Saturday, June 30, 2007


I am not sure where I found this quote, but think it is beautiful none the less..
" Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for the stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved, but for the patience to win my freedom."

Today feels like just another day. Yesterday I was feeling very stressed, as is common for me at the beginnning of the month. I am on disability right now, because of my panic disorder and depression, although I am able to work part time, I have not yet found a job. So once a month when my cheque arrives, I feel rich, that is until I have paid my bills, and bought groceries and usually there is not much left over for the rest of the month. I think for the most part I deal pretty well with having very little money, and I try to always be grateful to have "everything I need, and then some". I guess part of what is stressing me out this month is that my AAngel is turning sweet (or not so sweet) 16 on July 26th. She is not a greedy child by nature, so she has not requested the moon and stars to be delivered to her, but, as a teenager, it is becoming more difficult to choose gifts that she will actually want or like. And I am not flush with funds either, so that makes it even more challenging for me... This year there will be no party, and she said she doesn't want one. There will be a cake and the two of us and maybe a gift or two, and I think we will be alone at my moms' trailor in the semi-wilderness. So that is the best I can do for today.

Tomorrow is Canada's Birthday,*** don't ask me how old we are, 'cause I don't know! But we will venture out to down town Ottawa, to grapple with the swarms of the drunk and disorderly and hopefully get to see the fireworks display! AAngel and I haven't done this together for many years. When I was still drinking, she usually would be with friends or her dad, and when I wasn't drinking, it was usually too overwhelming for me to be around all those people so we never went to see the fireworks. As I am trying to do things differently today, I will go and have fun, dammit!!! I am not going to worry about tomorrow, I am going to stay in today, and today we are going shopping together, and the having a nice dinner. I have no idea what the rest of the weekend holds in store, but more shall be revealed! To all you Americans I hope you have a safe , sober and Happy 4th of July. I will try to catch up with you all in the next few days...until then, keep coming back- 'cause I love you's all!!!!

***Apparently, Canada is turning 140... that information being supplied by one of my American friends!!! Thank you to Granny for cluing me in...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

hAApy hAAlf nAAked thursdAAY to all!

I grew this raspberry all by see more hAAlf nAAked fun click here...

Here is a reading from As Bill Sees it, chose by randomly opening the book, to see if He has a message for me...

We do not relate intimate experiences of another member unless we are sure he would approve. We find it better, when possible, to stick to our own stories. A man may critisize or laugh at himself and it will affect others favorably, but critisism or ridicule aimed at someone else often produces the contrary effect.

A continuous look at our assets and liabilities, and a real desire to learn and grow by this means are necessities for us. We alcoholics have learned this the hard way. More experienced people, of course, in all times and places have practiced unsparing self-survey and critisism. pg 151

After I moved away from my parents home when I was 17, I would still go home for Sunday dinner. I enjoyed the chance to spend time with my family, and my moms' great cooking. One thing I did not enjoy though, was that more often than not, my dad, my brother-in-law and my sister would pick on me. I think, at the time, it was not meant to hurt, but invariably, I did feel hurt. The joking around would often take on a slightly cruel theme. They were merciless, and although it may have been tongue-in-cheek humour, it taught me a lesson about 'taking someone elses inventory'. Today, when I hear someone share at meetings, I get annoyed when I hear them talk in "you's". In treatment, I was taught to speak in "I" statements, and I find this is a much better practice for discussing my story, my feelings or my actions.

Today I am grateful for the following...

  • to have another day clean and sober
  • the predicted thunder storms missed us last night
  • I have managed to grow a few (edible) raspberries in my garden
  • new Asian lilies have bloomed today- white with yellow centers
  • my Tiger lilies have begun to bloom
  • AAngel is here for another five days
  • everyday I have the opportunity to learn more about me
  • everyday I have the opportunity to learn more about you
  • for all the things we have in common
  • for each and every recovery peep...that means YOU!

...and if ya enjoyed the first raspberry, here's another one!


Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Here are a couple more garden pics, the first is a new delphiniu ms and the second, my garden angel surrounded by ground cover, wait until you see it bloom, the ground cover I mean...
...And if you can believe this, I have not much to say today! So I will share todays Daily Reflection reading with you...

For most normal folks, drinking means conviviality, companionship and colourful imagination. It means release from care, boredom and worry. It is joyous intimacy with friends and a feeling that life is good.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg.151

The longer I chased these elusive feelings with alcohol, the more out of reach they were. However, by applying this passage to my sobriety, I found that it described the magnificent new life made available to me by the AA program. "It" truly does "get better" one day at a time. The warmth, the love and the joy so simply expressed in those words grow in breath and depth each time I read it. Sobriety is a gift that grows with time.

