Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wino Mommy



Saw this on facebook today right next to another post about how one of my friends wishes there was a margarita truck that drove around the neighborhood every afternoon ringing its bell so she could run after it like a kid running after the ice cream man. (I'll save my comments on that for a later time.)

About the above, me thinks Mommy is trying awfully hard to convince herself that she is a wonderful person despite her burgeoning drinking problem. Poor Mommy. Poor Mommy's Husband. Poor Mommy's children.  Her next line of rhetoric will probably be that she's actually a Better Mommy because she drinks.  That's the natural progression.

I always wondered about people who could post things like this in public or laugh about how drunk they got last weekend. Are there really people out there who aren't ashamed of how much they drink?I was never that person.

There's my sign.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Shameless Self-Promotion

Hola amigos!

I've been copping out on my blog this month to write a few posts for Dryuary. org website. Here is a link to the first one.. (Yes, sorry, I'll be force-feeding you a few more.)  Please give it a click, if you feel like it, so I can brag and say, "See, look at all the gawkers I brought ya'll."

BTW, check out the song of the day, too.

Stay Thirsty

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Are You Worried That You'll Drink Tonight?


I'll be hosting Abs Chat Tonight over at the MM Chatroom. No lying allowed! If you find that your will is slipping around 9:00 PM EST, stop in and say, "Hi", or you don't have to say anything at all, we'll let you sit quietly in the corner while we chew each others' ears off.

This chat is not just for people who are trying to quit completely forever, it is for anyone who is trying to quit for any amount of time, even if it's only for tonight. So if you're trying to get through the month of Dryuary but you don't know what your plans are after that, this is a great place for you. There will be no pressure. 

Here's how you get there.

Abs Chat Tonight! 

Abs Chat is focused on abstaining from alcohol—on a permanent basis,
long-term, or even for a shorter period of time (like a 30!).
Everyone is welcome to attend, and to participate, but we won't be
discussing moderation techniques or plans. For discussions of
moderate drinking, we invite you to participate in the Monday Night
Book Chat or the Tuesday Night Online Meeting.
So if you're abstaining, planning to, curious about it, wondering
whether it would be a good idea, or just want to hang out for sober
fun, stop by!
See you there! http://www.moderation.org/chat/

** PLEASE NOTE: Abs Chat will be held in the Abs Chatroom. When
logging in, use the drop-down box to select MM_Abs_Chat. If you wind
up in the wrong room, you can move between rooms by clicking on the
room list to the right of the chatroom screen. **

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Killing Field


Let us pray...

Gotcha!!

I watched this movie the other night called "The Way" about a father (Martin Sheen) who walks the Camino de Santiago after his son dies when attempting it. Now I've got a hair up my you-know-what (somehow it doesn't seem appropriate to say the word "ass" here although apparently some people ride asses on the route) to walk it myself. I don't know if I ever will, but I like to think about it. And I like knowing it is possible. I have the way, the means, and the sobriety to do it.

I can dream. 

Thank you, Sobriety.

So in preparation of my trek, somewhere in the far future, I got up at six this morning to walk. My house in Mexico is on the fringe of our village and it is about a mile into the town center. I walked as far as I could on the beach but then reached the house that is falling into the sea and had to cut back into town. Along my way I passed piles of dog shit, mounds of trash that the dogs that left the dog shit had torn through, some beautiful houses and some houses that are falling to rubble but when I looked inside I could still see the inhabitants slung in their hammocks, swaying like bananas on the banana trees in the yard. "T.I.M." as we say down here. This is Mexico.

I passed one little house that used to be so picturesque with its red tiles and the bougainvillea threatening its very existence. I almost wept when the former owner had that bougainvillea cut back, it reminded me so much of Sleeping Beauty's castle and the bramble patch that grew up around it to keep anyone from saving her.

Now, the bougainvillea is winning and the red tiles are chipped or barely hanging on and she, the former owner, can no longer be saved.

