God Shots....

Sometimes in life we have to be thankful...My car overheated on the freeway, however there was an exit and it was right next to a hotel..thank God...it was not in the best of neighborhood's..in the past I would have been worried about police, DUI etc...but this time, clear head and heart and it felt good...

Today I am grateful for:
  • Obsessing less about things..
  • Helping others...
  • God looking out for me...
  • finding the perfect place to put my broke down car off the freeway in a bad area...that was all God...


...to the CARE...

"Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the CARE of God as we understood Him." AA-Pg59 The Third Step.

I heard once that this is the difference between belief and faith...You see a man that is going to push a wheelbarrow on a tightrope, between two buildings over 200 feet in the air without a safety net. He is an experienced tight-roper so you believe he can do it. Having Faith is sitting in the wheelbarrow as he does..

It is interesting as I am struggling with some concepts of the Third step that the word CARE stood out to me today. We have made this decision, and trusted God, or our Higher Power, but what I never fully understood is to the CARE of our Higher Power. God is not going to do anything that will hurt us...if we turn our child over to the care of someone, that person is entrusted to do what is best for the child, and we hope they will...it is the same thing with God. He loves and cares for us, so if we just have faith and trust, everything he does is for our good, for our well being...

I am so grateful to understand better today what it is like to be cared for, and to turn our lives over to His care and to have faith...so much more than I did before.

Today I am grateful for:
  • The experience...
  • Living in the present...
  • ...and having an opportunity that would never have come if I were drinking...
  • ...and recognizing that I need to put it in God's hands...and not take it back.



"We were powerless over alcohol..." AA First step.

In the midst of all our teachings, religion, AA, spirituality, whatever you call it, there is always "WE". The fact that we all are really one dates back to the teachings of Jesus. Whether you find Him a prophet, the Son of God, or just a really smart Man, His teachings all are summed up with one thing...WE. Even in the Lord's prayer He says..."Our Father"...not My Father, Your Father, Christians Father, Muslims excluded, not Buddha's Father..you get the point.

This very simple principle, which is that We are all connected, is the foundation of sobriety, and of personal change. We can stay sober, I cannot. "We shall overcome".."We the People"....are you seeing the pattern? Do unto others as you would have others do to you. Very simple things, yet so misunderstood in life.

Each day we ask what we can do for someone else, rarely in spirituality, the program, or just plain good living are we asked to do selfish things...we are asked how to make the group better, or by helping others we grow. Humans are pack animals, isolation is not natural, however as alcoholics we have made it an art. I mean lets be honest, even when we isolated and drank, eventually we still drunk dialed someone and told them how much we loved/hated/missed/wanted them...right?

We must stay a WE. If not this program will not work, nor will our change and growth...we shall remain isolated and alone, and that is not what our Higher Power wants for us, or what WE want for ourselves.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My "WE" around me...
  • ...the program working deep within me.
  • God guiding me to things that I don't fully understand...
  • ....and trusting Him.


Self Will...STILL????

"On awakening let us think about the twenty -four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives." AA P.56

Is it possible my anxiousness and bitterness can still exist, even though I think I work a program daily? OF COURSE. All week I was seeking something, something to maybe make my head stop. Even though it wasn't a drink, something was still off...that is when I realized, I was trying to be the director in my play. I have not woken up early lately and continued the pattern I started, Big Book, meditation, daily reflections...etc..it has taken me to a crazy head spin....what was I to do?

Well, luckily I have learned in our program that to quiet the mind, we do not need a drink...let what is happening happen....ask your Higher Power to direct you and maybe, just maybe we can reset and realize that it is really not our will anyways. That is why we feel maladjusted, because we still are running our will.

I love learning that I can reset each and everyday, sometimes every minute. I need to ask myself, whose will? My best thinking got me to where I am today, time to listen to a better bus driver!

Today I am grateful for:
  • My brother in law coming in town, we always have good conversations.
  • My wife's understanding...
  • The ability to show up and be considered for a large promotion at work, there was a day that I never thought I would be able to do that.
  • My life changing in good ways....
  • ....and being able to recognize it.



Yesterday I was restless. There was something going on within me that made me completely anxious. As I spoke to another alcoholic, I figured out why....I was still trying to control everything. From work, to family to personal life...everthing. I need to let go and let God. Both with my drinking and everything in my life...it is hard to keep moving and moving...and really let go...

I hope today I can let go and take direction like I really MEAN IT!

Today I am grateful for:
  • Having a job in this tough economy.
  • My daughter and her smile..
  • ...slowly learning my sleep patterns and how to get better sleep.
  • Reading. I love my new NOOK!
  • Giving God a chance this morning...



FOr today I am grateful for many things...
  • Another productive work week...
  • My wife and daughter...
  • Loving my life and learning each day how to be better..
  • Starting the 4th step with my new sponsor......
  • God helping me no matter what....
  • .....and him loving me also...
  • ..and my loving myself...


To know oneself...

"Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have." Doris Mortman

I was so restless with who I really am. Until I started, and its slowly moving along, to try and discover myself, I found that I was unable to really be happy. Today I still get restless and unable to be happy sometimes. Today I know that it is not what I want that can make me happy, to be happy I need to love what I have, myself and what is around me.

We do not choose to have this disease. I didnt sign up for this, but this is the hand I am dealt and with that, I must choose to be sober. Choose to be honest and sane.

