Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day 13 & 14, Meeting 13 & 14: Lucky 1-3

I was just too pooped to blog last night. I got in trouble with my sponsor today for not doing my homework for the program. She said, "If you have time to blog, you have time to do your homework," (insert finger waggle). My response: "I didn't even blog last night!"

Between being sick and working yesterday, I am exhausted. I'm having a nice evening tonight relaxing and resting, getting my head ready for the week ahead and starting my blog early. I had a wonderful meeting with my sponsor today even with the finger waggling. We kinda hit a nerve a little bit. Something definitely opened. I am an alcoholic.

Step 1 has been a lot to swallow. And something cracked inside me like an egg today. I felt a little sensitive, raw. I've been very conscious of how cocky, self-righteous and egotistical I've the point it's been hard to write. You mean it's not all about me? That was just a joke....but it wasn't. I really did think it was all about me. I still do. I think I own the fucking program after 2 months! Fake it til you make it.

Last night's meeting I was defensive to the point of virtually combative. Usually this is a sign, in therapy at least, that you are getting to the core of something. I went to a meeting that was a "scent-free" meeting. I didn't realize that until I got there. "Scent-free" to me is a California thing, like "purple ladies". I have a sensitive sniffer too but not so sensitive that I request those around me to remain unscented. Hysterical and a little irritating. The woman next to me was maybe in her late 50s knitting a purple scarf (surprise!) and looked at me over her bifocals when I saw that it was scent-free and made a sound like, "Hm, interesting." I pointed at the description and she winked, nodded and said, "It's a good thing," and smiled. Oh, is it?

This meeting was within walking distance from my house so I decided to try it out. There were these 4 main ladies about my mom's age that were there, one was knitting the purple scarf. I chose the meeting because it was also a Book Study Meeting. I thought this would break up the monotony of the Speaker/ Discussion format I typically go to. And frankly, I was getting a little tired of hearing someone's story. Well, it turned out on the last week of the month they have a Speaker/ Discussion! Hooray! Damnit. It was a long story. I was cranky. And because I had to introduce myself in the beginning of the meeting since it was my first time to that meeting, she directed her share at me and this other girl. I was acting like a total snot, thinking in my mind, "She thinks I'm a newcomer. Boy is she wrong. I've been sober 19 months!" Like I was the only person that has ever been sober or struggled. I've seriously been staring my ego in the face these last few days. Feeling as awkward as I did when I was in middle school. Snotty and defensive like a 7th grader.

After the meeting, one of the "Mom Brigade" was telling another newcomer who had introduced herself as an addict, how it was important for her to say she was an alcoholic because it respects the fellowship of the group and it's another way to fit in. (!?!) So I was already feeling a little touch-y, did this woman want to fight? This newcomer had just waltzed out of rehab only to have Ol' Mother Hubbard preaching her own doctrine of what she gotta do for the team?! I wasn't digging it so I told her so because it's not written anywhere that you have to do that. If you don't feel like you are ready to say you are an alcoholic, then you are right where you should be. But this is what I think and this is what worked for me;)All the program requires is a desire to stop drinking. So I said, "I said that at first, it's okay. Sometimes it's easier to say you're an addict before you can say alcoholic. Addict can feel more encompassing. As time goes on, you realize that what you have in common with everyone in the rooms is that you all want to stop drinking. I say I'm an alcoholic and addict some days and just alcoholic other days." The woman replies, "That's like saying you're a car and a Chevy." My heart starts pounding. It's Saturday night and it's alright for fighting! And then she saved herself, by saying, "That's just my interpretation not the program's." Heart slows. And then I get cornered by S.

S. is an older man that looks as though he's a painter, still working hard, maybe in his early 70s and he smells like old man pee. I thought this was a "scent-free" meeting? I made the mistake of engaging him at another meeting and he cornered me like 4 times last night after the meeting. I think he's of German descent and boy, can this man talk. Old men love me. I swear. When I was single, I couldn't get a date to save my life but when it came to a lonely old man, it was like flies on shit. Ew. Old man pee. I figured out if I put my foot out like I'm only leaning on one side of my body, it'll keep him from inching any closer. Besides the smell, he was also a close-talker. It was the kind of situation where he'd just talk at you. You couldn't get a word in edgewise. Other people at the meeting were visibly uncomfortable that he kept me cornered and a few tried to save me. Then realized that I kinda knew the guy. I told my sponsor today and she was like, there's a fine line between being a doormat and taking care of yourself. Hmmmm, I have to try that. I was trying to be patient but he just kept talking and inching closer and I would back up and he'd inch closer. It was definitely uncomfortable. She told me it was okay to say, "Excuse me, I have to go now." And walk away. I was shocked. Oh my awkward 7th grader! This is the kind of shit I'm learning for the first time. Why did it take so long? I seriously thought I had to be patient and listen to him. And I can, to a point. Amazing. Who knew!?!

After reviewing my reservations with the 1st Step, I graduated today while meeting with my sponsor this morning and moved on to 2 and 3. I went to a 3rd Step meeting today with my sponsor only to walk in and see all these people I knew. It was great! And the first meeting where I finally felt like it wasn't too advanced and I was where it was! It even went so far as to laugh about memorizing the 3rd Step prayer which is totally hard by the way. I was so psyched to be in a room with all these people who I thought were mad advanced but who couldn't remember the 3rd Step prayer either. I felt great afterward.

It's been 2 weeks of meetings! Only 10 more to go! (One of the "Mom Brigade" warned me of doing the 90 in 90 as well last night exclaiming, "You're just going to drop off the precipice after 90 in 90! You should just take one meeting at a time." Maybe that's what set me off wanting to fight. Way to share your experience, strength and hope! Don't you have to knit something purple?)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Day 12, Meeting 12: 12 in 12

So here we are, coming up on 2 weeks and I begin to get bored with my fun project that I've set out to do. Same thing with working out... about 2 weeks and then kaput! Something new has to begin. Only now I have to be much more creative. Now that I'm sober.

I won't quit, I'm determined to finish but I have to say these late night entries are wearing on me a little bit. But I certainly have begun to feel the positive effects of going to a meeting every day. It's amazing the difference consciously building your day around a meeting makes. I do feel better overall. But going to meetings every day has become very time-consuming. I am lucky to have a supportive boyfriend but I have to say it's put a strain on us a little bit.

The meeting I went to tonight was my usual Friday meeting. I was sharing the literature commitment with someone and they left so then she got replaced by someone else. I was becoming friends with the last person so I was a bit bummed. This is a women's meeting, a large one. I found I couldn't sit still tonight for the life of me. My nose was runny and I had to pee then I was hungry and needed a cup of water. The last time I was at this meeting last week, I went upstairs and talked to my old coworker for 15 minutes. Maybe it's time to find a new Friday night meeting. When my commitment is over maybe I will.

