Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Getting Back A Little at a Time

I can't leave my distraught holiday blog sitting there so I will cover it up with a new post. Dressing up for work helps me feel better, I've been doing it since Halloween. My outlook is more professional, I feel lifted up a notch when I throw together an outfit made up of my finest thrift store finds and 30 year old scarves.

Another pick me up is to have my food situation in good shape. By that, I mean, home cooked meals, nothing wasted, bright and fresh food to take with me to lunch and to come home to in the evening.

I only put out some of my simplest, favorite holiday decorations. They fit in one box, about a foot square. I think I'll push the extra two boxes in the attic and label it for my son. When he puts his own tree up, he will be pleased to see some of the things that he grew up with.

My busy, relief seeking mind wants to fix this glumness that hits me every year for at least the last decade. It's not a drug that will fix it, I just keep trying to come up with a strategy to make it different. Nothing works, though I try doing something new each year. This year the only thing different was that I did not imbibe or use any prescriptions.

Ten good months out of twelve is nothing to sneeze at! Acceptance has been tried before but it's all I got.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Annual Discomfort

Somewhere on this planet,Christmas has come and gone. And I have gone with it. I am honestly a nice person and also a church going person and I want nothing more than a normal day. I am a spoiled person,, I know, I want it my way. Am going to take a nap!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Moment of Peace

As I left the house this morning I caught myself in a moment of gratitude. Briefly, I was thankful for the predictability of my daily life. I know that anything bad can happen at any time. My journey has been to distance myself from the constant fear of loss, a pattern of looking for potential risk at every moment, and a worry about missing 'a really good' life.

For just a moment I was comfortable in my own life, my own skin. I was not reaching out for more or criticizing what I have.

What if there was no turning back to the attitude of darkness?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Blessings of the Season

Sorry for my absence. Tonight is crisp cold and the dogs and I are within 10 feet of the wood stove for hours at a time. Our millionaire football players are beating some other millionaire players and so all is right with the world.

The weekend is my sanctuary. I spent a couple nights at a friend's house, she had some surgery and is struggling to stay sober with 2 liquor stores and a bar within 1000 feet from her door. The area is a vacation destination and I would have a hard time staying sober there.

Anyhow I got the blessing of staying in a luxury area, talking program for hours on end and sharing history and confidences. And she's thanking me?

Isn't life good?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

December Bluesey Wilderness

Bad, bad mood the last couple days. Progression of the 'grumpy old lady' disease, this must be arrested but can never be cured, emotional sobriety a minute at a time . . . let me digress, please . . .

So, I was at a two hour Advent retreat today under the tutelage of Fr LaFonde, or something. You have to love a former SSJE monk who brags that he has flannel footy pjs with tiny pirates on them. It's the specifically tiny part that gets me.

Anywho, before I get to that, I have to tell you that I copped an immediate nasty resentment, see paragraph number one, about the church in which it was held. It's in the next town over, I used to go to a real stinko Alanon mtg there but never saw the sanctuary. It was decked out, all highly polished wood, soaring ceilings, big enough rooms to square dance, needle pointed altar pads. MAKES me sick seeing all that money decked out in the church when there is better use of it going to the needy.

The up side is that I am really thankful for my church, it's small, chairs not pews. People don't wear boiled wool sweaters and Birkenstocks. Things are plain, of the people, when we are a small group, we pass communion from one person to the next.

So, I got to the retreat this morning a few minutes early, put on my adhesive name tag, the parishioner ahead of me, says 'I don't know why I'm here'. Yes, you do, I replied, one can only say 'darkly'. Oh, I know, she replies.

Let me tell you, there is no safety in small talk around me!

Several good points were made by the good man . . . we are in a wilderness, it's a valid/valuable place to be, preparing a straight path for God to enter my life (I did not, to my credit, stick my hand in the air and try to correct him that I am suffused in spirit, let it go, Carol, just let it go).

He made the analogy of clearing the way for an ambulance to arrive. And we meditated several times and then ate warm bread and soup. And I only picked on one more parishioner, from another ostentatious church where I take my ministry class.

Tiny pirates, that just makes me smile.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Louisey's Fault

I was minding my own business reading blogs. I was reading Letting Go the other day and noticed that she has standards and culls the herd on her blog list, drops those who no longer post etc. So, somehow within a day or two I went to my list and accidentally deleted the whole thing!!

One by one, I'll get you back on, I hope! Drop off a comment and jog my aging memory cells.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What If Every Person in the World Was Sober at the Same Time

Just think of all the art that would be created. There would be a dozen Steve Jobs (not my first wish) at work. The Occupy ______ movement would be at critical mass. The parishioners at every house of worship would be lovingly convincing their hierarchy to celebrate light and justice among all people.

Mothers and Fathers would live with their children. Most people would show up at their jobs most days. Good food would be shared around the table and thanks would be given. Little by slowly, repairs would be made and cars would run again.

And little by slowly hearts would mend and hurt would ease. A new confidence would take each one of us out of the valley of doubt and self pity. Gentle help from our fellow travelers would help us navigate between the hills of self absorption and pride.

One day at a time, one person at a time, we will get there.

You keep the faith and so will I.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Valley of Decision

Comfort Spiral Blog quoted some old testament and got me going . . . I'm too lazy to check the wording but there is a verse in Joel that goes 'multitudes and multitudes in the valley of decision, the sun and the moon are gone and the stars hve withdrawn their light'.

Hauntingly contemporary, written over 2000 years ago. I hated studying old testament last year for the first few months of EfM until I realized that life is filled with old testament truth.