Today I am grateful for:

  • My small understanding of what is going on in my life.
  • Still learning daily...
  • ...and being glad to learn.
  • Feeling like I am still an infant in sobriety, but knowing I can still help someone else.
  • My family being provided for by my job, and God blessing us.



"Guilt is anger directed at ourselves-at what we did or did not do." Peter McWilliams

I really do carry so much guilt around my drinking. It is so true that all this is is anger with myself at what I did to my family and friends, and frankly everyone. Angry I lied so much, angry I spent so much, was away too much, everything. Being an alcoholic I beat myself up so much....my hands hurt!

The great news now is when I feel guilt, I can figure out why I am feeling that way. I can pause and reflect on what the real feeling is, and where the real problem lies. I can tell myself it's ok in certain situations, to not feel guilty or shameful, but to feel the real emotions. Fear, anger, hurt, sadness....whatever it is.

I think as humans we don't allow ourselves to feel enough. It is said that God is Love. That is something we feel. In order to be connected to God we must feel, good and bad. The only way I knew how to live was to repress these feelings, or come up with some other way to deal with them....now I can sometimes do what I need to feel them and deal with them...one day at a time.

Today I am grateful:
  • To be able to feel sadness for a situation and not guilt.
  • Knowing that I did not cause the pain I see in a friend today...
  • ...and being grateful for that.
  • that I allow other people to have feelings, instead of controlling them so much....
  • ...that God is helping me understand this.


This disease will kill us...

I just learned of someone with this disease that litterally drank himself to death. It is really sad. I didn't know this person very well, however I know his story. We are one drink away from giving it all back. Everything that we ever wanted or received from sobriety is just one drink away for us.

I am sad for this person, even though I didnt know him personally. I am sad because it is so simple if you just accept what you are. An alcoholic. Accept and live in the solution and you will live a full rich life. There will be problems, however, they are nothing compared to what the bottle will do to us.

Today I am grateful for:
  • One day reprieve.
  • Trying to live in integrity, and getting more and more success.
  • Knowing that I am a drink away from losing A LOT!!
  • God reminding me everyday what I need to do.


What do I bring to the table...

They are so complicated, relationships, that we always seem to be asking ourselves how they can get better. Most of the time we answer, well she/he can do this or that. The reality is what do we bring to the table In any given situation, work, home, school, friendships, etc we can ask ourselves what we are really bringing to the table in that relationship. Is it love, kindness, acceptance, service? Or is it hate,bitterness, torment, mean spirit, sarcasm etc.

The reality is that it probably lies somewhere in between In my recovery, I often ask myself, what I am bringing to this problem or solution. That is the only way to truly uncover my motives and what I need for the relationship to grow..

Today I am grateful for:
  • A new sober day.
  • Not as tired as I was earlier.
  • A busy job today.
  • God helping me......



"Through experience and obedience, growth started, followed by grattitude. Yes, then came peace of mind-living in and sharing sobriety." Daily Reflections

As much as I have failed in sobriety, I would not change where I am today. The failures of my past make me the man I am today. No better way to learn and to grow than falling on your face, many many times! It is like this in life, you always here the successful people say how many times they failed. So it must be true that how you handle failure is really the key to success.

Today I am grateful for:
  • A job that I can do well...
  • My vision of sobriety becoming greater...
  • My love of the program growing...
  • ...because I used to hate it...
  • God helping me daily.
  • Giving another problem to God today, one that I have held on to for YEARS.



Sometimes just being thankful is enough...

Today was like that...

Today I am grateful for:
  • Trust at my job.
  • Helping others tomorrow...
  • ....and them helping me.
  • Growing everyday...
  • knowing I am trying to do the right thing, even though it sometimes doesnt feel like it...


Stay on my side...

"It wasn't what people thought about me that bothered me, it was what I thought they thought about me..." Mike-AA meeting.

My sponsor told me, it doesn't matter what people think about you, that is none of your business. I have a REALLY hard time with this one...my ego thinks that if someone in a crowd of 1,000 turns and whispers something to their friend, they must be talking about me...this is a fact with all alcoholics. We think we are unique and the center of the universe.

For me I must stay on my side of the street, even when I think it better to cross. Getting involved in others business, whether I think it is noble or not, MUST BE AVOIDED. There is a situation at work, which I want to dive in head first, but I MUST NOT. I can pause and remember how shallow the pool is, and what happens when I dive in head first. I get HURT.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Another day sober, and another morning waking up clear.
  • My wife being my sounding board this morning, and I trusting her.
  • Another alcoholic calling me and leaving a message this morning, great way to start a day.
  • Loving myself little by little...
  • God helping me by protecting me from any "big deals" now...helping me as he always has...
  • ...and me finally realizing it.


Keep on trudging...

"I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps trying." Nelson Mandela

In life as long as we suit up and show up, and move forward, we are trying. In the program it is very much the same. I had a hard weekend. I felt I flew off the handle a bit, and maybe didnt work my program as hard as I should. But I didnt drink, I tried and each night my head hit the pillow, something was better.

I tried to connect with my Higher Power, whom I call God, on a daily basis. Truly us Humans are disconnected from God, unless we take the time and reconnect on a daily basis. For us alcoholics, sometimes it is hourly.

I am not sure how to best do this program. I trust God, clean house and try to help others. In that way I am making progress, not perfection.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My wife taking care of my daughter this morning, it was my turn but I was tired.
  • My life moving in the right direction, and me not doing anything but listening and letting it...
  • ...my love of myself growing.
  • Fitting into some old jeans...
  • Patience being practiced...
  • ...not perfected.


