When all else fails we have our hope...I heard this once a long time ago and didn't really understand it. There is all sorts of hope for us in recovery. The hope I had while drinking is "I hope I don't get caught..I hope I have enough money..I hope I don't see so and so.." This is so different today. I hope for the future and have a pure hope. A hope that is real, a hope that will take me to places only dreamt of before. Over 40 days of recovery, real recovery, and I am starting to finally feel centered. Or at least for today....

Today I am grateful:
  • My wife understands my meeting schedule. Its hard for her because real recovery takes so much time. I am glad for that...
  • My alone time with my daughter to help build our relationship, she is such a momma's girl!!
  • My first time speaking tonight. Its a double winners meeting (Al Anon and AA). I am nervous but I trust.
  • Not being hungover on a Sunday.


Random Fridays/Saturdays...Suiting Up...

I missed yesterday so thought I would stay with the theme and write today. I am getting in the habit of checking myself as I go around daily. Wondering why I am getting angry, what my part is, how to be better. I am glad the program is helping me with this. I don't know if I am just being more present or just a nicer person. I like myself more now that I don't drink. I suppose its a good thing that I am staying in the now more. I did let myself get worked up about a work event, however, those things pass and of course it did.

Today I am grateful for:
  • getting to sleep.
  • A nice weekend ahead.
  • My health coming back, I feel more energy.
  • Meeting with my sponsor and my one of my favorite meetings.
  • My family.


In the Herd...

This time around I am staying in the middle of the Herd. That is the way people stay sober in AA, connected and together. It was hard for me before, I thought I was unique and special. That my alcoholism was different than all these other people...not true. Alcohol is the great equalizer and will bring people to their knees all together. I hope that I stay in the middle of the herd and help those I can. I call people and I try to make meetings early and stay late, all to find people to connect with, even if it is for a brief moment.

Today I am Grateful for:
  • Last Dentist appointment for a little while.
  • Finally being somewhat organized at work? Till tomorrow I guess!
  • Early rising and some alone time.
  • The calm in my heart.


Skipping Stones...

In a meeting this morning the speaker shared an analogy I had never heard before. He compared alcoholics to skipping rocks on a lake. When you first do it the rock hits the lake and bounces really high, then skips again, not as high, and continues skipping till the intervals are less and less and eventually the rock sinks. He likened that to us with our drinking. We hit bottom then rocket up again, hit again and then only go up a little...and so on until our drinking has us sinking to the bottom of a lake. It takes what it takes I hear, and for me I am done with skipping on the top of a lake, I will take the shore or a nice peaceful boat any day!!!

Today I am Grateful for:
  • The speaker and his words that corrected some stinking thinking I had.
  • Summer dress attire at work. NO MORE TIES till fall!!!
  • Feeling a bit more rested than yesterday.
  • My daily reprieve.


If you seek Him...

"(c) That God could and would if He were sought." Pg. 60 Alcoholics Anonymous

The key to this last part is our Higher Power can help us if HE were sought. There is no beating this disease without seeking first our Higher Power. He is not going to come down from on high and touch us and cure us. Much to my chagrin. To get the help from our Higher Power, we must seek out the ways to connect. Prayer and Meditation being the most important ways. These things I have been trying to learn on a daily basis. I feel like I am slacking a bit in that department. The first thing I need to do is hit my knees in the morning, and the last thing I need to do is to hit my knees at night. To stay connected is the only way to relieve myself of these demons and to stay sober.

Today I am Grateful for:
  • The past weekend, it was nice to have an extra day.
  • Coolness in the morning, I don't like it being so hot when I first get up.
  • My favorite meeting tonight.
  • Meeting with my sponsor and starting Chapter 1 of the Big Book. This is how we are going to do the steps and I am excited.
  • Having a job.


Probably NOT!!!

"(b) That probably no human power could have relieved our alcoholism." Pg.60 Alcoholics Anonymous

In the depths of my disease it was easy to stop, or so I thought. I would go a whole week without drinking and be proud of myself. I never lost the obsession or craving. I cannot do that on my own. The power of AA is that a higher power relieves me of my obsession and craving. I am so glad for that, cuz I could NOT do it myself. Nor could my wife, family or friends. I disagree with a word in the passage above. Probably. I know for a fact that I will not stay sober for someone or because of someone. A power above and beyond must help me, must be with me. Acceptance, for me, begins with knowing I cannot stay sober on my own. Only my higher power can help me.