This year three of us are looking at the new testament. The class hasn't jelled, yet but I have ***faith**** that it will.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

And the Dance Begins

Despite all my good intentions, I have felt lousy the last three days. Friday night I invited myself along to a new meeting. It was a nice size, had brief readings, met for an hour, no break. All meat and good to go, my kind of meeting.

The subject grew to be about honesty and I sat there wondering what is my truth. I sat in my morning meeting the next day and wondered if I could get to my truth in a meeting where I've attended under a different context. Nothing feels simple or knowable to me and I will never be able to sort it out by myself or in random conversations with others. Nope, this calls for the assistance of a professional!

So, I asked and she said yes and she said 'this is what we're going to do'. And she was pleased to be asked to dance.

My new sponsor. Just in time for advent.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The 'It Doesn't Matter' Club

I went to the alkathon on Wednesday night and heard several speakers who had relapsed and I heard them use the words 'it didn't matter'. It resonated because it has been in my thoughts this week.

What I had to do was talk about it out loud in the meeting.

There is no doubt in my mind that if it weren't for my meeting membership and involvement, I would have drank. Not because life is hard, yadda, yadda. Simply because I don't care that much, it doesn't matter. It's the club that I belonged to before I ever took a drink. If I had no group to look in the eye, I would have drank but, the thing is that I made a public pledge, I picked up a chip awhile back and each month, I have picked up another chip. I have to believe that it matters because if I put them to a vote, they would vote that it does. So, I suspend my own disbelief and follow the wisdom of the group. They carry me on the days or weeks that I don't care.

And I know one thing which is, whether I reach long term sobriety or not is not of interest to me. Today, just for today, a drink is not going to benefit me. Each day, that is the truth for me.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Glory Be!

Transformative Weekend still having it's effects. Three days in a row of moving, personal conversations with patients at work. Still soft around the edges where there used to be bristling. What I realize is that if I really look into people's eyes and speak from spiritual place, just say the words that come to my mind, I make personal connection that I never have before.
And it's me speaking. Not platitudes.

And . . . interesting thing . . . for whatever reason, this morning at the meeting I had to come clean and say that I didn't think that I was going to drink because I'm getting a chip on Friday but that I'm thinking about it a lot. Drinking, not the chip.

Thinking things like 'it doesn't matter', past holiday/winter drinks floating through my brain. Last winter, I discovered adding brandy (or anything!) to eggnog to cut the sweetness. How adult of me. It was really good. It's not fair that I just discovered it last year and I have to give it up so soon.

So, I took the risk of opening up to the group. Some of them have seen me through the whole 4 years that I've been going there. The years that I identified myself as Carol, Alanon-CoDA.

I have one thing in common with the old timer. It's a day at a time. Today, I have no real interest or plan to imbibe any substance, it would not add anything good to my day. Beyond that, I can't commit to any pledges, it still an experiment to me. One worth continuing.

With that said, I have to leave you. It's time to slap some food together and take it to the St Lucy's Alkathon, I'll be a little late for the kick off but there will be a seat for me no matter what time I arrive.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Transformative Weekend

For the past couple months I've been under the care of a body worker that does mind/body/soul work. Shift your energy-get it out-pray it up kind of stuff. She recommended a local weekend retreat co-lead by her in association with the Shalom Mountain organization in the Catskills.

Wow. It was an overwhelming, head-spinning, get me out of here, I love you/I hate you, give me more kind of time. All I can really say is that the changes keep rolling out. My heart is softer, my attitude has lost it's edge (please God, keep it lost, one day at a time) and I love and thoroughly appreciate my life.

A work friend pulled me aside today and asked me if I was seeing someone because I seemed so vibrant and happy. For the first time in years, I would actually welcome that happening.

Relief, joy and radical acceptance a day at a time.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nano Heads--see my Blog Roll for Help

This is me, the non-NaNoWriMo member with a Kool-aid stand handing out refreshment at mile 21. A great blogger, generous woman, now published author, seasoned NaNo writer blogged on revision tips. First rule, complete your novel no matter what. You can't revise thin air. She is on my Blog Roll as Yarn a Gogo.

She's a knitter, what can you say? I started reading her years ago, she was my first and only for quite some time. She has many ideas, so if there is anything in her post that you can warm yourselves on, my day on this planet has not been in vain.

It has been a day. A wonderful day. An old man professed his love for his wife, thanked me for listening and then gave me an apple.

I am quite thankful for HeSheEverybodyGod and hishertheir tender mercies. That's what's good about today.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Experiments Continue

Number One: The Friday after Thanksgiving will mark 5 months of no alcohol, no mind altering substances, prescription or otherwise. I still view it as an experiment. But I took my temperature today and, no, alcohol is still not a neutral subject and so the experiment continues.

Number Two: I returned home today from a local version of a Shalom Mountain retreat. It was awful, I feel wonderful. It moved me to send an email of gratitude to an old girlfriend who I haven't seen in a number of years.

I am convinced of magic.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Your Life is Your Art

Time for me to take a break for awhile. The feel of my life is changing for the better. The anxiety eases as I relax into my inner authority, my grounding in source. I'm still reading your posts but feel less of a need or energy to write.

Hasta la vista, talk soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Lately I've stumbled across this, thankfully so as it gives me hope. I tear up when I realize that everything I think or touch or hold came through someones hands.

The house I live in was someone's idea and hard work. The coffee I drink was picked by someone far away and ground somewhere else and fills up a mug that came from somewhere else. The music streamed to me on Pandora is decades old, done by men and women who have passed on to something else.