Mr progress..

Sometimes for me I see way more progress than some others see in me, and sometimes it is the other way around. I am not sure how to do this thing, so I am learning one day at a time to trust others.

My sponsor and I met today, and frankly the beginning was a little tense. We talked thru a character defect I had, one that I thought I was making progress on, and one which he still saw in me clearly. On one hand, I had made progress, however I still need to work on things, which is the problem I ran into whenever I relapse. This disease is cunning and baffling, and trust me if you don't take stock of it daily, it will beat you.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My wife and I being married for 6 years. I love her and she really helps me to be a better me.
  • The opportunity to spend time with her tonight on a "date" something I wouldn't be able to do if I was still drinking.
  • My sponsor and his words, both kind and unkind. They help ground me.
  • God slowly changing me, and reminding me to slow down son....



"Don't drink, one day at a time, never more than a day at a time, sometimes 10 minutes at a time." Ollie-Hermosa AA

I am powerless over alcohol, but I am not powerless over the first drink. I can do things in my program that give me a defense to that first drink. I can call people, pray, read, etc...

If there is nothing more I feel I can do, I can turn it over. My higher power has the control, not me....

Trust God, clean house and help others...

That is what we do One Day at A Time.

Today I am grateful for:
  • One day at a time...
  • ...and doing the next right thing.
  • The obsession being removed, and me winning the battle.
  • God doing for me today, what I cannot do for myself.


Cleaning House..

"The Past: Our cradle, not our prison; there is danger as well as appeal in its glamour. The past is for inspiration, not imitation, for continuation, not repetition." Israel Zangwill

The program teaches us to embrace our past, and not to forget it. There is a fine line, however in "romanticizing" the past. Thinking of all the "good" times we had, and not remembering the after effects of what we had done.

Today I use my past as experience, not as something to try and re live. I am not going to score the winning touchdown at homecoming anymore, not that I ever did, but you know what I mean. Accepting that today is meant to be a learning and growth experience, and that the past is to be used as a teacher, will help me to change my behavior. All of us can benefit from this, in or out of the program, using the past to help not to dream it happens again...

Today I am grateful for:
  • My daughter and her love this morning.
  • Getting better one day at a time...
  • ...never more than a day at a time...
  • ....sometimes 10 minutes at a time!
  • My Higher Power living in me now!


Lessons learned...

"Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of." Anonymous

This quote is so true. For me it is a new process in life. Unlearning 38 years of programmed behavior. One day at a time, never more than a day at a time, sometimes 10 minutes at a time.

The reality is we all have bad habits that we slip into, some may be small, others large, but whatever they are, if we tackle them one day at a time, we can get out of the bed and change what we have become, to what we really are.

Today I am grateful for:
  • A meeting today that is starting back at step one. I love that step.
  • The fellowship, and sharing with others.
  • Knowing today, I got out of bed and treated one of my bad habits.
  • God doing for me...


Hurdles in life...

For all of us we have problems and difficulties to overcome. Today I heard a message that if we look to our Higher Power, God for me, we can have these burdens removed. I have such a hard time with that, and each day I grow closer to believing this principle.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Beautiful weather again.
  • A good message today....
  • God helping me each and everyday with my obsession.
  • Doing the next right action.



"I am happy not because I am an alcoholic but because I know that I am an alcoholic. Today I can be what I was meant to be, rather than the "fake" that I was becoming." Fr. Leo

I learn today that acceptance of everything is what I need. I can't change people places and things, and until I realize that, my disease, whatever it is, will continue to grow and control me. This principal is simple, yet so complex. If we in the world were to follow this simple rule, all of us would lead more serene lives.

Today I am grateful:
  • For a good morning meeting.
  • My wife getting a good night sleep, and feeling better.
  • My daughter and her excitement for her gymnastics class, if I was not sober I would not see this happiness.
  • Accepting that for today I cant drink...
  • ...and that is ok...


On FIRE...

Man, this morning had me reeling, my ISM was in full effect. Thank God for my sponsor and his words.

I am so happy today to take advantage of the tools I have been given, if this would have been 6 months ago I would have probably been in a verbal altercation. It would not have ended well. So happy today to be able to Pause and reflect and STOP!

"Selfishness-self-centeredness! That, we believe, is the root of all our troubles." AA Big Book pg. 62

Today I am grateful for:
  • Pause and reflect.
  • God putting His hand over my mouth...
  • ...and softening my heart.
  • 3 day weekend...boo-ya...
  • Love growing in my heart.


Progress not perfection...

I used to beat myself up all the time about not being perfect. Or when I had a goal, not attaining it to perfection. As an alcoholic, even though my life was chaos, I used to beat myself up all the time for not being perfect, or doing something perfectly. It is only through the program that I know that this is a daily reprieve and that as long as I am working, I dont have to be perfect.

This concept, once I really know it, has helped me in every aspect of my life. My Higher Power, God, has helped me to realize that this life is a journey not a destination. Therefore, you cannot do it perfectly, only try your best.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My men's stag meeting tonight.
  • Feeling better each day I am further from the drink.
  • Grateful that work is going better, it is a blessing indeed to have a job.
  • My daughter and her love.


Wait for it...

