Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 28, 2010

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

My friend Dave suggested that I might want to write about Step One. I have gotten to the point that my Gratitude writing was just the action of writing things down and grasping for new feelings I was having a hard time putting my finger on.

First I need to point out that I am really Grateful for so much, everyday. Family, friends, pets, a home, food, health, etc.

Back to Step One. My life became so powerless from drugs and alcohol. I removed the chemicals and found Gratitude. But that hasn't seemed to make my life any more manageable. I have no desire to live the chemical life again. To me it's like learning to drive the speed limit. If I stay within the speed limit the chances of me having a major accident or killing someone else or myself are less. But that doesn't mean the road isn't full of potholes and bumps and that it's any more comfortable to drive down. To me it seems like I can feel the car slamming down into the potholes a little harder and it makes a louder noise as I drive into it.

Manageability. That's what has me by the throat. I'm stuck in the spot that I can't move from. I know what I have to do. If you broke me down into body, mind and soul two out of the three know what to do. It's my mind that I can't seem to get to let go and live.

For the most of the last 3 months I feel like I am stuck in this place I can't move. I'm told to fake it till you make it. I know that I need to give away what I want. I believe that what you believe and tell yourself is what is. That's where I can't manage my life. I know I need a positive attitude, which I have superficially, but deep down inside I have this negative track that runs out of control. That is what I can't let go of, and let GOD or whatever that power is release me. It's as if I am waiting to shut down and be rebooted.

Unmanageably to me is the negative self talk that never stops. As I look at it now it's as if I am addicted to that way of thinking. I have done it my whole life. 51 years of thinking this way is starting to wear me out.

I hope by writing this it shows others that we all suffer in our own secret ways. Alcohol and drugs were merely a symptom of what our true issues are. I can see how life was much more easier and painless when I was drugging and drinking. Being sober is a double edged sword. We have to feel the pain of life without any way of running from it. But, as I said in the beginning of this post I have learned to be Grateful on a daily basis which I never did before.

I will continue to search for my peace and serenity. I know that I have to experience what I have to experience and I am right where I am suppose to be. I don't like where I am and I want to control the journey I am on. But I realize my soul has an agenda that it needs to experience and I can't take control of the the steering wheel, I have to go alone for the ride. No matter how many potholes I have to slam through.

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

My Parents. They have both been having issues with their health. It's unfortunate that they are out of state and it's harder for me to help them. I offer what support I can by being there over the phone for them.

My Brother. When we were children we never got along. We didn't start getting along until I was around 25. Now we are very close. He is one of the funniest people I know. I'm so glad that he passed his sense of humor onto his kids.

Baking. I love that I can throw stuff into a bowel, mix it up and bake comfort food. Today I'm making peanut butter cookie bars with Heath bar in them, yum.

Staying Sober. I'm starting to get sick. My past typical mode of operation would be that I would have to drug myself because I am sick. Today I don't even think of that as an option.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Being Sober and Healthy. I am so Grateful that I choose to be sober which allows me to be healthy and to make healthy choices in my life. With that I know when I have to take care of myself and do what is right for me. when I was in my addiction I cared less for myself in my body, mind and soul.

Getting Back On Track. It's funny to see how my life can easily get off track. I have not been following my typical routines and it really throws my life off kilter. Not that anything bad is happening, but I'm not experiencing the serenity that I normally do.

Family Fun. I'm Grateful that I can have fun with my family without feeling the need to separate myself from them. I feel more like a part of them and less a feeling of them against me. We host a group camping event twice a year and this weekend we will be camping with HGLP . I pray the rain stays at bay!

Opportunities. I'm realizing that they come when you least expect them to.

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Quiet Raining mornings.

A very nice weeekend

Sobriety Blogs to read

Staying busy.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Seeing I have choices. I just have to continue to try and make the right choice every day.

A nice day yesterday. It was a tame, relaxed day. Who could ask for anything more?

