Tag: Alcoholics Anonymous

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

A Sacred Bow

As we approach the end of the year, let’s take this opportunity to look back … so that we can learn from our experience, set intentions going forward, and improve our practice and structure.

Leo Babauta

Since June, I’ve been a part of the Fearless Community, and it was one of the best things I did for myself all year. A lot of what I’ve posted here this year was due in large part to Fearless Training. The Fearless practice brought my meaningful work to the forefront of my everyday.

This morning, as I walked into my room, the light from my window was hitting something shiny and causing it to shimmer. You know that’s going to grab my attention. 🙂

It was a medallion my daughter gifted me with 3 years ago, and it’s one of my favorites. The medallion was something I always looked forward to in the rooms. To celebrate years of sobriety, the meeting you frequented the most would hold a birthday meeting every month. It was called birthday night and they’d hand you a medallion with your year embossed on it, and there was cake.

I paused at the window and looked down at the medallion resting in the little love dish. ‘To thy own self be true’ is the inscription. It reminded me of the sacred bow, so I gave it a little bow. (Bow rhymes with cow)

I have a stack of these medallions.

The first few medallions were bronze color, but I received my first ‘pretty’ one after 2 years. There’s Bloggers who have given up alcohol this year, and that is a massive accomplishment. Medallions signify a lot of ‘one day at a times’. Those days accumulate into years, and then you get to hold that year in the palm of your hand.

Some people carry them in their pocket, or place them on a key ring. It’s a good reminder of what you hold sacred.

Sobriety is so worthy of a sacred bow.

Women Like Us

There was a comment left on my Blog that caused me to ponder. I had commented on a Blog I follow, and someone made a comment about my comment. My comment was, “My worst day sober, is still better than my best day drunk.”

This Blogger enjoyed my comment, and I’m guessing had not heard it before. She most likely wouldn’t hear it unless she goes to AA. That is where I heard it, but for me, those sayings are part of my sobriety.

AA is the one place I’ve always been able to walk in and feel accepted. Everyone there has a common problem. Alcohol.

♥ ♥ ♥

I met a friend this week for coffee.

Our favorite Barista was working and he always spoils us. My friend couldn’t decide what she wanted to drink, but he was going to help her decide. She told him what she wanted by naming a list of ingredients. This drink wasn’t on the menu, but he was willing to make something just for her.

We sat down at a table and he brought her drink over shortly. When he sat it on the table, it was like unveiling a masterpiece. This drink was so worthy of my friend.

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I watched her face and you could see she felt the love and care poured into her mug.

She enjoyed every sip, and to be perfectly honest it didn’t compare to my bowl of coffee. Our Barista came by to check on us and asked if I would like one too. I jumped at the opportunity to have a drink just like my friends. Then he said…

“It won’t be exactly like hers because I like to leave room for improvement.” He had learned some things the first time and would apply that to mine.

mine

The same drink but it looks different.

The Barista made more than enough for my drink and asked my friend if she wanted it. That is the whole purpose of our meeting. To refill one another’s cup!

I learn from this woman and she tells me straight up. I don’t have to agree with every word, but I respect her wisdom. We love each other, but we also have a bond of core values. We meet for coffee and dust each other off so we can continue our journey.

♥ ♥ ♥

Women like us are supposed to straighten one another’s crown. Not say, “It’s crooked.”

Women like us are ‘doers’, and we blaze a trail. Sometimes we get into trouble and we have to revert back to the rule book.

Women like us have huge hearts, but are particular about who receives a piece.

Women like us don’t need approval, and we run up against opposition frequently.

Women like us are zero drama, but that doesn’t stop it from occurring around us.

♥ ♥ ♥

AA introduced me to a God of my understanding, but my friend and I know the same God. We meet for coffee and inspire one another to be women like us.

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A Spiritual Awakening

I thank God every morning for waking me up and waking me up sober. He gave me my sobriety and I wouldn’t have the life I have today if I were still drinking. My daughter wouldn’t be here, and I’m not certain that I would be either.

You know me as Letitgocoach and that is what I am. Maybe what you don’t know is, my name is Barb H., and I am an alcoholic. For almost 17 years I have been walking into AA meetings and saying those words. I don’t go to meetings for myself anymore. Being blessed with sobriety for this long, I go to see how I can be of service to others.

My heart still breaks for the newcomer, as they sit there weeping. I cried at every meeting for 30 days when I began.

My story is not unlike anyone else’s.

I started out a social drinker and entertained my then husbands business professionals, so I didn’t have to leave home to drink. He bought cases of fine wine and my favorite part of the evening was the clean up. Pouring all the leftover wine into one massive wine glass and drinking it. That sounds pretty disgusting now, but back then it was normal. The things we do for a drink.

