Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Am I clear on what I want today? Very. I understand my goals, my desires, my wants more than I ever have in my life. I take responsibility for my past acts (this is not a blamefest, so I don't want to hear that it is). If someone were to ask me today what I wanted, I would be able to express it clearly, concisely and honestly without fear of losing love, being abandoned, or even being disliked. The truth is that I am comfortable enough with myself to be able to take care of myself in ways I never could before. Details of life sometimes perplex me, scare me and confuse me. But in the big picture I know what I want and am able to move through any day to day challenges for the end result. I don't sweat the small stuff. I may perspire a little, but I don't sweat it.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I was thinking about this the other day. I can remember being locked in my victim mentality and drinking at my problems and blaming others and thinking things were never going to change, and, if that was the case, I really wanted to die. That's one of the things I don't understand about the drinking demon, if he kills you, how does he get more booze? (take the remark as ironic.)
Then things changed. Something bigger than me pulled me from the depths of despair, I still don't know what, and life changed pretty dramatically, and in reflection very quickly. As things continued to change, some for better, some for worse, I began to build momentum by simply moving forward and staying open to the possibilities in front of me because I had no other choice. Obviously, I wasn't successful in killing myself, I was embarrassed because I couldn't stop drinking, and my behavior under the influence was at best completely outrageous. Therefore, it was time to do something different. In the recesses of my mind, AA was growing as the possibility that has since become a recipe for living (the easiest recipe I've ever followed). It is my willingness to change and grow and consider other avenues that makes my life finally get better and become worth living. I have come to believe that AA not only helps us get sober through the support of like-minded individuals, but as a group, we can lift each other to a better place that helps us make the changes that we have to make to live complete, satisfying lives.
I have a friend in the group who says, tomorrow may not be better, but it will be different. I believe that what he says is true. I also believe that if I do the work, if I make the changes necessary within me, it does get better. I don't question it any longer.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Dad told me that Grandpa died today about 5:00 p.m. I was still at work. The things I remember about Grandpa are his kindness and tenacity. He took me in as if I was one of his own blood-related grandchildren. He loved me and never abandoned me, even when I had abandoned myself. He worried about his family. He wanted everyone to be happy, healthy and in love. His last few years were very difficult for him physically, he developed Parkinson's Disease. It was extremely debilitating, yet his mind was sharp as a tack. It grew increasing frustrating to him that his thoughts were clear, yet he couldn't express them because his body wouldn't cooperate and he couldn't speak clearly. He lived a good, stable and well-managed life. Lessons I would do well to learn. A couple of years ago, Grandma Warner gave me an article from our local paper about his time on the Grand Junction High School Football team.
The article is called "The Zero Gang", and I can't find it on a search of the online Sentinel. The story is a terrific chronicle of the 1936 football season at Grand Junction High. The Tigers were undefeated, never tied and never scored on, racking 506 points and a Class A championship. No team has challenged that record to this day. Grandpa is quoted in the article. He didn't play high school football except his senior year when he went out "because I wanted to see what it was like." He said he picked a good year. They had a fantastic coach, a stellar team who believed they could do exactly what they did. "As a man believes so he will achieve".
I'll miss you Grandpa. I love you.
One of the things that I always tried to do in my younger days was keep up with them, adventure wise. I don't do that anymore. They have money, chasing money only fed my drinking problem. They have each other, and I have recently decided to stay single. They haven't put themselves through the hell I put myself through, so they haven't had to rebuild a life from scratch. And oddly, the jealously I used to feel about their exciting lives isn't there. I'm happy for them, and it really is fun to hear their stories, but my life is pretty okay, I am okay with the direction I'm going. I go to meetings, I work, I write, I have Callie. It's a very quiet life, missing the high drama and insanity of my drinking days, and the respite is much needed. And I also know my life is subject to change. As I rebuild I'll be able to do more, go more places, have a life that I'm content with living because it is by my design. And I think contentment is what we're all after in the end. Life itself is a challenge, but with inner peace comes just a feeling of "this is okay the way it is", and there is something really neat around the corner if I keep my eyes open.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They rise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn't think so."