So, reading the first part of the above, it didn't take me long to see that I was never normal in my drinking days! Today, I call those who can drink 'normally' earthlings (see Lushisms!). Sometimes I was 'convivial' when drinking, but mostly I drank alone for a number of reasons-
1) I never knew when I would blackout, making a fool of myself
2) I didn't want to have to share my booze with anyone
3) I often drank just to pass out, not a very social thing to do
4) I obsessed too much about the sad state of running out of booze, making me very cranky!
5) my life sucked, so why would I even consider being around others

Yup, it's true, I was not usually a very sociable person in my drinking days, and yes I lived under the illusion that maybe, if I drank enough, my pathetic life would take on new meaning. It just never seemed to happen though, and when I realized that all of my days were eerily resembling the one before, and the one before that etc., I decided to try AA once again. This, at last, has brought me to a place of peace. Not all of my days feel great, but even my worst day today is better than my best day drinking, cliche, I know, but true none the less! Here are just some of the things I am grateful for today...
  • to be clean and sober once again

  • to have days where I actually want to be around people

  • I had enough laundry soap left to finish my washing

  • to have everything I need, and then some

  • to have summer clothes that fit me- it's going to be about 100 farenheit today!

  • I actually invested in a fan this year!

  • for the two appoinments I have today, which will get me out of the house

  • for the friends I can visit today without leaving my house- that means YOU!

I'll be busy today, but I promise I'll be by to stalk to y'all soon....

Sunday, June 24, 2007


These are pictures of AAngel and Toughguy, on a rare occasion when he allowed her to cuddle with him!

Technically it is Sunday morning, so I thought I'd start to post since I haven't since Wednesday! I just don't know where the week has gone! I have been busy, so I know that's part of it, but gee, I remember Monday like it was yesterday, and here it is almost Monday again! First thing this morning I was supposed to meet with my sponsor to discuss Step Two. I was looking forward to this, we are getting along quite well and she is very smart. I didn't make it to our meeting though 'cause it was at 9:30 and I slept in!

I've heard that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing and expecting different results". I can definately see how my disease caused much insanity in my life. When I chaired my home group on Friday, I shared how I probably was an alcoholic from the first time I drank in earnest. I was plagued by blackouts very early on. I found them to be terrifying, but then I also thought that blackouts just happened whenever people drank! I continued drinking for about 10 years before someone clued me in to the fact that no, not everyone had blackouts, but did I quit drinking? No of course not, because I kept hoping that I wouldn't have another blackout. After spending years sober and in the program, I relapsed, I remember thinking that maybe I would be able to drink normally, since I hadn't drank at all for so many years. I was wrong! So I returned to AA again, and a few years later embarked on another drinking expedition...different day, same results. Insanity, yup, I've been there!!!

Here is today's Daily Reflection reading...
We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are enabled to get over drinking and find the grace to go on living to better effect.
As Bill Sees It pg. 95

When I came to AA, I was run down by the bottle and wanted to lose the obsession to drink, but I didn't really know how to do that. I decided to stick around long enough to find out from the ones who went before me. All of a sudden I was thinking about God! I was told to get a Higher Power and I had no idea what one looked like. I found out there are many Higher Powers. I was told to find God, as I understand Him, that there was no doctrine of the Godhead in AA. I found that Power to restore me to sanity. The obsession to drink was removed and- one day at a time- my life went on, and I learned how to live sober.

Once again I am struck with awe that this reading has to do with restoring me to sanity, isn't that what I am working on today? So, here is what I am gratefuil for today..
  • a loving God who sends me messages when I least expect them
  • a really good sleep after a very tiring week

  • my sponsor who forgave me for sleeping in this AM, we are meeting on Tuesday instead

  • for all of the delicious salads I have been eating this week

  • more blooms in my garden- pictures are coming!

  • I've been too tired/busy to blog-stalk y'all, but you're all still here!

  • I've not been too tired/busy to get to my meetings

  • my AAngel has been with me since Tuesday, and we are getting along very well

  • my AAngel gives the BEST hugs in the world, if or when I meet any of you for real, I can show you how she hugs!

  • to be more accepting of myself today

  • I am clean and sober today

  • YOU are clean and sober today.....Here I come, see you soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Just in case you were wondering, this week I am working on Step Two. My sponsor has asked me to read it everyday this week, making note of anything that comes up for me while doing so. As I was reading, I kept thinking of my post title, and how a friend in the program described Step Two. He said. first he just came to meetings, his mind still a little foggy from all the years of drinking and using, not much could get in, and what did manage to penetrate his brain cells was just as quickly forgotten. After several months of regular attendance, the fog started to lift, he called this "coming to", as one who has been in a coma of sorts. He started to realize all of the things in life he had been missing while inibriated, and not just the outside stuff, but the feelings that had gone unfelt for so long. Coming to indeed! A while later, he started to hear people share how they had not done this alone, it was by turning to a Power greater than themselves that alcoholics found the strength and courage to stay sober One Day at a Time. This has always stayed with me, through the years when I was out doing more research into the evils of my disease. And for me just knowing that He was out there waiting for me to come back home, made it somewhat easier this third, and last time around in recovery.

Last night I attended a medallion night at Rideauwood, the facility where I attended treatment and where I go for relapse prevention and counselling. You could feel the serenity in the room, the joy was palpable, and the gratitude expressed by all who shared and received medallions for completing one year in the program. The folks at Rideauwood truly saved my life, I have no doubt that , had they not taken me back, I would surely not be here posting today. Here is today's Daily Reflection reading, for those who want to read it...

