Category Archives: addiction

Falling Down

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Falling Down

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius

Ok let’s just get this out of the way right now. I fell off the wagon. Don’t ask me to explain how or why it happened, because I honestly don’t know. Am I blaming some one or some thing, hell no! I did this all alone. However, the cool thing is I have my program and all my friends rallied around me to brush off the dust and apply ointment to the skid marks. I am still loved. It’s great to be an alcoholic because I have a village of Indians that stopped to see what fell off the wagon and rallied together to see what they could do with it….Yes, I can laugh because I may have fallen but I am not down for the count. I am loved and for today I am happy and sober.

Bye Bye Bad Friendships!

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Bye Bye Bad Friendships!

Friends are like roses…you have to look out for the pricks!~ Anonymous. 

Even before I finally became sober I was slowly eliminating “bad” friends out of my life. It was a long process, sometimes they just didn’t want to let go, but in order for me to maintain my sobriety I had to let them go. The first ones to go were the ones that enabled my drinking the most with their own drinking habits, these were actually the easiest. The ones that were closest to me were the hardest to let go of because they are the ones that hurt me the worse. One “friend”, the one I thought that loved me most betrayed me in such a way that I will never be able to forgive them. This person had gotten sober and found “god” but they didn’t eliminate some of their worse traits and I inadvertently found out that this person was never really a true friend in the first place because they went after something very close to my heart and tried to take it for their own when I was going through a very rough patch in my life. This same person has been trying to get back into my life, but what they don’t realize is that once they betrayed me in that way there is no hope whatever that they will ever get back into my life ever again.

Then there is this “friend” that had helped me out through a very rough patch in my life. I thought that they were being a “friend”. It wasn’t until after I was quite a ways into my sobriety that it came to me that they weren’t really a friend at all. This person had kept enabling me in my drinking, even though I had been telling them for months that I wanted to quit, that I needed to quit, that my life depended on my quitting. I finally realized how caustic this person really was and is. I finally told them to stay away from me, not to call me, and I explained to them that every time I saw them it took me right back to that bad place I was in just a few short months ago and I needed them to stay away from me because the memories were far too painful. I told this person that if I saw them I would turn and walk the other way because just simply by their presence it reminded me of the pit of hell I was in and it was hurtful to my sobriety. 

Fortunately now I have a whole new group of friends that are loving and sober and working on the same goals that I am. They are supportive and have been with me since the first day I met them on our paths to sobriety. With friends like that who needs the trash of old enabling friendships sticking around with its stench and flies buzzing incessantly around.

 

Happy Birthday 2 Me!

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Happy Birthday 2 Me!

Yeah, I know I drink a lot, I know I do because I’m a writer and that’s what I do, I drink. I’m not like those people out there, I can control myself! I can, if – that – if I wanted to, I could, if I wanted. I can! I can!~Gwen Cummings, “28 Days

I had almost, not quite, but almost forgotten that it was my 60 days. 2 months, sobriety birthday yresterday. I almost forgot because I have been too busy being sober. I know that may sound crazy, but it’s really not. What is crazy is the amount of years, months, days, minutes and seconds I wasted of my life drinking into a dark hole. I can’t believe how busy my life has become since I put the bottle away for good. My music has taken a precedence in my life, I’m accomplishing more than I ever could have believed was possible. One night of my life a week is dedicated to “sober” night. It’s an open jam that I host on Tuesday nights at a coffee house and we get a huge turn out from my friends in AA and it gets bigger and better every week. We are getting more bookings than ever and now, by the grace of my sobriety we are booked to play at “John Doe’s” for a two hour acoustic gig in mid September. After that we have the Indian Creek Festival. I also have the distinct honor of representing my family and our Welsh heritage at the Scottish festival, where all the Celtic nations are represented. My grandparents would be so incredibly proud. I owe all of this to my persistence in remaining sober, the love and support of my beautiful husband and my wonderful family. Thank goodness I am a stubborn person. The very quality that makes me an obstinate person is also the same quality that saved my life. For that I am grateful! 

 

 

Tis the Day!

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Tis the Day!

“Knowing you will be with me in all my tomorrows, makes my today so wonderful.”

