Posted tagged ‘AA’

Where’s Pea?

March 9, 2010

Oh good Lord in Heaven… almost two weeks have flown by without a peep from the Pea.  Let’s see if I can get you guys caught up real quick:

  • Spent the weekend with my family in Orlando celebrating Mama’s 60th birthday.  The venture included a trip to Cafe Tu Tu Tango, outlet shopping, and a day at Universal Studios.  Mama’s favorite ride:  Shrek.  Oh man, does she love Shrek.  My favorite:  The Mummy.   A rollercoaster!  In the dark!  With fire!  Dude.
  • Commented on 88 papers in 4 days.  That is 22 papers per day (just in case you didn’t pass 3rd grade math, you know, with the division).  Did I have time to do anything else? Glad you asked.
  • Ran on campus last Thursday, a first for me even though I have worked at USF for 6 years.  Unbeknownst to me, there are hills on campus.  I think I climbed every one of them in the hour that I ran.
  • Discovered that, after a long run, I sometimes feel woozy.  Almost passed out in the girls bathroom in Cooper Hall.  That bathroom is scarier than the thought of passing out.  Trust me.
  • Saturday Monkito and I hit the Gasparilla Art Show, the Buddha Lounge for lunch, and Joffrey’s coffee in Ybor (for a HUGE slice of chocolate cake).  Lovely time had by all.  Then off to Paci’s Pizza for a slice  (Monkito swears it is just like NY pizza… what do I know?  I have never even been to NY) and to our Saturday night AA meeting in South Tampa.  Yes, we go to dinner and a meeting almost every Saturday night.  It is a date.  Shut it.
  • Sunday morning = church!  Then a quick 5k, lunch with Monkito, a jog (with Monkito!) at Lake Park, and some volleying of the tennis ball at another neighborhood park.  Yes, Monkito went for a jog.  She did great!  We did a mile (with exercise stops along the trail, which we did too) and then walked another mile to complete the loop.  And playing tennis (and I use that in the absolute loosest sense of the words) was a blast.  Turns out I can keep the ball on the court the majority of the time.  Who knew?
  • Monday I drove down to Fort Desoto to run.  Beautiful view.  Ran for an hour and a half (a new record for me).  Haven’t calibrated my Nike band yet, but I am guessing I covered 8 mile or so.  Could see the ocean most of the time from the paved trail.  The temperature was about 70.  Gorgeous.
  • And finally, today I was very, very brave as I had two cavities filled.  And, all day long, the Crest Gel commercial from the 80s has been in my head.  Cavity Creeps attacking!  Crest Gel! Crest Gel!  (I need to get out more)

And, just think, we are only on Day 2 of Spring Break!  The adventure continues…


Defects of Character? Who Me?

February 25, 2010

I slept in this morning.  Blessed sleep.  Until 9:00 a.m. even.  Decadent.

I met with my sponsor to finish my Fifth Step (you know, the one where you review all of your resentments, fears, sexual misconduct and harm done to others… Fun!).  My sponsor and I lounged around on my bedroom floor (like we were twelve), and I commenced to tell her all of the things that really get to me, the ones that keep me up at night, that keep tugging at me when I would rather ignore them.  I have been through a Fifth Step before.  It is cleansing to take such a close look at myself, eye-opening to see the patterns of thought and behavior that emerge.  But the whole process is a bit draining.  It is always hard to look directly at myself, in an effort to see where I can become better, where I can grow.  Truth be told, I am not always great at admitting that I am not perfect.  Ahem.

After my sponsor left, I spent some quiet time alone with some apple cinnamon tea in my papasan chair.  I won’t bore you with the particulars, but there may have been some praying going on (Step 6: Became entirely ready for God to remove these defects of character & Step 7: Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings).

I had been debating about a run on and off all day.  Usually any intense emotional experience dictates that I must run, to clear my head.  But it is cold here in Tampa.  And I hate cold.  But I also hate cranky… and cranky was about to rear its ugly head.  So I tied on my shoes and headed out.

I swear, I felt like I was running through molasses.  Everything was off about this run.  My shoulders and my hips felt like they were out of sync.  I got a cramp in my side.  And did I mention the molasses?  Slow going.  Very slow.  But I guess sometimes the success of a run is measured by whether I make it from Point A to Point B.  And I did, molasses be damned.

Now, it is on to karaoke with some friends…. I hope someone sings Sweet Caroline.  Or maybe some Bon Jovi….

Damn Fine

February 16, 2010

Monkito and I decided to get sober together.  Hell, we drank together, so why not?

I knew I had reached my saturation point (so to speak); I was done drinking.  Permanently.  And I had some hope these AA people could tell me how to to accomplish that goal.  I truly had no expectations for Monkito.  I knew enough to realize that sobriety was an intensely personal decision.  And I knew I would love her either way.  But I was damn glad she was going to my first AA meeting with me.

We had both missed work that day.  Of course, we needed that last big blowout the night before our AA debut… and I had paid dearly with an intense hangover all day long.  I finally climbed into the shower and rinsed of the shame from the night before.  Toward the end of my drinking days, there was always a lot of shame and guilt around my drinking… one more thing in my life that was out of control, that I was f*cking up.  I emerged from my shower with renewed hope… this was going to work.  This AA thing was to be the key to getting my life back.