The problem of resolving fear has two aspects. We shall have to try for all the freedom from fear that is possible for us to attain. Then we shall need to find both the courage and grace to deal constructively with whatever fear remains.
As Bill Sees It pg. 61

Most of my decisions were based on fear. Alcohol made life easier to face, but the time came when alcohol was no longer an alternative to fear. One of the greatest gifts in AA for me has been the courage to take action, which I can do with God's help. After five years of sobriety I had to deal with a heavy dose of fear. God put the people in my life to help me do that and, through my working the Twelve Steps, I am becoming the whole person I wish to be and for that, I am deeply grateful.

On that note I will say bye for now, I have not been stalking y'all like I used to, and a really good friend mentioned it to me last night. I don't know who had the presence of mind to teach me how to link to you guys, but now I have no excuses, like I lost your number! I have a lot of reading to catch up on! Love you ALL!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


"Deep down within us"... We found the Great Reality. In the last analysis it is only there that He may be diligently within yourself.... With this attitude you cannot fail. The consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 55

It was out of the depths of loneliness, depression and despair that I sought the help of AA. As I recovered and began to face the emptiness and ruin of my life, I began to open myself to the possibility of the healing that recovery offers through the AA program. By coming to meetings, staying sober , and taking the Steps, I had the opportunity to listen with increasing attentiveness in the depths of my soul. Daily I waited, in hope and gratitude, for that sure belief and steadfast love I had longed for in my life. I met my God, as I understand Him.

That is the Daily Reflection reading for today, and I am loving it. I find that it so accurately reflects alot of the emotions that I have been feeling the last week or so. Although I can honestly say that I was not in the depths of depression or despair, I well remember feeling that way not so very long ago. Last week I was feeling lonely though, and thanks to my meetings and my blogger friends, it did pass. All the hecticness passed too. The speaker I heard on Friday night had such a powerful message, and I felt my head going like a bobble-head doll as she spoke of all the terrible feelings that were in her life. She shared how the drinking at first would make the feelings go away, and then they'd come back even stronger, mixed with remorse and regret and guilt, and she would drink even more to erase them. The feelings of uselessness, and wanting to die and just not wanting to be....anymore.

I liked how she shared of her first AA meeting, and how she thought "these people actually know what I'm feeling". How true I find this to be. We may all look different on the outsides, we come from various financial backgrounds, we can be found all over the world, speaking hundreds of languages. But when a willing alcoholic open their heart to learn how to live again, they usually feel as if they have come home... at least thet is how it was for me. The speaker went on to tell how she learned to trust, and to love and to find a Power greater than herself. She spoke at length about all of the gifts the program gave her, and of all of the friends she has made. It was a message of hope, to hear about where she started and where she ended up. To know this beautiful, brave young woman today one has to have faith in this wonderful program.

Today I am grateful for the following...
  • to be clean and sober...and even happy
  • to have a great weekend of love and sharing with AAngel
  • the Maven and her strength to have 16 years sober
  • all of the flowers that God has helped me to grow
  • to know that I meet the requirements for AA membership
  • to be at peace today
  • to look forward to tomorrow
  • for my safe and loving home
  • to have spoken to my sponsor, who gave me 'homework' and I have no resentments!
  • for all of AA, all over the world
  • each and every single one of YOU...

Stalk to ya later y'all! Bubbles Oh and before I forget...


Thursday, June 14, 2007


I had a new visiter to my blog today, and he sounds like an alcoholic in pain. He's new in recovery and is dealing with some painful stuff. I'm quite sure that all of us have enough love to help out a newcomer...why not drop by and welcome him to blogland...

My sponsor gave me this butterfly charm for my birthday, in the card she wrote "The butterfly is the symbol of transformation, all that we become on our journey of sobriety. I wish you many colours!"

Well, I did it again, I missed hAAlf nAAked Thursday, I'm gonna hafta get my act together or I may be kicked out! The thing is, I've been feeling kinda stuck... I know that you guys know what this is like 'cause we are, after all, alcoholics. I was talking to a gurl that I was in treatment with and she sensed that I was not myself. She said what many others have shared, that I am experiencing post-year let down. Well, nobody told me THAT when I was getting up to receive my medallion!!! I know, nobody told me it was all gonna be cherries and cream, but come on...don't ya know I'm special??? OK, seriously now, 'cause I don't want you to hurt yourselves laughing at MY expense... I think maybe I need a good kick in the butt, and that's probably why I haven't been making phone calls or posting much. But don't tell anyone I said that, and if you do, I'll just deny it anyway. Oh crap, I forgot, I'm putting this out there for the world to see... I guess I'll bend over now LOL!

Better late than never, here is a reading from "As Bill Sees It", randomly opened to see if good old HP is paying attention to me today...

We have ceased fighting anything or anyone, even alcohol. For by this time sanity has returned. We can now react sanely and normally, and we find that this has happened almost automatically. We see that this new attitude toward liquor is really a gift of God.

That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky, nor are we afraid.