Linda. That was her name. She and I moved here at the exact same time, we got drunk together the night we bought our houses. She was a nurse, just like me, but into stem cell research. She had great plans to do good, just like me, and we talked about opening a clinic here together. She was about 50, just like me. 

She was an alcoholic. Just like me. 

I watched her struggle, just like me, off and on through the years. She'd disappear for months on end and I'd ask someone where she was and they'd respond, "Up North, in rehab."  The last time I saw her she showed up at our Christmas Toy Give Away. Drunk. I didn't see her again. I finally asked someone where she was and they replied, "She died."

So I thought of her as I walked by her house today and the dreams she had and all the possibilities and all of our similarities.  

And I thought of the others. Just like me. Just like Linda.

Patty: My dear, dear friend and larger than life. She gave up drinking for 8 years. Then she drank, Then she died. Ruptured esophageal varice and she bled out. Alone.

Debbie: Came to the Bahamas to start a new life with her husband. 5'10 and that was without the "fuck me" heels she always wore. The most gorgeous long legs I ever saw, I used to accuse her of spraying Miracle Grow on them as we leaned up against the bar every Friday night at Sapodilly's. (We called it Slap Me Silly's). Last time I saw her we were both leaving the Bahamas for the last time. She was a shaking, rattling scarecrow of the girl I had met two years before. We got our plane tickets then crossed the sand road to drink at the bar. We caught the flight together to Miami and never saw each other again. She died the next year. She was 47.

Hilda: I never even knew she drank. But she knew I did. Boy, did she know I did. I remember she watched me with those sharp eyes of her one night as I drunkenly tried to make change at one of our fundraisers for the toy drive, She finally pushed me out of the chair and took over. I headed back to the states that summer and sobered up,  she took a dive off her balcony and scalped herself along with some other damage. We got to know each other better after that. She'd been sober once for 6 years she told me, but she'd never been able to stay that way that long again. She gave me her AA 90 Day Coin with the promise I'd give it back when she made 90 again. I still have it. She died three years ago, her daughter thought she had wet brain but it ended up being Stage 4 colon cancer. 

Terri: A few years ahead of me in school and married one of the neighbor boys. I worked for years with her twin sister. Died at 47 from liver failure.

My aunt, Orvella, a pale specter of my childhood. Died at 53, my age right now, from breast cancer and cirrhosis.

Did you know that female alcoholics have death rates 50-100 percent higher than those of male alcoholics?

But I'm not an alcoholic, I can hear you say.

That's what all these women said, too. Just like me. For a long time.

All of these women were just like me, middle aged women, between the ages of 47 and 60 who had drank all their lives and thought they would still get one more chance to turn it around. To quit again.

God, the universe, and nature gives us all the chances we need, and the means and the ways, to obtain our dreams.

Booze doesn't. It finally starts plowing us under.

And the sneaky son-of-a-bitch never tells us when our chances have run out..

P.S. Anyone that is attempting a Dryuary and needs some extra support, check out the  Dryuary Site hosted by Moderation Management.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy First Wednesday of Dryary


The above cartoon pretty much sums up how I feel about you goofballs!

In case you haven't heard it, the whole world is going Dry, as in not drinking, this month. Really? It's not? Some people are still drinking? Well, you couldn't tell it by the message boards and blogs, I would dare to say that drinkers, for once, may be the minority in these early days of January 2016. Next week may tell a different story, but let's enjoy it while it lasts.

If you've signed on to a Dryuary and your hands are getting a little sweaty and you can feel yourself losing your grip on those good intentions, I'll be hosting a Dryuary Abs Chat over at the MM Chatroom tonight. We'll keep your fingers busy on the keyboard instead of in the liquor cabinet for an hour or so.

Here's how to get there:

Abs Chat Tonight! 

