Saturday, December 31, 2016

Bigger Clothes




“As a child, my clothes were always tailored to be oversized, because I quickly outgrew them and then needed bigger ones. As an adult, I still don't cut my coat according to size” 
― Sola Kosoko

Okay, yeah, if I'm being truthful, and I'm all about truthfulness these days, I just bought yet another dress that is in a size that I haven't seen since Reagan was in office and I was still gobbling speeders like they were Tic-Tacs.

But, in regards to the bigger picture, the bigger me,  I still have some growing to do.

Tomorrow will be all about fresh starts and growing in better directions. You know that. I don't have to tell you. I also don't have to tell you that what you do today or tonight will weigh heavily on how you feel about yourself tomorrow. You already know that, too, and I doubt seriously if I have the depth of eloquence to convince you to change whatever plans you have made.  Besides, if you're planning on going out and really tying one on, I doubt that you're cruising the sober blogs in the hopes the power of the written word will be enough to convince you to drink moderately or not at all.

I only have one request of you.

Be safe tonight and live for tomorrow-not like there is no tomorrow.  Because I want you to grow into those bigger clothes you've got waiting for you.

Tomorrow, if you wake up and you know it's time for a break from drinking, time to find a more expansive and forgiving wardrobe, I am extending you an invitation to join with hundreds of others who will be taking the month of January off from drinking at Dryuary.org.  Go ahead and get registered, it won't hurt. Not near as bad as it hurt me to squeeze into that dress and look in the mirror.

Getting it back off was a whole new fresh kind of hell.

Happy and Safe New Year, One and All! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Free Again Tomorrow!! 12/7/2016

Yep, I'm doing it again. My book will be offered for a free download tomorrow.

Here's the link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWICGL6

Or hit on the pretty picture over there in the sidebar!

'Tis the season for giving and you gotta give sobriety away to keep it, so that's what I'm doing! I'm selfish that way.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Just In Time For Christmas! Best Christmas Present You'll Ever Give! Free Book-Tomorrow! 12/5!




(Ok, so I lied about not posting until Jan.)

If you're worried about sticking to your moderation or abs goals this Christmas season, or if you'd like to screw with your friends' heads-I've got the perfect Christmas gift and it's Free-Tomorrow! (Kind of like Free Beer at your favorite bar, except in this case, tomorrow finally comes)

In a special exclusive offer to my blogger friends and the rest of the world, Neighbor Kary May's Handbook To Happily Drinking Less, or Not Drinking At All-Quite Happily
wiil be available for a free download on December 5 and again on December 6, 2016 as my Christmas gift to you. Yes, that's it in living color and yet another link over on the sidebar.
For those who have already purchased my book, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and to remind you that you also have an opportunity to give during this Christmas season by giving to the recovery community of your choice. If you email me proof of your purchase of my book, I will donate half of my proceeds from your purchase back to that community. 
Merry Christmas! Love You All!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWICGL6

***Sorry!! Earlier title said book would be free today, 12/6, also, but it isn't!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WTF??!!! My Own Blog Doesn't Remember Who I Am!



For some reason blogger doesn't want to let me comment on my own blog but it will let me post.

I am doing better. As Groundhog Girl said in her comment, "There is an ebb and flow." Well, the cap'n and I are flowing again, however, I can't help but worry about how long the flow will continue to run smoothly. Perhaps it is like quitting drinking, you try and try and try and then...finally...the try lasts.

I am going to give myself a vacation from the blog until the first of 2017, I have too much going on with my toy drive, the annual MM fundraiser, and the usual Christmas stuff,  but I'll  be back on Jan. 1 just as shiny as a Christmas ornament on a tree whose last needles are hanging on for dear life.  (Not sure what that analogy is supposed to mean, but I like it.)

Merry Christmas To Each And Every One! If sobriety is your greatest wish for Christmas, I hope your stocking ends up bulging to capacity and spilling over all over the place.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Old Back And Forth


Sometimes I get really tired of going back and forth, I want to be happy and content in one place and just stay there forever, or at least until I get bored.

But that ain't how life works, is it?

I am back in Mexico and while I don't enjoy the days spent packing leading up to traveling here, or the travel, or the days of unpacking once I get here, the physical effort of that back and forth takes a miniscule amount of energy compared to the emotional effort. The emotional back and forth is draining.

During the summer, I live like a hermit in my mountain cabin, especially when the cap'n is working which is about 90% of the time. During the summer, I get to live life by my own rules and schedule and opinion. I get up when I want and go to bed when I want. I turn the tv on when I want, if I turn it on at all. I watch whatever shows I want, or sit on the computer all day long if  I want without someone there to make me feel guilty about ignoring them. I eat what I want, but still manage to feel guilty about a meal of potato chips or ice cream.

And best of all...

I don't have to discuss any of it with anyone.

There is no back and forth about, "Are you ready to go to bed?" or "What sounds good for dinner?"

(There's also no one talking at me, commenting about what the pundits are saying on "Meet The Press" or asking me about shopping receipts from yesterday when I'm trying to write a blog, which has happened about five times already while I have been trying to write these few lines.)

So, yes, the back and forth between Colorado and Mexico is difficult for me in more ways than geographical.

I haven't even talked about the drinking yet.

I still struggle greatly with the cap'n's drinking. I don't talk about it much on here out of respect for his privacy, but sometimes it overwhelms me so much...

During the summer, he is away but he also doesn't drink because he is working, so, even though it is long distance, during those too few months,I am married to a sober person. When we come to Mexico and he is not working, which at some point in the very near future, he will be doing on a permanent basis-not working that is-he drinks. I won't go into amounts or from what time in the morning until what time at night, but he drinks a lot. Like I used to.

And that back and forth is the scariest for me. Because I know I can't do it much longer. Certainly not for the rest of my or his lifetime. Life's too short.

It's scary for me also because it starts that old teeter-totter in my head.

"If I tried drinking again, I could stay in my marriage. Maybe I could moderate this time. Maybe I'd be happier than I am right now. Maybe drinking in moderation would fill those holes in my life that not drinking at all has left empty."