That is how we react-so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition. pg. 121

Hahahaha... I had to laugh when I read about the sanity part, because I am not exactly feeling sane right now, but I know...this too shall pass! Today I am grateful for the following...
  • they say my sanity will be restored

  • to be clean and sober today

  • to be able to "feel" all of my feelings

  • nobody has kicked me outta AA...yet!

  • my friend the Maven is celebrating 16 years on Friday (I made the cake)

  • I do not have any cravings for alcohol or drugs today

  • my sense of humour has returned

  • my ability to love has returned

  • I know how to "let go and let God", I just need to practice it more

  • for all of you 'oldtimers' and 'newcomers' that keep coming back here!

So that's it for now, because I have some blog-stalking to catch up on...

Shy Whistler

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Well, it's kinda hard to have a pity party when the flowers are bloomin' like this! My Asian Lilies have started to bloom, I'd have to say they are my absolute favourites, I have about five different colours of Asians, and they all bloom at different times! Of course I say they are my favorites until the next flowers bloom, and then the new ones are my favorites... I am such an alcoholic Huh? One thing I know for sure is that no matter how icky I've been feeling, I didn't drink, and that is cause for celebration in my world, I'll pass on the cake though, I've been living on ice cream to help me through my misery!!! So back to the business of living clean and sober, here is today's Daily Reflection reading...

Years of living with an alcoholic is sure to make any (husband) wife or child neurotic. The entire family is, to some extent, ill.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 122

It is important for me to realize that, as an alcoholic, I not only hurt myself, but also those around me. Making amends to my family, and to the families of alcoholics still suffering, will always be important. Understanding the havoc I created and trying to repair the destruction, will be a life long endeavor. The example of my sobriety may give others hope, and faith to help themselves.

Yes, I understand the insanity of living in an alcoholic home. And all of the times I waited for the next worse thing to happen, because I knew in my heart that it could always get worse... Today I pray to stay sober and to help my family and friends heal from the disease of alcoholism, that they were exposed to by my drinking. Today I am grateful for the following...
  • to wake up rich in sobriety- thanks Meg!
  • my new blooming garden
  • I haven't had to water the blooming garden, God has done that for me- thanks MC
  • to not have to remember how bad it was before I quit drinking- thanks Pammie
  • to know that as long as I don't drink, my life will just get better
  • to find that ice cream as a substitute, is still better than drinking
  • to not have to use ice cream as a substitute today!
  • I chose to not wake up crabby today- shhhhh- she's still sleeping!
  • for all the reminders of how good my life really is
  • I have everything I need and then some
  • ALL of you who still came to visit when I was so crabby!!
  • today will be a good day, because I will work on having it so
  • for all of YOU and you, and you too!

Have a great day y'all, unless you've made OTHER plans!!! MUAH -thanks Sober Chick!

Monday, June 11, 2007


I'm still tired and still a little crabby, that's why I haven't posted for a couple of days. I did talk to my therapist today, and she said it made perfect sense to her. Glad to know my misery has its' place! LOL! Apparently this is quite common to have post-party let down, you know like the big climb up the roller coaster and then the whole thing breaks down... She asked me what my plans were for the next year, and I replied just more of the same, staying sober One Day at a Time, more to uncover and discover about me, having my AAngel come back home, and of course that nasty little matter of the job search! And NO, in case you were wondering, I have not heard back from Walmart, I guess God has planned for me to wake up rich instead of just beautiful tomorrow. LOL!

The best I can do for today will have to be enough, and so today, I am grateful for the following...

  • I actually made it into my second year of sobriety
  • I have a counsellor who "gets" me
  • no news can be viewed as no bad news
  • it was a gorgeous, hot and sunny day today
  • by the end of the week I will have new blooms in my garden
  • there is still much I have to learn
  • there are things that I can teach others
  • to have a peaceful weekend with AAngel
  • not every day has to be chaotic and full
  • I have everything I need today and then some
  • my HP must have better plans for me than mine would have been
  • all of my friends and family in recovery... YES, that means YOU!

Talk To You Later!
I Love You

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Awww more applause, no more gettin' up to collect another chip of pretty colours, no more cake...bittersweet, sad, and very freakin' thankful, now that my first celebration is done!!! I was having a day big time yesterday. Emotions were rolling like a coaster! I went from the poor mes to the "I don't care to celebrate today" to WOW, all these prizes, for ME? Looking back to other first medallion nights for me was an awakening of sorts. I have often said that this is my third and hopefully my last one year. I do know that I have never worked so hard to get any kind of self before, I just pray that I can remember to keep my program focused on TODAY for all of the days to come. Various people shared their views of me when I first came back, and I warned them all, if you can't say something nice... but for me the concensus seemed to be that I had changed! ME, different! Figure that one out! Was I EVER not in a good mood (don't hurt yourself ROFLAO) did I ever give the impression that I wasn't in this for ME? Am I getting a tattoo of Eeyore on my big old butt for my belly button day? Yes, yes and yes!!!