My fingerprint is in the world also. But how can I ever feel alone when I think of the string of biological DNA that connects me to the stream of humankind and the bolt of cloth that is spun out of you and me that is us.

Alone and being ungrounded in source is just a delusion. I was lost and now am found.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Prayer for the Day

Renewable each day.

Let me be kind to myself. Let me be kind to others.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shy Girl

Even though I was feeling pretty cozy this morning, I could not quite bring myself to talk about how important the group has been to me. Well, I did say that but did not go into the scroll-openers/school of fish analogies that I posted yesterday.

Timing is everything and it wasn't the right time.

I'm doing some spiritual healing body work with someone that I have a lot of faith in and she wants me to go to retreat next weekend. I had briefly considered it, she mentioned a $100 off as a scholarship incentive. It's connected with Shalom Mountain in the Catskills. I will probably do it but am not ready to say yes to it yet. I've been down with a cold and feeling ragged. I have reservations against it which come down to one thing. Am I willing to risk being uncomfortable to change? Or am I attached to my own brand of misery with which I'm well acquainted.

At any rate, it's an honor to be asked, as they say. Everything in it's own time. They say that too.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scroll Openers

The term was used in a religious reader this past reader in reference to a verse from the Book of Revelations in the Bible. Scroll Openers referring to person(s) who lead you to understand your own spirituality in connection to the bigger spiritual picture. Showed you the bigger world, so to speak.

I would have to say that my morning group has acted in that way for me. Steadfastly but always different players sliding into place, like a school of fish that swim with me, effortlessly guiding me and informing my every move.

That's what's good about today.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


That is supposed to be National Blog Writing Month, just someones idea to challenge us I guess. Barring more power outages, I can do that much.

I gave some thought to NaNo etc this month but I spend brain power trying NOT to get carried away by the story of life that I don't think it's fair for me to ask it to create a big one. So, today's post is just to claim my seat. I don't have much to say because I keep fighting with this cold that is gaining the upper hand today.

What's good about today is the bloggers who have the daily habit down cold. Thanks to DAave and Louisey and Cloudia who en-lighten and en-courage us daily with their views of the world. You all make mine a little bigger.

Friday, November 4, 2011


When all else fails, right? Seriously, I had a greeting card hanging up for the longest time before I ever knew that the message is from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Basically, the page instructs me that any kind of problem that I have can be simplified to a lack of acceptance on my part. Wherever there is pain in my life, irritation with others or despair, the chances are great that my suffering will ease once I let go of my willfulness and accept my circumstances or situation.

Any kind of relief seeking that I have, whether I am tempted to have a 'reward' drink, seek a pharmaceutical solution, eat a bag of good doughnuts, or seduce a perfect stranger results from my unrest with who I am or what I'm doing. It stems from wanting to 'change it up' because what is happening is not good enough.

Imagine just living with the moment, just the way it has transpired. That's what's good about today.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What's Good About Today

A good day to be sober, free of chemicals and obsession. Blessed Be.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Connected Again

Ah the amazement of it all. The water flows, the light is on and on and on, the abundance of choice surrounds me. Where are we without the cycle of have and have not and have. Rinse, repeat.

That's what is good about today.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nor'Easter Coming

We all get ready in our own way. It struck me this morning that even though I always go to the market on Saturdays, it will be filled with peeps buying up all things possible to get ready for the snow storm this weekend. Ugliness to be avoided!

Really, really, really, if power and roads are a no go, it is usually less than 8 hours before we are all back to normal. So, I got home from the morning meeting and took an inventory of my wares, channelled a little AKAnnie (ahoy, Elegant Blessings blog) and commenced baking/cooking etc. In my experience, I like to be power-less with floors vaccumed, clothing washed, my body shower-fresh and wood stacked next to the woodstove.

I've got an extra dog this weekend to keep me warm. He's a 13 year old named Andy and barks when he wants something, sort of like an alcoholic. He is a city boy, needs close supervision, that one. Picture an armadillo crossed with a grizzly bear cub and that's our boy.

Keeping city kids off the road, that's what's good about today.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I Am the Wax, I Am the Scuff, I Am the Answer, I Am the Question

Waxing philosophical again, what if the source running through me, that spark of divinity is really a river, common with the vortex of all things which flow through us, a sort of cosmic DNA that informs me I am all things at once. No separations. I am the victim, I am the thief, I am the sacred and I am the profane. The desolate, the hope, the problem, the solution, the meal, the hunger, the space and the thought that fills it.

Takes the burden off me. All I have to do is stay chemically sober and keep my home group supplied with coffee.

That's what's good about today, y'all.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Bunch of Ants on the Anthill

Had I gotten a chance to talk in the group the other morning, I would have chimed in to talk about death, because, guess what, an alcoholic died.

I talk to dead people a lot. My father and my sister are deceased but quite nearby, I check in with them often, never at any length, just a nod of acknowledgement between us. At work I meet a lot of people, many who will be gone in a few weeks, months. Staff continues to be surprised by that, lots of drama.

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore treats the subject lightly, I think there is mention of the cosmic force setting someone down for a nap. Not everyone is ready for a nap. Who knows what vortex we enter next.

Probably none of us were ready to be born. Just think of it, utterly secure in our own womb, thinking we know what's what, our lifeblood pumping in through our cord, a roof over our head. Then out we blast into the harsh light and caca-phony of noise and that vacuous stuff called air.

Life is a series of rude interruptions.