Then, yesterday, I was driving home from toy drive shopping with one of my best friends, a best friend who never knew me when I was drinking, a best friend I wouldn't have if I'd continued to drink and I was regaling her with stories about "Drinking Kary May." She'd heard some stories from other people but wanted to get it straight from the horse's mouth.

After sharing some of my funniest exploits, I told her, "I miss those times and I have to admit I haven't had near as much fun since I quit drinking. But the thing is, I know if I hadn't quit drinking, I probably would no longer have a relationship with any of my kids. I know I wouldn't be trusted with my grandchildren. I'd hate myself because of that. And I might very well be dead."

I can live with less fun.

I can live in this "place"-the not drinking place- happily and content forever.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Can We Talk?

Good morning all!

Donna Dierker over at Moderation Management will be interviewing me about my book tonight but it will be mostly a gab session. So, if you want to stop in and gab here's how to do it:

The "Expressions" Phone Meeting   Tuesdays at 9PM Eastern Time
Call 1-(641) 715-3580 (Teleconference Service- Long Distance call, Iowa area code)
After Connecting, enter Conference Code: 236-913 and Pound Sign (#)
Contact Donna: expressions@moderation.org

Monday, October 17, 2016

Yeah! What Jackie Said!



My fellow blogger, Jackie over at Sober Sassy Life wrote me last week to say that a comment on my last blog, "Why Is Moderation A Dirty Word?" made her think about how she responds to those who express an interest in or a desire to moderate. She decided to do a podcast on the subject and all I can say is, "Wow!"

Jackie has a way with words that I am envious of and I hope her words on the subject inspire others to revisit their own response to those who ask about moderation and to also take time to remember that not all of us are on the same "floor" of  the drinking spectrum-you'll have to listen to the Jackie's podcast, The Moderation Debate to understand what I'm talking about. Please listen to what Jackie has to say, ee owe it to ourselves and to others who are just finding the courage to reach out for help.

Perhaps, putting moderation on the table alongside of abstinence will draw more people to the feast of sobriety earlier. And, perhaps, being less afraid to come to the table, they will feast on the experiences and lessons that are lavishly displayed at a much younger age instead of struggling on their own for so long, as many of us did.  Perhaps they will find that moderation is more to their taste. Then, again, perhaps they will come to the table intent on partaking of only moderation, but find their eyes are drawn to abstinence. They have a taste and they come back for more.

Regardless, of whether you choose moderation or abstinence, I'll make room at my table for you.

Thank you Jackie for making room for everyone at your table, too!



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why Is Moderation A Dirty Word?

I recently responded to a post on another sober blog about moderation.   One of the followers of that blog had written in and said that she was still struggling with the idea of giving up drinking forever and she was asking if moderation was possible. I responded, of course I did, that I do know people who moderate successfully, but it takes a lot of work and I'm not convinced that it ever becomes mindless or as unfettered as quitting all together.

My response that moderation was possible for some people was a lone soldier standing in a battlefield ringing with war cries of, "Moderation is a waste of time, impossible, and dangerous!"

A few days later, I read another comment from a follower who said that she had been abstinent for 8 years and then tried drinking. As we so often hear, and we know so often happens, she fell right back down the hell hole and was having a harder time climbing out than she'd ever had before.

I replied to her comment, "Thank you for sharing this. After five years of not drinking, I need to hear these stories to keep me on the path I'm on." Because, I do believe, for me, that trying drinking or even moderation again, would be dangerous. After all, I had started to exhibit signs of physical dependence and kindling.

I was informed my comment was awaiting "moderation." Now, I don't remember my comments needing moderation on this blog before, maybe they always had required this, but I don't think so. Maybe the blogger decided to moderate all comments on the post because the discussion of moderation is such a controversial subject in the sober world. It shouldn't be. Maybe my comment was moderated because I said that moderation is possible for some people. It is.

I don't think discussing moderation is dangerous, I think it is necessary. All of us tried it, for way too many years. On our own. Many of us avoided reaching out for help from others because we were told too often that our only solution is giving up alcohol completely forever, no matter the level of drinking we were worried about. If we were worried at all about our drinking, that must mean we have a problem and we should quit.

I'm calling bullshit on that.

So instead of reaching out to ask for help, when we first became concerned, we waited until we had become so lost and so embroiled in our habit and maybe so addicted, that, for many of us,  it did become impossible, a waste of time and downright dangerous to try and moderate.

See, I do believe moderation can be all those things, but not in the beginning, not when we first become concerned, not the first time we say, "I need to drink less."

Yes, some of us, even in the beginning, may find that moderation is an impossible goal for us. But wouldn't it be better to realize that sooner than later?

For some people, people like me, attempting moderation is the only step they can take and when you tell them it is a waste of time, that quitting all together is the only step available to them, it keeps them from taking any steps. And, to me, that is more dangerous than attempting moderation and failing.

This guy says it a whole lot better than me.




Friday, October 7, 2016

Perverse Pleasure



If you asked me what I love about sobriety, I would say, the starkness and solitude of it. If I was going to paint a word picture of that starkness, it would be a shaft of winter sunlight piercing through a window with plain cotton curtains onto a weathered gray table with a centerpiece of fruit. Or, a still as a church, snow covered prairie with a lone tree stripped of its leaves and one lonely set of footprints.

For so long I feared that starkness, it is exactly what I didn't want. I wanted whirling lights and ringing laughter and the never ever alone-ness of drinking.

But then, the laughter became hollow and the lights dizzying and I found myself so many times alone in a crowd. At least I thought I was. Was I the only one that had begun to dread the life I thought I loved?  Was I the only one who kept drinking long after I wanted to stop?

Was I the only one scared to death to imagine a life stripped down and myself naked?

