Day 903 – Freedom of Letting Go

Dear Sobriety,

Leslie S. shared this story in a Zoom meeting – let me start by apologizing for butchering this. If you’d like to hear her tell it, listen over here #110 – PS, the rest of her share is incredible too. She goes in depth into fear.

A man was walking along a cliff ledge and slipped and started falling. He grabbed onto a branch sticking out from the side of the rock. While he was hanging on for his life, he started praying to God. He told God, ‘If you save me now, I’ll stop everything bad that I’ve ever done. I’ll stop running around, drinking, gambling, doing drugs and I’ll start living every day doing whatever you want me to do.’  Amazingly, God actually responded and said, ‘You don’t have to worry about doing all of that… just let go.’ The man hanging looked up and said, ‘Ummmm… is there anyone else up there I can talk to?!’

Moral of the story: God, Higher Power, Mother Nature, The Great Universe, whatever you want to call he/she/it, is always ready to catch you, but you have to let go first.

No matter what situation I’ve ever found myself in, there has always been a way out. Sometimes I don’t see it right away because I’m still trying to do things my way, but once I let go of control and let life start flowing and start living a life of gratitude instead of resentment, the door I wasn’t able to “see” suddenly “appears”.

I heard another good one the other day: what’s the name God most commonly goes by? Go ahead… guess. I’ll wait…

Something

“Something” made me turn that day. “Something” made me give you a call. Pretty interesting tidbit, huh?  I think it was Debbie D. who mentioned this one that will stick with me.  To hear her tell it, listen to #105 here.

Day 891 – Zoomin in Recovery

Dear Sobriety,

Need some recovery this weekend? Curious about history? Questioning yourself? There’s a sh!t ton of sobriety happening online! The best way to dip your toe in is right now! 🥰🥰🥰🥰

Day 877 – If It’s Not Scottish, It’s Crrraaap!

Dear Sobriety,

I love speaker meetings.  I think they’re my favorite type of recovery meetings.  It’s where one person gets up and shares their story with the group.  I’ve actually done this once.  The first time was at a random meeting that I was invited to by another sober person and it was all sorts of a hot mess (click here for more).  The second time was actually at my home group and I think I wrote about that, but can’t find it.  Needless to say, it wasn’t as insane as the first time.

Anyway, I love speaker meetings.  I think that’s why I’ve been enjoying all the Zoom meetings so much.  Most of them are set up like speaker meetings.  The speaker is either sharing his/her story or his/her ideas about a certain topic.  If you’ve been in the rooms of AA, you’ll probably have heard about sharing “experience, strength and hope” until your ears bleed.  While, yes, I agree that those are all great things to share, sometimes I want sex, drugs and rock and roll.  Of course, if you’re going to the fun meetings, you’ll probably hear all of the above.  I just rolled my eyes at myself because in just this paragraph, I feel like my ideas are bouncing back and forth faster than the aliens in Space Invaders when they get closer to the bottom.google-space-invaders

***Taking a deep breath***  And let’s try this again.

Speaker meetings are my favorite and least favorite type of recovery meeting.  They’re my favorite when I connect with the speaker and lease favorite when I can’t.  Yesterday I was on another meeting and the first speaker was a Scottish man who got sober in the 80s.  When he started telling his story, I literally felt like he was telling mine.  I think it’s so amazing that despite our differences in sex, age, sobriety dates, continents, I was able to associate all the tiny, weird details.  Click here and scroll down to #143, Ivor to hear his625d1198f411f602d059a33d79a0c0f0 story.  I was literally on the edge of my seat picking out the chapters of my life he was speaking to.  So awesome.  Plus, he’s got a Scottish brogue which is always fun.  Oh and my apologies to anyone I’m offending, but my knowledge of Scottishness began with Mike Myers doing the If It’s Not Scottish, It’s Crap skit on SNL (video).

I’m still always so amazed at how similar and different addicts are.

I can’t remember if I mentioned Hiro yet.  He’s #70, Hiro S at the link.  His share was filled with so much positive emotion that I couldn’t help but smile the entire time.  I couldn’t find a lot of personal similarities, but the joy he exuded through the computer was absolutely catching.

This post has been up and down and side to side.  I think it’s best to end it here.

Day 869 – Community

Dear Sobriety,

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Mtg ID: 974954423 | Pword: 427827

If you would have asked me 869 days ago if I was grateful to be an alcoholic, the answer wouldn’t have just been “no”, it would have been a violent “f**k no!”  Today, however, the answer has done a complete 180 degree turn and it is a “yes!”  My gratitude level for my alcoholism has actually increased since COVID-19 hit.  I am one of the blessed few to be part of such an amazing, powerful, creative community.

It’s funny to me because when I was drinking, I am the last person you would have called on outside of work to help with something or be on time for an event.  My assumption, based on hearing other people in recovery share their stories, is that they too often shirked responsibilities.  Now?  I have been able to be a part of couple of worldwide recovery conferences that were not only thrown together last minute, but organized so well and always run on time!

Being an administrative assistant by trade, I have sat in a fair share of meetings and I wish that the corporate world would take a look at what the people in recovery do and mimic that!  Dear goodness, what a difference it could make!  Schedules would run on time.  Cross-talk would be a thing of the past.  And dare I say that respect for the presenter would return?!  Such a wistful thought!  And all coming from a major binge drinker who found a better way.

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Mtg ID: 993297382 | Pword: 126470

The unity I’ve found in the conferences is due to the fact that each time a new speaker shares, I hear my story over and over again.  One major thing I’ve learned in recovery is to “take what I need and leave the rest”.  Therefore, I feel more able to “connect” with the speaker and actually pay attention more when someone is sharing.

