Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I have been accused of loving alcohol more than my ex or myself. I have argued that I didn't love it. I truly didn't love it at all. I didn't love destroying myself, losing myself and knowing it was happening and not being able to stop even when help was offered. I didn't love the drama it created, the damage it did, the slow killing of myself. But I couldn't stop, and I've given up trying to explain it. There is no logical, rational explanation for pure insanity. I drank because I was a drunk. Cameron explains with such clarity what she thought it did for her. Drinking made her write better. She was in a rush to get the writing out before the fog set in. I remember that clearly for myself. The first drink killed the editor, and I had about a minute to get the writing out, then it was all over. Drinking was killing the writer in me, taking my creativity. It killed my relationship with my lover and my family and I had no friends, alcohol was my pity pot. Oh poor me...so I'd pour me another drink. And the loneliness, emptiness, and anger would surround me further. I drank because it made me functional for about a minute, I could get to work, I could get upright, I could get dressed. Pretty soon, I couldn't do any of that. Then I just drank and kept drinking. She said the same thing, but with more effect. I never want to feel that feeling again...ever. Something bigger than herself reached in and pulled her back from the brink to total destruction. It took something bigger than me to do the same thing for me.
I remember waking up one morning after a month of doing nothing but drinking after I got out of Rehab and my ex had moved out. I had been calling and verbally abusing him for abandoning me (I can't blame him...I'd have left me too); I crawled out of bed at 5:30 in the morning and got myself to an AA meeting, I have no idea how. I poured out my sob story, still the victim, went home and drank again. Someone from that meeting got my number, I must have given it to him and he tracked me down. He helped me sell my things so I had money to get home; I had one person who would take me in, my Grandmother. My Mother tried to talk her out of it. She tried so hard to convince Grandma it wasn't the right thing to do. Grandma wouldn't cave, now I know why. My friend helped me store what I couldn't part with. He helped me get to meetings and get sober. He tells me that it kept him sober helping me. I don't know. I bet that's true, but I also think he was sent by my guardian angel to save me.
I learned months later from my Mother that she had gone to my Grandfather's grave and talked to him shortly before I pulled myself up and went to a meeting. It still makes me cry to think about it. She went to the one safe place we always knew. The quiet gentle hand that calmed me in the storm. I don't know what she said to him, it doesn't matter. What I know is that shortly after she talked to him, she says I started to get well. Something guided me in the direction of a safe harbor like nothing else could. I've said it in meetings a thousand times, it wasn't me that got myself to the meeting; it was something greater than myself, I was too far gone to have done it on my own. Grandma told me later that she was going to sleep one night after Mom went to the grave and she heard Grandpa distinctly say, "Go get her." He's been dead for over five years now.
It has been over a year since my last drink. The physical sobriety came pretty easy compared to the emotional sobriety. The obsession to drink was lifted pretty quickly, thank God. I know I wouldn't be sober today if I still obsessed about that "one drink". The emotional sobriety has been much harder. Still blaming others, still living in a state of disbelief over what I did, still trying to piece together my life as it should be, not what I think I deserve. I think emotional sobriety is something I will work on for the rest of my life. That's why when I go to a meeting I am grateful to have people in that group with 20, 30, 40, 50 years of sobriety sitting next to me. Sobriety is a great gift, but I have to nurture it, honor it and work on it, it is not free. It has come at a dear price.
Monday, August 25, 2008
So...what if? I think what if I had my life to live over, and I knew the mistakes I made, what I would do? I can tell you I wouldn't be an alcoholic. I would take the incredibly valuable lessons I have learned, and the principles I now live by, through the help of AA, with me into the next life and make better choices. I would cherish the friendships I have, the relationships I said I valued but took for granted...and love more. I would skip the selfish, self-centered, self-destructive part of who I was; the having to rebuild from absolutely nothing, while trying to physically and emotionally get well. I would never hurt the people I hurt the way I did and create the wreckage and do things that I have to live with that cannot be repaired. I wouldn't live my life in fear of so many things, only to have to face them, walk through them, learn the lessons and assuage the fears through substance abuse. I would live more, love more, experience more, travel more and be more, be better, be thoughtful...be all of the things I haven't been.
