautiful, then I can travel the world to meet you all...It seems I have been tagged again! It's not so much that I mind being tagged, it's just that I was tagged by not one, but two people! Are you done laughing yet? Perhaps I could take this as a compliment... you know, acceptance into the blogging community and stuff. I guess that if people are requesting me to list weird things about me, that my freakishness is not as apparent to the outside world as I thought! OK so it's all good I will accept the tags, as soon as I figure out if I have to now write 12 things (due to the double tagging) or only six things 'cause I'm not sure if it's in the rules that one person can be tagged twice for the same thing! Or maybe I'll request my (many) loyal readers and fans to write ONE thing each about me that you all find to be weird, I wonder if that would count towards my tag? Oh never mind, I can just hear you all saying "careful what you wish for Lushgurl". Hmmm, I'll hafta think about this one for a bit....Angel is coming back to visit on Wednesday and I'm sure that SHE can come up with a thing or two that might be considered a little weird! Can I take the 'fifth' on this, I know I'm not an American, but surely I could borrow an amendment ?
People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly! In the end, you need to choose 3 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment on their blog that says they have been tagged and to tell them to read your blog.
OK. so for the record I will be tagging MC...Lounge Daddy and ummm...Meg. Have fun everyone! I will probably post again tomorrow to let you all know how things went in court, say a prayer for me please. Yeah, and I will also do my tag thingy, tomorrow...stay tuned!
Sunday, March 11, 2007
By having quiet times each morning, we come to depend on God's help during the day, especially if we should be tempted to take a drink. And we can honestly thank Him each night for the strength He has given us. By listening to other members, by working with other alcoholics, by times of quiet meditation, our faith in God gradually becomes strong. Have I turned my drink problem entirely over to God, without reservations?
from 24 Hours a Day
I am noticing each day how much easier it is for me to keep turning it over. I was at a closed discussion meeting last week, a womens' meeting. We were reading and talking about Step one. It was a great meeting, one that I had joined in my quest to develop new and healthy relationships with women in recovery. There was really good and honest sharing going on, stuff I could certainly relate to. One woman shared how much work it was for her to feed her daily habit. As a mother with two children under the age of four, in the winter her quest for her DOC's would involve dressing two kids in their winter stuff, putting one child in a car seat , the other in a booster seat, driving to the liquor store, taking child A out of the booster seat, getting the stroller out for child B who had fallen asleep in the car, and putting child B into the stroller without waking him up! Going into the liquor store ( for less than five minutes) then doing every thing in reverse order to get back home again! Of course this was a daily routine, can you imagine the insanity of it all? I know you can!
There was another woman who I had seen get her two month chip, actually it was not that long ago. She shared about how she had been struggling lately and that she had planned to pick up a three month chip that evening, but something in the readings had caused an awakening of sorts within her. This woman had actually drank on one night and realized that even though she really wanted that three month chip, she hadn't reaaly earned it. At the end of the meeting she picked up another desire chip. I for one was very grateful that she had the courage to share about her slip and also to begin a new, honest program for herself. It showed all of us how important honesty is in the program.
A third woman , who I have seen at a few meetings, shared too. I am still trying to figure out how I felt about what she had to say. I know that when something 'sticks in my craw', it is because there is something about that person or situation, that I need to look at in myself. I am hoping by writing and sharing with you today I can figure out the lesson that is here for me to learn... This woman has been sober for just over three years (wow, amazing, I hope I will get there, I think to myself). She said how when she first entered the program she would tell everyone "I am an alcoholic!". As we all know, sometimes this information is probably better when kept to 'safe' people , as not all of the world is as accepting of us as we are! I kind of know what this is like though, in my first attempt at recovery, I told everyone, I think in part 'cause I needed somehow, to come to terms with my new identity. Today I share with some and not with others, it depends on the situation and who the person is.
This young woman had a lot of stuff going on in her life. She attends university, she has two jobs, she has a social life, you know a lot of balanced living stuff. I liked what she had and it appeared that she was working a good program. Then she said that she lived with her parents and had not told them that she was an alcoholic! OK, I am not judging (or am I?) but I just didn't get this! She said her parents were very conservative and that they just wouldn't understand how their daughter could be one of us. But then she said she thought maybe she hadn't told her parents because she felt shame by admitting she was an alcoholc. I guess I can kind of understand this, but I so don't feel that way today. The thing is, for me, if I were living with my parents I think I would feel dishonest in a way by not telling them what a big part AA was playing in my life.
