Skipping around out of necessity :)


Step 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Everyone seemed spooked by the prospect of Step 4, yet everyone also touted this step as being one of the big ones. My sponsor was pretty no-nonsense about it. I did what she said. “Write down everybody who has ever pissed you off,” she said. Wow. Okay. Oh, hell yeah, gimme ma notebook.

It took me a long time to complete Step 4. I had a looming history that should have raised many a red flag, but didn’t, to recollect.

So, nervously, recyclable or compostable (I never know) carrying tray of Starbucks in one hand (coffee is a given for me & my sponsor), my red notebook in the other, we met.

Step 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Weeeellll…that sounded daunting. What if she judged me??? What if she kicked me out & said I was going to Hell?

Fast forward because I have ADD.

None of the bad stuff happened. What did happen was this:

I was freed.

From my own past and the chains that all those rotten secrets held around me were GONE. Fricking gone. Not only did my sponsor listen without judgment and with complete attention and acceptance, she shared her own stuff with me.

I can honestly say I have never been the same since that day. Saying out loud what happened to me, the choices I made, the things I did, was really an experience I have never had. And it was an experience that keeps on giving.

What made me skip ahead to this is this:

Today I bumped into an old childhood friend. We have been friends since forever, I think! Anyway, as we laughed about how we were growing up versus the kind of parents we are now, she politely asked, “Can I ask you about something,” to which I retorted, “Oh, you mean when I stole a car in 8th grade & wrecked it?” “Yes!” I spilled it all out right there. That had been one of my secrets that kept me in bondage – I was babysitting, started drinking tequila, took the car after my other friend came over; we went to our friend’s house & back to the house where I was babysitting. Should have been enough, right? But no, not for this blossoming alcoholic…let’s get back in the car and go back over to that same friend’s house! Upon going home on that trip, I hit a tree. Cops. Parents. Scolding looks. Wait. It gets better. When I got home, my mom came to the door d.r.u.n.k. So, I guess no red flag was going up in her camp…She took my makeup away the next day and gave it back the day after that. I had to pay for the damage myself $1500. Ouch. It took me years to pay it off, but I did. I lost a lot of friends over that – understandably so – what parent would allow that friendship to continue?

The reason I am writing this today is because I know that dreadful story has no hold on me anymore. It lost it’s power the day I took my fifth step. I saw clearly how misguided and “unparented” I was. Yes, I had responsibility in that situation, but as a 13-year-old child, God only knows what was really going on with me. I’m sure in some way it was a twisted cry for help.

And guess what? As I re-told the story to my dear friend, I left out no sordid detail. That’s just part of my story and it certainly doesn’t define me anymore.

Alright, peace out.

Yesterday I remembered who I was…


It was amazing.  About a month ago, my wonderful uncle in New Orleans sent out an invitation to all of his “first tier” nieces to have lunch with him at Commander’s Palace.  All 20-something of us nieces made the necessary plans, flights for some, to get there and be part of such a special day.  My sister flew in from Atlanta and along with my sister who lives locally, we drove to New Orleans together yesterday morning.  It was so wonderful to be with so many beautiful women – by beautiful, I mean yes, they are all a stunning bunch of women.  But they are also stunning on the inside.  They all have beautiful inner light.  So, having that time with my uncle at the helm was just amazing.  He is pushing 90 and is just as sharp, brilliant, and humorous as ever.  My aunt was there also…his sister.  She is just the same, too.  Beautiful and kind.  Once, during the visit, while we were talking, I had to tell her:  Looking into your eyes is like seeing my dad.  She said, “Really?”  And I told her, yes, I remembered that same beautiful blue color in his eyes.  That will never leave me.  At another point, as lunch was continuing – this was a fancy event!  My uncle took the opportunity to talk with us and share stories from his childhood…what a blessing to hear stories about my dad, my grandparents, etc.  – just priceless.  And, at one point, he told us, “We are blood.  You are mine.  And I am yours.”  It gives me chills just thinking about it.  He looked around the room at each of us and I knew his words were as heartfelt as if he were sitting one-on-one with each of us.  That really touched me beyond words.  I needed to hear that.  After my dad died when I was 8, I never heard anything like that again.  I knew when my dad was alive, I was tethered to greatness.  I just knew it.  He was brilliant.  Even 39 years later, when people recall my dad, it is with the utmost love and respect at the person he was.  That was lost for me when he died.  I lost such valuable touchstones at that time.  I began my drift.  So, back to yesterday…lunch was over, people began milling about.  As my uncle and I approached one another, I smiled and said as genuinely as I was feeling, “I love you.”  He said, “I love you, too.”  And I took the opportunity to tell him how much he meant to me during my life, especially after my dad died.  I told him that he was the only one who maintained contact with us; who came to visit us and let us know he was there.

