Monday, August 30, 2010

Halfway Is Better Than No Way

Sobriety is not likely to give us the equivalent of the euphoria we got from drinking, but a great sense of well-being based on realistic expectations is more satisfying than the ridiculous mental states we sought in drinking. Living the right kind of life will bring its own rewards. ~Walk in Dry Places
I borrowed this from an especially wonderful blog that I have been lurking on for years, Attitude of Gratitude. At times it, and other blogs, have been my salvation in my "lone" quest for sobriety.
Today is day 15 of abstinence for me. I haven't felt that euphoric rush that I've experienced in my other recovery attempts. Maybe I've become disillusioned. Maybe I've become realistic that this is not that easy or simple. A few days of sobriety does not a lifetime make. So I'll celebrate my halfway mark with some trepidation and keep watching my step.
I was watching a Katrina 5 year anniversary report on the news the other night and they were interviewing a priest whose church had been destroyed in the hurricane. It had been quite a struggle to rebuild the church and it still had a ways to go. The priest said, "If you look at the progress on a daily basis it can seem overwhelmingly futile. But if you look back on a few days, a week, a month and see how much you have accomplished, then you recognize your accomplishment." That rings so true in my reconstruction project on myself. On a day to day basis a walk, a bed made, a meal cooked, a telephone call made, an apology offered doesn't seem like much but multiply that by 15 and it seems like quite an endeavor for me, especially compared to the past. Even more remarkable is the register of the things I didn't do. No hangovers, no sleepless nights, no drunken phone calls, no bodily injuries, no burned bridges, no lost memories. I can still experience euphoria and the good thing is won't be drowned in recrimination the next day.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Let Me Introduce Myself

First off let me say I came this close (fingers spread about a micron apart) to drinking last night. I was just being a bitch all day and I didn't like myself. The poor cap'n couldn't say or do one thing right the whole day and I almost had a drink just so I'd be nicer to him. I'm not sure what held me back but I think it was a combination of things. First I have this ridiculous belief that God and I have some weird barter system set up that if I continue to be "good" he will reward me. I know that this is not how it works and God loves me no matter if I have a drink or not but I like to hedge my bets. You see, along with being an alcoholic I am a recovering Catholic and still suffer the lingering effects of a parochial childhood. Because of this I am also "cursed" with unwavering honesty (boy, has that got me in trouble a time or two). So I made a vow on this blog to be honest and I really wanted to have that drink or two last night and then not tell about it but what would be the point? I'd still know I had that drink and this blog would become some fairytale and there are enough of those out there. The final thing that kept me from having that drink last night was that I partnered up with a fellow 30 day abstainer on the moderation board and I didn't want to let him down, plus….I still want to see what happens…After all tonight is the lottery and if I continue to be good….who knows.

So a very short synopsis of me. I started drinking when I was 14 to fit in like everyone else. I became the party girl of our little town in the Midwest but that was short lived because I also became pregnant. Knocked-up and married at 18 but still managed to go to college and become an LPN by the age of 20. Drinking only on the weekends during this period but man, did I look forward to the weekends. An unhappy marriage, and a traumatic initiation into the concept that really bad things can happen to good people didn't help. By the age of 27 I had three sons. One is a nephew who we adopted after his mother, two siblings, and grandmother (my sister-in-law, niece and nephew, and mother-in-law) were killed in a fire. And, no, that was not my traumatic initiation, it was worse. At 30 I began an affair with a man that I had been in love with for 10 years (I'm not sure where I stowed my honesty at that time), resulting in a very ugly divorce and more scars than the battlefield of Antietam amongst the participants and our innocent victims. More guilt, more drinking. One happy note, my cohort in the affair and I married and are still married and very much in love 18 years later. The blended family adolescent years followed and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, more drinking. Then the cap'n and I bought a sailboat and sailed off to paradise, except there wasn't much to do in paradise. You can get pretty tired of snorkeling after 12 years so I drank. I grew to hate the boat, the lifestyle, and me. We went for a visit to Mexico for a change of scenery, fell in love with a casa on the beach in an pitifully poor, pitifully ugly little fishing village, put the boat up for sale, bought the house and swore that this would be the beginning of a new life for us. A life in which alcohol is not the main component. And now I split my time between my little A-frame in Colorado and Mexico. When we bought the house in Mexico I made a vow that the first thing that people in Mexico thought of when they thought of me would not be "drunk" or "party girl". My drinking would no longer be my defining trait. I'm working really hard on that. As always I'm doing the best I can.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Different Tomorrow