It really is a miracle when He can pluck the likes of me from the depths of depression and hopelessness and despair and plunk me serenely down in a new reality. It is for me a reality of enormous gratitude and noticing all of the good things in life. It is for me a reality filled with loving people, a sponsor who calls me almost everyday, and a child who said " My name is AAngel, I'm not sure if I'm an alcoholic yet!". she shared how she has seen me relapse in the past, but that she believed this time was for real. She said she was proud of me and that she loved me (in public even!) She read the promises for us last night and I was so proud to share this celebration with her. After the meeting I gave her my second one year medallion to hold on to, I was 6 months pregnant with her at that time.

And so for today, here is the Daily Reflection, and once again, I'm sure my HP will have an appropriate message for all of us...

First we try living in the now just in order to stay sober- and it works. Once the idea has become a part of our thinking, we find that living life in 24-hour segments is an effective and satisfying way to handle many other matters as well.
Living Sober pg. 7

"One Day At A Time". To a newcomer this and other one-liners of AA may seem ridiculous. The passwords of the AA fellowship can become lifelines in moments of stress. Each day can be like a rose unfurling according to the plan of a Power greater than myself. My program should be planted in the right location, just as it will need to be groomed, nourished, and protected from disease. My planting will require patience, and my realizing that some floweres will be more perfect than others. Each stage of the petals' unfolding can bring wonder and delight if I do not interfere or let my expectations override my acceptance- and this brings serenity.

So with
that, all my fellows, I am going to watch new petals unfurl in my garden, without interfering, and have a better day than yesterday...Hope you all have one too!

Friday, June 08, 2007


This week has been a hurry up and wait week! I am so tired, I feel out of sorts. Thank God I have my meetings and all of my blogger buds to help keep me focused on today! Tonight I will actually celebrate my B-day at my home group, there will be a medallion, and a cake, and I have chosen a speaker, but I don't know what to wear!!! And today I hear Pam say "It doesn't matter what you wear, just as long as you show up!" She has posted a week of letters to her still sick self just before finding recovery. It is painful to read, and I feel the lonliness and desperation in every word, but I have seen that miracles happen, because of who Pam is today. Please visit her here...

Here is todays Daily Reflection...

Self-searching is the means by which we bring new vision, action, and grace to bear upon the dark and negative side of our natures. With it comes the development of that kind of humility that makes it possible for us to receive God's help.... we find that bit by bit we can discard the old life- the one that did not work- for a new life that can and does work under any condition whatever.

As Bill Sees It pg.10,8

I have been given a daily reprieve contingent upon my spiritual condition provided I seek progress, not perfection. To become ready for change, I practice willingness, opening myself to possibilities of change. If I realize there are defects that hinder my usefullness in AA and toward others, I become ready by meditating and receiving direction. "some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely" (Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 58) To let go and let God, I need only surrender my old ways to Him; I no longer fight nor do I try to control, but simply believe that, with God's help, I am changed and affirming this belief makes me ready. I empty myself to be full of awareness, light and love, and I am ready to face each day with hope.

I had goosebumpies typing out these last few words as I realize that the title of my post is "Running on empty"...coincidence? WE THINK NOT!!!

Today I am grateful for the following...

  • I started today out empty, and now He has filled me up!
  • to be clean and sober today
  • tonight He may use me to show a new(er)comer how it really works
  • my Angel has agreed to read the promises for us tonight
  • I get to have celebratory cake! -want some?
  • waking up at 7:30 is beginning to suck less!
  • just for today I am where I am supposed to be
  • even though I missed HNT, the party went on without me!
  • I have everything I need today, and then some
  • for each and everyone of YOU - you make my mornings worthwhile!
  • to be able to love self and others today...

Hope each and everyone finds themselves full of the good stuff today!!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I have had a busy week so far! On Monday I had to go to another plan of care for Angel as we begin to re-integrate her home. When I first arrived, the Children's Aid worker said "I heard you had a rough weekend". I told him that yes, it had started that way, but the rest of my weekend was great! I wish I could have captured his disbelief on film, I almost laughed ! I then attempted to explain to him how I was learning to care for self and that when Angel had her melt-down with all the accompanying abuse and other behaviours, I chose to care for me and send her home! It dawned on me, when talking to a friend yesterday, that he just doesn't "get" the program. With all of the apprehensions he does, taking children out of homes of alcoholic or drug addicted parents, he has no idea about the recovery process! My friend pointed out that he probably viewed my taking care of me as at the expense of Angels' well being. I'm sure that it did come across that way, but that is so not how I meant it...

If only he knew what it has taken for me to get to where I am. If only he knew how I struggle still with all of the guilt that comes from being sober and remembering all the times when I was truly selfish and unavailable to my precious child. If only he knew that by setting a boundary, and imposing a consequence, I am trying to teach Angel that I do love her, and I love me, so I owe it to both of us to treat her mom with love and respect and self care first... But he doesn't know any of this I guess. He asked me what I will do if Angel engages in these behaviours when she is with me more often, and I no longer have the option of 'sending her back'. I told him that I had faith that we are learning to stay out of each others' way, and by taking 'time out' away from each other, we would calm down enough to talk through the problem. I had lots of people to call who love and support me in my life, people who "get" the program and can help me to stay focused. People who can remind me to not try to change Angel, but show her that I will not tolerate some behaviours by staying strong.He said that that might help me not to drink, but what about the parenting issues? He doesn't understand how much this program teaches us about life, parenting, job hunting, indeed all of the things that we need, to live better lives. Today, I am OK with his ignorance.

