Sunday, January 29, 2012

The 1st Step is the Most Important

I was praying this morning and I did something for the 1st time......I asked my HP to bless ME.  I realized that I have been asking Him to love, heal, bless and touch everyone else in my life except me.  Which leads me to my topic today.

We are not bad people trying to get good.......we are sick people trying to get well.  That was profound for me when I heard it in rehab.  I always considered myself a bad person and I sooooo wanted to be a good person, but my obsession with drinking/alcoholism wouldn't allow me to be a good person.  This is simply not true.  I consider myself a child of my HP and His love is infinite - whether I am good or bad.

That's why I have to "change".....and by this I mean my behaviors and actions.....Admittance (1st Step) + Action = Changes.  And this works for me everyday.  I have admitted wholeheartedly that I am powerless over alcohol and that my life has become unmanageable.  I have done the admittance portion and continue to do so everyday.  My life is more manageable today because I ask my HP to bless the words that come out of my mouth, put love in my heart and keep me sober TODAY.  I ask these things everyday.....but I never before today asked Him to bless ME.  I see that as progress for me.  I was born with a different chemical and physiological makeup that makes me an alcoholic.  But just because I was born with this doesn't mean I have to live "in it".  I can change my actions and behaviors to get better/well.  You absolutly do not have to stay in this disease.....but you do have to make some changes in your life to live a sober life.

I just wanted to share this hope with everyone this morning, because it was a startling revelation to me and maybe someone else can identify with what I was feeling this morning as I prayed on my knees for acceptance and love and blessings.

Hope everyone is hanging in there and trying everyday to do "the next right thing".

Hugs to you all!

Annette
Guest posting for Emily

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Neglect

I feel that I have been neglecting our blog, I am sorry. I had a blog that I use to read daily and I remember being disappointed when the author didn't update. I'm sure there are people that read this blog that feel that way and again I am sorry.

I have been running crazy lately, it's been nuts. I love my job, but sometimes find myself wondering if I may have bitten off more than I could chew. Time management is becoming of up most importance. I am working with a newcomer (a person new to sobriety) and often feel that she is the one saving my ass instead of the other way around. Gods handy work for sure.

What have you all been up to? I miss you guys! Please update!!

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, January 27, 2012

My Babies Birthday

Today is Gavin's 12th Birthday. 12-I can't even believe it. He's turning into such a little man-it is amazingly fun, yet bitter sweet to watch. I didn't cry like I did on Beau's Birthday this year, maybe it's because Gavie still let me bring cupcakes to school. My little baby is on his way to being a tween.

(pictures coming soon)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Recovery is a Decision, Not a Negotiation

A counselor said, in a treatment meeting, “I’ll have to see what my patient is willing to do.” I replied, abruptly, “No. Recovery is a decision, not a negotiation. You don’t negotiate with this disease, you either recover from it or you don’t.”
This is important.
Each morning I think: “Good morning, John. You are an alcoholic. Pay attention.” The first and most fundamental fact about my life is that I am an alcoholic and the first priority is my sobriety. If my sobriety slips to number two in my life, I will probably lose it.
First, I choose to be sober TODAY, and then I find out, as the day goes on, what the price of that choice will be. I don’t negotiate a price in advance.
On good days, the price turns out to be low. It is sunny and pleasant, and everyone I meet seems to agree with me. Sobriety is easy. On bad days, it is 100 degrees and humid, and people seem to annoy me. Sobriety is harder and it’s price is higher. No matter what, I make the decision for sobriety first, without knowing today’s price.
If I try to negotiate sobriety, and set a limit on the price I will pay, I will lose my sobriety. If I say I will go to meetings only when it is convenient, or only if no one offends me, or only if I get to keep my favorite character defects, I will drink again.
On page 58 of the book, the following invitation is offered: “If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it–then you are ready to take certain steps.”
That means, unless we are willing to go to any lengths, ready to stop negotiating our recovery, we are not ready to recover.
We avoid recovery by studying recovery instead of recovering. We cannot recover from a disease by studying it. We recover from a disease by treating it. I got a phone call from someone who wanted a scientific book on alcoholism for a friend. The friend had a drinking problem, and didn’t want “any of this spiritual stuff”, but preferred something scientific. I did as I was asked, and gave the name of a good book of science. I then said, “Giving this book will not help. We can no more recover from alcoholism by reading a scholarly book on alcoholism than we can recover from cancer by reading a scholarly book on cancer.”
Another version of negotiating with alcoholism is by negotiating for a lower level of activity than is necessary for recovery. Here we want what the program has, but are not willing to go to any lengths to get it. My first sponsor was blunt. He opened the book in front of me and said, “Here is the book. It’s in black & white. There are no grey areas. Read the black part. If you will read chapter 5 & 6, ‘How It Works’ and ‘Into Action’, and do what they say, you will never drink or use again.”
I have read it, and done it to the best of my ability every day so far, and I have confidence, not in myself, but in this program.
One more thing about this decision: It expires in exactly 24 hours. Every day, I need to make this decision over again. With the Grace of God and the fellowship of the program, I will keep making the right decision, without any negotiations.