Today is the day! It is our 8 year wedding anniversary and all the preparations are made. I spent the day yesterday slicing and dicing, cooking and cleaning. I so want everything to be perfect, just for today. We are having a sausage dog roast at the park near our house and spending it with the people near and dear to us, many of whom we just met in the recent months of our journey to sobriety. I love these people because of the unconditional love and joy they share in their own sobriety that helps me and mine stay sober day by day. That, in and of itself, makes today a very special day. Among other things Michael has achieved 15 months of sobriety and Thursday I will have achieved 2 months of sobriety! So, there is a lot to be celebrated and enjoyed! Yesterday Michael brought me roses of my favorite color for roses, yellow. He always manages to find these roses that are unique, they have reddish pink tips and are so beautiful and smell simply delicious. What a wonderful day this is going to be, what a gift to be sober and with the person I love most in this world!

Do Not Enter!!!

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Do Not Enter!!!

If I’d observed all the rules, I’d never have got anywhere. Marilyn Monroe

I have been religiously going for my bike rides everyday, 7.5 miles. I ride 7 days on and take one day off. Yesterday I had to miss my ride because I went with my mother to the doctor. Well, to my disappointed surprise, my bike trail was blocked this morning at both ends. The trail I take constitutes about 2/3’s of my ride. It used to be that I would not allow a “path closed” sign to deter me from anything. I pretty much did whatever I wanted without regards to the consequences. Ah, but for sobriety I would probably still be riding that dangerous path. “So, what did you do?” I’m glad you asked. I went a different route. I doubled up on the other part of my green belt ride, the part that was, of course, not blocked. I got finished early because it is not as long a route as the other way, but for a day or two that is ok. However, since achieving sobriety I rely on a set schedule and I don’t like disruptions. It throws me. My day is filled from the moment I rise until the moment my head hits the pillow. It’s all good though, the path will open again shortly and things will go back to norm, for now I will adjust. 

If You Could Feel What I feel Then You Would Know What I Feel

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If You Could Feel What I feel Then You Would Know What I Feel

I learned to be with myself rather than avoiding myself with limiting habits; I started to be aware of my feelings more, rather than numb them. Judith Wright

When you stop using mind altering substances, such as alcohol in my case, you are forced out of your little numb closet into the world of feelings. Suddenly you realize you are alive and you can feel. Those feelings can become overwhelming because when you begin to feel again every emotion begins to take on the proportions of a bright painting in the vivid neon colors that are so intense they hurt your eyes and you are powerless to turn away from the painting even though it burns your vision. Yesterday was just such a day for me. I went through my day just as surely as if I were a  zombie plodding along going down some strange path and going through the motions without knowing why I was doing that or where I was going. I wasn’t numb, in fact I was far from it, I was in a deep pensive funk that I couldn’t seem to shake and I burst into tears at one point for absolutely no reason.  I guess instead of taking the day off from my normally busy schedule I should have kept busy but I had no way of knowing that my mind was going to be in such a turmoil of mixed emotions. Sometimes being too busy can be a very good thing. 

Honor Yourself

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Honor Yourself

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.  ~George Bernard Shaw

After the car wreck of your life has finally come to a stop and you have begun to pick up the twisted fragments of metal, the broken shards of glass, healed the cuts and wounds, filed the insurance claim and received a new car it’s time to look at the cause of the car wreck in the first place. Were we not the drivers that caused the wreck? Were we not the ones who lost control? After the exterior mess is cleaned up there is still the internal wreck to clean up, and believe me I need a big broom and dust pan. Even after you think the mess is cleaned up, swept away and thrown in the trash, inevitably you still find shards of glass, pieces of plastic and fragments of metal you have missed. The best thing I have found is walking into a place where you find happy, sober people doing happy, sober things. They have all been in the same car wreck as you, it may not have happened for the same reasons, it may not have been exactly the same wreck and some walk away in better shape than others. The point is that we must honor our self by cleaning up every last piece of the car wreck and surround ourselves with cushions like a bumper car so that that accident doesn’t happen again, for next time we may not walk away unscathed, if at all.  Surrounding ourselves with sober, happy people is that cushion of which I speak. If you continue to surround yourselves with people who are constantly getting into car wrecks you are not going to honor yourself and your insurance rates will climb higher and higher with each new collision. Finally, the insurance company is going to get sick of you and the wrecks and drop you entirely.  It isn’t enough to simply clean up the mess, we must change and learn to honor ourselves and those around us.