"As an alcoholic my first response is immediate, excessive and inappropriate." O.B-Meeting 2/08/10

When I am in my disease, drinking or not, my mouth is like Forrest Gump. IT IS RUNNIN! I can hardly stop it, let alone control what comes out of it. I loved this quote I heard at a meeting yesterday. It is SO ME to the T. Whenever something or someone had an action, I had an opinion. It was over the top and not really nice most of the time.

Today in sobriety, I can monitor what I say, by doing one simple thing. Pause. I hear often that God is standing next to me, one hand over my shoulder and one hand over my mouth. It is so true that my "ism" is in full effect when I cannot pause and take a moment to reflect. If I can reflect 9 times out of 10 I choose the contrary action to what my first response would have been...that is the beauty of my program today.

I do not have to react to people, places and things, and when I do, my action can be well thought out and have the best results possible. I practice this a lot with work e--mails...sometimes I can not even respond for 24 hours, but that is for the best...trust me.

Today I am grateful for:
  • The sun shining, this rain has got me a little down.
  • Being able to go to 2 meetings yesterday and resetting.
  • Worrying less and less.
  • Letting go and Letting God.



Today again I just wanted to have a gratitude list...sometimes, that is all that can help me keep sober...

Today I am grateful for:
  • Another day to treat my disease, I dont have to drink today just to stop thinking.
  • That I can wake with a clear head and heart, and not owe amends from something stupid I did at a superbowl party.
  • Another week that I have a job...
  • Having a number of meetings I can go to, whenever I feel the need.
  • Fellowship...
  • Trusting God..


The blame game...

"He that is good at making excuses is seldom good at anything else." Benjamin Franklin

When I was drinking it was always someone else's fault. There was never responsibility on my part. I made excuses for everything and everyone. Never was it my fault or something that I could have prevented. Today in sobriety I try not to make excuses, I pause and react and see my part in things. When I say I am going to do something, I really make an effort to do it. When I don't I try my hardest not to excuse my behavior. I feel this is something we as people work long and hard at...

I believe we all try and make excuses, whether we are alcoholics or not, and that when we truly sit in our feelings and emotions we can see what the real problem is or was. That is what I strive for everyday, not making excuses and accepting me for me, and others for themselves.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Being sober for Superbowl.
  • My reset button.
  • The speaker which spoke of insanity and how much I related last night.
  • Slowly learning not to be critical.


Self-WIll run riot...

"If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self." Napoleon Hill

In life, as in our program, we tend to listen to ourselves more than we should. I have heard many times in the rooms, "It's my best thinking that got me here." Any selfish motives in life lead us to bad things. For me it was the instant calming and gratification of drinking. For others, it might be any number of things. The reality is that as long as we run a life on self-will, we will not succeed. Whether we are alcoholics or not. There is a story in the Big Book on page 60 that compares alcoholics to actors who try to control or "put-on" the whole show. The lights, orchestra, director, all the parts..etc...we cannot do that in life. We cannot control everything around us...when we try we only fail, and fall hard.

For me, I try to slow down and not to listen to self. To try to stay connected to my Higher Power and what is best for me. Sometimes I think what I should do and do the exact opposite. That is powerful for me, because as I said before, it was my best thinking that got me here.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Spending some early morning time with my daughter alone...she is fun..
  • My wife and her caring attitude towards my recovery.
  • That some differences happened at my meeting and when asked I could say, "I don't have an opinion." and stay out of it. I never would have done that in the past...always sticking my nose where it doesn't belong.
  • God changing me.


Humble Pie..

"Where humility formerly stood for a forced feeding on humble pie, it now begins to mean the nourishing ingredient that can give us serenity." Twelve steps and twelve traditions of AA. pg. 74

There is a famous football star that has his own line of clothing and on the shirts it says.."I love Me some ME." That was me when I drank. I was the coolest, best looking, funniest, wittiest, and down right awesome person ever, and I made sure to tell you. In sobriety I am learning that I really had no self love at all....I hated myself.

I have heard many times in the rooms, "For someone who thought so little of themselves, I sure thought a lot about myself." That was me to the tee...never was I able to really love myself. The "it" I found that helped me with that was alcohol.

I am learning to love myself and be humble. It is such a long road that I must journey one day at a time.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Making plans for our anniversary dinner, and knowing I have the tools to stay sober till then, and have a great time.
  • My daughter and her cheery personality in the morning.
  • Not obsessing so much on a problem I am having, giving it to God.
  • Progress not perfection.


Slow and steady...

"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass." Ann Landers

In my program and my life I expect miracles, and they happen. My sobriety, my work, my daily life, my family, my daughter, all these things are nothing short of miracles considering how much damage I have done drinking. The truth of the matter is this. Not everything in life is going to be a miracle. Getting sober does not mean no more challenges.

For everyone, trials happen. Has anyone ever said "Bad things happen to Good people."? The truth is BAD THINGS HAPPEN!!! It is no surprise to anyone that I say this. Sometimes my EGO, says, "You quit drinking why is all this bad stuff happening, see you should just drink!". The reality is this, if I have four problems, and I go drink I will have at least one more, if not MANY MANY more.

In life, if we can stay centered and follow whatever path we choose to be right, and do it humbly. We shall reap many many rewards, here and in whatever life we believe afterwards.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Progress rather than perfection.
  • A new meeting tonight at the club that is supposed to be great.
  • My voices slowly changing...
  • ....and me having tools to change them.
  • That I am not the only one in America lost when it comes to the show "Lost".