I've heard these sentences hundreds of times over the last year, and nodded my head in seeming acknowledgement...but sat in denial regarding several aspects of my own selfishness and self-centeredness. I've carried one specific and destructive denial for many months and kept it to myself or shrouded it in argument that, in the end, made absolutely no sense. My drinking, my behavior while drinking, my fear, my self-delusion hung on tight through pathetic self-righteousness. It would not shake loose because I wouldn't let it go. I had myself completely convinced of my position. I blamed, I railed, I threw temper tantrums when called on my shit by a non-alcoholic. So today, finally, tired of the blaming, tired of the self-pity, tired, of self-delusion, I took it to the meeting. I let other alcoholics help me through my character defects regarding this matter. And I digested their feedback. It cleared my head, helped me see myself through not so rose-colored glasses, and helped me finally understand those sentences above. My troubles have been of my own making. No one else had any part in the destruction I created, no one else was responsible for my insanity. That is a very hard pill to swallow, but I finally did it, and the relief is tremendous. I alone am responsible for my behavior, drunk or sober.
There is nothing but truth in the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. As I related my struggle with this issue, they listened. Then they related their experience, strength and hope about a similar issue that they faced, and I listened. In my mind, there is no one who has the ability to tell the truth to an alcoholic except another alcoholic, simply because we have shared so many similar experiences. I am so grateful I have found this group and am willing to uncover, discover and discard, and am in a safe place to do so. It is a very simple program, but it is never easy to let go of my short-comings. I'm so grateful I keep going back, that I listen, and eventually I learn.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Enjoying Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines fits right in with the South Beach Diet lifestyle. Countries like Greece, Lebanon, Israel, and Turkey rely on fresh whole foods such as lean chicken and seafood, nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, beans, and healthy fats such as those found in avocados as well as extra-virgin olive oil — all staples of the South Beach Diet. This way of eating is one of the primary reasons that the Greek population has a lower incidence of heart disease, stomach and lung cancers, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity than the populations of the United States and other Western nations. People eating the South Beach Diet way also experience these health benefits while losing unwanted weight.
When it comes to eating out at Greek and Middle Eastern restaurants, try kebabs made with lean grilled meat (like lamb, sirloin, and skinless chicken breast) or seafood (such as shrimp, scallops, and salmon). Consider vegetables, whole-grain dishes such as couscous and bulgur, and dips such as hummus (made from chickpeas) and tzatziki (a blend of cucumber, garlic, and yogurt) served with whole-grain pita bread (if available) or vegetable dippers. These cuisines also employ plenty of fresh herbs and seasonings, so eating right is delicious and satisfying.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
My body has healed, and I take vitamins, so banging myself into something has far fewer consequences, not to mention, if I get a bruise I usually know what I was doing that caused it. Bruises I used to get would turn deep purple, then that sickly yellowish, jaundice color that would last for seeming weeks, then turn red, and sometimes the redness wouldn't go away for months. I was just looking at my arms and legs, I don't have any active bruises now and my skin looks surprisingly healthy, yet a little pimply because of the weight gain from actually eating meals and not exercising enough :-)
The bruises to my ego happen frequently to this day, but I have learned to heal those very quickly. I am often in a position of knowing nothing and not having the right answer. For a perfectionist this is a tough corner to be in, yet I survive it. How I've done that is by regaining my sense of humor about life and myself and have begun to slowly accept that despite my best efforts to be perfect, I am human, and after all a very flawed one at that. Surrounding myself with other people who not only are human, but point out their human flaws (and sometimes with relish) has been extremely healthy for my ego and my self acceptance.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I thought, this can't be what they meant by weird things happen around here...can it?!
When I got back from lunch, there were several cop cars and officers were talking to him. She had disappeared. He was clearly under the influence of something, but was not arrested. I don't even know if he was issued a summons.