Yesterday was an icky day. Not good. Not bad. Not fun. When you are in the bondage of drunkenness and hangovers sobriety seems like some kind of utopia, always shiny and bright. I'm here to tell you it aint so. Sometimes it's icky and dirty and stinky and worst of all boring. And you can't even have a drink to pretty it up. It's kind of like a really bad date that never ends.

"Yesterday:"( bellying up to the bar) "I don't think I've seen you around here before."

Me: "Oh, you've probably seen me you just don't recognize me. You probably saw me when I was smiling or laughing uproariously and loudly. I might even have had booze shooting out my nostrils I was laughing so hard."

Yesterday: "Oh yeah! I remember you. Aren't you the one that always got everybody out on the floor dancing?"

Me: " That was me! Remember when I used to talk all the girls into getting up on the bar and dancing?"

Yesterday: " I do. Remember that one Super Bowl when you and the gang climbed up on the bar and mooned everybody?"

Me: "Yeah, I remember that. But I was too drunk to get up on the bar so I just lifted up my shirt and showed my tits."

Yesterday: "Ah yes. The Sag Sisters, Flopsy and Droopsy. How could I forget?" You were sure proud of those two."

Me, sighing and nodding: " Good times. I did use to have fun, didn't I?"

The door of the bar swings open and someone walks in.

Me: "Oh shit! Don't look!" (I put up my hand to shield my face)

Yesterday: "Who is it?"

Me, whispering: "It's Tomorrow. She's a bitch."

Yesterday: "She looks nice enough. Kind of shiny and bright."

Me: "You don't know her like I do. She makes me sick."

Yesterday: "Well, don't look now but she's coming our way."

There's a tap on my shoulder. I cringe

Tomorrow(chirping annoyingly): "You can't hide from me. I found you."

I spun around on my barstool.

Me: "Wow! Tomorrow, you look different! Did you cut your hair? Lose weight? I barely recognize you."

Tomorrow: "Thanks. Hey, you want to get together sometime and do something besides moan and puke for a change? I can be really nice if you'll let me."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Last Rites


I tore off my old dead toenail tonight. You remember, the one I killed in my water ballet incident. As I gave it Last Rites, right before I flushed it down the toilet, I vowed that all future amputations, fractures, lacerations, concussions and pregnancies will be committed in complete unadulterated sobriety. I pray. Now the pregnancy, that would be a real miracle. A simply horrible one.

Day 9 of abstinence is also down the proverbial toilet. Bring on Day 10. That's the best I can do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Simply Wonderful Miracle

Last night I looked out from my bedroom window and watched as the full moon silvered the forest while its creatures skittered and fluttered in their moonlit world.

This morning dawn's pearl light painted the wall of the cabin as I watched the sun come to the mountain and gild the tips of the pine trees with gold.

Later I will walk the mountain roads as that sun warms my shoulders and my heart will celebrate these simple, wonderful miracles.

All mine because I am sober.

Another simple, wonderful miracle.


Sappy, huh? That's okay. I'm feeling kind of sappy this morning, it sure beats the hell out of feeling nauseous.

I didn't win the lottery. But that's okay, too. Gawd! Wouldn't it be awful to be hangover when you won the lottery? Just another reason to stay sober.