"To change and to change for the better are two different things."-German Proverb

In my program today I can be grateful for my change. In my life I have not always been grateful to be able to change. It was like I was going from one crazy to another crazy. It was not always pretty.

The important part in any process of change is that we see progress, however little. It took us many years and lies to get where we are today, there is no way to change those within seconds, hours, or days. Real change starts to take slowly as we turn towards our higher power, and let the change come from within.

Today I am grateful for:
  • The change coming within.
  • Learning to love myself and others as God loves them...
  • Tolerance...
  • Looking forward to the middle of the week being done!
  • Treating my disease this morning!


Suit up and show up!

"Seventy percent of success of life is showing up." Woody Allen

In life we all want to be successful, whether with family, work, religion, our program...anything. I love this saying. It is very true in the program that if we just put our butt's in the seats our heads will follow.

Showing up to meetings, even when we do not want to will help us in our program. Showing up in life will help us also. Go do something good for others, just show up and be grateful you can be there...

Today I am grateful for:
  • Clear Head.
  • Meeting great people at the Alano club.
  • Surrender.
  • Not having to be hungover today.



"Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others." Buddha

In life we too often rely on others to "fix" our problems. Our spouses, our therapists, parents, co-workers, etc...How often I have heard "I am going to stay sober for such and such..." or "I go to Church because my parents want me to." Is this really what we want? Do we want what we do on a day to day basis, or do we rely on others for our motivation. The only way one can truly change is to really want it. Not to do it because someone else wants it. Now, if someone came into the program for someone else and stays for themselves, that is beautiful. If someone goes to church for someone else and finds their Higher Power on their own and stays for that, then it is awesome.

Their is a story I heard about a young boy who wanted to earn his allowance. His Mom told him that if he cleaned the windows really good, with no spots, he could have his allowance. He went outside and started to clean the windows, and scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed. He stayed out for so long his Mom came out. He said he was sorry but no matter how hard he cleaned, their were still spots on the window. His Mom smiled and told him that the spots were on the inside of the window and he needed to clean inside too.

This is like us, no matter how hard we clean the outside appearance, our inside must be clean to see no spots.

Like the program says...Clean House, Trust God, and Help Others. All will be well....

Today I am grateful for:
  • Meeting today.
  • Church and the message it brought to be committed to my Higher Power.
  • My wife and her patience with our wonderful daughter in these wonderful times of a two year old!!!!
  • My commitment to the program and my Higher Power growing everyday.
  • Saying Thank You tonight. Thank you I didn't pick up today.


Keeping my side of the street clean...

This week there were a lot of trials for me to remember to stay on my side of the street, and to keep it clean. Some of the tests I passed, others I failed. However, in all of these instances, I remembered what I needed to do, I just didn't do it!!! The reality in life is that we all want to feel more than..more special than we are, more unique than we are, more important than someone else..etc...the reality is as long as my house is clean, I can invite other people over. I am not going to throw a Superbowl party and then ask you to clean my bathroom as you leave, am I? Expecting others to keep our streets or house clean is a joke. People will not, and frankly cannot, help us with our shortcomings, or insecurities. It comes from within, and from whatever Higher Power we have. Mine is God, and this week he worked with me, and is teaching me what I need to stay sober for today.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My favorite meeting and getting a hug from an old sponsor that let me know everything was ok between him and I.
  • Watching my daughter in her first gymnastics class, if I was not sober, I am not sure I would be allowed to do that, or be able to do that.
  • Looking forward to another meeting tonight and tomorrow, I have some make-ups to do in my 90 in 90.
  • God on my mind....
  • .....and I am on His....



"Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear." Lao-Tzu

I stole this from another blog I read. I LOVE IT! The more we sit in a situation, or our lives and are calm. The clearer answers become. Have you noticed that when there is chaos reigning around you the calmer you remain, the calmer the situation becomes. Either that or the chaos leaves where the calmness is....I just love this quote and there are so many interpretations. What is yours?

Today I am grateful for:
  • Clear head and heart for today.
  • Treating my disease.
  • Working with others and beating my disease for today.
  • God and His changing of my obsessions...


Today I just want to be grateful...no special feelings, actually feeling tired, but in a good way.

Today I am grateful for:
  • The beauty of the sunset over the ocean as I picked my daughter up.
  • Sound mind today.
  • Hearing the State of the Union with a clear head, I think I was not in a good place last year.
  • My love for my family.
  • God doing for me...


Brutal Honesty...Nature of my situation

"I am an alcoholic. If I drink I will die. My, what power, energy, and emotion this simple statement generates in me! But it's really all I need to know for today. Am I willing to stay alive today? Am I willing to stay sober today? Am I willing to ask for help and am I willing to be a help to another suffering alcoholic today? Have I discovered the fatal nature of my situation? WHat must I do, today, to stay sober?" Daily Reflections, January 26th pg. 34

My disease is progressive and terminal. Today I know this. I have no power over the second drink. My only defense comes before taking that second drink. I am breathing a sigh of relief that I don't have to drink anymore, I am relieved at this, not angry.

Today I am grateful:
  • To keep finding good meetings.
  • To keep fighting the fight.
  • Work picking up.....
  • Loving myself even more each day.



I have been learning to be patient. In sobriety and life...I want to have 10 years of clarity of sobriety and NOT be patient to move through the process. Same in my business. I want things to happen NOW and not when they should or need to happen. The worst is that I want my Higher Power to do what I want NOW, when I want it and not when I know he KNOWS it is good for me.