I saw my old sponsor tonight and it was good. I found I wasn't resentful and it was actually really good to see her as I have been wanting to call her. We broke up because she went out of town to get married and take the BAR exam and stood me up on a phone appointment and just wasn't really available overall. She never answered her phone and yet, I had to leave 3 things I was grateful for every day on her Voicemail. We had an understanding but after a little while I wanted more engagement but she was studying for the BAR. She was sort of a temporary sponsor anyways in my mind. We had laughed about how we were both late to everything so I thought it would work out to have someone slack but then I realized I actually wanted more structure. And I was excited to work the program and wanted a sponsor to do that with me actively not passively.

I have to work again tomorrow. I had a fairly good day but had trouble concentrating. Work is a drag. I had a time management webinar today and it just made me feel worse about how unmanageable my workload has become.

I'm exhausted and I need to do my homework for my current sponsor. Til tomorrow;)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Day 11, Meeting 11: On the upswing

Early morning meeting. No coffee today. Still headachy from my illness that now my whole department has come down with. Thought it was coffee withdrawal. Long day at work but the break was nice. I feel like 3 days of sleeping helped regulate my body a bit to the lower dose of Prozac I'm on. I thought that was what my headache was from too. It's kinda brutal.

I like my Thursday morning meeting. It's a crazy feeling to end my day of work having already gone to a meeting. It really does start my day off right. Since I was always chatty about my "stuff" first thing in the morning, this suits me. Get it all off my chest before it starts to weigh me down along with the rest of the day has to offer me! The topic was family. They read a passage in the book, I had just recently read and liked a great deal. We talked about self-centeredness and ego....and how crazy all our families are. I have a lot to say on that topic. But not tonight....;)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Day 10, Meeting 10: Jackpot!

That's 10 for 10 folks! Yippee! Wow, I can't even believe it.

Dontcha love that feeling when you've been laid out sick for a few days and then start to feel better? I was running errands after my meeting tonight, cleaning the stove, folding laundry, doing the dishes....after 2 days of sleeping and mucus (ew). It feels good to be healthy and productive again! Now back to the grind tomorrow (ugh!).

Today I worked a bit in the morning. I was happy to have one roomie home and keep me company while she did her hair. This was an amazing process, let me tell you! The work I was doing involved a lot of phone calls and I started to feel a little overextended and tired again so I stopped after a few hours, not to mention how ridiculous I sounded all stuffed up on the phone. One colleague I called straight up laughed at me, mind you this is not someone I work with every day! But I totally love it. I took a long, long nap through the afternoon. After some good daytime soaps though. This is the kinda cold I love, not the kind that lingers and drains ever ounce of your soul, but the kind that comes in hard and fast and leaves equally abruptly. It could also be attributed to my super-human sober immune system but let's not be hasty. I'm only on Step 1!

Step 1 has brought up a lot for me and actually has made me a bit nervous for the next steps. While perusing Facebook in my sick and headachy boredom these past two days. I was stalking an old high school lover only to find I'd been unfriended by him. The shock! Come to find out, this was precipitated by his now wife but then girlfriend who he had cheated on with me who found out we were friends on Facebook and was still pissed after 13 yrs! Fuck. What's worse, is she is also someone I considered a dear friend in high school and our families were friends (not dear enough to not sleep with her boyfriend, but there were few who were) and had reached out to through this terrible thing we call Facebook only to not hear from her. Now I know why. I was totally fixating on this and another situation I had been in. I was a homewrecker of the Nth degree. I didn't wreck many homes because many of the women never found out but leave it to a looming alcoholic with a 4th Step to complete to ruin your household after 13 yrs. Ugh.

In my meeting tonight, however, there was discussion about how when we drink we thing all the good things and all the bad things are our faults. That we are SOOOO important and self-centered that of course I can wreck entire families with a single confession. I'm hoping this was the right direction to turn my thoughts. That such a thing would not have the results that I dread so. I think it was and it helped. As my sponsor would say, I'm right where I need to be. But I tell you, I was thinking of all the ways to call these guys to warn them or to have them tell me they already told their wives who were okay with us sleeping together so I wouldn't have to confess to their wives, who were my friends, that I'm a total slutbag and their husbands were in on it. Ouch. Messy.

But let's take a step back shall we. I'm still on Step 1. Right where I need to be. I found myself being thankful for all the good friends I didn't sleep with or whose boyfriends or husbands I didn't sleep with. That helped. The meeting I went to helped as well. Finally, I found a meeting with a room full of women my age who were young, attractive and hip. I swear. I knew it existed but was seriously doubting and thinking I had to endure some of the other meetings I go to with all these long-timers. These meetings have been helpful in different ways but sometimes hearing about the punk rock era and the cocaine glory days of the 80s, I just can't quite relate all the time. Even though it looks like a lot of my and the generation after mine especially can totally relate with our skinny jeans and our day glow stunna shades despite the fact most of us were riding tricycles or in diapers or not even a glimmer in our parents' eyes in the 80s.

Oh and today was my 19 month anniversary. I figure we do it with toddlers, I might as well do it with sobriety too and count the months up to 24 rather than the usual 6 mo, 9 mo, 1 yr, 18 mo, 2 yrs, etc. Screw that. Since I just started the program, I figured extra celebrating can't hurt;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 9, Meeting 9: Thank you

I did not think that this blog would be a source of strength for me. I did not design it to get props from my peeps. I designed it to have more of a passive influence if not just give a reader cause to stop and think and maybe get some answers about my process of getting sober if you know me. That's it. The fact is that this silly blog thing and your comments totally got my ass to a meeting today and for that I am so grateful.

JW's comment was a rallying cry and helped me a great deal. While I know who some of you are, I didn't know who this comment was from but I think they might be family;) But I don't know. And I want to thank them and everyone for reading because it totally gives me strength to stick with this.

