Sunday, June 5, 2011


Thought I'd share my gratitude list for today with everyone. I haven't done one in a while, and it was the first thing that popped into my mind when I woke up this morning.

1. My HP guidling me thru life instead of me attempting to be in control of it and messin it up all the time.

2. My loving & supportive family.

3. Waking up to another wonderful day on this Earth.

4. The strength my HP has given me to "suck it up" and continue my weekly guest blog here for Emily.

5. The knowledge to understand that I can't have expectations about others, I will almost always be disappointed. All I can control are my actions and words.

6. All my friends in my recovery program....this includes all that follow on Em's blog....I am truly grateful for the wonderful friendships I've developed here and the support I've received :)

7. The ability - TODAY - to buck up and agree with Cinoda.....

My name is Annette, and I am an alcoholic. I first got sober on 12/16/09 and remained sober for exactly 10 months. I had some "slips" in 2010 that were, in my eyes, necessary in order to move on in my recovery. I have now, by the Grace of God, been sober for 5 months and 2 weeks. I am proud of my 5 months & 2 weeks. Without my HP, my homegroup, sponsor and, in this instance, especially those that follow on here, I wouldn't be able to take the constructive criticisms/thoughts of others in recovery. I have all my support outlets by the Grace of God, and I've learned to "own" what I have.....what I have accomplished. And thanks to Cinoda for calling me on my bullshit - she's exactly right! I can't work this 12-step program the way "I" want to, so that it fits "my" needs. I have to work it the way it is....the way it's been for many, many years.....and that, my friends, renders me 5 months & 2 weeks sober as of today. I will not drink today and I'll worry about tomorrow when it gets here :) I hope everyone following here today can make the same statement for themselves.

Glad to be back friends and grateful to be alive today!

Hugs to everyone - Annette


  1. Thanks for continuing to guest post on Sunday, Annette. Emily, I hope you are doing well --


    P.S. (Cali, are you still out there? How are you doing?)

  2. Hi Montana. Cali here. Yes, I am still checking in daily on this blog. I have still been having my wine at night. Each day, I intend not to buy a bottle of wine. How are you doing?

    I am thinking of starting to knit a "sobriety" project. Something that I really want to knit, but can only knit it at night and when I am sober. Maybe that will help me? I just really need to get through my "witching hour".

    It really means a lot that you were thinking of me - THANK YOU!


  3. Hi, Cali --

    I'm doing better, but not as well as Emily or Annette (yet). I LOVE your idea about knitting a "sobriety" project! I love to knit and just re-taught myself how after not knitting for about 15 years (too busy with pregnancies, babies, toddlers, work, etc.)! And, you're right, it's really really hard to knit when you aren't sober. :)

    I like Annette's comment that she will not drink today, and will not worry about tomorrow until it gets here. I can do that -- one day, right? If you do that, too, you can start knitting your sobriety project tonight! :)


  4. Hi Montana. Thank you, yes I will do one day at a time - yes,then I can start my sobriety project :) By the way, being a fellow knitter, are you on Ravelry? If so, maybe we could connect there? I have been knitting for about 15 years as well, started when my youngest son was 6 yrs old. I wanted to make my boys sweaters. Believe me I have had to FROG some work when I did try to knit not sober.


  5. Dearest Annette,

    It brings me great joy in knowing that my higher power can reach through the internet and bring help to others suffering from the disease of alcoholism. I can only offer what has been taught to me and what has worked for me for over 16 years. Congratulations on 5 months and 2 weeks of sobriety. Yes, let’s stay sober for today, (but thinking ahead, see we all do it at times :)) What a wonderful day it will be when you reach your one year anniversary and receive your One Year Sobriety Coin. You will be able to clasp it close to your heart and truly realize what an amazing women you are!

    “Slips” are so very scary to me. See my mother was also a recovering alcoholic. She had over 11 year’s sobriety and “slipped” for 6 months. Thank God she found her way back. Then 12 years later, she “slipped” again. And once again, she found her way back. Each time it was harder for her to find her way back.

    Alcoholism is so cunning and baffling; it honestly scares the crap out of me. I have known so many people that “slipped” and never found their way back. Most of those stories ended in physical death of that person, a lot through suicide.

    I come from a huge family of alcoholics. I attended Ala-teen as a child, Al-Anon later, and then low and behold my own alcoholism surfaced front and center in my thirties. Damn, I was so educated in the disease of alcoholism, how could it happen to me? Baffling?

    How much I have learned over the years. When I got sober, I had an idea how to do it, but my way didn’t work. I finally surrendered completely; I just knew what I didn’t want anymore. I found a terrific sponsor and if she would have told me to jump off a bridge to stay sober, I would have!

    One last note on this long post, I was just rereading some of the comments. We all have to remember that just because we are sober, doesn’t mean we have all of our shit together. We all continue to have character defects that we must work on daily and sometimes those defects present themselves in times of anger and such. That doesn’t make us any less of…it just means we are human. A few other things I learned along the way that have helped me stay somewhat sane and always sober. 1. Just because someone is sober doesn’t mean that they still cannot act like asses. 2. Principles above Personalities. 3. Take what you like and leave the rest. 4. Everyone can be an example, even an example of what you don’t want your sobriety to be like.

    Sorry this is so long, I will go back to lurking for now. We are ALL just one drink away from relapsing.

    Happy, Joyous and Free. Cinoda

  6. Hi, Cinoda --

    I've heard before that someone can be sober for years and then relapse (like your mom) and that it is harder to find one's way back. This is all pretty new to me and I'm learning, but do you have any idea why that is? Is there an explanation?