I received this comment the other day from a friend of mine who read my book:

"I didn't start reading your book because of my drinking, but you got me thinking
maybe I should be thinking about it. Your description of how you are
seeing the world sober, was an eye opening reminder for me. I have
never been one for New Years Eve partying because I take a perverse
pleasure in waking up with a clear head when the rest of the world has
a hangover."

I agree. There is a certain perverse pleasure in knowing I am one of a hardy but small population who is sober when the rest of the world seems to be gleefully drunk or not-so-gleefully hungover.

There is a special-ness. Even a superior-ness. As though I've been chosen. 

But I know that's not true, because I know everyone that suffers can make the choice. 

We are not chosen. 

We choose...

The perverse and seldom achieved pleasure.

We choose...

Serenity.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Day 1 Again


I'm not overly fond of Day 1's, I had way too many of them, and I don't remember any of them as being enjoyable. All I remember is feeling defeated, ashamed, hopeless, lost, powerless-need I go on?
Oh maybe way back somewhere, I saw my Day 1 as a show of strength and full of promise, but that was before I knew how strong the pull of booze is, how many times it would defeat me.

Sometimes, many times in fact, I think the term, "Day 1" should be stricken from the vocabulary of us that are in recovery. Regardless of what "Day 1" proclaims, we never go back to the beginning, we don't erase every step we've taken or every lesson we've learned. I would much rather hear someone proclaim, "I stepped back on the path today" or "I'm back on my way to where I'm supposed to go."

But the use of "Day 1" perseveres. And you know what, may be it should. All of us that are not drinking today, even if we didn't drink yesterday, even if we didn't drink last year, are on "Day 1" again all over again. We join every person who is making the decision not to drink today, whether it be the first time they've made this decision, whether it is the 10,003rd day they've made this decision. Like those early "Day 1's" this day is full of promise and renewal. We are not alone, no matter where we are on this path. We are trodding through this Day 1 together.  We are all stepping back on the path. Again.

Proudly!

However, I understand if you have a hard time letting go of those hard feelings you have against "Day 1's" and I understand that you are not yet proud of the fact that you continue to persevere. You will look back someday and be very proud of how many times you had the indomitable spirit to get back on this path as many times as you needed to-I guarantee it.

But for now, I know you want to be done with your familiar, soul-sucking "Day 1's" and that's why I want to tell you about a gift from my amiga/sistah Jackie aka The Wine Bitch over at Sober Sassy Life. Jackie has created a Master class, "Ditch The Day Ones!" to help you discover how to never "suffer" through a Day 1 again. To find the link to this lesson, head on over to her recent blog,  "The Great Business De-Clutter" and scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see the Free Download.  

You're welcome.

Happy Day 1 Everyone!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Free Book Tomorrow 9/29!




Kind of reminds you of those signs you see in bars all the time, huh? "Free Beer Tomorrow" and tomorrow always stays one day away. 

am making my book available for free tomorrow, 9/29 on Amazon. You do not have to join Amazon Unlimited to get this free download, you just have to choose the Buy Now option. 


However, if you buy it today or after tomorrow and let me know, half of my proceeds will go the support community of your choice.

I do not have any way of knowing who buys the book, so if you're worried about anonymity, you're safe.

After this promotion, I promise, I won't be bugging you about the book anymore.

***If you don't see free in the priceline of the book (not the free Kindle unlimited download) don't order it or you'll be charged.

****A mistake was made with the date of the free promotion, I thought it was supposed to start today, but it isn't starting until tomorrow, if you ordered the book today thinking it was going to be free and were charged, you can either return it for a refund or I can donate the full proceeds to the support community of your choice.

It is Free Right Now, Swear To God!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Trigger Mountain


Years ago I dragged my oldest brother to a huge party in our hometown, This party was a yearly event and half the town was invited and the other half spent the evening wondering what they'd done to piss the hosts off. My brother, Pat, had been sober well over 10 years at this point, he no longer lived in our hometown and both he and I thought it would be a great chance for him to see a bunch of old friends.

We'd been there about an hour when he sought me out.

"I need to go, " he said.

"Oohkay...just let me find so-and-so and say, 'Good-bye," I replied.

"No," Pat said, "I need to go. NOW!"

So, we left.

I remember wondering how the pull to drink could still be so strong in my brother who had never shown a moment of weakness in over 10 years.

I found out a few days ago.

The minute I got the word out that I'd published my book, I hitched up a rented airstream camper and headed into the depths of Yellowstone, far from internet and tv and all social media.

The Tetons and Yellowstone are slices of untouched paradise here on earth, mouth dropping beautiful,but when we were done with sightseeing every day and back at our campsite, with nothing but a roaring campfire and nature to distract me, I was at loose-ends with myself. I didn't have the book to work on, I didn't have my cycle of social media interaction to lasso me in, I didn't have the mindlessness of tv...

I was bored out of my gourd and that is dangerous ground. Because I knew the one thing that could end that boredom. I wouldn't have to do a thing but drink, and all of a sudden the enchantment would begin. The pull was strong. After five years.

This was my and the cap'n's first voyage into camping. I'd camped as a kid, but he never had, and two days in to the trip, I could tell he wasn't warming to my vision of our future spent in a vintage trailer on an endless ribbon of highway.

I knew if I'd still been drinking, it would have seemed so much more fun. We would have gotten  drunk around that campfire and sang and danced and we'd would have convinced ourselves that the camping life was the life for us.

That's how we ended up on a boat.

That's how we ended up in Mexico.

Continually drinking until a new life seemed to hold all the promise that our current life didn't.

Now I don't drink and this life I have is my life, the life I've worked to build for five years. There are times it is boring, there are times I wish it were enhanced and more enthralling than it is.

It would be so easy and quick to make it so.

And totally devoid of any effort or value.

I'm done escaping, I don't need to go find a better life.  I'm staying here where I belong.  Maybe I'll hang some new curtains.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

I Did It!


When someone asks me if I'm never drinking again, I always say, "I'm going to wait five years, then see how I feel.

Well, five years is here....

Ask me in another five.

Actually, my soberversary was on September 13, but I've been busy.

