December 26, 2015 (this day)

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I had an extremely wonderful Christmas, my 32nd sober.  All is very very well.  The knitting on my daughter’s lap is a sock she’s making.  I have started a sock while she’s here.  This will not go well.

 

Tonight I chair my home group, and I’m feeling slightly guilty about possibly leaving her to do it.  She may be with her brother, though, and if she’s here, she’ll come out with us afterwards.  She used to do that when she lived here.  I made the plan to chair while I was thinking I wouldn’t see her this year.  But really, all is extremely well.  She doesn’t have fetal alcohol syndrome because of the program.  It starts there, and every good thing after that in her life, everything that I have influenced, has been given to her courtesy of AA.

We sometimes hear about the huge number of people who suffer due to someone’s drinking.  Five, six, seven for each alcoholic.   The other side of that coin is the number of people who prosper due to an alcoholic’s sobriety.  That would be anyone I ever brought any good to at all, in addition to the untold number I haven’t harmed.

And the cat?  Some kitties just don’t care.

Every A.A. Meeting is an Assurance (Step 2 continued)

Few indeed are the practicing alcoholics who have any idea how irrational they are, or seeing their irrationality, can bear to face it. Some will be willing to term themselves “problem drinkers,” but cannot endure the suggestion that they are in fact mentally ill. They are abetted in this blindness by a world which does not understand the difference between sane drinking and alcoholism. “Sanity” is defined as “soundness of mind.” Yet no alcoholic, soberly analyzing his destructive behavior, whether the destruction fell on the dining room furniture or his own moral fiber, can claim “soundness of mind” for himself.

 

Therefore, Step Two is the rallying point for all of us. Whether agnostic, atheist, or former believer, we can stand together on this Step. True humility and an open mind can lead us to faith, and every A.A. meeting is an assurance that God will restore us to sanity if we rightly relate ourselves to Him.

“The disease that tells you you don’t have a disease.”  Irrational is a mild term for the way I acted when I drank.  We see so many people who are beaten and broken and failing and losing who don’t want to admit defeat.  I didn’t want to, because I could imagine a life without alcohol.  That life would be terrible.  It would be much worse than no life at all.

Today I do things that are destructive to myself, and I may be too easy on myself because these things don’t compare to the major life change I made when I stopped drinking.  But because I have that experience to fall back on, I know that by rightly relating myself to a higher power I can regain sanity in these ways also.

And thus ends Step Two for me, for now.

December 5, 2015 (this day)

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My dog is under the bushes.  She likes to scratch her back on the old branches.  Those bushes along the fence are all very old, and some are dying.  Carole and I know not much about gardening, and we both consider yard work to be, well, work.  But we really should try to nurture some baby bushes that can thrive in all that shade and neglect.

All of our visitors from Thanksgiving are gone, and we made it through having all those people here without serious negativity.  It was very nice.  My daughter has moved to her new old location and she’ll start her new job Monday.  She’ll also visit us for Christmas.

Readers will know that until last week, she lived fairly far away from me, and she had a job that didn’t give her much vacation time.  Last Christmas Carole and I and our son and dog drove to see her, I was so distressed at the thought of Christmas without her.  This year she was getting me ready for the idea that she didn’t want me to do that.  I wouldn’t have done it, and was trying to get my heart ready to accept this situation and even be glad (she’s not in jail, in China, in the military, in harm’s way).  But it hit me hard.  And even as that happened, my AA program and thinking helped me know that I can’t predict the future even as I plan for it, I never know what will happen, it will be OK either way.  As it turns out, she will be able to visit, and any sadness I experienced was a waste of negative emotion.

There are a few disturbing things at work.  The recent mass shooting took place in a place that in many ways is like where I work.  When I first heard that I could only think, “why?” even as I know the question is “why” anywhere.  My work partner continues to threaten to retire.  Someone in our same position at another location was fired.

So as much as I can I encourage the lesson of the Christmas daughter and try to realize more fully that I only have today and what and who is here, now.  Right here, right now, it’s me and the dog.  And life is good.