After the POC, I went to Walmart to pick up a few things, and I left my name on a list of people interested in employment. Yesterday I got a call to go in for an information session. There were four of us, we were given applications and reference pages, and had an initial interview, I feel it went quite well. I didn't know that I would be interviewed then, but I think I showed my enthusiasm to work at Walmart, more shall be revealed! If they are interested, I will hear from them by the end of the week for a final interview... Hello, my name is Lushgurl, how may I help you today? Tonight is relapse prevention group and then a big celebration at one of my favourite AA groups. One of the men who is celebrating 13 years, is the one who will present me with my medallion at my celebration on Friday. I can hardly wait!

And speaking of making changes in self, and self-care, here is todays Daily Reflection...

Can He now take them all- every one ?

Alcoholics Anonymous pg.76

In doing Step Six it helped me a lot to remember that I am striving for "spiritual progress". Some of my character defects may be with me for the rest of my life, but most of them have been toned down or eliminated. All that Step Six asks of me is to become willing to name my defects, claim them as my own, and be willing to discard the ones I can, just for today. As I grow in the program, many of my defects become more objectionable to me than previously and, therefore, I need to repeat Step Six so that I can become happier with myself and maintain my serenity.

You Rock, Mom

You guys rock too! Have a wonderful Wednesday every one of you!

Monday, June 04, 2007


I saw this quote at Capucine's place, in the comments box, it touched a chord within me...

"I believe in the sun when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I feel it not. I believe in God even when he is silent. " ~written on the wall of a concentration camp

One of the very best parts of recovery for me is the ability to have faith, no matter what happens around me. To feel love for others, and to know I too am loved, even when I feel angry or hurt or confused. The ability to see all of the miracles in my life, and to allow them to stay...I am feeling just so...mushy? I had such a great weekend! Yeah, I know, it started out kind of rough, but I also know there was a reason for that. Saturday, I had time to reflect on my life and Angels' life. I had the opportunity to talk to other women, who, had Angel been here, I may not have spoken to. I had a chance to just be me, to love me, even though I was not feeling very lovable. On Sunday, I had the opportunity to meet with my 'new sponsor'. What an amazing little woman! She wanted to hear all about me, how I got to where I am today. She wanted to hear about my relapses, my childhood, my relationships...all of it.

We went for a walk along the Ottawa River. It was a beautiful, hot day, and we sat under a big tree in the shade and talked for hours. She asked me to read Step One aloud, and we talked about what it meant to us. She helped me to see things that I couldn't see for myself. She shared about her recovery, and parts of her life that brought her to where she is. She didn't judge me or take issue with any thing I said. She just listened and asked questions and shared the parts of her life that were relevant. I felt so free and loved, and so very grateful that I finally found the courage to ask her to be my 'new sponsor'. After we were finished she gave me a big hug and thanked ME! She told me that she felt like we had a good fit, and looked forward to working with me. What a wonderful gift to receive for my 1st AA birthday. I loved how she would make suggestions to me like " I don't want to tell you to call me everyday..." and of course I heard myself commit to do just that! WOW, me, getting better today...

Here is todays Daily Reflection, care to read it aloud with me?...

Carefully reading the first five proposals we ask if we have omitted anything, for we are building an arch through which we shall walk a free (wo)man at last... Are we now ready to let God remove from us all of the things which we have admitted are objectionable?
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 75, 76

The Sixth Step is the last "preparation" Step. Although I have made no formal request of my Higher Power in the first Six Steps. I have identified my problem, came to believe that there is a solution, and have "cleaned house". I now ask: "Am I willing to live a life of sobriety, of change, to let go of my old self?" I must determine if I am truly ready to change. I review what I have done and become willing for God to remove all of my defects of character; for in the next Step, I will say to my creator I am willing and will ask for help. If I have been thorough in the preparation of my foundation and feel that I am willing to change, I am then ready to continue with the next Step. "If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing" (Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 76)

Today I am grateful for the following...
  • I am clean and sober and willing to remain so
  • my 'new sponsor' will kick my ass if she feels I need it
  • Angel and I spoke at length last night- I think she is beginning to heal
  • for all of the calm times after the storms
  • to have everything I need and then some
  • for all of the blessings I can see today
  • for all of YOU

3D Prom QueenThis is me- Happy, Joyous, and Free, anyone care to dance?

Sunday, June 03, 2007


This is a picture of me a year and a day do ya like me now? And here is todays Daily Reflection...

... we then look at Step Six. We have emphasized willingness as being indispensible.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 76

Steps Four and Five were difficult, but worthwhile. Now I was stuck on Step Six and, in despair, I picked up the Big Book and read this passage. I was outside, praying for willingness, when I raised my eyes and saw a huge bird rising in the sky. I watched it suddenly give itself up to the powerful air currents of the mountains. Swept along, swooping and soaring, the bird did things seemingly impossible for mortal birds to do. It was an inspiring example of how a fellow creature "letting go" to a power greater than itself. I realized that if the bird "took back his will" and tried to fly with less trust, on its own power alone, it would spoil its apparent free flight. That insight granted me the willingness to pray the Seventh Step prayer.