Because,

Again,

I

Did

It!!!

The book is done!

As I say in the book, I have no idea what will happen with this book. I may enjoy a couple of days of accomplishment for it to only fade away. But the thing is, just like this blog, writing this book is something I was supposed to do. Did this blog bring me the fame and fortune or notoriety I might have dreamed of in the beginning? No. It brought me so much more. It brought me back to myself. I can't wait to see what this book brings, because I know it will be more than I ever expect.

Thank you to everyone who contributed and thank you all, every single blogger, recovery community member, oldies and newbies who have inspired me.

Now, I'm starting to sound like Miss America, so just give me my sash and my crown and I'll walk.

Oh, yeah, if you want to check out the book, hit the cover on the right upper side of this page. I hope you enjoy.

In case the button doesn't work, (I am not an IT tech!) here's the link:

Neighbor Kary May's Handbook To Happily Drinking Less, Or Not Drinking At All Quite Happily, With the help of the online community.  

Quite a mouthful, huh?

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, if you order the book and then send me proof of purchase and the name of the online recovery community of your choice, I will donate half of the proceeds from your book back to the online community of your choice. 

One more thing, I cannot see who orders the book, in case you're worried.


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Abs Chat is Fixin' To Start! at 9:00 pm EST


If you're hanging out thinking about how to not drink tonight, drop in to MM's abs chat. All abs talk tonight, no talk about moderating. We're starting in 15"

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, September 2, 2016

It Takes A Village


Some of us are able to win the battle against booze solely by blogging, some of us will need to find additional support,  I was one of the latter. Each of us are unique, and just because so-and-so succeeded by doing this-and-that, doesn't mean we will be able to. Don't follow someone else's footsteps, forge your own path. If what you're doing isn't working, get out there and explore, cut a new trail, there are so many communities, so many villages, out there. You just might find a home.

Shared from the new MM Public Hub:

“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I didn’t want to join a support community. I didn’t think I needed one. I was a strong individual. I’d always worked better and accomplished more on my own.
I thought I could solve my drinking problem on my own, too. And, I tried. And tried. And tried. For thirty years. And, I got nowhere but deeper into my problem.
Why? Why can’t we manage to manage our drinking on our own?
The reasons are too numbered to cover here, but I think one reason is because our society, our main “village”, has become so “drinking is necessary to enjoy life” oriented that it attaches a stigma of disgrace and failure to those who openly try to improve their drinking habits. Seeking support from our fellow drinking villagers can result in censor and isolation. In fact, we often experience a surge in opposition to our defection toward healthier drinking.
It’s hard to mount a successful defense when the rest of the world is against you. And, that is exactly how it feels when we decide to either quit or reduce our drinking.
No matter how it feels, you are not alone.
According to The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (the NIAAA), about 16.3 million adults in the U.S. suffered from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) in 2014 and about 1.5 million sought help.
1.5 million people sought a new village, and that’s just in the U.S. There are people worldwide who are looking for villages of people like them. People who want to take back control of their drinking. People who want to take back their lives.
Every day, new online support communities populated by people who are struggling with drinking problems or addiction are cropping up. Unlike the traditional methods of recovery, these online communities allow members to reach out for support from the comfort of their own home. These communities offer 24/7 support from members who are either facing the same struggles or have faced them in the past. Finally, there is help and support for people, like me, who could not get past the obstacles of face-to-face meetings or rehab or therapy to reach out for help. While some members of traditional organizations may argue that it is impossible to be as accountable to a community that is only linked through the internet, not flesh and blood, members of online support communities report an enhanced security in sharing their experiences. As one member put it, “I had a hard time entrusting my anonymity and secrets with people who were court ordered to attend meetings.”
Why do members of these villages succeed more often and more easily than those that go it alone?
Again, the reasons are too many and varied to discuss all of them here, but I’ll attempt to cover a few of the strongest.
Validation: In our support village, or community, our goals for a better life are recognized and validated. Sometimes we need a chorus of voices to drown out that one loud inner voice, you know it, the one that keeps telling us we’re making a bigger deal out of our drinking then we need to. The one that rushes to reassure us we’re not nearly as bad as so-and-so or so-and-so. That voice to which we so easily concede after a couple of drinks, until the next morning when we remind ourselves, it doesn’t matter how bad so-and-so is, all that matters is that our drinking is causing us misery and we don’t want to feel miserable anymore.
When I joined MM, my new villagers didn’t wag their fingers at me and say, “Don’t you remember the last time?” or “Haven’t you done the same thing over and over enough times to learn your lesson yet?”
Instead, they said things like:
“I remember what that’s like.”
“Don’t give up.”
“Here’s what I did.”
“If I made it, so will you.”
I could count on the members of my support community to recognize the efforts I was making when members of my other villages, my friends and family, could only see that I hadn’t succeeded yet.
Strength and Comfort in Numbers: When we finally accept that we, alone, are not an adequate defense against our habit and when we realize our inability to conquer it alone is not our fault and nothing to be ashamed of-statistics don’t lie-we, once again, feel empowered instead of defeated. The act of seeking help, of joining an online support community, will be the first pro-active action many of us have taken against our drinking. We begin to feel like we are taking charge and taking back a small piece of our lives. If we can do this-because it is a monumental step that many are too afraid to take-what else are we capable of?
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with others is not only our best defense, but we once again feel that we belong. We are not outsiders. We are fighting on the side of right for us and our other support village members. Together we can accomplish what we could not accomplish on our own. The proof is there in every victory, our own and those of our fellow villagers. It’s there in every message board or forum post, and there are many, that proclaims, “I could not have done it without the rest of you.”
The Nobleness of it All:
I have been a member of various support villages for six years and I can’t count the times I have witnessed nobleness emerge among each village’s members. For many of us, we come to these support communities when we are at the lowest point in our life. When feeling noble is a faint memory. Many of us who join online support communities lurk for a time before we feel ready to introduce ourselves. We’re just too afraid and too ashamed. For no good reason, but we are. Then we see someone step forward, someone who is also ashamed but not afraid to talk about that shame. They need help. They need to know that they aren’t as horrible as they think they are. They need to know they are not alone.
We are pulled forward, not for us, but for them. Because it is noble to tell someone else that we know what they are feeling, that they aren’t alone, and that we have been where they have been.
It feels good. It feels right. It feels noble and we want to feel more of that.
Ironically, I have also witnessed members who only interact with other members when they, themselves, need help. They don’t take part in daily care and feeding that goes on in the community. The encouragement of others, the gentle nudges when someone is sliding off track, and the checking on the health and welfare of others. I don’t think it is an accident that these members struggle far longer than others. They haven’t accepted the burden of nobleness and reaped the benefits of making themselves accountable for others. Often we will do for others what we won’t do for ourselves. That is what makes these communities work, our need to do our best to help the other members of our community. The need to get stronger to help others and ourselves achieve our common goals.
It is impossible to put into words all that my own community, Moderation Management, has helped me accomplish, as a matter of fact, I’m sure there are far-reaching effects that I will never know. But I do know that I would never have found my way to where I am without my fellow villagers there, the ones that went before me, raising a torch and showing me the way, and those that fought alongside of me, held me up and kept me from surrendering, and, now, the new members who encourage me to keep fighting for them.
Thank you, mi amigos. I love you one and all.
Kary May