Today I am grateful for:
  • A three day weekend.
  • My meeting this morning and how I am praying it centers me.
  • My tooth healing, and being able to eat normal food.
  • Just living in California, and the lovely marine layer that is over us right now.


The ...ISM

"(a) That we were alcoholic and could not manage our own lives." Pg. 60 Alcoholics Anonymous

I hear a lot about the ism of alcoholism, and how it affects our lives. The more time I get from my last drink, the more I feel the ism. The more I feel how I must actually work a program and not just keep away from the drink. In a meeting today, a crosstalk mixed meeting by the way very fun indeed, there was a lot of talk of "not working the program as good as..." fill in the blank. I guess to me its about working a program that works for you and follows the suggestions. Not everyone wants to blog, or cares what I have to say. For me it helps. As does reading the blogs of others. I need to relax, pray and meditate to center myself. For some they need 3 meetings a week or everyday. Its different, but the same. Stay connected, turn your will to a higher power, and help another person. It says in plain English that we could not manage our own lives. Doing all these things, some of these things or other things, will keep us connected and will help us stay in recovery. Being IN recovery is the goal, not just not drinking.

Today I am Grateful for:
  • A new meeting and the format I love, and truly honest people in the room.
  • Another day without picking up a drink.
  • Helping someone out with some moving today. It felt great!
  • Daddy daughter special dinner tonight! Just me and my girl!! Cant wait.


Half Measures

"Half measures availed us nothing." Pg. 59 Alcoholics Anonymous

Today at my meeting the speaker talked about how he "half measured life" till he got into the program. How he would run over a bed of roses just to park faster. This is so true in my life. I have done so many things half assed and gotten away with it. School, work, relationships, sobriety, almost everything in my life I have done that way. It was easy for some things to get away with it, like school, I always could just get by without doing too much. Work, same thing. As for sobriety, when I did half measures I relapsed. This program is not a half measures program. I have decided in my life its full or nothing. To commit to something completely is the only way that this program can work. Frankly, it is the only way for life to work for the alcoholic. If we don't find the determination to work the program completely, we find ourselves on the outside looking in.

Today I am Grateful:
  • The speaker this morning and how he touch me with his story.
  • The trust of my wife as she went out of town.
  • The ability to go to as many meetings that I can today, my own "meeting marathon"
  • My tooth feeling so much better and not having to use drugs to numb the pain.
  • Progress rather than perfection.


Random Fridays..Suiting Up...

Just checking in...the week was weird, I don't know that I would want this kind of week all the time. I didn't really work, had some meetings out of LA area that kept me away from the family and meetings for a couple days. Then went to the dentist and that has kept me grounded for a couple days. Finally get to see my sponsor tomorrow and go to my favorite meeting. Anyways, my head really didn't get away from me that much, and when it did I was able to call someone. I need to get connected again. My wife is going out of town for a day or so and taking the daughter to visit a friend. Maybe I will plan a marathon Saturday meeting day. Just going from one meeting to another till the Laker game starts. This could be the start of something cool...I will keep you informed...

Today I am Grateful:
  • That I only needed Advil for the pain today, the codeine Tylenol was there but I didn't need it.
  • The 3 day weekend ahead.
  • My brilliant plan of a mini meeting marathon tomorrow. Lets see if it works.
  • My family night tonight...


One More day...

Today was awesome to see some things actually happening in sobriety. I avoided the dentist like the plague while I was drinking, I mean who didn't? Right? Anyways I have had a "dead" tooth for about years, only having had it treated once. Well, I finally confronted that Demon and voila I am now sitting here with an extracted tooth, and I am still alive. Well check one on my 5 year to do list. The other one is taxes from 2003 for the state of California. Well, not wanting to avoid anything anymore I finally got a hold of someone and fixed that too, started a restitution plan and there you have it. The promises are coming "sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly...." I got out of my routine and it got in my head. My sponsor told me that we alcoholics need our routine especially in early sobriety, so back to the routine, I cant get out of it, it seems to start the radio in my head....
Today I am Grateful for:
  • Finally resolving the tax thing and the dentist all in the same day.
  • Seeing my family again.
  • Getting back into the routine at work.
  • Not being so afraid anymore.


I phone post...