It's not easy to know God's will in each circumstance. I must search out and be ready for the currents, and that's where prayer and meditation help! Because I am, of myself, nothing. I ask God to grant me knowledge of His will, and the power and courage to carry it out- today.

Yesterday, I was determined to begin the next phase of my recovery in a new way. Instead of staying stuck in the hurt from my fight with Angel, I chose to enjoy my day, and that included some elements of self-care, where before there would have been self-destruction. I had some breakfast, read my prayers and meditations, and did some blog-stalking. Then I picked up the phone. I called the woman who had spoken on Friday night, we had a very good conversation about learning to let go of control of our children. I asked her how long it took for her own daughter to forgive her for all of the alcoholic behaviours, she said about two years! It had been a painful journey for both of them, but in the end, it all worked out. The second call came to me. It was my new sponsor (yes I'll probably keep calling her my 'new sponsor' , even after twenty years!). She was calling to see how I was. Again we talked about letting go of children- is there a message here? We are getting together to read and discuss Step one, this is appropriate for me I think, because if I stay focused on today, I may just make it this time! The third call was to a very good friend. An amazing young woman of thirty, who is about to celebrate 16 years of clean and sober living. She really has been my 'bestest friend' ever since I met her. At my first meeting back, she was the speaker, I was in awe, I wanted what she had, and thankfully, we became friends.

I spent the afternoon watching my Jays kick butt against Chicago- YAY! I puttered in my garden, showered and then went for a bike ride. I chose not to call Angel, just to let the dust settle. when I got back from my ride, there was a message from Angel, apologizing for her behaviour and asking me to forgive her. She said "if you're not too mad at me...". I cried. I don't think she knows how very much I truly love her, even when I'm angry. And the truth is, that I wasn't really angry at all, I was just feeling overwhelmed and questioning my ability to be a good mother. When she acts out and expresses anger like she did, I know it is because she feels safe enough to do that, I just want for her to not have to hurt herself or me or anyone else in the process.... We will talk later today, I will remind her that I love her no matter what, and apologize for hurting her. I will ask her what she needs from me. That, for today is all I can do.

Today I am grateful for the following...

  • I don't have a hangover from celebrating my first birthday
  • I didn't feel the need to hurt me or anyone else yesterday
  • I have everything I need, and then some
  • there are many people in my life today who love and trust me
  • there are many people in my life today who I love and trust
  • today can be any kind of day I choose it to be
  • I am 366 days sober, and ready to keep learning and growing
  • that I received about 15 e-mails yesterday to congratulate me on my anniversary- they were all people I had never met or 'spoken' to before!
  • today, I feel "Happy, Joyous and Free"
  • for every single one of YOU- loving me, sharing with me, and accepting me

Saturday, June 02, 2007


To everyone that has accompanied me on my trAAvels this far... have a piece of cake on me-you've earned it!

This is the reading from todays Daily Reflections for June 2nd...

Here are the Steps we took...
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 59

These are the words that lead into the Twelve Steps. In their direct simplicity they sweep aside all psychological and philosophical considerations about the rightness of the Steps. They describe what I did: I took the Steps and sobriety was the result. These words do not imply that I should walk the well-trodden path of those who went before, but rather that there is a way for me to become sober and that is a way I shall have to find. It is a new path, one that leads to infinite light at the top of the mountain. The Steps advise me about the footholds that are safe and about chasms to avoid. They provide me with the tools I need during the many parts of the solitary journey of my soul. When I speak of this journey, I share my experience, strength and hope with others.

Last night was not great for me. Angel and I had a huge fight which resulted in me sending her back to the group home, probably for the weekend. Apparently Angel had made tentative plans with a gurl friend for tonight. The plans included going to a street in downtown Ottawa, where all of the bars along the way would be opened up, with big screen tv's showing game three of the Senators/Ducks game- for those who are not aware, this is the first time in about thirty years, that our home hockey team has had a shot at winning the Stanley Cup. Anyway, the game is going tonight, the entire length of this road will be closed to traffic, meaning that the patrons of various bars wil be able to wander freely about. One of the gurls, I have known for years, and I love her as if she were my own, the other gurls I have never met. Ah, but I was 16 once, and if you are looking to party, this would be the place to be... So in my infinite wisdom as a mom who had her share of schemes to find a party in my younger days, I said that this was the last place that I thought Angel should be on a Saturday night...and she was off...