I left New Orleans feeling renewed.  I shared my feelings with elderly and dear family members…in an uncertain world.  I hope we have many more meetings like that, but who knows?  Only God knows.

But yesterday happened.  As my sister drove and I sat in the back seat (like the youngest always does :), I reflected on the day…

God put me into a really awesome family.  He put high-octane blood into my veins.  He didn’t make me to be a wimp.  He didn’t make me to be a coward.  He didn’t make me to be weak and to judge myself through others.  He gave me yesterday to remind me that on so many levels, I come from greatness.  I thanked God for yesterday.  I thanked my family, too.  I won’t forget that again.  Ever.

Thank You, God, for the reminder.  I needed that. :)

Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.


Step 2. This step blows my mind. I tried for years to stop drinking at least during Lent. I never made it. I wanted to desperately. It would have meant I had some control. But I didn’t. I didn’t make it or have control. And it’s not that I drank incessantly and got bombed. That rarely even happened. But the necessity for a drink every day? Yes. That happened. Thinking about it? That happened. Wondering if I drank too much? That totally happened. Wondering if I could stop if I wanted to? That happened. The sick mind and spirit that accompanies alcoholism? That happened. Still, somehow, I felt it was up to me; like I had the magic within me to stop. My belief in God and Jesus were fervent. Why wasn’t that enough? Why couldn’t I do it?

Regardless, I couldn’t. I just continued the ugly cycle. Thinking, wishing, failing, shaming internally…always stoking the secret that I had…the secret that guarded so many other secrets. The one thing I could do to help manage my pain from a screwed up life, screwed up choices, and the inability – seemingly – to do anything about it.

After coming to terms that I actually suffered from alcoholism and I had my sponsor, she helped me understand this step. She helped me to see that I needed COMPLETE RELIANCE upon God. My way – my running the show – had gotten me…nowhere. See above. I couldn’t just read the words in the Big Book like a magic spell. I had to do it. I had to have a true ‘come to Jesus’ moment…and a come to God moment. I had to have real conversations that involved my inability to handle drinking at all. I had to admit openly and freely to God, Jesus, and my sponsor how unable I was to manage this myself. Then the hardest part came. Trusting God. This continues to be my biggest struggle. I am coming to complete reliance upon God in all areas, but I am not in completely reliant upon him in all areas yet. I haven’t really given over my self-esteem issues to Him yet. My go-to thoughts are still that I will screw up and make a mess of my life. I don’t know how to offer what I have to give, even though I do believe I have a lot of wisdom and experience to share with people…there is still that crappy part of me that says, ‘who would listen? who cares?’ I’m working on that.

So, in the meantime, I keep doing the work. I know that continually saying what needs to be said and keeping the conversation open with God is a great starting point to get me to where God wants me. I truly want to serve Him however He wants.

I won’t spend much time on my marriage situation, but I will say, being home with my girls in the home that they know feels like the right thing. I struggle with it because my husband is still, like me, very emotionally sick – we are both so battle weary from the last year+ that we just avoid certain issues…guess what that leads to? Stuffing feelings. Lack of communication. Sigh. Well, it is a sickness, isn’t it?

Anywho. That’s what’s up with my Step 2. I am reading the 12&12, which is a great companion book to the Big Book. That is what has caused me to go back over my steps and re-visit them and blog about them.

Someone recently questioned the anonymity part of my transparency in all this. This is my choice. I’m tired of being anonymous. I spent my whole life feeling like an outsider. I also recognize that for myself, the real sickness lies in my thinking. Like, where did that go wrong? I think the foundation is laid by our caregivers when we are tiny. I think we absorb what they give off – if they give off the feeling that we are a burden, we grow up feeling that we are simply a burden. That sucks. It hurts and we don’t know why. How do we stop the pain? By not feeling. How do we not feel? By drinking. By taking a pill. By doing anything we can figure out to do to stop feeling like we are unwanted. Decades pass. We realize what we are doing. We stop the flow of our ‘solution’ whatever it may be…our ‘drug of choice’ as it were…then what are we left with? The same pain that we began with. But then it is time to deal with it in a healthier way. That’s where the belief in a Power greater than ourselves comes into play. That’s what I deal with every day.

Peace out.

P.S. Happy 16 months sobriety to me! :)

I admitted I was powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable.


Step 1.  Alcoholics Anonymous.  Way back.  Like, waaaaaay back.  Years ago.  Quietly suspecting that those words might hold some magic.  Quietly suspecting I might have a problem.  Quietly drinking.  Quietly suppressing, trying not to bother anyone.  Quiet.  I read those words somewhere…and waited for the magic to happen.  It didn’t come.  Admitting I was powerless over alcohol was embarrassing even as I thought about it while I was alone.