Gonna go do the best I can, and today that's pretty damn good!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sneakin’ Around

Congratulations to me! I've made it to Day 6. I'm not going to get too excited because, as they say, I've been here before but still it's good to be here. I have a confession to make. I'm sneaking around behind the capn's back. I haven't told him about this blog yet. Heck I used to sneak around when I was just writing in a journal. It's not that he would be mad or stop me from doing this because, as he likes to say, I'm gonna do it anyway. But he wouldn't be 100% supportive either. Not yet. He'd be concerned. He'd be a little afraid of who he's gonna end up in bed with when this journey is done (of course, he's also skeptical, with good cause, that I'll even complete the journey). It could be a stranger. It could be somebody he doesn't like. I'm a little afraid, too. But I already know I don't like who I am right now and I want to finally reacquaint myself with the real Kary May. I want other people to get to know her too. People have such a one dimensional view of drunks. You're a drunk, that's all they seem to see. They can't see around that image to see the rest of you. I'll admit,I didn't mind pointing my own finger at someone and labeling them as nothing but a drunk, not giving them any other worth until I saw all the fingers that were pointing at me. I am more than a drunk. I always have been. Now it's time for me and everybody else to discover how much more I am. I'm pretty sure the cap'n will still love me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Watch Out Day 5

As my dog would say yesterday was "ruff"! Shitty in more ways than one. I live at 10,600 feet and just returned home from working in the flatlands on Monday. Usually by day 5 or 6 after returning home I am so sick I think I'm dying. I've alway attributed this to my celebratory over drinking. But now I know there is a altitude component involved too and the drinking sure didn't help matters. So I was sick as a dog yesterday and then in the evening I received news that an old drinking "biddy" of mine had died. I admit it I poured a glass of red wine, stared at it, took a couple of sips and then threw it down the drain. Please don't throw me off the abstinence bus because of that digression, it wasn't worth it. Still feelling crappy In my drinking days I would have got up during the night and had a bottle wine to help me get to sleep and I'd be having a little bourbon in my Mountain Dew this morning just to make me feel "better". Most people have this misconception that drunks are drinking to get drunk, hell, most the time I was just drinking to get "normal". Day 5 here I come.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another Day, Another Park

You probably think I fell off the wagon and am stuck in the muddy ruts somewhere. I'm not yesterday was Day 3 of my abstinence and it was glorious. There were not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I wanted to get done. So much better than laying on the couch in the throes of a vicious hangover counting down the hours until I can go back to bed and try to go back to sleep. Today is Day 4 and it's what I like to call a molten lava sh%* day. I always like to imagine that my cells are ridding themselves of all the poisons I've forced on them and are finally able to take a deep breath of fresh, clean air. I wish my memory cells would do the same. Seems that I'm spending the day rehashing everything that I've ever done wrong, every embarrassing moment….I wrote this in my journal on one of these days in one of my previous recoveries…
In my transient lifestyle, I found myself wandering the paths of another park. This one was not littered with the refuse of humanity but that was okay because I was feeling pretty bottom of the proverbial garbage pail about myself. It was one of those weeks when I had found myself to be embarrassingly human and even though the bruises weren't readily observable to the human eye, I was feeling pretty tender from the ongoing onslaught I was inflicting on myself.
The cap'n kept trying to reassure me that I was a good person, a nice person, a kind person but….he has to say that because he loves me and he was desperate because it ain't fun living with me when I am in this state of mind. So I didn't believe him.
So I'm on this path early one morning and I see an elderly gentleman ambling toward me. He has the rolling gait and the vacant stare of a Parkinson's patient. I am really in no mood for any kind of encounter but my good manners kick in and I smile and say, "Good Morning."
The man's vacant eyes light up, and he says, "Not everyone is friendly. I just passed a couple and said Good Morning and they didn't say anything back." He says, "I speak to everyone."
I go a few more steps down the path and dissolve into tears. I know that man was God.
P.S. Please don't write and tell me I'm a good person, that's not the point of this little article. Instead I challenge you to stop yourself today every time you tell yourself that you're stupid, fat, ugly, weak…..You're human and you're doing the best you can!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hitting the Road