I was thinking about what my ex said. People are only brought together by their own strong sexual impulses and need for procreation. We humans are simply scaffolding for our reproductive systems. I have a lot of thoughts about that thinking on his part and how it made me feel as part of his life...but I drank...so what ground do I have to stand on? Let's just say, on so many levels, I ended up feeling completely unfulfilled in that relationship. But since we are just scaffolding I don't have a right to feel anything because it could never really be a relationship if it's simply about sex. And this act yesterday certainly lends credibility to his argument.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I'm proud of myself for a couple of things. First, that I actually have kept a job for over a year. I couldn't do that when I was drinking, and at the end of my drinking I could get a job, but I couldn't keep it for even a month and I let a lot of people down. Second, I have built a strong foundation here. Yes, it's retail, far removed from the highly responsible, analytical and high-salary jobs I've had in the past, but I've stayed sober and begun to rebuild my confidence, and I desperately need to do that, where ever I have to do it.
I'm sad to be leaving my friends. I've nested in there for a long time now. I will see them, I'm actually going just down the street, but it's been my family and my lifeline for a long time. They've supported me, kept me somewhat sane, understood me and put up with my quirkiness in a gentle manner. I like my job because I get to interact with a lot of different people, and I have a lot of free time to really do my own thing without thinking or worrying about work on my off time. I make a living, am putting a little aside each week for some kind of future, and I have made good friends.
The good news is that I know a lot of the people I will be going to work with, so it's not like I'm jumping off the deep end of the pool. My safety net is still somewhat in tact. But change has become hard for me. It used to be something I embraced and relished, but the last change I made was a big one, and I did it recklessly and foolishly and it cost me absolutely everything, particularly my sobriety, so I am leery. I never want to compromise my sobriety again for any person, place or opportunity. I understand all too well how powerful that demon is, how it takes me over and I do some incredible things that humiliate and shame me and ultimately destroy me. Things that I would never even consider sober become absolutely natural to me under the influence, not to mention create an unbelievable self-righteousness and ability to lie to anyone about anything that is flat scary. I'm not terribly worried about drinking, I have my group that I see daily and will still see, but there is a little voice in me that I hope is there to help me. It just tells me to be aware, stay vigilant, and don't think I can ever have just one drink. That also means that I still don't trust myself, even after this long of a period of time. Many of the people I am going to work with don't know about me or my history, and I don't intend to tell them, and in that respect I have to be ever more careful and protect myself more.
It is a new adventure, another opportunity for growth and learning. I look forward to being ever stronger in my commitment to myself. I hope I don't let myself down.
Friday, October 17, 2008
The sheriff's office reported that Deputy Joseph Tibor responded to complaints of an "extremely large pig" tearing up a resident's yard in a Brooksville neighborhood Tuesday morning. He quickly found a 450-pound boar rooting up shrubbery and threatening a water fountain.
The animal then flashed his tusks toward onlookers. Tibor tried to stop it with his Taser, but the 50,000 volts had no effect on the animal.
The boar was eventually corralled into a neighbor's trailer.
In Hawaii they have a similar animal. The amazing thing is the Macadamia Nut rests in a shell that takes a vice to open, not just any vice, a special vice made for to crack the nut. The only other thing that has been able to open a Macadamia Nut is the Hawaiian Wild Boar. I don't think I'd ever want to get to close to one of those things jaws. Thank heavens I've never seen a live one up close and personal.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
He said God has made terroristic threats against the senator and his constituents in Omaha, inspired fear and caused "widespread death, destruction and terrorization of millions upon millions of the Earth's inhabitants."
Chambers has said he filed the lawsuit to make the point that everyone should have access to the courts regardless of whether they are rich or poor.
I wonder...had Senator Chambers listed God's address as "General Delivery" on the Certificate of Service if the Court may have been required to accept it...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Grand Junction dentist Terry Fine, 61, and retired School District 51 teacher Flo Gallagher, 60, died from injuries they sustained after being shot in the Fines’ driveway at 2631 Chestnut Drive, according to the Grand Junction Police Department.
Terry Fine and his wife, Linda, were being picked up by Flo and Mike Gallagher to go on vacation together when they were approached by a man who shot them in the driveway at 8:30 a.m., police said.