When I shared I read the part of Step one that says "....first we were smitten by an insane urge that condemned us to go on drinking, and then by an allergy that insured we would ultimately destroy ourselves in the process..." So many parts of my alcoholic life were as insane as this. Like I kind of thought that nobody really knew how bad my drinking was, yeah OK!!! Everyone shows up at work with unexplainable bruises and black eyes! People at the liquor store knew my name and what I drank and even suggested new products that they thought I might enjoy! Who hasn't hit the ATM at two in the morning because they have run out of money and need more to buy more (drugs). INSANITY? I would say so!!! Oh and having my child removed from my care and continuing to drink everyday for months afterwards, if that doesn't reek of insanity then I don't know what insanity is!
For me, I don't always want to be honest, I mean if I was wrong about something I don't always want to say "I was wrong" or if I have hurt someone by my words or actions, I don't always want to admit it and ask how I could make amends. But my program teaches me to Be honest and to MAKE amends to all persons I have harmed, and if I am unwilling to do this I need to PRAY for willingness and guidance, and if I do not do these things, I know that I will drink again! Maybe that is the lesson I am to learn from this, to not be judgemental and just focus on what I need to do for me today. I shared that I am not proud necessarily to be an alcoholic, but I am definately NOT ashamed. I am so grateful that I have a program that teaches me how to live (a better and more honest life). There are a lot of 'earthlings' out there who would probably benefit greatly if they were lucky enough to be alcoholic, 'cause then they too would have a program to help fight off insanity! After the meeting a woman who had many years in the program came to me and thanked me for sharing, ME, she thanked ME! She said it was good to not be ashamed and also grateful to be an alcoholic.
It is a gorgeous and sunny day out today, and we are having a heat wave of OVER O degrees celcius (that would be 32 in farenheit, probably the only conversion I can make accurately!). I think I am going to wake my Angel up and go enjoy some fresh air and excersise. I plan to have a great day today and unless you've made other plans, I hope you too have a great day! Later all.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Every man and woman who has joined AA and intends to stick has , without realizing it, made a beginning to Step Three. Isn't it true that in all matters touching upon alcohol, each of them has decided to turn his or her life over to the care, protection, and guidance of Alcoholics Anonymous?... Any willing newcomer feels sure AA is the only safe harbor for the foundering vessel he has become. Now if this is not turning one's will and life over to a newfound Providence, then what is it?
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions pg. 35
I just cannot believe how often these daily reflections actually pertain to what is happening in my life today! I never really doubted that I had a Higher Power guiding me, although at many points along the way, I would take back the reins time and again! A safe place? Yes indeedy! When I came back to AA after many years of research (see previous posts for results of research- caution, some contents may be offensive to some viewers!), it was like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders! As soon as I walked through the doors, I felt like I had come home. I have heard many people express these same feelings over the years, and, for the most part, I thought they were on drugs or something!
For a gurl who never really 'fit in' anywhere, to find acceptance in the rooms was a life saver for me. I was greeted with smiles, handshakes, and "Welcome". People told me they were glad I came back. Uh, yeah OK. Not only was I not being thrown out on my butt, people actually seemed HAPPY to see me!!! No, I didn't require them to take any drug tests, but they didn't ask me to 'pee in a cup' either! The more meetings I attended, the more people would welcome me. I have even made some, dare I say, friends in the program. My dance card is not filled every night yet, and my phone isn't constantly ringing off the hook ( unless the Angel is here), but that is only because I have not quite got to that phase of my recovery yet. I know it WILL happen, because so many of the promise HAVE come true for me today.
So in a nut shell, here is what has been going on in my life lately... yesterday I attended another plan of care with CAS, Angel, and one of her care givers from the group home. These plans take place every three to six months to determine what the best plan of care is to be for Angel. Talk about opportunities to "turn it over"! First of all, I got there early, for those who don't know this about me, I am rarely on time, let alone be early for anything! My mom always said that I was born early and have made up for it by being late ever since! The point is, that I didn't fret about having to wait for someone else, I talked to the receptionist to pass the time, and it felt ok. I found out that she is in the program, has been for 24 years, we talked about changing our lives, it was really cool. Before (read when I was still 'out there') I probably would have paced and ranted, general impatience at the injustice of ME having to wait for someone else! Ya think maybe I turned it over?