I pulled on my jeans and cowboy boots, applied some make-up, and Monkito and I headed (nervously) to our first meeting.  Now, I think it funny that I got all dolled up… I guess I wanted to make an impression, to show up ready for my new life.  Once I walked through the door and sat down in the chair, there was no going back.  Walking into AA was my admission that I am an alcoholic.  I haven’t looked back since.

And, just for the record, I realized that Monkito truly wanted this sobriety thing as much as I did when she picked up her white chip (she had to motion for me to pick one up… I had no idea what the hell was going on.  She must have researched the strange AA ways on the internets).  And it has been a damn fine journey that she and I have taken together.

There May Be Some Grumbling…

January 27, 2010

Sometimes people suck.  I realize this is not news.  But, the suckiness catches me off-guard sometimes.  Like, for instance, when I am at an AA meeting and someone decides to be petty and snappish.  And rude.  Did I mention rude?  RUDE.  I realize AA does not make folks immune to asshole-ism.  But, damn, did this person f*ck up my serenity.  Wouldn’t bitchiness fall into the realm of a character defect that she might want to work on?  Clearly not.  (grumble)

I resent her being on my resentment list… now I have to focus my attention on looking at my “part” in this and letting go of the situation… when she could have saved me a lot of trouble by not being such a damn bitch in the first place.

Whew… glad THAT is out in the open.

In other news… I am trying to assess the craziness of driving an hour to run a 5K on Sunday.  Sounds beautiful.  The weather will be as close to perfect as it gets.  And I have really wanted to do some trail running… Did I mention that I have an issue with spontenaeity?  (And yes, planning to do a 5K 4 days in advance is spontaneous for me. Shut it.)  I should just shut up and run, shouldn’t I?  Yeah, I think so, too.

Everyone Has Their Own Ideas About Romance

January 22, 2010

Totally not sure if this is a regional thing or what…

but folks in AA around these parts tend use the term “romancing the drink”  to mean that they are glorifying their memories of drinking.  It took me a while to figure out why “romancing the drink” sounded so funny.  This one woman, in particular, kept saying she couldn’t be around alcohol, or she would find herself romancing the drink…  And, every time she said it, my mind would conjure up a picture of her and her drink, bathed in moonlight…

Then it hit me:  Uh, honey, I think you mean romanticizing the drink.

Because, unless you are taking making a candlelit dinner for your drink or making sweet love to it, you are not, in fact, romancing the drink.

And you thought AA wasn’t entertaining….

Back to Rehab (but just for dinner)

January 10, 2010

On Sunday, at the local drug and alcohol treatment center, I frequent an event called “Sponsor Dinner.”  I am on sponsee number two from said treatment center.  The first went “out” (as we like to say) about one week after she left treatment.  I am banking on better odds with the current sponsee.

Anyway, back to dinner… the girls in one of the apartments cook dinner for all the girls and any sponsors that show up.  I arrive at 5:30, work with my sponsee for an hour… then,  at 6:30, the dinner fairy knocks on the door to tell us to come eat.  Um… awesome.  Think of it as a big family of 10-15 women, sitting on the floor, on couches, on skateboards, just wherever… eating together.  Lots of storytelling.  Sometimes I field questions… about my life, my job, my sobriety.  Sometimes I just listen to the girls talk about the children, husbands, animals and plants they have left behind.  Mostly there is laughter and a lot of intensity about the food.  These girls love food.

At Sponsor Dinner, I have been served tacos, cheese lasagna, lots of yellow rice (it goes with everything, apparently), spaghetti and enchiladas.  At my first dinner, I just ate salad, because no one knew I was a quasi-vegetarian (yes, I still eat fish.  Shut it).  Ever since, they have made veggie stuff just for me.

And, during the three weeks or so that I wasn’t sponsoring anyone at the center, you better believe that I missed eating dinner with those girls.  So, now you know where you can find me on Sunday night.  Tonight, there was even chocolate cake.

Being an alcoholic has some weird privileges.  Sponsor Dinner is one of my favorites.

On the positive side…

January 8, 2010

Seems I have finally learned how to handle shitty situations like a rational human being.

Case in point:

I find out from a doctor, who comes up relatively short on compassion, that Blat may not make it.  He leaves me emotionally wounded and bleeding (physically) in the exam room alone.  I now have to wait one full week to find out if my long anticipated, much desired pregnancy will last more than seven weeks.  This situation defines shitty.

My typical response to any sort of trauma used to be to a) create as much drama for those around me as possible, to ensure they could really feel my misery, b) to withdraw from life (not to got to work, refuse to do school work, etc), and c) get wasted so as not to have to experience any pain (at least until the hangover the next day).

My response to the news about Blat was a) to call my best friend and sister, to let them know what was going on.  Both conversations included both me tearing up and me laughing, b)  to spiritually reconnect… since acting petulant with God when I don’t get my way is unlikely to either engender a miracle or provide me much comfort, and c) to go to an AA meeting, listen and be a part of the community.

So drama-free.  Could this be growth?  I think it is.  I really, really do.