I was justifying not going to a meeting most of the day. I was passed out in bed all day unable to breathe out of my nose and just trying to sleep this gnarly cold out of me. Being content with the letdown and having to start this process over. I have no problem taking sick days, I still work a little from home but for the most part, I let myself be sick so I can get well. However, I didn't have a fever, achies or chills so right then, I knew I might be able to make a meeting. I read JW's comment and a certain SK's and was like, "I can do this. It might take me a little while but I can get to a meeting." I found a meeting in my book, took another long nap, woke up, took a super hot shower, made some soup and toast, tossed a bunch of vitamins back, bundled up and headed to my meeting. I actually drove to the wrong meeting and realized that the meeting I was headed to wasn't until later and that I could make an earlier meeting nearby that I knew of. This is an intimate meeting and I had been there before. The last week of the month, they read a tradition which typically is a bit dry but it deepens my fascination with this program and how it works for so many across the globe. It was great to hear some of the regulars share about the concept of "professionalism" and 12 Step work. And it eased some of my anxiety while shedding light on this project of writing a blog. I even shared with the group that I had started a blog to share my experience in meetings and my sobriety process with people. This relieved a great weight off my shoulders. I said if anyone had a hard time with it, I'd love to hear feedback after the meeting. No one came up to me, but one guy gave me a cough drop and another guy was amazed at how awful and sick I sounded. I laughed and had to agree but assured him I didn't feel half as sick as I sounded and that I had been in bed all day. I thanked everyone for letting me be there in my disgusting state during my share. I also sat in the back so as not to contaminate anyone and blow my nose in peace. Except I sound like a foghorn;)

And I am much better for it. Yay, me!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Day 8, Meeting 8: Illin'

I did not lay out a guideline in the event I got sick. I really don't know what to do. Sunday, I just had a tinge of a sore throat and was sneezing little. Now, my sinus' are so swollen that my teeth hurt. Ouch. I'm stuffed up and my throat still hurts. I didn't work today because I worked on Saturday but I'm going to take tomorrow off too. It'll put me totally behind but my head is throbbing and this thing just started.

I went to my regular Monday meeting anyways. I am the coffeemaker there. Doing the same thing that I hate and the same thing that got me sick, going out into public when you are sick. I am such a hypocrite! I cannot stand when people go to work and they are sick. Especially at my job where we are blessed with sick time coming out of our wazoos. And to top it all off this woman brought her little newborn and sat right next to me. I totally know better and I felt really bad. I should have stayed home. I told her I was sick and she said thank you and gave me some anti-bacterial gel. I proceeded to lean away from her and her baby the whole time. If I was well, I would have been all over her. Cute as a button.

This 90 in 90 thing is important but my health is equally important. Part of taking care is doing 90 in 90 but it's okay if I stay home and even if I start over. Seriously, I should not be putting others at risk. I can't tell you how bad of a decision that was to go to the meeting. And the fact that I could have gotten a newborn ill makes me feel terrible.

I felt like shit and was having some issues with how cold some people are. They've just changed over the positions (I kept the coffeemaker position) and I've been having issues with this woman who brought in a hot pot and asked me to keep it in my car when that wasn't the expectation I was set up with. I've never talked to her, she's never talked to me about sobriety, just her fucking tea and this hot pot. It all worked out last week but this week, trying to work details of keys for storage, I was just done. I called my sponsor afterward and she said that this is me trying to control people and how things happen. That what a worse way for us all to deal with our illness in a room of people we don't know. That I should focus on my own work. That I'm right where I should be. That I'm doing this as if there is some time table that determines where I'm supposed to be. This was all true and I knew I was being stupid and petty. I just didn't want it to build to the point where I hate everyone and therefore, hate the program, so I leave and then maybe drink.

The awkwardness I'm facing with people in the rooms, the need for people to like me is totally why I drank. I got loaded so if I said anything stupid that would cause them to not like me, I could blame it on alcohol. This is my revelation for the day. My sponsor said I just need to focus on my program and doing my work. And when I'm of service, doing what that entails, even if it changes on me, because doing service is part of my program. One day at a time. One meeting at a time.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Day 7, Meeting 7: I love you a bushel and a peck

I met with my sponsor today over coffee. Our second meeting. I think she is so great. Rode my bike there. Was totally looking forward to it. I'm beginning to untangle some of the conflicting feelings I've had about getting sober, being selfish and motivated by self-will and doing what's best for myself so that I'm healthy. The reading has been challenging and dense. My sponsor assured me this will get easier and that it's normal. Slowly, I begin to trust this program.

I am in the process of creating a "List of Unmanageability" as part of a Step 1 exercise. I assure you this is not fun. Listing all the ways that alcohol has made my life unmanageable when sober and not sober. Hmmm, I thought I wouldn't have to recall all this stuff at least when it was happening. It's not chronological but more in the order I can remember. So in some ways, I wonder if I can recall all of it. So many blackouts, I have no idea what happened during those periods.

Today, I had a beautiful lunch with my best friend from high school, his perfect, amazing 2 yr old son who I just adore, his mom and my man-friend. I felt such a lovely sense of bliss sitting there relaxed with my dearest friends. Eating delicious food straight from the garden. Lolling in my own exhaustion, content and loved. Feeling as though I can find peace in sobriety when surrounded by people who are sober.

Went to a meeting that had been recommended by my first sponsor. This meeting featured a speaker that had had 10 yrs or more. It was massive and everyone went around and gave their sobriety dates which was super cool. I didn't share. I listened. And people weren't super friendly. To the regulars they were. I reached out to a few folks and then scurried away. Happy I went to a meeting, I was greeted with pizza when I got home: mushroom and pepperoni, thank you, man-friend. I love you.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 6, Meeting 6: Too cool for school

This blog shit is high maintenance! I always find myself writing as the last thing before I go to bed. Need to start earlier. I've had a semi-rough day. Worked this morning. Before heading to Chinatown, my coworker and I got a coffee at this very cool cafe in the Mission. I hadn't heard of it and I'm sure it's been around for a little while. It had a DJ on turntables. I shit you not. Okay so I've been around the way and consider myself fairly hip to what's going on if I'm not living it (as you get older, you live it less and hear about it less too so I try to just keep an ear to the ground so I don't sound like a jackass around my 23 yr old colleagues) and I've never seen a DJ at a coffee shop at 9 in the morning on a Saturday. I just haven't seen it. I don't spend much time in the Mission because I just don't feel cool enough to be there. Also, I don't find people that friendly. I'm not into the hipster scene and most of the time I can't help but laugh at a lot of these people.

So I finished working and then had been invited to join some new girlfriends at a meeting at noon in the Mission. I had been told this meeting was a bit of a scene and it totally was. Wall to wall tattoos and skinny jeans, thick-rimmed glasses and plaid. Jeezus. I saw my friend at the door talking to a girl with bright pink lipstick, I stopped and somehow we got on the topic of the song "Sister Christian" by Night Ranger and I laughed and pointed at this guy I had met at another meeting and laughed that he kind of reminded me of the lead singer from Night Ranger. Bright Pink Lipstick says, "Who? Him? That's my boyfriend. I won't tell him you said that because isn't Night Ranger kind of a pussy-band?" Insert foot in mouth. I laughed and said, "No shit. Well, let's just start over and pretend this didn't happen and I'm just gonna go now," laughing nervously and scooting inside. And I don't know much about Night Ranger or music or rock bands for that matter, but I do not that Night Ranger would probably be deemed a pussy band by some hard as nails rocker in the Mission.