There are so many things that are sad about this story. Terry was my parents dentist, I wanted to go see him, but was told he was retiring. Imagine, planning the rest of your life after years of working, and having it cut short just like that. Worse yet, yesterday was a beautiful Saturday morning, I was walking with Callie over to my parents house really enjoying the morning. Imagine, you wake up, getting ready for a vacation (they were apparently going to Las Vegas for the weekend), looking forward to it, walking out in your driveway and getting cut down. A jogger and good Samaritan were also shot. Imagine going along for your morning jog, planning the day ahead and getting shot because you happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The good Samaritan is Harry Griff, an attorney in town, he was working on his swamp cooler. Imagine just living your life, and in a second it changes. I lived in this neighborhood for a time when I came back from New Mexico. It is quiet and neighborly. Everyone knows everyone and gets along. We haven't heard anything about the shooter, but my best guess, is it was random. That makes it an enormous tragedy.
Friday, October 10, 2008
EVERYTHING is a playtoy.
Don't go into anything with expectations, you'll have more fun and never be disappointed.
When you don't get what you want, do something really cute till they cave to your will.
Hanging out in the bathtub is A-okay!
Don't worry about making mistakes, there is always opportunity to try again until you get it right...and there is usually a great treat at the end!
When you get tangled up in a big mess, stop moving. Someone will help you get untangled.
Don't let a little rain keep you inside.
If the rain does keep you inside remember your choices: a good nap, a movie and popcorn, teasing the cat, a warm bath and a nice treat after, digging in the toy box, or just hanging out doing nothing.
Don't mess with the cat, they usually start it, but you end up getting in trouble.
And the most important thing I learned from my dog: Trust your Mom, you may not agree with her, but she only has your best interest and safety at heart.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Police were notified of the woman’s body after someone at the park flagged down a Mesa County Sheriff’s deputy passing by in a vehicle, according to the Grand Junction Police Department.
Investigators so far have not found any evidence of foul play, police said.
The woman’s identity will be released after an investigation by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office.
Emerson Park is "the" hangout for alcoholics and drug addicts. I helped a friend fill out paperwork to divorce her addict husband...word is he's spending his days in this park.
All I can say is that I am completely grateful to the people who brought me back from the hopeless abyss of addiction. This could have been me.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I remember a woman from Google did an interview somewhere and said that blogging is a great way to keep up with family and friends. That is true for me. I see Scott and Mick everyday, but they don't get to see Callie all the time. My blog is a great way to keep them up to date on her progress, especially since they so graciously let me adopt her. Scott said he's finding creating his own blog pretty fun. My friend Suzy in Michigan follows my blog and I follow both of hers. I am interested in the studies she is doing on herbalism and raw foods. I don't know if I'll ever jump into the raw food pool, but it may become more integrated in my diet as I continue to get more healthy and learn more about diet in helping me stay sober. There is also a blog I found the other day called "The Inner Text". Who ever this person is, they are a truly gifted writer and very provocative. I will continue to follow that one. I like reading about other people's lives. There are several I read who are documenting their journey through sobriety, as well as other opportunities for growth and learning. Not to sound like a voyeur, because I'm not, but in this chaotic, financially troubled world, I like to hear about normal people, read about the events that shape their lives, learn what interests them, and expand my world in my own little way. I have a lot of contact with people when I'm at work, but there are very few of them that I am able to get to know on an intimate basis. Those that I do know well are so valuable to me on so many levels. I guess as an aspiring wannabe writer I wonder what makes people tick, what they think, if they think, and what is their motivation in this life.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Three things my father (my dad, as they are two different people in my world). One, don't smoke...I did. Two, take your time in relationships, spend time getting to know people and explore who they are before diving in head first...I have never done that and have paid the price...so the most important thing he told me: Three, there are consequences for your actions...YES THERE ARE! I had to learn that one the hard way. I am incredibly stubborn, willful, selfish and pigheaded. The consequences for my actions have matched my behavior appropriately. What I have learned relatively late in life is that I do not have to react to anything. It doesn't mean I don't, it means I'm aware I don't have too. I have the capacity, the tools, the insightfulness of life's lessons learned to understand that no action can often be better than the wrong action. I know that if I make the wrong decision I then have to clean up the mess I make as a result of my behavior. That is not only something that my father told me, it is something that I take to heart and carry with me wherever I go...all because I am a sober alcoholic who now pays attention. The thing I tell myself everyday...there is absolutely nothing or no one worth drinking over.