I am posting from my I Phone as I wait for a meeting with a client. Pretty hard to do and not fun. So it will be short...I am just staying in the day sort of feeling right now. Trying hard not to try to hard, ya know? Taking what comes and just dealing.
Today I am grateful for
my wife and her support
my sponsor
living today
my I phone being able to connect to the internet
getting to see my daughter soon.


Help Me Help You!!

As a newcomer I sometimes get absorbed in what can the meeting do for me. The real question is what can I do for the meeting/group. There is always someone with less time than me, more that not, at the meetings I am at. I have found that I don't go up to them to talk and fellowship. I find my voice in my head saying, "what do you know, you cant possibly help that person". Well the truth is I can, and the truth is that if I don't try and help those people I am going to drink again. So I have made a commitment that if there is someone with less than my time, I am going to talk to them. Maybe it will be easier for me to relate to them not being so far from the drink. I hope I can help them.
Today I am grateful for:
  • Everyone being safe after that earthquake last night, gotta love California.
  • My daughters smile.
  • A brisk Monday, where I fell full of energy and not slow from a weekend binge.
  • Closer to some promises, and working towards others.
  • Being reconnected with my sponsor after his oral surgery. Ouch...


The Anger within...

Someone said at a meeting that they use anger like alcohol, when they get angry it acts like a cover up of all the emotions we mask when we drink. Fear, sadness, loneliness, etc. This is our main problem as alcoholics, covering up. I did it with everything. I didn't want anyone to see how hurt, lonely angry scared I was. I find that I do that with anger also. Instead of sitting in and dealing with my true emotion. If I just get angry, everything goes away. My fear etc is masked by my anger. Its such a vicious cycle and the only way I find myself getting better is to calm down, take a breath and try and see my part in the mess. This is why my spiritual growth is so important in the program, that will keep me grounded.

Today I am grateful for:
  • A great weekend.
  • My wife and daughter.
  • Lakers in SEVEN!!!!
  • Learning and growing.
  • 30 days...and counting.


Growing or going...

In my meeting today the speaker shared that "you re either growing or going.." The problem with me is that all the times before I didn't understand the action of this program. Getting in the middle of the Herd as they say. Doing service for others, helping the less fortunate and really showing up and suiting up. I learned that I cannot and will not survive without others in this program. It felt really good this morning to be surrounded by other alcoholics because I felt alone for the last couple days. As we all know isolation and feeling alone all lead to drinking. The beauty of the program is that we don't have to be alone ever. I know there are people out there that I don't even know in the program that would sit and talk to me if I asked. I hope that I can do that for others too...
On a separate note, I was a little heated this last 24 hours, and I feel like my Friday post was not very nice. I left it up because that is where I was, and that is really what I was feeling. But I need to recognize that I was upset, and the reason for it. Thanks for following me.

Today I am Grateful for:
  • The reset button I have in life, whether I have to hit it everyday or every hour it is there.
  • The fun Saturday we have planned.
  • An honest share and stories from other drunks this morning.
  • My sponsor helping me to get grounded, even though he is going through some major shit...
  • The calm feeling I have now today, even though this morning didn't start off that way.
  • LOVE.


Random Fridays...Suiting up...

I thought I would start something called random Fridays. I am just going to write about things, maybe recovery, maybe not. Just what I am feeling inside and how I am dealing with things. Like checking in at a meeting, you don't have to stay on topic, just checking in with fellow drunks.
I just finished reading "Tweak" by Nic Scheff and I gotta say I wasn't impressed. This guys story is like so many others I have heard in the room, and frankly I didn't get it. Why is this guy on the bestseller list? I should publish my journal and maybe I can make some money. Also, his attitude in the book is horrible. I knew he was going to relapse when I was reading. What did he expect when he went to live with a CODA girlfriend who used? He was going to stay clean? Then he got clean, and then in the afterword he was living in Georgia clean, then in the prologue he had relapsed, but "not on meth, just prescription pills." Oh that makes it better. Then he starts a blog and maybe writes 10 times or less. Then its "I'm stopping this blog thing to go find myself in Portland, I am so over LA." Whatever dude, I would rather hear stories in the rooms about people who have MUCH worse problems and are facing them. I don't know why I am so heated over this guy? Maybe I see myself in him and am lashing out. I mean lets be honest, I relapse way more than him. Maybe I am projecting my hatred for myself on to him. I don't know. Wow that felt good. One good thing though is it reminded my I needed to buy Emmit Fox's "Sermon on the Mount". I had heard about it in the rooms but forgot about it, and he talks about it in the book. Some good things do come from shit I guess.
I am going to write him a letter or something. Or maybe I just did?

