Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chasing My Own Tail

This video reminds me of me when I was drinking, especially the warning at the end about keeping "the girl" away from hard objects. LOL

I'm busy chasing my ass these days trying to wind up the toy drive and get ready for Santa's visit to Chelem so I'm going to cheat on my blog and post some responses that I have posted on the message boards in the last couple of days. They pretty much sum up my life these days.  This first one is to a woman who posted on the mmabsers board about her discomfort in social situations while not drinking.  In her posts she said, "I'm not like Kary May who can go out with her drinking friends and still have fun."

Maggie, I'd like to clarify or re-evaluate my position on going out and having "fun" with the drinking buds.

I think in my first year of sobriety I was so focused on getting through everything without drinking and trying to prove to myself and everybody else that I could do it and that I hadn't changed, I was still the same "fun and frolic" Kary May that I'd always been. When I made it through those situations, I thought, "Wow, I made it through, my life hasn't really changed, I just don't drink anymore."

I was still trying to be "on" all the time.

Now that I'm in my second year of sobriety the focus has shifted and it's not just about getting through life without drinking. The novelty of me not drinking has worn off for both me and my friends. I'm no longer Kary May who used to be a drunk, now I'm just a person who doesn't drink. I am finding most social events awkward and I feel stiff and boring when it comes to meeting new people. I know that the "drinkers" I meet are going to think the same of me. That still bothers me a little. I still like hanging out with my friends but I know that when they are in the mood to really hang one on, I'm not their first choice to hang with and I still feel left out. Plus, I have the cap'n to deal with who wants to stay and really hang one on with them when I'm ready to go home.

I've always known that I prefer solitude and I drank to overcome that, I can't do that anymore so maybe it's time to quit trying to convince myself that I still need to be the social butterfly I used to be.
My previous 30 years were all about drinking, last year was all about not drinking and this year and the rest of my life is all about figuring out how I want to live my life. It's not all sh$#s and grins, but it's life.
This is the second response I wrote to a post from a member on the Moderation Management message board who was trying to complete a "30", but was having difficulty with a business partner and wanted to blow her "30" and head to the liquor store.  For those of you who didn't attempt moderation on your way to sobriety, a "30" is 30 days of abstaining from drinking in an attempt to reset your drinking attitude and reintroduce you to a life without drinking.  My many unsuccessful attempts at a "30" were what convinced me that permanent abs was the life for me.

I am exactly where you are. Once more I have bitten off more than I can chew and I only have myself to blame. I am very involved in a toy drive down here in Mexico, ok, to put it bluntly, I'm the head MF in charge because no one else will step up to the plate. This weekend we are having a home tour and, of course, I put my home on the list to be toured and I am about to pull my hair out. Just had some construction done and we ordered tile that was supposed to be in 5 weeks ago, every week it has been, "Saturday the truck will be here." Yesterday I checked again and "Hallelujah, the tile is here!" But it's the wrong tile!!!!! I'm so sick of hearing, "This is Mexico, get used to it."
***Paragraph deleted due to excessive bitching.
I have wanted a drink more this week than I have since the first weeks I quit drinking. But I can't have one and that is all there is to it. No arguing and no bargaining or pleading, no "just this once" or "I'll do my 30 next month". That's the difference between moderating and absing. You chose to abs this month, you have to take drinking off the bargaining table. Next month or the month after that is not going to be any easier.
I have to keep reminding myself that my problems are "1st world" problems (I stole that term from my friend SoberMomRocks) and down here I live among people that can't even dream of having 1st world problems, they're too busy trying to survive.
I also have to remind myself how thankful I am to have these problems, three years ago I didn't have them.  I was too busy drinking my life away. 
We can do this!

**** Sorry for the shitty cut and paste job on the earlier blog, hopefully it makes a little more sense now.  I think I've caught my tail and managed to shove my head up my ass. LOL!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


My dad loved this picture, it hung in his dining room for years.  He liked the simpleness of the man, the flannel work shirt, the furrowed brow, the work roughened hands and the simple meal.  Dad liked to point out that as little as the man seemed to have he still took the time to be thankful.

I get your message, Dad.

Thanksgiving Day is almost done and I'm tired but I think it would be remiss of me to not come here and try to express my gratitude on this day, it's the least I can do, unlike the man in the picture, I have so much.  But having more does not make my gratefulness a more splendid thing, gratitude is worth more when you have less because it is a pure thankfulness, it's not borne by worldly things or possessions, it is borne by grace.

It is a thankfulness for just being given one more day, one more meal, one more chance to do good, to do better, to do more, to become closer to God.

Thank you God, for another chance to hear the soft dawn birdsong as a pink blush steals over the lavender shadows of my garden wall, and thank you also for the cacophony of the grackles that rises from barren branches of winter trees at dusk.