Character Defects

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Character Defects

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands. Anne Frank

Last nights topic, character defects. I’ll be the first to admit I am a walking character defect. I’m a control freak and I am, to a certain extent, OCD. I have been told that I need to ask a HP to remove my defects of character. No, not a Hewlett Packard! HP is my higher power. Well, being the person that I am, I have to say this. No one, and no thing is going to remove defects of character for you. You are responsible for you and your behavior and the only person that can change that is you. Yes, it is great to have an HP, whether it is your concept of God, a green haired troll doll, or a far away star. However, I do feel that we, only we, can change certain defects in our characters. That is something that comes from within us, not outside of us. Who’s fault is it that I fell down the rabbit hole of drinking, no ones. I am solely responsible for that chaotic miasma of self-indulgence and self-pity. For that I take full responsibility, in this way I have no one to blame if I fall down the rabbit hole again and end up having drunken conversations with a disappearing cat, a rabbit on the run and a stoned caterpillar!

My Serenity…

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My Serenity…

The final wisdom of life requires not the annulment of incongruity but the achievement of serenity within and above it. Reinhold Niebuhr

 This is my drawing of my place of serenity. On Sunday when I met with my sponge (sponsor) Jules for the first time this is where I went when I was having such a hard day the night before. Saturday was filled with triggers and hurt and I needed a place to go to work through my thoughts and get back in balance with nature and myself. Meeting with Jules was such a blessing, everything just melted away from me. I call her a sponge because I am her spongee and I plan on sucking everything I can out of her, and she is full of all kinds of great wisdom for sobriety. I have so much to be grateful for and in the last month I have begun to see the things and people that were there before me, just waiting for me to open up my eyes and see. They were always there with open arms, all I had to do was be willing to walk into the embrace. It’s amazing how alcohol clouds your vision, blurs your mind and makes you numb. In the beginning isn’t that what all alcoholics seek, blindness and a numbing and dulling of the senses? We don’t want to see, we don’t want to feel. You just don’t realize until you quit, and I mean really quit, how much you have missed. 

 

 

 

Cupcakes & Coffee!

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Cupcakes & Coffee!

“Coffee makes it possible to get out of bed, but cupcakes make it worthwhile.” ~ unknown author

That’s right! I got up this morning and I had my usual, coffee. Buuuuuuut, for breakfast I had cupcakes. Yes, you heard me right, cupcakes. They were my treat for myself for achieving my 30 days sobriety. I didn’t eat them last night because after our jam session/gig I was wiped out. Mind you I am not a big fan of sweets, but I do firmly believe that when we achieve a goal or reach a milestone we need to reward ourselves because chances are there are more steps to go to reach the next milestone. I know for me there are many milestones ahead of me and the journey is exciting. I want it to be filled with rewards because when I was growing up I was lucky if I got a blink of the eye out of my parents. I will reward myself today for having achieved what may have seemed like an insurmountable goal in the beginning!

Happy Sober Birthday to Me!

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Happy Sober Birthday to Me!

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut. Ernest Hemingway

Today is my birthday! Not in a literal sense of the day I was brought into this world. It is my 30 day birthday of the day I woke up and decided to get sober and embrace the idea of sobriety once and for all. Sure, I have had attempts at sobriety over the last 10 years, but this is the first time I have embraced being sober and have had every intention of staying that way! If you have followed my blog you would know that since I started blogging on December 31, 2011 I have been up and down in my sobriety. What has changed for me now is that I have found a support group, a sponge (sponsor), I have included my family in my sobriety, I have a therapist, I am working the program and my attitude has changed. Am I excited about having my 30 days? Hell yes! Even one day is hard, not to mention 30! 31 days ago I was in hell. I had fought my battle with the bottle over and over again until I was so exhausted from the fighting I was ready to give up once and for all, literally. I told Michael all I needed was a bullet and a shovel. Yes, I was in that black of a place. Today I am so grateful to my friends, family and the people who have given me their support and love. Today I am sober. Today I am happy. Today I am FREE! 