Today I am grateful for:
  • Fantastical Friday. I get to go to a movie, something I really love to do and has become something to help me with my sobriety. It takes time away from thinking about hitting the bar.
  • Finally getting to sleep last night.
  • My body getting its bearings finally.
  • Having a clean shirt for work, when I thought I was all out.
  • Safely arriving at work, the drivers were insane today.


God within me...

In Twenty Four Hours a day this morning, I read about God (or Higher Power whichever you choose) being in all of us. Seeing what no one else, not even ourselves sometimes, can see. It is comforting to know that I am changing and growing closer to my Higher Power. The change that I am feeling is real and I need to understand that. I called a fellow AA'er yesterday when I was feeling shifty and he said to me something that I really understand. He said "The Buddhist say 'You are what you speak'" Truer words have never been spoken. We were talking about how I have a chronic cycle and like every 25 to 90 days I relapse. He told me to stop saying that. Live today (of course) and don't vocalize those words.
I hope my Higher Power sees things that I don't even see yet. Things that can make me change and grow to be the best I can. Is it possible that the greatest dreams I had early in my life can now come true? I am starting to believe it..

Today I am Grateful for:
  • A friend who started a workout blog and inspired me to get in the gym again. I am attacking it like a twelve step program. " I only have to go to the gym today, only workout today!" That cracks me up, but you know its working.
  • Wakin up refreshed and anxiety free.
  • The week flying by for me.
  • The love of the program.
  • When my daughter says Mommy, it makes my wife so happy....



I find that the more I go to the rooms, the more fellowship I feel and I love it. My favorite stag meeting was last night and I always feel so much love in these rooms...I am grateful for those feelings and for plugging away. The obsession is slowly moving away, and the further away I get from the drink the better!!!

Today I am grateful for:
  • The Fellowship.
  • The quiet in the morning before everyone wakes up, its nice to be able to read and write early.
  • Hump day!
  • God doing for me....



Yesterday a wise old timer spoke these words while speaking to a meeting. I stopped and wrote them down. He went on to say get rid of these things that we are finding out while in recovery, don't beat yourself up anymore over our mistakes. Too often Alcoholics love to "be on the cross". The truth is we love to see and be seen, and suffer all too endlessly for our transgressions. Luckily in this program we can learn not to do this. I do this all the time. I try and punish myself endlessly for things I have to let go. It was good to hear this message, good to know that I am not the only one that feels this way. What a blessing it is to know I don't have to hold on to those character defects, or flog myself over my transgressions. I can let them go, and they don't have to be mine anymore. Very cool concept indeed....

Today I am grateful for:
  • My favorite stag meeting tonight.
  • The fog that is being lifted from my mind, my thoughts are getting clearer the farther away from the drink I get.
  • One day..Today...
  • Trust slowly coming back to my marriage.


Thy Will, not mine...

"If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing."
Alcoholics Anonymous, p.76

Last night I went to a meeting where step 3 was the topic. Truly turning over my will has been the hardest thing ever. Self will has made me run amuck for over 37 years. My life run my me is not a life I want. This morning I gave it over to God and am learning each day to do so. Its almost as if what I want doesn't matter, only what I can do to be shown how to live. Each day I do this, I become closer to my Higher Power. Closer to losing this obsession and closer to fulfilling the promises.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Making it a GREAT Monday.
  • My seriousness in recovery.
  • So many meetings that I like being available today.
  • My will being turned over today, if I can be honest and humble, and the great things that will happen.


Calmer than you are Dude...

"Calmness is constructive of good. Agitation is destructive of good. I should not rush into action. I should first "be still and know that He is God"." Twenty Four Hours a Day for May 10

I still find myself getting agitated quickly. I believe some is to do with the physiological quitting of drinking still, however mostly because I am learning to change my thought pattern. I must pause, reflect and then answer or react to the best of my ability. Everyday I do that, I can win most of my battles and wars.

I went to a 10th step workshop meeting when I was out of town and really learned a lot from a surprising source, or so I thought at the time. It just goes to show, no matter the place or person, alcohol is the great equalizer.

Today I am grateful for:
  • The safe return home from our trip.
  • Being able to be with my Mom and wife on Mothers Day, sober.
  • Calming down
  • SLOWING down.
  • The meeting week ahead and the joy it brings.