Monday, October 24, 2011

You Fall Down, You Get Up, You Fall Down, You Get Up

It's hard to say whether one is getting in or getting out, sliding downward or just coasting, going upward or headed for a fall.

I finished Sugar Nation last week in which the author relates that his labs were only normal as they passed from high to low and back again.

Siddhartha left a life of opulence for a life of renunciation and then left that daily grain of rice diet to come back to a comfortable middle way of life. Neither he nor anyone else pronounced him to be a failure. They spoke of him as Buddha.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ten Years in 12 Step=Ten Years of Prayer

You have to have a bad day or you never realize that you're having a good one. My blog title was a random thought I had during my morning meeting, just thought I would share it. Don't know where I'm going with it, I am composing a spiritual autobiography for my class so was glad for the thought.

I felt normal today and that was very wonderful, like a new lease on life. I guess I am getting old and maybe the 'sugar crash' isn't the myth that I thought it was!

Even sugar has turned against me. Oh well, there's still . . .

Let me know what your preferred substitute would be!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Small Talk Might Kill Me or Maybe It Was the Sugar

Now this is low on the list of important things but I have to tell you what happened yesterday afternoon.

I was at a friendly, sedate (I don't think anyone slipped me a micky) anniversary party for a couple women that I know. There was a baker's dozen or more of us hanging out for about 6 hours. All of a sudden I realized that I had 'lost' a couple hours, could be that as more people arrived, the time went faster? Then I drove home with much difficulty. I could hardly stay awake, had trouble staying between the lines--this was all of 7:30pm and I had nothing chemical of any sort in me.

Any ideas?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Just a Girl

Being a 54 year old means that I do not look like a girl at all but as the tasks of middle age drift away from me I feel more like a girl than I have for some time. It's more precise to say that I'm living like a girl, I go to work (school) Monday through Friday and engage my above the neck apparatus to get good accounting rates (grades). I spend time cleaning & decorating my house (room), trying not to eat too many cookies and am innocent of alcohol and other mood altering substances.

I'm not dating anyone or even eyeing anyone on my radar. For the first time in decades, I have some favorite TV shows and almost know what day and time that they are scheduled. I go to church services and adult education (Sunday school) to a place recommended by others (Chrissy Tyson's grandmother would pick me up along with some other neighbor kids). My son (another kid) lives with me but we tool along in our individual fashions (parallel play, identifiable at the toddler stage).

My mother once complained that I was not a source of neighborhood information. I'm still not, just a nodding acquaintance, happy to be at an arms length away from confidences. It's true that I now worry about whether my roof will hold up or whether my son will get his life together. But at my best, my head is where my feet are and I trudge along the road (to happy destiny), just like the girl that I've always been.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Shucky Durn, Lost My Post

Here's the short version . . .

I love you bloggers, today I want to particularly love on Comfort Spiral by Cloudia and Elegant Blessings by AKAnnie. I would most like to travel to visit with Cloudia and then come home to be Annie's neighbor (think artisan bread and soup, oohhh the soups) and Nano buddy.

What's good about today is that I have what I need. I can be the change that I want in the world. I can make my own artisan bread even AND share it with my neighbor. Because it is in the giving that we receive. Thank you God.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Identification, Not Comparison

But before I get into that, an update on yesterday's blog.

Having gotten a full nights sleep and a day of perspective, I will continue with my Ed. for Lay Ministry Group. Over the summer I had forgotten how noisy, close and annoying it is and after a busy day, I can barely tolerate it. That said, I have to work on my expectations and lower them. I give that course too much attention in my head, I pledge to not take it so seriously and treat it as just a few hours out of the week and that's that. I do about 3 hours of homework a week, show up for 3 hours. And call it done. There. Done.

Everyone in a 12 step meeting has heard the advice, 'identify with others, don't compare'. Yesterday morning I had an important identification. To back up a little bit, I've been going to this open AA meeting for the past 3.8 (I count things for a living) years because I identify with the thinking part of the disease. The static in the attic, the problem between my ears.

Now that I view myself as a controlled drinker rather than a cautious drinker, I identify myself as Carol, Alcoholic, in that meeting. But I've had a hard time identifying with the chemical use of others because I feel like I'm crying over my skinned knee in comparison (there's that troublesome word) to an other's broken leg. Who has not heard the statement, ' I am a REAL alcoholic'?

So, yesterday I got my identification. A man was talking about coming home from work and having a drink that lead to another drink and another. Another wasted night. I, too, would sometimes come home and have a drink. And sometime in the past year, I started putting off the drink because I had become AWARE that after that drink, nothing else was going to happen. I wasn't going to get up off the couch and sweep the floor (provide myself with a pleasant environment). I wasn't going to (nurture my relationships) connect with someone by calling a friend. I certainly wasn't going to take a walk (stimulate my senses or play) or a drive. In short, I wasn't going to do the things that provide for my emotional well being.

Wasted evenings. It doesn't matter whether the quantity or type of substance makes one lethargic, a little drunk, stumbling drunk or wheeled out on a gurney drunk, the point is that it keeps you in a holding pattern, at best. One evening after another because you can't see what is happening.

Getting up off the couch is what's good about today! Ninety five days free of a drink and a drug is what's good about today. Celebrating my father's birthday fifteen years after his untimely death, another controlled drinker, that's what's good about today. Maybe more about him and identification tomorrow.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spoiled, I Tell You

Twelve Step groups spoil me for other gatherings. I've just been to my third class this fall of a 4 year class in lay ministry. Honestly, I think I'm just stupid if I drag myself through another year with them. The small talk and ego talk that take up so much time drives me nuts. Avon vs Mary Kay. Granted that I went in there with a headache tonight but really, do I need to do this to myself?