Ugh I felt like such a jackass. What a way to meet people. And at the same time, with these punk rockers you can't tell the difference between the fake ones and the hard core ones which often times are sweet. I was totally on the defensive. I didn't mean to rag on this woman's boyfriend, but the whole situation was pretty funny and I guess I thought she would have been a bit more easy going and less sensitive. She sounded pretty easy-going I guess given that I didn't get decked I suppose.

My friend said it was fine and I proceeded to sit in the back of this massive meeting with my two girlfriends, chatting and being silly and commenting on the people who would walk by us to get coffee or go to the bathroom. I was not being productive with my sobriety but this is what fellowship was all about, right? It was a big book meeting and they had just finished reading the book and had started at the beginning again I suppose because we read the prefaces. Boooo-ring. I found that the only people engaged or who were raising their hands were in the first 4 rows. The other 7 rows of people were following along but not raising their hands. There was a microphone but it didn't make it past the 4th row. Weird. I've actually read the prefaces fairly recently and I do have to say while it's a bit boring for a meeting, the history to this program is fascinating and their were some other self-proclaimed program geeks which was kinda cute. I am most recently amazed at the range of people this program works for, it's truly impactful in a phenomenal way. There was an intense "burning desire" share about how this guy had last seen his son and a drug counselor dead together on the pavement by his car from doing crack and how important this program is to pass down to the generations. That was pretty intense.

I'm meeting with my sponsor tomorrow morning and I haven't done my homework for my sponsor. I'm supposed to have read a bunch. While I'm eager to get moving on to Step 2 and 3, I'm not doing the work. I'm not sure when I would have had the time.

This week my recovery put a strain on my relationship too. It's been tough because I have little time for him even though now he just moved closer. I found myself trying to get him to understand how exhausted I was while not equally recognizing how challenging his situation must be of being unemployed. I find myself analyzing so much of what I do know from the perspective of the program. I can feel that I'm acting out as the big book dictates but haven't read enough to know exactly how I'm doing so. I'm finding that as I struggle with my own selfishness, it clashes with what I've learned about taking care of myself and doing what I need for me (like getting out of a room where people are drinking).

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day 5, Meeting 5: Stinky-winky

Something stinks. There is this gnarly odor in the air of San Francisco reminiscent of when this large developer bought this cute little family farm by my parent's house in Massachusetts where I grew up. Not knowing a damn thing about farming, he fertilized the 180 acres in chicken shit. Straight, unprocessed chicken shit. Not the best way to make friends. And we lived in the next town over and it reeked for weeks! I won't mention that this same developer eventually won the contract for the "The Big Dig" and just recently filed for bankruptcy. That same developer was a restauranteur I believe before he bought a construction company as an investment. And you may have heard about the accident that happened when the tunnel opened. Karma's a bitch but that seems a bit extreme for just layering chicken shit on a massive field in the middle of a Boston suburb. I'm not sure why I thought to write all that....

I'm on my fifth meeting in 5 days and I have to say, I feel pretty good. Five is the most meetings consecutively I've ever gone to. It's working it's magic.

I went to my usual Friday meeting tonight which I had missed last week because I had been in LA. I hadn't missed that meeting since I started going a few months ago and it felt weird to skip a week. I like this meeting because one of my favorite times to go out and drink and party was right after work on a Friday. So I kinda feel like I'm going out even though I'm not at all but it gives me a feeling of being social before I go home. It's a women's meeting. Of course, I go home around 8:30pm which I think is always a little sad and feels like a letdown. The last few weeks of this meeting, however, I've left feeling a bit unsettled. I've tried sharing, I've tried not sharing, I've wanted to share and not been called on. I've introduced myself when I was new and I re-introduced myself when I was not so new asking for people to reach out again. But there is something a bit unsettling, raw that bums me out some nights on my way home on Friday. And I felt that again tonight.

When I first got sober last year, I went through this period where I was crying every Saturday night. Weekends were hard for me. Excruciatingly long. I'd feel so unsettled, bored and discontent that I would just break down by Saturday. I had spent hours numb and hungover all weekend when I drank! Having time was a brutal feeling. My work life was not at it's best and perhaps I was decompressing but my work life had been shitty for a little while so I attributed this to my sobriety. At first, I just felt crazy and weird and like a freak when I first got sober. Then I felt lonely, empty and bored. My therapist had kept urging me to go to meetings but the line between feeling crazy and being lonely enough had to be crossed for me to get in the rooms.

Recently, after these Friday meetings, I've been feeling remnants of those same feelings only on Fridays and not Saturdays. I also thought it might be because it's a women's meeting. In the last 10 years, I have had to make a concerted effort to befriend women. I was raised by a fairly independent feminist mother and a father who considered himself a jock and treated me sometimes like the son he never had so I ended up an idealistic athletic tomboy or something. I played with dolls and barbies (much to my mother's chagrin, the barbies I mean) but I also skateboarded, played 4 sports a year (no I'm not going to have an Uncle Rico moment right now but I was a pretty good athlete). I grew up in Maryland on a street with mostly boys so from 3 years old to 15 years old, those were my playmates. But I also hung out with a lot of guys because of sports and well, my desire to learn more about gender barriers that I could bust through. I landscaped for 5 consecutive summers leading crews of mostly men in their 30s from ages 16-20. And I also had a fairly overactive sex drive to boot. Often times over the last 15 years my friends were my lovers and then my friends again. I slept with men sometimes in a stereotypically "guy" way, especially when I was using. Using men for sex and at my worst moments leading up to sobriety, drugs. Ew. Not expecting anything in return and definitely not expecting to be called again. Those were some low times. Apparently, not my lowest because I kept doing coke and drinking even after some questionable hook-ups. I also had consistent boyfriends off and on with varying degrees of loyalty which could probably be attributed to my use, my sense of entitlement, my need to date someone that treated me like shit so I had an excuse to act the way I did even though I probably would do that to anyone because I was an alcoholic and drug addict (that is still so hard for me to write). Blech.

I gotta say, I have a pretty bad memory and recounting just now some of the things I've done is a bit intense. I have been so entrenched in my denial these last few months trudging through my first step. And what I just wrote, oooo boy (pardon the pun) brought up some stuff just now. I can't wait to keep going with this program.

The breakfast went wonderfully today and I managed to get to work by 5:30AM, bright and bushy-tailed. The warehouse guys loved breakfast and I think it was pretty good. Some took seconds so that was a good sign. I was happy that my coworkers had bonded despite it being a tough week work-wise. I made peace with little tif with one of the warehouse managers and was proud of my follow through in showing my appreciation for the warehouse. Those guys are good guys and I've grown close to them in the years I've worked there. Some days, they are the ones that get me out of bed in the morning and who I go to work for.