Abs Chat is focused on abstaining from alcohol—on a permanent basis,
long-term, or even for a shorter period of time (like a 30!).
Everyone is welcome to attend, and to participate, but we won't be
discussing moderation techniques or plans. For discussions of
moderate drinking, we invite you to participate in the Monday Night
Book Chat or the Tuesday Night Online Meeting.
So if you're abstaining, planning to, curious about it, wondering
whether it would be a good idea, or just want to hang out for sober
fun, stop by!
See you there! http://www.moderation.org/chat/

** PLEASE NOTE: Abs Chat will be held in the Abs Chatroom. When
logging in, use the drop-down box to select MM_Abs_Chat. If you wind
up in the wrong room, you can move between rooms by clicking on the
room list to the right of the chatroom screen. **

Friday, January 1, 2016

Words


Fulfillment is a feeling of happiness and satisfaction. It's also the completion of something, like the fulfillment of a promise.

Like many of my friends in the blogging world, I took up the practice of replacing New Year's resolutions with a New Year's "Word" a few years ago.  My yearly word was supposed to replace all the guilt that is associated with the traditional unfulfilled resolutions. My New Year's word wasn't supposed to require measurements or goals, it was just supposed to guide me along through the year without any demands or expectations. Like Dumbo's feather, I thought I could just curl my trunk around a word and fly.

That's me, always scouring for the next no work or sweat required gadget on the Home Shopping Network or in the As Seen On TV aisle of my local Walgreens.

No big surprise that my "Word of the Year" offered the same astonishing results as the jars full of Belly Fat Burner and Thigh Blaster pills I have in my medicine cabinet.

Warning: Results may not be visible to the human eye!

So, I was really re-thinking this whole "Word of the Year" thing. But then I started reading all the blogs this morning and was starting to feel left out.

"Maybe I should give it one more try," I thought. "Besides, I can't think of anything else to write about on this New Year's Day and, for a sober blogger, not writing a New Year's Day blog is akin to Dick Clark not Rocking in the New Year. 

"Dick," I said, "if you can still manage to fulfill your obligations even though you've been dead for three New Year's Eves, (maybe you should have read the fine print a little closer.) I guess I should make a half-hearted but live attempt to fulfill mine."

And that's when my word of the year jumped out at me.

FULFILLMENT

I'll admit the word probably stood out because of all the unfulfilled promises I've made to myself on every other New Year's Day. I guess I thought if I made it my word, I'd be pressured into being fulfilling for at least the three week shelf-life of most New Year's resolutions. Maybe I'd be able to finish at least one unfinished task in that time.

I sat down to write a list of obligations I wanted to fulfill this year. 

Ugh, huh? 

Then I started thinking about my last post about Praying Big and I decided to make my list a list of wishes I wanted fulfilled in the next year. Things that would fulfill me and make me happy. I won't share those things with you, but I'll tell you it was a helluva lot more fun than obligations.

Then, that word "pray" jumped out at me and I started thinking about that. All of you know that I pray on a regular basis. I've tried not to be too "in your face" about it but it is right up there in the title of my blog. That three letter word, G-O-D.  I thought about my hesitancy in the beginning of this blog to include it in my title and I thought about all the other times I've wondered if prospective readers were turned off by that word in my title and maybe that was why I didn't rack up the number of followers that other blogs do. I thought about how I've considered, more than once. changing the title of my blog.

I felt a little ashamed and, rightfully, ungrateful.

See, I fully believe, without a doubt or moment of hesitation that I would not be here without God. When I thought I should give up on myself, I knew He hadn't. So, I didn't. He told me to start this blog. He did. I ignored Him for a long time but then I did what He told me.

And my life was never the same.

Thank God!

I've let Him sit back there in the background, afraid to bring Him too far out of the shadows, while I basked in the light of the fulfillment of His part of this bargain. Afraid that His presence would chase off those who don't believe in Him, those that think He's just another Dumbo's feather. 

But I believe.

Now, I think it is time to for me to fulfill my part and give Him credit and share how my belief in Him sustained me and brought me through.  It's time to concentrate on where He wants to lead me instead of where I want to take Him as long as He stays in the background.