Next on the agenda... The CAS worker arrived, we had an opportunity to talk alone, about how things were going and what the goals would be for this meeting. At one point, he said that I would need to prepare for the possibility of Angel not coming home to me. I said " I realize that this may be a possibility, however, I am doing the best I can to live in today. There is no point in me going to the worst case scenario, as that would seriously jeapardize my serenity and possibly my sobriety. I have done all I can do to get and stay sober, the rest is not in my hands". Are you hearing what I'M hearing? Yup, MY words, out of MY mouth from MY heart!!! I actually meant it too. The last time I was faced with Angels' thoughts that she may not want to come home, I almost lost it! Thank God for the program, my friends and my cyber-friends, I didn't have to use over it. I am not going THERE today! The CAS worker totally did NOT get this...but that is ok too. I am working my program, and it doesn't matter if HE gets it, just that I GET it! Turn it over, you bet I did!
At the meeting, Angel was in quite a mood, what kind you ask? A 'devilteen mood'...slightly angry, arms crossed, hating school, hating counseling, hating the other losers in the house, not caring, not wanting to be there... and how did I respond you ask? For one thing I didn't take it personally, yeah it hurt to see her hurting, but it was not MY STUFF. I told her I loved her and gave her hugs, and WHAT? Turned it over! I can't do anything to change how Angel is feeling, I can only BE there to support her and offer a shoulder for her to lean on, the rest is up to her!
After the meeting Angel confessed to me that she had used. The thing is, earlier in the week she had called me all upset because apparently one of the gurls in the house got caught with pot, or smoking pot. When questioned she said she got it from Angel. Of course Angel was angry and indignant, " mom, it wasn't mine" she said "I didn't use I swear " she said, " I can't believe that I am being blamed" she said. I suggested that if she hadn't used, and the other gurl was lying, perhaps she could volunteer a drug test, as this would show that she was sincere. But yesterday she told me that , yes, not only did she use, but she was the one who had got the stuff. And how did I deal with this revelation you ask? You guessed it! I turned it over, hey I'm beginning to see a trend here!!! Once again I told Angel I loved her and I hope she will make better choices for herself. I said it was too bad that she felt she had to use, but that I 'got that she felt she had to use' I also said if she needed to talk about it, I could just be an addict, not a mom, for the conversation. I also reminded her that she had a choice today, that counseling might help her to cope better, but again, that was HER choice.
So you see gurls and boys, the program is working for me today, I could not be more grateful. It is so good to realize that by turning it over, going to meetings, and prayer and meditation, even I can stay clean and sober today! Peace, serenity and sobriety to all of you today, I am going to go write in my gratitude book and give myself to God! Then I have some blog-stalking to do, see you soon!
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
(-41 degrees celcius) but the sun was shining and it felt great to be outdoors!
I finally figured out how to add people to my links list- ALL BY SELF!!!So if anyone sees their name linked to mine, and don't want to admit that you know me in some way, let me know and I'll remove you! (from my links, but not my life!!!) I am so proud of self, I was not only able to add people, but I saved the changes AND my links are actually WORKING...Woo Hoo for Lushgurl!
For today I would like to share with you all a letter I have written to the Judge who will decide wheather or not my Angel will be able to come back home...
I am writing this letter in support of my application to the court of a further 3 to six months Society Wardship for my daughter Angel It has been just over two years since my daughter was removed from my full-time care. In these past years I have undergone a series of changes in my life and I would ask that Your Honor take the time to read about these changes, so that you may better understand me.
My name is Lushgurl, and I am a recovering alcoholic/addict. Two years ago I was so caught up in my addiction(s) that I could not see that my life was so unmanageable. Even when my daughter was removed from my care. I already knew that I was an alcoholic/addict, but did not have the desire to stop using at the time, and a part of me thought that I wouldn’t be able to stop even if I did have the desire to do so. It took me quite some time to re-enter the journey to recovery. On October 21, 2006, I had my first clean day from cocaine. I had tried to quit before but was unsuccessful. At the time I had no intention or desire to stop drinking or using marijuana and not having my daughter with me , I found some small comfort in my using.