I came home early, sacked out for 3 hours, called my dad who I hadn't talked to in a while and went to my meeting. A former coworker now works at the agency that hosts this Friday meeting. After hearing the speaker share her story, I felt pulled to go see my friend in her office. I cut out and missed about 15 minutes of the meeting. My sponsor called me because she thought something had happened. This former coworker is a good friend of mine and she left on good terms and has always done well at looking out for number one. I've envied her ability to do that, fly under the radar while the rest of us flail in plain sight. I have learned a lot from her professionally and she has been a mentor and an inspiration in some ways. She's also not a big drinker and very supportive of my recovery. It was good to see her. I went back to the meeting and was there for closing. It was rude of me to leave since I hadn't wanted to share and I was feeling cocky and self-assured. I won't do that again.

Tomorrow, I'm working in the morning. I feel a bit more rested right now and less rushed. I'm taking Monday off since I'm working next Saturday too. Good job making boundaries. Looking forward to meeting with my sponsor on Sunday. Thinking of going dancing with my man in Golden Gate Park during the day. That sounds fun. I've been before and it's nice because there are DJs outside in the sun and you can dance and you aren't in a bar that smells like barf, pee and liquor:) Stinky-winky.

I just went downstairs to clean my cat's litter box and as I was taking the yuckiness out to the garbage, I saw a shooting the city. So cool. Good night.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 4, Meeting 4: Peeling an onion

I'm exhausted and have had a crap day. Tomorrow I have to get up at 4:30AM. Sadly, a driver at my work suddenly passed away last week. I wanted to make the warehouse staff breakfast in his memoriam except they start work at 6:30AM. Oof. I'm a total masochist I think. I recognize the guys in our warehouse work really hard (even though they think we don't) and that they lost their friend. I've worked with these guys for almost the last 4 years and wanted to reach out. Hugging them all would be a bit weird and probably not appropriate for work. They help our agencies a great deal and are the last hands the food passes through to the community. I also am trying to follow through with what I want and intend to do. Not one of my strengths. I'm already falling asleep and not wanting to write.

I woke up early to get to a 7:30AM meeting. Grumpy as fuck. I could feel myself start to spiral. Cranky, my boyfriend drove me to the meeting. I couldn't believe I saw one of our drivers unloading a truck into the building I was going to a meeting to. Many meetings are at some of the community organizations I work with or my organization has a relationship with. Coincidentally, he was one of the drivers that's been in recovery. I was just not feeling well. I got to the meeting. I forgot my breakfast at the cafe and had to go back. Experienced a moment of panic that I had agreed to greet at this meeting but I realized I agreed to greet at the Tuesday morning meeting. Time and day has felt so confusing this week. I just felt out of myself and also like I was getting at something. Often times when I start to feel good, I find that I feel less connected. As I use that time to rest and feel light, I feel like it gives me strength to do the next big push of self-realization with my sobriety and self. And I find the better I feel, the deeper I go exploring my inner self. And the darker it can sometimes be. Peeling an onion.

The meeting started out good and was large for the small room it's usually in. I moved across the room to allow more folks to come in (I'm always amazed that more men don't do this on the west coast. Call me old-fashioned.). I ended up sitting in the corner next to a woman with a pink scooter helmet knitting a pink scarf:) I love pink. I always have trouble paying attention to the reading because I'm still learning so much of the lingo and trying to connect what I'm feeling to how to feel better in sobriety.

This meeting became amazing as people responded to the reading and I started to feel heavier and so grateful that I was there. I realized that I wanted to share about the dinner night with my coworkers on Tuesday. I began to feel how far I'd come by coming to the meetings. How I have been so comforted by my experiences in the rooms and how I had felt so trapped that night.

When I first went sober, I told my friends that they just have to be okay if I feel uncomfortable. When they asked how they could support my sobriety, I just said don't give me shit for leaving somewhere impolitely. I asked that they please continue to extend invites to me to bars, parties etc giving me the choice to go and if I go, they just have to be okay when I want to leave whether it's after an hour or 10 minutes.

My guard was down on Tuesday. I felt so stuck. I haven't set the same situation up with my coworkers because I try to keep my sobriety separate from my work life. Professionalism is very important for me to maintain. And I'm private about my personal life at times. The line had been blurred as to whether it was a work event or social event. I felt afraid to leave. Afraid of being rude as I looked across at the beautifully set table and white roses. Afraid of being unprofessional. Delicious Mediterranean food prepared by a coworker. I was trying to be a good sport. I was trying to be part of the team. And you know, there were other people there who didn't drink. But I just felt it's different for me. As I walked to the corner store to get more beer with my supervisor just to get out of the house, I walked inside and was overcome by the urge to drink. Just a quick wave. I didn't remember until I thought about why I was so upset at the meeting. Everyone knows I'm sober and knows that I go to meetings so drinking again would not be an unquestioned action but maybe it would for my coworkers? I can't really rely on my friends or colleagues to question whether I should drink or not. I still have friends who ask me if sobriety is a choice I'm making for life. ?!?!?! I quickly got the one day at a time bit. Shit. My good friends didn't ask questions, they comforted me and rationalized my shame the morning after, that held my hair out of the way from my puke and got me into bed safely when I couldn't get myself there. For that I'm strangely grateful but that's another blog.

Sharing at the meeting felt good and I found the feeling of being shocked by how worried and trapped I felt and having to stick around when I didn't want to come flooding back. As I've definitely felt the emotional numbness that being on prozac brings, I'm always surprised when I cry. And this was equally surprising that once again my voice was quivering. I was so happy to be there and really didn't want to leave.

I ended up having a particularly tough day feeling a bit raw. Happy I made my meeting but just feeling open and unresolved and rushed today. I had an outburst with some of the warehouse guys ironically, saw an old friend way back from my past in Maryland who had a layover in SF on her way to Hawaii with her husband, went to Costco with two coworkers to get food for the breakfast, ate a frozen yogurt and then spent the afternoon preparing breakfast with my coworkers in the kitchen at my work. Safe and without booze. It was the closest I had felt to my coworkers since many of them had started. It was fun and nice and easy. It was sober and there were many onions peeled. Breakfast burritos with eggs, refried beans, sausage, peppers and onions, fruit salad, orange juice and coffee. Enjoy.

Now I'm tired and ready to put this day to rest.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Day 3, Meeting 3: Tending to my own garden

I have a garden in a facebook application called Farmville. And I found out today that because I haven't tended to it, everything is dead. All the eggplant, soybeans I planted. Gone. Won't be able to cash them in at the market. The cows didn't get milked and the chickens didn't get harvested so their gone too. Kinda sad.

