Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Just claiming my seat.

The biggest stress that I need to pay attention to is 'tired'. The 't' in HALT does it for me every time. I have watched myself today. I've been judgemental, here and there. A little quick to react. Aggravated by environ noise and multitude of signals being sent.

What's good about today is knowing my limits and my triggers can keep me from sabotaging myself and others.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday, Just Listening Today

Hello, you wonder-full recovering bloggy writers!

Am reading and commenting here and there. Nothing much to say, went to my meeting tonight, a joint one with Alanon/Alateen. Equal seats taken! Good topic, good meeting. There's not much to say when things are going well, is there?

Actually, it's not that things are going any certain way at all. Things are just things. I am the one at peace. Ready to go to bed soon. And most likely, I will be granted a new day.

What's good about today is that I am grateful for God's Tender Mercies, a line taken from a favorite movie, Tender Mercies.

Monday, July 27, 2009

There's Always Sumpin'

A couple weeks back someone with decades of program under his belt said something caustic and annihilating about an ex-wife. On a later day, I heard him share at a meeting that he heard a lot of love and concern in the room, that up to a year or so earlier he could not have sat through such a meeting but now he realizes that he has more to learn.

My phone buddy and I have been talking two or three times a week. Each time we converse it is because I called. She says she has a problem making calls. She is right. She is great at talking, great at listening, great at answering the phone. Not so great at initiating. But that's what she told me.

What's good about today is people who know where they are blocked, can say it and that I can hear it without thinking that it's about me.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

God, (Please) Grant Me the Serenity . . .

Someone was recently blogging about the paradox in the program and the steps. One that occurs to me this morning is that the more awareness and acceptance I have about myself, the more easily that I can let it (ego) go. So, I have to bring it close to release it.

If I can see my defects, great.

If I can see my defects as part of my liquid landscape, good to know about but not part of my hardwiring, greater.

If I can see the defects as part of a story acted out by ego, not the reality of my relationship with a higher power, better yet.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

More On Self-Acceptance

This means that

+my relationship with family will likely continue in the way it always has (I do not have to 'try harder', I been doin that!)

+I am single and will likely continue that way, I don't have to obscess on it unless I enjoy spending my time doing that-NOT

+my eating and exercise habits are middle of the road, have been for decades, any efforts to change/control are useless self-flagellation, I was not blessed with persistence (one factor saving me from addictions)

In other words, I can accept that life will progress along much in the same fashion that it has for decades. Embedded in that life are many joys and pleasures which will continue as well. Most of all, I can keep my thoughts in the day and not set up ego-gratification goals that don't reflect my reality.

So, what's good about today is loving myself as a creature of God.

Friday, July 24, 2009

July 25th, really

The point is that I love me. And I love you. And that is all.


This morning I was second in line on the round robin and I shared that what was important to me today is acceptance. By this, I mean that I practice accepting myself as I am. I do much better at accepting others than myself. Me, I always want to improve.

There is a sign in the corner of a window of a nearby art studio that says 'never apologize for your art'. That gives me a feeling of power just reading it. I may have to make an amends here and there but I need not apologize for who I am.

And that is what is good about today.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Comings and Goings

Happy to hear that my old sponsee is in town. Don't know if she went to last night's meeting as I didn't make it. I got as far as the elevator before I realized that I was 45 minutes late for an hour meeting. Lesson learned, next time I will approximate the time needed for a catch up dinner with friend and then double it!

It was good, all good. I know I've turned into a brief blogger lately and no, I don't know what's up with that! Keeping it in the moment.

What's good about today is everything.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Smoke and Mirrors

Briefly we are here and then we are gone. The fabulous nebulae in the astronomy photos are said to be made of dust and debris. The emotions flooding us come and go. My childhood was left halfway in the past century and feels like it never happened. This moment will be quickly past.