A peaceful quiet morning. It's even more peaceful because my son spent the night over a friends house.

I'm okay today. It's the direct opposite of what was going on with myself earlier in the week. I often wonder how sometimes I can be just fine and other times I can't get any crazier? I am so Grateful for being on the less crazy end of the scale this morning.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Another Year on the planet.

A Great Meeting. I was fortunate enough to be able to host a meeting at my house yesterday. It was really great for me. I am surrounded by a lot of great people that help me stay sober.

My Family. I am so fortunate to have a wonderful partner and a great kid. My partner and I have been together almost 26 years and the time has flown by. I never thought that I would be a parent and it's a gift I am thankful for everyday.

Cell Phones. I can't believe we are giving our son a cell phone. The geek is starting to appear. He has already figured out every technical aspect of the phone.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Coming around. This week has been the week from hell for me emotionally. The insanity of my thinking, the doubting, the insecurities that ran uncontrollable through my mind. This negative emotional state was stuck to me like ink from a magic marker. I knew eventually it would come off, but the marks are visible for a while. It's so amazing how we can buy into our own bullshit. I know I can choose my state of mind, but sometimes no matter how hard I try it just doesn't work. I am a person that has to process what I am experiencing and what I am going through. If I merely look the other way and say I'm happy, when I'm not, it never gets resolved.

Yesterday's Meeting. As difficult as it was for me to sit through it, I was Grateful that I did. When a fellow "AA" speaks up how in 3 days their life went to hell by not following the program it made me Grateful that I did continue on my course and I did stay sober even when I thought that a few pills or some substance would fix the problem. I'm Grateful that I can experience the pain in my life without trying to find a quick fix for it.

My Higher Power. Even though my Higher Power and I have communication issues the most wonderful thing I heard in the meeting yesterday that really hit home was by staying sober I don't loose my contact with my higher power. I don't give it up and walk away from it and put my power into something that can't make my life any better.

My Willingness to participate. I'm Grateful I have come a long way.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010

The Third Step Prayer.

"God, I offer myself to Thee--to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"

I have always loved this prayer. I have been using it for about 16 months. I remember the first time I saw it I was in rehab as I opened my big book and it shouted out at me. It was exactly about me. It was what I needed to hear.

But amazingly I still have days where I can't get past myself. I get stuck in the middle of me and I can't let go. May people offer antidotes like "Do the next right thing" and "This too will pass" and "Pray about it." But I have to express I'm not really sure what "The next right thing means" and I do know "This too will pass" but what about right now? And of course I have "Prayed about it." I sometimes feel like I'm in a sound proof room and praying my heart out and I am still not being heard. I get this awful feeling I have been duped at times. Is everything really happening at random and life appears to be going as it should and then suddenly it comes to a screeching halt and there isn't a continuation to the chapter I'm on?

I dont want to believe that I do not have any control in my life. I believe that God gave me choices and options in life. I can't just sit back and say okay God what next? I don't believe "IT" cares anymore than I care about what my son is doing out on the playground when he is playing with his friends. He has freedom of choice to do what he wants when he's out there playing just like I have freedom of choice to live my life as I see fit. There is no big plan that God has set out for me. I don't believe he works that way.

I do however, see how I can get stuck and maybe that is the lesson I am I am trying to teach myself. That I have to reach out and do more and act on instinct more than I have.

I'm putting this on my blog today because I feel like I need to "Air my frustration" and somehow release it from me. I am Grateful that I am sober. I have no desire to go back to a life that was so not good for me. Of course I get the insane thinking of perminant solutions, but that is caused by a feeling of hopelessness. I am Grateful that I can label my issues "Fear and Frustration" and I will find a way to get through, over, under or around what I am experiencing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

I am really having a hard time with this one today. My attitude of gratitude is being overwhelmed by much negative thinking and feelings of being lost. I am human.