First I must set up a bit of background... when I was still drinking and Angel would have plans made that I did not agree with, she would basically say F-you, and leave anyway, at which point I would drink to console myself for being such a bad mother. I would try to set boundaries and limits, but the fights that would ensue would wear me down to the point that I would give in or as mentioned, Angel would take off anyway. I am working very hard at setting healthy limits today and it is very challenging for a number of reasons...
A) I always used to give in if she threw a big enough tantrum
B) Angel has already had her share of addictions problems
C) it is hard to impose consequences when the child takes off
D) I am dealing with years of guilt at not being a better mom

When Angel started to realize that her plans were going to be thwarted, she became verbally abusive, another good old stand-by that has worked in the past with me. But I didn't cave. I attempted to call my sponsor, at which point the phone was unplugged. I went outside to calm down, at which point the door was locked behind me. I tended to my garden at which point Angel came out to pursue her attack. She went back and forth from name calling and insulting to begging me to reconsider. When it appeared that I was not going to give in this time, her behaviours escalated...I am NOT going to your stupid meeting tonight...OK I'll stay here with you and have a boring weekend, like usual...I HATE this stupid serenity bull****... I hope you end up drinking again.....

Knowing that I was chairing the Friday night meeting, and having had a using dream, and smelling dope from my neighbors all week, I made a decision to call the house and have them come pick Angel up. I explained to her, and the staff at the house, that it had been a somewhat difficult week for me, and I was determined to make it to my one year celebration. So I had to take care of me. I figured that Saturday would also be spent arguing with Angel as she attempted to change my mind and allow her to go to "party central" with other 16 year old gurls on a Saturday night... The call being made, the tears started flowing, hers, not mine! She accused me of not loving her, she accused me of being a bitch, she once again threw all of the terrible things I had done to her in my face and it hurt, oh it really hurt, both of us.

I said that she was right, I was not able to be the kind of mother that she needed when I was still drinking, and I was very sorry for all of the ways that I had let her down. I told her that I had worked so hard this year to make changes, so I could be a better mom, to show her that I did truly love her, by setting limits and doing what I felt was best for both of us. I also said that I had to take care of me, and that included going to my meetings and trying to live in today, and not putting myself in situations that threatened my sobriety. blah, blah, blah.... I know that Angel could nor hear any of what I was saying because she was so angry and hurting, and I went into self-preservation mode. I waited on the front step for the staff to come and get her, and went to my meeting...

The speaker I had chosen was amazing. Her story was a lot like mine in so many ways. I sat and cried throughout.... After the meeting I had the opportunity to talk to my new sponsor, and a really good friend. They took opposites side of the proverbial coin on this fighting with Angel thing. One said I had to allow her some freedom, not be so protective of her, the other agreed that due to our history, I had done my best to protect Angel from herself. They both agreed however, that maybe neither Angel or I , were ready to live together again. My worst fears, verbalized by two very intelligent women. And now I am back, so-to-speak, to square one. I need to take care of me. I want to be a good mother to my daughter. I don't want to cause her any more pain than I already have. I want so much for us to live together, but I just don't know that we can. Ho hum...I continue on my journey One Day at a Time and I know more shall be revealed... Happy Birthday to me!

Just so you all know, I am grateful for so many things today, not the least of which is my sobriety, but due to the length of my novel, I will skip writing out my gratitude list... you're welcome!

Friday, June 01, 2007


I had a using dream last night. I haven't had one for many years, since the last time I attempted this recovery thing. I think it is because tomorrow is officially my one year clean and sober. So in this dream, I actually have no memory of the using part- big surprise there! But I was with my new sponsor, in a school or something, and I felt VERY stoned. The thing is, because I had no memory of using, I denied that I was stoned. I definately did not like how it felt, it was like I was bordering on a major anxiety attack, so out of control... I didn't like the fact that I had to lie to cover it up either. When I woke up, I still felt at odds with me, guilty almost. So I went to take some more pictures of my garden. The first one I named "It's a jungle out here" and the second "My garden Angel". The first represents how I felt when I first woke up, and the second is a reminder to me, of how this program can be full of miracles, when we choose to see them.

Here is today's Daily Reflection, and maybe it is another message from my Higher Power on this eve of my one year...

Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
Alcoholics Anonymous pg. 84

When I was drinking, my attitude was totally selfish, totally self-centered; my pleasure and my comfort came first. Now that I am sober, self-seeking has started to slip away. My whole attitude toward life and people is changing. For me, the first "A" in our name stands for attitude. My attitude is changed by the second "A" in our name, which stands for action. By working the Steps, attending meetings, and carrying the message, I can be restored to sanity. Action is the magic word! With a positive, helpful attitude and regular AA action, I can stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety. My attitude now is that I am willing to go to any lengths to stay sober!

Today I am extremely grateful for the following...
  • my attitude and outlook has begun to change

  • to be chairing my home group for the month of June- my way of carrying the message

  • to choose the speakers for June- I have decided to hear some women speak- Five of 'em!

  • the jungle in my back yard does not represent my crowded mind!

  • I can fill my days with activity instead of fear

  • if I have everything I need, and then some, I can share with others

  • today I have everything I need and then some!

  • me, clean and sober for one year = a miracle in my world

  • now that Angel has decided to come home, I have the opportunity to be the mom that she needs and deserves

  • all of the comments (support) to my bloggy and my recovery- I never could have done this without you

  • today I cry tears of gratitude, not remorse

  • each and every one of YOU- I so love you guys!!!

Kisses Big Hug Thumbs Up