Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Moving forward, baby steps

I am starting to relax a little bit in my new home, or at least, in my new home city. Not much, but a little. Shopping in a Publix grocery store is, I find, a comforting thing since it's the store I've shopped at my entire life in Miami. It's just a reminder of "home", or at least the nice things about what home was. I was there yesterday and the cashier and bag-boy were so fun and friendly. Enjoyed engaging in small talk, which I think is really big talk. It's big talk because it's what connects people together. Just in niceness, if nothing else.

I went by Emory University the other day with a friend. What a beautiful campus and community. It made me think of Jackson and wouldn't it be cool if he went to grad school here. I don't even know what kind of music program they have, but certainly Emory is a fine school, especially their med school. I can see Jackson now - getting his M.Ed in music composition - and I can call him "Dr. Jackson". lol. He so does not care about titles or status. He only cares about making music. So cool.

I have a new friend here who wants to be more than a friend even though I told him that cannot happen. His is a recovering Alcoholic with under a year of sobriety and I've learned my lesson in that department. No, no and just no. I told him early on and he "said" he was OK about it. But now, I can see he is working me. He has been quite helpful in guiding me though town, and adjusting to the move. The other day we went to dinner after a meeting and when I said goodbye, he did this:

"I'll be at the so and so meeting on Wednesday at 4pm, and then maybe the 8pm meeting at so and so".  It was his way of saying he wanted me to meet him there and we can do the AA "meeting dance" together. Where we "date" inside a meeting. I have so been there and done that. But never, ever again. I simply nodded my head and said cool, enjoy. When he did not get the response he wanted, he lingered and repeated himself. See, this is exactly why this nice person is not for me. He is a grown man who little confidence to ask a woman out, outside of a 12 step meeting, so he has to manipulate (ask in-directly) for what he wants. I see it, I've done it myself, and I know it to be that's just all he can do at this moment in his life. So, I did not respond to it because it's unhealthy and I've learned.

Later, in a chat with my sponsor, I asked him how to handle it. Of course Keith had to say something so funny. "Does this newcomer know what he's getting into with you? You're a 20-something year recovered Al-Anon - a 9th degree, black-belt Al-Anon...does he KNOW what he's getting into?" lol. I died laughing. The was the best compliment of my recovery ever! All laughs aside, he said to continue with my boundaries and that if I see this friend stepping out of line or any sign of his suffering because he wants more, then I should gently remind him of our chat some months ago, and reiterate my boundaries.Life is easier with boundaries. And friends. I hope we can remain friends. He is a nice person and I appreciate him.

I met someone else recently, he made me laugh for nearly two hours. What a good feeling that was. I realized I had not laughed very much in a long while. I'm trying to keep my mind, and heart, open and not be cynical about this one. A day at a time.

Monday, May 23, 2016

God reliant

"Perhaps there is a better way - we think so. For we are now on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves. We are in the world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity." - Page 68, Alcoholics Anonymous

I was always reliant on someone else for my emotional security. First my mother, then my husband. I could not be OK if I did not have someone close to me to promise they would never leave me. Someone to have my back. Human higher powers. I had no idea how desperate I was, how afraid I was of life.

It's not like that today. Today, I am God reliant and free. I remember a sponsor telling me years ago that it was not only OK but a necessity to "FROG" - fully rely on God. By this time in my recovery, I knew who God was, truly was, and we had a relationship. When I found out through the steps that it was my job to "cooperate" and turn my life over to him, I wept with gratitude. As the years have gone by, and as I strengthen my spiritual condition, I find incredible peace in knowing that I am never alone, I am not afraid of live, because I have him.

Yesterday, in a new meeting here, I met a woman from Miami. My second meeting, and a second person from Miami. God is providing for me. Sending me his messengers to tell me that people do relocate from Miami and prosper. This is all so new to me, I've felt so alone and afraid. But, I've also gotten off my can and gone to meetings and reached out to people and ask for help.

Not all people I've reach out to have helped. William never responded to my tearful telephone call. Though I did not expect him to. I have to say it hurts, none the less. Not to the point that I am angry, just sad. It is just another reminder of the hardware store parable. Don't go to the hardware store to buy bread. They don't sell what they don't have. How lucky I am to have what a friend in need needs. My new sponsee called me tonight. She wants to recover. She wants what I have. And I am happy to give it. Because when I give away my love, I get to keep the feeling of love that God gives back to me.

That's how it works.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

12 step translation

Let your soul cease to weary itself with planning and foreseeing, giving itself up to God within, and to the teachings of Life without. Do not forever fret as to your progress, or look back to see how far you are getting on; rather go steadily and quietly on, and continue to make progress. Never get troubled and discouraged; if you fall humble yourself, but get up at once, and go on with renewed earnestness.


Do not be discouraged. No one among us has been able to maintain anything like perfect adherence to these principles. We are not saints. The point is, that we are willing to grow along spiritual lines. The principles we have set down are guides to progress. We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.
- W. G. WILSON et al.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

“You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Newcomer again

I went to what might become my new home group tonight. The NABA club, right around the corner from where I live. A 12 step clubhouse, AA, Al-Anon - pretty much what "original" recovery clubs look like. The meeting had 50 people there. And a ton of men. Not at all accustomed to that. My home group is 20-25 people, with a hand-full of men. This was a serious group and I was a frightened little newcomer all over again.

I knew I needed to share but didn't want to. A few minutes before the meeting ending, a woman shares that she just moved here a few months ago and has been slacking off of meetings. I said to myself "Not gonna be me. No way". Then the next woman shared that she has a hard time asking for help. I knew that was God telling me to speak. To say what I need to say to save my life here and become a part of this family.

So I shared. I said I just moved here, I'm scared that I've lost my old Al-Anon family, that I need a home group, a service position, a phone list and 1,000 hugs. I said this is what I need and I am asking for it. And then I started to cry.

A moment later, a man passed me a phone list. After the meeting, what seemed like a thousand people rushed over to me and gave me a thousand hugs. I felt like I'd won the lottery. And one of these people was a friend from Miami who now lives here. What a "coincidence" running into her here in my first meeting.

God is...he always is.