Thank you, God, for putting me into the right places, most of the time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Active Living (or what can happen when I DON'T sit down with a glass of wine)

Things I did today

1) Received a brand new dryer into our home!! May she live long and prosper.

2) Took a plate of fruit, crax and cheese into a meeting at work today. Just to say eat, drink, chew.

3) Stopped by a crafter's home to pick up 8 prayer bracelets to gift my Ed. for Ministry group for XMAS

4) Worked up a glasses-fogging sweat cutting down forsythia shoots that are taller than I am. So, the world and I can see a stellar showing of New England Asters that were hidden and totally new to my garden. Some things grow better by neglect but not us humans.

5) Gave thanks numerous times today for God's tender mercies and gentle surprises.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Greedy, Greedy

I take my pathology with me wherever I go. When I get good-stressed or bad-stressed I can run around and over commit emotionally, financially and time wise to perfectly credible enterprises to quell my anxiety.

That would be me in 3 classes, working overtime, attending a zillion meetings, baking cookies. Well, you get the picture. I've caught myself wanting to visit family out of state, entertain friends with a field trip, help close up a nearby retreat center, go to two extra church functions, register for a workshop weekend all within the next 3 weeks. And, yes, I am actually in 3 spiritual classes (caught myself in time trying to get into a 4th) and we have a major work overhaul coming on October 1st, thanks to Medicare changes.

Don't tell me about stopping to smell the roses! I want to smell them ALL, bundles and bundles of them.

Desire is what is good about today. Without desire we would never move off our couches. Without restraint, we would never pay for our couches.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

80% of the Work

It occurs to me as I was reading 'Letting Go' blog that so much of life's work is showing up. When I go to exercise, I have to go with the expectation that I will take my position, do my reps or my time on the elliptical and accomplish just that. If I go with the expectation that I'm 'getting somewhere', it will feel like an empty time, it will feel like failure, because I haven't gotten to any goals. I am in process.

I go to work, a process.

I go to church, a process.

Morning meeting, another process.

That's what's good about today.

80% of the Work

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In the Spirit of Frankness

In the past three months I have made strides that have been needed.

1) Became Baptized!! I, a fully formed 54 year old adult, bowed my head and pledged myself to a Church's life. Never before have I done this. I have made wonderful friendships in my church and had two of them stand up for me, thrilled to refer to themselves as godmother and godfather! Since then, I have baked twice for my peeps. Cuz, that's what I do for family!

2) Went to California, a validating trip that has made me feel like a millionaire, I so enjoy my life in my little house, in my little town, working my job, going to my morning meeting. Well, you get the picture.

3) Started doing body work with a spiritualized massage therapist. I've known her from a middle distance for the past 4 years. Had my first session and the second one is scheduled for tomorrow. Good stuff for me. I've spent too many decades taking care of my troubles using the neck up and the waist down, ahem. Missed the heart thing in the middle.

Let me tell you an amazing coincidence. It was almost 90 days ago I decided upon an experiment. For lack of a better idea, in an attempt to quell my anxious-depressive funk, I figured it couldn't hurt to give up alcohol. I have been abstinent in the past, to honor other's struggle, usually, lasting 6-9 months, not a big thing. This time I gave up my handful drinks/month by picking up a white chip in my open AA morning meeting. The meeting that I have attended for 3 and a half years as an Alanon member. Now, I identify myself as an Carol, alcoholic.

It still feels like an experiment to me. I would better describe myself as a relief seeker rather than an alcoholic but I'm going with the flow. One of the things that happened was that I ratcheted down on my eating habits during the last 9 months (lost 25#, woo-hoo) and that I got more obsessed with alcohol, really romancing the thoughts of reward drinks, fancy drinks, any drinks. Where the heck did that come from? I always thought of myself as a cautious drinker and had to wonder if I was a controlled drinker. What was certain was that I did not have a neutral attitude about alcohol.

So, whether or not I am a REAL alcoholic I don't know. Can't let myself compare myself to others but let me tell you that by not wimping out to taking a drink or eat a dozen doughnuts or misusing an old prescription, my shaky self is feeling stronger, little by slowly. And things are moving along . . . after all, I had my Internet re-started and I'm back talking to you about recovery and discovery and spiritual growth.

And, that's what's good about today.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hello, Hello, I'm Back, So Very Much Back!

The news today is that I have Internet back in the house. I hope to get the blogging fever back now that I have the ease of writing from the comfort of my couch instead of running off to the library. I am blessed and so is Comcast since they got an old customer back.

The other news is that I'm back from my trip which was quite clarifying. I'm an East Coast gal. I don't quite know why but it has something to do with being 92% water and this walking around bag of water doesn't want to move to the desert. It would be wrong.

So, what's good about today is water. Glorious wet, life giving water that cleanses us and keeps our batteries charged. Power to the people and that's where I'm going, to read you people.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thanks For the Encouragement

It's a much better day today. Let me randomly say that if I don't get a laptop or sign back up for cable service, my blog is going to continue to lag along. Everyone agrees with me on that, I can feel you all nodding. One of you rolled his/her eyes.

Well, let me tell you that I'm a week away from the Southern California vacation-see how I like it trip, things are moving along in that direction with some curious diversions. Such as my son getting cold feet! Okay with me, I think.

And I have my own diversions resulting in a doctor's visit today, symptoms of a urinary stone. Got the pain, the chills, the microscopic blood in the urine.