Alright, I lied again. I said I wouldn't be blogging this weekend but it seems my co-writer has other plans. I thought he was the one that made that rule about not working on Sundays. I guess not. He also has other ideas about how to handle this blog. I was content to sit here and blog away and have no readers and I guess no commitment. Kind of like I was doing in that stack of journals that I've been collecting for the last several years. That way if/ when I fail nobody is there to witness my downfall. But noooooo… he decided I need to "share" so I started searching for moderation forums and I found one,, and I joined, and I posted, and I committed to 30 days of abstinence.
So, I'm starting on a journey today. I've started down this path before but something always draws me back. The fear of the unknown? The comfort of the familiar? Probably a little of both. This time I really want to make it to my destination. I have no road map, just a path I must stay on. I know there will be mountains and valleys. I know there will be potholes and times that I will want to detour and take an easier route but if I veer from the path I could become lost and it could take me a long time to find the path again.
I'm traveling light. I'm leaving all the excess baggage behind. It costs me too dearly and slows me down. Sometimes the idea of packing it up and taking it with me keeps me from taking the journey at all. All I'm taking with me is a comfortable pair of shoes and hope. That's all I need for now.  I'll pick up anything else I need on the road.
My shoes are laced, and I've got some extra hope in my backpack and I'm hitting the road. Wish me well. I'll write. Gonna do my best to get to where I'm going.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Taking the Weekend Off

I won't be blogging on Sats and Suns. I have another blog I have to write or I'll never hear the end of it. I will tell you I'm hungover this morning. (I told you I wouldn't lie.) I drank a bottle of wine last night. I don't know why. Used to that wouldn't even affect me but I must be becoming a lightweight and that's a good thing. The hangover isn't going to make it into the Hangover Hall of Shame but it's just bad enough to piss me off and remind me why I don't want to have them anymore. I swear I'll do the best I can today. See you Monday.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

‎"We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate --- thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising." ~Maya Angelou


I dreamt I watched the Perseids meteor shower last night. It was so real that I actually had to convince myself this morning that I didn't get up in the middle of the night and go outside to watch it. That's another thing I sacrificed to my years of drunken slumber, all those fantastical dreams. All those nights I could have spent in George Clooney's arms in Dreamland wasted. (sigh!)

Started out my walk this morning with a positive attitude (relax, it stayed that way). I decided to imagine myself as I would like to be. I pictured a slender woman with flowing silver hair dressed in a gauzy cotton, brilliantly embroidered peasant blouse and long skirt. Tan bare feet with a beautiful pedicure and a little silver toe ring on the little toe of my right foot. I'm sitting at a ornate wrought iron table on the shady veranda of my casa in Mexico. And I'm busy writing the follow-up to my number one bestseller.

Now here's the real me. A generously proportioned woman with sweaty artificially enhanced blonde hair pulled back in a haphazard ponytail with smudges of yesterday's mascara under her eyes. She's dressed in one of the capn's (the husband. We lived on a sailboat for 12 years. 12 very long years) old t-shirts with a fraying collar and a pair of Walmart shorts that have a hole worn in the seat. The toenail of her big toe on the right foot is black and the other toes look just about as bad. She's sitting at a faux cherrywood laminated desk in a Best Western hotel in central Kansas typing out a blog about alcoholism.

Obviously, I've got a good imagination. But one thing I know. I can become that other woman if I really want to. There is nothing impossible about that. Well, maybe the bestseller is out of my hands but I can write a book and try. Here's another thing I know. I will never achieve that if I continue to drink the way I have. I may have an okay life but I will never have everything that is within my grasp is I don't let go of that bottle and its grip on me.

I think it was on a Day 7 during one of my other recovery attempts, I was out walking (Surpise! Hey, at least I wasn't stumbling, or even worse, tumbling) and I was getting to the end of my walk. I don't know if the sun was shining just right or there was a certain smell in the air (so many triggers out there) but I really wanted a glass of wine waiting for me when I got home. So for the last few blocks there was this argument going on in my head, "I'll just have one glass of wine" and "No, you can't have any wine." Back and forth. Back and forth. Finally I stopped and said, "Okay God, I'm shutting up and handing this over to you." I silenced the argument in my head and just quit thinking about it. I walked a few steps and God said, "Don't you want to see what happens?" It stopped me in my tracks. I could see my future pretty clearly if I continued to drink, it looked exactly like my past. But I had no idea what my future would be if I didn't drink. That route hadn't been programmed in yet. I did want to see different scenery. I did want to see where that road ended up.

Did I fail? Yes. But I got a little further down the road. I could almost see what was around the next curve and it made me want to try it again. I haven't reversed all the way back to the starting point and that's a good thing. 2 steps forward and one step back.