Fast forward to last year.  2013.  Lent.  Gave up alcohol.  Again.  Thankful that there were only 3 days between Ash Wednesday and the first Sunday of Lent so that I could drink.  I always thought that fasting from whatever we gave up on Ash Wednesday was kind of like a “gimme” to get me through till Sunday.  Not like when Lent is in full swing and you have to go a week before you can have what you forsook.  (?  That sounds weird, but I think it’s right.)  Regardless.  Irregardless.  Either way,  I came close once & then I drank on Good Friday.  I felt like such a schmuck.  There I am, going through all the motions and traditions that are so dear to me – and then I drank – sigh.  Sigh.  Jesus came and died for the sinners, for the sick.  I counted there.

2014.  Through inspiration from someone very close to me, I stopped drinking.  To be in solidarity.  He gave me strength.  Knowing my inspiration’s battle gave me strength to look at my own war within myself.  I was astounded that I could quit.  Like that.  Like being on a tightrope and feeling completely at ease.  I just decided to do it.  I counted the days.  I was so happy when I made it past 7.  Like, I had beaten my Lenten record.  What was up with that?  I was going to Alanon.  I was seeing a counselor.  Turns out, I may have had some problems to deal with.  (Insert sarcasm;) I started accumulating weeks.  Of sobriety.  Me!  And I liked it!  Then I started getting a little worried.  How long could I do this?  On my own.  I wondered about the “white knuckling” I had heard about.

I went to LA.  I was invited to an AA meeting.  I may have blogged about this before – anywho – as I listened to the part “How It Works,” I was hooked.  Yes, I had a desire to stop drinking.  Yes, I wanted what those people had.  All my life – I started drinking when I was 7 – I looked for a place – a place where I fit in.  Just like I was.  No pretense.  Just me.  And all my faults.  All my baggage.  And I had to go clear across the country to find it.  Imagine.  I had not experienced that kind of true contentment in a long while.  Years.  And contentment with myself, not because of someone or some outside force.  I was happy to be there and felt I found my way home.

Fast forward again.  I came home and began going to AA meetings here.  I got a sponsor.  We started working on my steps immediately.  With my sponsor, who knows more about me than any other human on the face of the Earth, I admitted I was powerless over alcohol and my life had become unmanageable.  I couldn’t do it alone.  My life could not continue the way it was going.  Something had to change.  Drastically.  So, Step 1 began my true journey to sobriety and finding myself.  I was finally able to start pulling back the curtain on my life and letting the sun shine on all those secrets for all those decades.  And through this journey, I have felt the Son shine His beautiful mercy and love on me.  On me.  A wretched sinner.  A sorrowful, repentant sinner.  A simple person who knows what it is to NEVER fit in – who has to think back decades – like before my dad died when I was 8 – to remember feeling like I belonged.  It was amazing.

Since I can’t call my counselor right now…


Yep, a blog post will have to do.  Today has been great.  One daughter started school, the other starts tomorrow.  The one who starts tomorrow wanted to have fun today.  We did.  We went to a traiteur (healer) for her back.  Not that that was on the “fun” list, but she needed it.  We swam for over an hour in an great indoor pool.  We had lunch at Whole Foods & saw the Fantastic Four (not so fantastic, but it was a great excuse to escape the Louisiana heat and eat Milk Duds).  Home.  Which is weird.  Because we are supposed to be “separated” which we are?  In a way.  In many ways, actually. and I want to scream.  I even pulled out my “Facing Codependency” book that I carefully worked through all last summer at the beginning of my odyssey of sobriety and getting my shit together.  And not taking anymore shit.  Shit seems to be the word of the day, folks.  Anywho.  I thumbed through the book.  That raised my anxiety because I saw my notes that I wrote from last year.  WTF?  WTFFFFF>>>>?  If I could go back to last summer and kick myself, I would.  You should see some of the shit I wrote about what was going on.  So fricking anemic.  I have grown a whole lot in just over a year.  I get that.  But today.

Today I feel like the elephant who gets the chain taken off it’s ankle, but doesn’t leave.  I find myself doing all that old shit that I used to in anticipation of my husband’s return from his day – what can I do to make his amazing day more amazing?  And I’m beating myself up because even though he is tolerating the new normal – which includes me NOT being a waitress/indentured servant placed on this earth to make sure he has everything he needs and wants and doesn’t have to wait long and can act like an asshole when he feels like it and it’s probably my fault anyway…yeah, those days are over.  I do love cooking and I cook a lot.  I just want to break this feeling that I must be that old person.  It pisses me off that I even go there.