What is good about today is that there is a place to go where powerlessness is the name of the game.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Letting Go of Resistance

Tis the title of today's reading in Language of Letting Go. I'm taken by her statement, We cannot escape;we only postpone. Two things come to mind . . .

1)a statement heard at a meeting that everyone gets sober sooner or later, whether in life or death

2)I'm thinking of inviting my mother for a long weekend in the next couple months instead of flying out to see her in December.

What's good about today is noticing that I like plans better if I think that they're my idea!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunny Sunday

Not so tuckered today. I got myself out to the coast and sketched a little. Many people out and about already at 8 as it was beautiful. Is there anything better than a skiff of cool breeze on you? No, there is not, I'm answering for you.

Dialogued with my sister about my mother. God bless us all, it is not easy to be in anyone's shoes. I was firm, non-judgemental and compassionate (sez me!). Perhaps not well liked but I believe that I was those things and a little surprised that I could be consistent and calm.

Tomorrow is another day, I am grateful that I will have my higher power with me and I get another chance to practice my program in all my affairs.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Trust Those Who Are Trustworthy, one of the Promises of CoDA

An emotional day courtesy of my CoDA meeting after the meeting. Got in touch with how badly I want to be in dialogue with my sister. I'm exhausted, read all my fave blogs but didn't post any comments, too tired to come out with sentences. My sister are playing phone tag. If we finally talk today I will have to really watch my mouth because I am THAT tired.

So, what is good about today is that I got up and did most of what I planned, am grateful for some extra gifts I received and feel content.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Goodness!

Still shaking my head after hanging up the phone. I caught on that my mother has the mistaken idea that I was never coming to see her again. We're both glad that we talked about it because in fact I will probably fly out in early December. She thought that it 'was just too much trouble for me and that I had decided not to do it anymore'.

Punitive abandonment. Like a child that is left behind. I'm without words.

Sometimes all you can do is try to put things right.

And that is only one of the good things about today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Richness of Life

What a nice day. I went with the flow. The Flow went with me. Me was the flow. It's a different world when I'm not fighting it. Now, back to my book, The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman. Delightful. Go to the NY Times and search under her name and prepare to be charmed by her work.

What's good about today is everything.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

2 Things

1) I was thrilled to hear more details today from a member of one of my groups. She has been working on a book for the last year and it is being published, I am so pleased for her. She has had some disappointments during the year and I'm proud that she has continued to work on her dreams so that they will come true. I've never sat beside anyone who wrote a book. We just grow and grow.

2) Yesterday's page in Language of Letting Go deals with feeling unlovable. That goes to the core for me. But I (always =) ) have a quarrel with Ms Beatty on at least one point. This time it's that she states by attaining the belief that we are lovable, it will improve our most important relationship, the one we have with our self. I think that is a lot of story telling in service of ego.

What I would say is that feeling lovable improves my most important relationship which is the one I have with my God. Because if I think I'm unlovable I have placed myself in the judge's seat, made myself very large and have rendered sovereign opinion instead of listening to my higher power's message which is that I am who I am in the place I need to be and am perfectly imperfect, no more, no less.

By believing myself to be unlovable I close my heart and mind to others who carry God's will and word. Those closed doors become shame filled and become a barrier between myself and my higher power. And that is no end of trouble.

What's good about today is that I realize that my voraciously hungry ego can keep me busy and separate from my God only if I let it run wild. Like my dog, my ego also can learn the commands of Sit, Stay and Leave It!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Swimming in Grace

The richness of life. If I wasn't in program I would never be reminded of it, I would never hear (or read!) anyone talk about it. I would never really know that most of us have some of the same problems and that I've been spared some of them through the grace of God. I would never know the faith that others have and have grown to experience it as my own. Would never have believed it was possible to have a spiritual fellowship that runs on people power, higher power and service.

Without program I would think that people's outsides are their insides, that my best thinking is very good and that self-will can get me whatever I need.

What's good about today is I have a fresh chance every moment of my life.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Heard In A Meeting . . .