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Lambda in Houston. I'm fortunate to have such a wonderful place to go to so close to home.

My Higher Power. Nuf said.

A Healthy body. (For the most part.)


Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Kindness. I'm Grateful to have the forethought that I can choose to be kind to everyone I encounter.

Being An Example. Through my way of living, love that I experience in my life and the power of my higher power.

Patience. I'm Grateful that I am trying to be. I'm not there yet, but it's a process.

Today. I'm just Grateful to have a beautiful day ahead of me and to experience what unfolds.

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 10, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Getting On Track. Yesterday was one of those days where I just couldn't do anything the way I normally do it. Not that it was a bad day, I just wasn't able to do my normal routine. I even missed a blog. It was like I was living in an alternate universe. I'm Grateful to know that life is just fine even if it wasn't routine.

Drew's Musical Talent. My son had his recital at his school last night in a program called "Coffee House" put on by the high school students. I'm very proud of his natural music talent. It's funny to watch this funny little boy that knows music without effort. He does practice a lot, but it comes so naturally to him. I'm Grateful that we are able to help nurture the musician in him.

This Thing Called Life. Everyday is so different than the last. I never know day to day what the journey is like. It unfolds in the most surprising way. I've never had an uncharted life before and it's so interesting to try to live it carelessly. I know I will be provided for.

Attitude. I'm Grateful that I can see when I get negative and that I am willing to change it. I don't go there too often, but it happens. I still have a negative stream of conciseness that runs in my mind on a daily basis. But I know it's under my control and how much I want to live it and believe it that makes the difference today. I can let those thoughts pass through my head like birds, they can fly in and fly out. They don't have to nest.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Trying to walk through Fear. I'm told that it's a mile high and a mile wide but paper thin. That may be true but I think it has jagged edges and can hurt to get through it. It appears my whole life right now is about facinig my fears. I'm Grateful that I am willing to face my fears painful or not. I would have never made the effort before I was sober.

Being Grateful. There was a time in my life I never even stopped to be Grateful. I would just complain about my life and how it sucked and nothing went my way and poor me. Today I am able to stop and just be thankful for the air I inhale, the healthy body I have and the peace and serenity that I experience. Even when I have those moments of thinking life sucks I pause and realize I am Grateful. It brings me back to a point that I know that i am provided for.

Blogging. It really helps me peel back the layers of myself. It helps me stop and look at my life. It's a daily routine of me looking at my Gratitude. I like to blog because it exposes me and my fears, feelings, hopes and dreams. It allows me have the strength of writing and expressing myself without the care of others seeing what I am going through. It lets me see I am not alone and others are experiencing life much as I do.

YouTube. I'm going to go wake up my son and crawl into bed with him. We like to watch YouTube on my iPod Touch in the mornings as he wakes up. The other day we watched people riding on roller coasters and laughed our asses off so hard that tears were rolling down our faces.

The picture below is an idea of how to reuse vodka bottles. they must be very proud.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 7, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

A Power Greater Than Me. I am a person that was running around for 48 years unable to direct my thinking off of me and towards something that was bigger and more powerful than myself. I thought I was the center of the universe and that is how it was suppose to be. Today I realize that I'm merely like a planet revolving around a sun that provides me with warmth and energy.

Chances. I am Grateful that I was given a chance in this life to make changes for the better. I'm Grateful that I want to continue doing just that.

I am Grateful that there are steps for me to follow that I can use in my everyday life. The more I understand the more I realize they are basic rules for kindness, honesty, humility and more.

The Spirit Within. I am Grateful that most of the time I stop and think that every single person I see has the same Spirit that connects us all. We are all the same no matter what we look like on the outside.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Creativity. It's funny how it works. You can't make it happen, it has to be inspired. For me, it always comes out of left field. If I try to be creative I don't get what I think I am going for. It never leaves me feeling like that's what I wanted. Then when I don't try at all I get something that makes me think, wow, I can't believe I did that.