I just want to mention that writing this blog has been an amazing process over the past few days. While I've shyly and not so shyly talked about it, there has just been an overwhelming and unexpected amount of support and encouragement (thank you;). I seriously couldn't believe some of the comments. And I couldn't believe who some of them were from. As tempted as I am to gush, I also want to stick to my guidelines and maintain the integrity of this project by keeping it real and sticking to sobriety and getting to 90 meetings in 90 days (but you all are super great, I feel like I'm cheating! Your encouragement and connections are touching and just what I need. Thank you.)

And my past is just banging down the door right now allowing me the chance to reconcile with it in some way I haven't quite been able to figure out. The prozac I'm on means I have to "listen" a little harder to the messages I get sent in my gut. But I'll leave that to my higher power to reveal.

My third meeting in a row. I've done this. I'm cruising these last few days. I know it will soon get harder so I've tried to take it easy and just get myself to meetings. I've been getting other emails outside of the comments from people, friends of friends who are on facebook and I met maybe once, asking me about going to meetings. It's thrilling and at the same time, I do a reality check. I do not have the tools to get someone else sober. Only myself. I can only show or tell people what I did and how it worked for me. I can only tend to my own garden and clean up my side of the street as someone said in the meeting today. It's so easy to mess around in your neighbors garden while you let yours go to shit! I can't believe all my animals died in Farmville! I love animals. That's terrible! So it's good I'm keeping myself from 12 steppin or whatever that phrase is that I can't remember and this blog is keeping me present. I'm held to the process of MY recovery by writing everyday. And I get the acknowledgment and voice that I need during this process. My therapist said that you have to do something for 30 days for your brain to start to change. And that why usually at about 2-3 weeks of doing something new, it gets hard and I end up stopping. That's the breaking point before patterns and brainwaves start to shift for good. And also probably why I don't get past that point.

I went to a meeting this evening in the east bay with one of these old friends from my past that has come forward. I was so excited. Newly sober, I was feeling all about her. But I realized after the meeting that while I was so excited, I forgot to even mention in my share that I had wanted to drink last night while out after work at a dinner. I didn't realize until we were talking afterward that I had wanted to. I had felt so lofty riding the high of this project and seeing an old friend that I plain forgot to work on my sobriety. Duh. I was less engaged at my meeting tonight because I wanted her to be comfortable. I didn't introduce myself as a first timer to the meeting. I wanted her to come back so I didn't want to push her too much. And all this was going on inside me. I was nervous because while I was holding back my own work, I knew I'm on Step 1 and don't have any idea about how to help her. What the fuck was I doing? I felt totally in over my head and like I was going to let her down. But soon, talking to her afterward, I realized that she has her own process thankfully. Of course she does! She was like, "We should just get coffee and catch up." I paused and was like, "Of course," relaxing. Duh.

I was called on at the meeting. This was a first (I find that people want to share less in the east bay meetings or at least the two I've gone to). You sometimes can't get a word in or called on because the meetings are so large in least the ones I've been going to. This is another reason I started a blog being an extrovert and all. And when I was called on to share, I babbled something about staying present in my own recovery. I've noticed that others who've been going to meetings for some time have much more succinct shares than I. I usually keep talking until I hit my stride, I do this at work a lot, but that hasn't happened when I share. What happens instead is that I babble until I get nervous and decide to stop because I forget my point or points that I had wanted to touch on. Then I finish, my heart stops racing and I realize that I had like 4 other things I was going to tie together in the 2-5 minutes I was allotted. Damn it. 2-5 minutes is not enough time for me to talk about my issues with drinking and being an alcoholic or even what happened to me in the last day! I even tried writing the stuff down in this little notebook I carry around before raising my hand. But I totally got flustered and didn't say half of it or even look at it. Now I know why so many people give you their phone numbers! So you can just babble away about your sobriety. I love it. My phone crashed last week though (actually I dropped it in the sink while talking on it and attempting to wash my hands at the same time) and I hadn't synced it in 3 months and I lost all my phone numbers from the program. Damn it. Of course.

So, while getting this blog thing going and spending time catching up with old friends and getting totally in over my head when it comes to others and their sobriety, I have homework with my sponsor...which I'm totally not doing. Part of my Step 1 process is listing all the ways alcohol made my life unmanageable (as tempting as it may be to comment on this, please hold your comments til I'm at least at Step 2, maybe we can have a good chuckle). A huge part of why I get nervous when I speak is that for a long time and even sometimes now, I don't feel like I belong in the rooms. I'm close but not entirely convinced that I'm an alcoholic. Addict, sure. That I can handle. But alcoholic....hmmm, that's a bit less palatable for some reason. But being addicted to everything, that somehow is easier to swallow?!?! So that's why I get nervous even though I enjoy public speaking and can typically talk very openly about how I feel and talk about how I came to realize I had a drinking problem most of the time in small and medium size crowds but the rooms are hard.

Tomorrow I'm headed to another morning meeting on my bike. Egads! Oh and I'll tell you that meeting on Tuesday, didn't even have coffee!!! It was the one thing getting me there on time, that they'd have coffee. I couldn't believe it! One woman told me, "Do you know how early we'd have to get here to make coffee?" I wanted to be like, "How the fuck do expect me to get here at 7:30 in the AM?" and then I walked to the nearest cafe. Ah mornings.

Thanks for reading everyone. 87 to go!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 2, Meeting 2: I don't do mornings

I am so not a morning person. I'm still nauseous from getting out of bed at 6:30AM and getting to a meeting ON MY BIKE!! by 7:30 AM. Boy when I do something, I sure do it but only for about two weeks and then I have to switch it up. Ugh. I thought I was going to barf on the floor. I shared even though I was going to listen more. You know how you start to live your life in facebook status messages? I'm finding that I'm starting to live my life in my head of crafting a blog. Seriously, the last two days, from the moment I woke up. I don't want to make an ass of myself on the inteweb. So self-conscious. And while there is a benefit to this of looking critically at my self and crafting something that is somewhat coherent, I'm finding that it also makes it a wee bit harder to do my "work" and that my making a conscious effort to not think about the fact that I'm writing a blog. So I will do my best to "keep it real" and not talk about that part of that too much.

I went through a period in my early sobriety when I was waking up at 5:30 AM to do yoga, meditate and lifting "baby weights". Ambitious I know. This was way before I started going to meetings mind you. And it felt good and I did it consistently. Time was on my side. I had so much frickin time! And no idea what to do with it. I was detoxing and felt empty inside. I felt so outside of myself that suddenly I was getting up at 5:30 in the morning! Seriously, any one who knows me knows that you really can't talk to me (or rather I won't talk to you) for at least a half hour before I wake up. I'm good at faking like I do mornings. But I have to wake up mad early to be functional. I think about 3 hrs is the amount of time it takes.