An acronym for denial is 'didn't even 'no I always lied'. How is that? Can we try that on for size, I'm still thinking about it. I don't think I lied so much as I was fighting myself out of a coat closet, confused about what to do with the life I'd been given. I still don't know but I'm less interested in the question. On I go, with others, a step at a time.

What's good about today is what I've been taught . . . stay in the moment, trust God and give thanks.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunny Sunday

Don't know if every is having problems with error messages and getting flung out of their blog today. I got thrown out twice when publishing comments, the second time I could not get right back in so I will post and leave the comments for the last thing I do.

Kathy Lynn mentioned that sponsorship might be tricky for CoDA members and I agree. There is less of it in Alanon and CoDA than AA because (my opinion) the issues are different. When I lived with active disease in Alanon I depended on my sponsor for her point of view and as a safe person who I could unload to without reservation. That was back in the days when I slept with my purse under my pillow, kept my prescriptions in a safe deposit box and did medical triage--will she just sleep it off or does she need medical intervention?

The thrust of CoDA is to enjoy healthy relationships eg. not turn any other person into a higher power. The very nature of sponsorship is a one up/one down arrangement, which at this moment is not where I want to go. But there are some in the program who refer to a sponsor when sharing and so I guess can still be beneficial. Others refer to co-sponsorship which is what P. brought up months ago when I approached her.

At this point, I'm feeling it out. I need someone to talk to and I would like one person to whom I can tell everything. We'll see how it goes, no matter what we call each other we have the beginning of a trusting relationship which will support our growth. Not bad for a week's work!

Now, if it is intended, my post will post when I hit the button!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

11th Step

We were reading from Melody Beattie in our little (after the meeting) step meeting. I've experimented a bit over the decades with meditation, less with prayer. I used to do some fancier praying in the past. Now, as Annie Lamott has said, I have basically two prayers. The first is Please, Please, Please and the second is Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. And this week I felt lousy enough that I asked for a sign. And it was given.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday, Thank You, Thank You

Just claiming my seat today. Claiming my keyboard?

Missed morning mtg because I was talking to my CoDA friend who then left for her morning mtg. For two people who identify themselves as phone-challenged, we did very well and I started the day feeling that I mattered.

What's good about today is reaching out for the things that make me feel good.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Reading Picks

I was browsing at the library and picked a couple books off the 'High School Summer Reading' shelf. Both are memoirs, the first is called Without A Map, written by a local woman who went to college in her 40's and is now a Maine college professor. Her story centers around her pregnancy in 1965 at age 16 and the ostracising she endured from her family, church and community. She was forced to give up the baby but I won't give away the ending. She had an adventurous life and part of the appeal, for me, is that I'm familiar with the school, beach and backdrop of her story. No recovery or addiction aspect but a wonderful story of surmounting emotional deprivation.

The second book is a wonderful story of recovery called A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown. Also a memoir, it was written by a woman who is now an attorney in LA who writes about getting sober and the tools of recovery that got her there. She's only 30ish now so it feels very fresh and contemporary.

My would be sponsor and I continue to play phone tag. I feel better today (of course) but am not content to let this go, I need to push myself into that scary territory of asking for a commitment of help. We've had a conversation about this before and I know that she is more comfortable with co-sponsorship and that is fine.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Just Sayin' . . . Trust God

I feel tremendously alone despite my belief in a higher power. I am trying to trust that I am in the midst of a process that I do not understand.

What's good about today is that I woke up realizing that I need to have a CoDA co-sponsor. And that by a purely God happening (my favorite CoDA person but she never calls) I had a message from her when I got home today. And if I haven't scared her off (oooh, I'm so powerful!) with my msg to her then I have a deepening relationship with someone strong in program. Glory Be.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Glass Half Full

Chaired the meeting tonight, went with the topic of forgiveness and blame. Several people strongly connected with it, someone read a beautiful page.