In April of 2006, I made a phone call to Rideauwood , they had helped me in the past, and I believed that just maybe they could help me again. In June I attended an intensive ten day treatment program, I have now been clean and sober since June 2, 2006, and on Friday March 6, I picked up my nine month chip at my ‘home group’ in AA. In the past nine months I have been given a gift of sobriety and for that I am very grateful. I had what they call in AA, a spiritual awakening, like I had never experienced before. I all of a sudden ‘got’ that I had to start to love and care for myself, or I could never truly love and care for my daughter. Today I do love and care for myself, and I would very much like the chance to be a mother to my daughter on a full time basis again.
I attend three to six meetings a week, I have a sponsor, I go to Rideauwood for counseling twice a month and I also attend a relapse prevention group there once a week. I am very much aware of my lack of credibility and cannot go back to undo any of the damage I have done. But with all the support I have in my life today, I intend to remain clean and sober for the rest of my life (one day at a time). I am currently looking for a part time job in order to become a more productive member of society. I am doing the best I can for today and want only what is best for my daughter.
At the end of June she will complete her year of High school. On June 2, I will have a full year of clean and sober living. I ask that you please consider giving my daughter and I a chance to be a full family again. I plan to continue with all of the things I am doing to improve my life. I plan to continue having my daughter attend counseling at Rideauwood too. We attend my Friday night meeting together every week and I hope that this too will continue, for me it will. I don’t know what else I can add, I hope that maybe I have given you a better insight into who I am as a human, not just as a woman who has made so many mistakes in her life and the life of my daughter. I love her with my whole self today, more than I ever have before. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
Hey everyone, I just found out that tomorrow is our sweet Meg's 14th AA birthday. Make sure you all stop by to wish her a Happy one, THANKS ALL!
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I never really gave myself credit for anything, unless of course it involved me making a mess of something. I would usually be the first person to take the blame if there was blame to be had. It took me years of therapy to 'get' that I wasn't nearly so powerful or important that I could cause all of the things that I had taken the blame for (read credit). When I was only sixteen, my father had the first of two heart attacks, and yes I alone, was directly responsible for this! You see, my dad and I had a hate/hate relationship throughout my life. I used to pray to God to take my dad thinking that my mom, my sister and I would have a much better life without him. No, you don't get it, I mean I REALLY prayed for this, I used to wish it all the time, I was sure that everyone knew what an evil person I was! So alas, when my father had his heart attack, he blamed me. Well not right away he didn't, but after, when he came home, if I was doing something that annoyed him ( which of course was daily ) he would yell " Are you TRYING to give me another heart attack?" You see, even he knew I had caused the first one! I moved away from home shortly after that so that my mom, dad and sister could have a better life without ME there.
I was so far away from being ready to be on my own at that point, I was not a mature 17 year old. The only job I ever had was babysitting. I wasn't allowed to do laundry or cook at my parents house 'cause my dad thought I would probably break something. I had never had a boy friend or dated. I guess in a lot of ways I was very sheltered (from the outside world). One of the things I did have though, was a basic mistrust of everyone and everything. I think that comes from living in an alcoholic home, you know...Thou shalt not tell the family secrets, and all that stuff. I was lucky enough to move in with an older family friend so that I could finish high school. She was a wonderful and very conservative woman, so I didn't have to worry about talking about my feelings or anything. After school ended I was lucky enough to land a job in a private sector business, it had a union, it paid really well, and they preferred to train employees to work there (read I didn't need any skills to work there). But there I was 18 years old with a very good job, my own apartment, a second hand car, and feeling very much like a fraud!
I had no idea how I had managed to appear as if I was doing OK. I always thought that THEY would realize I didn't really belong where I was and take it all away from me. Later on, the company actually did try to fire me, but of course, that is what unions' were good for! On more than one occasion, they stepped in to save my ass. So I eventually quit that job after working there for eleven years! I never saved for the future as I never thought I would have a future. I never invested any money, after all I couldn't take it with me so I spent it as fast as I earned it. I knew I never really deserved to be there, so I thought I didn't deserve any of the perks that came with working at the same job for eleven years.