In order to get into the rooms, I had to get back on anti-depressants. This was not an easy task. I had to come to terms with the fact that my 10 yr depression was not gone and indeed may never be. And when I first went sober 18 months ago, I couldn't believe how shitty I felt. I was so sad. And even 6 months ago, my friends that drink were like, Dude, you seemed way happier when you drank. And I had to agree! This sobriety thing stunk! I was crying and sad all the time, angry and uncomfortable, bored and lonely (I was even dating someone!). I also had to come to terms with taking pharmaceuticals. For the entire span of my depression, I have been reticent about taking prescribed anti-depressants. The last time I took prescribed anti-depressants was to get out of being locked up.

I was involuntarily committed in November 1995, I was 18, and then again in November 1996. Must be something about a New England fall or S.A.D. Almost a year to the day later. Ha. I didn't do anything to warrant it the first time except freeze out the therapist while silently crying and shaking a bit. So she didn't feel like I was safe. I figured out that to get out, you had to start taking meds. The second time, I overdosed on Naproxen, a muscle relaxer prescribed to my mom, that now they sell in low doses as Aleve. My parents were out. I just wanted to get out of my body, unzip my skin and stop feeling the way my brain was making me feel. I took like 10 or 15 or something, 800 mg maybe. Frankly, I don't remember. I remember waking up to go pee and not being about to feel anything or see and my tongue was super fat and dry. I guess when I got back in bed, I had a seizure and ended up underneath the bed with the mattress pulled over me. I woke up in a hospital bed and pretty much at that point you've signed yourself up for at least a week of "wellness" in a locked ward (not sure how wellness equates with locking and the word "ward" but ok). Part of me believes that stopping and starting my meds several times really brought on my ability to follow through and attempt to take my life. But the minute I swallowed, I didn't want to die. Luckily, my number wasn't up yet. The pain and darkness from depression is just so fucking unbearable.

Woo...moving on. So... where was I, oh yes so taking Prozac now and loving it! I don't know what I was thinking not being on meds. I started taking it in May and a few weeks later, the meeting schedule wasn't sending me into a tizzy when I looked at it and I got myself to a meeting. When I was sober and not on meds, I can't tell you how many times I looked at the schedule and could not figure out how to get to a meeting. I saw addresses. I know how to use Google maps. I have a Berkeley degree for cryin out loud! But could not for the life of me get to a meeting. I was so totally overwhelmed with the thought~ALL the thoughts that it brought up for me. And so, one of the side effects of being on copious amounts of Prozac which I love by the way, did I tell you how much I love it? is being groggy. Holy shit. It's like waking the dead every morning. And while I'm less mean in the mornings (I cannot tell you the weight that has been lifted, really I had no idea I could feel this good and I can't believe how long I felt like shit refusing meds), it takes herculean efforts to get to work and do my morning non-routine every day.

So this morning. I did it. I got to a meeting. And that totally feels good. And I got some exercise which also feels good so, check, check, for the day so far all before 9:00AM. Now for some lunch. Oh look, my nausea's gone. Maybe I'll write more about the meeting itself.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Day 1, Meeting 1: The tingling lets you know it's working

Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays.

Ooo boy, it's late. Feels a bit too late to write this actually. Need to get a jump on it a bit earlier tomorrow. Still figuring out this blog thing. I'm beat and worried that what I write will seem forced. So here goes...

Stopped by a good friends house that I hadn't seen in a while on my way home from my first meeting of my "90 in 90". These are friends that still drink and that I've drifted from a bit over the last months. It was nice to laugh with them and drink water;) I totally thanked them for that. The response was that there was no booze in the house, which was pretty funny and good timing on my part. Their roommates had just gotten back from Vegas and my friends told me they had been up for two days straight which made me a little nervous to be there but it turned out they were fine and sweet and made us dinner.

Today was easy to get to a meeting because I have a commitment there, I'm the coffeemaker. I go to this meeting after work on Mondays. The concept of having commitments totally works, by the way, especially on a Monday, because I so did not want to go to a meeting today but had to because I committed to making the coffee each week. This is my 3rd week having the commitment. And the second week in a row that I didn't want to be there. What's with that? I have to buy the supplies: cream, spoons, etc, and make sure the coffee is made and clean up afterward. I show up at the meeting early because I feel bad if coffee isn't made for first people that show up. There are some homeless guys too and some not-so-homeless guys and I work at a food bank and have worked in restaurants and bars most of my working life and like to cater well to everyone. It's pretty easy except today there were a ton of fruit flies swarming the back sink. It was really gross and totally irritating. For some reason, there are flies everywhere right now at this time of year, at my work, in most places you go to eat. They tend to gather right in the entry way, flying around just inside from the door of most places that keep their doors open. You get used to walking through them but these were here resting on the sink so when I came over they all flew up. The sink only has cold water, 3 smelly sponges and no hand soap or paper towels or cleaning products. No wonder it's a fruit fly nesting ground. Today was just a bit too much. I didn't even want to sit back there. While being the coffeemaker gets me to the meeting, it's a little isolating as my back is to everyone before and after the meeting making coffee or cleaning up. I have to get up in the middle of the meeting to make more coffee which seems a bit distracting and interrupts my listening to the speaker. So much for fellowship. Since I got this commitment, it's allowed me to actually not want to go to the meetings but still go and not like it. I don't have to like it, people say, which at first I was like, of course I like it, I've been white-knuckling this alone for the past year and change but soon that's shifted as the program actually starts to work and I start to get uncomfortable. And don't "they" say, the tingling lets you know it's working?

This meeting has been challenging for me to attend (the second time I ever went, a homeless guy faced me and muttered, "Fucking bitches, fucking bitches" over and over in my ear the whole meeting. It was kind of my worst nightmare and the whole reason I didn't want to go to meetings in San Francisco, in a city, period), but it's convenient and just over the hill from my work so I don't have any wiggle room of going home before going or being too far to make the distance. So I go.

I felt like such a sad-sack though today and did last week too come to think of it. And looking around, I wasn't the only one. Usually, this is a seasoned spirited crowd but even the old reliables were struggling today. So many people had their heads in their hands. The speaker was decent. Had gotten in the program through the marijuana version. Today I decided not to share. My sponsor had recommended I listen more, read the book. Though three-quarters of the way through, I changed my mind but didn't get called on. The speaker had said something about mediocrity. Right before I became sober, I used to proclaim that I was content with my own mediocrity. I just couldn't understand why no one else was. I wanted so much to be a happy alcoholic like so many of my friends seemed. I wanted to be blissfully ignorant of my own potential, abilities and privilege. It was so hard being me! It's amazing how my alcoholism put me on a pedestal. Or was being on a pedestal what made me an alcoholic? I'm find many chicken or the egg comparisons. (I think I have to wrap this up, I'm feeling a bit delerious).