Here’s a list of things I have accomplished in my sobriety over the last 30 days:

  • Learned over 20 new songs on guitar and vocals
  • Played 4 new gigs
  • Completed some new drawings
  • Started a dream collage
  • Made a plethora of new friends
  • Found out that I can love myself
  • Found out that I am stronger than I thought I was
  • Started forgiving myself and others

I’m sure there are many that I am not thinking of but the point is that I am moving forward in my life instead of standing in a puddle of stagnant water that was sucking me down into a hole I may not have been able to climb out of. Thank you to all who have helped me on my path and thank you to those of you who may not be aware that you did…..Peace, always….Jaz

Shattered

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Shattered

I know it seems like I’m this strong person who can get through anything, but inside I’m fragile. I’ve had so many things thrown at me, and each one has only made a crack. What I’m afraid of is shattering.

I cried myself to sleep last night, yesterday was a really bad day and I haven’t wanted a drink more since I quit than I did yesterday, and I have never wanted to quit music more than I did yesterday. I didn’t give in to the unholy terror ripping through the core of my being, but don’t think that I didn’t want to. It is so hard to face the knowing, the knowledge that you have something really beautiful inside you to give and no one wants it. You are ignored and treated like crap by even the ones closest to you. You think I would be used to it by now, it’s been that way my entire life. My mother had an ignore button and she’s apparently not the only one. The day started out good, I found a sponsor, but then it just went to crap. What still sticks in my mind was when a person I like very much said something completely rude and snide to me. I was trying not to take up his time because I knew he was busy and I though his son was going to fix our beverages for us. Like an idiot I said this and he snapped at me and made a point of reminding me who he is. It hurt! What this friend probably didn’t know was that I was already a wounded animal when I walked up to the counter. Well my wounds were only going to get deeper before the day was finished with me. I sat at a table with my beverage and waited. Next thing I know my lead guitar player/husband was gone and didn’t say a word, I was left there sitting alone, beverage in hand and hurt. He was where I wanted to be. So I left and went home and cried myself to sleep. It’s morning and I am still crying. Why can’t my heart have a crap cleaner like my computer?

A Common Bond

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A Common Bond

“Our Similarities bring us to a common ground; Our Differences allow us to be fascinated by each other.” Tom Robbins

You might be in the right place when….You have an addiction and everyone there does too. You are in a room chalk full of complete strangers, yet the love and support is there for you to take and to give. You have a chance to untimely change your life through the kindness of others that share a similar bond with you. You have a place to go almost every night to receive love and support, you can listen to the trials and tribulations of others so similar to your own, and  every single person here shares the exact same problem as you do. Their road map to getting to these hollowed rooms may have been different, but the perils and dangers are the same. Each road that each person traveled may have been different, but inevitably led to a choice of two paths, life or death. I only recently began going to meetings, but I know something now that I didn’t know then. In my past failures in my trials with sobriety I failed because I neglected to set up a solid support system of people like myself, struggle like myself and are needing support to make it through another 24 like myself. Thank Buddha I finally figured it out. I think I’m home.

I Just Have to Get This Off My Chest

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I Just Have to Get This Off My Chest

Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting. Emmet Fox

I really have to get this off my chest because it has been bothering me. However, I need to do this in the most Buddhist fashion I can and that isn’t going to be easy because frankly I am really irked at this person. I have been going to meetings recently to help me maintain my sobriety. There are great, loving people there and as of yet I have not met anyone negative, that is until Saturday. The meeting was a good one and one person even received his award for 14 years of sobriety. We closed the meeting and without my knowing it this person who had received the award made a point of saying to me, “I remember you when you were living on Chicago Street, you were trying to get sober then, too.” Now I have to point out here that I haven’t lived on Chicago street for over 8 years, so it just goes to show how long my battle has been. This person who pointed this out to me isn’t a regular at our meetings, in fact I have never seen him there before. I think he simply showed up at our meeting because it was his day to receive his award and there were no other meetings on that day.  I didn’t recognize him and put it together who he was until after we had already left. He was the head of a group I used to attend about 9 years ago and I haven’t seen him again until Saturday. The fact is I didn’t like him then, and I surely don’t like him now, Buddha forgive me, but I abhor him and his critical, judgmental self. What right has he to judge me! I am so incredibly happy for him that he has managed to maintain 14 years of sobriety, Good for him. We can’t all be like him, in recovery, self-righteous and supercilious. Some of us have to fall and scrape our knees many many times before we get it. Was it really necessary for Mr. High-and-Mighty, Mr. I am so much better than you, Mr. Look at my award, to point out another person’s failure who is struggling with their sobriety. In a way I hope I never see the MF again, but at the same time I feel the strong need to point out to him that what he did was incredibly negative, incredibly out of line and incredibly the opposite of what we try to learn in our meeting about love and support. So, on that note, now that I have gotten that off my chest….Peace be with him, bastard that he is!