I pray everyday for patience. With my wife, daughter, events, actions, people, places and things! The more patient we are in life, the better action we produce...!!!!

Today I am grateful for:
  • The work phone call that I waited for, and the good outcome.
  • Clearly waking up this morning.
  • My daughter and her smile.
  • The anxious feeling of the other shoe dropping slowly slowly leaving!



Taking direction has always been hard for me, in and out of recovery. Even before I started drinking, there was something in me that did not want to listen. Today, I feel like I am starting to turn my will over to a Higher Power, and in truth all that means is taking direction. Whether it be from my sponsor, another alcoholic, my boss, a friend, my wife, my Higher Power or whomever, I feel that I keep an open mind and heart. That is really what this life is about. Keeping our Heart open and honest.

It makes sense to me that if our Heart is hurting emotionally, then we are not doing well. Think about it, if someone stabs you in the heart with a knife, if you don't get help ASAP you will die. Emotional hurt does the same thing to our spirit and soul. We need to heal this as soon as it happens. I do this by letting resentment go, helping others, and praying and speaking to my Higher Power. All of us, alcoholic or not, need to understand that we should take direction from others, and from our Higher Power. People who have been thru what we have understand better how to get to the other end. Sometimes if we just listen and follow direction our lives will be so much better....resisting this only makes it worse for us in the end.

Today I am grateful for:
  • My sponsor.
  • Being a little less anxious everyday.
  • My daughter, and her reaction to watching the Ocean this morning.
  • Being able to go look at the Ocean this morning, not everyone gets to do that. It is an experience of peace that nothing else can bring.
  • My Higher Power directing me and showing me Love.



"...who have walked the A.A. path out of Hell by packaging their lives, with out alcohol, into twenty-four hour segments, during which they practice a few principles to the best of their individual abilities. And then I know again that, while it isn't always easy, if I keep it simple, it works." Daily Reflections, January 22nd.

Sometimes in life we want to over complicate things. Make things bigger and harder than they are. We do that in all walks of life and relationships. We make marriage harder, work harder and worship harder. The reality of everything is that there are simple principles to follow and our lives will not be so complicated and hard. Love yourself and treat people like you want to be treated. Is that so hard? Sometimes YES! All kidding aside, these simple principles in life, and in the program, can help us accomplish our greatest, and hardest tasks.

For me it is not hard. Do not drink or use NO MATTER WHAT! IF I can separate my life into one day at a time, I can make that easy. If I see myself and Love myself as my Higher Power does, then it is easier to treat other people with love and respect. This is my program, and no matter how simple it sounds, it is really hard for me! Keep is simple, and it will be simply amazing.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Friday.
  • Getting a bit more organized.
  • Finding meetings that I love.
  • Being of service to another alcoholic, I really needed that this week.
  • Knowing that no matter what it is, it will change!



I just wanted to post today how grateful I am in this journey of recovery. Last night, I was able to sit on a panel and speak to some people in a lock down detox unit. We were able to bring a meeting to them and to see where I could be if I let this disease ruin me and my life. These people had little hope in their hearts and I hope some of my words, as well as the words of my fellow panel members, touched one of these people and they can make better choices when they get out.

I learned again last night that no matter the person, alcohol is the great equalizer. We, as alcoholics, must realize this and treat our disease accordingly.

Today I am grateful:
  • That I am not in a hospital or detox unit, as I could just as easily be there as here..
  • That my wife is supportive of my recovery efforts and we try to spend as much time together as possible..
  • That my daughter is liking her pre-school more and more.
  • That God is helping me everyday..



The dictionary defines Sane as such:

free from mental derangement; having a sound, healthy mind: a sane person.
having or showing reason, sound judgment, or good sense: sane advice.
sound; healthy.

In step 2 of our program we are promised that our Higher Power can restore us to sanity. It is true that most people in this program were at one point insane. Maybe not clinically or legally insane, however our actions and thoughts were insane.

As we work this program, and really change our lives, we start to make decisions that most rational and sane people would, not what we would do in our old lives.

I still find myself going to that "insane" place sometimes, and I have to breathe, remember how I am getting better and turn my thoughts over to my Higher Power. That is the way that I can free myself from the insanity of my own thoughts.

Today I am grateful for:
  • NOT being sick anymore. I really do take my health for granted.
  • Being sober today.
  • Being able to speak in a panel tonight to other alcoholics who suffer, starting my service journey.
  • God slowly changing me.


Letting resentment go....

Today at my meeting the speaker shared of finally being able to rid herself of a resentment after 7 years. That seems like a long time, however, if you heard the story you would think that it was 100 years too soon...She told us it became like an infection that would not go away, hurting her body day after day after day. I marveled how she let it go, and how many people have to do that in this program.

What it taught me was that our healing REQUIRES us to forgive. If we don't there is not a way in the world we can heal ourselves. The goal of this program is to be happy, joyous and free. There is no way to do this if we hold on to our past, our resentments. I see people in the rooms that are bitter and hurt. They never seem to have that peace or contentment in the world around them. There is a certain air of unhappiness around them and their demeanor. On the contrary, the people who have taken inventory, forgiven and realized their part are calm, happy, joyous and free. You can sense it as you hear them share and speak to them. In and out of the rooms of AA, we all need to forgive. IT is SO hard sometimes, but most of the time we forgive for OUR souls not for another person. That is up to our Higher Power.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Being able to get our groceries...with all this moving and expenses it has been tight.
  • My daughter not throwing up anymore, I felt so bad for her.
  • My clear head today, knowing the next right move.
  • God healing my heart.