    Thanks --

  7. Dear Anon,

    I can only share with you what I have been told by quite a few people including my Mom. Once you relapse after years of sobriety, you can no longer bullshit yourself on a long term basis. You already know what you need to do, you already know the answers, you know where to go and the people you need to be around. You have run out of excuses…

    I do believe that before we become sober, we honestly don’t know how to get sober, we do not have a choice, our thinking is so distorted that we use alcohol to mask the disease. After becoming sober, we KNOW better, we make choices on how to view life, we know how to alter our stinking thinking, we take a fearless and moral inventory of ourselves daily to keep us sober, we make CHOICES whether to drink or not. This in only my personal belief.

    Hope this helps. Remember Happy, Joyous and Free.

  8. Yes Cinoda...even I can be reached and touched, but that's one of the reason's I started following this blog oh so long helps me to stay accountable and sober. It's people like you on here that can bring me back into "the moment" when I sometimes allow myself to venture back into "my, my, my world, self, ego, stinkin thinkin, etc." - and I thank you for that :)

    On relapse, I did a bit of verbal research before I went back out in October '10...I spoke to a couple of people that had recently gone back out - 1 after 2 yrs of sobriety and the other after just a month of sobriety. They both told me "DON'T DO IT!, You will pick up right where you left off and it will get worse quicker this time." Of course I didn't listen to them, cuz it's all about Annette and what Annette wants, so I tried it. They were correct in that you can handle as much as you drank when you originally quit drinking - damn, I couldn't stop at just 2 coctails!; and it wasn't even really fun or enjoyable....because I knew what I was doing was wrong, all I could envision with every drink was all the faces that I see in my meetings 3 nites a week and the disappointed looks on their faces; and the fact that I knew I STILL had to be accountable for my actions and share with my sponsor & my group what I had done....I can TOTALLY see where many people couldn't handle doing that and just saying "fuck it" and staying out and spiraling downward. I'm grateful that I was able to swallow my pride and shame and get back to my group and program - not everyone does and that's very unfortunate. I too know of 2 people that have gone back out after several years of sobriety and the shame & guilt were too much for them and they both committed suicide. Shame & guilt alone can be very dangerous emotions.

    Thanks for all of the positive comments on my guest post and I'm glad to see everyone gettin back to some banter back & forth on Em's blog - I missed hearing from everyone.

    Hugs to all!

  9. Hi Annette,
    Regarding guilt and shame, you mentioned they are very dangerous emotions. I have not experienced guilt around my drinking, only shame. I have felt guilty about some things I've not done, forgot a birthday or something similar but, those things are easily resolved. But, I always feel shame about my drinking. Who I've called, what I've said. I have a lot of shame and yet, I haven't stopped drinking, yet. I heard once that guilt makes you feel you've done a bad thing. Shame makes you feel you are a bad thing. Any input you have, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for all you contribute to this blog! Love you.

  10. Dearest Annette,

    "Yes Cinoda...even I can be reached and touched” Why of course you can!!

    With my comment, I wanted to stress to you that I don't take credit for anything I say that may help a fellow alcoholic. Before I open my big mouth or get my fingers a typing, I ask for the words to try to help others. You should see the trouble I can get into when I just open my mouth! Don’t be so hard on yourself girlfriend!

    Dearest Anons,

    Just a suggestion that would help me - Would you all be willing to come up with a name on this blog? I respect anyominity to the fullest, but it would be so much easier to keep things in perspective as to where someone is on the journey of alcoholism. Please understand that your questions help me in my sobriety also.

    Dear last Anon,

    I don’t want to pipe up with my two cents on your question for Annette, for that question was directed at Annette, but please don’t try to over analyze why you are drinking. It can just make matters worse. You will know when you are ready to not drink. For me, I never had any big jackpots that I got into. No DUI, No failed marriage. Embarrassing situations – yes; Lack of self worth – yes. I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was sick in tired of my inner feelings about myself, I was sick and tired of events that were happening around me, and I was sick and tired in the way I was reacting to those things. Something had to change in my life and I finally realized that something had to be me. I’ve said on this blog before that I think alcohol is just a symptom of my disease. My disease of alcoholism is a thinking disease that I chose to try “cure” with booze. Some try street drugs, some try prescription drugs, others try a combination of all three. Praying for your strength and courage to do what will be best for you.
    Happy, Joyous and Free,

  11. Hey Cinoda, From here on, I will call myself Kate. I appreciate your response and would love to hear what you think, feel about guilt/shame. With love to you, Kate

  12. My experience with guilt is that when I was still actively drinking, he asked me not to drink when he was out of town on business and I drank anyway; I would have a drink in a Sonic cup at a ballgame and someone would ask what I was drinking and I would say tea. Once I began my program and stayed sober for 10 months, I had been there long enough to know what I needed to do in respect to wanting to drink - getting the urge or craving to drink - and I intentionally ignored everything I had learned in my program and just drank....that was another example of guilt for me....not to mention letting the members of my group down - there was a small amount of guilt associated with that, but not much as I can't worry about what others think of me....I need to worry about what "I" think of me....and when I was relapsing back in Oct/Nov/Dec, I really didn't like what I was seeing in the mirror. So that's my personal experience with the emotion of guilt.

    Big cyberhugs to you Cinoda - I think your HP heard ya prayin for me - thank you from the bottom of my heart :)

  13. Dear Kate,

    I have to give that question some thought. haha...I've never really thought about that before. Been working, so I will leave my thoughts on the latest post. I didn't want you to think I was ignoring you!! :)