A beautiful day. I'm not sure what the weather is going to be like in Houston, but the birds are chirping and that makes a pretty good start for me.

Living in the Present. I am someone who likes to think in the future. That is killer for me. I have to remember right here, right now and no further forward and not to look back. What is done is done and I can't see any further than the second I'm living in.

The gifts of today. If I'm Grateful enough I usually can see the gifts I get everyday.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

I'm okay right where I am. I'm Grateful to realize today that I don't have to have all the answers and if I'm confused it's okay, it will work out. I have to realize that everything is a process and it will come in due time, whatever "it' is.

Meditation. I'm Grateful to be able to let go and just listen for 5 to 10 minutes. There was a time that 30 seconds was too long. Some days are easier than others.

Dreams aren't real. I had this very odd dream about people committing suicide and it was all a matter of course. There were about 6 of them, one of them my father and a few other relatives, whom I don't recall who they were. It seemed to be in my house and very planned and organized. I was very Grateful to wake up from that dream.

Photography. I am Grateful on a daily basis I never know where, what or who I will be shooting.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Long Time Friends. They're there for you when you least expect it.

Opportunity Knocks. Right now it's tapping. I just have to wait to see if it starts banging.

My Son's happy day. Yesterday my son had 3 friends come over and they had pizza, played Wii and swam for 2 hours. It was such a good day for him and he ended up exhausted at the ended of the night and fell asleep on the way home from dinner. I don't live in a area where he can just go into the neighborhood and play. It was a good day for us all.

I have no desire to drug or drink.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 3, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

Meetings. Yesterday I was able to go to two different meetings in the morning. Both of those meetings were addressing my issues of fear. My whole life has been fear based. In my mind I am not good enough to have what others have, I fear failure, I fear people don't like me, I fear meeting and talking to people I don't know. I fear Karma. Is there something I need to fix that I don't realize? As I write this today I can't think of anything I really need to fix. Fears make my possibles impossible.

DAAve. Your kindness and friendship, you help me in many ways.

Scott W. For showing me one step at a time.

Finding Me. Until I recovered, I really didn't have a clue who I was.

*I dislike marketing with a passion. Yesterday, I was so stressed and stuck trying to figure out how to market my business I ended up chasing my tail. When I get like that I grab one of my cameras and just start driving. My last stop was a graveyard two blocks from my house. I really do love to hang out in cemeteries because it's peaceful. Especially when my mind is going off kilter. I had the best time shooting in the rain. It helped open my creativity and bring me back to center. I'm not a christian, but I like the image of Jesus. He is a great example of how we should treat everyone, including ourselves.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

The Early Morning Meeting. I love when I can get away and go to the early 6:30 a.m. meeting. It's small and intimate and you always get to share.

Just letting Go. I'm Grateful that I am willing to try and let go.

Being Drug Free. I'm Grateful this morning that even with the frustrations in my life, I have absolutely no desire to use drugs.

My Son. I never thought I would end up being a parent. I love that at 9 years old and almost 100 pounds he still wants to craw into my lap and cuddle in the morning.

My Partner. He grounds me to see what is real even when I don't want to look at it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010

Today I am Grateful for:

The Unexpected. Happy April Fools Day. It was great fun this morning teaching my son Drew about April Fools Day. We watched YouTube videos of pranks. Then he put salt in my bottle of water. Unfortunately, his other father called to tell me and ruined the prank. I hope he comes up with another joke to play on me.

Photography. I am so Grateful that I have a talent. I'm not sure where it will take me but I'm enjoying the journey. Every time I think I know where I am heading there is a fork in the road that gives me the opportunity to head in another direction. Originally I was shooting family portraits and now I am starting to shoot fashion and model work. Who Knew?!

Sleep. Since I quit my job I get a full nights sleep every single night.

Prayer. That I can do it anytime I want to and I can hear and see responses if I am only willing to listen.