What's good about today is that I can see life as an adventure, not a threat to my survival. Yea for us!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Just Listening Today

There's a lot I could say but none of it feels too valuable, it feels fear based and temporary. So, I'm just reading you for now and getting through the day until grace re-visits me.

That's what's good about today.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Several days have gone by and now I don't have my book with me. And I've read some lovely other prayers since then.

Someone, a special someone at church asked how I was a couple days ago. I unloaded my current dilemma/opportunity and shared how it was eating me up. I can't believe that this plan to move has only transpired over the last 2 weeks as it feels like torture which has last a month. My suspicion is that my motives will only keep me spinning around in circles trying to reach unconscious needs until I crash and burn, that much older and none the wiser.

I am praying for discernment and am trying to treat myself well, respecting my needs for security and serenity. Remembering that I can be very careless with my life and that this typically follows denying myself some basic pleasures in life. Would I treat someone else in that way? Never.

With prayer, things will sort themselves out and I will be in balance again, or perhaps better than I ever have been. That's what's good about today.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

H.A.L.T.S. or S.H.A.L.T.

Every morning, before the meeting, we talk about our lives, amongst ourselves, checking in on others around us. It is the meeting before the meeting, some come an hour early, I get there about fifteen minutes before the hour.

I was talking to a sober alcoholic about facing new challenges with the strength of our program. Whether it is a new job, a new home or a new relationship, any changes in our routine awaken our anxiety. How great it is that I can reference my inventory and see what insecurities are trying to guide me. I watch myself and notice when my reactions start to fly before I'm able to edit them. Noticing my H.A.L.T. status can clue me in to my limits in a given situation. In this heat wave, I think that there should be sweaty added. Maybe, I will add an 'S' to halt. Halts or Shalt.

Thou SHALT observe oneself in action. Am I the woman outside of a meeting that I am inside of a meeting?

What's good about today is working my program a day at a time, with my higher power's thoughtful guidance. I read a lovely prayer about this this morning that I will share with you tomorrow.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Faith, not Fear

One reason that I need to go to a morning meeting is that I need the reminder to be led by my faith and not my fear. I forget that I am a sane, learned, lovely, intelligent person who makes pretty good decisions, most of the time.

This plan to move has lots of pieces to it and I can complicate it beyond belief. It's an extra good time to remember 'HALT'. When I'm tired I am vulnerable to great self doubt and indecision. Luckily, lots of the time, I'm aware that it is my thinking that is the problem and not my reality.

As someone in my group used to say, I can complicate a free lunch!

What's good about today is that if I can see it coming, I can be aware of my faulty thinking without being swept away with it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's Good About Today . . .

I was comparing this impending cross country move to the one I made in 1993. That time, my only enduring thread was to my then employer. Other than my blood relatives, they were the only folks that knew me, knew where I was and what I was about. They knew me as much as I would allow them to know me.

Now, I'm in my middle adulthood. I've grown up here, courtesy of the Alanon meetings that welcomed me in 2001. They loved me into health. I can't say 'back' to health because I soared beyond any of my previous understandings. That lead to my daily open AA meeting that I have cherished for the last 4 years. That lead to my church affiliation and adult religious education that began Super Bowl Sunday 2010.

I'm connected now!! I have enormous gratitude for the influence of those who have loved, and yes, challenged me through these past years. My spiritual family will enlarge when I pursue these same fellowships when I move next month. What's good about today is that I feel increasingly at home in my life and that I will keep growing.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's A Good Day

It IS a good day, I feel like I've gotten over a bump in the road. My particular cure was to go to church yesterday, we early service-goers are a small but intimate bunch. Several are in 12 step groups and some of them were part of the retreat group in June. I got emotional taking communion (maybe I'll start approaching the alter with sunglasses), the feeling of unity and hope is enough to undo me. My baptism (yup, never got dunked) date is set for 8/21. We finally got all the principle players present on the same date. I was ready to just prostrate myself crying out 'take me Jesus' at the next opportunity but apparently there needs to be more ceremony!

The phrase, Love the Stranger (Deuteronomy), keeps going through my head. Our daily reader used it on July 4th to honor our country's efforts in helping others. I'll agree with that but would also posit that all 12 step programs excel in 'loving the stranger' by greeting all who come through the door.

Apparently, there is a meeting that has it in their closing . . . we love you, we want you, we need you. And that's what's good about today.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

This and That

Hi All!

Good Heavens, I've become one of those folks who says, "I can't believe that it's been a month since I blogged!" Oh, well.

The retreat was good. All my anxiety came out in spades. I was really nervous beforehand (I dragged my feet getting there, my teacher gave me a call to ask where I was), very apprehensive, expected to encounter rows of mysterious men in robes. In reality, there were 4 friendly men in robes whom we (six of us) ate and prayed with for the weekend. It rained strenuously all weekend.

I can't say that I reached any serene state. It was pleasant. As another single woman commented, I spend most of my days by myself, quietly eating, contemplating. I'm very glad that I paid a scholarship rate as it didn't show me anything new and I would have resented paying full freight.

This summer has been a relief to be away from formal ministry classes, a true sabbatical. Of course, I still go to my daily "What's Good About Today" morning open AA meeting. More about that later . . .

I may be making a big move. My son is pursuing acting and was well received at a LA trade show this past week so we will see what comes next. My life has been spent at 15-20 year intervals in different locations. And I'm at year 18 in New England and feeling restless. Southern California is half way to Hawaii, Cloudia!! It's also a warm place to grow old.

