Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter: Sobriety Is...

 What has occurred instead has been a 'resurrection", 
the rebirth of the person we were supposed to be
had we never taken up drinking.
By some mysterious workings of God's will,
we have become "wiser" through the experience of alcoholism 
and the subsequent recovery process.
Although we have finally become that person God created us to be,
through the experience of our alcoholism we are far more appreciative
of the "normal" life we now lead, 
And are perhaps far more attuned to the sufferings and faults of other people.
~ Paul Sofranko--The Recovery Rosary:

I was sitting on my step this morning thinking, "Ugh...I need to write a blog this morning."  Not a very uplifting thought to have on a Easter morning, especially when I was feeling devoutly grateful for my faith and its celebration of the resurrection of Christ and for the never ending resurrection of my own my life.  Searching for some inspiration, I clicked on Belle's blog this morning, Today is Easter, and whether you celebrate it or not, it's a great time for resurrecting, right? and one of her penpals, Carrie, had written a beautiful description of what sobriety is like for her and Belle followed it with her own.  I'm not stealing your idea, Carrie and Belle, I'm promoting it, and as they say, "Imitation is the highest form of flattery."  I hope all of us bloggers and readers follow form because I can't wait to hear what sobriety is like for all of you.

Here's mine.

Sobriety is like...
The smell of woodsmoke coming from our cabin's chimney on a snowy morning as I head out for the Sunday paper and fresh baked croissants. A little while later, it's a perfectly brewed cup of tea as I lay on the couch under my favorite afghan, with Mr. Stan (the blind killer bichon) curled up next to me and the paper spread all around me.

A jar of lilacs on a window sill while there is still snow on the ground outside.

Tears running down my face and snot clogging my nose as I watch Steel Magnolias for the millionth time, an elbow nudges me and my best friend hands me a tissue without looking at me because she has tears and snot running down her face too. 

The smell of Coppertone and chlorine and hamburgers grilling on a summer afternoon.

Shooting stars falling from the sky and twinkling down through the pines at 3:00 am and I am the only one crazy enough to climb out of a warm bed to watch the show.

Flannel sheets, a pile of quilts, socks on my feet and the first frost etched on my window pane.

(I think I must be missing Colorado.  I'm heading home this Wednesday and next Sunday I'll be curled up on my couch with my Sunday paper and a cup of tea. I hope there's snow.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

The View From Here

This will be the view off my balcony tomorrow night.  The cap'n and I and eight of our friends are checking into the hotel across the street to celebrate my fifty-first birthday which is on Monday.  The streets in Merida Centro will be shutdown and all the restaurants will move their tables out onto the streets and families will sit at long tables until well after midnight laughing and talking while their children chase each other around the Plaza Mayor.  The street musicians will wander the streets and the music from jazz bands playing in ancient courtyards will spill out onto the streets. I wish I could say they are doing this just for my birthday, but they do this every weekend.

My friends and I will toast each other, they with their wine and cervezas and me with my coca-lite, and we will  remark, yet again, at the miracle that landed us all together in this beautiful city.  And I will wonder at the miracle that these people have stood by me in both my drunken past and my sober present. 

Yes, I am bragging.

And I'm not done yet.

Even more momentous than the loyalty of my friends is the trust that my family has once again gifted me with.  A phone call came yesterday from my stepson and he asked, "Kary, can you come help with the kids while Nic (my daughter-in-law, his wife) under goes treatment."  While I fervently hate the circumstances, I am honored that they would ask me, our relationship has never been as close as I would like it to be, and I'm pretty sure I have my drinking to thank for that.  No More!  Then tonight my youngest son called and said "Mom, could you come watch the kids....?"  I think he'd pretty much be okay if I "babysat" until they graduated from college.

Trust and loyalty.  I couldn't ask for better birthday gifts.

Some of you are saying, "What's the big deal? I have loyal friends and I babysit for my kids all the time.  And I still drink."

Good for you, and I'm saying that without even a hint of sarcasm.  I mean it.

But I know, without a doubt, if I had not quit drinking, I would have none of this.

So if you're starting to feel alcohol threatening all those things and people you hold dear, instead of asking yourself, "What am I going to be giving up if I quit drinking?" ask yourself, "What am I going to lose if I keep drinking."

Happy Birthday to Me!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I'm Back

I've been back for several days but the internet decided to take a trip after I got home.  Of course, I had all kinds of blogs running through my head when I couldn't post anything.  I actually did type out one offline and then decided it was all nonsense and erased it, I was trying to hard.  So right now I'm just reading your blogs and catching up.  Missed you goofballs!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Out Of Touch

I'm off in the wilds of the Yucatan this week and my internet connection is very limited and expensive (the cap'n is glowering at me as I take the time to tap this out, I'll just glower back. It's still cheaper than his rum.)  See you guys on Saturday!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I just wanted to let you all know that I haven't run off and joined the circus (although it is circus season down here and if you think circus's in the states look a little rough around the edges, you should come to Mexico. Shudder!), I'm just juggling priorities right now and trying not to drop anything.

How wonderful!

To have a life. To be busy.  To have a purpose.  To have a reason to get up in the morning other than drink!!

To be sober!

I am so grateful.

Now to change my train of thought in the middle of the tracks, as I'm wont to do.  A member posted on the moderation management board the other day that she was grateful for the struggle, she was grateful that at least she had a desire to change when it seemed so many didn't.  So many seemed to be happily drinking themselves to death.  (not her exact words or intent, I'm taking artistic license here).

I wrote back and said, "Don't be too sure.  You don't know that those people don't wake up every day and say to themselves, "Today is the day I'm going to quit. Today is the day, I'm going to take back my life." only to fail once again."

That was me.  It may have looked like I was just a drunk who didn't care while deep down, underneath the blood shot eyes, splotchy skin, shaky hands...I was consumed with the desire to change.

I remember there were these two guys I knew in high school, I'll call them Bubba and Butch.  Bubba was your typical muscle brained athlete who liked to pick me up and dump me in the trashcan or body slam me on the wrestling mats, that was his way of showing me that he liked me.  Butch was the stereotypical dreamy bad boy with big beautiful green eyes, long feathered hair (it was the 70's), soft lips (yep, I know for a fact they were soft) and, down deep, a heart of gold.

They were teenage hard partying boys, that grew into adult hard partying men.  They did drugs, a lot of drugs, they didn't go to college, they held and lost multiple jobs and women.  I liked them a lot but I always held myself above them.  I was better than them. I didn't hold out much hope for either of them.  I figured they'd go through life stoned and wind up as shriveled shaky old drunks at the ripe old age of 49, minus the majority of their teeth, on a liver transplant list. If they were lucky.

I lost track of them through the years but lo and behold, through the magic of facebook, I found them again a couple of years ago.  And guess what?  They had sobered up and cleaned up their act and there I was flushing my life down the proverbial shitter of alcoholism.

Alcohol doesn't play favorites and it doesn't matter if you're rich, poor, famous, infamous, brilliant, or just an average Joe, there are no advantages.

If Bubba, Butch and I can do it, you can.