As you know, I'm letting myself have that glass or two of wine now. It seems to be working out. I've been doing a pretty good imitation of a normal person. Several nights I've actually dumped the second glass out. I'm drinking red which I don't like so I sip it. Only another alcoholic would understand why you drink something you don't like just so you'll drink slower just so you still get to drink even though you have no intention of getting drunk. Makes perfect sense to me. Hey, I'm trying the best I can and I know you are too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Old House

I just got back from my morning ramble. The area our hotel is in has a lot of old stately homes and I love to walk past them and people them with happy families. The homes are about 100 years old and I imagine how proud and excited their original owners must have been when they moved into their dream homes. I imagine the table set for Thanksgiving in the formal dining and I can see the Christmas tree in the parlor and the wreath on the door. Such a loved and well taken care of home.
And then right smack dab in the middle of the block will be one that has been forgotten. Neglected. You can see that it once was lovely but now the weeds sprout through the cracks in the sidewalk and the paint peels. It's off kilter windows are so dull with dirt and grime that sunlight barely filters in. I always wonder how someone could let such a beautiful home get in this state. Where are its happy people?
I imagine it happens insidiously at first. A few dandelions go unnoticed. There isn't enough time or money for paint this year. It snowballs. Upkeep becomes daunting and the repairs overwhelming until the very foundation of the once treasured home starts to rot and crumble. The happy family thinks the house is hopeless and walks away. Soon someone comes in and declares that the house is no longer safe for habitation and it is condemned. It will be torn down and forgotten except for wispy memories of laughter around the Christmas tree, the smell of turkey wafting upstairs from the kitchen on a Thanksgiving morning.
Unless. Unless someone sees that under all those layers of neglect is still something beautiful. Something worth saving. First we'll have to rid the house of the pestilence that is eating away its foundation and the foundation itself will have to be replaced with stronger, hardier stuff that can better weather the attacks that will be inflicted on it. It will be stronger than it ever was. Next we need to tear down some walls to make its spaces more welcoming and comforting to its inhabitants. Finally, we'll paint it with bright colors and plant beautiful plants so we can show the world that we are proud of this house and it is loved, once again. It'll be hard work, sometimes it will seem insurmountable, but it'll be worth it.
I am that house.
Out doing the best I can today.
P.S. I've said that I believe in most if not all the beliefs that AA professes. My favorite belief is that if you get "better" the miracles will start happening. I totally believe this. One of these days I'll explain my relationship with God but anyway my writing this blog was kind of a bargain with him. I live in a poor village in Mexico for part of the year and I have become very involved in a Christmas Toy Drive down there. I have started an online raffle to raise money for the drive but it has been difficult getting prizes donated. Since I have started this blog the donors for prizes have been coming out of the woodwork. This morning I really didn't want to sit down and write this so I was wasting time on the computer as usual and there in my email was a major prize donation. So I got the message. Thanks, God.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Doing It My Way: Not AA’s Way