Because I know what He has planned will be more fulfilling than anything I can conceive.

So, in fulfillment of my debt to my Co-Writer, my blog will begin to focus on my quest for a more fulfilling life, through sobriety and through Him.

I don't know what changes this will wrought.  Or if it will wrought any.I don't know if I will lose some of you as readers, I hope not, because through you I am drawn closer to Him. All I know is that since I started thinking about this new direction, I've been filled with more anticipation and excitement than I have since the early days of my sobriety. Like those early days, I can't wait to see where He will take me.  

Whether you believe in Him, or not, I like to believe that you acknowledge that in this gathering of compassionate and giving souls, here in the blogging and recovery world, there is a love and a hope and a sacredness that transcends this worldly sphere.

Happy New Year, my friends. May it be a year of Fulfillment for us all.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Praying Big


I was blessed to spend sometime, however short, with my siblings this Christmas. At one point in the evening, my sister whipped out her phone and started scrolling through her pictures. We all know this is inevitable, in fact,  we often see this as permission to whip out our own phone and start scrolling through the pics of our grandkids and, kids as we regal our victims with their accomplishments. The twenty first century's version of the dreaded yearly Christmas letter.

My sister has no children or grandchildren.

"This is the ring, I'm going to get," she said. "And here is my coat. And this is my new house."

I tried to nod appreciatively but I'm sure she noticed the judgmental glint in my eye.

"I pray big," she said unabashedly.

I bit off my urge to inform her that she was praying for the wrong things. You're supposed to put others' needs before your own, Kathleen Ann. You should pray for peace or an end to hunger, not 5 carat rings and six car garages.

I was also blessed this Christmas to spend time with all of my own kids and grandkids. At one point, my three year old granddaughter twirled into the kitchen of my oldest son's house where I'd been imprisoned for four days.

"Grandma," she chirped. "Come play with me."

"I will Attie-bug, as soon as I'm done here," I assured her, as I scrubbed or stirred yet another pot.

She stuck out her lower lip and I refrained from informing her a rooster was going to come shit on it, as her great-grandmother Davis would have warned her.

"But I want you to come play now," she wheedled.

"Atalie-Jolene Davis, the world does not revolve around you," I informed her instead.

"Oh yes, it does," she assured me as she twirled back out of the room.

I shook my head. She'd learn soon enough, I thought. But then I thought, I hope she doesn't and why should she?  Her world should revolve around her.  She should always be the sun that lights up the world of all the other beings that wonder into her orbit. She should never rely on other people or other things to provide the light in her life

My world should revolve around me, too, I realized. It always should have. Instead I let others needs and booze and my own belief that I shouldn't outshine others suck up all the fire I had in me until there was nothing left but ash. Or so it seemed. But underneath all that gray ash an ember burned and once the ash was swept away and it was exposed and allowed to breathe in again, it alighted.  And once more there was light in my life. My light. 

It's up to me to keep it lit and be deserving of all the good things that venture into my orbit. Whether they be twirling granddaughters, grandsons that still like to hug their grandma, sons that think I'm humorous as all hell and the best cook in the world, a husband that thinks his world revolves around me (and it does), or five carat rings and winning lottery tickets.

So I sat down this morning to pray big, too. But then I realized my biggest prayers had been answered already. I am sober. I have my family back the way I want them. I am loved. I love myself.

 I can now pray for smaller things, it is a luxury that sobriety has granted me. 

So I'm praying for a sprawling old cabin with a big trestle table in the middle of the main room, long, benches on each side and a big stone fireplace that takes up a whole wall of the room. I'm praying for rows of four poster beds with thread-bare, faded quilts piled on them and rag rugs strewn about the place, spaced just far enough apart that you have to hop a little in order to make it to the next one before your feet touch the cold planks of the wood floor. 

I'm dreaming of generations of twirling, twinkling stars circling around the sun that I am once more.