We Admitted We Were Powerless

Image: sabacooperative.org

Image: sabacooperative.org

“Step One: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.” This is taken from the Big Book and the Twelve & Twelve.

This is the only step we have to do perfectly.  To have an attitude that we “can drink once in a while” or “take a break” is dangerous.  Of course, this is something we alcoholics find out the hard way.  We have all at one time or another, woken up in the morning (or maybe we hadn’t even been to sleep) and said: Man, I am never doing that again! Only to be right back where we were, less than twenty-four hours later.

And let’s face it: admitting we are powerless over anything is tough for us humans.  We have this thing called “pride” that whispers in our ear that we can beat anything.  It whispers that giving up is for suckers and wimps. Our egos and pride tell us that people will laugh at us if we admit we cannot drink (or drug) anymore.

We had come to realize that once we put a drink in our bodies, we could not stop. That first drink rendered us helpless every time.

We tried to drink successfully.  We made empty promises (with good intentions!) that we would only drink beer, or that we would only drink on the weekend or that we would stop drinking at 11 pm. It may have worked for a little while, but ultimately it didn’t work at all.

We could not drink successfully.  We could not stop after one drink.  The minute we put that first drink in us, our bodies and minds crave more and we drink until we are either passed out, puking, in jail or in a crazy situation.  And yes, these crazy situations may make great stories (if we live through them) but they leave us with shame and regret.

The unmanageability of our lives may be that we keep showing up late for work (or not showing up at all), we aren’t paying our bills, we are cheating on our spouses or partners, we are getting in fights, driving intoxicated and ending up in jail.  It is one or some or all of these things.  We could not manage our own lives, we could not manage our drinking, we could not manage anything.

Step One is the only step we have to do perfect.  If we do that one step perfectly, we will begin the road to recovery and our lives will begin to change in a positive way.

Ultimate Blog Challenge!

January

January (Photo credit: Deadly Tedly)

The Introduction

Happy New Year!  Welcome to the The Daily Woman.. a blog dedicated to living sober and giving life all you got!  I signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge just in time for 2013… The month of January is dedicated to living life sober, getting help, working the steps and tons of other useful information and links.

My goal is to post each of the 31 days.  😀

A lot of us wrapped up in alcoholism and addiction have made resolutions (or goals) of sobriety for 2013.  Most of these will be broken if the right help is not sought.

Now, I am not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV, but I do know what has worked for me and hope to do some sort of twelfth step work through my blog. I have reached a point in my sobriety that what keeps me sober is doing the next right thing and putting my hand out to the next still sick and suffering alcoholic/addict.

Thanks for climbing on board and Happy New Year to you all.

Bridges & Starlings

Covered Bridge

Bridges. We build them.  We burn them. We travel across them to new destinations and we let them carry us home.  We stand on them to stare at the awesomeness of water or to watch fireworks in the sky. If we are superstitious, we hold our breath as we cross.

I love bridges.  I love to look at them, travel across them, stand on them and take pictures of them.  I’m not sure if there is any significance of bridges in my personal life.  I tend to look at things in-depth and over-analyze everything.

I had a rough morning, and for some reason, bridges popped in my head.  My desktop is a picture of a glorious black train bridge (aren’t most train bridges black?) printed in black and white.  Sometimes I honestly just sit and stare at my desktop for a good three minutes.

So after bridges popped in my head, I started thinking about why bridges popped in my head.  I had just spent the morning on the front step with my coffee and cigarettes watching about forty starlings communicate in their “squeaky swing” chirps and sounds and I thought about how they were behaving as a group. I had some old crackers so I crunched ’em up and scattered them on the ground.

Granted, before my time with the starlings, I had just had an argument with someone who insisted on bashing me.  This took me back to my computer to look up the starling animal totem, which is relevant to working in groups of people (starlings are rarely alone) and I started to wonder what the heck bridges and starlings had to do with one another (in my mind).

Starlings

Starlings (Photo credit: Sergey Yeliseev)

And then, it clicked.  “By learning starling’s behavior, I can live peacefully with my friends and family” is what it says on the totem site.  Clearly, if I keep insisting on being right and dwelling on the problem instead of working in the solution, I will burn bridges.  But my pride gets in the way and I stray away from the group (or person) because I’d rather sit in my crap than find a solution.  Thankfully I can see this relatively close to when the situation arises, instead of further down the line after the damage has been done.

The other interesting thing is that I just started reading “Drop the Rock” which is a phenomenal book about working Steps Six and Seven.  For those unfamiliar with AA literature:

Step Six: Were entirely ready to have God remove these defects of character.

Step Seven: Humbly asked Him to remove out shortcomings.