I have fixed this situation in the past by asking myself, “What would I do if he were not here?”  And then I try to do that.  But it isn’t working today and that sucks.  Plus, I’m tired.  My mind goes into overdrive when I should just take my foot off the gas & chill.  I intended to get my Beast workout in.  I don’t think that’s going to happen since I went all Michael Phelps earlier – not with weed, just with swimming.

I think I am going to give myself permission to have the rest of the evening off – see what needs to be done – do what I can – realize I am not a servant – enjoy the last evening before daughter 2 has school tomorrow.  I still feel pretty wonky inside.  I tried to download an app & there’s not enough storage available on my phone – it’s a good app about codependency devotionals – okay fine, so I tried to back my phone up on the computer.  It didn’t take the crap off my phone that I wanted to take off & now everything I plug my phone into says “Not enough storage available.”  Screw you, Steve Jobs.  I mean that in the nicest way.  Mostly.

sigh.  I feel a little bit better now.  Mostly because of that last comment to Steve.  I’m sure he gets where I’m coming from.

Thank you for being the pebble…


Thank you

For being the pebble.

From the bottom of darkness

You fought your demons alone,

Scared and hopeless.

Until even that bottom cracked and splintered.

Then you said those very small words,

“I need help.”

So focused on you

And getting you into the sun,

It didn’t occur to me that 

I, too, had been living on the bottom,

Dark and lonely.

You were the pebble.

You created such a quiet, widespread ripple,

You can’t imagine.

I was simply trying to help you,

But you were helping me.

With each passing week and month, 

The ripple continued it’s quiet spread.

Your ripple has swept up all of us,

In one way or another.

Light shines down

And illuminates all the hidden pain.

Thank you for being the pebble.

It is my honor to be the ripple.

14 Months plus 1


Today makes 14 months since I last drank. I am thankful for that decision every single day, 99 percent of the time. That 1 percent is why I will remain sober, with God’s help.  It’s such an insidious pos disease. Today, for instance, as I scrolled thru FB, I saw a beautiful courtyard at sunset that someone had posted. My mind – faster than light – wow, I bet it would be nice to get drunk there. Huh? Where’d that come from? Then, just as fast, I envisioned lost sobriety (which has no guarantees either way…some people “go out” and never make it back to a sober moment), a raging hangover, and all the fallout you can imagine. Those crazy moments are the ones that rarely encroach upon me, but are the moments that God is looking right at me, waiting for me to ask for help. I always do and He always does.  

Anywho…today also marks a month since I formed a healthy boundary in an unhealthy situation…in a beautiful hotel in Santa Monica, I said the wrong thing…too much surliness in my voice I’m told…regardless, my words unleashed a hell storm that, as I stood there, shaking, trying to be strong and unmoved, calling on Jesus in head, I somehow hit record, and I knew that I knew that I knew, I would never ever ever be held financially hostage again and endure the kind of garbage I’d endured for years. Just like that, it was over in my mind.  For years, the mantra was…if you would only just…if you didn’t…if you said…if you,if you, if you…EFF YOU. How ’bout that? You like that?   Then, barely 2 hours later, the sickness contained, I stood by, watching him recite biblical scripture to my family…I felt sick. 

I forwarded a copy of the recording to our amazing-beyond-words therapist.  Have you ever been in such a crazy mess that you almost can’t believe it’s real? And you just want a normal human’s take on it?  Well, that’s where I was. 

Being a codependent, I know that I don’t trust myself the way that I should, but that is changing the healthier I get.  I know people who are healthy and who I trust. And I’m getting to where I’m not afraid to ask for help. 

 So…fast forward to now…we are separating…I have had an apartment for 2 weeks. He bought the girls their beds, which was nice.  Tomorrow, their stuff gets delivered along with our living room furniture.  The girls and I are excited. 

Our therapist calls this separation a chance to detox from the relationship. I agree. I’m not sure what will happen. 

God began really putting separation on my heart last July & I didn’t do what He wanted. I kept trying to mold His plans into my human ideas of what would be easy for ME. UNCOOL.  I guess it’s no coincidence that my biggest struggle that I uncovered in working my 12 steps was my lack of complete trust in God. I know it now, though, and He helps us when we are earnest in our desire. I believe that recognizing my weaknesses and bringing them to God will allow Him to shape me the way that will best serve Him.  So…I breathe deeeeply…I ask Him to blot me out so people can see Him…I want to work for Him.  My ways…stink. I see that.  These days, I feel His presence in calming ways, knowing that I am being obedient.  My mind gets so tired & that’s when I realize the reason for that is because I’m still trying to do all the work!   

He’s got this…