As I try to retreat from my own insanity, I am noticing more and more that most people in the world want control things. As I learn how to let GO I see more and more people not letting go and getting so frustrated over things that they cannot change or make happen. I work with some people like this and the one thing I have learned in my program is dealing with them is almost like working a twelve step on them! I am NOT able to control their thoughts, feelings, or actions, and frankly I have stopped trying. It is remarkable to me to see the change that occurs in me when I give it up to my higher power. The world is a much calmer and safer place for me. My focus becomes a bit more "laser" as you will and I get a little happier.

Growing up around people who like to control and an environment that made me try to control everything, it is hard to break this pattern. To truly understand that I am NOT going to make things happen by my will...is the real blessing and a tangible blessing of this program.

Today I am grateful for:
  • A problem working itself out at work.
  • Having success this year at being more calm.
  • Learning how to live in my moment and not in the future or past.
  • Meetings and the people I meet there.



At a meeting today the topic was "being in a funk" Within sobriety, and life frankly, we all get down, depressed, glum, sluggish and generally in a funk. The leader asked for sharing on how to get out of this funk. Sometimes when we are in recovery and ALL we do is AA or recovery work, it can drive us insane!!! The best thing to do, for me, when I am in a funk is to help someone else, or talk to someone else. This gets us out of our head, and gets us unfocused on what is wrong with us, we get to feel how someone else is doing. Getting involved with helping someone else gets us out of our VERY SELFISH mode and our funk.

Today was rough for me, I am not sure why, but without pain there is no change. I am changing and I am feeling good about it...

Today I am grateful for:
  • Some pain to get some gain...
  • God helping my family and myself..
  • Honesty coming out in my life.....


Character defects...

I have heard that we work on whichever character defect is killing us at the moment. For me it is patience and trusting God. It is hard sometimes to "Let go and Let God" or 'Be Calm God takes care of it" when things seem to be so giant at the time. There is no greater problem at the moment and there is no solution in the future it seems. How can I possibly be calm or quiet when every part of me wants to scream and try and control the situation. This is not possible. This is not going to do anything, to interject and always try and get MY WILL forced. I have heard someone way that no matter how good or BAD a situation is, it will change. In my alcoholic experience, I have been the one to change the situation, however, the reality is I did very little. I probably hurt the situation and did not help it.

My problems, as great as they seem to me, are not as great as some. If I have patience and trust that I will be taken care of, it shall be so. Even if it is not, a drink will not take care of it for me! Although, I used to think it would!!!

Today I am grateful for:
  • Not being hungover.
  • The time I get in the morning with my daughter.
  • A new meeting tonight, and hoping I LOVE IT.
  • The trust in God that a situation will work out as it must, there is no other way!



Which side of the fence are we on? Where does our commitment lie in life? Are we not committed, partially committed or FULLY committed. As an alcoholic I have lived my life as partially committed, to sobriety, work or anything else. I was FULLY committed to alcohol and finding the drink. I would find any means possible to get my fix, and that was INSANITY! I find today that being half in recovery and half out, means that we are FULLY out! There is no partial anymore with me, my commitment to to be happy joyous and FREE! The only way to do that is to be a PART of AA and to fully commit to my Higher Power, whom I call GOD.

It is hard for me to write about myself being a top notch Bullshit artist. Everyone who knows me, knows this is true. This skill has really been useful to me in sales and my career. However, it has also been an absolute nightmare to use when I try to manipulate and influence things in the negative way. I used to really try to avoid realizing this character defect. Saying "No not me, I don't Bullshit, I am a man of my word" That was a bunch of malarkey. Today I am striving to be a man of my word. I hope to regain the trust of those who have no confidence in me, and I know if I stay with my program, each day I can get some back. Only in living today!

Today I am grateful for:
  • My meeting last night and the new sponsor I have.
  • Getting up early today and meeting a goal I set for myself.
  • The fun I have with my daughter in the morning.
  • God taking some of my worries today, just living in today!

Restraint of tongue (and pen)

I heard a little saying today. Each of us has in our hands a bucket of water and a bucket of gas. When an event or something flares up, i.e. confrontation, worries, someone/something bothering us, we can either use our bucket of gas to fuel this fire or our bucket of water to help to stop the fire. This is so important in life and in sobriety. When we come across an event or person or thing that starts to flame up, or starts a fire with us, WE are free to choose what tool to use. To be calm and to help the situation with our water is what is going to help us be better people, and live better lives. I have heard that God stands next to us with His arm over our shoulder and His hand over our mouth! How true this is.

This practice is easier when we are confronted in life by someone/thing in person, but what about an email or letter or something else? In this day and age, it is easy to lash out with our keyboard or "pen". To respond quicker and not even think about what we are saying or writing. In a meeting yesterday I heard a man say that his sponsor told him not to write any e mails after 5 oclock! It was something that helped him to think more after a hard stressful day. With me, I often try and wait 24 hours before I respond to an e-mail I find flaring, if I have that long, if not I really try and type how I would calmly speak to the person in front of me. I am not even close to perfect in this, however, I really can hold my "pen" the longer I wait to respond. In this age of texting, e mailing, blackberry PIN, and instant message, we need to guard our words in electronic form, just as close as those that come out of our mouths!