Now, we all have character defects, and most (if not all) of us like to hold on to many of them.  I hold on to them more often than I  think I want to.  Which is why, when I am ready to have my defects removed, they will be, and not before.  I pray every day for my defects to be removed.  God, however, cannot live my life for me and I have this stinking thing called “free will” floating inside of me constantly. It takes awareness to be entirely ready to have my character defects removed.

I am now aware of the significance of the murmuration of starlings this morning.  I have to think before I speak.  As far as bridges go, I don’t have many left to burn.

Do you like bridges?

Do you have any character defects you don’t dig much?

Let’s talk about it! 😀

Just Be…

Image: thisdrumandbass.com

My good friend Heather introduced me to this phrase: “Just be.” She has an awesome blog about alternative therapies.  Go check it out!  I’ll be here when you get back.

Back to “just being.”  It took me a little while to really grasp what exactly that meant.  I’m really good at nodding at people when they start talking about things I may not understand, this is true.  I am even better, however, at nodding at things I want to understand.

And I desperately wanted to understand and learn how to “just be.”  So I gave it some thought.  Okay, I gave it a lot of thought teetering on the brink of mildly consumed.  And then one day…

I was sitting on my front step, drinking my coffee, smoking my cigarette (bad girl!) and listening to the birds while feeling the wind on my face and watching the stars in the sky twinkle brighter  than ever (stars seem their brightest between four am – five am). 

And then like a sparrow nearly smashing into my face it hit me.  In that moment, on my step surrounded by nature, stars and cars in the parking lot… I was just being.  My head was not racing with thoughts, deadlines, my kids, money or writing.  I was just a body on the step with a blank mind enjoying my environment.

How awesome is that?  Let me tell you, it was so awesome that I try to “just be” at least 3-5 times a week now.  And it helps.  A lot.  There is great peace and growth in just being.  It is one of my favorite things to do. 

How about you?  How do you “just be?”

20 Truly Exceptional Alcohol Addiction Resources List – I Made #20!

I got an email this morning that said my blog here, Sober Living:  Life at Full Throttle made the “20 Truly Exceptional Alcohol Addiction Resources List.”  I came in at #20!  😀 I checked out a lot of the other blogs, all of which are awesome pertaining to alcoholism, addiction and how these bloggers have handled it.

Here is the link: 20 Truly Exceptional Alcohol Addiction Resources.  Just wanted to share my happy moment this morning.  Okay, time for me to go back to bed… I am sick. 😦

All About Perspective

What do you see?

Perspective.  We all have our own.  Some perspectives we learn over time while others we form on the drop of a dime.  I have said, in earlier posts, that I find people fascinating.  Their tastes, their mannerisms, and their idiosyncrasies.  But what I am really into is their perspective.

For example:  the glass to the left of this post.  Half full?  Half empty?  Too much?  Not enough?  Do you even care?

I was at a meeting last night and at the end, we all went outside.  A lot of us stand around and chitter chatter sometimes; getting to know each other and all that. I was talking to my old sponsor, and I spotted this huge bug on the wall to the right of me.  It was huge and beautiful, from my perspective.

I started to ease my hand under the bug (my mother had shown me how to do this just this past weekend) and my old sponsor started to become uncomfortable.

“Please, Darlene.  Don’t do that!” she begged me.

“Why?  It’s a harmless bug.  Look how cool he is,” I defended as I edged my hand under the left rear leg.

“Cool?  It’s ugly and it will hurt you,” she said.  I could hear her perspective from the fear in her voice.

I really wanted to hold this bug and get a better look at it.  From my perspective it was just a bug; a misunderstood bug judged solely on appearance.  My perspective saw beauty and uniqueness.

I decided to spare everyone (at this point more people were watching) the horror of me (gasp!) actually picking up a giant bug to revel in the beauty I saw in God’s little creature.  My old sponsor relaxed and so did a few other people after I moved my hand away from the bug.  I felt a little sad because I didn’t get to pick the bug up.

However, I am happy that I got to see it and that I didn’t cause mass hysteria! 😉

Life is all about perspective.

Have your perspectives ever changed?  How do you feel about bugs?

Living Life on Life’s Terms

It’s all about perception.

Hey all.. I hope that you are all shiny and well and that you have been kicking major arse on whatever you got going on.  I want to apologize for falling off the radar for the last couple months… it seems all writing and reading without working a solid program and keeping myself in a good place left me kind of angry and hostile.

But I am back.  I just found a new sponsor last night.. I have seen her around for a little while and I really like what she has.  I also discovered al-anon.  I went to my first ever meeting of that sort Wednesday night and just… wow.  It’s amazing the things we realize when we shut up and really listen.

So, here is what I discovered in the last couple months while adjusting to living life on life’s terms.

  • I have no control over anyone.
  • I can’t tell people what to do; I can make suggestions.
  • If something/someone makes me feel bad, I need to see my part in it FIRST, and then take action.