This book is a great read for me. The truth is I still have a chance. Because I am sober now, I have the opportunity to live the life I have always wanted, but didn't give myself the chance to live. Sadly, it will not include some of the people I would like it to include...but because I am who I am in my physical and emotional sobriety, I know that my heart has room enough for everyone that enters my life for a short time or forever.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Toward the end of Sunday service, the Minister asked, 'How many of you have forgiven your enemies?'
80% held up their hands.
The Minister then repeated his question. All responded this time, except one small elderly lady.
'Mrs. Neely?'; 'Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?'
I don't have any.' She replied, smiling sweetly.
'Mrs. Neely, that is very unusual. How old are you?'
'Ninety-eight.' she replied.
'Oh, Mrs. Neely, would you please come down in front & tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years & not have an enemy in the world?'
The little sweetheart of a lady tottered down the aisle, faced the congregation, and said:
'I outlived the bitches.'
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Jack London worked in a cannery at age thirteen.
Charles Dickens pasted labels on bottles of shoe polish.
E.B. White sold roach powder an played the piano.
T.S. Eliot was a banker.
Zane Grey was a dentist.
Herman Melville was a customs inspector for the New York Harbor Authority.
William Faulkner served as postmaster for the University of Mississippi post office.
Alex Haley spent twenty years in the U.S. Coast Guard.
Maya Angelou worked as a cook and managed a restaurant.
It is said that very few writers actually make a living at writing. I guess it's true. We simply do it because we want to or have too. I know I'm easier to be around, less cranky, and life flows much smoother for me if I have my daily dose of writing no matter how bad it comes out.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Callie decided she has a knack for rock climbing.
Stopping to smell the flowers on the trail.
Butterflies were everywhere up there. We caught this one working on its suntan.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
As I was tooling around town this morning doing my morning stuff I was looking around the valley and appreciating how easy my life has become. I work in the afternoon so I have all morning to do what I want. I wear jeans to work, I always wanted a job I could do that. I make an okay living for living in this town. I am surrounded by people I like and I trust and I care about. I am also surrounded by incredible beauty 24 7. Everywhere I turn around there is a terrific view, even in my own front yard. Life here is just constant decompression. No real stress, no real rush to get anything done.
When I was a kid we came to Grand Junction a lot for holidays, etc. I remember I hated coming here because my Grandma drove me crazy (oddly enough, she is the one person who reached out a hand when I couldn't get sober and really needed help), but I loved coming here because there is something that happens when a person enters the Grand Valley. I don't know what it is, but it's a feeling. Just an, "AAAHHH!" At least for me. My whole body relaxes, my mind tunes into to the here and now instead of the future. I don't feel rushed, I don't feel hassled, I don't feel tense. I just am. I feel extremely blessed to have landed on my feet here. My life is so easy! The universe pushed me in this direction and I didn't fight it, now I know why. This is how life should be.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The Wall Arch on Devils Garden Trail in Utah's Arches National Park collapsed last week, a park official says.
Paul Henderson, the park's chief of interpretation, said Wall Arch collapsed sometime late Monday or early Tuesday.
The arch is along Devils Garden Trail, one of the most popular in the park. For years, the arch has been a favorite stopping point for photographers.
Henderson said the arch was claimed by forces that will eventually destroy others in the park: gravity and erosion.
"They all let go after a while," he said Friday.
He said it's the first collapse of a major arch in the park by since nearby Landscape Arch fell in 1991. No one has reported seeing it fall.
Like others in the park, Wall Arch was formed entrada sandstone that was whittled down over time into its distinctive and photogenic formation.
The arch, first reported and named in 1948, was more than 33 feet tall and 71 feet across. It ranked 12th in size among the park's estimated 2,000 arches.
Rock has continued to fall from the remaining arms of the arch forcing the closure of a portion of the trail.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
It has been proven over and over to me personally and in the lives of my friends and loved ones. The thing left unsaid in this statement is, be specific and be very, very careful about what you wish for and truly want. You will get it.