Thursday, August 25, 2016

I Had An Amazing Blog Written, But This Is Better

I'm lying, I didn't have an amazing blog planned. But a friend did share this link to an amazing article the other day and I thought I should share it with you. It really points out how we are bombarded constantly with in-your-face booze-it-up events. Booze has become the must-have accessory for every event in our life. We the sober are looked at with sympathetic eyes because we no longer imbibe in escaping from our lives.

Ah, my poor sisters, weep not for me, weep for yourselves. Life is so worth being here for.

http://qz.com/762868/giving-up-alcohol-opened-my-eyes-to-the-infuriating-truth-about-why-women-drink/

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Bird Brained


I posted this on the Moderation Management Facebook page yesterday and some smartass ;) wrote back and said, "If you were this, waiting for a sign is it???" Okay, maybe they weren't being a smartass, maybe they have one of those brains that can't see the number in a square of dots or their brain sees the green light on a stoplight as red and vice versa. Good thing, they have people like me to spell it out for them.

"No Dumbass! Read the left side of the sign first (btw, I typed in "right side of the sign first" first.) and when you think the stoplight is green it's really red so don't GO for Chrissakes! You think, you'd learn after your kajillionth total body crunch! (medical term for, "Uh-oh, you're totally fucked up.)"

Now on to today's featured post.

I live in one of those 70's A-frame cabins, the ones that as a kid we used to see strung along the highways in Colorado and New Mexico next to signs that said, "Build your dream cabin in a weekend."  It is not a modified A-frame that actually allows for some straight up and down walls to which you can back up furniture flush with the wall, this one starts its A slant from the ground up leaving about 1000 sq. feet of living and breathing space in a home that measure 1800 sq feet of floor space.

Our cabin has that standard gargantuan triangle window nestled in the peak of the A from which you usually have tremendous views, unless it's our window.

You see, the cap'n and I are both afraid of heights and in the ten years we've lived here we've only worked our nerve up one time to wash it. We were both drinking back then so I have a feeling Jack Daniels had something to do with the abundance of nerve. We probably fought over the ladder after a couple of courageous pours.

Since one of us sobered up (me) the grime on the window has gone un-threatened.

We have the same conversation at the beginning of every summer.

Me: "I'm going to call someone to come wash that window."

The cap'n:"No, don't.  I'm going to replace it this summer with a triple pane."

The grime folds its arms across its hairy chest and  mocks me the rest of the summer.

Over the years, the occasional bird has flown into the window and knocked itself silly, tumbling down to our deck where it sits for a few minutes trying to get its wits about it and then it flies off all wobbly and unsure, probably wondering if it would be a good idea to give up flying altogether.

This summer, though, the birds have been signing up for kamikaze missions at an alarming rate. Almost hourly I hear their little bird-brained noggins hit the glass and I look up just in time to see them spiral down to the deck.

I guess our window has built up enough dirt that it has become like the silvering on the back of a mirror. When the bird flies up there, he sees another bird who looks a lot like him flitting around and a bunch of trees with a whole 'nother set of feeders full of corn right behind the mirror image of him. So he goes for it.

Now I'm not totally sure how bird brains work. Do they retain memories other than where my feeders are located?  Are there a bunch of other birds squawking from their little spindles on the feeders, "Dude, don't go up there, it's just a mirage. Get your ass back down here where the real stuff is."

If birds could read and I wasn't sober, I'd grab a ladder and climb up there and tape up a big sign,

"Danger! Objects in the mirror appear larger than life. They are not real! Listen to what the other birds are telling you! Fly the other way!"

Day before yesterday I watched as a little yellow breasted wren performed it's death spiral down to my deck. I went out, it was just laying there, its little wings tucked in close, its little eyes like those X's you see on dead cartoon characters. I looked for a tiny heartbeat. I ran my finger along the edge of its wing. But there was nothing.

I picked it up and took it to the bridge over our stream and let it go.

I'm sure you can get the moral of this story without me having to spell it out.

No, it's not that I need to clean the window, even though that's also true.

P.S. In my family, "Smartass" and "Dumbass" are terms of endearment. We're all immature second grade boys and girls out on the playground at recess, if we call you names, it means we really like you.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Abs Chat Tonight: 9:00 PM EST


I'll be hosting tonight. Stop in and grab a fire extinguisher!"

A little bit about MM's abs chat. It's very informal, eventually we get around to talking about drinking. The audience is made up of MM members, most of them doing or attempting an extended period of abs. They are always curious to hear about life in Permanent Abstinencedom and how we made that choice. I'm sure they'd love to hear your stories if you want to stop by.