In the last few weeks, I'd been really focusing on contributing and meeting people and kinda having a case of feeling like I was skipping to the 12th step when I was only at the first. I forget what they call this, 12 steppin or something (regulars seem to toss out all the terms and cliches with such ease). Pink cloud, they called it also. I fell off that cloud and then got back on and had been really putting myself out there trying to build fellowship as I saw this as important and making new friends sober was feeling so uncomfortable. After all, "this was a program of action!" and doing what doesn't come natural. I had felt really new and raised my hand early on to say how much I wanted to learn the tools, bawling my eyes out and all these people came running up to me afterward and gave me their numbers. Then as the weeks progressed, I wasn't quite as new and was still trying to build relationships but I was shy about answering my phone and well, not answering my phone so then people stopped interacting with me and stopped calling me. More self-sabotage. So I stepped up my fellowship game and started to feel like I was coming on a little strong, many of the feelings I had when I was in middle school which is crazy. More seasoned alcoholics were saying that the first year should be all about me. But I felt ready to take on the challenge of trying to make friends, forcing myself to make friends, go up to people, comfort them and introduce myself. I had heard the advice about doing what you don't want to do and I really didn't want to be making friends so that seemed like the right thing to do I thought.

Then, while in LA this weekend, I got totally shut down. I heard someone share, I resonated with what they said, I went over to them and introduced myself, shook their hand and she turned her back on me before I could even say anything else. I was devastated. I really was. People say I'm pretty personable and at work I don't really care if people don't like me but when I am putting myself out there, it was a little too much to bare. It was a wake-up call. It brought me back down to earth and kicked me off my pink cloud, yet again. (Turns out this woman was an actress. Oops but really who fucking cares? You like that resentment?) My new sponsor (I broke up with first sponsor early last week because she was unavailable which I thought would make things easy for me but realized that I wanted to be doing more work on the steps) said that we are all in the rooms with the disease of alcoholism and that it manifests itself differently for all of us or something. I'm not good at recounting. Shit, I'm tired too.

So today wasn't that big a deal. Strangely, this meeting there was a lot of people talking about contributing. Multiplying the joy and dividing the pain. So while my own path had told me to sit back and do my own work and reach out less, here were all these people talking about giving back. Maybe it's so I know that they are there for me. That I can reach out and go through my process of unraveling this disease and recovering.

My 1st meeting of my 90 meetings. Yay, me! I've tried it 3 times.'s the 4th meeting in 4 days that will be the kicker I think. But 3 times the charm:)

Good night, sleep tight! Don't let the bed bugs bite! (Is it me or is everyone around me having weird skin issues, including myself. Ew.)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How it's done

I thought I'd join the ranks of the self-absorbed (hehe)and start a blog about attending 90 meetings in 90 days as I embark on my journey of sobriety and recovery. Actually the boat left 18 months ago, January 26, 2008 when I sobered up and haven't taken a drink since but I didn't start going to "the program" until May 17, 2009. "90 in 90" was recommended even with my late starting off point. The feat of 90 meetings in 90 days has proven much more difficult than expected and a lightbulb went off in my head that this would be a great way to keep me going to meetings. A lightbulb and well, I was also inspired by the movie, "Julie and Julia"(blush) to blog about SOMETHING as I face my own "1/3 life" crisis (thanks, S. for that new term!). Also, I thought this would be a good way for those of my non-sober friends to catch a glimpse of my recovery.

For the last two weeks, I have attempted to count down the days of going to "90 in 90" on a calendar but only have gotten as far as: 90, 89, 88, skip, 90, 89, skip, skip, 90 and so on. Damnit! This was not working! What I know is that I have discovered that going to meetings makes me feel better and not going to meetings results in a slow spiral of unmanageability. But knowing has never been enough for me. The limitations of my own time management have also proven challenging for "90 in 90" as it has for going to the gym and any number of tasks that I try to do on the regular (I am not a woman of routine, no sir-ree). However, my life is fairly simple, I'm amazed my days seem so much shorter than other people's days. This is also an opportunity to explore that.

At this point, I'm not sure how much I can divulge about "the program" I'm involved with online and in a blog so we will keep it somewhat obscure (however, those of you who know the term "90 in 90" probably can guess) until my sponsor gets back to me.

Some guidelines:

1)I will keep this blog anonymous except as it pertains to myself. Using only first initials for names. If you read this and think I'm blogging about you and don't like it, just let me know and I'll change the letter or something. If I find myself mentioning someone often, I will change their first name or initial to protect their identity except where they give me permission to use their names. How's that?

2)I will GO to 90 meetings in 90 days (I keep saying, "I will try" which will not do, gotta love the concreteness of the written word!). This does NOT mean I have to attend 90 meetings at some point within 90 days as I was tempted to interpret it. Oh no! This is one meeting per day for 90 days. This is the real deal, babe!

3)I will do my best not to bore you with my story. I am designing this as a tool to help others share about their process as much as it is for me to inspire myself to stick with something as has proved so difficult to do with EVERYTHING in my life.

Side note: I pretty much have mocked the world of blogging and all that is technological-able for as long as I know. I missed the dot-com train, was a bit too young and idealistic and wanted to save the world and it's people. And doing so, in my mind, did not involve computers. Coincidentally, I'm dating a former computer guy at this moment.... So I'm nervous about this and while I consider myself a fairly good writer, it's a little different to put myself on the Inter-web for all to see. I'm an extro-vert but still, this is a bit nervous-making either that or I had too much coffee. I don't do well with caffeine.

4)I will do my best to keep to the topic of sobriety and going to 90 meetings in 90 days.

5)I will not use too many emoticons as I love them and they are still a treat for my untechnol0gically inclined self, but I realize they are annoying. I do feel like they add tone so again, we'll see how this goes.

6)I will start tomorrow, Monday August 17th and take one meeting, one day at a time (is there a copyright on that phrase?, shit I hope not). This project will conclude on Saturday, Nov 14th. Woah.

7)I haven't decided about cursing in my blog but I think I might.

8)Wish me luck! Please. And feel free to comment, I look forward to the interchanges. All I ask is that those who do do their best to keep to and respect the 12 and 12. I'm still learning what that means so please be as understanding, forgiving, kind, direct and honest. I'm feeling right now like I have no skin. Thank you for reading.