The other day while on a Zoom meeting, I realized that I had tuned out and was meticulously picking apart what the speaker had shared because I disagreed with what they were saying.  When I realize what was really happening – my ego was being bruised because someone wasn’t saying what I wanted to hear – I was able put some duct tape over my ego’s ever running mouth to listen to them share the rest of their story.  Did I still have an opinion about something they said?  I did; however, I was able to let that go and hear the rest of the message they were sharing instead of getting stuck in my head.

Someone mentioned in another meeting – I’m fairly certain it was Judith R. talking about Emotional Sobriety and you can listen to that audio here, click #22 – that our feelings aren’t the things that are being hurt; it’s our ego.  That was the first time I had heard it put that way and I wholeheartedly agree.  Becoming aware of yourself makes it easier to realize this when it’s happening.  If I’m self-aware, I’m able to stop my head from spinning and going off on 27,396 different ways of building myself up while tearing the other person down before it happens.  Self-awareness is FREEDOM!

Not drinking is the easy part of my program now.  Keeping my ego in check is much more challenging.  I have to put others before myself and, being the baby of six siblings, that is a bit out of my comfort zone.  When I’m uncomfortable, however, I’m growing and making myself a better person.

That’s all I’ve got today!!  Sending love and socially distanced kitty kisses to you all!

Oh!  Before I forget, if you need a meeting this weekend, I’ve posted some flyers throughout this post as pics!  Super looking forward to the Emotional Sobriety deep dive on Tuesday, April 7!

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Mtg ID: 710182109 | Pword: 347417

Day 862 – Learning Something New

Dear Sobriety,

COVID-19 has affected nearly everyone around the WORLD.  If you aren’t infected by it or recovering from it, your lifestyle has been drastically altered because of it.  I know mine has.  This pandemic had increased my anxiety to a point where I felt like I was walking around in a haze with a brick on my chest.  The moment I decided finances be damned because me and my sobriety are worth more than a regular paycheck was the moment I was able to take charge and start being me again.  Sure, it’s just me in my apartment with my cats doing some creative accounting, reading, attending virtual all day AA speaker marathons (I’ll have info on that below) and following the CDC guidelines in order to hopefully slow this virus down.  But when I think of how that brick felt on my chest felt, do I need anything more than that right now?  I’m going to answer that with a vehement Hell no!  Like I’ve mentioned before and have heard many time over from others:

You must take care of yourself first before you are able to care for anyone else.

One other thing I wanted to mention to those of you quarantined with your partners: take advantage of this time.  Sure, you’re going to get on each other’s nerves from time-to-time, but doesn’t that happen when the world is operating “normally”?  Think outside of the box.  Here are a few ideas that I’ve used during past relationships:

  • Go for a picnic.  We’re all encouraged to get outside right now (and socially distance ourselves, of course), so go visit a park with a lake.  Take a picnic basket, camping chairs or blanket, a couple of books or camera or whatever you’d like and just enjoy the amazing nature that is happening outside.  It’s Springtime in the States, so birds are singing, trees and flowers are budding and while the humans are quarantined, the world outside is becoming more alive!
  • Take any ol’ game (poker, Twister, Battleship, Monopoly) and give them the adult twist by adding “strip” to the beginning.  Change the rules.  Make your own games.
  • Write notes to each other.  If you’re the early riser and get the coffee going, leave a post-it note on the coffee maker for your partner to see when they get their morning cup ‘o joe to start their day off on a positive note.  I was going to say “start their day off ‘right'”, but there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to start a day, in my opinion.  Leave a note under their pillow before you go to bed.  If you’re like me and can’t keep a secret to save your life, then when you two go to bed, you’ll be all smiles and giggles waiting for them to crawl in next to you and find what you’ve left.
  • If you need some personal space, communicate that to each other.  You’re only hurting each other if you’re sitting there seething about your partner being around “all the time”.  Communicate that, set either time boundaries or household room boundaries and quarantine yourself from each other for a minute and respect this time/space.  It’s not like you or your partner are really “going” anywhere.  Also, if you’re like me and you’re the one who requested the space, you’re going to manage to do this for five minutes before giving in and realizing how much you enjoy having that other person around not only to talk to, but just be with.

Enjoy this time and enjoy each other.

Back to sobriety… Check out this link (www.recoverytapers.com) for a whole slew of free, online speakers.  All of the zoom meeting info I’ll post in pics below may also be found there.  Also, all the zoom meetings I’m posting will be recorded and available at the link above for free.  Miss a speaker you’d like to hear?  It will be available.

This is an amazing time for people in recovery.

Be safe.  Be kind.  Be you.  Sending loads of love and good vibes around the world!  ❤

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Day 861 – Need Hope?

Dear Sobriety,

Just wanted to pop on here to share with you all my plan for the day. Mega AA speaker series all day today. This is a crazy time to be in sobriety. I know my head has gone down paths that it hasn’t in a bit, so I’m using my voluntary leave as an opportunity to get back to basics and ramp up my program of sobriety.

It’s been a bit since I’ve been excited about being sober. Sure, I’m content living this way. Most days I’m not resentful and most days I’m grateful that sobriety is a requirement for me to keep living; however, after a Zoom AA meeting yesterday, I started getting excited about sobriety again. And here’s my plan for the day! Feel free to join me!!

Sending much love and good vibes to you all out there!!

Monsy 💖💖💖