We do not allow any conversation about moderation during this chat, but we also don't bash moderation and tell them that they're wasting their time, because at MM we don't believe that attempting moderation is a waste of time. I liken my year of attempting moderation to the period of time that many people who choose abstinence right out of the gate spend going back and forth between absing and drinking-what a lot of the abs world calls relapses. I don't think of them as relapses as much as I think of them as learning periods. One more lesson that we have to learn before we have the knowledge necessary to accept that permanent abstinence from alcohol is the right choice for us. No shame in that.

Here's the info:

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. **

Monday, August 15, 2016

Just A Reminder: Alternative Roads To Recovery Tele-Summit starts today!

Today is the first day of, the “Alternative Roads To Recovery Tele-Summit” event in which I did an interview promoting Finding Help For Your Drinking via Online Communities will be available online. My interview is today! 
The registration link is: www.alternativeroadstorecovery.com
The following people are included as speakers: 
• Beverly Sartain, Spiritual Psychology in Recovery
• Mike Massey, SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training)
• Kary May Hickey aka me, Online Recovery Communities
• Kenneth Anderson, HAMS (Harm-reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support)
• Fred Haas, Intuition in Recovery
• Dr. Rigo Brueck, Intensive Outpatient Programs
• Byron Kerr, LifeRing
• Dr. Raymond Pomm, Medication-assisted Treatment
• Durga Lee, Yoga of Recovery
• Alida Schuyler, Recovery Life Coaching
• Patrik Schmidle, Mentorship in Recovery
• John Haspel, Mindfulness Based Recovery
There will be 3 speakers each day Monday - Thursday and Friday will be an encore day where the listeners will be able to listen to all the recordings again
I hope you find this event educational and inspirational. Please forward this to others involved in helping people help themselves.
Thanks and best!
****When you go to register, you'll put in your email and name and then be directed toward a chance to pay for a recovery plan. You do not need to do this to register for the program. You will receive and email. Make sure and check your Spam folder.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Self-Preservation



So, I went to mass last Sunday (I bet you guys are "praying" for the day I return to MX and all my blogs start out, "When I was walking on the beach this morning...), I wasn't really in the mood, the cap'n and I had been fighting and I was on Day 6 of no carbs which means no ice cream and I was that kind of weepy where if anybody looked at me wrong or said something nice, I was going to burst into tears. I huddled over in the corner of the very back pew to avoid either circumstance and kind of wondered what the heck I was doing there.

My inner voice had bribed me by saying, "There might be something really valuable at mass today. Something that will make giving up drinking and ice cream and everything else that makes life worth living  worth it."

"Huh?" I said. But I went.

I was sitting there before mass started trying not to think about how sorry I felt for myself, when I got the idea to open up the missal to a random page and see if there was a message there for me.

Yep, there was.

Here it is:

"I will extol you, Oh Lord, for you drew me clear/and did not let my enemy rejoice over me. Oh Lord, you brought me up from the netherworld/you preserved me from among those going down into the pit. "

Yeah, I think that was meant for me.

Now, the task is to figure out why I was preserved.

I guess that's a question for all of us who have found a lasting sobriety, Why did we make it, when so many don't? I don't think it has anything to do with being chosen, or being stronger, or being smarter, or being anything more than the others.

I think it has only to do with choosing to save ourselves. It has to do with putting ourselves first.

No matter what.

To love ourselves.

No matter what.

To not drink.

No matter what.

Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust.

Amen.

For those still struggling:

Quit pickling yourself, preserve yourself for something better.

Choose you!

Over and over again.

No matter what.

(Ha ha, disregard the whiny, self-pitying first few paragraphs of this post, that was a hormonal, carb-deficient, atypical day. I still wouldn't trade it for a hangover, though!)

Monday, August 8, 2016

A New Tool-Your Kids


"Teach Your Children"

You, who are on the road must have a code that you can live by.
And so become yourself because the past is just a good bye.
Teach your children well, their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they fix, the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.

And you, of the tender years can't know the fears that your elders grew by,
And so please help them with your youth, they seek the truth before they can die.
Teach your parents well, their children's hell will slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams, the one they fix,the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.


As a mom, I was a giver-inner. I was tired, I was harried, I was young, but more than anything else, I wanted my kids to like me. I wanted to be the fun mom.

I can imagine me as a mom looking up at a waterslide that there was no way in Hell, I'd go down and saying to my kids, "Over my dead body, will I let you go down that thing."

And then caving. Because the begging was unrelentless. Because it was hot. Because all the other kids were going. Because I knew how much my son would enjoy bragging to his friends that he'd gone down the Insane Slide of Doom.

I can understand that.

What I can't understand is how I put my kids at risk by my excessive drinking over and over in their young and vulnerable lives. Want me to mention a few and make you and me cringe?

We had hordes of kids spend the night almost every weekend down in our basement, not to mention my own kids. I can remember thinking I shouldn't drink and put not only my  kids at risk but other parents' kids at risk. Then I'd think, I can have a couple. And we all know where that goes. I can remember thinking, right before I passed out Friday after Friday, Please, God, don't let there be a fire in the basement because I know I'll never wake up in time to save those kids.

I can remember taking my tween boys and a neighbor boy that we always called our "Other Son" out in the country to let them drive. I can remember having my Big Gulp of JD and Diet Coke right there in the cup holder. Tragedy was just one over correction on a loose dirt road away. It makes me sick and so ashamed to think of that.

Then there was the time my oldest son was having a birthday slumber party. I drove around to collect all the boys that were coming. Of course, it was a Friday evening and I had met my co-workers at our customary watering hole after work for a couple or more. And, of course, I had my Big Gulp right beside me in the car as I picked up boy after boy.  Then I thought it would be a really fun idea to have a Chinese Fire Drill, just like I had done when I was their age. I stopped in the middle of the main highway that runs through our town and the boys all jumped out and ran around the car and jumped back in. All except my son who sat in the backseat cringing. I might have seemed like the cool, fun mom to his friends, but I was his embarrassing drunk mom to him.