Thank you for the softness of my granddaughter's curls as I bury my nose in the baby powder scent them, and the way my grandson ducks his head away when I try to do the same to him. "Ah, Grandma cut it out, I'm too big for that."  But then he lays his head on my shoulder as I read to him and I'm able to rub my cheeks against his bristly burr cut and just for a little bit longer he's not too big.

Thank you for the look of pride in my husband's eyes when he tells others, "I don't know what I'd do without her." and the sincerity in my son's voice when he says, "I miss you."

Thank you for the ability to once again answer a friends plea, "I need you."

Thank you for giving me back me.

Mine is a thankfulness borne by my sobriety. Without it, I have nothing.

Happy Thanksgiving My Friends.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Does anybody know if Pammie of Sobriety Is Exhausting is okay?  She was the first blog I found oh so many years ago when I first started looking for answers to my drinking problem.  It was a long time before I did anything about it, but I still read her blog.  She's been sick but she hasn't posted in several weeks.  I know that some of her other long time followers must know something because they aren't on her blog nagging for news like I am.

If you read this and you know something can you just say she is okay, no details necessary.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Looking Into The Gift Horse's Mouth

Anybody else having problems uploading pics to blogspot?  Grrr!

Oh well.

I stopped in at our little church here in Chelem, as I usually do when I take my morning walk down to the mercado.  I don't know how long I sat there contemplating my little complicated universe, but all of a sudden I noticed that Mary was missing.  If you know anything about Catholicism, you know that we hold the mother of Jesus in high regard and there is usually a special place of honor for her in any church.  Here in Mexico, there's usually more than one, in fact, and this might be considered sacrilege, I think the Mexicans may rank Guadalupe even higher on the old totem pole.  After all she is the madre and he is only the mijo.

In our little church one of the Mary's resides in a little glass enclosed alcove directly under the crucifix and this morning she was gone.  Vanisho! (I know that's not a word, but I still have the gringo habit of putting an "o" at the end of English words to make them Spanish.)  I hope that someone has taken her out of her home to clean her or give her a new wardrobe of pintura, I would hate to think that some banditos absconded with her.

But it reminded me of a story I once heard of a little boy who was writing a letter about the shiny new bike he wanted for Christmas.  He was too old to believe in Santa Claus, and even if he hadn't been, this bike was too important to him to plead his case to some fly-by-night salesman in a tacky red jacket and a boozers nose. 

No, he was cutting out the middle man and going straight to the top.  Jesus!

So he sat up in his room at his desk pondering and erasing, pondering and erasing, trying to come up with the most convincing letter he could compose.  One that would convince Jesus how necessary this bike was to him.

After many lackluster attempts, he hit upon an idea.  He jumped up from his seat and he padded down the stairs to the little shrine that his mother always kept for the Virgin Mary.

He looked both ways and then he grabbed Mary and ran up the stairs.

When he got upstairs he sat back down at his desk and he sat the statue of the Virgin Mary in front of him. He picked up his pencil and he wrote.....

      Dear Jesus,
      If you ever want to see your mother again......

That little story pretty well describes what I've been doing and where I'm at.

As most of you know, this time of year my time is consumed with obtaining over 800 toys for the ninos de Chelem for Christmas, and trying not to step on anyone's toes or piss someone off while doing it.  You wouldn't think getting toys for kids would piss people off, but believe me, it does.

I know this is getting long but hold on just a little while longer, it will be worth it.

Right before I left the states I wrote a letter to a major merchandise company asking them to donate an item for one of the raffles that we hold to raise money for the toys we give away.  Notice that I didn't ask for toys, that is because we've already ordered our toys for this year, now we need the money to pay for them. (Don't worry, we have most of it).

I didn't hear anything for weeks and had forgotten all about my letter (it was an actual letter, not an email) then one day I opened my email and there were two emails from this company asking for my phone number.  I no sooner pressed send and RRRRIIINNNNGGG!

Somehow the letter that I had sent to this company in California had ended up in the hands of the woman in charge of distributorship of all of Mexico and somehow this woman is from Merida and harbors an undying affection for the Yucatan.

But she regrets to inform me that they cannot donate the outdoor furniture, bbq grill, or red scooter (Yes, I was that specific) for my rifa (raffle) but they'd still like to help us somehow. 

They want to give us the Freaking Toys!!!

Okay, but we already have toys sitting in a warehouse waiting for us to pay for them and of course the warehouse belongs to this company's arch rival and they have been working with us all year and are promising us a substantial discount.

As they say in Mexico, "Tranquillo"  Don't worry, we'll figure out something to do with all these freaking toys.  I'm certainly not going to turn them down.