Much to think about. And a new test to keep my head where my feet are, just a day at a time.

And, THAT'S what's good about today.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Retreat Eve

Hi Everyone,

A small group of us are going to a monastery nearby for a weekend retreat which I'm really anticipating. I went to an open house a couple weekends ago at a different retreat center called Adelynrood, in Byfield MA. That was also a very special place in which I hope to spend time as a volunteer this summer.

Otherwise, all's well in my world a minute or an hour or a day at a time. I am still traipsing to the library for internet access otherwise I would be writing much more often. What I'm really interested in the moment is peeking at your blogs before I have to leave.

And that's what's good about today.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Still Teachable

My, I have been away from my post(ing) too long. And I do need someone to talk to so I'm glad that you're here.

Both of my spiritual/ministry classes are ending, one will resume in the fall, the other will meet at a retreat center in June and then decide what it will do next. Sigh. They have both impacted me and my ideas about who I am in the universe and who I am as a part of creation. I wish I had my notes with me and I would share some of my findings, everything that I read last week reinforced that we are WITH divinity, not separate from it, lovely things for me to remember on a rainy, cold Monday in New Hampshire.

One of my assignments has been to create a Rule of Life. The rule is used as an organizing tool to help one with distractions from a spiritual life. It's roots are monastic, the rule was likened to a trellis that kept the grapes out of the dust. And it does get dusty out there, doesn't it?

So, the rule is a list of things that you hope to do. Some categories include worship, obedience, prayer and giving. It can be done by individuals or by groups, such as the New Life Fellowship in NYC who created one for their church.

I was impressed with a locally retired minister who has an active life traveling and writing books. He divided his rule into 30 pieces so that he reviewed one part of it on a monthly basis. I divided mine into 7 parts so that I can be looking at a different part of it each day of the week. To my surprise, one of the headings I chose is 'obedience'. It has come to my notice through other people's experience in the last month and now I am applying it to myself, a new lens to look through.

And that's what's good about today.

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Happy Day

Is it the after Easter glow that is upon me? I'm feeling incredibly peaceful and productive in a gentle way. I do miss you, I will check up on my fellow bloggers when done with this post.

On the one hand, since I've stripped down my necessities, the only thing that I think about resuming is internet access. On the other hand (yes, Virginia, there is always another hand), I haven't used it for at least a couple weeks.

So, how much am I missing it?

Anywho. What have I been doing with my time, you ask. I'm discovering mystics such as Julian of Norwich. I visited the Episcopalian Divinity School in Boston with one of it's alumna and another interested classmate. One of the freakier things that I've ever done is walked the stations of the cross with 40 others down Route 97 in Salem, NH, carrying a 6 foot cross, following the sound truck broadcasting a priest singing hymns.

What did you do this week?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Throw Off Those Worries

Life washes on. I went to a step mtg that just started this year. We were on step 6, reading a step book that mentioned looking at the pay off to holding on to our defect. I don't know if fearfulness has ever been listed as my defect but it has certainly bothered me this winter. Self pity has definately been on my list and that has been a biggy, too. So, the payoff? Attention from others. How about if I a) act 'as if' I feel full of spirit and faith b) face the light instead of peering into the dark c) firmly bring my thoughts and my mouth back where my feet are, keeping it in the day banishes 100% of my worries What's good about today is that I can do that!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Hermeneutical Circle

A fancy way of saying, wherever I go, there I am. Anything new with you?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Enneagram Anyone?

If there are any #6s out there, let me know who you are so we can commiserate/celebrate together.

And here is something from our favorite Sufi, Rumi,

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

How terrific is that?!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Truth, Hope and Reconciliation

That's what I hope to hear when I go to a meeting. I want to hear the real deal (ENTJ type of Myers Brigg, we are always looking for 'the truth') about life, when I hear from other's hearts, it reminds me of my parts and pieces and brings them to the forefront. My sense of belonging in the community of humans is strengthened and I feel hopeful about today.

And reconciliation? Ahh, that's where the sparkle in my heart and my eyes join the fire of the generative force that fuels us all.

That's what's good about today!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oh, My Goodness

Yes, and your goodness too! The days go by so quickly, I have been so pleased to be working much less and attending to my life more completely. I don't know why I had to go down that path so long but it is good to have psychic relief and serenity, not that I claim it every moment. Practice, practice, practice.

What have I been doing? Loading wood, burning wood, washing floors, reading Myers-Briggs and Enneagram stuff for one class, scrutinizing old testament for another. Consciously choosing my food and dropping some weight and saving some money as a consequence. Walking to the places that I can and using the car minimally. Alternately being crazed by my son's actions and then forgiving him and myself for my jumpiness.

I feel deliciously busy. Other people in my life are baffled by my choices, they tell me so. Someone said yesterday, "you said nothing would change but everything changed" and she may be right.

What's good about today is that I have another day to practice my program. It may look different from time to time but I still have it.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Post Live from the 22nd Annual SE Massachusetts Round Up

That's all I really have to say given the early hour and lack of caffeine. It will be a day of workshops and then back home tomorrow in time for my 'Going Deeper' spirituality class at church. More and more, I work to perfect my faith & pray for optomism. I clear my path so that I might be graced with unmerited gifts and abundance.

Must have COFFEE, I know that there is some close by. That's what's good about today.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just Happy

Why Not?

I have my blogger family,

my 12 step family, three different branches,

my religious family, also different branches involved,

my spiritual experience as I move through this world.

As they say in Alanon (maybe other fellowships?), I need never feel alone again.

