Um, step aside please, my Ego needs more room….

My Ego is so great. No seriously. I have the greatest Ego. Ever. It is so amazing that I don’t even know it’s in my way of my recovery. Sigh.
My daughter is away at a boarding school so she can be kept safe, away from drugs and alcohol, educated, learn about God and so on. It’s an excellent facility and I am forever thankful that she is there and that there are people in this world who are gifted enough to handle these tough situations. She has been there a little over three months and will remain there for an additional year when she completes the program.
I struggle with so many areas some days and yesterday was no different.
I received a picture of her with a new haircut/color. One of the teachers there took care of fixing the bad dye job she got when I took her on my last day visit with her. It was her birthday, and I was able to be with her for six hours. One of the adventures we had together was getting her hair done. Because we were pressed for time, she did not ask the stylist to dry and/or style it for her. We left with her hair wet so I did not notice the green gleam her hair had.
but I digress…
I was a bit agitated yesterday and couldn’t put my finger on it. One of my co workers talked me through it and it made sense; then I talked with my sponsor who made even more sense out of it.
The picture is a reminder that she is away from me. The picture is a reminder that there are other women in her life who love her and will take care of her. The picture is a reminder that I was not a great mom and that she made poor decisions right under my nose. But most importantly, the picture is a reminder that she is changing, transforming, growing and learning to forgive, respect, and love herself …tasks that as an alcoholic mom I was not able to teach or to model.
The truth is my pride is wounded. I am faced with the reality that life is to be lived on life’s terms. I cannot go back; I cannot change the past. I have to love my own self and accept where I am today. I do not need to get red faced or feel my ears warm up when I know my daughter is doing exactly what I have wanted her to do all along. And she’s doing it without me.
And today, that’s okay.


Everything I needed to know about life I learned sitting in road construction. True story.

Expect delays. Literally, that was on the construction sign flashing at me on my way into work this morning. I think it’s pretty darn funny that it takes a flashing light and a sign on the side of the road to make me think. I mulled around with the whole idea of expecting delays for some time. How can I expect them? When will they happen? What are the circumstances? Why are they happening in the first place? Sigh. Easy girl. Breathe.

Today I am grateful for the sign in the road. I mean, how often to we get a literal reminder that our days are just not going to go as we planned? As an alcoholic, I like to be in control. I want to have my day go as I want it to not as My Creator will have it. But today, I get a reminder that in life: I will have curve balls (see yesterday’s post) thrown at me. I have choices today. I can choose to get all riled up, or I can pause, pray and proceed. If I know ahead of time that there will be delays in life, that what happens is on God’s time and not my time, my day goes easier. I am not in charge of the universe.
I also have to expect delays in my sobriety. I am not going to have the calm as the others in my group do. Many of them have over a decade of sobriety. But they are here for me to show me how to accept the delays, push through the setbacks, and embrace the diversity in our lives. Through their example I can learn how to do my old behavior differently today.

Sometimes, my day is smooth. I rarely think about alcohol and I am focused. Those days are rare. Most days, I think about alcohol, my disease, my behaviors, my character defects, my speech patterns, my journey several times a day. I use pre-November 7, 2013 as my barometer. Yes. I have had delays without a doubt. But, I have also been in the express lane on a few, delicious moments.

Still other days, I am up to my elbows in compromise and thereby, for this alcoholic, potential conflict whether it be with my four kids, my husband, my students,and/or my coworkers, and I realize a yield sign would be rather handy. “Slow down!” it tells me, “Merge with others! Share the road!” Yes, compromise. Negate my bullheaded approach that I am always right, that my way is the only and right way to do things. Yield to others. I am impressed how kind and caring others in this world are when I -without giving up my one and only rule (No Drinking Today)- am flexible and think about their perspective. I feel like I’ve had lasik surgery and my eyes are truly seeing the world for what it is. It’s amazing to me.

Still other days the road narrows and I have to fit myself in a situation that I don’t think will work for me. But the options are slim. So, I slow down, let others in before me, and carefully make my way. I stay vigilant like there’s a photo enforced speed limit. Someone’s watching me…my Higher Power is for sure. And He will guide me on this uncomfortable road until the danger is over, the rough patch and I can branch out again. He protects me.

One of the best lessons I have had is road closed. For me, the road closed is drinking. There is no detour, no alternative route, no parallel bridge. That was the one and only route for me for a long time. However, the funding ran out and just in time. The road will not be repaired. Only a new road can be built in its place. And it’s long and windy, with a few potholes and a rough shoulder in areas. But it’s marked with bright yellow caution stripes on either side. Those are my areas to watch: slacking on meetings, not praying, not helping a fellow alcoholic, not reflecting, not getting out of my head, drinking. All of those areas will cause me to wreck on the side of the road.

So today, I have to do as I must: Expect delays. Yield. One Lane. Road Closed.

“Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life. Be grateful for what you already have and you will attract more good things.” The Secret

