Friday, May 25, 2007

Doctor Lawyer Indian Chief

Last night I had the opportunity to speak at a commitment. It's
only about the fourth time I've ever done this and only the second time I've been on a

This particular meeting was around the corner from my office. I have
never attended any meetings near the office out of fear of being
seen going in, knowing folks when I get there, or God forbid, someone from my
job whom I do not know recognizing me (I'm known to folks in my company that I
would not not necessarily know or recognize). But I went to this meeting,
because the fear of being outed is leaving me as I out myself. Also, my sponsor and group members were coming into town from the suburbs for it and we had made it a date.

The meeting was the biggest meeting I have ever attended. It was
enormous. And when my turn to speak came, I was fairly terrified by the crowd of about 100 people. (I am a terrified public speaker, a
major career handicap for me.) Well, I get up to the podium and don't you know
but that smack dab in the middle of the second row was R., a very influential
partner at the law firm I used to work at up until a couple of years ago. I'm
pretty sure he recognized me and I'm also pretty sure he was uncomfortable about
being recognized by me. Something about his being there galvanized me and I was
able to speak about my alcoholism and my recovery in a way I have never been
able to before--comfortably, with acceptance, and with a real desire to have
what I say make contact in helping another alcoholic know it's okay, we are all
in this together. Whether we are respected professionals or streetwalkers. Big
shots or bums. It happens to all kinds of people.

I ended my piece with a description of how I'd been nervous to attend a meeting
so close to my office in case someone recognized me. And then I said I said
"well, if you recognize me, I want to say hello. I am one of you." And you know what? I meant it!

I just didn't care if R. or anyone else knew that I was a member too. I had a
feeling of the collective "we" that I have never really experienced before. Not
even when I was drinking trying to get that "part of" feeling.

Anyway, R. took off before I had a chance to speak to him after the meeting but
a lot of people came up to me after the meeting to thank me for my share and one
guy mentioned how the lawyer who sat in front of him at every meeting had paced
the sidewalk outside for several weeks before getting up the nerve to go in, he
was so afraid of seeing someone he knew. He was speaking of R, it turned out.

I don't know if R. left quickly to avoid me but I do hope I run into him again.
Gee, I'm not terminally unique after all.

Today I am grateful for:

Waking up hangover free today and many days before this

That I finally got the good sense to get into the program rather than do it on my own

That I am not terminally unique after all

That today is a gorgeous day

That this weekend is a long weekend

Sunday, May 20, 2007

9 Months Today

Can't hardly believe it but it is 9 months today since I put the plugin the

I also got the results of some physical tests that I had done and have found out
the my liver is healthy. Turns out the pain that I've had in my side for years
was my gallbladder, not my liver. And all that time I was convinced it was my
drinking destroying my liver. And I was too full of fear to get it checked out while I was drinking.

Knowing that my liver is healthy is a cause for gratitude, not a reason to think
I can drink safely. I was lucky. Many are not.

The gall bladder will come out this fall and I'll be pleased to get rid of the
pain finally. Although it has served as a reminder for 9 months (however
incorrectly) of why I don't drink any more. After all, it COULD have been my

Today I am grateful for:

9 months of hangover free mornings

Some deep questions from my middle school aged son

For the weather clearing up beautifully late this afternoon so I could walk by dog down at the beach

A day of healthy eating (so far)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Out of the Closet

Tonight I outed myself as an alcoholic completely with my siblings and their spouses, even using the dreaded "A" word that I have only really used in meetings thus far. Only my sister has known about why I quit drinking and even with her I have never said "alcoholic." Reactions were very supportive and my brothers surprised me with their affection and support. (Although my younger brother wanted to know wasn't I supposed to make amends to him for every time I teased him growing up...) As usual there was some surprise..."you never seemed to drink very much"...that kind of thing.

It feels freeing to be myself. And it also comforts me to know that I now no longer have an out to drink at family functions where the beer is usually plentiful. That door is now closed.

Hope everyone had a good sober weekend. Things are a little less ouchy for me today.

Today I am grateful for:

Waking up on a gorgeous spring day with no hangover

The green grass, the purple azaleas, the smell of lilacs

The Mother's Day gifts I received from my sons (a scented candle and a handwritten poem)

The opportunity to be with my own Mom, as well as Dad and siblings

Taking a walk with my 19 month old niece and seeing the world through her eyes...priceless (we stopped and sang the Wheels on the Bus in the middle of the street)

Friday, May 11, 2007


I am having a week full of fear, totally out of proportion to an oversight I made at work a couple of years that came to light. It really points up how full of doubt, fear, and insecurity I am, especially when it comes to my job. I have zero confidence in my skills, despite the outward trappings of success. I am always afraid--and I mean bone crushingly afraid, I couldn't get out of bed on Wednesday--of the "truth" being found out. Yup, I'm nuts.

I'm tired of living like this and I've really been trying to use the program to help. I am praying to my higher power, asking for help. I'm trying to keep it in the day. I've gone to meetings and reached out and received really wonderful support. The best I felt all week in fact, was at my meetings. I also finally made an appointment with a therapist to start getting to the bottom of this crap. I could easily have drank to drown these feelings this week which would have been my past MO.

Today I am grateful for:

No hangover this AM, yesterday AM and for many AMs before that

My Wednesday night women's meeting--God bless them all, they are the best

For the warm weather we've been having

That my husband is happy with his long longed for new boat

For fettucine with gorgonzola, asparagus and toasted walnuts (leftovers for lunch today)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Is this how I want to spend my life??

It's been suggested at my job that I take over some new responsibilities that would require me to learn a new area. Normally, I'd be excited but the area is highly technical and, in a word, boring. I spent this weekend trying to do a lot of reading to get up to speed for a meeting that I have tomorrow on the topic and I was bored to tears. Plus, I had a zillion things to do around the house, it was a nice spring weekend and I didn't want to be in the house studying, dang it.

So here I sit and whine after a long could be worse, I could be trying to do this with a hangover.

I have been around drinking a lot in the past couple of weeks, on vacation and then at work events. I don't care for it, not the least reason is that I still get the urge to pick up now and again and I don't like being that close to the poison. I really have to think the drink through to the end. Or drinks, I should is never just one. I'd resent having to stick to just one or two. If I'm going to drink, I want boatloads, oceans and rivers full. Knowing this has kept me away from one.

Today, I am grateful for:

Many months hangover free

Fish tacos (they were excellent)

The people I know in my meetings

That being seen at an AA meeting is no longer such a horrible thought to me

For the sight of Venus in the evening sky

For the smell of fresh cut grass