So yesterday the manager of marketing in the Merida store calls and says, "We have all your toys ready. We have X number of toy cars, we have X  number of Disney Princess Dolls...all we need is your recibo de deducible puestos and they're yours.

Our what?

I knew there had to be a catch.  We are not a Mexican recognized charity, there is no way we can get one of those recibo things anytime soon.  Fart!!!

But there's no way in hell those toys were given to us to be taken away.  So here's my plan.  I have emailed a "real" charitable organization in Merida that is affiliated with the United Nations that helps children with cerebral palsy.  Basically I sent them a letter much akin to the one the little boy in the above story wrote.

   "I'll share my toys but you gotta share your recibo.  Or else Fuhgeddaboudit!

If they can't partner with us, we'll go to one of the orphanages down here.  Either way we'll find someone to help us and a lot more kids will be getting toys for Christmas. Ain't it funny how things turn out?

 That's what I've been up to.

And You?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day 9

Day 9 of Gratitude that is!  Did I scare anybody?  Ja ja ja ! (That's how we say Ha Ha Ha down here in Mexico since the j sounds like an h)

I'm not planning on listing what I'm grateful for everyday but I had to share this one.

Today I'm grateful for this blog and all the other sober blogs out there.  Yesterday I went back through my earlier posts looking for something that I'd written that would comfort, help, say "I've been there" for someone that had relapsed on one of the message boards I follow.  As I read through those earlier posts of mine I was touched by the amount of thought and feeling I put into those posts and this morning as I was taking my walk on the beach I started asking myself if I was still taking the time to put meaning in my posts, to ask myself what I had to offer that might be what someone else needed to hear or was I just writing a blog because I felt obligated to write something.

If so, maybe it was time to quit.

But you know what?  In the last two days I have gone back to spending my usual amount of time on the blogsites and the message boards and I felt as if I found what I've been missing for the last few weeks, I found the support and comfort I've gotten so used to.  I didn't know I needed it so much.  But I do.

Yesterday I started reading a blog that SoberMom recommended to me,  The Act Of Returning To Normal , and once more I've found someone that is a kindred soul, another woman that seems to be living in my head and in my heart.  I know that I am going to learn things from this blog that are going to make a difference in my life and that are going to help me cope with the struggles I am going through right now with the capn's drinking.

Just about the time I think I don't have enough time to read another blog, my Co-Writer says, "Oh yes you do.

Thank you God, thank you me, and thank you guys.  These blogs have meaning and these blogs are life-changing for us and the people that read them.

Love you guys!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mary, Full Of Grace

This is my Mary here in the Yucatan.

The title above is kind of a half-truth.  I am Mary (Come on, surely by now you've figured out that my real name is Mary), but I'm still working on the full of grace part.

I removed my previous "negative ad" but I want to thank all of you for your very caring and concerned comments.  It means a lot.  I want to assure everyone that I have had no urge to drink, if anything the exact opposite, witnessing the effects of alcohol on others and seeing a person you love transform on a daily basis into someone that you cannot tolerate, does a pretty convincing job of proving to me that booze is the last thing I want these days.  
 I'm grateful for that.

It seems for the last two weeks all I've been able to concentrate on, waste my energy on, sacrifice my joy for is the one negative aspect of my life right now.  I need to shift my focus to those things that are good in my life. 

There are so many.

I've noticed that a lot of people are doing the daily gratitude thing for the month of November and I think I need to catch up.  Today is November 8 so here are 8 things I am grateful for.

1.  I am grateful for my sobriety, which is like a new gift I get to open every morning and which          without I would be having a hard time coming up with 8 things to be grateful for this afternoon and not a single one of them would be possible, they'd still be desperate prayers.

2.  I am grateful for a husband who if I turned to him right now and said, "I think I'd like to become an astronaut" he'd say, "Go for it.  You can do it.  What do you need from me?"
3.  I am grateful for a phone call from my youngest son who says he can't wait to see me at Christmas.  He misses me.  
4.  I am grateful that once again people have confidence in me, and more importantly, that I have confidence in myself.
5.  I am grateful for friends and family that have loved me through my lost years and still love me.
6.  I am grateful that once again I have something to give others that is valuable and that I am proud of.  Myself.
7.  I am grateful for my parents that gave me a strong faith in God and love, I wouldn't have made it through without it or them.
8.  I am grateful for those that went before me, those that walk along side me, and those that follow me on this tortuous journey, you keep me on the path.

Love you guys,
A very Grateful, but not entirely graceful, Kary/Mary

Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Mexico

 I thought you'd like to see what my part of Mexico looked like.  This is a video that a couple of my friends made.

It ain't Cancun or Cozumel.