Within a year and a half of geographically curing all that was wrong with me and my life, I found myself a single mom to a beautiful little daughter. She was perfect! She didn't have any horrible disfiguring features, she didn't have two horns and a tail (that came much later LOL), and every where we went people would stop us to ' talk' to debaby! She was smart, she was happy, she deserved to have a mom and dad together, she deserved to not live in poverty, she deserved the best in life, and clearly, that was NOT ME! You all know the rest in a nut shell, the details are not that important. Suffice it to say that I never believed that I was worthy of any thing good in my life.
To be honest and give myself some credit, I have really worked hard this past year to put things back together in my life. I know that achieving 9 months of sobriety is indeed a miracle, for any alcoholic. Certainly for me, I couldn't even imagine staying sober for one week at this time last year. But the program of AA, the fellowship my Higher Power, and of course all of YOU, have helped me to get where I am today, I am so incredibly grateful for this gift. Naturally though, when things go too well for me, I start to feel kind of strange. For the most part I have been able to just accept the many gifts sobriety has given me, and to share the feelings that have come up for me. I have prayed for guidance to do His Will, I have attended many meetings and still see a counsellor a couple times a month. I know I am doing the best I can for today, I could probably do better, but I am striving for progress , not perfection!
Last night we were having a pretty bad snow storm, so my Angel did not come. I haven't seen her for two weeks now and I miss her terribly and I was hoping she could be there to see me get my 9 month chip, but she couldn't be. One of my closest friends had made other plans for the evening too, so she was not going to be there either. Throughout the day, as I would check on my blog, it seemed the well wishes were just pouring in! I laughed, I cried and I almost didn't go to my meeting last night! I had started to get a little depressed. Don't get me wrong, I was so very happy to see all of the beautiful comments to my post, but I guess, in a way, I was also feeling a little guilty. I had never received so many comments in my life (or birthday cards for that matter). Then my 'shitty committee' started going to work in my head, quietly at first, but louder and louder the closer it got to 8:00. Ya know what it was saying? "sure it's easy for all of those people to reach out to you, they don't really know you. If they did, you wouldn't have heard a word. If you really mattered then your daughter and your friend would be here to celebrate this with you. Fraud, loser, undeserving one!"
I could hardly believe what I was saying to myself! I did go to the meeting after all. It was an amazing young man who had such wisdom and humility, and HE congratulated ME, when I went to thank him after the meeting. I got lots of hugs, which I really needed ( as much as I love cyber hugs, I still need to feel a body once in a while!). I did get my 9 month chip, and it was my sponsor who gave it to me. I made a commitment last night to myself, in order to fight off the 'shitty committee' and the ever sleeping addict within me. I am going to do what others' before me have done, I am going back to Step One in the 12 X 12, I have heard it suggested to read it every day for thirty days, and if you miss a day, you have to start at day one again. Last night the speaker shared that it had taken him about eighty days to get through thirty days in a row of Step One!! So, I am writing this to you to keep myself accountable! Any one care to join me? I figure the worst that could happen is that I will TOTALLY GET IT no matter how long it takes me! And besides, I realized how very much I really liked getting all those comments to my humble post and I want that again! So, despite MY best efforts, and with a lot of help from all of you and my Higher Power, I AM GOING TO MAKE IT TO MY YEAR (cake anyone?) One day at a time!
I know this is a really long post, and I kind of apologize for that, but I HAVE to share my daily meditations with you... Peace for now...
So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must or it kills us!
Alcoholics Anonumous pg. 62
For so many years my life revolved solely around myself. I was consumed with self in all forms- self-centeredness, self-pity, self-seeking, all of which stemmed from pride. Today I have been given the gift, through the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous, of practicing the Steps and Traditions in my daily life, of my group and sponsor, and the capacity -if I so choose- to put my pride aside in all situations which arise in my life.
Until I could honestly look at myself and see that I was the problem in many situations and react appropriately inside and out; until I could discard my expectations and understand that my serenity was directly proportional to them, I could not experience serenity and sound sobriety.
I swear you guys, I do not read the meditations before I post them but it always seems to relate to the problems of my day!!! Coincidence- say it with me now- WE THINK NOT!!!