Today I am grateful for:
  • Renewing a commitment I made with myself.
  • Hearing a message about God this morning that I really needed to hear.
  • Knowing that I can pause and think before responding, and that is my best tool in my belt today!
  • God doing for me, as long as I try and listen!!!


Self...most important being of all..

To be fair, alcoholics are selfish, which is why when we act out while drinking the only person that matters is ME ME ME. It doesn't matter if you are related, not related, nice, mean or whomever, we will RUN OVER YOU to get what we want. Lie, cheat, steal, manipulate and portray whatever we can to get what we want. I did all these things, and struggle on a daily basis to quench the fires that this Demon starts.
However, as I heard today at a meeting, healing self is the most important aspect of our sobriety. The funny thing is as we release our selfish ways, we tend to love ourselves more, to see what we really can be and what we love about ourselves. A woman today at the meeting talked about learning to love herself in the beginning of sobriety. She would carry a picture of her as a little girl and when she wanted to self deprecate or hate she would look at that picture, of that child, she would think of how she would treat that child. The love that she would have for that child, and how others would love that child. That really was interesting to me. In sobriety we must put our self first, but not in a selfish or hurtful way. We need to understand the difference, loving ourself is very different from being selfish and just trying to get what we want. I hope to learn to love myself, and put myself first, but in a good and healthy way.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Returning to my favorite meeting and taking a commitment to help out. This helps me maintain my sobriety.
  • The great big hug my daughter gave me this morning.
  • Finding another alcoholic to talk to, and to take me thru the steps.
  • Letting God take care of a problem I have, and KNOWING it will work out.


Poor in spirit...

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven." Some of the most famous words that Jesus said. What does that mean for us? Should we be "poor spirited" or glum? Should we spend our days with our head down? This is not even close to what Jesus meant when he uttered these words. The Poor in Spirit have emptied themselves of all desires to exercise self will. This is what Jesus meant, to follow God's will and not ours.

This is such an important part of my program. To quench my desires and wants, even if I feel that they are just or deserved. To be meek, or poor in spirit, is to be humble. To know that the path I am headed down CANNOT be done on my own, that my will is never going to get me closer to God or His plan for me. Have you ever noticed that the more you try to control outcomes or events in our lives, the opposite things seem to happen? When we TRUST, when we work our program, whatever that might be, things flow smoother and happier for us.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Early morning waking up and being clear in my head.
  • A good nights sleep.
  • Closer to this weekend.
  • Finding an inner peace daily, something that I have been searching for a lot lately...


Quiet Desperation...

At a meeting this evening, a man shared that after his upteenth DUI, he walked out of jail and didn't have an answer. He was leading a life of "quiet desperation". Most all, wait, all alcoholics lead these types of lives. Walking thru life desperately trying to find something, someone that will change how we feel inside. Alcohol works best, its like an instant change of our feelings. Everyone is our friend and we are amazingly charming and witty and WOW! Yet all the while, we silently know that it will NEVER change, and it will never help us feel what we really need to feel. We need to feel ourself...we need to not live this desperate life, seeking, searching for whatever gives us our "high".

It really comes down to one thing. Are we desperate enough to change....to make real progress in our lives and really make that change for the ages. Each of us, whether alcoholic or not, has something we want to change. Being desperate is the only way to do that, desperate for change...

Today I am grateful for:
  • My desperation to change.
  • Having a job in this economy.
  • Finding new meetings in my area, and knowing if I don't like one, there are a million others!
  • Trudging the road of happy destiny and finding some of you on the same path!


Free Will.....or is it?

I am reading an amazing book right now. It is called "Sermon on the Mount" by Emmet Fox. It basically breaks down the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus into "..keys to success in life." There is an interesting thought process that Emmet shares. "All day long the thoughts that occupy your mind, your Secret Place, as Jesus calls it, are moulding your destiny for good or evil; in fact, the truth is that the whole of our life's experience is but the outer expression of our inner thought." He continues with this quote: "We have free will, but our free will lies in our choice of thought."

This simple concept is one that has been lost on me for a long time. The more we think about, or obsess on something, the more likely it is that we will gravitate towards that thought. If I think about drinking 24/7 at some point I am going to pick up the drink. Whatever it is that we think about that is where our actions lie. If we fill our hearts and mind with gratitude and service that is what our life will reflect. I found it amazingly freeing to understand that as long as I direct my thoughts, my actions will follow. Easier said than done, but a great start to a day!

Today I am grateful for:
  • Finally having a bed to sleep on!
  • Being 98% done with our move.
  • My old landlord, who is in the program, who is helping us out when we need it the most.
  • Learning that I don't have to not drink ever again, just today, that is all I have. Today.


From the Ashes rises....

....A Phoenix...

Its nice to have a restart button for the New Year. It is the fourth of January and I am finally "home". With the insanity of the holidays, as well as moving into a new home, I finally feel I can start some of the projects and goals for 2010. Although I am not a fan of resolutions, I am a fan of resolve. Meaning, I don't want to outline a project or idea I have and call it a resolution, I just want to be more resolute about my resolve. I have moved into a new area and with that have found some new meetings and places to go to help me retreat from my insanity. I am grateful that wherever I find myself, I can find people who think like me, and who know of my struggles. Change happens from within, whether its the 1st of the year or the first hour of the day.

Today I am grateful for:
  • Becoming closer to my family.
  • Becoming closer to my wife.
  • Becoming closer to myself.
  • Becoming closer with God.
  • Trusting...when every ounce of my being wants me to run...