They say that you spent so much of your time drinking that you will need to replace that with something. I spend more time now reading in the program, about the program. My work is doing better, many things that suffered when I was drinking are now being taken care of. It is a matter of putting other things as a priority. That is what is important.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My job, many of my friends are without and I pray that it changes soon for them.
  • The ability to go to visit my family.
  • Finding a meeting in a town 300 miles away.
  • The silent calm that came over me today when drinking crept into my head.
  • The trust of my wife on a money issue, again. Sobriety does create miracles.



In the program I have been inspired to be better. I am now looking for things that I can do to be of service and to help. I have not perfected this concept, however I am trying to "practice" this concept. That is important to me that I am practicing the principles of AA. Humility and Responsibility being the two first. I think that my whole life I will be working on those two, because I am such a egoist!!! The good thing that is if I pause and think about what I am doing my mind can relax and I can put my ego in check.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Another day closer to the weekend.
  • That my house cooled down last night.
  • Other sober alcoholics that I can call when I need help.
  • Slowly building trust back, by just being honest.



Last night's meeting was great. This is the first time I had been and it is by far and away the best AA meeting I have ever been to. It's a men's stag and the format is almost like a free for all. Lots of crosstalk and HONEST sharing. I really liked it...on that note, most of the sharing was on pausing and then reacting. Taking that second to think and not just to go with our gut reaction. This is an amazing concept. If I can practice this skill I am sure to improve my communication and my life. My thoughts are so jumbled, but I know that I treated my alcoholism last night, and am treating it this morning. I am going to practice that trait today and pause, pause, pause....

Today I am Grateful for:
  • Finding a meeting that spoke to me like none other ever before.
  • The honesty I feel in the rooms of AA.
  • Being there for my wife when she needed me and not having to lie about where I was.
  • The newness of today.



Today I am just grateful. Grateful to be in the program, and yet scared at the same time. I hope each day that I get a daily reprieve I will do the best I can with it. Yesterday I went to a meeting where one of the newcomers shared about football season and how was he going to make it without drinking? Suddenly I felt overcome with dread at the same question. Of course someone with some time shared afterwards that it only takes today, you can drink tomorrow if you want. That is what I am going with, today. And today, I am not drinking. I treated my alcoholism this morning, and I have a busy day ahead. But by the Grace of God....

Today I am grateful:
  • Restful sleep not interrupted by the alcohol.
  • My wife's trust on a money issue this morning.
  • God doing for me what I cant do for myself.
  • For the Stag meeting tonight and reading with my sponsor.


Daily reprieve...

"Each morning I wake up and suffer from untreated alcoholism, I get to treat it on a daily basis". Anonymous AA Member.

I think I am going to make a sign and put it somewhere that says "You suffer from untreated alcoholism, treat it." That way each day I wake up I can understand that if not treated I will succumb to my disease. I like that thought process, that I need to treat myself each day. We can do this in several ways, and several times a day if need be. For me today its about meditating this morning, a meeting, and acting as if....

Today I am grateful for:
  • The beautiful sunshine.
  • Having everything I need, my Higher Power sees to that.
  • The speakers touching words this morning.


United we stand...

"But out of this frightening and at first disrupting experience the conviction grew that A.A.'s had to hang together or die separately." Alcoholics Anonymous Pg.xix (Fourth Edition)

There is an AA saying that says, "I drink we stay sober", meaning alone alcoholics will drink, but together we won't. This is so true. This time around I am calling another drunk on a daily basis. I just returned from my favorite meeting and got some more numbers to call when my thinking goes left. I did that this week. I started to recognize what happens when I don't stay connected. I DRINK. This concept is so profound that in 1950 they understood it. I alone do not have the power to beat this disease. Its with the help of my Higher Power and the fellowship that I can do it. I can honestly say that this concept has fell on my deaf ears for over 2 years. I used to feel in danger and not call anyone, and then an hour later would be pounding my fist on the bar saying how did this happen again. That is why I NEED PEOPLE. I love this program today. I know I don't need to drink today. Nothing is bad or good enough to make me drink.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My forgiving wife.
  • My program.
  • Hearing a speaker today talk how her 6 year old daughter died and she didn't drink. Then realizing that nothing is so bad in my life that I have to pick up the bottle.
  • A fun Saturday full of rest and Love.