Let's just get this out of the way because if I ever do get any readers it is sure to come up. I think AA is a wonderful organization. I believe most if not all of its beliefs. It has saved millions of people including my brother and several of my friends. So why not me? I don't do well with organized activities. I'm not good at you have to be here at this time, this many times a week, and you have to do these things in this order. If you could see my thighs, you'd know how well my organized Pilates class worked out for me. Does that mean I'm not committed to my recovery? I don't think so. I've just always done better doing things my way in my own time. A member of AA might say that I'm not ready to admit that I have no control over my drinking. And they might be right. But they could be wrong, too.
I've written other blogs and I know one of the ways to get your word "out" is to start doing the message board/forum circuit and casually mention that you have just written about yada yada yada on your blog or to add you website to your signature on your posts. Pretty soon the hits start coming. So I went to one of these boards yesterday to lurk. It scared the hell out of me. I'm doomed! Not because I don't believe what they are saying or that I don't think the "steps" are important. I believe! I believe! But I'd fail because I hate meetings.
Let me try to explain my problems with an illustration. Years ago I was the head of a department at a college (you can substitute any organization here because it happens in them all). We were required to attend a number of meetings a week. My program was a new program that I was developing and I had a lot of work to do and when I could have been accomplishing something I was stuck in meetings. Some people love meetings (I guess they have all their work done). In the years I was there we rehashed the same issues over and over and over…you get my drift. While I was looking at my watch the meeting lovers were arguing their understanding of the issue and how things should be done. If one capitulated I would think I was home free but then the other one would say, "You know you might have been right." And then they would switch sides.
I want to find a solution and act on it even if it's wrong, not talk it to death. When I worked at the college I had a secretary. She had the easiest job in the world. I never gave her anything to do. I figured by the time I explained what I needed her to do, I could do it myself and it would get done the way I wanted it. Hell, if I joined AA, I'd probably try to rewrite Bill's Book in the first month. "Can I get a vote on a color change here? Don't you think blue is so last year?"
Anyway I digress (I usually do), but you can substitute any organization in the previous scenario. Including AA. I lurk on several alcoholics blogs and you hear it on all of them. Squabbles and disagreement at AA meetings between the people that already have their "work" done. Not about the message but about the interpretation or the way to deliver it.
Another problem I have with some recovery programs is their "Our Way is the only True Way to Salvation" attitude. I am a nurse and just like there should be no "cookie cutter" medicine, there should be no cookie cutter recovery. The other day I was reading an article about Anthony Bourdain, the chef, and after the article there was an area for comments so the same 7 people that have nothing better to do with their time can tell us how they feel on everything from genocide in Darfur to the state of Lindsay Lohans hair extensions. And of course, I have nothing better to do with my time but read what these enlightened few have to say. Anyway one of the anointed 7 said that he had read that Bourdain, a recovering heroin addict, sometimes drinks at special events. This soothsayer went on to predict a swift and fiery downhill slide for Bourdain because he, the commenter, had himself gone through a 12 step program and he knew that this was the fate of any recovered addict that takes a drink. Who says? Where did that blanket belief come from? Bourdain was a heroin addict. Do I believe that for some people that one drink might be the trigger that hurls them back into addiction and alcoholism? Sure! I think I might be one of them. But I'm not going to make a sweeping judgment and a one-for-all verdict for everybody. Speaking of Lindsay Lohan, in the middle of her jail debacle, an addiction physician made the comment on the Today Show that maybe it's time to step away from the total abstinence thing and start teaching other behavior modifications because, obviously, for some people the total abstinence thing isn't working. She got shushed pretty quickly. But maybe….she's right.
My point after all this is, there are a lot of us out there that are not cut out for the AA ride. That doesn't mean we are hopeless. That doesn't mean we don't want it bad enough. That doesn't mean we're doomed. It just means we haven't found "our" ticket out yet. And we're doing the best we can today.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The cap'n and I often travel for his work and today I am in Kansas, not far from where I lived most of my life and actually in the small town where my dad grew up. I dropped the cap'n off early at work and came back to the hotel room and donned my tennis shoes and went out for a meander. No high school tracks or power walking for me. I like to ramble aimlessly through neighborhoods watching people go about their early morning tasks, sweeping their porches, taking their trash cans down to the curb. The kids are jumping on their bikes trying to squeeze out every drop of these last days of summer. I love the tick, tick, tick of the sprinkler as it anoints the glistening grass. As I walk on I feel a tightness in my chest, an ache in my throat. I am grieving. I've lost so many of these mornings and I want them all back. But I'll never get them back. They were stolen from me. Booze was the thief. But I was the one that left all the windows and doors unlocked and let him in. He stole my sun dappled mornings and still winter nights. He robbed me of giggles and tear sprouting belly laughs, wrenching sobs. What he didn't steal out right he dulled, tinged, lessened, depleted. Alcohol has my past, God please help me guard my future.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Forgive Unto Thyself

I was lying in bed last night basically feeling like a pile of crap. You see, I had just humiliated myself in front of my brother and his family. They had come to our house for a visit and for some unknown reason I decided to hurl myself off the wagon and under its wheels during their visit. This was after weeks of sobriety. It started out with the usual culprits, a couple of Jack Daniels (Damn that sumbitch) and diet Pepsi’s the first night, by day three I had a broken toe from trying to pirouette across our stream to save a drowning flip-flop and by day four I was flopped out on the bed trying to breathe. I did redeem myself in the following days, I’m good at redemption, but I’m sure their vacation at Aunt Kary May’s will go down in the annals of vacation, filed somewhere between Montezuma’s revenge and Dengue fever for fun value.