It’s a long title, I know. But today, I am truly grateful for so many things that it’s hard to count. Exceptionally odd is that nearly one year ago, I believed I had a terrible life and had nothing worth going for me. But I made a decision last November 7 to turn my will and my life over to the care of my God of my understanding and miracles have happened.I know because I have lived through them.
My latest miracle is my beautiful son. Only 9, he has dreams of being a major league baseball player. He has more knowledge of the game than an average boy and quite literally is outside playing with his younger brother any spare minute he has. When it’s raining, he is the sports announcer telling the viewers about the possibilities of the rain delay going on too long. He then tells his viewers miscellaneous statistics – I have no idea if they’re true nor do I care because he is amusing- while they hang out for the long-awaited first pitch.
He asked to tryout for a travel team so he could play more ball. We agreed to this since he has a desire. So yesterday he was up to bat in a tournament his team has no business being in other than some practice for next summer. The pitcher was laying on the heat and my boy was back in the batter’s box ready to take this guy on. I could tell by his stance that he was more than prepared to hit one of out the park. His head was in it.
But, that’s not what happened at all. The pitch screaming in at 50 mph hit my beautiful boy dead on in the mouth. His immediate scream told me I better breathe deeply because I had to be brave. His dad bounded onto the field (completely out of character for my normally cool, sit-back-and-let-the-coaches-do-their-thing-or-you’ll-embarrass-him husband) and rushed to see the damage.
Blood, tears, fright, chips of enamel – all products of my son’s face. Somehow (not really, through the grace of God), I was calm. Despite my rapidly beating heart, I was able to look my boy in the face and honestly tell him he was going to be just fine, that he was tough as nails and we would get through this thing together. After ice, ibuprofen and a quick assessment, we determined immediate care was not imminent. The first miracle had happened.
I took a quick walk out of his view to wipe away a couple of tears and to thank God for protecting him from serious harm and then I asked Him to please help me stay calm. Breathing better, I returned to my seat only to have several other parents offer advice on what I SHOULD be doing. Normally, I would have been irritated and agitated. Not yesterday. I thanked them for their insight and advice and simply stated that my husband and I would keep close watch and if need be take him to the ER. The second miracle happened. I hardly ever keep my cool when I feel other people are telling me how to parent.
After a half inning, to my surprise, my son stood up and told the coach he was ready to play! What??? Yep. He said, “I’m over it, Coach. I came to play.” Chipped teeth, swollen lip, baseball seam across his chin, my boy bopped on out to center field and made three pretty decent subsequent plays. The third miracle happened.
My faith faltered when it came time to bat; I have to be honest. In my mind I thought, “No way is the kid going to hang in the batter’s box. He’ll step out for sure.” I wouldn’t have blamed him either. He swung at the first pitch. Foul. Second pitch. Ball one. Third pitch. Crack! A short hit but contact on the bat nonetheless. He was out, but his story is one for the books. He was smiling; I could see the pride in his face that he was able to conquer his fear. The fourth miracle happened.
Our next trip out to the field, he pitched. Struck out two and the third grounded out. This from a team who is ranked second in our state. The fifth miracle happened.
I cannot begin to express the gratitude I have. First, I am so thankful that his injury is not worse. The dentist said today we have to watch for four weeks and recheck the roots on one tooth. At worst, he will have a root canal and a crown.

So what’s the lesson in all of this? God provides. I asked Him to protect my boy, and He did. Life isn’t perfect; we are going to get hurt. But what could have happened and what did happen are where my faith kicks in.
Even better than that is how this situation relates to my sobriety. My son’s actions taught me about recovery yesterday. He showed me that when we go out there and live the life that God intends, we are successful no matter what. Yes, we get knocked down. But we tend to our wounds whether they be physical, spiritual, mental or otherwise and we get back into the journey. We say yes to this life. We say, “Thy will be done” and we serve. And at the end of the day, we are champions. The scoreboard may not reflect a “w” but our hearts and our souls do if we choose to do the next right thing.

My sobriety hasn’t been easy; but when I can find inspiration and a parallel to my life in a baseball game and the actions of my nine year old, I would say something is going right.

Today, I am extremely grateful.

The Hiatus is Over

Man, I love avoidance. This must be why my last post in way back in August. But, with any area of my life, I can choose to move on or I can look at my behavior and like Sherlock Holmes see if I can make any connections. So, the detective in me comes out.
What hasn’t changed? I am still sober (every day), going to meetings (although not as many as I would like to), reading my not-so-daily reflections, praying when I have time to sit down and think, calling my sponsor (rarely- I don’t want to “bother” her)and I am still married, with four kids, and work as a teacher. Oh yeah, same house, same car, same dogs.
So what’s different? Nada. Nothing. But then again, everything. My immediate areas in life are unchanged. However, the reality is I am different. And I am totally uncomfortable. This not blowing up and seething in silence, dropping egg shells behind me like Hansel and Gretel is totally foreign.This taking a deep breath and asking myself if the conflict looming is worth it, or if waiting, pausing, praying and proceeding is the way to go. To a “normie” so what? To an alcoholic, I can see the smirk coming across the lips of those who have been here.I am right on the cusp of a growth spurt and I am scared shitless. Some days- as I have been doing for well over a month- it’s nice to just bump along in life and not BE an alcoholic. Yanno- go to the grocery store, pay bills, check out books from the library, go to a pumpkin patch.
But I am an alcoholic. And that will never change. So adjusting to a new me, a new lifestyle is tough business. I know I’ve said this here before but it hurts. Some days, it hurts so much that I would rather wear high heels with a blister rubbed raw on my ankle. Why? Because I can take the shoe off. I know how to deal with a blister; I know how to administer THAT kind of self care. But to heal my hurts, to forgive others, to give to those who have harmed me in one way shape or form- that is hard. I don’t know how. So I find myself saying “I’m sorry” when I am not. I find myself slowly building resentments about people, places, and things that have no consequence on my life.
I can usually tell when I am not working a good, clean, honest program because people who are no longer in my life (for good,healthy reasons) creep back into my mind. Like the girl from 5th grade who didn’t invite me to her birthday party when every other girl in the entire grade was invited.Those feelings of inadequacy take up free rent space in my head. Who cares? and why do I even still remember that?
Hmm. probably because it hurt. If I continue to work a half assed program, I am going to get half assed results. That includes painful memories that baffle me.
SO, I am off to my Wednesday meeting and my therapy appointment. God has me here today for a reason. My job is to plug away and learn why.