All of those events and many more could have ended in a tragedy that would have ruined dozens if not hundred of lives when you extend to grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, the whole community of our town.  Tragedy might have happened even if I hadn't been drinking, but I was.

Every week, hell, every day, it seems like I read about another senseless tragedy in which a child is killed. The little boy on a family vacation in Orlando. An eleven year old girl stuck by lightening at summer camp. Children swept away by floods or tornadoes...So many.

And now,  another child who probably was a little scared but wanted to prove he wasn't, died on a waterslide that he wasn't big enough to go on in KC. Probably no one is big enough to go on that slide.

Another mother will live the rest of her life without her son.

While I, undeservingly,  got to watch my sons grow to adulthood.

I propose a new tool to help us quit drinking, or to keep our drinking in "safe" parameters. 

Never drink around your kids. I don't care if you swear you'll drink responsibly and only have two. Instead, if you're going to drink, make sure that it is when you're children are safe in the care of another adult. 

Tragedy is too close at all times in childhood, we, as parents,  don't need to invite it closer.

Teach your children well. Teach them that parents keep their kids as safe as they possibly can so they can teach their children the same thing.

Are you sitting there with your arms folded across your chest, adamant that your drinking doesn't affect your kids? 

I have a dare I'd like you to accept.

We drinkers make lots of lists for ourselves about the pros and cons of our drinking, why we shouldn’t drink, things that are better when we don’t drink.  

I dare you to ask your children to do the same.  Ask them to make a list of the good and bad things about your drinking.  That would be a real eye opener, wouldn’t it?

Too scared?  I don’t blame you, I’m too scared too.

Maybe you can fill one out for them.  I’ll give you some sample questions.

Have I ever embarrassed you because of my drinking?

Have you ever felt that drinking was more important to me than you?

Have you ever wished I didn’t drink?

Have you ever been able to tell that I was drunk?

Do I scare you when I’m drinking?

Have you been able to tell when I’m hungover?

Have I ever seemed impatient or grumpy when I’m hungover?

Have you ever lied about my drinking?

Are you afraid to have friends or company over because I might embarrass you?

Have you ever not wanted to come home because of my drinking?

Have you ever wanted to leave because of my drinking?

Have you ever made excuses for me because of my drinking?

Have you ever heard me lie because of my drinking?

Have you ever not got to do something you wanted to do because of my drinking?

Have I ever not done something I said I would do for you because of my drinking?

Have you ever seen me passed out?

Have I ever not remembered something you told me when I was drinking?

Have I ever done something or said something that hurt you when I was drinking?

Would you like me to stop drinking?

Do you still think you're drinking is not affecting your child? Even if a physical tragedy never befalls them, what kind of emotional tragedies have they been subjected to?

I see the results of my drinking in my now adult children and it hurts, it is a hurt I will live with the rest of my life.

I don't want that for you.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Alternative Roads To Recovery Tele-Summit



To all: Starting on August 15th-19th, the “Alternative Roads To Recovery Tele-Summit” event in which I did an interview promoting Finding Help For Your Drinking via Online Communities will be available online.
The registration link is: www.alternativeroadstorecovery.com
The following people are included as speakers: 
• Beverly Sartain, Spiritual Psychology in Recovery
• Mike Massey, SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training)
Kary May Hickey aka me, Online Recovery Communities
• Kenneth Anderson, HAMS (Harm-reduction, Abstinence and Moderation Support)
• Fred Haas, Intuition in Recovery
• Dr. Rigo Brueck, Intensive Outpatient Programs
• Byron Kerr, LifeRing
• Dr. Raymond Pomm, Medication-assisted Treatment
• Durga Lee, Yoga of Recovery
• Alida Schuyler, Recovery Life Coaching
• Patrik Schmidle, Mentorship in Recovery
• John Haspel, Mindfulness Based Recovery
There will be 3 speakers each day Monday - Thursday and Friday will be an encore day where the listeners will be able to listen to all the recordings again
I hope you find this event educational and inspirational. Please forward this to others involved in helping people help themselves.
Thanks and best!
****When you go to register, you'll put in your email and name and then be directed toward a chance to pay for a recovery plan. You do not need to do this to register for the program. You will receive and email. Make sure and check your Spam folder.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Abs Chat Tonight!



"Hey, who cut this cheese?"

I'll be hosting Abs Chat tonight in the MM chatroom. If you're looking for a little company and encouragement, stop in. It's very informal, no need to study up, we won't be holding a pop quiz. We just like to talk about not drinking. 

9 PM Eastern, 8 Central, 7 Mountain, 6 Pacific

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. **

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Corners

"A Step You Can't Take Back"

So you find yourself at this subway
With your world in a bag by your side
And all at once it seemed like a good way
You realize it's the end of the line
For what it's worth

Here comes the train upon the track
And there goes the pain, it cuts to black
Are you ready for the last act?
To take a step you can't take back?

Taken all the punches you could take
Took 'em all right on the chest
Now the camel's back is breaking
Again, again
For what it's worth

Here comes the train upon the track
And there goes the pain, it cuts to black
Are you ready for the last act?
To take a step you can't take back?

Did she love you?
Did she take you down?
Was she on her knees when she kissed your crown?
Tell me what you found

Here comes the rain, so hold your hat
And don't pray to God, 'cause He won't talk back
Are you ready for the last act?
To take a step you can't take back, back, back?
You can't take back, back, back.

So you find yourself at this subway
With your world in a bag by your side

I've been binge watching this one show since last night, actually I've been fast backing and re-watching one scene over and over mostly.  The movie, Begin Again, is on Netflix right now and it  stars Keira Knightly and Mark Ruffalo. Mark Ruffalo plays a washed up, pickled music producer who is ready to cash in his chips. He's lost his wife, his kid, his career...he's stumbles off a New York subway train right after some Bible thumper hands him a pamphlet and tells him to go have a talk with God. As the train starts to pull away, Mark Ruffalo's character tells the Bible thumper that he is indeed fixing to have a talk with God. I don't know if he'd really throw himself on the tracks, that would make for a really short movie, but right then there is an announcement over the subway system intercom that the next train has been delayed due to maintenance  problems. Ruffalo tips his fifth of whatever up and lo and behold it's empty. The guy just can't catch a break. He stumbles up the subway steps and into a bar. There on the stage is Kiera Knightly, a songwriter who has suffered her own downturn of luck singing the above song.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign?