It’s been over a week now and I’m still haranguing myself and I’m black and blue all over although it’s not visible to the human eye (except for the aforementioned toe). I finally quit yelling at myself and said, “Okay God, I’ll shut up and listen now.”

Yes, I talk to God. And he talks back. Swear to God! I don’t want to get too heavy on the “God” thing right now but he insists on being a co-author. I don’t really care if you believe or not or what you believe in. He doesn’t either. That’s not what this blog is about. I just have to make me shut up long enough to listen.

“Forgive unto yourself as you forgive unto others.” (See, I know that’s God because I don’t use the word “unto” a whole lot)

“Dude, (I’ve had my 6 yr. old grandson for two weeks) that’s not how it goes,” I replied.

“Who says?” says God. “The point is, if your brother had done the same thing, would you forgive him?”

“My brother doesn’t drink.”

“You get my point!”

(I think he was gritting his teeth)

“You promised you’d start the blog”

“I want to wait until I have a success story,” I whined. See God and I had been talking about me doing this blog for years but I kept putting it off. I had kept a journal of my many attempts at prolonged sobriety but I kept waiting for those milestones. I thought l’d wait until I was sober for a year to start a blog so I could be an example for others. Hasn’t happened yet. 100 days? Hasn’t happened yet. 28 days? Nope.

I haven’t even been sober one day if you prescribe to the popular theory that an alcoholic has to quit drinking completely in order to gain sobriety. But never mind that, that’s not what this blog is about either apparently according to my co-author.

“There are plenty of success stories out there for people to read,” God said. (That made me feel a lot better.) I need someone to write about what it’s like to want it so bad but still fail…

“You can count on me for that,” I said drolly.

“…so they won’t feel alone.” God finished.

“You know, this could make a great book like Eat, Pray, Love except we could name it Drink, Detox, Live”

“No, book deals, Kary”

“…or movie,”

“No, movie deals, Kary”

“It wouldn’t have to be Julia Roberts that played me. It could be a lesser actress. Someone like Lindsay Lohan.”

“Lindsay’s just a kid. She doesn’t have your baggage.”

“So you’re saying there could be a movie?”

So here’s the blog per request of God. No success story, no advice, just my experience.

What’s its purpose? I’m not really sure. I guess one purpose is for me to succeed in reaching my idea of acceptable sobriety. As I’ve said I’ve tried journaling in the past, it hasn’t worked. I guess I, oops I mean “we” (should I capitalize “we” if God is included?) thought if I put this out there for public consumption it might give me more impetus and if I hear from others more support to help me reach my goal and maybe it will help others along the way. If I want support from outsiders why don’t I try AA or rehab? I have my reasons that I am not ready for those options yet, although a month ago there was a day that if I could have found someone to take care of my dog I think I would have checked myself in. They are both lifesaving options but I’m not ready for them yet.

There are several purposes this blog is not the purpose of. It is not here to judge, preach, criticize, or promote one form of recovery over another. I would love to hear from others going through what I am but please don’t shove your form of salvation down my throat. Believe me, if I haven’t tried it, I’ve at least considered it. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear about “your” experience with it.

What is “acceptable sobriety” for me? I’m trying to figure that out, too. I guess I’m following a form of moderation right now, allowing myself to have 2 glasses of red wine a day. I know, I know the American Heart Association says only 1 glass for women. I’ve tried total abstinence and I’m very familiar with the first week, somewhat familiar with the second week but after that it’s back under the old wagon wheels for me so I’m giving this a try. Oh, and yeah, I’ve tried this before, too. The only difference this time is that I have you, my loyal readers along with me. That is if I get any readers. I guess I may have to do it for any future loyal readers I may have.

At times it may seem that I am taking all this too lightly, believe me I’ve had too many nights lying in bed with my heart pounding so loudly that I couldn’t sleep, praying that it would stop and praying that it wouldn’t stop, swearing I would never put myself through this again to take it lightly. It’s just that self-deprecation is a lot easier to read than self-pity. Oh yeah, no book deals.

I can only make two promises: I won’t lie and I won’t give up.