THAT's what is good about today.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Patience, Patience

I've missed all of you, I haven't been close to a computer due to all the storms interfering with the simplest things. Plans go forward, I'm taking time away, am checking out Hawaii, the big island perhaps for a couple weeks, maybe checking out some volunteerism, maybe an eco-resort (help me out Ms Cloudia if you have any must-do activities). So, moving ahead into the unknown, feeling good. Using any spare time to do higher powered activities and studies.

How does it get any better?

That's what's good about today.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Don't Know What I'm Up To

One of my most favorite Alanon people always brought up motives as a question when debating taking action on something. She counseled that we should always ask ourselves what our motives are for fear that we do something totally 'innocent' that is not the best for others or for ourselves.

What are my motives?? I'm thinking about some work changes which is nothing new. Many times I want to make sweeping changes when, really, I'm seeking relief from anxiety. Through program, I've got some awareness about that. When I get a GREAT NEW IDEA, it often turns out to be sort of a new idea, pretty similar to one of my old ideas that didn't really change anything except that it resulted in a geographical type move that only brought me around 360 degrees. Right back where I started with the illusion that I was getting somewhere.

So, as one of my favorite alcoholics said a couple years ago . . . I don't know what I'm up to. But what I do know is that my HP is in charge and with an open heart and mind, I will always be exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thou Shalt Monitor One's Pissed Offness

Another great day to be experienced. I'm still mulling around the fairness/justice idea by starting with how I treat myself and expanding to others.

Yesterday started with shoveling to get out of the driveway, transitioned to waiting on Rt 150 to get winched out of a snowbank (no damage done to me or anyone else) and than frantically working to finish my work by 6pm.

By my last hour of work I was getting crazy because a loudmouth 2 offices away was letting off steam about her schedule, how she was being cheated, etc. I had shut my door but her dulcet tones persisted. In the past I have smiled & shut their door but yesterday I didn't go any further with it because I was favoring murder at that point. Now, Monday morning quarterback, I could have gone and asked to shut HER door to 'give her some privacy'.

At some point during the day I was building resentment which turned into poison. At what point could I have made choices that treated myself more fairly?

There are no hard and fast answers to that one but my pattern is to do a slow burn that shoots flames in the direction of least resistance. What's good about today is getting another chance to do it differently.

Oh yeah, I've changed from an Aquarius to a Capricorn. You know, Jesus was a . . . oh never mind!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Yes, indeedy! I've been flying around high as a kite, no longer laminated by my SSRI. Rejuvenated daily by the best coffee I've ever prepared in my life, one of my work buddies asked that I bring her some tomorrow so she can test it ala 'I'll have what she's having'.

Seriously, I've been flirting, I've been telling people what I think, kindly, but exuberantly.

So, what's amazing about today is that someone has passed me a tip to get my resume in to her for the possibility of working from home for a national firm. Which I've done before. And I've done this particular type of work before. OOOh, picture me in jeans ALL DAY LONG, EVERY DAY. Working out of Hawaii during the winter, sipping Kona, shouting hello to my bloggy (Comfort Spiral) friend, Cloudia.

Now, that's what's good about today.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Justice, To Treat Fairly

So, I wrote this funny, wise post about how I'm doing (fantastic) and what I'm thinking about and then the dog ran for a tennis ball and knocked my power cord out of the wall. Sigh.

Let me just say that the theme of the week is justice. If I can treat myself fairly, I will not find fault with myself. If I treat myself with fairness, I will treat those on my path with justice. As with peace that starts within me and then dwells in my home and then in the world, so it goes with justice. I cannot guide where I haven't gone.

What's good about today is finding my way by choosing justice over moral rhetoric, sharing fairly with others and always taking the stance of humility so I will forever be teachable.

You may now nominate me for sainthood, kiss my ring, whatever . . .

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Breathe In, Breathe Out

I think it's time that I started living my own life. It's been a wicked 24 hours . . . but contentment is not what breeds change. I've given myself such a hard way to go, it's time to let go, be good to myself, a day at a time, a step at a time, in good orderly direction.

Such a lovely playroom that we are given, I forget that it is my choice to create the life that inhabits it. Let's all visit Cloudia at the Comfort Spiral and daydream.

Blessed Be

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hey Kidz

I feel new.

There is some cleaning house that I need to do. Some rocks that I've been carrying on my back that I need to toss.

I need to quit the bible class that I've been struggling to attend. Some of the women have become dear to me and I do get some insights from it but the rewards are puny compared to the drivel in which I need to read/listen/participate. My co-dependence stuff rises up big time 'its' a small, struggling group, they need me'. No group needs someone whodoes notwant to be there. Adios, with Love. I could put that on my tombstone, my divorce certificate, sending my mother back to Ohio.

I am living with active disease. I have no particular trust in myson. I still love him but I hve little patience with the lies and cheating that come through him. It has propelled me back into self care. I need to do the things that protect me. I'm cutting the cable down to fit myinterests. He's not paying for his own stuff much less the frills in this home. I'm giving him the car for a nominal sum. I don't want my name on it or to participate in decisions about it with a man I can't trust.

I have an idea for a cartoon strip to enliven 12 step. I feel a buoyancy that has been missing. I have stopped the low dose of antidepressant tht has a laminating influence on me. I feel a new energythat emantes from my core and is my more true spirit.

And what's particularly good about today is that there are places that I can share this in the hopes that it spreads the hope and message of the program that they might be as happy as I am right now. And it''s off to church that I go, I love communion and my God's love. Happy Day to all of you.