John MacDougall, D.Min., is the director of Spiritual Guidance at Hazelden in Center City, MN. He welcomes your comments at jmacdougall@hazelden.org.

Published in the Voice, Fall 2011

My addiction counselor read this to me and gave me a copy and I found it to be incredibly profound and thought I would share it with everyone. Sorry it’s so long, but length, in my opinion, doesn’t matter much when the content could save a struggling alcoholic’s life.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and I hope to write more soon :)

Annette
Guest Posting for Emily

Friday, January 20, 2012

I Drank

I drank for happiness and became unhappy
I drank for joy and became miserable
I drank for sociability and became argumentative
I drank for sophistication and became obnoxious
I drank for friendship and I made enemies
I drank for strength and became weak
I drank for relaxation and got the shakes
I drank for courage and became afraid
I drank for confidence and became doubtful
I drank to feel heavenly and ended up in hell

How many of us can relate to this one??

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"A chronic overreaction to stress overloads the brain with powerful hormones that are intended only for short-term duty in emergency situations. Their cumulative effect damages and kills brain cells."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday

Have you ever had so much on your mind that your brain actually hurt. It's a squeezing feeling actually, and I'm not digging it. Going from 25 hours per week to 40 has been an adjustment, one I am happy to adjust to, but still an adjustment.

Yesterday was the first day I got stressed out, the first day I said "Hold on, there's to much on my plate." and the first night I went home and dreamed of work.

I was so tired on my way home that I could hardly keep my eyes open...all I wanted to do was go home and go to bed-did I? NO, I met a sponsee for coffee, and then went to a women's meeting. I spent years doing what 'I wanted to do' and it got me no where, now I do what I know I'm supposed to do, even when I don't feel like it. GROWTH

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bill Johnson's Big Apple

So I don't talk much about where I work, or what I do. I don't know why really, my work is a huge part of my life, and becoming bigger each and every day...

I work for Bill Johnson's Big Apple. I am in catering, I manage the catering for the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers...I do a whole lot of others things, but for sure the baseball teams are my favorite part!

I want to tell you a little about Bill Johnson's Big Apple , because it is special. Bill Johnson and his amazing wife Gene started Big Apple in 1956. It was the most hip-happening place in the entire valley....they had cute waitresses, amazing food, and a radio show recording right in the restaurant (you can listen to the recordings on the website) They sell their famous BBQ sauce all over the country (watch, now that you're reading this you'll notice it in your local grocery store-buy it, it's yummy!) Restaurants don't normally made it, but this one has. There are 5 restaurants through out the valley.  It is still ran by the family, whom I feel honored to work for.
I love, love, love my job!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Crazy Week

This week has been crazy!

Beau turned 17. Which was really emotional to me for some reason. I cried really hard that day. I called my Mom and asked her if she got emotional on our Birthdays and she said "NO, I'm just grateful you're still alive." What a horrible way for a Mom to have to feel. I quickly said I was sorry, and then counted my blessings. Beau is far from perfect, but he is an ANGEL compared to me at his age. My baby turning 17, it was a lot to stomach. It's like I have this longing for the little boy he was-It reminds me of the saying..."Having children is making the decision to have your heart walk around outside your body" It really is.

 I also got a promotion. Go me-right!? I now have my DREAM JOB. I manage the catering for baseball teams (remember, I live in AZ. where springing training happens!) It is amazing! You know when people say if I planned my life I would have shorted myself compared to the life God has given me-it is so true in my case.  2 year ago I prayed for a job. I had no clue how that was going to happen, but I can say I trusted God 100% that it would happen....and it did, and I am grateful.

Besides that life is pretty quiet...no new boyfriends, nothing really exciting to report. I am working my program over time right now, because when people say that whatever you put before your sobriety you will lose, I believe them!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

A New Year, a fresh start, a new outlook...what a great thing!

I was really sick yesterday, so I stayed home. I remember a time that would have killed me. I would have been miserable, and in my drinking days I would have gone out anyway...sick or not. But I had no desire. Staying home, and getting better was just fine with me. Because of that I feel great today. It is amazing to me that when we give our body the rest it needs how quickly it heals...amazing right!?

I often hear people setting 'intentions' for the New Year and I like that...so here are mine...

-To keep my home neat and organized
-To get my body to a healthy weight, and stay there
- To become financial comfortable, and independent
-To make sure the people I love know how very much I love them

What are yours?