Thursday, March 01, 2007
OK, so I have shared before about the job I had last year and how I didn't want to quit working there to go into treatment because surely without ME, the business would close. Do any of you remember? Any way, I know that really I was just looking for an excuse to not go to treatment, and I know that YOU already knew that too right? I guess in that I am not actually all that different! HHMMMPPHHH! The point is though that I somehow got to the point where even though I loved my job, some stuff took place that allowed me to see things from a different perspective...
A) after running the Deli by myself for over a month, we finally hired a new employee (at my request)
B) I trained said employee and gave kudos about her to my boss, thought I had made the right decision
C) I still loved my job, did it very well and heard complaints about 'other gurl' which I handled to the best of my ability
D) I gave MYSELF the title of Ass't Manager, without a pay raise 'cause I was more important than other gurl!
E) Other gurl became annoyed and joined bosses' gurlfriend for Bitch Olympics
F) I called staff meeting to address issues
G) Boss DEMOTED me and took away one of my shifts
H) I pulled a hissy fit and quit with only three days notice... surely Boss would see errors of his ways and beg me to not quit and offer me a pay raise to stay!
I) didn't get offered pay raise, didn't get begged to stay, found myself without a job!
J) drank myself into oblivion for the next two months... boo hoo poor me!!!
K) decided to call Rideauwood treatment program to get sober, at long last
L) found out that Deli did indeed close in May HAH I knew they needed me!
M) attended treatment in June....woohooo
N) have been trudging the road of recovery ever since
OK, so I think you get the picture huh? The thing is I will probably never know exactly why the Deli closed but my over-inflated ego is convinced that it is because I left. There were many times that I felt very guilty about how I quit and the fact that the Deli was no longer around. I even considered calling the boss and begging him to give me another chance to make it work. Thankfully I had many people around to point out how insane this idea actually would be! My boss was my pot dealer, I usually got paid in product if ya know what I mean, and with all the pay advances to buy my alcohol, I would end up owing him at the end of every month...not just a little f-ed up I'd say!
Fast forward to February 28 2007.... I am out paying bills and picking up stuff I need for the month. This USED to include a trip to the liquor store to celebrate, you know, nothing in particular, but since I had extra money at the end of the month, what better to spend it on than extra booze? So in my travels yesterday, I am in the vicinity of the liquor store and up until a couple of months ago, I still got the thought in my head of an old tradition, never acted on it, but still, it would be there in my head! To my amazement though THE LIQUOR STORE IS CLOSED!!! I actually laughed out loud when I discovered this! I don't regularily question that my HP is working in my life, but come on!!!! I wasn't even a little sad about my dicovery, instead I felt kind of relieved. I used to walk to the liquor store to save on bus fare, sometimes I would order it to be delivered if I was feeling rich. It was so close by, easy access, I could partake in my purchases on the way home, a good deal all around. When I finally did quit drinking I told myself " If you can walk to the liquor store in a snow storm, then you have no excuse to not get to a meeting" and this works for me, and in fact, most of the meetings I go to are closer than the liquor store was!
So it seems that as usual my Higher Power has seen fit to remind me that for me, AA IS THE EASIER SOFTER WAY! I might even venture out with a couple of resume's today 'cause the novelty of being broke all the time is not what it once was (read it sucks to wake up so poor everyday!)
Daily reflections for today...
It works, it really does
Alcoholics Anonymous pg.88
When I got sober I initially had faith only in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Desperation and fear kept me sober (and maybe a caring and/or tough sponsor helped!) Faith in a Higher Power came much later. This faith came slowly at first, after I began listening to others share at meetings about their experiences- experiences that I had never faced sober, but they were facing with strength from a Higher Power. Out of their sharing came hope that I too would- and could- "get" a Higher Power. In time, I learned that a Higher Power, a faith that works under all conditions- is possible. Today this faith, plus an honesty, open mindedness and a willingness to work the steps of the Program, gives me the serenity that I seek. It works- it really does!
In my part of the world March is 'in like a lamb' so I think I'll go and enjoy another gorgeous day out doors.... Have a great one too Y'all!
I just had to come back to add, that I am crying tears of gratitude and joy right now, after doing some more blog-stalking. I realize how incredibly blessed I am today, with all my new friends who love and care for each other so very much. THIS is what makes it all worthwhile!!!
cyber *GROUP HUGS* TO all