A part of my story you don’t hear much anymore is, I had a spiritual awakening. Yes, I heard God’s voice as He spoke to me. God answered my cry for help, and if that doesn’t sober you up, I don’t know what will.

It was obvious I was at the lowest part of my life. My husband of 10 years had given me an ultimatum. Get help, or I’m leaving with our son. My body was down to an unhealthy weight of 98 lbs, which is not good for a woman almost 5′ 9″.  I needed help, but didn’t know where to turn.

The next morning, I popped my son on the school bus, made my way up the steep driveway and into the house. It was cloudy and dark outside which suited me to leave the house dark as well. I poured some wine into a short Tupperware cup and climbed up the staircase in the two story foyer. I sat at the top of the stairs just staring off into space.

Then came the tears and frustration. The knowing I could not live like this anymore. I was in my early 30’s and had been drinking like this since my teens. I looked up at the palladium window at the top of the foyer. The clouds were rolling by and I could barely see any light. All I knew to do was cry out to God for help, so I cried, “God, help me”!!!

Looking at the bottom of the stairs, I see a light coming through the window, landing in the foyer and touching the bottom stair. It started coming up the stairs straight toward me as I sat there frozen. It went right over me, and I felt a warm hand pressing down on my shoulder.

Then I heard a deep, soothing voice in response to my cry. The voice said, “I will.” That was it.

Standing up and trying to walk was next. I was pretty well shaken, plus a little hungover, but walked into the office where we kept a phone book. Searching for AA meetings, I called a hot-line that helped guide me to the closest one. That day I walked into the first of many AA meetings.

God took my desire to drink completely away. I don’t struggle with thoughts of drinking. We even continued to entertain for years after I got sober. It wasn’t always fun, but I enjoyed the fact that I could entertain and be able to remember it the next day.

My marriage didn’t make it.

Drinking excessively during our dating on into our marriage, it makes sense, when you take away the alcohol, you wind up strangers.

We tried for 12 more years to make it work, but we were two different people. He couldn’t forget the past and I was in the present moment looking toward the future. He didn’t know what to do with a woman that didn’t drink, and I didn’t know either.

This is the past that brought me to where I am today. Letitgocoach is Barb H. and I’m a recovered alcoholic.

Leave Me Alone

When you have the opportunity to be alone, take it. Being alone gives us the chance to just sit with ourselves and see if we’re happy with that. A lot of people don’t like this feeling and have to be busy or around other people to avoid it. Staying busy and the noise and activity of people keeps us from sitting with ourselves. We have to like ourselves before anyone else will.

walkawaBeing alone and being lonely are two different things. One contains solitude and the other contains insecurity. You are the only ‘person’ that can make you happy. We look for happiness in other people and things. Having been through the gambit of materialism which gave me a mountain of stuff to take care of. What I needed to take care of was me.

Letting Go of people, places and things is what I had to do. Once those were removed all I was left with was God and me. I knew God had a plan that was much better than any plan I could construct. My best day of thinking got me a 16 year membership, thus far, to Alcoholics Anonymous. I was ready to dump all my junk and follow God.

Sitting with yourself doesn’t mean a thinking session and trying to fix what’s unbalanced in your life. It truly means sit, breath and listen. Here is a breathing technique to empty your mind from Lesson One of Letting Go.

To breathe peacefully:
1. Close your eyes
2. Take in 3 breaths
3. Let go of the last breath and wait for your body to breathe by itself
4. Be patient as you wait
5. Allow the inhale to occur as much or as little as it wants
6. Let go of your exhale and wait for the inhale to occur
7. Focus on consistently letting go of your exhale
8. Relax your body as your exhale occurs

Breathe for at least 10 minutes until you are very calm. Once you are calm, focusing on each breath, observe when a thought arises in your mind. (Note – You are not looking to think. You are just being aware when a thought arises.)

1. Write this thought down, unedited
2. Return to breathing and being peaceful
3. If another thought arises, write this down, unedited
4. Return to your breath and being peaceful
Continue writing all thoughts as they occur. Do not focus on the thought. Do not consider the thought. Simply write it down and return to your breath. Allow your mind to empty.

This exercise will:
1. Enhance your ability to obtain a calm, peaceful state
2. Clear your mind of clutter-thoughts
3. Clear your emotional center from negative energy

There is something therapeutic when it comes to writing on paper. The thought travels from your mind, down your arm, through the hand and pen, onto the paper. It’s a mental, physical and emotional release that is well worth the time.