Seeing my part in all the stuff that has happened to me has really done wonders.  At first, I blamed everyone for my life.  Right down to my children!  How crazy is that?  When I realized that I have a part in how people treat me (how I let them treat me) and that I can stand up for myself…man, let me just say:  HUGE EXHALE.

Children are innocent victims of their circumstances, but as we grow older there comes a point in which we become responsible for our lives….

Living Life on Life’s Terms:  Life just keeps on happening.  It doesn’t stop.  There is no Pause or Rewind button.  There is no: “wait, this can’t happen to me!  I’m not ready!”

There are two choices:  either change the circumstances or change the self.  If we don’t change the self, chances are we’ll wind up back in similar circumstances.

Thanks for letting me share.  Enjoy your weekend!

A – Z Challenge ~ Y is for You

Image: xdwebsolutions.com

That’s right.  You.  Y is all about you.  You are the most important thing. It’s you baby. You are what you eat. You give love a bad name.

I mean, how many times has it been about someone else?  You are always sacrificing for your family, your job, your pets, your writing… the list goes on!

So today – make it all about you.  If you can’t do it today, do it in the next week or two.

Find a place to go, even if it is in your own back yard, and just make it about you.

Start a page in your journal or online diary (I use Penzu – love it!) and make it all about you.  What do you want?  What would you do if there were no consequences? Where would you live if you had the choice? What is your dream job?

These are questions that should get you on a track to questioning your intent in life and really get your head spinning.  I  mean, there is only one you.  You should be nice to you.  It is so important to value yourself, if you don’t, no one else will.

Every day, I try to ask myself a hard question.

Questions like:

If this was the last day of your life, would you wan to live it this way?

If helping someone out meant a slight inconvenience, would you still help them?

It is amazing how much we get back when we give just a little.

So make today all about you.

Journal prompt for the day:

What does a day ALL ABOUT YOU look like?

ROW80 – Funny Farm or Bust!

The last twenty days have been a complete roller coaster of physical. mental and emotional whack-ed-ness. Tax season is over (yay!) and I can finally get back into focusing on my goals. Between family, writing like crazy and dealing with work, I was contemplating checking myself into a nice little padded room for a few days.

Luckily, I made it through the last two weeks (three and a half months) unscathed.

My goals remained unaltered for the most part, but I totally bombed on Script Frenzy.  Yeah, I won’t be entering into any more so long as I work at an accounting firm.  Something about trying to write three and a half pages of script a day and dealing with tax deadlines resembles milk and orange juice.  They just don’t jive.

Trust me when I say, giving up on something is never something I do with shrugged shoulders.  It pains me to admit that I cannot continue Script Frenzy, but I must be realistic.

The A – Z Challenge will be over in eight days.  This one I will finish. It has been a lot of fun finding random words associated with positive mental health to blurb about.  It has been even more fun visiting other blogs.

I have been getting in more exercise. I stopped walking in the park after my co-worker passed away last year (they needed me at the office)  and I quit smoking in November.  You know what that means!

Yep.  I put on A LOT of weight. Not cool.   They day after tax season, I decided I was going to walk in the park for at least twenty-five minutes a day (M-F).  I have done it so far. As well as made it a point to go bicycling at a local park for an hour an afternoon.
Modified goals to go forth with:

1. continue to read/comment blogs
2. pull out WIP and begin edits
3. continue Flash Fiction Friday
4. thirty – forty minutes of cardio a day
5. review budget (I need to save for a car)
6. re-organize menus for the day – get rid of sugar loaded foods! (yogurt pretzels are not good for me!)

That is it for me my fine friends…
How are your goals coming along?
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! 😀

A – Z Challenge ~ R is for Reinvent

sunny day

sunny day (Photo credit: jhoc)

How do we reinvent ourselves? We have to change things up. Reinventing means taking something old and making it different. We reinvent ourselves when we take a long hard look at what is going on in our life and figure out what is or is not working.
Maybe you have a bad attitude at work or maybe you wear the same damn type of clothes every single day or you read the same types of books all the time. CHANGE IT UP!

When we reinvent ourselves we are giving our self permission to step outside the box – that box of fuzzy blanket comfort – and recharge our batteries.

Maybe you had your eye on a new journal to write in that will bring forth ideas for that book you have been wanting to write or maybe there is a class that you have been wanting to take because you just know it will do you tons of ooey goodness.

I’ll tell you what.  All the nerve I possess I can thank my Gram for.  She never let me be a sissy and stay in the same humdrum routine when I was a little girl.  She taught me that if I want anything to change I have to change it.  I have to reinvent it.  I reinvent myself each day when I try something new or put a positive spin on a negative situation.

You can do it too!

The Day’s Ponder:  When was the last time you reinvented yourself?  Write down three ways you can reinvent yourself.

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