No strong feelings for me today or yesterday. Program tells me that if I feel 75% okay, I can be grateful that it's not a 30% okay day. Could be I'm just tired from my weekend of good living.

Any Raymond Carver fans out there? He was a writer, struggled with alcohol and died young of lung cancer. He wrote this last poem, Late Fragment, the afternoon before he died.

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

I'm so glad that he felt that way. What's good about today is feeling 'a part of'.

Monday, July 6, 2009

More Simple

Acting like a tourist today. Sat on a park bench at the river to write my mom and thought about how simple things please me the most. To the marrow. Is that why vacations work, they simplify life? Get away from the details, come back with a fresh mind. Is it the layers and layers of details at work that bog us down. Three components are all that's needed, I'm wondering, here's some of mine.

duck (paddling), river, sky

house, greenery, stonework

eat, sleep, pray (the book)

eat, sleep, pee (the newborn)

eat, sleep, play (the cocker spaniel)

think, type, post

night, light, body (me)

enter, sit, listen (meeting)

Anybody got any?

Simple Things

Good Food.


Laughter and Good Food With Friends.


When you think that you've seen the fireworks finale and it's a trick and they throw more everywhere against the sky and it's just a little scary.

Driving home absolutely sober.

Getting your post in before midnight just 'cuz.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Freedom From Bondage

The other memory from last 4th of July was the International Alanon Convention in Pittsburgh, held every 5 years. I never saw an explicit explanation for why Independence Day was the date but I love to conjecture! (The fact that the downtown was virtually empty on a holiday wknd, probably with rock bottom hotel rates might just be a happy happen stance)

I like to think that it is all about freedom from my self imposed limits. Some of those limits I've tried to blame on others and some I know in retrospect that I egoistically reached for, straining myself, imagining the reflected glory.

Today, on this Independence Day, I want to stay out of the story that my ego cooks up to keep me busy. And I'll stay in the glory of knowing that there is a higher power.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hellos and Goodbyes

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my sister's death from colon cancer. Her first biopsy showed it to be a very ferocious and persistent type of cancer and it lived up to it's reputation, she had 6 surgeries during 6 years. At the end they could not find another tumor but it was clear that she was dwindling for no other reason than that her body was spent. The jig was up.

Her life with cancer started roughly the same time as my life with program. My alcoholic, my son and I went out to see them just before she got diagnosed. Once we were back home, the truth became known.

I encouraged her to try a cancer support group. Even before I ever went to my first 12 step group I knew the value of sharing with others. Not surprisingly, she could not see the value in it. Like others, our family isolates, feels terminally unique, does not believe that another person could offer us anything of value. It's hard not to judge them for that arrogance, but then I would see those other fingers on my hand pointing back at me, wouldn't I?

So, I'm thinking of her today. She was a blessing to me. And I'm thinking of someone at work who shared with me this morning that he is facing a serious, disfiguring cancer diagnosis. Please don't smoke, people.

What's good about today is gratitude for those I've known and the gifts I've received.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sweet Pea Speaks Again!

(inside joke, see 5th and 6th comment on last post)

Okay, back to business. Well, we are soggy in New England. From the fog that starts falling in early evening to the early morning drizzle to the afternoon thunderstorm. And then we do it all over again! I've got day lilies and daisies up to my shoulders fueled by all that water. Wise is the one who seizes any opportunity to mow the lawn while they can.

I'm starting to get used to it. Walking the dog last night in the cool night air I imagined that I was on vacation in a different land. Like foggy England, maybe. Or a really bad vacation in Maine.

We suppose that it is starting to affect our brains. Husband and wife bicker. Co-workers snapping at each other. Customers fret and move on, anxious to get home. Remarkably enough, the local annual sand sculpture (NH has 18 miles of seacoast) was mind blowingly wonderful. Turns out the showers are good for keeping the sand damp and packed together.

What's good about today is everything, in the final analysis if not the first impression. God is everything or God is nothing.