The rest of the movie is about redemption and survival and finding that redemption and survival in what brings you joy. But the part I play over and over is Mark Ruffalo listening to that song, when he starts to imagine the instruments playing behind it and the arrangement in his head. The look of pure salvation and relief that sweeps over his features brings tears to my eyes.

As we say, you never know which corner your salvation is around, it could be a couple of miles up the road. Or it could be the one you're getting ready to turn.

Watch the movie.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

What Is Sobriety To Me by Kary May Hickey


As a non-drinker who has stayed active in a moderation community I am often asked what my definition of sobriety is. Lately I've been saying that my definition of sobriety is facing life day in and day out without the influence of alcohol compelling or inhibiting us, whether that be through total abstinence or successful moderation.

But really it comes down to not being able to blame drinking for anything anymore.

Sobriety to me is having only myself to blame for:

1. Probably still fucking up the alphabet if I was pulled over for a sobriety test because I'd have an anxiety attack that would render me brainless and I wouldn't even have my old boozy coquettishness to fall back on.

2.  Still falling down the deck steps because I decided to traipse outside in the middle of the night in my slippers and nightgown to turn on my twinkly lights. (a couple of weeks ago)

3. Still wincing sometimes when I recall my latest sexual escapades.

4. Still not answering the phone after 5:00 pm.

5. Still erupting into inappropriate laughter when someone is sharing their most shameful experiences or secrets. This is why I would not do well at meetings.

6. Still having putrefying vegetables in my crisper drawer that have liquified into a seeping, odoriferous substance unknown to man.

7. Still excelling at procrastination.

8. Still possessing absolutely no fashion sense but an abundance of ambivalence and "mom jeans"  in various sizes in my closet.

9. Still only having the same four dance moves I learned in 7th grade- the bump, the robot, the hustle and the white girl shuffle. The good news is I don't inflict them on others as much as I used to.

10. Still facing each day trying to be the best me I can be and sometimes falling short of the mark.

Sigh. Oh, well.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Buddha Belly


I was out watering the flowers this morning and caught my reflection in the front door. Ok, the belly was covered but that's about the only difference.

But you know what?

I don't care.

The kids and grandkids are coming this weekend and I'm making home-made bread,  and chocolate chip cookies and macaroni and cheese...and they don't care if grandma has a Buddha Belly.

Beats the hell out of Grandma having a beer belly and being hungover or drunk all weekend.

Hey you up there, have I told you "Thank You!" today?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Abs Chat Tonight: Don't Let Me Be Lonely


Join me in the chatroom tonight, we'll be talking about anything you want, as long as it's about not drinking.


9 PM Eastern, 8 Central, 7 Mountain, 6 Pacific

Abs Chat Tonight! 

Been pretty quiet in the Abs Chat Room Lately but I hope tonight is different.


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. **

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

I'm Listening


My old friend Hilda once described to me the day she relapsed after 6 years.

"It was just another day, I got off work and decided I wanted to drink, so I did," she said.

Followed by, "I've never been able to stay quit so long since then."

I couldn't understand how someone could give up 6 years of sobriety that easily, but then there was last week.

Just like Hilda's "just another day," last week was "just another week." Before I get you too worried, I did not drink. But I wanted to worse than I have since the early days of my sobriety. And there was no good reason, which makes me think, What if there had been a good reason?

Instead it was a week of the usual insecurities, those moments of feeling like an outsider, those moments of feeling I've not done as well as so-and-so or as much, those moments when my best will never be as good as someone else's and, really, why would I even try? Do I really want to set myself up for failure. For ridicule? What if I let everyone down?

I whined about it all week on the message boards and during chat, causing some alarm amongst those that see me as the Pollyanna of the non-drinking world, because that's usually my take on sobriety. I even whined to the cap'n.

"Sometimes I don't think you realize how hard it is. Sometimes, like right this very minute, I really, really miss drinking!"

He just told me that he "got it' which of course he doesn't since he still drinks. But he also told me how proud he is of me which helped a little.

Then Sunday morning rolled around. I've been making myself go to mass every Sunday lately, I'm not sure why, seems like I've done pretty well without it all these years. But just like when I started this blog, and just like when I decided to write the never-finished book, that inner voice-it's really not all that still, Eckhart, old buddy-has been urging me to go. Last Sunday was no different but I was steadfastly ignoring it and not feeling bad at all about it. Then, at the last minute, I decided to go.

See, I've learned that my inner voice usually knows something I don't.

The Gospel was a familiar one, the one where Jesus tells his apostles that they have to give up all their earthly goods to follow him.  The priest expounded on it by saying that it doesn't really mean that we have to drain our bank accounts and donate our houses to the homeless to do His will, it just means that we have to recognize what it is we're supposed to do and be willing to sacrifice whatever is necessary to do that one thing.

Because it is the right thing for us.

Lightbulb!

I knew the one thing I had to do and I knew that I had to give up all my earthly insecurities to do it. Because it is what I'm supposed to do.  The tides turned and all the missing of drinking and feeling sorry for myself disappeared. I've been riding a cloud of "rightness" every since.

It was the same when I finally quit drinking, when I finally listened to the "right" voice and did what I knew I was supposed to be doing all along. Once I accepted that, the urges and the doubts disappeared. Because it was the right thing for me.

In the last 24 hours, I have seen four people return to the sobersphere, to their blog or to their online support community, after being gone for a while. They may not know it, but they are following that inner voice, they are doing the right thing.  Whether we believe in a Higher Power or not, we recognize what is right for us, we just need to learn to embrace it.

Even more, to revel in it.