Rearranging the Furniture of My Mind

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Rearranging the Furniture of My Mind

There’s no getting away from it: you have to clean. Anthea Turner 

I am in a new place in my life. I live in the same house, all the furniture is the same, the pictures on the wall are still the same. There are some of my favorite photos, some of my better paintings and of course the wall of music. The knick knacks haven’t changed, there’s my collection of vases, his collection of steins and some clay sculptures made by my daughter and myself. Yes the house is the same, the difference is I am slowly but surely rearranging the furniture inside my house. This is what is going on inside my brain right now, I am slowly removing all the crap and baggage. It’s a long process and sometimes I wonder if I will ever get rid of that ugly couch that has been weighing in my mind for so many years. I think I may be able to get rid of the frame, but I’m sure the cushions are going to stubborn themselves to death and always be hidden in a dark closet in the living room of my brain. If this all sounds a bit confusing, what I am referring to is sobriety and the stubborn couch cushions are triggers that hit me every so often and make me want to have that first drink on the path to oblivion. Yes, I know they will probably always be there, but over time the sharpness of the image is fading, the colors aren’t as bright. Each day gets a little easier. Excuse me while I go straighten that picture that is on a slight bit of a tilt.

 

Amazing 4th!

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Amazing 4th!

You may be a redneck if… your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand. Jeff Foxworthy 

I had the most amazing 4th of July…And,  I was SOBER! I do believe it is the first 4th I have celebrated sober in many, many years! We started our day at the park and watched a very cool Veterans ceremony, then it was on to the puppet show. For a small town (pop around 30,000) the puppet show was really good and I was amazed at the quality of the puppets, they were made very much like what you would see on Sesame Street. After that there was a Christian band that did this really cool rendition of the song from Sesame Street. Yes, Sesame Street. After the celebration at the park we went to watch the fireworks on our mountain bikes with four other people that are of a like mind with maintaining their sobriety. We laughed and had so much fun! It is a very cool reminder that, yes indeed, there are things that can be a whole lot of fun without adding alcohol into the mix. I remember every detail of last night and didn’t wake up with a mind bending hangover! YAY! I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th!

Freedom

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Freedom

“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living?” ~Ghandi

For me this July 4th my celebration of freedom isn’t solely about my countries independence from an oppressor and liberation from a country that my ancestors fought so valiantly to escape. My celebration this July 4th is a celebration of my sobriety and freedom from a wicked evil oppressor far more vicious and damning. Many of my friends will be out partying tonight, many of my friends will be enjoying their 4th in a much different way than I intend upon enjoying my 4th. Thank Buddha that for the first time in many years I may actually remember what the fireworks looked like, I may recall the sound of rockets exploding in the sky. It’s going to be a fabulous 4th!

I’m an Addict, Yes I am!

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I’m an Addict, Yes I am!

“I admire addicts. In a world where everybody is waiting for some blind, random disaster or some sudden disease, the addict has the comfort of knowing what will most likely wait for him down the road. He’s taken some control over his ultimate fate, and his addiction keeps the cause of his death from being a total surprise.”  ― Chuck PalahniukChoke

I’m sorry dear blog readers but I am an addict, and it’s not just alcohol my friends, oh no, that would be far to easy! I downloaded Erik Christian‘s book of poetry today on my Kindle, free, and guess what! I have 236 books in my Kindle just absolutely bitching at me to be put into a category. “Hell’s Bells, woman!”  I can hear Hemingway scream from the Keys, “What is your damn problem?” He asks as he yanks yet another huge marlin from the resistant sea. “Well, Mr Hemingway,” I say to him in my drunken stupor, “I really don’t know!” I look at the Marlin who is obviously pissed at this bastard for yanking him from his happy day of doing what marlins do, FISH! “I sincerely meant to put you and that damn Charles Dickens into the classics section but I must have lost my mind!” I say as I back away from one very pissed off marlin and one very rum drunk fisherman….Sorry just had to share….And now for your listening pleasure, what better than Jane’s Addiction, LOL